Jakob seemed very distressed about this. As he explained it, the dead tree that I saw in my dream was probably the Tree of Sorrows, the main sanctuary of the Shadow Elementals. They must be after the Artifact. He thought that, somehow, they may be able to use it to transform them back into being a human or elemental. Either way, they could return back to the real world.

I started to become very afraid. These things in my dreams were real!?! This can’t be happening to me. I didn’t want any part of this. Why did I touch that thing crawling out of my father’s house!?! “Take it!” I remember telling Jakob. I didn’t want it any more.

Jakob just shook his head and said, “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In order for me to take it, I would have to kill you. The Artifact will try to protect you and I’m not strong enough to defeat it. No, it’s yours and you don’t have a choice about it. Besides, the Shadow Elementals can’t harm you. They are not part of this world. You have no reason to be afraid of them.” 

I don’t know if it was the fear of the unknown or lack of sleep but I just wanted to go home and have everything return to the way that it was before my father passed away. I just wanted to be left alone and for it all to end. No more traveling. No more nightmares. No more Shadow Elementals. I just wanted to go home.

I wasn’t even sure that, if I became a powerful wizard, that I could stop them.