LAND OF NEW OZ
In the Land of Oz it is little known that Glenda the good witch has a sister, it is also a little known fact that the Northern land she ruled over was split. A western and eastern division of the North land Peninsula. Glenda only ruled over the west, the rest of the unevenly split land, the eastern side was ruled by her sister, Crystal Ice-sis. The Peninsula was partially surrounded by the Sapphire Sea. The two sisters at one point in time fought over the rights of the isthmus that connected the northern land to the mainland of Oz, but that dispute was settled many years prior to our story. For now the two kingdoms were at peace with their powers, territorial rights and zoning settlements. Which is more than we can say for the two sister’s tepid relationship, although a lot of differences were settled between them through the years, it can not be said they were the best of friends, but at least able to keep their relationship civil towards each other for the good and stability of Oz. As for the sister’s personal relationship they communicated only when needed, such as, at Summit and Embassy Meetings - conversing as they passed each other at these functions, and of course corresponding outside of these meetings once and again for other matters concerning Oz.It wasn’t so much that these two sisters disliked each other, only that they had contrasting personalities. Glenda always the sweet one, nearly to the point of being syrupy, a Miss Goody Two Shoes as sometimes her sister Ice-sis would describe her. Her fluffy coifed hair, her pastel colored, ruffle layered gowns and dresses, her gleeful voice, her angelic smile, down to her light and quick gait as she strolled through the gardens of her castle yard, a sharpcontrast of Ice-sis.Ice-sis who preferred to style her raven black hair slicked up into a ponytail that was sometimes tucked into a bun or loose with her shiny black locks curled spiraling onto her shoulders and cascading down her back. She always had a dramatic and exaggerated style even with the long sweeping gowns and dresses she wore that were always close fitting. Her gowns and dresses were embellished with crystals and sequins. Often she adorned herself with jewelry made of crystals and rare gem stones, with pendants for her hair made of the same. Normally preferring black and dark colors, except for the occasional red or silver gown now and then with matching high collard coats, she enjoyed her dark fashions. And although she enjoyed the gardens of her court yard within the castle walls, she preferred sometimes to venture the trails in the woods on the grounds outside those walls. With the obvious by physical differences in their appearances, Ice-sis was only considered a Good witch because she was sister to Glenda. Although not wicked nor evil, she didn’t have the persona of her sister. Like her wardrobe she was just a bit darker. The description of the two withes of the North has been established; which brings us to two other well known sisters; the wicked witch of the West and of the East, both meeting their demise many years prior to our story. Their titles but not their thrones had been taken over after their deaths immediately by two other evil relatives; their two cousins. The two cousins were also sisters; Mave the wicked witch of the West, and Mohini the wicked witch of the East. These two took the ‘titles’ but not their thrones or their cousin’s castles. In other words they didn’t rule over the west and east; they had no physical power of the land of the west or east. But yet in still did have their own powers that could do harm, and although not having thrones with castles they had their modest houses. Though they didn’t rule over the land they had their small territories. Nor did they have or live up to the notoriety of their predecessors.
The thrones and castles of the deceased witches were taken over immediately by two Fairy Queens; Orrla was crowned the Queen of the West and Tatianna, Queen of the East. The people if these two lands immediately performed the coronation of the two fairies after the deaths of the witches. They obviously didn’t want wicked witches ruling their land again. This arrangement brought peace for many years after the choice of the people of the land.
And although there was a longstanding peace, everyone knew of the two wicked sisters, their homes and their territories. What was not known was when and if these two would at some point wreak havoc and plan the demise of the fairy Queens who had taken their cousins thrones. There had been rumors of plans to thwart the two Queens the question was always when……..rumors but never actions.
Often Orrla and Tatiana visited one another, held tea parties, events at their castles but mostly had private chats when they’d meet. Even though the two fairies communicated with all creatures of Oz; munchkins, elves, dwarfs, hobbits, nymphs, pixies, giants and the Ents (a forest of talking trees) and of course the fairies, each creature had their own section of the land and communities. Some towns were originally named for the creatures that inhabited them; there was Alfheim originally the land of elves; Nysa originally the land of nymphs and pixies; Nibiru originally the land of dwarfs, hobbits and trolls; Jotunheim originally the land of Ents, giants and pixies, but over the centuries all lands became very diverse.Let us not forget that men lived in Oz too among these magical creatures, they were the wizards and giants. Most giants lived in Jotuhheim and wizards lived all over Oz.Fairies for the most part were scattered through every community. Fairies lived among elves, nymphs among hobbits, dwarfs among munchkins, pixies among the Ents. Lately Queen Orrla and Queen Tatiana especially stayed in touch with the fairy community; mainly because they were getting reports more often of a planned attack by Mohini and Mave. At one point Tatiana was hearing a lot of chatter, more chatter than usual from a close fairy friend called Nedra. Nedra lived close to the edge of the wood that was considered to borderline with Mohinni’s territory. Tatiana had to be concerned with any news of Mohinni’s mischief, or the devilment of any creature in the land of the East. Nedra had a vineyard that lay near the edge of a dark forest where Mohinni’s home sat. Nedra and her relatives did a lot of work on the vineyard, physically toiling away on a regular basis. It should be known that the physical size and appearance of fairies and elves of Oz were very unlike what people have read of in books. Although small they are not tiny eight inch beings with wings, most are slightly over five feet tall, wingless and have pointed ears, and hair that is of any assortment of colors. The same description applies to the elves. So they did work of humans and did not live in trees but in houses like humans of our land. The only thing with wings in the land of Oz were an array of birds, pixies, dragons. There was also an endangered species of flying monkeys that wicked witch of the east housed before she died. And now they were scattered amongst the land, no one really saw much of them since her passing.Any who, the fairy Nedra and her family enjoyed tending the land and the vineyard. And on this particular day in her vineyard on the south end off the bank of a nearby pond, she walked to the edge of the pond to watch a new set of ducklings that had hatched a few weeks prior. As she watched the ducklings frolicking on the banks edge, she noticed some movement across the pond on the other side. There in the shadows near a grove of trees on the other side of the pond was a figure moving about. Knowing it wasn’t one of her family members, it concerned her because the land across the pond was within Nedra’s property line and she was curious as to what or who it was. She saw the shadow disappear for a moment behind a tree again. Many animals inhabited the Land of Oz, both small and large creatures, but this was not an animal. From what she could see it was a two legged person walking about. Curious, Nedra approached closer and walked towards the small bridge that extended over the pond. She started to brush the sightings off as just a strolling neighbor passing by, but thought she’d get just one last glance from atop the small arching bridge to see if she could a better view. As she approached the top she saw the figure, which seemed to be alone, stoop down and sit in shade of the grove. Still curious as to whom it was, she walked closer. As soon as she stopped at the end of the bridge she walked across a small trail towards the grove and approached the sitting figure. She could make out that it was a nymph. She had her head down as if to be starring into her lap and sounded as if she were out of breath. She was sweating and looked as though she was exhausted; her long purple hair hid her face.Nedra approached her closer, and then she spoke. “Excuse me.” The nymph jumped and swirled her head around to meet Nedra’s gaze. Nedra continued; “sorry to startle you, but I noticed you from the other side of the pond. Are you alright? You seem distressed and I was only concerned.”The nymph immediately addressed her; “Hello Nedra!’’ she exclaimed in an excited voice. “My name is Sylvia and I was on the way to your Manor. If it seems that I’m out of sorts is because I ran most of the way here. I’m so happy to chance upon you out here just out side of your territory. I thought it would be more difficult getting a chance to speak with you, but here you are!’’ she took a deep breath and stood, then continued to speak. “There is an important message I came here with - a message for you.’’ Nedra starred at her in intently “Okay go on, what is it?” “I was sent here by the elders of my town to tell you of the strange things we’ve experienced – two strange sightings to be exact. The elders sent me to you because they know you are close friends with Queen Tatiana and would relay the message to her directly. Our town, Nysa, sits just out side of Mohinni and Mave’s territory.It is well known that these two sisters had an agenda to rise and take over where their two evil cousins left off now we have good reason and hard evidence that they are in the process of doing exactly that right now.”Nedra starred at her more intently and asked “what type of evidence?”She continued, “The elders believe that Mohinni has opened a porthole to another world in order to bring creatures out to aid them in there coup to have an uprising against Oz and take back there their cousins Castles and rites of their titles and ultimately take over Oz!”Nedra looked at her in shock but also disbelief. “What you tell me is remarkable and hard to believe. What witnesses or evidence do you have? How can you be sure? How do you know this isn’t just village gossip?”Sylvia stepped closer to Nedra and held her hands up in frustration as if trying to literally hand her the truth, and continued to speak “I tell you Nedra I’ve witnessed Mohinni conjure a beast from that netherworld myself, at the edge of Lake Baao! I’m telling you she’s somehow opened a porthole and it lies at the lakes east edge. I witnessed this only a few days ago.” And there was another villager who witnessed something a few days prior to what I’d seen.”Nedra looked more puzzled and upset thinking and hoping none of this could be true. “This is impossible it’s been a hundred years since the beings of Crete had access to this world. The recordings and tales go back so far from elders long ago that that’s what they seem to be – just tales of the elders. It can’t be true!”Sylvia pleaded on, “I’m telling you it has to be true, because I know what I saw and the other two witnesses swear by what they saw too.”Nedra looked more frustrated, “Well exactly what did you see? I want you to explain every detail.”Sylvia continued. “I was a only about a hundred feet off from the lakes east shore uprooting some flowers near a grove off from the lake that I was to transplant to my mothers garden at home. It was late noon, almost evening. Suddenly I saw a streak above the trees in the sky, a black streak of smoke. It quickly descended at the lakes edge near a large rock. I walked out from the wooded area I was near, walked closer to the waters edge and peeked around a large tree trying to stay hidden, and to my shock I saw Mohinni dismounting from her broom onto large rock. As she climbed down from the rock and walked toward the waters edge she pulled a scroll of paper from cloak. She opened the scroll and seemed to read from it out loud. At the distance I couldn’t hear exactly what she was saying but when she was done she pulled out some type of container from her cloak, it seemed to be a vial. She opened it and scattered its content onto the water, the content looked like black ashes as it flew through the air and onto the water. As soon as the ash hit the water, it started to bubble up in that one area followed by a plume of white smoke. The bubbling became more intense the water spurted up in the air and the smoke became thicker. Then suddenly the ground rumbled and shook beneath me. Just then I could see something starting to rise out of the water and through the smoke. It look to be the head of an animal, I saw the horns stick out of the water first then the head, a large animal. Suddenly I could see it was the head of a bull! But how could this be I thought a Bull arising from underneath the water as a fish would emerge. