Astera 14th, 179
Samuel Cross: I Am The Magisterius Half-Demon
by Eugene Harlowe
For the past two years, rumors have circulated on the campus of Magisterius Univeristy that one student has been carrying a dark secret: that he or she was a half-demon. I am here to tell you that the rumors are true. I’ve met the half-demon. He approached me last year and we got to know each other over the course of a research project. Now, at my urging, he has decided to allow me to introduce him to all of you.
Some of you, of course, already know him. Samuel Cross is not an imposing man, but he is a memorable one. He cuts a rakish figure despite his excellent manners. He’s quiet in large groups, but has a quick wit and a keen mind. His instructors—who have long known his secret—speak of him in similar terms as his friends do.
Samuel’s mother was a demon. His father was an unknown human. He grew up in a former military orphanage, until he came of the age when his half-demon nature manifested.
“A demon’s child is like a cuckoo’s egg,” as he explains it. “They’re indistinguishable from humans, until they reach adulthood. Half-demons ‘turn’ quicker, as we approach adolescence.”
When that happened, he was forced out of the orphanage and had to spend several years learning to fend for himself on the road. It was there that he blossomed, under the tutelage of the late “Sir” Banjo Thrupenny Lintwhistle, a bard who perished later in an unrelated quest.
“Sir Banjo taught me to read and write and calculate beyond the basic level I’d learned at the orphanage,” Samuel tells me. “But more than that, he taught me respect. Respect for myself and for other human beings. It’s in that spirit that I have chosen to reveal myself to the rest of the student body, trusting in their decency to treat me no differently than any other person of human blood.”
While he is hopeful that the better celestials of humanity’s nature will win out, he does hold some trepidation. He knows that not everyone is prepared to accept a half-demon as their equal.
“I’ve experienced [discrimination] before, and it was terrible,” he says. “Not just the immediate practical effects, losing a home or being attacked and having to defend oneself without hurting others. There’s an emotional toll that comes with it, a spiritual toll. It wears you down. When people pour hatred over you, it can erode your soul. It threatens to turn you into what they already fear, or something even worse.”
What could be worse than being the monster that others fear him to be?
“Becoming the monsters that they are.”
Samuel Cross is a junior. He is pursuing both a Bachelor of Arcana in Illusion and a Bachelor of Skill in Secrecy Studies. When he graduates, he hopes to become an adventurer like his mentor, Sir Banjo.
“I’d like to see the world,” Samuel says. “But more than that, I’d like to make it a better place.”
Astera 21st, 179
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Note: The Gazetteer has received an unusually high volume of mail in response to our latest issue, and accordingly we’ve allotted more space for reader reactions. Not everything that we received is scribable or fit for public discourse, but we have tried to represent all sides here and to leave adequate space for students who wish to discuss other issues as well. After all, university life doesn’t grind to a halt just because one story made a splash.
The question I would have liked to ask Samuel Cross is why he would come out into the open now after remaining anonymous for two years. If he’d done it for that long he could have lasted two years longer and then none would have been the wiser when he’d left. I’m not saying I’m for or against him, I’m just curious about the timing.
-Gerald McCoy, Sophomore
Because Elves And Dwarves Are Known For Working Together
Anyone on The Gazetteer’s staff—any freshman who can hold a pen—would have been a better choice to interview the half-demon Samuel Cross than that jelly golem Eugene Harlowe. He’s more of an advocate for anti-human causes than a real reporter. Was this supposed to be journalism or a puff piece for pure evil? Wake up, people! Your media is controlled by elven magic and dwarven gold. If liberal rags like The Gazetteer have their way, we’ll all be slaves in the mines or an elven pleasure-garden, if we aren’t offered up as snacks to something worse.
-Mike Stacey, Junior
Smoking Out The Truth
As interesting as it was to read the interview with student Samuel Cross, I feel it was conspicuous that Mr. Harlowe did not ask him about any involvement he may or may not have with the demon who has twice attacked our school. Maybe there is no connection but it seems to me that a half-demon child must have a demon parent. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
-Colin Banks, Sophomore
A Note From The Editor:
Our reporter did in fact ask Mr. Cross if he was any relation to the demon, and the answer was no. I made the choice to axe that line for space because it didn’t seem to be that interesting. If he’d said yes, it would have been a different story. Obviously there’s room to disagree.
-Ed Hart, Editor-In-Chief
Move With The Times
I for one don’t understand all the hubbub surrounding our half-demon student. A man who attends classes for two years without any incidents of violence is not going to suddenly become more dangerous just because we know that he’s there. After all, as he pointed out in his interview, we’ve suspected for a long time. Why would people who were perfectly fine knowing that there might be a half-demon lurking in their dorm or sitting beside them in class suddenly afraid for their lives now that they know where he is and what he looks like? It’s purely irrational and not at all in keeping with the fine intellectual traditions of a top-flight university here. This is the second century, people! Get with the program.
