Chapter 7: A Not So Brief History of Everything
The world is vast, and the road is fast. Please guide my journey and make it last. With laughter or distain may you please guide my reign. For this life is mine through torment and pain.
I left Wilda’s office in a flurry. I couldn’t wait to learn about the world, and sorcery. I wondered if there’d be even cooler things than flying, like riding a dragon! I was ecstatic about every magical and mysterious thing that lie before me. And Mr. Devin was kinda hot, I barely even thought about James, Rose and Colleen or any of my old life. There was nothing holding me there, but here i felt like i had everything to live for. After taking a few excited steps I looked up at one of the crows and asked “human studies please!” The crow statue above me to my unwarranted surprise looked down at me, then nodded, pointing back in the direction of Wilda’s office. The crow movement was quite alluring, seemingly as if a living creature made of stone, all of them the same as I walked in the directions they led me. I rolled my eyes when the final crow pointed downward to a large towering bookcase. It had been full of various books of size and color, some old some new and even some scrolls scattered about.
I’d seen a few movies with bookshelf doors, so I immediately assumed this might have been a secret bookshelf, especially considering the locale. I wondered if maybe it opened up to the room I needed to find, so I looked up at the crow “do I pull one of the books to open it?” I asked. The crow statue above me shook its head up and down as to say yes, “which one?” I asked. The crow pointed its beak in a direction that had appeared to be the right side of the bookshelf. I placed my finger on a large green book. The spine had gold filigree printed upon it. “Is this the one?” I then asked, the crow shook its head no, then bobbed its head back and forth pointing again as if irritated, it had been pointing in the general direction my hand still was. “What about this one?” I asked, placing my hand on a newer book red in color. The crow shook its head no again, then began feverishly pointing as if growing more irritated. This continued a few times over. The crow, reluctantly glued to its stone perch, pointed helplessly at something I clearly couldn’t find on my own.
Before I found the book I needed, I was startled by someone’s voice behind me. Upon looking i saw a tall handsome boy with icy blue eyes. He’d been waiting behind me, though i hadn’t known how long. I nearly jumped out of my shoes when I heard his voice. “Maybe you could make a decision… or something,” he said, calmly with a fed up undertone. I turned around quickly trying not to seem confused, “Oh no” I had thought, I didn’t want him to think I was stupid, I could feel the blood rushing to my face from embarrassment already, as I was sure my cheeks would soon give away my secret.
“Oh yeah, sorry haha, you can go in ahead of me.” I said nervously, hoping I could catch a glimpse of how it could be opened. “I was just trying to find something in my…” I said, holding up my grimoire awkwardly. The boy grinned, almost as if he could see right through me, my feeble attempt at trying not to look stupid backfired. He pointed at me smiling “You’re the new girl everyone is talking about eh?” he asked, oozing of unwarranted confidence, I may or may not have nodded in agreement. “Well this might look like a bookshelf to you, but we call these quick shelves, you pull the book that coincides with the class or room you want to go to, then it takes you there. It’s faster if where you’re going is on the far side of the academy. So it doesn’t actually open.” He said slowly, as if he was talking to a child.
The fuzzy, shy feeling in my chest immediately began to turn, growing into a subtle rage, as did my face. Oddly i felt turned on by him, i could feel myself tingling. I don’t know why attractive assholes always did this to me, but i needed to reign it in. Before I even burst out with, “I understand asshole”, I think he’d seen it in my face, as the confidence in his flattened. “Whoa, sorry I was just messing with you, I’m trying to help,” he said, before I could even get a word out in response, I heard a girls voice from behind me. “Fuck off Jude, you troll-ass” she said, in an accent i couldn’t quite place, but she spoke coldly and without emotion. I turned to look, and a young girl about my height stood there, she was thin and stood properly with dark eye shadow and dark gray lipstick, her face seemed to have no emotion also, a small spider web broach adorned a shawl that sat upon her shoulder. She carried a black grimoire under her arm with what looked like a white wand, carved of a cloudy white stone or bone slid beneath the strap of the black grimoire. After a moment she said “Seriously fuck off Jude!” with slightly more emotion.
“Whatever” the boy said, “girls here are impossible,” he added with a scoff, seeming defeated. He looked away from us, turning towards the bookshelf. Putting his finger on a brown book, which had words I couldn’t read on its spine, he pulled it backwards towards himself, in that moment what I expected was the bookshelf would turn into a doorway to walk through, instead the boy seemed to have been sucked into the book like a vacuum cleaner in his entirety, I flinched, the girl behind me gave a sharp “ha”.
