I woke up in my hut, on the floor, with a pain in my head and in my gut. Aoibh and I were talking to Galyanna, who I guess might be able to help me, and then Aoibh said we had to go do something. Here’s how it all went down.
Gwyn follows along, huffing and muttering under her breath about the stairs. When they stop for a second, she asks, “Where are we going again?”
Aoibheann paused, turning back, looking ever so slightly relieved to see that Rachel hadn’t nosily followed them. “I honestly don’t know,” she answered, still seeming overstressed but trying to keep herself in check, “What was it that you wanted to do?”
Gwyn has no idea. “I don’t know. Meet some fairies. Figure out where I fit. Spend time with you. One of those. Or some or them, or all of them. Doesn’t matter. I really love these woods, though.”
Aoibheann nodded, taking a moment to think, to try to figure out what would be best. “I can’t guarantee if we’ll bump into anyone,” she told Gwyn, “But, it’s probably better if it doesn’t look like the human is guiding the faery around in the woods. And..” She chewed her lower lip, gesturing for Gwyn to move in front of her while she continued sorting out her thoughts. “I don’t know what to do if we bump into any of the rulers. Llwyd, I don’t think we’d have to worry about, but I do not think Llwyd is out here tonight.” She doesn’t explain her logic. “Saone, I do not know, but no one has spoken of her as if she is cruel. The Unseelie rulers…” Aoibh trails off, deciding to let Gwyn make her own opinion, although it’s clear Aoibh would rather not accidentally bump into them.
Gwyn laughs. “Well, this’ll be the blind leading the naked, then– that’s a metaphor; I don’t mean you actually have to be naked.” Gwyn moves around in front with a chuckle. “Why did I think Isabella was the queen? Where does she fit into all this?”
Aoibheann cringed, but then looked relieved to know that she didn’t have to be naked, pausing a moment before clarifying. “Isabella is the queen of Japser Cove,” she said, not bothering to fix that ‘is’ to a ‘was.’ “She is, a guest of sorts in the Seelie Court, but she does not rule it, I do not know if she has influence at all there.”
“Huh.” Gwyn pauses at the tree. “OK, I can see that. She did say she was ‘a’ queen, and not ‘the’ queen.” She puts a hand on her hip. “So are you feeling ready to tell me about this guy, or do we move on?” She really has no idea what kind of choice she’s offering.
Aoibheann had given Ardan the obligatory make-sure-he’s-not-on-fire glance, but had been planning on walking past, until Gwyn stopped them. “What guy?” she inquired, not getting what Gwyn was implying as her gaze returned towards the ground.
Ar’rak A’nuk spots the two below and decends lading up on the bridge. ” Oh what do w have here? looks like two interlopers come to tresspass on fea grounds.” he sneered, looking between the girls. He didn’t seem ready to attack, but those piercing eyes told enough of what he was likely to do to them. Suddenly he laughs. ” Foolish.”
Gwyn is about to answer that question when Big Bird arrives. She looks up at him. “I’m no interloper, but what I am remains to be seen.” Was that good? She hopes that was good. “This woman is my friend and companinon. Is there a law against walking across this bridge?” What is it with this bridge? Every time Gwyn tries to get across it, some animal-faced fae is blocking her.
Aoibheann increased the intensity of her stare at the bridge beneathe her, seeming tense for two long seconds, before she made the conscious decision to instead look up, eyes going unfocused but vaguely centered on Gwyn, and plastered a dumb looking smile on her face, hoping that makes them look less out of place.
Ar’rak A’nuk: /meEye widen and looks comically all sorrowful. ” oh you’re not an interloper, oh i am sorry, you can go on your way… Not.” He said in the most mocking tone and held out his claws, though he looked unarmed a very large leathal looking glave suddenly appeared with in his claws, which he shived forward towards them, angeling the huge blade at Gwyns throat. ” Tell me not an interloper, who do you serve then? Refuse to answer, I’ll chopp you into tiny little pieces.. Very. Very. Slowly.” He leaveled his eyes onto Gwyn though glassy as if from an ailement, they held a maliscious intent.” Or maybe I should just keep you both and remove pieces at a time to serve for dinner.” He let out a sinister cackle, only casting a slight glance to Aiob, but remained msotly focused on gwyn since she decided to challange him.
Gwyn smiles tightly. “Is who I serve your concern?” One hand goes into a fist while the other visibly stretches, though she has no weapon. “Really, someone as important and imposing as you must have much more important things to do than waste your time with two little things like us.” She extends both her empty hands. “Really though, your weapons are most impressive.”
