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The Tower of Four

In a wartorn world, where nations vie endlessly for for the upper hand with their neighbors, a great military asset comes in the form of those born with a special gift: sway over an element- wind, water, earth, and fire.

Though it is the subject of much scholarly study, no definitive answer has even been found to account for what causes a child to be born with such a gift, all nations have some number born within. Some nations tend to have a higher instance of a certain element than others- and the reason for this is not known either- though nations with a great many of one certain kind of gifted tend to have adopted the fact as a point of national pride, claiming an ancestral affinity with the element, or that the spirits of that element have blessed their nation.

How these gifted are regarded varies from nation to nation- regarded as everything from national treasure, to natural resource, to demon-possessed embodiments of evil, to a state secret, denied to the public.

But regardless of what the nation thinks of it's gifted citizens, every nation seems to want to control the resource- preferably more of it than any other nation, and this leads to nigh-ceaseless war in some lands.

Still, there is one sovereign entity on the face of this world who can declare itself at peace with all nations- perhaps unique in it's ability to make that claim, for no power has proven foolhardy enough to try and attack the small island in centuries.

The island is home to The Tower of Four. Variously called 'the seat of Elements' or simply 'The Academy', it is a school that welcomes all gifted and offers those worthy a safe place to practice and hone their skills.

The structure started eons ago as a small settlement of elementalists fleeing persecution, but today, having been continually added to by each generation, it stands on the edge of a great, towering rocky cliff, looking miles and miles out to sea to the east, and into the mouth of a dormant volcano to the west. The tallest tower of the school faces north, to the craggy peaks of a string of stark mountains that make up the bulk of the island's landmass. It's position was chosen by the original pilgrims for two reasons, firstly the difficulty in accessing it- the natural hazards littering the island surrounding the four towers of the school are all but impossible to navigate without the ability to manipulate an element. The second point is the fact that it lies on the spot of single greatest elemental energy nexus in existence.

If you have made it this far, that is already an achievement to be proud of- but the trip here is but the beginning of your journey. Welcome to the tower of four.

((Please keep OOC chat to the facebook group, that's what it's there for. OOC posted here will be deleted by our kindly moderators.
Just post as you have something to say, or as something is said to you, we will very likely have several conversations going on overlapping, and that's okay- if you feel things are getting too confusing you can take a conversation to private messages, but don't forget to come back afterwards
Characters will be reacted to in the manner appropriate to how they behave- so if your character is the hub of drama, they will be regarded as a drama queen- if they're a Mary Sue, they will be regarded as the self-important blow hard they are.))

The headmaster gripped the podium and cleared his throat as he looked out over the throng of students milling about. It was unlikely that the noise was audible much beyond the others on stage- especially over the din of the assembled students, but something about his manner never failed to snag the attention of the students when he wanted it.

"To our new students, welcome." he intoned "To everyone else, welcome back. You have all traveled far and must be weary, I know it- but I beg your indulgence for a short time." He gave the room a sardonic smile- doubtless they all knew to the last soul that this was unlikely to be short, no matter the headmaster's promises or intentions "As most of you know, we like to begin the year with a brief address from the headmaster, and from the head of each tower. I will be kind enough to keep my headmaster's address short- I'm sure I can bore you sufficiently by my expounding the virtues of my element." a polite smattering of chuckles as he paused to take a sip of his wine.

"You have all traveled far, as I said, and at great peril. Peril surrounds us these days it seems, but at The Academy we try to insulate ourselves from such petty squabbles. Here we seek to challenge ourselves, and better ourselves and the community of mages. That you have arrived here today speaks well of you- but you are all doubtless well used to being spoken well of- you're special after all. Mages are exceptional." He smiles as he sees all the smiling freshmen starting to look smug, and his next words crack like a whip through the quiet room, and his jovial, fatherly air is gone in a flash. "But so are the rest of you. Welcome to the one place in the world where you are not special. Here, you are ordinary- but there is a beauty to that as well." His jovial manner is back as quickly as it left "Community is much easier to find among equals- among peers, and we try very hard to enable such. Sign ups for various extracurricular activities can be found on the office door of their staff sponsor- the orchestra on Madame Brieze's-" he gestures to each staff member in turn as he lists them off "And finally, sparring club on my own- you may hear more on any of those from their sponsor during their speech. Signs ups end in one week, so don't delay."

He stands ups straighter and clears his throat, growing somber. "As promised my introductory speech is short... and I shall now move to boring you." The lights flicker as the flames in the sconces all around the walls flare up "Fire is an element unique- they are all unique of course, but fire is unique in a unique way. Fire is the element of change. It lives, it writhes all on it's own-" he gestures to the four braziers before the platform on which he stood, each filled with a different element. "When left to their own devices, most elements stay static, and it is the mage's job to give them motion and direction and purpose. Remaining still is anathema to fire. It spreads, it grows, and it consumes- thus it is the fire mage's job to control. To contain. To direct and to guide. Those of you who are here to study under me are unlikely to enjoy yourselves- the most talented among you least of all, because I have a stark and grim truth to pronounce. Not all of you will survive to graduation. Fire is dangerous, and it will bite you the very instant you forget to give it the proper respect." he rolls his shoulders and shrugs his shirt off, revealing the scars along his torso. "I stand before you arguably the most powerful fire mage in the world, and I have nearly killed myself on three occasions. The fire is still far more powerful than I am." he pulls his shirt back on. "This is why, somewhat paradoxically, I am lead all classes of basic focus and discipline, to teach you finesse and control. Because Firing a bolt is easy..."

This patently false statement is punctuated by the air around him crackling as he pulls his arms close into him, and with blurring speed strikes out, a bolt of lightning arcing across the breadth of the hall and striking a metal fastening on the other wall, causing it to glow red hot for several moments- that one never fails to impress the first years

"It flies on it's own once released, you need only be fast enough to tell it where it need go. The more impressive feat..."

The maneuver from before is repeated, arc flying at the same fastening but... with a look of great effort the headmaster draws this hand back into a fist, and the lightning stops, an inch from it's target, and quivers in midair before curling around and wrapping around the headmaster's shoulders like a shawl, never quite touching him. "...Is to stop it." he concludes, the strain obvious in his voice before he allows the lightning to crackle off into the atmosphere and retakes his seat- ending his speech with characteristic abruptness after his grand finale and allowing the next teacher their turn.

Ryuer stood up as Alexander left the podium. As he passed, he made a small aside to his colleague. "Flashy as ever." He took to the podium and raised his soft voice as loud as it would go.

"New Students, we welcome you today to our fine establishment. This is a place of learning and growth for all of those who live here, including ourselves. I am standing before you to give a brief introduction to what it means to control the element of water. Each element has traditions and stereotypes associated with them, and I've always believed stereotypes come from somewhere. Water is the element of fluidity. It is the element of change and versatility. It is the element of balance and moderation.  It is cold and wet, and is associated with the moon and the feminine, as well as the season of winter. It is the element of softer emotions. Water users tend to be quiet and withdrawn, but friendly with the people close to them. They are more prone to sadness than anger. However, like the sea, while it takes a large force to stir a hydromancer up, once the person is, they are a force to be reckoned with. The subelement of water is ice.

Cryomancers are cold and calculating. While they don’t tend to get along with people very well and don’t open emotionally, they can be strong allies and friends. At best, water users are calm and thoughtful, and at worst are manipulative and passive-aggressive.  As with all of the elements, and people in general, these traits may not apply to everyone with these powers. These are simply the generalizations. But it is key to understand these even if you aren't a water user, as teaming up with other elementalists will help you to make up for what you lack.

I also run the art club here at the school. It is a place for those who struggle to express themselves to do so in a safe and alternative way. As such harsh and deconstructive criticism, as well as teasing , bullying and arrogant behavior will not be tolerated. For those who are gifted in art, I ask you to humbly aid those who aren't and we can work on improving your skills as well. We offer a wide variety of options, from poetry and short stories, to paintings, drawings and sketches, to sculpturing and more. Please see me if you are interested.

We are looking forward to teaching you."

He removed himself from the podium and took a sip from his glass.

Drandon rose to his feet, adjusted his uniform and the dress sword at his hip, and made his way stately to the podium, the heels of his boots clicking audibly on the floor as he moved. Coming to a stop to the right of the stand, Drandon assumed a "parade rest" stance with his feet slightly apart and his hands behind his back. for a long moment Drandon slowly swept the room with a stony gaze.

Finally he spoke:

"I am Leutemarshal DeRay Drandon, the resident Master of the Earth School, but you shall call me either Professor or Master Drandon." His voice rings out like a commander addressing his troops. After a breath he continues. "Earth is constant. It is rigid, and it is lasting. It is the firmament upon which we stand. Change comes slowly, with many thousands of years of heat and pressure, Rapid change comes mainly from external forces. Earth Represents structure and regimentation. At this Academy we shall attempt to teach you how to mould the stoic earth. Good Luck."

