The Dark Sanctuary wasn’t hard to spot even from the outside. The shimmering black spire hovered above the oddly twisted landscape of the air affinity area that lay around it. Lydia surveyed it thoughtfully. She could see a ledge at the bottom where there was apparently supposed to be an entrance but she could see no sign of how they were supposed to get up there or indeed of the door itself.
â€œHow do we get in?â€ she asked.
â€œWell, mum’s got the key,â€ Daniel said. â€œAnd if it’s like the other sanctuaries I’ve seen, the door will open when she uses it…â€ He hesitated. â€œI’m not sure how we get up there though.â€
â€œOh, that’s the easy bit,â€ Sonia said. â€œWe jump up there.â€
Lydia stared sceptically at the gap between the Sanctuary and the ground. â€œOh come on, that must be at least 50 feet up.
â€œYes, it is,â€ Sonia said. â€œI’ll show you.â€ She ran towards the Sanctuary then leapt up, the constant gentle breeze in the area seemed to catch her and carry her up to the ledge.
â€œAh! So the same force that keep it up there will carry us there?â€ Lydia looked at Karen, who still looked a little sick as she stared at the Sanctuary, and took her hand. â€œCome on, we’ll jump together.â€
â€œIt’s not getting up there that worries me,â€ Karen said.
â€œI know,â€ Lydia said. â€œI’ll keep holding your hand once we’re inside, Karen.â€
Karen made an embarrassed squeaking noise. â€œI’m acting like a total wuss, aren’t I?â€
Lydia shook her head. â€œNot at all.â€
â€œYou don’t seem to fuss about going into ice affinity zones.â€
â€œWell I’m not afraid of the cold.â€ Lydia shrugged, â€œYou’ve never liked the dark at the best of times but that doesn’t make you a wuss. Lots of people have phobias. But I won’t let anything hurt you, come on.â€
â€œYeah, let’s get this over with.â€
They leapt together and landed by Sonia, who grabbed Karen’s other hand while they waited for the others to join them.
Once they had, Sonia touched her bracelet to the shimmering wall and a doorway appeared. As they stepped through the inside, did indeed light up dimly to reveal the column of darkness coiling at the heart of the chamber.
â€œI told you he could light it,â€ Matthias said as Karen gave a relieved sigh.
â€œIt still seems wrong somehow,â€ Karen said. â€œI mean, can the Ice Guardian warm her Sanctuary?â€
Of course she can. The voice that rang in all their minds was warm and soothing. We don’t get many visitors but when we do, we want to put them at ease.
â€œI guess I can see that.â€ Karen bowed to the column of shadows. â€œI am honoured to finally meet you. Dad talks about you all the time.â€
â€œIf you would, please,â€ Matthias said.
Of course I will, he said. Now, tell me about your battle plan for tomorrow.