A Game Between Friends
February 29, 2012
So I’ve run into a couple of pertinent problems that I’m hoping that my readers may be able to help me with. One is finding a reliable source of income when I do not own nor can safely operate a car most of the time, I have a chronic pain problem, and most of my experience working is as a help desk analyst and PC technician. Oh, and writing, which you can see here. I’m hoping that as soon as I get cover images and responses from my test readers I’ll be able to put out a few ebooks but I have no idea how regular that could be, income wise.
The second problem is that I had nothing to post today because of feeling like hell from allergies. To rectify that, I’m going to write something fresh. Right now. Right here. I hope you like it.
I asked my Google+ and Facebook streams what I should write about today (and if you’re interested in interacting with me on a regular basis, including seeing my work in progress more…in progress, be sure to Circle me on Google+ or Like my Facebook page at the right). Thus far, I have gotten no response from anyone on there but I forged ahead anyway! This is what I came up with; a young woman’s travails in becoming a recognized wizard and academic in an unnamed fantasy world and her fight against The Order, the establishment of existing wizards and their social rules that seem counter to everything she’s been told growing up.
Corona looked across the room at her roommate, Coriander Assigan, and sighed for the fourth time that day. She was the only female Academy student and this came with the problem of the Academy not knowing what to do with her. So she shares a dorm room with the other outcast, the first Academy student in generations to be admitted for his talent in alchemy which meant that their dorm room smelled like an outhouse encased in sulfur. Corona was admitted after seven rounds of investigation by four teams for having the greatest talent in cosmological terraforming and illusion. In short, she was the greatest druid and sorcerer the Academy has seen in over fifty years. Yet the first four panels to interview her still weren’t sure she was “made of the right stuff for the Academy.”
Corona al-Gazran came from a family with a bit of a mixed history. The Atallians, the people of the land she lived in, had been at war with the Ptollem Theocracy eighty years ago and some of that racism and hatred still permeated the society. Corona’s father was Ptollemic, though his family has always lived in Atallia, and he has a decent position with the Royal Legion maintaining and constructing mobile siege weapons. Her mother had been able to raise Corona and her brother without having to worry too much and thanks to the salary her father supplied they were able to have a self-maintaining farm for the most part. Corona and her brother were raised thinking they had all of the advantages they’d ever need in the world, that they could do anything. So far, her brother was proving that – he was quickly climbing up the ranks of the Alchemists Union as an engineer, designing fantastic flying contraptions well ahead of some of his instructors. Corona, though, was inspired to change the world. To fix the problems of land and farming and instruction. To give everyone a better life.
So far, though, she’d run into the problem of being a woman.
When she had first enrolled in primary education they refused to take her because she was a girl. “She will never learn the lessons!” they said. “She will distract the young men!” they said. To placate them, she was given her own table at the back of the room where the boys could neither see nor hear her and she studied in silence. She wasn’t allowed to even spend rest periods talking with the boys for fear that she might distract them from the arduous job of focusing on the complex formulae that underlie the Precepts of Creation. The very rules of the universe they live in and the foundation of modern magic. Without understanding the Precepts, the instructors said, we wouldn’t have alchemists, illusionists, or even entertainers! The entire mystical system would collapse!
And so she was segregated, to the back of the room, with the other detritus that the instructors would have rather forgotten about.
Ten years she did that, from six to sixteen. Ten years where she had no one to guide her, no one to help her figure out what she was doing wrong, and ten years interrupted by changes to her life no one warned her about. When she entered into the school she wondered why they didn’t know how hard it was for women to get through the school. When she left, she knew why – no one ever bothered to ask.
Now, though, the Academy. The highest of Atallian magecraft instruction. Normally it takes two entrance interviews and one research interview; the two entrance interviews are so the staff and faculty can get to know your personality, your tastes, your interests. Having this information, they go into the research interview so they could understand you better. Corona got an extra four research interviews because the staff could not understand why she wanted to fix the world.
Does she not know how complex these problems are? How difficult it is to repair environments that cannot sustain life? Does she not see how her research would be fraught with challenge and nearly impossible to see to fruition?
The only saving grace, it seemed, was that the last interview included Chancellor August Hrothmin, a terraformer and master of the living magicks that provided the research that much of Corona’s theories are built upon. He stopped the meeting halfway through and politely excused Corona before lambasting the Dean of Students and the Dean of Research for even second guessing her, since in her opening statements she repaired one of the fundamental flaws to his theory on the growth of forests contra faerie expansion.
So, with great reluctance, they allowed her into the Academy. They placed here in the highest tower, in the farthest room, in the coldest part of the oldest castle on the Academy’s grounds. On top of that they placed her with the only student that requires a hazardous magicks warning sign on the door.
Corona, so named for she burns as brightly as the halo of the sun, so named for her red and black hair and golden skin, was just beginning what would be the most terrible years of her life, and the most important for the rest of us.