The Fairy Diary Day 690 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Today will live long in my memory.

I set aside my armor and my pendants for the first time in an age. Clothed in a robe of gossamer and shod with golden sandals I was escorted before a throne at the entrance of the repository by my closest friends – Rumble, Dunfallon, and Noralei. Tinadell smiled down at me. Flanking him were Merlin and the prime minister on one side, and Gibley with the five dragons on the other. Everyone in my dream of yesterday was in attendance. So many faces, and all smiling for me.

The Fairy King addressed me, “Meribabell of Nonin-gal-dith you have found favor with me and our fairy folk. You are worthy to take up the mantle of the High Fairy.”

At this the prime minster stepped forward and spread the mantle over my robe.

Tinadell then continued, “And if you promise to faithfully serve me and the fairy folk…”

At this I replied, “ Yes, I promise.”

“ Then receive the sign for your office.” He turned to Merlin and handed him the chain of office – whose gems glistened like a rainbow in the sun.

The wizard stood before me, knelt, and placed the honor around my neck. Its weight settled there and then lightened by its own power, spreading its warmth over my whole being.

The cheers of all reflected off of the trees of the repository behind the throne, and seemed to center upon the spot where I stood. Gabhe at that instant added his bleats of praise and seemed to bound everywhere.

Navril and Herblas then ushered my friends and me from before the dias to the great common area of the repository.

I admit that my tears kept me blurry-eyed thereafter.

And the idea consumed my thoughts that tomorrow upon my return to Nonin-gal-dith, my work truly begins.

The Fairy Diary Day 689 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

After our arrival yesterday, Merlin and I met with Tinadell. The Fairy King promised to have all the questions resolved about my candidature tomorrow. There was something in his demeanor, however, that hinted that another outcome was possible, maybe even certain. 

It is probably why I rested so uneasily overnight. 

I floated through a constant stream of dreams, filled up with snippets of my adventures these past many moons. And one after another my friends appeared before me – Rumbletwist, Dunfallon, Noralei, Gibley, Navril, Caywyn, Herblas, Emminie, Captain Goff, Geog, Gilgorgon, Fliget & Gnoston – and a few faces whose names escape me, weaved in and out of them. Even Nora splashed by here and there. And Tinadell presided over the whole.

Only two were lacking – the High Fairy and Merlin. The absence of the High Fairy I dismissed as to be expected. But I continually asked my friends as they passed by, “Where is Merlin?”

But then at the end, the wizard did make his appearance. Everyone else faded away. Merlin commanded my whole attention – and intoned a sobering announcement. There would be yet one more trial for me to undergo. Then he was gone with no further explanation.

My mind was abuzz as I went down to the morning meal. Merlin was waiting for me at the door to the galley hall. Before I could say a word, he told me that I must submit to one test. He motioned for me to follow.

Up in the audience chamber of the Fairy King, a scale had been set up beside the throne. Seeing the question reflected in my visage, Merlin explained that according to my accuser, the prime minister, if it can be shown when weighed, that I weigh less than Tinadell, then he would agree to remove his complaint.

(I remember thinking at that instant, I was glad that I had not eaten or drunk anything).

Tinadell took his place first on one side of the scale, which hardly dipped as he sat. He motioned me over to the other plate. Time itself seemed to stop as I crossed to the scale.

The prime minister commanded that I not flutter my wings while on the scale.

At this, Merlin picked me up and placed me on the plate.

My side dipped at first, but then it rose to a level above that of Tinadell’s. A sigh of relief echoed around the chamber – largely mine.

Tinadell applauded and announced that I would be anointed tomorrow at the repository.

The Fairy Diary Day 687 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I kept a promise to Dunfallon this morning by rolling a game of ninepins with some of his dwarf friends, with the pixie’s mountain goat Gabhe looking on. I was able to express the pixie’s sadness at not being there with them as he had hoped. They all understood the reason for his absence. And asked me to convey an invitation to him to return soon. 

I discovered that I quite enjoyed the game, and did very well. (They did make me swear beforehand not to practice any “fairy business.” Dunfallon in the beginning had gotten away with a few things before they exacted a similar promise from him).

