Anime Lesbian Boarding School: Let's Play A Little Lily Princess [SSLP]

Put your Let's Plays in here.
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A Little Lily Princess is a visual novel published by Hanako Games in 2016 under their Hanabira line, simply meaning that it was written outside the company. Hanako's most notable title is probably Long Live the Queen, which is somewhat similar to LLP, and has an excellent LP by MegaZeroX that you can read on the archives here. (There may even be a couple of guest updates at the end by yours truly :v: ).

A Little Lily Princess is based off of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, A Little Princess, published in 1905 and available to download for free from Project Gutenburg. Like in the novel, we will follow Sara Crewe, the daughter of a widowed English officer raised in India, as she is sent to a London boarding school in order to be educated and molded into a Proper Young Lady. The story has been adapted many times over-- into several movies (including one in which Sara is played by Shirley Temple), television series, and plays, as well as an anime titled Princess Sarah, which I've heard is quite good. The game follows the plot of the novel closely, with some lines and narration being taken from it verbatim, so peruse the novel and its adaptations with caution, as spoilers will abound. A Little Princess is Burnett's second most popular work, losing out only to The Secret Garden.

As you may have guessed from the title of the thread and the addition of a certain word into the title of the game itself, LLP takes this children's novel set in the late 19th century and puts a sapphic twist on it.

Why are you doing this LP?
Previously I had been doing an LP of Legal Dungeon, which is a fine game and all, but also unrelentingly dark and miserable. It's a game about corrupt police, incompetent leadership, and everyone who should be looking out for the greater good being instead entirely focused on their own self-interest. In short, it was a game that fucking sucked to be spending so much time on right now. LPs should make both the person creating it and the people reading it happy. And you know what makes me happy? Anime lesbians. So much of my Steam library is at least somewhat related to anime lesbians, guys, it's not even funny. It's just great.

Uh...okay. How does gameplay work?
As mentioned previously, LLP is superficially similar to Long Live the Queen. The story is divided into weeks, and we have the option to choose what our protagonist does with her time each week, which will affect her stats. Unlike in LLTQ, however, the stats in LLP don't really do much. This is much more of a straight visual novel than LLTQ-- the only choices we make that actually affect the story are which of the six characters we want to spend time with, thus advancing their route. Certain scenes are gated behind stat requirements, but other than that, they're just meaningless numbers.

While LLP is certainly a much simpler game than LLTQ, it's extremely well written and tells a compelling, emotional story that explores complex relationships, both romantic and platonic. The art is adorably amazing as well.

The thread will be voting on what Sara does each week, as well as who we spend our time with. Unless something happens, we will be completing every route in this LP.

Wait, 'routes'? This is a game about kids, right? There's nothing skeevy, is there?
There is not. LLP has six routes, and of those four have some amount of romance. This romance is of the hugging and holding hands variety, with like one kiss. There is no sexual content whatsoever-- it's just queer little girls being little girls, unfortunately during a time in which the only goal of a woman's life was to marry a man and have babies. The only content that reaches a PG rating has to do with Victorian society being gross and awful, not the relationships of the characters.

No spoilers, please.

Updates:
Week 1
Jessie #1 + Week 2
Lavinia #1 + Week 3
Ermengarde #1 + Week 4
Ermengarde #2 + Week 5
Lavinia #2 + Week 6
Jessie #2 + Week 7
Jessie #3 + Week 8
Mariette #1 + Week 9
Ermengarde #3 + Week 10
Jessie #4 + Week 11
Ermengarde #4 + Week 12
Ermengarde #5 + Week 13
Ermengarde #6 + Week 14
Jessie #5 + Week 15
Ermengarde #7 + Week 16
Lavinia #3 + Week 17

Bonuses:
The Lady's Maid
The Scullery Maid
Last edited by yamiaainferno on Sat Sep 04, 2021 7:54 am, edited 21 times in total.

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Last edited by yamiaainferno on Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:07 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Our title screen. All pretty self-explanitory. "Extras" allows us to view the image gallery, track list, and track our achievements. Let's hit start game.

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Image The morning sun was not enough to lift the chill from the stony streets, and the mist off the river blended with the smoke of countless chimneys to form a thick yellow fog. In such weather, the gaslamps burned night and day, flickering like stars to guide the horse-drawn 'ships’ to their destinations. But the ship that had carried her across the ocean was now a thing of the past. Here, then, was Sara's new home. It was a big, dull, brick house, exactly like all the others in its row, except that on the front door there shone a brass plate which was engraved in black letters:

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Being adapted from a novel, there is narration. I'll use that lily icon (which appears often in the UI) to represent it.

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Image Come, come, hurry up. We have a new pupil who will be joining us, starting today. Her name is Sara Crewe, and she is only recently arrived in England, so you must all make her feel welcome.
Image How do you do?
Image The room filled with a chorus of gently murmured greetings. Sara Crewe, for that was her name, looked out upon a garden of strangers. Every face was turned to her, polite and attentive and perfectly foreign. She felt more lost than she had ever been at sea.
Image Sara, dear, as you can see we have pupils here of all levels, but these three are particularly near your age.

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Image Charmed.

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Image Ah?

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Image We’re very pleased to meet you.

Our classmates here are three of our six route options, naturally. After all, they have sprites, which means they must be important.

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Image ...nor any other age.
Image Sara's life before that point had been not isolated, but sheltered. Her mother had died when she was born, leaving Sara to be raised by the young, handsome father who was the only relation she had ever known. Some fathers had little time for their children, but Sara and her Papa had always been quite close, reading books and playing games together every day. He treated her as a little confidant, sharing his thoughts with her as if she were his peer and not a very young girl, and listened solemnly to the advice she gave in return, though he didn't always follow it. Sara had never felt lonely, but it must be said that she had very little experience in making new friends.

Aw. I admit, I'm a sucker for this type of child-guardian relationship. I love it when kids are taken seriously.

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Image Now, Sara, take your seat. Your father has informed me how very much you enjoy your studies, and I expect you to be a credit to this establishment.
Image I am not certain how to become a 'credit’, but — I do wish to learn.
Image This statement was met with muffled giggles. Confused, Sara looked back at Miss Minchin for guidance.
Image Take your seat, I said.
Image (But which seat is mine?)
Image Concerned that she would look disobedient if she hesitated further, she slid into the nearest empty place. No one objected, and she let out a sigh of relief. Nearby, two girls turned to whisper to each other.

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Image Hush!
Image And her eyes are such a queer colour. A funny-looking child, to be sure.

'Queer' is used here in its traditional meaning of 'strange'-- though the modern meaning certainly applies to Sara as well. That said, I'm not entirely sure what's meant to be strange about Sara's perfectly ordinary green eyes. I mean, Lavinia, Jessie has green eyes too. Maybe it's odd in combination with her hair color? Who knows.

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Image She makes you want to look at her again, to see what it is.
Image And she has tremendously long eyelashes.
Image Only you would notice such a thing!

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Image Kindly pay attention to your lessons?
ImageImage Yes, Miss Minchin!

Here is where, if we were playing the game normally, we would choose Sara's activities for the week. We'll be skipping that for now, though, and come back to it at the end of the update.

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Image Sara was what was known as a parlour boarder. Where other girls were quartered in standard-issue single rooms, she had a large bedroom, uniquely decorated, and a separate sitting room with a comfortable sofa.
Image (My Papa has filled them with beautiful things. Books, velvet cushions, lace dresses, a porcelain tea set... hats with great feathers that bob on them, even a tiger rug to remind me of India... It looks like a room that would belong to the daughter of a rajah — an Indian princess.)
Image (I only wish that this room also contained my Papa.)
Image (Perhaps it does. He gave me all of these things, and whenever I touch them, I can imagine that he is with me. And when I read his farewell letter, I can hear his voice.)
Papa's Letter wrote:My dear Little Missus,
So here you are, in the place you always knew you must go. But be of good cheer! You will not have to stay for a very long time.
There will be a lot of little girls, and you will play together, and I will send you plenty of books, and you will grow so fast that it will seem scarcely a year before you are big enough and clever enough to come back and take care of papa.
I am not in the least anxious about your education. You are always sitting with your little nose burrowing in to books, gobbling them up as if you were a little wolf instead of a little girl.
I have instructed Miss Minchin to drag you away from your books when you read too much, and make you go and ride your pony in the Row or buy a new doll. You ought to play more with dolls.
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Image (I am happiest with just Emily, and happier because I was with you when I met her.)
Image Emily, of course, was the name of a doll, a very special doll that Sara had discovered when her Papa took her to visit the premier toyshops of London. She was a large doll, but not too large to carry about easily; she had naturally curling golden-brown hair, which hung like a mantle about her, and her eyes were a deep, clear, grey-blue, with soft, thick eyelashes which were real eyelashes and not mere painted lines. At Sara's insistence, she had been given a wardrobe every bit as grand as Sara's own, with frocks and coats and nightgowns and beautiful lace- trimmed underthings. She even had her own tiny lady's handkerchief and her own cradle-bed, at the foot of Sara's.

