Greystorm ran through the Shadow Land and into the Land of Dreams where the moon goddess lived with her servants. Unlike the Shadow Land where it was always freezing cold, the Land of Dreams was warm and always night for this was the realm of Kuu who was the mother of all night time creatures. Greystorm activated the moon beam in the center of his head and used it to guide him through the land to the temple of Lady Kuu where her servants worshipped her.
“Lady Kuu please may I talk to you?” Greystorm asked.
“What do you want with the moon goddess Greystorm?”
Greystorm looked up and saw a rabbit made of moonlight. “I come to save the father from Lord Frith as well as my master and the rabbits of the Shadow Land and Ether. Taiyo told me to go to the Land of Dreams and speak to the moon goddess in order to save the rabbits of the Shadow Land and Ether,” Greystorm said.
“Lord Frith is the brother of Lady Kuu. He has been acting up for many centuries now. Very well follow me and I will take you to Kuu,” the moonlight rabbit said.
Greystorm followed the rabbit through the land until they reached a stream. “This is the stream of sleep. Drink from this stream and you will fall asleep which will allow you to connect with our mistress. She will show you the way back to your body if you are worthy. If not then you will remain in sleep forever and your body will lie here in the Land of Dreams forever.”
“What must I do to prove myself to the goddess?”
“You will find out when you meet her. I will stay here and guard your body though nobody will harm you here unless you harm or threaten our mistress.”
Greystorm drank from the stream and immediately his eyes closed. He did not hear his body hit the ground as his soul was removed from his body and swept away to a garden of moon flowers and saw two stone pillars five feet from each other in front of him. In front of the stone pillars was a shadow rabbit.
“What is it you seek rabbit of the earth, moon and death?”
“I wish to speak to Lady Kuu in order to save the father, my master, my mate, and the rabbits of Ether and Inle Warren,” Greystorm replied.
“Do you see the stone pedestal on the hill to the east?”
Greystorm turned in the direction the rabbit had mentioned and then nodded. “Yes.”
“Bring back the black onyx and the blue aquamarine gems and place them here on the ground. A door will open between the two stone pillars behind me. You will need to go through that passage in order to reach the mistress of the night and mother to the night creatures of the earth. But it will not be easy to retrieve the stones wise rabbit. You will face those who will stand in your way and you must overcome them through wit and power.”
Greystorm bowed to the shadow rabbit and disappeared east towards the hill.
Greystorm why do you disobey me? Keeping Coldstar from you was for your benefit. Surely you would not dishonor Vilthuril by mating with another even if she was in a past life. Would you really hurt the doe you stole from Efrafa?
You allow rabbits to be slaves! It isn’t right for rabbits to live in fear and never be allowed to mate with who they wish. Campion, while a fool for siding with Hazel, Groundsel, and Lightstone and banning all seers on pain of death, is a good chief to his warren and much better than Lightstone before Harmony saved him. I had a good life with Vilthuril but I belong with my true mate and I will not allow you kill her! You also allowed the rabbits of the Shining Wire Warren to be controlled by two idiots!
Those rabbits were useless to me. But why do you concern yourself with other rabbits? Why concern yourself with someone who tortured your ‘master’?
Taiyo told me that you and Inazuma used to be mates and that you bound him and his fire servants to Ether against their will. Inazuma and her servants deserved what they got for kidnapping innocent living rabbits and holding them hostage against their will as well as harming Shingetsu-rah.
A white wolf with silver eyes appeared and snarled a warning at Frith. “Leave the rabbit alone Frith! You do not belong in our land!”
But I am not in your land. Only in the rabbit’s mind. He needs to be punished.
“You have no rule here! Leave the poor rabbit alone!”
And what are you going to do to stop me Snowdrift?
“Land of dreams and sky of night come to my call. Creatures of the night and children of the moon hear my summons and aid me. Darkness living and darkness pure banish the sun from the land of night. Banish the sun from the land of dreams and protect the moon who has blessed you all,” Snowdrift said.
