The Pillar of Dominance
Phantom in the Woods
Salvador glanced in the direction of the crackling fire and held his
breath to better hear the sounds made by his companions. Warren moaned
quietly from exhaustion, but was obviously fast asleep. It had been nearly an
hour since either Nella or Wooffen had stirred. Salvador quietly rose. He
crept to Warren’s side. Slowly, he pulled open Warren’s pocket and snaked
his hand inside. His fingers closed around a weighty, faceted object that was
cool to the touch. Gingerly drawing it out, Salvador gaped at the magnificent
gem winking in the firelight. The blue jewel Warren had pried from his
crown rested in the center of Salvador’s palm. It sparkled seductively,
drawing Salvador's gaze into its dazzling depths. Uplifted by his success
Salvador smiled to himself. He pulled out his handkerchief preparing to
wrap up the jewel and hide it away, when he heard a faint echo of his name
reverberating through the forest.
“Salvador…” said a sweet woman’s voice. “Salvador the hero…”
Salvador clutched the jewel, and looked wildly around. There was no
one in sight.
“Who’s there?” whispered Salvador, his heart racing in his chest. He
searched the darkness with his eyes. A misty white shape materialized and
moved through the trees. It vanished, but soon reappeared much closer to the
“Salvador…” sighed the voice. “Come to me…”
The ghostly shape of a woman drifted toward him from the forest.
“Who are you?” asked Salvador, unconsciously taking a step toward
The beautiful woman made no reply. She swirled around him, her
boots barely touching the ground as she studied him. She wore a fitted corset
over a flowing blue dress. A long dagger hung from her waist belt, and a
gleaming white stone floated weightlessly around her neck on an ethereal
chain. The top of the stone was encased in silver. Her whole figure gave off
a soft luminous light. Salvador grew lightheaded, enchanted by her perfume.
“You’re Miss Maddy Alamore the piratess, aren’t you?” he asked
“So handsome…” She touched his cheek with a translucent hand,
making a chill run down Salvador’s spine. “You are a brave and honest man,
worthy of the map,” said the woman.
“The Map of Inquisition?” asked Salvador. “You know where it is?”