Sara is clearly an extremely spoiled little girl, but seems to have turned out okay in spite of it. Not sure how often that happens in real life, but it's a common trope in media, especially of the era in which the novel was set and written.

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Image My Papa is on the sea now, Emily. We must be very great friends to each other — intimate friends — and tell each other things.
Image Look at me, Emily?
Image You have the nicest eyes I ever saw — but I wish you could speak.
Image She brushed Emily's hair fondly, settling her in pride of place.
Image (There are so many girls in this school. I have never seen so many children in one place before. I am afraid I shall not even remember all of their names.)
Image (I have always known that someday I would be required to go away, to leave my home and my Papa and come to England to be educated. I must do my duty, even if I do not like it.)
Image (I dare say soldiers, even brave ones, don't really like going into battle, but they must do it anyway, and not cry and fuss. So must I. But oh, it is so lonely!)
Image She could not know, of course, how her quiet sorrow might be misinterpreted by others. Miss Minchin, the proprietor, had seen the lavish preparations for Sara’s pretty little room and concluded that here was a child who had always been given her own way at the expense of others. Such a spoiled little girl might be expected to kick and scream and set the whole house into an uproar, when abandoned by her only parent. That she did not suggested to Miss Minchin that Sara cared nothing at all for her Papa, but only for her dresses and toys. Such was not a thought that inspired sympathy in her heart for the newcomer.

I'm sure this will cause no problems and never come up again.

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Image Sara was not a girl easily given to fear or startlement, but she had a healthy share of curiosity, and went at once to see what it was.

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Image Hello there. Who might you be?
Image ...’m Lottie.
Image Her words were hard to make out through the fingers she had shoved into her mouth.
Image Lottie?
Image The fingers were withdrawn and wiped dry among the frills of her skirt.
Image Lottie Leigh.
Image Sara smiled. Here, then, was a chance — to meet just one person at a time, instead of a crowd of strangers.
Image Well then, I am Sara Crewe, and know we are properly introduced.

This art of Lottie really is just the cutest, though it does make her look more like an infant than a toddler. She is the fourth of our six possible routes. LLP is nice in that not all the routes are romantic, exploring a variety of relationships.

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Image Was there something you wanted?
Image Can I — Might I — May I look at your doll?
Image Of course you may. Come and visit me in my room, and we can have tea together. My Papa left me a beautiful tea set, with lilies painted on it.
Image Emily has her own service as well, sized for her hand, because she is too small to hold one of my cups.
Image I want to see!
Image Come inside, then, and I will introduce you to Emily.
Image And that was Sara's first week of classes at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies.

Alrighty, it's voting time. We have to choose what Sara does this week, and then who she will spend time with.

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Read a Book:
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Practice Dance:
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Play with Toys:
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Go for Walk:
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Write in Diary:
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Tea Party:
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This system is a little strange and convoluted, but not too bad once you manage to wrap your head around it. To avoid things getting out of hand, everyone will be getting three votes for activities. You can cast them each for a separate activity, all for one, or split them between two as you wish. I will be choosing activities as proportionally as I can manage. So if 60% of the votes were for a tea party, 20% for walking, and 20% for dancing we would spend 3 days having tea parties, one day walking, and one day dancing. I'll choose the best order possible to maximize stat gain, prioritizing unlocking scenes.

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Here is what our choices are currently (ignore the stats). Jessie's first scene has no requirements, so we can play it no matter what. Lottie's, meanwhile, requires that Sara have 5 faith. Lavinia's scene isn't available until next week, but will require 3 grace when we get there. Cast one vote for who you want to spend time with. The character with the highest number of votes whose requirements have been met will win. Note that you can also vote to spend time with no one, if you're a hermit like that.

See you guys next time!
Last edited by yamiaainferno on Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Huh, it will be quite interesting to see how the anime aesthetics and the game's own writing will fit with the apparently extremely Victorian prose of the original text.
Though ummm I really really hope that "route" doesn't directly translate to "love interest" because, well, Lottie.

As for votes: Seems like Sara is currently somewhat lacking in Knowledge, Artistry, Sympathy, and Belief (graceful like a proper princess though). Therefore: Read a Book, Practice Dance, and Tea Party.

Also, if Jessie is already available, might as well.

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Carpator Diei wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:08 am
Though ummm I really really hope that "route" doesn't directly translate to "love interest" because, well, Lottie.
It doesn't. I've done a couple routes in this years ago and there's at least two that aren't romantic.


Dance, Read, Dance.

Spend time with Jessie.

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Carpator Diei wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:08 am
Though ummm I really really hope that "route" doesn't directly translate to "love interest" because, well, Lottie.
What Jeanne said. No dating four year olds in this game, or any that I would LP. I went ahead and edited some clarification into the post.

yamiaainferno wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:44 am
What Jeanne said. No dating four year olds in this game, or any that I would LP. I went ahead and edited some clarification into the post.
That's what I assumed, I just couldn't shake off that slight bit of worry ^^ Thanks for the clarification, in any case!

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The idea of having platonic routes sounds interesting to me. That said, I rarely read visual novels, so I don't know if that's actually a rare thing to see.

Is it randomly decided which of the three gain options you get from an activity, or can you choose?

Read a Book, practice dance, go for a walk

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Yes, finally- platonic routes! Why's it gotta be so hard to have a platonic route normally, VN people? Also, yay, raising sim LPs! I quite like these games when they're done well, even when I don't actually play that many of them.

I'm voting Play With Toys, Play With Toys, Tea Party. Toys seems to give the only guaranteed Vigour boost here, and vigour seems like a resource we can duplicate for art through dance. (Though, I'd like to see how much Patience we can get in the long run.)
Night Zap wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:41 pm
Is it randomly decided which of the three gain options you get from an activity, or can you choose?
I interpreted it as the first option is guaranteed, and you also get one of the below two at random.

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Night Zap wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:41 pm
Is it randomly decided which of the three gain options you get from an activity, or can you choose?
The Flying Twybil wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:07 pm
I interpreted it as the first option is guaranteed, and you also get one of the below two at random.
It is random which of the three options you get. Bit of a weird system, like I said, but it's not too difficult to max everything. The stats cap at 10, so they fill up quickly.

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Hello, and welcome back to A Little Lily Princess. I did a pretty poor job of explaining the mechanics of activities and stats last update, so I'll cover the process in some detail here. Future updates will be much more brief.

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Here's our schedule for the week. Strategically, you always want to put any activities that have the possibility of multipliers at the end of the week in order to maximize stat gain. Here, everything but dance will always give us flat increases, so it's easy enough to plan. The game will randomly choose between the three possible outcomes for each activity, going in the order chosen.

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This precious little chibi of Sara points to the outcome rolled, and our results will be displayed on the side broken down by day. I won't clog the thread with these every week-- more than likely I'll just post the schedule and the final results, but they deserve to be seen once, at least.

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Here's our final icons converted to stats. No huge gains in anything, but we're almost halfway in 3/7 of our stats after just one week. Despite the random assignment mechanic, the low cap (10) makes it a forgiving system. In my first playthrough I remember maxing everything without really trying.

Detailed explanation over, we can move on to our scene. The thread overwhelmingly chose Jessie. Just in case that was motivated out of fear, I want to assure everyone that I will never skip a scene if I can help it.

