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Antigonish


Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

They weren't sure how long they have been walking but once they've reached about a few miles away from home, it was already closing in to the end of summer.

Realizing that they were almost home, they didn't dare to think what was Micki's parents' reaction once they've seen them, so they decided to hang around in the beach and away from home just to make themselves feel up and about and ready to face them.

During their slight camping trip in the beach, they've come across a fisherman who was taking his break from a long day's fishing on the smooth sand. He noticed them and grinned, saying, "Hey, I recognize you kids! You've been on the papers and in the news! You're the kids who ran away because you don't wanna get married!"

"That's us," Micki replied. "But please don't tell anybody yet. We're not too ready to go home."

"Now why don't you kids tell me why you don't want to get married, hmm? I heard that because of that, you've caused your continent a whole lot of trouble and mishap."

Micki and Madella soon told him about the code and the tradition of best friends and not wanting to break them.

"Ah, that ol' best friend code! Haven't heard of it for a very, very long time now!" the fisherman chuckled.

"You know about the code?" Madella asked.

"Know them?" the fisherman looked amused. "Why, I used to practice that myself for quite a long time when I was true best friends with my Cameron. She and I were the best of friends and nothing could tear us apart, and I mean nothing!

"Well, everyone could see that we were inseparable, so our parents decided to make us get married. What a sore and a fit we had, because we didn't want to break the code, but during that time, it's very bad not to listen to your folks, so we had to agree to their words."

"Why didn't you run away like we did?" Micki asked.

"We had no money and not much belongings," the fisherman replied. "We weren't too well off back then and we sure didn't really know how to take care of ourselves, unlike you fine chaps. Like I was saying, we finally said our vows and exchanged the rings and lived together under one roof. Finally we realized that getting married was pretty good after all. Now, sonny boy, I'm sure in your heart, you don't really want your girlfriend here to be wed to someone else, do you?"

Micki looked down. Come to think of it, he was right. He didn't really want Madella to marry anyone else. He wanted her to be his friend forever.

"See? That's how I felt after I've married Cameron. I realized that I didn't want Cameron to marry anyone else and if I stuck to the code so long that I refused marrying Cameron, I would've regretted that decision sooner or later.

"You see, marrying your best friend doesn't mean that you're going to lose your best friend or anything. You're actually keeping the best friend forever and be closer to them. The things you were only able to do when you're together and out of your own homes, now you can do it in your own home and almost everyday too. And let me tell you something, kids, a lot of married couples were best friends at first. And so were your parents, sonny boy."

"My mother and dad used to be best friends? It can't be!" Micki was pretty shocked. "They're so close together and do things really great! Not like best friends would do after being married to..."

"Ahh, do you see it now, kids?" the fisherman noted. "Your parents started out as best friends and look at them now! Aren't they happy together? The best friend code is just a code and an old wives' tale. I'm sure you two will have happiness together too, just like your parents."

After pondering the fisherman's words for a while, they realized that they were being immature and old-fashioned for too long. The fisherman was right--everything they have practiced in the best friends' code was just a bunch of codes and nothing more. It wasn't so sacred after all. It was just a bunch of stupid old rules.

Finally Micki smiled and said, "Thank you, sir. Thanks for the advice. I think we're ready to go home now."

"Well, then I'll wish you kids good luck and all the best!" the fisherman tipped his straw hat and got off the sand to reach his hut just at the end of the beach.

The pair of best friends continued their journey home. Before they knew it, it was already the beginning of autumn when they reached home. They tip-toed into the house in order to surprise Micki's parents. As they peeked into the living room, they saw the parents sitting by the fire looking quite worried indeed.

"We shouldn't have forced them into this engagement," Micki's mother sighed. "Maybe they're not exactly at the right age yet."

"They are of right age," Micki's dad said. "But you're right; we shouldn't have forced them and we shouldn't have rushed it. We should've waited until the next Poloka before we announced the decision."

"Actually," Micki's voice appeared, shocking the both of them,"we don't really mind being engaged."

How happy the family was as they saw Micki and Madella rushing forward to Micki's parents, hugging and kissing like they haven't seen each other for centuries. Well, it did feel like it since they left anyway.

Needless to say, Micki and Madella were wed by next Poloka and they had a family of their own a few years later. The fisherman was right--they really did have a great time and their frienship had never deteriorated ever. In fact, as they started to have children, they were closer than any closest best friends could ever be.

And ever Poloka, Madella would always tell her children about their misadventures of their past before bedtime.

The children never get tired of hearing it.

For the days to come, they weren't sure how long they were away from home. They just kept on the run and kept going from one place to another so that no one would keep track of them.

It started out OK at first, but when the winter came, they realized that they have sold off most of their clothes to all kinds of places just to afford some food and water. They were pretty much almost down to the freezing point. Snow may not be expected to make everywhere a white city, but it sure bites the bones out of you.

