Owyn peered over at Emma whose fingers were still shooting the odd spark of magic out of fear.
Owyn put his hands down as he looked over at her.
Eirwen put her sword back away, and Powyn breathed a sigh of relief. The two people he loved most in the world had stopped threatening to attack each other.
Owyn shook his head in disbelief. This was supposed to be a safe haven for magic wielders, and Eirwen and Elthered had brought this young girl here so she could be safe, and he had tried to attack her. The poor girl she must be terrified!
He had even accused Eirwen of betraying them! Eirwen who he had known since she was a babe in arms. Eirwen who would do anything to protect her kingdom and would never flee Aeolgoyryn.
He walked over to Emma and tried to coax her out of the shadows. Emma flinched as Owyn walked over and cowered even further against the stone wall.
‘I’m sorry child,’ said Owyn, ‘I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m not going to hurt you.’
Emma cautiously took a few steps forward and walked further into the torchlight.
She pulled on a strand of her hair nervously and eventually looked up at Owyn properly.
‘What’s your name child?’ he asked gently.
‘Emma,’ she said in a barely audible tone.
‘Please forgive me Emma?’ said Owyn.
Emma suddenly threw herself in for a hug and burst into tears through part exhaustion and part relief.
The poor child, thought Owyn, all alone in this cruel world with no one to look after her.
‘But where did you even find her?’ he stammered comforting Emma who was still crying.
‘In the forest,’ said Elthered, ‘where we were camping. I rode past her one day and brought her back with me.’
‘But she could have been found by anyone,’ said one of the sorceresses, ‘the poor little thing.’
‘She must have been so scared!’ agreed a wizard.
‘Hasn’t she got a family?’ asked Awyss looking at her brothers.
‘She’s not a thing,’ said the eldest person in the room speaking for the first time.
The others were quiet immediately to listen to what Hunith had to say. Hunith was the eldest and most wise of the group and was treated with the utmost respect. Whenever she had something to say, all the other wizards and sorceresses listened attentively.
‘She’s not just a sorceress either,’ said the Hunith, ‘Emma is the saviour.’
Owyn looked at down at Emma who he was still holding in the arms but had now stopped crying.
He had accused the saviour of being a spy. How could he be so stupid?
‘Maybe next time you won’t be quite so quick to judge eh Owyn,’ said Erik.
Owyn shook his head and chuckled softly.
‘It seems like you’ve got a lot to forgive me for Emma,’ said running his fingers through his hair Owyn.
‘It’s ok,’ said Emma smiling shyly, ‘I understand, you’ve been through a lot.’
‘That’s no excuse,’ said Owyn shaking his head again.
‘Father,’ said Powyn nervously hoping that Owyn wouldn’t be angry again, ‘they’ve come a long way.’
‘Oh, but of course,’ said Owyn, ‘you must all be starving. You must have been riding for days!’
‘The soups nearly finished,’ said one of the elder sorceresses who looked about eighty, ‘if you would just help me cut the bread please Awyss?’
‘Yes, Aunty Hazel,’ beamed Awyss getting up and skipping over to the store cupboard to get several loaves of bread to go with the soup.
Once the dinner was ready, they all sat cross-legged around the large cauldron passing around the bowls of food.
Oshan and Ashan got given their bowls of soup and tucked in ravenously immediately.
‘Boys!’ said Hazel, ‘how many times have I told you. Wait for everyone else to be served!’
‘We’re growing boys!’ interjected Ashan.
‘And we’re starving,’ agreed Oshan.
‘You’re not starving,’ sighed Owyn, ‘and we have guests. At least try and show some manners.’
Awyss giggled at her brothers being told off in front of everyone, and even Powyn smirked slightly.
Powyn had sat down next to Eirwen and was trying to make the most of her being here as they hadn’t seen each other in a month. He spent the whole of dinner asking what she had been up to, and they were talking twelve to a dozen.
Once dinner was over, Emma helped Awyss, Powyn, Eirwen and another sorceress with the washing up.
Emma hadn’t seen this girl’s face yet, as she had a large hood of her cloak pulled over her head and she was hiding behind it, but Emma could see a white blonde plait poking out from under the hood.
