Chapter 246: Straightforward Maneuvering

on September 8, 2014 in Volume 2 Book 7: Courtly Manners, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Cracks Appear In The Dam

So, I had three things that I needed to tell Glory: that I would be going on the trip, that Steff was up for the custodianship thing, and that I needed a place to crash with Ian when we got back.

I spent a while going back and forth on whether it would be better to tell her the good news up front and then bring up the others, or to put them forward first in the hope that she’d be better disposed towards agreeing if she thought it might sway me.

The logic of that seemed pretty unassailable, which is why I considered it as much as I did… but in the end, I decided that my acceptance shouldn’t be a negotiation. I’d told Ian I’d go to the dirt for him on this and I would… but only after giving Glory the chance to agree outright with no pressure. Otherwise, I’d always wonder what she would have said.

That, she had spent so much of her life trying to get away from playing games

“Wonderful,” she said. “What exactly made up your mind?”

“Nothing exactly made it up,” I said. “I mean, my friends were all pretty firmly in favor of it. Even Ian couldn’t understand my hesitation. In the end… well, basically, I decided that as long as my mind’s not made up, I might as well go with the awesome once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“So now you have a job to do, don’t you?”

“You mean I have a job to pawn off on someone else,” I said.

“I honestly never thought of the caretaking of Oberrad as your job,” she said. “More something you might end up stuck with.”

“Trading a temporary room in the international students’ dorm for an extended stay in an increasingly well-appointed, fully furnished private building by myself isn’t exactly my idea of a hardship,” I said.

“Maybe not, but I’d think it wouldn’t be much of a consolation prize compared to what you’d be giving up,” she said. “Although… if you think this dump is well-appointed, then I’m not sure you’re prepared for all I have to offer.”

“You have a point,” I said. “Anyway, now that I’m officially off that job, I have a candidate I’d like you to consider.”

“Who?” Glory asked.

“Steff,” I said.

“Interesting,” Glory said. “And not entirely unexpected. But are you prepared to vouch for her?”

“She’s my friend,” I said.

“Yes, she is,” Glory said. “Are you prepared to vouch for her?”

“If she’s treated fairly, she’ll treat you fairly,” I said. “I mean, your building isn’t a dead body, so I’m not sure what exactly she would do with it that you might not approve of.”

“Throw a party? Rifle through other people’s things? Fuck off somewhere and leave the place undefended?” Glory said. “I don’t know. If you tell me that she’ll live up to the responsibility of the position, though, I’ll believe you.”

“…if she tells me that she’ll live up to the responsibility of the position, I’ll believe her,” I said. “I’m ninet… eighty-ish percent sure that she’s already conveyed that by saying that she’d do it, but I’ll ask her directly to confirm it.”

“That’s good enough for me,” Glory said. “Or it will be, once you’ve done that. I have my qualms, obviously, but because we know her… and you know her well… I feel we can know what there is to have qualms about with her, which is more than I’d know about a stranger. Still, you understand that you will be held responsible for her conduct, even more so since she is your friend?”

“Yes, my queen,” I said.

“If nothing else, she’ll keep those bitches from Treehome on their toes if they try anything,” Glory said.

“How so?”

“Well… the whole elven superiority thing is kind of a thorny arrow,” she said.

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, sorry… I mean, it stings the person who grasps it, even if they’re aiming it at someone else. Have you… have you ever noticed that Steff has no idea what humans are capable of?”

“Yeah, actually, yes,” I said. “And she tends to underestimate it, when she does mention it.”

“Right,” Glory said. “See, to an elf, you’re all a bunch of blind, dull-witted babies… with freakish strength. A half-human like Steff, we want to look down our noses at… but we’re really never sure what someone like that is actually capable of. They may only be half an elf, but because elves are so much inherently better, we tend to suspect that half counts for more than the human elf. We’re overestimating while we’re underestimating, and the result is a kind of analysis paralysis wrapped up with a hefty dose of fear… because of that freakish strength.”

“I wouldn’t exactly consider Steff to be that strong,” I said. I also wouldn’t use the word “freakish” in conjunction with her, though I knew Glory didn’t mean anything personal by it… she wasn’t even talking about Steff in particular.

