• Solo • Story Time

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Story Time

Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:53 pm


73rd Vhalar, 718

"Can you help me with my homework?"

Ari'sora looked up from the bottle she had been washing to see Lira looking up at her hopefully. Lira was five arcs old, and had just started school. She was a bright young Sev'ryn girl who had been living at the orphanage ever since it had opened. She had a sense of curiosity that rivaled Ari'sora's. But like her, the little girl had to be interested in what she was doing in order to be able to focus on it properly. The two of them had struck up a friendship of sorts. Lira looked up to her as something of a big sister, and Ari'sora loved spending time with the young girl.

"Sure. What do you need help with?"

"Common Sign."

Ari'sora blinked as she tried to remember what little she knew of the language.

"Common Sign is a language of gestures rather than words, if I remember right. And it is used all over the world."

That much she remembered from reading a book about unusual languages several arcs ago. Unusual in this case being that it was a gestured language rather than one that was spoken, or written. Lira nodded, and beamed at Ari'sora.

"That's right. My teacher says that since it is used all over the world, it is a very useful language to know. Just like Common is."

Ari'sora nodded, flinching inwardly at the reminder that she hadn't spent as much time as she'd wanted to practicing her Common lately.

"Why does your teacher want you to learn Common Sign? Aren't you a little young to be learning new languages in school?"

"She says that it's easier for kids to learn new languages than it is for adults to do it, and she thinks that everyone should be fluent in at least three languages; Common, the language native to their people or city, and at least one other. But she wants us to learn Common Sign because one of our classmates is deaf. Common Sign can be used to "talk" to someone who can't hear, so if we all learn it, we will be able to talk to her."

That was a very good reason to learn a language, and Ari'sora told Lira as much. The young girl agreed with her.

"So what are you having trouble with?"

"There's just so much that I need to learn. Look. Here's the alphabet for Common Sign."

Lira opened one of her text books to show Ari'sora what she wanted her to see. There were twenty six signs, one for each letter in the Common alphabet.

"If you know the alphabet for Common Sign, you can use it to spell words out. That's one way of "speaking" in Common Sign. But that can take a really long time to do. So there's also a lot of signs different words that you have to learn. See?"

Ari'sora did see. In addition to the alphabet signs, there were pages, and pages of signs. It seemed like a lot of work for a child as young as Lila. But when Ari'sora looked in the young girl's eyes, she didn't see boredom, or frustration. Instead, she saw the spark of sheer delight that Ari'sora felt when she was trying to learn a new language. She could also see the sheer determination to succeed. It was clear to Ari'sora that Lira loved the thought of learning a new language as much as she did.

She flipped back to the page where the signs for the alphabet were printed. That seemed like the best place to start, and she told Lira as much. Ari'sora did what she could to help Lira learn the alphabet signs by demonstrating them by copying what she saw in the book. They made a game of it. When Lira needed help forming the signs correctly, Ari'sora would help her by moving the young girl's fingers into the positions that were shown in the book. And in doing so, she found herself picking up several of the signs herself.

"So in Common Sign, your name would be..."

Ari'sora studied the images on the page intently as she made the four letter signs that made up Lira's name. She didn't want to get it wrong. Lira giggled.

"And your's would be...umm..."

Lira did the same thing that she had; use the book as a guide to choose the letter signs she wanted. Ari'sora grinned at her as she nodded.

"That's right."

Lira beamed at her.

"There's more to it than that, though. Cause if you had to spell out every word using the letter signs, it would take forever just to "say" a single sentence. Using just the letter signs would be like talking in baby talk."

"That's what the other signs are for, right?"

"Right. But if you know someone really well, you can give someone a nickname if you use the first letter of their name, and a sign or two that tells others who they are. Like this."

Lira flipped through the pages, clearly searching for a particular sign.

"I can call you this."

Ari'sora recognized the letter sign A, but she had no idea what the other two signs the little girl had used were.

"I chose the A sign for your name since Ari'sora starts with A. Then I used the sign for wing cause you have wings, and the last one was for book since you love to read and learn new stuff. See?"

Lira giggled, and Ari'sora grinned at her. The little girl knew her well. Ari'sora found the signs Lira had told her about in the book. She practiced making them a couple of times, then signed her name back to the young child. Lira giggled again, and nodded. Ari'sora turned her attention back to the book. One of the signs Lira had used would work for Lira as well; "book." That was because they shared a love for learning. She also chose the sign for cat because Lira was as curious as a cat.

"I think your name sign should be this." she said, making the signs once she was confident that she could do it.

