The little green firefly keeps buzzing angrily in your ear. “Follow me, if you want to live to see the morning.” You follow it as it zips through the trees, cutting down the vines that block your path.
You can still hear the howling wind, and the mocking laughter of the Wolf King behind you. But farther away now, fainter, as you follow the firefly into a still clearing. No wind or laughter here, but multitudes of little green fireflies. Lights that caper and dance all around you.
“We are the Court of Mab,” the fireflies say in unison. One whispering voice, drifting toward you as if in a dream. “And you have freed our prisoner.” They tell you that hundreds of years ago the Wolf King had threatened to conquer the world, and destroy the bridge between the fae and mankind. To rid the world of magic evermore.
The Court of Mab tells you that in the guise of an old traveler, they gifted him with his signet, that put him under a sleeping spell. The sleep of a thousand centuries.
“And now you’ve set him free,” they wailed.
You know you’ve been a fool. You ask them what you might do. Toward you floats a treasure box, which opens, as if manipulated by invisible hands.
The chest opens and flies out a glass globe around your neck. They say that after you defeat the Wolf King, you must say the magic words and he will be trapped in the ball forever.
They whisper the words to you. You repeat them to yourself, whispering them as you trudge back towards the Wolf King’s castle on foot.
The Wolf King is there when you return, still in his throne room, but now bathed in a strange and eerie light.
“Hello,” you say. “I’ve come to fight you.”
He lifts his sword and swings it at your head. Metal clashes against metal. You fight, and the fight is long and arduous. The Wolf King is strong and fearsome.
But he has been asleep a long time, and his bones creak with age, while yours are strong and young. You overpower him with the hello of the trinkets that your fairy friends have given you, and trap him in the magical sphere.
The green light of the Court of Mab flashes in the castle, and all around you are tall, fair lords and ladies draped in clothes made of stardust and silk. They smile at you. In the middle of them all is Queen Mab herself, taller and fairer than anyone you have ever seen. Her hair shimmers like the moon.
Wolves file in from the forests beyond and bow at your feet.
“You pure of heart,” she says. “You have saved us all. And having defeated the Wolf King, now you may take his throne.”
“But I don’t want his throne,” you say.
“Do you not want power? Or gold? Or perhaps a princess at your arm?”
“No,” you tell her. “A good deed is its own reward.”
With a kiss to the cheek, she rewarded you with the Wolf King’s tooth and enchanted your vorpal blade and your steed, that the blade might cut through anything dreamed of in this world, and your steed might fly like the wind itself.
The wolves bayed their salutations and the Court of Mab waved as you galloped off in search of yet another adventure.