~Chapter I: Gone Campin'~
In the skies of Tovera, above the skyscrapers, fields, groves, and mountains, on her surface, a hooded, pale-skinned boy clad in a dark blue cape rides his motorbroom, not once looking at the ground below. His curious device, the motorbroom, has a broom-like shape for a base, the shaft being a metal rod, the end of it being a piece of metal etched into the shape of a broom's bristles. Around this base, metal casings painted a dark blue that borders on black snapped onto the vehicle's skeleton, which reinforced the base. The metal case gave the motorbroom the shape of a stylized turtle, and glowing blue sigils and symbols are drawn into the sides of it, from the wings and the head.
At the hood of the vehicle, which was the head of the turtle-like design, a short, pen-like wand peeks out from a silver-rimmed hole, the cap having a gem attached to it. The gem was mostly blue in color, but contained blobs of red and yellow in it that seemed to swim within the red luster of the gem.
As the boy flies, he hears his trunk, which was the tail of the turtle motorbroom, open and shut. He pauses his flight, a bit annoyed at the distraction. The tome, floating before him, opened itself to a particular page.
"How annoying. A tracking sigil? When did he draw one into my tome? And what if my survival kit fell below? He's lucky I wasn't flying at full speed..."
The tome shows the boy a detailed two page spread. It is a drawing of a city, under a few large, strange looking letters in an old language. The city is full of towers with cone-like tops and many windows dotting their sides. On this city's streets, many caped people walk to and fro, though what they are doing is not clear. Chimenies at near 90 degree angles jut from the cone roofs, and a few clothing lines could be spotted if one looked into the depths of the drawn city. The picture has no color, as it is merely a penned sketch, but the drawing communicates all it needs to for the boy as far as he was concerned.
Around the image are hand-written notes on yellow sticky paper, all in many colored pens. The boy shakes his head, as they were hard to read, but one note stood out to him loud and clear. Penned in red, it was stuck next to the large letters above the city drawing.
"This is the old language of the Ichor. It is similar to the nearby clans, but different from the way it looks from the now mountain-based clan-therefore, we can conclude that this was from a time before the Ichor moved to the mountains, and were on good terms with the Toverina, Lagaoso, and Selabol peoples. It reads, loud and clear: Santenica. We've been meaning to gather information on this city,so don't let us down, Maeve! Bring us back some JUICY relics and language notes! I'm sure you'd love to know more about the history of your folks." -Mr.Niilas
Underneath that, another also pinned in red is tacked onto the page.
"P.S-If something EVER goes wrong, you leave on your motorbroom and come right on back, alright? That, or use that special sigil, and you'll be back at the academy lickity-split. Take care, kiddo."
"...As worried as ever. Let's get closer to the surface-my tome must've opened because we're near."
The boy does just that, his tome floating by his side as he dives downward as gently as he can. The gem in the hood glows a little less brightly as he aims his vehicle towards the surface.
Though it made his eyes roll, he sees the ruin ahead, a few towers here and there peaking from the grove's canopies.
"Alright, let's see if we can find an entrance."
Hovering around the ruin, which, upon further inspection, sprawls further and further into the woods the more he observed it, he finds an entrance to the ruin's south. A large arched shape lined with odd letters in the same vein as those in his tome now stood before him and his vehicle, filling his heart with childish glee. Bits and pieces of what looks to be a wall stand at it's sides, though most of it is covered in moss and has already crumbled.
"Ah, how exciting! Let's see if we can find a town square or circle of some sort- we can camp there to make exploration easier. Oh, Santenica, here I come! Motorbroom trunk, open-tome, into the motorbroom trunk."
A few sigils on the broom's trunk glows blue, and it opens. A few sigils lining the spine of his tome glows blue, and into the trunk the tome goes.
"Motorbroom trunk, close."
The sigils on the trunk grow again, and the trunk closes.
Quickly, the boy yanks his wand from the motorbroom's hood, and runs into the ruin without delay, looking around in awe. Surprisingly, a lot of it is intact, if very overgrown. The towers were one for one with the drawing in his tome, and even the clothing lines were there, though they have long been snapped. The tiling, while hard to make out, looked like various shades of brown, with some tiles having the old language etched into them. Between the towers, smaller buildings with cone-shaped roofs lie, with broken windows, dingy carpets with the old language stitched into them, and signs with similar lettering on them. The cone-celilings looked like shades of blue and purple, though they now look green and brown from age.
