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A note from terryrayc

This will probably be the last of the early childhood chapters and will be long for that reason.

I will not make you read through the dull years. I'll just sum it up as being made up of way too many stupid boxes, yes I'm talking about you Mr evil box maker. Seems I get rewarded...or not...for things like learning to walk, learning to really talk, learning to use the ba...well we do not need to talk about potty related events. The first few years seemed to pass by quickly and my knowledge of my new life increased.

 

For example, I learned that the home I live in is located in the town of Drake's Crossing, which isn't named after a drake liking to cross through the area but after a famous prince that always went through the area while traveling to his winter home. I also learned that my country is a kingdom named Alorian. My mother tells me that name means 'Higher Light' in the old tongue. By the way, I once asked my mother why it was called the old tongue when I was told that over half the kingdom could speak it and all official business was conducted in the old tongue. Her answer while laughing was to tell me that language was called that because it was old. What does that mean...simple people around here a bad at naming things. Take my name, for example, my mother tells me it means 'Fast Walker'. Really, who names their newborn fast walker. I'm sorry but please do not expect me to power walk everywhere.

 

I should probably tell you something about my new mother. I'm told she's the local Vatarian, which is just a fact old tongue way of saying she's the Queen's hand in this area. I'm not sure if I mentioned it but our kingdom is run by the queen. There is a king but he's more of the military leader where the queen runs the government. I don't really care about it, while my mother being who she is means I'll probably be expected to have something to do with the Royal Family at this time I really do not care about that. My mother's duties really do not take much time. Normally she only gets called on when a dispute is either far-reaching or the parties involved cannot seem to solve it own their own. People say my mother is fair, but I'd not know because even at 6 years old I'm not allowed to watch or take part.

 

So how does one become the Queen's hand? Easy, you spend a lot of time with the Queen working kitchen duty while at boarding school. It seems my mother and the queen went to school together and tended to get into trouble together. From that sprang a friendship that lasted for years and continues today. From what I understand there are 2 other hands in the kingdom. What I really find strange is that even though my mother is a childhood friend of the queen and her hand in this part of the Kingdom we are not considered high nobles. You'd think my mother could be a true power in the kingdom but from how it was explained to me, she is only a baronetess. She is outranked by several Dukes, a good handful of earls and I cannot even count the number of viscounts. So I guess that makes me lower nobility, the future Baron of Drake's crossing. I'm sure you can feel my excitement regarding that piece of knowledge.

 

Look it's not like I have an issue being nobility, it's that I really do not want to be in charge of anything or anyone. I've found myself to be a little lazy, I mean come on remember I'm on my second life here, I think I've earned a break. By the way being 6 means group schooling has started. I've had private instruction for 3 years now but it's time to move from one on one to a group setting. How is that a better system? I think I'm smart for my age. Math comes easy, probably because I've already learned more math than this kingdom teaches. However, I seem to love history and the subject come easy as well. I know what you are asking, what about weapons or magic...is this one of those stories? Yes it is, I mean come on we have crazy rude magic boxes that appear with quests, you better believe there's magic. The issue here is a matter of time. It seems the body takes a few more years to complete the development of the power pathways through the human body. What that means is most people normally develop magic between 10 and 12 years of age.

 

I asked my mother once about weapons training and she asked me why? 'Who are you going to fight?' was her reply. 'Look around you, I employ the greatest weapons masters in this part of the kingdom, let them worry about that'. Her response seemed a little short sighted to me, but it's hard to argue with your mother when you are 6. Now that is not to say I didn't pull the same trick every young boy through history has done. I beat up many of warrior with my powerful and magical stick. It was a very special stick, a little over 3 feet long, almost straight and only had 2 or 3 knots in it. It was a true weapon of war until I broke it one day by not paying attention and striking it against the armored leg of a mildly upset guard named Pope.

