The Fairy Diary Day 683 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The incident yesterday with the black bird has us all on edge. That and sightings of the black plants here in pixie territory today bring up bad memories. Dunfallon jumps down from the wagon and eradicates each such plant he sees.

I took out my scroll and wrote out a message that I hoped would reach Merlin. We all fear that like the struggle Tinadell had with his evil self before Noralei and the others defeated that manifestation, someone else is now the pawn of that evil. Perhaps the renegade queen herself.

And though the sun has risen here, the night has not departed from Gilgorgon’s mountain which can just be made out in the west as we entered the area of the rolling hills.

Time wore on with no answer, and just when I was about to use the talisman that the wizard had given me to summon him, a message came back from him. Tinadell indeed had relayed the message to Merlin, and the Fairy King was deeply concerned that what had happened to him before, was happening again – to someone else. 

Merlin was more hopeful – even had half expected something like this. He said it was all the more important that we get to Gilgorgon’s mountain as soon as possible. And he promised to meet us there.

As encouragement, the wizard added that the strength of the adversary would be severely limited by the fact that he – Merlin – had the renegade queen’s voice with him, locked in a box. Hence, why she could not speak to us.

The Fairy Diary Day 682 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We passed into the pixie territory under lowering skies before midday. A storm appeared to be brewing ahead in the direction of our destination. We could not see Gilgorgon’s mountain as of yet, but the gathering blackness seemed to be settling over its general location.

My companions did not like the look of it. Nor did I.

About that same time the voice from Dunfallon’s ring was intoning an alarm urging us to be on the alert. And the pendants on my chest throbbed in unison.

I passed the word to our escort to be vigilant. And Dunfallon ordered his soldier less weapons to close ranks around the cages. Rumble reined in Cluyjil to a steady walk.

I felt a rush of air behind me and turned about in time to see a black bird swoop down from the sky and attempt to close its talons on one of the cages. It missed. I notched an arrow to my bow and let it fly after the retreating bird. It caught one of its wings and the bird spun to the ground, bursting into flame upon impact.

We halted and sent the escort back to retrieve the remains. They returned, bearing only the arrow, and reported that dust was all that remained of the bird.

Rumble interrogated the Caretaker afterwards, but he could give no answer to his questions, and protested that neither he nor the renegade queen had ever seen the like before.

The thing of it is, we had.

The Fairy Diary Day 677 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Tinadell passed sentence upon the renegade queen and the Caretaker yesterday. They will be imprisoned forever and not executed. Where they are to be imprisoned has not yet been decided. (Hence, he was mum about asking for my answer).

Merlin had advised the king against placing them in the dungeons of the capital – too many sympathizers among the populace. Nor had he recommended the repository. There were simply too many things that a powerful fairy such as her former majesty could bend to her will. 

Instead the wizard had contacted Gilgorgon to ask if the dwarves would be willing to imprison them for us. Rumble was dispatched on Conjil to inquire after their answer. 

Before Rumble left, I asked him if he had heard any possible challenges to my becoming High Fairy. My friend gave me a blank stare and asked if I were crazy. I quipped back that craziness would indeed disqualify me – but in the next breath I assured him I was not mad. It was somewhat comforting that Rumble had not heard anything – for of all my friends he is the most likely to have noticed anything awry. 

After the evening meal I asked for a private audience with the king, and received one. There before him, I declared my intention to accept his offer. He was most appreciative and told me that it did much to relieve his mind about the future of the kingdom. 

I was relieved too, but then later I wondered if I should have mentioned Merlin’s premonition. 

The Fairy Diary Day 650 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Dunfallon had his harp out for the first time in a long while.  The elves had been entertaining us with some ballads and the pixie joined in as accompaniment before continuing on with some pixie tunes of his own. 

I did notice that Clemjil was quite smitten with the sound coming from his strings. I should have picked up on the trouble that lay ahead, for the signs were plainly there. 

As I had planned – once we entered the farm country I kept the dragonling close by and did not allow him to wander about by himself. 

He discovered his favorite spot to be up on the box with the bell, on the side near the front and the cages of our prisoners. Then, all of a sudden for no reason Clemjil made a lunge for the cage with the renegade queen in it. He had the chain attached to its top caught up in his jaws and was about to take off with it when Merlin rose to his feet and stopped the young dragon in mid-stride and broke the spell that our former queen was weaving to capture the will of Clemjil. 

