How Did I Get Here?
By Tepic Harlequinn
How did i get here?
Well, there is a mummy fox an a daddy fo….. oh….. you mean HERE?
Right…. yer should be more clear what yer mean, shouldn’t yer?
I were mindin me own business, just strollin along a hedge, not lookin fer any chickens or nuffin, when i hears the horns an the bayin of the hounds.
As yer can see from me magnificent tail, i’s a fox, so when a fox hears the horns an the hounds there ain’t much one can do but leg it smartish.
So off we goes, over hill, down dale, through streams and under hedges, me leadin them a merry dance! After a while it gets a bit boring, them keepin on at me like that, so i nips off to the side into this little wood.
I hears em pass by, still full of vim an vigor, hopin ter tear a poor helpless creature into little bits, who hadden’t done no one no harm… errrrr…. i swears them rabbits looked wild, how were i ter know they was just out of their hutch fer an airing, people should be more careful…..
Anyhow, i strolls deeper into this wood, an there in the middle is a clearin with a refreshing little pond. I wanders over ter take a few laps of the cool lookin water, but instead of me reflectin back i sees me now, a human lookin lad still blessed with the most beautiful an handsome tail in the world.
Now that were a bit of a surprise, but before i could work out what were goin on, some joker blows this horn right behind me! Now, it weren’t one of them huntin horns them bleeders in the scarlet coats blow, this was a whoppin big thing as nearly blew me ears off… didn’t, of course, cus yer can see i still got me fox ears, they’s pokin up through me hat, an they’s nearly as wonderful as me tail, can yer see em? See how lovely they is?
Anyhow, stop gettin me off track, though yer wanted ter know how i arrived here! Well, i can tell yer, when that horn went off i jumped near a dozen feet up in the air an came down smack in the center of that pond. Instead of a big splash an gettin soaked though, i heard a sort of ‘gloop’ sound an i found meself sittin on a huge lily pad lookin the way me reflection had looked just a moment before.
There were a smaller lily pad beside me an it seemed just the right size an shape ter plonk on me head as this great hat an shade me from the sun or keep me dry if it rained, so i puts it on. at me feet were this horn, so i picks it up an gives it a blow, just ter see like, an it gives this wonderful deep note, just like the one as blew me here.
So that’s me tail as to how i got here, an why was i brung? I reckons it’s cus the Guardians know the Lilypods need someone who can come up with sneaky an cunning plans ter keep the godfrog awake, an who better fer sneaky an cunning than a fox!
The Boating Accident
By Taylor Muggins
One day I was fishing in an old rowboat on our pond. It was late afternoon and already the frogs were croaking. They got louder and louder. I’d never hear them so loud. I stood up in the rowboat and put my hands over my ears. I shouted “STOP!”
That was a big mistake. I lost my balance and fell into the water.
As I fell, something strange happened; I shrank.
I splashed into the water and the rowboat looked like an ocean liner. The lilypads were huge!
Just as I grabbed the edge of a lilypad everything got foggy. All of a sudden, there wasn’t any water anymore. It had turned into air and I started falling.
My hands slipped on the lilypad until I was holding the stem that had been underwater. Now the lilypad acted like a big green parachute.
I fell, and fell.
Finally I landed. Later I found out this place is called Mudrana. I know I sure got muddy when I landed.
I was dizzy from my fall and didn’t half know what was happening. Some other kids were blowing horns and making lots of racket. It almost sounded like the croaking I heard when I fell out of the boat.
Someone handed me a horn and said “Blow it and make noise. We have to keep the Frog God awake!”
I helped them make noise until I blacked out. Later I woke up in a cave. The kids gave me some supper and told me all about the Frog God. I guess I’ll have to stay here and be a Lilypod until I figure how to get home.
The Lost Children
Shared by Strifeclaw Guardian of the Earth
Once upon a time, as all these stories must begin, the Land of the Lilypads was like the other Fantasy Realms that brimmed with life and hope. The other frogs of Mudrana sang their tribute to the Godfrog aided by their powerful Unseelie allies.
The Fae creatures that lived here made their homes in the Lily Flowers that supported life in this land with shelter from the elements. Even the headquarters of the Lilypods was once the home of the Unseelie Court of the Lily.
But the peace that had been there was soon shattered. A malevolent spirit plagued the land with its wicked nature and caused a terrible tragedy in the land. Perhaps there could have been hope to right this wrong, but then another uncaring soul, a selfish Bard took the story for his Word Horde where it was forgotten.
