from Queen Sarilee’s diary early Fall 613 AF
‘Twas over a month ago, that I awoke from the most vivid dream of my life in completely unfamiliar surroundings. (My husband later told me that servants had seen me traversing the palace whilst asleep. I am still surprised I made it through Ormas unscathed, but perhaps nightmara magic protected me.)
Although I had nary an inkling of where I was, I felt no fear as I gazed upon the inky mare whose outline faded into the night. (Never having seen a nightmara before, I did not recognize her for what she was.)
I raised my hand and scratched her muzzle. “What a pretty girl you are,” I said.
The mare tossed her head with a snort as a melodic voice resounded in my head, :I am no pretty girl, I am Nightwind, queen of the nightmara, and I have summoned you here to discuss a pact betwixt your people and mine.:
Recalling how nightmara drove men mad or stole their lives, I jerked away and began praying I would see my husband and infant son again.
The nightmara’s voice in my head became pungent with vexation, :Oh do not be foolish. No harm shall befall you. If I harmed you, a pact would be impossible. I come to you as one queen to another. We both know that queens can best resolve quagmires such as ours—if kings were to attempt it, they would no doubt exacerbate matters.:
Chuckling, I could not help nodding in wry agreement. “Very well, Queen Nightwind, why do you not explain what you have in mind?”
Nightwind began, :My people must remain near humans so we can consume your dreams; however, humans ravage us by slaughtering dames to enslave their foals.:
I retorted, “My people only capture your foals to control your fell influence. And even so, your people still drive us mad or murder us.”
We settled down to discuss matters in earnest, but naught had been settled by the time dawn stained the horizon.
Nightwind reluctantly said, :I believe we must conclude for tonight. Allow me to offer you a ride home.:
Not yet realizing the honor the nightmara queen bestowed upon me by allowing me to ride her, I yawned and clambered on her back.
The ride back to Ormas was the best I have ever had—the queen’s gait was as silk and as close to flying as a mere human could experience. Fortunately the thrilling ride kept me awake; I doubt I could have remained mounted if I had succumbed to slumber.
We met my frantic husband at the palace gates. When he spied me mounted on the nigtmara queen, he whooped a glad cry and swept me into his arms.