EXEMPLAR: i was greeted by a hissing torrent of dissonance and clamor the likes of which i had never heard before.
EXEMPLAR: it commanded my hearing and strained my sight, flooding my senses.
EXEMPLAR: it felt like an unpleasant dream.
EXEMPLAR: he came to me, then.
EXEMPLAR: as he spoke, the chaos seemed to melt away.
ALBION: *who*did*
EXEMPLAR: i still cannot say with certainty.
EXEMPLAR: he was naught but bone and insisted that he had no name worth calling.
EXEMPLAR: he knew mine well, though.
EXEMPLAR: there was... something about his tone that drew me toward him.
EXEMPLAR: the way he turned phrases, as if he knew all there ever was to know about this world and its people.
EXEMPLAR: how he seemed to be familiar with all my innermost thoughts.
EXEMPLAR: i suppose it would seem unsettling when put like that. in truth, he spoke with the warmth and fondness of an old friend.
EXEMPLAR: everything that i wanted to hear, good or bad, he would tell me.
EXEMPLAR: and he talked endlessly about you. about your friends.
EXEMPLAR: who you would become and what you were meant for in the future that he saw.
EXEMPLAR: he asked if i wished to help him lock it in place, for the salvation of our people.
EXEMPLAR: i could not refuse.
EXEMPLAR: the strange being gave me a piece of his soul, and this seemed to pain him greatly.
EXEMPLAR: i don't think he realized i could tell.
EXEMPLAR: he then explained that the heat from this eternal flame would allow me to glimpse the future he spoke of. a future in which life flourished.
EXEMPLAR: it did. and it was beautiful.
EXEMPLAR: the vision became my guiding light from that moment onward.
EXEMPLAR: still, i always thought of how upset he had looked back then, for a fleeting moment.
EXEMPLAR: i only understood why when it all came crashing down.