However before any of the skeksis could take a step further, a torrent of arrows landed in front of them right at their feet. SkekSo roared with frustration, while the other skeksis stared. Where did they come from?
"The Sifa stand with the heroes of Thra!" Onica had shouted out for she'd arrived with her clan to help the heroic group. And with her, leading several human sailors was the king of the seaside realm. "As does PerleHaven!"
Naia and Gurjin then emerged from the forest and out on horseback, came Snow White with her husband and the seven dwarves.
"Corona and the Drenchen fight for Thra!" they hollered.
From the left section of the forest, came an entourage of Spriton gelfling and native humans from the woods. Maudra Mera riding atop a land strider shouted: "The Spriton ride to battle!"
The chieftain of the Spriton's human neighbors held up a club defiantly, "The Ki'somman tribe comes to the aid of our gelfling brothers and sisters!"
The Skeksis gasped in horror, the gelfling were rallying their clans and human leaders alike!
Coming out from the East, a throng of Grottan gelfling marched carrying banners. "The Grottans face the sun once again!"From the darker shadows, an armed group of guards with Dousan gelfling emerged.
"The Dousan heed your call!" Maudra Seethi said proudly.
To the observer's astonishment, leading the humans that joined the Dousan were Sultana Jasmine and her husband Aladdin atop a flying carpet.
"So does Agrabah!" Aladdin called raising a scimitar, to the strong cries of the soldiers accompanying them.
"On to battle!" And finally, King Hubert and Queen Leah arrive each one on horseback with not only an army of humans but of Vapran gelfling with the librarian of Ha'rar's library carrying a flag.
"Corazion and the Vapran come to Thra's defense!"
From atop one of the Stonewood houses, an arathim spitter stood hissing. Aurora and Phillip smiled with joy at this sight. They did have a chance after all.
"The Arathim fight by our side!" gasped Deet.
"We are surrounded!" SkekZok cried.
"They're everywhere!" SkekLach griped.
"It seems we have the greater army." Stefan observed. It brought a smile to his face. Phillip and Rian exchanged glances. They would be victorious now. That was certain.
The three fairies were in the lead, for they had gathered up (mainly by helping them hurry to the battlefield) all the differing human armies that neighbored Thra into fighting the skeksis, who were stunned at the growing force opposing them.
"Emperor, no choice, Skeksis must retreat!" The Chamberlain said to the Emperor worriedly. "We cannot win!"
But SkekSo had other plans. "I will not lose, no matter the cost!" He angrily stomped on an arrow, breaking it away. Then one of his smaller withered hands which held his royal scepter placed it into his left hand. "Behold, the power of the Darkening!" he roared.
What they saw was not something they were prepared for. A strange kind of purple energy erupted from the Emperor's scepter. It attacked several in its way.
"Watch out!" The three fairies flew forward to hold up a makeshift shield of energy, but it was slowly pushing them back.
Deet, who unbeknownst to everyone else had been staring at the purplish glowing patches on her hands, hurried forward. She held out the palms of her hands top which glowed with soft whitish blue energy.
"Deet, what are you doing?" Aurora cried in worry for their friend.
The Grottan maiden was unable to answer for she was completely focused on the destructive force which was now reflecting in her eyes.
"Stop, you're killing her!" Rian shouted to the skeksis emperor.
"That's enough!" Phillip protested. He was ready to do something about this.
But there was no need the skeksis stopped jeering when Deet seemingly absorbed the purple energy into her but there were small cracks of the same color on her skin. For a moment everyone just stared, with Deet panting heavily and grasping the ground.
"Impossible!" SkekSo snarled.
"Indescribable..." Flora murmured.
"It's inconceivable." Fauna uttered, unable to say more.
"It's unthinkable." Merryweather added.
None of them expected what happened next either. When Deet got up, her dark brown eyes had a purple glint to them and her voice was thick with righteous anger. "Get away...from my friends!" she screamed, striking her hands out and sending the darkening right back!
