Diana Torres, First Three Days at Czocha

Author note: Here follows a long diary entry from Diana Torres, a fictional character I played as at a larp called College of Wizardry. I plan on also writing a post ooc about my thoughts on my first larp, etc. Enjoy

I arrived at Czocha on Thursday evening, having no idea what to expect. It was evident as soon as I crossed the bridge, that Czocha was quite different from Collegium de Auspicio in Italy (my old school). It was quite an overwhelming and incredible experience, walking past all these new professors, among my fellow juniors. Upon entering the castle, Diana joined the choir up on the balcony with the professors.

We lead the school in the Czocha hymn, before the juniors all gathered to listen to the headmistress. Then it was time to eat, and I found I had a hard time with the Polish food. Ghosts and goblins wandered around, neither of which the Collegium had. When the dinner was over, I joined the other juniors in the Auditorium, to listen to the Janitor give a lecture on the rules.

Juniors are, of course, never to go out into the forest alone, we are not supposed to be out after curfew, and secret passages will lose you points. The  Janitor is…well, quite interesting. No one knew much about her, other than that everyone thought she’d been lost. When at last she’d finished hammering in the rules, she turned her back as a ghost led several of us into a secret passageway. I knew it wasn’t allowed, but honestly since I hadn’t been sorted yet, I didn’t care much about points, and I was curious. Turns out curiosity would lead to several odd and interesting experiences for me.

So I followed the ghost, who was joined by a very rambunctious and loud goblin. The ghost told us that the passage lead to the teacher’s lounge. Which was of course also off limits to all students. We were lead through outside passage.  The group followed the goblin into a bathroom, and then into a room called ‘The Hall of Mirrors‘ Suddenly the goblin threw open the door and screeched, “And here’s the teacher’s lounge!” The room was of course filled with professors, and we all sprinted in the other direction, trying to not be caught.

Unfortunately we went the wrong way, and Professor Wraithwood found us. She ordered all of us to go back in and give the headmistress our names so she could take points away. I did, because it wasn’t as though i was going to try and escape. I lost a point, which I felt was rather merciful. They told me to never trust ghosts, which I feel is a valuable lesson.

Just as I was coming out of the teachers lounge, the Faustian prefect Riley Krol ordered us up to the Faust common room. Their common room is terrifying. It’s incredibly dark in there, blue shadows, no explanation, no warm welcome. We were offered a drink, which I of course turned down. I had at this point already heard enough rumors about Faust to no do something so rash. At last most of the prefects showed up, and they split us in half. Lexi Cortez, the prefect from Libussa, and Riley, lead us on a tour of the castle.

I quickly decided two things: Lexi and Riley have a very weird relationship, and two: Riley was fucking scary.Having already crossed Durentius off my list, I decided I had absolutely no desire to be in Faust (a good thing, since I’m sure they would never have chosen me)

When the tour was over, most students went to bed, and I would have too, except the secret passage door calling my name in the Marble Hall. The prospect of staying out after curfew was not what compelled me, but rather I couldn’t bare to wait, and it was easier to not be caught, that late at night. So I cracked open the bookcase and sneaked down into the staircase, which lead me to the Museum. There I found myself suddenly in the midst of the Secret Order of Mischief. It wasn’t something that truly interested me, but a part of me wanted to know just what was going on.

So I stayed. The group was just starting to discuss fake hall passes, when another student warned us that a professor was on their way. We of course fled back up to the Marble Hall. Knowing it wasn’t safe to just go up the main staircase, we took another secret passage upstairs and ended up in the Durentius common room.There was some discussion about all the pranks that possibly could be done.

I find it worrisome that despite having little interest in truly causing mischief, I had several good suggestions. Perhaps I am simply too creative. At last we all decided we had to go to sleep, and we all snuck back to our beds.

Friday morning was my first day of classes. As a Junior Healer, I take Alchemy, Beastology, Magical Defense, Invocation, Ritual Magic,and Herbology. The alchemy classroom is down in the cellar, in a long, dark room. We all stand around a tall table. We were brewing a small batch of Babble Tongue potion that day, where the affects only last half an hour, as the ingredients were dried, and old.

