From darkened dreams she woke into a gray dawn. She blinked and rubbed her eyes—where was she? Her mind swam fitfully, still bleary from her ill-fated rest. In an effort to wake it, she ran through the basics.

My name is Eryl, she thought. I live in Mayfen with my mother and father. They’re a florist and a courier, respectively. Good. Brain still works. Next, what is this place?

She sat up and took in her surroundings. The area was a kind of valley, but it seemed devoid of all color. Dark cliffs rose on all sides, save a path of pale gray grass which broke straight ahead through the valley. With a deep breath, she rose and walked further on.

Nothing to gain from sitting around, she decided. Something isn’t right about this place, and I’m going to find out what. Now, where does this path lead?

The narrow path led into a wider clearing, with further paths cutting through the fog and out of sight. Eryl quickly took count and rummaged through her pockets. She withdrew a rough hewn game piece and cast it on the ground, bending down to read the visible face. Nodding, she picked it back up and moved to the fourth path. She had yet to meet a problem that couldn’t be solved by a toss of the dice—to her parents’ chagrin, on more than one occasion. Even so, luck always seemed to work out in her favor eventually.

A loud rumbling jolted her from her thoughts. Glancing around, she watched the openings to each of the other paths slowly close as if they were never open in the first place. She shrugged and carried on. The die had spoken, and if the valley itself agreed, who was she to argue?

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