More from Tales of The Grey. For those who’ve said they’re a bit confused by the whole thing, this piece introduces the world.

“There are those placed unknowingly in the world. Here and there without conscious knowledge of their charge they carry out the duties that carry the world. They are burdened and sometimes they break. They are mad. They are wise. They are genius. They are unknown protectors of our age. The wisdom they impart preserves the balance of the world and prevents its destruction. You will know them by the far off look in their grey eyes. Pity them for they know not what drives them. But only that it is hard and they are weary.” – The Book of the Grey

There are few of us left now. Empowered with our technology we don’t feel as alone as we are. Across the great continent we fly in minutes. To rest, we journey to Lune and often sit and listen for word from the others. It has been thousands of years since we heard from them. We hold little hope.

For adventure we visit the empty planets. The great mines of Martz and the outpost of Io memorialize the great ages of science long in the ancient past that teemed with men.

We fixate on history now. The sun will die soon and all those with the will to escape have left. Whether we claim a duty to history or lack the will, we stay on.

Legends of all levels of believability fascinate us. Especially those of the ‘Kindred.’

The tales come in various guises. The Kindred appear under many names, but always with certain hallmarks.

They resemble man in form but there is always something different about the eyes. Some are described as black almonds, some fiery orbs, some as sparkling. But it is always the eyes that distinguish them.

They appear ancient and wise originating from or inhabiting a world apart from men.

They cannot resist concern with man’s fate and wish to help without interfering. They work in secrecy, only revealing themselves to a few.

They appear in our most ancient histories and myths and we busy ourselves in these final days with our study and search for them. They may not exist at all. Which makes them perfect for our purposes. They fascinate enough to hold our interest with little promise that we’ll discover their secret and leave us with nothing to pass the time.

And so it was that the remnant of man now wise and long-lived sought for the remnant of the Kindred who dwelled among them still, in the heart of the great forests.

As man had changed to sad and wise, so too the remnant of the Kindred had changed over their long existence. Many had departed. Those who remained had become forgetful and secretive. While they worked no evil, they no longer cared for men or history and had become rapt creatures of nature and the moment, wishing only not to be disturbed from their reverie. They were impatient and quickly angered at anyone or anything that needlessly kept them from their pursuits.