"Honestly, it is a really difficult task, trying to get used to a place when it's another world…"
-Lucas Lotusweave, The Ravenwood Address
Let me begin by saying, everything he's told you is a lie.
Several years ago, Merle Ambrose, a recently graduated and rather talented magic student from a private magic academy in Wysteria, found a tree with immense power named Bartelby floating between worlds. He was a huge tree with unlimited magical power and an eye that could see into the past as well as one that could see into the future. His children in order of age include Torrence, Kelvin, Bernie, Blossom, Ivan, Mortis, and Niles. Their small piece of land was crumbling. Using his power, Ambrose gathered the missing pieces of the world and reconnected them using an extremely complicated spell involving most of the elements.
Bartelby was very thankful that Ambrose did this. He revealed his true identity of being the source of all magic in the spiral. At this, Ambrose humbly bowed, knowing that Bartelby was far more powerful than he could ever be. But even so, Ambrose was formulating a plan in his head. Bartelby invited Ambrose to live in the world of the trees. He graciously accepted but quickly defiled the land by building a school around Bartelby and his children. He deemed this new world Wizard City, and the school, Ravenwood. Bartelby was outraged that Ambrose had turned his sacred place into a city.
As students flooded in and Ambrose hired an elite staff of professors, accommodations were needed. Therefore, he created streets and a district for shopping in Wizard City.
Ambrose quickly stocked the shelves of the library he constructed with books of how he saved Bartelby, a helpless sapling, from floating about in space and filled the students' heads with terrible propaganda. The students cherished their beloved headmaster and were blinded from who he really was.
Now less powerful than before, Bartelby complied to Ambrose's city and he and his children assisted the new students in their study of magic.
Much much later, I, Lucas Lotusweave, leader of the resistance, comes in.
My parents, Alicia and Vincent Lotusweave, sent me to Ravenwood to study the family magic, life. I had other plans. Of course, I studied life magic as well, but I was simply fascinated by the art of ice magic. Ice magicians are wise and crafty, not as good at offense as, say, fire magicians are, but excellent problem solvers and defenders.
After enrollment, I went to Ambrose to see if I could get a tour around the Commons and Ravenwood, and ask why the Death School was missing. He changed the subject instantly, that I should go see the registrar, Merion Lincoln, or as we called him, Mr. Lincoln.
Mr. Lincoln needed to know my name of course, so I told him. Lucas Lotusweave.
"Lotusweave?" Lincoln eyed me anxiously.
"Yes, Lucas Lotusweave, age twelve, ready to learn." I responded, happily.
"Interesting. I have no time to chat with students. Go to the library, it's on the opposite side of The Commons," then, Lincoln rushed off.
So, I made my way to the library, with the hopes of introducing myself to the librarian (I always strived for rank of teacher's pet, you know, the student who is buddy-buddy with all of the teachers and staff).
The library looked very old. Some people told me that it was the oldest building in all of Wizard City. Four gray columns stood, holding up a marble overhang that stood over marble steps with a marble porch. The doors were large thick oak that had big spherical hunk of brass. Later-I was told-the doors no longer functioned by the doorknobs because of how worn they got, that they eventually fell out, and these were just decoration.
I had to lean all of my body weight against the oak door for it to even budge. An older wizard pointed to his wand as he walked by. I stood up straight and pointed my wand-a glorified icicle-toward the door and it slowly opened.
The inside was not as glorious as the outside. A small circulation desk sat in the middle of the room surrounded by decorative pillars that held up nothing. A staircase led upward to the available books on three small bookshelves. The only impressive part was the rest of the library's collection.
Glowing books sat sloppily piled in, what I thought, was a random order on oak bookshelves, the exact material of the door. The dark stone hallways were dimly lit by soft blue torchlight and seemed to go on forever. Small velvet ropes stood in front of all of the entrances to the hallways.
I snuck into one and found myself in front of the circulation desk again.
"No entry into the rest of the collection is permitted to students. If you would like a book that isn't found on the shelves upstairs, I can retrieve it for you here," the black dog behind the circulation desk said.
I stepped away from the desk, nervous that I made a bad first impression. The library was mainly empty, except for an older boy reading a book labeled You and your Banshee, Basic Care and Training by the small fireplace that was sputtering small flames and embers. The boy peered at the fire and pointed at it. A tower of yellow flames erupted in the fireplace and made the fire roar. As I approached, though, it didn't get warmer, it got more room temperature. It was a very comfortable temperature.
"Do you like my myth flames? They're designed to make the temperature comfortable." The boy asked. I hadn't realized it, but I was standing next to the fire, soaking in the temperature that was just right. I withdrew from the fireplace area and apologized.
"It's cool. New students love to see advanced magic, it's not your fault. I'm Boris Tallstaff by the way, nice to meet you." The boy said, sticking out his hand. I shook it.
"Lucas, Lucas Lotusweave. That's me." I said in reply.
I walked away as Boris resumed reading his book and walked up to the circulation desk.
"Hello, sir." I said, attempting to redeem myself after the last incident.
"Hello, young wizard. I am Harold Argleston, librarian of the Wizard City Library, and you are?" the dog inquired.
