Boop Beep Boop Beep
***Fairelands Service Announcement***
We interrupt this scheduled story to announce that the story will not end today. We(as in me, myself and I) have gotten many messages, both to IMs and by Notecard, that you did not want the “Swim with Me” story to end with the Faire. It was always the plan, that this was going to be an exclusive story series, done for the faire, allowing for similar interests and lore to flow in. It was a unique way to cover some of the items from the faire, at the end of each story.
Due to public response, it has been decided that the story will go on, or a story within the same mer realm, continued in much the same format , in short little snippets, with various info and item coverage at the end of each post. You will be able to follow the rest of the story, beyond this point, on the blog Pixel Mythos. A special page has also been created, so that you can view all the “Chapters” in one spot.
It is the hope that the particular story, with these characters, will continue on again, here, come Fantasy Faire 2017.
***This has been a Fairelands Service Announcement***
Riletta and her new friend, Big Blue, had been traveling for many Lights now, and the call, which came twice a day, so powerful, finally seemed to be getting closer. Having a Blue Whale nearby was handy as he could accurately calculate the distance of the sound waves. It wasn’t a skill she acquired, sorting out long distance vibrations, carried through the currents.
The travel was fast, much faster than had she been on her own. She glided in the slipstreams that her friend made, and as they crossed the oceans of their world, she saw many new creatures, all coming together for the same goal.
Suddenly, a large shadow merged in the waters, casting dark shadows across Big Blue’s back. It was there and gone before she could make much sense of it. They were too close to the surface for it to have been a boat. She tapped on Big Blue, and sliced out out of the slip and up to the water’s edge. Surfacing her head, she saw a Thunderbird flying at breakneck speed, carrying what suspiciously looked like her mother in it’s claws. Off in the not so far distance, amidst the mists, she could see lands.
Not totally sure what was going on, she plunged back into the waters, veering towards her whale friend.
“I just saw the oddest thing. I noticed a large shadow glide along your back, and since we were so close to surface, I knew it wasn’t a boat. I thought I’d check it out, hence the tap to stop. It was a Thunderbird, and it looked like it had my mother in it’s claws. I inherited her royal purple colouring, it is a telling of our royal line, so it must have been she, there are only two of us left.”
“That does seem odd princessa, where could they be going?”
“The only thing I can think of is this; she either got impatient with me, and went to the birds to for information or she found out something and went to them for help.”
“Was there anything else you could descern from your slip to the air?”
“Yes, I know the direction they are taking, it is the same as ours. I saw mists, and lands beyond those. That seems to be our destination.”
“It is time to hurry then. I can’t compete with a Thunderbird, but I can try to get there in record time. Come now, lets be off.”
Riletta’s head was full of questions, as she let her body be pulled into the strong current her friend was producing. They would have half a Light yet, before the reached the mists she saw. Even at the speed they were now going. She hopped her mother didn’t get into any trouble, in that time.
Talise rolled along the rock, into the water, as the Thunderbird stopped his hover to alight onto the surface. The rock jutted out just beyond the mists, their swirling masses hinting at what was hidden inside, but never letting her see a true view.
She waited for the Thunderbird’s smaller brethren to arrive, for she did not have the gift of universal speach, and could not communicate with the Thunderbird directly.
She mused that Cambreyan was probably still fuming at her, cursing her decision to leave her realms in his hands, until either she or the princessa returns. He did not like the idea of her going off on an epic adventure, that was the whole reason why Riletta had been sent off originally, as a royal emissary.
The news they received, once they got to the islands, had not been good, and she could not wait for her daughter. If anything, she had to go, to spare her daughter’s fate.
An evil had found it’s way here, to her realms, and that of other oceans. Something that attacked from within, mutilating one’s body, until it works against the victim. The birds said the mist shrouded lands might be the key to what knowledge she seeks. So she opted to take a trip, directly to them, by air.
Her scales hurt, having been dried out from the harsh winds. It felt good to be back in the water, though the water felt different here. It was so infused with magiks. It felt like hundreds of little hands, all caressing her tail. She was glad to be propped up, she wasn’t ready for a full submersion into the handsy waters.
Just then, a Pelican landed beside her with a splash. It was Dronal, her translator.
“Finally, I am eager to figure out what this is all about.”
