Prologue: The Curse

100 years earlier...

Deep in the Harvest Spring knelt a young woman surrounded by three sprites. Sunlight filtered through the trees and shone off her hair as she spoke to her reflection in the spring's calm waters.

"As Goddess of this spring and town I place this curse on these people. They have forgotten the old ways and the respect of the woods. May the land turn away from them. The soil shall crumble under their feet, the rivers will dry and the sun will beat down upon them." Tears fell from her emerald eyes and soaked into the ground. "I give all my power and my life into this spell," Standing, she began to fade. "But I will return. I will judge whether or not they have heeded their warning." Completely transparent, her voice was barely above a whisper as she said, "Even now I can feel the Council pulling my magic from me. I am to be punished…" Turning to the sprites, she smiled grimly. "I must entrust my memory to you." She reached down and plucked a flower from the ground. Closing her eyes, she waved her hand over the flower, which began to glow. "Here. Please, protect my memories." When you see next see me you may not know it. I will come back to you, but I fear it will be as a human…" Handing the flower to one of the sprites, she faded out completely.

Tears streaming down his face, the sprite holding the flower whispered, "Goodbye, Goddess. Please come back soon…"

A voice on the wind, she replied softly, "I will, as soon as I can. Don't forget me…" Nodding vigorously, all three sprites wept.

"I promise, Goddess! When you come home we'll all give you back your memories!" A gentle breeze came through and then she was gone.