Friday, 28 October 2011

Badges: a short anecdote.

So I was just doin’ some Pigswick sidequests, you know – flower arranging, water collecting, all the usual, when I got a new badge. Yay!image

But while I was looking on the badges page I found something rather peculiar…


Obviously I had no idea what it was for, so I was very confused.

As such, I turned to my oldest internet friend: google. I asked him where I could find out what this meant. He told me to go to my oldest Wizard101 friend: the wiki.

And so, after a quick scroll down the badges page, I found exactly what I was looking for. Turned out it was for that good ol’ Crab Alley quest a while back. Isn’t that just great?

That was an (un)interesting anecdote.

Diviner OUT!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hey look I did a thing


Or don’t, because Windows Live Writer has messed up all the paragraphs and now it’s all blocky and nasty and I’m going to go and cry and then watch a Narnia film so I feel better.

Or enjoy!

The Tale of Alexandra Stormrider – part 8

“…and he was talking about his evil plans to destroy the Spiral, blah blah blah, but then, Ambrose turned up! And he was like ‘go away you nasty man’ and it was all awesome and then I fainted.” I nodded proudly to my three friends.

“You fainted?” spluttered Liam. “In the middle of it? I bet they had an epic battle right after you fell asleep, you moron! You missed the good stuff! Ambrose must be, like, super amazing at dueling. And you fell asleep. Honestly!”

“Well, in my defense, I hadn’t had any sleep at all, and Malistaire was really starting to bore me with that whole evil genius thing. I mean, he’s not that smart. If I were taking over the world—”

“You were sitting right in front of the most evil wizard in the world, and you got bored? I can’t believe you sometimes.” Liam shook his head.

I had woken up that morning in the Wizard City infirmary – a small building in the Commons, where about ten clean white beds were lined up in a brightly painted room. I was in the bed nearest the window. The room was almost entirely unoccupied except for a cheerful healer and a boy with a bandaged arm, in a bed on the other side of the room.

At first I couldn’t remember why I was aching all over, or why parts of my hair were slightly singed, but then the previous night’s events came back to me, and I couldn’t help but relay them in a dramatic fashion to Jake, Liam, and Matt when they arrived later on.

They each had fairly different reactions to the night’s events.

Liam was disbelieving: “You were tired? Oh, come on! You’re so dumb sometimes!”

Matt was amused: “What? Did he really say that? You’re kidding, right?”

And Jake was nothing short of terrified: “Really? What’s going to happen now? Is he going to kill us all? I don’t like this, Alex. I don’t like this at all.”

“Jakey boy, calm down. I’m pretty sure it’s nothing Ambrose can’t handle. The big nasty man has gone away now, so there’s nothing to worry about.” I rolled my eyes.

“But why did he come? How did he know your name again? You didn’t tell him your name when you got caught last time, did you? Do you think he wants to kill you in particular? What about us? You didn’t think this through much! It’s not funny! Malistaire wants to kill us all and—”

“You got bored,” Liam finished, rolling his eyes. “The evil mastermind of the Spiral and you passed out when he was revealing his plans for universal domination!”

“Well, you would be as well! Trust me, there’s nothing more boring than listening to some old guy harp on about how rubbish the world is. And why did he reveal all his secrets? It’s a bit stupid, really. If I was going to take over the world—”

“Please don’t. We’d all die.”

“Shut up. As I was saying, evil geniuses are so dumb sometimes. You’d think they’d keep their plans private. I guess a lot of their fatal flaws are, y’know, insane arrogance. They really think a lot of themselves, don’t they?”

Jake was still panicking. “Why didn’t you listen to what he was saying?! If you knew his evil plans you might be able to stop him! He’s going to kill everyone!”

“Jake,” Matt said. “No one is dead. See?” He poked Liam.


“We’re all perfectly alive. Ambrose would never let a single Ravenwood student die. Malistaire’s not going to be getting past him any time soon. Trust me.”

Jake still looked doubtful.

“Jake. How many times has Merle freakin’ Ambrose let us all die, eh?” asked Liam. “It’s nothing worth worrying about.”

Jake’s expression didn’t change. “I don’t think he can keep us safe forever.”

“Jeez, you two. You’d never believe you were twins. So much for being psychic. You can’t even agree on your favorite type of chocolate.” Matt rolled his eyes.

“I still say white is far better than milk. I mean, milk’s really—”

“Liam!” Jake whined. “We’re having a serious conversation! What if Ambrose… What if he…” Jake looked panicked.

“What if he what?” I asked.

“What if he can’t protect Wizard City?” He was almost on the verge of tears.

“You think Ambrose is going to die?” I near-yelled, sitting bolt upright.

The healer looked up from where she was arranging flowers in a vase and looked at us in shock.

“Sorry,” I muttered.

“He’s, like, six hundred and something,” whispered Matt. “He’s not about to drop dead now, is he?”

“You know, I always wondered how he manages to still be alive. Shouldn’t he be dead about nine times over by now? It can’t be healthy to be six hun—”

“I didn’t mean he would die. But there’s been talk recently…” He looked around and dropped his voice. “There’s been talk that… Well, people are saying that you can only control magical power for so long and… I’ve been reading up on some theories about what happened to the ancient powers, you know—”

“Uh, Jake. We, us three, do not pay any attention in history lessons. So we do not know.”

