The following night, Lucy put the ring on and entered the realm of Hyperborea.
Unlike her previous visits to Hyperborea, she found herself in a wide clearing surrounded by pine trees.
Within the clearing, there was another tree, only it was enormous with a mammoth trunk, mighty branches and emerald green leaves – standing at a height of three hundred feet.
There were thousands of small mushrooms and vibrant flowers dotted about everywhere and a golden road – embedded with gems ran all the way up to a large keyhole-shaped opening in the immense trunk.
Emanating from within the trunk, was some kind of pale multicoloured light.
Most bizarre to Lucy that was, but it was nothing compared to what happened next.
Out of the tree, there came a parade of Elementals. Twelve fauns playing Pan pipes appeared first, followed by ten nymphs. After the nymphs there came five centaurs, then six unicorns, then seven goblins, then four trolls, then nine elves, then eleven dwarves, then twelve satyrs, then fourteen leprechauns, then fifty gnomes and finally, thousands of fairies.
Lucy, who was baffled, watched the parade make its way out of the clearing.
When the Elementals were out of sight, Alcyone appeared.
“Ready for another adventure?”
“Indeed I am, but first I want to know where in the world all those Elementals came from.”
“Are you taking me inside that tree?”
“I certainly am.”
A fairy suddenly came out of the opening.
“Go in,” it said merrily.
“Come now,” Alcyone said.
She and Lucy entered the tree.
The sight, which met Lucy’s eyes totally overwhelmed her.
She found herself standing in a very bizarre forest clearing – bizarre because every single tree was luminous and totally different in size, colour and shape.
Then there were the vibrant technicoloured flowers, the colourful grass and the many coloured large mushrooms.
There were plenty of lifeforms there, including rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, dragonflies, fairies and gnomes.
Furthermore, everything was bathed in a cloudless sky of vibrant, luminous pale colours, which danced about like the Auroras – creating a stunning marble effect. It was as if the sky had a life of its own.
That wasn’t all, because there were countless technicoloured birds and dragons flying about.
Then there was the gem-embedded, glistening white marble road, which ran straight into the trees before Lucy and Alcyone and the uncanny many-coloured luminous orb – situated directly overhead.
As for the tree, which Alcyone and Lucy had passed through, well it was still there.
“Where in the world is this place?” Lucy asked. “Surely not Hyperborea?”
“Hyperborea it is.”
“I don’t understand.”
“We have just entered another dimension in Hyperborea.”
“What, through that tree?”
“Remember what I said to you when we first met, about trees being portals to other dimensions?”
Lucy remembered instantly.
“Yes, I remember.”
“Well, that tree so happens to be one of those portals.”
“This dimension is none other than the realm of Pan.”
“Where does that road lead to?”
“You’ll find out shortly.”
Alcyone and Lucy headed into the woods.
Along the way, they passed more Elemental beings, including trolls, gnomes, satyrs, fauns and countless fairies. Many of them were heading in the direction of the portal.
Every now and then, the odd squirrel scurried across the road.
After travelling for about two miles, Lucy and Alcyone reached another clearing, where within, there was an immense luminous multicoloured fountain – up to a hundred feet in height and thousands of fairies too.
Three more white marble roads – embedded with gems branched off – one to the right, one to the left and one directly opposite.
Standing in front of the fountain, was a horned being holding a golden chalice – a being whom Lucy was most familiar with.
“Is that who I think it is?” Lucy asked.
“Yes. He is none other than Pan himself.”
Lucy and Alcyone approached Pan.
“Greetings Alcyone,” Pan said in a jolly voice.
Pan turned to Lucy.
“So you’re the dweller from the Earth’s surface, whom Alcyone spoke of?”
“Honoured I am to make your acquaintance.”
“Alcyone informed me of your coming to my realm.”
“What a realm it is too.”
“You’ve seen nothing yet,” Alcyone said. “There are wonders beyond your wildest dreams.”
“My realm not only exists in Hyperborea, but on the outer world too, although it is invisible to the outside world.”
“I’ve always believed in the existence of Elemental beings, but I never thought I would end up in an amazing realm like this – especially inside the Earth,” Lucy said.
“Now that you’re here, you’ll be going on an adventure beyond your comprehension,” said Pan.
“Will Alcyone transform into a dragon again and carry me?”
“The former yes, the latter no.”
“I don’t understand.”
Pan handed the chalice to Lucy.
Within the chalice, there was luminous water from the fountain.
Lucy drank the water and handed the chalice back to Pan.
Nothing happened at first, but then, Lucy transformed into a dazzling white dragon with pearly scales.
“I can’t believe it,” said Lucy, who examined her body. “I really just can’t believe it.”
“Now you will be able to see everything from above,” Pan said.
“Why did I have to drink from the chalice?” asked Lucy.
“Well, seeing as you’re not of Hyperborea, it was the only way for you to transform into a dragon,” Pan replied.
“Other surface dwellers have been to this area of Hyperborea too,” Alcyone said.
“Really?” Lucy asked.
“Yes, and they have all transformed into dragons by drinking from the chalice and been on the adventure, which you are about to go on.”
“Will I see Pan again?”
“Yes, you will see him when we return to this spot. Now then, are you ready?”
“I certainly am.”
Alcyone transformed into her dragon form.
“Off we go then,” she said.
Lucy and Alcyone exchanged farewells with Pan for the present, before taking to the air and flying off.
The sight, which met Lucy’s eyes, really was beyond her wildest dreams.
No more than twenty miles away, there was what turned out to be a mighty sea of luminous crystals, which changed colours non-stop – stretching many miles upwards to whatever lay beyond.
