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TS19: No Magic

Jove’s next class was in the gymnasium, a large open room at the base of the circular tower. MAR 090 Intro to Personal Defense. Apparently, martial arts training was required of all students, sort of the Atlantis equivalent of Phys. Ed.. Jove was nervous, he never did well in gym class in high school, and wondered if he’d have similar problems in college.

The gymnasium was about what Jove expected. By now, the stone walls of the university had begun to look commonplace. The torches, unlit in the daytime, were also not a surprise. The windows that opened directly to the outside placed high in the room reminded him of the gym back home. Once he thought about it, the circular shape made sense, since the building was circular. Although with the bleachers that ran along the outside, it gave more of an impression of an arena than Jove felt comfortable with. The one feature that stood out, at least to Jove, was the smooth marble floor.

It took only one step for Jove to realize that it was enchanted. The entire floor had a little give, similar to what he expected from a practice mat back home. Although it didn’t look textured, Jove had no trouble getting traction on the polished marble. Part of him was worried. If the enchantment on the floor was to prevent injury, what would happen if he accidentally suppressed the magic? Then he remembered that if he just stayed calm, it would be alright.

Mark tapped Jove on the shoulder, “Hey, stop staring at the floor. Do you want to look weird?”

Jove gave the stoat a glare, then walked over to the center of the room, where most of the students were gathering. Jove recognized everyone from MGC 096, as well as Julius, the bear that had attacked him last Thursday. Julius was with several other students, but took the time to give Jove a good glare. Jove stood next to Chris for personal support, and choose not to wonder why Chris was in this class, but just be thankful for it.

Jove smiled when he saw the teacher enter. The familiar bear walked up and addressed everyone. “Good afternoon, and welcome to your martial arts class for the semester. Most of you know me, Magus Southey, or as I prefer to be called, South. Several classes meet at this time, but you will be learning together. You might wonder why I’m not grouping you into similar skill levels.” He eyes the class, then smiled, “In real life, you don’t always fight people with the same abilities. You need to learn to fight a superior opponent and survive, to fight a weaker opponent without killing them, and to learn what you can from a mix of different situations.”

“Regardless of which class you are in, they all have one thing in common. No magic allowed.” South smiled a toothy grin as he looked out over the class. “It’s been a while since I taught these classes, so my reputation and nickname have passed into time. Still, if you wish, back then I was called the Warden.” For a moment, South’s eyes flashed red. In response, dozens if not hundreds of glyphs and sigils became visible along the floor, walls and ceiling. Several of the students moved to avoid standing on the glowing lines on the floor. South continued, “If you use magic, I will know. If you use magic, I will make you practice more.”

Jove swallowed. He remembered the ease with which he avoided South’s wards, without even trying. He wondered if that would cause issues in class, not that Jove wanted to cheat, he just didn’t know how to make sure he didn’t use magic.

South spoke a little softer. “Some of you are new to this realm. For you, this class offers the first chance to control your magic. To make sure you use it when you want, not when it wants.” His voice got stern again, “Some of you are here because you’ve forgotten how to get along without magic. You will not like me, but if you let me help you, I will get you through the class.”

“I know what most of you are thinking. You’re mages, or you will be, so why do you need to learn to function without magic?” South glanced over the class and asked, “Who can think of a situation where you would be unable to use magic?”

Elsa raised her hand. The older raccoon answered, “Otherworld.”

That got a few laughs, which South quickly cut off. “Yes, while magic works in otherworld, using magic publicly would be a violation of the Oath of Habitat. Let’s say some two-bit mugger attempts to take your grimoire. Blasting him with fire or something that will get the cops asking questions makes a mess. Someone has to clean up those indiscretions, and it’s better to have an option than magic. Any other situations?”

Duaine raised his hand. “The Abyss.”

South nodded, “That’s a good one. For those of you who haven’t been there, the Abyss is a magic dead realm, opposite otherworld. Abyss runners jump into and out of it to appear to teleport. However, you can only use the magic you bring with you, and you have to make sure to save enough to get back. If you have to deal with anything in the Abyss, it’s best to save your magic for the return trip.” He laughed, “Maybe we’ll hold class there next week. You should be aware of the emergency evacuation areas near to the school.”

Julius raised his hand. He looked at Jove when he answered. “When around nulls.”

“Another good example.” South stepped forward a little, pulling Julius’ gaze away from Jove. “While most strong mages can overcome the presence of a single null, even an archanist would have trouble dealing with a group of five or six. In general, and especially in otherworld, multiple nulls are stronger than the individuals negating magic separately.”

To Jove’s surprise, Chris raised his hand. “While casting,” was all he said. That lead to a few whispers of confusion. Jove wondered how Chris meant you couldn’t use magic if you were using magic, unless…

South confirmed what Jove had thought. “That’s a very good point. In general, you can only cast one spell at a time. If a spell is complicated enough and takes long enough, you may have to deal with someone trying to stop you while you cast.”

Mark scoffed, without raising his hand, “When does that ever happen?”

“It happened to me last month.” South’s voice didn’t get any louder, but it seemed to stop all other noise in the room. “As some of you know, I was in law enforcement before I came to teach here. It was a simple unruly mage, just a magister, but he got lucky and broke my binders. I had to draw a sealing ward on him while attempting to restrain him at the same time.”

Somehow, Mark still managed to break the odd silence, and speak out of turn, “That’s not possible!”

South locked his gaze with the stoat. It was clear that two interruptions were enough. His voice was soft again, almost inviting a response. “Want to try?”

To that, Mark had no answer.

With that, the friendly South returned. “Let’s get started. Today, we’ll be doing basic exercises, and for those two interruptions, Mark has earned everyone two laps around the gym.”

There were a few grumbles, but no one spoke an objection.

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