The Isis Institution for Intrepid Intellects. Established in 94 A.D., it has seen the greatest minds that the world will never truly know but have saved it on more than one occasion pass through its halls. Who is allowed in is very specific, but not by the color of their skin nor their sex, not their creed or class or age. The school transcended such boundaries, such primitive limitations, the moment its realm opened to ours and allowed the first seven into its world. Janice Llorwyn, Luke Amon, Pontius Dominus, Anice Reven, Nicholas Mirrodin, Azani, and Sor Khan; they were tested, pushed to their limits, and became the first Council of Magus for IIII.
Centuries pass, the Millennium nineteen years old, and IIII still stands strong... if a touch blackened. The dean, Benjamin Llorwyn, sits behind his desk, his hands flat on the aged mahogany top. Not just any mahogany, though. This special specimen of its kind was acquired from another realm, the trees as tall as the heavens, lined with razors that sought out flesh. Their cores burned with the fires of a thousand djinn, and were just as sinister, needing tempered over ages, generations, before they were able to be polished and used for something as extravagant as that desk! It was no ordinary desk, but the desk of the most powerful person in that school! And now, what did the most powerful person in IIII have to contend with? Only the greatest of threats to life, civility, and harmony:
Mel Llorwyn was in one of the three plush chairs across, their frames not made of the same mahogany that the desk was blessed to have but simply spruce from the surrounding forest. Their cushions were, also, not as fine as that polished top nor the winged chair the dean sat in, meant for the young mage to feel uncomfortable and shift, but Mel was never one to really care. He simply sat there, returning Benjamin’s bored stare, as behind him, through the stone window untouched by any glass, smoke and screams rose. The black wisps tried to enter, but were stopped by an unseen force, curling, flattening against before continuing into the starry sky, long lines drawn through the heavens to each, creating arcane patterns.
Neither one stirred an inch as an explosion boomed below, as more screams and smoke raised to that sky. Mel yawned, scratching his head and its shaggy brown hair; it was in that awkward transitional phase between being a hobo and becoming actually long and able to be tamed. He had wide, green eyes, yet they never seemed more than half-open, always staring at the world as if it was paint on the wall starting to chip. His nose was snubbed, but had a wicked crook at the end, matching his grandfather’s, as did his chin. Though that’s where they parted ways; Mel could only grow stubble on his chin and keep a rather curly mustache, whereas Benjamin had a full goatee that simply screamed “super villain”.
Another explosion shook the foundation of IIII, which finally made Benjamin sigh and clasp his hands together on top of the mahogany desk instead of feeling its perfection under his palms.
“Mel,” he said, his voice strong for his age, bounding around the room, but it held no malice, simply inquiring. “What did you do this time?”
“Why does it have to be me? Could have been Gene.” The dean didn’t even respond, the next explosion his insistence, begging, pleading mixed in with the screams. “Okay. It was me. I thought the tacos were a bit bland this time around, so I spiced them up.”
Benjamin simply sighed again, and one of his hands was allowed to grace the top of the desk again while his other pinched his brow.
“You have detention for the rest of the month, as well as you will aid Philip in cleaning the lavatories.” Another explosion rumbled the room, shaking the bookshelves around, piled with accolades spanning across the many generations of Llorwyn, heaped with large, leather-bound tomes on those mahogany shelves. The statue behind, a four-winged dragon bearing down on a group of knights on horseback, rumbled, and the two parties separated, opening to reveal an arch beyond as well as a set of steps. An older, frumpy woman came trotting in, wearing white robes. Her squash-shaped face was curled into several rows, glaring down at Mel as she pushed passed, leaning on the table, tainting it with her sausage fingers. “What’s the tally, Miss Klan.”
“Forty-seve... forty-eight. None of them life-threatening, but they won’t be able to sit for a week. If lucky.”
“Sounds about right,” Mel said. “Usually what happens to me when I eat Taco Bell.”
Miss Klan was about to turn on him, the look in her eyes very... lynchy, but she was halted by a wave of Benjamin’s hand, sent off to fulfill her duties. Mel started to stand, but stopped as Benjamin kept his hand raised, pointing at him.
“We need to discuss your behavior as of late, Mel,” he said.
“What if we don’t?”
“I’m not getting into this type of argument with you again, lad.”
“What if you do?”
Benjamin sighed, nails digging ever harder into the space between his eyebrows, turning it absolutely red.
“As a Llorwyn, you have a certain... expectation about you.” He put his hands on the mahogany desk again, clasping them. “You are named after the current-sitting Council Member, as well. Everyone expects great things from you. Not this... tomfoolery.”
“Well quiddit... I’m just having a bit of fun. What’s so wrong about that?”
An explosion answered for Benjamin, and the busty woman that had been sitting quiet the entire time by Mel finally made her presence known, scoffing as her spaded tail flicked.
“How did I get stuck with this idiot,” the succubus, Saliim, grumbled. Her dark, purple eyes glittered with such rage as she glared at Mel, her dark, almost obsidian, form barely kept modest by a skin-tight red tube top and a long, flowing white skirt, ending just before her feet, ending in three, shimmering claws. Her arms were folded, the red runes along them and around her naval flashing with each agitated heartbeat, paled by her short, red hair. Though it was a contest as he simply shrugged.
“Don’t look at me. I was simply trying to make a tea biscuit into a shoe. Suddenly, succubus.”
“Who tries to make a tea biscuit into a shoe to begin with!”
“That doesn’t sound normal to me... In fact, what weirdo doesn’t like a little shoe with their afternoon tea?”
