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The Portal

 

Chapter 1: The school of mages

 

Frisha was very sick after the long airship ride. She hung over the railing at the left side of the ship, feeling like she was going to vomit any time soon.

 

"Frisha, get away from that railing, you know you have to be careful!" This said by her big brother Samhy, who was very protective over his sister.

 

Samhy got them on the airship by paying the captain sixty Thelians. A Thelian is one gold piece, which is worth three silver pieces. A silver piece is called a Gonlian and is worth three Yenlians. A Yenlian is an oxydian chip carved in the shape of a coin. Oxydian was black rocks from the dwarven lands of Genlon.

 

The airship was a strange design indeed. It flew with a magical power and was driven by strange power gems also made in Genlon. The wings of the ship were made from drake wings. The drakes could not slain of course, the shipwright’s institute made a law against killing drakes for the wings. Of course killing drakes for any other purpose, especially self-defense, was legal. After the drake dies of natural causes, or gets slain in a legal way, the drake wings gets cut of and sent to the shipwright’s institute where the drake wings are treated with a special oil. This is the exact reason for not allowing the ship to be built with fresh drake wings. Fresh drake wings work well for a few months, but after this gets old and crusty. Thus the wings can’t hold the wind beneath itself and breaks. This has caused many deaths and so this method was outlawed. The drake wings, tampered with special oil, has been proven to last years, and so was deemed safe.

 

"Frisha, you have to wait until the ship finishes landing."

 

Frisha was almost thirteen years old. She had already begun her training in archery, because she wanted to be the greatest bow in the entire land. Her older brother, Samhy, was more of a mysterious sort. He loved adventuring and wished to learn the ways of magic. He was about five years older than Frisha. Their parents died in the great incident when the star-metal fell from the sky over their home town in Hulon about three years ago. Frisha found star-metal to be a waste, as she knew nothing form the magic in the land. Samhy on the other hand knew what it was, and what it could be used for. He knew that the very gems that powered the ship were cut using the star-metal. When gems are cut by star-metal, forged in sharp blades, the magical properties from the metal went into the gem. After that the metal was useless, save maybe to make pots and swords with.

 

"Samhy? Why did we have to come here? I think it is a waste of time." Frisha folded her arms arrogantly.

 

"Frisha, you don’t understand. I have to take care of you and you know this is the only mage school around here. You know I want to become a mage."

 

"But still, you didn’t have to pay him sixty Thelians! You were desperate because it was the last airship leaving for this place. Where are we anyway?" Frisha asked as the airship came to a thud on the ground.

 

"Crestia. The only mage school in this entire land." This was said, not by Samhy, but another, very short guy, standing against the railing a few meters away from where Frisha and Samhy stood. "I’m sorry. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Trular. I’m a student at this school. Been so for four years. I was on vacation in Genlon with my family."

 

"You’re a dwarf?"

 

"Yes, I’m a dwarf, and if you don’t mind me saying, I think you are being very rude. I think you should…"

 

They were interrupted by the captain, telling the three that this was where they should get off.

 

"Well it looks like we’ll have to continue this conversation another time." The dwarf turned and walked away, off to get his luggage.

 

"Nowhere in the entire Genlitania have I seen such a rude little…"

 

"He wasn’t the rude one, Samhy, you were. You called him a dwarf. Don’t you know anything? They don’t like being called dwarves, they prefer being called Genlonians."

 

The pair fetched their luggage and got of the ship. A few other people, including Trular, also got off. After they all got off the ship lifted it’s giant wings and started it’s ascend. The wings gave of a loud noise as it flapped like crazy to lift of after which they took their rigid position alongside the ship. The ship then gave a sharp turn after which it glided of over the treetops.

 

They were in front of the school. The school looked more like a towering monument to Frisha, but she said nothing to Samhy about it. She kind of respected her big brother’s decision of becoming a mage, even though she didn’t show it. She wanted to become a great archer one day and wanted her brother to respect her the same.

 

When they went inside, they walked through the most beautiful hallway. The walls were as the whitest alabaster, as was the floor. It looked more like a tinted mirror than a floor because one could see clearly the image of ones reflection on the floor. At both sides of the hallway, right after the entrance, one found two great statues. These statues had a resemblance to a very old type of guard, as the newest ones didn’t need to carry water pouches or wear such heavy armor. Just beyond the statues one found archways leading both ways from the main hallway, continuing the hallway in their own separate directions. At the end of the main hallway was a huge hall, with a huge coiling staircase leading upward through the multiple levels of the building.

 

After the group of people reached the hall, the students already enrolled went to their respective rooms, while the rest stood and waited as the headmaster of the mage school came to fetch them. He greeted all of the new students and announced "Welcome to the mage school Crestia, where you will learn how to fulfill your most desired passion. We will be having a meeting in the auditorium for all the newcomers. You will find it just up the stairs on the second floor and to the right. I will meet you all there in fifteen minutes. In the meantime you may have a bite to eat at the refreshments table that has been set up there, and meet a few of your fellow students."

 

With that the headmaster walked up the stairs, all the way to the fourth floor where he turned and walked into the archway there. Samhy and Frisha joined the crowd in walking up the stairs to go to the auditorium. Walking up these stairs made Frisha realize how tall this building really was. She looked up to see the stairs coiling up for at least seven floors. The pair walked into the auditorium where Frisha immediately darted to the refreshments’ table. Here she started gobbling up some of the pink applefruit that laid here.