“So you are the girl from nowhere i heard about. I’ve only been here a week, so that makes you pretty popular” She said, “well I wouldn’t call it nowhere, where I’m from, New York City, that’s about as somewhere as it gets,” I replied, “well you’ll find out soon that everyone here, considers anywhere that’s not here as nowhere. As I’m sure when every miserable nobody from nowhere complains that they want to be somewhere better, they’re probably talking about here, whether they know it or not” she said with poise, but again with no emotion. “How does everyone know about me already?” I asked, “well, because I told them duh,” she answered, “how do you know about me?” I asked, “I know everything!” she answered with slightly more emotion as if I should know this, then the girl took a step towards the wall next to the bookshelf. She held her hand up to it palm up, i looked on in confusion until i noticed the long legged spider beginning to crawl onto her hand.
“Eww!” I shouted, the girl scowled at me. “Ugh, please just stop it already” she responded. “Oh and everybody is tethering wands these days, so once i told Emilia the whole school knew within seconds, she’s so scandalous, tethering with everybody she sees.” The girl said, pausing with a devious smile upon her face. "Oh listen to this, William Ceso who’s four lockers down from where you’ll find out your locker will be tethered with Emilia yesterday right! And his wand was red, hers glowed brown, can you believe it? He hasn’t shown his face since, how embarrassing,” she laughed, then her face burnt with excitement, the only emotion i’d seen from her. “How do you know where my locker is and I don’t?” I asked, “ugh, we already went over this, which room are you headed to?” she asked seeming irritated now.
“Human Studies with Mr. Devin,” I answered, “oh really,” she responded, pausing, “can you open your grimoire for me,” she added, which I did. “Oh cute, your books titles are in English, you cant read the sorcerers slang yet,” she asked condescendingly, then paused, “No” i responded with a wide eyed look. “ok, well human studies that’s where I’m going, you can follow me. If you can’t read them from now on, you can at least find the book that looks similar on the shelf…” she added scornfully.
“I can do that!” I replied, tentatively “ok so do it, the book is right there.” she pointed impatient now, “ok!” I replied, now feeling pressured. All i could think about is how much of a bitch this girl was, the wonder i had for this place was starting to sour. I turned and placed my finger on the book, I paused momentarily before pulling the book, looked back at the girl nervously. “You must have a lot of friends” i stated with a sharp tone, the girl looked at me. “None, luckily” she responded, “Then how do you know all this stuff?” i asked, she smiled at me changing the subject “And don’t think me helping you makes us friends, I don’t do that little game,” she spat, then rolled her eyes. I was in fear and excited about what came next, i was pausing. but so far I had encountered creatures of myth, actually flown and been part of more than one unexplainable happening, I was part of all of this, I had to accept it.
I pulled the book and my entire body felt tingly, like when a numb leg or arm starts to regain feeling. Then as if nothing happened at all, I was standing in what looked like a classroom. Mr. Devin stood at the head of the class, and only one other student had been in the room. I scanned the room, there was one door and no windows. The walls were covered with bookshelves, and varying books of all shapes and sizes, along with the standalone bookshelf behind me, which was slightly more decorated with fine carvings and a red boarder. I thought it was strange that there were very normal things around the room. Such as a coffee maker, i spotted a pencil sharpener and there was even a laptop and a television for some reason. Then i realized we were in human studies, it made sense all of a sudden.
The other student in the room was a dark skinned boy that had sat to the left of the room. He’d seemed dressed rather nicely, wearing a nice button up shirt, a design on the front that I can only describe as Victorian or baroque. He’d had braided brown bracelets on his wrist, a dangling earring only in his right ear, a wand set on the table in front of him which looked carved of darkly stained wood. Embedded within the ornately carved handle, large pointy teeth from some sort of creature. Almost immediately after I entered the room, the girl from the hallway entered, brushing past me as she walked to the furthest away seat. It was all the way to the back right side of the room.
“Hello, Ellie and Nice of you to join us Seraphine.” Mr. Devin said. She replied with a very monotone “Its Sera, thanks.” followed by giving him a piercing look then she sat down and slammed her grimoire on the table. Mr. Devin took a deep breath and mumbled something under his breath before addressing me. “Take a seat Ellie, and we’ll get started.” Mr. Devin started towards a cabinet. He then began sifting through it looking for something. I took a few steps before the boy to the left gestured for me to sit next to him, I walked over and sat beside him, setting my grimoire down, then hung my bag on the back of the chair. Mr. Devin began to speak, “So we will be going over the same stuff, since all of you are new to-“ he paused, “this entire country, then we’ll continue going over the cultural differences, some of the slang you’ll encounter and just the general way we go about things.” Soon the boy next to me interrupted.
