Bracken hurried forward quickly, spending little time admiring the job the fairies had done transforming the interior of the demon prison Zzyzx into the peaceful eden it was now. Bracken looked around making sure no one was following him. He quickened his pace as he neared one of the many waterfalls marking the edge of the fairy realm.
Bracken quickly looked over his shoulder. No one was following him. He couldn't risk any of the fairies or anyone else in the realm know where he was going. Bracken slowly crept behind one of the several rushing waterfalls and disappeared out of site.
After once again checking to make sure he was alone Bracken started walking through a short damp tunnel. After walking for a few minutes several shafts of sunlight appeared from the ceiling allowing Bracken to see further down the tunnel. As Bracken went deeper into the cave the spotted shafts of sunlight became more and more frequent until the ceiling was dotted with thousands of holes making it appear that the cavern had no ceiling and he was in broad daylight. Due to the bright sunlight, the cavern floor was covered in luscious green grass and was dotted with beautiful flowers and bushes, there were even a few trees that dotted the cave floor. After meandering his way through the bushes and flowers for a minute Bracken found what he had been looking for. In a small clearing sat a temple.
The temple was made entirely of white fairy marble with a tall spire that towered almost to the caverns' ceiling. Several columns held up a small overhang under which was a large metal door with golden, astrid shaped door knockers. One door was slightly open giving Bracken a small view of the interior of the temple. The door was intricately carved with depictions of fairies and other mystical beings of light. Two fairy statues were set outside on either side of the door as if guarding the door from intruders.
"Bracken? What are you doing?" a voice asked from back in the tunnel. Bracken slowly crouched and meandered his way back to where he could get a clear view of the tunnel. He started scanning the shadows around the for the source of the voice.
"Who's there?" he called cautiously into the darkness. There was no reply. Instead a dark shape crept out of the shadows. A dim reflection caught Bracken's eye. Then a set of blue white scales emerged from the darkness, then a set of wings, and finally a tail. Seconds later the fairy dragon Raxtus stood in front of him.
"Where did you come from?" Bracken asked suspiciously.
"I saw you while I was flying toward the Wyrmroost Shrine and decided to see where you were going since it seemed like you were heading toward one of the waterfalls." the dragon answered innocently. "And now I have a question," Raxtus continued, "why is there a secret temple hidden behind this waterfall?" he asked, as he started walking through the dense foliage. Since Bracken didn't answer him Raxtus continued walking.
It was short walk through the dense foliage to get to the temple. Raxtus knew that something was hidden in the in the small secretive paradise the second he had seen it, but he hadn't known that it was actually housing a giant temple. He was astounded that the immense size of the temple and the detail which was put in to it. "Who made this?" he asked Bracken, who had just caught up to.
"What?" Bracken asked breathing heavily.
"Who made the temple?" Raxtus asked again, snapping out of his trance like state. He walked up to the temple door and walked through the temples open door. Bracken looked back, concluded that no one was following him and entered through the open door after Raxtus.
The interior of the temple was as magnificent as its exterior. It was made entirely of the same white fairy marble that had made up the exterior. The roof was held up my a dozen or so stone columns, each with a fairy carved into them. Five, large, golden astrids statues were set
in-between every other column. At the center of the marble structure was a ten foot splotch of beautiful green grass dotted with flowers and ferns. In the center of the temples only splotch of color was a six foot tall fairy statue. The first new shrine to the Fairy Queen.
"So did you build this?" the dragon asked, still gazing at the magnificent interior of the temple.
This time he was answered with a warning. He guessed that meant to stop asking questions. He also guessed that meant yes. Raxtus continued around the temple looking carefully at everything. He finally stopped in front of the fairy shrine.
"So let me guess where this goes…" Raxtus said already knowing the answer. He put his hand on the statue. Before Raxtus could finish his sentence he was surrounded by three warriors clad in golden armor. One held pair of spears. One a long heavy sword. An one an bow and arrow already notched to his bow string. The dragon was surrounded by three astrids who were positioned to defend the realm if any of the imprisoned demons escaped there new prison.