“Well, you’re strong even for a human,” Glory said, which was the kind of statement I could love her forever for making. “The point is that half-humans like Steff are an unknown quantity that is familiar enough to be disturbing. And on top of that, she’s basically… Callahan’s… apprentice, and that counts for a lot.”

She had a full-body flinch when she said Callahan’s name. It was the most animated I’d ever seen her face.

“I think you’re overestimating how much of their… association… is based on technical fighting prowess,” I said.

“So? As long as I’m not the only one doing that,” Glory said. “You have to understand that to elves, Callahan is fundamentally disturbing on a level you might find hard to comprehend.”

When I had finished laughing, I said, “I don’t think it’s that hard to grasp.”

“No?” she said. “Most humans seem to mistake her for human somehow… which, you know, is the kind of thing that feeds into the ‘dull-witted babies’ thing. She’s not. She’s very not.”

“Yeah, I actually do know that,” I said. “I don’t know much about it, but Steff told me.”

“I’m not sure what she is, but she also… well, this will sound silly and it probably is, but she bears a strong resemblance to an elven, uh… I’ll say ‘bogeyman’.”

“I’m pretty sure she’s a lot of people’s bogey… person,” I said.

“I meant a specific one,” Glory said. “The name translates to death of the deathless. It’s a new figure who popped up sometime in the last half millennium or so, an avatar of death who slays immortals… the least gods and the greatest dragons, elves, demons… anything without a lifespan. We call it thanato ton athanton…death of the undying.”

“…I can honestly kind of understand where you’d get that from looking at her,” I said. “But if that… or even half of the things I’d heard about her… were true, I don’t think she’d be teaching undergrad combat classes.” I thought about it for a second. “Or at least, somebody would have made her skirmish coach by now. Anyway, there’s more than one elf in her gladiator program.”

“Yes, and what is the number one cause of death among elves?” Glory asked.

“Point,” I said, and then considered that among the people of elven descent I knew who hung out around her, one was a wannabe vampire and another was a necromancer who daydreamed about being an evil overlady. “Anyway, I guess it doesn’t really matter what truth there is to the elven perception of Coach Callahan, as long as part of that reputation clings to Steff.”

“Exactly,” Glory said.

“Do you really think they’ll try something while you’re away?” I asked, but as soon as I’d said it, I thought so, too.

“Of course,” Glory said. “It’s the natural time to strike. Not only will the house be vacated, but the campus will be largely empty, as well. It would be the perfect time for anything from petty theft to arson.”

“…I’m suddenly less comfortable with the idea of putting my friend in the position of standing in the way of all that,” I said.

“Well, the idea is that with someone there… and particularly someone like her… there won’t be any of that coming our way,” Glory said.

“Still… I think we need to talk about compensation,” I said. I’d meant to bring this up after talking about my plans with Ian, but I didn’t want to further down this path without knowing that Steff would get her ‘in’ out of it.

“Well, I hope you didn’t think I expected her to do it out of compassion and the goodness of her heart,” Glory said, her lips twisting into a tiny hint of a grin.

“I actually meant, in addition to monetary payment,” I said. “Steff… well, she’s been feeling a bit… out of place, I guess is how I’d put it, and she’s expressed interest in seeing how she might like being a member of your court. My thought had been that this would be a good way to establish trust and sort of get things moving in that direction, but given the actual serious danger… or actual potential for serious danger… I think we should make this upfront and explicit.”

“I’m disappointed you didn’t think to do that first,” Glory said.

“I was looking for the opportune moment to bring it up,” I said.

“You should never try maneuvering with elves, Mackenzie Blaise. I mean, it’s kind of adorable, in a way, but still.”

“Adorable in a dull-witted infant sort of way?”

“Yes, exactly,” she said. “And in this case, completely superfluous.”

“…so is that a yes?” I asked. It sounded like a yes, but it could also be superfluous if the answer was a definite and resounding no. “I was only nervous because she’s… not exactly your scene, on top of not being exactly… an elf.”

“To be honest, I’m not interested in quantifying her elven-ness,” Glory said. “For a variety of reasons, but the top of the list being that I don’t want to restrict membership to elves, in the long-term… in the short-term, it’ll probably be useful to have some semi-elves to use as precedents for later. I mean, personally, I’m more interested in her human cred, which is something pretty new, but this way it’s more like a crack in the dam than the floodgates opening.”

