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 688 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin and I had a few things to sort out before we departed. The wizard invited Navril to accompany us. Having completed his mission of contacting us, he planned to return to Laguayil – but Merlin reasoned with the elf that since he would not be expected back so soon anyway, why not continue on to the fairy capital for my investiture. 

This being agreeable to our friend, we next tackled how to transport the wagon and the small unit from Dunfallon’s army back to the repository. 

Merlin said there would be little problem since he could now employ a rainbow bridge – but what was absolutely necessary was a beast of burden to pull the wagon. His comment was overheard by Gabhe who immediately volunteered, stating that he was certain he could do it. 

I was incredulous that such a small mountain goat would be strong enough, but the wizard smiled and said that he was certain too. Then he winked at me and whispered, “I can make it so.”

And when Herblas asked to accompany us also, I was confident to invite him along. 

Thus, when we had it all together we bid Gilgorgon goodbye. We gave Gabhe his head and he soon mounted the rainbow bridge and before we knew it we touched down at the fairy capital. 

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 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 660 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin left before we even arose this morning. He left word through Gilgorgon that we should follow as soon as we were prepared. Knowing we wanted to be on our way as soon as possible, the dwarf king kept the parting ceremony brief but meaningful. As always he looks forward to our paths crossing again.

Dunfallon and Noralei switched places once more. The pixie took Cluyjil up hopefully to be on hand for the wizard, if necessary. And Clemjil for the first time, accompanied them. Noralei harnessed Rayjil once again to the wagon. And as in the past Rumble and I walked along on either side with Dunfallon’s “army,” keeping pace. They looked fit and shiny… and deadly.

The dwarves with us on the way up the mountain have been assigned also to accompany us down this side. With one difference – Herblas has remained behind, there being too much for him to do to get away – and in his place of leadership are two dwarves, Rugis and Strukul. Rumble recogized them as the two dwarves he thought had an unhealthy interest in the Crack of Doom. I must say that I have never seen a more shifty-eyed pair.

Our prisoners were ensconced in their normal spots. Her former majesty was uncharacteristically quiet in her cage. Instead, the Caretaker, who has hardly uttered two words together, complained about every bump on the road that we encountered. I do believe that on one stretch before a switchback, Noralei intentionally hit every rock and pothole on the roadway.

As the shadow of the mountain behind us began to lengthen, the other two dragons showed up. Dunfallon was on Clemjil and Merlin on Cluyjil. They brought exciting news with them. The way ahead is now clear of living obstacles. Merlin had encountered the Frost Fairies waiting in ambush on this side, and successfully convinced them to return to their home in the north under their new commander Tublain.

The Fairy Diary Day 659 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin was not convinced that the dwarves would have any designs on acquiring the Crack of Doom for themselves. But rather than continuing to speculate he suggested that we just go ask Gilgorgon ourselves.

Inside the mountain was abuzz with the activities of a new day. We caught Gilgorgon just after his morning meeting with Herblas in which he had laid out the tasks for the day.

To Merlin’s pointed question, our friend the dwarf king smiled and said that he for one could understand our concern. However, he expressed surprise that knowing a dwarf’s propensity for metals, we should have at least understood the matter from their side. He brushed it off as just curiosity on the part of these unnamed dwarves as to the metals used in the bell and its forging.

Gilgorgon went on to add that our pixie seemed to understand this about dwarves, for he had petitioned him last night for permission to visit their forges to help put new edges on his soldier less “army.”

This mention thunderstruck the wizard. For he immediately excused himself by saying that it was imperative for him to be present throughout that whole process.

I also excused myself from Gilgorgon’s presence – and as it was clear we would not be departing today, I joined with Noralei and Rumble down in the assembly area. There, we busied ourselves with the upkeep for the wagon and the care for the dragons.

As we finished for the day, we felt satisfied that we had headed off some possible future problems. The harness was quite worn, and we were able to mend and strengthen it. Noralei took a close look at Clemjil, who, though present, was not behaving like his normal self – for he had not been everywhere and into everything. And she said to us that he might just be ready to have an igniter installed in his jaw. 

I confess that I shuddered for a moment, but with my second thought I knew that the time would not be far off.

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 609 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Before we parted Willie gifted  Dunfallon with a striking ring. It glows with the same color as the Wisp. My pixie friend was quite taken with it, and kept looking at it as we flew along. 

When Gilgorgon’s mountain came in view, I had the urge to visit our dwarf friends – a notion that my pendants confirmed with the sensation of spreading warmth. So, I asked Gibley to take us over there. Dunfallon was all for the move, but Gibley wondered if we should at this time. When I told him that it may just prove to be crucial to our current quest, he urged Conjil on to that destination. 

We had some trouble at the main entrance with some guards who were unfamiliar with us, but once Herblas was sent for, he had us in and settled in short order. 

Gilgorgon received us gladly and called for a sumptuous meal. While it was prepared he invited us into his private chamber and listened intently to my account of our recent doings. When I revealed the problem faced by the Dromadil pixies, Gilgorgon became very animated and sent for his chief miner whom he introduced as Dibla. 

From Dibla we learned that Dromadil had been built over an abandoned work excavated by the dwarves long ago – back during the time of the building of the Low-way of the Dwarves. The more he talked the more connections I made between these underground areas and the activities of the Frost Fairies and their manipulation of water in that sphere. 

I asked Dibla if he were free to accompany us to Dromadil. He hesitated and put us off with the plea for time to consider – which we were more than willing to do.