Our Professor told us that this particular potion is the reason Mundanes had to create asylums. For when a person takes it, they are unable to do anything other than babble nonsense.It’s meant to be used to stop a Mundane from talking about something they may have witnessed. I believe most of us brewed it correctly. Our homework was to write about an item in the classroom that caught our eye, and write about how it makes us feel, and why. I picked Acentour-Jour, which is a gold powder.

Then it was on to Beastology, which I got to early, as I do with my classes nearly all the time. I quite like our Beastology professor. She’s very friendly and relaxed. She had a teacher’s assistant that day, which turned out to be a Minotaur. I’d never seen a Minotaur in person before, and it was amazing. He was very big, and very quiet. We learned and practiced several spells that were particularly useful when one wants to heal creatures, including a heart rate spell, a fever spell, a bandage sticking spell, and an infection reducing spell.

I was partnered with someone named Salzifer, who is very blond, very pale, and I’m 90% sure he’s a vampire. I mean, he told me I had a beautiful heartbeat. Honestly. After that….we trudged our way up the hill, so we could attend Magical Defense. For reasons that are still unclear, our professor was not there. So instead our class was lead by Lexi, with a professor keeping an eye on her the whole time. A little strange to me, that they’d rather have a prefect teach,  instead of, say, the PE teacher or someone like that.

So, we were split into groups of four, and we had a terrible combination. Three healers and one cryptozoologist. None of us felt particularly comfortable throwing spells back and forth, so I don’t know how well we did.

Once class was over, we broke from class time to eat lunch. Just as I had been the night before, I was once again warmly invited by Molin to sit at their table. So I did. After lunch, I had all three of my other classes in the Marble Hall. First off was invocation, which I found terribly dull. The class after, Ritual Magic, was more interesting. It was still only theory, but I see a much more practical use for ritual than I do for invocation.

Last for the day was Herbology, and I think after only two days, Felicity Wraithwood is already my favorite professor. She told us about all kinds of plants, and how to recognize some, and what they do.

Once the school day had finished, every junior was of course expected to attend interviews with the prefects, so we could be sorted.  When my name was called (the first of us healers to be called) I entered the library to find it nearly pitch black, and creepy as all hell. I was asked only a few questions, such as

“Would you save yourself, or a friend?”

“A friend.”

“What has been the bravest thing you’ve ever done?”

“Telling my Mundane family about what I was, despite knowing my Conflux would instantly erase their memories.”

“Do you love your family?”

“Yes.” 

“What’s your first choice of house?”

“Molin.”

Then it was over, and I was lead by a goblin up to the Auditorium, where all three of the Hemlock sisters were waiting, in yet another dark room, with the bonus of a suspicious concoction brewing. I was told to sit, while we waited for the rest of my fellow healers. Once they all arrived, we were expected to drink a potion that would tie us emotionally to Czocha. Several of us, me included, were rather hesitant about drinking it. But we did so anyway, a sign of loyalty and good faith.

Then we ate dinner and I sat there, stomach in knots. It seemed like an eternity before it was time for the sorting announcements. It’s funny, until I arrived, I’d never considered Molin a potential house. But standing there, listening to other’s names being called, I started to panic. What happened if I didn’t get into Molin? I hardly knew anyone outside of it. Then my name was called, and the word “Molin” and a smile stretched across my face as I joined my new house.

I clapped politely for the rest of my fellow juniors, then we were ushered upstairs by our prefects Jade and Leyandra to begin the initiation. We were assigned mentors, and Zoe Blackthorn, a senior, was assigned as mine. Our mentors gave us our green ties, and Molin pins. Then we were assigned with a scavenger hunt. We went to the Museum, where we were given a riddle that took me, Zoe, and Seren way too long to figure out.

When at last we had, we were allowed to enter the Runes classroom. Here we were asked to drink a potion that would make us feel our worst fears. I swallowed it down and then…it hit me. I wouldn’t ever see my family again. Not really. They would never know the truth about me, they wouldn’t know where I was, what I was doing. The whole time, Zoe sat beside me, supporting me, reminding me that I wasn’t alone, that Molin was my family now too.

Feeling safe, and knowing what I did about Zoe, I confessed something…

Two moths ago, a friend of mine from the Collegium, told me they’d been bitten. One night, I realized he was missing, and I went out looking for him, to try and make sure nothing bad happened. A lunacy fell upon him, and then everything is fuzzy. When I awoke it was morning, and I had huge wound on my thigh. My friend was gone, and I was left to limp home on my own. A month later, I get a letter from him, and all it says is “Sorry.” A long with a vial of liquid silver.

