Elodie - Kashani's Last Hope

A battle raging between two High Lords threatens to change Kashani forever. Nothing in Elodie Jedda's life will ever be the same if Jante Calende succeeds in his attempt to assassinate the Most High Lord. There is only one hope for Kashani - Elodie. She believes in herself, the problem is no one else does. Is she strong enough to convince those around her that she is their last hope?

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1. Prologue

The ferryboat charges the mountainous waves of the Atlantic Ocean far from its safe route out of Beverly Harbor. This was no place for such a small vessel but the townsfolk of Salem had entrusted the captain and crew with a task and they intend to complete it.

If the tempestuous ocean filled these men of the sea with fear then what of the sodden group of people huddled in what was little more than a rowboat joined to the ferry by an ancient rope? Tossing around in the small boat were eight men and seven women, their hands bound together with rope. Unable to keep the stinging seawater from their eyes all but one of the women huddled together, their faces etched with fear. A flash of lightning shows the face of one of the men clouded with apprehension as he thinks about what is to come. The faces of the other seven men are calm, if a little resigned. They sit with their heads turned towards the boat towing them and an observer might be more afraid for the men on the ferryboat than for the occupants of the small craft.

As the fury of the Atlantic Ocean tosses the boat around, two of the men can be heard muttering. Only someone sitting close to them would be able to hear the words that they used and even then it is unlikely that any would understand them.

But for the rumble of the men's voices and the occasional sound of weeping from one of the women, there is little to disturb nature's wrath. Who would believe it is May. Suddenly the rope that had been holding the tiny craft to the larger boat slackens. They had been cast away. A voice could just be heard over the sounds of the ocean.

"Good riddance witches! Now you are in God's hands and he'll have no mercy for the likes of you."
Who are these poor innocents and what have they done to deserve abandonment in the middle of this bitter ocean? The group is made up of seven men who have always tried to be decent citizens and the wives of six of them. All of the men and one woman had been judged guilty of witchcraft in what will become known simply as the Salem witch trials.

As the boat that had brought them to this spot in the middle of nowhere disappears from view the mutterings of the men become louder and three of the other men join in. Elisa Haythorn was a sickly woman, prone to fits of the vapors and fainting spells, terrified but determined to be the mistress of her own destiny, she leant over the edge of the boat and readied herself to plunge into the deep waters to meet her end quickly. But rather than the dark waters of the Atlantic, she found herself face to face with a creature with glistening skin, a long face and the most beautiful, peaceful eyes she had ever seen.

"Do not be afraid, my dear. We have come to help. We know of a place that is safe for you and your party. It is called Kashani and is home of the Elven who will care for you all . . . in their way."
She heard the creature speak although its mouth did not move.

"Tis truly witchcraft I see or has the tossing of the ocean caused me to knock my head so I am dreaming now?"
Turning to her husband Nathaniel, she tried to speak.

"It is all right, Elisa. We called them. They will help us. Do not be afeared. It will be right."
Nathaniel reached his hands out to her and Elisa fell forward in a dead faint, as was her nature.
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