‘Powyn son!’ chuckled Owyn, ‘if you talk anymore your voice will give out.’
‘Yeah!’ shouted Oshan and Ashan, ‘shut up Powyn!’
‘Sorry everyone,’ said Powyn grinning foolishly.
‘He’s just busy making up for last time,’ said Elthered, ‘they’ve missed one another.’
‘Powyn and Eirwen are in love!’ giggled Awyss.
‘Sorry about this lot,’ muttered Powyn glaring at his friends.
‘It’s alright,’ laughed Eirwen, ‘I’m used to it.’
They all gathered around the fire again for warmth, Awyss pulled Emma over to sit with her.
‘It’s really nice to have another girl here,’ beamed Awyss, ‘usually all I have to talk to is those stupid boys!’
‘I’m not stupid!’ interjected Powyn.
‘I meant my brothers,’ laughed Awyss.
‘And what about me?’ asked the girl from under the hood, ‘I’m not stupid or a boy.’
‘Sorry Evae,’ said Awyss hugging Evae, ‘it’s just.’
‘Emma’s closer to your own age,’ said Evae knowingly, ‘I get it.’
‘I presume you young lady are having a bit of trouble keeping track of our names,’ said Hunith.
‘Of course, we haven’t introduced ourselves properly!’ said Hazel.
‘Well you know Powyn,’ said Eirwen, ‘I’ve known him since we were kids, but he’s a year older than me.’
Powyn inclined his head slightly at Emma smiling.
‘I can change the direction of the wind,’ said Powyn.
‘A fat lot of good that can do,’ he muttered.
‘Never underestimate yourself, son,’ said Owyn putting an arm around him, ‘you’ll find a use for your power. Everyone has a special power for a special reason, you know that.’
‘Thanks, Father,’ said Powyn.
‘I am Owyn, Powyn’s father. Before you ask, the reason why I am covered in burns it is the aftereffects of the dragon fire from our last attack.’
‘I was the only one to survive,’ said Owyn awkwardly, ‘I left the rest of my people to die.’
‘That’s not true Owyn,’ interjected Hazel, ‘we all look to you, we always have done. You’re our leader.’
‘Then why did I lead them into a slaughter!’ asked Owyn.
‘Father,’ said Powyn softly, ‘that wasn’t your fault.’
Owyn gulped as he tried to calm down again.
Emma raised her hand as she had a question.
‘Yes, dear?’ asked Hunith.
‘Why weren’t the rest of you in the last attack with Owyn?’
‘There used to be a lot more of us,’ said Erik, ‘about fifty.’
‘Enough that when we planned the attack we left the youngest and eldest at home,’ said Hunith.
‘The only magic wielders who went were between sixteen, and seventy.’
‘I didn’t turn sixteen until a month after the attack,’ said Powyn.
‘Thank the Gods,’ muttered Owyn.
‘Excuse me Owyn sir,’ said Emma, ‘what’s your power?’
‘He can shoot lightning bolts at people,’ said Ashan.
‘It’s amazing!’ said Oshan, ‘puts them into some kind of a sleep.’
Owyn grinned appreciatively at the boy's comments.
‘Speaking of a bewitched sleep,’ said Hazel, ‘that moves along to me.’
‘I’m Hazel, I can send people to sleep with the slightest touch, I usually work with Evae.’
‘Evae,’ said Hunith, ‘take off that ridiculous hood dear.’
There was an audible sigh as the young sorceress lifted the hood off of her head.
It was the beautiful person Emma had ever seen; she was breathtaking. She had long thick white-blonde hair, which was currently plaited to stop it getting in the way. Her skin was white like porcelain, and her lips were like beautiful rose petals, her purple eyes shone like amethysts.
‘My name is Evae,’ she said shyly blushing profusely, ‘I’ve just turned sixteen.’
‘My power is,’ she stammered, ‘my power is seduction.'
'Men will stare at me transfixed. Whilst they are distracted, Hazel will sneak up behind them and put them to sleep.’
‘That’s why I keep my hood up,’ said Evae starting to pull her hood back up, ‘I don’t like using my power very much.’
‘You have nothing to be ashamed of Evae,’ said Erik, ‘you have done nothing wrong, and you only ever use your power for good.’
