PRINCESS Alivia discovers that she is not only a sorceress but also the
guardian born to halt the returning terror of a black-magic wizard named
Abaddon. Along with her beloved pets and familiars, Conall and Erskime,
she lives hidden in a cave protected by three hobgoblins and twelve
ancient warrior faeries in the town of Brightenbeam. She is brought
there to sharpen her skills and to avoid capture by the horrific
warlord Guthrie and his black-magic seer Necromanticus. Sent to
Clavenburn to learn magic, she becomes best of friends with
well-mannered Genevieve, sassy and outspoken Catriona, Dooley the
warrior, studious Waverly, and handsome but mischievous Alasdair, while
being thwarted by the evil orphan twins Tearlach and Broch, along with
their sidekicks. Headmaster Professor Hesperus Orfeo wears a mysterious
pendant similar to the one worn by Falon, head guardian of the faeries.
Also on staff is a mystifying school sentinel named Sir Cayden, who is
keeping a puzzling secret. Surviving a kidnap attempt, Alivia acquires
one of the twelve hidden amulets. During holiday, Cat and Genevieve help
Alivia rescue a baby Skye dragon she nicknamed Spitfire. Attempting to
return the dragon to his home, they befriend a berg troll named
Hernhaugen, who helps them battle bewitched bats and boggarts sent by
Necromanticus to steal the Ring of Nature. At the end of the school
year, her friends convince Alivia to enter a magical tournament where
they learn that teamwork is the strongest magic of all.
fire, and torches lit the night casting an eerie glow to the evening sky. Screeches
and groans rent the stillness. Battle cries echoed around the fortress as walls
crumbled. Swords meet metal shields and breastplates. The metallic smell of
blood mingled with the odor of the fetid moat water and the rancid smell of burning
tar from the fire pits set up around the outside bailey.Men secured chains to the caldrons, hoisting
them up the curtain walls to the murder holes, which allowed the boiling hot
liquids to be poured on unsuspecting enemies below.
not sure how much longer we can protect this castle,” Greer shouted over the
din from the fighting below.
dodged a wall as it collapsed. Racking coughs from the mortar and dust overwhelmed
her. As the air cleared, she observed the king’s men tipping heated tar over a
parapet, sheeting ogres and men attempting to scale the wall. For every man
they felled, ten others appeared to take their place.
assessed the damage about the courtyard as she flew closer to Treasa. Magic and
valor didn’t appear to be enough against a legion of this scale. Even with the
assistance of the other ten faeries, it looked as if this fight was lost. Greer
observed the chaos below as enemy troops stormed the outer walls on all four
ramparts. Everywhere she glanced, armor clad men crawled over barriers. Early
in the fight they realized that at least half of the enemies were apparitions. Lord
Guthrie wanted to confuse and discourage those brave soldiers inside the castle
walls. A man would run up to fight an enemy just to have it evaporate, while a live
enemy took advantage of his confusion and run the soldier through. Orcs were
enormous brutes with hides like rhinoceros, heads resembling wild hogs; they
had the fighting will of a lion and the brain of slug. Many of them joined with
the enemies to fight against the castle’s inhabitants.
They endured an unending rain of arrows. It
wasn’t a matter of how well outfitted the enemy appeared, but the strength of the
black magic at work. The enemy easily carved through r each defensive magic
barrier they erected. Treasa dodged another flaming arrow hissing by her head.
At least it was getting easier to spot them now that the sun had begun to set.
the warning, Greer angled a hasty down-stroke with her lengthy black wings for
a rapid descent dodging several arrows that flew past her, humming like a swarm
of irate bees. “You’re getting slow, my friend. I fear you need a nap.” Treasa
winged past to cover another wall.
your mouth or I may not warn you next time one comes close.” Greer blasted a
shower of rock, which would have harmed the king’s soldiers below.
castles guardians weakened as the assault continued. The time had come to
I’ll take the center and east while you defend the back corner to the south. Be
careful and withdraw if the skirmish becomes markedly worse. I plan to mind
merge with the others and try an all-out white magic attack. We must push the
enemy back to give our men below a break. Remember, our main objective is to
safely escape with Alivia if all looks lost.”
