Category Archives: Ancient Mystic’s Destiny Saga

Ancient Mystic’s Destiny Saga

Ancient Mystic’s Destiny Saga

By

Lady Adellandra Dratianos,

Author of the Inner Realm Chronicles

What began as a simple saving of an Ancient’s soul turns out to be quite an exciting adventure for all involved.  Follow as the Originators of the Mystic Realms save a trio of Dragonwolves, only to give them Ancient Magic and Destinies unlike any other Ancient Mystics before or after them.

Djinn O’Dell and his three brothers, Orthos, Maxwell and Byron were exiled from Djinn rankings, Earthbound with only their powers of High Wizardry.  Ancient Mystics Enchantra, Challandra, Jezebel and Sibylline are forced to leave their homes, for fear of being called witches and fit to burn at the stake.  The eight of them are Called on by the Lady Goddess Herself to travel to the Inner Realms to be the Originators of the Mystic Realms.

Once settling in, they make new friends across the borders into the Dragon Nations.  Lord Emperor of Mal’estar, Lord Brakkon Dratianos, his Lady Empress Locarra, who the Ancient Mystics claim is a distant relative, and their children, Princes Draconis, Drakkar and Dranus, Princesses Alexia, Dia and Dracora.  Friendships turn to Alliances while some Allies become Enemies.

Pretty soon, all Originators and the entire Empire of Mal’estar are stuck in Wars – against each other!  Shortly after the Wars for Power, the Dragon Nations are at war with the Demon Realms.  When his son Draconis takes the Throne with his own Lady Empress mate, Adellandra Dranna, there is peace.  That peace lasts for only a short time before the Hell of Visions, Dreams and Sickness threaten the lives of Lady Adellandra and her Lady Mutyrna, Locarra.  Orthos, seeing Lord Brakkon’s despair over his Lady’s strange illness, takes it into his own hands to place a spell on the prior Draconian Emperor that makes him of two minds.  O’Dell sees the destruction once caused by a Turned Brakkon – who renames himself Thorn – and wishes to help his old friend.

Calling on the Oath of Friendship he and Lord Brakkon Dratianos had made, Brakkon’s daughter  Dracora, now the Countess of Monarch’s Glen, and her two advisors, Terrantis and Trenor, go to visit Lord O’Dell, Guardian of the Mystic Realms.  O’Dell and Enchantra, who had recently sent their only daughters Earthbound to save them from Orthos’ clutches, listen to Dracora’s plea for help.  Once hearing of Lady Adellandra’s Vision Sickness, Lady Locarra’s mysterious illness, and how Lord Brakkon is handling it all, they agree on one thing.  As if being Called once again to do Her Work, O’Dell gives Dracora a spell to become Earthbound with a handful of her People.  They would soon become the Dweller Kin-Clans of the Outer Realm.

Meanwhile, Lady Adellandra’s Vision Sickness grows too hard for her to bear, and she must do something to stop them.  Locarra, before she passes to the Summerland, instructs Adellandra to write down all Mystic Magic Spells, Rituals and Chants for future generations to learn.  With the Vision Sickness growing worse by the day, those Spells and Chants turn Dark, and the Book of the Ancient Mystics soon becomes The Book of DemonsBane.  Knowing all would be lost to the Chaos her Lord Emperor Mate and Lord Dratyrna Brakkon, she devises a plan of her own to maintain peace in her beloved Nations.  One night, while all are resting from battle, she takes her three children, Prince Kronin, Princess Locarra and Princess Locanna to the Realm of Dreams to live with her Matéré, the Alpha SheWolf of the Mountain Wolf Forest Packs.  After dropping them off and promising to return for them, she flees to the only place she finds solace – her parent’s old hutch-cave, just outside of Mal’estar.

