Finding the Way: Becoming a Mountaineer


#1

Creative writing prompt: How did you find your way to the Guide? Or, perhaps more accurately, how did it find you? What drove you to become a Mountaineer?

Tell your story.

(Let us get to know you. Give yourself a place in-world, and describe what your Guild, the Guide, and the Mountaineers are in your life. This is your time to show how you became a Balimoran, Gossmeri, Weatherwatcher, and so on. Who are you? What “pulled” you toward a life of Magiq? How did you come to believe? These are some of the questions that you answer with this prompt.)


#2

My story is awful,

I went to a youtube video: “The SiIvaGunner ARG EXPLAINED”, and I had no idea that there were games like these. So I immediately went looking for ARG’s that were ongoing and I found myself on a Subreddit about ARGs and someone recommended to check this one out.
5 minutes later I found myself at the http://magiq.guide/ page.


#6

Some of you may have wondered why I call myself Nomad.

It has everything to do with who I am and how I found you. How I found it within me to look for what I knew was always there. A nomad is who I was, who I am, and who I will be. I am Ebenguard. I’ve seen it. I know it.

When I was younger, I could feel that calling. I knew there was something more to me. To the world around me. But I resisted it. I didn’t know what it was, and I was scared. To those of you who wonder if Ebenguardians get scared, the answer is yes. We all get scared. All of us. We can hide it, but we can never lie to ourselves.

I threw myself into a group that was going nowhere very quickly. I got into drugs and alcohol and parties. I wandered across the state, and even the country, though I was still very young. I was thrown out of my parent’s house and told to clean myself up. I didn’t take their advice.

I was homeless in an Ohio winter. Stealing from gas stations, and crashing on couches whenever I could. I was doing everything I could to run away from a future I didn’t know anything about, because I didn’t know what it held. I saw pain. I saw struggle and sorrow and I wanted to avoid it.

Then one night, I was at a party and I used again. I had a long conversation with one of my closest friends. He had been with me since I was eight. We had done everything together. We were 18. I looked at him and said “I think I want to quit this.”

He looked at me like I was crazy. Asked me what the hell I was talking about. “I don’t know if I want to keep doing drugs and partying like this, Drew.”

He laughed. He thought I was joking. He went off to talk to some other friends and I was left sitting there. I went out to the porch and watched the night slowly creeping into day. All I could think about was how if it wasn’t for me, he would never have gotten involved with this stuff. The guy was a genius. He had been researching quantum physics in freshman year of high school. Now he was hooked on opiates and psychedelics. I did that. His fall was on me.

So was mine. As the sun rose, and the beams of light hit that lake, I realized I would never be happy unless I followed my path. Wherever it took me. No matter how far I must go, or what punishment I must take for my faults and mistakes.

I got up to leave, and I didn’t look back. I don’t remember how long I walked. At least a week. I had almost no food, and finding water was a struggle. I got lost. I know now that it was because I didn’t want to be found. I didn’t want the world to see what I had become.

The sickness made it easy to keep walking. I couldn’t sleep anyway. A friendly hotel manager gave me an apple and some granola bars and sent me on my way. He didn’t want the owner or the customers to see me. But I’ll never forget that kindness. It was the first food I’d had in days. I was delirious, looking back on it. Eventually, a police officer picked me up and offered me a ride home.

When I told him I had nowhere to go, he took me to a waffle House and we talked. He bought me a meal and asked what I wanted to do. I didn’t have a good answer for him. He stared at me and told me that if I didn’t know by now, I was deliberately avoiding the answer.

He was Ebenguard too. I didn’t know it then though. I don’t even think he’s affiliated with the mountaineers. I think he knows what he wants in life, and I think he knows what he’s good at. He told me to walk until I knew the answer, gave me what he had in his wallet and then left.

It was three days before I found a playground. I sat on the edge of the sand pit and cried. I only wanted to help the people around me. I wanted to make a difference. I didn’t want power, or prestige. Just the power to make a difference. Just the prestige to give voice to those without. Even now, I can remember the first time I realized what homelessness was. I was six. My dad had taken me to a football game, and we passed by a man. My dad explained his situation when I asked. I cried and asked why nobody cared about him. Why nobody was looking after him.

