GETTING TO DRAOSIA WOULD NOT be hard. However, getting into Draosia without starting a war or getting myself killed would be. I knew very little about the land and even less about cold land immortals. There was only one person I knew that would have the answers, my mother, Aelonara, the Keeper of Time. She had access to all secrets and history of all places that time had touched. She would be the one to guide me and she would be the one that would know the best way to get to Raelin.
The sky temple of Mnemosyne, where my mother lives, is far to the north in Ing‘old‘oik. It would be a long journey even for an immortal. The temple sits nestled in a large mountain chain protected with the magic from the Order of Mnemosyne. It is very hard for anyone that does not need to be there to find the temple, but I needed to be there. I could easily tell father that I was going to Ing’old’oik for some rest and recuperation. This would give me a few days to formulate my plans, find the information I needed, and a reason to be in the temple. No one would question my motives. No one would notice when I found the information I needed and slipped off to Draosia either; they would just believe I went back home. This was the perfect plan.
My father’s magical chariot shortened my journey by several days. He worried of the dangers should I become lost on my way there and suggested that I should take the chariot because it could deliver me directly to the temple. Unfortunately, once I reached the summit the chariot would fly back to his stable. My father had planned for me to return home by using the temple teleportation stones. I would not be able to risk telling my plan to the clerics in charge of those stones should they question my destination; so, I would have to find some other means of travel to Draosia. Yet, by getting to the temple, I would at least be one-step closer to my goal; I would just have to think on my feet and figure out how to arrive in Draosia after I found the information I sought.
Aelonara was hardly surprised to see me when I walked into the archives. She even greeted me with a disappointing look. “Harmonia, why are you here?” She questioned with such authority. “Your father has told me of your foolish plan to go to Draosia. Is that why you have appeared on my doorstep?”
“No, mother, it is not. I am simply here to relax. Father thinks it would do me some good.”
“I hardly think your father trusts you on this journey my dear. Why else would he send you via courier chariot if he believed you were really coming here for relaxation?”
“Fine, I did not come here for relaxation. The Oracle told me that a goddess named Raelin would be the one to save our lands. I have to get to Draosia. I have to find Raelin and get her back to Olympus to save it!”
“Are you sure what you saw was true? Just because an oracle gave you a gift, well it does not always mean that it will work correctly. Don’t you find it odd that this Kinir is the only oracle that will talk to immortals? Most oracle predictions do not even come true. Why put your faith in this new power?”
“Because I have to, Mother. I feel like it is true. I know it is true. This witch must be stopped.” Why did both of my parents think the gift that the Oracle gave me was faulty? On the other hand, maybe they thought that I was faulty. I could understand my father; he only understood things regarding weapons and war, but my mother was the keeper of all secrets. She was in alliance with Mnemosyne, a great goddess with strange powers of her own. How could she doubt me?
“I always knew this day would come, my daughter. I know now that you must do what you were born to do.”
“What I was born to do?”
“That matters not at this moment child. I will give you the information you need and we will make sure you get to Draosia. I can have you teleported there and back. I can also give you the location of Raelin and send you directly to her so you can speak. That way we can get around the Treaty of Draosia. However, you will have to act quickly once you meet Raelin. From what little information we have about her we know that she cuts first and asks questions later.”
“Thank you, Mother. I knew you would be the one to help me.”
It did not take long for Aelonara to provide me with all the information I would need on my quest. With this new knowledge, I was satisfied that I would be able to stop the destruction of Olympus. I just had to figure out what would convince the girl to return with me. I drifted off to sleep while pondering the great journey I was going to undertake. I thought here in the safety of my mother’s temple that sleep would come peacefully, but I was wrong. I awoke again to a vision of the witch. She was standing there glaring at me. “You will NOT be able to save Olympus. You will not even know what to say to Raelin. She will never believe you. Your own parents do not believe you. Come, just accept your fate and help me destroy all that you know.”
“No, you are wrong, witch. I do know what I will say to Raelin. I know it will work. You yourself have inspired me. I was wrong to think just about Olympus. Last we spoke you had said you wanted to unite all the fronts and take over Draosia and Ximira. Before I spoke to my mother, not much of that made sense; however, I now know your intentions. You will go and destroy Raelin’s homelands as well. Nothing will appease you until you have destroyed everything and taken over all of the lands. I will tell this truth to her. I will show this future to her. You will not stop me.”
“Very well, do what you think you must. Nevertheless, hear me child, you will come around to my side. Olympus will fall and it will be mine.”
Before I knew it, my mother was waking me up for my teleport to Draosia. It was now or never. I had to convince Raelin about my visions. I had to make her understand they were the key to preventing this crazed witch from overthrowing the immortal born. I had to convince her that I was not some crazy demi-goddess that only appeared in her country to start trouble. No, I was going to have to be quick and very persuasive. I would only have a few moments before she would try to behead me.
It was mid-morning and about twenty degrees below zero when I arrived in Draosia. I had really hoped for warmer weather, but I was not there for pleasure. Although they were very cold, the ice gardens of Draosia were beautiful. Frozen lakes and a grand waterfall encircled the main garden. The flowers appeared encased in ice and all the trees glistened with snow. Instead of a steady stream of water, tiny crystal snowflakes fell in the waterfall. Next to the falls, as the map my mother provided indicated, was a single female form meditating. She had raven black hair and ruddy skin. She looked like a smoldering ember in the middle of all of that snow and ice; it was electrifying just looking at her. I gathered my breath and walked towards the princess of the cold lands. Knowing her reputation of cutting first and asking questions later, I had not intended to get close enough to touch her, but she was in such a deep trance I was able to get within reaching distance. Unfortunately, for me, that is when she sensed my presence. I would only have seconds now. Throwing down my cloak, I grabbed at her weapon and began talking to her calmly.
“Raelin, listen to me, I am sorry to burst in on you like this, but I need your help. The best way I know how to show you why I need your help is to share with you my visions. I need you to see that both of our fates rest in your hands.”
Without a sound, we found ourselves in a vision. We were standing in the ice gardens, but they now showed signs of a recent fire. The witch was there too. She gave me a look of disgust and said, “I guess you figured out how to show other people your visions now. Oh well, it does not matter. You are too late.” She then turned to Raelin and began to speak, “Ah, yes, there you are, Raelin, princess of two worlds. How do you like your ice gardens now? I hate cold. I hate snow. I think I will melt your lovely meditation area to nothing more than a puddle. You can go back to Olympus with her, but it will not matter. I will still take over everything in your worlds. You will fall to your knees and worship me. You have no choice.”
A bolt shot out from the witch and headed for Raelin. Instinctively I moved to deflect it. I then heard that strange voice coming from me again. “No! You are wrong witch! You are not going to take over anything. I see your powers now. I can stop them.” With a wave of my hand, the bolt dropped to the ground. Instantly we were back in the present time.
Raelin looked at me with a dazed expression. “You show me this horrible future? Why? Why are you here Harmonia?”
“So that witch cannot take over. I am here to give you a chance to destroy her. I do not really know how or why, but if you do not come with me to protect Olympus, you will lose your homeland, as will I. She will have won and will take over all of our lands.”
“So, what do we do now, Harmonia of Olympus? How do we stop this evil witch?”
“If you believe me, we go back and protect Olympus.”
“I am not sure why, but something in my gut tells me to believe you. I will help you protect your Olympus, if you help me protect my lands.”
Straightaway we arrived in Olympus. I did not know how she would protect us, but I was putting all my trust into my visions and Raelin’s strength. At least she was a very beautiful warrior. That would help me explain her presence to my father…
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