 

You're probably asking yourself, why Pope was mildly upset. How hard could a 6 year hit a man wearing armor? The answer rests not in how hard the hit was but in the fact that my stick was slightly mud covered at the time and Guard Pope was headed to inspection and had a very noticeable mud streak running down his leg. It seems the captain of the guard had a thing about clean uniforms and dirt set him off like there was no tomorrow. Poor Guard Pope looked first at his leg, then ahead to the inspection line, not 10 feet in from of him then back at his leg. I'm not sure to this day I've ever seen such a look of horror like the one he expressed that day. I don't remember much more than that because I more than earned my name that day. Forget fast walker, I became fast runner that morning. I also learned that my mother knows everything that happens around the town. I know that because it only took her about 30 minutes before she tracked me down and taught me what true punishment is. No, it wasn't a beating, that would have been fine with me. It wasn't a grounding, that really would have been fine with me. No I learned how to clean armor...lots of armor and I learned how to do it while a guard captain reminds you in a very loud voice how many ways you have failed, mother, kingdom and worse your fellow man.

 

One good thing that came from that was my friendship with Pope. It seems that tradition states that anyone who survives a session with the captain of the guard earns respect from the rank and file. Also, the fact that I received the punishment in place of Pope sealed the deal. So I had a friend, my first and one that was willing to show me how to swing me new powerful and magical stick was an added plus.

 

So for the next few years, I was able to spend an hour or so every few weeks receiving some one on one training from the guard. This was mostly from Pope, but the other guards would make a comment or 2 and over time I learned at least hold a sword correctly. I was in no danger of becoming a master swordsman, probably not even an expert but I was probably skilled enough to win against most farmers and probably the local baker. I think my mother was a little concerned during this time that I wasn't making friends my own age but she never really interfered. What she didn't understand was that I found it hard to related to other kids. My head was full of memories of being an adult. Not the full details but just the knowledge that I was older than I seemed to be put me off.

 

Things continued to progress until I turned 10. My mother decided it was time to have the talk. Yes the dreaded talk, the one all kids hate to get. The told about which magic class you will probably be proficient in. My mother was a rare dual proficiency mage. In her case, it was Water and sound. I guess I should explain magic a bit. Almost everyone had some level of proficiency in magic. Most had a low of mid-level proficiency in a single class. A small percentage of people were gifted with dual proficiencies and even more rare where the 1 and a million with 3 proficiencies. In all of history, there has only been 1 person recorded with 4 and that was around 1300 years ago. Magic itself is grouped into classes. Earth, fire, water, air, light, dark, sound, time, space and divine. Thought divine was special and only the gods could access that class. Most people were put into the basic elemental class, earth, fire, water, and air. Rarer were the other classes. My mother being a sound mage already classed her as a rare citizen of the kingdom, which was why she went to the same school as the princess, but when she tested as a dual it classed her as a national treasure.

 

My mother explained to me that history showed that a parents class had nothing to do with a child class. She said most experts believed this was natures way of keeping balance. Nature prevented humans from controlling which classed dominated the other classes. It was hard to plan domination when you had no control over the skills of the children. That seemed strange to me and later in life, I would make a study of it and find out that these experts were not even close to the truth. The truth was simple and unique at the same time. I would discover that genes had nothing to do with it at all. So while the experts were correct that your parents had nothing to do with your class or classes, there was no balance in effect at all. What I discovered that your class was based 100% on location, location, location. If you had the ability to see the magic of the world, what you would see are millions upon millions of lines of power running throughout the world. The power lines were each a single class of power. You had fire lines, you had water lines, you even had sound lines, those the major elements were far greater in number. The simple truth was that your abilities were directly related to what line or lines you were on at birth. Most people were over a single line and that power had the primary effect on their birth. Some people were born while being over a small knot made up of 2 or at very rares times 3 lines. My lecture regarding that would lead to years of debate.

