The Man found himself standing in a grassy plane. Fog filled the sky, there were a few trees spread sparsely throughout the landscape. A hooded figure stood leaning against a nearby tree. The man grasped at his scythe. He waited.
The figure spoke, “You, are the one that may truly understand me.”
The man stood there puzzled. He was not in this area a moment ago. Was he teleported? Was this a dream? A stone pedestal rose up from the ground. He recognized the book sitting on top of it and jumped back.
The figure continued, “The one who has my book now does not truly understand its potential. He uses it for his own mortal desires, but like a child he cannot truly understand the purpose of this tool.”
The man tried his best to avert his eyes from the tome, but something drew his gaze upon it occasionally for brief moments before he caught himself.
The figure resumed, “It is not going to harm you. Take it.” The man looked at it, but dared not move. “I know of your family, I know of your pain. I saw it when you were in the room with my book.” The figure propped itself off of the tree and began to pace. “You wish your family back, but you know not how.” The man’s gaze jolted onto the hooded figure. He now noticed the frame of the being was slender, yet was the size of a human. “You may be able to bring them back, if you truly learn.” The man hesitantly continued to listen not sure what to make of this proposition. The figure continued, “There is life and there is death, but without one you cannot have the other. Then without them it becomes either being or not being.” “To find life there had to be death. There had to be the first sin.” the hooded figure stopped and stood still for a moment before continuing. “This book, this ‘magic’ it contains is incomplete, an attempt to explain what is. Magic is only one part; to truly understand magic is to understand existence. Knowledge of how things work, how they are made, and how they react.” With this the figure touches a tree with its finger and it falls over creating a loud thud. It continues, “When you study all this you will begin to realize your potential, your place in the world, and you will begin to understand that the fate of your family is not truly bound by finality.” It motions at the book, “This book was a journal of notes and spells on my journey to knowledge. It’s goal has not yet been realized. Seek it and you will transcend the rules of magic, science, and mortality.”
The man’s interest perks up when he hears of his family. He tries to shake it off, but images of his boy chasing his wife through a wheat field fill his mind. His legs start moving, a hand outstretched. The figure watches. The smell of the leather or whatever its cover is made of fills his nostrils. Then a tugging on his arm. Some invisible force is pulling him from the book. He tries with more might to muster towards it, but the force is pulling him back. He reaches for the pedestal and a piece breaks off in his hand. The world begins shaking as he hears thunder that slowly turns into a snapping sound. He closes his eyes and re-opens them to the bearded beast of a bear man. The cleric is snapping his fingers in the man’s ears. “Wake up, cloakman!” shouts Ursus. The man looks out over the mountain where the piece lies. He looks down into his gloved fist and opens it. A piece of stone pedestal falls out onto the earth. He soldiers on.