So when I sat in that sandbox, with tears running down my face, I knew my answer. And that’s when I saw the pages of the guide fluttering in that sandbox. It took me years to piece it all together, but here I am.

I am a Nomad. A nomad of Ebenguard. I will walk anywhere with anyone. I will walk anywhere for anyone. I will travel to do things nobody else wants to. I will do things nobody thinks are important. I will stick up for the little guys and girls. And I will fight to my last breath to make a difference, because nobody deserves to be alone.

Nobody.


#7

I found out about it on Instagram as well. I’m not really sure why I clicked the link, I thought it was tarot cards too! But I did and was instantly intrigued. I have never played an ARG before but have enjoyed role playing games in the past, So I’m giving this a try. I’m loving it so far :smile:


#8

@Nomad, …I don’t know what to say. Telling your story, honestly, openly, the things that may be shameful and painful, takes great courage. Thank you for sharing that with us.


#9

You are a blessing to the Mountaineers, Brother. Tyche and Nemesis have blessed Ebenguard by your presence with us.

Thank you for sharing this. It’s important, I think, for all of us to know that it isn’t a lack of failure or mistakes that makes a man good and righteous. It’s his willingness to change. To see himself truly and act.


#10

My story is a bit long, forgive me. But here it is. Not as exciting as some, I’ve probably forgotten some things, but this is my best recollection.

Finding the Way.docx (14.7 KB)


#11

@Nomad you really have the awen with you brother. My tale will be told by daylight, but your words needed a hand in acknowledgement sooner.


#13

I suppose I ought to be used to my semi rural life by now. Life is, after all, what you make it. I can’t quite shake the appeal of London from my blood, however.

I spent a fairly ordinary childhood in the suburbs. My mother worked in a local primary school and sang in folk clubs. My father worked in documents, important documents. He once told me, many years later that he had to sign something more binding than the official secrets act. He joked his job was so dull no one would ever try to prise information from him, but I never did believe him. My love of words came from him, as did my ability to read between the lines.

My late teens and early twenties were spent studying. I’d highly recommend it. Central London and the rush of it all. My studies started out ordinarily enough in English and history, but with the rise of Harry Potter, and my delight that I shared his mother’s maiden name, I rapidly came to the conclusion us Evanses were far from mundane. I began to specialise, enlightenment perceptions of the ancients, and the resurgence of magi-mystical societies. The Harry Price Library in Senate house, London, practically had my coffee order. I spent every free hour in London’s biggest magical library. That was where I first found traces of the guide. Never ignore the index catalogue, friends, many lost secrets are hinted at between those lines. I found all sorts of things in those hours, but never the guide.

Times changed and I needed to make a living. Teaching seemed the obvious choice, and my curious hobbies have given all kinds of students a great range of after school clubs. Chess club, family tree club, poetry circles. It wasn’t until I moved all the way out here, however that I finally felt able to branch out.

My headmaster, I admit, is a little eccentric. Like a long forgotten library index, he doesn’t really know what he’s got. What he has is an eccentric staff, a massive library and a poor grasp of the national curriculum. We teach as we please.

On Mondays I run archeology club, on Tuesdays we have book group and every other weekend I take select students on historic re-enactments.
And then, of course there’s my unique addition to our school’s curriculum. I teach experimental archeology to all ages. The young ones come up with the best solutions as to how the ancients did something.
It wasn’t until last month I found the guide. Josh Boote had spilled his ass’s milk bath all over my desk (he got a C- for plumbing failure) and I was rifling through the broom cupboard at the back of the library when I realised that one of the shelves went all the way into the cupboard itself. On the third shelf down, amongst some conversion narratives and the odd dusty CS Lewis volume, I found it. After all this time.
It wasn’t until Josh came in, smelling of sour milk that I noticed half an hour had gone, and that was how I became a mountaineer.


#14

How did I get here? I always wanted to believe in magic. I was raised on fairytales, fantasy and stories of heroes and villains. I always had the idea that there was something more, something special. I was the kid who preferred the witch to the beautiful but helpless princess :slight_smile: Morgan le Fay was far more interesting than Guinevere if you know what I mean?