When the weather began to grow colder, they couldn't figure out anything else to sell. The clothes they were wearing now wasn't much of a help to keep them out from the cold. Micki did consider selling the toy farm but Madella was so attached to it that she simply wouldn't give it away, not even when Micki begged and tugged and threw a tantrum at her. After tired of trying and considering the worth of the toy farm, Micki realized that it wouldn't even be enough to buy a sock, lest buy a jacket.

Finally, after searching for hours, they finally came across a huge house that has boxes at the front door. When the two best friends opened those few boxes, they were thrilled that it contained unwanted winter clothes that were too old or too small to be worn.

They were utmost glad that the owner of the house also threw out a box filled with the complete collection of toy farm animals. Each and every single one needed in a toy farm was right there. This was their lucky day and the best Hulama present they could ever get.

They took the boxes to a quiet place in an abandoned worksite and one by one they tried on the clothes, ranging from socks to scarves to jackets to mittens to a whole lot of winter clothes. They truly had a whole lot of fun trying them on. They squabbled for a toy farm animal they both liked, wallowed over the snow and over the other clothes that didn't fit them until they got kinda tired of fooling around.

After picking and choosing and getting the right clothes to wear, they got all bundled up and went on their way. Of course, they didn't forget their latest find for their Hulama present--the toy farm complete collection.

Later that night, as they ate their dinner and played with their toy farm in an old tower, they started to talk about their little run-away-from-home escapade.

"When are we going back, Micki?" Madella asked.

"We can't go back," Micki replied. "If we go back, Mother and Dad are going to start marrying us again. What would become of our friendship?"

"Well...I've benn thinking," Madella said timidly. "Maybe we've been too old-fashioned and keeping on the code too long. What if your mother's right? What if...getting married is not as bad as we think?"

"But what about the code? Are you saying that we should forsake the code and break tradition and go along with this hullabaloo? Don;t you realize that by getting married, we're not going to be friends anymore and we won't be able to appreciate the things we used to do together like right now? Are you trying to forsake me, Madella?"

"No, I'm not!" Madella was shocked to hear such accusations. "I'm just saying that we shouldn't be hiding anymore. Just look at us, Micki! We're no more than common beggars selling things and scavenge for food and have to sleep wherever we can find shelter. I'm tired of running away, Micki! I'm really tired!"

"Better be tired out here than being submissive to the fate that we'll be husband and wife and end our friendship forever," Micki muttered.

"Then how do you suppose your mother and dad got married? Did we actually ever stop to think of listening to them?" Madella began to feel irritated. "Sometimes I think we've been pretty immature back then."

"Fine! If you want to go home with Mother and Dad, go ahead! But I'm not going back! Not in a million years! You can just get married to someone else but I don't care and I won't be there!"

The atmosphere was pretty tense for a minute or two before Madella finally took Micki's hand and said, "I'm sorry. I'm just a little confused, OK? I don't want to ruin our friendship or anything, and I sure want you to be in my wedding when I get married to a good guy. Please, don't be angry, I don't wanna fight, OK?"

So their squabbles were over for now, and their friendship and happiness resumed. They went through the winter together and were there to celebrate the coming of spring through the rain. As usual, they brought out their umbrellas and sat under it to watch and enjoy the spring rain.

After the rain poured for a few moments, Madella started crying. She cried and cried and didn't seem to be able to stop. Micki noticed and tried to comfort her, but he didn't know what to say without finding out what happened.

"What is it, Madella? Why are you crying? Aren't you enjoying the spring rain? You always loved the spring rain."

"I wanna go home~! I just wanna go home~!" Madella sobbed. "I miss your mother. I miss your dad. I miss the continent we're living in. I miss all the other friends we've come across throughout our lives. We've never been so far away and so long apart from them before. I...just...wanna go...home~!"

Micki stared at the sobbing Madella and thought for a whole minute. She's right, he thought. We've been away from home for too long. Mother and Dad would be missing us terribly. They should get the message right now that we don't want to get married, and they might have cancelled the whole thing by now...But then...maybe it isn't so bad being married...I don't know. I suppose we should go home.

"Alright, Madella, alright," Micki whispered to Madella. "You're right. Mother and Dad must be worried sick by now. We should go home. I'm tired of running too."

That finally brought a smile to Madella's face. With their bags and their box of toy farm, they started walking and heading back down the road home.


Micki and Madella were friends since the beginning of their childhood. No one really knew how they met or how they got together so easily, but wherever they went, they were always a pair. They were never separated and they were never alone. If they were, someone would certainly start asking questions.

Rumour has it that Madella was a child born out of wedlock and was left at the doorsteps of Micki's home, so although Micki and Madella were not blood siblings, Madella actually lived with Micki under one roof and one family.

