The Diadem: The Frost Submersion,
And Help is Sent
By Caroline Dawnrunner
The Diadem…The Diadem…
Caroline Dawnrunner ran through Ravenwood, completely alone. Not even Rebecca Duskglade or Brill was at her side. Caroline had to stop the Cold Master from destroying the Spiral. Caroline ran out the door of the Myth school and ran the other way around Ravenwood. She passed the Death school; which was now there again, the Fire school, and she had nearly passed the Ice school when hands made out of icicles crept out of the door. The ice hands grabbed Caroline. Caroline tried to run away, but the ice-hands stuck to her, and they tore at her robes and clawed at her breast. Then her heart was exposed to the air, beating frantically like a frightened bird. The ice-hands found an opening and went inside of Caroline.
Caroline’s wounds closed, and she was trapped inside of the ice. No – the ice was trapped inside of her. Caroline Dawnrunner was the ice. The Phantom of Memories appeared and said, “Apparently two cannot do the work of ten. Help will be sent.”
I was awake. A sort-of-familiar looking woman was trying to feed me something that looked like green Jell-O. the woman had pretty blue eyes, just like…
“Just like Rebecca’s,” I mumbled from my pillow. “Rebecca’s what, dear?” the woman. She had the same serious look of concern the Rebecca sometimes had. “I…nothing,” I responded. “Are you Rebecca’s mother?” “Yes I am,” she said, looking grave. “We’re lucky we found you. A sprite told us that she was flying on Triton Avenue, and that she saw both of you laying there as though dead. And, recognizing Rebecca, she flew to us and told us what happened. We got you out of there OK.” “Did I miss class to —”“Sh-sh-sh,” Rebecca’s mom shushed, putting a hand over my mouth. “Your health is in the negative 200 right now. No wizard has ever had negative health before. You need to rest. And please finish the Life Essence.” Rebecca’s mother indicated the green Jell-O and walked out of the room.
I decided I’d back up and remember what had happened. Before I passed out, Brill had said that help would be sent. Was the help the sprite that Rebecca’s mom had mentioned? Yeah, that was probably it.
But I felt like I was missing a detail that would change the meaning of ‘help’ completely.
I ate my Jell-O Life Essence wordlessly. After I’d finished it, I was about to set the bowl down on the nightstand when I noticed there were things already on there – my wand, deck, spellbook, and a Booster Pack.
I opened the Booster pack and looked at the contents. Ra, Wild Bolt, Fire Dragon, Snow Angel, and Athena (Myth card). I was surprised. You didn’t usually get Wild Bolt and Fire Dragon in your average Eye of Bartelby pack (not that I had any Crowns), plus Ra and Snow Angel were still on the Test Realm, and the Athena card didn’t even exist! I shook the Booster Pack, and one last card fell out onto the floor. I picked it up. There was a clock symbol in the corner, and the title was ‘Revisit’. The picture depicted an hourglass, and the description said, ‘allows you to go back to any point in time’. It was a charm spell, and there were no pips needed. With a jolt I realized that Brill had given me these. I put the Treasure cards in my deck, picked up my wand, deck and spellbook, and stood up.
Y Y Y
Well, walking into Firecat Alley was a nightmare.
Rebecca and I were coming back from our first Initiate class and discussing what we’d learned. “…and then he flexed his arms, stepped back, and whammed his hammer!” I finished dramatically. “I wish my spells could actually do any damage,” Rebecca said gloomily. “Oh, don’t be such a whiner,” I whined. “You’ll get Banshee in two days.” “Yeah, but my parents seriously don’t like my Side school,” said Rebecca. “They are actually considering shipping me off to Mooshu for the semester.”
I stopped right in my tracks. “But they can’t do that!” I exclaimed. “You’re my best friend! What am I gonna do without you?” “I was hoping that you could…uh…transfer with…me…” I noticed that Rebecca stared at her feet as she said this. “I can’t do that. My parents aren’t going to let me go in ten days. I’ve really only just arrived in Wizard City, you know.”
