Harper kept on sliding across the ice,untill they reached a lodge."Come on in."the spirit twoleg said,opening the door.It was cold in there,with furs hung above her fireplace.The twoleg frowned,and put some snow in the fire.It died,and Harper slowly grew accustomed to the warm temperature."Drink some tea."the twoleg said."I want to interview you,so that I can sign a petition against those crap Americans.Is Cithara very important to you?"Harper understood that the "Americans"the spirit twoleg talked of were the pale twolegs that hunted the pups only for furs."That's a silly question."Harper said."My mother told me about Cithara when i was a pup,and I still cling to that memory.She died shortly afterward.""Do you realize that the other seals think that you are hosting Cithara?"Harper scoffed at the spirit twoleg's suggestion."No way!Even a seal stronger than me would freeze to death if he or she tried to host Cithara,since she created the lands of ice,but the Firetail drakon created the broader land of no-ice.I can't even host the weaker Firetail deity!"The spirit twoleg furrowed her eyebrows."Then why do I see the face of Cithara in you?Your mother isn't dead,Harper."Harper realized three things.First of all,how could she know what the other seals thought without interoggating them?Second of all,how could she know where her mother was?And third of all,why does shse know her name?That was no seal spirit,or shaman.The spirit twoleg snarled,as if sensing her thoughts."If I could,I would use a gun to shoot you.Cithara,I cannot let the lands of ice exsist,since global warming cannot defeat your might.Goodbye,enemy."The body of the twoleg burned away,and a long serpent appeared where she once stood,a Firetail.But this one wasn't regularly sized,as Harper realized when the cabin exploded.The serpent kept growing,until it was touching the clouds.It was THE Firetail,the ruler of the lands of no-ice.And it was accusing her of hosting Cithara,when she only hunted in the deep.Harper was in big trouble,and she was aware that this wasn't a tale where she won quickly,like those myths about her now burned into her mind.
"You are a host of Cithara,and there is no denying it."Firetail hissed."Cithara's realm shallth be destroyed by my minions,and the entire world will be tropical,as it should be.""Those clubs that kill your kind are called guns,and I use them to kill polar bears to annoy Cithara.Just like the old days,eh?""NO!"Now a voice inside Harper's head made it clear that she was,in fact,a host of Cithara."You cannot destroy this land.Many animals depend on it,and the twolegs would be displaced.Chaos will not reign,Firetail."Her voice was doubled,with an anceint force backing her every word up with confidence."Give my mother back!"Firetail cackled a cackle no sane creature could endure."She is dead,young one.At least not now,but if you defend your land..."Firetail didn't have to finish his sentence.She knew that her mother would be cast into the depth of the Otherworld,maybe even incinerated in the flames of Firetail,or even fed to the rabid polar bears all those seals thought she fought.Then two other deities entered her body,and she nearly burned up,but her training deep in the sea prepared her.But there weren't any other deities besides Cithara and Firetail in the legends of the North.Who could the two other deities be?"We are Mira and Zios."the two other voices said."Cithara is our distant cousin of deities,but we will take you to our land after we defeat Firetail.The drakon blew fire onto Harper,but she raised a shield of hail and deflected it.The fire sputtered as it hit Firetail's scales.Harper threw a whole blizzard at him,and he flinched.Then he sent a dust devil at her,and she got seared."ARGH!"she howled.A large orb of winter winds appeared between her paws,and she thrust it at Firetail.The drakon screamed,disentigrating,but she brought herself down with it.As she lay dying,a panda's sprit hunched over her,and then she died.
Harper's spirit awoke in a hut somewhere in the land of no-ice.Cithara's voice no longer spoke inside of her,and three animals were staring at her.One was a beautiful panda,another a grey heron,and the last a floating mask."Seriously?"she muttered to herself."Of all animals to greet me,one had to be a psychic mask.""Respect your gods,Harper."the panda said."Especially since they helped you defeat Firetail."Harper sat up,icy energy swirling around her.Spirits of the winter gathered to gawk at her,a embodiement of Cithara."W-where am I?"she asked her companions.The grey heron smiled,as if she had done this a million times."You are in Jamaa,young one."she said."To my right is Lisa,to my left is the spirit of my husband and creator,Zios,and I am Mira,Mother Sky."Harper got out of bed,and felt her every muscle aching with power.She felt like she could lift an iceberg!Harper crawled toward the door,opened it,and stepped out into the breeze of no-ice.