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.”
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.