“Rogue, look who I found” Aerys screamed in ecstasy. After hours of searching, they had finally found Eris. Rogue had been so sure that they would find him in the mountains. Their risk of trying to find him in the mountains had payed of. “Finally” She said. She had been so worried about him. Eris was on a tree branch, fast asleep. On closer inspection, she found scratch on his wings and his forehead had a new set of worry lines. He looked really tired and worn out. The storm had done a lot of damage to him.
“Should we wake him up?” she whispered to Aerys. “No let him.” Aerys replied. Rogue wondered what had happened to their friend as she sat down under the tree. Eris looked so tired and broken and worn out. Why hadn't he tried searching for them? Something was wrong. Gravely and seriously so. They would have to wait for answers until Eris woke up. Little did they know he was waiting for the exact things. Eris, Rogue and Aerys all had a lot of answers to provide. Until then, Rogue would have to occupy herself with something else. She had to distract herself. She couldn't help wondering where Eris had been, and where those scratch marks were from. She handed Aerys an apple and bit into one herself. As they searched for Eris, they had replenished their supplies with fruit and water. The apple was delicious and juicy. It had been a long time since they had eaten anything but meat, and Rogue wanted to enjoy it as much as she could. Rogue felt homesick. She was reminded of her earlier life, her father, her sins, her hut with Aerys, the food of Ashanti and all the memories associated with home. She missed all that, and now she was far away in an unknown land, waiting and plotting revenge against the dreaded king. Oh what had times come to. Now she was stuck without shelter or food, and times really were bad, especially because she was to blame. She wished she had never been brain washed by the satanic cult. She wished that she hadn't sinned so bad. Her friends had forgiven her, but she still hadn't forgiven herself. It was all her fault and the kings. She shuddered to even think about what she had done. How had she done it? Such a cruel act would have shocked her now. She really had changed for the good.
The sooner they got across the mountain, the better. For there was no saying as to what danger lurked in the dark shadows of the trees. There was hardly any sunlight and it was as if a curse had fallen over the mountain. There were no animals, and finding the apples had been really difficult, and only desperation had helped them find the apples. Rogue savoured the sweet taste of the apple and finally threw away the core. Oh when would Eris wake up? All they could do was wait now.
Soon enough, Eris woke up with a yawn and stretched. Suddenly he was startled by Rogue and Aerys who had walked up to him. “So you found me?”. Something about his tone gave Rogue the chills, everything about him seemed hostile and he looked as if he had to fly away anytime. “What’s wrong Eris?” Aerys asked. Even he seemed to have noticed the change in Eris' behaviour. Shouldn't Eris be glad that they had found him at last. He seemed really sad and angry.
Eris sighed and relaxed. It was a long story. Where should he start? Rogue waited, certain now that Eris had encountered something. Something bad had happened, and she couldn't wait to find out. She waited with bated breath, wondering what was next. She wanted to ask Eris how he had got his cuts, and she wanted to put water on them, but she wondered how Eris would take that gesture. She was pretty sure he wouldn't thank her. “When I was swept across the desert, I expected you to come searching for me. I expected you, my supposed friends to look for me. But then here I found out that you went forward to the mountains, and it really was heart-breaking. The fact that I was captured by a few creatures didn't help at all. A dying creature said something alarming to me, and I was wondering whether it was true or not.” Eris paused and took a breath. “Its exact words were; Beware, beware of those you call friends, for they shall leave you as you have us in times of need. Lose hope not, for you shall your quest as of now. Come the second half, in my mind a doubt. One of three will die, the other two in pain. All creatures can play this cruel satanic game.” Rogue gasped, the prophecy didn't make sense. She and Aerys would never desert Eris. Never. Why would they? Surely he knew that, but looking at him it seemed as if the creature’s words had hit him hard. Moreover, the fact that Aerys and Rogue had come directly to the mountains had made their desertion seem even more real, and he had lost his trust in them. Their actions had made Eris think he had already lost them, whereas they had been searching for him. But how they prove that to him? Maybe the words had been because of the dying creatures delirious state, but Eris seemed to have taken them to heart. Rogue looked at Aerys, and their expressions mirrored each other’s. They would have to go through this slowly, get Eris calm and explain everything.