From the blackness every child of the moon and creature of the night appeared beside and behind Snowdrift and stared with glittering eyes at Greystorm. “Our mother and protector hear our plea. Toss the sun god from the descendant of the new moon and caress him in the shadows of our homeland. Purify the one who seeks to help the fallen. Purify the one and give it power over shadow. Let the child of the new moon find safety within your domain.”
Greystorm screamed in pain as Frith was tossed from his mind and was pushed out of the Land of Dreams. The creatures of the night slunk back into the shadows from where they came except for Snowdrift. “Rabbit of earth, moon and death what is your quest in our land?”
“I have to get the onyx and aquamarine stones and bring them back to the pillars that will lead me to the moon goddess,” Greystorm said. “My mate, the father, my master, and the rabbits of Ether and Inle Warren are in danger from Frith.”
“I see. I am Snowdrift as you might recall from the sun god being inside you.”
“How did he get inside me?”
“Frith probably entered you when you were passing through earth after saving your warren. It is nothing to be ashamed of. You had no idea that he would take possession of your body like he did. He knows he has no power within the Land of Dreams but still he tries to take possession of the children of the moon.”
“Who are the ‘children of the moon’ that you speak of?”
“All seers are children of the moon as well as all creatures that thrive in the night such as owls, wolves, badgers, the cat family, and many others. You are lucky that I spotted you when I did or else you would still be in danger of Frith.”
“What do you mean noble wolf?”
Snowdrift laughed. “My brother, I am not noble. My kind feast on your kind on earth but here in the Land of Dreams you will have no enemies for you are our brother. As to what I spoke before about Frith it is this. If I had not spotted you he would have crushed your spirit and driven you insane. Frith has no power in the Land of Dreams but in a child of the moon who enters our land he can take possession of that poor creature and destroy them. You are fortunate indeed to be saved by me. I cannot help you on your quest any longer Greystorm but come to me once it is complete and I will give you a gift. Now go for I believe your time is short if you want to save those who you have found friendship in.”
Greystorm was about to thank Snowdrift when she vanished. He began running towards the hill where he could faintly see the stone pedestal that held the aquamarine and the onyx stones. He was terrified for his mate, his master and the rabbits of Inle Warren and Ether. I have to hurry. They may not have much time left. Hold on!
Greystorm suddenly halted as a voice spoke from the blackness around him and a panther stepped in front of him. “Hello child of the moon. To get to the stones you must answer a riddle.”
“I am ready dark one.”
“What runs all day, but never walks. Often murmurs, never talks. Has a bed, but never sleeps. Has a mouth, but never eats?”
“Correct. You may pass brother of the moon and night.”
Greystorm continued running and finally reached the foot of the hill. A tiger appeared before Greystorm. “To get up the hill and fetch the stones you must fight me.”
“How do I do that when I am smaller than you?”
“It will be a fair fight.”
The tiger shrank until he was the same size as Greystorm. “Now we can fight.”
Greystorm knew that his teeth and claws would be no match for the tiger even if it now was the same size as him. He studied the tiger thinking. He didn’t think using his powers would be a good idea as that would put the tiger at an unfair advantage so he would have to rely on his cunning and speed as a rabbit and his strength as a warrior seer in order to defeat the tiger.
The tiger sprang at Greystorm who quickly bolted to the left narrowly missing being clawed by the tiger. Dancing swiftly out of the tiger’s swipe of a paw Greystorm knocked the tiger off his feet and then kicked dirt into the tiger’s eyes before swiping at the tiger’s face drawing three bloody scratches down the tiger’s muzzle. The tiger roared in pain and staggered trying to get the dirt out of its eyes. Greystorm again ran at the tiger and knocked it once more into the dirt while using the shadows as cover so he could attack without being seen or heard.
