Myrddin sat at the rickety wooden table in the centre of his hut, his stew long forgotten. The fire had diminished to a few feeble embers, but Myrddin only became aware of this when the autumn night sent a great shiver down his frail, aged body.

The old man stood up, his bones creaking in compliant. Although he was in good health for someone so old, on some days his joints would protest against every movement. Sighing, he habitually ran his fingers through his coarse white beard. He knew the time for him to retire to Avalon was coming. He longed to feel the warm, safe arms of the afterlife envelop him like a winter cloak, but he could not leave the mortal world yet. He had business to attend to.

Myrddin knelt in front of the red-hot ashes, and with one graceful flick of his fingers they reared up and scorched the chimney with their searing rage. The warlock smiled to himself; he had not had much cause for using magic lately, and he was glad to see that time had not diminished his powers. He knew he would be needing them soon.

As Myrddin lowered his withered hand, the inferno shrank into a cluster of small flames that danced merrily around the hearth, transporting him back to the days when he would lead the Druids in their dances around the bonfire. Myrddin basked in the warm glow of the memories, smiling sadly. If things continued as they were, there would soon be no Druids left. He pushed the thought from his mind; he was sure that the bad times would soon come to an end. He knew he was not far from finding someone to pass his knowledge on to—he could feel it in the flames. The very earth was urging him on, willing him to continue his search.

And he would. Myrddin knew he had no choice; leaving this world without passing on the ancient knowledge of magic would not go down well with the gods and spirits of the forest that he called home.

Myrddin knew he would soon find his successor. It was only a matter of time.

A/N: Well, here's the prologue to my new story. Sorry it's so short, but I was suffering from writing withdrawl symptoms and had to upload SOMETHING. I hope I'm not the only one who gets like that XD For anyone who's wondering, Myrddin is the Welsh form of Merlin, and I wanted to make the story as original as possible so I'll try to use the Welsh/Cornish/Old English forms of all the names. If anyone speaks any of these languages then please don't hesitate to correct me when I (inevitably) make a mistake :P Enjoy the story!