The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice
Novel by Roberta Downing
Cover artwork designed by Jerry Langdon
Two days on the ship and everyone except for Bell were all freezing and some even had frost on their faces. Bell didn’t have anything but her daily ware on and was quite comfortable. She reflected on all she gave up in the name of protecting her family and she was resolved to do exactly that.
The ship finally pulled into the port of Cedarwood and people and cargo were being unloaded. The apprentices were having trouble trying to walk once off the ship. Some of the masters were actually chortling as they watched them walk as they kind of swayed back and forth. One of the children actually fell down.
“Ah the difficulties of children who have never been on the seas and adjusting to walking on land” boasted an Arcane Warrioress as she laughed.
RavenDance and his student walked to his home which was located on the corners of Main on Row. It was a very well built small cabin. He showed Bell where her room would be for the night and told her to only unpack school supplies and her uniforms. The rest of her items would remain in her room until she reached the appropriate grade and rank where she could come for visits on the weekends and on holidays.
After she had her supplies and uniforms put properly in her bag she sat down and wrote a letter to her parents. This was the first time she had written since she left home. She described her trip in great detail including her faking to be sick. She drew a picture of the circus that included the vampire and Darklyn. She then wrote her brother and his friend Satyr Scorpius. Bell addressed the letters and poured the wax on the back to seal them.
She remembered that she was allowed pictures and a few personal items so she packed away the framed portraits of her family, her brother and of Satyr. She was not going to miss her new nightly ritual of kissing Satyr’s handsome face before going to bed.
She hadn’t met him in person but the two of them had been corresponding back and forth for about a year and she was helping to teach him the common tongue which is exactly why Clef had him write to her in the first place. Clef was in the dark about how he was responsible for introducing them and for them having such affection for each other.
The next morning Bell and RavenDance mounted their horses just before dawn and made the three hour trip to the capital of Arcanos which was spotted with a few pubs, inns and shops. The main attraction was the huge obsidian Arcane Academy. She was beyond dumbfounded as she looked at it. The Singer Bardic Academy could not be considered to be anywhere close to the size of the structure.
Dressed in her daily ware, she and her master dropped off the horses at the stable and walked into the building to the admissions office. He handed paperwork and his own gradebook to the strange creature wearing glasses behind the desk. As Bell stared at the creature she had to resist the urge to attack it.
“Master Ravendance, what is that” she asked. He replied “Her name is Leanna and she is a demon from the fourth plane known as an Information Imp. Completely harmless.”
Leanna handed him a key ring with two keys on it, Bell’s class schedule and her academy identification card.
“Nice to meet you Arcane Warrioress Apprentice Bell. You’ll need to go to the library to pick up your books. Welcome to the Arcane Academy” Leanna said.
As the apprentice and her master walked to the library he explained that common was not spoken at the academy but it was offered as a class for those who could not speak the language. He told her the only language spoken here was Arcane. They picked up her books and began heading for her dorm room.