Chapter 4 ~ Ljosalfheim Forest

 

Preparations have been made and everyone gathers for a briefing as the QETS materializes in the Third Realm. This is Alfheim,  home of the Light Elves and the base of the World Tree in the third of nine realms. SpaceDog shows his authority as Commander Star Lord and alpha male. Istanna is, without a doubt, the alpha female of the group. She has enchanted the other companions with her grace, charm and command skills. What wonders will they explore as the adventure continues…


Istanna takes her battle armor seriously with a few interesting additions to her outfit. She has a set of darts on either arm, a shiny armor chest plate and gauntlets on both arms and legs where daggers are within reach. What's concealed are the magical items on her head and tail. There is a ringlet of power on her left ear that looks cosmetic. Gathered in a large room (adjacent to the command control,) SpaceDog addresses the group.

[SpaceDog]   May I have your attention, please! Istanna will be briefing us, shortly, on what we are about to encounter on this escapade.  On Alfheim, she is a Goddess and feared by those who know her. We have discussed detail what happened when she was plucked from this realm and cast out of her land by a God on Asgard who assembled us. For those who think Norse Gods are only mythology, I am about to prove that what you believed are old fairy tales, are real. As a Star Lord, I am 'somewhat' bound by a sacred oath to obey the wishes of King of the Æsir, Odin. With Istannas' help, we will find and return a necklace stolen from the kings' private vault. Each and every person was specifically chosen and assembled for the recovery. Istanna!

[Istanna uncommon]    First, I must say we are a hot mess of characters and bound to bring lots of attention,  so...

Istanna tweaks the jewel on her right ear and continues in clear common,

[Istanna]    We will attempt to stay as a group. If you get separated from your particular group, the first thing to do is protect yourself while seeking SpaceDog, Panda Kitti, Trixie or myself. We all possess the ability to communicate telepathically and will be leading three groups. LeeZee!'

[LeeZee]    Yes Istanna?

[Istanna]    Are you not aware you are a succubus and a demigoddess?

With a bit of questionable fear in her voice.

[LeeZee]    A WHAT? No, I am not. What do you mean a succubus and a demigoddess?

The dragon cat takes a step closer.

[Istanna]    Ever wonder why men get suddenly sick when you kiss them? You are draining their life force or what we call Chi. However, I am about to teach you how to return life back and heal with that same Chi. You may one day need this skill to heal others who are hurt in battle. 

Istanna plants a kiss upon LeeZees lips and when she draws away, a pink mist envelopes LeeZee. LeeZee stands up straight and her eyes open wide. She starts to do jumping jacks with a large heavy backpack.

[Istanna]    I have enough life force to bring back an army of the dead and I just gave you a sample of my Chi. If you ever get too close to an enemy, all you have to do is suck some of the Chi out of them being careful not to take too much. Never use your Chi to kill or you will turn dark. You don't have to use a kiss, but it is sometimes more fun.

Istanna winks at LeeZee.

[LeeZee]    Wow, I feel great! I think I'm beginning to understand. Do this mean I can use Chi to heal? You said that I am a demigoddess?!?! What does that imply?

[Istanna]    Yes, you possess the power to heal others with your Chi. I will let SpaceDog discuss the rest of the implications, okay?

LeeZee nods and gives the cat a big hug.

[Istanna]    Lady Robin, thanks for showing me the wardrobe and helping me find some suitable traveling attire. SpaceDog keeps moving things around inside the QETS, so it may have taken me a long time to find my way around. I will allow your presence around the Commander and he will tell you what is required of you as a scribe.

In Robins ear,

[Istanna whispersSpaceDog fancies you a lot and I think you like him, too.

[Lady Robin]  Since I have a great memory, I will keep a journal of what happens.

Into Istanna's cat ear...

[Lady Robin whispersWill this choker really protect me?

[Istanna]    Want to find out?

[Lady Robin]  Not now...

Squeamish and giggly, she runs her fingers over the emerald embedded on a silver band around her neck.

[Lady Robin]  I have practiced what you showed me. Thanks a bunch!

[Istanna]    Panda Kitti!

Pouncing to the front of the pack, Istanna squeezes the end of her tail.

