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

Put your Let's Plays in here.
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:siren: TIE BREAK: SUDDEN DEATH :siren:

Lavinia and Mariette have received the same number of votes. Next vote, in either thread, decides.

Decided over on SA. Lavinia wins!

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to LLP. There was pretty universal support in the threads for Yams' History Corner, so I'll definitely keep it up! :eng101: Luckily for all my fellow nerds, there's a good bit to discuss this update.


Our stats are all getting pretty up there. Lavinia's scene will bump some of our maxed ones back down, though.

Image Even though it is only a print and not an original painting, I keep her on my wall to serve as my inspiration.
Image She is the quintessential English rose, you see. Not the daring and fashionable Gibson Girl, but a more traditional beauty, delicate and fair.
Image You see how white her skin is, with only the faintest touch of rose at her cheeks and lips? And her hair, that light ash, brown, so unassuming and untouched by artifice?
Image Do you see how she reclines, how she sighs, modest and tender as a petal? That is true beauty.

It's likely that Lavinia's dialogue is meant to reference an actual painting, but given the enormous amount of Victorian-era portraiture that exists and the vague description, I can't source it with any confidence. Below are some portraits from the time period that match the description, but if anyone more familiar with art has a guess on what the actual picture may be, let me know!

Unpacking the rest of the dialogue, "English rose" is a phrase that generally refers to a pale, light-haired, beautiful young English woman. A "Gibson girl", meanwhile, refers to a woman trying to emulate the appearance of women in popular sketches by Charles Gibson. Both of these phrases are anachronistic-- Gibson's sketches wouldn't arrive until the 1890s (not to mention that "Gibson girl" generally refers to American women), and the phrase "English rose" wasn't coined until 1902.

Victorian standards of beauty were, uh, something. To give you an idea, the goal was more or less to emulate the appearance of someone dying of tuberculosis-- translucently pale, slim, with big, watery eyes. Makeup was very much frowned upon, and considered the realm of actresses, dancers, and prostitutes (which were regarded as interchangeable professions at the time). Many women still cheated by applying subtle cosmetics in secret, or doing things like pinching their cheeks and biting their lips to give them color naturally. To achieve the big watery eyes, some would drip drops of perfume or belladonna (poison) into their eyes.

Image I know.
Image (Neither will you. I am not fair-haired or soft or rosy-cheeked, but your hair is as straight and black as mine, and your skin is darker.)
Image However, you could certainly make some improvements. Your clothing is so queer and old-fashioned.
Image What makes the difference between ’old’fashioned’ and ’traditional'?
Image One is better than the other.
Image (That's not an answer!)

I find this exchange slightly funny, honestly. It really shows how much Lavinia is just a little girl parroting back things that she's picked up, and that she really doesn't know much more than Sara does. It's the kind of thing I used to do as a kid, pick up bits and pieces, coalesce them into an idea, and then repeat it with complete confidence, even though it was largely nonsense. :allears:

Since we're speaking about clothes, it's worth noting briefly that the outfits in the game really don't bear much resemblance to historical fashions or garments. Bernadette Banner (whose YouTube channel you should check out if you're interested in historical fashion) would weep to see them, I'm sure. The fashionable young lady in 1888 would have more likely been wearing something like this or this at home and at school, and something like this when about town or for traveling.

Image My mother is dead.
Image Oh.
Image Very little ever seemed to make Lavinia uncomfortable; this subject, however, shook her composure.
Image I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be... I didn’t know.
Image It's all right. I never knew her, so it doesn’t make me sad. She died when I was born.
Image Well, anyway, it's just not done to talk about the... departed. And especially not to criticise them. That is a piece of English manners which you should learn.
Image So — I ask that you forgive me for what I said.
Image Of course I forgive you.
Image (I wonder if her mother is dead, too? But if she says it's rude to talk about it, she would probably be upset if I asked.)

Image Perhaps you will develop your own style when you are older. What do you think, Miss Crewe — will you become a 'New Woman'?
Image I do not know what a New Woman is. Is there an Old Woman? What is the difference? I suppose every woman will become an old woman, eventually... but every girl must become a new woman at some point, first.
Image How you do tie yourself in knots! If you aren't careful, you will become known as a bluestocking.
Image Sara looked down at her stockings, which were quite clearly white with blue embroidery. Lavinia sighed noisily.
Image An overly intellectual woman.
Image She turned back to regard her 'inspirational' print.
Image The ideal English lady is accomplished and well-read, but only enough to make polite conversation. Not enough to be challenging.
Image (I think Lavinia will always be a challenge.)

Big yikes with the gender roles. A "New woman" is a term that describes a somewhat or completely independent woman-- she may be more forceful and assertive in manner than a typical woman, have her own career and income apart from her husband, or avoid being married altogether. The archetype popped up in the late 19th century and influenced feminism long into the 20th-- some "new women" were even so audacious as to enter lesbian relationships. :ssh:

Lavinia is of course right about how at the time it was thought that women should be educated, but in a way that was not challenging to men. While most upper-class girls went to school by the late 19th century, their education was focused on domestic activities (cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc.) and "accomplishments" (singing, playing instruments, languages, etc.). These skills were to help her attract a husband and entertain him during their marriage. Women's brains were thought to be fundamentally different during the era-- they were less capable of logic and reason than men, of course :rolleyes:, and straining too much in those areas was believed to be bad for a woman's health.

Image Still, there will always be a benefit in looking one's best. That Lottie, with her little golden curls, is likely to become something of a beauty when she is older.
Image If she ever ceases to be an irritatingly spoiled brat.
Image Hmm.
Image (I suppose none of us see ourselves as we see others. I am sure I have quite obvious flaws that I completely overlook.)
Image Is it all right, then, to call her 'Lottie' and not ’Miss Leigh’?
Image Hmm? Oh. Yes. She's a child.
Image And really, it is tiresome being so formal all the time. We are all practically family here, aren't we? We live under the same roof. We share with each other, like sisters.
Image Therefore, you may call me Lavinia.
Image Thank you, Lavinia.

Image Lavinia nodded earnestly.
Image Yes, that's just so. Failing to reciprocate would be impolite.
Image If you want to show more enthusiasm, you can be more insistent. 'You must call me Sara.’
Image However, too much enthusiasm seems clumsy, fawning. It cloys.
Image I will remember that.
Image (She does put a good deal of thought into how a lady should behave. But if she must play a part, why not choose a more enjoyable one to play?)

Progress! We are now on a first-name basis with Lavinia. Am I the only one that finds it...weirdly endearing that Lavinia, despite being super smug about it, is actually trying to teach Sara? She's doing it partly because it makes her feel superior, sure, but she's taking it seriously. I admit that I was super spoiled and full of myself as a kid, and I see a lot of little me in Lavinia. I may have a soft spot for her because of that. :unsmith:

Next scene!

Image Oh, I don't think so. Not by the mirror.
Image You see, it is nice to sit and think while you run the brush through my hair. Sometimes, I remember
stories, or think of things I want to say to someone else. Other times, it helps me relax. It must be like that for Tybalt, when someone is petting him.
Image But if I were looking into the mirror, then the Sara in the mirror would be looking back at me, and we should have to pay attention to each other or else we might be thought impolite.
Image Mariette laughed in the back of her throat.
Image That is as you wish. I had thought of doing something different with your hair, and if you could see, then you would know more quickly if you thought yes or no, and I could change it if you did not like it.
Image Well, I think that it's better to look at it when it's finished. If you stop reading a book in the middle, you might have the wrong idea of what it's all about.
Image Then I will show you when I am done.

I, personally, am a big proponent of not slogging through media you don't enjoy simply because it might get better. I give things a fair shake, but if I'm a good third into a book and it still hasn't grabbed my interest, I feel no shame in giving up on it. Same with TV shows, movies, or whatever else. :colbert:

...But yeah, it's a good philosophy for hairstyles, I guess.

Image (This school is full of other girls, but they are, like me, guests of Miss Minchin. We live in the same house, but they are not part of my household. Mariette is the only person who belongs to me.)


Image (It is nice to sit and think while she brushes my hair, and she has a better way with it than my old Ayah did, but... I do miss my Papa so!)
Image (If he were here, if he were coming to visit me as some girls' parents do, how happy my life would be!)
Image I wonder where my Papa is now...

Image No, it is good, mademoiselle, you should speak your thoughts. Your father sailed many weeks ago. By now, he is in India, yes? Home and safe, and thinking how different the house seems without your footsteps.
Image Oh, I don't want to think of him sad and lonely...
Image It is right that he misses you, and that you miss him. That is how things should be. But that does not mean your life is nothing but sadness, does it?
Image No — I do not think I am 'melancholy'. I would not wish to be. I enjoy my books and my friends.
Image So, you see? Your papa, he will be lonely, but he will also feel other things. He will live his life, but he will also think of you. I believe you will hear from him soon.
Image Oh, I hope you are right!
Image No, you must be right. My papa will write me letters, as soon as the ships can carry them, and I will treasure his words.
Image (And I hope — I do hope — that my papa has a friend to care for him, as Mariette cares for me.)

A sweet scene, other than that one bit about 'owning' your servants. I don't think Sara meant for it to come off that way, but...yeah. Servants were entirely at the mercy of their employers in the Victorian era. They worked excruciatingly long days (12 or more hours), had time off only at the whim of their master or mistress, and usually lived in the household, meaning they depended on their employer for food and shelter and were isolated from their family and friends. They also made jack fucking squat, naturally. A lady's maid like Mariette would typically make 20 pounds a year, or about $3k today. Given that Captain Crewe is insanely rich, she may very well be payed more, but that's the average I found.

Image The first high-pitched shriek made her startle, concerned that one of the younger girls might have injured herself. Sara was a quiet and solemn girl herself, but made no judgment against those whose temperaments led them to cry out loudly when they were in pain. However, the wailing went on and on, more angry than miserable, and the voice was recognisably Lottie's. Sara came closer, and began to make out the accompaniment of frustrated adult that had been drowned out by childish tantrum.
Image What ARE you crying for? There is nothing wrong with you!
Image Oh — oh — oh!! I haven't got any mam—maaa!
Image Stop crying, for heaven’s sake.
Image Uwaaaaahahaaa-aaa! Haven't — got — any — maa—maaaa!
Image You ought to be whipped. You SHALL be whipped if you do not hush, you naughty child!
Image Lottie wailed more loudly than ever.

Seems like a super fun and productive conversation they're having.

Image Oh! Dear Sara.
Image Miss Minchin's attempt at producing a friendly smile was not at all convincing. Lottie's roars continued unabated, and each burst of sound made Miss Minchin's shoulders twitch.
Image I stopped because I knew it was Lottie — and I thought, perhaps — just perhaps, I could make her be quiet. May I try, Miss Minchin?
Image If you can quiet that, you are a clever child. Dreadful thing — we may not be able to keep her.
Image I...
Image But you are clever in everything, my dear. I dare say you can manage her. Go in.

Image Uuwwaaaaahaahaahaaa-aaaa! Ah! Ah! Hnaaaaaaaah!
Image Sara stood by the howling furious child for a few moments, and looked down at her without saying anything. Then she sat down flat on the floor beside her and waited. Except for Lottie's angry screams, the room was quite quiet.
Image This was a new state of affairs for Lottie, who was accustomed to hearing other people protest and implore and command and coax her by turns. To find that the only person near her did not seem to mind in the least how she kicked and screamed was unusual, and made it necessary for her to pause her sobbing in order to see what was going on. She opened her tight-shut streaming eyes to see who this person was, and found that it was only another little girl — but it was the one who owned Emily and all the nice things. Sara looked at Lottie quite curiously, but said nothing. Lottie sucked in a gulp of air, but the noise she made sounded rather half-hearted.
Image I — I haven't any maa-maaa!

Image Lottie blinked rapidly at this unexpected answer. Her legs and arms ceased their kicking and lay flat against the floor.
Image Where — where is your mamma?
Image She went to heaven. But I am sure she comes out sometimes to see me — though I don't see her. So does yours. Perhaps
they can both see us now. Perhaps they are both in this room.
Image Here!
Image Lottie sat bolt upright and looked around. Seeing nothing, her face began to scrunch up again.
Image We can't see the people who live in heaven, even when they come to visit us.

