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 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 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 681 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gibley left for the canyonlands on Conjil this morning. Rumble joined Dunfallon and I to bid him goodbye. The goblin had offered to accompany us on our trip, but I thanked him and released him from any obligation that he was feeling and assured him that the three of us should have no problem reaching the dwarves safely. 

Together we three had Cluyjil harnessed and prepared to go just before Merlin and Tinadell arrived. An escort of fairy troops delivered the cages with our two prisoners and tied them down into the wagon. 

The Fairy King echoed the wizard’s assurances of yesterday to me. He thinks all challenges will be laid to rest by the time of our return from Gilgorgon’s mountain. 

Merlin instructed us on how to care for and communicate with our prisoners. We are to talk with the Caretaker and not the former queen. Additional spells are weighing her down and restricting her activity and abilities. He is confident she will present no problems. 

After Dunfallon reviewed his soldier less weapons and arranged their marching order about the wagon, we set out, following behind our fairy troop escort.

We bypassed Nonin-gal-dith and took the southbound road in order to retrace the path we traveled last time. Dunfallon still believes it wise to keep the distance between the renegades and the Will’o’the Wisp. 

The Fairy Diary Day 678 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The wait is over. On more than one account. 

As soon as Rumble returned from Gilgorgon’s mountain with their acceptance of Tinadell’s request, the Fairy King announced my appointment as the new High Fairy. 

Talk shifted to where the investiture would take place. Forgotten for the moment were the arrangements to transfer the prisoners to Gilgorgon’s keeping. 

Most sentiment in the kingdom calls for the investiture to take place in the chambers of state within the palace here at the capital. If I have anything to say about it, I would prefer a more private ceremony at the repository so that all of my friends could be in attendance. 

But immediately all such notions became moot. For Tinadell’s prime minister challenged my qualifications for the post on the grounds that I was not born a fairy at all, but was a human – kidnapped as a baby and transformed into a fairy. 

Thus, that spiteful slur of the queen was back to haunt me. (Perhaps passed on to the prime minister by her sometime in their interactions).

Merlin leapt to my defense at once, but not in an expected manner. For he put forth the argument that my origin had no bearing whatsoever on my fitness for the position. 

I was taken aback – and left wondering what the wizard knew that I did not. 

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 676 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Before rising this morning I finished pondering my answer to the Fairy King. I will tell him when I appear before him later today that I will accept the position of the next High Fairy. 

I informed my friends of my decision over our morning cup of nectar. All joking aside my friends were happy for me and supportive. Dunfallon told me he would still entertain orders from me anytime. 

Next I met with Merlin and opened to him my choice and my thoughts behind it. He said right off that he was gladdened at my decision and looks forward to serving again with me. But he wanted me to be prepared for a strong opposition to my candidacy for High Fairy. He could not go into details – for he does not yet know them himself. He had been out in the fields around Nonin-gal-dith – well within the daisy ring defenses, and what he had sensed while there (not a vision exactly), gave him a grave concern for me.

He will take me with him to the capital and promised to support me whatever comes. 

We saw the others off. Dunfallon and Noralei flew off on Cluyjil to help Gibley back at the repository. They made me promise to send for them when the time comes for my investiture as the High Fairy. Rumble left on Conjil for the capital in advance of us and promised not to leak any news about my decision. 

While I wait on the wizard, his words weigh heavily on my mind. I fear I am beginning to second guess myself.

The Fairy Diary Day 674 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gibley invited us out of the repository to the place just outside of the gates. There he planned the fitting of igniter stones in the young dragons. The goblin had examined the pair quite minutely the night before and pronounced them both ready – their teeth are all in, and the prequisite space is available for their installation.

Merlin had the red stone for Clemjil, and for Torjil, he brought forth an exquisite purple one. A minute’s observation confirmed that each gem chose their dragon.

Gibley’s work on Clemjil was a quick and easy matter. Afterwards he assigned him to Rayjil and together the two dragons cleared some brush from around the front area. Noralei and I kept ourselves available with skins of water, just in case the burning vegetation got near the trees of the repository.

Torjil was another matter. She had watched with interest as the goblin installed the red stone into Clemjil’s jaw, but when it came her turn, she chose that moment to disappear. Both Rayjil and Clemjil scurried about trying to pin her down, but she was too quick for them.

It was the timely arrival of Dunfallon on Cluyjil that rescued us from our predicament. The frisky dragon ran into Cluyjil when (we assume) she was fleeing from the others. She reappeared as he held her fast in the coils of his tail. Dunfallon scampered to her side and whispered into her ear.

In the following lull, Gibley performed the procedure on her. We may have to keep the young dragons out in the open air tonight.

When things were settled Dunfallon told us that they had had no problem finding the remains of the High Fairy. Rumble has returned them to Nonin-gal-dith where his excellency will be memorialized tomorrow.

I shall accompany the pixie there tomorrow. The others have yet to decide if they will be going too.

The Fairy Diary Day 672 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The sentencing of the confessed killers will fall to Tinadell. But it will not be right away. His majesty has decided that the remains of the High Fairy must be recovered and laid to rest first. 

I originally volunteered for that task, but Tinadell overruled me. He wants me to remain in the kingdom until I make my decision. Instead Rumble was sent on Conjil with Dunfallon on Cluyjil to the place revealed by the Caretaker in his testimony. 

The rest of us, including Merlin, prepared the wagon for transporting the bell and the young dragons to the repository. Dunfallon’s army too will be returning there. Besides our fairy escort, they will make up the garrison. The Crack of Doom will be reinstalled and Gibley and Merlin will see to the igniter stones for the two dragonlings. 

As an added charge Merlin and I will evaluate the repository as a potential prison for the convicted pair. 

Preparations were completed before the midday meal. So, we set out immediately after. Merlin and I sat up on the wagon with Noralei and Gibley as she started Rayjil into motion on the road away from the capital.