"Peredor!" Bracken called to the astrid wielding the sears. "It's just Raxtus." All the astrids put away their weapons. Raxtus relaxed.
"Bracken, what is Raxtus doing here? I thought we were supposed to know when a someone was coming?" the astrid Crelang complained.
"You are," Bracken answered, " but Raxtus, followed me here." Bracken cast Raxtus a warning glare. "So you can leave for the moment." Bracken said gesturing towards the open door. All three of the astrids dropped their weapons and turned into a golden owls. They all flew out the open door. The door closed.
"Now I will finish my sentence," Raxtus continued, " let me guess where this goes… Fablehaven." He disappeared. Well I guess he got his answer Bracken thought.
"You guys can come back in." Bracken called out to the astrids. They all flew back in and transformed back into their human forms. "Now remember when I come back I'll have Kendra with me." They all nodded their understanding. He then stepped up to the statue, and set his hand gently on top of it and whispered "Fablehaven." and he was gone.
. . .
Kendra walked outside into the Fablehaven main garden. She noticed that only a few fairies were around. She wondered where they all were. Now that she thought about it she hadn't seen many fairies in the yard in awhile. She didn't dwell the thought of the missing the fairies for long. She once again walked toward the forest eager to get to the fairy queens new shrine.
"Kendra" someone called from just inside the forest.
Kendra paused, peering through the trees. A slight reflection caught her eye along with some small amounts of movement.
"Who's there?" Kendra called cautiously, hoping that no one inside the house would her.
"Kendra," the voice called again, "it's Raxtus"
Kendra's entire body relaxed. Raxtus was the son of the dragon, Celebrant. He was raised by fairies after his nest was attacked by a cockatrice. He had befriended Kendra when she and other members of the Knights of the Dawn had traveled to the dragon sanctuary Wyrmroost to obtain the key to the translocator and later on helped her, Warren, and Bracken escape Living Mirage and help protect the eternals.
Raxtus stepped out into the bright sunlight, his silver-white scales reflecting the sunshine. Kendra put her hands in front of her face to shield her eyes from the bright reflection.
"Hello Raxtus." she said squinting. "What are you doing here? Visiting Shiara again?"
"Well since I'm here, I probably will, but actually while I was in the fairy flying toward the Wyrmroost shrine…"
" So the fairy Queen made a fairy shrine at Wyrmroost." Kendra interrupted.
"She made Wyrmroost the second shrine for two reasons. One because she placed five astrids there and two so I can go between the fairy realm and Wyrmroost since I consider myself a fairy dragon. Anyway, back to why I'm here. I was flying toward the Wyrmroost shrine when I caught sight of Bracken."
With the mentioning of Bracken Kendra's eyes lit up like the lights on a Christmas tree.
"Where was he going?" Kendra asked, hoping she already knew the answer.
"I followed him behind a waterfall where I found a huge temple built over the Fablehaven Shrine."
"Why was there a temple over the fairy shrine that leads here to Fablehaven?"
"You would have to ask Bracken that question, but I have my bets on who built and why." the dragon replied.
"So is Bracken here?" she inquired excitedly.
"I don't know for sure but my best guess is that he came here."
" Could you transport me to the fairy shrine?" Kendra asked hopefully. She wanted to see Bracken as soon as possible.
Raxtus flapped his wings lightly and lifted himself two or so feet off the ground. Kendra walked just outside the boundaries of the yard. Raxtus glided toward Kendra blocking out the bright sunlight. He reached down and picked her up with one of his claws.
Raxtus flapped his wings again and they rose higher above the ground. Soon they were soaring above the forest. Kendra looked upon the forest in awe. She had never seen Fablehaven from above before.
"Down there." Kendra told Raxtus pointing at the large clearing with a giant pond in the center.
Raxtus swooped down into a steep dive toward the ground. Just when Kendra was sure that she would soon become part of the ground, Raxtus pulled up and hovered a few feet from the ground. He gently placed Kendra on the ground and released his grip. He said goodbye then flapped his wings and soared away looking for Shiara.
"Hello Kendra." said a familiar voice.
Kendra turned around and there in the middle of the bright clearing stood Bracken.
