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The Burn of Magic

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Chapter 2

SKY

Sky was never comfortable around the pits, all the loud noises, dank smells, and dense air made her feel like shed lose control of her powers. As Sky walked passed the various stores she heard people starting to whisper around her. “Do you smell that? She caught something on fire again!” “Look at her clothes they're burnt. We're lucky our town is still here!” “Why don’t they just send her to the south district? No one would mine if she burnt it to the ground.” Sky tried her hardest to not listen because it just made her heart race. Once her blood started racing her powers started to show, and she could already feel her hands beginning to warm. Sky stopped and began to breathe in and out slowly with her eyes closed I need to steady my heartbeat I can't let these people win. Suddenly Aj felt someone’s hand run through her hair she opened her eyes and saw a white hair night elf gently smiling at her, Daggons mother, Imra. “Hello, my child” she spoke softly. Daggons parents always considered Sky as their own child, Sky never understood why. She always seemed like a burden on them, she was always burning their nice things and they would always be blamed for any of her accidents. “Hi” mumbled Sky. “What happened to your clothes?” asked Imra. “We were playing in the woods” she began to explain “the damage was minimal so no worries.” “You both should limit the places you play, only near water sources. If the forest is on fire we would all be trapped in the city” calmly explained Imra. “Yeah that’s a better idea” replied Sky. “Well need to get your clothes so let's go,” said Imra. “NO! I mean I have clothes at home I can just change” covered Sky. “Actually that’s your last set plus you and your brothers Rite of Passage starts officially tomorrow,” explained Imra.

Aj grew silent over Imra mentioning the Rite of Passage it was something she dreaded to her core. The Ritual consisted of becoming an adult and choosing which path to take in your life. They set up items on a pedestal to represent different paths: a bag of coins for merchants, a potion bottle for an apothecary, backpack for travelers, a sword for warriors, a symbol of Corellon Larethian for clergy, a book for Scholar, tools for artisans, and a pen for bureaucrats. Once you chose a symbol you must declare a profession under that path in front of your parents and the counsel. They then give you the tools of that profession and send you into the forest where you must spend the night and past an unknown test in the next 24hrs. Sky still hadn’t chosen a path for herself though she had spent many years thinking about it, no matter what path she chose magical abilities were frowned upon in her city. “Don’t worry, when the time comes your heart will decide what your mind cannot” spoke Imra as if she was reading her mind. Sky’s mother died giving birth to her and her father passed away shortly after on a job. Her mother worked as a healer with Daggons’s parents, her father was a freelance fighter, who limped his way into her heart with every injury. The path you choose reflects on your family. Unfortunately, this fell heavy on her, both of her parents were dead and she had to choose which one to honor.

They arrived at the town's tailor, just one of many places that shunned Sky. After her father passed away Imra immediately attempted to spoil Sky and her first choice was with clothes. Sky became too afraid as all these people came around to measure her. The result was several burnt dresses and never being allowed back in. “No-no-no. She is to stay outside I have too many outfits already completed for the Rite of Passage” screamed an uptight man. “What a coincidence, she needs one as well” cheerfully announced Imra. “To burn I assume, I will not make it, I absolutely refuse” grunted the tailor. “Oh that’s a shame, I was really hoping we could get this cleared before my council meeting tonight” Imra spoke gently but concerned. “The-the council meeting tonight?” the man choked out. “Yes, I really wanted a clear head when I went in today,” she said disappointed. “You know maybe there is a solution I could do everything outside my shop it would be a great advertisement for my business and you will have a clear head.” He eagerly announced. “Oh that’s so wonderful, look how brilliant he is Sky” she exaggerated then winked at her. The Tailor immediately ran into his shop started to bark orders at his associates. Sky looked towards Imra with confusion. She bent down and whispered into her ear “we go over his request to expand his shop tonight.” Sky grinned she understood now more than ever how much Daggon was like his mother. The tailor came out and began to measure every part of her body. “Now did you have any colors you wanted specific?” he inquired. Sky remained silent knowing that whatever he made wouldn’t matter because it would erupt in flames sooner or later. “Her favorite colors are blue and gold, also the alchemist made this for me.” She handed him a flask with a light blue liquid in it. “It’s a flame-resistant for her clothes he assured me it wouldn’t take much but to allow the liquid to sit on the clothing for an hour” she informed the tailor. “I hope you brought barrels worth for your home” the tailor muttered. “Very well I have picked three designs that should fit you very well, the final decision is yours” she spoke as she held out three parchments to Sky. Sky took them and looked at the designs. The first one she was aware instantly she didn’t want it. A dress fit for a lady of the council, she would never wear a dress, not for the adventure she wanted for herself. The second more appealing but still not quite right. A simple set of noble’s clothes that was blue with gold hems. It was the last design that she chose perfect in every way for the life she wanted to live. “This one” she claimed as she handed it to the tailor. “Ah yes I see, Lady Imra was positive you pick this one so she had the leather ordered ahead and iv already began to work on it” spoke the tailor. Sky looked at Imra in confusion “If you already knew why did you give me the other choices” she asked. “This day is all about you making a choice about your future, this was the first one” she smiled. They walked out of the shop in silence and headed towards the market to pick up ingredients for dinner. “What did Daggon choose?” Sky asked Imra. “Oh he was much easier he had put his order in months ago from the excitement but you'll have to wait tomorrow to see” Imra smiled. “Now I have everything I need for dinner will you please bring Daggon home” Sky agreed and headed to the one place Daggon always was, The Pit.

