Previous reviews had me looking forward to this short story. It may have worked better if the author had taken the time to explain the magic the arbiters command. Manna sword? And was the casual self stabbing (to be re-energized? Wha-?) supposed to shock the reader or confuse him? D'arden Tal is blessed with premonitions that, in spite of years of rigorous training and two years spent traveling with an alleged Master, he consistently ignores. This entire confrontation, in fact, feels like it is his first. Ever. Master Havox, who grins incessantly and most irritatingly, leaves this poor sap mostly on his own, then 'wisely' figures out the whole problem and *snap,* we're done. It felt like he is either crazy or knows something the reader does not -- and never will. The setting lent an air of creepiness, but I still want to know what those original lights were and where they went. Too many details are either missing or don't make sense. The story is, at best, unfinished. As a prologue, it did nothing to inspire me to look for further works.