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Starts for the dawn of nothing - oh, make haste!

(The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam (Edward Fitzgerald Translation)

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Part One

Wizard In Exile

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Chapter One

To Dream Of Wolves

Up, up in the mountains.

Up where Winter reigns eternal and her warriors bully earth and sky.

Then higher still. Climb to the reaches where even eagles are wary. Where the winds cut sharp, paring old snowfields of their surface to get at the black rock below. Where moody skies brood over a stark domain.

Yes, up. Up to the seven mountain peaks that make the Bride and Six Maids. And higher… still higher… to the highest point of all - the Bride’s snowy crown where the High Caravans climb to meet clear horizons.

Where the Demon Moon waits, filling the northern heavens with its bloody shimmer.

It was at the cusp of a new day; the sun rising against the Demon Moon’s assault, the True Moon giving up the fight and fading into nothingness. It was spring struggling with late winter. A time of desperation. A time of hunger.

Just below the Bride’s crown a patch of green glowed in defiance of all that misery. The green was a trick of nature, a meadow blossoming from a bowl of granite and ice. The winds sheered off the bowl’s peculiar formation making a small, warm safe harbor for life.

But safe is in the eye of the beholder. Safe is the false sanctuary of innocent imagination.

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