When Greystorm kicked the tiger in the head with his back feet and it fell to the ground he used his strength as a warrior rabbit to hold the tiger down and bit into the tiger’s front left leg. “You fight well child of the moon. You may pass freely to get the stones and take them back to the passage that leads to the moon goddess,” the tiger said once Greystorm had let go and allowed the tiger to get up.
Greystorm ran up the hill and arrived panting and winded from the fight and the running he had done since he had left the Shadow Land for the Land of Dreams. Walking forward he gripped the onyx in his teeth and picked up the aquamarine before making his way back to the shadow rabbit and the stone pillars. It was slow going as he knew that if he stumbled he would easily lose the stones and would not be able to save his master, his mate, the father or the rabbits of Ether and Inle Warren. Finally after an hour he returned.
“I see you have passed the trials and bear the stones. Place the aquamarine on the right pillar and the onyx on the left. The door will then reveal itself and you can enter. Follow the passage until you come to a small pool with a hole in the roof of the passage and there you will find the moon goddess.”
Greystorm did as instructed. The two pillars lit up and a door appeared from the shadows between the two pillars. He used the shadows to pull on the handle and stepped into the passage where torches sprang to life. Greystorm walked silently down the passage and stopped at the pool of silver water before him.
“Lady Kuu I ask for your help,” Greystorm said bowing.
“Greystorm what it is you want?”
“Lady Kuu I beg your forgiveness for coming here without permission but Taiyo, my mate, Shingetsu and the rabbits of Inle Warren and Ether are in trouble. Frith has sent his light servants to kill Taiyo and is determined to kill the rabbits of Ether and Inle Warren. Taiyo and his servants told me to come to the Land of Dreams to stop Frith from destroying them.”
“You cannot kill a god or goddess Greystorm. However you can weaken him considerably and by doing that you will save those you care for and have made friends with.”
“What do I do?”
“You must travel to Frith’s domain on the edge of the mortal plane to the west. Then chant the following words three times: Sun of light, fire and hate shall meet its end at the eastern gate. Moon of hope, night and love shall rule the sky if thy fails to stop the destruction of the world. Stars of sun and stars of moon guard the sun in death entomb and elements of seven all shall destroy the one who would see us fall.”
“Thank you Lady Kuu. May I come back here?”
“You may. In fact when you die you will come to the Land of Dreams instead of going to the Shadow Land. All children of the moon live in the Shadow Land while the children of the sun live in the Shadow Land when they die.”
“Shingetsu offered me to live in Ether if I wanted it but I don’t think I could bear living in a place where Taiyo and his servants were forcefully bound by Frith.”
“Shingetsu is a good rabbit and is kind to offer you that opportunity. However you are right that it has seen too much sadness and forced enslavement so it would be best for all if it were closed. I will see you again Greystorm when you choose to return.”
Greystorm found himself back outside the door that led to Kuu. As he watched the door melted back into the shadows and the stones fell to the ground. The shadow rabbit picked them up. Snowdrift had returned. “You passed the tests and spoke the moon goddess rabbit. As I promised here is a gift for you,” Snowdrift said holding out a necklace with the moon on it. “Wear this and it will protect you from Frith and your descendants will be born with this mark on their chests. It will protect them from Frith’s manipulations and deceit.”
“Thank you Snowdrift.”
“To get you where you want to go in order to save those you care for I will send you to Frith’s domain. Good luck Greystorm, chief of Bright Star.”
There was a flash of light and Greystorm found himself on the edge of the western part of the world. He saw Frith sitting in the sky before him. Soon Kuu would awaken from her sleep and Frith was already beginning to sink for his sleep.
“What is it you want Greystorm? Do you wish to pledge your allegiance to me?”
“I have no such intentions of following you or allowing my descendants to follow you.”
“What are you going to do about it? I can crush you right here. You are in my domain rabbit and I can easily break you and then reshape you to fit my purpose.”
