I - Nickolas

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Images flashed before me. Violent scenes of war the god insisted on showing me over and over again. Vampires and shifters alike, even some casters, fought side by side against one another. No clear distinction of sides or loyalties. I knew some of the settings by heart. The Court's stone rooms and hidden maze-like passages underneath Paris. The forest that surrounded my American estate. The old cemetery where I bury my children after they fall into their final sleep.

But most of the visions the Grand Sire showed me, I had trouble understanding. Strange cities of metal and glass. A number of even stranger machines that flew in the air, or moved on the ground. Buildings that seemed to reach up and touch the sky.  

I saw that humans, even though dressed differently, still rushed around frantically. I saw some of my children, vampires that I'd turned over the centuries. I recognized faces I knew well, Sin and Samera. Kastina, my fellow Lightwalker and the Queen. I saw the original Avian, Jayger, fighting with a young man. But something seemed odd about it. 

I knew Jayger very well. The flippant man cared for little more than his own kind. Watching the fight closely, I could see he wasn't even fighting back. Merely trying to gain the upper hand to calm his opponent. He was also trying very hard not to hurt him, even though the young man had already landed a blow hard enough to make his nose bleed. The young man didn't have the look of a shifter either. 

The vision changed and I soon saw the same young man standing beside another. Their features were so close, they had to be brothers. They were both looking at something they held between them. This was important, I could feel it in my ancient bones. I took a step closer to them, looking at the blade they held so carefully. Shock flooded through me as I caught a clear look at it. Orion's blade.

As quick as the images had began, they ceased, leaving the dream world cloaked in darkness. The Grand Sire stood beside me now, though this was first time I'd actually seen him. He wore a robe that was similar in fashion to a monk's but it was the color of old blood and laden with golden chains and charms. His dark hair was so long, it brushed the floor in spite of being drawn up into an elaborate headdress. 

I bowed to him, as so many had bowed to me in the past. 

"Nickolas, I know you do not understand these visions now, but," the god paused, taking a step closer. The charms and chains jingled like tiny bells, a sound that could warm the coldest of hearts. "Change is coming to the Court. And your actions, as well as others, will determine if the change will be for the better or for worse." 

I stared at him. A change? His words sparked my curiosity, but at the same time, I was hesitant. "The Court hasn't changed in thousands of years, why-"

"Now?" he finished for me. "Because a new Lightwalker is about to be turned."

It was hard to hide my excitement. A new Lightwalker? The last had been turned ages ago, during the Inquisition, only to die shortly after. Her death had created a very dark time in the Court. That a new Prince or Princess would join them would be a cause for celebration. 

"What would you have me do, Grand Sire?" I bowed again, trying to show my willingness to serve. 

"The human that wields Orion's blade will come across your path. Help him, and he will lead you to the new Prince." The Grand Sire paused, gazing at him briefly before continuing. "This new Lightwalker, he will need careful guidance. He will be very powerful, but ... unbalanced. I am asking you to stay by his side and mentor him."

I looked up at him, stunned, as my memories fell into place. Kastina's vision during the Ceremony and her announcement afterwards about our new Princess.

"Is this what you asked of Queen Kastina last time? When the last Lightwalker was brought to the Court's attention." The question was out of me before I could censor my words. Kastina still blamed herself over what had happened so many years ago. Of not being able to protect Jazel. 

He took a step closer to me, a grimace tracing the lines of his face. "Yes, but Princess Jazel was not nearly as important to the Court's future as this Prince will be." The Grand Sire's voice was angry as he spoke. He reached out and his hand touched my forehead. "Do this and I will owe you a debt, Prince Nickolas. Now wake."

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