Apprenticeship's Beginning

A GRIT Thread Compilation

By John W. Conner & Steve Lucky

(Corindaen and Greymist enter the library at Mystic Manor. Corindaen, determined to get some research done, goes into the far corner of the library, gets out a book written in an unknown language, and starts reading it.)

Corindaen : I will be working on some research for a short while. Why don't you go exploring for a bit?

Greymist : *Certainly. Just let me know if you need anything.*

(Greymist starts to leave the library, but before she can Lisa enters. She bends down on one knee and holds her hand out to the cat.)

Lisa : Who are you? You don't look very familiar.

Greymist : *That is because I am not your familiar. I belong to Corindaen.*

(Lisa sits back on her heels, startled at the thought intruding her mind. As she blinks startled, Greymist sits back on her haunches and looks up at her.)

Lisa : Did you just say that?

Greymist : *Certainly. You are Lisa, Lady PATE's friend, are you not?*

(Lisa starts to ask a question.)

Greymist : *No, I do not have a Jusenkyo curse. I have always been this way.*

Lisa : Just when you think you've seen everything that can be found in Nerima, something else shows up.

Greymist : *I am off to explore this place. Would you like to come with me?*

(As she asks this, Greymist stands up and moves forward to butt her head against Lisa's hand. Lisa, acting on autopilot, starts to scratch behind her ears, causing a low purr to come from Greymist.) Lisa : Hmmm. You said you were somebody's familiar.

Greymist : *Yes, I belong to Corindaen. He likes to read the unusual books that can be found here.*

Lisa : I can use a little magic myself. (pulls the Spell Jewels out of Hammerspace) Since the Wizard left, I need somebody to train me in the use of magic.

(Lisa tells her where she found the Spell Jewels and what they do. Then, she tells her what she knows about elemental magic.)

Greymist : *Water elemental magic. I can see how that would be useful in these parts.*

Lisa : Can I talk to Corindaen?

Greymist : *He said he would be done in about fifteen minutes and in the meantime he did not want to be disturbed.*

Lisa : Fifteen minutes! I can wait.

Greymist : *Well more like ten by now.*

(Lisa and Greymist tell each other a little something about themselves. They are so deep in conversation that they hardly notice Corindaen coming out to join them.)

Corindaen : So little one you have made a new friend have you?

Greymist : *This is Lisa, she is a friend of Lady PATE's.*

Corindaen : <smiles at Lisa and bows to her> It is a pleasure to meet you Lisa.

(As Lisa returns the greeting, Greymist speaks up again.)

Greymist : *She also knows something of magic.*

(At this Corindaen looks at her curiously and speaks.)

Corindaen : Does she indeed? Perhaps you would care to walk with me, and we could discuss magic.

Lisa : I would like that. Whenever I try to go for a walk in the park, something always happens. This should be a better place to walk.

(As they use the stairs to go down to the first floor no one says a word. Finally Lisa breaks the silence.)

Lisa : The Wizard told me a little something about you before he left. He said you might be able to help.

Corindaen: Did he indeed? I did not have the pleasure of meeting the wizard before he left, although I have heard about him. What did he tell you of me?

Lisa: He didn't tell me very much. You see he was teaching me about magic, and since he was leaving he said you might be able to help me to continue to learn.

Corindaen : Help you I can, if you are willing to learn.

Lisa <big sweats at the Yoda impression but decides to let it pass>

Lisa: I am willing to learn, does this mean you will teach me?

Corindaen: I would be willing to instruct you, yes. However what of your family how would they feel about your becoming my apprentice? And <suddenly the smile fades from Corindaen's face, and he becomes serious> are you willing to pay the price that the magic might demand of you?

<They are interrupted by a screeching sound; a sound that resembles a defective train whistle or one of Skazz's whine attacks. It has a rhythm and cadence that defy mundane harmonics, a melody that promises horror and madness to any who would learn it's secrets...>

Gothwraith: (climbing the stairs and whistling -somehow- 'Fly me to the moon', bossanova version sung by Megumi Hayashibara)

Corindaen: (placing himself between the spectre and Lisa, mutters) Ringwraith.

Gothwraith: (raises its invisible head, it's glowing eyeslits meet the pair) Oh, I'm dreadfully sorry; am I interrupting?

Corindaen: Nothing of importance to you.

Gothwraith: It is I who would judge what matters are of importance to my personage; but where are my manners? (steps aside to allow Corindaen and Lisa free passage down the stairs, and curtsies) I was about to actualize my knowledge on this Age's poetic endeavors; I was hopeful that the Manor's bibliotheque could hold the workings of this day and age; perchance you stumbled upon somesuch material?

Lisa: Well... I don't think the Witch was very interested in that but, you could ask Feathers or Tegan.

Gothwraith: (if it smiled, it's not noticeable) My gratitude, young child; I'll be off on my quest for art (bows). Ta. (climbs past)

Lisa : (after she is reasonably sure Gothwraith is no longer in the area) Who was that?

Corindaen : That was a Ringwraith. Not the type of being to have a friendly chat with.

Lisa : (quickly changing the subject) I-I'd like to know m-more about your apprenticeship offer.

Corindaen smiles slightly: If you wish I will take you on as an apprentice, your family could perhaps stand as witnesses. The only requirement on your part is a willingness to learn and to take the Oath of Apprenticeship.

Lisa: O-Oath? What is the t-this oath?

Corindaen: The Apprentice's Oath is a binding between the teacher and the student. Through the binding you would gain some measure of my own magical protections and immunities, and I would gain an awareness of you. If you are hurt or in danger I would know about it and be able to help you. The Oath is primarily designed to protect the apprentice from accidents, and abuse. When your training was done you would take the oath of a Journeymen Mage and the Apprentice Binding would dissolve, as by that point in your training you would be able to protect yourself.

Lisa: W-What would I have to do to take t-this oath?

Corindaen: Taking the oath is relatively simple. You and I would swear the oath, to seal it we both make a small cut on our palms and allow our blood to mingle. If the oath is truthfully sworn the cuts heal instantly without leaving any traces that they where ever there. Traditionally it is normal for the apprentice to have his or her family present to witness the oath taking, but that is your option.

Lisa: I-I see...

Corindaen : You're stuttering.

Lisa : I do that when I get nervous.

Corindaen : Am I making you nervous.

Lisa : N-not really.

Corindaen : <facefault>

Lisa : I'll call home and see if you can come over sometime after dinner and make the necessary arrangements. I don't know about Genma, but I don't think Nodoka will have any objections.

Corindaen : Genma and Nodoka are your foster parents?

Lisa : (sadly) Yes, my original parents were killed by a shape-shifter. It's a long story.

Corindaen <looks sad>: You have my sympathy. I know what it is like to lose loved ones.

Lisa: (sadly) Thanks.

Corindaen : Looks like you need to lighten up a little and I know just the thing that might do it. How would you like to have a familiar.

Lisa : Like Greymist?

Corindaen : Well, sort of. Have you ever heard of a Faerie Dragon?

Lisa: No, I don't think so.

Corindaen <smiles slightly>: Look <as he speaks he holds up one hand and a ball of mist begins to form over it. In the mist she can see an image of a small dragon like creature, except that instead of a dragon's bat like wings this creature has wings like a giant butterfly. This is a Faerie Dragon. They are a small, fun loving race of dragonette. Sometimes if they are asked they will consent to become the familiar of a mage. I think I can persuade one to consent to become your familiar if you would like. If you wish to do this we would have to wait until after the apprenticeship oath is taken. Afterward I could then teach you the binding spell to link a familiar to you, and take you to where the Faerie Dragons live.

Lisa: <smiling hesitantly>I...think I would like that.

Corindaen : Well, first things first. We need to take care of that dinner arrangement with you parents.

Lisa : I know where a phone I can use is.

Corindaen : If you don't mind, I would like to have a word with them myself.

Greymist : *Should I have a word with them too?*

Corindaen : No, no need to tell them too much too quickly.

(Lisa goes over to the guest phone on the first floor and dials the number. Split screen.)

Nodoka : Hello?

Lisa : Mom? Corindaen has just given me an offer of apprenticeship. He says he needs you and Genma to be witnesses when I take the Oath. Would you mind if he comes over after dinner, around 8 o'clock or so?

Nodoka : Who?

Lisa : Corindaen, he's a wizard currently residing in Mystic Manor. He has a pet cat, Greymist.

Nodoka : Don't you think you're trying to do a little too much too quickly?

Lisa : If I become an apprentice, Corindaen will teach me how to handle all these stressful situations I seem to be constantly running into.

Nodoka : (long pause) He is welcome to come over after dinner. As far as being an apprentice, (another pause) I'll see if I can talk Genma into it.

Lisa : Thanks, mom. C-corindaen s-says he w-wants to talk to you.

Nodoka: Well put him on.

