Thursday, November 28, 2013

Quests Episode Fifteen: “They’re in the Woods!”

Just a couple news items and reminders before I proceed to today's story:

After this post I will be taking a break to prepare for and celebrate the Christmas season. When I return to blogging I will begin posting part 2 of Quests.

Also, when I resume the story after New Year's I will be switching to a new episode every month rather than every week, though I may have an additional post every few months.

This is the last episode of Quests part 1. I hope you have enjoyed reading it here on the blog.

Now back to the story...

Read the series prologue.

Read episode fourteen.

Episode Fifteen: “They’re in the Woods!”

“Lilac, wake up.”

It was late at night with only the smallest sliver of the moon casting light on the sleeping depths of Fairy Wood but someone was shaking Lilac’s shoulder. She woke and turned to look into a freckled face.

“Reuben!” she cried in a loud whisper. “What are you doing here?”

“I was out flying and I saw something,” Reuben replied. “I wanted to tell you.”

“Come back in the morning,” Lilac growled, rolling over.

“It can’t wait ’till the morning. It’s really important.”

“Well then hurry up and tell me!” snapped Lilac, impatient to get back to sleep.

“An army of goblins and trolls is marching into the woods.”

“What!” cried Lilac pulling herself into a sitting position. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I saw them.”

“Do you remember where they were? Could you show me?”

“I think so,” Reuben replied.

“Then let’s go,” said Lilac jumping to her feet.

“Right now?”

“Yes,” she said turning to face him. “You were right. This can’t wait for morning.”

A little later, Lilac and Reuben perched on a tree branch overlooking a large group of marching goblins and trolls.

“How many do you think there are?” Lilac whispered.

“I can’t tell,” Reuben whispered back.

“This isn’t good,” said Lilac. “They must have found out that we know they were the ones who poisoned the water.”

They watched in silence for a minute before Lilac added, “They’ll have to camp somewhere out of the sun during the day. They have trolls with them.”

“Yeah,” agreed Reuben. “I hadn’t thought about that.”

“I’m sure they did. Come on, let’s see if we can find out where they’re going.”

They flew out of the tree and moved toward the front of the army. Suddenly a goblin cried out, “Look there, it’s a pixie!”

His captain cried, “Quick, catch it!”

Lilac looked at Reuben in alarm, wondering why the goblins hadn’t seen her also. Suddenly she understood.

“Reuben they can see your light!” she cried. “We have to get out of here, fast! Take my hand. I don’t want us getting separated.”

Obedient for once, Reuben grabbed the hand Lilac held out to him. They flew into the thicker parts the woods as fast as they could. Behind them, goblins crashed through the trees and undergrowth trying to find the fairy spies. As they passed a hollow log Lilac tugged on Reuben’s arm, pulling him inside the small space with her. They landed at the bottom of the log, hiding Rueben’s tell-tale light.

Lilac waited until the sounds of shouting and stomping faded into the distance before whispering, “So long as they don’t find us we’ll wait here until morning. They should make camp when the sun comes up, so it will be safe to go out then.”

Reuben nodded. He glanced at the opening in the log as if he expected a goblin to reach in and grab him. With a shudder he pulled his legs to his chest trying to hide the fact that he was trembling. Lilac regarded him for a minute, taking note of all this.

“When the light comes,” she said at last, “we have to fly as fast as we can to find the fairy queen. A Dark army in the woods means only one thing.”

“What?” asked Reuben with a mixture of fear and fascination.

“War,” Lilac replied.

End of Part 1

Continue to episode sixteen.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quests Episode Fourteen: The Giant Bat and Odd Friends

Read the series prologue.

Read episode thirteen.

Episode Fourteen: The Giant Bat and Odd Friends

Fedrick sat tense, clutching a crossbow and waiting in the moonlight outside the entrance to a large cave. A few days earlier goblin scouts had reported that deep within this cave was a creature which looked like a giant bat. This creature was called a strellogroth. The goblin council thought that if they could catch a strellogroth and keep it in the city they might be able to use it as a secret weapon against the fairies and elves. They chose a small group of goblins warriors to carry out their plan.

Fedrick was part of this group. The other warriors were spread out on the mountainside, crouching in bushes and behind rocks, also waiting. Finally, the great bat monster emerged to hunt.

The strellogroth opened its mouth and let out a call too high pitched for Fedrick’s ears to catch. As the sound bounced off the surrounding objects, the monster discovered their presence. The strellogroth wheeled in a tight circle over their heads then began to descend. It opened its mouth, showing large fangs. Fedrick jumped up and taking a deep breath to steady his aim, shot a tranquillizer dart into the strellogroth’s neck. For a moment the creature continued on its course, then the drug took effect. The strellogroth’s wings locked and it dropped harmlessly into some bushes.

Once they were sure the strellogroth was unconscious, the other goblins came out of hiding. A few of them pulled out a cart which had a cage on it. The captain of the group clapped Fedrick on the back as he passed him and commented, “Nice shot.”

The warriors gathered around the body of the strellogroth and each grabbed some part of the huge body. Then the captain cried, “All together, now!” Staggering, grunting and by the end of the task sweating they heaved the monster into the cage. They then took positions around the cart, some pulling it from the front some pushing the wheels, and slowly rolled it toward the underground city.

As he heaved and puffed his way home, Fedrick thought how pleased the goblin council would be with his night’s work. He imagined how terrified the fairies would be when they discovered this secret weapon of the underground army. A malicious grin spread across his face.


Bubble, the boggart, became bored with Fairy Wood. He decided to take a short vacation. He turned into a bird and flew to the plains of Wilderlah. Far below him, he saw a strange man with green skin and orange hair. Bubble hadn’t scared anyone in a long time. He decided to see if he could scare this person.

Glibbin was also bored. The elves were busy and could not play with him. He wandered out of the protective hills of the lake capital and into the fields beyond. The guards were used to Glibbin coming and going by that time, so they made no attempt to stop him. Glibbin was so busy watching a beetle climb a stem of grass that he hardly noticed when a bird landed nearby him. He turned away before he could see the bird change into something else. A minute later Glibbin heard something buzzing in his ear and turned to see a very large bumble bee hovering at his elbow.

He screamed and began running in circles crying, “A bee, a bee! It’s going to sting me!”

Bubble was so pleased that he had actually scared someone that he turned into a little man and laughed. “Got ya!” he shouted. “That was a good one. No one has been that scared of me in a long time.” He laughed again.

“That’s not fair!” cried Glibbin. “I didn’t know you weren’t a real bee. You could have warned me.”

“No way!” said Bubble. “That would spoil the fun.”

“It still isn’t fair!” Glibbin whined.

“Okay, I’ll give you another chance. Now that you know that I can change into things you’ll be prepared.”

“Like a game?” asked Glibbin.

“Sure,” Bubble replied.

“You mean you’ll play with me?”

“If you want me to.”

“Yippee!” shouted Glibbin. “I’ve been wanting someone to play with me for a long time.”

“You wanted someone to play with, I wanted someone to scare,” said Bubble happily, “It’s a good thing we met each other!”

They introduced themselves then proceeded to play. It turned out that knowing Bubble could turn into things didn’t help Glibbin much. Bubble was still able to scare Glibbin most of the time. Despite this, the two quickly became friends. They didn’t know that they were really supposed to be enemies. However, even if they had known, they probably wouldn’t have cared.

Continue to episode fifteen.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Quests Episode Thirteen: New Orders

Read the series prologue.

Read episode 12.

Episode Thirteen: New Orders

Beritta woke early. Her mind was filled with thoughts of the day to come. The day before she and Faralasa had briefed the king and elders on all they knew about the situation in Fairy Wood. The council had spent the rest of the day debating the best course of action and had informed her that they would be summoning her and Faralasa sometime this morning to inform them of the decision which had been reached.

Beritta dressed quietly, grabbed a handful of nuts to munch and went outside, walking aimlessly down the hillside until she came to the southern lake. The sun had just risen. A reverent silence hung over the land as it always does at the times of the sun’s coming and going. An early morning mist hung over the lake, rising in ever thinning wisps to the heavens. Beritta stood still at the water’s edge letting the peace of the morning sweep over her. She continued to stand there even as the world around her began coming to life. Birds trilled happily in the trees, small animals moved through the grass, a few deer walked to the lake to drink.

As the deer moved into the woods, Beritta heard another animal coming up behind her. She turned and saw Mist.

“It’s a beautiful morning,” Mist’s words floated into her mind.

“Yes, it’s wonderful,” Beritta replied sighing with pleasure.

On the hillsides the elves were rising and starting their day. Before long Faralasa and Oakley appeared, trailed by Glibbin.

“I was informed late last night that I will be working as an animal handler for a group of scouts which will be using winged horses to patrol along the edge of Fairy Wood,” Oakley announced as the friends moved into a large meadow behind the southern lake.

“That’s wonderful!” said Beritta.

“Yeah, I’m glad you may finally be joining us on a quest in Fairy Wood,” agreed Lasa.

“Well, that all depends on what the elders tell us this morning,” Beritta warned.

The others nodded.

A noise behind them caught their attention and they turned to look. Mist was absently running her horn through a stream which ran through the center of the meadow. Beyond the unicorn Glibbin had moved into the woods where he was playing, which explained the noise.

“You okay Glibbin?” Beritta called.

His smiling green face appeared between the trees.

“There’s a little animal with a big fury tail,” said Glibbin.

“It’s called a squirrel,” said Beritta.

“I’m going to catch it so it can play with me.” cried Glibbin and ran back into the trees.

Lasa snorted.

Just then a young golden-haired elf boy in a green tunic trimmed with gold appeared at the end of the meadow. He bowed and said, “The council of elders wishes to speak to Lady Faralasa.”

With an excited glance at her friends, Lasa followed the messenger out of the meadow and around one edge of the southern lake. On the far side of the water they entered the woods and followed a well-worn path. They continued on this trail until they came to the place where the elders sat on chairs of exposed roots around a table of melded stumps beneath a canopy of short leafy trees. A cool breeze drifted to them off the lakes, setting the leaves rustling.

