Prologue: Surprises

There was once an Underground poet that wrote:

A dreamer dreams forever

Of silver and diamond rings

Of servants and of thrones

Romance and other things

And when the dreamer owns

The wishes that she wants

There may be no more left to dream

No sleep to sweetly haunt

But little does she know

That there is more to know

There are dreams to go

If she should let go

If she could open her eyes

And see them.

The same poet wrote, as he sadly looked down upon his hard-earned parchment:

Oh, childhood action haunting

I have a dream to grasp

I have a question unasked

Of which you are forever daunting

Oh shadow, evil lurking

I have a life to share

I have a soul laid bare

Of which you once were murking

Oh life, sweet discorded song

I have a love to give

I have my song to live

Of which he does duly wrong

Oh sweet, I see you wait

I have to watch afar

I have to watch your star

Here, in this half-gone state

Oh tomorrow, hovering cloud

I have a new direction

I have a new discretion

And I shall speak aloud

He blew a wisp of blond hair from his face, then gazed into the fire, determination burning in his eyes. "A man," he said into the flames, "can have a dual nature. Then off it goes, like the sun over the horizon, leaving the plant alone in its darkness. But, if the sun does not return, if it were to fizzle out, the plant must die, as well." He continued his philosophizing, pacing the room, looking with melancholy eyes into the many paintings on his wall. "A woman," he said to a particular painting, "can have her heart's every desire. Then the dreams turn awry, and she is left dreamless. If she goes forever without another dream, her spirit shall surely die."

He sat down at a table, and pulled out a parchment flier. On it were the words, "Sunset City's Annual Independence Festival: Bring Your Self and Your Craft... Surprises are bound to happen. Entrance fee: 30 gold coins."

"What if the woman and the man were to join forces?" he asked the air. Perhaps they could keep each other alive. Then he grunted and added, "I am merely attempting to rationalize the breaking of a vow. But, unlike many years ago, I understand the need for assistance. Perhaps a vow is sometimes meant to be broken. There is one way to find out." Once again, he looked down at the flier.

"Surprises..." he mused.