The Fairy Diary Day 519 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

All of us have detected movement at the outer peripheries of our vision – constantly ahead of us, rarely behind us. Of course my thoughts want to make them out as being apparitions of Artoxon and Bifitz trying to hinder or scare us off. But nothing is judged with any certainty. 

Usually the number of sightings diminishes whenever we commence singing again. So, we try to keep it up. Gibley even chimed in with a goblin chant. I could not make head nor tail of its meaning but it paired beautifully with a dwarfish tune from Herblas. And together they seemed very effective, for all discernible movement beyond us ceased. 

Some time after that the whispering began. I thought it was Gibley muttering encouragement to Cluyjil, but when asked he denied saying anything. Then, one by one I asked the others when I thought they were the source. In each instance the answer was negative. 

Then came the cackling. It was unnerving. And all the more so because only I could hear it. 

The Fairy Diary Day 518 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gibley tells me that he thinks we are ahead of where he and Noralei were at this time on their first trip here into the Land of Darkness. He gives the credit all to the dragons for they have been tireless in their forward movement. 

And indeed I sense that they are quite excited about being here. Cluyjil prances with excess energy each time Rayjil pauses when choosing between two paths. Conjil at those times tries to sneak past Cluyjil to get closer to Rayjil, but Dunfallon expertly checks that impulse. 

Noralei tells me that the songs in which Navril leads us, goes a long way in bolstering our mood – even keeping us warmer in the ever present cold. The dragons like it too – especially Conjil. 

I find myself constantly on the lookout for forms moving about in the dark beyond the reach of our feeble illumination. I expect and fear the sudden appearance of the ghosts of Artoxon and Bifitz. 

My mind has been relieved of one care – I received a reply from the High Fairy and we should be able to request from them a summons back to their side of the divide. We will no longer be pegged to a fifteen day return, but can return when the mission is accomplished – or as needed. 

The Fairy Diary Day 486 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gilgorgon had been expecting our arrival, so we were ushered into the great hall and seated for a feast. Herblas was every where directing the provisioning of the table. I was watching Gibley whom I could tell was overwhelmed by the extent and variety of the fare placed before us. I do not believe his eyes could be any bigger. He soon had his plate overflowing too. 

No talk about our reasons for being here was allowed. That was held off until this morning. 

Even then we were waiting on Dunfallon, who had been up all night playing nine pins with his friends and talking with Gabhe, the mountain goat. 

After the pixie took his place at the long table, Merlin – with Gilgorgon’s permission, began the meeting. 

The wizard put forth the question that lay heavily on my mind – what had happened to Artoxon and Bifitz? We knew from the High Fairy that they had been banished. But what then after that?

The dwarf king sighed deeply, then called over a member of his guard. This burly dwarf relayed how he had been assigned to observe that the pair had left their former kingdom. They sought refuge in the villages of the former dark elves, but were turned down again and again. 

One day they fell prey to a rampaging troll who smashed them to bits and ate them. 

Thus I knew why they were sighted on the other side. And must still be there. 

The Fairy Diary Day 481 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Our long wait for the return of Merlin came to an end this afternoon. He found us hard at work on our preparations – which we soon abandoned to throng him with our questions. 

I do believe our clamor brought a smile to his lips and he held up a hand and motioned us into the more intimate space of the chamber set apart for his use when at the repository. 

Before taking a seat he shook off the dust of his travels from his flowing robes. And then he answered all our questions, adding here and there the answers to some of his own. 

Thus I summarize-

Yes, he had successfully met with Gibley’s folks, the goblin dragon handlers. And though they had been reluctant at first to share, the wizard convinced them to change their minds – after a few demonstrations. Gibley’s uncle was particularly helpful – about what used to be on the other side. 

Everything had changed around the time the dark elves were on the rise – from then onwards the Land of Plenty had become the Land of Darkness. And they visited at their peril. 

No, though they have seen the Dark One – they do not know who or what he is. Only broken rumors that he once was a fairy. 

That bit of news drew gasps from all of us. 

As to the question that I asked – Merlin would only say that we needed to make a trip to talk to the dwarves about Artoxon and Bifitz. And another related concern which he would not name. 

The Fairy Diary Day 480 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The High Fairy spent the bulk of the day working with Dunfallon as the pixie put Cluyjil through his paces. I popped in and out of their sessions and was pleased to observe that the crystal is glowing longer and longer between the dragon breaths. 

Most of the time, however, I sat with Noralei up beside the Crack of Doom, discussing her experiences on the other side – trying to pull from her memory the things she did not write about. 