[Istanna telepath]    Stay out of trouble and inform us if you sense any danger. I am depending on you to behave like a good kitten.

Panda Kitti purrs returning to LeeZee, who has taken a liking to the EMO Panda Cat.

[Panda Kitti]  Meow! Purrrrfectly clear mama cat, meow!

[Istanna]    Are we ready?

Everyone nods yes in unison. Istanna shakes her head, No...

SpaceDog produces a hologram of a necklace, glowing like the constellations of the night sky.

[SpaceDog]  This, is the necklace taken from King Odin's private vault on Asgard. He believes the necklace is on Alfheim. It is called, 'Brísingament.' I was given the task, by the king of the Æsir, to return this precious necklace. Now that Istanna is here, she has offered to help, even though I was already traveling there for another reason.

[Istanna]    We believe a black or dark elf was responsible for the theft of the kings' property. Since the necklace (itself) had no magical properties, it is not something we can easily track. However, its unrivaled beauty is unlike any known dwarf made object. Odin wants it back. Any Questions?

~~long pause~~

[SpaceDog]   Sidrat, Entangle to Alfheim path point 171.

[Sidrat]       'We are now at the place and time specified.'

[SpaceDog]   Good, then let's move. We will be following the path by the stream near here. It is late morning and we may encounter others along our path. Sidrat, open the portal.

[Sidrat]    'Yes commander'

SpaceDog picks up a large, spiky metallic-looking space-pack and pulls it over his shoulders and secures it with a chest-strap. The spikes appear flexible and seem to convey an aura of strength. When the party crosses the control room to the portal, all twelve dogs follow the adventurers.


Ljosalfheim Forest

Passing through the event-horizon portal, our party enters a wild-looking landscape. Behind them, the portal looks like a shallow cave on the side of a steep slope which is surrounded by vegetation and bright colored ferns that radiate when touched. In front of them, a winding path leads in both directions. To the left is a dense forest with overhanging branches covered by moss and colored ferns. Several of the large ferns have taken over the path, making it unsafe to pass. There are a few sounds of insects or animal life. In the distance, a waterfall can be heard.

The group meanders down the path towards the sound of cascading water when the forest turns into barren black wasteland. There is evidence of a recent destructive fire.  On top of the ridge they are following, water spills into a deep pool. A stream jetting into the pool on the left flows out down a rock-lined babbling brook to the right. On either side of the brook, a blue/green moss covers the landscape. On the upper side, rocks lined with gems and crystalline quartz make spectacular prisms from the two suns, causing the water to dance with every color of the rainbow.  The group moves along bedazzled by the spectacular landscape for what seems to be forever. When the twin Polaris suns are overhead, they reach an open clearing...

[Panda Kitti]  Meow!!! We have company!!! Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow!!!!

Panda Kitti is in a panic sensing something with extraordinary power. Istanna puts up her arm and the group comes to a halt. SpaceDog says in a commanding voice,

[SpaceDog]   Seek and find!

All but the 4 male dogs scatter into the surrounding area scouting out what the Cat has sensed through her telepathic tale. Rosemary-chan Bon gives a very short bark and all the bitches return to the group,

[AC/DC]        I have found what Panda Kitti was sensing. It is about 50 meters straight down the path in a large field of grass. Trixie, do you recognize it?

[Trixie]         This is the mage we have come to see. He has lost most of his immense power. 

[SpaceDog]   Let me be the first to approach. I personally know this magical creature. You would be better off not getting too close until he approaches you. Do you understand? 

Everyone nods in agreement. The commander leads the way and pulls an object from his coat pocket. He palms the object in his right hand, then takes a golden apple from Panda Kitti's basket and places it in his left hand. He begins to chant while walking.

[SpaceDog]   Ljosalfeim eb ton edarfa ym raed dneirf Shadows fo dlo! Emoc dna tel em tis htiw uoy diarfanu dna llet em ruoy selbuort.

Istanna recognizes the words to be a language used by dragons, and other magical creatures. When they reach a grassy area, a pure white horse is waiting for them in the middle of the field. When the horse spies the golden apple, it bows as a sign of respect for the offering.

[SpaceDog]   Shadowfax! Take this offering and tell me your troubles.

