The crowd jeered and booed as three stakes were risen up and three prisoners were dragged off of a rickety wagon and tied to the poles. A tall man in crimson robes stood upon the platform, a winged scroll hovering in front of him, open. Turning to the screaming crowd he began to speak. "These Wanderers have been charged with high treason for conspiring against the Empire. Their sentence is death...by fire."

Cheers ran through the throng of specatators as the man tunred back to the prisoners. From the crowd a pair of hazel eyes watched the procedings with horror. The hazel eyes belonged to a young woman with wavy brown hair wrapped beneath a cover of grey wool that matched her cape.
"Pst! Pst, Chier!" "Michayel, what are you doing here? You shouldn't have come!" "I came to get you," replied the little boy. "The Eldars sent me to collect you!"

"Go back to the camp," Chieryeh ordered. "I'll be there soon. Go, now!" "Fine, I'm going." With the little boy gone Chieryeh looked back up to the platform. The wood was stacked. She could sense others of her People amongst the crowd, hidden and diguised, possibly trying to spot some hope of a rescue. The crimson robed mage shot three balls of fire from his hand, stepping back with glee as the smoke rose into the sky, thick and poisonous. Suddenly the fires simply puffed out. Hardly amused, the mage re-lit the fires, only to have them snuffed out once more. Again he lit them, and again they were extinguished by some unseen force. A murmer ran through the confused crowd. Chieryeh watched as the mage angrily lit the fires again. She muttered softly and with a slight wave of her hand the flames sizzled and died.

"Justice speaks!" shouted a boy, most likely a disguised Wanderer child. "The fires have been extinguished again and again. Justice has made her decision, set them free! Set them free!"

Soon the entire crowd had picked up the chant, rushing up against the platform. With a puff of crimson smoke the mage vanished and in the chaos the Wanderers were set loose and fled the city. Chieryeh quitted the square, pushing her way through the crowd. Whistling sharply she watched as a shaggy legged horse trotted over. She jumped into the saddle, gathering the reigns and galloped out of the city.

Bright tents were pitched against the green plains and children could be seen running about cheerfully. Horses neighed and pawed the ground as Chieryeh rode past . She came to a stop in front of a tent woven of thick animals' fur dyed in colours of crimson, violet, and gold. Standing in front of the tent were three ancient, weathered men, garbed in simple robes of white.

"What you did in that city was very foolish, Chieryeh," one of them scolded.

"It will not take the Mage Council long to discover that who and what you are,' said a second.
"We will be hunted even more," added a third.

"And three memembers of the Bear clan will return to their families and the cityfolk will question the judegment of the Council even more," Chieryeh stated. "We will be hunted regardless of what I do because we do not worship the Mages but we will remain free to raise our families under the blessings of our Goddess. All is well."

"All is not w-"

"Hallo!" The call rang out loudly across the plain. Men on shaggy horses soon appeared over the drumlin, bearing a banner symbolizing the clan of the Bear.

"Hallo!" the Elders called back. "We've come to thank the Magik user who rescued our people," said one of the men.

"You are quite welcome," Chieryeh replied, dismounting. "I'm sure any other Magik user would have done the same." She gave a harsh sideways glance at the Elders before bowing. Then she stalked off, enetering a small green tent, closing the flap.

"I will deal with her," volunteered one of the Elders. His white mane was wild and long, blending into his robe. He walked into Chieryeh's tent to find her back facing him.

"I don't understand," Chieryeh said weakly. "Kelek,why do I have this power if I'm not supposed to use it?" Kelek sighed, sitting down on a reed mat.

"Having power means having great responsibility and using it responsibly."

"And saving lives isn't responsible?" she argued, lying down. "Was I supposed to let them burn?"
"With every spell cast opnly against the Mage Council, the tighter they draw the net of slavery around our people," Kelek explained. "The others fear for our safety, as do I. Plus, look how fast these spells drain you of your energy. You have great potential, Chieryeh, but you aren't yet ready to go to war with the Mages."

"Then why don't the other Magik users band together and fight the Mages?" Chieryeh demanded.
Kelek smiled sadly, Standing up so that Chieryeh cold see him. "My poor child," he began softly. "Every day you grow bolder, and that mark more defined, a symbol of the power stirring in your heart and soul. Very few among our people are there such as you. Far and few are the Magik users of our people, and they power little in comparison to the Mages."

"Then I will fight them alone."

"You are but a child."

"I'm seventeen, Kelek!" Chieryeh shouted.

"You're still a child, which is why the Elders see your actions as reckless, hasty, dangerous,and risky!"

"Change doesn't come without risk."

"Did you get through to her?"

"She is stubborn," Kelek answered. "Give her time."

"Time is something we have very little of."

"Its an outrage! I was disgraced before the entire city!"

"Settle down, Daymyan," ordered a blue robed mage. "It was only a group of peasants. They'll soon forget the whole incident."

"They're beginning to question our authority!" Daymyan continued. "This rogue mage must be stopped or we'll have a kingdom wide revolt on our hands!"

"We don't even know what the rogue looks like!" yelled a third mage from a large circle.

"Look for the mark," wheezed an ancnient mage, standing below and arched door. "Marring the eye of the rogue. Look for the mark of the Wanderer's Goddess."

Daymyan smirked from his position at the center of the circle. "The Wanderer's Goddess is it? So...we search for the Dove of Oreleigh."