A young man stepped out of the forest's edge, looking at the burnt and scarred land before him. He sheathed his katana, "It simply does not make any sense."
"Today, the forest haunts you?" A little girl in a golden yellow robe behind him. She smiled at the sunlight the poured between the blackened trunks of the scorched lands beyond the forest's edge.
"My dreams have guided us through the forest, and now they become... inconsistent."
She frowned, "What do you mean? We reached the edge of the forest, did we not?"
"No, Medi. This is more forest before us. However, it is not as it was in my dream. It is burnt. Burnt with the fury of nature and the taint of man."
"I don't understand, brother," she said as she bent down to examine the ashes on the forest floor.
"In my dream, this glen was lush and full of life. And the sacred gazelle leaped from hill to hill, as the birds sang fanfare to the beauty of nature," he took on a somber tone, "And now we see desolation before us. And my love, she is not here."
"Should we return to camp and tell the others, brother?"
"Not just yet. Let me dream a little," the man sat down and folded his legs as if meditating. His eyes closed, and he slowed his breathing.
Black threads adorned her robe, woven into depictions of serpentine dragons. Medi looked up at the sky, and brought up a tiny hand to block out the sun, as its harsh light was unkind after so long beneath the wooded panoply of leaves.
And beyond the siblings, behind the darkened trunks of fire-ravaged trees, a creature stirred in the ashes at the water's edge. Its fur was dark and striped with arcane symbols. It sniffed the air, and smelled humans. Angry, it roared.
Medi turned in its direction, and grimaced with fear. She patted her brother on the shoulder, frantically, yet he was deep in concentration. Must I flee? No, he will surely die. I must defend him, until he wakes up.
The bear began to bound towards her from across the desolate glen.
Will my magic suffice without the dancing of my brother's blades? Medi's tiny body took on a defensive stance in front of her brother and she began to chant ancient words, stumbling awkwardly over pronunciation.