The sunlight slanted through the shimmering air, trailing misty rainbows through the picturesque valley. It was a gorgeous setting, an abandoned indention in the high mountains. The crisp water bubbled from a pure water spring just above the valley, feeding into the deep blue pool below. The whole valley was enclosed in a thick tangle of tall spindly pine trees. It almost felt like this was somehow a sacred place, and they were holding back the wilds.

Eaglette entered the vale like a pilgrim enters a cathedral. Parched and weary from two days without water, the lake looked like a liquid blessing from the three goddesses. She was a huntress, some would call her a poacher. Having traveled the forests near her home in South Victoria, she knew better than to let her stores get so low. A desperate flight from a large group of local bandits had chased her far from her normal hunting grounds. A nasty fall had broken her pride, and the compass she used for direction. She was a long way from home, and in unfamiliar territory. To put it bluntly, she was lost.

The valley looked like heaven, untouched and unspoiled by any other human being in thousands of years. In the center of the lake was an island, with a curious stone structure. It was an empty, solitary archway, overgrown with thick green vines, and crumbling. It was a testament that someone had been here once, even if it had not been for a very long time.

Page 1