Dec 01, 2021 2:05 PM
Malak, Lysander, Leander, Sean, Teresa, Marie, Basira
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Who even came up with this class.

Sean is saved from having to check the room by being attacked by something that slides under the door. Well, "attacked", it might just have been on its way out to the corner store for all he knows. He runs back up the stairs, waits two minutes, and then goes back; the something has vanished, presumably to the corner store.

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Daisy walks Basira down from the library and lingers to glare at her classmates.

Oh hey, that's a guy from Manchester. "Hi - Ennis?"

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"Sean. Ennis is, uh, lighter-haired," prettier, less shy, more competent.

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Teresa is contemplating nested secret societies, which arguably she is a member of, what with Pisa being sort of secret and wizards overall being secret from the mundanes. She's even from the Mediterranean World! ...if this class talked about Pisa a cousin would definitely have mentioned that, though, so it must not.

She checks some desks and considers whether the two Brits are interesting enough to be worth sticking herself into the conversation. Depends who else shows up. She can procrastinate by checking more thoroughly.

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She is excited for Mediterranean secret societies. She is sure to find good affinity spells here if she finds them anywhere. God truly loves her. She raps on the door in a pattern she made up on the spot, and pulls the lower part of her headscarf up over her face, because those seem like the aesthetic things to do here, before slipping into the room and finding a seat.

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Did she just? Oh, that's excellent, Teresa likes her already. How do you respond to that? 'Pet a luxurious white cat,' her mind suggests. She doesn't have one of those. Do the cartoon villain 'interlaced fingers in front of your face' thing? Sure.

...the effect is somewhat ruined by having to restrain a giggle.

"Well, clearly you know more about the class than us, oh mysterious newcomer! We are falling down on the secret society job."

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Oho, she has won some approval. From an encalver, no less! Pisa, she thinks, but she's not quite well-connected enough to be picky. Yet. She'll sit with Teressa.

"Well, of course, you are all merely tenth-circle initiates, you don't learn the secret knock until the eight circle. Though, in all honesty I know who the Cryptea were, I've got one of their spells, but I have no idea about the Carbonari apart from 'something about coal, and probably Roman?'"

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"I swear my father told me I was seventh circle, maybe I was actually in the seventh square or something. I think the Carbonari were... medieval Italy? Post-Rome, at least. What do you have from the Crypteia?"

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"Makes you hard to notice. I think they used it for scouting, and also for sneaking up on their slaves and murdering them as part of their initiation."

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"Lovely people, they must have been. Probably also rotted out young half the time, to boot, if they had murder in their initiation."

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"Don't know if they did it for malia, I haven't seen any indications that they died young. Or, died young of natural causes, probably a lot of them died in battle."

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"It's my impression that wizards with a high tolerance for murder rarely have the good judgment and self-control to not malefice. Killing people for fun and profit, that usually goes together, sooner than later."

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"But killing people for honor? If your culture considers malia dishonorable? Not that I actually know how Spartan culture felt about malia, I didn't do a deep study or anything."

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Teresa shrugs. "I haven't either, mostly speculating. Maybe doing the initiation would be different from just... being a murderer. The only secret societies I've seen the inside of are the ones you join by being born in them... so, like every wizard."

Maybe they will learn about that! Is there a textbook around?

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There is now! It's a small one, on the spartan Kryptea.

"...Either the title was misleading about the scope of the course or we're getting a separate textbook for each section, because of course we can't know which secret societies we're going to be studying in advance."

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"Maybe we should count our blessings that the books are labeled at all, they could have been delivered masked. Or written in cipher!"

Now Teresa will learn a third fact about the κρυπτεία, and presumably several more after that. She is safe from being found out as being totally ignorant this morning. Probably.

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The textbook contains some sections of Greek text, which is a bit of a rude surprise given that the class was not marked as providing language credits. Not so much for the Greek itself, Malak learned Greek right after English, but for the implications about what might be in the mysterious future textbooks. And probably it sucks for the other students here who don't necessarily have Greek because they didn't grow up right next to Constanti-fucking-nople.

"...I've got Greek if anyone wants to trade for help on this section."

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"Have you? I don't have a speck, I feel like I might have been lied to about how safe it is to take history about locations whose languages you don't know even if it says instruction is in English."

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"I have both Greeks also. It's a little odd; either I was told the same lies as you or this is uncharacteristic of the school."

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"Maybe it usually takes quite a lot of exposure to be stuck with a language and people who get one off three sentences and a swear word were about to be moved on to a new one anyhow?"

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"Everyone says to be more careful than that, but maybe that's staying well clear for safety. Or superstition, I guess."

She's leafing through the book glancing through how much it covers. It's not a very big book, this doesn't take too long. Looks like it ends during Alexander the Great's rule, when he made Sparta kneel. The secret society definitely died out by then, and it has some debate about whether it was sooner.

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Sean reads more slowly through his book - he hasn't found the assignment yet so he doesn't know how much to pace himself here - and wonders vaguely if there are Scholomance secret societies. There shouldn't be, enclaves and alliances and religious club-things should be enough for anybody.

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"I think this class is... a little abnormal? There were some Middle Egyptian primary sources in the History of Artificing assignment but they provided us with a translation, this - yeah it looks like it's all primary sources but no translation given. Maybe after the lecture is over we should write down all the secret societies we've heard of and share the list so we can at least guess what to expect?"

The lecture still hasn't started.

"I really hope we don't really need to do a secret knock or something to get the lecture and our homework."

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Teresa impulsively knocks on her desk. Tap, tap-tap. Tap, tap.    Tap, tap.

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...Tap, taptap tap-tap. Tap tap.

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...Basira drums her fingers a little. Just in case.

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