After formally greeting Faralasa one of the elders said, “In reviewing the happenings in Fairy Wood we have received reports of a few strange and amazing acts you performed. We would like you to do something for us. Jump into the air. See how long it takes you to come back down.”

With an uncertain glance at the faces surrounding her, Lasa leapt into the air. To her surprise, she hung there for three minutes. It was as though gravity had lost its hold on her.

Intimidated by this strange new ability Faralasa dropped back to the ground.

“Excellent,” said the elder who had made the suggestion. “Now I want you to do one more thing. Jump into the air again but this time, instead of hovering, see if you can move.”

“Move, you mean in the air?” Faralasa clarified wondering if she had heard him correctly.

“That’s right.”

Lasa jumped into the air again, this time moving slightly to the right. Suddenly she found that she was floating, moving easily through the air as though some unseen force lifted her. She dropped to the ground once more staring in confusion at the elders.

“It is as we thought,” one of them said. “She’s been showing signs of it for months.”

“They always do,” murmured another.

“Showing signs of what?” asked Faralasa in frustration. None of this made any sense to her.

“You’ve been showing signs that you are light enough to walk on air,” one of the elders explained. “You have graduated to the level of Airwalker. Barely anyone ever does.”

“I’m an Airwalker, really?” Lasa asked in excitement.

“Yes indeed. You will have to be trained by one of the older Airwalkers in aerial fighting and how to get airborne without jumping, but there is plenty of time for that. To begin with you will train for the following week after which you will join a scouting group heading to Fairy Wood. However, whenever you are not engaged in scouting operations you should use all your time to learn from the older Airwalkers and hone your new skills.”

“This is amazing!” cried Lasa. “I can’t wait to tell my friends!” she stopped and looked uncertainly at the elders. “I can tell them can’t I?”

“By all means,” the elders replied. “May Light bless you as you discover how to use your new ability. You may go.”

“Thank you,” said Lasa and dashed to rejoin Oakley and Beritta.

“I’m going to be part of the group that will be scouting to find the goblins,” she said, “and I’m an Airwalker!”

She hovered in the air above them just to prove she could. Beritta and Oakley were still congratulating her when the messenger reappeared.

“The council now wishes to speak to Princess Beritta,” he announced.

When Beritta came before them the elders proceeded to tell her, “We have heard how you acquitted yourself in Fairy Wood. You have shown great leadership potential. However, we cannot forget that some of your recent actions here in Wilderlah have been reckless and irresponsible. You see, we would like to assign you leadership of the scouting group which will be sent to find the goblins invading Fairy Wood but we need to know we can trust you. Can we?”

Beritta took a deep breath and let it out before speaking.

“I understand how important this quest is. I’ll do my best to act the part of a responsible leader and live up to your expectations.”

“So be it,” said an elder. “You will lead your scouting group to Fairy Wood in a week. Use the intervening time to make all necessary preparations.”

Continue to episode fourteen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Quick News Update

Yes, I know I have fallen behind in my posts again. I have a lot of other projects I'm working on at home and sometimes blogging gets pushed lower on the list. For that reason I have decided to switch my blogging schedule to one story post a month with an addition news post every once in a while when I have announcements and such to share. I will begin writing on this new schedule in January of 2014 at which time I hope to begin posting part 2 of the Quests series. In the meantime I still have 2, possibly 3 episodes from Quests part 1 which I will edit then post in the next couple weeks before Thanksgiving. The next episode is not quite ready to make its appearance today, but you can expect to see it either late this week or early next week, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Quets Episode Twelve: The Enemy Discovered

Read the series prologue.

Read episode eleven.

Episode Twelve: The Enemy Discovered

In the days and nights following their battle with the trolls, the elves stood guard and the fairies patrolled the forest, watching for any sign of intruders. Lilac, Lilly and Reuben were on evening patrol duty near the mountains.

Reuben, who was tired of keeping watch, asked the others, “Aren’t we pretty near the dwarf mines?”

“Yeah,” Lilly replied. “They’re practically right up the mountain from us.”

“I wonder how they’re doing,” said Reuben. “I bet Griffona has grown a lot. We should go see her.”

“Forget it, Reuben,” said Lilac.

“Well, why shouldn’t we visit her?” asked the pixie indignantly. “After all, if it weren’t for us the dwarves wouldn’t have Griffona.”

“That’s not the point,” said Lilac. “We’re supposed to be watching for trolls.”

“None of them are going to come here after what we did to the last ones.”

The girls knew this was probably true but didn’t tell Reuben so.

“Come on,” he continued. “I’ll race you both to the mine!”

Lilly cried, “No, Reuben!” at the same time Lilac yelled, “Don’t you dare!” but it made no difference. Reuben shot off, a stream of red light cutting through the twilight in his wake.

“Should we go after him?” asked Lilly.

“Yeah,” said Lilac. “You know how he is. It will probably take both of us to bring him back.”

They chased the pixie over the foothills, with the cooling air rushing over their backs. Reuben dodged them, laughing, as they yelled at him. In a few short minutes they were racing above the mine. Lilac and Lilly tried in vain to catch the pixie, who flew in zigzag patterns occasionally turning to make raspberries at the other two fairies. Lilac flew in a different direction, hoping to cut Reuben off, when someone below her shouted something. She looked down and saw a dwarf standing in front of the mine.

“What?” she called to him.

“Come down here,” the dwarf called back, cupping his hands around his mouth. “I have to show you something.”

“Lilly, Reuben come here, it’s important!” Lilac yelled. Then she dove and landed next to the dwarf. Looking at him more closely, Lilac realized the dwarf was Farushin. A minute later Lilly and Reuben also joined them.

“What’s going on?” asked Lilly.

“Yeah, Lilac, what’s up?” Reuben said.

“Farushin called me over.” Lilac turned to the dwarf adding, “Did you say you had something to show us?”

“Yeah, I do,” replied the dwarf. “But it ain’t a pretty sight. You see, I think Griffona found how your water got so dirty.”

“How?” asked the three fairies in unison.

“It was magically poisoned,” said Farushin, “by the goblins. Griffona caught one of um prowlin’ around and, well… you should see for yourself. I know it ain’t nice. She clawed him up pretty bad.”

“But how can one dead goblin prove it was the goblins who poisoned the water?” asked Lilac.

“I’ll show you,” Farushin replied.

He walked to the entrance of the mine and beckoned them to follow. The fairies exchanged an uneasy glance then entered the mine after the dwarf.

Farushin lit a tiny lamp on his cap and led them down a dark tunnel near the entrance. The passage was tall enough that the fairies could fly as they followed. Tension grew as they moved deeper under the mountain. They stayed close together, silently lending each other support. Eventually, Farushin turned from the tunnel they had been following into a small side chamber.

“In here,” he said his voice echoing on the cave-like walls. The fairies entered, hovering a few feet above the floor. The dwarf turned his head to shine the light on a heap on the floor. In the dim light the fairies quickly realized that they were looking at the mangled body of a goblin, covered with dark streaks of blood. Beside the goblin was a large bag which had been opened to reveal some kind of garbage. Both items gave off a putrid stench. Lilac gasped, Reuben flew a few feet backward and Lilly gagged.

“Must have been on his way to Fairy Wood when Griffona attacked him,” said Farushin. “We drug him down here so he’d be out of the way but we could show ya later.”

“I still don’t understand why goblins would poison our water,” said Lilac finding her voice before the other two.

“I reckon it’s ’cuz of Griffona,” Farushin replied. “They’re probably sore at you for givin’ her to us. Must have thought you was interfering.”

“You think all of this started with that old quarrel?” asked Lilac in disbelief.

“Goblins be the worst for carrying a grudge.”

“It’s payback time!” cried Reuben viciously.

“No, Reuben. The goblins were paying us back,” said Lilac irritated. “Paybacks are what got us into this mess. We don’t need to pay them back, we need to finish this. We have to get the goblins out of our forest and keep them out.”

“Can we go?” asked Lilly speaking for the first time since they had gone underground. “The smell is making me sick.”

“Yeah, we can go,” Lilac replied, “but we’ll have to report this to the rest of the fairy kingdom and to our allies from Wilderlah. The queen and her court will most likely want to see this for themselves.”

They all agreed.

“I’ll show the evidence to any of your officials who wish to see,” Farushin promised.

After expressing their thanks to the dwarf, Lilac,Lilly and Reuben returned to Fairy Wood to make their discovery known.


“The dwarf was right,” said Beritta a few days later. “I found traces of garbage and poison in a dirty pool before Mist purified the water. What’s more, after a little hard investigating I identified the spells on the pool as goblin in origin. It wasn’t easy. The goblin magicians added lots of wards to try to keep us from tracing the magic back to them.”

“Do you think it’s what Farushin said?” asked Lilac. “Did they poison the water because we helped protect the dwarves?”

“We don’t know for sure,” Faralasa replied, “but that seems the most likely motive.”

“News of the state of affairs here has reached my father and the elders,” Beritta continued. “We have been summoned back to Wilderlah to make a full report, after which they will decide on the best course of action for sending aid to the fairy queen in this matter.”

“On behalf of all the fairies, I’d like to wish you safe travels,” said Lilac. “I hope your king and elders reach a decision quickly; all help Wilderlah sends is most welcome in a crisis such as this.”

The elves bid farewell to the rest of their fairy friends shortly after this. Beritta tried to say good-bye to Mist as well, but the unicorn insisted on going with the elves. Surprised by this, Beritta asked Mist why she wished to stay with them.

“You’re not in danger from the trolls anymore you know,” the elf pointed out.

“I know,” Mist replied. “It’s just that I like you. I’d like accompany you a little longer if that’s all right.”

Beritta agreed.

Next, the elves had the task of finding Glibbin. Beritta and Faralasa searched the woods for several hours, unsure where he had gone.

