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The Witnesses



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Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:42 pm
TheSunderedSorcerer says...



Greetings! You must be one of the new mages. Welcome to the Interrealmal Magical Administration (IRMA) After being classed by our officials and receiving your accommodations, please go to one of the many Wandmakers or Staffcrafters and receive your magical vessel.

We understand that this is all new to you, what with all of you only recently discovering your magical potential, but we hope and know that you will excel in your studies and become successful mages in our interrealmal magical society.

We would like to ask that until you skilled in the arcane arts, you would not leave the Gateway, and under no circumstances use your magic before individuals not acquainted with the magical worlds.

The Background


Thirty years before the start of this SB’s events (which will be seen as the 13th of April 2017 in our realm ;-) ), a great Interrealmal magical war ravaged all the realms. Hundreds of mages, magical beings and non-magical individuals were killed, and several magical realms were severed from the others forever, as the liminal bridges between the realms were shattered, either by the choice of the mages from those realms to protect their realms from total destruction, or involuntarily, as a way of trying to contain several of the worst atrocities done and unleashed by the Adjudicators (the faction that started the war) from spreading.

Five years after the start of the war, a sorcerer named Deleagus challenged the three leaders of the Adjudicators. With the use of three ancient artifacts (a staff, leather bracer and belt to be precise), he defeated them, and in turn, ended the war. Unfortunately, unknowing to Deleagus, the three leaders had prepared a ritual before their deaths that would ring a magical bell and put all magic and those who wield it to sleep. The ritual thankfully was not entirely successful, since it stopped after twenty-five years.

The Tolling


The Tolling is the twin event that both start and ended the twenty-five years of slumber. Since the slumber was magical, all those affected did not age during this time, and most were shielded against non-magical threats (such as the weather, animals, other sentient beings not affected, etc) Thus, when the slumber ended, all the mages and magical beings who were affected woke up where they were twenty-five years prior, with no advancement in age.

The Gateway and IRMA

As has been hinted at in the above-mentioned information, this SB is set in multiple magical realms, including our own. In order to connect all these realms, a central magical realm simply known as the Gateway was formed, to and from which all other realms lead.

The Gateway is the location of most of the Wizard Academies, magical stores (such as Wandmakers, Potionmasters, General magical stores, etc), and the home of the Interrealmal Magical Administration (IRMA). Most mages (and non-magical individuals who have interaction/family in the magical world) reside in the Gateway in houses and estates (those who can afford those) or in the accommodation supplied by IRMA.

IRMA is the hub of all magical comings and goings. When mages register themselves and get classified (Wizards/Witches usually when they're nine, Sorcerers and other mages whenever they discover their magical potential), IRMA also supplies accommodation in the Gateway dome, a large magical building at the heart of the Gateway that has innumerable magical lodgings on all its floors. (I will explain the lodgings later)

The Classes of Mages


Now, unlike the Rowlingian magical world, mages aren’t just classified as Wizards and Witches, and terms such as Pure Blood, Half-blood and Muggle-born don’t exist. Instead, there are different classes of mages, with several main, over-arching classes and then the various subclasses.

Wizards/Witches

Spoiler! :
Mages classified as Wizards or Witches are, in Rowlingian terms, the Pure Bloods and/or Half Bloods. Wizards and Witches aren’t humans who possess a gene for magic, but instead a subspecies of humans (Homo Magicalis, if you like) Thus, they may look identical to us humans, but every part of their being is magical. Also, if a Wizard or Witch were to have children, all their direct descendants will also be Wizards and Witches (thus no such individuals as Squibs in the Wizarding families, since the magic is hereditary in the H. Magicalis species)

Wizards and Witches are usually more influential than other mages due to all Wizards and Witches being related to at least one of the Twelve Great Families of Wizards and Witches. Wizards and Witches tend to receive education in Academies. Wizards and Witches use wands to cast their spells.

Wizard and Witch classes are determined by their family tree.

First Class- A Wizard/Witch is classified as being first class when both of their parents are at least 1st or 2nd Class Wizards.

Second Class- A Wizard/Witch is classified as being second class when 1) One of their parents is non-magical and the other is a 1st Class Wizard/Witch, or 2) Both parents are Wizards/Witches, but at least one is a 3rd Class Wizard/Witch, 3) One of their parents is magical yet not a Wizard/Witch (thus Sorcerers, Witnesses, Shifters, etc) and the other is a 1st, 2nd or 3rd Class Wizard/Witch.

Third Class- A Wizard/Witch is classified as being third class when one of their parents is non-magical and the other is a 2nd or 3rd Class Wizard/Witch

The Twelve Families

- Agatis- The most expansive of the 12 Families. They are the family least concerned about keeping the Wizarding Families “pure”, and thus have the most 2nd and 3rd Class Wizards/Witches (due to their relations with non-magical individuals and non-wizard magical individuals) They are essentially the Weasleys of our world, and openly despised by some of the other families. Defining physical features are slightly tanned skin-colors and light hair.

- Blearne- This Family is one of the more influential of the 12 Families. They’re essentially like the popstars or famous actors, with their family delivering at least one famous witch or wizard with each generation. Their influence is interrealmal, with their Family having estates or wealth in almost every realm still connected to the Gateway. Defining features are a strong jawline and bony facial features.

- Bonnelle- The saying goes “If you want your children to grow up well, you need to marry a Bonnelle.” Their Family is most renowned for the sheer attraction and beauty of their descendants, both physically and intellectually. They’re a proud Family though, and don’t too often mingle with non-magical individuals (they tolerate non-wizards like sorcerers, etc) Defining features are raven-black hair (usually flowing and long in both men and women), ever-changing eye colors, and a fair to pale skintone. (Their name is a contraction of the French words “bonne” and “elle”, with the elle referring to family being female in French ;-) )

- Dimaentis- This Family is renowned for being the architects of the Gateway, planning and overseeing construction of not only the IRMA, but the Dome, the Academy and several of the other Families’ estates. They are on good terms with nearly all magical folk, and use this to ensure that their business remains their own (while knowing everyone else’s) Defining features are the tall, muscular build of both the Wizards and the Witches in their family.

- Egdomai- This is one of the three “modest” families, being quite small in number, and owning no estates at all. Instead they live in a medium sized manor close to the Academy, where several of their descendants work as Professors in Astrology or Magical History. Defining features are the extremely pale blonde hair (some even born with white hair) and deep blue eyes their descendant have.

- Joren- An extremely secretive Family, their one estate is so heavily protected with protection spells and enchantments that no one has ever seen it without a formal invitation. However, it is a common (yet unspoken) opinion among the more influential families (especially the Blearnes and Turquots) that this is merely a façade to seem powerful when they are in fact simply bootlickers. They are also the Family with the highest number of elves and fae in their Family.

- Kilderan- This Family is known for its hunger for knowledge and intellectual prowess. They often work as Masters or Professors at the Academy, and have held the Headmaster’s post 24% of the times since the Academy was first instituted (that is the most for any single Family) Defining features are their piercing green eyes and tanned skintone.

- Laciturne- The Laciturnes are the first of the wizarding families to “die out”, with no remaining male wizard to continue the Family line (the only ones left are Arabelle and her mother)

- Mumford- This is one of the two powerhouse Families, being extremely influential in the IRMA and magical-non-magical relations. They are wealthy and powerful, but are closely connected with the non-magical individuals in the realms and assisting in the easing of tensions between the two different “worlds”. Defining features are the auburn-colored hair and tall build of their descendants.

- Olineo- This Family is known as the “Nomad family”, being another of the “modest families with no estate. They are renowned for their adventurers and courage to enter dangerous realms, and are thus usually the magical officials in these desolate realms (Arabelle’s mother’s maiden name was Olineo) Defining features are grey to silver eyes, and lithe builds.

- Turquot- The second of the two powerhouse Families, and rivals of the Mumfords. They are extremely influential in the IRMA, having held the Head chair of the IRM Council 31% of the times since the IRMA was founded (the most in any Family) They are also closely associated with Adjudicators (and feared because of it), as one of the Adjudicator leaders was a Turquot, a wizard named Olindar Turquot. They cannot be taken before the Magical courts of it though, since they are so powerful (and since the High Judge is Olindar’s niece) They also openly despise any non-magical individuals who aren’t subservient to them (basically the Malfoys of our world, but more openly cruel)

- Villisolm- This is the final of the “modest” families, the Villisolms are most renowned for their enchanters and illusionists, with the inventor of the communication enchantment (as mentioned in the DT), being from their Family. They are closely associated with non-magical and non-wizard individuals, and tend to be larger than the other Families (except for the Agatises, they are still the largest family) Defining features are the golden hair and hazel eyes of nearly all their descendants.

The IRM Council is mostly run by representatives of each of the Families, with sorcerers and their ilk being in a minority in the Council. The IRM Council are essentially the board of the IRMA, although there are five subcouncils (mostly in charge of the various “departments” of the IRMA, some over multiple) who offer their support to the councilors to pass bills, receive votes for Head Chair, etc

The current Chair is, however a Sorceress 1st Class and not associated with any of the Families or subcouncils (much to the frustration of the Turquots and Blearnes) She became the Head Chair in the vote immediately after the Tolling, since the previous Chair was killed (the Wizard Johass Mumford, closest ally of the Sorcerer Deleagus, whose death inspired him to duel the leaders of the Adjudicators)


Sorcerers/Sorceresses

Spoiler! :
Mages classified as Sorcerers or Sorceresses are individuals who have strong magical potential but are not the children of Wizards or Witches. They have a natural magical energy in them, but unlike Wizards or Witches, they need to discover their magic, as theirs is not hereditary but rather intellectual. Since their magic is not hereditary, their descendants won’t necessarily be mages (which is why there are indeed non-magical individuals living freely in the magical realms)

Sorcerers and Sorceresses are often respected for their raw magical skill (even if they suck at spells, their raw magic is strong), and since their magic is more linked to their minds than their being, their magic is also affected by their personality and emotions. Sorcerers and Sorceresses tend to receive education as Apprentices to more advanced Sorcerers/Sorceresses, and more often than not are only two or three who learn together. Sorcerers and Sorceresses use staffs (or staves, if you’re one of those people) to cast spells.

Sorcerer and Sorceress classes are determined by the age at which they discovered their potential and start their tuition, or by other specifications as subclasses.

First Class- A Sorcerer/Sorceress is classified as being first class if they discovered their magical potential before the age of ten (the youngest recorded Sorcerer 1st Class started tuition at four years old)

Second Class- A Sorcerer/Sorceress is classified as being second class if they discovered their magical potential between and including the ages of ten and twenty-five (most Sorcerers are 2nd Class)

Third Class- A Sorcerer/Sorceress is classified as being third class if they discovered their magical potential after the age of twenty-five (the oldest recorded Sorcerer 3rd Class started tuition at fourty-three years old)

Wandmakers/Staffcrafters- Wandmakers and Staffcrafters are similar to Sorcerers, and get classified accordingly, yet where Sorcerers’ magic pulses through their entire body, a Wandmaker or Staffcrafter’s magical potential is almost entirely in their hands. This ensures that no wands or staffs choose them as wielder, but makes casting any more advanced spells difficult.

Griftomages- Griftomages, known as Grifts, are similar to Sorcerers and Wandmakers, and get classified accordingly, however, their magic pulses mainly through their skin and eyes. This allows them to alter their appearance according to anyone they have encountered, as long as that individual is equal or smaller in size to them. They are also the only “Sorcerer”-like mage who use wands instead of staffs.

Shifters- Shifters are similar to Grifts, but instead of being able to change into another humanoid individual, Shifters can change into animals of equal or smaller size. They are not classified like Sorcerers, but instead by the amount of animals they are able to shift into (1st Class being over six, 2nd Class between two and six, and 3rd Class two or less)


There is a third major Type of Mage, but I am keeping them a surprise (For now… ;-) ) This I am doing just to ensure that not everyone immediately jumps to be one of them. As the SB progresses, they will play an integral in the forwarding of the SB.

Also note that these are merely the types of mages, but the race is entirely irrelevant. You can be a humanoid elephant and still be a Wizard 1st Class, if you can prove your magical lineage, etc (Unlike the Rowlingian Wizarding World, no races are banned from using magic, only certain types of magic are banned)

The Magic


So, just like in the Rowlingian Wizarding World (You will see that I mention Rowling a lot, mostly because this SB’s world is more similar to her world than other famous fantasy worlds, and I don’t want any confusion between the two distinct worlds), the main form of magic is spell-based magic. The other forms are sigil-based, ritual and raw magic. Since I haven’t really refined the other forms yet, our characters will only be taught in and use spell-based magic.

Here is the link to the WFP with all the spells I have thus far (this list is still very preliminary, so excuse the low amount of spells :D ) This WFP will be where I will add all the agreed upon and thought of lore. That way you guys can also add your own ideas for contemplation and expansion of the lore. (The password is "oukleo") Click This Please

Just a note- killing a person is still illegal, but only one spell that does harm is illegal on living beings (that being the Tearing Jinx) Thus you might kill someone with the “Killing Curse” (until I have decided on a better name that is what I call it), if you can justify your cause for use (self-defence, etc) in front of a magical court.

Wands and Staffs


Seeing as this information is required when you make your characters, I have to add it here for ease of access. (I apologize in advance for the massive Spoilers. Please don’t have all open at once) I will first explain each of the two vessels, so you can know which two spoilers to open (depending on whether you wish to be a Sorcerer or Wizard)

Wands

Wands are the main magical vessel of Wizards and Grifts. They consist out of three components: The wand wood, the core rune, and the pulse rune (no core, like Rowling…) Length and flexibility are of no concern when choosing a wand. Wizards/ Witches are usually only able to use wands with similar pulse runes, however, depending on the wood, this may vary.

Staffs

Staffs are the main magical vessel of Sorcerers. They consist out of three components: the shaft wood, the lode stone, and the core rune. Sorcerers can use any other staff, if the staff allow them to use them. With staffs, the lode stones act like the pulse runes of wands.

Since the descriptions of the woods, core and pulse runes and lode stones is over 3000 words in total, I couldn't possibly add them to this intro post to scare you all away before this SB began ;-). That is why I uploaded them as a Google Drive document (I will place it in a WFP too if someone can't access the Drive link) For your own sakes, you will only have to go through this info when determining your character's wand/staff (unless you're a Wandmaker or Staffcrafter, since they don't use wands or staffs) From then on this info will not be overly necessary, so no need to be to dissuaded.

Here is the link to the info in my Google Drive. If you can't download the file to your computer, I will add it to WFP for you ;-) Over Here Please


The Main story arc


So, this is the basic run-down of the main story arc.

Our characters are new mages in the magical realms who have to learn to use magic and do other magical stuff (like Potionry and Poisoncraft, Beast-care/-hunting, enchanting, etc) We will all be living in the Gateway dome (along with hundreds of other mages going about their daily lives) (also, even if you are a Wizard 1st Class or have rich parents, all first year mages have to live in the Dome, close to the academies or their various masters from whom they receive apprenticeships.

Also, the Tolling and the Adjudicators (who have dispersed/reintegrated themselves into society) will play a crucial role in the story/ development of our characters, but that I leave up to your own imaginations (maybe you're the child of an Adjudicator, or get contacted by one, or your mentor/masters get you involved, etc)

Regarding our lodgings in the Dome- Each lodging starts off essentially like a straightforward room (bed, closet, bathroom, chair, desk, candle light, etc), but is somewhat like your own personal room of requirement, as it will adjust its size and fit-ins according to your desire (like if you want a bookshelf, it will appear after a while, etc) However, only basic items/ rooms get added; any books or special or expensive items must be brought in by yourself.
Each lodging also has an enchanted mirror portraying the "personality" of the room itself (as your reflection, since you and the room are linked) This persona is just there to oversee your room (or argue with you, go visiting other mirrors in other rooms, relax in the mirror image of your room, be annoying, be helpful, etc) I just thought it'd be interesting to have your lodgings react to you and act "normal" with the other lodgings.

