The magic of the wizards was dispersed throughout Mystica, as the legend of the Dream Walker had foretold. It flew around seeking people to wield its powers. The magic sought, and the magic found.Old, young, rich, or poor the magic had new owners. Inside, outside, above ground, below ground the magic reached and choose. It went throughout the land until all was given, except some little remnants that had yet to find a place. Anyone that had a spark, a feeling for magic was fair game. The magic did not discriminate. It could be a cattle owner that had a special knack for birthing cows, or a dwarf that knew just where and when to find the right stone. It choose and enhanced their innate abilities. Some were awed by their new powers. Some were scared. Some did not want them, and so they would never be used. There were those that wanted more training. The Priestesses of the Goddess of the Sun and Miranda had set up a “magic” school to train those in need, or those that wanted to learn more. It was a new time on Mystica.
In this transition of power, the Darkness had an opening to evade Mystica once again. The Darkness had become the God of Night’s pet, a plaything. Yet, it could be so much more.
Currently, it was a small puddle of itself. Thanks to that meddling Dream Walker and the wizards. The wizards, when they were in power, had kept the Darkness in check. Even the dark wizards who worshipped the God of Night assisted in finding and capturing remnants of the dark magic.Thinking of the girl that it had battled, it remembered her scent. It tasted the air for her. Yes, yes she was here. She was close. She smelled of roses and rain. Grasses, leaves, and the outdoors wafted from her essence. What a sweet fragrance to devour!
The Darkness sought the girl. It followed her aroma like a cat chasing a mouse. It saw its chance, and took it. It snuck into her dreams like a whisper in the wind. Yes, it would find a way. It would be free again. Even if it had to use this girl and her dreams to do so.
It would sit. It would watch. It would wait. It would place doubts, and fears in her mind and dreams. The doubts and fear would get bigger, and as they grew, so would it. Soon, it would have the power of the Dream Magic and the girl who wielded it under his control!
The magic that was left of the wizards sensed its presence. The small leftovers of their magic drifted to the one item Miranda always wore, her purple cape. In this way, it would not be tainted. It was easy to be infected by the Dark. It had ways of twisting and turning things in your mind and heart.
Miranda noticed symbols on her velvet purple robe that were not there before. Lightning streaks of gold and silver slanted diagonally across the cloak. Silver speckles shone like little diamonds on the hem and cuffs of the arms. Star shaped designs like gold dost sparkled creating shapes and pictures before her eyes. Since finishing her quest as a Dream Walker, she had decided to say on Mystica. Here, she felt she belonged. Here, she felt needed. Back on her world, she had always felt out of place, especially since her parents’ deaths. When the Dream Magic had called her, she had wanted to help. Though, really, in retrospect, it hadn ’t left her much choice. If she would have not gone to the bookshop, and fulfilled her quests, the dreams would have driven her mad.
Miranda had always enjoyed helping people, and the pleading eyes and voice of the old king was no exception. Though she never thought she would be whisked away to another world. She loved the world of Mystica. The mountains, the plains, the Forest of the Lost, and other places she had yet to explore. She missed the modern ways of her world sometimes, but she was kept busy by training. She had agreed to help the Priestesses train those that came here to the Temple of the Goddess with their magic. Thanks to her and her quests, the magic of the wizards was now disbursed throughout Mystica. It choose people to wield its power. Her job as Dream Walker was to ensure the balance stayed intact. Once, that job belonged to the white wizards, whose symbols she now wore on her robe.
Her dream visions came to her and called her when the balance was threatened. It was up to her to follow her dreams, and make things right. Lately, her dreams had turned dark. Pictures floated through her mind of the Dream Cloud, where the former Dream Walkers resided, was being taken over by a black presence. The shadow enveloped the Dream Cloud, and the past Dream Walkers leaving them in eternal darkness. Then, it moved toward Mystica. Whatever this dark presence was, Miranda could not allow this foretelling to happen.
Miranda had learned much of being a Dream Walker on her last three quests, but there was more about this mysterious magic she didn’t know or understand. Miranda always liked a mystery, and to figure things out. Perhaps, it was time to figure out her magic once and for all. Now, that she had her quests behind her, she could think of questions to ask, answers to get. Miranda decided she deserved these answers. She grabbed her robe, and sword. She never traveled anywhere without either one of them. They almost seemed part of her, an extension of her soul.
As she was about to leave to the one place she thought might be able to provide her answers, the Temple of the Goddess, she found standing at her front door Walking Bear and the Shaman.
The Shaman had a vision back in the Purple Plains of darkness, and this girl standing before him, The Dream Walker. The spirits had shown him her white light doused by a great darkness. A smoke of black devouring her bright soul. She was surrounded by clouds of black. They wafted in to her being through her nose, and mouth. Even when holding her breath, the smoky tendrils snaked around her, wrapping around her legs and arms. They held her in place, covering her whole body and entering her spirit.
The vision was so strong, the Shaman knew it was a warning, a sign. He knew he had to warn Miranda, and prepare her for the upcoming battle. He ambled out of his teepee, weak from the use of magic. Gathering up small purple lavender flowers he made a cleansing stick with a piece of wood, cloth, and the flowers. War dye was painted on his face from crushed red berries. For this was a war, a war for Miranda and Mystica. He smeared the red dye to make it appear like blood. With everything ready, he gathered Walking Bear to travel to her hut.
