And There Were Three: Chapter Sixteen

Fiction By Clare Marie // 6/19/2009

Chapter Sixteen

"Well, what did you do to make him happier than usual?" demanded Elinor impatiently.
"I just told him that my name used to be Ficum before I found out the truth," replied Eltar, laughing a little, "when all of a sudden he began bouncing and shouting. It was really quite odd." The Dwarf King came running back and skipped around Eltar's chair.
"Ha ha!" he laughed. "Just wait until you hear this! Remember what I told you about the message that Queen from the North sent me?" The twins nodded. "Well, she is a fairy, and her name is...Asani." Eltar leaped out of his chair, sending it crashing to the floor. "She asked me," continued Bettle (eyes twinkling), "to watch for a boy named Ficum and she said he would be traveling alone. By Zax's beard, it is lucky that you mentioned your other name!" Eltar quickly grabbed the King's shoulders.
"Is there any way you can send a message back to her?" he begged. Bettle shook his head.
"The only way I could is if she sent a message to me through one of her birds." He frowned. "I was never one for animals, and I am unable to send a message-bearer of mine to her--though I can send a message through one of hers. But there, at least I know who you are. Now I don't have to worry about keeping my eyes open for you. I must say, it was getting tiresome." How relieved were Eltar and Elinor when they realized they could really trust the dwarves!
Word soon got around that the human travelers were friends of the friend of their King, and they were now (respectfully) called The Honorable Friends of the Royal Personages. After this, friendliness was thrown at them in gushing waves from all the dwarves in the kingdom. There was much feasting and drinking and singing, besides a small bit of dancing on the part of Bettle, the twins, and many of the young dwarf children.
The twins spent many days in that mountain kingdom, making many friends. They saw Chot the Gatekeeper again, and in fact numerous times after. Tortei was rather busy for a while, so they didn't get much of a chance to speak with him again. But they talked often with Bettle and Ropsy; the former teaching Elinor how to juggle, and his more practical brother showing maps of the lay of the land to Eltar.
One day, during one of Elinor's juggling practices, Eltar walked in the room and sat down.
"Bettle," he said (by now, the children had become familiar enough with the king to call him by his name), "we have been here for many days now; and although we are real happy to be here, we ought to get going." Bettle nodded his head, still keeping the colorful balls up in the air as Elinor watched.
"You see," he said to Elinor, "always keep your eyes on the balls. If you look elsewhere, they will drop. And you must make sure to toss the balls straight up. When I began juggling, I threw balls all over the place. They'd bounce off the walls, the ceiling. Most though" (chuckling) "knocked my head.
"There," he said, catching all three balls and handing them to the girl. He sat beside Eltar. "Yes, I've thought about that too. It is hard on my conscience to let two young things as yourselves go off alone in the wilderness; so just yesterday I sent a message to my ally, Armir. He is the Emperor of all the Elves, and highly honored. My messengers have been instructed to ask him if he would send an escort here to take you to his palace; and from there, with his blessing and his aid, send you on your way. He of course has not answered yet, for his palace is at least seven days' march Southwest from here, and my messengers may have to return first, but--"
"Oh, oh, oh!" shouted Elinor, grabbing Bettle's stubby hands and twirling him around, "do you mean we get to see Elves? And even stay with them?! Oh, how glorious! I have never seen elves before. I'm so nervous! And happy! When do we start? Oh, I should begin packing right away! OH!"
"Well, we don't even know if we are staying with the Elves yet, silly," admonished her brother, smirking. "So what's the use of getting all excited? I think we ought--"
"Oh, you're so practical!" cried Elinor indignantly (when excited, she had the habit of interrupting people, and using the word 'oh'). "Why should the elf-king say no? To such a good friend as Bettle?"
"The emperor Armir does often have the inclination to be very unpredictable," Bettle answered her good-naturedly. "He is an Elf, you know. Still, I see no reason why he shouldn't say yes."


Elves are strange creatures--according to those who know little or nothing about them, that is. They are much alike to fairies, only taller; at least the Great Elves are (fairies are at best five feet in height). The Lesser Elves are quite similar to brownies and small fairies, and have in fact been mistaken for them--to their deep disgust. "Brownies," as the Elves say, "are rude, feisty runts who know nothing except how to annoy and humiliate their betters, and climb trees." (On my honor, I claim no part in this insulting, hypocritical description.) As for fairies, they show better respect and love, though they sill can't understand how Lesser Elves could be confused with them.
Elves also, when compared with fairies, carry themselves with more grace, being more conscious of the way they stand and how they breathe and how they look. Yes, Elves are a proud race, though they will never admit it. Despite an obvious lack of humility, they can (if they choose) be kind and friendly, especially to those who are lonely or helpless. Most have a deep love for the young. They also are fearsome warriors, and never back down from a fight for justice and peace. Yet they do not love warfare, and are most content to glide among the woods and the hills, speaking to animals and drinking in the beauty of the sky and the stars and the colors of the earth.