“Sun of light, fire and hate shall meet its end at the eastern gate. Moon of hope, night and love shall rule the sky if thy fails to stop the destruction of the world. Stars of sun and stars of moon guard the sun in death entomb and elements of seven all shall destroy the one who would see us fall. Sun of light, fire and hate shall meet its end at the eastern gate. Moon of hope, night and love shall rule the sky if thy fails to stop the destruction of the world. Stars of sun and stars of moon guard the sun in death entomb and elements of seven all shall destroy the one who would see us fall. Sun of light, fire and hate shall meet its end at the eastern gate. Moon of hope, night and love shall rule the sky if thy fails to stop the destruction of the world. Stars of sun and stars of moon guard the sun in death entomb and elements of seven all shall destroy the one who would see us fall.” There was a crack of lightning and the sky darkened as the stars appeared at the words Greystorm chanted. Frith screamed as a cage infused with the seven elements surrounded him.
“We have heard your call rabbit of the moon and we will answer our mistress of the night. Do not fear for he will never be able to harm any rabbit ever again.”
“Thank you stars,” Greystorm said.
Greystorm disappeared back to the Shadow Land and ran to Inle Warren and to his master’s burrow. “Shingetsu!”
“Greystorm thank you for saving me, Kosetsu and our warren. We would be dead if you hadn’t defeated Frith.”
“I didn’t kill him master.”
“Shingetsu you can’t kill a sun god. How many times must you hear those words?” Shingetsu chuckled at his servant’s lowered head. “Thank you again Greystorm. Go to Ether and get your mate. You are free to return to Bright Star for your duty is done.”
“Master will I still keep my powers?”
“Yes of course and you will be able to freely pass into the Shadow Land at will like all my servants and children. If you want to close Ether do so once Taiyo and the others are safely in the Shadow Land. For now I need to check on my warren. I hope to see you again in the future.”
Shingetsu wandered through Inle Warren and passed into Ether. He ran to where his mate, Ember and Blaze had fallen and was relieved to see their coats healthy once more and eating the grass that grew in Ether. “We are free! Thank you Greystorm!” Ember shouted.
“Thank you indeed Greystorm,” Taiyo said coming with his fire servants and the remaining living rabbits that had been enslaved. “You freed us of our enslavement before we vanished from Ether.”
“Taiyo what happened to the light rabbits?”
“They were destroyed. Of course there will be other light servants of Frith’s but the ones he sent here are all dead. Now I understand that Shingetsu has offered you Ether?”
“Yes he has but I have no wish to remain here. I want to close it up so nobody else can be enslaved here and return to Bright Star to rule my warren.”
“Very well. Then we will go into Farthen Moor and bring that warren back from the death.”
The rabbits followed Taiyo, father of all rabbits, out of Ether and Greystorm sealed the barrier between Inle Warren and Ether so that no rabbit would be able to enter it again except a rabbit of his blood. Then the rabbits returned to the mortal plane. “I hope that we have a good alliance with Bright Star Greystorm-rah. For now I will take my leave along with my rabbits.”
“Taiyo who will be the chief of Farthen Moor?”
Taiyo looked at the rabbits around him. Ember shouted “Taiyo-rah!” and the cry was taken up by the others who had been trapped in Ether. “Well it appears I will,” Taiyo said laughing. “When my warren is settled I will have to request a meeting with Blackstone, yourself and Kaolin to set up an alliance. Or perhaps just our two warrens will set up an alliance. Now it is up to Hitsuki to do his duty and kill Thanatos.” With that Taiyo led his fire servants and the other rabbits from Ether to Farthen Moor. Coldstar and Greystorm watched them go. “Taiyo is a good leader. He’ll make a good chief.”
“Though I have only known him for a short time I believe you are right Coldstar. Now let’s go into our burrow and rest before I take up the duties of being a chief.”
As Greystorm and Coldstar went underground the screams at Watership Down were just beginning while Thanatos looked on in glee. But without warning two strange warnings emerged from the sudden darkness and fell into the foray of battle. Moonfell and Night Dusk had decided to slay Thanatos and his evil rabbits in order to stop the bloodshed that would continue if he wasn’t stopped. They did nothing however to save the rabbits of the former alliance for they were furious that they could be so stupid and blind as to cast out all seers.
