Aurora knocked softly on the Queen’s door. "Celosia?" she called. There was sound from inside, possibly a curse to the goddess, which she ignored. "What about the prisoners?"

This time the curse was obvious. "I forgot all about them. Let’s go relieve the guard and find out what they know," she said, emerging from her hut.

The pair walked the short distance to the partially built Med Hut. They stopped by the bonfire for a couple of bowls of the stew and some bedrolls. Celosia beckoned to two of the more alert Amazons to follow her, and they made their way over to the prisoners.

Handing one of the bowls to the larger of the two men, she dismissed the exhausted pair of guards who had stayed at their posts during Yakut’s call to the spirit world. Praising them for their dedication to duty, she ordered them off to the square for stew and much-needed rest. "I’d best not see you around camp until late . . .very late . . . tomorrow afternoon," she warned. "As for the two of you," Celosia turned to Hercules and Iolaus. "You will stay here under guard, and remain far from the Amazons tonight. Don't let me catch you over there. Understand?"

Iolaus sighed, but Hercules voice was firm. "Understood."

"They should be all right here for the night, my queen. In the morning, after we sort things out, we'll be better able to decide what to do with them," Aurora stated.

"Yes, thank you, Aurora. I’ll leave you in charge here. Be certain they go nowhere," she leveled a steely gaze at the guards as well as at Aurora.

"Of course, my Queen!"

"Queen, huh?" the younger male nudged his friend with an elbow. "We get the royal treatment!"

Celosia turned. "That is exactly what you will get if you set a foot outside this hut."

Iolaus raised his hands. "Got it! Got it! Not to worry!"


Hercules woke to the sound of footsteps nearing the camp. And they were not exactly delicate, Amazon steps. "Iolaus!" he whispered, shaking his friend.

"What?" the young man groaned, rolling. Hercules clamped a hand over the other’s mouth, motioning him to silence. The sound of brush crackling beneath heavy feet was clearly audible.

"We’ve got to get find the Queen," Hercules whispered. Iolaus nodded and they crept on hands and knees out of the hut.

Unfortunately, they didn’t see Aurora. She had placed her bedroll directly outside the hut door and the pair tumbled over her, waking her.

"What in Zeus' name are you doing over here? If the Queen catches you, you'll be killed!" she managed to get out before Hercules clapped a hand over her mouth. The two guards rushed up to her side, spears lowering toward the two men.

"Listen," Hercules whispered urgently. "Someone is coming towards the camp and I don't think they're the welcoming committee."

A twig snapped under the weight of someone's foot behind them all. Aurora, Hercules and Iolaus drew their weapons as they turned. But before they could orient themselves, someone grabbed them and covered their mouths and noses with a moist cloth. They struggled to get loose, but the alcohol on the cloths took effect and all three passed out.

Three burly, hairy men dragged the two men and the three unconscious Amazons away from camp and into the forest.

But one of the other Amazons had witnessed the whole thing and wasn’t far behind.


As the Head Scout, Thalia took next watch, to let Tern and Medea get some sleep before morning. She stood perched in a tree above the ground, swinging one foot and tapping her crossbow lightly against the branch supporting her.

A small snap of a twig caught her attention, and she looked to where the sound had come from. Peering into the darkness, she readied her crossbow and prepared to morph if need be.

Looking around, she saw nothing. Not even shadows.

"What's going..." Suddenly, the tree she was standing in rocked violently and she lost her balance, tumbling to the ground.

Something grabbed her. She spun and delivered a fierce sidekick, sending it flying before turning and knocking the feet out from the next approaching figure.

She stood in a fighting position, eyeing the dark shadows that encircled her.

Desdion! She called through her mind as they grew closer.

"Well, well, well," came a voice behind her.


Thalia turned to see an Amazon in full battle gear. As she looked closer, she saw that the figure wore a large, feathered mask, which covered everything except her eyes. Thalia looked straight into the deep blue eyes across from her.

"What in the name of Zeus? Is that you Mizera? By the gods! What are you doing here?"

