I imagine my Journey began much the same as everybody else, but I had no way of knowing how it would end.
I awoke in the middle of a vast, shimmering desert with undulating sand dunes of every size dotting the landscape as far as the horizon would allow sight to see. My view was blocked by a particularly intimidating dune that looked like a perfect place from which to survey the land and once I clambered my way to the top (climbing through deep sand on a slope isn’t easy) I had the perfect vantage point – and that’s when I saw it:
The mountain and the light.
If ever I have felt a calling – a need – it was at that moment. The moment I saw the mountain in the distance and the glowing, beckoning light streaming from its peak, all other worldly cares and desires fell away. At that moment, my Journey became clear.
I tumbled down the sand dune and set off towards my destination.
Closer to my feet, however, gravestones (or at least what I perceived to be etched monuments to the deceased) were sunk into the ground with no apparent pattern or reason. It didn’t look like a graveyard, but as I walked through the slabs of stone I involuntarily whistled and chirped to myself, mostly to take my mind off of the place, half expecting an answer and half fearing some ethereal being would rise from the ground and join in.
I thought about who or what could possibly be buried here, or even if these were tombstones at all. Perhaps they served another purpose? Perhaps they warded off evil spirits, or worse, summoned them?
I hurried along.
Just beyond this collection of slabs I found a building in a ruinous state, but what caught my eye were flittering scripts of some kind, dancing in the wind atop the building around a glowing white symbol. I darted up the detritus, rushing to see what this could be and as I approached, the light of the symbol engulfed me and disappeared, filling me with a vision – a vision of flight!
I concentrated and, sure enough, I was able to leap a short way into the air and glide… but only once. I made my way back to the top of the building and the dancing scripts attached themselves to my scarf, making it glow again, imbuing me with another large leap! I must use it carefully…
I could see more scripts in the distance, surrounded by more gravestones. The vast expanse of the desert was broken only by silhouettes of ancient structures and columns… and my destination, towering and glowing in the distance.
I pushed on until I found an enormous valley with age old buildings set into its walls, now long since collapsed. In the very centre of this gorge stood a just as dilapidated structure, and as I collected more symbols to increase the power of my flight I made my way up the twisted bricks and stone, where I discovered a new ability.
Using a focussed chirp, I harnessed the power of dozens of flittering scripts which propelled me high into the air, allowing me to glide towards a ledge I had thought I would never be able to reach, but here I was, safely standing there.
Suddenly, a white-robed figure appeared on the ledge, revealing visions – visions I can’t explain or can’t understand – and then simply vanished. Moments later, massive iron gates cracked open before me revealing a long, columned hallway bathed in blinding white light. Beckoning me onward, I could just make out a figure whose faint silhouette fought valiantly against the powerful glow.
Although I didn’t feel quite ready yet, I nervously, and excitedly, stepped through the hallway…