He looked flustered. “Well, the ancient powers invented the schools. Like, Storm, Myth, Fire, Life, Death, Ice, and Balance. And theories about how they died are… Well, a lot of them are sketchy, and their deaths are shrouded in such mystery that no one can ever be certain unless we invent time travel, and that’s quite interesting really because there’s also a lot of research going into a fourth triangle of magic to do with time and space, and researchers have found that—”

“Wait, a fourth triangle of magic?” I wasn’t that bad at math, was I?

“Yeah. Elemental, Spiritual, Astral, and the new one.”

“But the new one isn’t, like, real?”

“Not yet, at least. So there are just three we need to know about. Elemental, Spiritual, and Astral.”


“The study of the magic of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. It’s quite fascinating, really. It’s studied in Celestia, and I think they offer it as an extra-curricular option at Pigswick in Wysteria. And I think there are other worlds where they study it – you’ve seen all the different students at the Spiral tournament, at least three of those have to learn Astral. I think you can learn it when you hit grandmaster here. And they say Ambrose himself trained in it when he was—” Jake stopped suddenly. “Basically, there’s talk that he’s losing his powers.”

“Five more minutes, you three,” the healer cooed, waving her wand over her flowers, which instantly brightened.

Matt, Liam, and I exchanged concerned glances.

“Well, he scared off old goatee pretty quickly last night, didn’t he?”

“How come he didn’t save Autumn when she was caught, then?” he asked. “And you and Alex, for that matter. I don’t think—”

“Oh, Jakey, it was just a one-off. We all have our off-days, don’t we? Just look at Alex!” I sat up and tried to punch him, but suddenly felt dizzy and had to lie down again.

“I’m so punching you when I get out of here,” I mumbled, rubbing my head and glaring at Matt as best as I could from a lying down position.

“Right, you three!” called the healer from across the room. “You’re clearly agitating the patient. You’re going to need to head off soon. It’s getting late, anyway.”

“Yeah, you three. You’re so agitating. How do I put up with you?”

“You love us really.”

“You just like to hit us a lot sometimes.” I half-heartedly waved my arm around in protest.

“Only because you’re ridiculously annoying,” I huffed, sitting up.

“You shouldn’t be over-exerting yourself. You are such a poorly patient after all,” grinned Liam, dodging the next thump I’d aimed at him.

“I’m just relieved you’re okay,” Jake muttered, looking more concerned than relieved in my opinion.

“Right, off you go,” ordered the healer, pointing to the door. “It’s getting dark out, and times like these kids like yourself don’t want to be wandering around at night time.” She gave me a stern look. “You don’t know what might be lurking out there.”

“Great, way to set Jake off again,” muttered Matt. I stifled a giggle.

“See you tomorrow, Alex. Try not to bump your head or anything.” Liam attempted a stern look.

“Oh, don’t worry about me. You just enjoy your lessons.”

“We’ll bring you all the material. Don’t panic.”

“Bye, Alex.”

“Bye guys.”


I found it hard to sleep that night. Not only was I still aching from head to toe, but there was always something about hospitals that creeped me out.

Hospitals back on earth were understandably quite freakish, with their detergent scent and monotonous beeping, but even Wizard City’s homely infirmary was too white and too clean to be natural. I’d hated hospitals ever since I’d had to spend the night in one when I broke my leg at the age of seven. (It involved three books, a tree, and a slightly insane idea. Well, I don’t think I need to explain exactly what happened. Rest assured that it was painful and slightly embarrassing.)

It gave me time to think. My thoughts strayed again to the prophecy. If Ambrose really was getting weaker, then surely it would be down to them to save the Spiral. And, well, it was kind of hard to picture them doing that, even with three legendaries on their side. Malistaire had to be more powerful than them. Not that I didn’t think they were great, because they totally were. I just couldn’t really imagine them doing any Spiral-saving just yet. Maybe they’ll develop superpowers. That would be cool…

I ran through the list again. Matt, Jake, and Liam. Fire, Storm, and Life. Myth was Reed. It must be a family thing. Death was a guy called Thomas, and Ice was that Kymma girl. That would be perfect, except that there were meant to be two girls, weren’t there? Hm. Ambrose was probably mistaken. Super-jerk probably didn’t deserve superpowers. Another myth girl could take his place quite easily.

Either way, it looked like they were all set. It was only a matter of time before Ambrose sent them off to a super-duper training camp! Sounded like great fun. Apart from the fact that for them to succeed one of them had to die.

When I woke up in the morning I felt significantly less zombie-like, but on the other hand, being in a hospital for two nights was pretty boring, and I was even a bit relieved when I was let out just before lunch, despite that meaning I would have to sit through an hour of Magic History.

I headed back to my dorm room, planning to grab my bag and head straight for the lunch hall, but while I was dashing down the corridor a certain annoying pyromancer grabbed the back of my cloak.

“Hey, what are you doing?” I whined. “I’m still—”

“I was just coming to get you! Ambrose wants to see us!”


“You, me, the non-twins. Let’s go!” He tugged my sleeve impatiently.

“Whoa, slow down, Pegasus. What does he want us for? I haven’t done anything! I’ve been in the infirmary for two nights.”

“Yeah, whatever. Come on!” He let go of my sleeve and dashed down the corridor, so excited he seemed to forget to disobey the no-teleporting-inside rule. I shrugged, twisting on the spot to make up for his surprising obedience and reappearing in the Commons a few blurry seconds later.

