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Running for Head Girl had seemed like a better idea days ago. Now, with her speech only a few short minutes away, Thamina Barton was having trouble even just swallowing her fear. How was she supposed to go up there and talk?

It wasn't that the speech wasn't true. Thamina intended to say what she meant; after all, what else was there to do? It was just the thought of giving it that was destroying her. She told herself there was nothing to lose, but of course there was: whatever little dignity she might manage to have. How badly would Firuz jeer her for a bad speech? Still, she'd committed, and now she had to follow through. Hopefully this would be quick. Maybe it would even work.

Thank goodness she had her notes. Thamina looked down at the worry-created paper in her hands, where she'd written out the speech and how she had to deliver it. Surely she had time for one more read-through...


---

(Remember: Stand up nice and straight at the podium! Smile, but not too wide. Don't loom!!)

Hello, everyone. It's very nice to see so many people here and excited about the election. Many of us are new to the school, but it's still important that we get out, vote, and lead as best we can. My name is Thamina Barton, and I'd like to be the Head Girl for House Terra.

(Make sure you're breathing evenly! Slow and steady!)

Everyone here has their own past and their own story, but when I look at the students here, I see people who have worked hard to get where they are. No matter what your goal is, you know that achieving it is going to take more than talent, and that's why you're here. I believe it's very important for everyone here to work hard, but I also believe it's important for us all to have an environment where our hard work can pay off. In our Houses, where we live, that means somewhere we're all free to rest, learn, and grow -- as students, as people, and as whatever we hope to become. As Head Girl, my first priority would be to make House Terra that kind of home for us.

(That's a good paragraph! Practice it, and make sure you can say it cleanly. Look up at people. Don't read your notes any more than you have to!)

Before I came to Yarelts, I helped out at my family's inn. When I was old enough to start doing chores, one of the first things my grandmother told me was that the best innkeepers make their presence known as little as they can. There's always something to do, but you can't be underfoot; you have busy, tired people to keep comfortable, and you need to take care of them before they even have to ask. I've done my best to work that way at home, and I'd like to do it as Head Girl as well. I want to take care of House Terra's problems before they're even problems, before they have a chance to disrupt our studies and our lives. I'll focus my full attention and efforts onto making our house a comfortable place to live and a united community of friends.

I'll be honest: I'm not a very special person. I don't have the amazing powers, special weapons, or exceptional stories of most of you...

(Pause; make more eye contact! Lots of eye contact on this. DON'T READ THIS PAPER NOW! YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!)

But I don't think you have to be special to be strong. House Terra is the house of strength, and every one of us is strong in our own way. My strength isn't just in my body -- it's in my patience, and how I pay attention, and how I listen and respond, and how hard I can work. If you elect me Head Girl, I'll work hard for you and for all of us, to make House Terra as great as we all know it can be. That's my promise to you.

(This is a good place to stop, but maybe do this, if they're listening still and you think they might think it's funny, try it!)

I have one last thing to say, and it's about the big issue of this election... food. I don't really bake, aside from bread, but I'm good with stew! If elected Head Girl, my first act will be to throw a party for the house with as much stew and bread as we can eat. Bring cookies and muffins if you like for after the meal!

Thank you, everyone, for your time and attention. Let's go out there and vote!

--

She wasn't sure about the part about the stew. She knew she could do it, but did she want to remind people about the cookies and muffins? Those were mostly for the other houses, though... that Pichu had candy, and that was all. You couldn't live on candy, but you could live on stew. That was probably some kind of metaphor.

Thamina read over her notes once more, just to be sure. She couldn't afford to look nervous and lose her place at a time like this. This was risky -- it was very risky -- but she told herself that she could do it. If nothing else, it would mean something to try.

The podium was clear. One final glance at the paper cleared her nerves, and Thamina stepped onto the stage. She set her paper on the podium, but she knew she wouldn't need it now.

"Hello, everyone..."
PKA Lesson 2 [Terra]: Thamina's Speech, With Notes
:iconpkmn-knight-academy,: 921 words

What it says on the tin. We have a couple of Terra Head Girl candidates, but why not give this a shot with someone who's really earnest about it all?

(Yeah, if Thamina somehow gets elected, I'm RPing the heck out of this.)
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PKA: Thamina's Grade Tracker by eiviiaru
PKA: Thamina's Grade Tracker
:iconpkmn-knight-academy: 

It's a grade tracker! The font I'm using is J.D. Handcrafted, by Emerald City Fontwerks. I'll probably be using that for anything that requires Thamina's handwriting, because I can't handwrite in digital art programs to save my life.