"Hello Bracken." Kendra answered trying to stop from smiling.
"So are you ready to come to the fairy realm with me?" he said. Apparently she wasn't doing very well at hiding her smile because Bracken was smiling back at her.
"Of course, I've been waiting since you've told me that someday I could go." she said casually.
"Okay then. Follow me." he beckoned her to follow him. He tuned and started walking
toward one of the whitewashed gazebos, giving Kendra her first view of the shrine since the fairy queen destroyed it two summers ago to create a talisman of light which destroyed the nail from the revenant and stopped and reversed the effects of the shadow plague.
Bracken turned and walked in the direction of the small island, giving Kendra her first view of the Fairy Shrine. She stood there, eyes wide, stunned at what she saw.
Standing above what was once the fairy queen's shrine a small temple made entirely of what appeared to be glowing white marble. A tall spire jutted out of the roof making the temple look and seem like a brand new church. Several stone columns held up a small overhang under which, was a large metal door. Two fairy statues were set outside on either side of the door.
"Bracken who built the temple on the island?" Kendra asked, still staring wide-eyed at the magnificent temple. Bracken stopped and looked over to the island. and sure enough there was a temple. It was exactly the same as the one in the fairy realm.
"I guess the fairies did" was his reply.
It seemed logical to Kendra so she accepted it and continued moving toward the gazebo with teh small boat house that Patton Burgress had built over the naiads pond. When she got to the tiny shack Kendra tried the knob. It was unlocked. "I guess I never locked it when I paddled to the island three years." she muttered to herself. Kendra peered inside. The shack was empty. "Thats weird. Where could they have gone?" she thought.
"Bracken, small problem," she called. Bracken who had been conversing with several purple, butterfly winged fairies turned away and called back to Kendra, "What?"
"There aren't any boats here. How are we going to get to the island?" Kendra called back "There aren't any boats here. How are we going to get to the island?" Kendra repeated.
Bracken thought for a moment, then gave a long high-pitched whistle.
"Why did you whistle?" Kendra asked, curiously. Hoping that Bracken had summoned Raxtus with the shrill sound.
"You'll see." was his simple reply.
A few minutes later a dark shaped appeared above the grassy meadow. A second later Raxtus was in front of them standing on the beautiful green grass. Apparently Raxtus had come when he heard Bracken's whistle.
"That was quick." she whispered to Bracken.
" So what do you need?" Raxtus asked
"Can you transport us to the island?" Bracken asked pointing to the fairy queen's island in the center of the pool.
"Sure." Raxtus glided over to them like a giant kite. He reached down and picked up Kendra with one claw and Bracken with the other. For the second time that day Kendra was soaring above Fablehaven. Unfortunately this flight only lasted a few seconds, then she was back on the ground.
The island was just as she remembered it; small, and densely populated with ferns, bushes, and flowers. "Who keeps the island looking so nice?" she asked Bracken. "There is no trash picked up by the wind no leaved no nothing."
"The fairies usually keep all the shrines looking nice, always populated with exotic plants. They always make sure nothing gets on the island."
The ground was suddenly interrupted by several steep steps that led up to the front door of the temple. After walking for the past minute the steps startled Kendra almost tripping her. After she regained her balance Kendra continued up the steep flight of stairs.
"What is this temple made of," Kendra asked as she walked through the open door that Bracken held open for her " it doesn't look like anything we have on earth. It's not quite metal but not quite marble either."
"It's actually made of a material we call fairy marble." Bracken answered as he let the door go. The door clanged loudly back into place. "It has the appearance of marble but is tougher than steel. It can't collapse under any amount of pressure."
"Like a giant trampoline?" Kendra asked.
"Pretty much." Bracken answered chuckling. Kendra smiled and started looking around the small temple. The interior of the temple was as magnificent as its exterior. It was made entirely of the same white fairy marble that had made up the exterior. The roof was held up my a dozen or so stone columns, each with a fairy carved into them. Five, large, golden astrids statues were set in-between every other column. At the center of the marble structure was a ten foot splotch of beautiful green grass dotted with flowers and ferns. In the center of the temples only splotch of color was a one foot tall fairy statue, the first new shrine to the Fairy Queen.
