Chapter 1

Xae’s father’s disappointment is apparent on his face. He is the First Sorcerer of Galene, a powerful Mage city in the West. The First Sorcerer is a leader, a font of power for the people, an inspiration. His daughter is expected to follow suit--but how can she compare? Her magic is merely a grain of sand in the desert compared to her Father's. Her training lasts all day, from the moment the sun peeks over the horizon to the last sigh of day, as the moon and stars begin to twinkle. She pours herself into bed at night, unable to move from exhaustion. It's not enough.

It starts slowly, she forgets how to laugh. Other Mages at the training center respect Xae, but she sits alone during lessons. It continues. She forgets how to smile. The others avoid her gaze, they whisper in the halls that she has locked her heart away and replaced it with an obsession for perfection. Her Father’s disappointment continues. He urges her to smile, assures her that she'll never find a powerful Mage husband if she continues to grimace the way she does. She graduates at the top of her class. Her father is still disappointed. She has grown to hate Galene.

Her Father intends to put her to work as a Scribe, deciphering ancient texts. The thought of spending her life sitting at a desk with only the company of musty old scrolls fills her with panic. Late one night, she packs her meager belongings. She writes a note, apologizing to her Father for failing to meet his expectations. Xae walks out the front gates of Galene, and never returns.

She finally laughs again.

The memory ends.

You're left at a crossroads, wondering where you should go to dispel the jewel's energy and unravel its secrets.