Chapter 13: Academic Blues

University of Foxbury, Oasis Springs


Vlad was not made for academia. He did not want to talk about his work; he did not want to answer questions about his work, and he most certainly did not want to attend entire conferences with other creatures who waxed poetic about theirs.

But he could rarely deny his children anything, so here he was at the University of Foxbury for the Fundamentals of the History of Magic. The mortals on the planning committee thought they were making a joke with the title. The supernatural participants did not.

“—but you’ve read the latest overview of Charleston’s work? It’s a re-re-examination funded by the Brindleton Bay Men’s Club of Knowledge and Knowing.”

Vlad turned to the bespectacled sim talking to him. “What.”

“An examination of your examination of the mythical mermaid wars?” the sim continued, bouncing from foot to foot.

They weren’t mythical, and Vlad hadn’t “examined” them. He’d written down what happened because he didn’t want to forget. That was the problem with aging—time made details fuzzy. He was already well over 1200 when an army of dimwitted pirates decided to teach the “harlots beneath the sea” a lesson. Watching the sirens tear open the sailors’ throats with their teeth was a joy. It included a free meal and Vlad’s favorite musical accompaniment: the sound of men wailing.

He pressed a hand to his head, narrowing his eyes. “I haven’t read it.”

“The overview or Charleston’s work?”

The amount of blinking the sim was doing should be illegal. Vlad growled. “There’s an overview of the examination of the examination?” 

“Y-yes!” the sim sputtered, “Llamas, man, what did you think we were talking about?”

Vlad wasn’t talking; he was thinking, which for some unfathomable reason, creatures took as an invitation to speak to him. Why hadn’t he refined his power of suggestion like Anastasia? He could scramble their brains like eggs, but he could not invoke a simple “do not perceive me.”


That voice. Vlad whirled around. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Ethren leaned against the wall, a smirk painting his face. “What a greeting. You always were a smooth talker.”

Vlad swallowed hard. The years had been kind to his ex-husband, who was aging at a crawl because he was half-vampire. “I’m supporting Lilith; I didn’t know you’d be here.” 

“I heard Lilith was presenting, so I came to support her too. We’ve got some time before the next session. Do you want to go to lunch? You and I are long overdue for an”—he licked his lips—“academic discussion.”  

Vlad’s hands clenched as heat, and something that felt suspiciously like the tearing of newly mended flesh wound through him. He made his voice purposefully disinterested, “Do you mean lunch or a discussion of how academia is a self-referential table jerk for those already in power?”

“I’m not opposed to the jerking part,” Ethren adjusted his stance so his legs slightly parted. “But sure, we can talk too.”

“We are not fucking. I’m seeing someone.”

His ex gave him a knowing smile.

“I like her,” Vlad clarified.

Ethren’s grin, if possible, widened. 

  • Yimiki
    Nov 15, 2022

    Welcome back! 😄

    Freelancing business 😆 So far, Alice seems to be the better improvisor in a pinch. Or is it the better liar in a pinch? Eh. They don’t seem to be mutually exclusive with those two. To be fair, Alice, even the most stone-cold of bosses are no match for Tiny Toddler Terror.

    BEN! I weirdly missed him, infuriating as he was the first time around. Hm, he does look significantly less… healthy? Is that the word? And Grim downright knows the “previous” world to, it seems. Curious. Why are they specifically there for Gwendolyn, I wonder.

    Oh! Ethren the ex! My gods he does have a lot of… err, appeal. Did we learn why they split up in the first place? We haven’t yet, right? Wha- is that Miko? 😧 Nah, surely I didn’t see that right. Interesting bit of lore about the origins of werewolves and vampires there…

    With all the trouble that seeing dead people could bring, having someone get increasingly mad because they’re not getting a drink they can’t enjoy had not crossed my mind. Maybe they’ll realise it when someone sits down in their seat… though pearl lady doesn’t seem aware enough for that either.

    I should probably feel bad for the poor sod who’s about to get torn limb from limb by Vlad there. He’s hiding some pretty mysoginistic views under his “research” but that doesn’t warrant whatever brutal death is about to… well. If that helps calm Vlad down, then it helps calm Vlad down, doesn’t it? And the guy is still alive! I think! Maybe!

    Oh dear. Snapped a shot and then sent it over without thinking, and now he’s seen Gwendolyn. Let’s see how that plays out. Something tells me Vlad won’t mind nearly as much as Alice thinks he will. Bwahaha small boobies 😆 Gwen is adorable.