Rogue gestured to Eris to sit down, thinking about what to say. She couldn't lose Eris. He was their friend. She just could not. He was their friend and family now. He always would be; she was sure of it.
“Look Eris” Rogue started, “The thing about prophecies, and yes this one was a prophecy made for you, to you is that they have different meaning, interpretations. It is always about how a person sees something. You can be positive about this, or react badly and get scared. But all I can say to you is that do not let this restrict you. We can write our own destiny; we can change it. Destiny can be made; prophecies can be defeated. Do not let the prophecy write your destiny for you. And most important, you have to believe in us, your friends. Don't let anyone tell you that we were not there or we won't be. Perspective matter Eris, it could very well be a dying creature's last words, but do not let that deter you from the daunting task at hand. It really is about how you look at things. Trust me Eris, trust me and Aerys because we would never desert you. You are our friend, family now, and we will do anything to protect you. We will do whatever it takes.” Eris was silent, emotionless or that was what his face looked like. Rogue plunged on, “You once taught me that our past does not matter, you helped me move forward. Remember your own words, heed your own advice. I would like to rephrase your words, do not let the acceptance of your past define your future. Let’s move forward, let all the bad stay behind, let’s forget about all this doubt and move forward” she looked across at Aerys who silently appreciated her. She hoped she had only helped, and not spoiled things even more. She hoped she had made a difference.
She looked at Eris cautiously, wondering how he had taken her words. Eris had tears in his eyes, and he was as startled by them as Rogue was. Angels tears. Surely they were precious. But they were gone as fast as they had come. Eris was becoming more human day by day. Suddenly, they head the cry of a hawk, and the cry brought them to reality. They had to get going. The trio was back, and they had to move forward. Aerys started forward, Eris was in the center and Rogue brought up the rear. The hunt was on. The most daunting part was over, and what lay ahead was far easier. They just had to reach the valley with civilization. Then, they could set across reclaiming the people the king had banished and go reclaim their homeland. All could be well then. But first, Rogue would have to tell the others the plan she had come up with and who she intended to get onto their side. After that, the finding of an army could start.
As they walked on, Rogue started to tell the others what she intended to do, or more like who she intended to find. She felt that the idea was a stupid one, but an idea nevertheless, and it was all they had. So they had to work with this until they had anything better. “My father would always come home and tell me about the wandering witch, the archer with an eye and the invincible warrior. He always thought the tales would scare me, but in fact they fascinated me and I would ask for more of their daring exploits. The warrior had fought of all the guards in the king’s palace, before he had been defeated by the king himself. He had been overpowered by a hundred men, and only then had he been stopped. We could do with a warrior like that. He escaped his hanging and made his way to the mountains where he waits for revenge. Or that is what the stories say. The archer is can shoot anything and everything in his eyesight accurately. He fled to the mountains. The tales never really explained why, and I guess we will have to find the truth out ourselves. The wandering witch I think made a prophecy about the king that was true and so she was banished to this very mountain. I had some investigations, and it turns out that these tales were pretty much true. They really did exist. People say they are waiting for a leader that can help them reclaim their homeland. They are waiting somewhere, in the shadows and biding their time for revenge. The witch lives here in the hills. They say those who really need her can find her, and she provides help to those in need. She waits to press forward her legacy before dying. She has evaded death for a long while, and I'm not sure how long she can. Death does come eventually. The warrior took a handful of people with him and they are practicing the art of the sword, waiting for the right time. People say he has an army, but the warrior lacks a successor. The archer is with the warrior waiting.”
“So, you're saying we trust tales?” Eris said.
“No, I'm saying that we give it a try. There is nothing to lose.” “Why not?” Aerys replied. If the risk payed of, it would be worth it.
“Let’s do this then.” Rogue said and looked up.
Standing there was an old women leaning against a tree and she looked as if she had been expecting them.
The witch was here. The tales were true.