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  1. Long Game 65 Aftermath - Empty Chairs at Empty Tables The Horse and Four was quiet, this time of night. Even the most industrious drinkers had finally gone to bed, preparing for the next day’s dawn, and only a couple of students hard at work due the next day were still awake. So no one noticed, when the wind outside started to pick up. No one noticed when something small landed on the roof with a dull thump. But everyone noticed when the bone-tar exploded. It tore a hole in the roof, killing most of the top floor instantly, and the wooden building quickly caught fire. People on lower floors came out of their rooms, curious what all the noise was about, and the cry of “Fire! Fire!” soon had them rushing out the doors of the inn - where they found themselves buffeted by a strong wind pushing them back. Some escaped the building, those strong enough to make it through the wind, but others couldn’t - they ran to other doors, frantic to find a way out, but there was not, and that time cost them. Vol knew what this was, could tell from the smell of the fire, and wanted to find the source of whoever had been mad enough to bring bone-tar into a crowded inn. But Inesta, Vol’s bodyguard, had been purchased for just this purpose - that is, common sense. “No,” she said firmly. “The building is on fire, and we are leaving.” And with that, she hoisted Vol up on her shoulder and ran out. Arael Solon made it out - barely. He had been only a floor below the top one, and woke up in a bed already on fire. The use of the Name of Fire pulled the flames away from him, but his skin was already scorched black in places. He managed to call upon Wind to take him away, but his wounds were severe enough that even with the Medica could not be certain he would fully recover. Vol, Kendel, and Bryn Aria stood before the Horns together. Vol looked absolutely murderous, while Bryn Aria had a slight smirk on her face and Kendel just looked confused. Master Veitch stood to speak. “You are a disgrace to this University. You used the learning you’ve had here to destroy an entire building and kill many of those inside it, for no reason you can explain. You are hereby expelled from the University, and we have decided that Vol and Kendel will also be lashed as an example to others. Bryn, consider yourself lucky to have only been expelled.” Vol started to argue, “But Mas-” “Dismissed.” The Master Linguist sat down and turned his eyes to his fellow Masters, clearly ignoring them. Vol still looked angry, but Bryn Aria tugged on a sleeve and Vol reluctantly turned to follow. The doors closed behind them with a dull, final thud. A few minutes later, the doors opened again, and a slender figure slipped in. “Ah, Rath, welcome back,” Master Leo said genially. “Hard to believe it’s a new term already, isn’t it?” Rath nodded. “Excited to be back, sir.” “Good, good. Now, I suppose we should get on to the testing...” Arael paid little mind to Leo’s question, instead staring at Rath. Could he be a Skindancer? Could one of his fellow Masters? Some of them had been acting odd lately, and he’d noticed Rath a few places he shouldn’t have been. He stared down at his burnt, nearly-unusable hands. He was close to cracking, he knew. He’d used too many Names, too fast, and now it was only a matter of time before he went fully insane. He had to find the Skindancers before that. He shuddered to think what a Skindancer Master Namer could do with that power, especially if some of the Masters were already Fae. Arael Solon closed his eyes. Okay then. Here goes. When it was his turn to question Rath, he stood. Then Arael Solon, Master Namer, called on Blood. He could feel the blood running through his veins, and the blood of everyone else in the room pulsing and pumping and constantly flowing. He named Water next, focusing on the blood he could sense, and urged it to heat up, flow faster - that was when the other Masters started to react, to demand to know what he was doing and telling him to stop. Then Iron. Iron on the doors, sealing them closed. Iron on the swords, the grams, warping them into uselessness. If he was going to do this, no one would escape. Finally, Arael Solon named Fire. And every droplet of blood in that room boiled. They screamed then, but not long. Arael tried to stay silent, but the pain was too intense - after a moment he screamed too, and his was the last to ring out in that room. When they managed to get the doors open the next day, the corpses of nine Masters and a student were all they found. Two of the Masters were only recognizable because of their robes, though: their forms had changed upon death to be grotesque and inhuman. There was a silence over the University, and it was a silence of three parts. It was the long, sad silence of a closed University. Tables sat empty in the inns and in the Archives, a reminder of those who had gone, and the seats at the Horns were not filled again for a long, long time. It was the quiet, relieved silence at the end of catastrophe: the deaths stopped after that, and all that was left to do was bury the bodies. And it was the crackling, broken silence of a man who killed as he died. Arael Solon (Araris) went insane and died! He was a Student! Lasko Veitch (Karnage) died! He was a Student! Leo (Lopen) died! He was a Skindancer! Shard (Experience) died! He was a Skindancer! Rath died! He was a Student! Bryn Aria (Burnt) was attacked and protected! Vol (Devotary) was attacked and protected! Kendel (Elkanah) was brought on the Horns and charged with Conduct Unbecoming! He was lashed! Vol (Devotary) was brought on the Horns and charged with Conduct unbecoming. She was lashed! Kendel (Elkanah) was brought on the Horns and charged with Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Arcanum! He has been expelled! Vol (Devotary) was brought on the Horns and charged with Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Arcanum! She has been expelled! Bryn Aria (Burnt Spaghetti) was brought on the Horns and charged with Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Arcanum! She has been expelled! The Horse and Four was destroyed! The game is over. The Students have won. Player List1. @Haelbarde - Seòras Skindancer 2. @Elandera - Athdara, alchemist Student 3. @Burnt Spaghetti - Bryn Aria Student 4. @DeTess - Evelyn Bryen Student 5. @Elkanah Student 6. @Straw - Straw Student 7. @xinoehp512 Student 8. @Lord_Silberfarben - Lord Silberfarben Student 9. @Coda - Catalan, namer Student 10. @Karnage - Lasko Veitch Student 11. @Hemalurgic Headshot Student 12. @StrikerEZ - Ryykal Ladzo Student 13. @Lumgol - Caia Irèn Student 14. @Experience - Shard Skindancer 15. @Devotary of Spontaneity - Vol, paranoid alchemist Student 16. @CadCom - Cadaci Student 17. @Sart - Sagaer Murtoy, accompanied by a child Student 18. @Furamirionind Student19. @Zillah Student20. @Araris Valerian - Arael Solon Student21. @Rathmaskal - Rath Student22. @STINK - Ugfal the Three-Handed, with only two hands Skindancer 23. @Kynedath - Traelynn Weeks, likes beets Student 24. @Walin - Lin Wa Skindancer 25. @GreenRover - Knighter Nune Skindancer 26. @Young Bard - Nethwyl Nox, pyromaniac Skindancer 27. @TheMightyLopen - Leo Skindancer Spectator/Dead Doc: Tehlu's Angels Eliminator doc: Skindancer Secrets Master Spreadsheet (do not load on your phone) Congrats to everyone for playing a great game! GM thoughts and stuff to come when it's not 1:30 am. Night all, and well played!