“Which is kind of weird as a metaphor, since dams aren’t supposed to crack but I’m pretty sure one of the functions of a floodgate is that they open,” I said. “I mean, being that they’re floodgates and not… floodwalls.”

“My point is, people are less likely to be alarmed by a change that seems like a baby step away from the current position than an actual change,” Glory said. “Never mind that such a step represents a change in the current position. And not only will the next step be from that new position, but it will be made with the historical precedent that a step of this size didn’t end the world, so maybe we can try a step that’s a bit bigger than that and see where it takes us.”

“I’m not going to argue against it,” I said.

“In the long run, I have plans,” she said. “I mean, of course I do, I’m an almost adult elf. In fact, they might be longer term than my stay at MU… but that being the case, I’ve got a lot of groundwork to lay down. I might have started sooner, but I didn’t ever really believe that as much as I’ve done would even be possible until I did it. It’s really because of you that I’ve dared as much as I have.”

“I think you’re exaggerating, my queen,” I said, blushing. “Wasn’t it your sister dating Nicki really what set all this in motion?”

“It proved to be an opportunity, but honestly, the Harlowe exodus was a big inspiration for me even before that,” she said.

I blushed.

“It wasn’t… it actually wasn’t meant to be a big thing,” I said. “I just… well, it wasn’t even just me. A bunch of us just felt like there wasn’t any reason to stay in Harlowe, when we could get more of what we wanted from other residence halls.”

“Right, and do you think you were the first person who was assigned to Harlowe who would have found a better fit for her needs somewhere else?”

“No,” I said. “And in fact, I’m not the first freshman Harlowite to move out after a semester or two… it just… somehow, it became a bigger deal when I did it. When we did it, because again, it wasn’t just me.”

“I think you’ve put your finger on why it was a big deal: because there were a bunch of you… and because you made a big enough deal out of challenging the school on other things that people paid attention when you bucked tradition,” Glory said. “That is a big deal. Before, any exceptions to the dorm segregation were isolated examples, isolated individuals quietly slipping around the invisible wards.”

“The whole ‘making a big deal out of challenging the school’ had never been my idea, about anything,” I said. “Just so you know.”

“I have gathered,” she said.

“And the moving out… I think it was less that I inspired anyone and more like we inspired each other,” I said. “The fact that we were all interested in doing it at once made it easier, in every way. Strength in numbers, you know… um…”

Um, what?” she said. “You have the look on on your face you get when something incredibly obvious has occurred to you at last.”

“…um, is there any reason that you would need to limit it to a single caretaker?” I asked.

“Aside from the aforementioned desire that there not be a party in my house while i’m not there?” Glory said. “Well, money’s a small concern, but it is a concern. This isn’t a cheap trip.”

“Still… what about a couple more people?” I asked. “If it’s people who are going to be staying on campus to begin with, you won’t necessarily have to pay them that much… again, and this is speaking from experience, just the chance to stay in a place with a little more privacy and a few nicer amenities than the standard holiday accommodations might be a considerable incentive.”

An image of a person came into my head as I described this.

“You sound like you have someone in particular in mind,” Glory said.

“I do… wait, two someones,” I said. Someone else had popped into my head… someone who wouldn’t be staying on campus over the break, but since she didn’t stay on campus to begin with, I doubted it would actually be a problem. It would be convincing her that would be difficult. “I think I can guarantee an ‘oh holy shit’ factor greater than or equal to Steff’s, too, for both of them.”

“That… would be impressive,” she said. “Would these be more petitioners for the court?”

“I… couldn’t say,” I said. “I’d guess no on one, and I’m inclined to say no on the other, but I really don’t know much about how her mind works so I really couldn’t say.”

“Are you being coy about who they are on purpose?”

“Well, I don’t want to commit anyone to anything before I’ve even asked them,” I said. “Or jinx it.”

“And you just have two other people in mind?” she asked. “Not anyone else?”

“You were going to be happy with one,” I said.

“I was, but now that you’ve raised the possibility of more than one, I feel it was silly to have overlooked that,” she said.

