When the students start showing up for their shadowmancy classes, the gray-skinned teacher appears to be fast asleep at his desk, his head on the wood with a bit of drool coming from his mouth. His scarf is certainly conscious though, because as students enter, the two fanged ends rise up from where they were laying on their owner's lap and study the students like two dark red snakes.
Eventually the approach of the students causes the scarf to see it fit to wake up the shadowmancy professor, one end of it biting his head. He jerks and sits up ramrod straight, reaching up to grab at the scarf and try to tug it off his head. "Ouch! OUCH. Down! You damn thing!"
When he finally manages to pry his scarf off his skull, he pants and faces the students, his pale complexion flushed dark gray from the exertion. "Huh, I didn't even realize it was time for class. Well, anyway, my name is Drake, if you don't already know--and this is shadowmancy... and..." His eyes suddenly narrow. "Who's the dipshit with the flashlight over there?! Get that shit out of my classroom!" He throws a piece of bacon at the student in the back, but then he seems to think better of that action and grabs it with a shadow tendril, bringing it back so he can eat it.
"Anyway," he murmurs through his bacon-munching, "Let's get started. No more delays. All of you are here to learn, right, not just sit around like beautiful statues? Didn't think so, so let's get down to business. Oh yeah, fair warning, don't you dare turn in any written work to me. I can't read, so the joke would be on you." He chuckles.
SHD 101: Shadowmancy in Nature
The shadowmancy professor plops down in his large-backed chair and stretches out so his feet are sitting on the desk, arms behind his head. "So, it seems like someone changed the classes on me, this one appears to be new... shadowmancy in nature? Okay, I guess I can work with that. That's pretty much what I was doing with this class anyway."
"The first thing we're going to be doing in this class is a small... personal study, if you will." He takes his feet off the desk and shifts forward, placing both hands palm up on it, and starts creating some small black shadow blobs in his hands. A couple of seconds later, the blobs grow white eyes and start floating around the desk.
"See these things? The ancients used to call them tears of the darkness. Shadowmancers found them useful because they would change shape depending on their owner. So if you're a strong, courageous type, it'd take on the shape of a shadow tiger. But if you're a wimp, maybe it'd turn into a mouse."
He gathers the shadow tears up and places one on each student's desk, where they start hovering and moving in circles around their new owners. "Keep it with you for the entire month. By the end of the month you'll start seeing signs of what it's going to transform into. Maybe you'll learn something about yourself along the way."
[Assignment - Draw or write about what animal shape the shadow tear becomes for your character.]
[ Ivory - 4 ]
[ Marlena - ]
SHD 102: Aggressive Shadowmancy
The shadowmancy professor looks at the class list for this course and slowly raises an eyebrow. "All right, this is certainly telling me something. All of you are definitely sticklers for violence, and I guess I can't complain about that. This is a dark magic academy, and there's some degree of understanding that you'll all eventually go on to use your powers for ill. But what do I care what you do with your futures? I'm just here because I get free room and board."
He stands up from his desk and stretches. "All right, follow me. The first assignment's going to be pretty simple. It's summed up to don't die--which is pretty much my catch phrase for everything."
The wide-eyed class follows the shadowmancy teacher out of the division's building and east toward the mountains. He then shadowports each of the students down into a massive hole with smooth sides. Above, the sky is a slate gray color, the only thing visible in the darkness.
"And here we are," Drake says--his voice echoes around them, but the professor seems to have disappeared. "I'm going to pull one shadow tendril out of your shadow. What you need to do is stretch that tendril up, up, up, and out of this hole, and grab hold of one of those trees surrounding it. Then you'll climb your way out of here."
A couple of seconds later, the bacon-eating professor is standing at the lip of the hole, looking down on the students. "The hard work--getting out a tendril--he's already been done for you. All you need to do is have the perseverance to stretch and push that shadow tendril up so you can escape. Or you could starve down there--whatever choice you prefer."
[Assignment - Draw or write about the character getting out of the hole using the shadow tendril Drake pulled out for them.]
SHD 103: Shadowstalking
"All right!" the professor exclaims, rubbing his hands together with amusement. "Now that this class has become less lame, we can expand the things we learn in it. The purpose of this class is pretty simple - go forth and be like my youngest son, Bailey, and stalk people and learn their secrets. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? But you're going to have to work hard if you want to get to that point."