You might be wondering, dear reader, what was happening to the fairies of Myriada during this time, and what our friends Anomien, Asani, and Syla were doing. Perhaps it is best not to leave you on the edge of your chair, as one might fall off and hurt himself. So, while Eltar (Ficum to the fairies) was journeying through the land of Rosteran, and while the twins were impatiently waiting with the dwarves for Emperor Armir's answer, Myriada was wrapped in an anxious cloud of unrest and fear. The waves of the river Anomiada were growing dark and troubled; whispers of the approach of evil rustled in the forests; the streets of the city were quiet; and winged creatures passed hauntingly through the fog on the kingdom's borders.
Queen Asani summoned a council speedily, to discuss the shadow that lay on the edge of their land. To this she asked her sister Anomien to come, and Syla. All the Queen's advisors were there as well, and some of hte more important townsfolk. They sat solemnly in a circle of gilded chairs, a new sorrow and fear on their fair faces. Anomien looked pale and worn, and Syla seemed grieved, as if some old, painful memory haunted her spirit. Asani alone appeared at peace, if not bursting into tears every other minute was considered peace.
All were talking at once, babbling in their unrest. Asani sat silent and watched them, too tired to stop the panic rising. Syla had her head buried in her hands, weeping. Suddenly the Water Fairy, who had been quiet like her sister, hopped daintily on the table.
"Stop this madness!!" she cried commandingly. "Stop it, I SAY!" Like flicking a switch the voices ceased, and as one they lifted their faces to Anomien. Blue fire leaped out of her eyes, though rimmed with red, and she glared at them with arms akimbo. Tossing her golden locks, she stamped her little foot and said fiercly, "I have never in all my days seen such a despicable group of fairies. No, not fairies! Because how can you call yourselves fairies when you act so?! You're more like Elves, or even humans!" (Here sounded a loud gasp.) "Yes, fairies feel fear, fairies weep, fairies become angry. But they do not panic! They listen to their leaders and stay calm! Fairies try as best they can to keep their emotions inside, for they know better! They know that the only way to handle a crisis is to BE CALM. Perhaps you are wondering why I myself am not calm, though I tell you to be. Well, the truth is that compared to what I am inside, THIS IS CALM! If I didn't have some control over my emotions, I would be deadly; I would grow in anger and darkness and you would fall before my face in fear! Do you not know my power? Do you not know who I am?" She held them all in her gaze, and a dark thundercloud seemed to come about her. She dropped her arms, lowered her eyes, and stood as if frozen. Then she slowly stepped off the table and sat down; she opened her mouth to speak again.
"I..." She hesitated. Lighting flashed outside, thunder rumbled, and rain began to pour down in torrents. Anomien watched the water drops trickling down the throne room window, matching the drops nestled in her golden hair.
"I'm sorry," she said softly.