“Spank god that girl did not sit next to me, she gives me the heebys” the boy said, quietly but energetically so Mr. Devin wouldn’t hear. Mr. Devin hearing the chatter responded in fact that he could hear us, and to take a minute to chat and we’ll start. The boy glanced over my shoulder, looking toward the girl Sera. I thought he was concerned that she may have heard him. I glanced at her also. Her face was buried in her grimoire, emotion-less as it had typically been up to this point. She must not have heard the comment, I’d thought. In that moment both the boy and I were looking at her, she sharply looked up at us. I already knew she was a bitch, but she had piercing eyes. As if by sorcery. We both jolted our heads, looking forward again, my eyes opened widely facing forward nearly in shock, we both looked at each other with wide eyes then snickered. “Don’t worry she won’t bite,” said Mr. Devin, “may I be excused?” Sera asked, “no miss Weaver, you may not. The overseer insisted you must do human studies in order to stay here” he answered, the girl called Sera sighed, the boy and i were now just staring at each other.
“She got kicked out of her last 3 academies in Diedrix, that’s way over the western sea!” The boy said, “ask me how i know!” he added. “How?” I asked, “well when Mr. Devin was gone earlier I went snooping around his stuff and seen the note” he answered, raising his eyebrows two times quickly, i chuckled. “You’re bad!” I said, he smiled “Oh girl you don’t know the first of it. He’s single too, and hot!” He said, we both laughed now. I tried covering my mouth to muffle it.
“My name is Demitri, my friends call me Demi… Well if I had any, since I’m new” he paused, “if you’re a fancy bitch though, you can call me Demayyyyy!” He added seeming to sing, followed by a very sincere laugh. “I’m Ellie I replied but if you’re a fancy bitch you can call me ellayyyy” I responded, satire intended. Demi giggled. “Oh she gives it back!” he responded. We chatted back and forth for just a few minutes and in that time he’d known I was from New York City and that i hadn’t known I was a sorceress until recently, well like a day ago. I’d known it was also his first day, and that he came from a wealthy family in a place called the tribelands, a place of powerful magic he explained, and that he moved out this way to switch academies due to his family and academy not being accepting of his… Well that he was gay, among other reasons he toyed. This academy Crimora was apparently very open for accepting all kinds of students, species and races.
Mr. Devin soon interrupted us, he spent the next few minutes addressing us giving a breakdown of how our tutoring worked, that once it was done, we’d join regular classes within the academy. We were told we’d be getting personal tutoring until caught up. After this he had given the others some worksheets, then walked over to me. “We’ve got a lot to learn today, Ellie” he said, followed by “so let’s fast track it”. I sat there expectant and excited, Mr. Devin took his wand in hand but holding it from the thin tip, he told me to focus on the purple gem embedded in its white limestone handle, “pay close attention, now Ellie.” he said softly. I looked at Demi who smiled at me, “just wait, this is gonna be fun girl,” he said, with a nod. I looked back over at the purple gem within Mr. Devins wand, before I had known, I was now somewhere else, my body and mind had been transported to another place, Mr. Devin stood in front of me. “Great, now instead of telling you about our history, I’m going to show you. I am an expert in illusionary conjuring, sorcery of the mind. It’s the best way to show students the world whether this one or another. Today I will use it to show you ours,” he said, waving me in as to tell me to walk with him.
I had taken in an immense amount of information in over the next few hours. Standing in the middle of wars, walking through castles, other academies, I swam through oceans, seen mythical beasts of all kinds and visited locations I’d never actually seen, we also saw Ashwind and Citrine which i had seen slightly. Though they’d looked and felt as real as anywhere else I’d ever actually been. Mr. Devin tagged along the entire time guiding me and explaining everything he could, he was very well spoken and knowledgeable on really everything. He was also fun to look at, i found myself gawking occasionally.
The very first thing we started with was “The Gods War”. A defining time in our history, he explained. I’d already got a glimpse into this from Emily, but in short after the war, when our people created Orean the first thing they did was build academies like Crimora. As the first academy Silphwin was what caused the war, the gods feared our pursuit of knowledge. Figuring we may overpower them as they did to their creators before them. Once we’d separated ourselves from other worlds, sometime after the war, sorcerers started creating what were called doorways. Doorways had been created as the preferred way to travel any length of distances, and apparently the only way to travel from our little thread of existence to any other within the fabric.
This is how my aunt found me, in what is called “Nowhere” I learned now that it was called this because in the high tongue, or sorcerers slang. The main language of spell casting, it meant “somewhere not here”, this was the world I came from, where the wonderful land of New York City itself resides, a beautiful place smelling of car exhaust and garbage. To them nowhere was just a place on the other side of a mystical door somewhere, and doorways to this place were openly available for travel. Except a sorcerer or sorceress in an academy wasn’t allowed to use them without permission, for reasons of safety. I wasn’t allowed to go there at all in fear i’d be captured and killed by the very gods that i was a descendant of.
The same wasn’t true for other places, cryptically referred to as “The Darkness” or “The underworld” these weren’t places anyone from here wanted to be. This was where the evil lived, and evil things were all banished from nowhere and Orean. Anyone who ended up there, would most likely be, but not limited to, maimed and eaten alive by terrible beasts, getting imprisoned for eternity by fairies or vaporized by fearsome sorcerers who followed the darkness, and powerful sorcery that twisted the mind of the sorcerer who called upon it, very serious stuff. But the powers at be, had seen to it any doorway into this realm was quite unreachable.