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more shocked more of the creature arose from the water. This thing had shoulders! Not the shoulders or body of bull but of a MAN! It emerged further as it walked up to the shore; I saw it had arms, hands, torso and legs in the form of a man, but had hoofed feet of an animal! This thing was the most horrific thing I’d ever saw and I was terrified. I wanted to run but I was paralyzed with fear as I stared on.’’Nedra with a bewildered look on her face stopped her as she started to continue with story. She cut her off before she continued, “you can’t mean to tell me you saw a minotaur – from what you describe an ancient beast like that hasn’t been seen for centuries here in Oz. They are from the land of Crete. We’ve seen nor heard of that world or anything from it in centuries, not since the fabled battles we had with their world, they were all slain when…” her voice slowly trailed off as her eyes left Sylvia’s gaze and she looked away from her as if remembering something. She was remembering the scrolls and history books of the Elder Elves before her that she read as a child. The historic tales couldn’t be happening again, nor could they be such a recurrence of this evil to the world of OZ.Sylvia followed Nedra as she turned away. “When what? When what Nedra!?” Nedra turned back to her quickly and said, “When that porthole was closed for good and it was said that Crete no longer existed after that! It simply collapsed upon it self and was destroyed! And no one of Oz has spoken of it since and that was nearly three hundred years ago.” Nedra turned back to Sylvia and said, “But go on with you story. What else happened after the beast came out of the water?”Sylvia continued, “The beast walked up to Mohinni, and even though I was too far away to hear I could swear it spoke! Its mouth moved with loud grunts and Mohinni responded to it as she knew this creature. They held conversation for a few minutes. The beast handed Mohinni an object I couldn’t see what it was from the distance, I could only tell it was a shiny object as the sun glare hit it in the exchange. As soon as she took the object the beast turned and walked back into the still bubbling water. It disappeared and never remerged. I’ve never seen such a water creature like that.”Nedra snapped at her, “As I said before Sylvia that was no water creature and it didn’t come from the lake. The beast was a minotaur and the bubbling water was a porthole that lead back to his world, Crete. The beast isn’t my biggest worry now. My deepest concern now is what Mohinni planes on doing, why did she conjure this creature, what did he give her and what does she plan on doing with it?’’By now Nedra and Sylvia were walking side by side as they walked back towards the bridge to her vineyard grounds near the pond. Suddenly Sylvia stopped and said, “But that’s not all – I forgot to tell you of the second sighting”Nedra replied back. “Oh yes”Sylvia continued, “This one was just last night by two elders. They are neighbors that were chatting in the early evening in front of their homes, it was only dusk dark and they both heard a loud screeching sound. It was coming from the air and they both looked up and saw what they both described as the biggest bird they’d ever seen in this land. Just as they looked up the thing descended down closer to where they were standing, as it approached closer they could see the wing span was at least 40 feet across from tip to tip. It came closer and looked as it was going to attack. The one elder swiped at it with his walking stick. It ascended back up quickly and flew off eastward towards Mohinni’s territory. And that’s not all just as I was traveling here today, I started off on one on my father’s mares and I swear to you the very same creature descended upon me and the my horse. It tried to attack us. She became afraid, reared back on her hind legs trying to fight the thing as is swarmed overhead near us. She bucked and kicked until I could no longer able hold onto her. She threw me and I fell to the ground, she ran off. I quickly scurried under some bushes on the side of the road until that thing flew away, and I ran the rest of the way here. I was terrified!”Nedra quickly grabbed the nymph by both arms and gazed at her in anger, “do you mean to tell me that you just only hours ago seen this creature, you should have mentioned this first to me!” Sylvia snapped back, “I’m sorry I was tired and was only trying to start at the very beginning of why I journeyed here.”Nedra replied back, “That means this thing had to have come from the same place the minotaur did, except it didn’t leave back through the porthole it is still among us! Sylvia, I need you to concentrate and tell me exactly what this bird looks like.”Sylvia looked down then spoke, “it had a wing span of about 40 feet just as the elders had said, it had large talons, but it was like no other bird I’ve ever seen. Even though it had the head and wings of a bird it had a set of four claws instead of two front claws like a regular bird. This bird had hind quarters of a lion with a lion’s tail and bird claws on the hind end also instead of paws.’’“Hind quarters of a lion?” Nedra replied.“Yes.’’ Sylvia responded.Nedra immediately released the nymph’s arms and took one step back from her and stared at her in disbelief. “The hind quarters of a lion? My God that can only mean one thing, what you saw was a griffin!” An even more terrified and concerned look came over her face. “Now I know for sure that what you saw is not of this world but something that Mohinni has conjured up from Crete. What scares me the most is that she must have unlimited access to that porthole and there’s no telling what else she may release onto our land……… she must be mad!” Suddenly Nedra looked back at Sylvia, grabbed her by the wrist. “Hurry,” she said, “we must get back and send news to Queen Tatiana as soon as possible. You’ll stay at my home for the night and I’ll let you use one my horses to return home tomorrow.” They both ran to the bridge and across the vineyard towards the manor as quickly as their legs would carry them.
Immediately Nedra sent news to Queen Tatiana, via a note tied to one of her homing birds that she needed to visit to tell her of what Sylvia and other citizens of Nysa experienced. As soon as Queen Tatiana received the news she sent a horseman with a carriage to Nedra’s home the next day. She ordered her staff to prepare for Nedra’s visit. She had the cooks prepare the reception room for her arrival. She would most likely arrive in the late morning and have brunch. The next morning a small but beautiful hooded white buggy carriage harnessed to two white horses pranced up the bricked drive to Nedra’s manor. The coach waited patiently as her young niece who was outside playing ran in side to notify Nedra. Nedra scurried out to the buggy and nimbly jumped in, always excited to visit Queen Tatiana. It was a bright day and as they clomped off down the drive, Nedra took in the sights of her own land and vineyard as they moved along the trails along the edge of her property before they turned onto the main road. Even though she was excited to tell Tatiana of what previous day’s events with Sylvia, she couldn’t help but envision what would become of her beautiful land and her family if something so evil as all the creatures of Crete would set upon it.What if Mohinni was bringing more dreaded beast through that porthole at this very moment? She also thought of Sylvia who’d she sent on her way home only hours earlier, on one of the best horses she had, and prayed she’d make it safely without another encounter with the Griffin. A wave of anxiety and fear came over her for a moment, but she shook it off. She had to think positive.She simply banished the thought of Mohini and Mave having a successful uprising against Oz. After all, she thought to herself, it’s a beautiful day and we’ve seemed to have nipped the problem in the bud early on. Anyway only one creature that we know of wonders the land. Besides Tatiana will surely know what to do – yes she’ll know what do. She’ll know what other leaders to notify, what steps to take and every thing will be in order again. Her mind drifted back to the scenery of her home, as the sprawling vineyard disappeared behind them, they moved further down the main road. She relaxed and sat back into the soft velvet seats of the carriage and continued to take in the morning sun and relaxed with the swaying of carriage and clomping of the horses. Nedra slowly feel asleep.
An hour or so had passed and Nedra was awoken with a sudden jerk of the carriage. It had come to a sudden stop at the gates of the Tatiana’s castle. She sat up and peered ahead as the gates slowly opened she watched up the long trail drive that lead up to the castle. She took in the scenery as the trail snaked along. She saw that nothing had changed since the last time she visited. It was more beautiful it seemed. She watched at the birds bathed in the large marble fountain that sat in the middle yard. She took in all the warm scenery of the shady tree lined trail. Soon the carriage pulled up into the front entrance of the castle. Nedra was so excited she didn’t wait for the coachman to help her out. She jumped out and bounced up to the large oak doors, but before she could grab the large iron knockers the door was opened by a servant dressed in a long black dress with a large white collar. She immediately spoke, “Hello Nedra. Queen Tatiana was expecting you and she’s waiting in the reception room. Let me take your wrap.’’ Nedra slipped out of her cloak and followed her greeter down the long hall. The hall opened up to the large room at the end and the servant announced Nedra. “Queen Tatiana, your company has arrived.” She turned quickly to Nedra, nodded and walked back down the hall. The room was flooded with sunlight. Nedra walked further into the room she saw Tatiana. Tatiana was a slim figure a little taller than Nedra with long dark auburn hair that hung to her waist, pulled back off of her face and curled at the ends. She wore a short sleeved pink dress with an empire waist line. A white satin sash cinched the waist line. The length of the dress flowed to the floor. A pair of pink slippers that she wore on her feet peeked from under the long flowing dress. She looked very serene as she stood bathing in the sunlight and gazing through the glass pane. She was standing near the small table in the corner that had a setting for two of fine china plates and silverware with a silver teapot that sat next to a large silver tray with an array of crumpets, muffins and tortes. When she turned and saw Nedra she ran towards her with open arms. “Nedra” she exclaimed with glee. The two gave each other a quick embrace. “Hello Queen Tatiana, it’s good to see you to.” Nedra replied.“Oh stop it with the ‘Queen’ in front of my name. You know you can call me Tatiana.’’ she replied back. “I’m so happy to see you, although I must say not under such good tidings. I was very disturbed when I received your message.” She then turned away from Nedra and motioned her over to the table that was prepared for them.As they sat Tatiana continued to speak. As she poured the tea her voice went from the gleeful to a more serious tone. “Please Nedra, tell me that between the time you first heard of this from the villager till now that the news has changed. Please tell me you found this out to be a crazy rumor from an over imaginative villager drunk on ale from a town festival.” Nedra took a sip from her cup of tea that Tatiana poured, and slowly responded. “No, I’m sorry the story has not changed. I wish it was just a rumor too.”Tatiana started, “But with only three sightings from a few witnesses. How can you be sure? You said there were witnesses but there’s only a few, and evidence, but what evidence? Where is it?”Nedra began, “Oh yes I almost forgot. Last night as I chatted further with Sylvia at the manor she gave me a talon. A talon she says broke off from the claw of the griffin that attacked her and her horse on the way to my home.” Nedra reached inside the pocket of her tunic and pulled out the long crescent shaped black talon that looked to measure at least 12 inches. Tatiana’s eyes widened as Nedra held it out with both hands over the table.“My God”, Tatiana exclaimed, “this can’t be real.” She took it from Nedra and examined it closer. “No other foul in all of Oz has a talon this large.’’ As she turned it over and over in her hand, she continued to speak. “But how can we know if this isn’t a talon from one of the dragons that still inhabit Oz? It could be broken off talon that she found laying about? How do we know this isn’t just a young nymph with a creative imagination whose out for attention and is just putting you on?”Nedra sternly looked back at her, “No, no Tatiana why would she make up such a thing? She seemed sincere to me. Besides we can also question the two elder witnesses she says spotted the thing. As far as it being from a dragon, you know the dragons of Oz rarely if ever fly from the confines of their mountain top caves. When they do leave their caves they never fly as low as the village Nysa. The dragons pretty much stay to themselves and feed off the mountain animals in their regions.”Tatiana retorted, “That may very well be true but we can’t be too careful. You do realize I would have to notify, Queen Orrla, and all of the council members in the Mainland of Oz. Of course they’d have to notify Glenda and Crystal Ice-sis. Glenda and Ice-sis have the highest hierarchy of rank politically over me and Orrla, because if there if everything is true and Mohinni and Mave try a take over of Oz then the two good witches Glenda and Ice-sis will be the ones who’ll have to fight and declare war against them. Orrla and I are not the ones with the power to make any serious political decisions, we can only suggest, and if we speak too soon then the Land of Oz would be in a state of panic and we don’t want that. So I implore you to say nothing of this, until I can officially have this talon inspected by a wizard to determine if it’s actually from a griffin or a dragon.”Nedra leaned toward her as if to plead before she spoke, “But Tatiana what if there is more sightings before you can satisfy all of you own suspensions? What if there is another attack by the griffin? If not the council members I think that the council members should be notified.”Tatiana snapped back quickly, “That’s exactly my point if there is another attack by a griffin and if it really exists. That’s why I want to have this tested first before I do take any action, and before I alarm anyone.”Nedra persisted, “The word will spread anyway if Mohinni is doing what we suspect, bringing in more creatures from that dreaded world, then they’ll be a state of panic anyway. I’m not trying to tell you how to run your affairs of the land but I seriously think this should be brought to the attention at least to Queen Orrla for now.”Tatiana looked frustrated now, as shook her head before she spoke, “Look Nedra, you have to let me have a wizard’s opinion on this talon first and then and only then I will notify Orrla. Besides I can get a wizard’s opinion as early as today, before sundown. I’ll have my coachman deliver this today to Trebor the wizard of Asgard. He’s not far from here he’ll send a written assessment back with the coachman before night fall. If he agrees that is in fact a griffin’s talon then I’ll notify Orrla right away.”Nedra just stared down at her tea cup, “well I suppose that’s fair enough, the level headed thing to do. Of course you have to use your own method in these matters.” Orrla replied, “Well of course it is. Believe me Nedra it’s best, and there is no need to worry. Everything will fall into place in due time.” She could tell Nedra was deeply concerned. “I tell you what, why don’t you stay the night here and we’ll receive the news together when the coachman returns. It’s been awhile since you’ve visited here. I’ll have Dena prepare a room for you to stay. You can leave tomorrow at your own leisure, how about it?” Nedra glanced up at Orrla and looked a bit more at ease, “okay, that sounds like a good idea.”The next day as the first glimmer of morning sun peaked over the trees on the grounds of the castle, Nedra sat up in her comfortable canopy bed. She slept so well she almost forgot where she was. As she awoke further to look around the sun filled room events of the previous day started to return to her. She slid down out of the bed, feeling the soft silk white gown that Tatiana a given her to sleep in against her skin. She walked over to the glass doors of the balcony peered out. She opened them and walked out to take in the scenery of the back castle court yard, a welcoming sight for anyone to see. She then snapped out of her euphoria and remembered the task at had for the day – to find out what news the Wizard Trebor sent back with the coachman. Unfortunately the coachman didn’t return last night as soon as Tatiana said he would. The Queen assured her and told her to retire to bed and they’d find out soon enough in the morning. Nedra quickly washed up and got dressed. She ran down the spiraling stair case quickly to meet Tatiana in the reception hall. When she entered the Queen was already there while Dena was setting a serving platter of breakfast on the table. Tatiana looked up quickly as Nedra entered the room. “Well good morning Nedra. I hope you slept well.”Nedra was only eager to know if the coachman had made it back yet. “I slept well, but what came of the coachman, did he return? Did he bring news from Trebor?”“Yes, yes Nedra, but please sit down first.’’ Nedra sat. “Yes the coachman returned last night but very late and yes Trebor sent his letter of assessment with him and yes you were right I’m afraid, it is the talon of a griffin, and that the origins of the creature are from Crete – he’s sure of it.”Nedra was both excited and relieved at the same time. At least now they knew that Sylvia was not lying and it was all true. “I supposed that’s both good and bad news at the same time, for now we know the truth but it’s the frightening truth; a truth that tells us that Mohini is up to exactly what we suspected, and now we have to deal with dangers that come with what she can do with this porthole.”Tatiana seemed calm as she nibbled on her breakfast, “Don’t seem so despaired Nedra. This is a good thing. Whose to say we didn’t catch all this time, I mean really, suppose if we did? Now the only thing to do is confront with Orrla like I promised you, and I’ve already notified her with a message I sent to her first thing this morning about the matter and we’ll meet later today about all this mess.”Nedra slightly smiled at Tatiana, “I must say Tatiana you act like a true Queen, a pampered Queen who treats serious affairs as trifle matters. Forgive me if I speak out of terms but you treat this matter with such calmness as if tending to a bug problem in your rose garden.”Tatiana playfully rolled her eyes at Nedra as she responded back, “Oh don’t think that I live such an easy life. It’s not like I don’t take on my share of burdens. Not only will I have to have a full scale meeting with Orrla, but now that pesky wizard is also up in arms about this finding, and he suggests the council be notified. You see Nedra I told you this would start a panic, although you said it would eventually but I never thought it would cause a panic so quickly with the authorities of Oz.” She exclaimed in frustration. “I thought the citizens would be first with the rumors, but like I said, I really feel we’ve caught this in time. Actually I’ll be glad when we can pass this on to the council members and from there they’ll decide rather to take it to the good witches Glenda and Ice-sis. From there it’ll be out of my hands for sure, and I’ll be done with this silly mess.” Nedra smirked back at her, and sarcastically replied, “Oh woe is you, the troubles of the poor burdened Queen. What shall she do?”Tatiana glared back at Nedra, and they both broke into giggles.“Oh stop teasing me.” Tatiana replied back, “You know I take all matters seriously, it’s just that I truly feel this won’t amount into a full scale battle amongst the four witches; Mave, Mohinni, Glenda and Ice-sis.”Nedra took on more serious tone now, “What worries me is that if there is a battle it won’t just be among the four witches but a battle of two worlds, the Land of Oz against Crete.”
Later that evening Nedra parted from the castle on her journey back home to Alfheim. Tatiana stood in the door way of her large castle doors as Nedra waved back to her from the carriage. The horses clomped down the drive through the gates and onto the main road towards her village, she looked back as the castle grounds faded away then she thought of the serious task at hand that the leaders of Oz must take on soon. As much as Tatiana played down the seriousness of the recent events in Nysa, her words could not ease Nedra’s worries. She did take some ease in knowing that the Council members, Trebor the Wizard, Ice-sis and Glenda would handle it in a more serious and diplomatic way.The scenes of what Sylvia told her stirred in her head she shuddered to herself, ‘they must, they simply must stop Mohini……..’
Later that afternoon Orrla, and Trebor sat in the study at Tatiana’s castle, all three sat in large arm chairs that were situated around a small serving table near the fireplace as Tatiana told her two visitors the details of the previous days events that Nedra her that the nymph Sylvia had witnessed in the town of Nysa. On the small serving table sat the griffin’s talon that Trebor had examined the day before.“Well that’s the just of it, the entire report. I’ll tell you as I told Nedra I feel that we’ve caught this problem early and we’re ahead of it.’’The old wizard sat back in his chair with a disgruntled look, “Ahead of it? Ahead of it indeed,” he scoffed. “Who’s to say we’ve caught this in time! Nearly three days have passed since the first sighting and with Mohini having access to such a porthole there’s no telling what she can do or is doing right now at this very moment. Her and that sinister sister Mave could be planning all sorts of chaos.”Finally Orrla sat forward in her chair and said, “I must agree with Trebor. Just the sight of that griffin’s talon scares me and is enough to convince me that we should notify the Council as soon as possible.” They all stared down at the talon that lay on the small cocktail table in front of them. They stared as if it could explode at any moment.“Well of course we’ll have to notify Council.” Tatiana replied, “I never said we wouldn’t. I just didn’t see the urgency at first but I supposed the sooner the better. I wonder if Council will bring it to the attention of Glenda and Ice-sis right away.”“Of course they’ll have to,” Orrla retorted, “After all, if there are more attacks from this foreign beast that have entered our land Glenda and Ice-sis will know how take the first stance against it, and against Mohini.Evening had come as they came to the end of there discussion, and so it was decided there in the study, that the Council members of Oz would be notified. Word was sent that very evening via Tatiana’s coachman. The fastest steed was taken from the stable and the coachman would ride saddleback as fast as the horse could carry him. The three bided him a farewell from the courtyard as he galloped away on the black steed into the darkness of night towards Emerald City.
