Good Morning, Lords and Ladies!! I hope all is well with you on this wonderful Troubadour Tuesday!! If you have missed previous installments of our story, I will post it from the beginning in the comments. Recap: Sir Graylen returns home after years away at war to discover a curse has cast over his country of Evimaria. In order to break the curse, he must join forces with Arashiel Queen of the Winter Realm.
Sir Graylen raced through the dark forest after Arashiel, whose steed flew across the ground as if carried by the winds of a storm. For hours they rode underneath the dense canopy of Calasyne Forrest. Suddenly, they entered a clearing. Their Mounts faltered, the animals having a sense for danger that their riders could not match.
“Schneebedeckt’s minions.” Murmured Arashiel coldly, pointing at the far end of the clearing. Squinting Sir Graylen could just make out the grotesque forms of creatures writhing in the deepening shadows.
One of the creatures slithered into the clearing, from reptilian lips came a rasping hiss that sent shivers of fear down Graylen’s spine, “Our Massster the great and mighty Ssschneebedeckt knowsss that you approach. What business have you Knight of the Summer realm, and you with him, majesty?”
The queen gave a cruel laugh, her eyes locked on the lowest of her subjects. Sir Graylen could see the fear in the creature’s eyes, but it did not back down. “Dare you question your queen, changeling?” Her words were spoken softly, but malice was palpable.
The creatures in the shadows shifted, but didn’t speak up. The serpentine changeling bowed his head, “Queen you may be, but bound am I to another, as is the way of we who serve.”
The knight remained silent as he watched the workings of the Winter Court. The changelings appeared to be like the serfs of his country. He looked at those in the shadows and frowned. Far to the right, separated from the others was a small creature. Each time he tried to move close he was hissed at. A blast of frigid air drew Sir Graylen’s attention back to the queen.
“You shall let us pass.” The very air seemed to shriek out. The wind whipped the queen’s hair around wildly as she lifted a hand, and pointed elegantly at the thing that dare speak to her in such a way. Pure white light enveloped Arashiel until Sir Graylen couldn’t look anymore. A flash and a boom echoed through the trees, then the light was gone. The knight looked back and all the creatures had disappeared.
Movement drew his attention and he turned to see the small creature from before moving into the light. Large eyes were filled with tears of terror as he looked at his queen.
Arashiel looked down at him, “ You are not a changeling.” She frowned at the thing.
“I’s Watsley. I’s a satyr.” He sniffled. The queen nodded, then turned to continue through the forest. Tears fell from the half goat half child’s eyes.
Sir Graylen felt no ill intent, and held his hand out, “Come on. I’ll protect you Watsley.” He said picking the kid up, then followed the winter realm’s cruel mistress.