“No Free Candy! The money raised from the $0.25 per piece of candy sold goes to help us fund a charity that helps find missing/abducted children. Please, ‘NO’ FREE SAMPLES!”
Was typed on the bright colored sticker on the lucite clear box that had tabs on the very top to hold the charity organization’s card (rescuing missing/abducted kids, for ours), a lockable money hopper with a coin slot on top and “$0.25” on the lid with the slot (my boss even photocopied a quarter, cut out the image, and taped it next to the coin slot), and on the bottom was an open compartment stocked with Jolly Ranchers, Peppermint/Spearmint wheels, individually wrapped Starburst squares (taken from larger wrapper), individually wrapped Now & Laters, individually wrapped spherical candies that are either sour, very spicy hot, or change colors and shrink as you suck on them. We had Tootsie Rolls but nobody wanted those as much, so we quit stocking them.
I worked at a business and the candy box was up front, where I worked. I would politely remind anyone dipping into the candy for free that those cost $0.25 a piece, whenever I had the opportunity (i.e. not busy helping customers and other primary duties). My coworkers did the same thing, and so did my boss. Even a couple of customers called out these cheapskates, though they weren’t as polite about it, and made no bones about shaming these cheap thieving jerks.
But people still kept taking free candy from the honor box, without paying! How low can you get taking money away from an organization that helps kids!? My boss definitely gives the money from the sales to the organization (less the cost of candy). However, more and more people just took free candy or they underpaid by putting pennies, nickels, or dimes in there. One guy, God Bless him, put a $20 bill in there yet only took a couple of pieces of candy. But for every guy like him or even a person who put in $0.25 for a piece of candy, there were two dozen assholes who either took a freebie or simply underpaid.
The assholes who took freebies or underpaid drove really expensive cars, dressed really lavishly, didn’t spend much money in the business, were VERY rude and demanding, and yet take candy without paying from a charitable cause.
My boss had had enough and said “The 'Honors System’ doesn’t work when too many people have no honor!” So he paid, out of his own pocket, to replace the little “Honors System” candy box with a good quality gumball machine like, coin operated dispenser. He got it from a website from a company that has been making and selling these since the 1980s, in America.
The coin operated gumball machine is capable of being bolted down to the counter (my boss did that), it has barrel locking mechanisms on the top clear plexiglass compartment for the candy, a well designed hopper and dispense mechanism to effectively distribute one piece of candy per quarter (works brilliantly), and is set to take quarters only, and the money compartment is safely behind a locking metal door behind the coin drop and turn mechanism, easy to empty out. My boss taped the organization’s cars to the top part (square “globe” where the candy is filled), and the machine cannot be fooled by slugs, coins on strings, or lower denomination coins. You can’t even fool it with foreign currency (one jerk tried to use an Albanian coin to try to steal a piece of candy).
After that, the candy theft stopped, and my boss was able to properly raise the funds to aid this charity.
But seriously, fuck cheapskate customers who think it’s okay to take a piece of candy for free despite the fact it says you have to give $0.25 for each piece of candy in order to fund an organization meant to help kids (or anyone, for that matter), especially when they are driving high end cars and dressed to the nines. If you can afford fancy clothes and expensive cars you can spare $0.25 for a piece of candy.
Nicknamed Dead Children’s Playground, this eerie playground is situated right in the middle of Maple Hill Cemetery. Non-surprisingly, it’s claimed that this ghostly playground is haunted by the many children buried in the one-hundred-acre cemetery in which is it situated. People have often reported hearing disembodied laughs and chants of children as the swings randomly move; the playground is said to be most active with obscure occurrences between 10:00PM and 3:00AM. Legend says that a number of children were abducted in the 1960′s and their slain bodies were dumped in the area of Dead Children’s Playground.
He was supposed to take my memories when he brought me here, the seelie knight, who had been commanded to escort me home with a simple “take it away, it’s too old now and it bores me” from the noble who had kept me for the past while. I traded him my singing voice for them though, and now where once sweet music poured from my lips only hoarse and untuned notes fall out without any of the tempo or melody they had before. Now I think I made a bad trade. It might have been better, if I didn’t remember, or remembered something else entirely.
