OT: Epistolary

on December 21, 2012 in Other Tales


Astera 12th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

Well I am all settled in here now. I know you wanted to make the trip here with me but honestly it could not have gone smoother if I were flying. Four days from Anonymity to Prax. Modern magic really is magical! And of course I had Brett to protect me.

(Except at night of course. But you already know that if the bill from the coaching inns have reached you. I’m sure it was generous of you to pay for our rooms, Daddy.)

I have met my roommate whom as you know is named Hyacinth but she corrected me at once that she prefers to go by “Cindy.” I told her that Hyacinth is in my opinion a lovely name and she replied that it is a lovely flower but an odious name. I am sure she lives to say this or else she would have advised me of her preference when we exchanged letters over the summer. Or else it is a new affectation of hers.

Cindy is in the Bardic Arts program. I did not know that they allowed women to be bards. Someone should tell old Mr. Kesler that some of his literature is out of date. He doesn’t do the graduating seniors any favors by giving us outdated material about our prospects.

Brett’s roommate had not yet arrived when we parted company. I wonder what he is like. I cannot tell if Samuel has said little in his letters or if Brett has said little about it. You know he is not the most forthcoming of boys.

I hope this letter finds you well.

Love,
Melanie.


Astera 17th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m sorry to have given such alarm in my last letter. I did not mean to say that I in particular would have liked to know that the Bardic Arts had been opened to me personally. I more meant that in the generality of things it would be nice for us young ladies as a whole to know what options are available us not simply the Bardic Arts.

Regardless of the circumstances it was nice to hear from you so soon after I’d settled in. I am amazed at the speed of the Imperial Mail.

Cindy continues to have many lovely qualities as a roommate.

On the subject of roommates if I said that Brett was not at all forthcoming I take it back. His roommate Samuel is a clam who is addicted to toffee and also does not like to say much about himself. But I am sure he is just shy and in time will warm up to us. After all Brett and I have each other and he is here all alone.

Classes here are quite a bit different than they were in high school and also nothing like the so called “preparatory” classes had led me to believe. I suppose it is a testament to how fast things change in the world of higher education.

But I am really very happy with my chosen course of study all the same.

Love,
Melanie.


Astera 20th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

I am not one for gossip but I do not think Brett’s roommate Samuel is a Khersian at all. I am considering whether it would be forward of me to advise him to change rooms at the soonest opportunity, which I happen to have looked up. It is Astera 28th.

It is a shame because Samuel otherwise seems decent. He is quiet but not sullen and very polite. He says little about himself but takes an interest in others. Still I cannot think he would be anything but a bad influence on Brett, and us so far from home. It’s terribly easy to stray. Just this morning I found myself thinking how easy it would be to sleep in and not go to temple service at all though of course I went.

Love,
Melanie.


Astera 28th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

My new roommate’s name is Julia. I haven’t seen much of her since I moved rooms and I like her very much already.

The one downside is that it puts me farther away from Brett which means he has to come clear across campus to walk me to dinner. He has also had a change of situation. Though he is in the same room Samuel has moved. It seems they had a falling out though he will not tell me what about. In fact he insists that nothing happened. I do not think this is the case because he also told me to stay away from Samuel. But when I asked him if I had ever given him reason to feel jealous he said no it wasn’t that.

It makes me sad because I felt we were becoming friends. Well I mean that I felt Brett and I were becoming friends with Samuel not that Samuel and I were becoming friendly with each other. It is all very puzzling.

Love,
Melanie.


Calendula 2nd, 177
Dear Mom,

Thank you for your advice but I do not think it is the case. Brett does not have a possessive bone in his body or if he does he has never shown me it before.

Besides if he were to become possessive around Samuel I would expect him to be more so around other boys. He ought to know my “type” and it could not be more different from Samuel. The boy is a wisp! If he were blond and fair I would think he’s part-elven. I do not mind a certain stoic silence but his seems more pensive. Brett is silent because he has nothing to say. Samuel is silent because he says nothing. Really they are like night and day and I would be shocked to learn that Brett thinks I could ever prefer Samuel over him.