Rebecca buried her face in her hands. “But I can’t go to Mooshu! I just can’t! I don’t know anyone there! It’s all going to be about Theurgy! They’re going to hate me for having a Death Side class! And I don’t know what kind of people live there! The Manders live in Krokotopia; the dogs live in Marleybone…for all I know, the students in my class will be cows like Professor Wu!
“Oh, Caroline, Caroline, will you transfer with me?” Rebecca got down on her knees, like she was asking me to marry her. “I’ll—I’ll see what I can do,” I stuttered. Rebecca got up and hugged me. Then she started to cry.
“You know, Caroline, you’re a good friend,” she said through sobs. I patted her back.
Oh, where was I? Anyways, Rebecca and I were going to Firecat Alley to find out what Private Quinn wanted. First off, we were walking into Olde Town. Rebecca said, “So…what do you think—” she cut off abruptly. “Do you – do you feel that?” Rebecca whispered. “Uh…what?” I said unsurely. This was the kind of wrong time for Rebecca to go insane. “I feel like – like we’re being watched,” she whispered. “That’s probably just—” but I cut short too. Yeah…it did feel like we were being watched. I felt a bitter cold spreading through my body. Was that how fear felt when it actually happened? It felt colder than how I’d felt during my dream. This was how fear felt: like you’re being watched. “…Shouldn’t we be going to Firecat Alley?” I said apprehensively. “Y-yeah,” Rebecca spluttered, and we sped off.
Let’s say it one more time: walking into Firecat Alley was an absolute nightmare.
Rebecca and I walked into Firecat Alley. I’d actually been there before when an Adept wizard let me port to her. It was all a blazing hot swirl of red and yellow and orange: the colors of Fire. There were lava fountains every few blocks, bushes made out of mini-infernos, and all the buildings had red roofs. It gave me a really hot head, and I had to teleport to the Commons after three minutes of the agonizing heat.
But walking in there now was bone-chilling.
Rebecca and I walked in there. At first, we didn’t notice anything wrong.
But then we saw it. Firecat Alley was a winter wonderland.
After fear, it felt like a warm bath. But uncertainty crept up inside me. Rebecca and I walked in silence. Every dwelling was a gingerbread house, every fountain a fountain in Central Park after Antarctica melted and refroze.
We kept walking, and Rebecca finally said, “Wait…I thought it was supposed to be Firecat Alley, not Frostcat Alley.” “It is Firecat Alley,” I said. “I know,” Rebecca said impatiently, “But what a name for this place! It’s all, I guess, icish. And it seems so empty. You think everyone’s somewhere else today?” I raised an eyebrow. “Rebecca, have you ever been on Firecat Alley before?” “Well, no. funny enough, I never saw Olde Town until to—AAAAHH!”
Rebecca was screaming at a window. My head snapped toward the window, and I screamed, too.
Holding the note to the window was a girl trapped in a block of ice, who had an expression of absolute terror upon her face.
Next: Rebecca and I ran like wild. We ran and ran. I couldn’t remember breathing so hard in my life. I just didn’t stop; my brain worked against my lungs (which were gasping for air), and then guess what happened.
We bumped into a Gobbler.
The really obese, heavy, corpulent, portly, obtuse (and not to mention rotund) Baron Rotunda was taking a walk.
And when I say “bumped”, I mean bounced off of. It was actually pretty funny. Rebecca and I barreled straight into his chest, and with a comical boing we fell onto our backs. “Gurg?” Rotunda slurred. Then he looked down at his hindrance. “Get outta my way!” the Gobbler said angrily, realizing we were people. So he walked along, falling down every few steps. “Hey,” Rebecca said suddenly. “If that was a Gobbler, then aren’t we on Colossus Boulevard?” Whoa! Were we? How did that happen?
I revolved my head slowly behind me. It seemed I’d been running through a hole connected from Firecat Alley to Colossus Boulevard. And inscribed next to the hole were three words: The Cold Master.
Y Y Y
Several things happened in the shortest amount of time: I ran to get Merle Ambrose, so he could see “Frost”cat Alley for himself. “Oh dear” was all he said before running to get Professor Falmea. The Fire Professor said the exact same thing, and then summoned a Helephant to defrost the street. When the neighborhood returned to normal, and people started coming outside, Professor Falmea opened her mouth to speak, but was stopped my Merle Ambrose. “Now is not the time, Dalia,” he warned. “She has ears in places even I cannot imagine.” While he said this I saw him casually brush a Frost Beetle off of a tree and crush it underfoot. So then we finished with our quest on the Alley, Rebecca and I, and moved onto Colossus Boulevard.
Y Y Y
Rebecca’s teeth chattered, but I was as snug as a bug in a rug.
When I found out that the weather never changed in any part of Wizard City, (except for maybe Firecat Alley, but I tried not to think about that, because I was still recovering from the shock) ever, so I had no use for my winter furs, I was pretty upset, but finally I could put it to some use, because Colossus Boulevard is just like Antarctica in the spring: the sun is always out and it’s 10 degrees below freezing.
Rebecca, still shaking, opened the door to Gobblestone Castle. The two of us walked inside. Immediately, Prince Gobblestone (who is, if possible, MORE obese and obtuse than Baron Rotunda) said, “No one gets past me to see the king!” Yeah, right. In the past few days Rebecca and I had advanced to level 18 (we were given lots of experience and gold by the people in Firecat Alley for saving their butts) and I was dying to use my new spells. We easily finished them off, and I even got the Snow Serpent pet.
The rest of the day went smoothly, but I don’t think I was expecting to be attacked again.
Rebecca and I had just walked out from the secret trainers’ house, wearing our new Master Diplomat badges, and I was excited, because after that was the plane right to Krokotopia. But I stopped. Something was bugging me. Rebecca, noticing that no one was walking next to her, looked around. “What’s up, Caroline?” Rebecca asked. I was about to answer but then I looked at something I’d looked at like fifty times today. It was an inscription on the Colossus statue. I peered closely at it. For a minute it was blocked by a Diviner in a snowball fight with someone, but I could see it all right.
“Caroline, what’s wrong?” Rebecca had stepped in front of me. I was jolted back to reality.
“Rebecca, we have to get out of here,” I said quickly. “We have to get out of here now.” I pointed a finger at the statue, but too late—the Colossus statue came to life.
The stone shattered, and out came a Colossus made of lethal ice. He gave a great roar, one that said, FEAR ME!!! as plain as day. Several people screamed; I saw Mindy Pixiecrown and a Pyromancer running like there’s no tomorrow. I was sure we were toast.
But then he got confronted by an Apprentice Diviner. (What’s he doing on Colossus Boulevard?)
“Hey you giant…thing!” he shouted. “I hope you like Storm because you’re in for a TEMPEST!” The guy took out a Treasure Card and began casting. Rebecca and I exchanged looks.
And out came a Tempest.
That swept up the Colossus.
Which was totally-“AWESOME!” the kid said. “I’ve always wanted to use that card, but I just couldn’t find the right moment!” He looked around for someone to high-five. We were the only people in sight, so he hopped over and slapped us five in all forms possible. “That was…impressive,” I told him when he started slapping me four. “What’s your name, anyways?” “Aidan Thunderpyre,” he said. “Grade A Diviner.” He grinned. “How about you?” “Uh, I’m Caroline Dawnrunner, and this is—”“Hey, hey I can introduce myself!” Rebecca said huffily. “I’m Rebecca Duskglade.” “Oh, great, we’re all acquainted now. So what up with that Colossus? Where he come from?” Aedan said. “Well, on the statue it did say something meaningful…”“What was on the statue?” I sighed. The kid in front of me asked many questions but knew half the answers.
But the inscription on the statue was meaningful.
It was the same one on the tunnel from Colossus Boulevard to Firecat Alley.
The Cold Master.