Forieri di Tarocchi - Harbingers of Tarot

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  1. Arc 1
    ~ ~ ~ ~
    Celestial Dawn
    Episode 1, Trinity Institute [​IMG]
    Glimmers of light snuck past the thin veil of the classroom's curtains and shimmered as they struck the translucent figures of the room's many digital screens. It was well into the morning of a new day in a new week, where students of young and old had previously arrived at the expansive campus that defined Trinity Institute's excess funds. In comparison to the small,historic town of Yurich, Maine, Trinity Institute was a bustling scene of modernistic design and sheer expanse in terms of campus size. Unlike many similar campuses, Trinity Institute did not consist of numerous academic buildings conjoined across a span of many square miles, but rather a single behemoth which stretched both laterally and horizontally. Across the ground, co-ed dorms, divided by appropriate range of age, existed on either end of the single, steel and glass tower which boldly shot into the sky. It was in this tower where all academic lecture and research was performed; the lowest grades beginning on ground level and gradually rising to the graduate level research on the twentieth floor. Past the twentieth floor was considered restricted with seemingly no students or professors having access to its secrets. Surrounding the academic tower and its dorms were endless fields of green and brown for the various levels of athletic students and hobbyists who wished to compete in casual, intramural, or professional sport.

    Nearly every classroom was similar in nature, and the one in question was no different than its peers. Inside, several desks shared by two individuals existed with a digital screen projected above the center. The screen stretched a fair distance both ways, allowing for a potential split screen experience determined by the two keyboards on either end of the desk. The technology was state of the art and one of its kind; its inventor having come from the very institute which housed its benefits. Regardless, it was because of this classroom design that students were often assigned a partner for the entirety of the semester and potentially those to come.

    Seated at the front of the classroom was a single male individual who appeared far more bored and uninterested than he seemed excited to be there. It was as students began to slowly trickle in that he directed halfhearted acknowledgments towards the particular students who either greeted him anew or from past experiences. For first-time students at Trinity Institute, the current experience might have seemed odd as individuals from both primary and secondary educations were present in the same room. Nonetheless, it was as the clock hit nine and the classroom doors slid shut that answers began to emit from the professor's mouth.

    "Welcome, primary and secondary students.
    My name is Dr. Augustine Moon. Feel free to call me by any variation of my name and honorific.
    Some of you are probably confused as to why you're all together; however, this is by design of the Institute.
    We believe the two schools are of noticeable similarity that it is beneficial for a wider gap in age to exist for academic interaction.
    Please remember that you are no longer enrolled under the academic system of the nation. This is a unique system which has been proven to work in developing the unique qualities and traits that determine tomorrow's harbinger of change.
    Now, without further ado..."

    With the press of a key from his own computer, the professor sent a document to the screens of each desk. Immediately, the document opened and began displaying the contents that it held; a list and description for each Major Arcana which existed in a deck of tarot.

    "This course is a mandatory per-semester survey in which we will be exploring both local and global diversity through non-intensive projects. These assignments will generally stretch a single week and be due on the last day of our meeting. They will require some research from the town and the internet to successfully complete; however, they will be graded solely on effort. As such, this class is very easy to pass.
    Look to your left or right. That individual will be your partner for the rest of this semester. Occasionally, partners will join with others for large group activities; however, as a baseline expectation, you will be working in pairs.
    Everyone in this classroom is from the same dorm assignment, so there will be no complications for after class meetings."

    The professor paused to catch his breath all while gazing upon the classroom of students who mostly began acknowledging their partnered peer. The break in lecture continued for some time after until Augustine regained the classroom's attention with an explanation for their first assignment.

    "On your screen, you can see the twenty-one major arcana. This will seem familiar to those with exposure to a tarot deck; however, regardless of experience, selecting any card will give you a brief description of that card's meaning. Each group should find a single card which defines a shared viewpoint in personality, lifestyle, or any other criteria you might wish to explore.
    Once your pair has determined a single card, you are to depart from the tower and make your way into town. Along Ghast St., there will be a small store known as Ravenwood. Further instruction will be given to your pair upon your arrival.
    This assignment may seem peculiar and tedious, but it is very easy to complete. I highly recommend your pair completing the assignment and starting the year with an A. Full credit will be given upon your group's arrival at Ravenwood. Good luck and have fun."

    #1 Tsu, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
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  2. Kaede walked into the classroom wondering if she had made a wrong turn somewhere. There were a lot of people of different ages also coming in and it didn’t match her conception of a normal class. She threw an inquisitive glance towards the teacher from outside, yet he showed no signs that anything was wrong. Trusting her memory she crossed the threshold into the room and looked around for a seat. Second row, nearest to the window felt good. Personally she would have preferred to have the windows open and let the sun in but she also knew that would have made using the desk screens pretty much impossible.

    Dropping into the seat she smoothed out her clothes, today a yellow shirt and blue shorts, she dipped her head so she could get a better view of the outside. Her hair was out and loose for now, reaching down to her shoulders, and kept falling into her eyes as she peeked out requiring constant brushing to keep her vision clear. At some point someone sat down next to her and she gave them a small gesture of greeting with a wave of her hand but didn’t pay much else in the way of attention.

    It wasn’t until the teacher finally spoke that she looked up and shifted her attention to what was going on inside the room. His words explain a bit of what was going on. She’d expected something new with the change in school but Trinity had their own way of doing everything apparently. As long as it worked she was ok with it.

    The information that popped up on the screen was a bit weird in her opinion. She knew of the tarot cards but as far as she knew they were pretty much bunk in terms of anything real. Maybe the school was trying to get an idea of their personalities somehow? As the teacher continued speaking that seemed to be the case. At the teacher’s command she finally gave the person to her right a proper look. She had much longer brown hair and was white as could be, with a posture that Kaede recognised from her own time in athletics. That was a bit of luck, it gave the pair something in common already. The girl did look a bit older and taller as well.

