This is the story of a group of students and professors in the Mages' College of Summershore. In the college, professors carry out secret experiments, the Dean sends staff members on secretive missions, and the students and professors must learn to coexist.
"When you are experimenting with the dark arts - effectively playing with an extremely volatile fire - it is of the utmost importance that you be careful and immediately stop casting the spell, enchantment, incantation or summons immediately if anything begins to go awry," Castien repeated for the third time as he hauled the student out of the small room and proceeded towards the infirmary. He had caught the boy - this particular student, consistently - sneaking into his private study and casually experimenting with his notes. "This magic is far beyond your understanding. If you continue to sneak into my study, I will have to arrange to have you expelled. If you wish to investigate this type of magic in a safe, supervised environment, then I would highly recommend that you apply for my advanced magics course net semester. But please, from now on, save me the trouble of hauling your sorry hide down to the infirmary once a week."
"Yes, sir," the student mumbled as Castien carried him, supported under both arms, into the infirmary and placed him on a vacant bed.
"Miss Etris, I do apologize for the late visit," Castien explained to the nurse as she approached looking furious, "but once more the boy has broken into my study to play with my private collection -"
"Oh, it's not you I'm upset with, Professor Elenviel," she said as she began tending to the student, "It's this idiot. Really - playing with magic as advanced as that and expecting to get away with it, when you haven't even finished the basic dark arts course yet? What were you thinking?"
Castien, realizing suddenly just how late it was and how tired he was, said to the nurse as she began to quiet down, "Miss Etris, I'm afraid I must take my leave - I trust the boy is safe in your hands."
"Of course, of course," she replied. "Off to bed with you, Professor."
Castien sat once again in front of his desk, poring over his book, trying to figure out how to make the magic work in his favor. I will control this beast, he thought, If it's the last thing I do.