A short story by Patricia Duffy Novak about an apprentice mage named Kaitlyn and her initiation ritual for white magic.
Tropes found in the story:
- Future Me Scares Me: The would-be white mage Kaitlyn is shown a vision of herself as a ruthless Knight Templar presiding over a sunny but desolate wasteland. She chooses a different path of study.
- Light Is Not Good: The the land over which white mage!Kaitlyn presides is decidedly sunny...but it's also a cold and desolate wasteland where no plants grow or wildlife live. The vision scares the real Kaitlyn right out of studying white magic as she'd originally intended.
- Pure Is Not Good: The apprentice wizard protagonist is determined to specialize in "white" magic, which draws power from the forces of good. Her initiation ritual shows her that if she does so, she'll become the Knight Templar tyrant over a cold and desolate (if sunny) wasteland. She's horrified and goes with the far-less-defined "gray" magic, which she'd previously outright scorned, instead.