Chapter 7: The Dune Slide

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Rhiassa frowned as she walked out of the room. There were some things in her life she was beginning to understand, but being sent to Greywyn Academy wasn't one of them.

She wasn't sure if she was ready to experience her new life at Greywyn Academy yet; not if she still had doubts about her true identity.

Soon, Brother Ararenus had led them to a huge play area. He said, "This room has been labeled the Sky Room. Why they call it the Sky Room, I don't know. Anyway, our students spend most of their time here in this room."

"They should be in class instead," said Nevyn.

"Too much work and not enough play will make you a dull person," said Ararenus. "We don't accept dull people here. We built this room for a reason."

Rhiassa looked around her and saw the answer. The entire room was painted like the color of the sky, with the floor the color of the ground. Several areas had been built into the walls where students were either reading or hanging out. The areas were approached by a flight of stairs built into the walls.

Ararenus turned to her and said, "Look up and you'll see the slide." Rhiassa looked up and saw a line forming in a spot near the ceiling. That spot led to the Dune Slide. The slide was huge and round, about three stories high, and spanned the entire length of the room.

Rhiassa said, "Why do they call it the Dune Slide?"

"There are no sand dunes here," said Nevyn.

Ararenus said to him, "Your lack of imagination disturbs me, boy. I wonder if the school made a mistake in bringing you here. How old are you, anyway?"

"I'm 17 years old, if that's any indication for you," said Nevyn.

"I see," said Ararenus. "You're too old for this school. Much too old, to be exact. The school usually takes in students between the ages of 14-16 years. Dlav was our youngest student at age 13, but he has since aged to the appropriate 14 years. You're almost an adult and much too full of hate and anger."

"How can you say that?" Nevyn cried out. "I can have as much fun here as the next student."

"Indeed," said Ararenus, "but your past says otherwise."

While Nevyn and Ararenus argued, Rhiassa had slipped away from them and climbed a staircase, hoping to get to the slide. She said aloud, "What's the point of the Dune Slide?"

A boy named Tobias Goodfellow said to her, "I don't know, but there were rumors that a witch once tortured people in this room. The rooms there were cages to keep the people trapped so they wouldn't escape. However, Garbur Greywyn escaped from his prison and eventually slew the witch and freed his fellow prisoners. Then they built the school on the remains of the witch's castle."

Rhiassa said to him, "So that's how the school was built?"

"And why we're learning magic," said Tobias.

Another boy named Andrew Cherrywood nodded and said, "We must learn magic because that's why the witch captured those teenagers. That's kind of why every year, the school takes kids from their homes and they are brought here."

"So, the witch's magic is what makes the school take children away from their homes and bring them here," said Rhiassa.

"Not only that," said a girl named Lizzie Castle, "the witch also took the names of the children that she captured. We don't even know the original name of Garbur Greywyn before he came here. That's why students who come here have to get new names."

"Now this is confusing," said Rhiassa as the line for the slide began moving forward. "The witch took teenagers from their homes, stole their names and lives, and forced them to learn magic here at this castle. I thought kids were brought here every 70 years."

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