I stare at the boy next to me in the circle, I was asked to join this circle as a way to make me feel part of something, part of a circle. They call the circle a support group for abducted children. Children who were abducted and got away, that is, I don’t think there’s a support group for those currently abducted. Their abductors wouldn’t allow them to attend, I suppose. The boy is speaking about the man who touched him, speaking of the horrible way he loved that man, because he was a child, and he had to love someone. Are his memories true? Or is he like me? Did a faerie take him away, and replace the memories from Under the Hill with these tragedies? Why? Did he commit some crime? I cannot say.
I am fascinated by the girl who sits next to the girl directly across from me in the circle. She tells us to call her Angie. She wears ratty clothes, not the sort of poor chic that seems to be an underlying trend, with jackets made of patches and ribbed cloth sold at malls, but real grunge. The tears in her sleeves reveal razor scars, her hair is short, she wants to look tough, she wants people to cross the street to get away from her when they see her coming. She is not tough. She is nervous, always nervous, always afraid, though she hides it well. None of these things are too interesting to me, those things I can see anywhere, but I thought context would be important so that the fact that she’s a pathological liar would not be the only thing you knew about her.
She is a pathological liar.
Her lies fascinate me.
After group chat, I take her aside and we talk, sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes for hours, and I watch her fabricate thousands of untruths, from tiny white ones to huge fantastical ones as bright and colorful as her life has never been. Some days, I believe everything she says and some days I question each word, trying to figure out her secret.
It’s a strange thing, I was taken before I really knew my name, and each faerie that’s kept me (I was a pet for them) called me something different. Do I even have a true name? I’ve been Jane Doe since I showed up, stumbling barefoot and confused into a police station moments after midnight (at least the knight knew to leave me near a place of authority), so I’ve been introducing myself as Roe, like the deer. They ran my DNA through the missing children’s database (I didn’t understand what that was at first, was shocked at how closely humans had approximated magic with computers), but there was no match. I told them I didn’t know how long ago I’d been abducted, and suggested that it might have been before the database was made. They laughed and said I was eighteen, and DNA technology had been around much longer than me. I tried to explain that time was different where I had been kept, but they simply patted me on my head and told me they were sure that it seemed that way to me at the time.
They stared at me worriedly when one of them brought me a McDonald’s Happy Meal, and I asked what she wanted for it. She told me nothing. No one here ever asks for anything besides courtesy in return for their food, but old habits are hard to break. Even now, in my foster home, I cannot help insisting that my hosts confirm that this food is a gift freely given. They asked me to help them cook and I broke down in tears because there was a cast iron skillet on the stove (“Please don’t make me, iron burns, iron burns, and it gets under your skin and makes you go grey and lifeless like a flower severed from its roots, plea-please, please don’t make me”). It took them an hour to convince me that they weren’t trying to force me to poison myself, and the food burned (“I said I would help you, you asked me to cook and I agreed, but, but please don’t make me, it burns, it’ll burn me!” “It’s alright darling, you don’t have to cook if you don’t want to.” “But I said I would! It was an oath!” “We’re sorry, we wouldn’t have asked if we’d known it would upset you, you can help some other way if you like.” “You… absolve me of my oath?” “Yes, of course we do darling!”).
I am more comfortable with iron now, I am not one of the Fair Folk, after all, it will not harm me. Correction, a blade of iron would harm me, but not because it was made of iron. It does, however, mess with my glamor.
It is a difficult thing, growing up bathed in magic and yet to have none of your own. A pixie once spoke of how she envied my hair, and I said, on impulse, “do you want it?” So a trade was made. She gave me the ability to change my appearance, and she walked away with my hair. I expected my hair to grow back after a time though… it did not. With my glamor I can have the appearance of having whatever hair I please, and sometimes I change it daily, but when I sleep or when iron is near my bare head is revealed. It is assumed by my hosts and everyone around me that I have many wigs, I have told them I do not, but they don’t believe in magic, so they insist on believing this instead.
I hide when I hear thunder, duck into a bathroom and put everything on backward and inside out if I’m in public, or simply sit quiet if I’m home. The first time I did this, it shook me to my core when someone told me “You know, your shirt is on backward.” I started to panic, until I realized that I could see myself too. It was a revelation, discovering that there was something humans could see that the Good Neighbors couldn’t.
It still boggles my mind how much people throw away, tears and menstrual blood caught on napkins, or gifts from that one aunt that they held onto for so long for the sentimental value but can’t keep now because they have to move into a smaller apartment, or the shirt they can’t wear anymore because it smells like their ex. They could trade these items to faeries for so many things, and yet they simply throw them away. What a waste.
