Running Toward Destiny

Prologue

Preparation

Selenia watched as the foreteller, her name still remained unknown, opened the conjuration spell she had held in her hand for some time now. Selenia tried to stop her just then, but it was too late. The woman was gone. She looked at the two bottles in her hand and knew that she had to go through with the plan. She had always trusted her foreteller, partly because she was always right, and partly because she had saved her life more than once.

She took the green vial in both hands and opened it as she had been told to. A light mist issued out of the opening, swirled around Selenia once, and then disappeared without a trace. A new awareness sprung up in the back of her mind, but Selenia wasn't alarmed. The foreteller had told her that this would happen. She was surprised just the same. It was a very intricate spell. It would tell her if any person stepped on the path that she had just created. It wasn't an ordinary path though; it was enchanted against harmful plants and animals. The foreteller had told her it would be a man that stepped onto the path; to any other person except the creator it was invisible. The awareness would also tell a little about the person, but it wouldn't tell his name

Selenia looked at the second vial. It was an invisibility spell. “Only to be used to follow the man” were the exact words that the foreteller had used. The only thing was, she didn't have the counter-spell for it. She had been going to ask her for one, but now that was impossible. Selenia had no way of contacting her. She was going to have to find another way to get rid of the spell. Maybe she wouldn't have to use the spell until after her foreteller came again. It was getting late though, and Selenia needed her sleep. It was already well after dark. She walked up the stairs to her room and lit the lantern only to see where she was going. She undressed and put on a silk nightgown with golden embroidery along the neckline. Walking around the room, she looked around at the many pieces of pottery that lined shelves and sat on the floor. Some even had flowers in them. She stopped at one of the largest and bent down to take in the smell of the small white flowers contained within. She didn’t know what they were called, but they gave off an appeasing scent that carried through the air when they were in full bloom. Selenia had always admired those pots, and she would hate to see them destroyed. Pottery was her pastime and it had been her mother’s job. Most of them she had made, but some of them had been given to her by her mother. She thought about her mother now, as she did every night. She lived here alone now, out here in a place many miles from any civilization.

Selenia glanced at her image in the large mirror that she had in her room. Her deep blue eyes stared back at her, wondering about what she was going to do with her life. She couldn’t just stay out here. She smiled faintly and then turned to blow out the candle. Feeling her way to her bed, she then lay down and turned on her side. Awareness filled her mind and kept her awake though. Selenia could feel every single harmless little animal scurry across the path. She could also feel the slightest brush in the back of her mind and knew a very rare plant was located right in the middle of the path. She hoped that the person wasn't fooled by it. The plant could actually replicate sounds it had heard before. A little challenge would not be too bad for him though. It would prepare him for what lie ahead, whatever his fate was. It certainly wasn’t going to be an easy one. Her eyelids soon became heavy as the length of the day fell upon her. She fell into a sleep filled with many pleasant dreams, and the path.


Camrin sat by a small open window, thoughts spinning through his head, when he noticed a shimmering that could now be seen every so often. Snapping out of thought, he turned his head to see what was there. He had a good view from the second story of his house and could see nearly to the end of the town. Expecting to see just a person out with a lantern looking for something, he gaped in amazement at what was seen. Some distance down the main road, a glowing path branched off and wandered deep into the forest. He stared at it for a while, wondering exactly what it’s purpose was, and how it managed to just appear. Magic was uncommon here, this being one of the border towns. The center of most activity was Choel, and there was about two days of traveling between them and this little village.

Eventually Camrin stood up and stretched, and then walked over to a small closet that was almost completely filled from top to bottom. He decided that he was going to travel that path tomorrow, and now had to find the things that he would need. The closet contained his wardrobe, as well as a few other things. The most important was the backpack, which contained most of the necessary equipment for traveling. He was an adventurer--all of his free time was spent traveling around to different towns and between the towns, there were always forests and plains, mountains and valleys. Some of his work involved traveling, for he was a shepherd, and occasionally there were sheep that had to be taken to Choel, a port city a good three days’ walk from the town of Sharent, Camrin’s hometown. This would be a journey not unlike the others--only now he had a path to follow that was different, and one that lead into the heart of Zenuor. Most of the towns, villages, and cities were located on the coast to make travel easier. Not many people went into that forest except to hunt, and usually not even then, partly because it was so thick, and mostly because the humans ended up being the prey instead of the predators. A great many things were already in the backpack, certain items like rope and a lantern, but there were things that weren’t in there due to recent use. Camrin packed one extra set of clothing, and remembered to grab a spare dagger. Daggers were considered a precious thing in Zenuor, and he was lucky to have some. They weren’t much use if a large animal attacked you, but they could kill some of the smaller ones. He would pack his food tomorrow morning, probably before the sun even began to shine its brilliance upon this land.

When he had gathered all necessary materials, he set them down next to his door and went back to the window. He really needed his sleep if he was to do much traveling tomorrow, but anxiety was preventing him from becoming tired. He quickly made note of exactly where the path was, because the rising sun would make it hard to find. Even the dull moonlight was making the path appear transparent. Having done that, he gazed up at the black expanse of sky speckled with the summer stars.

After a reasonable amount of time the second moon rose. That made the sky considerably brighter, as there were now two moons lighting up the blackness. The path became practically invisible, and only because Camrin knew where it was located could he see the faint glow still. There were four moons, but barely ever more than two were visible, and never before had all four come into view at the same time--at least not in the time that he had been alive. It was said to have happened before, long ago, but any record of that was lost. It was only hearsay; word of mouth passed down generation after generation. A yawn came over him, and he realized that he had become tired. He dragged himself over to his bed and crawled onto it. The bed was uncomfortable, as always. Still, sleep quickly overcame him.