1) The Mirror
Something had been on Sir Gray’s mind for some time. He had witnessed the activities of the Unseelie in the city for sometime, but felt frustrated at his impotence to act against them.
The Banality of frustration surged hard in his heart, and he sighed deeply. He stood, now, outside the Duke’s Freehold, ready to ask his Lord for some real help.
Sir Gray was ushered into the Duke’s hall. The old Sidhe sat at the far end of the chamber, his robes dusty and ragged, like his mind. No wonder the Unseelie were running riot across the city.
"You wanted to see me ?" croaked the Duke, and for a moment, Sir Gray felt only revulsion, not pity. He cleared his throat.
"I, Sir Gray, Knight of Fiona, come to you to ask for a boon,” he said clearly, adding, “At your pleasure, your Grace.”
The Duke seemed pleased, and laughed quietly to himself. He nodded.
"I am unused to such pleasantries, young Knight," he chuckled.
Sir Gray stood motionless, but he agreed with the Duke. Things had fallen badly apart over the winter. The Shadow Court’s rule had not been kind on the Seelie.
"I ask for leave to create a Chimera."
Sir Gray’s words echoed around the hall for some moment. Silence followed.
"I see. You realise what you are asking ?" murmured the old Duke.
Sir Gray nodded.
"I ask to embrace the Balefire."
The Duke stood, his tired legs shuddering at the motion. His scruffy guards moved to help, but the old man just brushed them back.
"I see... well... you’re not the first to ask... but the first in some time, I’ll grant you...."
He moved, painfully, down the hall to the Sir Gray’s side. The old man even smelt bad, and Sir Gray had to wonder how a Sidhe could fall so far.
The Duke looked into the Knight’s eyes, and Sir Gray could see a gleam there.
"About time that one of my Knights had the courage to do this."
The Duke smiled, and waved his hand back to the guards.
"Yes ! Let this brave one embrace the Balefire ! Let his dreams form a new life !"
The guards exchanged looks, and sighed. There was movement, as huge moth-eaten curtains were drawn back to reveal a mirror, twice the height of a man, and twice as wide. It hung, without visible support, behind the Duke’s throne.
"Go on, then !" giggled the Duke, pushing Sir Gray towards the mirror.
The Knight swallowed hard, and walked towards the mirror. He could see the audience room reflected within, and his own figure, walking towards himself.
"Face your Dream, Sir Knight. And make it reality."
The mirror shivered as Sir Gray stared within, and slowly, all reflections but his faded away.
Sir Gray stood, face to face with himself.
You finish examining the seed, and turn your attention back to the The Brick Glade.