Jake and Liam were talking to each other seriously just outside the office. I quickly ran through what I’d done in the past week or so. Okay, so other than a few indoor teleports (which was a stupid rule anyway) and a stray lightning bat (which was definitely not my fault – at least, not entirely). Nope, this couldn’t be something I’d done. Well, maybe the lightning bat. It didn’t hurt anyone too much. Still, why were the non-twins here then?

As I headed towards them I realized they weren’t alone. Next to them was their stupidface older brother, and on the other side a kid in black and white robes who looked pretty familiar.

“Hey Alex!” he waved. I blinked.

“Tom Deathsong!” I grinned. “What’s up, little buddy?” He was one of Nat’s friends, and had an inexplicable hatred of hats. Since I’d last seen him he’d grown about six inches, which annoyed me a little, especially as he was something like three years younger than me.

“Not much,” he replied, cheerfully. “Got called here by Ambrose for something.”

“Right,” I said, carefully, as the cogs started to turn in my head. The prophecy. He must be part of the prophecy. Like Jake, and Liam, and Matt, who was now jogging towards us, looking rather out of breath.

“What about you? Is this about the lightning bat?”

“You heard about that?”

“Hey, news gets around. You’d be surprised what you can hear if you just take your hat off once in a while.” That kid was insane.

“Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. That was so not my fault. In fact, if Matt hadn’t insiste—

“Somebody say my name?” Matt panted over my shoulder.

“Yeah. The lightning bat incident was your fault. Just because I cast the spell doesn’t mean that I should get the blame. You were the one who said we should practice some mutating spells.”

“True,” he nodded. “That said, the one that escaped… I’m sure controlling spell creatures is a novice issue?” I punched his arm playfully. Tom was watching in amusement.

“Oh yeah.” I punched him again.

“Twice? Really?”

“I still owed you one from last night.”

Ambrose’s heavy oaken door opened. He appeared, moving slowly and looking even more tired than he had the last time I’d seen him, but there was somehow a small spark in his eyes behind his glasses. He nodded to us. “In you come.” I noticed Mythstrider hesitating. “All of you,” he added.

We filed in quietly, with significantly less physical violence.

Ambrose surveyed us carefully. There were a few seconds of silence while we waited. The atmosphere in the room suggested it might not be the lightning bat incident.

“Some of you might be wondering why you are here,” he began, slowly. Too right. I still wasn’t sure what I’d done this time. Maybe it was just about all the Malistaire incidents. But then why would Tom be here - and why not Autumn? I wished he’d just get to the point.

“It’s complicated,” he sighed, “and I have a lot of explaining to do. Sit,” he said, gesturing to a table surrounded by seven seats and an owl perch. There was a small scuffle as I quickly nabbed a seat between Matt and Tom, trying desperately to avoid misery-guts-Mythstrider.

Ambrose cleared his throat. “I am sure you all know the legends of the ancient forgery, correct?” I was feeling pretty confused but, as usual, Jake came to the rescue.

“There are legends that a group of ancient forgers from Celestia collaborated to form a series of weapons which were more powerful than any seen before.” He frowned. “There were, erm, seven of them, weren’t there?”

“One from each school of magic,” Ambrose said.

“And each one had a weapon named after them - one for each school. It’s said that, to this day, no wizard has invented a wand or blade more powerful than they were rumored to be.”

“Exactly.” Ambrose nodded his approval. “Of course, like any legend, the truth in it is clouded and mysterious. However, the fundamentals are true. There were a number of forgers in Celestia who forged incredibly powerful weapons. As far as I know, they have never been used by anyone other than the forgers themselves. In fact, it’s safe to assume that they are still there.”

I was too interested in the story to pay attention to everyone else’s reactions to this, but I personally think it was safe to assume that nearly everyone’s faces lit up with fascination or excitement, other than Jake, who I imagine looked terrified. No one said a word.

“The legend was wrong to assume that they were simple forgers, though. They were each descendants of the ancient powers who created the schools of magic. In their own right they were incredibly powerful wizards, capable of more than even I could dream of today. And one of them - I believe it was Melody Starlight, though I can’t be certain - was a prophetess.”

“They have names?” Jake asked. “None of the textbooks mention names.”

“This isn’t information you study as truth in class, Mister Ravencloud. Could you imagine what would happen if everyone knew this? It would be a disaster! Wizards popping off to Celestia left, right, and centre. It’s a dangerous place, far off into the wilds where monsters roam free. People have died searching for it, and even they were uncertain it was real!” He paused. “Anyway, moving on: Starlight was a prophetess. She made seven Great Prophecies, though never specified when they would come to pass. Only one has ever been fulfilled.”

“What happened?” I asked, intrigued.

“It was a long time ago. I was a mere student.”

“Were you in it?” I almost covered my mouth the moment I’d said it. Oops.

He paused. “Yes. But that’s a story for another day.

“What is important now is that the second one is coming to pass. I spent years upon years studying prophetics and understanding when they might come and how to recognise them. It’s a complex art, and takes one years to master.

“I suppose you’ll be wanting to hear it.” Ambrose cleared his throat and began - as if we needed to hear it again.

“Several young wizards will follow the path,

Become the defense from powers dark,

Three from each side of the Magical Arts,

Balanced enough will they depart.

They'll walk streets unknown to wizards before,

To find objects of ancient lore,

To help them fight fights on which the Spiral will depend -

But these only upon reaching the Questend.

