In Faerie, there is one rule that must not be broken. Those of
the Day must never partner with those of the Night.
The storytellers, spirit-users with the power of influence,
spread cautionary tales to prevent partnerships like this. The
most common was the tale of the Silver Dusk, the event that
shaped Faerie as it was now.
In a clearing in the Day territory, Kelty of the Night eyed one
of the Day Court’s storytellers and his small entourage from her
perch opposite them. The magic she wore like an extra skin hid
her purple coloring, silver wings, and the long strands of her
silver hair, but she still chose to crouch behind a screen of leaves.
The gentle light illuminating the clearing where the youth sat,
staring with rapt attention at the storyteller, unnerved her, as
did the way he told the story.
“Danger lies with choosing the path that leads away from the
light.” The storyteller’s voice was soft, yet filled the clearing
at the same time. “Love is where this tale begins, and death is
where it ends. But listen carefully, and you will be led true.”
His yellow wings were folded to his back, fluttering only a
little when he made gestures with his arms. He paid no mind
to the three others with him who stood off to the side. Even
without the dark skin colors of blue, green, and yellow, their
lofty expressions would give them away as faeries of the Day
Court. They watched with pride in their eyes.
Occasionally, the storyteller paced slightly; his dusty orange
skin and long, straight hair of pale yellow gave him the appearance
of the sun come to impart its knowledge on those below,
as if it were an act of benevolence, a gift to be bestowed upon
the faerie youth of the Day gathered before him. When the
storyteller came, it was mandatory for the youth to hear his
words. They came willingly, though, hoping for a chance at the
glory they imagined the Day Court to be.
“They were from opposing courts,” the storyteller continued
in his melodic voice. “She of the Night and he of the Day. Their
partnership was not against the law at the time. But they both
refused to join the court of the other before they accepted their
bond, as the law demanded.
“As you well know, each of us are blessed at birth with the
energy of the sun or the moon. The marks upon our temples
are passed down from the energy of the ones who give us life,
denoting us as one of the Night or one of the Day. The ara, the
magic within us, connects us all to the ara of the land, but the
lunar and solar energies pull us in different directions. It is the
natural way of life, opposites working in harmony and existing
As he spoke, he made sure to catch the eyes of the slack-jawed
youth. Everyone knew the story, but the storyteller had a way of
spinning his words together to create a more stunning tale than
they could’ve imagined.
“In direct violation of the law, this couple accepted the
partnership that called them together. They stood over the line
between the Night and Day territories, one on each side, and
Kelty scoffed inwardly at the insane detail the storyteller
couldn’t possibly know. The Great Destroyers did this in secret
with no witnesses. This part of the story gets more ridiculous every
time I hear it.
“They spoke the word ‘forever,’ and their bond formed.”
That at least was true. Faeries were potentials, merely attracted
to each other on a deeper level and able to see and feel
each other’s magic, until they both whole-heartedly accepted
the bond. Once they knew deep down they were meant for each
other, they clasped hands and their magics were bound together,
the power calling to that of the other and also able to combine
with it. Though the word “forever” was merely a custom, it
served as a promise. Together for the remainder of life.
The storyteller continued his story with a frown marring
his smooth face. “They lived in secret, traveling between the
territories and avoiding everyone, lest they come across one
who could sense their illegal bond. They foolishly planned to
create a new kind of faerie, one with the combined power of the
sun and moon.
“They planned to have a child.”
He paused, eyes the color of the sky above roaming the
audience to make sure he was connecting with each one of them.
“Before the Silver Dusk, it was unknown what a child of a
mixed union would be like. Now we know the result would be a
child who will never belong to either the sun or the moon, and
thus to neither court. Their magic would be uncontrollable. And
“When the child was born, the burst of power that came
with its first cry killed its parents. Then an unnatural magic
was unleashed in an explosion that rocked through Faerie,
destroying the child itself and tearing through every living thing
in its path, the power desperately seeking a connection it would
never have. For this magic was not able to join with that of the
ara. It was an abomination, never meant to exist.
“It spiraled further and further out of control. The land turned
to burnt and barren husks. Faeries dissolved into silver pools
of liquid on the ground, unable to return to the ara without
guidance. It nearly killed off all members of both courts as it
traveled upward with tremendous speed. Those that survived
remember hearing a sound like a terrible keening.”
There was another theatrical pause. Kelty could not see the
faces of the youth, but she imagined their eyes were glazed over,
picturing the devastation.
“Silver, silver in the growing dark,” the storyteller said softly.
A hush fell over those present so that the only noise was the
flutter of tiny feathered wings and clawed feet as the runa flitted
among the branches above. Though even the small creatures
kept their beaks shut as they passed over.
Then the storyteller’s eyes came alight. “Suddenly, a great
blue light spread through the trees, the soil. This magic formed
a barrier across the center of Faerie, held together by the leaders
of the Day, as we know them now. The spirit magic of our leader,
The Glorious, spread through the land by her partner, Drake.
They drove the unnatural magic away from the land and up into
the sky, where it dissipated and ate at itself since it lacked any
element to ground itself in. Even the air itself rejected it.”
Kelty recalled hearing the same tale from her mother, Kye
of the Night, who had been there. She was with The Glorious
and Drake as they used their combined magic in the spectacular
display that drove off the unnatural power and saved Faerie. She
had been there to stand up and claim her birthright to rule the
Night along with her partner, Baron. Kelty could never forget the
haunted look in her mother’s eyes as she recounted the horror
of the cleanup afterward, both courts drenched in silver blood,
the task of guiding the energy of her dead family and the other
fallen ones back to the ara within the soil for their final rest.
This story should be told; it was the underlying purpose of
this gathering Kelty did not agree with.