War rages on within The Inner Realms, and O’Dell must make a choice.  He has seen his own death in his Dream Realm’s Sphere, and must name a Successor.  Trouble was, who would be powerful enough in time to take his place?  In the heat of battle, O’Dell is visited by one of his own Provincian Soldiers, Sir Chase Moondancer.  Sir Chase reports of finding a peculiar and powerful Dragonwolf hiding in a hutch-cave.  She had placed herself in a trance for so long, she was unconscious and glowing.  O’Dell instructs the knight to retrieve her and bring her to him for healing.  It’s not long after that when Lord Drakkar, his mate, the Lady Adarramena, who is also unconscious, arrive in front of him, fresh from battle.  O’Dell’s lady-love of Enchantra and her twin Challandra believe the Dranna twins of Adarramena and Adellandra are worth saving, as is their younger brother Anton.  Once all three Dranna siblings are in the same room with Dracora, who was there on a Vision, Drakkar, who wouldn’t leave his mate’s side to return to battle, and the three remaining Originators of O’Dell, Enchantra and Challandra, the Mystic Sister Twins cast a powerful spell on them.  The Spell changed their images to those of Immortal Mortals, humans with special abilities and powers in their minds, hearts, and bloods.  That spell also changed their bodies.  They were no longer two-hundred plus years old by Mortallan time.  The twins of Adarramena and Adellandra were turned into young girls, and their brother Anton was a mere infant.  Enchantra goes to her Earthbound Granddaughter, Susan Woods and gives her a mission – keep them safe from harm and raise them as her own.  They would be renamed Ariana, Aluna and Antony, and would live in the Outer Realm with her and her own children of Annabelle, Kevin, Mary Ellen, Christopher and Claudia.

So begins the drama that is known as the Young Guardian Trilogy, the Shadow and the Grand Magus Saga, and all that’s in between.


Ancient Mystic’s Destiny Saga:

#1: Gods of the Inner Realms


Book One:

Originators of the Mystic Realms

Part One:

Mystics and Wizards

Prologue:

The Chronicler’s Lesson

Children of various ages, sizes, and creatures gathered in the Royal Library.  They found Head-Chronicler and her two Apprentices standing at a podium in front of them.  All was silent as the Chronicler spoke.

“Greetings Companions and Draconians of the Realms, and welcome to Mal’estar,” the DragonWolf Chronicler addressed the crowd.  “For those who do not know me, I am the Lady Empress of Mal’estar and Lady Guardian of the Mystic Realms.”

The children held their breaths of awe.  This made the Lady smile.

“I am also the Head-Chronicler of the Realms.”  She continued.  “You may call me Lady Adellandra.”  She gestured to the two who stood silently behind her.  “My Apprentices of Sophie Wolfkin of the Mountain Wolf Forest Packs,” the wolf girl with glasses nodded, blushing, “and my cousin Lord Braken Joel Hawk, liaison to the Epsilon Realm,” the male Balinese Companion nodded, winking, “will assist me in telling you the stories of how things came to be in The Inner Realms.”

“That must have been millennia ago, my Lady.” She heard a fox-hound she recognized as Page Rianata BrownPatches of the All-Realm Army supply.  “How could you have known?”

“Were you taught, like us?”  Rianata’s brother Renaldo spoke up.

“No, children; in a way, each of us was there.”  The Lady smiled upon them.  “Well, maybe not Sophie, but Joel and I were there.”

“How were you there in the beginning of the Realms?” Rianata asked.  “Will you tell us the story now?”

The fox-hound siblings were eager, and the Lady saw the rest of the Companion and Draconian children were eager to listen as well.

“The Inner Realms began with the Lady Goddess named Spirit and her mate, the Lord God Shadows.”  Lady Adellandra began.  “Do all of you know the Ballad of Spirit and Shadows?  How their fellow gods were so green with envy, Spirit and Shadows were exiled to the Earthly Plane, only for time and destiny to kick in and reunite them?”

The Children nodded their heads.

“Well, the Lady Goddess Spirit’s true name was Light, and her Lord God Shadows’ true name was Darkness.  From Light and Darkness came Life, the true name of the Celtic Goddess Brigid, and Death, the true name of Lord God Brakkon.  They were the Four Pillars of Existence, each representing an earthly Element.  Does anyone know who has which element?”

