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 674 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gibley invited us out of the repository to the place just outside of the gates. There he planned the fitting of igniter stones in the young dragons. The goblin had examined the pair quite minutely the night before and pronounced them both ready – their teeth are all in, and the prequisite space is available for their installation.

Merlin had the red stone for Clemjil, and for Torjil, he brought forth an exquisite purple one. A minute’s observation confirmed that each gem chose their dragon.

Gibley’s work on Clemjil was a quick and easy matter. Afterwards he assigned him to Rayjil and together the two dragons cleared some brush from around the front area. Noralei and I kept ourselves available with skins of water, just in case the burning vegetation got near the trees of the repository.

Torjil was another matter. She had watched with interest as the goblin installed the red stone into Clemjil’s jaw, but when it came her turn, she chose that moment to disappear. Both Rayjil and Clemjil scurried about trying to pin her down, but she was too quick for them.

It was the timely arrival of Dunfallon on Cluyjil that rescued us from our predicament. The frisky dragon ran into Cluyjil when (we assume) she was fleeing from the others. She reappeared as he held her fast in the coils of his tail. Dunfallon scampered to her side and whispered into her ear.

In the following lull, Gibley performed the procedure on her. We may have to keep the young dragons out in the open air tonight.

When things were settled Dunfallon told us that they had had no problem finding the remains of the High Fairy. Rumble has returned them to Nonin-gal-dith where his excellency will be memorialized tomorrow.

I shall accompany the pixie there tomorrow. The others have yet to decide if they will be going too.

The Fairy Diary Day 656 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meriabell writes:

We could see Gilgorgon’s mountain well before we arrived at the border, but it never looked more inviting than when we actually crossed over. There was a trace of snow outlining its crest. It was serene and peaceful in the midday sun. 

Just outside the dwarf border outpost, the friendly face of Herblas greeted us. He looked like the mountain in miniature – all gray and white on top. 

A meal had been prepared for all. After which Navril made his farewells. He assured us that he would get word to us about the two renegade elves. 

Clemjil, having become quite fond of Navril, was sad to see him go. He perked up when Cluyjil came over and nudged him. Dunfallon told me later it was a sign of acceptance by the older dragon. 

After the elves were gone Herblas called us together. Dunfallon was going to wait outside on guard over our prisoners, but Herblas said he could safely leave them with his dwarves. He assured us that there is not a sign of sympathy for her former majesty anywhere in their kingdom. However, when he had us all together he added there had been rumors of lone elves roaming this side of the mountain – that were wholly suspicious. But perhaps more disquieting were actual sightings of bands of fairies on the other side of the mountain. 

Merlin asked for a description. Herblas said they were blue – thus more than likely Frost Fairies. 

Much speculation followed. Were they elements that had not been part of the great swarm and thus do not know they are no longer in thrall to their former leader? Or is there something more devious lurking for us?

The Fairy Diary Day 648 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

On the other side of the mountains we passed into a good long stretch under the canopies of the sprawling forest. There was very little value to our flights on the dragon – at least for detecting ambushes. Still we sent Dunfallon up for an occasional look around. 

I kept Clemjil company as he explored the surroundings as the wagon and the others proceeded down the road. Actually I kept him out of trouble, as his curiosity unchecked would have landed us all in a sticky situation. I am so thankful that unlike the other dragons he does not have an igniter stone in his throat. 

Still he is a good natured dragon and eager to please. He is quick to follow my commands and is heedful of my admonitions. 

I believe we will need to keep him on a shorter leash once we come out on the plain and start passing by farms and villages. It would not do to upset the inhabitants. 

The presence of Navril and his elves should go a long way to stave off any problems in that regard. Though at first his elves were hesitant in the company of the dragons, they are now quite accepting and less fearful. 

There are times when I wonder about the future of our dragon friends. 

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 646 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

A series of commotions throughout the night along the quay made our time anything but restful. And about the first watch I noticed that Cluyjil seemed restless too. So I suggested that Dunfallon take the dragon up to stretch his wings. 

It was the circumstance awaited for by those watching us. As soon as the pixie and dragon disappeared into the darkness, a dozen elves rushed the ship. 

Evidently they were not aware of the soldier less weapons at my beck and call. Within the space of five wingbeats the swords lined the rails to both sides of me, stopping the assailants in their tracks. They ran away faster than they had come at us. 

A clatter arose from the other side of the ship as our spears there repelled an attempt to board from another vessel on that side. In their panic to get away that darkened vessel was intercepted by the return of Dunfallon on Cluyjil. The dragon set its sails ablaze. All the elves within jumped overboard. 

The rest of the night was uneventful but we did have a visit from the harbor master in the morning. To boil his demands down – he wants us gone. 

Merlin assured him that so we shall this very day. 

Thus, by the afternoon once we had moved the Crack of Doom to the wagon with the help of the dragons and since Noralei had completed the second cage, everything was prepared to depart. 

We had daylight enough to climb out of the valley around Corbelin to the heights beyond. And we were just settling in to our camp, when another band of elves joined us. 

It was led by Navril, sent by his king and our friend Nililitil to see us safely to Laguayil. 

