Chapter 1: Wind and Water

The tingling sensation coursed through his fingers.

A soft blue light drifted from his fingertips towards

the ceramic bowl sitting on the oak table in front of him.

The light settled lightly on to the surface of the water.

Images began to form, at first hazy but slowly becoming more and more clear.

The young man leaned forward staring intently at the images.

The most prominent of the images was of what appeared to be an armoury.

The waters swirled and the imaged centered on the most beautifully designed bow he had ever seen.

The bow was carved from Mythril, one of the world's strongest minerals. Only the Dwarves could handle the precious material with any skill, and they hadn't been seen in over a century.

Excitement threatened to overwhelm the youth's concentration.

The image began to waver as sweat started to pour from his temple. With a sigh, the boy released the scrying spell. He slumped back into his chair exhausted.

Brithan wasn't the strongest water mage in the school. He wasn't even close. He was almost always shocked when his spells actually worked!

Brithan swept a hand across his brow. Pushing himself up from his chair he looked around. He'd had the same room since he had come to the school 3 years ago when he first started showing signs of magical potential. He had been 12, late for most water mages but not unheard of.

The room hadn't changed much. The same oak furnishings that he had brought with him. A small oak table and dresser.

The simple bed by the window, with light blue sheets given to all aspiring water mages. The biggest change to the room was

the mural his friend Gabryl had painted on one side of the room. It depicted a scene in which the two friends were side by side

surrounded by an aura of blue and yellow. Brithan's Water magic combining with Gabryl's Air magic to defeat a terrible dragon.

The Arcanum was the school for the magically gifted. It was a vast complex with 5 major sections, each representing one of the

elements. There was the high towers of the Air mages, they could fly and control the weather, the very wind bending to their commands.

Then you had the Earth mages with their magically created forest. These mages had a greater understanding of herbs witch could be used in healing or in poisons. Some could communicate with animals while others could make vines appear from the ground.

There were the Fire mages in their heat locked corridors. These were the true battle mages. The could command fire to do as little as light a single candle or create a fireball the size of an ox an bulldoze through lines of invading armies.

You had the Water mages with their control over water. Their area was connected to the river that supllied the Arcanum with it's water. They were great in Naval battles as well as their abilities in magical scrying. The last section was reserved for any member that had a knack for the Healing arts. Many of these students started out in one of the main four, usually Earth or Water, then transfered when their skills in Healing became apperent.

Brithan studied his new Journeyman Blues. He could hardly believe that he's earned them after 3 years of study. He had grown a lot in those three years.

He was taller then most of the boys his age. His brown hair with it's unusual streaks of gold was tied back in a ponytail that reached just between his shoulder blades.

He had an easy smile and his honey brown eyes were always dancing with humor.

Brithan turned as someone knocked on his door. "Come in!" As the door opened he was greeted with the sight of his best friend, Gabryl.

Brithan smiled when saw his friend. They had become fast friends when they first met in the Arcanum's Eatery.

It had been only a couple of hours since he had arrived at the school. The Arcanum' Novice Master had showed him to his room and gotten him fitted for his light blue robes. Novices were given a light color in the element they represented. Journeymen were given a darker color, while Maesters were given the royal Tones. Blue for Water, yellow for Air, red for Fire, green for Earth, and black for Healers. He had been given just enough time

to put his stuff down when he heard what the Novice Master said was the Meal bell.

The Novice Master retreived him and took him to the Eatery. The Eatery was awash with colour.

Robes of every color were spread out around the tables. Brithan had quickly moved to one of the emptier tables.

There was only one other student there dressed in a light yellow robe.

Neither boy had talked to each other that first day, though in the following week they continued to go back to the same table.

then one day one of the boys started talking. Neither

could remember who had said the first word, but they had been best friends since.

"I see you're wearing your new Journeyman robes as well." Gabryl was dressed in a brilliant yellow robe to match his new rank.

He was only just a hair shorter then Brithan, but he was of a more slender build while Brithan had broader shoulders then most men twice his age.

Gabryl wore his black hair short, the longest strands only just touching his ears. His violet eyes glowing and his light skin flushed with excitment.

Today was their first offical day as Journeymen. They would be moving out of their old rooms and into bigger, nicer rooms

as according to their new rank at the end of the week. Journeymen mages would study at the Arcanum for another year and a half before setting out on their own.

This was so they could advance their skills by either finding a new master to take them on,

or to enhance their skills and studies on their own. They would be gone for 2 years before returning to the Arcanum for their final exam to become Maesters.

"I couldn't wait to put them on, though it is a shame that we have weapon's practice in half a glass and we'll have to change out of them."

Gabryl winced. "I had forgotten about that. What style are we studying today? The Gaarl's 2-handed weapons? The Retinai's curved swords?" Gabryl let some hope enter his voice

"Or maybe the Gods will be kind and we'll work more on the quick striking Sylven style of sword play." Gabryl had always prefered the Sylven style. It focused more of speedand finess then on brute strength.

"I believe we are working on long distance combat this morning." Brithan excelled at the use of a bow. Before he had come to the school, his father had been teaching him to become an archer for Sevador's army.

Gabryl sighed. He wasn't bad with a bow. He just didn't have the same ability as his friend, which miffed Gabryl to no end. HE was the Air mage.

"I don't see why we have to do all of this weapons training anyway. Aren't we supposed to be all powerful or something?"

Brithan just laughed. "You know as well as I that we are not all powerful. While you may be the best in your class,

I struggle with even some of the most basic spells. I will keep my mundane defenses, thank you." Brithan walked over to his friend, punching him on the shoulder as he walked into the hall. Gabryl just grinned at his friend and joined him on the walk to the training yard.

"So how are you going to decorate your new room, Brithan?"

Brithan thought about the question for a moment. He really hadn't put much thought into the new room. "Well I know that I'm trasfering all of my furnature over, as well as adding a small bookcase. I do wish that I could transfer over the mural of us that you painted."

"Don't worry about that," Gabryl smiled. "I'll just paint you a new one. This time on a scroll so you can keep it with you when we leave the Arcanum. Besides, I am amazed you never painted over that terrible thing."

"Terrible? It's better then anything any of the other students could do, and you're even better now." Gabryl blushed at the compliment.

Before Gabryl could respond the boys reached the practice grounds.

Gabryl sighed, "Well I'll see you out on the grounds in a few." With that Gabryl walked to the Air mages' locker room.

Brithan just chuckled and walked over to the Water mages' side.