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The Terahinian Key

by Domin6

Domin6 This is a story I wrote. I was in 8th grade at the time, so please ignore any spelling or grammatical errors, or typos that you may find. Anyway, I hope you enjoy "The Terahinian Key."
The Terahinian Key

As I walked in the living room with my cousin Grove, my aunt Stella said, “How was your adventure girls, can you tell me about it?”

“Sure,” I said, “here is what happened, from the very beginning…”

As I pushed my way through the endless crowd of teenagers, I heard the loudspeaker croak: ‘Will Savannah Froste and Grove Brightleaf please report to Mrs.Brightleaf’s room immediately; I repeat, will Savannah Froste and Grove Brightleaf please report to Mrs.Brightleaf’s room immediately.’

Oh, great, I thought, what does Aunt Stella need, I’ll be late for Wilderness Club.

I walked to Stella’s room and then saw Grove’s practically identical short mop of unbraided golden-brown hair, the only difference was that mine was long and braided.

“ Grove, wait up,” I called.

My cousin stopped short and said, “ Sure, so, Savannah...I wonder what my mom wants from us.”

“I don’t know, but I don’t think I’ll like it.” I said nervously

We both stepped into Stella’s classroom and she said, “ Thanks for coming, Grove and Savannah, I’m sorry about making you both miss Wilderness Club, but I have something important to tell you.”

“What is it?” me and Grove said together. Then we both looked down at our wrists. I looked at my right and Grove looked at her left, the same way we always did when we knew something major was coming. We had birthmarks on those wrists and they always seemed to symbolize things that were important yet sacred.

“ You know how I used to tell you stories about the good times I spent in a magical world?” ”asked Stella.

“The one that could be accessed from the boulder in front of the Bright River, the one with the key shaped hole on its face?” Grove wondered.

“Yes, that one, exactly, Grove.” Stella said and then beamed proudly at her daughter. “Savannah, do you remember what it is called?”

“ Terahin.” I said, wondering where my aunt was going with this; and by the look on Grove’s face, that was exactly what she was thinking as well.

My aunt suddenly sprinted out of the room without another word and went towards the back of the school, and then she said, “ Come on, I need to show you something.” We followed her out to behind the school; barely making a sweat: all those months of Wilderness Club had paid off.

My aunt sprinted until she reached the river that was behind the school, the Bright River. All of a sudden we saw a massive looming pale grey boulder with the imprint of a key on the face. “ Wow…” whispered me and Grove, “ It’s amazing.”

“And not just an ordinary rock.” announced Stella , “ May I introduce you to the entrance of the portal to Terahin.” She said this proudly, as if it wasn’t just an ordinary rock. Meanwhile, me and Grove exchanged identical shocked glances that clearly meant ‘Stella is definitely more than a little crazy.’
“Ummmm…” me and Grove both said in unison, we both knew that something was terribly wrong, although we didn’t know what.

Meanwhile, unknown to Grove, Savannah, and Stella; a boy of Savannah and Grove’s age (15) was lurking in a bush near the river and was listening to every word they said. This boy was Thomas Stone their “friend” and his spiky black hair and icy-blue eyes meant that he was someone who would most likely be deemed dangerous, to the police. Without alerting anyone to his presence, Thomas raised his wrist, it had a spiked bracelet on it; the bracelet glowed red and enveloped Thomas with its light. When the light cleared, Thomas was gone.

Back near the river, Stella was talking to Savannah and Grove.
“You are probably thinking that I’m more than a little crazy, right. Well, don’t respond, because I will show you that I am not.” said Stella. Then she unlatched the necklace that she always wore, the one with the pale copper chain and green pendant in the shape of a key. The key that would fit in the rock face indent perfectly, the key that had the same mark on it as me and Grove’s birthmarks.

“Er, that’s more than a little creepy,” I muttered to Grove.

“Yeah…” Grove muttered back to me.

