I’m very intrigued by the world building. You’ve established that there is a Known World, implying there is also and unknown/uncharted world. You establish that Shadowtown (and Aeolia, by extension) are relatively more to the north than other possible settings just by describing the citizens as pale in comparison to the Southerners and the Islanders. You make it clear that Shadowtown is not just literally in the shadow of Aeolia, but also figuratively too by explaining through the well-dressed boy that Aeolians are financially better off than Shadowtowners. You show that Shadowtown and Aeolia are connected not just due to geographical position, but also through the academy. Additionally, you tease curious players by implying that there is perhaps a third city also connected to the academy, leaving the reader to wonder if that city is under Shadowtown, over Aeolia, or in a separate location all together.
As for the characters, I did find them pretty interesting, especially the blind girl and the boy in white. Their personalities haven’t really been fleshed out beyond how they would treat a complete stranger, but even that is telling in each of their cases.
Ash seems like a no-nonsense, confrontational, and perhaps even temperamental type of person. Her name, her hair, and her personality all hint at her affinity to fire even before she shows you. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, this makes it easier for the player to understand who she is quickly and being able to easily remember her. On the other hand, some cynical readers may only see her as her archetype (the fire character) rather than see her as her own character.
A suggestion/idea I have for this is to perhaps eventually reveal that her name isn’t actually Ash, and that she changed it herself both as a means to keep a low profile and to reflect her abilities.
Alina comes off as a kind, good-humored character that is open with her emotions. She doesn’t seem to mind being blind, partially due to being used to it and having developed measures to mitigate her disadvantages, and partially due to the fact that she can see magic, her most intriguing quality. I look forward to see how she uses her abilities in the future.
In comparison to the other characters, I have trouble immediately telling what Richard’s personality is. He is well mannered, likely due to his upbringing, but he is also brusque and to the point. The most obvious thing I can tell is that he seems to be the most determined of the characters you meet, seeing as he threw away his old life and his relationship with his family to pursue the study of magic. This is reflected in his abilities as well. He is potentially the most able when it comes to magic, having been able to dabble in all four of the elements. Beyond that, we can only wait for further appearances with him before we can better understand his personality.
Rook’s personality evokes the calmness that would be expected of a mortician. He reflects the attitude that death is a natural part of life and is not bothered by it. His abilities as a necromancer play into this theme. He seems to reflect a wisdom beyond his years, though we have yet to see whether or not that is actually true.
All in all, he reminds me of the Grave Cleric in D&D. I’ve always considered this a cool theme, using necromancy not as a summoner type to attack enemies, but rather as a utility to protect the sanctity of life and death. I’m interested to see whether Rook will follow this pattern or whether he will forge his own path.
As a suggestion, I’d like to remind you that conversations are about giving and sharing information. In most cases, the MC does not share any info about themselves and instead only asks questions about the other characters. Of the four peers, the only one the MC actually has a give and take with is Ash, and that’s only if the MC knocked her over. Of course, I can understand why this is so, as the MC shares their abilities, their past, and their motivations with the headmaster. Even so, a bit of minor flavor text here and there would go a long way to making the conversations feel more mutual and less like interrogations.
All in all, I’m excited to see what comes next.