Chapter 1: Sorting the Unsorted

You've been waiting for this moment for what feels like your entire life—your Sorting Trials. For years you've heard tales of the mythic feats of the Marcana and the Illuden, but now you have the chance to be one of them.

You wonder, will you be sorted into Marcana—where you breathe in magic and breathe out wonders? Or will you be revealed to be an Illudo—where you learn the inner secrets of the mind and use intelligence to accomplish feats? Your parents decided to remain Unsorted, so you have no idea what you are really getting in to with these groups. You have no generational allegiances, like some of the other families.

The possibilities are limitless.

But that also means you have no leg up in these tests like the other families.

A combination of excitement and nervousness bubble up within you. What if neither group wants you? What if you remain Unsorted for the rest of your life, divorced from the magical wonders of the world?

I can do this; you think to yourself.

All you have to do is go through a few tests, meet with some Marcana and Illuden, and you're in. It's not often that someone who chooses to go through the rigorous testing of the Sorting Trials and sticks to it to the end doesn't get into either group.

You finish packing your things, take a deep breath, and venture out into the unknown. One of the unique things about the trials is that their locations change every year, almost as if a magical force takes them to new places to get the bravest souls. You have gotten a few clues as to the trials' whereabouts, but the clues are as cryptic as the contents of the trials themselves.

I can do this. You repeat to yourself, like a mantra, as you walk further and further away from the place you've called home.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I am magic.