Bright Shadows

  Four Lands The travel suit is light-grey, a little thicker and heavier than ordinary clothing, and warm to the touch. It shapes itself to me when I put it on, and I feel a trickle of energy from the shield that spreads across the material. I soon forget that the suit is there, even the mask that covers my face. I hover over the towers at ten thousand feet, while I scan through terrain maps on the headset display. There are a few small islands scattered through the ocean, but only four continents, three of them joined to a fourth. The seven races and the guardians refer to them as the four lands: First, North, West, and East. FirstLand is the heart of them all, a near-perfect circle, fifteen hundred miles in diameter. The towers rest on a plateau at its center. Legend says that creation began here.

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Lost Light

  Watchers My energy sight is gone. I can’t feel the web, or the movement of energy. Still, I have a vague sense that Kihyez is scanning me. “What’s wrong with you?” he asks, a moment later. “You were a master when you first met us.” “Now you have no strength at all!” “How can you be a watcher like this?” “The others will crush you.” “Others?” He grabs me without answering, and flies toward the second tower. The towers are great stone cylinders, fifty feet wide and two hundred fifty feet tall, that glitter in the daylight. The surface of the towers is decorated with thin streams of colored crystal that move up the towers in gentle spirals that branch, merge, and disappear. A sharp crystal spire rises another thirty feet above the cylinders. The base of each tower is surrounded by a garden with flowers always in bloom,…

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