And so it begins…

Prologue

It is indeed, a great honor to be called to the Ivory Tower to stand before the Council of Magi. He had worked hard for this summons; but, truly, he had never expected this day to come. He almost wished it had not. When one starts a college of magic, the desire is for it to be recognized as a true institute of higher magical education; but being inducted into the Council of Magi comes with many burdens, burdens that he would now bear as is his duty to do so. It will prove difficult, though. Politics was never his game. A soldier’s only concern is his duty. At the very least, this newfound recognition will bring a whole host of new powerful minds to mold and isn’t that the whole reason he started teaching.

The Tower almost hummed with magical power. Every stone, white as snow, smooth as silk, seemed hewn with some ancient spell and held together by some ancient enchantment long forgotten. It is said, when the council falls, so will the tower. Of course, the idea is impossible, but he had abandoned impossibility a long time ago.

He walked down the long corridor that wound its way around the tower towards the council room at the very top. The heraldry of the many colleges, whose headmasters comprise the council itself, adorned the walls as elegant tapestries, while heroic magi of old lived on in gigantic stained glass effigy. Their feats forever recorded for each new generation.  Along the inner walls were rather large wooden doors. with ornate brass hinges wrought in the appearance of intertwining vines and leaves. These doors housed the servants who maintained the Tower, councilors who travelled for each session, and the faculty for the Imperial College of Magick.

At the center of the tower was its library. The repository of all the knowledge collected in the Empire. The collection was massive and thus by necessity of having enough space for living quarters, the library grew up instead of out, reaching just under the council chambers which rested at the very top of the tower.

As he approached the door to the council chamber, an attendant stopped him and directed him to a bench with a young boy seated on it.

“This way, sir. The council will see you shortly.”

He nodded and took a seat. The young boy looked up and said with a soft smile,

“Hello, my name is Joram.”

The child couldn’t have been more than 10 or so, yet he wore a cloak of the finest blue silk. His head was cleanly shaven which amplified the fact that he hadn’t grown into his ears. He had a very calm, happy air about him and his eyes seemed to soak in all that they saw.

“My name is Grabba. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” The child’s eyes grew wide with awe.

Ser Boers Grabba? Hero of the War?”

Grabba smiled. Hero of the War indeed. He had seen that look many times and he still refused the notion he deserved it.

“I’m no hero, son. I was just a soldier.”

“That’s not what my father said. He said that you killed a lot of golem. That you were unstoppable.”

Grabba wondered if he had served with his father. By the look of his clothes, the boy was the son of a noble. His father was probably in the council chamber as they spoke, asking for some assistance. He hoped the father hadn’t served or if he had, that he would recognize the man, else the situation might get awkward. Either way, the boy’s father had spoken a great deal on Grabba’s so called “heroism.”

“The question then, is, are those deeds heroic?”

“Sure,” said the boy. “If you do it for the right reasons?”

“Are you sure about that?,” asked Grabba.

“Hmmmm….” The boy’s brow furled clearly the result of deep thinking. After a second or so, Joram looked up at Grabba. “I’ve decided that I like you.”

Grabba looked at the boy and laughed a deep belly laugh. The kind of laugh that compels others to join in despite not knowing what was so humorous. Grabba had that way about him.

“Well, I like you too.”

“Good. I’m glad. I heard that you will be joining the council. That’s exciting.”

“Did you now?” Grabba paused for a second and looked at the boy with a wry smile. “I’ll tell you a little secret.” He looked around playing it up a bit. “I’m actually more nervous than excited.”

“Why? You’re a great soldier. You shouldn’t be afraid of anything.” Grabba chuckled.

“No…  war is… easy. This will prove a much more difficult game and I will be playing with and against veterans who have been playing for a long time.”

“Well, you won’t be alone out there today.”

“Yes,” said Grabba. “I’ve heard that a prodigy, the son of the previous headmaster, Lord Gray, would be taking the seat for Westron A&M. You would think he would be here by now. I would like to have met him before we are called.”

“I’m sure you’ll have plenty of time to talk,” said the boy.

“Indeed.”

Just then the large wooden door to the council chamber opened. The attendant stepped forward.

“Ser Boers Grabba, Lord Joram Gray, the council will see you now.”

Grabba looked at the boy and laughed a deep belly laugh.

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