• Closed • Beyond the Fundamentals

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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Elijah Lamoreaux
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Beyond the Fundamentals

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Fourteen Cylus, Arc Seven Twenty One


Perdie was still out somewhere, maybe on her way home from her classes or with a basket full of shopping or whatnot, when Eli first sat down at the table near the fire, a leaning stack of books stacked precariously to one side, and his notebook opened up to a pair of blank pages in front of him. He'd been scratching his head and frowning over those pages for at least the past half break, but had yet to jot a single thing down.

Mostly, Eli was distracted. Perdie knew that he'd signed up for classes at the Institute of Technologies, and she'd known that he'd be attending his first formal class that morning. What he hadn't told her, was that shortly after he'd first enrolled, he'd signed up to take an exam, that should he do well, would allow him to pass over the classes required for a Letter, and go straight into those that would earn a Certificate.

He hadn't kept it to himself because he was necessarily the secretive type, or because he wanted to keep it from her. But when he'd left the house that morning, he hadn't yet learned how well he'd done on the exam, and hadn't known just which level of classes he'd be attending. His gambit had been a success, which couldn't have pleased him more. But when it came to that sort of thing, he'd rather tell her after he discovered whether or not he'd made a mistake, or attempted to take on much more than he could handle.

Turned out, he'd felt confident enough regarding his performance. It had only been a question of whether or not others would feel the same. And as it happened, though he wouldn't have anticipated it at the time, his work in Rharne at a tinkerer's shop had prepared him well so far as the fundamentals. Even if he'd had to do a little reading prior to the exam, to recall what the fundamentals actually were, so far as putting proper words and scholarly terms to ideas and concepts.

But now, of course, with those blank pages in front of him, Eli was temporarily stumped. He had a pencil loosely gripped between his fingers, and had been busily tapping the end on the table's surface for quite a while now, before finally he jotted down a few notes that meant something to him if to nobody else. Machines of war, he wrote with a frown of distaste. Textiles and agriculture. Architecture. Scholarly....stuff, he added with a deeper frown, as any sort of other sensible word escaped him.

But then Perdie finally came in, and feeling rescued from a frustrating moment, Eli dropped his pencil, turned to look towards the door and grinned. "Classes go well for you? Learn anything new?" he asked.
word count: 496
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Perdita Westcott
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Re: Beyond the Fundamentals

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fter her class, Perdita had stopped at a few stalls to pick up things to eat for them. Neither of them were cooks, so she got pies which just needed to be heated through, some vegetables which even they could prepare and some bread. She came in the door to their shared home and she quickly closed the door behind her, lest she let in the frigid air. However, then she popped back out, and came back in - more or less straight away. He'd hear her saying thank you to someone, though. Putting down her basket, she pulled the thick curtain across the back of the door to keep out the drafts and then she picked the basket back up and made her way into the kitchen. The other things, she'd bring in a moment.

Somehow, that had become their place. The kitchen. "Hello, you," she said, quietly. He was sitting at the table in the kitchen, his notebook in front of him and books piled around him. He looked happy, she thought, although maybe there was just a slight line of worry, too, she wasn't sure. "I learned lots," she said. Putting the basket down on the table, but not in the way of his books, she started unpacking. "And I shopped," she said. The pie and the vegetables were joined by some ale for him and some of the pastries he'd liked last time they'd bought them.

After that, though, there were shells. Quite a few of them of different sizes and shapes, and jars of different coloured sand. She'd collected the green sand, she explained, but had bought the rest. Then, from the bottom of the basked, she pulled a piece of parchment Image, which she handed to him. "I made a list," she said, with a smile. "Tools, I need. Then, I bought them." Gesturing out to the hallway she'd come in from. "They're out there," she said. And indeed there were - everything from an easel to a mixing palette, selections of brushes and pencils. All sorts of things.

