Calling the Land Spirit

The stones were assenbled on the forest floor. I was calling the Land Spirit.

"Terra!" I called. The earth trembled beneath my feet. Wow, that was quick. He must sense the urgency in my cry.

"Terra!" I shouted once again to ensure I had his attention.

"What?" boomed the earth and the trees and the stones, creating a cacaphony.

"I need to find a woman!"

"Why should I help you?"

"I am her Guardian Spirit."

The earth quaked. The Land Spirit was laughing. "Yet she is far away."

"I know," I said impatiently. "And she is in serious danger. I need to find her!"

"What will you give me in return for the knowledge of her whereabouts?"

I hesitated. I hadn't reckoned I would need to pay for information.

"I have places to be, Horatio!" said the Land Spirit impatiently.

"Wait!" I cried. "I cannot find a suitable price."

"How about rain? Can you give me that? My soil is dry and my bones are cracking."

"I can give you torrential rain," I promised. "I will flood my own wood for you."

"I thank you, Horatio. The woman you seek, who is she?"

"Her name is Alyssa. She was recently married to the man of magic, Lupin."

"Ah, I know her." The Land Spirit's tone became grave. "Her cries have tortured me. She is on the Shadow Plain - the land where nothing is as it seems. You must take caution, Horatio."

"I will. Thank you. You cannot know my gratitude."

"I feel it, Horatio." The ground rumbled and there was silence.

The Shadow Plain. What a frightful state Alyssa must be in...


"Horatio." I saw Alyssa's face before me. I realised we could communicate.

"Alyssa," I said slowly, unsure of how she felt towards me. I longed to take her from the image before me, but I knew that I could not. I prayed that she was safe.

"Horatio." She smiled slightly, and her fingers appeared, attempting to touch me. I tried to touch her too but there was nothing before me but air.

"I'm coming for you," I tried to tell her but I sensed that the connection was weakening, that she wouldn't hear all of what I said. Her face was fading into a light that might have been cast by diamonds.

"Please...," she whispered, but I heard no more. The vision ended and I collapsed to my knees.

"Oh Alyssa," I murmured aloud; "I do pray no harm has befallen you."

And silently I wept.


I reached the Shadow Plain at midnight. Wait, I was being stupid. The Shadow Plain is the land of eternal midnight though the Shadow Clan contains illusionists who can make you see whatever they desire you to.

The first thing I saw was a tower. I instantly knew that the Shadow people were luring me in, trying to ensnare me. Should I take the bait?

If I could get to Alyssa quickly, perhaps I could transport her out of there before any harm came to us. Then again, the Shadow clan were intelligent and cunning. There were probably Shadow people waiting for me, surrounding Alyssa invisibly.

Perhaps I should hand myself over. I knew not what they wanted me for but I wasn't concerned about that. The only thing I wanted was Alyssa's safety. She would want mine but it was my job to put myself in danger for her. She couldn't deny me that.

I sighed. It wasn't that self-sacrifice was difficult - in fact, it was easy when I loved Alyssa. But I had a disant hope that we might live happily ever after. The way it looked, I wouldn't even be able to apologise to the woman I loved.

But ... that's life. I felt confident that Lupin would tell her. And at least Lupin could make her happy...

I was delaying the moment. I took a deep breath and teleported inside the tower.

The End

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