The wizard then had some harsh words with her former majesty and heaped more restrictions upon her. Finally he apologized to us for overlooking that one vulnerability that he should have foreseen. 

I spoke up and took some of that blame for myself. 

The Fairy Diary Day 647 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I traded off with Dunfallon taking Cluyjil up to look out for ambushes ahead on the road. I remember thinking on my first stint what a motley collection we must seem – the dragon Rayjil pulling the wagon under Noralei’s direction – Merlin seated up front with her – little Clemjil, walking along with them – the floating presence of Dunfallon’s army flanking both sides of the wagon, (most heavily grouped around the box containing the bell) – Navril’s forces split in two, (he was in the lead with one half and the other brought up the rear).

Anyone considering challenging us would have to be mad.

In my estimation we had the road to ourselves through the mountains. Though I could see some movement ahead coming across the plains, and headed towards us. Most likely merchants on their way to Corbelin.

During those times when Dunfallon’s turn on Cluyjil came around, I sat atop the box containing the Crack of Doom. It gave me a better view than when riding forward with Noralei and the wizard. Though I did trade places with Merlin on those occasions when he wanted to consult his seers stone.

It was on one of those occasions that I heard humming coming from the inside of the renegade queen’s cage. Noralei had created cloth covers for the cages, to keep them away from the prying eyes of passersby.  I lifted one edge of the cover and the queen stopped her humming, stared at me and stuck out her tongue. I dropped the cover back in place.

The look on my face drew a chuckle from Noralei and she told me that I needed to ignore her – and to guard myself from any incantations.

The Fairy Diary Day 645 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Captain Goff joined us for the morning meal in the inn. The only one not with us was Dunfallon, who could not bring himself to leave the ship unprotected by his absence. 

And probably for good reason. The captain had some disquieting news. Rumors were rampant around Corbelin stemming it is believed from factions sympathetic to our prisoners. He fears that an attempt will be made to seize them from us. He advised us to depart as soon as possible.

We sent Rumble off to see if he could buy back one of the wagons he had sold here. Noralei went off to see to the needs of our dragons. And I took a meal down to Dunfallon and recounted the news and our decisions to him.

When Merlin came aboard, he immediately went below to visit the prisoners. After he emerged he went to Noralei who was then feeding Clemjil, and asked her to fashion cages for the renegade queen and the Caretaker, like those she had made for the Will’o’the Wisp.

By the afternoon, Rumble returned and he had with him the very wagon we had used before to transport Dunfallon’s “army.” It should handle the bell and the prisoners with no problem. And the pixie intends to keep his soldier-less weapons out of their boxes, ready and moving under their own power.

I pointed out a couple suspicious characters to Rumble and Dunfallon, whom I had seen repeatedly pass back and forth by the ship. They gave a wide berth around Cluyjil who was snoring in the late afternoon in his place on the quay. He startled awake once, and I was amused to see the suspect pair scatter.

Before we prepared for the evening meal, Noralei returned, bearing one newly fashioned cage. She gave it to the wizard for his approval. He did and she will make the other tomorrow.

I could not bring myself to stay in the inn overnight but decided to stay aboard the ship with Dunfallon.

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 639 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We are satisfied with our meeting with the new leader of the Frost Fairies. His name is Tublain, and all he wants is to take his people home to the North. They want nothing to do with the renegade queen nor her Caretaker. They look upon that pair as the corrupters of their king – enticing him to leave the frigid lands behind for lives of ease in the South. 

Our meeting was short, but we asked him to stay the night and await the sun and the arrival of our ship so that we could release the blue fairies we held here as prisoners. 

Merlin promised Tublain that he would do all he could to see them safely back to their homes. 

After Captain Goff arrived the Caretaker was brought ashore and put in a separate cell from the queen. And Tublain and the other blue fairies went aboard for the trip back to the ice floe. 

Gibley now recovered from his indigestion took Conjil up to escort our ship and to keep an eye on things. 

As for what to do next our meeting with Merlin was quick and unanimous as to our decision. We will take the queen and the Caretaker back to the Faerie Kingdom to be tried for treason and the murder of the High Fairy. 

We passed the rest of the day uninstalling the Crack of Doom from the tower and packing it up for transport. 

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.