Sorry about the formatting; too lazy. ---------On Errotria--------------- It was an average day in Errotria. As usual, the mountains in the west prevented the chilly sea air blowing inland, so the rays of the large, orange star were able to bathe the idyllic meadow with a serene golden light. The long wild-grasses swayed lazily in the warm breeze, sending a haze of technicolour pollens and petals across the sky. Four-meter tall tortoises were dotted haphazardly around the field, their shells a bleached white to counter the sun's heat. On the horizon, one could easily make out the silhouette of the great citadel, Emphyros. That was not the most interesting thing, though, for in a stone henge formation to the south of the plains stood a single woman clad in the distinctive red and white of a Shrine Maiden. All around her, a maelstrom of silver, ghostly flame spun, regularly spluttering and spitting like a cauldron left on the boil. Every so often, the entire maelstrom would pulse several times, then swap its direction of rotation so it swirled the other way. This would be accompanied by a low magnitude earthquake, and even a little bit of fracturing to the blocks of the monument. After a short while, the woman, who had previously been seated, stood up and moved to the side to lean against one of the pillars. -----------Meanwhile, on Earth-------------- It was raining in the city. Not a monsoon, but a mild drizzle - a British kind of rain. The kind of rain that's almost saying "Terribly sorry about this. I'll be gone before you know it. Oh, pardon me. I really hope I'm not causing you any inconvenience." It was, however, not gone before they knew it, and frankly, it was beginning to get on their nerves. Their friend had called them out here to see... something, but since their friend was nowhere to be seen, they were a little miffed. Just as they were about to call it quits and head home, the friend's head emerged from the emergency exit of a building that had been sectioned off from the public by one of those giant scaffolding frames covered in adverts that makes it impossible to see the building itself. The group headed through the door, following the clear protagonist through the winding alleyways of the temporarily closed community center, and into its garden area. The city here was so over-developed that such a place was completely hidden from the street behind a wall of office buildings, and the only way you could possibly know it was there was if you happened to see it on Google Earth. The fascinating thing about this courtyard though was not the unnerving sense of nostalgia it induced in the writer as she was writing it, but the peculiar... thing... within it. In the center of the garden lay a large ball of silver stuff that moved rather like a shoal of sedated fish - very slowly around a central point, with half the silver stuff going in one direction and half going in the other. The trio gathered around the blob as they tried to figure out what it was, but leapt back in surprise when the protagonist seemingly tripped while standing completely still and toppled head first into the silvery stuff. Much to the remaining pair's surprise, a flash of dazzling white light temporarily stunned them, and when they regained their vision, the protagonist was nowhere to be seen. Before they could discern what exactly had happened, the sound of a door being bolted shut echoed dully in the pavilion, but was splintered and absorbed very quickly, with relatively little reverberation. They pondered for a decent length of time, before deciding their only option was to touch the silvery stuff, since that was what their friend had done last, and see what happened. ----------Whilemean, back on Errotria---------------- The Shrine Maiden, her six-eyed fox mask now back on the side of her head instead of covering her face as it had been previously, sauntered casually over to the three people who stood somewhat defensively in the center of the Stonehenge. She made a grandiose gesture, then extended her hand toward the protagonist's band. "Welcome," she said, her voice oddly young and almost naive. "to the world of Errotria!"