(Lisa hands the phone to Corindaen)

Corindaen : Greetings, Nodoka.

Nodoka : You must be Corindaen.

Corindaen : (bows, even though she can't see it over the phone) At your service. Lisa seems really eager about my offer of apprenticeship, but, before she can become an apprentice, she will need the approval of her parents. If she gets your approval, I will need you and your husband to be witnesses when she takes her oath.

Nodoka : An oath?

Corindaen : Yes, it is...perhaps it will be best if I explain it to you when I come over.

Nodoka : Uhm.

Uhm : (on extension phone) Yes?

Nodoka : I wasn't talking to you.

Uhm : <sniff> Nobody wants me around.

Nodoka : As I was saying, 8 o'clock is fine with me. See you then. Bye.

Corindaen : Bye.

(Shift back to Corindaen, Lisa, and Greymist.)

Lisa : What did she say?

Corindaen : She said I could come over around 8. At that time, I will discuss the details with you and your parents.

Greymist : *Will I be coming too?*

Corindaen : Of course. I think they will be ready for you by then.

Lisa : Nodoka and Genma may not be as surprised as you might think. They have had quite a few surprises of their own the last few years.

Corindaen : I'm sure they have. This is Nerima after all, but Greymist can be surprising to almost anyone.

Greymist : *Even to myself.*


(It is after supper, slightly before 8 o'clock, at the Saotome residence. Nodoka and Lisa are putting away the dishes while Genma watches them.)

Genma : I think I'll go for a walk.

Nodoka : Please stay here. Lisa has been given a chance to become an apprentice by...what was his name?

Lisa : Corindaen.

Nodoka : Corindaen wants a chance to give us the details. I told him he could come at 8 o'clock. He should be here any time now.

Genma : Why didn't you tell me this earlier?

Lisa : Uhm.

Uhm : Yes?

Lisa : Uhm.

Uhm : I'm already here.

Lisa : Ah.

Uhm : Don't expect her to show up too. She's been rather busy recently.

Lisa : W-what I'm t-trying to say is, were expecting a g-guest shortly.

Uhm : I know. I know, and you want me to leave.

Nodoka : (in reference to Genma's question) It sort of slipped our minds.

Genma : What exactly is Corindaen?

Lisa : He's a wizard.

Genma : You want to become an apprentice to a wizard? What is wrong with training at the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts?

<mental image>

(Lisa is fighting a man literally twice her size.)


(Her opponent easily blocks her swift kick and throws her into the wall.)

</mental image>

Lisa : N-n-nothing really but I think I should learn to use magic. I have gotten much better using my Spell Jewels.

(Lisa starts to demonstrate by casting an Illusion spell. Rose petals appear all over the ceiling, floor, and walls. They vanish a few seconds later leaving all three of them somewhat disoriented.)

Lisa : Well, most of the time. As you know, I've always had trouble with the Illusion spell. Maybe Corindaen can help me learn to use it.

Genma : When is he coming over?

Nodoka : (looking at the clock) If this wizard is very punctual, he should be here in about...fifteen seconds.


A few moments earlier out side the Saotome residence, Corindaen with Greymist riding on his should can be seen coming up the walkway towards the Saotomes front door.

Corindaen: <speaking to Greymist> *I believe I will hold off on introducing your more unusual abilities little one, until a little later.*

Greymist: *Are you sure that is wise, master? Might it not be better to tell them upfront? After all once young Lisa has a familiar they will need to get used to the presence of it.*

Corindaen: *I agree however I would rather get them comfortable with the idea of Lisa studying magic with me first. I believe it will be easier for them if I don't spring to much upon them at once.*

Greymist: *Ok, your the boss. (I just hope you know what your up to.)* Corindaen: <with a slight grin> *I heard that you little menace. A proper familiar should be helpful and quiet.*

Greymist: <laughing silently in his mind> *Yes but when have I ever been a 'proper' familiar?*

Still laughing quietly Corindaen reaches the front door of the Saotomes home and knocks just as the clocks strike eight.

Nodoka <hearing the knocking, Looks at Genma> It would appear that this Corindaen, is indeed very punctual. Lisa would you please go and show our guest in?

(Lisa goes over to the door and opens it.)

Lisa : Come in.

(Corindaen enters carrying Greymist in his arms. Once Lisa closes the door, he puts Greymist down and lets her roam freely.)

Nodoka : Have a seat.

(Corindaen sits down at the table with Lisa, Nodoka, and Genma.)

Genma : You wouldn't know how to remove a Jusenkyou curse by any chance, would you?

Corindaen : I'm afraid not. I have studied many things but Jusenkyou is still something new too me. There is obviously a very powerful magic behind it. Too powerful even for me.

Genma : (sadly) It was worth a try.

(Greymist jumps into Corindaen's lap.)

Corindaen : Lisa has plenty of magical talent. With her Spell Jewels, she can perform many different spells. If someone takes the Spell Jewels away, she still knows a little something about water elemental magic, but this is hardly enough to stop a typical Nerima villain.

Genma : Unless the typical Nerima villain has a Jusenkyou curse.

Corindaen : True but you can't always count on something like that to happen. With your approval, I can develop the skills she already has and then teach her a few new ones.

(Genma and Nodoka turn towards Lisa.)

Nodoka : Lisa?

Lisa : I-I would like to become his ap-p-prentice.

(Genma is frowning an appears to be deep in thought.)

Genma : I suppose. We know the people over at Mystic Manor fairly well. They should keep an eye out for her.

Lisa : That was easier than I thought.

Corindaen : Now about your oath.

Lisa : Oh yeah.

Nodoka: <Sharply> Oath, what is this about an oath?

Corindaen: The oath is the Apprentice's Oath. It is a blood oath that provides certain protections and to both the student and the teacher.

Nodoka: I see and exactly what is involved in this oath?

Corindaen : It is fairly simple and self-explanatory. First we put on the ceremonial robes, then we make our respective promises, and finally we seal the bond with a cut.

Nodoka : A cut?

Corindaen : The cut is necessary to create the magical bond between us so I can properly protect her. It will not be a very big cut and my magic will protect her against any infections.

Lisa : He would like you to stay and witness the Oath.

Nodoka : I will.

Genma : This idea may be better than I thought.

(Shows the black robe he is wearing to the others.)

Corindaen : As you can see I am wearing my robe. Here is yours.

(He hands Lisa an Apprentice's grey robe. Lisa quickly puts on the robe. Both Corindaen and Lisa sit cross- legged on the floor so they are directly facing each other in the center of the room. Genma and Nodoka watch from the side not knowing what to expect. Greymist runs underneath the table and watches closely. Using the ceremonial dagger, Corindaen put a cut on his own hand without flinching. Then, he puts a similar cut on Lisa's hand. Lisa winces but she is able to tolerate it. The two of them look into each others eyes. Lisa, breathing heavily, nods that she is ready to continue.)

Corindaen : Do you promise to learn?

Lisa : I do.

Corindaen : Do you promise to obey your teacher in matters of magic?

Lisa : I do.

Corindaen : Do you promise to be loyal?

Lisa : I do.

Corindaen : I, for my part, promise to teach to the best of my abilities, to protect you to the limit of my powers, and to help you reach your full potential.

(The two of them put their hands together so the cuts line up allowing their blood to mix. As they do so, a bright light starts swirling around them. It gets bigger and brighter until it completely surrounds them. Then the light enters their bodies as if they were one person leaving no trace of its existence. They separate.)

Corindaen : How do you feel?

Lisa : A little disoriented.

Corindaen : That is normal. You'll recover in a few minutes.

(Lisa takes a few deep breaths and fantasizes about playing a video game in the mostly male Nerima arcade.)

RL-JWC: <facefaults> Yup definitely your typical teenager. ^_^

Corindaen: And now Lisa let me tell you a few things about the bond. You now have a limited form of protection from attacks of both physical and magical nature. It will also be much harder for those with the ability to look into the minds of others to touch your thoughts, and finally you gain a special spell ability to help you if you are attacked.

Lisa: W-what do you mean, I don't understand.

Corindaen: <grins slightly> What you gained is called the Fire Bolt. Here let me show you. <Holding up one hand Corindaen, waves it and a large globe of mist appears in the air a short distance from them. Watching from the side Genma & Nodoka look on curiously.>

Corindaen: Now listen to me Lisa, look at the mist globe, <as Lisa looks Corindaen moves behind her> Now I want you to think about fire, feel the heat of it, see the colors, here the sound of it has it moves in the air. See it dancing with brilliant reds & oranges. <As he speaks, Corindaen's voice takes on a hypnotic quality. Lisa her eyes going unfocused listens and slowly raises her left hand. As Genma & Nodoka watch her hand begins to glow softly at first, and then brighter and brighter with a golden yellow light. Suddenly a brilliant tongue of flame appears in her palm.>

Corindaen: Good now feel the power of the flame and will it to fly towards the mist globe. The globe is your target it is what you wish to hit. Now!!!!

