|The Mage Sister||
Magicker’s Joust Senior level. The battle for the King’s Cup. Epic. Utterly epic, I tell you. Never in all my years have a seen such a spectacle!
It started out like any other Senior Joust, the strongest competitors clearing out the competition with little delay. It was evident quite early on that Michael Absterdeen of Rillian Magicker’s College, Phillipe von Weast of Yoorton Academy and Nigel Lambeth of Grace Royal Academy were the stand outs of the day.
As you are probably well aware, the Joust rules state explicitly that competitors may only manipulate their innate magic in competition, and are not allowed to use spells or developed skill learned in their Magicker’s Programs, excepting that which focuses on maximizing use of such innate skill. This forces the boys to be creative and clever in battle, and tends to quickly separate the best from the less experienced.
After a fierce round that lasted at least an hour, young von Weast was eliminated by Lambeth, a Spark (common term for Fire Magicker) who conjured an enormous, fiery dragon that picked up von Weast and flung him clear out of the arena and into Rowan Bay. While the healers were able to retrieve Master von Weast from the bay and restore him, he was not able to return to the arena for competition and was forced to forfeit the match.
The battle between Lambeth and Michael Absterdeen, whose innate skill is utilizing air elements to his advantage, went on for hours. Every time Lambeth attempted an attack utilizing his fire abilities, Absterbeed would manipulate the air around him to starve the fire and put it out. In return, Lambeth took advantage of elements such as the wind whips that Absterdeen conjured by inserting his fire into them and creating fire storms around his apponent.
The battle went on long into the night – much longer than any other Magicker’s Joust in known history. Other events, such as the Annual Reenactment of the Crossing of Fiaryn’s Gate, performances by the Stone Circle Mage’s - who are known to put on breathtaking programs of fire and light dancing, music and song - and any such other diversions were delayed until after the Joust. But it seems the competitors were too well-matched, and they fought to a stalemate, neither giving way to the other.
Just before dawn – most of the crowd had gone away by now – the battle ended quite suddenly. The opponents were locked in yet another brutal stalemate when the beautiful weather we had enjoyed all day changed violently. A fierce storm blew up out of nowhere. Dense sheets of rain poured down, vicious wind tore around us and thunder shook the ground while lightning tore through the sky! I was considerably alarmed, let me tell you.
The competitors were pummeled to the ground and when it stopped a few moments later, His Grace, King Nathan rose from his seat and strode to the pedestal where the King’s Cup stood wearing a garment which can only be described as his… ahem… underpants. He snatched up the Cup and growled at the contestants, “I’ll take that, and it serves you right for being such wishy-washy pansies!” Then he glared over his shoulder at Queen Catherine, said, “Ha!” at her and strode away.
Queen Catherine looked considerably put out and shouted after him, “Well, at least you’re still wearing your crown!” King Nathan stopped and turned quite purple, the crown shot up off his head and burst into shiny dust and he walked away. Queen Catherine stamped her foot and threw her own crown at him, hitting him squarely in the back. His Grace continued on, with Her Highness following behind, scolding him fiercely with very high pitched tone.
I’ve never seen the like in all my days. I’m not even sure I didn’t imagine it all, what with being so exhausted after witnessing such an epic battle. I’m sure I must have been dreaming. It’s simply not possible that our Beloved Royals would behave in such a manner. No, I’m certain I must have nodded off and dreamed it.
But what a curious dream! It was a dream, wasn’t it?
I am pleased to report that Vespith Academy swept the Junior Magicker’s Joust in both levels again this year. Well done, Headmaster Jahx Rife!
About his victory for the second year in a row, Headmaster Rife said, “The boys have fun and that’s really all that is important. They work very hard all year, and the Festival is an important part of rewarding that work. Plus it allows them to, you know, show off their skills a little, show the world what they can do.”
Vespith Academy’s Riley Stauking also won the Junior Cup at the Senior Joust. Headmaster Rife seemed somewhat stoic about this victory, it being well known that he doesn’t approve of his boys participating in the Senior Joust, but he congratulated young Stauking, nonetheless.
