“Please take a seat, Journeyman Goldentongue”
Pithic Okelak uttered, his eyes not leaving the generous stack of parchments that comprised Samir’s disciplinary file. His head was still reeling at the things he had read while perusing the history of the rascal’s extracurricular activities within the walls of the Academy. He sighed again, perhaps for the hundredth time since this morning, trying to see how he would approach his functions as a newly promoted Academy Disciplinary and Academic Advisor.
He was proud of himself, to be truthful. More amazed, really. He was sure he had failed the tests put before him, and miserably. More than once he thought he would never go higher than an academic scribe, condemned to live the rest of his days as a copying slave, entering teachers’ notes into students’ records day in, day out. He was resigned to his fate when one morning, he was summoned to the Headmistress of the Disciplinary Office’s quarters for a private interview. Pithick was ecstatic, yet terrorized at the “honor”. This was unheard of! The Headmistress never deigned meeting prospective case workers in person, as the position, while holding great prestige for such as Pithic, was still very low in the Academy’s pecking order. Had he screwed up THAT much, he wondered?
The meeting would have felt weird to Pithic had he not been so nervous and fidgety in the presence of such an important woman. The Headmistress never addressed the results of the tests he had completed. She was more interested in Pithic’s… personality? His penchant for diplomacy and self-restraint while in stressful situations were the main points of discussion brought forth by Eadneyth. No matter. His demurred posture during the interview seemed to have had a positive effect upon the Headmistress, for she nodded and simply said “You’ll do” before waiving her hand as a way of dismissal.
At first, Pithic was curious to be given a single case to deal with, but he rationalized it by thinking that there would be some sort of a progression to his workload… In the end it didn’t matter to him. He was so excited to start helping troubled students attain their true potentials! He would work with those who had personal problems that impeded their academic scores, he would find solutions to students’ horseplay during class. He would actually make a difference for once! And who knows? Maybe his name would appear on day on an historic arcane treaty, in the dedication page, having been a positive (and vital!) influence on a future archmage. He could dream, could he?
So as soon as he had received his file, he quickly found out that three previous case workers had been assigned to it in the past few months, but he thought nothing of it at first, aside from vaguely recalling each names related to some rumors he’d heard. Didn’t Edmugh got demoted (Pithic had heard that it was per his own request, no less!) last fall? And Athir… didn’t she desert the Academy and was now a wanted elf? Oh my, and Thrinainn was assigned to this case, too! Poor dwarf, what with going insane, ranting about seeing things no one else saw and accusing everyone of moving his personal possessions around in his quarters and such nonsense…
But Pithic was nonplussed to it all, so eager was he to start his new career.
It took about three hours of reading to change Pithic’s outlook on his new position (and life in general he would later say over drinks at the case workers’ mess hall, a hobby he would pick up in the following weeks). This was madness, simply put. He could see no pattern to understand, no chink in Goldentongue’s “armor” for him to exploit towards a positive academic or disciplinary outcome. Nothing. He wracked his brain around all the reports he had read, the majority simply suspicions or conjectures from teachers of high-ranking officials. He could see no way to approach his new protégé.
He was soon left with no other option than meeting this Goldentongue. Too many sleepless nights were beginning to take their toll on him already, so he decided to have an introductory meeting with him in the hopes of getting a better understanding of Samir or, at the very least, something to put on his report to his superiors.
The young man sitting in front of him seemed to hold no malice whatsoever in his eyes, which was a good start (Pithic was a hopeless optimist after all). His smile, though… More an amused smirk, really. Like he was laughing at a private joke constantly. Now that made Pithic nervous for some reason. sigh. “Ok, here goes” he muttered between clenched teeth.
“Journeyman Samir, he started. Nice of you to come see me on such a short notice. I know you are set to leave us for a mission soon, so your presence is appreciated.”
“Bah! My shopping’s done already, although I am still waiting on the approval of more… particular items that I requested. I was told I needed the approval of a Committee before I was allowed to proceed. Any words on that? I do believe that I’m starting to be targeted by the bureaucracy, you know. I believe I’m the only one requested to go through such an elaborate approval process to simply get magic trinkets from the Academy’s coffers.” Samir lounged in his chair, putting his feet up Pithic’s desk.
“That may be true, Journeyman, but the nature of your request are somewhat troubling, to say the least.”
“How so? Cursed magical items are technically cheap as hell! The Ring of Gaxx is coveted by no one and is accumulating dust in a coffer somewhere! It is worth is four thousand gold pieces, within the price range such as myself is allowed! And there are others I’d love to get my hands on… for science of course.”
“But it is cursed, Samir! Why would you want to subject yourself to such a sad fate?”
“Curses smurses, I say! So what if I get butt ugly? We’re at the Academy. I’m sure a few old farts here know how to remove the curse for cheap, eh? ANd if not, good ol’ Samir will manage, don’t you worry your pretty little head, Officer. Anyway, It’s not like I’ve never changed my appearance before.”
“The Academy is well aware of your newly endowed… I mean, acquired… appendage you’ve kept before your master removed the shape-changing ability from that ring of yours. In fact, we will need to address your erm, pride in it.”
“Ok, I’ll admit I may have gone overboard with using it as a cane to walk around the Academy’s grounds –“
“You may??? You were caught, strutting around the east towers, dressed as a Whadi pimp, no less! And using it as a cane!”
“Well, who would notice it in a big crowd, eh?”
“Oh I don’t know, said Pithic. Perhaps by the fact that it was fully erect and, by the nature of its existence, you had to levitate upside down to make use of it as a cane!”
“Well, how else was I supposed to use it as a cane, Officer Okelak?”
Pithic’s eyes were twitching by this point. And it was only the most pressing issue to deal with. Never mind the numerous other instances of public nudity, shaming pranks and gross negligence on this student’s part.
“Hey, you do make a great Thrinainn impression by the way” Samir smirked, imitating the eye-twitching.
“Well, I have received no words from your approval committee yet, aside from banning you from consulting our cursed items’ inventory until further notice and that the restricted shelf will soon be guarded by quite a few dweomer guardians in order to discourage any further attempts to not listen to orders.”
“Now who would do such a thing? I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you!”
“I’m sure you are…”
“While I await the decision to let me do what I want with my own body, is there anything else I should be aware of?”
“Aside from telling you there’s an open investigation about funds being used to build an enormous tavern somewhere that no one has even heard of?”
“Don’t look at me! I’m sure there were forms filled and permits approved and whatnot”
“Of course there were. Some of them were even signed by mages who died more than a millennia ago!”
“We have liches in this place! How cool! I’ll have to ask Nasah to show me where their quarters are. For science, of course.”
“And there were some complaints about your actions during your missions. Complaints from some of your teammates about conducts unbecoming of an Academy representative”
“Oh, you know which ones. Basically all of them to my reckoning”
“That bad, eh? theatrical sigh I guess I’ll try to act more pretentious if it’ll make the scribes happy”
“You… you’d be willing to do that?”
“Of course! I’ll even use a fearsome sounding name, with lots of Gs and Ks in it. I’ll even talk in the third person! You guys will be proud of me, I swear!”
“Now, let’s not go over-the-top with –“
“Gargark the Gark heard your pitiful request and he shall consider it, plebe!” Samir intoned, changing his appearance to a caricaturized wizard you’d see in a bad romance novel.
Pithic simply sighed, watching Journeyman Goldentongue make his exit, and grabbing the first student he saw in the hallway, still in character.
“The gods help us” he said, rubbing his temples.