With a sharp nod, Drandon turned on his heel and moved back to his seat. A light snoring sound emanated from the far end of the Professors seats, and Drandon shot a quick disproving glance toward the noise before he took his seat.

Thalian flashed his father his trademark crooked grin. Another small victory.
Sacora Kaiba

Shalea walked up to the podium and smiles softly at the students as she spoke.  “I am Shalea Brieze the Air Mistress here and I am so glad that all of you have made it this far. Air is a very powerful element and very peaceful at the same time.  A gentle breeze can soon turn into gale force winds and blow everything away in its path.  Wind is very playful but very mischievous at the same time.  The wind can be calm one moment then very destructive the next.  Do not let the winds playful nature fool you for it holds very violet and destructive powers.  I look forward to seeing how each of you grow and how much you will learn here.  I just want to remind everyone that no one element is better than the other.  Each element relies on the other and they can work in harmony to create or destroy.  So please be careful and be aware of who surrounds you when you're working with your element."

"As Alexander briefly stated, we have many clubs and activities here so you can look forward to having a lot of fun here at the Academy as well as learning.  I am in charge of the orchestra and welcome any students that wish to join.  We perform here at the academy and others places around the Kingdoms.  If you need anything please do not hesitate to ask any of us for help or advice.  I wish you all a very great year, and the best of luck to you all.” Shalea walked back to her chair and looked out over the students to see their reactions and how they were behaving.

Necia stayed slumped in her seat as all the masters talked.  What was she thinking?  She was surrounded by people everywhere and she felt a bit faint.  The image of the fire master's demonstration flashed in her mind, what a powerful man...what an intimidating powerful man.  Could she really learn to control such a dangerous element?  She had to.  She gripped the small glass bottle hanging around her neck and thought to herself, "When my ignorance dissipates so will my fear".  Although she had to admit, the talk about the art club did seem intriguing to her.  "That seems like a nice place to learn, maybe I can tune out the other students..."

After the speeches had concluded, a group of policemen waited to speak with the headmaster about their special issue they had run into.  They were told by higher ups that this was the place to bring her, this is where they could get rid of the demon.

Ciela stood a little ways back, her back pressed against the wall.  She flipped between emotions of fear and awe as each of the professors stood up to, in their own special way, welcome everyone to a new year.  The place had been difficult to find and had left her physically exhausted, so she was glad to listen to each of them, and to take her mind off the journey she'd just endured.  Each professor seemed to personify the readily assumed character traits of each element, and she felt instinctively drawn to the woman who would be her teacher.

"Welcome to the one place in the world where you are not special."

It was a phrase that gave her pause and caused her to unintentionally tune out the Headmaster to think over such a statement.  In the end, of course he was right, they were all the same here and Ciela was glad to have found a place where everyone could be equal, if pride and arrogance kept their heads at bay.  Pushing that unpleasant thought aside, because quiet honestly, every one deserved the chance to prove themselves and no judgement should be gotten to hastily, she returned her attention to catch the end of the Headmaster's speech.  Reproaching herself for her lack of attention, she resolved to keep herself focused throughout the rest of the introductions.  There would be plenty of time to absorb all of this later.  

Though none of the rest of the speakers were as "showy" as the Headmaster, something she was quite grateful for since the fire performance gave her enough of an anxiety attack to make her pass out, but each speaker had something interesting to tell.  Everything soon came to a close and a brief thought flitted across her mind, as the students slowly began talking amongst themselves.   How would all of the other beginning students measure up to each other?

"I suppose that we will soon find out," she mumbled to herself, hoping no one next to her happened to overhear.
Silent K

“Used to being spoken well of,” Bhauma thought to himself after the headmaster’s address. As a prince this was true, Bhauma was one of the strongest and most talented members of his tribe.  He was used to receiving praise, until the day his abilities were discovered.  Now he was no more than an outcast of his people and blight upon his family lineage. The thought of being accepted again was appealing, but his father’s final words still echoed through his head. “Cursed is what my father called me, not special,” Bhauma whispered under his breath, “I can now see why he believed that, these people are truly a frightening force.”  The thought of being taught by such imposing figures shook him a bit inside, but his determination was stronger than his doubts, “I have traveled too far and lost too much to turn back.  If these headmasters can teach me more about these abilities inside me then this is where I must be.” He finished his thoughts as he continued to survey the crowd of students.

Maya let out a soft shriek and buried her face in Barak's shirt when the Fire Master sent out his bolts of lightning.  She felt his arm around her shoulder and he murmured in her ear "It's alright, sis...  He's just showing off," When she raised her gaze back to that of her brother's he smiled at her and tousled her hair.  She managed a weak smile and nodded.  The affection they showed for each other could almost be mistaken as that of lovers... but they simply looked too similar to be seen as anything but the twins that they are.

Barak barely listened to the welcoming lectures of the other Masters.  He knew his goal.  Control...  The control that man had shown and promised to teach.  If he'd had more control, than perhaps their house would still be standing...

Maya, meanwhile, listened as best she could while shooting glances around at the other students.  "Why couldn't I be air?" she found herself wondering as she looked from the woman who was Master of Air and then back at the Master of her own element.  Her eyes fell upon a girl some distance away with black hair and eyes that reminded her of her brother's.  This girl looked almost as nervous as Maya felt.  She gave a weak smile and nodded acknowledgement to the girl as the last of the Masters finished her speech and the students began milling about.

Interra was more relaxed than she thought she would be.  That is, right up until a bolt of freaking lightning shot past her head.  Her breath caught in her throat and for a second she felt like she had stopped breathing.  Then her heart started pounding and she felt just the slightest tremor beneath her feet.  Clenching her eyes shut, she leaned forward, clutching her hands tightly in front of her between her bare knees.  Not here.  Not now.  Not already.  She forced herself to take deep, calming breaths. "Earth is solid...  Earth is strong...  Be the earth..."  she muttered to herself over and over again.  The strange little mantra that her mentor had taught her to try to keep her calm.

As the last of the Masters finished their speeches, she took one finally deep breath and then raised her head.  She had missed it all...  Now what?  Had they been instructed on where to go?  What to do?  Uncertainly, she stood, hugging her arms around her stomach and glancing around for some sort of guidance.

Ryer noticed the officials at the entrance of the hall. After the speeches, he made his way over to them. "How can I help you today, sirs?"

Thales cracked a smile as the master cracked the lighting across the room. "I would have made a few more arcs if I were him." He muttered. He surveyed the room. He saw some peculiar folks, but no one immediately struck him as interesting. Although the girl next to the men the water master were talking to could be intriguing. He could tell law enforcement when he saw it. "Oh well. Time to have fun."  He let out a small discharge across the room that caused many new students hair to stand on end for a few seconds.

Master Coldra was on his way to address the officers with a sour look on his face when he felt the ripple of electricity, and turned to what he knew had to be the source.

The look he gave Thales was a familiar one. It promised, in no uncertain terms, that this indiscretion had been noticed, and that the issue was far from closed, and that the Headmaster was not happy. It was unfortunate for the young electromancer that the officers had shown up- normally the headmaster was in good enough spirits during the opening ceremonies to put up with a minimal level of tomfoolery, but few things soured Xander's mood like having bigots walking his halls.

He put a hand on his colleagues shoulder and said "Let me handle this Ryer. They're here to see me after all, I'm sure." with that he knelt down to eye level with the girl- this was not the first time a child had been delivered into his custody, and he didn't need to hear what the officers had to say. "Welcome." he greeted her with a warm smile seldom seen by those he sought to instruct she's already petrified, no sense in scaring her any further he thought to himself.

Placing one hand flat on the stone floor he poured energy into it until it glowed molten, at which point he pulled the magma up and away, shaping it deftly without touching it into the shape of a small flower, which rapidly cooled to the glassy black of obsidian as he pulled the heat away from it, reaching out and tucking the craft behind the girl's ear. "Whatever it is you have done before, your slate is clean here, and here you are welcome." it was the same little speech he had given to most everyone he had been 'introduced' to by officers, but he meant it every time.

He stood up and looked the officers in the eye. "Now, what can I help you with?"
Silent K

Jacob was enthralled to be in the presence of masters.  He clapped furiously after every address (even though they were all told to hold applause till the end) and let out an extra cheer when Ryer finished his speech.  Bouncing in his chair he looked around the room at all the other students he would be with, “Wow there sure is a lot of people here! I wonder who is a water mage here?” Suddenly he pulls out a water balloon from his hoodie pouch, “This is how I found my gift, so I’ll be able to tell if someone else is a hydromancer if I throw this at them.” To him his logic was infallible.  He began to look for a target, “Let’s see what we have here?  We’ve got a girl shaking with her head between her knees…better not try her.  There’s a tree standing over there…why is that guy dressed like a tree?” Then he spotted a girl with flowing black hair and fair complexion he became fixated, “Ooooh, she’s pretty, I bet she’s a hydromancer.”  Without thinking twice Jacob held the balloon on high ready to throw when he felt a jolt travel up his leg and into his arm.  The jolt made him clench the balloon, popping it and drenching him.  “What was that?” he thought as he sat there, a bit embarrassed.

