‘This is new,’ observed Heraclief. ‘Where are we?’
The three Danagrim, accompanied by the sorcerer, Odinel Umfraville and the Druid Myrddin stood in a magnificent ring of standing stones. It was dusk and a faint blue aura surrounded the menhirs, crackling occasionally as though with electrical static.
Myrddin’s shoulders slumped although in exhaustion or despair the others couldn’t tell. After a long silence, Achilleus turned to the Druid.
‘Judging from your reaction, this must surely be the great standing stones of Stonehenge?’ Achilleus looked to the others. ‘Sacred stones and very much forbidden to access. Indeed, invisible to the naked eye or so my old tutor, the Druid Calitax used to tell me.’
Looking up very slowly, as though not wishing to face the facts staring him in the face, Myrddin slowly raised his head, dark shadow beneath his eyes and skin taut from the effort of teleporting all six.
‘I am afraid you are correct Holy Protector. We have entered the territory of the Belgae and alas for they are not overly fond of elves.’
Paulinas and Decius had moved across to the crackling blue aura and were both stood concentrating their efforts on the clearly magical force field blocking their way.
‘This is incredibly powerful’ reported Decius. ‘My sense is that we would risk our lives by touching this energy.’
‘Then it is safe to say that we are trapped or out of the frying pan and into the fire.’ Achilleus, still limping but once again with a fire in his eyes as of old, looked upon the other five. ‘Allow me to do the talking. Old blood feuds may well be remembered as the Danagrim stood with Caesar’s legions in pursuing the Belgae on the banks of the Rhine but the eleven druids of the south battled the tribesman when they fled to these shores. The war was bloody and led to the annihilation of the Druid conclave here at Stonehenge’
‘Indeed it did, Roman,’ spoke a heavily accented, European voice. ‘Though the stones were never wrought by eleven hands and did not belong to them. All of the stones built on this sacred isle were constructed by the hands of our ancestors.’
The group looked all around them but could not see the speaker.
‘Show yourself,’ demanded Achilleus.
‘You have trespassed on land forbidden to your people. Danagrim, Druid and jinn of the east. Do not be surprised emerald flame, your kind were once common in the desserts but easily bound by the power of the magi.’
Flabbergasted by these revelations, Heraclief simply stood, dumbfounded and unable to respond despite the awkward glances of the others.
‘Actually, Achilleus the Golden, I think you will find that I am in full sight if you have eyes to see.’
With the group still searching left and right, there is a slight shift in one menhir, as though one of the stone triumvirates is about to collapse. The two stones supporting a third stone ceiling seem to turn and bizarrely, the semblance of a face can be seen in the upper stone. Turning, the base stones act like legs, swinging forward and pounding the ground with a great thump upon each stride. Only a few strides is enough for the stone giant to stand towering over the six survivors.