Equis; a paradise for the young mage. A fantastical land of its own, secluded from Earth as its own hidden world. The land of Equis was, and always has been, a land for the magical. Many types of mages and magical beings populate the streets, all born and raised to harness the magic found within them and encouraged to nature their talent into a skill used for good. Equis still remains secret to the outside world, leaving humans unaware of the existence of magic. In order to keep this secret, a Grand Council was formed; made of four power mages of space, time, creation, destruction, and lead by the strongest called the Mage of Divine Order. These five ancient mages still sit as heads of Equis's law, ensuring order and secrecy remain and fearing what could happen if magic was revealed to the average humans.
However, the Grand Council would eventually find that keeping magic hidden from the human world was harder than they thought. The oddity of finding a human possessing Equis magic within them was discovered, raising questions for the council; how were these mages born from humans and what should be done with them? Though the answer to their first question remained unanswered, the second was taken care of fast as they found these Earth mages had no control over their magic. So, three schools were built to help train and educate not only the human mages but their own population as well. Quickly mages were taken from Earth and given the choice to keep their magic or to have it taken away and all memory wiped to remain normal on Earth.
The schools were filled quickly with both human and Equis mages, and magic was soon again regulated to stay only in Equis. While education flourished, so did Equis. The land still sits in peace and has for centuries. Magic continues to power the advanced land, monsters remain at bay and the Grand Council still watches over their quaint land.
However; Equis hadn't always been the paradise it is now.
Before the three magic schools had even been an afterthought, before the resurgence of magic on Earth, and before even the Grand Council had been formed the land had been nothing but a broken land of desolation. Thousands of years ago the land of Equis remained broken and ravaged with war. The land was young, new to the idea of magic and order, leaving many to their own devices. While the common mages of the elements, sun, moon, and dark lived relatively in peace they were unaware of the power being brought into their new world. Right in the skies above them, magic much grander than their own was locked in war and within seven long days, their world fell to ruin.
On the first day, Lucien appeared from a rift in the Earth. A devilish looking man with unknown and powerful magic. In the dead of night, he began his work, scorching the Earth and taking over the small villages spread across the land. On the second day, people say and Angel emerged from the sky. A beautiful woman named Cadence with divine magic had sought Lecien out, intending to put an end to his terror. On the third day, three more mages emerged from the rift in the Earth. Each causing even more destruction under Lucien. On the Fourth, more Heavenly mages like Cadence began to fight alongside her. On the fifth day, up until then, the normal mages had remained on Cadence's side to help fight off Lucien and his followers; however, on this day the dark mages of the land turned their backs to join Lucien. On the sixth, the war grew horrendous, as more and more mages fought against one another, bloodshed ripping through Equis like a plague.
Finally, on the seventh day, a new mage came the land. Her identity remains unknown, legends say she descended from the night sky in a flash of light. Her magic seemed stronger than any the people of Equis had ever seen within Cadence and Lucien, who both were awestruck to see someone hot rival their magic. They both waited and battle stopped as they prayed this new mage was on their side. Fortunately, this mage said to be born of the cosmos, was quick to take care of the evil Lucien had spread across Equis. In the end, Lucien was banished to stone imprisonment, while his band of Hellish mages was sent back to the crevice they'd crawled from. After they were expelled from the land, Cadence and her Heavenly followers were left to coax the land and people into a new age.
The woman from the cosmos disappeared, having never said a single word in her time in Equis. It would be decades before Equis was restored to its original beauty, but eventually, it would become the paradise it is today. A resort of peace and unity for all mages so long as the evil that ravaged the land centuries ago remained at bay.
"Well, Landis, it seems another young mage has appeared on Earth."
"Another? This summer has proved to be a rather active few months for Earthlings, hasn't it Cassia?"
"Indeed." A pair of pink lips curved into a smile as their owner leaned against her desk. The room around this woman was circular and the walls were almost exclusively large panels of glass. The morning sun beat in on her and the man she was speaking with, leaving Cassia in the soft glow of morning light. Her eyes took on a relaxed appearance with a lavender color, almost lidded halfway as she smiled. Her skin was a dark chocolate color and the white cloak clipped to hang lazily over her shoulders stood out in contrast. Her hair was styled to remain out of her face, exclusively falling down her back in neat dark curls that took a brown sheen in the sun. She looked rather normal, perhaps beside the color seemingly tattooed on her right cheek. Three simple dots in blue, gold and purple were present with a thin white ring connecting them.
