TITLE: The Winds Return: The Ancient Ones

AUTHOR: Robswandering

CHARACTERS: Richard Rahl / Kahlan Rahl / Night Wisps / Bolar

RATING: R / M

WARNINGS: No Warning

TIMELINE: After Season 2, 26 years

DISCLAIMER: This is a creative license to use some of my favorite Programs from Legend of the Seeker Television show and develop a more in depth personal view of one possible future for Richard and Kahlan.

SUMMARY:
Long before the Wizards Keep, the Confessors Palace, the lands of D'hara and the Old World there was a place far away beyond a great Gateway where the Ancestors lived. The Ancient ones have returned to the three lands seeking to attain the world that has lived untouched for almost eight thousand years. They find that boxes of Orden worked, the world blossomed and is once again their's for the taking. This begins a little of the History of the lands and how they became as George, Richard, Kahlan, and Cara still seek the answers to their quests a darker, more powerful, and sinister evil lies in wait to take over the lands. Time is short and a Wizard named Bolar and a Night Wisp named Kiska are all that stand in the way of the Empire of D'hara from being overrun .

The Winds Return

The Ancient Ones

Rimono's body rocked with the jarring cough that woke him for the tenth time as he huddled down among the rocks inside a protective shell of ice and snow. He opened and closed his cupped hands letting a ball of Wizards fire roll over itself in his palms. As the weather drew colder it became more difficult to draw from the warmth of the air, but with the last of his effort he pulled enough warmth from his body to create a flame. The snow that came down above him hit an impenetrable shell of ice that was rapidly beginning to crack unless he could reinforce it.

He held the flame of the Wizards fire up and allowed it to levitate warming the air around him. The shell of ice started to melt and he held out his hands to pull the warmth away before it melted drawing in the snow that threatened to bring a fast death with it. The Ice relented as several layers of snow above it turned to Ice while he drew the warm from the molecules above reinforcing his flagging shield against the blistering cold.

The air warmed slowly and the shivering of his body began to subside, but the coughing still rocked him causing his muscles and joints to ache with the fatigue threatening to pull him into sleep. He pulled a small book from inside his robes and opened it up. The dyed blue binding was held together with strips of skin and leather. The pages themselves appear to be spelled with ancient runes annotated on the corners. He dipped the stylus he pulled from the spine made of bone sharpened to a point into the ink bottle he carried with him no bigger than his thumb painted with orange symbols and runes on each of its four sides.

Rimono, Second Wijarda of fourth Battalion, Journey day 5, sixth hour from sunrise.

Including myself, four made it through out of one-thousand forty-six. It appears the portal collapsed when it reached a maximum mass threshold disallowing any more of us to pass the event horizon. This is especially difficult as the events that occurred after we arrived were suspicious in their entirety. Rexan, Hendor, and Grillis are dead. Rexan's leg amputated when the portal closed on it leaving nothing but a stump just below the kneecap. Combine that with the insidiously freezing cold and rapidly losing blood, we took his supplies and Grillis tossed him over the mountain side. I think he screamed all the way down. Kiris, his wife won't be too saddened to hear of his death I'm sure, as she was already warming Battalion Commander Jeger's bed the moment he was chosen for this expedition.

Hendor whined about our 'precarious' situation from the moment we arrived. What is even more infuriating is that I would trade a thousand of him for the engineer Jebus. Unfortunately Jebus' isn't here, and time is running short. Hendor unfortunately was of little use, bawling about the impossibility of recreating the right mass and density of those Crystals without knowledge and components that other members of our expedition were carrying. In the end, I thought it rather comical that Grillis became fed up with Hendor and blew him off the edge of the plateau. Grillis unfortunately was hit with a lancing spell that rapidly turned into a more serious bacterial infection. Since Bolar, our healer, abandoned us shortly after we arrived, Hendor was the closest we had to a healer. Probably better than Bolar, yet after three painfully excruciating days, he finally succumbed to the symptoms and passed away. I am unsure if Bolar is still alive, but I firmly believe now that he may be a member of the insurgency.