Daggon

I gripped my new sword swaying and bouncing it in my hands feeling its weight. “Be still or ill send you out with losing gear look like a rook” Raffi barked. I wasn’t participating today but just looking at the new crowed the pit pulled. It wasn’t that our village was hidden but more secluded and our people weren’t friendly to outsiders. Though I was never sure if that had to do with the fact that most outsiders were here for the pit or that it was the friendliest place for an outsider. Despite the disgust, our village had for the pit they never attempted to throw it down. When I asked my father about it he just sighed “It may be dark but its part of our history. The pit has been there as long as our history, we were slaves in that pit forced to fight for the human's entertainment. We prayed to the gods every night never losing faith and one day they answered. The king died with no heir and his people went into civil war fighting over the throne. It was the perfect distraction for us to rise from the ashes of the pit. They had already made us strong in the pits their lack of community was their downfall. When we see the pit were reminded what happens to a village who can't depend on their neighbor.”

Though today was different it wasn’t the usual random adventurers who stumbled across our town. The people who arrived seemed to arrive at once and their gear was all top-notched and rumors had spread that some were even noble. Though it didn’t matter the pits didn’t care who you were if your opponent wanted to kill you they will and there were no consequences. Raffi handed me a fitted black mask. My family was prestigious and for anyone to find out I fight in the pits would ruin their reputation and remove us from the council. Both my parent's families were part of the original council and when they married it was the ultimate powerplay. Even though I know the consequences I can't help but be pulled to the pit. I was meant to fight and you could ask anyone I was good at it but I was expected to follow in my family’s footsteps. Adventures weren’t seen as productive members in society this path wasn’t one I could choose for myself. Sometimes I wish I was in Sky's shoes even though they raised her and considered her their own no one expected anything from her. Except for her not to burn down the village which shes honestly getting a lot better at it. Though she didn’t see it she had more freedom than most here.

We took our seats towards the front where Thalm waited for us. “Saved us the best seats” he waved at us. “Some of the outsiders came into my shop to have their weapons sharpened. I asked them why they were here. Turns out that big human capital to the south is looking for a husband for his heir.” He told us. “So this all over a princess” Raffi spat “How cliché.”

“That doesn’t make any sense. Don’t they marry their daughters to other kingdoms to build alliances?” I asked

“That your right boy. Turns out a seer has predicted an evil force that’s going to take over the world. The king's daughter is natural born cleric she travels across the country healing the poor and was predicted to marry the world's savior. So the king is looking everywhere to find her a husband. So every idiot is out here trying to prove their selves even if they don’t have any experience”

“All this over some superstitious prophecy” I scoffed. Just as I rolled my eyes I noticed the cloaked rogue take their seat down from us. This time they weren’t alone another cloaked figure walked beside him. Her cloak was all white and had a veil that covered all of her face but her lips. She looked around at the arena and placed her hand on the rogue's forearm leaning in and saying something. The rogue leaned towards her ear and she laughed at whatever he said to her. “You think that’s his girlfriend” Raffi jested. “Kind of weird to bring to bring your girlfriend here,” I told him. Just then the girl turned and look towards me for a second I was worried she overheard our conversation but then I noticed everyone was looking in the same direction. When I turned around I saw Sky and my father walking towards the announcer booth that I sat beside.

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