A cold night

Mirko shivered, unsure whether the chill of the night caused it, or the dream he'd just woken from.  He checked his staff, feeling reassured when it was in his hand, and then he stared at the firepit, wondering what the dream signified.  As he pondered, something seemed to flicker across the pit, a sudden flash of light gone as quickly as it arrived.  He started, his hands clenching hard around the staff, and all the hairs on his arms and neck suddenly standing on end.

Magic.  Not druidic magic, but magic nonetheless, and powerful.  Something that had been stretched over an enormous distance and maintained, invisibly, for... how long?  It had to be magic created during the Hobgoblin War, because that was the last time druids and mages had come together and worked jointly, and something that powerful, that long-lasting, could only have been created by many people working in conjunction.  He shivered again, well aware that this time it was awe at the brief flash of magic that he'd just seen that had evoked the shiver.

He stood up and started gathering handfuls of grass that he could see in the remaining light from the embers of the fire, casting them into the firepit and bringing more light and warmth from it.  He knew now that he wouldn't be getting any more sleep tonight.

As the light grew and he could move safely further afield until he found a long stick he could use as a torch to light his way to the edge of the forest and more wood, he thought about the flash of magic and realised that he'd seen something activating, a state change taking place, triggered from somewhere else.  Once the fire was banked, and he had a stack of firewood near to hand, he sat down, knees pulled up to his chest and his chin resting on them, he thought long and hard about what he should be doing.  Should he carry on to the shrine, reconsecrate it, and then return to the druids and tell them about this, or should he return now and let them know?

Mirko brooded on this for the rest of the night, his mind active while his body relaxed, stirring only occasionally to add more wood to the fire.  Overhead the sky grew cloudy, the stars obscured; somewhere to the west the wind stirred, Zephyrus running warm fingers through the leaves of the trees.  As dawn broke, a pale mist rising from the ground and swirling softly around Mirko, who let the fire go out at last, he stood up once again and faced the lambent grey light to the east and made his decision.

The End

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