My hosts insisted I should have a proper education, and after three years of homeschooling (to get me caught up) I applied to attend the local state college. There I found more people who fascinate me the way Angie does. There’s Lisa, who fights for animal rights, and Kyle, the leader of the Gay Straight Alliance group, and Riley, who’s going into the Peace Corps next year because they want to help the world. I ask them all the time why they do what they do, what they expect to get back, and they tell me that ideally they’ll make the world a better place, and that will pay them back eventually, but that they don’t do it for what they’ll get back, they do it because it’s right. I don’t understand. There’s Cheyenne, who always gets into intense political debates with other people over dinner in the cafeteria, and she believes so intensely about things that don’t even affect her, and she fights for them, and she tells me she does this because it’s right, and I don’t understand. I’ve never met anyone who cared about anything other than themselves Under the Hill. Faeries can’t lie, they can’t go back on their word, they honor their deals and make sure you honor them too, they repay debts and ensure they’re repaid in turn, they amuse themselves playing or squabbling over power, but they do not do things for free. They don’t care about things for free. They don’t defend the innocent, protect the weak, or forgive the ignorant. The culture shock coming here is bewildering.
If I could I’d honor my debts, leave a pile of gold at the doorstep of everyone who’s done me a kindness, but I have not the magic to do so. The drainage ponds hold no sirens, the falling snow has no frolicking pixies between its flakes, there is no magic for me to use here… or is there?
Perhaps I can’t call upon the magic Under the Hill, perhaps I can’t summon gold or make deals with darklings, but I can find magic here, I’ve seen others do it. I’ve seen a moon so beautiful it sends shivers down your spine captured by a little lense-box and put onto thick shiny paper. I’ve seen songs and stories written with such emotion that it moves those who hear them to tears, to laughter, to dancing, to life. I’ve seen kitchen witches cure colds with hot chicken soup, and I’ve seen holy men ward off tricksters they can’t even see with the power of their belief.
Perhaps I can find a way to create my own magic, and do what other people seem to strive to do to repay their debts. Perhaps I can make the world a better place, and learn the magic of humanity. And as for the places where magic does live? Where the boundary between worlds is thin and the drainage ponds and snowflakes carry faerie magic within? …I think I’ll be staying far away, for my part. I might still have a lot to learn, but I think I like it better here.
Takashi Shimizu is baaaaack with ‘Little Nightmares’, aka 'こどもつかい’!
“A suburban town is shaken by a series of mysterious child disappearances, and suspicious adult deaths. A rumor begins to spread on the internet that any adult who suddenly encounters a returned “child” will die mysteriously three days later. Local newspaper reporter Shunya Ezaki refuses to believe that children are killing adults, and begins to investigate the truth behind the strange deaths. Who on earth is “Kodomo Tsukai”? And what kind of dark fate do the abducted children drag their adult victims toward?”
I have decided, quite simply, that the really weird customers are drawn to me and this is why I get all the worst reviews. This one is not a review, but it is one of the events that made me just go… ‘what?’
A woman came up to me and started speaking in a low voice.
“There’s a man in a brown leather jacket and a baseball hat. He’s creeping me out. He walked by me, looked at me once, and then gave me the finger.”
So I tell my boss and we get a couple people to follow this guy and his friend, who are just now coming out of the t-shirt section. We don’t see them do anything weird. I’m called up to the register and the woman that came up to me starts talking about it again, her two kids sitting in the cart- pointing the men out and reiterating what she’d told me before.
The two men are on their way up, they don’t buy anything. They get into their van. They’re not really as clean-cut as our usual patrons, but landscaping/construction people come through our store sometimes because if they need high-visibility attire we have flourescent yellow shirts that work in a pinch. I kind of just assumed they left because we didn’t have them in their size.
The woman’s nanny comes up and starts asking questions.
“They left.” “Where did they go?” “They got in a van.” “They got in a VAN?!”
Like… at this point I’m like 90% certain that things did not happen the way she thinks they happened. Like… she’s making a big deal about it. I call my manager up to talk to her and she gets to tell her story again. I hear-
“What are two grown men doing in a CRAFT STORE?”
…. crafts don’t know age or gender, lady.
Manager gets her to believe that they were probably stealing something and she caught them in the act and that’s why they were acting so weird. Tells her not to call the cops because we’ll file a report.