Cassia, or Mrs. Eve as the nameplate on the desk read, was speaking to a man who seemed to be similar in age to her; both appearing to be in the early thirties or so. "Who will you be sending to retrieve this one?"
"Oh, you already know." Cassia smiled, "you're our best here at Amaria; the students seem to adore you. And, it's fitting that you, a solar mage, go to retrieve another solar mage. I'd leave right away as well, we don't want her harming herself with those unpredictable powers."
The snow-haired man closed his eyes with a smile, "of course. I'll have her back here and to you within the day." Cassia smiled with a small nod, waving as an intricate magic circle opened under her colleague's feet. He was gone in a quick shine of light.
Emily had heaved a sigh as she kicked her blankets off her body and onto the floor. The blonde was lying limp on her back, one arm handing off the bed, with the other covered her face. She could hear the footsteps of her family running about the hall, in a rush to get ready for the morning. She lifted her arm as if it weighs fifty pounds and glanced at her alarm clock. She groaned knowing that she'd have to get up no in order to get to school on time. Pushed herself to sit up with a huff, her head flopping back. She felt as if she were burning to a crisp, though she found no pain. "A fever maybe…" She sighed to herself, "or a heat flash maybe?" She crawled out of bed, not bothering to pick her discarded blankets up as she grabbed her clothes and towel to head for a shower.
Forty or so minutes later Emily came bounding down the stairs with a small skip in her step. A simple cold shower had made the girl feel better. "Hey Lily" she chimed as she entered the kitchen, her younger sister finishing her breakfast at the small dining table.
"We're going to be late if you don't hurry." the shorter warned as she moved to put her dish by the sink.
Emily was quick to shut the fridge, "we can just go now, I'm not very hungry."
"What? Not hungry?" Emily looked back as her father came walking in, setting his bag down to go for the sink.
"I'll be fine until lunch." Her father hummed, pushing a hand under her bangs to feel her forehead.
"You look flushed, you're pretty warm too." He commented, "maybe you should just stay home for the day?"
"No, I'll be fine!" Emily quickly dismissed his idea, "I don't want to miss school, besides it's Friday. I can stick through one day."
The bustle in the kitchen died down as Lily and Emily ran out for the front door, leaving their father James to scramble to grab his bag and run after them. "You're walking to school?"
James had been prepared to say good boy with a smile; however, his expression dropped at the sight of a figure in the corner of his eye. He looked over, spotting an odd man standing opposite of where his daughters were walking. His head turned as his eyes followed them. James pressed his lips into a frown and ran after the girls, catching them by the shoulders. "Why don't you two ride with me today? I'll drop you off."
"No, I want to walk." Lily took a step forward, only to have her elder grab her forearm and pulled her along to the car.
"Well, I want to drive you girls today. When's the last time you sat pack with your dad and had a good talk before school? I miss it." Lily had rolled her eyes without any more objection while Emily slid into the back seat with a smile, not really caring whether she walked to school or not like her younger sibling. Lily crossed her arms and tipped her head back to gaze out the window while Emily occupied herself on her phone. James, on the other hand, was more focus on looking for the stranger he'd seen watching the girls just moments ago. He started the car and looked around once more, leaving moments later as his search came up empty.
"Bye!" Emily sang as she gave her father a half hug from the backseat, scrambling to follow her younger sister as the smaller darted out the car.
"Be careful walking home!" James shouted after them. She gave him a thumbs up before turning back around to jog up to Lily. Emily slowed down though, feeling a wave of heat wash over her.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. It must just be that fever." Emily frowned, "I guess it's just gonna act up all day."
Lily shook her head, "you should've just stayed at home."
"It's Friday, I might as well just tough through it and finish out the week." Emily followed a step behind Lily as they went for the front doors of the school, both pushing past the crowd of students hanging around before the first period actually began. "I don't see why you're in such a hurry to get to class, we're like twenty minutes early." Emily pointed out.
"Well, unlike you, I don't have a flock of friends to hang around all the time."
"I keep telling you to come to hang out with Jasper and me, he's nice." Lily scoffed and moved to pull the door open and hold it for Emily. "You just want to get there early because you're such a teacher's pet."
"I'm not a teacher's pet!" She snapped in defense.