    The class got a little weirder then, when they were instructed to go off campus as part of the project. Though … her competitive side put a grin on her face. Perhaps she could get a race out of her partner, something to liven it all up. With that in mind she worked quickly, opening links and reading as fast as she could before moving onto the next one. “Hello partner, my name is Kaede.” she introduced herself as she worked though her eyes didn’t leave the computer screen.

    When she had compiled a small list she turned to the other girl, “So I figured it would be easier if I gave you a couple of ideas with examples to pick from rather than both of us trying to match a single card. I’ve got Magician, because I’m always pushing myself to use everything I’ve got. Chariot, because I’m very focussed and well, competitive. Moon, because I feel like the card represents a journey which I can relate to, making my way past distractions. And Sun, because I’m always brimming with energy, confident to go forth no matter what. Any of those match up with you?”

    If her partner agreed with her on one of those cards Kaede would then reply with a cheeky smile, “You up for a race down to the shop? I bet we can beat everyone else here and I could use a morning warm up.”

    Site I used for definitions cause Tsu didn't include one
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  3. Kent had arrived early. It was a simple thing to do, but one that made him feel more at peace. This was his first time back in school in nearly two years; it felt natural for him to feel a bit out of place being perhaps the oldest college freshman the Institute had. He took a seat at one of the conjoined desks; the one furthest in the back, closest to the door.

    Bringing a casual novel from his bag, he took his first real glance around the classroom. A couple of nondescript students had arrived before him. Kent noticed how one seemed more around his age, while the other was noticeably younger -- at least in elementary school -- to which he quirked a brow. The man didn't mind the oddity in class formation -- to each their own, and all that -- just so long as everybody was able to keep up, he supposed to himself.

    Minutes passed, and Kent's attention could no longer be focused on his book. He had seen more and more students come through the door, and yet nobody had sat next to him. Did he stink? Was it because of how he looked? He wasn't sure. Kent knew he had showered before starting his day, and he didn't think the powder-blue dress shirt and khakis would turn anybody off from introducing themselves to him. The man took a deep breath. He was overreacting. Such was plain to understand. Though it was a reaction which felt natural for the time. Soon after, class had began, and still nobody had sat next to the older freshman. By that point, Kent had already resigned himself to the loner position that every school seemed to have.

    Stripping himself of these unpleasant thoughts, Kent began to pay attention as his new lecturer spoke -- a curiosity as to what Moon had a doctorate in passing his mind -- hands folded and expression blank until their teacher had sent information to each of the students' screens. It was high-tech stuff, and it certainly left an impression for what the rest of his year might hold. As Dr. Moon went on, Kent felt a slight panic; he was sitting alone, despite what his teacher had said. It was a panic brief until its passing, as Kent's more logical side took over. It was likely there was an absent student, a fact that solidified in his mind as he saw every other seat filled. The man was nearly at half a mind to yell at his missing partner. Honestly, a truant, and on the first day of school to boot! Though -- this being his logic, yet again -- everybody had their own life, own responsibilities and desires; who was he to judge?

    The freshman began browsing the internet for the various tarot meanings while listening as his teacher continued on. He had just made it to 'The World' when Dr. Moon had taken his exact thoughts on the assignment out of his mouth. Tedious. It was still a grade however, and Kent would be damned before he failed something so easy. He made a small list, found out the name and email of the class' sole missing student -- Daniel Nazaro; were they Hispanic, perhaps? -- and emailed him the details of the assignment and his own list, with nary a word to describe his reasons in the latter.

    With that done, he got up from his seat, and walked out of the class. Kent was fairly familiar with the town of Yurich, and he had seem that there was a nice cafe somewhere around Ghast St. They would meet there, if Daniel ever reads his messages, and then proceed to Ravenwood from there.
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  4. Iphigenia was a couple minutes early, but she was slightly on an edge. She considered herself to be quite a cosmopolitan student; the young college freshman had already been to her fair share of European and East Asian nations, and experienced a pair of school system radically different from the other. While she’d been aware of Trinity’s program and initially thought nothing much of it, when she was actually in a classroom with secondary school students, and even a primary school student or two along with her university classmates, she couldn’t help but to think she was in private school 2.0.

    After taking a gander at the state-of-the-art classroom, she made her way across the room, taking a seat by a window in a middling row. The setup of the desks was unique, leading her to skeptically wonder how much of the workstations were truly unique under their admittedly impressive hoods. The appearance of the room was not much different from the many others she had passed down the hall and other floors. This and the fact that the campus was one unified, modern building felt more and more like an American high school than a true university experience. She quickly enough dismissed her own misgivings; after all, she was here for something different, and if she didn’t like it, she could always transfer to something more familiar and equally prestigious back in England or the United States.

    Adjusting the knot of her burgundy tie as she made herself comfortable in her seat, she studied the professor that had made a low-effort in greeting the arriving students. Iphigenia had already resigned herself to the fact that he was one of the ones that were tenured and more focused on research than teaching; hopefully, later on, she could choose the professors with the best online ratings for her classes.

    She was still a couple minutes early, as evidenced by the clock on the desktop display and a mechanical watch that she kept in her jacket pocket. Bridging the couple minutes remaining to the start of class by pulling out her phone, she only briefly acknowledged the person that sat next to her until the black-haired lecturer began to speak. Shrugging off his justification for the university’s academic structure, she looked at the documents that had been pushed to her screens. Raising an eyebrow as she glanced over a list of tarot cards, she continued to listen to the professor. She’d always thought of the whole tarot card concept as being bunk and utter rubbish; in London, even though she lived in an upper class neighborhood, she would always pass a £5 tarot card reader that would nearly beg others to have their fortunes told on her morning commute to school. Having taken that as snake oil, she was ready to apply the same to this class, although she reasoned that the whole thing was likely a freshman seminar of types. It was probably just the professor’s version of a group building exercise.

