I spun at the sound of BO Jingles’ blood-curdling warcry. In truth, I had suspected tensions would hardly be dispelled between the party and our newest addition. My scimitar was already half-drawn as I moved to place myself between Tasar’s back and Bo Jingles’ oncoming knife.
“Wait! Let’s not-”
My vision went white. I squint, trying to see through the blinding light. My surroundings twist and coalesce into foreign shapes. No longer am I in the Cragmaw Cave. My party nowhere to be seen. I now stand in a deep forest with marble white trees. Sitting across from me are two women. Instinctively, I know neither could possibly be human, so marvelous and terrible were their appearances. Just looking upon their figures was enough to drive most men insane with desire.
I clenched my eyes shut, yet I could not banish their images from my mind.
“Welcome, Di Qolaas,” they both said in unison. “If you must avert your gaze, look upon our feet instead of sealing your eyes. To shut your eyes is most disrespectful to the Queens of the Courts.”
Their words were both advise and command. I opened my eyes, both out of fear and curiosity. I caught glimpses of their faces once more but quickly focused on their feet instead. I knew who they were now – although there was no real doubt in my mind.
Queen Titania of the Summer Court sat on my left, her symbol, a bright diamond of purest white was nestled in a collar bidden gently across her neck. On my right was the Queen of Air and Darkness of the Winter Court, her glowing diamond of darkest black worn freely just above her breast.
“We waited for your arrival since long before you were born, Di Qolaas,” Queen Titania started. “The time has finally come to anoint you.” The Queen of Air and Darkness finished. Both motioned to a spring that appeared seemingly out of nowhere between them.
“You have started on a long and arduous path toward your prophesied destiny,” came Titania as I stepped forward into the pool. I sat within the deepest part, closing my eyes as I felt the Feywild swirl around me. “But take heed, Di Qolaas, of the difference between fate and destiny.” The Queen of Air and Darkness warned.
“Fate is an unavoidable turn of events; it is an ending predetermined for me. Destiny is the final result of my actions; the destination I set for myself,” I answer, a bit of smugness creeping into my voice.
The Feywild quiets around me. Sweat begins to form across my brow. Perhaps speaking out of turn was not the smartest of ideas.
“Foolishness, bravery, curiosity, conviction, strength, ingenuity, knowledge, and wisdom. You have some, but need more of all to fufill the prophesy, Di Qolaas,” they both spoke, their voices echoing painfully in my ears.
“You’ve overstayed your first welcome, Tyonis. Begone and grow, so that when you next appear before us, you are more worthy. If not, we shall smite you for your insolence.”
I blink and the daydream ends as quickly as it came
“- act so rashly!” I manage in a drowning gasp. “Wait….” I heave for breath, shaking off the clinging vestiges of… whatever I had experienced was. “Wait, Bo Jingles,” I shove my scimitar back into its sheathe with an audible click for emphasis.
“We’re all tired and injured. Let it rest for a day before we slit each other’s throats. Mayhap the anger subsides over a warm fire! And if that is not enough, we fellows have worked together to end a great threat to the surrounding countryside. This is a time for camaraderie, not treachery!”