Image Their land is full of lilies, fields and fields of lilies — and when the soft wind blows over them, it wafts the scent of them into the air.
Image And everybody always breathes it, because that soft wind is always blowing. Wind, and sunlight, and the streets are always shining. And little children run about in the lily fields and gather armfuls of them, and laugh and make little wreaths to wear on their heads, or spin cloaks and dresses of soft lily petals. The petals never go dry or brown, but when the children grow tired of them they toss the petals into the air and they turn into clouds.
Image Lottie had by now quite forgotten to cry, and was leaning forward, hanging on every word that Sara spoke.
Image In that shining city, people are never tired, however far they walk. They can float anywhere they like. And there are walls made of pearl and gold all round the city, but they are low enough for the people to go and lean on them, and look down onto the earth and smile. From those walls, sometimes, they dance down to visit us. Other times, they whisper beautiful messages into the wind and hope that someday we will hear them.

I couldn't find any good sources on what the Victorian ideal of heaven was, other than a couple of books that I didn't want to buy just for this one blurb in the LP. It's mentioned in the novel that Sara's ideas are considered fanciful and strange. As an atheist who was raised in a nominally Christian household but never went to church, it sounds more or less in line, if much more detailed, with the vague descriptions I've heard. I'm pretty sure the gold and pearl and all that is actually in the bible, though.

Image I — I haven't any mamma here.
Image Sara saw the danger signal, and took hold of Lottie's hand with a coaxing little laugh.
Image I will be your mamma in this school. We will play that you are my little girl. And Emily shall be your sister.
ImageShall she?
Image Yes. Let us go and tell her. And then I will wash your face and brush your hair, and both of us shall have — a little bit more family.

:unsmith: Sara seems to have found herself a single mother at the tender age of 10(?). It's sweet, though, and Lottie could use someone looking after her other than Miss Minchin, whose first response to most things seems to be yelling.


We currently meet all requirements, so feel free to vote for whomever you wish, and remember to vote for our activities as well. See you next time!
Last edited by yamiaainferno on Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

:kimchi: all around. Well, except for Miss Minchin, but that's to be expected by this point.

Go for Walk, Write in Diary, Tea Party. And I'm still voting Mariette.

Two errors I noticed:
yamiaainferno wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:12 am
Image So — I ask that you forgive me for what I said.
Image Of course I forgive you.


Image she ever ceases to be an irritatingly spoiled brat.
Though the first one is almost in-character :v:

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Carpator Diei wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:28 am
Thanks. Fixed now.

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I say Practice Dance, Go For A Walk, and Write in Diary.

I'm going to go against the usual and say Lavinia again. What we saw here was encouraging, and perhaps maybe we can get her to be not so invested in Victorian ideals.

I do find it convenient that her events take Patience- I can only imagine they do. Meanwhile, we find only more displays of how awful the Victorian world was. I still blame them for pointed-tip shoes and boots, personally- those are terrible on your feet.

As an aside, it may help to link a test post like this at the end of each update now since the stats and are back on the first page.

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The Flying Twybil wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:20 pm
As an aside, it may help to link a test post like this at the end of each update now since the stats and are back on the first page.
That's a good idea, probably. Though if I'm linking it there's not much point in keeping it under the OP. I can just keep the gallery there, I suppose. Also...


Jessie and Mariette have received the same number of votes. Next vote, in either thread, decides.

Decided by Eeepies on SA. Jessie wins!
Last edited by yamiaainferno on Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ooh, tiebreaker. I wonder who we're gonna get.

(No, I'm not changing my vote, how dare you)

Just two quick notes :
1. Thanks for this LP, I am enjoying it, but have not had strong enough feelings to vote.
2. Game is currently (as of 17/08/whatyearisit) on sale on Steam at about 75% off for anyone who wants to play it and hasn't got it yet. ends 24 aug

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to LLP.


Not much interest in the thread as to our activities at present. If I remember correctly the costs for scenes get steeper the further we go down routes, so hopefully things will pick back up eventually.

As for the weekend, we had another tie: this time between Mariette and Jessie. Jessie won the sudden death round, so Mariette is shuffled into second place for the third week in a row.

Image I was hoping you could tell me more about your life in India. It all sounds very interesting and different to me.
Image I am only learning the ways that it was different by being here.
Image My papa and I lived in a bungalow that was as large as this school, but wide rather than tall. There was a veranda where we could sit in the breeze and watch the sun set. The summers are so hot that many children of British parents become ill, so we are taken away to the 'hill stations', which are towns in the mountains near lakes, where it is cooler. I had many toys and pets and servants that would salaam to me and call me 'Miss Sahib'. I suppose that is because we are 'rich', but it is all the life that I knew.
Image Did you ride elephants and camelopards and tigers?
Image I have never seen a camelopard!

'What the fuck is a camelopard?', you may very well be asking. Apparently, it's a giraffe. The Greeks and Romans thought that giraffes were hybrids of camels and leopards and named them accordingly. 'Giraffe', meanwhile, comes from the French girafe, which comes from the Italian giraffa, which comes from the Arabic zarafa, which is probably derived from yet another word in a native African language. It's a nice touch...except for the fact that 'giraffe' replaced 'camelopard' in the 1600s. :doh: You certainly tried, LLP. You certainly did try.

As a note, giraffes are only native in Africa. If Sara had seen one in India, it would have been in a zoo. Finally, here is a picture of a 'camelopard' drawn by someone working off very vague descriptions of giraffes.

Image And tigers are too dangerous to see up close. Anyone who tried to ride one would be clawed and eaten. They attack villages sometimes and carry off the native children, you know. It's terrible. One even attacked the outpost my Papa was stationed at, and he had to shoot it to defend the citizens.
Image How exciting!
Image He is very brave.
Image (I miss him so! I hope he does not do anything too brave while I am not there to look after him.)

I get the feeling Jessie and Sara are several pages away from each other in this conversation.

Image No, there were many other people on the ship with us. It was strange, and not so comfortable as this room, but it did not feel dangerous. It would have been much harder if my Papa were not with me. When young boys are sent back to England, they are sometimes made to travel with the regiments, and no family at all.
Image A pleasant companion makes a great deal of difference. You should always have one.
Image Jessie pressed her hands together in her lap, the motion giving a shy lift to her shoulders.
Image I would very much like to travel the world when I am older... but I don't know if I will ever have the chance. Do you think you will travel, Sara?
Image Well, I do want to return to India as soon as I am old enough. And I think I should like to visit France, someday. I haven’t thought of it beyond that.
Image It is a very big world. I suppose it would be a shame to live one's entire life in only a small part of it.

Image Some people feel that London is the centre of the world, and that once you're here, there is nowhere better in all the world for you to go. Why would you want more than perfection?
Image I... I'm sure London is very nice, but...
Image The cup trembled in Jessie's hands.
Image Oh! I’m sorry, I've spilled a bit of tea. How silly of me.
Image Please... tell me more stories about India?
Image All right.

:ohdear: Jessie's...probably fine. Let's not worry about it too much.

Image We will be welcoming a special dance instructor today who is visiting us from France. She will be leading you in exercises to increase your grace and posture. Go and change into your Léotard-style dancing costumes.
Image She swept off to her office, and the girls clustered eagerly together.
Image A special dance instructor! Do you suppose she might be from the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris?
Image The... ballet of opperee?
Image The Paris Opera Ballet, of course. The absolute birthplace of Romantic ballet, and they go all the way back to the Court of the Sun King!
Image Oh.
Image ... I am not so fond of ballet as you are.

Despite Jessie's hopes, the instructor is probably not from the Ballet de l'Opéra. While ballets were admired as beautiful, the women who performed them were very much looked down upon and assumed to be prostitutes. This is, unfortunately, because many of them were. Rich male subscribers to were allowed backstage to oogle at and proposition the dancers. These men were very influential, and a dancer who displeased a patron may find herself suddenly unable to get roles. Cozying up to these creeps was often the only way to guarantee a secure income. Contemporary art of ballet dancers, such as that by Degas and Béraud, often shows these men.

All that to say; a professional dancer would probably never be invited to teach young ladies her craft, especially not at a reputable institution. Of course, LLP is not especially historically accurate, nor does it really need to be, so the instructor may well be a ballet dancer in-fiction. I poke fun at the game often, but its anachronisms are harmless, and the story doesn't suffer from it. Trying to make all the material the game added 100% historically accurate would have just bogged the thing down and made it less accessible to people who, unlike us nerds, don't really give a shit.

Image ...
Image I wonder if there really is a sickness that could make you like one thing or one person more than another. And if there were, would anyone wish to be cured?
Image ... Such things you imagine!
Image In any event, it might not be ballet. She is a special instructor, after all. Perhaps we will be permitted to practice social dances — perhaps even the waltz.
Image My father says the waltz is 'shocking'.
Image Watching you attempt to perform it no doubt would be!

... :sigh: Ah well. We can't expect her to change in a day, I suppose.

When the waltz first debuted it certainly was considered shocking. Before, partner dances had been complex, difficult to learn, and kept the dancers at arms' length. Waltz, meanwhile, pressed the couple right up against one another so that their faces touched, and its choreography generally consisted of simply twirling around the room in time with the music. Young people loved it, while the older generation hated it and considered it immodest. The dance was often called "the wicked waltz" by those scandalized with its intimacy. By the late 19th century, however, the waltz was more accepted, and had been adopted by much of European royalty. We can just assume that Ermengarde's dad is an old fuddy-duddy, though.

Image Oh.
Image Perhaps — perhaps we had better go and get our costumes?
Image Ermengarde is very sensible.
Image It took only as little praise as that to make poor Miss St. John look pleased.

Image It is preparation for dancing. We are learning to stretch and relax our bodies, so that we may move more beautifully.
Image It's French!
Image Sara? Is this the way things are usually done in France?
Image I have never asked Mariette whether she took dancing lessons.
Image I want to walk on my hands!
Image Leave your hands on the floor long enough and Ermengarde will trod on them for you.
Image Ah! Jessie, be careful! You are tickling me.
Image The — the instructor said it was imperative that we rub deeply, to warm our muscles.

Right Jessie, if you say so. :3:

Image Your hands are very strong, Ermengarde.
Image Oh — did I hurt you?
Image No, not a bit. It feels nice. It is a little like having my hair brushed.
Image It makes me feel like a cat, being petted.
Image I want to be a cat! I want to dance like a cat!
Image Cats don't dance.
Image They dance — at the court of the King of Cats.
Image How do they dance, Sara? Do they stand on their hind legs?
Image Well —
Image Girls! Cease chattering and get ready for your lessons!
ImageImage Yes, Miss Minchin!

Well, that was adorable. And finally fills up another spot in the gallery!

The leotards the girls are wearing are, as you might have guessed, extremely anachronistic. While the man who the garment is named for, Jules Léotard, died in 1870, the leotard was exclusively mens' wear until well into the 20th century, and even then the initial version was more modest than the thoroughly modern pieces worn by the girls above. This is an era where women were still expected to be more or less covered from neck to ankle, this passed as a bathing suit, and stretch fabrics had yet to be invented. If the girls are meant to be learning ballet, this would be more along the lines of what they would wear-- a loose, flowing dress that is positively skimpy by Victorian standards. This 'provocative' dress contributed to the ill reputation dancers received.

Image Yes, I am only feeling a little tired.
Image The days have been growing warmer, but the air never feels the same way that it did in India.
Image I suppose Ermengarde is right, and it is the smell of London. Even if I cannot distinguish one scent above the others that would mean 'London', it must always be there.
Image As I am.
Image Bon courage, mademoiselle. I have something here which will brighten your day.
Image A letter from Papa! Oh, merci, Mariette, merci beaucoup!
Image She did not open it at once, but pressed the envelope to her chest.