When we arrived, I examined the supports on this side disappointed to find the focusing crystals destroyed due to intentional damage. The structural damage of each Pylon no longer allows them the capability to power the gateway from this side. Each of the nine circular levels of the Pylons from the foundation stones to the apex has some decay and wear, but the spells written on them are largely intact.

The crystal supports on this side have no hope of being repaired without assistance and the Gateway can't be reopened without resources to repair the damage. As it stands, the time dilation spell worked. The reports we received before the Gateways collapsed the first time reported that the mountain elevations were well above sixty four degrees vector, but so far using measurements and star constellations the mountain ranges have been worn down by the elements to just below fifty nine degrees vector from reference.

Assuming the calculations are correct, it seems over eight thousand years has passed in the last few months that we have attempted to restore the gateway to this world. What concerns me most is plate and elevation shift. The plateau upon which the Gateway sits carved out of the mountain appears to be intact; however a verification of the foundation is necessary to make sure the Pylons have not shifted outside one-hundred twenty degrees beyond center.

On a more disparaging note I do not have the resources available to repair the pylons myself, but if I can find several spheres I will be able to use them as conduits to refocus the power and reopen the portal to get a small team through. Those on this side will not have abandoned codecs or the ancient arts so it is likely that several spheres may exist. Judging by the atmosphere and climate, this world is viable. Orden did not deceive us. The boxes worked.

Rimono replaced the stylus in the spine and tucked the book back into his robes. The howling storm had begun to die down a bit, but he stayed tucked safely away behind his shelter while the wind and snow encapsulated his hiding place among rocks. He pulled a small vial from inside his robes and inspected the amber and red colors swirling inside. Slipping the stopper off the vial he observed the steam rising from the contents into the cold air.

With a flick of his wrist he tipped the vial placing a drop in each eye before restoring the stopper. It took a moment for the elixir to take effect, but runes swam before his eyes and each one faded out of his vision before revealing a purple haze and a darkened room.

"Has your team arrived and found the boxes?" The gravelly voice sharply queried. Elongated vowels and over emphasized syllables made it distinct. Pale cream-colored skin in comparison to the yellowish hue of the conjunctive against the bright red irises of his eyes stood out in contrast to the surroundings.

"No, there has been a complication." Rimono's voice shook with fear as he awaited the Masters response.

"Complication," The caustic tone was unmistakable through gritted teeth. "Explain this… complication."

"Master, it appears the bridge failed. There were five that managed to make it through. The others with exception of Bolar and myself are dead." Rimono replied.

"Bolar." His blood-red irises filled his eyes and the very tone exuded condemnation. The pale skin of his face blushed in sharp pink contrast to his red hair.

"He's gone, Master. He ran at the first opportunity. I don't believe he'll make it very far out of these mountains. His death will be painful and slow."

"I certainly hope for your sake Rimono, you are correct. The one asset that we have is surprise and if the insurgents were to find out we are rebuilding the bridge, our efforts may be for naught."

"I have already estimated the time that's passed as we worked hard these last few months rebuilding the bridge to this world. I don't think that will be much of a problem, Master.

The cool eyes of the Master were pensive, but his tone conveyed suspicion thereby sending a chill down Rimono's neck. "And what are your findings Wijarda?"

Rimono cleared his throat. "Over eight thousand years, Master. Given what I know of the condition of the pylons on this side of the bridge their derelict condition seems to indicate that they have been abandoned."

"Good." Rimono had heard the quiet, yet thoughtful tone many times, but always just before a dark sentence is issued. "Ignorance is an asset. Eight thousand years," he repeated pensively. A heavily armored glove reached up and stroked a thin angular pale chin. "Perhaps that can work in our favor, but that depends upon your ability to repair the bridge. Can you?"

