A dark shadow crept out of Teldar in the darkest hour of the night, moving swiftly between the outlines of the houses, keeping to the darker areas as to not to be seen. Pale moonlight gave a faint light to the market square, edging the fountain in silver. The only sounds that could be heard were that of the water rippling in the fountain, and a distant owl.

The shadow had soon left Teldar behind and hurried along the travel road north. Once far enough away from the city as to not be visible from the houses the shadow slowed down a little and pulled the hood of the cloak off. For the citizens of Teldar, the face would have been easily recognizable, belonging to Disa, clan leader of the clan SoS and Mayor candidate. She sighed as she removed her cloak and put it in a large sac she carried with her. Out of the sac she grabbed a paper note and read it for the second time that evening. She was fortunate to have good dark vision due to her dwarven heritage.

It had only two words on it. 'Come fast!' She knew who had sent it, and it made her worried. Hurrying on her steps again she continued along the travel road, turning off towards the west at one point, then continuing north. After some time she finally reached the Haon-Dor, the forest where the person who'd written the note lived.

In the middle of the forest she found the little cabin and knocked on the wooden door. It opened and an old lady was standing there.

'Disa!' she said with a relieved sigh. 'I'm glad that you could come so quickly.'

'What has happened?' Disa asked worriedly. 'Is Dulce okay?'

The old woman shook her head, sorrow showing in her eyes.

'Please tell me!' Disa said, a cold hand having grabbed hold of her heart.

'Come in and sit down, and I will tell.' The old lady opened the door wide so that Disa could enter.

Well inside they sat down on a couple of chairs by an old, torn wooden table. The old lady put out a cup of tea for Disa, but she didn't touch it.

'Where is my daughter?' she asked.

The old lady sighed again. 'She has been taken. I couldn't prevent it, they were too strong for me.'

'Who took her?' Disa's hands squeezed the cup so that it was close to breaking. The old lady gently took it from her.

'It was a black apprentice. I don't know where he's from.'

Disa thought for a moment. 'I do. He's from the High Tower of Magic. I've had dealings with them before. They must have found out about Dulce somehow. I just can't see how, I've kept it a secret from everyone.'

'Maybe it's time to end the secret?' the old lady asked.

'I know.' Disa sighed. 'I can't keep hiding her here with you. Sooner or later people will have to know.' She stood up. 'I better get going. I don't want Dulce to have to be with those people any longer than necessary.'

'They might be stronger than you think.'

'So be it. I can't leave Dulce with them. I'm sure they have some alternate motive for this, but I just want my daughter back.'

The old lady got up and took a few things from a cupboard and gave it to Disa. It was a canteen filled with milk and some bread.

'Don't starve yourself.' the old lady said with a faint smile. 'That will help neither you nor Dulce.'

Disa nodded and gave the lady a quick hug. 'Thank you. It wasn't your fault that they took her.'

Disa traveled most of the night, wanting to reach the High Tower of Magic as soon as possible. Her mind was over active, imagining all the horrible things that the people of the Tower could have done or would do to her daughter. It was a strange tower filled with magic of both the white and black kind, it had strange creatures living there, and Disa doubted even the Master of Goodness was completely good once you examined his soul.

Reaching the Shadow Grove Disa could see the Tower rising before her. Eerie light emanated from its windows, and once again she could feel the cold hand grabbing hold of her heart. Taking a deep breath she went up to the gate, as she had expected it was locked. Before she could turn around to look for the diamond golem she knew held the key she was attacked by two shadow guardians and had to fend them off. Soon after she found the diamond golem, quickly knocked him unconscious and grabbed the key.

The gate made a squeaking noise when she slowly opened it and peered inside. The hallway seemed empty so she snuck in, trying to sneak quietly, not wanting to be surprised by the many monsters and creatures she knew lived in the Tower. Quickly checking that no one was close by she closed her eyes and mumbled a few magical words, a cloak of invisibility settling over her.

Moving along the dark corridors she saw a few disembodied hands and other strange things, but kept out of the way from them. She found a door, which she opened and went through, finding some stairs leading to the upper floors. At the foot of the stairs some golems were standing, since she knew they were aggressive she ran past them and up the stairs, hoping they wouldn't notice her since she was still invisible.