The horse slowly approaches SpaceDog, who has bowed his head. Their heads touch one another, respectfully. After this sacred contact, the horse draws and consumes the offering. Shadowfax gazes up at SpaceDog,

[SpaceDog]   I understand and thank you for your willingness to help, once again, serve a higher purpose!

Shadowfax slowly approaches each of the companions, starting with Panda Kitti and paws at the ground five times. When it turns to LeeZee, it shakes his head side to side three times, looks at SpaceDog who bobs his head up and down three times. It then turns to Lady Robin and again paws at the ground five times. When Shadowfax turns to Istanna, he closes his eyes and puts its head down, suggestively, for Istanna to touch it. In a cautionary manner, Istanna looks at SpaceDog who shrugs his shoulders then nods in assent to Shadowfax.

[SpaceDog]   Shadowfax is waiting for you. Be aware! What happens next is already written in your destiny.

When Istanna attempts to put her cat head on Shadowfax, he pulls away before bowing down. Istanna returns her attention to SpaceDog again,

[SpaceDog]   Put your paw on Shadowfax's head.

[Istanna]     OK, if that is what the horse wants...

Istanna brings up her paws and feels an invisible horn. 

[Istanna]    You're a unicorn?

Sparks start to fly between Istanna and the invisible horn on Shadowfax. A red aura envelops Istanna as she transforms into an immense red dragon. When the sparks stop flying, Istanna shrinks into a baby dragon, fading and shifting dimensions with each breath. Everything Istanna was carrying; her clothing, daggers, and magic items have fallen upon the ground. The baby dragon begins floating and SpaceDog opens his hand to reveal a red blanket that begins to glow.

[SpaceDog]   Lady Robin! Remove the red sack from my backpack, quickly. LeeZee, assist Lady Robin before Istanna morphs into an egg.

Lady Robin fumbles, but finally pulls out a red sack and hands it to LeeZee.

[Lady Robin]  An Egg?

[LeeZee]       What do I do with the sack?

LeeZee remains confused. SpaceDog places the blanket down and puts the baby dragon upon it. The dragon has stabilized and is no longer fading in and out of phase after being wrapped in the stabilizing blanket.

[SpaceDog]   Help me put Istanna in the sack before she gets trapped between dimensions. Please hurry!

When the dragon, wrapped in the dimensional stabilizing blanket is put into the red sack, the sack then begins to change. SpaceDog removes the blanket just before the sack becomes rock hard and spiky on all except on one side. It now resembles the silver space-pack SpaceDog is carrying complete with loops for chest strap. The egg sack turns multicolored red, brown and black with protruding scales.

[Panda Kitti]  Meow! What just happened? Meow!

Panda Kitti looks puzzled. Shadowfax announces in his clear Midgard dialect.

[Shadowfax]  Thank the Gods of creation another cycle passed without a hitch and you have my gratitude for helping me recover some magic! I shall be forever thankful to you.

The unicorn bows to all assembled. Trixie looks up to Shadowfax,

[Trixie telepathHello Foxy.

Shadowfax closes his eyes and shakes his head slowly from side to side remembering the cyborg dog as a puppy wrapped up in bandages.

[SpaceDog]   Please, allow me to explain. I am Istannas' Guardian Angel and every 600 cycles she needs an actual rebirth.

Everyone glances at SpaceDog because the sack has now become an egg and the unicorn is complete with a sparkling horn.

[SpaceDog]   Shadowfax had to use his magic judiciously after being attacked by a black elf and he has been here thriving in the land of the light elves on Alfheim for cycles. He is trying to collect enough magic to return to his homeland on the other side of Alfheim. That same black elf had the Brísingamen necklace and I believe is not aware there is a piece of Morris Stone hidden inside it because I inserted it there myself.

[Shadowfax]  Istanna has been collecting and storing magic and once every 600 cycles, she needs to renew her life in order to remain alive. When she regenerates, she becomes a baby dragoness and then an egg. But, Istanna cannot keep her magic. She would simply cook herself if she did. This is the third time she and I have shared the gift of giving and for that, we give thanks. Alfheims' Dragon Goddess and SpaceDog have known each other for countless cycles but she never remembers meeting me because those memories are incompatible with the Egg Self.