    After the lecture was over, Iphigenia finally paid attention to the person sitting next to her. Shifting over slightly to look at her partner, she subtly appraised the man, looking at his white t-shirt and blue jeans. While he was dressed exceptionally plain and casually, she got a faint impression of a hooligan from him, making her frown mentally. Regardless, she offered him a mild greeting and a handshake; after all, she would probably have to be working with him for the rest of the semester.

    “Hey there. I’m Iphigenia. Let’s work together and get that A, hmm?” Taking the tarot cards as seriously as the gypsy fortune teller from London, she pointed to the picture of the Fool on the screen. “Well then, we’re all fools here, so how about this?”
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  5. Elizabeth walked the halls of Trinity Institute, making her way to her designated class. The place was bigger than she could've imagined, and the morning rush made it seem like it would be easy for one to get lost, but she managed to navigate the sea of hustling bodies. She found it interesting that it appeared that kids of all ages seemed to be entering classrooms, and hers was no different. As she crossed the threshold of her own classroom she could tell that there seemed to be a mix of students, she gave pause and looked at the teacher for confirmation that this was in fact right, but his aloof nature seemed to suggest that nothing was out of the ordinary. Elizabeth wasn't quite sure of the benefit of younger students and older students being in the same curriculum together, but she trusted that Trinity Institute had their reasons.

    She chose a seat in the second row by a younger looking girl, acknowledging the girls wave with a small smile and wave of her own. She had a thin headband in her hair to keep the long strands from obstructing her view as she stared at the monitor in front of her, the technological aspect of Trinity was unlike anything she had witnessed thus far. She couldn't help but to begin to explore the functions it had to offer. Her adventurous mind only being reeled back in as the teacher spoke.

    Tarot cards? Like fortune-telling? Elizabeth stared a bit perplexed at her screen now, trying to figure out what exactly the meaning of this was all about. Perhaps this was suppose to be some type of character-revealing exercise, Elizabeth peeked at the girl beside her and saw her typing away, seeming to hop right into it. She turned her attention to her own screen and began to slowly explore the twenty-one major arana. She couldn't help but continuously peek over at her junior, who seemed to have to move her hair from her face every now and again as she diligently went to work. Elizabeth slowly looked through the cards, finding herself eyeing the teacher a few times, trying to see if she could gauge what kind of purpose this exercise brought, but his face didn't hold the answer. She let out an audible sigh before training her eyes to the screen before her and taking not of the arcana that she thought were suitable for herself.

    There were quite a few that seemed to fit her personality type, and she wasn't exactly sure how they were going to go about deciding which one of their cards were alike, but the silence broken between them by her partner helped with that. "I'm Elizabeth, but you can just call me Liz," she had responded as she looked at Kaede, who was focused on the task at hand. A short time after Kaede again spoke to her, giving her the breakdown of what she had chosen and seeing what had matched with her own, Elizabeth pondered for a moment. "A few of yours seem to match mine, of those I choose Chariot," Elizabeth spoke with a smile.

    Kaede surely did match with Sun, she could tell from their brief interaction that the girl was certainly full of energy, and gave off the vibe of being of the athletic type. It was funny how someone with athletic background could often times point out someone like themselves when they saw them. Her guess in that area was confirmed a little later when her partner suggested a race to the shop, the secondary part of today's task. While the whole tarot cards thing had sort of thrown her for a loop, the subtle challenge to a race sparked her inner competitor and eased with strangeness of this mornings happenings.

    If Kaede agreed to the Chariot card matching, then Elizabeth would cover her mouth with her right hand to mute a chuckle. She was glad she had opted for a pair of black shorts and a simple white t-shirt. "I could use a good warm up this morning, and nothing like getting the jump on everyone else, right?". She considered that word used by the teacher when he said they were to leave the "tower", drawing her to recall the info on the card that represented it. A coincidence perhaps, as a building could also be called a tower, is what her scientific mind was telling her. However, the philosophical portion of her brain left room for the possibility of a deeper meaning, but again perhaps she was overthinking.
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  6. Jackson was, amazingly enough on time for once in his academic life. He wasn't early, and by most people's standards he was much, much too close for comfort regarding arriving on time, but for the ex-thug the fact that he had showed up before the bell at all was a step in the right direction. It was a slow but steady process, he wasn't going to turn his life around in a day after all, but every little bit helped and not being let certainly helped. Jackson looked around as the professor began to speak, taking in the students in the classroom around him. It had the expected type, the older kids and smarter ones, but there were some little elementary school students that seemed almost out of place in how young they were. Jackson briefly wondered how big of a genius they were to get into this place at such a young age, but quickly shook it off. Thinking that sort of stuff would just make his own self feel worse.

    Jackson took a seat without thinking much about it, and messed about with the digital screen for a few seconds as the teacher spoke, doing his best to pay attention to the weird sort of task sent their way. The teacher was kind of weird, he seemed to be just as bored and uninterested as half the class at being here, and he almost certainly seemed to want to be anywhere else. He wondered why a teacher would be like that, after all if your going into a teaching position shouldn't you expect to talk to people? There was also something about how he reminded them they weren't under nationalized education anymore. That felt...somewhat odd to put into a lecture of what to expect in the course. Jackson shook his head and chastised himself. He needed to stop being so suspicious of people, it was probably just to settle the nerves of some older students who had their perfect education tainted by children who had the balls to be compared to them or something like that, Jackson wasn't about to question it just then.

    He then turned his gaze to his partner, a girl about his age wearing some fancy clothes. A suit that was probably worth more than Everything Jackson wore all together and an equally fancy skirt, with a tie to top it off. Jackson looked down at his own t-shirt and jeans, which were the cleanest and honestly the best clothing he had. Was he supposed to dress up? If so he didn't have the funds or the memo to get something better. That said nobody'd pulled him aside yet and yelled at him about the dress code yet, so there was that going for him. She looked like she knew what she was doing at least, but she'd probably be pretty full of herself.