The Tower was high, and she had to get through many floors before she finally reached the top where the three Masters of the good, neutral and evil magic had their rooms. Knowing it had been a black apprentice that had taken Dulce, it wasn't hard to figure out where to go, so she started walking down the darkest hallway.

She opened the dark door and peered inside, and quickly caught sight of the black apprentice. Sneaking in she soon grabbed him by his cloak, pulling him down to her level so she could look him in the eyes.

'Disa!' the young apprentice's eyes were about to pop out of his head. 'I.. I didn't expect you yet. What a pleasant surprise.'

'Where's my daughter?' Disa asked, pulling the cloak tighter around his neck.

'I can't tell!' the apprentice said, trying to catch his breath, but failing.

Pulling the cloak even harder, Disa glared at the apprentice. His face was turning slightly blue.

'I ask you again. Where is my daughter?' she lessened the grip on the cloak a little and the apprentice took a few gulping breaths.

'The mistress has her.'

Disa stared at the apprentice. 'The mistress. Well, isn't that great.' she muttered.

The Mistress of Magic was the most powerful creature that lived in the Tower, and the most vain. Disa had once gotten on her bad side by telling her what she thought of her outfit. Who would ever have imagined that the Mistress would be so disgruntled about it that she decided to kidnap Disa's daughter.

With a sigh Disa hurled the apprentice away from her, vaguely noting the loud thump as he hit a nearby wall.

She knew for a fact that the Mistress hid behind three magic doors that were impossible to get through by brute force or magical spells. The only way to get through to the Mistress was to get each of the three keys guarded by the masters of the three magic arts, the good, the neutral and the evil. After a quick glance at the crumbled apprentice Disa continued further into the chambers, looking for the master of evil magic.

The worry for her daughter gave Disa unexpected power and she was lucky to find the master quickly, and happy to see that he was carrying his key with him. After a short struggle Disa left the chamber with the key in her possession. Within the next few minutes she visited the white and grey chambers as well, acquiring the other two keys from the masters.

As she got to the first door leading to the chambers of the Mistress Disa's hands were shaking, making it hard to unlock the doors. As quick as she could she unlocked the three doors and went through to see the mistress. To her dismay she found the chambers empty. Running through all the chambers she was unable to find the Mistress or her daughter anywhere. Frustrated she picked up an antique vase that was standing on a table and hurled it into the wall, the sound of it smashing to bits cheering her up at least a little.

Then she froze. She'd heard something. She stood silently for a long while, not moving an inch. There it was again, a muffled sound. Moving slowly around the room she finally pinpointed where it came from. It was an altar at the far end of the room, it had a small piece that could be opened. Doing so, Disa found her little daughter, Dulce, lying inside. Her small hands and feet were tied with a scarf and she had another scarf around her head, covering her mouth. Her green eyes were watery from unshed tears.

'Oh, sweetie. What has she done to you.' Disa mumbled, picking her daughter up and quickly removing the muzzle and scarf tying her hands and feet together.

'Mommy!' Dulce sniffed. 'The lady not nice!'

'You're right she's not.' Disa muttered. 'And she'll pay for this.'

'Oh, I will, will I?' a taunting voice said.

Disa turned around slowly, Dulce squeezing her hard at the sight of the Mistress. Disa gave her daughter a hug and then put her down on the floor.

'Just wait here a moment, sweetie', she said. 'Mommy has something she has to do.'

Dulce nodded, her big eyes searching out the Mistress. 'Okay, mommy.'

Disa strode towards the Mistress, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into a nearby room out of sight from Dulce.

Out in the other chamber Dulce sat down on the floor, hearing only strange thumps and noises from the room her mother had gone into. Playing a little with one of the scarves she waited patiently, until Disa came back a short while later.

'Is bad lady gone now?' Dulce asked her hopefully.

'Gone enough.' Disa said evasively.

Picking up Dulce she walked out of the High Tower. As they were walking through the Kirkwood forest Disa looked at her daughter.

'You know', she said. 'I think it's time to let people know you exist. I can't keep hiding you forever. And after this I think I prefer to keep you with me. Would you like to come home with me instead of going back to the forest?'

Dulce smiled up her. 'Yes, mommy.'