The Character slots, profiles and stuff


I am keeping this team relatively average sized, and not just for management purposes. In the case of not enough people joining, you may ask for another spot (max of 2 per user)

1) Arabelle Laciturne (TheSunderedSorcerer)- Witch 1st Class
2) Pharah Zahra (Omnom)- Sorceress 2nd Class
3) Ari Lodinnsson (Vellichor)- Shifter 2nd Class
4) North (ChildOfNowhere)- Sorcerer 2nd Class
5) Jake Harrison (XxXTheSwordsmanXxX)- Staffcrafter 1st Class
6) Uriah Nedelle (AstralHunter)- Shifter 1st Class
7) Karasam (TheSunderedSorcerer)- Griftomage 2nd Class
8 ) Edrea Turquot (XxXTheSwordsmanXxX)- Witch 1st Class
9) Cara Dimaentis (ChildOfNowhere)- Witch 2nd Class
10) Jennifer Olineo (Vellichor)- Witch 1st Class
11) Dagon Kalula (AstralHunter)- Sorcerer 1st Class

Major NPCs

- Gateway Academy
    - Headmaster- Arcaeail Ignatis (Grift 1st Class)
    - Standard Spellcasting-
    - Enchanting and Illusions-
    - Potionry-
    - Poisoncraft- Professor Raven Bonnelle (Witch 2nd Class)
    - Magical Creatures-
    - Magical History-
    - Astrology-
    - Sigilweaving-
    - Non-magical Education-

- Masters
    - Master Liana D'guenes- Sorceress 1st Class- Sigilweaving
    - Grawie Locar- Sorcerer 2nd Class- Enchanting & Illusions
    - Gregor Altan Mathis- Sorcerer 1st Class- Standard and Advanced Spells
    - Thirrin Astlyrra- Shifter 3rd Class- Potionry


Character template
Code: Select all
[b][u]Name:[/u][/b]

[b][u]Gender:[/u][/b]

[b][u]Age:[/u][/b] (note, if you choose to be a Wizard, you do not have to be a first year and thus 9. Max year of education may be 7th year though... Sorcerers' age must please fit with their Classification though, so...)

[b][u]Mage Class:[/u][/b] (please be specific, ex. Wizard 1st Class, Shifter 2nd Class, etc. the number always comes after the type)

[b][u]Race:[/u][/b] (note- if you decide to be a non-human that could not easily conceal themselves in our world's population, like goblins, fae, centaurs, etc, please supply from which realm they come)

[b][u]Realm of Origin:[/u][/b] (You may make up your own realm, excluding our world, but please add a brief description of 1-4 lines so we know a bit about your RoO)

[b][u]Appearance:[/u][/b] (attire not acquired, since that obviously changes, except if you have any specific accessories you always wear/ keep with you)

[b][u]Wand/Staff specifications:[/u][/b] (for this, please carefully decide using the Drive link I provided at the Wand/Staff description. Also a description of how it looks please, since they aren't just straight, boring sticks)

[b][u]Brief Background:[/u][/b] (Note- All Wizards were born pre-Tolling, since they could not have been born after all Wizards/Witches fell asleep. For Sorcerers and their ilk, a description of your life pre-magic please)

[b][u]Personality of your Lodging Mirror:[/u][/b] (Note- I don't ask for your personality, since no one knows another person's personality when they first meet. However, since the Lodging Mirror is unique from you and thus not always like you, I would like to know how your Lodging Mirror would be like)

[b][u]Random Question!:[/u][/b][i]Which of these best describes the ambition/driving force for your characters actions?[/i] (Leave only the one applicable) 1)a hunger for power, 2)a thirst for knowledge, 3)a search for love, 4)a quest for fame, 5)a desire to protect


The Other stuff you need to know

    - Even if this SB is taking place in modern times in our world, some realms may still be medieval/ renaissance,etc. Everything in the Gateway is like our 18th Century Europe was, so that clothing style, architecture, etc

    - Due to the above-mentioned point, no technology from more advanced periods (ours), may enter the Gateway (lest you face the magical court), or leave to less advanced periods (like pocket watches to a medieval realm, etc)

    - Spells are not Latin-rooted like Rowling's, but Classic Greek-rooted. Thus, if you wish to suggest a new spell, and you wish to name it yourself, that is preferably the angle you should take ;-)

    - I will later add the Potionry and Poisoncraft WFP, but this one will be free to be edited and added to by all as inspiration strikes. Other team members can still veto a new plant/ creature/ reagent though, so don't go to zany.

    - Just a note about Wandmakers and Staffcrafters- they may seem the weakest, but another benefit of having most of their magic focused in their hands is that 1) the can sense magic in any item with their hands, 2) not be overwhelmed when picking up magical items with dangerous magic cast/ enchanted on them.

    - In the Gateway Dome,each floor has an identical cleaning lady, albeit each with a different personality. These are that floor's personality, and are best left not insulted or pranked, lest you want surprises to appear in your lodgings.

Q&A about specifics

Spoiler! :
Questions by @Omnom
-So you said the war happened thirty years ago, does that include the 25 years all magical users were asleep?
    -yes, the thirty years includes the 25 years of slumber

-Did all magical machinery stop? Like was this a spell that froze time for all of these people?
    -yes, everything magic related stopped. Everyone who was magical fell asleep wherever they were (most were with their families hiding out the war, or protecting ancient artifacts/buildings) For the non-magical individuals living in the Gateway, this was chaotic at first, but most were able to survive around the sleeping mages and the not-functioning magical items.

-Do the mages know they were asleep for 25 years? Or do they just wake up and continue like the war just ended?
    -yes, everyone knows they fell asleep (The Tolling started with three long, eerie notes from the Bell of Apoktheai, with the words of the ritual "May the sands of time wash over all, and makes our worlds undone"; fortunately one of the three leaders had doubts about the ritual, and this doubt made the Tolling fail somewhat)
    However, since the Adjudicators knew that with those words they had lost their leadership and would soon be defeated, many of them went into hiding when they woke up, or reintegrated themselves into society (like Lucius Malfoy did after the 2nd Wizarding War) Thus the war is "won", but not officially over.

-Was the IRM created before or after the war? Were they affected by the spell? If so, how is the rehabilitation going from the aftereffects of the war?
    -IRMA was founded before the war to manage the mages from all the various realms and establishing a centralized system of magic, etc between realms. They were also responsible for keeping the different realms safe from the Adjudicators. The Magical Courts are also their responsibility.
    Since most of their staff are magical, IRMA was all but shutdown during the Tolling, with the non-mages simply keeping everything clean and undisturbed by thieves or pests.
    Our characters are literally the first new mages to be registered, so the IRMA will still be in disarray and trying to restore order after the war during the SB.

-Was the Gateway affected? Will we be seeing the aftermaths of the war on a daily basis, and how severe, since we're in a school and it's in the middle of the magical realms.
    -The Gateway, as the central realm between all the other realms, was the main objective of the Adjudicators to have control over. Since I just mentioned that our characters are there almost immediately after the Tolling, the Gateway will still be scarred by the past war (the worst damage was repaired by the non-mages in the 25 years of slumber, so the most building are restored, at least) We will be seeing the effects of the war on a daily basis, not only in the Gateway itself, but in the people we meet and interact with as well (since we will obviously be living in the Dome, among other mages and non-mages who experienced the war)

Questions by @ChildOfNowhere

-They need wands/staves for magic, but are they all still able to use magic without them? Like, can a wizard or a sorcerer use sigils or runes or words or whatever to make magic work without the wand/staff? Maybe the less focused/raw magic types?
    - Sigil-based magic and ritual magic are the only two legal forms of magic (although heavily limited through laws and regulations) that do not necessarily require wands/staffs. The other, less focused form is Raw Magic, but like I said, that is kinda illegal for daily use. ;-)

-how does the school look at rulebreaking? Do they have a way of telling when someone's lying about something, or when someone's dabbling in some forbidden stuff?
    - Well, other than the Lodging Mirror and the Floor Maids keeping an eye on any illicit activities in the Lodgings, the IRMA have officials who are responsible for regulating trouble-makers and the breaking of rules/laws. There is no Trace as in HP, so the characters are free to go to places/meetings of ill repute, but the general public and magical educators are not too kind to rulebreakers.
Last edited by TheSunderedSorcerer on Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:34 am, edited 4 times in total.
I used to Wander the realms of this site, being a Wizard like only I can be.
After that I settled down, to learn the art of Conjuring Clocks.
For a time then I dabbled in the Intellectual art of Illusions.
  





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Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:11 pm
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TheSunderedSorcerer says...



Arabelle Laciturne

A House Divided


The sky was grey and foreboding rain as Arabelle and her mother stopped outside the Gregorovich bookstore close to the outskirts of Oxford. Their chauffeur, Thomas, climbed out and opened the Lady Arienne’s door before proceeding around and doing the same for Arabelle. Thomas had worked for the Laciturne family since he was twenty-nine years old, but was now closer to the age of fifty-four.

The outside of the bookstore was quite inconspicuous, blending in with the surrounding graffiti-covered buildings to become nearly unnoticeable to any respectable individual. The glass store windows were faded and seemingly not cleaned in a while, and the books on display all seemed dull and grey through it. As Arabelle and her mother walked up to the door (opened by Thomas, of course) Arabelle’s eyes could at first not pierce the musky air hanging inside the shop.

Inside, books were packed in dangerously tall piles next to overflowing bookshelves. To Arabelle the piles and shelves seemed more like a strange labyrinth than a bookstore, but she kept this thought to herself as the bookkeeper came shuffling in, arms packed with books.

The bookkeeper’s old, turning blind eyes scrutinized Arabelle, her mother and Thomas for a few moments before putting the books down on a dust-layered counter. She started shuffling into the backroom of the store, and Arabelle’s mother gestured for her to follow. Thomas waved and smiled a goodbye as Arabelle entered the dark backroom.
Here, the bookkeeper led them to an old-looking door behind a cart packed with books. She moved it aside and inserted three keys into the door.

“Welcome back to the Gateway, Lady Laciturne,” the old bookkeeper said in a raspy voice as she removed the keys and opened the door. As Arabelle and her mother stepped through and the bookkeeper closed the door, the young witch and her mother moved quickly down a short, candlelit corridor. Here they opened another door, and stepped into the Gateway.

They stepped out into what seemed to be the main road towards the IRMA headquarters. All around were dozens of shops, selling books, wands, staffs, cauldrons, reagents, and many other things. The street was also bustling with life, as mages of all races went about their business or entered the various homes perked up between the stores.

“Come dear, before we get you registered we need to go get you a wand,” her mother said, gesturing to one of the Wandmaker shops on the other side of the street. As they started making their way through the throng, Arabelle heard the door from which they just came close as (most likely) another mage stepped into the Gateway from their world.

A soft bell rang as her mother opened the door to Hamrich’s Wandmakers. A scrawny young boy (presumably the apprentice of the actual Wandmaker) quickly climbed down from a small shelf-ladder close-by, nearly falling over a table stacked with wandcases as he hurried to greet the customers.

“H-h-hamrich’s Wandmakers,” he said in a squeaky voice, “how may I-I be of assistance?”

“Boy! Let me do the talking before you burst an artery or something,” the gruff, low voice of a stocky Dwarf said as he came through one of the doors leading to the workshop, “I apologize, the boy is still in shock after the… Lady Laciturne! An honour. I am Hamrich, Wandmaker and Master.” The Dwarf said the last part with a bow.

“And this must be the beautiful Arabelle,” he said, turning to Arabelle, “It is not often that I receive such fine patrons. Boy, I can feel you gawking at her. Please go clean your workbench before you make a fool of yourself. Good. Now where was I?”

“A wand for my daughter?” Arabelle’s mother said patiently.

“Of course!” Hamrich gestured to Arabelle to step forward. “Please hold out your dominant hand for me. Don’t worry, I won’t bite. Usually,” He said grinning through his black beard.

As Arabelle did what he asked, he took her right hand in his left and closed his eyes. He muttered to himself for a few moments, frowning and then smiling as he opened his eyes. He let go of her hand and went over to one of the shelves and picked a seemingly random case from the shelf. He opened it, scrutinized the wand for a moment before handing it to Arabelle.

“Apple with Ansuz core and Hagalaz pulse. Give it a flurry at that statue there,” he said pointing at a wooden bust of a Dwarf. Arabelle gave it a flick, but to her (and almost certainly Hamrich’s) shock, the bust burst into purple flames. The Wandmaker quickly to the wand from Arabelle and snapped his fingers, stopping the flames and leaving an unscathed bust.

“Quite peculiar. The core seems right, but not the wood and definitely not the pulse,” he said, putting the wand case back in its place. “Let’s try this again.”

After two more failed attempts, both ending in purple flames, Hamrich finally got it right at, with the bust bursting into green flames.

“You were a tricky one to determine, my dear,” the Wandmaker said, walking behind the counter and counting the payment Arabelle’s mother gave. “But then again, now it seems so obvious that that should’ve been your wand all along. I mean, how did I ever think you to be an Apple? Haha.”

Arabelle’s mother led them out of the shop and into the steady stream towards the IRMA. They had to stop several times as many young (and some old) mages sought her autograph or to greet her and ask when her next book would be published. However, despite these delays, they still arrived at the front steps of the IRMA in fifteen minutes.

“Lady Laciturne! Lady Laciturne!” a high, lyrical voice called out as they passed the statue of a marble unicorn on the IRMA steps. Looking up, they saw the tall figure of Councillor Yamis Joren, a light elf from a realm Arabelle has never heard of. As they neared him, Arabelle could see an upset look on his face, and his voice seemed just as upset.

“Lady Laciturne, we realize that you have your daughter to attend to, as well as your journey to the Ioranes realm to work on your new book, but this matter cannot wait!” he said, trying to both speak audibly and keep his voice down to not be overheard by passers-by.

“What matter could be more important than my daughter’s registration?” Lady Laciturne asked with a hint of impatience.

“Oh, it’s that… that damnable Non-Magical Council of Gateway, that’s what,” he replied quickly, “They are threatening the very balance of order, and the IRM Council is requesting the presence of the heads of each of the Twelve Families. Since you are the only remaining legitimate Laciturne left, we require you, my Lady.”

Arabelle’s mother looked deeply infuriated by Councillor Joren, but said coolly: “And my daughter?”

Councillor Joren glanced down at Arabelle before looking at his pocket-watch and saying, “She’s old enough, she can manage herself, can’t she? All she has to do is go to the registration offices and register her wand, be registered and then go her Lodging in the Dome. Is that so hard?”

“You are really testing my patience Joren,” Lady Laciturne said before turning to Arabelle and bending down to kiss her cheek. “Will you be alright on your own?”

“Yes mother,” Arabelle said, before asking, “What of my luggage? And my books?”

“Thomas has already arranged for some of the other servants to get your luggage to your Lodgings once they know what the specific number is. I will come over to greet you before my trip, okay?”

As Arabelle’s mother and Councillor Joren walked briskly up the steps, Arabelle caught the glimpse of a strange symbol tattooed on the heel of his left leg, concealed mostly by his billowing cloak.
Spoiler! :
bannershape_11.png


Arabelle proceeded up the few remaining steps and through the large Dragonwood doors leading into the hexagonal main hall, upheld by six identical pillars standing four stories high in the six corners. She then went down many corridors and up various flights of stairs before she reached the IRMA mage registration offices. The offices has a welcoming and warm atmosphere, with the wall lined with several paintings and the floor carpeted a warm red.

She waited for several minutes before entering one of the offices occupied by an elderly human lady behind a desk covered in trinkets and small ornaments. On her way in, she accidentally bumped shoulders with a mage slightly older than her who had presumably also just been registered.

Going through the necessary procedures, Arabelle’s wand and herself were registered within ten minutes, and her Lodgings were allocated to her (floor five of the Dome, room 29 out of 120) She then proceeded to the Dome, where, unbeknownst to her as of yet, she would meet individuals with whom she would alter the course of the magical world forever.

Spoiler! :
I made several scenes here in which your characters could have participated or start their entry post. A note on the entrances from other realms, even if there is only one entrance in the Gateway itself to a realm, in that realm there may be dozens of entry points, all leading to the same exit in the Gateway ;-)
I used to Wander the realms of this site, being a Wizard like only I can be.
After that I settled down, to learn the art of Conjuring Clocks.
For a time then I dabbled in the Intellectual art of Illusions.
  





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XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Jake Harrison


Jake didn't know why he was being brought here. It had been four months since he woke up in that hospital room and now he was here. This alley was dirty and smelled awful. Not the sort of place that his parents would be caught dead in. But the truth was that he didn't mind. The entire trip here had been...peaceful. For a long time there had only been yelling. Bills this and damage that. Mother and Father at each other's throats. But the entire trip here, no one said a word. They just packed Jake's things into a suitcase, the kind with the wheels on the bottom so that it doesn't have to be carried, and piled into the car. The drive had taken them three hours. Three hours of silence. No one spoke. Jake barely breathed, afraid that just the sound of his breath would shatter the peace.

But now that he was in this place, this alley, he was starting to feel anxious. He had timidly asked where they were going when the car had stopped in front of the dirty corridor, but no one answered him. They just continued walking and stopped in front of a large warehouse door that slowly slid open. Just inside was an older man with a warm smile as he greeted the pair. They didn't respond.

His father set the suitcase down for Jake to take and his mother put a letter into his hand. "Listen carefully," his mother said in a cold tone. "You are to go straight to the headmaster of the academy. No dawdling. No distraction. Repeat."

Jake quickly spoke up as he took the letter. "Go straight to the headmaster. No dawdling. No distraction," he said in an almost fearful voice. His mother nodded and turned with her husband to return to their car.

"You ain't even gonna give him a hug goodbye?" the man asked in shock that parents could be so cold. "Jeez. They always that harsh?"

