(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 11.)
Hey, remember all that research on Ravenswood Emily did way back in the very beginning of the series? Well, it finally comes into play. Emily remembers that the Rocking Stone is a Native American “spirit door”. Tweek elaborates: the Rocking Stone is a point where the material and astral planes intersect. The Spider Witch is channeling her dark magic through it.
And remember those weird markings Emily found on the Rocking Stone in the new edition of Circles in the Stream? Adriane activated them when she returned from the astral planes via the Rocking Stone in the last chapter. Tweek reveals that the markings are a message about elemental magic. Each symbol corresponds to a specific element: earth, fire, wind, water, and … something else.
The party figures out that Adriane may be able to heal Orenda, since she successfully cast Heal on Tweek in the last chapter. Unfortunately, the party needs to use elemental magic to heal Orenda, and improper use of elemental magic has dire consequences … like what happened to the Spider Witch. Apparently, the Spider Witch gained great mastery in elemental magic, but turned into a half-spider monster in the process.
Kara realizes that the party can use the Power Crystal to save Ravenswood. Tweek thinks this is a Bad Idea, but Adriane and the mistwolves are determined to do anything to save Orenda. So Tweek asks all the party members if they meet the requirements for Level Two:
- Do you have a tuned jewel? (The entire party has one each.)
- Do you have at least one bonded animal? (Everyone but Emily and Ozzie has one.)
- Do you have an elemental paladin? (Only Kara meets this requirement.)
The party also figures out what elements they are tuned to. Kara is tuned to fire, Adriane is tuned to Earth, Emily is tuned to water, Ozzie is tuned to air, and Zach is tuned to the as-yet unidentified element.
Of course, the party wonders why Emily and Ozzie don’t have bonded animals. Tweek mentions that healer mages like Emily can bond with many animals, which is some serious foreshadowing for the next book. Kara suggests that Ozzie is bonded to himself, because he’s an elf in a ferret’s body. Tweek also mentions that not all mages can level up to Level Two; Kara is just the rare mage who can.
The party then realizes that the Spider Witch may have a paladin … possibly the giant spider Kara saw in the Spider Witch’s lair in the last book. If they can sever the Spider Witch’s connection to her paladin, they could weaken her control over Ravenswood. So Kara amplifies Adriane’s Heal spell … but it’s not very effective.
Ozzie thinks this is the perfect time to experiment with his elemental abilities. He casts Gust of Wind and blows himself into a nearby lake. Emily casts Control Water to return Ozzie to shore, and only succeeds when Kara amplifies the spell. Adriane continues attempting to heal the surrounding forest, but all she does is send Tweek flying away. The refugees come and try to help the party, but nothing seems to work in unremarkable fashion in the original edition:
With the mistwolves supporting her, Adriane reached frantically, trying to stop the poison from spreading. But the circle of fire washed harmlessly across the glade.
And things blow up spectacularly in the new edition:
With the mistwolves supporting her, Adriane reached out, trying to find what she had seen in her nightmare.
Kara spread her arms wide, sending a blast of unicorn magic into the ring.
“Kara, watch out!” Ozzie yelled.
The circle of fire washed across the glade in a blaze of power.
Everyone wishes they could do magic good and do other stuff good, too. Emily wants to contact the Fairimentals or unicorns for help. (Question: why doesn’t she mention the Fairy Realms as a source of help?) Kara and Adriane blame each other for their failures — mainly, Adriane blames Kara for destroying a Power Crystal. (Thank god someone remembered that!) Luckily, Ozzie shuts everyone up and tells them to work together and never give up.
While everyone is feeling down, Tweek figures out what the unidentified element is: time. Time strengthens all elements and roots them in the real world. Thus, Zach and Drake can anchor Adriane the next time she world walks to the Spirit Trail. Adriane decides to go to the astral planes and find the Power Crystal, but she doesn’t have a whole lot of time.
The new edition adds a scene after this part, in which Ozzie gets a special delivery:
“Let’s hear it for Ravenswood!” Ozzie hollered.
“Nothing will distract us now!” the frenzied ferret screamed.
“Someone’s here!” A mistwolf emerged from the ring of trees.
“Oo, be right back!” Ozzie darted toward the manor house, Emily on his heels.
They scrambled through the woods, skidding to a stop near the front of the manor. A delivery truck emblazoned with an orange and green logo: BURGERS N’ THINGS was parked in the main driveway.
The driver stepped out, smiling at Emily. “I have your order here.”
“What order?” the healer asked.
“Fourteen hundred hamburgers, four hundred and fifty milk shakes…”
The mage glared at Ozzie.
“What else was I supposed to do? Feed them a quiffle?”
“And one order of curly fries,” the delivery boy finished.
“That’s mine,” Ozzie called out.
The delivery guy looked around, puzzled. “Everything’s been billed to … let’s see here,” he took out a slip of paper. “The Pet Palace.”
“Uh, you can leave everything here,” Emily said, taking the bill.
The boy quickly carted boxes and cups from the back of the van, stacking them in a precarious pile as the other mages emerged from the forest.
“How am I going to explain this one?” Emily groaned.
“Enjoy!” the delivery guy called out as he sped off.
“Mine has extra pickles!” Rasha called out, pushing the mistwolves aside to inspect dinner.
As the group gathered round to carry the goodies back to Adriane’s house, the warrior’s germ crackled red.
I probably didn’t mention this earlier, but when Adriane detects evil, her Wolf Stone glows red. So what evil stuff is going down in Ravenswood this time?
Next time: Adriane reunites with a dead party member.