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The mystery of magic
« on: May 17, 2004, 02:13:41 PM »
Here is a short story for you

The mystery of magic

Prologue:  The hermit mage

It was a starry night and the wanderer walk onward toward his destination. He was a cloaked figure, an enigma. A passerby would have paid him no mind, for he was a stealthy as the night that he was traveling.  His mind was set only on his mission. He was a messenger from the citadel of Strine. He was told to deliver a message directly to the renowned mage, Janus Ordrin.
Janus was one of the few human mages in the world to attain the rank of magus. Although there is some doubt as too his humanity. He was a hermit now, a mage that kept from releasing his power upon the world by secluding himself from it.
The messenger continued to walk through the star lit forest. He knew the path by heart, for he was one of the only people in the world that new of the magus’s tower. The tower was kept as a secret from the rest of the world, for if its location was known, than far too many would come seeking the council of the mage. The messenger knew that he was given a great honor to be the only messenger in the world to deliver to the magus.
The trail was a mystery, there is a rumor surrounding it. It brought people a great mystery, as to why a trail that led to a tower, could not lead to a tower. A person, who would follow the trail, could walk it for days without finding the end. And so it was said that only a person who knew of the towers location, could find it. However, this rumor has had many skeptics argue of its truth, for if the tower could only be found by those who know of its location, then how would anybody know where it is.
The rumors about the tower of the forgotten magus became forgotten, as did the magus. The order of the mages is a well known one, but not much is known about it. The common people are screened from the knowledge of magic, for magic corrupts and destroys the weak minded.
At last the messenger arrived at the gates of the forgotten tower. He could not but help stop for a moment at the gate, and admire the magic of it. The forgotten tower of Aermadul was not just a tower, but it was also a fortress. The tower part of Aermadul stretched into the skies, adding to the mystery of how the tower was hidden.
The gate opened by itself, and a lone figured marched from the front door toward the messenger. The magus himself had come to retrieve the letter. Janus had the demeanor of a wise and powerful sage. He wore denim jeans, and leather boots, and a cloth shirt. He also was equipped with a dark brown cloak, and a long walking stick with a beautiful emerald on the end, that matched his piercing intelligent eyes.
“Thank you Duran, I will take the message, you may head back now.� And with that, the message was handed to Janus from Duran, who even though had marched for countless days without rest, Left, without a complaint. As he was walking away from the tower though, he felt himself rejuvenated, and began the second half, of his long journey.

   In the wizards study, Janus sat at his desk, and began to open the note. He still had the appearance of a young man, but his true age was starting to take its toll on him. He lived alone in his Tower, except for his servants, who were too obsessed with they duty to give him the companion ship that he so desired. He was growing old, and was becoming unable to manage all of his life, he knew that someday he would die, but he did not know how far off that day was. He needed a son to continue his legacy. However he had no son to take up that role. He had decided that the best course of action to take would be in the form of an apprentice. He had sent a letter to Strine to request that he be sent an apprentice, to learn from him, and so that he would not die out with his life.
   
   Janus Zeal, your request for an apprentice has been applied. We are sending your apprentice as you are reading this letter, and he shall arrive at 4:00pm Friday the 5th. The student we are sending you is fresh, just as you requested. He was found orphaned about ten years ago. Lately we have been raising him as a mage. So far, he knows only the basics, so you will be teaching him virtually everything he knows. From what we have seen, he is one of the more gifted students here at the academy. However, a person of your caliber may find it difficult to train a young man completely in the ways of arcane magic. However, we are not to question your decision in the matter, and the academy is honored to supply you with an heir to your legacy.
   The students name is Eliwood. He is too young to remember his legal name, but he was able to identify the name Eliwood, and so we are assuming that, that is his name. We have been training him at the academy for about three month. He is a brown haired youth. He is full of curiosity, and keeps an open mind. However he is rash and his since of justice is a little unsettling. We have given him nothing other that the clothes on his back, and his basic training. The rest we leave up to you. If you have a change of heart, or find Eliwood unsuitable. Then we are willing to accept him back here at the academy.

The letter was not signed, but it carried the spell-book crest of Strine, which was enough of a signature to account for the letters credibility. The letter was not very specific when it was telling Janus about his new apprentice. He figured that it meant that they wanted him to find out about him himself. Friday was three days away. A part of him looked forward to meeting his apprentice. The other part of him was filled with fear.
 
Chapter 1: Eliwood

Eliwood had not heard a lot about his new master. When he learned that he was going to be apprentice to a magus, he was filled with a plethora of emotions. He was exited that he would be trained by one of the most renowned mages in the land, but he was also worried that his master would hate him.
There are multiple ranks that a mage can attain throughout his career. At first, they would be initiatives, or just humans that are born with the ability to use magic, however they are not able to harness its power at will, but they may accidentally cast a weak spell from time to time. Next they become apprentices, basically an apprentice is a student of magic, they are initiatives that are learning about magic, and learning how to harness it at will.
Next up is an Adept. Adepts are still students of magic, however they have learned how to use many forms of magic, and know a great deal about it. It is during the rank of adept that they may decide whether or not they will remain an apprentice to a more skilled mage, or start there own path.
After the adept comes the magician. Magicians are Adepts that no longer can learn from a master. Next is the Wizard. Wizards are magicians that are fully able to fend for themselves, and are able to use all forms of magic. Wizard is the last rank that is achieved through knowledge and experience.
One a Wizard has proven himself, the council of Mages Gives a wizard the title of sorcerer. Sorcerers are able to use all forms of magic at will, and can truly be called masters of it. When a sorcerer has proven himself worthy, he is given the Title of sage. A sage is a master of magic who devotes himself the study of magic. Sages spend their time solving the mysteries of magic, and discovering new spells.
The council of mages is made up of sages, the philosophers of the magic bunch. However, they are not the highest possible rank. Only the top sages in the land are given the privilege of the title of magus. Magus’s are the sages that have proven themselves to be the best of the best. The famous faces of the mage order.
There is one rank left after magus. It is a rank that only one mage in the world may possess.  When a mage has proven that he is the most knowledgeable and most able mage in the land. He is awarded the title of arch-mage. Arch-mages are the mage that everyone looks up to, however, because of their reputation they are not allowed to take apprentices.
Eliwood had nothing to pack for his trip> he was given nothing but the clothes on his back and some food for the trip. He also had a book that was given to him from the academy that was an encyclopedia of the different spells in the world and what their effects were.
As he was walking towards the front door, he found the principle of the academy waiting for him. “Eliwood, you have been given a great honor by being accepted for training by one of such high rank as professor Zeal. You will refer to him as either master, or magus. You must never call him by his name unless you hive been granted permission. You must obey him flawlessly, and most importantly, you must not give the academy a bad name.�
“Don’t worry professor, I won’t fail you.� Eliwoods’ fear about meeting his new teacher was only heightened by his professor’s orders.
As he was taken into the train that would take him to the forest of fae-re, he noticed that it was unusually vacant. In fact, he was the only passenger on the freight.  It seemed like an awful waist of time and money to have a train prepared just for him. The sight, and the fact, gave Eliwood an unsettling feeling.