    Fortunately, Jackson appeared to be wrong, and it seemed that she cared as much about the assignment as he did, which wasn't much. felt rather silly to just pick the fool because you didn't care, even for Jackson. "Hey there Iphegenia. I'm Jackson, but most folks call me Jack." He looked at the screen for a moment, studying the pictures on each card rather than their descriptions. "What about this one? The Emperor. Dude looks like he's in charge, so he's probably worth picking." Jackson shrugged. "Fool works for me too I guess, this whole thing is kind of lame if you ask me, the cards and all that. At least if we pick Emperor they'll think we tried a little. He said the course is marked on effort right?"
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  7. Even for a town built upon a history of peculiarities, Ravenwood was a store which summoned the strangest of curiosities from its guests. Unlike anything else in town, the small hut, found at the final bend of Ghast St., abandoned all sense of civilization and embraced nature to its utmost extent. Even the store itself was covered in an aged layer of moss which was only exemplified by the numerous patches of flowers and tall grass which surrounded its grounds. At first glance, Ravenwood might have felt like a decrepit building left abandoned to the times; however, upon closer inspection, one could begin to notice the carefully, controlled chaos that defined a somewhat rampant "garden".

    No where was there a sign which described the identity of the fascinating location that guests might have arrived. Only a peculiar sense of enchantment which drew individuals forward; closer to the building whose open-entrance was met with the blended scent of herb and spice. Inside, the store's distribution was heavily biased towards a wide selection of bizarre merchandise. Fresh and dried herbs hung from the wall on the left; some of which had been ground into labeled vials of spice which lined the shelves on the store's right. Across the floor, tables of foreign talismans existed amongst a plethora of various knickknacks, including rocks, cheap jewelry, and other objects of seeming unimportance. Towards the rear of the store, a mahogany desk stood with a Shengxiao-design curtain hanging over a darkened portion of the wall. Instead of an employee of the store, on the desk was a wooden, money-filled bowl and a folded paper sign which provided instruction for any guests.

    If a customer of Ravenwood, leave the money in the bowl.
    If a student of the Institute, the race of twelve is your goal.
    One pair chosen forward, all others wait.
    Announce to your host, the choice of your fate.

    #7 Tsu, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  8. Well, her partner seemed sane enough; while she had gotten a bad vibe without speaking with him, his introduction was normal enough to not write him off just yet. “Nice to meet you, Jack. Iphigenia’s a bit of a complicated name, so you can call me Iphie or Effie if you’d like.” Looking back at the screen alongside her partner, she shrugged. “I’ve never paid serious attention to the whole fortune telling thing. If you think The Emperor is a good pick, then go for it. I think it suits me myself.”

    Nodding at Jackson, she stood up, grabbing her messenger bag that she’d hung on her seat and slung it over her shoulder. “You may say that, but you wouldn’t believe how little effort you can into these types of classes. If there’s nothing else keeping us here, shall we, then?”


    Iphigenia had a rental parked in the parking lot. Naturally, since they were in Maine and not in a major city like New York, motor transportation was almost a necessity. She hadn’t gotten around to finding a proper car yet, so a Hertz rental had to do. Regardless, it was a short enough drive downtown, enough that Iphie and Jackson could probably walk to in less than fifteen minutes if they did so at a brisk pace. Unfortunately, their final destination took them down a long, narrow road that didn’t allow a car through, so she circled around once or twice in town to find parking before setting out on foot.

    The walk to the cottage was certainly a pleasant one, reminding her of some of the more charming places in the English countryside. As they neared the shop, she admired the well-kept garden, which seemed to almost complement the aged and well-worn appearance of the shop exterior. Making a few compliments about the building to Jackson, she gestured inside before heading in. There was no sign exactly indicating it was Ravenwood, but for some reason, the aura of the place gave her the impression it was the right location and drew her in.

    Heading inside, it was indeed a store, and a peculiar one at that; it had the air of an apothecary but also seemed to have a variety of cheap garbage that could be found in a Chinatown dollar store. The furnishings of the place were quite old and well-made, however, which raised the curiosity of Iphigenia as she headed deeper into the store. Finally spotting a desk in the back of the shop, she examined the unmanned table, observing a bowl of money for an honor-system style payment and a piece of paper that seemed to tell a riddle.

    “Hey Jack, come take a look at this.”

    Calling her partner over, she mused over the paper and its riddle for a few minutes before shrugging. “Apparently we’re to call out the name of the card we chose. How about it then?” Pausing for another moment, she spoke out again with a firm and loud voice, but still suitable for indoor speaking.

    “We’ve chosen the Emperor.”

    • Keyring, with three keys and a usb stick
      A wallet, containing a pair of IDs, $290, a £10 note, a debit card, an Oyster card, and a credit card
      Nexus 5X Smartphone
      Swiss Army Knife
      Bluetooth Headphones
      A roll of gummy Lifesavers
      Hertz rental car keys
      Clicky Pilot Fountain pen
      Grand Seiko Wristwatch

    • Thinkpad laptop
      USB C charging cable
      A4 size Campus notebook
      Set of generic #2 pencils
      Pack of yuzu gummy candies
    #8 Click This, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  9. “Chariot sounds perfect.” Kaede replied to Liz’s affirmation. It was the one she thought was most fitting out of the four she had offered for herself. And it made perfect sense given the race that was about to occur. Looking around the classroom she saw that one desk was already vacant indicating its owners had left. “Looks like we’re not the first to leave, we better get going now.” Pushing out her chair she popped to her feet, “We’ll start the race as soon as we leave the classroom.” Tucking her chair back in Kaede walked over to the classroom door and waited for Liz to join her at the threshold. She put herself through a quick set of stretches, giving her partner time to do the same.