Image (If a letter can come from his hands into mine, then we are never so far apart.)
Image At last, she took out the paper and began to read.
Papa's Letter wrote:My dear Little Missus,

Here I am, once again, in Bombay. I have little to tell you of my adventures, for no sooner did I reach my home than I began thinking of you and putting pen to paper. Therefore, I have seen little since I left you other than ships, and you remember those.
Image Sara closed her eyes and let herself remember the voyage from India, the big ship, the Lascars passing silently to and fro on it, the children playing about on the hot deck. There had been women on board, the wives of some young officers, who had invited Sara to take tea with them and delighted in making her speak her unusual thoughts. But most importantly, there had been her Papa.
Papa's Letter, Cont wrote:I felt it important to write to you at once so that you would not worry about your poor old papa, all alone on the ocean. All is well; I am returned, and life here is remarkably unchanged in my absence.

Now, it is your duty to let me know all that has happened since I left you, all the new friends you have made, the books you have read, and the sights you have seen in London. Do you remember Colonel Grange, and his little girl Isobel? In a year she will be old enough that she must leave for England as well. I am relying on your advice to tell her what to expect in her schooling.

Give my regards to Emily and any companions she may have acquired.
Yours always, your loving Papa.
Image (I love you too, Papa.)



Exciting news: I have remembered that I know how to manually edit images. Thus, I have taken our accurate stats and pasted them over our weekend choices screen. No longer will I have to type out how far we are from each character's requirements! It's a good day.

The thread feels a little aimless at present, so let me explain how the route mechanics work. Each girl has 16 scenes that need to be played in order to finish her route, with the exception of our mystery sixth character, who has slightly less in order to balance her late arrival. LLP has 36 weeks split into two acts. I won't say exactly when the act break is, but it is past, not at, the halfway mark. The first act is intended for you to have the chance to explore and mess around, and in addition to being longer, there's also less scenes to get through-- each girl has 7 scenes in act one and 9 scenes in act 2, again with the exception of #6, who has 5 and 9. We're still wide open as far as options go, and still have time to explore-- but I wanted to give an idea of the time scale we're working with.

Here's the activity information, moved from below the OP to a test post on the suggestion of The Flying Twybil on LPBeach. I hope you enjoyed the update-- see you next time!

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Jessie's seeming rather interesting, so I'll opt for her. Activities ought to try to replenish what we spend visiting her, so Play with Toys, Practice Dance, and Write in Diary.

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Jessie's seeming rather interesting, so I'll opt for her. Activities ought to try to replenish what we spend visiting her, so Play with Toys, Practice Dance, and Write in Diary.
You know, I'll second this. Jessie's evidently got something to say, and she'll help trim out our stats some more.

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I concur. I'm interested to see what's going on with Jessie in a bit more detail, so I'll echo the others.

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Hello everyone and welcome back to LLP! This update is a little shorter than the past few, just a fair warning.


The weekend vote was once again close-- I thought that we'd have a three way tie for a bit, but Jessie won out in the end.

Image Does she have you recite a party piece, or dance, or pose? Are there men present?
Image Not commonly, and only if their wives are in attendance. I do not think so many men would care for tea with a schoolmistress. I have never been asked to dance or recite. Sometimes she asks me about my lessons, and if I like the classes and the other pupils, which I always say that I do.
Image Sometimes they ask me about books that I have read, which I don't mind, and then Miss Minchin says how clever I am, which makes me uncomfortable.

I love Sara's annoyed little pout, probably because she's been almost always smiling. Unfortunately, the icon makes it look more sad than angry-- Sara has teeny tiny thin little eyebrows that are just impossible to see against her hair at this scale. :shrug:

Image They are not usually Frenchwomen themselves, but they see the language as a 'charming accomplishment.'
Image All of a sudden, Jessie's tone sharpened.
Image Do they actually converse with you, as a person, or only as Miss Minchin's pretty toy? Do they ever call on you instead of Miss Minchin? Do you ever see them again?
Image Sara blinked rapidly.

Image Doesn't it make you angry, being used like a trinket for Miss Minchin to display?
Image There does not seem any reason for me to be angry. Having tea with visitors is not such a difficult thing. It is like a kind of performance, with attention instead of applause.
Image A performance...
Image I never thought that tea and books and French could be like being on the stage.

Image Oui, oui, merci, madame. Please, pour again.
Image Not quite like that.
Image Jessie straightened, patting her skirts down to ensure that every ruffle was in place.
Image Will you speak French to me, Sara?
Image I — I hardly know what to say, when you ask it like that.
Image Say something pleasant. Say that it is a beautiful day, or that your breakfast was delicious, or that I am clever and charming.
Image Vous étes une jeune fille charmante, mais je ne vous comprends pas toujours.
:words: You are a charming young girl, but I don't always understand you.

Image The language sounds much lovelier from your lips than from those of Monsieur Dufarge.
Image It always sounds beautiful to me.
Image It reminds me of my mother.
Image Oh. Did you —

Image Oh! I have to go.
Image I'll visit you later, all right?
Image And she hurried off to answer her best friend's summons.


Funnily enough, our next scene is Jessie and Lavinia, so we can pretend that Jessie ran off right to this conversation!

Image But why —
Image Shh!
Image Lavinia took hold of her friend’s shoulders and pushed her back against the wall.
Image ...

Jessie is gay as fuck and has an obvious crush on Lavinia, and I really do love it.

'Hist' is, apparently, an interjection used to grab attention. According to Merriam-Webster's notes on it, I think it's actually the same as 'psst', just spelled non-phonetically.

Image There, she's gone.
Image Why are we avoiding Sara?
Image Ever since she got that letter, it's been nothing but India-this and India-that. If I have to hear her say that word again, I am afraid the hair will fly right off my head.
Image I like her stories. Do you know, her father has faced down a tiger? He shot the one whose skin Sara has in her room. That's why she likes it so. She lies on it and strokes its head, and talks to it as if it were a cat.
Image That is simply disgusting. If it were a cat, it would be one that he had killed. What next, will she drown Tybalt and then have him stuffed for a pillow?

Speaking of Tybalt, the game has actually shown a picture of him, that I somehow missed getting a screenshot of. It's at the very end of the scene where Lottie is trying to pet him, iirc. Here it is, for you viewing pleasure. He's a cutie. :3:

Image Sara tells stories. You know that.
Image Well, I think her father sounds very interesting, and so does India.
Image It's a filthy, disgusting place, rank with foul humours, and don't you forget it.
Image Come along now.
Image All right...
Image Lavinia led, and Jessie followed.

More and more, it's seeming like this friendship isn't exactly...healthy, and Jessie's crush just makes it more concerning. :smith:

Image The plump girl sighed, showing none of the delight Sara would have found in such a possession.

'Plump' :airquote:

Image My father sent it to me, to be 'enriching’.
Image I don't see how books have made me any richer so far.
Image May I see it?
Image She took the volume from Ermengarde's hands and examined the gold lettering on the cover.
Image Poèmes antiques by Leconte de Lisle — a book of French poetry!
Image Sara's excitement only deepened the other girl's dismay.
Image Would — would you like me to read it with you? I’m certain that if —
Image What's this?

:doh: This will go great, I'm sure.

Image As long as it isn't one of those shocking new decadent poets. A proper lady should not read such works.
Image I — I'm sure it’s nothing of the sort.
Image What would you know about it? I was speaking to Sara.
Image Actually, the book belongs to Ermengarde.
Image What? Don't be silly. She can't even read it.

...aaand there she goes. Welcome back to the garbage can, Lavinia. :sigh:

Leconte de Lisle was not a decadent poet, but a Parnassian, who were highly influenced by classical works and sought to create beautiful art for its own sake through exacting technique. Decadents, meanwhile were...well, shocking. That seemed to be the point. The goal of the movement appeared to be to scandalize and rebel against the "natural"-- sort of an "everything is meaningless, let's do a bunch of drugs and have a lot of sex" mentality. But I admit that I have never really been able to understand artistic movements super well when they get conceptual like this, so I'm probably missing a lot of nuance.

Image It's mine.
Image She turned and walked away.

Image I didn't say anything that isn't true. What good is a book of French poetry to someone like her?
Image Such a waste. She'll probably never even open it. She should have simply given it to you.
Image Admit it — you know that I am right.
Image You may be right, but it was a gift from her father. I'm sure she will treasure it.
Image Not every girl is as devoted to her father as you seem to be, Sara Crewe.

Well, that sure was an update. Here is the reference material for the activities, and our weekend options are below. I hope you enjoyed reading, even if it was short. See you next time!


Not giving up on Mariette! Though Jessie is also quite interesting; with all her talk about performance and her sudden bouts of nervousness, I'm getting the feeling that she's constantly putting up a front and that it's gnawing on her quite a bit.

Also: Read a Book, Read a Book, Tea Party; Knowledge is definitely a priority right now.

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Let's go help a friend learn some French. Ermengarde, I say!

On the meanwhile, it shall be prudent to Read a Book, Tea Party, and perhaps Read Another Book

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to LLP. Another short update this time-- only ~70 screenshots to the average update's ~110-- I hope you guys don't mind. To make up for two short updates in a row, there's a bonus extended history corner at the end. :ssh:


I admit that I did re-roll our stats this time, just because we managed to only gain 3 knowledge despite the focus on reading, and I knew that would be frustrating. Additionally, in exciting news, Marriette has finally won a vote, after four consecutive weeks of second place. << C'est un miracle! >>

Image Bien sûr, mademoiselle. What do you wish to know?
Image What is your family name? Miss Minchin did not say.
Image Dumas, mademoiselle.
Image Oh! Are you a relative of the great French writer, the author of The Three Musketeers?
Image Mariette chuckled kindly.
Image Non, mademoiselle. Ah — well, not in a close way, I am not. There are many with the name of Dumas, and I cannot know what connections there are between all people. Do you know all of your cousins, and your cousins' cousins, and all who bear the name of Crewe?
Image I don't know anyone else named Crewe except for myself and my Papa.
Image So, you see. I cannot say who my relatives might be at some distance.
Image Sara nodded.

Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, is actually quite the interesting character. Notably, he was a person of mixed race, and had a lot of affairs.

Image I grew up in Limoges. You may have heard of the Limoges Box, the porcelain?
Image Sara shook her head.
Image Ah, well. They were famous once. Perhaps they will be again. For now, like much of Limoges, they have faded.

Limoges is a city in France famous for its porcelain factories, as the surrounding area is rich in the required clays. The secret of hard-paste or "true" porcelain was finally cracked by the West in the 18th century, breaking the Chinese monopoly on the stuff and causing an explosion of European manufacturers. Limoges boxes are small trinket boxes made of this Limogesian porcelain, then hand-painted, fired, and hand-fitted with hinges made for that box. As you might imagine, they're incredibly expensive. Genuine Limoges boxes don't seem to go for less than $100, and can be over $600 at the other end. They were very popular as snuff boxes for a time, but they did decline during the Victorian era before making a comeback in the 20th century as pill boxes.

Image Ah... what is it like anywhere? It is a city. Not so large as Paris or London, no.
Image Is it near Paris?
Image Non, pas très proche. It is in the south. You must rely on the railways to travel between them. All trains lead to Paris.
:words: No, not very close.

Image She had seen paintings of France: stone houses, arches, and bridges, rolling green hills, hanging vines. And sunlight, always sunlight, not the fogs of London!
Image It must be lovely.
Image As you say, mademoiselle.

Image What I mean to say is — my Papa and I did not have time to visit France, and I did not meet you until you came here. Did you meet my Papa somewhere else?
Image Non. We have never met in flesh and blood. Your papa, he is a gentleman and knows many other gentlemen in fine cities, like Paris. When it happened that he wished to appoint a maid, he wrote to this Paris gentleman to describe you. And I, I have a cousin who works for this Paris gentleman, and he thought of me, and so the arrangements were made.
Image And I am glad that they were.

