The Fairy Diary Day 401 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We have made good time along the Low-way to the stronghold. We should reach it on our next march. Our pace has been a good deal quicker since we have not had to skulk about as before when we were forced off onto the side passages. 

There is now more traffic in both directions. Of particular note are those obvious shipments from the dwarf mines. The hatchling perks up when they pass by. I think she can smell the gold inside the wooden boxes. At this point it is easy to restrain her curiosity. Dunfallon has become quite handy misdirecting her. 

I believe Gibley is somewhat jealous of our pixie’s way of gaining her obedience.

A Pixie Tale [for day 397] #TFDbyRWOz2

Dunfallon writes:

I find I am not at all reluctant this time to take up a pen and scratch out the details that our esteemed leader so humbly passed over in his account of our latest adventure. 

I’m not sure whether it was the bravery or the desperation of Gibley that catapulted Meribabell and me down into that treasure vault. (He still won’t talk about it). All I do know was that we could not let the little fellow face the danger alone.

I admit I did not stop to think of consequences as I jumped feet first into that yawning crevice and slid down that slope of shining gold. I kept on my feet as long as I could and thankfully Meribabell caught me up and flew me over before the worst of it – the horrible sights and smells of bits of dwarf still smoking where they came to rest in the low points. 

How Gibley was able to dash around them without being tripped up is a mystery. We should have overtaken him easily. 

And when I realized that we must climb out of the trough, no doubt created by the dragon, my despair grew. 

My fairy friend set me down to regain his strength. And from this lower position I almost gave up hope as it seemed impossibly steep. But the sight of the scrambling goblin ahead of us spurred me on. 

We came upon more dwarf corpses mingled with spent fire plants and thus knew how they met their fate. How was the goblin not affected?

Tiny rivulets of molten gold trickling down the sides of the heaped metals prepared us for the sight of the lake of gold as we gained the crest.

What a sight!

At that very moment we witnessed the dragon itself break out in flame from within. It was curled around the egg whose shell was already cracking and breaking loose. 

And right there was our goblin brushing aside the crumbling shell pieces to grasp the dragon hatchling and pull him out. 

With more of the metals melting and flowing into the lake, we knew we had to get out of the vault as soon as possible. 

I insisted that Meribabell scoop up the goblin and his hatchling and fly them out of the vault. Even then it was gripping to watch the fairy struggle to bare them aloft over that great gap to safety. 

I pressed downwards as fast as I could and thereby Meribabell did not have as far to fly when he retrieved me. 

And thus ends this my account – giving credit for the help lent me by my friend and walking dictionary Rumbletwist.

The Fairy Diary Day 396 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Through the warden and the few dwarves who had been able to descend into the vault where the dragon was nesting (and returned to tell the tale), the dragon was no longer ranging about, but is brooding upon an enormous pile of gold that has been seeded with a multitude of fire plants. 

We judged it no longer wise to attempt the recovery of the egg. Especially if the time was near for its hatching. 

It was ironic. Here these dwarves were waiting upon us for the solution to their problems, and I felt most keenly the need for direction myself. What I would not give to have Merlin and the High Fairy here beside me. 

But there has been no reply to my message to the High Fairy asking his advice. 

That was all rendered moot the next moment with word from the dwarves that Gibley the goblin had wiggled his way past their guards into the vault. 

In that instant Dunfallon and I knew we had to follow. 

A Pixie Tale Day 356 #TFDbyRWOz2

Dunfallon writes:

Meribabell made me write down my story in his journal. I much better prefer telling it to writing it – especially as I can not include the music I played on my harp to accompany the tale. (Besides I find it annoying that Rumble stands over me correcting my pictagrams). 

But here goes. 

It all began back at the time Artoxon’s dwarves were reclaiming their city. 

It seems rewards were flowing to everyone. And I admit I was a bit sad that nothing was coming my way. Not that I was expecting anything. I am sure no one was. But once the dwarves started handing out rewards I could not help but think – where is mine? I did not say so outloud – but Fliget could tell something was off just by looking at me. 

It was after I helped him by handing out all those sacks of gold to the Dromadil pixies, he came up to me and with a flourish presented this marvelous harp to me. I was embarrassed for the attention – and perhaps for what I did next. I asked to speak to Fliget alone and then and there I asked boldly if I might have a sack of gold too – (after explaining the debt I owed to some humans for the loss of some livestock). 

He surprised me and gave me two. 

Then and there I knew I needed to make good on my debt as soon as possible. And I felt one bag would cover it. 

So when I left from the stronghold on my eagle to fly to Merlin’s castle, I took my instructions to heart and extended my search for Willie all the way up to Nimrood’s kingdom – then just a bit farther to Cawthrup’s homestead and there paid the debt for my part in the loss of his lambs. 

And I did not see Willie anywhere thereabouts – so I think we can rule out the human kingdom. 

But while with Cawthrup, one of his goats came over to greet me. It was MY mountain goat!!