    “Ready. Set.” she counted down, “Go!” As soon as the words were out of her mouth she took off towards the buildings exit. She wasn’t going to be showing any mercy for this race, even if the pair had only just met. Rather than following the streets around the city on the ‘safer’ route Kaede went straight across the road and dived into Trinity woods, confident she wouldn’t get lost in the maze of trees or trip on any protruding roots. The latter was quickly proven wrong as almost every time she glanced back to see how close Liz was she found herself stumbling over something and almost eating shit.

    After the seventh of eight backwards glance she burst through the other side of the foliage onto Ghast Street. She’d collected her fair share of scratches on her arms and hands, and there were a few leaves stuck in her untied hair. She’d been so caught up in the race that proper running preparation had been forgotten. Without missing a beat she turned onto the pavement and took off running again. She was hoping that the shop would be obvious to an onlooker since she’d never seen it before.

    When Ravenwood came into view Kaede knew she had found it. There wasn’t any sign that displayed the name, but there was a feeling that came off the garden and building that drew her in. If she hadn’t been panting with exertion she would have felt comforted by it. Standing at the entrance to the garden she waited for Liz to catch up, however far close or far behind she had been. “Good race.” she said with a beaming smile, very happy she had won it, “Shall we take a moment to catch our breath then go in?”

    Once her breathing had returned to normal and she’d gone through another set of stretches she began the walk up the path to the building. Her arms lifted out to the sides and she took some deep breaths, enjoying the feel of the place. “This place is pretty nice, in a chaotic kind of way.” she said to her partner. There was a scent coming from the entrance and she let her nose lead her forwards. And was promptly dismayed upon entering to discover she and Liz had been beaten to the store by another pair. “How did you guys beat us?” she demanded, then sighed, “I guess we have to wait.” she said to Liz, reading the sign.

    As she read the sign on the counter the Shengxiao curtain was also in her vision and it made one part of the sign stick out. There were twenty two tarots, but only twelve Chinese zodiacs. Was this a little bit of a trick? Curious she walked over to the curtain and pulled it back, wondering if the odd wall colour around it was a sign of anything. If there was someone behind it she would say, "Hi, we chose the Chariot."
    #9 Keiro, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  10. What Kent had found was not a cafe, but a diner. It didn't really matter, however, as the place was still pleasant enough, and the mocha he had ordered tasted like barista treated their job as an art form. The man continued to read his book for the duration of the wait, and had only put it away after the stranger who was his partner sat across from him. Kent listened to Daniel's reasons for missing class, yet feigned disinterest, instead asking him if the taller man had decided from the list Kent had sent him. He hadn't, much to his senior's annoyance, but unwilling to argue over something so trivial, he just agreed to Daniel's suggestion.

    Finishing his beverage and paying his waiter the necessary amount due, the two got up and left the small Yurich Diner, walking in the direction that Kent's smartphone pointed them in. It was a pleasant day for a walk. Not too hot or cold. Sun shining through billowing clouds high up above. Then there was the occasional wind which would whip their hair about in its aimless frenzy.

    Kent had been studying his partner with a dull expression during one such drafty episode. He looks like a girl... Kent couldn't help but think, maroon tinge betraying exactly where his thoughts were wandering. During this thoughtless wondering, he had been caught, but his reaction was anything but panicked. "Cut your hair, please." His expression still dull, and his tone the opposite of asking, Kent continued to stare, not caring what Daniel may think.


    The phone's GPS had trumpeted their arrival. Ravenwood was an unassuming shop, and looked more like a witch's cottage than a proper place for doing business. However, such aesthetics felt intentional for the man; a purposeful air of mystique hanging amongst the petals of the flowers and and tips of each blade of grass. Drawing nearer to the open-entrance building Kent could see that his baser instincts were right; this really looked to be some witch's cabin. The smell of this place -- while pleasant -- was overbearing for Kent as he plucked his own nose, to soothe his own subconscious than anything. "What is this? Some kind of Ghibli film?" he said to himself, perhaps a little louder than was necessary.

    The pair could see that they were the third to arrive -- a fact that Kent held a minor resentment towards his partner for -- and that one of the girls, cut up and bruised, was already peaking her head through some curtains. He then waited, having read the strange riddle sitting on the counter, and having heard the girl announce her selected tarot.
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  11. Talk about a rush first thing in the morning, Liz's blood was pumping as she walked over to the door to the classroom and got her a few stretches to limber up. She was sure that she could take her junior in a foot race, having the advantage in stride length. However, when Kaede said "Go!", that girl was like a grey hound. At first Liz was a bit shocked to see the girl take off so quick, but then her own competitive spirit kicked in and she gave chase. Through the exit and out the door, she was easily a good 10 yards behind her junior, and seeing her partner made a break for the treeline she was sure she'd be able to make up for lost ground. Now while she wasn't exactly excited about the prospect of sprinting through the woods, the whole rabbit and fox race that they had going on made it all the more fun. She was actually smiling as she dodged around trees, hurdled raised roots, and hopped between split trees. Her gymnast background came into play heavy in this natural obstacle course, and with her eyes trained on her partner she could see that she was gaining ground. She saw her partner almost eat a few times, as she looked over her shoulder back at her, and she hoped that the girl might slip up help make the gap even smaller. It had gone from the wide gap of 10 yards to about 5 now, but as the girl was the first to leave the woods, she easily widened the gap once more.

    Bursting from the woods back on the street with a few scratches on her legs she tried to close the gap, but as they reached their destination, it was Kaede who came out on top. The girl was certainly faster than Liz would've expected. She was breathing heavily and chuckling as she finally came to a stop beside Kaede, having only been able to keep the race at a 10-yard margin. "Thanks, I didn't expect you to be that fast," Liz said between hard breaths, "Yeah, let's catch a quick breather and head on in." She was certain that even if they hadn't been the first to leave that they were surely the first to arrive, as they had not only sprinted the entire way but also taken a shortcut through the woods.

