Since the dawn of the First Age, when the peoples of the world started counting the passage of Time, we have been here. Keepers of the waters; guardians of Life’s Way; shepherds to those seeking rest as their Path leads to the gates of Beyond.
Carved from the living rock above the waters and below the outspread arms of the Goddess, our halls are open to all, from above or below the waves. Like time itself, our waters flow outwards from their beginning in the hills, passing through tunnel and channel as they seeking the Spirit Pool, while the ebb and flow of landfolk and seafolk mark the beat of the citadel’s heart.
To some we are a place of commerce, folded between land and sea. To those seeking Answers or uncertain of their way as their years wane, we are a place of Sanctuary and peace. The waters of the Spirit Pool offer rest and clarity of vision and thought to those who seek either.
As the world turns, so we have seen the rise and fall of many; but while the years fall like leaves from a bough and the ages unfold as the petals of the flower, we remain. These walls, ancient before the world grew old, tire not. Though countless thousands of feet have walked our piers and halls, the stone beneath them does not fade nor wear. Our banners do not fade.
“Timeless” some might call it; but that would infer we have escaped time. But how do you escape something to which you’ve never been held in thrall? We simply Are; and that is why the weary, the lost, the lingering souls caught between one realm and the next, find their way to us.
Beneath the Goddess’ outstretched arms, within the shade of covered terraces and walks, guided by the lanterns held aloft by the Handmaidens of the Pool or within the waters of the Pool itself, all who are uncertain, all who seek reset before passing beyond the realm of the physical, are welcome here.
As a trader or traveller coming to this citadel for commerce, you may not see them moving among the people here, but we do. Our promises is to care for them, provide the peace they need so that they may hear their own calling. We do not offer direction; we do not encourage passage one way or the other. Each of those bound by time must make their own choice as to which path they will take.
That is how it always has been, here in the midst of the Spirit Pool, and it is how it always will be. We greet you now as friend and traveller, and offer our halls as a place of trading and meetings. And we will welcome you again, one day, when your spirit is in need of rest and your thoughts in need of focus, when the Spirit Pool calls to you once more.
Thursday April 27th
The Ritual Yields an Answer…And a God!
The Envoys of Seamaide made their way to the Spirit Pool once more.
They arrived to news that an aide from another land had found the last two elemental artifacts. Having all four in hand, the old Druid cast a circle and called on a beautiful female to play the ritual music on her flute.
As the music began, the Lord of the Wyldes and other Envoys, plus a foreign dignitary, took positions at the four cardinal points of the circle, each in front of one of the elemental crystals.
The Tavern Mistress Elayne called upon the spirits of the Air.
The Harbour Mistress Laila called upon the spirits of the Water.
The foreigner who had aided them many times thus far, the male known as Ktahdn, called upon the spirits of the Earth.
And the Lord of the Wyldes himself called upon the spirits of Fire to help them.
After an exhausting period of chanting and flute playing, the God of the Sea, Lugh himself, appeared in the middle of the circle.
With his aid, the Envoys were able to decipher the next step in their quest and identify the person who would be called upon to complete the task. The child Cairann was instructed by Lugh:
“Cast the stone with all your might at the forehead of the dragon, little one. And when it falls, the rest of you must cut its heart from its chest and place it upon the circle where I stand before the heart stops beating. Then you may perform the ritual upon this scroll to cleanse it. Only then may it be returned to where it belongs to heal that which is unclean. But be warned there is a price.”
The Lilypods confronted the dark spirits and heard their dire warnings for themselves. Tepic of the Lilypods confronted them, stating the warnings sounded like the spirits worked for the Unweaver. They did not deny their allegiance to their dark master.
The Lilypods refused to heed these warnings, and were discussing a way to find the Sunrise Gem, even though it was a gem only an enemy of Mudrana could find.
As they discussed the possibilities they soon heard the sound of rock breaking, and discovered a man with the audacity to dig into the mountain of the Godfrog! They surrounded the intruder with hostility as the stranger waved his pickax menacingly and said the statue was in his way. Matthew the Lilypod struck the man in the knee with a stick making him fall.
The children soon had the man overwhelmed and talking. His name was Mr. Biggins, and he was looking for a gem to get back home with. The Grandmaster had taken his gem hunting device for himself where it had broken into pieces. He was intending to take a gem from the Godfrog’s mountain, which risked weakening the entire Land of the Lilypad.
