Act I: Red
Chapter 6: Aggregation
multiple eyes of the red creature all honed in on the rather serious-expressioned man briskly walking through the forest. The fae was an expected sight, due to their
owning of the trees, but the man in question was definitely not a fae. His gait was that of a human, and this made
her grin widely.
It was the stranger. Dressed almost entirely in dark greys and blacks, he stood out against the greens and browns of the forest. His stark black katana clung loyally to his back, always ready to be used in case he was ever threatened. And even as he walked there seemed to be a heavy presence of unpleasantness that followed him.
“Hello, greetings, salutations…” the girl’s voice rang from the canopies, keeping her form hidden for the time being. The cold man immediately stopped, but he made no sudden movements as he glanced around. His face was still as expressionless as usual.
“…I suggest you show yourself,” he stated raggedly. “I am aware of how the fae behave, and it’s annoying when they play this idiotic hiding game.”
Zhei giggled, automatically discovering that this stranger was an easy target to toy with.
“Who is hiding?” her voice continued to echo with its grating nature, nearly matching the man’s own. The leaves masked the direct whereabouts of her location. “Are you not human? Shouldn’t it be you hiding, being a human in the home of the fae?”
Once more he did not move, and his eyes continued to scan the wooded area. He could not discern the voice’s origins, which only made him sigh. Listening to her was pointless, as she would only play mind games with him until he was entirely lost. After several seconds, he decided against responding and resumed his general exploration.
“Ah, a silent one, hm?” Zhei teased. “Quite odd for one of the chattering race. Especially with a war going on.”
This caused the man to stop.
“Predictable,” Zhei stated.
“…You were there?” he asked, frowning. “What exactly do you know about this war?”
“What do you?”
“…Don’t fuck around with me.”
Zhei chuckled darkly under her breath, deciding to allow him a hint as to her perch.
“You seek one of the sides, yes?” she asked, causing the man to quickly turn to the side; he was not an idiot, however, and realized she was probably leading him on. Regardless, he followed where her voice was taking him, the conversation heading where he wanted.
“…For information on the land we’ve all been forced into,” he stated. “Unless you were here naturally.”
“The dreams have brought more than a handful,” she said, leading him in another direction. His eyes grew more intense as he quickened his pace.
“Who else was forced here? And why? Why are we all here?” he asked. However, he did pick up on one thing – this “handful” was being forced in through a dream. Similar to Sakiya’s situation.
“Questions are tricky,” Zhei said. “I am under the impression that you believe this is more… like a prophecy?”
"…Answer the question or I will kill you,” he threatened, unamused by her antics. Zhei only laughed.
“There is the human trait I have been waiting for,” she chided, only irritating the stranger more. “But fair enough. I have wasted enough time as it is… so I will give you some candy.”
The dark man stopped once more upon realizing that the voice was once again sounding as if it was all around, thus causing him to realize she must have led him in circles. He sighed again.
“Welcome to Tylarus.”
Quickly he unsheathed his blade and spun around, as Zhei had gently descended from the canopies to the patch of dirt residing behind him to whisper the greeting in his ear. He swung his blade as he made his turn, but the multiple eyed creature was far too quick for his meager speed, thus causing him to see only a blur of red leap out of the way and escape into the foliage. As he watched for any sign of further movement, a stir in his peripheral caused him to once again raise his blade in said direction; until he realized it was someone else entirely.
Thaia had half a mind to immediately flee, as the man’s eyes and sword only spoke of violence towards her. However, upon seeing her, his angry glare softened to one of distance, and he slowly lowered his blade. The fae was still on edge and ready to bolt if needed, but for the moment she was curious enough to see what he had to say.
The dark man stared at her for a few seconds, having just been told there were others in this land – which he now knew was called Tylarus. The fae here was evidence of that, though this could simply be because the fae have called Tylarus their home since the start.
“…A red being just passed by through here,” he said straightly. “Have you seen anything?”
A red being, Thaia thought. Since she had just finished her conversation with Zhei, she assumed that he was referring to her.
Another one… but he seems genuinely lost. Could this be one of the “others”? She thought. However, she did not trust this man, and revealing her knowledge of this information could be dangerous, especially since he had drawn his blade, presumably to attack her.
“No, I have not,” was all she said, keeping her feet light in case he advanced. Unlike Dimitri, who radiated warmth, this one was cold, and kept her at bay.
The man lowered his eyelids and sighed irritably, sheathing his blade. His eyes gazed upon her.
“…You are a fae, correct? What is your name?” he asked.
“A sylph, yes… and why do you need to know?”
He tilted his head and stared blankly.
“…I am accumulating a dossier of all those that are here,” he answered. “Just answer the question and I will leave.”
Thaia frowned. “Thaia, that is the only name you will get.”
"Do you have an allegiance with one of the three sides?” he asked, causing Thaia to raise a brow. She had only heard about this briefly, but the fact that he seemed to be as confused as she was about the subject… she didn’t know what to make of it at first.
“Perhaps… I thought that was the only question?” she stated emptily.
He did not respond for several seconds.
“…Very well,” he eventually said, turning around and leaving quickly. Thaia raised a hand in reaction.
“Wait…” she started, causing the stranger to turn. “Don’t I get a name in return?”
“…That is unnecessary,” he answered.
“I give you mine, but you don’t give me yours?” she asked, becoming indignant.
He turned away once again before starting to walk. “I am no one,” he said in a tone that was oddly sadder than she had expected. Thaia’s expression loosened briefly and she sighed.
“She told me it’s impossible to leave this land,” she said lowly.
The human, however, was able to hear this, forcing him to an abrupt halt. He once again turned around, but this time with an intrigue plastered on his paled expression. She had known who he was referring to.
“…You were brought here through a dream as well?” he asked. “Does this mean the rest of the fae were?”
“I don’t know,” she said, slightly surprised that he heard her. “But a dream…” At first this caused her no end of mental consternation, since she couldn’t remember the details of what happened before awakening. However, after some time, images and sensations began to fill in that void. It was something like a dream… so she concluded, even if she was incorrect, that it was. “Yes, I remember such. I take it you may know where ‘here’ is?”
He glanced away in thought.
“…She told me the land was called Tylarus,” he answered after many seconds. “A land into which all occupants are forced, and are unable to leave… it seems I may have been correct in my theory.”
Before Thaia could respond, the man abruptly turned and walked off. She blew a small puff of air, pushing some hair out of her face.
Within the canopies a pitch dark raven watched as the two parted. And when they did, it spread its wings and disappeared into the sunbathed sky.
Another tree, another forest. This time quite varied, structured more like a jungle than any misty woods. The raven landed softly on a branch, overlooking another encounter. However, this time, it was an encounter of only one. She had been walking through these woods when she came to a halt. The lack of memory was persistent, but for some reason, she was able to recognize the voice that called out to her. It was a woman’s. And she spoke one word.
The raven watched the exchange in silence.
Glossary - Day 4
- The Stranger / Race: Human / Status: Active
- Sakiya / Race: Human / Status: Dormant
- Thaia / Race: Fae (Sylph) / Status: Active
- Zhei / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
THE FAE COURT
- Avelia / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active
- Dimitri / Race: Fae (Faun) / Status: Active
- Tylarus: Name of land.
- The Tavern: Establishment in between the Fae Forest and Rogue Woods, south of the Graveyard.
- The Corrupted Tree: Black, deadened tree located in the Graveyard.
- The Graveyard: Plot of land between two rivers and in the center of the land.
- The Fae Forest: Eastern forests, surface world of the Fae Court.
- The Raven: ?