Sequel: Return to Emanon
Status: Because of classes, updates may be a tad slow and infrequent, but I will try to be as constant as I can with new chapters!

Children of the Beacon

Chapter Three: The Pillar of Light

“Ladon!” a dainty voice called out.

Ladon looked over and saw his sister. Immediately, he pulled her in for a hug.

“Asteria,” he chuckled. “I’ve missed you.”

“As have I,” she said, pulling out of his embrace, her voice lowering to a whisper. “Any word from Edana?”

Ladon sighed and shook his head. “Well, Zephyr still loathes being there, but the children are still safe. I just hope that Aries hasn’t truly become as strong as the legends say or else that may change.”

“He was always such a peaceful child,” she muttered, tugging on a lock of her gilded hair. “Why is he joining the battleplan?”

“Estrella’s his mother,” Ladon said. “Lord knows what it’s like living with that in your home. Let us just pray that in the end, he will not forget what Foalan taught him.”

Suddenly, a gong echoed throughout the Guildhouse. Ladon and Asteria gave one another a final glance before walking down the corridor and entering the Guild’s meeting hall. The meeting hall was quite elaborate, with high ceilings and stained glass windows depicting the history of the Mystics of Emanon. The hall was circular with a table in the center for the Guild Chairs and risen seating for the other Guild members, somewhat resembling a gladiator’s stadium.

On the table itself was a perfect replica of Emanon. Not only was it three-dimensional and topographically accurate, but it was enchanted to have living miniatures of every plant and animal on the island, including humans. It was even covered in nearly-microscopic blades of grass and had water in the rivers and lakes. Every part of it was an exact copy. The snow of Dagrun, the sands of Jalendu and the Ejder Islet, the dense tropical forests Citali, the rolling plains of Zuberi, the grasslands of Abeytu, and the mix of the taiga and broadleaf forests of Riku were all present. Even the tiny, glacial, now-abandoned Amaruq Islet drifted in the northern seas, a few tiny miles off the shores of Dagrun. And, of course, the Kalsang Kingdom stood tall and proud in the dead center of the island. All of the rivers that divided up the seven main regions of Emanon were there, too, flowing through the island, carving the different sections, and flowing out to the sea.

There were five thrones around the table. One was carved from white marble with intricate patterns that bore a strange, but beautiful lilac glow that shimmered even in the dark of the hall. One was made of stones with dragon wings on the side that folded inward and a chiseled dragon’s head on top that looked downwards. One was made from trees and designed to look as though it was covered in snow. The branches of the trees intertwined with one another and formed the shape of a wolf’s head at the top. One was made of dense, tropical flora imported from the Citali region that was a tad larger than the others. The last was carved from a coral reef and albeit on land, it thrived and was incredibly vibrant.

Asteria sat in the marble throne. Ladon sat in the stone one. More people filled the hall. Estrella walked in, Aries trailing behind her. She was wearing an elegant, corseted gown that matched both her and her son’s eyes. She sat in the wooded throne with the wolf’s head. Aries stood beside the throne. Two more people sat at the table. One was a woman with silky, black hair, tan skin, and eyes that were a piercing emerald. Most noticeably, though, she was tall. She wore gilded robes and sat in the large, green throne. The last man long, grey hair with a beard to match. He was muscular, albeit not quite as large as Sir Ladon. His eyes were the most piercing shade of azure in all of Emanon. His skin was dark and he wore a toga that was the same color as his eyes. The toga sported a fishscale pattern embroidered all over in iridescent thread. He sat in the throne carved from the colorful coral.

The onlookers sat in the stadium-like seating above and around the table. Aries looked at the hyper-realistic map. He was in awe with the tiny, intricate details. Every brick and window on the castle in Kalsang was an exact replica. He spotted his cottage and, sure enough, it even had the tiny hole in the roof above his bedroom. He even saw a tiny Obsidian waiting outside! Ladon let out a deep chuckle as he gazed upon the curious Warlock.

“Impressive, no?” he said. “It was created a very long time ago by the Sangilatka.”

Aries jumped slightly and looked up before bowing his head. “S-sir Ladon! It is great to see you again!”

