The Erl king read the letter once more,
If it please and honor you, I seek to redeem my favor owed. As you may well know my wedding was attacked as Markus attempted the life of the Keeper. He failed, but as a result, murdered my father.
An attack has been made upon the Fey. The Empire has declared war on Markus for his attack on the Keeper, the murder of Arodor, and his forces denying access to the Tree.
If it be within your power, I request my favor to be the declaration of the Wild Hunt upon Markus the Vile and his forces.
He could not ignore the letter. The Erl king hung his head in contemplation. He let out a low sigh will running his fingers through his dark beard. Wearily the Erl King stood. Around him the Wild Court was gathered in the tangled grove beneath his throne of bones.
“Fellow Fae” ,the Erl King Boomed, “The time has come for us to affirm our ties with this world. The time has come for our final hunt. We go to show Memora that the touch of Darkhollow, of the Wild Fae, is for more than savage sport, I declare our Wild Hunt, on Markus the Vile and his forces!”.
The Fae around the Erl King remained silent. Historically there would be revelry, song, and cheering. The Fae of the court were not so certain at the Erl King’s declaration. The silence was somber. The Erl King gazed about the court. Their uncertainty was clearly written on their faces.
“We know that we go now to our deaths”.. called the Erl King, “We do so gladly, for in our Final Hunt, we show our defiance!
The Fae of the court seemed stirred, and looked at one-another still wary.
“For I promise you, if we do not, he will wipe the very memory of us from existence. We were never meant to abandon this world. We were meant to be a part of it. We are the Wild Fae! We shall never be tamed! We shall never be forgotten! Our fury will be felt on the island of Laboris Solis! I ask that you stand immortal, as I, and spit in the face of our very end! For it is not that we die, but that we live forever, alive in song and memory! We must … We must do this for Memora!”
A chorus of wild howls and cheers rose from the court at his final words. The Erl King raised his horn from beside his throne, lifted his sword aloft, and stepped down into the court. The Wild Fae in his court gathered behind him as they stepped out and into the twisted woodland beyond.
Just outside the gates of the Vile Keep, a wild a low horn could be heard. It echoed from the woodland and was followed by howls, roars, and chanting. Within moments they flooded towards the keep like a dark tide of rage, horns, claws, and savagery. Their blood-soaked howls echoed across the outer walls of the keep. Markus’s forces were quickly decimated and forced to retreat into the deeper parts of the keep.
Sensing their victory, the Wild Fae roared in laughter as they harried Markus’s forces deeper into the keep.
“Let them in”.. Markus said to his Black Alizarin captain.. “I want to meet this Erl king”.
“Yes my Lord”, giving a nod, the captain gave the command.
With little resistance, the Wild Hunt filled many hallways until finally breaching the central courtyard of the keep. In it, Markus stood alone.
“Well done, Erl King” Markus applauded “Welcome to my home”.
The Erl King did not pause his step, and was not here to speak with his quarry. What stood before him was mere prey. Raising his sword alongside his brethren the encircled Markus and closed in.
Markus became a blur.
“Bastard!” cried the Erl King, “You have no honor!”.
Markus worked slowly. He could hear the slow cries of the Erl King through the dilated time. Working carefully with his onyx gauntlet, he tore the soul from each of their bodies, devouring their power and fueling his own being.
The Erl King watched as each within his Court began to turn to burning hot ash before his eyes. then suddenly, he was on his knees. The Erl Kings throat was clasped firmly by a stone grip.
“Swear fealty to me, and I will spare you Erl King”..
“Never! We will never be tamed! I will never be..” the Erl Kings words were cut short as his soul was ripped from his form.
Markus stood over a pile of ash pondering the Erl Kings final moments. The ash blew in the Vile Ones face.