“Oh, right, you are going to need supplies if you are going to travel in Terahin.” my aunt said and produced from a large garbage bag: 2 bows and 36 arrows (18 arrows per bow); 4 intricately carved daggers; several long coils of rope; 2 waterproof sleeping bags; 2 medical kits filled with bandages syringes, and tons of modern medicines; and 2 pairs of sturdy combat boots. She handed half of the supplies to me and the other half to Grove. “ Good luck and be careful. Savannah, Grove, I love you both.”

Me and Grove looked at each other and realized that by accepting the equipment we had also accepted our destinies, whatever they may be. I took the necklace from my aunt’s open hand and said, “ Thanks Aunt Stella, we’ll do our best.” We then put all our arrows and the bow in a leather sheath, and everything else in our hiking backpacks. Me and Grove stepped forward and then I set the key in its impression on the rock while gripping the chain tightly.

All of a sudden me and Grove were enveloped in a pale copper light which teleported us into Terahin. When the light subsided, me and Grove opened our eye and immediately saw 2 miles of beautiful lush emerald forests and sparkling blue rivers.

As we gazed at this wondrous sight we said in unison ,“Wow!! It’s beautiful!!!”

As we entered the gorgeous jungle we saw something odd: there was something remotely wrong about this paradise. We noticed that about half way through the forest, there were lots of jet black trees that seemed to give off a menacing aura, the branches were jagged and looked like claws. All of a sudden, blackness slowly creeped up a tree that was near the black ones, and as the tree turned dark, the branches turned crooked as well.

“This isn’t good!” I exclaimed, clearly shocked.

The next day, we noticed a small squirrel, the first form of wildlife in Terahin that we had seen. The squirrel had been standing in the tangled grassy overgrowth on the blackened side of the forest for quite some time now. As we stared at the adorable squirrel, we noticed something: its pale brown legs were turning a menacing black color.

The menacing black color had now spread to the rest of the squirrel’s body, and its paws had sprouted long jagged razor-like claws. Both its claws and its teeth that were now a ugly yellow color, the yellow of rotten teeth. Spikes then appeared on the the squirrel’s spine, ankle, head, and tail. It tripled in size, than tripled twice more until it was the size of a badger. Its brown eyes, which to this point had remained unchanged, morphed to a fierce bloody red color.

The squirrel sniffed around and then charged at me and Grove. Grove attempted to lure it off deeper into the forest, while I followed it, trying to figure out the most humane way to get rid of the danger. After leading it a sizeable distance away from the camp we had made, Grove attempted to climb a reasonably sized oak tree, one that had not been afflicted by what we were calling The Dark Plague. Grove had reached the 8th branch of the tree, which was about 7 feet of the ground; when it happened: the squirrel lifted its scythe-like tail and cut right through the tree. The tree started rapidly falling into the dark tangled grassy overgrowth, gaining speed with each foot it fell.

“Grove, jump!” I yelled panickedly, but Grove was already way ahead of me. With the grace of a champion gymnast, she jumped off of the careening branches, flipped over the badger-sized squirrel and landed safely onto the ground. I then grabbed my bow out of my sheath, strung an arrow onto it, and loosed the arrow into the squirrel’s leg; since I did not want to kill it, even if it had tried to eat us..

“Grrrrrr...” the squirrel growled and then turned back to normal, well almost normal: as a result from the transformation and then almost immediate change back, the squirrel was now 3 inches larger ( in both height and length) and had better reflexes and senses than a normal squirrel. As the injured squirrel looked at us pleadingly, I opened my medical kit and started dressing the squirrel’s wound, while I did this, Grove was on lookout so we wouldn’t have as much of a chance to be ambushed.

“Grove, can we keep him, also can I name him Acorn?” I asked, not wanting to leave the now normal squirrel to the clutches of the dark animals. This was because they were surely growing more numerous as The Dark Plague spread and infected more wildlife and forest land.

“Sure, why not. But, Savannah, we can try to de-plague some of the wildlife and forest lands, but we can’t keep more then 4 more of them as companions, OK?” Grove said to me.