“Maybe he forgot about us. Maybe we’ll never find him,” said Lasa hopefully.

She had no sooner said this, however, then Beritta pointed to a sunny meadow shouting, “There he is!”

The hobgoblin was more than ready to return to Wilderlah for, he did not hesitate to tell them, “There is no one to play with in Fairy Wood.”

So, with the blessing of the fairy queen and the good will of the little people, the group set out for the elvin capital.

Continue to episode 13.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Quests Episode Eleven: Dawn’s Curse

Sorry for skipping a week, I got busy taking care of my household and am finding it a bit hard to consistently post something every week, partially due to having only intermittent internet (long story). On that note I want to make a few brief announcements before continuing to the next episode.

First, I'm thinking about switching to a blog post once a month or every two weeks rather than once a week. I will decide how often I wish to be blogging and announce the new blog schedule at the end of the year.

Also, I am close to the end of part 1 of Quests so I am going to use October and November to finish posting part 1, take a break in December for Advent and the early part of the Christmas Season, and resume with Quests part 2 sometime after New Year's.

That said, we now return to our regularly scheduled story...

Read the series prologue.

Read episode ten.

Episode Eleven: Dawn’s Curse

“They didn’t make it. Turned to stone. Stupid elves!”

Fedrick had realized long ago that Felnar babbled when she was nervous or scared. Still, he found her incoherent rambling irritating.

“Felnar, slow down and tell me what you’re talking about,” he demanded.

“The stinking elves made some of us trolls stay out when the sun came up,” said Felnar, “So the ones who were outside turned to stone. I barely made it back to my cave on time. I almost died!”

“Elves?” said Fedrick in confusion. “I still don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“The elves didn’t want us to hunt unicorns, they want us to starve!” Felnar explained. “So they tried to turn us all to stone. It worked on few of us too!”

“When did elves get involved? I think there’s more to this story. Calm yourself down and tell me what happened, the whole story, starting when you began hunting in Fairy Wood.”

“Okay,” said Felnar after taking a deep breath. “But I warn you, it’s not a good story.”

“Just tell me,” Fedrick replied.

So Felnar told Fedrick the tale of the troll’s terrible adventure of the past night.


The previous night Felnar had joined a larger hunting party of trolls making their way to Fairy Wood. Her mouth watered at the thought of the fresh unicorn meat on which they would soon feast. As the rocky heights of the foothills gave way to the tall trees and tangled undergrowth of the woods, the trolls crouched low and sniffed the ground until they picked up the scent of unicorn. It did not take them long to spot a large herd. They spread out and stalked forward, hoping to surround their prey and bring them down quickly. A tiny breeze stirred the leaves and carried the smell of trolls to the nose of a large male unicorn. He tossed his head in fright and whinnied a warning to the rest of the herd. The unicorns reacted immediately, stampeding into the depths of the forest with the trolls in hot pursuit.

Felnar’s mind was so filled with thoughts of juicy unicorn meat that she didn’t notice the gnome on the head of the lead unicorn until he shouted, “Split up!” Then everything became total chaos. It was hard for Felnar to understand what happened, even afterward.

When the gnome shouted, the unicorns split into several factions, each veering off in a different direction. The trolls in the lead stopped in confusion. Felnar and a few others bumped into them before they could stop themselves, and they all fell in a heap. While they were still trying to get to their feet, a number of strange noises came out of the woods around them and a shower of stones and pine cones fell on their heads. The trolls ducked into the underbrush until the confusion ceased.

A troll patriarch yelled, “Split up and see if you can catch any of the unicorns.” The hunting party hurried to obey. Felnar’s group went after the portion of the unicorn herd the gnome had joined. As they tracked the unicorns Felnar couldn’t help but wish she could catch the gnome. She would make him pay for messing up their hunting! The trolls ran a long distance and used their claws to climb through a ravine before they spotted the unicorns.

“Try to surround them,” said one of the trolls. “We’ll back them off the ledge and then have easy pickings.”

The trolls fanned out and, despite the gnome’s directions to them, the unicorns were soon backing toward the drop. Felnar was pleased by the knowledge that the gnome would probably fall to his death along with the unicorns he was trying to protect. She grinned at the thought as she moved closer with the rest of her hunting party.

The unicorns were only a few feet from the edge, when the trolls noticed an elf with short black hair on the other side of the gorge. They noticed her because she yelled something. Felnar didn’t know what the elf shouted. Perhaps it was an elvish curse. Then the elf jumped out over the chasm. Felnar watched in mild fascination, thinking the elf incredibly stupid since she would surely fall. In the next second the elf cleared the gap and crashed into the trolls. The she kicked Felnar hard in the jaw, knocking the troll to the ground. Gripped with a sudden fear of this elf, who could seemingly fly, Felnar scrambled to her feet and hurried after the other trolls as they scattered in terror.

Once Felnar had calmed down a bit she realized that she was alone. In her panic she had gotten separated from the other members of her party. Just as she was getting worried, she ran into a hobgoblin. He had his face in his hands and was sobbing. Felnar approached him cautiously, wondering if the elves had attacked him too. Finally she worked up enough courage to ask, “What’s wrong?”

The hobgoblin dropped his hands, stopped crying and answered, “I can’t remember.”

They stared at each other for a minute before the hobgoblin said, “I’m Glibbin, what’s your name?”

She told him, then asked, “What are you doing here?”

“Playing,” said Glibbin. “What are you doing?”

“I was hunting,” Felnar replied. “But the elves and fairies ruined everything!”

“They probably didn’t mean to.”

“Yes they did. They tried to kill me!”

“They’re not so bad once you get to know them,” said Glibbin.

“I can’t get to know them!” Felnar squeaked. “If I get too close to them I’ll die!”

“They can’t be that bad. Hey, do you want to play with me?”

“I can’t. I have to get home before the elves find me or the sun rises.”

“You better hurry,” Glibbin commented glancing at the sky. “The sun will come up pretty soon.”

Felnar also looked at the sky and suddenly realized that it was getting lighter.

“Oh no!” she squealed and dashed in the direction of her cave as fast as she could go.

As she ran, Felnar joined other trolls who had also realized how early it was and were trying to make it back to their caves. The trolls were nearly out of the forest when a few elves stepped into their path. Some of the trolls screamed and veered away from the main group. Others snarled and charged the elves, clawing and biting their way past them. Felnar stayed close to these fighters, deciding that was safest. Finally, the small group made it to the entrance of the underground city. They ran inside just as the sun appeared on the edge of the horizon. Felnar and those with her moved into the shadows of the cave where they were safe from the rays of the sun. A terrible shrieking from just outside told them that many trolls were not so fortunate. The sound was so horrible that Felnar covered her ears. In a few short minutes it was over. It was clear that many trolls from the hunting party had been petrified by the coming of the dawn.

Distressed by the loss of some of her troll friends, Felnar wandered the city babbling incoherently until she found Fedrick. As she told him the story, Felnar realized with a shiver that she could easily have been one of those turned to stone had she not been so fast. She knew that the trolls’ hunt of the unicorns in Fairy Wood was over for good.

Continue to episode twelve.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quests Episode Ten: Purity’s Guardians

Read the series prologue.

Read episode nine.

Episode Ten: Purity’s Guardians

Lilac drifted slowly over the rocky peaks of the Emerald Mountains. A cool breeze pushed at her back but she fought it enough to remain in sight of a group of elves chosen by the elders to journey to the fairy kingdom where they would fight to keep the unicorns safe. Beritta and Faralasa were part of the group. Lilac had just finished giving Faralasa a more detailed account of affairs in Fairy Wood.

“That’s quite the chain of misfortune,” Faralasa commented.

“Sounds like something broke Fairy Wood’s protection wards,” said Beritta.

“That hasn’t happened in years!” replied Lilac. “I think we would have noticed if the charms were gone.”

“You noticed that something’s wrong in the forest,” Beritta argued. “That’s enough proof for me. After all, poison spells should have no effect on your water if your charms were working like they’re supposed to.”

Lilac was quiet for a while, thinking about this. She had to admit that made sense. Still, if that was the case the fairies should be repairing the protection spells, not just getting elves to defend the unicorns.

A high pitched squeal came from behind them.

“Wait for meeee!”

Faralasa groaned. “Did you have to bring Glibbin?”

“I told you,” Beritta answered, “I tried to leave him with Oakley, but he just wouldn’t stay.”

“I’ll bet you anything he’ll get in the way.”

“I’m telling you he followed me. I didn’t want him to come.”

By that time the little hobgoblin caught up with them. “Are we almost there?” he asked in a whiny voice.

“Not much farther,” said Beritta. “We’ll be there soon.”

“How soon?” asked Glibbin.

“See for yourself,” said Lilac.

The fairy was hovering over a steep ledge. The others walked within a few feet of the edge and looked where Lilac was pointing. Below, several more peaks rose and fell. Beyond that, a vast forest stretched down to the plains. Looking out at the rows of trees, Beritta remembered hearing that Fairy Wood spanned the entire western border of the kingdom Windola. She strained her eyes to see the edge of it, but that was beyond even an elf’s range of vision.

“We should reach it by tomorrow,” said Lilac.

They continued until nightfall, at which time they stopped to rest. In the morning, they set out again reaching the forest before midday. As they stepped beneath the canopy of trees, the elves couldn’t help noticing the unnaturally large number of unicorns roaming there.

“Lilac, exactly how many unicorns are in Fairy Wood right now?” Faralasa asked.

“No one really knows for sure,” the fairy replied. “We only know there has never been so large a gathering of them in one place before now.”

“Well Beritta, our job just got harder!” said Lasa with fake cheerfulness.

Lilac flew to inform the fairy queen of the arrival of the elf warriors and after a brief greeting by both the queen and a few unicorns the elves spent a lazy day exploring the forest.

