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Monday, August 22, 2011

Pigswick Papers...A Tale of Two Schools

*NOTE: During this reading you will notice that "I" and "you/we/our/us" are interchangeable. Where the "I" is denotes my own personal opinions and the "you/we/our/us" is because every wizard of Ravenwood will be put in this place*

Wysteria...What To Expect & What Wasn't Expected

Is the source of real magic a pretty, sparkling fountain set in the middle of campus or a wise, verbally adept, ancient tree that is surrounded by its schools of focus? As a student of Ravenwood, I can honestly say the fountain looks rather ordinary. Now if it turned the water to wine, granted wishes when a coin was tossed in, or spouted advice then I would likely change my opinion.
Of course, I am talking about the rivaling schools of Ravenwood and Pigswick Academy. We are summoned by Merle Ambrose to travel on behalf of Ravenwood to another school in the Spiral called Pigswick Academy. Our objective is to represent Ravenwood as we compete for the Spiral Cup. The first part of our journey is to introduce ourselves to Mrs. Dowager, who will help us get acquainted with everyone and situated in our surroundings while we are there.

Mrs. Dowager begins by sending us on our way to Benedict Glemdemming who will "sort you out". I actually do wish that Pigswick showed how they sorted their wizards into classes. Is it by test like the Ravenwood students take upon enrolling or do they fit you according to your dueling style? I would really like to know.

You are advised by Mrs. Dowager and the Headmistress, Belladonna Crisp, to lock your Ravenwood ring up. The Ravenwood class ring seems to be of upmost importance and yet they want us to put it in an open dresser without locks that is housed in a dormitory shared by our rivals. Yeah, right! "Security, please!"

The History *My own remarks below*

Volume I : Founding
After his unceremonious dismissal from the Ravenwood School of Magic, Sir Bainbridge Pigswick devised a plan. He would create a school of his own, where his unorthodox and less-common philosophy of magic would be taught. Pigswick squandered his inheritance and purchased a deserted vine-covered city on the world of Wysteria. Where others saw a series of wrecked, vine-choked buildings, Pigswick saw a magnificent school of magical arts.

*Here I have to ponder why Sir Bainbridge Pigswick was "unceremoniously dismissed". Based on the history book it is most likely because the faculty of Ravenwood did not agree with his style of teaching (or lack thereof) magic. How long ago was this?

Volume II: Early Days

Pigswick staffed his Academy with instructors drawn from across the Spiral, hired for their willingness to relocate. Rather than the dusty, tried-and-true methods of teaching magic, Pigswick sought new and less traditional approaches. Pigswick's students were among the finest of those willing and able to afford the Academy's exceptionally-high tuition. With lenient entry requirements, Pigswick is the primary school for students lacking obvious magic ability.

*From what I have seen they are still lacking that quality of magical ability. Coupled with instructors who were hired based on their "willingness to relocate" instead of those who could actually teach the art, it's no wonder the students aren't very knowledgeable.

Volume III: Education

The Pigswick method of magic instruction teaches that students should be exposed only to theoretical discussion. Actual magic and spell-casting is discouraged as vulgar and "easy"...the true path to magic is a restful attitude. For this reason, Pigswick students are given no homework, no studies, and spend most of their time taking naps. Well-rested students are eventually able to "figure it out" when it come to the use of magic. Unfortunately, few Pigswick students ever become real Wizards and most enter other trades.

*Seems to me that the students of Pigswick would be a delight to have in the classroom for one Professor Dolores Umbridge. It's no wonder they don't become real Wizards and upon entering other trades, I can only deduce that they were Ember magic students from the start.

Volume IV: Tournament

To spread the word of Pigswick's educational innovations, Headmaster Pigswick started a magical tournament. Students representing all of the different schools of magic from across the Spiral were invited to compete. The Spiral Cup was selected as the grand prize, a fitting symbol of magic supremacy and skill. Though in the past it has been won by Ravenwood and MooShu schools, for many years the Cup has been claimed by Pigswick. Coincindentally, the years Pigswick won the Spiral Cup were also years in which no other schools appeared to compete.

*A contradiction: If Ravenwood or MooShu held the cup, then how did Pigswick come to possess it if, "in the years Pigswick won no other schools competed"?

The Students

Beatrice Wildwind is a Fairy or Pixie type student from Weirwood who is practicing in the Storm/Tempest schools of magic.
Kisai Shugenja is a Samoorai representing MooShu whose school of focus is Balance/Equilibrium.

