No one quite knew what to expect of the Strixhaven Class of 2021…
Rumours and whispers weaved their way through the majestic grounds of the Archway Commons and in between the pages of Mystical Archives from the The Biblioplex for years before the school year began. Many of the stories were easily debunked, with their questionable sources being gullible, gossiping gargoyles, however, a few of these twisted tales turned out to hold truth, value, and still to this day, lingering mysteries.
Throughout our 700-year history, Stixhaven has almost seen it all: draconian Druids, warmhearted Warlocks, vagabond Vampires, bohemian Bird Sharmans, melancholy Merfolk, and enough Inklings to pen one thousand of these coveted, Strixhaven student archives. But despite the countless famous and fantastical students who’ve honed their magecraft here over the years, the Class of Strixhaven 2021 proved to be an unlikely anomaly, with each of our five Colleges boasting exceptional talents that would impress every one of their College’s founding Elder Dragons.
Silverquill Silver Tongues
“A drop of ink is a nuisance. A torrent of inklings is a menace.”
We begin with our Debate Duelists in Silverquill. This year’s Silverquill students started 2021 with a bloodthirsty bang, showcasing their unique mage skills and expert word sorcery during nail-biting duals throughout the orchestral grounds of The Rose Stage, with only a few spiteful students ending up in the Detention Vortex. Many of us already had high expectations for one of Silverquill’s strongest students this year—someone who hasn’t seemed to escape the bright spotlight placed upon him years before he received his Letter of Acceptance. However, even the strongest of oculomancers couldn’t foresee the pure, raw magic this top student wielded.
We’re of course talking about Killian Lu—an incredible ink duelist whose words are said to create violent, alluring orbs that could take down the meanest Oriq in town. Yarns were spun by Poet’s Quills years before Killian’s arrival, dropping carefully-curated hints of his excellence on the margins of text books and through magical notes passed by eager students. After all, Killian is the son of Dean Embrose, so he’s lived with high expectations his whole life, and despite his father’s disapproval of Killy’s aptitude with Battle Poetry and his insistence on writing the “the next Dual Club”, Killian continues to impress his professors, students, and even his gruff dad.
“Prismari students dance in the tension between passion and perfection”
Prismari are up next, and this year’s Art Club have certainly pushed the boundaries between our own constructs of reality, and the unpredictable haven of the imagination.
They say to never cross a Prismari apprentice if they’re showing any signs of emotional distress—the pure elemental force of their emotions are spectacular sights to behold, yes, but the sheer power they contain may leave you without eyebrows, or worse. Prismari students have always been known to wear their hearts on their sleeves and their art on their robes, and this year’s top Prismari student is no exception.
Following her Mother’s famous footsteps, Rootha Squallheart, daughter of the renowned Samara Squallheart, has already produced jaw-dropping masterpieces to inspire for generations to come, however her professors would prefer a touch more time management on Rootha’s part. Regardless of Rootha’s tendency to obliterate most of her creations, she’s devoted her time to crafting startling pieces of wild, expressive magic that truly reflect who she is, allowing herself to break free from the heavy burden of ancestral expectation, and forge an entirely new art movement.
Not to be forgotten in the Prismari realm are Rowan and Will Kenrith—talented twins and this year's Class Rebels who are rumoured to be royal Planeswalkers from Kylem. They may be twins and share a striking resemblance, however their approaches to honing their unique mage skills are completely opposite, with Rowan showing a love for impromptu duals and Mage Tower matches, while Will keeps his nose quietly buried in a book. Their individual approaches to their studies may be conflicting, but when the twins combine their magic together, they can create perfectly constructed chaos for their opponents.
Witherbloom Without a Smile
“Witherbloom students learn to see death not as tragedy, but opportunity.”
Do you hear the beating of ancient, pest-skinned drums? Or the roar of a swamp monster emerging from the depths of a craggy bog? That’s right—The Black Parade, aka the Swamp Punks in Witherbloom, have arrived, with some students riding on the backs of boisterous bog creatures, while others fly over ahead on their specters.
Traditionally, Witherbloom students excel in any number of banishment, healing, and pest-calling spells, however one of this year’s most impressive Witherbloom mages chose a different pathway to Witherbloom notoriety. While most Witherbloomers would wander the dank Widdershins Hall or collect unsuspecting pests in Sedgemoor, this sharp-witted Dryad found herself experimenting with a lot more than simple micro fungus, venom glands, and murkroot.
The vine-encrusted crown for 2021’s Swamp Queen goes to Dina—a clever and committed mage-in-the-making who can conjure terrifying beasts from interesting places like the Detention Bog. Dina has not only shown a natural talent when it comes to harvesting life essence and concocting petrifying potions, she’s also proven to be a helpful tutor for other Witherbloom students, and can often be spotted in the peaceful marshlands of Sedgemoor to gather ingredients. Just don’t let her make the punch for a party… You never know what kind of potent potation she’ll brew.
Lorehold History Makers
“Those who do learn from history may still choose to repeat it.”
When traversing the neighbourhoods and vertigo-inducing cliffs of Pillardrop, one may find themselves caught up entirely in its intoxicating atmosphere, rich in history and ancient wisdom. Lorehorld Rock Jocks thrive in this atmosphere, calling on the spirits of past ancestors and powerful mages, while keeping a keen eye out for alluring, primitive relics.
Lorehold students have long been known for their fastidious analysis of our bygone failures, triumphs, and inertia, with many secretly wishing to one day end up in the chapters of future history books. But to truly shine above others in this competitive College, getting the highest grades simply isn’t enough, and summoning long-gone, sapient spirits will only get you so far—no matter who you manage to conjure.
