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A Most Peculiar Education (CasualVelociraptor x SnakeofSeduction)

CasualVelociraptor

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Jurassic Park
On the mountainous Isle of Caledoria, the seat of the most powerful Empire the world of Emada has ever known, even its largest city of Radiant, the busiest in the world and home to ten million souls, hung on by the fingernail's edge on a stubborn land that seemed to resist all inhabitation. Nowhere was this truer, even in the year 1892 from the foundation of the Empire, than around the cold, often rainy, and stubborn inlet whaling town known as Elthurscaldy, a thousand miles north of the grime and grind and smoke of the capital, cut off from anything even remotely resembling civilization by the Abrulla Mountains that it was surrounded by, and home to around 500 inhabitants according to the 1890 Census. There were, therefore, only two ways to access it. The first was by boat along the rough Northern Polar Ocean (although no ferry company in their right mind would ever go that far north, and so only whaling, fishing, and small cargo ships ever did). And the second was a lone, creaky airship that arrived every September 11th by clockwork, swelled the population of the town by around 300, and then departed every May, taking 300 people away. Why was this, you might wonder? And for good reason.

Well, you see, this was no ordinary airship, and its passengers were not ordinary either. Its destination every September 11th was Castle Abrulla de Elthurscaldy, built by the Count of Elthurscaldy in 1300 and ruled by him until 1333, when the Emperor seized the fort after a bloody battle of the same name, personally sentenced the Count to death for killing fifty people and then serving them at a banquet to his horrified guests, and took great pleasure in dismembering him as the convicted man laughed maniacally about having his revenge one day. At its height, it had been one of many proud and tall Imperial forts in the Abrulla castle chain that defended from frequent raids by the Raeybekites to the south, and was the envy of the world, only ever falling during the Day of Fire when the elvish Ananki Confederation briefly conquered the world in 1450. Then, in 1600, the Cold Snap Period buried the castle and Old Elthurscaldy Towne in five hundred feet of ice. A warding spell protected the castle from the total destruction the town faced, but when the ice receded at the end of the Period in 1650, realizing that the fort was beyond repair, that newly invented gunpowder-based cannons would make short work of stone walls, and that the castle wasn't located on a strategically important target anyway now that Caledoria had conquered Raeybek, the Imperial government sold it to the first bidder they could find.

That lucky buyer was Madame Witch Mother Phinara Presymys, one of the few remaining humans who could perform magic without the aid of an artifact (or worse, The Darkness). She founded the Elthurscaldy University of Magical Studies on the spot, which became the only place of magical secondary education in all of Caledoria as the country and most of the world began to forget magical artifacts in favor of clockwork and steam technology, and had served as its headmistress in the three hundred and forty two years since. She believed the crumbled walls gave the school "character," and also believed that it mattered not whether a class was outdoors or in so long as a student was paying attention, and so refused to restore the castle, believing it would interfere with the groundswell of Dreamscape magic connected to the site, whether connected to the Count's rampages or something older.

She did of course build a small residential hall nearby for her students and professors to live in, but that was about it, and it was so cramped that no more than 320 people could ever occupy it at a given time, according to the very strict ruling of the local Imperial zoning bureaucrat, which automatically limited the number of students who could attend to 300 since 20 professors signed up. Yet despite its limited space and austere conditions compared to other, more prestigious upper crust magical colleges such as Fort Anankan Practical College of Magic Education in the Confederation, it remained popular among elves and half-elves who completed their primary education in the network of traditional Parm and Oroparm schools tied to their culture across an Empire that largely feared and hated them, as well as a few humans still determined to connect with the Dreamscape and truly understand magic and potions.

The fact that its tuition was very reasonable compared to the non-magical Imperial University System and that it also didn't have an admission examination other than a basic test for magical capability (as opposed to the expensive and difficult standardized Imperial Instructional Institution Placement Test, or 3IP) didn't hurt either.

