The leaves were beginning to change colors; beautiful oranges, reds and yellows against some still green foliage left on the trees. The air was becoming so crisp and clear with the distant scents of burning wood as the sky turned dark overhead. Autumn, in all of its beautiful glory, held a stark contrast to the grim scene that was left upon the tiny village of the ancient world.
Many fae stood shoulder to shoulder staring at the oblivion that was left of the once thriving village. Billows of smoke from the burned thatch huts filled the air. Although the smoke was thick, it was still unable to mask the smell of the dead. The war against the Unseelie Courts was won, and Balor as well as his followers were effectively banished to dwell for eternity in the depths of the lower plains.
A high priestess lay dead on the ground. Her head stayed nestled in the lap of the druid Chieftain. Tears silently rolled down his dirtied cheeks and into his wiry salt and pepper beard as he stared into the face of the fae woman who sacrificed her life in childbirth. It was their only child that now bore the burden between worlds. Their lineage was now responsible for protecting the seal between Earth and the In-between.
The crying baby wailed helplessly in search for it’s mother. It’s tiny body was curled in a ball, allowing its undeveloped wings to stay firmly pressed alongside its back. The Seelie Queen cupped the baby girl to her breast and kissed the infant’s head sweetly. Gently placing her hand to the girls head, she muttered unfamiliar words under her breath.
A strange glow emanated from the Queen’s palm as a she left a mark on the child’s forehead. The seal was placed and was now the responsibility of her people to keep it safe for generations to come. The baby cried even louder as it’s wings painfully retracted. Bones cracked and blood oozed out it’s little frame as they unwillingly coiled back inside her body. The Queen quickly pushed her hand to her pocket and massaged her healing dust into the child’s wounds to stop the bleeding and ease the pain. She then blew it over the little girl’s face and it was within seconds the child fell into a deep sleep.
Quivering after the spectacle of it all and wanting to gag from the horrible procedure, the fairy queen hurriedly placed the little infant into the Chieftains eager arms. The dirty and bloodied Chieftain numbly held onto his daughter with bewilderment in his eyes. He cried out hysterically to the sky then collapsed over his wife’s now cold body. Shaking and sobbing in his grief, the fae soldiers and the rest of the court glumly turned their heads away from the pitiful man. Like a troop of ghosts, they moved across the valley toward the forest where they vowed never to enter this world again. The aging Chieftain silently rocked back and forth cradling his only child as the rest of his clan began cleaning up the dead.
A single Fae boy holding a staff stayed firmly in his place as he sorrowfully watched the sons of earth clean up their deceased. He, being the deliverer of souls was the only fae that would be granted access between worlds. It was his sacred duty to bring safe passage of dead from the human plain, to the land of the inbetween. It was in his home, Anwyn where their souls would reside and live alongside the Seelie until the day of judgement.
The young fae man hesitantly approached the still sobbing Druid. He gently pressed his hand onto the man’s shoulder as he stared down at the cold body of the priestess. The distraught man, stared deftly into the fairies eyes, knowing what was coming next. “It’s time”, the fairy boy said firmly”. With a long pause, the man gazed a last meaningful moment at his beautiful wife, he then nodded dejectedly. The deliverer crouched down as he gingerly retrieved the soul from the druid wife’s body.
A glimmering ball of light pulled itself from the fae woman’s chest. After it’s retrieval, it quickly flitted in excitement around the fairy boys head. The sight was too much for the druid man to bare and he buried his head into the tiny ball that was his daughter as he continued to bitterly rock and sob.
“The sacrifice made here today will be one that will protect the world from Balor’s evil forever, both in the Seelie world as well as the world of man”. said the fairy boy. He paused as he looked in anguish at the destruction of the druid village. Before turning toward the rest of the dead to fulfill his duties, he passionately whispered under his breath, “Your courage and honour will forever be remembered among my people and we are are forever in your debt”.
With one last glance at the crumpled man on the ground who silently nodded in his direction without looking at him, the deliverer of souls walked dutifully into the remnants of the bloody battlefield.