Aoibheann looked mildly hopeful as Ar’Rak had said they could leave, and that hope pretty much melted into complete despair by the time he was finished talking, eyes almost shutting as she winced as Gwyn spoke, knowing that probably wouldn’t work. Her stance widened slightly, almost unconsciously, as she tried to push all of her fear down, because she needed to be able to think, because she couldn’t just run and leave Gwyn to get herself killed. That smile wavered slightly, but she managed to keep her voice calm, albeit quiet. “Please forgive us, we did not mean to trespass. We are not interlopers, but simply lost, and, my,” in the space of a breath she made a crazy decision and hoped Gwyn would go along with it and it wouldn’t make things worse, “love, does not yet know who to serve, as she has not had the pleasure of the acquaintance of any who rule over this land.”
Ar’rak A’nuk a his comes out of his mouth he then draws back and swings the blade right for her side, and not the blunt end, he was aiming to slice into her. His other caw casts up into the air, a ball of wind starts forming in it, rotating and from the dust gathering around it, it looks as if it might have wickedly sharp blades forming. ” You walk in fea lands, you will show respect creatures when you trespass on our lands.” His gaze casts to Aiob. ” You ARE interlopers, you are not of fairy, you come into are land and dare claim you are not interlopers as if you have a right here? Your friend dared challange me, I am the Captian of the Unseelie Ravens you will beg for your lives for this insult! You show some intelligence red haired one, Maybe I won’t skin you tonight and use your pelt for a new rug.”
Gwyn dodges, poorly of course. “I am not an interloper; I am as fae as the next fairy, and I’m sick and tired of everybody being such arseholes!” Of course, Gwyn is about to die, so her words mean little, but she herself will go down screaming.
Nualla slips out of the shadows, her queen’s orders ringing in her ears, her fur softly fluffed up from the angry hissing the powerful woman had issued when she had discovered her not at the side of the woman that she was meant to guard. Therefore, she sneaks back, following her queen’s favor to the woman that she was told to look after, the ‘daft kitten’ as her master calls her. She arrives at the Bridge, her eyes staring impassively at the black bird thing on the bridge, hissisng softly, the icey winds of the Roads swirling around her very little frame, the same frame that leaps in front of Aoi and snarls up at her in an annoyed fashion, as if to say ‘What the bloody fuck are you doing” before glancing up at the man, her maw opening and a perfectly polite yet chilly voice speaks forth “Thesssse two are under my Queen’ssss guard, Guardssssman….I would assssk that you do not harm them” She includes Gwyn in this as she can feel the mark of favor there as well
Aoibheann let out a small shriek as Gwyn was swung at, all thoughts of trying to stay calm, to talk her way out of this, forgotten. She stood there, stunned, legs shaking slightly, her hold on her fear obviously slipping. It was one thing when she got hurt, she couldn’t handle when other people did. She glanced towards Nualla, but didn’t justify, didn’t try to explain, simply murmured a quiet, squeaky little, “No,” as if protesting what had happened alone could undo it.
Ar’rak A’nuk glared. ” Then you should have spoke your court instead of challanged me.” He held his claw out summoning up a wind current over teh wound, to push down on it and limit blood loss. ” You are a fool, you should elarn to hold your tongue, tell em whom you are pledged to if you are fea blood.” Glanced over to the cait that had appeared. ‘ Then I will spare them, Then since they ahve her favour, for now, but this one!” He points at the one he had slashed. ” Needs to be taught how to hold her tongue before she has it removed. She needs to learn her place, she is not one of standing in fairy even your queens protection will only go so far.” He then moves his hand in circles in the air, cuasing the wind to rotate fast over the girls wounds, she would feel a heated burning friction.” I am cauterizing her, she will not die.”
Gwyn does what anybody would do when slashed by a sharp weapon: she falls down. “I have no court, you preposterous bird,” she says, nearly spitting. “You asked me a question, and I responded politely. I even complimented you as etiquette demands. I may not have standing here, maybe not yet, maybe not ever, but your bearing suggests that of a bully rather than an authority. Perhaps your master, whoever that is, would like to know how you conduct yourself.” And then shock takes over and she loses consciousness. Her head falls to the bridge soundlessly.
Nualla looks up at the fae woman, noting the healing of her wound, the painful healing yes, but healing.The road around Nualla seems to be taking on a frozen crisp, ice covering the stone from her paws on, creeping out, a frost like tempest. She is tiny, even adorable, so much so that many other beings forget that she is a full fae, and a sigil to the Cait Queen “She is an infant in our terms I suppose…My Queen has started lessons but I suppose more lessons are needed….I shall see to it Guardsman” Those ice-blue eyes are locked to his, staring him down without a second thought, the shadows that make up her fur rippling and spreading to cover both woman’s feet in a blatant claim of ‘mine” The shadows would start to ripple around Gwyns’ body a portal into the Shadow Roads opening, with the woman maybe falling into them to regain consciousness in a safe place. As for her last comment, Nualla murmurs low under her breath “Oh…she will be informed…”
So that’s what happened. If all the fae are this fucking horrible, I don’t think I want to be one. Maybe there’s some other part of Faery that isn’t policed by arsehole bully birds.