Ladon gave the boy a soft smile. “Aries, you have grown quite a bit since we last met, now, haven’t you? Your mother must be proud. After all, we have been hearing all about your… feats.”

Aries and Estrella gave the Dragonlord a polite smile as he locked eyes with her, not noticing the spark of suspicion that jolted through them. “Thank you, Sir Ladon. I am very proud, indeed. I only hope the rest of you will take just as much pride in Aries, as well, for he is not only the champion of the Ulverwood, but the champion of all Mystickind.”

“That is quite a bold assumption, Estrella,” the large, black-haired woman snickered. “As recently as the last full moon did you claim that you were still locating a method of finding our children.”

“At least I am making an attempt,” replied Estrella, “and please, use my former title, High Priestess.”

“My apologies, Dame,” the woman said, venom on her tongue.

The two had a bit of a stare-off in the silent hall before being interrupted by Ladon’s chuckle.

“Now, now,” he said. “We should start the meeting.”

“I agree,” Asteria chimed. “It appears as though the others are all seated.”

Estrella and the tall woman tore their gazes away from one another, but not before each of them narrowed their eyes the slightest bit more. They saw that the Mystic onlookers stared at the group intently. Some were whispering, mainly concerning the handsome young Warlock who stood beside the wooden throne. Aries heard these remarks and looked down at his leather-clad feet, feeling the heat rise in his cheeks.

All of the remaining chair members stayed seated whilst Asteria stood up. She had a calm look on her pretty face, though this part of the meeting never failed to give her stage fright. The fact that the Witch's son was present at this particular gathering did not help either.

“Representing the heart of Emanon, I, Lady Asteria of the Fae, have travelled from the royal gardens of Kalsang Kingdom, the Blessed Valley. I beckon for all other Mystics from all corners of the sacred Island to join me underneath this full moon: the Cold Moon of the Twelfth. Is the wind of the north here with me on this night?”

Her voice was smooth and silk-like, despite her clear state of worry. Estrella stood up.

“Representing the north of Emanon, I, Dame Estrella Rue of the Ulverian Clan, have travelled from the snow and ice of the Ulverwood, the Dagrun region. I join you, Lady Asteria of the Fae, underneath this Cold Moon of the Twelfth,” the Witch said, her voice as smooth and solid as granite.

“Blessed Moon, Dame Estrella Rue,” said Asteria, bowing her head.

“Blessed Moon, Lady Asteria,” Estrella replied, returning the subtle bow.

“Is the wind of the east here with me on this night?” Asteria asked after finishing her bow.

The man in the toga stood up. “Representing the east of Emanon, I, Lord Marinus of the Mer, have travelled from the rolling waves of Silvertide, off the coast of the Abeytu region. I join you, Lady Asteria of the Fae, underneath this Cold Moon of the Twelfth.”

“Blessed Moon, Lord Marinus.”

“Blessed Moon, Lady Asteria.”

Asteria turned to Ladon and smiled. “Is the wind of the south here with me on this night?”

Ladon returned the smile as he stood. “Representing the south of Emanon, I, Sir Ladon of the Scalewing Sept, have travelled from the sands and fires of the Ejder Islet, the Jalendu region. I join you, Lady Asteria of the Fae, underneath this Cold Moon of the Twelfth.”

“Blessed Moon, brother.”

“Blessed Moon, sister.”

“Is the wind of the west here with me on this night?”

The tall woman stood up, towering over all of the other chair members. Even Ladon was dwarfed by her.

“Representing the west of Emanon, I, High Priestess Zyamina of Leuia Tribe, have travelled from the dense jungles of Kigana, the Citali region. I join you, Lady Asteria of the Fae, underneath this Cold Moon of the Twelfth.”

“Blessed Moon, High Priestess Zyamina.”

“Blessed Moon, Lady Asteria.”

“Now,” Lady Asteria said, “let us sound the call to Mystics past and present to bless us underneath this Cold Moon of the Twelfth.”

The five chair members all bowed their heads. The onlookers stood up and mimicked the action. Aries noticed this and immediately followed suit. The chair members then began to chant in unison.

