Melamieure yearned to study magic from the time she first learned of its existence. Her parents had both died of an illness before she could really remember them, but the aunt who cared for her got her into a magic academy at the first opportunity.
Though she didn't come from a family with a strong magical background, her aptitude enabled her to advance quickly. By 14 she was requesting her first mentorship. Many instructors were intrigued by her academic achievements, but none thought she showed promise more than Luxolour.
He sat, sipping tea at her aunt Kembrey's kitchen table when he proposed the expedition, causing Melamieure to nearly spit out her earl grey.
"Is it safe?" questioned Kembrey. Luxolour crossed his legs.
"My dear lady, nothing in life is safe," Kembrey frowned, holding her tea close. He went on, "but with the team we've assembled and Melamieure's own abilities, I have no doubt that this trip will be highly survivable, educational, and rewarding."
Melamieure stepped out onto the golden sands of a new land. She documented every peculiar creature and plant. Then they reached the karst mountains.
Such beauty she had never beheld. Aqua green hills that reached straight up into the clouds with bits of snow clinging to the echelons. As they began to ascend, Melamieure hypothesized excitedly with the others. She lifted their spirits with each upward step. Their bond became one forged in stone.
On the third day of their climb, they reached the summit. The frosty hilltop seemed almost suspended in time. Gray clouds shifted all around them, forming an enormous room of puffy obstacles obscuring the occasional glimpse of the next hill over.
A large cloud shifted dramatically, revealing a massive stone temple on a huge hill in the distance. After some debate, the party agreed to let Melamieure drink their only potion of flight and do some reconnaissance.
She could hardly contain herself when she took to the skies, skimming along the edges of cumulation. As she neared the stone temple, a twinkle of purple caught her eye from down below. She gently sank to a mossy precipice where a cluster of luminous lavender crystals sprouted through the flora.
Without thinking, she reached out to collect them, then stopped herself. She removed a specimen vial and clamps from her pack and carefully extracted the crystals, tucking them away.
She then soared up to the temple, landing gracefully. A faint call from the mountain behind seemed to be scolding her, but with a flick of the wrist she brought forth a cloud to dampen it.
Taking a few steps forward, she noticed just how massive the temple really was-- and old. Older than anything she’d ever seen. It looked like it was made by the mountain itself.