And it's here that our story begins. The Class of 1893 was on their way to the school, and Kate Gordon-Hawkins was fiddling with the spell book that served as her artifact as the airship bumped around on the rough highland air. She certainly looked the part of a witch, with the ridiculous robes her mother picked out that made her appear as though she was auditioning for the part of a priestess in a Amphi Street play, and emergency healing potions on her belt that her mother insisted on buying for her 18th birthday at the apothecary under their flat in Radiant despite the fact that she worked long hours in a shipyard for very little pay meaning that they lacked for funds. Yet, she noted by the pointed ears of most of her fellow aspiring witches and wizards that they were of elvish blood and she was a mere human, so despite her academic understanding of magic she wondered how in the bloody dragon snot she was going to keep up with them.

To make matters worse, the whole airship was abuzz because Empress Emily Caldwell was going to speak at the University's opening ceremony, the first Caledorian ruler to do so in nearly a hundred years. Why in blazes, Kate wondered, does the Scientist Princess, who is all about mechanics, want to bother traveling such a long way to speak with us about magic at our tiny college at the edge of the world? That only made her feel more nervous. They would be in the presence of the freaking Empress, for gods' sake, and Kate wanted to look and appear her best.

Then she noticed another girl sitting across from her, dressed in finery much more noble than the simple robes of the rest of the coterie, and sporting pointy ears like the rest, yet clearly very reserved and stiff. So, she decided to offer a hand to shake with a smile and said, "Hey, I don't think we met at Orientation back in Radiant. My name's Katie King, and you are?"

That had been the name she'd picked out and peddled at Orientation to make more of an impression. After all, she'd heard that university was the time to reinvent oneself.
 
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SnakeOfSeduction

Super-Earth
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Oct 1, 2018
Princess Nyx Kyron truly couldn't believe where she was going. To even be allowed into the Empire's lands, even for schooling such as this, had made her entire flock nervous. As part of the Confederation, next in line to the Dragonic Throne of the Kyron Flock, she knew she was treading upon thin ice to have requested her schooling to be from this particular school, within the Empire. But to learn magic, a source of power her fellow Dragons could grasp only from what their mothers and fathers had taught them, would be a formidable ally in her future, when she was to become Alpha of the Flock. Not that she particularly wished to lead, but she had no siblings, and it was her duty to look after her people.

Of course, she had security with her. Four elvish warriors, meant to protect her, like the Dragoness couldn't protect herself. Dragons were, after all, a magical, warrior race. She knew how to defend herself, and with magic she'd be fine. Of course, her Father hadn't listened to her, and had insisted. After all, if someone wanted to start a war between the Confederation and the Empire, the assassination of a Confederate Princess within the Empire's hands would certainly spark more than just tension.

So, she found herself sat quietly upon an airship, wishing she could have flown herself in. She had wings, after all! She sat properly, back straight, wings slightly spread to stop herself from sitting upon them, wrapping around her shoulders and seeming to be part of her cloak. Said cloak not only draped to the floor, hiding her Dragonic figure, but also hid her face and horns beneath her hood, making it harder to see her facial features, and partially obscured the robes she had on beneath it.

She didn't recognise the girl sat across from her, keeping her head down. Her guards weren't here, or at least they were patrolling, making sure everything was safe. But when the other offered a hand out to her, speaking, she lifted her head, eager to make a friend though not entirely sure how. She hadn't even been to Orientation, it had been deemed too dangerous of an event by her Father. Still, she took the offered hand, and shook it firmly, her pale hands contrasting with warm skin.

"I am Nyx Kyron." She returned, forcing herself to eliminate the Princess from her title. She didn't want that kind of attention, "It's lovely to meet you." She added, politely.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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“And it’s even lovelier to meet you, Nyx,” Kate sighed as she accidentally let her hand linger for a little longer than a normal handshake. This was a gesture that, however, earned her scowls from Nyx’s guards.

“And same to all of you,” Kate immediately said to stop up the snarls in their throats. “Is that bow made of moonwood? It’s quite rare, isn’t it?”