Love,
Melanie.


Calendula 12th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

Well I saw Samuel today. I say “saw” but I meant just that I saw him going into a dormitory as I walked back to my own after classes. It would have been awkward to call out and stop him just to say hello so I didn’t say anything but now that I most likely know where he’s staying I’ll be keeping an eye out for him. I would like the chance to talk to him, if only to tell him that whatever happened between Brett and him I have no hard feelings for him.

And maybe to find out what it was.

Love,
Melanie.


Calendula 19th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

I still barely know my new roommate yet but I can tell you she is no kind of a lady. Apparently she has been put on academic probation for voting in the student election or trying to vote I should say. And also she is taking classes in swordfighting. I can’t imagine why that would be necessary, even if it is allowed.

She showed me her sword. It seems like a nice one, for all that I know of swords.

Love,
Melanie.


Calendula 28th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

Midterms were an ordeal I don’t want to repeat any time soon. Of course they have to happen every semester though.

I’ve seen Samuel again. Well when I say seen I mean spotted again and in the same place as before. I’m sure that’s his dorm now.

He was talking to a man in a suit that seemed quite cheap and flashy. Or the man was talking to him. Samuel’s face is not very expressive but it did not seem he appreciated the man’s company. I took him to be an older man for his clothes and his attitude but from his face it was hard to tell. He could be in a fraternity Samuel is pledging but I saw no heraldic device on the suit. Brett as you know hopes to pledge to the LPG next year but his mother insists he focuses on his studies for now.

I did not say hello because I did not want to interrupt. To be honest I did not like the look of the man. But now that I have caught him there twice I am sure that is where Samuel lives.

Love,
Melanie.


Chrysanthema 3rd, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m sure you have been worried sick for me. The campus is in an uproar of a mess over the whole thing. There have been no more deaths apart from the usual. The necromancy department has been closed off although they are saying it wasn’t anything of theirs that did it but many people find it suspicious because of the missing heart.

The chancellor is telling us that we are all safe within the walls of the school and to prove it has pointed to evidence that the body was tossed over the wall from the outside. The poor girl. I wonder if she felt much. Not from the tossing because she would have been dead by that point but from everything that passed before.

I would like to check on Samuel but Brett has taken to walking with me to see me safely to everywhere I need to be and he takes the long way around. If it is not safe to walk about I don’t see how it makes it safer to walk about even more but he has his ways and he gets set in them.

Love,
Melanie.


Chrysanthema 5th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

The rumor is going around campus that there is a demon on the loose. I asked Brett what he thinks of it and he said that they are half right, but would say no more.

I have asked Julia if she would show me some of the basics of swordplay, for self defense.

Love,
Melanie.


Chrysanthema 11th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

I am quite sure that Brett would not be insulted to know that I took up arms in my own defense, and if you insist on telling his mother I don’t see what I could do about it. At the time of my last letter I hadn’t even touched the darn thing, and I wouldn’t have if I’d known you felt so strongly about women going armed.

Honestly it’s all so modern and forward here that I forget that you two are from a different age.

Though I love you very much and have nothing but the utmost respect for you and the values you raised me with and I have especially always appreciated your generosity of spirit.

Love,
Melanie.


Chrysanthema 17th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

There have been no more deaths or disturbances. There have been Finders all over campus and now they are saying the corpse of that poor girl matches others that were found over quite a wide distance so it seems whatever our killer is it is something that moves around and not something that haunts our campus in particular. That is not quite a relief but it’s something like one.

The demon rumors persist and have even grown in the retelling. Now it is said and with a straight face even that there is a half-demon who is a student here with us. Honestly the credulity of some people.

I did run into Samuel when I was looking for him one time after class. He seems more scared to walk around in the open air than I was at the height of the panic. I believe the rumors have him rattled. He said he was considering dropping out and going back to where he came from.