Two are young girls and the rest are not

But all will face darkness; no doubt there's a lot

It shall be a long road but they must persevere

For their destinies lie somewhere shrouded in fear.

Alas, Spiral saviors, your fates are tied

You cannot succeed until one has died.

“Is it not obvious what I say next? You six are a part of the second Great Prophecy!” Ambrose smiled, only to be met with a stony silence.

He looked over his spectacles at us. “Surely you’re not upset about that, now?”

Jake opened his mouth, presumably in order to jump in with his we’re-all-going-to-die mantra when I decided to point out the obvious flaw in the plan.

“That doesn’t make sense. There’s one from each school! There’s always one from each school in everything and, well, Jake and I are both storm. Why isn’t there an ice one?”

“Miss Stormrider,” Ambrose said, calmly. “You have misinterpreted the wording. It reads ‘Three from each side of the Magical Arts.’”

“Yeah, three from elemental, three from spiritual. One from each school!”

“Where does it say one from each school?” Ambrose frowned. “There are three spiritual students: Mister Dawnbreeze, Mister Deathsong, and Mister Mythstrider. And then there are three students of elemental magic: you, Mister Ravencloud, and Mister Fireshard.”

There was another silence. I was part of a prophecy. It didn’t really register with me.

“Professor Ambrose,” Jake said, looking at the sheet of parchment in a confused or slightly hurt manner, “surely there must be a mistake. The prophecy says “Two are young girls and the rest are not.” We only have Alex.”

“I’m pretty sure we do have two girls,” I noticed Mythstrider mutter to himself. It took a lot of effort not to zap him on the spot.

Ambrose smiled. “Another misinterpretation,” he explained. “Surely you are all aware by now that there are more than two sides to the Magical Arts?”

“The Astral schools,” gasped Jake. “Of course.”

“Exactly, Mister Ravencloud.”

Jake still looked confused. “But… where are they?”

“Another good question. Since we don’t offer astral classes here at Ravenwood, we must find a school that does.”

“You don’t mean Pigswick, do you?” Liam asked, looking horrified.

“I doubt prophecies and quests are in their general policy, Mister Dawnbreeze,” he smiled. “No, there are academies across the Spiral which do support students of the Stars, Moon, and Sun. There is a world – we haven’t needed any students to venture there yet, for it is well-protected by its own inhabitants – that lies on the outer edges of the Spiral.”

“Is it where Professor Greyrose comes from?” asked Tom.

“No, no. That’s a world for another time, Mister Deathsong. The Skysword Institute is in a world called Willowhaven. It’s not unlike Wizard City. I studied there after graduating from Ravenwood.

“As for now, what I want you to do is to go there. You must meet the other three in your prophecy. And, yes –” he nodded “– one of them will be a girl.” He stood up suddenly and waved his staff, creating a portal in the middle of his office – like the ones in Dragonspyre that we’d seen.

“We leave straight away?” asked Jake.

“This is not the last time I will see you,” Ambrose reassured him. “You need to get to know your allies – and, I suppose, you need to get to know each other.” He seemed to be looking at Reed when he said that.

“Headmaster Eltham will meet you at the Skysword gate when you get there. Gamma has told him you’re on your way. He should introduce you to your new companions. You’re going to have to get used to them. You’ll be spending quite a bit of time together.

“They’ll be staying in Wizard City for a while. Not for very long, I must say – the quest has to be fulfilled soon. I fear Malistaire is getting even more powerful.” Ambrose frowned. He gestured towards the portal.

“Before I forget,” he added, thoughtfully. “I wouldn’t go mentioning the prophecy to anyone you meet. It’s classified information.”

I followed Liam and Matt over to the portal.

“Good luck,” Ambrose said.


We tumbled through the portal in a blur, landing awkwardly on a light grey stone road.

Willowhaven was beautiful. It wasn’t as crowded as Wizard City – at least, not as far as I could see – and the pale grey stone underfoot was as clean as the clear blue waters in small streams which ran along either side of each pavement. There were no monsters to speak of and no traders bustling around and trying to sell their wares. Surprisingly, Prospector Zeke was absent – perhaps he didn’t think this peaceful place was a worthwhile trade station. It seemed almost too quiet.

The houses were not chaotically built in a random order, or made of grey stone like those in the Commons or in Olde Town, but instead they were neatly tucked away at the side of the road and painted in pastels – like those small seaside towns I’d seen when I’d visited England back when I lived on Earth. I could even smell salt in the air. Perhaps it was a seaside town.

But naturally, it was the sky of the astral world that was the most intriguing. It wasn’t the fierce, blazing blue you might see in Krokotopia, but it was nothing like the indigo starry nights of Marleybone, either. Instead, it was a dusk-like lilac with hints of blue, much like Wizard City, but it appeared to be trapped somewhere between day and night, and there was not a cloud to be seen. To the west, the sun appeared to be setting, but somehow the stars and moon were shining brightly. It was incredible.

“So… Shall we go find the institute, then?” suggested Tom.

We started to trail down the path slightly awkwardly. I was still rather amazed by the sky, and ended up walking into Jake because I had been staring upwards. “Sorry,” we both said at the same time. Jake resumed admiring the architecture.

