Legend Of Jayna Warlock

“Why do you persist, my dear,” the white-haired headmaster said with a slow emphasis that belied his impatience. “Extolling the existence of—seven—elements?” The headmaster glanced about for support from other tired councilors. He was grasping, Jayna observed, which she took as another clue that her theory of seven was potentially a sound one.

Another councilor scanned a scroll and read as if she were stupefied, “Wood, metal, and?” Jayna could not see what she was reading, since the councilors sat along a high stone bench looking down upon her some ten feet below.

“And the void,” Jayna said impatiently. “It’s all there.”

“I don’t know these…elements,” the councilor decided, shaking her head sadly.

“Where are these extra three elemental planes?” a third councilor asked. Her voice was not quite as harsh. “If you could produce for us a spell, or a planar map or portal, or an astral color pool, then we could suggest a way to fix your thesis in time to see you off with your fellow students.” The others grumbled.

So that was their hope, to get rid of her, Jayna realized. “Just because we cannot see these other elements does not mean they are not there.”

“Oh, my dear,” the headmaster retorted. “You chide us as if we’ve been around for only a few hundred years! Who has misled you with this drivel?”

“This is not new,” Jayna said forcefully. “I researched these formulas all the way back to Mana, the Beholder of Lost Magic.”

“How did you access those tomes?” the headmaster demanded, alarmed. “That zone of the library is only for noble jann! And pact magic is very dangerous.”

“I have only been reading, not summoning,” Jayna replied. “And I am half-jann. My father is a jann noble of the highest house.” No councilor would have the temerity to point out the inescapable fact that her mother was a mere human, and thus Jayna a mortal. “And now that you have broached this subject, why is this knowledge hidden?”

“Every student must find a way to organize his or her spellbook in a quick, efficient manner,” the headmaster said with a mask of conciliation. “We are pleased that you have located a— unique—method to organize formulas at your fingertips.” The other council members nodded. “Indeed, we see your performance in exemplary. You learn so many spells so quickly. But you will need to pursue this cause on your own, Jayna, if you persist.”

Jayna left the council that day with confidence, but later she broke down in a redoubt of tears.

“Be honest with yourself,” her djinni friend L’kell said, holding her hands. “Are you ready to walk the planes?”

“I will persist,” she said defiantly, “though I have been unable to locate these planes or distill the extra elements.” They sat together in stark silence.

“Who are you really trying to impress?” L’kell asked with as much love as he could muster.

“You too, L’kell?” Jayna rose and stormed out. But she found little peace. Even a balcony view of the Seven Storms in their full evening glory could not quell her disquiet.

Then it struck her. Mana did not cast spells. L’kell did not cast a spell to create whirlwinds. Magic was a part of them. It could never be pinned to a formula. Perhaps she had been going about it all wrong, she thought, appalled at her own stupidity. No wonder! She felt she had been an idiot for studying spells. She packed up her belongings, except for her spellbook and spell components, which she threw into the fireplace. It crackled with thanks as it consumed them. Then she briskly took herself to the private quarters of the headmaster.

At his door, she wondered again if this were all just another mistake. Perhaps she was just a stupid mortal. What had she been thinking, to burn her own spellbook?

She knocked. After a spell, the headmaster answered. “Oh, Jayna,” he said in dismay when he opened the door. “I will not hear of this anymore.” He began to close the door.

“No,” she said. “I was wrong.”

He looked at her, perplexed, and kept the door open.

“I realized today, as I watched the Seven Storms, that I was definitely wrong. I sincerely wish…I must ask the council for a thousand pardons.”

“Well.” The headmaster was speechless as he stood there in all his white-robed majesty of nine feet. “Perhaps I shall regret this,” he said. “May I ask what moved you to sanity?”

“This is a citadel of arcane spellcasting, is it not?”

“Yes.”

“I kept trying to fit seven elements into the framework of casting spells, which is like….” She searched for words. “That would be like marrying a slaadi to a formorian.”

The headmaster laughed heartily at the metaphor of a giant toad marrying a giant ant, before the toad devoured the ant, most likely; and that was the least of their differences. “Well,” he finally said, “I’m pleased to hear all is clearer for you.”

“It is,” she replied. “Magic is not about spellcasting.

Now the headmaster was very confused.

That night, Jayna snuck away from the citadel grounds, using a carpet that L’kell had once given her. Her first stop was the lost cavern of the gods, as Mana described. “Yes,” she said to Lovath, her poor familiar. “I am just a mortal; and first thing, I am definitely going to change that.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License