There's something strange about this place you have wandered into. This is not the same woods you were in a minute ago. The trees have darkened; sunlight no longer cheerfully dapples the forest floor. Leaves rustle eerily as you slowly walk, listening for the slightest sound. There is not the chirp of a bird or the rustle of a running creature anywhere to be seen or heard. In fact, there is complete silence but for the leaves as you walk, and your own breathing.
As you move, the silence and darkness begin to play tricks with your mind. The large, knarled oak before you transforms into a hideous monster of the breed which haunt nightmares. A rustling conjures images of approaching dragons and evil spirits. White mist coils about your feet, obscuring the ground beneath them. All the things which you have imagined in the darkness of night seem to be emerging into a frightening reality.
" You do realize there is nothing which you need fear?" You turn at the clear voice behind you. There stands a woman, young in age. Silky black hair ripples down her back, and her simple blue gown brushes the forest floor. A clear glass sphere is cupped in her two white hands. You begin to babble about being lost, and not knowing where you are, and monsters and nightmares and all which you had been expecting and fearing. She stops you with a gesture.
"You do not need to fear these things, for they live not here. You have wandered into another realm. My name is Lile, and I have been sent to guide you. I know not how you arrived at this place. That in itself is always a mystery. However, only those open of mind and true of heart can enter here. Your time here will not be painful, I do hope. Will you come with me to the castle?"
Strangely enough, you hadn't noticed that you had been walking throughout her speech. You pass through a break in the trees. Before you spreads a meadow, lush and green and dotted with rainbows of wildflowers dancing in the soft breeze. A large castle, stones mellowed with age and experience, rises before you. A few lights flicker in the long windows, and many- colored flags flutter aganst the rich blue sky.
" Here you will encounter many strange beings, and discover things you may never before have encountered. As I said before, there is nothing to fear, so long as you allow your heart to be open and your mind to believe. Will you come?" Lile extends one white hand to you, in invitation. Almost without realizing it, you step forward. She cups her hands around her sphere, gazing deep within. There is great flash of light, and the world spins around you in a wild spectrum of color and magical brightness...