Jan 29, 2022 2:23 AM
rebecca, shannon, and raleigh, plus bonus orion, graduate into velgarth
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"Um, it's - northern hemisphere, with the Atlantic Ocean on the... which way is east... on the east of it, and the Pacific Ocean on the west of it, and Canada on top, and Mexico on the bottom." There was a map of the world in the classroom she had for Global Immigration Patterns and again for Music History.

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Marius frowns at them, and then shakes his head, more to himself than to them. :Right. How did you transport yourselves here, and why?: 

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"The Scholomance graduation gates?? They weren't SUPPOSED to take us here."

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The what. 

 

...Marius is way too exhausted to think about that right now. :What was your mission, where you thought you were going: 

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"...tell our families and friends we survived."

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This is incredibly baffling. 

:Survived what: 

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"Graduating!"

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She's not lying; Truth Spell is redundant when the only way he can understand her at all is by mindreading her. Though he suspects he's mis-parsing something, maybe some kind of culture gap that isn't just about the language barrier, because what he's reading makes no sense. 

:Is the graduation mission frequently fatal: 

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"Like, half the time! We did really good! Mostly Orion honestly."

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Wow there is like nothing to kill here. Being in the Scholomance spoiled him.

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What in all hells. That's incredibly concerning! Marius can't remember a lot of details about Jisa's mage-school experience, right now, but he's pretty sure that the graduation rite to make Adept, while genuinely dangerous, definitely wasn't fatal 50% of the time! 

The kids have definitely just been in a fight, and are clearly prepared to keep fighting - especially the light-haired boy with the bizarre not-sword, who the Guards now clustered behind him are eyeing with suspicion. The other girl mostly looks scared and tired. 

 

 

- in the distance, behind him, there are suddenly more shouts. 

What now. Marius spins around, glares, and then snarls a number of colorful Valdemaran and Rethwellani swearwords. (Which of course aren't recognizable to the kids, but the tone is.) 

:I'm not sure if you noticed: he snaps out, :but your Gate home from your dangerous graduation mission seems to have gotten mistargeted, and this is an active war zone right now, and we need to MOVE. Follow me. Leave your weapons behind, please: 

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"...I am not going to leave my weapon behind in an active war zone! What are you trying to pull?"

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:Look, from our perspective you appeared here out of nowhere, supposedly by Gate, at the exact same moment as a very serious surprise attack, and you're claiming it's not connected but we're not exactly feeling inclined to take things on faith right now! And the last thing I'm in the mood to do is have to watch my back against mysterious mages from a foreign country I've never heard of on top of everything else!: 

 

....This is considerably snappier than Marius actually endorses, but he approximately didn't sleep last night and the stimulants he took work amazingly well but also leave him irritable. 

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"Uh, look, mister - soldier guy, uh, we aren't here to hurt you, we really just want to go home or at least find a phone, but we are also not here to be, uh, POWs or anything? I think possibly you are not even allowed to POW us since we aren't combatants. I mean, war combatants, we were graduation combatants but we are done with that now. And I don't think you can get Orion to give you his sword thing even if me and Shannon and Raleigh all decided we didn't want our knives any more, and, like, it kind of looks like this might be a camping situation, so I would kind of rather have mine honestly but like, for... skinning a rabbit or whatever, I think people do that when they're camping..." She's kind of rambling, and she keeps looking away from Marius to admire the trees, they're so beautiful, and - oh, it's COLD, that's what that feeling is, she's been basically one temperature for so long, never colder than "air-drying after a shower"... "Uh, speaking of camping I kind of want to sing us warm? Because it's... freezing. Can you like, not freak out about that."

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.....Fine. While this is inconvenient for the purposes of Marius' day continuing with its current level of complications rather than all of those plus twice as many new ones, even in the mood he's in he isn't heartless enough to be unmoved by a shivering, underdressed adolescent girl who's worried about having to camp in the wilderness and skin rabbits. 

:We're going to feed you, obviously: he says gruffly. :And it looks like we'd better get you some warmer clothing, er, once we get past whatever's going on over there THIS time: Sigh. :Keep your weapons, just - don't run in and start stabbing people, the last thing we need right now is for this to end up even messier: 

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"We don't stab people! Just mals!" she promises, and she waves Orion over and huddles everybody together in the area of her warm-up spell, the one that she got in Intro Incantations. "Be warm, be well, in storm, by spell, be well, be mild, by spell, beguiled," she croons, and they are all nice and toasty but it's going to be a mana drain if they don't get somewhere warmer soon.

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Marius blinks. He's - never actually seen a mage do magic by singing. Maybe Van talked about it, once. 

....He's not going to do any more thinking about Vanyel. Not right now. He just cannot. 

:Stay together, follow me, we're going to get some distance from the barrier and try to reach those tents, do you see them?: 

The tents are about five hundred meters away, across trampled-down snow with occasionally melted-and-scorched places. Most of the current action seems to be between a cluster in blue uniforms, like the soldiers with the man in white, and another cluster of rust-red, though both sides have occasional mismatched colors included. Marius is going to navigate in a wide circle around that. 

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"I see them - Shannon, Raleigh, are you guys, like, with me right now -"

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Shannon has mostly been standing there shivering and staring around in horror. She blinks. "What? Yeah? What are we going to do, like, run off into the forest?" 

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"We're still a team," Raleigh says, squaring his shoulders. "Until we get everyone home. And this - doesn't seem as bad as the graduation hall but it doesn't look super safe either. Orion, hey - we should stick together, okay with you?" 

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"I'm not going to run off into the forest either. I mean, unless there's a mal, it'd probably be better to kill it before it comes at us, but I would come back after."

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Shannon shivers and nods. She's toasty-warm, but the shiver isn't precisely about temperature. 

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Raleigh squeezes her hand in an attempt at reassurance. 

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:Right. Follow me: 

Marius barks some incomprehensible orders to the gathered soldiers, who form a perimeter around the group. 

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That's kind of rude but Orion can probably take them if they do anything less plausibly deniable as protecting them.

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