"No," Jake said quietly. "Normally they're yelling at one another." His eyes were glued onto the way that his father now had his arm around his mother. He had never seen him hold her like that before. Jake pried his eyes from his leaving parents and looked to the scruffy man.

"Well, let's hope that you have a better time at The Gateway," the man said as he ushered Jake inside.

"The Gateway?" he asked quietly.

"Good grief, didn't your parents tell you? You're headed to The Gateway. The academy of magic to learn the proper way to use your magic. So what do you do?"

"I....I burn things," Jake said fidgeting. He didn't like talking about it. He didn't want to learn to control it. He just wanted it gone. But maybe his parents were trying to help him stop burning things. To be a better son. Then they would approve of him. He would study hard for them.

The man opened a door hidden behind a large sheet with a wide smile. "Well...good luck. I hope to see you again. Just keep going until and go through the next door."

Jake quietly headed down the strange corridor. The plastic wheels of his suitcase grating on the stone as he walked. Then came the door. It looked old but the metal of the handle almost seem to glitter as he slowly pushed the door open. Beyond the door he saw the massive street of shops that were bustling around with people of all kinds.

If Jake was honest with himself, he was scared. The people that he saw here looked frightening. But then again...he had burned a girl...maybe he belonged here. He shook his head. He would get good grades and he would learn to hide his abilities so that he could get approval from his parents.

Just in front of him was a woman and her daughter headed into a shop labeled "Hamrich's Wandmakers" in bright gold letters. The things he was seeing made a large grin spread on his face.

"What a place to explore," he said in excitement. He quickly caught himself. He could feel himself on the verge of igniting. He couldn't do that...this would be a bad place to do that. He also heard his mother's instructions echoing in his head. "Go straight to the headmaster. No dawdling. No distractions."

He took the letter out of his jacket and held it tightly with his right hand. It would be a reminder to him of what he needed to do. The large building at the center should be it. It looked a lot like the giant universities that his father said he was supposed to go to if he had been..."normal." But that didn't matter now. He would prove that he could be normal...he just had to.

Hurrying through the crowd to the academy grounds he rushed into the main building. He stopped by the woman at the reception area and leaned up a little to look over the desk. "Um...e..excuse me?" he asked in a soft voice.

"Yes, can I help you?" the woman responded, looking over her glasses to Jake.

"I...I need to see the headmaster."

"If you are here for registration then you need to first acquire either a wand or staff and then head to the registration on the other side of the courtyard."

"I....I don't really know why...I'm here," he said quietly. His fingers playing with the letter, making the paper crinkle. He quickly held it up. "I...I was told to take this to the headmaster as soon as I got here. No dawdling. No distractions."

The woman could see that Jake was trying very hard not to be a bother, but he had a mission and he was going to see it through. "What's your name, hun?"

"Jake Harrison."

The woman seemed to recognize the name and nodded. "Well I think the headmaster is in his office. Let's go take a look," she said as she stood up and walked with Jake through the maze of corridors. Jake was amazed. The academy had looked massive from the outside and it looked absolutely endless on the inside.

"Please wait here," the woman requested as she motioned from him to take a seat. Giving a few knocks on the door she stepped in. Her eyes feel on the headmaster, still at his desk working on paperwork, as was the job of most headmasters.

"I'm sorry to intrude, but there is a boy here to see you and I really think you need to talk to him. His name is Jake Harrison. If I'm not mistaken, he is the boy we have been sending requests to but his parents were against him coming here, until now it seems. He's here with a hand written letter with strict instructions to come directly to you. Should I bring him in?"
Last edited by XxXTheSwordsmanXxX on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  





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ChildOfNowhere says...



North
*

It took him a few minutes to figure out where he was when he woke up -- and even then, his best guess was a town, by the sense of it in one of the realms of humans, and more specifically a neighbourhood most people with common sense would avoid without protection of magic. He was cold, too. He still had his clothes, but his coat was gone, and along with it the bag with all of his belongings. He felt a pang of sorrow about losing some of the trinkets he'd collected on the road with his father and carried around since; he thought of tracking down the people who took them and recovering his possessions, but he knew it would've been a fool's errand. If his thieves weren't mages, they'd had plenty of time to rob him and disappear to any of the infinite number of realms around them. If they were mages, as much as he hated to admit it, he wouldn't stand a chance against them. Yet.
So he settled, instead, for continuing with his initial plan: he'd go through the administration, get his staff and learn proper magic, and find a way to free his father. Maybe then, they can visit this world together, and give the thieves their due. The thought brought a smirk to his face.

At first sight, Gateway reminded him of a beehive. People -- mages, some alone, others with groups of friends or family members -- strolled around like dancers, entering and exiting endless shops in what seemed like almost choreographed patterns. He walked down the street slowly. Enough so to catch sight of different stores around him, but calmly and confidently enough to appear like a person who knows what he's doing there and how to go about things. Admitting that he knew nothing about the procedure, or directions for that matter, would mean asking people for help, and that would mean owing favours. Admitting, also, that he had no money to his name and no belongings other than what he could be seen wearing, could be nothing but a weakness.
For a while, he wandered aimlessly, catching bits and pieces of various conversations around him. A young wizard argued with his sister over which wands were the most powerful, waiting for their friend to come out of a bookstore so they could go get their wands together. Across the street from them, an owl flew to a balcony and turned into a middle-aged woman, yawned and entered her home. In front of a tailor's shop, a couple of students gave him a curious look. As their eyes met, one of the students looked away, and the other gawked and started whispering quickly to her friend.
He looked away from them. Of course, everyone who knew of the Ascari could recognise him as one by eyes alone. Did they also know who exactly he was? It was no secret that his father travelled with his son, and he was sure he could find plenty of people around here whose worlds were affected by his father's conquers. Trailing down the street towards what he assumed were the headquarters where the registration was to take place, he wondered idly if he'd encounter others of his kind here. It was rare for the Ascari to get involved with IRMA, instead preferring to learn only from each other, but he assumed he couldn't be the only one in entire Gateway. Sooner or later, it was a thought worth exploring: another Ascari might teach him more about their ways -- more than he already knew by instinct, at least -- and show him the way to their realm. His mother could be there too. He imagined her as a queen, or an important figure at least. His father was an emperor, after all, and high-born people stuck together in every realm as well as across them.

In front of the IRM headquarters, he stopped, doubts seizing his stomach for the first time. Registering meant putting himself in the hands of a whole world he knew next to nothing about. He was told stories, yes, and his father taught him enough about it for him to generally know what to expect, but his father was an apprentice a very long time ago, and even he had admitted that many things could've changed since. Gateway was the one place his father never returned to, not even once he was rightfully called one of the most powerful sorcerers who ever lived, not even when it seemed like the Adjudicators had the upper hand in the war. He stayed away, and kept his son far from it all. Just being here was breaking the promise he gave his father, but what else was he to do?

He watched as some little noble-looking girl entered the building, and gave one last look to the street behind him before following through the large door. They closed behind him as if to lock his decision, and the doubts were gone.
The main hall reminded him of the court in his father's homeworld, and the thought left him dumbfounded for a moment. Tall ceiling and elegant pillars, and a sense of background magic everywhere around him, making the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Back at the court, he thought with a slight smile, there were voices at all times too, quiet and made impossible to understand by the echo, and if he had closed his eyes they would've felt like a buzz of endless charms. They'd left that world when he was three years old; he didn't think he remembered it anymore, but now that he was here he could imagine it vividly, and he half-expected to see the fae of the imperial court in their flowy robes parade around as he heard someone speak. But it wasn't the court of his father's homeland, and the voices belonged to two mages who emerged out of one of the corridors.

"Floor five?" He heard one of them say to the other. "Me too. I'd hoped for three, though, that's where I'm told all the really fun parties go on."
The other mage just sounded relieved. "I was told the registration involved dueling each of the teachers to determine what the focus of your studies should be. I'm just glad I'm over with it and it wasn't nearly as bad."

He stopped listening as they switched to talking about a game he didn't know about, and instead headed down the corridor he just saw them come out of.
A labyrinth of corridors and stairs later, he found himself back at the main hall, feeling like he's aged half a century and pretty sure the building led him back because it felt sorry for him. Brilliant start.
"Are you lost?"
He turned to the voice, and frowned at a blue-eyed kid with wings growing out of his back. "No."
There was a pause, during which the boy pointedly observed his own staff instead of looking at him.
"If you're on your way to register," he said then, "it's just down that corridor, up and then down the stairs, through the door on the left, and then right into the hall, and you'll find the way from there." He did look at him this time. "You'll need your staff first, though. Or wand?"
"Staff," he muttered, and gave in. "Thanks for the directions."

~

The Staffcrafter, once he found her, was a woman who reminded him of an old tree, wrinkled and hunched but almost radiating strength. He spent almost an hour walking around Gateway -- an hour during which he made a mental note of which parts to explore further as soon as time allows for it -- before stumbling across her shop. In the front, different materials lay on display, along with some pre-made staves with no lobe stones or runes added to them yet. In the back room, he found uncountably more of them, and admitted his fascination as the Staffcrafter gave him a curious look. In the corner of the room, next to a shelf filled with notebooks that he assumed kept a record of customers, sat a man in a simple robe. He guessed the man was a clerk or perhaps an apprentice of the Staffcrafter, and paid him no attention as his eyes wandered towards the iron staves: she had two made of each sky and cold iron, the glint of her lamps reflecting off them.
"Interested in those particularly?" She asked.
"My father had one," he answered, shaking his head. "But no, I don't think they'd be right for me."
"Hmm." She narrowed her eyes, observing him. "I don't think so either. If you'd sit down, so we could begin?"
He hesitated only for a second before sitting on a stool in the middle of the room. There was something about the Staffcrafter that made him feel calm, and the presence of all these half-made staves was like a promise. Soon enough, it said, you'll be on your way to mastering magic.
"What's your name?"
The question caught him by surprise. "You wouldn't be able to pronounce it."
She hmmed again. "You're going to need one, though. Nameless mages aren't unheard of, but it makes interactions a bit tricky, don't you think?"
He thought for a moment. She was right, probably. He was named by his mother, and his father rarely if ever really used his name. It was always the two of them: they'd call each other father and son if they had to address each other, or make up names or nicknames if they had to lie about their identities for the sake of some act. Over the years, he's gotten accustomed to not sharing his name with anyone, and by now it became as much of a matter of trust to him as showing his true appearance was for any of his kind. The thought of having to interact with other students and teachers, or his name being written in some sort of record, never really crossed his mind before.
"North," he said eventually, and shrugged at her expression. Directions were among the first words he ever learned, and that one was always his favourite.
She nodded with approval, and then held her hand out for him. He took it, and she turned his, tracing the veins down his arm with one surprisingly soft finger. She stopped on the inside of his wrist.
"Hmm. Quite some desire for power in there, but I also get a hint of uncertainty... Oh, there are some high expectations, and drive, definitely... And a loyalty to ideals, but what kinds of ideals? And then, ambition, but one mixed with doubts--"
North pulled his hand out of hers. "My doubts are none of your business."
She raised an eyebrow, calm but serious. "Everything about you is my business, if you want a staff made." She turned from North to the man in the corned -- he'd almost forgotten about the man's presence in the room -- and waved him over. "Echo, what would you say?"
The man stood up from his chair, and gave North a thoroughly uninterested look. He wasn't using his hands, North noticed, to put a notebook he was reading from back on the shelf. Instead, he used his wings -- different from the angel boy's, more resembling a bat's -- to hold and move things. He walked over to stand next to the Staffcrafter, but only shrugged.
"I'd say it's not on me to tell."
"Hmm."
North frowned. Perhaps this was all a waste of time. He wasn't as much of a beginner as he knew everyone would think, after all. True, he had no staff and he hasn't really done any real magic, but he's known of his potential for years. He was familiar with more spells than most newcomers, and knew the theory behind the sygils and their use like the back of his hand. He'd just started debating with himself whether or not to tell these two any of that, when the tip of the man's wing prodded at his cheekbone, surprisingly sharp against his skin.
"How acquainted are you with magic?" He asked. North said nothing, so he tried again. "What are you planning on making your focus?"
"Everything."
The man called Echo smirked and looked at the Staffcrafter. "Hear that? Seems you got the ambition part right."
"I get everything right," she said calmly, as she took a simple, branch-looking staff off the wall. It didn't look like anything special, but there was a feeling to it, when North took it in his hands, that reminded him of travelling and imagining new worlds, and of all those days and nights he'd spent learning from his father, in which the Emperor wasn't the Emperor or the dark lord people got to call him, but just a dad to a curious child whose wanderlust he'd accommodated to every day for years. He looked up at the Staffcrafter and the bat-creep, trying to read in their expressions if his little moment of nostalgia managed to go unnoticed.
The Staffcrafter clapped her hands. "Poplar it is, interesting...." She chuckled as she took the staff from him again. "Oh, we're not making it any easier on you, are we?" She exchanged a look with Echo. "Smoky quartz, it says, and, hmm... Nauthiz core, too. I wonder..." Then, to North again: "Stay here."

She disappeared in yet another back room, leaving North and the bat-winged man alone. They spent a few minutes looking at each other in silence, before Echo spoke.
"You're of the Ascari," he said as if revealing some remarkable secret.
"I'm aware of that."
The man shrugged, looked around at the staves on the walls, and frowned at the iron ones. "I know who your father was."
"Is," North said without thinking. "He's still alive."
"I didn't say he was dead," Echo said calmly, but with an edge to his voice. "But he's not what he used to be, is he?" He waited for an argument, and nodded once when none came. "If she's right, and she usually is, you're going to have to deal with those conflicts you have with yourself before your staff starts treating you as a friend."
North frowned. "I'm not in any conflict with myself."
Echo opened his mouth to reply, but the Staffcrafter walked out of the back back room, and they both turned their attention to her. In her hands, the staff was different. Where it just looked like a branch before, now it had an irregular piece of stone attached to it, that seemed like it was once transparent, but then filled it with wind or fog and frozen in time as such. And North found himself almost afraid of it. If he touched it, he felt like the calm expression he wore would crumble, and the idea frightened him, for he couldn't think of what the expression underneath would be. But at the same time, his fingertips itched as the Staffcrafter offered it and he reached for it. The wood was cold in his hands, and there was a small surge of something that ran through his body as he held it, almost as if the staff was alive and was getting ready to run away. For a ridiculous moment, North could've sworn he sensed a heartbeat echoing his own.

"He's going to need a master," he heard the Staffcrafter say, and looked up just in time to catch Echo shaking his head.
"With no specific focus in mind, that shouldn't be too hard," he said.
"With his lineage, either," she replied dryly, evidently not too bothered by North listening to them. He was just about to comment on it, when Echo gave him a look only one person had given him before.
"Find me after you've settled in," he said, and walked out before either North or the Staffcrafter got to say another word.

~

Finding the way back to the headquarters, as well as his way to the registration offices, was much easier this time around. He caught glimpses and parts of conversations of more students, but paid them little attention, instead focusing on following the angel-boy's directions and thinking through what he'd say if they asked him any questions. Finally, after a short wait, he was lead into a room dominated by a heavy writing desk, with an armchair on each side. One was occupied by a round man with gray moustache that reminded North of a seal. He also had, North noticed as he took a seat, the longest eyelashes he'd ever seen on a person.
"And whom do we have here?"
"North," he said, the sound of his new name only sounding a little foreign to his own ears. Eyelashes wrote it down.
"Sorcerer," he muttered, giving a quick glance to the staff. "Second class?" North nodded. "How old were you when you discovered your potential?"
"Fifteen," he lied easily, and met the man's eyes. "It was just before the tolling. I fell asleep before I got here to register."
"Ah, yes... we've got a few of those." He smiled a wide, comforting smile, and gestured at the staff, which North handed over with some hesitation. "Smoky quartz, Nauthiz rune... poplar wood?" He waited for a nod again, and wrote it down before handing the staff back to North. "Have you found a master yet?"
"I'm not sure," he admitted. "I think there's a person who wants to discuss the possibility after I've gone through registration."
Eyelashes nodded again. "Very well... Do you know what you'd like to focus your magic studies on?"
"Maybe illusions and enchantments," North said. This time, he knew better than to answer 'everything', and the answer formed on his lips before he got to think about it more. He looked at his staff, laid peacefully over his knees. "Or sygilweaving, perhaps."
"Something to consider when talking to prospective masters, most definitely. I assume you haven't gotten all your books and other supplies yet, either?"
North shook his head, and frowned after a moment. He hated the idea of asking for help, but could see no other way to go about it.
"I don't have any money," he admitted. "Is there a place I can apply for a job around here to afford--"
"Don't worry," Eyelashes waved it off, "The Academy will take care of some of it for you during your first year, and you should talk to your master about it as well. Many students come from realms where money is looked at differently, or from broken families or poor parts of their respective worlds; it's nothing to be ashamed of."
"I'm not ashamed," North said. "It's just... an inconvenience."