It wasn’t long before we could see a silvery gate up ahead. There was a seemingly tiny silhouette in front of it, but as we got closer I realized it wasn’t that the person was tiny. The gate was just ridiculously huge. It towered over us a little ominously, bearing a logo of two crossed swords. This had to be the entrance we were searching for.

The man who was standing there approached us. He was actually fairly tall, and looked a good few centuries younger than Ambrose, with tanned skin, reddish-brown hair, and a sword (naturally) at his side. He seemed completely at ease with six uniformed children turning up with what appeared to be no warning. I looked back. Either I couldn’t see the portal, or it had closed.

“Good evening,” he smiled. “You must be the Ravenwood students. I’m Eltham, Headmaster of Skysword, legendary solar mage, and pioneer of the aeronautical expedition of 789. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” His smile broadened again.

“So, who have we got here? Alpha!” A hawk flew from its perch on the top of the gates and dropped a scroll into Eltham’s outstretched hand. It didn’t appear to be a magical bird, like Gamma was, though its wingtips had a silvery tinge. I had to admit, it was pretty well trained. If I was a bird I’d probably just poop all over those shiny gates.

“So, six of you.” He did a quick head count. “Yep, all here. Ready to meet your new friends?” He grinned, but his face fell when it was met with an awkward silence. “Gosh, you lot don’t talk much, do you?”

“We’re still getting used to this whole prophecy thing,” Liam explained.

“Most of us only found out about ten minutes ago,” I added.

“Ah, well, it can be scary on your first quest!” Eltham laughed. “I remember mine… it wasn’t so long ago actually. Good times. Now, you lot first. In you go!”

As we filed in through the (now magically open) gates, I whisper chatted Matt. “He doesn’t get out much.”

“You can say that again! Imagine if this was our first ever quest!”

“That’s weird. We do quests all the time.”

“Maybe they just think it’s a different thing to us?”

“Still weird.”

“You don’t think he can tell we’re whisper chatting like Ambrose can, do you?”

“Maybe. I would have thought he’d figure we were talking about him, though.”

It wasn’t long before we reached what was likely to be the coolest school I’d ever seen.

It was a strange mix between magical and, well, modern. Everything seemed to be trimmed in silver and blue, and each wall of the entrance hall we headed through was covered in banners with stars, moons, and suns, as well as silvery quotes and phrases that wrote themselves across the walls. The students themselves stood chatting to each other in groups down a number of corridors.

“Here we are,” Eltham said. “The Sun school. My first school, in fact. I did train in many schools, but you have to stay true to your roots, eh kids?” I looked around, still in awe. Students I assumed were the solar students were either entering or leaving a room on the left. “They’re heading to the study hall,” Eltham explained. “Where you can spend free lessons. There’s a mini-library in there as well as the main library which is just off the entrance hall,” he elaborated when we looked at him blankly. “There’s a lesson going on in the classroom at the moment, so we’d best wait until Professor Ellis is finished. She gets quite, erm, feisty at times.” Eltham grinned.

I was watching the occasional student wander in or out of the study hall. Their uniforms were quite different from the heavy Ravenwood cloaks we had to wear in lessons - the robes seemed quite a bit lighter and more comfortable, and shorter. More practical, you might say. My purple and green kit was getting a bit tatty after all the time I’d spent in Wizard City, especially after all the times I’d stepped on the edge, which was more than a bit frayed.

Most of the sun school kids were wearing fire-school colours, though not as bright: golds and maroons seemed to be the dominant colours. I saw a few other colours go in at times as well - a girl in navy blue and silver (star, I supposed) as well as a boy in black and cream (which I guessed meant he was a moon kid).

“Well, this lot can tell you all about that, can’t you?” Tom was saying, grinning.

“Huh?” I replied, having been concentrating extremely hard on the conversation.

“I was saying you’d know all about dangerous escapades, wouldn’t you?” He continued to grin.

“Yeah, I guess...”

“We got captured by Malistaire a while back,” Matt explained.

Eltham’s face darkened. “I wouldn’t like to face him on a bad day. How did you do that?”

“Well, our friend got kidnapped, so we went to rescue her, but Malistaire kind of caught us on the way.”

“Then we rushed in to save the day, didn’t we, Jakey?” Liam nudged his twin.


“So, your friend...”


“Autumn got kidnapped, and you went to save her. You two got kidnapped, and you went to save them. Who saved you, then?”

“No one. We got out by ourselves.”

“Well, I know who I’d want on my team!” Eltham laughed. The six of us exchanged nervous glances. He paused, then leaned into the table. “This, erm, quest you’re headed on. What’s the deal with that?” He cleared his throat. “Not be rude, but your headmaster kind of left me in the dark on this one. Perhaps you could enlighten me?”

We all exchanged awkward glances. Suddenly Liam spoke up. “Um, sir, if you don’t mind me asking - what was your first quest?”

“Well, it wasn’t so long ago, actually.” He smiled to himself. “I and a few other Solar students were asked to retrieve an artefact taken by a Marleybonian rat... It was shocking, really, but we pulled through!” He grinned proudly.

“Sir, we do quests like that every day,” I countered.

He raised an eyebrow. “I try not to believe the dangerous rumours I hear about Ravenwood pupils being sent all over the Spiral to do Ambrose’s dirty work,” he hissed, “even if the evidence is overwhelming.”

“It’s not dangerous,” I explained. “No one’s died in years, and that was just a really bad accident. Ambrose says it’s to help us develop practical skills in fighting. Otherwise, what’s the point of learning magic? We have to learn these things to defeat the monsters that are out there.”