[Panda Kitti]   Meow! What was that horseplay when meeting us? Meow?

[Shadowfax]  Trust and truth. When I acknowledged you and Lady Robin, it is my understanding, from my sense of good & evil, that you are good people from the fifth realm of Midgard. You call the fifth realm Earth. LeeZee on the other hand...

LeeZee confusingly interrupts Shadowfax...

[LeeZee]       What about me? What was all that head bobbing?

[SpaceDog]   Shadowfax wanted to understand if you are a succubus, Fay and if you can be trusted. Since unicorns cannot understand or sense Fay allegiance, I answered in the affirmative to all three questions on your behalf.

[Shadowfax]  SpaceDog. Let me once again be Istannas' Ward for the next regeneration cycle as you are her Guardian Angel. 

Shadowfax begins to cry, but before the tears can turn into magical unicorn stones, SpaceDog opens a small section of the egg container and lets the tears flow inside it before he reseals the containers with a customary kiss... 


Guardians

A light elf in the woods speaks to himself under his breath...

[Fortana]    Wow! So that's how it's done... 

All twelve dogs have returned to the grassy knoll and have now turned their attention to the direction of the forest on the opposite side of the field. SpaceDog kneels down to Rosemary-chan Bon, says,

[SpaceDog]   How long has he been standing there?

[Rosemary-chan Bon]  He's been observing Shadowfax the entire time! I don't think he means harm. He might be the guide we've been looking for.

In a very low soft voice that the dogs and Panda Kitti can hear, he utters,

[SpaceDog]   Close your eyes and imagine what I am about to do.

SpaceDog sets the quantum entanglement device to backtrack five seconds in time and instantly disappears!!!


[Fortana]   Wow! So that's how it's done...

The light elf is startled when he notices that the man is no longer standing next to the cyborg dogs at the opposite end of the grassy field.

[SpaceDog]   Well, I knew that was coming. In fact, it happens precisely every 600 cycles and that was the third time I've helped during the rebirth event with Shadowfax as Ward. Are you here for a reason?

Fontana after composing himself.

[Fortana]   How did you... you're a magic-user?

[SpaceDog]   Heavens no! I believe in science. Magic is just unexplained science, or so I keep telling myself, me and I.  By the way, my name is... just call me SpaceDog. We can get formal introductions, later.

The light elf bows and introduces himself.

[Fortana]   My name is Fontana and I am a forest warden. It is a pleasure to meet you and witness this incredible rebirth. I've been worried about Shadowfax and often look after him, although he never knows I'm here.

[SpaceDog]   Fortana, you may not be aware of this, but Shadowfax knows you as the Guardian of Ljosalfheim Forest and not just as warden. Because you hide in the shadows, he thinks you are shy.

[Fortana]   Really? When did he tell you that? I've never heard him speak until the cat changed into the baby dragon and Shadowfax horn regenerated.

SpaceDog pulls Fontana's head in proximity to his and touches foreheads for 1 milliarn. During this brief interaction, SpaceDog passes all memory of events from the time after exiting the QETS portal, (including the 30 milliarn memory transfer when Shadowfax passes on forty-four days of his memory to SpaceDog.) During that memory, he saw him-elf being watched by Shadowfax and oversees the good deeds he has been doing to maintain the forest health, including putting out fires on the upper part of the path.

SpaceDog grinning.

[SpaceDog]   Let us go and meet with the group.

They make their entrance across the field where Shadowfax and the others are waiting,

[Fortana]   That's some trick. Do you ever use it to get information when someone is hiding the truth?

[SpaceDog]   It does not work unless there is complete trust and since Shadowfax has explained the situation, I knew you would be trustworthy.  

Fontana bows to the majestic creature before him and acknowledges the others in the group.

[Fortana]   Shadowfax, I see your magic has returned and it was marvelous seeing the rebirth take place. How long have you been watching me?

[Shadowfax]  Fontana... I've been watching you since you were born. How do you think I got the name Shadowfax? My name was once Shadow Fox because I looked like a fox when I was young and I have always lurked in the shadows, hiding from those who would steal magic through my blood, sweat, and tears. It has been my life's work protecting magic while watching over the Guardians of the Galaxy, like the Vanr standing next to you.

