From the Private Journal of Mathew Prince
I had the nightmare again last night. Bolts of lightning paralyze me in agony, while magic flames start consuming my body. As I scream and yell for mercy, my tormentor appears. The lady Kassandra applies her deft skill without a moments concern for my suffering. No dark shadow is she, no monstrous doppelganger. She looks and acts the very same as she ever has. The same as when she does something as mundane as creating a flame or sending a ghostly whisper. I desperately look around for aid. The paladin rushes up, but relishes in the flames instead of putting them out. “Yes, burn him! Burn it all!” he cries. In the distance, I see Gillan, but he has his own problems. An unconvincing monster mask was placed on him, and Lord Robert is preparing his spear. “Ha, you are Evil and I am an Honorable Knight and so I will kill you, and rescue the princess!” Said princess is a straw dummy with some lipstick, indifferent to the whole proceedings. As the flames begin to rise, I feel my time growing short. I look around to see what Kassandra’s last words to me might be, what might I say in desperation. But she’s already gone. My dispatch does not merit comment nor even her attention. The pain, the smell, the despair overwhelm me, and I finally wake up.
The final days in the Fairy games were stressful for all of us. In a typically twisted contest, we were set against our mirror images. Lord Robert showed some improvement in his leadership. He’s learned (the hard way) the merit of caution, and the benefit of being better informed, giving due consideration before taking action. However, his caution came at the price of his willingness to take certain risks. Not even willing to let me sneak around on my own to find out the lay of the land (at least the knowledge that he sees me as sufficiently valuable to keep around is good to know).
The party managed to dispatch their doubles with little trouble. I have to admit it seems somewhat disconcerting the ease with which they killed their “others”. Perhaps they were just putting on a brave face, keeping private they qualms they felt. My own flippant remark that I had “taken care” of my copy belied the importance of what transpired between us. Still, I can’t help but wonder what it means that the rest of them can so quickly see themselves as something to fear and something to destroy. Kassandra I understand is terrified of her own potential, but the rest? Still, the task was done, and besides some arcane torture from the hands of what was once a friendly face, we are mostly unscathed.
The journey to the Fairy Court was uneventful. We’d been warned about the dangers of eating or drinking anything on the way, but even if we hadn’t the tricksters were far too obvious. No rapport building, no shill, no duking in, might as well have tried Tossing the Broads on a Deep-Sea Gambler. I expected more to be honest. Kassandra tried to help me walk in my injured state, completely oblivious to the fact that her every touch relived the memory of those bolts coursing through my nerves. I hid the pain, not wanting to unnecessarily hurt the lady’s feelings.
The Court was filled with much intrigue and plotting of powers far beyond anything I could imagine. I knew to use my small stature to keep out of sight and not draw attention. Anything spoken would have to be very deliberate and thought-out. I assumed the rest of the party felt the same, and then Lord Robert squandered the faith I put in him. He seemed to think that an all-powerful and particularly vicious Fairy King would wait to hear him out and not leap to action at the slightest provocation. I wouldn’t be too bothered if Lord Robert had intended to arrange the demise of the former fairy and former team mate ShitGrub, but it was clear that his natural instinct to say the first thing that came to mind once again caused him strife. Small distraction before the main event. It’s not every day one meets a Lord of Hell and can walk away. However much I feel about not wanting to get involved with the machinations of Fairy powers, it goes double for Demon Kings. Still, it would possibly be wise to see what ties either forces had with Robert and Kassandra’s island, and whether or not they might become entangled again in the future.
The rest of the party seemed to have each obtained something of the whole debacle. As I sit here scratching behind the ear of my new canine companion, I think perhaps I have as well. If I am to keep the company of this group for much longer, there is one of them I’ll need to discuss some matters with. One of them who is clearly quite important.