In real money, 1,000 Schrute bucks are worth 1/10 of a dollar. That is all.
Hello guys! Yes the The Office is and always will be my favorite TV show! Before we get started anything, I would like to remember the 3,000 who died on 9/11 when the World Trade Center was destroyed, and the Pentagon was assaulted. I was very littel when this happened, but whenever I hear about 9/11/2001, my heart hurts. Another plane was headed most likely to the White House, but it crash landed into a field. Ten years previous to this day, this whole thing happened. Parents lost children and children lost parents. We've been at war with Afghanistan for nearly ten years now. Hopefully you've visited Ground Zero to pay your respects recently.
Today is my dads birthday, and as of yesterday I now wear prescription glasses! it turns out I am nearsighted, so I can't see things from far away. But now I am a glasses wearer. Don't judge me. Maybe next year I can get contacts.
The Diadem: Secret Lies in Death
by Caroline Dawnrunner
Something warm and wet trickled down my arm, making me feel numb. The wyvern’s teeth had drawn blood. Then, the numbness was gone, and the full reality of the situation hit in a tidal wave, pain included. I cried out.
The ice wyvern pulled its head back for another assault. I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting for an impact…
BAM! My stomach was hit as I fell over. Looking up through, watery, fatigued eyes, I discovered Rebecca had tackled me down and taken the wyvern’s blow. She wasn’t supposed to leave her spot in the dueling circle, but nothing works the right way when you’re cheating.
Rebecca quickly healed herself, and Aedan put Thermic Shields on both of us. I winced in pain, realizing that both my arm and my stomach hurt— a lot.
How did I get into this mess? What is going on? Who is attacking me? All good questions. It’s hard to believe that it all started two weeks prior to all this, when it feels like a year ago.
Well, two weeks ago, I was level 47. After finishing up my last side quest in the Crystal Grove, I decided to take a break for a little bit and hang out in the Commons. I stocked up on potions and regained mana and health, sold my drop items to the Bazaar, and equipped a new pet from a boss monster. After all this, I didn’t feel like going to The Forum right away, so I ambled over to the Wizard City Library.
I opened the big doors to the wizard media center (which, by the way, are super heavy), and was greeted warmly by the librarian, Harold Argleston.
“Good afternoon, Caroline,” he said.
The librarian is not a regular-looking person like you or I. He is actually a walking, talking dog, believe it or not. I’m not sure what breed he is, but maybe some kind of terrier. I’m used to stuff like this, though. I’ve been to worlds with talking main species like cows, bears, pigs, and dogs (just like Mr. Argleston).
Besides the fact that the library is owned by an anthropomorphic dog wearing clothing, the library is actually pretty cool itself. The catalog is a sheet of parchment, which you can tell to the title or author of the book to, and whoosh, the call number and book information magically appears on the sheet. When you put books in the Book Depository near the library’s side door, whoosh, the book flies back magically to the section it originated. If that isn’t cool enough, the library is literally open 24/7. Boris Tallstaff works the night shift with some of his friends voluntarily (of course, nobody actually checks out a book at two in the morning).
So, the library’s business was pretty slow that day. Mr. Argleston yawned widely and straightened his spectacles while he traded a few Treasure Cards with a Life student. A Conjurer with bright green hair was sitting down on an easy chair and reading On Dragons and Giants— the War of Fire and Ice. An elated Sorcerer signed out for The Krokotopian Conspiracy: Vol. 12. Boris Tallstaff sat on a pile of books looking bored out of his mind.
I had never been much of a bookworm before I found out I was a wizard, but when I first set foot in the library at level 4, the sight of all the different books from ancient tomes to paperback publications by student wizards in all the different colors of the rainbow could make one’s mouth salivate. Ever since then, I had enjoyed picking up books from the library to read in bed at my own house. But this time I was not there to pick up books to read for fun. I was here on business.
Ever since I found out there was a traitor in our midst, I was seriously worried about who it could possibly be. And more than anything, I wanted to find the diadem ASAP. Since nobody seemed to know more about Sylvia Drake and her Diadem than Gloria Krendell (the only thing she knew is that Sylvia used to wear a circlet that looked nice on her), I decided to hit the books.
