Lonely Divide

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Chapter 4

Chapter 1.4

Introduction

You are now in Jaden's room, with Rose

"I'm sooooo sorry I forgot you!" pleads Jaden. She's now fresh from the shower and wearing a robe, and Rose is sitting on her shoulder rolling her eyes. "I knew I had to do something afterwords but I totally forgot what it was!"

You wonder how this is possible.

"She's not stupid, if that's what you're thinking," says Rose. "She just has forgetful, that's all."

You're getting better at this, you know this must be something on the WEAKNESS side of her character sheet.

"That's it exactly. Here, take a look." Jaden hands you a sheet of paper, and again you miss exactly where it comes from. Rose also hands you hers, which is physically impossible, the paper is bigger then she is.

"What does that have to do with it?" she asks, confused.

You look at both. It seems Jaden has the FRIENDS background, probably why Rose here is hanging around rather then doing her own thing. Uh oh, Rose has HUNTED which can't be good. You see at least one similarity with Jake, it appears Jaden also has Aptitude. Her BACKGROUNDS list reads as follows:

Aptitude (combat) 3

Prodigy (Martial Arts) 2

Talent (Martial Arts) 1

Resources: Money 1

High Pain Tolerance 1

Tough as Nails 2

While her WEAKNESSES reads

Insecure 2

Honorable 1

Obsessed 1

Forgetful 1

Comparing that to Rose's BACKGROUND list:

Fairy 3

Bilingual 1

Natural Magician 4

Aptitude: Magic 3

Permanent Spell 1

Seems like she has a lot of minor WEAKNESSES:

Curiosity 1

Easily Infatuated 1

Short Attention Span 1

Won't Kill 1

Deep Sleeper 1

Naive/Blind Follower 1

Magical Focus 1

Wait, there's that "aptitude" again...

"Oh sure," says Jaden brightly. "It's pretty expensive, but it can pay off in the long run if you figure you're going to raise a large number of skills that are all related. Look on the back, see Rose has thirteen magical skills. Seven planets and six skills like Magical Theory. Aptitude raised them all by one, and lets you have an eleven skill rating when you've mastered the skill rather then ten. Just raising three skills to nine saves you thirty points over time. Heck, just as it is, Rose has saved," she starts counting up skills, "seventy eight points just by having that one background! Nicely done, Rose!"

Rose blushes. "I didn't really have anything to do with it."

You deduce that this skill rating, from zero to ten represents how good you are at doing something, with a zero meaning you have no training, and a ten meaning you have totally mastered the skill.

"That's right! Now take a look at mine."

You also deduce that, no, Jaden isn't stupid, is she? She explained that very well, and it's a pretty complex line of thought, give how tired she looks right now. You flip Jaden's sheet over and take a look. In the RTG column next to Martial Arts is an 8, but apparently when she actually attacks someone she treats the rating as though it was an eleven. A girl this young mastering martial arts to that level?

"Oh, I'm just getting started. My Paragon background lets me raise the skill without limit, and at half the cost it would usually take! I can only be at an 8 rating right now because I'm just starting out. Once I register and start doing missions, I can raise it higher then that."

You can't help but be impressed. Rose looks like she's losing interest, so you decide to bring her back into the conversation with a question about her background: Natural Magician.

"That relates to how I do magic. See, there's two kinds of magic users, scholars of magic that cast spells through study, and natural magicians who cast with energy. Turn it over again."

You do.

"See, it lists my energy right here as 49. As every spell I cast uses at least one energy, I can only cast 49 spells in succession before I pass out. I could do a few more then that if I paced myself because energy comes back over time, but that's about my daily limit. The advantage of my way of doing it is, if I really need something to work I can spend extra energy and give the magic a little boost. A scholar can't do that!"

You look at the back again and notice she seems to have written down certain planets under the Skills column. How can a "planet" be a "skill" you wonder.

"Magic falls under the domain of a celestial body," says Rose, angry that she can no longer say "planets" because stupid Pluto isn't considered a planet anymore, stupid scientists and their stupid not naming things planets which are planets. "Like Mercury is spells relating to movement and Neptune relates to water. It's really all just a ploy to keep me from becoming too powerful as a spell caster, making me learn different skills for doing the same thing, casting spells."

You wonder exactly what magic is in this world.

"Some believe it's just asking the Narrator to change the laws of physics in your vicinity and on your behalf. But come on, praying to a supreme being to intercede in reality for you alone, just because you asked nicely? Nobody's going to buy that."

You are somehow made slightly uncomfortable by the way this conversation in proceeding.

"No matter how it works," she continues, "You ask the forces of magic to do something and if you roll more then the difficulty, it happens. Then when the conditions for that asking have been met, the magic goes away. Of course you still have to maintain it, which is a pain. Still, I wouldn't give it up."

Well it's magic, of course you wouldn't.

"There are exceptions, of course, like my permanent spell of Detect Enemies, that lets me concentrate and see if there's anyone around who would want to hurt me. You can't be too careful when you're my size, you know."

You start to hand the character sheets back, but then something that's been bothering you makes you take another look. You see that Jaden has "Forgetful" and Rose has "Short Attention Span". That should make for an interesting friendship.

"We try and help each other out," says Rose. "I help her remember things, and she helps me focus more on what I'm doing. It's been that was since we've been together, which is a long time. She was just the cutest little kid!"

"Oh stop!" Jaden is blushing.

You ask how long that is, exactly.

"She was only a couple of years old when I met her, and I was probably about two at the time, but of course we fairies mature a lot faster, because we get killed easier. As a PC I got the ability to cast magic, so that's helped me out a lot, we watch each others backs. And other things."

They both are blushing now, and looking away from each other. Odd.

You tell them both it was nice to meet them, and you're looking forward to seeing what they can really do in the story.

"It was nice to meet you too. I'm sorry again I left you down there. I hope I don't disappoint you too much in the coming adventure!"

You wonder why she would do that, she seems quite capable.

"It's her Insecure weakness," says Rose. "She never believes she can do anything right. It's kind of annoying, but I put up with it."

You put your hand on her shoulder and tell her you're sure she'll come through all the challenges the Narrator creates with no problems.

"I'll do my best!" she says, putting her fists up and pulling them down.

You smile, she sure will.

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