The were a few more questions, and several big smiles and warm suggestions from Eyelashes, before North was given his lodgings key -- room 31 in the Dome, floor 5 -- and explained the way there. He thought of the conversation he'd overheard earlier, about all the parties happening on floor 3, and found himself smiling as he reached his door.

*
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-is a sir-
  





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XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Edrea Turquot


Edrea gave herself another glance in the mirror. The elegant dress that she now wore had been painstaking made just for her and her rather flat figure. If it weren't for the feminine curve of her jaw and the long fire red hair that tumble down her back, she could easily be mistaken for a boy.

Edrea grinned at the memory of what she had done to the last person that had dared mistake her gender. A simple servant who called her sir instead of miss. First she had cast Egei Helkous, covering the servant in boils and blisters and then, with a sly grin, she had cast Mastizeo, and whipped the poor boy until every boil and blister had been broken open.

Could she have had a little more class and simply corrected him or reprimanded him with a stern verbal warning? Sure. But you didn't gain a states like that of the Turqouts by being nice. Besides, it's too much fun to assert your power.

She adjusted the small bow at the front of the dress, resting over her chest, and smoothed out the wrinkles of the corset like waist to the flowing skirt. The material was a shimmery purple, a symbol of power and authority. Both of which her family had. A leather cord is wrapped around her waist and a smooth leather holster is set at her hip. Inside is the dragon bone wand that she had picked from the multitudes of others that her family had delivered. Only dragon bone would do, it was the tradition of their family.

Finally feeling ready she turned on her heel and headed out the door. The servants in the hall would jump and quickly bow. All of them unnerved to be in her presence. Edrea smiled as she loved the power that she exuded, just with her family name. But now was not the time. Striding down the hall she made her way down stairs, in the elegant fashion that any upper class woman would, and approached her parents in the hall.

"Are you ready to get registered my dear?" her father asked in a deep voice of authority. Everything about him demanded respect. From the tone of his voice to the way that he stood. Everything exuded power and authority.

"Yes, father," Edrea responded as she arrived at the ground floor.

Her mother stood beside her father, dressed in an elegant red gown. Red draws the attention of others. And with the prestige that was have, having eyes on us only strengthens our standing, her mother would say.

I must remember to get some red dresses, Edrea thought to herself. "How do I look?" she asked giving a small spin.

"Elegant. Very becoming of a Turquot," her mother said. Taking a hair clip from her own hair she placed in her daughter's hair to help keep the long fire red hair out of her face.

Edrea was shocked. Her fingers gently tracing the smooth curves of the jade dragon hair pin. "Mother! This is your favorite hair pin!" she stated in shock.

"Now it's yours. Remember that you have Dragon slayer blood running through your veins. Remember that everything you do now or in the future is always for the purpose of strengthening our family name," her mother stated in a stern tone.

Edrea held her head high. "I will not dishonor our name in any way."

"Good," her father said standing beside her. "Now I don't like having you rub elbows with those cretins, but the IRMA requires that your advanced studies be completed at the Academy. I know that you are disappointed in that aspect..."

"Why would I be disappointed, father?" Edrea quickly jumped in as they began heading out into the street. "I am given the honor of making sure that every up and coming magic user knows the power and authority of the Turquot family. By establishing myself now, I can save on the time it would take if I were to try to establish myself once my schooling is over."

Her father let out a deep laugh as he nodded. "I see your studies of business and persuasion have not been a waste of time. I'm glad to hear it. We provide a great deal of funding to this academy so if you have any trouble whatsoever, just send me a message and I will have it dealt with."

"I won't have any trouble, father," Edrea smiled sweetly. "If anyone crosses me, I will personally kick them back in the dirt where they belong."

"That's my girl," her mother commented.

Edrea began focusing on the people in the street around her. Many of the people gave them a wide berth. Everyone knew that standing too close to one of the Turquots could end badly for you if they were in a mood. It gave her a great deal of view within the Gateway streets.

Just a little ways in front of her, she could see a young boy dressed in drabbed clothing that was slightly singed at the edges. Brown hair left uncut and messy, hanging in his eyes that were fixed on the Academy grounds. Behind him he dragged a suitcase on wheels.Another commoner magic user, she thought to herself. He won't last a week. She noted how the boy turned off to the main reception area instead of heading to the registration. Idiot. But then again, most people are.

As the family entered the registration area, Edrea didn't even wait she simply stepped up to the next open space and began giving her information. Her parents right behind her to show that rejection was no an option.

With a sigh the man behind the desk began the paperwork for registration. Setting her dragon bone wand on the desk to be registered. The official picked up the wand to examine the runes before he yelped and dropped the want onto the desk again.

"Sorry about that," Edrea said sweetly. "It isn't fond of people who...lack spirit." She gave another sweet smile taking her wand back. The official wanted to tell her exactly what he thought about her comment, but with such prestigious parents, he didn't want to risk his job. He filled out the paper work and picked up the rooming roster before Edrea flicked her wand toward the roster. "Kaleo roster," she cast, bringing the roster directly to her hand. Looking over the small descriptions she tapped on one and nodded handing the roster back. "I want room thirty."

"I'm afraid that room thirty is already occupied," the official stated, trying to gain some control of the situation.

"It was not a request. I want room thirty," Edrea said again, using that authoritative voice that she had learned from her father.

The official glared at Edrea before he shook his head and made a few changes on the roster. "Floor five room 30. Have a nice school year Ms. Turquot."

Edrea stood up and headed out of the office. "Why room thirty?" her father inquired.

"Room twenty-nine has a first class witch. She could make a good ally within the school. But I shouldn't have to take the room lower than her, so...thirty."

Her father nodded in approval and her mother gave her a kiss on the forehead. "We'll let you get acquainted with your room. Let us know if you need anything."

"Some red dresses," Edrea said quickly. "Need to make an impression, right?" The family smiled and her mother nodded.

"They're on the way," her mother said as they headed out. Edrea began heading down the corridors to her room.

Perhaps she would bump into this first class witch on the way.
  





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Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:45 pm
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TheSunderedSorcerer says...



Geilen Karasam


Fool me Once


This is all that old hag’s fault.

Sam knew it was a bad idea to listen to a goblin hag in the first place, but he had been tired and hungry due the fugitive life he had adopted after escaping his planned execution. Of course, he could go into the towns and villages to steal or swindle some food, but out here in the western highlands, the people are even more paranoid.

He came here because the hag had told him of a place where he could live among others like him, and that Sam would find the way inside some backwash tavern out here in the highlands. He had been so eager to accept this information, so idiotic enough to assume that the goblin hag didn’t cast a spell or something on him, that he set off to find this Broken Gate tavern.

But the hag cast a spell on him, didn’t she? Why else would he wake up here in this oak tree in winter after he had set of in spring? She must have cast some sleeping curse on him, but must’ve failed to find him, since he still had most of his stuff with him (except his meagre rations, which was probably scavenged by some squirrels or birds)

Sam stretched his limbs (which were remarkably not as stiff as he would’ve imagined) and slowly proceeded down to a jumpable distance from the ground. The snow under the old oak wasn’t as thick as it lay just a few feet on, at the edge of the forest, but that was usually the case with the Pasturian forests (very little snow makes it down to the ground inside the forest)

The air was a biting cold as he waded out of the forest, the sky grey and heavy with snow clouds. Sam took his wolf fur cloak from his small backpack and started moving towards what seemed to be a town in the distance (which would be where he would find this Broken Gate tavern, if it existed at all, and track down the hag)

As he came nearer to the town, Sam was surprised to find a high wooden palisade surrounding the town, with archers patrolling the ramparts. There were also guards in the gatehouse, as well as two standing before the door with long pikes. Sam had thought that only the major towns and cities in the north had such defences, but apparently he was wrong.

There was a line of serfs and villagers waiting to enter the town, some carrying fat pigs or bundles of firewood. At the gate, the town bailiff was going over a list (presumably with names on it), marking off those allowed to enter, and chasing off those not on the list.

As he came near to the line, Sam changed himself to look like a small, five year old boy he knew at the Orphanage (he must be around seven now, Sam thought) hoping that one of the maids or women waiting to enter the town would seek to aid him and convince the bailiff to give him entrance. He walked up to the line, wearing an expression of sadness and confusion as the villagers became aware of his presence.

“Where’s your parents boy?” a barrel-carrying elf asked.

“Don’t talk to him! What if he’s cursed?” a man next to hissed.

“Or worse! What if he’s got the Plague!” a third man, this one carrying tools, exclaimed.

Their exclamations made some of the others in the line turn to look at Sam, the Changeling in turn scanning their faces for any sign of sympathy. He saw none.

“Begone with you boy!” the second man said, shooing him with his hands, yet staying far enough to not get ‘infected’ by him. “Are you deaf? Begone!”

“Can’t you see that he is afraid?” Sam heard the voice of an elderly woman behind him.
The men turned to face this newcomer, and immediately bowed, with the elf almost
dropping the barrel on the woman.

“Humblest of pardons, Elder Fione,” the second man said, “but we assumed this boy was... well that he was one of the Plaguebearers.”

The woman named Elder Fione turned to scrutinize him for a moment, before winking to him and saying: “Nonsense, this boy is with me. Come along Eddwar.” She gestured with her head to Sam that he must follow, the two of them passing the entire line as they proceeded to the gate.

The guards seemed to fear her, but in the way that they fear her power more than her person. Opening the gate for her and Sam, they quickly stood out of the way to let her pass. Sam saw that other than just the palisade, there was also a keep in the town which is where he assumed they would be going.

However, much to his surprise, Elder Fione turned down one of the side streets and walked briskly and confident to a derelict looking tavern. As the neared it, Sam saw the sign post swinging lightly in the cold wind. The Broken Gate Tavern.

Turning to face him outside the door, Elder Fione smiled before speaking in a motherly tone. “Next time you wish to enter these towns, you’d be wise to not turn yourself into a child,” she said, smiling even wider at his surprised look. “My brother was like you, many moons ago, so I know how to identify a Grift when I see one.”

So there’s a name for what I am, Sam thought, before changing back into his normal self. “Why did you bring me here?” he asked, looking at the moss and ivy covered walls of the tavern.

“This is the only Gateway in Pasturias,” Elder Fione replied, nudging her head at the tavern. “Not many people come here to drink, so it’s the perfect place to keep the corridor.”

Sam was about to ask a question, but Fione held up her gloved hand to silence him. “You will find all the answers inside,” she simply said. “The innkeeper shall open the corridor for you. Good luck, and gods’ speed.”

She was about to walk away before turning around. “Oh, and if you ever meet a Owan Tintor, tell him his twin misses him very much. It’s been over twenty-five years since we last spoke.” With that, Elder Fione walked off towards the keep.

Sam stood outside the tavern for some time, before deciding to enter, if only to get out of the cold air. Inside, Sam only saw one other person excluding the innkeeper, and she was talking to him urgently.

“When can you let me enter?” she asked in a fair voice.

“Wait a moment. I believe he’ll be here shortly,” the innkeeper replied.

“Who will be here shortly?”

“The boy who just entered, that is who.” The girl turned around to see the new arrival, allowing Sam to get a good look at her face.

She was more or less his age and of shorter length, and had pale green eyes that seemed both welcoming and cold at the same time. Her blond hair hang passed her shoulders, but was combed out of her face. Their eyes locked for a moment, before she turned back to the innkeeper, her dark blue travel cloak twirling as she did so.

“Who’s he?” she demanded.

“A mage, like you.”

“I know that, but why’ve I never seen him before?”

“Because one: this is only your second time here, and two: this is his first time being here! Now come, both of you, let’s get you to the Gateway before the frost snakes kill us all,” the innkeeper took off a silver key (the cleanest thing in this place that was not alive) from his neck and walked upstairs. Sam and the girl followed him, both not speaking to the other. The innkeeper led them to the furthest door on the second floor, before turning to face them again.

“Send my regards to old Ralof on the other side. Tell him I might come over to grab a drink some other time. He always was a better brewer than I.”

He inserted the key in the door, and after a few seconds, he turned the key and swung open the door to reveal a long, candlelit corridor. He ushered them in before closing the door behind them with a thud.

The girl stepped in front of Sam, blocking his path while looking straight into his eyes. She crossed her arms over her chest and stood in silence for several moments.

“Are you just going to stand there like that the whole time, or shall we go to this ‘Gateway’?” Sam asked her after two minutes of this stand-off.

“You’re a Grift,” was all she said.

“That’s what Elder Fione called me, yes. But I don’t see the relevance.”

“Do you have a wand yet?”

“A what? No, I…”

“Are you registered at least?”

“Registered? Listen, I like talking to a pretty girl as much as the…”

With that the girl turned around and started walking to the other end of the corridor. Sam hurried after her, surprised at her comfort at walking at such a fast pace. As they reached the other side, Sam could hear music and rowdy laughter coming from the other side of the door.

“I think we got off on the wrong foot,” Sam said, panting slightly. “I’m...”

“You’re Sam, short for Geilen Karasam,” she replied turning around, “I’m Harry, short for… Well just call me Harry.”

With a stunned Sam and a silent Harry, the two of them proceeded down to the main drinking area of the tavern, where Sam was greeted by a scene out of one of the orphanage’s fairy tale books. There were dozens of dwarves, elves, half-giants and humans all merrily drinking and conversing in the tavern. On the counter, an old man was making two wooden puppets dance to music. The music was played by a band of hobgoblins, playing what Sam could only assume was their folk music.

“Welcome you two! Here from Pasturias, ay?” the bellowing voice of a half-giant called from behind the counter. Sam assumed this was the brewer named Ralof.

“Yes, we just arrived,” Harry replied, pushing her way to the counter, “Old Doogle said he might come over for a drink sooner or later, although I expect it to be soon.”

“And so he must! It’s been twenty-five ‘ears since we last ha’ a good get-together! Would you like a glass of cinnamon ale? Finished brewin’ it just this morning.”

“No, I’m fine. I think I might need to help Sam here get acquainted with the Gateway,” Harry said, pointing over her shoulder at Sam.

“Acquainted, you say? His first time?” Ralof asked as scrutinized Sam over Harry’s shoulder. When Harry nodded assent, Ralof grinned widely before bellowing: “Oi! We got a first-timer here!”

To that many of the patrons cheered heartily, and the hobgoblins started playing a new, enthusiastic melody, the three goblins playing the doublebass nearly losing their balance as they stood on one another’s heads. Several mages clapped Sam on the back (a particularly bulky Dwarf hitting the hardest of all the patrons) as he and Harry inched their way to the door.

As they nearly fell through the door onto the cobblestone street outside, the spring air of the Gateway hit Sam’s senses unexpectedly after the cold air of Pasturias. As he looked up, the imposing figure of a large white building took up most of his view.

“That’s the IRMA,” Harry said, without even looking at Sam, “I’ll take you there after you get your wand. And before you ask, I’m a clairvoyant sorceress. I can thus sense what you are thinking or thinking about without you saying anything.”

Sam was about to respond when he crashed to the ground as a boy slightly older than him ran into him. Harry simply stood smiling as Sam and this boy, who he now saw had the pointed ears of a fae or elf, as well as a uniquely golden eye color, helped each other off the cobble road.

“Watch where you’re going!” Sam said as he studied the boy’s face, which, although still lower than his, was remarkably higher than normal individuals’ (Sam guessed about six feet to his six feet, eight inches) However, despite this difference in length, the boy did seem to look older than Sam, especially his eyes, which seemed to be burdened with a long life.

“I did, but you were so dumb-founded by the IRMA that you walked in front of me,” the boy (man, whatever…) said.

Yet again before Sam could make a retort, Harry interceded. “Let’s all just calm down,” she said, looking up at both of them, “You both walked into each other. Okay? I doubt Ari here intended in walking in front of you, Sam, just as I doubt you intended on doing it to him.”

The golden-eyed boy name Ari looked quizzically at Harry and then at Sam, who simply said: “Don’t ask.” So the three of them stood for several moments before Harry nudged Sam and reminded him that they had much to do. They greeted Ari, who remained there in front of the tavern as they entered the busy crowds of the Gateway.

The rest of the day went by quicker than Sam could have anticipated. After taking him to a nearby Wandmaker (owned by some human named Ingrid) and getting him registered, Harry showed Sam around the Gateway. They ended their tour laughing merrily as they entered the Dome’s entrance hall, a large chamber with several staircases leading up into the structure. Mages, non-mages and magical creatures were all constantly coming and going, some entering what Sam assumed would be the dining hall straight ahead, or standing around discussing various topics or even bartering over magical trinkets and elixirs.

Harry led Sam up one of the staircases for several floors before they reached floor five, where Sam’s room was (Harry’s was on floor 4, room 83) They passed multiple doors, each looking identical except for the numbers on them. They reached Sam’s lodgings (room 26), unlocked the door, and entered.