“Right you are,” one of the guards said. “Other elves cut the healthy bark off, which kills the tree, but I like to take dead branches and graft them onto the healthy tree to give them life and bend back.”

“That’s very clever,” Kate said. “You’ll have to teach me more about that sometime.”

“I can certainly try,” he said.

“So what major are you planning to get at the end of four or five years, Nyx?” Kate wondered. “Me...I’m planning to get my Witchcraft Certification in the Restorative Arts to try to become an apothecary or healer, maybe help out a medical organization in situations where science fails them.”

Before she could get a response, however, Kate was jolted in her seat by the airship landing. Soon, their Bamban pilot Elaf smiled, twinkled with his good eye, and said, “Have a good school year! See you in May!” After which they blinked and Kate was suddenly on the lawn at the front entrance, with Madame Presymys and her 20 distinguished professors all apparating in front of them and looking into the forest expectantly.

The four Confederate Army warrior mages and archers knew that their presence here was governed strictly by a Reciprocal Security Agreement signed August 3rd, 1892 after long and protracted negotiations since May 16th between representatives the Caledorian and Ananki governments. They were only allowed on Caledorian soil between September and May. The Princess and her retinue were not allowed in Elthurscaldy Towne, but in turn were not to be disturbed while on campus. In return, the Empress was to restore the Order of the Knights of Elthur, which went extinct fighting the Count, and house the approximately dozen members of that group of elite knights in a Goliath that was to stand outside of the Castle at all times to protect it from outside threats, and only move from the grounds if there was a need to evacuate students.

When the 50 foot tall, 68-ton behemoth emerged from the trees that clear Sunday morning and let out an ear splitting combination of a train whistle and a low horn, most of those who had never heard the distinctive call of a Goliath, seen its black smoke pour onto the ground and its array of cannons and chainguns, or felt the earth quake from the kind of footfalls not felt since the age of the dinosaurs trembled in fear from their erstwhile metallic guardian. Kate, though? She’d seen enough of them wandering the streets of Radiant in an attempt to maintain order in the tougher districts that she didn’t mind. She darted a look over to her new friend, hoping Nyx didn’t mind either.

After that, though, the wrought iron colossus kneeled and a woman emerged from the cockpit, covered in grease and wearing smocks over her khaki pants. At the sight, all the professors urged their incoming class to take their seats- which were just small and only sometimes flat rocks arranged in a semicircle.

“Good Morning, EUMS Class of 1893!” Emily exclaimed once she took the podium, which was made of magically shaped earth. “Can everyone hear me alright in the back?”

Several of the students, including Kate, shook their heads no.

“How about now?” the Empress boomed for them with the legendary Voice of the Empire that echoed across the forest, to which everyone gave a thumbs up. At its sonic peak, a Caledorian Emperor could be heard for miles. Yet now she was overall talking barely above her normal voice and also somehow made sure it wasn’t deafening to those in the front.

“My name is Emily,” Her Highness said casually. “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to study the world. I had to do that from behind a small castle of my own in a class of one, but as I grew up, I realized something. Contrary to what many people believe, I feel very strongly that magic is just science that seems hard to understand for most of us. The supernatural is an extension of the physical, and your process for coming to grips with this aspect of the world is no different from that of a marine biologist or an archaeologist. Hypothesis, testing and then conclusion. Keep those words in mind, and keep your mind open, and your heart in the right place, and I know that people will come to understand the meaning of magic again, thanks to you.

“I hope that this year will bring about understanding between two nations as well. Many students here today are loyal and happy citizens of my Empire”- Kate felt a groundswell of pride deep in her gut- “but for those who are our honored guests, know that you will be kept safe and treated with the utmost respect. Anyone who does not abide by that principle on this hallowed ground will be dealt with by me. And know that I wish to see this as an opportunity for human and elf alike to begin to build harmony between our cultures as well. Perhaps that may be helped along by the first draconic student in EUMS since 1636. Princess Nyx Kyron of Kyron Flock, from one royal to another...enjoy your youth while you can. Trust me.”