Rianata and Renaldo both raised their hands.  Of course they would know; they were taught by the Mystic Teachers at Mal’estar, along with their parents of the fox Nicola HeartLily and her Beagle mate of Ronan BrownPatches.

“Let’s hear from someone else, okay?”  The Lady smiled at them.  She looked up to see who else would know or even be willing to hazard a guess.  The rest of her captive audience was silent, obeying the Library Rules.  Her eyes caught another female child of an All-Realm Crusader, her own best feline friend’s daughter of Celine Stargazer-Moondancer.

She may have been one of the older children, with children of her own, but she was there to supervise the younger ones.  Celine was a smart Dweller-kin-Companion who learned everything she knew, and then some, from her famous Lady Mother, Katherine Hawk-Stargazer, of Stargazer Castle, the Canine Valley, and the Empire of Mal’estar.

“Celine, why don’t you tell us?”  The Lady asked, smiling.

The feline-canine half-breed Companion stood and opened her mouth.  “The Four Pillars and their Four Elements,” She began.  “The Lady Goddess Spirit, also known as Light, was in charge of the Element of Earth, for her powers were of the very Outer Realm itself.  The Lord God Shadows, also known as Darkness, was in charge of the Element of Fire, for even in the Darkness, there must be light.  The Lord God Brakkon, also known as Death, was in charge of the Element of Wind, for it is the very wind that carries the soul to the Summerland at rest.  Last, but not least, is the Goddess Brigid, also known as Life.  Life herself is in charge of the Element of Water, for nothing can ever exist without water.”

Celine sat back in her seat next to her younger twin brothers Lovell and Raulf.

The Lady Adellandra clapped her paws together.  “Thank you, Celine.  That was very good.”

Celine nodded.  “Thank you, Lady.  I only learn from the best teacher in the Realms.”

“Aye, your mother Lady Katherine,” Adellandra giggled.  She cleared her throat.  “Now then; does anyone know that the Four Pillars Exist outside of the Realm of Ancients?”

As she suspected, the children shook their heads.  She caught Celine’s smile and blush.

“I’ll give you a hint.”  The Lady supplied.  “You’re looking at one of them.”

The Children blinked and gasped.

“That’s right!  I’m Spirit-named-Light.  Though, the name my fellow gods had given me was A’isha.”  The Lady clapped her paws.  “Ok, now can you guess who Shadows is?”

“Lord Emperor!”  She heart a male child’s voice shout.

“Right again!  Lord Emperor Draconis, also named Shadows-named-Darkness was originally named Draconai.”  The Lady responded.  “It was some kind of joke to find ourselves mixed up in what our fellow Gods called “Destiny’.  What we didn’t find a bit funny was the fact that Lord Death, the God we Created, was Lord Draconis’ father in this incarnation.  Not only that, but we found out that Brigid-named-Life was left in the Havens as a Goddess.”

“What do the Pillars have to do with the Creation of the Realms?”  A bear-cub Companion in the front row asked.

The Lady Adellandra winked and smiled.  “You’ll see.  There hasn’t always been peace in The Inner Realms.  As with any world, there were those that were considered good and those that were considered evil.”

She paused, now trying to find her words.  Sure, the story was written down, by the four Chroniclers: Draconis, Joel, Sophie and herself, but it was harder to tell out loud without reliving those lives that brought it all together.

She was determined to do it, for it had to be done.

Once she thought of the right words to start her story, the Lady Adellandra Dratianos, Lady Guardian of the Realms and Lady Empress of Mal’estar, opened her mouth and began.


Prologue: 2:

Of Ancient Mystics and Wizards

Enchantra, eldest of the four remaining Ancient Mystic Sisters, knelt at her altar, honoring the Ancient Goddess Dana.

These are troubled times, my Goddess, and I pray to you for help. Our Magic and lore are no longer acceptable in this society of Puritan God-worshipers. They shun us away, yet some come to us in secret for healing. My Goddess, is there no way out of this life?

