Like a medieval omen of unrest, dozens of midnight-black crows, silhouettedagainst the darkening sky, are gliding silently just above the treetops southward to somesecret nesting place. As veiled in the language of the wind, phantasmal voices that span amillennium speak as one.
Remember the brave warriors and the great chiefs! They fought and many died that their families might live in peace. That is why you are here, Jolon
Our people need you now, so do not fear. Remember who you are, and consider your destiny!
The ancients have said that a
would come. He knows he is not thatwarrior, for such a one would be experienced in battle. The hope of such a paladinhowever, is all he requires to press on.With a worried expression, the precocious boy is keeping his hurried pace througha grassy space and back again into the trees. His is carrying with him an awareness thatno one his age should have to bear. Trouble never seems to come singularly; evil followsevil and danger follows danger. At the times when the earth seemed at rest, it is merelyholding its breath for the next misfortune. As he is pushing onward, he senses a graveforeboding that something or someone is not far behind.It is in late autumn that our story begins. The leaves have begun to fall and the air is crisp and remarkably cooler. It is the season when northwest winds tease and test thecountryside, searching for pertinent places to put down and then pour out their longawaited showers.Reminiscent of the rain, the dark soul of dread holds no partiality. When itappears, it settles upon humanity as a heavy, unwelcome covering. At first it feels soft and2