The Era of Dreams is fading.  That molten fire that burned with the brilliance of a thousand suns has dimmed to a faint flicker hidden in the hearts of my kind.  We guard it carefully now for reality is a miserly god; plucking away at the substance of mist and fog, dragging it to ruin.

            I was born when the Phoenix cried out in the agony of death and dissolved into a cloud of black ashes.  I opened my eyes when the eternal huntress rode her war stallion across the veil of the sky, challenging the moon to battle.  And when I roared the mountains answered my cry as the sun spewed forth fire to match the furnace in my breast and the Phoenix reclaimed its rebirth.

            I flew on wings made of spider silk and morning dew.  Their translucent membranes cast a shifting shadow on the ever-changing landscape beneath my body.  We were the masters of sunbeams and waterfalls and every other transient thing upon this globe.  The substance of spirits danced under our wingspans and the core of the earth heeded our cry.  We were dream-weavers, guardians of power, and shapers of this reality.

            Then they came.  Tiny hairless beings that somehow possessed a clumsy grace.  Reality favored them as its children and they flourished, spreading across the earth.  We retreated into the mountains, content in the halls of stone and cold.  Dreams no longer ruled but they still held sway over this land.  We were content with this.

            Then the wars started.  Blood ran across the earth and screamed out for vengeance.  Phantasmal mists erupted from the ground and clutched at the soldier's ankles with mangled fingers – fingers that only we were able to see.  We heard their horrible cries and beat our wings in agony at the boiling rage that spilled out at the point of a sword.  Even the Phoenix found a tear to let loose across this endless cycle of death.  The horror of it became unbearable.  At that time we took a vow, a promise to prevent what wars we could.  We gathered up the most potent weapons of destruction; hideous things of magic and cold venomous evil.  These we stored away under dream-wards and behind the iron hard bulk of our very bodies.  We shared the earth with these creatures and we would not let them destroy themselves.

            Some of my kind believe we were wrong to help them.  They whisper that it would be best to exterminate them.  The dreams are dying and many fear that with the dreams we too shall fade into ash and dust with not even our bones to leave a memory.  They propose a war on reality.  Those, like myself, that can see beyond the shifting veil of the immediate know that this is fruitless.  There are too many of them, too many minds enslaved with the here and now, craven beings dancing to the strings of the puppet master reality.  But like a lingering breeze, the brush of a butterfly wing, there is hope.  Dreams will never completely die for even now a few are being reborn like the Phoenix in the minds of these humans.  We may fade away into mere shadows of what we were, insubstantial and banished by a quick turn or a trick of the light, but we will remain.  And those with the ability to dream will watch us loop and soar as masters of the sky.