"Master, I will repair the bridge, but I need contact points for the pillars. Spheres will do the work. They will sense the power required and reflect it back into the central angle to recreate the connection necessary to build up the power required to support it." Rimono's voice quaked with fear as he worked out the equations in his mind.

"I don't have time for your ramblings Rimono," The pale face softened as the high cheekbones and slanted eyes looked through the vision directly into his soul. "Time is running short and I want to see progress. I expect that you will do everything in your power to rebuild the bridge. I assume you will need more of those with knowledge of the crystals to assist you?

"Yes, Master, the assistance of the Master Jewelers would be greatly appreciated." The simpering whine of Rimono's voice grated on his nerves, but it was necessary. "Thank you, Master."

"Very Well. Remember Rimono. This is our world. We created the power that created it. It belongs to us. Do not forget that."

"Yes, Master, It shall be done. " Rimono placed a fist across his midsection and inclined his head in a gesture of subservience. He then scolded himself reminded that the only thing the Master could see was the steam rising off the water and his eyes reflected off the water's surface.

"See that you do." Whispered a terse, but abrupt reply just before the face vanished.

Rimono coughed into the sleeve of his robe as he listened to the howling of the wind outside the safety of his snow cave. Groping around in the cold icy chamber he found the long staff of polished willow and pushed himself up to his knees. "Mo'sjia Nimaora Bramos Livorna" The words came in a guttural growl. Each word making the ground quake and the rocks suddenly shake around him. At the very last syllable of the last word, his white shell of protection exploded in all directions pouring in the sunlight and warmth. He pushed his staff against the wall of ice that now enclosed him and the ice formed into a series of steps leading up to the top of the embankment.

The pylons still stood like crumbling sentries against the edge of the plateau. Their stone foundations partly covered in snow, but because of the plateaus exposure to the elements on three of the four sides, most of the snow and sleet had blown away leaving them relatively untouched.

Rimono examined the plateau and the mountain rising above it. The location was precisely where it needed to be along the planetary axis and at a right angle to the central star in the system. The base angle of the mountains position on the crust of the earth rotating around its axis maintained a central point of conduction for the magical properties that governed the additive and subtractive. This mountain was the first place that his people had ever stepped foot on this world. This was the very first place that the power of Orden had ever been used to create a world that they could escape to.

He stepped closer to the pylon nearest him and placed a hand against the crumbling carved surface. The oblong shaped runes around each graduation of stones created an odd pyramid of sorts that culminated in a tapered apex supporting three frames. The frames measured approximately two feet in length to create a holder for what appeared to be broken crystals, once diluted with changing amber and orange diffused power, now broken and crumbling those crystals had turned black and powerless.

"Spheres," He breathed. "I need to find the spheres." He paced to the next pylon and counted forty-eight strides. Each individual pylon was exactly forty-eight strides apart. He exhaled deeply thanking the good spirits that the pylons had not moved over the eight thousand or so years. That might prove to be disastrous in his calculation. Rimono slowly paced to the center of the Pylons checking the angles of each verifying the vertical angles matched the computations previously stored in his memory.

With his finger he drew out the lines and angles as they should appear and the magic visually drew them for him. He watched the translucent blue additive trace each angle and vector as a verification web started to form. He slipped the angles from the focal point and with a brief gust of wind he blew the remnants of the last foot of snow inside the circumference of the large stone tablet on which he now stood. The design engraved in the stone was a grace. Inside the Grace where he stood was a center point and at one-hundred twenty degree angles just outside the outer circle representing the Spirit world stood the pylons. Each pylon connected with a line intersecting the outer circle, the square, and the inner circle to the center of the Grace. He stepped off-center of the verification web and with the flick of his fingers the web disappeared.

"Good. The central angles are intact. At least, I don't have to fix that." He whispered staring off into the distance to the south. He pulled a map from inside his robes. "They must have some sort of repository here, the only question remains where might this repository of magic be?"