The men standing there were terrified, and looked on the headmaster with contempt.  Zerika reached behind her ear and took the flower that had been placed there.  She twirled it between her fingers, starring at it and never looking up, and formed a small sad smile.  "Thank you for this kindness sir, but I know I don't deserve it." The policemen seemed to agree with her statement.  "This monster only deserves to be locked up!  Keep an eye on her, she wears a devil's mask.  We were told to get rid of her, heard this place was where to go to shape up the beast.  We were also told there was a chance she could die here, I don't care either way, as long as she's no where near the good people."  One of the men pushed her from behind and she stumbled forwards.  "Take it, we're done here."  The men tried to leave in a hurry, they hated being surrounded by all these creatures.
As they left, the girl turned her head, and watched them flee with a cold hate filled glare.

The young girl watched as the other student's walked about, but stayed seated.  "Oh no, I don't remember hearing what to do next...I really don't want to ask someone..."  The girl was torn, "I know, I'll get out a book and pretend I'd rather stay here and read it...this is a terrible plan."  She remained seated and listened to the conversations around her, maybe she'd overhear someone say where to go.

"Of course, Master Coldra." He gave a small bow to the policemen. "Have a good day, officers." He felt a small sensation through his body and noticed Thales. He gave him a small smile, knowing that Alexander would handle him soon enough.  He soon found his friend and colleague. "So, Drandon, what are your thoughts on this years class?"

All he could do was flash a quick goofy smile. He could tell Master Coldra had been put into a mood and that he was going to bear the brunt of it, but it wasn't anything he wasn't used to. When he noticed the kid with the water balloon though, he busted out laughing, almost falling to the floor. He meant no ill will, but the poor lad's timing had been just perfect and Thales couldn't help himself.

Xander looked after the officers with a detached and passive smile. One did not get to be master of fire without the ability to control their temper- and they were leaving now, so all was well. "Always a pleasure officers." he calls after them before turning to the new girl. "I cannot say weather you deserve kindness or not, but you certainly deserve welcome, for all who are gifted are welcome here- and those ~ahem~ upstanding gentlemen would not have been so keen on escorting you otherwise. Now, you see how the hall is divided, with the braziers of each element at the head of each table? I trust you know what your affinity is, go join them, and we can proceed."

With that he walks over to the pedestal and once more waits for silence enough to announce. "Each of the masters will now lead their charges to their towers, and allow them to get moved in after this long day of travel and toil. Once more, I bid you all welcome." With that he headed over to and waited before the western door out of the hall for the fire mages to assemble.

Maya's weak smile fell to a frown as the girl who's attention she had hoped to gain simply pulled out a book instead.  There were so many people, though, she couldn't blame the girl for not noticing her.  She looked at her brother uncertainly.  "Barak... What do we do now?  Everyone's just kind of... milling..."

Barak, who hadn't been paying half the attention that Maya was to the speeches, just shrugged.  He stood and stretched.  His years of constant work had made him unused to sitting in one place for so long.  "I dunno, Sis.  Maybe we should, I dunno, try and make some friends or something?"  He seemed skeptical, though his eyes snapped quickly to the guy responsible for a sudden electrical discharge.  Barak had no interest in learning to work with lightning, but the older boy was obviously talented.  "Think you'll be alright? I'll be right over there if you need me..."  Once sure she was alright, he moved over to where Thales was practically rolling on the floor.  "That was a pretty sweet trick," he commented, glancing from the prone Thales over to the soaked boy who was the object of his amusement.

It took a moment, but Maya managed to convince her brother she would be alright.  She would rather have stayed by his side, but she wasn't sure she liked the mischevious look of the guy he was going to talk to.  So instead, she tried to find the least frightening looking person in the room.  She needed to at least make an effort... right?  After a moment of debating between the sweet looking girl off to one side or moving in to help the poor soaked boy, she decided she'd go with what seemed like the safer option.

She approached Ciela with an uncertain smile and a nervous wave.  "H-hello..." she greeted.  "My name's Maya... What's yours?"

Interra shuddered at the zap of electricity, but this wasn't nearly as startling as the Headmaster's display had been.  Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the water balloon burst all over the poor, confused kid.  She frowned, debating whether to step in or not.  Then she heard the laughter and glanced over at the cause of it all.  That did it.  She had grown up with two older brothers and she'd been the brunt of more than her share of practical jokes.  "Hey... Bad luck, huh?"   she said as she approached Jacob.  She dug around in her small pack at her side and pulled out an old shirt that he could use to dry himself off with.  "So, um...  I don't suppose you know what we're supposed to do next?"   Of course, the words were barely out of her mouth before the Headmaster spoke again.  She blushed a little in embarrassment and gave a vague shrug.

Ciela was able to see little and to interact even less from where she had placed herself amidst the throngs of students.  Though at the same time she didn't envy the professors up on the stage, watching everyone and trying to see what this year's crop would be like.  She returned her attention to the people surrounding her.  She walked around a little trying to see what sort of people were in her near vicinity.  She'd been debating who she should make some sort of attempt to talk to, when she felt something that could only be compared to a shock attained from walking across carpet, run up her body and gave her a very uncomfortable feeling.  She rubbed her arms, trying to rid herself of the goosebumps.  

The laughter that suddenly rang throughout the hall caused her actions to still, and her attention, like that of those around her were drawn to a young man who was completely soaked.  Thinking that it had been caused by a hydromancer already deciding to make waves, she thought the best course of action would be to go over and help.  She was preparing to move when she saw, in her peripheral vision, someone wave at her.  Ciela turned and gave a return smile to the young lady who was walking her way.

"H-hello...My name's Maya... What's yours?"

She smiled, trying to decide if Maya was shy by nature or at first introduction.  "My name is Ciela.  It's very nice to meet you, Maya.  Is this your first year here as well?"

After he saw what had happened to the student, he glanced at his friend. "It appears we will have to discuss the matter later. And it seems there will be a lot to discuss." He walked over to the student covered in water. As he was walking he heard Alexander's command. He made it to the boy and saw a couple of students helping the poor young man out. "I appreciate your concern and I encourage you to continue to make friends, but it is time for everyone to gather at the braziers. I appreciate your cooperation." He then headed toward the brazier.

Thales took notice of the guy walking towards him. Seemed a little rough, but he appreciated the compliment. "Just a little trick I picked up while training. My name's Thales. And yours?" He made sure to look time to time to see where the kid he soaked was at. He needed to pay him a visit as soon as he could, but the call for the braziers came and he knew he would have to catch him later. "We need to line up. I'm on duty to give the fire kids a castle tour at some point in time."

Necia looked up at the headmaster's voice.  The braziers, of course, how could she have been so unobservant.  There were other students still standing around chatting with one another, she thought to herself, "Don't they listen?  They need more discipline."  She replaced her books in her bag and walked over near the location of the fire master.  She hoped no one would talk to her.

She smiled, "I do know my place sir."  Zerika turned from the headmaster and looked around her.  There were students talking and laughing with each other, silly children.  She had no need for friends but she had been bored lately.  A new location didn't give her an advantage, for now she would gather with all the other water children and learn about them and this castle.  She still held the formed flower and had no need for it, she saw an open bag and dropped the item as she walked by.  She headed over to the designated place and leaned against the wall.  It was then she noticed a young boy covered in water and another boy laughing.  She raised an eyebrow and scoffed, "Child."
Silent K

Jacob, now realizing that he was getting a lot of attention, began to laugh at himself weakly, “Not the first impression I wanted to make, but at least everyone seems to be in a good mood.”  Jacob was used to making people laugh, so this wasn’t anything unusual for him.  As he looked up he saw the girl that had been shaking in terror walking towards him. “Hey thanks! Yeah, I guess I put a bit too much force into the water and popped the balloon,” he said trying to act cool, “That’s why I’m here, gotta learn control.”  Drying himself off with the shirt he thought about what she asked, “I have no idea what to do next.  Are you a hydromancer? That’s what the balloon was for. You see I found my abilities…” but before he could finish his sentence the headmaster made the call to gather to their prospective elemental towers.   “Oh, guess I gotta go, thanks again for the shirt!” he said handing her back the soggy shirt and running off aimlessly into the crowd of students.  