”To all the Mystics that have ever been birthed, deceased or living: we, the Guild of Mysticism and Justice, call upon you to lend us your power in this battle. We call upon you to lend us perseverance in these trying times. We call upon you to lend us bravery whilst we face the adversaries that are the humans of Emanon. We call upon you to lend us your wits so that we may always be one step ahead of the enemy. We call upon you to lend us your strength so that one day, we will ultimately take back this island. Please, we beg of you to assist us in any way that you can underneath this Cold Moon of the Twelfth and always. Blessed Moon, all Mystics of Emanon.”

”We, the Mystics of Emanon, vow to provide any assistance we can to you, the Guild of Mysticism and Justice, underneath this Cold Moon of the Twelfth and always. Blessed Moon, our Sacred Guardians,” the onlookers replied, albeit Aries swore he heard voices coming from elsewhere, some of which even sounding the slightest bit… familiar.

The young Warlock felt a pit of dread taking root in his gut and a wave of nausea came over him. When the members of the Guild rose their heads back up, Ladon noticed this.

“Would you like a seat, Aries? We can take one from the dining hall,” he suggested.

Aries gave a soft, wary smile. “That would b―”

“The boy’s fine to stand,” Estrella insisted.

“Are you sure, Dame?” asked Asteria. “The dining hall is only two chambers over.”

“The boy’s fine to stand,” repeated Estrella, completely monotonous.

Aries let out a long, deep exhale through his nose. Asteria and Ladon shared a quick glance. Estrella noticed this and also let out a loud exhale through her nostrils, though her breath was short and sharp, unlike that of her son. Lord Marinus let out a groan.

“Can we begin already? I cannot hold this form for very long.”

“Right,” Estrella said, keeping her gaze locked on the siblings. “I brought my son, Aries, with me after all these years of training him. He recently learned the Normanic runes and potentially found a spell we could use in their book to locate the children.”

“He can open their book?” asked Zyamina, quirking a well-sculpted brow.

Estrella nodded. “His father was Normanic.”

“Well, what is it?” asked Ladon, looking at a lost-in-thought Aries.

Still pondering the other voices he had heard, Aries suddenly snapped out of his trance when he realized that all eyes in the hall were focused on him. He felt his heart beat against his ribcage as he began to stutter, not even managing to get out more than a consonant or two. Guild members all throughout the hall looked at one another. Estrella looked at her bumbling son with a scowl on her face. She quickly traced a finger across her wooden necklace. Feeling as though a knife was scraping against his back, Aries jolted and took a deep breath.

“Aries?” asked Ladon, voice soft.

Aries looked at him. His eyes were kind. One was emerald green, the other was almost as blue as Marinus’s eyes. Crows feet appeared on his deeply tanned skin as he gave the boy a calm smile.

“You must be quite nervous,” he said.

Aries nodded. “I-I guess that comes with the pos-position.”

Ladon chuckled. “Just tell us the spell, boy.”

Aries nodded and took another deep breath. He looked at the chair members who gazed at him with eager eyes.

“The Norma Clan has a spell that can track sp-specifically Mystics. After comparing this spell to others in that book and some from the Ulverian book, I realized that all other tracking spells are primarily used for hunting and focus on nearby animals, hence why we could not locate the children before. If I travel to areas that are not p-populated by Mystics and use the spell, I can perhaps locate them,” he explained.

The chair members nodded. Asteria then looked at Aries.

“Aires, if I may ask, why did the Norma need a spell to locate other Mystics?” she asked.

“According to the notes in the book, they tried to use it to locate the Aqilo Clan, specifically the Sangilatka.”

The Guild members all nodded, very intrigued. Marinus scoffed.

“The Sangilatka? They have been extinct for decades, have they not?”

“Some Witches and Warlocks still try to find their chamber,” Estrella explained. “If the legends are true, it holds many valuable resources for our kind. A few even believe that they are the next Sangilatka.”

“What if they’re far away?” Ladon asked. “Will you still be able to find them?”

“If the traces of Mysticism are strong enough, the chances of them being located are very high. Since they are all children of very powerful Mystics and are all presu-presumably hidden in the same place, it will most likely be enough. We just need a sample of what we need to find and I need to use a special map in the book.”

“What about the halfling?” asked Zyamina. “Will his tainted blood mask the others?”