The daylight obscured the Night Wisp as she flitted back and forth hovering over the plateau observing the activity below. She had watched them exit the portal and then suddenly the portal had collapsed with the last to exit screaming in agony in the darkness of the early morning hours. One of them stole away in those early morning hours descending the steep incline of the mountain to the valley below. It wasn't possible to know if he left the valley out of the snow-covered mountains, but she suspected by his direction that he is headed for Aydindril.

She watched them with their plain robes and knee-high boots as the remaining men fought and argued in a language she knew was long forgotten. They spoke in low guttural tones with elongated syllables and consonants each outdoing the other as conversations escalated to screaming matches in unintelligible words. The sound of the wind in the mountain carried their voices and the high pitched screams bounced off the walls as the one whose leg amputated by the collapsing portal had been tossed off the plateau and over the cliff falling thousands of feet to the base of the mountain below.

Finally when there were only three. She did not understand the arguments or the words, but they would point to one another and then to the pylons with the broken crystals atop each, then back to themselves. She understood that they were examining the pylons to reopen the portal. The larger man with a bald pate and grisly mustache stood over a younger man with spindly legs and arms and long greasy hair. They argued at first and then the sharp whining cry of the smaller man was rather comical as he was blasted off the side of the plateau and out into the air following his companion to his death.

His death was not without a Pyrrhic victory as lightning lanced from his fingertips knocking the rather large man from his feet. The last of the newcomers tended to his wounds, but as the days drew on and the cold winds began to take their toll, he finally succumbed to sickness. Then there was only one.

The Night Wisp flitted down behind the mountain through the valley searching for the one who had wandered off. She brushed the snow-covered mountain and back over the rocks of several inclines. She flitted back and forth over, under and through banks of snow and back down the sides of the mountains that skirted the eastern edge of the Rang'Shada mountains.

"Gotcha!" The low voice exclaimed as the Night Wisp cleared the last bank and flew straight into the leather pouch. He could feel it flitting to and fro frantically testing for weaknesses in the makeshift prison. It screeched and screamed helplessly with its melodiously beautiful voice.

He sat back against the rocks pulling the warmth from the air around him. Its warmth caressed his body within the plain brown robes and the knee-high boots that he wore. His leather cap pinned to his head flopped down over his ears and he cooed to the small creature in the leather pouch he held in his hands. "Wisp! Wisp! Listen! I was sent by Audria to find your kind."

The leather pouch grew still and he lifted the flap slightly to peer inside. She peered out from the small hole and responded. "Audria, our mother is Audria. Truthful you are."

"Yes," He breathed, "I am Wijarda Bolar. You will tell me where to find the resistance, where is Wijarda Goven?"

"Kiska. I am Kiska." She sighed audibly, "Many centuries, so sad. So many centuries. No one left. I am sorry," She whispered "Speak in High D'haran, you do. Very old Dialect it is."

"High D'haran?" His expression was curious. "They do not speak Haranian here?"

"Long time. Many centuries passed since first they came here. Languages evolve. Change."

"Change indeed. It seems we are too late. There is little hope of stopping them from reopening the portal without someone who would know of the old ways."

Kiska flitted around inside the leather pouch flashing light through the loosened leather holes. "There is one." She poked her face out at him. "Hair of White, Blade of pain, Hair of white. Seek the one with hair of white."

"Hair of white?" He stared at her quizzically an eyebrow arching. "Who is this one with Hair of white."

"He walks. He walks with the Mother Confessor." Her sing-song melody rang out in the cold air.

"Who is this Mother Confessor?" Bolar's questioning expression began to shift. "I am sorry, I do not understand. Who are these people you speak of?"

"Kahlan is. Kahlan is. Mother Confessor, Kahlan is." She whispered. "Going to die soon, if I do not return. Going to miss my kind."

"Wisp," He jostled the leather pouch as his panicked frustration began to mount. "Wisp, where is this Mother Confessor? Where do I find her?"

"She is West, to the west you will find her in the west." The small voice began to fade. "I will die soon. We do not do well in captivity Wijarda Bolar."

