An Account of a Meeting with the Prince of the Story Fae
Here follows a report of the meeting which occurred between Prince Armadel, the lord Hugo, Lady Rebecca Beaumarise, Kia Aryllin and myself at the Soldier’s rest.
The lord Hugo and the leaders of Albion military were to hold a secret military meeting under the cover of the opening of the public house named the “Soldier’s rest” some fifty miles from the current Story fae lines. The day before setting out I received a message from Kia Aryllin stating that she had been in contact with Prince Armadel, General of the first army of the story fae, and the fae responsible for the capture of Winchester. In his message Armadel stated that the time to talk of terms was approaching and that free passage should be prepared.
Upon arriving at the inn Kia told the lord Hugo that she had received a story from the Fae that had to be completed before Armadel could travel safely amongst us. It was decided that the opportunity to talk with the fae outweighed the risks of completing yet another story. However the lord Hugo was possessed by unquiet spirits before he could give the go ahead and so permission was given for the story to be performed by myself and Leri. The lady Rebecca Beaumarise at this time informed us that she too had recently been in contact with Armadel. The story (the usual recipe tears of this, braid of that) was gathered together and soon after Armadel arrived.
I accompanied the ladies as they entered into discourse with Armadel. The bulk of the conversation took place in the cold and rainy courtyard. This I believe was calculated on his part as the weather seemed to have little effect on him and was particularly wearing for the Lady Rebecca who is with child (a point which Armadel was quick to note). As usual the ladies played his game, in “the spirit of communication” he allowed the first 3 questions from each of the ladies to be asked and answered freely, however each question thereafter incurred a favour.
Armadel accepted the fact that the ambassador of the story who did not return from the gathering of nations was not killed by our people and he is investigating who could have been responsible. Armadel was also most displeased when Kia attempted to address him within a story, as he saw it as an attempt at entrapment. Armadel holds us responsible for the eternal torment of many of his people, who through our not following the beginning, middle and end of stories, will not return again in the spring. It seems to me from the conversation that even those of the story who are killed in the process of it, provided their death was written in the story, will return again at the end of winter.
Armadel refers to Cadarn as “the demon prince” and holds the queen in little higher regard. He said that he is a mortal to whom the ends justify the means. Although he believes that Cadarn ultimately responsible for the corruption of his people, this belief is not reflected in his terms which remain similar to those given in the past. All stories, histories and other writings, should be surrendered to them. They will then leave Albion and return our capital.
Armadel has stated that the reason for this conflict can be traced back to their initial contact with us, in which they gave us the story of the witch king’s garden in order to aid in the retrieval of the heir to the throne. They claim that had we not intended to follow the story through then we should not have begun it. However it is the belief of the people who participated in the rescue that the story could not be completed in the way it was written as one of the components had been altered. Armadel claims ignorance of this and says that it could not be the case.
Armadel often referred to us as mortal toys and said that the only reason his kind considered us above cattle was due to the fact that we had bards. He boasted that he is personally responsible for the death of Gerard Karlennon but stated that the man was a butcher and was killed as such. It is with deepest regret and personal scepticism that I must report that accounts from Winchester seem to support Armadel in this. Armadel was also most gleeful about the fact that the book of the Raven was created by him and saw it as a useful tool of war, stating that if you didn’t finish the story then you would owe them a favour (as happened with Reid and Krud). If this is the case then Armadel is sacrificing the existence and most likely the patterns of his people in an attempt to make himself and his situation stronger.
As an extension of this the lord Hugo has put a ban on anyone writing stories about or fulfilling stories that have been written by the story fae. There is a distinct problem in that if people do not fulfil stories written in the book of the raven lady then the favours incurred can involve such things as the poisoning of a town’s wells or the burning down of a keep. Armadel also gloated that at least 2 nobles of Albion owed favours but that he had not decided on what action they would be forced to take.
Armadel was keen to do a parlour trick in which he addressed me by name and guessed at my motives, previous actions and predicted actions, regretfully he had a high rate of accuracy. This may be primarily due to the Sword of Tears, or due to accounts that he has read of recent events in Albion, or perhaps more worryingly because he has collected accurate intelligence on the officers of the Albion army.
The 4th question that Kia asked and for which she is now indebted to the story fae was if we were to agree to their terms then could we have access at some point in the future to our books. Armadel’s reply was that the fae amongst us would be allowed access if they proved themselves worthy and that the people of Albion would be educated in the art of living happily ever after.
Armadel was very proud of the Tactics he used to take Winchester and referred to the Formor as aquatic fae. Armadel stated that those Albiones who were not killed in the assault are not prisoners but rather are happy to remain in Winchester alongside the story fae. Prince Armadel has given permission for the Lady Rebecca to talk with some people of Winchester either within the city or at her home. An interesting point is that after the meeting he sent his personal regards to Rebecca.
Preliminary reports from Winchester suggest that there is no resistance by our people to the fae occupation and that they would be unhappy for us to attempt to regain control of the town. It appears to be the case that the people who were unaffected when the city fell were people who were not native to the city of Winchester, or to Albion. From these reports it seems likely that the city could not be retaken without considerable loss of life, both military and civilian.
Later the lord martial spoke briefly to him regarding potential terms if no peaceful solution could be reached and Armadel agreed to speak about such terms if the Privy Council should refuse once more.
Throughout the discussions the most striking things were the arrogance and pride of Armadel and his in depth knowledge of recent events which I suspect he gained from accounts written. Perhaps we can find a way to use this to our advantage.
General Winchester Battalion,
Knight defender of Albion,
Champion of the Harts.