I hope he doesn’t. I have made some friends here but he was one of the first I met and I would like to get to know him better.

Love,
Melanie.

P.S. It’s getting close to the end of the semester and I haven’t purchased my return ticket yet. I’m sorry if I misunderstood but I thought Daddy would have sent more money by now.


Chrysanthema 26th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

If you haven’t already heard it from Mrs. North, Brett and I are split. I think you were right after all Mom. It wasn’t just possessive as much as it was controlling. He has been growing obsessed with finding out where I am and what I’m doing and who I am doing it with. Not that there is anything to find out.

I have seen Samuel a few more times and by seen this time I mean that we did stop and talk but only about very general things. The last time he asked me if Brett had happened to say anything about him and I told him that Brett doesn’t have anything to say to me lately and he said he was sorry, and he sounded sorry. I asked him how his classes are going and he said good but he’s been distracted lately. The whole campus has been. I hope there is some kind of extra credit or academic amnesty program or something due to the disruption caused by all the problems. Not that I’m personally in need or anything like that. It just seems like it would be more fair to everyone.

Also thank you very much for the banknote enclosed in your last letter. I’m sure I’ll be perfectly safe in the accommodations it will help me purchase for my trip home alone.

Love,
Melanie.


Ilex 1st, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you so much for your surprising generosity. I was not expecting a second draft of funds so soon after the last one. Your daughter will be arriving home for the holidays in style and safety.

I asked Samuel if he’ll be visiting his family and he told me that he’s an orphan. Can you believe it? You really meet all kinds of people at college. I felt terribly sorry for him and I’ve made a point to spend more time with him since. I can’t give him a home for the holidays but I can make sure he doesn’t feel lonely now.

Love,
Melanie.


Ilex 5th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

When I said that Samuel was everything that Brett wasn’t and vice versa I wasn’t joking. I think this is why Brett wanted to keep us apart because he knew that if I spent enough time around Samuel I would know what I was missing with him. Samuel is kind and courteous and respectful. You would like him Daddy he has a very old-fashioned sense of propriety. He seems flustered to find himself alone with me and asks me often if I feel safe.

He still does not like to talk about himself but that’s OK I suppose. I went to high school with boys who would talk about nothing else. He is full of questions about me and seems endlessly fascinated by me.

The one sore spot I’ve found is when I asked him about the man in the suit in case that was a relative. Even an orphan might have uncles or older brothers I suppose though there was not much of a resemblance that I could see. But Samuel denies that he knows the man! It’s not strange for someone to forget that they met a person once but he seemed so irritated with the man that I don’t think it was a chance meeting.

Well everyone has secrets.

Love,
Melanie.


Ilex 12th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

The men from the IBF were back on the campus this week, talking to people. Someone told me they spoke to Samuel but he says he can’t talk about what. Everyone has been talking about what if there was another killing but there has been no sign of one and since the first one was hardly a secret I don’t see why a second one would be. The first one seemed like it was meant to be found.

Samuel is staying on campus because of not having any other plans. It seems so sad.

Love,
Melanie.


Ilex 17th, 177
Dear Mom and Dad,

Please don’t be angry.

I know that you expected me to be getting on a coach before this letter would reach you but I haven’t and I won’t. Samuel is all alone in the world while you have each other and we are just now getting to know each other and I don’t want to leave him now. He has been so sad at times I think he is despondent over something.

I promise that the money you sent me will not be wasted. I have registered for a class that requires some more expensive materials than I’d budgeted for and so it will be furthering my education. And it will also be helping to keep me safe which I know was your objective in sending it.

I’m sorry I did not tell you sooner but I did not know sooner. I was putting off making a decision thinking that it would get easier once I’d had time to think about it but between the stress of finals and worrying over Samuel and getting to know him time has just flown by and now there almost isn’t any time left at all and it still doesn’t feel any easier. But I know this is the right decision.

I love you very much and will see you in the summer.

Your loving daughter,
Melanie.