She looked ready to bite his head off with her perfect, pristine white teeth in her perfectly round face with her perfect nose and ears, but once more Benjamin halted any form of hostility by waving it off.
“Once we find out the exact incantation that was used, you shall be released,” he said. “Until then, you simply have to fulfill your duties.”
“What duties! He asks me to do such... strange things... and not even the fun strange! Last night, he asked me to peel a light bulb.”
“And she did,” Mel said.
“Then the day before he asked me to make raincoats for the rats-”
“Ah-ah! Raincoats AND matching booties. It’s going to rain soon.”
“It never rains here!”
“Thus why we need to take steps.” He glared outside the window, at that sky, taunting him, mocking him with its perfection without ever a cloud in sight. “One day... one day...”
Benjamin sighed again, bordering on murder by breath at this point, and waved his hand their way, dismissing them. He let go of his brow, a bit of purple energy glowing in between his fingers, and the chair was consumed in it, turning it around to face the window. Just as another explosion rocked the institution. Mel made his way out, followed by his trusty servant, down the flight of stairs and through the rippling wall at the bottom, met with screams and fire. He picked his way carefully through the rabble, holding their stomachs and robe hems; even the women had them hoisted, not caring if they were seen in such a sorry state as they rushed around trying to find one stall open.
But Mel paid them no mind, humming a soft song as he continued through the courtyard before the dean’s tower, across to the rest of the school. The main hall was emptied by this point, cascaded in color from the six great crystal chandeliers that dotted the expanse, all dwarfed by the stalactite hanging in its middle. It seemed to pulse, as if it were alive, its many shards watching after Mel as he simply walked passed the eight long tables, each holding three-hundred people easy, and to the northernmost stairwell. It went up three flights before coming out on a box corridor, housing eight, shimmering portals; he lumbered up to the third on the left and waited for it to solidify into a giant, red eye.
“Back already, sir?” It said, its voice shrieking yet a whisper all at once.
“Yeah... Limp biscuit dick.”
The eye blinked, became solid stone, and opened to reveal a rather mundane room. It was more at home in the housing projects of a backwoods town than in that school, but the way the walls shimmered, the way the computer with its anime-spattered front of obscene females in either improper or no attire shimmered to a crystal ball and back showed how the two worlds clashed. He had a futon set up in the right corner, giving way to the four-poster bed that was supposed to be there, but the couch-bed squeaked all the same as he sat on it and picked up a game controller. The device across the room, set below a large TV, beeped, and he was lost to the world of shrinking horseballs once more.
Saliim slumped beside, shaking her head, her arms still crossed before her.
“Where did my life go wrong?” She said. “What did I do to deserve this? Any of it?”
“I unno. What did you do?” Mel said.
“I was just... living my life. Enjoying the flowers, listening to the screams of the tormented, and then, the next moment, I am in Hell.”
“And now, here I am, watching someone wrangle a woman, tying them to the back of their horse, and dragging them as wolves chase after while preparing TNT!” She growled, and her eyes were once more filled with fury, glaring him down. “What did you do?”
“Well, you see, it’s part of the game. You can hogtie someone and put them on the back of your horse or you can simply hold down the button and dr-”
“You know what I mean, dumbass!”
“Well, the tricky part is keeping the button held and preparing the dyna-”
“How did you bind me?”
“I unno. Like I said, I was trying to make shoes for afternoon t- h-hey... great. Now I’m gonna have to try that all over agai-”
She tossed the controller, embedding it into the console, and both faded into a wisp of smoke. As did the TV. She gripped his shoulder, her nails scratching it, drawing a bit of blood from both his and hers, which she let him go just as quick.
“I want my life back,” she whimpered, tears welling in her eyes. She looked at him, begging, lip trembling. “Please... release me.”
“Fine... I’ll try the spell again.” He stood, and walked to the door on the other side of the room. It rippled thrice, showing three different rooms, until it settled into the pantry. He walked in, retrieved a box of tea biscuits, and returned to the room, putting three on the table that rose before the futon. He cleared his throat, black fire rising around the biscuits, and began to chant in an otherworldly tongue. The room rumbled as the biscuits shook, crumbling under the power forced upon them until, with one great flash of light, three large pyres rose to the ceiling, consuming them... and leaving a new succubus in their place. She was a touch smaller than Saliim, but her chest was much larger, barely contained within a golden bluse. Her ice-blue hair was tied into two pigtails, and her red eyes gleamed with wonder and intrigue as she looked upon his room.
“Thank you, mortal, for summoning m-” She began.
“Shut it, Brin,” Saliim exclaimed, whimpering as she rubbed her own forehead. “Why me?”
The succubus known as Brin finally noticed Saliim, and looked between her and Mel.
“Two of us? Oh my... what sort of... wishes do you have, mortal?”
“You shouldn’t have said that...”
“Well,” Mel said, tapping his chin... then snapped his fingers. “I know! I want you...”
“Yes?” Brin said, leaning in, licking her lips.”
“Replace your left knee with Helen Keller.”
“Replace your left knee with Helen Keller.” She simply repeated her question, all curiosity and wonder gone from her eyes. “Just think of the applications.”
Brin looked over at Saliim, still simply shaking her head, and realization finally crept on her face.
“What have you done?” She said, her voice, her soul broken.
“I was just trying to make shoes for afternoon tea! Why doesn’t anybody get that?”
… Saliim simply patted the couch beside her, and Brin slumped into it, simply watching as Mel conjured another TV and console out of thin air, continuing his shenanigans, for this was but a normal day for him.