Scene 2—The Forest of Monsuret
Artan, laying on the ground face up, his body jerked awake as he realized he was dreaming. Artan looked around and noticed that he once again tripped over the same rock that he had tripped on each time he made this journey to Reginnia.
Artan began to think about the past. Ohn, Ohn-son’s father, had warned the Reginnians that they were not safe and the evil that the escaped via the Sea of Desperation had followed them to the Monsuret Forest. No war came. The Reginnians lowered their guard and thought the Anarym had read the prophecy wrong. They elected the fowl Revar as the leader of their council. Soon after that, the alliance between the Anarym and the Reginnians shattered. When the Reginnians were complacent, the Oghans started their attack. This was many years ago. Artan and Ohn-son were very young. He opened his eyes and wondered what the meaning of seeing this previous time was. Artan shook his head. He could not have been more than a few jahren old.
He looked around to refresh his mind to his surroundings. And then, he saw her. Sitting off to the side, her staff by her side and her long blonde hair slightly blowing in the wind. Her blue eyes twinkled, and she had a slight smile on her lips. The woman wondered aloud, “How many times will you trip and not see?”
“Not see? You mean the rock that I keep tripping over?”
“No, you are meant to keep tripping as long as you don’t find what you are meant to find.” She sat down on the ground. “I cannot show you. I can only say there is something here of great importance and until you see it….find it, you will trip in this spot always. It is meant to be found by you. You are meant to be its carrier.”
“But time is running short,” Artan replied. He wondered where this beautiful woman came from as he turned his head from side to side. “Ohn-son asked me to—”
“I know what he asked,” Ari-lyn interrupted. “This is more important.”
“Why can’t you just tell me what I’m supposed to find so I can be on my way,” Artan demanded.
“I cannot influence your destiny. Besides it is amusing to us to watch you stumble and fall.” She looked up to see the disdain on his face only to return it with a wryly smile. “It is not that hard to find.”
Artan sat up and glanced around the spot. He only saw the typical things one finds on the forest grounds of Reginnis. He scanned the ground to his right. He thought he saw something sparkle in the light. The light? The evening was setting in, and there was little light. But yet, He saw a blue sparkle twinkled again. He crawled over to it and pulled it from the ground. It began to glow in his hand. The grounds around him were lite by its pure light. “What is it?”
“It is a symbol of great power. It is a star that can show the way. It can be a guide for those who lost their way. It is knowledge for those who seek it. It is the power that evil man thirst for and fight to capture. It is the oracle the Oghans desire. It is the oracle that must never fall into their hands or the future of all that is Reginnis will cease to exist.”
Artan eyes widen as he heard this news from Ari-lyn. “Here. Take it.” Artan said extending his hand the woman. “I don’t want this.”
“Why not? Don’t you feel the power? Can’t you see you are the one who is meant to have it and use it?”
“I’m just a man. I don’t seek this power nor do I want it. I’m not strong enough to keep it safe. And I certainly don’t want to fight to keep it from the Oghans.” Artan paused. “I know not who you are, but it would be safer with you.”
“So you would rather Solrach obtain this oracle? Very well then!” The woman stood to leave. “Then place it in plain view for him as he rides by here in a short while. Put it where he can easily obtain it and begin the evil reign of Reginnis. Pray that the people of Reginnis are a strong people—strong enough to endure the evil that will surely come there way and most assuredly put them asunder.”
“How do you know this? Who are you?” Artan asked.
“I am your spirit guide. My name is Ari-lyn, daughter of the Goddess of the Hunt and Warriors,” she informed him. “I saw the despise on your face when Ohn-son told you I was a woman. You must not doubt the importance of your role in what will occur regardless of you taking or not taking the Oracle. Let it be known that your role is important enough that the Majestic One sent the daughter of a goddess to protect you. I was honored to do so until today.”
“Ari-lyn, you know I do not want those things to happen to Reginnis. But you surely hold me in higher regard than I am capable of living. Surely you see that I am but one Reginnian-a Reginnian shunned by his people and not capable of leading them to any victory? If it not for Ohn, I would not be here today. They took me and made me one of them. I live alone in the forest. I can’t possibly be of any consequence to anyone.”
Ari-lyn looked at Artan. “Can you accept that the fate of Reginnis is in your hands?” She motioned to the Oracle that he held in his right hand. “If so, then douse its light as there are enemies among the trees.”
“Douse its light? How?”
“By placing it around your neck and beneath your shirt. Wear it close to your heart.”
“By doing this, I accept whatever journeys or crusade it desires me to have?”
“There is but one crusade. There is but one decision. What is the fate of Reginnis?” Ari-lyn looked to her right as she heard something in the forest. “Quickly decide! Either place it in plain view and fade into the darkness that action will bring, or douse it by accepting you want all of Reginnis to have a fighting chance to live!”
Artan looked at Ari-lyn whose face grew tortured with every sound made by the approaching Oghans. Artan looked into the Oracle and the chain that was attached. He placed it around his neck and tucked it beneath his shirt.
“Now quickly and quietly hide,” Ari-lyn commanded.
Artan ran into the forest as Ari-lyn disappeared into the forest mist that came with the sunset. She led the Oghans away from Artan.