<At Corindaen's words, Lisa suddenly points her hand towards the globe and a look of intense concentration crosses her face. Suddenly the bright tongue of flame flares upwards even brighter and then leaps towards the globe as bolt of crimson fire. When it hits, the globe bursts with a soundless pop.>

Lisa: D-did I do that???

Corindaen: Yes, <smiles> Congratulations, my young apprentice you picked that up fairly quickly. Do you remember how it felt?

Lisa: <Hesitantly> Y-yes, I think so. It felt so strange, but kind of neat to.

Corindaen: Remember that feeling. You will find as you practice that it will become easier and faster to do. Soon enough you will be able to do that with almost know concentration at all. Be careful, however, the Firebolts draw their power from you, the more of them you use or the stronger you make them, the more tired you will become.

Lisa: I think I understand. I'll remember.

Corindaen: Good. <Then looking towards where the Saotomes are looking dumbfounded at what Lisa had just done> Now I think it's time you went and spoke with your parents.

<Walking over to the Saotomes, Lisa smiles slightly>

Lisa: Mother, did you see what I did. It's incredible..

Nodoka: Indeed daughter, most impressive. <nudges Genma in the ribs, hard.> Isn't that so husband?

Genma: Yes, yes. Most impressive. You will be a great mage, daughter of that I have no doubts.

Corindaen: Indeed she will be. However there is one other think I need to show you. In case you where wondering who would be chaperoning while I'm training Lisa. Greymist, if you could please.

<At his words. Greymist, who had been sitting quietly near the wall suddenly walks towards the Saotomes. As she does so her form begins to blur and change, so that by the time she has reached a point in front of the two, her cat form is gone and in it's place stands a beautiful young woman.>

Greymist-W: Hello Mr. & Mrs. Saotome, I am pleased to make your acquaintance.

Apprenticeship's Beginning Part 2: Familiar's Quest

(Genma and Nodoka are shocked but not as shocked as one might expect.)

Corindaen : No, she does not have a Jusenkyou curse. Over time, my familiar has learned to change her appearance. As you can see, she can even take the form of a human being.

Genma : You kind of remind me of Shampoo.

Nodoka : And Tegan.

Corindaen : I have heard of one of those people. The other I know personally.

Lisa : When will I have a familiar?

Corindaen : I was just getting to that. In three days, Lisa and I are going to the Twilight Citadel, my home. Once we arrive, Lisa will be able to pick out the familiar herself.

Greymist : Have you ever heard of a Faerie Dragon?

Genma & Nodoka : No.

Greymist : Well Lisa is going to have one for a familiar in the near future.

Genma : (with a stunned expression) Oh.

Nodoka : (likewise) That's nice.

Corindaen : You are welcome to come along if you want.

Genma : We would like to but...someone has to take care of Ryuu.

Nodoka : I am glad you have finally taken an interest in Ryuu.

Genma : It's the least I can do.

Greymist : Are you sure you will not change your minds?

(Genma and Nodoka nod.)

Corindaen : Very well. It will be just the three of us. I will make the proper arrangements when the time comes. Genma and Nodoka, it was a pleasure meeting you. (bows to them) Lisa, please come over in three days time so that we may begin our journey. Until then, farewell. (Greymist changes back into cat form and leaps up on Corindaen's shoulder as the two of them depart.)

Genma, Nodoka, and Lisa : Good bye.

(There is a few seconds of silence.)

Lisa : (with a mischievous smile) Mom, mind if I go to Nerima Arcade tonight?

Nodoka : That is an unusual request. Any reason why?

Lisa : I would like to test my new powers.

Genma & Nodoka : <facefault>

Genma : Go for it!

Nodoka : If Genma does not have any objections, I see no reason why I should.

(Lisa gets ready to leave.)

Genma : Have fun.

Lisa : I will.

<Insert Steve's Post concerning Lisa's Adventures at the Arcade>


Three Day's Later at Mystic Manor.

<Standing outside of apartment 5D, Lisa is holding a small backpack. Hesitantly she knocks on the door.>

Knock, Knock

<After a moment she can hear noise on the otherside of the door, and then it opens. Standing there Corindaen looks, at her and notes her backpack.>

Corindaen: <Smiling> Lisa, come in, come in. <as Lisa enters he continues to speak.> I will be ready to leave in a few minutes, I just need to finish making some preparations. Please make yourself at home, while I finish up.

<As Corindaen, move off into one of the other rooms, Lisa looks around nervously, then noticing the bookcases, she moves over towards them to see what books her new teacher might have. Looking at the shelves she sees a large number of books, whose titles she can't read, however she also notices one shelf filled with books, with such titles as:


Looking around, she can see other books with similar titles. Suddenly a voice speaks from behind her>

Corindaen: Like, what you see?

Lisa: <Jumps Nervously> S-sensei, Corindaen, I didn't mean to pry...

Corindaen: <frowning slightly> Calmly Lisa, you where not prying. You are my student and as such you will be studying from many of these books. Also unless we are actively engaged in a training session or a formal situation, you need not call me Sensei.

Lisa: Hai, Sensei.

Corindaen: <sighs, and then smiles slightly> Well, we will work on that. Now are you ready?

Lisa: Y-yes.

Corindaen: Good, then let us go.

<As he speaks, Corindaen turns and raises one hand, speaking in an ancient and forgotten tongue he makes a couple of gestures, and suddenly before the two of them a pair of what look like stone pillars appear. Between the pillars Lisa can see a roiling shifting mist, shot through with fast moving streaks of color.>

Corindaen: Now let us go. <So saying Corindaen, reaches out and placing one hand on Lisa's shoulder guides her between the pillars. After they have passed between them, the pillar's shimmer and vanish as if they had never been.>

<Lisa and Corindaen, find themselves walking in what seems to be a strange misty tunnel, for a short time they walk in silence and then Lisa asks a question.>

Lisa: Sensei, where are we?

Corindaen: <Sighing slightly at the girls formality> This place is called the Void Between, or the Void. It is a place between dimensions. If you know how and have the power it can be used to traverse the paths between one universe and another.

<As the two continue to walk the mist shifts and flows around them constantly in motion as if roiled by some unfelt breeze. Suddenly the mist parts and sunlight flows down over them as if breaking through a fog bank. The pair of travelers find themselves standing on the side of a hill looking down into a long valley. Off to one side of the valley they can see a huge black tower rising into the air.>

Lisa : Is that where we're headed, Sensei?

Corindaen : Not just yet. First I would like to pay a visit to the valley's guardian, an old friend of mine. She should be eager to meet you.

Lisa : The valley's guardian?

Corindaen : Yes, her name is Alderanaestianith. She is a Silver Dragon. Once, before my wife was killed, I saw her locked in combat with two Red Dragons. With my magic, I was able to take down one of them before it even knew I was there. That enabled her to take out the other one.

Lisa : Sounds like a tough battle, Sensei.

Corindaen : It was. After that, the two of us became friends. Later on, she agreed to become guardian of the valley in exchange for a safe place for her young.

Lisa : Are her young the Faerie Dragons you've been telling me about?

<At Lisa's question, Corindean blinks startled, and then grins.>

Corindaen: <Grinning> No, and for the love of every god, please do not even suggest that to her. <Laughing softly to himself> Hmmm... I'll have to remember that one, for later.

Corindaen: As I said, Alderanaestianith is Silver Dragon, and her young are as well. The Faerie Dragons, are a separate breed entirely, although they are related to the dragons. A fact most dragons <chuckles softly> would rather forget. I have some books back at my apartment about the different breeds of dragons that you can read, if you would like.

Lisa: Oh...

<As the pair continue to walk, Lisa Looks around her, a soft breeze is blowing carrying the scent of fields and flowers. A sense of peace and tranquillity seems to fill the very air, and she can feel herself relaxing into it. As he notices Lisa letting the peace of the valley fill her, Corindaen smiles slightly. Then noticing once more the strange residual energies on her forehead he frowns slightly.>

Corindaen: Lisa, could you answer a questions for me?

Lisa: <Looks at him startled.> Sensei?

Corindaen: <reaching out and touching her forehead> Why do I see the residue of a wizards mark here?

Lisa: <Looking nervous and scared> I...I c-can't tell you sensei, I'm not allowed.

Corindaen: <Frowning> Why not child? It is only the residual energies, I sense no trace of the original mark remaining.

Lisa: <Getting more nervous> I... I w-was t-told t-that if I told anyone about the mark or how I got it, It would cause me pain, and if I didn't stop it could kill me.