… she called the cops anyway. We get a call from her saying that they told her that they couldn’t do anything because they didn’t steal anything and nothing… really… happened. So she begs my boss to look at the footage to send to the cops and my boss tells her that she will.
Boss looks at the footage.
Here. Is what. Happened.
She had her kids kind of playing around her cart and having a good time. These two guys walk by, the one in the jacket glances at her. The woman freezes, gathers up her kids and orders them to get in the cart, stares the man down.
Yeah, I would have flipped her the bird, too.
She then starts keeping an eye on him, staring him down whenever she sees him like he’s going to do something. She’s pointing at him to her nanny.
All but following him around the store.
Because he was a grown man in a craft store. Christ, lady- not every working dude with a beard is looking to abduct your children.
Request :: Reader and Reid have to share a hotel room during a case and they both don’t like each other but through the days of staying together they fall for each having to share a room and bed ;) (fluffy fluff maybe)
The case was frightening. We traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina. There were a few child abductions the children all ended up thrown on the side of the road all in critical condition.
The leads were all dead ends and the day had just begun. “Y/L/N, Reid go to the hospital to see what they have determined.” Ugh Reid. He was always sassy to me. I don’t even know what I did to him to not like me. “JJ and Emily you go to the Hotel get everyone checked in and then we’ll all regroup. Rossi you’re with me.” Hotch Pronounced. I rolled my eyes seeing Reid already head out the door to the black SUV. “Come on Y/L/N we don’t have all day.” He rolled his eyes setting himself down into the drivers side. “Well sorry. You stormed off without me.” I told him slamming the door as I got in. “No need to slam the door.” He said starting up the car. I groaned and sat quietly, not even worth commenting back.
“All the children were left in critical condition but they were left to make a full recovery. The were starved, and beaten but no signs of sexual assault.” The doctor explained quietly to Reid and I. Reid turned towards me, “So they tortured the children long enough to terrorize them but then lets them go. All the kids say they don’t remember seeing the unsubs face.” I nodded my head and furrowed by eyebrows in thoughts. “And why would they leave victims. Why not just kill them off so they can’t speak about what happened to them?” Reid shrugged his shoulders. “We should get back at the station.” He said rushing out of the Hospital without me. “Ugh Spencer wait up. You have longer legs!” I said trying to catch up to him. He just kept walking until we both made it back to the car.
“Come on everyone needs rest.” Hotch demanded. “Everybody is already checked into the hotel. We had to double up rooms. Rossi is with me. JJ and Emily already have a room and Reid and Y/N.” Hotch said as we walked towards the cars. You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s already enough that I have to deal with him at work but having to share a room with him is too much. I sighed and rubbed my temples.
When we got to the hotel everyone was tired and racking their brains trying to help spare the children of the horror. “I’ve got the keys.” Reid said holding them up carrying his luggage. I nodded my head and followed behind him, waiting as he opened the door. “Um I’m going to go take a shower. This case makes me feel icky. I need to wash it all off. I shouldn’t be too lon-” “Just take a shower it’s fine.” I sighed and rolled my eyes. I walked into the bathroom and looked into the mirror. I washed off my makeup and ran the shower until it went warm. I removed all of my clothes feeling the relief of my bra being gone. I stepped into the shower letting the warm water cascade over me. I washed my body and hair quickly shutting off the water. I dried myself off and stepped out bringing my toothbrush and toothpaste out of my bag. After my teeth were minty fresh I pulled the oversized FBI t-shirt on with some socks.
I opened the bathroom door and stepped out feeling the cold room flush my senses. “The bathroom is all yours.” I said into the room. I looked over to the bed seeing there was only one king sized bed. I groaned and saw Spencer already asleep on the bed. I looked towards the couch. I pouted just knowing the pain my back would be in. I walked to the closet pulling out the extra linen. I then pulled a pillow from the bed and set up the couch.
I smiled and nodded my head feeling that the couch was now worthy of my presents. I turned out the light and made my way back to the couch when I noticed Spencer still had on his glasses and shoes. I quietly moved towards Spencer taking off his glasses and untying his shoes trying softly as I could. I pulled the blanket over him as best as I could. I yawned and walked back to the couch laying down snuggling myself under the blankets drifting to sleep.
