As we entered the cavern, I felt a sense of wariness overtake me. This place was not right. Something about it distrubed me. However, our current goal was to enter. So, I walked in, doing my best to subdue my doubts.

Walking in, I first noted the various tomes and texts lying about. They contained arcane subject matter, by the look of them. I suppose as much is to be expected from one who resides in unnatural rock formations. I summoned my power, that of Arctura's uneneding shadow, and scattered the magic around me in an effort to sense enemies lying in wait.

All I could sense was one indistinct mind other than those of my comrades, one that seemed to flit about in a disorienting pattern. Clever trick, I noted. Very clever indeed.

Ah...This thought was not my own. It seemed to press against my consciousness, as an enemy's blade would press against a shield in striking it. Not quite an offensive move, but still a risky way to start a conversation. I see. Seems I may have underestimated you. The voice was feminine, and seemed to slither through my mind. Of course, as a traditional Pridean, I was easily startled into seeing almost any magic different from what I had seen before as evil or dangerous.

Who are you?  I thought back, And how are you doing this? the one you seek. After a brief pause, the voice continued. Well, one of several such individuals. I know what you have suffered through, and I know the power contained within you. Limitless, if brought to realization, but still dormant. She - or I assumed it was a she - paused again, and I felt myself being measured by some external force. I had to admit, I found this person deeply distrubing. She knew things which she should not, did things which surely could not be possible, and yet were. I see you are uncomfortable. Why is that?

I thought a moment, then responded carefully. Show yourself. Then we will talk.

As you wish. She did not sound surprised.

Moments later, a young woman with dark skin and even darker hair, and smooth features that seemed to flow. She was dressed in an elaborate red dress, the kind that nobles among the other races commonly wore. She regarded each of us in turn, with a look that said she was examining us in that passing gaze. She looked at me, and a pair of emerald eyes met mine for a second.

"Ah," she said. "Visitors. It's been such a very long time."

The End

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