“I-I-I assume not since, out of all of the children’s blood combined, his human side makes up only approximately… six percent of all the blood in total. The rest is all Mysticism, incredibly strong, concentrated Mysticism.”

Zyamina nodded, though she did not seem very satisfied with that answer.

“Any other questions?” Estrella asked.

There was silence.

“No? Very well, then. Now, we need a few drops of blood from each of you. Aries?” Estrella beckoned.

Aries nodded and reached into his satchel. He pulled out four crystalline vials. Circling the table, he handed one to each of the Guild Chairs aside from his mother.

“I assume you all have some kind of blade with you. If not, you are a fool, but you can use Aries’s,” Estrella said.

Zyamina pulled out a bronze dagger from a loop in her belt. Ladon reached for his trusted cutlass. Marinus reached for the shark-tooth-shaped blade that was strung around his neck. Asteria looked at Aries with expectant eyes. Aries nodded and walked over. He pulled out his unique sword and gently handed it to her. Asteria inspected the blade. She silently thanked the Phoenixes that the metal had very clearly just been cleaned.

“I have never seen a sword like this. It’s quite lovely, though,” she said, smiling up at the young Warlock.

He returned the smile with a warm, proud smirk. “Thank you, it’s of my own forgery.”

“It seems you have many talents then,” said Asteria.

Aries’s smirk grew into a small smile.

The Guild Chairs all then dug their blades into their arms, opening fresh wounds. Holding the vials underneath, they all collected a few drops of blood. Zyamina’s was a goldenrod color. Marinus’s was a dark green with a tinge of blue. Both Asteria and Ladon’s were a deep indigo. They all then jammed the corks in the vial’s openings. Aries collected the vials and placed them in his satchel. Asteria then handed Aries his sword and raised her hand. Everyone’s cuts immediately healed.

“Thank you, sister,” said Ladon.

“Yes, thank you for your skills, Lady Asteria,” said Marinus.

“Oh, it was no tro―”

“Wait,” said Zyamina. “What about the Seasprite and the Dreameater? We don’t have their biological blood. We will need essence instead, but we cannot get any unless….”

Her voice trailed off. Tension hung in the air.

“M-mother,” whispered Aries. “Do you want to explain this one?”

Estrella glared at her son, but took a deep breath and turned to the Guild Chairs nevertheless. “We are going to have to make a sacrifice tonight.”

The other Guild members immediately burst into chatter. Aries looked up with worry in his eyes.


“We have not needed a sacrifice in so long!”

“Well, if it’s for the Guild…, right?”

“Come, children. We should leave.”

Estrella stood up and spoke, raising her voice and making it clear as a bell. “All Dreameaters and Seasprites, please come down to the floor.”

There was a silence that shrouded the entire meeting hall. They all stared at her. Ladon and Asteria shared a look of terror.

“Dame Estrella, you cannot be serious,” Ladon said. “Mystic Sacrifice has not been performed in ages and that was before the Huntress Queen’s rule. Our numbers are so low now.”

“Ladon’s right, Dame Estrella,” chimed Asteria. “Even the Un―”

”I apologize for the… inconvenience, but do we actually want to lose these children? After all that has been taken from us, do we really want to lose more to the humans? To those of us who insist that they are innocent, despite all the crimes they have committed against Mystickind?” asked Estrella, voice booming as she circled the table. ”Think about what I’ve done for this battle. I lost my own, dear sister, but still, I persevered because I knew that she was a weakness on our team, that she sympathized for those… monsters.

“We need these children if we want to stop the humans from overtaking our island. I know this will be difficult, but in the end, these sacrifices will save the lives of many when we take back what is rightfully ours. Think of how many of our ancestors perished at the hands of the Huntress Queen’s regime. Think of how Queen Andromeda and her vile daughter ―the very one who is responsible for stealing our children― forgave the humans for all they’ve done and once again punished the Mystics ―their own kind― simply for defending ourselves. Think of how we have been trapped on this island for centuries because the Phoenixes favored the safety of man over that of us.

“I personally would consider it an absolute honor to give my life if it meant that we would eradicate the humans for once and for all.”

She looked up at the Guild members expectantly. Suddenly, a young Dreameater rose. She had to be sixteen rings old at most. Aries felt his gut twist. Estrella felt a pang of guilt, but that was greatly overshadowed by her pride.

