Negima: High School Magical Summary
"If you believe in miracles, you will find the strength to create them." -Andrea Klara, school founder
New students arrive at Raleigh Academy by boat; the PCs are some of the last to arrive. The Academy makes for an unusual school; it is far larger than seemingly necessary, and consists of a large number of identical buildings scattered about apparently at random. Maps of the academy (including the one in the orientation packet) tend to be inaccurate, incomprehensibly stylized, unreadable, or sometimes all three. Other students are often seen walking around, and are an eclectic lot with often strange appearances or activities, though nothing that couldn't be explained. Teachers are seldom seen outside of class.
The students are informed that a welcoming ceremony will begin soon, but they are free to explore as they wish. The PCs and several NPCs decide to quickly look around. Taking the simple expedient of walking in one direction, they eventually come to the edge of the academy; a tall but climbable fence stands between the carefully manicured lawn of the academy and a dense forest. A gate is located, which leads a short distance into the forest to a small cabin just out of sight. On the way back, the group decides to take a quick peek into one of the buildings. Nicole is boosted up by the curiously strong Aria, and sees something that startles her enough to fall over backwards.
Nicole afterwards claims that she saw a woman inside, getting dressed and using what appeared to be a prehensile tail to hold a mirror while applying makeup. No one is quite sure what to make of her claims. Eventually the group heads to the ceremony, where Nicole identifies the tailed woman one as one of a group of teachers.
Eventually the Dean of the academy arrives, a doddering old man named Nathan Klara. He is accompanied by a younger woman with a notable family resemblance. He begins to give a speech about the academy while the formerly clear skies begins to rapidly cloud up, and several rules the students are supposed to follow are inaudible due to conveniently timed thunder. Key points from his speech include:
1) There are a few summer homes on the island, but during most of the year it has no other inhabitants. 2) A ferry service to a nearby city is available for students on weekends. Overnight stays are prohibited. 3) There are a series of tunnels underneath the academy; further explanation is interrupted as it begins to rain.
The ceremony is adjourned and students head for their respective dorms, and meet their new roommates. Male and female dorms are separate buildings. Later, at dinner, the group gets to talking about their respective backgrounds and quickly realizes that they (and by extension, probably many other students) are more than a little unusual. Marina eventually explains that the school is run by mages, but asks them to be surreptitious about it. Eventually the group decides to band together and form a campus exploration club.
The next day, the group finds their way to their classroom, which appears to be the only one in their building that is actually being used. Their first class is English, and is taught by the allegedly tailed woman. No tail is visible, and considering the amount of leg she's showing it must be hard to hide. She introduces herself as Miss Raum, and passes out a syllabus mainly consisting of trashy romance novels which she constantly gushes about.
Other classes are more normal. History is taught by Mr. Athelstan, who almost seems to give first hand accounts of the history he teaches (but still somehow makes it boring). The entire class falls asleep during math class and afterwards have no clear memories of the teacher or subject. The last class, science, is taught by Mr. Oliver, an enthusiastic man who has developed a nervous tick over the school's notoriously low science scores and the fact that his demonstration experiences keep producing the wrong results. When asked about an Exploration Club, he points the group towards an existing "Academy history preservation club"
The group adjourns for lunch, which is a mysterious gray flaky meat, though it has a good taste. One of the NPCs, a kitsune, claims it tastes like snake though the fillets are too large. Afterwards everyone visits the club fair, where a number of clubs are trying to attract members. The clubs are varied and impressive; from martial arts clubs hosting tournaments to a rocketry club working on their fully functional lunar lander. A leatherworking club is displaying an impressive collection of handmade snakeskin boots.
After trying their hand at some laser tag, a track race, and investigating the mad scientists "Innovative Technologies Club", the group eventually manages to find the academy history club in a small, well worn room in one of the ubiquitous buildings. They claim to spend their time investigating and preserving records of academy history, but don't seem particularly informed about it and the party soon deduces they are hiding something. With application of Sarah's glamor they eventually admit that they're a club that helps the academy staff out with certain unspecified problems. Many assume that they help cover up magic, but they seem evasive on the issue. Deciding not to join the Academy secret police, everyone instead goes and forms their own "Outdoor Adventures Club."