Image It was true that Mariette was, for the most part, only another stranger, like any other in Miss Minchin's seminary. They were only just beginning to know each other. And yet, Mariette was not simply a stranger who might come and go, like the students. She was Sara's maid, the beginnings of her very own household. She might, in time, be the closest thing to family.
Image (I wonder about the friend my Papa has in Paris... I wonder if he ever knew my mother.)


Weirdly, we once again start the week with scene that just so happens to largely involve the character we spent the weekend with. There's a lot of Mariette fans in the thread, though, so I doubt we'll get complaints.

Image It's quite all right.
Image Are you reading?
Image Wait. That book — I’ve seen it before.
Image It was the same familiar copy of Poèmes antiques.


Image She thought I might appreciate a volume de poésie française, to feel more at home.
Image Oh! I’m sorry — I didn't think of it.
Image Would you like me to buy you more books in French? I don't mind.
Image Non, mademoiselle. I am content.

Image Ermengarde is very nice.
Image (I did not even consider Mariette! I wanted that book for myself, but Ermengarde has seen the person who would benefit from it most.)

I'm glad Ermengarde didn't just stick the book somewhere and let it collect dust. Even if she had given it to Sara, that probably would have been its eventual fate, once she had read it. But Mariette likely doesn't have much of her own, and I think she'll make more frequent use of it.

Image Sara-mamma?
Image What is it, Lottie? Have you come for tea? Mariette has promised us a special treat: apricot sandwiches!
Image Oh, yes!
Image ... No.
Image Sara-mamma, you like school, don't you?
Image I don't know.

Image (After all, whether I like it or not, I am here now.)
Image I don't think I could say that I don’t like it. Everyone is kind to me, and my rooms are pleasant —
Image No! I meant school. With books and numbers and remembering things.
Image Oh. Yes, I like books very much.

Image I don't like it when she says my name like that, 'Miss Leigh'! I don’t like it.
Image But you make everything interesting.
Image Of course I’ll help you with your schoolwork — but you still have to learn it.
Image All right.

:unsmith: all around this update, I suppose. It's nice to see a more mature side of Lottie, for once. Maybe Sara's making a difference in her behavior.

Sorry again for the short update, but I hope the bonus history corner makes up for it. Here's the link to the activity info, and weekend options are below. See you next time!


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Understanding the Lady's Maid

In honor of Mariette finally winning a vote, I thought it would be worth it to go into some detail on what a lady's maid actually is, since it's not a role that exists in modern society. Servants in general aren't especially common, and when one hears "maid" nowadays they think of someone whose primary responsibility is cleaning. In the Victorian era, however, there were a variety of maids who did a variety of duties, with each position having its own rank within the household. In a small household with few servants, these roles all blurred together. We'll be assuming a large, rich household that includes many servants, however, as that is what Sara would be accustomed to.

A lady's maid was one of the highest-ranking servants, answering only to the lady or ladies of the house. She would be addressed as "Miss" by the lower servants and often be waited on by them when she and the other upper servants dined (always at separate times than the employing family, and in a servant's room, not the dining room). A lady's maid could also often expect to be given the cast-offs of her mistress' wardrobe, allowing her to dress finely, though any especially extravagant garment would not have been given in this manner. Mariette probably has some years before Sara's clothes will fit her, though.

A lady's maid primary concern was to tend to her mistress' appearance. She would select and prepare the lady's clothes, help her dress, do her hair, and apply whatever illicit cosmetics she may own. Keep in mind that a Victorian lady would wear three or four sets of clothes in a day-- a dress for the house, a dress if she were to go out, evening dress for dinner, and then her night dress. Once her lady went down for breakfast, the maid was to select and prepare going out clothes just in case her mistress required them, and then tidy the room. Proper cleaning was the duty of housemaids, but a lady's maid was expected to keep her mistress' chambers in order. It was also the lady's maid's duty to mend her mistress' clothes, brush her dresses, and wash her undergarments (dresses and such were never truly washed, as water would often destroy the finer fabrics, whereas the cotton underwear that actually came into contact with the skin was washed daily).

The lady's maid was also, of course, to be at her mistress' beck and call at all times. She would run any errands required and accompany her lady when she went out.

A lady's maid, as she was generally accompanying her mistress, was expected to be well-dressed at all times. The general outfit was a simple black dress with a waist-apron and a white cap. An apron with straps like Mariette's would be considered inappropriate-- its functionality suggests that she cooks or does more menial work, whereas the decorative waist-apron simply denotes a lady's maid as a servant.

Other than a knowledge of hairdressing, sewing, dressmaking, and the tending of garments, a lady's maid's primary qualifications were loyalty and discretion. "The loyal servant" is, in general, a ubiquitous archetype in Victorian literature, which is largely written by rich people who seem to imagine that their staff are fawning and exceedingly grateful for being shown basic courtesy. Still, a lady's maid's constant proximity meant that she could be privvy to secrets, and it was important that she be trusted.

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Hmm... well, I'd say Jessie, but the accurate version of our stats seems to indicate we're a tad short. In that case, Ermengarde, as well as Practice Dance, Practice Dance, and Tea Party.

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Hello and welcome back to LLP. I'm pleased to announce that we have a normal-length update this week!


:raise: Well that was certainly some...concentrated stat gain. If you get lucky with your rolls, you can really clean house.

This weekend we'll be spending time with Ermengarde, who won in a landslide. I hope it doesn't tip the scales to say that Ermen is one of my favorite routes. She's just a cutie, and a sweetheart to boot.

Image Sara? I — I wanted to ask you something. If you're not busy.
Image Sara raised her head and smiled.
Image (Only Ermengarde would realise that I might be 'busy' when I am sitting and thinking.)
Image You can always ask me things.
Image She paused, then added.
Image I can't always answer, though. I might not know.

Good on you, Sara. There shouldn't be any shame in admitting you don't know something, though there often is. It's something I had to struggle to teach myself... and honestly I still go off more than I probably should, though I do always try to qualify my answer if I don't have a good source.

Image Oh. Well, I don't know if that is the only reason. I often do not say very much, and she still keeps me there for the rest of it.
Image Some of her visitors are not very interested in French at all. Some of them prefer poetry, or want to tell me how they themselves saw India once upon a time.
Image But sometimes, yes, Miss Minchin has guests who speak French and wishes me to converse with them.
Image You really can speak it, then. Not just a few words or a sentence you memorise.
Image Ermengarde's respectful tone made Sara feel a bit off’balance. She tucked up her feet, sat with her hands clasped round her knees.

Image Oh, no, I couldn’t. I could never speak it.
Image Why not?
Image Ermengarde shook her head so that the pigtails wobbled.
Image You have heard me before. I'm always like that. I just can't say the words. They're so queer.
Image I dare say that little French girls think the same things about English, if they try to learn the language for the first time. But if you had heard it as a child —

Image My father, he speaks seven languages — or maybe eight. I forget.
Image I forget everything. I always have.
Image My father never forgets. He has libraries with thousands of volumes in them, and he knows every one of them by heart. He says that when I was very young, he used to speak to me in different languages every day because he hoped that I would learn them all. But it only made me cry. My nurse made him stop because she was afraid that he would confuse me so much I would give up on talking altogether.

Uh, okay. That is not how one teaches language to a baby, first off-- her father speaking to her in a totally different language each day probably would be really confusing. No wonder she cried. Keep in mind that Ermengarde would have been largely raised by her nurse-- so to her this near-stranger would come up to her once a day and speak different varieties of nonsense, then expect her to understand it. Raising bilingual (much less...octolingual?) children requires immersion in the languages, not just prattling off some French and German once in a while.

Image I can't speak French, I can't recite poems without flubbing the words, my handwriting is too big and lumpy, I can't calculate quickly, I can't keep my kings straight... I'm not good at anything.
Image But you are. You are clever, aren't you, Sara?

:smith: Oh, Ermen.

Image Sara looked out of the window into the dingy square, where the sparrows were hopping and twittering on the wet, iron railings and the sooty branches of the trees, and reflected a few moments.
Image (People have often said that I am clever. But am I? And if I am, then how did I come to be that way?)
Image I don’t know. I can't tell.
Image I think that you are. I think you're wonderful.
Image Ermengarde did not know why a lump came into her throat and her eyes felt as if tears were in them.

Image You’re clever, and I’m the stupidest child in the school, but I... oh, I do so like you!
Image I'm glad of that. It makes you thankful when you are liked.
Image She stood up from the window and took Ermengarde's hands in hers.
Image Yes. We will be friends. The very best of friends.
Image And I’ll tell you what else:
Image A sudden gleam lit her face.
Image I can help you with your French lessons.
Image You can try...

:getin: L'Opération: Étudiez Français est en cours.

That conversation was a little sad, but we got an official BFF out of it. And now we know that we need to make room next to Lavinia in the garbage can, so that we can throw Mr. St.John in there. Seriously, fuck that guy.


Image As the weather is particularly pleasant today, we will be taking carriages to the park for extended riding lessons. Please dress accordingly.

Image I have never greatly cared for horses. It is fashionable, and a lady should know at least the basics, but it is simply not comfortable.
Image Do you ride, Sara?
Image I would not truly say that I ride, but I have met horses, and been in the saddle once or twice.
Image Well, I'm sure you'll learn. You learn everything, after all.
Image I do try.

:hmmno: Hardly the best of your backhanded compliments, Lavinia. 2/10.

Image Oh, I agree, it is much lovelier. Imagine being on horseback, galloping across the wild moors, long hair streaming behind you like a warrior-queen of old...
Image Riding astride like some hoyden? Even Boadicea rode in a chariot.
Image I think I should like a chariot.

Hell yeah you would, Jessie. :unsmigghh:

A 'hoyden' is, apparently, a 'saucy' and 'boisterous' woman-- essentially, someone who doesn't conform to the incredibly restrictive ideals of Victorian femininity. Which did include riding side-saddle, never astride. English social taboos against women riding astride date back to the 14th century and Princess Anne-- the idea being that a woman riding astride must spread her legs and hike up her skirt to do so, which is lewd and vulgar. :jerkbag:

Other than the obvious social issues, this was also insanely impractical. Side-saddle riding is infamously more difficult and less comfortable than riding astride, and gives the rider much less control of the horse. Special saddles were invented to combat this, but it was still a fucking pain. Thankfully, by the early 20th century women riding astride became more acceptable, and riding astride was adopted by the women's suffrage movement as a symbol of female independence.

Queen Boadicea (or Boudica) is a British folk hero who led an army of Celtic tribesmen against the Romans around 60 CE, burning Londinium (the Roman predecessor to London) to the ground before eventually being defeated. She became wildly popular during the Victorian era, with statues, paintings, poetry, and books in her honor being published throughout the 19th and early 20th century.

Image Miss Minchin was attempting to bring little Lottie together with the older girls, much to her displeasure.
Image I won't go. I won’t, I won't!
Image What a ridiculous noise you are making. Stop that at once!
Image Shan’t!
Image You are more than old enough to begin learning. Every student at this school is expected to —
Image I hate horses! I won't, I wo-oh-oh-oh!

Image If you don’t behave, you shall be whipped, just as a horse would be.
Image No!
Image To Sara's surprise, Lottie suddenly broke free of Miss Minchin and rushed to Sara, cowering behind her and pressing her wet face into the fabric of Sara's dress.
Image (Is this more than just a tantrum?)
Image Miss Minchin, please, could you let me talk to her alone?
Image Dear Sara, you are very kind, but we simply do not have time for these... shenanigans.
Image If you can make her mind swiftly, then do so, but it must be done.
Image Shaking her head, she walked away.

Image Lottie — are you afraid of horses?
Image ... yes.
Image Well, then, no wonder that you are upset!
Image This cheerful justification startled Lottie enough to leave her frozen in mid-sniffle, mouth hanging open. Sara nodded, and continued:
Image It is normal to be upset about things that frighten you.
Image Only — I think it is also normal to try and make yourself less frightened, if you can. You wouldn't want to be afraid forever.
Image Horses are very large, but they can also be kind and sweet. They like apples and carrots, and being petted, just like cats do.
Image Lottie now seemed more confused than distraught.

