Monday, October 10, 2011

Chapter 20: The Red King's Dream

He was sleeping beside his wife. And then he was not. He recognizes immediately the standing stones,  the place between worlds, the portal from the mundane world into the fae. And of course he recognizes Summerdream as well, for who else would have the audacity to summon a sleeping dragon.

"Deserter," she says to him, her voice sharp and cold. "How could you leave us in the middle of this war?"

"This war has no end, Summerdream. You know this," Aymeri protests, "I've spent centuries defending our lands, but even in victory we are defeated. Their numbers grow, and ours do not."

"Yes, and with defections such as yours, our numbers shrink even further," she answers, "I command you to return to the field, to fight and lead us to victory."

"You command? No one commands the dragon kin, not even you, Tania Summerdream."

"Aymeri, please," she says, her voice softening, "We need you."

"Thierry was right, Summerdream, this war is futile," Aymeri sighs sadly, "I cannot lead us to an impossible victory. Our only hope is to fight the enemy at the source, to stop the mundane world from destroying itself and us along with it."

"Your mind has been clouded by love," Summerdream says, her mouth in a contemptuous snarl, "To think you once advocated the total destruction of humankind. And now you lie with one, tamed, your wings clipped. If you seek to win this war on the human front, you can only achieve that through their destruction. You know they will not, cannot change."

"And it was you who spoke for the humans then," Aymeri reminds her, "You wanted alliance with their kind, and talked the dragon kin down from our hostility. The wisdom of age has tempered my fire, Summerdram. What is it that's has lit yours to such a fury?"

"You need to ask that, when you've seen what their carelessness has done to our kind? I was a fool to think we could ever live side by side with the humans, and I regret not letting you and your brothers rain fire down on them all when you wanted to."

"We couldn't have destroyed them all," Aymeri says, "Not even then when their numbers were so small. Now, it would be a joke to even attempt it. We made our decisions, and now must live with them. Our only choice now is to try to work with the humans."

Summerdream was about to argue further, but her words were stopped by a tremor shaking the ground beneath them. "Did you feel that?" she asks, her voice small and quiet, but not with fear. Whatever the source of the shaking ground, it's not the enemy, not an attack. Aymeri feels it as well, the warm familiarity of it, though he cannot quite place it.

"The dragon is right," he says, appearing behind her. She hasn't heard his voice in years beyond counting, but there's no mistaking the speaker.

"Auberon," she whispers, not believing. "You're awake? But you can't be. Unless...?"

"Yes, Tania, it's the end of the world. I am awakened."

Summerdream gasps and trembles.

"You were right, Tania, when the humans first walked the world. You were right to try to make alliances, to try to adjust to the newcomers and find a way to live beside them. You talked down the dragons and their allies, but then you listened to my counsel. That was your mistake," Auberon continues.

"It wasn't a mistake," Summerdream protests, "Separating the realms was the only way for us to survive."

"We are dying, Tania," Auberon says, "I created the fae in my imagination, and held it in my dreams while I slept. But I could not completely sever the link to the mundane world. And now we suffer the contamination. Aymeri is right, we cannot purge this realm, we cannot win back what we've lost. The fae must be destroyed."

"How can you say this?" Summerdream cies.

"Because it is true," Auberon says, "The fae should have never existed. We belonged in the mundane world along with the humans. But we were arrogant, I was arrogant, and took our magic out of the world to forge our own, made of dreams. We caused our own destruction, Tania."

"Don't cry, beloved," Auberon says, taking her hand, "Destruction is necessary for creation to exist. This has been a long, beautiful dream, my love, but now I am awake, and this realm will fade as dreams do."

"We should go," Aymeri reluctantly interrupts the reunion of the two ancient lovers, "Before we fade along with it."

"Where were you?" Allyriane asks when he comes up behind her, "You weren't in bed when I woke up."

"The war is over," Aymeri answers, smiling.

"You won? Is that why everything is so....golden?" she asks, not having quite the right word to describe the magical glow of the world this morning.

"It was not a war we could win. We admitted defeat. The fae is no more, and our magic is returned to the world."

"Magic...returned? What does that mean?"

"I don't know," Aymeri admits.

Others feel the change in the air the morning after the fae collapsed. The Tricous with their fae blood, the elven Archers.

Even the fox spirit turned human feels it.

Is it a coincidence the magic seed Aymeri gave her for her teen birthday finally bears its fruit on this day?

Laramie Tricou and Tobin Archer celebrate the reunion of Tania and Auberon Summerdream with their own union, choosing this day to marry. The couple throw a small party at the Tricou house for their friends and family.

Thierry's brother Fricorith is still bitter about their family's matrilineal leanings, and that their younger sister inherited the house.

Shavon Wilder, Fricorith's illegitimate daughter with Morrigan Wilder, is invited not for her connection to the family, but because she and Tobin are thick as thieves. Being professional thieves and all.

Audrey, Laramie and Tobin's daughter, wants to burn the house down.

"The Landgraabs have held all the power in this city for too long," Laramie says to Allyriane, "It's time for the Tricous to try their hand at governance. It's time for you, Allyriane."