<Corindaen stopping suddenly, turns to Lisa, there is a look of intense concentration on his face, as he looks at her. As she notices the look on his face Lisa also notices that his eyes are glowing with silver/blue flames.>

Lisa: Gomen Sensei <hangs her head>

Corindaen: <Reaching out and tilting her face back up to his> There is nothing to fear Lisa, If the mark where dangerous my powers would have told me when you took the oath. I can sense no traces of any kind of strong magic about it. All it is, is the residual energy traces of the original mark. From your words, I assume it was some kind of Geas mark? Please tell me about it, I promise you have nothing to fear. If there are any kind of remaining spells tied to it my powers can neutralize them.

Lisa : It was Dr. StGeorge, my history teacher.

Corindaen : Dr. StGeorge?

Lisa : You may know him by his other name, Gaeld. Well anyway when during our first visit to Mystic Manor PATE, Tegan, and I were captured by Madame WWW. Dr. StGeorge said he would free us if he was allowed to put the Order of Servatude on us. Not knowing what else to do, we agreed.

Corindaen : What exactly is the Order of Servatude?

Lisa : When activated, we would have to obey one command. I think it has some limitations but I do not know what they might be. With the help of many others, we returned to Mystic Manor and eventually defeated Madame WWW, but the Order of Servatude remained.

Corindaen : Has he given all three of you your commands?

Lisa : I only know about my own. When I confronted Dr. St. George and told him I was tired of waiting, he gave me my command. During Ranma's fight with Tarou I was to keep Ranma in female form and keep him from attacking. Why I do not know. I was also told I could not talk, write, or even hint about it without experiencing pain. (stops as she remembers the pain she experienced)

Corindaen : (reassuringly) Please continue.

Lisa : At the time of the fight, many complications occurred that neither Dr. StGeorge or I expected, at least I think he didn't expect them. When the stakes became too high, I tried to tell them, even if it killed me, but was unable to do so. Then Dr. StGeorge released me from the Order of Servatude on the condition that I did not say anything else about it. I agreed.

Corindaen : Dr. St. George, or Gaeld, must have tricked you. The Order of Servatude obviously does not work that way. If you want, I can remove all remaining traces of it.

Lisa : I-I would like that, but I'm sure Gaeld has other ways to retaliate.

Corindaen : Remember, I am here to protect you.

(Corindaen puts his hands on Lisa's forehead and says a few words in an unidentified language. The last remaining residual energies are taken away. Lisa rubs her forehead in disbelief. Then she takes a few deep breaths and starts to sit down.)

Corindaen : We need to keep moving. Don't want to keep Alderanaestianith waiting.

Lisa : Yes, Sensei!

<As the two continue to walk, Corindaen speaks quietly to Lisa.

Corindaen: Lisa, I know this might be painful for you and you need not speak of it if you do not wish to. But would you tell me about how your parents died and you acquired the spell jewels.

Lisa: <Looking at Corindaen with tears starting in her eyes> Sensei, I....

Corindaen: <Stopping and placing his hands on her shoulders> Lisa if this is too painful you do not need to tell me. You do not need to ever tell me if you so choose. I would just ask that you consider it however, I think it would help you to talk about it and face all that happened, but only when you are ready. Do you understand?

Lisa: <Wiping tears away> H-hai Sensei.

Corindaen: <With a slight sigh> Lisa I told you, you do not have to be so formal. You may call me by my name.

Lisa: Hai, Se... Corindaen. <She smiles slightly>

Corindaen: <With a small smile> See that didn't hurt, now wipe away the tears and let us continue.


<A short time later, they reach the foot of a cliff above them Lisa can see a large cave opening, but she can see no path or steps up to it.>

Lisa: Sensei, how are we going to get up there?

Corindaen: <With a small grin> Why like this my young apprentice.

<With those words Corindaen, gestures and suddenly the two of them begin to float upward. Lisa gives a startled gasp and grabs on to Corindaen's arm with a power grip>

Corindaen: <With a slight wince> Relax Lisa, relax. Also could you please relax your grip a bit, your cutting off all the blood flow to my fingers.

Lisa: Oops, Gomen.

Corindaen: No problem. <wiggles his fingers to make sure they still work>

<Moments later the pair arrive at the cave entrance, and with a small gesture from Corindaen a glowing ball of light appears above them.>

Corindaen: Come Lisa only a short distance now.

<Walking down the long and twisting passage they come out onto a ledge above a large open cavern. A short distance below they can see the floor covered with a dragons hoard of treasure. Resting upon the hoard, is a vast silvery form that looks up at them as they enter.>

Alderanaestianith: Who are you that intrude upon my rest and upon this place?

Corindaen: Greetings old friend, I have returned.

Alderanaestianith: <With a toothy draconic smile> So old mage, not eaten yet by some monster or other from the hells? And who is this that you bring with you, a tasty snack for me perhaps? <As she says this the dragon smiles showing all her teeth.>

<At the dragons words, Lisa gives a small cry and dives behind Corindaen>

Lisa: Eeeek.. <Suddenly fire begins to gather in her hand> D-don't y-you c-come n-near m-me.

Corindaen: Peace Lisa she is kidding. <As he speaks Corindaen reaches out and closes his hand around the fire gathered in Lisa's. The fire promptly winks out of existence.> Alderanaestianith, I would like you to meet my latest apprentice, Lisa Michelle Calaway. Lisa please allow me to introduce to you Alderanaestianith of the Silver Dragons. Who has a somewhat dubious sense of humor at times.

Alderanaestianith: Greetings you mageling, I apologize for my little joke. I sometimes forget that most humans do not appreciate the humor of a dragon.

Alderanaestianith: Oh? You have encountered my kind before now?

Corindaen: Nay old friend, however Lisa's home is also the home of some of the most powerful warriors I have ever observed.

Alderanaestianith: Indeed? Hmm, perhaps I will visit there one day it sounds interesting. <Then looking closely at Corindaen the dragon speaks in her own tongue.> #How goes your hunt old friend?#

Corindaen: <Replying in the same language> #He has taken up a place in Lisa, homeland. I think however he has made a mistake at last. As I said there are some very powerful warriors in Lisa homeland, more so perhaps than he realizes.#

Alderanaestianith: #My offer still stand, mage. Call if you have need of my power.#

Corindaen: <Smiling Slightly> #My thanks my friend. However it is my responsibility to see this to the end.#

Alderanaestianith: #None the less my debt to you remains. Call and all my power and indeed my very life if need be is yours to command.#

Corindaen: #I have told you before Alderanaestianith, there is no debt, you paid it long ago when you agreed to guard this place.#

Alderanaestianith: #Bah, that is insufficient to repay the debt I owe you. But you are stubborn so we will speak of it know more. Just remember my offer.#

Corindaen: #I will my friend, I will# <Suddenly turns to Lisa who is watching in fascination has Corindaen converses with the dragon in a deep grumbling language> My apologies, Lisa we should not have started to converse in a language you could not understand.

Lisa: That's okay <suddenly she grins> Sensei.

Corindaen: <with a mock sigh of suffering> Corindaen, Lisa call me Corindaen.

Lisa: Hai, Sensei

<At her words, both Corindaen & Lisa begin to laugh, as Alderanaestianith looks on with amusement. Suddenly Greymist who had up to this point been resting quietly on Corindaen's shoulder leapt down and padding over to the huge dragon sat back on her haunches and looked up at her.>

Alderanaestianith: Hello little on how have you been? have you been keeping him in line?

Greymist: *I have been well. And yes as difficult a task as that is I have been keeping him from making to many mistakes.*

<At Greymists words, Corindaen gives and outraged shout even as Lisa, Greymist, and Alderanaestianith begin to laugh.>

Corindaen: Hmph, no respect even from my own familiar. What is the art coming to these days.

<After the laughter dies down, Corindaen & Alderanaestianith begin to catch each other up on their immediate pasts. Meanwhile Lisa & Greymist with Alderanaestianith permission, are exploring the dragons hoard. Finally after about an hour Corindaen, stands and calling Lisa and Greymist prepares to leave.>

Corindaen: Alderanaestianith, old friend it has been good to see you again.

Alderanaestianith: And you old mage, remember my offer.

Corindaen: <Looking soberly at her> #I will old friend. I....Alderanaestianith it is possible that this will be my final battle with him. If I should fall in battle Lisa will be returning here by herself. Would you help her to grow into the full potential of her abilities, and aid her in avenging my death?#

Alderanaestianith: #Aye old friend if it comes to that I will. But I have no doubts that you will emerge victorious over you enemy. Until next we meet may the Lord of all Watch over your path.#

Corindaen: # Thank you my friend. May the Lady watch over you and yours.# Come Lisa it is time for us to go.

<As Corindaen & Lisa emerge for Alderanaestianith's cave they can see that the sun is beginning to set and that the first stars of evening are coming out.>

Corindaen: Come Lisa, it is getting late and I want to reach the tower before full dark.

Lisa: Hai, Corindaen <she grins slightly as she uses his name.>

<Laughing softly Corindaen, levitates them down from the cave entrance, and then leads Lisa along a small path towards the tower. After about an hour of walking the reach the base of the cliff where, Lisa can see that the tower rises out of the stone with no apparent openings at all.>

Lisa: Corindaen, how do we get in? I don't see any doors.

