For other uses of 'Starhaven,' see the disambiguation page.

Synopsis Edit

Herald Vess was sent to the village of Solmark to investigate reports of a young girl with miraculous healing powers. As he grew up nearby and was fostered in Solmark, he was the logical choice. Every time he slept Vess had nightmares about a Tayledras mage who seemed to be trying to speak to him.

Disturbed from the latest dream in which Vess experienced everything from the point of view of the Tayledras woman battling the mage that destroyed her family and killing herself by plunging into the heart of a node, Vess and his Companion, Kestric, went for a walk, ending up in the ruins of Starhaven. There Vess saw the same figure of a Tayledras mage that he once saw as a child. It vanished, and the shaken pair returned to Solmark. On their arrival they encountered Juni, the girl they'd been sent to investigate, and her grandfather Sevastan. The two seemed pleasant, though after sending Juni away, Sevastan became threatening. He made it very clear that he would not allow the Heralds to take Juni away from Solmark.

That evening, Vess observed Juni healing an injured boy, Garth, and discovered she was actually using blood magic to reshape his body, removing the injury. The magic left a stain on his soul. When Vess looked with his Mage-Sight, he discovered that most of the villagers bore the same stain, Juni worst of all.

The following day, after another dream of the Tayledras mage, Vess again went to Starhaven. Eventually, Juni joined him. Shortly after he was attacked by Sevastan. A death blow was prevented by the spirit of the Tayledras mage, who held Sevastan off long enough for Vess to use his Empathy and Mindspeech, shouting all of his personal pain, anger and frutration directly into Sevastan's mind. The distraction caused Sevastan to falter. The Tayledras took the opening and killed the blood mage. The power surge also knocked out Vess. When he began to come around, he first spoke to the spirit of Sevastan, learning he had been controlled most of his life by the spirit of a long-dead blood mage, mortal enemy to the Tayledras mage. When she destroyed the blood mage, Sevastan was finally freed. Unfortunately, his elderly body couldn't stand the strain and he died. Before leaving the mortal plane entirely, he told Vess that the blood mage had destroyed Starhaven, and would have done the same to Solmark soon. He asked Vess to pass on a message of love to Juni, then he departed, and Vess roused to full consciousness. The spirit of the Tayledras mage thanked him for his assistance, then also departed.

Jastev, the current Grove-Born stallion, entered the clearing. After playing a joke on Vess, he Chose Juni as the next King's Own Herald.

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