Fauna half-dragged half-pulled me back the way we came, a worried look on her face I'd never seen before. I'm not saying I didn't care, but there were some rare herbs I had found, that were now being trampled on. I tried bending to pick them up but after receiving a dirty look from Fauna, I straightened my back and left the plants in a pile, waiting to be found by a lucky traveller.
I sped up, matching Fauna's pace to let her know that I was as worried and scared as her. I glanced at her and nearly gasped; wide eyes with the glint of tears in them, a shine of sweat on her forehead and her chest rising and falling at a rapid pace. This was the worse I'd ever seen her. Something was drastically wrong.
We reached the huddle of men, who looked at us then turned back. Despite being quite a bit shorter than them, Fauna strode over.
"Did you know?" Her voice was surprisingly strong.
"You are fools, both of you. And sending their youngest, most inexperienced rangers? Even more foolish." The blue-eyed leader answered.
Ignoring the snide comment, the distraught ranger asked, "Who are you?"
"Ah, so now you ask. I am a man with much power. The most power ever held, some say. I am a Dragon Overlord." He held Fauna's stare whilst I took a fleeting look at the other members of the crowd. To my surprise, they all acted normal. No strange looks or odd gestures: they seemed like normal civilians. Fauna turned to me, breaking the stare.
"Hollyfell. I'll explain on the way."
"Have you heard of the Unseelie, Finn?" She asked me, on our short journey to the village.
"In short, they're the evil cousins of the Seelie - the faerie. The Unseelie Court live to harm other beings. They're tricksters and take great pleasure in knowing they've fooled someone. Often, they use trickery as a distraction. They have done this time." Her jaw clenched.
As we moved closer to Hollyfell, the sun seemed to have abandoned us. It got darker with every step we took; by the time we arrived, night appeared to have fallen.
"Oh, no." Fauna breathed. I followed her gaze and was met with a sight I'll never forget.
Stood before us were, undeniably, the Unseelie Court.