April 29, 1996
Manhattan

"I suppose I could give the little guy a few pointers."

"Very well, Puck," the tall, cerulean skinned fay stated ominously. He stood in a nursery surrounded by a small human family, a large gargoyle, and two from his own world. "You have made your decision, and now you shall live with it…forever." The young faerie he spoke to was taken aback, crystalline eyes going wide as his king addressed him. "You are eternally banished from Avalon, Puck. Never again will you sample its paradise."

"No, wait!" Puck beseeched, backing away from the armored king as he raised his hands in magic. Everyone in the room watched on in awe and fear as the trickster fell to pleading. "Not eternally!"

"We hereby strip you of all your powers, save when you are training or protecting the boy." A powerful glow of green light rose from the fay's hands and encased Puck who cried out in agony. The human man shielded his infant son's eyes, his wife sticking close to his side. The blue gargoyle and faerie woman were silent until the light disappeared, the white haired trickster fell to the ground, weakened. "Such is your punishment, so speaks Oberon."

"No," Puck whispered brokenly, rising slowly to his hands and knees, his purple tunic slipping from his shoulder. "Please, my lord…please reconsider," he begged, reaching out to his ruler with unshed tears glassing his eyes. Oberon crossed his arms, beneath his heavy cape, pointed ears twitching as he scoffed at his servant. "I'll do anything."

"Pathetic," Oberon sneered as his wife, Titania, came to stand at his side. Though she had suggested that Puck stay in the human realm, she had not expected her husband to strip the small fey of his powers. She felt for the trickster, knowing he would never be allowed to set foot in his homeland again.

With one last broken look, Puck suddenly began to melt away, his otherworldly form giving way to that of a mortal man. He was fair haired and rigidly dressed, with one hand cast in stone. There was no hint of the despair Puck had suffered on his face, and besides the unique shade of his eyes, he bore no resemblance to the faerie at all. As he stood, he removed a pair of glasses from his shirt's breast pocket, setting them on the bridge of his nose. "Forgive me, my Lord," he apologized, the light voice of Puck replaced with a steady monotone, "You must do as you see fit. I will stay here with young Alexander."

Oberon nodded his approval at this, raising his arm for the green skinned Titania to take. "Come, my Queen," he sighed tiredly, "Never have I so badly desired departure."


Avalon

"Why if it isn't the voiceless banshee," the woman sneered, yellow eyes honed in on her fellow Child of Oberon. The second woman's eyes narrowed to angry slits as she turned, voiceless, to her insulter. No pupils shown through here, only pools of milky white against an icy blue face. "Maybe Avalon will finally know peace, since there's little chance of you ever learning humility. I suspect you shall be silent forever."

The fay tossed her fluid hair back in laughter at her peer's suffering, one thin fingered hand resting over her silk clad stomach in mirth. This was Morgana la Fey, powerful sorceress and resident of the Isle of Apples in Avalon. She had orchid purple skin and stark white hair that flowed all the way down to her rear. Her pale yellow eyes sat like jewels in her face as she taunted the all but helpless Banshee. She had been present on the morning prior, the first day of The Gathering, when Oberon had muzzled his child. She herself had never been a fan of the Banshee's high and mighty attitude, so seeing her forced back to Avalon after ignoring the call had been deliciously entertaining. The fact that she was now silenced for possibly centuries to come was simply icing on the cake.

"You know," Morgana continued, black cloak dragging behind her as she circled the silently weeping fay, "You really should have come back when Oberon called us. I highly doubt you had anyone in the mortal world that was going to miss you." The Banshee's jaw flexed beneath her iron mask and Morgana's pointed ears perked up. "What's that? You'll have to speak up my dear I can't hear you."

