The Plot of Nine Parchments
Recently reclaimed from an army of undead soldiers, the Astral Academy has again become a place of learning and magic. One day, a class of seven students is working through a spell test. Just as Professor Butternut declares that they've all failed, an explosion rocks the Academy. Hurrying to the source, the class finds that the room containing the Academy's spell parchments has been blown open, allowing all the parchments to drift away on the wind. Seeing an opportunity for "some illicit hands-on studying," the apprentices set out on journeys to gather the parchments and hopefully complete their own spell books--a shortcut to graduation. As the students set out, all but Cornelius and Gislan are trapped by magical means. By finding each apprentice's staff and location, they can be freed and resume their adventures. Along the way, they discover that the magic of the parchments has infected the local wildlife, giving them great opportunities to practice their new spells. Upon returning to the Astral Academy with complete books of nine parchments each, the students find the school overtaken by darkness. An evil lich named Anastasia is to blame, a girl who died as a student and was therefore never able to graduate. When at last they defeat her, Professor Butternut swipes the parchments and returns them to their proper place, forcing the students to continue their studies legitimately.
Note: There's no specific canon for which students journey together, but many more story elements can be found by playing through the game with different combinations and hearing their conversations.