Some people are harsh on Lottie, and to be fair she at least partially deserves it. But I think the main reason she comes across as so juvenile for her age is that she's never had anyone to teach her healthier ways to deal with her emotions. She throws tantrums like a toddler because no one's bothered to help her develop emotionally since she was one-- her mother is dead and her dad seems to have dumped her at a boarding school where she is much younger than the rest of the students, and Miss Minchin is hardly an example of emotional stability. Look at how much a single line of validation did for her! She screams because otherwise, no one listens. :smith:

Image What — what if Lavinia won't let me?
Image Then we shall wait until she is not looking, and while we wait, I will tell you about the horse who rescued a lost prince.
Image She held out her hand, and after a moment, Lottie took it.

:unsmith: I think that one day, when Sara becomes a real mother, she will be very good at it.

Image It resembled a long wooden spoon, though somewhat thicker in the shaft, and with a solid round end instead of a bowl.
Image What — what are you doing with that?
Image Jessie turned the object over in her hands.
Image Oh, Sara! Isn't it interesting? It’s from India.
Image I know.
Image I’ve heard there are societies for gentlemen and ladies — separate, of course — where they all have wooden clubs like these and swing them to strengthen their arms. Or even throw them at each other! Isn't that quaint?
Image Are you sure they throw them at each other? In India, the jugglers throw them up into the air and catch them again.

The object in question is an Indian club. Its traditionally exercise equipment-- descended from dummy versions of a traditional Indian mace used for training-- but in the late 1800s a white performer began using them in juggling routines, and it quickly caught on. The modern juggling club shows clear influence.

Image She looked at the solid wooden shape she held, then up at Miss Minchin's painted ceiling.
Image Perhaps I ought not to try that.
Image Where did you get it from?
Image Lavinia gave it to me.
Image For a moment, she cradled the club in her arms as if it were a doll.
Image She wouldn’t tell me anything about it, though. She told me to take it, if I was so interested, and she would say nothing more.


Image It doesn’t seem like such hard work.
Image Her eyes glinted for a moment with strange emotion.
Image Imagine the blow, if you struck a man with this.
Image What? Why?

:stare: You uh, you okay there, Jessie?

Image We are not soldiers, and have no need to defend ourselves. There are brave men for that job.
Image Like my papa.
Image Yes. You are lucky, to have such a father.
Image Sara smiled, pleased to accept any compliments for her beloved papa, and thought no more of it.

As smart as Sara is, some things tend to go right over her head. I'm beginning to wonder if Ermengarde isn't the only one with a dad that belongs in the garbage can. :ohdear:

In lighter news, there's finally something to liven up activities selection a bit: a new option!


Voting information has been updated to reflect this change. Please post your votes for both those and who we should spend our weekend with in the thread! See you next time.

Last edited by yamiaainferno on Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aw, we made a BFF already! I really do like Ermengarde, but we may want to spend some time with Jessie to burn some of our stats off. While we're at it, let's Take a Walk and do some Tutoring twice.

Speaking of, I'd imagine absentee fathers to be pretty common during the age, especially thanks to the very strict gender roles of this era. I'm not surprised to see that we've already seen some of this showing itself.

Also voting Jessie because I'm getting increasingly curious about what exactly she's trying to cover up with her cheery demeanor. Who knows, maybe Sara can also become, ahem, "best friends" with her (seriously, even Ermengarde seems to be aware how much of a euphemism that probably is).

Activitiers: Tutoring, Tutoring, Write in Diary.

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Ermengarde is absolutely adorable and in need of help, though I'm hoping to split some time between her and Jessie for now; both are very strong contenders. As for time spent, I'll opt for Tutoring, Tutoring, and Practice Dance.

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to LLP! Another short update today, but it's a fun one.


The game told us we could tutor, and by god did the thread decide we were going to tutor. A few other activities received one vote, and I went with the diary because it had the best chance of improving our lowest stats. Additionally, note that our stat gains from tutoring (knowledge and patience) were rather low-- because its first two options are "gain x equal to y" we had a 2/3 chance of getting nothing; though once we finally hit the third option we were off to the races. I didn't bother rerolling because our stats were so high already.

We were all very worried about Jessie last update, so let's spend the weekend checking up on her.

Image (Has something fallen?)
Image Opening the door, she found Jessie in mid-leap, practicing dance moves in the unused space.

I hope she moved the desks against the wall, at least. I wonder why she's practicing in here? We had a dance lesson, so presumably there's a room for it-- though they could have very well just moved the desks and used the classroom then.

Image I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you.
Image That's all right. Come in — and close the door.
Image Sara took a seat on one of the form-benches.
Image You like dancing, don't you?
Image All young ladies dance.
Image She pressed a palm to her chest and sighed dramatically.
Image In the ballroom, the beautiful but impoverished daughter of faded nobility can catch the eye of a landed gentleman, and a perfect match will be made. If you you have two left feet, then beware! You might be sent home in disgrace!
Image Sara laughed, swinging up her feet to demonstrate their clumsiness, even though she was privately sceptical.

Sceptical is the British English spelling of skeptical, which is news to me! I thought it was a typo.

Image (Well... Perhaps Lavinia would.)
Image (And Jessie might agree with her. She usually agrees with whatever Lavinia says.)

Image I'm sure people like that don't have ballrooms, but there must be something. Everyone likes to dance sometimes, even servants.
Image I don't know very much about it. My Papa’s friends said that the dances the natives do are called nautch, and that they are impolite, and therefore the British are trying to make them stop. I have never seen such a dance. I am not sure what makes a dance impolite.
Image Being danced by a girl who’s too pretty.
Image In the opéra-ballet, the patrons demand pretty girls for the stage, but then because they are pretty and performing for the eyes of men, they sometimes call them... not-very-nice things.
Image I suppose India is not so different after all.

Jessie really got it in one there. Though, as I said before, part of ballet dancers' bad reputation is because many of them were indeed forced into prostitution as a necessity of their career. Though that may be a chicken and egg scenario. I'm not surprised that Jessie doesn't seem to know that particular detail; she is a child, and such things wouldn't be explicitly talked about in polite society.

Nautch, anglicised from the Urdu and Hindi
naatch, meaning dance, was not a traditional form of Indian dance, but a style that appeared during the Mughal era, probably in the 17th century or so, as people began to dance for entertainment purposes rather than religious. Nautch incorporated elements of religious and folk dances and was intended to be seductive, but 'nautch girls' who performed nautch dances professionally were not considered sex workers by trade, belonging to a class of their own. Nautch girls were considered beautiful and entrancing, and it was a respected profession-- the nautch became wildly popular in the 19th century, including among British officials, but in 1870s Christian missionaries began a moral outcry against the dances. By the 20th century, 'nautch girl' had become a much more pejorative term. Many of these women, now unable to earn a living practicing their trade, turned to prostitution in order to survive. Nice job breaking it, Britain.

Here's a video of Ruth St. Denis, an Indian-American dancer, performing a nautch dance.

Image I would have liked to see a story told in dance, but my Ayah said it took many years of training and she could not show me.
Image The ballet tells stories, too. But I can't imagine that Indian dance is anything like ballet.
Image With a sigh, Jessie swept her long hair away so that she could sit beside Sara.

Kahtak is one of the traditional dance styles of India, with a deep history that I can't begin to cover in detail. As Sara said, its choreography is meant to tell a story, and it has its roots in Hinduism. It spread from Hindu temples to the court of the Mughal nobles, where it became more complex and intricate, and mixed somewhat with nautch and other dances. It's worth noting that the British tended to lump all Indian dance together under nautch, because of course they did, and when the moral outcry against nautch began, kahtak was included. The British made a concerted effort to eliminate the dance altogether as part of the usual colonialist checklist of "invade, exploit, destroy local culture"-- but luckily it managed to survive, and made a revival with the Indian independence movement. Today the art form is alive and well, with Hindu and Muslim styles.

Searching "kahtak" on YouTube will bring up a lot of results, but here's a famous kahtak scene from a famous movie.

Image But no English girl could ever be a great ballerina. Everyone knows that it is the French and Italians who make the best dancers.

It's worth noting that "ballerina" traditionally applies only the the principal (highest ranked) female dancer of a company-- the others would be "ballet dancers" or "danseuses" (the French feminine form of dancers). It began to simply mean any female ballet dancer sometime around the 1960s. I am, however, the kind of obnoxious pedant who is still slightly annoyed by this usage.

Image I don't think so.
Image Maybe you don't know all of your talents yet.
Image I'm sure I don’t!
Image I believe that we all have talents and strengths that we don't know, that we will discover when we need them the most. That's the way that stories work. It's magic.
Image But I don't think that dancing is going to be one of my talents.

Image Sara thought for a while, then walked to the centre of the room and raised her arms over her head in a graceful curve, like the ballet fifth position.
Image Once upon a time, there was a prince who was also the sun...

Well, that was fun. Dance friends! :sparkles:


Image Keep together now, girls! Form a line and wait here.
Image Lavinia, dear, I am counting on you to maintain order. I will be only a few minutes.
Image Yes, Miss Minchin!
Image As Miss Minchin walked away, Lavinia raised her chin with pride. She did not notice the conversations going on around her.


High indeed. The "camera" begins slowly panning up to the top at this line. It was too slow to get in a gif of reasonable size, though it is cool. The game in general makes pretty good use of its static assets-- moving them around the screen to effectively convey motion without animation.

Image There is a man who lives up there. The Tower Keeper. It is his job to watch over the bells and keep them clean and ready to ring.
Image He lives there? He never comes down?
Image Sara did not know how the tower keeper spent his days, but she had heard of wise men in India who kept vigils, and of Christian stylites who lived atop pillars.
Image No, never. The priests bring him food and water, so that he never has to look down. He tends the bells, and he thinks about God. Because he’s so high up in the sky, sometimes, if he is very lucky, the clouds part and he can almost catch a glimpse of the land beyond.
Image The shining city, and the fields of lilies?
Image At this point, Lavinia noticed the two of them standing with their necks craned back.

Christ. Here we go.

Image Sara and Lottie lowered their heads — though not, in Lottie's case, without protest.
Image We are looking up at heaven, where our mammas are. They live in a city with golden streets and fields of lilies that everyone gathers. And they watch over us and whisper to us, and they visit the man in the bell tower. Sara told me.
Image You wicked thing, making up fairy stories about heaven!

Image You — you're lying. You didn't get that story from the Bible.
Image Read it for yourself! Streets of gold and gates of pearl, and many more things besides. Perhaps the lilies are my own invention and perhaps they aren't. But I can tell you — you will never find out whether they are or not if you're not kinder to people than you are now.


Image What?!
Image But Sara, perhaps feeling a bit ashamed of her burst of unheavenly temper, turned her head and refused to respond.

Well then. Sara sure knows how to shut a bitch down. Not going to lie, it's pretty satisfying to have the ever-patient Sara deliver a verbal bitch slap to Lavinia like that.

Image Quite unconsciously, she descended the carriage steps with the grace of a queen, looking much grander than she might have imagined — if she were the sort of girl to think in great detail about how she looked. As Sara crossed the pavement, she caught sight of a dingy little figure down on the servant's area steps: a girl with a soot-smudged face, peering up at her with wide eyes.

Image Something in the eagerness and timidity of that smudgy face made Sara look back, and when she looked, she smiled, because it was her way to smile at people.

Image The eyes went even wider, as if afraid that she ought not to have been caught looking at a pupil of importance. The maid, if that was what she was, turned and scurried back into the kitchen, vanishing as quickly as a reverse jack-in-the-box.
Image (Poor little forlorn thing... I wonder who she is?)

I wonder indeed... :3:

The next update may come out a little late-- it's my birthday the 6th and I'm naturally spending it with friends and family, so I won't have time to write the next update this weekend. Here is the activity information, and weekend options are below. See you next time!


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Happy Birthday. :)

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Hey, happy early birthday.

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Continuing with the wishes for a happy birthday.