When I was very young we visited close relatives family in the south of England. We travelled from our terraced house in a grey and drizzly Manchester, and arrived at a large house in Buckinghamshire surrounded by gardens, fields and forests. To my 5 year old eyes it seemed like a mansion, and the forest a magical place to explore. One of my older cousins took me to a hidden place in the woods and showed me what she said was a fairy castle. I still remember the bright sunlight falling in patches through the trees and seeing the shining motes of dust swirling around us. She said they were fairies. And I believed.

After my parents divorced, my mother remarried and moved us back to her home town. Mum’s family is Catholic, and regular attendance at church was assumed. I quite liked the calm, the candles, the singing, the feeling that time is suspended. I hated not having a choice, not knowing all the words, saying I believed in something when I really didn’t. It didn’t fit somehow with the thing that I was looking for.

So, I started with reading about aliens, ghosts, psychic abilities and astral projection. Then I turned back to the fairytales of my childhood and studied Norse mythology and runes, the Celtic and Wiccan traditions of witchcraft (even being part of a coven for a short while) and picked up Tarot and astrology. I joined a Spiritualist Church to learn about spiritual healing and chakras, and then left because my ‘faith’ was so out of sync with theirs. Through two marriages and children of my own, I continued to search - always feeling that there was a hole inside me that wasn’t completely filled. Many years of exploring, learning and dabbling with different belief systems gave me a vague understanding of what felt right to me, in my soul but it didn’t complete me.

Two weeks ago I was leaving work late, again. I’m an software developer and the project I’m working on is taking up a lot more of my life than I’m happy with. The sun had gone down on what had been a particularly grey day and there no other cars left in the carpark. I was so preoccupied with the ongoing challenges I’d left back at my desk, and the usual hunting for my keys, that I almost missed the pieces of paper lying around the car. One was still underneath the windscreen wipers, and the unusual typeface caught my eye. Not the usual fast food advertisement. After reading the first page I walked around the car picking up the others and then sat in the car, piecing them together before reading the whole thing through twice.

The Guide placed me in Balimora. I’ve done the questionnaire a few times now and get the same result each time, even though I feel I’m more of a Thornmouth. Either way, i’m hooked :slight_smile: Maybe I’ve finally found what I was looking for?


#15

I had always been a serious child. I was the sort of kid that would hide under a table with a book instead of playing with the other children and was constantly told to “lighten up” or smile.
As a teenager, I evolved into a quiet, mean-looking girl with a sharp tounge. It wasn’t my fault, really. My resting face looks as though I’m plotting someone’s murder, and I prefer painful truths to comforting lies.
Because of this, most people stayed away from me, although the exceptionally brave and ridiculously innocent were not deterred, and those types of people make the dearest friends.
I still spent most of my time reading alone, but no longer did I hide to do it. I had effectively claimed a corner of the library where I would sit with my legs dangling over the arm of a chair. Others tried to adopt the same posture and were quickly told off by the librarian. She had a soft spot for me, possibly because our cold, rational demeanors were so simmilar.
That wasn’t the only thing we had in common. Our tastes in books were exactly the same. Contrary to our outward appearances, we loved fantasy and fairy tales. She would hold books for me that I hadn’t reserved because she knew I’d like them. I never knew her name, but I considered her a true friend.
One day, I heard the news that they would be sorting through thier collection and throwing out old books. Immediately I rushed to the counter and begged her to let me rescue some of the volumes that would have otherwise been thrown out. She grinned as if she had been waiting for this. She waved me into the back where dusty stacks of books lay ready to be thrown out. The whole room smelled of paper, and I couldn’t help but run my hands over as many yellowed pages as I could reach. I would not let any of these be destroyed.

