(If you have the original edition, this is the middle third of Chapter 3.)
So Emily and Kara finally reach Ravenswood, where they find a herd of wounded animals gathered in the portal field. Emily, showing remarkably more responsibility than she did earlier with the whole taking kennel dogs to the football game and leaving them with Marcus scenario, sets up a quick animal triage and casts Heal a gazillion times. The animals are a mix of familiar species and some new ones (note: the animal guide’s just been updated!), one of which is a badly wounded koala-thing called a wommel. The first one Emily heals is eventually given a name (I think later on in this book): Rommel. I think I remember doing a double-take when I saw that way back when I first read the book and went, “Wait … is this just supposed to be an alliterative name, or is he named after the Desert Fox?” And then when I re-read the chapter last night, this immediately popped up in my head:
Except I don’t think “Rommel, yeah he conspired against Hitler / now he’s a magic koala and he’s cute as a button!” has the same ring to it.
Anyway, after Emily heals all the animals, she hears a strange melody that nobody else does. This is when all the new refugees — starting with a quiffle named Waldo — tell the girls that some other beast followed them through the portal. The refugees can’t agree on what the creature looks like, but Emily is sure that it needs her help. She and Ozzie head into the woods, while Adriane tells them that “It’s dangerous to go alone — take this!” and lets them borrow Stormbringer.
And so the healbot, the useless ferret, and the badass wolf enter the forest….
Yeah, I don’t have much confidence in this party.
Next time: Hey, it’s Zach! Remember him?