...Hydrus appeared in the doorway. "Altador! Aquila! You'll never believe this! The constellations have--"
And then he hesitated when he realized the King was not, in fact, in the room. His Eyrie companion was staring up at him with wide, almost frightened eyes. "Returned," he finished sheepishly. "All except The Hunter."
"Hydrus," Aquila hastily said as she motioned for him to come further into the room. "King Altador is missing, and I found this star chart. I touched the constellations and they came to life on this map! And, seemingly according to you, in the real night sky as well. I was just about to activate the last one -- I see now that it is The Hunter -- but come, you touch the constellation instead."
The Hissi gaped at these revelations, but gingerly touched the constellation with his wing nevertheless. It leapt to life on the page. Hydrus ran to the window and looked outside -- there it was. "Incredible," he uttered as he slithered back to the Eyrie.
It was then he noticed the writing near the circled constellation and his face went pale.
Aquila noticed this. "What is it?"
"This is ancient Altadorian script... and it's in the King's handwriting. He wrote that he was kidnapped, and the stars removed from the sky, by..." He gestured to the circled constellation.
"The Darkest Faerie," he concluded.
The Eyrie's heart sank. "What do we do?"
"We solved the mystery of the missing stars. That's a good start, and will weaken the Darkest Faerie's power." He paused. "Long, long ago, during the founding of Altador, each Protector made a pact with the Spirit of the Skies, and were enshrined in and received power from the stars. It is why each Protector is directly tied to a constellation. But the Darkest Faerie became corrupted, and sought the star power of each Protector."
Aquila listened intently.
The Hissi conjectured, "To become powerful enough to kidnap the King, she must have stolen that power from the stars, and hence they disappeared from the sky. But we brought them back."
The new astronomer gazed pensively at the star chart. "She was pretty weak after the Faerieland wraith incident... it makes sense she would go back to the original source of her power, and to try to claim more."
Hydrus nodded at her in affirmation. "Come, we can alert the guards on the way out that Altador has been kidnapped. Perhaps the remaining ten Protectors will be of assistance. But then let us rest for the night -- it is late."
Aquila gave a single nod back.
The Eyrie gazed up at the sky from out her bedroom window. It had been an absolutely crazy first day as a Royal Astronomer -- and Hydrus said there wouldn't be much to do. Hah.
She shrugged and laid in her bed. In preparation of, hopefully, a calm and simple evening of stargazing tomorrow night.