"Cassie!" Morgan exclaimed as she fell to the ground in
a crumpled heap. "What happened to her?"
The mages standing across from him made no move
to help as he struggled to pick up her limp form. They stood in a circle watching
silently making no noise as if waiting for something to happen.
The one who had initially spoken, a wizened
old Aisha, stepped forwards and said, "Don't worry. Your friend will regain
conciseness in an hour or so. She is being given instructions on where to go
"This was all planned," remarked a young looking
Kau dressed in scarlet robes.
"Yes," said a Peophin in sapphire, "we hope
to learn what she dreams so we helped her along a little."
"Why didn't you ask her first?" said Lana crossly.
"You didn't have to force this on her. She might have consented without you
"But there is the chance she wouldn't have,
so we had to do it with out her knowing. There is less risk this way," croaked
a withered Zafara.
"We will watch her and learn what she dreams
when she awakes," said the Eyrie. "We will watch and wait."
Cassie was on the plateau again, but there was
something very wrong. The voice was trying to speak to her, she felt it, but
something was stopping it. Then it became apparent what the barrier was.
A cold laugh rent the air and Cassie felt a
suffocating darkness press in around her. Pravus had gotten into her dream.
"You mage friends unknowingly provided a path
for me to access your dreams. You are alone here with now one to help you face
me. Let's see how the little Zafara fares with out friends to help her."
"Pravus, you will never defeat me. This land
is not yours to destroy! I will face you and I will win. Agrestis will never
fall to you," Cassie screamed through the darkness.
"Then let the games begin."
Pain. Pain such as Cassie had never felt before
coursed through her entire body. She screamed in agony and writhed in the midst
of the blackness. Pravus wasn't playing by the rules. He had the ability to
manipulate her dream, and she could not fight it.
"What's happening?!?" Morgan cried as Cassie's
body thrashed and wretched in front of him. "There's something wrong! Someone
come quickly!" Cassie let out a shriek of pain, and lay panting on the floor.
"This is not right!" exclaimed the Peophin "This
has never happened before."
"Someone is interfering. We need to get her
out, now," said the Eyrie urgently.
Cassie was breathing hard. Pravus was laughing
manically and was preparing another shot of pain. Cassie steeled herself for
another attack when she had a thought.
This was her dream, her world. She couldn't let
Pravus take over like this. If he could take over here this easily, then it
would be no trouble for him to take all of Agrestis. She had to fight.
Cassie took a deep breath, and with all the
strength she had left in her she pulled her self up focused on the heart of
"Agrestis help me now," she cried and forced
every thing she had at the evil presence. A bolt of lightning tore though it
blackness like tissue paper and a powerful wind began to blow. Cassie's eyes
burned in defiance as she forced the dark shadow out of her dream.
Pravus let out a howl of anger and pain as he
felt the force strike him. He had been beaten again by the small silver shape
standing on the plateau. He would try again. She would weaken. She could not
possibly hold out forever.
Cassie's body shuddered as she began to regain
conciseness. Everyone standing around her let out a sigh of relief as she opened
her eyes and tried to sit up.
"What happened," Lana asked wide eyed.
Cassie only needed one word to describe it to
"Pravus," she said simply. No one moved as they
let the word sink in. The mages, it seemed, were familiar with Pravus too, as
it appeared to have the same effect on them as it did on Morgan and Lana. Morgan
broke the silence by irately accosting the mages.
"You could have killed her! What were you thinking
sending her to a place where Pravus could attack her?" he shouted.
"Please forgive us," the Kau pleaded, "We had
no idea that the dark one could travel into dreams. We thought we were doing
"Don't yell at them Morgan," Cassie said soothingly.
"I alright, and they were only doing what they thought best." The mages all
looked at her gratefully at this, and she continued. "If Pravus hadn't attacked
me today, he would doubtless try tomorrow or the next day. And if he had, one
of you might have been hurt."