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Image Sara rose to her feet at once.
Image You are very welcome. Please, come inside.

The game uses small icons for characters who are speaking from "off-screen", so to speak, and when there's special art on display that the full sprites would cover. Alas, these icons are simply the full-size sprites fanangled into icons with some clever use of UI, and so are not in the games files. I still had to make my own.

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Image I know we have been introduced, but I wished to make your acquaintance more personally.
Image And without Lavvie listening in.
Image Lavinia? I thought that you and she were the best of friends.
Image Of course we are! I adore her. She's so... classic. So elegant and focused, I admire her very much.
Image However, sometimes it is nicer to do things for oneself... Are those real silk stockings you're wearing?
Image Sara blinked, caught unawares by this change of topic.
Image Yes. I have several pairs. My Papa took me to many shops while he was in London.

That was...quite an abrupt subject change, but it seems Sara's too polite to comment on it.

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Image Sara sat down in her comfortable armchair, lifting the hem of her skirt slightly so that the floral embroidery over her ankle was visible.
Image What little feet you have! I never saw such little feet.
Image Are they small?
Image She raised her leg a bit, pointing her toes and moving her foot this way and that.
Image They seem the same size as they have always been, even though I know they must have been smaller when I was younger.
Image I am sure that Lottie's feet are smaller than mine. And Emily’s, of course, are the smallest of all.
Image Emily?
Image Emily is the doll that my Papa bought to be my companion.

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Image Emily, this is Jessie Abbot, my new friend.
Image The older girl dropped a beautiful curtsey, then laughed.
Image Oh, she has silk stockings too! Stockings for such teeny-tiny feet, how cute!
Image But you do have small feet for your height, Sara, I'm sure you do. Look at mine.
Image Jessie pressed her foot up alongside Sara's for comparison.
Image I just don't know whether larger or smaller feet are better. For dancing, I mean. If you dance with a partner, small feet would be better to avoid being stepped on. And they look very stylish in slippers. Slippers are cuter if they are smaller.

Everything is cuter if smaller. It's just :science: .

Image But larger feet might be better for holding positions and standing on your toes. Small feet may not be as strong.
Image Your feet have a good shape, though. They arch well. They're very pretty.
Image Can feet be pretty?

Don't ask that on the internet, Sara. For your own sake.

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Image She has dimples and round, rose-coloured cheeks, pale blue eyes, and long curling hair the colour of gold, and everyone said those things were very pretty. No one ever spoke of her feet.
Image I suppose, if feet can be pretty, then perhaps I do have pretty feet. I know the rest of me is not. My hair is too black and straight and short, I am too thin, and my eyes are a strange colour.
Image You do not have the same kind of beauty that dolls are made of, but that doesn’t mean that you aren't pretty. I think you are quite interesting to look at.
Image Sara did not wish to contradict her new friend, who had no reason to lie, but her inner conviction that she was an ugly little girl could not be so easily dispelled.

I'm still confused about green eyes being considered strange. I also thank no one for correcting me last update and saying that Jessie's eyes are probably more blue than green, though definitely an in-between shade. I usually have the blue light filter turned on when I'm working at my computer, and it distorts the colors a bit.

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Image I don't know.
Image I suppose we can find out.

Aw. :)

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Image Girls? Are you ready? Form up into a line behind Lavinia.
Image Sara, dear, it is our custom to walk to and from church every Sunday, when the weather permits. That allows the horses a day of rest, and ensures that students receive regular exercise.
Image It is important to look your best when we are walking out among the public. We want our school to always leave a good impression. You should follow Lavinia's cues, she will show you what to do. Lavinia is always a model student.
Image As if hearing her name, Lavinia smiled and tilted her head.
Image You could learn a great deal from Lavinia, dear. And as her father is also posted to India, the two of you should have much in common. I'm sure you will make close friends.
Image Now, go and stand in line behind her.
Image Sara made her way to the front of the line, where Jessie and Lavinia stood close together.

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Image Miss Minchin told me to stand behind you. She said you were a 'model' —
Image Oh, very well then.
Image But that's my place!
Image You wouldn't want to disobey Miss Minchin, would you?
Image No...
Image We have to show our new girl how to behave herself in church. She may never have seen one before!
Image ...
Image Sara thought it wisest to remain silent.

Yikes, Lavinia. Yikes. :shock:

Moving on, here is where we would select our activities for the week. We'll be skipping it once more, in favor of voting for both those and who we spend the weekend with at once.


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Image Sara? Sara dear?

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Image Bonjour, mademoiselle.
Image Miss Minchin hissed through her teeth, and the young woman in the maid's uniform fell silent.
Image Sara, before he left your father arranged for a maid to be employed especially for your needs. She has just arrived — I believe she is from France.
Image Yes...
Image Her name is Mariette, and she will be living in your rooms, helping you with your clothing in the morning, and anything else you require. Please use her as your liaison with the staff. If you have need of food, send your maid rather than speaking to Cook directly.
Image And don't let her fool you. She does speak the Queen’s tongue.
Image She swept out of the room, leaving the maid and her new little mistress blinking at each other in confusion.
Image Bonjour, Mariette. Je m'appelle Sara. Comment allez-vous?
:words: Hello, Mariette. My name is Sara. How are you?

Mariette here is our fifth route, another platonic option. There is, as you can see, going to be some French-speaking involved. Luckily enough I happen to know basic French, having taken classes on it in both high school and college. I'll go ahead and translate anything that I think is worth it, or that's longer than a couple of words, for the sake of the thread, indicated by the :words: emote, as above.

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Image Oh! What did he say?
Image That no other little girl is as solemn as you, and that you would make me smile.
Image But why would being solemn make someone smile?
Image Ah, it is your — je ne sais quoi. It is you.
Image Now, why don't you show me around your rooms?

Voting time, everyone. Options for activities remain the same, so please reference the previous update or the post under the OP, then cast your three votes. Our current options for the weekend are:

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Jessie's scene will require +1 Belief, Lottie's +3 Belief, and Lavinia's +1 Grace. Mariette's has no requirements, so if nothing else our maid will hang out with us.

See you guys next time!
Last edited by yamiaainferno on Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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I'm going for Play With Toys, Go For A Walk, and Tea Party mostly because Fortitude seems really unreliable to get, and we might as well do it now while the requirements are easy.

I suggest we go ahead hang out with Lottie given that our maid seems to have no requirements presently.

I've read enough classics with French in them to have a good context of what they're saying, but no real understanding. A translation of pertinent information will be really nice though.

Oh, and for those of you who want to know, lisle cotton is just very tightly woven cotton thread, originally made in Lisle, France. It's effectively an early form of making mercerized thread and was used to make a stronger thread that also had a bit of sheen to it. It could be used as an imitation silk of sorts as result, thus Jessie's comments about real silk stockings.

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Lavinia seems, uh... wow. To be fair, I've certainly seen my fair share of kids who were condescending when I was around that age, so it makes sense someone like that would be in something with this sort of premise.

As for activities, Play With Dolls, Dance, and Go For a Walk. It seems like stocking up on some Vigour to then double and convert it into other things would be rather efficient, but that'll rely on that 1/3 chance to double our Vigour. The consolations for missing that proc aren't too bad, though, especially with how forgiving the caps are. It's refreshing to see.

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So the original story at least has a very Victorian England setting, during a time when blonde ringlets and blue eyes were en vogue (like one of those terrifying porcelain dolls.) At the very least, the straight black hair marks Sara as not only an outsider, but quite possibly even mixed (remember that she grew up in India.) So Victorian racism/xenophobia is probably a big part of it.

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Green eyes are pretty rare - only 2% of the world's population have that shade, but Tanegashima has it right that the straight lack hair might be an indicator she's mixed.

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Don't forget that it's not entirely unusual for higher class kids to be rude to each other in general as long as they perceive superiority. Hell, even the adults do that during that time period. Though, yes, this does mean there's a good chance she's mixed race along the line.

