Chapter 16: The Next Lesson

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Yictocy sat the children at the table and said, "I wasn't there to give you your lessons because I had to teach a class, but here, I will make sure that you read "The History of Greywyn Academy" by the monk Weallath Bendon from front to back."

Hunter frowned as he stared at the huge book. "You mean, we actually have to read this thing?" he cried out.

"Yes, you have to read this book," Yictocy smiled at him. "This book details the history of our school. As guardians, you are to learn about the school and how and why the school is the way it is."

"Well, fair enough," said Hunter. "But still, why was the school built?"

"Garbur Greywyn founded this school after he slew the wicked witch Lucrezia Grendel, the leader of the Grearciel clan, which once owned this place," said Yictocy as she read from the book. "The clan was kicked out of their home in the Juroph Mountains and forced to live in the Darkwood Forest for their part in the capture of 18 orphaned teenagers and tormenting them. About 7 of those 18 teenagers survived, their names were Slade Muir (a Half-elf), Merle Leafblade (a Werewolf), Tamus Thistlewhite (an Elf), Liatris Korbes (a Dwarf), Arthur St. Germaine (a Vampire), Edmond Arroyo, and Shellie Kearns (both humans)."

"So, those guys were led by Greywyn and they built the Academy?" said Poppy.

"This is why our school is populated by vampires, werewolves, Elves, Dwarves, and humans," said Yictocy. "Some witches, wizards, and fairies have made their way here, despite an order from Greywyn to keep them out and/or kill them on sight."

"What did Greywyn have against witches, wizards, and fairies?" said Poppy.

"Well, besides the fact that a witch held him prisoner?" Nevyn chimed in.

"He didn't like the wizards since they sided with the witch clan that imprisoned him," said Yictocy, "and as for the fairies, we're not certain. Maybe one of them had betrayed him to his enemies a long time ago. Who knows."

"Maybe it's a secret hidden in the library," said Ararenus. The kids stared at him. "I'm sure he's hiding that secret in the library or he took the details of that secret to his grave. So far, no one knows what secret feud he had with the fairies."

"Anyway," said Yictocy, "after Greywyn slew Lucrezia and destroyed her hovel, he and a large group of men attacked her clan, killing most of them. Those who survived fled to Darkwood Forest and disappeared without a trace. To make sure no one was attacked again, Greywyn and his group attacked many witch clans and wizard brotherhoods, destroying them and seizing everything of value. Most of what was seized was placed in the secret library while other magical books and objects were evaluated and later placed in the school library."

"So did they use any of the books they found?" said Nevyn, looking up with interest for the first time since his arrival in Greywyn.

"They were used as the basis for the education taking place today," said Ararenus, who seemed to be pleased to know that Nevyn was taking some interest in the school. "In fact, such classes that are taught here are Hermetic Arts & Science, Pyrotechnic Geomancy, Historical Divination, Alchemical Writings, Astral Genetics, Runic Geology, Summoning Matrix, Elemental Projector, and Sorcerous Chemistry. They all have their roots in the magic the witches and wizards had used for centuries."

"And the magic has been there for centuries," said Yictocy. "At first, Greywyn tried to get rid of it, but when an attempt to get rid of the magic in this very place had gone wrong and nearly killed him, he knew that he needed to find a way to teach others about the magic so that they could purify the place. At first, the school took in only orphans; there were indeed many orphans scattered all over Ostlea due to the wizard/witch/human wars that took place at the same time Greywyn began his purge. Many on both sides of the conflict were killed, and the innocent children that remained behind were rounded up and sent to Greywyn Academy. As the school's reputation grew, other Elf and Dwarf families began sending their children to Greywyn. By the time 50 years had passed since Lucrezia's death, the school was a firm staple in our country of Naetael Cliffs.

"During the Golden Age of the Earthchaser Empire, the kings decreed that the oldest of every human child born in Ostlea was sent to Greywyn Academy. The human population at the school swelled and flourished. Soon, vampires and werewolves also began attending Greywyn, but only the night classes. Fairies were prohibited from attending Greywyn, but Aciakyla is the only exception. Also, here are Kyler and Rista, who you met last night. They also come from the Grearciel clan, who originally owned this entire place. Even after the Earthchaser family was overthrown and the Silverheart family took over, the school has continued to grow and thrive, even if there are fewer humans and more Elves attending. To this day, you can ask around and other students will tell you that there are problems preventing humans from enrolling in any schools, as most humans living in Ostlea are orphans and orphans are forbidden from attending schools. We are currently fighting to make sure every human child has a chance to go to school and to get rid of that law that enslaves them and compromises their futures."

The kids sat there, not speaking after hearing Yictocy's story. They had no idea that things in Ostlea were so much worse than they were back home. On Earth, orphans could be educated or go into the churches, ensuring that they were taken care of. Not so in Ostlea. Poppy remembered a small legacy from the local temple that permitted her to keep attending school and keep her out of the gangs, who would have destroyed any chance of her living a life above her station. Nevyn frowned, wishing that he had turned to the church for help after his parents' deaths, as they would have helped him remain in school and prevented Trevor from being sent to a mental institution.

Yictocy said, "Well, now that you've learned a bit of the history behind our school, we will be taking the next part of the tour, which includes going to some of the magical classes that only the guardians attend. We'll also see the building where the vampires and werewolves live; they live and eat apart from the rest of the school population for safety reasons. Shall we be going then?"

The kids nodded and got up from their seats. Poppy could feel a chill growing down her neck as the group left the classroom and went down a flight of stairs that led to a building deep in the mountains. She knew there was another part of her past that she had no idea existed...

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