I am proud to announce that this is the final episode of the Quests Series. After this I will be taking a long break from blogging and story writing. Enjoy!
Read the series prologue here.
Read episode twenty-two here.
Episode Twenty-three: Rise of a Sleeping Power
Just as night took hold of the land, Fedrick's division reached the leafy depths of the forest. The woods seemed eerily quiet; there was very little activity in them. Several goblins stopped and glanced nervously over their shoulders.
“Keep marching, cave slime!” snarled their captain.
The goblin warriors resumed marching, still uneasy. They slowly crept through the tangled undergrowth, expecting to be attacked by elvin and fairy warriors at every turn. They came to a small clearing where they stopped short in surprise. The elvin princess sat on a rock in the center of the grassy area. Her sword lay across her knees but her eyes were closed. Fedrick wondered if she was sleeping. He took a small step forward to get a better look. Though he made almost no noise when he moved, the elf opened her eyes, and turned her head to look directly at him. In her eyes was a look of terrible wild power which filled Fedrick with dread.
The Fairy Queen herself stepped out from the shadows behind the princess and uttered a terrible cry full of words Fedrick could not understand. No sooner had she stopped speaking then a biting cold wind came from all directions, ripping through the goblin ranks, while large sleety raindrops spattered them. Branches whipped at them, vines twined around their feet and flames danced to life like wildfire come to purge the forest.
At the same moment the elf princess leaped to her feet and raised her sword. Elvish warriors charged from every side. The goblins screamed in terror and fled as the elements and elves closed in on them. As Fedrick ran, he noticed other goblins falling all around him, overwhelmed by one or more of the natural forces. Others were cut down by the pursuing elves. Fedrick didn’t dare stop, sure that if he did he would never make it out of the woods.
Only a small ragged group of goblins stumbled out of Fairy Wood and up the mountain path. High above the forest Fedrick stopped to catch his breath and finally dared to look back. The edge of the woodlands shimmered as though it were not quite solid.
Fedrick heard cries from farther up the path, and looked to see that the remains of the goblin company had joined a division of trolls. The goblins urged the trolls back toward the underground city and away from the enchanted forest. Goblins and trolls tripped over each other trying to make it back to the city first. When Fedrick finally staggered into the city’s entrance, he found himself standing next to Felnar.
“What happened?” panted the troll.
“We were defeated by the combined magic of the Fairy Queen and the elf princess,” said Fedrick. The full weight of the Dark’s army’s loss hit him. “What’s worse, whatever they did seemed to have repaired the forest’s defense spells. They’ve made it unsafe for our kind to enter Fairy Wood again.”
“I thought you hated that forest anyway,” said Felnar.
“It holds prime hunting ground that is now lost,” Fedrick replied. “What’s more Wilderlah is cut off from us as well. If we try to enter it we will be hunted down by that cursed elf princess! Only the mountains are safe to Dark creatures now. We have lost.”
Fate paused to look at the swirling colors on her tapestry. She fingered the beautiful pattern at the bottom, a band of black held in place by silver on one side and gold on the other. The Lord of Light was right, this had become a fine tapestry indeed. She sighed in contentment and continued her work.