"Hey, guys, what are we talking about? Lily's crush on Mr. Edwads?"
"Jasper!" The boy who had walked up gave a chipper smile, falling to walk right in line with the sisters. "I don't have a crush on the teacher! Why would I entertain such an immature and undignified idea like that?" Jasper slowed down to walk behind the girls and wrap an arm around Emily.
"Believe me, Emily, I can tell she does."
"Whatever, I'm going to class." Lily scoffed, picking up her pace to disappear within the crowd.
"Jasper, you know you're just making her mad." Emily gently pushed him away.
"I know." He smiled, "I'm just trying to get her to loosen up a bit. She's a bit…"
"Just like mom was." She laughed, "sometimes it feels like I'm still being bossed around by her! Oh, hey, are is Roxy still working after school?"
"No, I picked her shift up, she said something came up."
"Seriously?" Emily gave her taller friend an unamused look. "She took off last week too, why do you keep working all this extra time for her?"
"Because she's my girlfriend?"
Emily shook her head, "I thought you broke up after the David incident?"
Jasper rubbed the back of his neck, "well, I gave her another chance."
Emily frowned, "but she cheated on you, I wouldn't keep giving her passes." Emily's smile had dropped, a small frown making way onto her features, annoyance clear in her tone.
"I have my reasons for dating Roxy, it's private matter though, so don't get too wound up over her okay?" Jasper looked over at his friend, only to find that she'd stopped in her tracks. Emily was fanning her reddening face with a few small huffs for air. "Are you okay Emily?"
"I'm fine...my stomach hurts- just a fever." She wrapped an arm around her stomach, "I'm gonna go to the restroom before class starts and try to calm down. I was hoping to stick through this for today."
"Ah, okay." Jasper frowned, rubbing her back for a moment. "I have to go to class, but text me if you need me."
"Of course. See you later." Emily was quick to make her way through the halls and into the nearest restroom. She ignored the girl standing at one of the sinks fixing their hair and makeup with the little time they had left before class. Emily turned the cold water on and leaned against the sink farthest from them. She brushed her hair out of her face, wincing slightly at the feeling of her face burning up. Maybe this was a little more than a fever she could wait out. She splashed the cold water onto her face, relaxing at how good it felt.
"Emily?" the girl looked over at her, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine just-" Emily's words were stopped abruptly as she keeled over. She felt a searing pain rising in her abdomen, leaving her clasp her arms around her stomach, her hair falling around her face as she squeezed her eyes shut.
"Emily?" Her classmate approached her urgently, "what's wrong?"
"I-I don't know, it just hurts-" Her words dwindled off towards the end of her sentence, leaving her to groaning in pain. "Hurts so bad…"
"Wait here, I'll go get the nurse!" Seconds after Emily heard the girl ran out, she found herself straightening up once more, her stomach turning and her eye's twisting at the dizzy feeling striking her. She stumbled, her back hitting the stall behind her. Emily covered her mouth, her head still spinning as she found her stomach lurching. She ducked into the stall quickly, dropping to her knees as she felt herself getting sick.
Emily found herself in disgust as she reached to flush the toilet and lean back. Her stomach settled slightly but remained on edge and she found herself burning up once again. What's wrong with me? She wondered in worry, hoping the nurse would get to her soon. The sound of heavy footsteps drew her attention as they came to stop in front of the stall she was in. She expected the nurse but found someone else waiting. She didn't open the door, simply locking it as she eyed the person's legs. That was no woman waiting for her and it certainly wasn't any male faculty at the school judging by what they were wearing. They stepped closer, prompting Emily to crawl back slightly, only to find herself getting sick all over again. Tears of worry and discomfort filled her eyes as she listened to the man try to open the door. She looked down, closing her eyes tightly.
"Miss Evans? Are you still here?" Her head shot back up at the sound of the nurse's voice, whoever had been there seconds ago was gone now.
"Yes…?" She spoke uneasily, slowing opening the door to peek out.
"Oh, you poor thing, let's get you to my office so you can lay down. I'll call your father."
Emly found herself out of school within the hour. Her father leaving work to come to get her. She was glad to leave; however, she found herself feeling better as her father walked her out to the car. She wasn't too thrilled to be in the car though as she felt nausea hit her again. She didn't go home though, instead, she found herself sitting behind the front counter of her father's flower shop as he couldn't leave the shop alone any longer than he already had. She felt better to sit there though, the scent of flowers and earth soothing her. James urged her to go lie down in the back room; however, Emily got up to go outside instead. She yawned as she looked over the front flower displays in boredom.