The man had made himself an enemy to Mudrana, and it was then that the children realized that they could use him to find the Sunrise gem.
Mr. Biggins, who was tired of getting hit by Matthew’s stick, agreed that if they fixed his device he would help them find the gem they needed as well. They searched high and low, and Azura the Lilypod found two of the missing pieces, but no one could find the control box.
It wasn’t until Matthew stumbled upon their lost guardian, Strifeclaw, that they found that she had discovered it. After telling them why she had turned to stone, she gave the Lilypods the box they needed.
The allies of Mudrana were apprehensive as they offered the device to Mr. Biggins, and a few who had just arrived did not think they should put any faith into an ‘enemy of Mudrana’.
The device made awful noises that hurt the sensitive ears of many of the Lilypods, but they followed the man in circles, growing ever more distrustful and angry as they followed. Finally, he stopped and looked at a flower.
He said that the gem was in the flower. Though skeptical, the Lilypods raised their horns to call forth the Sunrise gem with their music.
The flower opened up and the Sunrise gem emerged, showing that the woman poisoned the Frog Prince, and in his last moments the Pook turned into a frog and ate the woman after shrinking her as well. He then turned to stone.
Mr. Biggins took his device to look for a gem of his own, but as he left the spirits returned to issue their dire warnings. The Lilypods and their allies as one chased them away. With their enemies gone, the children went to what they believed was the Frog Prince statue.
They made plans to thwart the Unweavers threats to make the Godfrog fall asleep, by planning a loud race the next day, while the Guardians of Air and Earth stones prepared a Woading to break it open.
Join the Lilypods for racing on Friday, and help them keep the Godfrog entertained and awake as the Unweaver tries to make the sickness in the land spread.
Over the last week, Fairelanders have been joining tours of individual lands and telling stories about them. These we will be preserving on this website – and some will be made into special tales to be recorded for Fantasy Faire radio. We’re also going to share some of these stories here, starting with Tales from Mudrana.
A Story from Mudrana by FidgetsWidgets
It was a big frog to be sure …
Well, that was an understatement. It was HUGE! And Fidget was having third and fourth thoughts about her plan.
Still, if she wanted to ride the dragonflies, she had to get to them. And to get to them, well a particular kind of Dinkie bravery was required.
Taking a deep breath; whiskers a-quiver, she put one paw in front of the other and began the climb.
A steady drone of noise from the frogs and the flying things played in her ears … helping to steady her focus on the green slimey moss that was growing on the surface of the godfrog statue.
Wafting up from the purple-centered blooms was a delicate fruity scent, while the yellow-centered blooms on the other side had a kind of mineral quality to their sniff.
She was fortunate in that — because if either one of them had smelled of chocolate or bacon … well! Climbing would have been an impossibility.
So up, and up, and up, and up, and up she went …
And at just that moment, the lands began to quake, the HUGE godfrog began swaying … was it a katastrophy for our brave Dinkie?
Some blame it on a monster they call Lag. Others blame it on something called Knew Servers.
And if you want to hear the rest? My deary … you’ll have to ask her yourself! I suggest you lay down a trail of gummi worms to draw her attention.
The Perils of Youth: a Tale of Mudrana by Lyr Lobo, aka Cynthia Calongne Fantasy Faire 2017
“Come back here!” Esme said, her roar sounding fierce.
Mynx knew better than to stop. She knew Esme would follow, but at a snail’s pace. Instead, her gaze drifted to the lilies where the light twinkled, a strange haze that drew her deeper.
She danced across the lilypods, feeling them shift in the water as her feet dashed over them. The leaves swayed, displaying wee frogs that stared as she danced past. They croaked a song unfamiliar to her.
The lilypods rose to form a graceful trail, lining the hill. A distant light flashed above them, beckoning her to draw near. Mesmerized, she took a few steps, only to snap out of her reverie as Esme called to her.
“Do not go up that hill without me. Mynx! I’m warning you. I’m going home if you don’t slow down this instant!”
Unwilling to go alone, Mynx turned to wait for her. Exasperation fueled her next words.
“Getting too fat to catch me, Esme?” she said, glancing back to see if it worked. She knew how to goad her. They were childhood friends, approaching the edge of womanhood, which took a lot longer than they would admit. Feminine and at the brink of their power, the two girls couldn’t be more different.