After pausing for muffled laughter from the audience that she thought was about her joke, the Empress wrapped with, “I know it must feel like I’ve placed a great burden on all your shoulders. But you’ll all come to realize that that’s what growing up means. Taking on more than you ever thought possible. Learning more than you ever dreamed. Standing on your own two feet. I also hope, however, that you’ll take the time to have some fun, whether that’s on campus, in the town, or around the grounds. Don’t focus so much on learning how to make a living off of your chosen magical profession that you forget to live.”

With that, the Empress and Headmistress jointly proclaimed that EUMS was open for the Class of 1893 and retired to the Headmistress’s quarters to jointly discuss “logistics.” Meanwhile, all the students were scrambling to different crude wooden stations trying to find their room assignments and sign up for classes.
 
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SnakeOfSeduction

Super-Earth
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Nyx dipped her head in agreement, waiting for the other to release her hand before she pulled it back. She hadn't wanted to seem impolite to pull her hand back when she became uncomfortable, but she could feel the weight of her guards stares upon the other girl. A sigh left her lips, about to tell them to stop being so protective, when Kate began to speak to one of her guards.

It surprised Nyx. No one ever really spoke to her guards, and certainly not politely. To have Kate freely conversing with her guards put her a little more at ease. She was just another girl, looking for an education.

When the other came back around to talking to her, Nyx opened her mouth to respond, to tell her she planned to get her own in the Destructive Arts. She wished to be able to protect herself, her Flock, and those she loved, and this was the only way she'd be able to, without being treated like she was made of glass her entire life.

The apparition spooked her a little, but she remained regally positioned when they all appeared down upon the ground. Whilst she held in a gasp at the size of the Goliath, having only heard of them from her Father, her eyes were as round as dinner plates in shock. Her wings, hidden as part of her cloak, fluttered a little in despair, but a warm, calming hand on her shoulder, one of her guards, told her she was okay, and safe.

Watching as a woman came from the cockpit, Nyx would have to admit she was tense. Sitting carefully, beside Kate, she forced herself to listen to the Empress as she took the stage. She didn't respond when asked if the Empress could be heard. Her dragonic ears picked up the sound just fine, though the increased volume after a moment made her flinch.

The others speech was to be expected, but it was the introduction aimed toward Nyx herself that had her uncomfortable. She hadn't even lowered her hood, so no one could really know which of the students Nyx was, since others were also wearing hoods. She didn't lower it either, just gave a low nod of her head, knowing the Empress likely knew exactly where she was, and acknowledging her introduction and words of wisdom, as was polite. Once she was gone, Nyx sighed, but didn't move from her seat.

So, whilst the other pupils rushed to find their rooms and sign up for classes, she lurked behind. She wasn't too comfortable with the crowd, especially as she'd now been outed as a Princess, and a Dragonic one at that.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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“Hey Nyx,” Kate said with a reassuring smile. She’d hesitated on whether to approach the draconic woman for a moment. Kate had inferred that the one student who was hiding under a hood was a dragon, but when students started asking each other who was the dragon and started pelting everyone they could get their hands on with questions such as...

Are you cloaking yourself with an Illusion spell? Are you able to conjure fire at will? What’s it like to have fire coming out of your throat? How fast can you fly?

Kate could clearly tell that one of the students wanted to be alone for her own reasons. And then she let the ensuing pause between them settle in before having an equally simple upfront question.

“Would you like to continue our conversation in the woods?”
 

SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx could hear the questions of the excitable, chattering students. Luckily everyone seemed focused on finding out if their friends were dragons, some not believing their claims that they weren't and launching into more and more questions. None came near Nyx, she was glad, until she noticed Kate in the corner of her eye, approaching. She also noticed her head guard, standing nearby but not too close, glance to her, and she nodded. Kate was allowed near.

