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Our airship is now traveling quite low over the ground and I begin to recognize some of the landmarks of Atlantis as we pass them, notably the famous Poseidon Fountain.
We begin to climb as the ground starts to get higher and higher until it is almost a mountain.
Several of my partners are now eagerly looking forward to getting their feet back on terra firma and some of the animals sensing the ground’s proximity are getting restless.
We descend into the Atlantean Temple until we reach the portico by the Altar of a Thousand Candles.
This I hope will be our final destination although I cannot see any aperture to pass through at the moment.
I decide to risk it and press on with our journey and we continue to climb until we hit the peak.
This is a grassy mound with several broken statues and columns scattered around the summit.
I tell the others that I am about to disembark for a while but that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES must they or any of our menagerie leave the airship until I return
I dangle a rope over the side of the airship and slide down it onto the ground below.
Looking back up I see a crowd of goggle eyed faces staring speechless down at me. I sit down on one of the ancient grassy covered columns and try to empty my mind of all the thoughts and the recent occurrences milling around in it.
At the same time I begin to rub the green central stone in a crafted Ancestor’s Spirit ring and wait.
A slight breeze begins to stir around me and then suddenly I am blasted out of my mind and into another dimension.
“Mortal earthling! Why are you here?
“How have you disturbed me in my eternal sleep?
“Why do we not send you back to whence you have come?”
I am quaking in my boots. I seem to have succeeded only too well in my desire to communicate with the inhabitants of this grassy area in Atlantis known locally as the Temple of Delphi.
Before me is a terrible sight. An ancient bearded man in luminescent white robes is sitting on a golden throne and surrounded by a mystical fire that is cold and yet burning at the same time.
I had hoped I would summon one of the lesser Greek gods who all inhabit this area.
Then I could negotiate how and where to land.
But I seem to have miscalculated because before me is Zeus himself.
I need no words as he burrows into my consciousness
He tears out from me all the memories of recent events at the Midnight Castle and the evil climaxing in the appearance of the arch wizard Adrian.
A pause and in the shimmering mist another god appears.
It is his son Apollo who reigns over the Delphic oracles and the temple itself.
After a brief discussion Apollo steps forward and begins:
“Heed my words Oh! Earthling.
“We have measured your needs and the truth of them.
“As forces for the good of nature as well as of mankind are dominant in your mind my revered father has decided to allow you and your companions both human and animal to enjoy a sister site for your domain.
“You are to be located further to the north and adjacent to those areas you refer to on your charts as the Faerie Forest and East Realms. There you may do as you please
“You may live in tented encampments or rebuild the kind of duplicate fortress that you’re familiar with. We will have no objections and you may invoke such magic as necessary for this.
“But heed this warning. You and your kith and kin are NEVER to visit this area again except to worship our gods.
“My sister Artemis is a skilled huntress of both animals AND men!
“Now be gone and let us rest again!”
The intense flashes in my hyperactive brain die out and I now find myself sitting in the bottom of the airship once more with my amazed looking partners surrounding me and touching me as if I am a ghost and not flesh and blood!
Gathering my wits and speech once more I quickly relate to my companions what has just happened to me and where we must now go.
I tell Charlie that once landed her animals will be hunted down if they venture this way but otherwise they are free to roam.
We need to plan and for once NOT a cunning plan!
PTG looks like he needs a drink, good thing i held out some hong cha.
I had him the cup, "sorry i don't have anything strong available at the moment."
He takes the cup, sniffs appreciatively and sips...
Ahhhhhh! And drains the cup.
I then notice that the leaves in the bottom are unusually large.
THIS is the special mountain variety that is picked just after the last snows have left and the balmy air gently wafts over the tea plants.
I have been given a superb treat after my sojourn with the gods.
I thank her profusely!
On his way back to the forest behind the Seven Dwarves, Seeker stopped near the base of Rapunzel's Tower and sat on a rock to rest. He was in no hurry to continue his journey for now. No....it just seemed appropriate to stay at that location and reflect on those who had gone before .... first Jenny_Wren and then PTG's Fairy Godmother. Here was the "remembrance stone" for Jenny_Wren .... and at the base of the tower were growing wild flowers of all kinds. He would swear he even saw some sparkling with fairy dust.
His revere was interrupted by an anguished cry coming from the Temple of Justice....... Ah, he thought, Adrian has discovered their escape......There will be H*** to pay for that one!
So, he quickly gathered his book and soon disappeared out of sight into the forest.
Shortly after his disappearance, a huge shield/dome spread across the Castle and the surrounding areas ....... A loud, fearful voice permeated the air: They may have escaped! But they can never return. I now decree that all be frozen in time ..... preserved for the future in its unchanged, untainted form.
And so it was.....
I gather my partners around me.
"We urgently need a planning meeting to sort out our priorities!
"We need food, water and shelter for ourselves and we need the same for all our animals.
"We can control where we roam but our animals cannot, so they need tobe restricted somehow so that they do not get hunted down in the surrounding forests.
"We do not know what other creatures are in this area or if they are friendly so we must be cautious when we travel out of the airship.
"Angel it is vital that you take extensive notes of these discussions so that we can refer to them later when planning the details.
"Now where to begin?"
I feel the need to speak up and try to be helpful...
"1st priority should be to find a reliable source of fresh water. Then we can look nearby for a safe place to settle in."
"Once that is complete we can move on to the next phase of concerns."
Also on another topic.
It is now one year since our dearly beloved partner Jenny Wren was so cruelly slain by the combination of the dastardly evil Red and Gold Cloaks.
Some of you may recall that I placed a small memorial stone among the white and red rose bushes by Rapunzel's Tower.
It was my intention to visit this place again to pay my respects and to place this small plaque there with her favorite colour on it. But alas we are now banished from that Realm forever and my broom refuses to take me there on pain of incineration.
So I will find a suitable replacement area of peace and calm when we have explored our new area. and place the plaque there
Here is the plaque that I have prepared.
I doze slightly while we rapidly fly over the scenic countryside.
In my dream I hear a loud, booming voice say: “We urgently need a planning meeting to sort out our priorities”.
I am no longer dreaming. This is reality!
I stand up in our airship and look up, way up ^^. Blue eyes meet brown eyes and I say to the man with deeply concerned look in his eye. “PTG, sir, I have two saddlebags that are filled with tarps and rope hanging on the sides of my unicorn to go along with what you have stowed.
We all wait for what our second in command has to say next …
"Oh! Wise one far beyond her physical stature. You have anticipated what is uppermost in my mind.
"Now if your beautiful pet can locate a nearby source of fresh spring water and an area we can place our tents I will be eternally gratefully.
"It is getting late in the day and the matter is of great urgency."
It is at this moment that my pet owl descends and perches on the end of my broom stick much to its irritation.
(Which in owl-speak tells me that the entire area is safe and free from any marauding creatures.
And furthermore someone or something has set up an invisible barrier back to the higher grassy mound and beyond which we cannot travel to at the moment).
A huge sigh of relief escapes from me.
Our large menagerie can roam freely until we can give them proper berths.
We now need to take full advantage of 'Tinker Bell's' (my favorite name for the wee partner of our team) foresight and encamp.
Now where is my 3ic?
Ah! there she is almost completely buried under a pile of scribbled on papers and fast asleep. She is using a mound of cuddly dog for a pillow.
Snookie gives me a doleful look and gives her owner a lick to wake her up.
The effect is quite dramatic.
Within seconds another quire of paper is used complete with more nonsense about rules and regulations.