The Other side of the Forest - Chapter 16
The Other Side of the Forest
Abigail uncomfortably sat pushed against the far wall inside an abandoned food warehouse. She was terrified beyond words for her own fate but she worried for the Fae sent to watch over her. Her girlfriend was concerned that Abigail might come to harm like Morgan’s mother. The young Witch couldn’t see her guardians but every so often the air was full of giggling. Did they try to protect her at the end? She didn’t even see her attackers. Once minute Abigail was in the bathroom at the 'Nordic' washing her hands and the next second she found herself tied up in an abandoned warehouse. She wasn’t bound or gagged but there was no chance for escape. Some sort of enchantment kept her in place. When her captors needed Abigail to do something, her body moved on its own accord. What was worse was she couldn’t even see her captors; there was a presence but nothing more.
Sile stood in the center of the room watching the young girl struggle with the enchantment. Not that there was anything the Vampire could do, she had no choice but to cast the spell on the girl. At least that was good news as long as she held the bond there was a chance she could keep the young girl alive. Sile instinctively knew that if this girl were to die there would be no place safe for her to hide.
“I need to feed soon.” Sile commented to the other Fae. She didn’t really expect any of them to care but if they didn’t allow her out she was going to start feeding on the troll-kin. The thought disgusted her but she was almost at her limit.
The Orkneyjar sorcerer gave his apprentice a disgusted look then nodded. “Let her go and feed; Sianna, she is going to cause trouble otherwise.”
The Countess didn’t bother to look up from what she was doing. “She can be my herald, Eá²ghan. I will need her to inform the Princess what is required of her if she wishes to see her friend alive.” The Countess looked up. “Pass the enchantment on the Sclá¡bhaá to me Sile.”
The white haired woman waited for a moment then shrugged passing the bonding to the Countess. The Sidhe from the Unseelie Court motioned to Abigail for second then smiled as the young girl began to walk towards her. The Countess smiled as she reinforced the spell then began to add some additional improvements.
“She is still fighting us...good.” The Countess laughed when Abigail struggled harder as the Countess now allowed her to see the other Fae in the room. The young Witch’s terror was palatable. “Oh isn’t that just delicious.”
“Countess...we were talking about the Grove.” The sorcerer was annoyed that the girl interrupted his discussion.
“Don’t worry, Eá²ghan, I am not going to deny your freedom. Having you free will be useful to the Dunkelheit. Once we gain control of the Sacred Grove, no one will deny our power. In fact my dear, more of our companions are arriving tomorrow night. The Princess will have no choice but to submit. If she defies me, I will simply destroy this town.”
“We need the Princess’ good will.” Eá²ghan watched the struggle against the enchantment continue. She had a strong will but in the end, it would not matter. The Countess was not even trying hard; she was just toying with the girl giving her hope. When the Sidhe Countess got bored and it was only a matter of time, the human would submit herself willingly.
“Nonsense, Eá²ghan, I don’t need the Princess as an ally; I just need her to do what I tell her to do.” Abigail now stood next to the Countess obviously not understanding the conversation. The language the Fae was speaking was ancient.
“If not?” Sile asked.
“Then we take this one to a stone table and use her blood to bind the Princess to our will.” The Countess commented. “The Há¼gelgrab outside the town will serve us as it served you, Eá²ghan, to turn that human into a Draugr.” The Há¼gelgrab or barrow outside town was thought to be an American Indian burial site; only a few knew the truth that it was actually an ancient Viking burial mound.
Eá²ghan would have snorted if able; binding a Princess of the blood wasn’t going to be that simple.
“Still my dear sorcerer, I would prefer the Princess to be cooperative.” She reached over and cupped her hands on Abigail’s face. “I like this one, she has some power and if properly trained will prove useful to me. Please inform the Princess Sile if she wants this pet to stay alive, she will do what I tell her. I might even allow them to spend some quality time together if she is a good girl.”
Eá²ghan did not think the Princess was going to be so accommodating. He had already underestimated the Daughter of Mab. Eá²ghan believed that this was going to come down to blood.
The Sidhe started to grope and caress Abigail. Pain and pleasure assaulted the young Witch. She had kept her courage up until now but this was too much. Embarrassed and afraid, tears ran down her cheeks. The Countess leaned over and whispered in English. “Don’t worry my pet you will be begging for my touch soon enough.”
Standing in the center of the council room stood most of the powers of the town. Eshne Teague, head of the Witch’s Coven looked terrible, her eyes were red and there was a good bit of fear in her eyes but also a lot of anger.
“Morgan, do you trust this…..woman?” The group had been surprised at where a lot of the information came from.
“Trust no. I trust Sile to look out for herself however I believe that what she came to tell me is the truth.” Morgan had been close to killing the Scottish Vampire. It surprised her how much uncontrolled fury boiled up from her when Sile approached as a Herald for the Unseelie Court. One look at Morgan’s face terrified the Scottish Vampire. She pleaded to the Princess of the Summer Court that she knew nothing of the kidnapping. Sile insisted that sanctuary was still her goal and began to inform Morgan of the dark Fae's plans. One bit of news was very troubling.
