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Thread: The Wizard Who Disappeared Within His Own Hat

  1. #1
    Registered User Treebeard's Avatar
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    The Wizard Who Disappeared Within His Own Hat

    Many, many years ago there was a wizard whose name was Teslar Netherwind or Teslar Mad-hat as he sometimes was called behind his back. He worked in the Ivory Towers on Edron like many other people who were talented in the arcane arts commonly referred to simply as "magic". He was a teacher and regularly held lectures for the students who also was a part of what was back then called ‘the Academy of Magic Invention and Regulation’. The Academy was divided into different departments which handled different things surrounding the use of magic, but the two main departments were as the name reveals the ones handling magic invention and magic regulation.

    Teslar himself was once part of the ‘Department of Magic Invention’, but got kicked out because his ideas were “too foolish” and “too crazy” according to the project leaders. What others saw as his crazy ideas combined with the fact that he always wore a big, pointy hat lead to his nickname “Teslar Mad-hat”. The hat was a magnificent sight, which was something most people agreed to, but seldom acknowledged. It was purple and had lots of different symbols embroidered on it. The symbols varied in size and kind – there were magic symbols, star signs and other more common symbols - all in different colours.

    It was after he got kicked out of the ‘Department of Magic Invention’ that he became a teacher, which was not seen as the most prestige filled position within the Academy. Teslar didn’t mind though… he didn’t like his colleagues very much anyways and preferred the company of his students. This might partly have been because of their enthusiasm and curiosity. Unlike his colleagues, they found his ideas interesting and well… maybe a bit crazy, but then in a good way.

    The headmaster and his council was very controlling when it came to what was being researched within the Academy and this might necessarily not have been a bad thing, since magic can be very powerful and dangerous if not handled with care. Everyone who worked within the Academy was also checked and controlled so that nobody would do something the council wasn’t aware of and this was something Teslar saw as an obstacle. He had lots of ideas, but could not realise them within the Academy.

    After a certain incident involving a summoned dragon, destroyed expensive equipment and a part of the Academy having to be rebuilt, the headmaster had had enough and Teslar got kicked from the Academy. This wasn’t the end of Teslar’s interest in magic invention however – he continued his research in his own house in Stonehome. This went on for a about a year and every week since Teslar had left the Academy a group of so called “Regulators” came by his house and wanted report of every kind of magic he had worked with. The Regulators were a group within the Academy who had the task of checking certain people who worked with magic outside of the Academy and this was done to make sure that the council could regulate the use of magic when needed.

    Even though Teslar could do much research and experimenting hidden away from the eyes of the Academy, he felt that he never really could go all the way since they regularly was checking what he was doing. He couldn’t move from Edron if he wanted to continue his research since he had to stay there to get access to certain magic supplies which were only obtainable there. He had tried a lot of things to avoid the controls on a day to day basis though – for example he had tried simple things such as shape shifting, turning himself invisible and so on, but this was always too simple and the Regulators always had means to discover what he was up to.

    He knew that to get rid of them and finally be set free to do whatever he wanted he needed to do something radical. He started to do some research and began to test different theories and ideas. Then one day when the Regulators came to his house for the weekly check the door didn’t open after several knocks. This happened regularly though and since they thought that Teslar was just doing one of his tricks to avoid the control, they just opened the door and stepped inside. They started looking everywhere in the house, tried an invisibility purge spell, tried some counter shape shift spells on the cat, but with no results. The only odd thing they saw was that Teslar’s magnificent hat lay on the floor by the workbench. They guessed that it was some trick of his and tried several spells on the hat, but nothing happened. They also searched the surrounding area, but Teslar was nowhere to be found.

    After several months with no sign of Teslar the council decided to file him as missing and then they confiscated his belongings and the house. The hat among other magical things was put in the huge storage room for confiscated magical equipment at the Academy. Nobody knows for sure what happened to Teslar, but there are different theories.

