The Fairy Diary Day 685 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin met us upon our arrival last night. Before Cluyjil and the wagon were settled into their places, the cages and their occupants were lifted out of the wagon and spirited away into the depths. 

We each felt a palpable difference being in Gilgorgon’s mountain than times hitherto. And the dwarves were uncomfortable with it too. 

Merlin assured us and Gilgorgon in particular that the worst was past. Evidently in the time before we arrived the wizard had to demonstrate to the dwarf king and his dwarves that they had not doomed their kingdom by their gracious offer to imprison our malefactors. In fact, Merlin promised there would be a great reward. They needed only to add their spells to his to form an unbreakable seal that will sever any connection she has to influence the world outside of herself. 

And so with the new day, the heaviness that was sensed within the mountain dissipated. Normalcy returned throughout. 

And with that Dunfallon was eager to be off back to the pixie lands, even without a game of nine pins with his friend Gabhe the mountain goat. 

Rumble opted to join the pixie in his next adventure, but I decided to stay a while. I wanted to understand better what had happened, and had many questions to ask Merlin. I felt it particularly incumbent upon me given the position of High Fairy that I would soon be assuming. 

The Fairy Diary Day 684 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We took turns on watch throughout the night. And today, I found myself constantly scanning the sky about us – looking for more black birds, or for the hornet swarms that oft times were associated with them in the past. I must say that with the blackness filling the sky more and more to our front, it would be very difficult to distinguish them.

Thankfully the black plants have not spread beyond the pixie territory. The last ones we saw took up an entire meadow at the end of the forest. Dunfallon had coaxed Cluyjil to torch them all to ash. He now cannot wait to deliver our prisoners to their waiting cells under the mountain, and return to his beloved land of the pixies with the dragon and eradicate the rest.

As we came out of the rolling hills, a light shone out of the darkness ahead. Rumble directed Cluyjil and the wagon towards that beacon. And I ordered our fairy escort to form up and follow behind us.

There at the base of the mountain, Herblas was waiting for us beside a signal fire. He had no explanation for what was going on, and was hoping we might know something. We filled him in on our suspicions, then pushed forward in the dark, following behind his dwarves, illuminating the way with firebrands.

All was quiet within the cages. A peek inside was met with glum and long faces. Then I realized that the queen no longer stuck her tongue out at me. And probably could not. 

The Fairy Diary Day 682 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We passed into the pixie territory under lowering skies before midday. A storm appeared to be brewing ahead in the direction of our destination. We could not see Gilgorgon’s mountain as of yet, but the gathering blackness seemed to be settling over its general location.

My companions did not like the look of it. Nor did I.

About that same time the voice from Dunfallon’s ring was intoning an alarm urging us to be on the alert. And the pendants on my chest throbbed in unison.

I passed the word to our escort to be vigilant. And Dunfallon ordered his soldier less weapons to close ranks around the cages. Rumble reined in Cluyjil to a steady walk.

I felt a rush of air behind me and turned about in time to see a black bird swoop down from the sky and attempt to close its talons on one of the cages. It missed. I notched an arrow to my bow and let it fly after the retreating bird. It caught one of its wings and the bird spun to the ground, bursting into flame upon impact.

We halted and sent the escort back to retrieve the remains. They returned, bearing only the arrow, and reported that dust was all that remained of the bird.

Rumble interrogated the Caretaker afterwards, but he could give no answer to his questions, and protested that neither he nor the renegade queen had ever seen the like before.

The thing of it is, we had.

The Fairy Diary Day 681 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gibley left for the canyonlands on Conjil this morning. Rumble joined Dunfallon and I to bid him goodbye. The goblin had offered to accompany us on our trip, but I thanked him and released him from any obligation that he was feeling and assured him that the three of us should have no problem reaching the dwarves safely. 

Together we three had Cluyjil harnessed and prepared to go just before Merlin and Tinadell arrived. An escort of fairy troops delivered the cages with our two prisoners and tied them down into the wagon. 

The Fairy King echoed the wizard’s assurances of yesterday to me. He thinks all challenges will be laid to rest by the time of our return from Gilgorgon’s mountain. 

Merlin instructed us on how to care for and communicate with our prisoners. We are to talk with the Caretaker and not the former queen. Additional spells are weighing her down and restricting her activity and abilities. He is confident she will present no problems. 

After Dunfallon reviewed his soldier less weapons and arranged their marching order about the wagon, we set out, following behind our fairy troop escort.

We bypassed Nonin-gal-dith and took the southbound road in order to retrace the path we traveled last time. Dunfallon still believes it wise to keep the distance between the renegades and the Will’o’the Wisp. 

The Fairy Diary Day 668 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Screeching became howling from our prisoner’s cages as we reached the last stretch to the capital. Already they were under the weight of impending judgment. I almost pitied them.

Merlin waited at the gates to the inn where the dragons and the wagon will be housed, and was first to receive us. Noralei remained behind to see to the needs of her charges. The wizard took a cage in each hand and led Rumble and me to the gates of the capital. Rumble supervised several fairy soldiers who carried the two boxes of scrolls. 

Just within the city gates, Tinadell stood to greet us. This encounter wrung another cry of despair from within the cages. Merlin handed over the prisoners to a phalanx of dungeon guards who whisked them away from our presence.

