thousands. It was almost unheard of that one of the fay would die as young as her mother had. There were only a few cases… Suddenly Colbyn understood.

”They were heartmates. Your mother and human father were true heartmates, two parts of one. I don think your mother expected to find her soulmate among her grandmothers people after she was shamed by the acts of the Dreamer. Know this: when our kind truly loves, truly mates, to be separated by death is like having your limbs cut away. It hurts so much, I have been told, that the surviving one wishes nothing more than to die. Among us we guard the widows carefully for several decades for they are in mortal danger because of the longing. They miss their spouses so much, that in the end they start fading if not kept occupied with something that can anchor them to the reality. After all, half of them is behind the veil already, so its temptingly easy to slip through. ”

Goed nod. It was his human upbringing he knew, that made him to err in the ways of the elven kind. And to know that his ignorance had costed his mothers life was almost unbearable.

”Now, tell me son, what did your mother tell you about the year she served the Dreamer? ”

”Let me think. I remember she once said that the moon was full in the first day of the year, and the priestess of Moon gave birth to the twins of colour the very same day. In the end of the year, couple of months after I was born, the high king banished the Dreamer, for he had broken his vows thrice. But he had served his full time, unlike the Dreamer of the previous year, who had been too young to carry the burden. I don remember more. I was very young when my mother told me about her year in the house of Dreams. ”

The men and women around the fire had gone utterly silent. And then, to his horror, one by one they kneeled before him. Only Colbyn and his brother were left standing, but they too bowed.

”Please, stop this. What are you doing? ”

”You are seventy-six years old, you were sired by the Dreamer of Blood, and you are his sole heir. Your safety is now paramount over anything else. We will escort you to the Moon Garden after we have honoured the prince in the city of Tuired. ”

Goed was bewildered. He did not know what they meant by heir to the Dreamer of Blood. He had no idea where the Moon Garden was or why his safety was now their top priority. But they treated him with a deference now. With respect. He still had no idea who his father was, but it seemed to make the difference. He barely registered the splendid fireworks in the sky that night, but when Colbyn introduced him to the royal couple and their children he felt almost scared. Why doesn he introduce anyone else, he wondered, why me? The ideas he got were too unpleasant to dwell in, and he quickly concentrated to the pleasantries and introductions. When he saw prince Finn he knelt and bowed. To his amusement, the young prince bowed too, and he couldn help smiling to him.

”Good tidings to you, prince Finn. May you grow to have the wisdom of your grandfather Feryn and the heart of your grandfather Brenn. ”

”Thank you, prince Goed. Why don you mention my father? ”

”Because I served in your grandfathers court and knew him better than I knew his son. But if there is a thing that Id wish you from your father, then that would be his determination and from your mother her dignity. ”

”I thank you, prince Goed. You are the first one who has ever told me that there is something good in my father. ”

”You are welcome, prince Finn. ”

The young prince run away after his playmate called him and Goed stood up. It was but then that he saw the queen looking him with a tear in her eye.

”I must thank you too, as a mother. I had not realized how it would affect him when so many around him speaks ill of his father. Please, enjoy the refreshments. I need to go to tend my younger son. ”

The queen left, and Colbyn clapped him on the shoulder.

”Well done, young one, well done. That was exactly what they both needed to hear and see. ”

”I just wish there had been a way to correct the prince without humiliating him. For some weird reason, he seemed to think that I was a prince too. ”

”Oh, no harm, no foul. You can always tell him next time you meet. ”

”Next time? ”

”Next time – if your family ever lets you out of faerie again, that is. Lets go back to the camp site. The portal should be ready soon and we really need to keep going before they ask for another show. ”

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