Mynx was tall, athletic and strong. She looked good, but her tomboy ways kept interested parties at bay. In contrast, Esme was luscious, a ripening peach that turned many a head. It was only her hesitant manner, fed by a lack of confidence that made would be suitors pass her by.
Mynx stamped her foot as she watched Esme tiptoe from one lilypod to the next. Her gait resembled an old woman, cautious as she stepped onto one and tapped the next with her toe, testing to see if it would hold her weight. This was going to take all day!
“Come on, already. They’re safe. I ran over them, fast as I could! You can do it!” Mynx said, growling.
Esme frowned as she inspected the next pod, tapping it with one foot on it before shifting her weight to test it.
“Oh my sweet beehive, at this rate, it will take forever!” said Mynx, growling. “I’m not going to wait much longer.”
As Esme stepped on the next lilypod, a frog jumped, landing next to her. “Ribbit,” said the frog, his eyes bulging. He wore a fancy vest and a top hat, but Mynx saw that his lower half was bare.
Mynx’s eyes narrowed, not due to the roguish frog. She saw her friend fall on her backside, landing hard on the leaf as it rolled beneath her. The side she sat on dipped low into the water. Esme clung to it as her foot kicked against the water.
“Dashed plucky frogs,” Mynx snarled under her breath before hollering, “Come on already. Quit fooling around and get up here!”
It must have worked. Esme prodded the frog with her toe, nudging at his belly, but her foot slipped from its target and landed in his crotch.
“Ribbit!” said the frog, roaring in pain as he retreated to the next pad.
Esme knelt on one knee, preparing to stand. She cried out as she slipped, the water splashed around her, making the leaf slippery. She lost her grip and slid toward the water.
The frog’s tongue whipped out and snapped around her ankle. He yanked her back onto the lilypod as she shrieked and kicked at him.
“Ow!” said the Frog as he tugged with his tongue, dragging Esme flat on her face. Alarmed, Esme cried out as she rolled over and kicked at him.
“Get off of me,” she hollered.
Mynx, fearing for her friend, broke her disguise and snapped open her wings. She flew fast, swooping at the maligned frog, who yanked back his sticky tongue, his eyes bulging out of their sockets. Any other time, she would have enjoyed the sight, but Esme let out another cry.
Her placid friend lost her grip on the slippery lilypod and slipped from into the water.
Mynx flew fast, grabbing her by the ankle as Esme’s head dipped under the water. She strained she flew, her wings beating fast. Her friend was no dainty miss dry, she thought as she struggled to carry her wet friend.
They flew up to the summit of the rise, where Mynx dropped Esme onto the grassy hill.
“Ow!” said Esme, turning to glare at her.
Mynx fluttered to the ground, coiling her wings back into their hiding place. She sat down next to her friend and let her toes wiggle in the soft, strange grass that twitched as she settled onto it. The scene played across her mind, and a laugh escaped her.
Esme friend gaped at her. “How can you laugh?” Esme looked so bedraggled that Mynx let out a roar of laughter. The once beautiful curls were dripping wet, and a wet leaf stuck to Esme’s eyebrow.
“It’s not funny,” said Esme, shaking the wet curls out of her face.
“Oh, but it is. Your frog prince came to your rescue. What did you do? You kicked him. And not in a good way.”
“You sure did. Whatever hope he had for a family is now a thing of the past.” Mynx laughed so hard that tears formed at the corners of her eyes.
They sat back, dazed by the mishap. After a few moments, Esme grinned.
Behind her, Mynx noticed the hapless frog hopping up the path. Her giggles grew as she caught sight of his soggy top hat.
He announced to no one in particular.
“Fine. This is the thanks I get — a swift kick in the unmentionables followed by whiplash of the tongue. Females! You’ll be the death of me,” said the frog, gesturing at them with his cane.
A deep rumble shook the ground beneath them. The hill pitched and rolled as it drew back. Mynx grabbed Esme with her right hand and buried the frog under the crook of her arm, ignoring their protests. She took to the air, her wings straining to elude the new threat.
The ground rolled back as two eyes, one green and one blue, stared at them. The frog in her arms squirmed, his little feet kicking at her arm as he tried to jump.
“I am alive,” said the Frog King, his voice reverberating as he wiggled a sticky tongue at them.
