Looking up she was startled to see a man walking back from the edge of the forest inferno carrying a bundle of burnig logs and twigs. he had the same odd white hair and black skin as the boy. As the man sat down, he began arranging the burning wood into a small campfire. "It is rude not to sit at a fire specifically prepared for you." He gestured for her to sit down. Lydia saw that his hands were unharmed. " Where did your son go?," she asked making the only logical conclusion, as she sat down, placing herself across the fire from the strange man. He cocked his head. " Son? I have no son." "There was a boy here just moments ago...," There were only three living creatures in the clearing. The man, a black horse and herself.* Wasn't that horse brown earlier?* " Are you a wizard? Poe used to tell me stories about great magicks and powerful sorcerors who consulted with gods," she said frantically trying to rationalize her situation. " That's right. I'ma wizard lydia!" Lydia exhaled a breath she hadnt realized she had been holding in. She mirrored the stranger's infectious smile, until his face suddenly split with roaring laughter. *Ok....So he is a mad wizard,* Lydia, thought. She inched herself back away from the campfire, her hand resting on the hilt of the saber. The mad wizard, his body racked with laughter, as he beat his hands on the ground sp;lashing muck into the air. Lydia noticed for the first time that his clothing was pristinely white, despite the ash that hung in the air and the muck in which they sat. *I must be hallucinating,* she thought remebering the blade biting into her neck. She ran her hand over the jagged wound and was surpised to find that it was no longer bleeding. "I am sorry lydia. I, Like Poeverran Callus, have a sense for theatricality," said the man as his laughter subsided. Lydia smiled at the man. *Wait. What?* " It seems you know who I am. I guess knowing Poe, as you do , that much is to be expected. it is still rather rude of you to use my name without giving yours. I don't care if you are a wizard." " I am a God." Lydia was on her feet and runnig for the edge of the inferno before her mind realized the futility of the endeavor. The fire still roared in front of her. She turned back to regard the man. *The God?* The clearing was empty. No horse. No man. No fire. *I must be going mad.* She turned back towards the ring of burning trees only to find the center of theclearing not three paces away where a bald elderly man sat at a fire. The horse was picketed just to his left. " Don't worry. You aren't going mad. Despite this beard," he said, running his black fingers through a long white tuft of hair protruding from beneath his chin." I am not a wizard.They do exist:of that be certain. Most now are merely pretenders. I am a god; one of three actually." *Three?* Thought Lydia. "Yes. Three. humans always get things wrong," he said sighing. " There are the two gods you know. Tera' him, the Goddess of Life. Lo' fas Hal, God of Death. Humans get nearly everything wrong with the specifics, but the names are close enough. I am the unspoken and unseen third God. I am in reality the first of the three."
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