Prologue

From “History of our Guild”
Back in the days when the world was recent, and the cracking of the world was an unimaginable disaster yet to occur, the question arose of how the Dal Nation should protect itself from the ever-expanding Angarak Empire, or Kaldom, as it was more properly called. (Incidentally, the usage of Kaldom fell out of use shortly after the Nadrak’s began trade, possibly the first influences of relationships with the kingdoms of the west. Cross-reference to “Alorns & Angaraks, Trade & Countertrade” (A.K.D’b 5-04))
The solution was to feign simplicity. The Murgo “scout” parties looking for potential converts saw only the farms on the outer edge, tended by us, and people who professed to no knowledge of anything but farms further in. The murgos seldom ventured further, and if they did were guided by further agents back to the border. The important thing to come out of this was the discovery of certain practices that allowed Dals to talk to each others minds directly, thus circumventing the murgos. The original discover of this is unrecorded. Books from that era suggest that he claimed (for we are told he was male) that “a voice told him” The disbelief others placed in this claim led to the disbelief in himself, and that in turn led to his suicide. A regrettable occurrence indeed, for recent works have indicated that he may have been correct (Cross-reference, “Conversations with King Belgarion”, A. K. D’b).
Tangents aside, the decision was eventually made that each and every Dal would go though this training. After this discovery, the discovery of the power of multiple minds was quick to follow, and the path to the Seers was set and followed.
The road of the Dals has never been straight, and at one point it forked completely. Soon after the Second age began – with Torak’s cracking of the world – some people realised that the concentration on the future had left few people researching the present and past. The nation had gone so ethereal that it’s original quest as the route of knowledge had somehow been lost. A group of Seven finally decided to do something about this and did something unprecedented, they broke themselves off from the Dalmind. These Seven formed the Guild of Researchers, also known as the Rainbow, for each was named after a colour.
Since then, down the millennia, 7 Dals over the age of 13 only have been disconnected from the Dalmind, Over the years they developed a different mental network, whereby they can talk to each other, yet are eternally inside each others thoughts.
This externalisation has led to much suspicion among the rest of the nation, the inability to read that particular groups thoughts as they read each others has lead to distrust. The researchers have never done anything to earn that distrust, but that and their quest has lead to the fact that most of them at any time are travelling around the world, keeping Dalsia up to date on current affairs. One is always in Dalsia, Always Red, who distributes the information gathered and places it in the library. – A. K. De’Blue, Researchers Guild, 5-02.