I had learned that every person of my kind, was born with a special quirk, or ability that was typically passed down from a parent. These abilities were unique to that person, usually in the form of an affinity but other times manifesting in a much bigger way. I also learned more about the link to familiars, once born a sorcerers life force was spiritually linked to a “familiar”, something i already heard from my aunt. Your familiar was an earthly creature that’s body had been encompassed by a spirit. This was each sorcerer’s direct link to the “realm of spirit”, unfortunately there was only one door to this place and the key to open it was death. Living beings from all realms and worlds would drift off to this place, their should at least. Once their physical journey came to an end. Some say this is the driving force of what allows us to use sorcery.
I was told that the bond between the physical realm, spiritual realm and whatever other realms there were, deeply relied on each other. Though no one knew why or how. What they did know, is it was the reason we could use the abilities we had. It worked in the same way we need plant life to create the oxygen we breathe, and in return they need the CO2 we exhale in order to survive. A balanced circle of existence, both giving and taking, maintaining the perfect symmetry between life death and energy, this was the main acceptance of life here, one must follow this and maintain balance with the realms, as all thing benefited from this, and if the balance wasn’t maintained whatever was keeping our little thread safe from the gods would vanish. It was something I could undoubtedly accept, as New York City, where I’d lived my entire life, had been the complete and total opposite of anything that had any kind of balance or symmetry.
Following this lesson, which was considered the basics, I was taught about the “Public Sorcering Academy”. Created upon the 33rd day of this world, there were multiple academies founded in our region at this time period, by prime pedagogue Briminus a goblin aristocrat. After the Gods War Briminus began by creating 6 competing academies, located in different territories of the open realm. The open realm, referring to this newly created realm of open speech, sorcery and study, as a whole it was called Orean, also referred to as the kingdom of 6. The 6 referencing the 6 great academies that would exist within it, this was the place of which I now lived.
At one point Mr. Devin asked me something, “You lived in America right Ellie?” he asked, “yes” i responded. “ahh interesting” he said, “this is the epicenter of the gods rule on earth, this is because it is The God Kings realm. Do you know how the gods maintain unseen dominion or worship over this place?” He added, i paused for a moment staring at him. I tried to think of something but couldn’t. “I don’t” i answered, I hadn’t imagined how. I assumed this was expected. He chuckled, “you’re going to like this!” he said. Mr. Devin held his hand up and shook it, within it appeared a $100 dollar bill. “Can you tell me who’s face is on this bill?” he asked, obviously i knew who it was. “Benjamin Franklin!” I said proudly, “ah yes, now can you tell me what Benjamin Franklin was known for?” He asked, i thought for a moment. “He was a forefather of America,” i said with confidence. He nodded, “But what else?” he then asked.
I thought for a moment, then i remembered reading about Benjamin Franklin and how he’d flown a kite in a thunderstorm. “Electricity?” i asked unsure, “precisely, now you see this man on the highest denomination of bills in America. Can you tell me which of the gods has something to do with electricity? And use the names you know” he added, this was a given “Zeus!” i answered, Mr. Devin nodded again, “good job, yes thunder the power of the God King who reigns over the sky. As so the gods take human form from time to time, and when they do it is either for rule or worship. If you know what to look for you will see them. Now you see how the gods maintain their power over the world through unseen means. You see the gods need be worshipped in order to have power, in nowhere spanning all religions and all ways of human life, what is worshipped?” He asked, and it dawned on me, the obvious answer “Money!” I said, “Precisely, but that’s not al!” he added, shaking his hand again the $100 dollar bill turned to a $50 dollar bill.
“Can you name this president?” he asked, I couldn’t immediately so i shook my head. “He’s a bit less popular but this is Ulysses S. Grant, do you know what Ulysses was known for?” He asked, but again i didn’t, so i shook my head. Then Mr. Devin raised his hand and in front of it he pulled up a wikipedia page dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant. It floated in front of me as if a screen. Then he highlighted something in the very first paragraph. It read that Ulysses was known for his love and breeding of horses. I didn’t understand, then Mr. Devin began to speak again. “Do you know which God had anything to do with horses?” He asked, this time i did. I remembered reading in a mythology book once that Poseidon, god of the sea was the creator of horse. So I answered accordingly, i was awestruck. All this time right in front of my face i could see the many gods of ancient times right here. And there was nothing in my old world that people didn’t worship more than money. Especially in America and especially in New York.
We continued on with this trend down the line of every president. What they were known for and what God they coincided with, all the way down to the 1$ bill. And when we finished with that he flipped it over. Pointing to the pyramid with the all seeing eye at the top, as if asking me a question. “Olympus!” I said with a smile. he shook his head, “well that’s one name for it” he answered, it seemed impossible but it all made sense to me now. When we had finished i asked about the god i knew as “Hades”. “Ah the fallen one, there is no place for him in worship” said Mr. Devin, the God King banished him to darkness and worship would only allow him to grow more powerful.