“One of Skysword’s primary concerns is the safety of its pupils. Sending them off to Krokotopia and Mooshu and all those other detestable locations can compromise their security severely. We aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our students to develop their full potential.”

“Sometimes security has to be compromised. The real world isn’t a safe and nurturing environment. We have to learn to deal with that,” Matt had spoken and was frowning as well.

“Ah, Falmea’s son. Obviously one of the Ravenwood supporters, stumbling blindly into the unknown.”

“Which is exactly what you’re doing by sending your pupils who have never done a quest before into this prophecy. At least we know what to expect.” My voice was getting louder now and I noticed a group of students who had walked in chatting had fallen silent and were watching us.

Suddenly a throng of students swarmed from the solar classroom, and Eltham’s dark expression fell from his face as he waved a blonde girl over from the crowd.

“Students,” he said. “This is Abigail Sun, one of our top students here at Skyword.” He flashed another smile.

“Hi,” Abigail Sun said quietly.

“You don’t mind showing them around, do you, Abi? I have a lot of work to be getting on with.” He threw a dark glance in our direction before heading off without waiting for an answer.

“Way to get everyone to hate us, idiot,” sneered Reed.

“I thought he was stupid,” I snapped.

“He’s the head of the school. We can’t just let everyone think we’re all stuck-up brats.”

“You can talk.”

He sighed. “I’m trying to be reasonable. Not that you’d understand. We don’t need any more enemies.”

I suppose he did have a point. I nodded grudgingly.

“If it’s any consolation, he’s not exactly a great head,” Abigail Sun added. “Not many people are huge fans of him. Or his ego.” She smiled. “Anyway, you wanna go meet the other two?”

“Lead the way, Abigail Sun,” grinned Liam.

“Yeah, Abi’s fine.”


“This is the Moon school,” Abi said. “Pretty obvious, I know.”

“Only because of all the moon banners on every wall and the fact that everyone in here is dressed in black and cream,” Matt said. “Subtle hints, you know.”

Abi headed straight over to a dark-skinned kid and said a few words to him.

“Guys, this is our moon kid.”

The moon kid smiled. “Hi. I’m Luke Night.”

“Day and Night,” Tom pointed out. “Night and Day. Sounds like a classic combo.”

“Yeah, like we haven’t heard that one before.” Abi rolled her eyes. “Wait until you meet Jack.”

Jack turned out to be a tall kid with black hair. “The star kid,” Abi introduced.

“Do you guys all call each other sun, moon, or star kids?” Reed asked.

“Pretty much. In case you didn’t already hear, I’m Jack Sky.”

“You all have really weird last names,” Liam pointed out, before correcting himself. “I mean, they’re, like, really short. Compared to ours. I’m Dawnbreeze, and we’ve got a Ravencloud, Fireshard, Deathsong, Stormrider, and Mythstrider.”

“Stormrider and Mythstrider?” Jack raised his eyebrows.

“We hate each other’s guts, right, myth kid?”

“That’s exactly right, storm kid.”


“So, where are we headed next?” Matt asked.

“To Eltham’s office, I suppose,” Abi replied, turning back towards the entrance hall.

“Must we?” Luke asked. “It’s only the fourth time I’ve been there this week.”

“Then that’s pretty good going for you,” Abi quipped.

“Please,” Jack said. “I was in there twice yesterday.”

“What’s wrong with that man?” I asked.

“What did you do now, Sky?” Abi sounded like she’d heard it all before.

“The first time was for the detention I got last week, and the second was because of the banner.” He pointed to one that had a slightly singed edge.

“That’s nothing,” said Matt. “I completely destroyed a fire banner in my dorm the other day. I have got to get that heckhound under control.”

“What’s a heckhound?” Abi asked.

Matt looked shocked for a second before remembering he was in a school where they knew nothing about the spells we learnt... and that he could totally take advantage of the situation.

“It’s the most powerful spell in the world!” he exclaimed. “It’s this massive firebreathing beast that destroys everything in its path--”

“What he means is that it’s just a typical showy fire school spell,” Liam explained, shaking his head. “If you want to stay alive in a duel, you need a healer--”

“Or a super-strong storm wizard!” I pointed out. “Storm’s the most powerful school--”

“--followed by fire--”

“--and life barely does any damage at all!”

“Nothing wrong with myth, either. Can’t go wrong with a good earthquake.”

“Don’t forget about death! The only class with drain spells.”

I noticed the three astral kids looking dumbfounded. “Don’t worry,” I grinned. “You’ll get used to the arguing eventually.”

Abi approached a golden (ew) door marked ‘HEADMASTER ELTHAM’ in unnecessarily huge lettering and knocked boldly. The door opened and Eltham stood there smiling.

“Come in, come in,” he instructed. His office was bigger than Ambrose’s, though what he needed all the space for, I had no idea. He didn’t seem to have much in there, with the exception of Alpha the surprisingly large hawk standing on top of his massive desk.

“I assume you’re all well-acquainted by now,” he said, “so I assume I should keep everything moving and send you all back to Wizard City with great haste! Now, I don’t usually allow students to leave Willowhaven without a responsible adult” - he shot us a dark look - “but desperate times call for desperate measures, and I’m sure you little Ravenwoods know exactly how to defend yourself, eh? I should hope so, anyway.”

