The Books of Magic: The Spirit World, Chapter 2: The Path of Evil

by Christine Nightstar

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Wednesday and Thursday were surprisingly quiet in class. Each group was engrossed in their chosen spirits, reading books and taking diligent notes. The atmosphere was one of intense focus. Timothy Hunter sat at his desk, absorbed in books about Celtic and Gaelic spirits associated with death. Josh Cantrell and Alfred Twitchell were engrossed in books about death spirits connected to the American Indians. Devin Burgess, always one with a fascination for the macabre, was absorbed in books about the Wendigo, Naga, and Banshees. And Naala, the satyr, diligently read about the death spirits of Asia and Africa.

Meanwhile, Mr. Drake, their enigmatic teacher, observed the groups from his desk, his eyes flicking from one student to another. He answered their questions when needed and guided them in the right direction. Today, his attention lingered on the table where Timothy, Devin, Josh, Twitch, and Naala sat.

As Mr. Drake watched Devin Burgess, a familiar mix of hope and concern swirled in his mind. So like his father, filled with such potential, brilliance, and ambition, and so much arrogance and anger, Christopher Drake mused to himself, remembering the man Devin’s father had become. I couldn’t prevent his father from turning into what he did, but perhaps I can prevent the son from going down that same path.

Before the end of class on Thursday, Mr. Drake gathered the attention of the class. With a commanding presence, he spoke, “Since tomorrow is the field trip, and we will be away for the majority of the day, I expect your papers to be handed to me — finished — by the time we return. I have already made arrangements with your other teachers regarding the trip. Tomorrow, we will be visiting a place where nature spirits gather with humans, a place rich with lore for you to explore as well. I will explain our purpose there tomorrow. But be warned, my dear students, if you do not follow my instructions precisely, you may end up hurt, or worse. So please, pay attention tomorrow! All of your lore classes will be in attendance, and I will not be the only teacher present; Mr. Ramphastos and Baron Weirwulf will be joining us.”

The class huddled together, buzzing with excitement and anticipation as the Clock Tower chimed, signaling the start of lunch. Tomorrow’s field trip was the talk of the day, and they couldn’t wait to delve into the world of nature spirits alongside their mysterious teacher, Mr. Drake.


The next morning, a bustling crowd had gathered at the Clock Tower. Mr. Drake, a stern yet kind teacher, stood tall as he ensured that all the students were accounted for. Teachers scurried around, exchanging worried glances and double-checking their lists. Meanwhile, Simon Belmont, the keeper of the tower, grumbled irritably as he set up the dimensional portal for the highly anticipated field trip.

Tim Hunter and Rick Billings, curiosity etched into their faces, scanned their surroundings in search of the mysterious figure that had been following them lately. Naala and Patsy Ambrose, already inseparable, giggled as they compared their outfits and applied the finishing touches to their makeup. Josh and Twitch, accompanied by fellow fourth-year students Kirk Pike and Gray Murphy, laughed and chatted animatedly. They were enjoying their final moments of freedom before the adventure ahead.

Amidst the excitement and chatter, Devin Burgess huddled with his clique, indulging in their favorite pastime — making snide comments about their fellow students. Although their words were hurtful, they seemed oblivious to the impact of their cruelty.

Eager anticipation coursed through the air as the students watched the portal gradually open, revealing a glimpse of the other-dimensional world they were about to explore. It had taken longer than expected to unlock this portal, unlike the usual swift opening that would transport them to the Picnic World or most other destinations. But the delay only heightened their curiosity and excitement.

At last, the portal opened fully, revealing the breathtaking beauty of the otherworldly paradise beyond. Mr. Drake, with his voice filled with a mixture of awe and pride, beckoned the students to follow him through the mysterious threshold.

“Welcome to Waypoint, my dear students,” he exclaimed as he led the way. “This is one of the many secret convergences, known by various names across different mythos. It holds connections to all of them, guarded dutifully by gods and extraordinary beings.”

Enthralled, the students let out audible gasps and exclamations, their eyes feasting on the enchanting sight before them. Even Devin, momentarily forgetting his feud with Naala, found himself spellbound by the exquisite scenery that lay spread out like a painter’s masterpiece.

