1874-12 - Graduation
Summary: Alia proves herself worthy of taking the next step in her training.
Date: 1874-December
Related: None specifically. All of Alia's training and sorcery logs and memoirs generally.
NPCs: Juliana Petreius

Juliana Petreius slipped into the room, bypassing the guards who were ever stationed at the entry to the grand hall. Her charge, of sorts, seemed more inclined to spend her time out and about than sequestered away in the keep that sat within the walls of the garrison. Either in the grounds at Candeo, or on the many and frequent trips her position as Tribune, and as a Lady of the Western Kingdoms afforded her. Whatever the fate of her House, the elder sorcerer reflected, her name and the nobility these westerners saw in her blood often opened more doors than even the most skilled negotiators of the Vir Sidus could. Today, however, and every day when she read the old tomes, Alia was confined to the great hall, under watch and under guard. Not because she was untrustworthy. The support of the Praetor and her own work and devotion had put paid to that. No, the real reason was because they simply could not afford to risk the books and the knowledge they contained.

Alia looked up, as she heard the door open, a finger reaching down to mark the place she had stopped at in the tome of magic, one of the few she had been given access to, as she watched Juliana step into the room. As she waited for the woman to move across the room, she slipped a bookmark into the book. She had read it so often now, she did not, really, need to read it again. And yet, there was some part of her, the scholarly part, that had seen her through her training at the Guild which simply did what it had always done. Read and reread, to reinforce learning and possibly seek for new knowledge hidden in words already nearly memorized. "I am sorry if the time got away from me, Juliana. Was I needed outside?"

The older woman shook her head, moving to join the younger at the table, a hand reaching for the bookmark and pulling it out of the book still on the table. She switched out the old book for the new one she carried in her hands, holding it in her hands as she would anything as precious as this was. "No, you are needed here." She paused, looking down at the other woman, "You have progressed well in your studies, proven your desire, your strength, and your perseverance. Your control has improved, and your ability to command your magic to do what you bid it to do, and not what it wishes to do." For too often, fire wished only to burn, without thought or direction or purpose. "And beyond that, you have shown an aptitude for command, and for the management of those given to you to command. If you wish to continue to excel, you will need both. The ability to control fire, and the ability to work in tandem with the martial forces of the Empire. To command respect with your magic and with your words is no small part of what it means to serve the empire as one of its sorcerers. She paused, glancing down at the book she had laid on the table. "I have been granted permission to give you access to another book of learning. And to increase the difficulty of your training. I do not expect that you will disappoint me."

Alia looked, momentarily, taken aback, as the book was withdrawn, but that look was quickly replaced with a smile and that look of, something between hunger and anticipation, as the new book was offered. Despite her desire to begin reading at once, she allowed the book to remain where it had been placed, her hands to remain folded in her lap. "If I do, I expect that it will be the last thing that I do."

Juliana nodded, before she made to turn to depart the room. "With my students? It usually is." Juliana Petreius was not a woman to suffer fools gladly. And those of her students who failed to learn to control fire were known to die by it. A few swift steps lead her back out of the room. Alia, for her part, at least had the training and courtesy to wait until the door closed before she turned her attention to the new book, placed a hand on its cover and opened it to reveal the wonders within. She considered, in passing, that there were those whom she knew at the Academy, masked or unmasked, who would have considered far worse deeds than murder, for the knowledge within the libraries of the Vir Sidus.

She however, had made the most difficult choice of all. And she had been rewarded for it.

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