Mariette at least is definitely not white (unless anime looks are deceiving), and Lavinia's assumption that she has to teach the girl from India how a church works seems pretty clear-cut. Will be interesting to see how the story handles those topics, especially considering that the source material is from that time period itself.
The other thing that sticks out to me is just how casually rich Sara is, without even really realizing it. Tailor-made silk stockings for a doll!

Actually, I'll vote Mariette; probably can't hurt to spend some time with someone who wasn't born into obscene amounts of money. Also, Read a Book, Play with Toys, Write in Diary.

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Welcome back to LLP, everyone. The game where I find out that I don't know shit about eye color rarities.

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Our schedule and results for Week 2. We're already at least halfway on every stat other than Knowledge and Belief. Once we max everything out, I'll just skip the activity voting all together. It's worth noting, briefly, that in this case we had a tie between walking or reading for our fifth activity-- such ties will be resolved by a coin flip. Moving on to the weekend, it was a lot closer this time, but Lavinia won out in the end.

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Image It is Sara Crewe. May I come in?
Image You may enter.

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Image It was a rather small court, consisting as it did of only one loyal follower, Jessie Abbot — but Lavinia's posture suggested no doubts about her right to rule.
Image Hello, Lavinia. May I —
Image I beg your pardon?
Image Your pardon?
Image That is not begging.
Image Jessie tittered behind her hand.

We are not off to a good start, here.

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Image No. It is evident that there are a great many things you do not understand. That is only to be expected, seeing that you have been raised in the savage outlands. However, here in England, we observe manners.
Image Sara was perplexed. It was not her desire to be unmannerly, but she could not immediately perceive what breach she had committed.
Image You are too forward, Miss Crewe. I have not invited you to use my Christian name.
Image We have already been introduced —
Image Knowing one’s name is not sufficient reason to use it. A friend would call me Lavinia. You and I are not yet such friends.
Image Oh, Lavvie, she is very young. Children use names freely.
Image It was clear to Sara that Jessie intended to demonstrate her own superior rank of friendship — not merely 'Lavinia’, but a pet name.
Image (How funny, that it should be called a 'pet' name, when it is Jessie who acts more as the 'pet’ to Lavinia.)

:smug: Got 'em.

Jessie's comment about Sara being a 'child', along with some other stuff, makes me pretty certain that her and Lavinia are teenagers, probably about 13 or so. Lavinia is technically correct by the way, despite all the airs she's putting on. According to
Social Life; or The Manners and Customs of Polite Society, one should "Never address people by their Christian names unless very familiarly acquainted."

Image
Image After all, Miss Minchin has set me to be her model. It is my responsibility to correct her mistakes.
Image (It is a silly game, these manners, but I do enjoy games.)
Image She curtseyed, then, if only slightly.
Image I pray you will forgive me, Miss Herbert. I was too familiar.
Image Lavinia waved a hand.
Image You are forgiven, of course.

:unsmith: Sara is a good girl, you guys.

Image
Image Miss Minchin said that your father was stationed in India. I was curious where you had lived, whether we might have seen the same —
Image And now, Lavinia held up her hand again.
Image I have no interest in discussing anything whatsoever to do with India. It is not a proper topic for polite conversation.
Image Sara frowned. From the odd look on Jessie’s face, she too seemed to find this answer disappointing.
Image Please understand, Miss Crewe. We are here, in London, under the shield of Her Majesty the Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India. Everything that matters in the world takes place within these miles. Trade within the City, Government in Parliament, and Society within the Palace.
Image India is a distant hinterland, filthy and rife with disease. It... it is a jungle, out there.

A very...ethnocentric view, to say the least. And unfortunately pretty much in line with the thinking of a lot of Victorian high society. I've been reading a lot of classic mystery novels lately, and Jesus, the arrogance of these people.

Image
Image A proper lady expresses interest in India only to imagine the thrill of being made to briefly visit such a wild and terrible terrain. You should be very glad that you have escaped it.
Image Thrills are exciting.
Image Hush.
Image Lavinia rubbed one hand over the other, as if brushing away dirt.
Image I hope I have made myself clear. We will not be discussing India here.
Image However, I will be very pleased to aid you in learning the ways of the English, Miss Crewe. I am certain that is what Miss Minchin had in mind when she directed you to me.
Image That is very kind of you.
Image Not at all. It is my duty, and every good English man or woman is keen to do his or her duty.
Image Like my Papa the soldier.
Image Yes, if you must.
Image (I still don't understand why she refuses to speak about India. Wasn't she born there? She must know how lovely it can be...)

Maybe we'll get an answer to that question if the thread decides to pursue her route. I'd say the interaction went rather well, since we got away with only mild condescension on Lavinia's part.

Image
Image
Image Miss Minchin walked up and down between the desks, ensuring that each pupil’s head was bowed to her particular lessons. She paused beside Sara, a book in her hand.
Image Now, Sara. As your papa has engaged a French maid for you, I conclude that he wishes you to make a special study of the French language.
Image Ah — I think he engaged her because he — he thought I would like her, Miss Minchin.
Image I am afraid that you may have been something of a spoiled little girl, and as such, you always imagine that things are done because you like them.
Image It is a fault in you, and one that we must endeavour to train away.
Image I...
Image My impression, Sara, is that your papa wished for you to learn French.
Image I... I have never really learned to speak French, but — but —
Image That is quite enough.
Image You have never learned, and so you must begin at once. The French master, Monsieur Dufarge, will be here in a few minutes. Take this book and look at it until he arrives.
Image ...

We, of course, all know from last update that Sara can already speak French. Miss Minchin would know too, if she let Sara get a word in edgewise. Minchin is the type of teacher I can stand the least-- the kind that only half-listens to you, and conveniently picks up just the words to prove that they are right and that you are wrong. Talking to them is useless.

Image
Image ('le père', the father...'la mère', the mother...)
Image You look rather cross, Sara. I am sorry you do not like the idea of learning French.
Image I am very fond of it, but —
Image You must not say 'but' when you are told to do things.

:doh: Case in point.

Image
Image Miss Abbot! Young ladies should not make dreadful snickering noises like a horse.
Image Yes, Miss Minchin!
Image Sara, look at your book again.
Image Yes, Miss Minchin.
Image ('le fils', the son... 'le frère', the brother... oh dear...)
Image Shortly after, Monsieur Dufarge arrived in the classroom. The French master was an elderly gentleman with a neatly trimmed mustache and beard, and hair that flew outwards in dramatic points. His eyes lit up when he caught sight of an unfamiliar little girl puzzling over a book of French phrases.
Image Ah! Is this a new pupil for me, madame?

Side note, I'm a little confused about Minchin's marital status-- the French master here refers to her as madame, indicating a married woman, but the students and sign on the school say 'Miss', indicating an unmarried woman. In modern times this distinction doesn't matter much, but in the Victorian era it was of the utmost importance. I'm leaning towards unmarried, simply because she is running a business, which would be odd for a married woman at the time. She's at least in her 30s, maybe 40s, which qualifies her as a spinster-- and she certainly fits the stereotype of a miserable, grumpy, and undesirable woman. The book makes a point of how ugly and "fish-eyed" she is-- though artist has clearly decided not to go with that interpretation.

Image
Image I am very sorry to hear that, mademoiselle. Perhaps, when we begin to study together, I may show you that it is a charming tongue.
Image Little Sara rose in her seat. She was beginning to feel rather desperate.
Image S'il vous plait, monsieur, je ne peux pas lui faire comprendre...
:words: Please, sir, I can't make her understand...

Image
Image What — what on earth? What is she saying? Is this some form of joke?
Image Ah, madame, there is not much I can teach her. She has not learned French; she is French. Her accent is exquisite.
Image You — you ought to have told me!
Image I tried — I suppose I did not begin right...
ImageImage *giggle*

That's uh-- I don't know if that's such a great idea, girls--

Image
Image Silence, young ladies! Silence at once!
Image And though the other students soon settled back into proper schoolroom behaviour, Miss Minchin's lips remained tightly pressed together whenever she looked at Sara.

:stonk: ...Moving on to our post-activities scene...

