Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Samuel Nighttamer!

The title says it all. My little brother Samuel turns __ years old today.

So happy birthday! :)

For those of you who don't know who Samuel is, he's a pretty big voice in my story. Pun intended. He is the youngest of my siblings, at age __. Here's a picture.

Yep, that's him. Not in real life, of course, but you get the idea.

So let's see... abot Samuel... Well he's a level 20 balance wizard. He seconds in life, and I think he knows some death spells too. I don't know; he just spends his training points on whatever nowadays. He doesn't get on W101 much now because of the addictive powers of the Wii, but when he does, he likes to spend his time buying treasure cards, using my crowns without permission, and asking random people to be his friends. In real life, he loves Star Wars, Legos, and...oh yeah...Wii.

OK, so that's it for my Samuel Nighttamer tribute. Now onto awesome news...

I finally reached the quest to defeat Malistaire!!! So, yeah...if anyone wants to help me...*hint hint*

Oh and sorry if this post comes out a little weird, maybe centered or something. I'm typing on my iPod right now, and I don't really have that luxury.


~SS~





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

OHYEAHLEVEL50!!

Sorry I haven't been posting for a while. Because of the play and everything else that's been going on, I haven't been able to get online.

But I somehow managed to get a little free time over the weekend. And when I did...

...I go to 50! =D

Ok, so here's what happened...

First, I got on and looked at my XP bar.


"Ok," I thought. "A half a bar left. I can do this."

So I went to do my next main quest from a guy named Vidor What's-his name. Basically I had to battle draconians until I collected 8 of something. (I don't really pay attention to these things.)



Whatever it was they were supposed to be dropping, they were only doing it one at a time.

And I was like, "COME ON!"

About an hour (maybe not that long) later, and with maybe 40 out of 260 mana, I triumphantly emerged from the streets and approached Vidor, sure that this would be the leveling moment. I even took a picture.

ZOOM+


:( ?

O.o

D:

D:<

Needless to say, I was not happy. I spent an HOUR (again, maybe not that long) battling those things. AN HOUR! And I'm only...

*checks*


*does math*

...11 POINTS SHORT! It was practically full!

I could've done one more battle and gained enough XP from that to level up. But since my next quest was only collecting brimstone off the streets, I decided to do that.

And here is the leveling up moment!


So...YAY! I'm finally a Grandmaster!

...now what?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yeah, I might be gone for awhile...

Why, you ask?

Here's a hint.

Hehe. Yep. I'm going to be in a play for the next week. Well, actually it's the last week of rehersals. So I probably won't have the time to post during that time.

I'll try, but between this and homework, it'll probably take up most of my time.

Oh, and by the way...


THAT is my experience bar. I have to admit I'm surprised how quickly it's coming along, from what I've heard that the road to Granddom is supposed to be really long or whatever. I think it's because that since I've had so much time in between waiting for crowns money that I've had time to do sidequests. So now I'm thinking it's gonna be easy.

Especially with the XP boost elixirs I get from playing Wizblox!

SS

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Tale of Sarah Spiritheart Part 10

Okay, I think y'all have been waiting long enough. So here it is: The Tale of Sarah Spiritheart. Part 10. The last part of the story. The epic battle scene.

THE LAST PART OF THE STORY.  :(

I know, I'm sad too. I've been working on this story for about a year now. It was one of the few things in my life I took pride in.

But there's a bright side to all this! Right now, I'm working on a new...

You know what? I'll tell you later. Let's just savor the moment right now. So enjoy!




The Tale of Sarah Spiritheart
Part 10

The earthquakes had been going on for some time now. But this, now, was the loudest and most destructive one yet. To everyone in Wizard City, it signified the end of the shaking, but the beginning of a battle.
As that last tremor went on, doors opened on every street as Ravenwood alumni dashed out to see what was going on. Actually, most of them knew, as the guards had traveled all over Wizard City to warn everyone of Malistaire’s coming. But no one actually believed it until now.
Either way, everyone seemed to know what was going on at once. Several screams pierced the morning air.
Then there was a flurry of movement as wizards from Unicorn Way, Cyclopes Lane, Colossus Boulevard, and all the other streets all sought to get somewhere at once. Some of the more cowardly rushed back inside their houses, snapping shut the blinds and magically locking their doors. But most ran outside on the streets, wands in hand, prepared to fight.
And it wasn’t only the wizards preparing for battle.
As the people prepared to fight Malistaire, there were several creatures preparing to join him, primarily the bosses. If anyone had been watching, they would’ve witnessed a strange yet horrific scene: bosses like Lady Blackhope, Sergeant Skullsplitter, and Wormguts, marching side by side, as if hypnotized, to go and fight for the side of evil.
In Colossus Boulevard, hundreds of Gobblers rushed toward the Gobbler King’s castle to hide, them being a neutral party. Each one of them was headed toward a room that was supposedly hidden (but actually in plain view) that none of them could think of a fancier name for other than the “Emergency Room.” Inside that room was a mountain of food that the king’s heralds had spent years collecting. This was where the Gobblers “hid,” stuffing their faces while the enormous Gobbler King struggled to get in.
Over in Triton Avenue, the Kraken raised its gigantic head. He could sense a great battle coming, perhaps the battle foretold in the prophecies.
He would not fight, he decided, crawling back into his cave, for neither light nor darkness. But still, he wondered if his life might be better if darkness won. Perhaps there would be no more pesky wizards seeking his electric crystals.
And in Ravenwood, a student army prepared for war, including the young family in the prophecy. Many would die, and everyone there was prepared for it.
The students watched, beads of sweat forming down their necks, as Malistaire and his forces steadily drew nearer.