The ill that had befallen the land by these greedy and misguided souls granted power to the Unweaver, and the Land of Mudrana began its slow descent into corruption.
Take a stroll through the land and you will see this corruption in the unhealthy purple and black spots that cover the Eastern part of the realm.
The corruption of the realm was deadly poison to the Unseelie Court, whose lives were tied to the land. Dejected and knowing that they must flee or perish, the Court knew that if they left the song would diminish and risk all life in the pond falling to the Unweaver and his unholy allies.
The Court searched the Faire Lands and found something surprising. Groups of children guarding the realms alone, without the aid of adults.
Rickety Weasels, Children of Echtra, Squirrely Rangers, Desert Owls, Mouse Guardians, and many other realms yet with children all telling a hauntingly similar but different story. That they were chosen to protect their realm by some course of fate.
The Court of the Lily decided to help fate in their own realm. Perhaps it was foolishness or wisdom, that is yet to be determined, but they found lost children scattered by the Unweaver and others hurt by selfish Bard and brought them to the Land of the Lily. Were they stolen or taken freely, that is hard to know with the Unseelie people, but they were not being intentionally cruel. They left the young children in the charge of the Guardians of the Faire Lands with the intent that one day a group of children might save the realm of the Lily as similar groups of children had saved other realms before.
But until that destiny is revealed, or if the Unseelie Court made a mistake, the children will sing their songs to the Godfrog to keep this enchanted realm alive.
I’m Just A Sprout With Legs
“Don’t ask me how I got here. I’m just a sprout. I grew up here, and was happily sleeping and growing nurturing in the bosom of mother earth. Till I sprouted legs and came here. The better question is to WHY am I here.
Which brings me to my story. As I said, I grew up here in Mudrana. Who sowed me, I know not, and do not truely care. Such is the way of all things nature. But what cause me to sprout so soon was something that sounded unnatural.
Everyday, on the shift of the sun, there was this strange blaring noise. While I was still in the ground it bothered me no more than just a curiosity. I assumed it was a mandragora whining for rain and sustenance.
As time went on, and the Mandragoras sprouted legs and moved on, I still heard the noise. Eventually, I sprouted and saw my first rays of sun light and each time I saw the sun shift on what humans call “the hour upon the hour”, I heard what now assumed was the sun screaming. Why it would do that, I couldn’t understand.
As I continued to grow in the weeks that followed, I was grew a neck and looked about at my fellow garden members and saw them soothe and sway as if they were in the breeze but was to the sway of something else… The song of the morning. The Noon, and the Evening.
Eventually, I discovered that it could not be the sun singing, nor could it be the moon. For the noise was there even when the moon was not. The mystery was driving me mad, more than the constant noise.
And thus, with determination fueled by furious frustration, I sprouted legs and followed the noise. I had to find out and what this was and so I spied on the denizens of the village to understand their need to keep blaring their strange tubes.
And so I’m here to say….
HO! HO! HO! KEEP IT DOWN!!!! SOME OF US ARE TRYIN’ TO SLEEP!!! WASSAMATTER WITH YOU?!!!!!
The denizens responded with more blares and fanfare drowning out my pleas. They explained that they play to keep the Guardian Frog King awake to protect the land. And so, I return to the ground hoping to slumber and be the envy of the Frog Guardian King.
The Three Wish Stones
By Dogstar of the Lesser Sidhe
LISTEN ALL AND LISTEN WELL AS I READ FROM MY WORD HORDE!
Long ago in a far away land it was discovered that a powerful Fae had the power to grant wishes to anyone who found their way to her. The Chieftains of three powerful tribes took it upon themselves to venture through the mists battling all manner of giants, dragons and undead until eventually arriving at the side of a vast lake.
The lake was silent and covered in a thick fog, and as the three chieftains stood on the pebble bank a haunting voice echoed from the fog.
“I am the the keeper of wisps,” Said the voice, “Who is this that stand before me?”
“I am Finric”, Said the the youngest Chieftain.
“I am Ulf,” Said the middle Chieftain.
“And i am Artos ,” Said the Oldest Chieftain, “we come for you to grant us our wishes.”
There was a sudden gush of swirling wind then the face of the misty lake spoke again. “Tell me finric,” Bellowed the female voice, “what is it thee wishes most of all?”
