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.