Meldrick's Tales Chapter 10 Fafner and Lady Blue
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Meldrick the Elder
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Knight of Zantarni
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Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:50 am

((Artwork by Niwatori))

Chapter 10

"Fafner and Lady Blue"

Meldrick had seen the changes around Edingtol and not all of them were good. Crime seemed to be on the rise and Meldrick was doing his best to help teach the elderly some basic self-defense, but he couldn't help them all.

The Knights were about, patrolling the nearby forests and hills defending the lands against those who would destroy the hope and promise of the lands of Zantarni, so the home guards had their hands full.

Fortunately, the increase of crime seemed to bring the people together and the number of kind deeds had also been on the rise.

Sitting on his normal perch on the low, stone wall near the gates of Edingtol, chomping on an apple, Meldrick heard some familiar foot steps.

"Lady Karen, where are you heading in such a hurry?"

Lady Karen smiled a bit taken aback as she always was when Meldrick recognized her footsteps, "Sir Meldrick, I am off to visit the harbor, I heard that a ship had come in with some most unusual birds . . . parrots. I have never seen parrots before. I hear they are very colorful and that they can be taught to talk." She giggled at the thought.

Meldrick smiled, "I am sure you will not be disappointed Lady Karen, they truly are colorful and have the knack of picking up the words one least expects."

She smiled, realizing that Meldrick must have seen these parrots in his travels. She touched his shoulder then hurried off.

Meldrick listened as her footsteps dwindled off in the distance.

"Sir Meldrick? Have you ever seen parrots?" A small voice off to the right asked.

"Why yes little one, I have ‘seen’ many of them, the most memorable belonged to an old faerie named Fafner, I met quite a few years back." He smiled as he heard the patter of other small footsteps start to gather about him. He turned to 'face' the small crowd.

"It was shortly after I met the Orc King . . . "

---------------

As Meldrick rode Rhoswen in the mountains above Caernaur, he decided to make camp for the night. Finding a clearing a bit off from the main trail and overlooking the valley below, he unsaddled Rhoswen and set about building a fire and laying out his sleeping bag.

Looking up in the night sky, the moon in the wane, its light shimmering across the valley below; Meldrick smiled as he could make out the faraway lights of Caernaur. "It looks like a good night for star watching, Rhoswen."

He smiled and lay back on his sleeping bag, letting the aches of the day's travel fade to a distant memory.

Rhoswen seemed a little restless, snorting and neighing a bit. Meldrick looked over to her and there walking towards him was the oldest and most unusual-looking faerie he had ever seen. His hair was grey and long, and he wore it in several braids. He also wore a mutton-chop beard and a brown coat made of some animal’s pelt.

He approached Meldrick with an air of nobility and stopped when he realized that Meldrick had seen him.

“You, my good elf, I am Fafner and I am in need of a healer’s assistance.” He said his name as if Meldrick should know of it and continued, “Lady Blue, my parrot has been injured by a poacher’s arrow.”

Fafner approached and Meldrick had been thinking that there was something odd about the faerie’s appearance when he realized what it was . . . Fafner only had one gossamer wing.

“I am Meldrick, my good sir.” He said as he started to rise, “Where is this parrot of yours? I have a bit of healing training and ability, my Mother Marla taught me.” He grabbed his saddlebag.

The faerie looked at him, “Mother Marla, you say? Would that be Marla of the Gypsy Elves?”

Meldrick was taken aback by the question, “Yes good sir. May I ask how you know her?”

Fafner chuckled and smiled, “I met her when she was a small girl and our paths crossed several times over the years. If you have but 1% of her skills, Blue will be in good hands.” The old faerie moved with a speed that belied his age, “Please, bring your bag. Lady Blue is a short distance away.” The faerie moved off into the underbrush with Meldrick following.

Medlrick had lost sight of Fafner, when he heard the faerie’s voice, “GET BACK, YOU FIEND!!”

As he reached a clearing by a small cave, he saw the faerie, sword in hand, charging a striped wildcat that was near the mouth of the cave. The cat spooked by the sound and fury of the elderly faerie, took off into the nearby woods.

Fafner turned to see if Meldrick was following and then turned and headed into the cave.

Meldrick followed him in and there lying on a soft bed of leaves and feathers, was the most vivid blue parrot that he had ever seen. He could see that the arrow was still lodged in the parrot’s chest. It had pierced from the bird’s right side through to its left.

Fafner knelt at the bird’s side, his hand caressing her beak. The parrot looked to the faerie and in a weak voice said, “Your Majesty . . .returned?”

“Hush Lady Blue, hush. Save your strength. This is Meldrick, a Gypsy Elf and a healer. He is here to help.”

The parrot turned to Meldrick, “Mel…drick, hurts.”

Meldrick knelt beside the parrot, then reached into his bag for something to give it for the pain, “Here, Lady Blue, this will help.”

Lady Blue looked up at Meldrick as Fafner had moved and was now caressing her head and whispering softly ”It’s all right Blue, I trust him.” The parrot looked from Fafner to Meldrick and opened her beak.

Meldrick poured some of the liquid in her mouth. As she closed her beak, the potion took effect, the parrot’s eye glazed over a bit.