Here are some lesson links:
Lesson 1: House Crafts

More to come as the group has more assignments!
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Thamina Barton's desk was covered with scrap paper, and on top of it was what she hoped would turn into art. First was her tool, the little pocketknife that her father had made sure she'd taken with her. It wasn't nearly long enough to wield as a weapon, but Father had reminded her that it was always good to have a knife around. There would always be fruit to cut, or string, or wood... and wood it would be, today. The block of wood sitting next to the knife was a bit wider than Thamina's hand and twice as long: an inland wood she didn't recognize, but with a fine grain and a warm, dark brown color. Thamina hadn't whittled in years, but it was time to remind herself just how it was done.

As she picked up the knife, she thought about her father's quick, clever hands and the way he'd guided his knife over and through the driftwood, all those years ago. Father had only intended to teach her brother Lionel that day -- Thamina was only six, after all, far too young to be trusted with a blade -- but she'd been fascinated anyway, watching them coax slivers away from the driftwood as it slowly, magically, became something else. It had been a few years before she'd been allowed to try herself, and it hadn't been as easy for her; to this day, most of what Thamina had learned about whittling came from watching Lionel's lessons, not from her own practice. It wasn't much of a premise for trying a craft, but she couldn't do much else, so it was worth a try.

Thamina picked up the block of wood, turning it over in her hands to figure out the grain. It seemed simple enough, even for her; there were no whorls or knots, nothing to impede the knife. Thamina took a deep breath, picked up the knife, and began to shave wood off the top of the block. The top would be simple enough to start, at least the part that didn't involve the head -- the horns would be fragile, and she'd probably have to make them a bit too thick and blunt, but for now the back was easy.

Steady, careful work overtook thought. Thamina focused on the image of Terrakion in her mind, carefully shaving away long, slender curls of wood that began to form a small pile on her desk. The rough shape was first, a four-legged beast with a large, blocky head; cutting between the legs and separating them was the hardest part, but a steady rhythm of cuts carved the wood away, and the shape of the legs began to emerge. It was more like erosion, really: a steady process of wearing the material away and smoothing it into shape.

Wearing things away, smoothing them down... it reminded Thamina of one of Father's earliest lessons, when he'd moved from teaching Lionel to whittle to teaching her to fight. Strength was a virtue, he'd said, and she had plenty, but even the strongest fighter wasn't likely to knock anyone out in a single blow. Fights were lost by losing your energy or your nerve, and true strength meant endurance, not just power. It hadn't been entirely right, since there had been fights Thamina had won with a single punch, but that didn't make it a bad lesson. Maybe it's what she needed to remember in House Terra.

Steady. Slow. Patient. Don't lose your nerve, don't let your hand slip. Wear away what challenges you and be better for it.

There were already challenges. Some would pass naturally, Thamina hoped -- the homesickness, the odd loneliness of having her own room -- and some would be trickier -- Firuz came to mind. She didn't like the concept of having to wear him down, but perhaps just being able to outlast whatever he threw at her would help something more sensible reign. She would carve away at the loneliness and nervousness like the slivers of wood under her knife, until what was left was strength. She hoped, anyway.

After a few hours of contemplative work, Terrakion had taken shape: a rather blocky, undetailed Terrakion, with uncommonly thick horns, but a Terrakion nonetheless. Thamina set the little statue down on her desk, standing up to look at it from a few angles, before she folded up the paper and waste wood from the desk to throw away. She wasn't an artist, and she wasn't even a very good whittler, but she'd made something recognizable from nothing. If the school didn't need to keep it, she'd keep it on her desk, something to look at and remember what she was there for. Maybe she'd write a letter home about it... or maybe she'd have something bigger to say by the time she wrote. There was so much to do.
PKA Lesson 1: Whittling It Down
:iconpkmn-knight-academy:, 808 Words

In which Thamina, new student/bodyguard/brawler, tries to whittle a Terrakion and thinks. Mostly she thinks. 

It's kind of late, but hopefully it's not too late! I've had a lot of RL commitments this week, but I really wanted to get in on the first assignment in the new group. Crafting an icon of your house mascot is a pretty basic concept for the "House Crafts" assignment, but I figured it was a good simple project for a character who isn't artistically inclined.

(I actually considered giving Thamina whittling as a hobby, but it didn't make it onto the app, so I went with this compromise -- that she had a bit of knowledge and background but didn't do it actively, and consequently was only passable at it. If she keeps doing it, I might add it as a proper hobby.)
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Knight-Academy: Thamina Barton by eiviiaru
Knight-Academy: Thamina Barton
After many months away from DA, it's an app! For PKMN-Knight-Academy, which kompy brought to my attention and looks like it might be a fun little game, so let's see how this goes.