The train ride to the forest dock was a long, quiet ride for Eliwood. He spent the unknown amount of time on the train reading the book he was given. The book covered many terms that had to do with magic that Eliwood had heard of, but didn’t know what they meant.
For him, the ride seemed longer than it actually was. After he had grown tired with reading a book that he could not comprehend, he decided to walk around for a while. The doors that connected his coach to the rest of the train were locked. He figured that they wanted him to remain in one place.
He finally was able to calm himself enough to get some rest. The day was long, but his inactivity kept all his energy contained inside himself. He was lying across some seats that were aligned in the back of his coach.
He awoke to the sound of the trains breaks as it slowed down to a stop. As he looked out the window he noted that the stars still shown brightly. Suddenly the door to his cart opened. He grabbed his things and left the train. “Just take that road to reach the tower,� The engineer told him, “good luck finding it though, your going to need it.�
The engineers words sent a shiver down his spine as though he was about to enter a haunted forest in which he would never return. He grabbed his book and he headed into the forest. The forest gave him the creeps, but his curiosity drove him forward.
He walked the paths of the forest maze. He realized that he was walking in circles when he slowly realized that he was passing the same part of the forest. It was that, or the entire forest was identical. He began to get nervous.
Eliwood started walking back toward the station. He noted that even though he followed the path that he had come from, the land was different. He started to run. The fear for his life was driving him. Everywhere he went though, it was the same. He had lost himself in the woods of death.
He had finally given up on his pursuit, finally coming to the realization that he was going to die. He slowly waked over to a tree along the edge of the path and put his back up to it. He slid down to a rest and sat with his back resting against the ghastly trunk of the tree, He pulled one of his knees up to his chest and grabbed it. He put his head down to take a rest.
He did not get a chance to sleep before a horse rider came up to him and beaconed for him. “Are you the young master Eliwood?� it questioned him.
Eliwood took a moment to examine the stranger. He was a lower classman. He wore a battered cloak with its hood pulled down revealing his pale face with piercing grey eyes. He wore raggedy cloths and worn boots. His horse was much more dignified. It looked as though it was healthy and gallant. Working up his courage he stood up and confronted the stranger. “Yes, I am.�
The servant stared into his eyes for a few seconds, as though looking into his soul. Finally, the rider responded. “Very well, come then, the master awaits your arrival.� He then held at his hand toward Eliwood, who stared at it with a suspicion. He then realized that this rider must have been a servant to the magus, and was here to escort him to his manor. Eliwood held out his hand, and the servant helped him get onto the horse.
“So, how far away are we?� Eliwood asked the servant.
“We are very close, yet at the same time are we very far away.� The servant responded in a riddle that didn’t give Eliwood the answer he had desired.
“Um, could you be a little more specific than that?� Eliwood asked the servant, not understanding the answer that he had given. However the servant did not respond this time. “Ok, so… you don’t know?� Again he asked a question that did not receive an answer. “So, you don’t have any answers, do you? Or do you just ignore me for the hell of it?�
This time however, the servant gave a response. “Perhaps, you are just not asking the right questions?� His response again didn’t help Eliwood at all, and his patience was starting to run thin.
“Fine, well then, answer me this, who are you?!� Eliwood was beginning to get annoyed with his lone companion.
“The master calls me Louis.� The response that Eliwood was given seemed rather depressing to him, he realized then that Louis’s only purpose in his life must have been servitude to the magus.
The rest of the ride to the magus’s tower was in complete silence, except for the prancing of the horse’s hoofs upon the soft ground. They finally reached the magus’s tower and Eliwood couldn’t help but marvel at its specter.
Tired, the Louis helped him off of the horse and began to take it to the stables. “Just go through the front door, the magus is there to great you.�
He approached the mansion and then stopped for a minute to prepare him self. He was about the meet the single most important person in his career, and possibly his life. As he slowly began walking again toward the front door, he was taken over by both fear, and curiosity. He approached the main doors, doors that looked as though they belonged in the house of a giant. They were big wooden doors with a metal fence that was engraved into the door to give it more stability.
He put stood on the doormat searching for a knocker or a doorbell that would open the door. Suddenly, the door began to slowly open, and the light from the inside of the manor began to flow forward into the night like a beacon. When his eyes had adjusted to the light, he looked upon a glorious stairway, and slowly walking down those stairs, was a man that Eliwood knew, just had to be a magus.
 
Chapter 2: Magus

“Hello my young apprentice!� The magus exclaimed in a voice that sounded as though a grandfather was greeting his grandchild for the first time. He walked down the grand staircase like an aristocrat joining a party. Everything about him seemed divine to Eliwood, and he put his head down in shame, feeling that he was insignificant before such a godly figure.
“What is the matter? You have done nothing wrong.â€?  Janus walked over to Eliwood slowly and put his finger to Eliwoods chin and lifted his head back until he could see into his eyes.
They both just stood their, Eliwoods’ blue eyes staring into Janus’ green ones. The two were locking glares, and neither one blinked for the longest time. At last Janus released his finger from Eliwoods chin and turned around. “Very well then,� he stated. “Come then! Let us feast for this is a grand occasion, and you arrived just in time for dinner.�
“Dinner, but it must be early in the morning?� Eliwood asked question thinking at the same time that his master was partially insane.
“Nonsense, can’t you tell time?� Janus sarcastically asked Eliwood. It was a rhetorical question but Eliwood answered none the less.
“It’s just that it has been night for quite some time.�
Janus chuckled a little at Eliwoods statement. “Yes, it has been night here for quite some time, and it will be night for quite a while longer.� When Janus looked behind and saw the puzzled expression on his apprentices face he realized that Eliwood did not understand. “It is a spell of darkness, it blocks out the sun in the woods to create a magical night.�
Eliwood finally understood why it had been forever since he had seen the sun. They walked through a series of halls passing doors that made the manor seem enormous. Finally Janus opened up another large door, this one was slivery white, but it followed the same pattern as the rest of the doors in the house.
It opened up into a rather large room. The room was fitted with a large banquet table. There were numerous seats lining the table but only the two seats at the end were set. Sound seemed to echo in the room, so even though they were sitting quite a distance away from each other, they could hear each other as though they were standing side by side.
Another servant brought in food for them. “Eliwood, this is our butler Mortimer, but we just call him Morry.â€?  Morry was enigmatic servant of the magus. He had pale skin and fatigued purple eyes. He was taller than Louis, but weaker. He wore a tuxedo that fitted tightly on his skin.
“It’s nice to meet you Morry.� Eliwood tried to start a conversation. Mortimer however did not respond. It was as though he was deaf. He continued setting the table with foods from his cart, ignoring them as though he were deaf. For a brief second when he was lifting his head, he could see into his eyes as though they were an open door. At that second time seemed to stop for Eliwood, as he was flooded with a sadness that seemed to flow from within Morrys’ soul.
“You’ll have to forgive Mortimer. Given his circumstance we allow him to appear ignorant here.�
“Circumstance?� Eliwood asked of Janus.
“Yes, he would probably prefer it if you didn’t know, but pay him no mind none the less. He is very shy, and probably won’t say a word to you for quite some time. However, if you have any questions, I’m sure Morry would be more than glad to help.�
They ate the food that was provided for a while in silence. Finally Eliwoods’ curiosity had build up enough that he needed his question to be answered. “Why do you have the spell on night enchanted upon this place?�
“The answer is simple, yet it has quiet a few answers.� Janus began to answer without hesitation, for he had nothing to hide. “The first reason is because I love the night, it reveals so much more of the world than the day does.�
“So, it’s because you like the night? That is an understandable reason I guess.�
“You guess? No, you must never guess, you must be positive. That however, is a lesson that you will learn in time.� Janus had begun what seemed liked his first lecture. “The other reasons are logical reasons. First of all, I am a Magus, meaning that there are a great number of people in the world that would seek me out for my advice, and by concealing myself here, the night provides this place a sort of cloak.
“So, it’s so that you remain in seclusion? Is that why I couldn’t find my way here on my own?�
“No, the reason that you could not find your way here is indeed the work of a spell, but not the spell of night. The last reason of importance is the stars. They can only be observed and studied at night.�
“Well, why then, could I not find my way to this enormous tower?� Eliwood asked, changed the subject to a new one.
“You may or may not have heard of the rumor that this tower can only be found by those who know where it is.�
“No, I haven’t heard of that, in fact, I’ve heard very little about you, or this place.�
“Well, to be formal this manor is called Aermadul, in arcanian dialect it translated to the words sleeping heaven. Anyway, going back to your question, there is a spell over this tower that causes anyone who hasn’t touched this sacred ground to wander the forest in the same four or so acres over and over. So you were unable to find you way here because you kept on teleporting back into the restricted area of the woods, which I know very well, which is why I was able to send Louis out to fetch you.�
“Ok, so exactly how many spells are enchanted over this place?�
Janus laughed a little as though Eliwoods question was somewhat of a joke. “Well, I could tell you,� he started, “but where would be the fun in that?�
They had finished eating the food on their plated with many leftovers on the table. “What are we going to do with all this food?� Eliwood asked Janus
“Well, it is most likely that the servants will dine on it as soon as we leave the room.�
“How many servants work here anyway?�
“Hmm, lets me think. There is Louis, Morry, Lestat, and Raphael.�
“You had to think for only four servants?�
“That was a rather rude comment, I have my reasons.� Janus voice had become somewhat sharper. “I have known many people, sometimes I have to think about which ones are still alive, and which ones aren’t yet dead.�
Eliwood was somewhat perplexed at the motives of how he was answered. “Was that some sort of warning or threat?�
“No, not at all…� Janus voice drifted into a mumble as though in that manner, he did have something to hide. “Anyway, about your chores for tomorrow, the library is in shambles and someone should order it.�
“But, isn’t that job one for the servants?�
“I would have them do it, but it would be much more beneficial in the long run to have you do it.�
“But, why?�
The magus’ tone became sharp. “Why is it that you question the orders of your superiors?�
Eliwood knew when it was time to shut the hell up, and so he tilted his head down in embarrassment, realizing that the two words he said were two mistakes that he had already made.
After a long time of silence, Janus rose from his chair and clapped his hands. Mortimer came in through the doors. “What is your desire master?� He asked in a shaky voice.
“Show young Eliwood to his room. Eliwood, go with Morry to your room, you will be awaken tomorrow by him around ten o’clock in the morning, you will then eat breakfast with me and I will instruct you on the rest of your day.�
Eliwood nodded his head and rose. Morry lead them through another series of halls until they came to a winding staircase. They passed a few doors on their assent until Morry finally stopped him at a door and opened it. Inside was a decent sized circular room in with a bed and a dresser. It had a stone floor, but a large carped was spread across it to provide padding. The dresser had a large mirror hung above it.
Eliwood placed his book on top of the dresser. He then opened up the top drawer of the dresser and found clothes of his size neatly folded and placed. He walked slowly across the room to his bed. He flew himself onto his bed, not bothering to undress himself. Within minutes he was peacefully sleeping.
 
