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"Welcome, Ladies!" The Nymphs sang in unison. "Welcome to our home! Welcome! Welcome!"
"Holy Nymphs." The Ladies each took a deep bow before the great Nymphs.
"No need to be so formal!" The Nymphs laughed. "We were not waken by you, so be unafraid." The Nymphs turned serious.The Goddesses woke us up...Illumina is in great danger."
"Illumina?" The Ladies looked at the Nymphs, questions showing through their faces. "But...The Pearl Court is also in danger."
"That, we are aware of too."The Nymph of Water said quietly. "But, we're afraid that we cannot help you no matter how much we want to. Illumina is in great peril and we cannot leave our homeland to defend another country. I suggest you go awaken the Goddesses and take the five wands of Illumina."
"The wands?" The Nymph of Nature questioned. "Are you seriously suggesting that we should give the holy relics of Illumina to a bunch of Outsiders?"
"Yes...That is what I'm suggesting."The Nymph of Water said with a grin on her face.
"Alright. We shall." The Ladies bowed lightly and then left the room.
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Posted 5/13/08
Dol'theal was less than pleased at the sight of Rykulia and Vronguar at the door of his small cottage, they needed no introduction.
He asked them sourly what they wanted,
"Come on, Dol'theal. Smile a little, it's been so long since we last met." Rykulia said cheekily, Vronguar stood behind her, silent.
The drow looked at the sprite resentfully, despite his appearance he was wise and knew not to mess with her.
Quickly breaking into a wide toothy grin, he bowed low, "My apologies, I dont have guests that often so i seem to have forgotton my manners."
"Oh yea." Rykulia said with a nasty laugh, "Its been a thousand year now, yeah? since your enslavement?"
Dol'theal didn't bother replying, he knew she was baiting him. One wrong word from him and his head would fall.
"Please follow me." He said in a low tone and turned towards the back of his cottage.
He took them inside a tunnel, whimpering and sobbing could be heard from the trapped souls. Taking a knife he slashed his wrist. blood flowed out and instead of falling on the groud, remained suspended in air.
He started the ritual to open the portal to illumina. "Be warned." He shouted as the souls started shrieking and wailing.
"The nymphs do not tolerate intruders."
"They are nymphs for crying out loud." Vronguar spat, "We'll take care of them with one blow."
Rykulia laughed in agreement.
Dol'theal didn't reply then. A few minutes later a white light appeared where the wall of the tunnel had been.
Rykulia jumped in and Vronguar followed.
Dol'theal made sure they were completely through.
"I hope you go to your deaths." He whispered and closed the portal.
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Posted 5/13/08 , edited 5/13/08
Shortly after exiting the Nymp's illusion barrier the five ladies sighed and whined at their predicament. "Damn the Gods, Damn the Nymps, and Damn everything!" yelled out Lady of red moonlight. "Patience, we now have these... Uh wands... Wait till we're able to see it's power." Lady of green thorns patted moonlight on the back. "Well how about we try it then." called a voice, followed by a large mace whistling passed the two and directly swatting the wands from every hand's grasp, striking Lady of malvolent clouds, though she anticipated the attack and turned her entire being into clouds, so the weapon just plowed through in a puff of smoke. the Lady of black darkness was quick to act and placed a dark globe around them, Rykulia was first to step in, silent and dark, the untainted darkness destroyed anyone's senses, the sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste, were all useless within the globe of utter darkness.

Rykulia did not need her senses to retrieve her weapon, for she called the mace with her mind and returned it to her grasp, spinning in a berserk like fury in time while charging towards one direction. Her instinct brought her to one lady trying to regroup, smashing her heels and shattering her bones, poor lady of crescent light tried to scream, but she could not be heard, though the sense of touch disapeared from her, the pain still resided, Rykulia continued out and escaped the globe of darkness. "Now!" she yelled, placing the mace on her shoulder and hastened her small strides. Vronguar resided atop a tall tree with both his gauntlets faced towards the globe. At four corners of the gauntlets came a compartment, it opened up while he circularly waved his arms, forming a seal before him. "Flac tus Niv Euch Kann!" he chanted, emmiting the life energy from the tree soon as he spoke the final chant, draining it's essensial elements and forming it into an orange like glow of particles transfering from behind the graph, while infront a small ball began to enlarge. "Hurry up!" Rykulia whined. "Shut the hell up!" replied Vronguar, releasing the spell into a large blast of green light, with the girth of the tree he stood in. At that very same moment the globe of darkness vanished, the lady of green thorns and red moonlight had also finished their spell. Red moonliight shot a similarly sized beam of her color, countering the magic with a large explosion upon impact, while the lady of green thorns slammed both her fist through the ground, immidiately commanding roots to errupt from the ground below their two enemies and hold them firmly, poisoning any exposed area with it's thorns.