“What number would make you comfortable, do you think?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Four? Five? If they’re the right people, I mean… I wouldn’t trust five random humans to hold off the bitches of Treehome, or even necessarily notice them before it’s too late. Just as long as it doesn’t turn into a whole recruitment drive. I mean, I don’t want to…”

“Open the floodgates?” I said. “Why not, though? At least in a targeted way. It’s something you want to do eventually, and this could be the right time to make your move for the same reason that it’s the right time for them. They won’t have much time to react or adjust their own plans, which means that they might have to call it off… or maybe go forward with a plan that’s really seriously flawed now.”

“I guess I could also save money by making it the first duty of the new recruits,” Glory said.

“Possibly, but I think you’re looking at that from the wrong perspective,” I said, my mind racing ahead. The words were tumbling out of my mouth as fast as I could think of them, or maybe a bit faster. “It wouldn’t just be about saving money, don’t you see? New recruits will be more invested in what they’re doing than temps. It won’t just be a job to them, they’ll be guarding the place with the expectation that they can use it as a residence and sanctuary, that it’s something they can be a part of.”

“You raise some interesting points,” she said. “But to maximize the impact of what you call the ‘oh holy shit’ factor, it would need to be done with discretion. I like the idea of a ‘targeted’ approach, and I want you targeting it with elven accuracy. Talk to your candidates one on one, in places no ears can overhear. Tell them that secrecy is essential… if they talk, they’re out.”

“Yes, my queen,” I said, recognizing this was a better response than is that really necessary? She’d said it was.

“Good,” she said. “You get started on that, and I’ll make the necessary adjustments to the trip itinerary, now that it’s official…”

“There is just one more thing, my queen,” I said.

“…one more thing before it’s official?”

“Well, I didn’t mean to put it like it’s a sticking point, but it kind of is,” I said. “The thing is, I figure we’ll probably be back on campus before the next semester begins.”

“Well, I thought about doing it the other way around, but I didn’t think you’d appreciate being behind in your classes,” she said. “If that’s all you were worried about, yes… we’ll only be gone about a week, returning the wednesday before classes resume,” she said. “New year’s eve, on the human calendar.”

The way she said that gave me a feeling that I might have to slightly modify my request before I made it.

“Do you have plans for that?” I asked.

“Well, nothing fancy,” she said. “After all, we’ll be traveling all day, but… it’s more of a night holiday anyway, isn’t it? I hope you haven’t made plans, particularly around eleven fifty-nine at night, give or take a minute..”

I thought about it. I hated to cheat Ian out of time together, particularly a holiday… and particularly since I’d be spending Khersentide with Glory… but her description of traveling all day was probably not an exaggeration by any stretch of the imagination. And it probably wouldn’t do for him to arrive before us, if he was going to be staying at Oberrad.

“So, we get back on wednesday the thirty-first… and then it’s the next monday that we’re back in classes?” I asked. If Ian arrived bright and early on the first, that would give us basically four days together. He wouldn’t have much more than that if we aimed for the day before.

“That is the first day of classes, yes,” she said.

“So, my thought was that it would be nice to spend some time with Ian after all that,” I said.

“I think I can spare you for four days,” she said. “It would be a wonder if I’m not a little sick of the sight of anyone after the quarters we’ll be sharing.”

“…I was actually hoping you could spare a room for those days,” I said.

“Interesting,” she said. “Room is certainly a cheap commodity here… he’s not interested in joining the court, I am quite certain of that much.”

“No,” I said.

“But still, it could be a useful precedent all the same… I think some of my courtiers might like to have boys over from time to time, but no one wants to be the first,” she said.

“Not to forget my own existence… but… I thought everyone in your court was a lesbian,” I said. “I mean, the thing with the veils is supposed to mean you’re not interested in male company.

“Broadly, ‘lesbian’ is how I’d translate it,” she said. “But speaking in greater specificity, being uninterested in the courtship of male middlings is not the same thing as not having any inclinations… or so I understand.”

I grinned… maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was because I’d been thinking about Steff, but somehow I couldn’t help it.

“And so,” I said, “you think Ian shacking up with me for a few nights could be another crack in the, uh, d…”

“Let’s stick with dam, thank you,” Glory said.

