The flames on the candles flickered wildly as a strong wind seemed to gust around the circular room’s occupants. Frustration etched itself upon the faces of the male Elite Force of Britain members, although Psychic Sue seemed calm and relaxed.
“They are holding us in stasis” Sue thought, sending her thoughts into the minds of Invisible Charlie, Lycralad and Firetop. “There seems to be no malice, but they appear to want us not to move. I cannot read their thoughts but get a feeling they need us to remain still and silent. Please, try to calm yourselves… I am certain they will explain.”
The three heroes took Sue’s thoughts on board, and relaxed themselves, waiting to see what the Witches Three had to say. They didn’t have to wait long.
The mouth on Ganthenex’s head began to slowly open and close, before saying, in Cheryl Olive’s voice:
In a place hidden from the ravages of time,
Sits Ganthenex, held in chains that bind
Within the chain are three missing links
Which to break the chain are at the brink
Now should the chain itself break apart
The stillness from Ganthenex will depart
And once departed Ganthenex will be free
Free from the prison of the Witches Three
For the next part, Cheryl Olive’s voice was joined by Merrell’s, although Merrell sat perfectly still beside Invisible Charlie, watching, as everyone else visible in the room, the head of Ganthenex:
To bind the chain that has Ganthenex bound
Three powerful elements must be found
Elements scattered across this wondrous land
Elements hidden by this coven’s hand
Elements guarded by unsuspecting folk
With imbued abilities by magickal cloak
Elements hidden and long forgotten
And which to the cottage must be brought in
The final part of the strange rhyme also included Beryl’s voice, who sat very still close to Psychic Sue:
Trickery and treachery will appear
As the treats of the hunt will be drawing near
The elements simply must be found
Failure’s consequence will surround
Not only this island nor the world as a whole
But within the Universe’s very soul
Once Ganthenex this time is set free
‘Twill mark the end for you and me
One final line was recited by Cheryl Olive’s lone voice:
Return with the element of which you seek
Before the chimes that midnight speaks
As if in closure, another strong gust of wind encircled the occupants of the room, this time completely blowing out the flames of all the surrounding candles and plunging the room into total and complete darkness. A slight electrical blue glow remained in the centre of the room, where the head of Ganthenex was, until it too faded away.
“Igbon!” Merrell’s voice cut through the darkness, and the light once again returned. The four heroes blinked a few times to readjust their vision, and they found the room had returned to its regular shape.
“We apologise for holding you still,” Cheryl Olive said, “you can move again now. We needed to enchant you all with the words between the words of our spoken instructions. You all now know where to go to search for the three elements of which we speak. We know that you have agreed to help us, or you wouldn’t have come today, and we now know that you are aware of the importance of retrieving what you seek.”
“We are here to help,” Invisible Charlie said, “but why can you three not search for the elements yourselves?”
“As Ganthenex is bound in his prison of our making,” Cheryl Olive answered, “we too are bound within this cottage and the woods around. We live in a fairytale land where such strange rules exist. An ideal place for your wyverns, as you have already discovered. We managed to get our message out to you, in good time, although that time is now draining away.”
Merrell walked over to the door, taking Charlie’s arm as she did so. “Please, step outside the cottage. We have summoned your methods of transportation who will be arriving shortly.” Merrell spoke as she walked. Beryl held Lycralad’s arm, with an eerie smile, to usher him outside, and Cheryl Olive escorted Firetop. “Psychic Sue, you are to remain here at the cottage, so we can use your mystical eye to observe how the team is doing. And, although you will be operating separately, you are still working as a team: a team that not only us, but the entire Universe is now depending on.”
“No pressure there then, Merrell.” Charlie quipped as he walked through the door out into the garden.