Enchantra doused the tall candle in front of her with a wave of her hand over the wick.

“What makes you think the Goddess cares about us anymore, Chantie?” She heard a voice behind her.

“I do not think, Jezebel. I believe.” Enchantra stood and faced her youngest sister. “That is what sets us apart and even Sibylline and yourself apart.”

What could Jezebel say to that?

“You have always been the leader, sister.” Jezebel replied. “Now lead us somewhere we do not have to hide ourselves.”

“There is naught a place on this land that accepts our kind anymore, you know this.” Enchantra said softly. “They accept nothing they do not believe in.”

“Silly Puritans cannot see what is right in front of them.” Jezebel said. “Dana is all around them, as she always has been, with the Green Man beside her. They watch over the earthly Realm.”

“We know this as truth, Jezebel, but for them, it is only stories.” Enchantra supplied. “Come, mead and cakes are waiting.”

“Have you gone insane, sister?” Jezebel nearly yelled. “We cannot honor them now! We cannot even give our yearly sacrifice of bread to them with Puritans watching our every move!”

“I have not gone insane, I assure you.” Enchantra replied. “Our sisters await us in the barn with the fire burning.”

Jezebel sighed. “Very well.”

Enchantra smiled as she passed her.

It was well past dark, the best time for honoring the Goddess and the Green Man. They met their sisters Challandra and Sibylline in the barn, already singing an Ancient hymn to the Goddess of the earth Dana. As they entered, Enchantra and Jezebel joined in.

Enchantra took her twin Challandra’s hand while Jezebel took her twin Sibylline’s. The four sisters formed a circle and sung to their heart’s content. Neither sister noticed the time passing, nor did they realize what would happen next.

When the sisters stopped singing to stand in silence, they each heard a voice.

My Daughters, your time here has come to an end. Flee this place; go as far away as you can, for your destinies depend on your escape.

“Where will we go, Goddess?”

You will find a cabin in the wood. That is all I can tell you.

With that statement, the rush of power was gone, and a sense of urgency filled each of their souls.

Enchantra and Challandra opened their eyes at the same time, looking at each other.

Before either could say a word however, there was a pounding on the barn door.

“We know what you’re doing in there, witches!”

“Quickly, sisters, as far away from the door as you can.” Enchantra instructed. They obeyed.

“Satan’s Daughters!” Came another voice, shrilled and female.

Challandra wasn’t happy. “Satan’s daughters, indeed.”

“Your master can’t hear you now!” The voice of the Magistrate yelled through the door.

“If only I could tell him where to shove it.” Challandra supplied. “Do something, Chantie!”

“Open up!” A harsh voice demanded from outside.

“You are accused of being witches! How do you plea?” Another male voice cried after him.

“We are not witches!” The haughty Jezebel screamed, furthest from the door.

“Jezzie, quiet!” Sibylline whispered, scolding her twin.

“There is naught to do but head Dana’s words.” Enchantra told Challandra. She turned to Sibylline. “Is there another way out of here?”

“Only above, Enchantra.” Sibylline said. “We cannot shift to escape.”

“Who says?” Jezebel said sarcastically. She shifted to a raven, taking flight. In each of their minds, she sent. Race you!

Enchantra and Challandra shifted as well, both to snowy white owls. Sibylline, who was afraid of heights, stayed behind.

Go, Challie. I will stay with her.

With a nod, Challandra was gone. Enchantra perched on Sibylline’s outstretched arm.

“There is no escape, witches!” The same harsh male voice cried.

“I’m afraid, sister.” Sibylline’s eyes began to tear. “Help me.”

Think of yourself as the bird and you will be the bird.

Sibylline shook her head. “What if I am caught before I reach the cabin?”

You will not be caught if you are a hunter.

The riot outside of the barn grew louder. “Hang them!”

“Their corpses will sway in the wind!”

“Let them burn!”

Hurry, Sibylline. We must leave this place.