“So is that a yes?”

“If this is all it takes? Yes,” she said. “Now, I have some reflections to make and you… unless I’m very mistaken… have some mystery guests to talk to.”


Tales of MU is now on Patreon! Help keep the story going!

Or if you particularly enjoyed this chapter, leave a tip!


Characters: ,





49 Responses to “Chapter 246: Straightforward Maneuvering”

  1. Dani says:

    > that half counts for more than the human elf
    than the human half

    > she bears a strong resemblance to an elven,
    > uh… I’ll say ‘bogeyman’
    resemblance as in identity?

    > “If this is all it takes?
    Mack is on a roll here. This would be the time to ask Glory to change the color of the curtains as a final condition.

    Current score: 0
    • Lunaroki says:

      Typo Report

      That, she had spent so much of her life trying to get away from playing games

      Not sure why the comma after the opening “That”. It reads strangely to me. Also, the sentence seems to stop midway through whatever thought was being expressed.

      but I didn’t want to * further down this path without knowing that Steff would get her ‘in’ out of it.

      Using “further” as a verb is unusual and reads very strangely in this case. Might need a “go” in front of “further”.

      “Wasn’t it your sister dating Nicki really what set all this in motion?”

      This sentence reads awkwardly. I would recommend either dropping the “it” or changing “really what” to “that really”.

      “You have the look on on your face you get when something incredibly obvious has occurred to you at last.”

      Double “on”. Also, “the look” might read better as “that look” in this sentence, but it’s also okay as is.

      He wouldn’t have much

      Paragraph chops off abruptly after “much” .

      “I mean, the thing with the veils is supposed to mean you’re not interested in male company.

      Quotation marks don’t close.

      I love the bit where Glory cuts Mackenzie off when she senses Mack is about to say “dyke” instead of “dam”. 😀

      Current score: 2
    • adsipowe says:

      resemblance as in that is definitely exactly callahan

      Current score: 3
  2. Celti says:

    Oh, I really do like where this is going.

    Current score: 4
  3. pedestrian says:

    Uhhmm, sorry Dani, but I gotta disagree. From personal experience trying to play nice with women.

    Never! Ever criticize her choices in curtains or any other matter of decor. Or hell, for that matter decorum.

    Current score: 2
  4. Order of Chaos says:

    This had me laughing. I can’t help wonder who the other 2 are if they are the type to join the court. Dee might like spending time around other elves and has an “Oh Shit” factor to put Steff to shame, Two would have no interest in the court but Acantha might like hanging around with middlings (we had foreshadowing of this). Anyone else?

    Current score: 1
    • Nocker says:

      Jamie is out due to faux pas.

      Dee maybe? She’s no stranger to matriarchy or intrigue.

      Current score: 2
      • jagroq says:

        I didn’t come up with any of those, but for some reason I right away thought of Nae while reading that section. She’s the only character I can think of that a) is a student and b) lives off campus.

        Current score: 2
        • Nocker says:

          Nae leaving caron though?

          Most people springing to mind are either satisfied with current arrangements or not great in a fight as Steff is least implied to be, including Dee honestly.

          Maybe Feejee? I vaguely recall AE mentioning her showing up this volume like a year ago. Though why Mack would ever think of her I don’t know. Sticking your friends with a maneater is obviously a much larger faux pas.

          These are just shots in the dark though, obviously.

          Current score: 0
          • Nocker says:

            Reading it over again, I wanna lock in on Pala and Feejee. Pala has the OH SHIT factor and is off campus, and Feejee would defs love a higher quality bathtub, and surprise claws and fangs will stop an attack from happening twice if nothing else.

            Current score: 3
            • zeel says:

              I wouldn’t think Feejee would ever be within Mackenzies consideration. After what happened the previous year I highly doubt she is going to think of her, or consider her for this position.

              Current score: 2
        • zeel says:

          Nae lives in the tower dorm, Pala lives off-campus though.

          Current score: 2
        • Order of Chaos says:

          I think Nae is rooming with Hazel and co. My official best guess is Pala and Acantha but I’m not 100% on it.

          Current score: 3
      • Mike says:

        The one who lives off campus might be Pala.