Over the next week, the PCs begin to fit in to the academy, and get a chance to do their own thing. Mao, Aria, and Sarah go on a group date to the nearby port; Simon is invited by an apprentice monster hunter he has met to help her hunt down a vampire, Nicole must "rescue" Marina after she is kidnapped by the nefarious Miss Raum, and Jackie has another encounter with Rebecca, an angel-like member of the History Preservation club.
After regrouping and discussing the events of the last week, the group decides to find a clubroom. They are invited to temporarily use the room of the History Club (not the preservation club) which has only a single member, a profoundly strange girl named Mana.
Taking the opportunity to ask Mana about the school, she claims that over 200 individuals at the academy are either mages or non-human, and additionally an unknown presence has recently arrived and has been mostly concealing itself. Mana claims not to know several things the PCs are curious about, but says that they might be able to find the long lost private library of the school founder somewhere in the tunnels, and points them towards a specific area near the Klara family living quarters.
Investigating the tunnel network reveals that the tunnels intersect with the building basements at odd and often bizarre angles, and go on to form a strange network of unfathomable purpose but poorly designed for transportation. After a lot of exploring, an encounter with a literal beehive trap, and a brief battle with several animated suits of armor, the group finds a set of very old rooms containing the library they were looking for. Simon and Sarah find a book by the monster hunters describing various methods of augmenting humans with supernatural power, providing interesting background on their own conditions. Aria also finds several books on animated constructs and soul transference; all are filled with faded and unreadable handwriting in the margins.
While some read, others explore the rooms; one appears to be outfitted as living quarters, and another contains a door that completely resists any attempt to open it. Beside the door is a monument engraved with the words "Until the world has no more need of heroes" After skimming through the books they came for, the group heads for the infirmary for medical attention.
The next day at class, the woman from the opening ceremony arrives for math class and announced she will be the new teacher, taking over for "Mr. Smith". She gives her name as Ms. Klara.
After an incident involving an apple tree spirit, a drunk Mao, and a beauty contest, the semester passes more or less smoothly. Eventually Halloween arrives and it turns out to be quite the event at the academy, with many students regarding it as an opportunity to cast off their disguises, which makes for a lot of interesting sights.
At a Halloween party later that day, several PCs and NPCs begin receiving mysterious invitations to a hidden party; the group quickly picks up on the fact that only non-humans are getting the invitations. Rebecca from the History Preservation Club asks some of the party to take over her patrol for the night so that she (a non-human) can investigate the invitations. She warns that things can be chaotic on Halloween at the academy and its best to make sure no one stumbles onto something they shouldn't; in return she offers to answer some of the group's questions about the academy. The group splits, with some going to the hidden party and others patrolling the academy.
The patrol group encounters several strange creatures, all apparently trying to frighten or trick the academy students. The group is able to stop them all, and end up capturing several goblins who were attempting to blow up the academy post office. Under questioning, the frightened creatures reveal that they heard there was going to be a speech that night at the island's abandoned town about standing up to the humans, and they thought it would be a good opportunity to show off.
The party group finds a secret exit to the haunted house by following the directions on their invitations, and wind up in the tunnels underneath the academy. A troll bouncer guards a large cavern where they find a large number of non-humans taking advantage of the privacy to be themselves, quite literally. Eventually a group of five hooded and masked individuals arrive, claiming to be the ones behind the invitations. The speaker claims to represent a group called "The Things That Go Bump In the Night" and claiming that they are out to restore non-humans to their rightful place in the world so that they are no longer required to hide, and to show humanity "fear of the things in the night." He ends the speech with a request that those interested join his group, which many do.
Instantly suspicious of the Night group, those who went to the party decide to wait for them to leave and then trail them through the tunnels. The mysterious figures soon realize they are being followed, and one stays behind, blocking the group from following further by filling the tunnel with a wall of fire. She warns the party to go back, and eventually a fight erupts. The girl has strong fire powers and proves a difficult foe, but eventually the patrol group arrives, having used the information from the goblins to figure out what is going on.
The girl reveals herself to be a phoenix, but clever usage of the academy water piping helps the group defeat her. However, the fight takes long enough that the rest of the night group has escaped.
