Disclaimer: This doesn't entirely belong to me, as some of the characters in the story were created by other people. And so when these characters are introduced, I will acknowledge the creator and thank him or her for contributing. For those who have read the first version of this story, be prepared for some changes. For those that are reading it for the first time, please enjoy and be sure to review.

Prologue

Those that came to see her could not look her in the eyes. It was not that she was frightening or unpleasant; it was the intensity that glowed in her blue orbs that caused all to turn away. Many came to her for advice from all four corners of Galroth. Her wisdom was great, so much so that even the leaders of the four corners would seek her for council. She treated all her visitors with respect and kindness and they gave her respect in return.

When she was not being visited, this lady resided in her cottage, set on the side of a solitary mountain in the center of Galroth. The lady was tall with raven hair that spilled down to brush below her hips and three blue eyes. This third eye was set in the center of her forehead and never closed, even when she was asleep. She wore a simple green dress and no shoes. She had a companion that lived with her, a boy of fifteen with black hair and dark eyes. Neither of these two had any known names and their origins were also unknown. They simply were.

The woman was sitting on her porch one afternoon. It was early spring and a slight breeze played with the woman's long tresses. Footsteps alerted her that someone was approaching but she didn't stir. She clasped her hands in her lap and waited. A few more minutes brought her visitors in view. She frowned slightly when she saw the three men. She stayed seated until the men had made their way to her porch. She gracefully rose to her feet and greeted the men with a smile, though she wasn't entirely pleased.

"Welcome, my friends!" she exulted, descending the steps. "I'm so pleased to see you all."

Standing to her right was a man almost a foot shorter than her with tanned skin and tousled blonde hair, his eyes gray. He wore a brown jacket over his bare chest and dark green knickers, black boots on his feet. Next to him was an elf, slightly taller but still not as tall as the three-eyed woman. He had a pointed face, his ears extending about six inches. His dark green hair fell below his shoulders and he had flashing brown eyes. He wore a hooded traveling cloak over his longcoat and pants. Standing to the woman's left was a red-haired human whose height passed her by a few inches; this was quite a feat, as the woman was six feet tall. This dark-eyed redhead had on a dark blue cape, a red jacket with a white shirt underneath, black knickers and brown boots that came up to his shins.

"Welcome, Captain Fronce," continued the woman, squeezing the blonde's hand. "Welcome, Lord Jelitt." She shook the elf's hand. "And welcome, Master Yurden." She took the redhead's hand in both of hers. She leaned towards them slightly. "I thought we agreed you would come alone," she hissed at him. He ignored her. She backed away and stood before the three of them again. "To what do I owe this honor? It is rare to see the three leaders here at the same time."

"We are here to discuss the barbarians with you," answered Lord Jelitt. "If you would allow us a few moments of your time."

"Of course. Please come in." She motioned for them to enter her house. She allowed Fronce and Jelitt to pass her, but grabbed Yurden's sleeve. "What are they doing here?" she demanded. "You were supposed to come alone."

"If we're going to do this, then we're going to do it right," he said. "They were going to be involved anyway." He studied her face for a moment. "Or are you trying to protect your precious barbarians?"

"They are not barbarians, Yurden. And I'm not protecting them; I just don't want this to become a mad slaughter."

"The barbarians will make it one, no question of that. They're nothing but savages, the lot of them." He swept away before she could protest. She sighed heavily and followed after him. Captain Fronce and Lord Jelitt had already taken seats when she entered the small cottage. It was only one room, complete with a bed and fireplace and two chairs. Yurden plopped down on the floor and the woman sat on the table.

"What about the Kaeffans would you like to discuss?" she asked them.

"I am aware you and Master Yurden have already discussed this problem," began Lord Jelitt, "and I agree with him that we need to strike at the barbarians once and for all. Oedran will be ready to send out its best warriors to help."

"Cahad will help too, any way we can," added Captain Fronce. "I know most of us are just simple fishermen and merchants, but we've got some strong fighters too."

"Our people are suffering under their hands," said Yurden. "Many innocent lives have been taken away by the barbarians over the years, and we've had enough. Ramsa and Abe have already rallied their people; it's time to fight back."

"Albert, what of the merpeople?" questioned the woman.

"Talking to the king didn't do me much good," answered the captain with a sigh. "This has been going on for centuries but he acts like it hasn't, just because it happens on land instead if in the water." He shrugged his shoulders helplessly.

"The lizard men are helping," noted Yurden. "We will have plenty of fighters."

"Go, then, and tell your people to be ready tomorrow." They bowed their heads and rose to leave. Yurden stayed where he was until the other two were well out of sight. He pushed to his feet.

"Jintari will have as many wizards as are willing to go. The Frozen Lands will crumble." He turned to leave. He paused; he thought he heard a noise coming from outside. He raised a hand to the window and a body came crashing through it, landing hard on the wooden floor. It was the fifteen-year-old boy that lived with the woman. He wore a one-piece green shirt and pants with a rope serving as a belt. There were fresh cuts on his body from the broken glass.

"How much did you hear?" demanded the woman. The boy shakily got to his feet, but remained silent. His eyes were wide and he was shaking slightly. "Answer me!"

"I heard you talking about the Kaeffans," he responded. "I heard the leaders from Cahad and Oedran saying that they would attack the northerners, and Master Yurden said his wizards would help. But I don't understand why you would allow this! Aren't you allies of the northerners?"

"Be silent, boy!" snarled Yurden. "How dare you speak that way to your elders?" He slapped the boy hard across the face. "Now you will forget what you heard today and never speak of it again."

"I will not!" retorted the boy. Yurden shoved him against the wall.

"Fine. Have it your way, fool." He roughly grabbed the boy by the arm and threw him in the broken glass. He raised both hands over the boy's body, and he started to writhe, crying out in pain. Cuts from an invisible knife slashed at the boy's skin.

"Stop! Stop!" ordered the woman. "He's had enough." Yurden snorted and hauled the boy to his feet. He threw him out the front window and the boy's body went tumbling down the mountain. "Don't! Set him down in the forest!" Yurden shot her an icy look but did as he was told, levitating the boy's unconscious body south to Oedran's forest.

"He'll die anyway."

"I wouldn't think so," said the woman with an unreadable smile. "He's very strong for his age."

"Why didn't you let me kill him?" demanded Yurden.

"Because," she answered, fixing her eyes on the south, "he is my son."