-Mark Edwards, Senior
If I have to read about the doings of suffragists on my campus, I would prefer it to be as part of an arrest report and not a so-called “Campus Happening.” Why do we tolerate this kind of licentious immorality in our midsts? I expect an equal or greater amount of attention to be given to the bake sale by Ladies Against Senseless Suffrage, or I will have to call into question this newspaper’s supposed objectivity.
-Ceridwen LaBelle, Sophomore
A Wolf Among The Fold
Man’s law—even the emperor’s word—-cannot trump the divinely revealed word of Khersis Dei through his incarnation Lord Khersis, and in this word the descendants of demons are irredeemably damned, given over to gluttonous lusts that will surely destroy them, though not before they have plenty of time to do harm to others. We should expel this wolf who enrolled here in sheep’s clothing before he takes us all down to hell with him.
-Brennan Daniels, Sophomore
The Right To Know
I suppose I don’t mind if a half-demon attends university, if he isn’t killing anyone, but shouldn’t we have been informed? If he has the right to go to school wherever he pleases, don’t we have the right to go to a school that doesn’t have half-demons?
-Joseph Kyle, Freshman
Why is anyone surprised that a half-demon would be admitted to a university where half-elves freely and openly roam the grounds? This isn’t the beginning of the end, it’s just more of the same. No matter how many wards are placed around the walls, the gates were flung open wide the first moment the purity of the school was thrown away in the name of so-called “progress.” I don’t give it half a century before our grandchildren are forced to rub elbows with all manner of demihuman and subhuman races.
-Ceridwen LaBelle, Senior
Human Blood, Human Soul
Samuel Cross may be a half-demon, but we need to remember that in the eyes of Khersis there is no such thing as a half-human. The Librum says “I am the Father of all Humanity, all born in Human blood are born in me.” Samuel is heir to the blessings of Khersis the same as any human is, and must be accorded the same rights if we are to call ourselves a Khersian nation and call ourselves good Khersians.
We need to respect each other’s rights, including the right to privacy. Would anyone know or care that there is a half-demon on campus if he’d had some assurance he would be left alone to attend class in peace otherwie?
-Lizbet Bohd, Freshman
The most important thing in the interview with Samuel Cross is the part where it says he is in excellent academic standing and has never been accused of any crime. That being the case, why are we even talking about why this guy is here? Yawn! Let’s move on to something more interesting, like what the administration is going to do about the suffragist ring that’s been infiltrating our campus, especially given the riots in Westphale.
-Michael Stephens, Junior
Hypocrisy Is In The Blood
It’s surprising to hear so much talk of human purity around campus, given how one prominent local family is known to have mixed with all manner of races both humanoid and otherwise before they became “respectable”. Remember that a half-demon isn’t the only kind of hybrid that can look fully human. If we were to try to make this a school for pure humans only, how many of us would really be left?
How Hard, Indeed?
I want to know why so much time and space and ink is spent talking about one student when no one is answering the burning questions about this university’s incompetence. Last spring I received another student’s grades in at least one class for the sixth consecutive semester. How hard is it to tell one person from another, I ask you? I would think that some kind of academic leniency would be offered to students who are victims of such a mix-up.
-Ceridwen LaBelle, Junior
What is the deal with all these groups on campus having protests and counter-protests every other day of the week? It’s really getting out of hand. I don’t want to sound namby-pamby but it seems like only a matter of time before two rival groups get too far into each other’s faces and it comes to blows. I feel like I should be protesting the noise and clutter, but then I’d be part of the problem. Am I the only one who’s here to go to classes and get an education?
Presented Without Comment
Half-demon students, ladies in the men’s library, men in ladies’ dorms… what is this school coming to? The day will come when we shan’t be safe in one another’s beds!
-Julia du Lapin, Junior
The Office of The Chancellor
Dear Sir or Madame,
I have been a loyal servant and teacher to this school since its inception. I was the first (and for decades, the only) female professor, the first (and still only) non-human professor, and I look upon the continuity of my years of service here as a source of pride. Indeed, even before the institution of tenure, I had every intention of staying with this university from its first day of classes until its last, hopefully many centuries hence.
Thus it is with a profound sense of regret that I must now inform you that recent events have me considering for the first time whether I should simply tender my resignation, or stay and fight against the enormity of the changes that I perceive to be overtaking it. Is this place of learning to be a sanctuary for monsters? Is this bastion to human achievement to become a tomb for humans? Will you bring the best and brightest that your race has to offer together and offer them up like lambs for the slaughter?
I know what the law says, but I can’t imagine its framers intended to force you to give shelter and succor to the beast, to the most ancient and dangerous enemy of man. Though I am elf, few living know better than I the depredations of demonkind. My husband, a good and virtuous man whose name I am proud to bear to this day, was slain by a demon, a veritable devil, a wolf who came to him as this supposed scholar comes to you now, clad in the raiment of sheep. It was my husband alone who bore the cost of this error. I ask you, how many will pay with their lives for the vanity of so-called progressive virtues?
Please, I entreat you to reconsider.