    Some people of the more ignorant kind think that he simply vanished or were disintegrated in one of his foolish experiments. Others think that since his hat was left untouched on the floor it must have something to do with his disappearance. Maybe he lives on as just an intellectual spirit freed from our material world with its boundaries. Or maybe he lives in a material existence much like ours, but in another plane of existence. Maybe he’s alone wherever he is or maybe he found some like-minded wizards and they now live together in their own domain. Nobody knows for sure.

    There have been reports of mysterious sounds coming from the hat now and then since it was put in the storage room though. The guards have said that they’ve heard sounds of laughter and voices talking coming deep from inside the hat. The sounds are always faint and seem to be very far away and thus it’s never possible to hear what’s being said. Either way, this is usually proof enough for most people that wherever Teslar is, he’s very much alive.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    This is my first short story and it was inspired by my time roleplaying in a MMORPG called Tibia. Certain names such as "Edron" etc. are all the names of places in the game.

    I'd love to get some feedback!

  2. #2
    Word Dispenser BookBeauty's Avatar
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    Show, don't tell!

    Hey there.

    What you've got here is a story that's bogged down by details of the backstory of 'Tibia'. Right away, we have things like: Ivory Towers and Edron. References such as these are difficult to follow, and make it even more difficult to be enchanted by this world.

    This difficulty is supplemented by the fact that you're doing a lot of telling and very little showing.

    When you begin a story like this, you wanna get the reader hooked in some way. You wanna make the reader ask a question, or hook them with some kind of action.

    Otherwise, the reader gets bored very fast and wants to move on to something more interesting to read.

    This is very autobiographical, which may be your intention, or it may not be, but even a biography can hook us. If you desire some examples for hooks, read some of the lovely work here that catches you right away.

    I might start with this: ''Teslar knew that to get rid of them and finally be set free to do whatever he wanted he needed to do something radical.''

    Immediately we've begun by asking: Get rid of whom? Set free to do what? Radical!? Cool!

    I like this story. It's quirky, and it's fun. But, I think it could use a little trimming in the way it's presented. Just my two cents.
    Last edited by BookBeauty; 07-06-2011 at 05:33 PM.
    There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. ~Oscar Wilde.

  3. #3
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    I agree with BB - it has taken you 7 paragraphs to get to the actual story itself - and when we reach that pivotal point in the plot nothing happens. After reading this I felt short-changed. A bit like paying for a ticket to watch a magic act where there's a complicated build-up - but no actual trick at the end of the act.

    If you're telling Teslar's story - it's what happened after he disappeared that's important, not his rather boring life history leading up to that point.

    I would suggest you keep the same ideas at the back of your head but start telling the story from the moment of disappearance. I'm curious to know what happened to him - as most readers would be. And as for the workings of the Magical Council or whatever they're called - who cares?

    H

  4. #4
    Registered User Treebeard's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for your honest and constructive criticism.

    I do know that it's a problem that I'm using a bit of the background story from the game, but that was because I first wrote the story especially for my fellow Tibia players. When I joined this forum I thought I might as well post it here too. I guess I should have rewritten it first though.

    Quote Originally Posted by hillwalker View Post
    [...]

    If you're telling Teslar's story - it's what happened after he disappeared that's important, not his rather boring life history leading up to that point.

    I would suggest you keep the same ideas at the back of your head but start telling the story from the moment of disappearance. I'm curious to know what happened to him - as most readers would be. And as for the workings of the Magical Council or whatever they're called - who cares?

    H
    Well, I guess I failed in what I tried to do - tell the story of his quite exciting life history leading up to the point where he disappears () and then make the reader curious at the end - what happened to him? Where is he?

    I gave the reader a few possibilities or ideas, but did not reveal the truth, since I wanted the reader himself/herself to come up with his own idea of what happened to him. I personally love that kind of endings.

    Perhaps I'll rewrite it sometime though.

    I'd love even more feedback. Thanks again guys!

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