"Excuse me miss?" Emily looked back over her shoulder at the sound of a man's voice behind her.
"Yes?" She asked quietly, still not feeling all that well.
"Emily Evans, right?"
"Uhm...yeah…" she turned to face him.
"Finally alone" she heard him mutter to himself. Her eyes widened, but she found herself unable to say anything as he grabbed her, yanking her down the street and pulling her into one of the nearby alleyways. Still, as much as Emily tried, she found that her voice was silent as she tried to scream. "You have to be quiet" he warned, "or I can't help you." Emily's eyes bore into the taller, meeting his own honey eyes. She couldn't tell what it was, but something about him made her relax. Maybe he was really just a normal guy...or maybe he was just drugging her and that's why she was feeling calmer. Whatever the reason, Emily gave him a small nod.
She opened her mouth to speak, finding her words flowing out without a problem. "Who are you?"
"My name is Landis Milan" he smiled while Emily took a moment to take in his appearance and odd clothing. He was gorgeous, to say the least. His skin was a smooth caramel brown color and clear of any mark, not a blemish or scar in sight. He looked to be in his late thirties, maybe the very beginning of his forties. He wasn't thin at all, nor very big with muscle. A good in between she supposed while he stood around six foot, maybe a few inches taller. His eyes were rather noticeable with how bright they stood out as a honey yellow with specks of gold floated about them, upturned shaped and framed with pretty lashes. His hair was silky, long straight locks that fell down his back with an almost silver hue to them in the sunlight. It was tied back rather loosely with a black ribbon, leaving shorter stray stands to hang around and frame his face.
His clothing was somewhat odd as well compared to her normal understanding of fashion. She wasn't sure the last time she'd seen anyone wear an actual cloak outside of cosplaying or on Halloween. The cloak he wore was white with black embroidering the bottom of it. His boots were clunky and had silver on them as they laced up his calves. The rest of his clothing looked rather nice as well, white with black embellishing places. Emily took note of the pendant around his neck, it was gold and shaped like the sun.
"You are Emily right?" Emily blinked, looking back up from his pendant and to his face.
"Uh- yes! I am. If you haven't pulled me into this alley to kill me then why did you?"
Landis laughed, "I'd be in some serious trouble with Cyril if I just killed you. What kind of teacher would I be if I killed prospective students?"
"You're a teacher?"
"Yes, but I can't imagine you know anything about what I teach."
"Really?" Emily spoke with a challenging glare in her azure eyes. "I'm pretty sure I…" her words trailed off as she felt a sharp pain in her chest. She gripped her chest, eyes squeezing shut. "That pain- it's back again." SHe uttered before the pain began to dissolve as quickly as it came.
"You're pretty hot." The man commented Landis's hand had grabbed her forearm, causing Emily to take a step back.
"Uhm, hot?" She spoke timidly, a nervous flush taking over her already burning face.
Landis raised an eyebrow in confusion, before beginning to laugh. "Oh dear, not like that." He clarified, "you're burning up. Us solar mages tend to do that."
"Solar mage? I have no idea what you're talking about-"
His friendly smile dropped slightly as Emily stiffened a cry of pain, her hand grasping the brick wall as she keeled over slightly. "We can talk more later, but for now you need to take one of these." Emily glanced up at the small container Landis had pulled from within his cloak. It was a small ovular container, silver with a snowflake inscribed on the top of it. It opened with a quick flick, revealing small, glossy tablets organized neatly inside.
"What are they?" She asked wearily, grabbing one to inspect it.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you, but they'll make you feel better." Emily gave him a quizzical glare before swallowing it. She was quick to clear her throat in surprise, finding it ice cold as it went down. "We should go somewhere else and talk now, there's a lot we need to discuss."
Landis stepped into the sidewalk, waiting for Emily to follow suit beside him. "What do we have to talk about?"
"A lot, starting with why you've been so sick today."
