The party head off to their elective classes to finish up their second trimester for the year. Arth, having signed up for Beginning Computational Magic, arrives at a large lecture hall to complete this written, theory-based exam. In-lore, the exam consists of a lot of mathematical equations for Arth (the character), but for Luke (the player), he is given a real-life 9×9 Sudoku puzzle to complete! Arth starts on this while we examine what the other characters are up to.
Edolkar arrives at the Prismari campus for Techniques used in Combat and Dance. Edolkar has some concerns over the exam, which he suspects will be practical. The professor, Arkin, explains the grading will be based on the ability to show a combination of combat and martial stances. Arkin pairs up students in the class which ends up with Edolkar being matched with Trix’s cousin Athena. They discuss how they proceed, until Athena tells Edolkar to follow her lead, and they begin their dancing set. Athena strikes forward at Edolkar with her daggers, which he narrowly avoids. Edolkar moves to strike back with his great sword, but misses. The “dance” continues between the two until, towards the end of the dance, Edolkar manages to launch and land a backflip. As part of completing this course, Edolkar learns Kinetic Jaunt.
Khorvus prepares for his course, Introduction to the Magic of Complements. His Kenku professor, Smart Mouth, leads pairs of students into each taking turns to praise and complement one another, to interweave their words with healing magic. Khorvus finds himself matched up with an obnoxious human named Quentillius Antiphiun Melentor III. Quentillius starts first, forgetting Khorvus’ name as well as his religious deity, and is quickly moved on. On Khorvus’ turn, he manages to lay down some complements that contain a small thread of insults, much to his professor’s amusement. Khorvus learns Healing Word from completing this class.
By this point, Arth has worked through his Computational Magic exam, and hands in his test to professor Kianne. As this is a beginner course, Arth would normally receive proficiency bonuses, but he is already proficient in the skills! Lastly, Trix warms up on the Lorehold campus for Guidelines on the Successful Exploration of Historical Sites, led by the halfling professor Marrick Deepfinder. Her exam consists of a number of physical challenges, where the student must dive, dodge and duck to avoid traps and pitfalls. While some physically larger students struggle with the exam, Trix has no problems and aces through, learning Expeditious Retreat in the process.
The party, having agreed in advance, meet up at the Bow’s End Tavern, a spot commonly visited by first-year students on the central campus. The group order some drinks and food, and discuss how their exams went. Khorvus shares his interaction with Quentillius, while Edolkar talks about his “dance” with Trix’s cousin. Edolkar is encouraged to do another backflip, but doesn’t quite stick the landing. Later, Khorvus wanders up to the small stage, where Aurora (a friend of Edolkar’s), and a half-orc named Rootha are playing. As the pair finish a song, Khorvus approaches and takes over for a while, singing Great Fireballs. Both Trix and Arth try to get him down, but Khorvus manages to get a few more songs in.
A short time later, after the party have returned to their seats, Jeremus, the gnome student on Edolkar’s Silkball team, presses through the tavern doors before collapsing on the ground, grasping for breath. Several students approach, and Khorvus casts Lay on Hands, to mitigate what Jeremus suspects is poison. Recovering slightly, Jeremus indicates the rest of the team has also been poisoned while training, asking the party to send help. A group of five first-year students make their way through the crowd and towards the door. The leader, a small goblin named Lerrv who Edolkar knows as the captain of a rival Silkball team, leads the pack. Lerrv jokingly boasts that it looks like their team will win by default in the game tomorrow as only Edolkar is left, and a team needs five. Edolkar, disgusted by his comments, intimidates him, causing Lerrv to quickly exit. As he leaves, Lerrv notes that he will never find four more Silkball players who can play. The party discuss what to do, with Edolkar finding out Darius would not be suitable given his inexperience with Silkball, or sports, or anything outside, really. Looking around the still busy tavern, the party consider some potential candidates (the terrible/uninteresting ones are not mentioned on this list)
- A handsome tiefling named Nihal.
- A young, lizard-looking humanoid drinking up stew named Snorg.
- and Aurora, Edolkar’s friend from Witherbloom.
Edolkar tries speaking with the lizard man, who continues to slurp his stew while maintaining eye contact with Edolkar. Disgusted, Edolkar walks off to find someone else. Khorvus converses with the handsome tiefling, who expresses interest in the opportunity to take his shirt off, but doesn’t have much experience, and puts himself down as a ‘maybe’. Edolkar approaches Aurora, who is packing up, and asks about her experience with Silkball and whether she can play tomorrow. She indicates she played it a while ago, but remembers most of the fundamentals. Aurora agrees to meet two hours before the game is due to start at the Silkball fields.
Grabbing Jeremus, the party venture to the Silkball fields (they probably should have done this first), to check on the rest of the team. Entering the field, they quickly find the four players keeled over, near the water barrel. The party work to treat their injuries, with Arth making use of Song of Rest. With the students stable, Darius runs off to find a nurse or teacher who can help further treat the students. The party inspect the water barrel and Trix notes this has similarities to Torpor, and expects the afflicted students to still be out of action for another day or two. Edolkar figures that it could be possible to make a similar type of poison using ingredients from Witherbloom campus, but doesn’t recall the mix. Deciding the barrel is much too dangerous to be left on the Silkball field, they pick it up and walk it back to their dormitory, marking it clearly to indicate it is poison.
As the party settle in back at the dorm, Trix writes a letter to Saffine about the Torpor-like poison to learn what ingredients would have been used to make it. Khorvus stays up late reading up on the rules of Silkball. In the morning, the party make their way to the Silkball stadium a few hours before their match against Lerrv, and wait for Aurora to arrive to help them train before the match.