Moira dreamt of the princess, Eirwyn. She stared at her pale face reflected in a clear, still pool of water. Her black hair danced in the wind and her blue eyes were alight with amusement. Eirwyn laughed, a musical sound like the ringing of bells, as a minnow surfaced, disturbing her reflection. Her laughter stopped when she noticed the approaching reflection of a glowering Ulrich.
“Princess,” He said with a stiff bow.
Eirwyn’s smile returned, all the brighter to help lift Ulrich’s sour mood. “Uncle, I am surprised to see you. I thought you would have returned to my aunt by now.” said the Princess.
Ulrich smirked. “The Queen had further need of me, my lady. She has a surprise for you. I’m to take you to see her gift tomorrow.”
Eirwyn’s smile faltered. “How generous of my mother. May I know what occasion warrants this gift?”
“No, my lady, I may only tell you it lies in a secluded glade deep within the forest.” Ulrich said.
Eirwyn rose from her seat beside the pool. “Well, I am relieved you have yet to return home. I will feel safe with you as my guide.”
Ulrich bowed and walked away from Moira's niece.
Moira awoke in a cold sweat as a cruel smile spread across Ulrich’s face. Her eyes shot open and her chest heaved with labored breath. The dread that filled her dream quickly dissipated as she looked upon her prison. She sat on an altar of glass, a mirror image of the blood soaked stone altar in the Queen’s dungeon. The glass beneath her shimmered as a bright and unnatural light filtered through the strange trees around her. Moira moved from the altar, cautiously lowering her feet to the ground. The ground was cold and hard, a pale green color, like autumn grass. Moira bent and ran her hand along its rough surface. The floor was crystalline, like the rocks that Moira and Millicent collected from the caves when they were children.