Scenario:Alistair - Intellectual Giant
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To join the crew, Alistair goes to the academy to request a leave of absence form. Unfortunately, this academy has no such system. Filing a notification of withdrawal would work in its place; but at the same time, doing so would shut Alistair out of the academic world forever. Just as Alistair is lost on what to do, a professor storms in suggesting the academic acceleration test. Alistair, hopeful to get his doctorate with this test, heads out with the crew to research the ecology of the island's monsters.
Alistair, (Captain) and the crew have come to the academy to request a leave of absence form in order to search for Estalucia.
Academic Admin: A leave of absence? I'm sorry, this academy doesn't have any sort of system like that.
Alistair: It doesn't? That can't be right, what am I meant to do? Are you saying I can't go and look for Estalucia?
Academic Admin: I'm afraid I think I am... However, I can provide you with notification of withdrawal from the academy. I think they will accept that.
Alistair: You must be joking! If I submit that, they wont accept my doctoral thesis!
Alistair: If I don't get my PHD, then my dream of becoming a scholar will be ruined. Then I will have let my name and family down!
Academic Admin: I see, but there is not much else I can do for you. Please consider abandoning your plans for travel and work hard at the academy.
Alistair hangs his head despondently, when a hoarse voice sounds behind him.
Professor: Hahaha! There is one way I can see out of this, but you might not like it...
Professor: I'm talking about a test to see if you can skip a grade.
Academic Admin: The academic acceleration test? Professor, please be serious, that's—
Professor: If you pass, your considerable academic potential will be recognized, your study will end, and you will be awarded your doctorate.
Professor: This is a special exception, and you must know that this test can only be taken once. Fail, and you will be immediately expelled.
Professor: Since the founding of this academy, only one student has ever passed. Nevertheless, I wonder if you might have the courage to try?
Alistair: Heh, that is a foolish question. Do you know who I am? I'm Alistair Alethea!
Alistair: For the dignity of the house of Alethea, I will absolutely accept this challenge.
Alistair receives his thesis topic from the professor, and heads deep into the mountains to conduct his research.
The subject he has been given is an investigation into the monsters and ecology of the island.
Alistair: Aha! There's one! Don't dawdle around! We need to get it, quick!
Vyrn: Hey, wait a sec! Don't get too ahead of yourself! Calm down a little, yeah?
Intellectual Giant: Scene 2
Alistair secludes himself in the Hall of Knowledge, furiously writing out his thesis for the academic acceleration exam. Vyrn and Lyria are impressed with his enthusiasm for study, yet equally shocked to hear him profess his hate for studying. He laments his lack of self-confidence, explaining that he only studied to earn his father's praise and respect. An older student in contempt of Alistair's half-hearted attitude challenges him to another open debate.
With assistance from (Captain) and the crew, Alistair has made a new discovery about monsters.
Now he must write his thesis, and submit it to the professors.
Alistair secludes himself in the Hall of Knowledge day and night, working hard on his essay.
Vyrn: Hey, I've been wondering. You've come all the way to the library, so why aren't you reading any books?
Alistair: Books? Like these, you mean?
Alistair gestures at the pile of tomes piled up beneath him.
Vyrn: Whoa, what are you doing? Do you really think it's a good idea to be sitting on them?
Alistair: You think it isn't? I couldn't find a comfortable chair, so I just made a few adjustments...
Lyria: Um, you want to be a scholar, don't you? Maybe you should treat books with a little more care...
Alistair: Well, if they were worth treating carefully...
Lyria: All books deserve to be treated well! They're full of things you don't know yet.
Alistair: Hmm... That might have been true in the past, but I think I know it all pretty well by now. Here, look!
As Alistair speaks, several pens float magically upwards, and move slowly through the air.
Then, the pens dance through the air at an incredible speed, leaving glowing blue letters and mathmatical formulae behind.
Vyrn: W-whoa, what's that?
Lyria: Oh, it's a book! It's exactly what's written in this one!
Alistair: Do you get it now? All of these books are in my head. I can call them out any time I want.
Alistair: Hehe... Paper is dead. Now begins the age of the air library!
Vyrn: WHAAAT? You have all of these books? That's really useful!
Vyrn: But if they're in your head, you must have read them at least once, right? You sure do love to study.
Despite the praise heaped on him, Alistair's face falls.