I felt a hand on my shoulder shaking me. My eyes snapped open seeing Spencer standing over me. “Yes?” I asked closing my eyes again. “It’s time to wake up.” He said going to the mirror to fix his hair. I groaned and sat up stretching feeling my spine pop all the way down. I winced and pulled my legs out from under the covers. “You okay?” He asked still looking in the mirror. I tilted my head confused as to why he asked if I were okay. “Oh um yeah this couch isn’t really comfy.” I commented standing up. “You didn’t have to sleep on the couch. You could’ve slept in the bed with me.” He told me turning around. He gave me a small smile. I was taken aback seeing him actually smile at me. “Uh yeah okay. I’m going to get ready Reid.” I said walking into the bathroom to do my business and put makeup on.
After I applied the last bit of my makeup, I walked back out into our room to get clothes. “I’m almost ready.” I mentioned. He simply nodded his head and turned back to his book. I walked back into the bathroom to change. “Reid are you ready?” I questioned him. “Yeah. Let’s go.”
We stopped out in the lobby for some coffee and a bagel and then headed out the door to meet everyone at the station. “Thanks for taking care of me last night.” He said quietly. “What?” I questioned confused. “You took off my glasses and shoes and covered me.” He told me smiling. “Oh yeah well, you’re welcome. I guess I’m the mothering type.” I said looking out the window thinking about Spencer’s odd behavior.
The day dragged on the same but this time we had the unsub in custody. All we had to find now are the kids. “We’re not going to find anything if we are all tired we need to get rest and have a clear mind. “No. I’m staying here and making that son-of-a-bitch tell me where they are. They are children.” I said getting angry. “Y/N you need rest. You’re barely keeping your eyes open.” Hotch said. “No I’m staying here. I need to find them. They are just kids.” I said frowning. “Y/N you need sleep. We all do.” Spencer said softly placing his hand on my shoulder. I shrugged off his hand and stormed outside.
I got into the passenger side of the car and waited for everyone else to pile out of the station. Rossi, Hotch, and Spencer came out together huddled up talking. Then JJ and Emily. Hotch drove JJ and Emily back to the hotel while Rossi drive Spencer and I. “Y/N I know you want to help those kids but you need some sleep. You can’t do this on your own you need to let all of us help.” Rossi said starting up the car.
The drive was silent. I stared out the window into the dark town noticing the small details of the shops and the happy people that walked those streets not even worrying about if their children are in danger or not. I closed my eyes and pressed my head against the cool glass thinking. “I wonder what happened to her.” I heard a whisper from Spencer. “Who knows. We all have our secrets.” Rossi answered. The flashbacks of the case I had flooded my mind. The children. I couldn’t save all of them. Hell I even almost got killed trying to save every child that was in the damned fire. I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Wake up Y/L/N we’re at the hotel.” I heard Rossi’s voice say. I slowly opened my eyes and nodded my head. I opened the car door and stepped down letting myself take in a big breath.
I followed behind the rest of the gang taking my time. Spencer and I arrived to our room and walked in. “You can take a shower first. I think I’m going to take a bath, it might take a while.” I told Spencer. He nodded his head and grabbed his pajamas and shampoo closing the bathroom door. I took off my shoes and laid back onto the bed placing my arm over my eyes. I laid in silence feeling the guilt in my stomach. “Y/N, Y/N.” I heard Spence say louder. I shot up and placed my hand over my chest. “I’m sorry Spence, I was just thinking.” I said taking short breaths to calm down my startled brain. “It’s okay, the bathroom is all yours.” He told me nodding to the door. I thanked him and gathered my clothes and makeup wipes. “Y/N?” He said before I entered the bathroom. “Yes?” I questioned back. “If you ever need to talk I’m always here if you need it.” He said giving me a warm smile. His smile made my heart flutter. I looked down and nodded my head. “Thanks Reid.”
When I stepped out of the bath I dried myself off loving the feelings of the warm water on my skin. I placed the same shirt on myself as the night before and added some shorts knowing I was going to sleep in the bed with Spencer tonight. I brushed my teeth and flossed. “I’m ready for bed.” I announced as I walked out into the main area. He placed his book down on the bedside table. “Do you feel better?” He asked. I shrugged my shoulders and lifted the covers slipping underneath trying to warm myself from the cool room. We laid in silence for a few minutes before I spoke up. “Spencer why don’t you like me?” I asked quietly. “What?” He sounded confused. “It’s just before this case you always were short with me. What changed?” “I don’t know.” He replied, turning his back towards me. I frowned and did the same reaching up to shut off the lamp.
