The Fairy Diary Day 658 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Thankfully it was an uneventful transit up to Gilgorgon’s mountain. Neither we on the ground, nor Noralei up in the air spotted any suspicious looking elves. 

Gilgorgon had a sumptuous welcome for us set up in his great hall. Our host made the rounds to thank each of us profusely for everything we had done for the dwarves – both for bringing peace to the two dwarf kingdoms and their consequent prosperity – but also for the recent rescue from the freeze that had been threatening the world. 

A secure place was set up at one end of the hall from which our prisoners could observe the proceedings (and we could keep an eye on them). I heard not a peep from that quarter. Curious, I wandered over a couple times to check. Each time her former majesty greeted me with her favorite slur. I did not even bother to lift the cover. 

On the second instance, Rumble met me and asked to talk. He took me down to the large assembly area where the wagon with the Crack of Doom and the dragons were kept. My friend was uneasy and was feeling guilty for it. On the journey up the mountain it seemed to him that a couple of the dwarves expressed an odd interest in what was contained in the large box. He did not like the gleam in their eyes after he told them what was inside. 

So, Rumble decided to stay with the wagon and the bell overnight. I was not sure that I agreed with his assessment, but then again I was not present at the encounter. However, I did promise him that I would talk to Merlin about the situation. 

The Fairy Diary Day 657 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Before we got under way today, Merlin cautioned Herblas and his dwarves about the recent attempts by our prisoner to gain influence over her captors. He offered to help blunt any design she could muster against the dwarves. 

Herblas thanked him but he was certain that they were untouchable when it came to her dark arts. 

I really could not tell what the wizard thought about his reply. 

Also, before we departed the border outpost, Noralei and Dunfallon agreed to exchange positions for the trip up the mountain. She unhitched Rayjil and together they went up to scout the area ahead.  And the pixie harnessed Cluyjil to the wagon and sat up forward with Rumble and me. 

Dunfallon’s “army” continued at their posts immediately surrounding the wagon. They seemed not to be bothered by the dwarves as much as they had been by the elves. I do think they are looking a little worse for wear though. 

Not too far along we passed into familiar territory and memories crowded in about our battle with the undead trolls. After we arrived at the fort we defended back then, (our destination for the day), we settled in for the night, Dunfallon brought out his harp and played and sang about that victory. 

I do think that Noralei was quite impressed. 

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 655 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We held out the hope that we could outdistance the force that Dunfallon had observed – perhaps even cross over the border before they reached our road. (Though I wondered whether or not that would stop them from following after).

Matters intensified when Dunfallon returned with word that our pursuers had disappeared. Merlin allowed Navril’s elves to close ranks on the wagon and to send out some scouts. We were tense anyway, I guess the wizard figured it would not hurt for the soldier less weapons to be more alert. 

When my pendants began to glow and transfuse their warmth through me, I knew something was about to happen. Dunfallon’s “army” sensed it too. While half remained close, the other half went on the attack. 

It was then that I could see their targets. In the swirl of movement the cloaks of invisibility worn by our opponents lifted, revealing the elvish feet rushing towards us. 

Navril’s elves stood on the defense, but I could see the attackers made no move toward them. 

Noralei was about to release Rayjil to join the fray, but soon there was no need as the spears and swords of Dunfallon’s army decimated the enemy. 

I thought our peril had past. When looking around I saw two elves break away from the rear guard and charge for the wagon. I wondered if they saw a danger that we did not. 

However, Rumble was between them and the cages on the wagon. Out came his sword and he opposed the first, disarming and forcing him to yield. The second was about to leap up to the wagon when he tripped over our eager Clemjil. (I do believe the dragonling was only trying to help).

Merlin trussed the duo up like packages before I could shout “Hold them.” He turned them over to Navril. 

When Dunfallon returned he was upset at having missed “all the fun.”

The Fairy Diary Day 654 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Sitting beside Noralei on the wagon this morning was quite a change from yesterday. Navril’s elves rigidly kept their distance, so the mood continued to be one of optimism among Dunfallon’s “army.” I had had the opportunity to discuss my fears of a hidden enemy within, and he has taken it upon himself to vett everyone under his command. 

So, I had every reason to bask in the sunshine filling the air around us. When some humming arose again in the cage with her former majesty. Noralei began a tune of her own as a counter to her attempt to lull us into a stupor. 

Disgusted at being foiled, the renegade queen began calling us names. One epitaph, aimed at me, I did not recognize. It seemed particularly vicious. At that point Merlin broke in to command her silence and took me aside to explain to me the gist of her jibes. 