"Lucas Lotusweave. I'm new, in the schools of ice and life."
Argleston's eyes widened. "Lotusweave?"
"Yes, Lucas Lotusweave."
Argleston shook his head, as if snapping himself back into reality. "Very well," he started in a much more serious tone, "I think you might be interested in this book."
He held out his hand and a glowing book appeared in it. He squeezed the book and it stopped glowing. He opened up the back and scribbled my name under a long list of names, closed it, and slid it across the desktop.
It was a very old book with a green cover that was stained a million times over. The pages were yellowed, and the cover was dotted with holes that revealed the first yellow page. I opened the back cover and saw a list of names tightly squeezed onto the back page, and surely enough, there was my name at the bottom of the list in fresh, black ink. Two other names caught my eye, Moolinda Wu and Cyrus Drake, the life and myth professors.
I looked up at Argleston.
"Read it carefully." He said.
I left the library and put the book into my new leather backpack. For its size, the book was surprisingly light. It was getting late and tomorrow was my first class in ice school, then a class in life, followed by an ice training session, ending with a Spiral Studies class.
So, I went back to Ravenwood and entered my dorm. I didn't have anything in the way of furniture except for the school-supplied desk, bed, chair, and chest of drawers. I sat down at the desk and opened the book.
The Book of Bartelby
By Halston Balestrom, Professor of Storm at Ravenwood School
The following book is a book of truth, not the propaganda Merle Ambrose has given to the world. Many years ago, I discovered his secret and learned the truth from Torrence, the storm tree, and checked his story with all of the other trees of Ravenwood. Due to the fact that trees cannot write, I shall write for them. Merle Ambrose has lied to all of us. When I came to Ravenwood to become the storm professor, Merle Ambrose supplied me with a copy of The History of Ravenwood, Merle Ambrose: Savior of the Trees, Rules and Conduct of Wizard City, How to use the Spiral Communicator, and The Story of the Death School.
The history of Ravenwood and the Merle Ambrose autobiography was the first propaganda to be issued. Ambrose required that all professors complete reading the first three books before teaching at the school.
Later, when I introduced myself to Harold Argleston, he told me to speak with Torrence as soon as possible. So, I returned to the Storm School and spoke with Torrence. Torrence did nothing but tell me to return at midnight, the hour when Ambrose could not leave his home because of Bartelby's magic. So, I did and I took detailed notes of what Torrence told me, practically giving me this book (of course I had to do editing and such),
Merle Ambrose was right about one thing. He stopped Bartelby's Island from crumbling anymore, and then he established Ravenwood and Wizard City. The end of the truth. Then he goes off and stocks the shelves of the library with his autobiography about how if he hadn't been born the Spiral would be doomed. Lies. He has been oppressing Bartelby and his children for years, keeping them back, not allowing them to grow. If he hadn't built that wall around Ravenwood, the trees would be huge, even bigger than Bartelby, but instead they are still small, hardly taller than Ambrose himself. Ambrose had a sinister plan, and if Argleston has given you this book, has proceeded. He is oppressing the trees, slowly taking their energy away from them with a curse that he has planted on the grounds of Ravenwood. Moolinda Wu and Cyrus Drake have been doing all that they can to keep it under control, but if one of them dies or can no longer perform magic, the trees will continue to be dismantled, until eventually there will be no more trees. Ambrose empowered a stone with the curse, and if the stone can be destroyed, so will the curse and the trees will grow. However, the stone was broken into four parts so that it would be extremely difficult to gain back. One was kept by Ambrose, another was shipped to Wysteria, the third was given to someone in Marleybone, unknown at this time, and the fourth stone's location is unknown as well. The only way to end the curse is to destroy all parts of the stone. This is why we must rise up and fight against the oppressor, Merle Ambrose.
I read three names, written in Argleston's neat handwriting, down before I realized I was at the back of the book, reading the names of the people who had checked out the book before I had. The book had shrunk down to about three pages including the title page. I was too tired to be confused, and before I knew it, I was crawling into bed.
The dream I had was probably the weirdest dream I had ever had. I saw a pig and a beautiful woman running with a worried look on her face. The pig was golden and flying with quick small wings on its shoulders. Then, Ambrose appeared and struck down the pig with a zap of his wand. The pig's body fell to the ground, dead. The woman kneeled down next to the pig and sobbed.
"Why, Merle? Why?" the woman sobbed.
"You were distracted, Belladonna…"
The woman looked at Ambrose with glassy eyes and paused.
"I suppose so." She said.
Then the dream fizzled into reality and I was awake again. Sunlight streamed through the window on the roof of my dorm room. I stretched and chose to ignore the dream, because it was just nonsense. I swung my legs to the side of my bed and stood up, and started walking to my chest of drawers to put on my robes for the day. I tripped over a moving box on the floor. I picked it up and whatever was in it made a whining sound and rammed into the sides of the box. It was addressed to me from Harold Argleston.
I approached it with caution and reached down to it. As soon as I opened it, a flash of pink shot through the air with a happy "yippee" sound. Yippee! Yippee! I looked up and I saw a pig with wings darting around my room. Just like the one in my dream, except pink.