It was hard being a woman in a domain dominated by men, the domain of magic. It was even harder when your father was the great sorcerer Alexend, a sorcerer of both great power and great position within our society. There were great things expected of me, but at the same time there was an expectation that I wouldn't fulfill those thing, being a female and all.
It is uncommon for sorcerers to have children these days. I always saw that not as some biological constraint, but because many sorcerers are fairly arrogant, and not the sort of person a woman would want to have a child with. We were a people set in our ways, and one of those ways was assuming superiority to others simply because we could work with forces so few others could. Not many women really wanted to stick around for long with a man who would look down on you as if you were worth little more than the dirt beneath your fingers. I think my mother only stuck around so long because my father is great at pretending that he actually cares about others at times. But even she left before long.
However, the fact that most of the children born to sorcerers are male, and that of the females many do not inherit the gift might in fact be a genetic oddity. I had been told that my father had been very disappointed that I was a female. He had always treated me with a great degree of distance, despite being the only family I knew. The only time he really showed great interest in me was the day my powers manifested, at 12 years of age, and I nearly burnt down the house.
That day I had his full attention, as he made me attempt various things, all with the power. It was when he was satisfied that what I had done wasn't a fluke, that I really did carry the gift within my blood, that the distance resumed. Suddenly he was out of the house, attempting to secure a mentor for me from his rather proud and arrogant cohorts. It was frowned upon to mentor your own child, and even if it wasn't, my father was a busy man who rarely took an apprentice.
There was only one among the sorcerers who would take me on. Gerome was always a bit of an eccentric among our kind. For one thing, he had a wife, who had stayed married to him for a good 40 years. He seemed to generally care about others. For another, he was always trying to do impossible things with his powers. Impossible things that normally ended up with a visit to someone gifted in healing.
And his training of me was a little eccentric as well. We didn't do things in order, and I was soon learning high level magic before I was taught the basics. But learn I did, in the 6 years I had been with him. I still had a slight issue with controlling the magic at times, but there was much I could do. There were whispers among the other sorcerers, about the power I would one day wield, and the worry that it could be wielded by a woman. However, there were still years to go of my apprenticeship, and no guarantee I would ever fully master control, so the other sorcerers did not see me as that much of a threat, yet.
"Now a little hotter Mariena. Make the flame climb higher," Gerome urged, both of us focused on the flame in my hand. A few seconds later, the flame climbed. "Okay, now a little more into it girl. But remember, keep it under control," Gerome urged again, as once again I made the flame climb higher.
Suddenly my attention slipped, and the flame jumped from hand to a nearby branch, promptly causing it to burst into flames. Gerome sighed and waved a hand, dispersing the fire before it could burn more of the forest surrounding his house. It was another eccentricity that he lived in the forest, a little way away from the village where the majority of our kind currently resided.
"You can control great power Mariena, but you let your concentration slip, and then so to does the power. I know you're tired, and that I work you hard, but you must learn control if you want those old codgers to take you and your power seriously."
I nodded, determined to try again