Remnant: Book of Tulefore Chapter 3
The Royal Asterium was located at the northern tip of Tulefore city. Its tall, bleak walls contained a selection of magi from across the empire. Some of the young magi boasted birthrights belonging to the city, while others had been discovered across the sea in far-off lands and brought back to serve Tulefore. Regardless of their background, those who were drafted to live within the halls of the Asterium were offered the best education in order to grow and refine their powers.
Those of magical blood would often show aptitude at a young age, but individuals who forewent any training would never go on to strengthen their attunement to the elemental forces about them. The magical bloodlines of Tulefore had long since made sure that not a single soul showing such aptitude would go untrained. At the Asterium, it was the teachings of control, focus, amplification, and direction, as well as healing magics, that turned the attending magi into forces of power and support that could bolster a unit of regular men. In addition to honing their powers, teachings of diplomacy, etiquette, and oration, made the magi greatly desirable to be included in the Empire’s overseas affairs.
It was the morning after the arrival of the Slanian Viceroy that Terren had taken on the task of recruiting one of the Asterium’s magi. The building was of a similar make to the other architecture of the city, but as always, the air about it held a stillness like no other. Some might have said that it was an incantation of one of the more powerful magi, protecting the surrounding area from the powers being used within. The thin windows peered down upon Terren as he stepped under the entranceway and knocked upon the door. It opened suddenly for him, allowing him passage inside.
“Come deeper,” the whisper of a small voice spoke to him. Terren held his breath. The entryway held an artificial illumination, and in the few natural light beams coming in through the narrow windows, there was dancing of dust in the air. Deeper inside, Terren found himself in a boxy room, with a staircase wrapping up one corner to the next window up. Deeper hallways continued off to his front and to the right. A tapping of footsteps through the room pulled his attention to the darkness before him.
“Good morning to you.” The same small voice spoke out to him. A girl of about ten, with shortly shaved hair, came down the hallway out of the dim light. “May I be of service?”
Terren peered down at the girl, his hands grasped together before him. “I, erm, have come on official business.”
The girl blinked at him. “Father did not say we would be expecting anyone.”
“It’s… a sudden matter that has come up.” Terren avoided her gaze and attempted to look down the hall from where the girl had come. “I was told to seek out Lahldonicus.”
The girl’s eyes widened. “That’s father,” She paused, looking back. “We are currently taking breakfast…”
“It’s fine, Galen.” Another voice came her way. A taller man, with a similar complexion to the girl, stepped out and placed his hand at her back. “I wondered what was taking you. Go back and finish your meal with the others.” The older mage directed, pushing off the little girl. He shifted back to Terren. “I apologize, I was expecting a delivery. I did not realize that his highness would be visiting us this day as well.”
“Lahldonicus, I presume?” Terren said, straightening his posture. “We’re in need of magical reinforcement to join a unit, destined for overseas.”
“I see. Now, we mustn’t be so hasty,” Lahldonicus said in a low tone, his eyes turning about to the messy shelves at the side of the room. “Can I interest you in something warm to drink? It’s still early, something with inspiring properties?”
“My father would not wish for me to trifle about,” Terren spoke up, “Respectfully, sir.”
The mage sighed and began to sway toward Terren, looking him over. “I should have realized so. Danus has never so hastily requested one of my men without a detailed mandate.” He mounted the first step of the nearby stairs and twirled his fingers in invitation to the young man. “Follow.”
Terren continued after the mage obediently, ascending to the second floor. “Your daughter, she is in training as well?”
“Of course, one cannot let aptitude go to waste,” Lahldonicus hummed. The upper floor was brightly lit, with more windows about the walls. At one side was another sealed door, looking to head out to the exterior. “Now, I have several of my disciples who would be a fit for attending to a unit of your forces. Do you know who may be commanding said unit?”
“Guard Captain Silvus, in fact,” Terren announced.
Lahldonicus jerked upward and tilted his head to the side. “I see.” He pushed through the door, allowing the blinding light of the early morning inside. At the exterior was a long catwalk, overlooking the round courtyard of the Asterium which was open to the weather.
Terren marched outside after the mage and looked down upon the area. Two pairs of magi were in the midst of exercising their powers, targeting bales of hay and wooden dummies. “Impactful, as always.”
“What is the assignment, if I may ask?” The gaunt mage blinked at the young man.
“Slana,” Terren replied, glancing out at the sea. “The natives are forcing rebellion about the city, and possibly threatening the Villa at the coast. The Viceroy told us all about it, and how he is worried about the people there.”
“The city.” Lahldonicus shook his head. “I suppose, then, you would wish for one of mine with… more restraint.”
“I suppose so.”
The mage stroked his chin. “Hmm, that rules out Zethurus…” He said, glancing down to a long-haired mage. “That one, perhaps…” He clapped suddenly, causing the magi down below to stop mid-incantation. “Elwar, meet me in the hall of affairs.” A tanned-skinned mage peered up at them and nodded his head.
Terren trailed after the head mage through deeper parts of the Asterium again at the lower level, where the selected mage was already awaiting them. He bowed at Terren after a brief meeting of eyes. “Elwar, this is Terren, from the Castle. Your highness, Elwar here has shown he is quite capable.”
“Elwar… your face says to me you come from Soany?” Terren spoke up.
“Yes,” Lahldonicus answered, “when he was found, the locals believed him to be some sort of accursed one, as they say, I was told. What an uncouth kind to not recognize magical aptitude when they see it. He was brought over when he was still young, and we were able to turn him into something of use.”
“The powers of the stone, I am fluent in.” The mage spoke up.
“He shall do.” Terren nodded and glanced at the boy. “Good Elwar, Commander Silvus has requested I bring forth the mage I have chosen so that you may meet and discuss your duties.”
“My pleasure, your highness.”