Prologue: Tangled Destiny
Three figures stood in a circle atop a grassy hill, facing inward with heads bowed. Had there been multiple observers there to see them they would have been unable to agree on what the figures looked like, for they appeared different to all eyes. Only the broadest details were kept in common- all three were female, and all were identical save for the different colors of their hair, white, gold, and black.
"It begins, sisters," the first figure- the one with white hair- said in her even, quiet voice.
"The tides of fate are moving," said the second, her blonde hair gleaming under the moonlight. "Soon they will converge, and we must be ready."
The black-haired sister spoke. "A hidden hand moves them, concealed even from us. But we know what draws it- or rather, who." The three sisters fell silent, eyes glowing. The air between them shimmered, and formed into the image of someone they knew well- a female gargoyle, with blue skin and a wild mane of red hair. This was one they had guided for centuries to be their warrior. Among mortals, she was known simply as Demona. The Demon.
"The storm is coming," the white-haired sister, Luna, said. "The strands of fate are tangled. We must hasten now, and act before we are undone."
"Agreed," Phoebe and Seline said as one. The air shimmered silver around them, and when it cleared the Weird Sisters were gone.
Demona was not in a good mood.
To be fair, this was not an uncommon occurrence for her- the ancient gargoyle could count on her talons the number of times she'd been happy since the destruction of her clan a millennium ago. Still, the past few weeks had been difficult. First she had seen the culmination of hundreds of years of scheming come to nothing on the night of the Hunter's Moon, and then she'd been unable to return to the corporation she had created to back her efforts due to the miraculous survival of the cursed, treacherous Thailog. The fact that the clone had helped Demona found Nightstone in the first place and therefore had as much right to it as she did nothing to quell her anger. She knew that if she wanted to take back control it would require a prolonged battle, and that was not a conflict she was ready for… yet.
None of these difficulties were made easier by her incessant, agonizing headaches. They'd started a week after the Hunter's Moon, and though at first they'd been little more than annoyances, over the course of the last month they'd developed into something much stronger and more worrisome. Several nights now Demona had been rendered completely unable to function by terrible pain that threatened to split her skull in half, and while she knew that whatever her affliction was couldn't kill her, that was becoming small consolation.
She cursed eloquently in several languages as she felt the pain beginning to build again. Stalking across the central hallway of her mansion, Demona found a selection of magical herbs and potions she had accumulated over the years and began to rifle through them, looking for something that would at least give her enough relief to concentrate on overcoming her other, more important obstacles.
A sudden wave of agony sent the blue gargoyle to her knees, and as her talons dug into the stone floor strange images began to rise up before her mind- as if she was seeing her own life through one of the humans' absurd funhouse mirrors. She saw herself living throughout the centuries not by Fae magic but by sleeping in stone, only to awaken in the modern world and take a different name…
The pain lessened and took the strange images- vision? Memory?- with it. Demona growled and pulled herself back up into a standing position, and then stumbled backwards as a bright white light filled the room.
The light dimmed slightly, and the gargoyle could make out three figures standing where it had been. "You!" she spat. "Have you not tormented me enough? Surely dear Lord Oberon won't be happy to see you wandering around without his permission!"
"We are not here to harm you, but you learn," said the gold-haired Fae.
"You stand at the center of things, and through you we shall acquire the knowledge we need to fulfill our task," said her white-haired sister.
Demona snarled at them, her eyes flashing red. "And if I refuse?"
The black-haired sister fixed her with a pitiless gaze. "We do not require your permission." She raised her arms and the other two mirrored her, their eyes glowing white with summoned magical powers. Demona barely had time to consider either fighting or escape before the white light shot from them and struck her. Then she felt the magic take hold, and her mind was drawn away into darkness…