Micki's mother never told anyone how did Madella come about when she said that Madella wasn't her daugther, and you sure can't get anything out of Micki's dad either, so everything was just speculations and gossips. But they decided to let it drop anyway; Madella had never been a threat to anyone or anything.

Whatever the reason was, Micki and Madella were like two peas in a pod. They have never missed a single great event together. They went to school and studied together, sat under their umbrellas together and enjoyed the pouring spring rain, ran around the fields happily in the months of summer, stood under trees and collected their autumn leaves, wallowed on the snow in winter playing with their toy farm, and they were there when Micki's little brother was born. To make everything clear to everyone, there is nothing in the world that could keep them apart.

Until one day, they were celebrating Poloka when their parents have secretly made a decision to tell the kids what they have been planning to do for quite a long time now. So after the hanging of decorations, the food blessing and the dinner and all, Micki's parents called them forward to the living room to listen out what they had to say. Micki and Madella came eagerly, looking forward to hear what their great surprise was, as Micki’s parents said that their present would be one and would be sure to like it.

“We have a surprise for you, children,” Micki’s mother said to the eager children. “Now I know that you two are inseparable and you just love each other’s company, we’ve decided that…”

“We’re going to let you get engaged right tomorrow morning! How does that sound?”

“Err…Dad, what do you mean by… ‘engaged’?” Micki asked.

“I mean that since you kids are at a right age and you’ve been together for so long and all, we’re thinking of getting you kids married by the next Poloka! You two are going to be married! Don’t you like it?” Micki’s dad exclaimed happily.

Unfortunately, instead of being happy, they had horror and terror on their faces. That was something Micki's parents didn't really expect. They looked as if they have announced that tomorrow was the end of the world.

"What is it, kids? Aren't you happy?" Micki's dad looked surprised.

"No, we're not happy! We're totally not happy about it!" Micki exclaimed, horrified.

"Why aren't you happy, sweetheart?" Micki's mother asked. "Isn't this a great thing? Once you get engaged and married, you'll be able to be together always. Besides, you're not blood siblings..."

"That's just it!" Micki cried. "We cannot be married! This is what best friends are most afraid of! Marriage is a terrible thing to happen to best friends!"

"What are you talking about, kids?" Micki's mother asked.

"Marriage is the worst nightmare for best friends!" Madella exclaimed. "This is every best friend's nightmare! Haven't you heard about the best friends' tradition? If best friends get married, they'll never be best friends anymore! Nothing would feel the same as before! We won't be able to enjoy things like we used to!"

"Now who told you that kind of thing?" Micki's dad chuckled.

"It's in every best friend's code and tradition of honour," Micki groaned. "If you make us get married, you'll break tradition and nothing will be the same again, and that would be horrible!"

"Yeah," Madella agreed. "You cannot break the best friend tradition. It's tradition and a life-long code. You break it, you ruin the friendship!"

"Now, kids," Micki's dad tried to comfort the two frantic pre-teens. "It can't be that bad. Being married doesn't mean you won't be best friends..."

"No, no, no!" Micki and Madella protested simultaneously. "We will not be married and we will not be engaged either! We won't go for that engagement! No way, no how!"

With that, the two best friends ran upstairs to their room and hide their faces in their pillows, trying to hide the embarrassment and the painful thought of unable to be friends again when they start slipping in wedding rings and making their vows. What a horrible thing to be!

"We cannot let them tear us apart, Micki," Madella whined. "It's just not fair! How could your parents marry us?"

"Yeah, I can't bear to think what our friendship would turn into if we ever become husband and wife!" Micki shuddered a little. "I don't want anything bad to happen! I don't want our friendship to end!"

"What shall we do, Micki? They're going to engage us tomorrow morning, and I bet we'll be meeting with that scary Priestess who would go around us and blessing us and all that crud. I've seen that happen when your cousin was getting engaged."

"Yup, I've seen that too," Micki remembered the day his cousin was engaged with a rat from the Bronze Continent. Suddenly he took Madella's hands and said solemnly, "Let's run away together."

"Run...Run away? But to where?" Madella was taken aback for a moment there.

"Anywhere. As long as they don't find us. We'll be able to live alone and do things like we used to do. They will never find us as long as we run away as far and as fast as we can, and they will never marry us and we won't have to worry about breaking the code."

Finally after much consideration, Madella finally agreed to her best friend's plan. They both gathered a few of their belongings (and most importantly, their toy farm) and checked to see if the parents were asleep before they tiptoed down the stairs, down the hallway and right out of the front door. Before they left, they took one last look at their home.

"Are you sure this is the right thing to do, Micki?" Madella asked worriedly.

"If we don't do this, we'll never be best friends ever again," Micki said as he took her hand. "Come, let's go before anyone sees us."

Before they knew it, they were out of their front yard and out into the big world they never thought they knew. They weren't sure this was the best solution to get away from being married and life-altered, but it was better than no solution at all.