The now limp Lady of crescent light elevated herself using magic and without casting, deployed a beam of her own through her mouth. "O shit!" Rykulia yelled, placing the large mace before her and curling down as much as she could, luckily her mace was made to repel magic, so she escaped the attack. The lady of malvolent clouds appeared behind Vronguar, and without knowing entered his body through his ears and nose.

Rykulia pulled herself out of the root using her brute streangth, then plowed through the ground and disapeared. Lady of black darkness began forming seals for another globe, but was thwarted by three small kneedles puncturing her neck. "Darkness!" screamed Moonlight. Upon contact the poison spread throughout her body and draining her life, and through the kneedles her life energy transfered to Vronguar's braces, giving him the energy for another blast, this time a dark beam. Thorns quickly placed a barracade around her and moon, while crescent light countered with her beam, but it was too weak compared to a lady's life energy. The dark beam plowed through the light, and into the thorn barricade. Rykulia emerged within the barricade then, kicking moonlight onto the thorny wall and scooping thorns with her mace and slamming her hard onto her friend, with enough force she broke through the barricade with both the ladies into the dark beam, incinerating them. "Nooo!" screeched the lady of crescent light, letting out another beam of light from her mouth, this time catching Rykulia off guard and taking out half her body, the entire left side. While the lady of malvolent clouds did her work, Vronguar fell dead as his organs exited his body through his mouth, eyes, ears, and nose, into a bloody mess that formed a puddle of brains, guts, and carnage around him.

The lady of Malvolent clouds appeared under the fainting lady of crescent light to catch her, "are you alright?" she asked, crescent light tried to answer, but Rykulia's large mace swatted her head off her body, grazing cloud's shoulder and dislocating it, she quickly let loose cloud hounds which consumed Rykulia and absorbing all the oxygen from her body, drowning her in her own carbon dioxide. The remaining lady fell to her knees with tears, "Why..." she said to herself, reminiscing, her cheeks filled with tears knowing that day was the last she'll see her friends.
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The Lady of Malevolent Clouds picked up the five staff's that were the gift of the Nymphs. She only murmured when the staff's combined into a single one. The Master Staff of the Elements. It was a shame that she could never see her friends again and that she was now going to lose her life. Sighing, she raised the staff and lifted, chanting a sweet song. It was the sacrificial song. She knew the moment that she sung the last song, she would die-but for a good cause.
"ish cool the world." The song was over. The Lady of Malevolent Clouds had only a single tear as her body became nothing. She felt her soul lifting to Hell, but not before she saw that the other Ladies were revived. Smiling, she bid her goodbyes to the word. To live a life of guilt or to live in Hell while saving friends, she thought, there really isn't much choice to this.
The other ladies woke up, confused. One moment, they were trapped in nothing but air, the next they were alive again. The Lady of Crescent Light realized it first. They had been revived by the Malevolent Clouds in exchange for her life. The five staff's were now separated throughout Illumina. They would have to find them again in order to reach for the Goddesses' help. The Lady of Red Moonlight wondered wether Malevolent Clouds had thought about the separation of the staff's. Now...all the ladies could die without the power of the staff's and her sacrifice could be for nothing. The four ladies were about to leave the realm of the Nymphs when something caught the attention of the Lady of Green Thorns. The staff of Nature had remained.
They had one staff when they needed five. Their journey just got a whole lot longer.
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Posted 5/16/08
Dol'theal the drow looked in stunned silence through the portal. It was all happening exactly as Master had predicted.Every last bit.He again felt reverence for his Lord fill his heart.
He watched as the ladies were resurrected and were hovering around in confusion.
He nodded...all according to the plan.
* * *

