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The breeze ruffled her hair as Elorya stood perfectly still at the top of a hill over looking a vast valley below her. What she saw before her would have shocked anyone to tears, but unfortunately it was becoming more and more common and as much as it hurt her to see it the devastation was no longer was a shock to her.

In the valley where there once stood a great forest all that was left was a withered mass of broken and rotten trees and plants.

“Can you help us?” a quiet voice said from behind her making her jump.

She spun around to see an elderly looking man in long, dust covered robes standing about twenty feet behind her. She scanned around quickly trying to figure out where the man had come from as she had seen no one around when she was making her way up the hillside.

“Help you? I am afraid I do not understand what you are talking about.” Elorya said smiling kindly at the old man.

She wished not for the first time that she had taken another direction. Not that she did not like helping others out, she did. What she did not like however, was the fact that there were some out there that would and did try and take advantage of her gifts and of her kindness.

The old man said nothing but simply lowered his head, turned and started back down the same path she had taken up the hill only a few minutes before.

She sighed with exasperation. She knew she should have given the man a chance to speak before she tried to turn him away but she was tired, hungry and just a little bit worn down and just wanted to find the nearest inn so that she could find a warm meal and a soft bed to lay her head down on.

It had been a long week for her on the road, and she was really looking forward to the rest.

She had been making her way home from Alaemin after presiding over a dispute that had threatened to tear the already struggling city apart with civil war. In the end it had turned out that it was one of the most petty fights that Elorya had seen in all her years. One of the two Princes of Alaemin had looked at the other the wrong way and it had been taken as an insult. The next thing anyone knew the city was divided y their loyalties to one or the other prince. The king, try as he might, could do nothing to solve it.

Knowing this he had sent for her, a Mya’Daur.

Most are born without the gift of magic. Out of a hundred thousand births there might be one that will be born with a gift. Rare is it that one person is born with both gifts. As a Mya’Daur she was one of the most feared and respected people. She had been born with both the gift of sight and the powers of a sorceress.

Mya’Daurs were mostly peacekeepers, however they had been proven valuable allies in war when the need arose. No such a war had been fought in a hundred years, and the Mya’Daurs had worked hard to keep it like that.

Remembering again what she was first and foremost she followed after the man.

“Im sorry.” She called as she went. “Wait a moment please.”

“I thought you said that you could not help us.” The old man stopped but did not turn around.

“Im sorry. I just am terribly tired and might have spoken in haste.” She said smiling weakly as the old man turned to face her.

Standing so close to him she could see that he was was maybe older than she had first suspected.

“I see.” The old man said folding his hands before him and just stood there staring at her with pale blue eyes.

“What is it that you need help with?”

“You are tired. I see that now. Come with me. I will find you lodgings for the night and we shall discuss the rest in the morning.”

She looked at the old man and wondered where he planned on leading her, what he could need help with, and who the ‘we’ was that he was referring to. She had not seen another person or even a village for miles.

“May I ask where we are going first and who you are? I would also feel more comfortable knowing what it is that you are going to be needing of me. Not to mention I would like to know if there is a possibility that I might be in danger.”

“You ask a lot of questions for one who is supposed to be a Mya’Daur.” The man turned and headed back down the path. “But you are tired also so I will answer you. You are in no danger if you follow me. Stay any where else in these parts and I can not promise you safety.”

“Great.” She mumbled.

“As for where we are going I live in a small village to the east of here. You shall stay the night with me. I am Be’Lesh.” He said with a little nod of his head “Im afraid I haven’t much to give you, but I can give you a hot meal and a warm place to lay your head for the night.”

“That sounds wonderful right about now. Thank you.” She said gratefully following the man.

The wind picked up on their journey eastwards. In the distance she could see some smoke rising from a handful of buildings.

“So what is your village called?” She asked in an effort to break the uncomfortable silence that had fallen over them.

“Velagoes.” He replied simply.

She walked along thinking that the name sounded familiar but she couldn’t for the life of her remember where she had heard the name before. Had she been there before, seen it in one of her dreams? Or maybe it could be as simple as she had been walking near people and had over heard a bit of conversation.

‘Ill soon find out.’ She thought to herself as the buildings in the distance slowly got closer.

Chapter Two

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