spared but a moment to assure herself that Treasa comprehended the nature of
the plan. Treasa was an intense warrior not taken willingly to retreat.
flew high above the castle so as not to be a target; then hovering in the air,
closed her eyes and completed her connection with the fairies. Each responded,
which assured her that they had not lost any of their team in the scrimmage. A
few of them were stationed within, to guard the castle’s occupants, but the
majority was outside fighting alongside the king’s soldiers. Within moments,
the air quivered with the energy of the fairies preparing for the assault. Each
had an area of the wall to strike. At Greer’s command, the energy would explode
all around the fortress, knocking all combatants away from the perimeter
without harming those within the walls.
returned to her position, nodding at Treasa that all was ready.
detonated the sky, thick blue bolts attracted to the enemy’s metal armor.
Explosions rent the air as the powerful bolts blasted the unlucky lightning rods
who wore that armor. Forked lightning struck the woods about the castle,
raining fire and debris upon those seeking refuge.
hail crushed the enemy. Volleys of ice pelted those scaling the walls with
ladders, splintering the wood and, dropping bodies to the hard-packed ground or
into the moat about the other walls. The men lay in heaps, one body stacked
upon the other.
of fire from the back section of the castle walls rolled over the enemy as a
tide washes a beach clean. For every man that died, it appeared that five more
took his place. Orcs, shapeshifters, warlocks, and men fought back with a power
that could only come from strong black magic. The smell of burnt flesh and hair
hung heavily in the wind crossing the castle walls .
attempted to eliminate the menace of troops, scaling the eastern wall just
above the stables. She halted out of reach of the enemy arrows. Her black cape
flapped under the current from her wings while hovering in midair. With a wave
of her hand, she fabricated an image in the night sky of a large blue dragon
with scales that reflected the waning light. A roar emanated from the beast as the
wind from its wings blew men across the ground like leaves in autumn.
expertise lay in dragons, whether real or concocted magically. This particular
apparition materialized in front of the soldiers struggling to scale the
curtain fortification. Another wave from her hand produced genuine fireballs
from the dragon’s mouth, spewing forth, scorching all those unfortunate to have
not escaped in retreat.
secured her position at the south tower. “Playing with your make-believe pets
again I noticed.”
observed Treasa blast cannon balls into dust with lightning bolts as the enemy endeavored
to destroy one of the corner towers.
than that kindling you use.”
match my lightning bolts to your giant lizards any day.”
out of my head, brat. I’m busy here.” Greer prepared another dragon blast to
keep the enemy in check.
behind her wings, Treasa extracted another arrow loaded with lightning spells,
swiftly drawing back the hemp string taut, letting it fly from her longbow. The
bolt lit up the sky as it rained charges onto those below. Each rock or enemy
that the charges touched burned to ash beneath the electrical onslaught. The
defense of the illumination blinded those that remained, making it near
impossible to pinpoint where exactly to shoot back.
wore dark leather not cloth, and preferred pants to dresses, allowing her to blend
into the night. She took no chances of her locks interfering with her archery.
Carefully braided auburn hair encased tightly with a leather strap lay securely
tucked under the yew-bark quiver that held her arrows.
Treasa guarding the back partition, Greer flew closer to the center wall in
hopes of observing where the next threat would land.
she touched down atop the open gorge tower to inspect the outer grounds and
rest her weary wings, a heavy jolt from behind knocked her to the floor.
Something or someone lying across her back pinned her face down onto the cold stones.
Before she was able to counter the slam, a large cannon ball exploded the tower
wall. An onslaught of rock bombarded their bodies. A deep-throated groan
emanated from the bulk above her as the person took the majority of the blows.
Before the dust settled, the weight hastily lifted from her. Promptly rolling
to the side, Greer jumped to her feet and took a defensive stance, but
confronted nothing but air. Lifting swiftly into the night sky, she searched
but found no telltale signs of who had attacked her, or if she was being
honest, actually saved her life. Wrapping her arms about her, she felt an
unexpected chill in the air. She wasn’t entirely sure the chill occurred from
the drop in temperatures at sunset or from a premonition that there were unknowns
within the castle walls.