“I looked away for only a second!” The tremor in a voice that had been firm throughout the millennia sent chills down his spine. “Just as quickly, they vanished. Our children were not the only ones.”
“Yes, Astaria. My own kind has suffered such losses. It preys upon the young and the weak; those whose existence has not been long in this world.” He felt the ages weighing down on him heavily and for a fraction of a second his claws became transparent. “We are losing what little magic is left here. Soon even the eldest will be but a memory and we will all merely exist in the realm of spirits.”
“But why? What is happening? What can we do to stop it?”
“It would be desperate times that would bring the eldest of the unicorns to me.” For a moment he savored the thought of drinking her blood and rending her flesh. A shiver told him she knew full well what he longed for, but she hoped her plea would take precedence over his hunger.
“I do have a hunch, but need to discover the truth of it. Think, Astaria, what has changed over the last two hundred years?” He needed her, needed all the Old Ones that were left if his hunch was right.
“Humans have multiplied and cut down many forests!” Her thinking was slightly flawed.
“We have lost forests to fiery mountains, to winters that lasted an age, to flooding and yet never have our powers waned or our existence been threatened.” The unicorn’s eyes narrowed and she shook her mane as she listened to him.
“But it does have something to do with humanity, does it not?” A golden hoof pawed the ground.
“It does, but not in the way you think. In fact, humans strengthen us when they believe, but it is deeper than that. Humans have captured magic, they hold it hostage.” It was a concept he was having a hard time believing, but it was the only explanation.
“How? And why? Why would they do that?”
“I am not sure yet, and I do not believe they are aware of what they do.”