Follow the link to Barnabas Press for this month’s poem.
We could see Gilgorgon’s mountain well before we arrived at the border, but it never looked more inviting than when we actually crossed over. There was a trace of snow outlining its crest. It was serene and peaceful in the midday sun.
Just outside the dwarf border outpost, the friendly face of Herblas greeted us. He looked like the mountain in miniature – all gray and white on top.
A meal had been prepared for all. After which Navril made his farewells. He assured us that he would get word to us about the two renegade elves.
Clemjil, having become quite fond of Navril, was sad to see him go. He perked up when Cluyjil came over and nudged him. Dunfallon told me later it was a sign of acceptance by the older dragon.
After the elves were gone Herblas called us together. Dunfallon was going to wait outside on guard over our prisoners, but Herblas said he could safely leave them with his dwarves. He assured us that there is not a sign of sympathy for her former majesty anywhere in their kingdom. However, when he had us all together he added there had been rumors of lone elves roaming this side of the mountain – that were wholly suspicious. But perhaps more disquieting were actual sightings of bands of fairies on the other side of the mountain.
Merlin asked for a description. Herblas said they were blue – thus more than likely Frost Fairies.
Much speculation followed. Were they elements that had not been part of the great swarm and thus do not know they are no longer in thrall to their former leader? Or is there something more devious lurking for us?
Merlin had us alternate between flying in formation and then touching down on the ground for closer examinations. Thankfully Cluyjil got over his distrust of walking in the snow or on ice. In fact, all three dragons were quite taken with the new possibilities for play in these new elements. And probably none more so than when Dunfallon was in charge.
Gibley answered the wizard’s questions about the terrain he has been exploring with the other goblins, and together they have settled on a narrow valley that was hemmed in by walls on both sides. Since the goblins did not notice any signs of game thereabouts they passed it by. The wizard thinks it was most likely his path into the Land of Plenty.
We just have to find it.
However, we are not splitting up to do so. We all think it safest to keep in close proximity.
Shortly after Noralei remarked out loud that she missed Navril’s singing. Dunfallon took that as a challenge and broke out in the elf’s favorite pixie ditty. We all joined in. I even heard Merlin humming along.
Our singing appeared to energize the dragons and we were able to check out a dozen valleys before putting up Gibley’s enclosure for a rest.
Rayjil sensed his presence first and moved to the mouth of the enclosure to greet the arrival of Cluyjil.
Something about the look on his face relayed to everyone that he did not like alighting upon snow. He snorted his displeasure and squeezed into the partition of the enclosure with the other two dragons.
Merlin removed the beacon stone necklace from about his own neck and it took its place about Cluyjil’s.
While we waited for the snow to cease falling, I asked Noralei what were the results of her talk with Glossom. She told me that he is considering the request. And confessed that she had expected his reticence – for the Caretaker’s actual request was for a breeding pair of dragons and not just a single one.
That was news to me. I could never have had the boldness to make such a request.
Gibley brought me out of this line of thought by his declaration that we could now move on. He was going to talk us through folding up the enclosure, but Merlin snapped his finger and it closed up on its own and the goblin soon had it tied down on Conjil.
He then turned the lead over to the wizard who headed us back on the direction from which he had entered this land.
It had been a good day of hunting for the five goblins. The excitement of the chase still shone on their faces when they joined us around the fire. Before Merlin could question them about his summoning of Cluyjil, Glossom announced that they were returning to the canyonlands. And added the explanation that they needed to get back to the two baby dragons – Clemjil and Torjil – the anchors for their main dragon.
The wizard put his question to them anyway and the chieftain of the goblins gave his consent.
At this juncture Noralei took Glossom aside to talk. I knew she was going to request a dragon from them for the Caretaker of the Crack of Doom.
Dunfallon and I accompanied Merlin outside and there in the falling snow he took out his beacon stone. He rubbed it – producing a purple glow that lit up the air around us, and summoned Cluyjil.
Then with a knowing look he instructed me to write to the High Fairy – to get word to Tinadell that he may be called upon soon.
The goblins had everything together, their dragons heavily laden, and bid us and Gibley goodbye. For the young goblin had asked and was granted permission from his uncle to remain behind. Gibley wanted to help us in our exploration for the source of the problem.
Thankfully we still had Gibley’s hunting enclosure – where we settled in and I scratched out my note to his excellency.
The day has been one for surprises. First, I saw my first snow. It reminded me of those times in the fields around Nonin-gal-dith when the daisies lost their petals and blinded us in a swirl of white.
This time the whiteness of the snow obscured our view of Dunfallon and the dwarves. So Rumble and I were left wondering where they had gone.
The next surprise was almost immediate. For Dunfallon emerged from behind a rock and led us into the hall chamber of the dwarves. All with assurance from the pixie that the leader of the dwarves is friendly towards us and in as much as he can tell – supports our mission to track down the intruders into their fair land.
And that is how we came to meet the leader of the dwarves, Gilgorgon, who crowned the day with the biggest surprise of all. He revealed to us that all of the trolls hereabouts have disappeared. And he fears they fell afoul of that which we are pursuing.
Snow remained atop the mountain to our front, lasting well beyond that which has disappeared down here on the desert floor. We should arrive at its base in one more night march.
That occasion will mark the extent of the instructions given to us by Quasimo. Elijah intimates that he has a sense for our next immediate destination, but thus far has not divulged it to me, wanting instead that I confirm it independently.
I am asking, but no answer has been forthcoming. Neither between my first and second watch, nor after the second.
I was tired and nodded off.
Perhaps during tonight’s march. I pray for a revelation.
Before drifting off again my thoughts turned to our absent friends.
The advance units of the army arrived at the point of the avalanche this morning, and passed by oblivious to the danger that had lain in wait for them.
We pressed on ourselves, resigned to the fact that we will be falling behind again, especially as the trail ahead was climbing.
With the gain in elevation this time another problem arose, snow was on the ground – not on the path – but standing off to the side – not melting, for it was very cold. We wrapped ourselves in our blankets and continued on.
I fell in with the Captain and we picked up our studies from the day before. It kept our minds off the cold.
Elijah stayed close and listened.
We left the metropolis today. But only for the day.
Jordan tells us that one minute Elijah was explaining that we would return, then we were gone, vanished.
Upon our reappearance he asked if he would be able to do the same thing some day. We told him we couldn’t say and could only advise him to stay close to Hamashiach.
As for us, we passed the day in a cold country which was covered in a thick layer of snow. There Elijah poured himself into a gathering of followers of Hamashiach. To judge from appearances they have assembled from several countries.
Strange to think that for a time we were free, and now willingly are back in our problems.
The winter of 2017 in the Pacific Northwest.