The Fairy Diary Day 489 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Come time to set out for the stronghold city I was almost too full to move. This feasting of late slows me down considerably. Looking around at my companions I saw a similar effect at work in them – all except in the case of Merlin. He seemed ready to march nonstop all the way to our destination. 

Even more traffic was traveling the Low-way of the dwarves. Most of it headed towards the capital. Many times our party had to yield to the traffic headed in that direction – huge caravans carting building materials and there were other transports headed in that direction which we knew were ferrying metals from the mines, judging by the amount of soldiers guarding them. 

During one of the instances we were waiting Dunfallon excitedly brought to us a new arrival – our friend Gnoston. He wanted to know if I would send a message to the High Fairy – but before I could answer him, Fliget saw him and took him away from us. 

I asked Dunfallon if he knew why Gnoston wanted to contact his excellency. The pixie shook his head. 

We had the distinct feeling afterwards that our friend was being kept from us. 

The Fairy Diary Day 488 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We were not the only ones traveling the passageway down to the Low-way of the dwarves. Many merchants were passing us in both directions. In the main they were dwarves, but there was a smattering of goblins and elves among them. All were curious and stared unremittingly at Merlin. The wizard took it in stride – and even exchanged pleasantries with a few of them. 

Gibley was not a little amazed at the attention he was getting from these strangers for his being among our number. It made me want to shield him all the more, but Dunfallon beat me to it and fell in step beside him. 

When we reached the bottom where the great doors stood open (as was Merlin’s hope when they were replaced) we found another surprise. Fliget was there – set up in a camp just on the other side, in the Low-way of the dwarves. He had heard that we were coming and had come out to meet us. 

His capital is still being rebuilt and wanted to take us down to the stronghold city to talk through things there. 

Thus we entered into another occasion of dwarfish hospitality. 

The Fairy Diary Day 446 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I was glad to leave the craziness behind. And so was Rumble. (As for Merlin we have seen no change in his composure throughout- we admire his strength). That being said, I will be very keen to hear about the final decisions regarding the future of the two dwarf kingdoms. I am sure the High Fairy will have great success and that all will be satisfied. 

Merlin has settled upon returning the way we came. We were no longer required to be accompanied by guides, so we acted our own. Rumble is sure that all the traps have been removed from the Low-way of the dwarves. Probably by Gnoston. 

Passing through Gnoston’s village, we paid a call on our friend. He was just about finished putting things back in order. He and his fellow villagers have been tasked with restoring the gates to the passage up to Gilgorgon’s mountain. And asked to accompany us. 

The Fairy Diary Day 440 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gilgorgon has won his point with the help of Gnoston’s testimony. Although the details going forward are not yet settled. Many of Gilgorgon’s best miners, having refused to come out earlier, remain behind in the sunken capital and have been hard at work trying to dig their way down into Artoxon’s apartments. 

I recalled vaguely the location of the maintenance access that Dunfallon, Gibley and I used to descend to that level and gave them that information. 

Other than that I do not see anything else left for Rumble and me to do. 

Merlin and the High Fairy are staying to see things through, but I thought that Rumble and I should return to Merlin’s castle to check on our dragon handlers. So, we went to Merlin to get his permission. 

But before I could gain an audience with him an alarm was raised from fairy troop sentinels stationed back on the Low-way of the dwarves. 

Another dwarf army headed up by Fliget had arrived. Has he come as our friend or our foe?

The Fairy Diary Day 434 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Our advance was brought to a halt not much further up the Low-way of the dwarves. Rumble heard moaning off on one of the side passages. We would have passed by otherwise. 

The sound of pain came from a mound of rags shivering in the dark of that passageway. It was our friend Gnoston. I had to fight back tears at the sight of him. 

Merlin knelt by him, taking a vial from his voluminous robes and giving him a drink of elixir. The transformation in the dwarf was instantaneous. 

He thanked the wizard for the draft and recounted his tale of how he came here. 