Seeing the sight of the poor child with the water balloon made Bhuama chuckle, but he knew he was not here for fun, “I must speak with the headmaster and find out what my duties here will be, but I must have an introduction first.”  Still in the mindset of being in his tribe Bhuama knew that every member of a tribe must have a purpose and that you never approach a chief without being properly introduced, but how could he do this? Then remembering the girl that came in with the police escort he thought, “Perhaps this girl is nobility of some sort?  Why else would she be escorted in with such a formal looking procession?  And she has already had a private conversation with the headmaster himself!”   Walking over to the girl after she finished talking with the headmaster, he introduced himself with a formal bow, “I greet you humbly.  I am Bhuama pri…,” he stopped himself from saying prince, realizing he was no longer nobility, “I am Bhuama of the Kali tribe.  The road has been perilous but I have found my way to this place of learning.  I wish to have an audience with the headmaster and am humbly requesting an introduction from a person of nobility, such as yourself.” He finished his address with another formal bow, awaiting her answer.

As Zerika leaned against the wall waiting, a dirty looking man walked up to her.  He seemed to think she was nobility.  She wondered how he could have mistaken the authorities for a royal escort.  Then again, this man looked like he had come from the forest, like he had been part of the flora.  Her expressionless face never changed as she spoke to him, "Thank you sir for coming to me first, but at this moment I am feeling a bit fatigued.  At this present time I wish to retire to my chamber, but if you gather with your fellow men, I will arrange a meeting for another day."  She could only hope this was sufficient enough to get this man away from her.
Silent K

The icy tone from the girl made it apparent that his presence was unwanted.  Lifting his head Bhuama took the response with dignity, “I thank you,” and walked away from the icy maiden. “I suppose that was too forward,” he thought as he returned to where he had been standing, “She must be from a very prestigious family.”  Returning to his spot he heard the headmaster call for the braziers,  “In time my questions will be answered, I must remain patient.”

Barak nodded his respect at the other lad.  “Barak.  Nice ta meetcha,” he answered easily.  He glanced over at the Headmaster as he made his decree and then nodded to Thales.  He followed along towards the fire brazier.  “I'm guessin' you've been here a while if you're givin' tours and all that.  It's a pretty cool place then?  Good people, good food, clean beds, that sort of thing?”  Without thinking about it, he glanced over at his sister as she hurried to join the other water elementalists.  When their eyes met briefly, she smiled and gave him a little wave.  His lips twitched upwards just a touch before he turned his attention back to Thales.

Maya's smile relaxed slightly as the girl turned out to be as friendly as she had looked.  “It's very nice to meet you, Ciela... And, yes,” she answered, her voice still soft and uncertain.  “It is my first year here.  It seems to be an interesting place, and kind of scary, but I'll just be happy to-- oh!” She turned towards the podium as the Headmaster made his next announcement.  She actually frowned a little in disappointment as she turned back to Ciela.  “I'm sorry... I guess we'll have to talk again later.” She dipped in a little curtsy before turning and hurrying over to where the other water students were gathering.

Interra just blinked and stared at the kid as he talked.  And talked.  He never even gave her a chance to respond to anything he asked her.  Her gaze darted between him and the growing group of earth casters that she should be joining.  It would be rude to just leave him standing there, but she really should-- Too late.  Her cheeks flushed red with humiliation as the Water Master came over and had to repeat their instructions.  “Yes, sir,” she murmured even as she took the dripping wet shirt and stuffed it back into her bag before shuffling towards where she was supposed to be gathered.  So far... things weren't exactly going the way she had hoped... Almost losing her cool during the ceremony and already having to be told twice to follow an order.  Pausing next to a very strangely dressed man, but barely even noticing him, he let out a deep sigh.

First impressions, to many, were very important and it did say a lot about a person when they met someone for the first time.  For Ciela, she liked Maya instantly, despite the fact that she appeared to be all jitters and nerves.  Ciela listened quietly, as she hurried through her words, ready to add her own thoughts when Maya had finished talking.  Sadly, she didn't get that chance as the Headmaster declared that it was time for each of them to follow their respective teachers to their rooms.  Ciela barely had time for a wave goodbye before Maya hurried off.  Before she made her way to her respective brazier, she followed Maya with her eye and saw her dart off where the hydromancers were assembling.  Well, that was one unasked question that was answered.

She smiled to herself and made her way through the throng of students to where the Air Mistress was standing.  Others were slowly making their way to their places.  She couldn't help but notice the difference in those who had been here for a while, and the others, like herself, had just arrived.  There seemed to be a bit of competitive comradery in those who appeared to have been here for some time.  Everyone else, seemed hesitant to reach out beyond their own little circles, trying to find some way to fit in.
Sacora Kaiba

Shalea watched as the chaos unfolded before her. “This is looking like it will be a very interesting year.”  She said to herself smiling.  She stood up and headed over to her table.  “Alright everyone if you would please follow me to our tower.  You can get to know each other and I will answer any questions you may have."

She led the group up the tall spiral stairs until they reached the middle part of the tower.  Two very long hallways, that led to the student’s rooms, could be seen before them.  Shalea moved forward allowing everyone to make it up the stairs.  There were windows everywhere letting in the light and a nice breeze.  "This is where your rooms are.  You may visit with each other anytime you want but please be respectful of each other and give someone space if they need time to settle in."  She then turned and pointed to another staircase. "If you need anything or just want to talk to me my office is right up the stairs.  If I am not there, please pull the bell outside my door and I will be with you shortly."  She turned back to them smiling. "Alright first years have the right hallway and everyone else has the left hallway.  You may pick who you want to room with and if there are any problems please let me know.  The only rule I have for picking rooms is boys room with boys and girls room with girls.  Before you head off, does anyone have any questions?”  She looked across the group of students with her soft smile.

If there was one key advantage, one virtue that Xander had managed to cultivate in all his years of training, it was patience. Fire wishes at all times to move, to grow- ever seeking instant gratification. To master fire, and not have it master you, one must learn patience, and so he allowed the new students to greet each other, to bond, to compare notes- this was, after all, the first time many of them would have ever met another gifted person and it was as he had said: there are certain advantages to not being special.

He turned and spoke to a timid looking young girl who had drawn near to make conversation while waiting for them to calm. "It's only the new arrivals I need actually, returners know the drill- though of course it's most ill-advised to delay too much. Tomorrow is a long day and this one is far from over at any rate." he smiles "Well, new arrivals and Thales-" he indicated the budding electromancer. "He doesn't get out of my sight if I can help it."

Ryuer waited for a few minutes to allow for his students to collect. "First, we're going to head to the dormitories for the water students." He lead them downstairs. As they were walking, they passed a pool. "This is for practice and for recreation. You know the general pool rules." He led them to the rooms. "Here is where you will be staying. Men are on the right and women are on the left. No coed rooming. Also, my room is at the end of the hall."

He then showed them around to the cafeteria and around the classrooms. He finally lead them to the beach. "This area will be used for classes and training as well as for fun. Please be aware of the sea creatures and respect the ocean. Are there any questions?"

Thales gave a devilish grin. "There are lots of places to give him the slip. It's a really sweet castle. You guys are gonna love it."

Drandon came back to reality for a moment when Ryuer spoke to him, but before he could prepare his response the Water Master was distracted by some occurrence elsewhere. Drandon stood up and chastised himself for having only been half aware. A great deal of Reports had appeared on his desk the night before and it had taken him most of the night to deal with all of the paperwork. Thank goodness for staff officers. Moving purposely, Drandon made his way to the Door before turning around  and addressing the room in his booming voice. "Students of Earth. You shall follow me to your Rooms now." He stepped out into the hall and waited as the students began trickling in from the hall. Once it seemed that there are no more stragglers he turned on his heal and began leading them down toward the Tower of Earth. Finally Drandon stopped in a large room with several Stairways. Gesturing to the back of the room Drandon pointed out three different stairs. The central stair showed a tight spiral strait down, the other two spiraled gracefully down and away from the central stairway. "The Spiral Stair in the Middle leads to my office. My office hours are clearly displayed on the doorway here. If you have any questions, pleas feel free to come and meet with me during these designated times. First year Girls dorms are to the left, and boys are to the right. Please head on down and find yourself an empty bunk in one of the rooms. Each bunk will have a packet waiting for you. inside you will find a map of the School as well as a schedule and other such necessary information. The room we are currently in is the common area and can be used for studying or mingling with your classmates. Lights out is at ten and you are all expected to head down to your rooms at that time. The common room reopens at seven in the morning. Are there any questions?"

The young girl tried to avoid talking with the other students, but to no avail.  Some students were even interested in the books she was reading, which surprised her.  Her mother had always said that kids her age hated reading.  It was only the first day and she was already learning new things.

The headmaster spoke of the tasks that were ahead of them.  He spoke about needing only the first years, and this strange boy he called Thales.  She was unaware of the commotion he caused at the opening ceremony , but the grin he gave the master made her think him...goofy.

