Seven years old she was when they left her in a tumbledown cottage in the very centre of Darkwood. But she squared her small shoulders and opened her mind.
She could never quite work out how long she spent seeing nobody as she absorbed the knowledge that imbued the very bones of this place of power.
Then the wizard came, astride his tall horse. He pointed his staff intent on bending her to his will. Instead, he fell screaming to the forest floor.
She took from him every ounce of his magic, as the cottage collapsed and she mastered Darkwood.