She turned the yellowing pages carefully, the parchment dry and fragile between her fingers. Script written in black ink covered each page to the nearest inch, reams of overwhelming knowledge and information. On some pages there were diagrams, splattered with ink blots from the artist pausing in thought and letting the quill drip. There were chapters on residences of the Mellicits, family trees spread across many pages, ending in the newest entries:
Ilya Mellicit (9th of September, Year 8271) (DECEASED, 11th of June, Year 8300)
Aston Melova (12th of November, Year 8273) (DECEASED, 11th of June, Year 8300)
Marinia Naemis Mellicit + Valda Sadia Mellicit (identical twins, both 2nd of January, Year 8294)
Will's eyes widened, deceased? The Twins' parents are dead? Both of them, on the same day? Was it an accident...was it murder? He still didn't want to forgive them for what they'd done, but knowing what they'd been through, so young, did it excuse them? They'd known about Will's parents, but they'd never said anything. They know how I feel...of all the people...they know.
Tayna had noticed his shock and looked down at the family tree sadly. 'I know how you feel,' she said quietly. 'It makes you want to try and justify what they did...doesn't it?' She shook her head like bidding the sad emotion away, quickly flipping the page and noticing text underlined in red ink.
'Here,' she said, pointing. 'This looks important.' Will leaned over and began to read.
Of the Ten families, the Mellicit family has remained one of the most powerful and influential, though has been limited by taboos concerning their abilities.
The magick of Spirit grants extraordinary abilities, notably telekinesis, as well as being able to harmlessly feed off of spiritual energies, those within animas, Wanderers, and in some cases, magi.
Alongside these "safe" practices, throughout the reign of past ancestors, accusations have been raised over descendants of Mellicit dabbling in the Forbidden Arts, the worst examples being resurrection, possession and necromancy -
Will stopped reading to look down at Tayna worriedly. 'Possession?' he squeaked.
She shook her head adamantly, 'I wouldn't worry, Will. That practice died out over a century ago. Nowadays, there'd be no way for them to learn how, all of the texts were incinerated and the secrets of the old warlocks died with them.'
Although not convinced, Will continued, Tayna flicking through to the first few pages, giving an overview of the Spirit element.
The element of Spirit is firmly believed to be an integral part in the functions of the world. Every living thing, from plants to animals to magi possesses a spirit reading, the presences of Wanderers - lost, unfulfilled souls - is felt all across Maegard, and has become another source for Spirit sprites to gain power. It should be noted that a spiritual reading differs from a "magickal essence", though the two are intrinsically bound...
Tayna flipped idly through the book some more. 'I don't think we're going to find anything helpful in here, Will. Spirit sprites have always been strong, that's been evident since the beginning.'
'Are you trying to tell me that they're invulnerable?'
'No, of course not. But be realistic. Do you want to fight back against them, or do you want to defeat them?'
'Not defeat them...' Will murmured, 'I just - I hate that they think that they're better than us. We're all Elementals, right? Shouldn't we be working together?'
Tayna scoffed, 'try telling them that,' she grumbled. 'Alright, we'll keep looking. How about instead of looking directly for weaknesses, we find out what they can do, and maybe be prepared for that?' Will nodded eagerly, and Tayna continued to skim-read, stopping when she saw more underlined text under the title: SPIRITUAL PRACTICE THROUGH HISTORY.
Spiritual rites involving the dead have been strictly forbidden since the Magickal Restraint Bill of 8137, and accordingly, descendants of Mellicit have had no experience in such activities since then. Practices of necromancy have been reported, however, throughout history amongst common magi.
A popular belief in the 79th century was the anatomy in which Spirit and magick were linked within the body. Many researchers posited that the two forces were inseparable, and this belief became important later when necromancy became once more popular in the 80th century, spawning illegal rites known as Power Splitting.
This taboo ritual was the process of sacrificing an individual and harvesting their powers in the time between death and ascension. Following the belief that Spirit and magick was linked, by taking control of the spirit, the participants aimed to control the deceased's abilities, going so far as to implant them within themselves -
'Okay, that's disgusting,' said Tayna, wrinkling her nose at the page. 'I thought necrophilia was vile enough, this goes one step further. Irrelevant, of course, but interesting.'
'How is it not relevant?' asked Will. She swivelled the chair around and looked at him inquisitively, raising an eyebrow.
'You don't seriously think that the Twins would do this?' As she observed him closer, at his sickened, worried look. Her mocking expression fell, 'do you?'