We’re still catching our breaths from Tales from Avistrum: Endgame this past weekend, and we bet all of you are, too! We’ll get to work on providing a full recap of the events soon, but read on for the short version. Hint: there’s a big surprise on the House Cup!
At opening ceremonies, Headmistress Kobiyashi dedicated a portrait in memory of our dear friend Fineus the Leprechaun, and initiated a manual lockdown of the school, preventing deadly magic from being used within its walls. Confederate Johnny, who had been with us since the events of Worlds at War, asked students via a letter to sign his muster roll and join his company of soldiers, where each student received a star to signify his or her membership.
Saturday morning, we watched through a thaumaturgic portal (a magic mirror) as Simon Drake sent The Soldier against the school, destroying the fountain of the school’s founders in the courtyard. Professor Boudreaux recognized The Soldier as a warped form of Johnny and went to confront him. Confederate Johnny also went out to confront his twin. In order to save Aleator, Johnny Reb charged the Soldier, and the two disappeared.
The Quidditch Cup was a thrilling affair this year! Last-second upsets happened in both semi-final matches, and Honner from Enigmus won over Galen from Parador in the finals.
The dueling championship Sunday morning was similarly tense. After fierce battles back and forth, Shadow from Colubrae finally won her second consecutive champion’s sash after beating Tori from Parador in a battle of prefects.
Later Sunday morning, classes were disrupted as the Boogeyman attacked with dozens of Drake’s minions and Dementors. Once again we watched through the mirror as Professor Dowling and Secretary Aberfoyle went out to do battle with him, and nearly lost, despite the mysterious Elizabeth also joining them on the field of battle. As Aberfoyle and Elizabeth were slowly succumbing to the Dementor’s Kiss, Clark remembered from his childhood how to finally defeat the demon. He summoned for the students to use the Patronus Lanterns they had made in his class to amplify his own patronus, which drove the Dementors away and banished the Boogeyman to a far-off dimension.
Sunday afternoon, Drake finally made his own appearance to make good on his threat to make the school bow before him or be destroyed. Finding his wand ineffective due to the lockdown when he tried to kill the Headmistress, he instead faced Dowling and Aberfoyle with swords. Despite their best efforts, Drake’s many years of training going back to his days as a Conquistador were too much.
Drake revealed that he had destroyed the Fountains of Youth himself, claiming that there “need to be rules in war.” However, he still had the star burned into his palm which he used to control Johnny. As he was about to summon The Soldier to finish his work, he was disrupted by Persephone, his former disciple, who begged to return to his service. As Drake softened to her pleading and took her hand, she murmured a spell to steal the star from him, revealing that it was a ruse. Not impressed, Drake performed his own spell to return the star, and control of Johnny, to himself.
As Drake was about to strike Persephone for her transgression, Johnny’s disembodied voice echoed through the air. Johnny had figured out that Drake’s connection to him ran both ways, and called on the students to help him take Drake into the Void, where we would be destroyed. As the students pointed their stars at him, Drake found himself helplessly pulled by an invisible force into the archway that led to the Void.
Once again, the mirror came to life, and we watched as Drake was destroyed by the forces within the Void. We also got a surprise, however: we saw Johnny re-united with his friend Alain, Aleator’s father, and finally getting to meet Betsy Ross, who sewed the flag that controlled his destiny. Johnny was finally re-united with his family, and was at peace. Aleator expressed his pride and immense sadness at Johnny’s sacrifice, and everyone was sad despite the defeat of Drake.
At closing ceremonies, the students surprised the faculty by launching into a heart-achingly beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful” in honor of Johnny and his sacrifice. As everyone wept, they paused for a moment of silence in honor of the brave soldier. However, Honner, who had been so close to the ghost, found that something had appeared under his chair – the original flag which bound Johnny to his country, whole and intact. Secretary Aberfoyle implored Aleator to summon Johnny back using the artifact so they could thank him for his courage. However, Aleator decided that his dear friend had earned a rest, and lovingly folded the flag back for storage.
Turning to happier news, the Headmistress recognized the tournament champions, and it was time to reveal the winner of the House Cup! However, when the scores were revealed, there was a surprise: Parador and Colubrae were in an exact tie with 615 points! When the same thing had happened in 2005, Parador held the tiebreaker of most tournament points as the winner of the Quidditch Cup. However, with the addition of the Dueling Championship, both houses had the same number of tournament points at 150 each. The Headmistress announced that, in light of this, and in the spirit of school unity, the two houses will be joint champions!
The Headmistress dropped another bombshell, however. Because of recent events in Japan which have affected her family, she announced her resignation with a heavy heart. She nominated Professor Boudreaux, her deputy, to succeed her, but he declined, wishing to spend his time continuing as deputy and getting used to being alive again, having only been resurrected for a year. He nominated Professor Dowling to return to the post. Dowling was reticent, but with the whole faculty encouraging him, he accepted, and the outgoing Headmistress and incoming Headmaster together dismissed the students until next year.