Fairy Glen will not appear on any official map, but for those who know where to look there will be signs that you approach the fairies’ realm.
Just as Haute’s domain is dark and foreboding, the forest surrounding Fairy Glen is vibrant and full of life. Butterflies and birds gather here and the greens seem more green. If you listen closely, you may even hear a chorus of quiet giggling. Wild roses guide travelers from the mundane forest into a place touched by fairy kind.
At least that’s how people like Rhiannon describe Fairy Glen.
Kane knew it was a magical place and appreciated the added vibrancy it brought to the surrounding forest, but he had never really been drawn to the fairies and their realm. He much preferred his own hidden garden.
He spent the day walking deep into the forest, following the same path Damian had shown him those many years ago, until night fell. The moon was high and full in the sky as he continued on his way. It wasn’t difficult with moonlight cutting through the thick shade of the trees and highlighting the delicate white flowers that grew this way. Faintly, Kane thought he heard a high-pitched giggle. Suddenly, a thought snapped to the forefront of Kane’s mind.
“Oh no… I can’t believe I forgot about the full moon.” he said, exasperated. Kane stopped and slid a hand slowly down his face, pulling his fingers through his beard and along his chin, continuing with a sigh. “They must be having a revel.”
Rhiannon often said the fairies were particularly active under the light of the full moon. On those brightly illuminated nights fairies, who lived in beautiful palaces under the sea, were said to come up to revel and converse with the fairies in their woodland castles, at fairy mounds and around hawthorn trees. She would explain to newcomers, ‘on moonlight nights they often come up on the land, riding their white horses. They hold revels with their fairy kindred of the earth, who live in the clefts of the hills, and they dance together on the green sward under the ancient trees, and drink, nectar from the cups of the flowers, which is the fairy wine. But beware of eating the fairy food or drinking the fairy wine or else you risk losing your way back.’
Kane stood alone in the depths of the forest under the full moon’s light and considered going back. He weighed the risks of going forward. He thought as the gentle breeze carried gentle giggling and a merry tune to his ears, as if to beckon him closer.
Letting out a slow, deep breath Kane finally said, “Screw it.”
Picking up the pace, he jogged his way along the path, the music getting louder with every step.
Inside Fairy Glen, the world fell away. It felt separate and distant from anything familiar. The only recognizable thing was the moon hanging in the sky, but even that felt a little off. The whole place seemed to reverberate and pulse to an unidentifiable rhythm that was both on and off beat at the same time.
It wasn’t hard to understand how one might lose their way when coming here.
Fairy Glen itself was a small clearing surrounded by thick old trees. Vibrant flowers and green grass-covered the inward slopes like a fresh blanket of foliage. In the center of the glen was a small pool, fed by a trickling stream, with a gnarled hawthorn tree hanging over one edge. Its roots dipped into the crystal clear water in a state of eternal thirst, while the white, five petaled flowers reflected on the pool’s surface.
After crawling through the entrance to Fairy Glen, Kane knew his inference was correct. A fairy revel was in full swing this night.
The air was filled with a wafting music. There was a sweet harmony lingering there, but it utterly lacked a melody. It filled Kane’s ears with its beauty, but made his mind go foggy. He found it hard to concentrate on the floating lights of color as they danced before him and upon the water.
“Oh, my young captain…” a lilting voice said, breaking through the enchanting harmony. “It has been so long since you have visited us. Have you come to join in our frivolity?”
Kane’s head snapped in the direction of the voice, but could only see a few white pedals falling through the air. Clearing his throat with a nervous swallow, Kane responded. “Unfortunately not, my fair Titania. I come bearing gifts in hopes you might… assist me.”
A breeze blew across Kane’s face, soft and warm as a lover’s caress. “How disappointing…” The breeze subsided as the voice continued to whisper in Kane’s ear. “Will you at least eat and drink with us? You have come at a time of celebration and you could regale my guests with your tales.”
Kane’s gaze wandered around the glen and noticed that all the lights hung still. He could feel their gaze upon him as they listened with anticipation. It pulled at what seemed to be his very soul as he felt drawn in by the light. He took a step forward and the lights pulsed a little brighter. He took another step.
“No.” Kane said forcefully, shaking his head.
The lights all hardened and shook. Each beginning to burn a dull, fiery red.
“I mean… no, thank you.” Kane coughed. “I appreciate the invitation, but I cannot stay long. Let me show you want I brought for you and your guests. I think you good people will enjoy it more than anything else I have to offer. “
Kane reached into the small satchel hanging on his belt and pulled out a bundle of cloth and a budding red rose. In one hand, he held the bundle and in the other he proffered the rose.
“For the fairest Titania, I bring a red rose. The world’s symbol of beauty only because they know not the beauty of the Fairy Queen.”
As Kane held out the flower, the same breeze picked up again and pulled each pedal from its stem before bringing them to rest delicately upon the crystal water without a single ripple forming.
Setting the stem aside, Kane gingerly unwrapped the bundle to reveal a pile of fresh blueberries.
“For the good people and guests of Lady Titania, blueberries grown from my own secret garden.”
As he finished speaking, he set the bundle down before him and stepped away. After a moment, several lights inched forward to investigate the fruit, returning to their more unusual colors.
“Is my offering acceptable, m’lady?”
After a long pause, Kane heard Titania’s reply.
“Yes. What is it that you seek?”
“I seek guidance on locating and navigating the Lime Sink.”
“What do you seek there?”
Kane thought about his response before answering, “I seek my own adventure there.”
A sound of twittering birds erupted from the glen without source, as Titania laughed.
“Young captain, why I am not surprised? Most who venture to or stumble upon the Lime Sink have great need or purpose. But you go merely to go?”
“It is my way, m’lady. Will you help me find it?” Kane responded with a small bow from the waist.
Another long pause, “Very well.”
The breeze picked up again and brought a single hawthorn leaf to rest at Kane’s feet. As Kane picked it up and inspected the leaf, he thought he glimpsed the outline of a female’s form shaped by the moonlight.
“When you are lost and in need of guidance, Anturiaethwr, just release this leaf into the wind and follow it wherever it goes. It will not lead you astray.”
“Thank you, Titania.” Kane replied quietly before slowly turning and walking the way he came. As he went, the lights and music picked up and the fairy revel continued into the night without him.