The Fairy Diary Day 643 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I was just coming up for my watch when Captain Goff called for all hands. A black squall had appeared in the sky behind us and was rapidly gaining on the ship. He sent the dragon riders further aloft to weather the storm above it. 

Merlin tumbled up from below to join Rumble and me, making his appearance as three people. And consequently we soon had the sails in. 

And just in time. For the howl of the wind then overtook us. We fairies had to lash ourselves down for safety. 

Happily the squall was past almost as quickly as it had begun. The Captain and Merlin went about assessing the damage. Our prisoners were fine – complaining loudly about mistreatment. 

I found that the little dragon Clemjil was not as chipper as usual. In fact a better word to describe his condition would be seasick. We should have sent him aloft with the others. 

Rumble discovered a more serious problem. In the blow the Crack of Doom had shifted off of its moorings. We secured it the best we could while waiting for Dunfallon and Noralei on their dragons to catch up with us. Once they did the wizard directed them to lift the bell back into its proper position. 

All was again put to rights by the time the sun went down. And by its dying light we could just make out land in the dim distance. 

The Fairy Diary Day 642 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We sailed our way out of the narrow straits and into the open sea.  No one minded at all leaving that string of islands behind. 

Rumble and I kept up our duties about the ship. Merlin joined one or the other of us as the need arose, and even took a watch himself. But he never climbed the rigging. He had his own way of making the sails bend to his will. 

Our dragon riders continued to take turns dropping in. When it came Gibley’s turn he asked us if we could do without his presence. He thought that he and Conjil would forgo accompanying us all the way to Corbelin since it seemed their being here was rather superfluous. As for Clemjil, the goblin decided not to take the young dragon with him. After all he had been released by his uncle to be a protector of the bell in the repository. Merlin concurred and we assembled to bid our friend a fond farewell. 

Gibley flew by Dunfallon and Noralei to say goodbye before he and Conjil left for the east and the canyonlands. 

The sun was just going down as I came up for my watch when Nora hailed me from over the ship’s side. He barely could get the words out as he excitedly reported that one of the prisoners was trying to escape. 

I leaned over the rail and saw that the Caretaker has hanging halfway out – caught in the porthole three sizes too small for him. For five wingbeats I considered leaving him there, but when Merlin checked on him, he yanked him back inside the cabin and sealed the porthole. 

I made sure the renegade queen was still under lock and spell before returning to my watch. 

The Fairy Diary Day 641 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

In his turn to drop down on the ship with his dragon, Dunfallon came over to tell me that the voice from his ring was alerting him to danger ahead. And so it proved when we arrived at the edge where the channel flows down to our world. 

It was so much more daunting looking down from this height to where we have to go than when we were coming up. Merlin gave us permission to move the harness attachment from the bow back to the stern so that Gibley and Conjil could control somewhat our rate of descent through the deluge. 

We heard the roar of the cataracts well before we reached the downspout. Noralei dropped down to report in her turn that the way was clear ahead – so we summoned Gibley down with Conjil and after harnessing her to the ship we ventured into the water course. All was fine at the start, but things soon had us shaken – for the ship began to swing side to side. With Merlin’s help we threw a rope to Dunfallon and together the pixie and the goblin on their dragons stabilized the ship. 

It was quite a ride to the bottom. Nora was the only one to thoroughly enjoy it. 

Thankfully after a brief turn at the pumps we were again on our way. 

The Fairy Diary Day 634 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It has been a day of action – unrelenting in our efforts to beat our way to the shores of the island. Even with the help of Gibley and Conjil towing, it was slow going. In the meantime Dunfallon drilled his army constantly. 

When at last we neared the shore, we were greeted by Nora who informed us that Noralei had landed to scout around. 

Merlin ordered Captain Goff to anchor the ship, and the rest of us helped Dunfallon land his troops. The wizard held the dragon and Gibley in reserve against the expected arrival of the other two dragons. 

Before we left the beach, Noralei returned with a captive – the Caretaker. She had surprised and subdued him not long after going ashore. She easily avoided the patrols of Frost Fairies ringing his chamber at the base of the tower in the mountain. (In many ways it reminded her of the repository back in the Faerie Kingdom). Noralei wrung from the Caretaker the intelligence that his queen was not there but with the dragons and the army of Frost Fairies in the field. Then handed him over to Nora who transported him over to the ship where the captain shackled him. 

The next task before us then, was to secure the bell. So, Dunfallon set his troops in motion and Rumble, Noralei, and l marched behind in the rear guard ready for anything. 

We came up against the first outpost but its blue defenders had disappeared. And as we swung our column towards the tower we caught sight of our adversaries in full flight. 

Our pixie had not yet pressed onward with his soldierless weapons and we three fairies took to the air and harassed the Frost Fairies from above. Then the resolve of our enemy broke and they sued for quarter and laid down their arms. 

(Later, we learned that many of them had witnessed the slaughter of their fellows back at the village of the Sprites – and did not want to experience a similar defeat). 

In exploring the tower we found the young dragon Clemjil under lock and key. Noralei with Dunfallon’s help was instrumental on reaching through his distrust and once under the attention of Conjil, he settled down. 

With the tower and the Crack of Doom in our hands, we set about preparations to meet the return of the former queen and the dragons.