The inside of the lodgings was as small and minimalistic as his room at the orphanage in his latter days there, yet not as cold or dark as it was. On the far side of the entrance room were two doors, mostly likely leading to the bedroom and bathroom respectively. Along the left wall was a smallish bookshelf (yet still bigger than the singular bookshelf of the orphanage), lined with a few books that Harry said were the basic books he’d require for his subjects. Beside it was a fireplace (already lit) with a small cosy chair standing in front of it. Along the right wall were a wooden desk and chair.

The only decoration in the entire main room of his lodgings was a ovular mirror up against the right wall, the light of the fire place reflecting off it on the wooden walls and floor. Sam approached this mirror, and expected to see himself as he looked, but instead he saw a paler version of himself, its hair slightly more unkempt than his own.

The mirror image was sitting at the fire with a glass of juice in his hand. He sat there for two minutes, seemingly oblivious of Sam staring at him, before standing up and walking over to Sam. It bowed slightly, before scowling and saying: “It’s about time you came to learn magic, master Karasam.”
I used to Wander the realms of this site, being a Wizard like only I can be.
After that I settled down, to learn the art of Conjuring Clocks.
For a time then I dabbled in the Intellectual art of Illusions.
  





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Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:14 am
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AstralHunter says...



Uriah Nedelle


When waking from a long sleep, most would experience a gradual increase in awareness followed by a slow return of mental and motor function. When waking from a magical slumber, most would experience a swiftly dissipating numbness followed by a great sense of relief. When waking from a vivid nightmare, most would experience a sudden escape from the clutches of terror followed by a panicked recovery.

When waking from his torporific perdition, Uri experienced a violent convulsion followed by an inconsolable scream.

Caught in a frenzy of fear and horror, he scratched his way to the nearest partition and curled into a ball, his wings splayed protectively over himself. Uncontrollable sobs shook his frame. Though he was no longer in the grasp of the void, his mind and body had yet to rid themselves of an eternity spent in its dead embrace.

There was no way to tell how long he lay there, but it was long enough for the sun to rise. By then, Uri had ceased his throws of despair, yet it was only once the sun's rays touched his face that life stirred within him. He tentatively withdrew his wings, allowing more of the golden beams to penetrate his coccoon of desolation. It felt good, warm.

He pushed himself into an upright position and gazed at the immense ball of light. After knowing nothing but a smothering veil of obscurity for so long, he did not mind the stabbing pain in his eyes, but caution urged him to look away; there was no use in regaining his sight simply to discard it in a moment of folly.

He inhaled deeply and rejoiced. He could breathe. The fleeting quality of the air mattered little, for anything was better than choking on nothing. Turning his attention to the floor, he brushed his hands over the course surface. It was unpleasant, and bits of gravel stuck to his palms, but it comforted him. He found just smelling the dust similarly delighting, and when he realised there were no ambient sounds to be heard, he rubbed his hand across the ground some more.

Ultimately, he had reacquainted himself sufficiently with his senses to brave a more thorough scan of his surroundings. He had already registered his parents were nowhere to be seen, as he was clearly in a desert or wasteland of sorts, but his chief concern was where they might have gone. He had no idea what had caused him to "fall asleep", for lack of a better term, but whatever it was, it had left him unaffected by time. He doubted his parents had received the same mercy, which would explain their absence. That, as well as the memory of being halfway through the process of leaving their temporary shelter upon being discovered by demon scouts.

But how could a derelict city district fall into such disrepair that it disappeared from the face of Aermael completely? There had been roads and ruins where there was presently only rock and sand. What disaster could have brought about such severe destruction?

And then, of course, all manner of theories began assaulting his brain, the most disconcerting of which was that time had grinded to a halt and life no longer existed in his realm or any other. He struggled with his thoughts before logic reasserted itself and reminded him there was no possible reason why only he would be affected by a curse or plague of such magnitude. He set out to explore and find answers.

Some distance away, he discovered what appeared to be a piece of metal stuck in the ground. Further inspection revealed it to be a handle to a trapdoor. With great effort, he dislodged it and descended into a basement. Inside were many crates, boxes and chests, some stacked on the floor, others precariously perched upon shelves. The majority of the content was of little to no use to him, but one chest contained more vials of Moon Candle Nectar than he imagined many had seen in their entire lives. That he recognised it at all was a miracle; his mother had pointed it out when they had visited an apothecary in the distant past, telling him how rare, useful and expensive it was. A pity he would have to treat it like water.

He would have left the basement and continued his search was it not for the nectar. He would never be able to carry so many vials with him, nor could he merely abandon the only sustenance he would likely find for leagues around. He spent months in indecision, always wanting to leave but never willing to risk travelling far enough to lose sight of his little haven. Only when the nectar dwindled did he finally muster enough courage to stick as many vials into his pockets as he could and set out again.

Except he never did. While stuffing his pockets, he discovered a note and a small, copper rod, both left on him by his parents. He felt foolish for taking so long to realise he had them, but he supposed he could hardly be blamed after his ordeal.

The paper was in relatively good condition, so not too much time could have passed. Once he saw the handwriting, though, longing filled his breast and nothing else mattered. Tears splashed onto the note as he read it. He desperately wished for the divining rod to take him to his parents, but they had omitted their intended destination for exactly that reason.

Left with a heavy heart and only one clear objective, he clutched the rod and whispered, "The Dome, Gateway."

A sudden intake of breath later, the desert was empty once more.

***

The transition from silence to the hubbub of a busy street was not a smooth one. Uriah backed up against a wall and fearfully watched the curious and concerned passersby. None made to approach him, rather giving him a decent birth, as if he was a wild animal.

Still very much unnerved by the unfamiliar sights around him, Uri braved a step away from the wall. He half-expected a hostile reaction, but when he received only strange looks, he took another. And another.

He dashed off in the direction that seemed to have the least amount of people, looking over his shoulder while he did. When he looked back in front if him, he barely had time to widen his eyes before running into a massive wall of a man. He skidded on his heel and flapped his wings in an attempt to regain balance, but to no avail. He crashed to the floor, shattering a few of the vials as he did.

The man - who turned out to be more a boy like himself, but older and much, much taller - stooped down and extended a hand. "Are you all right, friend?"

Uri took it and was surprised to find himself being hauled to his feet without any input of his own. More surprising still was the realisation that came a second later.

"I can understand you."

The boy, his grey eyes conveying his confusion at first and then his conprehension, replied, "I see what you mean."

Uri regarded the giant with amazement for a few seconds longer, the silence becoming awkward, before remembering his mother's lessons in etiquette. "I'm sorry I ran into you."

The boy looked a little less uncertain. "It's all right. What were you running from?"

Uri was too embarrassed to answer, so instead, he said, "I don't know what this place is. Is this the Dome in the Gateway?"

"Oh, you're new here too. Yes, it is. You're probably here to get registered, huh?"

Frowning, Uri consulted his note to check the exact wording. He looked up and made to respond, but a lady with pointy ears arrived and asked the boy something. He didn't want to be a bother, so he slipped away. Not very stealthily, though, seeing as the boy noticed and called after him. Too timid to turn back, Uri hurried forward, rounding a corner in the hopes of losing the boy in the event of a chase. It must have worked, since he didn't see or hear from him again.

Unsure of what to do, he wandered through the streets, always heading towards the colossal building in the distance, but never knowing where he was heading. He avoided the masses beside him and stayed away from the shops until he spotted another pointy-eared individual. An odd feeling of having been in the situation before, despite it being impossible, descended on him, so he decided to ask the individual for directions.

The boy was also very tall. Not as tall as the giant, but close enough. He absentmindedly played with his wand as he stood in front of a shop's window. Uri approached him and tapped on his shoulder.

"Excuse me, but do you know...?"

He trailed off when the individual turned his golden eyes on him. In other realms, the colour may have been common enough, but to Uri, it was altogether new. The other boy didn't mean to, but he intimidated the angel.

"Yes?"

Uri swallowed. "Never mind."

All of his confidence had evaporated, so before he could be stopped, he made himself scarce yet again. He realised that if things continued like that, it would become a very long day. Pausing next to a random shop, he took a moment to compose himself and gather his thoughts. Apparently, he had to "get registered", whatever that meant, so the first step would be to ask where he could do that. He'd need to talk to a person and not run away if he was to learn the answer.

Across the street, a flash of light caught his eye. It belonged to a woman who had just exited a bookstore. The light seemed to follow her wherever she went, for it trailed behind her in shades of magenta, vermillion, and emerald. It was enchanting.

He realised she had taken note of his presence. A tame albeit embarrassed thought at first, it turned to one of distress when she headed straight towards him. Instinctively, he took a step backwards. It was the wrong move.

"Greetings, little angel!"

Uri started and almost tripped overhimself, but he regained his balance just before he could repeat the fall of earlier. He didn't know how she had done it, but the lady had been across the street one second, and before him the next.

"There's no need to be alarmed!" she chimed. "It's been more than two decades since I've bitten a stranger."

Recovered from his initial shock, Uri drank in the sight before him. As far as people went, she was definitely one of the more interesting ones. Her glossy hair shone in the sunlight - practically as much as the spear in her hand, the shield on her arm, and the armour she wore - and she carried herself with a confident air. Yet she did not create the impression of being dangerous and seemed quite happy-go-lucky, actually. The trail of light, even more spectacular from up close, shimmered merrily, as if approving of his evaluation.

"You've never seen a valkyrie before, have you?" she asked, giggling. Uri averted his eyes in response. "Oh no, there's no need to be ashamed! Many people haven't, since we aren't exactly a common sight. The aurora tends to be the biggest surprise. But anyway! You're an angel!"

Her expectant smile and lack of further words made him think he had to confirm the statement, so he quickly nodded.

"I knew it! The wings are a dead giveaway, you know. I've seen a couple of angels long ago, but this is the first time I actually get to meet one. It's so exciting! Oh, and I'm Thirrin, by the way. Thirrin Astlyrra."

She offered her hand, which he accepted reluctantly. Her grip was firm and her shake vigorous.

"Uriah Nedelle."

"What a lovely name! It's so melodic. I'm certain everyone tells you that."

He blushed. "Not really."

"Whaaat? Next you'll tell me people consider your wings insignificant."

"They kind of do."

"Whaaat?" she exclaimed, her reaction even more comical than before. "I thought angels only hail from a select few realms. How could anybody find them dull, boring or unworthy of being noteworthy?"

Uri shifted nervously. The urge to run away was back, but not only would it be impolite, it would be futile too.

"I meant in Aermael," he said, glancing around for any source of salvation.

"Ah, well. A prophet is never respected in his own country, I'm told. Not sure whether the analogy applies to worlds, though. We'll see how your classmates react."

He flapped his wings a bit. "What do you mean?" he asked hesitantly.

"Even though you're a sorcerer, you have to take some subjects with the other mages-to-be."

"How do you know I'm a sorcerer?"

"You can't be a wizard; you're too ignorant. Hence, sorcerer. What kind of sorcerer, if not the usual sort, is what you'll have to tell me. If you want to tell me, of course; you're probably looking for something you can use to dry yourself, and I wouldn't want to stop you."

"That's not..." He trailed off once he realised correcting her on the reason for looking about would mean admitting he wanted to leave, so instead, he looked down at the wet stains on the left side of his jacket. He frowned and carefully removed the broken vials, flicking the shards away.

"Hey, don't be a litterbug. Let me help."

Thirrin raised her spear and pointed at the shards. She muttered something, after which they disappeared. She then pointed it at him, much to his fright, and muttered some more. The stains dried instantly.

"Thank you," he said, his vocie laced with fear. His focus was more on the spear than her face.

"You're welcome!" She finally lowered the weapon, prompting a sigh of relief from the angel. "How did that happen anyway?"

"I fell and broke some vials."

"Any injuries?"

"Only to my pride."

"Hah, good one! So, where are you off to now? Wait, don't tell me: you're off to get your staff!"

"Mmm-hmm," he said uncertainly, still unused to her boundless energy.

"Well, have fun!" She beamed and turned around... before turning around again, making a full revolution in one movement. "Hi, it's me again. You don't know how to find a staffcrafter, do you?"

"I think I'll find one eventually. I don't want to keep you." He wasn't sure he wanted such an excitable guide anyway.

"Don't be modest! My only goal for today was to pre-order Adrienne Laciturne's next book. She recently announced that she was planning another expedition. Everybody keeps assuming the book will be available within a year, but it took her almost ten to finish her first one, so it will take at least ten for this one. And that's not counting all the revision she has to do in the meantime, since the third edition of The Creatures that Shape Our Realms will need to be released too. She'll also have to deal with our new political situation, so she might not even have time for writing at some points."

Most of what Thirrin had said was lost on Uri, which he didn't attempt to mask. His self-appointed guide either didn't notice or didn't care, since she clapped her hands and asked if he was ready.

"I guess?"

"Great!"

With a spin and a whoosh, she was gone, leaving only the aurora and a blur as indication of the direction in which she had gone. Bewildered, he started running after her, but she reappeared before him after only a couple of seconds, giggling at his recurrent astonishment.

"Sorry, I don't usually have travelling companions. I'll stop at intervals so you have time to catch up." Spin-whoosh. He blinked. Whoosh. "This way." Spin-whoosh.

In her absence, Uri blushed crimson; a small crowd had gathered, not all of the spectators found the display amusing. He therefore did what he did best and made himself scarce.

When he caught up, she was window-browsing at the store in front of them. Noticing his arrival, she looked at him, gave a short wave, and zipped away just as he opened his mouth. Before he had even properly caught up a second time, he called her name to ensure she didn't depart prematurely.

"Hmm, yes?"

He closed the gap between them, panting. "How do you move so quickly?"

"Magic. Raw magic, specifically. Valkyries are naturally fast, but years of practice has allowed me to develop blinding speed-" she zipped around him, "-and impeccable reflexes-" she casually spun her spear, swatting a fly out of the air, "that make even veteran warriors turn green with envy. All in all, it's very useful for getting around quickly and-" she giggled, "-impaling people, but it often lands me in trouble."

Uri raised his eyebrows, his curiosity surpassing his nervousness. "How so?"

"Well, the IRMA - the Interrealmal Magical Administration - has only three rules regarding raw magic: don't use it as your primary focus, don't use it too often, and don't endanger the public. They're usually open to interpretation, but there are times when there is no doubt you broke them. The first rule is fine, since Potionry and Spellcasting are my primary and secondary focuses, but the other two..." She giggled again, guiltily that time. "I've received many fines for utilising my speed too often, and I've even been summoned to a court hearing once because too many civilians complained about narrowly avoided collisions. It was never a real risk, of course, but many citizens of Gateway are happy worriers."

Uri was unnerved by how casual she took official rebukes. "If you've been warned not to use it so often, how come you're freely using your speed now?"

Thirrin beamed, as if he had just asked her to elaborate on some ingenious scheme. "Well, after the Tolling's effects wore off and we all woke up, I figured the IRMA would have more urgent matters to handle, so they wouldn't mind a dashing sorceress as much as they would previously." Wink-spin-whoosh.

It took Uri a moment to realise she had made a pun, and then another to realise her answers had simply given rise to more questions. Groaning, he jogged after her. How did she have the energy for that? He halted. And how did the abrupt stops not rip her apart? He decided to ask her at the next stop.

"Thirrin-?"

"Almost there!" Whoosh.

He sighed and slowed down to a walk. After having been asleep for so long, his legs protested at the consistent exertion. He needn't have worried too much, for the shop in front of which Thirrin stood was clearly one that sold staves - she enthusiastically pointed at the sign above the door, as if he hadn't seen it already.

As soon as he followed her inside, his expectations were shattered. He was certain there were amazingly complex factors that distinguished the innumerable staves, but to his untrained eye, they looked mostly the same. It was severely disappointing.

"I thought magical staves would look a bit more... exotic," he whispered, not wanting to offend the owner.

"You wouldn't be able to afford an exotic staff," Thirrin pointed out in her normal tone, giggling.

Uri laughed nervously. "Actually, I don't think I'll be able to afford anything. Unless I can sell this somewhere without being robbed." He produced one of the Moon Candle vials.

Her eyes lit up. He could envision little Moon Candles blossoming in them.

"Whoa... Where'd you get those? And why didn't you stop me when I was drying you?"

"There's no stopping you." He clapped his hand in front of his mouth. Ironically, it was the first time he had spoken candidly. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to-"

"No, no, you're absolutely right!" she managed to say through her fit of giggles. "You wouldn't have been fast enough. Oh well, no use crying over spilled... nectar." She lowered his hand, which still held the vial. "You might want to put that away, though. Otherwise you really will be robbed." She leaned closer. "There's been a crime surge lately and the non-magical council is not too impressed." She pulled away and donned an innocent expression.

He did as he was told, but remembered one of his questions from earlier. "Thirrin, what is the Tolling? And what happened lately?"

Though she smiled, confusion danced in her gaze. "You mean you don't know what happened at all?" The smile diminished even further, making the expression look eerily like a mask. "How did you get here?"

Fear crept into Uri's mind. He revealed the divining rod and held it out. She examined it by turning it around in her palm. The smile was almost gone. Only muscle-memory maintained the last vestiges of it.

