Briar Rose

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Time to Unplug a Class?
3/26/2017 2:16pm

I'm all for rebelling against the system and attacking authority figures, but we need to organize our approach in order to maximize the damage. To do this, we have to ask a couple of hard questions: What does VEKLOR THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS have to gain from his "inferiors" disregarding their animal instincts? What exactly is he gaining from his connection with the clowns? And why does @GROTTO G.S.M. INC. suddenly want to further our cause?

First, it seems obvious that by urging his pupils to disconnect from worldly senses and sink deeper into purely conceptual and spiritual antics, our old pal VECKY aims to incapacitate us and make us easier to control. But why, specifically? Even though we are just students, our combined abilities as a student body could easily overcome any opponent. If him and his associates fear our strength could get in the way of their mission, it would be simpler to defeat us before we can even try and fight back.

Second, another influx of clown activity much like that of '15 spells bad news, and not just because they are creepy as hell. Here at PsyHigh, we know the rarity of coincidence, and we cannot pretend that pasty makeup and squishy red noses are unrelated to the problem at hand. Due to VEKLOR THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS's spotty past, gathering information on his possible motives is extremely difficult. It seems that traditional outlets of knowledge cannot help us, but reading auras, inducing precognitive dreams, and performing an array of spells could help retrace his steps back to his first interaction with clowns.

Finally, @GROTTO G.S.M. INC. never offers its assistance without some sort of catch. Although the organization's intricate knowledge could prove useful, it almost certainly has an ulterior motive driving it. Everything that occurs on campus is filtered through their "security system" for our safety; information is power, and with power corruption ultimately follows.

Poetry Club
3/8/2017 5:34pm

Although I've always had an affinity for poetry, I struggle with finding excerpts that would be interesting enough to present to a fancy poetry club. I spent a few hours scouring the library for the perfect one, but finally gave up and sulked back to my dormitory. Over the past few days, I've been requesting more and more ridiculous things of my currently blank copy of "Expanding Horizons," but I hadn't had any luck until today. In an exasperated and sarcastic tone, I asked the book, "What is the best, most impactful poem ever written? Has there ever been one so good that its readers are in awe of the fantastical piece before them?" To my surprise, the smartass author this book decided to answer me by hurling his work into my lap, already opened to page 76. I assume the violence of his response was payback for my increasingly irritating interrogation sessions. Because Poetry Club started in approximately seven minutes and I still had to navigate my way to the Fourth Wall Library, I had to sprint to the meeting without a glance at the poem.

I made it to the library with roughly 42 seconds to spare, just in time to catch the beginning of the meeting. As it was only the first meeting there weren't too many psychics in attendance, but everyone who was there presented a poem that was in some way intriguing. @Crystal Rosethorn read a touching excerpt about the life of a sickly changeling who eventually reintegrated into the fairy realm, and the scents described in it wafted through the room as she spoke. Another girl, named Anaïs, recited an ancient marriage proposal; although the language is long forgotten, it still invokes strong feelings. When it was finally my turn, I awkwardly mumbled the first lines of "Precious," but then slowly melted into the poem's rhythm:
"A-alone alight of light you are
as am I.
Or so I used th-th-think
when I stared in the mirror
and saw these faces
they were never mine.
I sought to recognize
some familiarity,
some sense of belonging
just something I could
use to string along a -"

Suddenly, I snapped awake from what seemed to be a trace. When I looked around the room, I saw that everyone was nodding their heads to the ebbs and flows of my words. In disbelief, I looked down at my book and saw a warning written in small type appear before my eyes that described the trance all listeners would fall into. It seems that the only thing that snapped me out of it was the slow drip of blood from my nose, dotting the pages. I looked up again to see crimson streaks flowing from the noses of my fellow poetry lovers and realized that the author of "Expanding Horizons" may have mixed intentions.

Coffee Secrets
2/25/2017 10:29pm

If I place my finger one particular coffee stain (shaped like a circle with a star in its center) and close my eyes, I can see the world through my great aunt's eyes. In this vision, she pores over her Demonic Studies textbook in preparation for her upcoming exam that she was almost certain she would flunk. Although she could strike up a casual conversation in various demonic tongues and perform summoning rituals with ease, this particular test covered the history of demon and human interactions. There have been countless instances of soul selling and hellpacts, all of which were endlessly boring to her and almost impossible to remember.

The absurd solution to her predicament, although seemingly sane to her, was to summon a demon and sweetly ask for help. She carefully painted a miniature pentagram out of coffee on the table and chanted the spell, and a grotesque figure appeared in a small cloud of sulfurous smoke. I do not speak Latin or any other demonic dialect, but somehow I know that the small demon was named Sabbhal. Although he was initially offended by his summoning and refused to cooperate, my great aunt quickly convinced him to help her.

By reciting several phrases relayed by Sabbhal, she cemented his consciousness into her own mind. Contrary to popular misconceptions about demonic "possession," as long as both parties are willing participants, they can coexist and even grow to care for one another. My great aunt passed her midterm due to her unconventional cheating methods, and her and Sabbhal were inseperable (physically and spiritually) until the day of her death.

