“Your magic seems . . . a bit weak. I almost didn’t recognize you.”
Regan turned to face a shimmering likeness, tall and elegant, radiating an evil grin, “You always were the clever one. Why are you here?”
Gwyn laughed in a low chuckle, “I was wondering the same about you, my old…”
Regan stepped closer to the vaporous figure, “I am not now, nor have I ever been your friend. Now, why…how are you here?”
“Ooh! Temper, temper my ancient adversary. Hmm? Do you like that better? Ha!” Gwyn’s laughter echoed throughout the clearing creating a chill down Regan’s spine.
“Gwyn! Why are you here? You and your clan have been banned from the Earth for over a thousand years.”
Gwyn lowered his voice to a threatening rumble, “I am here for you. You are the one that caused us to be banished. YOU are the reason for our continuing misery. I. Am. Here. To return the favor!”
“And how do you intend to do that since you are nothing but a loud, ugly apparition.”
Gwyn reared his head back and laughed in a way that caused Regan to tremble slightly, “You don’t know do you? You haven’t found out yet, have you?” He laughed again and this time he took it down to a sinister chuckle, “We have found a way to create a wormhole, a vortex between our worlds.”
“What? How . . . how did you do that?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know that? The one thing that you DO need to know is that we have your precious daughter. We almost had both of them, but your precious Wood Elves interfered and got the older one.”
Regan began to seethe with anger.
Gwyn began to smirk, “We are going to drain her of her elf magic and create a permanent conduit back to this land. Oh, all it will cost her is intense agony until she dies!”
Regan lunged toward the image but fell right through it.
“How do you like them apples Aranhil? Ha ha ha ha!” Gwyn’s laughter echoed again as his image began to fade, “…and there is nothing you can do to stop me! Farewell!”
Gwyn’s image completely faded, but his voice continued to echo in Regan’s mind. He collapsed against a tree and began to weep.
A slender hand touched his shoulder he turned to see Pat standing there with tears running down her cheeks.
“How much did you—” he asked.
“Enough” She took his hand and pulled him up to her.
“Then the masquerade is over. We need to resume our lives as the Lost Elders of the Elves. That’s the only way we’ll be able to fight him and get Gigi back.”
“Well, we were never really lost. But you’re right, and we need to find Emmy too.”
“From what he said, I think she’s in good hands. She’s probably with someone like Galalithe.”
“Let’s hurry and go close up the house; we may have some other use for it another time,” Pat said turning to go.
Regan, keeping pace right beside her, smiled and took her hand, “I’ll pack up that stack of your pancakes in a bag to go. We’re going to need extra strength for the battle to come.”
Pat smiled, “Well, better pack up some butter and honey to go with them. That’s the way you like ‘em, my beloved Aranhil.”
Aranhil looked at her with a big grin, “That is true my dear Aegliriell”
They both broke into a run, heading toward the house for one final time.