Marcus Deathspear.
But wait, he’s dead, isn’t he? I killed him, right? Didn’t I?
Questions like these formed in my mind, bouncing around in my brain until I thought I would go numb with shock.
Perhaps it wasn’t really him, I thought. But when I looked again, there was no mistaking that familiar black hood, that arrogant stance, that smug smile.
Then maybe I didn’t kill him after all.
But he wasn’t even breathing!
Suddenly the two dragons in front, bearing both Malistaire and the Black Hand, swerved in different directions. They fled the grounds, leaving the numerous amounts of creatures to attack the students.
A great amount of shouting erupted amongst the students; I caught the word “coward!” at least ten times.
 I shook my head, trying to clear it. Now wasn’t the time to worry about Marcus. The time would come sooner or later. Now we had a much more pressing matter to deal with, in the form of forty or so fifty-foot dragons.
Who were opening their mouths.
And everyone knows that there was only one reason that a dragon would open its mouth.
A wave of heat blew over me, and I saw orangey-black flames begin to build up in the dragons’ throats.
I wish I could’ve thought up some amazing plan that I could share with you now, but I didn’t. My mind was numb, and my only thought was, Oh, Lord, this is gonna hurt.
In fact, if a few Grandmaster Storm wizards hadn’t been there to conjure up a wind, we would’ve all been toast.
It was pretty cool, actually. They just stood up in front of us all, held out their hands, and Whoosh! I heard several sighs of relief and was immediately tricked into thinking that the worst had been overcome.
But one dragon was smart. It flew around the wall of wind, snapped its jaws open, and instantly blew a jet of flame about a quarter of a mile long. At first, none of us saw what was happening. But when the flames receded, we saw a small, dark body crumble in their wake.
Everything was silent for the longest time.
 Then several cries of outrage broke out among the students. Nearly everyone raised their wands at once. The burning of a student acted like some sort of wake-up-call, instantly animating those who had just been standing there with their wands hanging stupidly at their sides.
Later I would learn that the person that the dragon had burned hadn’t died. She was a small, wiry girl named Alice Firestalker. And if she hadn’t been a pyromancer, then her injuries probably would’ve been much more serious.
I’ve never been in a full blown-out war before. The closest I’d come to it was the invasion of Ravenwood, and that was just about it. But I knew it would be bad.
But after my experiences in this war, I would come to think of that assumption as a major, major understatement.
Chaos, utter chaos. That doesn’t even come close to describing the war, for no words could do that. But it was the closest I could get to it.
The first few seconds seemed to go by in slow motion. The dragons approached land in a speed I would never have thought possible, some going to other areas of Wizard City, but most merely staying in Ravenwood. Then everyone around us was diving out of the way as they fell from the sky like nuclear bombs, the earth trembling as they landed.
Then when the creatures slid off their backs, signaling the beginning of the fight, everything seemed to speed up again, and this time it was if someone had hit a fast-forward button: everything was happening much too fast for my liking.
I looked at Sadie and Samuel and suddenly felt a pang of terror in my gut. They were only Journeymen; were they ready for this?
I made a decision right there on the spot. “Guys, take cover somewhere. Anywhere. I don’t know…get inside the Spiral Chamber or something. We’ll whisper chat to you when we’ve found Malistaire.”
Sadie’s lip trembled. “No.”
For a moment, I felt like my heart was about to burst with pride. What happened to the girl who had, once upon a time, been afraid of crossing the street?
“Seriously,” I tried again. “It’s not safe here. You need—”
Fwooom!
And that was all it took for everything to burst into flames.
“Aaaah!” I screamed, twirling around on the spot. Everything around me was on fire, and I could only see the silhouettes of those around me. But the scariest part was all that smoke rising up from the flames. For a heart-stopping second, I couldn’t see my siblings anywhere. I called out to them, but choked on the smoke.
Then came a strong wind (probably conjured by more storm wizards) that blew all the smoke away. And, as water elementals got to work putting out the flames, I quickly realized that I had a new problem. Savannah, Sadie, and Samuel were all missing.
I tried to call out to them, but, once oblivious to the battle around me, I realized that it would do no good. It was too loud.
So I tried whisper-chatting to Savannah: Are you okay?
Yeah, came her reply.
 Are Sadie and Samuel with you?
No, they got away. But I tried contacting them, and they sounded like they were okay.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
What do we do now? Savannah asked me.
First things first, I replied. We have to find Malistaire. They’re right: we need to end this as soon as possible.
Okay.
See you…soon.
Taking a deep breath, I stepped out into the battle.
A scene of great pandemonium met my eyes. Magical domes of all colors, which, I knew, boosted the strength of a wizard’s attack, covered the sidewalks. All five present schools of magic were damaged in some way; the Myth school had already been reduced to just a little pile of rubble. Everywhere I looked, students were fighting their hardest, but Malistaire’s forces were fighting just as hard.
Sidestepping a giant spider’s pincers without even a second thought, I ran through the tunnel to the Commons.
The first thing I noticed when I got there was the huge, serpentine, 60-foot monster rising out of the pond. One glance told me that it was for Malistaire. There were several myth wizards surrounding it (for myth was storm’s weakness), each trying to fight it off.
Then it lunged, moving at a pace that I wouldn’t have thought possible for its size. I screamed, as did a few others, but I needn’t have worried. No one was hurt, but I hated to think of what would happen if they had been even a second late.
I turned left and dashed across Rainbow Bridge, allowing my thoughts to wander over to Nightside. Had Ambrose succeeded in freeing the death wizards? And exactly how far would he go to do so? Lost in thought, I almost bumped into Professor Falmea, who was snapping her fingers, allowing patches of fire to spring up from the ground at random.
Swerving to avoid Sergeant Muldoon, who was sticking his spear into the body of a Draconian, I almost simultaneously skidded to a halt, the result being me sprawled in a patch of grass. I had just noticed the library; it was up in flames.
Scrambling up, I automatically changed course, me having a soft spot for libraries. I shoved my hand into my deck and pulled out a Humongofrog spell card, which I cast on the spot.
A giant frog rose from the depths of the ground and lumbered over to help all the wizards surrounding the library, who weren’t having very much luck. I’ll have to say that it was disgusting, but it worked; the Humongofrog’s mucus completely smothered the flames. But before the other wizards could do as much as whirl around to find out who had cast it, I was off.
“Catherine! Catherine, where are you?”
I gasped when I realized who had said that. Madison Goldengate, who had somehow snuck past the other evacuating students, was stumbling around the Commons as if caught in a pinball machine, screaming for her sister. Her hair was a mess, and there was a purple bruise under her left eye.
And that’s when I noticed the dark shadow right behind her, and advancing.
—a bright flash of silver—
 “No!” I cried, my wand somehow pointing at the shadow before I knew what was happening. A bright green flash of light appeared somewhere around the creature’s heart, and I heard a wail of pain. Madison leapt back from her pursuer, frightened, but unharmed.
“Madison!” I yelled, but I was interrupted by a throaty hiss.
The shadow became clearer as it stepped out into the sunlight, and I wished that it hadn’t, for it was immensely ugly. It was dressed all in dark, navy blue rags, had decaying, claw-like hands, and something that looked suspiciously like a bird beak from beneath its hood.
“You,” it rasped in a voice that was arguably female.
I gulped; I knew what this was now.
“Hag,” I gasped, referring to a type of monster that I had learned about back in Adept class. They lived independently up in the mountains, only coming down from the mountains when they sensed a great war coming. They had dark magic that not even Malistaire knew. And, incidentally, they ate human flesh.
It chuckled, or it may have just been a growl. It was hard to tell.
“Die well, child of Light,” it purred. Then it made a throwing motion with its right arm. I didn’t even have to look to know that the silver knife, once so close to Madison’s throat, was now inches from my own heart…
Something hit me hard from below. My knees buckled, and I fell to the ground, the knife whizzing harmlessly overhead.
I looked around for my savior, and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw who it was.
“Nolan!”
I threw my arms around his neck, forgetting for a moment that he wasn’t Chris Willowcrafter, who was (or at least pretended to be) okay with me hugging him at random moments. But then, I reasoned, I didn’t really care that much. And apparently, he didn’t either.
“Oh my gosh, Nolan! Are you all right? Are the others okay too? How did Professor Ambrose get you out of there? And where’s—”
“I’m okay,” he interrupted. He looked genuinely happy to see me, a wide smile lighting up every inch of his face. “And so are the rest. They’re out fighting this very moment. Ambrose too.”
“And Professor Drake..?”
At this, Nolan’s smile faded. He gave me a look that plainly said, You can’t win them all.
“Ah, how sweet…old friends perhaps..?”
A dark shadow was rising over Nolan and me, huddled on the ground. Together, we watched it move across the field, reach a row of buildings, and steadily start inching up them. We finally had enough sense to look up.