My heart raced and my body grew warmer. I was back inside the burning building the unsub caught on fire leaving two, four year-olds, two five year olds and two six. My mind raced on how to get them out looking in every angle. Seeing that we were all blocked with fire. I screamed for help. “Please, please help. Get the children out leave me!” I yelled as I was pulled out before anyone else. “What the fuck are you doing there are kids in there! They need help!” I screamed and fought back trying to go back in. “Y/N you can’t go in there. Y/N. Y/N.”
I shot up in sweats. “I’m good I’m good. I’m fine.” I explained placing the palm of my hand on my forehead. “You don’t have to tell me what happened but I wish you would get help. What ever you are going through I’m sure it wasn’t your fault.” Spencer said as he placed his hand on my back. I laid back down and let out a huge breath. “I’ll be here if you need me.” He said softly turning on his side to face me. I just simply nodded and closed my eyes again trying to sleep.
I guess Spencer though I was asleep. I felt his hands run through my hair brushing it out of my face. His touch gave me the chills. He felt so right. His touch felt soft and delicate like he was afraid of hurting me. I acted like I was stirring in my sleep to flip over onto my side so he could continue brushing through my hair. I felt his hand ghost over my hip softly landing on my waist pulling his arm around my front to pull me back into him. His body felt right pressed against mine. The feeling of his hands on me ignited a spark throughout my body. “I know you’re not asleep.” He said whispering in my ear making me shiver. “How did you know?” I said turning around to look at him. “Your breathing.” He simply commented. “Look Y/N I really like you. That’s why I was short with you. I thought I couldn’t have you so I tried to push you away. But in reality that only made me want you more.” He said rubbing his thumb over my cheek. I placed my hands on the back of his neck and pushed him down to my lips to kiss him softly. “That was stupid of you Spence.” I told him against his lips. He nodded his head and pulled me close into his chest, holding me tightly. “I promise you we’ll find the kids. I have a feeling.” He said rubbing my back. I rested my head in the crook of his neck and nodded. “Thank you Spence.”
Between February 1976 and March 1977 four children were abducted and murdered within Oakland County, Michigan, triggering one of the biggest manhunts in US history. The victims - two boys and two girls - had all been snatched from the streets and held hostage for a number of days before their neatly arranged bodies were discovered by busy roads.
Two of the victims had been smothered, one had been strangled, and one had been killed with a shotgun. This is unusual because the vast majority of serial killers use the same or similiar methods to kill their victims. Also unusual was the fact the killer targeted children of both sexes, yet only the male victims had been sexually assaulted.
All the victims had been kept alive for a time before being killed - for as long as nineteen days in the case of the final victim - and autopsies revealed the killer had tied them up with heavy rope and kept them in a confined space.
The offender also appeared to follow the news coverage of the abductions; after the disappearance of Timothy King, his mother wrote a heartfelt letter to the Detroit News where she begged the abductor to return her son so she could serve him his favorite dinner, Kentucky Fried Chicken. Three days later Timothy’s body was discovered in a roadside ditch; the postmortem revealed he had eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken the day before being suffocated.
The press dubbed the case the"Babysitter Murders", and it was one of the first murder cases that featured heavily on the evening news alongside warnings about ‘stranger danger’. Dozens of people were questioned and thousands of police hours devoted to catching the killer. Unfortunately, despite a massive police effort, the Oakland County Child Killer has never been brought to justice.
Headcanons for why each character has the class that they do for their heart seal class. Beware spoilers for this two year old game. Enjoy.
Xander (Wyvern Rider)- It’s customary for royalty in Nohr to learn to ride wyvern, hence why every member of the royal family (except Leo) has access to the class set. He has a personal wyvern that lives in Windmire, but he prefers ground combat, as he feels it keeps him from becoming too distant from the troops he commands.
Camilla (Dark Mage)- She inherited the class set from her mother, Iago’s predecessor as Garon’s court sorceress. Her mother trained her personally as a mage, one of the few times she paid her daughter any positive attention, but it was never Camilla’s best skill, something that still bothers her. Additionally, Iago was apprenticed to her mother at the time and far outdid her in that department, fostering her resentment for him.
Leo (Troubadour)- He inherited the class set from his mother, a strategist who advised Garon in the early years of his kingship. She’s also believed to be the source of his intelligence and his cold demeanor. He has few and poor memories of her, and he isn’t terribly thrilled when his son takes up the class.