Nalia Dunestrider comes from a world called Mirage, which sounds just like its name implies; "an oasis in a desert of mystery" which only reminds me of the tales of Aladdin in the Arabian Nights stories.

Randolph Spellshine is the Pigswick Academy's "boy-wonder" whose ego sounds very inflated. He is also very 'pig-headed' (pardon the pun) about his own greatness. When handing out the tournament rules he remarks, "Rules? I don't need any stinking rules. I've got this tournament in the bag". Pompous much? Me thinks, yes.

The Professors & Their Schools

Professor Thaddeus Price explains Tempest magic as the "duality and hidden meaning of magic that like the tide, is about the ebb and flow of life".

Chester Droors teaches Earth magic which is the equivalent of Life magic. He explains that Earth magic is the magic of ground, growth, and the untamed wild. While the "other schools teach flights of fancy and arcane manipulation of ethereal flummery, Earth is the magic of the real".

Professor Ankhu describes Ember magic as being "about warmth and security and that the wizards who study Ember are not very adventuresome, preferring the comforts of hearth and home becoming crafters, doctors, cooks and using the flames of Ember to forge artifacts, treat injuries, and baking".

Edna Fuligin guides wizards in the art of Spirit magic, which "concerns the ghostly state that exists after life". This magic also corresponds with the Death magic of Ravenwood.

Heironimus Bunch tells us that Chaos magic "is the magic of the unexpected, the unusual, the unpredictable and that it defies logic and turns things downside-up. Everything can be found in Chaos except order because it's boring".

Quentin Burble is very obviously a fumbling professor of Frost magic. According to Professor Burble, Frost magic "is fleeting, and quick, a fragile and delicate thing that appears rarely, but forms crystal of amazing beauty and complexity".

Velma Pepper teaches the magic of Equilibrium, which "represents bringing order to the Spiral. The Equilibrium wizards' roles are to create harmony in a natural world full of confusion and disorganization because we are all equal". Equilibrium could be seen as the parallel of Balance magic because Balance magic encompasses all things.

Other Notable Characters

Headmistress Belladonna Crisp-Her role in Pigswick Academy is comparable to Headmaster Merle Ambrose. She oversees the school and sends you on numerous quests because she has heard of your "detective skills at solving problems". And problems they have! Tree men trying to take over the academy. The Spiral Tournament being compromised because the Spiral Cup goes missing. Not to mention the worst: you being framed for stealing the Cup!

Benedict Glendemming-He is the counterpart to Ravenwood's duelmaster, Diego Santiago Quariquez Ramirez. At Pigswick, he is the Master of Arms and Tournament Master. He is in charge of setting up the duels between players for the Spiral Cup.

Prospector Zeke-This world character is still offering his one-day mount rentals. Of course, he would not be Zeke if he was not trying to find misplaced critters. This time he would like for you to find the Wallflowers that are scattered in Wysteria.

Eloise-Another Spiral character easily recognized for her stitching abilities, she is continuing that tradition in Wysteria. It's too bad that she does not have any new fashion for sale to those wizards who are looking for something different.

Hugo Chatterly-The local librarian is a huge Abyssinian cat. He is responsible for the library archives, a restricted section, and he points you towards the Pigswick history quest.

Groundskeeper Verne-This satyr is in charge of the greenery on Pegasus Place and he even has a few quests for you to complete on Tanglewood Way. He also sells, surprise, plant seeds. There are two new types; the bell pepper and the tiger lily.

Derwin Stormsong-He is the very equivalent of Ravenwood's own Darren Whisperwind, who lets you know that the Pigswick folk will cheat and break the rules whenever they can.

Shop Vendors:

Geoffrey Spellsmith-This vendor of the wand/deck/athame shop is a rabbit. It looks like he is currently out of stock on wands, though.

Begonia Woodworth-A rabbit shopkeeper who sells pets and pet snacks. Looks like she is "sold out" of her pets. However, she does have a supply of rank 3 & 4 Death and Balance snacks if you are interested.

Oliver Quickneedle-Another rabbit vendor who stocks robes/shoes/hats for those wizards who wear level 25+ (except for one pair of shoes, Troubling Sandals, for level 20+). Get your fashion on in his shop!

Emmeline Silvercraft-This rabbit jeweler has a few amulets and rings available starting at level  5+ to 23+.

Ophelia Moonreach-The rabbit vendor here runs the crafting and housing emporium. She has plenty of the needed reagents for lower level crafters. Unfortunately, she does not yet have any housing items in-stock.