Eventually the girl wakes up, and engages in a bit of ideological debate with the group, claiming her goal is just to win freedom from oppression. It's admited by NPCs that her points aren't completely without merit, though they are quick to question her methods and point out that conditions have been improving thanks to the support of numerous humans. Eventually, the group decides to let the girl go.
The next day everyone heads for the History Preservation Club's room to get the answers Rebecca promised. Rebecca reluctantly admits that the academy, and therefor the club, have made the decision not to "meddle in politics" by supporting either side of the conflict, unless either side starts causing problems at the Academy. She also shows the group a magic newspaper, where the Night group have officially made several demands of the ruling Mage Association, under threat of violence. The demands are in fact fairly reasonable, such as access to better food, and Rebecca believes that this is intentional. If the Association refuses, they look cruel, and if they agree they look weak. Either way non-humans will be more likely to join the Night group.
The group decides to make an attempt to befriend the non-student nonhumans on the island, to hopefully ease tensions and hurt Night recruiting efforts. Since one of the demands was better food, they decide to do this by holding a barbecue. Rebecca informs them that most of the nonhumans live in the abandoned village on the island, so the group sets up a barbecue there.
After fending off an attempt by the goblins as well as several other nonhumans to steal the food, the barbecue proves to be a success and they use the opportunity to talk to several about their opinions. Many are resentful about being forced from their homes by an expanding human population, but are generally not violent; just unhappy. Most also do not believe that the Night group can win; however a werewolf and defacto leader of the settlement notes that if the Night group starts a war and loses, all of the non-humans will suffer a crackdown on their freedoms; hence they are effectively forcing her support. Several PCs convince her that there must be a better way and she agrees to help them if they find a way to stop the Night group entirely.
During the attempt to steal the food, a party member stumbled into a building belonging to a member of the Night group who was currently away. She broke the lock off a trunk to open it before being convinced to leave it by more guileless party members; unfortunately during a campout that night they are attacked by the owner, A necromancer named Netel who is convinced that something important was taken. Since nothing was actually taken, the party deduces that he must be worried about information; as he would have no proof that the party did not read a document and then return it to the trunk. The group is attacked by several waves of skeletal minions, but are eventually able to make their way back to the academy.
The semester continues to pass normally, at least by outward appearance. Occasional snippets of news reveal that the Mage Association is agreeing to ever stricter demands by the night group, but for the most part things are peaceful. Eventually the time comes for winter exams, which everyone handles with varying degrees of competency.
The last test is called a "Career Assessment test" and everyone is sent to take their individually. Each finds a personalized test involving their background and actions that they have taken since arriving at the academy. Jackie is offered a position in the military in return for secretly reporting to the Mage association, and refuses. Mao gets to meet her mother, only to find that, while she still cares for her daughter, they are from very different worlds. Mina is given a chance to converse with Netel about what it means to be a necromancer; something she says seems to clue him in that she did not find out whatever he is hiding, and he tries unsuccessfully to convince her to sit the conflict out. Rex is questioned about his plans to make a pactio, and what heroic strength he sees reflected in himself. Simon finds out that the Monster Hunters are behind his sudden powers, and they are attempting to manipulate him and thousands of others as a weapon against the increasingly uncontrolled nonhumans; in the end they test whether he is willing to put aside his justified anger towards them for the purpose of saving lives.
After they each complete their tests, everyone is brought to a central room where they meet Ms. Klara, their math teacher and "caretaker" of the island. She claims that the academy was founded by Andrea Klara to create a better world by training heroes as "seeds of change". She ends by claiming that she cannot help either side in the conflict, but ends with the enigmatic comment "All I can be is your teacher" before leaving the group to discuss.
Putting together her last statement and the teacher's previous lesson to "question your assumptions" if the problem didn't make sense, the group theorizes that their core assumption; that the Night Group is lead by nonhuman revolutionaries, may be incorrect. Instead there may be individuals seeking to agitate a war for their own purposes behind the group, as in the long run they are likely to do the non-human cause more harm than good. It is even possible that the group's goal is the opposite, demonizing the non-humans in order to undercut political pressure to end the restrictions on them.