"First and foremost, I am High Wizard Yaga, and I want to welcome you all to the city of Alfheim, the largest city in Terran, dedicated to the practice and teachings of the 6 Schools of Magic. Alfheim was constructed more than 20 years ago by the great Archmage; the statue you see before you was created as a tribute to his sacrifice." Yaga paused, letting the crowd of more than a dozen in front of him admire the statue as he gestured towards it.
The statue was incredibly tall and detailed, and Leif had no doubt it was crafted with at least a bit of magic. No stone he knew of would last more than 20 years without at least weathering a little. The immense structure was a bald, aged man with a rather long, whispy beard dangling below his chin. He wore thick, flowing robes adorned with jewels that gave the statue color amongst the darkness of the smooth stone. He was standing tall on his feet, with his arms outstretched, palms facing upward, in a protective and welcoming manner. Clearly whoever crafted the statue knew that the Archmage was powerful, but didn't want to represent him as menacing.
"The Archmage bore no known name, as he simply wished to be called the Archmage. The Archmage had mastered all 6 Schools of Magic, a feat never before and never since accomplished. He used his mastery and power to not only build Alfheim, but to also defeat Magnus in the Wizard War. Unfortunately, the Archmage used his powers to such an extent in the fight with Magnus that it also drained the entirety of his life force, resulting in his passing. However, the defeat of Magnus meant saving the lives of thousands of innocents across the lands of Terran, as well as a victory for the remaining mages in Alfheim. His sacrifice was most certainly not made in vain. Today magicians have a place to call home and hone their skills, a safe place separated from the possible ridicule and rejection of non-magicians, thanks to the Archmage." Yaga continued, pausing again for a moment afterwards.
Leif counted 19 people including himself in the crowd before High Wizard Yaga, the majority of them silently listening to his words and admiring the city around them. The city had huge, sprawling buildings made from some kind of blue-ish white metal and glass. Alfheim no doubt had the capacity to support a population of tens of thousands, though Leif guessed there was probably only a few thousand living here currently. The casualties suffered in the Wizard War must have had a significant effect on the number of magicians.
Leif and the 18 others were in a tall, grandiose building outside the main city, that served as a guard lookout as well as welcoming platform. The main portion was sort of an arch that connected the outside road to the path heading further into Alfheim, with various rooms and walls built on both sides. Constructed from the same material as the rest of Alfheim, this structure had large blue-ish spires jutting upwards into the sky. This city really was unlike anything Leif had ever seen, or even dreamed of. He almost couldn't contain his excitement. He glanced to the right to his closest friend, Eirik, who stood silently, staring the statue, his sandy blond hair flowing in the gentle breeze. His face didn't express much, it hardly ever did, but Leif could tell that he was impressed. He's known Eirik since childhood, Leif could practically guess his emotions with his eyes closed.
Looking forward to High Wizard Yaga again, Leif studied his attire. Silken white robes adorned his body, they looked quite comfortable as they flapped softly in the late-morning breeze. He wasn't bald like the Archmage, nor did he have a beard; he was older, but certainly not as old as the Archmage. Yaga still had a full head of light brown hair, and Leif guessed Yaga to be a little more than twice his own age. If Yaga was around during the Wizard War, he would have been about the same age as Leif.
High Wizard Yaga gazed upon the crowd, and started up again, "You've all come here to pursue the use and study of magic, many of you for different reasons. Your reasons will not matter here, they will not grant you extra priveleges or leniency. What matters most is your resolve. You may or may not have been told this in the mage convoy on the way here from your homes, but we will be performing an initiation to determine which School of Magic you belong to. We will go into details shortly, but there's something you must know beforehand: If you are successful in the initiation, you will not be allowed to leave Alfheim officially until you have completed your training, under any circumstance. This process can take several months to several years depending on your performance and devotion." Several unpleasant murmurs arose from the crowd when he finished his sentence. Clearly some of them weren't informed of this previously.
Yaga continued, "If you fail the initiation, meaning you have no internal potential for the use of magic, or you decide to return home now, you will be compensated adequately for your time, and escorted back to your homes safely and free of charge. We will hold no hostility towards you if you decide to back out now, however once the initiation starts, if you have the potential for magic, you cannot leave Alfheim. It is imperative you decide now if you are committed to becoming a magician, as it is no simple task."
"Please raise your hand now if you would like to back out, and you will escorted out of Alfheim and brought home safely and in a timely manner." Yaga said plainly. Leif looked to his right at Eirik, who looked back at him. They both nodded, and Leif smiled. They had committed to staying here long before they even boarded the convoy to journey here. Leif eyed the crowd around them and saw 3 hands come up. Two mages came, and escorted them away from the crowd, leaving Leif, Eirik, and 14 others.
"Now that that's settled, we will begin your initiation, please follow me." High Wizard Yaga smiled warmly, beckoned the small crowd to follow him, and headed away from the Archmage statue, seemingly towards one of the rooms on the left side of the entrance structure.