CLOSURE

Prologue
Funny how things turn out in life. Who knew that one day you would have to make such great choices?

Chp1: Take a nice long night flight out on the broom
You cannot get the strange symbols and characters out of your mind. They torment your soul for weeks. You need a nice long night flight out on your broom.

Chp2: Confide a deep secret in Leanna and Morgan
You tell Leanna and Morgan about your encounter at the Great Wizard Ruins. They are amazed. Could you really be the prophesized half-wizard child that has been predicted for centuries? These were bedtime stories told by wizard parents for ages.

Chp3: Apparition lessons with Uncle Mortimer
Uncle Mortimer continues to give you lessons on how to disappear and reappear in different places using magic. This is very dangerous as without proper concentration you may become trapped in between locations!

Chp4: Confess your feelings for Leanna
Recently, every time you see Leanna, your heart starts thumping and you get very nervous. One day your hand brushes by hers and you instinctively grab it. To your surprise she grabs back.

Chp5: Say goodbye to your Uncle, Morgan, and Morgan's grandfather
After many months of deciding, you tell your Uncle Mortimer that you may be the Gateway keeper. He tells you that he already knows; this was prophesized to him many years ago. Uncle Mortimer, Morgan, and Morgan's grandfather have already made preparations to return to the wizard world. Leanna and her family have chosen to stay as they have grown to love the non-wizards.

Chp6: Close the Gateway for eternity
The day comes for you to close the great Gateway. You watch many Elder Wizards and their families walk through the Gateway. After many generations of watching over this Gateway, they can finally rest in the wizard world. Your Uncle turns around and gives you a wink. You lift your wand and immediately utter an incantation in a strange ancient language that you've never heard. The Gateway quickly closes and you lose sight of the wizards.

Chp7: Return to NYC to live with your mom
Although you're sad to see your Uncle and friends leave, this means that now you can go back and live with your mom. Your Uncle left you a large stash of gold which is relatively worthless in the wizard world, but pretty valuable here! You don't mind the city as Leanna and Portsville is only a quick broom flight away!


WIZARD WORLD

Prologue
Sometimes visiting the so-called motherland is the best way to learn who you are...

Chp1: Study advanced magic with Uncle Mortimer
In the few years that you've been with Uncle Mortimer, your magic has progressed very rapidly. Even as a young wizard, you are able to conjure up spells that even a powerful wizard like your Uncle cannot. Your Uncle is both mystified and impressed!

Chp2: Study advanced potions with Uncle Mortimer
A good wizard cannot only rely on the magic he can conjure on the spot. He must be able to create powerful potions and antidotes to curses and illnesses. Your Uncle urges you to focus your studies on potion creation.

Chp3: Take a trip to the wizard world with Uncle Mortimer
Your Uncle has a surprise for you. You will accompany him through the Gateway on his next trip to the wizard world.

Chp4: Go to Dwarf Wand Maker to get a more powerful wand
The wizard world is full of fantastic creatures and amazing wizards. There's so much to take in at once; you're almost overwhelmed. Your Uncle takes you to the greatest wand maker in the wizard world to personally fit you with a wand. The Dwarf Wand Maker's craftsmanship is legendary and he has agreed to craft a special wand just for you.

Chp5: Visit the Great Wizard Library to study the history of the Gateway
Your Uncle leaves you at the Great Wizard Library while he attends an Elder Wizards meeting. You look through some of the old history books on Portsville. Apparently, legend has it that there will be a great wizard who will be able to will the Gateway closed.

Chp6: Explore the Great Ruins near the Gateway
On the way back to the Gateway, Uncle Mortimer takes you back to the Great Wizard Ruins. He shows you the final resting place of the great non-wizard warrior, King Arthur and his sword magically sealed in stone for the ages. In one of the tombs you see strange symbols engraved in the wall which you not only recognize, but can read, "a great half wizard warrior will seal the gateway for eternity and bring peace throughout the land." You understand immediately.

Chp7: Return to the non-wizard world
Uncle Mortimer takes you back through the Gateway back to Portsville. You're glad to be home.


ATTACK!

Prologue
A great wizard will always rise to the occasion when tested. Can you?

Chp1: Make sure that Elder Wizards are ok
You run back into the meeting hall to figure out what happened. You look around and none of the Elder Wizards are moving. They've all been surprised attacked with a powerful incantation that has immobilized them. They all look unharmed, but frozen like wax figurines. Uncle Mortimer has been taken as he is the most knowledgeable of how to get around the Gateway's security systems.

Chp2: Make an on the spot plan to rescue your Uncle
Morgan and Leanna work on casting a charm to clean up the mess quickly as the Elder Wizards are still cursed and immobilized and must remain hidden from non-wizard eyes. You rush home to grab your broom. You saw the three evil wizards heading towards the Mystical Forest which could only mean that they were heading towards the Gateway.