“I am not able to fly as fast as my much larger cousin, dear lady. Forgive me. He says he cannot continue beyond this point. The magiks within would tear him apart, as he is a fully realized magik, and does not have a mortal form. I, however, have been told to accompany you. He can speak through me, and see what I see.”
“Well that is a handy trick. I don’t wish to lose one of the last remaining wonders to our world, so if it pleases him to wait here, I am fine with you being my escort.”
“The Light is almost done, let us rest here, and wait for the new Light. We can start fresh then.”
“I agree, I will rest in the shallow little tidal pool there. I don’t feel up to sleeping under the surface this Dark. These magiks disturb me.”
“As you wish, my lady.”
It was just the start of Dark, when Big Blue guided Riletta towards a clustering of volcanic spires. He chose here to rest for the night. There would be no finding the queen just yet. When they surfaced, the whale for breath, and she, to see what she could in the moonlight, the calls of seabirds could be heard not far off.
She could almost feel her mother, not far off, but the swirling mists drifted out along the waters, obscuring most of her sight, even with the moon’s light. It couldn’t penetrate the swirls. They floated along, then flitted up, looking a lot like ancestral spirits do, when they are called for ceremony.
They seemed alive, these mists.
Submerging again, she followed Big Blue to his chosen spot, once again curling up on his fin. Her she had slumbered, almost a week. She had gotten use to his rise and fall, which he was required to do through the Dark, for breath.
Tomorrow, she thought, that will be the end of this journey. Mother will surely find out what is going on.
Talise awoke to such a clatter, that she was disoriented for a moment, forgetting where she was, and for what reason. The seabirds were dropping fish and crabs before the huge Thunderbird, which he was promptly crunching up in the pale glow of the cresting Light.
One little bird, one not known to her, ventured forth with a sardine, a fish too small for the Thunderbird to nab, and dropped it into her little tidal pool.
“Thanks, my feathered friend. A welcome gift.”
Dronal waddled over on his short legs, his pouch wiggling with his own catch.
“Ah, so you are up. I have some news. As the flock and I went off to catch a feast for our cousin, we spotted a young blue whale surfacing, not far. Not a unique experience in itself, we do see them from time to time near the channels that flow around our islands. What was interesting to see, was the purple hued mermaid nestled on his pectoral fin. Hued much the same as you.”
“Oh! that must be my daughter. We must go to her. We can figure out the rest together.”
“Then eat quick my lady, and come, I will show you the way.”
Talise scooped up the little fish, saying a quick thanks, flipping backwards into the rushing morning waves, to enjoy her breakfast below the surface.
The Light was rising ever so quickly, shooting it’s beams into the clear waters, allowing her to follow the pelican above with ease. Not much Light went by before she started to see volcanic spires, their bases rising from the depths. Resting not far was the aforementioned blue whale. Young bull was of good length, and had beautiful splattering of dots along his back, which flowed down into smaller ones along his side.
She saw nothing of her daughter, as approached. She started to slip along the other side of the whale, when she was grabbed from below.
“Mother! I thought we were going to find you this morning. I didn’t expect you to find us. I figured you had already breached the mists.”
“No, my fellow travelers wished for new Light, so we rested through the Dark.”
“We traveled until we got close enough to the mists. I was already partway into Dark by then. I looked a bit in the moonlight, but the mists drift out, back in and swirl around too much. It’s like they are alive.”
“I have a feeling, my daughter, that they are just that. The Thunderbird wants me to go inside, with his translator, who is going to act as his vessel. He cannot go himself, he is of magik, and would end up being dispersed.”
“I guess we go then.”
“Yes, yes we do.”
Their little party, now brought together, surged forth, swimming along the surface, while Dronal flew above. The mists got thicker, swirling, grabbing at their waterlogged bodies and wind ruffled feathers. They started to have to put actual effort into their movements, pushing back at the mists, the currents and winds. They could no longer see, from where they came, or where they were going. Where yesterlight the mists gave glimpses of what was beyond, this Light there was just a thick shroud.
Many moments went by, and finally the droplets seemed less dense, the thick layer over the water lessening.
They finally push their last push, and breached what seemed to be a barrier, suddenly hurtling forth into calm waters. Before them was a series of lands, all pushed up against one another, each different, but somehow inter meshing with it’s neighbor.
Before them were the Lands of the Mists, the Fairelands.
