Disclamer: I do not own Atalanta the Sunchaser, the Celestial Valley, the Shifter, or anything else related to the Unicorns of Balinor. I own Aelarain, the plot, and any other characters/events you don't recognize.


There was a flash of light; Atalanta saw it reflected in her Watching Pool. She looked up and saw a shooting star carving a path across the sky. She smiled softly as she remembered the shooting star that had fallen the night the Sunchaser had been born. Suddenly, the star's path faltered, and it began to fall out of the sky directly toward Atalanta and the Pool. The image in the Pool slid into darkness, and Entia's clawed hands were reaching upward. Atalanta reared at the image of the Shifter. The star began to fall even faster. Just as it was about to fall into Entia's hands, Atalanta leapt across the Pool and caught the star on her crystal horn. She heard a faint screech of rage behind her as the Pool's clear surface began to fill in again. Atalanta set the star down gently and stepped back to gaze at it. A small child sat in the grass in a silvery-blue dress; her big amber eyes blinked curiously at Atalanta.

"Dreamspeaker," the child asked, "What happened? Why did I fall?" Atalanta whickered softly.

"I do not know," she replied, "What is your name?" The child blinked again.

"Aelarain," the girl replied, "But I would prefer to be called Rain." Atalanta nodded.

"You are a rare person, Rain," she said, "And you will have a rare gift. Because you fell from the sky and I caught you on my horn by the Watching pool, you will be allowed to enter the Celestial Valley; you and you alone. As for the mark I will give to you, I choose your eyes. They will remain their normal amber, but if you close your eyes for three seconds and picture me, your eyes will turn the color of my coat. No one will doubt your loyalty." Rain nodded silently, listening only to the Dreamspeaker's words and the gentle ripples of the Watching Pool.