How was it that sometimes weeks passed as minutes and time flew by right before your eyes, while at other times, seconds felt like hours as you waded through the waters of your life against a current stronger than you expected? How could it be that there were times, even, when time seemed to pass as some of both, all at once?
For Albel, days had turned to weeks easily as he buried himself in his work outside, placing stones and cementing them in place, finishing the protective walls around the thawing campus of Outcast Academy in the weeks following the big change. He had worked until he was ready to collapse from exhaustion, from dawn until dusk, and it had been a wonderful, glorious escape. They had lost teachers, they had lost a headmaster, and those few who remained were hard pressed to keep the school running… especially without leadership.
But Albel wasn’t ready. He had not led anyone in years and had sworn never to do so again. He didn’t want it. He couldn’t do it. The night stretched on for eternities, sitting at his desk and thinking, wondering, worrying. He couldn’t sleep. It was difficult to fight passed the darkness that fell over him, but he knew in the scheme of things, his problems were small. The school needed someone to step up and take command in the absence of Katran, and as for the world…
Albel feared the world would need Outcast Academy to be bigger and stronger… safer… very soon. Things were changing again, for the first time since the New World Division passed. People were changing. The fragile peace between their people and the humans, and with the beings newly of the light, was failing. Washing away like sand and crumbling under their feet. Even the little village nearby wasn’t safe for their kind anymore, and Albel was earning increasingly dirty looks in the closest city, where he flew regularly for supplies and had done for years. Those people knew him, and even they were no longer accepting.
Worse still, were the rumors passing through the grape vine, over country boarders, and into Albel’s information circles. Things were worse for their people in some of the neighboring countries. People were being marked, logged, their identities stored in government databases, controlled and forced out of certain areas entirely… and there were some particularly disturbing rumors surrounding hunters, sent by god-knew who and for unknowable reasons… or just working for themselves, perhaps, to rid the world of certain ‘lower’ species… to eradicate them like an illness from the earth or profit from black-market sales. They couldn’t be true, they just couldn’t, but Albel knew things were not right, and he wasn’t so naïve that he expected them to right themselves anymore.
Outcast Academy would have to be ready. They’d have to be prepared to house more children, and younger ones… they’d have to be ready for whatever might come… and they’d have to start actively working on their public image. They could change things, maybe, make them improve--or at least slow the bleeding, keep things from getting worse. Maybe, if they tried hard enough, they could make other people see… Albel thought about his kids, his students… about the world they would be moving into as adults… He couldn’t abandon them to whatever fate might come. If he didn’t do everything he could while they were still young enough to be protected… well, he wouldn’t be worthy of anything at all.
It was painful and difficult, but Outcast needed him to man up and take responsibility for himself, for his home. Someone had to lead and Albel was the only one left who could… but at least he wasn’t alone. They hadn’t all gone. True friends, like Nereida and Eid had stayed, and even grumpy old Yngvar hadn’t abandoned them yet. Together, it could be done. They’d need to hire new teachers, find help, keep the children they have safe and ready themselves for more… prepare them all for the future. Dark times were ahead, but if they could only keep the school alive, none of them would have to face it alone.
He wasn’t alone. Albel reminded himself of this as many times as it took to get up and face reality head-on, and once he had… he realized that, as terrible as he still felt over the loss of Katran, the healing had already begun.
Thank you so much everyone, for waiting so patiently for us to get our act back together! We definitely appreciate it and are happy to declare Outcast Academy open again
! This means we will be having events, classes, and yes--openings
again very soon! To start, I have a few announcements.
First, our next application week will begin on May 24th
. Spread the news and get ready if you plan to participate this go-around!
Second, our FAQ
has seen some significant updating during the break. Most of the changes should be unsurprising to active members, as very little in it is newly-administered policies, but there are a few new and important notes inside. It wouldn’t hurt to give it a peek.
We will now be allowing active members to have up to two characters
beginning during the nearest application week. To read up on this, please visit the FAQ, but I’ll set out the important points here:
-You may apply with a second character one application week after you are accepted with your first, or during any opening thereafter. This means we still have a strict one character per application, one application per opening
-Second characters are only legal and acceptable if they have been accepted into the group through the same application-process of all characters, during an opening. We will be strict on illegal characters, so please respect this.
-Your first character must
still be an adolescent (between 12 and 18 years old, developmentally-speaking) but your second character may
if you choose. We will not accept students under two years of age (again, mentality-wise) and younger characters will be judged more strictly than adolescent ones.
-The number of pets a member is allowed to have has not changed
. This is unrelated to how many characters you have.
We have a new application sheet
made this cheerful and exciting new application sheet for us to use from now on. Current students: Please repost your application on this new sheet at this time--it would be especially great if you could have it done by the upcoming application week. You do not
have to redraw your picture or anything like that, if you do not want to. We simply would like the gallery to be uniform. If you need any help with photoshop or the like, please just ask--we’d be happy to help! Possible Applicants: Please use this application should you apply. We will not accept applications using the old sheet anymore. Thank you for your cooperation.
in particular has offered to help anyone who would like help getting their information onto the new sheet, so feel free to note her about it if you like.
During the next opening we will be welcoming some new teachers into the school, so keep an eye out for them to arrive on campus!
As we add more students, upper floors in the dormitory buildings will be finished to accommodate them. For organizational purposes, all current students live on the second floor
of their respective dormitory buildings. From now on, floors will be assigned to new students as they join us. This is only for storyline-purposes, so you have a better idea of where your character lives. Rooms are still singles, though--every student still has their own.
If you have any questions about these or any other changes, or any comments in general, please feel free to comment here, on our page (and while you’re there, check out our spiffy new look, thanks to *Autumn-Equinox
!), or note us about it. Thanks again for the patience during this time and we can’t wait to see you all properly again!