Anise smiled and blushed as Peck wrapped a blanket around her. She truly appreciated everything he had done for her since they first met. Everyone that had helped her until this point she felt gratitude for. She promised herself to pay that assistance back threefold.
Suddenly, the earth swallowed her whole. She should have expected this reaction from the Lady of Stone. Their introduction began with the Lady trying to bury her alive. Even so, the experience of falling was startling. The landing was soft in spite of landing on the earth. The darkness was not so bad especially with the Sword of Light in her hands.
"I have no interest in trees and blood and kings."
The Lady of Stone moved like a shadow on the walls, a ripple of a figure that paced around Anise. "Look around you. Shadow and I understand one another. The cold and the dark and the barren suit me. I'll drink up the blood that's spilled. I'll swallow the buried dead. I'll swallow you." There was a grin in her voice.
Anise watched as the Lady paced around her. She now understood. She could only imagine how living so long in the darkness could create an appreciation for it. She approached the Lady and placed a warm hand onto her shoulder.
"Have you forgotten?" Anise asked softly. "Have you forgotten what it was like to feel the warmth of the sun? The beauty of life? The earth I know is a warm place full of life. The earth works together with the trees, water, fire, air, light, and darkness to create a beautiful world." Anise closed her eyes and brought forth the image of her world in her mind.
Using the light of the sword and the image she conjured in her mind, Anise unconsciously created a shimmering image behind her of her the Kingdom of Riverforde. The image of the sun in the sky. The warm earth. The plants and trees growing off the gifts of the earth and the old dying trees returning to the soil from whence they came. People being born, living off the land, and dying only to return to the land. Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, Trees, Light, and Darkness all worked together in cycles and unison.
"I'm sure this is why the Dragon brought myself and other Sun Children here," Anise reopened her eyes. "I'm sure this land used to flourish just like mine. We can make that a reality again. How would you like that?"
She enveloped the entire space with light and warmth. Healing and soothing. "Remember how relaxing a sun-baked stone feels? Isn't it nice?"