This is a work of fan fiction using the characters and settings of the MMORPG Wizard101. Wizard101, its characters, the universe of the Spiral, and all the worlds therein are owned by KingsIsle Entertainment. I do not work for KingsIsle Entertainment, have any contact with them directly, or claim any ownership of their characters, concepts, or ideas. The story I have written is not purported or believed to be cannon to the game and is for entertainment purposes only. I am thankful to KingsIsle for the elaborate worlds and characters they have created, without which this story would not exist. I thank everyone and anyone who reads, follows, and supports this story or any of my work, and invite you to please support the official game. Thank you and enjoy!

All was well and quiet for Librarian Fitzhume that morning. His first round of tracking down and retrieving overdue books was over and he had finally finished recalibrating the magical sorting machine in the Repository. So, for a job well done, the flying monkey came to sit in his preferred station in the Panopticon, comfortably reclining with a hot cup of tea in one hand and one of his favorite title in the other. The three elemental scholars passed by in a small group, quietly discussing plans regarding the Forge of Legends, albeit Scholar Virga seeming nowhere near as enthusiastic about the topic as Scholar Ferric. Their whispers began to fade down the corridor, allowing the librarian to bask in the peaceful, sophisticated, and purely dignified ambience of the Arcanum. All was as it should be, Fitzhume considered turning his gaze to his book, there was absolutely nothing that could possibly ruin this perfect-

The Spiral Door burst open and a familiar shout shattered the silence. Several savage roars echoed through the Panopticon, Fitzhume's head shot up from his book to find the Myth Scholar, Baba Yaga, astride her preferred waddling witch's hut being chased by four heavily armored draconians.

Make that three draconians, as a sickening crack came from the scholar's staff sending one of the monsters tumbling lifelessly to the floor. Fitzhume sighed heavily and curtly snapped his book shut upon seeing Ignus, Tarrak, and Ioane running back down the hall to assist. After one of the briefest fights the Librarian had ever seen the remaining draconians fled back through the open door, leaving a mess of scorch marks, blood, and raw rotten egg yolks (undoubtably from Baba Yaga's minions) all over the Panopticon.

Fitzhume sighed again, much louder this time, as he assessed the damage, meanwhile the scholars worked to calm the witch's favored mount. The bird-legged house beast was running amok, certainly frightened by the chaos, with an unconscious human woman slung over its back. The myth scholar gave a sharp whistle and the beast came rushing over to her leaving a trail of black sooty footprints behind it.

"Monkey! Go fetch Zander from the Hall of Theurgy!" The haggard witch snapped hauling the young unconscious woman off her beast's back.

"I have a name-"

"We know, Fitzhume." Zander said placidly, slowly walking onto the scene. "And I am certain Baba Yaga has an explanation for her curtness; for the moment however, I advise we get her 'guest' to the infirmary."

The Librarian's eye twitched slightly as the scholar's scurried away leaving Fitzhume alone in a fit of anguished hysterics, alongside the waddling witch's hut and a massive mess.

Inside the infirmary, Zander worked calmly and silently as the rest of the scholars waited for him to speak. Minutes dragged into hours and the silence became near unbearable as the canny witch beckoned her fellow scholars closer. Softly she began to divulge the information she'd gained during her investigations in Dragonspyre.

"So, it's true, the Cabal were involved?" Ioane whispered.

"Unfortunately." The witch answered with a slow nod.

"So, what's with the girl?" Ignus asked sparing at glance at Zander as the theurge continued to work.

"She was one of the one's I was investigating, our agent, Zanna, had provided me some promising leads before she…"

Tarrak cleared his throat, "What of our other agents?"

"Dead or scattered. Anyone who couldn't fight was put on a ship to Valencia. Even if they made it that far, I suspect the remaining ones will try to report back but I wouldn't count on it. This one, however, is among those directly responsible for stopping the Titan. If anyone is going to give us an accurate picture of what happened anytime soon, it is likely to be her.

"Provided I can keep her alive." Zander finally spoke calmly as he turned to face his colleagues, "I won't lie, her situation is very precarious."

"You're one of the best theurges in the Spiral, Zander. Surely you of all people can handle a few gashes and burns." Ignus reminded.

"I wish it were just that."

"Isn't it?" said the Storm Scholar, a thread of impatience lurking in her voice.

"Her body will be fine; the physical injuries are easily dealt with. But there's psychological trauma that comes with war, seeing one's world burning in front of them and being forced to endure that, to accept it as the new normal… -It damages the spirit in ways only few can imagine."

"Isn't there anything else you can do?" Ignus asked.

The koala shook his head, "I will continue to do what I can, I've done everything I can for now."

Days drifted into weeks as the scholars of the Arcanum waited for their agents to come forward. None came, a certain faint despair gripped the Arcanum as the fear of the Cabal getting away with the tragedy grew. Wanting to restore hope to his colleagues, Zander doubled his efforts to rouse the survivor Baba Yaga had returned with.

It was an emotional rollercoaster that was fraught with feelings of both defeat and triumph as his patient teetered along the edges of stable and near death. Her will to live was stronger than Zander had ever encountered before, as even on the nights he feared she would slip from his grasp and cross to the Otherside. He would return the next morning to find she still remained clinging to life, if not more than before. He took it as a sign she would eventually break through and improve.

One night while Zander was preparing his tinctures and salves for the next morning, he heard a noise. A series of soft fearful sounds as Zander looked to his surprise to find the young woman twitching violently. Albeit an unsettling sight, a small candle of curiosity ignited in the theurge's mind, he reached out a gentle hand but before he could carry out his intentions. The survivors eyes flickered open, her striking emerald green gaze darted about the room in a panic. What happened next was a blur in Zander's mind as one moment he was cooing, trying to allay the survivor's fears, and the next she had escaped the infirmly entirely. Thankfully, she hadn't made it far before falling unconscious, into the arms of the Arbiter Proctis, Cyrio Cassini.

With the Arbiter's help, Zander's patient was safely returned safely to the infirmary. Rather than see the negative, Zander chose to see the positive with newly fueled hope that the survivor was improving. Zander had been right too, as his patient began to slip in and out of consciousness, news which greatly pleased his fellow scholars. Her conscious moments quickly grew in frequency and coherency allowing Zander a few minutes to coax bits and pieces of information out of her.

When it finally happened it came as a shocking surprise. Baba Yaga had managed to sway the koala to leave his patient for but a moment to retrieve a bite to eat, when they returned they entered the room to find the young woman standing, alert, and fully aware. It was a moment met with a feeling of great triumph and a new challenge; unlike in her less coherent state where she could be coaxed to speak, she now refused to say a word.

Zander knew of course, it didn't take a grandmaster theurge to understand it, as anyone could have felt the sorrow that radiated from her being. Had he not known better he might have felt somewhat betrayed, but in her he saw a phoenix rising from its ashes, perhaps she simply couldn't see it.