Written by George Sanders

Wil and Airy sat at their desks writing words over and over. The ink dripped from their quills and followed the indents they made on the page with their thoughts. They may not be able to cast a full spell yet but they were already able to make that small dent in reality. Antum was satisfied. Magic could do so many things.
  "Excellent work. Both of you. Next go to page 32, paragraph 3, sentence 2. Take the 4th, 5th, and 9th words and write them 10 times." The apprentices flipped through the pages of their primers, found the correct words, and started writing. Once they were both writing Antum gave a lecture on the importance of concentration, with the goal to teach them how to monitor their surroundings while concentrating on a spell. They would pause every ten minutes for a break and repeated the exercises for an hour.
  "We need to keep working on accuracy but that was a good effort today. Next, open chapter 4 of the Treatise of Magic Servants." They rearranged books to get the right one opened. Antum continued "The primary function of a mage in the Etonia Wizarding Network is to spread magic to everyday life. A farmer coming home from a day working in the fields doesn't need to clean dishes. That is what a magic servant is designed to do. Wil, the hearth at the tavern your parents run goes to full capacity at 4pm every evening. The pots know where they need to go to start dinner. It is all laid out in magical commands. It is like an algorithm, to borrow a term from mathematics. The repetition of this routine use of magic is what will allow your power to grow. Please begin your reading."
  Ten minutes went by, Antum thought about how proud he was of his new students. Eventually, his thoughts came back to the accomplished apprentices he had before, but they were both gone. He had not been able to protect them. He snapped out of his thoughts and looked up at Wil. He was focused on his reading. Antum looked over at Airy. She was wiping her eyes as she tried to read. He noticed a whimper come from her. She was likely an orphan now. It had been a difficult month. "Ok" Antum clapped "Let's take a cookie break." Airy wiped her eyes again and followed Antum and Wil to the circle at the far end of the room. As they each stepped onto the circle they disappeared. Without breaking a step, they reappeared on the second floor. When they first learned how to use the teleportation circle, Antum had told them "You just keep walking forward". It was a little disorienting because they were facing the opposite direction when they exited on the second floor.
  They washed their hands, sat down at a long table, and a plate floated over with milk and cookies. As they started eating, Antum said "Magic can't fix everything, sometimes you need cookies."


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