• Begin Chapter 1

    A large black cat slowly, noiselessly, padded through the forest. There were many humans about as well. A group of teenagers came within a few feet of the cat and would have ruined his mission if they had been paying attention to their surroundings, but they were filled with the excitement of Beltane. Tonight was a night for fun, no need to worry about the animals that trounced about the forest.

    “Humans,” thought the feline. “They never seem to notice something they aren’t looking for.”

    As another person came along the path the cat had been following, the animal clambered up the side of an oak tree. The cat settled on one of the tree’s branches and accidently snapped a twig off as he sat. The woman heard the noise, looked from side to side, and then continued on her way.

    “They never look up, either,” the cat mused.

    2 hours later, the cat arrived at his destination. He looked at the old cottage, somehow standing after 300 years.

    “This is supposed to house the next Elemental?” thought the cat. “It’s a disgrace.”

    The cat walked around the cottage until he found what he had been looking for, an open window with the sound of a small baby’s cries. The cat leaped through the window and saw the small bundle that was wailing for food. Barely a day old and already the child was being neglected by its parents. The cat crept over to the baby’s small cradle. The cat leaned forward and touched his nose to the infant’s forehead. The cat sent some of his magic into the baby’s, calming it, urging it to sleep. It would be impossible to make it to the
    tower with a baby wailing the entire way.

    The cat then began to grow. The teeth in the its mouth becoming sharp and threatening. The cat’s hind legs became more muscular and powerful. Finally with the transformation was complete. The black cat had not become a large and dangerous looking panther. The panther awkwardly picked up the infant with its front paws and placed it on his back.

    The panther sped through the night, unseen in the darkness of new moon. As he carried the sleeping infant along, he wondered what the child’s parents would think when they found the cradle empty. They would probably be thrilled at the chance to reclaim their youth. The two teens had not wanted the child, but were stuck with raising it until now.

    “Funny how things work out,” the panther thought as he strode on towards the child’s new home. “They get what they wanted, and this one gets a new home.

    As the night went on the panther passed by two other villages. He never went too close to the towns, if the parents did look for their child, they wouldn’t know where to look.

    With minutes left before the sunrise, the panther reached his destination. The great Wizards tower, a 50 story building where children were raised from birth to become wizards, stood before them.

    The panther placed the baby at the bottom of the steps that led to the Tower’s high doors. Soon someone would come to open the doors for the day, and discover the small baby at the foot of the building. Before he left, however, the panther began retching until a small piece of rolled up paper and a sliver ring with an archaic design erupted from its mouth and landed on the stone step above the baby.

    The panther returned to its cat form and headed off into the woods as the sun rose from behind the eastern mountains. The magical creature watched, as a young man of 19 or 20 came out of the tower and discovered the child.
    The man read the letter and looked down at the child, he knew what this meant. He picked up the infant and cradled it in his arms. He placed the note and the ring in his robe’s pocket and brought the carried the baby into the tower, feeling as though his life would never be the same again.

    End Chapter 1