“Why bother?” the boy asked, shaking his head.

“Excuse me?” The teacher, in middle of reading a passage to the group of young Arcanists, put down her book.

“Why do we bother to use lead-based Implements if their effects don’t last?”

The teacher nodded, her eyes settling on the apprentice. “Correction. The effects do last. The spell, however, does not.” She stood up from her desk and walked closer to the group. “If I call you a name, or try to say something hurtful to you, the words will only linger in the air for but a moment. But you may feel the sting for quite some time, would you not?”

The boy shifted in his seat, but before he could reply, she spoke again: “I think the heart of your question is why we use these pencil Implements at all?”

The woman sighed, taking time to choose her words carefully. “There are spells that exist…ones you will not learn here.”

The students began to murmur amongst each other at this. The teacher raised her hand and the group once again fell silent.

“I ask you—no—beg you to never use these spells, no matter how strong the temptation may be.”

“What…what do these spells do?” a girl asked.

The teacher continued, “I have heard of a spell which spawns a storm that becomes more destructive as time passes. I have heard of a spell that can raise the dead from their tombs. And I have seen a spell that can take you to the realm of the Reachers.”

“You…have seen this?” another student interjected.

“We will discuss no further. Know only that some things should never be made permanent. Such things could undo everything we have worked so hard to achieve. Class dismissed.”

As the class the filed out into the hall, the woman sat down in her chair, suddenly feeling many more years than she carried. She pulled open the drawer of her desk, stealing a glance at Oasis.

Material: Box Elder Burl

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