When twilight fell, the elves broke into small groups scattered throughout Fairy Wood in order to cover more ground and therefore protect more unicorns. At first the night was calm and uneventful. Just as Beritta and Lasa were beginning to think nothing would happen, the noise of a large group of animals crashing through the undergrowth reached their ears. The leader of their group motioned for them to be ready as the noise came closer. They remained motionless as a herd of about a hundred unicorns thundered past them. Once the herd passed, a group of small hairy trolls appeared, giving pursuit. The elves leapt at the trolls, pulling out weapons they had brought with them. Beritta slashed at the face of a fat black troll who clawed at every part of her he could reach in panic. She rolled out of his reach then moved around him slipping in to poke him with her sword and out to avoid more scratches from his claws and teeth. Lasa fared similarly. At the first opportunity they got, the trolls retreated from the forest and ran to the safety of their caves.

The next day, while the elves were resting, Lilac flew up to Beritta and Faralasa. She was followed by two other fairies and a gnome whom she introduced as her friends Lilly, Reuben and Wispen.

“We have something for you,” Lilac explained. “The gnomes made some medicine to help any wounded unicorns. We think you should keep some with you in case you find any hurt animals.”

“That’s a good idea,” said Beritta. “Thanks.”

Lilly and Reuben lifted a large jar of the medicine and gave it to Beritta. Wispen gave another jar to Lasa.

“I hope the medicine will come in handy,” said Wispen.

Later that night, as Beritta patrolled the forest, she heard the sound of hoof beats and a large animal breathing hard. She quickly moved toward the noise and soon saw a grey unicorn running at a furious pace followed by a large troll. The troll crouched and sprang at the unicorn, a line of drool dripping from its mouth. Beritta drew a small knife from her belt and flung it at the troll. The knife lodged itself in the monster’s throat. The creature fell on his back and began making a gurgling screech. It was a horrible noise. Beritta covered her ears and the unicorn stopped and ducked her head. They remained like this until the troll had stopped writhing and lay still.

“Are you all right?” Beritta asked the unicorn mentally.

“I’m fine thanks to you.”

“That’s why I’m here.”

“I’m grateful all the same,” replied the unicorn. “Unicorns protect purity, but not everyone respects that. As you can see,” she pointed to the troll with her horn, “some hunt and destroy everything pure.”

Beritta glanced at the monster lying at her feet. She pulled her knife out of it and wiped it on the grass.

“What should we do with this purity hunter?” she asked with disgust.

“Leave him. He will turn to stone in the morning. You’re Princess Beritta aren’t you?”

Beritta nodded. “Are you Mist?” she asked. “Lilac told me about a grey unicorn named Mist.”

“That’s me. I hope Lilac said good things about me.”

Beritta grinned. Suddenly she became serious. “Wait, trolls turn to stone in sunlight. Why didn’t we think of that sooner? All we need to do is keep the trolls out until the sun rises!”

“It’s not that simple, believe me, I’ve tried it,” said Mist.

“Maybe it’s not easy, but I it could work. After all, trolls aren’t very smart.”

“What are you suggesting?”

“If we could get elves, fairies and unicorns to work together maybe we could trap the trolls into staying out until sunrise. I need to get back to the other elves. I’ll tell them our plan. The woods will be free of trolls before you know it.”

“Want a lift?” asked Mist. “If you give me directions I can take you where you need to go.”

“That would be great.”


“Is everyone in position?” asked Beritta Lilac the following night as the fairy came to hover in front of her.

“Yep. Reuben, Lilly and I will be watching the trolls from the air and giving you pointers,” replied the flower fairy, reviewing the plan, “Wispen will be guiding the unicorn herd and keeping the trolls form hurting them. The trolls will come out to hunt, the unicorns will lead the trolls to you, you’ll keep them out all night, the sun will rise and they will turn to stone.”

“Right,” said Beritta. “Keep your eyes open and let me know the moment you see the trolls.”

“Yes ma’am!” Lilac saluted as she flew off to follow Beritta’s instructions.

“Well, well,” said Faralasa as she came to stand beside Beritta. “Look who’s finally taking charge.”

Beritta didn’t comment on this but a slight flush crept into her cheeks.

“Get ready,” Beritta snapped, “The trolls will be coming out of their caves any minute.”

“Yes, your majesty!” said Lasa with an exaggerated bow. Beritta’s face went redder.

A few minutes later Lilac whizzed back to the elves shouting, “They’re coming!”

“Get ready!” Beritta ordered.

The elves scrambled into their positions. A herd of unicorns thundered passed, closely followed by a group of trolls. Wispen sat on the head of the lead unicorn calling out directions to ensure the unicorns’ safety. Once the unicorns reached the elves, Wispen shouted, “Split up!” The herd split into several smaller groups veering off in different directions. This momentarily confused the trolls. The elves confused them further by making noises and throwing things to distract the monsters and keep them from following the unicorns too closely. When the trolls finally recovered, they also split up to give pursuit. The elves, stalked the trolls from the cover the forest provided.

As Beritta moved across a hillside with Faralasa, Mist ran below her mentally calling out, “Beritta, come with me. I’ll help you keep up with one of the unicorn groups.”

“I’m going with Mist,” Beritta told Faralasa. “Try to keep up with some of the unicorns. Remember; keep the trolls busy until sunrise.”

“Will do,” said Lasa. “See you in the morning.”

Beritta leapt from the hill onto Mist’s back. The unicorn turned and galloped into the night. Meanwhile, Lilly flew up to Faralasa.

“Follow me,” said the sprite. “I can spot trouble from the air and direct you to it.”

“All right, lead on!”Lasa replied.


Faralasa ran so fast it seemed like her feet barely touched the ground. From somewhere above her, Lilly cried, “A group of trolls is backing some of the unicorns toward the edge of a ravine!”

“Where?” asked Lasa.

“We’re on the other side of it. I’ll see if there’s a safe place to cross.”

“Don’t bother!” Lasa shouted and began running at top speed toward the fissure.

“You’ll never make that jump!” Lilly yelled in alarm.

“Watch me!”

With that Lasa leapt out over the ravine. She moved across in a wide ark, seeming to hover in midair for a minute as Lilly held her breath. Lasa fell gracefully back to earth, crashing into the bewildered trolls. As the monsters scattered and ran, Lilly started breathing again.

“Wow, great job!” called Wispen from where he sat astride one of the unicorns. “I was just getting worried before you came.”

Just then Lilly flew up screaming. “That was amazing! How did you do that? It looked like you were flying.”

“It felt amazing,” said Lasa, grinning.

“Do you think you could do it again?” asked Lilly.

“Probably.” Faralasa jumped into the air, did a flip, and then landed.

“Trolls beware!” Lilly laughed.

“Can we stay with you?” asked Wispen indicating himself and the unicorns with him.

Faralasa laughed. “Sure!”

They found the trolls Lasa had frightened and herded them deeper into the woods. As they guarded the trolls, Reuben joined them.

“Hey Lilly, watch this!” the pixie called. He landed on the tip of a troll’s nose. The creature went cross-eyed trying to see him. Suddenly, Reuben flashed his pixie light in the troll’s eyes and flew off his nose. The troll stumbled around in confusion until his sight returned to normal. Reuben watched laughing.

“Really funny, Reuben,” said Lilly without much feeling, “but you should find another group of unicorns and elves to help. We have enough help here.”

“Okay,” said Reuben dashing off to find another group. He hadn’t gone far when a pair of slimy green hands shot out and caught him. A smiling hobgoblin peeked through his fingers at the pixie. Glibbin had been running wild all night. The elves had forgotten him in the excitement.

“I caught a pixie, I caught a pixie!” Glibbin chanted. “Now you have to grant me a wish.”

“First let go of me,” said Reuben.

Glibbin opened his hands letting the pixie free. Quick as a flash Reuben flew into the woods.

“What about my wish?” Glibbin wailed.

“You should have made it before you let me go,” the pixie called over his shoulder. “Bye sucker!”


Lilac caught up to Mist and Beritta as they pounded through the woodlands. She brushed Beritta’s cheek with her wing to get her attention. When the elf turned to her, Lilac said, “Stay on guard. You’re practically surrounded by trolls. I’ll fly above you and warn you of any approaching danger.”

“Thanks Lilac, that should help a lot,” Beritta replied.

An extremely ugly troll jumped out in front of them.

“Look out!” Lilac yelled.

Mist lowered her head and charged the creature, running it through with her horn.

“Unicorns need to fight back!” She told Beritta and Lilac as she wiped her horn on the grass. They were too stunned to say anything. Mist turned and began galloping again, leaving the dead troll in her wake. The trio didn’t get much farther before they heard another troll snarling at them.

“It’s right behind you!” Lilac shrieked.

A hairy black troll jumped from some bushes, digging claws and teeth into Mist’s rump. The unicorn screamed and reared. Grabbing a handful of Mist’s mane in her left hand to steady herself, Beritta drew out her knife with her right hand. Then, pressing her knees against Mist’s sides for support, Beritta twisted around and stabbed the troll. The creature let out a roar and dug his claws deeper. Mist bucked and finally threw the monster, but as he fell his claws leftdeep gashes on her sides. Mist spent several minutes running wild with pain causing Beritta to drop her knife, before Lilac and Beritta managed to calm her.

“Stand still, Mist,” said Beritta jumping off the unicorn’s back as she stood shivering.

“What are you going to do?” asked Mist.

“I’m going to help you. We’re going to find out how well the gnome’s medicine works.” Beritta pulled out the jar Lilly and Reuben had given her and unscrewed the lid. It was filled with a salve.

As Beritta smeared some on Mist’s wounds, Lilac said, “It will work. The gnomes know about those kinds of things.”

By that time a greyish light was creeping up from the horizon. “It’s nearly dawn,” Beritta commented. “Can you still walk, Mist?”

“Of course I can!” Mist replied slightly offended. “You don’t think I’m going to let a few scratches stop me do you?”