It was Jaden Hall in Emerald City where the sealed scroll was left on the Head of Councils desk, Constable Demitrius of Jotunheim. Because the clerk told him it was marked as an urgent document that was delivered late the night before, he read the scroll before any of the other letters that was left for him. His eyes widened as he read on towards the end of the scroll. Quickly he arose from his chair and rushed into the room where the other seven members had already filed in some standing some sitting as they milled and chatted among themselves. Demitrius rushed in and immediately hit his gavel to start the meeting. “My you seem in a hurry today Constable.” Lady Council member Tara spoke in a lighthearted tone.“Yes Lady Tara.” Demitrius replied. “I have distressing news to announce that forces me to put the scheduled council agenda aside for a moment.” A hushed silence and stillness came over the board immediately. The members who were standing rushed to take their seats. “I’ll get right to it because it was left on my desk this morning and delivered last night by a messenger from Queen Tatiana’s castle. He continued, “The report from her goes as follows; approximately four days ago a nymph from the village of Alfheim witnessed the wicked witch Mohini conjure up a beast, believed to be from Crete, through a porthole at Lake Baao.” Immediately there were gasps and whispers when the members heard this. Demetrius banged his gavel. They all quieted down and leaned in closer on the edge of their chairs. He continued on, “Two days later another creature was spotted by the same nymph and two elder villagers. This creature believed to be a griffin that attacked the nymph and her horse when she was on the way to Queen Tatiana’s castle.” A barrage of whispers and gasps started again amongst the members. He waited for them to quiet down. “She and the horse escaped safely, but she recovered a talon the beast lost in there scuffle and brought it to Tatiana. This talon was tested by the Wizard Trebor and was found to surely from a griffin.” This time the members stared on in silence and astonishment, obviously shocked by his words. He sat as he continued to speak. “After Tatiana had a brief meeting with Queen Orrla and Trebor, they decided to send news here immediately. Now, it is the Council’s dire duty to decide what to do next.’’Immediately Tara started to speak, “What to do next? What to do next? Why we haven’t had a problem like this in over a hundred years, three hundred to be exact if our history books are correct. Another member spoke out next, Serena of Alfheim. “That’s right, and who would handle a matter like this? Do we use our army eventually, to handle these creatures if there are more brought through the porthole? After all we haven’t used our army for anything but aid to citizens after natural disasters such as windstorms, landslides, and in rescue missions. Does our military even know how to fight such beasts?”A male member spoke out after her. It was Barnabas of Galway. “The real question is, if there are more brought through the porthole, as Serena said. After all we have a small army. That is very important to know how inundated we are because we have a small army, most of which are Coastal guards who help in recovery of ships and vessels in the Sapphire sea?” Milandro of Nibiru spoke next, “My suggestion is to have a small army unit assigned to have constant watch Mohini, her home and entire territory surrounding it, also a second unit to watch her sister Mave and her home. You know whatever Mohini is up to her sister be in it with her, that’s for sure. They are as evil as their cousins, the wicked witches of the East and West.”Then Demetrius spoke, “That is for sure Milandro, we must assign units to watch their activities as soon as possible. But even more important we must notify an even higher and authority that knows more than any of us on how to handle this and that is Glenda and Crystal Ice-sis. You must realize that these evil sisters are witches who are using magic for their evil. In the end it’ll take magic to fight magic, and who know more about magic other than Glenda and Ice-sis. It’ll end up being a battle among the four witches more than likely.”“He’s right,” Lady Tara chimed in, “Oz is a magical land with filled with magical creatures. Not everyone practices the science of magic or spells anymore in this age of Oz, except for the wizards and witches now, so of course the Wizard Trevor, Glenda and Ice-sis would be the two to refer this to.”“Okay,” Demitirus exclaimed, “I think we all agree that or next plan of action is to get the army units we need to monitor Mave and Mohini, and to notify and confer with Trevor, Glenda and Crystal Ice-sis in two days time. I say two days time because I think it’s more important to contact our armed forces first to get the units situated and stationed, then well call schedule the meeting as soon as possible.” There was a mummer amongst the Council members and nodding of heads. “Very well then let’s take a vote. Those for this plan say yea.” Every member at the table proclaimed ‘yea’. “And those against it say nay.” There was total silence. “Very well then, the vote is unanimous the decision is made, and the motion is passed. Although we know what course of plan the army will take on, we’ll have to schedule a meeting with Trevor, Glenda and Crystal Ice-sis to see what their direct plan of action will be. I’ll have the city clerk make a record of it, see to it that all parties to be involved are notified, and that everything is carried out in accordance.” The Constable banged his gavel and called the meeting to an adjournment.
And so the meeting was adjourned but Oz’s plight of what was to come was barely beginning. And what was to become of these recent events? What of the porthole? What of Mohini’s plans? What of the shiny object that the minotaur handed to the witch? What of the Griffin? What of Crete? What recourse will the wizard and the two good witches have against of this coup that Mohinni was planning, and what of Oz? What indeed….....what of the Land of Oz?
The next day after the council meeting a squadron of soldiers was put into place at Mohinni’s home for observation. The squad of twelve soldiers were camouflaged and positioned around Mohinni’s home. Her house was about two miles east of Lake Baao. Some soldiers crouched in the wooded area on the north east side, some mounted in trees to get a good overhead view. It was in the early morning hours and suddenly they saw a black streak across the sky. The streak descended down into a spiral and settled in Mohinni’s front yard. It was Mave her sister, who come for a visit. She entered and disappeared inside. A few hours passed and there was a sighting of the minotaur walking towards the house, coming up an east bound path, but much to the shock of the soldiers there were more minotaurs marching in a line behind him. They counted twenty more. And overhead there was shrieking noses. The soldiers looked up only to see four more griffins. So now the minotaur had brought a small clan of more of his kind with him along with even more griffins. The tribe of creatures marched onward east down the trail to Mohinni’s house. The head minotaur knocked at the front door and entered the house alone as the other’s waited outside. Less than a few minutes passed and all three emergred from the house; Mohinni, Mave and the minotaur. The three stood there for awhile. Soon the other griffin appeared, flying above the house, the first one that appeared days before the others, the one that attacked Sylvia and her horse. He spiraled down to settle on the yard next to the rest of the griffin that was grouped there. The two witches talked a short time more with the beast. Before long the minotaur bid them good bye and walked away with his clan the griffins following him on foot. They walked off south towards Meru Mountain. The two sisters in turn climbed upon their broom sticks and flew off east towards Baao Lake.The unit of soldiers divided into two groups, one group followed the minotaurs and griffins, while the other unit followed the witches. They ran along the ground watching the black streak overhead in the sky.The group that followed the minotaur and griffin watched the two until they came to a stop just before reaching Meru Mountain. The creatures stopped their trek just few miles short of the mountain at the Crown Hills just off the River Malva. They entered the caves and set up camp there. The beasts showed some intelligence, the river formed, crystal lit caves were not a bad choice to camp at. Two soldiers in the unit were ordered to go right away and report back to their General as to what they had witnessed so far for the day. They were to back to the main camp into the Dark wood two miles north of Baao Lake. There General Liam was camped with an assigned wizard that was there as a reference to interpret some of the foreign sightings that the soldiers might report. The wizard was Alatar of Nibiru.
The next day and late in the evening back at Lake Baao the second unit observed the two sisters. The two stood at the east end of the river. Mohinni walked to the shore as Mave stood by and watched her. She pulled out a shiny object from her cloak the same shiny object the minotaur gave her the first day she conjured him from the porthole. It appeared to be a golden emblem that was tethered to a gold chain. She dangled the emblem over the waters edge and mumbled an incantation. No sooner had she done that the water bubbled and spurted. Soon a head emerged, and slowly rose out of the water – a monstrous large head. It looked to be a man but could not have possibly been because of its bluish green skin tone. As of it emerged, and raised out of the water the shoulders started to appear – its body was massive. This thing only grew larger as more its body appeared. Finally he came to a stop a few feet in front of Mohinni. His full body was now in view. The soldiers didn’t know what to make of it. Even though they’d seen the giants of Jotunheim who were as tall as more than eight feet, this thing wasn’t as tall appearing to be around six and half feet tall, but with a much larger body mass than a giant. His large head sat upon its shoulders and appeared to have no neck. It had to have a chest span of at least eighty inches, a shoulder span of at least forty inches. The biceps of his arms must’ve measured thirty inches. They could now see his face clearer. It had the large mouth and scowled at Mohinni bearing jagged teeth, two of lower teeth jutted at least four inches upwards out on each side of his wide mouth. A gold ring pierced his nose and hung above his upper lip. Atop his pointed head was only a long patch of hair that was braided into a twelve inch long ponytail. He wore a wide leather belt around his massive gut of a stomach that hung past his groins. Attached to the belt was only a loin clothing that hung to his knees. And even though tall in height his arms were considerably longer than his legs; knuckles nearly dragging the ground, he held a large club in one hand.This humanoid creature though not quite man, not a quite a giant and not quite animal, the soldiers didn’t know what to think of it. As he came to a rest with a heaving chest he turned and looked back at the lake, no sooner than he did two more beast of his kind slowly emerged and stood next to him at the shore. All three were exactly alike. Mohinni spoke something to them and pointed south towards Meru hills where the minotaurs and griffins had trekked to earlier that day. With that the three monsters marched in line in southward. With witnessing that horrific sighting, two of the soldiers broke from the unit to hike back to where General Liam and Alatar were camped at. This sight would definitely be something that Alatar would have to interpret for them. But it was the day before General Liam would meet with the Council Members, Glenda, Crystal Ice-sis and the wizard Trevor. They would have to get this latest news to him and add it to their report, but would it make to him soon enough for the meeting the next morning? They only hoped it would. It was the next morning and the day of the meeting. General Liam had gathered their reports from the two observation units and Alatars assessments. The day to meet with the Council had come. In Emerald City word had spread quickly that, Trebor, Glenda, and Crystal Ice-sis were to arrive that very day at Jaden Hall. The entire city and surrounding towns were all abuzz for a rare glimpse of these three Icons of Oz. A rare glimpse indeed, Emerald City was located in the mainland of Oz, Glenda and Crystal Ice-sis lived in the northern Upper Peninsula away from the higher populated mainland. They were rarely seen by the citizens. It was the same with Trebor the wizard. Although the small town Asgard was in the mainland it was near the waters edge that wasn’t far from the peninsula, and he was a bit of a hermit who rarely ventured out of his tower castle Abergeldie. For the Emerald City and many citizens who traveled there to see the Icons, this was a rare and eventful day. Although they were summoned there because of bad tidings from the Council Members, their journey to the mainland was a welcomed and joyous occasion. Their large white, covered, glass coach carriage pulled by two white horses pranced up and came to a stop in front of Jaden hall.Not only were there people from surrounding towns of Emerald City to see the three visitors but because news had spread like wildfire since the Council received news of the griffin sighting and the porthole. The story as to why they were visiting was even more intriguing. Demetrius suspected the news leaked through some worker in the city hall, but didn’t bother with how it leaked out because he knew it would only be a matter of time before others would find out. There would be more sightings of the griffin sooner or later.The two sister witches emerged from the carriage first. Glenda wore a lavender colored full length gown. It had a tight bodice with cinched waist with layers of chiffon underneath the dress that flowed out fully around her hips and swept the ground showing only a peek of the silver shoes she wore that could be seen with each light step she took. Of course she wore her tall crown glittered with diamonds that matched the rhinestone encrusted collar, and sleeve cuffs of her dress. She waved with one hand and held her long glass wand the other hand as she took quick and light steps up the city hall steps. Crystal Ice-sis emerged next. She wore a very dark deep purple colored dress. It was close fitting pencil dress made of velvet except for a sheer bodice of nylon, a plunging neck line. The length of the dress nearly touched the ground, but the train that was attached at the waist in the back, draped and dragged the ground behind her in a dramatic fashion. The shoulders and cuffs were encrusted with her trade mark gems, purple amethyst gems. Her shiny black hair pulled up into a very high, tight bun was accentuated by her glittering tiara crown. In her left hand she also carried a wand. Her wand was, thin, long and black, and topped with a bright blue orb. The orb seemed to have a content of blue glitter swirling inside. She waved at the citizens as the shiny orb gleamed as it caught the suns rays.Lastly the wizard Trebor stepped out of the carriage. He was tall. Tall at least by Oz’s standards – six feet was considered very tall in this land. The only other beings taller than wizards were the giants and ents in the town of Jotuheim. Trebor was of mixed lineage. His father was a giant nearly eight feet and his elfin mother was barely five feet tall. He was a distinguished older man and his presence was striking. His long white straight hair hung past his shoulder. His was face clean shaven, with sharp angular features. He wore at long white robe and carried a long wooden staff, a staff that was taller than his height. He was a striking figure who waved at the crowd with a stern expression, an expression that he wore most of time.
