Okay, folks, finally a new dream to add to the collection. I actually have a few I should add, maybe I'll get around to it one of these days.
The coast of Cherek is attacked unexpectedly while the court is out on the lawn. The king is in trade negotiations with the elves and their representative, a half-elf. The queen is right outside the gates when she's shot down by an arrow. The half-elf is the first to reach her side, and she tells him to guard her baby, the princess. He agrees, and the queen dies. The Chereks fight off the attack, but the king is distraught. Raising his daughter falls to the half-elf, who stays at court as her guardian. She grows up. The half-elf remains as her guardian, partly because he's become part of the scenery, always in the background and only half seen. However, since the queen died when the princess was so young, some people don't accept the princess. In her own kingdom she is beloved, but in others she is scorned or shunned.
The king takes her on a trip to another court, her first such visit, and she is excited and naïve. They encounter resistance to having the princess at court. She's rumored to be a girl-bastard, or a foundling, or worse. Though there are some girls at court who can't imagine anything worse, superficial as they are. The king forces through his daughter's acceptance, but gives very close instructions to the half-elf to protect her. The princess and her guardian are really very close, and she doesn't mind spending more time with him. At first she's ostracized and avoided, and it is common to see her alone in a room or garden with the half-elf lurking in a corner or behind a tree to give her privacy. But then the other ladies at court suddenly begin accepting the princess and including her in their social life. They are very solicitous with her, but stop smiling when she wasn't looking. The half-elf notices, but doesn't say anything, because this is only normal court machinations. The king is absently aware of his daughter's change in status, but is too busy to really do much. Again, the raising of the princess falls to the half-elf. Girls start noticing the half-elf, trying to draw him out, distract him, lead him away from the princess. He acquiesces a bit but not a lot, nor for long. The girls start going out in groups, taking the princess along without the half-elf. Nothing untoward happens and the half-elf relaxes again. But the girls can't get the princess to forsake the half-elf, nor can they get the guardian to release his charge. They're starting to get frustrated.
One day the guardian passes a door and sees the princess's wallet lying open on the table. It's usually in her room. He goes in to investigate. A while later, the king finally steals a moment to take his daughter for a picnic outside the walls. The lack of the half-elf isn't really noticed, since the king is enough protection for his daughter. She has a lovely time, and her father gives her a watch which used to belong to her mother. It supposedly has a function to tell when the something immediately affecting the royal family is wrong. The princess examines it, and sees that one of the numbers is missing. The king examines it and jumps up in alarm. Something is seriously wrong, and it has major implications. They run back to the palace, and eventually find the room with the wallet still on the table. They see a door ajar which is usually closed, and go through. They're caught in something though – the air is thicker, or time is slower in this room. The half-elf is across the room in a huge pool of blood, dead. Two ladies of the court are there as well, one observing in a corner and one performing some sort of ritual involving incantations and fire and smoke. But the smoke isn't coming from the fire; it's coming from the half-elf's body and is flowing into the cauldron hung on a tripod over the flames. The princess screams and begins to cry, running over to fall beside the half-elf. He's still alive! But only just. His form is withered and shriveled, and old. The spell the court lady – witch? – is performing is one of extended life, by taking someone else's life-force and distilling it into an addictive potion. That was the smoke they saw, and the half-elf's life-force was struggling against the witch. She practically had to shove the stuff into the cauldron with both hands and it writhed and roiled away from her control. The pair of them interrupted her spell.
The distilled potion becomes clear, and the smoke still in the air rushes back to the half-elf. He coughs weakly and begins to breathe again. The court lady collapses with the release of the spell, now she's old and decrepit. The king explains about the potion, and the princess insists that the half-elf drink all of it – she doesn't want him to die, and she's weeping as she holds him. He begins to drink and with every swallow gets younger. After he's drink most of it, he glances over at the witch, who's as old as he was a minute ago. The princess firmly tells him no, she doesn't deserve any of it. She's the one who nearly killed him, and deserved no pity. She's alive isn't she? That's enough. The half-elf finished drinking. He's as young as he was when the queen died, and when he stands up it's clear that he's much, much taller. His ears are longer, his face more aquiline. Somehow, in drinking that potion, he turned from a half-elf to a full elf. The princess throws herself into his arms, crying for joy now, and the elf catches her. He's so tall now that she has to jump in order for her arms to go around his shoulders. The king is grateful his daughter's guardian is healthy and returned to his full heritage, but knowingly sees that they're in love with each other and wisely leaves them alone.
In the days that follow the full story comes out. At first they wanted nothing to do with the princess. But then they realized she could power the spell, and began courting her favor to catch her off-guard. She relaxed, but the elf didn't. So they started trying to get him to relax or get distracted, which didn't work as well as they'd hoped. Now they knew why – he was in love with the princess, and had eyes only for her. The day he was killed he wasn't actually supposed to be there at all. The wallet had been for a different scheme and the observer had been told to remove it before the elf saw it and discovered them. She had actually been the one supposed to power the spell, but when the elf came in the witch took advantage of the opportunity and used him instead. This triggered the protection spell on the princess's watch. The king began to spend more time with the princess, but the elf was spending less time with her. With his full heritage revealed, there was a lot of paperwork and politicking to do, and the normally taciturn and withdrawn elf was accosted at every corner. Every chance he could he spent with the princess, publicly this time, and the wedding was set to be as soon as they got home. Whenever that was going to be.
The rest of the dream was pretty much a catalogue of what they did day by day. Very sweet and lovely, but boring to write about. The dream sort of trailed off anyway, no firm ending. Kinda like real life, hmm?