"T-There will no doubt be more Summoners at K-Kaldun... As for waiting for someone.
'Either cold or I am far more intimidating than I thought.' Gaius sighed quietly, looking at the kid who just sat down, raven haired, commoner looking with a cane.
"J-just hoping the ride isn't too long. What about you? Just bored or something else?"
"Hm? Oh, yes. Exactly that." Gaius looked up, snapping his hands and creating his favored pet again, Cancer, under the table. It skittered over to the new kid, poking the back of his leg.
"And who are you, if I may ask?"
Erik nearly jumped when he felt something suddenly jab him in the leg. Look down with a surprised look, he saw a walking piece of ice that resembled a crab. He brought his cane around and jabbed Cancer with the end of it. It was intended to hurt the creature, and probably wouldn't considering how hard the ice looked, but rather to bother it back.
"And who are you, if I may ask?" Erik turned his attention back up and saw the dwarf he had spied a few seconds ago. "I'm Erik Gwent." he said simply. "Who are you?"
having been trying to take a nap until the boat got to its destination the constant buzzing in the background behind his made him roll over and stand. stretching and looking around at the crowd of people in the hold now he raises an eye at a small ice thing over by a table poking someone.
looking around more he places the wind filled girl and the noble. stepping into the flow of people Jake moves along slowly he walks past people talking. listening to scraps of conversations along his way. not stopping to join in any of then just listening.
Kazma scowled as Lyra left. Her story was a farce, the boy would of been dead after a few minutes of jumping in. Unless he used magic. But her story suggested none. So it was nothing but a fairy tale. Erik himself seemed to have also disappeared. So be it. Kazma moved further into the ship, pushing through groups of the others.
"I'm Erik Gwent."
'Now please give me reason to remember it.' Gaius gave a diplomatic nod, beginning to turn back to the stuttering boy when he asked the usual counter-question.
"Who are you?"
"Gaius Orvar, nobility, summoner, ruggedly handsome hero of the realm, I really just did go over this." Gaius looked back to the kid, he had lashed out on his little buddy. It skittered back to him, and he dropped his meager baggage into the thing, a small ripple made it's small form shudder as his clothes and such froze into place at the center. It dashed over to the beds to deliver it's package as Gaius kept eye contact with the cripple.
"And what of you? Style of magic, noble family, anything note-worthy?"
"Gaius Orvar, nobility, summoner, ruggedly handsome hero of the realm, I really just did go over this."
Erik nodded his head. Gaius must have been aware that he had been eavesdropping on his conversation with the shy boy. He was an attentive one. Also very cocky, judging from his self-description. Anyone who called themselves "ruggedly handsome hero", jokingly so or otherwise, was bound to be. He was surprised to find out that Gaius was a noble as well, as he didn't quite look the part. Erik decided not to comment on his size though. He imagined the dwarf must have gotten picked on more often than not because of it, something Erik could relate to.
"And what of you? Style of magic, noble family, anything note-worthy?"
"I do earth magic. Shapeshifting. Nothing special really." Erik said, completely underselling himself. He continued to play with his cane, thumbing the bronze antlers of the head again. "Nothing really noteworthy about me. My family isn't noble. My mother is a mage-doctor and my father was a soldier."
Rayis listened in on the conversation between Gaius and Erik and decided to enter in but choose his words wisely as to not make a mistake, "A-A Mage-doctor? I assume then you must have gotten a lot of vistors, M-Mage-doctors are quite popular now-a-days with the rise in conflict over the world."
"And we're going to be needing more of them if a real war decides to break out". Kazma was leaning against the doorway and cut into the conversation. "I've been out of the loop though for over a month, something start up somewhere"? Kazma's question was directed to the shy boy.
Frowning at the noble as he bumps Jakes shoulder on the way to the table. Following and stepping around Jake nods at rayis and looks over at the question.
I've been out of the loop though for over a month, something start up somewhere?
Looking around at the rest of the people sitting at the table Jake nods to them all and leans against the wall to the side across from the noble asking the question. Jake listening to the answer himself because war affects everyone and battle mage's especially.
Erik turned to the shy boy from earlier. It seemed he was feeling bold and had decided to join their conversation. He turned to the other boy, smiled and nodded his head. "Many indeed. Not so many due to war these days though, mostly common illnesses or hexes. Back before I was born though, my mother said she used to get soldiers and war casualties regularly. Says she also met my father that way." he said.
Erik extended a hand out to the nervous boy. "I'm Erik, nice to meet you." he said with a smile. He didn't know much about the lad aside from what he had overheard about weapon magic, but he seemed like the good sort. "Don't worry, I won't bite." he chuckled as he waited for him to shake.
