Authors Note: Just for the record, this is my first real attempt in trying to write a story, since I never had any real motivation until now. So, if it's a little below par, just bear with me. I put a lot of time into this.
The Academy (Working title)In the western tip of the grand empire Aelhurst lays a small farming village named Oldash. It was a small, simple village, miles away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, absent of crime, murder, or the fears of reality. The people of this village enjoyed a kind of peace that is sought by many but achieved by few; as tranquility and happiness was abound in all of their hearts. It has always been this way, and for many generations has this been upheld.
The village was your standard run of the mill plantation, consisting of large crop fields that covered the horizon, and large grazing lands for their herds of cattle to walk upon. At the center was a gathering of homes, and a counsel chamber that stood at the end of the road. The homes were assembled in a circle, where they would have their holidays and celebrations each year.
The village elder Jannaran had much to celebrate this day, for a great honor has been bestowed upon his family. A messenger came to his house early that morning, announcing that his magic-born twin daughters were now eligible to attend the grand Acadamy of the empire. His eldest daughter, who he named Mae, had been honing her skills since the realization of her power, and the younger sister, who he named Saidari, had been Mae’s training partner since they were very young. After 10 years of rigorous training, they had finally accomplished their goal.
Mae always put on the guise of maturity to impress the villagers, but deep down she was a normal young girl. She constantly worried about near to everything, ranging from what the villagers thought of her, to daily ordeals that farmers commonly faced. Beyond her flaws, she was the harder working of the sisters, and always tried to do the best that she could in all of her actions.
She was often on the case of her sister, Saidari, who usually impeded her on daily tasks. Many times she would penalize her of making mistakes and end up having to do the work for her. As much distaste as she shows for her sister in public, she maintains the sibling love that they have shared since they were little, and always tried to help Saidari in her faults.
Saidari was often thought of as the opposite of her sister. She was very energetic at all times, and often made mistakes at the simplest of tasks. She was not a very attentive listener, which was a slight concern of her father who planned to send her to higher teaching. Aside from her mistakes, she always had a smile on her face and could brighten the mood of any dark situation. For this, the villagers had a very special love for her.
Saidari always had a great interest in the bow, which was introduced to her at a very young age. She was fascinated by its design and uses, and devoted herself to the mastery of it. Often times she would surprise the villagers with the amazing feats that she performed with the bow, such as hitting targets that lay almost 60 yards from her position without fail.
Jannaran had not been a magic-born himself, but his ancestry consisted of some of the greatest magicians of the last century. Although he possessed none of their ability, he was filled with pride as his two daughters gained the abilities that he so coveted. The villagers looked upon these girls as blessings from the heavens above, treating them as divine beings sent by the god Azorius himself. Upon knowledge of their birth-given powers, he sent messengers far and wide to find one that could teach them control of this gift.
After eight years of searching, they came upon a man that offered to teach them free of charge. The name of this man was Orson, who was a former instructor at the great Academy that was forced to retire because of old age. Even with the restrictions of age, he continued as a formidable magic user, spreading his knowledge to all who seek it. Orson thus came to the small village of Oldash, to pass on the teachings of magic to the next generation.
Although he was a former instructor of the Academy, his knowledge was limited to the basic controls of magic, and, been depleted of his own powers, could not teach by example. It was a slow and tedious process in which the girls learned, as much of what they would learn would have to be discovered in self-study. It became apparent that in order to fully train the girls, they would have to be sent to the Academy itself for the advanced teachings that they provided.
With this decision arose a number of problems. For one, the Academy required large sums of gold in order to provide equipment and instructors of their students. The Academy also stood within the grand walls of the empire’s capital city, Swynwald, which would be a cross country trip that would cost a large sum of gold to take. Everything that was required of the Academy had to do something with currency, and this was something that the village could not provide.
In attempts to rectify this problem, he assembled the village counsel to discuss their options.
“My daughters, as you know, are blessed with the powers that the gods gifted to us with at the beginning of man’s existence. This brings great honor to our village, and we hold them to the highest esteem. What would bring even greater honor is if they were to attend the Academy itself, where all the greatest heroes of our time are taught and trained.”
“This brings us to our problem. In order to send them to the Academy, we need a large amount of gold to pay for their entrance, equipment, and train tickets. Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of gold in our village reserves. So how will we pay for their teachings?”
The council sat in silence, each of them eyeing one another, as if they expected someone else to come up with a solution. This continued for about ten minutes, until the youngest member, a village boy named Saewin that had recently come to age, stood up and spoke.
“Every month, the trader comes to collect the crops that we have grown for the year, correct? We have always stuck by the philosophy of only growing as much as we need, so we usually have little to provide to the market.”
“My point is, perhaps we should start farming for profit. This means that we would have to work to grow double the amount then we usually do for each year. If we start now, then we could have enough gold by the time they are old enough to attend the Academy.”
The council sat in silence for what seemed like an hour, meditating on what the boy had recommended. It was not a simple task to double their produce, as it was out of the norm in the village. They were used to their village being self-sufficient, not having to rely on the outside world for any of their needs. They had a fresh water river that ran down the center of their village, providing them clean liquid that they could use for cleaning, drinking, and cooking. They had a large cattle ranch that provided them with milk, animal skins for clothes, and the occasional supply of meat for holidays and celebrations. Gold was viewed as unnecessary by most of the villagers, save those that visited the local market.
After much deliberation, they agreed to Saewin’s plan. The girls were eight-years-old at that time, so they had ten years to save up gold for their entrance fees. They worked long and hard each day, amounting to a slow but steady supply of gold that was stored away in the pillow of the elder’s bed. Each year he would count up the total gold they had saved, keeping track of how far they were from their goal.
On the day before the girl’s 18th birthday, he sat in silence, counting each individual gold coin inside of his pillow case. 1927….1928….1929…, he silently totaled in his head. Two thousand gold pieces was the amount that they needed for all of the expenses; 1800 for the fees of the Academy, and one hundred gold for the train tickets. The extra one hundred was for the personal usage of his daughters, for whatever needs they may have in the city.
He counted the last few coins of the stack, and found that they had earned 120 gold more than they required. Hardly able to contain his happiness, he cried out in triumph.
“My daughters are going to be students of the great Academy!”
Just at the border of the village, Jannaran bid farewell to his two daughters. He wept tears of pride as he looked upon both of them, dressed in the robes of the Academy that were delivered to them just the day before. They were now all grown up, model women for their age.
They both shared the same shade of lightly shaded brown for their hair, and their eyes shined a shade of light blue. Mae stood a few inches taller than her younger sister, who was slightly bonier than her older sister. Mae had her hair hang loosely halfway down her back, while Saidari had her hair dressed into two pigtails, which hung down each side of her head and reached her shoulders. Upon their belts hung brand new weaponry, based on the ones they had chosen to master ten years ago. Mae fashioned an ornamental rapier, whose hilt was decorated with many bright gems and the blade extended three and a half feet long. Saidari had a bow and quiver slung over her shoulder, and fashioned two long daggers on her waistband. The bow was carved from an oak tree, and was sturdy enough to take direct blows from a sword. These were the last gifts given to them by the villagers, with whom they exchanged their farewells just hours earlier.
After giving their farewell kisses and hugs, they boarded the train to the border city of Tulk. Jannaran watched them as they boarded the train, waving to them from the ticket admissions counter as the locomotive left the station. He continued watching the train until it disappeared over the horizon, proud of what his daughters were going to accomplish. After moments of self rejoicing, he dried his tears and headed back to his village to tell them the news.
This is probably going to change drastically as I continue to revise it. I'm almost half-expecting people not to read it, but hey, why not.