The librarian helped me put them into plastic shopping bags, not even questioning that I wanted them all. She seemed pleased, in fact. I couldn’t carry them home all at once so each day I shoved a few in my backpack, and carried as many bags as I could. It wasn’t until a week or two later, when I was putting the last of the books on a shelf at home, that I noticed something strange.
In my hands was a volume of Arthurian legends, one I didn’t remember seeing in the library. When I opened it, I discovered that the pages were loose, not attached to the binding. Someone had hidden The Guide inside the cover of another book! I was fascinated and read it carefully, gleaning as much as I could from the pages.
Apon reflection, I suspect that the librarian was a Thornmouth and once I expressed my wish to “rescue” the discarded books, she placed The Guide in one of my bags, hoping I would know what to do next. I don’t know where she got it or why she was working in a high school library, but I’m sure she was the one responsible for recruiting me.


#16

I have always been seeking to understand, to create and control. As a child I was obsessed with Odin’s ravens Huginn and Muninn. Thought and Memory, I quickly moved on to Greek Mythology I memorized the old stories. Having read the Odyssey at the age on eight, and the Iliad at nine, however I didn’t see Circe as evil, I admired her, a powerful sorceress who defied the powers that be. I saw the Greek gods as the villains of the tales, ruining people lives on a whim. Zeus was the worst, constantly abusing his power. By the time I was thirteen my mother urged me to do my research from a more Christian stand point. So I did, I read the Apocrypha, the lesser key of Solomon and learned that I also had what could be considered magiqal abilities, although I thought of them as intuition. Knowing when someone is sneaking up on me, feeling the change of the winds as storms brewed. Knowing people’s emotions, being able to take a look at them and know something was wrong. It thrilled me for a while having a subtle power, making my friends and family think I knew everything. I knew their feelings so as a naïve child I bent them to my agenda used their emotions against them, later I realized I had become similar to Zeus. Terrible and corrupt, ruining people because I could. Destroying the confidence of people who didn’t like me, tearing them down bit by bit. Eventually I stopped, only then did I realize I had very few friends everyone else had went away after I decided to stop helping them tear others down, then after a while I found the magiq guide, it seemed to materialize on my phone. Enticing me back into a world of magiq and whimsy, something I craved.


#17

If it’s okay with you guys I’d kind of like to leave this in the Cabinet even though it’s creative writing because I want to like them all and tell you that you guys are incredible and talented and brave for putting your thoughts on “paper” and sharing them with the world. You guys inspire me. Love what you’re doing here.


#18

I’ve always been, insatiable when it comes to knowledge. I simply “want to know”. While my younger siblings were watching children’s cartoons, I was watching documentaries and learning. It’s what I enjoy. I have other interests, of course, such as gardening and art. But I will never lose my love for knowledge. I was reading chapter books while my peers had just started on short stories and I was writing five paragraph essays when we were only tasked with one. I was tenacious and I made my studies much more burdensome than they had too be. I enjoyed the attention and the envy. I relished in it. I knew I was better than those in my classes. I was smug, arrogant. Not anymore.

Things became more difficult. Old feelings were dredged up from the past and they took a big cr :thornmouth:p on my life. I became, misguided, new feelings blurred what I needed to do. I was my own worst enemy. Grades dropped and I began to neglect my studies in favor of rebelling against authority. I was miserable. I began harming myself, trying to understand why I was destroying my life. I wanted it to end. I spent five years whining over “how bad my life was”. I was a jerk. Then, as it goes, I had an epiphany. A sudden realization that I’d stop feeling bad for myself if I simply get the work done. The fog cleared. I started enjoying life again.

My journey to find the book was intriguing and rather frightening. I was at my local library, returning a few gardening and flower compendiums. I was in the mood to read some fantasy so I looked in the fiction section, finding nothing to my liking I went into the card catalogue. I found a book, called “Beasts of Eastern Europe”. The call number seemed indicative of a basement level. I didn’t recall the library having a basement, besides the small room where a clunky boiler squealed at anyone who walked in. I, being of the curious but slightly naive sort, head down to the boiler room. When I open the door I was not greeted by the customary sight of rickety stairs and the stuffy heat rising from the boiler.

Instead I found myself in a dark room lit only by candles. In the center a stone bookshelf. I looked at the call number in my hand and approached the shelf. Sure enough, a book matched my call number. I picked it up and put it under my arm. I walked out of the room and took it to the counter. I asked the librarian. “I found this book, does it belong to the library?”