The application art was done by the lovely and talented kompy, NOT ME, so direct any art praise to her.
Also, the font used for the app is FatStack BB by Blambot, so credit where credit is due there.

Note: Firuz the Hoopa is kompy's character! His app is here: Firuz the Hoopa

--

Name: Thamina Barton

Gender: Female

Pokémon Species: Wailmer

Birthday: July 14th, 1995 (age 19)

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 285 lbs.

Personality:

Mina is mostly quiet, practical, and responsible, but she holds a secret tendency to daydream. She's the sort of person who expects little out of life but hopes for more than she'll let on; she's had to make do with the simple things in life, and she's generally content with them, but she dreams of a life of excitement, challenge, and novelty. She enjoys pushing herself to her limits, largely to see what those limits are, and in combat she's forceful and unrelenting.

History:

Thamina grew up in a southeastern port city, one of the centers of trade between Tora and the lands beyond. Her father, John Barton, was a Lumineon tavern bouncer and a widower with a son; her mother, Zubaida El-Amin, was a Wailord jewelry merchant from across the sea, and she hoped to establish a permanent import/export business in Tora. After a whirlwind romance and an impulsive marriage, the couple were delighted to learn of Zubaida's pregnancy... unfortunately, the relative poverty of Tora meant that Zubaida couldn't support her jewelry trade even in a port city, and John was reluctant to take his young son across the sea and away from surviving family. The couple came to an agreement that John would care for both children and Zubaida would visit as often as she was able, and the family lived together until not long after Thamina's second birthday, when Zubaida departed to return to her native land and her trade. From that point on, the Bartons were generally a family of three: Thamina, her father John, and her Finneon half-brother Lionel.

Between her father's job and the money her mother would bring during her annual visits, Thamina and her family got by, but money was often tight. There was no money to send Thamina to school alongside her brother, so she spent her days learning what she could and tending to chores at the inn/tavern where her family lived and worked. The combination of physical chores and her Wailmer nature gave the young Thamina an impressive physique; by age seven, she was taller and stronger than her twelve-year-old brother, and by her early teens she'd outgrown her own father. John Barton was a skilled brawler in his own right, and he saw potential in his adolescent daughter, so he soon began to teach her unarmed combat skills. Thamina took to it readily; even just sparring was exciting, and her life didn't have much excitement in it. Perhaps, she thought, she could be a prizefighter, or a guardsman in the capital city, or perhaps even a bodyguard for a traveling noble? She didn't love violence for its own sake, but she loved testing her own limits and figuring out just what her body could do, and maybe she could build a future that way. For now, though, it let her help her father with security for the tavern, and that was enough.

The chance for a more interesting life came when a Hoopa traveler arrived at the tavern one day, claiming to be an acquaintance of her mother's and bearing a letter of introduction to confirm it. The Hoopa said that he was the father of a young Hoopa named Firuz, who was to be sent to the Yarelts Institute of Protection to learn discipline and how to properly use his natural gifts. Firuz was a natural troublemaker, though, and his guardians believed he needed a combination of bodyguard and conscience to watch out for him. Thamina's mother had recommended her as a patient, sensible, capable girl... one who might benefit from an education at the Yarelts Institute herself. If she would serve as Firuz's minder, his family would sponsor her tuition and living expenses. Was she willing?

It took Thamina two minutes of thinking and five minutes of conversation with her father to accept the Hoopa's offer. Soon, after making the acquaintance of Firuz, she was off to the Institute and whatever new knowledge it might bring. While she was nervous about her new responsibilities, a part of her was thrilled -- some secret part of her she tried not to admit to at home, a part of her that craved adventure and knew she would soon find it.

Hobbies:

:bulletblue: Endurance swimming: like most Water-types, Thamina is a strong swimmer, and she enjoys going for long swims to test the limits of her own stamina. (This isn't as dangerous as it looks; if she gets too tired to continue, her species's natural buoyancy means she can always float back to shore.)

:bulletblue: Stargazing: Thamina's mother is an amateur astronomer, and during her visits, she and the children would often spend long nights stargazing. Thamina still enjoys it as a way of relaxing and reflecting on life, and she knows the major stars and constellations.

:bulletblue: Mechanical puzzles: wooden and metal puzzles with fiddly bits to manipulate may be a strange hobby for someone with hands as large as Thamina's, but she still enjoys playing with them, and she can generally find a solution mentally even if it's hard to do physically. This is one of the few interests that Thamina and her older brother share.

House: Terra

Weapon: Thamina's weapons are her own fists and feet; her style is mostly punching-focused, but she's happy enough to add in kicks and other maneuvers, when she can manage it.