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Setting:





77 Responses to “OT: Epistolary”

  1. Alico says:

    This is interesting, as it points to some events in the past of ToMU, but I am confused as to its purpose. Who is Melanie?

    Am I just forgetting a side character somewhere?

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    • zeel says:

      Notice the year on the letters, this is all long before Mackenzie goes to MU. Probably has to do with the previous demonic student.

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      • Alico says:

        Oh, dang. Thanks for that, otherwise I would have missed that detail.

        Here’s to hoping that this is continued, now that I know what is going on!

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  2. Jennifer says:

    Interesting. I guess Samuel is the half-demon who eventually was involved in the riot. And that he somehow had contact with the Man, which I wasn’t expecting. Looks like the Man had a snack while he was there, too.

    I wonder why Cindy and Melanie switched roommates…

    Cool chapter.

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    • zeel says:

      Ya, we sort of know why her boyfriend switched, but she just up and did the same with no explanation.

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    • tomclark says:

      A brief mention of a man in a suit, and everyone immediately knows who it is. What is this, Person of Interest or something? 😛

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      • 'Nym-o-maniac says:

        Haha! Well, the body missing its heart didn’t hurt, either.

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        • Mike says:

          I thought it was established that The Man ate ovaries?

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          • Markas says:

            Nope. The hearts of maidens.

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          • moxicity says:

            Wha… where did you get that? I thought the opposite, that he eats *hearts*. I remember that coming up.

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          • Burnsidhe says:

            You took what ‘the man’ said too literally. He needs blood from the hearts of virgins to survive. That’s confirmed by the IBF agent who walked with Mack to her appointment with Embries.

            To “live”, he needs ovaries. In the sense that to “live” means fathering children to pass a legacy on.

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          • Erm says:

            Edit: ^

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      • Anthony says:

        *grin* I love that show!

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      • zeel says:

        I think the big factor is that The Man’s suit was one of the most detailed outfit descriptions in the story (where the outfit was not a plot point) and now we have another person speaking of a very distinctive suit. Plus the heart thing.

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    • Zukira Phaera says:

      betting Cindy was a nymph

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  3. Not her, the other girl says:

    I definitely think this is from the previous half demon’s days (look at what year it is – Mack is in 223 now I believe). I wonder if Melanie died, given the close encounters Amaranth has had with Mack.

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    • Jennifer says:

      Yes, we’re currently in 223, and as you say, this is 177, and the location is the Old Campus. The demon riots have to have occurred before 194, when Embries hires Jillian Callahan.

      We don’t know much about those riots, except hearsay. It completely razed the campus, Professor Lazar was killed, along with 100s of others, with more then 50 credited to the half demon. Ariadne Einhorn MAY have lead a mob against said half-demon (which honestly could have been the start of it). Especially if the Man triggered some sort of witchhunt from killing the girl at the beginning of this semester.

      *edit:* And as for Melanie’s survival… I’d bet lots of money that Melanie is a virgin… (though we don’t know what Samuel feeds on), and she seems pretty innocent. I suspect she won’t make it – and I’m not just saying that Samuel might kill her, I’m also thinking that just being friends with a half-demon could draw fire.

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      • Silverai says:

        Being a virgin or not doesn’t have much to do with it. Each demon has their own peculiar food; Mackenzie’s is virgin blood, but other demons have completely other tastes which don’t hinge on virginity unless that’s also part of that particular demon’s particular kick.

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        • Jennifer says:

          But the Man feeds on virgin hearts and both of his known children also need to feed on virgins. And if Samuel did turn out to be kin to the Man, he would likely have a similar trait.

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          • hoppy says:

            They told Mac he needs to feed on virgin heart blood not the heart itself(also this could conceivably be obtained without killing his food.)

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            • 'Nym-o-maniac says:

              … huh. I was going to respond to say “No, he needs virgin’s hearts,” but then I reread http://www.talesofmu.com/story/book0x/487 and realized you were totally right.

