Mother of Learning
by nobody103 begins with fifteen-year-old Zorian Kazinski, a studious, solitary young man, waking on the morning he is to catch the train to his third year of training at Cyoria's Royal Academy of Magical Arts. A man with no idea that in a month's time, he would find himself embroiled in circumstances far beyond the capacity of any fifteen-year-old mage-in-training to deal with ... and then find himself once again waking on the morning he is to catch the train to begin his third year at Cyoria
The story is presently incomplete — new chapters have been posted at irregular intervals (every couple of months, circa mid-2013) since the story began in October, 2011.
This work contains examples of:
- Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Many cities choose to seal off parts of the Dungeon (an underground maze of caves and tunnels) to serve as sewers.
- Arranged Marriage: Kirielle's husband has already been chosen six years in advance.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Taiven is a just-graduated Magic Knight looking to get apprenticed as an explorer and shameless in her ability to railroad through anything in her way.
Taiven [barging into the room]: Roach! You're just the man I... wait, am I interrupting something?
Taiven: Never mind, it will only take a minute. [shoving a newspaper into his face] Did you see this?
- Chekhov's Armoury: There are innumerable details in the early chapters whose importance only come to light many, many chapters later.
- Dungeon Crawling: One common source of employment for mages and students of magic is exploring The Dungeon (also known as the Underworld or the Labyrinth), an enormous underground maze of caves and tunnels. Appropriately, the deeper one travels, the stronger the magic and the more dangerous the inhabitants.
- The Empath: Entertainingly, Zorian, probably the most misanthropic character in the setting.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Although, unusually, the central character of the loop is not the protagonist, but Zach Noveda, one of Zorian's classmates.
- Kid-anova: Among Zorian's classmates is Benisek, a boy whose primary occupation at school is the pursuit of girls.
- Literary Allusion Title: Repetitio est mater studiorum — repetition is the mother of learning.
- Magic Knight: Taiven is a combat mage who has been training in nonmagical combat since she was a little kid.
- Mundane Utility:
- Mixed in with the dramatic battle or creative magic are spells that do such useful things as "keep off the rain" and "make a floating platform which can be used to carry things".
- Among Zorian's tricks is picking mechanical locks by sensing and moving the tumblers with his mana.
- The Nicknamer: Taiven calls Zorian "Roach", and her two partners in Dungeon Crawling "Grunt" and "Mumble".
- Power Incontinence: Zorian's empathetic powers cause him headaches whenever he is stuck in crowds of people.
- Sarcastic Confession: Going backwards in time is widely known to be completely and utterly impossible — so in Chapter 16, when Taiven asks Zorian how Zach, a third-year student like Zorian, managed to slay a dragon, he goes ahead and tells her, knowing she won't believe him. Unfortunately — or perhaps fortunately — his sister and his roommate do.
- The Unfavourite: Zorian's lack of personal charm and disinterest in the family business are heartily disapproved of by his parents.