The hag, as if she wasn’t hideous enough, was growing, great leathery wings with bits of skin missing sprouting from her back. Then she landed on all fours, at least ten feet long and six feet high. Her eyes, as red as coal embers, were turned toward us in an expression of pure fury.
She opened her beak, and…well…it wasn’t exactly fire that came out. It was more of a swirling, black mist, kind of like the mist of a shadow daemon. But I knew that anything that came out something’s mouth couldn’t be good. And then I had to learn the hard way that it wasn’t as harmless as it looked: As I jumped out of the way, a small bit of it touched my finger.
“Ah!” I gasped. It wasn’t—couldn’t be fire, but that’s exactly what it felt like. My finger was certainly aflame, so why didn’t I see any fire?
“Leave her ALONE!” Nolan shouted, tracing the fire symbol in the air. Instantly a great, flaming phoenix shot up from the ground and breathed a wide jet of flame right at the hag’s face, who howled pitifully and clawed at the flames.
“Did it get you?” Nolan asked. I nodded, holding up my pinkie. Something was bubbling on it that looked suspiciously like acid, but I couldn’t tell. Fascinated, I reached out to touch it.
“Don’t!” Nolan warned. “You don’t want it to spread!”
“Want what to spread?” I asked, just as the hag took a great swipe at the phoenix, and it disappeared into a cloud of ashes.
A strange gurgling noise erupted from the creature’s throat as its murderous, red eyes swiveled toward Nolan.
I was on my feet in an instant, pointing my wand at the hag and casting the first spell I could lay my hands on: Nature’s Wrath.
A giant tree appeared out of nowhere, but you have to remember that this was no ordinary giant tree. As shimmery, golden wisps swirled around it, the number of branches increased and on each one grew a row of dozens of tiny thorns.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Nolan cast a Meteor Shower card, and a hole erupted in the clouds covering the sky.
A clump of wizards who weren’t in the middle of a fight came and formed a little semicircle behind us, their eyes as wide as dinner plates. Geez, we’d attracted a fan club.
 The tree struck, and meteors started falling from the sky.
You had to say this for the hag, she was tricky. No monster that I had ever known had managed to fend off two forces at once, especially if one of those forces was magically enhanced. Every moment that she didn’t spend ducking under the brambles or dodging the falling meteors, she was spewing the black acid stuff into the crowd at random, and sometime I heard a scream directly after.
Unfortunately, luck was not on our side. A fiery meteor, intended for the hag, hit my tree instead. Both disintegrated in a cloud of ashes.
The hag leered, or at least I thought she did. She pointed a clawed finger at Nolan, as if about to perform a curse.
“No,” I said. I stepped in front of Nolan and held my arms protectively outstretched
“Two for Malistaire, then,” croaked the hag menacingly. This time I was certain that she smiled. A ball of light appeared on her hand.
“NOW!” shouted a voice.
Just as she threw the ball of magic at us; streams of purple, green, blue, red, black, and gold magic intertwined and hovered to a spot directly above us, cast by five teachers of magic plus Ambrose. Their spells acted as a sort of shield, throwing the magic back at the creature. But it didn’t seem to be doing any harm to her: she was death, after all, and resisted her own spells.
Then I felt Nolan raise his wand from behind me, and a shield appeared around the hag’s midriff and started circling around her: it was a Death Prism.
“No!” the hag gasped, but it was too late. As her own magic seeped into the shield, it turned green, the color of life magic. “No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!”
She exploded into a whirl of sparkles. All the wizards who had stopped to watch started clapping.
I turned to Nolan. “I never thought I’d see the day when one of those prism spells would actually turn out useful,” I said.
Nolan was looking at me kind of funny. “Sarah,” he said, “give me your hand.”
Confused, I extended my wand arm.
“The other one.”
It’s funny how something doesn’t bother you when you don’t know a thing about it. And when someone mentions it, that’s when you really start to notice it for the first time.
That’s exactly how it felt this time. Until Nolan had me extend the finger on which the hag had breathed her acid, I forgot all about it. But now…
I sucked in a breath. What had first seemed like a slight bubbling sensation on my finger was actually the acid eating away at the skin. The tip of my finger was a bloody mess, and, it may have been just me being paranoid, but I thought I saw a little bit of white poking out from underneath.
“Oh my,” said a soft voice from above me. I looked up to find Moolinda Wu standing right beside me. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” I said. But even as I spoke, I began to be conscious of exactly how much pain I was in.
“I can help,” she declared. “She took my hand in her hoof and muttered a few incantations. With a flash of green light, the acid disappeared, but the wound was still there.
Professor Wu sighed. “I’m sorry, Miss Spiritheart,” she said. “I cannot fully heal these wounds. Not when this amount of dark magic is involved. I did get rid of the poison, but only time can heal wounds like these.”
I nodded, barely paying attention. Something was wrong, and it took me a while to realize what it was. Nolan was no longer there.
I scanned over the Commons looking for him, and through the chaos of the battle, I saw it in impossible detail: Professor Drake standing on Rainbow Bridge, holding a crude, silver knife to Nolan’s throat.
I started running.
“No! Stop!” I screamed, attracting everyone’s attention, including Professor Drake’s.
“Ah, Miss Spiritheart,” he said calmly. “I do wish you’d stop doing that. It gets very annoying from time to time.”
Many students were gathering around us looking thunderstruck. At this, an expression of unease flickered over Professor Drake’s face. But then he was calm again.
“What’s he done to you?” I shouted. Nolan urgently nodded in agreement.
“Now, Miss Spiritheart, you had better be careful,” warned Professor Drake, “as I am a teacher at this school and you are merely a Magus. If you know what’s good for you, hold your tongue.”
I couldn’t believe this. I knew Professor Drake hated the death school, out of all his faults. He had once captured all the students in it. But to actually go so far as to kill them?
“You wouldn’t dare,” I said softly. “You want to see your brother’s end as much as I do.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” he said. He was panting heavily and a crazed look was in his eyes. “After Mr. Darkwind I can easily attend to you…”
My mouth hung open in shock. I was seriously considering that he might be possessed. But I couldn’t tell
“You’re CRAZY!” I screamed. “You’re INSANE!” The card in my hand itched to be cast right away, but for some reason I couldn’t remember drawing it.
What are you DOING?!? said a small voice in my mind. You can’t attack a teacher!
Whoops—too late.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw on it a picture of a woman: probably Seraph. I weaved the life symbol in the air just as Professor Drake raised the knife.
It was no use. I wasn’t quick enough.
Just as the knife was about to plunge, I blurted out, “Sylvia wouldn’t want this.”
I had no clue where it came from or what made me say it, but it worked. This shocked look came over his face, and he actually went so far as to drop the knife. He looked absolutely dumbstruck…a little too dumbstruck. This kind of confused me.
Then I realized that he wasn’t actually looking at me, but above me.
“No, Cyrus,” said a soft, female voice. “I wouldn’t.”
I looked up, and there was Sylvia Drake. She was exactly how I remembered her from Malistaire’s dungeon: long, blonde hair, slightly transparent, bright blue eyes. She was dazzlingly beautiful.
“What are you doing here?” I breathed. She ignored me; I wasn’t who she was here for.
“S-Sylvia?” Professor Drake sputtered. 
“Yes,” she whispered.
His hold on Nolan’s neck loosened, and Nolan instantly ran over to join me with a scathing look in Cyrus’s direction
“I-I never thought I’d see you again,” he gasped.
A sad look crossed Sylvia’s face. “Why are you doing this, Cyrus?” she pleaded. “Look at yourself; you’re becoming your brother.”
“No,” said Cyrus. “It’s different.”
“Murder is still murder, no matter what the intention,” said Sylvia bluntly.
“Listen, Sylvia, it’s not the same,” said Cyrus as if he hadn’t heard her. “They killed you, all of them. I had to do it.”
“No they didn’t,” she said.
But he wasn’t listening. “This boy,” he said, gesturing to Nolan, “Do you see him? He is the direct descendent of the creators of the staff. Don’t you see? If they hadn’t lived, you would be alive. That’s why I have to do it.”
“You don’t have to do anything,” I said indignantly, at which he gave me a look of pure loathing.
“Listen to me, Cyrus,” said Sylvia. “Please admit it: you did this. There is no fault that I could not be alive, that Malistaire is attacking the school this very minute, but yours.”
For a while, Professor Drake was silent. Then…he hung his head.
“You were selfish,” Sylvia continued, “always searching for your own gain. You were over competitive, self-serving, and always looking for the easy way out. However, my death was an accident.” She took a breath. “And I forgive you.”
“But…Sylvia…I…” Professor Drake protested. But it was too late. Before he could finish, she vanished.
All of us watched, amazed, as professor Drake sank down to his knees. A tear trickled down his cheek.
Soon I found myself into Nolan’s tight embrace, and I hugged him back. It was all I could do not to start crying myself.
But I noticed something over his shoulder. A dark shape stood at the entrance to Unicorn Way. It smiled, its mouth the only thing visible under its dark hood. Then it slunk back into the tunnel, beckoning with its hand.
The message was clear.