Image
Image lee pair... the father... lee, no, lah mare... the mother...
Image To Ermengarde, it had seemed almost unbelievable that a girl of her own age could string together so many words of French as if they were mere trifles. Dismayed at her own failings, she was devoting more effort than usual to the trial of understanding her lessons. Her elbows rested on the desk, her hands under her chin, as she repeated the broken syllables under her breath. She stared so hard and bit the ribbon on her pigtail so fast that she attracted the attention of Miss Minchin; who, feeling extremely cross at the moment, immediately pounced upon her.

Despite being broken up by the activities screen, this is probably a continuation of the previous scene.

Image
Image I — what?
Image Remove your elbows! Take your ribbon out of your mouth! Sit up at once!
Image Yes, Miss Minchin!
ImageImage *giggle*
Image ...

Lavinia and Jessie do that a lot. So much so that I have it saved in the document where I keep sprite links.

Image
Image Good bread... lee bong pang?
Image Kindly though he was, Monsieur Dufarge could not help but smile at her pronunciation.
Image That is not quite correct. Ecoutez bien: ’Le Bon Pain'.
:words: Listen well: 'the good bread'.

For anyone curious, it's pronounced something like 'luh bon pan'-- not exactly, since perfectly communicating French words with English pseudo-phonemes is just not going to happen, but it gives you an idea.

Image
ImageImage *giggle*
Image Girls! Conduct yourselves.
Image ...
Image (It isn’t funny, really. They ought not to laugh.)
Image (Poor thing!)
Image It was a way of hers always to want to spring into any fray in which someone was made uncomfortable or unhappy. However, there was no way for any hero to defend or rescue Ermengarde from the horrors of education; at least, not until the lesson period had concluded.

Image

Time to vote once more, friends. Our choices are quickly filling out! The image is accurate for once-- other than Lottie (who still needs +2 belief), we've already met the requirements for everyone else. Remember to also cast your three votes for activities-- information under the OP.

See you next time!

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As Lavinia and Jessie are extremely unsympathetic right now, let's not give them the time of day. Let's interact with Ermengarde.

Also, French huh? Anti-French xenophobia would also explain some things, yes.

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I think this time around, I'll vote for Read a Book, Write in Diary, and Write in Diary Might as well try and unlock Lottie's event while we go for large stat gains.

Let's help teach Ermengarde some French. Those other two have been a bit rude, so very rude indeed, and they shall not have our company until that matter has been remedied.

Also, being French and in London is possible one of the worst combinations you could be in this time period. Hell, being anything but English (not including Scot, Welsh, or Irish,) in the southern side of Imperial Britain was the worst place you could be. The same goes for Spain and France- Colonization led to a huge pile of xenophobia issues in really any country that was taking part in it.

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Gonna have to opt for Write in Diary, Read in Book, maybe throw in a Play With Toys for good measure. As for the routes, Ermengarde seems promising. There could be something less agreeable about her once we get started, but we'll never know until we try, and while Jessie seems alright (if stuck around the thumb of Lavinia), Lavinia herself seems... uh, raised rather specifically to be dunked repeatedly in the xenophobia juice. And the patriotism juice. And basically all the things that could make someone unpleasant to speak to unless you're a cardboard cutout of a "model citizen," whatever that means in the era.

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Echoing Read a Book, Write in Diary, and Write in Diary. If the stats are maxed this easily, it's best to spend our efforts on patching up our weak spots, to keep our options open.

I love the tidbits on history and the society of the time, they really help my understanding of the story.

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I'm also adding a vote to spending time with Ermengarde, as the poor dear is clearly doing her absolute utmost in class, and she deserves some positive reinforcement.

As for self-study, I'll throw an opt for Reading a book, Writing in the Diary, and going for a walk.

User avatar
Hello everyone, and welcome back to LLP. The game where I fuck up the basic mechanics, and so can't use the "Ermengarde rules, Lavinia drools" line that I wanted to for this intro. :eng99:

After playing the scene with Ermengarde and getting to the next scheduling screen, I noticed that our sympathy had dropped from 5 to 0. I was confused, and wondering if the save editor I had used (because I also forgot to save after taking the screenshots for the last update; I'm really on a roll here guys) was causing problems. It turns out, no-- when you select scenes, you are spending those stats in order to unlock them. This is a major detail and helps explain why the caps are so low-- it's also something I have absolutely no memory of from when I played the game for myself. But sure enough there's a screen (that I didn't include in the update, or you know, even bother to read) that spells it out pretty explicitly.

Image

So...yeah. I'm a big ding dong dingus. But at least we know now. Sorry guys. :sigh: Let's move on to the rest of the update.

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Image

Patience is maxed! :toot: Since we can't gain any more, rolling patience gain on any activity is essentially a waste, so we may want to think about spending it if we can-- but it's not that big of a deal if we don't. It's also worth noting that since we didn't have any vigour icons and landed on one of the "gain X equal to vigour" options, we gained nothing from walking other than some fresh air. But enough of that-- let's hang out with Ermengarde, who unanimously won the vote.

Image
Image Someone like Lavinia could be easily tracked from a distance by the sharp sound of her voice, or the drumming heels of little girls stampeding away from her presence. Ermengarde, however, kept largely to herself and did not make a great deal of noise. Sara found her at last, bundled rather disconsolately in a window seat. Forthright and fearless, Sara walked over to offer a friendly greeting.
Image Hello. What is your name?
Image Her name, of course, was already known, as they had been introduced — however briefly — upon Sara’s arrival at the school. This was, however, the traditional thing that little girls always said to each other by way of beginning an acquaintance. The etiquette of children has its own observances.
Image Ah — My name's Ermengarde St. John.
Image Mine is Sara Crewe. Yours is very pretty. It sounds like a story book.
Image Do — do you like it?

Image
Image Cliques and friendships in a small environment can become very firmly set indeed, and leave no room for the excluded, no matter how many years might pass. To the friendless, then, a new student brings with her a breath of hope. 'Here is someone who is not yet claimed! Perhaps she will like me?’ And yet, as she is unknown, friendship may not be a possibility. A new girl could equally be snobbish, or foolish, or mean-spirited. The hope is always adulterated with fear. This pupil was even more noteworthy than most, for rumours about her had filled the school even before her arrival. She had her own carriage and her own maid; her rooms were like no one else's; her wardrobe was exquisite; she had the adventure of a voyage from India to discuss. It is no wonder that Ermengarde was somewhat tongue-tied upon being addressed.
Image I like yours — your name.

:allears: I have a good feeling about Ermengarde, guys.

Image
Image Sara held out her hand, not as a grand lady might for a gentleman to touch it, but as if greeting someone who was already a friend. After only a moment’s hesitation, Ermengarde took it.
Image I'm very pleased to meet you.
Image Me, too.
Image Oh! You should meet Emily as well.
Image Who is Emily?
Image Come up to my room and you shall see.
Image All right...
Image They jumped down from the window seat together, and went upstairs.

Tbh, I'm very thankful that we don't have to read Sara explaining her doll for...the fourth time? I was starting to get tired of it.

Image
Image The ordinary pupils at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary had only small bedrooms of their own. Enough space to sleep and dress and read if they were inclined, but for most activities they must venture out.
Image Yes. Papa asked Miss Minchin to let me have one.
Image She opened the door and beckoned Ermengarde inside.

Image
Image Oh! It's beautiful.
Image Sometimes, when I am playing, I make up stories about the things that I am doing and tell them to myself, and I don't like people to hear me. It spoils it if I think people might listen.
Image (Does that sound too selfish of me?)

Image
Image Ermengarde had paused, her eyes wide.
Image You make them up? How — how can you do that?
Image Why, anyone can make up things. Have you never tried?
Image But where do the stories come from?
Image Inside my head. Don't you ever imagine things that might happen, that haven't? You must have dreams when you sleep, at least.
Image Ermengarde shook her head, her braids wobbling.

In the classic mystery novels I've been reading, people talk about "imagination" a lot. It seems to be connected to someone being prone to flights of fancy and getting carried away, but also to their intellect and ingenuity. People who are "unimaginative" are boring and set in their ways, and may even be portrayed as stupid. I couldn't find any sources talking about this explicitly, though, so keep in mind this is me more or less talking out of my ass about observations I've made in fiction books.