“I’m afraid we set a precedent a few years ago when we allowed Gunnar Flith to compete,” Headmaster Rife explained when asked about Vespith’s participation in the Senior Joust. “Now all the boys want to do it, and say it’s not fair if we don’t let them. So we decided to allow them to choose one competitor from among themselves to represent the school. I thought that egos would preside and they’d never be able to settle on one person. However, I’m afraid I underestimated my boys. They chose Riley, who did compete brilliantly, and only suffered a few broken bones, so well done, Riley. However, we made competition in this year’s event contingent upon allowing Riley to decide after the event if the school would compete in that level again, and made the boys sign an agreement with us that whatever Riley decided would be honored.”
When asked what his recommendation would be, Mr. Stauking replied, “Headmaster Rife is a thoroughly honorable man and he really does his best to protect us. Even though we don’t understand that always, he’s only doing whatever he can to keep us out of harm’s way for as long as he can. The Senior Joust truly is brutal. Still, so is life, so as to Vespith competing in the future? I say bring it!”
In response, Headmaster Rife whacked the boy in the back of the head and walked away.
Nathan: For the love of Fiaryn, what have you done to my crown, Catherine?
Catherine: I have no idea what you're talking about, Nathan. Now stop doing that - people are staring.
Nathan: You... put... rrrrhhghhh! What did you do?!?
Catherine: (Gracious, Nathan, you're drawing a crowd.) Nothing to worry about - there's a bee. He's allergic.
Cristov: Nathan! What are you doing?
Catherine: Making a scene.
Cristov: I can see that. Stop it.
Nathan: She... she... she... arhhg!
Cristov: Move along. There's nothing to see.
Catherine: Nathan, really! Just settle down. People are staring, and besides, it's not going to kill you to look decent for one day.
Nathan: Well, I don't have much choice, do I? Thanks to you!
Cristov: Why is it Catherine's fault that you're jumping around like a buffoon?
Nathan: She glued my crown to my head!!! And I can't get this $%^& jacket off! I'm roasting!
Cristov: Catherine, did you do something to Nathan's attire?
Catherine: It's just the teensiest of sealing spells. It's nothing! Just to make sure he doesn't lose his crown this year... or his coat. You know how he does it every year and I have to run around the fairgrounds picking up after him as if I were his valet.
Nathan: I do not!
Cristov: Yes, you do.
Catherine: I swear, he'd run around naked if I let him.
Nathan: I have never run naked, I ask you!
Cristov: Yes, you have.
Nathan: Hmph! Make her stop it.
Cristov: Catherine, I really must say I'm surprised at you. Well done.
It’s a gorgeous day here in Rowan Capital for the 541st Annual King’s Festival, despite a dreadful storm last night, which disappeared quite suddenly at dawn. Usually the King’s Festival is the hottest day of the year, but the storm must have blown all the heat away. Huzzah! We couldn’t have finer weather!
Rumor has it that Cristov MacCuin, Leader of the Circle of Mages, may have put the squash on our dear monarch for throwing said storm in an attempt to avoid his birthday celebration. Pshaw! I say. King Nathan appeared as kingly as ever, with his crown firmly in place, though I do have to say, that storm must have kept him up quite late as we was looking slightly haggard.
The day began with a real treat - the Annual Delicacy Bake Off! Mistress Piety won the day again with her absolutely divine Chocolate Cinnamon Raspberry torte, to the outrage of Mr. Breadstock, who, I’m afraid, was a terribly poor sport. He howled with rage and began throwing baked goods at Mistress Piety! Piety, not the shrinking violet, she, took up one of Mr. Breadstock's baking paddles and walloped the man a good one. Mr. Breadstock attempted to wrest the paddle from her, clearly intent on making use of that implement. However, Piety kicked his shins soundly, gave him an ultimate raspberry with a bowl of raspberry glaze from her own tasty torte and began chasing the sticky sourpuss around the fairgrounds, cursing and cudgeling him until the King’s Guard subdued the battling bakers .
King Nathan gave the two a good talking to, and ended up ejecting Mr. Breadstock for general devilry. As we all know, His Grace does not suffer buffoons gladly. Honestly, who has the temerity to be rude His Grace? Really! And on his birthday! I ask you!
Mrs. Piety is quoted as saying, “It’s about time someone gave that annoying lout a good thump! I’ve had it up to here with his churlishness! Best Festival Day I've had in years.”
I'm afraid I'm not allowed to report what Mr. Breadstock said, but it wasn't very genteel, I can tell you. Can't say I blame poor Piety, can you?
Much yet to come on this fabulous King’s Festival Day. Stay tuned!