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The guard is surprised by the question—apparently most people just sort of assume it's in the tower. But they're happy to point at a building right by the plaza that's... not exactly unassuming, per se, but doesn't stand out overmuch, and is downright humble compared to the tower.

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Yeah he had a feeling. Apparently most non-mages are under the misapprehension that "mage" and "wizard" are synonyms—Vallynn himself had been, when he arrived at the Academy—but it turns out that there's a formal difference, at least when it comes to the Guild and most importantly to the Eden Group classifications. Anyone who shows enough aptitude for and interest in magic can join the Mages' Guild, but being a wizard is more of a rank. You need to show skill with at least five out of the seven standard elements (Neutral, Fire, Earth, Wind, Water, Shadow, and Light) (Life and Death are typically not seen as "standard" though lots of spells taught by the Church also have those elements, and some people consider Poison an element), and you need to be proficient with at least two of them.

Eden in particular is also interested in that. In addition to their ranking system they have a horizontal progression system called "titles" or "specialisations", which are used for more tailored bounties and missions. Sometimes something needs a Fire Wizard specifically, so if you are a wizard and you have a proficiency in Fire with the Mages' Guild you can apply for the Fire Wizard spec with Eden.

In any case, since those two words aren't synonyms and the tower is always called the Wizard Tower, Vallynn concluded that probably the Mages' Guild might not use it as its main headquarters, or at least as the place they welcome new recruits at.

Into the building he goes.

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He finds himself in a modest atrium, its ceiling going up three out of the five stories the building reaches. In the center, a massive blue crystal floats lazily above a circular pool of some glowing liquid, emitting a soft hum that's almost relaxing to listen to. The layout of the room itself is somewhat reminiscent of—if a lot less spacious than—the Eden lounge, an open plan with a handful of pockets of near-privacy made out of carefully arranged sofas and carpets and bookshelves and black boards.

All in all, the inside of the building does a much better job of being fancy and ostentatious than its outside does.

There aren't that many people about, though, and the little reception area across the room from the entrance is easy enough to spot.

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Before Vallynn gets there, though, he's intercepted by someone who had been sitting on a sofa watching an old wizard draw diagrams on a black board before she spotted him. "Vallynn!"

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"—oh, hey, Astrid. I nearly didn't recognise you."

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"Like it?" She twirls in place once to show off the way her new robes swirl around as she does it. She's not literally copying Wizard Mara's style but the resemblance is there, with the fluff at the edges of the skirt and the red and black bodice accentuating her waist.

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"Yeah, honestly. You're kind of selling me on this idea of wearing robes, if I can get them to look half as good on me as they do on you."

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"Still a flirt, I see."

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"I mean it!"

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"Of course you do.

"How've you been?"

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"Elbow deep in thief bug innards."

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"—oh that's disgusting, was there a bounty?" she asks, sympathetically.

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"Yeah. Was a bit of a problem, too, turns out there was a mutated bug queen under Prontera that was spawning new bugs faster than you could blink."

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"At least that was a bit of a challenge, then...?"

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"Yeah. They retroactively marked that bounty as rank 1, once we got back and explained what happened."

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"Oh, did you rank up?"

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"Not yet, but I'm close. And I got some very decent loot, dragons got nothing on a golden thief bug queen, I still haven't decided what I'm going to buy with the rewards."

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"You were just saying you wanted new robes..."

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"Not until I find something that looks good. I'd rather be naked than look drab."

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"Evidently!"

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"So, won't you show me around? And where's Magnhild?"

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"She fucked off to Juno."

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"...'fucked off'?"

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"Let's not talk about her, how about." She starts striding away towards the reception. "You've got Wizard Mara's seal, right?"

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...did they have a fight? Must've been a hell of a big fight if Magnhild went all the way to Juno. And he's dreadfully curious about what exactly is in Juno but he feels like he should probably not ask. 

"Right."

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