Image
Image I try very hard, but it doesn't seem to help.
Image Sara found the concept of a girl with no imagination at all too difficult to grasp.
Image Surely you must read storybooks about things that aren't real.
Image Oh, no! I hate to read.
Image Seeing that this response disappointed Sara, she fished for a better explanation.
Image I don't read well, I can't concentrate. The words run together. And it's so hard to remember anything that I read in a book. I am meant to read a great many books for Miss Minchin’s classes, but I get them all mixed up. When we read poems after history, I thought that Christabel was the daughter of the King of Spain.
Image I don't want to read anything more than I absolutely must, I'll only make a muddle of it.

Image
Image B-but it's good that you can!
Image What if you read stories about fairies, or dragons? Surely you wouldn't get those confused with things at school.
Image But I might... You are very like a fairy, and you are here at school.
Image I'm sorry. I'm very dull. And slow. Everyone says so.
Image I — I understand if you do not wish to spend any more time with me.

:smith: Poor Ermengarde. I get the feeling that she's been down this road before, only to be abandoned.

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Image Everyone is different. I am only sorry that it means I cannot share my favourite books with you. I have so many favourites that I love, and I wish that you could love them too.
Image Oh! I have an idea. Perhaps if I read them to you, then you would not get them confused with other books?
Image I don't know...
Image Hesitantly, she smiled.
Image ...But I could try?
Image Good.

:unsmith: Luckily, that won't be the case with Sara. Ermengarde is a sweetheart, despite how much the book likes to repeat that she is "dull", "stupid", and "fat". :rolleyes:

Image
Image
Image It was only a blue tit. They’re hopelessly common.
Image I hadn't seen one before.
Image They're — They're country birds. They like trees. You don't see them so much in London.
Image There must be many more birds in the country. Are there any birds in England that are blue all over?
Image I don't think so. Are there blue birds in India?
Image Well, there are some birds with bright blue feathers, but not all over, and some birds that are blue all over, but only a bit blue. I thought that perhaps in England I might find the Bluebird of Happiness.
Image What is that?

This scene doesn't actually go into it, so I shall endeavor to answer Ermengarde's question here. :eng101: The Bluebird of Happiness here probably refers to the popular French fairy tales, which would make sense for Sara to know about and not the other girls, as our story is set in 1888, but an English translated collection of the various stories wouldn't be available until 1892. It's the kind of thing I can see Captain Crewe getting for Sara, as a replacement for the stories her French mother might have told her at bedtime, had she lived.

Image
Image You shouldn't give orders to Cook. It's not proper for a young lady to go into the kitchens.
Image Oh, I won't go. My maid, Mariette, will fetch the tea for us.
Image You have your own personal maid to bring you tea?
Image Yes, my father arranged for her to come from France. Come and say hello!
Image ...

Uh oh. I think I can sense the seeds of a rivalry being sewn. :ohdear:

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Image Oh, my. So many visitors.
Image If it's all right, would you please bring tea for my guests, Mariette?
Image Oui, mademoiselle.
Image Mariette went at once to the kitchens to carry out her little mistress's orders.

Image
Image Here, now, what's this, then?
Image Afternoon tea for four.
Image Oh, is that all? I expect she’ll be wanting fresh cakes, too, never mind that we haven’t any made.
Image Ah, non, there are biscuits already.
Image Never seen that stop one of those girls from wanting more, quick-as-you-please.
Image It is perhaps so, with some, but not with my mistress.
Image Elle a l'air d'une princesse, cette petite! She thanks me for my work just as if she were thanking a grand lady.
:words: She has the air of a princess, this little one!
Image Hmph. Givin' herself airs, you mean.
Image As you wish it. Still, I am very pleased with my place. Now, the tea?

Well, it's good to know that Mariette likes working for us, even if Cook isn't impressed. We're skipping activity selection here, as always.

Image
Image Yes, Miss Minchin.
Image Where is she taking Sara?

Oh dear, it appears we're being gossiped about!

Image
Image 'Dear Sara' must come into the drawing room and talk to Mrs. Musgrave about India. 'Dear Sara' must speak French to Lady Pitkin. Her accent is so perfect!
Image She didn't learn her French at this Seminary, that’s for certain! And there's nothing so clever in her knowing it. She says herself she didn’t learn it at all. She just picked it up, because she always heard her papa speak it.
Image It's simply disgusting, the way Miss Minchin trots her out like an ornament.
Image I can't imagine being so good at anything that Miss Minchin should want to show me off. Especially French.
Image Sara is always imagining. She will no doubt grow up to be 'eccentric'.
Image There is one thing about her, though. She's never 'grand' about herself the least bit, even though she easily might be. I believe I couldn't help being proud — just a little — if had so many fine things and was made such a fuss over.

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Image Oh, Lavvie, don't be silly!
Image Being a cat might be even nicer than being able to speak French.
Image And every bit as likely, for you!
Image ...
Image There's no use in waiting here for Sara. She'll be at tea for hours, I'm sure. We may as well go on our way.

Image

Another nice moment ruined by Lavinia being a jerk, how shocking. Regardless, it's time to select who we spend our time with! Remember that stats listed for the scenes we choose will be spent. We need +3 Sympathy for Jessie, +1 Belief for Lottie, and +2 Belief for Ermengarde. We have everything we need for Lavinia, and Mariette's scene is free. Remember also to submit your three votes for activities! See you guys next time.
Last edited by yamiaainferno on Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:27 am, edited 3 times in total.

yamiaainferno wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:45 am
In the classic mystery novels I've been reading, people talk about "imagination" a lot. It seems to be connected to someone being prone to flights of fancy and getting carried away, but also to their intellect and ingenuity. People who are "unimaginative" are boring and set in their ways, and may even be portrayed as stupid. I couldn't find any sources talking about this explicitly, though, so keep in mind this is me more or less talking out of my ass about observations I've made in fiction books.
This is mostly speculative as well, but the concept of imagination as an innate mental ability to spontaneously create something previously nonexistent sounds very much like it's derived from Romanticism; many Romantic theories of art involved that idea of the creative genius capable of seeing beyond profane everyday life in some way (and those individuals were, in fact, imagined to come off as rather "eccentric"). That also fits quite well with Sara's apparent love of nature and with the way she imbues the world around her with peculiar meaning (a doll that deserves pretty clothes; England as an exotic country where you could find the Bluebird of Happiness). In 1888 Romanticism would've already been somewhat old-fashioned (its heyday was in the early decades of the 19th century), but Romantic ideas had quite a lasting effect on popular imagination of art and artistic personality, even until today. It will be interesting to see what the story ends up doing with those allusions.

Also: Tea Party, Practice Dance, Play with Toys. And I'll vote for Mariette again; as history has shown, a French princess would be well-advised indeed to nurture a good relationship with French commoners :v:

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Aw, Ermengarde. :smith: No matter the era, getting put down by your peers and probably also your family must suck.

Mariette because why would we spend time with Lavinia if we don't have to, Tea Party 3x. Maximum Ermengarde!

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OP updated to address people's concerns about the romance element of the game, which would have been a good idea to do when it first came up, but ah well. :v: I'll probably start taking screenshots tonight, if anyone else wants to get their votes in.

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You can see it a lot of the "Artistic Genius" in the construction of Victorian and Edwardian Detectives, Sherlock Holmes is notably an avid violin player with a tendency to improvise when he plays. Poirot being one of the rare classic detective who *Does not have an artistic hobby of some kind*

Ermengarde sounds like someone that would've been diagnosed with a learning disorder if she were alive in the modern era, as some of the things she said she struggles with reminds me of a relative with said disorder had told us.

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I think I'll set my vote to Mariette for now since the game says we can focus on more than one person, and she doesn't cost any resources right now. As for activities, I'll lean towards Write in Diary, Write in Diary, and Tea Party. We need Belief for the next event, and I get the feeling we'll need either Patience or Sympathy for Ermengarde later, so it can't hurt to pick both of those up when we can.

yamiaainferno wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:50 pm
OP updated to address people's concerns about the romance element of the game, which would have been a good idea to do when it first came up, but ah well. :v: I'll probably start taking screenshots tonight, if anyone else wants to get their votes in.
While you're at the OP, I've noticed that the link to the 'Long Live the Queen' LP doesn't work due to a typo.