Rayis has hesitant at first but then held out his hand and shook. "I-I'm Rayis Ezel. I don't h-have much of an interesting back story. I-I simply come from an average family, some siblings that have attended Kaldun but not much else. I am m-more or less just another student here to attend Kaldun."
He spoke and explained himself, "B-But what about you? You looking forward to attending Kaldun?"
Erik nodded his head. "Yes, very much so. I'm looking forward to being among people similar to me for once." He shook Rayis' hand and let go. "Pleasure to meet you."
Three days passed on the boat which was uneventful and uncomfortable. Between the old beds and the seeping cold, it was a less than memorable trip. But eventually the sun rose up, and between the light snow falls they could begin to see it as a black silhouette in the distance. Rayis looked over the boat's railing and looked out towards Kaldun.
Its towers reaching far up and its walls expanding out, its size was almost unimaginable as no other school he had seen reached its massive size. Below the school he could begin to spot out other boats that were already in port and he could see the other boats that had left from the Tyon port on their sides. Rayis could see it in the eyes and the movements of the other students, it was excitement. Everyone on the boat is a first year, as was everyone on the other boats. Anyone who attended last year still lives in the dorms.
Rayis stood in anticipation as the boat began to slow down as they got closer to the port. Students in hordes, more than even back in Tyon. The boat ported into the dock and the ramp was set out. Happy to be back on land, Rayis was one of the first to get off but then like many others began to stand around as they need to wait for others to move up the steps towards the academy. The snow wasn't a kind friend to have to be standing with again.
However Rayis noticed an older woman walking towards the boat in long robes and she spoke, "Students of boat IV. Please listen! I am Professor Yanshi, and I am who will instruct you through your arrival duties. Is there any questions before we proceed?"
"Well, its certainly big at least" Kazma smugly said aloud as he disembarked from the ship. It was supposed to be the foremost known magical academy in the world though. That though was only something said by either those who've never been, or those who had good experiences at the school. Kazma of course was judge and jury on the matter of his opinion, and with the snow whipping about the school was fairing poorly already, first remark aside.
A member of the schools faculty came to greet them, a Professor Yanshi. "Yes. Wouldn't any questions be better asked out of the elements"? A good number of the other students chuckled at his joke. Kazma stood sturdy with his hands tucked away in his pockets at the front of the group in full view of the Professor. Expressionless minus the slightest of smirks. He was just as serious as he was trying to be funny.
Petrichor awoke two days after he'd gone to sleep. He'd been more tired than he'd thought. He spent the rest of the trip trying to stay out of others' ways, not an easy feat on a ship. He spent most of the day on the deck, tucked away in a corner, knowing. Also, shivering against the cold, but the important part was the feel of the land under the waves. He could feel the slopes and hollows, the valleys and ridges. The ocean floor was as diverse, if not more so, than the dry land.
He felt the island long before he saw it. A gradual rising, as his sense of the Earth under the waves grew stronger, and soon a call came up from the crows' nest. Kaldun lay before them.
The next hour was a blur, as they landed and joined the lines into the massive structures. He'd never seen anything like them. He was forced to assume they'd been carved out by magic.
A teacher approached, and a boy who thought far too highly of himself made a joke. Petrichor just sighed, and wondered if Dousing a student in the icy wind would be fatal. He ultimately decided it was not worth the risk, no matter how satisfying seeing him trying to be smug while frozen to the bone would be.
"Students of boat IV. Please listen! I am Professor Yanshi, and I am who will instruct you through your arrival duties. Is there any questions before we proceed?"
"Finally." Gaius muttered, stepping off the boat with a book in his hands. Something something history of magic, specializing in his particular brand. Leatherbound, it was a nice book, and kind of heavy actually. He looked around, big place, too many motherfucking kids. And he doubted any of them were summoners, and if they were, not on his level. He could hope though! Hope for this generation.
He didn't have many questions, except maybe, "Can we just start this shit already?" That was drowned out by a kid's joke, a few people chuckled but Gaius' had a much better reaction.
"Yes. Wouldn't any questions be better asked out of the elements?"
"Boo!" The dwarf tossed his book at the boy, Kazma or something.
Lyra breathed deep of the fresh frigid air, caught for a moment in the revelry of the winds that dashed against the stones of Kaldun. Young men had many admirable qualities, but few manifested when they were cramped up in an enclosed space for days on end. For one, they stank to high heaven. Additionally, while generally left to her own devices, Lyra had found cause to deal with more than one potential peeping tom. Thankfully she'd spent most of the voyage above decks, glorying in the frigid squalls the others cowered from for the most part. But now the oceans were behind her and here was another great ugly lump of stone, impressive in its size and little else.