Before she could recover from the shock, two rather large, burly Amazons restrained Thalia.

Formerly good friends, Mizera had turned to evil several years ago, and she now controlled the known world's largest tribe of renegade Amazons. Mizera and her tribe were known for ruthlessly torching towns and murdering villagers in front of their families.

"What do you want? Why are you here?" Thalia demanded.

"You'll learn everything in due time." Mizera stated. "Take her away!"

The two evil Amazons knocked Thalia unconscious and dragged her away. Luckily, Desdion had heard her call, and went to wake up the other Amazons in Celosia's tribe.

When Thalia awoke, she found her self in a dark, minimally guarded, cage, tied up along with Aurora, Hercules, and Iolaus.

"Glad you're awake, sleepy head." Iolaus smirked.

"Were in some kind of cage at the camp of these um...Amazons," Hercules said. "There aren't too many guards, so we can probably break out."

"But before we do, we need to know as much about theses Amazons so we can form a plan. Do you have any idea who they are?" Aurora asked.

"Well..." Thalia sighed. "It's a long story."


Woken by a burning sensation on her chest, Tern sat up quickly, listening. The dragon against her neck burned hotly. Nudging Medea, the two Amazons lay silent, then vanished from sight.

Invisible, Tern and Medea crept to Celosia's hut. Entering, she scanned the room for trouble. Finding none, she made her way to the Queen’s bedside. "Celosia," she whispered hoarsely.

Celosia's eyes popped open.

"Shh! Something’s very wrong!" Celosia could barely hear Tern and couldn’t see her at all. But it was the voice of a trusted friend who only went invisible when the tribe was threatened. She rose silently and the three crept into the trees to see what they could.


Celosia, Tern and Medea crept through the night looking for anything unusual.

"Owww!" They heard someone cry. Looking down, they realized the noise came from Belen lying at the edge of the Village Square.

"Shh!" the two Amazons replied.

"My hand you’re on my hand!" Belen called, pulling vainly on her stuck hand. She couldn’t figure out what was trapping it. There was nothing there!

The three Amazons stepped back and Belen quickly pulled her hand to her face and examined it. "What are you two doing up?" Belen asked a little worried.

Celosia explained to Belen what was going on and Belen immediately volunteered to join in the search. "Should we split up?" Belen asked.

"No, it's to risky to be alone right now. We don't know what were up against," Celosia answered.

"What’s going on? Couldn’t sleep either?" Alcina asked.

"There, Now it's an even number," Belen replied. They agreed to split up, all except Alcina who was still in the dark.

"What’s going on?" Alcina asked again.

"Come on, I’ll explain on the way," Belen answered as Celosia and Tern walked away.

But no sooner had they begun to search than someone grabbed Belen and Alcina. The two fought hard and Belen thought she saw Alcina slipping away into the trees. Then something heavy and hard slammed into her head. The next thing Belen knew she was in a cage with four faces starring at her. "What’s going on? Where am I?" Belen demanded.

"Welcome to the party," said a voice Belen recognized as Thalia's.

Meanwhile, Alcina moved through the forest at full speed until she found Celosia and Tern. "Alcina? Where's Belen?" the two Amazons asked.

"They grabbed her," Alcina panted. "They grabbed me, too, but I managed to get away."

"Who got her? Did you see their faces?" the two asked quickly.

"No it was too dark. And one had a mask," Alcina answered.

Meanwhile, the captives were trying unsuccessfully to escape. "Any ideas?" Belen asked with a sigh.

"Maybe," said a voice.


Stretching, Xanthea got out of her bedroll. She noticed several other bedrolls were empty as well. She walked over to the dying fire and added some wood to it, hoping the light would aid her as she looked for her Amazon sisters.

Standing near the fire, she looked around. Many of the Amazons where still asleep and Xanthea couldn't see a thing beyond their camp from where she stood. Sighing, she headed towards the edge of their camp.

She carried a small torch with her to light the way. The petite Amazon nervously scanned the area, looking for anything unusual. She saw nothing, which made her even more nervous. She looked around again when someone grabbed her from behind. The person put their hand over her mouth.