Beritta thought that her fit a few minutes earlier proved they were more than scratches, but she didn’t tell Mist so.

“Okay,” said Beritta, out loud this time. “Lilac, try to locate the other groups. Tell them to round up as many trolls as they can. We’ll try to get a bunch of them together in one place when the sun comes up fully.”

“I’m on it,” said Lilac flying off at once.

Beritta turned to Mist. “Let’s get to it,” she said.

As light spread across the sky, heralding the sun’s rising, the trolls began to panic, scrambling to make it back to their caves. Despite or perhaps because of this, the elves managed to herd a large number of them together. The unicorns helped by prodding the monsters with their horns. The unicorns, more than any of the others, wanted to be rid of the trolls for good. Finally, all the groups merged beneath a grove of gnarled old oaks. The elves and unicorns formed a ring around the trolls, keeping them in place with knives and horns. Then the sun rose above the treetops, its rays touching the creatures on the ground. The trolls shrieked as any part of their body touched by sunlight turned to stone. Before long they were completely petrified. Unicorns raised their heads, elves lowered their weapons, and fairies hovered to watch. Then they all gave a cheer of victory.

“No monsters will dare mess with purity’s creatures when we have something to say about it!” Beritta shouted.

“Uh, Beritta, you do know that some of the trolls got away right?” asked Faralasa as she, Lilly, Wispen and Reuben rejoined Beritta, Lilac and Mist. “I mean, we couldn’t turn them all to stone.”

“I know,” said Beritta, “but I still think we did a good job. Hopefully the other trolls will think twice before coming back to Fairy Wood.”

“Let’s hope so,” agreed Faralasa. “By the way, you lost something last night.”

She held out Beritta’s knife.

“Thanks,” said Beritta taking it.

“You saved our lives,” said Mist approaching with a few other unicorns.

“It’s not like you sat idly by and watched us,” Beritta commented. “We all deserve credit.”

“Three cheers for the troll killers!” Reuben shouted. “Hip-hip-hooray!”

Faralasa yawned. “It’s been a long night.”

“Yeah, but it was worth it,” said Lilly.

“I just wish we knew what made the waterways dirty,” said Lilac. “I mean, that’s what started all this trouble.”

“There will be time enough to worry about that later,” said Wispen. “We should all get some rest.”

“You’re right,” agreed Beritta. “Come on everyone. Let’s find some place to sleep.”

Continue to episode eleven.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quests Episode Nine: Unicorn Quest

Read the series prologue.

Read episode eight.

Episode Nine: Unicorn Quest

“This is terrible!” Lilac exclaimed staring at the curtain of water in front of her. “The river is disgusting.”

The fairies were sitting in Lilly’s home, a cave-like house behind the waterfall of the Farawad River.

“It’s not just the river,” said Wispen. “All the water in the forest is like this.”

“It’s some strong curse,” said Lilly in a hoarse voice. “We sprites can’t make the water clean again. It’s making us sick. Some other kinds of fairies are sick too.”

“And animals,” added Wispen.

“You should try not to talk so much, Lilly,” said Lilac in concern. “We don’t want you to lose your voice.”

Lilly smiled weakly.

“We should find out whose fault it is and make them pay!” shouted Reuben.

“Hush, Reuben,” said Lilac irritated as usual by the pixie’s immaturity. “We don’t know what’s making the water so dirty.”

“The queen says she knows how to make the water clean again,” said Wispen. “She asked all fairies who are well enough to come to the dancing meadow.”

“The three of us are going there later today,” Lilac added.

“You’ll have to tell me about it,” said Lilly. “Sorry I’ll be no help this time.”

“Nonsense!” cried Lilac. “It’s not your fault you got sick. You don’t need to be sorry.”

“You will tell me what the queen says, though, won’t you?” Lilly persisted.

“Of course I will,” Lilac agreed.

Later that afternoon the three healthy friends stood in the meadow, waiting for the queen of the fairies to announce what should be done.

“Where is the queen?” asked Reuben flitting around trying to catch a glimpse of her.

“She’s not here yet,” said Lilac. “Just wait a little while.”

“I hate waiting!” Reuben pouted.

Before Lilac could say anything else, a cry went up, “She’s here!”

Reuben flew higher to get a better view. “I see her, I see her!” he yelled in excitement.

A tall dark haired fairy dressed in long, flowing silver robes glided silently into the very center of the meadow. Those standing in front of her parted to let her pass. Finally the queen stopped, folded her large gauzy wings and turned in a slow circle to look at all who were gathered. Once she completed her circle she spoke.

“Citizens of Fairy Wood you know why I have called you here. I do not know what has caused the waterways to become so polluted but I know how we can fix them. There is a creature which possesses the ability to cleanse that which has become unclean and heal those who have been poisoned. The creature I speak of is the unicorn. Unicorns have been our allies for years but it will take a large number of them to clean all our waterways and heal all our people. I need all of you to help. Some of us may need to invite unicorns from beyond the forest. Time is short! We must bring the unicorns to the woods before we all fall victim to this terrible curse. Now hurry, and may the Lord of Light protect you on this quest.”

She raised her hand in blessing then flew gracefully from the meadow.

As soon as she was gone everyone stirred and began talking quietly. Lilac and Wispen moved closer together and Reuben stopped flitting around and landed to join in their conversation.

“We should split up,” said Wispen. “That is the only way we can find enough unicorns in time. The more we can convince to come, the faster the water will get clean.”

“That’s a good idea,” said Lilac. “Also, I think that we should meet each other after every few trips so we can talk about how things went. We can compare tactics and give each other ideas. We should also update Lilly occasionally.”

“We could meet at the waterfall,” said Reuben. “That way we can talk and update Lilly.”

“Sounds good,” Lilac agreed. “For starters I think I’ll head for the Emerald Mountains. Reuben, why don’t you search for unicorns in the forest? Wispen, I’m sure you know where to start.”

“Yes, I do,” he admitted then added, “We should get going.”

“You two go ahead,” said Lilac. “I’m going to tell Lilly what’s happening. I promised I would.”

“All right, but hurry,” Wispen replied.

They stood together just long enough to whisper, “Light shine on us all.” Then each went in a different direction to search for the unicorns.

“That’s a great idea!” said Lilly after Lilac finished telling her about the new quest. “I wish I could help. I’d love to see a unicorn.”

“You’ll see plenty of unicorns before long,” Lilac replied. “Plus, the queen said that they can heal people. You’ll be helping us again in no time!”

Lilly nodded then winced and pressed her hands against her forehead.

“Are you all right?” asked Lilac in concern. Ever since Lilly had gotten sick it seemed as though she was getting worse every time Lilac saw her.

“I’m fine,” the sprite muttered.

“I’ll tell you what,” said Lilac. “I’ll bring the first unicorn I find here to make you better.”

“We need to clean the water first or we’ll just keep getting sick,” said Lilly.

“There will be plenty of time to clean up the water once you’re well. I have to go now, but I’ll be back before you know it.”

“May the Lord help you on your quest,” said Lilly raising her hand in farewell.

Lilac smiled and got to her feet. She couldn’t help looking back one last time before leaving the cave behind the waterfall. Lilly had closed her eyes and was lying back on a cushion of moss. She must have thought Lilac was gone, for she had stopped pretending she was fine. She looked terrible. Lilac was sure she had never before seen anyone that sick. Lilac realized that she had to find a unicorn fast, or it might be too late to help her friend.


Reuben whizzed through the forest like a tiny red comet searching for any sign of a unicorn. As he flew, he worked on a plan to get any unicorns he found to the waterways. Finally, he spotted a gleaming white unicorn grazing in a forest glade. Slowing his pace a little, Reuben flew right up to the animal and began flitting around him. The unicorn raised his head and tossed his mane in irritation but the pixie continued to annoy him. The creature gave up on grazing and trotted out of the clearing. Reuben followed, flashing his pixie light to confuse the unicorn and guide him in the right direction.

Finally, the unicorn came to a filthy pond. Here the pixie landed on the branch of a tree and sat, watching. The unicorn waded into the center of the pond and lowered his head until his horn touched the water. Instantly a spot of clean water appeared surrounding the horn. The clear water spread from this point until the entire pond was clean again.

“That was cool,” said Reuben. “I’m going to do it again.”

He flew off to find another unicorn to bother.


Lilac flew towards the mountains as fast as her wings would carry her. If she started to grow tired, she had only to think of Lilly growing sicker and her energy returned. When night fell she decided to get a little sleep so that she would have enough strength to complete the quest. Still, she was on her way again before dawn. She reached the mountains later that day and began her search. By the time the sun set that night, she had still found no sign of unicorns. She rested again and resumed her search the next day. She flew through alpine forests and over rocky peaks, some of which were tipped with snow.

As the sun sank lower in the sky, Lilac found her spirits sinking too. She had hoped to see some sign of a unicorn by now. She decided to continue her search through the night. She flew closer to the ground in order to better see what was going on below her. She almost passed a rocky mountain face when she noticed movement on it. She circled back around to get a closer look. Sure enough, a grey unicorn with a foamy white mane was leaping from ledge to ledge.

“Hello there!” Lilac called. At the sound of her voice the creature spooked and began running down the mountainside.

“Wait, please wait!” Lilac cried diving after it.

She chased the unicorn over the rocks and down to the tree line. In the mountainous woods it became harder for the fairy to keep track of the unicorn since she had to watch where she was going and avoid running into trees. Eventually, she lost sight of her quarry altogether. Unable to discover where the beautiful animal had gone, Lilac landed on a moonlit boulder.

“I just wanted to ask for your help!” she shouted into the woods at the top of her lungs. Then she sat down, pulled up her knees and put her head on them. Tears of frustration and despair ran down her cheeks.

“What do you want?”

Lilac gasped and lifted her head. Although the voice had been in her mind she was sure the question had come from someone else. She looked around until she spotted the unicorn standing under a nearby pine tree.

