She looked around the garden, but could see nothing beyond the high walls. “Then where am I?”
“The Abbey of Caldar. It is under your feet, Rebecca, inside a mountain, we are on the roof. The few survivors use this Minster as a peaceful retreat. We have turned our backs on violence.”
“I see, Treeshan,” she said, and again looked around. “But what realm is this?”
“I apologise. I thought you knew.”
She shook her head. “I was banished from the Guardian realm and awoke here.”
“These are the Abbeylands, the first outpost of life in Casserhan.”
“Casserhan,” she repeated, in a whisper.
“All lost souls and those not worthy of passing on to a new mortal life find themselves here. Beyond these mountains lie the many and varied lands of Casserhan. On the other side stretches a great desolation. No one knows the extent of its vastness. Those who have ventured into it have never returned.”
Rebecca gently took his hand. She could not read his thoughts and knew her gifts had deserted her. Likewise the travel bracelet had gone from her wrist, but the one from Paul remained as a reminder of what she had lost.
“What am I to do Treeshan?” she asked. “How do you know my name?”
“We know some of what passes elsewhere. You carry a unique child within you Rebecca. Your child will be capable of taking control of the Guardian realm at some point in the future. Cerestina knew this and it made her fearful. However, it was a mistake to send you here.”
“Others are seeking you too,” he replied, gravely. “The value of the child is known to others, others who would use it as a device to bring about the downfall of the Guardians.”
“I do not want such a thing to happen Treeshan,” she said, despite her treatment by Cerestina. “Am I safe here?”
He took her by the arm, gently steering her through the garden. “You may stay for as long as you wish. Nevertheless, be prepared for what may lie ahead. We keep no weapons here and no longer indulge in violent action.” He lowered his head. “I know how vulnerable you are. Sadly, we cannot guarantee your protection.”