Word that Gilgorgon’s army was on the march alarmed his village and soon most fled. Gnoston stayed but was forced out by the arrival of Artoxon’s troops. He made his way up to the capital only to be refused entrance. They told him he was too late. And with the sound of battle behind he fled up the Low-way of the dwarves to where we found him.  

What he shared next caused us to return back to where we last saw Artoxon’s capital. 

The Fairy Diary Day 432 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Rumble was gone when I opened my eyes – which was not really a concern at first as he just could have been restless and wandered off to check through the village once more for our missing friend, the dwarf Gnoston. But then I noticed that Merlin was also nowhere in sight. 

The feeling of being all alone crashed in on me. Which lasted until I wondered if I were dreaming. And after slapping myself with sufficient force to disprove that notion, I crept out of the house in hopes of clearing my head.

 Outside, the silence was deafening. But with the added sense that eyes were watching me – just out of view at every turn of my head. 

Then in an instant of clarity, I remembered thinking how like the Will’o’the Wisp this was – to torture and mislead his foes. 

I shook myself and re-entered the house. There were my friends waiting for me. They asked simply if I were ready to depart. 

We did. And along the Low-way of the dwarves I recounted to them the incidents that make me believe that I am being haunted by Willie. 

The Fairy Diary Day 430 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We reached the gates to the Low-way of the dwarves. They had been locked and barred only a moon ago when we passed by on the way from Gnoston’s village towards the stronghold city. Now they were broken asunder. 

Had Gilgorgon and his forces done this?

It would seem the logical conclusion- but ever since the vision of yesterday my thoughts touch continually upon the grinning face of Willie. 

Merlin himself is perplexed as there are no signs of battle – force opposing force on either side of the gates. He is inclined to believe that some other power has done this. And that Gilgorgon and his dwarves passed through without opposition. 

However the question remains- did they turn towards the stronghold city? Or towards Artoxon’s capital?

Rumble asked the wizard to describe the scenes of battle he witnessed via the seer’s stone. Merlin did something better – circumscribing a circle in the air with his staff, we were soon observing the past scene ourselves. 

Our hearts sunk when we realized that the battle between dwarves was playing out in Gnoston’s village. 

The Fairy Diary Day 427 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

All the way down to the great hall of the dwarves, Gabhe recounted everything that has happened to her since last she saw us. And she had to tell it in order – so that at the moment we entered the great hall she was only up to the time that the conflict broke out between the two dwarf kingdoms. 

We were not prepared for an empty hall, the sight of which only filled us with more anxiety – and questions. 

Where was Gilgorgon? And where were his dwarves?

Gabhe answered simply. Gilgorgon had mustered his troops and led them off down the subterranean passageways to the gates to the Low-way of the dwarves. She had not seen him or anyone since. But before departing the dwarf king had charged her to look after things while they were gone.

This being the case Merlin asked her permission to assemble in Gilgorgon’s council chamber in order to discuss our next actions. To this she readily agreed after he included her in our number. 

After a long discussion we agreed we must follow after Gilgorgon and descend to the Low-way of the dwarves. 

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.

The Fairy Diary Day 400 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gnoston was relieved to learn that there will be no more creeping dragons to worry his village. And to see this hatchling being removed from the kingdom was most welcome. He was curious however what our plans were for the beast. 

To this we confessed that we had no say-so over any decisions. And Gibley continues to protest that he has no designs to use his influence other than for the good of the creature. 

I am just thankful that neither dragon egg has fallen into the hands of our unknown enemy. And I entertain the possibility that the goblin will give over his control of this dragon to our friend Merlin. 

Upon reaching the point where the passage to Gilgorgon’s mountain joins the Low-way, we were surprised to see the great doors shut and barred from this side. The sight did not augur well for peace between the two kingdoms of dwarves. 

Such thoughts bore heavily on our minds while Gnoston procured a place of rest for us in the nearby camp of guards. 

We shall soon see our friend Fliget.