The Triafar Mountains
When they got back from shopping, they had a quick lunch, and then Emma got ready to go adventuring again.
Emma put the red dress back on that she had been keeping at the back of her wardrobe, and then Sam plaited Emma’s hair into a half-up again.
‘Don’t forget this,’ said Sam passing Emma her belt and a small dagger.
‘Mum,’ chuckled Emma, ‘I keep telling you. I can use magic in Aeolgoyryn, I don’t need to take a dagger!’
‘You never know when you’re going to need it,’ said Sam fastening the belt around Emma’s waist.
‘Besides, you should get used to wearing it when you go into the book, more out of practice than anything alright?’
‘Alright Mum,’ said Emma shaking her head.
‘I’ll be fine, you’ve told me yourself, I can’t get seriously hurt.’
‘Good luck sweetheart,’ said Sam giving Emma one last hug as Emma got the book out.
Emma opened her book and closed her eyes. Her bedroom slowly dissolved around her, and she was standing in the tent with Eirwen and Elthered who were still sat down planning.
‘I’m back,’ beamed Emma.
‘Back from where?’ asked Eirwen, ‘what in the world are you talking about.’
Emma had to try and hold back a laugh at how true Eirwen’s words were. She had just gotten back from another world.
‘Nothing,’ said Emma sitting back down.
‘Weird,’ muttered Eirwen.
‘Maybe you are hallucinating child,’ said Elthered, ‘and no wonder, you must be exhausted. The hour is late, and we have a long journey ahead of us in the morrow.’
‘I’ll take the first watch,’ said Eirwen grabbing her sword, ‘you two get some sleep.’
Sir Elthered went through to the other room, and Emma went to sleep on the mattress that she shared with Eirwen.
Emma didn’t really feel tired, but she found that the second she closed her eyes she fell fast asleep. Maybe it was part of the magic of the book, or maybe she was just exhausted.
The next thing Emma knew, it was early morning and Eirwen was nudging her gently awake.
‘Morning sleepyhead,’ chuckled Eirwen, ‘I thought I’d wake you up before Elthered and I start training. We’ll be packing up and leaving after that.’
‘Thanks,’ said Emma stretching slightly.
Emma sat outside the tent, as Eirwen sharpened her sword, and Elthered put on his armour. Eirwen never wore armour, but it meant that she could move faster, and she had a lighter sword than Elthered’s.
Eirwen and Elthered had already had breakfast, but had left a couple of apples for Emma.
Emma ate the crisp juicy apples, as she watched Eirwen and Elthered spar against each other, trying to guess each other’s next move. Acorn Emma’s pony ate Emma’s apple cores, as they watched the duel together in interest.
They were well matched, but Eirwen was faster today, and eventually, Sir Elthered surrendered when Eirwen sprinted behind him and held her sword up to Elthered’s throat.
‘Well done Eirwen!’ called Emma applauding.
Eirwen lowered her sword and gave a deep bow towards Emma.
‘Show off,’ scoffed Elthered, shaking his head at Eirwen.
Eirwen stuck her tongue out at Elthered for a fraction of a second as she put her sword back away.
They packed up the tent and mounted their horses.
‘So where are the last Wizards and Sorceresses?’ asked Emma as they started their journey.
‘A good many days ride away,’ said Elthered, ‘there is a cave in Triafar mountains on the edge of Aeolgoyryn. The cave leads to a secret passage, which leads to the dwelling of the last magic wielders.’
‘The only thing is though,’ said Eirwen, ‘the gate to the passage is only unlocked once a month, on the night of the full moon.’
‘The full moon is in four days,’ said Elthered, ‘and we have a lot of ground to cover.’
‘If they’re in hiding how do you know all this?’ asked Emma.
‘They’re hiding from Gryffyn and the knights,’ chuckled Eirwen, ‘not us. They are good people but have had to go into hiding to save their lives.’
