These are the only things you’ve known for an insurmountable time. Perhaps it is all you’ve ever known. True, you hear noises in the dark: whispers in some tongue you don’t know, but still understand. The whispers tell you things about hope and fate and life. How you have none of them any longer. How all that was once yours now belongs to The Prince.
Briefly, you feel warmth.
Is this merely a falsehood? The last burst of something resembling life flowing out of you? Your lantern burning brightest?
But no, the warmth spreads, blooms into a new sensation. A sensation you haven’t felt since your first day alive; born from an icy womb into the world.
A crackly voice, tinged with madness calls out:
-There now, see? Right as rain, fit as a fiddle. Heeheehahahahaha!
Your eyes remember their purpose and adjust rapidly to the dimly lit chamber around you. You lie on the floor of a throne room of winter incarnate. Ice is the brick & snow the mortar of this room. Around you stand several figures, all fey, one familiar: Nod. He looks gaunt. No, not gaunt, or not just so at any rate. Haunted, that is the word. He looks down upon you like the cat that ate the canary, only to find out the canary was full of spiders.
To his left, another Eladrin whom, when they stand next to each other, is clearly related to Nod, though you’d never notice were they apart. She, too, has white hair and blue eyes, but a tinge of green hints her skin and a tinge of madness hints her smile.
To his right, a satyr. The Satyr, you might dare to say. All swagger and style, this one.
-Ah, there we are boys. Finally up, ey? Have a nice nappy? Fancy a spot of tea? Come now, Mag. Surely you have a warm cuppa in this palatial bit of majesty you’ve acquired for yourself.
Mag, the female Eladrin, looks to him with a touch of disapproval.
-Warm drinks? Warm drinks? You Summer and your warm drinks!
Within a blink several Eladrin appear, setting a small table, brushing chunks of ice out of your hair, dressing you in finery, tending to your thawing wounds and sitting you down in an overwhleming frenzy. With a nice cup of tea melting your blood, you look around at your fellow Daggers. You come to the realization all at the same time: Captain Suldren is missing, but you still number six. Sitting where your Captain should is literally a mountain of a man. Chiseled from rock of mountains strong, this Goliath sits before you. He looks as bewildered with his predicament as your compatriots do.
-What in the nine hells happened? Who are you people? Where am I?
-Well, Moppet, I’m Mad Mag, this is Puck
-…this is Puck
-…this is Puck
-THIS IS PUCK AND THESE ARE THE SIX
-…five… Daggers of the Cortadormar.
-Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Puck finishes with a flourish, gesturing to the group at large.
-Well, except you, Cassius. Met we have and friends we are, wouldn’t you say?
Cassius looks nothing more than purely confused as Puck, for just a second, turns into an Eladrin, one Cassius has not seen since the day he earned his surname. With a slight bow and a smile, the Satyr stands before you all once more.
Cassius remains staring, mouth agape.
Mag and Puck look over at another Eladrin, so unseeming you didn’t notice he was even in the room until the attention was drawn to him.
-Took, where is the sixth member of their company?
-Hey, don’t look at me, folks. You said bring back the five I acquired, here be the five I acquired. I give my word, these are the five I found and returned as I found. If you’re missing one, he wasn’t there to be taken.
Mag mumbles something to herself and for the first time the Satyr looks uncomfortable.
-What did you say, dear?
-I said The Witch must have him. I had heard that Set had considered having her work them over one by one to find what Nod hid, but I didn’t think he’d become that desperate.
-Well, how attached were you gentleman to this Captain of yours? Oh relax, I’m joking. Mostly.
-You lot have your work cut out for you, it would seem. It shall be no easy feat, sneaking past her feet. But perhaps Mag can persuaded to help you just a little bit more. If you make it worth my while…