Lucy gazed up and around at the concave terrain, but she couldn’t so much as make out the distant features, because almost everything was a myriad of changing colours.
When Alcyone and Lucy reached the edge of the forest, they headed out over the mighty sea of crystals. A most captivating sight it was to behold, every single crystal changing from one colour to the next continuously.
Lucy couldn’t see any life below, but there were many dragons flying about other than Alcyone and herself.
Eventually, the stunning crystal sea came to an end, right at the foot of a range of mighty mountains, higher than the Himalayas.
The foothills were covered with luminous, multicoloured trees – not one of which was the same colour. The upper regions were neither made of ice, rock, nor snow.
Instead, they were made of different kinds of crystal, totally unknown to Lucy – crystal with its own luminescent property and power to change colour continuously.
While travelling through the mountains, Lucy saw luminous rivers and vast waterfalls of multicoloured water, dragons drinking from phosphorescent pools, inhabited by serpents and dragons perched on ledges overlooking valleys.
Beyond the mountains, there was another overwhelming sight.
To start off with, there was an expansive area of hills – each of which was totally different in colour. Large crystals, which changed colour continuously, protruded out of their slopes and gold and silver pearls bulged everywhere.
As Lucy and Alcyone flew over the hills, they saw giants and trolls walking about, or going in and out of caves, which were illuminating from within.
Eventually, Alcyone and Lucy reached a coastline of gold and silver cliffs, which plunged to a mighty ocean of many changing colours – colours that danced – creating a vibrating effect.
As they headed out across the sea, they saw serpents, water dragons, golden whales, silver dolphins and other dragons flying about.
At one point, they came upon a small island of gold, silver, ivory, pearls and luminous crystal with brass-coloured seals and Mer people swimming by its shores.
Eventually, the vast ocean met a coastline of gold and silver cliffs, which rose up to meet a sea of vibrant, multicoloured grass.
As Lucy cruised out over the grass sea with Alcyone, she saw hundreds of centaurs, billions of fairies and thousands of unicorns – many of which were being ridden by nymphs, elves and fauns.
On the far side of the vast plain of grass, there was a forest of enormous many coloured trees – reaching heights of over five hundred feet.
As she headed out over the forest with Alcyone, Lucy saw that the spectacular trees were home to nymphs, goblins, fauns and satyrs.
The Elementals were either dancing about on the forest floor, walking along gem-embedded crystal paths, going in or out of openings at the base of the trees, or staring out of round holes higher up the trunks.
There were countless fairies too.
Not only that, but the forest was home to woodland creatures, including golden deer, silver wolves, squirrels, badgers, boars and foxes.
Beyond the forest, there was a very large phosphorescent lake of many colours, inhabited by water dragons, serpents and fish with an island of crystal, which changed colours continuously, in the very centre.
On the far side of the lake, there was an area, which resembled the Shire, only it covered a larger area and the grass was vibrant and multicoloured.
Lucy saw to her amazement, that there were real hobbits living there.
Beyond that, there was another expansive area of multicoloured grass, inhabited by centaurs, fairies and unicorns. There were many elves, nymphs, goblins and fauns riding on the centaurs and unicorns.
Eventually, Lucy and Alcyone reached a coastline with gold, silver and crystal cliffs – plunging into another stunning sea, with vibrant colours dancing across its surface.
The ocean was inhabited by golden whales, silver dolphins, serpents and water dragons.
At one point, Alcyone and Lucy flew over an island of crystal, which kept changing colours non-stop with seals and Mer people swimming by its shores.
Eventually, the ocean met a coastline of gold, marble, silver, emerald and crystal cliffs – rising over a thousand feet, to meet a vast forest of trees – each of which was a totally different shape, size and colour.
The forest was home to fauns, satyrs, nymphs, fairies, elves, dwarves, goblins and all the usual woodland creatures found on the surface of the Earth.
At one point, a very large clearing with a huge tree in the centre – a tree, which Lucy was most familiar with, came into view. It was none other than the portal leading to and from the realm of Pan.
Then there was the path leading to the clearing with the fountain inside.
Pan himself was standing by the fountain.
Lucy and Alcyone landed in the clearing and drank from the fountain. In doing so, they changed back into humans.
“Well Lucy, what did you make of that?” Alcyone asked.
“It was so astonishing. So overwhelming.”
“I’m pleased you enjoyed it,” Pan said.
“So what will happen now Pan?” asked Lucy.
“You and Lucy will leave my realm.”
“By going back through the tree.”
Lucy faced Alcyone.
“You can’t stay here forever,” Alcyone said.
“Because you must return to the outer world.”
There was a moments silence.
“Yes, of course,” Lucy said.
She faced Pan.
“Well, this is good bye then?” she asked.
“It is yes.”
Lucy and Alcyone exchanged farewells with Pan and headed back to the portal.
They went through the opening in the tree and left the realm of Pan.
As Lucy stared around, she found that she was right back in the clearing, which she had appeared in after entering Hyperborea.
“Well, this is it,” she said. “My fourth adventure in Hyperborea is over.”
“Your fourth and your last adventure.”
“If this has been my last adventure, then what must I do with the ring when I return to the outer world?”
“You must pass it onto another.”
“However, you must not reveal the fact that the ring transports the wearer to Hyperborea. Whoever you pass it onto must find that out alone.”
There was a moments silence.
“Well, this is goodbye for good then?”
“I’ve had wonderful times here. Thank you so much for everything.”
Lucy exchanged farewells with Alcyone and vanished – leaving Hyperborea for the last time.
When she returned, she found that she was neither wearing the dress, nor the sandals. She removed the ring and placed it on her bedside table – never to wear it again.