“Fafner, please watch her and let me know if she starts to choke.” Fafner nodded and moved to hug Lady Blue.
His eyes intent on watching everything that Meldrick did.

Meldrick lit a candle from his bag so that he could examine the arrow and wound more closely. Not saying a word, he reached inside his kit for his cutters.

“Keep her steady, Fafner.” Meldrick said and Fafner held his parrot head tightly.

Seeing that the faerie had a good hold on Lady Blue, Meldrick took the cutters and snipped the arrowhead from the shaft. The parrot moved a little from the pressure, then calmed down again at Fafner’s gently caressed and soothed her.

“Fafner, I do not know a parrot’s anatomy too well, but from the lack of bleeding from around the wound, I believe that no major organ has been hit. I am going to pull the shaft out.” Fafner looked from Lady Blue to Meldrick and nodded.

“Do what you must, Meldrick” Fafner looked at the shaft and whispered, ”She is all I have.”

Meldrick nodded and took the shaft in his hand and slowly pulled the shaft free and sighed with relief as there was not much bleeding from around the wounds.

He took a bag from his kit and reached in, pulling out some leafy material and placed it in his mouth and began to chew on it. The faerie looked at the wounds and lay his head against the soft feathers of the parrot.

As Meldrick finished chewing, he took half of the poulstice and placed it in one wound and then the rest in the other. Then taking a linen strip, he lightly wrapped it around Lady Blue’s body, gently lifting the bird as he did, then tying it off, making sure the bandage wasn’t too tight.

Standing up and steeping back from faerie and his mount, Meldrick looked about for some wood to make a fire. After gathering enough for a nice fire, he placed the wood a good distance from the bird and set about making a small campfire.

“Fafner, I am going back to my camp and bring Rhoswen and my gear here. Will you be allright?”

The faerie looked up, “Yes, Medlrick, thanks to you.”

Meldrick left the cave and headed back to his own campsite. Once there he put out the fire and gathered his gear and Rhoswen and headed back towards the cave. “Rhoswen there is something about this faerie, Fafner, that I cannot quite put my finger on.”

Rhoswen lightly brushed her head against him as if to tell him to move on. He smiled and lightly rubbed her muzzle and turned back towards the cave.

Upon reaching the cave, he saw Fafner sitting on a rock outside the entrance, puffing on a long thin pipe.

“Is everything all right?” Meldrick asked.

Fafner smiled, “Yes, Lady Blue is sleeping soundly and I thought it would be best if I smoked this outside.”

Meldrick nodded as he set his gear down and then went in to check on his patient. He knelt down by Lady Blue and checked the dressing and then placed his hand oh her head.

“Your Majesty. . .” the parrot started then opened her eyes, “Not your majesty. . .Mel…drick.” The parrot lightly stretched her wing.

“Mel…drick fix?” She looked up at him.

“Yes, Lady Blue, I fixed…now sleep. You need your rest to build your strength back up.” Meldrick smiled and wondered as that was the second time Lady Blue mentioned ‘your majesty’. Was this old, one winged faerie some kind of royalty he wondered.

Meldrick came back outside and started to settle in for the night as Fafner still sat on the rock smoking his pipe.

What secrets does this one-winged faerie hold. . .who is he really Meldrick wondered.

Fafner looked over and put out his pipe and turned to go into the cave, “Good night Meldrick. I thank you for all you have done.” The faerie then turned and entered the cave and joined the vivid blue parrot who was now standing on what was her bed.

“Your Majesty . . . much better . . . now.” She pumped her wings as Fafner approached her, checking her bandage and wound.

“It was very fortunate that someone so skilled was brought to us by the Fates, Lady Blue.” He reached up and gently rubbed the parrot’s neck. “We will leave after Meldrick falls asleep.”

The parrot nodded and then sat to await that time.

Fafner looked out to where the Gypsy Elf lay ”You are much like your Mother Marla, Meldrick . . . very much like her.” he whispered and then went over to sit with Lady Blue.

“Much danger. . .for Mel...drik . . . if stay . . . Your Majesty.” Lady Blue looked to Fafner.

“Yes Lady Blue, much danger and more for us, as long as that bounty is out there on me. There are many who would love to capture or kill the last True King of the Faeries.”

-----------------------

“When I awoke the next day, Fafner and Lady Blue were gone. I was able to examine the arrow I had pulled from Lady Blue and recognized the markings that were the trademark of a band of mercenaries and assassins.”

Meldrick took another bite of his apple.

“Was it truly King Fafner, Sir Meldrick?” one of the children asked.

Meldrick nodded, “I believe so, young Timothy as when I met with my Mother Marla and described him to her, she said it was.” He stood up from his perch on the low, stone wall.

“I must be off now children.” As he turned to leave the children thanked him and ran off towards the park.

Meldrick started back towards his home as a shadow moved away from the wall and headed out the gate. A shiver ran down Meldrick’s spine.

”I must talk to Sir Scarz and Lady Nema.” he mumbled to himself as he had heard rumors that King Fafner may be nearby.

_________________


Sit back and I'll tell you tales of Faeries and dragons.
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