Cawthrup bought him off of an itinerant herdsman some time ago. 

I immediately gave him my other bag of gold – firstly, to reimburse him and secondly, to hire one of his sons to transport my goat to Gilgorgon’s mountain. I am not willing to trust the fairies of the pasture near Nonin-gal-dith again. 

Satisfied with their promises that they would fulfill my wishes, I was about to depart, but Cawthrup tried to dissuade me on account of dragon sightings in the area at that time of day. 

I should have listened. 

No sooner had we taken off than a dragon came snaking after us in the sky. My eagle dropped like a stone and I held on for dear life. Before I knew it the dragon was making another attempt on us. But I had sufficiently gained enough control to put my eagle into a corkscrew spin. And in the dragon’s haste to follow us it tied its neck into a knot and broke off its pursuit to disentangle itself. 

I know this all sounds fantastic but it is all absolutely true. 

And just wait until I tell about my recent encounter with Willie.

The Fairy Diary Day 350 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It was a day for saying goodbyes. Nililitil and Navril mustered the elves of light and after a touching ceremony in which Fliget gifted each with a cuirass of the finest dwarfish workmanship, they departed for Laguayil. 

Nililitil promised to send out orders for all in his kingdom to watch for any sign of our Will’o’the Wisp. 

The Dromadil pixies listened to a fine speech by Dunfallon in which he presented each with a sack of gold as their thanks from the dwarves. When they were dismissed they took up the rear guard to the Laguayilian troops. 

Next, Fliget saluted our pixie with a surprising gift – a harp of gold that he can carry in his pocket – it grows when played and shrinks back to pocket size afterwards. (The regent thought its music would be the perfect accompaniment to Dunfallon’s stories).

My turn for farewells came shortly after Merlin’s return. There in the city square before all its denizens, Fliget placed a new pendant around my neck. It sported a tiny crystal, so it fit quite nicely and did not clash with my other two pendants. He tells me it has the power to protect me against the ill effects that ordinarily I would suffer in the presence of iron ore. 

As proof he revealed that its chain was of that material. I felt marvelous. 

Without further adieus Merlin and I were off for his castle. Dunfallon by mutual consent is traveling on his eagle, the better to check for signs of Willie. 

And hopefully we will soon know whether or not Rumble and Noralei will be joining us.

The Fairy Diary Day 343 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I detected a hint of embarrassment in our friend before he began the account of his latest adventure. That became clearer with the first words out of his mouth. In his  hasty pursuit on the Low-way of those bearing the dragon egg, he ran afoul of one of our traps. It had to have been one of our fairy traps. For he fell into a deep state of forgetfulness. 

And he wandered aimlessly until he fell into the company of a couple of dwarves – our old friends Fliget and Gnoston. That is how Merlin fell into the hands of the ever suspicious Artoxon. 

Something about his surroundings brought him back to his senses. (I believe that the fact of all that gold in one spot would make a perfect nest for a dragon egg did the trick). 

Once he remembered who he was, he thanked them, bid them goodbye, then disappeared from their sight. (He was none too keen to trust those dwarves based on their past history). 

He was more than happy not to explain more when Noralei laid before him the mystery of the chalice and the red ash. 

As the wizard conferred with her and Rumble, I went atop the tower from which it had been removed, and looked around.

The Fairy Diary Day 316 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

By mutual agreement we kept our discussions brief. For our part we wanted to be off as soon as possible back on the Low-way. And the dwarves too wanted us gone – having us down in the source of their riches made them very nervous. (Really, its opulence was overwhelming. Gold and precious stones adorned everything. And knowing the propensity of fairies to such attractions…).

Artoxon, hesitant at first about allying with elves, was won over when we explained that these elves were the opposites of the dark elves and in fact were called elves of the light. But when Rumble mentioned that our other allies to the rear were goblins, we could see the hackles rise on the back of his neck. 

To say he was hot under the collar was an understatement. It took the combined efforts of Dunfallon and myself to cool him down and the idea from Noralei to have the goblins make a treaty to limit themselves to the land that no one will name. 

I included a statement in my next message to the High Fairy to see to all these details. 

With peace once again restored, Artoxon assigned us two guides – Fliget and Gnoston. 

In their care we set out for the Low-way of the dwarves – and for the ancient passage that connects it to the mountain of Gilgorgon’s dwarfish kingdom.

Day Seven Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The speck on the horizon has taken on a more recognizable form. Buildings spread out in a line, conforming, I surmise, to the presence of a river or some other feature out of our sight.

The Captain bubbles over with excitement at the prospect of fresh fruit. For he believes he sees groves of trees grouped around the approaches to the city.

Tomas stayed awake late last night smelting the gold from the satellite components. This morning he showed us the results of his labors – four small, shiny rectangles of the precious substance. One for each of us if we wanted to divide them up.

We will make a short day of it. We prefer to enter tomorrow in daylight.