Several of the skeksis yelped and leapt out of the way. The darkening surged forward barely missing two of the skeksis by a few inches.
"My word..." Stefan said, shakily. He did not know what to make of this.
"Is that all?" SkekLach sneered.
What happened next had both sides screaming in fear and alarm. The moment he spoke, a nearby rock boulder exploded in a haze of purple light.
"What is going on?!" Aurora cried.
"That was the full effect of the darkening, if used offensively." Flora responded.
The resulting explosion had terrified the remaining seven skeksis.
"Retreat!" SkekZok cried.
"Back to the castle, quickly!" SkekAyuk yelped.
The other skeksis were in complete agreement, they all started to move away. The Emperor was just staring looking stunned then the Chamberlain went to him. "Emperor, we must go, yes?"
SkekSo turned as if he'd only just noticed him. "Yes...my most trusted advisor. To the castle!" And the skeksis fled from the battlefield.
"They're leaving." Phillip said in amazement.
"They're running away!" Brea acclaimed excitedly.
Cheers arose from humans and gelfling alike. No one noticed Deet discreetly leave the scene, her eyes glowing purple.
Aurora and Phillip immediately rushed to their respective parents, having not seen them in days due to the intense events. Stefan joined them to greet his wife.
"Thank goodness!" Queen Leah said with relief, embracing her husband and daughter.
"They have been stopped this time. But they may try again." Stefan reminded his family.
"And we'll be ready for them." Hubert reassured his friend.
Then Phillip introduced Rian to his father. "Father, I'd like you to meet Rian, the gelfling who came with me through all this. Rian, this is my father, King Hubert." Phillip made the introductions.
"Your Majesty." Rian bowed.
"Well I supposed we have you to thank for spreading the word out to the kingdoms." Hubert nodded.
"I couldn't have it without their help."
Gurjin went to Rian, "You did it."
"We all did it."
There was much celebration from the gelfling and their human friends. All over there was hugging and praising. Gurjin reveled in hugs (especially from the women both gelfling and human alike) during the victory celebration. He'd already been hugged by Maudra Seethi, Seladon, Snow white and a Ki'somman maiden.
"Guess everyone wants to hug a hero." he quipped.
Abruptly he's approached by one of the Arathim. After a beat, he shrugs. "Why not?"
"Things have certainly taken surprising turns." Fauna comments, after hugging one of the gelfling maudras.
She Flora and Merriweather were with Aurora, relived to see her and everyone they knew to be safe.
"I only wish I could've done more for the Mystics, they don't deserve to suffer for the crimes their darker halves committed." Aurora said sadly, thinking of what became of the Hunter and to the General's counterpart.
Flora sighed. "It's the fear of change is prominent in the skeksis, as creatures that lived for thousands of centuries, having to suddenly accept their impending mortality.
"They cling so desperately to life, ultimately their ridiculous vanity, their insatiable greed and their ego does not allow them to accept that their time in Thra is coming to its natural end. As all things must end, eventually…even us at some point." Merryweather added solemnly.
Aurora looked up into the sky. Her mind was on the ones who had died today. She sighed softly. "I hope you have found what you are looking for." she whispered.
Then amidst the celebrations, something on the ground caught Brea's eye. Something had fallen out of the hilt of the broken dual glaive, something shiny. She kneeled closer and saw it was a crystal shard as she picked it up, she felt the eyes of everyone around her.
"Ah, the lost shard of the crystal of truth." Aughra said proudly. "Found at last."
Brea held the shard in her hands, "This is what the heretic wanted us to find, not the weapon." She glanced up, "The shard is the key to ending skeksis power and uniting the gelfling."
Aurora and Phillip exchanged mystified glances.
"He was clever, to hide such a thing with that blade." Flora commented.