Quintorius Kand stood head and shoulders above his peers this year not simply due to his height, but also through his rediscovery of the long-forgotten Loxodon city of Zantafar. How he managed to achieve this while spending untold hours researching in the Biblioplex is anyone’s guess, and while the ancient, lost city enjoyed a breath of fresh air, Quint revelled in the opportunity to connect with his Loxodon descendents.
Lorehold professors have been blown away with Quint’s findings, but due to his magnetic pull towards exploration, and his tendency to blame his lack of homework on his canine companions, he’s unwittingly earned this year’s title of Never In Class. And if the tittle-tattle of Quint’s expulsion from the military academy turns out to be true, then Strixhaven certainly lucked out on gaining a remarkable student.
Quandrix = Excellence!
“The first step toward transcending physical limitations is discarding assumptions about what is possible”
By my calculations, we should now be up to our College of Numeromancy students over in Quandrix, with this year’s Math Whizzes showing you should never get between a Quandrix student-mage and their protractor. You can always rely on a Quandrix rookie to help you with your physics notes and equations, but don’t be surprised when they get hooked onto a multiplication flow that shapeshifts numbers on a page into real-life, towering, geometric beings.
Traditionally, Quandrix students learn how to bend the rigid rules of mathematics, and conjure up abstract, space-and-time-defying beings that would make Albert Einstein faint. Some choose to focus on mana-driven magic that can cause astronomical growth for any spell, while other students dedicate their time to solving, and sometimes creating, new mysteries of the universe. This year’s Top Math Mage and Teacher’s Pet managed to push these margins of expectation even further, all while making sure to carry the one.
If you spotted Zimone Wola studying in Torus Hall or taking in the blinding beauty of The Cultivarium, you may have mistaken her for a younger sibling of a Strixhaven Senior, but in fact, Zimone is simply a Math Whizz wunderkind. After breezing through her early studies at incalculable speeds, Zimone was accepted into Strixhaven a little earlier than most students, and quickly focussed her attention on solving the Vorzani Conjecture — a head-scratcher Quandrix student-mages and professors alike had been unable to solve for decades — which she achieved in no time.
Zimone’s magic shows itself in our reality through intricate fractals, geometry, and dazzling patterns through nature, and although she’s proven time and again to solve some of the universe's biggest questions, the disappearance of her Grandmother, who used to be a Quandrix professor, still remains as a question mark in Zimone’s story.
The Teacher’s Lounge
“Learning to imitate a master is the first step in becoming one” — Dean Uvilda
What would our mages-in-learning be without our dedicated teaching staff? The Strixhaven Class of 2021 were able to shine so brightly this year thanks in part to their guiding mentors, enlightened College Deans, and Professors boasting decades of experience welding all kinds of brutal and beautiful magic.
And despite Isabough and her assistants working so tirelessly at the Biblioplex, students still managed to find their ways into the Mystical Archives, providing them with a wealth of powerful knowledge only a few mages can bear.
Deans Shaile and Embrose managed to keep their heated debates to a surprising minimum this year, while Deans Imbraham and Kianne never quite found a way to settle their mathematical differences. Reports also circulated that Witherbloom’s Professor Onyx — or should we say, Liliana? — had a difficult year with confronting her past, however her guidance over Rowan and Will Kenrith proved to be invaluable.
Our elite security buffs in the Dragonsguard were faced with new foes this year, with masked mages infiltrating our school, threatening to breach the mighty power our Bibliotech contains. However, those sneaky Oriq mages did not stand a chance against our Dragonsguard forces — something they really ought to have kept in mind before trying to strike.
There were whispers in the courtyard and around college dorms about the rare sightings of Kasmina and her trusty owls this year, plus a few notes passed between students discussing the out-of-the-box dark magic Professor Tivash was secretly brewing.
Finally, here’s a friendly note for all Witherbloom students from our Groundskeeper, Yedora: “Kindly clean up after your pests!”
Mage Tower Madness
“Don’t just win the game. Win the crowd.” — Moriana, Mage Tower coach
Our exciting school year was highlighted with fast-paced, action-packed drama of Mage Tower, with Witherbloom growing in more ways than one, winning matches at almost every opportunity through their growth spells and terrifying trample antics, while Prismari players cast brutish sorcery that saw damage multiply too many times to count.
No Mage Tower team is complete without their trusty mascots, and in 2021, the players showcased a new way of creating sticky inklings, slobbering pests, powerful spirit statues, warped elementals, and fractals to make you go cross-eyed. And although the Colleges were fearlessly competing against one another this year, our hearts were warmed by our student-mages connecting outside their Colleges, making new friendships and magical bonds.
The Class of 2021 have already made their mark in many ways on our school: from making groundbreaking discoveries to battling demons and protecting their peers.
Who knows what else these ingenious student-mages will achieve? You can’t believe everything you hear, of course, but this quill-driver believes there may be upcoming tournaments and championship matches taking place very soon, so keep your eyes open, your ears firmly planted on the ground, and your mystical crystal ball polished!
Cassie Rees is a casual MTG player who loves nothing more than playing a friendly game of Magic with a big cuppa tea while streaming “Miscellaneous Battle Music”. You’ll catch Cassie pouring over the $1 Rare Box at her local Good Games, hunting for unique beauties to slot in her heavily theme-based decks. When she’s not playing Magic, you’ll find her hunting monsters and planting watermelons over at twitch.tv/cassiusaway