Kellin nodded in an understanding way. He’d met lots of boys that had been kicked out of their homes back in Alst for any host of reasons. Compared to most of them, Callum seemed to be doing fairly well for himself. Still, there was a faint bite in his voice when he spoke about it. His friends back home had that same bite; some indignations were difficult to hide.
“Ah man, sorry about that, but hey, much worse places to run off to, huh?” Kellin chuckled and flashed a grin as they made their way out onto the airfield, his staff clutched between his fingers like a conductor’s baton. The prospect of seeing the campus up close was an energizing prospect, but being led around like a dog on a leash put a bit of a damper on things. Nevertheless, he would see what there was to see.
Callum waved to a boy who seemed to be from Osuun, and Kellin mimicked the gesture, giving a broad smile and stopping to allow the boy to catch up.
“Oh, I’ll be glad to tell you as much as you like! You all should have most of the day to yourselves, at least after Julian gets done saying hi to everyone. Come and find me whenever you want, I’m always around!”
Linxi brushed a cotton-toned tuft of hair away from her face with the back of her hand. “Perfection’s a difficult thing… good to strive for, but dangerous to get obsessed with.” It might’ve sounded like wisdom, but for Linxi perfection had always seemed boring, a flawless ending with nothing particularly interesting about it. She’d never striven for perfection in her spellcasting, not that the chaotic nature of her Magic would’ve allowed it. No, she had only learned to tame that chaos just
enough, hence accidentally ending up a few meters above where she wanted to earlier. Still, lots of people liked to have a perfect goal, something unreachable to chase after. But there was always the chance for inspiration to become obsession…. But that wasn’t important right now.
“A dancer hmm? I love dancing! Everyone back home does.” The story about the accidental teleportation made her giggle, but the prospect of paradoxical ever-candy seized her attention. She tossed a few coffee beans into her mouth and nodded appreciatively. “Yep, still delicious.” She smiled. “Sira could probably help you figure out the whole paradox thing. She’s into all sorts of stuff like that.”
The arrival of Ema and the others meant it was time to say goodbye. “Oh, sure thing. Like I said, I shouldn’t be too hard to find. I uh…” She leaned slightly closer, speaking in a whisper that was entirely pointless in concealing her plot from an alteration mage and a Psychic. “I may have something to drink lying around somewhere. Don’t tell anybody though. Big trouble.” She shrugged. Sharing alcohol with students was generally frowned upon, doubly so when the beverage in question was one of the imported Nilsovan concoctions Linxi was fond of. “Anyway, toodle-loo, I’ve got to go make sure our dear Headmaster hasn’t lost his notes.”
With that, the white-haired woman vanished.@Random Kitty
The Welcoming Committee!
Ema raised a concerned eyebrow at the shouting boy, looking somewhat confused. “My… apologies, I wasn’t warned that anyone was sensitive to telepathy.” Her silver-gold eyes peered quizzically at the boy, but her voice was comforting. There were those who were quite sensitive to the abilities of Psychics. She herself had been one of them, and had spent years training herself to mend the damage that could be caused by her kind… still, it was rare that mere telepathy caused such an extreme reaction. Perhaps something more complicated was afoot. If some of the readings she was gathering from the crowd were any indication, there were a number of interesting things afoot. She did not intrude upon the minds of students, such a thing was invasive and dangerous in her mind, but she suddenly remembered a lesson her teacher had once taught her: “Some people think way too loud.
She glanced toward the small girl surrounded by wraiths for a moment before returning her gaze to the bleeding boy. “I’ll refrain from using telepathy then. Do you need any medical attention, if so we can escort you to the infirmary.”
Korina shook her head, walking past Ema and approaching Cormac. She produced a coral pink handkerchief from the sleeve of her robe, offering it to the boy. “No worries kiddo, you’re not the first.” Feltsi’s voice was calm and flat, the smirk that formed in the corner of her mouth almost imperceptible as she handed over the handkerchief.
Ema’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly before she turned back toward the path. “Now then, moving on…” A thin path of emerald green grass trailed off from the airfield and through the forest. The canopy cast a cool shade over the path. The forest was lush but carefully maintained, seeming almost park-like. It seemed a comfortable place, though the trees seemed to grow thicker and thicker the further one looked. In the distance, a snow white deer fled into the underbrush. As the group walked along, Ema spoke up, motioning to the trees that surrounded them on either side. “This is Blackglade Forest, one of the most ancient and diverse woodlands on the continent. When Everin Arkus originally founded the academy, he sought to place it in a secluded location, so that he might teach his students without distraction. He eventually decided on this spot, in the depths of the ancient forest on the shores of Lake Lyan. Of course, he first had to make an agreement with the Wardens of the Wood who were, incidentally, headed by a distant relative of mine at the time.” Ema laughed warmly as they passed through the forest that bore her name. “Needless to say, they allowed the academy to be built, and it has stood here ever since.” She pointed out toward the darker depths of the wood. “For those of you interested in the shamanistic magics, these woods will become very familiar. All the plants and beasts in this forest have yet to be fully documented, so it goes without saying to not go off wandering too far. There are many wonders in the forest, but also many dangers.”