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Carpator Diei wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:27 pm
While you're at the OP, I've noticed that the link to the 'Long Live the Queen' LP doesn't work due to a typo.
Fixed! Thanks for pointing that out.

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Hello everyone and welcome back to LLP, the let's play with footnotes! :eng101:

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Image

That's a lot of tea parties! For anyone wondering how I do this, and how tea party ended up with 4/5ths of the slots, I base it on percentages. Tea parties had 67% percent of the vote, writing in our diary 25%, and then dancing and playing with toys 4% each. Each slot is worth 20%-- so tea party automatically got 3 slots and writing 1, which left them with a remaining 7% and 5% of votes, respectively. Tea party, with the highest remaining percentage, got the last slot. I doubt anyone cares all that much, but I'm the kind of nerd who really likes spreadsheets and things.

As for the weekend, it was a close race between Ermengarde and Mariette, but Ermen won by a single vote.


Image
Image And then he offered to take her away to his father's court, where he would make her his bride.
Image The maiden adored the prince, whose company had charmed her for so many hours, but she could not bear to leave her sisters without first telling them farewell. She bade the prince to leave and return again the next day to the place in the woods where they had met.
Image Sara did not read the words exactly as they were written, but put her own little touches upon the story to make it turn out the way that she preferred. It was not quite the same as telling her own stories, but Ermengarde still seemed nervous at the idea of stories that had not come from books at all. It was a first step.
Image Once he had gone, she rushed back to her home to take up her work at the wheel, planning to spin twice as fast to cover for her absence.
Image But when she sat down at the wheel, she was dismayed to find that her magic gold thread had lost all its brightness. Her heart beat fast and she wept bitterly, for she remembered her mother's warning and knew not what misfortune might now befall her. She was so afraid that she would be punished for what she had done that she ran away without telling anyone what had happened, not even her beloved sisters. She ran through the woods, looking for her prince, but he was on horseback and long since gone.

Image
Image Thus the misfortune was complete.
Image She drowned!
Image Not quite.
Image Sara continued her story — how the maiden was transformed into a golden water-lily who sang in her sorrow, and how she was at last restored to life by the love of her sisters. Ermengarde sighed in contentment.
Image When I hear stories in your voice, I can almost see them happen. You are much better than books.
Image But what about the prince? Doesn't he marry her in the end?
Image He rode over the bridge by the river and heard her singing, but he didn't do anything to save her.
Image It was her sisters who loved her enough to look for her when she was lost.

Sara's story is a rendition of The Water-Lily, the Gold-Spinners (or simply The Gold-Spinners), an Estonian fairy tale most famously collected in The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. This took a few attempts at keywords for me to find, and I also went to the effort of reading through the two English versions of the story on Wikipedia. Like many fairy tales, The Gold-Spinners is full of talking birds, people transforming into things, and women sitting around waiting for a dingbat prince to pull his thumbs out of his ass. I don't think a single woman other than the antagonist takes any action of her own volition in the whole story, and it's ludicrous. Sara's version is much, much better.

There is a teeny, tiny hiccup in that The Blue Fairy book wasn't published until 1889, and is the first non-Estonian publication of the story as far as I can find, wheras I've taken A Little Princess (and therefore LLP) to be set in 1888.(1) Your continuity errors(2) will not escape me, Hanako Games!
:owned:

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Image Anyone could be a hero, in the right circumstances.
Image I don't think I could.
Image Ermengarde looked around Sara's room, decorated as it was with the best of at least three countries: dependable England, refined France, and exotic India.
Image Do you miss being in India, Sara?
Image Yes, of course. It was my home, and I was happy there.
Image I had my house, and my pets, and my Ayah, and the skies were never foggy and grey like they are here in London. I loved living there. But I love it most of all because it is where my Papa will be.
Image Ermengarde saw Sara's face suddenly change. A cloud seemed to pass over it and put out the light in her shining eyes.
Image Have you a — a pain?
Image There was a moment of silence, in which Ermengarde worried that she might have spoken out of turn. But at last, Sara answered.

Image
Image Her voice was low, and somewhat unsteady.
Image Do you love your father more than anything else in all the whole world?
Image Ermengarde's mouth fell open a little. She knew that it would not be correct for a respectable child at a select seminary to say that she did not adore her father; could not imagine being even so much as fond of him.
Image I — I scarcely ever see him.
Image In fact, she did her very best to avoid being left alone in his company for more than a few minutes. It was not a proper feeling for a daughter, perhaps, and it was clearly not something that Sara would understand. Ermengarde was, indeed, greatly embarrassed.
Image He is always in the library— reading things.
Image There was a wealth of information in that statement, if Sara had been inclined to decipher it, but she was too preoccupied with her own feelings.
Image I love mine more than all the world ten times over. That is what my pain is. He has gone away.
Image She put her head quietly down on her little, huddled-up knees, and sat very still for a few minutes. Ermengarde had an idea that if she had been like any other little girl, Sara might have suddenly burst out sobbing and crying. But she did not. Her short, black locks tumbled about her ears, and she sat still. Then she spoke without lifting her head.

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Image Papa is a soldier, and think of what soldiers bear! If there was a war he would have to bear marching and thirstiness and, perhaps, deep wounds. And he would never say a word — not one word.
Image Ermengarde could only gaze at Sara, but she felt that she was beginning to adore her. She was so wonderful and different from anyone else. Presently, Sara lifted her face and shook back her black locks, with a queer little smile.
Image If I go on talking and talking, I shall bear it better. You don't forget, but you bear it better.
Image I — I will talk to you as much as you like, if it helps you.

:unsmith: Aw. Well, it's good to know that Sara is able to cope when she's feeling homesick, and that Ermengarde is here and happy to support her. Let's move on to the next scene.

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Image The air smells very different when it has rained.
Image It still smells like London. There are too many people and chimneys and horses. I keep lavender sachets in my room so that I can smell the gardens, even when I'm away from home.
Image They — they're not much. My Aunt Eliza sent me the flowers. I stitched them myself.
Image We have lavender in India too.
Image Oh! But — isn't lavender an English flower? I thought everything in India would be... saffron, and spices.

:actually: Looking it up, no. While the most common species of lavender plant is called "English Lavender", it is actually native to the mediterranean, as all species seem to be. But why let facts get in the way of ethnocentric nomenclature?

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Image Do you think that soldiers could be homesick?
Image Of course. Soldiers must be very brave, and bear all sorts of dangers and hardships, but that doesn't mean that they don't have feelings.
Image And we must be brave, too, even when we are far from the homes — and the people — that we love.
Image A carriage passed alongside Miss Minchin's students as they walked, seemingly packed to the walls with children. Eight of them, siblings all, and such a giggling mass of blond curls and rosy cheeks as Sara had never seen before. Their merriment was infectious, and Sara found that a smile had come unexpectedly to her face.

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Image Pricked by the sight, Sara stepped out of line and carried her little coin-purse to the child.
Image Sara, wait! Where are you going?
Image Here is a Sixpence; go and buy yourself something warm.
Image She hurried back into formation, but not before her steps were noticed by Miss Minchin.

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Image I only wished to —
ImageGenerosity is a virtue, but it is not wise or safe to come in close contact with creatures of the streets. You must be careful to clean yourself thoroughly when we return to the school.
Image Yes, Miss Minchin.
Image Sara looked back, but the beggar-child had already disappeared from sight.
Image (How strange, that one child should be hungry and dirty on the streets, while another rides in a fine carriage and knows nothing but joy and laughter. And all of these things happen quite by accident, because of the way that we are born.)

This thought would have been somewhat subversive in the Victorian era. Like now, there was a pervasive belief that if people were poor, even desperately so, it was their own fault and they could work their way to a comfortable life if they just tried. It's a convenient and attractive way of thinking, and one that never seems to go away no matter how much research proves it false.