I had just won a game when Herblas came down to retrieve me. As he was ushering me up to Gilgorgon’s audience chamber he informed me that we had a visitor.  

Upon entry I was overjoyed to see the elf Navril there with Merlin and Gilgorgon. As he had promised he brought news about the renegade elves. He had been on his way to the Faerie Kingdom and just happened to stop by to pay his respects to the dwarves, and was delighted to hear that we were present. 

Navril and other elves were never able to elicit any explanations from their renegades until just a few days before. In sharing this news with the wizard and comparing dates they ascertained that the transformation in them came about the instant Merlin had placed her former majesty’s voice in the box. 

The difference in their behavior was as stark as that of night from day. They were no longer obstinately devoted to her cause, but were left wondering how they became committed to her in the first place. 

After hearing this, I was more than ready to return to the fairy capital. And Merlin announced that so we shall on the morrow. 

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 683 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The incident yesterday with the black bird has us all on edge. That and sightings of the black plants here in pixie territory today bring up bad memories. Dunfallon jumps down from the wagon and eradicates each such plant he sees.

I took out my scroll and wrote out a message that I hoped would reach Merlin. We all fear that like the struggle Tinadell had with his evil self before Noralei and the others defeated that manifestation, someone else is now the pawn of that evil. Perhaps the renegade queen herself.

And though the sun has risen here, the night has not departed from Gilgorgon’s mountain which can just be made out in the west as we entered the area of the rolling hills.

Time wore on with no answer, and just when I was about to use the talisman that the wizard had given me to summon him, a message came back from him. Tinadell indeed had relayed the message to Merlin, and the Fairy King was deeply concerned that what had happened to him before, was happening again – to someone else. 

Merlin was more hopeful – even had half expected something like this. He said it was all the more important that we get to Gilgorgon’s mountain as soon as possible. And he promised to meet us there.

As encouragement, the wizard added that the strength of the adversary would be severely limited by the fact that he – Merlin – had the renegade queen’s voice with him, locked in a box. Hence, why she could not speak to us.

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 680 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

My companions Dunfallon and Gibley did their best to lift my spirits along the way to the capital. Their banter was constant and full of good humor. And for long stretches the pixie had his harp out to regale us with pixie traveling tunes. Even Gibley entered the fun with a couple of rounds of rhythmic croaking. (There was one in particular that caused Cluyjil to pick up his pace to a gallop. I had to rein him back).

I was thankful, for they did much to prevent my mind from dwelling on my predicament. Though at one point when it did cast its shadow over me, I was beginning to wonder if I might just withdraw my name and be done with it.

Merlin again was awaiting our arrival at the inn, where we will pass the night before departing for Gilgorgon’s mountain. The prisoners will be delivered to us tomorrow morning, and we will leave immediately. The wizard tells me that the tide is turning, and he thinks will eventually redound to my candidacy. And he truly believes that my successful completion of this latest mission will put a seal to it.

Before Merlin returned to the palace, he forcefully told me that I am the High Fairy that the Faerie Kingdom needs and deserves.

The Fairy Diary Day 679 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin has transferred me to the repository. I am under Tinadell’s orders to bring back the wagon and whomever and whatever I need to effect the transfer of the two prisoners to Gilgorgon’s mountain. 

The wizard then returned to the capital to be my advocate there. He explained beforehand the present circumstances to my friends here – Dunfallon, Noralei, and Gibley.  And spent some time privately encouraging me. He had long suspected that I had been human – but it is even more clear now to him that I am fully a fairy. 

I was thankful for his vote of confidence but perhaps more so for my current assigned task to keep my thoughts occupied and off that predicament. 

According to Gibley’s estimation the dragonlings are ready to assume their roles as guardians of the repository. So he asked me if he can accompany me in the wagon back to the capital and there retrieve Conjil and return to the canyonlands. I agreed but consequently had to decide to assign Noralei and Rayjil to remain in charge here for now. 

I wanted Dunfallon to join me in my assignment. So he harnessed Cluyjil to the wagon and selected a good portion of his soldier-less weapons to accompany us. 

The goblin and the pixie and I set out for the capital.