The stories of the gods which Mr. Devin told me were much different from the ones id known, apparently created by humans who used them as idealogical manipulation. But the gods did not care, as long as they were worshipped. I started to feel a little woozy actually, a side affect of Mr. Devins illusions.
Mr. Devin released me from his illusion momentarily for a break, mentioning that being in for too long can cause some sickness issues and psychosis when re-entering the physical world. Demi had been studying from an oddly large book. I couldn’t read the words within it. Sera had been up walking around searching through bookshelves for something. After a 20 minute or so break, Mr. Devin held up his wand guiding me once again to focus on the gem within the handle.
We’d begun learning about all the original academies created throughout Orean. Besides Silphwin, the first academy created by a team of forward thinking sorcerers, sorceress and scholars, was Dominium in the honor of the God King. This academy was on the far quarter of the eastern mountains, upon their tallest peak, original overseer position was appointed to Godfrey Proctin, an expert in physical enchantment sorcery, utilizing the source to enhance strength and agility. Godfrey had been a leader and war hero, as all first overseers were. His studies in physical conjuring, had helped win many battles during the wars. This place was seen as something of a monastery, or dojo. The academy colors were white and gray, representing the sky and un-moveable will of its students and patrons. And representing the sky as the King of Gods the academy honored.
The second academy was Sakor in honor of the God of the Wild, this was in a place called “middle realm” near moonstone flat, which held a high concentration of a powerful summoning stone below the surface, this stone was called Selenite, and sorcerers from long and far would come here for any seriously major summonings, or important séance, as the concentration of Selenite assured a successful endeavor. This academy was headed originally by, Patrina Hardavin. A born healer and dedicated practicer of summoning. It was told she also dabbled in necromancy. Patrina had given many years of successful service in the wars prior. Her academy would later produce some of the greatest healers of the future generations. The academy colors were white, green and black to show its patrons dedication to life, the creatures we shared it with and the wild laden power within. These colors also honor the Wild God.
The third academy was none other than our own Crimora, in honor of the Goddess of wisdom. Located in the upper realm, precisely centered between the city of citrine, and the ancient forest of Ashwind, Originally appointed to overseer Ceeran Samod, a specialist in divination, philosophy and magic of the mind. Ceeran had been renowned for his forward thinking, and immense knowledge of almost everything. His strategic planning abilities were some of the greatest ever known during the war, his inventions were said to have been the defining factor in the winning of the war. Our academy was appointed the colors red, gray and black representing the power of heart, mind and the power of open thinking belonging to its leaders and students alike. These colors also honored the mind of The Goddess of Mind.
The fourth academy was Odinifus, Odin for short. located on the cliffs of the split sentinel sea, in honor of the powerful Sea God. This academy was named by it’s original overseer Diniffer Orsevox of a place called the high islands, vast islands of towering plateaus which bordered the split sentinel sea. Dini as she liked to be called, specialized in sorcery of the ocean, drawing her power from the sea, it was said she dabbled in sorcery of illusion and summoning also. During the Gods war, she had been the sole leader of what was known as the “Arcane Fleet”. A vast and powerful navy that consisted of a fleet of immense strength, involving monstrous beasts of the deep-ocean and unrelenting magical warriors. Those of whom specialized in “Oceanic Sourcus” or ocean based sorcery in the high tongue. It’s said their power was as unrelenting and steadfast as the seas fury itself. The academies colors were turquoise, gray and black, representing the great undying power of the ocean and the patrons pure tenacity, and unrelenting focus. These colors also honor the God of the Sea.
The fifth academy was Baku, in the honor of the Red God, or the God Of War. Located upon a massive dune, in the southernmost point of the dessert of Thich, original appointed overseer was Trinidad Asamo, a strict specialist in Voodoo. Voodoo is one of the most powerful types of sorcery, which can only be used by those of the Tribelands across the wide sea, such as my new friend Demi. This sorcery was actually so powerful and dangerous, that we were required to have protections against it in order to even attend academy. This gave me the chills, as it was said Voodoo was responsible for many historical tragedies, and some of the largest mass genocides in sorcerer history. Trinidad was a great warrior and duelist it was said. His control power was like none seen before. He was told to have once laid a “veil of manipulation”, over an entire opposing battalion, turning them against their kinsmen. Thus winning an entire battle without the loss of even one ally. Baku is an academy strictly dedicated to the study, and discipline involved in the art of Voodoo. It is very prestigious and a one of a kind academic institution here in Orean, admission is only granted to those who have Tribeland blood, Baku also holds the longest winning streak in “Sorcerer Dueling”, one of many sports played between the 6 academies. The academy colors are tan, red and black, representing the great dessert it lay within, and the sheer brute power of the magic its patrons utilize. These colors also honor the War God.
