I awaken and look around me. I know that time has passed while I was asleep but have the strange sensation that I have no way of measuring how much time has passed. But what is clear is that I am now in Ysadluftvelt, the Overworld, so different from my familiar Yadwassergyll, the Underworld.
In front of me is a dirt road. An ancient metal sign, to my right, bears the name Muntringer Road. My deepest being tells me that this is the way I must go. I lift my head and see a mountain far in the distance. This mountain is my goal. Flootnern Mountain. These words enter my consciousness and I know that this is the name of the mountain up ahead. There is another smaller mountain to my left and to my right is a forest. But these I must walk past for now.
Somehow I know that much of my year-long journey will be above ground in Ysadluftvelt, though there will be places in the underworld that I must visit as well.
I must have been overcome by my own energies that were awakened in my after the Calling Forth. I attempt to stand from the crumpled heap that I have fallen into but I cannot. My limbs do not obey my mind’s command. I close my eyes and turn inward to assess what has gone wrong. I can hear that something is wrong in the air around me. The energies of this land are weakened and confused and my own energies have been blocked. I have the counter-remedy in my suitcase but I am too weak to reach it.
I hear a voice.
“Is there a way that I can help you?”
I open my eyes and look up. A beautiful maiden is kneeling in front of me. Her gown is a radiant pale violet. Her long golden and orange hair hangs down her back.
“Who are you?”
“I am Loretta. I am with the Traveling Artist Guild.”
“So am I. But I do not remember seeing you before.”
“No, you wouldn’t have seen me. I have been in hiding. But I have been watching you. You may remember seeing my face during your Calling.”
“Oh, yes, that was you. Now I do remember. You were watching from above weren’t you?”
“Tell me how I can help you.”
“I need my remedy from my suitcase behind me. Would you please take it out of the first brown bottle? Then I will drink two drops. The energy of this place is affecting me.”
Loretta does as I ask and I drink the healing droplets. Immediately I feel much better. The remedy courses through my body from head to toe and as it reaches each part of my body, I can feel the healing. Soon I am able to stand and get my bearings.
Loretta asks, “what is your name?”
“I am Kalili.”
As my thoughts become clearer I become aware that Loretta was not affected by my appearance as most people would have been if I had not been cloaked or otherwise masked. How is this possible?
It is as if she reads my thoughts. “I know you. You do not have to worry that I will be hurt by seeing your true appearance. I too have different guises that I appear in.”
“I am grateful to hear this. Perhaps we can assist each other on our journeys.”
“Yes. Where are you going now?”
I tell her that the Flootnern Mountain is drawing me towards it. And as I tell her my plan I realize that the mountain is a very good first step to my journey. I will have the chance to see this whole land and perhaps gain some insight into what has gone wrong and how I can help. She says that she will walk with me on this first part of my journey.
And so we begin to walk.