Trapped thus, ringed in and surrounded by the ever growing human population, the fae and even the dragons, turned to Auberon for a solution. Some, like his granddaughter Paerys, demanded he destroy all the mortals, so once again those with magic would hold dominion over a wild, untamed world. Some, like Jennicor, and the dragon Morvyn and his mate Kelyn, wished for a weapon to counter the metal that weakened their magic abilities, to make an even battlefield on which they could fight, and take back some of what they'd lost.
And beneath their supplications, Auberon heard the pleas of those few humans who still prayed to their Lady, his Uvie, begging for her to return and protect them from the Landgraab and his Watcher, who brought nothing but war and despair.
"If there were a way to bring you back..." Auberon whispers to the spirit presence that sits ever silent by his side, perhaps no more than a manifestation of a memory, long passed, and maybe better forgotten. "What would you have me do, my long lost love?" he asks, not expecting an answer.
"I exist only for you." Her voice is not even a whisper, and Auberon is not certain her lips even moved, or if she truly spoke at all. Perhaps her voice was but a faint a memory, a recollection of words whispered in the long ago, when she yet lived, and loved him. But, no, Uvie would never have spoken such words. For, as much as she did love him, she did not exist for only him. She was her own person, and had many ties to the world that had given her birth. Ties that were severed now, in death?
Mortals and death...a concept Auberon still had difficulty with. They have spirit selves, who are not the same as them, and dreamselves that may be different from the spirit selves...He had seen Uvie in all her different selves, and loved her, but still he could not say he truly knew her he way he knew his fae companions.
I exist only for you...Words can be interpreted in different ways. Did she mean he was her sole purpose for existing? Or that in fact, she did not exist at all, save in his own mind, a figment of his own imagining? Auberon could never be sure he was not creating her image here to console himself for his loss, which he still felt deeply, despite the years that had passed since her death. Either interpretation brought him to the same conclusion, however, that the world she was born in no longer mattered to her, and thus his attachment to it, to her legacy, was of his own making. And no longer needed, he decides.
I am a creator, not a destroyer, he thinks, rejecting Paerys' desire to end the human dominion over the world. I create worlds, nothing more, nothing less, he thinks, casting aside Jennicor's wish for a means to defend their place in the world. The world his kind had once ruled had grown into its own, and needed them no longer. It was time now for a new world to be born for them, one without humans, one that, like the Fae, like the dragonkind, would not change or grow. This would answer Ico and Aymeri's desire, Auberon thinks with satisfaction, knowing that he would please at least some of his supplicants.
"And I'll bring you with me to this new world, as well," he promises spirit Uvie, taking her hand and willing her back into the form she wore in the long gone past, a form with skin and hair, sparkling eyes and a voice that soothed him. It was all his imagination, Auberon knows this, for his mortal Uvie is long dead and can never return, and even her spirit is not his to summon or command. But Auberon has never made much of the distinction between the real and the unreal, an is thus satisfied to live with a dream, in a world made of dreams.
And so, Auberon grew a new realm for the fae and dragons to dwell in, if they so chose. He'd already begun the work, after all, making this place outside the world where he'd meditate. The foundation was laid, the portals already opened, he had only to grow it, using his memory of the world that was theirs before the arrival of the first humans, with forests and fields and animals for the dragons to hunt, and endless expanse of air, water and land for his kind to do as they did, living eternal lives of uninterrupted joy.
Many of the fae and dragonkind came to live in the new Fae Lands, happy to be free again kin a world they'd thought forever lost. Some, however, refused to leave the world they loved, even though they no longer ruled it, preferring to fight on for their place in it.
Riain and Shayeleigh had long kept their silence about the torture he had once endured at Auberon's hands, and even now, long past the time when the truth would spark discord between the fae and the dragons, they still would not speak of it. So when they were asked why they would not go with Aymeri and his nest into the Fae Lands, they said only that their connection to the earth was too strong to bear the separation. And though they were sad to say goodbye to those they loved, their son Ametair would remain with them, feeling he belonged more to his wolven companions than to either the fae or dragonkind.
Morvyn, Kelyn and Jennicor chose to remain as well, not willing to give up their fight against the Landgraab forces or to give up what they believed was theirs by right. Paerys, as much a dragon as a fairy, also would not retreat until her father's killer had paid in full, and with her nestmates, she retreated to an aerie in the mountains too high for the mortal men to climb, to bide her time, waiting for the day her vengeance became possible.
Moth, too, was left behind, bidden by Auberon to watch over Uvie's mortal line, over Sterren and her daughter, Auoregan, and any future daughters born to them, to stay and guard them until their line should die out. For eternity if need be.
Though the Fae Lands Auberon created were separate from the mortal world they'd once inhabited, they remained forever bound to each other, with portals that would allow those with the magic and knowledge to use them to travel between the worlds.
I'm sorry, again, for another long hiatus. But I'm back, and ready to move this story forward.