Town Rabbit Guards:

Lieutenant Roger-He is in charge of keeping everyone out of Tanglewood Way.

Sergeant Harvey-He is also in charge of guarding Tanglewood Way but he tells you that there is another way in if you really need to go there.

Captain O'Hare-He guards the entrance to Pegasus Place and will only admit you once you have shown proper credentials from Headmistress Crisp.

*Anyone else here notice the pattern? The rabbits are hard at work while the pigs get to be utterly lazy with their incessant nap taking?

Pegasus Place...Of Plants & Animals

The Aerie is the stables where the Pegasi are raised and trained to be gifted throughout the Spiral. I wonder if this means that us wizards may receive a Pegasi mount one day like we received Stray Piggles. One can only hope!

It is a shame that we don't actually get to interact with the Pegasi other than finding their Pegasus chow that the goblins stole. It would be nice to ride a Pegasus like when we got to ride a battledrake to Malistaire's tower.

Thanks to Groundskeeper Verne, I am now the Apprentice Gardener of Pegasus Place. I have learned to find Strange Plants, Trim Vines, and create topiary out of plain old shrubs. All of this was accomplished without even looking at the book, Plants of the Spiral for myself.

Additional thanks goes to Kisai Shugenja because I am now a florist, as well. Gardening is surely a big thing here in Pigswick.

In the quest "Portal Remains", Verne says, "By the Great Tree, you've done it! Lord Graustark will trouble this street no longer!" when you complete the Crystal Tower. This stands to reason that he at least believes in a magical tree.

The Duels

The first duel takes place against Bleys Flamerender who is a student of Pigswick specializing in Ember/Fire magic. You must fight him in the Chamber of the Basilisk. Funny, though, since the Basilisk that marks the dueling room looks a lot like a salamander. Not very threatening, if you ask me.

The second dule is with Kisai Shugenja, a balance student who hails from MooShu. This battle takes place in the Hall of the Hydra.

The third duel pits you against Beatrice Wildwind, a student competing from Weirwood trained in Tempest/Storm magic (unless they call it something else in her land).  Your duel with Beatrice takes place in the Hall of the Harpy.

The fourth duel takes place in the Hall of the Specter and has you matching wands (after you find hers) with Nalia Dunestrider, the ice wizard from the deserts of Mirage.

The fifth and final duel has you facing off against Randolph Spellshine, a Chaos/Myth student who is also the current champion of the Spiral Tournament. This battle is in the Hall of the Gorgon, a room that is more lavish than any other you previously fought in.

And the Spiral Cup goes tooooooo....Ravenwood! Did you ever have any doubts?

Not So Different After All

From the "Check This Out" quest: Headmistress Belladonna Crisp needs to give you permission to check a book out of the restricted section of the library. She starts off by saying, "What's this? I send you to help Captain O'Hare and the next I hear from you, you're talking about dispelling Goblin portals? Very well, then. I'm getting a clearer picture of how Ambrose runs his school, and believe me, it's not a pretty picture". Hmm maybe she will speak to him about all those run back-and-forth quests we are given. Probably not , though, and I don't intend to get my hopes up since it apparently  happens in her own school. After all, she is having us do the most running of anyone.

Other World Questions

What kind of world is Mirage anyway? What would the architectural structures look like? What kind of creatures inhabit Mirage? Any particular mounts that would be expected in this world?

How about Weirwood? It is mentioned in the storyline that Beatrice, a wizard, came from there. It also mentioned some of the enemies who snuck in through the Portal. What other kinds of wizards and enemies come from this world?

Empyrea? Another world, maybe? Geoffrey Spellsmith, the deck/wand/athame vendor mentions a shipment of rainbow ink from a Sky-Squid coming from there. There is not really a whole lot to go on since we never actually get to see anyone from Empyrea. Speaking of, what in other worlds is a Sky-Squid? I can only hope it is a menacing monster that we may get to cross wands with in the near future. 

I kinda wish that the Pigswick students used different spells than we have so we can see what they bring from their own worlds. I know that they have magic similar to Ravenwood, but it would have been nice to see variations of the current spells, if not something completely different that follows the formula the professors spoke about. How would you vary their spells so that they are still fitting of their classes?

Drubbing? Is that the same as a Ravenwood wizard defeating a Pigswick Professor? Hmm, it must be cause I totally "drubbed" Proffessor Chester Droors! What other unusual words would wizards from the aforementioned worlds use that we haven't heard of?