Chapter 2: The library

Eliwood awoke to the sight of Morry standing right beside his bed. Startled, he sat up not remembering where he was. He settled down when his memory caught up to him a few moments later. “What are you doing in here?�
“I was instructed to wake you, and so I have.� Morry had the same monotone that he always had. Eliwood stood up from his bed and noticed that their was light outside the window.
“What happened to the night?� Eliwood asked as he turned to face Morry, and expression of curiosity was on his face.
“Nothing happened to it, the master turned on the light so that he could warm this land up. He has to do that every so often so the environment of this forest does not change.� Morry then turned his back to Eliwood and began to walk away. Eliwood followed him down the stairs and through the halls back to the same doors that he had been at the night before.
Morry opened the doors and Janus was already comfortably sitting in his chair, waiting for Eliwood to take his seat so they could begin eating. Janus beckoned Eliwood to take his seat. The food was already neatly spread across the table, a little bit of everything was already on both of their breakfast plates. Janus took his seat across from the magus and tilted his head down, as though he did not want to look Janus in the eye. Morry turned his back and left as soon as Eliwood took his seat.
“Why is this place showered in light?� Eliwood finally lifted up his head to face Janus as he asked his question.
“Isn’t the answer as plain as the sky itself?� Janus’ reply was rhetorical. “It is because the sun is out of course!�
“I think you know what I meant.�
“I simply answered the question that you had given me, now if you had reworded you question, than the answer would be reworded as well.�
“Fine, why is the spell of darkness not in place?� Eliwood was beginning to get annoyed with his master, and Janus was beginning to enjoy toying with Eliwoods mind.
“You see, magic is everywhere, and is in everything. However, magic does not have absolute control in this world. I could leave the spell of darkness up for eternity if I so desired. The world would then take its natural course.�
“You still haven’t answered my question.�
“What do you think happens without the sun?�
Eliwood had to stop and think, the answer was clear to him, and Janus could tell that is was clear by the way that the curiosity in Eliwoods eyes was replaced by a deep train of thought and embarrassment. Eliwood was silent, so Janus decided to continue with his presentation. “Without the light of the sun, this land would loose its heat. Plants would die, and the land would become a frozen wasteland. I need to give light back to this land so that the land is not destroyed because of my personal preferences.�
Eliwood learned then, that Janus was a soul that realized that there was a greater balance in this world that could not be disturbed. Knowing this fact about him, Eliwood grew to trust him even more. “Couldn’t you just cast a spell of heat to keep this land warm, and a spell of life to keep the plants from dying?�
“No, I could not.� That was the cold response that Eliwood was given.
“Why?� Eliwood asked Janus as though there was a sorrowful though behind the principle of mortality.
“That is just one of the mysteries of magic. It is a mystery that sages such as my self strive to solve. You see, it must be made known to you that even though we are able to harness the powers and abilities of magic, but our understanding of it is rather disturbing. For a reason that I am still trying to figure out, I am unable to cast a spell of heat and light without a source of light or heat. As a matter of fact, it is a question that I am trying to answer as of now.�
They ate the rest of their breakfast in silence. Series of thoughts wandered through Eliwoods head. He wondered about questions that would be appropriate to ask, and about what his new master thought of him. No one could even guess what Magus could be wondering about.
When they had finished the food on their plates, Janus clapped his hands loudly as he had done the previous night, this time however, he remained seated. Morry came in through the doors again. “Morry, show Eliwood to the library.� Janus stood at this time and started to leave the room with Eliwood and Morry. “For the rest of the day you will be organizing the library as you see appropriate. Towards the end of they day, I will send one of the servants, most likely Morry, to come and fetch you for dinner. After dinner, you will be allowed to do whatever you wish, explore, read, or continue your work in the library. However, if you decide to explore Aermadul, whenever you come across a locked door, do not try to pick the lock. This place has many secrets, many of which I do not think that you are ready for. I have locked the doors for your own protection, I would ask you to trust my knowledge and not let your curiosity get the best of you.�
Janus had talked so much that he didn’t allow Eliwood a change to comment or question his directions. Janus turned down one of the adjacent halls to the one that Morry was leading Eliwood through and no longer turned the corner when he shouted back to Eliwood, “Remember, Patience is a virtue and without patience there will be no salvation.�

Morry lead Janus to another big door that marked out the important rooms of the mansion. He opened it, and inside was a sight that gave Eliwood a sense of awe. The room had multiple stories, but the center of the room had no upper floors so that someone could see straight to the ceiling of the magnificent room. The Ceiling was painted with a Mural of what looked like a group of great and powerful mages fighting against a gigantic demon of great caliber. “What is the meaning of the mural on the ceiling?�
Morry didn’t answer. Eliwood took a few more slow steps into the room, observing it’s every detail. “The mural is a historical record of an event that was very important for the planet. It is not my place to say though, such questions would be better asked of the master.�
“So, you don’t know, or you don’t want to tell me?� This time Eliwoods question was not answered and so he proceeded into the room.
The library was a spectacle to behold, but it was also a disaster. Books were out of place and beaten up on the shelves. Many were missing from their respective locations and thrown onto tables that were spread across the main floor of the library. There were golden stairs with red carpets that went up to the second and third floors of the library. Bookshelves only aligned the walls of the room. They went up to cover the entire wall of each floor. Each floor of the library was about ten feet tall, so ladders aligned the bookshelves so that the top shelves could be accessed.
   Eliwood gave out a sigh as he realized that the library was a cruel prank that his master was playing with. It would take him weeks, even months, for Eliwood to organize the entire library, and even a simple mistake could displease Janus and he would have to reorganize the library all over again.
   Morry was still standing in the door way when he said, “If you need anything than you have to do no more than call.â€? With that, Morry left and the door closed behind him.
   Janus examined the piles of books that were towered up on top of the desks. He sat down in a chair trying to will himself into starting the long task he had been given. He tried to excuse his laziness by thinking about how the job would be done. He figured that the first thing to do would be to take every book off of the shelves and begin to sort them into various piles across the ground. He rose from his chair and walked over to the nearest shelf. He pulled a book off of the shelf. Its title read “Surrender to Darkness.â€? He opened the book and began to read the first few pages. he book was written using many words and phrases that Eliwood could not understand. The only thing that he could conclude was that it was some kind of history book. He set it on the floor of one of the clear sectors of room.
   He pulled another book off of a different shelf. This one had the title “Tales of Phantasia.â€? He began to read the book. This book he could understand. It told about a childes parents who sealed a great force into an ancient tomb, but the tomb had been disturbed and the villain was reawakened and it was up to the child to save the world like his father had.
   Eliwood grew tired of reading and closed the book. He started a new section for fiction books. He again walked toward the closest shelf to him. He picked up a book and read its title. This one was an encyclopedia of magic. He noted many books that were identical to the one he had in his hand. He piled the encyclopedia of magic books and put them in a new pile.