She was expecting questions much like the others had been asking each other, so what came out of Kate's mouth was a relief to her. She nodded, bowing her head a little under the shadows of her hood,

"I'd love to. Lead the way?" She returned, peering to her guards. They didn't seem too happy about the idea, but they wouldn't argue with Nyx.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Kate curtsied, as was the fashion for Caledorian ladies of a noble persuasion. She wanted to be seen in a similar light she used her magic to claw her way from the streets into self-made...not extravagance, but at least comfort for herself and Claire. Now she was in the presence of a princess, and she did admit to a little bit of awe, but kept her composure as they entered this part of the Great Abrulla Forest.

"First of all," she started, taking a moment to gather everything she wanted to ask, "what major did you say you wanted to go for again? I don't think I got to hear from you on that." Then, as she readied her second question, she realized that they were going deep into actual woods and was mesmerized. She'd seen trees before in the few parks that dotted Radiant, especially Invention Green, which would once again be home to the Royal Artistic, Industrial & Scientific Exposition in summer 1893, but usually was an idyllic break from the hustle and bustle of the perpetually smoke choked city. Still, she had never seen so many trees at once outside of books, and it made her claustrophobic like nothing in Radiant did.

But while the elvish soldiers were more used to nature, having lived in the heavily forested Confederation their entire life, something felt...different about these woods. They already had negative expectations about the very idea of setting foot onto the soil of an adversarial nation. Now that they were here, they all began to tremble as they considered that the rumors might be true. That because of the Count's actions as well as centuries of Imperial anger for elvish transgressions on the Day of Fire that were baked into the very soil, the whole Elthurscaldy area, maybe even the entire Abrulla mountain range, might be-

Evil.

Kate was unnerved as well, to be sure, but Nyx's presence calmed her. "The other thing I was wondering...was whether you would like to be my roommate," Kate blushed a little. She didn't know entirely why, but she'd wanted to live with Nyx from the moment she saw her. Something about the dragonling, as her kind would be called by Imperial scientists, was mesmerizing. "Maybe that way you could help me learn to control magic without this spell book as my artifact." Something that a little voice told Kate was impossible for Kate Gordon-Hawkins, but for Katie King? Never, she thought. "And meanwhile, I can sneak you off school grounds and into the town if you want." For Katie King never entirely followed the rules either.
 
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SnakeOfSeduction

Super-Earth
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Nyx's cheeks flushed under her hood as the other curtsied to her, shaking her head. Softly, she mumbled that she didn't have to bow to her, low enough that only Kate could hear her. Things would get awkward between them if Kate had to bow every time, and Nyx wanted a friend. She knew already that Kate's decision to speak to her before hadn't been because of who Nyx was, she'd had no idea. Anyone else... well, Nyx wouldn't know if they were just in it to be friends with a Princess, or not.

Walking at her side, her stance relaxed but still very much proper, she peered over at her companion, "Destruction." She replied, pausing, "I want to be a good leader for my Flock. They need me to be strong." She added, as explanation. Perhaps not the entire set of information, but enough. The woods, and it's eerie setting, didn't bother her like it seemed to bother the soldiers that were accompanying them from afar.

After all, the Dragonic Flocks lived in places such as this. This was just like her home, perhaps a little spookier than she was used to, but she doubted anything would harm them here. Even so, with her guards acting so jumpy, she couldn't help but pull her wings tighter to her back, ruffling the cloak that they seemed almost part of. For now, she forgot about the rumours, and just enjoyed the walk with Kate, eyes drifting up to the trees as she breathed in the earthy scents of the forest.

Kate's next question made her pause, peering over at her. Slowly, she nodded her head, a toothy grin spreading over her face. For a moment, she realised she was still hidden by her hood, and carefully pulled it down, knowing her guards seemed wary of her doing so, "I'd love to be your roommate, if you'd be happy to have me." She murmured sweetly, "I can do my best to help you, but I'll admit I'm no expert."
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Kate nodded and stood. She liked Nyx’s humility; it wasn’t fake humility either, designed to aggrandize, but the real deal. However, she also frowned at her choice of major. Of the nine schools of magic, consisting of:
...those who practiced the Destruction school were the ones most suspected of ill intent after practitioners of The Darkness. But The Darkness was hard to come by for those who didn’t already possess it, so Destruction was the most dangerous school that anyone could learn.