Morgan looked drained. "I'm sorry I lost my temper, but I was so worried.
You should have seen the way you were thrashing about. It was scary." Cassie
smiled at him, and put a gentle paw on his shoulder.
"It's okay, Morgan. I'm doing just fine."
The mages, eager to make amends, asked Cassie
if there was anything that they could do for her. She told them about the voice
in her dream, and how it was being blocked.
"I would really appreciate if you could help
me find what it was trying to say," she said, "I don't know where I'm supposed
to go next."
"Well," the Aisha said slowly, "there's only
one way I know of to find that out, and that's they way we just tried. I don't
think you'd be willing to try that again would you?"
"I need to know this," Cassie said desperately.
"I'm willing to try again. I don't think Pravus will come back, so I'll give
it a go." Everyone looked apprehensive as the Eyrie explained what was going
"We will begin chanting again," he said, "there
isn't much you need to do as was proved when it worked earlier with out you
Cassie sat back into the chair that had been
provided and tried to relax. She couldn't help but feel a little nervous. But
she smiled anyway at the look of anxiety on the faces of Morgan and Lana.
"It's going to be just fine," she said reassuringly.
And then the chanting started.
Cassie felt the same strange buzzing in her
head as the chant progressed. Her stomach churned and the ring of faces surrounding
her began to swim and fade. When the chanting stopped and silence pressed in
around her, she felt her eyes roll back into her head, and blackness closed
in around her.
She was, for the second time that day, standing
on the mesa over looking the village of Quievi. There was a peace that had not
been there during her last visit, and she knew Pravus had not gotten in this
The voice rumbled out from the cloud in a gentle
greeting. "Welcome back, Caesius." Cassie basked in the warm power of the voice
and awaited her next instructions.
"Pravus will return and bring with him a small
army. This is not the army he intends to rule with, simply the one he wishes
to defeat you with. As with all evil, he is a coward, and will make sure the
odds are in his favor before he attempts to harm you again," the voice informed.
"You are to go to the swamps to the east. There you will find support and some
who will join you. You cannot conquer Pravus's army alone. You will need to
gather as much reinforcement as you can. These will be the soldiers of Agrestis
with the Eye of the Storm to lead them to victory." The voice echoed across
the plains and faded into silence.
"I know where to go next," Cassie said suddenly,
making everyone jump in surprise. She told them of what she had been told and
then waited for a response.
"An army?" said Lana incredulously. "You're
going to lead an army against Pravus?!"
"That's what I've been told," Cassie replied
"We would help if we could," said the Zafara,
"but the only ones in Emrallis are old scholars and mages. We have no need of
"That's alright; I will go to the east and find
help there. I was told I would find supporters there," Cassie replied.
The scarlet clad Kau suddenly began shaking
and moaning. Her eyes glazed over and she began speaking in a harsh eerie voice.
"A great battle is soon to ensue. There will
be much bloodshed and destruction. The evil must be driven from the land by
the rising of the twelfth moon or the storm will be silenced and the land thrown
into shadow. The blackness can only be cast out by a sacrifice of great merit.
It has been spoken!"
With these words, the Kau let out a moan and
collapsed shaking to the floor.
"What just happened?" asked Cassie curiously.
"You my friends have just witnessed a prediction
from one of our seers," said the old Eyrie proudly. "Very few outsiders have
ever had the pleasure of seeing this, so you should count your selves lucky."
"It was about me," Cassie said. "The battle,
the storm, it all makes sense. Well most of it. I don't understand the part
about the twelfth moon or the sacrifice of great merit, but the rest is pretty
"The rising of the twelfth moon is the day of
the year when the moon shines at its fullest for the twelfth time," explained
"So you mean kind of like the full moon in December,"
said Cassie feeling a little relieved. December wasn't for four more months.
"I think so," said Morgan, "but the twelfth
month here is in two weeks."
To be continued…