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Home » Encyclopedia » Ten Eyes
Ten Eyes
Magisters, mountains, and magical readings.
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The Oculus of the Eleven, an ancient tower situated a few miles southeast of the Observatory, overlooked a thousand small, floating islands. The sea of magically elevated earthen forms were visible from the Oculus' eleven thin fenestrae, which were beginning to warm to a purple-pink tone with the rising sun.

Beatrix Thundrael of the Shifting Expanse, and the new Magister of Lightning, was early. The gawky mirror made her way up the spiraling temple turret and passed through a great brass doorway decorated with an enchantment displaying eleven runes, all orbiting a perfect circle. Once inside the chamber, she quickly reached her destination; the window directly facing the sunrise.

Before the window stood an elegant desk scattered with research notes. At its center sat a ley line tracking terminal keyed to her homeland. The delicate creation bristled with an assortment of interchangeable lense attachments, both on the device, and cluttered around its base. Beatrix looked beyond the desk and through the window at the vast, hovering landscape. She did miss her home, with its arid swaths of thunderstruck terrain, but she had to admit, the Arcane clans that dotted these rocky islands were gifted with some truly breathtaking vistas.

Once the sun had risen past the horizon, Beatrix readied herself for the day ahead. Remember, I may be new, I may be inexperienced, but I’ve earned my place here. She was responsible for monitoring and reporting any changes to the intensity or patterns of the ley line energy originating from the Shifting Expanse. Since her arrival earlier in the year, there had been little to no change in magical activity, but she found that her home region's local weather still made for entertaining readings.

As she gathered her reports, voices echoed up the stairwell she had ascended earlier. Beatrix squinted. Through usage of her second set of eyes, she could just make out the heat signatures of her fellow magisters, all unique representatives of the other magical regions of Sornieth.

--



The temple was constructed several thousand years ago in a cooperative effort to locate and document the various ley lines of the realm. The magisters who researched and studied here were charged with identifying where the strongest auras of magic coalesced. Once a ley line was discovered or traced, a small sanctum was constructed at the point where it converged or crossed with others. The strongest convergence points existed in one of each of the eleven elemental regions: Arcane, Earth, Fire, Nature, Plague, Water, Light, Shadow, Lightning, Ice, and Wind.

Since the great temple’s construction, each dragonflight had selected a mage to study and serve as their representative - or magister - at the Oculus, an agreed-upon neutral and sovereign entity. Their primary duties included categorizing research data from field arcanists and ensuring that they tracked any fluctuations in the ley activity emanating from their home region. This latter task was managed by way of a series of intricate mana lenses through which runic readings materialized. These lenses would be lined up and adjusted to provide a visual readout of the energy that the magister was trained to decipher.



--


The magisters filed into the chamber. They were lead by Smark Crystalon, the middle-aged magister of arcane, a tall guardian, and the de facto head dignitary of the Oculus of the Eleven. Beatrix watched as the other nine representative magisters followed him in and moved to their stations.

Beatrix returned to her research to review her notes. It’s a shame there aren’t any other mirrors here, she brooded inwardly, feeling an anxious pang of loneliness welling up within her. She cast a gaze at the gathered dragons. They were nice enough, but they weren’t mirrors. They weren’t her pack.

And then the quakes began. The first one was subtle. The other magisters appeared to have missed it, but nothing escaped Beatrix’s eyes. Her fellows’ heat signatures shifted ever so slightly from right to left. As she opened her mouth to say something, there was another light trembling. Loosely stacked notes hit the polished floor and more than a few lenses were knocked askew. In almost the same instant, all of the magisters turned their heads towards the center of the great room, where a circular wooden table stacked high with parchment commanded the space. They wordlessly watched the pile of paperwork wobble back and forth. Other than the shifting of the tower, everything else seemed normal. Each of the sophisticated terminals were glowing brightly, indicating a steady source.

After several moments of tense quiet, Smark broke the silence, “I think we should-”

A third quake struck, this one wreaking considerably more chaos. Lenses were knocked off tables, books off shelves, and the parchment heap, which some poor scholar carefully arranged the night before, finally came tumbling down.

Ten magisters looked over to Smark, shocked and unsure how to proceed, but Smark was staring out his personal window, muttering in bewilderment to himself. “...this is extraordinary...” He shook his head, sending his great beard swaying.

"What do you see?" asked Rish Sunspark, the imperial magister of light. His kind elderly eyes, which usually rested in a wrinkled squint, were now wide.

Smark made no reply. As he surveyed the world outside his portal, his expression was an amalgamation of horror and scientific fascination. As if sucked in by the void of his silence, nine magisters moved towards the window. Huddling around Smark, they craned their necks to see what he was watching, but Beatrix noticed it without even moving a muscle. Smark's window, which normally gave him a breathtaking view of the northern sea, was now obstructed by glistening pink crystal.

The entire mountain range had surged upward.

Collecting himself, Smark began speaking rapidly. "This has never happened. We all knew that the Crystalspine Reaches were growing at a gradual rate but never before have they heaved in such a fashion. This process is supposed to take millennia," he said. Without tearing his gaze from the phenomenon, he gestured frantically with his left arm for Arwin Petalhide, the fae magister of nature, to grab a parchment and quill. She fanned her crests in reply and darted to the table in the middle of the room. Before she could reach a writing implement, another quake rocked the sanctum.

