The red moon cast an eerie glow over the Deshna Woods. Miriam the Seer looked up at the red orb that dominated the night sky, the red light dancing in her eyes. With a sudden cry of anguish she collapsed on the loam covered floor of the forest. She began to chant as she lay prone on the ground,
"Aquilla mysha aquilla mysha, ocatano ocatano, hira!" Over and over again this chant filled the quiet night air in the forest. "Death is coming Death is coming, everyone, flee flee, go!" With a sudden jerk Miriam went still, never to rise again, above her a raven 's cry shattered the restored stillness of the night.
Nairn rubbed his tired eyes and held back a yawn as the Minister of Fimar finished his report about a large monster that was ravaging his land. It was times like these that Nairn wished he had never began the Council of Immortals. At first the council had been a pleasure to be a part of; there were adventures to go on, magic beasts to stop, and pretty maidens to rescue. Nairn smiled to himself as he thought of some of the "favors" the pretty maids had given him as a token of their gratitude for being rescued.
All too soon the council had become less of an adventure and more a room for political debate with representatives who knew little to nothing about how magic worked. Then there were those that tried to use the Council for personal gain: kings vying for support so they could conquer their neighbors, politicians who wanted more power and saw the Council as a way to get it, and last of all the rich men who tried to buy their way onto the council when they could do little to nothing about the workings of magic.
"Nairn!" Mirrirquest's voice cut through Nairn's thoughts, bringing him back to reality. Mirrirquest leaned over and whispered in Nairn's ear, "the Minister has been finished for five minutes now, we are waiting on your verdict. Do you even know what was talked about?" Nairn nodded, despite having heard none of what had been said, the minister had come for help the previous year with the exact same plea.
Nairn rose, as did the rest of the Council members. Counting Nairn there were four of them: Samuel, a sorcerer from the south; Noman, Wizard of the plains; Mirrirquest, the elementalist, and finally himself Nairn Dragonkin. "We will give you the same answer we gave the last time you came and plead your case before the Council of Immortals. We cannot and therefore will not do anything. The key to magic is balance, without balance in magic there is chaos. This beast has a balance somewhere in the world, for the beast to be destroyed its balance must be destroyed as well. If for some reason there is an imbalance we will use it to destroy this beast, but for now such an imbalance does not exist and so the beast cannot be destroyed."
The minister walked out as the guards closed the doors to the council chamber with an echoing thud. Noman stood up, "that concludes the session for the day. I, for one, am glad of that; I may be immortal but my legs still cramp up from sitting all day."
Samuel rose, "Then you had best stand while we discuss one more issue."
"And what issue would that be," Mirrirquest interrupted, "you can see as well as the rest of us that there are no more ministers present .
Samuel walked around to the front of the chamber, "This is not an issue that involves only one nation, but the entirety of the world: non-innate magic.
"As you are all aware this," Samuel paused, thinking, "human magic is too unstable, the simplest spell can mean disaster over the entirety of the world. Not only that, but it is readily accessible to anyone who would want to use it. Not far away from here, in Halconis a simple farmer acquired a spell that he thought would produce healthy crops. The spell did just as it was supposed to do, but as the man cast the spell his concentration was broken as his two children ran past playing a harmless game of make-believe jungle chase.
"The next day his crops had grown into an impassible jungle overnight. No one could get in or out, believe me I tried. The family had nothing to eat and in the end they starved to death. It is ironic that they would be killed by that which would have potentially fed them, therein lies the problem, and I have the solution."
Nairn rose and walked around the council table to confront Samuel. "What, then is the solution to this dire problem. I can honestly say I have never heard of this before, this is truly our role, to protect innocent citizens from magic that has gotten out of hand. Not helping these corrupt politicians gain a higher standing in the eyes of their king."
"The solution is simple, we destroy anything and everything associated with this human magic."
At this Mirrirquest and Noman sprang from their seats, their eyes wide. Even Nairn took a step back. "You're mad," Nairn gasped, "did you not hear what I just told the Minister not five minutes ago? The human magic is the balance to our magic, destroying it would potentially destroy us. You are suggesting destroying half of which helps keep the world in check; helps keep us in check?!"
Samuel smiled, it was a grin that sent shivers down Nairn's back, "That is exactly what I propose. Think of it, a world filled with the stable magic of those that have it innately. With our power we could be the supreme rulers of the world. Unless that is you are afraid of your own power, Nairn."
Nairn's face hardened, "I am not afraid of using my power for good, but what you suggest is pure evil. Think of all the lives you would destroy; you would have blood on your hands that could never be washed off."
"I have thought of that," Samuel said, "and it is a sacrifice I am willing to make to preserve the world, not destroy it. Think of all the lives that could be saved if we make this sacrifice now."
Mirrirquest spoke, "I do not deny that this action would save lives, but I, for one, am not willing to commit murder in order to preserve lives that were lost because of a lack of understanding. If you truly wanted to save these people you would teach them how to use human magic so it could be safe, not kill them."
Noman, who had been silent until now spoke, "I am in agreement with Narin and Mirrirquest, we cannot and will not kill hundreds of thousands to spare a handful of people from dying later. Furthermore it is my opinion that Samuel be ejected from the Council of Immortals at once. I know you better than you know yourself Samuel, and you will destroy these people with or without the consent of the council. I am not willing to give you access to the resources of the council in order for you to carry out your harebrained schemes."
"I agree with the wisdom of Noman," Nairn said, "you are dangerous without the resources of the council, with them you would have the power to eliminate all of the human magic in one swoop. Mirrirquest has only to agree with us in order for you to be removed. Mirrirquest, what is your decision?"
Confusion was stamped on the elementalist's face as he answered, "My conscience moves me to vote in favor of my friend Samuel, but my judgment tells me otherwise. What Noman has said is true, Samuel, you will pursue your goal until it has been achieved. For that reason alone, my friend, I must vote with Nairn and Noman. Good-bye."
Samuel's face contorted with rage as he grated out from between clenched teeth, "Know this then, my one time friends, I will return one day and kill each and every one of you. You are no longer my friends, now I only know you as my enemy."
Samuel stormed out of the council room, within an hour he was riding out of the gates of Loamose. Mirrirquest watched him disappear in a cloud of dust. The elementalist turned to Nairn, who had walked up beside him, "I fear that he will take some of the city guards with him."
"Then let me put your fears at ease my friend," Nairn said, his hand resting on Mirrirquest's shoulder, "when the council was first formed I took the precaution of placing a spell on all of the people in Loamose. If ever a member of the council were removed of his position they would be impervious to his magic and, in fact, not be able to recognize him. There is little doubt that the guards even were aware of his passing. They probably took to be a wind that had passed through the stables."
"Good," Mirrirquest replied, "but what do we do now? There have always been four members on the council. "
Nairn's face clouded over, "I do not know why but I do not think we will have time to find a replacement for Samuel. A shadow is coming, one like I have never seen before in my life. It appeared upon Samuel's proposition. I think Samuel's plan and dismissal is only the beginning of a long, terrible chain of events yet to come. I dearly hope I am wrong, but in my heart I know I am not."