Prologue

The two beings stood on the top of the central mountain, looking over the large island. To a normal person, the view would have been just another landscape, albeit a spectacular one. To the two standing with their wings folded, the view was far, far more.

"I didn't truly believe that you could achieve this." said the taller of the two. "You have evaded the attention of your former overlord and managed to construct this."

The other one looked round, his eyes seeing the complex yet stable network of magery and spell-casting which surrounded the island.

"Without your help and expertise, my friend, I could not have done even a fraction of this." he said. "You taught me the magics of the Zeraphym, the ways of harnessing the bright path."

"As you taught me of the ways of the Dyaivial, that I and my kin could counter them." said his companion. "Will you take the final step you have planned?"

"You had the vision, as did I." came the reply. "You know that magic will fade from this land. When the truly innocent mage lets himself be sacrificed next moon, it will cause the magepaths to flux for over a thousand years. The Zeraphym may survive by harnessing themselves to the followers of the innocent one's path, my former kin will not. They are too independent and stubborn."

"Too true." sighed the taller being and the other turned to face him.

"Will you join me in the path I choose? Will you pass the millennia in the chamber of no-time, until the magepaths have stabilized once more and the reservoirs we have carved into this isle have replenished? Will you emerge with me to see what the humans have done without magic, how they have grown with none to lead them save belief and rationality?"

"No." replied the first one. "Part of me wants to, my friend, but my place is with my kin. If they survive, I shall too. Should they die in the flux we have foreseen, I will fly with them to beyond the darkened skies."

Silence descended on both for a while, then the second one spoke.

"Then I shall say farewell, Gabrera Ainjar of the Zeraphym. I shall remember our friendship as long as I remain on this plane."

"And I shall remember it also, Dyaimaion Salitan, once of the Dyaivial." came the reply. "Our paths may not meet again, but I hope they do."