"I'm going to make paint," she said, holding up a jar of sand. "Mixing pigments," she had a book, still nestled in the basket, which told her how. She'd taken off her heavy coat and unwrapped her scarf, but her nose was still red from the cold outside. Looking at him, Perdita put it all down, the collected shells and the jars of sand, and she ignored the things in the hallway. Instead, she put a drink in front of him, then slipped her cold hand into his as she sat down next to him, and nodded to the books. "How was it?" Perdita didn't doubt that he had been marvelous."Tell me everything?" And then, because she was who she was. "Please?"

word count: 476
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Elijah Lamoreaux
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Re: Beyond the Fundamentals

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Two trips in and out the door? It piqued Eli's curiosity, and made him wonder just how large of a shopping trip she'd been on. More importantly though, it was hearing her apparently speaking to someone else on the other side of the door before closing it again. It really ought not have been enough to make him think, or wonder twice about it. But he couldn't help but wonder if there was a man who'd walked her home from wherever she'd come from.

None of your business, he reminded himself, though didn't say it aloud. She can walk with whoever she wants to. It didn't help much, that reminder. He still wondered. "A lot of shopping?" Eli asked instead. "Things for your work or classes?" Still none of his business really, technically. But it was safer ground nonetheless. "Looks good," he added then, having spotted the pie and the pastries. The vegetables, well unless they were potatoes, they were just vegetables. A necessity for healthy living, apparently, or so he'd been told.

The rest of the things she'd brought home were far more interesting. They were the tools of her trade. And though it wasn't his trade exactly, it was still interesting. "You've gotten yourself well equipped," he said with a grin. "You need yourself a proper gallery to work in. With the right light. That's important, yeah?" When she brought him a mug and finally sat down beside him, took his hand, Eli quirked a curious brow and asked, "How was what?"

He'd forgotten about the stack of books he'd put on the table, and the list he'd jotted down, still staring back at him from a mostly empty page. "Oh. Right. My class. Well, when I left this morning, I wasn't sure whether I'd be starting a class for a Letter, or a Certificate. You see," he began to explain, then realized he'd probably skipped an important step already. "A few trials ago when I was looking for some interesting books, a woman at the Scholar's Nook happened to mention that you could take an exam at the University, and pass directly to earning a Certificate."

"Earning both, actually, so long as you do well enough. I figured, why not try?" he said. "I learned a lot working for Domnall, and I figured maybe I already had a fair grasp of the basics. I didn't know till I got there this morning that I'd passed." Then again, now he was wondering if it had been the best choice. Frowning a little, looking down at his list, he shrugged. "I realized when the class started though, that a lot of the other students there had already chosen a field of engineering to go into. For instance," Eli added, "a couple were interested in designing and building ships, or buildings, because it's what their fathers or grandfathers do. Family business."

"Others are interested in designing weapons of war. And others...." he considered and paused. "Problem is that my first assignment is to design something, a new idea, for one of those areas that I haven't considered pursuing. My list here," Eli added, tapping a finger on the list that he'd made. "It's hard to get inspired by something you're not, well, inspired by. I don't want to build weapons. Not interested in warfare, for instance."
word count: 583
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Perdita Westcott
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Re: Beyond the Fundamentals

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ack and forth she went and yes, there was a lot of shopping, so she nodded her head. Looking at him, she smiled - and, of course, blushed - "I needed help," she said, and gestured. "The stall-owner helped" she said. She'd spent enough and it was kind of him to help, so she'd been very grateful. But, he'd chatted. All the way here. Perdita shook her head. "He talked. Lots" She didn't like talking, especially not to strangers. She also didn't like being rude so it had been something of a conundrum for her. "About his son," who was, apparently a very nice boy. He was kind, tall, about her age. He liked artistic people. Things like that. Looking at Eli, she sighed. "Why do they talk to me?" She wrinkled her nose slightly. Especially, she thought, why did they talk to her about boys?

