January 4, 2016

The World of Miscast Spells: Melieh's Academy of Magic

Melieh’s Academy of Magic is the Empire's one and only magic school. Founded almost three hundred years ago by Marco Melieh, the original purpose of this academy was to train humans in magic to combat the rash of goblin mayhem that had spread into the human countries. While goblins had enjoyed playing tricks on unwitting humans (often with painful and embarrassing results), humans could now turn the tables on their goblin tormenters and beat them at their own magical game. The human techniques worked so effectively—driving the easily offended goblins back to Ataxia—that “trick” became synonymous with “spell”. Once the goblins were dealt with, magicians turned their attention to the more peaceful prospect of magic for magic’s sake… and entertainment.

Any magically gifted human over the age of thirteen may attend the school for free, but they must pay for their own clothing, books, and materials (though they are provided with simple top hats). All students at Melieh’s are required to wear black uniforms with colored trim. The girls have a dress with a slit and a colored underskirt (similar to across between an ao dai and a qipao) while boys have a button-up tunic with black pants (similar to a side-buttoned gakuran). The color of the trim is determined by the student's year in school: first years wear yellow, second years wear green, third years wear blue, and fourth years wear purple. Though some students buy new uniforms every year, most prefer to cast a color changing spell on their clothes to save on back-to-school expenses. At the graduation ceremony, female magicians wear red trim and underskirts and male magicians don tail coats with red cummerbunds and bow-ties or cravats.

Students at the school will pursue one of three careers after graduation: door-to-door magic, stage magic, or court magic. Door-to-door magicians originally had the task of traveling the Empire and ferreting out any goblins that had yet to be expelled from the country. Since goblin attacks are almost unheard of nowadays, these magicians now offer low cost performances to those who would otherwise be unable to attend a magic show due to geographic or financial hardship. In the beginning, stage magicians demonstrated Melieh's newly discovered magical techniques to the human populace, and continue to entertain crowds with an ever widening array of tricks. Court magicians have been employed by the royal families of the Empire since Melieh first worked as the Empress Hypatia's personal court magician. These positions rarely open up, and are reserved for the best of the best at the Academy. Though very uncommon, a few stage magicians have perfected their techniques after school and then moved up to court magic.

There are, however, a growing number of young magicians who are looking into more diverse careers. Some of the more skilled students want the freedom of the door-to-door lifestyle without the stigma, and have started the Street Magician Club. This club performs short magical shows on the streets of the Capital, attracting large crowds and working for donations. There are several more industrial-minded branches of magicians looking to hire themselves out for the job of machine repair, art restoration, and medicine. Due to the fact that the magicians who would be the most trusted to do these jobs well could easily attain high paying, low stress stage or court jobs, these fields have not caught on very quickly.

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