I don't have any thoughts upon what self-improvement Sara should enjoy/endure, but after that rather hefty verbal slap, I'd like to see if Lavinia's learned something. (As unlikely as it is)

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Happy early birthday to ya!

Saying somebody's never going to see heaven is equivalent to saying they're going to hell, which is an ice cold burn for the Victorian era, and really most eras before it. Sara doesn't pull punches, it seems.

I say we go Ermengarde for this week. Might as well hang out with our bestie.

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We know that Sara is really good at tutoring, because she just taught Lavinia.

...I'll see myself out.

Anyways, I also vote to visit Lavinia this week. Happy Birthday!

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Hello everyone and welcome back to LLP! Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes-- I had a good time and got some cool stuff. Sorry for the extra long delay-- it's always hard to pick a project back up after a break, at least for me, because I tend to hyperfocus on things (thanks ADHD!). I appreciate your patience in bearing with me.


Not much to say other than that we still have a ways to go in order to reach the requirements for Jessie's next event.

This week we're spending time with our very best friend in the whole world, Ermengarde.

Image Dancing lessons...
Image She sighed noisily, her shoulders rising and falling.
Image I wish that being hopeless at books meant that I was good at something else instead.
Image My father wouldn't be happy if I were only good at dancing, but at least Miss Minchin wouldn't look at me so disapprovingly.
Image But it is only something else for me to fail at. I feel so heavy and graceless compared to the other girls.
Image (She is heavier than the other girls, but she isn't graceless.)

Image But I don't look right when I move my arms, and the dance masters always frown at me.
Image Jessie is the best of us. She looks like a flower in the breeze — like a gloriosa lily. Because its petals are long and red and wavy, like her hair.
Image They tell us we should try to move like a field of celandines. I never feel like a celandine. I know what a celandine looks like, and I am not one.
Image They reached Sara’s room, and took seats upon the bed.

It seems to me that water or something would be better imagery than a field of flowers, which are traditionally pretty stationary things. But what do I know.

Image Oh! A little yellow flower. That's the lesser celandine. They're not very tall, but the flowers are very bright, with lots of yellow petals, like this.
Image She held up her hands, curling her fingers around.
Image They come up early in the spring. They grow in great bunches in the woods, all over the ground. Mostly the leaves, but with little bright dots of flowers. The other kind is taller. Their flowers are yellow, too, bright yellow, but they only have four petals.

'The other kind' is probably greater celandine, but could potentially be celandine poppy-- the two are both in the poppy family and closely related to each other, but not the lesser celandine, which is in the buttercup family. While the celandine poppy is native to the Americas, the lesser and greater varieties are not, and have become harmful invasive species there-- particularly the lesser.

Image What flowers grow wild in India?
Image Oh — many kinds. Tall spikes covered with purple orchids that nod down. Flowers with petals pink as lips that grow straight up from the ground with no stems. I don't know all their names.
Image I wish you could have brought some with you.
Image If I had picked flowers in India before I left, they would have died and fallen apart on the ship.
Image Ermengarde hung her head.
Image I'm sorry. It was a stupid idea.
Image No! I wish I could have brought you flowers to see as well.

Sara's descriptions were too vague for me to pin down specific flowers, but India does have a wealth of beautiful native flora. You can click through some on this website.

Image Can you draw?
Image I — I don't know.
Image She held out her hands in front of her, examining the stubby fingers and their short, blunt nails.
Image I wouldn't expect that I can.
Image Your hands are so delicate, Sara. That's the way a lady's hands should be.
Image Sara pressed her palm against Ermengarde's. Her fingers seemed almost the same length, but more narrow.
Image Well, Emily's fingers are much rounder and shorter than yours, and she is still a lady. Your hands are stronger than mine. I am sure there are many things your hands can do that mine can't.

Image Sara's eyes took on a mischievous glint.
Image Only magic can do everything.
Image (Imagine whatI could do with this school, if I really could do everything!)

I really want Ermengarde and Sara to make each other flower crowns. Honestly, let's get all the girls in on it. It'd be adorable, and the kind of fluffy content we need right now.


Image While the temperature outside was not so great in itself, the ceaseless beating of sunlight upon little heads slowly made their Sunday dresses a difficult burden to bear.
Image This is abominable. My complexion will be ruined. I may have to write to my father and complain!
Image She adjusted the position of the parasol on her shoulder and sighed.
Image No proper young lady should be forced to drudge about on foot like this. Is that not why we have horses?
Image Miss Minchin said that horses should have a day of rest on Sundays.
Image As if a horse would know or care what day it is!
Image I deserve a carriage. It is the due of my rank.

:rolleyes: While it's true that horses are horses and therefore uninterested in observing the Sabbath, they still breaks to keep them from becoming overworked, Lavina.

Image Sara-mamma, I'm ti-red.
Image Everyone is tired.
Image Sara-mamma, won't you carry me?
Image You have to walk for yourself. You're too big for me to carry for long.
Image Besides, it would be undignified. Our Sara may be many things, but she is not a horse.
Image Perhaps you should ask Ermengarde.

Hey, Lavinia? :fuckoff:

Image What did I say? I was only pointing out that she seems to be handling this walk better than Lottie is.
Image Sara looked at her friend. True enough, though Ermengarde's cheeks were as flushed as anyone else’s, she appeared to be walking steadily along without slowing or complaining.
Image Aren't you tired, and hot?
Image Yes. I always feel tired and hot when we walk back from church, so I'm used to it.
Image But this walk is so much longer...
Image It all seems the same to me.

Image (A soldier must have great endurance, and be able to carry on through much more difficult circumstances than this. A soldier might have to walk miles in the sun, in uniform, and carry a heavy pack besides, and be ready to fight when he arrived. Our lives are so much easier, but we must be good soldiers as best as we can.)
Image If Ermengarde can bear it, then I can bear it.
Image If Jessie can bear it, then I shall have to bear it.
Image What's that supposed to mean?
Image What did you mean?
Image ... Nothing.

Image You have legs. Use them, the same as we are.
Image I don't want to.
Image No one is going to carry you, so if you don't walk, you’ll be left here all alone.
Image And then it will get dark, and the tigers will come out and eat you up.
Image !!!

Jesus. Guess Jessie plays hardball.

Image Well, she likes it when Sara makes things up.
Image Sara spoke quickly, to hed off the threat of Lottie deciding to cry and fuss.
Image We will all have tea later in my rooms, and I will tell you stories.
Image But first, we must return to the school — which means, we must walk.
Image Lottie sighed, and carried on.

I like the little scenes with all the girls, they're pretty cute. Especially when they give us new art.

Image It was that power which Lavinia and certain other girls were most envious of, and at the same time most fascinated by, in spite of themselves. And it was in service of that power that so many of Miss Minchin's students had gathered in Sara's jewel-box rooms, seating themselves on chairs or cushions or rugs to listen.
Image The Princess sat on the white rocks beside the lagoon, with a shining white lily in her hands. And as she turned it this way and that, she watched its reflection dance across the water below. The waters of the lagoon lay still, crystal-clear and green as glass, but the Princess could only see her flower in the reflection, and never herself. So she looked, and she looked, until at last she saw a face in the waters — not her face, but the face of a merman.
Image Sara went on to tell of the courtship between the Princess and the Merman Prince, and the girls who listened sighed sweetly and leaned their cheeks against their hands, or each other.

Ew, gross. Straights, in my wlw story? It's more likely than you think. I kid, of course. Obviously the merman is pan and the princess is bi

Image The maid was cleaner than she had been on that other day, but seemed just as frightened. She hunched by the fire, afraid even to look at the other children or appear to be listening. She put on pieces of coal cautiously with her fingers so that she might make no disturbing noise, and she swept about the fire irons very softly. But Sara saw that she was doing her work slowly in the hope of catching a word here and there. And realizing this, she raised her voice and spoke more clearly.
Image The Princess took her seat in the great clear bubble-carriage, and a team of six sea-horses pulled her into the ocean, their harnesses woven with pearls. Down into the sea they dove. At first, the water grew dark, and the Princess was afraid, but then! Far below, fluttering and rippling through the depths, there shone a light...
Image The small drudge before the grate swept the hearth once, and then swept it again, and finally forgot to play at sweeping at all. The brush hung idly from her fingers as Sara described winding grottos beneath the sea, paved with silver sand and lit by glowing sea-stars. It was the choirs of mermaids singing that proved her undoing. The forgotten brush slipped from her fingers to clatter against the hearth, and drew Lavinia's attention.
Image What? That girl has been listening!

How dare she use her ears! The audacity! ...Time to add more garbage to Lavinia's can of shame, I guess.

Image She grabbed the coal box and simply scuttled out of the room like a frightened insect fleeing for cover.
Image I knew she was listening. Why shouldn’t she?
Image She isn't one of us, Sara. It isn't proper to talk with servants. Unless they are upper servants, like your Mariette. That’s all right.

That's the epitome of :jerkbag: right there. God I hate Victorians sometimes.

Image I do not know whether your papa would like you to tell stories to servant girls, but I know my papa wouldn't like me to do it.
Image My Papa! I don't believe he would mind in the least. He knows that stories belong to everybody.
Image Nothing belongs to everybody. If it did, they'd all have to fight over it.


Image I think Sara should tell stories to whomever she wants to tell them.
Image You — you wouldn’t think it wrong if she told stories to Tybalt, would you?

...Well, Ermie, thanks for trying, but maybe don't compare human beings to pets.

Image Oh, please, Sara-mamma, finish the story!
Image Sara looked at the room full of eager, upturned faces. No one wished to follow and harass the fleeing maid, but no one wished to go and invite her back again, either. She would continue her fairy story, but she would not forget.

Sara will remember that.

Severely out of date memes aside, we're getting very close to having a full roster! Given that this character a) has a sprite and b) is very plainly featured on the main menu, I do not consider that in any way a spoiler. Sorry again for the big delay-- I hyperfocused on some games I got for my b-day, then an anime, and then bad stuff happened and then it was my mother's birthday. Listening to Jane Eyre, whose first section takes place in a 19th century girls' boarding school, helped light a fire to get me back to work. There shouldn't be another delay so long again at least until Christmas, when I may get distracted again, but I'll try my best to not let myself get so far off track again. I've missed you guys!

Remember to vote-- activity information is here and weekend info is below. See you next time!


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We are low on artistry and grace, so I shall request that Sara practice her dancing thrice over.

As for character to spend time with, whilst I'd like to peek under the hood and see what the hell makes Jessie tick, I would so dearly love for Sara to unscrew Lavinia's head thus far.

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Yikes, Lavinia, you're really not trying to make yourself look too good, are you? The Victorian ideals are coming out in full force too it seems.

Fah, I'll second the vote for Lavinia one last time, in the hope that perhaps something interesting can be dug up to explain this. If not, I think I'll probably be sticking with Ermengarde for good. Though the story has gotten me rather curious about the maid girl.

In order to help the Belief and Artistry, I think I'll vote for Write in Diary and Play with Toys x2.

Also, I can definitely see why the early portion of Jane Eyre would inspire some motivation for this. This is a similar, though perhaps happier, seminary setting. Heck, now you've got me wanting to read it again.

(Personally, as a metalworker, I can't really understand how anyone dealt with using coal for fires indoors. I really can't stand the stuff even outside- I've always preferred wood over it, but I suppose that may be a bit of bias because I've always had a fire stove around.)

Nice to see this going again :toot: No need to feel bad about taking breaks, though; I've read engaging LPs with way looser update schedules (still need to get around to reading that one LP of Planescape: Torment that apparently took like 10 years to finish).

I'd still like to learn more about Mariette, but also about Jessie, so for next time: Practice Dance, Practice Dance, Practice Dance (and I just realized how neat it is that the best way to raise the two stats required by Jessie's events is to dance a lot).

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This update has been another reminder that Ermengarde is very good and wholesome

Gonna have to echo the sentiments of Practice Dance, but since we might want Belief at some point, I'll make the other two votes for Write in Diary. I'll go with Lavinia as well, since we've got an excess of Patience and there's still plenty of time left for Jessie or Ermengarde, I think.