Enchantra took flight but stayed midair, flapping her wings and waiting for her sister to shift.

The Ancients gave us great power, sister. Now is the time to use it.

Sibylline nodded, closing her eyes and slowly shifting to a peregrine falcon.

When the Puritans finally broke inside, the four sisters were already gone.

II

The Djinn High-Council frowned upon the four males below them. The four of their own with arms and legs in shackles. A pair of twins like day and night, one gentle, the other defiant stood in a row with their younger brothers.

“You know why I have called you four here?” The Djinn God Heldor announced, searching each pair of silver eyes.

The twin as Light as Day answered for his brothers, soft and voice shaking. “Nay, my Lord Heldor.”

Another High-Council member spoke for the God. “You have been accused of unspeakable acts unbecoming of Djinn High-Council members. How do you plea?”

“How can we plea if you do not tell us what we have done?” The twin as Dark as Night sneered sarcastically.

“For one, Orthos,” Kishan sneered back. “You personally sought to rebel, once one of your Masters did not like one of your ideas.”

“Which in itself was an act of self-thought.” Another member, Heldor’s son Omri announced.

Orthos stood proudly, unrelenting and uncaring. “What of it? I was and am tired of being the plaything of these Mortals. They are greedy and wish for things that are far out of their reach.”

“If I may interrupt?” Orthos’ younger brother Maxwell asked the Council.

Heldor looked and nodded. “Aye, Maxwell. Proceed.”

“While I agree with some of my brother’s views, I do not follow them.” Maxwell pointed out. “I have known Mortals for as long as any of us and O’Dell will tell you that, while they may be greedy creatures who think themselves the highest race, they are not that bad. Deep within most are still the magic of the ancients, but they fear persecution and keep to themselves. They have kind hearts, if only one seeks to look close enough.”

Heldor and Ormi turned to the twin as Light as Day. “O’Dell? What have you say in this?”

“My Lord Heldor, the subject of Mortals is a touchy one for all of us, and I know not the reason we were brought in front of the Council.” O’Dell supplied.

“You are correct.” Heldor announced. “The reason you four brothers are brought in front of Us is because we have found Orthos guilty of high treason.”

“And you wish to punish all four of us?” The youngest brother, Byron supplied.

“We punish all four of you because neither of you spoke out against your brother.” Heldor responded. “You each sought to keep it silent. Even you, O’Dell, dared not say a word against your own twin.”

O’Dell looked down at his shackled arms. “I apologize, my Lord. What is our punishment?”

“Exile.” Heldor supplied.

O’Dell was shocked, but understood, holding his tongue. He looked to his twin Orthos and saw his smug smile. Orthos’ eyes met those of Heldor’s son, Omri.

Byron spoke up. “My Lord, how are we to be Exiled?”

Maxwell, O’Dell and Orthos waited with him.

Heldor searched all four faces and chose his words carefully. “You are hereby stripped of your Djinn Ranks and left as Immortal Wizards.”

Maxwell yelped. “Nay!”

“You cannot!” Byron cried. “Tis not fair!”

“Blame your brother, Byron.” Omri supplied, nodding to Orthos. “We can and we have. Fairness has naught to do with it.”

With brilliant glows of magic from the Djinn God Heldor’s own hand, Orthos, O’Dell, Maxwell, and Byron were stripped of their Djinn Ranks and free of the shackles.

“You are now Exiled in a world that no longer welcomes our kind.” The silent Council Member named Kishan supplied. “May Mortals have mercy upon you.”

With a wave of indigo-grey magic from Kishan, Omri and Heldor, the four brothers disappeared.

For a year and a day, the brothers served another master, Lord King Lyndon of Wiltshire. O’Dell was the King’s own Wizard-Scholar, Maxwell was Horse master, Byron was soon Knighted as a Lord himself and made an Armsmaster, and Orthos apprenticed under the Captain of the Guard, Sir Angelus of Yellowstone.