              Exact quote: “He needs blood from a virgin’s heart, every thirteen months or so. We don’t have the interval nailed down exactly because we don’t find all the bodies. The diabs say thirteen months is most likely, if it’s not a lunar year.”

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            • zeel says:

              To do this he would need to drink the blood directly from the heart, or consume the heart. That would be incredibly difficult to do without killing the target.

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            • SurahAhriman says:

              I’m sure it could be magically siphoned in some manner if one cared to.

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            • Gruhl says:

              An older meaning of ‘The hearts blood’ is the last few drops of blood before someone dies of bloodloss. Not saying this is the case here, but one should be wary of assumptions.

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            • Zukira Phaera says:

              In earlier days it might have been harder but even arcane healing is becoming more accessible and cheaper. Running a healing potion down a “donor’s” throat while drawing blood out from the heart could be just the thing. With the duration between feedings it might even be fiscally viable and reasonable if the “donor” was a willing individual rather than other alternatives.

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        • Vee Vee says:

          Actually, we can be pretty sure that Samuel needs something from a virgin to feed, since we’re making the assumption that his father is the Man. The Man needs a heart from a virgin, and his daughter Mack needs blood from a virgin. His son must require something similar.

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      • Not her, the other girl says:

        Thanks, I had forgotten a lot of that. I’ve been rereading MU but skipping the OT stuff. It’s actually been pretty cool to see Mack Year One vs. Mack Year Two.

        I agree that Melanie is a virgin (poor Sam for rooming with her very Khersian boyfriend! He probably prayed all the time) but who knows (besides maybe AE) how much that played into her death. Either she tried to protect him and was gotten by the mob, or she tried to stay close to him as a friend and got burned, literally, like Amaranth did. Or behind secret door number three, something entirely unexpected happens.

        OOO!! AE! For your next fundraiser offer to write an OT about the rampage! You could even do a vote-with-$$$ for who’s snapshot view we want to see (Melanie’s, Einhorn’s, etc).

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  4. zeel says:

    Interesting notes:
    – Feminism has yet to take hold
    – No mandatory weapons policy
    – Seems like there is probably not a “non human friendly” campus
    – The school had walls (the body was tossed over them?!)

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  5. Lyssa says:

    Ooooh, I love this update. How ominous. It does seem like Samuel is probably as manipulative as The Man. First, she’s with Brett, then she leaves him, spends more time with Samuel, and decides to just stay in the campus with him instead of going home. Quite the 180. Hard to say if that was intentional, malicious, or just Samuel wanting a companion, though.

    Either way, I’m guessing Melanie dies.

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    • Jennifer says:

      I didn’t read Samuel as being manipulative at all, honestly. The Brett/Melanie thing seemed pretty natural and unaided, especially if Brett was keeping things from Melanie and in general being overly controlling.

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      • Endovior says:

        Hard to say, really. We only have Melanie’s perspective, and since it’s often hard to tell if you’re being manipulated, it wouldn’t necessarily come across in a letter written by someone who’d been successfully manipulated.

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      • Cadnawes says:

        I agree, I read it that way. She sought him out, not the reverse. It seems like he was just keeping his head down, and his quiet nature appealed to Melanie, who appears to only know the kind of men who take care of (and domineer over) women in old fashioned societies. I also suspect he’s very good looking.

        She seems like the kind of girl who was a debutante and is discovering a wider, more complex world. I suspect also, that whether she was attracted to him or not, the thought of leaving an orphan alone at the holidays was something she couldn’t do, having inherited her parent’s generosity of spirit. (Yes, I realize she used the phrase to get money out of them, but I suspect it’s true anyway.)

        I like her a lot, actually, and wish I felt better about her chances of survival.

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    • carson says:

      I thought Melanie was pretty good at putting the fiscal manip on her parents for the fare home. . .only to stay at school!

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  6. clodia says:

    One thing no one else has noted: she’s signing up for a weapons class and has bought herself a weapon. That raises the chance of her surviving quite drastically, as well as the likelihood that this is her blossoming, not her being manipulated by undue forces.