“Are you sure he was here?” Sadie asked, squeezing my hand.
“Pretty sure,” I said. “That was Marcus; I’d know him anywhere.”
“What if it’s a trap?” asked Savannah.
That never occurred to me. “Well, even if it is,” I said, “we have to defeat Malistaire anyway.”
“Let’s try the Arena,” Savannah suggested. Nodding, I walked over and pushed open the gate.
It was weirdly, eerily quiet in the arena. Diego was absent, probably off fighting. Noises of the battle could be heard in the distance. This had to be the only place in Wizard City in which there was no fighting, an ultimate clue. What? I must have read dozens of these kinds of stories back at home.
Quietly, I stepped over the safety ropes in front of the entrance to the dueling circle. It was empty, but I had had too much experience with seemingly empty rooms.
I felt my siblings join me on the other side (Samuel had to crawl under.), and then we cautiously stepped out into the middle of the dueling circle.
“No one here,” said Savannah uncertainly.
“I wouldn’t say that,” said a voice that I sincerely hoped to never hear again.
Marcus had appeared out of nowhere, and now he was standing right behind us.
I scowled. “You keep showing up like a bad penny.”
I never really got that phrase—I mean, what was a bad penny anyway?—but I was pretty sure that it fit the bill here.
Savannah scrutinized him. “Didn’t we kill you?” she asked.
“Yes.”
“Can’t you just stay dead for once?” I asked. Savannah cracked a smile.
“Maybe I would’ve,” he said, “if it hadn’t been for you.”
“I think you’ve got it backwards,” I said. “Why would I ever want to bring you back from the dead?”
“You didn’t—at least, not intentionally,” he said. “Remember when you healed your younger sister? Well, when you did, there was so much extra healing magic floating around that some of it found me, and that was enough to bring me back to life. So I’ve really got to thank you.”
“Well, you’re not welcome,” I said, surprised by this news but not showing it. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a serious bone to pick with your boss.” But Marcus stayed put.
“You’re not going anywhere,” he said, an evil smile curling across his face. “You kill me, and you think I’m just going to let you go without returning the favor?”
“Get out of the way,” I said, shoving him hard in the chest. That was a mistake.
Marcus’s face clouded over. “Fine,” he said. “Since you’re obviously not satisfied, I guess I’ll have to kill your siblings too.
“But Malistaire…” I began.
“To heck with that,” Marcus interrupted. “He may be mad for a little bit, but ‘revenge’ is a word that he gets well. He’ll understand. Goodbye, Sarah.”
As he was going through his monologue, I noticed his hand creep toward his pocket and pull out a black spell card. Then he traced the death skull into the air between us.
A scarecrow appeared in a whirl of sparkles and dirt, kind of like the Field Guards in Haunted Cave. Only this one was larger, and it seemed…somehow…more menacing.
Oh yeah, one thing about Scarecrows…they’re particularly known for attacking everyone at once.
Samuel started bawling and pressed his face into my shirt, making me hate Marcus all the more. Sadie whimpered a little, and Savannah actually squeezed her hand.
Marcus was laughing, fire starting to build up in the Scarecrow’s sockets. I squeezed my eyes shut, prepared for the worst.
Bzzt.
What it felt like was getting a shock from someone who has spent sixty seconds rubbing their feet on a wool carpet. It did not feel like getting burned by laser eyes or getting hit with 10,000 volts of electricity.
I checked my health. Minus five.
“What? NO!” screamed Marcus. “Why isn’t this working?”
He drew another card. This time a wraith rose from the ground, its scythe pointed at my heart.
Dink.
Minus one.
So, this is just a guess, but maybe when my true healer magic brought Marcus back to life, something went haywire with his magic because, I don’t know, it “somehow sensed the darkness in his heart”? I don’t know. It’s just a guess, but I think it’s a pretty good one.
Anyhow, Marcus was getting really ticked off now. As he feverishly rummaged in his deck for another card, I turned to face my siblings, giving them a look that clearly told them that I didn’t have time for idiots like these. Then I pulled a myth card from my deck.
Marcus automatically stopped as my Cyclopes rose into the air. I was pleased to see that he was trembling.
“Oh, so you’ve met my friend here,” I said, my voice sarcastically bright and cheerful.
Marcus muttered something about it not being funny.
“You know, you’re right,” I said, “because one flick of my wand and you could become a human pancake. So I’ll say this slowly and clearly. Answer me and you need not be hurt. Where. Is. Malistaire.”
“Why, I’m right behind you, Sarah,” said a voice. Cold, cunning, and other qualities that are present in only your darkest nightmares.
In fact, I was so surprised that I accidently brought my wand swooshing down, leaving a trail of sparkles. The Cyclopes, once frozen, now sprang into action, bringing down its hammer to where Marcus had been seconds before he dove out of the way.
Oops.
“ROWR!” the Cyclopes cried, shaking his hammer above his head.
Quick as lightning, Marcus was on his feet and racing for the exit. His last words were, “You’ll pay for this, Sara-a-a-ah…” then he vanished through the doorway, the Cyclopes in full pursuit.
Malistaire had an odd look on his face; it was almost like amusement.
He turned to us. “Now that we’re all here…”
I gulped.
“…I would just like to make sure that we can get this over with without any further interruptions. So if I may…”
He raised his staff.
A deep rumbling came from within the earth. Suddenly, the large, circular patch of ground on which we were standing rose up into the air: ten feet…twenty feet…fifty feet…
I really hoped that none of us was afraid of heights.
It was as though we were standing on a flat-topped mountain. And a really high one at that. People looked like ants below us. The temperature seemed twenty degrees colder, making me really jealous of Savannah and Sadie, the ice wizards. I touched a cloud as it floated by. Yes, I touched a cloud. Just how powerful was this guy?
“None of that dueling circle nonsense,” said Malistaire suddenly, catching Sadie trying to form one. I come all this way just to kill you and you think that I’ll just let you escape to your Commons?”
“Are you sure?” Savannah taunted. “In case you hadn’t noticed, there is only one of you and…oh, look…four of us.”
Malistaire’s black eyes glinted smugly. “It would take a thousand skilled wizards to defeat me. Would you like me to demonstrate?”
Without warning, a tornado appeared between him and us. But it wasn’t an ordinary tornado. From within, I caught glimpses of monsters I won’t even mention because I couldn’t even describe their horribleness. A thousand yellow eyes stared at me from within, and once or twice I even saw a slimy, dirty claw poking out.
All at once, the tornado disappeared, and all that was left was a trail of sludge from the particularly dirty creatures.