Zerika walked along with the other water students.  She stayed in the front so as no one could block her view, she wanted to take in her surrounds and not have them be a limitation.  The water master babbled on about the pool and the rooms, but then he said something that caught her attention. "Men are on the right and women are on the left."  She raised her eyebrow, "What was that?" she thought to herself.  It was just a general statement, it didn't mean anything, but she knew she could twist it.  The water master asked if there were any questions.  She raised her hand and spoke, "I have one sir.  Are you sexist?"  

The master was taken aback by the question.  "What makes you-"

Zerika interjected his reply, "When someone has a right hand person, it means that they are a person that can be trusted and are the most dependable.  You put the women on the left, saying that females can't hold the position of being the most competent and trustworthy.  Being on the left means you believe the men will always be better than the women."  She laughed to herself, it payed being around all those crazy feminist.  Some of the other female students became rowdy and echoed her words at the master.  She knew she could catch some of the other rebellious girls, and then there was always that group that felt pressured to join in.  Zerika eagerly anticipated the master's reactions to the chaos.  "Your move," she thought.

He scanned her for a second. I remember this girl being with the officers from earlier today. I'll have to keep my eyes out. "Quiet down everyone." He raised his voice as loud as he could. "I could say something like the left is closer to the heart, but the truth is the restrooms and accommodations were made decades ago by previous masters in an arbitrary manner. Rumor has it a few coin flips were involved." He gave a small smile. "Any other questions?"

Barak grinned as Thales told the first years about knowing all the places to give the Fire Master the slip.  He hadn't really planned or cared to make any friends, but he was starting to think he could definitely get to like hanging out with Thales.  “Sounds great,” he chuckled.  “Can't wait to learn 'em all.”

Maya followed along with the group, paying close attention to everything that Ryer had to say.  It seemed like it was going to be a good place to live... So long as the people were okay...  She watched the man in charge silently, trying to look past her fears and decide if he was someone she could trust or not...  Hearing Zerika's question, though, she blinked and turned to stare at the girl.  Such an idea never would have crossed her mind.  Even the girl's explanation sounded stupidly far-fetched to her.  Finally, she just shook her head and edged away, planning to find a room to claim.

Interra watched Drandon, following him silently.  She glanced around at the other students, wondering about them and about where they came from.  Stepping into the large room with all the stairways, she glanced around curiously.  It wasn't until Earth Master Drandon explained where all of they led that it all clicked.  The dorms were down those stairs.


Down into the earth...

She was rooted to the spot, breathing hard and heart pounding.  Staring at the stairway without really seeing it even as the other girls had already begun filing down, chattering excitedly about what rooms they wanted to claim.  Some loose stones on the ground near her feet began to vibrate slightly.
Silent K

During the tour Jacob could barely hold in his excitement, “Finally, I’m with my fellow hydromancers!” he thought to himself.  The facilities were vast and the water area was pure heaven to Jacob, “This is where I belong,” he said shaking with eagerness.  When Ryer asked about questions Jacob was just about to raise his hand when the pale looking girl asked the question about gender and rooms.  This topic bored Jacob and he began to wander off daydreaming about surfing and other things he wished he was doing at that moment.  Ryer calmed the crowd of tempered female students and the sudden silence brought Jacob back to reality.  “Any other questions?”  Jacob quickly raised his hand this time, “Yes, when do we start class in the morning?  I’m ready to begin my learn….OH MY GOSH there are dolphin!”  With a cry of excitement Jacob rushed over to the banister to get a better look at the playful creatures.  A pod of dolphin could be seen playing near the shore of the beach.  Happily they flipped and twirled through the air and all Jacob could think about was joining them, “Why didn’t I bring my surfboard.  I’ve never surfed with dolphins.  Oh wait, I can’t surf without my board!”  Anxious and realizing he never asked a question Jacob looked to Ryer and said, “Do we have surfboards here?  That’s my questions.”  He awaited the answer, starring intensely at the headmaster.  

Bhuama made his way through the castle with his group and was struck by the majesty of the structure, “This place becomes more stunning with every turn,” he thought to himself as they continued through the corridors.  Still unused to being inside buildings Bhuama felt dwarfed in such a large structure, “To think I roam the lands no more, but will remain in this one place.”  Taking his focus off the scenery he focused on Headmaster Drandon, “That stony gaze, the way he walks with authority, his strong posture,” whispered Bhuama under his breath, “All of his traits are very similar to…my father.” The chief of Bhuama’s tribe was indeed a strict man, ruling over the tribe with the utmost authority and power that he had.  The more he looked at the earth master the more he saw his father, “This will not be an easy task.  If this man is anything like my father, much will be wanted from me.”  When the time for questions came all Bhuama could think about was his father.  He knew his father was dead but this man before him was so similar that for a moment Bhuama forgot who he was listening to.  In a daze he stood there, imagining his father speaking to him again.  Still somewhat in shock he said nothing and looked at the imposing figure in front of him.  The group moved on and Bhuama felt regret knowing he missed his chance to ask a question.  "He's dead, my father is dead," he kept repeating to himself as he made his way towards the living area.

She watched as the water master tried to quiet the girls.  He replied with some sappy answer and then a simple one.  "What was that?!" her mind roared at her.  She had wanted a clever answer, an amusing reply, but received nothing.  What a waste, this guy wasn't going to be very entertaining.  

The master asked if there were anymore questions, and Zerika saw a young boy raise his hand and start jabbering like mad.  He was way too excited to be trapped here.  She zoned him out as the wheels in her head began to turn, "What an energetic fellow...he's like a puppy.  Wait, a puppy?"  The girl smirked to herself, "Puppies can be fun..."

She decided this was enough group time for today, and walked off toward the living quarters.  While the puppy was distracting everyone, she could walk around freely.  When she surveyed the rooms they all looked fairly similar.  "Hmm, no significant difference," she mumbled to herself as she looked.  She stood there pondering, "The room farthest away has the highest probability of me running into other students.  The middle has no benefits that I can see.  If I took the closest room then no student would be ahead of me that I would need to pass by.  It would be fairly easy to sneak away."  After she had completed her thought process, she went inside the first room and sat on the bed.  The bed swished from her weight, "A waterbed? original."

Ciela followed the Air Mistress up, what seemed to be, a never ending flight of stairs.  Every step taken made her feel as if they were ascending up into the heavens themselves.  A silly notion, really, but when she had lost count of the steps she'd was the only thought to be arrived at.  It was all so beautiful, and a far cry from the small cottage house she'd lived in for all of her life.  There was a soft hum as the students talked amongst themselves.  Ciela chided herself for not always being so forthcoming in her own introductions and wished that there was someone to talk to.  Perhaps she'd be rooming with someone?  One could only hope.

When they finally had reached their destination, Ciela could only gasp in amazement at the sight before her.  There were windows, everywhere!  Floor to ceiling windows lined the circular room and let in all possible light that could be allowed.  There were four white pillars, two on either side of the room, that guarded the entryway to the separate hallways.  The common area had couches and chairs, tables, bookshelves lined with ancient tomes, and a refreshment bar.   The ceiling was the most breathtaking of all.  It almost seemed as if there were real clouds hovering just above them.  It took a moment to realize it, but the clouds in the room were an exact match to the clouds that were in the sky outside.

"This is where your rooms are.  You may visit with each other anytime you want but please be respectful of each other and give someone space if they need time to settle in."

Ciela was brought back to reality with a jolt and she returned her attention to the Air Mistress.  The rules seemed quite simple and self explanatory.  But when the query was posed as to whether or not they had any questions, Ciela most emphatically shook her head no.  She was too caught up in her surroundings to even think to ask a question.
Sacora Kaiba

Shalea scanned every inch of the room making sure she did not skip over anyone. “Alright then you may go and pick your rooms and if you need anything at all or think of something to ask me just go up the stairs to my office.”  She watched as the students made their way to their rooms and after everyone had left she turned to go to her office when Horus appeared at one of the windows.  “Horus?   Have you found someone else?”  He nodded and flew off.

Shalea quickly followed him out the window and he led her to a boy that had passed out.  Shalea surrounded him in a wind sphere and took him back to the castle.  She took him straight to the hospital wing. “Erin are you here?”  She looked around until she spotted her in the corner of the room doing an experiment.  She laid the boy on an empty bed and motioned her over.  "I am sorry to bother you but  Horus found someone else that did not make it all the way.  He looks like he overheated and he has a few scratches.” Horus had flown right beside her and landed on the head of the bed.

Erin was concentrating on her titration, allowing half drops to roll into the Erlenmeyer flask.  She heard the familiar call of Horus approaching her door and halted the experiment.  One drop too many would make all the data void.  