For work or classes, though, he asked and she smiled. "Both," she said. "For you, too." She smiled. "You might mix things. Or need paint." She looked around and nodded though that yes, she needed light. Good light to work. "After my parents," she said, thoughtfully. "I want to visit Egilrun," it was a small township on the coast of the island, two trials journey away from here. "To learn glassblowing,". She smiled at him, then, her blushes forgotten as she spoke of the future. "Stained glass windows," she thought that would be a wonderful thing to be able to do and it would help her to understand how the illuminated manuscripts she wanted to make would work, also. They were like a stained glass window on parchment, after all.

But there was a reason she was telling him that. It was because she had decided it to-trial and now, having told him it, she needed to ask him something, too. "Want to come?" She smiled at him and then sat, her hand in his and she asked him about his trial. How was what, he asked, and she smiled with fondness at him. And then, he told her. Perdita's eyes widened in amazement and she looked at him with delight and pride in equal measure. "Oh, well done!" She leaned forward and hugged him hard, then blushed furiously, sat back, and squeezed his hand as she slipped hers back to holding it. "I am so proud of you," she whispered, half mumbling in embarrassment. Why had she gone and done that? But she was proud. Enormously proud. She wasn't surprised at all, but she felt highly delighted.

He explained what his homework was, then, and she looked down at his list. She examined it and then she read it again and then, finally, she spoke. "That's not your list," she said. "That's other people," she said. "Their list." Warfare and things like that, they were of no interest to him. But he had his homework to do.

Pulling a piece of parchment, Perdita slid it to in front of them, in between him and her. "Horseless carts," she said, softly, and she wrote it on the parchment. More words, then, in a list. "Flying vehicles. Sand-gliders," She smiled. "All vehicles." She wrote the word, underlining it, at the top of the list. Leaving that list for a moment, she started a new one just to the side of it. "Whirligigs, pulleys, lifts," another list, but this one with the title "Domestic".

She'd seen his work, his notebook and his drawings, they'd discussed all sorts of things. "Time keeping," she said, and made that a list title. "Toys," and that was another. Finally, remembering how he had helped her time and again with crushing up petals or small, mundane tasks for her job? "Craft." That was the title of the list - underneath it she wrote things like 'mixing ingredients' and 'making light'.Looking up at him, Perdita smiled. "Your list, Eli." She slid the paper of to him. "It's the best."

Once he had that. He could think about it. Sure, some of these might be things he had considered pursuing but there would be others that weren't or that he hadn't thought of. He just needed to see that, she was sure. "Anything there?" she wondered.
word count: 718
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Elijah Lamoreaux
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Re: Beyond the Fundamentals

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The stall owner who'd helped Perdita home with her packages, had talked quite a bit; about his son? "Why?" Eli had repeated with a meaningful lift of his brow. It wasn't really a question, but more an expression of his....Well, in truth, the idea that she genuinely didn't see or recognize it didn't surprise him. And why her? It was times like these that brought home to him, again, just how sheltered she'd been growing up. And Immortals love her, because he was coming to believe that he did, how naive to some things she'd remained.

So instead of trying to explain, and then convince her, he'd merely grinned a little and shook his head while she continued to settle in. "Beats me. Go figure." He'd just have to do more in order to stay on his toes. Marking her with his scent like some animals marked their territory, wasn't exactly an option after all. Besides, he hadn't exactly been as forthcoming regarding his feelings for her as he'd like to be by now. Soon, he thought.

So, Egilrun, he considered. Small place, one hardly heard the name when out and about in Scalvoris. "Glass blowing," he said then, temporarily forgetting the task that had been set up in front of him. "I like the look of stained glass." He really wasn't the artistic type, though what Eli did so far as a trade, could be considered an art of his own. But so far, his focus was more on function than form. But stained glass, it had a particular appeal.