I chose a catalog sheet out a stack of parchment, and brought over to a table and laid it down flat. In a lucid voice, I said to the paper, “Author. Drake, Sylvia.”
The immediate results on the paper were all titles by Cyrus Drake, showing some of his knowledge about Myth creatures and rants about his students. I frowned, then scrolled down on the paper like it was an IPod Touch. The only results were a few more books by Cyrus, and a book on Death spells by Malistaire Drake.
I tried saying it again as clear as I could, but the paper didn’t change. There wasn’t even a book on Life creatures or Theurgy spells. Out of sheer frustration, I struck the parchment with my fist. I’m pretty impatient sometimes.
“You don’t need to bang the paper to make it work,” somebody said.
I turned around. A Death student stood about a few feet from where I was, his arms crossed. He had Terminus strapped to his back like Aedan sometimes wore his Staff of the Ice Wyvern, his clothing was black and red, and his hair was light blue.
“I guess you would know where to find a book by Sylvia Drake,” I mumbled.
“What did you say? Sylvia Drake?” the Necromancer seemed curious now.
“Nothing,” I sighed. “I just wanted to see if she ever wrote a book of some sort that’s here in the library.”
“Oh yeah, she was an author all right,” he said, “But you won’t find her books in the library.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Huh?”
“Oh yeah, when Sylvia died from a cold, Malistaire got really upset,” he persisted. “He wanted to keep every reminder of her away from everybody else’s eyes. He took every memento and remembrance he could get his hands on and hid them.”
I snapped to attention. “Where?” I asked eagerly.
“Nobody knows exactly where,” he answered. “But rumor has it that it’s somewhere in Nightside.”
My heart racing, my legs went just as fast out the library doors. This treasure trove of Malistaire’s might be as good a lead as any.
Meanwhile, Valerian Seasong watched as the Conjurer raced out the door. What was up with that? He had remembered to brush that morning…
When I got to the Rainbow Bridge, I ducked my head under the roaring waterfall, emerging soaking wet under the other side of the waterfall. I used the Treasure Card ‘Air Dry’ (Divination card) and then proceeded to the black door that led to Nightside.
Nightside was pretty empty as well. Other than three wizards entering the Sunken City, the Death School was silent as the grave, no pun intended.
The silence was broken by the horrible sound of Mortis’s chattering teeth. Trust me, the resonance of two strips of rotten wood grinding against each other is not a pleasant one.
So, my first place to look around was inside the School of Death. I sauntered over to the sunken school and opened the doors, which creaked noisily.
The inside was basically just as deserted as the rest of Nightside. The candles lining the banisters offered a very dim light to see by, so if some undead creature was hiding somewhere in the area you’d get a pretty good shock. Dworgyn the hunchback sat at his desk near the front of the room grading papers and writing memos so quietly that I almost didn’t notice him.
“… Mr. Dworgyn?” I said quietly.
The Death teacher grunted and shifted his attention onto me, spilling candle wax on his paper in the process.
“Something you want? I’m busy,” he murmured.
Dworgyn looked like he was trying to slip back into writing out a business letter to Professor Balestrom, so I replied quickly, “Sir… how well did you know Malistaire Drake?”
He set aside his piece of parchment and brought his elbow down on the desk.
“Well,” he began, “Prior to two years ago, I was the Death Professor’s assistant. He trusted me with lots of personal and confidential information. The last time I saw him, he was at the Death School, and he told me he’d held onto Sylvia’s belongings and hid them somewhere safe, where nobody would find it. I asked him why he was telling me this, and he said that I would find them in the ‘dead tree full of life’, and that I should set them aside somewhere, so he could get them back someday to give to his wife. I asked him how he would get it to her if she was dead, but he was out the door next thing I knew.”
For an elderly chap, Professor Dworgyn had a lot to say. I drank in every word of his monologue.
“So where do you think the stuff actually is?” I asked.
“No idea,” he replied.
The candle flickered. Immediately following was the awful noise of Mortis’s “teeth” chafing together.
“Why does Mortis have to do that?” I groaned.
“He’s been doing it ever since the month following Sylvia’s death,” Dworgyn said.
“Oh. I’m gonna go now,” I said. I walked over to the far end of the room and walked out the door, a million thoughts racing through my head.