 

So using the accepted knowledge of the time, my mother told me not to expect to be a water or sound mage and not to be upset if I was only a single class mage. 'Nondol, people put too much into classes and proficiencies but the truth is that any and all power is useful and how you use it matters more'. My mother was smart and powerful but at the same time, she really didn't understand people. To the average person, power was everything and those with more power were, in fact, more powerful. My mother then reminded me that the awakening wasn't something planned that it would happen when it happens. Which in my case wasn't sooner but rather later, 4 years later.

 

When I turned 11 my mother wasn't worried. When I turned 12 she reminded me that the 10 to 12 range wasn't set in stone but just a guideline. When I turned 13 she called in experts to find out what was wrong. She was told nothing was wrong that my pathways were still developing and that sometimes a person was just slow and she need not worry about my other development. When I turned 14 even I started to get worried. I mean being that 1 in a million with 3 classes was great. Being that 1 in a million with no classes not so much. I was beginning to wonder if I was going be that 1 in a million longshot. That was until 5 months after my 14th birthday. You are probably wondering what an awakening is. It's an event, that's about the only way to really describe it. I sat down for breakfast with my mother when I felt a strange feeling pass through me. The air in the room started to move in a circle around me and I swear an arc of lightning flashed between myself and a candlestick in the middle of the table. The wind in the room picked up to the point that it blew out the candles and the darkness was only dispelled by the arcs of power flowing between myself and the metal items in the room. I do not remember much but my mother told me the display lasted around 5 minutes before I fell to the the floor and passed out. She said it was one of the most powerful awakenings she had ever hear of.

 

QUEST COMPLETE - Awakening

You've awakened to your inner power. Sure it took you like yearly 3 years longer than the average person but you have a history of taking your time so what did we expect.

REWARD: Unlocked Magic Class(es)

The next day I was taken to the Temple of the Fallen God, who by the way wasn't fallen, it's just what people called him, to be classed. My mother was more excited than I was. 'Nondol, I just know you will be dual classed. There is no way with that powerful of an awakening you could be any less'. Yep, you guessed it, my poor mother wasn't even close.

 

Being classed was easy. In the temple were a series of orbs. Each orb contained a pure shard of the related class. For example, the Orb of Fire contained an elemental shard of fire. These orbs would react to anything with a proficiency in that element. To be classed you would walk from one orb to the next and just touch them. If you were proficient the orb would glow. The brighter the glow the more proficient you were. It's a simple process that has worked for thousands of years until I showed up that is.

 

So by tradition, the orbs are lined up as follows. Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Sound, Space, Time, Dark, Light and finally divine. Which seemed strange to me because divine magic wasn't a class that mortals could use. When I asked where they received a divine shard from they told me the simple truth was they didn't know. Whenever a temple setup the testing lane a divine orb would always appear at the end of the line. No one bothered to question what was beyond doubt a divine will.

 

So I began the process, as I touched the first orb, that of Earth the orb glowed a bright green color. 'High proficiency in earth' proclaimed the lord cleric of the temple. At that, my mother cried out in joy. Earth mages were in high demand and were afforded a high level of respect. To be rated with a high proficiency meant my future was set. After that, I continued. Touching the Wind orb resulted in a bright yellow glow, 'High proficiency in wind' proclaimed the lord cleric of the temple. At that everyone in the temple gasped. To have a dual proficiency moved me into the highest orders of the kingdom. To be rated high in both made me probably this year's greatest find. Next, I moved onto the Water orb. When I touched it nothing happened, which was expected. Having a dual proficiency was enough. Making it three would probably scare people. Next, I moved tot he fire ord. When I touched it there was a very slight glow. It took a moment before the Lord Cleric called out 'Very Minor proficiency in fire'. Yes, I was a tri-proficiency mage. Though my ability in fire would be about enough to ensure I kept the campfire going it was still 3. I think at that point my poor mother was about to start crying. Being a Tri-proficiency mage mean I would be expecting royal appointments. There was no way the crown would allow a high proficiency dual class mage escape but a dual high proficiency mage with a  minor proficiency was not something they could allow out of their control.