"Wow!" was all Kendra could think to say staring wide-eyed at the temple for the second time today, "I can't believe the fairies did this." she said spinning in circles, taking in the magnificent temple.
"So, are you coming?" Bracken said smiling. He was standing near the foot tall fairy statue.
"Of course," Kendra answered coming back to reality. She jogged over to the statue. "So, what do I do?" she asked.
"You just put your hand on the statue." he explained setting a hand on the top of the statue. "Then just say which shrine you want to go to. For example. Fairy realm!" he called out. Bracken vanished as into thin air as if he had never been there. A few seconds later he was back standing over the fairy shrine again. "See. Try it." He gestured toward the smallish statue.
Kendra stepped up to the fairy shrine and placed her hand, palm down on the shoulder of the fairy shrine. She closed her eyes and said, "Fairy Realm." Instantly Kendra was being pulled through a tiny space with lights flashing around her. She caught sights of fairies, and flowers, and waterfalls and other bits and pieces of what she thought was probably the current fairy realm. Suddenly, the area around her became bleak she was surrounded by a barren landscape. No life appeared be anywhere. Then out of no-where a bright green monster with purple eyes and golden antlers appeared. He was probably fifteen feet tall with fur and long eyes that looked about to pop out of their sockets. He wielded a giant mace and had a quiver full of arrows slung across his back. Then her view shifted and Kendra saw someone familiar. A demon she wished she could forget. The new demon king Orogoro stood before her. He was a hulking, shaggy beast with moose like antlers. He wielded a battleaxe and on top of his head was the demon crown. He had stolen from his father Gorgrog when Kendra had killed him while wielding The Sword of Light and Darkness. A few seconds later she was standing in a bright temple that looked exactly like the one she had come from. Was this the same temple or a different one she wondered.
Kendra stared to walk around the temple looking around. The white fairy marble glinted under an unknown light source. "I wonder where the light comes from?" she wondered aloud.
"Look up and you'll have your answer." answered Bracken.
Kendra whipped around and saw Bracken standing in front of one of the dozen or so
columns. Kendra took his advice and looked up. The ceiling was dotted by thousands of small holes allowing in enough light that seemed like a giant artificial light source was hanging from the ceiling. "Where are we?" Kendra asked.
"Take a guess."
"The shrine didn't work and we are still at Fablehaven?" Kendra guessed.
"Okay. The fairy Realm?" This time she knew she was right.
"Correct." Bracken nodded
"So where are we in the fairy realm?" Kendra asked. "I pictured it to be more lively filled with grass and flowers." she said starting to walk toward the temple's only open door.
"We are actually in a hidden cave behind a waterfall that marks the edge of the realm." he answered following her. When Kendra reached the door the door as if on cue shut and the three astrids jumped from their perch on the catwalk that spanned between two columns. They all raised weapons. Kendra cringed hoping that none of them would of them would strike.
"Crelang, Peredor, Silvestrus!" Bracken shouted. "Drop your weapons." The astrids all shifted their views to Bracken who again issued the command to drop their weapons. The astrids all reluctantly dropped their weapons. "I told you guys that I was coming back with Kendra." Bracken continued glaring at the three astrids.
"Come on Kendra." The door re-opened and they exited the temple.
"What was that all about?" Kendra asked, casting a backwards glance toward the astrids.
"They are posted there so that none of the demons escape from Zzyzx and if they do the astrids have the power to send them back to our old realm."
Kendra was amazed when she stepped out of the temple. She expected a dim cavern with walls glistening with water. Instead a beautiful stretch of grass stretched out for a long ways. Flowers sprouted up from the thick luscious grass. Bushes and ferns decorated the landscape. Like the inside of the temple, the passage was lit by thousands of holes in the ceiling. "Amazing." she whispered to herself.
"So are you ready to be the first mortal to ever see the realm of the fairy Queen?" Bracken asked walking backwards toward the entrance of the tunnel. Kendra nodded and jogged after him. Ready to see for the first the time the fairy realm.