Author Topic: Terash the System! (Atrium Role Call)  (Read 1017 times)

Rahnevyn

  • Posts: 962
Terash the System! (Atrium Role Call)
« on: April 16, 2018, 10:08:07 PM »
I keep a very strict routine. Awake before dawn, a light meal, attend devotions, lessons until high sun, a working lunch, lessons until the evening, dismiss the students, update my notes, and catch a merciful few hours' rest. When you are responsible for the training servants of Allanak's highest born, it is important to keep control of what you can, so that you can react to what you can't.

I get grouchy when I cannot follow my schedule. This particular morning, "grouchy" would have been the most polite understatement possible. This morning, instead of teaching lessons, I was handling the aftermath of an attempted murder.

The school was chaos. All of the students were gossiping, theorizing, worrying. It was as if they had never heard of an assassination before. To be fair, I suppose, many had not yet fully internalized the realities of their career. Their failure to react appropriately was then my failure as a teacher. I made a mental note to improve my lessons for the future, perhaps with practical examples, if I could find a way to not make them too messy.

Alyna, the student who had only barely survived poisoning, was sponsored by House Tor. She was, frankly, unremarkable as a student and barely fitting of a position in even a middle tier House. She muddled through lessons, she showed no affinity for arts or crafts, she was too boring to make effective contacts. Even her looks, that evergreen fallback for aides with nothing else, were homely and plain. I had raised these concerns to her Lady, but was brushed aside. "Teach her loyalty, resilience, and the art of misdirection", Lady Tor had told me, "I shall judge the rest." And so I had made my best attempt. It is not my place to question who the highborn choose to serve, only to make the best of them that they can be.

Loyalty had been a simple lesson. Your life is your highborn's, to do with as they please - commit yourself fully to this and enjoy their rewards. Resilience was harder to teach; typically, I subject the student to harsh criticism, unreasonably strict assignments, and frequent tongue-lashing. In Alyna's case, my normal standards were more than enough to test her, but I had to admit she'd held up well. Misdirection is a hard lesson for even my advanced students to grasp. It is not enough to be opaque with your aims; you must accomplish an end without anyone attributing it to you, or even realizing you have the means. I had little hope this lesson had sunk in adequately.

Still, I enjoy the challenge of teaching such concepts. One of the common misconceptions of my role is that I am but a glorified servant myself, and that I spend my days reciting House colors and ranks, or demonstrating how to serve wine. These are the most basic of skills; necessary, but not sufficient. My family's trade is that of influence, perception and honed instinct as much as it is of knowledge or behavior. Anyone with a whip can teach a commoner to stand quietly and serve wine. The highborn of the city trust me to turn commoners into assets.

That trust was my primary concern, more than Alyna's life. It would not do to have a student die on my watch, especially given that the poisoning had occured on school grounds, during a kruth game involving most of my class. Pastries and tea were served as refreshment, both prepared by Huchae, an aspiring bard pledged to Fale. None of the other students had taken ill besides Alyna, who was quickly overcome by terradin and reduced to vomiting. She had only barely survived; if the dose had been even slightly stronger, she would not have been as lucky. She had had no cures on hand, which was disappointing, as she had received a lesson on poisons and their cures just the prior week, at her own request.

Huchae and Alyna had had a history of squabbles, mostly incited by the former. Huchae was quite full of himself, with an ego that matched his rotund shape nicely. He was, in fairness, a fine bard, and more than a match in wits for Alyna. His problem was that he was often too clever by half, in a way that was transparent to anyone with a keen eye. If there was anyone who might have wanted to kill Alyna, it would have been Huchae, if only to prove that he could. The fact that his House and Tor were so frequently at odds did not help his case, either. Huchae's protests that he could not possibly have poisoned her were far too plaintive and self-righteous. The Lord Templar who was sent to investigate quickly surmised as much, and Huchae was hauled away. 

"You can't do this to me!" Huchae shouted as he was taken off by soldiers. "I'm innocent! I don't deserve this!! Innoceeeeennt!!" A shame. I made two mental notes: first, I needed to improve the lesson on how to beg for one's life. Huchae had received that one, it evidently had not sunk in. Second, I needed to advertise a new opening in my class.

I arranged for a gift for the Lord Templar, held an awkward meeting with Huchae's Lord Fale, and another with Alyna's Lady Tor. Alyna ended up making a full recovery, and after a week or so of gossip, the event was mostly forgotten.