"The sign for L, of course. Then "cat" because you are as curious as a cat, and then "book" because you love learning new things as much as I do."

Lira squealed in delight. She practiced her new name sign several times before lunging at Ari'sora, and giving her a huge hug.

"Thank you so much! You helped me a lot with my homework! I was 'posed to make a name sign for myself, and to learn the first five alphabet signs."

"I'm glad that I could help. Do you have any more homework that you need help with?"

Lira nodded.

"Math. We have to do the problems on these three pages."

Ari'sora had to resist the urge to shudder. She hated math. She was horrible at it, and she wasn't at all certain that she would be of much help to Lira.

"Why don't I help you with that, Lira?"

"Miss Nats!" Lira exclaimed in delight.

Ari'sora gave the older woman a relieved look. Nats Bettes, or Miss Nats as the children called her, was the teacher at Luna's Dream. She didn't talk much outside the classroom, but she knew her stuff. And she was very good at math...unlike Ari'sora. With her arrival, Ari'sora felt as though she had been let off the hook. Nats glanced at Ari'sora with a measuring look.

"You're welcome to join us if you want to, Ari'sora. You might even learn something." the teacher said with a gentle smile that was usually reserved for the children living at the orphanage.

Sometimes, Ari'sora got the feeling that Nats saw her as one of those children. There were times when Ari'sora wondered if she was right. She certainly felt as helpless as a child some trials. Mathematics really wasn't something that Ari'sora would normally try to learn more about. She found the subject to be horribly difficult, and just as boring as it was hard. But working at Luna's Dream meant that there would be a lot of trials like this when she would be asked for help with homework. And she would be failing her duties if she was unable to provide that help when asked.

"I think I will." Ari'sora said with a weak smile.

"So which problems are you having trouble with, Lira?"

"All of them!" Lira cried in frustration.

"Why don't we start at the beginning, then? This first page had addition problems for you to solve. And for those, it is often useful to use something you can see as an example. What is the first problem?"

Lira looked at the page before turning back to her teacher.

"Two plus three."

"Very good. In some ways, addition is a fancy way of counting. If you think of it like that, it may be easier for you to learn. We can use these marbles to show you what I mean."

Nats placed two marbles on the table.

"How many marbles do you see?"

Lira gave her a funny look.


Nats grinned at her. Then the placed three more marbles on the table a little further away from the first two.

"Now how many marbles are there?"

Lira's eyes lit up as she counted them.


Nats nodded, and smiled to show that the little girl was right.

"So what is the answer to two plus three?"


"Very good, Lira. When you are adding something, the answer is always greater than the numbers you started with in the problem itself. That is because you are adding one number to another to get your answer...like counting. Do you think you can do the rest of the problems on the first page by yourself while I talk to Ari'sora? You can use the marbles in this bag to help you, and I will check your answers when you're done, okay?"

Lira nodded, and got to work. Ari'sora noticed that Nats watched her complete the second problem before turning back to her.

"Thank you for offering to help Lira with her math homework." Ari'sora said quietly.

Nats studied her for several trills.

"When you first started working here, I was told that you had never been to school before. Is that true?"

Ari'sora nodded. She stared at her hands uneasily, as if they were suddenly the most interesting things in the whole world. Nats hesitated before continuing.

"How much math do you know?"

Ari'sora scowled in embarrassment.

"Not much. Probably not a whole lot more than Lira does, actually." she muttered.

Nats nodded.

"I thought as much. That's why you looked so trapped when Lira asked you for help with her math homework."

Ari'sora flushed, but she didn't deny it. She had certainly felt trapped when she'd been asked for help with math. Nats offered her a kind smile.

"Would you like a lesson while Lira is working on her homework?"

"Want" wasn't exactly the word Ari'sora would have chosen, but she nodded anyway. As much as she hated math, it seemed unlikely that she could go through her whole life without needing it.

"I would like that, thanks."

Nats smiled in approval of her decision.

"I'll need to know exactly how much you know if I am to help you."

Ari'sora thought about it for a few trills.

"Well...I can count well enough. I can make change when I'm spending nels, but if there's a lot, that can be hard for me. And I can do really simple stuff like adding two plus three."

"Hmm. I think I will start you with some basic multiplication and division, then. If that's too difficult, let me know. I can start you with some addition and subtraction that is a little more advanced than what Lira is working on until we figure out what your exact level of comprehension is."

Ari'sora nodded. Then she frowned.

"Multiplication is...fancy addition, right? Kinda like addition is like a fancy way of counting?"