The pair took refuge in a nearby cafe on the corner. It was rather empty at this odd time of the day, leaving a few customers scattered about and only one waitress walking about while another employee remained at the front counter. Emily and Landis sat away from the other customers, towards the corner of the cafe near the large panels of windows in the front. Neither ordered anything and Landis had already begun rifling through his things while Emily watched in curiosity. "You're starting to feel better now?" The older asked as he pulled a small, tablet-like device from his bag. Emily gave a nod, though she still felt a bit unwell she could tell whatever medicine he'd given her was slowly doing its job.
"So" Emily propped her arms on the table. "Where did you say you were from?"
"I didn't." Landis replied, "but my home is Equis."
"Never heard of it." She leaned closer across the table as Landis turned the holographic device to her. Emily gasped in awe at the photos of rolling meadows, mountains, and seemingly never-ending forests. "Is that a castle?"
"Yes, that castle is a school actually. It's where I work."
"It's so pretty!" Emily felt as if she was staring into a storybook rather than photos. "Where's Equis located? Far from here surely?"
"Very far away. Equi is separate from here on Earth Emily."
A small giggle of amusement left Emily, "Okay" she replied in sarcasm.
He frowned slightly, "I'm not lying. Equis is accessible to its inhabitants. Humans can't get there without someone like me taking them via magic."
Emily scoffed, "maybe you're crazier than I thought you were...magic isn't real."
Landis gave her look, "maybe it's not real here, but it's all over Equis." He looked around to make sure no one was paying attention to the two of them before he beckoned Emily to lean in closer, which she did. He extended his hand and with one more glance around the cafe a small glow sparked from the palm of his hand. Emily was taken a bit back at first before leaning to look closer. It was a rotating sphere that looked like it was made of light. Wisps of white and gold chased each other as the orb spun.
"Okay…" Emily sat back, a look of disbelief on her features. "Maybe magic isn't completely fake…"
"I'm a solar mage, my magic derives from the sun." He explained, "all magic is contained within Equis and kept out of the normal human's life."
"Then, why are you telling me this?"
"You've been having heat flashes the past day or so right? Nausea, chest pains, many other illnesses?" Emily nodded, "well, Emily. Magic is exclusive to Equis; however, there is the odd exception. While most people from Equis are born with magic within them sometimes we find that humans just like yourself have to ability to harness magic themselves. We have no idea why some humans are born with this ability, but it's something we're responsible to take care of to keep Equis a secret. All those pains you're feeling isn't an illness, it's your body reacting to your magic."
"So…" Emily trailed off, "I'm magical?" She tipped her head in confusion, "why is magic doing this to me?"
"It's their type of magic. Mages from Equis are built to handle magic naturally, while you are not. It's clear to my your magic is solar related like my own and you weren't built to handle it. Solar mages from back home are naturally warmer than most, like how water mages who practice too much with ice get colder. Some magic just affects us like that. The solar magic in you is causing you to overheat. It can harm your organs, you're heart...kind of like melting you from the inside out...it's very dangerous and why I gave you that medicine earlier."
"Wait- wait, did you just say melting me from the inside out!?"
"That's only if I hadn't gotten to you in time. That takes days before the magic starts to harm you."
"I could die!" Landis smiled nervously at the people turning their heads at Emily's loud words.
"Well, you're not going to." He took the small container form earlier out again, setting it down before her. "These will help keep your magic in check until you learn to do it yourself. Take one in the morning and before bed at night, okay?"
Grabbed it was a small nod, though she was still visibly worried as she let her finger trace over the snowflake on it. "What are they made of?" She wondered aloud.
"Ice magic." Landis stated, "A water mage uses ice magic to infuse a bit of healing and purity magic into these little capsules for new solar mages."
"You said until I learn how to use my magic myself...are your here to teach me or something?"
"Ah no actually" he sighed, "when new mages appear on Earth people like me are sent to find and help them. Our job is actually to take them to Equis and meet the Grand Council."
"Go to Equis?" She spoke in newfound excitement, "right now?"
"Yes, the council members are waiting for me after all" Landis stood, "lets to the back, there's no really discreet way to open the portal."
Emily's eyes had been closed as she walked through the portal opened by Landis and even seconds after though she kept them closed. She peeked one open before opening the other and looking around. They had walked right into a forest. A variety of noises resonated through the fresh air. Some were familiar animals calls like deer, while others sounded like unknown prowling animals stalking through the trees. In the distance, she could hear the rain of waterfalls, along with deep creatures call. The forest had a thin mist coating the ground, hiding the trails and budding plants. Above her, the canopy was made up of oak, maple, and hemlock with sunlight dancing between their branches. Plants climbed and swooped down from many of the trees, vines and hanging plants. Flowers were scattered about the ground and plants sporadically.