And yet...

Something bugged me, in the evenings, as I organized my notes. I went over and over the incident in my head. It was not until I was arranging Alyna's graduation that the truth struck me. Teach her loyalty, resilence, and the art of misdirection...

My "most unremarkable student", indeed. I had taught her so well that I had almost missed her gift for applying my lessons.



I pulled Alyna aside after her graduation ceremony, and placed the special pin for graduates with honors in her palm. "You earned this," I said, "but I thought you might not want to receive it in public."

Recognition flashed in her eyes, the first time she had let me see the expression, and I knew I was right. "An honors pin, Instructor Bael?" she asked me. "Why?"

I held up three fingers. "Resilience. A whole year of performing below your ability, enduring the scorn, including mine. Loyalty - to your Lady, for daring to do what you did. And misdirection - poisoning yourself to frame an enemy. Absolutely masterful."

Her eyes grew wide, but she betrayed herself with a small smile. "Why, Instructor, how could you come to believe such a thing?"

"It was the poisoning lesson. You had asked about dosages, if terradin could ever be survived without a cure. Just a few more weeks between that and the attempt and I might not have made the connection."

She nodded to me, a silent thank you for pointing out her error, and slipped the pin into a pocket. Her career from then on was unremarkable, but I knew it for the facade it was. I made a mental note to stay on Lady Tor's good side, and to keep a suitably Tor gift hidden away in case I ever needed the services of a master assassin.
Quote from: Rock
Scissors are fine.  Please nerf paper.

Rahnevyn

  • Posts: 962
Re: Terash the System! (Atrium Role Call)
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 10:34:09 PM »
I am accepting applications for one Atrium Instructor. As the narrative above hopefully explains, this character will be primarily responsible for instruction of upcoming aides in Allanak, and is considered a leader position in the Atrium.

Your character will most likely be a member of House Terash, and as a scion of a Minor Merchant House you will be afforded a fine salary, social status, a silk-trimmed wardrobe, the knowledge of written cavilish, and social access to highborn movers and shakers in Allanak.

If you have an interesting idea for a concept, I am also willing to entertain a non-Terash character in this role. You could be an Atrium student promoted to be an Instructor, or a former senior servant of an NPC noble House (Valika, Kasix, Rennik, or Sath) who took a position with the Atrium. (Please note - this is "hard mode", and your character will need to be adopted into House Terash through their IC achievements in order to advance in this scenario. You will still be bound by the terms laid out in "help sponsored roles" despite not being a family member.)

My ideal application includes:
  • A kickass concept. Ever wanted to start with a leg up on the rest of common society? Here's your chance. Have goals, have plots, be sinister. Be a character people will want to engage with and work for (or against).
  • Experience. A solid understanding of Allanaki politics and prior history in such roles is key.
  • Creativity. You'll be doing a lot of teaching and demonstrating, much of it city-bound. Dream up ways to make it fun. I'll work with you to make them happen.
  • Steady playtimes. As a clan, the Atrium thrives on player-to-player interaction. We are counting on you to be the engine driving that interaction via lessons, RPTs, and plots.
  • Patience. The Atrium attracts its fair share of new players who want a different flavor of game than they might find in the Labyrinth or the Byn. You get to help coach them, nurture them, and teach them to murder, corrupt and betray.

Please see also:
House Terash
Sponsored Roles

How to apply:
Submit a "Role Application" request to The Atrium via the request tool. Lay out your proposed character concept, goals, and ideas for the role, based on what's described above.

Applications will close at 9pm server time on Monday, April 23rd.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 10:36:07 PM by Rahnevyn »
Quote from: Rock
Scissors are fine.  Please nerf paper.

Rahnevyn

  • Posts: 962
Re: Terash the System! (Atrium Role Call)
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2018, 04:28:55 PM »
The deadline is closing fast, get those applications in!

I will be around on Discord today and tomorrow and make myself available if anyone has any questions about this role, the Atrium, House Terash, or aide life in general.
Quote from: Rock
Scissors are fine.  Please nerf paper.

Rahnevyn

  • Posts: 962
Re: Terash the System! (Atrium Role Call)
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 03:20:26 AM »
Thanks to everyone who applied! I'll be getting back to you in the next few days.
Quote from: Rock
Scissors are fine.  Please nerf paper.