With a careless wave of Morgana's arm, a bright light enveloped the blue haired Banshee and she fell to her knees in agony, screams silenced by her magical muzzle. Morgana cackled, torturing her kin on the steps of the palace of Lord Oberon and Queen Titania. Even after being banished from the island for 1001 years, the sorceress had not lost her touch and as she lifted her spell from the Banshee, the immortal woman slumped to the side, exhausted and still very much silent. Morgana doubted she had had this much fun since the reign of Queen Mab.

"Let this teach you humility," she jeered, prepared to start in again when she heard footsteps approaching behind her. Turning leisurely with no sense of guilt present, Morgana was met with the appearance of two of her eight sisters, both looking delightedly impish. "Melissa, Marissa. What brings you two here?"

"Dreadful news from the palace," Marissa informed, wicked smiled still plastered on her face as if she carried the best news in both worlds.

"Terrible," her identical twin, Melissa, agreed looking equally pleased. The two sisters were dressed to match in ground sweeping gowns, their purple hands folded beneath their billowing sleeves. The only way to tell them apart was that Melissa wore her white hair in a braid over her left shoulder; Marissa, over her right. Always. "We thought you might want to hear it, sister."

"What is the news?" Morgana inquired, turning her back to her sisters in order to watch the Banshee begin to slowly drag herself away. Pathetic. "Have we been banished again?"

The question was meant to be said in jest, but the twins cackled in unison, drawing their older sister's attention back to them as Marissa spoke. "Not us," she hinted, one eyebrow raised in a haughty fashion.

"But a certain lover-boy of yours has been exiled for all of the eternities," Melissa giggled, turning to share a smile with her twin as Morgana's brow furrowed. She began to ascend the steps to stand amongst her sisters.

"Of what lover do you speak?" she asked lowly once she was set before the pair.

"Why, the trickster Puck," Marissa answered, sharp teeth flashing in the descending sunlight of the land that was in eternal summer. Morgana's eyes widened a minuscule amount, her breath hitching as she recalled the playful fay she had spent nearly a century after banishment with.

"Puck has been banished?" she nearly shrieked, her anger causing her to grow in size until she was nearly a foot taller than her siblings. The twins were unfazed, Melissa nodding her head sagely; face eternally frozen in the thoughtful pout of an eighteen year old girl though she had lived to see nearly two millenniums now. She and her twin were some of the youngest of Morgana's sisters.

"Puck forgets who his master is," she mused, readjusting her stance as she began to relay the events of the past day, "He, the Banshee, and the Lady Queen Titania were the only three who did not heed the gathering of the Third Race. Lord Oberon was furious."

"The Weird Sisters offered to retrieve him," Marissa carried on from where her sister had left off, "But Oberon insisted he would find Puck himself with only the help of the gargoyle beast, Boudicca." Morgana had shrunk down to normal size, the tiniest amount of concern showing in her eyes as she listened to the tale. The Weird Sisters would have been bad enough, but Oberon was not known for his forgiving nature, nor Puck for his sense of humbleness. She could only imagine what had happened when their king had finally found his servant.

"Rumor has it," Melissa whispered brightly, her yellow eyes dancing in delight with the obvious stress she was causing her sibling, "That upon finding Puck in the human realm, Lord Oberon discovered a child Queen Titania birthed of a mortal man."

"Lies," Morgana hissed at this, not believing that her ruthless queen would ever fall prey to the temptations of a mere mortal. Had they been banished so long?

"Truths, dear sister," Marissa defended her twin, tossing her long brain over her shoulder with a delicate twist of her neck. "Lord Oberon has seen this child with his own divine eyes and deemed it descendent of the queen."

"Such a child would be heir to the Avalon thrown," Morgana argued, not seeing how such an abomination could be allowed to stand.

"Yes, except this child possessed no magical talents."

"Or so they thought."

"Elaborate," Morgana bit out in annoyance, still wondering how this all revolved around Puck. Her two sisters beamed with glee, shuffling in closer to whisper the rest of the story in the small space between them.

"Of this child, there was another child," Marissa revealed animatedly.

"A grandchild," Melissa clarified.