Mr. Drake’s voice carried a slight warning as he continued, “The natives of this land protect their written lore fervently. I implore you all, under penalty and threat of death — by their hands, not mine — to refrain from touching or attempting to read the scrolls, tablets, or books without express permission. Their rich knowledge will be shared with you willingly if approached with kindness and respect.”

The students nodded solemnly, their excitement tinged with understanding. They were about to embark on an adventure filled with wonder and mystery, but they would tread with caution, mindful of the responsibility bestowed upon them.

“Why do some of their body parts seem to be intangible, and the rest of them solid?” asked a wide-eyed student in the first-year lore class.

Mr. Drake, the seasoned lore teacher, chuckled softly before responding. “Ah, good question. While I wish I possessed the exact answer, the truth is that even the most esteemed scholars have struggled to comprehend the essence of these creatures. You see, spirit folk are intimately connected to both spirits and mortals, in ways that elude our understanding.”

Pointing toward a spirit with watery parts and textures adorning its arms and torso, Drake continued, “Take that one, for instance. It is a water spirit, its physicality mirroring its affiliation. By observing where they tend to dwell and examining their unique forms, one can discern the spirit folk’s kinship.”

Ramphastos, the enigmatic avian teacher, interjected with a slow, deliberate voice. “Students, Mr. Drake’s words carry greater weight than you might realize. The keepers of this realm guard their lore with fervor, as if it were their most precious treasure. Tread carefully when interacting with them, for a keeper’s curse is a formidable force. Even experienced magic users have difficulty breaking or dispelling their potent magic. And let me assure you, their curses can be exceptionally unpleasant.”

Turning his gaze toward Mr. Drake, Ramphastos posed another question. “Speaking of discomfort, why couldn’t we have arrived in a warmer corner of Waypoint? It’s quite chilly here.”

With an impish grin, Mr. Drake replied, “Ah, my dear Ramphastos, appearances can be deceiving. Here, the temperature hovers around a delightful seventy degrees. I understand your fondness for hot, humid caves, but remember, Waypoint offers a tapestry of climates. It is a vast universe, my friend, and variety is its true charm.”

Ramphastos responded glumly, “More’s the pity.”

Baron Weirwulf, a commanding figure endowed with a deep, authoritative voice, then interjected. “Pay heed, students, for we offer you a rare opportunity. Explore Waypoint, but do so with caution. The keepers value their secrets, and they will not hesitate to curse or even slay anyone who insults or violates their sanctity.”

The students sensed the gravity in his words and nodded in acknowledgment.

“Now,” Baron Weirwulf continued, his gaze intense, “you each have assignments from your respective mentors. Spread out and delve into the wonders of Waypoint. Embrace the unknown, but remain vigilant. The path ahead is riddled with potential obstacles, and I implore you not to falter.”

With determination in their hearts, the students dispersed, excitement and a hint of trepidation dancing in their eyes as they embarked on their perilous journey, guided by the words of their wise mentors.


Tim Hunter stood in awe, his eyes wide with wonder as he took in the extraordinary sight before him. The trees in Waypoint seemed to have grown into the shape of bookcases and scroll stands, their branches extending and twisting in intricate patterns. The rocks, streams, lakes, and even the elements of fire and air had all taken on useful forms as well. It was as if the very essence of nature had melded itself with the needs of the keepers.

Unable to contain his excitement, Tim turned to one of the tree spirits and exclaimed, “How did you manage to do this? It’s absolutely incredible!”

The tree spirit smiled at him kindly, setting down a stack of books beside a desk that resembled a lush shrub. “When one of us passes away,” the spirit explained, “our physical humanoid body is planted in the ground. As our true spirit is released, the body transforms into something useful for other keepers. It could be a bookcase or a scroll stand, or even something else entirely. The rock, water, fire, and air spirits each have their unique ways of contributing as well. And when animal or plant spirits pass, they provide us with sustenance.”

Tim was fascinated by this revelation. “What happens to the true spirits when their bodies die?” he inquired.

“They often choose to stay with their loved ones or seek out places on Earth where they would be welcomed,” the tree spirit replied. “And sometimes, if they have led particularly virtuous — or perhaps mischievous — lives, they become something… more.”

Curiosity piqued, Tim leaned closer. “Could you tell me the story of one of your people who became something more?”