Chp3: Fly back on broom to pick up Morgan
You fly back as fast as you can back to pick up Morgan. You and Morgan head directly to the Gateway. Leanna stays back to work on incantations to reverse the immobilization.

Chp4: Head towards the Wizard Gateway
With Morgan on the back of the broom, you're a little unsteady while flying. You eventually get used to the extra weight in the back of the flying broom and quickly rush to the Gateway in the middle of the forest.

Chp5: Attack the evil wizards from above
You spot the three wizards running along the path. You see your unconscious Uncle and several non-wizards levitated behind the fleeing party. You swoop in and both you and Morgan fire attack spells. You have the element of surprise and temporarily stun the evil wizards.

Chp6: Attack the evil wizards from the ground
You and Morgan quickly use a dash of your uncle's invisibility powder as soon as you land the broom on the ground. You run around behind the evil wizards who have recovered from the initial attack. You try to sneak behind the wizards, but their magic is too strong. They knock you down with a full area earthquake attack. You break your spell casting arm in the fall and Morgan is left bloody and injured.

Chp7: Get help from the reinforcements!
Just as one of the shadowy evil wizards is about to cast a killing curse on you, several Elder Wizards fly in and disarm the evil wizards. Leanna succeeded in breaking the immobilization hex! Just in the nick of time too.

Chp8: Send the evil wizards to wizard prison
Your Uncle finally regains consciousness. The evil wizard faction is bound and immobilized for transport to wizard prison in the wizard world. Uncle Mortimer beams with pride as your courage and quick thinking saved his life and the life of many non-wizards.


TROUBLE

Prologue
The small town of Portsville might not be so sleepy after all. Let's see what perils might lie ahead...

Chp1: Practice advanced level spells
Uncle Mortimer is so impressed with your rapid advancement that he has started teaching you spells that would normally take years to master. Some of the spells might be quite useful in the near future.

Chp2: Gather some gossip from the non-wizards in town
Uncle Mortimer has a special mission for you - use some of his invisibility powder to listen in on gossip in the town square. Word is that the local non-wizards have noticed strange things lately like unusual creatures at night. On top of that, two people have gone missing in the last month.

Chp3: Plan against an attack from some evil wizards
An informant tells the Elder Wizards that a small sect of evil wizards practicing black magic plan on entering the human world through the Gateway. Although the Gateway is heavily guarded by Elder Wizards in the wizard world and watched closely on the human side, you go with your Uncle to an emergency meeting.

Chp4: Keep watch outside of the meeting hall while the Elder Wizards meet
You, Leanna, and Morgan have been assigned to keep watch outside of the meeting hall. You don't recognize most of the wizards that come in. There's an incantation to make the meeting hall invisible to non-wizards, but those are not who you're concerned about!

Chp5: Take care of Big Jimmy and his posse
Big Jimmy and his friends are loitering outside the convenience store across the street. They see you and immediately walk over to come pick on you. You don't have the time to deal with them since you have to keep watch. You flick your wand from under your jacket and make their clothes disappear! Shocked and confused, they immediately run down the street covering up as best as they can. You can't stop laughing with Morgan and Leanna.

Chp6: Practice advanced dueling with Leanna and Morgan
Realizing that you can't be spotted by non-wizards while in your robes, you immediately put them on after the Big Jimmy incident. You and your friends take turns dueling while the third keeps watch.

Chp7: Check out a strange glow coming from the end of the alley way
You notice a strange flash of light out of the corner of your eye. You head down the alley with Morgan and Leanna to investigate. There's a greenish smoke. Wizards must have just transported in using magic as the green smoke is a sure sign of wizard apparition.

Chp8: Take cover from the explosion!
You hear a large bang and see a large flash of lightning as the doors fly off City Hall. You see smoke and more flashes of light. You catch of a glimpse of your unconscious Uncle being carried off by three shadowy figures.


GATEWAY WOES

Prologue
Looks like you're maturing a little as a young wizard. Uncle Mortimer might start giving you some more responsibilities.

Chp1: Notice Uncle Mortimer is very distracted lately
Lately Uncle Mortimer has been forgetting about your magic lessons. He doesn't even remind you to do your non-wizard homework. He's also out of the house a lot and you see him talking to Leanna's dad and Morgan's grandfather intently. You can tell something is wrong.

Chp2: You've reached the final chapters of the History of Magic
To your horror, you find out that the human soul is the secret to wizard immortality. Early in the Gylmendor Era a great wizard was able to open a portal to the human world by accident. For a while humans and wizards co-existed peaceably until the evil elder wizard Murkindarm discovered that he could increase his power by consuming human souls.