The sixth and final academy in our realm was Silphwin, the first and oldest academy, Once built into the great tree herself it now sits upon what is left of her, destroyed before the end of the Gods war. Silphwin was created by the un aging Elves and is larger than all the rest combined. It’s name originating from the great, floating mountain of Silphwin, of which it sits beside. I was shown that this mountain was immense, though not actually floating. It sat within the center of the greatest of the 4 great freshwater lakes, lakes of which entirely surrounded it and the stump. These were once the lakes go Gaea, the elixir of eternal life for all her children to drink.
This great mountain was held up by what is referred to as the “roots of fane” of the ancient tree, Gaea. The tree that had given life to all that had encompassed this world. I was told these tree roots meandered and coursed through this entire planet itself. What is left holding the floating mountain, upon a great twisting pedestal of swirling roots, was just a remnant of this ancient titan. The mountain itself is said to be her very heart.Gaea the life tree who mothered this world in its infancy, and all of earths children was once worshipped at the true god. Silphwin was a true stronghold, and a proper sanctuary of learning. It had been created and run by the Elves, users of powerful earthly sorcery, the original teachers leading my kind to the way of the source. Their home had reside upon Silphwin for an eternity prior. The high, or golden Elves were the founders of what is known as the high tongue, Gods speak or sorcerers slang. It goes by some other names, but it has been the language of spell casting for quite some eons.
Besides the high tongue or sorcerer’s slang, there is another method of spell casting referred to as child-speak or fairy-tongue. This style of spell casting consists of rhyming words and rhythmic phrases. It is an ancient form, the first ever known, even before existence of the undying Elves. This was taught to all by “the children of fane”, small, child-like creatures. They had been the first to live upon this world. Seeds of the great tree herself it is said. They alone had pioneered the ways of conjuring and sorcery as we know it. Some of the strongest, most reliable spell casting is done using fairy-tongue. Although it is quite silly sounding, as the spells always seem like that of a child’s nursery rhyme. In the wars that lie before, it is believed the children of the realm had been all but killed off for good. As they didn’t reproduce they just were as they were, unchanging. It is said they fought hard and honorably for the freedom of my kind, allowing knowledge to flow freely through what is now Orean.
Sprinkled about my first day of lessons. I also learned about the evil and nefarious ways of the Fae or Fairies, mainly during the war, how they had forever chose to stay neutral. Their fierce power of conviction, and affinity for planting unreasonable ideas into the untrained mind, nearly destroyed not only us, but the Gods we fought. For a brief time during the war, both sides had stopped fighting each other, choosing to only focus on the maleficent Fae. Prior to the war, we lived in harmony among them, but once their homes had been war torn, amongst our own. They turned against us all. Any Fae that were left had been banished to imprisonment or killed, it was still even required for us to have protections against their ancient abilities, just in case.
At one point we’d taken another break from my illusionary travels. Taking me through the history of the realm. Mr. Devin pulled a book from a shelf, then went to do some study with Demi and Sera. Both Demi and Sera came from over the sea, they were apparently here in order to understand cultural differences, though i heard Mr. Devin talking to Sera about why she’d gotten kicked out of every academy she attended, trying to help her. But she just stared at him emptily. I was given an excerpt to read about magical items, artifacts and enchanted stones. These objects had varying degrees of power and uses. They were created throughout the entirety of the war by sorcerers, elves, goblins, sprites, Gods and even the Fae alike. I had read that mostly these items were lost, destroyed or locked away once the war had ceased, at least the powerful ones. This was due to the immense deadly power they held, and sometimes the effects they had on the users mind.
As the day went on, I’d read more excerpts from various books, made some more conversation with Demi and even attempted making conversation with Sera to some success. I’d learned of a few less notable academies which existed, academies that specialized in teaching only certain sorceries, some were strictly only for boy or girls, some for only honing certain skills, such as potions, beast taming, summoning and so on. Our academy, the second largest, proudly focused on the learning of all forms of spellery. These other, more mundane places hadn’t been nearly as large as the 6 main academies, and most didn’t take part in what I learned about next. Sorcerer sporting! Mr. Devin had now been addressing us all, using his abilities to cast grand imagery, filling the entire room before us. Demi got excited stating that he was a duelist back home, but he wasn’t accustomed to a lot of the other sporting events offered in Orean, I glanced over at Sera who seemed interested in what we were being taught, but still sat staring still and emotionless. She was forced to be here, and had a look upon her face as if it was beneath her. Actually she had that look about everything i noticed by this point, even us.