Bolar smiled. "It is a trait of your people. I know, but you must promise to help me find this Kahlan and I will help you get back to your people."

"You will not hurt her, you must promise me you will not hurt her and I will help." The small melodious sing-song voice rang out.

"I can promise you this, I must stop them from opening the Portal. There is more than simply this world to consider, but should Brandus-,"

Her melodious sing-song voice screeched out in terror, "Such horrible news. How does he live? Too many centuries! Too many thousands of years! He should not live."

"Magic can do many things, even slow down time, little Wisp." Bolar sighed opening the small leather pouch.

Kiska floated up before his eyes. "Magic was dying, but the Seeker and the Mother Confessor saved us. Magic is not dying anymore, but many died. Magic cannot bring them back."

"Indeed, little Wisp, and many more will die if you do not help me find this one with the Hair of White." Bolar understood his feelings now bordered on hopeless, but the wisps always spoke in riddles. Things he invariably could only come to understand with time. "I promise not to harm this Kahlan you call her."

"Bargain struck Wijarda Bolar." Her sing-song voice seemed tired and exhausted in spite of her enthusiastic flitting around his head.

"First though, you must be taken care of." Bolar caught the little wisp in the palms of his hands and the wisp screeched in terror.

"What are you doing? No, you promised. You need my help." Her panicked flitting back and forth inside the cage of his cupped hands tickled against his skin. Her cries of fear quieted when the channeled power of additive magic flowed from his fingertips into her small body. She recognized the comfort of home, of the woods where her kind lived for many centuries and she slept in the palm of his hand.

Kiska awoke with a start in the small leather pouch as it lay on its side on top of the thick robes that covered Wijarda Bolars legs. She could hear the soft baritone hum of his voice and the crackling of a fire. Peering out from her small leather cave she flitted out into the night air. The air seemed much warmer and the rocks and snow of the high mountains were long gone, dissolved into sweet green grasses and fallen leaves of gold, orange, yellows and reds. She recognized the home of her ancestors. The home of the Night Wisps.

"How did you know where to find us?" She flitted up into the warm air right before his eyes. Her sparkling lights blazing in the night as with each flap of her tiny wings her light changed from a vibrant pink, to the soft muted violets, and then a warm lavender, before changing once again to a golden yellow.

"It isn't difficult little Wisp." Bolar replied in a casual tone. "The Night Wisps live in a cocoon of magic. It was a simple matter of tracing the tendrils of that magic to you."

"Not difficult, but we are safe here. No one can find us." She whispered frantically, her voice more demanding than believing.

"Really?" Bolar prodded the flames with a stick. "You seem as though you're afraid, little Wisp."

"Afraid. Yes, now afraid. You found my home." She flitted about his head in a haphazard fashion clearly perplexed. "How did we move so many miles. So fast so many miles?"

Bolar laughed at first as he followed her dizzying trail around him. "We ported here. It is not a difficult thing for a Wijarda to do."

"Ported, yes. I remember." But she didn't. She remembered the feeling of home and then the long sleep.

Bolar was beginning to realize things were not as they seemed in this new world. "Wisp, would you mind answering some questions I have?"

"Perhaps. If they are good questions." She replied alighting on his leg.

"I have begun to see things that disturb me. Things I don't understand." He whispered, but the little Night Wisp remained silent. "You seem out of sorts. Is it so difficult to believe that we can manipulate matter, space, and time to suit our needs?

She flitted up and down again on his knee. The very practice of it mimicked a shy and guarded expression. "Many centuries, magic was dying, Wizards battled across vastness of this world. They destroyed the magic. Many died. The gift died in those born. What are left are infants to its power."

Bolar let out an exasperated breathe, "Dear Creator, are you saying that fewer were born with the gift?"