She had much to relate about the feelings that plagued her there. Fear being tantamount. She believes something must be done to protect our spirits when we return there so we can keep moving forward. I told her I would talk with Merlin for I believe my pendants may just be all we need for the desired protection. 

Then I asked her who she thought Hawk was referring to in his warning for the future. I was thinking they might be Artoxon and Bifitz and was wondering what had happened to them and where they might be right now. 

The Fairy Diary Day 444 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin wrapped up the goblin issue quite easily. They wanted only the area adjacent to their territory marked by their outpost. The area in which the dragon hid and created even more tunnels. It is a matter of security for them. 

The dwarves will concede that area but only under the proviso that they identify for them the route used by the dragon to worm its way into the vaults below Artoxon’s apartments. The goblins are to fill in that tunnel (or tunnels) and abandon it for up to a day’s journey away. 

The High Fairy has had a harder time leading the dwarves to an agreement on the fate of Artoxon and Bifitz. A simple majority wants them executed; the rest would be content with banishment. The latter is more likely. And I believe his excellency leans towards that conclusion.  But then the question becomes – to where?

Rumble and I may not know the outcome for a while, as we shall depart with Merlin as soon as he winds up the details between the dwarves and goblins. 

The Fairy Diary Day 443 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The High Fairy will be serving as moderator over the great convocation of dwarves in the days to come. Gilgorgon set the tone by surrendering any claim by conquest of Artoxon’s kingdom and said he would support whomever is selected by his former subjects. He only asks that peaceful accords be established between the two kingdoms. 

This should have paved the way for a sooner departure for us and Merlin, but for one wrinkle that has cropped up. The goblins have continued to hang about despite being paid quite handsomely for their help. Murmurs were circulating that they wanted territorial concessions as well. The wizard has been entrusted with resolving whatever the problem may be. 

Rumble and I are confident that Merlin will untangle it to everyone’s satisfaction. 

The knottier problem falls to the High Fairy- what to do with Artoxon and Bifitz. 

The Fairy Diary Day 442 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Well, our plans changed again. Rumble and I were debating the merits of which path to take back to Merlin’s castle when another group rolled in unannounced. A special force of goblins petitioned the High Fairy for permission to join Gilgorgon’s miners. This was granted. 

Out of curiosity I followed this group into the sunken capital. The other miners stepped aside per Gilgorgon’s orders and the goblins went to work. They unhinged their jaws and attacked the rock with goblin ferocity. And in short order they broke through into Artoxon’s apartments. 

Gilgorgon entreated the dwarves within to surrender with their master – which they did immediately- depositing a gagged and bound Artoxon within the span of a hundred wing beats. 

Soon all the dwarves of the two kingdoms will gather and decide the fate of Artoxon. 

With this rapid change of events, Merlin asked Rumble and me to wait and accompany him back to the castle after things were concluded here. 

This arrangement was very welcome to us both. 

The Fairy Diary Day 441 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Some tense moments passed as the two sides waited one another out. Hostilities nearly ignited several times between separate individuals facing each other. Thankfully Fliget kept his dwarves in check while waiting for an answer to a set of demands he sent over by an emissary. 

A very good thing – for we had to retrieve Gnoston from the bowels of the sunken capital where he had gone to help Gilgorgon’s miners. And like we believed, he was the perfect one to explain the current situation to Fliget. 

Everything Gnoston had shared with us regarding the deep seated dislike towards Artoxon proved true. In response Fliget ordered his dwarves to stand down, and while the majority made camp, he sent a contingent of miners into the capital to help those belonging to Gilgorgon. 

At the first opportunity I finally obtained an audience with Merlin and he agreed with my reasoning that it would be best for Rumble and I to return to his castle. He did not say out right that Gibley and Dunfallon needed watching, but just remarked that Noralei could use a little break. 

The Fairy Diary Day 440 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gilgorgon has won his point with the help of Gnoston’s testimony. Although the details going forward are not yet settled. Many of Gilgorgon’s best miners, having refused to come out earlier, remain behind in the sunken capital and have been hard at work trying to dig their way down into Artoxon’s apartments. 

I recalled vaguely the location of the maintenance access that Dunfallon, Gibley and I used to descend to that level and gave them that information. 

Other than that I do not see anything else left for Rumble and me to do. 

Merlin and the High Fairy are staying to see things through, but I thought that Rumble and I should return to Merlin’s castle to check on our dragon handlers. So, we went to Merlin to get his permission. 

But before I could gain an audience with him an alarm was raised from fairy troop sentinels stationed back on the Low-way of the dwarves. 

Another dwarf army headed up by Fliget had arrived. Has he come as our friend or our foe?