“Well, it appears there is only one thing left to do,” Jax said, matter-of-factly. Saleena looked on in horror as he strolled up to the giant doors and rapped sharply on them. Much to her surprise they opened, probably by magic. Jax and Saleena walked cautiously through, but nothing tried to keep them from approaching the castle. “They don’t really know why we’re here, yet,” Jax said. Saleena suspected it was as much for his own assurance as it was for hers. When they reached the castle the drawbridge was down. Saleena peered into the murky depths of the moat. Something was slithering around, she hoped she would not have to find out what.
Inside the castle was just as dark as the outside. It seemed there was darkness that forever hung around the fortress, probably the way the sorcerer preferred it. As they marched on through the cold stone rooms it seemed the castle was quite empty. Suddenly a large roc swooped down from the ceiling. Saleena shrieked. Jax gasped. “State your business!” cried the terrible bird in a raspy voice. “W-we seek audience with the master of this castle!” Jax replied. Saleena couldn’t believe her ears. They were walking right up to the very thing she wanted most to avoid! The bird swooped away and almost immediately two doors Saleena had not noticed before crashed open. They walked through, Saleena was petrified. They found themselves in a great throne-room. Upon the dark, coal-black throne sat a tall, black bearded man in royal garb. “What do you wish?” he asked with a voice like the stone from which the fortress was built. “We have come to destroy you and reclaim these mountains in the name of the good creatures of the land!” Jax stated. If he was afraid, he certainly wasn’t showing it. “We challenge you to a fight to the death!” “So be it!” the wizard’s voice rang out.
Suddenly Saleena found herself alone in a separate chamber. She turner to see where she was and came face to face with a maticora. The beast had the body of a lion, the face of a man, the wings of a dragon, and the tail of a scorpion. Her hand automatically went to the medallion around her neck. She suddenly pictured Jax and all he had done for her. She would not let him down! She drew her sword and charged the beast. It swerved and slashed her face with its massive claw. The wound stung and bled terribly, but she dare not pause.