Corindaen: Well, then it is time for your first formal lesson in magic.

Lisa: <startled> Sensei?

Corindaen: <Reaching out and placing his hand on her shoulder> Look at the tower Lisa. Remember how I showed you how to summon the firebolts? I want you to the same here. Relax, close your eyes, think of only the magic, feel it around you and in you. It binds all things together, now feel it's power flowing around and through you and will it to enhance your eye's to let you see that which is hidden.

<As he speaks Corindaen's voice takes on a hypnotic quality. Slowly Lisa lets her eyes close. Concentrating on the magic as she was told, at first she doesn't feel anything, but then slowly at first and then more quickly she becomes aware of the power around her. Doing as she was told she wills the power to let her see that which is hidden. As Lisa opens her eye's and looks towards the tower, Corindaen can see that her eyes are glowing with a brilliant golden light. Looking towards the tower, Lisa can now see that there is a large gate inlaid with silver symbols directly before them.>

Lisa: I...I can see a gate it has silver marks on it.

Corindaen: Good, Lisa. Well done. <Even as he speaks Corindaen notices the golden light fade from her eyes.>

Lisa: It's gone now. <suddenly she sways> All of a sudden I feel really tired.

Corindaen: <Catching her before she can fall.> I'm not surprised, It will take time for you to build up your stamina to wield the energies of magic directly with out becoming tired. Normally when you cast a spell you use your jewels and are therefore insulated to some degree from the draining effect of the spells. Rest now.

<At his words Lisa's eyes close and she collapses into a deep slumber against him. Moving carefully Corindaen lifts the sleeping girl into his arms and then turns towards the invisible gate.>

Corindaen: OPEN.

<At his command the gates suddenly flicker into visibility the silver runes on it's outer surface glowing brilliantly as it swings inward. Entering quietly Corindaen carries Lisa up to a well appointed bedroom and settles her on the bed. Pulling the covers up over her, he turns to leave the room. Stopping at the door he turns to look at the sleeping girl and smiles slightly.>

Corindaen: Sleep well young one. For tomorrow will be a busy day for you.

<Then turning and moving quickly away Corindaen, pulls the door closed and leaves Lisa to her sleep and dreams.>

<Lisa wakes up wondering where she is. All she can see is the darkness that surrounds her, Suddenly from near the foot of the bed she is lying in she hears a noise....and slowly lifts her head too investigate.>

Lisa: H-h-hello?

<As she looks around she notices a faint light coming from off to her left that appears to moonlight streaming through a window. Again she hears the faint noise only a little further away, as if near a door hidden somewhere in the darkness.>

Lisa : W-who's there?

<Again there is no answer to her query, however she can now see an ornate wooden door, as she listens she again hears a faint sound comming from the other side. Moving forward and trying the handle she finds that the door is unlocked. She looks back at the warm and comfortable bed, but it is to dark to make it out clearly.>

<Taking a deep breath, she opens the door half expecting something to reach out and grab her.>

<As she steps out into the hall she notices that it is brightly lit by glowing crystals set up high in the walls. Looking around she suddenly sees a figure a short distance down the hall way.>

Lisa : Hello?

<At her words the figure turns slightly, and looking closely Lisa can see she is a tall elegant looking woman. Her hair is a deep ravens black while her skin is a creamy white. Her eye's however give the impression of a star filled night sky. Looking at her Lisa feels both a flash of jealousy at her beauty, and a deep reverence at the same time. Slowly the woman raises one hand an beckons for Lisa to follow. Lisa feels compelled to follow. Although she would like to go back and get Corindaen and Greymist, she knows that if she takes the time to do so, it will be too late. As Lisa follows the woman turns and glides with towards a flight of stairs near the end of the hall. Following slowly behind her Lisa looks around and can see that she is in a well appointed building of some type. Dark black stone makes up the walls, floor, and ceiling. While large heavy beams of golden wood act as rafters and wall braces. Deep rich carpets are placed at points along the corridor floor. After a time, the woman leads her to a large arch way beyond which she can see a flickering light. Looking through the archway she can see a large room at the far end of which seems to be some kind of altar like object, before the altar she can see someone kneeling. When she turns to look back at the woman, she notices that she is gone.>

(She looks first at the person kneeling, then at the spot where the woman disappeared, then at the person kneeling again. Covering her mouth with her hands as if to hide even the sound of her breathing, she approaches the kneeling figure. As she approaches she can see that the figure is Corindaen, and that the object before him is not an altar but rather a large ornately carved tomb. Above it on the wall are letters carved deep into the stone. Even as she looks the letters seem to writhe before her eyes and after a moment she can read them:



<Queen's "Who Want's To Live Forever" Plays in the background>

(Lisa continues to move toward him in silence, no longer afraid but still not wanting to call attention to herself, at least not yet.)

<At her touch, Corindaen raises his head and looks in her direction. Lisa can see that his face is streaked with tears as if he has been crying.>

Corindaen: Lisa? You should be sleeping child, we had a very long day, and tomorrow will come soon enough for us both.

(Lisa tries to reply but finds herself unable to form the right words.)

Corindaen: <Looking once more towards the crypt> She was my wife, a long time ago, when I bore another name and title.

Lisa : You said a few things about her earlier. What happened to her, if you don't mind me asking?

<Patting the ground next to him, Corindaen gestures for Lisa to settle besides him, as she does so he begins to speak.>

Corindaen: Long ago, I was the lord of a city to the north of here. Those where good day's I ruled over the city with help of the Council of Mages, but my greatest help, was my wife Gabriella. Then late one summer we where attacked by an army of dark creatures and evil men. They struck without warning or mercy, and we where nearly destroyed. However I was able to summon up the masters of the council as well as some of my allies. Together, we where able to drive the enemy back. However what we didn't know until to late was that the enemy was lead by a Daemon Lord. My wife was busy driving a group of evil creatures away, when she was attacked by the Deamon. I....I felt her fear in my soul, I tried to get to her, to aid her against the Daemon, but I was too slow. <Suddenly Corindaen, slams his fist to the floor with brutal force, causing blood to well up from scraped knuckles> God's curse my soul to darkness, but I was to slow.

<Lisa listens to his story with a horrified expression on her face.>

Corindaen: <Taking a deep breath> By the time I got to where my wife and the Daemon, where fighting it was to late, he had mortally injured her and before help could arrive, she died in my arms. I... went mad when my wife died, it was as if half my soul had been torn away. I caused much damage in the madness that my grief and pain caused. It was nearly five years before my allies with the aid of the elven wizards where able to subdue me and work what healing of the mind they could. After that I began my pursuit of the Daemon lord. He knew I would never rest until he was destroyed so he fled to other planes of existence with me hot on his heals. That's partially what brought me to Nerima, I believe he is somewhere on your world now. Hopefully, god's willing, the long hunt will end at last.

<As he finishes his tale Corindaen, turns and looks at the crypt, as tears slowly roll down his cheeks.>

(By this point Lisa is also in tears.)

Lisa: Perhaps I should tell you how I lost my parents. My parents went all over the world searching for alien artifacts. I never knew why they did it, but I knew their job was very important. Then one day, while exploring the ruins of an old city in Northern Japan, they came across the Chaos Jewel. The Chaos Jewel was carefully guarded by...IT.

IT was the name I gave to the creature that followed my parents back to the hotel. I was just about to get ready for bed when IT came into the hotel and killed my parents. (sobs) Not knowing what else to do, I took the Chaos Jewel and ran. A short time later, I came across Nerima where I met some people who could help me. They decoded some of my parents old documents and discovered there was an underground pyramid in Egypt that was the Headquarters for the Secret Earth Defense Force, or SEDF. (sobs some more) Don't ask me what they do...because I don't know that much about them.

The Chaos Jewel worked like a key to open the pyramid and once the jewel was in place, IT was somehow destroyed. Inside was a woman named Katrina who said a few things to me, a few traps, and finally the Spell Jewels. The Spell Jewels were at the bottom of the pyramid. As you know, when the Spell Jewels are arranged in certain patterns, spells can be cast. I am not sure how they work but they do.

Corindaen: <Who has been listening intently.> The jewels act as a energy focus, when you change the patterns that they are laid out in you change the way the energy is focused and the effects that it will cause. Did you ever find out what IT was?

Lisa : What I called IT was a shapeshifter of some sort. IT was somehow connected to the Chaos Jewel and when I used the Chaos Jewel to open the pyramid, the life-force of IT ran out.

Corindaen: I see. <Sighs softly>

Lisa : (also sighing) IT was relentless, killing anyone or anything in the way.