    • feroshgirl
      Nov 15, 2022

      Thank you! I am slowly returning to life and getting back into simlit again! I took a few weeks just to play the game without any worries of producing anything and it was glorious. I was admittedly burnt out. I hear there has been some Tales of Camelot in my absence so I am eager to catch up. Onto your comment!

      Ha! Alice is definitely smoother than Vlad, though I think he’s just exhausted by pretending with her. I think they are both exhausted by pretending with each other, which is why they need that kick in the butt to just be honest with each other.

      Mommy has small boobies is the best toddler line I’ve ever written LOL.

      And you’re right, Gwendolyn is not for the faint of heart. I don’t know anyone who could handle her, Vlad included.

      Haha, I do think if you saw the dead everywhere they’d be more annoying that scary. At this point, Alice is just like: can you all please stop talking at once and don’t bother me!

      I love that you “almost” felt bad, but couldn’t quite summon it up. I mean, I wrote it and SAME.

      I think if anything, Vlad is more enamored. We know he loves kids LOL

      • Yimiki
        Nov 18, 2022

        Just playing the sims with no screenshotting responsibilities is wonderful sometimes. I do that every once in a while, too. Glad to hear you’ve recharged a bit 😄 Haha, there has been, but it’ll still be there whenever 😗

        And now I want to see a filler episode with all of your cast just trying to handle Gwendolyn’s toddlerness, lol. Morgyn, Lilith, Caleb, Bella, Anastasia, Penny…. and they have to do it without harming the kid. I wonder how long they’d last before they go (even more) mental 😂 Mortimer, William and Vlad seem like they could actually pull it off, so they’re not allowed to participate. 🤣

  • Snow ~
    Nov 19, 2022

    Sorry I’m so late to these chapters ;-;
    I love Gwen constantly interrupting Alice when she’s trying to pee. Toddlers never need something when you’re not busy XD Ah yes, the joys of the toddler ‘why?’ BECAUSE I SAID SO KID! Ah yes the return of B’ollithranon! And now all of the wondrous crazy stuff from BBD is gonna bleed right into Strauds and I’m here for it. Ohh gosh I don’t even want to THINK about Olive Specter as a babysitter XD So much I can’t say cuz I don’t wanna spoil BB for other readers but yeah maybe Ben is not the best person to have as a babysitter. Then again…possibly a better option than Olive Specter!

    Even someone with as much life knowledge as Vlad seems so out of place in one of those pretentious-ass conventions.
    ‘No, I have not read this obscure-ass paper and could not give less of a fuck.’
    ‘No please! Discuss it with me! You HAVE to know how much smarter I am than you! I got full marks in a spelling test in Year Four!’

    Yes here he is, glorious Ethren Reyes! I love that he’s half-vampire, so damn much. And that flirty edge. Kinda like when Penny’s traumatic experiences slipped in during convo and now we’re seeing it with Vlad as well…I love how you tied in the Werewolves pack lore with the Magic Realm lore so much aaaa! Now that I think about it it makes the spellcasters seem a lot more terrifying to know that witches created werewolves and vampires. Sort of like their own little murderous Frankenstein’s monsters.
    Yess Vlad, go feral > : )

    Ohhhh I wonder what that energy was? Has the uhh…powers / senses she had before in another universe come back in some way? I like the tie of magic and logic as well, since often magic there is not really anything sort of logic-wise or explainable about it, it just…is. I wonder if trying to apply a ‘definite answers’ mathematical edge to magic would help Lilith understand it better, or if it’s misplaced effort. For me magic isn’t supposed to be wholly understood, but then that would come with vampirism wouldn’t it? You have all the time in the world, why wouldn’t you make an effort to try and understand every little thing and boil it all down to some kind of formula?

    I really love the vampire / patriarchal energy thing as well from the vampire tome, since that’s something that ties in with my own vampire lore and that will come up in a soon-later chapter- that privileged men make good vampires and are less regretful of vampirism because in reality, it’s little new to them. Because they have never had to hide their chaos, they’ve never had to tone themselves down, their violence is almost always justified on the grand scale. It’s no different to before the turning other than the immortality and the drinking blood.

    I love that they’ve both had fucked-up days and they’re both like ‘yeah it was alright honey!’ XD ‘100 Kinky Things You Might Be Into With Convenient Product Placement From Our Sponsors’ list’ made me laugh so fucking hard XD Right alongside ‘You Are Perfect The Way You Are Queen! Now Buy This £4k Dress Or Men Won’t Want To Fuck You.’ GWEN! TIMING! Ohhh my gosh XD And the ‘mommy has small boobies!’ I’m gone XD

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