Beatrix was thrown forward by a blast of heat as the lenses of her own work station exploded, sending shards of glass and crystal flying. She landed hard on her chest, a few feet from where she’d just been standing. The metal arms that once held her precious lenses were left mangled, twisted beyond repair. Dazed, she shook her head and turned around, trying to get her bearings, a terrible ringing in her ears. The sanctum wall was darkened by the catastrophe, but structurally undamaged. She swung her head around the chamber to see if anything had happened to the other instruments and was relieved to see they were still stable. The great orb-like lenses beamed their familiar energy signatures in a rainbow of color that was now missing cyan, the energy signature of her homeland.


All eyes turned to Beatrix.


“Explain yourself,” Daria hissed. The shadow magister’s normally silky voice had a dangerous edge to it, and the wildclaw's eyes narrowed as she stared Beatrix down.

Beatrix blinked, still stunned from the explosion. "I'm sorry, what?"

Caryan Spinehearth, the magister of plague, stepped forward, setting her pearl on a small velvet pillow nearby. She cocked her head, her ebony black mane waving to the side. "And just how long have you been plotting to sabotage our operation here?" She dipped her head, bright red eyes piercing.

Beatrix balked, suddenly understanding what she was being accused of. "I... I couldn’t...I wouldn’t–" she stammered.

She was cut off by Caryan’s sharp laugh. "Oh, don't even try to deny it, child. For thousands of years this temple has stood peacefully. Magisters of all elements have come and gone without so much as a raised voice. And here we are, looking at our newest–and if I am not mistaken–youngest member, laying on the floor among the remnants of an invaluable instrument. Just what are the children of the Stormcatcher planning here? Did you think we would turn the other way while you worked to bring down an ages-old institution?" she spat. Caryan’s heat signature was blazing, even brighter than that of Rancollo Lavala, the small coatl fire magister, who didn’t exactly look pleased with Beatrix either.

The accusation made her own temperature rise, and she started to stand. Several of the other magisters shuffled their feet apprehensively. She felt painfully alone, desperately longing for the safety of her pack and her clan. Her sharp teeth clenched in a bubbling anger.

"How dare you!" Beatrix shouted. The composure - the effort she’d made to stay in control of her aggressive nature around the others - dissolved under the pressures of this new allegation. "I have no idea what just happened!" she bit out, "And what's more, do you honestly think now is the time for us to make these types of accusations? When the very land around us is shifting?" A low growl sounded in her throat as she glared at the pearlcatcher, and fought away a sudden urge to throw Caryan’s cherished orb out a window.

"Perhaps the two events are connected," offered Abysaell. Her low, ominous voice carried a hint of foreboding.

"And perhaps this is just the Starfall Isles looking to physically protect itself from..." Daria's sentence trailed off as she contemplated her dark thoughts, then turned to look disgustedly at Beatrix. "In fact," she tossed a look at Smark, "how do I even know that you aren't involved in this conspiracy? Have the children of the Arcanist hosted us here for centuries, just to lull us into false sense of comfort?"

Smark snarled back at the sneering wildclaw, "Excuse me?! This is hallowed ground, set aside by the Arcanist himself to–"

The plague magister cut him off. "Do please forgive us for not putting much stock in the intentions of the Arcanist, a being who has twice brought destruction to this realm," Caryan smirked, but there was no joy behind the expression.

A palpable tension settled over the sanctum.

"From this point forward, the shadow dragonflight is no longer taking part in what is so clearly a trap." Magister Blotburrow announced, turning to dismantle her own lenses. Caryan Spinehearth followed her lead.

Both dragons' actions were interrupted as another crash sounded through the room. Beatrix had stumbled into a bookcase, disoriented and blinded by the extreme heat signatures from the other dragons in the chamber. I can’t see...

"ENOUGH."

Grommick Reedwing, the ancient magister of wind, raised his normally hunched form into an imposing silhouette. The other dragons froze, shocked by the uncharacteristic command. The elderly skydancer never raised his voice, but now it boomed and echoed across the chamber. "We are the brightest minds in the realm. We will not be undone by hasty suspicions and primal nativism! Guilty or not, the magister of lightning deserves an investigation, before this whole tower comes crumbling down under the cruel weight of doubt."

Grommick gestured to Arwin, “Help her up." He glared at Caryan, Daria, and Smark.

The tension among the assembly notched down every so slightly.

"We will send a party to the Shifting Expanse to find out what has happened. Beatrix, you will act as a guide and be under constant supervision. We will find out, with certainty rather than speculation, if the lightning dragonflight has done this of their own accord.”


--


The Magisters:

  • Lightning: Beatrix Thundrael (mirror female - young adult)
  • Wind: Grommick Reedwing (skydancer male - elder)
  • Nature: Arwin Petalhide (fae female - young adult)
  • Arcane: Smark Crystalon (guardian male - adult)
  • Plague: Caryan Spinehearth (pearlcatcher female - young adult)
  • Light: Rish Sunspark (imperial male - elder)
  • Shadow: Daria Blotburrow (wildclaw female - adult)
  • Fire: Rancollo Lavala (coatl male - adult)
  • Water: Abysaell Deeplake (ridgeback female - adult)
  • Earth: Galford Rockbreaker (snapper male - elder)
  • Ice: Amara Frostkeen (spiral female - elder)





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