Naothlan Vignette #3 (2019)

Tradition dictated that all new students who sought to study at Norvale University must arrive not only at the university itself but also the town on foot.  Supposedly, the tradition was supposed to teach a lesson in humility before a student began their studies.

Screw that, Everitt Lynn thought as he looked at the town’s towers only a couple miles away.  After walking two days from Talbridge, all he had learned about was sore legs and blisters.  What was the point of living on the world’s only island, in the only nation, of magicians and magical beings if you didn’t use the bloody magic to make travel easier?  And fuck tradition too.  Just because ten or sixteen or twenty generations or whatever had done it, that didn’t make it right or good.

The argument had been running through his mind like a mantra for the last six miles.

It gave him something to focus on, especially when combined with the sheer stubborn desire to unleash it on someone when he finally arrived.

In the meantime, the academic town that had evolved to support the university grew.  The towers took on definition, enough that Everitt could see some details and materials.  Like so much of the island of Naothlan, Norvale was built of native stone and woods.  It had not kept up with the rest of the world, or the 21st century, in that respect.

Some said it had an old world charm, within sight (on a clear day) of the new world.  After a morning spent trudging through the foothills of the Spine Mountains, up to the pass, and into the valley, any picturesque elements of the landscape were lost of Everitt.

Exhaustion trumped appreciation.

Even once he dragged himself to the outskirts of  Norvale, he still had a good mile to go, up slope, before the university gates.

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