But of course the three icons weren’t the only visitors there that day. A separate carriage pulled up front with General Liam in it. The General was tall and wore his military uniform bejeweled with all his medals. He wore the uniform with valor and was a splendid sight to all the visitors. Liam was a tall and statuesque half giant originally from Jotunheim. He was eager to collaborate with Council on the horrific things his unit had observed only two nights prior to this event. The four marched in line up the city hall steps and were greeted by Constable Demtrius. After they exchanged greetings he walked them down to the conference room where the meeting was to take place. When they arrived in the room they were introduced to the other members. Everyone took their seats and places.Demetrius stood at the head of the table as everyone quietly looked on. He started, “We welcome our guest who everyone has been introduced to.” He looked over at the three and continued, “All the council members and I are glad that the three of you could make it here on such short notice. You’ll be shocked to know that the minotaur that Mohinni conjured from the porthole has been twice at Mohinni’s house along with Mave. Before I continue with the report, I should let you all know that the one unit now that is monitoring Mohinni’s house have recruited a wizard for reference purposes to help in their surveillance. They thought it would be wise to have him interpret some of the things they see that can’t be identified by them.”Then Trebor spoke, “May I ask what wizard they’ve recruited and have they had to ask him to interpret anything?”Demetrius looked down to at the report as if searching for something then he continued to speak. “Well so far I can tell you they’ve asked about the shiny object that the minotaur gave Mohinni the first day that the nymph Sylvia saw her summoned him from the lake. He could not say because she wasn’t close enough to describe what it was from the distance they were. The wizard they recruited is Alatar of Nibiru.”Trebor, with a stoic look on his face, simply nodded his head and replied, “I see. Please continue.”Demetrius looked back down at the report, “What I have is only a brief report. The one to give you the full report is General Liam.” He looked over at the General, “From here the General will inform you of what else has occurred in recent events. You may begin General.”General Liam leaned forward with his arms resting on the table and began to speak “Good morning everyone. I’ll try to inform you as briefly as possible. As you all already know of the minotaur that was conjured by Monhinni and you’ve heard of the griffin that was spotted twice. So far Alatar has only deduced that the first minotaur is Anibus. He’s a sort of leader over all the other minotaurs and the griffins. What type of alliance he’s made with the two witches, well we just don’t know that yet. Yesterday he exited from the porthole and brought twenty more minotaurs with him and five more griffins. There was a sudden gasp in the now – murmuring among all the members. Trebor had a worried look on his face. Lady Tara spoke out immediately, “You mean there are more of those beasts loose in Oz! This can’t be. What is or army’s plan of action?”Then Milandro the hobbit of the town Nibiru spoke out, “Yes and what is the wizard Alatar’s observation of all of this? What are these beasts capable of! Twenty minotaurs now and five more griffins? How many more can show?” Demetrius slammed his gavel down on the table and spoke, “Please ladies and gentlemen calm down. All of your questions will be answered that’s why we’re all here.”The General continued, “While it is not my intent or job to send you or the citizens of Oz in a panic I must alarm you that recent events. I can tell you for sure that the minotaurs and griffins have encamped near Meru Mountain, in the caves of Crown Hills near Malva River. Of course we may have to soon take on a plan of action against the forces that have entered our land from this underworld. If you ask me ‘when’ I’d say soon; if you ask me ‘what’ plan of action I can’t be sure. It’ll depend on what their next move is.”
Serena of the town Alfheim spoke out in a panicked voice, “Well that shouldn’t stop you from having a plan of action against these creatures even if you don’t know their next move!”The General replied back, “I assure you lady we’ll be one step ahead of them no matter what their actions.”No sooner than when he said that the City Clerk rushed into the conference room. “Excuse me Constable but I have an urgent message for you.” She handed him a folded parchment of paper Demetrius and departed from the room. Demetrius immediately unfolded the paper and read it. He looked up at the General and said, “General there’s a messenger from your observation unit that has arrived here and says he must speak with you immediately.” The General quickly stood, “Excuse me everyone. I’ll be right back.” He turned walked out.Everyone watched with uneasiness as he walked away. A few council members s whispered to each other. He soon walked back in the room in a hurried sprint.He took his seat again at the table and spoke. “I’m sorry for the interruption but I have disturbing news. A messenger from the unit that’s watching the porthole at the lake, witnessed just last night three new creatures conjured through the porthole by Mohinni. These three new creatures are identified by Alatar the wizard as ogres.”Constable Demetrius leaned forward, sat up straighter in his chair and exclaimed. “An ogre, what in heavens name is an ogre?”The General continued, “By Alatar’s definition and description the ogre is a large, mean and hideous monster, larger and broader than a man but somewhat shorter than a giant. It feeds off of other humanoid creatures such as elves, hobbits, munchkins, nymphs, fairies, pixies and even giants if it can over take one. They have animal instincts but no morals and a passion for killing.”Now there was an even louder sound of panic among the members. This time Elvena a nymph of Nysa spoke, “General Liam must I remind you that even though this porthole and Lake Baao are in a secluded area just only a few miles from Mohinni’s territory, it is still in the town of Nysa where there is a large population of citizens not five miles from that lake! They could all very well be in grave danger. Now I should say at the very least that it is dire you come up with a ‘plan of action’ as soon as possible!”“Yes,” shouted another member. It was Velda an elf of Alfheim. “These reports are getting more and more outrageous! It seems these sightings only started five days ago and now look at the numbers that creatures that popping up, not to mention the type of creatures they are. We have yet to know what they are capable of and what they plan to do!”Suddenly Killian an elf of Nibiru bellowed out “What they plan to do is do harm to the people of Oz! It is enough to know that they are large dangerous creatures from an evil underworld. They are demons and devils that were conjured here to the devilish devious work of those two wretched witches!” he shook with anger as he continued to speak, “We all knew this day would come. The day that those two, cursed witches would take actions to overthrow the citizens! The citizens they feel took from them the, castles, rites and reigns their ill-fated cousins once held over the Land of Oz! Curse them and curse the day they were born!” He shook his fist in anger.Shouts of agreement came from the rest of the members.Demetrius banged his gavel in frustration. The entire room was abuzz now as members clamored about. Even Glenda, Ice-sis and Trebor were murmuring amongst themselves with worried looks on their faces. Demetrius slammed his gavel harder to get everyone’s attention. “The meeting will come to order! Everyone, everyone please calm down. I remind you again the reason we’re here is to collaborate with the General Liam so he can inform us of all the military strategies that are possible and necessary.”“Very well then, so what will be our first military strategy against this clan of creatures?” Killian yelled out in a sarcastic tone, with a scowl on his face.Liam started, “Well firstly the good thing is we know our army out numbers their clan, but the bad news is we don’t know if we out strengthen them. And it’s not so much their physical strength we’ll have to fight but what ever sorcery they are using or the sorcery that the two witches will be aiding them with. There are so many scenarios that we have to think of before we plan a military strategy. That is where the wizard Trebor, and the good witches Glenda and Crystal Ice-sis will come in assisting us with this plan.
Finally Trebor spoke, “I agree. The allegiance the witches have with these creatures from an underworld such as Crete is dangerous to say the least.” “Of course,” the General continued, “that is why we, meaning; you, I, Glenda and Ice-sis, must collaborate and correspond on a consistent basis from now on after this meeting. For now since we don’t know what we are fighting I will have to ask you Trebor what you know about these beings from Crete.”With a worried look on his face Trebor replied, “I can only tell you by referring to our history books and the battle in past that Oz had with Crete hundreds of years ago is that they, especially the Ogres, have tremendous strength, and the ogres along with the minotaurs are commonly used in wars to maim and kill. The griffins can be quite treacherous too. I understand General that it is hard for someone in your position to deal with something like this because you are totally out of your element dealing with underworld creatures. Neither our military nor any one of the Land of Oz has encountered them in centuries. Nor did we think we’d ever have to deal them again, because we are told by the elders and our history books that Crete no longer existed after that last war. History tells us that Crete imploded upon itself and would never be heard of again. Obviously we know now that to be an untruth.”