        Current score: 3
        • TheTurnipKing says:

          She would certainly be enough to guarantee the “oh holy shit” factor.

          Current score: 5
        • Riotllama says:

          I was thinking Palla

          Current score: 1
    • not her, the other girl says:

      I was thinking Pala and Two but I think Pala and Dee would be a better combination. I can’t imagine Dee would enjoy spending her holiday with Steff, but she’d definitely keep the middlings in line.

      Current score: 3
  5. Zathras IX says:

    That (ass) whole Elven
    Superiority thing’s
    A thorny arrow

    Current score: 9
  6. D. D. Webb says:

    I’m excited to see where this is going. Mack has a tendency to let stuff happen to her; she’s surprisingly capable when setting her own things in motion. Well, Glory’s things, to be strictly accurate. But then we could hardly expect her to start showing TOO much initiative.

    Current score: 5
  7. zeel says:

    Someone else had popped into my head… someone who wouldn’t be staying on campus over the break, but since she didn’t stay on campus to begin with, I doubted it would actually be a problem.

    Pala? That’s the only student I can think of that fits that lives off-campus. On one hand she makes a great guard, on the other. . . Steff. . .

    The other has to be Two or Dee, both of whom I am guessing will stay on campus. Two however would not produce the “oh holy shit factor”, so I am betting on Dee.

    Current score: 1
  8. Glenn says:

    I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that AE chose to remind us of just how horribly dangerous Callahan is to Elves and other immortals in the same chapter that has Mack suggesting the recruitment of some very capable fighters as guards who will significantly upgrade Glory’s defences. It won’t happen for a long time, probably not until Mack is close to graduating, but I’m pretty sure Callahan will eventually decide she’s accomplished what she intended at MU, and will decide before she leaves to try to to kill all the immortals on campus, from Embries, to all the Elves, to Mack’s immortal friends like Amaranth and Two, and perhaps even Mack’s demon father.

    Current score: 1
    • Nocker says:

      Callahan said her current odds of beating just mack are “only” 75 percent, and she’s only halfway through undergrad.

      Taking on her, a greater dragon, hundreds of elves, a thousand year old demon, and whoever else comes in within two years would be suicide for anyone, even her.

      She’s dangerous, but not stupid.

      Current score: 1
      • Glenn says:

        I must have missed that quote. Do you remember where it was?

        Current score: 0
        • Maahes0 says:

          Actually, it was 75% chance to kill her and get away with it.

          Current score: 3
          • Nocker says:

            My mistake. Though that ONLY seems to count in a legal sense, given some comments. She’d never get away with it legally with all of them.

            Given what happend when the last Mackenzie analogue died at MU she might want to bump her odds down a bit.

            Current score: 0
      • zeel says:

        I think she could take them. But don’t think she will, and not in Mackenzies time there. Callahan’s story is much older and likely to last much longer than Mackenzies stay at MU.

        Current score: 0
        • zeel says:

          Come to think of it I’m pretty sure she is just waiting for another war to break out. War is inevitable, and she is just biding her time teaching until the next one.

          Current score: 3
      • Moridain says:

        I would be utterly shocked if Callahan COULD fail to kill Mack, honestly.

        Mack has strength but she gets her ass handed to her by college gladiators, let alone someone of The Death of The Deathless’ caliber.

        Current score: 0
    • spess imvader says:

      Despite what she’ll tell anyone, including herself, Callahan likes teaching and bonding with students. Her interactions with Mackenzie, Ian and Steff seem to indicate so. If anything I’d say she is rather lonely. If she really was the ruthless type she’d be in the Ogre lands as an Overlord, like Viktor’s mother.

      Current score: 3
  9. Cadnawes says:

    Hmmm. I like the idea of Dee joining, tho I wonder how Dee would feel about it. It would solve a problem she has though; she can’t make it all the way home over breaks, and her situation where she does stay is not ideal. Plus she can’t stand to be idle. So if she can deal culturally with the situation, it might be a good one.

    Where does Eloise live? If I wanted a building guarded from forest dwellers, she’d be my pick.

    Current score: 4
    • Lunaroki says:

      Good point on Eloise, though not exactly an “oh holy shit” factor there.