Kate bought Nyx’s explanation for wanting to learn Destruction magic to be sure, but with geopolitical tensions between the Confederacy and Empire rising lately, it was also hard to grapple with the idea of her newfound friend having to use it. If it came to war, then Kate would defend her homeland by any means necessary, and she didn’t want to be on opposite sides. And more immediately, if the Imperial Eye, the Caledorian secret police, watched her too closely and deported her, Kate would be alone here.

Yet Kate breathed a sigh of relief when Nyx accepted her offer of...roommateship? She wondered if there was a word for that. But just before Kate could say anything, she heard a low growling coming from the woods and asked:

“Did you hear that?”
 
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SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx's choice of major had not been chosen lightly, she knew how those who practiced Destruction were viewed. But it was what was best for her future, and the future of her people. They needed a leader who could protect them, and this certain type of magic would help with that. It wasn't like she wanted to hurt anyone, or anything, she just needed to be able to defend those she cared for.

She knew, however, that the biggest reason she'd need it would be war. The Confederacy and the Empire were so, so close to an altercation that Nyx knew it was necessary to assume one was going to occur. She hated to think that she'd be on the opposite side of everyone else here, but she couldn't abandon her people, her family, to help people she barely knew, even Kate, despite the fact that she was already attached to her new friend. After all, she hadn't ever had a friend outside of her Flock.

Animalistic ears shot up into the air as Nyx too heard the growl, a bare, pure instinct begging her to spread her wings, bare her teeth, and defend her territory. But this wasn't hers, and she was a Princess, not an animal. Sure, she'd fight, but she would not be starting one. Even so, as her guards came in closer to protect her, she stood between Kate and the sound, "I'm sure it's nothing."
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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“Leeeeeave this place and neveeeeerrrr return,” a heavily rotted man clad in armor that was centuries out of date groaned.

“That definitely sounds like nothing!” Kate cried as the elvish soldiers surrounded them and she frantically thumbed through the pages of her spellbook with both hands while trying not to look away from the ghouls for too long. “What do we do?”
 
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SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx froze at the sight of the rotting man. As a Dragoness, her senses were perhaps more heightened than the average human, and she wrinkled her nose at the foul smell that came off the man. She could tell her guards were panicking at the sight, even if they kept their stances and faces neutral, ready to defend her and her friend.

She curled a wing around Kate, billowing the other out in an instinctive intimidation tactic toward their enemy, "Run Kate. Get to safety." She told her friend, even as she herself tried to rattle her brains for any magic she knew. Everything she knew was instinctive at this point, the animalistic nature of her kind shining through as she bared her teeth at the enemy.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Kate nodded and ran, shoving aside guards that protested that it wasn’t safe. Those same guards, however, knew that their priority was the Princess, so they continued to close ranks around her and form a circle of spears and swords.

But it wasn’t just for her own sake that Kate ran, but to bring the professors to bear for her new roommate’s rescue as well. However, three of the walking corpses grabbed her, tore at her clothing, and began to gnash their teeth in an attempt to bite her and make her one of them.

She dropped her book in the ensuing struggle, negating her chance to use any magic she knew, and so she used her street fighting fisticuffs learned from years of scraping by to try fighting them off. Still, she yelled, “Nyx! HELP!” at the top of her lungs.
 

SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx thought that Kate would be safe, that the corpses would focus on the bigger mass of people. Clearly she was wrong, because she soon heard a cry of her name, caught easily by her sensitive ears. Without thinking, she opened her wings and leapt over the circle of guards, who were trying to keep her in the middle of their circle to protect her, and wouldn't let her go as easily as they'd let Kate free.