General Liam nodded his head in agreement, “Yes and untruth indeed, and as far as a plan of action, unfortunately we won’t know what plan of action to take until we know when and where they’ll strike. The only thing that we know for sure is that they are surely stationing themselves in the caves of Crown Hill. We also know that the porthole is in the town of Nysa not far from Mohinni’s house. Since we know that Mohinni and Mave want to take reign over Oz. They’ll more likely start by trying to take the castle back their two evil cousins once harbored. That’s probably where they’ll strike first, at one of the castles. They’ll most likely start, with Queen Tatiana’s castle in the city of Alfheim since it is just outside of Nysa. Unfortunately these are assumptions, but we’ll have to prepare for a strike there nevertheless. I’ll set up a permanent twenty four hour squadron of twelve of my men to be stationed there to monitor and guard Queen Tatiana and the castle grounds from here on.”Demetrius began to speak, as his eyes glanced across the table to all the council members, “I’m sure we can all agree for now that is the best plan.” Every one nodded in agreement.Glenda who’d been silent during the meeting began, “General Liam since you say you think it important that I and my sister Ice-sis stay in constant collaboration and correspondence with you, where do you suggest we meet, since you are stationed in Nysa now and we are in the Upper Peninsula?”“Yes you are right Glenda,” he replied, “to travel to Emerald City for every meeting would be an inconvenience so I suggest since Tatiana’s castle is somewhat between the Upper Peninsula and Emerald City so Castle Ballikinrain would be the best place to meet.”“Oh really…!” Lady Tara retorted, “Really Glenda, all this talk of dangerous monstrous creatures from an unknown world; creatures that could attack at any given moment and the first question and comment you have is what is the most convenient place to meet with the General? And General is that your plan of recourse against the two evil witches and their band of monsters, a good meeting place? Is that all we’re going to accomplish here today a good meeting place for the four of you?” Ice-sis immediately snapped back, “Oh excuse you Ms. Lady………”“That’s Lady Tara, thank you!” she sniffed back at Ice-sis.“Well excuse YOU LADY TARA, but if you were listening in at the same meeting I am, you would have heard General Liam say that we won’t know the first plan of action to take until they make their first move! So what are we to do until then, but at least know where we’ll meet next? No one knows what they’ll do next, unless you have a crystal ball and can foresee the future for us!”Tara huffed back at Ice-sis, “Crystal ball indeed! Crystal balls, I thought that was the business of you and your sister; crystal balls and bubbling cauldrons!”Ice-sis narrowed her eyes and leaned across the table towards Tara, “What did you say to me!”Glenda grabbed Ice-sis by the arm, “Ice-sis please calm down! Everyone is on edge, just ignore her!”Demetrius chimed in, “Please Lady Tara, don’t insult our guests, we’re all here for everyone’s input.”Ice-sis still glaring at Tara, “Tara I’ll have you and everyone here know that me and my sister are way more than just about crystal balls and bubbling cauldrons. We know more about magic, magic spells, the power of magic and how to use it against the unspoken evil that the Land of Oz will soon see, but hasn’t seen in a long time, so I’ll advise you NOT to insult me and my sister with your ignorant innuendos!” Tara stared back at her with an open mouth, as if in shock, “Well I never…!”Killiam spoke up, “Demetrius I must say that no one here is trying to insult anyone but we must end this conference with a better solution to this problem besides convenient meeting place for the General and our three visitors.”“That’s just it,” the General exclaimed, “there will be no one answer or solution to this problem in one day, and it certainly won’t be solved in this one meeting.”Demetrius leaned back in his chair, “Yes I agree, but I must say that we did make some leeway at this meeting. We’re all up to date on the most recent activities of the witches and we know the location of their encampment, and the beasts that we are dealing with. We are all much more informed now than before we entered this room earlier this morning.”“I’m sure we can all agree to that.” Velda of Nysa replied.There nods of agreement among the council members except Tara, who pursed her lips tightly, and rolled her eyes.Demetrius sat up straighter in his chair and exclaimed, “And with that, if no one has any more questions, comments or announcements, I will call this meeting to an adjournment.” The room was silent, he banged the gavel down.The members slowly departed from the room, some chatting amongst themselves. They flooded in to the hallway from the conference room, to the front entrance doors, and onto Jaden Hall’s steps. As they were gathering on the steps someone noticed in the sky a black streak of smoke. They all slowly one by one began to look up at the odd spectacle. Suddenly the object that was leading the streak dipped and descended towards the ground until and it got closer and finally descending into a spiral towards the steps of Jaden Hall. Just before it landed in the crowd of Oz citizens a few feet from the Hall, there was a loud cracking sound like thunder, a burst of flames, and then a thick, high plume of dark green smoke. No sooner had the plume appeared a dark figure leapt from the fog of the plume sending the onlookers running and screaming.The dark figure slowly rose up from a squatting position turning as it rose up, raising its head, finally it was standing, and there is stood straight nearly as tall as Trebor. Then letting out a loud shrieking noise that turned into blood curdling laughter – it was Mave herself.There she stood there dressed all in black, a tall black Mad Hatter type of hat, with a bushy mess of thick dark hair stuffed under it protruded out around the sides, contrasting with her pale slightly green tinged skin and her trademark dark green dyed lips. She wore a long black dress that had green satin sash around the waist. Over the dress was her long black open cloak with fitted long sleeves around her skinny arms. The long cloak dragged the ground around her as she raised her head towards the Hall steps and locked her icy gaze onto a few of the council members that were still on the steps. Her evil glare searched till she found the General, Trebor, Glenda and Ice-sis standing together near the top of the steps. All the citizens had scattered and cleared a path to the steps. She gaited towards the steps in long calculated struts, then stopped short halfway up the pathway, her eyes still locked on them. Holding her broom in one hand, dragging it at her side, she lifted her other hand and pointed to them. In a high pitched, sly, mellow toned voice she began to speak, “Well, well isn’t this nice, all of you here together. Constable Demetrius you’ve invited guests. Not on my behalf I hope? Well I’m flattered! This little meeting of minds wouldn’t be on the account of me and my sister now would it?” She remarked in a sarcastic tone with an evil smirk on her face. “Or maybe it’s because of the latest events that have happened at Lake Baao?” She took a few more quick struts towards the steps, “Oh did I mention a few guests that I conjured up for a visit to Oz?” And with that she let out a loud shrieking laugh.
Trebor rushed down the steps stopping midway, slammed the end of his staff down next to him and yelled out, “Mave you evil harpy how dare you show your face here in Emerald City. And furthermore, how dare you and your ghastly sister call those putrid creatures into the Land of Oz!” “Oh my, so this meeting is because of me and my sister?” she smirked at Trebor.Trebor glared at her. “I should crush you where you stand!”She stared back at him, “Oh you wouldn’t dare, and I wouldn’t try it if I were you!”Glenda then lightly walked down the steps, stood next to Trebor and spoke, “And just why shouldn’t he! Go ahead Trebor we both know she has no powers here.”“Oh I wouldn’t be so quick Trebor, and you Glenda, as for you Ms. Goodie Good Witch!” she sneered, “I’ve come here with a message for you, all of you; Constable, General, and Ice-sis! Gone are the days where me and my sister will quietly cower in our homes in the woods.”“Cower in your homes?” Trebor retorted, “You’ve had no reason to cower anywhere you’re free to move about your towns and the Land of Oz and no one harasses you as long as you don’t bother anyone.”“Well we’re not satisfied with you letting us ‘move freely’ about. We want what is rightfully ours! We want not just the titles but the thrones and castles that are our birth rite! We will take this birth rite with a simple request and you release it to us, or we’ll force it from Oz with the aid of our nether world friends.” She grinned at him with a defiant smirk. Trevor responded, “You evil witch! We know it’s more than a matter of castles and thrones with you two. What you really want is the power and reigns your cousins once held over Oz, and it’ll never happen!”Finally Ice-sis stepped forward “We will give you nothing on request, and how dare you think we’d negotiate with you. And we won’t be intimidated by those nether world beasts!”“Oh is that right Crystal Ice-sis?” Mave said in a cynical voice. “Well we’ll see about that!” She turned away from them and motioned to position herself on her broom to depart.Trebor yelled out to her, “Wait Mave I have a message and a warning for you also, you and Mohinni. You think I don’t know about the creatures and the world of Crete, well I know plenty. I also know that in order for you and Mohinni to call them forward for aid, you had to have made some sort of pact with them. Neither you nor your sister knows the repercussions of dealing with these dangerous entities. I would think twice before dealing any further with them. They could end up destroying both of you and the very land that you are fighting to conquer.” Mave stared back at Trebor, glanced downward and slowly back up at him. This time she commented in more serious, dry tone, “We have no pact with them Wizard. They do our bidding and the only ones that will be destroyed are you and others who choose to challenge us.” With those last words she swirled around in the spot where she stood, a ball of fire exploded upwards with a green plume of smoke. Suddenly she was off like a bolt of lightening on her broom, departing as quickly as she had arrived.
The crowd that had previously scattered from the steps of the city hall slowly regrouped and turned toward the steps where their Council members still stood. Trebor raised his staff and addressed them all; “Citizens of Emerald City, and all citizens of Oz, I implore you to take note and heed of my words. Mohinni and Mave the evil witches of Oz have declared war on this land and have formed an allegiance with an underworld called Crete. They’ve called forward a small band of creatures, from a porthole at Baao Lake, to aid them; twenty minotaurs, six griffins, and three ogres. Although few in number and not enough for an army believe me, these are dangerous creatures. They’ve encamped near Meru Mountain in the Caves of Crown Hill near Malva River. We don’t know their plan of action yet, but we; me, Glenda, and Crystal Ice-sis are working in collaboration with General Liam and the City Council to monitor, plan, and counter any actions they take against us. It is important that you all spread this news to your neighbors and everyone you know. Watch your children, and guard your homes closely.”Now what had started out with a joyous day of greeting three icons to Emerald City, took a turn and ended in one of the bleakest days the citizens of Oz had seen in along time.
And so it had begun, in Emerald City, there on the steps of Jaden Hall, the cold truth of what they predicted now realized. The first step had been taken, the first omen fulfilled, the first words had been spoken, the first challenge executed, the first warning implemented; an uprising against Oz by Mohinni, Mave, and the creatures of Crete had been sanctioned.
The morning sun gleamed onto the front grounds of Castle Ballikinrain. Its rays shimmered onto the sparkling water fountain. Inside the castle was a meeting in the reception room, where General Liam, Trebor, Glenda, Ice-sis, and Queen Tatiana sat talking. They had already filled Tatiana in on the meeting and incident they encountered with Mave at Emerald City two days prior.General Liam arose from the table and paced back and forth in front of the fireplace opposite from the table where the rest sat having breakfast. He continued talking as he was pacing, informing them of the latest report his surveillance team had sent him earlier that morning. “We now know that group of minotaurs, griffins, and ogres have marched down from the caves Crown Hill and met at Mohinni’s house. Since Mave has already announced the sanction of war, I already have twenty soldiers monitoring the house to confront them if they leave to march toward the inner city of Nysa. The unit there is on foot. If the creatures begin to march towards the inner city of Nysa, my men have been instructed to stop, and confront them at or before they reach Lake Baao. I will be leaving out from the castle at any moment with forty of my men on horse back so we meet them as soon as possible there near the lake.”Tatiana had a concerned and frightened look on her face, “Confront them General? Are you sure? It sounds dangerous and could lead to a skirmish amongst them or even a battle!”“Of course Queen Tatiana,” he responded, “after all this is war and the first attack can happen at any time. Mave was the first to announce it and I’m sure they’ll be the first to initiate it. Trebor, Glenda, and Ice-sis will accompany me and my platoon. You three will be safe. You will ride in a carriage at the back ranks. If there is a skirmish, my men will hold up their end of the physical attack from the creatures, but I will need the three of you there for Mohinni and Mave whom I’m sure will be there to ready to aid the attack with their sorcery. My men, soldiers who are some of the best archers of the elfin clan and swordsmen who are mostly half giant of mixed clan, can fight hand to hand combat but not sorcery or magic. Alatar is already there and has been since the first day that unit of troops was assigned there.”
And so that very morning they departed Castle Ballikinrain; Trebor, Glenda, Ice-sis in a separate horse driven carriage at the back ranks, General Liam, his forty soldiers on horse back, in perfect form marched off towards Baao Lake.As the noon sun arose high in the sky, the General Liam’s platoon of soldiers came to a stop to meet and collaborate with the Lieutenant in charge of the squadron that was there monitoring the lake and Mohinni’s home since the minotaurs marched to Crown Hill. General Liam dismounted his horse. Lieutenant Lorcan had just walked from the wooded area out from the stationed encampment and onto the road to greet the General.“Good afternoon General.” Lieutenant Lorcan exclaimed as they both saluted one another. “I have to tell you right off that a fire team of four men that I sent up to Crown Hill earlier have reported that the minotaurs, ogres and griffins have organized themselves and are marching here now. Most likely they’ll meet at Mohinni’s home before they march to the lake towards the inner city of Nysa. The most populated area of Nysa is only five miles off.”“Of course,” General Liam replied, “so it’ll be safest to stop them before they pass the lake. The last thing we want is for them to get anywhere near the citizens of Nysa.”“I fully agree,” nodded Lieutenant Lorcan.The General continued. “I have also brought Trevor the wizard, Glenda and Crystal Ice-sis along with my platoon to aid us if there is an attack from Mohinni and Mave, which I am sure there will be. I will camp here with you and your men. You’ll have to prepare a separate tent for Trebor, Glenda and Ice-sis. I’ll camp overnight if need be but they won’t. They’ll be here into the evening. For safety purposes I’ve arranged for them to stay overnight at Nedra’s Manor just out side of Nysa in Alfheim.”
