I'm new here, but I would really appreciate it if someone took the time to critique my story. It ended up a lot longer than I expected it, so apologies. Please tell me what needs improvement and what I can do to generally improve the quality of the story. (I posted versions of this story on another site called NationStates, but that site deals more with roleplaying). Also reposted this because I linked to the Naruto wiki
So I have a jumbled "story" where I have the main 3 characters, and an organization called the Shadow Assassins, which are the main antagonists. As the name implies, the Shadow Assassins are assassins, each joining the group for various reasons (whether it be for refuge, money, boredom etc). The world also has 8 types of magic, but the most important here would be Elemental Magic, Bloodline Magic, and Esoteric Magic. Esoteric Magic are magical abilities that only that one user has access to, Elemental Magic manipulate the elements, and Bloodline Magic are powers passed down through a family. The main character, Annora Allegrodo, is a member of the Allegrodo family, a dynasty ruling over the country of Asardia for over 400 years. The Allegrodo are the only known bloodline to produce members with an affinity for Lightning Magic, and even then, Lightning Mages are incredibly rare. Annora herself had no lightning magic, but her twin brother, Ezekiel, did. Other houses were becoming more and more hostile to the Allegrodo due the fact that the founders of Asardia established a form of democracy, which slowly changed into an absolute monarchy. The founders of Asardia were Dyfores Allegrodo, Yucella Esquoria, and Baesu Sayuga. Those three formed their respective houses (Allegrodo, Esquoria, and Sayuga) and created the first government of a recently unified Asardia. Fast forward about 5 centuries, and tensions are growing between the three houses because of the Allegrodo becoming the most dominant. All this finally ignites into a coup that massacred most of the Allegrodo, except for Annora and Ezekiel. Surprisingly, several members of the Sayuga (revealing themselves to be related to Ezekiel and Annora) assist them in escaping the nation. Despite the fact that the twins were 13, the Esquoria didn't want to take any chances and decided to send their mages to kill Annora and Ezekiel. They succeed in imprisoning Ezekiel, but Annora escapes and finds refuge in a distant island nation called Mynira. On the way, Annora is convinced by the people who saved her (they just now revealed themselves as Amelia Sayuga, and her father, Julian) to change her name and appearance. Annora becomes Karina Sayuga, and spends the next 6 years in Mynira training in Water/Ice Magic, Earth, and Fire Magic at a prestigious Academy of Magic in the capital of Mynira.
Beginning of story
So with all that out the way, this is where the story really begins. Karina (now 19 years old) is one of the top 3 students at the academy, right ahead of her best friend Amelia Sayuga (18) but behind a student named Arlo Barotovi (also 18). The Academy holds a tournament for the soon to be graduates to see how well they do against their peers. Karina was a top student since entering the academy, and has become arrogant over the years. She breezes through the first few rounds of the tournament, and in the final round, she faces Arlo. Amelia was knocked out the tournament, and began researching Arlo to help Karina win. The Sayuga family has vasts libraries on pretty much every topic, and after days of research, she finds out that the Barotovi are a family of elite assassins under contract with the Myniran government. Amelia informs Karina about this, but she brushes it off and doesn't give it much thought. During their battle, Karina is crushed by Arlo, who uses his Wind/Smoke to counter her Fire and Earth Magic. Karina had developed a fire magic technique known that was creatively titled "Explosion". She resorts to that technique, but that is countered by Arlo, who reveals that he also is adept with Fire Magic, and that is the source of his smoke. Karina was devastated after the loss, and it didn't help that the academy officials put her and Amelia on a team with Arlo to help out the people across the nation. Arlo is also arrogant, and mocks Karina during their first mission to help a blind water mage. The two argue constantly, but Amelia, who is now fed up with them, decides to help the blind mage herself and leave them behind. After the mission is completed however, the blind mages asks all three to meet her at a river. It is here that the first instance of Esoteric Magic is revealed. The blind mage tells Arlo, Amelia, and Karina that she's able to see into people's futures. There, the blind mage (who is also known as the "Fortune Teller") informs Karina that there is someone she needs to help on the mainland continent near a mountain. That person is related to her and has survived a great trauma, and also gives her a few riddles and prophecies. She also tells Karina that she only has vision when she's looking into a person's future (the unfortunate side effect of the Fortune Teller's ability is that she goes blind after repeated usage). After digging around, Karina guesses that the person needing help is her brother, Ezekiel Allegrodo. The Myniran officials heard of a group of elite mages known as the Shadow Assassins, and sends the group to help out in unmasking these mysterious individuals.
Karina, Amelia, and Arlo have arrived in the Erimous Confederacy, a desert nation that had a high ranking official assassinated. After looking around a bit, they stumble across a suspicious hooded mage. Amelia, who is a Sensor (meaning she can detect the presence of others and how they feel) confronts the mage. He looks at them with strangle golden eyes, and immediately summons a giant scorpion. Karina manages to take out the scorpion with her Explosion Magic, and then they fight the hooded mage next. They learn that this mage is adept in Sand Magic, and toys with all three of them, before binding them (in a technique similar to Gaara's Sand Coffin), and escapes.
After some more battles here and there with random mages, they meet two more mages at a mountain. Amelia points out that both mages were wearing the same outfit the hooded one was, and speculates that they ran into the Shadow Assassins. As soon as Amelia says that, both mages (who where hundreds of feet away) attacked. One of the Shadow Assassins manages to catch Karina off guard, grabs her, and just disappeared with her, leaving the other Assassin to fight Arlo and Amelia. Amelia and Arlo double team the Assassin, but are held back quite easily. However, with the Assassin focusing on Arlo, Amelia grabs the Assassin's arm, and attempts to freeze it using her Ice Magic. Arlo then tries to choke him using Wind Magic, but a strange blue aura surrounded the assassin and he flies away and lands on a cliff overlooking the battlefield. He burns the ice off, and uses what appears to be Lightning Magic to return after healing his arm. Amelia is ordered by Arlo to leave and find Karina while he faces the Lightning Mage alone. They fight, and this time, the Mage dominates Arlo with quick strikes. Right before he finishes Arlo off, he is summoned by a red haired mage who calls him back with her.