The Fairy Diary Day 408 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Last night we arrived on the banks of the river. It was a wild sight. Immense and roaring. We moved back from it, the better to rest. 

The river looked even wilder in the morning light. We sat down to think through our options for getting over. We knew we fairies would be able to fly across, our only concerns were for Gibley and the hatchling. 

Dunfallon announced that while we talked it over, he was going aloft to look for narrower places to cross. So our pixie was not around when we heard a voice call out from the river. 

Noralei was the first to spot him – it was Nora the waterhorse. He skipped through the rolling torrents, hallooing all the way over to our side. 

It was a joyous reunion. 

Noralei explained our predicament to him, and he volunteered immediately to carry each of us across the raging river. I, for one, did not mind saving my wings the exertion. 

Nora was a little skittish about carrying the hatchling, but Noralei convinced him that when wrapped around its special staff she was as docile as a lamb. 

And after we explained what a lamb was to Nora, he took Gibley over first, so the hatchling could focus on him. 

By the end of their crossing the two – Nora and the hatchling – grew quite fond of one another. 

Dunfallon arrived back just in time to join us in thanking Nora and bidding him goodbye.

The Fairy Diary Day 267 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We have not sighted any of the ambulatory plants. So we decided to take advantage of that and move on. Rumble had the thought that with the collapse of the barrier they may be adversely effected. 

I for one certainly hope that is the case. 

We came to a point along the stream where we decided to depart from it. Which also meant saying goodbye to Nora. (He was very disappointed and that more than anything saddened us too). We promised one another undying affection.  And I felt that we would be encountering one another before long. 

Noralei consulted her compass and was puzzled by the movement of the red ashes. Instead of pointing in just one direction, now there were two. 

It was easy to surmise that the eastern group was due to the black plants, especially the walking ones, in that direction. That left the other as highly likely to be were our enemy is headquartered. 

I wrote the High Fairy to fill him in on our discoveries and to ask for the latest from him. 

We are all pleased with our progress at last.

The Fairy Diary Day 266 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Immediately after Nora ferried Dunfallon and Noralei over, the pixie set to work. He found the second stream larger than the first. By the time the waterhorse returned with Rumble and me, Dunfallon had completed his first foray. 

He was excited. He had destroyed every black plant in the vicinity and believed that the opening in the barrier along the stream has increased enough to allow us fairies to pass through too. 

Soon the four of us were hard at work on the other side. Noralei harvested the red seeds from the plants while the rest of us followed behind and made sure they would not grow and mature into the walking variety. 

I kept a vigil towards the east on the lookout for those we had seen from above near the fishing village. 

Such was our focus in that direction that we did not notice that Nora had joined us. We turned at the sound of his hallooing and splashing about in the stream. 

It was a welcome indication that the barrier was failing. But by the same token I fear it might spur on the arrival of the walking menace.

The Fairy Diary Day 265 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Nora fetched us off the quay this morning. He admitted to us that he did not return right away after dropping Dunfallon and Noralei at the first stream, but went on to the second just to look at it. When leaving there he was distracted by a school of fish that led him on a chase all over the bay. 

Our crossing was uneventful except for sightings of more schools of fish, and even larger aquatic creatures. Nora to his credit remained focused and soon had us on the shore beside Noralei. 

Dunfallon was already gone up the stream. He had found a way in yesterday, and this was his third trip beyond the barrier. 

He had located and destroyed several batches of the black plants. However, there had been no change in the barrier. 

We noticed a darkening of the air inside the barrier, and soon after Dunfallon came running out of the stream entrance. 

The pixie had been eradicating more patches of the black plants when larger black plants came walking up to challenge him. He said they were at least five times bigger than he was. 

I decided that we needed to move on to the second stream and concentrate our efforts there in hopes of avoiding this more virulent foe. 

But we would have to wait for our waterhorse to return. 

The Fairy Diary Day 264 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

This morning Nora took Dunfallon and Noralei with him to check out the two streams across the bay. Rumble and I remained behind to await Nora’s return for us. 

In the meantime we went back to the barrier because Rumble wanted to see if we could fly above it, reasoning that just because it had not worked near the black crystalline tower, did not mean necessarily that it would be the same here. 

Our experiment was disappointing. There came a point at a certain height where we actually could fly forward, but the barrier continued below us.  Then we realized that the barrier had the shape of a dome over this land of the dark elves. 

We saw into the area below and at points there were throngs of the ugly black plants – much larger and more mature than any we have seen before – and to our shock – mobile. And currently on the move toward the west where we knew our companions to be.

