The Fairy Diary Day 445 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It seems that circumstances continue to conspire against our leaving. All efforts to find the mechanism to raise up the capital have failed. And Bifitz is using the frustration of the dwarves in that matter to gain a bargaining chip for his fate. 

I, for one, think they should not bother. In my opinion the dwarves should just build over the top of it. They could easily double the size of the capital that way. 

Anyway, Merlin has been petitioned to investigate, and he in turn has asked for our help. So once more we went down into the depths. 

Rumble made the crucial discovery down where the goblins ate their way into the lower levels. He found what he believes are the remaining bits of machinery that raised and lowered the capital. So it would seem that my idea of building on top of the old is the very best solution. 

Merlin agreed with my assessment and he thinks we shall leave the implementation to the dwarves. And (thankfully at last) we can prepare to leave for his castle. 

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 437 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We located the wall section that houses the gate into the capital, but it turned out not to be what we were hoping for. Having exhausted other possibilities I believed that there may not be any way to get in from the outside – and the thought was growing that its controlling mechanism only operates from within. 

I mentioned this to Rumble and he reminded me that if it had been modified as a trap surely Bifitz would not have allowed access to it from the inside. Otherwise those trapped might possibly find it and extricate themselves. 

We were thus in our quandary when the High Fairy arrived with a phalanx of fairy troops. Merlin explained what Gnoston had told us and our recent findings. Between the two of them they felt they could raise the structure long enough for one of us to slip in to help Gilgorgon. 

I volunteered. 

After removing my armor – retaining only my pendants, I took up a position in front of the gate area. Merlin and the High Fairy took their positions on opposite sides of the structure – and the phalanx of fairies filled in the gaps along the perimeter. 

At a signal from Rumble they lifted all together. When a whoosh of air was sucked into the slim opening I rushed in with it. 

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 398 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The atmosphere of tension and stress has all evaporated from the halls and chambers of Artoxon’s apartments and is no doubt spreading throughout his kingdom as I write this. 

The great dwarf himself was finally persuaded to emerge from his bed chamber. He regained his confidence to the point that he dared to lay claim to the hatchling dragon. 

A notion that lasted no more than thirteen fairy wing beats. 

The hatchling will brook no interference directed at herself or Gibley – or by extension, for the moment, to ourselves. As long as she is with us, the dwarves dare not come near. 

In consequence Artoxon has ordered us to be ushered from his apartments and thereafter from his kingdom, and turned his attention to his vaults and his treasure. 

Bifitz received us civilly, but expects us to leave with the first available guides. 

Gibley wants to accompany us and has no plans to return to the goblin outpost as he fears for his life and her safety. He adds that this was nothing that he sought out. And though Dunfallon believes him, we three fairies are not totally convinced. 

Noralei brought up something the rest of us had forgotten when she wondered out loud if the egg in Merlin’s possession has also hatched – my cue for another note to the High Fairy. 

The Fairy Diary Day 394 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Bifitz had to clear the way before us each step of the way. Though the dwarves were massed at critical points and armed to the teeth, we could see their fear as we passed. Not one of them was without jitters. 

Arriving at the entrance to the shaft to Artoxon’s apartments we found the doors shut. Bifitz said they were barred and bolted from within by Artoxon’s orders and we would have to enter via some nearby maintenance passageways. He had sent word ahead for us to be allowed entry at the lowest level. 

We were about to enter but Noralei intervened. She announced that it would be unsafe for fairies to proceed further for a huge amount of iron ore awaited below. 

Dunfallon perked up at this announcement and was game to continue even if alone. I took my place beside the pixie and said, “Time to test the power of my third pendant.”

And thus we set off into the lower reaches with one consolation – though a pixie and a fairy could pass here with ease, there was little to no room for a dragon.

The Fairy Diary Day 393 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We were horrified and saddened upon our entry into Artoxon’s capital. The main gate was unguarded. No one was about. I had a fleeting thought that this explained why we had not encountered any dwarf guides out on the Low-way, but then more serious considerations came crashing in. 

The further we went into the city the more the stench of burnt dwarf grew in pungency. Though, the fires were now out and not even smoldering. 

Rumble and Dunfallon tried five different streets before finding one that was unblocked and could take us to Bifitz’s palace. 

Its untouched state raised our hopes that someone within may still be alive. 

This time we were challenged by a coterie of dwarves who were soon joined by an angry Bifitz. The ancient goblin railed against us – making nonstop accusations, blaming us for all that had befallen them.  

Noralei gently rose into the air and commanded him to be silent and to listen- and proclaimed that we all were yet in danger. 

Bifitz did fall silent and I seized the opportunity to warn him that we needed to descend to Artoxon’s apartments or greater calamity may engulf us. 

The tired and spent goblin relented and allowed us entry.

The Fairy Diary Day 390 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We set out on the Low-way of the dwarves without any guides, counting on an absolution from Artoxon for our departure from Bifitz’s expressed edict by the urgency of the situation. 

Dunfallon took up the lead as is his custom. He and Noralei guided us around all the hidden obstacles. 

I had written on the scroll to the High Fairy inquiring about news – any news – for it seems we have been cut off from information as to the goings on in all the lands we have been to. I particularly wondered if the dark elves had chosen a new name for their people. That led to thoughts about Hawk and his fate. Before we left, the goblins were chaining him up for transport to the shaft. 

Rumble was a quiet companion. When he did speak, I learned he had been thinking about some of the same things as me. 

His main concern above all was whether or not we can trust Artoxon. He has taken to heart the warning from Dromadil pixies via the High Fairy. And I believe – so have I.