Welcome to Paradise

The image shows a beautiful garden with illuminated trees and brightly coloured flowers

The heavy door clanged shut behind her. Sinead wheeled around, drawing the Sword of Elshain for protection. The weapon glowed only dimly: no threat was apparent.

Sinead advanced through a lofty hallway, which opened into a still larger, circular atrium. Double doors swung open at the far side and a warm, fragrant breeze wafted in. Sinead hastened forward, filling her lungs with the scents of fruits and flowers, and tasting the honey-dewed air.

She stepped out into patchwork of verdant greenery, laid out in manicured magnificence. Was this really the place where Mother Earth was being held?

‘We’ve been waiting for you.’

A woman, neither young nor old, dressed in flowing emerald robes emerged from a blossom-filled orange grove. Moonsprite was at her side, whinnying gently. Sinead dropped her sword and ran towards them, burying her face in Moonsprite’s mane.

In that moment, their reunion was all that seemed important.


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments.

Another Doorway

The dwarves scuttled back across the cavern leaving Sinead alone once again. Why had they departed so suddenly, almost without a word? Was it the bridge that had frightened them? Or was it the waters over which it led?

Sinead stepped onto the bridge.

She held the Orb aloft, its soft bluish light glowed a little brighter with every step she took, while the inky waters lapped menacingly on either side. She quickened her pace knowing better than look down into their murky depths.

The bridge ended at a narrow jetty, but its moorings were empty of boats. A single domed archway in the towering stone wall ahead beckoned her, reminding her of the entrance to the Maze of Mandoran.

Courage, Sinead. The words echoed in her mind, just as they had before. So close, so close now.

Sinead placed her hand on the hilt of her sword and entered.


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments.

The Key is the key

The Prophesy Book remained silent as to where Sinead might find the shackled Mother Earth. She and the two dwarves stood contemplating the key that lay in her hand. Then Dorrin spoke:

‘The key is the key! See the picture on the bow.’ He traced a calloused finger over the head of the key.

Alric nodded. ‘It’s the Cavern of Stalactites! Come, my lady.’

The dwarves each lit a torch from the dying flames of the forge and hurried down the passage next the spring. Sinead strode behind them. It was not long before it opened out into a broad cavern, the roof decorated with sharp stalactites. At the far end was a bridge leading across an inky lake.

The dwarves came to a halt.

‘We must leave you here, my lady,’ said Alric.

‘We may not cross,’ added Dorric.

They both bowed deeply and scurried off without another word.


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments.

Forged from Fer

‘To the forge!’

The two dwarves hurried off while Sinead struggled to her feet. With renewed resolve she tucked the Prophesy Book into her cloak, fastened her sword and followed.

She found them stoking up the fire.

‘Which metal shall we use?’ Dorrin asked.

Alric turned to her. ‘My lady, can you guide us?’

Sinead turned to the final page of the Prophesy Book, where a new verse had appeared:

‘Forged in the Depths from Finest Fer, the Key to Free our Mother
wrought-well by the Sons Of Earth, Sinead must bring, no other.’

Alric caught Sinead’s puzzled look. ‘Tis iron to us Sons of Earth, my lady.’

‘And a fitting use for this,’ said Dorrin, holding up a glowing globe of iron.

They set to work, heating and hammering, until finally they placed a beautifully-crafted key in her hand.

If only she knew where Mother Earth was being held.


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments.

The Freedom Key

A black and white drawing of a large ornate key with a butterfly motif.

A strong arm lifted Sinead’s shoulders and a black-bearded face came into view. A cup was brought to her lips and she took a sip of sweet water.

‘Where did you find the vessel, Alric?’ asked the black bearded dwarf.

‘It was next to the spring by the Forge,’ said another voice.

Sinead’s eyes focused on the cup. The Chalice of Earthly Liberation! She sat up, almost knocking the chalice from Dorrin’s hand.

Fumbling in her cloak, she brought out The Prophesy Book. The two dwarves crouched either side of her as she turned to the new Final Chapter. Under the title there was now a drawing of a key.

Alric gasped. ‘Dorrin, fetch the scroll!’

Dorrin scurried off, returning a few moments later. He crouched down and unrolled the yellowed parchment to reveal an identical image.

‘This is our Destiny,’ he announced. ‘We’re going to forge the Freedom Key!’


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments.