Emily followed Landis through the forest, looking and taking everything in as she did so. They didn't have to walk for long though, as the portal had dropped them off rather close to the edge of the forest. They were met with rolling hills and stretches of lush green grass and meadow. Flowers of all kinds dotted through the land, each trying to take all the attention for their own as their colors and shapes varied bees, butterflies, and other small birds and insects buzzed around. Hedges and bushes were abundant, growing in all directions. Small boulders and stones were hidden within the growth, coated with moss, grass, roots, and vines; each eager to take just a little bit more land for themselves.
Emily found the sound of waterfalls louder as they walked towards one of the several bridges located across the meadows. She gasped at the sight of a floating block of land under. It levitated in the air over a deep pit below. The bridges gave them access to the floating city. Waterfalls poured out from the edge of the floating city, cascading into the water rushing in the canyons below. Landis, who never got tired of seeing new mages reactions to the city, smiled and guided her across the bridge. "Welcome to Equis Emily, we're heading right into the capital city: Rosian."
Rosian looked to be just as wonderful as the land outside of it was. Emily found the skyline crowded with unique and almost peculiar shapes of skyscrapers and monuments. The waterfalls outside of it seemed to play a part in the cities designs, many of the houses and shops having smaller or mini waterfalls of their own flowing. The streets were clean and made of smooth pavement. Their own version of cars and transportation could be found along the lines of small shops, stories, and restaurants. People, some dressed more modern and others dressed more like Landis walked about; some walking animals while others carried shopping bags of different kinds. Landis took Emily on one of the sleek trainlike vehicles that drove down the main streets on a track. She found as they got closer to the center of the city more and more shops relating to magic and other subjects were plentiful, as well as more historical looking buildings. Finally, in the very center of Rosian, there was a large building that almost resembled a museum in design.
"This is the Grand Council building Emily."
"What exactly is the Grand Council?" Emily asked as Landis held the door for her and she stepped into the polished and fancy interior of the lobby.
"They watch over Equis and make sure the secret of magic remains safe and hidden from Earth." He began, "there's five of them on the council. Spandel Phillips, Daria Cove, Victoria Vincent,
Luca Ender, Cosmia Alaric. Cosmia is the mage of Divine Order, so she sits as head of the council."
"They sound serious."
"They are. Each possesses very unique and old magic. See, the Grand Council has been around for centuries. When a member passes away their ancient magic is passed onto a random mage, who then have to step up as a member. They don't have a choice. Spandel is the mage of Creation and Luca is Destruction. Victoria is time and Daria Space. They balance each other in a way."
"What about Cosmia?"
"The Mage of Divine Order has the power that transcends the other members. No one really knows what their magic entails as they usually let the other members deal with issues to preserve their power unless absolutely necessary."
They ascended to the very top of the tower. The room entered was black, as if they'd walked right into a pocket of nothingness. There were no windows, no interior decorations, just a collection of mages sitting in the center of the room. Landis didn't say anything, just urged Emily to approach them. In the very center, the woman waiting stood, "I am the Mage of Divine Order." She introduced herself with no mention of a name and an empty tone. Under her, the two women stood.
The one on the right spoke, "I am the Mage of Space," her voice was clear and smooth.
"And I the Mage of Time." Her voice was elegant sounding with a slight poshness to it.
Below them at the bottom of their little tiers were the only two men. The one on the right spoke before the one to the left. "I'm the Mage of Creation." He smiled, unlike the others.
"My magic rules over destruction." The last one bellowed in a deep voice.
"Uh…" Emily looked back at Landis for a moment, "I'm Emily…" She stated with intimidation clear in her voice.
"There's no need to fear us." The Mage of Grand Order spoke, sitting back down with her fellow council members. "We are only here to speak to you and help you decide your path."
"Thank you- I have to say you guys seem really" Emily stopped herself from speaking as she raised her hand for silence.
"Today you will speak to Luca and Spandel, no one else." She stated, gesturing to the men at the very body. Emily timidly walked up to the men as they motioned for her to come over. She stepped upstairs, they had gotten up to meet her in the middle. She gasped as Luca gripped her arm and yanked her forward.