Elise (Wyvern Rider)- See Xander’s entry. Elise actually loves her wyvern and babies it relentlessly, but wyvern riders aren’t trained as healers, so a lot of her training would go to waste if she chose to class change.
Laslow (Ninja)- A class he inherited from Olivia. Not the ninja class, per say, but the assassin class from Awakening is something of a counterpart. He won’t intentionally take up the class, but if Xander decides that he needs a stealth operative, it’s definitely not going to be Peri.
Peri (Dark Mage)- She learned magic in order to start fires during a time when she’d developed a fascination with the idea of burning people to death. Luckily for all, she never got to be all that great at it.
Selena (Sky Knight)- A class she inherited from Cordelia. While she never deliberately chooses to become a sky knight, she accepts a captured pegasus from Camilla if need be, as wyverns are in limited supply and it affords her much greater mobility.
Beruka (Fighter)- Beruka was a competitor in an underground fighting ring, made up primarily of children abducted from the streets. It’s where her mentor found her. She still favors an axe, and her wyvern was a gift from Camilla.
Odin (Samurai)- His original class from Awakening. He tries to hide his prowess with a sword to avoid having to answer awkward questions from Leo, but his sub-par magical ability betrays his lack of experience, and Leo frequently badgers him to take up the more familiar sword as his weapon of choice.
Niles (Dark Mage)- It’s not uncommon in Windmire for street children to be paid to take part in magical experiments. While it’s ill-advised, as they are frequently used as vessels for counter-curses or penalties that result from the darker arcane arts, Niles was desperate enough to fall back on it now and then in his later childhood/early teens. He still bears the burns. (Edit: less angsty alternative, he saw the skimpy dark mage uniform and demanded one. “Niles, you’ve never used a tome in your life.” “With all due respect, milord, shut up.”)
Arthur (Cavalier)- When Elise first selected him as her retainer, he was asked to participate in a semester at a formal military academy. Cavalier is the most commonly taught class at most Nohrian military institutions. A word of advice: do not put this man on a horse. There is a reason he decided to stick to being a fighter, and it’s that one can only be trampled so many times.
Effie (Troubadour)- Effie accompanied Elise during her early education as a bodyguard, and studied healing alongside her. She never got to be very good at it, but there’s little she won’t do to humor her princess.
Nyx (Outlaw)- Due to her notoriety in the early years after her curse took effect and her unwillingness to use her magic during that time, Nyx was forced to steal to survive. It was some time ago, she doesn’t remember it well, and she doesn’t want to talk about it.
Charlotte (Troubadour)- When Charlotte joined the Nohrian army, she listed her class preference as troubadour, as it suited the persona she’d created the best. Unfortunately, negligible healing ability meant that she was of little use to the border guard in the class line, and she was assigned to the class that was needed most at the time, fighter. While this was the exact opposite of what she’d intended, it was an excuse to wear almost no clothes, so she let it slide.
Benny (Fighter)- Before he had any formal military training, Benny would occasionally be called to take up his wood-cutting axe in defense of his village. He didn’t pick up a lance until he was conscripted.
Keaton (Fighter)- Keaton doesn’t understand human weapons very well. Why don’t they just use their claws? That said, axes are hardly the dark arts, and he has little trouble figuring out the science of blunt force trauma. Even as a fighter, he’s still liable to drop his axe and wolf up, though.
The super-soldier government initiative that Noodle was a part of was widely known and advertised as an initiative against the demographic crisis in Japan. Couples that desired a child, but struggled with low income or infertility would go through a selection process, which involved background checks, chronic “supervising” of the candidates’ everyday lives and genetic profiling in search of any hidden diseases and disorders. Eventually, 200 families were chosen. However, the government secretly chose 23 families that carried the “best” genes and without informing put them under surveillance with plans to take away their children once they reached an age of 4. Noodle’s biological parents were one of them. The programme started sometime in mid-80s and officially ended in 1990, respectively when the first and the last child was born; once the government would start abducting children, sudden wave of disappearances among 4-year-olds would draw attention. After the kids started disappearing, some of the parents founded an association to come in contact with one another more easily. After the kidnapping of their daughter, Noodle’s parents joined them. There was a project to collectively sue the government of Japan, but then the members of association started disappearing. The plans were never fulfilled, but to this day Noodle’s parents hope that their daughter survived and will one day find them.