I told Zoe, and she told me we’d figure it out. She also said, “well, it must be fate that we were put together as mentor and mentee.” After making sure I was alright, she left, and us juniors had to find a green flag in the garden. This lead us to the dungeon, for the final part of the initiation. Ironic, for all Molin seemed like, and still does, a very not creepy house (unlike others I won’t mention here), we’d ended up in easily one of the creepiest places at Czocha. But the end of the initiation was far from creepy. We were all given bronze and green bracelets like the rest of our house, and then we finished with  our house chant, which is

Blood makes you related!”

“Loyalty makes us family!” 

And that was that. I was officially in Molin.

Our house was hosting a party next, for Purim, a Jewish holiday. We crammed a bunch of us into our common room, and had shining magical punch, hexed chocolate which made you giggle, and wonderful cookies by my roommate, fellow healer and Molin, Laren.

During this party, I met Hannah, who was trying to lead a Molin/Sendivogius quest to discover what was in the jars lying about the school and turn them into the Alchemy professor. Along the way I met Indi, a lovely Sendi sophomore. We planned to all meet in a bit, and were just making plans to meet back at the bridge when people came shoving past us, yelling. And then things suddenly took a turn for the worse. What I later discovered had transpired, was that Ulyssa and Leyandra Cantrell’s brother, a werewolf, turned up, confronting Ulyssa. He didn’t have a wand, but that hardly mattered, as he bit Ulyssa.

Jason managed to chase their brother off so he wouldn’t bite anyone else, and I ran over, with the yells for a healer and my prefect’s sobs ringing in my ears. I did what little I could, being a junior. I disinfected the wound and eased her pain. Two other healers came over. One took the poison out of the would and sealed it up,, and Mercy bandaged it. At this point Leyandra’s yells to get Riley were met, as she arrived, looking very shaken at the sight of Ulyssa writhing in pain on the ground. They fed her liquid silver, which I find horrifying, but in that moment none of us knew what else to do.

No professor came to help, and we couldn’t find Bastian or Loki or Zoe, so what choice did anyone have? At that point I knew there was nothing else I could do, I stepped back to let them be. Once Ulyssa was safely inside, we let some of our own Molin’s know what had happened, and Jason and I wandered the Knights Hall for a few minutes. Jason is a vampire, so they know the prejudice and backlash something like this can cause.

We both feared that when people found out someone had been bitten by a werewolf, there would be an outcry against all of the werewolves in the school.

At a loss for what to do with ourselves, we wandered back outside, and joined the extra Herbology lesson. A large group of us burned several herbs in a fire to give us prophetic dreams and visions. One saw the end of the school. Another saw a woman drowning herself. Professor Wraithwood cheekily talked about tenure for his wife, and unemployment for himself. I told the Professor I had seen a full moon, a change, blood. Then nothing.

After we finished with the fire, Beasley (a healer acquaintance of mine) and I returned a man eating venus fly trap. to Professor Wraithwood.

I felt far too awake, so I found myself wandering down the hill with Indi, Hannah, and roommate of mine, Felicity Richter (who most people knew as ‘purple hair’). Along the way we encountered Professor Ripley. Now I don’t have her class, but I’d heard enough about her to not really trust her.Yet did that stop me from going on “an expedition for owls” with her and the others into the forest? No, of course not. Brilliant, Diana. Honestly, this curiosity of mine might not actually be such a good thing.

No sooner had we opened the door to the forest, then we were attached by…well, they seemed like demons to me, but apparently as none of us had been possessed, it was doubtful they were. Whatever their true identity, they were terrifying and powerful. I was hit in the leg, earning myself a huge gash on the leg. Mercy healed me, and I continued to fight. Yet somehow it seemed that the more we tried to attack them, the less effective our spells seemed to be. I kept trying to slow down the red faced one, but nothing was working.

He-it- I don’t know- grabbed my wand and I screamed. I don’t have any shame about that. A part of me was honestly afraid of losing my life at that moment. He knocked me down onto the ground and stood over me for a moment, and then my memory is hazy. I remember screaming, people throwing spells. Then I think they tried to banish the…things? Mercy once again came to my rescue, healing my side as best she could. I limped back over to the stairs to find out my group hadn’t managed to succeed in banishing them.