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The Flying Twybil wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:37 pm
Also, I can definitely see why the early portion of Jane Eyre would inspire some motivation for this. This is a similar, though perhaps happier, seminary setting. Heck, now you've got me wanting to read it again.

(Personally, as a metalworker, I can't really understand how anyone dealt with using coal for fires indoors. I really can't stand the stuff even outside- I've always preferred wood over it, but I suppose that may be a bit of bias because I've always had a fire stove around.)
Well, Minchin is hardly a Miss Temple, but she's at the very least no Brocklehurst either. The girls seem to get enough to eat and aren't forced to wear light cotton dresses through the winter, and walk around outside through the snow without boots. As for the coal, according to the data table I'm working off of it made up 80% of the fuel cost in the average household-- I'm assuming it was much cheaper than wood.
Carpator Diei wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:20 pm
Nice to see this going again :toot: No need to feel bad about taking breaks, though; I've read engaging LPs with way looser update schedules (still need to get around to reading that one LP of Planescape: Torment that apparently took like 10 years to finish).
As mentioned, I have a hard time with that. I need to keep momentum in a thing, because taking a break makes it very hard to pick back up. I do my best, though!

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yamiaainferno wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:56 am
Well, Minchin is hardly a Miss Temple, but she's at the very least no Brocklehurst either. The girls seem to get enough to eat and aren't forced to wear light cotton dresses through the winter, and walk around outside through the snow without boots. As for the coal, according to the data table I'm working off of it made up 80% of the fuel cost in the average household-- I'm assuming it was much cheaper than wood.
Yeah, perhaps I might have been better served to say "much happier" in regards to this school.

That estimation on coal price sounds about right. Charcoal was the primary fuel for metalsmithing up until a certain time in the 1800's when Britain pursued coal mining because the deforestation issues were becoming severe enough to notice (that, and they were probably stealing off the royal hunting lands or something). Given that Britain had an immense amount of coal easily available thanks to having even exposed cliffsides of it, and their supply of wood was fast disappearing, coal eventually took over. After all, the coking process isn't really any different than the charcoal process to start with.

I was mostly just pondering how they put up with the smell and quality, but with your data the answer here is pretty much "they had no other affordable options". My knowledge on the subject of daily life is somewhat swayed towards Colonial America, which still had lumber, and didn't pick up on the trend of coal usage for metalwork for quite some time. Perhaps this is a reminder I might as well get to studying Victorian Britain some more.

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The Flying Twybil wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:00 pm
Yeah, perhaps I might have been better served to say "much happier" in regards to this school.

That estimation on coal price sounds about right. Charcoal was the primary fuel for metalsmithing up until a certain time in the 1800's when Britain pursued coal mining because the deforestation issues were becoming severe enough to notice (that, and they were probably stealing off the royal hunting lands or something). Given that Britain had an immense amount of coal easily available thanks to having even exposed cliffsides of it, and their supply of wood was fast disappearing, coal eventually took over. After all, the coking process isn't really any different than the charcoal process to start with.

I was mostly just pondering how they put up with the smell and quality, but with your data the answer here is pretty much "they had no other affordable options". My knowledge on the subject of daily life is somewhat swayed towards Colonial America, which still had lumber, and didn't pick up on the trend of coal usage for metalwork for quite some time. Perhaps this is a reminder I might as well get to studying Victorian Britain some more.
It's fascinating stuff, honestly. I really enjoy looking things up for this LP.

Tangent, but just to geek out for a bit: it's fucking wild that England has economic records dating to the 13th century. I use Measuring Worth for economic data -- they have easy conversion calculators that are considered the most accurate available (the UK National Archives lists them as a source) and all their data is there if you're willing and able to parse it. They are very much academic papers-- technical, hard to read, and somewhat boring-- but also very cool. They have all the same stuff for the US as well, dating back to 1774.

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to LLP. The RNG really annoyed me this update, let me tell you.


The thread wanted to focus on gaining artistry and grace in order to unlock Jessie's next event; unfortunately, the game was not cooperating. We got jack shit at first; I re-rolled a few times and this was the best I could get. Annoying, but not the end of the world. And then the game decides to be a dick and rub salt in the wound. When I'm getting screenshots for an update, I skip past the activities for the current week, resulting in the same activities being repeated. Guess what happened?


Artistry out the ass, and a good amount of grace too. That is all sadly destined to be saved over. Curse you, game! :argh:

Moving on, it's time to hang out with our BFF some more.

Image Ermengarde knocked rapidly on Sara’s door with one hand, While the other pinned her treasures against her chest. When Sara opened the door, she was surprised to see her friend clinging with such enthusiasm to what appeared to be a pair of books. Certainly, books would be worthy of Sara's excitement, but in Ermengarde's hands they seemed more commonly to be useless weights tying her down.
Image Your father sent you something else?
Image Oh, no! These aren’t from my father.
Image May I come in?
Image Of course.
Image She held out her arm in elegant invitation, a hostess in miniature.
Image I'll have Mariette fetch us some tea and cakes.
Image Oh — no cake for me, please.

Image It's just that my mother is always sending me hampers of sweets, even if I don't want them. I would rather have bread and butter... if that's all right?
Image Of course it is.
Image I will return shortly, mademoiselle.
Image Sara pulled out a chair for Ermengarde, who was still cradling her burden.
Image Are those books something your mother sent, then?
Image No, no. These are from my mother’s sister. My Aunt Eliza. She lives in the countryside. She never married, so she inherited my mother’s parents' property, and she lives there alone, except when she visits my mother.
Image My father doesn't like her very much, because she doesn't agree with him about Irish Home Rule, and she wasn't very clever at school either. He thinks she is a bad influence.

Irish Home Rule refers to the struggle for Ireland, which had been under the rule of the English monarch since 1800, for either greater or total autonomy (the aims of the movement varied over time and from person to person). It was a hot button topic throughout the 19th century, particularly from the 1870s on, and eventually led to the island being split between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the latter remaining in the UK. I understand very little about Irish nationalism other than that it's an extremely complicated and divisive topic, so I think I'll just leave things there.

Image When I go home, my father is always asking me things like 'When did Edward the Third ascend the throne?’ and 'Who died of a surfeit of lampreys?’
Image And then my mother says, ’Dear me, Ermengarde! You are very fat,’ and sighs.
Image Aunt Eliza takes me riding, and talks about the hunt and Rover and Skipper — her dogs — and her gardens. She sent me these.

Ugh, poor Ermengarde. No wonder she's so self-conscious, if her home life is nothing but constant derisive browbeating. I'm glad that she at least as a Cool Aunt.

Edward III was crowned in 1327, by the way, and it was Henry I who died of a 'surfeit of lampreys' (AKA eating too many lampreys). That's what his physician attributed his death to, at least; but given that Henry I died in 1135, that diagnosis carries little weight today. A lamprey is a parasitic fish that feeds by latching on to other aquatic creatures, boring into their flesh with its horrifying little mouth, and then sucking their prey's blood. They were apparently somewhat of a delicacy in medieval Europe, especially during Lent, because they had a much meatier texture than other fish.

Image It is for flower-pressing. You press the flowers tight between the wood blocks and squeeze out all the water inside them. If you put a sheet of paper inside, sometimes the petals will colour it, like a print. When the flowers are dry and flat, then you can frame them, or stick them to the pages of a book with some egg-white. See, she's sent some pansies for a start.
Image Ermengarde spread open the pages of her book, and Sara bent her dark head to take a closer look.
Image Oh — you can still see all the little veins in the petals!
Image If you dry them when you press them, they don't shrivel up.
Image What a charming hobby. Your aunt is very wise.
Image (It is good to know that Ermengarde does have a relative she is fond of.)

Image When I go back there, after I finish school, I will have to press flowers and mail them to you.
Image Go — go back?
Image It had not occurred to Ermengarde until this moment that Sara saw her life in England as nothing but a temporary sojourn.
Image Yes. I must return to my papa. I miss him dreadfully.
Image Then... I will never see you again?
Image Oh.


Image It was one thing to think of those whom she loved and missed, but another to consider that she herself would be missed. Missed quite strongly, if the look in Ermengarde's eyes was anything to judge by.
Image Well... once I am an adult, I will be able to travel, if I please. I see no reason why I couldn't come back to England, once in a while.
Image She reached over and touched Ermengarde's hand.

Image Ermengarde breathed out a sigh of relief.
Image It would be dreadful if you were gone forever.
Image At that moment, Mariette arrived at last with the tea, and Ermengarde's flower/book had to be carefully set aside.

The gayness is increasing, at last.

Image In truth, she had looked for the girl earlier, but had been unable to spot such a person anywhere in the school. If not for the disagreement with her listeners, Sara might have thought she had imagined her. Sara understood that it would cause disruption if she barged into the kitchens to ask questions. She had only one bridge to rely on.
Image Mariette? Who is that little girl who makes the fires?
Image Ah, Mademoiselle Sara! You might well ask, that poor little one.
Image She has just recently been taken on as a scullery maid, though scullery is the least of it. She is sent to do every task that no one else wants. She blacks the boots and grates, she carries the coal scuttles up and down stairs, she scrubs the floors and the windows.
Image I think she has not had enough to eat for years; she is older than her height would tell. And so timid. If I try to speak to her, her little eyes look to pop right out of her head.

Image I hear that called often enough. ’Becky, do this.’ 'Becky, do that.’ Everyone below-stairs orders her about.
Image Becky...
Image (If life were a story, Becky might be the ill-used heroine. And perhaps a fairy godmother might come to her rescue.)
Image You have a kind heart, mademoiselle. Your papa would be proud.

Poor Becky. We'll actually meet her soon, I promise. I didn't remember the lead-up to her introduction being this long. (Not helped by me getting distracted.)

Image All right?
Image Just as I thought. You are growing taller.
Image I am?
Image Sara looked down at herself.
Image (I don’t feel any different... How much have I changed since I've been here?)
Image You are at that age, after all. I will have to alter a few things.
Image (How tall I will grow before I see my Papa again?)

Sara won't "graduate" from Miss Minchin's until she's considered an adult-- something not necessarily tied to a concrete age, but more marriage and the ability to run a household (at least for women). Apparently a girl could be married off as young as 12 (gross), but I think that low limit is more for arranged marriages between royalty than for common use. Upper class ladies tended to get married around age 18-21-- and so we'll assume Captain Crewe plans to call Sara back to India at 18. She'll certainly have changed quite a bit, by then.

Also, I hope no one minds more Ermengarde, because that's exactly what the next scene is.

Image A number of students were drawn to the sound of Ermengarde's excitement. It was not often that a girl would call for such attention in her bedroom. Particularly not quiet Miss St. John.
Image What is it?
Image Look, through the window there. That tree outside. Can you see it?
Image From the door to the room, Lavinia smirked.
Image I should hope that she can see the tree outside, or else she needs eyeglasses.
Image Hush!

:rolleyes: No one invited you, Lavinia. Buzz off if you're just going to be a killjoy.

Image There’s a nest in the branches, there. And there are eggs in it.
Image Soon there will be baby birds. That's darling, isn’t it?
Image Babies?


Hahaha, poor Ermen, now just about the whole school has crashed her and Sara's hang-out. I admit I find that screenshot kind of hilarious.

Image If you do not wish to attract attention in the future, do not bellow.
Image Where are there babies?
Image They're still inside the eggs, Lottie. There will be baby birds sometime in the future.
Image Can baby birds see inside eggs?
Image I don't know.
Image No — I think they're asleep.
Image Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a bird for a pet? You could feed it from your hand, and it would sing to you...
Image Baby birds are not wonderful. They're horrible pink-skinned monsters with no eyes. Disgusting.

Everyone was ignoring her being rude, so Lavinia just has to try and kill the fun entirely. Also, baby birds do have eyes, they're just closed at first.

Image No, they aren't very pretty when they're born, but they change as they grow up.
Image A lot of things do.
Image Soon, little birds are covered with fuzz all over. Fluffy chicks are adorable.