    As she caught her breath she couldn't help but to take in the sight around Ravenwood, it was quite appealing to her eye. It had the feel of a derelict space that had been repurposed by nature, so that what was once a haunting venue now had a layer of beauty about it. Or at least that was the feel that Elizabeth got from it. The flowers and tall grass the surrounded the grounds made one want to venture about and the moss-covered building only added to the beauty of the place. If she hadn't been told to come to this location and had simply stumbled upon it, she wouldn't have been able to fight the urge to explore the grounds or the building. The area seemed to have a pulling effect, perhaps it was the mysterious feel of the place or simply just her curiosity. "I agree. The place has a sort of apocalyptic beauty to it, in a way," Liz said, in response to Kaede's observation.

    Upon entering and seeing that they were beat, Elizabeth that out a small frustrated sigh. She took in the sights and smells of the inside, while keeping close proximity to her partner. As Kaede walked over to the curtain, Liz followed behind, still in a bit of a state of bewilderment as to what this all was leading up to. It seemed that a treasure hunt of some kind, and the idea was starting to grow on her a bit, she was really looking forward to what was to come next. She stood silently in observation by her partner as Kaede drew back the curtain and spoke.
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  12. Within the confines of the curtain was a small figure who sat amongst a collection of talismans and scrolls. She was a petite individual of obvious Asian heritage who seemed somewhat expectant to see the pair of students arriving at her domain. Immediately, she beckoned the pair forward all while hosting a serious expression towards the announcement of "The Chariot."

    "Determination with will and wit to overcome the struggles that might plague you so. Ask yourselves, is it through my power alone that I move forward, or do I live dependent upon the chariot of my life? Are there which I owe dependency, or perhaps, is it instead a Magician in our presence?"

    A light fit of giggles erupted from the figure as she beamed a jubilant smile towards the pair. Reaching into the confines of a nearby cupboard, she removed two small business cards which were slid in the direction that the students stood. On the cards, a large FREE MEAL ON US was printed along with the title of its host, Yurich Diner.

    "I apologize for any confusion you must be experiencing. This assignment is a little game that Dr. Moon and I play for the newcomers in lecture one. A small bonding experience for you and your partner, not to mention an opportunity to experience the town and meet your resident dorm adviser, Dr. Amelia Mu. That's me by the way."

    On the foremost scroll which lay unraveled before her, the small figure quickly blotted two ink check-marks next to the names of the students in the room. It was after doing so that she nodded their way and began pointing in the direction of wherever the meal cards remained.

    "Take advantage of those. Yurich diner is just up the road and totally worth it.
    Enjoy the rest of your day off, and be ready for the field trip tomorrow morning.
    After these first two days of fun, classes officially begin, so make sure you enjoy what's left of your break.
    Also, if you don't mind, signal the next group on your way out. Make it seem dramatic though. This is my favorite part of the semester."

    A mischievous tone layered her voice as she spoke her concluding words. Immediately, she resumed a somewhat meditative state of being which returned the air of mystery that enveloped her room. It was now obvious the feigned charade was an traditional pastime; a silly experience that was all but serious for the pair of students who, thereafter, walked away from the store.
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  13. Jackson was surprised that they were driving, most students seemed to have the idea that walking was the best idea from the way some of them raced off along the sidewalk. As he followed Iphie towards the he couldn't help but wonder how much money she had. A nice looking car rental wasn't exatly cheap and he had a feeling that whatever was in that messenger bag was probably worth a fair amount of cash as well. Jackson himself didn't have any bags to take with him, so he had little problem getting going towards the car. Jackson stared out the window as Iphie drove to Ravenwood, wondering just what kind of store it would be with such an odd name.


    When they were inside the store, Jackson stood staring at all the charms and intricate designs. The shop was certainly an odd one for all the nature surrounding it. Jackson was comfortable enough to let Iphie do the talking, only to discover moments later that they hadn't quite reached the right location, another pair going forward and entering whatever was behind the curtain. Jackson glanced back at the mysterious riddle and frowned, guess they'd have to wait.

    When the other pair left the room, Jackson gave them both a nod, doing his best to look friendly. He tapped Kaede on the shoulder as she walked past. "We drove." The answer was, of course to the question that she had asked earlier about how on earth they'd been able to beat them to the store. That said it seemed like whatever they did back there was finished, so Jackson took the initiative and followed the previous group's suit. He stepped through the curtains and called out, "Uh...hello? We chose the Emperor."
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  14. The arrival of the second pair was met with a similar expression from Dr. Mu; however, unlike the immediate fortune which was spoken to the former, a perpetual stare was directed Jackson's way. It was only after several minutes had passed that the doctorate seemingly regained her composure and began speaking in the exaggerated tone of her farce.

    "An emperor stands before us, proud, yet out of idle laze do both step forward on equal ground.
    A hanged man unrecognized till eyes forced open.
    Will he and death, walk a lonely road?"

    The spoken words were void of humour, yet it was joyous laughter which filled the room shortly after Dr. Mu's statement. Similar to before, she immediately reached towards the nearest cupboard where she retrieved another pair of FREE MEAL cards and slid them in the direction of her guests.

    "As a complementary gift for coming this way, have a free meal on me, Dr. Amelia Mu.
    If you haven't realized by now, there was no real meaning behind coming to Ravenwood. It was nothing more than a little game that Dr. Moon and I like to play at the start of a new semester.
    It helps new students get acclimated in their new environment, and it forces partners to interact.
    The rest of the day is yours to entertain; however, I recommend taking advantage of the diner's free meal. You won't be disappointed.
    Regardless, we'll meet again on tomorrow's class trip, and when you leave, if you could send in the next pair? Just try and play along. Its not often that I get to enjoy myself in a semester.