“Whatever you want me to do must be very important,” the unicorn continued. “You called me back. Very few things can keep unicorns from leaving if that is what we wish to do.”

“This is important,” Lilac replied, also with her mind. “I need your help to keep fairies from dying.”

She told the unicorn about the polluted water and Lilly getting sick. The unicorn listened closely then agreed to follow Lilac to Fairy Wood and help the situation there.

“And since we’ll be working together for a while we might as well know each other’s names,” the unicorn added. “Mine’s Mist.”

Lilac introduced herself.

“You seem tired,” Mist noted. “I think we should rest now and head for Fairy Wood in the morning.”

“I don’t think we should waste any time…” Lilac began but Mist interrupted her.

“We won’t do anyone any good if we’re too tired to think straight.”

“You won’t try to run away?” Lilac remembered hearing that unicorns were very wild and didn’t like to answer to anyone.

“I don’t think I’d get far if I tried,” Mist replied. “If the urgency of your quest called me back once, it is sure to do it again. If I left I would be forced to return, unless you release me.”

Although Lilac could see the benefits of this, she couldn’t help feeling a little ashamed of herself. She hadn’t meant to force Mist to help.

“I suppose we can rest for a little while,” said Lilac, “But I want to get an early start.”

“That’s fine by me.”


Lilly hadn’t thought she was hallucinating until that morning. After all, how could the waterfall be disgusting one minute and perfectly clean the next? Then there was the light. A small point of light seemed to be hovering just beyond the curtain of water. Before long a figure formed itself, seemingly out of the foamy water. The figure was a grey unicorn. Light seemed to be coming from the tip of her horn. Lilac followed the unicorn into the cave. At the sight of Lilac, Lilly’s mind snapped back into focus.

“I’ve brought a unicorn, Lilly,” cried Lilac, “just like I promised.”

Mist lowered her head to Lilly. Not quite knowing why she did it, the sprite raised her hand and touched the tip of Mist’s horn. She smiled as she slipped into a peaceful sleep.

“Is she going to be all right?” Lilac asked Mist.

“She will sleep for a little while,” Mist replied. “When she wakes she will be completely healed.”

Lilac was so relieved she found she couldn’t speak. She looked at Mist gratefully.

“I understand,” said the unicorn.

A few days later the four fairies sat on the crest of a hill watching large numbers of unicorns moving below them.

“I still can’t believe you convinced a whole herd to come to the forest!” Lilac said to Wispen.

The gnome shifted uncomfortably, clearly embarrassed.

“It’s not so hard really,” he muttered. “You just have to know how to talk to them.”

“Well none of the rest of us got an entire herd to come at the same time,” Lilac pointed out.

“They’re such beautiful creatures,” breathed Lilly. “I doubt there have ever been so many in the same place at the same time.”

“It is pretty amazing,” Lilac agreed.

“And it’s all because of us!” Reuben shouted triumphantly. He then proceeded to puff out his chest and fly about fifty feet into the air.

The others rolled their eyes and continued to gaze at the colorful group of creatures moving through the woods. Lilac spotted Mist near the center of the group.

“I’ll be right back,” Lilac said as she flew toward the unicorn.

“Hi, Mist,” she called mentally. Mist returned the greeting. “Sorry I haven’t released you yet. You see I don’t really know how I bound you in the first place. Still, I will do everything in my power to find out how to set you free. I’ll ask one of the older fairies for advice. An old fairy is sure to know how to undo an unintentional spell.”

“But you did release me,” Mist replied. “Your spell was gone as soon as your friend was well again. It was your urgency to help her that placed the spell on me. Once she was better, the urgency was gone.”

“But I don’t understand. If the spell is gone why are you still here?”

“I stayed because I wanted to help,” said Mist tossing her mane. “You need all the help you can get cleaning that poison out of the water.”

“Well, thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.”

With a contented smile, Lilac returned to her friends on the hill.

A couple weeks later the friends gathered again to discuss a much grimmer scene.

“I saw the remains of two more unicorns eaten by trolls this morning,” Wispen reported. “The large numbers of unicorns gathered here seem too tempting for the trolls to resist.”

Lilac nodded. “A number of unicorns have panicked and fled the forest.”

“Can you blame them when every night they expect another attack from bands of hunting trolls?” asked Wispen.

“I understand their fear,” replied Lilly. “It’s just that as the number of unicorns in the woods dwindles, the pollutants begin to return to our water.”

“I have been chosen to carry a message to the High Elves at their annual meeting in Wilderlah,” said Lilac. “The fairy queen is sure that the elves will sympathize and send warriors to help us protect the unicorns.”

“Good,” said Lilly. “It’s been terrible hearing about all those unicorns killed by trolls. The elves will know what to do.”

“Please hurry, though,” added Wispen. “The longer you take the more unicorns will die.”

“I’ll fly as fast as I can,” Lilac promised.

“May Light go with you,” said Wispen.

“Watch out for trolls and humavipers,” Reuben said, “and werewolves and giants and dragons and nightmares and…”

“That’s enough, Reuben,” cried Lilac, irritated. “I’ll be careful. Besides, I’ll probably fly too fast to meet any monsters.”

“Hurry back,” said Lilly quietly.

“I will,” Lilac replied. Then she hugged her friends and started her journey to Wilderlah.

Continue to episode ten.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quests Episode Eight: Sweet Revenge

Read the series prologue.

Read episode seven.

Episode Eight: Sweet Revenge

“No, abssssolutely not!” hissed Serpina after hearing the proposal the goblin council had sent Fedrick to deliver.

“But you did so well last time,” argued Fedrick.

“Lassst time we made a deal which benefited both of usss. Thisss time I can sssee no reassson to get involved in your affairsss.” “But you were the one who started all the trouble!” Fedrick replied. “Wrong!” Serpina yelled. “You goblinsss ssstarted the trouble when you talked me into helping you. Thisss iss your problem, you will take care of it yourselvesss.”

“But you agreed to work for us!”

“I agreed to kill a few of your enemiesss now and then, but I’m done with large ssscale killings. Besidesss I want to be sssure I will benefit from my work. For now I have what I need.”

She gestured at the moonlit landscape around them. The rocky mountainside sloped down to a large pond covered in places with strands of algae. Mountain laurels, cottonwoods and small leafy bushes surrounded the pond, leaving only the tiniest grassy space where they were standing. This was where Serpina had made her home. A wide entrance shaded by an overhanging rock led to her giant underground den which was set into a hill to their right high enough to be above the water level even when the pond flooded.

“Doesn’t it make you angry that the fairies can put an end to our plans with one move?” asked Fedrick.

“No,” Serpina answered calmly. “And they didn’t ruin anything for me.”

“Even you wouldn’t dare enter a mine that’s guarded by a griffin!” Fedrick yelled.

“I don’t need to enter any minesss right now,” said Serpina. “Goblinss ssshould find a better usse of their time.”

“I can’t believe you’re not angry about this!” Fedrick replied, still yelling.

“Don’t ssshout,” hissed Serpina. “You’re hurting my earss.”

Fedrick lowered his voice a little and asked, “So you won’t do anything to help us?”

“If you knew which fairiess it wass who caused the problem I would gladly kill them for you,” said the humaviper. “But you don’t.”

Serpina slithered closer to the pond.

After a short pause she turned back to Fedrick and said, “The besst way to kill a large group of people isss to poison their water.”

Then she slipped beneath the surface of her pond.


“We can’t possibly poison all their water ways!” cried a goblin council member after Fedrick told them what Serpina had said. The goblins had gathered in the central chamber once more, this time to plot their revenge against the fairies.

“We could try,” said another goblin. “It’s the best idea we have.”

“Perhaps if everyone in the city dumped their garbage into the fairies’ lakes and rivers that would do the trick,” said a third. “After all, that’s a lot of garbage.”

“We can try that,” said the goblin council member. “But first we must make sure that none of the fairies’ enchantments can clean the trash out of their water. I’ll have our best magicians work their strongest magic!”

Once the magicians worked their charms, every goblin took their turn creeping into Fairy Wood at night to drop toxic substances in the water there. Before long the water ways of Fairy Wood were polluted and an ugly sight.

On the black night of the new moon Fedrick took his turn entering the woods. He walked down steep, rock filled mountain paths making almost no noise. He did not stubble, for he could see clearly even on so dark a night. Nor did he get lost, for he knew the way to Fairy Wood, though he never thought he would go that way. Goblins rarely entered the fairy kingdom. He soon came to the place where the trees began. He peered uneasily into the depths of the forest. The tangled vines seemed ready to snare him; the branches looked like menacing arms waiting to grab him in their deadly embrace. He swallowed. The goblin council had warned him that this might happen, though they disagreed on the reason for it. Some said that the uneasiness came from a spell the fairies cast over their kingdom to keep out unwanted guests. Others had said it was because of the strangeness of the forest when compared with the caves the goblins were used to. Whatever the reason, most goblins were uneasy about entering Fairy Wood.

Fedrick took one long, deep breath to calm himself, let it out, and then plunged into the underbrush. He made his way along the forest floor, keeping to the darkest shadows. Before long he heard the sound of running water. He followed the sound and found himself standing on the banks of the Farawad River. Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, Fedrick took a small pack off his back. He pulled out a bundle of trash and immediately dumped it into the water. Then he reached into the pack again and drew something else out of it. This new object was a glass jar filled with a liquid poison Serpina had given him. She gave it to him personally because he was the only member of the underground city who dared talk to her directly.

“I know thisss won’t do much damage,” the humaviper said, “but perhapsss it will help a little. Don’t ever accusse me of not helping you again!”

Fedrick hoped that it would do more damage if he poured the poison into a major water course like the Farawad. He unscrewed the lid and poured the liquid into the rushing water. Then he looked up and smiled. Revenge was a goblin’s favorite pastime. He tossed the empty jar back into the river and slipped into the darkness.

