Chapter 1

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Uriel had travelled the better part of the night when exhaustion took over and forced him to rest. There had been no sign of life and so he began to search for a relatively comfortable place to sleep. Finding a spot where several pines grew close together and afforded a type of shelter, Uriel laid down, hugged the staff close and closed his eyes. The same questions that had chased him throughout the day and into the night still tugged at his mind: is this real, where am I, where am I going, what am I supposed to do, why haven't I seen anyone? The last question bothered him most. Though Uriel had not encountered anyone as of yet, the same feeling he had harbored all day was still with him: someone was watching him. He fell into a fitful sleep trying to piece together a puzzle that was lacking most all of the pieces.


Uriel's emotions and intuitions may have been on edge and his imagination may have been working overtime, but he was right about being watched. Albera had followed him since his materialization in the clearing. Although she was frightened of him, duty and curiosity (mostly curiosity) compelled her to follow Uriel. But she knew she could not leave him to report to Khyrhyelle. Although Khyrhyelle would be anxious to hear of this, Albera would incur the High Witch's wrath if this wizard disappeared. But now he appeared to be asleep. She might be able to make it to the Towers and get back before he awoke. Albera began to leave and then thought better of it. Better safe than sorry.

The remainder of the night had passed without incident. The twin suns were low in the sky when Uriel awoke from a dream he could not remember. Though the dream seemed significant, his only recollection was of a black goat. Still groggy from sleep, Uriel set out with unanswered questions, a fragment of a dream, a sore back and an empty stomach.

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