"I'll come, if it isn't a bother," he said, then grinned when she reacted to his own news. "I wasn't sure if I should do it," Eli added. "I mean, I worried that not attending the classes to earn a Letter, might be missing steps that would otherwise be useful. But turns out, most of it was to focus on things I'd already learned from Domnall, and had experience with." He'd probably have been bored to tears. But no, it wasn't his list. It was a list of options that fell into categories, that he hadn't exactly considered delving into.

It was also true that things that could fly, roll on their own...and so on, interested him more than things which might fall better into the domestic side of things. Immortals help him if he ended up like Domnall and started designing a questionably better, but much more complicated mousetrap, or a way to beat a batch of eggs that required just as much effort as if whisked by a fork. "Whirligigs, pulleys and lifts...levers," he figured, "large or small, simple or complex, can be used in just about any category."

As for what was there after a new list was made? "Toys," he considered. "I always liked the automated toys in the shop, because what animated a toy, gear work, springs and so on, could just as easily be modified to create something much more useful, and grander."
word count: 522
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Perdita Westcott
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Re: Beyond the Fundamentals

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o figure he said, and Perdita smiled. "I agree," she said, looking at him fondly. "Go figure." People were odd and strange. People out there, that was. In here was her and Eli and they made sense. Of course, she thought that they made sense because of him. Perdita had a crush, she knew, on Eli. Still, he was not aware of it and she was pleased about that. If he knew, he would smile kindly, Perdita thought, but then he would let her down gently and things would be oh so very awkward. Perdita didn't know if she could actually survive that experience and - blissfully unaware of her own tendency to melodramatic worrying - genuinely believed that she might just die of shame if he ever found out about her feelings.

So, instead, she nodded. "Glass blowing, yes." But then a frown crossed her face and she stopped what she was doing, sat, and took his hand. "You are never that," she said, firmly. A bother? How or why could he ever be a bother? Perdita had no notion of this. None. And she was determined that he would know the same.

Yet, his news was a wonder and Perdita beamed with pride as he spoke of how he had succeeded and moved on past the Letter already. She was so proud of him, Perdita considered, that she might pop. That would be ironic, all things being equal. But there was this list, and it was things he hadn't considered. But there was a reason he hadn't considered them and Perdita knew that the issue here was not that Eli hadn't thought things through, it was that he had done so much more than most students.

Whirligigs, pulleys, levers, could all be used for many things? Perdita nodded. They were multi-category. And then, he made his decision and she beamed at him. Toys. That was perfect and wonderful. She nodded. "What about a toy," she said, thoughtfully. "For an older child. Not a baby." Toys for babies would be tricky for all sorts of reasons. Mostly, because she didn't understand them. "A child who wants to learn science? A teaching toy?" That sort of thing might be interesting to him, she thought. "Like, a weighing scale?" As a child, she said, she'd spent hours playing with an old weighing scale, pretending to be a shopkeeper and then writing notes. "Seven parsnips," she said, with a grin and a flush of her cheeks. "Seven parsnips weighed the same as the puck we had." She shrugged then. "Or something else?"

She didn't want to push or his homework be about her - so she sat back and looked at him. Then, she shrugged slightly. "Whatever you want," she said softly. "I'd like to help."
word count: 470
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Elijah Lamoreaux
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Re: Beyond the Fundamentals

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His response to the idea that others, middle or older folk that was, were trying to set her up with their eligible sons, grandsons or what have you, hadn't been said with any sort of hard and fast clarity...just as intended. Though Eli suspected that even if he'd said it straight and outright, Perdita would probably have been quick to question whether or not that was remotely true. Eli knew better, of course.

But then again, did he even have the right to say it at all? Saying it implied that he had some sort of exclusive claim on her time, her attention and her affections. He didn't, and he knew that. He'd like to of course, but until he mustered up the gumption to actually say so, it wasn't for him to imply that she oughtn't entertain any other offers.