Hypothetical Questions/Reasoning

I have read so much about young wizards saying that they would transfer to Pigswick if given the opportunity. Myself, I haven't seen much to convince me to become an exchange student. So, I ask you:

Who would win in a fair competition between these obvious rivals/parallel characters:

Headmaster Merle Ambrose vs Headmistress Belladonna Crisp

Benedict Glendemming vs Diego?

Professor Lydia Greyrose vs Professor Quentin Burble

Professor Dalia Falmea vs Professor Ankhu

Professor Halston Balestrom vs Professor Thaddeus Price

Professor Alhazred vs Professor Velma Pepper

Professor Moolinda Wu vs Professor Chester Droors

Professor Dworgyn vs Professor Edna Fuligin

Professor Cyrus Drake vs Professor Heironimus Bunch

Contest Time

I want answers to my questions even if they are only theorycrafted. Pick a topic from the "Other World Questions" up above and also answer one of the "Hypothetical Questions/Reasoning" to be qualified.

You may elect to do one of the following:

a) When you choose a topic from "Other World Questions" make sure you answer any question that may arise. What does the world look like? What type of wizards are there? What type of creatures exist? What spells do they use? What kind of mounts and clothing is common for that world?

b) When picking the spells topic, keep in mind what the professors have said (read up if need be) about each class. I want a minimum of seven new spells if you choose just one class or you can do one spell for each class. Keep in mind whether these classes probably have minions like Ravenwood does, so include a minion type with the seven spells.

c) For the vocabulary challenge, you can use words that are already in existence as long as they are unusual and not commonplace, everyday words. You can also make up your own words. Pick a world that these words would come from, define them, and use in a sentence as an example. Minimum of ten words must be supplied.

Explain if you would remain at Ravenwood or transfer to Pigswick and give a good reason. Try to persuade me on the school of your choice. Also, you must pick one of the above battles and tell me your opinion on who you think would win, what spells they used, and why they won.


1st place will get a $20 gift card
2nd place will get 5 Hoard Packs of their choice (Wyvern or Dragon)
3rd place will get 1 of each Hoard pack

Entry deadline is for September 3rd and I will pick the winners on my birthday, September 5th.

If your entry is bigger than the Comments box please send your entries to my email at SorceressMiklai@yahoo.com
Please do not leave your email. I will post the winners on my blog with details on how to claim your prizes.
In the meantime, enjoy Wysteria and learn everything you can that both schools have to offer!

Follow Your Own Path


  1. Mirage as they say, is a desert area, kind of in the theme of India. In the center of the world, their is a large and deep oasis. (that you get to go into at some point to do quests, save things, the usual ;D)

    Then you have a kind of jungle, filled with snakes, monkeys, and bengal tigers Kind of a rainforesty thing.

    At some point you are asked to talk to the Sultan (in a Sultans Palace, of course).

    But first you must help to stop the bandits in the oasis village. It has 3 different streets in it, with market stalls all along the main one.(kind of like in Mooshu, with the main safe zone and then three streets off of it, same with the oasis and jungle.) There are people trying to sell their goods, like necklaces, fish from the oasis, etc.

    You then find out that the Sultans adviser is really the bandit's leader and so you have an epic battle with him in order to save the Sultan(and no he does't have a parrot henchman, XD).

    The mount could be one of the jungle creatures maybe. A slithering snake mount would be awesome. Maybe ride on a monkeys back, and when resting he could do a stand up and beat his chest. So maybe more of a gorilla?

    To continue from Pigswick, I think this is maybe where they could bring in the Academy spells(since they didn't in Pigswick). Which could kind of be like them having said, "Oh since it's a tournament, everyone should have to use the same type of spells." (right?) That could be interesting. The boost for these would just have to match with their parallel schools.
    They would probably mostly be Ember, Equilibrium, maybe some Spirit and Earth also?
    Now to me Ravenwood will always be my home. Sure, maybe doing a one school year exchange would be fun, but I would never really want to leave Ravenwood for good. Here *almost* everyone is friendly and happy to help you in your schooling, and as you advance, that friendship grows. And sure, maybe the fountain is the source of magic for THAT world, but it can never replace Bartleby. Sure he may not be able to see perfectly (sorry XD) but he is very helpful and kind to us.

    Then we come to the battle of the parallel teachers. I pick the battle of Drake and Bunch (Myth and Chaos).

