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.

The Fairy Diary Day 389 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Rumble and Dunfallon brought back some interesting information to add to ours. The offshoot passageway they found to be a series of chambers added to one another by the dragon burning through the walls between them. According to our pixie it was all a hodge-podge, higgedly-piggedly stitched together crazy labyrinth. 

Rumble took out his map to show us that despite the randomness of its switchbacks, its general direction was towards that of Artoxon’s capital. With that pronouncement all three of my pendants glowed and vibrated. 

I knew in my spirit that the dragon was attracted to the great vaults of treasure located below the dwarf king’s apartments. What better place to hatch a dragon. 

And the quickest means for us to go there would be by the Low-way of the dwarves. 

Bifitz may no longer be able to claim that there are no dragons at the capital. 

The Fairy Diary Day 381 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I do believe that the Artoxon’s chambers are more ornate than when we were here last. With the defeat and departure of the dark elves, the wealth from the recovered mines has obviously flooded into his vaults and it is clear that the overflow was on display everywhere we looked.

It was a difference that we also saw reflected in the demeanor of the dwarf king. He was more expansive – less explosive – I might say gracious. (But Dunfallon simply described him as less stingy). 

We believed that this boded well for our mission as ambassadors. So, I wasted no time in presenting to him a scroll that Gilgorgon had sent with us. He took it from me with a smile, but instead of opening and reading it he handed it off to Bifitz who in turn delivered another scroll to me. 

He explained that it contained their demands that must be agreed to even before they would deign to look at Gilgorgon’s message. 

Since there seemed little reason to talk further we begged to be excused and allowed to go on our way.

The Fairy Diary Day 379 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We all feel like failures. We came to the dwarves out of a concern for their safety – a fear that they might have been in great peril. And though we can now see, thankfully, there were no grounds for our concern, to be dismissed out of hand for the desire on our part for their wellbeing hurts very much. 

Couple that with our renewed request today to meet with Artoxon as ambassadors from Gilgorgon being rebuffed by Bifitz only completed the feelings of uselessness. 

I jotted a note to the High Fairy on the scroll, then fell into a discussion with my friends as to our next step. 

Dunfallon is all for ignoring Bifitz’s objections and for sneaking down to see Artoxon. Rumble and Noralei half agreed with him, but then with second thoughts Noralei proposed that we travel up to check on the goblins and inquire after any dragon activity with them. 

We all agreed with her proposal and I sent another note off to his excellency. And I left word with Bifitz’s clerk of our intent to depart soon.

The Fairy Diary Day 378 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Our guides delivered us to the entrance of Artoxon’s capital and left us there as they had another party to escort down the Low-way. We were taken into the care of Bifitz that ancient goblin, adopted by the dwarves and Artoxon in particular. He was waiting patiently for us. (Again word had preceded us).

He invited us into his chambers for what turned out to be a close questioning about our intentions.  

I laid out to him our concerns for the dwarves ever since the events surrounding the theft of the dragon egg from under Gilgorgon’s mountain – and our suspicions that the perpetrator – that is, the dragon, came in via the underground passages. 

At that point Bifitz cut us off and stated in no uncertain terms that no dragon would dare enter into their capital. He branded the whole idea that a dragon was present among them as preposterous. And would not hear of granting us permission to descend into the depths to visit Artoxon in his apartments. 

To say I was taken aback at this attitude is an understatement. But we did not protest. Just simply accepted his hospitality until our departure.

The Fairy Diary Day 347 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

According to his say-so Bifitz has negated the curse. Through a lengthy spell he was able to physically remove it from within the pedestal. He examined the chalice and the red ash. He tells us that the dark elves must have been aware of the curse for he believes the chalice and something that had been placed on top to close it off was their attempt to deflect its effect. 

This may explain why it was stronger at other points along the Low-way in the deserted places. And that whoever took away whatever enclosed the chalice caused the curse to pour back onto the stronghold. Hence the horrific effect on the Dromadil pixies. 

Noralei and I met with Merlin afterwards and filled him in about the missing Will’o’the Wisp. He agreed with our suspicions that Willie may be responsible for removing the chalice cover. 

And he is fairly certain that it was some kind of crystal.