Yes they are. Ermengarde is also adorable. :colbert:

Image There were people in India who kept parrots as pets. Not even in cages. They can be trained to ride on someone's shoulder. My Papa knew a man who gave his bride-to-be a parrot that he taught to recite love poetry to her.
Image How romantic...
Image I don't think a bird is a very romantic gift. What if she didn’t want a pet? What if it pulled her hair?
Image Lavinia reached out and tugged at a strand of Jessie's long red hair.
Image Kwaaaak! My beloved is mine and I am hers, she feedeth among the lilies, kwaaaak!
Image S-stop that!
Image She swatted Lavinia's hand away.

Snrk. Okay, Lavinia can be funny sometimes.

Image Oh, no. That wouldn't be right. Little birds need their parents, to survive.
Image Jessie combed her hair back into place with her fingers.
Image At least until their parents shove them out of the nest — birds do that, don't they?
Image Do they, Sara-mamma?
Image Only when it's time for the young ones to learn to fly.
Image After all, they can't stay eggs forever.

And that's the update, folks. I hope everyone enjoyed it. Sorry again for the delay (I don't think it was as long as last time, but still)-- my cousin is having a baby this month, and I'm scrambling to finish knitting the various infant sundries I plan on sending over to her. I really need to learn to hold needles with my toes, so that I can knit and work on the LP at the same time.

Here is activity info, and our stats and weekend options will be below. Until next time!


Let's try the Dance, Dance, Dance thing again. And I vote Mariette; I'd like to see more of her perspective on this posh place.

On the topic of lampreys and the surfeits thereof, some googling led me to this pretty interesting article. Confirms your suspicions about the quality of the diagnosis:
The History Girls wrote: Elderly people were seen as having cold humours and as such needed to eat foods with warming properties. [...] Lampreys, on a scale of 1-10 scored a 10 for being cold and moist and one of the most chilling foodstuffs in existence, guaranteed to put out anyone's fire. To an elderly person, already cold to begin with, they could be deadly. The best way to render them less of a threat was to kill them in red wine and then cook them in the same liquor in the hopes that it would neutralise their properties. Everyone knew this. A chronicler wouldn't have had to spell out the details.
Death By Cold Fish

It also quotes a medieval chronicler who seems to have had some strong opinions about Henry I.: "[After his death], the physician who was engaged for a large sum of money to open his head with a hatchet, and extract the brain after it was already too much corrupted, notwithstanding that the head was wrapped up in several napkins, was poisoned by the noisesome smell, and thus the money which he received was fatal to him; he was the last of King Henry's victims, for he had killed many before."

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to LLP. Sorry for the delay, more on that at the end, but this update is a good one, and I'm really excited to show you all.


Firstly, we finally get some artistry and grace! :toot: All you Jessie fans can finally get a break from the non-stop Ermengarde parade. Speaking of...

Image ... well, no, it is not a lovely day, but it is as close to a pleasant day as we are likely to have in London, and nice girls always say it is 'lovely' if they wish to go out.
Image And I wished to go out. With you. If— if that's all right.

:allears: Folks, I do believe Sara has just been asked on a date. This update starts the gay off strong, and it continues for the rest of the scene.

Image We will make it a lovely day, then, because you and I will be part of it.
Image It was a pleasant day, for London. Clouded enough not to be overly warm, but without the blanket of fog and foul air that sometimes developed in the city streets.
Image If — if we are fortunate, perhaps we might see some Dragoons on patrol in the park.

The dragoons mentioned here have nothing to do with dragons (unlike in the popular PS1 game that co-opted the term), but instead are a historic type of heavy cavalry. Dragoons got their name from the "dragon" firearm they carried-- which was essentially a sawed-off blunderbuss. Traditionally a dragoon rode in to combat but dismounted to actually fight, but as time went on this became increasingly impractical and they were used more like traditional cavalry, shooting and using swords from horseback. They were at their peak in the 17th century, but the UK still has four regiments with the title dragoon today.

Image Her eyes warmed with remembrance.
Image Their uniforms are so bright. The red and gold makes any man look handsome, even if he has whiskers like a walrus. And the horses have high necks and beautiful, glossy coats. They're full of energy.
Image I... it makes me feel good, somehow, to see them — to think that they, and I, are in the same world and owe our loyalty to the same Queen.
Image Yes, that is how I felt sometimes when I saw Papa drill with his regiment. That I am proud to be a part of the British Empire.
Image Oh!

Image Sometimes, I think that... well, that if I were a boy, I might like to be a soldier. Then I could go on adventures in faraway places, like your papa. India, or even Africa. If I were in the cavalry, I would have a fine red uniform and a shining helmet and a sword, and I would get to ride all the time on a black charger.
Image I wouldn't feel so big and awkward all the time, then. I could feel strong. I think it might be nice, to protect people — to protect my country.
Image Sara was caught up in the vision.

Image Ermengarde hid her face behind her hands.
Image No, no, I don’t think that! That would never happen. Don't tease.
Image I am not teasing you. I think you would make a very good hero. You are kind, and that is the most important trait that a hero needs.
Image But —— do you really wish that you were a boy?
Image Oh... I don't know. Not really.
Image Besides, if I were a boy and a soldier, my father would still be disappointed in me.
Image (How sad it is, to forever feel that your father is not proud of you!)

Yeah, jeez. Poor Ermengarde. :smith:

Image Yes?
Image The next time... The next time that I go to visit my family, will you come with me? I'd like to be able to show you parts of England that aren't London.
Image Maybe we could even go and see my Aunt Eliza. The countryside is so much nicer than even the parks here. We could go through the woods and look for berries and mushrooms and...
Image She reined herself in.
Image I — you don't have to. Only if you wanted.


Image I would love to go the countryside with you.
Image She let go of Ermengarde then, and laughed, a gay bright sound that made the other girl smile to hear it.
Image To come all this way to England and then to see nothing but Miss Minchin's school! Surely that would not be right.
Image Oh, Sara! It will be lovely. Truly lovely, not lovely because it is the polite thing to say.

Image I am not sure. I have some dresses that are nicer than others, but nothing that is truly old. I could buy more clothes, but then they would be new.
Image Mariette says that I am growing a great deal right now, though, and that soon I will not fit into some of my frocks, so I suppose that I will have old clothes then.
Image You... you could borrow mine. If you wanted. If you outgrow something, then it might not fit you at all, but if I outgrow something, then for you it might be fine.
Image Thank you.

Image You see? You are very kind.
Image Ermengarde put her fingers against the soft curve of her cheek, where Sara's lips had touched, and smiled.


...Ahem. Now that we're all done squealing excitedly (unless that's just me), we can move on to the next scene.

Image Today I have arranged a special outing for your edification. We will be attending the British Museum of Natural History.

Image Ugh, I hope not. There's nothing edifying about plants.
Image It could be interesting to attend a museum of plants, with people who know all about them and can tell their stories...
Image You mean, gardeners?
Image Maybe we'll get to play in a garden?
Image Quiet now. Form up. Let's go.

Not sure why Lavinia is so down on gardeners (yes I do, it's because they're poor), but a trip to the museum sounds fun! The museum referred to here is quite new in the setting of our story, established only 7 years ago in 1881, and was then part of the British Museum, hence being called the British Museum of Natural History rather than its modern moniker of simply "Natural History Museum, London". I couldn't find a list of historical exhibits, but Wikipedia has a link to the original floorplan, which gives you an idea of what the girls would have been looking at historically.

Image It's going to eat me!
Image It can't eat you, Lottie, it's d- It's not a real dinosaur.
Image It's a former dinosaur.
Image It's dead.
Image It's going to fall on me!
Image I don't think it will fall... It's really rather interesting.

I don't think Lottie's in much of a state to be reassured by 'I think's, Sara.

Paleontology was something of a craze in the Victorian era, especially after Origin of Species came out in 1859. The T-Rex is anachronistic, though, as it was not discovered until 1902 and not named until 1905. As a side-note, if anyone is in the mood to read about a cool lady who helped found the field, look into Mary Anning.

Image It's disturbing — it's a monster.
Image It's marvellous.
Image Jessie shivered, and took Lottie's hand in hers.
Image Come on. Let's go find something to look at that isn't dead.
Image Um — I think that — everything in the museum may be...
Image Then we will look at the walls!

Hahaha, I love Jessie. She's got spunk.

Image You'll look at the exhibits with me, won't you, Sara?
Image Yes, of course.
Image Are you coming, Lavinia?
Image No — I want to look at this one a while longer.
Image I'll catch up with the two of you in a few minutes.
Image T-two?
Image You are here, aren't you?
Image Right.
Image Sara wondered if this was the first time that Lavinia had ever preferred Ermengarde's company to Jessie’s.

Probably. I think Lavinia's found her true love in the T-Rex, though, look at the stars in her eyes. She loves it so much that she forgot to be awful for a whole scene! A true accomplishment. It won't last.

Image Ah? Que se passe-t-il?
:words: What's going on?
Image It's all right. I'll get the door.
Image ...Lottie?
Image Sara-mamma!
Image The younger girl clung to Sara.
Image I had a bad dream and the monster was going to eat me and then I woke up and it was dark and — I thought I saw something! Bones, there were bones in my room, monster bones...

Yikes. Looks like the T-rex really did a number on her. She was maybe a bit young for the trip, to be fair. It's not like museums had kids' sections back then.

Image Mariette, where are my slippers?
Image The maid brought the fluffy white shoes for Sara to slip her feet into.
Image I will walk you back to your room and show you that it's safe.

Image You're not mad? I woke you up...
Image Well, I want to sleep, but you want to sleep too. And if you're too afraid, you can't sleep — but if I help you, then we both can.
Image Lottie blinked her eyes a few times, but said nothing.

:smith: I wonder how many times Lottie has been scared at night and needed comfort, but wasn't able to get it. Poor thing.

Image Right.
Image She paused at the door.
Image Sara-mamma?
Image I didn't really think there were bones in my room. I mean, I thought it, but I didn't really believe it was true... I knew that it wasn't... I just wanted to feel better.
Image I'm sorry.

I get this too, tbh. Sometimes if it's dark and I'm walking around my house it really feels like there's someone behind me. I know there isn't, but it doesn't make the feeling go away. I'm a big, brave girl so I can check for myself, but Lottie ran to Sara instead. Also, Lottie is so thrown by Sara's acceptance that she feels guilty about it. :smith:

Image Sometimes when you pretend things, even if you know behind the doors in your mind that they're not quite real, they still feel as if they were. It isn’t wrong to believe in what you pretend.
Image Lottie smiled.
Image I will pretend that I'm going to have good dreams.
Image That is a very nice thing to pretend I believe I will, too.
Image And with that, she returned to her bed.

If you pretend about the future, and then that future comes true, were you really pretending? :confused:

Anyway, sorry for the suuuper long delay on this update. If you want my excuses, they're continuing to hyperfocus on knitting as well as election stress. I never did stop thinking about the LP, though-- long waits lately or no, I don't think I'm in any real danger of abandoning it yet. Part of the issue is that it is a little tedious to read the scenes once when I take screenshots and then again when I'm putting together the update-- it makes it very easy to put off if I'm already itching to do something else. If any other screenshot LPers have some tips, I'd love to hear them.

Activity info is here and weekend selections are down below-- we do not have the stats necessary to hang out with Ermengarde, which is both sad because shit's finally starting to get gay up in here, and nice because we've been seeing a lot of her lately. Have a good one, and I'll see you next time!


That was very squeesworthy indeed :3: Well, maybe not the part where they were gushing about the British Empire, but I suppose that's realistic for upper-class girls of that time.

My votes: Read a Book, Read a Book, Play with Toys; and Jessie

Very much feeling that election stress, by the way. I'm not even from the US, but on election day (it was already the 4th of November over here) I purposefully avoided any news coverage and just did a lot of nonsense to distract myself. Makes me wonder how that one is going to be remembered once it's some historical distance away.
About ADHD tips, I don't really have any myself, but I've been meaning to check out this Twine, the bits of it I've seen sound helpful:

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