She had called me a halfling, half human and half fairy – and totally abominable. 

Indeed an insult. (I write that even though I do have friends that are human). 

I did not have any time to dwell on the slur, for Dunfallon and Conjil returned at that instant. 

Although his mission had been successful – the dwarves will meet us on their border on this road – the pixie was more excited to report on a sighting while on the way back. A force of elves was cutting through the forest from the road we had left to the one we are currently traveling. 

The Fairy Diary Day 653 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I had my talk with Merlin about my concerns regarding the tenseness in Dunfallon’s “army.” The wizard stopped to consider my statement and after a passage of silence he told me that I was right. And he called for Navril. 

Merlin’s solution was simple. He asked the elvish Captain to move both of his contingents further away from the wagon and to have them maintain that distance for the time being. 

Navril was quick to comply and almost immediately I noticed that that sense of tension drained from the soldier less weapons surrounding the wagon. 

In one sense I was relieved – but a thought nagged at me – was this a confirmation that there were traitors amongst the elves?

The return of Dunfallon on Cluyjil interrupted my meditation. He brought with him another worry. Not for anything he had seen, but the voice from his ring had again spoken. It warned of danger ahead on this road and told him that safety lay only if we took the right hand road at the next fork. 

We called Rumble over and he consulted his map. All he could tell us was that it indeed will bring us around to a different approach to Gilgorgon’s mountain but we would lose a day. 

We laid the matter before Merlin. He told us that his seers stone had already confirmed this to him, but he added that we needed to send Dunfallon on to Gilgorgon to advise him on our change of route. 

So, at the fork, the pixie left us to take our request to the dwarves and Noralei directed Rayjil to follow after Navril’s elves who were already ahead on the chosen road. 

The Fairy Diary Day 652 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We departed early from Laguayil. Something felt very odd to me about it. It was all so rushed and had an aura of being out of control. And my conversation beforehand with Merlin did not help. 

Noralei and I were wondering why the wizard had not whipped up another rainbow bridge to take us all the way to the Fairy Kingdom capital. Dunfallon overheard us and chimed in with his opinion that we must ask him. I intervened when he moved to do so himself with the promise that I would ask him. 

I caught Merlin alone and put the question to him. He was not at all put out by my question (I was somewhat insistent in my opinion that he should do so immediately), but he patiently explained to me why we could not. There are too many points at which her former majesty could seize control of the phenomenon and bend it to her will and purposes. 

When I reddened with embarrassment, Merlin was quick to put me at ease. 

And though this was the main source of my uneasiness, there were others. 

With the addition of more elves under the command of Navril, to my mind, the possibilities increased that one or more could be of the feared faction. 

I paired with Rumble, each walking on one side of the wagon, and assigned him oversight of Clemjil – to free myself to watch closely the goings on. 

It seems to me that Dunfallon’s “army” senses the tenseness in others and is reflecting that in its behavior. 

I need to ask Dunfallon about that when he returns after his flight with Cluyjil. 

Perhaps I should talk to Merlin about it. 

The Fairy Diary Day 651 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Yesterday as we passed by the sight of the canyonlands in the distant south, I found myself wondering about our friends there, in particular Gibley and Conjil. I saw both Noralei and Dunfallon cast thoughtful gazes in that direction too. And I guessed where their thoughts lay. 

We all look forward to the next visit from our diminutive friend. 

But today our thoughts focused on the city before us. We arrived at Laguayil to a lavish welcome. Dunfallon was there already, having proceeded us and made preparations for stabling our dragons, and arranged for a secure place for holding our prisoners. 

Nililitil met with us in his private chambers. Which had me wondering why not his official chambers of state? Merlin voiced the same thought outloud to our host. The king of the Laguayil elves replied that all would be clear in good time. 

Instead he had us (including Navril) squeeze into his own scullery where he seated us at two tables and went about fixing our meal with his own hands. 

So, when all were served and with Navril mounting guard at the door, Nililitil opened his thoughts to us. 

He shared the intelligence that there is a strong movement afoot in his kingdom that seeks the release of our prisoners. 

To say that this news was shocking is an understatement. Merlin pressed him for details, but alas he lacked them. He decided that he would double the guards to see us to the border of Gilgorgon’s kingdom, and has sent word ahead for the dwarf to send a contingent to meet us there. 

And he advised us to set off early tomorrow. 

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 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.