“You’re right, Dame,” she said, walking towards the stairs.

“Mara, wait!” another Dreameater said, also rising. “You…, you can’t.”

The two stared at one another for a moment before the young girl shook her head.

“Dame Estrella is right, Mother!” cried out Mara. “I can’t leave the house during the daytime because of them! Even at night, it’s not safe. It’s never safe!”

“So the answer to that is to get yourself killed?”

“If it means we find the children, then yes!”

“She’s right!” a Stoneskin said, standing.

The three started yelling over one another. More and more joined in. However, whilst their views on sacrifice were still somewhat divided, they all radiated a hatred for humans, making Estrella’s pride swell even more. Aries’s heart raced. The other Guild Chairs looked at one another, alarmed at the sudden uproar the northern representative had caused.

”We have such small numbers, though.”

“Because of the humans!”

“We took an oath when we joined the Guild!”

“We cannot live like this anymore! I don’t care what it takes!”

“Mara, please! You’re all I have! Can’t you listen to me just this once?”

“I’m sorry, Mother, but I must.”

“Let her make her own choices!”

“Don’t take one more step, Mara, please! Mara, no!”

The last plea from the mother rang through the meeting hall like cathedral bells. All went silent. Tears and anguish laced her voice as she continued to scream out for her daughter whilst Mara stepped down to the floor, right in front of Estrella. The Witch looked at the Dreameater with approval in her eyes.

“A brave one, aren’t you?” she asked before turning to Aries. “Alright, son.”

Aries’s heart dropped. ”What?”

“You are the savior, are you not?” asked Estrella.

Aries shook his head. “N-n-no, Mother, I-I cannot do this. She’s but a child!”

“A child who is clearly willing to give more to this cause than you!” retorted Estrella.

Aries paused for a moment.

“...Do we have anymore vials.”

A gasp was heard from the older Dreameaters. Estrella reached into her pocket and pulled out two more vials. These ones were crystal, but also had an attached cap of gold. She tossed them to her son. He caught it with ease. Aries then paused again and looked at Mara, then her mother, then his own.

“...May I at least do it in private?” he asked.

Estrella looked at Mara’s mother and the Guild Members. Albeit many looked on with eager eyes, a decent amount had a fearful gaze. She took a deep breath.

“If you feel that is more beneficial, then yes,” she said. “Just promise me that you will get a vial of Dreameater Essence.”

Aries nodded and looked at Mara. “Are you ready?”

Mara looked up at her mother, tears in her eyes, and looked back at the Warlock. She nodded. Aries returned the nod and turned on his heel. He walked out of the meeting hall. Mara followed. Her mother started screaming as she tried to chase after her daughter. However, she was held back by other Mystics.

”Mara, no! Please, don’t do this! Mara! Mara!”

Tears spilled from Mara’s eyes as she exited with Aries. Aries looked down at her as he let out the breath that he had not realized he had been holding.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“I have to do this, right?” she asked, almost chuckling, though there was very little humor both in her laugh and her words, if any at all. “You heard what your mother said.”

“Hey,” Aries said, kneeling down so he was closer to her height. “That does not mean you had to volunteer, alright? I-I know you think you have to be brave, but you’re still young.”

“I’ve read books, though,” Mara said. “Young Mystics have the strongest essence. That means it should help with your spell even more, right?”

Aries sighed and looked down, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I suppose. There really is nothing I can say that will dissuade you, is there?”

“A lot of my ancestors were killed by the Huntress Queen’s men and like I said before: my life is almost nonexistent because of the humans. I’ll do what I can and it’s not like I have much to look forward to if I live, right?”

Aries’s heart dropped. He stood up yet again. They continued their walk.

“Not all humans are bad. I knew some once who were quite nice.”

“It doesn’t matter, though. Most want us dead or forgotten.”

Aries sighed. There was a brief moment of silenced as the end of the hall drew nearer. Aries felt his footsteps become heavier with each step, his heartbeat growing faster.

“Have you ever killed a human?” asked Mara.


“What about a Mystic?”


