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Through the soul-link, Echo's pain and despair poured devastatingly into Marieke's being like volcanic lava. So overwhelming was the burning flood of anguish that Marie could do nothing, nothing, nothing ... it pinned her to the floor of her room, and her thoughts of love and support for her sister-in-soul could not reach Echo against that burning tide. Every moment, every image, every word and emotion: Marie knew them all. And when Tristan crushed Echo's skull ... an explosion of pain burst through Marie's head, sending her spinning into blackness.

When she awoke, her only thoughts were of her murdered sister ... and of revenge. In the days that followed, she traveled the realms, informing Echo's friends of what had been done, offering rich rewards for the heads of Arthur and Daeus. Tristan was, she knew, out of reach; she could only hope her hatred of one who had been once so dear a friend would poison his very soul. At the same time she took counsel with Wyrm, knowing that upon her death Echo's spirit would have gone into his keeping. Wyrm, she knew, could resurrect her murdered sister ... if the whim took him, and the price was right.

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Across the realms Echo's friends expressed outrage and promised support ... but just as when Vezhan was kidnapped, and so many promises of help were made, once again the promises proved to be nothing but empty words. Wyrm, on the other hand, proved amenable. His price was that the child Vezhan should be given into his keeping. Buoyed by this, Marie sought out Lelayna Vlad, who was caring for the boy.

Lellie refused to give Vezhan up.

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Wyrm, eager to have the child, allowed the wraith of Echo to appear then, and the sight was horrific to those who loved her. The wraith's whole being appeared tortured, its mouth open in a silent scream. Wyrm explained that Echo's soul wheeled endlessly through the memories of the last night of her life, and would through eternity unless she were returned to the living. He added that if she were to remain too long crucified upon this wheel of horror, she might well be insane when her life was restored.

Lellie, faced with this, reluctantly agreed to give Vezhan to Wyrm at the time of Echo's resurrection, and Marie's heart filled with hope.

But Echo's mother, Hera, had her own agenda ...

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