"Well...sort of. At the very root it is. In multiplication, you are adding the second number in the problem to itself the same number of times as the first number in the problem. So using six times three as an example, you are adding the number three to itself six times to get a total of eighteen. Does that make sense?"

"I think so. It's a faster way of adding. Sort of. Six times three is the same as three plus three plus three plus three plus three plus three?"

"That's right. Now division is the opposite of multiplication. So if you have to solve fifteen divided by five, the answer would be three. Can you tell me why?"

Ari'sora thought about the question for a few bits. Five times three would be fifteen because five plus five plus five is fifteen. She knew that by counting it in her head. And if the opposite of multiplication was division...

"It's because five goes into fifteen three times? So since five plus five, plus five, or five times three is fifteen, then fifteen divided by five is three?"

Nats grinned at her, and Ari'sora felt a rush of pride to know that she had gotten it right.

"Yes, that's it exactly. Do you want to work on some problems on your own while Lira works on hers?"

"Sure. And thanks again for doing this. You're explanations are a lot easier to understand than the book I had to try to learn it from when I was a kid."

Nats opened another book up to a page that had a mixture of multiplication and division problems on it, and left Ari'sora to her work. Ari'sora still struggled a bit, but that was because she felt guilty for having the lesson while she was working, and because she kep trying to see how Lira was doing. Even with her distractions, she didn't need much more time than Lira did to finish. Nats's explanations really had helped. Of course...she had also had fewer problems than Lira had to finish.

"I finished with the first page, Miss Nats."

The teacher checked the young girl's work, and Ari'sora hoped that she had gotten them all right. It felt good to do well at something, and Ari'sora wanted her friend to have that feeling of accomplishment.

"Very good, Lira. You got them all right."

Ari'sora grinned when Lira cheered. The teacher gave the child a few bits to celebrate her success before claiming her attention once more.

"Did you take a look at the second page of problems, yet?"

Lira nodded.

"Yes. But they have a minus sign, not a plus sign. So they're sub...sub...minus problems?"

"Subtraction, and yes they are. Addition and subtraction are two very different things. Subtraction problems give you an answer that is less than the numbers involved in the problem itself. So instead of adding something, you are taking it away. Do you want to try the first problem on your own?"

Lira's reply was to bend her head over the page, and start working. Ari'sora had learned a little about subtraction back when she had tried to teach herself as a child. But Nats's explanation was a lot easier for her to understand. It helped her to realize that just as division and multiplication were opposites, addition and subtraction were as well. Sort of, anyway. One added something to what was there before while the other took something away.

Ari'sora watched Lira work for a while, but when she heard what sounded like a dish breaking in the kitchen, she found herself thanking Nats hastily as she ran off to see what had happened.

Off Topic
This post covers the following challenges:

Growth Challenges

3. Expand your characters knowledge on something they wouldn’t normally try to learn about. (identify what that is, then gain 5 knowledges in it. These can be skill or non-skill knowledges)

*Knowledges learned for the challenge: Mathematics: in addition, the answer is always greater than the numbers you started with in the problem itself, Mathematics: addition is fancy counting, Mathematics: subtraction problems give you an answer that is less than the numbers involved in the problem itself, Mathematics: multiplication is a more complex version of addition; you are adding the second number in the problem to itself the same number of times as the first number in the problem - so in 6X3, you are adding 3 to itself 6 times, and Mathematics: division is the opposite of multiplication

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Re: Story Time

Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:04 am


The sight that greeted her when Ari'sora reached the kitchen was pure chaos. A dish had broken; that much was clear. It was the sugar bowl. And from what Ari'sora could see, it had exploded against the wall when someone had thrown it. Allanor looked at her with wide eyes, and a tentative, sheepish grin.

"Kelf wanted to see a blizzard for himself. This was the best I could do." the young boy told her.

Kelf was only three arcs old. His parents had been merchants from the Hotlands when they were alive, so he had never seen snow before. At ten arcs, Allanor was several arcs older than Kelf. But the two were close friends, and Allanor was a goodhearted boy who took it upon himself to be the "big brother" of all of the younger kids living in the orphanage. Both of them were covered with sugar, as was most of the kitchen.

Ari'sora tried to look stern...she really did. She was the adult here, after all. That meant that she wasn't supposed to encourage this kind of behavior. But knowing that wasn't enough to suppress the urge to giggle at their antics.

"Why don't I just help you guys clean this up, okay?"