Their calls came after her, but she landed heavily and ran after her friend, unable to fly properly due to the trees. The sight that caught her eyes was one that made her heart race, and without thinking she shoved her hands forward, a fireball conjured to her will as it slammed into one of the three corpses, sending him flying. Leaping into the fray, she kicked and clawed at the ghouls, not even reacting when their sharp fingernails slashed over her arm, only caring about where they tried to bite.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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“Phew!” Kate cried. “Thanks for that, Nik. If it weren’t for you, I’d have been chow!”

She’d come up with the nickname on the fly and didn’t know whether the dragonling would approve. But Kate had more pressing things to worry about, namely how to get back to her spellbook while angry dead guys were closing in.

She dived for it while the zombies were distracted by Nix, only to find the very roots of the trees around her grabbing at her hands and legs. Kate tried to kick and punch them away but they wrapped around her tight and tried to drag her into the earth.

If this was it...if she was doomed...she had to do one thing right. She had to at least help Nik escape! There had to be one goddamn spell that she’d read over and memorized. She tried to think or say anything to help her think, but another vine snaked its way around her throat and was about to squeeze-

When a blinding flash appeared in the middle of the ghouls, sending them stumbling back.
 

SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx just nodded back at her, rather liking the nickname but not truly having the time to comment right now. She twisted and snarled, defending herself against the creatures, only to realise that Kate had gone running for her spell book. She called out to her, and gasped as one of the zombies managed to set it's claws against Nyx's chin, leaving bloodied wounds across her cheek.

She snarled, trying to get to Kate as she noticed the roots of the trees, but when they came for Nyx she flapped her wings, flying briefly over them so they couldn't catch her. And then, out of nowhere, a blinding flash appeared in the middle of the ghouls, forcing Nyx to try and shield her eyes.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Kate didn’t really know how she did that- whether it was magic from within or just the fact that she happened to be in just the right amount of range for her spell book to activate- but now the ghouls were running away and covering their eyes, yelling, “Weeee haaaave waaaaarned!”

After which they and two old growth trees next to them were turned into so much mulch by a cannon blast as the Goliath stomped through the woods. The voice of Madame Presymys then called out over the machine’s sonic reprojection horn, “Are you both quite alright?”
 

SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx was relieved when the ghouls started to run away, and hurried to Kate's side, hearing a stomping sound coming their way. She jolted, covering Kate with a wing as the ghouls and two old trees were destroyed by a cannon blast, from the Goliath. She'd heard it coming, knew there could only be one thing that would make that much noise.

Glancing up, her cheek bloody from the claws of a ghoul, she nodded, "I think so." She agreed, peering to Kate, eyes worried for her friend. But they both seemed relatively okay.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Jurassic Park
“Well, don’t bloody do that again, would you please?” Madame Presymys asked in exasperation. She’d never considered a silly thing like banning student travel into the forests near Elthurscaldy at night because such a thing hadn’t been done in centuries. But now she was. Plus she had been concentrating for a while on creating the necessary spell to banish these ghouls for now, and now they were stirred up and she had less time to perfect it. All of these things combined with her fear of failing to keep her students safe to make rare frustration show in her voice.

“What she means is...she’s glad you’re okay,” Paige “Hammer” Atkins, the main pilot of the Goliath, chuckled, ribbing the headmistress just as she rolled her eyes. “Just grab onto this rope and we’ll be on our way back to your dorms,” she added as a metallic cable descended to the ground. Kate, ever curious, was first to do so.
 
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SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx huffed softly at the exasperated reply, even as her guards returned to her side, out of breath but intact. In fact, they looked at her in concern, seeing the blood running down her cheek. She didn't blame them, but she knew if her Father was here he would punish them severely. But he'd never find out, Nyx hoped, so she merely nudged their concerned gazes away with a shake of her head.

Reaching for the rope a moment after Kate, her guards crowded around her, protecting her body with their own as they too grabbed onto the rope, not allowing her to be left alone, not after she'd run off last time, even if it had been to save Kate.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Jurassic Park
“Some orientation, huh?” Kate wondered with a snort.

“Don’t worry, we very rarely get this kind of excitement around here,” Madam Presymys reassured her- or tried to- as the goliath lumbered out of the forest and back to school. “Then again, we rarely get anyone...bold enough to go exploring there.”

