The Fairy Diary Day 490 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Our progress picked up after Fliget decided to exercise his prerogative as king of the dwarves. All caravans were shunted aside to allow ours the right of way. 

I began to feel uncomfortable about what might lay ahead for us in the stronghold city. My sense that something was off lead me to approach Merlin to talk to him about it. Gnoston’s and Fliget’s actions were hard to understand as to what motivated them. And afraid to say, I was suspecting our friends of evil intent if not outright perfidy. 

The wizard listened patiently to my fears. When finished he chuckled and painstakingly calmed all my concerns. 

The High Fairy has been sent for and will join us in the stronghold city. The dwarves have invited him to be present for a special celebration of our victory over the dark elves. 

Evidently the dwarves think that a season of thankfulness is called for, especially on the eve of another conflict. 

Before he dismissed me, Merlin hinted that more surprises await us upon our arrival in the stronghold city. 

The Fairy Diary Day 487 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It was decided in our meeting that we will be sending a team over to the other side in order to protect our world. It was further decided that this team will consist of members from all its kingdoms and races. The only question left open for now – is it to be one dwarf to represent the whole – or one from each kingdom. Gilgorgon has wisely opted to make this a decision to be shared with Fliget- in the interest of future cooperation. 

So, we assembled our party to travel down to meet with Fliget. Gilgorgon is sending Herblas with us as his representative. 

Gabhe and the other friends of Dunfallon gathered to see the pixie off. They mutually promised to meet again in the not too distant future. Watching Gibley at that moment I could not help but notice a hint of loneliness in his demeanor. 

I kept him company as we descended down the main passageway. It was brilliantly lit and even more dazzling than I remember. And I understood better all the improvements that Herblas ordered on our way up.  He stopped us on one of the grand staircases to point out a new bas relief on the nearby wall. It depicted Merlin, Dunfallon, Rumble, Noralei and myself- all to commemorate the great victory at the former city of the dark elves. 

I admit I was a little embarrassed. 

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 447 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The repairs to the gateway to the passage that travels up to Gilgorgon’s mountain were nearly complete when we arrived. The dwarves from the nearby outpost along with a contingent sent by Gilgorgon had been hard at work but it required the reinforcements Gnoston brought to have enough hands to lift the new doors up onto the new hinges. Rumble and I guided their placement upon the spindles. And Merlin added the last touch – creating stops on either side the better to hold the doors open, as a statement for his hope for the future. 

Before we took leave of Gnoston the dwarf informed us that he and the members of his village had placed the memorial statue just up the way from the gateway to commemorate the defeat of the dark elves by Merlin and Gilgorgon’s forces. 

I was glad to hear this. And I know Merlin was touched. 

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 429 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin called a halt at the spot he identified as the location for the pitched battle between Gilgorgon’s dwarves and the dark elves. Though for the most part the area had been scrubbed clean, one still could make out the scorch marks left by the blasts from Merlin’s staff. 

The wizard told us that this was where they turned the tide of the battle. And most curious to him there was a fresh monument set up to commemorate the occasion. And more curious still it was not forged by dwarves. 

But a chill went through me as a vision of Willie – the Will’o’the Wisp – passed before my eyes. Neither Rumble nor Merlin saw the vision – but myself alone. 

In fact, they did not notice that I had frozen in place while they continued on. When they did realize I was not with them and returned for me, I stood helpless and watched their attempts to revive me from my stupor. 

It was the first indication that something completely out of the norm was bound up in the mystery surrounding the fate of our friends the dwarves. 

The Fairy Diary Day 428 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin, Rumble and I descended into the depths of Gilgorgon’s mountain. Gabhe desired to go with us, but felt herself in a bind. On the one hand, she wanted to brave the hazards with us, but she could not shake the onus of responsibility bestowed upon her by the dwarf king. Thus the mountain goat remained behind. 

In the midst of our conference yesterday I had written a note on the scroll to the High Fairy to brief him on our plans. No answer had been forthcoming until I checked again just as we entered the underground passage to the other dwarf kingdom. 

There waiting was his excellency’s reply, containing two bits of news- the goblins report that all is quiet on their frontier with Artoxon’s kingdom – and that the Dromadil pixies had executed the dark elf Hawk for the murder of two of their guards. 

I was saddened at the news about Hawk (Rumble not so much). 

Merlin took the lead. He had been here before, of course, when he and Gilgorgon battled the invading dark elves. Our way was brightly lit, for Gilgorgon must have left the oil flowing after he and his troops passed. It was welcome, even cheery. But I admit to being on edge the further we went. 

The Fairy Diary Day 417 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I had much to ponder today after my talk with Merlin last night. For the time being the wizard thinks we can back off on our mission to discover our unknown enemy. The High Fairy (currently in Nonin-gal-dith) concurs in that assessment. With the failure of the nemesis’s gambit launched through the dark elves and his dual losses of the dragon eggs, we no longer have any leads to follow up anyway. 

As for the state of affairs between the two dwarf kingdoms, we are not only waiting for Gilgorgon to respond to Artoxon’s demands, but also waiting to learn whether or not those demands have altered since the disastrous events in Artoxon’s capital. 

Thus it appears that Rumble, Noralei, and I will be kept busy helping Dunfallon and Gibley raise two dragon hatchlings.

The Fairy Diary Day 409 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We are making our way, best we can, to the cavern outside of which Dunfallon discovered the dragon training staff. He reported that there are no direct paths to it. All of the canyons on this side run away from it. According to Rumble’s map we could follow the river to a canyon that runs directly to it – but it looks to be five times as long as going straight over the top of the mountainous plateau between here and there.

For his part, Gibley apologized that he could offer no help. The first time he was outside of his goblin home was on the inside of the bag held by the dark elves. 

In thinking over the problem I could not help but surmise that the other cavern spotted by our pixie might just be another entrance into the place we want to be. And despite its access looking to be the most difficult canyon to traverse we chose to challenge it. 

And if it proves a dead end we shall attempt going over the high plateau.