He paused, eyeing us carefully, then drew his sword. I instinctively stepped back, wanting to steer clear of the blade, but I caught another dark glint in his eye as he waved his sword to form a portal in his office.

“Here you are,” he said, looking proudly at the swirling blue portal in front of him. “Straight to Wizard City. Enjoy yourselves, now.”


We tumbled out of the portal and I nearly sighed with relief to be back on home ground.

Of course, that was before I looked around and realised that the sun wasn’t shining, the trees weren’t waving in the wind, and no other wizards wandered the sidewalk.

Instead, there was a hazy moon above us, dead trees scattered gloomily across the street, and an empty, cold, atmosphere.

“Is Wizard City always like this?” Abi asked, confused.

“Some parts are,” said Reed. “Your headmaster just threw us into Sunken City.”

“Sunken City?” asked Luke.

“It’s what we call a dungeon,” Tom explained. “It’s like a selection of quests all in one place that you have to do one after the other to complete it. And you can’t leave in the middle. It has to be done all at once.”

“So we have to do all the quests in here?”

“Well, we could just teleport out,” Reed reasoned. “Except it doesn’t seem to be working.”

“Perhaps the ports are off-limits again,” Jake said, speaking for the first time in ages. “Do you think something’s happened?”

“I hope not, Jakey, I hope not. But we’re going to have to finish this if we’re gonna get up to the Commons in time.”

“And how can we do a dungeon with nine people? There’s normally a maximum of four.” Jake’s concerns were ignored.

“We’ll call it training, shall we?” said Jack. “After all, we’ve never seen monsters like this before, let alone battled them.”

“This dungeon is tough, though,” Reed added. “I wouldn’t have liked to have done my first quest in here.”

“To be honest, we don’t seem to have too much of a choice.” Jack seemed pretty determined.

“Great. Let’s go.”


“What spell was that again?” Reed asked Jack, who he seemed to be getting along quite well with.

“Fusion,” Jack said. “One of star’s only decent attacks. We kind of rely on our auras. It’s all about strategic play.”

“Pretty awesome,” I commented.

“Thanks,” he said. “It did the trick.”

He was right. After what seemed like hours, we’d finally defeated Wormguts, meaning it was pretty much a clear home run from here. In a matter of minutes, we’d run through Nightshade up through the Rainbow Falls (“You have to run through pretty waterfalls to get to the fallen Death school?”) and then to Ambrose’s office.

Matt got there first and hammered on the door. “Professor! Professor! We’re back!”

There was no answer.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” I said slowly. “I’m pretty certain this is exactly what happened the night Malistaire came.”

“Malistaire came here?” squeaked Abi.

“We’ll explain later.”

“Maybe Mom will know what’s going on. I’ll port--”

“--actually, you won’t--”

“I’ll run over to the fire school and see what she knows. You guys--”

“We can take everyone to Mom and Dad’s,” Liam suggested.

“Yeah, we’ve got enough room,” Reed added.

“I’m sure they wouldn’t mind,” Jake said.

“You three are related?” Luke looked surprised.


“You look really different.”

“Yep. Now do you want to stay here or what?”

“We should probably go.”

Jake, Liam, and Reed’s family had a pretty big housing island just off Olde Town. I’d seen their parents, Ethan and Amy, wandering Wizard City before but I’d never met them properly, so apart from being worried about what was going on, it was nice to get to know them a bit.

“Hey mom,” Liam greeted.

“Liam! Jakey! Reed!” Amy Fireblade cried. “Where have you been? We’ve been so worried.”

“We’ve been in Sunken City,” Reed began, but before he could explain, his mother interrupted.

“Reed! You know Ambrose declared quests off-limits hours ago! What part of that did you not hear?”

“Um, all of it?”

“The thing is, mom, Ambrose sent us off to Willowhaven--


“It’s another world - well, it doesn’t matter now, except that they have a school for astral magic there, which is where these guys came from. And we had to go and get them for...” he thought quickly - “for an exchange program. And they’re staying with us temporarily. So can we all stay here for the night?” He smiled pleadingly.

Amy looked slightly disapproving, but nodded. “I suppose so. In times like these, we have to stick together.”

“What do you mean, ‘times like these’?” Jake asked.

“Oh Ambrose, you wouldn’t have heard, would you?” She looked shocked. “A group of masters have got lost in Dragonspyre. Can you believe it?”

“It’s not Jessie, is it?”

“No, your sister’s fine - she’s indoors. But teleports are off, questing’s been cancelled, and Ambrose and the rest of the faculty have gone to look for them. Speaking of...” She looked over our shoulders to see Matt running towards us, giving his little sister a piggy back.

“Mom’s not in,” he panted, “and Saffy’s worried, and I don’t know what’s going on...”

“Can Nat come and stay here?” I asked. “I don’t think he’d cope in a dorm on his own, despite what he might say about it.”

“Of course, dear. You go whisper chat to him now.”

“Hey Nat.”

“Alex! I’ve been trying to whisper chat to you for ages! Where have you been?”

“It’s a long story - but I’m at Jake and Liam’s house now--”

“Can you come home? Please?”

“I was going to ask you to come stay here. Two legendaries and a grandmaster in the house, as well as three astral kids. What do you say?”

“Astral kids?”

“I’ll explain later. Get here quickly, okay? Tom’s here.”

“Tom? Why--”

“I’ll explain when you get here, kid.”