The Shaman leaned heavily on a wooden cane, but he had a regal stance. There were eagle feathers in his gray hair. A necklace of animal bones and beads adorned his neck. A black wolf like hide, including the ears was draped around him like a robe. Tufts of fur stood up in places around him making it seem like the animal the skin was made out of was hugging him. His face was painted with dye made from red berries in the plains. It looked like blood claw marks dug into his skull. In his other hand, he carried a wooden stick with small purple lavender flowers at the end.
He strode towards Miranda purposefully, shaking the lavender stick all around her, while he chanted in his language. Usually, Miranda was able to understand all the languages of the people of Mystica, but this time it eluded her.This time, she was only able to grasp a few words here and there in his chant. She knew the Shaman meant no harm.The scent of the lavender calmed her spirit, and seemed to be preparing her for something. As she wondered, what it might mean, the Shaman put the lavender stick down, and Walking Bear spoke.
“The Shaman says he has seen a vision, and has come to warn you and prepare you. The Darkness you defeated now stalks you. The darkness has your scent. It will not rest until it has you in its clutches.” Walking Bear points to the Shaman “He believes in you. He has seen you fight it. He says you must be strong. You must fight it again and banish it from your dreams forever.”
“He will be watching from his Spirit Vision when he can. May the Spirits be with you and guide you” Walking Bear continued.
Miranda answered, nodding her head “It is a great honor you have given me. I go to the Temple to get answers to these dark visions, and to find what I must do to stop them, you journeyed with me before, Walking Bear, would you do the honor of doing so again?”She hoped to have his steady warrior like company on her journey.
“Where you go, I cannot follow” Walking Bear answered, giving Miranda a foreboding feeling. “But, I hope our paths will cross again.”
Walking Bear and the Shaman turned around, leaving Miranda standing in her doorway, and headed back to the Plains.
It was a short walk from Miranda’s hut to the Temple of the Goddess. The Temple shone, reflecting the two sun’s rays. The gold bricks beamed. Flowers blossomed. Mini rainbows appeared in puddles around the grounds. A cobblestone path led from the gardens to the archway.It arched with vines and yellow and gold flowers. The foliage covered most of the brown stone. Miranda was awed at the sight. She has visited her before, but still found it moving.The chanting of the Priestess prayers reached her ears, sounding like a song. It soothed her. She had always enjoyed music. She stopped for a moment, listening, and steeled herself to find the answers she sought.
She entered the Temple, and went straight. There were prayer rooms and blessing rooms to each side. They were little alcoves where people came and sought the Goddess blessing or said prayers. Ahead, was the center of the Temple.In the center, was the statue of the Goddess of the Light. The statue depicted two suns rising above her. The Goddess had her hands raised, as if trying to catch them.Long strands of hair were carved into the sides of her face and shoulders. There were no eyes, only two golden stones. Her form was hidden under a robe, only her hands and bare feet showed through. A bell was carved into the base of the statue, to depict her voice.
Miranda felt a little silly talking to a statue, but she didn’t know what else to do.
She started by turning around in her robe, letting the new designs catch the candlelight and cast their symbols on the walls. Flashes of lighting, silver, and stars floated through the room and illuminated the walls.
“What is the meaning of this?” Miranda asked, more angrily than she intended “I need answers, the Shaman came and said the darkness seeks me and my dreams”
“How am I to fight it if I don’t know what I’m fighting?” Miranda continued
The familiar ring of bells came to Miranda’s ears as she found herself no longer in the Temple but in the sky with the Goddess.
“Ah, my child, A truer Dream Walker I don’t think I’ve seen” the Goddess spoke. “He fights for you, and your dreams of course”
“Stop with the riddles! Who fights for me?” Miranda almost shouted with frustration.
“Why the God of Night, and his minion the Darkness, of course. He tasted you once before, did you really think he would let go of you after you defeated him?” The Goddess answered, almost chastising.
“How can I defeat him, and get the Darkness out of my dreams?” Miranda asked
“There’s my girl. There’s the fight in you. You must banish the Darkness once and for all. You must journey to the realm of dreams. It is the only place it can be defeated.” The Goddess continued “I cannot interfere, but the wizards have left some of their magic for you to aide you, may it be enough” the last part was said almost in a whisper, but Miranda heard.
“What do you mean, may it be enough?” “You don’t think I can do it?” Miranda asked almost insulted.
“The Realm of Dreams is a dangerous place, few people travel there, and fewer make it back, but if any of my Dream Walkers can traverse it, it would be you” The Goddess replied.
“And if I don’t succeed? Miranda asked, almost afraid to ask
“I cannot let the Darkness take over your magic or dreams, I would have to take away your magic, but let us not dwell on that” The Goddess replied.
“You would do that, after I’ll done?” Miranda asked
“To protect Mystica, to protect the Dream Magic, yes I’m afraid I would” The Goddess answered.
“Take heart, have courage, let the wizards help you when and if they can”, The Goddess said pointing to Miranda’s robe.
As they were talking, the Darkness started to sneak in on the Goddess’ domain. It was a small dark black cloud encroaching the white light of her province.
“Go now, It follows you even here, Go before it grows larger” The Goddess commanded, pushing Miranda forward.
The Goddess strode forward, blasting light from her hand, diminishing the black cloud and Darkness back to where it came.
Miranda was left to figure out how to start her journey to the Dream Realm. If anyone knew where to start, it would be the past Dream Walkers.