Chp3: Read the final chapters of the History of Magic on your own
You're becoming quite studious! Uncle Mortimer didn't even have to force you to do your lessons. It turns out that the Elder Wizard Murkindarm almost succeeded in achieving infinite power and immortality. A great war ensued between the humans and wizards with a great number of wizards siding with the humans. In the end, the humans were victorious and most of Murkindarm's followers were vanquished. A council of Elder Wizards was set up to guard the Gateway carefully.

Chp4: Ask Uncle Mortimer why he's been worried lately
To your surprise, Uncle Mortimer answers frankly that a small uprising of evil wizards have plans to breech the Gateway on the wizard world side. The Elder Council has made plans to boost security and may send a few more Elder Wizards to the human world.

Chp5: Practice intermediate level spells
From showing almost no magic abilities when you first arrived at Uncle Mortimer's to now, you've vastly improved. It seems that your wizard abilities are almost exponentially improving. It's impressive for a half wizard. Actually, it's quite impressive for any young wizard.

Chp6: Practice dueling with Leanna and Morgan
You're beating Leanna and Morgan on a regular basis. Leanna still has a faster draw and Morgan can defend better, but you seem to be able to cast much stronger spells! Leanna's dad advises to take these practice sessions seriously as you never know when you might need to use your powers.

Chp7: Help patrol the Mystic Forest's edges
Uncle Mortimer wants to patrol the edges of the Mystic Forest. He senses that something might be a miss. You beg him to tag along and he finally agrees.

Chp8: Repel a gargoyle attack
As you approach the Wizard Gateway, a gargoyle leaps out and rushes you. Your immediate reaction is to run. Uncle Mortimer deftly casts a stun spell. However, the magical beast is too powerful and knocks Uncle Mortimer down. You turn around and despite all your fear you're able to cast a sleep spell. This gives Uncle Mortimer a chance to cast a binding spell.


MYSTICAL FOREST

Prologue
Sometimes there's too much excitement for even a young ambitious wizard.
Let's see what adventures the Mystical Forest holds for you...

Chp1: Follow Uncle Mortimer to the Wizard Gateway
You start on your way home, but your curiosity gets the better of you. You turn around and follow your Uncle. You try to stay far enough behind so that your Uncle won't notice you. You lose your Uncle as he disappears around a bend. Fear grips you as the sun has started to set.

Chp2: Fight off the goblins
Just your luck, you look up and see a group of roaming goblins with golden axes. Unfortunately, you've been keeping up with your magic homework and have learned that they like to munch on human children. Somehow you are able to stun one of the goblins and levitate and drop a log on the others. This gives you enough time to run away deeper into the forest.

Chp3: Find shelter for the night and gather berries to eat
Many of the trees in this part of the forest are quite strange. Sometimes they even seem to sway on their own. You spot some berries that look familiar from your magic books and remember that these enhance your ability to see at night. You eat some to your delight.

Chp4: Survive the night in the Mystical Forest
You try to get comfortable in a large hollowed out tree. You're cold and your initial reaction is to start a fire, but that would attract undue attention. Then you remember the heat spell that Leanna taught you to warm yourself though the night!

Chp5: Find the main path out of the forest the next morning
Using your wand to direct you, you find the main path... or what you think is the main path. After walking for a few minutes you come across an eerie glowing fog. You can faintly see outlines in the fog of a large green valley. You have no doubt that you've found the Gateway to the wizard world.

Chp6: Head back home... double time
You've obviously headed in the wrong direction. You turn around and run back down the path. After what seems like an eternity, you're home. Strangely, it seems to have quickly turned to evening.

Chp7: Help your Uncle make dinner
When you walk in through the door, your Uncle acts as if nothing is wrong Weren't you missing all night! You glance at the clock and notice that it is actually only 7:00 PM which is strange since you spent the night in the forest. You play it cool and help your Uncle make dinner by adding a little heat to the almost boiling pot. Your Uncle is delighted at how good you are at your heat charm. Its almost as if you've practiced this all night!

Chp8: Finish your wizard and non-wizard homework
You notice a chapter on time in your magic book. It says how time passes much differently in the wizard world. In the wizard world, time passes much faster than in the human world. You realize that not only were you close to the Gateway, you may have actually spent part of the night wandering in the wizard world. What seemed like hours for you only amounted to a few minutes in the human world.



DUEL!

Prologue
Not everything is as it seems in Portsville. It seems that there are untold secrets left and right.
Let's see what you can uncover.

Chp1: Your first duel!
After weeks of practicing basic spells directed towards an old stump in the backyard, your Uncle is impressed enough to think that you're ready for your first practice partner. To your surprise, Leanna and Morgan walk through the door holding wands of their own. Leanna and Morgan are wizards too!

Chp2: Your second duel!
You lose to Morgan. He stunned you so badly that you dropped your wand. Hopefully you'll fare better against Leanna.