She adjusted her stance on her perch. The power that blended
her into the bark and leaves was second nature to her, but she
checked her magical concealment anyway. As one of the Night,
she was not supposed to be lurking in Day territory, much less
assessing their storytellers.
“We were saved by The Glorious. We were saved by the light
and power of the Day.”
There it was, the shameless praise for the leader of the Day.
Kelty nearly rolled her eyes, though the words were true. The
Glorious was the most powerful of Faerie, and she made sure
everyone knew it.
The Glorious’ spirit magic allowed her to sense emotions
and purpose, and to create illusions based on those emotions
and experiences. With this power, and the considerable debt
everyone in Faerie felt they owed her, she created the most
powerful Court of the Day in the history of Faerie.
As if the influence this gave her over all of Faerie wasn’t
enough, her storytellers combed the Day villages, looking for
faerie youth with power enough to contribute to that of her
court. They told the youth they were meant to live different
lives, around others of their caliber and strength. The world of
the Day was divided into those who were fated to prosper and
those fated to suffer; those with a strong connection to the ara
and those with the weakest. Even those who knew they had no
chance still ran to hear the storytellers, caught up in a dream
that would never be but was still as alluring as the sun they so
It was all a lie.
The Glorious tightly controlled her court, and as evidenced by
the rapt expressions of the storyteller’s entourage, they still
loved her for it. That was if they were lucky to be in favor.
Those not in favor were either tortured or disposed of in the
neighboring human world, a place no faerie wanted to go.
Beyond the Day Court, the commoners of the Day lived very
different lives. With little connection to the ara themselves, they
relied on the Telk stones that stronger faeries infused with their
power. And those stones were becoming increasingly hard to
come by with all of the powerful faeries being steadily drawn
into court through gatherings such as this.
The tale continued in a more solemn tone. “And once the
destruction was stopped, the land of the south destitute and
lifeless, The Glorious and the other rulers guided the fallen
faeries into the ara of the land again. The courts of Night and
Day as you know them were formed.
“The leaders of both courts stood before Faerie and decreed
there will be no partnerships between those of the Night and
those of the Day.
“Balance of opposites keeps the land bountiful and the ara
whole. Duty calls to each of us differently to keep this balance.
Remember your place and embrace it, for defying that is what
caused this tragedy.”
The branch beneath Kelty’s feet hummed as the trees surrounding
the clearing sensed a surge of energy. There is the true
purpose of this gathering. Kelty ducked lower as if she could see
the storyteller’s magic herself, itching to tap into the forbidden
part of her power that would allow her to see the spirit magic
but knowing it was too risky.
The storyteller’s job was to dig deeper and truly assess if any
of the youth gathered were worth bringing back to court. They
would stay there for the remainder of their lives, perhaps never
even seeing their families again. If he suspected that they were
powerful enough, they would have no choice but to leave with
him and be forced into The Glorious’ service, becoming a part of
a court that was tightly controlled; the slightest misstep could
result in terrible punishment.
Kelty studied the reactions of the youth below. Most had
looks of awe on their faces. They murmured to each other, none
seeming the least bit bothered by any of this. Some beamed at
Only one drew Kelty’s attention. She stood alone at the back
of the group; lavender wings made up of smaller membranous
segments outlined in a darker shade of purple were folded down
her back, larger top wings partially overlapping the smaller
sections. The dark braid that flowed over one shoulder stood
out against her rich purple skin that was much like the color of
Faeries were born pure white and developed over a matter
of days into the color most suited to them. Purples tended to
be more intuitive, cool-headed, but also courageous, the ones
who got things done. Kelty involuntarily approved of the youth,
although the stoic way she stood there in silence reminded her
more of her sister than herself.
No, don’t think like that either, Kelty berated herself. It was
always possible she would fail to save this youth from the Day
Court. It happened many times before. If Kelty wasn’t in a
position to warn the youth away without being discovered by
the storytellers or if the youth went willingly, there was nothing
Kelty could do. She didn’t need the added guilt that thinking of
this stranger as her sister would bring up.
Brows creased, Kelty waited to see what the storyteller would
do once his tale concluded.
His soft voice carried as he delivered his last line. “Remember,
remember this tale and be at peace.”
The storyteller gave them all a bow of his head and stood with
open arms, welcoming and inviting the youth to speak with him
as they always did, asking eager questions. If only they knew
it wasn’t as glamorous as they imagined. But Kelty could not
shout that across the clearing like she wished she could. She
was not even supposed to be trying to thwart the gathering as it
A flash of purple drew her eye as the female walked toward
the storyteller with purpose in her step.
No. Kelty worried her lip as the storyteller flashed the youth
a smile. This one may go willingly. Her wings twitched and her
fingers dug into the bark.
She remained as they spoke, looking for any sign the youth
was being forced. After a few minutes of conversation, her hopes
deflated as the youth left on foot with the storyteller, leaving
behind a group of disappointed others to swarm his entourage
The reaches of the Day Court know no bounds.
Letting the breath she had held rush out though her teeth,
Kelty turned and made to sneak around to where the storyteller
and the youth disappeared to. There was still a slim chance the
youth may listen to reason and Kelty could help her escape.
But then she froze, wings halfway open, as the air around her
grew thicker with moisture than the heat of the day called for.
Little beads of water formed on her skin.
She grounded herself, feet tingling with the power she sent
into the bark beneath, and frantically looked around for the
source of the power. Only once had she been detected and
attacked while out in the open. That had been a mistake, the
faerie backing off once he recognized the heir of the Night.
But this time, she was in Day territory poking around where
she didn’t belong. Her heart began to pound.
Who is watching me?
And as her thoughts ran in circles, she heard a soft male voice
in her ear.
“Save her from the lie.”