In the midst of rolling green forests, dotted with scarring from historic wars long since forgotten, one could find the great city of Alvika. Renowned as both a cultural melting pot for the land, and diverse trade town, Alvika heard very little of trouble.

"When I catch you, I'll tear you limb from limb you sewer rat!"

That is to say, Alvika heard little of trouble, within reason. The market district, a cornucopia where then thinnest man could gorge himself to death, provided he has the money to support his gluttony. An all too frequent scene during the mid day hours of the market is the occasional street urchin fleeing the scene of a paltry theft. Butchers are too fat to give chase, and grocers have to watch their respected customers with a hawks eye as well, making thievery an all too easy task. On this particular day, one such urchin happened to pick the wrong grocer to pilfer from however.

A thin-framed cloaked figure dashes down the busy market streets, hoping the pursuer will give up the chase. Thinyin, one of the more pompous and rowdy of the market district's grocers, took pride in not allowing culprits to get away from his store with a full stomach. As such, the lumbering man had no issues running down any person in the path of getting to his target. Much like a drunkard, Thinyin brandished a sour persona as if it were a fashion statement, along with his bone-cutting butchers knife. The hulking beast of a man, closing in on his prey, took an avid swing only to connect with the corner of a shop building as the petite frame of his quarry dove below a sewer grate to the street behind.

"Damn you, you little brat! I'm going to have your head on a platter for this."

The meager urchin, under cloak and garb, climbed out of the sewer grate and quickly made distance to another area of the district. With the treasure of a good hot meal in mind, the urchin was completely oblivious to Thinyin's presence. A quick embrace from the hulking grocer was all that was needed to sufficiently immobilize his prey. The grocer smirked with pride as he hobbled casually down the streets with his prize under arm. Modesty was not one of Thinyin's greater qualities, speaking both parts of a one sided conversation with his former assailant.

"You'll be the fifth crook this week that I turned over, you know that? I have to say though; you're the scrawniest one yet without a doubt. I hate doing this to you kids, but you need to learn the importance of working hard for what you earn."

The butcher, too busy preaching of the importance of good morals almost missed a pair of guards patrolling down the streets. With nothing more than a tip of their hats as thanks, the pair quickly headed toward the nearest holding cell with their newfound martyr. The general holding cells, part of Alvika that most would rather not talk about. The main holding facility was easily mistaken for another part of the slums. Drab and windy, a convicted man could easily catch his death from ventilation of the poorly constructed cobblestone walls. The man who's job it was to ensure the well being of the inmates was lieutenant Lemont. He wasn't really a lieutenant, but one did well not to actually point that out if they were wise.

Sardonically dubbed with the title lieutenant to appease himself, Lemont was nothing more than a poor friar, down on his luck. He was a man of the Cloth, who simply couldn't hold ale proper to his build. When sober, he is a sensible man, with great compassion and a warm heart; when sober. As the guards arrived in the barracks forming the courtyard around the holding cells, Lemont gave off a bit of a frown. Lumbering up from his crooked old wooden stool, Lemont stammered over to the urchin and captors.

"Don't you fools even bother checking who you're arresting anymore? A figure as wee as this one could be none other than Miss Scarlet."

A fat, stubby finger from the friar lifted the cloak. A big toothy grin and a heart felt laugh masked the pungent smell of cheap ale on his breath as he pointed a thick callused finger at the young lady, shaking it wildly.

"Now don't be tellin' me, Miss Scarlet, that you've run away from the Academy again. You've more sense then that, we both know it. While I'd love to hear yet another story of how evil that place is, I must ask these gentlemen to escort you back to the Academy. I'm sure the Miss is waitin' for you."

Pulling a small flask as he turned and waddled back to his stool, the good friar took a swig and let out an unruly belch. He threw a hand in the air to wave back at Scarlet, muttering off about how nice it was to see her again before plopping down on the wooden chair, an earthy screech settled down as the wood strained to hold his immense body. He watched the young girl struggle and flail brutally as the two men escorted her off. The friar began to doze casually, and all was thought to be right with the world again, if only that were true. Making more than her fair share of scenes as she was escorted down the street, Scarlet kicked and fidgeted the whole way, frantically trying to escape.

"Let me go! Why is it I run away from that wretched place, and every time I'm found you two buffoons take me back? Don't you get it? I don't want to go back!"

The first buffoon had finally took all the abuse he could, lashing out rather unprofessionally as they turned a corner to a more secluded street. His companion watched with contempt for having not been the first to snap at the girl.

"Do you think we enjoy having to deal with you all the time? You're a monstrous whelp with abilities we common peoples couldn't dream of commanding, and yet you look at your skill with ungrateful contempt! You could one day control this land, or better yet, set the common folk free of this tyrannical spat! Oh what I wouldn't give to be part of your bloodline, but no, I'm a commoner like the majority of the land. You sicken me!"

With that said, the man regained his more dignified persona, taking up his charge in his arm, and continuing the trek to the Blacktrack Reform Academy. Before long Scarlet stood before the slate walls of her beloved academy. A quick glance from the posted sentry golem was all that was required to start the slate doors into motion. The earthen sentry took hold of Scarlet and motioned to the guards before whisking the girl off to her quarters. The two cronies of Lemont looked at one another and then shuttered a bit walking casually back to the mainstream part of town.

"Those Stone Golem's that patrol the grounds of the academy run on the Earthermancy skill of the head mistress. I've heard that they are emotionally portrayed as the mistress herself."

Taking a bit of food from his satchel, the second man conversed casually.

"You know, if that's true, I'd really fear meeting the head mistress. Look at her golems for instance. Solemn, mute, and still able to give the strongest man a shiver in his spine. She must be a beast."

Elsewhere, in the Academy, Scarlet was being escorted up to the rooming quarters of the estate. All who attended the Academy lived there. There were no vacations, and there was no leaving the academy grounds for any reason. Most of the students were rather content that they did not have to interact with the filth of common man. But then again, that's what everyone was to believe. Those who didn't met the mistress face to face. The gruff, lanky figure beside Scarlet was one of the more correctly molded specimens that walked the courtyards. No matter how well made though, everyone always ended up with a clay handprint on his or her clothing after dealing with one; an inconvenience that all students hated.

Scarlet was quickly tossed into her quarters all the while the golem choked out commands. Clay vocal chords never really did make a sweet sound, no matter how well made. Scarlet dropped onto her bed for a moment before casually hanging up her cloak and garb. Next lecture was in twenty minutes, more than enough time to clean up her clothing and mentally scold herself on getting caught again. After some minor preening and a change into something more apt for her next class, she headed out. Her most detested and vile subject lay ahead of her: Pyromancy and the History of the Flame.