"This is a very unusual method of magical transportation. Did your parents give this to you?"

He looked at his feet and nodded.

"Uriah... where are your parents?"

"I..." his voice cracked. "I don't know." He looked up at her, his eyes shining with moisture. "They're dead, aren't they." It wasn't a question.

The smile returned, but as a grimace. "Time doesn't pass at the same rate for every realm. What could be a year here could be ten there, or it could be the other way around. I don't know enough about your realm to answer your question. All you can do is hope."

Uri swallowed and blinked incessantly. He avoided eye contact. "What happens now?"

"I think you've figured that out by yourself already. If you got here using that rod, it means you know how it works, which means you've also tried using it to reach your parents. If you don't know where your parents are, it means they were - are - non-magical and had to leave for whatever the reason. Did they leave you a message of any kind?"

He nodded and dug in his pocket to find the note. He looked away even more as he held it out. He didn't want her to see his face.

After a minute of silence, he heard a heavy sigh. Tilting his head towards her a bit, he saw Thirrin dabbing at her eyes in his peripheral vision. She noticed him looking and flashed another bright smile.

"You're a Shifter too, huh?" She sniffed. "Your kinsmen might not have thought so, but that's great."

While still looking down, he peered up at her. "Too?"

She swished her hair and proudly planted the butt of her spear on the floor. "Shifter 3rd Class. I only have two forms, so I compensate by excelling at other fields of magic." She offered him a kerchief.

"Thanks." Using it and giving it back, he asked, "What are your two forms?"

"The delightful dire wolf and the remarkable raven! The former is good for surprise attacks, while the latter is excellent for reconnaissance. What about you?"

"I only have one, but it's..." The very thought of it made him shiver.

Thirrin laughed it off. "The only thing rarer than a Shifter with one form is a Shifter with twelve, which is the maximum. You've probably only discovered one, but the rest will come in time. Anyway, what is it?"

Uri had never seen his form, and he had expressly asked his parents not to describe it, but he did ask then for the name. He beckoned for Thirrin to cone closer and whispered it in her ear as she bent down. She recoiled instantly.

"Oh. My. Gods. Your first form is a level eight on the Kelleigh Danger Scale?! I hope you don't have too many Shifters in your class, because they will be jeeealous."

It was not at all the reaction Uri had been expecting. He had anticipated horror and disgust, the same as he had experienced when his magic had first revealed itself. Instead, the revelation had greatly impressed his only ally thus far and even prompted her to call his position enviable. Fate was cruel.

He went through a variety of facial expressions, settling on uncomprehending. "I'm sorry, but this is all too much."

"You're overwhelmed, which is understandable. It's probably best if you don't think too much about it yet."

Uri frowned. "Err, okay... Can we get my staff, then?"

Thirrin uttered an odd laugh he couldn't recognise. He guessed it was some sort of surprised noise.

"Yes, we absolutely can!"

He had guessed correctly.

She approached the counter and tapped the bell. A black, bipedal canine materialised behind the counter out of what seemed like thin air, startling Uri. Thirrin was naturally unfazed.

"Greetings, Diantherus! How are you?"

The canine bowed gracefully. "Many new sorcerers and sorceresses have honoured me with their presence lately - a delightful fortune. Yet your presence is a greater delight still." His gaze drifted over to Uri. "Is the timid angel yours?"

Thirrin giggled and playfully punched the staffcrafter's shoulder. "You jest. I haven't had an apprentice in years."

Diantherus the staffcrafter folded his arms. "These are times of change. I have never known you to be rigid in your patterns "

She waved a dismissive hand. "It's Uriah's choice." When the canine regarded Uri expectantly, she punched him on the shoulder - for real, as his yelp indicated. "Don't pressure the boy! He'll make his decision on his own. The only choice you need to make for him is choosing his staff."

The staffcrafter raised his hands in surrender. "I concede defeat."

He walked around the counter and gestured at a chair in the centre of the main room. Once Uri sat down, he placed his furry hand on the young angel's. Instinctively, Uri withdrew it.

"Err, sorry. It felt..."

"Odd? That is all right. I have seen the reaction many times throughout my years. Still, I work with my hands, so I must make physical contact to sense your potential. The hands work the best."

Uri tentatively extended his hand, placing it on the chair's arm. Again, he felt that strange sensation, but after a few seconds, he realised it was not just the fur. The staffcrafter held each hand in both of his at separate times, and while he did, Uri's hands tingled. Finally, the black wolf was satisfied.

"I have learned what I need to know and can select your staff now, but if you don't mind, may I touch your wings?"

Uri flapped them nervously. "Why?"

"I have always wondered whether they have any significance to my trade. I have had winged customers before, but only fae. Their wings hardly count."

Uri looked to Thirrin, who nodded and smiled reassuringly. "Okay, I guess you can go ahead."

"Many thanks."

The wolf circled around behind Uri and gingerly stroked his wings. He felt distinctly uncomfortable and couldn't wait for the canine to be done.

"A great honour indeed. Thank you, young man. Your willingness has allowed me to gain deeper insight into my craft and into your needs, for it seems wings are as telling as the hands, but in an entirely different way."

"What do you recommend?" Thirrin enquired.

"I sense an inherent desire to protect others, but it is buried under many layers of doubt. He needs a staff that can assist in fulfilling this goal while also providing him with much needed support."

"Can you make a staff like that?" Uri asked hopefully.

"I may be a staffcrafter, but crafting staves according to a customer's particular needs is a very arduous task. In reality, we only partially unlock a wand or staff's potential; the vessel's power and personality is predetermined by the individual tree whence it came. I can therefore check my supply, but I cannot guarantee that I or any staffcrafter will have what you need."

Uri's wings drooped. "Oh."

Thirrin catapulted herself from her perch on the counter. "If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there would be no jobs for tinkers! Let him check his stock first before you abandon hope."

"Indeed," the canine agreed. He fetched a ledger from beneath the counter and checked specific entries, sometimes heading to a particular staff and examining it before moving on. "I believe the best woods for his case would be alder or fir," he declared after a while, perhaps having realised his customers were bored. (Uri had continued to sit in a miserable pose while Thirrin browsed.)

"What are their properties?" the valkyrie asked.

"Both types lend themselves towards defensive and oracular magic, but their uses vary. Fir fits our young angel very well in the sense that both he and the wood may appear weak but are in fact quite powerful. However, I think alder would suit him better, as it is steadfast, loyal, and supportive."

"Which alder staves do you have, then?"

The staffcrafter laid a staff back onto its shelf. "That is what I have been checking, but none of them feel quite right. The best one I have found thus far is this one." He walked past them and collected a staff that was leaning against the wall. "Uruz core rune and carnelian lodestone."

"Well, what's the problem?"

"The staff itself would undoubtedly be loyal and serve him well, but its power bothers me. It is adaptable, which isn't a bad thing, but something about it just doesn't feel right."

Thirrin smiled thoughtfully. "We'll consider it. What about the fir staves?"

The wolf paged through his ledger, muttering to himself. "Perthro and lapis lazuli? No, too unpredictable. Hmm... Eihwaz and amethyst? Yes, that can work. Very supportive, but not the most loyal. Ideal for a starter." He turned to Uri. "Do you intend on getting a new staff after you've graduated?"

The angel shook his head. "Not unless I don't have to."

Diantherus nodded. "I thought so, I thought so. Let's see... Oh. This could work." He strode to the wall opposite the window and lifted one of the staves for them to see. "Algiz and rose quartz. It shares his compassion and will remain loyal even if it was to be wielded by someone else."

"In your professional opinion," Thirrin said, "which do you recommend?"

The staffcrafter closed the ledger. "If I could tailor a vessel to his needs, it would be an alder staff with an Algiz core rune and a rose quartz lodestone, as it would remain loyal to him and him alone while still sharing his natural affection for others. Seeing as I have no such staff at present, I suggest the fir. Its core rune and lodestone is perfect for him, but the wood trades eternal loyalty for a significant boost in power."

"If the staff is willing to accept me for all that I am," Uri said, drawing both heads to him, "then I'll extend the same courtesy."

"That's the spirit!" Thirrin called.

"I am inclined to agree," the wolf responded. He balanced it on both hands and offered it to Uri, who carefully accepted.

The staff intrigued him. It appeared to be straight, and it was for the most part, but the spiral at the end showed that there was more to it than visible at first glance, exactly as described.

While he admired his newest possession, Thirrin arranged the paperwork for the Academy to cover the costs. When she had signed everything, he called Uri over and they left the shop, leaving the black wolf to disappear once more.

"His father owned the shop before him, you know," Thirrin said matter-of-factly. "I got my first staff there while he was still an apprentice."

"Where is your staff anyway?"

Thirrin giggled and raised her spear. "Right here, silly. If you look through and of the four gaps in the spearhead, you'll see my peridot lodestone."

Uri inspected the weapon and found her claim to be true. "I can't believe I missed that." He noted a symbol beneath the spearhead. "Is that the core rune?"

"It is! Raido. The wood is some kind of oak; I can never remember which." She looked him up and down. "I like your staff. It fits you."

He smiled sincerely, the first time since he'd woken. "Thank you."

"You're welcome! Now we just need to register you and then we can part ways."

"Wait, what?" He had barely recovered from his crippling anxiety, yet the only person who had succeeded in making him feel at ease wanted to leave already? After everything that had transpired in the past hour? Panicked, he said, "You can't leave yet! Back there, you said you hadn't had an apprentice in years. Well, you're a shifter and I'm a shifter, so why can't I be yours?"

Thirrin laughed, not out of derision, but joy. "I was worried you'd never ask."

Uri frowned. "So you've been baiting me this whole time?"

She giggled - not what he wanted to hear at that moment. "Don't be ridiculous! You're unlike anyone I've met before, even though you probably hear that all the time, so I wanted to be your Mistress from the start. I've had normal sorcerers as apprentices before, so it wouldn't have been impossible anyway. But I would never lure you into doing something you didn't want to, so baiting isn't the term. I was obviously dropping hints, though."

Uri wasn't sure how to feel. A mixture of pride, fear and anger mulled about inside him. He'd process all those complicated feelings while walking. Learning more about his new environment wouldn't hurt, so he asked Thirrin all the questions that had bothered him since earlier, as well as any new questions that arose (and there were many). By the time they reached the large white Dome he had been using as a guide from the start, he was too absorbed in his questioning to take notice of his surroundings. Once they reached the registration offices and eventually the front of the line, he was surprised to find Thirrin cutting him off.

"There will be plenty of time for questions later, since neither of us are going anywhere soon. For now, you need to be registered. Go on."

She nudged him forward toward a goblin with a facial expression that showed she wanted to be anywhere but there. She sighed and dipped her quill in her inkpot.

"Name?"

"Uriah Nedelle."

"Age?"

"Eleven."

"Race?"

Uri looked back at Thirrin. "She can see I'm an angel, right?"

"Just give her more information simultaneously. Maybe it will accelerate the process."

"Race?" she repeated in an impatient monotone.

"Angel. I come from Aermael."

"Class?"

"Oh, he doesn't actually know yet!" Thirrin called over his shoulder. "Hold on just a moment!"

She tapped the inside of her shield, causing openings to appear. She passed the spear/staff to the hand of her shield-arm, thrusting her arm inside one of the openings. She smiled triumphantly and pulled out... a hedgehog?

"Oh, that's just a stressball. You squeeze it, like so-" she demonstrated , causing the hedgehog's eyes to peel out and Uri to gape, appalled, "-in order to relieve stress or keep your hands busy." She handed him the hedgehog and dug around inside her shield again before revealing a twelve-sided die. She took the hedgehog, shoved it back inside, and gave him the die. "Roll it!"

Uri didn't know why he had to, but obliged regardless and used the clerk's counter as a surface. He rolled a seven.

"Shifter 1st Class!" Thirrin called at the goblin. "Seven forms!"

"You can't say that just because I rolled a die," Uri whispered.

"It's magical and designed for this very purpose. Of course I can."

"Staff?"

"Fir, Algiz core rune, rose quartz lodestone," Uri answered, glad he remembered.

"Supplies?"

Thirrin presented the paperwork from the staff shop, in addition to another list.

"What's that?"

The valkyrie winked. "A list of books, reagents, stationary and other items you'll need. The Academy will pay for it all. You'll even be paid an allowance for studying."

Uri's eyes widened. "We get paid to study magic?"

"It's to all of society's benefit that you do. It prevents accidents from happening by limiting the use of raw magic. What they teach here is safe and controlled."

"Master?"

"Mistress," Uri corrected. "Thirrin Astlyrra."

"Focus?"

Uri had no idea what to say, but Thirrin at least was prepared.

"Potionry, Spellcasting, Shifting."

The goblin filed the folder and slid a silver key through the gap beneath the window. "Floor five, room 32. Next!"

"Actually, I need to register too! Uriah, you go find your room so long. I'll find you tomorrow. If you ever need to get back here for some reason, face this way, then head down the corridor, up the stairs one floor, down the next set, and then down more stairs. After that, go through the door on the left, and then right into the hall. That's where we are now. Follow the directions backwards to get to the main courtyard. I'll be seeing you!"

Uri didn't want to leave, but he had to, so he followed her instructions as well as he could. He wasn't sure which way to go after that, but he noticed a boy with ashen skin and blood red hair looking lost. It turns out he was, so Uri recited Thirrin's direction back to the boy, though it was a tad bit jumbled. After the boy left, Uri felt as nervous as earlier the day, so he reminded himself of everything he had accomplished in an attempt to regain some confidence. He'd have to ask for directions again, which would only happen if he didn't run away.

Succeeding in his goal the first time, he soon stopped in front of his designated room. Ahead of him lay the start of a new life. It promised untold adventure, but he would have to discard his fear first. Well, that would take time, but all journeys started with one step followed by another, so he would have to trust it would improve with time.

Trembling a bit, he placed the key in the lock, already worrying he would break the key or something. Yet the door unlocked with ease. He turned the knob and made his first step in what would be the most significant journey of his life.
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle
  





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Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:19 am
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AstralHunter says...



Dagon Kalula


Like so many other newly awakened sorcerers, Dagon used a magical passageway to cross realms into the Gateway, and like so many first-time visitors, he had no idea where to go. Unlike many of those clueless fools, however, he had no intention of wandering about until he happened upon the right place. Gazing up and down the street, he decided the most promising source of information would be the wand shop across the street. Considering it was called 'Hamrich's Wandmakers', he didn't expect much, though.

Upon entering, a bell informed the staff of his arrival. A boy tripped into view and attempted to stutter a greeting, but Dagon raised a hand. "Is that... small man your Master?" he asked, looking at the dwarf currently speaking with a mother and her son.

"Y-yes, but he's busy with-"

Dagon turned his contemptuous gaze upon the youth. "Can you tell me where the best staffmaker in the Gateway is?" The boy looked away. "That's what I thought. Get out of my way."

He marched over to Mister Hamrich, who craned his neck in surprise. "I'm afraid I'm a tad busy, young lad, but if you give me a wee moment-"

"I won't take up much of your time, sir," Dagon replied, smiling politely. "I only need you to point me towards the establishment where the best staves can be found."

"Well, as I said-"

"I'm sure the lady won't mind." He glanced in her direction, ignoring the indignant expression on her face, before looking down again. "See?"

The dwarf scowled. "Madame Zanchi's. It's down the road, to the right."

"That didn't take too much time now, did it?" He left without waiting for a response, smirking upon hearing the woman's complaints.

He followed the dwarf's instructions, but after walking for five minutes and seeing no business with such a name, he impatiently hailed a passer-by and asked if he was on the right path. To his chagrin, he discovered he was not - in fact, he had been sent in exactly the opposite direction. What was more, it was about half an hour's walk away. He irritatedly requested confirmation on the supposed high quality of the staves sold there, which he at least got.

Twenty minutes later (Dagon had no patience for dawdling pedestrians), he arrived at the establishment, giving the interior a quick scan before entering. The place looked respectable, if somewhat dull.

"You are Madame Zanchi, I presume."

The elderly woman over by one of the shelves looked back over her shoulder. The rest of her body swiveled in the same direction. "You presume correctly." She gestured for him to follow before heading to an arch that led to a room at the back of the shop.

Dagon didn't move. "I am told you are the best staffcrafter in Gateway."

The gnarled lady halted and raised an eyebrow. "There is no definitive 'best' in my trade, but I always choose the right staff the first time." She proceeded into the backroom.

He strode after her and sat down on the stool she indicated. "Then I am at the right place."

Madame Zanchi observed him a bit longer before musing, "First an Ascari, and now an angel. I certainly seem to be attracting more interesting customers than usual." She walked over and held out her hand. "Is your name pronounceable in the common tongue, or do you need to choose a new one for yourself as well?"

"Dagon." He placed his right hand in her left.

