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I shouldn't be writing this.  If anyone finds it, I'll be expelled.  I'll be exiled from Techence forever.  The collectors might even make me uh...disappear.  But I can't shake the feeling that the university is hiding something.
 
As with any proper scientific inquiry, I'll begin with a working hypothesis:  magic exists.
 
I know, I know.  It sounds absurd.  It goes against everything I've learned here. 
 
But if you'd seen the things I've seen here - if you'd seen how our botanists can combine plants, if you'd seen the weapons we have, if you'd seen a ship that can fly - you'd agree with me that anything is possible.  Maybe even magic.

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Be Careful What You Joust For

Terric Hornbolt has never ridden a wooly dragon.  He's never jousted for the hearts of beautiful maidens, and he's never marched across the desert to fight the scorpion-riders of Rashid.

And he's never going to get to.  He's the second born son, and thus destined to take the priestly oath - an oath that will condemn him to a life of copying dusty old books and praying to a dusty old god.  Those are the rules.

But Terric doesn't like following the rules.  He's determined to become a knight, no matter the cost.

All he has to do is escape.

It should be simple.  After all, his family is fully focused on the upcoming joust.  His father only cares about making his older brother, Marcus, win the tournament, and his mother only cares about arranging a marriage between his sister, Oriana, and the crown prince.  That's how it's always been.  Marcus this, Oriana that.

Sometimes Terric thinks he could just walk right out the gate and no one would care.  If he's clever enough, he might be able to do just that.

And if he's not clever enough...well, the razortooth tigers outside the gates are always looking for their next meal.