The Lieutenant nodded. “I understand. In the mean time I’ll have a tent prepared for them.” He waved and motioned to one of his men. “Corporal, accompany our guests and prepare a tent for them.” The two men turned and walked towards the encampment where tents were set up. There prepared to settle in for the evening and wait. Wait for the band of creatures that were marching towards the lake. Lieutenant Lorcan continued to talk as they walked together. “General so far I can tell you that they are still coming this way. Of course they’ll be coming from the south side but around the east end to continue onto the road that starts here on the north side of the lake where we’ll be waiting.”“Okay,” the General replied, “sounds like a plan.”No sooner than he said that the Corporal ran up to them, and exclaimed, “Lieutenant the clan has just been spotted approaching around the ease end of the lake.”Lieutenant Lorcan yelled out, “Hurry get the men into format to barricade this road. They will NOT get past this point!” In perfect synchrony a squadron of elfin soldiers, the archers, aligned themselves in front ranks in a knelt position. The half giants were mounted on horses and armed with swords were lined up behind them. They could hear the thunderous marching of the creatures approaching in the distance. Suddenly there was a loud screeching coming from above. They looked up to see the six griffins circling overhead. Approaching just after them were two black streaks in the sky, it was Mohinni and Mave, trailing towards them. The two streaks slowly spiraled down in front of the soldier’s formation fifty yards off in the middle of the road. As they landed and dismounted their brooms, they both slowly took a few steps forward and stopped. Suddenly the griffins that were circling above landed behind the two witches. General Liam and Lieutenant Lorcam were positioned at the front ranks on horseback, intently watching the two. Mave yelled out to them. “Move aside General, this is not a battle you can win!”“No Mave we will not let you take Castle Ballikinrain, or anything else in Oz.” he replied back to her.“We will take Ballikinrain from Tatiana what belongs to Mohinni and afterwards, we’ll continue to Asgard in the west and take Balmoral from Orrla which rightfully belongs to me!” She retorted back.Suddenly Trebor walked up the side of the ranks holding his staff and yelled out to Mave. “Mave you and Mohinni will not make it past this point!”“So you’re here Trebor? Well you won’t stop us!” and with that said Mave yelled out to the griffins standing with her, “Attack!”The creatures flapped their massive wings and took flight immediately. They climbed high in the sky above getting a long distance between them and the ground then suddenly nose diving towards the formation of soldiers beneath them.General Liam yelled out to the archers. “Ready, aim………..” they descended closer, “…….fire!”As soon as the General yelled out fire, Trebor raised his staff and pointed it towards the archers just as they released the arrows, Trebor yelled out a short incantation. Each arrow that soared through the air arrow glowed afire in bright blue. Each arrow hit its mark straight into the oncoming griffins. The arrows exploded inside them and each griffin disintegrated in mid air before they could hit the ground.The two witches gasped in shock, they stood stunned. Mohinni flew into a rage screaming as she walked closer up the road towards the platoon of soldiers, glaring at Trebor as she stomped up towards him. Finally yelling out, “You wretched wizard! How dare you, how dare you use sorcery to aid them. So that’s how you want to play!”“No, no Mohinni,” he retorted back to her, “you are the one who chose to use sorcery, from the first day you opened that porthole and let that minotaur through. I’m just keeping the playing field fair and balanced. You and your sister have chosen to bring creatures in from Crete to through magic to fight your battle, so it is only fair the people of Oz have the same choice of defense.”
Mohinni hissed at him, “Of course we would choose sorcery even if we didn’t call forth help from Crete, it’s our only defense. Do you think we could use sorcery alone to fight when we knew we would more than likely have to battle you and your army, plus Glenda and Ice-sis? So we’re the ones who were ‘keeping it fair and balanced’.” “No Mohinni,” Trebor replied, “If you wanted you could have challenged us with a single battle just between the two of you against me, Glenda and Ice-sis, a battle that could have involved us only, not the soldiers and citizens of Oz. We could have settled all of this over the thrones and castles with a single battle amongst ourselves, but no Mohinni, this is how you really wanted it. You and Mave wanted to get the upper hand in any way possible and by any means necessary. So don’t talk of who is trying to keep it fair, you and your kind have never fought fair.”“Oh really Trebor, so we are the ones who need the ‘upper hand’ as you say?” Mave chimed in. “How insulting, our powers of magic are much stronger than yours but we knew you would have requested aid from and army of soldiers.”Trebor scoffed at her, “Aid, me ask for aid against the two of you? I don’t think so. I’ll only admit one thing, it would have been easy for you two to take over two fairies and their castle guards, but of course Glenda, Ice-sis and I would never just stand by and without putting a fight to defend them and you knew that! So once again I say it’s the two of you who need to conjure up aid from the netherworld.”By now Glenda and Ice-sis had walked up from behind the soliders formation and stood next to Trebor. “He’s right!” Ice-sis yelled out. “It’s you two who need the upper hand if you were to challenge us.”At those words Mohinni and Mave mouths dropped open at the same time. Mohinni stomped a few feet forwards and retorted back at her, “How dare you! Ms. Crystal Ice-sis, since when have you or your sister EVER had to fight for anything? You two have your titles, thrones and comfy castles of your own, castles you didn’t have to fight for.”“First of all my sister and I didn’t earn the titles as The Good Witches of the North by performing parlor tricks. We know magic and sorcery, so whatever we have we earned, earned on our own merits. As far as you and your sister, what have you two ever have to fight for? You didn’t fight for your titles you inherited them from your cousins. Secondly, when your cousins were in power and reigned over Oz you were given everything by them even the houses you both live in now. So I could ask you the same thing, what have you ever had to fight for until now? Furthermore you shouldn’t be fighting over something that isn’t yours anyway; their deaths didn’t entitle you two to anything, their castles nor their thrones!” “How dare you tell use what we’re not entitled to, you sniveling little imp,” Mohinni retorted, “enough of this talk! You all had your chance to hand over both Castles Ballikinrain and Balmoral to us when my sister tried to negotiate it in Emerald City! We’re done talking, and now we will take them from Tatiana and Orrla! As for you Trebor, you old fool; what’s done is done. You’ve planed and plotted, you’ve brought a band of soldiers in to fight, here we are and here is where we’ll finish it!”Just as she said that the minotaurs and ogres were marching around the lake towards the road. When they were in view of the soldiers at the opposite end of the road, Mave threw her hand up in a halting motion. They stopped, stood in a line across the road and waited for her next command.“Mohinni stop this madness while you can, it’s not too late.” Trebor insisted.“This is not madness!” She retorted, “This is what is necessary and I won’t back down!”Just then Ice-sis ran in to the middle of the road in a rage towards Mohinni, wielding her wand in one hand. Now it was the two of them standing face to face in the road between the two small groups of soldiers; soldiers of Oz and soldiers of Crete. “This is sheer madness Mohinni and it has to stop now. As Trebor said, it’s not too late!”“Like I said before you little imp, enough talk, here is where we will finish it! For the last time move aside or I’ll plow through your meager band of soldiers!” Mohinni sneered at Ice-sis.“Who are you calling an imp, you harpy!” Ice-sis yelled back at her. Then in her anger she raised her free hand; a glowing ball off blue fire appeared floating in her palm. The ball grew bigger as she raised her hand over her head. She hurled the ball at Mohinni. Mohinni threw her arms up to block it, but the ball hit its mark sending her flying backwards into Mave. They both tumbled onto the dirty road sending up a cloud of dust, their brooms flying into the dirt with them.They arose from the ground, screaming, cursing and, seething with anger.“You silly, stupid, little fool,” Mohinni screamed, “you will pay with you life!” She threw up both arms up over her head, a huge ball of red glowing fire appeared and she hurled it at Ice-sis. Ice-sis immediately held her wand up in front of her and a giant transparent shield appeared. The ball hit the shield hard. The shield broke the ball’s impact but made the ground rumble and tremble. Glenda ran to Ice-sis’ side and pleaded. “Please Ice-sis stop! Let them battle their war out with the soldiers and their conjured creatures!”“No!” Ice-sis yelled back to her sister. “Glenda you know as well as I that this war whether soldiers or creatures are fighting; either way this battle will end with us fighting Mohinni and Mave so it may as well start with us!”“I suppose you are right, but let it known they started it but we will end it!” Glenda retorted.Mave and Mohinni were now on their feet and stomping toward Glenda and Ice-sis. Mave yelled out, “You impudent minxes! We will finish the both of you, your wizard and your band of misfit soldiers!” with those words she raised her hand waved a forward motion to the minotaurs and ogres behind her. She bellowed out to them “Attack now!”Trebor yelled out to Glenda and Ice-sis, “Hurry back out of the way!” Glenda and Ice-sis dashed to the side of the road to Trebor’s side out of the way of the charging beasts. Suddenly General Liam yelled out to his archers, “Fire!” The archer’s arrows caught a few of the minotaurs just right and they fell to their knees, others kept charging. The ogres that were hit in their shoulders and arms kept charging with arrows still in them. As the beasts stampeded closer Liam finally yelled out to his swordsmen on horse back, “Charge!”The swordsmen unsheathed their swords and their horses leapt forward in full charge. The swordsmen clashed with the minotaurs and ogres; swordsmen swung their swords. Ogres and minotaurs swung their clubs. The archers joined in with their swords.The ogres where powerful, two and three soldiers had to attack them at once as they swung their huge clubs knocking some soldiers off of their horses. When Trebor saw some of Oz’s soldiers being bested he held up his staff and mumbled an incantation. He pointed his staff at five horses that had no soldiers mounted on them. What looked like lightening illuminated from the staff. As each streak of lightening hit the horses, each horse would rear back on it hind legs let out a loud bellow; slowly and strangely the horses started to morph. Their hind legs grew wider. Their hoofs turned into huge claws with long talons. Their necks grew longer. Their torsos grew longer. Scales grew out of their pelts. Their heads grew bigger with large teeth. Their harnesses and saddles feel off as they grew. Each horse grew and grew till each was fifty feet in length and twenty feet in height. Each horse astoundingly had morphed into a dragon. Everyone; Mohinni, Mave, Glenda, Ice-sis, the soldiers, even the beasts of Crete stopped and looked on in amazement at the transformation and at the beasts that now towered over them. Trebor shouted out to them, “Attack the beasts!”Immediately the soldiers of Oz parted away from the battlefield to put distance between themselves and the beasts as the dragons made way towards them. Right away the dragons made aim and leapt towards a group of minotaurs three