Darkness enveloped her as she stumbled forward, leaving her alone in a black space. Emily looked around as the orange glow of magic began to form, quickly magic resembled a reddish fire tore through the space. Burning structures and discarded weapons were quick to form around her. Blurry forms of who she assumed were slain people laid on the ground as fire and thunderous booms ran in her ears. Emily found herself trapped. "One's magic is not a toy to be played with." Luca's deep and gravelly voice spoke to her as he stepped out of the flames. If she had thought Landis as intimidation when she first met him then Luca was downright terrifying.
He was tall, six foot two or so, and built broad with muscle. His skin was tan, lighter than Landis's. Slight scruff of what could grow into a beard could be found on his face, along with a scar across his right cheek. His reddish-brown eyes sat below two bushy eyebrows, deep-set, sharp, and accompanied by faint bags. His hair was long and a black, reaching a bit past his shoulder blades and tied tightly back with a gold band. A mess of bangs were free, falling on the left side of his face. He was dressed in black robes, a dirty brown color of leather like armor adorning his chest, arms, legs, etc. while some kind of sword was at his side. "It's dangerous and can bring harm to anyone and everyone around you. The idea of magic is amazing to you I'm sure, but it's a responsibility here in Equis. We don't take it lightly when humans are welcomed here."
Luca directed Emily's attention up above. Red swirls of magic forming into crude figures of people casting magic of their own. It rained down, hitting the scene of forests below and leaving it to turn to ash. "A long time ago the forests just outside this city were destroyed, burned to ash by angered mages. Fire and smoke enveloped the land, driving the life inside to run or perish. By the end of it, there was nothing."
"How could they do something like that?" Emily walked forward as the scene changed, leaving nothing but the imitation of ash and scorned earth left.
"It's sad isn't?" Emily nodded, looking up at the sound of a much different voice compared to Luca's. The Mage of creation- Spandel as she remembered- had appeared to walk up. She looked up to him, him standing much taller than herself at 6'3. His rather feminine figure was well proportioned; long-legged, round-hipped, and small chested; despite this, he looked rather underweight. His was soft ivory and contrasting with his messy and tangled black hair. His inky locks curled about the nape of his neck and his bags fell into his face. Unlike Luca, his face was kind, refined with contours and graced with a warm smile down at her. His eyes were big, almost like a void. She found them to seem deep yet empty when she looked into the swirling ebony brown of them.
"From the destruction that day, beauty did rise." He explained, his hand dipping down to brush against the ground, the silvery green glow of magic spreading into a rolling field. Flowers budding in different colors, drifting side to side as if a breeze was blowing through. "The forest grew back slowly, but it became stronger than ever. It bloomed with such vigor, we worried it would never stop. True beauty rose from the destruction caused by anger." Emily was silent as the pretty scene around her faded to black and the two mages stood before her.
"We're instructed to tell every new mage who comes to us that story." Luca looked down on her. "Do you have an idea why?"
She gave a slow nod after a few moments of silence. "Yes, I think. To explain how, while magic is great, it can cause just as much harm as it can good."
"Good enough." Luca bellowed, "it's my job to represent magic's destructive nature. While Spandel's is to show it's beauty and goodness. Their two sides of the same coin, destruction chases beauty while creation and life always follow close."
"You have a very important choice today." Spandel began, "no human is ever forced to study magic here in Equis, you can stay here and attend school. Learn and grow your magic, or-"
"Of you may return home as if nothing ever happened." Luca cut in, "we will take you magic away and wipe your memory, you will be normal and not face change in your life."
Emily looked between the two a few times. Luca looked as if he were ready to personally take it all away from her that moment, while Spandel smiled kindly, looking out of the place where he stood, and giving the impression he was ready to take her right to school to learn. "I- uhm- I have to choose now? This is all a bit much...how can I do that?"
They exchanged a look, "well miss Emily" Spandel smiled, "against the wishes of Luca, I am able to grant you just three days to spend here in Equis until you make your final decision." He offered.
"Three days?" Emily repeated, "yes- I'll do that! Thank you!" Spandel stiffened for a second as Emily jumped to give him a short hug, likely forgetting about his Mage status. She was grinning with excitement, clinging to him while Luca glared with a disapproving look. Spandel, on the other hand, didn't appear to mind too much. The black space around them was beginning to fade away, causing Emily to let go. "Come back and see me in three days Emily." He smiled with a small wave. Everything disappeared with a quick flash. Luka and Spandel were gone, as were the rest of council members and Emily found herself back at Landis's side.