“Alright, so we should do that while traveling further towards the end of the forest. Also, I want to find out who, or what is responsible for this Dark Plague.” I responded.

“Sounds like a plan.” Grove answered.

“Squeaker.” squeaked the newly named Acorn.

Me, Grove, and Acorn traveled farther in to the darkening forest over the next 8 days. Over that time we freed 5 dark deer, 5 dark raccoons, 5 more dark squirrels, and a dark peregrine falcon. Grove decided to keep the falcon after she made her promise to not eat squirrels ( we didn’t want to scare Acorn.) Grove named her falcon Bronze, after the sheen of her feathers in the noonday sun: it made the brownish ones look like burnished metal.

A day later, when Grove, Acorn, and Bronze were all fast asleep, ( I was keeping watch until it was Grove’s shift) I heard a crackling in the large darkened bushes.

“Whoever, or whatever it is in those bushes, you can come out.I’m warning you, though, I’m armed.” I said threateningly, not scared at all: almost 2 weeks in Terahin had made me more resilient and clever than before.

A familiar shape stepped out from the bush, it was my“friend Thomas, but he was clad extremely different than I was used to: instead of leather jackets and ripped jeans, he was wearing jet black armor with a menacing red skull-shaped crest on the breastplate, and a helmet with the same insignia. He had a broad sword's sheath on his back and a fierce black bladed knife in his hand. His black spiked bracelet, however, was the same as always.

Me, in comparison, looked like a beggar in even worse clothing. One thing was that my braided hair was messy, and shorter ( it sometimes got in my way). Another was that there was a circlet of leaves and berries in my hair (a gift from Acorn). Also, my jacket had patches missing from the sleeves (from the battles with dark creatures) and my camouflage pants were dirty and had a small rip in one knee. Finally, my arrows were decorated with falcon feathers ( fallen feathers, they help with speed and precision).

“Why, hello Savannah, it’s a surprise to see you here.” Thomas said kind of hesitantly.

“Same back to you Thomas, but it’s good to see you all the same.” I answered.

“So, what brings you to my country?” Thomas asked.

“What do you mean, ‘your country?’ I wondered.

“Oh,” Thomas looked bashful, “I am not from your world of Earth, I was born and lived 6 years in Terahin. In fact, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I am the Prince of Terahin.”

“WHAT??!!” I shouted, at a loss for words, “Why didn’t you tell me, why didn’t you tell us.”

“Ummm…” Thomas said looking guilty and hesitant at the same time.

“Hello, how is Thomas a prince, they are supposed to be cultured and elegant. Thomas is a ‘bad boy’, arrogant, and usually a rebel.” Grove added from the lookout tree we were using, she had been listening to every word we said.

“Grove’s here too??!!” Thomas exclaimed, “Oh, well never mind that, you look like you need some refreshments, I can bring you to my castle at the end of the forest.”

“OK.” me and Grove said at the same time, “We’d love to since we’ve been living on nothing but berries and meat that hasn’t been affected by the Dark Plague.”

“Good, so it’s settled. But, what’s this Dark Plague that you mentioned.” Thomas wondered, and no one noticed the guilty look on his face, although they did see the concern that he masked the guilt with.

“Oh, The Dark Plague is just what we are calling the things that are black and menacing, since it is affecting more and more wildlife and forest land. I don’t think it is going to stop until it infects all of Terahin and everything/everyone on it.” I exclaimed dejectedly.

“That’s not good. We can talk more about it once we reach my castle, it’s about an hour’s walk north from here, you’ve made good progress.” Thomas said, “Come on, gather your things.”
One hour later, we reached Thomas’ castle, with relief to our aching feet.

After we entered the palace, me and Grove sank down onto magnificent couches while Thomas gave us platters of cheese, roast beef,and crackers. I bit down on some cheese while Acorn and Grove nibbled on crackers, and Bronze inhaled the roast beef like a starved dog ( he must have really missed eating squirrels). All of a sudden I began to feel faint, and when I looked at my companions, they seemed woozy and had soon passed out.