She whined yet the sound still sounded beautiful. "Many were born. Many were killed because they did not fully possess the power." Her colorful light changed faster as she moved around him. "Magic itself was dying. Wizards misused magic. Create they could, but take away they could not. Knowledge to use it was lost."

Bolars mind began to race. He understood. The magic had been choked off somehow. Things had gone horribly awry. "All of those things the early Wizards had created. They were left in the world?"

"Many things Wijarda Bolar. Dangerous things left in this world. No one to protect them, til the Seeker came."

"The seeker?" Bolar had never heard of such a thing. "What is a Seeker?"

"The Seeker is Richard," She howled, "Richard is the Seeker."

He stared up ward into the darkness, his eyes slowly adjusting from the light of the fire to the stars twinkling down at him from a clear sky. "I'm assuming this Richard the Seeker has magic?"

"Yes!" Her voice echoed into the clear crisp night. "He is One."

"One." His baffled tone was clear. "There is only one with both sides of the Gift?"

"No. Not alone." She whispered. "War Wizard. Seeker is the War Wizard."

"War Wizard?" Bolar rubbed his eyes rolling his fingers along his temples. "War Wizards are very rare. There has not been a War Wizard since Master Brandus."

"One other." She cried. "Barracus." Her voice carried through the wind.

Bolar heard the distant echoes of that sing-song voice and watched as tiny twinkling lights flew toward him from the darkness. He remained perfectly still and watched them come. "The others are coming little Wisp. Remember your vow to help me find this one with hair of white."

"I will remember Wijarda Bolar." She whispered as each twinkling light seemed to hover closer. The darkness that shrouded them began to get porous with muted illuminations of light of every color.

The strongest of lights bounced through the darkness to the small fire. It flitted from tree to tree and slowly approached with an odd gait of a man possessed by drink, but the course if not direct in a haphazard fashion. Kiska flew up into the air and Bolar stood with his hands tucked into the sleeves of his robes.

Finally the light had come close enough it settled into the knot of a tree and steadied. Bolar bowed and smiled appreciatively. "I bring news from Audria." He began. "And I bring a dire warning that cannot be ignored or all will fall.

A small voice spoke with more of an authoritative tone than one of fear. "What message do you bring from our sisters beyond the gateway?"

"She is the last, but Audria begs you to assist me." He kneeled. "She asks you to help me stop Master Brandus, stop the darkness from overtaking this world as it overtook my own."

"How do we know that you speak true, Wijarda?" She replied mournfully.

Bolar pulled a small pouch from his robes. "This I hope will convince you of my faith." He tossed it down in front of the tree and watched as several of the twinkling lights flitted down and alighted upon it to examine it. "This belonged to Audria. She asked me to bring it here. To you."

The leather pouch burned away revealing a small gossamer amulet. It glowed in soft vibrant colors changing in constant measure. Finally the twinkling light spoke, but the soft voice was more melancholy than authoritative. "Gave this to you. Audria, my love. Gave this to you to bring to us."

"Yes. You are now the last of your kind." His voice was soft and warm. "I only ask that you help me find this one with hair of white and answer my questions."

"No, Wijarda. Your questions do not seek answers. You seek questions to your answers." She screeched.

"There is one more like me. He is at the gateway as we speak." He frantically replied. "He will find a way to open the gateway and then Master Brandus will arrive with an army of Wergris. There will be no defeating him then. We must stop them from opening the gateway."

"Wrong you are Wijarda Bolar." Replied the sing-song voice. "You will be surprised in what you seek. You must teach, you must train, they must see."

Bolars expression was practically audible in the cold evening air. "Who must be taught? Who must I train?"

"Wizards. You must train Wizards. Teach them. Tell them. Help them. The battle is coming. No time." The small twinkling lights faded into the night as the last words echoed not just from one voice, but a chorus.

"Kiska! Kiska! Where are you?" The cold night air filled with silence, but for the crackling of his fire and the darkness that shrouded him. He stood there taking in the world around him and sending out his gift in waves trying to detect their presence. The Night Wisps were gone.