Alistair: My father used to praise me if I studied hard.
Alistair: Everyone in my family would praise me because I was so good at studying, so I made sure to work hard.
Alistair: Hehe... I studied so hard to make them happy, but actually, I really hate studying...
Lyria: That can't be true. If you didn't like it, you wouldn't have tried so hard for so long.
Alistair: But I've always known that I didn't inherit my father's passion. I just looked up to him.
Alistair: It doesn't matter how many books I read, I'll never be a great scholar like my father was.
Lyria: Oh, Alistair...
Everyone is lost for words, but suddenly a boorish laugh breaks the silence.
Older Student: Hehehe... That's right. A blockhead like you could never make it as a scholar.
Alistair: Oh, it's you again... Sorry, but I'm not in the mood to deal with you right now.
Older Student: Oh, I can see that. Is it true you took an acceleration exam to skip a grade?
Alistair: Huh? I don't know who told you that, but it's none of your business.
Older Student: W-why you little— Just the thought of you trying to skip ahead so you can graduate first makes me sick!
Older Student: Don't think that you can beat me just because you have a smart mouth! I hope you're ready for this, because you're not going to run away!
Alistair: Ugh, you're such a pain. All right, let's have a farewell debate, then.
Older Student: Hah! A debate? You pale in comparison to my vast knowledge. Behold! True intellect!
Intellectual Giant: Scene 3
During the heated debate with the older student, ink from the desk spills over ruining Alistair's thesis. He shows a hint of kindness here in telling the concerned older student that it's only a minor setback, and sets out to take the acceleration test. Alistair's enduring perseverance in the face of all adversity earns him a passing mark and he proudly sets out on an adventure to chase after the very same dreams his father did.
Alistair and the others score a fine victory in the debate with the older student.
However, in the chaos, the ink on the desk spilled over, and Alistair's essay is now soaked with black ink.
Katalina: Oh dear... This doesn't bode well for the test tomorrow.
Older Student: I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to happen. I just wanted to...
The older student carries on, explaining that he just wanted to be good at studying.
Alistair tries to cut in, shaking his head and telling him that it's all right.
Alistair: Hehe, who do you think I am? A genius like me needs a handicap, or it's just no fun.
Alistair: Come on, stop this. I'll make up the points in the oral section.
And so, the next day, the acceleration test begins before a panel of professors.
The first step is to apologize for being unable to submit the thesis.
However, without offering an explanantion, Alistair stubbornly tells them that the thesis is in his head, and lays out his theory.
The professors are skeptical, and offer fierce criticism. They determinedly pick holes in his argument.
Nevertheless, Alistair does not falter. He sticks to his theory until the end, defending it with all of his willpower.
Eventually, the closing arguments are completed, the professors retire to a separate chamber to consult. They take a vote, and then return.
Professor: Now then, Alistair. There is one thing I would like to ask you. When walking the path of a scholar, do you know what the most important thing is?
Alistair: Would that be... wisdom? No, a quick wit, perhaps.
Professor: How foolish. The answer is a heart that never gives up.
Alistair: A... heart?
Professor: That's right. To be a scholar, one must have faith.
Professor: Even if all are against them, a true scholar will stubbornly defend their truth, and stand up to face the storm of criticism.
Professor: Whether you face the greatest scholar, or an emperor with his sword drawn, you must not turn from the path of reason.
Professor: This is no easy feat. Many of us will yield in the face of authority or prestige...
Professor: But in truth, I know only one person who would stand up to even the greatest scholar.
Alistair: Just one? Don't tell me—
Professor: That's right. Your father.
Professor: He is the only one who has ever passed the acceleration exam at this institution. No, I should say, he was the only one.
Alistair: P-professor... Do you mean...
Professor: Hahaha. And now we have a second person. Congratulations, Alistair. You stand at the same level your father did.
Father: Now, our great ancestors studied diligently, and became masters.
Father: So do not worry, Alistair. Though you may still be small, you can ride on my shoulders.
Father: Then, as you view the world from my shoulders, you will see even further, and one day become greater than I am.
Alistair: Thank you... I will become an even greater scholar than my father!
(Captain) and the crew are cheered by Alistair's success, and return to the Grandcypher.
There on the broad deck, his friends shout for joy, and their happy laughter continues throughout the day.