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?

The Fairy Diary Day 439 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The discussion among Merlin, the High Fairy, and Gilgorgon dragged on interminably. Clearly by his loud protestations the dwarf king was not happy with what the other two were advising him to do in regards to Artoxon. They want him to halt any further attempts to defeat and capture his enemy. 

Rumble and I kept company with Gnoston apart from their place of contention. We were both surprised at our friend’s attitude towards this issue. He agreed wholeheartedly with Gilgorgon’s position and against that of the wizard and his excellency. And I do not think it due to a belief on his part that he must do so as their prisoner. Strange to say he does stand against his own sovereign. And he declared that so do most of Artoxon’s subjects. 

I for one marveled at how well the dwarves of this kingdom had masked their true feelings about their king all the times in the past we had been with them. 

In the end I prevailed upon Merlin and the High Fairy to give an audience to Gnoston before any final decision was reached. 

The Fairy Diary Day 438 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Once in, I scribbled a note to the High Fairy on the scroll to inform them they could cease their exertion. I knew he had received it when I sensed the structure relax and sink beneath my feet. I went in search of the noise I had heard from the outside. It was no longer muffled. A clear, steady beat echoed throughout. 

After a few wrong turns took me away from its source, I finally stumbled back onto the right track and into Gilgorgon and his dwarves. My sudden appearance shocked them into silence and they dropped their hammers with which they were digging their way out. Gilgorgon’s surprise melted into a wreath of smiles as he recognized me. 

When I told him I was there to help, he thanked me and then pointed to the widening crevice they were creating. 

I wrote another note to the High Fairy and those outside worked once again to raise the structure. This added to the dwarves’ work enough space to allow all to make it out – if they wanted to. Gilgorgon’s miners shored up the opening with any materials they had on hand and there was soon a new way in and out of the sunken capital. 

Gilgorgon came out with me to meet with Merlin and the High Fairy. And the topic for everyone was what to do next about Artoxon. 

The Fairy Diary Day 435 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

What Gnoston told us along the way about the secrets of the capital of Artoxon rendered us speechless. And awestruck. 

Long ago to counter the invasion of the dark elves Bifitz followed the chosen strategy of Artoxon to hide the capital from them. The ancient goblin, having observed in his youth turtles retracting their heads within their shells, took that idea and designed mechanisms to lower his underground city even further underground. Making it thereby invisible. 

And once the danger from the elves was past, the city again was raised to its normal level. 

But a different strategy was implemented against the incursion of Gilgorgon. The citizens were evacuated into the stronghold surrounding Artoxon’s apartments, and the city (and Bifitz’s palace) were left in place as a trap for Gilgorgon and his dwarves. 

(Hence why Gnoston was told he was too late to enter).

Once Gilgorgon arrived and all were in the capital, it sunk down, entrapping them. 

All at once we understood everything. Why we could not find the capital- and why Gilgorgon was no where to be found. 

Merlin’s remark – “Astounding,” said it all. 

At the wizard’s prodding I took out my scroll and wrote a hasty note to the High Fairy requesting help. 

The Fairy Diary Day 433 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We came upon an even greater mystery today. Artoxon’s capital was not where it should have been. It was not anywhere at all. Neither the gates to the city nor Bifitz’s palace were evident from its junction with the Low-way of the dwarves. 

Merlin covered the area testing for any hint of enchantment. And found none. 

Rumble walked about with his hands stretched out in front of his face, expecting to bump into buildings turned invisible. But met with nothing. 

At the last we regrouped to discuss what to do next. Not knowing what had happened made any decisions blind ones. In the end we opted to continue on to the goblin outpost. It was closer than the other dwarf stronghold city, and I was looking forward to seeing any living being, even a goblin. 

The Fairy Diary Day 430 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We reached the gates to the Low-way of the dwarves. They had been locked and barred only a moon ago when we passed by on the way from Gnoston’s village towards the stronghold city. Now they were broken asunder. 

Had Gilgorgon and his forces done this?

It would seem the logical conclusion- but ever since the vision of yesterday my thoughts touch continually upon the grinning face of Willie. 

Merlin himself is perplexed as there are no signs of battle – force opposing force on either side of the gates. He is inclined to believe that some other power has done this. And that Gilgorgon and his dwarves passed through without opposition. 

However the question remains- did they turn towards the stronghold city? Or towards Artoxon’s capital?

Rumble asked the wizard to describe the scenes of battle he witnessed via the seer’s stone. Merlin did something better – circumscribing a circle in the air with his staff, we were soon observing the past scene ourselves. 

Our hearts sunk when we realized that the battle between dwarves was playing out in Gnoston’s village.