Sunday, January 23, 2011

Keon picks up his wine, twirling the glass as he stares into the liquid's depths. Guunnar's large hand settles on his shoulder. Closing his eyes a moment, Keon breathes deep. He slowly opens his eyes, nods to Guunnar then looks Erik straight in his eyes. His dark gaze softens and he avoids looking at Star.

"Let me tell you a story, then I will ask our Lady of the Gentry what I came to ask."

Settling back in his chair, Keon sips his wine, then calls out.

"Little Ears, Little Eyes, Spy thee not. Hide thee not. Leave or stay, the choice is Thine, but an ye stay, Reveal thineself."

A small demifae alights on the edge of his wineglass. She giggles.

"Little Eyes? Little Ears? Few remember us as more than silly bits. Not you though Dark Lord. You give us honor,"

She curtsies and turns about, uttering a shrill whistle. Two more sets of wings buzz. A small one settles before Star and bows. It removes a cloak of dotted red and lays it before her. "For luck, safety, and blessings." it pipes. In moments it is gone, slipping through the gap beneath the door. The second waits at the gap.

"We stay Lord Blackthorn. What is said here, is best spoken. What is done here, is best witnessed. We are Thistle and Thorn. Burr will guard the gap from the other side. There are no other entrances to this room."

She hops off his glass and zips to the door. Dropping to the floor, she stretches out to watch under the gap as the other struts back and forth. Keon's lips twitch.

"Vell protected ve be."

Guunnar winks at Star and raises his mug. "Go on, Keon. Vat story you haff to tell?"

Keon sips his wine, then sighs. He begins softly. "Once upon a time... all good fairy tales begin with that, don't they? Once upon a time. A young Lord of the Unseelie Court found friendship with a family of humans. They were a musical sort, traveling hither and yon, singing their songs in taverns, on the greens, even in the woods they traveled through.

He listened in the night, learning their songs, then playing them at Court. We can create music and magic, but not like them. Not like the passion and creative genius of such a magnificent race. The songs became Court favorites. Queen Mab was enthralled by the legends and stories. The young Lord became her Minstral, bringing Her music from the human world. That was until another Unseelie decided to bring a human to Court, to gain Queen Mab's favor for his own.

That in itself is not a crime. But the way it was done... that was. You see... the Fae have laws, just like all the Races. To invite a human into Our world, they are to be offered it, given a chance to decline. That was not done in this case. The woman had been taken, enticed away from her family and just taken.

She refused to sing. The Queen sent Her Minstral to talk to the human. He recognized the woman. She was a member of the Travelers, and had been promised to marry. The Minstral returned to the Queen, telling Her what he discovered. The Fae who brought the Traveler to Court was investigated.

Charges were brought before the Court. The Fae had been stealing human children, hiding them among his entourage, raising them and later selling them for favors in other households. He abducted human women for his own pleasure, returning them afterwards, never checking to see if children had come of the unions. The ones found were approached, offered education among Our people. Some accepted, some didn't.

The Minstral attempted to return the Traveler to her people. Unfortunately by this time, too much time in the Human realm had passed. The woman began to age rapidly, dying in the Minstral's arms. He had known the woman as a small girl, and here she was, an old woman, passing from her world. The Minstral vowed to avenge her stolen years.

The Fae had been found guilty and was sentenced to Death by combat. The Minstral begged the Queen for the right to fight the condemned. Many thought this a travesty, as the combatants were a well known swordsman of the Unseelie and a Minstral known for his love of music. Music won that day. Justice was given.

The Minstral, still a very young Lord, took the Human woman's death very hard. He had a hard view when it came to those who broke the intrraction laws.The Queen offered him a place in her Court as apprentice to the Swordsmaster. He still sang for the Court, but became less and less seen. Soon he came rarely to Court, at least that is what the Courtier's thought. He was there, lost among the Shadows, protecting the Throne, seeking Justice.

He became a member of a group known as the Dark Path, the assassins of the Courts. Both the Seelie and Unseelie relied on them to police the Fae as a whole. Those who broke Fae Law were hunted down, executed if they could not be extradited to the accusing Court. Those who abducted Humans were tried by the Dark Council."

Keon paused, watching his audience. His eyes turn to Star.

"What I need to ask, Little One, is if you can sketch images of the Fae from your past. I would find them and bring them to Justice."

Keon stretches his hand across the table, palm upwards. "I am offering you Justice."

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