In the Midst of an Attack
As the morning sun rose over Peasala, people started flooding the halls and entering classrooms at the Damrons School of Magic. They seemed like ants from the top of the hill next to the school, where a dormitory was located. The school only provided housing for their best students, who were often doing work for the king. One of these students was Adam Blackmore, who was a 20 year old boy with luscious thick red hair which he often wore in a braid reaching his lower back. He woke up in a hurry and rushed to the bathroom to get ready. He spent a significant amount of time getting ready, and once he got out, it was already time to get to class.
In class, the group of students began working on a new project, and Ms. Edmunds, the head professor, walked around making sure everything was going smoothly. All of the sudden, a loud crash was heard from outside the classroom, which was followed by screams. The ground shook as more chaos ensued outside, and Adam and his classmates begun evacuating. Soon, word came around that soldiers from the Albrines, a rival nation, had attacked the school. These soldiers had arrived on two fairly large battleships, and were apparently wearing a special kind of armour infused with their local magic, which allowed them to pass through the school’s spell-forged barrier with ease.
The students and staff ran into a large stone hall used for special occasions. This was the most heavily armored room in the school, as it would often have important people, such as the king, in it when in use. Once everyone was in, the students started discussing ways to fend off the soldiers if they were to break in. Ms. Edmunds, the school’s head professor, spoke out, “In the unlikely event that those Albriniens do reach us, I want you all to remain calm”. Her face was pale and pointed, and her auburn hair was pulled into a bun. She wore a brown leather dress and was carrying a small spell book with her, which Adam carried a copy of as well. She turned to Adam’s friend, Isla Wickliff, and told her to lead the group if anything were to happen to her. Isla was tall and fair, with dark hair, and was quite clever. Even though she was only a year older than Adam, she often tried giving him advice on life. Isla agreed, and the hall started murmuring again. She turned to Adam and said teasingly,
“Why do I feel like you’re not going to follow those instructions?”
Adam looked at her and to Ms Edmunds. “If they’re not going to show us any respect, why should we give them ours?”
“Because they’re an army, and we’re not. Your naivety really gets to you at times like this, doesn’t it”, Isla said, while looking at Adam worriedly.
Suddenly, there was a loud thud at the door, followed by another one. After a few hits and panicked attempts to barricade the door with magic from the students, the door swung open and a hoard of soldiers came running in. Before they could do anything, one of them spoke, “Halt, we are going to take these ones as prisoners”. The speaker walked up to the group and continued talking to his fellow soldiers, “Do not worry, those amulets I gave you earlier will protect you from any common spell, they won’t be able to harm us”.
“What are you even doing here?” Adam shouted frustrated, and the whole room turned to him. The soldiers looked at him confused, and the one who had spoken up before asked,
“Wouldn’t it be a better idea to attack the king’s castle?” Adam continued as he started feeling the burning stare of his classmates all around him.
The soldier began, “Well that’s the pl-”, Adam interrupted, “You guys are just wasting your time, honestly.”
“Wh-”, the soldier started.
“How does attacking a school benefit you? Why -”, Adam went on, until the soldier shouted in frustration, indirectly telling Adam to shut up. He quickly walked over to Adam and looked him dead in the eye, who could see the soldiers bronze eyes staring at him with furrowed brows. After a moment, the soldier gripped his arm and pulled him out to the group of soldiers.
“Put him into the pit, I have a feeling he’ll be complaining this whole time,” he instructed.
Before he knew it, Adam was thrown into a dark room in the Albriniens battleship. It was cold and there was lots of junk lying around. He spotted a candle on one of the shelves and lit it with a box of match sticks next to it. Once he saw boxes containing all sorts of herbs it became apparent to him that this wasn’t a room usually meant for prisoners. Adam opened the small spell book he carried, in hopes of finding a spell that could help him escape. After flipping through the book however, only one spell seemed to be of any use, and it was the one Adam dreaded the most.
All the nations had their own signature forms of magic, the Albrines had mainly stone and gem based magic, while Peasala, where the school was located, specialized in alchemy and herb use. The stronger the spell, the more magic it were to take. In Peasala’s alchemy, this manifests in the spell caster having to sacrifice something in order to execute the spell.
The only spell that could help Adam required the caster to sacrifice a physical part of themselves, the more important, the more powerful. The spell allowed for the banishment of any form of magic within a 50 mile radius. The reason Adam never wanted to cast this was the fact that his appearance had always been important to him. At this moment he dreaded the spell even more, for it was the only one that could help him in this situation. He sighed and started gathering materials.
After arranging various herbs in a circle, and he placed his candle in the middle and his spellbook in front of him. He gripped a blade he had found while looking through the piles of junk, and cringed at the thought of what he had to do. His hair was his most prized possession, so he knew it had to go. He sat down and stared into fire, bringing the blade close to his hair. He started humming the spoken part of the spell, closed his eyes, and dashed the blade through his hair.
He quickly threw the hair into the center of the circle, where it caught on fire from the candle. Suddenly, there was a shot of light and an explosion. Adam couldn’t see anything for a moment, and he felt as if he had been on fire for a second. After that moment the room became dim again, however, this time it was lit by holes in the wall. The Albrine stones had shot through the walls of the ship like bullets, leaving holes of varying sizes. When he looked down, only the candlestick remained, the other parts of the spell had been burnt up in the explosion. Adam quickly stood up after he started hearing voices outside declaring that the foreign soldiers were gone. A small smile creeped up on his face, but it was still overshadowed by the loss of his hair. He crawled through one of the holes and landed on the grass outside, and began walking into the direction of the hall he had been dragged out of.
About halfway there, he noticed his classmates running up to him. He got bombarded with questions, mainly asking if he was alright. After a minute or two Isla pulled him aside and asked him, “Was that you?”. Adam gave her a silent nod, and she gave an approving smile back. The group began walking to the school’s main plaza, where the students and staff were to meet at if a major catastrophe were to happen.
Isla looked at Adam and teased, “It’s good to know that you are capable of following directions”. He simply smiled back, for he was too tired to do anything else.
Here’s what my short story looks like in Adobe Audition
Another technique we learned about this “unit” was rotoscoping, which is essentially the act of tracing video frame by frame. We were assigned to rotoscope a clip of some guy doing parkour, but with a creative twist to it. I decided to go with an alien because why not. Personally, this project helped me be able to communicate movement in animation better, as drawing over something like this gets you thinking about motion, and what looks good in animation. I very much enjoyed this little assignment for the most part, the only thing I had trouble with was the amount of four toed feet I had to draw, which wasn’t all that fun.
The film from my step of the process in Adobe Photoshop