The ladies were thinking of what to do. They had no clues, the nymphs had gone back to sleep and were not to be woken for another 5 years. They only had one staff and whereabouts of the other four unknown.
They felt desperate, tired and ready to give up when suddenly they say a figure walking towards them.
Their breath caught in their throat as they saw he was the most beautiful man they had ever seen.
He walked towards them, a gentle smile on his face, "What worries you? Fair maidens."
"Uhh..." the ladies found that they were speechless in front of his beauty.
He smiled again, as if knowing what effect he could cause on people.
"UH..um staffs..we need to find them." Lady of green thorns stammered.
"Ah I see. The staff of the nymphs. What will you do with them?"
"We have to save our court." Lady of crescent light said, she found that she wanted to spill her whole heart to him, but held herself back with her utmost resolve.
"I see." He surveyed them a moment and then broke into a wide grin ,"I'll help you. I love adventures. My name is
Dol'theal. But you can call me DOL.What's your names?"
The ladies hastened to introduce them selves, but Dol shook his head, "But these are titles. I want your names."
The Ladies looked at eachother uncertainly, "We havent been adressed by names for years." One of them said.
"Well its time you start." Dol said with a pleasant smile.
The ladies were suddenly at ease.
"My name is Racheal." Lady of crescent light said.
"Im Elle." Lady of green thorn said.
"Alexandra." Lady of red moonlight stated.
"Gwen." Lady of black darkness said.
"Wonderful, wonderful." Dol looked at them with a grin ,"Now that we're all acquainted, let's head to the northen hill. The priest who lives there will have information on the staffs."
The ladies nodded and followed Dol as he led them.
Dol'theal smiled to himself, the ladies were stupider than he had expected. Very soon he would lead them to his Lord and then perhalps he would be freed from his enslavement.
Feeling exuberant, he started whistling. And together he and the ladies headed for the north hill.


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"Those fools! Loosing to those wretched ladies, and they didnt even use the wands!" called a deep grumbling voice. The dark tunnel fell silent for a few minutes until another voice echoed from within, "I dont know how stupid those ladies are but it seems Dol'theal has joined their little parade." "They werent even the least bit cautious?" said another, "You'd think they'd suspect he'd be one of us." called the deep voice. "No matter! Hollen, it is your turn to pay them a visit." a dark figure bursted out of the tunnel into the light, revealing himself. His eyes glared towards the moonlight as it's light reflected his brown skin, his thin stature seemed tall inside his tight skull patterened wife beater, his pants sagged down showing his undergarmets, his hair black, and he wields a bone scepter in one hand, a shield in the other. "As you wish." Hollen replied, "You will intercept them as they cross the Valley of Malignant Souls, where your power should be at it's peak." called the deep voice, "As you wish." he replied again, with his cold, emotionless expression. He raised his staff high then smashed the head hard unto the ground, for moments nothing happened, but then suddely the ground busted under him, a large feline structure of bones mounted him on top of it, it's legs long and seemingly agile. He pointed his staff forward and the undead beast complied, sprinting in speed beyong comprehension, the chase had begun.

