Prudence found herself in darkness and silence. A splinter of light split the abyss with a radiating warmth. What had been moist, dark, and cold was dispelled by an awesome power, giving a dry and warm light. Prudence drew her sword, the Luckblade, in preparation for what might come. Though she was in fear, she could sense that there was no danger here.
A misty cloud formed. At its center, a clear pool. Prudence gazed into its still waters, a forever deep baptismal font. She seached forward with her fingers. Their dance formed rings upon the water, disturbing the stillness. Within the waters she witnessed a cave amidst a grassy plain with but one tree directly in front of her. The tree was dry and withered with moss and fungi feeding off of it. Yet it stood. Entwined about it was a serpent who had sucked the life from it and from the man who now lay at the base of the tree.
Prudence could not see the face of this man, but felt he must be familiar. The serpent’s tail gripped his feet and it was obvious that he had tried to escape. Instead he had fallen when the poison reached his heart. The dead man’s arm was stretched out against the grass and a few feet away lay a strange fruit that Prudence had never seen before. At first it was glowing with a radiant light, but then it grew dark and brown maggots left it.
At the sight of this Prudence rose and turned away. But the Luckblade vibrated with fury and guided her back to watch the waters. Reluctantly, she returned to finish the vision because she knew it was the only way–she could stop along the road, but could not change paths.
Prudence saw the serpent return to a hole in the ground as the man and fruit became lost in the grass. Prudence waited. She could faintly hear a light melodical voice in the wind. Nothing was left save the withered tree and the cave.
A golden-haired girl, a young child, entered the picture. Prudence judged her to be seven or eight years old. The child was innocent, pure, and unaware of the danger that lay beneath her. The child looked upon the broken tree with naive eyes. And then she reached forward and touched the tree. Prudence recalled the sensation of touching the pool with tingling in her fingertips.
With the child’s touch, the tree became revived. It’s decaying roots and trunk were filled with renewed strength as it stood taller than before. It’s barren branches were filled with green. The moss and fungi disintegrated to nothingness.
A breeze blew through the child’s golden hair as she climbed into the tree’s strong, sheltering arms. Prudence saw the serpent exit its hole and begin to make its way up the tree. The child wasn’t paying attention and when she turned to look the serpent had reared its head, about to strike. The child had no fear in her eyes. The serpent struck, flying downward onto the child’s face.
Prudence’s heart screamed and she awakened. She found herself in darkness and silence.