    Overall, Dr. Mu's explanation seemed nothing more than ordinary conversation; however, were either individual paying attention to her tone of voice, one might have noticed a sense of urgency layered deep within her words. Nonetheless, such an observation would have seemed entirely fleeting as she immediately resumed her meditative state in preparation for the next set of guests to arrive. That being said, there was less than a minute gap between the departure of the previous group and the arrival of the next; an occurrence which caused Dr. Mu's expression to flash with a sense of annoyance. Regardless, any emotion was once again fleeting as she soon found herself listening to the announcement that came from one of the two boys.

    "Temperance is but a sign for those who heed it. Two souls clad under the will of the Empress.
    The time will come, the Tower's upheaval. Let it be known, the birth of the Priestess."

    There was no laughter following her third fortune. Rather, a serious expression that left her seemingly lost in her thoughts. As time passed, an obvious air of concern began to brew in the air; however, without giving any time for questions, the doctor immediately tossed a pair of coupons in the direction of the boys before storming towards the exit with her final words.

    "Thank for participating in Dr. Moon and I's annual game.
    Enjoy a free meal on me, and I'll see you boys at tomorrow's class trip.
    If you'll excuse me for now."
    #14 Tsu, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  15. Jackson was...confused about the reading, he didn't quite understand it, or for the most part any reason for it to exist in the first place. The whole thing was surreal, some kind of weird game? Jackson was confused about the whole event, but decided that putting it all behind him wasn't that bad of an idea. Food was a nice sort of way to apologize as well for the run around, and it wasn't like the reading was mean in any way, or so Jackson thought. Their dorm leader was a bit of an odd woman, but Jackson had dealt with weirder types of people before in his life. He gave Iphie a shrug before leading the way out of the store, where he saw the two girls who got their before him leaving ahead.

    "Hey! Wait up!" He said, doing his best to show a smile. "You talked to that weird woman right? What kind of riddle crap was that anyway?" He held out the "Free Meal" ticket for hte other group to see. "You guys got one of these things too right? She's probably giving them out to everyone. We're all heading the same way then right? I don't know about you guys but I'm starved...and I've never been one to turn down a free meal." Jackson looked between the three of them, then remembered he still hadn't given his name to the two other girls. "By the way, My name's Jackson, but most people call me Jack."
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  16. Kaede was both surprised and happy to see her guess was right, though she hadn’t entirely been expecting to find a person hiding behind the curtain. She took a step forward at the woman’s beckoning and waited to listen to what she had to say. At first it sounded like something profound was being said, reaching deeper into the meaning of their choice. Especially with the mention of the magician that had also been in Kaede’s list. Then all of that was washed away as the woman smiled and erupted into a giggling fit. The vision of a mystical fortune-teller was replaced by that of a common teacher.

    She took the offered voucher from Amelia and memorised the directions she stated. A field trip sounded like fun, as long as there was an emphasis on the field part. She didn’t feel like there was much point in leaving the classroom if all you did was go to another room in a different building. At Amelia’s final words Kaede nodded and took a deep breath, ready to put on a little performance.

    Raising a hand to her forehead she stumbled backwards and feigned amazement as if the woman’s words had truly been prophetic, “Such knowledge, how could she know!” Flinging her hand off her forehead she pointed her finger directly at Iphie, “It has been foretold you will receive the portents next!” Hopefully that would be enough to put a little wonder and curiosity in the next pair. As she was on the way out she felt one of the other tap her shoulder and comment on the fact they drove. She stopped in her track, hands on hips and said, “Well that’s just cheating.”

    As she was on the way outside Kaede held up the free voucher and turned to Liz, “After that race I certainly can’t turn down an offer to go straight to a meal.” For a second it crossed her mind to ask for another race but maybe that would be pushing it, “Willing to join me?” she asked simply instead. She was interrupted then by the group that had come after them. The boy who spoke looked like the rougher type, though he was trying to be friendly at the very least. “Just a little fun on her part.” she replied to his initial question. And what was the harm in getting to know a few more of her classmates. “I was about to head there myself, just waiting to see if Liz wanted to. I’m Kaede.”
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  17. Kent waited patiently with his partner for the first group to finish with... well, whatever it was they were there to complete. It felt strange that their very first assignment brought them all to such an out of place shop, and the man couldn't help but wonder who the proprietor was for the class to be directed here. Daniel had been as silent as him insofar, though it wasn't as if Kent had had been the most friendly to his younger compatriot. This was fine by him, he would prefer to read anyhow.

    When the first group had finished, he watched as the younger, battered girl emerged from the curtains and put on her theatrics; overacting was the word that came to mind. As the second pair went behind the curtains, Kent gave the girl a blank look. "What are you? Stupid?" There wasn't malice in his voice, but more of a double-edged worry; a genuine concern as to whether she was touched in the head.

    With the second group done -- and without the grand acting that had come from the first group -- it was him and Daniel who were next. They stepped through the curtain and Kent announced their chosen tarot: "Temperance."


    Kent was briefly amused how the lady had appeared flustered with their sudden intrusion; enough that she appeared to have left the shop. Who even was she? Kent thought, peering back. The two had just regrouped with the rest as they were talking about how to spend their newly acquired coupons. On the reverse of the riddle-paper, he began to write with a marker from his bag. "The coffee's good." He said, neither denial or affirmation as to whether he would join them, despite not having personally received an invitation. Whenever the rest of the group had decided what it was they were doing, Kent would join them, whether they were willing for his company or not.