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  7. Riotllama says:

    Well, it seems like Melanie will be taking a sword fighting class next semester. I’m guessing that’s what he has to spend the money on that will be to “keep her safe”.
    I thought Dan fed on menstrual blood, no virginity nessessary.

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    • 'Nym-o-maniac says:

      Wait, where did we get confirmation on what Dan fed on? I swear I remember him mentioning that virginity was involved, though.

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      • Dani says:

        Virginity is involved: Sex with his future wife came second, at least chronologically.

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  8. Christy says:

    Ooh boy… Looks like Mack’s half-brother was the one who went on the rampage… Man, the Man gets around a LOT! No pun intended.

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  9. readaholic says:

    Hmm, loner, ostracised, probably with a lot of anger built up… wonder if he has entitlement issues, and how his empathy is.
    Given recent (and not so recent) events, I’m suspecting Ms Erin is going to make this a story about mass “shootings”. The trigger will probably be Melanie rejecting Samuel, combined with Ariadne stirring things up, the Man too, by the sounds of things.
    Oh, and I’m not so sure, from the vague description, that Melanie is taking up weapons practice. I suspect it may be something more dangerous – from the reference to materials, I suspect necromancy or even demon summoning and control.

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    • Oni says:

      Oh, I can’t say much more than “I really hope not.”

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    • Anon says:

      Given how utterly tasteless it would be, I expect that AE won’t do that at all.

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  10. Arkeus says:

    Melanie is such a naive girl it’s hard to read this. Especially how she was obsessed with that Half-demon from the start. There is something that stink of mind control about it, but…

    Anyway, interesting to see The Man earlier on. Still cheering for Mack to wise up and accept his mentorship! 😀

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  11. Cadnawes says:

    A few more general thoughts. . .

    Very little is known about the riot. There was a half demon INVOLVED. We ought to know by now from Mack’s life that people are very quick to blame half demons for anything bad if one happens to conveniently be nearby. Not that she’s a saint, but she’s far from evil.

    We can also tell by the presence and behaviors of assorted characters in the story that this world doesn’t hold with racial alignments. (Dee and Ariadne being obvious examples.) Given what we’ve seen, I don’t think we can assume the worst of Samuel, or the best of Brett.

    I do think Melanie’s taking a weapons class, and needed to be so circumspect about it because her parents evidently flipped a lid over the thought of female BARDS. I hope it sees her in good stead.

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    • Burnsidhe says:

      What I got from that passage is that her parents were mostly alarmed about the fact that Melanie mentioned the bardic arts, and they were concerned that she might deviate from the path that they had planned for her.

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      • Cadnawes says:

        I agree. That was definitely part of it.

        They also didn’t like the thought of her even taking pointers from her roommate, soooo I suspect there’s a lot she’ll have to hide from this pair, though.

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  12. clodia says:

    Another note: ““My understanding is that the popular account exaggerated his part in the destruction,” Davies said.

    “You weren’t there,” Ariadne said. “I watched that thing leading the charge… it was right in the middle of the destruction.””

    http://www.talesofmu.com/story/other/bonus-story-old-pain#more-249

    I’m inclined to belief Davies over Ariadne, even though the latter was in fact present, due to her overwhelming bias. I doubt that the destruction of the campus will have much to do with Samuel at all. At least, I doubt he will instigate it.

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    • Cadnawes says:

      He’d be in the middle of the destruction if he was being attacked.

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      • Rin says:

        Or possibly even trying to stop the rioters. That would certainly put him right among them.

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  13. Sapphite says:

    I’m less sure about that being “The Man”, but from the perspective we are given, I’m fairly sure that Sam is simply shy and drew out Melanie’s interest as a “nice guy”. Plus no one has actually told her he’s half-demon, which probably would have driven her off early on.

    As for what happens in the end… 70/30 she dies, 30/70 Sam is responsible for starting the riot.