“Ah, yes,” said Malistaire smugly, “I see you are surprised. Yes, the combination of Death and Storm is a rather formidable one. And I imagine that old fool Ambrose doesn’t teach about combinations at that amateur school he runs.
As my blood boiled, I suddenly realized something. Malistaire hadn’t just spent those five years of evil biding his time at his castle. He’d actually been inventing spells, hoping to use them to become more powerful.
Inventing spells wasn’t really a topic I thought about much. I mean, I had all the spells I needed to learn right here. It never really occurred to me that people could actually make new ones. 
This confirmed two things. One: I wouldn’t know what to expect, because his new spells could be anything in he world, basically. And two: I was prepared to bet everything I had that they were powerful ones.
Smirking, Malistaire raised his staff again, which brought me back down to earth. Let him go first? Give him the advantage? No way!
Somehow, Samuel knew what I was doing before I did it. He traced the balance symbol into the air, and a Balance blade appeared near my forehead.
Flashing him a grateful smile, I grabbed a card from my deck and cast Seraph.
All four of us started glowing, of course (nothing new there!), and I was used to golden wisps separating themselves from us to aid our spells in battle. But this time, the swirls of magic floated from both me and Samuel, a combination of my magic and his blade.
I wasn’t sure what would happen. None of us had really cast a blade on each other, preferring to do it on ourselves.
My golden sparkles drifted around the newly-formed Seraph’s arms, lengthening them and tightening the muscles. And Samuel’s…
“A light saber?” Savannah started cracking up.
I don’t know how or why—maybe he was thinking about Star Wars or something—but his magic had floated around the Seraph’s sword, turning it into a bright green light saber. The Seraph looked at it confusedly for a second and seemed to shrug.
“What the—” Malistaire stopped his spell in mid-skull. “What sort of a weapon is this?”
Before Samuel could do as much as shout, “It’s a light saber!” The Seraph, singing a high pitched note that would reduce an opera singer to tears, swung the weapon.
It probably would’ve killed Malistaire right then and there if his staff hadn’t been damage-proof.
Clang. Sparks flew as the cool metal collided with the beam of space-energy, Malistaire’s face drenched with sweat as he struggled to keep his staff up.
But I knew that spells only lasted for so long. And I was determined to have it do at least one bit of damage before it disappeared.
“Concentrate!” I called out to my siblings, who—bless them—obeyed without question.
Under our extreme concentration, the Seraph fought with more force. Malistaire was actually shaking now. But you had to hand it to him; he was holding his own.
We were on tenterhooks when the Seraph finally broke through Malistaire’s defense and swung her light saber at Malistaire’s face. But before she could actually make too much of a mark—poof—she disappeared into an explosion of sparkles. Malistaire had gotten away with no more than a burn on his cheek.
But this was only the beginning of the battle. 
Before Malistaire could gain the upper hand, we went crazy putting up shields: Legend Shield from me, Volcanic Shield from Savannah and Sadie, and Spirit Shield and Elemental Shield from Samuel. Malistaire scowled at the thirty or so shields around us, apparently trying to find an opening.
I grinned triumphantly as Malistaire pondered his next move. I learned later that maybe I shouldn’t have been that confident.
Malistaire, grinning wickedly, thumped his staff twice on the ground.
The mountain we were on started shaking violently, threatening to hurl us off.
No! I thought. Even though we were nowhere near the edge, I had this horrible feeling. I don’t know how to explain it, but I somehow knew that even if we were to fall down, something really bad would happen.
I saw Savannah and could tell that she had the same realization that I did. “Stay up!” she screamed.
Too late. With a final thrust from the mountain, all four of us were on the ground. What’s more, a small crack had appeared on the cliff.
I stared in dismay as the shields around us started disappearing one by one until we were left completely unguarded.
And what’s more, I realized, they were all around Malistaire.
I’d never seen a spell like this before, except Earthquake, and that was a myth spell. Plus, Earthquake only took shields and buffs away from opponents. I realized with horror that Malistaire had somehow twisted the spell around and greatly enhanced it in the process.
“Now do you see,” he said softly, “just how powerful I am? That you don’t stand a chance against me? But I am merciful, if anything. I will give you time to get up and regroup.”
I looked at the sly smile playing on his lips. Was it a trick?
But then, I realized, this might be the only time we had to plan something without him finding out what we were up to. They all looked at me, and I nodded.
“Okay guys,” I said, watching Malistaire out of the corner of my eye. He was standing stock-still, stroking the dragon head on his staff. “We know what to do in situations like these, right?” They nodded, reaching into their decks for all their low-damage cards.
All together, we came up with two Imps, a Bloodbat, a Thunder Snake, and a few of those wispy spells that come in wands. The rest we had tossed earlier on, no room in our decks for them with all those high-level spells.
They didn’t come close to the amount of shields Malistaire had taken from us.
“Now what?” asked Sadie.
The answer was as simple as it was obvious. “Get out your treasure cards.”
Their faces fell; we were pretty big on hoarding treasure cards.
“Well…” said Savannah, “we were sorta saving them…”
“For what?” I demanded, although I knew how they felt. “What situation out there in the world could be more desperate than this?”
Samuel only had Tough; he pretty much wasted his treasure cards for useless reasons. But with the rest of our low treasure cards, I figured we had enough to break the shields around him.
“As soon as you see an opening for a school that’s yours, go for it,” Savannah encouraged.
“Let’s do it,” I agreed.
We went back to our places. Malistaire was still standing there, smiling in a way that was hard to read. What was he planning?
We started hurling at him one spell after another. Of course, these were magically modified shields, because of the prophecy. So we were barely leaving a dent in him.
But as soon as the last fire shield had disintegrated from my Fire Cat treasure card, Savannah went right for the kill and cast sunbird.
Even as the bird squawked and flapped and breathed fire all around him, Malistaire stood straight up and continued rubbing the tiny dragon on his staff.
And since there were no Balance shields, Samuel had cast sandstorm right away. But there he stood, oblivious to the danger around him.
What was going on? What was keeping him from attacking us? And why..?
Uh-oh.
“Guys!” I shouted. “Stop! STOP!”
But before they could, the mountain shook again. More cracks appeared on the surface.