It did not take long for Orthos to turn Sir Angelus and the Guard against King Lyndon and his own Armies. Maxwell heard the rumors of it and knew it as truth, telling both O’Dell and the King. Neither were happy, especially the King himself. Once Orthos learned his younger brother Maxwell had betrayed him, he was angered and fled. Upon the King’s Orders, Lord Byron, O’Dell, and Maxwell were sent to search for him.

It was O’Dell that received the Call from the Goddess Dana.

My Sons, you will meet with your brother in a cabin, hidden in the wood. You will all meet your destinies there as well.

Maxwell Felt something from O’Dell and stopped in his tracks. Lord Byron did as well, wondering what his brothers Heard.

“O’Dell, what is it?” Lord Byron asked quietly.

O’Dell shook out of his daze. “The Goddess Called me.” He told them. “Let us follow our senses and see where that brother of ours hides.”

With a frown, Lord Byron nodded. The three were on their ways once again.

Maxwell followed behind O’Dell. “What did She say, brother?”

“She called us her Sons, and told us our Destinies were in a hidden cabin in the wood.” O’Dell told him.

“She must think highly of us to call us her Sons.” Maxwell remarked. “For once, we must have done something right.”

“For once, aye,” O’Dell said quietly. “We will see.”


III

Orthos felt he’d run for hours.  Could the King’s Court still be on his tail?  Without Maxwell, he couldn’t do much about it.  Since their exile, Orthos’ only powers were intellect and not even his brain could function under so much duress.

He stopped to let his breath catch up with him.  He surveyed his surroundings, seeing a small cabin with smoke coming from the chimney and a single candlelight flickering in the window.  With a smile, he headed to the cabin to introduce himself.

He stopped at the door to listen for its occupants.

“We have been here for a year, and still, no sign of this so-called Destiny She was talking about.”  A woman sneered.

“We must be patient, Jezebel.”  Another woman responded.  This one sounded older, her voice commanding, yet gentle.  “You know the Goddess.”

“Aye,” Yet another interrupted in a huff.  This one sounded like the second, but more prude.  “She works in such mysterious ways.”

The first laughed at that.

“Seriously, Chantie,” a fourth, quieter woman spoke up.  Her voice sounded like the first’s, but was softer.  “For once, I agree with my sister.  We have been here a year and a day and still have done and seen nothing that closely resembles what She was telling us.”

“You must admit, our lives have been without scorn and ridicule since we arrived.”  Chantie remarked.  “She has kept us safe from harm.”

Orthos stood at the door, finally getting an idea in his mind.

What if he were the one the Goddess had called upon?  Sure, he knew it wasn’t in the Gods’ good graces, and so what if it wasn’t true?  The women inside that cabin didn’t know that!

Just as he raised his fist to knock, he heard a voice that made him cringe.

“Orthos – Freeze where you stand!”

Orthos turned to see his brothers racing up to him, the two younger directly behind O’Dell.   He recognized O’Dell’s commanding tone.

“You are going to ruin it, now go away!”  Orthos whispered just loud enough for his brothers to hear.

“It serves you right for wishing harm upon a Mortal and their home.”  Lord Byron spoke up.

Orthos put a finger to his lips and glared at his brothers.  Again, he raised his hand to knock on the door, but O’Dell beat him to it.

“What are you doing?”  Maxwell asked.

“I can Feel it.  This is the cabin the Goddess spoke of.”  O’Dell replied.  “The one in which our Destinies would be revealed.”

From inside, the sisters froze, each looking at the other.

I sense great power on the other side of that door. Sibylline supplied in her mind to her sisters.  This could be what She told us about.

Open the door and find out then, sister. Enchantra nodded her approval.

Sibylline reached the door, turned the knob and opened it.

There in front of her stood four gentlemen.

“Pardon the intrusion my lady, but my brothers and I have been on a long journey and wish to rest.”  The older and tallest male looked into her eyes and smiled.

Once she sensed nothing but sincerity from at least three of them, she smiled.  “By all means, good sir, come in and warm by our hearth.”

