Words By Beq Janus
Pictures By Judith Lefevre
Grid Gremlins. Old timers in the Fairelands say they work for the Unweaver. I believe it. They sent the Fairelands Junction into the drink for hours the other night, What are ya gonna do? What Fairelanders chose to do was to make history. Highest Bail amount in Faireland memory – AineMari Flanagan fetched a whopping L$260,000! The Sheriffs were pleased to say the least. Also, we reached a record Day 4 total of more than $12,000 USD!
Grid Gremlins be damned. The Fairelady provides. Take that, cancer.
– Zander Greene, Friends Fighting Cancer
Day 5 of Fantasy Faire 2012 and with trepidation we look out upon the next region on our journey. The sun is warm on our backs as we leave Meandervale
and its surreal dream-like haze. We are stepping into a tree-filled mountainous domain, the sun is bright, a blue sky gives a bright backdrop to the rocky landscape. The smell of wood fires fills the air as the last of the morning mist is lifting.
It is all rather picturesque. And yet I have goosebumps, a chill in my spine. All is not as pleasant and calm as it seems.
Welcome to Shadow’s Claw
the fourth sim on our tour of the Fairelands, the north eastern most land of our circuit. Built and sponsored by Laufey Markstein, of Trident
, the region is themed to a fantasy viking era setting. Dragons and runes abound and there is a distinct feel of uneasiness.
As we start along the stoney path, we see the wreckage of a viking longboat crushed upon a rocky outcrop off the northern coast of the region, the sheer cliffs make it unlikely that many survived.
Stone based huts with wooden roofs mark out the stores which stand amid tall pines along the side of the pathway. A little further on the path splits and the left fork leads us out across a rope bridge to another rocky outcrop.
A large henge stands here, reachable by a rope bridge and lit by burning torches. In the centre stands an altar. Is that berry juice staining the stone?
In the North east corner a giant horde of gold coins and jewelery has been accumulated in an open store but I dare any man, woman or beast to try to steal from that for it belongs to the dragons of the Isle of Wyrms and one of the magnificent creatures is never far away.
The region is overlooked by a castle, perched high upon the mountainside. Giant stone vikings are assaulting the castle, caught in the moment of assault. The castle is however quiet and still, It is rumoured that Lord Markstein can occasionally be found surveying his domain.
It is whispered by the residents of this land that strangers from afar are seen to magically appear inside the runic henge between the castle and the Trident store, before dispersing across the lands.
But there are dire warnings close at hand to any that come here with a view to pillaging the wealth of this community.
The remains of former raiding parties hang as a reminder of the price of thievery. But there is more to this than simple punishment, the lords of this land have been known to kidnap the innocent and imprison them at a high vantage point, challenging their loved ones to rescue them.
A high price is normally paid, one way or another. Glancing nervously over our shoulders we make our way quickly to the southern border of the region where a mighty sea locked kingdom stands proudly above the waves. Tomorrow we visit the Faireland known as The Tides.
The rumour has been confirmed, our dear Saffia has been detained at the mercy of the Sheriff of the Fairelands. A procession of guards pushed past as I waited on the border of Shadow’s claw, pursued by a jeering mob a cart rattled across the cobbled path.
Cries of “Widdershin the witch” and other far less pleasant taunts were being hurled at the all but empty cart. I enquired of one of the mob as to where this witch was being held.
“She’s in that there cart of cawse ya eejit”, came the reply before the old hag ran off to find something unsavoury to hurl. I stared back at the vanishing posse, no sign of Saffia to be seen, only a battered brass bird-cage, the incarcerated parrrot inside, bouncing clumsily along. I don’t recall her ever owning a parrot?
Sadly I looked away, only to find a torn poster laying upon the ground. What was this? Was that really Saffia? I had heard of the Petites, these tiny magical fae whose cuteness was enchanting all visitors to the Fairelands. It was not a parrot at all!
It seems that Saffia has been captured charged with shrinking herself to the size of a fairy. I have since discovered that she is to be incarcerated in a windmill in Meandervale
until enough funds have been raised to satisfy the Sheriff.
Please help her to regain her freedom.