*********************************

Silence filled the large well lit room, where a long rectangular table fitted a council of thirty. They stared at each other with grimace and pain, some even sobbed and weeped. A young man kicked open the door filled with rage, accumulating even more silence within the crowd. "They have killed two of our own, Jasmine was one of the highest ranking druids and you geezers have done nothing?" the young man slammed his fist carving a dent on the metal table. A man at the farthest end stood up with his arms crossed, staring down the angered youth, "Roliel, we are deeply sorry that you have lost someone very dear to you, but we as well-" "YOUR WIFE STILL LIVES!" Roliel interupted the man. "But NOTHING." he continued "If you old fuckers dont want to help me then i will go and avenge her myself!" he placed his arms under the table, and using all his strength pulled it from the ground and flipped it over crashing through the wall behind the man, still composed, still staring at him with his arms crossed. Roliel turned around and left the room, kicking one of the doors out of it's hinges on his way out. "Lenwë, Turgon, follow him. We cannot let another high ranking druid, specially one of the best, die within our midst. I have faith that he will be fine alone, but should he fail I'd like you two to step in." the two seated closest to him stood and bowed "Yes elder." The two ran across the room and exited after Roliel. "Not only do we have new enemies, but the drow had begun thier march as well..." the elder never took his eyes off the dark hallway where three of his best walked out of.
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They were halfway to the hill when the darkness of night came. The Four Ladies sat around a fire while Dol went to wash up.
"I don't trust that hill he is leading us to." Rachael said. "It's dark...and malicious."
"I do!" Gwen said, smiling. "Dol would never lead us somewhere dangerous. He's...kind and....charming."
"Yes, i agree." Elle said. "Dol doesn't seem to be the kind to lead us into a trap or anything."
"Wait...Ladies." Rachael said. "We don't know anything about him! For all we know, he could be the enemy. We trusted him too much. Ladies, you are under his spell. You are charmed by his looks! Stop looking at his face and look into his mind. Does he really mean to help us?"
"Rachael's right." Alexandra said. "We have been looking at his beauty and charm, not his intentions. I say, we come to our common senses and re-examine this Dol'theal. Agreed, Ladies?"
"Agreed." Gwen and Elle said in unison.
When Dol'theal returned to the camp they had set up, he noticed that the Ladies were looking at him in a strange way. They danced and all the while stared at him, like they were trying to pry a secret out of him. Dol frowned, he had to conceal his thoughts from wandering and thinking about the dark side-it was too late. Alexandra-the lady of red moonlight-had found him plotting and scheming against the Ladies. The Ladies wasted no time in grabbing the staff and pointing it directly at Dol.
"You want to help us, eh?" Elle smiled as she held the staff. "Die, you liar!"
All four of the ladies shouted their spells, Dol'theal had no time to counter. In a split second, he was paralyzed. As the ladies circled him, he realized that they were not going to kill him. They would do something worse: they would convert him into a mindless minion.
"Join us or die." The final words of the spell were spoken. Dol'theal, a drow of many powers, would serve as a great servant to the Ladies.
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The Ladies were astonished when what faced them from the ground was an imp. He lay there cowering, his face drenched in tears. "Is this your true form, Dol?" Rachael demanded.
Dol nodded miserably.
"Why were you taking us to the North hill?" Elle asked.
Dol tried to speak but no words came out.
"Looks like the magic that binds him to his previous Master is still holding him strong.." Gwen said quietly.
"A silent drow." Alexandra stated, "We have no use for him."
The drow jumped up and started gesturing frantically. The ladies observed him for a few moments then shook their heads.
"I dont understand." Gwen sighed. He grabbed the hem of her dress and started leading her down the path.
"Let go of her you brat." Rachael struck him down.
He grabbed his face and started sobbing.
"Oh Rachael." Gwen said reprovingly.
Rachael looked a little embarrased at her harsh display of strength. Swearing, she picked up the drow, "Do you want us to follow you?"
The drow nodded enthusiastically, all traces of tears gone. "Where?" Elle asked.
Jumping down, Dol hurried over to Elle and squatting down started drawing on the ground.
Elle looked down and squinted, "Valley...of....MALIGNANT SOULS?"
Dol bobbed his head a dozen or so times and then started writing again.
"It's a dangerous path, but it will lead us to the edge of illumina and from there we can set in pursuit of the staffs." Elle read of the ground.
The ladies looked at each other and nodded, and in doing so missed the gleam of triumph in Dol's eyes.





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Dawn hovered over the large horizon engulfed in barren gray sand, filled with patches and lumps of skulls and bones of different shapes and sizes. The clouds prooved beneficial for an ambush, for it hovered close to the ground and hid all traces of vision, and only those with keen eyes or a spell of sight can travel through. The air in the valley reeked of the dead, decomposing smell, filled with air born bacterias which branded death for anyone that inhales it.

At the very top of the tallest hill of bones, where it's tip surfaced over the clouds, revealing clearly everything underneath; sat Hollen, picking his teeth using a small bone he had just picked up, keeping a huge smile showing his almost black teeth.

A bright light caught his attention, he knew that it could only mean one thing, a spell of sight. He quickly rose and drank a mixed potion consisting the deadly bacterias and a cure, giving him immunity to the poison gas in the valley of Malignant Souls for two hours. He leaped down and slowly crept towards the light.

Slowly he realized the footsteps he was approaching was not five, but one, causing him to halt. But his movements caught the other person's attention, calling him out "Who goes there?" said Roliel. After a few minutes of silence, his patience waited no longer. He stepped forward and opened a 2nd and a 3rd spell graph over the one he has underneath his feet causing the spell of sight, enlarging it threefold, suddenly revealing Hollin and catching him offguard. "Who are you... What are you?" he began to ask, changing from a hateful expression to a confused and discusted one.

