Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Elik the Thief

After the breaking of the First World, when chaos finally rested once again and normal folk resumed their daily lives as best they could, Ravenwood School was founded on a world fragment that became known as Wizard City. It was a time of tentative peace, when conflict was still fresh in the minds of all creatures and unity was fragile.

Young Elik was a student of Fire at the newly founded Ravenwood. He was cunning, sly and generally very unpleasant. Among these unfavorable qualities, Elik had a fondness for preying upon Ice wizards. Since learning about Ice's weakness against Fire in his studies, he set out to make the lives of the thaumaturges as miserable as possible. Sometimes Elik would summon hordes of firecats to overrun the ice classroom while class was in session, making an escape before anyone knew who the culprit was. Other times he would melt ice sculpture assignments and snow-making homework while students weren't looking.

One day, word began to spread that merchants who moved to the shopping district in Wizard City would be robbed blind, and merchants were moving away with nobody new to replace them. The city's wealth was in a terrible state and students had very few places to buy items for school or shop on weekends. The residents called upon the wisest wizards from the school to investigate this distressing turn of events.

The stolen objects were artifacts kept from the First World: a world whose remnants were slowly disappearing. They reminded families of their old lives in the days when they would look up and see the Grandfather Tree's children fighting. It was a frightening time, but the people put their trust in their Grandfather to keep them safe. When the world broke apart and Grandmother and Grandfather wove the Spiral, the people took it as proof of their Grandparents' desire to protect their grandchildren- thus the artifacts served as symbols of resilience through catastrophe.

Under the light of the wild moon, Headmaster Ambrose led a band of the most experienced wizards to apprehend the thief and return whatever the thief planned to steal that night. The group waited nearly half the night before a rustling in the undergrowth caught their attention. There, in the shadows, a figure carrying a bag clinking with stolen loot was sneaking across a lawn in an attempt to get away. Ambrose approached first, speaking in his normal, gentle voice as he urged the thief to stop now and return the stolen goods. The figure threw back its head in laughter. "Do you not know who I am, Headmaster? I am the student whose power you constantly undermine, always keeping my fellow students and me in check. It's foolish, really. You ought to know that one school stands above the rest, and I'm going to show you the error of your ways."

Fire whipped around the thief, illuminating his face: Elik. Ambrose sidestepped the strike easily and bounded forward to grab the bag from the wayward student. The moon flashed in Elik's eye as he gave a savage smile and turned running through the streets, his plan set firmly in his mind.

From a stolen book in the library Elik had learned the words of power necessary to summon the Giants' aid from the skies surrounding Wizard City. Nobody in recent memory had spoken these words, so Elik would be the first. He would conquer the Giants and finally prove Fire's dominance over Ice once and for all in front of the elder wizards and the headmaster, and he would spend the rest of his days a wealthy and powerful wizard. He ran faster and faster, the cliff looming near. With a bold leap he flew into the air, the wizards behind him scrambling to a halt and shouting with dismay.

Klaatu, Verata, Nictu

The words echoed throughout the city... followed by silence. Elik began to fall, and repeated the words more loudly, panic rising in his voice. He looked down and saw an icy cloud shining in the moonlight and he breathed a sigh of relief, relaxing as he fell towards the cloud. Suddenly, the cloud twisted and convulsed angrily. A huge serpent of crystalline ice and snow leapt up, hissing and screeching. Before he knew what had happened, the creature swallowed Elik whole and burst into a spray of ice shards, leaving Elik and the artifacts utterly gone.

The wizards above watched in horrified silence before turning away and going home without another word.

Headmaster Ambrose declared that his city would have an official guard to prevent rampant theft and provide safety to the citizens. Thus the Wizard City Guard you see today was born. The cliff was also to be named after the mysterious student as a reminder of the equality of magic schools. Few still know the tale of Elik's Edge, but since that night all initiate Ice students have made their journey to the cliff to give an offering of pure ice and say the words of power to prove their worthiness to command the powerful forces that lie in the void below.

Special Note: This story was told to me by Headmaster Ambrose long ago when I first began my adventures as a traveling storyteller. The story's details were pieced together based on the headmaster's summary.