Valdern City was the epitome of knowledge and perfection. It sat on floating landmasses, kept up by ancient magicks created long, long ago. Each landmass was connected to the earth by vast lengths of massive chain so that it wouldn't ascend to the upper atmospheres, and the magicks propelling it were found in mountain-sized amethyst crystals set in huge lake basins where the landmasses had once rested on the earth's surface below. On the surface, there lived the farmers and what the Council of Valdern referred to as the 'peasantry'. The Magickless, some called them. But they were just people born without the gift of magic or outside any magic-bearing lines. On the city's five vast islands, the rich, magical, and all-around upper class lived in luxury. Each of the five sections held a slum, full of mostly laborers and magickless who'd gotten lucky enough to reach the city. Each of the five sections was considered a township, and each had a name. Arranged in a cross formation, the northern section was called Cetra, the south was Burrough, the west was Ghent, the east was Petera, and the center was Duvall.
Each second had its own special features, but the center stood as the city's proper and held the Vascus Library, named for the city's founder and ruling Protector, Vascus Valdern. the library was built in the form of a ring with offshooting studies and classrooms, and in the center stood a vast courtyard and Valdern's crowning Aerial Palace. A small lake stood in the courtyard, with an amethyst crystal and chains holding onto many small landmasses and one central mass that all held the wings, towers, and halls of the Palace. The only access to it was via escort by the palace's guardians. All the other landmasses around the city were connected by huge stabilizing bridges that could be raised in the event of high winds or storms to prevent breakage, or, as had happened to Petera, to quarantine a part of the city. Petera was in the middle of a freak plague and had been separated from the rest of the city. Even with the advanced healing and medicines of Valdern, all that could be done was let it run its course.
In Ghent, our story begins. In the household of a highly-respected scholar and witch named Mars Courier, Sir Courier lived with his two sons, his wife, and their four servants. Lady Courier was a socialite and well-known across Valdern, and a beauty to boot. Their youngest son Paris at sixteen was a star student at his academy and already lined up to attend higher education at the Vascus Library, to possibly one day work there or in the palace as a scholar. But the eldest son Hector was not so. The boys were named for the Princes of Troy, meant to be close, powerful, and gentle. But Hector wasn't the kind of man who wanted to be a prince. He didn't want the power that his family name offered, he didn't want to be the kind of man his father was. At twenty-seven, he was a loose cannon who'd come late into his magicks. The Couriers were witches, but they were one of only ten families in the city that were also Summoners, and they were highly proud of it. But Hector, not so much. He hadn't even recieved his own summon yet, and he was reluctant to have one til his mother confronted him about it.