Isn’t It Amazing, Like Magic?

Something Amazing Is About To Happen For San Myshuno Resident, Cristina Lombardo.

Autumn, Year 2

The occult had fascinated Cristina for as long as she could remember. There was something incredible about creatures who could walk only at night, or who could cast spells to change the way the world worked. All throughout her university education, Cristina had dug up as much literature as she could find. She researched endlessly on the internet for evidence of supernatural activity. Finally, she’d come across something lucrative; something realistic. Too realistic to not be worth checking it out.
Her boring office job could wait. The paperwork she was supposed to finish for Monday could stay in her inbox. This needed investigating and she was itching to get out of her apartment for something other than work.

It was overcast in Glimmerbrook when the bus dropped Cristina off; it wasn’t even properly light. She was undeterred and set off along the riverbank, following the path. Crossing the river, she carried on through the woodland until finally she saw it, glimmering in the water. The mythical portal which should, by rights, carry her to the Magical Realm.

A bright purple ball of light shone brightly from the middle of the portal as Cristina approached. It was almost like it was reaching out to curl it’s tendrils around her, pulling into the depths of the unknown world. She hesitated briefly before boldly stepping forward, allowing the lights to swallow her up.

The realm was incredible. For a brief second, Cristina was disoriented as she arrived but as he eyes became accustomed to the dimmer light, she could make out an impressive building ahead of her. She followed a group of people inside and stood in the hall, fascinated.

“Can I help you?” A voice echoed across the hall and Cristina looked up sharply. A figure was standing in the archway ahead of her. “You’re new.”
“My name’s Cristina. Is this…the Magical Realm?” Cristina hesitated. She didn’t know this man, nor was she certain of where she was. What if it wasn’t the realm she thought it was? What if the people here weren’t…friendly?
“It is. I’m Camden. Camden Honeycutt.” Stepping forward, he stretched out a hand. “Nice to meet you, Cristina. Can I help you?”
“I want to become a spellcaster.”

Camden laughed deeply. “Well, you’ve come to the right place for that. First, though I need to ask you some questions. Follow me.”
Leading her through the arch, Camden halted in front of a large cauldron in the middle of a smaller hall. “You’ve obviously done your research, Cristina. Or else you wouldn’t have found us here.”
“I’ve been fascinated by the supernatural for as long as I can remember. But the spellcasters in particular are nothing short of incredible. The dedication it must take to become a sage. It’s amazing.” Cristina suddenly looked at him curiously. “Wait a minute. Did you say you’re Camden Honeycutt? As in, the Sage?”
Camden raised his eyebrows. “Yes, I am. You’ve heard of me then. Curious.”
“Well, read about you. You’re the Sage of Practical Knowledge. You’ve been studying spells since you could read and took up the craft at the earliest opportunity. Since then you’ve become one of the three most powerful spellcasters in the world.”
“I’m impressed.” Camden raised his arms and muttered something Cristina didn’t quite catch.
“My eyes!” She cried out as a searing pain shot through both eyes.

Within seconds, the pain had gone but her eyes felt weird.
“I gave you some magical sight,” Camden explained. “It will enable you to see motes.”
“What are motes?” Cristina asked, rubbing her eyes furiously.
“Balls of energy and light. If you can collect seven of them, I can prepare the spell to make you a spellcaster.”
“I thought you wanted to ask me some questions? To prove my dedication, or something?” She was confused and her eyes still felt odd, like not everything was fully in focus.
“I didn’t need to. You recognised my name, what I do and a little about my history. It proves you’ve done your research and are serious about this transition. Now, go and find seven motes and get back to me.”
Cristina shrugged and shuffled outside the building. Her vision cleared and she began to spot little balls of light hovering just above the ground. In no time at all, she gathered seven and found Camden in the library.
“Your motes,” she said as she handed them over.
“Thank you. Now, stand still.”

Pulling out a wand, Camden began to murmur in a language Cristina wasn’t familiar with. Suddenly, she felt herself elevate as swirls of light and sparkles began to surround her. Camden’s chanting became louder and faster and the swirls moved up and surround Cristine completely. Suddenly, she dropped to the ground.
“It is done.” Camden said solemnly.

“That was…” Cristina couldn’t find the right words.
“Exactly.” Camden smiled. “Now the main thing to remember is learn your own way. There’s no one path as a spellcaster. It’s up to the individual to decide their own path. You’re welcome to pour through any of the resources here at the HQ and Caster’s Alley will provide you with everything you need. I’ll arrange a spell book for you and I’ll put a spell or two in there to get you going. Now there’s a duelling class in the hall in-” He checked the clock. “-two minutes and I suggest you observe. Duels are a useful way of exchanging knowledge, potion ingredients and experience. Think of it as the spellcaster’s gambling table.” He grinned. “I’m also always here for advice and support and so are the other two sages. Come back any time, Cristina.” He bowed. “Until next time.”
Cristina followed him out into the hallway where two spellcasters were beginning a blinding duel. It was fascinating to watch the to-and-fro of spells and she made mental notes of some of the phrases.
When the lesson was over, she made her way to Caster’s Alley.

She spent several hours putting some of her new knowledge into practice with some duels with other trainee spellcasters. It was useful and she even learnt a couple of spells herself!

When the moon rose again, Cristina began to wonder how long she’d been there. Time wasn’t working the same way and the calendar on her phone had gone haywire. It was only when she realised she had work to do before Monday that she panicked. Running up the hill, she wondered what her boss was going to say.

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