She was supposed to take care of a – a rug?
Apparently her family had been doing this for centuries and now it was her turn. Why hadn’t her flighty mother told her about this?
She was soon to discover that it was more than just a ‘rug’ it was a gateway to another world, the Kingdom of Enneahedral.
Welcome to the Orchard where Aurora Kirkpatrick begins her journey through another world. At each stop she will need to fulfill a quest and receive her tool to go forward. Witches and faeries abound, trees that talk to her and earth that will heal her. Is she the champion that the kingdom needs or a keeper that has simply fallen into the world?
Aurora now had a band of merry men as she took to calling her men. Although most of the time they weren’t so merry. Especially now, here in the pasture.
Something was killing off the peoples living here. Lions and unicorns as well as merchat and marvinrem ~ nothing was safe. And some had no mates to continue on their species. There was no hope for them.
He had to be stopped.
He killed, he claimed not for the pleasure of it but because he was making a profit. And he thought that the king would someday reward him for his work. That is until the champion came to the area. Now all he had worked for was being questioned as well as some of it destroyed.
Aurora was gaining in her skills as well as her powers. She could do so much, fight so well and help all that needed her. She was a power to reckon with.
But would she be able to combat a force like this? Would she be able to bring them back from extinction? And who would be her next tool, her next trial to set the Dragon King free?
The South Village sounded like the ideal sort of place to be. Nine shops lined each side of the main street, a large pond stood by in a forest so dense that the sun rarely shown through.
But it wasn’t.
The shops had been closed up for decades because someone had killed a few of the merchants and frightened the rest off. The pond had been cursed and a creature so vile that the flowers surrounding it wouldn’t show themselves for fear of it killing them. And ravels would pluck unsuspecting people from their way along the road and eat them. Life in the South Village was anything but normal.
But Aurora and her band of merry men were going to fix everything starting with the shops. Hours after starting on them some of the humans came out of the woods to help and then other creatures. Soon they had nearly all of them cleaned and people moving in to sell their wares. But the pond’s inhabitant was not leaving.
“Take it back,” he growled at her. “Take back your help and leave me be. I like it here and I like it undisturbed. I want my peace.”
“Too bad. There are others here besides you who need this lake and you’ve killed all that live there before you.” He raised his head from the blue water and roared. “And enough of that too. I’ll have you know that before you came along and moved in a whole village ate from here. Animals drank from this water and survived. You are to move out of the lake and go to your own lair.”
When the creature stood up out of the water she nearly ran back. He was bigger than she’d thought and wondered how something so huge could have hidden in the lake without someone seeing him before now. Water steamed from his scales, moss and weeds fell to the water only to be sucked under when he sank back down. She wondered if he had sharp teeth when he leaned toward her and forgot it when his stench hit her nose.
“You smell,” she said before she could sensor it. “I mean, you would think that living in the water that you’d smell at least a little better. Sheesh!”
Then there was the king and his irritating ways to contend with. Would Aurora ever get through this?
The castle was in ruin. Not just ruined but someone at some point had breached it causing it to use its own magic and seal the doors. Now all Aurora had to do was repair the monstrous castle, get inside, see what creature still lurked there and make sure the people of the town were safe.
“I don’t think I have enough super glue to fix this sucker.” Trianam looked at her oddly but didn’t ask. They were either getting used to her oddities or ignoring them better. She wanted to think it was the latter. “What else did you find? Any waterways?”
“Aye. There is one to the south too that looks like it might have fed this one long ago. Trees, small yet fill the path but it looks dry to me.” He kicked the dirt at his feet. “’Tis not going to grow much I think.”
One more thing to add to her list.
Aurora Kirkpatrick had fallen into a tapestry. And after several months of thinking she was dead she now came to realize that she was indeed the Champion, the only one that could save the world that was created for the magical people of this world. And try not to murder her king while she was at it. She went to him for help with the broken castle.
“The castle is falling down are you aware of that? And I don’t have enough glue to put it together again.”
He smiled at her. “You do not need glue but simply knowing how the pieces fit the whole. You’ll figure it out. If you don’t then I will make fun of your lack of efforts the next time we meet.” Then he disappeared.
Yes, she was going to murder the king when she found him.
It’s supposed to be spring. The trees in bloom, flowers sprouting up from the ground to show their colors off to the world and those that inhabited it. Green grasses, leaves and even babies to bring in the new season.
Aurora should have known that nothing was ever what you expected here.
Leaving behind one of her best men, she was worried for his brother. Trianam was short, sad and she felt sorry for him. But there was no time to coddle him. There was a monster, an ice monster about and he was claiming the land as his own.
“My name is Maevi. I am the king of winter and all that you see. I have taken this land as my own and I rule it. I have not given you permission to be here so explain yeself and I may let you yet live.”
He had indeed taken all of the land. There was such a cold in the air that nothing could live. The snow was piled so high in places that it look like a mountain. And the lake was frozen solid. A block of ice so thick and so wide that Aurora felt that nothing would swim in its depths again.
And it was poison.
“Nay my lady, that ran out of water a few days ago. I’ve put snow in the barrel and we’ve been drinking it. Keeps it mightily cold, which I have enjoyed but there was no reason for us to go with a powerful thirst so I have been keeping it filled. Do you have a problem with the way I am working around things, my lady?” She looked around shaking her head. It would explain a great deal. They’re tempers were sharper today and even Pavel was short too. And the more snow that replaced the waters that they brought in the barrel, the shorter their tempers were and their need to murder higher.
Aurora and her band of merry men have their work cut out for them this time. A self-proclaimed frozen king. Supplies running low and she can’t contact the one person who can help her. Envir, the dragon king is cut off from her more so than before. There seems to be no hope this time… or is there?
The Garden, the fifth book in the Kingdom of Enneahedral series.
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6 THE NORTH VILLAGE –
7 THE MAZE –
8 THE WOOD –
9 THE MOUNTAIN –