Arden bent, to pick up the staff, laying by her boot. It was about five feet, and was made of pure oak. The top was smoothed over so that it was a darker brown than the rest of it. Four branch-like pieces stuck up at the top, and held a giant, ice blue crystal into place.
"What is that thing?" Aisden asked, pointing to the staff in Arden's hand.
Arden shrugged. "I don't know. It fell out of the Great Oak during that flash of light," she said.
"It must be full of dark magic!" Kaida cried.
"It's a staff," Aisden retorted. "What harm could it possibly do?"
"Aisden, I have taught you better than that. Never trust anything immediately, if you can feel the magic within it," Morden said.
"Yes, Morden…" Aisden grumbled. Raden had a smug expression on his face. Aisden glared at him. He glared back.
"Well, how do we know if it's okay, then?" Arden asked.
Morden took the staff out of Arden's hands, and examined it thoroughly. He stroked his long white beard and hummed to himself. "There seems to be nothing wrong with it."
"Told you," Aisden said. Raden opened his mouth to retaliate, but was cut short when a scream was heard. All seven of them whipped around towards the sound of the scream. There, a man was stumbling out towards the Oak. He was recognized at once to be the fallen Sorcerer. Kaida and Rom ran out immediately to help him to the meeting spot. Just as he was sitting down, Ellyra flew down to them shrieking and waving her fist.
"That's the old fairy who tried to stop me!" the Sorcerer cried, pointing at her. Ellyra shouted at him in an old fairy language, continuing to wave her fist.
"Leave me alone, you old buffoon!" he shouted.
"Get back into your bed, or so help me I'll-"
"Ellyra, that's enough!" Morden said. She fell silent, apparently still furious.
"Master, he hasn't healed fully. I haven't even had time to bandage his wounds!" she cried. "Tell him to get back to bed!"
"There must be some reason as to why he came out here," Morden said calmly.
"Yes, there is. I need to speak with you immediately!" the Sorcerer said. Ellyra made impatient tutting noises at him.
"You see, some of Lord Zeal's armies are reforming, and they happened to have stumbled into Contall."
"Not the Dragon region!" Eyrti cried.
"The leader of the army stole one of the dragon's eggs, and is attempting to hatch it, as we speak."
"What are we going to do?!" Arden yelled. "The prophecy is coming true!"
"Of course it's coming true! Kaylen herself saw it in a Seeing Crystal!" the Sorcerer shouted. "The Shadow Prophecy has been feared for centuries. What makes any of you think it won't come true?!"
"What is it with you people and being so negative?!" Aisden cried. "Contall is the only dragon region left, meaning that's the only place Ayri can come from! Why didn't you send anyone to protect the dragon eggs!"
"Because dragons are very protective creatures!! There is no way to get in there without the Harp of Sleep!" Raden shouted.
"Then why didn't anyone go get the Harp of Sleep?!" Aisden yelled back.
"Because it's hidden in a dragon's lair!"
"So?! That just makes it easier!"
"Easier?!" Raden bellowed. "That makes it HARDER! How do you propose anyone get past a dragon?! Especially if the dragon is protecting its young?!"
"Cast a spell on it! Have a Time Elf freeze time!" Aisden bellowed back.
Arden stepped forward, and in between her sister and Raden. "Be quiet, both of you!" she commanded. Aisden fell silent, but continued to glare at Raden, who didn't bother to be quiet.
"I don't take orders from a human!" he shouted.
"I'm only half human!" Arden said.
"You're still human, and humans are greedy, dirty, disrespectful pigs!"
"YOU KNOW WHAT?!" Aisden bellowed. "YOU are a greedy, dirty, disrespectful pig! No, YOU'RE LOWER THAN A PIG! You're acting like an OGRE!"
"Aisden! That's enough!" Morden ordered. Aisden gritted her teeth and fell silent again.
"Now, neither of you are helping matters. Aisden, Arden. Go to your room, and go to bed. We've had enough festivities for one night. Rom, if you and the others would like to follow me, I'll show you your quarters. Ellyra, take our guest up to the infirmary, please," he said. Ellyra tutted again, but did as she was told.
Later that night, as Aisden and Arden were climbing into bed, a faint tutting sound was heard, followed by Ellyra flying about on a search for the Sorcerer who had managed to slip out again. She flew silently into the open window of the twins' room.
"Excuse me, dears, but you haven't seen my patient, have you? He ran away again," she asked. The girls shook their heads.
"Oh well. If you see him, please don't hesitate to find me." And with that(and a final "tut" of impatience), Ellyra flew out of the window.
The next day was one of the most terrifying day the twins would ever come to see. It started out as normal as a day can be, but ended in fury, death, and pain. No one had quite seen anything like it. Even through the combined efforts of Aisden, Arden, Morden, and all of the Earth Elves(yes, even Raden), the events foreseen by the great Kaylen so long ago, still played out. Aisden sensed it in the air even as she was risen from her slumber. And saw a change in the wind. Trouble was brewing: she could sense it.