The Fairy Diary Day 263 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

A day of breakthroughs. Though it certainly did not start that way. Of the four of us, we three fairies were feeling depressed, even despondent. I admit we were homesick for Nonin-gal-dith. Something about this fishing village made us long for home. 

But Dunfallon rallied us. He opened with a joke and followed that with one of his stories – about a prank he played on a bully. (Though he did not say so, I suspect it is a tale from his own experience).

After that we agreed to join him as he continued to explore the perimeter of the enchanted barrier. 

At the point when we were about to finish the last section, I received a message from the High Fairy. He was excited to learn we had landed and had some advice from the Dromadil pixies about skirting the barrier. It seems a way in was always found near a stream or some similar water course. 

The High Fairy ended with a word of warning – once through, our pixie would need to seek out any nearby black plants – and destroy them to bring down the barrier. 

With this news, it was more important than ever that we hear from Nora. 

We hurried back to the harbor, and there found Nora waiting for us – with news about not one but two streams that empty into the bay. 

The Fairy Diary Day 262 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The impasse continued. While still awaiting the return of Nora, we determined to retrace our steps of yesterday, though this time we will trade off the areas so fresh eyes can be brought to bear. 

Dunfallon suggested that instead of accompanying Noralei, he would comb the perimeter of the barrier, much like the Dromadilians were reported to have done. And perhaps turn up a crevasse he could crawl through. This was agreeable to all. 

I dashed off a note to the High Fairy to inform him of our progress (or lack of it), and ask about how the Dromadil scouts penetrated the barrier up there. 

By day’s end we gathered back at the harbor as agreed. Rumble, Noralei and myself had completed our tasks (nothing new to report). Dunfallon had only covered half of the perimeter with nothing to report- so there remains more to check. 

And of a slight concern Nora has not yet returned from his exploration of the bay.

The Fairy Diary Day 261 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We are still in the deserted fishing village. All attempts to take either of the roads out of the town failed just beyond the last buildings. We encountered a barrier, much like the one described in the reports concerning the area around the black crystalline tower. 

So we concentrated on the village itself looking for clues or any explanations for this enchantment. 

Dunfallon and Noralei checked out the east end, while Rumble and I went down to the harbor quarter. Rumble continued on the road to the north with the intent to work his way back from there. 

I entered several of the buildings – both shops and homes – they were all neat and tidy. It was as if they were expectant of the soon return of their owners.

I turned my attention to the harbor. It was different there – the ones out by the harbor mouth – which we had passed on the way in – only had their masts showing (probably more than anything that sight is what had spooked the captain). But the ones tied up along the quay seemed gray and fuzzy. Upon closer examination I realized they were covered in hornets’ nests. 

But no hornets. 

That is when Nora happened by. He saw me too and came over to talk. I asked him if he had seen anything of interest in the bay. And at the same instant I added “were there any rivers or streams emptying into the bay?”

This tickled the water horse’s curiosity and he set out to explore. 

As we gathered this evening all our observations were similar and we all await eagerly to hear from Nora. 

The Fairy Diary Day 260 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We are now safely ashore on the land whose name no one will utter – in an abandoned fishing village. How that came to pass is a very surprising story. 

As our ship was drawing closer to our destination we could at last make out some features along the shore. Per Rumble’s map a fishing village was situated somewhere nearby. As it came into our view, we all observed a slow change in the captain. His reluctance to proceed grew greater in direct proportion to our proximity to the shore. 

In fact he called a halt and brought the ship about and anchored when the harbor of the village was yet a good distance off. He refused to go further, giving as reason the lack of charts for this coast and the clear evidence of rocks and shoals ahead.

I was about to protest, when Noralei spoke up and told me it was not necessary to take the ship any closer. She had had a dream last night and in obedience to the same she mounted to the top of the mast and blew on a horn borrowed from Dorgone. 

In two wing beats, Nora, the water horse appeared at the stern, frolicking in great excitement to encounter us again. 

And he agreed to ferry each of us ashore.

The Fairy Diary Day 249 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Cleaning up the ship revealed some serious structural problems. Nothing that Noralei could not handle. Dunfallon assisted her, scampering here and there and everywhere to fulfill any need she identified, be it for materials or tools. 

To that end we entrusted Nililitil’s passport to him. 

The most pressing problem, however, was finding a captain and a crew to sail her. Ragonil’s friend, whose ship we turned down earlier, is willing to command the ship. He and Ragonil are combing Dunavonlea for elves that are not afraid to sail to the land that no one will name. 

My scroll contained a new message from the High Fairy. He is anxious for us to be on our way. Their forces, staging out of Dromadil have yet to find a way past the area surrounding the black crystalline tower. 

I held out the hope that we could set sail tomorrow.