    His note on the paper read:
    ~Customers: Please leave money in the bowl.
    ~Trinity Students: Owner isn't here right now. Please come back later.
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  18. Apparently, they were not supposed to just shout out their choice aloud, but to actually enter the curtains behind. The duo was the first to arrive, with a pair of girls coming in just shortly afterwards. Although she didn’t pay too much attention to them initially, Iphigenia raised an eyebrow in minor irritation as they plowed right on through the oriental-styled curtain and was greeted by a voice behind them. “Rubbish. We were here first,” said Iphie with a shake of her head. It was not a big deal in the end though, as the wait wasn’t too long before a scratched up girl and her blonde partner popped out the room. “Okay.” Raising her eyebrows as the former passed on some chuuni words, she lifted the cloth and followed Jackson inside.

    Shuffling in behind her partner, she looked around discretely at the room’s curious furnishings. Surrounded by east Asian talismans and oriental scrolls was a small Asian woman, sitting in the center of the room. If she was a fortune teller, she actually looked the part, at least more than a teenager sitting on a pound store stool on the streets handing out fortune reading fliers.

    The fortune, poem, riddle, or whatever it was she was given was interesting to say the least, especially in light of the fact that the three of them spent an uncomfortable several minutes in silence, with the lady giving her assignment companion a thousand-yard stare. Iphie was brazen enough to even consult her watch hidden away in her pockets, confirming that their silence was well over the time that the other group had spent in their turn. When she finally broke out of whatever spell she was in she spoke in an almost artificially exaggerated tone. It was clearly intended to be mystical in nature, but moments later, the woman was full of laughter, pushing what appeared to be free meal coupons towards the duo. What followed was a normal enough introduction. It felt genuine and chippy, but underneath her words, there was a subtle tone of ominous urgency that felt suspicious, particularly given their initial interactions mere moments before.

    Iphigenia handed off the job of playing along with the others to Jackson. Being polite, she dropped off a five-dollar note in the bowl as she left, chuckling at her partner’s response to Kaede. Despite her mirth, the interaction stayed in the back of her mind. While she took no seriousness in her exaggerated words, the stares and her tone continued to leave her on an edge. Soon enough though, she jumped in to introduce herself to the girls Jackson was talking to, who seemed to have stayed in the area in addition to a pair of newcomers. Using the same spiel as she’d given to Jack, she offered them to call her by Iphie or Effie before moving on to the more pertinent business of food. “Does everybody here want to get lunch together, then?” Nodding at Kent, she continued, “Is it typical American diner faire, or something unique?”

    • Keyring, with three keys and a usb stick
      A wallet, containing a pair of IDs, $285, a £10 note, a debit card, an Oyster card, and a credit card
      Nexus 5X Smartphone
      Swiss Army Knife
      Bluetooth Headphones
      A roll of gummy Lifesavers
      Hertz rental car keys
      Clicky Pilot Fountain pen
      Grand Seiko Wristwatch
      FREE MEAL voucher

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    #18 Click This, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  19. Whether it was their fortune, a riddle, some mumbo jumbo that meant nothing, or something else entirely, the lady’s reaction to it seemed to clear away the haze that had lingered on Daniel’s mind. He just managed to catch the coupon before it fluttered to the ground, and the door swung shut just as he looked up. A glance at his partner was followed up with a slight shrug before Daniel followed after Kent back past the curtains.

    Rolling his neck to work out a kink he felt, Daniel paused and quirked an eyebrow as one of the girls dropped off a bill in the bowl. Guess she must have had money to spare or something; it wasn’t something that he spent more than a brief thought on. His attention on the rest of the students now, he spoke up to answer for his partner. “Typical, but the cook usually has a daily dish or two. Pretty sure it’s whatever he feels like making, so it’s rather random.”

    With that said he was about to examine the coupon, but paused and bowed slightly to those present. “Sorry I wasn’t at class earlier and if I missed any of your names because of that. Daniel, but Dan works too.” He brushed one of the bangs to his side as he stood straight up again and glanced at the other four, besides Kent, that were present.

    With a light shake of his head Daniel tossed his ponytail over a shoulder and ran a hand through it a few times, frowning slightly whenever he hit a knot. He didn't let the task occupy all his attention, gesturing in the direction of the diner as if asking if they should go, but he did pull a small comb from the pocket of his jacket. Then came the task of working out the knots and tangles; annoying at best, downright frustrating other times. It wasn't like he hadn't considered Kent's suggestion several times, but in the end he always decided to keep it long as it was.

    • Wallet (IDs, Credit & Debit Cards, Bus Pass, $40, various receipts)
      Oneplus 2
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      Carabiner (Keys)
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      Peppermint Gum (10 Pieces)
      Small Comb
      Memo Book + Fountain Pen
  20. Iphigenia shrugged at the latecomer. “I suppose I know what to expect, then. Thanks.” Although she made casual remarks to Daniel, she was surprised to see that he was a guy. Had he not spoken and revealed his voice or name, she would have thought he was another girl based on his feminine features and long, well-kept hair. The group they had was certainly quite the diverse one; hopefully for better, and not for worse. After a few more minutes of mulling about, seeing that nobody had moved much, the British girl decided to lead the charge back down the road to town for food and drinks.

    The restaurant, creatively named Yurich Diner, was not too difficult to find. Conveniently, she found that she’d parked the rental nearby, only a block away. Making a mental note of that, she hurried on over to the diner.

    Operating on the assumption that everybody in the small group would be joining for lunch, Iphie requested and was seated for a table of six. As expected, the establishment was a typical American diner experience, complete with mid twentieth century style décor and classic fountain soda machines. Large windows provided a wide vista of the quaint little town, and with sunlight streaming through them during their lunch service, it was quite the pleasant atmosphere.

    Taking a seat by the window, she grabbed the pile of menus and handed them to everybody as they sat down. Only quickly browsing the menu for a couple minutes, Iphigenia had already decided on steak and eggs for lunch but politely waited for everybody else to finish deliberating before she called the waitress over.
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