The World

This world, our world, is not the same as yours... You understand that, I am certain. Sealed underground, it could be a thousand years or more before anyone happens across these records. Certainly the world has changed in that time. Even in my time the legends have been fading. Monsters, demon, spirits.... These are now things to scare children into sleep. But a few things still remain, and will be eternal. The nature of the world will not allow mystery to disappear entirely. There are still buildings that seem to swallow any light you bring into them. There are still men who can feel when something is not right in their world without a word being spoken. There are still men who act as though created in a time long past when vengeful being would grasp their souls and twist them into evil and hatred. And there is always that ever-fleeting magic of hope that can take even the most horrible of circumstances and shape them into a bright future.

There are those scholars who claim that even these things will disappear... Along with what little magic still remains in this world. After all, the magic that we can control is being swept off the face of the planet... Why not that which we can't? But it is the fact that these magics are rooted so deeply in the very essence of life itself that I do not believe they will fade. You can destroy every dog that is on a leash, but you will never kill all the wolves in all the forests... Or perhaps you must destroy all the trees to do so. We have no control, so to destroy those magics we must destroy the beings that house them... Will mankind go so far as to kill themselves in attempt to destroy what they cannot understand? I doubt it. But I have been wrong about many things before, perhaps I will be wrong about this as well.

In fact, though I now know different, I used to believe that there was no such thing as magic or monsters. Certainly I was wrong there. Magic is everywhere if you choose to look for it, and it will be many years before even the obvious signs are gone. You can ignore it, as so many in our world already have chosen to, or you can join it. There is no fighting magic. To do so will only drive you mad. So when you enter a wood or hold that seems to consume light... Remove the light, and revel in the darkness. Do not fight. If you must ignore it, it will wait for you. You will always know it is there and it will be far harder to deal with then if you embrace it when it is found. So do not ignore it either. And lastly.... Never forget who you are in those magics. They will consume you if you loose yourself in them, just as much as they will if you fight or ignore them. I have seen what happens to such men. And it is because of such men that magic is now considered dangerous. And if you are one such man.... I hope that you find yourself without your life, lying peacefully in another world. For surely.... There is no peace for such men in this world.

Lytus Fa, bard of the Temple Naphearn and scribe to Her Holy Light the Lady Wildcat La'Baarone

Prelude

The ground under Aaron rumbled menacingly as he fled the village. He didn't know how it happened, or even quite what had happened. All he knew was that all of the destruction was his fault. All of the senseless death and murder, all the blood, red blood, fine blood, warm and delicious and so very easy to make flow...

Mortified, Aaron shook himself vigorously and the last of the fur pelt that had been clinging to his skin fell to the blackened stone below. No.... Not blackened. Just black. It was black long before the fires scorched everything around it to ash. It was one of the few things around him that wasn't his fault. His golden eyes peered around the world he had left behind. It wasn't the first time he'd noticed how little was left. The trees were gone, the ground nothing but scarred earth. A glance to his left revealed great long marks in the ground - a reminder of what he'd awoken with his foolish journey.

He knew he needed to leave. The people were dead, burnt and buried, as were all the animals and plants. All but a few buildings were gone. Most things were under a thick layer of quickly cooling lava... And Aaron's back still hurt from where it had burnt it's mark into his flesh. There was nothing left for him here but painful memories and deep wounds. And warm, thick, blood.

He carefully rose to his feet - when had he even fallen to the ground? - and looked towards the great Ka'fien Mountains that surrounded this land. He'd heard stories of dragons crossing, but they were the only creature said to be able to survive the treacherous journey... He was no dragon, but nor was he anything else anymore. Certainly nothing that properly had a name. He set out towards the snowy peaks not knowing his fate - only knowing he had to leave... And that he never would return.