Author's Note: This is a prologue and doesn't give too much information. I'll clear things up more in the next chapter. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


The white-robed figure walked cautiously down the shadowed hall of the deserted fortress, his footsteps echoing in the deathly quiet. Moonlight filtered through the high windows, illuminating the dais at the far end of the long, empty chamber, casting a pool of silvery light around the ebony black statue at its center. Etched in incredible detail around the circular base of the image were many pictures but the young mage could not draw his gaze away from the statue's rube eyes long enough to decipher their meaning.

A cold finger of fear sent shivers down his back but something, some dark, invisible force drew him on. The glittering orbs of the sculpture seemed to watch him with eager anticipation, waiting.

As he stepped hesitantly onto the raised platform, he suddenly became aware of a dark presence very nearby, an ancient and evil spirit sealed away long ago in the very room in which he stood. Slowly he reached out a trembling hand toward the statue's polished, black snout. At the same time he could feel the darkness straining against the spells that bound it from the world of the living. Then his hand was touched the cold stone and a single phrase escaped his lips to echo through the empty halls of the abandoned fortress.

Per elia luminari razeth aras, ras reviyar myori.

As the last whispers of the words died away, the world went white in a flash of blinding light.