The Fairy Diary Day 405 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

A message from the High Fairy brought us news about Merlin that was both good and bad. The other dragon egg has indeed hatched, but its hatchling has proven sickly and requires all the nursing skills he can muster.  Consequently the wizard will be tied up for the immediate future. 

We were so hoping that he would be free to come and relieve us. And perhaps carry Gibley and the hatchling back to his castle. 

I actually broached that topic to the goblin today, thinking he might welcome the wizard’s help. 

His answer surprised us all. 

In a manner it was a confession. He was not a member of the goblins from the Shaft. Rather – his was a special race of goblins whom he believes lives somewhere in the vastness of these canyonlands. Long ago he had been kidnapped by the dark elves and taken to their kingdom for the specific purpose of wrangling a dragon hatchling. His tribe of goblins were famous dragon handlers. 

The only thing is – Gibley was not. The dark elves soon discovered their error and imprisoned him with the goblins of the Shaft. Although accepted into their tribe back when we released them, he wants to make his way back to his people with this hatchling and reclaim his heritage. 

This revelation explained a lot. 

And it left us wondering if those dwarves outside Fliget’s city were sent by someone other than Artoxon.

The Fairy Diary Day 383 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

As we were nearing the territory held by the goblins our dwarf guides bid us goodbye and headed back down the Low-way. I marvel when I think about how quickly we return by a route that originally took us a long time to traverse. 

However our advance was slowed once again when we reached that section of the Low-way which is joined and crossed by a series of passageways. Dunfallon insisted upon searching each one. 

As we waited for him outside the third one he came running back in great excitement. 

He had found what he is sure is a dragon’s lair as there were droppings and signs of conflagration throughout. 

Rather than follow that passageway out to the surface we decided to continue on to the goblin controlled junction and ask them about dragon sightings. 

We hoped that the goblins ahead had already received their orders from their king back in the shaft regarding allowing us access. Otherwise our situation was going to face another barrier.

The Fairy Diary Day 299 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The goblin king and the leaders of the Dromadil pixies are content with the groundwork that Dunfallon laid in talks with them. The goblins will stay where they are. The pixies were never intent on moving back to their ancestral home, but will maintain a small presence on the level with their great burrow. They are more interested in the area on the surface around the shaft (Rumble helped in that regard and took some steps to bring back the plant life).

I was relieved for that released us to continue as planned. 

As Noralei had ventured the furthest into the main passage, we gladly gave over the lead to her. And Dunfallon was happy to be by her side, holding Willie in his cage to help light the way. 

(Hawk was turned over to the pixies – he’ll be safer with them rather than with the goblins).

The Fairy Diary Day 297 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We fairies filled the silence with a frantic survey of the shaft above. But all seemed secure. 

I checked on Hawk – his face was a mask of misery. A good indication to me that he was not expecting rescue. Willie tethered nearby in his lantern prison had grown dim and an occasional sob ruffled his whiskers. 

Then from below came the shrieks of the dark elves. And I knew the pixie traps were sprung. 

By the time we had descended the fight was over. The goblins had ripped through the dark elves, devouring any that dared show their faces. 

Thus the first wave died. 

Whether there were more we do not know. Neither Merlin nor the High Fairy had been able to supply us with any numbers. 

The reigning silence was eerie.

The Fairy Diary Day 296 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The decision was made to keep the main passage free. Dunfallon and his associates filled up the minor ones with their pixie traps after identifying each one and sealing off their entrances. 

They finished none too soon. For Noralei who was out in the deepest reaches of the main one, came running back with the news that she had heard the tramp of approaching feet. 

We had plenty of time to marshal our forces – pixie and goblin (and us few fairies). We emptied the armory. 

The goblins and their king took the first rank – a particularly formidable foe. 

The pixies assembled behind them. But they would not stay there come battle. Dunfallon planned to lead in and around the larger combatants in what he called “an ankle biting strategy.”

We fairies hovered overhead to better direct our forces where needed. 

Then, came the tramp of feet echoing out of the main passage and into the shaft. 

At its crescendo it fell silent. 

