A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.


Tales From the Fae – Part V: The Academy of Dana

Chapter 13 – Magical Attacks

Things got worse. You know those days when it seems the whole world has changed, and nobody bothered to let you know? With the extended class load I was being dumped with, I miscalculated the time it would take to get to my next class. It also didn’t help that a confused Fourth directed me to the wrong end of the campus. Even dashing back through the halls, I got to my Magical Attacks class nearly five minutes late. I burst through the door to the angry stares of every one of the twenty-two other students, as well as a dead silence. I saw Candice sitting near the front row with her eyes wide. A moment later I saw why.

“So good of you to join us, Miranda,” said Ananha as she sat leaning against the edge of her desk. That the faerie happened to be my guidance counselor as well as my professor was made even worse by the fact that she was also head of my House and one of four Principality royals. Of course I had no idea of her status until about the third week of classes, when I mentioned that I wanted to see my ‘Student Advisor’ regarding my over-burdened study load while we were all having lunch one afternoon.

“Who’s your counselor?” asked Candice innocently, while she picked at her mashed potatoes.

“Ananha,” I answered at once, and shoveled another spoonful of chili into my mouth. “But I doubt that she’s going to be able to convince…” I trailed off when I noticed Douglas staring at me with an ashen complexion. He was pretty pale to begin with, so he must have been really surprised about something.

“Douglas? What is it?”

“Ananha’s your student advisor?”

“Yeah. Why?” I suddenly had butterflies in my stomach, and wished I hadn’t eaten my lunch so quickly.

“I saw her the first week, as an introduction only mind you, since she’s the head of our House and all. At the time I had no idea who she was…”

I stared back at him in confusion. “None of us did. So what? She’s the faerie in charge of our House.”

“Don’t you get it? The Houses are each overseen by the corresponding Principality. I learned in my Fae History class that their duties there are mostly administrative in nature. They spend most of their time dealing with various factions below them.”

“Okay. Again, so what?”

He swallowed. “Miranda, there are only four Principalities, and they report directly to the Dominion Queen. Your simple Student Advisor is probably the second or third highest ranking member of the Fae!”

“Oh…” I replied, my throat closing up. Those butterflies were doing loops. I found out later that not one of my friends had an advisor with a rank higher than a Land, which was about the same as town Mayor in the human world.

“Sorry,” I mumbled, my head bowed as I made my way to a seat next to Candice in my Magical Attacks class. I was acutely aware of the silence until I at last dropped into my seat with the others.

“As I was saying,” continued the faerie, picking up where I no doubt interrupted her lecture. “The first half of this class will be a lecture, question and answer period. And during the second half, you will each work on your own, learning the known forms at your own pace. Before you get too excited, I highly urge you not to skimp on the elementary lessons. While I will not quiz you on your studies, you will eventually move into the combat training sessions and any shortcomings in your study will become quickly obvious to all. Do not rush this course, are we clear?”

There were nods and “Yes, Ma’ams” all around.

“Good. I want to begin with a quick demonstration. I have asked Fourth Allarez to show you briefly what a high level combat scenario might entail. Remember that she has been training for four semesters and knows the basic drills inside and out. If you practice hard, perhaps one day you might even meet her in a combat arena. I suggest you put this demonstration to memory as an incentive to study diligently. I have enabled the visualization of magic at the front of this room so that you might see what is happening more clearly. That will not be the case in the combat arenas. You may proceed, Chris…”

A tall, somewhat lanky girl with jet-black hair and light green robes came forward from a corner of the room. I was somewhat surprised that I hadn’t noticed her there before. From the expressions and hushed whisperings around the room, I saw that I wasn’t the only one who had missed the girl.

The Fourth bowed briefly, then stepped back from Ananha so that they were at roughly opposite sides of the room. Suddenly, there were two elaborate operating systems floating around each of the combatants as a web of fine glowing lines, shapes and glyphs. Allarez was nearly obscured by the myriad of symbols and spell markers. The array of magical weaponry she had at her disposal was impressive, but I wondered at the apparent lack of organization in the hovering structures.

The faerie’s combat sphere, on the other hand, was nearly empty, at least of attack symbols. There were a number of glyphs hovering about her, and one incredibly complex one directly over her head. Either she was very sure of her defensive system, or she had an entirely different means of organizing her MOS that was not yet apparent.

Allarez’s hands were suddenly in motion, and we watched as she quickly assembled a string of attack spells which she then directed out of her combat sphere and through the air at our professor. My brows went up at the speed in which the tiny glowing glyphs sped toward their target, but was even more impressed when the glyphs surrounding the faerie darted in and intercepted the attacks. The first three simply vanished. The fourth in the chain seemed to burst apart and fall to the ground as a million tiny sparks of fading energy. The last caused a violent ripple of light to warp around the faerie’s protective sphere, and for a moment, we gasped, thinking that our professor might have let herself be defeated. Then, slowly, lines started to form in the shell of light. A few seconds later the attack stared to simply come apart and fade in pieces, as though the energy field was being dissected and disassembled.

When her defensive sphere was clear once again, we turned back to Allarez and saw that she was no longer standing where she used to be. In a normal combat scenario, Ananha would have launched her own attack in conjunction with the Fourth’s, who had moved to a new location in order to confuse any coming directional attacks while the faerie’s field of view was obscured.

A second volley of attacks was screaming toward the faerie almost at once, and this time I noticed that several of them were curving around in wide arcs, as if they might hit the Fae woman from the rear. Ananha lifted her hand and her whole MOS changed instantly. With only a few finger twitches, she sent out counter-glyphs to intercept the frontal assault, and then shifted something around behind her and she bowed to one knee with her head down.

The entire class jumped about an inch off the ground when the deep reverberating shock wave tumbled over some kind of shield behind Ananha and quickly faded. Even from a distance of ten meters, the dissipating energy was enough to knock over most of us in the first row. It felt like someone had just tossed me a giant water balloon. It wasn’t that it hurt, because it didn’t. It was simply too massive to resist.

Fourth Allarez had the look of someone desperate to succeed, and tossed out a new set of complicated glyphs to either side of the faerie. I saw Ananha smile, and her MOS was in motion again. The first glyph flashed bright as it slowed to a stop on her left. The other one did the same on her right. Suddenly, I was falling, or rather, moving with a new plane of gravity, as pencils, notebooks and other random debris flew past those seated in the front row. Candice, myself and four others were sliding along the floor as though someone had simply tilted the room at over a forty-five degree angle. And then it changed.

There was a brief moment of weightlessness, and we were all abruptly sliding the opposite direction. Just as we crashed into the second row of students, all looking wide-eyed at our strange antics, there was a pair of booms and down was once again in the right direction.

Not wishing to miss a moment of the incredible spectacle, I mumbled an apology to the asian girl I was laying on and pulled myself around so that I could see the next attack. Bright darts of light were shooting from the fingers of the Fourth and accelerating across the room like arrows. To our amazement, Ananha simply moved her hands in front of each one where it appeared to be absorbed into nothingness.

“Enough,” said the Principality, as Allarez was collecting for another volley of magic. “That’s enough for today, Fourth. Thank you.”

The other stopped at once and dropped to one knee. “It was an honor, Mistress,” she replied, and I got the impression that human students rarely got the opportunity to use offensive magic against a high royal within the Fae.

“So,” said the Faerie calmly, as the class reassembled itself into order and quieted down. It was hard not to be impressed by the display, and I wasn’t the only one who was seriously looking forward to that individual study time. “… let’s begin then.”

« prev next »