In the Elder days, from the first drops of blood shed in anger was born Angrus, Scholar of Battle, Master of Warfare. His steaming body was iron made flesh, his eyes were coals given sight. He battled evil entities and malevolent spirits without number until meeting the Iron King. Finding the fiend too solid to destroy with strength alone, Angrus thought long and hard, and created martial arts. Encountering the Stone King, and finding the demon too hard for fists to damage, Angrus thought long and hard, then picked up a stick and created the first weapon. Finding the Thorn King unapproachable, Angron thought long and hard, modified his stick into the first bow and arrow, and created archery. And after being ambushed by the Fang King and badly injured, Angron fashioned the first shield. Thus did Angron become a lord of war. But then a new band of foes arrived to challenge him. The Fire King was immune to weapons and fists. The Water King let such things pass through him, and the Cloud King ignored material weapons. Together they beat him around his head and shoulders and sent him fleeing, claiming his titles as their own. But Angron thought long and hard, and noticed the energies of the world around them. He reached out to them, held them in his grip and moulded them. When next he met the three Invulnerable Kings, he hurled magic at them. He struck the Fire King with intense cold, the Water King with great heat, and the Cloud King with powerful wind, and he reclaimed his titles. But now, as his power and skill neared its zenith, Angron gave thought to his legacy. He decided he would become a teacher, and instruct those worthy of his training in all the skills he had learned. He burrowed deep into a mountain, and at its root built the first dojo. There he waits even to this day. Stalactites descend from the ceiling now, covering many of the ancient murals and intricate mosaics created by students of yore. The walls are hidden behind layers of trophies, his own and his student’s. And there, at the end of the great hall, is a throne. It’s arms are the arms of the Iron King; the legs those of the Stone King. The back was fashioned from the body of the Thorn King, and the tusks of the Fang King. The cushions contain the essences of the Three invulnerable Kings, and upon them sits Angron, eternally waiting for his next disciple.
Good thing I didn’t have an audience. The umms and pauses would have been painful.
But I managed to create my first realm, the Dojo of Angrus, Master of Battle. He would provide me with the power to fight and protect myself. I could improve on it later with more stories of His epic adventures. Now it was time to return to the land of the living.
I knew I was in trouble the moment I arrived. I looked down to see my clothes, . . .
and saw the rug had been rolled away, and the circle now was adorned with lit tealights. I smelled incense.
I heard the sound of screaming girls behind me. Not good.
I kept my cool long enough to get my boxers and jeans on, before turning around. It was the biker chicks, wide eyed and backed into a corner, holding up mystical amulets.
“By Phoebus, I command you! Submit!” yelled their leader, who I later learned was named Mei. She mispronounced Phoebus. Amateurs.
Keeping my face emotionless, I reached down, picked up a tealight, and blew it out. This brought a new round of screams.
“Not just any candle will do.” I said. “They have to be specially made, with alchemical essences infused into the wax.”
The little blond, Keri, started whimpering. The goth, Wanda, was of sterner stuff.
“He looks like that wimp in our math class.” she said. Yeah, cutie, I’m a wimp. And you’re stupid.
“We did order him to appear in a non-threatening form.” noted Mei.
“He’s playing with us.” wailed Keri.
Wanda wasn’t convinced. “No, he’d have eaten us by now if he was a demon and loose. It’s that doofus from math class.”
“You mean he’s a kid like us.” said Mei.
“Not like you.” I replied. “I know a little about magic. You don’t.”
“We know magic, you doofus!” said Wanda. “We opened this magic circle, didn’t we?”
“Yeah. With tealights.” I said. “If you’d actually known how to summon anything, the spellhammers would be here by now, and you three would be digesting in a demon’s gut.”
“So you’re a witch like us?” asked Mei.
“I’m a mage. A student of magic.” I replied. “Witch is a job description.”
“Say what?” asked Wanda.
“Witches are magical handicrafters.” I explained. “They make lotions and potions and candles and amulets – things like that.”
“And send hexes, doofus. Don’t forget that!” Wanda was getting mad. I didn’t care. I put my shirt on.
“Do you know how to send a hex?” I asked. “Do you even KNOW what a hex is?”
She ignored that. “Why did you break into our house? And naked?”
“You can’t take unliving things into the Immaterium with you.” I replied. “Just yourself. You have to strain even to include artificial parts like pins in your knees.”
“Why did you break into our place?” she continued to press.
“You’ve got the magic circle.” I replied.
“He’s no demon!” Keri suddenly cried. “You’re right. He’s just that kid from school. And he’s in our HOUSE!”
“Calm down, will you?” I said, to no avail. The mood had shifted.
“Enough of this crap. Get him!” yelled Mei.
They yeeped as they were mashed against the ceiling. I hadn’t learned too many spells so far, but push spells were easy and useful.
“So, are we clear now who’s got the power around here? Or do I have to fry you?” If looks could kill, . . . well, at least this proved they hadn’t learned how to curse. Professionally, I mean.
I tried again. “OK, look. I’m sorry for invading your space. I didn’t even think you knew about the circle – it was under the carpet.”
“I’ll make you a bargain.” I said. “If you’ll let me use the circle when I want, I’ll let you read my book of wizardry. You’ll learn how to use real magic.” This caught their attention.
“How do we know you know real magic?” asked Wanda.
“I know enough to use magic circles. You’ve seen that.” I replied.