Ian woke up at dawn’s first light, as he did every day. It was beginning of Spring, which meant that the farm currently required a large amount of work to prepare for seed planting. Ian quickly shrugged on an unassuming, brown outfit (not much sense in wearing other colors with the amount of dirt he’d soon be in contact with) and headed downstairs.
In the kitchen, his mother and Irene were cooking a simple breakfast. Grandma used to help out too, but she had passed away six years ago. Father and Byren were already sitting at the table, scarfing down the food. Grandfather was, not surprisingly, still in bed. He didn’t do much else these days.
“G’morning son, ready for another day on the fields? We’ve got to finish tilling the wheat fields by the end of this week.”
Ian grunted in affirmation with a slight hint of annoyance, grabbed his bowl of porridge from his mother with a quick peck on her cheek, and proceeded to the table to enjoy his meal. Ian was slightly miffed at his father’s statement: his Selection was in two days. Ian's18th birthday had already passed two months ago, but smaller towns did not have the resources to hold Selection ceremonies for every new adult. Thus, his Selection was moved to a group ceremony with all the others from the town and its surrounding farmlands. He would go into the town, use their Selection Stone to receive a class, and with that he’d be off of the farm and into the city making a name for himself. Clearly his father thought that his selected class would be farmer and that Ian would end up back home to help finish the week’s work. Byren had left for his Day of Selection in the morning and come back in the afternoon, the only difference being his new class and some skills that made his farm work more efficient. Ian desperately hoped that his Day of Selection would be different.
Well, Ian thought, all I have to do is make it for two more days. Two more days until the start of my life as an adventurer. And with that, the three men simultaneously stood up and left the house for another day of tilling the fields.
“Well I’m off! If they end up recruiting me to the city then I’ll send a letter back home.”
Two days had passed, and Ian was about to make the 3 hour trip to the nearest town, Miradon. His parents were seeing him off, but they weren’t making the trip with him; there was too much work to be done on the farm to go. His mother smiled bitterly.
“Ian, no matter what happens, you are always welcome back on our farm, okay? If you don’t get the class you want, don’t be too disappointed. We still love you.”
“Love you too, but I just know that I’ll get at least a tier three class! If it’s a tier four class than they’ll even give us all a house in the city!”
With those words, Ian left the family farm with a spring in his step. If he had turned around, he would have seen his parent’s faces. Faces that knew of the incoming disappointment Ian would face.
Ian’s trip to Miradon was uneventful. While the roads were empty, there were no wild animals and nobody with enough money to attract bandits. Similarly, security at the town’s gate was lax; the guards simply glanced at Ian and recognized his face from when he came in with his father to sell some of their produce.
Ian had arrived a bit early, so had some time to look around. Miradon, while small, still had a lot more sights to see than the family farm. Ian took some time looking around the town blacksmith and market, but his feet unconsciously lead him to his desired location: the town square. Right in the center, flanked by two guards, was a pedestal embedded with a glowing ruby the size of Ian’s fist. The Stone of Selection.
Ian thought back to the lessons his Grandfather had taught him back before he went senile. Once one turned eighteen and with the help of a mage, touching the Stone of Selection would unlock one’s class. This class would be impossible to change, and would help to decide the rest of your life. Classes came in five tiers. Tier one, the lowest tier, consisted of classes that pertained to manual labor. This included the Farmer class that everybody else in his family had obtained. Tier two similarly pertained to labor classes, but consisted of those that required more skill and intelligence; Smith, Tailor, and Merchant classes all belonged to the second tier. Tier three was when classes started to get interesting. Basic combat classes such as Mercenary, Archer, Swordsman, and single Elemental Mage classes such as fire and wind mages start to appear. Tier four was only obtained by those of good lineage or extremely good luck. Rare classes such as Dual Element Mages, High Element Mages of space or time, and physical combat classes such as Duelist and Knight would be available. Finally tier five, Ian simply knew that it was a tier of legend. The only class that Ian knew that was tier five was Magic Swordsman, the class of the hero Ezra that his grandfather had once told to him in a story.
Ian snapped out of his thoughts when he heard horns blaring loudly. He had lost track of time whilst daydreaming about the class that he was about to receive. The ceremony started with little fanfare, as usual. The mayor welcomed the tier three mage that came to the town every year, and then immediately all the eighteen year olds formed a line. As Ian had arrived early, he was almost at the front of the line, with only three youth in front of him. The first youth stepped forwards and placed his hand on the stone. And thus, Ian's Selection had started.