Chapter 5 – Zone of Allies

“I don’t trust them” Said Pug.
The training had lasted a couple of days. This morning Pug had announced that he had to go home, and so him, Jascain and Krydis were on the road for the nearest portal.
“Who?” Asked Jascain, bringing his mind back from wool-gathering
“None of them. There is something somebody isn’t saying” explained Pug
“But everybody who thinks anything in Dalsia has it recorded for ever” said Krydis as she poked the fire into life.
“Do it the other way” Said Pug, and Krydis’ eyes glazed over for a second. A breeze floated over and fanned the flames higher. “Good” Continued Pug, “And yes, so it has to have been someone who hasn’t been linked to your Dalmind, or else a Dal who can shade his or her thoughts, and has always been able to do so.”
“You mean, before they were initiated to the Dalmind?” asked Jascain
“Yes” replied the off-world magician
“Impossible.” Concluded Jascain “And yet, only a Dal would have the knowledge to get to the item in the first place”
“The Researchers?” asked Krydis
“Who?” replied Pug with confusion
“A group of 7 Dals not linked to the ‘mind” answered Jascain
“Why not?”
“They believe that the Dalmind gets in the way of keeping current events. The ‘mind makes a “sound” or feeling that anyone with Will and Word ability can hear, and the sound is irritating to them. It has something to do with ‘Objective Views’ I think. But the Researchers wouldn’t dare do anything. Most Dals distrust anyone whose thoughts they cannot read, trust me, I know. So they just wouldn’t do it.”
“Seven out of Ten, Must try harder”
The man who limped out of the bushes was of slightly above average height, with a Staff that was only a couple of feet shorter than he was. He was dressed in a light blue robe, the ethereal appearance of which was spoilt slightly by a pair of heavy Riven boots.
“Who the hell are you?” asked Pug and Jascain together.
“My name is Aquarion”
“The name is familiar” said Jascain “Who are you?”
“Aquarion Kael De’Blue?” asked that man
“You! What are you doing here?”
“Who is he, Jask?” asked Krydis.
“He is a Researcher, he wrote most of the stuff on Mental Blocking I read”
“Yes, that was one of my works. The reason I am here is different however, and as far as the guild is concerned, I’m not.”
“Not here?” asked Jascain in confusion.
Aquarion looked slightly uncomfortable “All your deductions are correct, The only group who could have stolen the Sapphire are the Researchers, which means that one of my 6 friends and colleagues has defected. It’s even worse that I can’t tell where he has defected to”
“Why are you here then?” asked Krydis
“To warn you that you are in danger”
“How so?” asked Krydis
“How can we trust you?” asked Jascain
“I’ll try to answer both questions, The Sapphire was in my room when it was stolen, It was a friend of mine who was killed trying to protect it, and whoever stole it has killed once and will do so again.”
“That still doesn’t explain why it wasn’t you”
Aquarion opened his cloak, revealing travelling clothes beneath, but the parties attention was immediately drawn to his leg, where a wet, dark red stain showed that the bandages beneath were no longer adequate.
“Because he tried to kill me too” said Aquarion.
Chapter 6 – Realm of Evil
A darkened hallway, two figures approach each other. A look of recognition passes, not of the person but of the mask.
“Visier?”
“What is it?”
“It is done, Visier”
“They have left?”
“Them and the fool outlander passed the gates early this morning, Visier”
“And nobody knows their mission?”
“Not a soul alive, Visier. A message came from the Novice Master this morning, they are apparently on a research mission”
“Good. I told you it would work”
“Yes, Visier”
“Take them while they are young. They believe that they will find the stone?”
“They do. And Erriond has been convinced, Visier”
“Stage two then. Are you ready for stage two?”
“Three more days, sire”
“Why isn’t ready?”
“It’s a large project Visier, and you just can’t get the wood.”
“Report back when it is finished. Reatina Foreus de Preondenit”
“Three days then, Visier. Fereus Feenixia”
Rituals completed, and neither happy with the others reactions, the conspirators turned backs on each other and left the hall. Never looking back for a second at what corridor the other took.
Chapter 7 – Terrors of Terra
The trip to the portal was only a few days, enough time for Pug to teach Aquarion how to use them, The decision was made that Aquarion could be trusted at the moment, although they didn’t teach him the Greater Path magic that Krydis and Jascain had learnt.
“This is it then” said Pug when they got to the portal. The portal turned out to be a large rock with a seem of gold that appeared to carry the flow of magic.
Pug handed Jascain and Krydis each a scroll.
“This is a spell, if you read it, I will know where you are and will see if I can help. That is a last resort , but if you succeed without using them, I would be interested in how you got on. Goodbye and Good Luck”
Pug seemed to shimmer in the air, and dissolve into thousands of small sparkles which stretched out along the rock and then were gone.
“Right” said Krydis to Aquarion “What can you tell us about this stone we have to find?”
“All I know is that it has the power to reach anywhere, even the past. The location is supposed to be discernible if you cast a certain spell. I will have to find the spell”
“Do you know where it is?” asked Jascain
“There is a library I have heard about where it may be” said Aquarion doubtfully
“You are going to say ‘but’, aren’t you?” asked Krydis
“But any dimension that has that sort of access to other dimensions will probably be fairly strange” said Aquarion.
“Do we have a choice here?” asked Krydis
“Not really”
“Right. Let’s go”

Five minutes later, the bandits who had been trailing the party for the past few days reached the rock, and were fairly surprised to find only four shocked looking horses, and a faint glittering in the air around them.