When he was back in the underground city, Fedrick felt something tickling his arm. He looked down and saw a black beetle crawling on his skin. He brushed it off with an irritated flick of his fingers. As soon as the beetle hit the floor it transformed into a tiny grinning man. Fedrick stared open mouthed in astonishment.

“Hi there! I’m Bubble the boggart,” said the man with an even wider grin. “I didn’t mean to scare you, but that’s what boggarts are known for, scaring people I mean. That’s why I thought I could get a job here. It seems like you goblins need someone to scare the fairies and keep them from finding out what you’ve been doing to the water in their forest.”

He babbled this so quickly that Fedrick barely understood a word of it.

“What?” Fedrick blurted.

“I want to work for you goblins by scaring the fairies,” Bubble repeated.

Fedrick just kept staring, his forehead creased in confusion. Bubble’s grin vanished and he looked as though he were about to cry.

“Oh no! You’re not hiring.”

“Uh, I don’t know,” said Fedrick considering him a minute. He seemed harmless, if a little slow. “You’d have to ask our leaders.” After all, he reasoned, the council should be able to tell if this strange little boggart could be trusted.

Bubble brightened, his grin instantly returning. “Oh good, where are these leaders then? They’re the ones I need to see.”

“Follow me,” said Fedrick. “I’ll bring you to them, but you should know they may be busy.”

“That’s okay,” Bubble replied, “I don’t mind waiting.”

Fedrick led the way to the central hall with Bubble skipping behind him. There were several members of the council in the chamber, as Fedrick guessed there would be. Fedrick walked up to one who didn’t look too busy and tapped him on the shoulder.

When the councilor turned Fedrick whispered, “There’s a boggart here to see you.”

He gestured at Bubble who gave a theatrical bow before announcing, “Bubble’s the name scaring’s the game!”

Looking totally unimpressed, the councilor asked, “What is it you need from me, Bubble?”

“I need a job,” said Bubble. “I’m here to offer you my awesome frightening powers to use against the fairies. In exchange I want thirty cans of bottled bat broth every month.”

The leader just stared at Bubble for a minute then looked him up and down as if trying to determine his skill level.

Finally the goblin said, “It would be useful to have someone distracting the fairies for us. I will speak with my fellow council members about hiring you, but I would like to see a sample of your talents first. Come to my work cavern and give me a demonstration.”

As they moved to one side of the meeting hall, Fedrick turned in the direction of his cave. He was only halfway there when a joyful shout rang off the stone walls and Bubble rushed down the tunnel yelling, “Yippee! I got the job! Look out fairies, here I come!”

Goblins and trolls lined the corridors to stare after Bubble as he switched from shape to shape, shouting all the while. Fedrick rolled his eyes and would have continued on his way if Bubble, now in the shape of a large orange monkey, hadn’t grabbed his hand, shook it and cried, “Thank you so much for taking me to the leader!”

He then somersaulted up another passage and out of view. Fedrick turned from the curious stares of his fellow citizens in embarrassment. He ran home before anyone could ask him what that was all about.

In the weeks that followed, Fedrick often saw Bubble in Fairy Wood. The boggart often snuck up on him and tried to scare him, without much success. Fedrick was never sure how well Bubble really did at scaring fairies, but he seemed to keep them distracted, which was the real reason the council had hired him.

After the water in Fairy Wood was polluted enough to have an effect on its inhabitance, the goblins sent spies to discover the fate of the fairies. At first the reports were satisfactory. The spies reported that many fairies were becoming sick and could find no way to make the water clean and good for drinking again. Then the spies reported that the water was pure once more and none of the goblin poisons had any effect on it.

“That’s impossible!” said the goblin council. “Our magicians made sure that the fairies could not clean the water.”

“But it wasn’t the fairies who broke the curse,” replied one of the spies. “The fairies got the unicorns to help them.”

“Then we will have to get the unicorns out of Fairy Wood,” said the goblin leader. “That will be quite simple. The creatures who are best at hunting unicorns live within our city.”


Fedrick knocked softly at the entrance to Felnar’s cave.

“Who’s there?” the troll called out in a squeaky voice. “Is it the humaviper?”

“It’s me you fool, not a humaviper!” Fedrick called back. “How many times do I have to tell you? Serpina left the city, she has her own home. She won’t come back to eat you.”

“Oh, Fedrick, it’s just you,” said Felnar. The goblin rolled his eyes.

“I came to tell you,” said Fedrick, “that there are plenty of unicorns roaming around Fairy Wood. There’s no better time for trolls to go hunting than now.”

Continue to episode nine.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Quests Episode Seven: Of Winged Horses and Hobgoblins

Sorry for the delay between posts. I got busy with a few things the past few weeks but hopefully I can get back on track with the series now. At any rate here is the new Quests episode.

Read the series prologue.

Read episode six.

Episode Seven: Of Winged Horses and Hobgoblins

A few days later the elders informed Beritta and Faralasa that they would be helping the animal tenders round-up winged horses. In a state of great excitement, the girls joined the animal tenders in making preparations near a set of stables and corrals at the base of the great hills to the west of the lakes.

Beritta found Oakley among the group and whispered, “Thanks.”

“For what?” he asked.

“Oh, come on!” she smiled. “I know that the elders didn’t think of sending us on this quest on their own. You’ve done us a big favor.”

“It was nothing, really,” he said, looking down in embarrassment.

“Sure it was,” she insisted. “I’ve been nothing but nasty to you and yet you’ve helped me.” “Well, just be sure you do your part catching a winged horse or two so that I won’t regret this!” said Oakley with a smirk.

Beritta laughed as she turned to rejoin Faralasa.

“Were you just talking to Oakley?” Lasa asked as though she couldn’t believe her own eyes.

“Yes, why?” said Beritta.

“You hardly spoke two words to each other the last time I was with you both.”


“So, I didn’t know you were on friendly terms.”

Beritta shrugged. “Things can change.”

Lasa glanced at Oakley.

“So what happened?” she asked.

“What makes you think something happened?”

Lasa looked back at her with an expression which seemed to say, be serious!

“The only thing that happened is that we decided not to be complete enemies anymore,” Beritta replied.

Lasa stared at her for a minute. She was glad that Oakley and Beritta were finally friends; she only wished they would fill her in on the details.

The group set out in the late morning. After a few hours they came to some cliffs at the base of the Emerald Mountains on which they expected to find the winged horses. A few of the elves in the group were part of an elite rank called Airwalkers. The Airwalkers were even lighter weight than ordinary elves. They guarded the air from any creatures that were a threat there. The Airwalkers went up the cliffs ahead of the others and attached ropes for the rest to climb.

When she heard the call, “Ready!” from the top of the cliff, Beritta moved forward, tied a rope around her middle and climbed. The cliff face was covered in small niches making it easy to climb. Even in smooth places Beritta had little trouble, for she used the rope to pull herself higher. On either side of her Oakley and Faralasa also made the dizzying journey. At the top, they pulled themselves over the edge with a little help from the Airwalkers then untied the ropes from around their waists. As she tossed the rope down for the next elf to use Beritta leaned over to see how far she had climbed. She was surprised how long a drop it was. The climb was so easy it seemed short. The elves at the bottom looked only a few inches tall as if they were wingless pixies.

Once everyone made it to the top, the group separated in order to better search the rocky crags for winged horses. Beritta hugged looming stones and scrambled over boulders for hours, always on the lookout for animal movement. At last a tall thin man climbed past her and found one of the group leaders.

Beritta overheard him announce, “There’s a herd further down the hillside. Come on, I’ll lead you to them.”

The leader waved Beritta and other nearby elves forward and sent an Airwalker to spread the word to the rest of the group. The winged horses grazed in a small grassy bowl protected by tall arms of yellow-grey limestone. The herd contained horses of many colors and markings all with powerful feathered wings folded along their backs. Beritta removed a small bag of equipment from her back and fished through it until she found a rope made of a thin gold wire. Golden rope was the only thing with which anyone could catch a winged horse and make it obey. Forming a loop in the rope and placing a finger on each side of the slipknot and one on top of it to hold it in place, Beritta crept slowly toward the creatures along with the rest of the elves.

When they were near enough, all the elves jumped up at the same time and cast their ropes. Beritta twirled the rope once then released it at the head of a brown horse. The rope fell over the animal’s neck and went taught as he struggled against it. Beritta dug her heels into the ground, and pulled with all her strength to keep him from escaping. Then came the hard part; she had to calm the frightened animal, and jump onto his back, all the while keeping a hand on the golden rope. If she took her hand off the rope she would most likely lose control of the winged horse, which would bolt, and the elves would probably never see him again. Also, she had to jump carefully so that she would land between the wings with her legs resting against the joint where the wings met the shoulder.

Speaking in soothing tones, she moved slowly closer to her winged horse. At first he flatted his ears and shied from her touch, but after a few minutes she came close enough to touch him. Taking a deep breath Beritta grabbed hold of the loop around the horse’s neck, flung the end of the rope over his shoulder and jumped. Controlling herself with the hand on the rope, Beritta managed to land in the perfect spot atop the animal’s back. She glanced at the rest of the group and saw that Oakley was also mounted.

Movement in the corner of her eye caused Beritta turn in time to see Lasa jump, landing on the wing of her horse. The beast panicked, tried to fly away and knocked Faralasa to the ground in the process. Now free of the guiding hand on the gold rope, the horse tried to escape, but didn’t get far. One of the Airwalkers saw it take off and grabbed the rope at its neck as it flew past him.

“Are you okay?” Beritta asked, urging her winged horse over to Faralasa and pulling her friend up behind her.

“I’ll probably get a nasty bruise,” Lasa replied, “but otherwise I’ll be fine.”

At a signal from the group leader the elves urged the winged horses forward, soaring high over the crags of the foothills then gliding above smooth plains which rippled as the wind rushed over the grass. When they reached the city, they descended to log corrals where they dismounted, leaving the horses in the charge of the animal trainers. The trainers led the animals into long huts which served as stables.