“Okay. I’m on my way.”

Ambrose was gone. The staff were gone. Everything was going completely insane.

At least we were safe. For now.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Just a little update

The Tale of Alexandra Stormrider Part 8 is now completely complete. (lol)

The bad news is that half of it's on Google docs somewhere and the other half is on my brother's laptop. Because I'm at my grandparents' house and they have no wi-fi, I can't fix the two of them together yet. I don't even have my USB. :'(

The good news is that I will most definitely have it up tomorrow! Yay!

For now, Diviner OUT!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Some writing things

Hey, internet! It's half term! This means I get a week to do fun stuff like play on W101 and watch Narnia movies and make headers (look at that MSPaint-edited header ahhh) and reread the Harry Potter books for the three millionth time. (Also I have geography homework and maths revision for that exam thing in three weeks but yeah schmeah.)

And seeing as I'm pretty certain I'm gonna have quite a bit of free time in the next week, I've set myself a challenge that won't intervene with November. (Yes, we'll talk about that in a minute.) In fact, two challenges.

1) Get to 45. ('cuz that's where the cool gears is!)
2) Finish the next part of that story thing which I put on the internet... yeah.

We'll see how well I get on with that in about a week.

Anyway, November. You know what that means. Or you don't. Anyway. Over there. --> A bit up. Yeah. juuuust there. -->

I'm doing NaNoWriMo! (National Novel Writing Month, for the unenlightened.)

"Wait what what why no but what last year you--"
Last year I tried the Young Writer's Program which is like the kids 'n' teens subdivision of NaNoWriMo. I failed miserably. I also failed miserably at posting, but I've had an idea for that, so don't give up on me completely during November...

Anyway, this year I'm NaNo'ing... in the proper. Which means by December, I am determined to have written 50,000 words. Oh YEAH. If anyone else is considering doing it, then pleaaaaase join me in my struggle. We can be writing buddies! Yeah? Yeah?

Diviner OUT!

Monday, 17 October 2011


Hm. That word looks a little like Pikachu. Sorry to disappoint, but no Pokemanz today. Instead, picktchas to make up for it. Excuse the white blobs under each one; Windows Live Writer hates picktchas. (This is why we can’t have nice things. *shakes head*

So I was looking at the test realm today and I saw this.


And I was like “OMGWANT.” Because, y’know, it’s an awesomesauce ghost dragon thing which is supermegaepic. And I continued to browse and then I noticed all the housing signs


WANT ALSO, says the brain. And I just kept scrollin’ scrollin’ scrollin’ (heehee) until I found something I hadn’t noticed before, like a NEW HOUSE THING


I was almost extremely upset that I wouldn’t be able to get these because of my devastating lack of crowns. It was a very sad moment. And then I realized I was in the test realm. YAY FOR FREE CROWNS


I enjoy the signs. I especially like the “Gone to save the Spiral” one, because that is what I am most often doing! Yay for spiral-saving! Can I get an awesomesaucetastic picture here?


Turns out I can! (Love that picture! There is a moon and I seem to be engulfed in a mist of epic magical sparkly-ness, due to a combination of wing-epicsparkle and hammer-epicsparkle. And there are shooting stars in the sky of the awesomehouse. Awesome, right? Didn’t get one at the precise moment but timing it was hard especially when I was jumping and holding the camera in place and waiting for the right moment having Ctrl+G’ed it.)

In other news, I got Son of Neptune the other day, because that’s a new book in a seryze wat i reed. No but seriously, Heroes of Olympus is a new series continuation thing of Rick Riordan’s awesometastic Percy Jackson series and it’s so good. For those of you who have read the two books out so far… Thoughts? Opinions? Demigod parents? (Me, well, I’m not sure. I think by default I should be a Poseidon or Zeus, being a diviner and all. Probably Poseidon. YAY, Percy and Tyson are my brothers!)

Anyway, that’s all for nao, so

Diviner OUT!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Oops, I missed a week… Sorry, tests. Anyway, onwards and upwards, or whatever… The RANDOM continues in the third episode of “Alex tries not to be a blogging failure.”

Today we’re going to talk about autumn! (Or fall. I know it as autumn. Yay, language differences!) I love autumn in general, so September and October are pretty much my favourite months of the year. Of course, this is made even better when my favourite family friendly MMORPG decides to throw Gear-A-Palooza! (I still have to fight my giggles whenever I read that phrase or any variations on it…)

And there are all the Halloween celebrations as well. I mentioned last year that Halloween isn’t quite as huge in the UK as it is over the pond, but it’s still mega commercialized and such, and I liked doing all the Jack Hallow quests :D And the black cats! Speaking of which, I noticed that the Test Realm was back online, so I’ll be mooching on over to nab a black cat mount while I can… I haven’t been allowed to get any crowns for a while.

I’m interested to find out what housing signs is, so I’ll be fiddling with them and bloggering my verdict when I next get a chance, and hopefully doing some gear-a-palooza-ing (starts tomorrow!) as well!

In other potentially related IRL news, in ICT we’ve been playing with the Adobe suite, and having drooled over it for the grand total of three lessons I’m already thinking (perhaps a little prematurely) about Christmas presents… So you may be seeing some computery-arty stuff in the new year! YAY!

Oh, and Pottermore. Add me if ya like. I’m RainCloak48, yay for beta!

Until then, though…

Diviner OUT!