“I’ll be the first to admit, I owe my life to Princess Nyx,” Kate sighed as the exhausted Caledorian found an opening when a guard got up to use the lavatory to sit next to the dragonling and lean her head on Nyx’s left shoulder.
 

SnakeOfSeduction

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Settling down once they'd been dragged back up into the goliath, Nyx huffed as she was surrounded by her guards again. One, the one that had been at her side the longest, her Father's most trusted, reached for her cheek, wanting to check on her, but she shook her head to him. She was fine.

She nodded her agreement with Kate, her wings tight against her back now, "You don't owe me anything, Kate. And... it's just Nyx." She muttered, her voice soft but still perfectly spoken.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Jurassic Park
“Just Nyx it is, then,” Kate said with a grin and a gleam in her eye. If there was any part of her that relaxing around the dragoness when she realized that Nyx would accept her no matter what, it was beginning to, at least. And that was a start.

Later that night, they were both finally getting the chance to unpack their things in the tiny room with one bed they would share for the next nine months. All the rooms with more than one bed were taken, but at least they were with each other. And Kate also counted -another small blessing: a shutter to keep out wind, moonlight, and which also looked far better than

Luckily for the town’s shops, while she had hardly eaten anything at the shabby series of outdoor picnic tables that passed for a dining area, the day’s events hadn’t spooked Kate from going down the hill to buy something. Her first purchase was a bed roll, which she now unpacked and laid out on the floor after having changed into her second purchase, a very modest nightgown for the fashionable lady on a budget.

“Hey again, Nik,” Kate gulped, looking down at the floor and brushing her hair over her right ear shyly. “Thanks again for all your help today. That was really quite a first day, and I realize now I have a long way to go before I can really use magic the way I need to...to help protect you, us, everyone. And, uh, well...like I said, I’m happy to take the floor. You deserve some semblance of comfort around here, after all.”
 

SnakeOfSeduction

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Nyx nodded her head, giving her a soft smile when the other agreed to call her by her name instead of Princess. It made her feel a little less... distant, more like she belonged. People only called her Princess in a manner that showed she was royalty, that she was better than them, and she hated it. She didn't feel like she was better than anyone.

The tiny room they were given, later that night, worried her. One of them would have to sleep on the floor, and she wasn't about to let Kate sleep there. Nyx was a dragon, she could quite happily sleep on the floor, but she was more concerned about the fact that the school hadn't been able to provide even a mattress for the one on the floor.

Nyx had stayed behind whilst Kate went out, getting herself familiar with the place whilst she too changed into her bedclothes. They were perhaps a little sheer, but she was a Dragon, anything thicker would make her overheat during sleep. Besides that, Dragons didn't tend to wear many clothes whilst in their flocks, since flowing fabrics often got caught in wings and horns, and so she saw no issue with sleeping in her usual bedclothes around Kate, who she'd established was a friend. Of course, if she seemed uncomfortable, Nyx would change, but they weren't all that revealing, with more opaque fabric beneath covering her more intimate areas.

By the time Kate returned, Nyx was settled on the floor, flicking through a book. She glanced up at her, tilting her head as she watched the other unpack a bedroll that Nyx was sure she hadn't had earlier, "Kate... I'm taking the floor. Have the bed." She returned, raising an eyebrow at her.
 
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CasualVelociraptor

CasualVelociraptor

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Kate gulped a little when she saw Nyx in that sheer black nightgown that clung to her curvy dragoness form and left very little about the Princess to her imagination. But Kate had learned that lying with your own kind was wrong. The problem was, her brain was yelling two very different things into her ear, and her body was telling her something completely different as well. How could the young, virginal girl, who was possibly not capable of the magic that she so desperately wanted to study and commit her life to mastering, figure out even this simple thing?!

“Thanks...you’re too kind, but you’re alright. You saved my ass, you get the bed. It’s only fair. I’ve slept on plenty of floors myself,” Kate waved her off.
 
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