“Who exactly is this Countess?” Dr. Shango St. Hill an athletic man of Afro Caribbean descent asked. He arrived to the meeting along with his sister Oshun. Morgan was surprised at the unpleasant looks that both Oshun and Aunt Eshne were giving one another. Unlike the Kincade’s, the St. Hills were thin and tall and had a feline appearance about them. Richard Kincade had invited his old friend to move to Skogshaven a number of years ago. Dr. Shango St. Hill was now the Head of General Surgery at Eastside Medical Center. “Is she related to you Your Highness?”
Lord Alexander explained that the Countess was Sidhe of the Winter Court. She was known among the Summer Court as a ruthless adversary. He explained that as she was one of the leaders of the Dunkelheit so it should be of no surprise they would be facing more Fae that aligned themselves with the Unseelie Court.
Masanori Shisaa grumbled. He was a short compact older Japanese man and the owner the most popular Dojo in town. Build like a brick there didn’t appear to be an ounce of fat on him. Although he was speaking for the clan his mother, Rika Shisaa was actually its leader. Rumored to be a Shinto Priestess, unfortunately she was with her daughter in Hawaii right now dealing with a family emergency.
“My Okasama apologies for her absence, she has insisted that we give all of our strength to protect the Sacred Grove.”
The revelation that there was a Sacred Grove inside the forest surprised a number of them. Eshne Teague explained to the small group that the power of the forest was directly related to the Grove. Its presence brought the original Viking settlers to this forest. Its destruction or subservient to darker powers would be catastrophic.
“What about this second group of Dunkelheit, Morgan, do we know when they arrive?” Richard Kincade asked, concerned that the Unseen who faced the Fae did not have enough numbers.
“They are no longer of concern.” Morgan explained the reinforcement would not reach the town. This confused many of the group as an hour before they were all worried about their arrival. What they didn’t see was a group of Grigs arriving with the news for their Princess. What Morgan didn’t say as an Arbitrator there was great concern that the conflict was spreading outside of town.
Dan Summers smiled, already used to Morgan not just meeting with the Council but somehow also talking to her people at the same time. After teaching Morgan the proper way to use a firearm, he was amazed how naturally it came to her, Deputy Dan followed the pair to the Council Chambers. Now he stood seemingly out of place with the Unseen but very welcome. Alex had admitted to him that Morgan was right. His knowledge was very useful in the upcoming conflict. Even the Wardens acknowledged Dan's skills.
"What about cold iron?" Someone outside the group asked. All of the Fae unhappily turned to face the young man.
"About as much fun as silver is to Mal." Morgan answered truthfully. The conversation continued then finally details of the plan began to come together.
The Unseelie had planned to split their forces with the majority preparing for Morgan, a smaller group hidden inside the old Food Warehouse would move into town.
“We will take care of that group. It might be best if our families don’t intermingle, Masanori, we wouldn’t want any misunderstandings.” Dr. Shango smiled but it was devoid of warmth.
“Your Highness, my daughter and I will assist this group. My husband will stay by your side.” A Sidhe woman gave her husband Liam a nod. What came as a complete surprise for the Council was the appearance of three other Sidhe. Dressed as if they were working at a Renaissance Festival they offered their services to Morgan. (They had in fact been working at the Eastern Massachusetts Renaissance Festival)
“Thank you Rá³isán.” Morgan smiled. The pair would make sure that the Unseelie Court Fae would not go unseen when they attacked.
“What I don’t understand is why this Countess didn’t insist you come alone. Surely, she knows that you won’t just turn yourself over to her. She is asking for conflict.” Dan said.
Eshne reached for Morgan’s hand. “Abigail would never forgive her if she did.”
“Blood.” Liam said. “If her Highness does not bow to their demands the additional blood maybe enough to power a Binding. It would also require the death of Abigail as well.”
“Then maybe….” Lord Alexander began.
“No.” Morgan said sharply.
“Your Highness…Morgan.” Alex liked Abigail but his responsibility was Morgan's well being.
“We will not leave our friend to that fate, Lord Alexander. Not anyone Fae or human. Do not bring it up again.” Morgan put more force into her words than necessary.
“As you command, Your Highness.” Pride filled Alex’s chest. He would stand by his Princess’s side no matter what the end.
Jabol stood in the center of the town watching the people pass him by. His personal presence would not be required in the upcoming conflict. Although he would of course be there, well his duplicates. It would be tiring but he would produce as many duplicates as necessary for the battlefield.
The Filipino Fae was not a member of the Unseelie Court; he followed Eá²ghan for one reason and for one reason only to bring slaves back to Dalaket. They people of this town knew nothing of the Dalaketnon. Their homes offered no protection to keep him away. While the other Fae prepared for the upcoming battle, Jabol seduced many a lonely woman in the neighborhoods. When the fight was over, he would round up the foolish women and their families and make his way home.
The Huldra however would meet a different fate. Jabol now stood in front of the ‘Norse’. Gerdy would be a great feast and when he was done, the Fae would take the humans under her care too.
Authors Notes: A special thanks to djkauf for a little elvish editing. Thanks to all for reading! Take Care - Elsbeth
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