The Fall of Silver Creek was an event of the Accordance War.
Silver Creek was an artist’s colony in the Colorado Rockies. Silver Creek Freehold was home to nearly a dozen changelings. When we heard the coast was lost (see Battle of the Bay), we vowed to fight. Most of us believed that our freehold would be bypassed in favor of capturing Denver. Therefore, half our number headed east to bolster the city’s defenses. The rest of us; our leader Astrid, Gilmel the troll, “Furfoot” Freddy, a nocker named Zane, little Jane Doe, and myself, remained behind to protect our hold and watch over our Dreamers.
It was dusk, two days later. The watch-hawk keened once before a chimerical dart transfixed her. Three sidhe were upon us even as we reacted. Two of us fell, wounded, beneath one flashing sword. I drew my bow, but another one of the pointy-eared devils laughed and waved her hand as if twisting an apple from a branch. At that moment, my bow shattered. The third sidhe, well, no words can truly describe him. Clad in black and silver armor, with a dazzling silver sword, his long hair billowing from his helmetless head, he was truly terrifying to behold. I couldn’t bring myself to draw my puny sword against him. I was afraid to, since I was sure his notice would signal my doom.
The struggle lasted only moments more. We were disarmed and brought to the yard to kneel before the dread lord. “T’was clear enough, you have chosen to stand against the rightful rulers of this land,” he began. “Though you have committed high treason and should be treated accordingly, we understand that the mists of time might make your kind forgetful of duty and honor. Therefore, we shall be magnanimous and let you live, so that when this petty incursion is finished, you may swear fealty and join your proper place in society.” His haughty expression hardened a fraction. “However, you must learn your place, and do nothing to make us reconsider our generous offer of clemency. Therefore…” We all shuddered as we felt, almost saw, the sidhe gather Glamour around him like a cloak. When he spoke, it had the ring of power in it. “As the might of the sidhe rules the actions of the commons, so does your will rule your hand. From this moment until the moment you swear fealty to your new lord and master, you will not question the power of the sidhe, nor consider such a thought or act, lest your hand brings deeds to mark your thoughts.” With that, the three of the turned and stepped into nothingness.
I had no idea what he had said, but I knew from the buzz I felt that we were royally screwed. A second later, I heard a loud smack. Gilmel had slapped himself across the face, and from the color of his cheek, I’d say it was pretty hard. Then Freddy balled up his fist and began hammering his thigh. I suddenly realized what the sidhe had said, but as I opened my mouth to curse the bastard, my fist filled it.
This went on for four months. You can’t begin to understand what it was like… steeling your mind to think about anything but the one thing that’s foremost in your head, day after day! We were bruised, then bloodied, then maimed, all while hiding our greatest hate in the world from even ourselves. I eventually lost an eye, and my innocence. His will and honor broken, Gilmel kissed a train after a month. Jane Doe pranced on the highway until a semi put her suffering to an end. I imagine we all would have followed if it weren’t for Dianira. She was a commoner sympathizer from House Fiona; because she was a noble, we could tell her all that happened. It took some doing, but somehow, she managed to end the spell. She didn’t break it, so much as twist the magic in on itself until it broke. It was from her that we learned how the war was going, and why our friends hadn’t returned from Denver.
The tragedy of Silver Creek was repeated throughout the west. Some freeholds were slaughtered, some enslaved, but most were neutralized. The war found me a wilder and left me a grump at the age of 17.