    (this is going to go a little Fan Fictiony style :D)
    I can clearly see that Cyrus would win here. No matter how hard Heironimus tried, he would be no match for Cyrus. Cyrus would begin by summoning a minion. Then comes the building up of strengthening auras, surrounding him the power of myth. Heironimus puts up a shield to block the damage of Chaos/Myth. "Haha," Says Cyrus as he reaches his strongest point, "now this ends!" Heironimus throws a wave of Chaos energy that hits the minion, then Cyrus summons the mighty Minotaur. It's blade swipes, getting blocked by the shield, but breaking it. "That was supposed to 'end' this Cyr-" Heironimus cuts off as the blade comes down for a second swipes, taking out all of his energy. "NOOOOOO!" Professor Bunch falls to his knees, and then teleports out of the arena back to his classroom to rest. Satisfied by his victory, Cyrus walks through the Spiral door and returns to Ravenwood. (there were probably some more small spells, here and there too.)

    So even though the powers of Chaos can make things downside-up, they can still not take the full brunt of a Myth school master. Especially when they have an amazing minion there to protect them when the battle rages.
    -Hope you enjoyed reading my ideas (I haven't been to Wisteria yet, so this was mainly theory crafting on my part :D) It was really fun to think up the things. Some of them are not completely described, but that's where other wizards and KI put in their own ideas to fill in the gaps :). Thanks for holding this, it was fun!

  2. You are very welcome! I did enjoy reading and I look forward to what others create, as well. I am so glad that you had fun with it. That is the whole point of the game and any of our blogs...Having fun.

    Good luck in the contest :)


  3. I believe Weirwood would have a lot of resemblence to Grizzleheim. It would seem like a forest world with a few areas in the mountains. This world could be the fairytale world. Not only would you find fairies but also unicorns, centaurs, forest lords, leprechauns and many more creatures. There would also be some vicious enemies inhabiting the areas too such as orcs, giants, goblins, green men, and maybe even fairytale dragons. Weirwood would incorporate many schools into the enemies. The world could also introduce a new form of battling, battles with npcs! Our old friend Beatrice could guide us through the land. Her sister is one day kidnapped by a giant so you go to rescue her but you find the giant not taking any damage you exit out of the duel circle while Beatrice walks in exclaiming a line about saving her sister. She then joins the battle circle after casting a spell that lets the giant be attacked. Now she will help you throughout the battle.
    Weirwood start by Merle Ambrose wanting you to visit Beatrice to check on her but things quickly spin out of control when(in a custcene)a horde of goblins come and invade the fairy kingdom. You go around helping the fairies as they defend the city. Then you meet the fairy queen who asks you to bargain with the unicorns for a special talisman that would protect the Kingdom. After helping the unicorns you receive the talisman but when you return no one is around. You then search the surrounding forest to find that Beatrice and a few other fairies escaped when a mighty dragon attacked. The dragon captured the other fairies and is holding them up in his castle. The dragon is unable to leave the castle now though. Three items were recently created to seal the dragon in his lair, but you must get those items to save the fairies. You go to the Centaurs, Leprechauns, and the Dryads to receive the items. All of them mention a woman in black. You finally get the items but you must get through the gates the only one who has the keys to the gates is a Satyr trapped by the Orcs you fight your way through a mountainous area to get the keys you open the gate and break the seal. You then enter a dungeon with hard puzzles and enemies till you get to the dragon which is controlled by Morganthe. Morganthe escapes with a Dragon horn and you must fight the dragon. After defeating him you free the fairies and save Weirwood.
    The clothes of this world would be fairy like and made of cloth. A lot of the clothes would have very minimal resist but more attack power. Mounts would include small birds, and the dragon that you fight. Spells the enemies would use would be based on nature and spells such as shields would rarely be used.
    I would stay in Ravenwood. The teachers in Pigswick might be great but the students learn nothing all they do is nap. Ravenwood encompasses a larger world with offers more for younger wizards to do. There seems to be no pets in Pigswick either. Plus the hats look like your going to bed.
    In a battle between Falmea and Ankhu, Falmea would win. If Ankhu didn't feel too scared then he would start throwing out weak spells such as Fire Dog and Fire Troll(Opposite spells). Falmea would immediately. Put dots on Ankhu breaking all his shields she would meanwhile be blading up for a giant Efreet that would roast Ankhu to the core. Thank you for reading my ideas!

  4. It appears that I missed the deadline by one day, but I would like to wish you a Happy early Birthday, and let you know that your post was quite interesting. It is always fun to theory-craft!

  5. Thank you for the Birthday wishes Swordroll :) I will be holding more contests sometime soon. As always I hope you enjoy what I post!