"I could ask you the same thing. What brings you in such a vile and dangerous place." Hollin began his approach, never phasing the brave druid. "That is none of your concern." replied Roliel, matching Hollin's approach. After the two had squared off face to face, they both smiled.

In a quick explosion of dust the two scrambled away from each other, Roliel was quick to transform himself into a large gold shelled armadilo, while Hollin slammed his staff into the ground ten times in a consecutive manner, then pointing it towards Roliel. Throwing a small ball of green flame, darting into the gold shell just to be absorbed and completely onbliterated upon contact. "Heh is that it?" he reverted into a form of a bear and began his charge. Before he could reach a few meters towards Hollin five hands reached up from within the ground, tripping him, while another five bursted upwards hard, nipping the tips of his jaw as he transformed into a mouse, dodging the attack. By the time he could transform into a rhino another ten skeleton warriors had already risen from the ground running his way from every direction.

With a great big thump: his large goriila arms, branded with lion claws, with scales of the golden armadilo, body of a man, and horns of the rhino; mangled through the undead warriors and destroyed them almost instantly. The greatest of all druid forms, the ultimate mix of five creatures. He grinned and roared as he launched himself headlong towards Hollen, who was standing still with a chuckle. Before Roliel knew what was going on a large fist made of bones plowed from the ground and truck him with a fierce blow, almost taking the life from his lungs. Using his great claws he ripped through the large pille of bones and used it as a propulsion. Through the whistling smog of poisonous gas he threw himself at Hollen without abandon, as the necromancer summoned forth more large arms, this time filed with spikes made of jaws. The entire middle of the valley was then engulfed by a huge explotion of gray dust, silence whistled throughout the Valley of Malignant Souls, awaiting the movement of the surviving victor.



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Elle was the first to hear the explosion. It came from deep inside the valley.
"It's not safe to go through. We will not be alone in that valley. Someone or something is alive and fighting in that valley with another." Elle said, trying to be calm.
The ladies were about to say Elle was just imagining things when they heard another explosion. Dust was forming a thick fog in the valley. They quickly agreed that it was not a wise decision to go through, but now what? Where could they go now?
"Ladies..." Dol began, his imp form looking weaker by the second. "Let us go to the healing waters of Anaflora, she will probably know where we can find a staff. Or perhaps, it is even there with her. After all, Anaflora is a magic siren."
"A siren?" Rachael questioned. "Those quarter man, quarter fish, and half mermaid creatures?"
"Well, she is born from a man and a mermaid. I'm not sure what parts she is exactly." Dol replied. "But i have met her before, her healing powers are strong and her magic is not much weaker."
"Alright," Gwen smiled. "To Anaflora we will venture."
The Ladies turned completely around and walked away from the Valley of Malignant Souls, Dol leading the way with Rachael following shortly behind with the staff they had. The healing waters were just a little over a hundred miles away, but with magic...that distance can be overcome easily.
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Hollen jumped back and positioned himself on a rock.
The druid was on the ground slowly changing back into his human form while two more druids stood over him. They were the ones who had blocked the blow that would surely have severed the young man's head.
Even as Roliel lay panting, having escaped death by an inch, anger filled him.
"You two?! What are you doing here?"
"Saving your butt! your highness." Lenwe said sarcastically. Trugon helped him up.

Hollen surveyed the scene, his eyes void of any emotion. One druid he could handle, three would be more of a problem.
The three druids stood facing him, ready for battle.
He lifted his hand and pointed at Roliel, "We will finish this." His hoarse whisper resounding like a yell in the now silent valley. Turning he disappeared in the mist.

"Well well." Lenwe chirped, "So the elder was right in sending us."
Roliel merely grunted.
"Where do you intend to go now?" Turgon asked, his deep voice low, "Wouldn't it be wise to head back to Wanderways and discuss on our next course of action."
"I have nothing to return to." Roliel stated grimly, "I will go to the pearl court. I will get the pearl myself. Jasmine-" His voice cracked and he halted a moment to gather himself. "Jasmine told me if the pearl is split 5 ways, it can bring the dead back to life. I will use that to bring her back."
"It's never as simple as that.Do you know what the pearl asks in return?" Lenwe said, Roliel shook his head.
"The pearl asks for a sacrifice in return. An innocent being that hath commited no sin. You must sacrifice it in return for the pearl's power. Thats why the ladies guard it. In the previous times, a number of atrocities were commited for the pearl's power. A number of innocent girls, boys, children were sacrificed by those whose lust for the pearl's power outweighed everything else."
"No! NO! It can't be true. Jasmine would never-"
"It could be that she didn't know." Lenwe cut Roliel smoothly, "Or it could be that her desire to win back her throne was greater than her sense of justice. Either way, Jasmine is dead. Let the dead rest in peace."
Roliel sat heavily down. He had gone forward with the belief that he could bring Jasmine back. Now he had no purpose. Tears threatned to fall but he didn't care.
A strong hand gripped his shoulder. Roliel looked up into Turgon's face. "I know a way." The big man said softly.

