URIEL SWANSON Narrates:
"Walk three miles outside of Medora, North Dakota. Walk to where there is just sky and rolling bluffs of prairie or snow depending on the time of year.
You are going to have to look hard for this place. There is no sign advertising it like a Best Western Motel. The Gods if you want to call them that, have some brains or maybe they made a deal with the United States government. None of the students and fewer of the staff are ever quite sure.
The sign is there though. It is small, a bright round sunshine obscured by a white and black trunked birch tree which casts a long shadow reminding the world that anything can block the light and darkness and light are enemies.
The sign is on a four foot pole standing in the weeds. Beyond it is an oil and gravel road. Up the road maybe half a mile you reach the cement and stone wall that stretches longer than it should and stands a good twelve feet high and two feet thick. There is a gate in the wall. Most days it is open. Most nights well after sunset it is closed only to reopen with the dawn.
The gate and the wall, keep the townspeople away. Inside the walls lies the campus, several very large Victorian buildings. Was this place a TB Sanotorium long ago? Was it a mental hospital or a prison school? There are also larger uglier structures, high rises of concrete that protrude like stubby fingers or perhaps falluses from the plains. There is a football field, a baseball diamond, a glassed in gym and pool building and academic buildings with big plexiglass windows like rectangular eyes.
The senior staff have their own lodgings. The students have dormitories scattered around campus. It is too far from home for any of them, and it is good they are so far away.
And yes, you wanted to know about the students or soon will. There is after all a reason they are behind a thick wall which is more than it seems in a place that might as well be the ass end of nowhere.
Students at Betula are special. Ah...such a euphemism. Most of these students aren't supposed to even exist. Some are shape changers or lycanthropes. Their ID numbers begin with S. They roam in their animal or bird forms and sometimes change partially.
There are the old ones. Their ID numbers begin with O. In less enlightened times and places people called them angels, devils, and demons. In reality such terms describe a continuum of attitude and style. The Old Ones are immortal beings that may appear on the earth plane as basicly human in appearance. Some are quite beautiful. A few may be hideous. Nearly all are strong and can perform several types of magic effortlessly. Needless to say this gets Old One adolescents in to trouble. Also needless to say, once they prove themselves they can go on to having a share in secretly running the world of ordinary humans or at least they think they run it.
There are the revenants. Their ID numbers begin with R. In less enlightened times and places People called these angels and demons or perhaps ghosts, except revanents are solid and more or less human in apperance. Some might have wings. Some might be extarodinarily beautiful or ugly. A few have horns and tails. Most can hide these extra features. Revanents are humans who have died and returned. The word, revanent, comes from the French verb revenir, quite literally to come back. Revevnants are by their nature, strong beings with some magical gifts and usually quite a few nonmagical ones.
Last, but surely not least are the talented humans. Their ID nmbers begin with T. Some practice various magic arts, both white and black and all other colors and tradtions. Some have special talents such as the gift of tongues, or the ability to pick any lock or hack any computer. Some are experts in the martial arts. Others have other similar abilities both magical and otherwise. Humans have survived for fifty thousand years on planet Earth. They didn't stay that long by being weak and powerless." Zivia pauses and takes a breath.
She is a Grey Bead, a spirit who looks and feels human as was I at the point she told me all this. We sat on the residence porch of the Green Apartment Building on Robins Street in Kokorobelli which is as much my hometown as anything ever was. My real home town is on Maryland's Eastern Shore, but that was long ago. Most Grey Beads have a good time sense.
"Well, my friend, you know there is more," Zivia continues. "A bunch of revenants, old ones who we all know are monsters, shape shifters, and talented humans who include a few undead which is perversion, all gathered for secondary education on the prairies would not concern us in the least. Let them even have at each other if that is what they want if it weren't for those twins..."
"What twins?" I asked.
"It's a pair of gorgeous blond Old Ones. Their mother is on the side of the Creation and the father on the side of Destruction. Who knows how they got together, but one twin takes the mother's side and the other takes the father's. Both are more powerful than either parent. I would guess that as Old Ones go, these two are probably at this point in their careers about the eighteenth to twentieth most powerful beings in the universe."
Given the numer of beings in the universe of course, this is nothing at which to sneeze. I didn't sneeze.
"And," continued Zivia. "Numbers eighteen to twenty, are about to engage in mortal battle and recruit every student at Betual Academy to follow one of them or the other. After they get done with their war at the school, the winner will go on to take over the world or at least try to. Surely more advanced Old Ones will notice the performance.
"Of course if it is the good twin, our angelic friend, so to speak, Ariana, wins, things will be a bit easier. In fact, she'll probably leave most of the surrounding area alone especially if she has advisors who can help her govern.
"On the other hand, if, Jetta, Ariana's twin sister wins the struggle, she goes on to join and assist certain evil old one's intent on world domination. There are even certain creatures we might regard as demigods who will look favorably upon Jetta."
"So what do you want from me?" I asked. I all ready knew and the more I heard of it the less I liked it.
"You, Urielle," Zivia began. "Are to be given revanent powers and to enroll as a student at Betual Academy. There you are to meet up with and assist Ariana and the students allied with her in her struggle against Jetta and her evil horde."
"Do I really look like I can pass for sixteen?" I asked.
"You sure do," answered Zivia. "In fact, I think you can pass for fourteen which is going to be your age. Your maturity, good grey bead education, and toughness are all assets because Old Ones as we know all tend to be a bit on the spoiled side. Ariana needs someone like you as her lieutenant."
"What if she doesn't want me as her lieutenant?"
"Your job is to get her to want you and to help her..even if you're only one of her privates..."
I snickered at the thought of Ariana's privates.
"Do you accept your mission?" asked Zivia.
Do I have to tell all of you I accepted. That was how I ended up walking through the bitter cold, across hills of arctic whiteness, down a state highway towards the half obscured sign of sun and shadow, and up a long high way to a gate that someone had left open. Inside the gate, the grass was green and the temperatures springlike, but the buildings spoke of long tired life on the plains. I could feel the energy and angry red waves. I had to remember that this time around I was not invisible. I caried my duffle towards the administration office and got ready to do battle or join the battle if I could even find the battle.
Over the Administrative Building door hung a much tattered and faded fake silk ribbon. It said: "Welcome to Betula Academy."
From here you can go in a variety of directionsEdit
To read of Ariana's adventures as narrated by her, please click here.
To read of Jetta's adventures in her one and only voice, please click here.
To read of Thalia's adventures in her own voice, please click here.
To read of Urielle's adventures in her own voice, please click here.
To read of Ismene's adventures in her own voice, please click here.
To read of Cara's adventure in her cute little voice, please click here.
The next big place where all the characters come together is the food fight.
Note: There will be general rules. This is to be an open role play.
This role play is not finished and really belongs in
Note: this is not quite correct. This is a small piece of an unfinished Wikistory. I'm adding a piece or two a day. Eventually when I feel I have more pieces and the tale takes on some structure. I'll ad a Meta/Rules page so others can add chapters. This story is based loosely on the plot for [Complete Opposites].