He leans back against his desk in thought and contemplates to himself. "A big part of being able to turn yourself into a shadow is simply knowing how it feels like to be so, because once you get to that point you can start shifting yourself naturally. So what I'm going to do is turn all of you into shadows for a full forty-eight hours, or two days for you morons who can't do math."
The shadowmancy professor counts on his fingers for a second to make sure that he's not one of those morons that can't do math, but then seems satisfied that forty-eight hours does in fact equal two days.
"What I want you to do is, while you're in your shadow form, stalk one student you have never met and report back with something interesting about them, something they probably wouldn't want you to notice. Any nefarious habits... secrets... embarrassing habits... that sort of delicious stuff."
"Obviously, if you don't stalk that student while you're in the forty-eight hours of your shadow state, you'll fail the assignment. So get to damn work as soon as I do this."
[Assignment - Stalk a student you haven't met before sometime during the two days that Drake turns you into a shadow, and report back on the secret you want to divulge to him.]
SHD 104: Shadow Realm Safety
SHD 201: Basic Shadowporting
"Shadowporting, eh..." He looks at his list, realizing that only two students are taking this class. This seems to depress him based on how his ears tilt downward somewhat, but then he manages to perk up. "So it's just going to be the three of us, but we'll still rock the class, won't we?"
"Shadowporting is a pretty simple skill, and you usually can learn it in three stages: the first being moving a small object from one shadow to another, the second being moving yourself from one shadow to another, then the last being moving a large object, like a... I don't know, a giraffe or something. Or a car. Whatever."
"Obviously, the first place we're going to start is with small objects. But we're going to make it fun, yeah? I want you to go station yourself in the cafeteria - try to pick somewhere that you can act incognito and not bring any suspicion to yourself. What you're going to do is start shadowporting parts of people's meals away from their plates - like an apple, their drink, so forth. Record their reactions and report back to me."
[Assignment - Start shadowporting around small objects in the cafeteria and confuse/frustrate as many people as you can!]
SHD 202: Shadow Realm Battle
The professor looks ready to move on from 201 to 203, but then he's stopped to go over the lesson plan for 202. He looks genuinely surprised by this, letting out a snort and saying, "Wow, someone's actually taking this class? Last year, no one took it, so I just sort of figured that'd be the case this year too. Huh. Oh well, I guess someone finds shadow realm battling to be important."
When his gaze briefs over the one student he has in the class, everything makes sense to him. His student teacher has been really interested in the shadow realm, so he goes over and plops down on Orpheo's desk, grinning down at the shadow demon. "So we meet again... heh! Anyway, as you might have figured, this whole course is a lesson on how to use the shadow realm to your advantage in battle, especially if we're assuming that both battlers are shadowmancers and protected from the winds. But there are still ways of coming out on top."
He tosses a scroll onto Orpheo's desk. "See this? This is a spell that allows you to detect shadow mines within a twenty foot radius of yourself. That can allow you to navigate the landscape of the shadow realm without fear of blowing up -- assuming you don't step on them anyway, of course."
"Try it. See how it works, and report back."
[Assignment - Cast the spell in the scroll, then go to the shadow realm and see if you can sense mines around you.]
SHD 203: Shadow Mirages
Drake looks over the single student in this class and wrinkles his nose. "Goddamn! I swear, when you get into the higher level shadowmancy classes there sure is a load of laziness. I'm not saying you're lazy, of course, because you're here and that obviously doesn't make you lazy, but good god. There were like fifteen students taking each of the 100-level classes last year, so did they all just die or something? Maybe they should have listened to me when I said don't die."
He sighs lightly, then looks over the name of the class. "But anyway, enough ranting from me. You're here to learn something about shadow illusions. Basically this is caused by manipulating light and shadow so that you can trick the eye. It can be as simple as making a mirage to something as complex as glamour, which you might recognize from old fae tales. If you want to know more, just go ask Fahrius, he loves fae."
The shadowmancy professor stretches, then continues. "Illusions made with shadow are sort of like paintings. What I want you to do is make a painting using only shadow as medium. Manipulate the shadow until you have a sort of vague form - that's basically all I'm asking to start."