"Of the Queen Titania." Morgana could not help how her eyebrows rose at this statement. A child of Titania had already reached maturity and was able to sire a child of its own. They had been banished a while. "A child that does possess magical talents."

"What became of this child?" Morgana wondered, more curious of this story now than she wanted to admit, "And where does Puck come in to all of this?"

"The two questions are one in the same," Melissa riddled coyly, "For you cannot have one answer without the other."

"When the king and queen moved to take the child from its cradle and bring it to Avalon to be taught, the trickster interfered and fought against them." Morgana's jaw dropped in shock as Marissa finally brought light to the reason for Puck's banishment.

"You mean to tell me that Robin Goodfellow Puck raised his hand in magic against his king?" she seethed skeptically, not wanting to believe her old friend could do something so stupid. "A king he has served in exile for the last millennium, and the one before that, and the one before that?!" It did not seem believable.

"Apparently Puck has been living amongst this mortal family for some time in a human disguise," Melissa shrugged, not moved in the slightest by her sister's shouts, "He asked pardon for himself and the child if he returned for the gathering in another century."

"Oberon refused."

"And now Puck is banished," Morgana concluded with a sigh, shoulders sagging in defeat as she turned away from her siblings. The Banshee had long since fled and she begrudged this fact as she could have used someone to torture. It took the edge off as humans would say.

"Not just banished, dear sister," Melissa tormented, wicked lilt back in her voice as Morgana raised a brow in confusion, "Puck is mortal."

"You lie!" Morgana shrieked now, hands balling into fists and sprouting streaks of lightning that blackened the ground around her feet. An ominous wind picked up from the sea and her hair swept around her in a devilish halo. "Oberon would not do such a thing."

"It is the truth," Marissa swore, voice raised over the rumble of her sister's embodied anger, "Unless Puck is defending or teaching the queen's grandchild, he is stripped of all magical ability."

Morgana suddenly let go of her magic, everything that had been disturbed growing still again as she stomped up to her sisters, eyes ablaze with a manic ire. "Who tells you these things?"

"Miranda," the twins intoned simultaneously. The sorceress rolled her eyes as another one of her eight sisters came into the fold. She would be the one to know such things, being a personal servant to the queen herself much like Puck had been to the king. Why she would deem it fit to tell Melissa and Marissa was beyond her. The two were as horrible at keeping secrets as their sister Matilda was at magic.

She set to pacing, walking towards the identical girls and then away, deep in thought as she pondered all she had just learned. Puck was banished, and what was worse was that he was more or less mortal. True, not even Oberon had the power to completely rip a fey's abilities from them; Puck would still live longer than any human by far, but the idea of being forever trapped in her own human alter ego form made Morgana shiver. Mortality truly was a curse upon the First Race.

She finally stopped her pace facing outwards towards the sea. Though she would not admit it aloud, she was worried for her fiendish friend. They had been 'young' together when the rule of Lord Oberon was just beginning and she'd always harbored a soft spot for the trickster. Upon banishment, they had all been cast out of Avalon, none landing where they wanted to be, but where they needed to be (Such was the magic of the island.) Morgana had landed in Greece with Puck at her side and the two were inseparable for nearly 100 years, even becoming lovers for a time before she had set out to find her eight sisters.

When the nine of them had felt the undeniable pull of the Gathering, Puck had been nothing but a distant memory and she had been elated to be out of the crude world of the mortals and back in paradise. Now here she stood not a day back home and she felt the need to set out and find her trickster. Without a gargoyle beast to sniff out Goodfellow and no clue as to where to begin searching, she was not sure how long it would take her to find the immortal man. Her eyes narrowed as she looked out into the mist of the sea, sun setting low over the horizon now. White hair blowing in the breeze, she looked over her shoulder at her sisters, the yellow of her eyes growing in intensity until nothing else could be seen.

"Where in the human realm did Lord Oberon find Puck?"