Bi yearly every academy competed in an array of sorceress and sorcerer games. Competitions Honoring the Gods, which i didn’t understand i thought we were supposed to hate the gods. These games consisted of, the Roofin Race Open dedicated to the Goddess, Orcanis, Conjurers Quelling, Sorcerers Dueling and last which I’d thought was definitely least, Donis. Or also referred to as playing a game of “Doni”. “The Roofin Race” open category, being the most popular of the bunch, named after the famed sorceress Winona Roofin. “Try saying that 3 times fast” Mr. Devin joked. Winona was author of a very popular book on flight named, “unique and unusual forms of flying witchery”.
The “Roofin Race” open, consists of a 10mile race, through a varying degree of obstacles and terrain. The terrain and obstacles are always different, dependent on which academy hosts the race, at the event. This race uses a competitor’s custom built, flying device. The device must be made from standard grade floating oak, which will be tested thoroughly in density and composition, via the race judges prior to it starting. Your flying device can assume any shape, weight or have any extrusion you as the competitor deem necessary. Though the larger the device, the slower and less maneuverable it will be. This game is so popular in fact. It has become customary for many to enter the race, for no other reason than satire. Competitors in the past having created silly, swollen looking wooden hippo’s, giraffe or strapping butterfly wings to their back, and dressing with odd colors in jest.
And there is always a racer sitting uncomfortably upon a broom, which is one of the greatest jokes in the race. These farce-racers, as they are known, do not typically get very far. Though we’d learned 13 years ago, a farce-racer on a broom unintentionally won first place, when the entire rest of the racers toppled upon each other accidentally, causing all of them to become immobile. He hadn’t even planned to fly a mile, only joined to get some laughs at the gate. Due to the entire race crashing, it forced him to finish the entire 10mile race on his broom. It’s said he could barely walk properly for a month afterwards. That racers name was the famed Pierce Visenguard, you could find photos of him on display in the sporting hall. These jests are comical, but a standard part of the competition now. Solely credited with making the “Open” class of the “Roofin Race” so wildly popular.
“Orcanis” is the second most popular sorcerer sport. This is true for our academy at least, due to our extreme rivalry with Odinifus, the academy on the sea. It is a game originally created by an Odin overseer many generations ago, and played entirely underwater. It is a point-based game similar to football. Every sorcerer is effectively enchanted with ‘Merifin”, or in simpler terms, they are turned into their own version of a Merfolk. Unlike those from fairy tails though, they become covered in dense flexible scales. Scales of which, subtly shimmer in every color of the rainbow once struck by light, their feet and hands become webbed, and they grow spiked fins. Fins that also will protrude from their head, neck, arms and back, all in differing ways, depending on the sorcerer who’s enchanting themselves.
Gills appeared upon their necks, and the body becomes capable of handling immense levels of underwater pressure without issue. Though clunky and sluggish on land, they effectively become perfect underwater warriors. The “Merifin” enchantment was developed by the original overseer of Odinifus, Dini Orsevox. This was later shared with competing academies once the game became widely popular. Orcanis is played with one ball, shaped something like a football, except this ball was enchanted as to fly quickly through the water. Being unaffected by waters dense nature, this meant the game could be played at a fast pace.
Extruding from the ball, are 4 fins used to steady the ball when thrown or hit as to keep it pointing true, and straight for precise trajectory. Throughout the field though, there are randomly placed obstacles and coral like protrusions. Many players have been harmed by these or slammed against them, sometimes nearly skewed, having to exit the game early. Orcanis is an aggressive sport, but very thrilling to watch. Scoring is done by throwing the ball through a large goal, which was essentially a ring of spinning bubbles, these rings oddly looked like what I would describe, as a smoke ring being blown by a talented smoker. To score a point, the opposing team under any means necessary, must keep the ball away from the defenders. Then successfully throw it into the center of the opposing teams goal ring.
Though this is easier said than done, as each team is allowed a blocker. A goalie of sorts who rides upon a large sea beast, looking as if the combination of a sea horse and serpent, quite fierce looking it is. These blockers hold a large stick, three prongs protruding from the end similar to a trident, but wrapped with netting, as to catch, or hit the ball away if necessary. The sea beasts they ride are fast though, and the blockers very skilled, so during most games of Orcanis only a few goals are typically scored, somewhere between 3-7 points on average.
The third most popular game is a “Conjurers Quell” or simply “Quelling”, known as a battle of the beast tamers, this is held in the coliseum along with dueling. Since the beginning, sorcerers have sought out powerful and useful beasts, binding themselves to them. This allowed them to be summoned under any occasion, sometimes to fight for the sorcerer, sometimes to seek something out, or even just to ride them lengthy distances. In the past it has been told, the occasional sorcerer would take their own lives with the help of a summoned beast, as they were unwilling to do it by their own hand. This competition is said to originate as far back as the Gods themselves go. Quelling is sometimes played as a duel, other times as a death match. Maxing out at usually 4 sorcerers, each representing a different academy, each fighting for themselves and academy prestige.