Mara felt her heart beat the smallest bit faster. “It’s odd, but even though you’re the savior, I can’t see you hurting anyone…. Well, you had a good reason to, right?”

“I suppose,” said Aries.

It was not quite the truth. In fact, it was far from factual, but it seemed to put Mara at ease.

Mara opened her mouth to ask another question, but the two finally approached the execution chamber. Aries opened the door. The torches were lit with the eternal dragon's breath, but everything was covered in a thin layer of dust. There were torture and murder devices that made Aries shiver.

“Well, we should probably just get it done, shouldn’t we?” Mara asked.

She stood in front of Aries. Aries reached for his sword. He angled the inverted tip so that it was facing her directly.

“It’s an Ulverian spell,” he said, tears brimming his eyes. “It will be painless. I promise, Mara. A-a-and you are very strong for doing this.”

“I really hope you save us all, Aries,” she said, looking at Aries with hope shining in her coal black irises.

He took a deep breath and began the chant, the same one he had used on the moose in the Ulverwood. Mara shut her eyes and took deep breaths. He thought about his mother, about the Guild, about their plan. Images of a war-torn Emanon. He stopped. This was not right. The spell was not working. Tears welled in his eyes.

“Why did you stop?” asked Mara, opening her eyes, looking far more distressed than she was just a few seconds prior. “Just get it over with already!”

“I-I’m sorry. I can―,” he said.

'You are even weaker than I thought! Do it already, you monster!'

Aries froze. He took a deep breath. He then thought the children. He thought about Foalan and Rowan. He thought about his plan. His eyes glowed that familiar shade of crimson and he stared at Mara. She was chanting something in the Dreameaters’ tongue.

The crimson beam shot out and he shut his eyes tight as it collided with Mara. He heard her gasp and the sound of her body colliding with the floor.

Aries opened his eyes and looked down at her body. It was face down on the stone floor. A trembling sigh escaped his lips. He blinked away the tears, though his eyes remained glassy.

“I am so sorry, Mara.” he said as he knelt town and turned her corpse over.

He uncapped one of the vials and held it up to Mara’s lips. Using his other hand, he parted them. Out poured a glowing, lavender cloud of smoke. It seeped into the vial. Once the vial was full, he capped it. Backing out of the room, he took one last glance at the young Dreameater before storming back to the meeting hall, tears on the brink of falling.

He made sure they did not escape.

Aries entered the hall with the vial. All eyes were instantly on him. He heard a gasp that was then followed by a muffled sob. Knowing exactly from whom it came, he winced.

’You are a disgrace to Mystickind. Have you forgotten all that Foalan taught you?’

‘Yet another life taken by the oh-so-great Aries of the Ulverwood.’

‘You are supposed to save the Mystics, are you not?’

‘Magnolia must be so proud.’

‘Wretched beast.’

‘Vile savage.’


Aries tried to ignore the whispers that echoed in the recesses of his mind. He bit the inside of his cheek, his sharp canines drawing a few droplets of blood. His grip on the vial was so tight that the Guild Chairs feared it would shatter. He walked forward, keeping his head down and avoiding the myriads of eyes that were focused on him. Asteria felt tears well in her eyes and her heart drop at the sight. Ladon felt a small wave of nausea and pity. Even Estrella looked concerned for her son. She placed a bony hand on his shoulder. He gave a slight flinch in response, but otherwise ignored the gesture.

“Aries,” she said, voice surprisingly soft. “There is still one more.”

“Do I really have to kill another person, Mother?” he asked, voice weak as he still kept his head down, squeezing his eyes shut in anguish. "...Who is it?"

“Marinus already did,” she said.

Aries looked up, quirking a brow as relief coursed through him, followed by guilt. “What?”

He looked at Marinus. The merman kelt beside the corpse of his butler, an older Seasprite. The Mer-Lord had a sorrowful expression lacing his face. He looked up at Aries expectantly.

“He was the only one here,” Estrella explained. “I forgot that they can only set foot on land if accompanied by their masters.”

Aries nodded and walked over to the Seasprite’s corpse, heart racing. He placed the vial to the chapped, scaly lips. A steely shade of teal was the color of this Mystic’s essence. It filled the vial. Aries sighed and capped the vial. His eyes, for the first time held almost no emotion. Ladon thought the boy looked nearly as dead as the corpse beside him.