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Biolet's Backpack
2/21/2017 6:40pm

Apparently, there are no incantations, concoctions, or psychically charged card tricks with enough power to reverse a time jumble of this magnitude. Believe me, I would know; I've read every resource available to me within this dimension at least 3 times (even the magic number cannot help me here). Almost everyone else here has either devolved into incomprehensible insanity or disappeared without a trace, and I had already begun to accept my dismal fate when I was interrupted by a pulsating light in the corner of my room. At first, I thought it was just another reality distortion, but the eerie voice echoing in my mind made me reconsider.

"Reach into the backpack, eyes closed, and grab the first item you touch," it commanded. Immediately, I thought back to the purple-haired child's story about @Biolet's bag and realized that this must be the same being she had described. The voice sounded slightly more exasperated, though, as if it had been continuously repeating this menial task for a very long time. I did as I was told, and pulled out
a faded book titled "Expanding Horizons." The contrast between this seemingly ordinary thing and the situation at hand was almost laughable, but the voice seemed strangely surprised at this new development. "Page 28," it finally uttered, and then the whole room exploded into a burst of light even more powerful than the first.

The force of the blast threw me to the ground, and I lost my grip on the guidebook, sending to across the floor. Once I stopped shaking, I crawled over to it and was surprised to find it open to page 28, which was titled "Temporal Troubles." The book's condescending author poked fun at my considerably dire situation, but then prescribed a triple application of thyme (apparently irony can also fuel magic). I needed to drink a pint of thyme tea, burn thyme leaves to release their aura, and rub thyme's essential oil on my temples in order to return to my proper timeline. Luckily, the potions master dematerialized a short time ago, so I was free to raid her cabinet in search of a suitable amount of thyme.

The whole time I was performing the ritual, I could almost hear the book laughing at me, which was unnerving but also strangely comforting. At the end, I blacked out and woke up with a splitting headache and "Expanding Horizons" cradled close to my chest. I was so relieved that there were no rippling distortions or jumbled thoughts that I actually shrieked, and my homecoming was met by the disgruntled protests of my rudely awakened classmates. Although I was grateful that it had transported me safely back home, I was both wearied and intrigued by this newfound handbook. I decided to learn what its other pages contained, but they were all blank when I ruffled through them; the book was apparently not ready to disclose all of its secrets quite yet.

Biolet's Backpack
2/7/2017 6:48pm

Wait, @Crispy Genie, you mean yesterday wasn't May 26th? That's not good, but it could explain the many inconsistencies in reality I've been experiencing. Although I've used a variety of potions, spells, and other forms of magic to correct my discombobulated capitalization and the inconvenient portal manifestations, other abnormalities have surfaced in their place. If I stare long enough at an object, it begins to distort and deteriorate, as if it were never there at all. On occasion, gravity has been failing and everything, myself included, begins to float upwards; I've started strapping myself in bed to avoid waking up on the ceiling. My thoughts are becoming random and incompl . . . nd I seem to combine them in ways that make little sense. I'm beginning to worry if I'm losing touch with reality, forgetting what has happened and fabricating false memories. If this has anything to do with @Biolet's mysterious backpack, I have already forgotten.

Biolet's Backpack
2/6/2017 4:05pm

THe moOn reachED pErigee, thE cLoseSt pOiNT IN iTs orBiT to EArTH, AT ApPROXiMAtely 9:02 tHis morNING. siNce THEn, I HAVE NotiCEd SEVERAl anoMAlIEs WItHIn tHiS dimENSiON, and POssIBly oTherS. FIRStLy, My PEn is RANdOmly cAPitalIZInG THe LettERS wiTHiN tHis jOuRNal EnTrY, SO i APOLoGiZE if it'S a bIt hArD To dECIpher. AdDitiONallY, DISTOrtIonS iN reALIty SUCH aS ThOSe we ExperIeNCEd oN nEW year'S dAy hAvE PopPEd uP; fOr exAMplE, A PUlSAtIng portAL apPearED oVer MY SinK anD dROppED ThE TOotHpAsTE I SPIT OUt oNTo My SOck iNStEAD. mY EARs HaVe bEen ringINg In alTernATINg ShIfTs OF 4 mInuTES AnD 13 sEcONds fOr thE ENtIRE dAy, pReveNTInG Me FRom taKiNg mY HOuRlY CATnAPS aNd FocUsING oN tHe mundanE STudIes LeCTure. ON a NotE THAt MAY oR mAY NoT BE relatED to ThE mOon's ORbit, i haVe strANgelY BEeN CRaViNG GuAcAMolE frenCh frieS ALl DAY, ALtHoUgh UNFoRTunATELy THeRE Will Be NONe In tHE mESS hALL UNTIL nExT TueSDaY. So fAR, tHEse Have BeEN ThE waCKIesT aStRoLogicALLY INdUCeD DiStoRtioNs i HaVe WiTNEssed sInCe ThE SumMEr SoLstICE iN 2009 (bUt ThAt's A stOry FoR AnOTHer joUrNaL pAgE).