And this time, it was because of the huge dragon curled around it, similar to the way that the miniature dragon was curled around Malistaire’s glass ball.
The dragon raised its gigantic head, its yellow eyes blinking rapidly. And that’s when I knew that it was going for me. It was the obvious choice, me being the true healer; healing the rest in the blink of an eye, but not being able to heal myself.
It bared its teeth. At that moment I heard a small, frightened whinny, like that of a miniature unicorn.
Oh-no. I whirled around.
Elvis! What was he doing here? And HOW did he get all the way up here?
“Go!” I warned, not caring at the moment. “Shoo! Get out of here!”
But he didn’t listen. Instead he started whinnying frantically, pawing at the ground, and turning his face upward toward the sky.
Go!” I said again. But I didn’t get the chance to finish. The dragon roared from behind me.
And suddenly, I was on fire.
“AAAAAAHHH!” I screamed right then and there like a little girl.
And who wouldn’t? I was on fire. It was super freaking hot. And it hurt like…uh…never mind…
Just one question. Why wasn’t I dead?
I looked around. In front of me was the dragon, still breathing fire and letting out constant roars of frustration because I wasn’t dead. Behind me were my siblings, their mouths open in horror.
Above me was a rainbow, its end directly above the mass of flames that surrounded my body.
Just then the sky split open like a stage curtain. And a dazzling, larger-than-life unicorn popped out.
In an instant, I knew that she wasn’t like normal unicorns. Besides the obvious factor of her size, a thing I noticed was that she glittered. She was like a prism: wherever the sunlight caught her fur threw off dozens of tiny rainbows.
There was also this…how do I describe it…aura…surrounding her that made her different from regular unicorns. She radiated power and grace and gentleness that surpassed that of the unicorns in the spell, for instance
Malistaire looked up, and I saw something that looked astonishingly like fear in his eyes.
“Impossible…” he murmured.
The unicorn gave a low whinny. The fire around me started to disappear. But this was only the beginning; I had a feeling.
The whole of Wizard City, or at least as much of it as I could see, was bathed in a beautiful, rainbow-colored glow. Even the four of us.
“She’s healing us,” I said. And there wasn’t any question to it.
Sarah, came Savannah’s voice in my head, even I know that it’s impossible for a unicorn to heal that many people at one time…
But that was exactly what she was doing, I realized. Even now our strength was returning. Ever single cut on our body had disappeared. Even the hangnail I got yesterday during a Life class.
I turned toward the unicorn in awe. “Who are you?” I whispered.
But it was too late. She had vanished.
My siblings were turned to me, as if looking for some explanation. But I had none. I was just as clueless as anyone.
But apparently Malistaire knew what this was all about. Is face was turned toward the sky, his expression a mixture of fear and anger and…jealousy? I couldn’t tell.
But this was my chance, I realized. Malistaire wasn’t even paying attention to us. If I was going to do something, I’d better do it now.
As it turned out, I didn’t get the chance.
Just then, a roar sounded from behind us. The dragon was still there.
I felt a little heat on my back, and then the short stretch of rock we were on was surrounded by fire. Everything: Malistaire, us, the Minotaur, was encircled in a ring of fire.
“Surely you didn’t think it would be this easy!” Malistaire cackled, suddenly coming back to life. “The fire will not harm me. But with your unicorn friend gone, I’m afraid it’s time for you to die!
“But you need not be harmed!” Malistaire continued. “Join me, and together we will put an end to that pathetic Ambrose and Ravenwood School! Not only will you be spared, you will also have power by the likes of which you have never known!”
“NEVER!” I screamed over the flames.
“Then die!” He screamed, and I was immediately reminded of his twin brother, laughing like a mad person as he was about to kill Nolan.
Samuel pressed his face into my robe. Sadie did the same with Savannah. Both Savannah and I held hands and stared Malistaire down full in the face.
Okay, I’ve probably said “And then something amazing happened,” a couple hundred times in the course of my story. But I promise you that this thing that happened right then was the most amazing thing to happen to us so far, especially to us, who were living and breathing the moment at that instant.
The fire didn’t harm us one bit.
And no, the unicorn wasn’t back, if that’s what you all were wondering.
Instead, as we all huddled together, the glow intensified, forming some sort of shield. And from in that position we heard Malistaire’s scream of rage, the roar of the flames as well as the dragon.
In that instant, I realized why we were chosen to be a part of the Prophecy of Light in the first place. I don’t know how or why; I just knew.
All that we stood for, all that we believed in, was opposite from Malistaire. And it wasn’t just that, but how far we would go to achieve that. I thought back to when I had begged Mortis to teach me Taunt or Distract even though I had no training points, to how we had all raced to Dragonspyre without a second thought just to come to Samuel’s aid, to when Savannah had dove in front of Sadie as Malistaire was performing a curse. And then I knew that one of us, even Samuel, would ultimately jump off a cliff if it meant saving one of our lives.
Malistaire, I knew, was different. He hadn’t even made an attempt to save Marcus as my Cyclopes chased him away. When things got tough, his first solution to be to grab one of his own comrades and shove him in front of him.
This, I knew, was his weakness. And our strength.
At this point, there came a loud grumbling noise that seemed to come deep within the cliff. I looked around and saw hundreds of cracks appear in the solid rock.
Oh-no!  I thought. The mountain couldn’t withstand us, the dragon, and the fire all at once. We were going to fall!
A few rock shards gave away from near the bottom. And I knew this was the end.
I don’t know if you’ve ever fallen 50 stories before. But seriously, don’t. Even if there happens to be a small section of rock protecting you from really reaching the bottom.
My stomach gave an unpleasant, frightening lurch as the ground at the bottom of the mountain gave away.
We fell like boulders, on boulders, and with boulders surrounding us. Savannah and I forced the younger ones onto the ground, and I had to pull Samuel down from the air to keep him from going too high up. We were all screaming as if we were on a rollercoaster, and I assure you that after this experience, I would never go on another rollercoaster again.
I was close enough to the edge to peer over, and I saw some rocks that were falling from below us hit the ground and explode into a million pieces.
Exactly how we would end up.
I closed my eyes. The impact would come in about three seconds…two…one…
There was a huge bump, and we all went flying up in a cloud of dust.