   Eliwood continued to work the same way he had been for a few more hours. Every book he picked up he read a few pages. Many of the books that he looked through were books that he could not clearly identify, or books that were written in unknown languages. Eliwood though it cruel that his master was making him organize books that he could clearly not identify.
   Morry opened the door and the sound of his entering startled Eliwood. It had been quite some time since Eliwood had heard any sounds other than his own. "The master has called you for dinner." Eliwood put the book that he had just picked up back onto the nearest shelf. He had found that even the though library was in disarray, many of the books were close to others of similar category.
   Morry led Eliwood back through the halls and into the Dinning room where he saw Janus seated, waiting for him. Eliwood walked over to his seat and sat down to eat. Janus raised his arm and jerked his wrist to dismiss Morry. They ate their dinner silently until Janus decided that it was time to start conversation.
   "So, how is the library coming along?"
   Eliwood finished chewing his food quickly. That was exactly the topic that Eliwood wished would be the highlight of this meal. "It's coming along fine, except for a few things."
   Janus cut off Eliwoods sentence before he could talk about the problems that he had encountered. "How have you decided to organize them, category, age, language, or perhaps importance?"
   Eliwood realized that it would be wiser to be obedient. If he wanted answers to his questions, he should answer the questions given to him. "I've decided to sort it by category, but I'm having trouble with the books that aren’t written in common."
   "What categories are you sorting them by?" Janus asked ignoring the indirect ask for assistance.
   "I'm sorting them by spell books, encyclopedias, fiction, history books, reference books, and journals. Among those six main categories, I'm also dividing them into subcategories such as series, author, and reference. But I am having trouble with the fact that many of the books are in illegible condition or written in languages other than common."
   "Yes you've already mentioned that, there is no need to repeat yourself."
   Janus's remark once again put Eliwood back into his shameful attitude as though he were not worthy to be in the presence of one so divine that he could be paying attention and show no signs of it. He lifted his head again to reword his question, as his master had told him to do earlier. "How, would you suggest that I tackle such a problem?"
   "Well, what problem are you having?" Janus's trains of answers were meant to show that in order to get the correct answers, precision is required.
   Eliwood was beginning to become annoyed with his masters way of teaching though. He was still able to stop his temper from getting the better of him though. "How would you recommend that I organize the books that I can't read?"
   Janus chuckled a bit. "I see that you are the kind of person that gives up easily. That is not a very charismatic trait." Eliwood put his head back down into a sullen position. "There is never a situation where there is only one option. This is a lesson that you must learn yourself. However, you are young and so I would guess that it is my duty to give you direction."
   There was a pause between as though Janus expected Eliwood to provide some kind of remark. He began to speak again. "Words are not the only way that a book can be distinguished from another." Janus's hint wasn't a very good hint. Luckily for Eliwood he reworded it. "Look at more than the words written in the book."
   They finished eating and continued the ongoing pattern of dismissal. Eliwood found himself back in the library to work a little longer before he explored the fortress. He continued to organize the books, but he took his masters advice and looked at the way the books were written as well as the words that were written in them.
   
   Eliwood continued to sort the books in the library until he was beginning to feel fatigued. The library had no windows and no clocks so he had no way of knowing what time it was. He picked up one of the foreign books that he had through into his illegible pile. He opened it up, too fatigued to care if he could read it or not. He looked at the markings in the book and realized that the book had strange signs after the beginning word of each paragraph. He looked through the book and realized that every word had the same beginning marking as the words around it.
   The realization that he was holding a foreign dictionary in his hand smacked him in the face. He could tell what it was just by observing the markings. He didn't have to be able to read anything. Eliwood walked over and placed the book in a new pile for foreign dictionaries and encyclopedias.
   Eliwood now knew what it was that the Magus's hints had meant. He called out for Morry. Morry didn't answer the door. Janus thought that he had been in the library for too long and that Morry had simply gone to sleep, that, or Morry was away tending to the demands of Janus.
   
   Eliwood left the library and tried to navigate his way back to his room. He wandered the halls trying to find the door that led to the tower. He passed a window and noticed that the sun had once again become hidden, and that stars once again lit up the night sky. He came to a door that he though was the door to the tower that he was his. He turned the knob on the door and found that the door was locked.
   He wiggled the knob to see if the door was just jammed. He heard a low growl coming from behind the door. He felt a shiver crawl up his spine as he heard the growl that sounded as though it came from a fierce predator. He released the door knob and slowly backed away, expecting to see a humongous creature break down the door and tear his corpse into a million pieces, then slowly digest them as the creature feasted upon his lifeless body.
   It was at that moment that his state of mind had been regained. He remembered that the magus had said that he locked the doors for a reason. He began to run down the halls to try and find his way back to his sanctuary. He went around a corner and found Janus slowly walking toward him a few feet away.
   Eliwood stopped his body in front of his master to avoid collision. He looked up to Janus and tried to calm himself. Janus cocked his head to the side and smiled. "You seem like you are in a hurry, is something the matter?"
   Eliwood looked up to Janus as a midget looked up to a giant. He then realized that the force from his abrupt stop had caused him to fall, and that the shock from nearly bulldozing his master had caused him not to realize it. Eliwood stood up and casually faced Magus. "Nothing, nothing is the matter! Why would anything be the matter?"
   The Magus titled his head down as though he was embarrassed. He then lifted his head and decided to play with Eliwood as he had grown fond of doing. "Okay, so you just felt like running through the halls, screaming you head of this late at night." Janus's voice sounded as though he was asking a question, and making a statement at the same time.
   Eliwood tilted his head down to stare at the ground again. He realized that there was no way in hell that he could get away with lying to a mage that could tell a lie just by the aura of the area around him. "I was getting ready to leave the library, so I called for Morry." Eliwood decided that it would be best to tell Janus the truth and that the Magus may even admire his honesty. "Morry didn't show up, so I decided that I would try to find my own way to my room."
   "I know." Janus said simple words that let Eliwood know that he was listening to what Eliwood was saying, not judging him or monitoring him.
   "I came to a door that I thought led to my room, but I found that it was locked, so I tried to open the door by wiggling the knob, but…" Eliwood was talking anxiously, like he was trying to sound scared, which he indeed was. "I heard a evil growl from behind the door, so I started running and then…" His voice began to sink to a rumble as he finished his speech.
   "I know." Again was the answer Janus gave Eliwood. This time however, it did not give Eliwood the feeling that Janus was listening. Instead it gave him the feeling that Janus was being compassionate. "I will lead you to your room."
   Janus led Eliwood back to his room, where he immediately walked over to the bed and plopped himself on top of it. Janus than began to speak, "I think it would be better if you took tomorrow off, rest in bed, Morry will bring you food at meal times, the nightshade spell will be up so you wont have to worry about sunlight." Janus closed the door and let Eliwood sleep.
 