She said “No, you can take it home if you hurry. Don’t want one of the crabby librarians to take it.” I took the book home and read it. That’s how I found the guide. I don’t know what happened to it after that. I put it in my bookshelf and it just disappeared.


#19

My story begins with order, and then ends in chaos. But really any story told by the living would be such. The present is always much more chaotic compared to the order of what has already happened, and can no longer be changed.
As a child i fell in love with magic. I mean hopelessly, endlessly, madly in love. And in a mundane world the closest you get to magic are books. The first chapter book i read was Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (great book), and perhaps i loved the book so much because i knew what it was like to grow up in an abusive home. I could relate to Harry. I always was quite mad that i never got my Hogwarts letter. I mean i think i deserved it. It isn’t quite important to know what i mean by “abusive home” but it is important to remember what that time in my life left me with.
A love for books from my mother, and a hatred for chaos from my father.
By the time i was in fifth grade i was convinced i was a witch. Witch mind you, not a warlock or wizard. No my magic was that of a witch. I could predict who would have unfortunate accidents ( always my enemies), and tell what people were thinking (always my friends). I was still in love with books, and even started working in the library. where i would shelve books (not without reading them of course) and go to whenever i needed to be alone. I was a pretty lonely kid. Which is not hard to believe since my only friends were the ones okay with me calling myself a witch, and me crying whenever we had to talk about home. I was always looking for an escape from home. I just could never find what it was i was looking for. But all in all this was a good time.
All that was left was the magic.
When i entered middle school my magic changed to reflect my attitude. No longer did i hate people so much they’d have accidents or have close friends i could peer into. I was so much more alone. So i developed what one might call a deterrent field. At times i did not wish to be found i could draw myself into it and no matter who came looking, i wouldn’t be. And of course i became a moody tween-ager, though i was rightfully angry, for my father was no longer around. That chaos re awoke, and my anger i noticed was always accompanied by strong winds and dark skies. I would scream and the sound of the wind would rise to match it.To drown it out.
All that was left was the chaos.
When i had reached high school the magic was gone however. I no longer felt angry, but neither was i happy. I was living life, like a ghost really, with no feelings towards anything. A state of apathy. Perhaps this was what helped to take my magic. It had for so long been tied to emotion but now i no longer had those. Even the chaos had settled for i no longer cared that my father was gone. I began to seek out thrills. Anything to feel the slightest thing. Alcohol and drugs, sex and thievery. I was looking for that magic again. In anything. But it was impossible to find.
All that was left was silence.
In the summer before this year however, i found myself inexplicably drawn to nature. I would get high and wander outside for hours on end, fascinated by the beauty of the country i live in. And the way the stars shown at night. I took to meditation and to art, and to long-boarding. And somewhere along the way i became happier. I was still the same person as before, but i was at peace with it. I reconnected with the magic of my childhood and found that it wasn’t in anything outside it was within. I accepted the chaos and the magic as one, and as part of me. When i entered junior year this year i was remarkably different to everyone, but to me i was the opposite. I had not become different, I had become native to myself. I had become who i always was. And i accepted the chaos that is this world. So i took the moniker Native, to describe all of that. And not long after i found myself by pure chaotic chance looking at an ad on Instagram. That i clicked on a whim. Some tug inside told me i had found it.
And now all that is left is Balimore.


#20

You are a hero among men.
Your story is… inspiring and Im kinda brought to tears by it. You have become such an important part of this family Nomad, you will never be truly alone.
Love and Luck in all things you do.


#21

Like so many of you I was a child drawn to magic. With two arguing parents and constantly moving from home to home it became my only saving grace. When school started I was popular for my imagination and big ideas, and I was pretty generally liked. However, in first grade the bullying started. I was verbally abused by my peers and shunned by others for my girlish and flighty tendencies, my only friends were in diffrent classes and I only saw them for half an hour at recess. That playground became my home, we would fight goblins and hunt fairies and all the while I felt part of something… bigger then myself. One day in second grade this kid attacked me, half my face became scarred and torn up, and you know what the nurse did? GAVE ME AND ICE PACK. Growing up in a medical background I calmly left her office and spent half an hour cleaning out gravel and washing the marks in my face. My mother was not called. I got home, she freaked and pulled me out of school.
Homeschooling is brilliant but… isolated.
I turned to ARGS to find people with my love of magic and storytelling and instead was greeted with… hatred, heiarchry and a sense of less then.
then the link for basecamp showed up on one of my old channels.
That night we found the travelers coin,
and I found a home.
I chose Gossmere becausw yes I have the spirit and drive of a Balimora but at my core I want to help others, to help people with low self esteem or health issues…
So yeah, thats how I found you all…
and I love you all so much.