When I opened my eyes, I found myself staring at a mix of brown dirt and rock.
I pushed myself up, spitting grit out of my mouth. My stomach was a little sore, but, miraculously, I had come out of the fall relatively unharmed.
The dust cloud was still settling. My eyes burned, and I could barely see anything besides what appeared to be light brown fog.
I looked down and saw the still figures of Savannah, Sadie, and Samuel. Unmoving, but still alive.
I automatically knelt down and held out my hand. Then I felt a familiar warmth in my palm, and a gold glow surrounded my siblings.
A light, cool breeze blew across the arena, shifting the dust that had settled as the mountain crumbled. I coughed as it blew into my face. Savannah stirred from beneath me.
When I felt the wind still, I looked up, and I would never forget the haunting image that awaited me.
The dragon was gone.
Elvis was gone.
And Malistaire was gone.
All that was left, in the middle of the dueling circle, was Malistaire’s staff, still intact.
I also noticed that the dragon at the tip had, too, vanished.
Savannah slowly sat up, but I had already left her. I was walking towards the center of the circle, toward the infamous staff. I bent down and picked it up.
The most horrible of feelings washed over me, leaving me nauseated. I felt a sense of a great yet terrible power within, which, to me, a life wizard, was the most revolting power imaginable. I was tempted to drop it—no—I was tempted to hurl it towards the ground, smiling triumphantly as I watched it shatter into a million pieces.
“Do you think he got away?” asked Savannah, who, up to now, I had not noticed standing beside me.
I shook my head. “He wouldn’t leave his staff. And no one could survive a fall like that.”
“We did,” Savannah pointed out. “And besides, no one can just disappear when they die. Where would his body be?”
“I don’t know,” I said. The staff I was holding suddenly started to feel less solid. “I don’t know.”
Both Savannah and I watched, transfixed, as the staff turned to ashes in my hands, running through my fingers and scattering on the ground.