Chapter 3: the growl of a demon

   Eliwood found himself surrounded by a thick fog. He looked around and found dead trees etched about the land. It was nighttime, but he could see no stars in the sky. The only source of light seemed to be coming from the fog that lined only the floor, so that Eliwood could not see himself walking.
   He found himself in a strange blue cape that covered his body. Behind the cape he could feel metal armor, and branded at his hip was a rather intimidating long sword. It had a red handle with three colored orbs at the shaft. The orbs were colored red and blue at the hilt, and the bottom of the handle had a green colored orb. The markings of a elder dragon were sketched on the metal of the blade.
   His sword had no sheath, yet he removed it from his belt without the blade slicing through the metal. He noted that the blade was incredibly light weight, and could be maneuvered easily. He re-sheathed the weapon and continued to walk through the haunted woods.
   With every step that Eliwood took, the fear from within his heart grew stronger and stronger. He began to shake, yet he couldn't figure out why. Besides the fact that he couldn't see anything and that he appeared to be walking into the same area over and over again, there really wasn't anything that gave him the fear he felt.
   He continued to walk until he saw that there was a room rushing at him. It appeared suddenly out of the darkness, rushing at him at an unbelievably fast rate. It surrounded him suddenly, and then stopped. As he looked back he could no longer see the dark woods, but he found himself in a bloody room. The room was empty except for a single door and a single window. Out the window he noticed an orange sky. A tree was swaying back and forth due to wind. The sight was beautiful, yet it held a mysterious sadness about it.
   The door opened and a young woman, only a little older than him self walked limping into the room. She had her head down and shy wad holding her stomach as if she was in tremendous pain. The only thing Eliwood could tell about her was that she was only a little shorter than him, and she had long brown hair. She was wearing a grey shirt and a black skirt. She had a sword branded to her belt and she was wearing black pegged gloves.
   She walked slowly toward a far corner of the room. She didn't notice Eliwood as she walked. She leaned against the wall facing the window and slid down to the ground. A thick streak of blood covered the wall as she fell to the ground.
   Her knees touched as she hit the ground and she began to breathe heavily. Suddenly she began to speak in gasps, "I'm… sorry… my… lord… Eliwood" The mention of his name slapped Eliwood severely. "I… have… failed you… my love."
Her breathing stopped and a pool of blood covered the floor. Eliwood walked over to the body to examine the corpse, but the room turned to darkness.
   He looked up to see a large red land charge to him as the room had done not to long ago. The fear had been running through him all the time, but he had reached the point were he could no longer be afraid. Yet he looked to the oncoming land unmoving.
   As before, the land surrounded him on all sides. The scenery here was a lot less appealing. The land was a land born of fire. Volcanic fissures burst out of the ground. The sky was a fiery red, just like everything else in the dark land. The hell stretched as far as his eyes could see. The land was also infested with towering creatures that roamed the rivers of lava, the fiery sky, and the charred ground.
   The creatures varied in sized, winged beasts with long legs flew about the sky, carrying what looked like humans in their sharp talons. In the rivers of lava that covered the land like a grid, different creatures with long necks swam. On the land were a great variety of creatures. Ones that looked like gigantic spider creatures, to beasts that looked like hulking giants with Minotaur heads and crab claw arms.
    Eliwood was standing on a plateau that gave him view of all the area around him. The ground began to shake beneath his feet. He fell to his knees due to the earthquake. In front of him, a gigantic minotaur head emerged from the side of the mountain that he was on. The head was covered in fire, and in fire were the creatures eyes engraved.
   The creatures shadow raced at him as it emerged. The rest of the creatures flaming body became visible. He had a purple covered chest and his body began to thin as it neared the creature's hips. The beast's had two humongous arms that he planted on the ground in front of Eliwood to help hold up his weight. The beast also had four minor arms that came out of his shoulders.
   It towered above Eliwood looking down on him, breathing heavily and with each exhale smoke came out of the creature's mouth.  "From now on, you are mine!" The beast huffed out in a loud voice that echoed through the land.
   Eliwood began to hear the Magus's voice calling out to him though. "Return to salvation." The fear in Eliwoods heart began to wane as he heard the familiar voice. "Return to salvation." Eliwood could hear his master's voice again. Janus was chanting to him. Eliwood could feel the fear leaving him more and more as the chant went on.

   Eliwood jumped out of his bed to see Janus sitting in a chair facing him from across the room. He could see the magus still mumbling the words that he heard in his dream. There was some food on a nightstand that was next to him. He picked up an apple and began to eat it. Janus was just sitting there watching him as he bit of and chewed pieces of his apple.
   "Morry brought you food earlier but he couldn't get you to wake up to eat it." Janus began to speak suddenly as if he was done checking Eliwood over.
   Eliwood finished eating his apple before he responded. "I was having a nightmare."
   Janus nodded his head and replied with his usual all knowing presence. "I know." The magus didn't need a question to answer, he knew what Eliwood was going to ask and so he answered it before he could ask it. "I was able to see into you mind, that was how I was able to bring you out."
   "So, it was your voice that I heard." Eliwood began to eat the rest of the food on his plate.
   "Yes, yes it was." Janus stood and walked over to the window. Eliwood followed his master as he walked. Janus was staring out the window. "You were suffering from a mental attack that we refer to as the growl of a demon."
   "What is that?"
   "It is the effect that the roars from demonic beings have on the children of the Nuvahari, or us, if you are less learned about ancient lore."
   "So was that a demon I heard?" Eliwood asked and a curiosity about why demons would be resident at Aermadul.
   "Yes, it was. However, at the same time it was not."
   "You're speaking in riddles again, what do you mean?"
   "I doubt you would comprehend what I am going to say, but I suppose that I really have no reason not to say what I am going to say, do I?" Janus was trying to change the subject. He would not get Eliwood this time though. Eliwood kept quiet so that his master would be forced to tell him. "That particular room is the room that I use for experimentation with the demonic arts. The demonic arts leave a trace of corruption wherever they are used, which I should point out makes demonic magic unbelievably easy to detect to people like us. I'm getting off the subject though. I use that room so that corruption does not spread to the rest of the manor. I have used demonic magic in that room so much that the corruption of that room is absolute. Traces of demonic power linger there. The noise you heard was a result of demonic power gathering in an area and taking solid form for a brief period of time. The principle of summoning magic is based off of the same concept. So in short, the growl you heard was the result of an apparition, not an actual demon."
   Janus was correct when he said that Eliwood wouldn't comprehend what the hell he was saying. Eliwood did however get that last part. "So, what exactly does the growl of a demon do?"
   "We do not know for sure. All we know is that the effect of he spell is based off of fear."
   "Is that why you are able to use the room without suffering the same effect as I?"
   "Similar, the reason I am able withstand the corruption is because I am able to keep the state of mind to resist the fear that they invoke." Eliwood still didn't understand what the difference was.
   "The dream I had, it was… eerie."
   "I know. I dreamt the same dream, which is how I knew that I needed to come wake you."
   "So, what was that place?"
   "The forest and the building I do not know. But I can definitely identify the last area as Lok, the plane of the demons."
   "What do you think it meant?"
   "Dreams are visions of our soul. They often are the only way that we can truly tell who we are. I do not think that it means anything, yet there is the possibility that it could mean everything."
   Eliwood was reflecting upon the conversation they just had, and then his next question smacked him in the face. "Wait, how did we share a dream?"
   "There are a number of theories that could explain it, which of them I know not what." Janus turned from the window and began to pace about the room.  "There is the theory that a master and his apprentice share a psychological bond, but that doesn't work for us because that bond only develops after the two have been through many experiences together. Then there is the theory that our destinies are intertwined, but that theorem doesn't work either because we would only have shared visions that concerns both of us. Janus seemed to just be listing theories and hoping that Eliwood would just pop out and say there, that’s it. "Another theory that I am leaning towards is that my powers are so obsolete that the magical reaction affected both of us meaning that some of the dark magic invoked on you was passed to me when we met in the hall."
   "So, what happens now?" Eliwood asked growing tired of the lessons that his master was trying to teach him. His mind was in too much pain for him to even attempt to be in a learning mood.
   "What I suggest you do is try to sleep. The spells effects on you body should have worn off by tomorrow morning. Don't worry about having more nightmares though. I have placed a ward on you so that you will not dream at all tonight."
   Janus left the room, leaving Eliwood to himself and ending the conversation. Eliwood put his head back down onto the pillow. Within seconds he was sound asleep, this time, his sleep was peaceful.
 