Corindaen: <Thinking to himself, I must teach her about guardian spirits and how they act>

<Standing slowly as if feeling all the weight of his years. Corindaen, helps Lisa to stand>

Corindaen: Come Lisa, this is no place to pass the night, you need to rest. <Leading Lisa backup the stairs, Corindaen, takes her back to the room she originally awoke in. Once there he shows her how to activate the glow crystals so that she can see.> By the way, Lisa what brought you down to the crypt anyway?

Lisa : I saw someone. I heard a noise and got up to investigate. There I saw a woman silently gliding. She motioned for me to follow her and I did.

Corindaen: <Looking sharply at Lisa> Could you describe her Lisa? Please this is very important.

Lisa : She was rather tall and graceful. (pause) She has white skin and black hair. Kind of reminded me of the night sky.

<Corindaen, listens, closely to Lisa description, as she speaks his eye's widen slowly, until she mentions the night sky. At that he turns very pale.>

Lisa : What's wrong?

Corindaen: Lisa did she look like this, <at his words he casts a small illusion of a woman into the air before them. It is the same woman that Lisa saw earlier.>

Lisa : Yes, she looked exactly like that.

Corindaen: <In a strangled tone.> Lisa you have been blessed indeed, there are very few mages or priests for that matter, who are privileged to see an incarnation of the Goddess of Magic at such a young age.

Lisa : That was the Goddess of Magic?

Corindaen: It could be no other. <Shakes himself suddenly> Off to bed with you young lady, I have much to consider this night.

<As Lisa enters her room, she here's Corindaen, say one last thing to her.>

Corindaen: Lisa, thank you.

<Before Lisa can turn around he turns an strides up the hall and out of site, leaving her to consider all that has happened this night.>


The Next Morning...

<As the first rays of the morning sunlight filter into the tower, we can see Greymist sleeping curled at the foot of a large bed, the covers have not been disturbed all evening. The room is a large well appointed room with book cases and a small table nearby. Out on a balcony overlooking the valley, Corindaen, is sitting and meditating. From the looks of things he has not been to bed all evening.>

Greymist: <Stirring on the bed> *Master, have you rested?*

Corindaen: Aye old friend. I rested during my meditations. The lady visited young Lisa last night.

Greymist: <Sits up surprised> *Are you sure?*

Corindaen: Yes, she used the same appearance as when we last saw her. <Suddenly looks up> Lisa is awake, Come let us go and join her for breakfast.

(When they get to the table, Lisa had already served herself breakfast. She is seated at a small table with a glass of orange juice and a plate full of scrambled eggs. She does not notice Corindaen and Greymist as they enter.)

Corindaen: Good morning, Lisa. I see you found your way here to the dinning hall with no problems. Did you rest well?

Lisa : Yes I did. How about you?

Corindaen: I rested well, thank you for asking Lisa. By the way there is something that I wanted you to be aware of. You will notice that there are no servants or other people here in the tower. However there are magical servants that I have created, I've designated two of them to tend to your needs, they will answer verbal commands, however they aren't overly bright so you will need to keep your orders fairly simple. <As he speaks Corindaen, gestures with one hand, and a pair of misty forms come into being, next to Lisa's chair>

Lisa : Hello. What are your names or do you have names?

Corindaen: <with a slight smile> I'm afraid they can't talk, and they do not have individual names, although if you want you could give them names, to help you distinguish which one you are speaking to when you give them orders. It would be best to think of them as magical....Robots. No true sentience or awareness, just a set of programmed orders.

Lisa : (holding her glass in the air) I would like a refill

<At her words, one of the mist creatures, glides forward and takes the glass moving with out sound, it quickly refills the glass, and then returns it to Lisa.>

Lisa : (smiling) No problem. I think I can handle this. (Starts to drink the orange juice.)

<At her words, Corindaen, Bursts out laughing and settles, down to his own breakfast.>

Lisa : I would like some more scrambled eggs too. (One of the creatures takes her plate and returns a short time later with the plate full of scrambled eggs.)

Lisa : I was curious about that lady I saw last night, the Goddess of Magic. Why did she appear to me?

Corindaen: In truth, I'm not sure. As I said last night, it is very unusual for the goddess to show herself to anyone, be they mage or priest, as young as you are. I think perhaps, it was so that she could have you come to the crypt, but as to her motives.....<He shrugs his shoulders> Your guess is as good as mine. The goddess has many names, and one of them that she lives up to very much, is The Lady of Mysteries.

Lisa : The Lady of Mysteries. (nods her head in agreement) She does indeed live up to that name. Speaking of mysteries, when am I going to meet my familiar. (giggles slightly)After all that is the reason we came.

Corindaen: <Chuckles softly at her eagerness> I will begin teaching you the summoning and binding spell today. Depending on how well that goes, you could be ready to attempt the spell either this evening or tomorrow morning. I will also contact the Faerie Dragon's and find out which of them would be willing to become your familiar. Since they are very intelligent creatures, it would be impossible, not to mention wrong, to bind them to you with out consent. However that should not be a problem.

Lisa : (to one of the magical creature) Could you put away the dirty dishes for me?

(The creature instantly obeys.)

Lisa : W-well, I g-guess it is time f-for m-me to start learning the s-summoning and binding spell. (pauses) W-wil the Faerie Dragons be v-very cooperative?

Corindaen: <With a grin as he finishes his own breakfast> For an adventure like this? Finding some who will be cooperative will be no problem. The problem is likely to be to many volunteers. Be calm Lisa there is no need to be nervous. If I did not think you had the ability to do this, I would not have suggested it. <Standing up, Corindaen gestures for Lisa to proceed him from the room.> Come let us begin your training.

(Taking a few deep breaths, Lisa follows him.)

<As Corindaen & Lisa leave the dinning hall, Greymist looks up at them and speaks>

Greymist: *Master, I will go and contact the Faerie Dragons, and ask if they are willing to have one of their number bond with Lisa.*

Corindaen: Good, contact me later and let me know what they say. I don't anticipate and problems, but they may have requests of their own for me in exchange.

<As Greymist leaves, Corindaen turns to Lisa and gestures for her to follow him. Moving quickly through the halls he leads her to a pair of large wooden doors. As they approach, the doors swing silently open of their on accord. Within is an enormous circular room every wall lined with books, saving only those places where windows allow sunlight to stream in. The Rooms rises upwards several stories.>

Corindaen: Welcome to my Library Lisa. <He gestures to the thousands upon thousands of books.>

(Lisa looks around the room in amazement.)

Lisa : How many books are in this place?

Corindaen: <With a thoughtful look> Hmmm. I'm not entirely sure anymore. I have been adding to the library for a long time and I haven't actually kept track of how many volumes there are. I will admit there are only a few libraries larger in all this world.

Lisa : (putting her hand on one of the books) Do you mind if I look at one of them?

Corindaen: Not at all. You are my student and as such have the right to look at any books in this library. Those books that you shouldn't be dealing with yet, you will be unable to open.

<Taking out the dark red book she had her hand on, Lisa noticed a strange symbol on the front cover. She looks at the symbol for a little while but is unable to understand what is means. Shrugging her shoulders, she opens the book to the first page and starts reading.>

Lisa : Do you know anything about this kingdom?

Corindaen: Not directly. <grins suddenly> I'm afraid they predate even my own lifespan. They where a kingdom ruled and run by magic of a level that few now wield., but their empire faded into legend a long time ago.

(Glancing through the book, Lisa learns how the kingdom was founded, became large and prosperous, conquered some of the neighboring kingdoms, erupted into civil war, and was eventually overthrown by their former slaves.)

Lisa : Huh? The people they had been mistreating for centuries eventually overthrew them. This book was written by one of the former rulers while he was in prison. He says he wrote as a warning for us not to do the same.

Corindaen: A lesson few rulers learn before it's to late unfortunately.

Lisa : (nodding) That is something I should keep in mind.

Corindaen: Aye. One of the things you will learn from me is not only how to wield your powers, but when. Just because you have magical power to do things you want doesn't mean it is always a wise course to take.

(Lisa nods in agreement.)

Lisa : When will Greymist return?

Corindaen: Probably not until later this afternoon, although she will call me if there are any problems. However I don't anticipate any. <Turns towards a pair of chairs next to a large table.> But let us begin, come hear please.

Lisa: <putting the book back on the shelf and moving towards the table> I am here sensei

<Smiling slightly at her formality, Corindaen motions for Lisa to sit in one of the chairs. As she does so he picks up a medium sized book , covered in golden leather, off of the table and hands it to her.>

Corindaen: This is yours. It will be your first spell book, In it you will record all your notes of magic, the spells you learn, and the researches you undertake. Guard it well for next to your spell jewels and your familiar it will be one of the most important items in your life as a mage.

Lisa : Thank you, Sensei.

<Lisa flips through the pages, looking at each one to see if it has any writing on it. As Lisa looks at the book, Corindaen Settles himself into the chair opposite her, and motions for her to turn back to the beginning of the book. Inside she can see that all of the pages are blank.>

Lisa : Do you have a pen of some sort?