A gentle warmth emanated from the tree spirit as it nodded. “Of course,” it said, its voice holding a hint of ancient wisdom. “It all began when the Earth was young…”


Rick Billings was filled with both excitement and trepidation as he explored the mystical realm of Waypoint. The keepers he encountered and the breathtaking sights they beheld left him awestruck. As he approached a towering wall that seemed to embody the very essence of the elements, he found himself entranced by its ethereal beauty and power.

Suddenly, a voice broke the silence. “State your purpose for approaching the memorial to Acaran the Just, human.”

Startled, Rick turned around to find a fire spirit standing before him, its flames dancing with life as it regarded Rick with intense scrutiny. Nervously, the boy stammered, “I-I’m a student from Grimoire Academy on a field trip, sir. Something about this memorial fascinated me, and I just had to make sure it wasn’t–”

“Acaran the Just,” it began without preamble, its voice carrying a weight of reverence, “was a humble being who never truly grasped the impact he had on the keepers of Waypoint. Selfless and wise, he dedicated his life to the preservation of this realm. He outlived all his friends, who had long passed away due to the ravages of time. Acaran’s wisdom, unwavering faith, and love for Waypoint earned him our deepest respect. We attempted to train others to take on the mantle of the keeper, but none could fill Acaran’s shoes. In the end, when a successor finally emerged, Acaran simply handed that one his favored book of lore and peacefully passed away.”

Rick listened in awe, his mind struggling to comprehend the magnitude of the tale. “It feels almost dreamlike,” he whispered, “like I knew this memorial would be here, but part of me refused to believe it until I saw it myself.”

“It is within the realm of possibility that Acaran has returned,” the fire spirit replied cryptically, igniting Rick’s curiosity even more..


Josh Cantrell and Alfred Twitchell sat on a patch of lush grass, their eyes wide with wonder. Before them stood a magnificent wind spirit, its translucent form shimmering in the sunlight.

“And so,” the wind spirit’s voice danced through the air, “the trickster, foster mother to two ravens, hatched a plan to ensure their protection and care.”

Alfred leaned closer, his voice eager. “But how did she do it? How did she convince mighty Odin that his very thoughts were linked to the fate of the ravens?”

The wind spirit chuckled, an ethereal sound that carried a hint of mischief. “Ah, it was a clever trick indeed. She claimed that her own life force was tied to the birds, and if they were ever lost, so too would be Odin’s wisdom and memory.”

Josh frowned, intrigued. “But what happened when she was near death? Did she reveal the truth to Odin?”

A soft breeze rustled through the grass as the wind spirit nodded. “Yes, young one. When her time drew near, she summoned Odin and the two ravens. She confessed her trick, her love for her children, and her fear for their future without her. Odin, moved by her audacity and honesty, granted her passage to Valhalla.”

As the wind spirit finished its tale, Josh and Alfred exchanged a glance, their eyes filled with awe.


Not far away, Patsy and Naala were engaged in conversation with a wise water spirit. It spoke of the mighty city of Atlantis and the feud between two brothers, Arion and Garn Daanuth.

Patsy listened intently, her curiosity piqued. “But why did they continue their rivalry, even after discovering the truth about their parents and upbringing? Couldn’t they find common ground?”

The water spirit sighed, its voice mournful. “Alas, the good and evil ingrained in their very cores could not be set aside. Their struggles tore Atlantis apart, and even after the city’s fall, rumors persisted of their survival in the modern age through mysterious means.”

In each case, as the students absorbed the tales told to them, they felt a shiver run down their spines. It was as if they were not just listeners, but witnesses to the ancient battles and events unfolding before their very eyes.

The sense of reality was overwhelming, as if the stories had transported them through time and space. They felt the tension, the fear, and the exhilaration as spells were cast and waves of magic whizzed past their heads. The stories had woven an enchantment that allowed them to experience the past firsthand, immersing them in its sights and sounds.


As Devin Burgess, accompanied by his cronies, ventured deeper into Waypoint, they discovered a group of caves. Of course, it wouldn’t take them long to get themselves into trouble.

The thrill of discovery coursed through Devin’s veins as he marveled at the hidden world around him. “My father told me tales of this very place,” Devin shared with his followers, his voice filled with an eager anticipation. “He told me that, if I ever came here, I should locate the crypt of Oesop the Betrayer and discover the power that lies within. And now, thanks to Mr. Drake, we find ourselves inches away from our objective.”

