High atop green mountains, amongst the clouds and overlooking the dark sea, a cave illuminated purple from a bubbling cauldron which sat in its depths. A soft  breeze pulled the lacy white dress of a translucent girl who stood at the cave’s edge, her long curly chestnut hair framed emerald eyes twinkling with curiosity. Every step she took towards the cauldron echoed the cave walls. Her hair brushed the surface and created ripples in the purple substance inside. 

Images flashed before her eyes, her home far beyond repair. Children crying covered in vomit; mothers desperately trying to comfort them with buckets beside them, many already full, ready for their own stomachs to retch. Empty streets and vacant markets covered in beetles. Bodies burning for disease control, soot from the deceased covering the land.

She recoiled, clenching her chest and leaning against the nearest rock for support. Light from the potion made shadows dance eerily on the cave walls. Screams echoed through the crevices of the mountain and the dancing shadows came together, merging into a pulsating blob. Determination crackled from the shadow mass as it began sparkling like twilight. There was deep pained breath and a skeletal man draped in midnight robes took form from the shadows.

“The rose is almost ready!” His voice boomed.

The girl; now crouched in terror, sat watching, but was unnoticed by the man. Almost as though thrown back by the strength and power of his words, he stumbled only to catch himself on a large stalagmite. As the robbed man regained himself, dark red liquid began to drip from his hand and down the stalagmite. Contorting his face to an ugly grin, he stumbled to the now steaming cauldron with an outstretched hand adorned in various gemmed rings. Blood fell eagrly and sizzled, clearing away the steam as it hit the surface of the caudron’s brew. The man stared deeply into the contents of his potion.

No longer did the light shine purple but a burst of brilliant blue shot forth from the depths of every inch of the cave. An image formed from sickly green  bubbles, the face of a beautiful young woman with emerald eyes and flowing chestnut hair. She smiled a sweet toothy grin at Natas and his insides squirmed. Then the woman’s face contorted and retched, her mouth shot open. From the potion sprung forth something that the man caught with eager excitement. The woman bubbled away and a new image appeared, a purple figure who was  climbing his way up the sorcerer’s mountain.

To Be Continued…