were snatched up in the mouths of the dragons. The dragons clenched their massive jaws down on their torsos and violently shook the beasts until they snapped, and then were tossed them back to the ground. In the same instance two dragons had attacked an ogre. The ogre swung violently at them. The two dragons snapped at the ogre at the same time. One dragon snatched the ogre by the head, the other dragon by his legs. They played a game of tug-of-war with the pulling the beast backs and forth till he was ripped apart. His carcass was quickly spat to the ground as the dragons grabbed for another ogre that was backing away in horror, but he quickly met the same demise as the ogre before him. The minotaurs that weren’t snapped up in the jaws of the dragons were crushed and stomped under their massive clawed feet.Finally amongst the violent melee all five dragons abruptly stopped and threw their heads back and let out loud roars that sounded like metal grinding against metal. Around them laid ten minotaurs and all three ogres, dead. The dragons continued to roar as onlookers stared in awe. The dragons then began to turn their huge bodies around and around in a circle. They spun around faster and faster in this bizarre fashion until it looked as if they were shrinking; getting smaller and smaller. They were shrinking, shrinking back to their original form. They were morphing back into horses. Trebor’s spell had worn off, but not without magnificent results while it lasted.Seeing this General Liam immediately ordered his soldiers back onto the battlefield. “Hurry,” he yelled “the spell has worn off. Quickly finish the rest of them!”They immediately charged back onto the field. Before the platoon of soldiers could finish the ten minotaurs, Mohinni pulled out the strange shiny medallion the minotaur gave her the first day he was conjured through the porthole. She defiantly held it up before her, dangling it on the gold chain it was tethered to. Standing behind the battle lines at the end of the road near the north shore of the lake, she shrieked out, “So Trebor, you aren’t the only one who can conjure up help with incantations!” With those words her and Mave mounted their brooms and flew across the lake towards the east end where the porthole was.Ice-sis looked at Glenda with a panicked look on her face and said, “Oh no, they’re going to conjure more help from the porthole! We have to stop them!” Glenda agreed and they both quickly raised their arms over their heads and with a swirl of their wands each formed huge orbs around them. Encased inside, the orbs lifted them up and they swiftly glided over the field where the battle was still brewing. Soon they were their bubbles were gliding down near the porthole where Mohinni and Mave had already landed. As they stepped out of their magical vessels and walked toward the wicked witches, Mohinni swirled around and yelled, “You won’t stop me, neither of you!” She ran to the edge of the shore, held up the medallion, and started to recite an incantation. As soon as she did that Ice-sis lifted her wand and zapped her hand that held the medallion. Mohinni let out a scream, dropped the medallion but quickly picked up. Mave then lifted her hands up over her head and formed a burning red floating fire ball and hurled it at Ice-sis. In an instant Glenda had formed a searing blue ball and hurled it at Mave’s. The two fire balls collided in mid air bursting into a huge explosion. Though avoiding the impact of the fireballs the force of the explosion sent all four witches hurtling to the ground. Mohinni yelled out, “You meddling idiots! Come Mave, never mind them or the porthole! The magic of the medallion can still be used elsewhere. We don’t need the porthole or aid for the battle, besides it’s nearly over for the minotaurs. We’ll go straight to the source of our mission!”Glenda stepped forward, “What do you plan on doing Mohinni!”Mohinni didn’t answer. Without any words her and Mave jumped on their brooms and took off like rockets to the other side of the lake soaring past the now smoldering battle. Glenda and Ice-sis formed their transport orbs around them and flew after them, but stopping at the battlefield to confer with Trebor and the General before finishing the chase.“We managed to stop them from conjuring anything from the porthole but they flew off!” Glenda exclaimed, “Saying something about going straight to the source of their mission.”“That can only mean one thing.” Trebor replied, “They plan to go to Castle Ballikinrain directly to try and take it back!”“There is only small squadron on men guarding the castle now,” the General exclaimed, “and I don’t know how quickly I can get more soldiers there!” “Don’t worry about that!” Ice-sis replied to the General. “Glenda and I can transport ourselves there quicker than anyone, and we can fight them just as well!”“But Mohinni has the medallion Ice-sis, there’s no telling what aid she’ll conjure from Crete!” Trebor shouted.“Nevertheless Trebor,” Glenda retorted, “we must go and try to stop them now!” With out another word they formed their transport orbs and soared off towards Castle Ballinkinrain in Alfheim.Trebor immediately turned to General Liam and said, “You seem to have everything under control here we’ve successfully stopped the creatures. I must go after them! As I said, there’s no telling what Mohinni will conjure with the medallion. I’ll need one of your horses General.”“Okay Trebor but I don’t think the horse will get you there as quick as the witches can fly on those brooms.” “No, its okay, a strong horse will do fine.” Trebor walked over to one of the saddled horses. Held his staff up and waved it over the horse as he babbled out an incantation. Something seemed to stick out of both sides of the horse’s back. It was two feathers. The feathers grew and grew until each spanned out six feet on each side of the horse, they were wings and they began to flap and folded down onto his side. Trebor hopped onto the saddle, pulled on the reins. The horse spread its wings, jerked his head upwards, whinnied, slowly lifted off the ground and shot off through the air towards Ballikinrain Castle.
Meanwhile at Ballikinrain Castle Glenda and Ice-sis had made it there just after the wicked witches. Mohinni and Mave had flown over the gates and were inside the castle ground, fighting with the squadron of soldiers that were guarding it. One group of shoulders were ducking behind the water fountain shooting at them with there bow and arrows. Some were aiming from behind tress scattered along the landscape, while the witches’ artillery of choice were short quick lightening bolts that they fired at the troops. It was now evening and dusk dark. The flashes of bolts lit the young evening sky around them. Immediately Glenda and Ice-sis landed in front of the water fountain where the wicked witches were battling backs and fourth with four archers. As they stepped out of their floating orbs, they both formed protective, transparent force fields in front of them. Ice-sis yelled out at the witches. “Mohinni, Mave, stop this! You won’t win! If you continue to battle with us you come to the same demise as your cousin’s did.”Mave shouted back, “Oh we’ll see about that!” And with those words both the wicked witches mounted their brooms and shot towards the castle doors. Glenda and Ice-sis quickly pursued after them trailing close behind. The wicked witches made it to the doors first, Glenda and Ice-sis landed on the drive only a few feet away. They quickly turned and glared at two good witches. Mohinni taunted at them, “So this is where it ends. This is where we have our final show down? This is where we have our victory over you and Oz. This is where we rid ourselves of the both of you!” Mohinni pulled out the medallion from her cloak. As soon as she did that Trebor appeared on his horse and landed next to Glenda and Ice-sis. He quickly dismounted from the steed. “Stop Mohinni,” He yelled out, “I know what medallion you hold and I know of its powers. I know of the things you can conjure with it without the use of a porthole.” Mohinni retorted back, “It doesn’t matter what you know Trebor. Just know that I have it and I plan to use it!” She held the medallion up by it is tethered chain and started an incantation of summons. Trebor raised his staff and quickly recited an incantation of his own. Soon a large black bird appeared and circled overhead as he finished his incantation. He looked up at the bird, pointed to the medallion that Mohinni held and yelled out to it, “Retrieve……… Retrieve!” The bird nose dived from the sky towards Mohinni. In an instant, before she could finish her incantation, the bird swooped down, snatched the medallion from her grip, and soared straight back upwards towards the sky. Mohinni let out a loud shriek, “No! Curse you wizard! As soon as I get my medallion back I kill that bird and you’ll be next! You fool!”“Serves you right, you evil witched. I’ve ordered that bird to take the medallion back to the lake and drop it into the porthole, where it’ll go back to the netherworld you got it from!” With that she and Mave hopped on their brooms and took off yet again, soaring after the bird. Glenda, Ice-sis and Trebor were in close pursuance behind them.
The two wicked witches were in close pursuance of the large black bird when they approached the lake. Mohinni and Mave were quick but not quick enough. The bird circled the end of the lake where to porthole was. Soon the water started to bubble and the bird dropped the medallion in. The two wicked witches shrieked out in both anger and horror when then saw this. In her desperation Mohinni dove into the porthole after the medallion, broomstick and all. She disappeared into the bubbling mass of spurting water. Mave yelled out to her. “Mohinni no!” she then dove in after her. Now both witches were submerged beneath the deep waters of the river, and more than likely into the world of Crete.Trebor, Glenda, and Ice-sis had caught up just in time to see them both plunge into the lake. All three of them slowly glided to the ground and landed on the shore near the porthole. Trebor watched as the water was still bubbling. He lifted his staff and recited a spell over the porthole. The water immediately ceased to bubble and became calm. He turned to Glenda and Ice-sis and exclaimed. “It worked out just as I planned; the porthole is now sealed for good both the wicked witches are trapped on the other side.”“Sealed for good?” Glenda asked. “Well I hope for sure this time. Remember Trebor, we’ve been misinformed before about the very existence of Crete and now you say porthole is sealed for good. But how do we really know that for sure?”“We only know because they haven’t resurfaced back through.” He replied. “I doubt they’ll ever figure out a way back through. There’s only way anyone can re-enter Oz through their end of the porthole, it’ll take someone on this side reopening it like Mohinni did for the minotaur. For now I can assure you we have ridded ourselves of the two wicked witches for long time.”Ice-sis retorted. “A long time isn’t long enough.”As they were talking General Liam galloped on his horse, dismounted and walked up to the three; he began to report on the battle. “I’m happy to inform you that we’ve defeated the clan of minotars. But I must tell you that one escaped during the battle. The leader Anibus ran back to the lake and into the porthole.” Trebor replied, “Well than he’s permanently sealed there for now with Mohinni and Mave, I saw to that.”
And so for now the Land of Oz was at peace once again. It had been nearly a hundred years the two wicked witches of the east and west had met their demise and now their two evil cousins were defeated and banished from the world of Oz. Defeated and banished for good? Was Oz at peace for good? As evil and good has always existed, and always will in the universe, is any place ever at peace for good or is peace a temporary moment in time? Perhaps maybe an era per say? Time would only tell. But for whatever length of time, the people of Oz were happy just for the current presence of peace in their land.
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