You realize at once that you are no longer on Earth.


The harsh winds whip at your hair as you scan the unfamiliar horizon. The only objects to break the monotony of the endless waters surrounding you are curious stone structures of spheres and cones, cunningly interlocked so that the entire structure floats above the ocean. Cold sea spray splashes on your face, and the calming sounds of the waves dominate the salty-smelling spray. Your lack of emotion is surprising to you; you only regard the landscape with cold ferocity. It as if you knew what was going to happen all along. You KNEW with certainty that the adventure of a lifetime was about to begin. Then, as suddenly as a candle flame flickers into existance, a blue portal winks into view.


A sense of peace and joy washes over you, as if a delightful strain of music has just drifted past. The sweet scent of honeysuckle dominates the thin air, drowning out the pungent odor of the ocean. Smiling, you reach one finger out towards the portal, knowing that in your heart of hearts, that if you ask you will be allowed to enter the mysterious world beyond. Suddenly, the terrifying roar of a dragon splits the still air, and you jerk your hand back as if it had been stung. Undoubtably, there is more waiting beyond the portal than honeysuckle and bright sunshine. You peer into the smoky depths of the portal, trying to get some grasp of the extent of the potential danger. However, all you can see is blue, and the ghostly wisp of a tail deep within. You would be going into the strange yet beautiful land completely blind, unaware of any perils that may befall you. Dare you enter the world of Raiu?

1997 lauters@pacbell.net

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