<Corindaen, motions towards the table. and looking at the table Lisa sees a pen nearby. At Corindaen's nod she takes it up and prepares to begin her training.>

Corindaen: And now my young apprentice we begin.

<As the morning passes, Corindaen begins to teach Lisa the summoning spell to call and bind a familiar to her. Over the next several hours, he show's her the various herbs she will need and teaches her the necessary spell chants, as well as the responses for the actual binding. Listening intently Lisa scribbles notes into the spell book that Corindaen had given her. She quickly fills several pages, with notes on herbs and chants until finally as the afternoon passes into early evening. they finish.>

Corindaen: <With a thoughtful expression> Hmm, I believe that will be everything you need to know for now Lisa. Do you wish to rest and try the summoning tomorrow or would you rather try tonight?

Lisa: <hesitantly>I would like to try tonight if I may, Sensei.

Corindaen: Very well then. We will go to a place I know outside the tower and you may begin the spell.

<Leading Lisa from the library, the pair head for the tower exit, stopping only long enough to get necessary supplies from one of the many storage rooms in the tower. A short time later they reach a small wooded grove with a clearing at it's heart. There Lisa under Corindaen's direction begins to setup her materials for the spell. As the first star's of evening begin to appear in the sky, she finishes.>

Lisa: Done. Now I just need to cast the spell like you showed me right?

Corindaen: Yes. Are you sure you would rather not wait and rest first Lisa? Once you start the spell you will need to finish it, and I would not wish to see you fail because you are tired.

Lisa: I'm okay, sensei. Besides, I doubt I could sleep, even if I wanted to.

Corindaen: <smiling slightly at her eagerness> Very well then, begin I will be here to observe.

<As Corindaen, steps back into the shadows, Lisa settles herself cross-legged on the ground, before her sits a golden brazier. Taking up some of the herbs that they had brought for this she places them in the brazier, then holding her hands over it she speaks a soft chant, that Corindaen, had taught her. For a moment nothing happens, then suddenly the herbs flare into flame and an iridescent smoke wafts upwards into the evening, sky. As the smoke rises, Lisa closes her eyes and placing her hands on her knees begins to chant softly in the language of magic. As she continues to chant Lisa slowly slips into a trance, periodically, one of her hands will reach out and take up some more of the herbs that she had brought, and add them to the brazier.>

<As Lisa's spell builds Corindaen, shifts his senses to the higher levels of magic and watches the spell build slowly around the girl. As it does so he suddenly sense's the presence of another creature in the clearing. Moments later Greymist comes out of the shadows and leaps to his shoulder.> Corindaen: <Speaking telepathically> *I take it there where no problems little one?*

Greymist: *No. They where delighted to help out. As you predicted there was some fierce debate over who should be the one to become Lisa's familiar. It was eventually decided to wait until they could see her and then decide.*

Corindaen: *Good. <Looking over at Lisa> It shouldn't be long now, she is nearing the point where if they are going to answer her summons, they will begin to arrive.*

<Even as he speaks to Greymist, Corindaen notices Lisa's eyes suddenly snap open. Deep within them he can see a golden fire beginning to build. Smiling slightly at the sight, Corindaen, nods slowly. Suddenly, Lisa's chant reaches it climax, and she falls silent. For a long moment the night is utterly silent, then suddenly the sound of haunting music begins to fill the air. Even as it does so, pinpoints of light bloom around the clearing moving and swirling in the air, the lights move foreword until they are dancing around Lisa. Slowly they grow still and then it can be seen that they are Faerie Dragons. Born aloft on large butterfly like wings the Faerie Dragons, hover there. For a long moment they are silent and motionless, save only for the gently beating of their wings, then slowly one of their number moves forward to hover before Lisa.>

<The Faerie Dragon, is slightly smaller than it's fellows but, it's hide is patterned in gorgeous golden green scales, the patterns of it's wings are a shimmering mix of reds and golds. Looking long at Lisa it suddenly speaks, in a high pitched voice>

Faerie Dragon: You have summoned us here young mageling what then do you wish of us?

Lisa: <Responding with the phrases that Corindaen had taught her> I seek a familiar to be my companion and helper.

Faerie Dragon: And what would you offer to your familiar?

Lisa: I offer a life of adventure and mystery. A life of magic and wonder. But most importantly of all I offer my friendship, for all the days of my life.

Faerie Dragon: And I in my turn offer my Friendship, If you will have me then I would be your familiar.

Lisa: <bowing formally from her seated position> You honor me.

<Then reaching out one hand Lisa Speaks softly>

Lisa: Mind to Mind, Heart to Heart, Soul to Soul. I offer this bond freely.

Faerie Dragon: Mind to Mind, Heart to Heart, Soul to Soul. I accept this bond freely.

Both in Unison: The bond is freely offered and freely accepted, may it bind us both until the end of all things.

<As they finish the final phrase, single flare of intense light rises upwards out of the brazier, and engulfs them. When it fades the Faerie Dragon, settles down onto Lisa's arm and speaks.

Faerie Dragon: Mistress, my name is Avenestria.

Lisa: My name is Lisa Michelle Calaway.

<As Lisa and her new familiar begin to get aquainted. Corindaen, looks up the still hovering Faerie Dragons. Looking around he quickly spots there Matriarch>

Corindaen: <Telepathically> *Greetings to you Matriarch*

Faerie Dragon Matriarch: *Greetings old wizard. It is a good match, I like her. She has much spirit.*

Corindaen: <Grinning> *Yes she does. I to think it will be a good match. Thank, you for consenting.*

Faerie Dragon Matriarch: *You gave us a home and sanctuary long ago wizard it was the least we could do to repay our debt.*

Corindaen: <snorting softly> *There is no debt, lady I simply did what my conscience dictated.*

Faerie Dragon Matriarch: *None the less we feel a debt of gratitude. And now farewell. <turning she speaks to Lisa's familiar> Avenestria, serve your wizard well, and know that you and she are always welcome among us.*

<At the Faerie Dragon Matriarch's words, both Lisa and Avenestria look at her and bow respectfully towards her. As they straighten back up they can see that the Faerie dragons are quickly spiraling up into the night sky and are soon lost from view. Standing slowly Lisa turns, still carrying Avenestria in her arms, toward Corindaen. On her face is a look of radiant joy.>

Lisa: Did you see sensei? I did it.

Corindaen: <Smiling widely at her happiness> So you did Lisa, you have done well. Come let us return to the tower I think you both could use some rest.

<At his words Lisa, nods and then helps Corindaen, gather the materials they had brought and then they make their way back to the tower, to rest.>

Lisa : Corindaen. Greymist. I would like you to meet Avenestria. Avenestria, I would like you to meet Sensei Corindaen and his familiar, Greymist. They are teaching me how to better use magic.

(Avenestria respectfully bows to Corindaen and Greymist.)

Corindaen : I am sure you and Lisa will get along fine.

Greymist : *The two of you are alike in many ways.*

Corindaen : Tomorrow Greymist and I are going to be doing research. The following day, we will returning to Nerima. That will give you a free day to become acquainted with Avenestria.

Lisa : I was thinking about doing some exploring.

Corindaen : Feel free to explore anywhere you want. This place is well protected.

Lisa : (smiles) I've noticed.

Greymist : *You might want to take a look at the tower, or the valley. The valley has several small streams and pools as well as small waterfalls, suitable for swimming.*

Lisa : (yawns) I should have time to do both. (to Avenestria) What would you like to do?

Avenestria : Whatever you want to do is fine with me.

Lisa : Right now I want to get to sleep. I've had a busy day.

Avenestria : Sleep well, Lisa.

Lisa : (softly) You too.

(Early the next morning, Lisa and Avenestria get up and head straight for the upper levels of the tower. On their way, they pass Corindaen and Greymist who are looking over some old spell books.)

Corindaen : Where are you two off to in such a hurry?

Lisa : To explore the tower!

Greymist : *You might want to eat something before you leave.*

(Lisa holds up an innocent appearing small, brown sack.)

Lisa : I am going to eat on the way.

Corindaen : If either of you need anything, just let us know.

Avenestria : We will!

<As Lisa and Avenestria, dash out of the room, Corindaen & Greymist look at each other and laugh softly and then turn back to the book they were researching.>

(Lisa runs towards the tower stairs as fast as she can go with Avenestria right behind her. Lisa starts to open the door, then stops.) Lisa : Will you be able to get inside?

Avenestria : I should be able to go just about any place you can. (floats above the ground for a few seconds) and even some places you can't.

Lisa : I'd like to go up to the star gazing platform while there are still some stars left to see.

(After walking up several flights of stairs, they arrive at their destination. Only a few stars remain visible as the sun peeks out from behind some trees. All around there are trees and grass, lakes and rivers extending as far as the eye can see.)

