Kneeling on the damp, stony ground, Pryseis took a deep, shuddering breath of frosty mountain air and stared at her sunlit reflection in the shimmering pool. She ran a hand through her hair, watched the long, iridescent strands slide through her fingers in the streaming sunbeams. Light which made her wings tingle as they absorbed energy directly from the sun’s rays. The fading glow warned her the end of the day fast approached. Dread seized her at the thought of sleep. Every night the same small, scared voice in the dark haunted her dreams. “Help me…save me…” She’d added her magic to her sister faeries’ to ease his suffering. But the group’s spirit-nets had no effect on the child. Now he’d faded from their senses and singled her out. None other still heard his cries. His anguish was in her head, in her heart.
And she couldn’t get him out.
Somewhere down below the barren mountain, in the Shadowlands, a goblin child needed help. He called to her. Just to her. Drew her to him with bits of nightmares, fear and anxiety. Pryseis ached to go to him, ease his suffering. Dreams were her especial realm. She never failed. The certainty had grown for days. She could help him…if she could find him.
There was the crux. Thanks to their need for the pool’s elixir, faeries never left Crystal Mountain. One cupped handful of the renewing waters every seven sunrises to stay strong and immortal. Just one had ever tried—her grandmother Shallan—and she’d failed, nearly died.
Pryseis’ sisters would never let her go.
She squared her shoulders and strode toward the shining crystalline palace where the council chambers were housed. This lad’s nightmares differed. They affected everyone around him. Something ominous stirred below the mountain. The traditional methods, gentle influence of the many, failed. Time for a new way. Light against darkness. One-on-one, she and the lad. Who would prove stronger? Who would prevail?
The council would capitulate. They must.