7- The Meeting
The murmuring voices in the room propel Fahlia's memories back to her first frigid meeting with the drakes near the massive temple in the wastes. She remembers her awe at the power of the place that could produce creatures learned enough to open rifts that reach beyond anything most mortals could comprehend. Perhaps the drakes would be protected from the fate that has befallen many of the island's inhabitants, she had thought. It was impossible to tell if the portals were harming the channelers, or if the gods were showing their first hints of retaliation.
"Time has accelerated," announces the elder over the din. "Uncertainty, fear, anticipation, and now this?. Perhaps the bounds have been overstepped. Now, the answer is hurtling toward us with no regard for our ability to face it. We cannot turn back!"
Fahlia sits listening with the young bard's head cradled in her lap. His face is flushed; drops of sweat collide and form a stream as he convulses in pain. Fahlia's mind is focused on the elder's words, but her heart stays with the tormented young man in her arms.
"Once the portals are opened, our fates will be locked into place. No one can predict what may happen from this point. The memories of our efforts may soon fade, our legacy buried beneath the blowing ashes of a mortal miscalculation. Or the heavens may find themselves ablaze, engulfed in the power of their own creations!
"We may never find the answers we seek. The canvas of reality may burn and tear. Yet, we must move forward! It is the only direction left for us to follow. We will find the One Teacher. Question not the wills of those who shall soon come to walk with us, but be mindful of the possibility of treachery and watch their every action. It should not take long to spot the fellowship that we seek, for soon the heroes of prophecy will walk within our ranks
"Now go and prepare. Soon the morning mists will lift to reveal the portals to a new age. The Age of Balance is nearly upon us."
With this, the elder walks from the large room and allows it to return to being an infirmary for the casualties of the new age.