***********************************************

"Anflora's singing is said to induce dreams of paradise." Alexandra said, as they moved with over the hills at blazing speeds.
Doltheal sitting on Gwen's back, nodded vigourously. "She can make a blind man have visions." He said grinning, "And can make the ill, free of pain"
The Ladies saw the pale silver lake and halted. Sure enough a singing could be heard from the depths.
"First we have to-WAIT-" Doltheal yelled but it was too late, Racheal had unthinkingly stepped into the lake.
An arrow whizzed at her. It was purely her reflexes that had her drawing her dagger to cut the arrow. Suddenly half a dozen flew at her.
"Come out come out." Dol screamed.
Racheal jumped out of the lake and the arrows suddenly lost their momentum and fell into the lake. "What the-?"Elle muttered.
"You have to ask Anaflora's permission to enter the Lake." Doltheal said impatiently.
"Say so already." Racheal grumbled.
Doltheal jumped down from Gwen's back and knelt before the lake, "O great lady of the lake. We humbly come before you to ask you where the staff's of illumina are.Please grant us permission to enter the Lake and meet with you.
For a long while nothing happened. Doltheal looked at the ladies in defeat when suddenly the Lake parted and stairs could be seen leading to the bottom of the lake.
"Let's go." And the Ladies began making their way down the narrow staircase.
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"It seems Hollen's brash actions turned the ladies away..." called a voice in the dark depts of the hole, "I blame the druid." said a deep voice, "I cannot wait any longer, I will go myself." echoed a scooping voice that leaped out of the whole with a dark figure, revealing himself into the moonlight. His pale skin wrapped in long cloth, covered in a long trench coat, and a large hat hovering over his head, covering most of his face. His brown jeans was strapped with multiple belts and harnesses, each hung a different type of pistol. His bare chest branded with six seals running down in pairs from his chest to his stomach. "Should I come with you, Mimic?" said the deep voice "If I do not return in two days, gather Hampf and Dampf from the outer dark and head for the pearl court." replied mimic. And with a great whistle, a large wind serpent swooped down and caught him between his legs and hauled him into the sky.

***********************

Looming darkness began to waver under the rays of the daylight's sun, two druids stood atop a largre tree, each looking in a different direction. A canary dropped onto a branch next to them and returned to it's true form, "I have found them, they are 250 miles away, it seems they've entered the lake of Anaflora." said Turgon. Roliel and Lenwe turned to each other with a smile. "Then i guess that is where we will go." called Roleil, then the pack of three took the forms of falcons and whistled through the sky.

