She stepped away from the cliff’s edge and stared into the raven’s eyes which were glowing like amber gems. The bird’s talons emitted a bolt of electric heat into her arm. A light flashed in her mind, and the raven’s essence permeated her core being. She knew then that she had entered the raven’s prescient mind.
At first, the landscape appeared blurry until she adjusted to the raven’s eyesight. Then brightly colored wildflowers dazzled her with purple hues that she was unable to detect with her human eyes. A thrill rushed through her as she sensed the bird’s breast muscles contracting to flap its wings. When the raven began its thrust into flight, she felt the misty air lift the bird’s outstretched wings.
When the raven flew into the sky, she could see her human form that stood as motionless as a statue on the emerald hilltop clasped to the jagged precipice. The sheer cliffs below formed an impenetrable wall against the crashing waves. Beyond the cliffs was a sparsely vegetated shoreline toward which several ships were sailing and where other vessels were moored. Armored infantrymen had disembarked, waded to the shore and were marching across the beach. On higher ground, soldiers had set up tents in a square encampment. One of the guards had a lion’s head covering his helmet. In his hands was a pole with a silver eagle on top. She assumed it meant powerful animal spirits were guiding them.
A palatial tent in the center of the encampment caught her eye. Its outside walls were made of twined linen sheets, violet and red, brocaded with eagles. Surrounding the central structure were crimson banners, each emblazoned with the sun god in a horse-driven chariot. At the tent’s flapped entrance were two foreign noblemen attired in purple-trimmed, white togas. Another man, towering over the foreigners, wore a rustic toga and plaid breeches, garments that nobles from her kingdom typically dressed in. From the back, he looked familiar, his thick coppery hair draped over his shoulders like a lustrous wolf pelt.
Why is he here?
To confirm her suspicions that she knew this tall, brawny man, Catrin directed the raven to circle around, so she could get a closer look. When the man’s ghostly, disfigured face came into view, her heart wrenched when she recognized her half-brother, Marrock.
Grotesque images of ravens pecking tissue out of his face flashed in her mind. For seven years, she had believed herself safe from him, but there he was—a specter arisen from the cold ashes of her nightmares.
What does he plan to do with the foreign army?
A sense of doom crawled over her when Marrock’s head tilted back, as though he knew her essence was flying overhead. His blue-green eyes began glowing and then changed to the same amber-gem color as her raven whenever she harnessed its magical power. The raven’s muscles suddenly paralyzed, freezing the wings. A strong force pulled her through a crevasse in the raven’s mind and sucked her into a tunnel of brilliant gold light. She then plummeted, tumbling out of control, toward a black portal in the center of a rainbow-colored arch.
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