The fairy king himself ushered us up to the library where the boxes of evidence were deposited. There Tinadell extended an invitation to us to join him for dinner. Before he departed I asked him to send the same invitation down to Noralei. To this he said he would do so personally.

Merlin and I left Rumble to work on arranging the scrolls. As Dunfallon had not been on hand to meet us, I assumed the wizard had agreed with my request. He confirmed to me that the pixie had been sent to the canyonlands – not only to bring Gibley back to help with Clemjil – but also to have the goblin on hand as a possible witness in the trial.

This idea gave me pause. I said to him that that would mean all of us could be potential witnesses. The wizard only arched an eyebrow to my comment, and I knew that he definitely was being called as a witness.

The Fairy Diary Day 650 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Dunfallon had his harp out for the first time in a long while.  The elves had been entertaining us with some ballads and the pixie joined in as accompaniment before continuing on with some pixie tunes of his own. 

I did notice that Clemjil was quite smitten with the sound coming from his strings. I should have picked up on the trouble that lay ahead, for the signs were plainly there. 

As I had planned – once we entered the farm country I kept the dragonling close by and did not allow him to wander about by himself. 

He discovered his favorite spot to be up on the box with the bell, on the side near the front and the cages of our prisoners. Then, all of a sudden for no reason Clemjil made a lunge for the cage with the renegade queen in it. He had the chain attached to its top caught up in his jaws and was about to take off with it when Merlin rose to his feet and stopped the young dragon in mid-stride and broke the spell that our former queen was weaving to capture the will of Clemjil. 

The wizard then had some harsh words with her former majesty and heaped more restrictions upon her. Finally he apologized to us for overlooking that one vulnerability that he should have foreseen. 

I spoke up and took some of that blame for myself. 

The Fairy Diary Day 647 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I traded off with Dunfallon taking Cluyjil up to look out for ambushes ahead on the road. I remember thinking on my first stint what a motley collection we must seem – the dragon Rayjil pulling the wagon under Noralei’s direction – Merlin seated up front with her – little Clemjil, walking along with them – the floating presence of Dunfallon’s army flanking both sides of the wagon, (most heavily grouped around the box containing the bell) – Navril’s forces split in two, (he was in the lead with one half and the other brought up the rear).

Anyone considering challenging us would have to be mad.

In my estimation we had the road to ourselves through the mountains. Though I could see some movement ahead coming across the plains, and headed towards us. Most likely merchants on their way to Corbelin.

During those times when Dunfallon’s turn on Cluyjil came around, I sat atop the box containing the Crack of Doom. It gave me a better view than when riding forward with Noralei and the wizard. Though I did trade places with Merlin on those occasions when he wanted to consult his seers stone.

It was on one of those occasions that I heard humming coming from the inside of the renegade queen’s cage. Noralei had created cloth covers for the cages, to keep them away from the prying eyes of passersby.  I lifted one edge of the cover and the queen stopped her humming, stared at me and stuck out her tongue. I dropped the cover back in place.

The look on my face drew a chuckle from Noralei and she told me that I needed to ignore her – and to guard myself from any incantations.

The Fairy Diary Day 645 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Captain Goff joined us for the morning meal in the inn. The only one not with us was Dunfallon, who could not bring himself to leave the ship unprotected by his absence. 

And probably for good reason. The captain had some disquieting news. Rumors were rampant around Corbelin stemming it is believed from factions sympathetic to our prisoners. He fears that an attempt will be made to seize them from us. He advised us to depart as soon as possible.

We sent Rumble off to see if he could buy back one of the wagons he had sold here. Noralei went off to see to the needs of our dragons. And I took a meal down to Dunfallon and recounted the news and our decisions to him.

When Merlin came aboard, he immediately went below to visit the prisoners. After he emerged he went to Noralei who was then feeding Clemjil, and asked her to fashion cages for the renegade queen and the Caretaker, like those she had made for the Will’o’the Wisp.

By the afternoon, Rumble returned and he had with him the very wagon we had used before to transport Dunfallon’s “army.” It should handle the bell and the prisoners with no problem. And the pixie intends to keep his soldier-less weapons out of their boxes, ready and moving under their own power.

I pointed out a couple suspicious characters to Rumble and Dunfallon, whom I had seen repeatedly pass back and forth by the ship. They gave a wide berth around Cluyjil who was snoring in the late afternoon in his place on the quay. He startled awake once, and I was amused to see the suspect pair scatter.

Before we prepared for the evening meal, Noralei returned, bearing one newly fashioned cage. She gave it to the wizard for his approval. He did and she will make the other tomorrow.

I could not bring myself to stay in the inn overnight but decided to stay aboard the ship with Dunfallon.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From the safety of a dense thicket Quasimo sent the drone aloft to join the stream passing near the Temple. The surroundings thereabouts were too exclusive and affluent for us to wander around.

The pictures sent back were inconclusive. The cages on the grounds all held animals – no sign of Mawuli.

Ordering the others to remain, Elijah and I, walked up to the Temple.

Ignored at first, that all changed when a passerby recognized Elijah and ran from us raising a hue and cry.

Stan’s image materialized at the gate and announced that the one we sought was now with his army and would do a good service for him.

Guards tried to seize us but we were whisked away.