It was then that Jaks, our late Magical Defense professor, showed up, and saved us all. Thank Czocha too, because some of my idiot classmates actually thought losing points was worse than risking mauling by psycho wood monsters. We fled back into the safety of the castle. Feeling tired and week, I went along to the tavern, where Hannah very generously bought me a hot chocolate. There we ran into Jade and Felicity, who told us about their confrontation with Jade’s brother. Terrible business, but as I was not there, I will not try and retell it. After giving Jade my condolences, I limped off to bed.

Saturday was my second day of classes. Alchemy threatened to make me throw up my breakfast. We once again made the Babble Tongue potion, along with its antidote this time. Turns out, the antidote is simply the potion plus (oh, it makes me shudder, just writing it out) a freshly dead madman’s eyeball (dead within 24 hours). When we had finished brewing it, our professor told us each group had to have a volunteer to try it.

I offered. I believe strongly that if I’m going be a Healer, and make other people take potions, I should first be willing to try them on myself. We got the antidote ready, and Salzifer took far too much delight in deciding what eyeball I should eat. See? Vampire.

Once I took the potion, I found myself unable to form any coherent words, or write anything intelligible. The most horrifying thing I learned from this, was that I could still understand everything. Yet I could not respond. How horrible, for the Mundanes shoved forever into asylums, when they were in their right mind. I would say it was a relief, taking the antidote, but as it was indeed an eye ball, I mostly just had to try and not throw up.

With much relief I abandoned the Alchemy cellar, and made my into fresher air, headed to the dungeon. There, I encountered Loki. He and I were alone, so it was the perfect moment to ask him about what tests we could do for me. Zoe had mentioned he had tests he could do, and I would not let this opportunity pass me by. He agreed to help me, and he did a preliminary test with his wand, confirming that yes, something was happening with my body. Then he took a sample of my blood, just as other students were coming in. And confirmed what I suppose I already knew…that I am a werewolf.

With that knowledge, I entered the Beastology classroom, feeling both dread, and yet a weight being lifted.

In Beastology we talked about different holding styles for magical creatures, and we signed up for shifts to take care of creatures in the barn.

After that of course came Magical Defense, with Jaks teaching it today, having Riley and Lexi as his assistants. He split us into groups again. Our first assignment was to have two of us throw spells at one person, while the other snuck up to catch them off guard. Jaks told Mercy, Laren, and I  that we were going far too hard on Idris. But apparently he enjoyed the challenge!

Our next task was for half of us to defend the gazebo, and half to attack it. We were supposed to be working as a team with our partners, but we all kept getting too distracted by strategy, so I guess we all failed at it.

After lunch the first Fireball games happened! Now, I’m not one for sports, not at all. But I care deeply for my new house, so of course had to be there for their first game. I stood out on a cold bridge overlooking the field, watching the game against Libussa. Unfortunately we lost, but we kept cheering till the end,

“We’re mean, we’re green, we’re the best you’ve ever seen, go Molin!”

This time, Invocation was far more interesting. We met at the edge to the forest and then ventured into the woods, trying to locate the Dryads. At last we did, and after a few bumps and mistakes, we got them to speak to us. They were beautiful, yet so very sad. And angry. Angry at what we were doing to their forest. Angry at our carelessness. I listened to them, and I felt the Earth, and I felt all that pain, all that power. I do believe it touched something deep inside me.

I was relieved to finally be in somewhere warm, returning to the heat of the castle for Ritual Magic. Professor Mackenzie brought in an injured faun, who we all decided had amnesia. It was our task then, to create a ritual using herbs from the Herbology corner, to form a healing circle and help heal the faun before class ended. Mercy and I, along with several others, flipped through our books, trying to locate herbs that could help. We decided upon rosemary, for amnesia, basil to steady the mind, and bay leaf to help with overall healing.

The class created a circle, then a triangle of flowers inside, where the faun stood. We also included two runes, to help aid our endeavor. Then nine people stood around the circle, and together, we managed to heal the faun. It was such a feeling of accomplishment.

