Some students never forgive the circumstance of their enrollment or the warped and brutal morality of the way the Coldspire Academy deliver its teaching. These individuals quickly learn to keeps any resentment or rebellious thoughts to themselves as those that don’t do not get to harbor these feelings or draw breath for very long.
This brutality, which may appear gratuitous and unwarranted, does serve a purpose. Students that survive first take pride in that they did. This pride grows over time, sometimes despite them, as the students continues to succeed where so many have failed. In time, this pride flourish into a sense of their own exceptionalism. They eventually see themselves as gods amongst men, above all considerations of faith, race or nationality.
As the Academy intended.
The Academy was more than about forming the next generation wizards. It was also, and perhaps foremost, a place of research. Wizards of the various arcane schools sought to further advance their respective fields. New spells deemed fit to stand the test of time are added to the Great Scroll, a magical artefact acting as the repository of all arcane magic spells known. Each new inscription brings renown to the author but also prestige to the associated arcane school. This created an highly competitive environment fraught with infighting and politicking, where the wizards constantly vie for power and influence. A select few, selected for their arcane potential and certain temperamental disposition, serve as vanguard to their arcane schools research thrust: the Sin Mages.
While the concept of wizard specializations along the classically recognized schools of magic dates back to the dim recesses of time, Sin Magic was a more recent development, dating back to the Academy’s founding. It is said that is was around that time that the discovery was made that each school of magic but divination was opposed by two specific ’’prime’’ opposition schools and that by excising “impurities” introduced by these particular schools, wizards could enhanced their mastery over their chosen arcane specialties.
Sin magic practice varies greatly, mirroring the particular inclinations of practitioners of the different school. Sin Mage Evokers gather in a private ‘fight club’ while Sin Mage abjurer convey in a secret society whose proceedings was more akin to a cult than a fraternal organisation. As for the debaucheries attributed to the Sin Magic enchanters… well the less said, the better… All Sin Mages chapters had one thing in common however, they kept a low profile therefore an aura of mystery surrounded their practices.
A sooty piece of blackish rock, a Philosopher’s Stone, adorned the podium. It was the only dull element in the otherwise bright and showy room. The auditorium was a mirror image of a archetypal Academy’s classroom but with each material altered to a precious material. Stone to gold, wool to silk, glass to crystal… Gold was the prevalent element, being the main component in the floors, walls and ceiling. It was laced in details, great and small from glass to give it a cherry tint to the fine gold thread woven into the fabric of tapestries. To the aesthetically minded, the over abundance of gold gave the site a gaudy appearance. To the Sin Mages here gathered however, its artistic merit was of no concerns. The venue was a statement.
Standing at the podium was Althea, wrapping up her speech to this year freshmen.
«There are two kinds of progress: the methodical experimentation and categorisation which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn, nonetheless, for the latter.
I am very honoured to introduce this year’s elected speaker, which has persistently embodied this pursuit of excellence. A new adherent of the fourth circle of magic, he successfully defended two new spells proposal for addition to the Great Scroll. Ladies and gentlemen, Hasdrubal Thesh.»
The crowded applauded warmly as Hasdrubal made his way to the podium. On the way, the pupil briefly crossed path with his mentor. Hasdrubal secretly hoping to catch her give him a word of encouragement, but she walked pass him silent without giving him as much at a glance.
Hasdrubal took place at the podium, outwardly projecting confidence but still a bit feeling of apprehension at this first attempt at public speaking.
«Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions.
While the slothful conjurer is at the mercy of whoever he conscript, the transmuters is the true master of his destiny for he wield the power to improve himself to meet the challenges of any obstacles.
What wrathful evoker sunders we can mend with a mere flick of the hand.
The gluttonous necromancer may hunger for the mysteries of life and death, but we transmuters do not limit ourselves to such a narrow purview. We seek to unlock the mystery of Creation itself.
The envious abjurer may yet try to stifle our efforts, they are impotent of greatness by their very nature. They are doomed to live in our shadows.
The love the lustful enchanter rouses is but a forgery. You may be still be neophyte in the field of alteration, but in time you will come to appreciate that with mastery of form comes mastery of desire.
What the prideful illusionist fakes, we can easily generate. Make the old, new and the new, old. Assume the form of the elf, the beast, the dragon. If these mountebank so desperately wish for disguises, they should abandon their teachers and take on the study of our ways!»
The crowd laughed in approval of the dig. Hasdrubal paused for the attendance to quiet down before continuing:
«The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarify, cuts through and captures the essence of evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge, has marked the upwards surge of civilization since the beginning of time.
And Greed, you mark my words, will prove Lyria’s salvation and usher a new age of enlightenment. Thank you.»
The crowd roared with applauses. Hasdrubal tilted his head slightly to catch his mentor’s reaction from the corner of his eye. She returned him a single nod of approval, a faint smile of satisfaction on her lips.