Class/SubClass: Warrior / Bareknuckle

Extras/Fun Facts:

:bulletblue: Thamina's ability is Water Veil, and her moves are Aqua Ring, Soak, Whirlpool, and Dive.

:bulletblue: Like her move set suggests, Thamina has a certain natural ability with water-elemental magic, although it's not much in terms of attacking. (She prefers the direct approach in a fight anyway.) Her father and brother have a similar talent, albeit an untrained one, and Thamina is hoping that she might be able to develop it at the Institute.

:bulletblue: Thamina often thinks about a subject more than she speaks, which can occasionally lead to her blurting out thoughts that are seemingly unrelated to the current topic -- but, say, which might apply to the topic you were discussing twenty minutes ago, which she's kept thinking about since then. Sometimes it can take her a moment to get back onto the proper train of a conversation.

:bulletblue: Thanks to her combat training, Thamina is pretty good at reading body language. She doesn't like to pry into people's business, but she'll be honest about what she thinks people's emotions are. After all, they're right there, aren't they?

:bulletblue: Thamina isn't as agile as her father, but she still learned a lot of his fighting techniques, many of which are dirty. She's not above trips, joint locks, and eye-gouges if the situation seems to call for it.

:bulletblue: Thamina's bracelets, anklets, and hair tie were all gifts from her mother. They're fairly thick and sturdy, so she usually leaves them on when she fights, but they're not strong enough to block blows or withstand other serious damage.

:bulletblue: Thamina's family lives in and operates a large, three-story inn and tavern called the Hermit's Lamp. The owners are an elderly Lanturn couple; their late daughter was John Barton's first wife and Lionel's mother. Thamina isn't technically related to them, but they treat her as a "step-grandchild" just the same, and her step-grandmother taught Thamina most of her non-combat-related education.

:bulletblue: Thamina's half-brother Lionel is on the short side and rather sickly; he had a serious fever as a toddler and never really recovered his stamina. (He and his mother fell ill at the same time, and she died from it.) He's a bookish young man with a talent for mathematics, and he's currently working in the capital city as an inventory clerk for a warehouse.
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Two days ago, I was informed that I will be removed from my position as a mod of :iconharvest-pokemoon:. I can't disclose exactly why (out of respect for privacy, and because some of it wasn't passed on to me), but I know that the situation was apparently unrepairable and non-negotiable, so all I can do is try to deal with the decision with grace. I'm trying to do so, for the sake of the group as well as my own sake, but processing the sadness and shock is taking some time.

As a result of this, I'm taking a hiatus from HPM for a while to consider my options. Leaving the group would be a difficult decision, but at the same time, the circumstances suggest that I may no longer be a good fit for the group even as a player, and I may have to respect that. I haven't been the most active for a while now, so I suppose this isn't really a surprise, but after spending two years in a group and one of those years trying to serve it as a mod, it's hard to know whether disengaging is the right thing to do.

I'll be honest: I didn't want this to be one of those "I'M THINKING ABOUT QUITTING THE GAME SO EVERYONE GIVE ME LOVE AND ATTENTION AND TELL ME HOW RAD I AM" journals, but I'm a little lost right now, and support and advice would help. I've made a lot of friends through HPM, and now I might need these friends to help me muddle through -- either to get back to productivity and being a positive for the group as a player, or to figure out how to maintain these friendships without the game. I apologize if I lean on any of you too hard in this time, but right now I think I may need it.

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eiviiaru
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:iconkev1000:
kev1000 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014
Hey, thanks for the watch, eiviiaru!
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:iconghostkitten:
GhostKITTEN Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:3 thanks for the Fav~ Jin was super fun to draw :D
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:iconeiviiaru:
eiviiaru Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for drawing him! He looks awesome.
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:iconjakexkim4ever:
jakexkim4ever Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Thanks for favoriting kuri, he's a relatively new fan character and needs support ;)
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:iconysabetwordsmith:
Ysabetwordsmith Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Professional Writer
Thank you for adding "The Wingdresser's Kitchen" to your Favorites. I just got the submission process to work, so I'm uploading a bunch of stuff tonight.
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:iconarrowofchaos:
ArrowofChaos Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student General Artist
*rubs face on in admiration* :iconsnugplz:
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:iconaroda:
Aroda Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Student Filmographer
Thanks for the faves, Eivi! Stay tuned for more xD
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:iconarrowofchaos:
ArrowofChaos Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Student General Artist
[link] for you~<3
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:iconcuppastars:
CuppaStars Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
EIV! I see it's your birthday! Have a great one! :D
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:iconhm-and-anime-fan:
HM-and-anime-fan Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a bunch for the fav.~! :meow:
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