Chapter two: Setting off with a staff and a smile.

"Tell me young one what has you so wound up that you look like a coiled spring mixed with a tiger about to pounce?" came the voice of the shadowed being. "How can I not be wound up? I mean the Pheobus Theica Kapern Acadium is only one of the best magic academies on the whole continent of Tangus!" came my swift and nervous reply. For the past couple of weeks my default settings have only consisted of nervous and more nervous, ever since receiving the letter of acceptance. The letter in question was only given to the elite of the elite when it comes to magic studies and as I recall I could only be described as above average at best.

I remember shortly after my Mother retrieved the letter from the beaked fiend of a grackle she handed it to me with a grin that would put a ches-cat, a summoned creature best known for it's large grin and ability to disappear into it's surroundings, to shame. I found that not only was it addressed to me, but on the other side there was a wax seal of an owl that carried in one talon a book and in the other a magic staff. The signature seal of the Pheobus Theica Kapern Acadium, or PTK Academy for short. Like most magic academies there exist two ways to gain attendance, the first being a direct application and entrance exam.

The second would be an acceptance letter which is given to individuals that the academy headmasters feel are capable of attending. At this point the only way to not be accepted is if you somehow bunk the exam which if you were given the letter is harder to do since the headmasters give out letters to those they deem have the potential to pass the exam with flying colors. "What am I going to do? I may very well be one of the few to actually fail the exam!" I exclaimed. At this the familiar shadowed form proceeded to softly chuckle while I continue my dream pacing.

"Relax young one no one may truly grasp what the future holds in store and besides you might just be pleasantly surprised at your results" the being stated after finishing her fit of giggles. I must admit she did have a point and perhaps I was just worrying for no good reason, but to think I was going to the PTK Academy. Sure I expected that I would be going somewhere, but I was thinking more on the line of Volconaris, or Mist Fields Academies. Both are less prominent schools, but with a good curriculum and reputation nonetheless due to my family's magic abilities.

I soon felt myself begin to awaken and with that the being said "farewell young one, until we meet after your exam". I was wondering what she meant by that, but could not ask her as my eyes were already opened. Well there wasn't really anything else to do other than get ready as today was when I departed for the academy. My normal morning routine was slower as I was careful to make sure I had packed all that I would need. Before finishing I looked in the mirror of the wash basin staring at myself in a vague attempt to calm my nerves. Once the storms left the onyx eyes I shared with my father I quickly ran a hand through my silver hair and proceeded down the stairs and out the door.

"Cyrron are you sure you have all that you need and everything listed on the letter?" Mother inquires. "I am sure that I at least have most of it" I respond before pulling out the letter just to be sure.

{To Mr. Cyrron Forge,

The Council of Headmasters would like to extend an invitation to join us at the Pheobus Theica Kapern Acadium. Your talents have peeked our interest and we are looking forward to seeing how they will develop. Your attendance is not mandatory and you are free to choose other academies should you see fit. However, if you do decide to join us then please refer to the list of required and optional items you may bring with you enclosed with this letter.

Pheobus Theica Kapern Acadium Council of Headmasters,

Thadeus Nermous Maurece Clive

Willow Windsbane Cecilia Marker

Domni Fletcher }

The required items included:

1. Every day clothes as Uniform and formal dress cloaks were provided for each student.

2. A Ceremonial garment that represents the wearer and must be made by the student to wear during the entrance and final exams. (Modifications and improvements can be made during the school year within reason)

3. Identification and acceptance letter.

4. A focus such as a wand, staff, orb, or other talisman that can be used as a focus to better direct the student's magic.

5. Your luggage should be labeled with your name, or family crest if you have one.

The optional items include, but are not limited to:

1. Extra books for magic study are encouraged. (Each class's text is provided by the school)

2. Leisure books and playing cards for down time.

The forbidden items were mainly pets and any dangerous items that young summoners might be tempted to bring. I had procured almost everything on my list except for a focus as when just before finishing the general lessons was when we were first asked to use the ones the instructor provided. As such the possibility that I may be in need of one completely slipped my mind. "Steaming Slag!" I exclaimed much to the surprise of my parents. At this point I was a bit panicked and asked Father if he knew if there was any chance I could get one before I had to take my leave.