The two kids gave her a relieved look. Ari'sora gave Allanor the broom, and a dustpan to Kelf. Then she got to work picking up the glass. Once she was finished with that, she helped the kids sweep up the remaining sugar before she chased them out to play so she could give the floor, chairs, table, counters, and stove top a good washing. Sugar was sticky, and unless she did a really through job, she would be left with a huge sticky mess. It was just easier to do the real clean up herself rather than have a couple of kids getting underfoot. But that didn't mean that they hadn't had to learn a lesson about making the mess to begin with.

It took her a few breaks to get everything cleaned up to her satisfaction. When she did, she returned to where she had left Lira working on her math homework under Nats' watchful eye.

"How are things coming?" she asked with a smile.

Lira grinned at her.

"I'm all done! Miss Nats is a really good teacher!"

Ari'sora grinned back.

"I'm sure she is."

"Will you tell me a story now that I'm finished, Ari'sora? Pretty please?"

It was a request that she couldn't refuse.

"Of course I can. Why don't you go tell the others, and I will meet anyone who is interested in hearing a story in the story corner five bits from now?"

Lira cheered, and raced off. Nats watched her go with a bemused expression.

"You can come too, if you want." Ari'sora offered.

"I'm really not that good at telling stories, though. But the kids seem to enjoy it, and that's what's important."

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Re: Story Time

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:00 pm


When Ari'sora made her way into the common room, and sat down in the "story" chair, she found that many of the children were waiting for her. That didn't surprise her. Most kids loved a good story, after all. What did surprise her was that Nats had joined them. In her experience, the teacher usually preferred her own company when not teaching the children.

"What would you like to hear today?" she asked once everyone was settled down.

"Your story!" the children chorused excitedly.

This caused Nats to frown in confusion.

"Your story?" she asked.

Ari'sora nodded.

"I've learned that the kids like to hear stories that you make up for them even more than the ones that can be read from books. Those, they can read on their own whenever they like. And if you make a story up for them, you can tailor it to your audience. That way, they feel like they are a part of the story. It's a trick of sorts, but it is a very effective one."

Nats nodded to show that she understood. As Ari'sora turned to her audience, she had only the basics of a story, but since coming to the orphanage, she had learned the value of improvising.

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl who had wings."

It was a good beginning. All good stories started with "once upon a time."

"Like you?" Kelf asked.

Ari'sora grinned at the little boy, and nodded.

Just like me, actually. she thought wryly.

"That's right. Just like me."

"What's the little girl's name?"

"Her name is Lira."

Lira giggled in delight.

"I wish I had wings. It must be a lot of fun to fly."

"Do you like to fly, Ari'sora?" Allanor asked curiously.

Ari'sora nodded.

"Yes I do." she said simply.

"And so did Lira. Flying was her favorite thing in all the world. And do you know why that was?"

The kids shook their heads.

"It was because flying meant freedom to her. You see, Lira's uncle was a very bad man. He believed that Lira's feathers would bring him good luck, so he wanted to keep her locked away in a cage so he could keep all of that good luck for himself."

"That's not very nice!" a little girl who had just come to Luna's Dream a couple of trials ago pouted.

"What happened next?" Lira wanted to know.

"She made a wish. You see, when Lira's grandmother was alive, she taught Lira about the power of wishes. If you make a wish and believe in it strongly enough, then it will come true."

If only because you want it enough to work towards making it come true. she added silently.

"What did she wish for?"

"She wished that she was free. One night when the moon was full, Lira couldn't sleep. So she looked out her window and saw a falling star. A wishing star. That was when she made her wish. She wished with all her might to be free, and she kept wishing until she couldn't see the star any more."

"Did the wish come true? Lira asked hopefully."

Ari'sora grinned at her.

"Of course it did. But it didn't happen the way she expected."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, when Lira made her wish, she began to glow. She could feel herself shrinking. At first, she was scared because she thought that she would keep on shrinking until she disappeared. But that didn't happen. Instead, she turned into a bird."

Kelf's eyes grew huge as he stared at Ari'sora in wonder. Ari'sora grinned at him.

"Lira was small enough to fit through the bars of the cage that her uncle was keeping her in, so she escaped. And in that way, she gained her freedom."

"Did she live happily ever after?" Allanor wanted to know.

Ari'sora gave the matter some thought.

That's the part I don't know yet. she mused.

Am I happy?

Ari'sora wasn't sure, but she thought she was getting there.

"She did, but it wasn't as easy as all that. You see, she might have been able to escape her cage, but she was a bird now. She didn't eat people food anymore. Instead, she ate seeds, and worms. But she didn't know how to catch a worm, or find the seeds that she needed, so she had to learn how to do that. She also had to learn how to make a nest, and how to know which tree was the best one to make a nest in. And although Lira knew how to fl already, she had never been allowed to fly much. Because of that, she had to learn how to fly for long periods of time so that she could fly south for the cold seasons with the rest of the birds."