Shadowfax nodes at SpaceDog.

[SpaceDog]    Let me introduce you to my traveling companions, Lady Robin, LeeZee and Panda Kitti. You all just met Shadowfax. This is Fortana. Pups upfront.

All twelve dogs and bitches align up in a row. Then, like a 'Chinese Fire Drill,' they scurry around until all are standing in descending order, from the tallest to the smallest.

[SpaceDog]   I want you to meet; Patty Smith, Trixie, AC/DC, Frank Zupar, Lead Zip Line, Pink Flood, Marina, Diane, Rosemary-chan Bon, Tori, Dianna Ross, and Kathy Freman.

[Shadowfax]  It's my pleasure to meet the rest of your family, Trixie. Star Lord SpaceDog, how long have I been watching your heroic deeds?

SpaceDog just shrugs and then thinks.

[SpaceDog]   This is the third rebirth between you and Istanna... I have helped your mother, Wind Walker, and Istanna with the rebirth ceremony four times and have known you 600 cycles before that. It must be approximately 4800 cycles since I was here to celebrate your birth and it was then that I named you, Fox Shadow, before you changed it 5,250 years. 

[Trixie]        Do you remember that I was there the last time after SpaceDog rescued me? He took me back in time to meet you and witness the prior rebirth of Istanna. It was you who bestowed upon me the ability to speak telepathically and to control this. 

Trixie begins to float.

[Shadowfax]  Yes, I remember. You needed a means of escape if you were caught again by that evil creature. I sensed your fear and gave you powers to aid your survival instinct.  

Trixie beams a huge smile...

Suddenly the other members of the group perk up. Lady Robin appears to be in shock.

[Lady Robin]   How old are you Spacie? I have only heard of this conduct in fairy tales.

[SpaceDog]     Robin, I am more than 20,000 Earth years old, but who's counting?

[Panda Kitti]   Meow! SpaceDog is older than the pyramids of Egypt Meeeoooowww!  Methinks meeow is just a newborn kitten, meow!

LeeZee with her usual questioning voice,

[LeeZee]       You said that I'm a demigoddess. How long do they live commander?

[SpaceDog]   How long would you like to live, LeeZee? You all can lead a very full life whether it is a few cycles or several dozen millennia. What really matters is, what you do with the life you are given.  Do you want to help others in the worlds we live in, or do you want to extinguish life from those with no time left as moral beings? Some insects live a few micro-arns, but some creatures, such as Gods and Goddesses, can live virtually forever.

[Shadowfax]  Fate is a preordained course of your life that will occur in spite of your actions. The duration of your life is your fate. Destiny is a set of predetermined events in your life that you take an active course in shaping. You are here on this fateful day, because regardless of your mode of travels; walking, riding, flying, swimming or quantum entanglement, you were pre-destined to be here.

Fontana addressing the group.

[Fortana]   It looks like you may not need a guide through the forest. What is to be your destination? Is there anything I can do to assist on your journey?

[Shadowfax]  First, I need to rest and then be on my way. I'm sure we will all meet again before SpaceDog whisks you out of this realm when his task is completed. Am I correct? Better still, I will see you all tonight if fate allows it. Fontana, please take these people to the Village of Elders.

Shadowfax bows to the group and is about to trot off when SpaceDog grabs Shadowfax's mane and gives his neck a hug. Lady Robin putting her phone in her hand,

[Lady Robin]   Excuse me! Everyone! Would it be too much to ask, if I could capture an image of this group with my smartphone?

[SpaceDog]   I don't think there will be any objections. We will need to all be holding on to the hands of each other, and Robin, you will first need to touch the phone to Shadowfax's horn.

[Lady Robin]   Why is that?

Lady Robin sets the phone on camera mode.

[SpaceDog]   Magic creatures cannot be imaged without direct consent first. That is why you will rarely see a picture of a "real" unicorn.

Shadowfax lowers his head towards Lady Robin, consenting to her request. The group lines up in front of Shadowfax and Robin holds the phone in front of her. SpaceDog stands behind Robin, LeeZee next to Panda Kitti and Fontana on the other side. At the last minute, all the dogs line up in front of the group except for Trixie and Rosemary-Chan Bon who both appear to be floating over Shadowfax when Robin captures the image.