Wednesday, April 26th The Ruins of The Spider Queen
Today The Snake Cultist and the Heroes of Sanctuary continued ever deeper beneath the Oasis. First they came upon the scene of a terrible battle of long ago, where bones lay strewn beneath many webs of spiders. The webs were thick and constant throughout, spread everywhere, above and below. The scent of death yet hung here, as there were some rats that did not die so long ago.
First our adventurers came across a huge spider, that immediately sprinted for Bast. It was a long battle. Misfired spells hit Lord Larkin, penetrating even his stout armor. Ogun’s Daughter and Miriamne both had to heal him.
At one point, the spider, trying to crawl up a web, fell on Miriamne’s head! Fortunately before it could do much damage, it was blasted free. It was a true group effort!
During the fight, Mia hit the Cultist with a burst of pink flower petals. It was a mighty strike that caused him damage and to sneeze like mad. He then wandered off, believing that he heard the singing of his dead wife.
Finally, Lord Larkin had his due of the creature. It had lost three legs, mostly to Skylar, but now with a mighty blow It was very much destroyed.
Astrid found the Gem of Defense this time, and gave it over to Miriamne, just as she found The Spider Queen.
The adventurers continued on. Soon enough they came across the Spider Queen and two of her young. She questioned them. She was also…hungry. It seems however that she had spoken to the Djinn whose domain this was already, and knew what was about. She had an Eye on the Snake Cultist, who had returned, but before she could do a thing, he found the sixth Gem of the Scepter behind her, and, even as he had begun to degrade from the nature of what he held, he blasted her to smithereens. The two child-spiders cried out in horror, and fled.
The Snake Cultist promptly removed himself no doubt to find the next Gem on the Morrow. The Sapphire Djinn meanwhile arrived. She asked Skylar and others to tea, as she’d now be lonely here without the Spider Queen to talk to. She revealed that Miriamne must now find the seventh Gem and be the one, as the Pure One, to battle the Cultist. She said that she would do it for her Home, Sanctuary, and for the family of her erstwhile Liege.
The boy had been eaten by the Sunrise Fish and trapped inside. The Mother alone was tricked by the Pook into serving him in the form of a frog until he adopted the guise of a Prince once she served him.
His trickery got the Pook everything he wanted, and the woman was content until she found a strange orange gem near the pond.
The Lilypods were unsure what they would do next, and with Strifeclaw freed but missing they had no other guidance.
It was late that night that once again Brinley was approached by the Dark Spirits. She told them that no one would be detered from their ritual and that the results had obviously been for the best. The spirits warned that that the Bard King and Unweaver would now be focusing their attentions on the Lilypods more than ever.
Brinley pointed out that she and the others were prepared to fight. The spirits warned her that the Unweaver and Bard King had no need to fight to achieve victory.
“There will come minions, possibly even in disguise, who will try to take the gem you seek. They will take from you precious things, and seal the fate of the Godfrog and this pond to death, rather than lose.”
“Know this child…and spread our final warning. The Lilypods cannot find the Sunrise Gem in Mudrana alone. Search all the Lands today if you wish, but the enchantment upon it will prevent you from finding it. Only one who is considered an enemy to the Land of Mudrana can find it.”
Distressed, Brinley told the other Lilypods and they searched the Fairelands, but came up empty handed. Their guardian of the Air had no power over stones, the Guardian of the Earth Stone was still missing, and Dogstar was tired and occupied after the celebration the day before.
Frustrated, they returned home to think of a way to find the Sunrise Gem without the aide of their guardians before it was too late.
Wednesday April 26th
Day Three – Behind the Scenes
Suspicion builds as the Arklay survivors continue to have their questions deflected and dissuaded by the soldiers and avoided by the smiling scientists who may hold the answers they so desperately want. Guided through the city and always under watch, the Arklay survivors devised an impromptu plan to find out what goes on behind the scenes.. and what the San Morans are hiding behind those false smiles… but timing is everything and our survivors were almost thrown off track when the plan went astray.
Looking for their chance, several of the Arklay ship’s crew wait patiently to make their move, praying the moment comes quickly as one of their own is carried away for medical attention, deep into the heart of the San Mora Laboratories.
Will the Arklay survivors get another chance to execute their plan?
What is the San Mora soldiers true motives and will the separated Arklay survivors find out before its too late?
Join us tomorrow at 12pm – 2 pm SLT in San Mora to find out what happens next..