Chp3: Form a new bond with your newfound old wizard friends!
Leanna and Morgan have done a good job at keeping their wizard abilities a secret their entire lives. They give you more dueling tips and advice on how to blend in with the non-wizards.

Chp4: Uncle says read another chapter in the History of Magic
According to the book, the Elder Wizards have guarded the gateway to the human world in order to protect the defenseless humans from evil wizards. People like your Uncle, Leanna parents, and Morgan's grandfather are guardians of humans. They live amongst the humans as non-wizards to blend in better.

Chp5: Confront Big Jimmy the Bully at the movies
Big Jimmy and his gang seem to have it out for you, the new kid. He comes over and steals your popcorn and knocks over Leanna's soda. You start to get angry, but take a deep breath and calm down. You remember that magic should only be used for good, not revenge.

Chp6: Practice more basic spells
As fall turns to winter, you're getting quite good at levitating objects, shrinking small things, and when you're lucky you can lightly stun attackers. Leanna and Morgan, who are both full wizards, seem to be much more advanced than you. They can create heat and on occasion make things disappear.

Chp7: Gather up unicorns from the Mystical Forest
Apparently a human has spotted the unicorns in the forest while on a hike. You and Uncle Mortimer must herd up the unicorns in the Mystical Forest. It turns out to be easy as they seem to love chocolate and can smell it from miles away.

Chp8: Return unicorns back to the wizard world
Once you gather the unicorns, Uncle Mortimer tells you to go home while he heads to the Gateway with the unicorns.


APPRENTICE

Prologue
You know what they say - practice makes perfect. Let's see if you can hone some of those magic skills!

Chp1: Learn to ride a flying broom
Uncle Mortimer has promised that tomorrow he'll start to give you flying lessons on his broom. In the non-human world, an enchanted broom with an invisibility charm is pretty much the fastest way to get around!

Chp2: Back to non-wizard school...
You've never been so happy to be back at school. Math is no fun, but at least it's better than being chased by goblins and getting lost in the Mystical Forest.

Chp3: Practice magic - practice makes perfect!
You can safely levitate objects, but its time to conjure some fire! Uncle Mortimer reminds you that wizards all possess different levels of magical ability and all mature at different ages. Can you do it?

Chp4: Read more History of Magic - Portsville
Turns out that Portsville is the gateway between the wizard world and the human world. For centuries the Elder Wizards have guarded this gateway.

Chp5: Practice flying on Uncle Mortimer's broom
You're a little unsteady at first, but after a few passes in the sky on your broom, its almost second nature. It's a clear day so you decide to take a swooping pass over the Mystical Forest. To your amazement you can see unicorns in a clearing near the Wizard Gateway.

Chp6: Do homework Uncle Mortimer assigns you about magical creatures
After you tell Uncle Mortimer about the unicorns, he assigns you some reading on magical creatures. Near gateways between worlds, sometimes creatures accidentally cross over. These unicorns have wandered over. Likewise, there have been stories in the wizard world about these mystical human creatures called squirrels that have been spotted from time to time.

Chp7: Learn to duel
Uncle Mortimer shows you the basic spells and wand techniques that you need to defend yourself in the event that you're attacked by another wizard. You try to stun your Uncle, but for an old man, he's faster than he looks! Somehow you end up dangling upside down numerous times.

Chp8: Go to the secret magic shop in the middle of town on the way home
In the corner of the town square is an old small shoe repair shop. You and Uncle Mortimer walk in and continue to the back of the shop. To your amazement the small looking shop is actually quite large. A spell has been put on the shop to appear tiny from the outside!

Chp9: Buy wizard robes and head home after a long day out
According to Uncle Mortimer, a wizard always needs a nice set of wizard robes. On top of looking quite snazzy, the robes, depending on the material, provide a layer of protection against most basic charms. Most offer invisibility from non-wizards at night. Now that you have a robe, maybe you'll get your own broom for Christmas.

BEGINNINGS

Prologue
You're getting settled into Portsville and life with Uncle Mortimer is interesting to say the least!

Chp1: Go to your first day of non-wizard school
Summer vacation is over and you must go to your first day of classes in the new school. You meet Leanna and Morgan at the bus stop. You and your friends try to avoid Big Jimmy, but he spots you and pushes you into a locker. You try to stay calm, but your anger overtakes you. A pie magically appears out of nowhere and slams into his face.

Chp2: Your first magic lesson with Uncle Mortimer - levitate an object
Although you can conjure magic without your wand, magic with your wand is more focused.

Chp3: Study the History of Magic
Along with your normal non-wizard homework, your Uncle has given you wizard history to study. You learn that for centuries the wizard underworld has been in turmoil.

Chp4: Study potions with your Uncle
Your Uncle takes you into the Mystical Forest to gather basic ingredients. You learn that commonly overlooked shrubs possess magical qualities when combined properly.