"That was so cool" she whispered. Landis smiled.
"I'm glad you got to speak with Spandel at least, he's bar far the kindest of the members. You'd hardly think of him as a member if you met him outside of here."
Emily nodded, "I like him. He's given me three days to decide as well!"
"Really?" Landis sounded surprised, "he's the only one who allows that. The other members don't really like it. They get worried about humans sometimes."
"Why? The only difference between us is that they can use magic naturally and I can't. I don't see much of a difference." She pointed out as they left the room.
"Well, Emily, things in our history are more complicated than you can understand." He frowned, quickly replacing it with a smile. "Well, let's get you to school, shall we? I'm sure you're tired. You can rest there in the dorms. There's always a student there without a roommate."
"Wait, what about my family?" She gasped, "I can't just leave can I?"
"The principal at the school with taking care of that for you, don't worry. She'll care for you these next few days while you make your decision. Now, let's get going."
"Where is this school?"
"It's a few miles outside of the city. Come on, I'm sure you'll love it."
Blackmore castle stood proud against the early morning sky. The sun had yet to rise, leaving a gray background against the gray stone of the building. Blackmore looked like many typical medieval castles. Black stones built up for form a large building with eight square towers placed on either side and corner of the castle. They were all connected by narrow bridges, the school's insignia printed on flags were hanging off these bridges. The flags were large as they fluttered slightly in the morning air. Their fabric was white with the head of a wolf-like creature printed in black. Many of the details of the castle had been modified from their old and feeble state. New glass has been put in, colored different all around the building. The drawbridge had been removed, leaving a large gap between the large doors leading into the castle grounds. Water swirled below, circling around the grounds before feeding off into several small waterfalls that descending down the small mountain and flowing into the rivers of the forest.
Though the main way of entry was through the front gates, there was one other hidden way to get onto the magic school's grounds. On the eastern flank of the mountain is said on there was a stone door. It was larger than most doors but overgrown and nearly impossible to spot unless the searcher knew exactly where to look. The stone door was far too heavy to move on one's own, so a beast with strength or only magic could move the stone. One inside it tunneled through the mountain, leading right into the underground labyrinth of Blackmore. The labyrinth was centuries old, yet looked new as day. Their purpose and creator remains unknown and due to confusion and traps of the maze, students are forbidden to travel down to them. On the off chance that someone was able to navigate the labyrinth and survive to reach the middle, they would find a large circular opening. In this opening, a stone table could be found, along with six podiums made to hold books. On the table, several inscriptions and marking could be found, an ancient and old language that was long ago lost to time. Besides the creature lurking about the labyrinth, just one other living being was found here.
As the sun outside began is a slow rise over the horizon a cloaked man could be seen walking into the center of the Labyrinth. His silver rimmed black cloak drug on the floor and worked to obscure everything about the man's face and body as it engulfed. "Master Lucian" The man rasped, seemingly tired from his trek through the labyrinth. A low grumbled filled the dusty air as the odd figure sitting behind the stone table twitched, it's black limbs making a crunching sound at the little movement they could make. One red blinked open. What was once a human looked to be fused within the stone pillar. Crisp, black twig-like limbs poked out from the pillar, its fingers were more like thick claws. The left half of his face was fused into the stone, stretching his features until they faded to nothing within the stone. His mouth was partly closed due to the fusion, and only one wide red eye could be seen. He had no eyelashes or anything, just a large red eye glaring out at everything.
"Lazarus" the fused man, Lucien, hissed. "Where are my mages, Lazarus?" His gravelly voice with laced with desperation and annoyance. "Where is my Heavenly mage"
"In time Master," Lazarus replied smoothly. "The new year for the three magic schools of Equis begins tomorrow. More mages will be coming and even more, innocent Earthlings will be inducted into these schools. They will be the easy ones." Lucian explained with a sinister tone.
"My life dwindles away more and more every day. I need these mage's to free my body, restore my magic." Lucien's voice was fading, "Kill them for me Lazarus...bring their hearts to me…"
Lazarus grinned with a small chuckle, "your wish is my command."