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 644 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

One incident marred our entry into the harbor of Corbelin. A couple of the returning fishing boats came alongside and questioned Captain Goff about our passengers. Evidently the renegade queen somehow had been trying to solicit the aid of these elvish fishermen in securing her release. At that point Merlin intervened and explained to them the crime for which she will be tried back in the Faerie Kingdom. 

The fishing crafts backed off but I had an uneasiness that they were not totally convinced. 

Such was my concern that I thought it best for Dunfallon to set up his “army” on deck once we were moored – to protect the ship, the prisoners and the Crack of Doom. In addition the pixie had Cluyjil take up a position on the quay beside the ship. 

It was also time to bid goodbye to Nora. He had more places to go and places to see. After quartering Rayjil, Noralei went for a ride around the harbor with him as her way of saying farewell. 

We are going to wait for the morning, before procuring a wagon to transport the bell, our prisoners and us. 

The Fairy Diary Day 642 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We sailed our way out of the narrow straits and into the open sea.  No one minded at all leaving that string of islands behind. 

Rumble and I kept up our duties about the ship. Merlin joined one or the other of us as the need arose, and even took a watch himself. But he never climbed the rigging. He had his own way of making the sails bend to his will. 

Our dragon riders continued to take turns dropping in. When it came Gibley’s turn he asked us if we could do without his presence. He thought that he and Conjil would forgo accompanying us all the way to Corbelin since it seemed their being here was rather superfluous. As for Clemjil, the goblin decided not to take the young dragon with him. After all he had been released by his uncle to be a protector of the bell in the repository. Merlin concurred and we assembled to bid our friend a fond farewell. 

Gibley flew by Dunfallon and Noralei to say goodbye before he and Conjil left for the east and the canyonlands. 

The sun was just going down as I came up for my watch when Nora hailed me from over the ship’s side. He barely could get the words out as he excitedly reported that one of the prisoners was trying to escape. 

I leaned over the rail and saw that the Caretaker has hanging halfway out – caught in the porthole three sizes too small for him. For five wingbeats I considered leaving him there, but when Merlin checked on him, he yanked him back inside the cabin and sealed the porthole. 

I made sure the renegade queen was still under lock and spell before returning to my watch. 

The Fairy Diary Day 641 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

In his turn to drop down on the ship with his dragon, Dunfallon came over to tell me that the voice from his ring was alerting him to danger ahead. And so it proved when we arrived at the edge where the channel flows down to our world. 

It was so much more daunting looking down from this height to where we have to go than when we were coming up. Merlin gave us permission to move the harness attachment from the bow back to the stern so that Gibley and Conjil could control somewhat our rate of descent through the deluge. 

We heard the roar of the cataracts well before we reached the downspout. Noralei dropped down to report in her turn that the way was clear ahead – so we summoned Gibley down with Conjil and after harnessing her to the ship we ventured into the water course. All was fine at the start, but things soon had us shaken – for the ship began to swing side to side. With Merlin’s help we threw a rope to Dunfallon and together the pixie and the goblin on their dragons stabilized the ship. 

It was quite a ride to the bottom. Nora was the only one to thoroughly enjoy it. 

Thankfully after a brief turn at the pumps we were again on our way. 

The Fairy Diary Day 638 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I escorted the renegade queen up into the tower. Once there Merlin offered to look at her wings, and while she submitted I took over monitoring the seers stone for the wizard.

I could see that Captain Goff was maintaining his lead over the approaching line of ice crystals. I winced with the thought that if it were to catch up, the ship would be crushed under the pressure of the burgeoning ice. Then, I saw that Nora was lending a hand. He was circling the ship constantly, churning up the water and preventing it from going solid, and seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.

Then, that thick line of blue fairies halted its forward movement and came to rest on the ice floes. 

With the morning they were still motionless. They looked exhausted. And one lone Frost Fairy stepped out of the pack and with ceremony sheathed his sword.

I told Merlin that we needed to go out there to meet with them. He gave me permission and added that we should take the dragons. I had turned to leave, but he called me back. 

“I think you should go under your own guise,” and he removed all of our blue disguises.

We left Clemjil with Gibley (still recovering) as he guarded our prisoners. Dunfallon selected Cluyjil, who then led Noralei on Rayjil, and myself on Conjil out to the waiting blue masses. (It was good to be back in our own skins).

We passed over our ship, then outdistancing the static line of frozen water. Nora broke off and began to follow behind us.

One by one we landed on the ice floe in front of that lone figure. He asked us directly, “Where is our king?”

With those thousands of eyes on us, we were silent for about sixty wingbeats. Then, I answered him, “Your king is no more.”

They answered us with silence also, but then cheers erupted from the front and carried all the way back into the distance, culminating in a unified shout of exultation.

I proposed that this fairy, their new choice for leader accompany us back to the tower for a conference. And I had him mount up on Conjil behind me. The warmth from my pendants has me expecting a fortunate outcome to this new development.

The Fairy Diary Day 637 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Merlin indulged our frivolity while he kept watch above. I kept in contact with him throughout, for it would not do to be caught off guard. During one such instance the wizard drew my attention to our ship. It was on the move towards us. And apparently Nora was in the advance, plowing ahead at an incredible pace.

I returned below and collected Noralei and together we climbed down to the shore after alerting the others to stand by.

From afar we heard the hearty halloa from our friend the water horse. He came bearing a body upon his back. I took one look and knew that it was the missing queen. Noralei and I flew out to them and relieved Nora of the burden.

Once ashore the former queen stood on her dignity and her haughtiness. It was clear to me why she had not flown when knocked off Rayjil, for her wings sadly hung in tatters.  I was polite but told her in no uncertain terms that she was no longer the Faerie Queen, and that we now have a king. 