They sat silent in the throne room, the fairies who had but a little while ago been in a profound confusion. No sound was in the room, save the rumble of thunder and the beat of rain on the walls. They stared at Anomien, her now clouded blue eyes brimming with tears. A feeling of waiting and of dread intensified the air of the room; all felt it pulsing in their chest, trying to beat its way into their hearts. But the emotional words of the Water Fairy lingered in them still and drove away fear.
Asani suddenly jumped out of her chair with some of her old vigor.
"What are we waiting for?" she shouted, the shadow of a smile on her face. "Come, dear people! This is war. We must fight, though we are a peaceful folk. We must fight, as our ancestors did ages and ages ago. We must protect this beautiful land of ours! Follow me, all who are stouthearted!" The fairies-at-council leapt to their feet with a loud Yea! She loudly summoned her maids and with a clatter they came bustling in, red-faced and confused. The Queen grabbed one of the maids, yanked a key from her belt, and blundered to a door in the throne room. She thrust the key in the lock. It took some time to turn it, because the door had not been opened in decades. Throwing open the door, she snatched up all that was there: bows, arrows, swords, shields, armor, and other weapons of war. With an astounding crash she dropped them on th efloor and bade the fairies choose weapon. She herself chose a proud banner with pole of gold. The cloth was a glorious red that sparkled with hundreds of twinkling jewels. In the middle of the banner was a dangerous gold dragon, embroidered finely, with glowing ruby eyes. Emeralds shone on his scales, and pure gold were the ridges on his back and the tip of his tail. His mouth was open and orange fire spewed out, decorated with red-gold crystals. (If you remember that far back, reader, the box which Eltar's sword was kept in had a smiliar dragon embroidered on its lid.)
Wonder and awe was in the voices of the fairies as they beheld the royal banner. For though none save Asani and her sister had actually seen it, they had heard tales of the Dragon Crest of the fairy Royal Family. It was said that in ancient days, the fairy king and queen who established Myriada came to that land; and with the aid of their great ally and friend, the dragon Ey'ley, conquered evil and built a city. (That city, of course, eventually became known as Myriada.) Some time after, Ey'ley set out on a quest alone, and never returned. It was believed the dragon was taken from that world and would come back someday, perhaps in another form.
"Behold the Dragon Crest of Ey'ley!" proclaimed Asani solemnly. "Victory is nigh." She marched out of the throne room, and the armed fairies followed her. Their faces shone, especially Syla's. Her face took on a fiery beauty as she gazed upon the banner; and power was in her hand.
Anomien alone stayed behind, turning back to her window and leaning upon it. She cupped her chin in her hands, singing sweetly and worrying tenderly for her boy Ficum. Small was her thought of war.


Yay!!! They go to war! I

Yay!!! They go to war! I read this chapter last night but I didn't get to comment until this morning. What took you so long to post? It's not going to take you so long for the next chapter, right??? :-)

"It is man's inherent nature to scare himself silly for no good reason." - Calvin and Hobbes

Bridget | Fri, 06/19/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Laziness, mostly. :D That's

Laziness, mostly. :D That's what took me so long to post. And also, I wrote some other pieces that needed posting, so ATWT was kinda set aside. Nope, a book chapter will be my next post. Soon. :)

Thanks for commenting, btw. Hrm, I wonder where all my other readers have got to. :D
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Clare Marie | Mon, 06/22/2009

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

They'll be around. It

They'll be around. It summer! Eveybody is busier in the summer!
We're having a Ben the Editor Day on July 1 and we're all sending him emails on how he's the greatest editor ever, so maybe you could write one too?

"It is man's inherent nature to scare himself silly for no good reason." - Calvin and Hobbes

Bridget | Mon, 06/22/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

:) I would love to join you

I would love to join you all, but we'll be gone on vacation, so I can't. :( We're actually leaving Friday, so I won't be on apricotpie for a week or more.
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Clare Marie | Tue, 06/23/2009

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Hurray for the

Hurray for the elves/fairies/dwarves and whatever else you've put into this!!!

You're going on vacation!?!?! Hurry back so we don't fall off our seats and hurt ourselves as you put it. :)
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Ariel | Wed, 06/24/2009

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

War, huh? I must not have

War, huh? I must not have paid much attention but........whom are they going to be fighting? *blushes*

Sarah | Fri, 06/26/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."

Blogging away!

Yay! You posted!!! So they go

Yay! You posted!!! So they go to war, do they? This is getting to be very, very interesting......Very nice indeed...Bettle is the best...

And really good job with cutting from the dwarves to the fairies. Very nicely done....

Alecia | Fri, 06/26/2009

It awoke with a shrill shreak that can be trnaslated "How dare you leave me in this bed, when I am asleep and helpless?" My sister

I love how you describe the

I love how you describe the highly whimsical Elves! :D In Darkness in the Heights there is a character who is constantly being mistaken for an elf, and he likes it just as little as they like being mistaken for Brownies.

Anna | Fri, 06/26/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief


OFG: We're back! :D  I plan on posting very very soon.  The next chapter is one of my favorites. :)

Sarah:  Actually, it's a mystery whom they are fighting. ;)  So you haven't missed anything, I just have been pretty snitchy about details. :D  So far.

Alecia: I can't wait to start writing about the war, actually.  I have it all planned out in my head, but it hasn't come out on paper yet. ;)  Thanks!

Anna:  Thanks. :D  I think I might like the Elves the most out of all the characters in ATWT, just because they're so amusingly ridiculous. ;)


Clare Marie | Sun, 07/05/2009

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]


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