#22

I have always believed in magic. When I was younger, (I’m not going to say when I was a child, because I feel like I still am) people thought it was cute. For some reason it’s not as acceptable anymore. Even after the discovery that my parents were the easter bunny, leading me to the idea that they were also the tooth fairy, and… :sob: Santa, I still couldn’t help believing in them. I was stuck. Living between what I knew, and what I felt. The magic was there, I could sense it, but it wasn’t something I could touch.
Perhaps this lead to my belief that magic was ruined when people touched it. Like a whisp of smoke, or a beam of light, it was there, but nothing I could grab a hold of. I became hesitant to interfere whenever I came across something that seemed magical. I kept thinking that it was meant for someone else.

Or maybe I was doing something wrong.

Maybe I had to learn the right way to touch it.
At this realization, I began to fervently reread my many cherished fairy tale books. I knew people would think I was strange for it, but I’ve always been a little odd.
The solution wasn’t in there.
Over time, I realized that my ability to break up conflict, and the intense love I had for everyone, even strangers, held their own form of magiq.
I was satisfied, for a while, but I still felt incomplete. Something was missing.
My thoughts move in strange ways, folding back on themselves and layering new with old. I remembered walking alone through a small clearing. It was fall. There were leaves all around me, blowing softly in the wind. I closed my eyes, and listened. Listened to the magic that had always been there, the magic I could never touch.
Where had that memory come from? There are no woods where I live. Had it been a dream?
I closed my eyes, alone in my backyard, listening to the aspens quiver. I pictured the clearing once again. Had I missed something the last time?
A fluttering of paper. The leaves had disguised the sound until then.
Disappointed, I opened my eyes. Had I missed my chance?
But the sound was still there.
My heartbeat quickened. It the papery whisper had followed me back from that memory, clearly I was supposed to find it. I felt a surge of confidence in that moment. I had always been good at finding things. It was a special skill of mine, secondary only to losing things.
Once again, I closed my eyes, following the sound until my hands brushed against it. Paper. I was afraid to look. With a deep breath, I opened my eyes. The Guide to Magiq. Suddenly, everything clicked. The missing piece was in my hands.
I flipped through it as fast as I possibly could.
I was Ebenguard, a protector of balance. Also Gossmere, caring and sweet. For the first time, it felt right to be stuck in the middle. Ebenmere.

Through the guide, I discovered a new family. And they were all odd, too.

===============================
(Sorry for continuing this even though it’s so old. I finally figured out how to write it)


#23

Do not apologize for sharing your story, Timidity. Thank you for doing so, it was well worth the read :slight_smile:


#24

I’ve wanted to post in this thread for quite some time, but I really dislike talking about myself. I always hesitate, because my story seems so … generic? I’ll tell it anyways though, as proof that I - like so many others - have found a home in the Mountaineers.

I grew up too fast. One of the many impacts of having too many siblings is that my parents never had a lot of time for any one individual child. It soon became the norm that unless you did anything outstanding - good or bad - or unless you were hurt or what have you, my parents generally left us to our own devices and a chore chart. I love my family, because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?

I’ve never truly felt at home in my parents house. I was always trying to be somebody else for someone else, or wishing I was somewhere else. In a loud and active house, I was quiet and still. In a family that only understood what they could physically interact with, I wanted to explore not just our world, but all the other worlds that could be out there whether in reality or literature. As time went on, I learned that it was easier to be quiet with so many others being loud to gain attention. I like to think this is where I get my love of stories from - all this time spent wishing I could be out adventuring in the world. In no time at all, I grew a love for books, and so did my parents, because it kept me quiet and occupied.