“They do not realize what a gift seers are to them. The old ones of Watership Down have long died except for Pipkin here,” Shizun said to Hitsuki. Pipkin had begun his own warren and become chief of River Stone which lay five days journey from Moonfell. Pipkin had taken Sunset, Burdock, Zeus, and Pumpkin with him along with some rabbits from both Moonfell and Night Dusk to begin his own warren. Hitsuki too had started a warren with the rabbits he had freed which lay a week travel from Night Dusk to the south west. Hitsuki had named his warren Cinder Ice.
“Help us!” Oakleaf shouted to the four warrens.
“We did not come to help you or the alliance. You would kill my brothers and sisters easily if they were born into your alliance. By doing so you have angered the moon goddess and angered the Black Rabbit for the Black Rabbit is our master and father and we seers are just a few of the children of the moon. We fight Thanatos to save ourselves because he will continue bringing death and bloodshed to rabbits everywhere if he isn’t killed. You deserve your fate and will find no help from River Stone, Cinder Ice, Night Dusk or Moonfell,” Hitsuki said to Oakleaf.
The rabbits continued slaughtering the rabbits of Zorn, sparing only those that Hitsuki and Moneywort said were still pure despite being enslaved. The others died along with many rabbits of the former alliance which satisfied the outcasts. Their souls would keep Shingetsu alive and already Shingetsu’s Owsla was coming in droves to take the souls back to the Shadow Land.
“Thanatos we meet again,” Hitsuki said as he approached the twisted buck.
Thanatos raised a paw and shot out a jet of lightning at Hitsuki who blocked it with a wall of ice and then threw the ball of ice at Thanatos which froze his paws to the ground. Summoning an ice ball filled with shadow and lightning he threw it at Thanatos which exploded in Thanatos’s face and covered him as he screamed in pain. Hitsuki noticed some of the evil rabbits coming to their master’s aid and slammed his paws onto the ground causing the evil rabbits to fall through the hole he had made. Then he slammed his paws down again and caused the branches of the beech tree that marked the honeycomb of Watership Down to reach down and strangle the rabbits that had fallen into the warren. Thanatos continued to scream as he realized he was unable to move. The ice shadow lightning ball slipped into his body and roasted the rabbit from the inside. Hitsuki listened to the evil rabbit’s screams for a bit before slamming his front paws together and Thanatos’s body exploded.
Silence fell on the down as the survivors of the alliance looked at the rabbits of River Stone, Cinder Ice, Night Dusk and Moonfell. Blackstone, Kaolin, Pipkin and Hitsuki stepped forward. “Know this rabbits of the alliance. The Black Rabbit will no longer bless you with seers who can help you since you turned on the ones you had. Your chance to redeem yourselves has long passed. Come anywhere near our warrens and you will die. There will be no mercy shown on you for you would show no mercy upon us if we came to your warrens.”
The four warrens formed up and the four chiefs led their rabbits away from the destruction and the battle. For now the rabbits of the warrens were safe but only time would tell if they ever came to blows again. Everyone was just glad that Thanatos was gone and Frith was caged and would never be able to harm another rabbit again. In Inle Warren Shingetsu received reports from his Owsla and smiled. Greystorm and Hitsuki had done well and he was proud. Bigwig, Silver, Hawkbit, Dandelion, Blackavar, and the others of the old Watership Down smiled at Pipkin being the chief of his own warren and Greystorm learning of his past and ruling the warren he had been born in before his reincarnation into Fiver.
“Who would have guessed that Pipkin would be a chief Hazel?” Bigwig asked.
“He’ll make a good chief Bigwig. Of that I am certain,” Hazel replied to his friend and former Captain of Owsla. “May the moon shine bright and bless the new warrens and may the darkness prevail over the day.”