The group of students passed out from the forest path into a lawn of bright green outlined with criss-crossing paths of bejeweled cobblestone. As they left the treeline, they were greeted by the immensity of the administrative building. Spires of pale marble shot up into the blue of the morning sky. Great prisms rotated upon the tips of these spires, bending the sunlight into cascading rainbows and brilliant auroras. Immediately before them, two tremendous gates stood open. They were carved from onyx, polished to a mirror sheen. Uncountable runes covered the faces of the gates, inlaid in gold and silver. The room within was magnificent, its floor a deep red marble likewise inlaid with runes. A long white carpet led from the gates into the room and toward a large stage. Fine tables and chairs stood on either side of the carpet, with a particularly large table placed upon the stage along with a marble podium. An enormous window of stained glass had been inset above the gates, its colorful panes depicting a great blue dragon flying beneath a bright sun.
Ema came to a stop before the massive structure, motioning toward the group. “This is the administrative building, also called Everin’s Hall. It is one of the oldest buildings on campus. You might consider this the nerve center of the academy. The Headmaster’s office is located here, as well as the security offices. Everin’s Hall also serves as a sort of museum. A number of artifacts are stored within, as well as a great deal of impressive artwork. The building itself is also covered in thousands of enchantments, many of which draw upon nearly forgotten magics. We’ll be coming back here later tonight for the Headmaster’s greeting to all of you… there will also be a feast.” A few cheers escaped the crowd. Korina smiled.
“Speaking of food though, most of your meals will be at the cafeteria. Our chief cook, Oman Raif, travelled all over the continent studying the culinary arts. We’re very lucky to have him.” The delicious smells that floated through the air around the red brick building emphasized just how lucky they were.
The tour continued on as Ema pointed out a few of the dormitories, great towers rising beside the lake. The guide explained that the towers actually contained far more space than they seemed to thanks to the powerful spatial magic that went into their construction. On one hand, Lake Lyan spread out, a mirror for the midmorning sky. On the other, the soft green grass of the academy lawn. A large oak tree rose from the ground nearby, its trunk thick and ancient. A man sat beneath it, playing a softhearted tune on a flute. Glittering butterflies fluttered about him as he played, a few making their way toward the crowd of curious students. The man halted his performance for just a moment, stopping to wave at his audience before continuing. Sira spoke up. “That is Li Amoni. If any of you wish to study shamanism, he can help you a great deal. Even if you don’t, I find the flute sometimes helps me think.”
The group passed on along the side of the lake, all the while the trio of tour guides sharing various odds and ends about the history of the academy. For many of the students, however, it was difficult not to be distracted by the tower that stood further down the path. A great spire, encrusted with countless jewels of all colors towered before them. Though Everin’s Hall had many impressive spires, none compared to the colossal structure that they now approached.
“This,” Ema said, smiling, “is the Tower of Lights.” The tower seemed to go on forever into the sky. “It is the largest library in Cresia, and the second largest on the continent, second only to the Temple of Lore in Isila. Inside are millions of books and scrolls, all tended to by our tireless librarian, Aretia Sinclair. I highly recommend you spend some time exploring the Tower. There’s no telling what you could find.”@CavnderOHeart@Epsir@ERode@Katthaj@Lord of Evil@Scribe of Thoth
Julian stretched, flipping through a stack of papers on the balcony the adjoined his office. He had abandoned the desk shortly after Linxi had made her exit. He’d been Headmaster for years now, yet somehow he still wasn’t comfortable just sitting around. The sun and the breeze helped him think more clearly. The lilting flute in the distance didn’t hurt either. He had been told the new students had finally arrived. No doubt Ema, Sira, and Korina were already in the midst of their tour. He remembered his own first time touring the grounds: he had snuck away from the group about five minutes in. He had thought himself quite clever until he’d run into a certain shaman…
The gentle spark of static electricity pulled him from his nostalgia. “Hello Linxi.”
The white-haired woman burst into existence with a grin. “Hey hey.”
Julian took a sip of tea and shuffled through his papers. “How were our newcomers?”
Linxi beamed. “I like them. They seem like a great bunch! As a matter of fact…”
Julian looked up as his assistant continued.
“It looks like I may be doing some teaching this year.”
Julian smiled. Linxi was a fine assistant, and an excellent Mage in her own right, but she usually shied away from actual instruction. Perhaps she was shirking responsibility, but the Headmaster knew it was the rare sort of student that would appreciate Linxi’s… methods.
“I’m happy to hear that, you must have really made a connect- oh, looks like a few were late.”
A pair of students were being led toward the administrative building. He had been told there were a few students being brought on separate vessels to accommodate their distant homes. The Headmaster rose to his feet, placing the stack of papers on a nearby table. “Well Linxi, why don’t we go say hello?” A faint glow shimmered across Julian’s hand before he vanished, appearing a few meters in front of the two students.
“Good morning! Did the others leave without you?” The Headmaster smiled a warm, sunny smile at the newcomers. Linxi appeared behind him, waving cheerily.@SamaraJayne96