Soon the quiet was no longer my friend, because I was always quiet. Too quiet to make friends. Quiet about being bullied at school. Quiet about things a parent should know about their child. So I used books to escape, at home and at school. That is who I became known as: the quiet girl with a book who won’t tell the adults.

Some really awful things happened in my childhood, that I’m pretty sure my family still doesn’t know about. I didn’t really realize a lot of it was wrong until I started listening to others tell me of their normal sounding childhoods. Now it’s too late. I was too quiet for too long, and I bear my pain in silence still. How do you tell people about these terrible things that happened to you, but at the time you were a quiet kid who didn’t know how to tell anyone that anything was wrong?
So I don’t tell people. I stay quiet. Even if I did, they could listen, but I doubt they would understand.

Probably because of the burden I was carrying by myself, I became aware of when others were struggling with their own. I went out of my way to help share the weight with anyone else. I was still quiet, but I became good at listening. I discovered that stories didn’t just reside in books, but that the world was full of them too. Each person had their own collection of stories just waiting to be told. I also learned that, all too often, people are so engrossed in their own story that they overlook the stories of those around them. So I began to seek out the stories of those constantly overlooked, because they needed to be told, and quite often turned out to be worth the extra trouble of finding them.

After all the bad I’ve seen and experienced in life, I have come to believe that everything happens for a reason, there are no coincidences. Even if the only reason something terrible happens is for you to learn something. This is where magiq comes in. After reading extraordinary tales of heroes venturing far and wide, and exploring all sorts of different and fantastic worlds - I desperately wanted magic to be real. I believe it is … just maybe not in the way witches and warlocks wandering around all willy nilly. I have learned through life that magic is all around us, in people, in places, in events, but most importantly in stories. It connects us all, it causes all these so called coincidences and puts us exactly where we need to be. I’ve always believed in magic, but I didn’t always know it was real.

There was a park I used to frequent as a child. I enjoyed going there just to swing. It always felt like I could finally breathe when I left the house. I would swing for hours on end, and imagine myself in my own adventures or pretending I could fly away from everything. One day I went to that park, and I noticed a book left on the bench. I hesitated because I was uncertain, afraid. Finally, I worked up the courage to go pick it up, and I read the word Magiq on the front. I debated taking it home to read it, but I didn’t because if it were me and I realized I had forgotten my book only to find someone else had taken it … I would be heart broken. I was fascinated by this book, though, so I repeated the title to myself until I had it committed to memory. Then I placed the book under the bench, so that if it rained it wouldn’t get soaked, and returned to swinging. I went back to the park after supper that evening, and the book was gone, and I felt relieved it had found a home, but also a little sad that I didn’t know the contents it held. It haunted me as a massive what if? Years went by, lots of change had taken place, and I had learned of the magic of storytelling. One particularly bad day, I was walking home and chose to stop at a park I often passed. I chose to go on the swing, something that felt like a luxury I couldn’t normally afford. The sky soon turned to ink, and was threatening to open up so I was going to head home despite my love of storms. As I went to leave, I noticed a book had been left on a picnic bench. As I approached, I couldn’t believe my eyes. After all this time, there was the book I had seen all those years ago. This time, I did not leave things to chance. I took it home with me, and I read the Guide.

At long last, I had found proof of magiq in the world. I was given Ebenguard, which confused me. Shouldn’t a book lover be Thornmouth? How could I be the great protector of balance? I was certainly not one of the heroes in my books. As I read the description of my guild, though, I realized it was exactly who I was. I protect the balance by giving a voice to the forgotten. By seeking out these stories, by offering a listening ear to a weary soul, that’s how I make a difference. It’s also why I dislike telling my own story, because I am okay with it not being known. There are other stories out there that need to be told far more than mine.

Not long after finding the Guide, I found the Mountaineers, and at long last I finally found a group of people with whom I felt at home. I didn’t tell you all this story, but I felt understood. It’s incredible, and empowering, and I will forever be grateful. Everything happens for a reason, and I was meant to find the Guide, I was meant to find magiq in the mundane.