Eventually, Maeveren reaches a circular town sqaure, a straight shot from the south entrance he found. In the square, a statue of a smiling woman adorned in many robes looms over the square from it's north, its height being taller than the average person, but still short enough as to not be imposing. A large, defunct water fountain lies smack dab in the middle of the square.
"Alright. Let me call my motorbroom here, do some protective sigils, and then I can set up camp."
On the ground right in front of the statue, he writes down in plain Anglian: "Come hither."
"Come hither!" he shouts.
The words on the ground glow a pale blue. In the distance, he hears air being cut through, as well as the ruffling of trees. From above, his motobroom flies through the canopies of the trees to where he wrote the words, though it was coming at a high speed.
"...That's a little...fast...oh god! I have to run!"
As he runs away towards the middle of the square, where the water fountain lies, the motobroom lands harshly, making a loud clunking sound.
"Curses! I hope I didn't destroy the damned thing. I should've been more poetic, but I couldn't remember what was etched into the back...ah well, that...I'll fix...later. For now, I need to set up camp and write protection sigils. We have research to do!"
"...Drats. I got nowhere today. These notes Niilas gave me are useless! The alphabet isn't even completely decoded! Only the letters of Santenica are-how is research this poor for such an important, intact city!?" Maeveren says as he ruffles his black, curly hair with both hands. He is now dressed in a white tank top and short black shorts, wrapped up in blue covers in front of a campfire.
"...But...that does mean that I get to be the first researcher to finally parse Santenica's mysteries! This is only day one-there's no need to feel so down. If no one else can do this right, then I will. Oh, to have this double as my graduation project AND to be the first one to make tangible advancements in Santenica research...tee hee hee! I can taste the wealth of knowledge already-no tome printed after the '90s will be missing any info on Santenica ever again!"
Above him the sky is visible, as his motorbroom made a small gap for him to see through when it cut through the air. The sky turns from purple and orange to a dark blue and the stars now starting to dot it by the minute.
Around him, he had etched protective sigils and words into the ground with his wand, the sigils being shaped like eye-like shapes with three curved lines to the side of it. These shapes have "x"s drawn over them, all of it inside of a circle. He set up camp with his black tent near the water fountain, as it gives him more security than being away from it in an open area.
"I...should try to sleep, actually. I need the energy for tomorrow. No amount of talking to myself will give me the energy to actually contribute to research."
The boy gets up, wraps his blanket around his shoulders, and retires into his tent. After a few minutes of trying to get comfortable on the stone ground, he feels comfort take over his body, closes his eyes, and drifts into sleep. Unfortunately for him, a mere few minutes into his sleep, he hears a feminine voice ring through his head and within his ears, the sound of it almost tickling his ears from how close it sounded.
"Human child..you are in great danger. Turn back now, or you shall face the fate all humans do within these walls."
Maeveren looks around frantically, but sees no one. He jolts to his feet, his wand in hand, pointed outward to whoever may be around.
"W-who is...this...is a prank. I don't tolerate childish games! Show yourself!"
Angered, Maeveren runs from out of his tent and points his wand in various directions, trying to pinpoint the source of the voice. There is no reply, but a thick fog begins to manifest around him, making him sweat ever so slightly.
"You call yourself a mage, yet you do these kinds of parlor tricks on researchers, hmmm? Fine then, two can play-"
The fog thickens. The voice rings out once more.
"What in the Founder's name...? This was never in the records back at the academy."
"No! It is almost too late! You are a fool, child! Run straight ahead, the path from whence you came. Quickly!"
"...I think...not! Nice prank, but I'm going back to sleep. If the records have no reports of this event, then it must be a joke made in poor taste! Researching Santenica is of the upmost importance, and no one will stop me!"
"Have you never read about the neighbors? Those who live in the realms next door to yours? Have you all learned nothing from forty years ago? When the Sage King's will and the fair folk went wild!?"
"I-I have...protective sigils, my wand, my tome, and my motorbroom. I have the upmost faith in my abilities if you or the neighbors try to cross me."
"....If you will not listen, then I can at least...sleep well then, human child."
"Thank you. I'd like to get some sleep in before tomorrow's exploration session."
There is no reply. The fog still surrounds Maeveren.
"...I-it's...probably just some pranksters going around the ruin. When I awake, I'll catch them and send them home. This fog is impressive-a shame they waste their magic prowess on tricks like these."
With that, Maeveren wraps himself in his black blanket and goes into his tent once again. Though the voice's warnings echo in his mind still, and the fog gives him a bit of unease, he is able to fall asleep, feeling that his magic abilities truly have him covered.