They traveled towards a towering piece of land, perched up on flowerpot rocks, with the flora growing rather chaotically. The water would not be left out and competed with the grander of the land, with buildings jutting out of the shallows not far from shore.
It was a breathtaking sight, leaving one looking all about, as there was just so much going on.
There were all manors of intelligent beast, furred, feathered, finned and footed. They could see them chatting, playing, milling about. Little Sprites flew along the waves, leaving colourful trails in their wakes.
They rested there, staring, until slowly, those they were watching noticed and started watching them. Some hurried off, taking a crystallized tunnel, others came closer to the shore. Not sure who to approach for the best results, they waited, talking amoungst themselves.
“We are going to need to approach someone, figure out who is of a sort of power here, who will have the answers we seek. We can’t just sit here and expect something to happen.”
The Queen had spoke to soon, because just as she had finished, a swirling mass came towards them, with a cluster of robed figures. They could not see a form, and it glided mere inches above the water’s surface.
The Mass swirled in vivid colours, with the core being the brightest of lights.
“Hello Travelers, I am the manifestation of the Fairelands, given a semi corporeal form. When you speak with me, you speak to the lands themselves. I am but an avatar, and have no one true form. You will see what your heart desires most, so that your head can make sense of what is before you.”
It was true as well, they each saw something a bit different, forming from the core light. They each saw representatives of their own kind.
“The Fairelands wont be here much longer, already the visitors have gone, and all that is left are those too sick to leave and those who stayed to help with their care. There are also the people of the ceremonies, and merchants packing up their wares, but they will not know what you seek. I am going to take you to a place, where you can rest, and ask the questions you need to. There is a channel of water just there, you may follow that way, there will be enough room.”
So they followed.
Again, it seemed, there was just too much to look at. Such wonders were here, and it was just a small part of what they saw beyond the mists. Each one of them wanted to explore, the enchantment of the lands making them nearly forget the reason for being here. Far too soon, they reached a huge cavern, with water so still.
“Here is were you can rest, and we can talk. It is a safe place, set away from curious ears. What brings you here, and how were you able to pass through our shroud of mists?”
Talise, being the highest rank, felt it was her task to answer for them all.
“10 Lights ago, we heard the first Call. It vibrated through the waters, all creatures in my realms heard it. We could not understand it, but we felt there was some urgency. I sent my daughter, my quickest envoy, to seek out answers. When she didn’t contact me in a timely manor, and my people started to feel the lure of the Call, I started looking for information. That information lead me here. We wish to know why all creatures, from the whole waters, were compelled by it. What does it want?”
“It has been a long time, since a Call has been activated. Those here, in these lands, we do nor hear it, as we are already on the mission it tasks. This is not good news, for your world, that is has activated itself here. The Fairelands are full of magiks, from all sorts of lands, world, universes. The people are much the same, from all manors of places, and times. What you see here, is also elsewheres, at the same time. It can be confusing, I know, but we don’t have time to really explain it. What is important is this, each time the Fairelands appear, there is a sentinel, a sort of guardian, put forth to guard the places we pop up in. We lost our guardian for your world, due to an unfortunate turn of events the last faire. So the lands set up a beacon, to detect any trouble that might arise, and if something did happen, to send out a form of communications.”
“I have heard tell of this trouble. We have no name for it yet. It was already starting to target the waters. You brought it with you, with these lands?”
“The answer is no and yes.”
“That makes no sense.”
“We would never unleash something onto any of the worlds we manifest in. This is why we have or Sentinels. They are there to protect, to chase down and keep the evil at bay. The problem is this particular enemy can be slippery, and is also very good at detecting weakness. Your world was too pure, too whole, a beacon in itself, for this sort of thing. So while we did not bring it, did not unleash it, and normally have precautions, it watched and waited. It eventually found a hole.”
“So because there was no sentinel, we now have something preying on us, all of us. The Call didn’t help either, many have perished, trying to get here, eaten by the sharks, and other predators. All you have brought us is trouble. How are you, and the lands, to help us?”
“We go back into the mists, very shortly. I, again, don’t have the time to explain it, but think of it as another plane, where all thoughts, emotions, imagining, of every creature out in the cosmos, gets collected. It takes time to weave those into existence, so the Fairelands need rest. The Fairelands are here to teach and to help, to fight back, against this thing that now inhabits your world. We can teach you how to combat this, we can give you the knowledge, but you must come with us, to this cosmic plane. The Knowledge there will cleanse your world, and we will give it. There is a cost, as the universe is about balance. In order to learn, for you to absorb the information the Fairelands, you must stay with us, until the mists part again, and the lands re-emerge amoungst the worlds.”
