In a place beyond our Common Lands, the Arcane live in a magical realm of legendary creatures. All are enriched by the Seven Sources, and the wizards who dwell there channel Fyren, Aire, Rok, the Green, Watar, Etherwhere and Illumos through their seventh sense. Some of the wizards use levers—wands and such channeling devices—while others partner with animals.
The unique island school for flying creatures teaches them how to assist wizards in their endeavors and channeling magic. The masters include elves, an ogress, a dryad, dragonnettes, a centaur, and several wizards, including Jules, Darius and their mom, Maestra Magnus.
LEARNING TO FLY
“Come back here! Whoa!” Jules screamed. She had lost her focus. She tumbled off balance, rolling twice, then she plunged like a bird with a wounded wing. “I’m falling!” Jules screamed past the lump in her throat. She recalled that she wouldn<’t fall too far thanks to Mom’s Feathery Touch spell.
And yet, Jules dropped below the rim of the island, still plummeting for the water. She expected to be slowed as if she had just opened a parachute. Why wasn’t the spell working? Had Dari disenchanted Mom’s warding spell?
While attempting to right herself, Jules veered abruptly to slam into the stone cliff face. She tasted blood and fell briefly stunned toward the icy waters. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a scrawny tree protruding from an outcropping. She nearly yanked her shoulders out of joint when she swerved back toward the cliff. She freed her arms and seized the sapling. Her wings snapped back, locking together into a feathery fin.
She peered under her arms, finding her friend and Sheeric fighting a horde of snakeheads. A stream of them left the battle, swimming toward a body that floated face down in the water below. His red and yellow shirt seemed to shout a warning of blood and death.
Jules’ relief and the granite handhold broke under her fingers. She fell tail over head. She jammed her arms back into the wings and deployed them, losing altitude and swooping closer, now searching for a dry place to land. Only a trio of boulder tops poked above the surface of the bay, close to the body. Two of them protruded as rounded humps. The third was shallowly concaved, reminding her of a giant stoneware saucer. She couldn’t quite reach it by gliding, so she skipped off the first hump. Because she was dragging her tail, she barely stumbled onto the flat boulder. She teetered on the edge then flapped her wings desperately to push herself onto the rock.
With their cold, fishy eyes, the snakeheads peered up at her. Jules knew they could wriggle and even walk ashore. She stepped to the center of the boulder and slipped her arms free, ditching the wings just as a monstrous fish dragged them under. She summoned her ferruled staff from her magical vol pouch and brained the first fish to flop onto her rock.