5 May, 1939 ???
Capt. Alastair Hawkesworth
HMAS Richard Lemon Lander
My Dearest Alastair,
As I write this letter to you, I sit again in the palace of the Autumn Court, where my rightful rule as Queen has been restored.
As you know, I had been negotiating with Oberon, King of the Summer Court, to obtain his aid in reclaiming my throne. While I was engaged in that pursuit, my companions, with the “help” of Mirya the gnome, managed to transport themselves to another realm. As time does not move at the same rate in Faerie as it does in other realms, what was a few hours to me was several days for my companions. They returned somewhat the worse for wear, but in possession of a remarkable craft – a jet-powered airship, along with a pilot, Iris, who had joined them having no wish to remain in her own world.
This airship, the Lady Blackbird, was a wonder, and it will merit much further study (alas, my companions did not agree with my desire to rename the airship. I felt that christening it Jeanne D’Arc would have been most appropriate, but I was sadly outvoted).
The airship proved useful not only in itself, but as an aid to negotiations. I explained to Oberon that I and my companions had perfected a means of reliably bringing technological devices and vehicles into Faerie, and offered to forswear the use of said means in return for his assistance. You would, I think, have been proud of my “poker face” (that is the phrase, yes?).
After much discussion, and having secured Oberon’s agreement, we arrived at a modification of our plan to retake Autumn. We would use the Lady Blackbird, and fly directly into the Court at top speed, hopefully surprising the usurper. To help, I was able to devise a new fuel for the airship, rather than the diesel fuel it was designed to consume. The use of rendered firedrake (a type of small dragon) as fuel increased the efficiency of the airship markedly.
We flew directly into Autumn, encountering only one difficulty along the way: a massive black dragon! Elspeth used the “ray gun” (something else that merits further study) in the turret of the airship to attack the dragon, but, unfortunately it was able to launch an attack against us in return – not fire, but a sonic blast. The force of it caused the airship to tumble in midair, and the engines to fail.
Thinking quickly, Iris tried to keep the airship under control, while Elspeth continued to shoot at the dragon. It occurred to me that the problem with the engines was a lack of air flowing into them, and that the best way to rectify that would be to get the maximum speed and airflow – by flying straight down, towards the ground. At approximately 200 feet altitude, the engines restarted, and we were again able to fly under power.
During this time, unknown to us, Lord Tybalt had teleported himself atop the dragon, and had controlled its mind, forcing it to break off its attack. It was not until we were again flying safely and level that we learned this, and we were most grateful for it.
After that harrowing encounter, we were only a few hours’ flight to the Autumn Court. We opted for the most direct strategy possible – we planned to bring the airship to the highest tower, where we thought the usurper would likely be lurking. Upon our arrival, Lord Tybalt teleported himself in, while General Pickton flew in, carrying a rope down which the rest of our group could enter the tower.
The usurper was not there, but instead Lord Tybalt and General Pickton found an envoy of the Spanish Empire along with several servants. He was quickly subdued, but not before an alarm was raised and musket-armed troops began to arrive just as I and my companions entered the tower. General Pickton departed, upon seeing a detachment of Singes Avion preparing to take flight and attack us, and Lord Tybalt joined him.
Meanwhile, Elspeth and Marcus engaged the oncoming guards, Elspeth with gunfire and Marcus with his sword, and then by means of a large sofa which he hurled down the stairs to scatter the troops. They then pursued the retreating troops, after which Elspeth soon ran into an old acquaintance, Lord Rakat. As she reported to us afterwards, she was torn between her heart and her head, but her head won out, and she shot Rakat dead.
Meanwhile, General Pickton performed remarkably, rallying the Singes Avion from the usurper’s service and back to their rightful monarch. It was at this point that the usurper made his appearance. Emerging from a blocky, ugly building he had had erected on the grounds (and which shall shortly be demolished. I shall personally supervise that operation). He had with him a bodyguard composed of large armored bears.
I then took action, choosing the only possible course at that moment; I took careful aim with my weapon, on the setting that translates as “Kill Everyone”, and fired. The usurper was vaporized, along with most of his bodyguard, in a glorious flash of Tesla Rays, and thus his vile reign was ended.
Now we must commence the work of rooting out the usurper’s followers and determining who is loyal to their rightful Queen, and then repairing the damage done by the usurper to the Court and to its relations with its neighbors. Once that is accomplished, some arrangement will have to be made to oversee the Court while I am gone, as our true enemy, the Spanish Empire, remains out there plotting against us at every moment (on that subject, we did take the Spanish envoy prisoner, and Lord Tybalt is taking the lead in his interrogation, if that is the correct word for what is being done to him).
But once the Spanish have been defeated, I am most anxious for you to visit the Autumn court and see my beautiful realm. I am more anxious, however, merely to see you in any capacity, and I pray that that day shall be sooner rather than later. Until that happy moment, I remain your most devoted and grateful friend,
Genevieve Chantal Therese de Lisieux Lamballe, La Reine du Le Cour d’Automne