 

After that, I wanted to quickly get on with things. Because I knew there was no way a 4th proficiency would occur I wanted to get it over with. So I quickly move to the next orb. As expected, sound made not light nor sound. Moving over to space I touched the orb and nearly passed out myself. The Space orb glowed, a little brighter than the fire orb but it was a glow. At that, even the Lord Cleric himself gasped. 'Minor proficiency in space', with that several people in the back of the temple stood up and demanded the orbs be tested. There was no way a Quad-proficiency mage had been born.

 

After a few minutes of debate, the Lord Cleric demanded that the testing continue. A retest would be conducted at the capital later to confirm the results but for now they would stand. 4 classes, I'm not sure what was going through my head. While 2 were minor, fire being very minor, being a quad meant I had to be taken to the capital and turned over the Royal Family. The law was clear on that. For over 1200 years the law had been written that anyone ranked as a quad mage was the property of the royal family and must be escorted to the capital within 10 days of testing. That may seem harsh but the last great archmage was so powerful that he defeated entire national armies by himself. Now he was a true battlemage, with a high proficiency in fire with a mid proficiency in wind and minor proficiencies in both time and sound. His power was designed for the battlefield. Earth and Wind would help in a battle but a high proficiency fire mage would give me a run for my money. That being said there would be no way the royal family would risk it.

 

Next came the Time and dark orbs. No reaction there. The next heart attack came from the light orb. When I placed my had on it, the glow was strong. Not overly powerful but strong. 'Mid level Light proficiency' stuttered the Lord Cleric. At that, everyone in the room jumped up yelling that this was proof the orbs were broken. Never in history had a person classed in 5 proficiencies. The kingdom had a recorded history of over 9000 years. This was not just not possible. Perhaps had the tests showed 5 minor proficiencies people would not have reacted badly. Who cares about someone what barely enough power to be called a mage with 5 classes. I had 2 high and a mid-level proficiency. Had I been a Tri-proficiency mage with dual highs and a mid, I'd have been listed as one of the most powerful mages in recorded history, but add a minor and a very minor and people would want to study me. I looked over at my mother whose face had turned pale. I know what she was thinking. She was wondering how quickly she could grab me and disappear.

 

Not that there was a chance of that happening. When I was first declared a Tri-proficiency mage, the temple reported the finding to the guard as the law requires. At that point, troops were posted to protect me and to ensure that the transport process began quickly. When I was revealed as a quad the Captian of the guard in a panic ordered that the local squad of battlemages be deployed to protect the area from me and to enforce the royal order regarding my pending transfer to the capital with all haste. When I was declared the kingdoms first Quint-proficiency mage even these seasoned battle mages paled. I would myself surrounded by a group of powerful casters that looked more worried about me than the crowd around me. The Mage Lord commanding the local battle mages demanded that I complete the test so they would begin the transport process as quickly as possible. With a little fear on my face, I quickly reached over and touched the divine orb and feel to my knees when it glowed as well. 'A minor proficiency divine mage' declared the Lord Cleric with a look of total fear on his face.

 

With that, I fell to the floor and everything went dark!

QUEST COMPLETE - Growth

Guess what, childhood is over. Hey you were the one who said you felt like you were not a child. Well here you go, you are a child no longer. Life is about to begin for you. Good luck.....you will probably need it.

REWARDS: 8 years group schooling, 2 years private schooling, Hex-proficiency Master Mage Class given. Clothes on your back and a bonus free ride to the capital. Congrats!!

HIDDEN QUEST COMPLETE - Master of Magic

It took you a while. At first I thought you were just slow and here it turns out you were just taking your time to build up your power before you bothered to awaken. Go you!!

REWARDS: DIVINE CLASS, Access to 6 classes of magic to include a divine proficiency. Life long service to the crown...you don't expect them to let you go do you!!

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A note from terryrayc

This ends the childhood backstory.


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terryrayc

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