*************************

Fissures errupted in consecutive thumps as large hooves trampled the ground repeatedly, Hollen rode on top a large centepede, using a small bone hound to sniff the ladies' scent. To his surprise and awe, he halted the great beast just before it took a step into the lake. "So this is thier intention." he peered to the right, then left, and even up. "I shall wait outside." he expressed a whiny expression with as little emotion as possible.
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The four ladies entered the lake, Rachael in the lead. As they entered, they heard a soothing melody embrace them. Immediately, all their wounds were healed. The Ladies were in awe and Dol had a smug look on his face.
"My powers are back." Dol said, smiling devillishly as he turned into a dragon. "Finally, i can become the demonhunter i was before. It was a wise decision to come here...but then again...not that wise..."
"Why isn't it wise?" Rachael questioned, looking uncertainly at Dol. Dol's face was grim, almost evil. Yet she knew that a spell as strong as the convert spell was not one easily broken.
"Because...Anaflora is not the kindest of sirens...she-"
"Dol'theal!" A voice interrupted Dol. It was the voice of Anaflora, ringing sweetly and melodicly through the water, creating ripples of pure music. "You have come back."
"Back?" Alexandra looked quizzically at Dol. "You mean the siren knows you? Dol, speak!"
"Yes..." Dol began. "The siren...she is..."
"I am his betrothed." Anaflora sang sweetly. "I was a bit worried that the dark side would take him away forever...luckily, you ladies helped bring him back."
"We never intended to bring him back..." Rachael began. "We still need his help. In fact, we need YOUR help as well. We must find the four staves that have been scattered through Illumina. If not, the pearl court is doomed!"
"You are the ladies of the pearl court?" Anaflora grew serious, but her voice was still a strange song. "The pearl is missing...stolen by the dark...I predicted just as much. With Dol's power leeched from him, that is more than enough power to break the Pearl Court barrier. It is a shame..."
"Not just a shame." Gwen cut in. "You could be in trouble as well. If the power of the pearl goes to full power-"
"Me? In trouble?" Anaflora laughed a sweet laugh. "No. The dark side will never dare set into my lake. To them, my lake is like death. In fact, death would be better than being... purified. Still, seeing as Dol owes his freedom, i will help you ladies find the Staff of Water-the one staff i am inevitably linked with. Come this way, come into the location chamber." Anaflora danced away without another word.
The ladies followed quietly, unsure what to make of Anaflora. Could she really help them?

******************************************

Roliel, Turgon, and Lenwe reached the entrance to the lake. They asked for entry, but there was no reply and the lake would not open up to them.
"The ladies have entered..." Lenwe said softly. "Anaflora is too busy to check on us...we must break through for entry and find the ladies. But before then, Roliel. What is our purpose? What are you intending to do?"
"Help the ladies find the pearl and when we do, i will kill them." Roliel replied.
"And then what?" Turgon asked in a rough voice. "Do you intend to use it?"
"Of course." Roliel. "Knowing that, will you still aid me in finding it? You know, the pearl can do more than just revive...we could use it to defeat the dark side-not that it matters. I just want the pearl and the ladies dead."
Lenwe sighed. "Very well, we will help you."
Roliel smiled as he chanted a spell that would break the barrier temporarily, allowing them to enter the lake.
There was no singing when they entered.
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The Ladies and Dol followed Anaflora as she led them through a passage. They gasped as they stepped into the location chamber. It was a jeweled room that sparkled before their eyes. It was magnificent.
"Only the pure may enter." Was the command they recieved from an elevated platform.
Hesitantly the ladies stepped on to the Platform. Nothing happened. But as Doltheal stepped on, vines encircled him. Yelling, he tried to break free but they held him tight.
Anaflora sighed, "I knew it. I will purify you." Doltheal scratched and screamed. Anaflora began singing. The Ladies watched in stunned silence as slowly Doltheal's imp like exterior started cracking. Right before their eyes, he began transforming into the man they had seen before, only more beautiful. Suddenly Anaflora stopped. He was halfway transformed.
"Doltheal." She whispered, pearl like tears forming in her eyes.
"Doltheal looked up, his beautiful face serene, a gentle smile on his lips. "Anaflora."
He kissed her lips, "How I have waited to see your face. 1000 years are too long. The man who enslaved me turned me into a drow. And I lost all sense of myself." He looked down at his body, "The spell he put on me, if you try to break the spell--"
"I'm sorry, I didn't know." Anflora sobbed. He took her face into her hands, "I am so thankful to be able to be with you, as myself."
He saw the Ladies standing behind Anaflora. "Help them." He kissed her again. "Sing for me, Anaflora."
And Anaflora sang. The most beautiful and sad song that the Ladies ever heard. Tears flowed from their eyes and their heart felt like it would break.

Halfways down the stairs, Roliel, Turgon and Lenwe heard the song. The heartrenching song filled their ears and their hearts felt like they would burst. Roliel began sobbing as did Turgon and Lenwe.

Dolthiel died in Anaflora's arms, a smile on his face. Water sprites came and carried his body away. "He will be buried with my family." Anaflora whispered.
For a long while she said nothing and the Ladies stood silently. Then she stood up, "Come." She commannded and the Ladies hurried forward.