A great swarm of students milled about the docks, and Lyra was aware of a sudden, pressing reality. So many first year students... and yet this was merely the start of it. How many second years? Third years? Each and every one of them at least a novice magi. The extent of Kaldun's potential political clout was abundantly clear. What possible force beneath heaven kept these people from grasping the sword? What was the lever necessary to move such a monolithic entity to action? Would they be content to live forever? Forever a parasite, shifting from host to host as the men and women on the mainland fought and bled and struggled? What a sad turn that would be.... Of course, as soon as Kaldun did what was necessary, as soon as it flexed its muscles, it would plant the seeds of its own destruction. But wasn't that better? Every empire must live its time and then die, better than clinging to eternity in a hollow, half-life. Though... truth be told, there was a third option... had the lords and overseers of Kaldun found it? Only time and further study would tell.
An older woman broke away from the press of bodies further up the dock and introduced herself as one Professor Yanshi. Kazma made his little quip, and a few chuckled along, but the professor seemed a bit befuddled. Lyra strode forwards towards the woman, and into the path of a hard-flung, rather sizable leather book. It was a simple thing really, an almost instinctive reaction. A little gust of wind surged against the book, nothing much, just enough force within it to negate the book's forward motion. The book hung in the air for a fraction of a second and in the next dropped like dead weight into Lyra's palm. She cocked an eyebrow at the one who'd thrown it, the intended target wasn't hard to determine.
This lad... which one? Gaius? Yes... Gaius. Lyra's time aboard the cramped little vessel had been productive to say the least, her mind clicking away, storing away little tidbits, little nuggets of information for future use. Gaius, the dwarf, well spoken but possessed of the sort of wit that tended to get most men beaten and tossed into gutters. A summoner, one of the few. And something else. Lyra couldn't be sure, but certain looks... and the lack thereof, suggested that the rather handsome little fellow was proof against some of the more... overt wiles in her arsenal. Bright eyes scanned the title of the book and Lyra offered the young dwarf a ghost of a smile. Her voice flowed steady and calm, touched with an almost musical lilt, and most importantly, loud enough to be heard by most of those present, "Lysentium's Treatise on the History of the Summoner, a valuable tome no doubt. You must watch your step, dear friend, you nearly lost your lovely book. One must always tread carefully, a hard lesson to learn but a valuable one."
Lyra handed the young man his book and pitched her voice for his ears alone, "And yes, I'll agree that some lessons need teaching, but perhaps a more subtle hand might prove more effective."
The girl's eyes flickered down to her feet for a moment, before she righted herself and strolled off towards the teacher. Where her foot had been, a slight film of moisture had flash frozen over the wood and stone of the docks, clear as glass and slick as oil, barely visible until the light stuck it just right. A tiny trail coiled out from that little point and wound its way over to Kazma's feet, spreading in a puddle over all the ground nearest where he stood. Lyra took Professor Yanshi's hand, offering the older woman a surprisingly warm smile considering the ice water that seemed to flow through her veins, "Pay a boy's jests no mind, mistress. Shall we proceed? You spoke of arrival duties...."
"Yes. Wouldn't any questions be better asked out of the elements"?
Erik couldn't help but snicker at Kazma's quip. What he said was true though. It was foolish for them to be standing around asking questions in the freezing cold. He'd rather be inside the cozzy, warm academy that he had been waiting so long to enter. It turned out though that the group's other resident noble didn't find Kazma so funny.
Erik merely sighed as Gaius hurled a book in the other boy's direction. But then he saw someone walk in the book's path. It took only a second for Erik to realize it was Lyra. She halted the tome in midair before letting it fall into her hands. She then graced the ears of everyone around with that fine-spoken voice of hers.
"Lysentium's Treatise on the History of the Summoner, a valuable tome no doubt. You must watch your step, dear friend, you nearly lost your lovely book. One must always tread carefully, a hard lesson to learn but a valuable one."
He smiled as he watched Lyra walk over to the teacher. His eyes didn't follow her long, however, because he noticed something strange. A trail of...something where Lyra had previously stood, nearly invisible over the frozen ground. He also noticed a rather prominent pool of the sorcerous slime gathering near Kazma's feet. Smirking, Erik decided to make his way over to the noble boy, his cane clacking against the film trail as he walked near it. "Might want to pull your feet out." he said to Kazma.
She could only sigh at the joke the student made, she wanted to say something but then a female student walked up to her and spoke, "Pay a boy's jest no mind, mistress. Shall we proceed? You spoke of arrival duties..."