“We would be gone, for a whole year, while this thing ravages our waters.”
“It is not just the waters it will attack, but every living thing. You have to come, knowing what you leave behind, but also knowing that when you come back, you will have the tools you need, to rid this thing from your world.”
“There seems to be little choice. One year of suffering compared to untold years, while still a heavy toll, is the lesser evil. We will come.”
“Only you and you daughter will come, for the others, we have special tasks. You, the speaker of the Thunderbird beyond, you will be tasked to travel the winds, with your cousin, and tell the world of what is going on. This evil doesn’t discriminate, and will attack any with a spark of life. There are some things that can be done, to bolster against it. I bestow upon you a crystal helm, which will slowly transfer this knowledge to you. You must go, make haste.”
With this, Dronal flew up, his new helm glinting, and took off with great speed the way they came.
“You, Big Blue, you I task as being the new guardian of this world. This is a task your ancestors, on many other worlds in the stars, have been tasked with, in the past. Your line of whales has always been known as protectors of the Oceans. You will stay here, and await the return of the queen and princessa. The beacon will stay, as it is set apart from the mists. Once one of every creature living in the ocean has arrived, it will cease it’s call. You will inform them of what is going on, you will tell them to follow the instructions of Dronal and the Thunderbirds. You too, must go now, for the mists are thickening, soon the lands will fall out of existence on this plane.”
Big Blue bobbed, signaling he understood, and turned to Riletta, and blew bubbles at her. She smiled, enjoying the playful underwater whale kiss.
“I will await you, my friend, you have given me much purpose and honour, on this journey. Do not forget this little whale.”
“Little my buttfin! Shoo you, until we meet again!”
“Daughters of the Ocean. Inside each of you is something that has been laying dormant for much too long. You have wild magiks, deep deep within, and this is what will protect you, in the moments coming. We don’t have much time, as the mists are swirling, and the water is already churning beyond shore. Are you ready for this next step? You will never be the same again.”
“Yes, we’ll do this for our world. It is our home.”
“Then come, the lands are prepared to protect you as much as they can, you must step into my core, I will act as a shield.”
Mother and daughter, stretching out hands, to hold one another, swam forth, and leapt into the embodiment of the Fairelands, which had turned back into a swirling mass of magiks and light.
Outside, the portals lit up, and the fairelanders set forth to return to their own homes, to continue their own fights. To bring hope to their own people, in forms of new information, new techniques of healing. To bring dreams, stories, memories created here, in these magikal lands.
Those left here to rest, those with no more sands in their hourglass, started to dissolve, flickering forth as bright sparks. The sparks flew up to form together, to swirl and fly in a rush along the lands. They are the glue, what holds the illusion, makes the lands take true form. They are the reason why the lands are here, and why the living gather. They now will forever be a part of the Fairelands.
From within their shielded globe, the mers watched all this. The rebirth of the dying, much like a phoenix, ever so bright. They watched them in fascination, as the sparks flew, rising up, and bursting forth. The lands glittered as they all fluttered down in a rainbow of colours.
Once the lands were fully covered, the mists came, almost malevolent. The thick tendrils started to touch everything, and with them came the waves. Inch by inch the waters rushed forth, everything touched crumbling to the depths below. Towers and statues tumbled, buildings washed out, floating, then sinking. Trees creaked and fell, caught up and into the whirlpool that was now forming.
A big wave rushed towards them, and all they could think of was their people, and why they were doing this. The wave pushed them, steering their globe towards the now gaping whirlpool.
The queen’s last thoughts on this plane were simple. She wanted Dronal to not be too overloaded with his task, that the Thunderbirds could use what he learned, and form a stand against this evil. She wished Big Blue the best, on his new task, and a task it would be. She desired Cambreyan to not be to mad at her, for he would have to run her queendom for a whole year, as well as fight this thing now in their waters. She wanted strength, for what lay ahead, for her and her daughter.
With all this swirling in her head, as the waters rushed in, enclosing them, pushing them, forcing them down, her last thought, looking at Riletta, was that of Hope.
An Original/Continuing story by Helena Stringer – With “chapters” uncovered over the course of Fantasy Faire 2016