Xanthea dropped her torch in the struggle. She struggled against her would-be captor, but they were too strong and she was forced to stop. The person turned her around.


Léda spun Xanthea around and put her finger to her mouth, while grinding the torch into the ground to put it out. Whispering, she explained that a few Amazons had definitely mysteriously disappeared, and that there was something not right. Motioning for Xanthea to stay close, the two started to walk quietly around to try and find a sign of someone.

Suddenly Léda stopped and stared straight ahead, at something in the darkness.


Léda had found Desdion waiting for them. The Wolf stood before them, the dim light in the forest illuminating the outline of fur along his body, making him appear to glow.

Your sisters are in grave danger, he said in their minds. Léda and Xanthea exchanged glances, someone speaking directly into their head wasn't something they were used to. I will help you find Thalia, he continued. They may be in more danger than they realize.

Xanthea and Léda nodded, following the Spirit.


Thalia sat up quickly.

"What is it?" Hercules asked. "Is something wrong?"

Thalia held up a hand for him to wait. Desdion?

Yes, cub. I am bringing your sisters to help you. Be careful, cub, you are in grave danger. Use your powers if you need to, but beware the...

A searing pain shot through Thalia's head, cutting off Desdion's telepathic message. She cried out, grasping her temples.

"Are you all right?" Iolaus moved to help her.

"Something's wrong." Thalia shook her head, as the pain slowly started to ebb. "Something's very wrong..."


"Masks, huh?" Medea questioned.

"Medea?" Alcina asked, disconcerted to realize she couldn't see the petite Amazon. For that matter, Tern had suddenly vanished.

Tern said calmly. "Alcina, tell us everything you remember. We’ve got to get the others out."

Junior, stay close to Alcina. Something's not right here. Tern ordered. Her invisible apprentice nodded.

You got it.

Alcina eyed the air where she had last seen Tern. "Well," she began. She might not be able to see Tern or the Regent, but she could feel them hovering protectively around her. "Belen and I were creeping through the brush when…"


Xanthea and Léda followed Desdion through the forest. Both exchanged glances as they continued. Neither knew what was going on, but they knew not to argue with the wolf. It was connected to Thalia and if he led them to their Amazon sister, they'd follow him anywhere.

"Maybe we should find someone else to help us," Xanthea whispered to Léda. She tossed back her braid as she jogged after the wolf. "Something just doesn't feel right about this."

Xanthea heard something and whipped around. Someone else was following them. She could feel it. All she saw was a falcon flying over their heads. Xanthea felt her heart race.

"Did you hear that?" she whispered to Léda.


"Something's following us," Xanthea replied. Something was definitely wrong.


Peering through the trees, Medea and Alcina noticed two sisters and what looked like Thalia's wolf run beneath them.

"Hey look! Amazons!" Alcina smiled. A little of her fear from the previous events draining away. She moved to call to them. "Hey Guys-" an invisible hand clamped over her mouth.

"Shh!" Medea hissed into her sister's ear. "We don't know who they are yet!"

"But they're Amazons!" Alcina insisted, breaking free of the invisible Regent's grip. She found it a little unnerving that Medea could see her, but she couldn't see Medea.

"Yes they are, but we don't know if they're our Amazons." the young blond explained, grabbing the other by the arm. Dropping to a lower branch she whispered, "Follow me. Be quiet and keep up."

The two women began following the others, careful not to make a sound. Careful that is, until Alcina stepped on a weak branch.

Her eyes grew wide in surprise as she prepared for a rough landing. The landing never came, however, as Medea grabbed her by the arm and hauled her up to another branch.

"I thought I told you to follow me!" she snapped. Their prey had surely heard the branch crash to the ground!

"Well it's kind of hard to follow something I can't see!" Alcina whispered back, getting annoyed with the whole situation.

The Regent sighed in exasperation and materialized. "There? Happy?" she asked, crossing her arms.

