Recap: Sir Graylen returned home to discover that a curse had been cast upon his people. To find the kidnapped seer and break the curse, Sir Gaylen found an unlikely ally in Queen Arashiel, ruler of the winter court. They set out to stop the evil ice dragon, Schneebedeckt, and restore order. Along the way, they are joined by Watsley, a very young satyr, and the good natured centaurs, Chadwick and Casington. When we left our heroes last week, things had taken a bewildering turn when Chadwick had bound the queen’s magic and disappeared in a cloud of black smoke.
Chadwick stood, muscles tense as he nocked an arrow and drew the bow string back. His breathing slowed as he aimed. A cruel smile twisted his lips as he loosed the arrow. It flew swiftly through the air. Chadwick started giggling as the arrow struck a chimera in the shoulder. He nocked another arrow and aimed at the creature’s other shoulder as it cried out in pain. He loosed the arrow and it flew true. Chadwick laughed as he galloped away.
Graylen could feel the tension in the air as the group hurried on. The forest felt fearful. It no longer held the peaceful beauty that Graylen had come to associate with it. It quivered. He glanced at the queen. She sat astride her unicorn, pale and drawn, but no less imposing than ever. She ignored his concerned glances, and continued on. An entire day had passed since Chadwick had disappeared, and it had taken most of that to find his trail.
Once they had found it though, it had been easy to follow. Arrows stuck in trees, a swath of injured creatures, and hoofprints. Casington had treated each injured being as they’d come upon them. Graylen looked down at Watsley who had been quietly sucking his thumb the entire time. The little satyr’s reactions had puzzled the knight. He’d forgotten them in the chaos, but now as they had nothing else to do but ride, he remembered.
There was something odd about Watsley, not dangerous, just different. “Watsley? Why were you alone with those changelings when we found you?” he asked.
The satyr looked up at him with wide innocent eyes, “Mommy and Daddy goed to sleeps, and I couldn’ waked’em up.” he said. “The Change’ings takeded me. Dey said I’z imp- impotent?”
Graylen choked, “Er… I think you mean important.”
Watsley smiled widely, “Yes! I’z dunno why though.”
“Why did you wake up screaming last night?” the knight asked.
Watsley was quiet for a long time, sucking his thumb and looking down. He took so long that Graylen thought that the little guy wouldn’t answer at all, but then the silence was broken. “I saw’d it. It was dark, an’ scary. The bad man trow’d a pretty red rock at Chaddy. Den Chaddy was all glowy and he felt bad to me, like the bad man. I saw Chaddy hurted the queen. But I wokded up an’ the queen was okay.” Wide eyes looked up at Graylen and tears filled them, “But she’s not okay and Chaddy isn’ okay.”
A cold voice cut into their conversation. “So you are a clairvoyant.” the queen said.
Graylen frowned, “Isn’t that the same as a seer?”
“No. A seer is human.” she answered. She deigned to look at the little satyr, “You are indeed important.” she smiled coldly, “It appears that the knight did not make a mistake in picking you up.” she turned away, and did not see Graylen pulling Watsley tighter to himself. That smile sent chills down his spine.