Mistress? Not been called that in a while... More so by a student.
Looking back out to the other students who appeared to have no questions she turned back to the student, "I guess we shall. Although please call me Professor Yanshi or just Professor, not mistress."
The other groups with their own respected professors began to move and make their way up the large steps to the academy, she spoke while doing so explaining what was going on. "Since you're all first years, we will be going straight to the auditorium where various announcements will be made, afterwards you will be put in your dorm rooms and get your schedules, classes won't start today but they will tomorrow morning. There will be no toleration for those who miss the first day of classes. None indeed."
Rayis listened to the professor as they walked up the steps, the chilling winds striking against them and into the rock wall. He began to rub his arms to heat himself up, but it didn't help much. The only thing that made this more bearable was that soon enough they would be inside the warm confines of the academy.
The professor began to speak again, "Students that were here last year, second years and up, are already in their dorms and prepared for their classes. However they will still be joining us in the auditorium. It's required."
As they reached the top, Rayis got his first look at the large wooden gates of the Academy. The building appeared to be of stone but there were hints of also wood placing around, maybe even more so in the inside. Other groups were already heading inside by the time their own group got close to the doors. "Another thing," Yanshi began. "I will be your advisor for the rest of your time in Kaldun. Meaning if you have a problem, are in need of aid, or just need to ask a question and you don't know who to ask just come to me. Also any events going on in the school you will be informed by me and others, and if there is a trip off the island to another continent, I will be with you."
That means we will be seeing more of her from here on out..., thought Rayis as they got to the gates.
They entered in and that's when Rayis finally got a look at the inside. The ceiling above stretched out far above them and he could even see students already walking around the halls above. Large marble pillars are erected throughout with the Kaldun insignias on flags attached to the pillars. Torches are across the halls and illuminate the darkness where there are no windows. Large stain-glassed windows flank both sides of the group.
Despite the gate still being open, Rayis already felt warmer and there was an atmosphere of... He couldn't but a finger on it but he then realized what it was. Warmth, but not in the physical sense of being warmer, but the idea that this was a place where there are more like him, people willing to work together and be kind to each other. He wasn't sure that would be true for some of the students but he hoped the majority would see it how he did.
After they got their first look they were then directed to follow Yanshi again and went ahead where a large flight of stairs lay beyond. Getting to the steps they began to walk up, quite high he added, and when they reached the top he noticed there was a glass ceiling that showed the cloudy skins and snow falling outside. He could also see the other parts of the school through the ceiling. It was an amazing sight, but there would be time to see it later, they had to keep moving.
They reached the end of this large passage and they reached another large gate that was already opened. The group entered the room and noticed the ground went down as it looked akin to a theater (he assumed it could be used as such), where there were many, many rows of seats and a stage at the bottom.
Many students were already packed in, but even as much as friends wanted to sit next to each other, there were dedicated seating areas for the groups. Yanshi directed to them to an area close to the stage near the bottom. Soon enough the assembly would begin.
Lyra nodded at the older woman's correction, "As you wish, professor."
Another bit of data slipped into Lyra's growing store. Introductions were always such perilous, delicate things, but my my what insights they offered to the discerning eye and ear. Many schools stressed the subtle master/slave dynamic in the interactions between teacher and student. It kept the student body docile, established a greater sense of control and inherent superiority in the faculty, and engendered a sense of bitter camaraderie within the student body. It was a common pattern, easy to find and easier still to identify, all over the world. Except perhaps here.... Lyra kept pace with the group even as her musings continued, listening to the teacher's instructions, noting her tone, her manner, all the minutiae that most ignored out of habit. This woman... she might be stern, strict even, but Lyra didn't sense the desire to domineer in her. She stressed the point that she was professor, teacher, nothing more, nothing less, a powerful sentiment. It told a student, 'here I stand, the same as you save for a wealth of experience, experience I'm willing to share.' There were risks in such a philosophy, and truth be told, Lyra had too little data on this particular woman or the faculty of Kaldun as a whole to know whether or not the sentiment was an institution wide one, but what a thing to hope for.
The school's interior maintained the grand style of its exterior, but left behind the gloom at the front door. The interior spaces were large and sprawling, well lit and surprisingly airy. Their group was led to an amphitheater to await some sort of assembly, some bit of administrative fluff before they'd be allowed to retire to their individual chambers. Lyra sat with legs crossed and hands clasped, sinking into herself somewhat as her gaze rested on the stage. Something in her posture spoke of a profound sort of patience, as though she were wrought from stone instead of flesh, content to sit there a hundred years. This was far from the case, truth be told, but Lyra found a particularly distant demeanor kept idiot small talk to a minimum.