With only seconds of my consciousness remaining I heard Thomas say to one of the guards, “ Take them to the dark dungeons, I now have my foes trapped for good. Now make sure to relieve them of their weapons and tools or I’ll dump you into the forbidden moat.” I didn’t hear the guard’s response because I had then joined my friends in the land of drowsiness.

When I regained consciousness, I noticed that I was in a dank lonely cell made of sharpened iron bars. The bottom of my prison was made of the dark tangled overgrowth, I tried to scrape the grass away and my hands hit solid steel: there would be no escape in that direction.

I looked around the desolate prison and saw that Grove was in a cell 2 away from mine, Acorn was in a equally inescapable cage and Bronze was an identical cage that was at the far end of the jail. The only other prisoner was a teenage girl.

It looked like the girl was almost absorbed in what appeared to be moving jagged black stone that had reached her neck. The girl was screaming and I watched horrified as the rock covered her mouth, then her ears, then her head: now the stone had completely encased the girl’s entire body.

The screams of the girl had turned into girl-like roars, then the girl grew from around 4 ft, to around 8 ft, to around 12 ft tall. Then her fingernails turned into claws the size of knives; spikes of the same size grew on her spine, elbows, and head; and her teeth turned long, jagged and fang-like. Finally her girl-like roars became deep and threatening, and her eyes flashed the color of blood.

Then Thomas entered the room with a set of large keys in his hand, he unlocked the cage and then gave the girl a long sword, a helmet, and a shield. “The transformation worked perfectly, Anna,” he said to her, “ you’ll make a wonderful Plague Beast, come, I have the perfect spot for you on my guard: guarding the hallway that leads to the Dark Oak.”

“You,you,you did this to that poor girl and all the others in Terahin!!??” I exclaimed, finally realizing the horrifying truth, “You are the creator of TheDark Plague!!??”

“Why yes, you’ve only realized this now?” Thomas said with a horrible evil smirk. “I did create this wonderfully evil Dark Plague, so yes, I am responsible for turning all these poor little critters, plants, and people into my Plague Beasts and booby traps. Not to mention, turning the 2 remaining protectors Terahinian throne ( and their accomplices) into them too.”

“Protectors of the Terahinian throne? You mean… Grove and me???” I said, too shocked and horrified to say anything else.

“Why yes, my dim-witted foe, you both are. But you won't be for much longer: look down.” said Thomas, as he and Anna exited the prison chambers, he was still smirking away.

I looked down at my legs and saw that there was an inch of the now familiar black stone on the soles of my combat boots. With a yank and a pull, I tore my combat boots away from the stone and then moved into the mini-hole that I had dug, the hole that exposed the metal of the cage bottom. Then I moved a human sized amount of the dark tangled overgrowth into the empty cage next to me, so I would at least avoid being transformed for a while longer.

As I looked towards my friends I noticed that the black stone had reached Acorn’s belly, Bronze’s leg feathers, and Grove’s ankles. “Grove, Bronze, Acorn, you need to move the plants!!!” I shouted repeatedly, but .as much as I yelled and made noise, my friends did not stir.

‘It must be from tranquilizers that were in the food that was given to us, and the others ate much much more food than me. I noticed that they had nearly finished the roast beef and the crackers; while I only ate 3 pieces of that delicious cheese. The length of time that you are unconscious must depend on how much of the drugged food you eat.’ I thought dejectedly.

As I tried to get some sleep my birthmark brushed against the iron bars of the cage, with a hiss, the iron melted. Then, still in a slight shock, I melted a human sized hole in the cage. I stepped out and then melted my friend’s cages to. Having done this, I dragged them one by one into a supply closet after I melted the dark stone off of them. However, they were all still unconscious, I left them a note to read after they woke up, grabbed my weapons (they were in the same supply closet that I had hid my friends in), and set off to find a way to stop the Dark Plague.

As I walked down the torch-lit halls, I noticed that one passageway had 16 of the Plague Beasts guarding it, I thought this was suspicious considering that the other passageways had only 8 guards guarding each.

