History of an Order Head
Rasala the Bright was not always known as such, and she was not always a brilliant, gifted magician—in fact, many, many years back in time, she was known simply as Rasala, and had no magic of her own, though she was always fascinated by it. When she was young, she was prone to locking herself in her room with her stacks of books, devouring each of them within hours. It was rare to ever see her outside; she was of the opinion that frolicking about under the sun was pointless, especially when there was so much to be learned from the many books she possessed; and as such, she spent most of her time inside.
She still maintains that it paid off; after all, she's the head of the Order of the Red Erisim now, though it's not like she can brag about it to most, or would if she had the opportunity to speak of the nearly unknown society. It did take her quite a while to reach that spot; however, she sees all the work she had to put in as character-building. She also says that it helped in the long run; without having to do all of the work Alshemar assigned her, she would never have the mastery of her powers and spell work and potion making that she does.
How she got to be a member of the Order, and Alshemar's apprentice, is a story in itself—and this is how it goes:
Roughly fifteen years prior to the start of the War of the Obelisk, Rasala gained her magic powers; and what a pain that was, she still says. Nobody seems to know all of the details, aside from Rasala herself; and if they do, they haven't shared them with anyone. Bits and pieces are known to be true, however: that she searched for someone to help her gain magic; she found someone, rumored to possibly be Edna, or perhaps Sophie, but surely not an Order member to assist her in her goal; and, through some unknown means, was granted magical power that, while she was not trained to use, she had an immediate success in controlling. There are hazier rumors, too, though they've died down for the most part ever since Rasala was named head of the Order.
She'd gone home, to a small house in the Haunted Woods, after receiving her magic, and promptly started poring over every book she'd ever collected that had any small bit of information that pertained to harnessing magic and using it for good, how it came to be, how it works, though none of it is concrete; like magic itself, it is a fickle thing, the study of it, and not many choose to study its workings.
Those who do, however, are found by the Order, and initiated into their ranks, brought to study with some of the greatest known magicians in Neopia; and, of course, given their own pointy hat. It's a tradition, for a new member of the Order to receive a hat with a pointed end upon being officially welcomed. They're just not the Order without them.
There's still more to this story, though—how they found her, the official initiation, her apprenticing under Alshemar, and, of course, her being voted as head.
How they found her; now, that's one day Rasala always says she'll never forget. It was three years or so after she'd been granted her powers—she'd gone to the store, to retrieve more food, preferably with some Gummy Rats and Ice Cream Lanterns of varying flavors included. When she returned to her home, loaded down with bags of groceries that did indeed contain her favorite snacks of the Haunted Woods, she knew immediately that there were people in her home. So, she did what near any witch carrying bags of groceries would do—she sent them to her kitchen with a snap of her fingers, summoned her favored magical weapon, blazing fireballs, and stormed into her own house, demanding the following:
"Now, you have exactly five minutes to answer the following questions, starting from when I stop talking, or these fireballs will be chucked in your general direction in an attempt to rid my house of you: who are you, what are you doing here, and why, in the name of Fyora, did you have to break into my house? There's a perfectly good front porch you could have waited on, assuming you mean me no harm, and, by the way you haven't tried to, I assume you do not. Go."
An Ogrin stood, wand in his paw, cape wrapped about his shoulders, and pointy hat set upon his head. "We are the Order of the Red Erisim, and we have come to ask you to join us. As to why we're here; well, we assumed that it would be best for you not to see a group of oddly dressed strangers on your porch, lest you throw fire at us, such as you've already threatened to do."
While she still wasn't entirely satisfied with the Ogrin's answer just yet, Rasala did lower her arms and extinguish the fire still burning in her palms. "Okay. What, exactly, is the Order of the Red Erisim?"
"We're magic users—we study it, attempting to learn all we can. Why it exists; how, exactly, it works; and, of course, how best to use it." The same Ogrin answered her as before; she
assumed he was the leader, seeing as he was the one replying to all her questions.
"Okay. And you want me to join you... why, exactly?"
A Bruce sitting on the couch smiled at this, and answered in place of the Ogrin this time. "Because, dear, we've heard of you, even if the rumors are not widely spread. You possess prodigious talent, especially for one not born with magic; normally, those who gain it through other means have weaker magic than ones with natural magic, but you... you are the exception." She gestured about at the stacks of books. "Besides, you seem like the type who enjoys learning; wouldn't you like to know everything you could of magic?"
Rasala had hesitated for long minutes after that, chewing at her lip, thinking it over. While she did want to learn more, how to use her powers properly, and all sorts of other things, she hadn't exactly heard of them before. Of course, she doubted that she couldn't escape them if she wanted, even if did take a fight... "Okay."
That had been how she was initiated: there, in her small home in the Haunted Woods, with the spell ingredients and spare pointy hat they'd carried along with them. She'd learned that the Ogrin was Alshemar; the Bruce Hilda; and the others who were there were a Mynci, named Ganfrey, known more as Ganfrey the Good; the bearded Tonu, who'd mumbled the few times she had heard him speak, was Belisarius; and the many members who weren't present were numerous, among them Morguss, Seradar, and Jerdana. She almost couldn't believe they'd thought her good enough to join.
She was apprenticed to Alshemar, who set to work immediately: learning to brew potions, perform more complex spells than she had ever attempted, and all over learn to manage her power more efficiently. Alshemar, along with occasionally Hilda or Ganfrey, sometimes Belisarius, taught her quite a lot of tricks for using spells to the maximum they could be used—how to ensure that she didn't use too much power in one spell, draining her of magic temporarily and leaving her defenseless; how to get the most out of a small amount of power; and how to store power in the ring she had, using a spell to trap it in there until such a time as she needed it. It was a good idea, really; you never knew when you might need extra power.
She especially stood by that as the years passed; and, eventually, she was voted as the new head of the Order of the Red Erisim. Then the Obelisk was unearthed, and a meeting was held, her at the helm, as they attempted to decide what exactly to do—as head the final decision came to her, though, and she eventually declared that they, too, would fight, though even if they won, if there was magic within the Obelisk, she wasn't entirely sure that they were worthy of it; that she was worthy of it. What if she became the second Xandra? In the end it was Alshemar who assured her that she was indeed worthy—she doubted it, after all, and that made her entirely worthy.
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