Chapter Twelve - A Dangerous Path

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ELDON THE GIANT STEPPED FORWARD and grasping both girls in his muscular arms, he lifted them into the air.

'Danielle, Jessica, it is good to see you both,' he said with a huge grin.

'And you Eldon,' both girls echoed whilst gasping for breath.

'Sorry,' he said setting them back down. 'I sometimes forget my own strength. Especially around small humans.'

'Never mind the niceties,' grumbled Bredock Holt. 'How and why have you brought us here?'

'The how would be my doing Gnome,' Oaktooth declared. 'Now you are here I will leave it up to these saplings to tell you the why.'

Bredock fixed his eyes on the girls, glancing from face to face. 'Well is one of you going to enlighten me.' he snapped.

'I will.' Danielle said quickly. 'But not until you explain why you still have The Amulet of Hidden Ways. It was supposed to have been given to Ceridwen for safe keeping.'

The Gnome shrugged. 'And it will be... Soon. We are just sorting out some important matters before we do.'

'Visiting ale houses is not important.' Danielle remarked.

'Not to you maybe, but to...' Bredock spluttered. 'Why am I justifying myself to you child. Now explain yourself.'

'You had better do as he asks. You know how stubborn he can become.' Eldon warned.

Danielle realized it was no good irritating Bredock any further. They needed his help. She quickly told them what had happened to George and how the Elves had sealed off their lands.

'So in a way, it's good that you didn't return the Amulet to Ceridwen. We need it to get into Ellyonia. Can you help us?'

'But...' Bredock began to say.

'Ignore our small friend,' Eldon said. 'We will do everything in our power to help you. Will we not Bredock?'

The Gnome looked suitably exasperated. 'Yes, of course. But I am not sure that even the Amulet will have enough power to break through any barriers the Elves have erected.'

'But if we combine our power then we should be able to counter the Elven magic,' came a disembodied voice

Danielle swung around looking for the source. There was a humming in the air of the little clearing and suddenly Ceridwen and Sorrow her wolf-dog stood beside her.

They exchanged greeting. Danielle and Jessica hugged her close. Eldon helped her to drier ground and seated her on a fallen log.

'It's good to have you here.' Danielle told Ceridwen. 'But how did you know?'

'I took it upon myself to summon the witch,' Oaktooth stated. 'Certain elements of any plan can sometimes lead to disappointment.'

Bredock Holt shot the tree a sideways glance and mumbled something about a pile of sawdust.

'Now, now boys can you put your petty differences aside and deal the problem of how to get the girls into Ellyonia,' the White Witch said.

The Gnome exchanged a quick glance with Oaktooth. 'I see no reason why not,' he said. 'The sooner we get them on their way the sooner I can get to Gwadelen Pass.'

Ceridwen smiled. 'I think not Bredock. If they go the girls will need protection. Oaktooth as explained much and I sense a great danger where they are going. A danger that will soon affect us all if it is not stopped.'

Bredock sighed heavily. 'We have important business with...'

'That will have to wait I am afraid.' Ceridwen interrupted. 'Now, unless you want me to call for a meeting of the Elders and ask why you have not handed over the Amulet. I would suggest you help us in any way you can.'

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