Shalea entered inside the room and looked around for Erin.  She placed her goggles on the desk and walked over to the bed that Shalea had placed the boy on.  The boy was unconscious and his face was red.  She dimmed the lights, opened the windows, and prepared several sheets of wet cloth.  "Looks like the heat got to him, bit of hyperthermia.  Shalea, help me with these cloths, they'll help cool his blood."  They placed the cool cloths on the boy's wrists, neck, and under his armpits.  She seemed satisfied, and grabbed some antiseptic for the scrapes, "Had a little tussle with nature did you?"  She smiled as she sprayed the boy's injuries.  After that, she glanced up at Shalea, "He should be fine.  When he wakes up I'll give him some water and let him just lay here where it's nice and cool.  She laughed, "Always trying to keep me away from my research aren't you?"
Sacora Kaiba

Shalea helped practically cover the boy in cold clothes to get his body temperature down.  “The poor boy.  I am glad he will be alright.  He just did not bring enough water.”  After the boy was out of danger Shalea looked up at Erin and smiled.  “I do not know what you are talking about?  I NEVER interrupt your work.”  She said with a mischievous look on her face.  

Her face soften and she looked back at the boy to see his color had started to return to normal.  She sighed in relief and looked back to Erin.  “I am very glad you decided to work here.  Since you have been here treatment is a lot better and the students feel safer knowing you are here.  You have really come a long way and I am very proud of you.”  She looked over at the table Erin had just came from then turned back to her. “So what were you working on this time?  Was it a new potion or your lunch?” She asked smiling at her.

Erin grinned at the compliments she was receiving, "Well, as the nurse here I do give it my best shot."  She walked back over to the boy to check his condition and change the cloths if necessary.  Afterwards, Erin went over to the window's and looked out at all the life surrounding the castle as Shalea spoke.  

She then brought up Erin's experiment.  Erin laughed and stroked Horus on the head, "I'm not going to drink it!  And I've told you, I'm not a witch, I'm a scientist.  It's solution, not potion."  She continued to smile as she teased her friend.  Looking over at the flask she began to explain, "No, I was just conducting a quantitative chemical analysis trying to figure out the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water sample I collected.  This is the first trial though, I haven't finished collecting any data yet."  Adjusting her glasses, she motioned to the flask, "See how it has a blue color at the moment?  I'm adding sodium thiosulfate to the water slowly waiting for the endpoint.  When the solution becomes clear, I'll have my data."  Once again she gave her friend a big smile, she loved talking about her experiments.

Thalian followed behind the group of first years on his way to his own office.  As part of his duties he was Dormitory supervisor for the first year  boys, and his office was at the end of their hall. As the group moved along the corridors Thalian took the time to observe his new wards, and to flash a smile at a small group of second year girls and causing them to giggle and scurry away. The new arrivals seemed to be a rather diverse group, from the stern and proper to one who looked like a walking tree. This looked to be a rather interesting semester.

Upon arriving in the Common Room Thalian stood to the back of the group, waiting for his Father to finish rambling so the way to his office would clear. While shoving his way through would annoy the old man, it would also be rude to the new students so he waited. When the "lecture" ended and the students began to file toward their Thalian saw Drandon's Secretary, Leutefrohlen Lieda(( feminine version of Lieutenant)), appear at Drandon's side and hand him a piece of paper whereupon the two of them began talking "business". Although Lieda looked to be the stern and practical, perfect model of an Imperial soldier, Thalian knew better. There was a playful side to her that she only showed around his father... and only when off duty. Something that gave his Father some minor irritation, which Thalian thoroughly approved of.

As he made his way to the Stairs Thalian noticed one of the first year girls standing very still looking rather panicked. Thalinan noticed the vibrations that seemed to be emanating from the ground around her, so he changed course. Walking up beside the Girl e put on his most charming smile and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. " Don't let him scare you , he's not really all that frightening, I promise"

Professor Coldra frowns for a moment, then clears his throat and punches the air above him, sending a plume of flame sure to garner attention. "Fire students. This way." he declares, apparently finished with waiting, as he turns and heads into the tunnel.

It is a wide tunnel, but the stonework quickly turns to slick and smooth volcanic glass that reflects the thin flame the headmaster holds in his hand over and over providing plenty of light in the dim corridor. "Careful." he admonished. "The stairs can be slick." and of course before anyone can ask 'what stairs' you all find yourselves descending a steep-ish staircase, also shaped from volcanic glass- though at least the stairs are textured for some grip, though care is still required. Narrower tunnels spin off periodically on each side without predictable pattern, and as each is passed it is named. "That one leads to the mouth of the volcano- it is forbidden to all students who have not received my personal certification in the classes of magma control and heat removal. This one leads up to the tower classrooms for sustenance and deprivation- those of you who are new remember that, deprivation is your first class in the morning-" etc.

At the end of the tunnel it opens up into a wide dome of volcanic glass, looking like the inside of a large bubble- but the walls are laced with veins of glimmering metals not unlike lightning bolts criss-crossing and occasionally peeling away from the walls into flaming sconces that light the room evenly by the same principle of reflection. The roof of the dome is etched with a complicated rune that is often stared at at length by fifth year students trying to apply what they're learning in runes class to identifying it's intricate interlocking strokes.

Arriving at the center of the dome the professor turns and addresses the students. "Welcome home. This dome has served as home for all of history's notable pyromancers since the rune above was carved by the school's third headmaster, sealing and preserving it. Those of you who read up before coming here will know that we currently stand below the magma line, within the volcano- and you may have noticed that there's only one tunnel exiting this dome, the one we've just arrived through. Where are the dormitories, you wonder?" he extends a hand and gestures at the wall to his left- a spot glows white and then recedes rapidly, creating a new tunnel through to the still-glowing new volcanic rock. He quickly makes several more gestures, creating a few more tunnels, and says "Veterans, you know the drill. New arrivals, follow me, if you please." And with that he walks resolutely towards the first new tunnel.

Barak followed along with the others in the group in silence.  He took in the tour carefully, making a point to remember where everything was so that he wouldn't be one of those stupid fresh-meats who get lost all the time during their first few months.  Despite himself and his reservations against coming here at first, he felt a growing excitement.  Not only did this school boast relative safety, but it was actually a pretty amazing place as well.  He gazed around the common room in silent awe and almost didn't hear the Headmaster when he said to follow.  Most of the group was already a few paces ahead of him when his gaze quickly snapped back and he hurried to follow.

“These people are so weird...” Maya found herself thinking as she watched the energetic lad.  First the girl with her strange feminist girl and now this.  Shaking her head silently to herself, she moved hesitantly towards the dorm.

As the man approached her, Interra didn't seem to notice him at all, let alone react to his winning smile.  In fact, she tensed at his touch, barely managing to swallow back a shout of surprise.  A loose rock next to her feet cracked clean in half as she turned her gaze to him.  She stared, trying to force calm upon herself.  Trying to quiet her pounding heart.  If she heard what he had to say, she made no indication.  It wasn't the Earth Master that was the problem.

“Is there... Anywhere else?” she whispered, barely managing to keep her voice steady enough to be understood.  “Anywhere else I can sleep?”  She shivered at the thought of sleeping underground and the tremor of her body was mirrored by the earth on which she stood as she hugged her arms around herself.  She hated it... She was a grown woman, but acting like a child... But she couldn't help it...  She would never again willingly enter the earth.

Dismissed and free to go about her business, Ciela took herself and her luggage to the right hallway finding herself roughly handled by the other first years who were anxious for the "best" room...whatever that meant.  The first empty room she came to was actually the last one in the hallway.  Apparently, everyone else had an intense desire to be as close to the common area as possible.  She shrugged and opened the door to her room.  She left it open, in case someone else drew the long straw and had to share with a stranger.

She sat her trunk and then her travel pack down at the foot of one of the full size beds.  The room was functional with two beds, two desks, two night stands, two wardrobes, as well as a full walk-in closet.  Ciela tried not to think about the number of clothes a person would own in order to fill up all of that space.  But where the room was functional it was also very beautiful.  The walls were painted pastel blue and the color reminded her of a cloudless spring day just after the last winter snow had melted.  The room was open and the floor to ceiling windows were open, letting in a cool breeze and overlooked the calm ocean.  Ciela could see a small balcony that had two chairs and a table.  Everything was done in light colors that were in various shades of clouds.

Ciela took a sigh and sat down on her bed.  She shouldn't have been surprised, but it felt like sitting on a cloud...not that she'd ever sat on a cloud.  She laid back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling, feeling out of place and wishing she could find someway to communicate with her family, telling them that she was alright.

He smiled at the enthusiastic boy."Of course we do. They are in the gym closet. However, right now, the gym is locked." Seeing that there appeared to be no more questions, he dismissed his students. "Your are dismissed to spend the next few hours doing what you will, with some exceptions, such as the gym. I would suggest unpacking and meeting your other classmates. Dinner will be in a few hours." He looked around. "Oh dear. If anyone sees the young lady who protested earlier, please let me know." He left the students to their business as he began to look for his wayward student.