The Dwarves’ Destiny

an image of a sword with a silver hilt

Sinead forced her eyes open. She was lying on a lumpy mattress wrapped in her cloak. A short, stout figure with a black beard, was crouching beside her.

Sorry for hitting you like that,’ he said gruffly. ‘Alric and me thought you were one of them witches.’

Another squat figure appeared out of the gloom. ‘It’s her, Dorril! Like it says in the Prophesy: ‘She will come bearing a Dwarfen sword’.’ He pointed to the Sword of Elshain, which lay beside Sinead. ‘That’s it! The Destiny we’ve been waiting for all these years.’

Sinead raised herself on her elbows, fighting back the dizziness.

‘We are the last Dwarves of the Deep Mines. It’s says in the Prophesy that we must help you,’ said Alric solemnly.

Sinead blinked. ‘Prophesy?’

‘My lady?’

Sinead sank back onto the mattress.

Dorril crouched down again. ‘Quickly, fetch some water, Alric! Our Destiny depends on her.’


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest

Downwards into Darkness

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Tarron had already disappeared when Sinead turned to wave farewell. She sighed and continued along the new path. It led downwards into darkness.

She held the Orb aloft to light her way along the smooth-sided tunnel. Her other hand gripped her sword. Water dripped from the ceiling and ran down the walls in tiny rivulets; beyond that there was no sound apart from her footsteps.

She pressed on, senses alert to any sound or movement. Somewhere she would find the Key. The Prophesy Book offered only the instruction to ‘forge ahead’. Tarron had put her on the right path and all she could do was follow it.

The air thickened. Dust filled the tunnel, dimming the Orb’s light. The blade of her sword started to glow, warning her of danger. But it came too late. Feeling a sharp blow to the back of her head, Sinead crumpled to the ground.


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest

Forging Ahead

a passage with in a cave

A figure appeared from behind the cave. It was Tarron, the elderly elf. ‘I fear the Sisters have become too powerful since the overthrow of the Oppressors,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry. This was not foreseen. They are now unwilling to relinquish their control and are intent on preventing you from taking the next step.’

‘They’ve taken Moonsprite.’

Tarron  inclined his head. ‘Fear not. They would never dare harm a unicorn. While your paths must diverge once more, you will be reunited.’

‘The Orb and the Chalice have gone too.’

‘That which is required will be returned, but now you must continue on your own path, Sinead.’ He held out the Prophesy Book.

As she took it, the book fell open at a new final chapter. ‘Forge Ahead’.

‘The Freedom Key is still required and you must find it.’ Tarron pointed to a path. ‘The Deep Mines are close. Now go.’


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest

Sinead Alone

a photo of an empty beach

Sinead relaxed at last, curled up in her cloak in the warm cave to which Eileran had brought them. Moonsprite stood dozing peacefully, her beautiful white mane carefully combed out by another of the Sisters. Eileran had brought food and the two Sisters had withdrawn, urging them to rest.

After so many weeks of uncertainty, everything was falling into place, just as had been foretold in the Prophesy Book. There were only two final challenges to face, and they were now amongst friends. Moonsprite whinnied softly in her sleep as Sinead slipped into peaceful slumber.

Sinead awoke with a start. The Crystal was pulsating. She freed it from her jerkin as she leapt to her feet. Its light flooded the cave. Moonsprite had gone. Sinead hurried to the cave mouth and looked out. The pale pre-dawn light revealed nothing but an empty beach and dark waves lapping on the shore.


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The Sisterhood’s Welcome

figures in a dark landscape

Sinead felt the muscles in Moonsprite’s neck tense as she buried her fingers in her unicorn’s silvery mane. Her right hand was already clenched around the hilt of her sword. As the circle of torch-bearers closed in around them, Sinead felt the Crystal pulsate inside her jerkin.

A tall stately figure emerged from the circle, dark hair flowing to her waist. The woman stepped forward. Her eyes met Sinead’s, gazing into them steadily. Then she nodded and bowed her head.

The woman turned to the members of the circle, holding her torch aloft. ‘It is she!’ Her clear voice announced. Her eyes flashed in the torchlight.

Turning to Sinead, she spoke more softly. ‘I am Eileran. The Sisterhood welcomes you.’ She held out her hand. ‘Come, you must rest. When the sun rises again, we must summon the Dwarf of the Deep Mines. Without his skills all will be lost.’


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Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest