The cave glowed with a faint blue light, emanating from the veinwork in the stone. The three walked cautiously deeper and deeper inside. The legends had said that within the heart of the three, would the stone reveal itself. Everything was riddles, a play on words the entire journey. After all the hardship they had endured together, would it just be so simple? The farthest they could go was a natural lake where the water was crystal clear and a tiny island in the center which bore the ancient ruins of The Protectors. As the girls entered the water it challenged them so much more. The water was so cold it felt like knives slicing all over. Not one wanted to move, but they knew that they needed to get to the island. Their cloaks, the last pieces of clothing to absorb the liquid, pulled them deeper. The tallest was just able to keep her head above the surface, but the shortest struggled to keep afloat. The two others looked to her and stretched their numb hands out to her, but caught hold and grasped tight to her. They helped each other to the shoreline of the island. The greenery out of place in such a cold and desolate environment. They staggered to the pedestal in the center. A circle they formed. Pressed hands together and…nothing. Something was missing. Their bond as the protectors needed to be proved. To be sealed. Their hands. Their marks they were each born with that had drawn them together. The shortest of the three traced the insignia imprinted on her palm. The others followed suit. They placed their right marked palms onto the unblemished palm of the one next to her, letting their blood spill onto the pedestal and down the center to the heart of the world.
“Here stand The Protectors. The Protectors are we. Called by The Heart. We stay for eternity.”
They chanted in unison. Once, twice, three times. Louder each time. Then the earth started to rumble. The stalactites started to fall, but the three stayed where they were. The trembling continued on out into the wilderness, out to the rivers and oceans, the mountains echoed the sound of rocks falling, it continued on through the torrential path they had taken. To their homes and beyond.
And then, silence.
A white light. Radiated and rose up towards them from The Heart. There it was, ascending to them before their very eyes. Exactly what they had travelled all the way here for. Hope.