Evae smiled softly and kept her hood down, she knew she couldn’t affect people without meaning to, so all her friends would be fine.
‘I’m Erik,’ he continued, ‘it’ll be my seventy-third birthday next month, and this is my older brother Stefan.’
Stefan merely nodded.
‘Stefan might be quiet,’ chuckled Elthered, ‘but he’s deadly!’
‘They have got the most amazing power,’ said Oshan.
‘They never miss their targets!’ said Ashan.
‘I’m sorry?’ asked Emma confused.
‘Erik and Stefan are master archers,’ explained Owyn, ‘they are supernaturally good. If they aim at a target, they’ll never miss.’
‘And their arrows!’ exclaimed Oshan.
‘They’re enchanted to come back to their owners once they’ve hit the target,’ finished Ashan.
‘That is so cool!’ beamed Emma.
‘Cool?’ asked Erik.
‘Splendid, marvellous, fantastic,’ explained Eirwen.
‘Cool,’ muttered Ashan, ‘I like that word.’
‘We might start using it!’ agreed Oshan as they grinned identically.
‘I am Hunith,’ she continued, ‘I’m the eldest by quite a bit. One hundred and forty-seven. I have the power of prophetic visions, not very useful in battle, but highly useful.’
‘My name is Tim,’ said an old man with a surprisingly high voice who looked about eighty and a head of unruly snow-white hair, and a wispy white beard. For such an old man, he seemed quite energetic.
Tim thought Emma, everyone else had such unusual names but Tim’s name was so normal.
‘I can throw balls of enchanted fire,’ he said his eyes lighting up in excitement.
It wasn’t hard for Emma to imagine Tim throwing balls of fire like explosive bombs. He was just so full of energy for a man so old, bouncing around like an excitable puppy.
‘And that just leaves you three,’ said Owyn putting his arms around Ashan and Oshan proudly.
‘Our greatest assets, and the most important in our group.’
‘You’re being modest,’ said Ashan fobbing him off.
‘We wouldn’t have survived this long without you,’ said Oshan.
‘What can you three do?’ asked Emma.
‘Ashan, Oshan and Awyss, are the last of the Dragon Lords,’ said Powyn.
‘Without them, we don’t stand a chance,’ said Erik.
‘I don’t know,’ smirked Tim, ‘I think we can put up a pretty good fight!’
‘Tim,’ said Owyn firmly, ‘that’s where we went wrong last time, we need the Dragon Lords, even if they are young.’
‘What are the Dragon Lords?’ asked Emma excitedly.
‘Dragon Lords can make wild dragons tame,’ said Elthered.
‘We can fly on them,’ said Oshan.
‘And stop them from burning everything,’ said Ashan.
‘We can even take over people for rides on them,’ nodded Awyss.
‘Dragons are as mild as a kitten,’ said Hazel, ‘but only when there’s a Dragon Lord.’
‘Dragon Lords are extremely rare,’ said Owyn, ‘the rarest of the magic wielders. There are usually only about ten alive at one time.’
‘What happened to your parents?’ asked Emma.
‘Couldn’t your parents have helped last time?’
‘Well Dragon Lords are really rare,’ said Eirwen.
‘But extremely noticeable,’ said Evae.
‘The hairs a bit of a giveaway,’ laughed Powyn ruffling Ashan and Oshan’s flame-red hair.
‘Our parents were trying to defend the castle from King Gryffyn,’ said Ashan.
‘They were doing their job and protecting the dragons,’ said Oshan.
‘The Black Knights killed them during the attack,’ muttered Ashan.
‘Powyn and I helped the children to escape,’ said Owyn, ‘they’re like my own children.’
'What can you do then?' asked Evae.
'Fire and Water,' shrugged Emma. She still couldn't properly control her powers.
'You've got two powers!' exclaimed Oshan and Ashan.
'You really are the saviour,' laughed Erik.
‘I know that’s a lot of information,’ laughed Powyn, ‘we’ll understand if you can’t keep track of which one of us is which and you get our names wrong.’
‘Oshan and Ashan will try to trip you up on purpose anyway,’ giggled Awyss.
‘Emma!’ called Sam’s distant voice.
Emma whipped her head up. She knew what that meant. She had to go back to her world again.