Truly? Do you truly wish to know what darkness lies within the veil? Do you wish to pull back your own veil, that of secrets and riddles in the dark, of the gibbering of madmen and the moans of prophets, of things left long from human memory? These things were left for good reason, but if you persist… very well. Your soul is blasted, so your mind follows. For I can speak of it. I know these things because I am not human, yet I may speak of them, for I may yet be. Listen well, and I will tell you of those dark beings, those capricious masters of torture and deceit, whose unearthly beauty belies the darkness within. In this ceremonial language passed down from the highest of the Fae courts, that of the Lady in Purple, I shall speak to you of my people.
Listen, oh Mortal, and I shall tell you… of the Fae.
Nuada, Champion of the Changelings, emissary to the mortal realm, Prince of the Autumn Court, speaking to James Montolio Black II, Chronicler of The Dark.
Fetch, a sprite, watched the humans in the lumber camp go about their business, careful to remain hidden and Glamoured, or surrounded by illusion, in a cloak of shadows. Fetch hungered, and their emotions were raw, unfiltered in the air around them. Nuada had been clear, however. Their emotions were to be untwisted, their souls left un-blackened. Nuada's word was law in the Autumn Court, but it was for a more important reason entirely that Fetch stayed his hand. These humans were going to lead them to their lost children. Nuada had promised him that they would search for those solitary Fae who so ironically dubbed themselves the Changelings.
It was an old word, Changeling. To the humans, it had long ago meant those of their children lost through the Fae's veil, but to the Fair Folk, it had a much simpler meaning. Slave. A human who had seen too much, ventured too far. Changelings were playthings, toys to be kept or driven mad at their masters' whims, yet these rebellious children had warped the very meaning of the word. Fae born, both those of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, now aspired to possess human ethics and human morals. These insurgents interfered constantly with any attempt to madden a human, believing that for every human protected, their nobility and understanding of human ways would rise. And they were dangerous when nobility was their rallying cry. Where once the word Changeling was regarded with scorn, now…. Fetch flinched as he felt the blade prick his throat. Cold Iron. It burned like a hot brand against the skin of the sprite, and he barely heard the softly spoken words behind him, so stealthy was his assailant. "Finish the thought, Fetch" his murderer stated in a terrifyingly apathetic voice, smooth as silk, and all the more horrid for it. Numbly, Fetch now remembered. Where Changelings were once regarded with scorn, now any Fae, sane or not, felt fear. And fear was the last thing Fetch felt before the Cold Iron blade slit his throat, absorbing his essence and sending the rest to the void.
Nuada looked down at his handiwork. Dust and blood stained his black skin, as his hair, white as snow, swayed in the wind. Wearing armor as black as his skin, Nuada looked fearsome indeed, yet his eyes betrayed the strange mixture of sadness and glee that lived within him, the only emotions thus far that he could feel with the same tone as a human. Where the sprite had stood moments ago, now there was only a pile of ash. "Dust to dust," He whispered. Nuada shook his head and almost laughed at the absurdity of his own words. He was becoming more human every day. He even almost felt remorse for the "murder". Almost. Nuada gathered up the dust in a glass jug, and he walked away to meet the Chronicler. This time, he did laugh. Nuada had taken the life of a Fae, one of the undying, in order to meet with a human, beings gone in the wink of an eye, gone in one fairy sigh. Nuada had betrayed his lord, his vassal, and possibly his entire race. The world was a strange place indeed.