Zilyana Eliyen Liastina-Wranqirelle is the star of her university duelling team and she knows it. She has free melee (solo) winner’s ribbons from the last six meetups. It would be seven but she was very hungover after going out drinking with the Agata cheerleaders the night before the meetup at Agata. Maybe eight if she hadn’t skipped the Lunax meetup to go air elemental surfing with her sorority sisters. Okay, nine if she hadn’t been disqualified from the regionals tournament for attacking one of the style judges for scoring her form poorly in the Kalpin floor routine. Coach Hladne wanted her kicked from the team for that but the Dean of Meethonburh University overruled them, saying that it was a valuable learning experience for everyone.
What Zilyana learnt, yet again, was that money lets you get away with anything. In her case it’s her parents money. Her father is old money and is the current Baron Grunkily, 17th of his line. The treasure room at the family castle is well stocked and kept that way from the forests and farmlands. Her mother is new money and sits as CEO and majority shareholder of the Meethonburh Construction Bank, which she founded with her share of the hoard from dragon atop the Killmount. They’ve both made huge endowments and direct donations to Meethonburh University and the garden where they first met has been renamed after them. They’ve also given their daughter the same tidy fortune they gave her older brother, for expenses.
Her brother objected that he’d had to work hard to get into Riverfell Wizard’s College whereas for Zilyana her family name on the application was enough. Zilyana stuck her tongue out at his complaints and went back to sharpening her swords. And what fine swords they are. A present from her mother on her 18th birthday, their master-crafted and made of blackened adamantine with the family crest engraved on the pommel. Ever indulged by her parents, her mother thinks that pursuing an adventuring career will be just what Zilyana needs to find some direction in her life.
Her preferred directions are dungeons and parties. Her academic performance is woeful from neglect but with the Dean covering for her she gets to go on all the practical field trips. Zilyana is a mixed blessing for any party that ends up with her. Her natural talent for sharp violence means she’s great in a simple fight, but she’s no interest in teamwork, tactics, puzzle solving or logistics. If she’s drawn as a party captain she lets the others do all the work with a bored disinterest that only lifts when she can get her swords bloody. Her classmates have given up trying to work with her and now just manage around her, essentially treating her as a summoned creature: she kills, they handle the rest.
When it comes to parties though, then she understands planning and organisation. With her deluxe magic carpet, her clique goes to all the nest parties in style. With her cash she rents the best venues for feasts. When they go on holidays, it’s to the most exclusive resorts by 1st class teleport. Shopping trips are weekend long affairs that end with multiple bags of holding filled with the latest fashions and enchanted items. Zilyana has an entire floor of her townhouse just for all her clothes and gear.
Returning to campus to start her second year, Zilyana expected her happy unchallenged life to continue but Amedee Presjyre’s arrival threatens to change all that. Amedee’s family have an Earldom, her townhouse is bigger and she’s exquisitely capable with her ancestral spear. To make matters even worse, she’s attending all the lectures and actually working with her classmates. If Zilyana isn’t careful, this first year is going to replace her on the duelling team and take all Zilyana’s fame and glory. Thankfully, Amedee’s family haven’t donated to the university yet…