“We are ready, then,” noted Estrella as she addressed the entire Guild. "Everyone, return to your seats."

The members followed the Witch's orders. The Guild Chairs raised their hands. The table in the center of the room sank into the floor, eventually becoming one with the stonework. Estrella beckoned for her son to stand where the table once stood. He did so, heart pounding against his ribcage. He let out a shaky breath. He looked up and saw that once again, all eyes in the meeting hall were on him. All was silent.

“Aries, open the book.”

Aries reached into his satchel once more, exchanging the vials of essence for the lavender spellbook of the Norma. He slipped the satchel off his shoulder and set it on the floor. He then set the book down and opened it to the last page. On the dried parchment was a map of Emanon. The black ink in which it was drawn was rather faded. In the corner of the page were Normanic runes. He then grabbed a rather small bowl crafted from iridescent glass from his satchel. He set it on the floor.

First, the young Warlock pulled out the four corked vials of blood that were just filled. In addition, he retrieved the one that his mother had filled prior to the meeting. He then uncorked them and emptied their contents into the bowl one by one. He gently rocked the bowl to make the bloods mix with one another. He then fished out the vials of essence and uncapped them, facing the openings towards the bowl. The two essences mingled with one another before also mixing with the blood, causing the thick, murky liquid to glow. He set all of the vials aside.

Aries cupped the bowl in both of his hands and raised it up above the map. Looking down at the Normanic runes, he began chanting in his father’s native tongue. He closed his eyes. The whole Guild watched him. Even Mara’s mother looked at the boy with eager eyes, for she would not let her daughter’s sacrifice be one made in vain. Estrella prayed to the Sangilatka that it would work. Asteria and Ladon prayed to the Phoenixes that it would fail.

Suddenly, Aries stopped chanting. He opened his eyes. They glowed a bright lilac color that matched that of the spellbook. The mixture in the bowl floated upwards. Its light was blinding. The glowing stream of light danced around the room, soaring over the Guild members’ heads. They all watched in awe, albeit some looked on with dread in secrecy. The light's swirling motion caused a twisting gale to whirl through the meeting hall. A brief waves of gasps was heard at the sudden strong wind. The stream then plunged down to the map. Suddenly, a glowing point on the map appeared. Estrella squinted before her eyes widened in realization.

The light was on the Tower of Pyre.

“The Tower!” she cried out.

The swirling wind carried her statement through every set of ears in the hall. Everyone was silent, in awe. The glowing point then turned into a pillar of light, shooting up towards the ceiling. The light grew brighter. The Guild started cheering. Marinus and Estrella laughed in joy. Zyamina had a blank stare, though the smallest of smirks played upon her lips.

”He did it! The lad really did it!”

“Thank Mara! Thank the Ancestors! Thank Aries!”

“Our savior has come!”

“We have hope again! We can win the war once and for all!”

Aries’s eyes stopped glowing, but the pillar remained bright as ever as the cheering continued. He felt guilt and nausea gnaw at his insides. He backed up, finding himself in between the siblings’ thrones. He looked both ways and saw that both Asteria and Ladon had looks of terror, dread, and worry etched upon their faces as opposed to the rest of the Guild.

He so badly wished to tell them that he would try his hardest to protect their children at and and all costs, but even the Warlock himself had doubts that his plan would work. He also did not want to risk being heard by the other members of the Guild. Instead he did what he could. He reached out grabbed both of their hands, fairly certain that his mother could not see the gesture through the bright beam.

Asteria and Ladon looked at the boy in surprise. They saw the sorrow and pain in his eyes, but also how he looked at the pillar of light with such raw determination under furrowed eyebrows. With the light shining on his face and his hair dancing in the wind, he looked as though he really was the true savior of Emanon.

However, despite his kind gesture and his still-decent heart, they still saw him as the boy who not only just sacrificed a child, but gave the location of the safe house that held their own children.
♠ ♠ ♠
I am so sorry that this is so late! I have been very busy lately, but thank you to all reading this story. Also a gigantic thank you to nearly witches. for writing an article about my story in the Up and Coming section of the magazine! I appreciate it so much!