After Kara finally finishes buying supplies for the trip — which makes me wonder, why doesn’t Emily and Adriane pack stuff, too? — the party reconvenes at the portal field. All the refugees are there, eagerly waiting for the girls to … um … I guess defeat the Sorceress or something. I mean, come on, even if the party does kill her or banish her or whatever, it’s still gonna be a hella long time before Aldenmor is clean enough for the refugees to return. But whatever, the animals are excited that they’ll be able to go home soon.
It’s here that we learn just how much the girls have changed over the course of their adventure. There’s a lot of stuff here that relates to the symbols that originally went along with the Generic Fantasy Prophecy, some of which survives in the new edition. Adriane forges ahead in a straight line towards her goals and is loyal to her friends; while Kara attracts magic, which radiates from her in circles. Emily’s connection to the prophecy is completely changed in the new edition: her inner monologue is just her wondering if she has the knowledge to heal Aldenmor. In the original edition, it states that Emily stands “at the crossroads between science and faith” … which I don’t think applies to her.
Oh, Kara has a pimped-out outfit for the occasion: designer hiking boots, dark denim jeans, a faux fur-trimmed safari coat, and a bright red Backpack of Holding.
Pimped-Out Kara Outfit Count: 4
Anyway, Ozzie gives a speech to the refugees, which can basically be summarized as: “You just gotta believe in the party!”
And then the party uses Lorelei’s horn to open the portal, and they all jump in.
Here’s where things kinda diverge. Originally, the party starts barreling across the Magic Web, and eventually realize that Kara’s spellsinging altered the portals somehow. In the new edition, the party floats in place just beyond the portal, and scouts their surroundings:
“Hey, aren’t we supposed to go directly to Aldenmor?” Ozzie asked.
“The portals must have changed to match the fairy map,” Emily answered.
“All right, Barbie, you’re up,” Adriane said.
Kara raised the fairy map. The small sphere slowly rotated in her hand.
“Look!” Kara gasped as a pathway of portals lit up inside the fairy map like a constellation of stars.
Adriane’s keen eyes flickered to the fairy map. She pointed to the same configuration of stars along the magic web. “Emily’s right.”
Since the Magic Web is constantly being compared to galaxies and other celestial objects, and the party is always using some artifact to navigate the Web after this book, I think it’s appropriate to post some proper map-navigating music.
Eventually in both editions, Storm catches some distress call from the mistwolves on Aldenmor. The party uses Lorelei’s horn to point them toward Mount Hope. There’s a giant scene in the new edition that details exactly how the party does this, but it boils down to the girls turning their magic bubble in the right direction and asking the horn to take them where they need to go. The bubble speeds along the strands of the Magic Web, which the girls discover are unraveling. Eventually they reach a nexus, but the bubble is going so fast that it breaks apart, and everyone falls into a different portal….
Next time: Adriane fights bears.