    Current score: 0
    • Ducky says:

      I wouldn’t put Sam as culpable in actually starting the riot, but I would guess something about him starts it. Like being half-demon.

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  14. Trel says:

    this is one of my favorite OT’s ever, Thank You!

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  15. Anonymous Coward says:

    “I have met my roommate whom as you know is named Hyacinth”

    “Whom” here would be referring to the subject of “(She) is named Hyacinth” so it should be “I have met my roommate who as you know is named Hyacinth.” Who is a subject and whom is an object.

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    • Ducky says:

      Because the rest of Melanie’s grammar is perfect?

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    • Zukira Phaera says:

      If intentional, rather than a typo that would support my thinking that Hyacinth (cindy) is/was a nymph.

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    • In point of fact, the pronoun “whom” has only one remaining valid use in English, which is misuse for whomorous effect.

      Current score: 1
  16. pedestrian says:

    I am wondering if Alexandra has a complete calendar of named periods? Is it based on Solar orbit or Lunar/female-gynogenesis or some other standard such as seasonal constellations?

    I myself favor that we switch to a calendar of thirteen months with four weeks/28 days each to reflect that the Zodiac corrected consists of thirteen constellations. When you include Ophiuchus. That should be interpreted as the infant Hercules strangling the serpents placed in his crib while he is crushing the Lion underfoot.

    Of course this contradicts all the propaganda by the monotheist faiths but their historical{hysterical?} decisions have been corrupted by the Manichean malignancy.

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    • Jennifer says:

      At this moment, we know the names of 10 months (though not the full order of them), and there are presumably 12 of them. This is me partly guessing the order, but we have: Galanthus (January?), Primula (Febuary-ish), Verbena (unknown, late winter/spring?), Convallaria (late spring), Polyanta (beginning of summer), Rosa (summer?), Astra (September-ish), Calendra (October-ish), Chrysanthema (November-ish), and Ilix (December-ish).

      *edit:* It’s been stated that the Man needs to have hearts blood every 13 months – and the fact it was stated that way would imply to me that 13 months is NOT a year. So, it’s likely a 12 month calendar.

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      • Primula and Polyantha are actually the same month… due to incomplete notes, I made an error when I wrote the Valentine’s Day story last year and thought I hadn’t named February yet. Polyantha came first so I’m leaving that as canon for now, though I might flip it back to Primula.

        And yes, that means the reference to staying past the end of the year for Lee’s wedding doesn’t make a lot of sense. My calendar notes have been scattered and not always actual notes before now. That’s one of the reasons I’m doing the epistolary story, in order to nail down the names and order of the months.

        Sorry for the confusion.

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  17. yama says:

    My instinct is that something happens (or is about to happen) to Melanie. Then Samuel may well be in the forefront/leading a rescue/revenge event for his friend, Melanie. On the other hand…AE is very clever, so….

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  18. zeel says:

    I had some more thoughts, a lot in fact, so I created a thread in the forum:
    http://forum.alexandraerin.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1395

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  19. Dave says:

    Slightly OT for OT, but I wanted to say how much I’ve liked the recent episodes, from the active ones with Nae to the quieter chat-with-the-RA. Probably because they add further to the world-building and/or Mackenzie’s growth.

    This OT chapter seemed a distraction to me at first, but I knew the other readers would notice things I hadn’t (e.g. Year 177), at which point it became interesting too – and like everyone else I now want to know what happens next.

    All of which reminded me that I hadn’t made a donation to keeping you fed and writing for a long time. So now I have. Consider it a small Christmas present if you like!

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  20. yama says:

    Wouldn’t that be a Khersias present?

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  21. Rien says:

    I just re-read all the posts tagged “dan harris” and there’s nothing about what he needs to eat. It also seems like that’s not all of his chapters though..

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    • Zukira Phaera says:

      I always have felt it must be something fairly innocent since in one chapter it seemed as though Dell was saying it could easily be obtained at the village market.

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