Biolet's Backpack
2/3/2017 7:05pm

It seems like you really need your backpack, so I asked my ghost friends to spread the word all over campus, especially in the isolated corners that may not have heard of your predicament. I wasn't sure if it would work, but it was worth a try. Just when I gave up on the possibility, I heard a soft knock on my door in the middle of the night. Outside stood a little girl, maybe nine years old, with bright purple hair and cryptic black runes scrawled all over her face. In contrast with her striking appearance, she spoke in a hushed tone, and I had to kneel down in order to hear her.

She explained to me that she was a refugee from 4A14A0 and had seen @Biolet 's backpack the night she escaped. With the routes between realities closed until further notice, she had no choice but to cower in remote alleys until her passage was opened up again. Or so she thought. A pulsating light appeared next to her, so bright that it blinded her for a couple of seconds; once her sight returned, she realized the source of the glow was a backpack.

A voice, most likely telepathic, coerced to her to reach into the pack and pull out the first item she touched; it promised it would give her what she needed. When she opened her palm, she found a Dimensional Manipulator.

"Who... what are you?" she murmured.

"I am but a messenger," the voice replied, "and my mission is what must be done."

I'm not sure how much you have to do with this "mission," @Biolet , but it would be an understatement to say that I am seriously confused.

1/29/2017 9:43am

The Rose lineage has a long and complicated history. Because of this, it is difficult to separate myth from reality, although it seems that the two have actually morphed into one. Whenever a family has such a high concentration of psychic ability, they are often passed down through the generations. The skills acquired by one's ancestors are accessible through genetic memory, and although few people exhibit all of the abilities of the family, a general affinity for many of the skills that have been passed down is present in the following generations.

Back when last names were given in accordance with accomplishments, my great great great great... (we are not totally sure how many greats there are) grandfather became interested in the art of witchcraft. Unfortunately, the necessary ingredients for even the simplest spells and potions were scarce in the Netherlands; on the other hand, flowers were abundant! He devoted his life to substituting the strange components of magic with various flower blooms: crushed tulip leaves had the same effect as pickled toad, dandelion fluff could substitute the skeleton of a calico kitten, daisy pollen mimics the powers of a shrunken head, and so on. His contributions made witchcraft accessible to not just the elite, but also the commoner. Through him, herbally-based magic was born.

My great... (with a few less greats than above) aunt was highly sensitive to the spiritual world, which was taboo in her time. Her peers had no clue how to comprehend her talents, so they institutionalized her unless someone needed to consult with the spirits. Contrary to popular belief, the ghosts that reside in mental institutions are very nice when treated with respect. They took a liking to my aunt, and helped her hatch a plan to escape as long as she promised to stay in contact. She obviously accepted, and spirits have been seeking out her descendants for companionship ever since.

These two ancestors have affected my overall psychic abilities the most, but the other savvies of the Rose family show themselves in tiny bursts, which is why I can occasionally chat with stray dogs, have prophetic dreams, access the Mind Palace, and more; sadly, these powers are fleeting and sometimes only occur once. So far, I have only experienced my inherited talents, but around when I turn seventeen I will unlock my personal psychic ability (hopefully, but sometimes a person is skipped over for any original power, like my Uncle Jimbo).

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The Peculiar Power of World-Benders
1/1/2017 10:46am

I decided to take @Klarya 's advice last night and wandered around campus in search of any distortions, and I was not disappointed! Some world-benders were difficult to identify because each one manifests differently, but all of them had unique effects. For example, a pulsing ball of purple light appeared by the flag pole allowed me to increase and decrease its voltage and even aim its energy (I apologize for any residual scorch marks on the trees or grass). More subtle world-benders were also present, such as the slight rippling of matter by the creek that made anything stuck inside of it invisible.

The general presence of these holes in reality has also increased my sensitivity to the spiritual world and my (less developed) telepathy. I have no idea how long these disturbances might last, but I have doubled my training and studies in order to take full advantage of these circumstances.

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A Very Victorian Christmas
12/26/2016 8:08pm

A Very Victorian Christmas was so fun that it was actually possible to ignore the pestilence and disease that plagued the streets, but now that the holiday is over, things seem to be falling apart. The residual effects of the multiple reality distortions have been at best an annoyance and at worst extremely dangerous. At least three different gruff cowboys have challenged me to duals at high noon, and the girls' bathroom in the Great Hall has been closed until further notice due to a rogue velociraptor that refuses to back down.

In addition, GROTTO G.S.M. INC.'s actions and intentions are unclear and I recommend that everyone guard themselves, question any commands, and dig deeper into their history. Their attempts of comradery and weak and questionable, and they should be investigated for their manipulation of the reality machine. Stay aware and do not fall in to their trap.

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