Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Dear Citizens, this past year has brought us a tremendous amount of uncertainty and anxiety, so it is with a heavy heart that I report some bitter news: this will be Prof. Stedelen’s final year at the Academy of Occult Arts.
While rumors had been circulating for weeks, all of them had remained unconfirmed by members of the faculty. It was not until last night, toward the end of third period Advanced Magick I, that the ghostly educator made the announcement.
“I have roamed the mortal and spirit realms for nearly six and a half centuries,” he had revealed to his final class on Friday. “I spent the first forty or so years as an accomplished Enchanter, and through fire was I reborn–not much unlike our brilliant headmistress–as the Haunter you see before you today. It has been an honor to pass my knowledge on to generations of witches, elves, and fairfolk, and to experience this undead existence–a second life. I have grown fond of you all, and I will do my best to make these last few weeks of the year as memorable as a specter can muster.”
Douglas Burroughs, a junior witch from the Towne Coven, was among the students who witnessed the professor’s stirring speech.
“It’s hard to imagine what next year will be like without [Prof. Stedelen],” Douglas told the Arcane Citizen during final planning period. “He’s been a constant figure here for generations. He taught my parents and grandparents, and their parents, and so on. Whenever I thought about my future as a parent–you know, escorting my kids to their Freshman Orientation–I always imagined he would still be here. I hate to say it, because [Prof. Stedelen] deserves an eternity of R-and-R after all he’s done for us, but it almost feels like my kids are being robbed of one of the best professors in the dark dimension.”
On the other hand, some students seem to be focusing on the positives, like senior Vulas Elcyne.
“I’m one of the handful here who can say that their final year at AOA was also the final year of Stormy Stedelen,” said the elf from the Merfyn Clan, wiping tears from her eyes. “I get to say that–me. [Prof. Stedelen] and I both spent our final year at the Academy together. It’s bittersweet.”
In his time as a mortal, Timéo Stedelen was taken in by the witch Hoppo, who was taught by Scavius, an infamous witch with so little known about him. Stedelen was renowned for his elemental sorcery; he could summon harrowing hailstorms and shoot lightning bolts from his palms. Even so, the professor managed to bridge the gap between Enchanters and Haunters, particularly spirits.
Nuala, a junior banshee, offered her thoughts to the Arcane Citizen: “Stedelen wasn’t just a role model for Enchanters. Sure, his magickal prowess from his mortal life is unrivaled, but all the old man has is his knowledge of witchcraft. Like all Haunters, his magick has waned over time, so he was able to become an advocate for ghosts and spirits alike. He even spoke out against mummy erasure when Aristotle made the claim that mummies are just zombies with royal lineage. Professor Stedelen might have taught you Enchanters how to hex and curse, but he taught us Haunters how to take a stand against the living majority.”
Prof. Blagojević, a vampire and the head of the social studies department, spoke to us on the topic. “Prof. Stedelen will be greatly missed, but we can give him a proper send off before he retires. The Undead Support Group will host a potluck in his honor on Sunday the twenty-first of February. All students and faculty are welcome.”
Prof. Blagojević has requested that those wishing to contribute in the potluck stop by room E109 and fill out the sign-up sheet. Blood will be provided by the café, so he asks that vampires do not bring their own blood. Again, to all vampires wishing to attend Prof. Stedelen’s retirement party: this potluck is not B.Y.O.B.