[Assignment - Create a shadow painting! ]
SHD 204: Shadow Bandages
Drake grumbles to himself as he looks at the time. "Wow, we've already spent an hour on classes... that seems like too much time to me. I'd have rather spent the hour making bacon, but... anyway, this is the shadow bandages class. In this class you're going to learn to use your shadows to function as bandages."
"The first thing I'd like you to do is go to the Bad Greenhouse and locate the flopwart plant. This basically looks like a giant tongue, and it lives in the shadow realm, so you'll have to go into the greenhouse then enter the shadow realm from there. Harvest a bit of the plant, which is made entirely of shadows, as you might have guessed."
"Soon as you do that, study the composition of the shadows. You'll notice that the flopwart plant absorbs stuff that falls on it. What you want to do is study how it absorbs liquids so you can try mimicking that in your shadow bandages, because you want that shit to absorb blood well, don't you? Obviously."
[Assignment - Manage to get yourself a flopwart plant from the Bad Greenhouse, then study the composition of its shadow "tongue".]
SHD 301: Shadow Wormholes
"Shadow wormholes have had their purpose in history. Generally you'll find that they were used to transport large armies if a shadowmancer was powerful enough to open a wormhole that could accomodate so many warm bodies. Obviously, the more you transfer and the further the distance, the more power it requires, and the more experience. But we're going to start with something simple for now."
"The difference between shadowporting and shadow wormholes is this: shadowporting requires you to expend energy for each instance of thing you end up transporting. But wormholes are kind of different. You expend a lot more energy to open a wormhole, but you don't spend energy for the multitude of items you could toss through."
"The first assignment's going to be a pretty easy one. Given all that I've told you, what would you use a shadow wormhole for?"
[Assignment - Explain to Drake what you would use a shadow wormhole for.]
SHD 302: Shadow Illusions
"This might seem like it's kind of repetitive for those of you who took shadow mirages, but there's a big difference between a mirage and a full blown shadow illusion. Mirages are just tricks on the eye, whereas shadow illusions can actually take shape."
He pulls a bit of form out from a nearby spot of shadow and rolls it into a ball, then he stares at it and it slowly starts forming into a pitch black rose. "Do you see this? It's still an illusion, but it's also a solid object. The thing is that because this class is still a fairly simple one, the illusions are only going to last up to thirty minutes."
He hums for a moment in thought. "I want you to get an object from someone you know - one that means a lot to them - and make a shadow illusion of it. Having that object in hand to copy and form a duplicate of will be much easier than if you were producing it from your mind. Then, I want you to switch the objects and see if your target notices the difference."
[Assignment - Create a shadow duplicate of some student's possession, then switch out the objects and see if the student notices.]
It's clear by the expression on the teacher's face that he's slowly getting tired of holding classes. The day has dragged on longer than he would have anticipated and his stomach is growling for more bacon, but he's already promised himself that he'll teach all his classes first before he gets more. Sometimes motivation is really that necessary.
"Shadow acid is kind of my natural element," the professor explains. "Basically how it works is you can convert shadows into an acidic substance... but I guess you could have guessed that from the title, yeah?"
"To start, we'll be looking at regular acid. You know what makes an acid strong, right? If it's strong, it completely ionizes in water, or something like that. Anyway, on your desk is a glass of hydrochloric acid, which is what you find it your stomach to dissolve shit."
"Dissolve something with it. A body part of a student is preferred, hehehe. The better you understand acids, the better you'll do further on in this course when we start combining it with shadows."
[Assignment - Dissolve something with the acid! ]
SHD 304: Shadow Stitching
By this point, Drake honestly looks like he's just going to fall asleep again like he'd been found at the very beginning of the shadowmancy lessons. But despite his massive yawn, he stretches again and gazes at the three students in this class, contemplating what sort of assignment to give them. "Well, you already understand shadow bandages, which is a good start. We're going to be examining shadow stitching in two ways: first, you can use it to produce shadow clothing, and second, you could use it sort of like sutures to close up wounds."
"The first assignment is going to be simple, because I want to make sure that you have good hand control and shit like that before we move on to playing with living subjects and stitching up their wounds
because Ev doesn't approve of me letting you loose on the infirmary when you're inexperienced. I want you to make a simple piece of shadow clothing. A scarf? A cloak? A pair of gloves? A hat? Underwear? A bra? I don't give a shit. Do something to your heart's content."
[Assignment - Create a piece of shadow clothing.]