‘We try and visit them every few months at least,’ Elthered continued, ‘and we usually stay for at least a week.’
‘If you know where the magic wielders are,’ said Emma, ‘why haven’t you tried to defeat Gryffyn before now?’
‘They did once,’ sighed Elthered.
‘It was a massacre,’ muttered Eirwen.
‘There used to be hundreds of magic wielders,’ explained Elthered, ‘nearly a thousand. They protected the kingdom from the dragons, and helped the king and his knights defend the land from enemy invaders.’
‘When Gryffyn took the throne, he killed any magic wielders he could find, and the rest went into hiding. There was only about fifty left.’
‘Fifty?’ asked Emma, ‘but you said there was only a dozen!’
‘There were fifty,’ sighed Eirwen, ‘up until a year ago. They advanced on the castle, to try and defeat Gryffyn, Elthered and I weren’t there, but we heard the screams from where we were hiding in the forest.’
‘What happened?’ breathed Emma.
‘They were burnt alive,’ said Eirwen, ‘by dragon fire.’
‘But they had magic,’ said Emma, ‘can’t you put out the fire with the magic powers, like the water that comes out of my fingers.’
‘Firstly,’ said Elthered, ‘different wizards or sorceresses have different powers.’
‘And secondly,’ said Eirwen, ‘the fire was magical too. Dragon fire is enchanted, it can’t be put out by magic.’
‘Only twelve magic wielders survived,’ finished Elthered, ‘eight wizards, and four sorceresses.’
‘But if we try and defeat the dragons and take on Gryffyn again,’ said Emma, ‘aren't we going to be burnt alive too?’
‘That’s what we need to plan,’ said Eirwen, ‘but first of all we need to get to Triafar before the full moon.’
They rode for four days, and three nights, hardly stopping to rest. Occasionally they would see some peasants in their farms, and the children would wave excitedly as they rode past. Once or twice, they had close encounters with the Black Knights and had to hide just on time.
But on the last day before the full moon, they reached the mountain of Triafar.
Emma gazed up at the mountain in amazement. It was huge, and the peaks were covered in snow. The most beautiful thing Emma had ever seen.
But there was something else as well, there was a certain aura around the mountain. The mountain itself seemed to sparkle with magic.
They had found the last magic wielders!
‘We’ll have to get up and walk,’ said Eirwen clamouring off her horse, ‘it’s too steep for them to carry us.’
Emma got down from Acorn carefully and stroked Acorn’s nose gently. Acorn nuzzled up to Emma affectionately rubbing her velvety nose against Emma’s face.
‘We don’t have time for that,’ snapped Eirwen brusquely starting to lead her horse Andromeda up the mountain, ‘we’ve still got a long climb ahead and only three hours until sunset.’
Elthered smiled gently, as is to say, that although Eirwen might seem a bit harsh sometimes she meant well.
Emma took Acorn’s reins and started to lead the little pony up the mountain following Eirwen.
Eirwen had been right, it was steep. Emma wasn’t exactly unfit, but after a while, she was starting to become breathless and tired. She didn’t dare ask if they could stop for a break though, because she didn’t want Eirwen to snap at her again.
Just as Emma was about to give up, and the sun was low in the sky, Eirwen stopped.
Eirwen pushed aside some ivy and revealed the entrance to a smallish cave and the three of them went into the cave with their horses.
It was quite a small cave, so there was only just space for them all.
‘Are we sure this is the right cave?’ asked Emma, ‘where’s the entrance?’
‘Have patience child,’ said Elthered gently.
‘Look,’ he said pointing at the back of the cave.
As Elthered said this, a spark of golden light began to shine at the back of the cave.
‘Woah!’ exclaimed Emma.
The spark spiralled in five directions to form a small intricate pattern.
Soon the golden beams of light had spiralled over the whole wall, and the cave slid open to reveal a tunnel lit by torches.
Eirwen beamed and nodded as she led her horse down the tunnel, and Emma followed her in amazement.