Lisa : (taking several deep breaths) Lovely view.

Avenestria : Yes, this land has been my home for as long as I can remember. (pause) What does Nerima look like? Lisa : Well, it is full of large, man made buildings like the tower. There as many buildings in Nerima as there are trees here.

Avenestria : A forest full of buildings! I can't wait to see it!

Lisa : It does look first, but I think I prefer the view here.

Avenestria : It's not like you can never return here once you leave. You can come back here any time you want.

Lisa : (sighs) True.

(Lisa thinks about saying something else but decides not to. The two of them continue look at the sky and talk about trivial things as the last remaining stars disappear.)

Avenestria : So your parents were members of the Secret Earth Defense Force, but you have no idea what they did other than collect alien artifacts.

Lisa : That's right.

Avenestria : Why don't you look it up the library? It has books on just about anything you can think of.

Lisa : That's a great idea! Thanks!

(Lisa quickly goes back downstairs and into the library. Avenestria follows at a more leisurely pace. Giving the library a quick scan, Lisa is able to find a single book about the Secret Earth Defense Force. She carefully set the book down on the table and started to read. After several hours have passed, Lisa's voice can be heard reading the more important information.)

Lisa : (reading : An advanced alien race, whose name has long been forgotten, created the SEDF, or Secret Earth Defense Force, to protect Earth from their own kind. The original members of SEDF were genetically enhanced Earthlings with no visible differences from other Earthlings. Their job was to maintain secret defense posts at hidden locations scattered all over the world and make sure they were working properly. Each defense post could only be accessed by someone with the proper DNA, the kind belonging to the genetically enhanced members of SEDF. This is why tasks were passed down from generation to generation. To prevent aliens or other humans from discovering their defense posts, all their documents were written in a code only other members of SEDF could understand.

(Lisa pounds the table with both fists several times and screams.)

Avenestria : Is there something wrong?

Lisa : I know more than I did before, but I still don't know what my parents actually did (pause) or what they want me to do now.

Avenestria : Maybe I can decode those documents for you.

Lisa : (sighs with exhaustion) Maybe some other time. What I need now is a chance to relax. (pause) Why don't we go swimming?

Avenestria : Good idea!

Lisa : Let me go change.

(Lisa and Avenestria leave the library leaving the book about the SEDF on the table. A short time later, Lisa reenters the library and takes the book with her.)

Lisa : I'll have to ask Corindaen if I can keep this book for awhile so I can look it over.

(Later, Lisa and Avenestria are swimming in one of the lakes. Lisa is still trying to explain something to Avenestria that she simply does not understand.)

Lisa : Where I come from, people usually wear clothes even when we go swimming.

Avenestria : Why? All it does is hinder your movements.

Lisa : (blushing) Some of us get embarrassed when we're naked. In some places you can be arrested for such things.

(Avenestria gives her a puzzled look.)

Lisa : Perhaps I'll explain it to you some other time.

(Lisa does the backstroke with Avenestria right beside her.)

<Later that evening after a day of swimming and hiking around the valley, Lisa & Avenestria return. As they enter the tower, they hear Corindaen, call them to the dinning hall. Upon arriving in the dinning hall they see that dinner has been laid out. Next to Lisa's plate they can see a plate stacked with various types of fruits, At the sight of which, Avenestria immediately wings over and settles down, looking greedily at the fruit.>

Corindaen: <As Lisa is settling into her seat> So Lisa, Avenestria how was your day? Did you find anything of interest?

<Lisa begins to tell Corindaen, about how she and Avenestria spent the day. When she comes to the part about the book she found in the library, she stops and looks hesitantly at Corindaen>

Lisa: Sensei, c-could I b-borrow, that book for a little while?

Corindaen: <smiling slightly> I will make you a copy of it before we leave. Speaking of which we will be heading back to Nerima tomorrow morning.

Lisa: Thank you Sensei. It will be good to be home, I can't wait to begin to show Avenestria around Nerima.

Corindaen: <Grinning a bit at the thought of the mischief the Faerie Dragon is likely to cause> Indeed. I would advise however that at least at first, Avenestria travel with you invisibly, that way she will not cause a stir. As people get used to her presence, she should be able to travel about the area a bit more freely.

Lisa: <Looking at Avenestria for confirmation> Hai, Sensei.

Corindaen: <sighing softly> Corindaen, Lisa. My name is Corindaen.

Lisa: <with an impudent grin> Yes Sensei.

<As all present laugh, the conversation turns to other topics. Corindaen, begins to tell Lisa stories of his homeland from his youth and some of the adventures he became involved in. For her part, Lisa tells him about many of the places that she and her parents traveled to. As the two finish dinner, and the plates are cleared away, Corindaen stands and looking thoughtfully at Lisa speaks.>

Corindaen: Lisa, before we leave for Nerima there are two last things that we need to do. First I need to give you this, reaching into a pouch at his waist Corindaen, pulls out a small medallion. On once side is worked the image of a 8 pointed star with a flame and rune at it's center, the other side however is blank.> This will allow you to return here to the valley in the future.

Lisa: <Taking the medallion and looking at it.> Thank you, Sensei. <frowning slight> How come the other side is blank?

Corindaen: Because you haven't chosen your mage's symbol yet. When you do I will help you inscribe it onto the medallion. Think long and hard on what your symbol will be, for it will identify you to other mages. Lisa: I will, but you said there where two things we had to do yet, what's the other one?

Corindaen: Come I will show you.

<Turning, Corindaen, leads Lisa out of the room, as they pass the table, Greymist who has been watching quietly leaps to Corindaen's Shoulder. Moving swiftly through the halls, Corindaen, leads Lisa & Avenestria to an ornately carved wooden door, that Lisa had not noticed earlier. Reaching out Corindaen, places his hand on the door in the exact center. For a long moment nothing happens, and then slowly the door shimmers and disappears. Looking over at Lisa Corindaen, motions for her to follow him inside. As the pair enter the room, lights flare to life around the walls. Scattered around the room, hanging from the walls and in free standing racks, are weapons of every description. As Lisa looks at the various weapons in wide eyed astonishment, Corindaen, looks her over carefully and then reaching a decision walks over to one of the racks.>

Corindaen: Lisa, I think this will suit you. <reaching out he lifts a sheathed sword from the rack and hands it to Lisa.>

Lisa: <eyes wide> s-s-suit me??? <squeaks> B-b-but what do I do with a sword?

Corindaen: Most wizards have a blade of some sort, they are very useful in certain spells. This one I give to you, treat it properly, and wield it with honor and it shall serve you well. Lisa: <bowing formally to Corindaen> Hai Sensei.

<Then taking the scabbard in one hand and the hilt in the other Lisa slowly draws the sword from its sheath. Running up both sides of the blade she can see runes. As Lisa looks the runes seem to writhe and twist for a moment and then she can read what the say. Written in runes of blue fire on one side of the blade is spelled: "Duty, Honor, Courage, Responsibility" On the other is the blades name "Draegeth">

Lisa: Thank you Sensei Corindaen, Perhaps my mother can teach me to use this properly.

Corindaen: <smiling> From what I have heard of Lady Nodoka I have absolutely no doubts. Now, to bed for you young lady. Tomorrow we return to Nerima.

<Nodding Lisa sheaths the sword and then turning leaves the chamber and returns to her room to rest. The next morning after breakfast, She and Corindaen, leave the tower. Walking together, Lisa notices the same strange mists, that they traveled through in coming to the valley rising around them once more. A short time later the mist slowly vanish and she blinks in surprise to find herself outside of the Saotome home. Then with a smile she walks to the door, and enters.>

Lisa: Mother, Father I'm home.

Nodoka & Genma: <coming from another room> Lisa, welcome back. <seeing Corindaen, they bow to him politely.>Hello again Corindaen.

Corindaen: <bowing to Nodoka & Genma> Greetings Lady, Sir.

Nodoka: I trust Lisa was well behaved and diligent in her studies?

Lisa: <with a wail and blushing> Mother....

Corindaen: <laughing> Yes indeed lady, very diligent. <At Corindaen's words, Avenestria fades into visibility and looks right at Nodoka & Genma.>

Avenestria: <In a cheerful tone> Hi.

Nodoka & Genma: 0_0 <piku>

Lisa: Mother, Father may I introduce my Familiar Avenestria. Avenestria these are my parents Genma & Nodoka Saotome.

Avenestria: I'm very pleased to meet you.

Nodoka: <looking at the still astonished Genma> We are very pleased to make your acquaintance......

Corindaen: <with a grin> Well I will leave you to get settled. Lisa Don't forget you have a lesson tomorrow afternoon. Until then farewell.

<With that Corindaen turns to leave, as he is leaving he can hear Lisa showing her parents her new sword & telling them about the valley and what she saw there.>

This ends this, thread, but not the story. If anyone would like compiled copies of the entire thread, please send an e-mail to me at