Up went the eyebrow again, despite the fact that she focused on tracing the veins down his arm rather than his face. Her index finger stopped upon reaching the base of his hand. "Hmm. You are as ambitious as the boy before you, yet I sense none of the same hesitation. You don't know exactly what you want, but you pursue it with verve nevertheless."

"I do know what I want," he corrected vainly.

"Knowing what you want and thinking you know what you want are two very different things," she said, releasing his hand. "If I told you staves made of blackthorn are rather powerful and usually indicative of an authoritative wielder, would you want one?"

"Perhaps," Dagon answered, sensing a trap.

"No, you wouldn't," she responded simply. "Blackthorn staves are stubborn and refuse to perform complex spells when pressured."

"I would make it perform," he replied.

"Again, no, you wouldn't. Wands and staves aren't like people; you can't make them do something they don't want to. You might think a strong-willed staff would be a good choice, but you'd just get frustrated by its lack of cooperation. If you would allow me to do my job, I can create a staff that will shift its mood along with yours. Should you still believe you know better, however, you may happily find another staffmaker who will accommodate you."

Dagon rolled his eyes. "Fine. What kind of staff do you believe would suit me best?"

She nodded. "Much better. The staff I have in mind is made of pearwood. It will adapt its magic according to your emotions, which means it should be willing to do as you require regardless of the situation. Wait here."

Dagon groaned and flapped his wings in annoyance. As Madame Zanchi left, he surveyed the many staves on the shelves with disinterest. He'd insist on a more impressive weapon if the Academy would pay for it, but he doubted the magical school would supply him with anything but the bare necessities.

When the staffmaker returned, she brought with her a staff with an emerald embedded in the top, a rune glowing beneath it. The staff grew narrower the further away one moved from the lode stone.

"You wanted a powerful staff that will obey your commands - this is it. You seem inclined towards destruction, so it has a Kenaz core rune, which ought to suit you just fine, considering you're willing to do whatever it takes to attain your goals. The emerald lode stone signifies the staff's personality."

"Which is?"

"As long as you are willing to work towards improving your standing in life, it will readily reveal its potential to you. That too shouldn't be a problem, as you're arrogant, but not stupid." She allowed him to take it from her, deliberately making him reach out. "I suggest you treat it with respect, since it's the only staff in the entire shop willing to tolerate you and your demands."

Dagon inspected the staff carefully. He found it plain, but crafted in good taste. "If it obeys, I'll treat it well."

"Good." She moved out of the doorway. "Satisfied?"

He rose and stretched his wings, trying to get a reaction from the staffcrafter but receiving only an unimpressed stare. He sighed. "You provided a product of good quality. My parents raised me to appreciate that. You deserve your reputation."

Madame Zanchi inclined her head slightly. "Thank you. Good luck with your studies."

***


Registering was a nuisance, but the experience had proven fleeting. He had one of the meeker students lead him to his quarters (room twenty-seven on floor five) in the dome, after which he dismissed them and inspected the interior. Disappointing was the only word to describe the place.

"Ugh, nothing but plain furniture," he said, walking through the leftmost of the two doors in the wall opposite the entrance and dumping his bag onto his bed. "And the paint is so drab."

"We can have it changed. Which colour would you like?"

Dagon glared at his mirror. He couldn't see his reflection, which was no fault of the angle. "Did you just speak to me?"

"Why, yes." A girl inside the mirror moved to the side so he could see her. Remarkably, she looked back.

Curious, he rose and approached the mirror. The girl moved so as to stand in the centre once more. Besides her, the mirror showed the anticipated reflection. "Who are you?" he asked. "What are you?"

"I am Umbra, your Lodging Mirror. If you have any grievances or desires regarding your bedroom, bathroom, or living quarters, I can make arrangements to improve your quality of life. Any possessions besides furniture are your responsibility, however, so you will need to procure those yourself."

His glare intensified, as if she had just insulted him and not provided a thorough explanation of her purpose. "Your hair is black soot, your skin is ash, and your eyes are glowing coals. Are you a demon that just crawled out of a furnace?"

"How rude. I am a flame wraith - a spectre, not a demon. Had I been alive to begin with, I would have been a human in my previous life."

"Humans seem boring. They lack wings and tails and horns."

Umbra sneered. "But they possess an adaptability angels lack. They rely on their minds above all else. Dealings with them are to be conducted in caution." She tilted her head to the side and stared into the distance. "Then again, their ingenuity is rivalled only by their stupidity." She shrugged. "They are everywhere, though, so you will have to learn to deal with them."

"There are numerous other races too," Dagon pointed out. "I don't know what they are either."

"Well, then we'd better get you up to speed. Where would you like to start?"
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle
  





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Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:26 am
TheSunderedSorcerer says...



Headmaster Arcaeail


The Boy who Burned


The Headmaster had been arduously working on the tower of assignments on his desk when the boy with the wheeled bag was brought in by Miss Fitts. Arcaeail idly gestured with his hand at a comfortable chair opposite him while finishing off a particularly gripping paper on the importance of the Strawberry Full moon in the casting of binding rituals.

For several moments, the only sound in the spacious office was Arcaeail turning the pages of the assignment and occasionally scribbling something with his quill. However, the silence was broken when Arcaeail put down his quill and sat back with a sigh.

“I apologize,” the headmaster said, “Our Astrology professor was killed during the second to last siege of the Academy, so it’s up to me, a former Astrology professor, to mark these… long overdue papers before the new professor starts work in two days.” He sat forward and leaned his arms on the desk before continuing. “So, how can I help you…?”

“Jake. Jake Harrison,” Jake replied. “My parents said I should take this letter directly to you, sir.” He held out a sealed envelope to Arcaeail, who took it and read it silently.

The headmaster frowned while reading in, simply saying “I see” before replacing the letter in the envelope and pointing his wand at the opened envelope, closing it immediately.

“What did it say, sir?” Jake asked as the headmaster sat in silence for a minute.
Suddenly, the headmaster looked up and smiled at Jake. “You are from earth, correct?”

“From where else would I be?”

At this Arcaeail chuckled. “Definitely from earth then.”

He stood up and walked over to a long drawer cupboard standing beside one of the many bookshelves in the office. He pulled his rowan wand from his sleeve (under which he has a bracer to hold it there) and pointed it at the cupboard.

Kaleo Harrison file,” he said. He turned to look at Jake’s expression as one of the drawers started shaking. Although he didn’t like showing off, Arcaeail always enjoyed showing those unfamiliar with the magical world a small inkling of what they have been missing all this time. As he opened the drawer, a thin file came flying out, Arcaeail catching it in his left hand. He sat back down and opened the file.

“Let’s see here,” Arcaeail said as he scanned the three pages in the file. “Male, 13 years old… Grew up in Los Angeles… Wealthy parents…”

“How do you know all of this stuff?” Jake asked, perplexed.

“Hmm? Oh, we have an old hag in a closet who comes up with all of this after few draughts of Cloudblossom juice. I’m surprised that it’s all true so far.” Seeing Jake’s shocked expression, Arcaeail grinned and said, “How do they say on earth? Just kidding? We have a series of magical and non-magical sources in every realm who report on strange occurrences or individuals who discover their magical potential. Although, I wasn’t lying about old hag in the closet, but that’s just our Magical History professor.”

“But why’s my file so thin?”

“Well, that is a long and complicated tale, best left for another time and told by a more impressive storyteller,” Arcaeail said, a hint of sadness and anger briefly noticeable in his voice and expression. “But the short version is: all our magical informants were… incapacitated for a long while, and many of our non-magical sources either passed away, moved or stopped informing for us once everything got up and running here at the Academy and IRMA again, so this is all we got from a lady who worked for your parents.”

“Oh,” Jake replied, looking as if he wanted to hear the full story now.

“Anyway, back to the file. Hmm, was in a coma for several years… spontaneous combustion… Interesting.” Arcaeail put down the file and looked at Jake again, this time noticing the scorched edges of his clothing. He seemed to be contemplating something in his head before standing up again and walking over to a long white staff with a ruby stone at the top and taking it over to Jake.

“Hold this please,” the headmaster said, holding the staff so that Jake could hold it. The boy took the staff awkwardly, expecting something to happen.

“What now?” Jake asked, looking confused at Arcaeail and the staff.

“Did you feel any reaction from the staff?” Arcaeail asked, “Like a tingling sensation or a tension?”

“No… Did I do something wrong?” Jake asked, handing the staff back to the headmaster.

“Not at all, this is just what I expected, actually.” Arcaeail returned the staff to its corner and sat back down behind his desk. He took out a piece of parchment and started writing on it with his quill.

While writing, he asked Jake another question. “Cast, Create or Understand?” he asked without looking up.

“Excuse me?”

“Do you wish to cast magic, learn how to make magical items, or understand the magical world or how to control magic?”

“Uhm, understand?”

“That makes my task easier. This letter is for your new master, to teach you magic.” Arcaeail handed Jake the letter to read.

To Grawie Locar

This young lad is a Staffcrafter from earth. With him is a letter sent by his parents. I have not divulged its contents to the boy, and have left that task to you whenever you see fit to divulge it to him.

I think it would be wise to have him specialise in Magical Creatures. It would put his magic to good use, keep him safe from too much risk of using raw magic, as well as gain you a new apprentice.

He still needs to be registered, which is, as always, the Master’s duty.

Headmaster Arcaeail Ignatis


“Ask Missus Fitts outside to give you directions to Master Locar’s residence,” Arcaeail said. “Oh, and please keep any technology in your lodgings you will receive. No modern technology is allowed in the Gateway. Welcome to your new life, Jake Harrison.”

Arcaeail rose and followed Jake to the door. As Jake passed the headmaster, Arcaeail planted a coin in Jake’s pocket, which he had charmed with the Dioco charm while writing the letter to Locar. Returning to his desk, the headmaster closed his eyes and sensed as Jake made his way to Locar’s residence, after which he went to the IRMA, several magical stores, and finally, to the dome, where the last presence of the Dioco charm was felt close to room 35 one floor five.

The headmaster smiled when he knew the boy was safe, and resumed his marking.
I used to Wander the realms of this site, being a Wizard like only I can be.
After that I settled down, to learn the art of Conjuring Clocks.
For a time then I dabbled in the Intellectual art of Illusions.
  





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Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:24 pm
XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Jake Harrison


He finally arrived in the room with the headmaster. He was an older man with eyes that exuberated wisdom. Taking the seat that he was motioned to, he sat very still so as not to disturb the man's work.

“I apologize,” the headmaster said, “Our Astrology professor was killed during the second to last siege of the Academy, so it’s up to me, a former Astrology professor, to mark these… long overdue papers before the new professor starts work in two days.” He sat forward and leaned his arms on the desk before continuing. “So, how can I help you…?”

Did he just say killed? Jake inquired inwardly.

He quickly spoke up when he realized that the headmaster was asking him a question. "Jake. Jake Harrison. My parents said I should take this letter directly to you, sir." His hand shook as they drew out the paper. I was taking everything had to not set the paper aflame right then and there.

He passed it off to the headmaster and let out a sigh of relief that his....condition, didn't interfere. The headmaster opened the letter and began reading it over, with Jake straining to sit up straighter to see what was written with no success.

"I see," he said as he closed the envelop back up.

The man began asking him where he was from and began to conjure items from drawers without ever touching them. To say the least, Jake was...relieved. He wasn't the only person out there that seemed to have something supernatural about them.

He was given a letter and told to get directions to a Master Locar's residence. Jake smiled for the first time since his parents dropped him off in that alley. It was a bright smile, one that belonged on his features. He quickly caught himself fearful that he would ignite the letters in his hand, and it showed on his face.

Heading down the many, many stairs he came back to the reception area. The woman behind the desk looking to him and smiling. "Get yourself all set?" she asked.

"I'm supposed to ask a Miss Fitts about directions?" he said quietly. The woman politely tapped the engraved name on her desk to turn a little more toward him. Jakes eyes widened as he looked down. "Sorry...I...I didn't..."

"There is no need to apologize," she said warmly. "Where do you need directions to?"

"Master Locar?"

Miss Fitts smiled as she leaned in close. "You're lucky. He is a very good master to have. He specializes in magical creatures."

"Magical creatures?"

"I'm sure you've heard about dragons, basilisks, and unicorns haven't you?" Jake's eyes widened in shock. His mouth hung open in a comical manner making Miss Fitts give a quiet chuckle. "Shouldn't keep you waiting then. You head out the door there and go the main gate. Make a left. Head down that street until you see a sweets shop. When you get your first allowance, you should head there. They have the best chocolate cake in all the dimensions. Anyway, make a left on that street and just head down to the bottom. It's a simple building with a large fenced in area and a gigantic birdcage. You can't miss it."

"Thank you," Jake said as he turned out of the lobby.

"A piece of advice about Locar," she said quickly, getting Jake's attention. "He tends to be a little strict and stern. Don't take it too hard. Stick with it and make sure to give your best and you will have him grinning like an idiot with pride."

Jake nodded gently. I wonder what that's like, he thought as he began down the cobblestone. He took the directions, with the quiet rattle of the plastic wheels on his suitcase. Moving down the road he saw the sweets store ahead of him. The window filled with cakes and candy that would drive any kid insane with delight.

Pulling himself away from the sight he headed down the road into more of a meadow. Already he could see creatures running around in the pasture, and they looked nothing like those from his home. He was amazed as he watched several hounds playing together, each of them having three heads.

Stepping into the large building he saw unicorns and griffins in stalls, waiting to be released for their turns in the pasture.

"We have enough of whatever you're selling. Just leave," a gruff voice said as a hunched form came forward, using his staff to move about. Jake was more than a little startled when he saw the animalistic features on the man's face. "Well, you gonna stand there like an idiot? Get moving."

"I...I'm here to give you this?" Jake said nervously, holding out the letter. "The headmaster told me to come here."

Master Locar snatched the letter away and read through the short message from the headmaster. Then the second letter from Jake's mother. He let a sigh escape him before folding up the letters and looking Jake over. "So you're my new protégé?" he inquired.

Jake became increasingly uncomfortable with the speculative gaze that he was being given. He began wringing the hem of his shirt in a nervous tick before it suddenly caught fire and Jake yelped. He began swatting as his clothing until it was out and he stared at the ground in a panic. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he began chanting again and again.

"They're your clothes. Burn them all you want," Locar said with a huff. Jake looked at him with a shocked expression. "You're here to learn about your powers and through that education you will learn to control them, so things like that won't happen again. It seems that you are naturally inclined toward fire so that will be a good place to start. Let's go up and get you registered."

Heading back, Jake looked about the place a little more, taking in the wonders of this new world around him. At registration he was taken into a room with a young woman behind the desk and bright smile. "Hello hun. Ready to be registered?" she asked. Jake just shrugged.

"Let's start with the basics, Name?"

"Jake Harrison."

"Age?"

"Thirteen."

"Class?"

"Um.."

"When did you first cast?" Locar asked from behind him. "How old when your powers started?"

"I was eight when I caught the living room drapes on fire," Jake responded in shame.

"1st Class Sorcerer!" the woman wrote down with enthusiasm. "Staff aspects?"

"He's a staffcrafter," Locar piped in with a sigh. He hated the paperwork.

"Oh! Then no staff for you."

"Did I do something?" Jake asked quietly. "Am I supposed to have a staff?"

"You aren't," Locar explained. "Most sorcerers have to use a staff, like this," Locar presented his staff to be seen, "and most wizards need to have wands to cast their magic. You're magic comes from you hands. You will have to devote yourself to more mental fortitude. But you are as much a caster as anyone else."

"Alright...Sigilweaving will be a required course for you along with your other normal classes," the woman said.

"Classes?" Jake inquired.

"Why yes, this is where you come to learn how to control and cast your magic," she said gently.

"But I don't want to learn how to use it!" Jake said quickly. "I just want to get rid of it!"

Locar sighed. From the letter he knew that the boy must be desperate to remove himself from magic and go home. "My boy....you're a sorcerer. Magic is in your blood. Always will be. You can't just get rid of it. But you can learn to control it so things like what happened at my home don't happen anymore."

Jake nodded slowly. He set his mind to learn just enough to contain his magic.

"Master?"

"Grawie Locar. Second class sorcerer. Focus Magical Creatures."

"Alright. Your room is on the fifth floor, room 35. Welcome to the Academy," the woman gave him a wave and sent him on his way.

"Tomorrow you will be taking classes and tutoring with me," Locar said.

"Okay, mister Locar," Jake answered.

"Gray. You call me Master Gray," he said sternly. "You should head to your room and introduce yourself." The hunched form headed out back to his house.

"Wait...introduce myself to who?" Jake asked as he stepped out into the hall. He sighed defeated as he trudged up the stairs. He slowly wrapped around the stairs until he managed to find the right floor and headed for his room. As he arrived he felt his suitcase suddenly swing away and hit the wall, knocking open the lid. He turned and saw a girl with bright red hair coming striding down the hall. Though his bag wasn't in her path she had made sure that her way was completely clear.