"That he was." Aughra acknowledged. "Gelfling, human friends, the shard calls to you. You fought well, this day is ours and tomorrow the sun rises on a new world. Nothing will ever be the same, we have made new enemies and lost friends. But the fallen are not truly gone. They enjoy the song of Thra once more. Listen and you will hear them upon the wind. For the song has changed, it sounds like Hope. But take care, hope is fragile. Hope is delicate. And the crystal shard once lost, now found and easily stolen. This day a victory does not belong to a single gelfling nor human, nor a single clan or kingdom alike. It belongs to all of us! All united, the many become one!"
Brea held up the shard to the sky causing everyone to cheer.
... it was the dawn of a new age for gelfling and humans alike. However it was not without losses and grim discoveries of it's own. Somewhere in the celebration, Rian had noticed Deet didn't linger among us nor her family, he followed her only to see her greatly affected by the darkening and I fear what will become of our gentle Grottan friend.
None of us knew it then but on this day a terrible discovery in the castle...
The skeksis returned to the castle, nearly out of breath and greatly frightened by all that transpired.
"This is a dark day…" SkekZok said grimly.
"Look on bright side, yes? " SkekSil smirked. "We still live."
"But for how much longer?" SkekOk whined fearfully. "The humans…and the gelfling, they are too many!"
"We will be overwhelmed!" SkekAyuk moaned.
"They will have our heads!" SkekEkt wailed. "Our beautiful heads."
Emperor SkekSo was beside himself, he recalled that Corazion's princess claimed that they'd lost two of their own – one of which he knew was the Hunter and SkekLach had barely avoided death so that meant…
"Where is the General?"
"Friend General perished at Stone-in-wood during battle." SkekSil answered connivingly. Which was part true, even if he didn't get to murder his hated rival, the angry gelfling and humans did the dirty deed for him. "Was over in seconds. Sad."
"We are doomed!" SkekZok griped.
At that moment, the Scientist hurried into the Crystal Chamber excitedly. "My Lords! My Lords, all is not lost."
The others looked to SkekTek, wondering what he meant.
"I have found a solution to ALL our problems," SkekTek explained. "An ingenious combination of Gruenak and Arathim. I call it… GARTHIM!"
There was a clap of thunder, Rapunzel and everyone else listening to her read the journal look up. Grey clouds had begun to gather in the sky.
"Not to be a downer but we're about to get dumped on." Cassandra informed, covering her head.
Understandable, the people who'd listening in on the story at the fountain had already hurried away and at that moment, a few raindrops land on the book pages much to the group's chagrin.
"The ink's smearing!" Rapunzel cried.
"I think we best move this reading session back to the castle before we catch a cold." Eugene suggested.
Quickly she covered the other journals into the saddle bag before covering it with a cloak.
Once in the castle, warm and dried, the group did the next best thing: library research. Kira was able to reach the highest shelf then toss them to Jen before handing them over to Rapunzel. Within the next few hours they discovered what became of the rulers that helped start the resistance.
When the Garthim had started to quickly wipe out the gelfling, the humans rulers of the neighboring kingdoms to Thra came together and decided they best evacuate as many gelfling possible. Their best bet was to send the survivors to other lands across the sea as their sanctuary having planned with the kingdoms there. Several ships had aided in the evacuation, where they set sail.
Aurora, Snow White lived on until old age and their descendants continued their legacy in keeping the gelfling survivors' whereabouts safe from the skeksis. That meant the dead ones they found in the old tunnels must've belonged to Saporian spies that stole the documents and ended up trapped there. And the final sentences where the ink smeared held the possible directions to the safe haven for any gelfling in hiding.
Cassandra leafed through Aurora's writings. "Well, that's all she wrote - literally. Quite an unexpected find, this journal."
"I'm so glad that we found it. Hearing all these stories." Kira smiled, "I learned so much more about the gelfling from the past."
"Now we know exactly how it all started and why. I just wish I knew what happened to them." Jen sighed.
"Likewise. But I think we've gotten all the answers we're gonna get for one day…" Eugene leafed through the other log. "Well at least from Corazion's side of the story."
"We've still got one belonging to Corona – there's till maps we have to research, but we can find out tomorrow. It's getting late." Rapunzel suggested.
The group was still too curious but they agreed.
The end… for now.