One of his cronies wore a look of confusion on his face, prompting him to ask, “What do you mean, Dev?”

Devin’s eyes narrowed as he swiftly slapped the speaker’s cheek. The boy flinched, his face turning red with embarrassment. “Never utter a single word to me unless I explicitly ask for your opinion, understood?” Devin barked, venting his anger.

“Oesop the Betrayer was a rare and powerful type of Chimera spirit,” explained Devin, reciting what he learned from his father, “known for discovering the secret of ruling not only the bodies, but also the spirits.” Devin’s voice carried a hint of excitement as he painted a vivid picture of the enigmatic figure.

“He had followers, willing and unwilling, all who succumbed to his captivating powers,” Devin continued, his eyes glinting with fascination. “And because Waypoint serves as the ultimate link between the realms of the gods and Earth, he sealed off all the portals until he dared to challenge the gods themselves. That, my friends, was his ultimate betrayal.”

Perplexed expressions adorned his friends’ faces, leaving Devin exasperated. Taking a deep breath to regain his composure, he carried on, his voice filled with determination. “You see, in sealing off the portals, he had betrayed his oath as the keeper of Waypoint… but he hadn’t anticipated something. Champions from various other worlds that had access to Waypoint arrived after realizing that their connection to their gods had been severed. He couldn’t control their spirits and bodies, because they possessed a power that Oesop couldn’t control, a power that set them apart from ordinary beings. The champions banded together — from Earth, Skartaris, Gemworld, and many others — and rose against the would-be tyrant.”

The vacant expressions on his friends’ faces frustrated Devin, causing him to exhale heavily. “We’re here to claim that secret for me, you numbskulls,” he finally explained, his eyes shimmering with ambition.

As they walked farther into the cave, the group encountered a majestic temple, surrounded by a mystical energy-field. A smirk played across Devin’s lips as he confidently stepped through the barrier, disregarding any sense of caution.

“They built this barrier to prevent any spirit folk from accessing the knowledge of Oesop,” Devin explained, a touch of arrogance in his tone. “But, as you can see, we are far from being spirit folk.” He rummaged through his backpack, pulling out charcoal and paper. “Now, find the markings on the crypt and make rubbings with these supplies. We’re getting closer to unlocking the secrets.”

Unbeknownst to the students, a figure had silently observed their daring journey to the crypt. This was not the hooded figure that had been tailing Tim and his friends, but someone entirely distinct.

“And so, the fate of the Burgess line continues,” the figure murmured in a voice heavy with sorrow, “destined to embrace a path of evil and chaos for yet another generation. Alissa, my dear, I never fathomed that granting you your desire would thrust your children — and mine — into this unending cycle of darkness.”

With a heavy heart, the figure turned away, searching for hope in Timothy Hunter, the other child of their lineage.


As the students of Grimoire Academy of Applied Knowledge were being rounded up to return to the school, Tim Hunter couldn’t help but notice the presence of not just one, but two dark figures lurking in the shadows. The first one, with a hood covering the face, had been a constant presence throughout the year. But now, there was another figure — a tall man with dark, reddish hair, a neatly trimmed beard, and a mustache. He stood on a spire, his long coat billowing around him, observing the students leaving Waypoint.

As the final group of students exited through the portal back to the Clock Room, Ramphastos, Christopher Drake, and Baron Weirwulf directed their gazes toward the figure standing there, observing the students depart from Waypoint. They exchanged wary glances, silently acknowledging the knowledge they shared about him.

“You know who that is, don’t you?” Ramphastos asked, his voice filled with both curiosity and concern.

Christopher and the Baron nodded solemnly, understanding the implications of this unexpected appearance.

“I wonder what he wants — or who he wants,” the Baron grumbled, his deep voice betraying a touch of unease.

“There’s no point in worrying about it now,” Drake replied, trying to sound more optimistic than he felt. “We’ll find out soon enough. Let’s inform Mr. Gallowglass and the others before jumping to any conclusions.”

The others nodded in agreement, realizing that they needed to act swiftly. With the figure still watching their every move, they headed toward the school, determined to uncover the truth and protect their fellow students from whatever danger lay ahead.

To Be Continued in The Books of Magic: The Game of Royalty and Rogues

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