A New Generation Rises...


In his room in the main dormitory, David meditated. As his body rested, his mind also sought rest. In the midst of that lately elusive quest, it was derailed yet again. Flashes of color swirled in David's mind. Emotions hammered on his psyche. David was suddenly jolted awake by the sensation of his head hitting something. As his eyes opened, he realized that it was the rapidly retreating ceiling that had awoken him. Even with that little warning, his muscle memory kicked in; he hit the floor already entering into a roll that ended with him standing next to his desk. With a sigh, David lay down on his bed, already starting to process all the changes that had been coming over him.

Just yesterday, he had been gripped by a rage deep enough to make him want to lash out at the nearest person. Considering that it was Master Giovanni, it was likely a good thing that David had contained his rage; it had been a struggle, though. While the Master wouldn't have physically hurt him, the chores he would have assigned would have put him back on the level of an acolyte and not a brother.

It had all started early the previous year. He was quietly eating lunch in the common room when he was overwhelmed by a palpable wave of pure rage. Snarling, he quickly stood seeking a fight with whomever was closest. Georg, the unlucky acolyte seated across from David, was caught off guard. He bumped the table as his plate flew into the wall behind him, shattering into tiny fragments. As quickly as the rage had come, it was gone. Only in retrospect did David (and most other witnesses) realize that there was no possible way that Georg could have been the culprit behind the plate's demise.

Barely a month after that, he had his next "episode". David spent a lot of time in the library, furthering his studies into strategy, tactics, and leadership. While intently studying records of historical battles, his mind was filled with sudden clarity about the book he wanted to study next. Scant seconds later, gasps filled the library; David alertly looked up, not sure what surprise could cause such reactions among his brethren. The sight of a book floating to his table was chilling; when the book he had envisioned was laid down gently next to his inkwell, he shivered. Fatigue raced through his limbs while fear raced through his brain. The looks his brethren gave him were a silent testimony on the fear and uncertainty suddenly surrounding him.

The worst incident was with Raigan. She had stuck with him through the other incidents. When he had accidentally leaped further than anyone imagined was possible, she laughed. When he had suddenly become unblockable during one sparring session with Georg, she beamed with pride. She became the only person who would spar with him other than the Masters. Finally, though, the inevitable happened. While sparring with him, the air itself coalesced around her. For almost two minutes, she had to struggle to move, even to breathe. The look of terror on her face coupled with the hint of it in Master Ioan's eyes still haunted him.

He had been excused from sparring since that time. An increasing number of exercises were thrown at him; the Masters tried everything they could think of to help him control whatever was happening to him. Balancing in extreme circumstances. Driving him to the point of exhaustion and beyond. Days-long sessions of meditation. They had even tried some time in a mostly full barrel of water, depriving him of the use of his senses for several hours. Seemingly endless talks with the Masters. These all petered off as "events" continued to manifest around him.

Rather than endure the eyes upon him and the fear behind those eyes, David spent most of his day in his room. Study, meditation, and exercise became his life. Occasionally, a Master would stop by to talk to him about what was happening; those conversations were fruitless, frustrating, and ultimately discontinued. When he did leave the room, only the Masters continued to meet his eyes; even there, David imagined that he saw hints of fear or bewilderment.

His struggle the past two weeks was the vast range of emotions, powerful ones, that had been inundating him. He had never felt such strong desire, or such depths of sadness. Possibly one of the scariest ones was when the weighty mountain of apathy crushed his being. No one at the monastery had ever heard of anything like this. The holy books said nothing of it. A passing cleric had been able to calm him temporarily, but that barely lasted until after the cleric had left the next morning. David was glad that he hadn't been struggling with emotions not of his own when he saw concern in Master Giovanni's eyes; upon seeing that, he was shaken to his core.

A knock brought David back from his pained reverie. Blinking his eyes several times to banish the sleep, he sat up and grabbed the door knob. Swinging it open as he gracefully stood, David looked out upon the two people standing there. Master Ioan and a woman he had never seen before.

"David, we sent a message to the Enclave. Mistress Keradre is away at the moment; Kalromen recommended that Mistress Waideiry visit with you. She might be able to help. You'll have to go to Estelviegle for a time, though."

With a weary nod, David accepted his Master's request. Scant moments later, he had all of his belongings packed into a small backpack. As his physical journey began, David dared hope that his journey to mastering whatever was assailing him had also started.