As I entered the hallway with the surplus of guards, one of them said in a gravelly voice, “ Intruder!! Get her!!” I strung 5 arrows on my bow and aimed all of them at a place that wouldn’t do a lot of damage: their feet. All 5 arrows hit their marks which meant 5 guards freed. As the guards were turning back to normal, I fired 5 more arrows and they all hit their marks.When I fired the final 6 arrows, all the guards were free, I took all of my arrows back, wiped them off, and then entered through the doorway at the end of the hall.

I saw a horrifying sight when I entered the room: there were around 30 Plague Beasts stationed all throughout the cave, stalactites hung from the ceiling, and there was a crevice in the center of the cave. From that crevice, a menacing red light was emanating. I reached the center of the cave successfully thanks to the marsh arrows I had rigged up ( arrows that are attached to a sack of foul smelling marsh goo which explodes on contact, they are foul enough to knock the Plague Beasts unconscious).

After I had gone into the crevice and had almost reached the source of the menacing light, suddenly, jagged rock spirals that burned with an otherworldly red light surrounded me. Then I was encased in a liquid slimy jet black stone.

“Hello, Savannah,” said the cocky voice of Thomas, who I most definitely despised, “I don’t see how you escaped, but that is no matter, thanks to the liquid dark stone and the surrounding dark rocks, you will become a Plague Beast in a matter of minutes. Oh, did I mention, I have perfected my methods of transforming people… now the process is quicker, and once an infected person touches something, they automatically become inflicted with the Dark Plague.”

I was about to respond to Thomas when everyone in the room turned their heads in response to a sharp whizzing sound. It was an arrow… an arrow that had come from a bow, a bow that was in the hands of Anna, and then I remembered, one of the guards I had turned back had looked remarkably like the girl I had seem be transformed. But, before the arrow could reach Thomas and knock him out, one of the the Dark Beasts sliced through the speeding arrow with its claw, as easily as if it was made of butter.

“Better luck next time, sister.” said Thomas, “Guards, seize them!!” I looked over and saw that Acorn, Bronze, and Grove were behind Anna; awake and fully armed, or at least Grove was armed.

As I went to say something to Anna, the black stone closed over my mouth; I hadn’t realized how much time had passed. As I closed my eyes to except my fate, I heard Grove say, “ Your birthmark!! It’s exposed!!” With a rush of hope, I opened my eyes and pressed my wrist to the stone.

With a brilliant green flash, the stone and cage disappeared, “Come on, Grove, and thank you!!” As Grove joined me, we noticed that the stone had absorbed all of Acorn and Bronze and that they were charging right at us, and we both gasped in horror.

Anna had quickly tossed a cage over them, and after she had tied it closed with some rope, she said, “Go, stop my brother and this Dark Plague, I’ll make sure that your friends are safe and that nothing else tries to attack you.”

Then after she was positive that the cage was secure,she took her sword, and began hacking at the feet of any Dark Beasts that stood in her way. After all of the Dark Beasts were back to their original forms ( including Acorn and Bronze), she set off to help Savannah and Grove.

Meanwhile, in the cavern of the Dark Plague’s source, Grove, Anna (when she joined us), and I were waging a desperate battle against Thomas. We were forced to attack him, while blocking his attacks and also stopping the Dark Plague from fully infecting us: since we were at the place where it started, the power of it was at its peak.

Suddenly, I had an idea; and then, without telling my allies; I climbed on to the first branch of the source of the Dark Plague ( it was a darkened oak tree). Once I was onto the branch, I made a leash out of one of our ropes and then drew the symbol of my birthmark onto it, when I tossed it around Thomas’ body, the rope fit snug and trapped his arms. Then I climbed down and sliced away the black stone that had creeped up to my belly.

We then decided to hang the rope on the branch of the tree, once we did so, Thomas cackled joyfully, “ You fools, you just assured your own demise and my own victory!! Watch me now as your worst nightmares are realized.”