Thales grinned. "Alright, looks like you guys get to have fun. I'll catch you later." He looked at Barak. "If you ever wanna hang out, let me know." He then proceeded to run off through the corridor.
Silent K

“Phew, that’s great!” said Jacob relieved to hear that he would not have to live a life without surfing.  Again he looked towards the sea at the pod of dolphin still in play, “Maybe not today but soon I’ll get to surf with dolphin!” he thought to himself gleefully.  When they were dismissed he rushed through the corridor into the very first room he saw, “Ok, gotta unpack and then supper time.” Jacob hopped over to the bed and jumped  into it. With a sloshing sound he discovered that the bed moved, “Waterbeds!” he exclaimed loud enough for the entire wing of students to hear, “So cool.  It must be a hydromancer training technique.”  He sloshed around on the bed for a bit and then unpacked his belongings.  Once unpacked it was time to search for the dining room, “Man I’m starving, I wonder what’s for dinner?  I hope its burgers, or pizza, or hamburger pizza!”, he thought as his stomach growled.  With the thought of delicious hamburger pizza in his head Jacob followed some of his fellow students in search of dinner.

Ryuer walked around the water area looking for the little mischief maker. He finally arrived at the dorm rooms. "Perhaps shes in here." He thought for a second. "I need to find a female apprentice to help me out with this at some point in time." He approached and knocked on the first door in the hallway and waited for a response.

Thales was running through the castle in his usual manner, dodging students and faculty, while making sure to hit every wall and rail he could find in the place. He wasn't sure where he was going for sure, but he usually didn't. Well, until something happened. His thoughts caused something to happen. He slipped off of the rail and fell down the stairs after hitting his arm pretty hard. He was accustomed to the pain, so he didn't let out any noise. He picked him self up and made his way to the nurse's office. He knocked with his good hand, opened the door, and in his usual manner announced his presence with "Helloooooo Nurse!"

Maya watched silently as the others began to disperse towards the dorm rooms.  She would wait until the worst of the rush was over.  Maybe she would be lucky enough that there would be an empty room left... If not, then what difference did it make if she ended up rooming with a stranger now or later?  She supposed it could be worse if a girl who thought she would have a room of her own suddenly had a room mate thrust upon her.  Sighing to herself, she started down the hallway finally-- only to see the Water Master standing there at the first door.  She hesitated a moment before lowering her gaze and trying to slip past him as quickly and quietly as possible.

Barak grinned and nodded to Thales.  “Most definitely,” he said.  He watched the other lad take off for a moment before turning and following the Fire Master down the freshly made corridor.

Ruyer looked over as Maya walked by. He smiled softly. "Hello. Is there anything I can help you with?"
Sacora Kaiba

"You do a wonderful job and everyone really enjoys having you here."  She said as she watched her go to the window and back.

"I know.  It looks like a potion to me though."  She said jokingly to Erin.  Horus rubbed his head against her hand happily.  She watched and listened as Erin walked around the room and stood out of her way so she could do what she needed to.  Shalea laughed and smiled at her.  "So that is what you are up to?"  She stepped over to the flask and looked closely.  "I would like to know the results and you know I am always looking for new things to discover about this island.  It is full of life and many creatures and plants that can only be found here.  I would be more than happy to help you with anything if you ever need it.  Of course you know that though."

The two continued to talk when they heard a knock on the door and Thales entered.  Shalea looked over at him and shook her head.  "What have you done this time Thales?  I hope you have not injured yourself too badly."  She said smiling.

He looked at Shalea. "I wasn't expecting to see you here. Good day, Ms. Brieze." He looked down at his arm. "It's probably just brusing. Nothing the lovely and talented Ms. Skye couldn't handle." He winked at Erin.

Maya forced as polite a smile as she could, shooting him only a quick glance.  She barely even slowed, hoping that he wouldn't press her further.   "N-no thank you," she murmured.  "I'm quite alright."

He smiled softly. "Carry on then. If you need anything, just let me know. Have a nice day." He returned to the door and tapped on it once more.

Zerika heard the knock at her door. She raised her eyebrow and waited, then there was a voice on the other side. She walked to the door and put her ear against it, she heard the voice of the water master as well as a girl, "Not that guy..." she whispered to herself. She walked back over to the bed and sat on it, waiting for him to depart. There was another rap against her door that caused her to grumble, "Is it him again? Geez old man, leave me alone." Not wanting to see the master at all, she quickly took off her shirt and called out to him, "I can't open the door right now, I'm not dressed. Thoughts started to stir in her mind, "This way there should be two outcomes. He'll either not want to wait and  leave, or he'll think I'm bluffing and open the door. Hmm, I could get him in trouble for that one." She grinned evilly, "Either way...I win."

Erin heard a familiar call, "Either my TV is on or I have a visitor." She turned around and saw Thales at her door, "Well if it isn't the little electron. Seems everyone wants to bond with me today." She smiles and sees the boy holding his arm, "Seems you're still trying to find new ways to see me." Erin walks over to the boy and looks at his arm, she taps various places asking if there is any pain. Thales tells her that some places do hurt when she pushes on them. She steps back, "Hmm, it might be broken, I'd like to get some x-rays." Looking at Shalea, she asks her, "Could you watch our patient while I'm gone?" Shalea nods and Erin turns back to Thales, "Alright Electron, you know the drill, remove your shirt and come with me."
Sacora Kaiba

She smiled at him.  "Good day Thales.  You did come to the right place.  I am sure Erin will take very good care of you."  Shalea laughed at the bond comment and went over to the the bed where the boy was and sat down in a chair to watch him.  "I will take care of him and you take good care of Thales."  She changes the clothes and pets Horus.  "That boy is always getting into trouble.  It looks like he has his sights on Erin now."  She laughs and smiles at the thought. "I wonder how this will play out?"

It took a moment for the girl's query to sink in. Elsewhere to sleep? That was not really under his jurisdiction, but the young lady was quite apparently distraught so he waved over toward his father.

Lieda notices Thallian standing with the obviously distraught girl, attempting to get Drandon's attention. With a word form her Drandon turns and makes his way over.

"What is it?"
"This Student wants to know if there is... Somewhere else that she can sleep."
"What under the Earth..." he started to say, but as he glanced down at the student his voice caught. He had seen this expression before. Far too many times in fact.

"I see."

Drandon stared off into space for a moment, allowing the past to sink back into the past, and giving himself a moment to think.

"I see. I do believe that the shift lounge on the second level goes mainly unused. There is a bed there, and should be enough room to move in a desk and a wardrobe. Lieda, please escort the girl to the room and make arrangements for the furniture to be moved in and for her to receive her packet. Thalian, I believe that you should go see to your new wards." With this Drandon turns on his heel and marches toward the stairs to his office. Thalian gives the girl a reassuring smile " Do not worry about a thing, See! Professor Thalian to the rescue!" . Lieda extends her hand to the distraught student, her expression becoming suddenly less serious, "Come with me dear."

"Oh dear." He muttered under his breath."Well, then, dinner is in a few hours. And when you find the time, please come and see me." He walked away and turned toward his office."I wonder when Drandon will be availible for tea. Hopefully soon." He entered his office and began to practice to relieve the stress from being around all of the new students. It always took him time to adjust to them. Soon enough he would be fine, but for now, the smooth, calming movements of manipulating the water helped him relax.

He followed her commands and removed his shirt. One could see various scars from scrapes, falls, and burns. They were nothing heroic, just the marks of a daredevil. He followed her. "I'm not trying to get hurt. I just get a conveniet excuse to come and see you. And I like bonding with you, Erin." He said, not really getting her joke. He flashed a goofy smile.

Maya nodded, pausing to glance back at him.  He seemed nice enough...   But then, her father had loved her and had always given her everything... That hadn't stopped him from doing what he did.  Shaking her head slightly, she continued on until she managed to find a room with an empty bed.  The girl was obviously annoyed at having to share, but she didn't try to throw her out, so Maya took that as a good sign.  Sitting on the bed with her back to the other girl, she hugged her meager pack of belongings tightly.  This was a big change after the way she and her brother had been living the past few years.  It would take a lot of getting used to.

Interra hugged her arms more tightly around herself at the initial reaction of the Earth Master.  Then his expression changed.  Somehow, it made her feel more at ease.  The loose rocks at her feet ceased their vibrations even as he gave her permission to sleep elsewhere.  She relaxed visibly, but it wasn't until Thalian smiled and gave her his reassurance that the moment seemed truly to be over.  Her lips split into a smile of pure gratitude that was mirrored in her eyes as she gazed up at him. “Thank you,” she whispered.  “Thank you so much...”  Then she took Lieda's hand-- her own still shaking slightly-- and allowed herself to be led out of the common room and towards her new lodgings.

Erin walked with the boy down the hall to the x-ray room. As they talked, the nurse ruffled the boy’s hair, “You need to stop finding these convenient excuses or you’re going to get yourself killed.” She looked at his goofy smile and couldn’t help but laugh. He was a good kid.