[SpaceDog]   Okay, Fontana, can you take me to the elders? I've met most in the past, but they may not recognize me. Its been almost a millennium and I'm bad with names.

Fontana makes it sound like a big deal. He scratches his chin like he has to think about it and wiggles his long elfin ears. They both burst out laughing and startle the entire group. He motions them to the path. 

[Shadowfax]  I see you are in good hands, but I must trot off soon.  I will accompany you all as far as the path leading to the village entrance.

They all pack their things with SpaceDog carrying Istanna egg LeeZee has her large backpack of supplies, Lady Robin has the silver space-pack and Panda Kitti carries a basket of fruits and veggies she has been refilling along the route. When they head down the path following Fontana, LeeZee steps up to SpaceDog with a questioning look in her eyes... 

[LeeZee]       So, we need to talk. Tell me why I am considered a demigoddess?

SpaceDog looks deep into LeeZee's gray eyes.

[SpaceDog]   Remember I said you have a way of finding out information with negotiation skills? That is why you are here with us and why I chose you for this journey. Now don't let me shock you, but I know who your parents were before they were betrayed. You were left into my custody in another time and place.

[LeeZee]       What? Another time and place? Are you trying to confuse me?

[SpaceDog]   You were born in Massachusetts in the Earth year 1692 during the peak of the Salem witch trials. Both your parents were killed unjustly after you where entrusted to me. It was me that brought you to the 20th century and put you into a foster home. Unfortunately, the foster home I left you in was overcome by debit due to drug addiction. When your foster parents were imprisoned, you were placed in an orphanage. You were subsequently raised by another family who adopted you at the age of six. The family kept in touch with me until just a few cycles ago.

[LeeZee]       Can you tell me about my parents? Were they really witches?

[SpaceDog]   They were Fay. Fay is a class of non-human that live on Midgard. They live with humans, but they often appear human as well. Many Fay acquire powers that humans can't comprehend and they are often cursed as evil. Some Fay are dark, but most are enlightened. Most of your powers have yet to surface.

[SpaceDog whispersWhen all your powers have matured, this will enable you to get both people and creatures to obey your every command with merely a touch upon the skin. Not only will they obey, but they will inform you of all their hidden secrets. Those are just some of your powers!

LeeZee stands up erect and tries to absorb all this new information.

[LeeZee]       What can you tell me about my parents?

SpaceDog stops and turns to LeeZee and says point-blank,

[SpaceDog]   You will need to know more about yourself before I can tell you about your parental units. Sorry, but if I tell you too much too quickly, you might not ever develop the powers you need to survive the awakening.

[LeeZee]       And what IS this awakening? Can it kill me? Will I become stronger? Do I have any control as to when this awakening occurs?

SpaceDog takes LeeZee by both hands.

[SpaceDog]   My sister will tell you what you need to know and the timing for your awakening. When all your powers awaken, it could destroy you. I can only see you thrive and be stronger in many ways. Do yourself a favor and allow yourself to trust me, Okay?

LeeZee shakes her head yes and feels comforted by SpaceDogs hands. A warmth flows from SpaceDog's hands like nothing she has ever felt before. LeeZees' heart and soul feel peaceful and her loneliness disappears.

Lady Robin, jealousy, steps up to them.

[Lady Robin]   What's going on here? Am I missing something vital?

The jealousy disappears when LeeZee takes her hand and pulls her aside,

[LeeZee]       SpaceDog is madly in love with you and wanted to give me some advice! Now go and spend some time together. I need to go cuddle with my kitten.

LeeZee runs ahead up the path to where Fontana and Panda Kitti are following the pack of hounds. When she runs up to the Cat to attempt a hug, Panda Kitti steps aside and LeeZee hugs Fontana instead.

[Fortana]   Oh dear! What have I done to deserve such gratitude and we only just met?

They laugh simultaneously and look at Panda Kitti. She stopped and is gazing intently at a shadows under the tree approximately twenty paces off the beaten path...


