Merlin left before we even arose this morning. He left word through Gilgorgon that we should follow as soon as we were prepared. Knowing we wanted to be on our way as soon as possible, the dwarf king kept the parting ceremony brief but meaningful. As always he looks forward to our paths crossing again.
Dunfallon and Noralei switched places once more. The pixie took Cluyjil up hopefully to be on hand for the wizard, if necessary. And Clemjil for the first time, accompanied them. Noralei harnessed Rayjil once again to the wagon. And as in the past Rumble and I walked along on either side with Dunfallon’s “army,” keeping pace. They looked fit and shiny… and deadly.
The dwarves with us on the way up the mountain have been assigned also to accompany us down this side. With one difference – Herblas has remained behind, there being too much for him to do to get away – and in his place of leadership are two dwarves, Rugis and Strukul. Rumble recogized them as the two dwarves he thought had an unhealthy interest in the Crack of Doom. I must say that I have never seen a more shifty-eyed pair.
Our prisoners were ensconced in their normal spots. Her former majesty was uncharacteristically quiet in her cage. Instead, the Caretaker, who has hardly uttered two words together, complained about every bump on the road that we encountered. I do believe that on one stretch before a switchback, Noralei intentionally hit every rock and pothole on the roadway.
As the shadow of the mountain behind us began to lengthen, the other two dragons showed up. Dunfallon was on Clemjil and Merlin on Cluyjil. They brought exciting news with them. The way ahead is now clear of living obstacles. Merlin had encountered the Frost Fairies waiting in ambush on this side, and successfully convinced them to return to their home in the north under their new commander Tublain.