Day Seven Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain went out hopeful but returned disappointed. Tomas had found a downed satellite, from which the Captain wanted to recovery some batteries, but it was too smashed up. Overall, it was little more than the ‘smudge’ it appeared to be from the distance.

Still, Tomas brought back some broken components and he was rewarded this morning when he finally cracked open the casings revealing many parts fashioned from gold.

We allowed him the time to extract the precious metals, but denied his request to return to the site for more.

We pressed on towards another mountain range bordering the northern edge of this desert.

And crossed a wide swath that must have been the track of the massive army.

Rebel Treasure forty seventh post

IMG_2298

SUPPORT STRUCTURE – SOMEWHERE UNDER THE FORT
Ben and Riley wend their way through a vast network of wooden beams, all braced together, arranged around a central cylinder and attached at regular intervals to huge barrels. Ahead, Ben keeps in view, glimpses of a section of wall studded with iron ladder rungs.

BEN
Not long, now.

RILEY
Where are we?
(he stubs a toe on one of the barrels)
And what is this monstrosity?

BEN
A slightly larger version of what Lon used to float that ironclad over the shallows.
(smiles)
Our ticket to riches if we can figure out how it works.

They arrive at the ladder, but the lights on the ceiling continue on down another passage.

RILEY
What now, boss?

BEN
I’ll take the ladder, if it’s a dead-end I’ll come looking for you. And vice-versa.

THE FORT AREA
Morgan prods Abigail along, while Horatio leads the way through the gates and into the compound.

HORATIO
Welcome to New El Dorado, Mrs. Gates.

ABIGAIL
Where the skies are not gloomy all day.

HORATIO
I’m serious, we owe you a debt of gratitude.

ABIGAIL
Call me a skeptic, but somehow I don’t think you’re going to repay my “good deed” in kind.

HORATIO
Sarcasm is hardly becoming, Mrs. Gates.

Mrs. Slidell comes up from behind them, and reaches up to kiss Horatio on his forehead, much to Abigail’s horror.

MRS. SLIDELL
Do I get things done, or do I get things done?

Horatio draws her into a bear-hug and lifting her off her feet, swings her in a circle.

HORATIO
Yes, Momma, and all our dreams are becoming reality.

Morgan looks on, wishing he were a part of the celebration.

MORGAN
The South shall rise again!

HORATIO
Once we’ve set up our empire, nothing will stop us.

ABIGAIL
Spare me your nutjob rantings. I don’t see you in the vault yet. Or are you setting up this empire on credit?

Mrs. Slidell spins around and slaps her, then turns back to her less favored son.

MRS. SLIDELL
And what are you doing about this?

MORGAN
My men are on the way.

A CLOSET OFF OF THE GUARD HOUSE OF THE FORT
Ben emerges out of a trapdoor in the floor of the closet. He looks through the loophole toward the parked artillery. Some of Horatio’s men are packing explosives down through the avenue of cannons.

He walks to the door, and freezes when he sees Abigail in Morgan’s clutches.

THE FORT AREA
As Horatio directs the positioning of the explosive charges, Morgan guards Abigail. Ben saunters up.

BEN
(to Morgan)
I’ll thank you to take your hands off of my wife.

ABIGAIL
(excited)
Ben!
(then sputtering)
You idiot!

BEN
(to Horatio)
No, darling, the prize idiots are our friends here. They’ve just set charges on top of the largest deposit of gunpowder in the Western Hemisphere. And I don’t want you in the same state when it goes off.

MORGAN
You’re bluffing!

BEN
And I suppose you thought those cannons out there were just for show?

A confused Morgan looks to his brother. Horatio beckons to one of the soldiers.

It is Rance, all spit and polish in his combat fatigues.

HORATIO
What do you think, Rance, could this place be mined?

RANCE
Probably.
(looks at Ben)
But I’m willing to bet that he knows another way in. We just got to make him talk.

MORGAN
My thought exactly. We’ve got the leverage.

Morgan tightens his grip on Abigail.

HORATIO
We needn’t do anything rash…yet. Perhaps we can strike a deal.

BEN
Right! How about first of all you return that NSA museum gold…

HORATIO
Ah? You figured that one out?

BEN
And while you’re at it you can cough up that stolen shipment that I was blamed for.

HORATIO
Ever the smart one.

RANCE
Sure. And why not the French treasure trove?
(Ben’s turn to be surprised)
I see you didn’t know about that one.

MRS. SLIDELL
As you see we have a corner on the market, and you cornered. How about you keep your lives and join us?

Hesitation and a moment of decision.

BEN
Sure. Why not?

ABIGAIL
Ben! How could you?

Ben turns to Mrs. Slidell.

BEN
The way I see it, you owe me. Seeing how your carcasses could just as easily have been decorating the walls right now. And I do admit to being a little curious.

MRS. SLIDELL
Then you’ll help us?

BEN
Let me just get the lay of the land.

Though Mrs. Slidell beams with pleasure, Morgan and Rance look none too happy.

[next pt 48]