As he said this, Anna, Grove, and I were all thinking something different:
‘Giant snakes that suck out your brains!!’ thought a terrified Anna
‘The end of the world!!’ thought a terrified Grove
‘ Not stopping Thomas and us being his slaves and Dark Beastsfor eternity!!!’ I thought while being almost petrified in terror.

“Wha! Ha! Ha!!! Magnificent source of the Dark Plague, give me all of your power and chaos so I may rid Terahin of these people who stand in the way of my plans!!” Thomas yelled triumphantly.

What we would have faced, I don’t know, because just then, the ropes inscribed with my birthmark glowed green and Thomas slumped over, unconscious.

Than, Grove and I went up to the tree and pressed our birthmarks to it, the tree glowed green and copper. When the light cleared, a beautiful lady had appeared and she had the same curling black hair as Anna, and the same green eyes as me and Grove.

“Mom???” asked Anna and me in wonder.

“No, but I am related to both of your moms, I am the sister of Stella Brightleaf, Grove’s mom; the sister of Kenya Froste, Savannah’s mom; and the sister of Eliza Stone, Anna and Thomas’ mom. Although, people call me Queen Cassandra, the true ruler of Terahin. I had my powers turned for dark purposes, so, I’m sorry if I’ve caused you trouble. Any questions??”

“How are we going to get back home?” asked Grove.

“I believe that you get out the same way you got in, but I could also just transport you right back to your house so you don’t have to take even longer in getting back.” said Queen Cassandra.

“How often can we come here?” I asked.

“I believe you can come once or twice a month, so feel free to check in with us.” answered Queen Cassandra.

“How does this whole ‘protectors of Terahin’ thing work?” questioned Grove.

“It’s not that difficult, if Terahin needs any immediate help from any extremely dangerous threat, whatever it may be, you will be whisked here once you get to the rock portal or another safe place. Plus, your birthmarks will glow green when there is a threat that serious.” said Queen Cassandra.

“When can you two visit us?” I asked.

“Whenever we have free time, but your birthmarks will glow copper when we are coming.” said Queen Cassandra.

“Aunt Cassandra, what are we going to do about Thomas?” wondered Anna worriedly.

“Oh, thanks for reminding me Anna, I am going to take Thomas’ powers and his evilness away, and then trap it in this tree that had imprisoned me, and then pulverize the tree tomorrow, at the summer solstice, when good powers are at their strongest.” answered Queen Cassandra.

“OK, we can go home now, if you can, visit us tomorrow when we tell Aunt Stella about our adventures.” I said.

With a green and copper glow, we were whisked away from Terahin and back to Earth.

When we arrived back, home, we were in our beds.I looked at my alarm clock, it was 9:50 pm of the very same day- the adventure had only taken about 6 hours in Earth time.

The next day I walked into the living room with my cousin Grove and then my aunt Stella said, “How was your adventure girls, can you tell me about it?”

“Sure,” I said, “here is what happened, from the very beginning…”

……………………………3 hrs of long repetitive retelling later……………………………………..

“So, that was what happened,” I said after 3 hours of retelling our adventure.

Before my aunt could respond, there was a green and copper glow and then Queen Cassandra and Anna appeared.

“Hello, sister.” said Queen Cassandra.

“What!! Cassandra??” my aunt was at a loss for words, “ Right…It’s nice to see you again, and the same to you, Anna, you look so much like your mother.”

“Thanks, Aunt Stella,”said Anna,”It was nice to see you too.”

After we all said good bye, Queen Cassandra and Anna went back to Terahin to continue the cleanup of the forests and the reversing of the laws that Thomas had past while his Dark Plague was in effect.

**Meanwhile, the tedious months of school past for Grove and I without a single green glow of our birthmarks, but we are still watching and waiting for the next call for help from Terahin.**

Thomas Runner and AzureEdge like this.
  1. AzureEdge
    Very interesting and intriguing. There could have been more details in the beginning about the summer solstice, and Terahin but I loved it~!
    Nov 26, 2014