“Thank you my lady.  You are very kind.”  He turned around and the awaiting three; one of which was frowning.  “Brothers?”

“May we have the names of our beautiful hostesses?”  The brother who looked the youngest grasped the hand of Challandra, who had caught his eye, and kissed it.  “I am Lord Byron, of Wiltshire Kingdom.  You would be?”

“I am Challandra, once an Ancient Mystic of Eastwind Dale, a province of King Lyndon’s Kingdom.”  Challandra smiled.  “My sisters and I have lived here for a year and a day, once answering the Call of our Goddess.”

“She told us we would leave the Dale and begin anew.”  Enchantra came up to the group, eyeing the tallest brother.  “I am Enchantra, the eldest Ancient Mystic sister.  The one who greeted you at the door was our younger sister Sibylline.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Enchantra. I have heard a little about the fabled Ancient Mystics.”  The oldest one announced.  “I am O’Dell, with my twin brother Orthos, and younger brother Maxwell.  Byron, step away from the Lady Challandra.”  O’Dell was grinning, which made his brother Byron blush.

“My deepest apologies, my Lady.”  Lord Byron announced, stepping away from her and closer to his brothers.

“Enough of this drivel.”  Orthos supplied, finally speaking up.  “Feed us, women.  We hunger.”

Both Enchantra and O’Dell shared a look of astonishment.

“Orthos, behave.”  O’Dell announced.  “Should the kind ladies wish to have us join them for supper, then so be it, but you should not be so rude to our hosts.”

“Who said we were your hosts?”  Another sister sneered; this one looked like Sibylline but had a scowl on her own lips and an eye on Orthos.

“Jezebel!”  Enchantra and Sibylline cried at the same time.

“Excuse our sister.”  Challandra said, frowning at Jezebel, who only shrugged.  “She has been nothing but sour since Mother dropped her on her head as a babe.”

“Challie, stop!”  Enchantra tried to reprimand, but only laughed.  Each of the sisters knew it was the truth.  “There’s no excuse for rudeness from either side.”  She looked at O’Dell.  “We would be more than happy to have you join us.  It would seem the Goddess has brought us together for some Destined purpose.”

O’Dell’s eyes met hers and nodded, transfixed by the silver color that shone in them.

Before either sister or brother could say or do anything more, the hearth fire rose and turned into a glowing white light.  A female figure appeared, her arms raised in kindness.

“Welcome my devoted Children.” The voice was echoed, yet soft enough for them to understand and hear.

They all recognized the Voice of their Lady Goddess and bowed to Her.

“The time has come, my Children, for Destiny to begin.” The Goddess announced, surveying them.  “You are all very important to Us, so we are honoring you with a safe haven for your magic and lives.  The hearth is a portal to the Inner Realms, known to the Ancients as The Inner Realms.  Step through and live in peace, without fear of prosecution.  Begin your Destinies.”

With that, the Goddess disappeared and the bright light dimmed.

“Who will go first?”  Maxwell asked the group.

“We enter together.”  Enchantra held out her hand for O’Dell to take.  “Shall we?”

O’Dell grinned, taking it and keeping his eyes transfixed to Enchantra’s as they stepped through.

“This is madness.”  Orthos growled.  “Going through a portal to a place we know nothing about.  I will not!”

“I think it would be fun, myself.”  Lord Byron grasped Challandra’s hand.  “May I escort you, my lady?”

“Oh, stop.”  Challandra blushed.  “Call me Challandra; and yes, you may.”

This left Sibylline, Jezebel, Orthos and Maxwell.

Maxwell reached for Jezebel, but she scowled at him, grasping Orthos’ forearm.  “Let’s go, Orthos.”

Orthos was in shock at the cunning beauty before him.  “Certainly, my lady.”

In a moment, they too were gone.

Maxwell grinned at Sibylline, who blushed away.  “I believe it is our turn.  Shall I?”

Sibylline reached her hand out to meet his.  “We shall.  Let us begin our Destinies.”