Stories link together. What is done in one time and place spreads out across the world to shape the future: there is never a single beginning, never a simple end. But, since this tale must have a beginning, let it be when a potter carves a creature from dreams and driftwood. It carries him to a place where fair faces conceal foul intent, where two kings guard the firstborn tree by night and day, where only a living man’s love can undo a dead man’s hatred. And where, if he does not go carefully, the choices made in other times and places will cost him his life.