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 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.