100 years ago – Stennetbergs, Drengfold
The young changeling sat watching the sunset over the mountains, blinking the tears from his eyes. He had heard his mother crying from further up the slopes and knew his aunt was sealed away by the man and in gold and the woman in black who had come to them a few weeks ago. He would never see her again. His mother had said his aunt was hurting people, fae and mortals alike, that locking her away would keep everyone safe. But she didn’t want it. Neither did he.
“Watcher” his mother approached with the man in gold following behind her. He ran to her and clung to her sobbing.
“Watcher, the man we met when we came through the portal has offered us a home, a place of safety. My sister, Assass- Spite will be kept safe here until we can help her.” she said gently “We need to go back to the forest.”
He pushed away from her, shaking his head frantically and pointing to the tomb in the passes above.
“Dear child, she is safe,” the man said “there is no need to stay here. The rest of our kin dwell in Mikill. You will be safe there while you come into your powers. Guide tells me you are not long a changeling?”
He nodded, and shifted his gaze to his mother pleading as his arm strained from pointing at the tomb.
“Enigma” she said “ he has a point, if none of our people are near by how can we be sure mortals don’t breach the tomb by accident? Perhaps there could be some form of compromise?”
A silence hung between the three for a moment.
“I’m listening” he said finally
Watcher took his mother’s hand and guided her to the edge of the path and pointed across the valley. A flat plateau with passes that could not be forged to the summit lay opposite the mountain. His mother smiled.
“We will come with you for now but I will build a home for us there so we can watch over her. I will still help the Forgotten and aid you in anyway I can but I will not be beholden to the forest. Watcher and I can travel freely.”
“Done” he replied.
They started down the pass together as the last light began to fade behind the peaks.
“I think I’ll call it Sanctuary” she said.
Present Day – Sanctuary
Spite was safe. Spite was home.
Guide could not believe that her sister was alive and calm and whole. The runes magic was helping and Watcher was keeping her company. The manacles had not been taken off yet of course but in time they might.
There was protests from the other Fae of course, some remembered the original frenzy of death that surrounded Spite’s birth and the friends they had lost. Others had heard some of the exaggerated tales that had sprung up since. She had no time for them.
The mortals that had been caught up in this mess where her priority to get them rested, fed and healed before taking them home before Enigma returned. Hildred too, needed to be spoken to. If she wished to stay then she should be aware of her sisters hunger. She should also be aware that her assailant was coming back, even if he didn’t cast the spell on purpose.
Could he get back without her knowing? She thought, did he have any more secret keystones hidden away?
There was one way to stop him intruding for certain and allowed herself a wicked smile as she shielded the entrance from his mind.
3 Days Later
“Guide, he’s asking for you to just let him speak to you.” Missive pleaded. “He has nowhere else to turn and aren’t you the protector of the lost.”
Guide continued to walk down the tunnel ignoring her pleas.
“He’s not Lost. Yet. Manipulative, aggressive, selfish, arrogant certainly and if he thinks I’m just going to forgive…”
She stopped dead in her tracks to find Enigma standing just outside her chamber.
She glanced at Missive who looked away with guilt laden eyes.
“You had a spare keystone and you sent her to fetch it didn’t you” Guide said with the rumble of thunder beneath the surface of her words.
“I waited for you to calm down first. I had hoped you might let me back in of your own volition. You never could stay angry long.” He said dismissing Missive with a wave of his hand.
She looked relieved and ran back down the corridor. Enigma held out his hand into the open entrance way.
“We should have that talk.”