Without Malistaire, the tides were turned for the battle. Even with the Black Hand fighting their hardest, the wizards, students, and guards eventually crushed Malistaire’s minions, restoring Ravenwood to a state of peace—and ruin. But peace nonetheless.
In the years to come, I would continue to wonder what really had become of Malistaire. Did he somehow get away? Did he die? Did his body turn to ashes, just like his staff?
Either way, we never heard from Malistaire again. And as time wore on, I began to come to the conclusion that if he hadn’t died there in the arena, he surely would have sometime after then.
But that would be a time many, many years later from now. Now I didn’t have time for wondering about things like that, having many other things to do before the battle was truly over. Like gathering up all my siblings and giving them each a well-deserved hug. Like going to Ambrose with news that Malistaire was at last dead. Like helping my siblings trying to find Elvis, even though we couldn’t find him anywhere. Like scouting the area, looking for any friends that survived, and healing those that were near death.
But when I found out that none of my close friends had perished, I realized that I didn’t really want time for most anything. The war being over, I found that I really wanted nothing more than a good long rest. To soak in the fact that there was no one chasing us, hunting us down, or wanting to kill us. There would be time after that, years, in fact. But I didn’t feel like doing anything much for a long time. For now, I was content to rest between the shoulders of Catherine and Nolan, softly relaying everything that had happened to us since the battle started this morning. They were a very good audience: they gasped in all the right places and were otherwise silent for most of the time…until I reached the part about the unicorn.
“Wait…you said there was a unicorn that came out of the sky?” Catherine asked, astonished. I nodded.
“I did feel that I was being healed somehow,” said Nolan, “but I never imagined…”
“Okay, so what do you know about this that I don’t?” I asked.
“Wha-a-a-t?” Catherine gasped. “You mean you don’t know?”
“Sarah,” said Nolan, “I’m death, and even I know what this is all about…”
“Oh for Pete’s sake just tell me before I explode!” I yelled.
“Okay,” said Catherine dramatically. “She is the reason that the symbol of the Life school is a unicorn.”
“Uh…thanks? No really, I don’t get it.”
“There’s a story about it,” Nolan said quietly. “During the war between the first ice, fire, and storm wizards, the first life, myth, and death magic was created. After the war, the unicorn that arose along with the first life magic went around to everyone who had been injured or hurt and healed them, healed them all. Ever since then, unicorns have been considered sacred, especially the one that actually did the healing. And it’s rumored that because of her good deeds, the unicorn was given special powers, along with immortality. And almost no one has seen her since. There’s also a myth that she’ll appear to whoever’s ‘worthy enough.’”
“But she healed all of us.”
“Yeah,” said Catherine, “But she came up to you!”
“I don’t know why though,” I said. “I think Elvis might have something to do with it, but I don’t…”
I stopped. I was sure we’d get to this mystery later, and they seemed to understand along with me to give it time.
I pulled out my copy of The Tale of Sierra Winterbreeze and turned the page to the beginning of the last chapter, where I had bookmarked it. Almost done. Just as this chapter of my own life was also coming to a close. True, Sierra’s story was ultimately fantastic, whereas the life I had lived for the past couple of months was nothing short of a nightmare. But there was a strange bittersweet feeling inside me for both events. And I knew some part of me would miss the adventure.
Catherine, Nolan, and I looked at each other and smiled. Who knew? Perhaps there would be even more adventures to come. More blank pages to fill in; a new heading, the start of a new chapter.
“Call it off!”
Out of nowhere, Marcus Deathspear came into view, still being fully pursued by the Cyclopes. He gave me a frantic, pleading glance, and that was his downfall. He wasn’t looking where he was going, which is a must, particularly if you are approaching a giant pit that the Death School fell into.
And that was the end of him.
The Cyclopes hesitated for a moment at the edge of the pit. Then it dove right in after him.
“Don’t worry about it,” Nolan murmured into my ear. “He was a bit of an idiot anyway.
I smiled at him. “I know.”
Together, we watched the sun make its descent over the horizon.

THE END