She only smiled and turned to look out to sea.

My eyes followed hers. There on the horizon was the thick blue line of the Frost Fairy swarm. And as they advanced the sea below them turned to ice crystal. And they were rapidly gaining on our ship.

The Fairy Diary Day 635 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Another busy day as I acted as go between from Merlin to the others in our preparations. The wizard will remain in the tower to guard the bell and to monitor the enemy and to better see where he can aid us.

Dunfallon was told to split his forces. Some – mainly the halbards – to guard our prisoners.  (Thankfully the Frost Fairy troops were only a skeleton force). The remainder of his army, the swords and spears were posted around the tower. 

Hopefully we retain some measure of surprise. It is doubtful the renegade queen could know we have already arrived and have taken the island. Merlin took the precaution of “coloring” us all blue to promote that perception. I can still hear our pixie grumbling about that particular humiliation. 

Noralei in her concern for Nora tried to convince him to return to our world below, but he would not hear of leaving us in this time of peril. However, he did agree to remain out of sight as much as possible. And per Merlin’s instructions he was set to accompany Captain Goff as he and Rumble held off in the ship at some distance from the island to lend another layer to the deception. 

Gibley has the most important task. He will stay aloft with Conjil and most likely will have the first and most important contact with the other dragons. 

For now we wait. 

The Fairy Diary Day 634 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It has been a day of action – unrelenting in our efforts to beat our way to the shores of the island. Even with the help of Gibley and Conjil towing, it was slow going. In the meantime Dunfallon drilled his army constantly. 

When at last we neared the shore, we were greeted by Nora who informed us that Noralei had landed to scout around. 

Merlin ordered Captain Goff to anchor the ship, and the rest of us helped Dunfallon land his troops. The wizard held the dragon and Gibley in reserve against the expected arrival of the other two dragons. 

Before we left the beach, Noralei returned with a captive – the Caretaker. She had surprised and subdued him not long after going ashore. She easily avoided the patrols of Frost Fairies ringing his chamber at the base of the tower in the mountain. (In many ways it reminded her of the repository back in the Faerie Kingdom). Noralei wrung from the Caretaker the intelligence that his queen was not there but with the dragons and the army of Frost Fairies in the field. Then handed him over to Nora who transported him over to the ship where the captain shackled him. 

The next task before us then, was to secure the bell. So, Dunfallon set his troops in motion and Rumble, Noralei, and l marched behind in the rear guard ready for anything. 

We came up against the first outpost but its blue defenders had disappeared. And as we swung our column towards the tower we caught sight of our adversaries in full flight. 

Our pixie had not yet pressed onward with his soldierless weapons and we three fairies took to the air and harassed the Frost Fairies from above. Then the resolve of our enemy broke and they sued for quarter and laid down their arms. 

(Later, we learned that many of them had witnessed the slaughter of their fellows back at the village of the Sprites – and did not want to experience a similar defeat). 

In exploring the tower we found the young dragon Clemjil under lock and key. Noralei with Dunfallon’s help was instrumental on reaching through his distrust and once under the attention of Conjil, he settled down. 

With the tower and the Crack of Doom in our hands, we set about preparations to meet the return of the former queen and the dragons. 

The Fairy Diary Day 633 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

 I saw some strange scribblings on this page of my diary, in the space upon which I would have written yesterday. Perhaps Merlin was noting down his thoughts for a spell.

All have been working tirelessly. I  have had no time, nor inclination to note down our experiences all day yesterday. Nor even until late today.

I do not know if I can remember everything. 

We were then, and we still are in a fever to reach the island, the only land in view. And we must get there before the dragons return from our world. (We assume they are our missing dragons – Cluyjil and Rayjil).

But who knows what the former queen and her Caretaker have done to them. Will we have to fight them? And how will Conjil react to them if they do? She is currently recovering from her exertions in keeping us afloat. Gibley and Dunfallon traded off times seeing to her care.

Noralei talked Nora into transporting her on ahead to the island. As always he went willingly and I watched as he frolicked over the swells pushing against us. It took all the skills of Captain Goff to keep us moving forward after them.

Merlin is confident we will arrive at the island in time, and he is hard at work concealing our ship from the eyes on the island. He constantly moves from his cabin to his place on the prow, then back again. I try not to intrude nor throw off his concentration.

Thankfully Captain Goff keeps me on the move too. Rumble and I are the only ones fully engaged in sailing the ship, with Gibley or Dunfallon filling in as necessary.

The Fairy Diary Day 631 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Captain Goff was unrelenting in his drive to save his ship. Before we could seriously examine our surroundings all hands were called to save her. 

Most manned the pumps to expel the water weighing her down. Gibley remained atop Conjil and together could do nothing other than pull on the ship to keep it on the surface. In sympathy Nora swam by their side. 

As we kept at the pumps, Merlin seemed curiously unconcerned for our plight. When I went to his cabin to check on him, he turned to me and said, “Carry on. I have total faith in your abilities.” Then he resumed his study of his seers stone. Curiously I noticed that he had my scroll and my diary open on the table beside the object of his study. 

As we gained momentum on the flood, Dunfallon asked to be relieved to check on his “army.” He was fearful some may have been lost overboard. The Captain released him from his station at the pump, and the pixie called a muster roll for his troops. 

After Gibley secured Conjil back aboard, Merlin returned my items to me with the request to check the latest message on the scroll. Emminie had written that the Frost Fairies were in retreat and the two dragons that had appeared in their support had flown away to the west. 

So, the wizard’s guess had proven right. 

And off in the distance was an island like I had seen in the seers stone. With a tower atop a mountain.