One morning shortly after the round-up Oakley announced to the girls that he was finally going to be a trainer.

“They need more people to train the new winged horses,” he explained. “I’m going to help the older trainers until I get the hang of it. Still, it shouldn’t be long before I’ll be training on my own.”

“That’s great!” said Lasa.

“Yeah, congratulations!” said Beritta.

She wished the elders would give her a job that suited her as well as Oakley’s new job suited him. Her restlessness had returned. Later that day she found Lasa and said to her, “I’m bored. Let’s find something fun to do. I was thinking we could…”

Lasa cut her off.

“I don’t want to play pranks anymore,” she said. “They get us in trouble. You heard the elders, if they catch us making trouble again they won’t send us on quests.”

“Well, all right,” said Beritta. “We can find something else to do.”

“Like what?” asked Lasa. “Do you really have any new ideas? All your most recent ones have gotten us into trouble.”

Beritta stared at her, stunned.

“When you have a good idea that won’t get us in trouble let me know. I’ll join you if it seems all right,” said Lasa.

As she walked away, Beritta muttered, “Fine, I’ll go by myself.”

She headed to the stables and slipped inside. Oakley had been working in a nearby corral and saw her enter. He followed her.

“Hello, Beritta,” he said. “What are you doing?”

“Oh, I thought I would go for a ride on one of the winged horses before my father makes me return to the meetings,” she said as she took one of the golden ropes down from its peg.

She walked farther into the barn and opened the door to the stall of a dapple grey winged horse. As she slipped the rope around his neck Oakley said, “Don’t take him. That’s Cloud; he’s so wild even the master trainer can’t control him!”

“I want to ride him,” said Beritta stubbornly.

“Well then wait until he’s trained and take one of the others for now.”

“I’m a good rider, it will be fine.”

She led Cloud toward the doors of the barn. Oakley followed still protesting.

“Beritta, I’ve seen you ride. I don’t doubt you’re skill. It’s just that wild animals can be unpredictable.”

Once they were outside the stables Beritta turned to face Oakley.

“You worry too much,” she said smiling. “I’ll be fine.”

Then she swung herself onto Cloud’s back and gave him a command to make him fly. Oakley stood watching as the winged horse and his rider became a tiny speck in the distance.

“You did the best you could,” said a voice behind him.

Oakley turned to see the master trainer standing behind him.

“You saw that?” he asked.

The old elf nodded.

“You tried to reason with her,” said the trainer. “It’s out of your hands now. Sometimes an elf has to make a few wrong decisions before she discovers the right way to do things.”

Oakley sighed. “I wish Beritta would start doing things right.”

“She will,” said the master trainer. “Just give her a little time. Now I have to report to the king his daughter’s foolishness.”


At first the flight was smooth and the going easy. As time went on, however, Cloud became restless and stopped listening to Beritta’s commands. She continued to give them, which only aggravated Cloud more. He bucked in an attempt to throw her. When Beritta managed to stay on his back, Cloud made a dive toward the ground. He pulled up at the last minute, causing Beritta to lose her balance and slide off his back. Though she was not very far above the earth, the force of the fall knocked the wind out of her. She lay there watching as Cloud flew away in triumph. A voice called her attention to her surroundings.

“That looks like fun, can I try it?”

Beritta sat up and turned to face the speaker. He was a short green skinned man with beady black eyes and bright orange hair. He was grinning at her in a friendly manner, making his sharp fangs look out of place. Beritta knew at once that he was a hobgoblin, a creature similar to a regular goblin, only less cruel. Also, hobgoblins sometimes came out in daylight, whereas regular goblins did not because sunlight hurt their eyes.

“Who are you?” Beritta asked.

“I’m Glibbin,” said the hobgoblin.

“Well, it was nice to meet you Glibbin. My name’s Beritta and right now I’m kind of lost. Do you know the way to the lake city of the elves?”

Glibbin scratched his head. “I think I should know where that is,” he said.

“Then can you give me directions on how to get there from here? It’s really important that I get back.”

“Maybe you should try retracing your steps,” Glibbin suggested.

“I fell out of the sky, remember?”

“Oh yeah. Well maybe if you jump back into the sky you can get to where you need to go.”

He did not seem to be a very bright hobgoblin. Beritta hoped he really did know the way to the lake city and had just enough sense to tell her how to get there.

“Why don’t you just give me directions,” she said.

“Okay, let me think about this,” Glibbin replied scratching his head again. Finally he looked up at her and said, “Walk straight until you come to the tree. Then go right until you come to the hidden pit the goblins dug. Go left/then/right/then/right/again, then/left/and/left/and/left/and/left/again. One more right and I think you’ll be there by then.”

“How can anyone follow those directions?” asked Beritta in frustration. “I’m supposed to turn at tree. What tree? There are a lot of trees around here. And how am I supposed to find a pit if it’s hidden? Besides, I might fall in before I know it’s there. You listed the turns far too fast for me to understand. How many times am I supposed to turn left? I’ve never heard a set of more confusing directions in my life! If you don’t know how to get to the lake city is you could just say so.”

“I do know how to get there,” Glibbin argued. “You go straight until you come to the tree…”

“Thanks for your help,” said Beritta, interrupting him, “but I think I’ll find my own way to the city.”

“My way is quicker!” cried Glibbin. “I can prove it!”

“I don’t need you to prove anything,” said Beritta who was losing patience fast.

“How about we race?” Glibbin suggested. “You go your way, I go mine and we see who gets there first.”

“I don’t want to race…” Beritta began but Glibbin wasn’t listening.

“Ready, set, GO!” he yelled and dashed away.

“Good riddance!” Beritta murmured.

She set off in the direction she hoped would lead her toward the city. As she got her bearings she realized she was on the plains just south of the city where she had greeted the last ambassador. After wandering for hours Beritta found some landmarks she recognized and stumbled onto the path which led to the capital. When she reached the southern gap and the path leading to the lakes, Beritta found that something had caused a disturbance there. As she came closer Beritta saw several guards and her father talking.

“Where have you been?” her father demanded.

“I…” Beritta began but he interrupted her.

“The master trainer says you took one of the wild winged horses out for a joy ride. How did that go?”

“He,,… got a little out of control,” Beritta mumbled.

“You lost a winged horse, didn’t you?” cried the king. “I cannot believe you could be so irresponsible!”

“I’m sorry,” said Beritta. “It won’t happen again.”

After her father had forbidden her to ride winged horses until further notice he added, “Now perhaps you can explain why a hobgoblin, who seems to lack any kind of intelligence, was found jumping up and down on the path shouting, ‘I win, I beat Beritta’.”

Beritta’s jaw dropped open. She turned to see Glibbin standing with the guards.

When he saw her he shouted, “I win, Beritta! I told you my way was faster.”

“Glibbin, I didn’t expect to see you again so soon,” said Beritta.

“You forgot we were racing, didn’t you?” Glibbin asked. “I forget things all the time.”

The king and guards looked at Beritta expectantly so she told them how she had met Glibbin. There was a brief silence after she finished speaking.

Finally her father said, “Well, since you two seem to be such good friends perhaps you would like to show Glibbin around the capital, Beritta.”

Before Beritta could say anything Glibbin gave a joyful yell and grabbed her hand, dragging her down the path toward the lake.

“Are you mad?” asked one of the guards. “How can you let that brainless hobgoblin into the city, especially with her?”

“I think it will do them both good,” replied the king. “He needs a friend and she needs to be responsible for someone.”

After Glibbin had frightened a group of small children, nearly knocked over a woman carrying a basket of nuts and fallen off a rope ladder to a tree house, Beritta introduced him to Faralasa who then helped her keep track of him.

“So your father wanted you to show him around?” Lasa asked. “Do you know why?”

“Not really,” Beritta admitted.

“I think it must be his way of punishing you for losing Cloud,” Lasa stated.

“Maybe,” agreed Beritta.

Just then Glibbin cried, “Look it’s another hobgoblin!”

He was looking at his own reflection in the southern lake. Glibbin waved.

“Look, he’s waving at me!”

He leaned closer to the water to get a better look and slipped.

“Help, help I’m drowning!” Glibbin yelled.

Beritta and Lasa ran to the edge of the water only to discover that nothing larger than a beetle could drown there.

“Glibbin, stand up. You’re not drowning,” said Beritta.

She pulled him to his feet.

“Oh yeah,” said Faralasa. “Your father must be punishing you!”

Beritta eventually had to rejoin the meeting of High Elves so she asked Faralasa to keep an eye on Glibbin. It was not an easy task. Lasa spent most of the day running around the capital trying to keep the hobgoblin out of trouble.

The next morning Beritta was late for the meeting because she couldn’t find Glibbin. Lasa joined her in searching the city for him.

“Maybe he decided to leave,” suggested Lasa in a hopeful voice.

“Maybe,” said Beritta, “but we should make sure he’s not making trouble somewhere before we assume that.”

A few minutes later they found him in the branches of one of the pine trees.

“What are you doing up there?” Beritta demanded.

“I’m stuck!” wailed Glibbin. “I can’t get down.”

“You can if you try!” Beritta replied.

Faralasa rolled her eyes.

“You get to the meeting before your father gets angry,” she said, “I’ll take care of Glibbin.”

She swung herself into the branches of the tree and reached out to help the hobgoblin.

“Thanks Lasa, I owe you for this,” said Beritta.

“You bet you do!”

Beritta hurried to the place where the High Elves were gathered. When she arrived, her father said, “It’s about time you joined us.”

Beritta was about to explain when she noticed a small brown haired fairy with purple butterfly wings sitting among the elves. The fairy gazed up at her with curiosity in her tiny brown eyes.

“Beritta, this is Lilac,” said the king. “She is a messenger from Fairy Wood. There has been some trouble in the fairy kingdom lately. Lilac has been sent to ask for our help. It seems we may be sending you an important quest to Fairy Wood. Sit down while Lilac explains.”

Continue to episode eight.