Avalon Collection: Tales of The Magic Web

Story One: Broken Promise

Chapter One

Summary: Adriane is confronted by a strange and dangerous mage who holds important secrets. She is dark and only is seeking magic, not to give it away. Meanwhile Ravenswood is under attack. Can the girls who so long ago became the Healer, Warrior, and Blazing Star prevail against the evil forces gathering? And are they willing to uncover the truth about a broken promise?

"Adriane . . .", the voice hissed, "Commesss closseeer . . ." Mesmerized the dark haired girl took a step forward crunching scarlet leaves beneath her feet. A looming dark shape moved before her eyes in the shadows and in a flash it was gone. Not gone, it had only positioned itself behind her. She was in the glade at Ravenswood except it was all wrong. Skeletal trees loomed overhead their leafless branches clawing at the black sky. Leaves the color of blood stood out starkly against the dank forest floor. The glade itself pulsed deep red. A sign, a warning. Adriane tried to scream, call for help but it caught in her throat.

A terrible smell washed over her, the aroma of decay and rotting flesh. Covering her nose, eyes watering she desperately looked around trying to find an escape, a way out of the nightmare. The voice cut through the air like a knife, "Adrianesss, the bravesss warrior . . . commesss to seesss the future Ravenssswood . . .", it cackled. Adriane tried to calm herself but her breath came in ragged gasps. Wheeling around Adriane feebly fired gold and silver bolts at . . . nothing. "Wh-who are you?" Adriane managed to croak. Something flashed by so quickly all Adriane heard was the soft swish of fabric. Silence. "Who are you?" Adriane screamed at the mocking emptiness.

Furious she knocked her fists together golden fire flying up her arms. She directed her anger and fired at the trees. Bright light illuminated the shadows revealing that there was nothing-no one there. A strange glow curled out of the trees like a cobra preparing to strike. Suddenly it tightened into a malicious beam of light that flew right at Adriane's wrist. She flew ten feet back, landing against a rock, momentarily dazed. Pain lanced through her shoulder but it was nothing compared to the burning sensation she felt. Immediately she was on her knees clutching her burning wrist, clawing at it.

Her jewel had turned a sickly hue of red and black. Adriane tried to concentrate on contacting her friends, her bonded Dreamer but something blocked the connection. Almost as if . . . there was no connection at all. She couldn't call for help. Her tigerseye gem stared back at her evilly, grinning. Sneering at her. The voice came again, "Jussst giveesss up . . . no moresss pain . . . just relaxsss . . ." It would be so easy . . . just to give in. Adriane felt her eyes close and flutter open. Must stay . . . awake . . . She felt herself giving in falling into a deep trance. Help . . . help . . . She called out in her mind. No one replied. She heard a sudden hiss as she succumbed to the darkness . . . and suddenly all was black.

"Hey, have you seen Adriane?" asked the red haired teen. "Hm? What?" asked Kara absentmindedly, busy brushing Lyra's lustrous spotted fur. "Have you seen her?" Emily sighed. "Do I look like I've seen Xena?" Kara quipped. She paused. "Actually, now that you mention it, no I haven't." Maybe she's out with Dreamer surveying the trails at Wolf Run Pass. Lyra casually licked her shoulder smoothing down a piece of fur. "Maybe . . .", Emily said unconvinced. A sudden clang made both girls jump as the oak library doors suddenly swung open then shut. A small furry figure entered the room. Lyra pounced on the creature- a golden brown ferret.

"Gah! Do not squish the ferret!" Ozzie squirmed. Lyra let out a bemused purr and let him go. "Oh, hey Ozzie" Emily said with a bemused look on her face. "What's up Alice?" Kara said trying to suppress a smile. The ferret previously an elf was wearing a ridiculous red bow tie. Lyra licked his head, making his hair stand on end. Dusting himself off, Ozzie self-consciously adjusted his accessory. Notice he was being watched he said, "What?", and everyone burst out laughing. Ozzie grumbled, "No appreciation . . . "Nice sense of fashion but needs a touch of . . ." Kara tapped the jewel hanging from her neck and immediately diamond white magic swirled around Ozzie.

"Gaahhh!" When the light cleared Ozzie was wearing a pair of sunglasses tinted with orange. "Ooohh . . ." the animals in the room hooted and cooed. "Nice Kara" Emily said. "Thank you", Ozzie said checking himself out in the mirror, "But I liked the bow better . . ." Then Ozzie's eyes widened. "Wait a minute! Something's missing!" "Actually tha-", Emily began when Ozzie cut her off. "Where are the liver snaps I ordered? And the ice cream?" "Ozzie, there's something, someone else missing!" Kara said wryly. "Oh." Ozzie looked around. "Where's Adriane?"