Being poor at the time was borderline a criminal offense. The industrial revolution increased the urban population dramatically, leaving the poor more destitute and numerous than ever before seen. In response to this, welfare requirements were actually made stricter, almost prohibitively so. Any able-bodied person who wanted to receive aid was turned away and instead sent to a workhouse-- a prison-like factory where they were expected to live and work. Conditions were made intentionally worse to prevent people from "taking advantage". :capitalism:

By the late 19th century things had begun to improve in response to riots and calls for reform, but things were still worse for most impoverished people than before the industrial revolution had begun.

Sorry for the history lesson, but exactly one person said they enjoyed it, and I have taken that as an excuse to go off. Let's move on to the next scene, in which Lavinia continues her crusade to get the entire thread to hate her.


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Image
Image Don't be ridiculous.
Image Sara came into the room to find Lavinia perched primly in a window seat, looking down at the smaller child, whose lip was beginning to wobble.
Image Tybalt is in my lap, and he is perfectly content there. Listen; you can hear him purr. That is because I am stroking him, and he likes me.
Image I want to hold the kitty.
Image Keep your sticky little fingers away from his fur.
Image Lottie's brow furrowed in fierce determination. Ignoring Lavinia's commands, she reached out to pick up the cat.

This is not going to end well.

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Image The sudden movement jostled Tybalt out of his comfortable doze. With a parting squeeze of his claws, he leapt from Lavinia's legs and hurried out of the room.
Image Now look what you’ve done, you little brat! He scratched me! And if he's damaged my dress —
Image It scratched you because you're mean. You wouldn’t even let me touch it! It isn't fair, it isn't!
Image A cat is not a ragdoll. You cannot snatch and tug at it as you please, or it will bite your hand. Is that too difficult for a child of eight to understand?

Yeah, so uh, Lottie is eight, apparently. Meaning my age estimate of five was quite considerably off the mark. To be fair, from what we've seen of her so far she certainly does act like a toddler, and not like an eight year old. Not that she deserved to be slapped, even just on the hand, by a girl almost twice her age, even so.

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Image If she is eight, she is eight, but she will be nine the next year, and ten the year after that, and in twelve years she will be twenty, and that is quite grand.
Image Dear me, how we can calculate!
Image I don't want to be twenty.
Image You will be when you are, and you won’t be while you aren't, so there is no reason to want or not to want.
Image No! No! No!
Image Be quiet, or I shall slap your face!

:yikeseroo:

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Image Lottie looked into Lavinia's blazing eyes, then ran from the room, wailing at the unfairness of it all.
Image You ought not to baby her, Sara. She must learn that she can't have everything her own way.
Image Privately, Sara thought that Lottie was not the only student at the school who might need to learn that lesson.

:sigh: Something tells me that Lavinia may be the very last route this thread explores.

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Still no sign of our final route. Our belief is down quite a bit after Ermengarde's scene using up most of it, so we'll have to find +1 belief for Jessie's scene and +3 for Lottie's, if we choose either of those. Otherwise we meet all requirements. Remember to vote for activities and a scene, and if you please bold your votes to make them easier to count, I would appreciate it. see you next time!
Last edited by yamiaainferno on Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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(1) A Little Princess (then called "Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin's") was first published as a short story serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine, and completed in 1888. This is where I take the year from, because though no specific dates are ever given in the text, Burnett was presumably writing in the present, and that is when she finished the first version of the story. Though it wouldn't be fleshed out into the full novel until 1905, that year is right out as the setting because Queen Victoria, mentioned to be the Queen by Lavinia in Week 2, died in 1901.

(2) Admittedly, the novel takes place over at least 7 years wheras the game's timeframe has been considerably condensed-- probably to about one-- so the exact year of the game could reasonably range anywhere from 1881 to 1895, depending on if you take 1888 to be the year at the start of the novel or the end. I personally take it to be the latter, since I am getting the year from when Burnett finished writing, not when she began. Of course, as the times did not change nearly as quickly back in the day, the exact year has virtually no impact on the setting, and is only useful for quibbling about the inclusion of a story that was probably only picked because it involved lilies. All nitpicking is in good fun though, I assure you.

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I second the encouragement on the history bits and footnotes; It adds a lot of context that was topical at the time of the original story's writing, and even now remains interesting, both in a 'that's cool' and a 'fucking hell, what?' sort of way.

As for Voting, I think I would like to buck the trend and suggest Lavinia, plus Dance, Read a book, and a Tea Party

I'm also very fond of the historical notes; keep them coming, please :keke:
yamiaainferno wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:51 pm
Like now, there was a pervasive belief that if people were poor, even desperately so, it was their own fault and they could work their way to a comfortable life if they just tried.
Though this is not quite universally true. Another prominent position was the view that traits such as willingness to work, intelligence, and general capability for social life were determined by hereditary qualities of the body and particularly the brain (insert Mr. Burns phrenology meme here); aside from applications in scientific racism, sexism and ableism, these views were also used to distinguish the upper classes from the lower classes. In fact, as I just found out by googling some terms, the word 'eugenics' was coined in 1883. Of course, in practice it mostly amounted to the same: The reason for poor people's poverty was located within them, and they were treated accordingly.

Speaking of words...
yamiaainferno wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:51 pm
Presently, Sara lifted her face and shook back her black locks, with a queer little smile.
I was absolutely waiting for the translation to have some fun with that one :allears:

As for votes: Read a Book, Write in Diary, Tea Party. Also, Mariette.

And one more thing: Is a part of this sentence missing? It sounds really weird:
yamiaainferno wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:51 pm
Image Ermengarde's mouth fell open a little. She knew that it would not be correct for a respectable child at a select seminary to say that she did not adore her father; could not imagine being even so much as fond of him.

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Wow, Lavinia really is trying super hard to make the thread revolt against her.

Votes include: Write in Diary, Play With Toys, Tea Party, and Ermengarde.

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I really want to know what Lavinia's deal is, but getting past her tough outer shell probably requires more weeks than what the thread is willing to give her. Still, I vote for Lavinia this week.

We will Read a Book, have a Tea Party, and Practice Dance
Sorry for the history lesson, but exactly one person said they enjoyed it, and I have taken that as an excuse to go off.
It's appreciated :eng101:

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Carpator Diei wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:33 pm
Though this is not quite universally true. Another prominent position was the view that traits such as willingness to work, intelligence, and general capability for social life were determined by hereditary qualities of the body and particularly the brain (insert Mr. Burns phrenology meme here); aside from applications in scientific racism, sexism and ableism, these views were also used to distinguish the upper classes from the lower classes. In fact, as I just found out by googling some terms, the word 'eugenics' was coined in 1883. Of course, in practice it mostly amounted to the same: The reason for poor people's poverty was located within them, and they were treated accordingly.
Ah yes, that old chestnut of philosophy. :rolleyes: Arguably even more pervasive, and completely contradicting of the other. This did not stop many people from holding on to both at the same time. I feel like criminal anthropology is haunting me, though; the case of Legal Dungeon that I was working on before giving up on it also featured the concept prominently.
Carpator Diei wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:33 pm
And one more thing: Is a part of this sentence missing? It sounds really weird
Nope, nothing's missing. It's a weird sentence construction for sure, but not grammatically incorrect to my inexpert eye.

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You know what, maybe Lavinia's got some redeemable qualities she just hasn't shown yet. Victorian London was a bad place to grow up if you wanted to be a good person by today's standards, and evidently she might be getting a lot of pressure to fit in. We can give her a chance.

Lavinia, while taking time to Read a Book, have a Tea Party, and Practice Dance.
yamiaainferno wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:54 pm
Nope, nothing's missing. It's a weird sentence construction for sure, but not grammatically incorrect to my inexpert eye.
Ah, yes, the semi-colon. One of those rules introduced that I believe was meant to try and make English a better language verbally but in reality makes the whole thing even more of a kerfluffle.

If they are of no inconvenience, please do continue with the history lessons. I quite enjoy them.

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Lavinia is absolutely a product of her environment. She benefits directly from being the scion of some important Victorian era family and thus has no reason to question social mores (at least until she gets to marrying age and realizes that for all her father probably dotes on her, she's still a convenient power play pawn who has to marry whoever he tells her to.) That said, it is not the job of Sara Crewe in particular, outcast from India of French descent who is already barely tolerated by this boarding school environment because of fatherly bribery, to teach her how to be woke. Lottie time.

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