As the sun rose, the sky changed to a brilliant pink. White puffy clouds
turned crimson; birds chirped in the tree tops. The night before everyone
had fallen asleep in the same tent, comforting each other until the wee
hours of the morning.
When Bubb, Fingal and the other villagers came back
after gathering firewood, nuts and berries, they spotted the sleeping
heroes. “They’re back!” Fingal’s short, stubby legs ran to them. “Are they
all dead? None of them are moving.”
Corin opened his eyes at the sound of the annoying
dwarf. He nudged the rest of them. They stretched and then told the
anxious villager what had happened. Cheers of joy and peace rushed into
the morning sky.
“Is the wolf really dead, Corin? Did you kill it? How
did you kill it? Did it try to eat you? Did it bite you? Were its eyes red
when it was dead?”
The others laughed at Fingal. Somehow his normally
annoying questions didn’t bother any of them.
The women made a hearty breakfast which was devoured
greedily. A meeting was held in Padd’s tent. Bubb, being the leader of the
villagers, invited Kile and Princess Serba to live with them as they had
once lived in Pinea before. They accepted the gracious invitation.
Padd let out a loud croak,
rejoicing at the news.
As the celebrations
continued into the early afternoon, Braden went for a walk with Bramber.
“I think it’s time for us to go home,” she said.
“I agree. We’ve done all
that was asked of us. I’m sure Cafania, Gorbal and Corin will agree.”
Braden took her hand in his. “It’s been quite an adventure.”
“If this is what you call
adventure, then I don’t want any more of it.” Bramber turned to look back
at the village. “I’ll race you back.” Without waiting she darted off
through the trees, laughing.
“Hey, no fair.”
* * *
After discussing the plan
with the others in the small group, they made the decision to leave. The
Stone of Destiny was returned to Cafania, which she slipped into her
backpack. They spent the next hour gathering what they needed and then
went to say goodbye to the villagers.
“I think I speak for
everyone in the village when I say thank you for all your help. Thank you
for saving our lives and restoring our village to one of peace and
safety.” Padd sat in front of his tent, sweating and wiping his forehead
with a dirty piece of cloth.
The villagers cheered in
agreement. Princess Serba and Kile came out of their tent and approached
the five. “Kile and I thank you for a new chance at life and for saving
us. I am deeply saddened by the loss of my son, Kolin, but it was meant to
“What will become of you
both now?” Cafania searched the eyes of the young boy.
“Kile and I are going to
stay here and rebuild Pinea to its former glory. It used to be our home
and it will be again.”
“But you’re a princess,”
“And I always swill be,
but Bubb is doing just fine leading our village. It is obvious through his
actions that he cares for each and every one of them. Kile and I will not
change anything.” Princess Serba put her arm around Kile and pulled him
Corin, Bramber and Braden
spent the next few minutes saying farewell to all. Corin put the last
supply into his pack when Fingal ran up to him. “What is it, dwarf?”
“I want to stay here in
Pinea. I don’t want to have any more adventures. I want to live with Bubb
and the others and maybe visit Damien and see Sami again. We should have
the people of Damien come and live here,” Fingal said as an afterthought.
For the first time in his life, Fingal stared straight into Corin’s eyes
without flinching or looking away.
“You’re serious, aren’t
you! You really like it here?”
Fingal nodded his head. “I
do like it here. Everyone is nice to me. I’ll be happy here and I can
watch out for Princess Serba and Kile and help Padd and Bubb.”
Corin reached for Fingal’s
short, stubby hand and shook it. “I’m proud of you, Fingal. If you want to
stay and you think you’ll be happy, then I say stay.”
Fingal hugged Corin’s leg.
“Thank you, Corin.” He cried and ran away.
“He didn’t even ramble. He
must be serious.” Corin laughed and watched the dwarf run into Padd’s
tent. “I’ll miss that dwarf.” He took a deep breath, tied up his pack and
walked toward the others. “Ready?
“Ready,” Braden said.
Corin glanced at Cafania
and Gorbal. “We’re down to four of us now; five counting Bramber. Fingal
wants to stay here.”
The others arched their
brows in surprise, but remained silent. With a wave they left the village
and headed towards Zolfin. They had only gone a mile or two when a
whirlwind enveloped them and dropped them on the cold stone floor of the
Temple of Zolfin. When the debris stopped spinning around them, they saw
the Lord of the Heavens standing next to his table. His dark blue hooded
robe draped across a chair. Next to him stood the Lord of Nature, the Lord
of the Earth, the Lord of Love and the Lord of the Seas.
“We are pleased with your
actions. You have accomplished all that we have asked of you. You rid
this land of Kolin, the evil wolf, restored Princess Serba and her son,
Kile, to life and learned how to use the Stone of Destiny and the Book of
Spells. We are very pleased.” The Lord of the Heavens nodded; his long,
gray beard touching the floor. The other Lords nodded too. “We are pleased
to see Bramber made it through unscathed.” She bowed to him.
Cafania searched in her
pack for the Stone. She held it out, handing it to the Lord of the
Heavens. “Here it is. I give it back to you, with thanks.”
He took it from her and
placed it in his pocket.
Gorbal touched the Book of
Spells through his pants pocket. “I’m keeping this, right?”
The Lord of the Heavens
nodded in agreement. “I thank you again. You may keep the Healing Stone to
use at your leisure. I also remember our part of the bargain, to transport
you home. Are you all ready to go? Lord of Nature, you can begin. You are
to send Gorbal home.”
interrupted. “I can’t go yet.” He shook Corin’s hand. “Thank you for all
you have done to help me improve my life.” Corin nodded. “Braden, thank
you too, and though I don’t know you, thanks for being there.” Gorbal
smiled at Bramber. “What about Cafania? I came with her. I want to go back
The Lord of the Heavens
looked at Cafania. “Well?”
“I do want to go with
Gorbal, but first, there’s something I must do.” Cafania kissed Braden on
the cheek and then whispered into Bramber’s ear, “Take good care of him.”
Gorbal and Cafania stood
next to each other and took hands. “Thanks, Corin,” Cafania winked. “We’re
The Lord of Nature and the
Lord of Love whisked around their wands. Sparks of green, pink and aqua
blue glittered and popped. In a puff of smoke the gnome and woman
“Braden, Bramber, you are
next.” The Lord of Heavens nodded to the Lord of the Seas.
Braden shook Corin’s hand.
“You know, Corin, now that Fingal is gone, you can come with us. We can
always use an extra hand. Besides that, Bramber has an older sister,
Corinna, who’s almost as pretty as her.”
Laughter burst from Braden
and Bramber’s mouths. Corin felt a tear pooling in his eye. “I just might
take you up on that offer. If she looks anything like Bramber, well…”
“Enough,” Braden said.
“Your point taken.”
“Together then?” The Lord
of the Heavens grinned.
The Lord of the Seas and
the Lord of the Earth waved their wands. Purple, orange and bright red
sparkles flew across the room. Before they disappeared in a puff of smoke,
Braden shouted, “Onward, to a new adventure!” And the three of them