And we all had the horrible thought that somehow we had failed in finding all the passages into the shaft. 

The Fairy Diary Day 295 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Noralei noticed the strange behavior of the Will’o’the Wisp within his lantern prison. He was more agitated and glowed brighter when anywhere near Hawk. 

We learned to use it for effect. For Hawk was also affected by the nearness of Willie. It made him all the more compliant when interrogating him about which passage the returning dark elf forces would use. 

After Hawk identified the main passage, Dunfallon and the Dromadilians went in to explore and to set pixie traps. 

They discovered that further back the wide passage indicated by Hawk had offshoots to narrower passages that also ended in the shaft. 

Thus, a new debate began – seal off the one or the many?

The Fairy Diary Day 290 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I felt we have yet to plumb the depths of our situation. Something else lay behind the predicament of these tortured goblins. We needed to continue our exploration here below. 

We kept to yesterday’s decision and stayed together. We crossed around the shaft from the barracks offshoot to the treasury one. Immediately upon entry my pendant lit up and floated up to eye level. 

Thus I was able to see what none of my companions could. There lining the walls into the treasury were goblins hanging from shackles. The glow from the treasures beyond drew us onward past the pleading voices. 

My pendant also allowed me to see the pattern of the way the jewels and coins and precious metals were laid out. 

Before I could stop him Dunfallon was down on all fours scooping up some loose coins. Rumble and I scooped him up and carefully replaced the money. 

The treasury had been arranged as a nest for a dragon’s egg and the goblins left in place to feed it upon hatching. 

We retraced our steps and I composed a message to the High Fairy on the scroll. And summoned Merlin.

The Fairy Diary Day 288 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I filled a good section of the scroll in my message to the High Fairy. 

His reply back to me was equally lengthy and started with the good news that he and the fairy troops had been successful in turning back the dark elves from their assault on Corbelin. (He does confirm that they are dark elves). 

As for my news he is skeptical about my conclusions from a dream that a plant however big could be responsible for all this chaos and wants us to look deeper. 

I took this advice to heart and called a meeting to re-examine the map. 

According to Rumble’s understanding there remain only two more branches off the shaft that are lower than the one containing the forges and the fire plants. One bears the label “barracks,” the other “treasury.” 

Dunfallon disagreed and insists there are at least five more offshoots off of the shaft, not two. 

At that point I prompted Noralei to join with the pixie and explore the unmarked passages. 

Rumble and I will visit the two identified ones.

The Fairy Diary Day 287 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

During our last rest period I had a dream. (I know not if was night time – down here cut off from the light it is difficult to discern). It began with one of those fire plants spitting its flames at me. As I ran away – even taking flight in the tunnels – it came after me. 

I ducked to one side upon reaching the shaft. My adversary flew on past and halted in mid air – remained still for the longest time – then its roots expanded – lengthening and growing to fill the shaft – sending tendrils into all the branches. 

When at the last I was pinned by the engorging plant, I was shaken awake. 

My friends had surrounded me in my agitated state and sought to comfort me in my confusion. 

For the longest time I was unable to speak. My head was crowded with the single thought – I had found the enemy we had been pursuing.

The Fairy Diary Day 285 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The Dromadil map had us off on branches from the shaft. They turn back on themselves on a slow turn to a lower level before broadening out to a rather large thoroughfare. Empty shops lined the way. 

They had me curious but nothing caused me to stop and look closer. Dunfallon of course lagged behind occasionally but never dropped from view. 

Noralei seemed the more anxious one. She was way out front and frequently motioned for us to keep up with her. 

She is eager to check out the red glow we spotted on the first day we arrived at the crater. 

Once back at the shaft we took the descending path that follows the shaft perimeter. 

At the entrance to another offshoot lower down we heard a rhythmic beating coming from within. Noralei, in the lead, took one look and hurried us back to the shaft upon the realization that iron ore was everywhere within.

We retreated back up a level to regroup. Noralei is sure that many forges were hard at work on that branch. But what was particularly disturbing was the fact that no hands nor any visible agency wielded the hammers and tongs that sang away on the anvils.