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Fragment Worlds : Prologue

Copyright Marc Gilbert, 2000


First mage of the Etherraz

Someone knocked at my door last night. It was one of my favorite young students, Dazrii, about seventeen years old. She told me that she had seen a strange star in the sky. I put on my shoes and followed her out. She pointed towards a spot in the sky, and there I saw a strange red star, a star that had not been there before. The foreign star was right in the middle of the Oracle constellation. That was surely a sign, but…was it a good or bad sign? I thanked Dazrii, returned to my home, wrote my observations, and went to bed.

I didn’t sleep well. Thoughts kept intruding. What was that red point in the sky? When I observed it the following night, the star seemed bigger than the preceding night. It was surely my imagination but…

No, it was not my imagination; the star was bigger than any other star I could see in the sky. Very strange… I’ll take the portal to Sirmal City tomorrow to go to the Sky Tower. I’ll prepare a meeting and I’ll talk to the conclave about it.

* * *

I didn’t sleep at all last night. This red fireball is consuming all my energy. Now I can see it during the day. My students have been asking many questions, but what could I say? Is the star growing or approaching?

The conclave came to the conclusion that that star was not growing, but approaching at a very fast rate. It must be a comet. We’ll meet tomorrow to see which direction it is taking.

* * *

The comet being now one-eighth the size of the moon, the conclave concludes that it is moving toward us and that it will hit us in eight days! I’ll return home tomorrow. Tonight, we must discuss what can be done to prevent the end of our world.

We've decided that the people living in outlying small towns must evacuate to the bigger cities. There, we will create an energy conjunction with all the mages available to form giant spheres of protection- a spell that we sometimes use to protect cities from a dragon attack, but this time it will require much more energy. We’ve never done any spell of this magnitude before.

* * *

There’s panic in the streets. The population has tripled in four days, and the ball of flame is still approaching. We’ll create the conjunction tomorrow. Some are saying that it is a punishment from the gods. Others think it will liberate us from the physical world. They say that we must not act, that we must not contradict the will of the gods. But most don't want to die, and that’s why we’ll create these domes. The gods gave us magic, and so we’ll use it.

* * *

The conjunction has succeeded! We’re all exhausted. It has taken all of our energy for days on end. Tomorrow we'll only be able to watch with the hope that the dome will protect us. The comet is now a third the size of the moon, and we see it growing every hour. I hope the conjunction was done well in the other cities. I must try to sleep now. Tomorrow will be the end of the world, or the beginning of a New World, and I must be there to witness it.

* * *

I’m outdoors. The moving fireball is now the size of the moon, and it is constantly growing. It should impact within minutes... I’m so exhausted. It is so bright in the sky that my eyes are burning when I look up.

Nearly everyone is panicking… the impact will be in few seconds. These could be my last words. I’ll close the book now and pray.

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