“Taryn’nati sits alone in the sea, surrounded east, south, and west by misty, impassable waters, and north by a frozen wasteland. Its history is unknown, lost to the ages, but those who follow the old ways will tell you it has always been steeped in magic.
“The Believers will further tell you this magic has been cursed. That human greed and hatred have destroyed the natural balance. In her vengeance, the Mother Goddess, Great Mother and creator of all living things, has cursed this continent with darkness. All manner of creatures transform to monsters or demons, a strange and wild blending of instinct and intelligence. Human girls are tainted at birth, then hunted, branded and suppressed, locked in the Black Tower for our protection. Spirits and mysterious beings roam the wilderness, preying on anyone unfortunate enough to cross them. And with this curse comes a warning. Unless we change our ways, this darkness will only grow.
“I cannot tell you if the curse is real, or what will happen to us in the end. What I am here to share is the beginning. A prologue, if you will. The story of a simple, unwanted girl who found herself tangled in the strings of fate. It is not filled with action or adventure, or with heroes and villains and their great battles. It is just a story about a life. A life that will change our homeland, its inhabitants, and the very nature of magic, forever. And perhaps, one that will save us all.”
Taking a short break to let his opening sink in, the storyteller pulled over a stool and sat. His long, black hair draped freely over one shoulder, sharply contrasted against the colorful mixed-fabrics of his clothing. After a quick glance at the red, woven bracelet wrapped tightly around his wrist, he looked back to his audience. His bright blue eyes shined and he grinned with a heavy-hearted joy, ready to continue his forbidden tale.