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Ishandra : Icy's Tale

By Ælfstangard

Fantasy / Adventure

The Woman in the Window

High in the highest tower of a crystal palace located between Alfea College and Cloud Tower, a beautiful woman with long raven tresses and olive hued skin sits on the broad ledge of a large open window and watches the sun set through dark brown eyes. As the last rays of the sun vanish and the stars begin to shine, she reaches into the night sky and makes a scroll of parchment out of a piece of it. Then, with the long nail of her index finger, she dips into pure silver starlight and begins to write in the fine, graceful but angular script of enchantment.

A year has already come and gone since the events that changed my life forever and set me on the path I'm on today. I sit to record them before time steals or jumbles my memory of them.

It started simply enough. It was the time after the Alfea Wars which failed to obtain for us the Dragon Fire and after our betrayal by Lord Darkar when he took Bloom, who had been transmuted into an evil Faerie by his dark powers, as his main Witch, an oxymoron if ever I heard one, and abandoned us to our fate. But my sisters, Darcy and Stormy, and I converged to create an entity, which we named the D.I.S.-tress, and as one united in revenge we delayed Lord Darkar enough that the Hero Sky could break his hold on Bloom which lead to the destruction of his plans to seize the Ultimate Power and imprisoned him in the Dark Abyss.

Darcy, Stormy and I are prisoners at Cloud Tower from which we are unable to escape. Not that we haven't tried but all of our attempts just land us back in the foyer or in our crib at Cloud Tower. Even Miss Griffin, the current headmistress of Cloud Tower, tried to escort us off the Cloud Tower campus only to see Darcy, Stormy and I vanish before her eyes and turn up back at the Cloud Tower foyer. Why? I don't know. There are speculations. Some say that it is Cloud Tower itself that is keeping us here – its wrath kindled against us for having sent our powers through its veins in an attempt to control its heart and for the theft of its part of The Codex. Some say other things but the fact remains that we are unable to escape. I survive here only because here is my home where I still have my crib, my possessions and my crib mates, Darcy and Stormy, to keep me company.

Even though I am a prisoner, I am far from bored because I am allowed all the time I want in the library and the book chambers to do research. Knowledge, I have long since learned, is power. It was such knowledge that empowered me to decrypt the enchanted manuscripts of the First Witches, my ancestors, and to learn of my heritage and destiny to be the Witch Guardian of the Dragon Fire. It is still my goal to realise that dream but the past disasters have taught me that a headlong rush is not the way but cold, careful and meticulous planning is. So I bide my time, pour through books, scrolls, manuscripts and other information storage devices amass knowledge and draw up my plans.

It is through strange fate that Miss Griffin has aided me in my quest. Realising that she was stuck with our presence at Cloud Tower, she put the three of us to work as professor's assistants figuring that keeping us apart and busy would keep us from stirring up any mischief. To that end, Stormy was paired with Professor Ediltrude of the Department of Astrology and Celestial Phenomena where she seems to be doing well despite her tempestuous nature and her constant confrontations with her mentor. Darcy was first assigned to assisting Professor Mabra do research in the library. However, after a short time, Professor Mabra complained to MissGriffin that Darcy was more a hindrance than a help to her so Miss Griffin re-assigns Darcy to a position at Accounting where she is involved in the complex number-crunching, accounting and records keeping involved in the daily operation of Cloud Tower. Miss Griffin dropped a plum into my lap by assigning me as an assistant professor to Professor Zarathustra of the Department of Ancient Languages and Arcane Magic. The position of assistant professor allowed me limitless access without question to the library and the book vaults and all of the other facilities that are used to gather and disseminate information. I apply myself with vigour to all the assignments that the Professor gives me and time and time again I am able to root out useful information from the most arcane of texts. And don't think that Professor Zarathustra accepts any of my research without thorough scrutiny of every jot and tittle I commit to paper. But my research is rock-solid and withstands even the most severe cross-examinations and acid tests she can devise. Over time, Professor Zarathustra becomes more and more involved with her own research and merely assigns me the subject matter for each class and allows me to lecture in her stead. This I am pleased to do because I am still, first and foremost, a Witch and, despite the current hard feelings against me among my sisters, I care about their education and I am driven to see them succeed. So I push them to excel every chance I get with very positive results.

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