Chp5: Avoid capture by goblins in the forest
It seems that Portsville is not your normal town. While gathering ingredients for your potion you get separated from your Uncle. Wandering goblins spot you and chase after you. Run for your life!

Chp6: Escape the never-ending path in the Mystical Forest
While running from the goblins, it seems that you've stumbled into a clearing from which you can't seem to escape no matter which direction you go. Try to escape!

Chp7: Make it back home safely...
Your Uncle finally finds you and leads you safely out of the forest. You'll never have to be reminded to never enter the Mystical Forest alone.


PORTSVILLE

Prologue
You're about to make the move from the big city to a small town. Hopefully, life won't be too boring in Portsville.

Chp1: Move from NYC to your Uncle Mortimer's house in Portsville
Your struggling single mother worries about your safety in the big city. You object at first, but when you see how hard she works to make ends meet, you agree to move in with Uncle Mortimer. Plus, once she saves enough to move to a better part of town, she promises that you can move back.

Chp2: Make new friends with the kids in town
Even though you've just met, somehow it feels like you've known Leanna and Morgan your entire life. There's an immediate and almost magical bond.

Chp3: Confront the town bully
Big Jimmy the town bully and his friends notice you, Leanna, and Morgan coming out of the mall. He pushes you down and takes your money. He and his friends laugh as they walk away. Your eyes burn with anger and somehow his pants burst into flames. Strange...

Chp4: Find out that your Uncle Mortimer is a wizard
It's the middle of the night and you can't sleep. You wander downstairs to find Uncle Mortimer gazing into a blue cloud of smoke while levitating a large book in the air with a wooden wand.

Chp5: Discover that you possess wizard powers as well
Uncle Mortimer explains that your dad was also a wizard and although your mom is a normal human, you inherited some of his wizard gifts. He warns you to guard these secrets with your life and not to use your powers unless it is absolutely necessary.

Chp6: Try using Uncle Mortimer's wand while he's out running errands
You point the wand at a few dishes and wave it around a little. Nothing happens. You point it at some books and give the wand a more vigorous wave, which instantly flings all the books off the shelf, smashes all the dishes on the ground, and knocks over the fish tank.

Chp7: Uncle Mortimer yells at you for using his wand
Uncle Mortimer warns you that your powers are not yet mature and as a result are unpredictable. You must wait for your abilities to mature a bit more. In due time he will guide you to use your powers. For now, you must clean up the mess you've made... without magic!

Chp8: Get a wand of your own
Uncle Mortimer takes you deep into the Mystical Forest to the Dwarf Wand Maker to get you a wand of your very own.


When we're feeling lousy or sad, we tend to forget that life does not go on forever.

That every moment is an opportunity is an opportunity for love, knowledge, compassion, creation and joy, and once gone, can never be retrieved.

We are too fixated with the past and all its "could have"s and "should have"s, squander our precious present by feeling sorry for ourselves, and imagine a future that may not come to pass!

We've all been brought up to believe that time is quantity - 60 seconds make up one minute, 60 minutes make up an hour, 24 hours make up a day.

But the meaning of time varies from person to person and from context to context.

Time is an illusion, a phantom, a delusion, if you will.

This moment is gone before I am finished saying "this moment".

This 'moment' will virtually never exist!

Time is not a thing, it has no substance...you can't touch it, you can't feel it, it cannot imprison you.

We should know not the quantity of our life, or our time spent on this earth - but we should value the quality of our life.

Time by itself has no meaning - we have to give it meaning via our thoughts and actions.

There is so much happiness out there waiting for you.

And there are plenty of people who can benefit from the joy you will bring them.

It is never too late.

Very often, when we lose something valuable to us, we think it's too late to salvage things, to express our love, to show our appreciation.

What we fail to realize is that we have ample opportunities to do this with other people we love, and the ones we will come to love.

I urge you not to waste another moment of your life because you'll never get it back again.

The living moment is everything...


Today before you think of saying an unkind word
Think of someone who can't speak

Before you complain about the taste of your food
Think of someone who has nothing to eat

Before you complain about your husband or wife
Think of someone who's crying out to God for a companion

Today before you complain about life
Think of someone who went too early to heaven

Before you complain about your children
Think of someone who desires children but they're barren

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn't clean or sweep
Think of the people who are living in the streets

Before whining about the distance you drive
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet

And when you are tired and complain about your job
Think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another
Remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down
Put a smile on your face and thank God you're alive and still around

Life is a gift
Live it
Enjoy it
Celebrate it
EMBRACE IT
And fulfill it
And while you are at it give love to someone today
Love someone with what you do and the words you say
Love is not meant to be kept locked inside of us and hidden
So give it away

Give love to someone today

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she's blind.

She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He's always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her boyfriend.

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she can see everything, including her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend asked her, "Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?"

The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend is blind too, and refused to marry him.

Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying:

"Just take care of my eyes, dear."

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