      Current score: 0
    • hyrax says:

      Yeah, with all the talk about Dee– while I agree she would be a provocative figure– I’ve been imagining what she would think about the idea. Since she moved to a majority-human surface university precisely to get AWAY from matriarchal politics, I can’t imagine her being too excited about the possibility.

      Although, who knows? (Apart from AE, obvs.) It’s been over a year since she moved up top. Maybe she’s starting to miss the game.

      Current score: 1
    • zeel says:

      I thought of her, but that seems like a real stretch. Lacks the “oh shit factor”, and I really don’t see her having any motivation to want the position (aside I guess from monetary gain).

      Current score: 0
      • Cadnawes says:

        Not that druids are known for acquisitiveness, but that model of hers would cost. I don’t actually think she’s our “oh shit” mystery guest, but I do think I would ask her if it were me.

        Current score: 0
  10. Ekuah says:

    I would vote for Dee.

    Hopefully the Treehome bitches try something stupid.
    It would be epic to see their dismissive asses smacked by an transgender-half- and an subterran- elf.

    In the end, Steff easily could find a use for their dead bodies. 😉

    Current score: 1
  11. Anvildude says:

    …We’re seeing the very first ToMu Sorority starting up, aren’t we?

    Current score: 0
    • zeel says:

      I don’t think so, I really can’t remember any mention of Sororities in the past, but there are Fraternities and I really can’t imagine nobody thinking of having a female version of the same.

      Current score: 1
  12. YoDawg says:

    Pala, Dee, and I have a feeling Two will be thrown in for good measure.

    Current score: 2
    • Yumi says:

      While she may feel Two’s a bit of a brat, I think that Glory should want her there– Two would likely greatly increase the chances of the rules being followed.

      Current score: 2
      • Glenn says:

        And Two is majoring in Domestic Arts. Being in charge of housekeeping and meals for a large wealthy household may be exactly she’s planning to do after she graduates. So she might really like being part of Glory’s court.

        Current score: 2
  13. Trent Baker aka Zergonapal says:

    Great chapter AE, a real page turner this one is.

    Current score: 0
  14. scifi_chic says:

    “a party in my house while i’m not there” – I’m?

    “returning the wednesday before classes resume”, “we get back on wednesday the thirty-first” – Wednesday, or should it be an in-verse word?

    Current score: 0
  15. Arancaytar says:

    “I mean, your building isn’t a dead body, so I’m not sure what exactly she would do with it that you might not approve of.”

    That makes me wonder. If buildings can come alive, then why couldn’t they be undead?

    (…second thought, regarding Oberrad itself: I wonder if there is any chance of it accidentally gaining a mind thanks to the remodeling. Because that’d be pretty cool.)

    Current score: 0
  16. Arancaytar says:

    She had a full-body flinch when she said Callahan’s name. It was the most animated I’d ever seen her face.

    Understandable, given what Callahan is capable of and what she thinks of elves.

    I’m not sure why Glory seems to consider Steff closer to Callahan than Mack is, though.

    “The name translates to death of the deathless. It’s a new figure who popped up sometime in the last half millennium or so, an avatar of death who slays immortals… the least gods and the greatest dragons, elves, demons… anything without a lifespan. We call it thanato ton athanton…death of the undying.”

    … yep, that’s her.

    (I love that we’re getting some more exposition about her! 😀 )

    Current score: 1
    • Mickey Phoenix says:

      I like knowing that the god she killed was very much a lesser god, because it helps me to scope her power level. I also like knowing that she’s probably around 500 years old.

      What I want to know now is her entire back-story. What caused her to turn out as a god-killer?

      Current score: 0
  17. Arancaytar says:

    “Still… what about a couple more people?” I asked. “If it’s people who are going to be staying on campus to begin with, you won’t necessarily have to pay them that much… again, and this is speaking from experience, just the chance to stay in a place with a little more privacy and a few nicer amenities than the standard holiday accommodations might be a considerable incentive.”

    An image of a person came into my head as I described this.

    Yes, I suppose if Glory is serious about the whole “all races welcome”, you might as well go all the way and invite Dee.

    “you think Ian shacking up with me for a few nights could be another crack in the, uh, d…”

    “…if you know what I mean.”

    Current score: 0