Chapter 4: Basic training

   Eliwood woke up and the sun was shining through his window. He stood up and walked over to it observing its marvel. During the weeks that had gone by where he devoted every waking hour toward organizing the library, he had learned to appreciate the sun that lit up Aermadul once a week. The inhabitants of the manor developed a mental clock that they used to determine the time. Eliwood had not yet developed his personal mental clock and so the only way he could tell the time was when the sunrise came once a week.
   He slept when he was tired, and he ate when he was hungry. He found that there was always some food set out on the table in the dinning room for whoever was hungry. The only thing in Eliwoods life that really had a schedule was his dinners with his master. After the conversation they had about the growl of the demon, they really only talked about the progress of the library.
   Eliwood dressed himself in the robes that Janus gave him. They were blue robes with golden trims. He could now navigate his way through the non-restricted areas of Aermadul. He went to the cafeteria and found that he was the only one present, but as always, food was laid out for him to eat.
   Eliwood grabbed a roll and began to head to the library. Using the sun to mark the weeks he counted that this was his fifth week as an apprentice. Eliwood had become somewhat obsessed with the management of the library. He considered that room to be his solemn retreat. It was the only place that nobody disturbed him. On rare occasions Janus would drop in when he had nothing better to do and check on the progress that Eliwood was making.
   The Library was nearing its completion. Eliwood had sorted every single book in the vast room into their respective piles, and even stacked them in alphabetical order. All he had left to do was place the books on the shelves. Half of the library already had its bookcases full of books. He estimated that it would only take him another two or three days to finish.
   Eliwood had sometimes given himself brakes in which he would grab books off of the shelves and begun to read them. He learned to love reading, for that seemed to be the only thing that he could do for entertainment. That might also have been why he loved to organize the library so much.
   He had memorized where every book in the library went. He could close his eyes and point to the section where the reference book on creatures from the dark ages could be found. He did not read very many off the books though, most of the books that were not for enjoyment he could not comprehend at all.
   As he thought about the fact that soon he would be done with the organization of the library, a depression came over him. He had grown far too attached to his current job. However, he had attempted to read some of the books on magical spells and the thought about the fact that soon he would be able to harness the power of magic brought him back to his normal self.

   He placed the final book on the shelves and stepped away. He had finally completed his task. He didn't know what to do. He thought that he would just read until dinner time where he could then tell his master that he had finished. He had no sooner decided that, that would be his course of action, the doors opened Janus came marching through the center of the doorway looking very fatigued. "So," He was taking a breath between his words as though he had just had all of his power drained, "you are finally completed."
   Eliwood rose from the chair that he was sitting in and walked over to his master. "Yes, after all this time I have fully organized the library."
   Janus limped as he walked over and took a seat in the same chair Eliwood had been sitting in only moments ago. "It looks good there don't appear to be any flaws."
   Next came the usual silence that happened every time Janus wanted Eliwood to say something. Eliwood was starring at Janus. He didn't feel intimidated like he usually did when he looked at the magus. The absence of that feeling of divinity let Eliwood know that his master had somehow been weakened recently. Janus began to speak again, "I guess it's time to proceed with you training then." Life was again breathed into Eliwoods emotionless body. "You need to rest today, but come tomorrow your training will begin. Also, you life will once again need to become organized."

   Eliwood went to bed and woke up again. This time he was awakened by Morry, which was something that hadn't happened in quite some time.  Morry led him to the cafeteria even though Eliwood had learned the way by heart. Another thing happened that hadn't happened since the first week of his arrival. He found Janus sitting in his usual throne at the end of the dinner table.
   He walked over to his chair and sat down. He put some food on his plate and began to eat. It didn't take Janus long to start conversation though. "So, how do you feel to be starting the first day of your actual training?"
   Eliwood felt more confident with himself after the compliments that he had received. He was able to look Janus in the eyes when he talked. "I don't really know what to expect."
   "Well, we get started after lunch with the basics." Janus continued to talk without trying to persuade Eliwood on how he truly felt.
   In truth, Eliwood could not wait to start his training, and he wanted to know as much about it as he could. "So, what will I be learning about today?"
   "Well, the best way to learn is to do, and it will be difficult for me to teach you about magic when you have no concept of what it is like, so today you will learn the most basic, yet one of the most common spells there is."
   "What spell is that?" Eliwood asked
   "All that time spent in the library and you don't even know what spell I am talking about? If your curiosity has no patience than I shall tell, the spell I am speaking of is none other than the conjuration of fire."
   "Is it really safe for me to learn about fire so soon?" Eliwood was concerned, but excited.
   "Have no worry, magic spells are conjured up from the force energy that is stored within our bodies, because of that, magic spells are just as much a part of you as say, your arm." Eliwood was clueless as to what his master was talking about. "O well, lets just enjoy this meal and not worry about understanding my teachings yet, you will learn about fire and the elements after you eat."
   
   Janus and Eliwood finished eating their meals. Janus led Eliwood down some halls and up the stairs onto to second floor. They came to a door that Eliwood remembered being locked when he had been exploring Aermadul. Janus did a pushing motion with his hand and the door opened. The room was a big room, lots of open space. Compared to the library though, the room was not that big at all. It was a red room with many runes etched into the walls. In the middle of the room was a large tile with a symbol that seemed to represent fire in the middle of it. The only other thing in the room was a desk that was part of the wall, with multiple leather bags sitting on top of it, and a fireplace, which was also part of a wall.
   The magus walked into the middle of the room and turned around, facing Eliwood. "Welcome to the room of the flame!" He spoke with a sort of obsession in his voice. "Lestat, where are you!" He shouted out.
   The wall on the right side of the room began to warp. A figure emerged from the wall, levitating a few inches off of the ground. He looked very similar to Morry and Louis, the only difference was that he appeared to be taller and he looked more alive than the other two that he had seen. Lestat was wearing white slacks and a blue scarf. "What do you want Magus?" Lestat asked, his tone was much more independent that Louis's and Morry's.
   "Lestat, I would like you to meet my apprentice, Eliwood. Eliwood, this is Lestat, he manages the magical supplies here." Eliwood was frozen in place. "O, you must be alarmed by the way he entered the room. Fear not, all of my servants are Espers. Espers are creatures, like humans, who are born with the gift of magic however, they have a much higher concentration of spiritual energy in their bodies, so their innate abilities are much stronger."
   "So, are they all able to levitate and phase through walls?" Eliwood asked, settling down now that he had an explanation.
   "No, just like not all humans are born with the gift of magic, many espers are born without the gift of magic as well."
   "Why aren’t all beings able to use magic?"
   Janus turned his back to Eliwood and began to pace back and forth. "We aren’t fully sure. However, the current theory that we have is that toward the dawn of evolution, there was a humanoid species that was born with absolute control over magic, and that over the generations, their blood has been diluted into the many different kinds of magical creatures. We called these people Enlightened ones. This theory is what we have been living on for quite some time, and it is the reason that we discourage mating with the earthbound."
   "Earthbound…" Eliwood began to mutter. He remembered seeing that word many times in the library, but he had no idea what it meant.
   "I'm surprised that they didn't teach you that at Strine, earthbound is the general term that we use to describe any creature that has not been born with the ability to harness spirit energy." Janus continued to pace.
   "Spirit energy is the energy in our bodies that allow us to harness magic, right?"
   "Very good, you figured that one out on your own, and for that, I am proud. Anyway, we need to begin your
the road keeps on telling me to go on

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The mystery of magic
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2004, 11:36:11 AM »
Eliwood was able to conjure up the flare after a few tries. He spent the rest of the day practicing. Janus told him something that he could improve on every time Eliwood attempted to cast the spell. Eliwood learned what it was like to become drained of magic power very quickly though. So Eliwood and Janus decided to have an early dinner.
   After they finished eating they went back to the fire room and Eliwood continued to practice. By the end of the day, Eliwood was able to successfully cast the basic flare every time he tried. Eliwood was dismissed when his power was tapped again. He found his way back to his room and plopped down, dizzy and weak, onto his bed.
 
Chapter 5: a Being of Darkness

   Eliwood woke up the next morning. The previous day was a sun day, marking his seventh week at Aermadul. He remembered being an orphan a Strine. Strine had a second building where the orphans that are born with magic, but not yet ready to control its power, are kept until the day when they are old enough to begin their training. That is also the building where they are taught basic education such as Math and English.
   He thought about all the friends that he left behind. He grew lonely. Eliwood realized that nobody in Aermadul was his age, so he had no one that he could talk to about his problems. He had nobody to be sympathetic with his cause.