"Very." Alcina grinned. "Hey...where'd those two Amazons-"

"Who goes there?" a strong voice called out from below them.

Medea knew in an instant who it was. She grimaced. "Léda," the Regent spat out in distaste.

"Léda!" Alcina smiled brightly and began her descent from the tree. "Thank the goddess! It's just us, no need for alarm. Hey Medea, it's just Xanthea and Léda, you can come down!"

A moment passed. "Medea?"

Again, nothing.

"Medea are you up here?" Xanthea asked, climbing up the tree to look for her sister. After a moment of close inspection she could see no trace of the Amazon. "Um, are you sure Medea was with you Alcina?" she called down.

"Yeah, Tern sent her with me, she was just there!" she insisted.

"Well she's obviously not there now." Léda stated, looking ahead. The wolf pawed the ground and snorted at the Amazons. "Desdion wants us to keep following should probably come with us Alcina."

"But, she has to be-"

"There’s no one up there, Alcina," Xan said gently. "Now come on, we have to get a move on if we're gonna save Thalia."

"Yeah, let's go," Léda smiled, happy to be back on task. that's their game! Save the Amazons and take all the credit! Medea thought. She sat perched on a log behind the trio of Amazons, invisible to the untrained eye. Well, we can't have that! They're gonna need me if they get in any real trouble, she smiled haughtily and began trailing behind them with the stealth of the panther.


As Medea stalked the three Amazons, Celosia and Tern went over all the facts that Alcina told them about the attack and attackers. They were in a hurry. They knew it was urgent that they found their missing sisters.

"All we know so far is that the one who wear’s that mask seems to be in charge. She has cold, piercing baby blue eyes and seems to be an Amazon by her attacking tactics," Celosia went over again.

"That’s not much to go on," a worn out Tern said with a sigh.

"No, It's not, but it’s all we have," Celosia said quietly.

"Okay, lets go over it again," Tern said sitting up.

Meanwhile Thalia and the other captives were desperately trying to find away out of their prison. Thalia sat in the corner her headache just now stopping to throb.

"Thalia?" Belen asked quietly. "Are you feeling better?"

"Yes, a little, I suppose," she paused for a moment, rubbing her temples. Then she looked up at the other members of the group. "Well, can we dig our way out?"

"No, we tried, the bottom is steel, got any other suggestions?" Aurora stated.

"Nope," Thalia sighed.

"I might," Iolaus said. Hercules shook his head and stared at the floor.

"What?" the Amazons asked.

Iolaus walked up to the bars and pulled on them a little. Then he began jumping up and down while hanging on to them and screaming, "HELP!"


Haven awoke with a jerk, hearing the scream in her head. Gripping her staff, she held it close to her body, and scanned the area for signs of life, but found none. Her heart sank.

She was making her way home, having been wounded and left behind after the Amazon battle with the armored men. She felt alone and lost, and eager to return to the tribe. Gathering her staff, she began again the walk that had already lasted her two days.

Imagine her surprise at having been captured by the warriors who had attacked her sisters. Lucky for her, she was a skilled Amazon, and had no trouble slipping through their pitiable jail and out into freedom.

But she was starting to wonder what had happened to her sisters. She shuddered to think how many might have perished. She pushed on, eager to see their new homeland.

It took her several more hours, but she reached Themiscrya without incident. No guards barred her entrance to the newly founded home of the tribe, a curious happening. In fact, nobody was around at all.

She checked the bedrolls strewn around the waning bonfire and found them empty. She was happy to find no sign of blood, though it was apparent that wherever they had gone, they hadn’t exactly gone willingly.

The silence reminded her of the scream that had woken her. She was used to hearing the screams of the dead, but there was something about this cry that just didn’t click this time, something that wasn’t right.

Deciding she was going to have to act fast, Haven moved down to the river. Sitting by the edge of the water, she began to chant. It was a low, mournful chant that could only be heard by her spirit and the spirit of nature.

It wasn’t long before a vision exploded inside her mind.


Home Sweet Home

Enter Mizera


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