 

Samhy walked into the crowd and started to socialize with the people and was surprised to find Trular between them.

 

"What are you doing here? I thought people like you shouldn’t be here?"

 

"Well, each year I hang around here trying to meet new people, you know. Anyway I think you still owe me an apology. For back on the ship."

 

"Yes I am sorry I called you a dwarf. I didn’t know, honestly. I was just so surprised to see a… Genlonian… being a mage."

 

"Yes I know. Hey lighten up, I was just joking being so serious. I always do that to newcomers. You’ll find me to be quite a joker, you’ll see."

 

"Yeah, but I still can’t understand how a dwarf… err… Genlonian… could become a mage."

 

"Well technically I’m not a mage yet. I’m still studying. Believe me, the first year is boring. All the prophecies and spell incantations you will have to learn make it hell. You can’t even cast anything in the first year. Only halfway through the second year did we start to cast actual spells! The only spell you may cast in the first year, and that is about six months after you start you’re learning, is levitate. You noticed the stairs? Well that is what the spell is for." Samhy noticed how Trular changed the subject about how he could be a mage. He thought about it and decided to ask Trular again about it another time.

 

"But why did the headmaster walk then?" Samhy asked, trying to keep the peace.

 

"Well, it is something you’ll have to find out from another source. Ah, what the hell. But this is a secret. It took me until the second year to find this out. Rumor has it that he never learnt the levitate spell. He is actually a very stupid guy for a headmaster."

 

Just then the headmaster walked into the auditorium and went to the front of the room.

 

"If everyone would just take their seats."

 

"Well it looks like I’ll be leaving you now. I’ll see you later on." Trular left the auditorium and went upstairs.

 

Samhy went to his sister, who has already met up with a few non-student people. One was a fifteen-year-old male elf, who told her his name was Hagert. He was there with his big sister, Garney. The other two kids standing at the table was twins, called Erat and Gyran. No one actually knew which was which, but that was their names. They were both about fourteen year old humans.

 

"Come, we should go sit." Samhy said to his sister.

 

"Okay just hang on," Frisha said as she grabbed a handful of applefruit.

 

The pair went to take their seats in the auditorium. The headmaster was in front, repeating that everyone should take their seats.

 

"Let me begin by welcoming you all to Crestia, the finest mage school in the land. Here you will learn not only about spells, but all about their history, their origins and of course when and when not the right time is to use them. Not only spells, but artifice too, can be studied here. Of course the spell division will come first and then you can optionally go on to study artifice."

 

Frisha sat there and ate the applefruit not listening to what the headmaster was saying. There was nothing that bored her more than a lecture. She once attended one, long ago, when she was still a child of nine. There she had fallen asleep and fell over onto the floor. This interrupted the lecture and she was dragged away by her parents and was given a hiding. Frisha sat there, almost about to cry because of these memories of her parents. But she was strong. She withheld all the tears that welled up inside her. Frisha then returned her attention to the lecture at hand.

 

"…and in the last year you will be able to decide whether or not you want to take up studying artifice. Now for a few quick ground rules. First of all there are areas in this school that is restricted to all of you, whom just started the course in magic. The ground floor, which you’ve all already seen, is open to all, even those that accompany the scholars but are not ones themselves. On that floor you’ll find the mess halls for the students and a mess hall for the teachers. This mess hall is of limits. On the second floor, this floor, you’ll find a few lecturing halls or auditoriums. On the third floor you’ll find the living quarters to all the students in this school. The fourth floor is where all the classes are situated. Here you’ll all spend your days learning the arts of magic. The fifth floor is where all the labs are and is of limits to all of you until your second year. The sixth floor is where all the teachers’ quarters, including mine, are. This floor is of limits unless a teacher invites you there, which, may I ad, is highly unlikely. And then there is the roof, which of course is of limits, unless a teacher accompanies you.

 

"Then there are the more obvious rules. There will be no spell casting in your first year here, except for the levitate spell, but also after we announce that you are ready. We will evaluate your skills individually, after which you will be able to cast the spell. Then there is the fact of going out of the school. You may not leave the school at any time except with making a special arrangement with me. You will be given a holiday in which you can go visit your family, but this is the only time you’ll leave the school. Well that is about it, is there any questions?"

 

There was a bit of silence after which a tall male stood up in the second row from the front.

 

"Well, all I’d like to know is, what we’ll learn in our first year here?"

 

"Good question." the headmaster replied, "In your first year here you’ll learn a lot of basic spells and prophesies and things. Of course you will have to learn the history of who invented the spell, when he or she did so and so on. Anything else?"

 

Samhy was startled when Frisha jumped out of her chair.

 

"What about us? The non students?" She asked.

 

"Oh yes, I forgot to mention that, did I. Well, the ‘non students’ as you call them, will go to the school’s ‘back yard’. I call it that because I don’t have a better name for it. Here you can do sword-fight practice, horse back riding practice and of course archery."

 

At the mention of archery Frisha actually smiled. She really loved archery. And now she knew that being at this mage school is not such a bad idea.

 

"Any more questions?"

 

No one replied and the headmaster made his farewells and blessings for the years to come. After that he informed all the people that the students should fetch their room keys and numbers that is hanging on the wall in the mess hall. He then left the auditorium and went upstairs. Samhy, Frisha and the rest of the people then went downstairs to fetch their things.

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