The White Witches

I'm standing watch in a forest under the shade of a large oak tree on guard duty. A group that consists of twelve cyborg/hybrid dogs, a cat alien, the male light elf Fontana, (I know as Guardian of the forest), is leading a human. The human looks like she is from Midgard, yet another female I sense could be a demigoddess and in addition, a male creature with three hearts that I suspect to be a Vanir. They are all on the path to our village. I just noticed that Shadowfax has abandoned the group...

The cat alien is now peering in my direction and can feel her telepathic energy scanning me. Beneath my cloak of invisibility, I wait and oversee the group. I turn back at the cat and feel that I have her approval. I remove the cloak and approach her,

[Angela telepath] 'I am Angela, a white magic witch. May I ask what you are doing here?'

[Panda Kitti telepath] 'Meow! I'm Panda Kitti. We are on a quest to recover a necklace stolen from Odin and meow we are following Fontana to his village. Meow!'

[Panda Kitti]   Meow, SpaceDog?!?!?

When the cat alien speaks up, the man attired in a heavy black jacket and bright blue boots with a pack on his back (looks to be made from dragonhide with spikes), turns and looks straight into my eyes.

[SpaceDog]   Yhw si a hctiw gniwollof su? Era uoy suoiruc  or do you have another agenda?

I recognize reverse speak and translate it to {Why is a witch following us? Are you curious}

[Angela]        First stage, our feet are firmly planted on the ground. Second stage, we have our heads in the clouds atop the World Tree. Third stage, we learn how to do both. 

This is both the secret to finding the correct path to the village as well as the password the village uses to identify themselves as friends. Fontana turns around quickly, recognizing my voice,

[Fortana]   Angela! Are you guarding the path to the village today? 

In my head, I hear words similar to passphrase. from the village songs 'A caterpillar and the butterfly' and recognize it to be the counter password, but I am not sure who is singing it.  Winking at Fontana,

[Angela]        Fonta my love, you should know by now that the whites are always on guard just before the twin moons are full.

The light elf scratches a pointed ear and then bows gracefully at me almost forgetting his manners. The human brightens up and starts to hum and then bursts out in song while everyone stops what they are doing.

[Lady Robin

                             UNWRITTEN SONG}

[Angela]        Excuse me, I'm Angela. How do you know that song and who are you? 

[Lady Robin]   Hello, I'm Lady Robin and that song I recall from my youth. It was originally sung by someone in my hometown.

Robin continues to hum the tune.

[Angela]        Do you know any of the retired elder? One of them wrote that song a long time ago.

[SpaceDog]   Greetings Angela! I'm Star Lord SpaceDog. We have not met and we are following your friend to the village where we want to meet with the elders to get some information on anything that might lead us to find a stolen necklace. We believe it was pilfered by someone from around here. Is that your familiar?

SpaceDog nods at the black and white Cheshire cat who is about to land on my shoulder from a low hanging branch. Like any air spirit, she gently floats down until she rests upon me.

[Angela]        Yes. Her name is Little Kitty and she is pleased to meet your group. If we wait a few more moments, Sister Sister will be here to assume my duties for the day so Fontana and I can both escort our new cohorts before the moons rise.

[SpaceDog]   It would be my honor.

SpaceDog bows. Angela's' eyes widen when she senses LeeZee and jumps a step back.

[Angela]        Who's the succubus?

[SpaceDog]   Her name is LeeZee and she was put in my care many cycles ago. I've always sensed good in her so do not become alarmed. She has not awakened and her powers are still emerging. Please give her time. I am sure she will be a good friend to all when the storm ever arrives...

[SpaceDog whispers]   I am literally her Godfather.

LeeZee slowly walks up to Angela.

[LeeZee]       Hey! I don't bite, not unless you want me too, and the name is Captain Lindsey Smith, but my friends call me LeeZee. 

A gust of wind blows and both Little Kitty and Panda Kitti watch something with great interest as it floats by and lands in front of SpaceDog. Another witch appears, as her cloak is removed, she bows down kneeling prostrate at SpaceDog's feet.

[Sister Sister]  Star Lord SpaceDog, is your sister, my mother, Bonnie Jean Vanadis, Freyja, expecting you?


Chapter 3 - Companions Index book 1 Chapter 5 - The Gallant Tree Inn
All Books Chapter 3 Chapters Chapter 5