Jake slowly began putting his clothes back in the suitcase and opened his door to drag it in. The room was quite plain. A bed and dresser with a mirror at the top. He sighed as he was relieved that no one was staying in the room with him. "Don't want to burn someone," he muttered to himself as he sat on the bed.

"I hope that isn't an omen of things to come," an older feminine voice said. Jake jumped and dropped onto the floor as he looked around in a panic. His hands already heating up. "Whoops," the voice giggled. "Didn't mean to startle you." The woman gave a wave from the mirror and Jake looked around frantically to try and find her. "I'm in the mirror, honey. Would you mind putting your fire away? You're burning my coat."

Jake looked down and saw that his hands were covered in flames that he quickly began swatting out. "I'm sorry," he said fearfully.

"It's alright honey. Not the first time my floor was burned," she gave him a 'come closer' motion that got Jake up on his feet. "Well, aren't you a strapping young man. My name is Meredith, I'm your helper within this room. I can create simple furniture within these four walls to suit your needs."

"I...I'm Jake...Jake Harrison," he said nervously.

"It's nice to meet you Jake. How about we get you settled?"
  





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Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:24 pm
XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Edrea Turqout


Edrea made her way through the halls. Her things being sent to her room through magical means or with servants bringing them up later. For now though, she would set herself as the queen of the floor. Those who didn't bow would be forced to kneel.

She strode with powerful steps, making it clear that she would not suffer any in her path. At the fifth floor, moving down the corridor, students parted in front of her like the Red Sea. She idly thought over the story and how Moses was likely one of the very first Sorcerer's of the Earth Realm.

She spied a young boy, noting that it was the same one that she had seen carrying that pitiful little suitcase. With a grin she flicked her wand and muttered, "Aporipto suitcase." The suitcase flew from the aisle and slammed into the wall, spilling its contents along the floor. She could hear the gasps of surprised and shock that she already had such control over her magic. Her casting already excelling beyond their own.

She noted the door and grinned at how she was getting close to her door and her future pawn. Stopping at door thirty she grinned as she arrived at her door at the same time as the first class witch arrived at her's in twenty-nine. She smirked at the Auburn hair that she currently had pulled back.

"Greetings," she said raising her chin ever so slightly. "I hear that you're a first class witch, like myself. I am Edrea of the Turquot family. Perhaps we can study together so that I can explain the basics to you...advance your education as it were."

She held out a neatly groomed hand expecting an immediate reaction just from her name.
  





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Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:01 pm
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AstralHunter says...



Dagon Kalula


"...but while pixies are small-minded and mischievous - stupid, basically - sprites are proud and vengeful. If you insult one, it will hold a grudge against you and your descendents for as long as it lives. It isn't uncommon for them to curse the bloodline of the offenders."

The black-winged angel sighed in annoyance and played with the edge of his bedcovers. "If I have to endure a boring lecture on the history of all magical races, I'd prefer to be bored in class, not my bedroom."

Per his instructions, Umbra had changed the bedroom's, lounge's and bathroom's colour scheme from the antique cream it had been to light grey, black and red. He'd always liked darker themes more than lighter ones.

His lodging mirror huffed. "Fine, don't listen to me. But don't come crying when you- Hey, where are you going? I was being sarcastic!"

Dagon had jumped up from his bed upon hearing arguing outside and made for the door, completely ignoring his mirror. Stepping out into the corridor, he found two witches shouting in each other's faces. He rolled his eyes in exasperation. Girls.

"Okay, break it up," he said languidly, getting between the pair.

"This doesn't concern you!" the one to his right exclaimed. Glaring up at him and pointing her wand at his throat like a tiny switchblade, she said, "Leave or I'll move you myself."

He gave the stick an unimpressed look before plucking it out of her hand. Dagon tilted it from side to side, inspecting it. "What kind of wood is this?"

"It's dragon bone, you idiot! Now give it back this instant!"

At the girl's outburst, the wand gave him a slight zap, prompting him to drop it. "Damned thing just shocked me!"

The witch gave a muffled cry and snatched the wand out of the air. "How dare you drop my wand?! Do you know what could have happened if- Ouch!" She stared open-mouthed at the wand she had, ironically, also just dropped. "It just shocked me too!"

While the angel and witch gazed at the fallen wand, dumb-founded, the other girl slipped back into her room, giggling. It took a moment for the one who remained to regain her composure and rage, but once she did, she bristled. Exuding fury, she slowly bent over, gingerly picked up her wand, and seethed, "You will rue the day you met Edrea Turquot." Shooting him one last murderous glance, she entered the room behind her.

Dagon recovered sufficiently to realise he was standing in en empty hallway like a fool, so he mentally shook himself and knocked on the door on the opposite side of the corridor.

"Yes?" the witch asked cautiously, opening the door just enough to see the person outside.

He crossed his arms and gave her an expectant look. "Considering I just humiliated the girl you fought with, I believe you owe me."

She raised her eyebrow. "Oh, really?"

The tall angel casually ran his hand through his hair before wiping it on his pants and holding it out. "Yeah, you do. You can start with a proper introducton. Dagon Kalula. What might your lovely name be?"

The witch eyed his hand skeptically before quickly shaking it and just as quickly letting it go. "Arabelle Laciturne. Anything else I 'owe you'?"

"Hmm, no. I think that's it - for now." He flashed a smug smile. "See you around, Ara."
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle
  





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Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:52 pm
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AstralHunter says...



Uriah Nedelle


The first step in the most significant journey of Uri's life wasn't too spectacular. In fact, it consisted of stepping into a plain, lilac coloured room, which made it rather ordinary. Uriah didn't have any expectations, however, so in his eyes, the room was perfect.

"Greetings! ¡Bienvenido! Grüße! Śubhēcchā'ō!"

Until his mirror spoke to him, that was. He then considered it a trap and ducked out again, slamming the door and cowering with his back against it.

"Chairetísmata!" she called, apparently oblivious of his absence. "Beannachtaí! Agurra! Sanibonani! Gréiss! Kveðjur! Vær hilset! Të fala! Ẹ kí! Txais tos! Õ shûrñå-"

Uri spun around and poked his head inside the room. "Why are you trying to curse me?!"

"-dìkë lý- Oh, he speaks English! I'm frightfully sorry. You see, I was trying to greet you in as many languages as possible, since someone I visited no less than five minutes ago said her tenant spoke a language so obscure, she couldn't even pronounce the name, so I thought-"

"Sorry to interrupt you for a second time, but this is my room, right?" Uri wasn't sure anymore.

"Oh, definitely. You have white wings, right?"

An odd question, causing the little angel to frown. "I do."

"Then this is indeed your room! Please come inside again. I'll try not to scare you."

He very hesitantly did so, only making small movements. "If this really is my room, why are you here?"

"I'm your lodging mirror."

When she didn't elaborate, Uri ventured a confused, "So?"

"So that means I'm your lodging mirror. Your guide, friend and confidante. I came into existence the moment you registered and will cease to exist the moment this room belongs to someone else. But hey, that's life! You exist one moment and don't the next! Err, but you can't see me yet, so please come a bit closer. Theeere you go."

The lady in the mirror was a girl his age, except far more spirited. She had shiny red hair and sparkling emerald eyes, despite there being no natural light in the room. She beamed greatly, but instead of uplifting him, the smile made his spirits sink, for it reminded him of someone he had just met.

"Aww, come on, don't look so down! If I disppointed you, I'll make up for it by making your stay as comfortable as I possibly can!"

Why did both his guides have to be vivacious females?

"Could you tone the energy down a bit?" he asked timidly.

She blinked, her eyes depicting puzzlement. The smile was still comically frozen on her face. "You mean I'm too lively?"

He nodded. "Yeah."

The girl in the mirror blushed and smiled in an embarrassed manner. "You know what? I think I should stop listening to the advice that nice woman gave me and just do what feels natural to me. Do you mind if I quickly drink a glass of water? I don't think I'm meant to say so much so quickly. I constantly feel like I need to gasp for air."

"Err, sure?"

"Thanks! You can go put your staff in the bedroom. It's the door to the left."

The girl walked out of sight, leaving Uri to wonder how he had landed himself in such a crazy world. He followed her advice and entered his bedroom, which was furnished and coloured in fashion similar to the lounge. He laid his staff down to lean against his dresser and turned around to find the girl staring at him from the bed in the mirror opposite him.

"Don't mind me," she said after emptying her glass. "I'm just catching my breath. Oh, but I'm Ruby, by the way."

"Uriah."

"Pretty name. Hold on, I think I'm going to need another glass of water. Sit tight and I'll be right back."

Yip. Crazy world indeed.
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle
  





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Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:22 pm
TheSunderedSorcerer says...



Arabelle Laciturne

Floor number Five


"Welcome, young Lady Laciturne."

As Ara entered her Lodgings of the Dome, she was greeted by Jeannie Waterson, one of their servants who had diligently cared for the Laciturne manor through the Tolling. Jeannie used to be the steward's daughter, as well as Ara's age, but now she was thirty-seven years old and stewardess after her father had passed away.

Jeannie and two of their other servants, Francis and Ingrid, had come to the Lodgings before Ara to unpack her stuff and prepare the Lodgings according to her personal tastes. The entrance room seemed larger than naturally possible, and had two passageways leading off to either side. The floors were carpeted with a gentle brown color, and the uncovered parts of the wall were made of elegant oak panels. Close to the left passageway, Ara saw multiple bookshelves, mostly empty save for the books she had brought here from the manor, as well as a reading chair which had been her father's.
On the right side of the entrance room was a small cauldron and potionry table, some minor supplies of reagents lining the table in neat containers. Straight ahead was a mostly wall-sized mirror, making the room seem doubled in size. However, Ara only saw one person in the mirror, skipping around merrily.

"Ah, the new tenant of the room arrives!" the girl said when she noticed Arabelle and the servants staring at her. "I was beginning to wonder whether these three only came in here to make me stretch my magic."

"Who are you?" Arabelle asked as she came within touching distance of the mirror.

"Me? Well, technically I am a representation of this room's personality, but you can call me Elena," the mirror-girl said. "I can't wait to go visit the other Lodgings mirrors and tell them of the size of my mirror! Some of them are no more than a head big."

"Excuse me, young Lady Laciturne," Jeannie said, stepping forward before Ara got sucked into a conversation with the mirror. "m'lady's mother requested that we inform you that she would like to take you supply shopping. She said to meet her in the entrance hall."

"And where will you be going?" Arabelle asked the stewardess. "We shall be returning to the manor and keeping it clean and tidy while we await Mistress Laciturne and the young lady Laciturne's return."

Ara hugged her old friend before she left her Lodgings (Elena had already disappeared out of her own mirror, probably to go visit another mirror) Thankfully the annoying Turquot girl or the strange black-winged angel were nowhere to be seen, so Arabelle made it downstairs without much of a delay.

While waiting for her mother, Ara noticed a girl about her age effortlessly running along a walkway close to the reliefs on the roof of the entrance hall, climbing and jumping with natural aptitude as she proceeded downwards. Her long, red hair fluttered as she landed neatly next to a pair of elderly elves, making several jump or scold this girl, before hurrying away muttering "Ascari"

As the girl made her way passed Arabelle, Ara decided to introduce herself to this unique girl. She jogged after the red haired girl and poked her arm to get the girl to turn around. When she did, Ara saw that her hair hang over one of her eyes, and that it covered that part of the face. Seeing the confusion in the girls face, Ara introduced herself.

"Hi, I'm Arabelle, but you can call me Ara," she said, offering her hand to be shook.

"I'm Cara," the girl replied shaking the offered hand, "Cara Dimaentis."

"Are you also starting with magic this year?"

"Yes, but I've lived here for all my life."

"Which room are you in? Maybe we can do assignments together. Or you can always show me those secret walkways you know about."

"I think its room 28 on floor five... Yeah, that sounds right."

Ara looked surprised and then delighted. "Would you look at that! My room is room 29 on floor five!"

"All first year magical students get their rooms on floor five," a taller, black-haired woman said, probably in her early twenties. "My room is also on that floor; room 33, to be precise."

"Aren't you too old to be a first year witch?" Cara asked.

The young woman chuckled. "I'm a sorceress second class, so no, not really. I'm Pharah, by the way."

As Arabelle stood there talking to Cara and Pharah, she saw her mother coming in, probably directly from her council gathering.

"Are you ready to go, dear?" Her mother asked as she kissed her cheek. When Arabelle nodded and greeted the other two who remained standing there, following her mother out as they set off to buy supplies, books and equipment.

As they came to a shop named Mr.Grimfodder's Poisons and Deadly Reagents, her mother greeted the owner Grimfodder (Mr.Grimfodder was his father) like an old friend.

"Ari!" he said in a husky voice, "How long's it been?"

"Too long, Grimy, my old friend," Lady Laciturne replied."How is it going with your father?"

"Well, probably as fine as it can go with a Poisoncrafter his age. Who knows how many toxic fumes or failed smokeblinder potions his old lungs inhaled over the years."

"Send him my greetings and condolences, would you?"

"I will. Hey, did you hear that Raven Bonnelle's the head Poisoncrafting Professor this year. Apparently old Tignar finally decided to retire and allow her to take his position full-time."

"Really?" Arabelle's mother seemed both surprised and interested. "I never thought Raven the educating type."

"Nor did I. But, if Headmaster Ignatis trusts her after the Never-ending Frenzy fiasco, then so be it. Just be sure to watch Arabelle over here."

"Oh, believe me, I will." Picking up the few reagents and special Poisoncrafting equipment they just bought, Arabelle and her mother proceeded to the door. "Take care, Grimy."

"You too Ari!"

Arabelle and her mother made good progress through the rest of the day, and when they returned to her Lodgings that evening, most of the remaining space in the entrance room was occupied by books, reagents, parchment, or any other equipment Ara would require.

After introducing her mother to Elena, her mother tucked her into bed (the bedroom was down the left passageway), sitting on the edge of the bed as she stroked Ara's hair. As her mother stood up, she seemed to remember something, since she snapped her fingers before reaching into her coat pocket to remove a golden locket, one side of which was slightly burnt and had claw scratches on. She put it on the bed table before crouching beside the bed to look Ara in the eye.

"This was your father's," she said, tapping the battered locket with her one finger, before revealing a second locket around her neck, this one looking like it was more cared for. "These two lockets are magically bound to one another. That means that whenever one of us wants to talk to the other, we merely have to place a folded up note inside, allowing the other to always be in contact with the other.
Always keep it with you, and remember that I will always be there when you need me to be."
I used to Wander the realms of this site, being a Wizard like only I can be.
After that I settled down, to learn the art of Conjuring Clocks.
For a time then I dabbled in the Intellectual art of Illusions.
  





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Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:59 pm
XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Edrea Turqout


Edrea had held out her hand for quite a long time, while Ara just stared at her. Her irritation rising she leaned in just a little. "It would be beneficial for you to accept my friendship," she whispered on the verge of threatening.

"I have no interest in being friends with you or any member of the Turquot family," Ara almost announced. "I am quite capable of handling my own studies. Besides, anyone who has to bully others in order to define themselves is not someone worth having as a friend."

Edrea's features immediately turned cold, her hand dropping as she clenched her jaw. "You best watch what you say to me, witch," she growled. "I can make your life very difficult."

"Your wealth and status is not enough to frighten me," Ara responded, her hand dropping to the handle of her door. "Like all bullies...you're all talk."

"I'll show you talk!" Edrea yelled pulling her wand from her belt and shoving Ara back from her door so that she couldn't escape. "Draw your wand and I'll show you how out classed you are!"

"Okay, break it up," a really tall and well built man said stepping between the two of them.

"This doesn't concern you!" she shrieked, "Leave or I will remove you myself." Her wand pointed to this throat. A Fear curse should be enough to show these peasants my power.

Before she could utter a word, her wand was snatched from her hand. It took her a moment to realize what had happened as the giant of an angel asked about the wand.

"It's Dragon Bone you idiot! Give it back this instant!" she shrieked stamping her foot.

With a yelp, the angel dropped her wand, which she quickly plucked out of the air. "How dare you drop my want! Do you know what could happen if - Ouch!" She had remembered that Dragon bone was fickle.

Enraged didn't even begin to express what she was feeling. The angel just stood there and Ara had disappeared into her room. She took several deep breaths before she retrieved her wand. "You will rue the day that you met Edrea Turquot," she said turning into her room next door.

She slammed her door, noting how her things had already been put away. "Greetings, Mrs. Turquot. I'm..."

"Be silent!" She shrieked at the dark haired woman in the mirror. "One more sound and I will shatter you." The woman in the mirror nodded softly as she ran her hands nervously through her hair. Edrea was making her nervous and she could tell that this was going to be a long year.

Edrea paced the floor seething in her anger, already starting to plot about how she could get back at the first class witch for her disrespect.
  








Sometimes, in this modern world, to know that you're alive, you gotta eat something that's made outta yoga mats.
— Rhett Mclaughlin