In our level of competition, there are limits to what type of beasts may be used, as well as size and weight. Professional Quelling is much different, as the limits are much smaller, therefore, making the competition much more aggressive. Rules and limits are established prior to the start of each battle. Each beast that might be used, is weighed and confirmed to meet the requirements. Every sorcerer may only summon a total of 3 beasts, this can be all at once, or strategically done in any sequence, a sorcerer may also unsummon a beast then resummons it later in the battle.
Winning Quelling is always chalked up to training though, a sorcerer must first go out, befriend, weaken or earn the respect of a beast that they have tracked down. Then bind it to themselves by a number of means, this is so it can be summoned by sorcery. Once this is done, they could just summon it and pray it can fight. Or they can work with the creature, training physically and mentally, making sure to prepare for anything that may come in battle. Many times in the past it has been witnessed, that a smaller, seemingly weaker beast comes out victorious. Almost always in the face of more, or larger opponents, this is due to its cunning and unique abilities, and the sorcerer or sorceress’s ability to utilize them.
The 4th most popular competition was the “Sorcerers Duel”. In the professional world, this and quelling were the absolute most popular, but in the academies, they seemed to be outshined, mainly by team based sports. As is quelling, a duel is also held in the coliseum, and played like any battle competition. Using a bracket system, which places winner against winner, until there is a final victor. In dueling, both sorcerers are stripped of all protections, as all magic is available for use during the sorcerers duel. Including, but not limited too; deadly spells, summonings, necromancy, voodoo, auramancy, absorption magic, illusionism, charms and even prepared potions. Apart from anything specifically used to embarrass, de-robe or transfigure an opponent, nothing is prohibited.
Since deadly spells are allowed in the contest, each sorcerer must wear a special cloak. This was given the name “cloak of clasping”, which would bind them to each other in a friendly pact, a pact in which causes the sorcery they use on each other, to not kill or seriously harm the other. Essentially they are invincible to one another, though they could end up hurt pretty badly still. Damage depends on the power behind the spell casting, though generally, no serious harm can be caused. This meaning, the winner and loser are judged on a point system. That is, if not KO’ed in some way. For instance, a sorcerer lands a successful death spell, or if a summoned monster eats the opposing sorcerer, that would be a KO, the summoner having to then unsummon the creature, thus freeing his or her opponent.
I read that these cloaks, and the binding pact, were originally created by one considered the greatest sorcerers of all time, who was also Crimora’s original overseer, Ceeran Samod, he had developed it during the war, in order to stop fellow sorcerers from being harmed by an allies powerful spell. So simply speaking, it was created to stop friendly fire. Now strictly used in dueling, assuring both parties come out healthy and alive, while still allowing them to use their full capabilities.
I’d read that the original creation of this cloak, was surprisingly one of the greatest discoveries leading to the end of the war, though more powerful and destructive spells were being created constantly. Ironically the one thing that stopped destruction entirely, eventually won us our freedom. This was the ability to work together seamlessly. Samod, is still remembered with many statues, and literature, as being the most important sorcerer in all Orean history, you could even find a stained glass portrayal of him engulfing the entire ceiling of the Dining Hall.
The third game, and least popular was Donis, or as the slang developed over the years “Doni”, Doni is a contact based sport, and one of the oldest played among sorcerers. Consisting of two large teams of both, sorcerers or sorceress. Besides dueling, this is the only game wands are allowed use, each team has a physical summoning of a large 2 legged lizard beast called an “Ottoban” this beast is about the size of a horse, but resembles that of an Ostrich. It has a very small mouth, typically used for pecking small bugs off of trees or plants. It’s also very aloof, but mostly terrified of being touched, the Ottoban has very strong and powerful legs along with a dragon like tail, and is quite fast when it needs to be. It is recommended that every player wear ample padding, helmets and eye protection. Each team’s Ottoban is ordained in the academy colors, and draped over it is a vest, with an array of 40 balloons, 20 hanging along each side of its body, evenly spaced out. Each team has 10 players carrying a wand and a large solid paddle, which I think is ridiculous.
The purpose of the game, is using only a slapping spell from the players wands, slapping, referring to a very weak spell that when it hits you, feels like the smack of a rubber band, must pop the balloons on the opposing teams Ottoban, players may use their large paddles, blocking opposing wizards shots, but may not hit an opposing player with the paddle. Players may though target other players with the slapping spell, which typically leads to comical outcomes, and often fistfights. Once the opposing teams Ottoban has had all its balloons popped, they effectively loose the game. This is played in a large circular shaped dome that is about 60 yards in circumference. Teams also consisted of the academies biggest meatheads, that last part was a fact I discovered later on my own.
Eventually Mr. Devin finished with us for the day, he sent us off to dining, after that I’d visit my next lesson. My head had been throbbing with pain from all the information. Typically when I was in school, I had just not cared, I didn’t try to retain any of it, but now I wanted to know everything and anything there was to know. I had already been a bookworm and everything about this new world was enticing to me. I could never stop now, though more headaches were sure to come.