"But she was happy...right?"

Ari'sora nodded.

"Yes, she was. It was a lot of hard work, but Lira met friends who were willing to help her, and teach her what she needed to know. With their help, she learned how to be free. She also learned how to become strong enough to fly south for the cold seasons."

"And she lived happily ever after?"

Ari'sora smiled as she nodded.

"Yes, she lived happily ever after. But she also learned a very important lesson in the process."

"What lesson?"

"She learned to be careful what she wished for. Her wish did come true...but not in the way she expected. Lira had never thought that she would be turned into a bird, you see. And it was a lot of hard work to learn how to be a bird. But it was worth it in the end. And even though she never turned into a little girl again, she was very, very happy."

The kids clapped, and laughed at her story. Kelf yawned sleepily. It was time for his nap, so Ari'sora told the other kids to go off and play so she could settle him down in his bed. When she was done, she found Nats waiting for her.

"Is the little bird really happy?" she asked quietly.

Ari'sora stared at her for a few trills. The perceptive teacher had clearly realized that the "bird" was her in some ways.

"You know...I think she is. Or at the very least, she is learning what happiness is, and what she needs to be happy."

Nats smiled warmly.

"Then I'm glad."

With that, the teacher headed back into her classroom, and Ari'sora went off to find the matron to see what else she could help with.

Off Topic
This post covers the following challenges:

Story Challenges

5. Pass on a story to a child (17 years of age or younger this can be NPC or PC).

Growth Challenges

1. Have your character teach a trick of their trade to another person (PC or NPC).

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Re: Story Time

Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:11 am

Review Rewards

Name Ari

Points awarded: 10

Linguistics: children learn new languages faster than adults do
Mathematics: in addition, the answer is always greater than the numbers you started with in the problem itself
Mathematics: addition is fancy counting
Mathematics: subtraction problems give you an answer that is less than the numbers involved in the problem itself
Mathematics: multiplication is a more complex version of addition; you are adding the second number in the problem to itself the same number of times as the first number in the problem - so in 6X3, you are adding 3 to itself 6 times
Mathematics: division is the opposite of multiplication

Non-Skill Knowledge:
Language: Common Sign
Common Sign: is a gestured language
Common Sign: is used everywhere
Common Sign: can be used to "talk" to someone who can't hear
Common Sign: some words have signs to represent them while others must be spelled out
Common Sign: name signs can be created for people that the "speaker" knows well; these often consist of the first letter of a person's name, and a sign that says something about the person being named
Common Sign: using just the letter signs would be like talking in baby talk.
Common Sign: alphabet
Common Sign: Ari'sora's name sign; A + wing + book
Common Sign: sign for book
Common Sign: sign for wing
Common Sign: Lira's name sign: L + cat + book
Common Sign: sign for cat

Ari'sora: is friends with Lira
Ari'sora: enjoys spending time with Lira
Ari'sora: likes the idea of being able to "speak" with her hands

NPC: Allanor
Allanor: is ten arcs old
Allanor: is an orphan
Allanor: is a little imp of a boy
Allanor: is a goodhearted boy
Allanor: is "big brother" to all of the younger kids at Luna's Dream
Allanor: is close friends with Kelf

NPC: Kelf
Kelf: is three arcs old
Kelf: is an orphan
Kelf: his parents were merchants from the Hotlands
Kelf: is good friends with Allanor

NPC: Lira
Lira: is five arcs old
Lira: is a Sev'ryn
Lira: is an orphan living at Luna's Dream
Lira: loves learning new languages
Lira: is a bright girl
Lira: is as curious as a cat about things that interest her
Lira: is a lot like Ari'sora
Lira: sees Ari'sora as a big sister

NPC: Nats Bettes
Nats Bettes: teacher at Luna's Dream Orphanage
Nats Bettes: very good at math
Nats Bettes: doesn't talk much outside the classroom


Even a jaded, murderous, borderline-sociopathic bastard like my good self can appreciate an "awwwwwww"-inducing story like this. I thought little Lira spoke a little bit too well for a five-year old, but that's the only issue I had with this. Go ahead and alert Peg of your Challenges and how you accomplished them, s/he will sort you out.

Your review request is here. Also, please indicate on your request thread that this has been reviewed by using the button below. Thanks!


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"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
NOTE: Kasoria is using the name "Thagoras" while in Eastern Idalos, from Zi'da 717 onwards
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