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The Patient - Beyond the Veil Book One by Linda Thackeray
Once Upon a Time . . .
There were wondrous kingdoms of men, so great that when they fell, nothing of them remained, as if history itself could not bear the memory of their loss. They survived only in the fantasies of those who do not die, who left our earth long ago for a distant place beyond the Veil. Those who remained, the ones with their finite lives, could only share vague memories to be told around the campfires.
So it came to pass that Avalyne vanished forever into the mists, forgotten in every way save the faint traces of sensation whenever one happened along its places of power. Of the Sacred Three, only Man the Explorer remained. The Immortal elves retreated to their realm, as did the dwarf Master Builders who returned to Tal Shanar and were seen no more. Without the Immortals to teach them, the short memory of Man forgot the stories of what had been. As always, their flames burned bright, but fleetingly.
As time moved on and Avalyne disappeared from their minds for all time, they went on believing themselves alone. They regarded the earth as their dominion, not a home they shared with anyone. Their cities rose and fell. Their empires spread out across the land in conquest and then retreated again until they were conquered themselves. Man's reach spread to all corners of the globe and though they sensed something was missing, they did not know what it was. Still, they longed for the magic that once filled their eyes with wonder.
Avalyne, the golden age of Man, was dead, and no one remembered it.
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