Report of the meeting with Prince Armadel Stok Oberon of the Story Fae
The meeting itself resulted from separate attempts by myself and Lady Rebecca Beomarise to contact Prince Armadel and create some sort of communication between our people. I believe we both attempted contact at the time of the invasion of Winchester.
Prior to that night, I had received 2 hand-delivered letters – the first saying that he was willing to speak; the second – only a week before the tavern opening – saying that the time approached and various tasks would need to be carried out before he would appear.
Half-way through the night at the Soldiers Rest, a parchment appeared in my hands – and in the hands of several others, including Lady Rebecca. This document was a story. It told of how Prince Armadel visited a wise woman, who told him that those who wished to speak to him wished him harm, but that if they carried out the actions she told him, he would be safe. Then there were seven actions – not all of which I remember clearly. The ones I do remember were:
1 – They must pave the way with bad intentions
2 – those who wished to speak to him must wear scarves woven by the elves with broken promises.
4 – the killer must be as a maiden; the maiden a killer
6 – the soldiers must march backwards through each room
7 – A secret must be told
The story ended with the words that once these things were done, then Prince Armadel would be safe to visit the hearthfire of his enemies.
Some of these things we physically performed, others seemed sufficient in their actuality. Once they were done, Prince Armadel arrived.
Myself and Lady Rebecca were surprised to be accompanied to the talks by General Aisla.
I began with speech in the narrative form, because on consultation with the High Bard, we had decided it best to try and continue the written story – to convey the fact that we were not plotting to kill him as the story had said.
However, he viewed this as a trap, one which would perhaps have harmed him were he not protected. At this point I decided that plain speech was the best idea I had, and explained that I had not intended to harm him in any way, rather prior to that moment I had not known whether I COULD speak to Story Fae without using narrative.
I told him the facts myself and Arianrhod had learnt about the Story Fae ambassador who visited our camp at the last Gathering. We had discovered several months ago that she had not returned home as we had all believed – rather her head had been delivered to the Story Fae on a silver plate, and each of her children received one of her fingers. He nodded in agreement at this (he remembered it), and I spoke fast, explaining that we had not done this. I tried to let my sincerity shine through, because this fact was the reason I had tried to contact the Story Fae in the first place – finally I had found proof that a third party sought to destroy relations between the Harts of Albion and the Story Fae.
He offered myself and Lady Rebecca three questions each. He said he would answer these questions honestly.
My three questions were:
1 – What do you think is happening – why do we fight – how did this begin?
Their realm came into contact with ours at the time of the Princes kidnapping (as so often happens in stories). They sent us a story as a gift – a story which told us how to retrieve him. However, that story was broken, and Story Fae were thus condemned to eternal torment.
I admit that horror ran through me as he told this – it would appear that we were, inadvertently, the aggressors.
He told me that every time a story was broken, more Story Fae were condemned to eternal torment, never to return in the Spring.
2 – Is there any way we can help to save those Story Fae who have been corrupted by the broken stories?
No. They are lost forever. If there was any story that could bring them back we would have made it and done it. There was sorrow in his tone as he said this.
3 – When I met with soldiers of the Story Fae they spoke of the great narrative and its rules. What are these rules and would you be willing to teach them? I understand that then brings risk to you, but I seek to know only to prevent more harm.
There is a beginning, a middle and an end to each story.
There was more to this, but I do not wish to write it down, in case by doing so I cause more harm…
Indeed, this is something he seemed to live – he could not understand that we did not live within stories. On the various occasions where General Aisla spoke up, and indeed myself, he reprimanded us with words such as
‘ hush, I am in the middle of a narrative flow, a paragraph, do not interrupt…’
Once I had finished asking my three questions, he turned to Lady Rebecca. She hesitated and he offered to amuse himself by viewing the others in attendance, and seemed quite unbothered by the Caliban incursions. I believed that this was because he was protected from harm as a result of our actions, but I cannot be sure.
He, as part of his ‘offer’ commented ‘I will go over here Albion, and then you can cheat, and it will not be inside the story’. We said we did not wish to cheat, but he quite patently did not believe us.
I cannot with honesty report Lady Rebecca’s questions, for once I had asked mine, he lost interest of sorts in me, and I did not hear all they said.
I did however, ask a fourth question. I was made fully aware by Prince Armadel before I asked it that this question would be a fairy gift, and one I would have to repay. I hesitated, and Lady Rebecca warned me it could be used to compel me to anything. However he said it would not be used to cause the deaths of anyone, and so I considered it a worthwhile risk, in order to obtain answer to my question.
My fourth question was:
If you take all our books to look after them, will we be allowed access to them, will we get them back? For stories are our past, our lives, our energy, and we cannot lose them.
You do not understand stories or their power. We will look after them and we will teach you. Once you have learnt, they will be returned.
He said that the Story Fae wished to help us, as they were the ‘heroes’, and he appears to truly believe this. We are the ones who broke their story and condemned their fellows to torment eternal, and we are the ones who continued to do so – hence we are the evil ones in their eyes.
He said that those worthy of honour would be given it – such as the honour they showed Will Tanner when I returned his body home to Wynwych to be buried.
He was quite clear that he regarded Gerard Karlennon as a butcher – he spoke of what he did in Winchester. General Aisla was quite vociferously opposed to his description, however the Prince concluded that:
I believe you are right when you say that you did not murder our ambassador.
I believe you (looked at Aisla) are wrong when you say that Gerard Karlennon was not a butcher.
Regarding the tactics used by the Story fae to take Winchester, and also regarding the terms Prince Armadel stated, I am in total agreement with the description made by Lady Rebecca.
I will however re-iterate a few of her points:
The Book of the Raven Lady was designed to force people to complete stories. If the story within it is not completed within the day the person concerned owes the story fae a favour, which they are compelled to perform. Reid was required to burn Gloucester, Krud was required to infect the wells of Warwick with disease. Two
lords of Albion have also failed to complete stories from the book and the story fae have not yet decided on interesting favours.
One point that struck me was that Prince Armadel seemed to be an extraordinarily good judge of character – both of what and who a person is. He seemed able to look at a person and understand what their story was, and what sort of person they were.
He said he would look into the matter of who did kill the ambassador and my words regarding Sycorax.
From all that I experienced of Prince Armadel, I do believe that they live fully within stories. Furthermore I get the impression that their realm was brought into contact with ours through a larger story – one which none have yet seen. Where this story leads, I don’t know.
He seems as though he is an honourable man in his own eyes, but if he is being controlled by a larger story of which he is unaware, I do not know where he will be guided.