It was at this moment I realized I had lost my wand! What kind of Witchard am I?! How could I lost my wand, what was I thinking? I scoured the castle, yet had no luck finding it. Defeated and furious with myself, I moped along to the Library, where the Juniors all had a joint class. A goblin then came in with my wand, and my delight was only momentarily squashed by having to try and lie about how it had ended up in a secret passage…

We all turned eagerly to see what kind of guest we’d have in class today, and then were all thrown for a loop when an injured minotaur came barreling in, causing chaos. The student who had tried to slow the minotaur down was knocked backwards, his leg broken. I hurried over, and eased the pain, before resetting the bone. Another fellow healer gave him a potion to ensure he was fully healed.

We created our second healing circle for the day, with chamomile, and low humming. Loki healed him most of the way, and then others assisted.

A very welcome change of pace followed, with our second Fireball game, this time against Sendivogius. At this point, we knew all that really mattered to us was that Faust didn’t win the Czocha cup. But we did manage to win the game, by only one point! So proud of the Molin team. I joined them all to take our house photo, which I feel certain I look truly terrible in.

Dinner started off eventful, with someone having switched all the mascots on the tables. Well, except for Durentius. So we decided to take their table and make them move too. However they simply brought their rooster back, but we refused to leave, so we ended up actually creating the rather lovely house of Morentius. A shame we couldn’t pool points.

The humor and fun came to a quick and horrible end, when two Magimundi Marshals entered the castle, looking to arrest Zoe. Within half a heartbeat, I was, along with several others, standing with my wand out, beside her, ready for a fight. There was no way in hell we were going to let them take her. They had no jurisdiction, either. They left, finally, and then the school- the whole school- yelled the Molin chant for Zoe. No matter what differences we have, I can see now that Czocha protects its own.

Which is good, since only ten minutes later, the pricks came back. The look on Zoe’s face…it was heartbreaking. I’m just glad they left again, without any blood or other damage. On our part. I gladly would have hurt them…

Jade very rightly called for a house meeting, to discuss what we were going to do. The marshals had returned with an Iron Letter, which allowed them the right to take Zoe. If we tried to fight, we would break the Traditions, and dissolve the Czocha conflux. But we’re cunning, we didn’t need to fight. We could hide her, within the castle’s very walls.

Luckily we never had to, but I still had to face another challenge-asking my mentor to the ball. I’d been wanting to since Friday evening, but was a coward about it. So at the 12th hour, I finally worked up the courage and found her outside of the Tavern. To my amazement, she said yes, and I was left to get ready.

At a quarter till eight, I met her where the seniors were lining up, and then we entered the gorgeous ball room. We drank champagne, and watched the first two dances. We didn’t dance, as Zoe never does, and while I enjoy dancing, I would have made an utter fool of myself. So when these dances had finished, we left for the tavern, where Zoe bought herself and me a beer.

Upon reentering the castle, we ran into Jade and her brother. I didn’t know the whole story, but apparently he had no memory of the night before. He was very polite, and so confused, the poor thing. We showed him our common room and tried to explain, very poorly, how the wards of the castle worked. Then we stood in line for our ball photo, chatting with two students from Faust who Zoe seemed to know fairly well.

When we had finished our pictures, we were met with an incredible, shocking sight in the hall. A Fae Lord, standing in line. Zoe paid her respects, asked him a few questions. Reminded me to never, ever, make a deal with the Fae. Then he whispered something in her ear and…well, the look on her face. It’s one I’ll never forget.

Somehow, he knew about an implant in her neck. An implant that could mean the death of her. And he could remove it. I stood with her while she spoke to him. I felt like an intruder, standing there, wand at my side. Yet I wouldn’t leave her alone, not with a Fae. He took offense, but there are worse things than offending a Fae.

Trying to shake off this encounter, we went to the Tavern once more. We spoke for a little bit, discussing this and that. Then we were called back to the castle. As we entered, my heart dropped. Jade’s brother was with the Fae lord, about to make a deal. We tried to stop him, we tried to tell him he didn’t know what he was doing. But we couldn’t stop him…

He changed. Whatever the Fae lord did, it changed him. When he straightened up, the smile on his face…and he crossed himself, this look in his eyes. I was momentarily distracted by the headmistress announcing 6th and 5th place, and when I turned back, he was gone.Molin came in third, which still makes me incredibly proud, of all my rocks and pebbles.

Yet heavy weight sits on my mind. With two of us Molins facing grave danger, I have no idea what awaits us all…All I know is: LOYALTY MAKES US FAMILY.

~Diana

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