So as much as he'd liked to have clarified, he opted out and let it lie. Glass blowing, and the idea of studying stained glass was as good a distraction as any. He smiled when she reassured him that he wouldn't be a bother, and he nodded a little in response. "It's not so much being a bother I was worried about. Just not wanting to be a distraction of sorts from your focus on scholarly things." Either way, he couldn't have been more pleased that she'd asked him to go with her. And of course he would. Little could have pleased him more.

So, a toy. And a learning toy at that. Eli wore a thoughtful expression while tapping the end of his pencil distractedly on the page he'd been doodling and writing on later. "That's a very good idea," he said. "Maybe one for science things...and," he added, turning to a fresh page as an idea struck him; and he began to sketch out an idea. "one that would also help them learn some sort of living skill. Like saving money?"

He wasn't nearly as good as drawing as Perdie was. But he could manage well enough when it came to drawing out a clear design, scaled down realistically, that was. First he wrote down cast iron, and added a notation. Material. "It would be a heavy thing. But those sorts of toys sold well at Domnall's shop. Cast iron, brightly painted." So he drew the rectangular base to which would be fixed the other working parts, and it was about eight inches long and three quarters inch thick. "Hollowed cast iron would cut down on the overall weight dramatically."

Then he drew a teeter totter on a narrow mount that would be fixed to the middle top part of the base, perfectly centered. The pivot point of the teeter totter would be moveable of course, by using bolt and nut threaded through it, like an axle. At one end of the teeter totter, generally the lower end, would sit a rabbit, upright, painted brightly and with a comical expression, with one of its arms and hands spring loaded and capable of clutching a coin along the narrow edge in it's hand.

At the high end of the teeter totter, a goose in a blue bonnet was perched, holding a very large, wicker basket, her wings wrapped around it. "See here?" Eli said, inviting Perdie to take a look at his work. "The wings and basket would crafted to pivot on an axle, and be spring loaded so that at the right moment, both would tilt to the side, forcing the top of the basket to spring open. Then I've added this little offshoot from the base, a dish shaped section off to the side, painted up like a little pond with lilies and frogs."

So what would happen, he explained, was that the child would insert a coin in the hand of the rabbit sitting on the high end of the teeter totter. Because of the tiny springs and rachet he'd work into the design, they'd be able to push the rabbit's arm back and then release it. When that happened, the coin would sail across and drop into the basket, held by the lady rabbit on the high end of the teeter totter. "See, the first coin won't be enough to shift the teeter totter. Not on it's own. The fun will be landing the coin across the way."

But with each coin, each little bit of weight, the center of balance would shift. "Maybe they do chores to earn their coins, but instead of spending them, they save them for something better." So one coin doesn't change much. The next may shift the angle of the teeter totter just a little. The next, a little more. Until it comes to the one that finally causes that last upward jolt that causes the lady goose to empty her basket into the pond."[/b] He sat back, thinking that he'd still have to include the maths that would justify the thing actually working. The physics, and whatnot. But nonetheless, he asked, "What do you think?"
word count: 865
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Re: Beyond the Fundamentals

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Perdita:

Knowledge: -
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Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 15

Elijah:

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Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 15
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Comments: I really enjoyed Perdita and Eli talking about their studies. Eli was definitely given an interesting assignment in my opinion – designing something for one of the areas that he hadn’t considered pursuing. I like how Perdita helped him and how they eventually came up with something together. The teeter totter toy sounded really clever. I wonder if Eli will eventually end up making it!

There is something that I’ve noticed now that I’ve reviewed a couple of threads with Perdita and Elijah – how differently they communicate. I love the way that you bring Perdita’s voice to life. Her sentences are very short, almost as if she’s a bit shy at times. It makes her stand out a bit – and it makes her conversation with Elijah very interesting to read.

Elijah gives me the impression of being more extroverted than Perdita, and his sentences are longer; both of them seem very clever though. I don’t doubt that they’ll end up inventing a lot of things if they continue to work together!

With that being said, congratulations on passing your exam Elijah!

Both of you, enjoy your rewards!
word count: 226

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