And the dream came. As it always did. To the place where the mind goes while the body rests, rolling in like a wave and stealing her away.

She was flying alone, yet not alone. Surrounded by power she could not begin to fathom. Racing along invisible paths to places never seen. Reaching out to sample the delights of wondrous lands only to be swept away at the last moment. Endlessly moving on, always searching. For what she did not know, for the dream faded before her quest did.

Always she strove to see more, hear more, understand more, but always thwarted in her attempts. Never advancing further than she had on the first night the dream had visited her almost a month before.

But tonight was different. Tonight she sensed something more. The power that enveloped her was emanating from someone or something. She was traveling with a being. A being whose power was immense. A being that held her destiny.

The realisation frightened her. Invisible, yet invincible cords bound her to the wielder of the power. She prayed silently that the being was benevolent and twisted around searching for it. She could see nothing. It was then that she realised that it was beneath her. She had but to look down. She took a deep breath and lowered her eyes………
She woke up to see only what the moon’s light shone upon her room.

It was the same moonlight that bathed the Arch Mage Brolin. It danced upon his snow – white hair and beard as he sent his senses along the Na-ar, feeling the ripples of magic as others with the Power used their skills. One such ripple caught his attention. Unlike the ripples normally formed when magic is called forth its pulse was erratic.
Quickly, before it faded, Brolin sent his senses out to the ripple gently following the thread of power back to its source then widening his senses until he could identify the location. Tomorrow he would send one of his own to retrieve the Newcomer.

Brolin sighed and thought back through the many years he had walked this earth, guiding and teaching those born into the Power until they too could wear the mantle of a magician. Very few were the inheritors of the gift and even fewer had the strength to pass from novice to magician. Of those that failed most turned their backs on the Na-ar, returning to their former lives. Some toured around the markets and fairs plying their small skills to divine the future or entertain children with theatrical tricks. The remainder devoted their lives to healing the sick.

An involuntary shudder racked his body. What was it he felt? Brolin widened his senses delving into the fabric of the Na-ar itself. There it was, faint, too faint for even most of the magicians to detect. The stench of evil pervading and penetrating.

Brolin quickly closed himself from the Na-ar and gathered his cloak around him to ward off a chill that bit deeper than the night. Compared to the chill of dread that the tainted air gave him the arrival of a Newcomer was no more newsworthy than the arrival of the first thaw.

Another also witnessed the awakening, but unlike Brolin was not so quickly diverted. There was something different about this Newcomer, something significant. Senses were alerted to the fact that this Newcomer’s awakening was of far more importance than any other single event in the past millennium.
“It is come.”
As if in agreement a sharp wind suddenly blew across the land.

© Danielle Stephens


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