Little did I suspect that my Father was already three steps ahead as he retrieved a long, slender package from within his workshop. "Well son this was meant to be just a going away present, but it looks like your Mother's intuition saved the day" he explained before handing me the package. When I opened it I was amazed to find a staff made from dark mahogany with the figure head being a fox happily perched on the top with it's tail curled around itself. "Father I do not know what to say other than its' perfect, thank you" I said whilst admiring the craftsmanship. "Thought you would like it as I noticed that during your studies you had a tendency to favor staffs over other focuses and as for the figure head well that was more of a gut feeling since you mentioned the shadow that you talk to in your dreams seems to be a bit of a trickster" Father boasted while wearing his signature grin.

Anyone who knows my Father knows that he only grins like that when he has either made, or hands over to the customers what he considers his best work. With that I quickly strapped the staff across my back and said my farewells just in time for the coach which was to take me and other students from nearby towns to the academy. It was a large carriage able to fit a good dozen people and their luggage over vast distances so I was at first perplexed as to why it was only drawn by two horses. Upon closer inspection I noticed that they were no ordinary horse, but the dangerous and rare equines known by many as Steads of Hades.

The creature's true name is the Gallows Gallop and it would explain why there are only two of them pulling this carriage as they are among the fastest and strongest of the equine species. They are often a deep black, or dark reddish brown in color that resemble a kelpie on the attack without the aquatic features. Four sharp canines can be seen protruding from the sides of their muzzles with two from the upper lip and two from the lower. Their eyes are a fiery red that give off an eerie feeling when looked into and their hooves are pointed like a spade. Their name comes from all the careless riders that have been killed after assuming that they could be tamed as easily as normal horses. Their favorite methods are stomping, or by breaking the neck either by running under low hanging branches, or pure whiplash from their incredible running speed. One reason not to try taming one yourself and also why the tame ones make great coach horses if you need something strong like an ox, but way faster.

After stowing my bags in the luggage bay and finding a seat we were off at quite the clip, but even at the speed we were going the coach would not make it to the school until early evening at best. Even though the carriage could hold a dozen bodies there were only five including myself currently riding this one. Apparently recruitment in the Southern Valley region of Tangus was slim as I found myself being the next to last to board the coach as just after midday the last PTK Academy hopeful came and sat in the seat next to mine. I never thought I was exceedingly tall with a height of about six feet, but the girl next to me was so petit that I felt like I might be too tall for my age. An unfamiliar feeling too be sure seeing as my own father exceeded my height by another five inches not including the muscle bulk he gained growing up working in his family's forge.

The girl seemed to only be about four feet and seven inches give, or take with a slim frame, coppery brown hair that was clipped short and framed her face, and most striking of all her storm grey eyes. After she had finished observing the cabin her attention came to focus on me as if she had just noticed I was there. "Hello my name I'm Anetha Arieous Nice to meet you" she said whilst extending her hand to me. A little nervous I quickly took it and responded "Cyrron Forge, same here". We discussed various things as we continued to get acquainted and as fate would have it here Father was also a craftsman, a carpenter to be exact. I had asked her if it was because he was a nature user like my Mother, but it turns out that he actually used air magic and earth magic in order to cut the wood, carve it, and sand it for a smooth finish.

After discussing our parent's magic we began to ponder what the possibilities of our own magics and familiars would be. This line of conversation continued until we approached the Kapernicus gates which marked the entrance of the academy's grounds. To say it was large was an understatement as the meatal gates attached to the stone walls of the surrounding mountains gave the impression that this was indeed the point of no return and once you go past them you will either become a student, or flunk out miserably.

A/N: Sorry with being a little late to post, but life (fill in word you prefer here_) happens and I am currently on Chapter three which I hope to have uploaded before the start of the new year.

please review and leave a comment, any comment will do~catch ya on the flip side.