After the results came in, Erin looked at the scans and saw that none of Thales’ bones had broken. “Good news, you’re still in one piece.” They walked back to her office and she grabbed some antiseptic and sprayed the boy’s arm, “There you go. You just need some coagulation action.”

Zerika listened as the master left from her door. She thought to herself, “He wants me to go see him…of my own free will? Riiiight. That’s not happening old man.”

"I enjoy living on the edge. Life's no fun if you just sit around and be cautious." He smiled as she played with his hair. When she came back, he was glad he wasn't seriously injured, but her statements confused him. "What's coaggulation again?"

Drandon sat down at his desk in his rather spacious office. In all actuality, the room was more of a study, with several bookshelves lining the walls and two doors, one leading to his bedroom with its attached bath, and the other leading to a kitchen. Although he did have a bed, most of Drandon's time was spent in the larger study. Ether at his desk working his way through the never ending pile of paperwork, passed out on one of the three couches, or having tea at the small cafe table. With a sigh Drandon looked at the overflowing "In" pile at his desk and began working his way through the reports and official missives.

Thalian set off once again for his own office/ quarters. Taking the gracefully curving staircase down toward the First year boys Dormitories he could hear the exited buzz of the young men as they explored their new living arrangements. Walking down the hall toward his end office he kept his ears open, waiting for the tell-tale sounds of trouble that seemed to follow young men wherever they were.

Lieda leads the girl up a flight of stairs to a small room with a few couches and a bed. Waiving her hand about she said "Please do make yourself at home. A few of the workmen should be by soon to clear out the unnecessary furniture and bring you your desk and wardrobe. Your packet will be delivered soon as well, but you must be exhausted, so do please rest if you like. If you need anything more please just ask one of the staff." With a mischievous grin Lieda began to walk back the way she had come, "I cannot leave the old man alone for too long. He may forget to eat."

Necia looked around at the tunnels the fire master had formed.  She thought to herself, “I wonder what those could be for?”  She ran ahead to catch up with the master.  He intimidated her, but her curiosity pushed her forward, “Professor,” she began timidly, “What are these tunnels needed for?  Why is our destination through them but yet they were just created?”

Zerika lay in bed and starred up at the ceiling.  She rolled her eyes, “That wasn’t fun at all, he’s so boring.” She thought about his words and scoffed, “Not likely I’m going to find that “time” anytime soon.”

Erin laughed, “There’s also another form of doing nothing that’s not very fun.  It’s called being deceased.”  She sees Shalea watching over the boy that had fainted, “Thanks for watching things for me Shalea, you can head back now if you want.  I’m just going to do some tidying up before I head back to my titrations.”  She started cleaning up the area and putting away the antiseptic.  Without looking up as she cleaned, she began answering his question, “Coagulation is an important part of hemostasis that occurs almost instantly after an injury to the blood vessel has damaged the endothelium lining the vessel.  Exposure of the blood to proteins initiates changes to blood platelets and the plasma protein fibrinogen, then the platelets form a plug at the site where the injury is found.”  When the area was as it was before the patients had arrived, Erin turns around to look at Thales.  She smiles at him, “Any more questions little electron?”

After practicing a bit, Ryuer looked at the clock in his office. "Hmm, looks like it's time for tea." He left his office, locking it behind him. He briskly walked through the castle until he reached the door of his comrade. He rapped gently at the door. "Drandon, are you available for tea at the moment?"

Thales stared back with a blank and dazed face."What's this 'deseesed' word mean?" The poor lad had never fared with school and she just kept flying high over his head. "So, it has something to do with blood..." His mind began to wonder. I don't understand anything she is saying, but man is she cute. Wonder if I have a shot. Probably not, she's probably looking for someone who can talk all of that science mumbo jumbo. Oh well, a guy can dream.

Interra followed the woman silently into the room and glanced around.  Part of her felt strange that she would be so far away from all of the other students... but it was better than the alternative.  “Thank you,” she said with a nod to the woman.  At her other comments and her mischevious smile, Interra wasn't really sure how to respond, so she just smiled and gave a light chuckle, as the comment seemed to be made jokingly.  “I'll be alright...  Thank you again,” she said as she turned to sweep the room with her gaze once more.  She moved silently to the bed and sat down, dropping her pack on the floor and gazing around uncertainly.  She could still barely believe she was here... or that such a place even existed.

After taking the few short minutes to put her few belongings away, Maya glanced over at where her room mate lay on her bed.  The other girl appeared to be napping, so Maya decided that it was best to give her some quiet.  She moved back out into the hallway and somehow managed to follow her memory back out to where she could see the ocean.  Smiling softly to herself, she leaned against the railing and stared out over the water.  Watching the water as the light played across it helped to relax her.

After standing around for a while, watching the non-first-years head off in one direction, Barak glanced over at the girl as she spoke.  “Yeah, seriously,” he threw in.  “I mean, an air of mystery is all well and good, but I'm tired and hungry.  I'd like to drop off my stuff and see what this place has to offer by way of dinner.”
Silent K

Walking through the castle Jacob’s mind raced with thoughts about the time he will spend here, ”Man this place is big! I bet hide and seek games take forever here.”  Thinking of this he began scoping out potential hiding places until he caught a wiff of an amazing aroma, , “I think I’m getting close.”  He closed his eyes and inhaled a mighty breath through his nose causing a strong backwind through the hall.  Students around him stumbled backwards with the unexpected gush of wind and looked toward the source.  Jacob stood there eyes closed holding his breath in, savoring the smell he caught.  Then with eyes still closed he quickly exhaled a burst of air through the hall knocking many students over , ”Oh yeah! I’m getting close to dinner and I think I smell pizza!” he said as he opened his eyes seeing people crawling on the ground, ”Man everyone sure is tired and hungry; just look at them all crawling to dinner.  Hopefully there’s enough for seconds” With his stomach rumbling again he rushed onward towards the dining hall, leaving his path of chaos behind him.  

Bhuama had little to unpack as he threw his satchel on the bed of his room.  Surveying the room the differences between the castle and his tribe became even more evident, ”Staying in one place, sleeping in one place, people who throw fire, and so many other things that I don’t even know what they are.  I am truly a stranger in this land.”  He thought these things as he surveyed the room and caught sight of something that took him by surprise, a mirror.  It had been a while since he had seen his reflection, ”So this is what I look like,” he surveyed his inhuman like appearance and gave a slight grin, “It suits me I suppose.  I was treated like a monster and now I look the part as well.  Maybe this is part of my transformation?” With these thoughts he took off his moss cloak, throwing it on the floor, ”I may live here now but I will sleep the way I always have, on the earth.”  With his things unpacked and his “bed” made he took one last look at himself and walked out of the room, hearing some students talk about dinner.  ”Food.  Now there’s something I have in common with these people. I will follow them and hopefully find some answers over a good meal.”
Sacora Kaiba

Shalea watched over the boy as Erin took care of Thales. He has not changed a bit.  She smiled at the thought and turned back to face the boy.  It seems he is doing just fine and I am sure Erin will want to get back to work.  After she returns I will leave her to her work.

When they return she is glad to hear that he is alright and can go back to whatever trouble he was bound to get into next.  She stood up and walked over to them.  "I am glad you are alright.  Please try and be a little more careful from now on."  She nodded to Erin and smiled. "You are welcome.  Anytime you need help you know where to find me.  Take care Erin and let me know how everything turns out."  Horus flew out first and Shalea followed behind him.

She followed him all the way back to her room.  She opened the door and walked inside.  The door shut behind her and Horus landed on a perch next to her desk.  "Well so far so good Horus."  Shalea said petting him.  "Not too many injuries and no one has blown up any part of the school yet."  She smiled and sat down in her chair and started going over the schedule for tomorrow.

After taking her time to unpack and get settled into her room, Ciela had found herself very much bored.  At home, there had always been something to do or someone to see, but here she was out of her element.  She had seen a few pleasant faces as they had passed by the open dorm room door, but no one had really stepped in to say hi or introduce themselves.  She didn't take it personally, but it did cause her to feel a little lonely.  Everything here was so strange and so different.  It made her uncomfortable.

"Write to us often dearest."  It had been one of the final things her mother had said before Ciela had made the perilous journey to the Four Towers.  So, she settled down to write a quick letter that was filled with half-hearted attempts at assuring her family she had made it to school safely.  When it was finished, however, she had run into another dilemma.  How to send it?  Figuring that there was only one person she could ask and at least get the right answer, Ciela tucked the letter into her skirt pocket and made her way to the Air Mistress's office.  

The way to her office was not difficult, but the floor to ceiling door was a little intimidating.  Shaking off her trepidations as absurd, she raised her hand and gave a resounding knock, hoping that her teacher would be in.

Drandon looks up from his work and takes a quick glance at the Clock on his desk before answering. " Ah yes, do come in. Lieda should be back in a moment to put on the kettle." Drandon stands as he speaks and moves toward a small cafe table and chairs.

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