Tiny purple spiders swam in an ocean of inky blackness, slowly blinking out of existence like stars in the night sky. Soon there was nothing but the infinite void of the Wizard’s mind, lifeless and without form.

An image began to shape itself in the dark, a hollow skull, which began to laugh deeply, disturbingly, mocking the Wizard’s predicament. The skull rotated in space, pivoting forward and showing the empty cranium within.

Words began to form on bone, familiar words, but ones that the Wizard could not understand. He was sure he had seen them before, and was further sure that they held great significance, but where, and why?

The words were seared into the skull. The Wizard felt the urge to reach out and touch them, grasp them, learn them. As he did so, the Wizard began to understand phrases and sentences, dark secrets were unfolding before him, and the Wizard began to comprehend.

These were the words he had been seeking. These were the conjurations that he had read in the Necromancer’s journal. These were the secrets he had longed to understand!

He held the skull with both hands now, peering into it. He lifted the skull high above his head and slowly began to lower it in place atop his own.

As he did so, the skull began to disappear from his hands, the silken feel of bone replaced with the empty void. Yet the words remained, forever embedded within his mind.

He wanted to test these words, to say them out loud for all to hear, yet when he moved his lips no sound came out. He was dreaming, and he couldn’t wake up!

In the far distance now he heard a sound. Pressing. Urgent. It was the sound of a great battle being forged.

He willed the sound closer to him. Images of light battling the darkness formed. A large form of white light fought with a well of darkness. The image burned bright, yet within was a deeper darkness, more powerful than the one it was fighting.

A streak of white light shot across the Wizard’s vision and struck one of the dark forms which exploded into shards. The Wizard followed the path back to a slim shard of light, it too with a spot of darkness within.

A final shape of light, smaller than the others, barrelled into view, striking the dark forms with great fury. This one had no darkness within it, though perhaps it burned less brightly than the others.

The Wizard observed the battle for a short while, the occasional stream of white shards being outnumbered by the torrent of dark shards, yet the white figures seemed to be fading slightly.

Suddenly, the Wizard flew away from the battle and hovered over a form below him. The form was grey, with a thin outline of white. A hole of darkest black was growing within it, and the Wizard felt himself being pulled towards it.

For a moment he flinched, yet there seemed a great comfort about the darkness, a yearning that he felt keenly. He allowed himself to be drawn into the darkness, embracing it as he would a lover.

The darkness enveloped him now, and he moulded himself into it, shaped its form to fit his, and wore it as a suit of armour. A bright flash of white light shone in his eyes, causing him to recoil.

The Wizard raised his head from the floor, a thin sliver of drool connecting his lips with the cold flagstones of the Dwarven Hall.

He lay there for a few moments, his head pounding and ears ringing, as he collected his thoughts. The words he had seen were still on his mind, and he felt tempted to speak them, to hear their comforting sound. Yet he said nothing.

His face creased in consternation as his senses returned, and he heard the clang of metal on metal, the exertions of his comrades as they fought. Gingerly, he began to rise from his prone position and stumbled through the open doorway to see Trogdar decapitate the last remaining Black Orc.

“WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!?” cried Trogdar, his battle-lust taking hold of his vocal chords.

“I’m… not sure,” replied the Wizard earnestly. He looked at the Barbarian, heaving in great gulps of air. He had numerous small cuts and wounds across his body, his armour ragged and rent in places.

He turned to regard the Dwarf and Elf in equal measure, the signs of battle fatigue visible on each of them.

“Healing hands?” he ventured.