"Me?" Allyriane says, "I'm not even a Tricou, I'm a Roman."

"Immaterial," Laramie waves her hands, "I've changed my name to Archer, but I am always a Tricou, as are you. It isn't the name that must take the reins, it's our blood. The Landgraabs are poor stewards of the land. You've made inroads with your campaign to expand the public transportation system. But that's not enough. You must stop petitioning elected officials and become one."

Allyriane looks doubtfully at her aunt.

"You'd be an excellent leader," Aymeri says, "The city needs you. The world needs you"

Challenge Notes:
This chapter was named from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, in which Tweedle Dum tells Alice that she's just a figment of the Red King's dream, and when he wakes, she'll poof out of existence.
In Hindu beliefs, it is said that this universe is a dream being dreamt by the god Vishnu, and that it will be over when he wakes.

And yes SP did me the favor of having Tobin and Laramie finally get married. Laramie is pregnant again, btw, but she's not showing in the wedding party pics.

The fae scenes were shot in Riverview, where the standing stones are.


  1. Hmmm? So did all the fae die? =( Or just get returned to the human world?

    Great talk between Summerdream and the dragon by the way. I really enjoyed that.

  2. Um, um, I also really like seeing Tobin the thief, lol. I am so embarrassed. Fangirling over my own character's offspring in a different legacy. xD

  3. Yay! I can't wait to see Allyriane in politics.

    Interesting chapter. The part about the fae was fascinating, especially when you explained about the Hindu god. Very creative idea.

    And Becky, I like Tobin too. =)

  4. Don't worry, Becky. I'm doing the same thing over in Buckley's legacy. (Eee Sharla~<3) And i totally agree. Laramie and Tobin just might be my favourite couple ever. I love them!

    I don't know how to explain it, but this chapter made me sad in a happy way. Sad to hear we won't be seeing more of the fae world, but happy to know Allyriane and Aymeri will be staying together happily ever after (Or something like that).

    (Audrey killed me! <3)

    If our world is a dream, the creator is a sadist. (I KNEW IT)

  5. Ha... Cece. I'm with ya'.

    Great Chapter! As Becky stated, the conversation between Summerdream and Aymeri was great. But I am a tad sad (unintentional rhyme) that the fae had to be defeated for the war to end.

  6. The fae returned back to the mundane world.
    And since all the magic has returned, it's possible we'll be seeing more of the fae world locally, without me having to resort to alternate saves.
    I think creating a fae victory would have been a bit too forced, considering the source of the problem. Even if Allyriane managed to get all of humankind to change their ways, a lot of the damage done is not reparable.

  7. I figured they were returned to the normal world (where they belong! those deserters!), but I wanted to make sure, what with Aymeri's comment about hurrying to escape.

    I think it was a good "resolution". Also a great explanation of how exactly the fae world was separate from the main one.

    It vaguely reminded me of an RPG plot my boyfriend and I did once, where a psychotic elf eliminated the power of the archmagi by finding a way to collapse the multiverse, leaving only one. Though widely considered a "justified" and "inevitable" turn of events, for reasons a bit too rambling to get into, it did kill almost everyone in all of those other dimensions. x.x So I was worried about your poor fae, lol. ^.^'

  8. Dude, collapsing the multiverse is huge! That must have been one psychotic elf.
    I almost went in a slightly different direction, I was going to have Auberon close off the portals, permanently severing all ties between the fae and mundane worlds, but I decided to go in this other direction almost last minute. And I'm happy I did, I like having magic in the world. Though I don't know what I'm going to do with it. (Unicorns? lol, it does create a great explanation for that new feature coming down the pipeline.)
    This story may also have been influenced by 'Little, Big' by John Crowley. A truly excellent book for anyone into fae things.

  9. Lol. Unicorns. Indeed. I don't know if I'm going to get pets right away. Though I was thinking I could use a cat in the storyline right now.

    As in "cheer up, River, here's a free kitten."

    "Yes! This solves all of my potential angst issues, Dad!"

    Multiverse destruction was a pretty big deal, yes. Funnily enough, he was more of a "psycho for hire" than a "big bad" type. But I guess you know things are REALLY bad when you have to destroy the multiverse to get rid of the big bads. D= Now he's cursed to stay on sacred ground, where he can't hurt anybody. ;)

  10. I'm getting Pets for my birthday. Yes, it was last month, lol, but I'm willing to wait.
    Must have kittunz! You can always use a cat in your storyline. Actually, you need one last chapter. You had the whiff of cat urine, but no cats to back that up, lol.
    Also, I'm looking forward to seeing if the noisy trait for cats comes even close to Yang's incessant yowling. And they are supposed to sing along with Sims playing instruments, which Yang definitely does. The funniest thing ever was Yang's first encounter with a sitar, lol.
    But, unicorns, yeah. I'm not really into that, and had no plans of incorporating them into my story. But, with the magic/fae theme going on, who knows.

  11. Ooh, I like the fae coming back into the world! Yay