Outside the classroom, I walked past the Death Tower and tripped over a big rock jutting from the ground. My book-bag flew out of my hand and its contents scattered everywhere, leaving a big mess. I cried out, partially because my foot hurt and partially out of despair at how long it would take me to organize everything that I had in there.
I cursed and began to pick up and sort out my belongings. I put my Myth homework back in my trapper keeper and grabbed a jar of calligraphy ink that was nearly empty, hoping what was inside could still be salvaged, when I came across my next clue to where the Diadem was.
I found some of my treasure cards sprawled across the ground next to a ‘Moolinda’s Green Thumb’ pack I had been planning on gifting to Rebecca. In the deck were a few useless cards like Fire Elf and Scarab, there were some Death cards like Scarecrow worth using, and sandwiched between two trap cards was the card ‘Revisit’. I scratched my head, wondering where it was from. Then I remembered that it had been a gift from Brill several months ago. The description said, “Allows you to go to any point in time”
And then it occurred to me that I could use this to find out where Malistaire had hidden his collection of all things Sylvia Drake—by looking into the past!
I cast the symbol for the school (I’m not sure which school it belonged to) and activated the spell.
I’m not sure how exactly the card itself knows just where in time I wanted to be, but it certainly knew the exact time and place I wanted to be at right then.
It was evening and the sun was setting in Ravenwood. The sky was a dim orange color, and the last few students raced each other back to their dorms, laughing the whole way. The Death School was whole and intact and in Ravenwood at the time, and snow fell lightly through Bartelby’s branches. The Ice Professor (not Lydia Greyrose) was sculpting a snowman with another student, neither of them wearing mittens. The two were talking to one another.
“Professor Frostrider,” the student asked. “What are we going to do about the life school now that Professor Drake is gone?”
“We’ll find another Life Professor,” the teacher snapped. “It’s the Death Professor we should be worried about.”
“Well why is that?” she asked.
“Sylvia was Malistaire’s wife. Who knows what he going to do know that she’s dead,” Professor Frostrider sighed.
After a few minutes, the two had finished their snow sculpture in frost of Kelvin, and appearing satisfied, left to go back to their accommodations.
A few hours passed in complete silence. Nobody appeared to be awake now but Mortis. Then, in the dead of night, a shadowy figure nearly indistinguishable from the backdrop came out of the Death Tower, carrying a large briefcase. The outline came up to Mortis, and said in barely a whisper,
“Are you awake, Mortis?”
“Yes,” the tree said, just as audible. “It’s done. You can hide your mementos in the safest place now.”
The figure went behind the base of Mortis. There was a loud tapping noise, then the whirring sound of machinery. More white noise, then a thunk and all was silent. The unknown man slowly stumbled over back to the Death Tower, and everything turned black.
Revisit evaporated into a shower of golden light, leaving me to my thoughts and Mortis’s ceaseless teeth chattering.
I’d only talked to the tree once to learn a level 16 spell, but I’d never considered him to know anything about Sylvia or Malistaire Drake
I walked up to the tree and said, “Hey Mortis, why are your teeth always chattering?”
“I’ve always been cold. Ever since Malistaire hollowed me out,” Mortis confessed.
“What? Why did he do that?” I asked in surprise.
“When his wife died, Malistaire wanted his keepsakes of their love stowed away where nobody could take them, so he emptied what was inside of me to make a hiding place for everything he had of her and put inside me her clothes, her books, their photographs, and more. In other words, I’m a dead tree full of life.”
I raised an eyebrow, recalling Dworgyn’s words from earlier. So the collection might be inside the Death tree. I never would have guessed.
I went behind Mortis and leaned on the base of him. A square piece of the bark pushed in, like a panel. There was an electronic whirring noise, and the plate of wood opened up to reveal a shady room inside the tree, filled with a pile of possessions so dense it might’ve been a vault in Gringotts. I had to gasp at how much Malistaire put in there. I even saw the scrapbook I won from Sergeant Skullsplitter, though I’m not sure how it got there. I knew to look for some related to the Diadem, I would have to do some serious excavating.
I was distracted, however, by a voice from behind me. A familiar voice.
“Sorry, Caroline, but this is the end of the road,” he said. There was pain at the pack of my head, then everything went dark.