   Morry didn't wake him, so he assumed that Janus didn't plan to train him today. He went to the Cafeteria and found Lestat walking around the room with a plate of food in his hands. "Funny how I never saw you, and now, I see you here the day right after I meet out."
   Lestat swallowed the food he had in his mouth and than turned to Eliwood. "Not really. You see, we're not allowed to eat at scheduled meals with you and the master. So it's merely coincidental that you and I would decide to stuff our faces at the same time."
   "…fine, where is Magus anyway?" Eliwood was already beginning to get fed up with Lestat.
   "He's up in his forbidden office going through letters," Lestat had a slight pause in his speech, "or at least that's what I'm guessing he's doing."
   Eliwood walked over to the table and put some food on a plate. He knew that Lestat knew what Janus was doing. He also knew that Lestat wasn't supposed to know what Janus was doing. Eliwood began to eat.
   "Lestat, what time is it?" Eliwood wanted to know so that he didn't get out of the natural schedule of things.
   "It's somewhere around one o'clock in the afternoon, sleepy head."
   Eliwood didn't appreciate the direct assault that Lestat was making towards him. He also didn't realize why the hell Janus would have such a disobedient servant.

    After Eliwood was finished eating he decided to go to the library to do some reading about fire. He remembered seeing many books that were written on the elements, and he wanted to learn all he could in his spare time so that he would be able to become a more famous mage. Eliwood stopped walking. He thought about what he just thought, and realized that becoming a powerful mage wouldn't get him fame at all. His master was one of the few magi in existence, yet Eliwood didn't even know of his existence until he was told that Janus was to be his master.
   He walked into the library and went straight to the section on fire. He picked up a book titled "The element: Fire" by and unknown author. He walked didn’t bother to walk over to a chair and sit down. Instead, he started pacing as he opened the book and began to read.
   He didn't get past the table of contents before he got the feeling that he wasn't the only one in the library.  He looked around the room and didn't see anything. He still had the feeling that he was being watched, observed, and tested. He knew for a fact that somebody else was in the room. He couldn't figure out who would waist their time to pry on him though. Janus seemed to divine to have to be in a room to watch somebody. The only other person he could think of was Lestat, but Lestat seemed like the kind of person who would only find such an act as a waist of time.
   There was a wooden staff leaning against a bookshelf a little ways off. Eliwood walked over and picked it up. Eliwood turned around and began to search the library again. He noticed that the magic lighting the room was turned down to dim. He quickly moved over too the lever that controlled the amount of magic lighting the room. Before he could reach the switch though, a knife flew into the wall.
   Eliwood turned around to see a shadowy figure perched on the rail on the second floor. The figure stood up on the rail and looked directly at Eliwood. Eliwood could tell from its shape that it was a humanoid, and he could tell from the shape of its attire that it was an assassin. He had had a cape that reached his ankles, and a scarf that covered his mouth. That was all that Eliwood could tell about his stalker, except for the fact that the figures eyes were glowing neon red.
   It did a flip over the edge of the rail and straightened out his body. As he fell his cape fell at a slower rate, making him look really intimidating to Eliwood. He landed softly onto the floor. As he landed he drew two knives from his sheathes and charged Eliwood.
   Eliwood held his staff out in front of him to try and stop his attacker. The attacker started attacking him with incredible speed with his two daggers. Eliwood twirled his staff about out of control. He let his staff dance on its own, and every time the daggers were stopped.
   The two of them danced for a while. Neither were controlling their actions, both were just letting the natural flow of battle control their movements. The attacker was growing tired of the dance, so he did a back flip through the air at an incredible altitude to get away from Eliwood. Eliwood, on the other hand, was not about to let an assassin loose, so that it would kill him in his sleep.
   As Eliwood began to pursue his attacker the door to the library swung open. The light flared brightly again as Janus stepped into the room. "Both of you stop it!" He commanded.
   Eliwood stopped and turned to his master, letting his guard down. The attacker grabbed onto one of the bookshelf ladders and hung. The attacker was clearly visible now. He had a red cape and scarf, and black clothes. On his right arm was a golden gauntlet. Eliwood noticed that he was paler than the espers, but he resembled a human more.
   Janus began to speak again. "I see you two got off to the wrong start. Eliwood, this is Vahn. Vahn, this is Eliwood." The two of them turned to each other and nodded their heads in greeting. "I'm just thankful that the two of you didn't turn this sacred place into a pile of rubble!" Janus said with increasing amplitude to show that he was upset.
   Janus kept on switching his gaze between the two of them, and then he settled down. "Eliwood, come with me. Vahn, ill be back for you shortly." The Magus's tone was commanding, and neither Eliwood nor Vahn argued.
   Janus led Eliwood down the hall towards his tower, all the while Eliwood kept on saying how he was being attacked and how it wasn't his fault. When they just entered the stairwell up to Janus's private quarters, Janus stopped. "Eliwood, you can shut up now, I didn't bring you all the way to my quarters, which you have never been in, just to scold you."
   Eliwood was confused, but he shut up non-the-less. "I need to talk to you about
Vahn or it would be more accurate to say that I need to talk to you about his kind."
   Eliwood was listening. "Vahn is a vampire."
   "A vampire, I thought that they were just legends?" Eliwood was startled by Janus's announcement.
   "Many legends have some hint of truth behind them, and many truths turn out to be nothing more than legends." Janus began speaking again before Eliwood could ask any more questions. "Everything you have heard or read about Vampires I want you too forget now, although some of the things you have heard are true, many of them are false. Vampires are the products of living humans who are infused with so much dark elemental magic that they die of darkness poisoning, which is something I will teach you about later. They die, but the negative energy inside of them brings them back to life as something more or less human. Like you have seen, they have very intimidating eyes and pale skin."
   "Vampires do indeed feed of the blood of others. What happens is that their heart stops producing blood, so they need the blood of others to keep their body from dying as well. Since they are mostly dead, they don’t use blood at as quick a pace as we do. Because of their need to take blood from others, they do indeed have very sharp fangs. Also, the rumor about them transferring their vampire nature into their victims is false. What happens for a vampire to make more vampires is that after they bite their prey, they then feed their near lifeless corpse back some of the blood they have taken from them. Since their hearts have no use to them, the myth about killing them via a stake through their hearts is false. The rumor about their skin being extremely sensitive to water is false, but water can prove fatal. Because their bodies have less oxygen in them, they are denser beings than we humans are." Janus's voice began to slow when he mentioned the fact that they were humans.
   Janus began to talk again after a quick pause. "However, they are unbelievable sensitive to the sun, and they do sleep in coffins. They are not necessarily evil, but they do need to kill which is why they have been given that image. They have many supernatural powers because of the dark magic that gives their bodies life. They can move with remarkable speeds making little or no sound. They are graceful, and powerful. That is really all you need to know about the vampire race in general, except that you must remember that it is impossible to tell their age, so you can never tell how experienced, or how intelligent they are."
   "Now that I have told you about vampires, I should talk to you about Vahn." Eliwood was listening, taking in every word that his master told him. "Vahn has not been a vampire for very long, only about a week or so. How he came to be a vampire is not for me to tell you though. He came to the council of the Magi seeking answers about him self. The Council thought that the best course of action would be that he grow used to his dark gift here, in seclusion from the world, under my watchful eye, in a land that is consumed by near permanent night."
   Eliwood spoke, "How do you kill a vampire?"
   Janus's lips thinned and Eliwood knew that he had made a mistake in asking that question. "I am going to deny you that knowledge for the time being, for you have no reason to kill a vampire."

   After Eliwood was dismissed he headed for the cafeteria, he had grown hungry and decided that it was time to have lunch. Lestat found him half way there. Eliwood was startled when he came phasing through the wall a few feet away from him. "Eliwood, guess what, were having company today." Lestat's tone of voice hinted at tease.
   Eliwood had already decided that he didn’t like Lestat. "So I've heard…"
   "I'm not surprised. After all, you'd have to be pretty stupid not to know." Eliwood figured out that Lestat had known about Vahn's arrival all day and had purposefully not told Eliwood about it so that he would make a fool of himself. He became frustrated with that knowledge, and stormed off leaving Lestat behind.
   Eliwood found Louis Eating at the table when he walked into the Dinning room. Eliwood picked up a plate and put some food on it. "Hello Louis, how is the Ranching going?" Eliwood asked not so much so that he could have an answer, but so that he could start conversation with someone who wouldn't make him feel like a complete idiot.
   "The horses are coming along good. You should try some of the fruit. I picked it off of the trees this morning."
   Eliwood put some of the fruit on his plate and began to eat. Louis began to talk again. "Eliwood, in case you haven't heard, there is a young vampire that will be staying with us for a while."
   Eliwood felt like an idiot again. How could he be the only one who didn't know, and happen to be the first one to run into Vahn at the same time? "Yeah, I've heard, over and over again."
   "Let me guess, nobody told you about him, and you had to fight him earlier today."
   "Your aim is incredibly accurate. I got chewed out by the Magus pretty badly too."
   Louis seemed to be the most sympathetic person in the entire household. "I wouldn't let it trouble you that much. I'm sure the only reason Janus is upset is because he hates it when his guest are treated poorly, and he was probably upset with himself for not telling you about him personally."
   Eliwood realized the logic in Louis's words. He finished eating, thanked Louis for his council, and headed off to the library to burn some more of his time.
   