Anafloran took them to another room, it was a plain room. "Puddle of Evertrue, guide me."
And suddenly images began forming in the middle of the room. Staring at the images, Anaflora sighed.
"Tell me Ladies. Why do you seek the staffs."
"We wish to save our court from attack. We heard that somebody is after the pearl." Alexandra said.
"I see. Its true the Staffs combined is a very powerful weapon. However under incompetent hands it is useless." Alaflora said.
"But..." Elle began but was cut short by an angry hiss from Anaflora.
"The pearl is already stolen."
"WHAT?!?" The ladies exclaimed in shock.
"Impossible the Gods are guarding it." Racheal said.
"And can your Gods be trusted?" Abaflora asked.
The Ladies remained silent. they all knew that when it truely came down to it, the Gods were untrustworthy.
"Seems like you were unable to guard the pearl." Anaflora said angrily, "Incompetent fools."
The ladies stayed silent, they had no excuse.
Anaflora hmphed angrily and looked into the images that were changing rapidly. "Nothing. I have no idea where he is. His power is too strong." She looked to the depressed ladies and her brow softened.
"I will help you. I will give you the water staff."
The Ladies brightened but Anaflora held up her hand, "However to gather the Fire, wind and Dreams staff you are on your own."
The ladies nodded.
Suddenly Anaflora snapped her fingers. The Ladies heard yells. Suddenly three men were dumped unceremoniously on the floor.
"You are trespassing." Anaflora said, her voice dangerously low. Despite their tough experiences, the men looked scared.
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"Explain yourself." Anaflors said.
"I am Roliel of Wanderways." Roliel began, instinct telling him that the only thing to save him would be the truth. "And this is Lenwe and Turgon." The Druids bowed.
"And?" Anaflora demanded.
"We came to aniihilate the ladies." Roliel muttered.
"Annihilate us? Whyever?" Gwen asked.
"Because you killed my wife Jasmine." Roliel stated emotionally. "So I will avenge her."
"What? Jasmine of wanderways? We did no such thing." Alexandra exclaimed.
"What? Then who?" Roliel asked looking from one lady to the other.
"Let me see." Anaflora said. Looking again at the swirling images, she said "It was a sprite and a giant that killed the female druid and her brother. They worked for the man who has stolen the pearl that these ladies seek. Those two have been killed by these ladies."
"You killed the people that Jasmine lost too?" Roliel's voice filled with awe.
"Seems like you owe us." Racheal smirked. Roliel looked abashed. Lenwe covered a smile.
For a moment Roliel looked like he was fighting with himself, then suddenly he dropped to his knees. "My Ladies, I came here with the intent to kill you, however it seems I am in your debt. Please accept me as your loyal servant, I will aide in whatever you set to pursue."
Surprised Lenwe and Turgon quickly dropped to their knees too.
The Ladies looked at each other and nodded. Then Alexandra stepped forward and said, "Thank you, we accept. We need all the help we can get to accomp-lish this mission."
"But we do not know what this pearl is." Roliel said standing back up.
"I will tell you." Anaflora said. "During the starting of time 7 of the world's sorcerers decided to combine their powers to see what would become of it. And what happened was the formation of a pearl."
The men listened with rapt attention.
"The legend states that whoever controls the pearl's will have the power to rule the world. As always great power attracts the power hungry. And men have always looked for ways to posses it. And finally it happened. One day, the pearl came in to the hands of the man who cared for nothing but power. He willingly sacrificed innocent lives and all that he could for the pearl's power and he got it."
"He got the power of the pearl?" Lenwe asked. "What is it?"
"He managed to split the pearl five times." Anaflora said. "The pearl split into five colors. The red pearl brings back life. Blue pearl starts hurricans. Green pearl causes floods. Yellow pearl brings forth earthquakes. And Purple pearl can steal souls.The man who hold these five powers can become a God in all sense of the word."
The room was quiet. Turgon stepped forward, "But he hasnt yet." Turgon said, "Why?"
"Good question." The Siren smiled. "Its because the pearl is to be split 7 ways before it can actually work. There are two more colors. Black and white. The sorceres took a precautionary method when they made the pearl. And hid the Black and white pearls, where no ordinary man can hope to find."
"I see." Roliel muttered, he suddenly realised just what a hard task lay ahead for them.
"We need the staffs." Elle said, "We need to find the staffs so we can guard the black and white pearl."
"We are with you." Roliel stated firmly. Lenwe and Turgon nodded.
"Let your journey begin." Anaflora said. "Good luck."



Outside the lake, Hollen waited for the party to return.
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