   Eliwood found Vahn reading in the library. They both felt awkward, but tried to act casual. Eliwood noticed that Vahn was reading a book about vampires, but his arm was covering up most of the title so Eliwood couldn't see any more of it. He picked up a book on elementals from the shelf not to far away from the one Vahn was reading.
   Eliwood was curious as to why Vahn was so intend on learning about his own kind. "Why do you search for answers about yourself?" Eliwood realized how rude his question was, but he was too late to stop the words from coming out of his mouth.
   Vahn was now paying attention to Eliwood. His eyes never drifted from his book, but he was in deep thought over Eliwoods question. "I'm sorry. It was rude of me to ask." Eliwood apologized, thinking that Vahn had been insulted by his question.
   "No, it's quite all right." Vahn sighed, but he realized that it would be good to talk to somebody. "The truth is, is that I don't even know myself why I am searching for answers that can only bring pain."
   Eliwood's attention was now focused on Vahn. "I don't know what I am. I don’t know what the hell I'm supposed to do. However, I feel that the only thing I can do, right now, is learn." Vahn was struggling to think about how to answer even as he spoke. "I suppose that the reason I search, is to learn about myself and what I am suppose to do. I guess the best way to answer your question, is with a question of my own. Why do you strive to learn about magic, when you have no need of that knowledge to harness its power?"
   It was now Eliwoods turn to think. He had never really thought about why the study of magic was so interesting to him. Why, it was absolutely necessary that he learn about it. "I see what you mean. I can't understand why I want to learn about magic either. I guess it's because I feel like it is my fate, my destiny, to learn about it."
   "So, I guess we are at even odds?" Vahn asked.
   Eliwood understood how Vahn felt now. He realized that Vahn wanted to learn about vampires the same way he wanted to learn about mages. "Yeah, I guess we are."
   The mood between Eliwood and Vahn increased after they put their motives behind them. Eliwood thought it strange, that even though Vahn was a being of darkness, he felt like he could trust him as a friend. Vahn felt the same way about Eliwood.
   "So, how long have you been an apprentice here?"
   "I'm not so sure. My guess is that it's been around two or three months, but I'm not too good at keeping track of time here." Eliwood felt that it was his turn to ask a question, but he was struggling to find inoffensive words. "So uh… how long have you been a, uh… like… this…" His voice changed into more of a mumble with every word he said.
   "You mean when I was born to darkness, I presume?"
   "Yeah," Eliwood felt like he could be very open about himself with Vahn, but he felt a little uncomfortable when talking to Vahn about himself.
   "I can't accurately tell you that either. I have no idea how long I… well, I'd rather not talk about that now. What I mean to say is that I can only guess that I've been like this for a few weeks."
   "So, what is it exactly that you're looking for?" Eliwood wanted to change the subject to something a little less personal, "I may be able to help you."
   "I don't think you can help. As I've told you, I don't really know what I am searching for, just that I have to search for it."
   Eliwood didn't understand, but he did understand that the search was a search for Vahn only, and that it was not his place to interfere. "Right then, if you need me just ask."
   "I don't think I will really need you that much, this library is organized quite nicely."
   Eliwood felt a little accomplished with that comment. "Thank you." He said.
   "Wait, you mean that you organized this library?" Vahn asked rather shocked.
   "Yes, I was organizing it until recently."
   "Sorry if I sounded rude, it's just that you did a very good job, I expected that the magus himself had organized it."
   Eliwood hadn't realized how long they had been in the library until he heard his stomach growl. "Say," he began to say, "Want to go eat?"
   "Yes, it's getting late and I'm growing tired, it would be best to eat before rest."
   "Wait a moment, vampires get tired?" Eliwood asked Vahn the way a friend would ask, like a 'so you aren’t all powerful, are you' way.
   "Yes, we are after all, alive."
   Eliwood and Vahn both put their books back onto the shelf and headed for the door. They no sooner stepped out of the library when Eliwood nearly crashed into Morry
   "The master requests both of your presence for dinner."

   Vahn and Eliwood arrived to find Janus sitting in his special seat of power. "Finally, I suppose you two took your sweet time coming here. I swear, that is not like you Eliwood." Janus was sounding very irritated. His tone made Eliwood feel very uncomfortable. Eliwood found himself thinking then, if Vahn was capable of emotion. "None the less, it's good to see that you two have gotten over yourselves. Now sit down"
   Eliwood went to sit in his seat opposite from Janus, but found that it had been removed. He took the seat exactly opposite of where Vahn sat down. Eliwood also noticed that instead of the table being lined with food, each of their plates had food pre-set upon it. Except for Vahn's, which was empty.
   They began eating in complete silence. Eliwood was wondering what had made the magus so irritated. Vahn had finished drinking and asked Janus if he could have some more. The magus passed Vahn a bronze pitcher. Vahn poured the red liquid into his chalice.
   "Well, how is it?" Janus asked Vahn
   "It is ok, but it cold too quickly."
   "Is that wine?" Eliwood asked. He was curious as too why the magus would allow Vahn to drink, and not him.
   Janus burst out in laughter. It was not a friendly laugh, like one laughs to a joke. His laugh was a cruel laugh, not evil, but it was the laugh of a madman. "Oh please Eliwood," He said while he was laughing.
   Vahn's eyes shifted back and forth from Janus, to Eliwood. He set his cup down and turned to Eliwood. "It is not wine. Food and drink are poison to the undead bodies of vampires."
   "Wait… so that means that it is." Eliwood didn't want to finish his sentence.
   Vahn was reluctant to answer. He thought that if he couldn't admit to himself what he had become, than he would become no more. "Yes Eliwood, it is blood."
   Janus finally settled down. "Eliwood, get some rest tonight. Tomorrow I'm going to teach you about Lightning."

   Vahn and Eliwood left the cafeteria and began walking down the hall.
   "Well, that was… more than a little awkward." Eliwood said to Vahn as they walked.
   "Yes, I don’t know about you, but there was something about him that made me feel a little uncomfortable."
   'So, vampires do feel emotion,' Eliwood thought to himself. He then began to speak again. "What do you think was wrong with him?"
   "I don't know, and I can't guess."
   "I don’t know a lot about the effects of magic," Eliwood started, "But I do know that it isn't normal for a mage of the magus's caliber to loose it like that."
   "Well, it's not really our business."
   "I guess." They arrived at the door to Eliwoods tower. "Well then, good night until tomorrow," Eliwood said to Vahn.
   "Sleep soundly Eliwood."
   Eliwood climbed the stairs up to his room. He crawled into his bed the same he did every time he went to sleep. He laid in bed thinking 'What an eventful day this was'. He thought about the bizarre way that Janus acted. He tried not to think about it, but that only made him think about it even more. His mind was full of thoughts, yet he still found himself dreaming within a few minutes.
 
Chapter five: of Lightning and Wind

   "Come dear Eliwood, it is time for you two learn about the Wind Pyramid. The base element for the Wind pyramid is Wind, the two sub categories are Sky, and Electricity. The wind pyramid is very dangerous because it focuses on controlling weather. This pyramid is to be used responsibly."
   It was bright and early. Eliwood was forced out of bed by Janus, which was a first for him. They had skipped breakfast, and Eliwood was still half asleep. The Wind room was green and Yellow. It was the same size as the fire room, but they two were nothing alike. The wind room had metallic rods sticking out of the ground throughout the room. The symbol in the center looked like a thunder bolt. And there was a spinning metallic generator in the place where the fireplace had been.
the road keeps on telling me to go on

Offline Pirate Penguin

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The mystery of magic
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2004, 06:06:20 PM »
I agree
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2004, 06:27:33 PM »
Indubitably.
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