“I am very Handsome,” Replied the youngest Chirftain, “but the girls of my tribe do not think so, and I have never won a wife. I wish to have the admiration of every woman who sees me, then I can choose the queen I most desire.”
“Take up a stone” Said the Fae, ”And throw it into the fog”
The youngest Chieftain did as instructed, skipping the pebble out into the fog, only to see it return moments later to rest at his feet. Picking up the pebble the youngest chieftain saw it was now covered in glowing swirls.
“Return to your home with the stone,” Continued the Fae voice, “But do not break the stone until you have reached your home” And so the youngest Chieftain bowed before turning and leaving two chieftains.
“Tell me Ulf,” Bellowed the female voice, “what is it thee wishes most of all?”
“I am young and witty,” the middle Chieftain replied, “but when I relate my tales the people never laugh. I wish always to be merry-hearted, and to have the power of making old and young laugh loud and long.”
“Take up a stone” Said the Fae, ”And throw it into the fog”
The middle Chieftain did as instructed, skipping the pebble out into the fog, only to see it return moments later to rest at his feet. Picking up the pebble the middle chieftain saw it was now covered in glowing swirls.
“Return with the stone,” Continued the Fae voice, “But do not break the stone until you have reached your home.” So the middle Chieftain bowed before turning and leaving only the oldest chieftain by the lake side.
“Tell me Artos,” Bellowed the female voice, “what is it thee wishes most of all?”
“My needs are few,” replied the oldest Chieftain, “But I wish to be the greatest hunter so that i may inspire all younger men of my tribe in catching and shooting game. Then the aged, the women, and the children will suffer hunger no more during the long, cold winters when the Bear sleeps and the ice, like a stone, covers the face of the stream.”
“Then take up a stone” Said the Fae, ”And throw it into the fog”
The oldest Chieftain did as instructed, skipping the pebble out into the fog, only to see it return moments later to rest at his feet. Picking up the pebble the oldest chieftain saw it was now covered in glowing swirls.
“Return with the stone,” Continued the Fae voice, “But do not break the stone until you have reached your home”
Now the youngest Chieftain, who had never won a wife, did not go far along the trail before he began to desire his wish. He took the wish stone from his pocket and broke it in half.
There flew forth hundreds of beautiful maidens, like a cloud of white Doves. With sparkling eyes and flowing hair they circled about his head singing sweetly. Then winding their arms around him, they kissed him until he was smothered. And so the youngest chieftain perished.
As for the middle chieftain, who wished to make all laugh loud and long, he hastened along the trail with the wish stone in his pocket. before he began to desire his wish and he took the wish stone from his pocket and broke it in half.
Suddenly when ever he went to speak wild and piercing sounds came from his lips. But he walked gaily onward, thinking to make all who heard him laugh loud and long.
The animals bounded away in terror before him, and as he neared his village the people fled with shouts calling for the warriors to throw spears until the Middle Chieftain was deathly silent.
The oldest Chieftain hastened home well content, for he knew that with the wish stone he could always provide food for the aged, the women, and the children.
He ran swiftly along the trail, and when he finally returned to his village he forgot to break the wish stone, yet from that day he was a great hunter.
And that my friends is my tale.
The Bard King’s Greed
Shared By Strifeclaw The Guardian of the Earth Stone
Such stories tire me. It is a burden to know a truth but be unable to share it fully, but that is a price I pay for some of my knowledge…
Earlier I mentioned a selfish bard whose interference allowed this land to remain cursed for his own greed.
Now I feel is the time to tell you the full story. You deserve to know the enemies you may confront one day.
The final tale tonight is about a Bard that has become a wicked and powerful creature spreading corruption and misery wherever he goes through his selfish actions. He has many names, but for now we will simply know him as the Bard King.
Many of you know that the Fairelands is overlooked and guarded by the Bard Queen who thwarts the efforts of the Unweaver, but for every good there is an ill, and the Bard King’s actions serve the Unweavers purposes.
His twisted power comes from stories that he has stolen and placed in his Word Horde.
A Word Horde is where a Bard keeps their stories where only they can reach them.
Once a story is stolen, the memory of the tale fades from the minds of those who once knew it well. With the tales he has stolen he has transformed into a creature that has lost his humanity and become far more powerful than the Bard Queen.
What she shares in kindness and grace, he hoards with cruel avarice. He could have helped the Unseelie court or the land of Mudrana as he uncovered the source of its pain, but to the Bard King, a tragedy is more potent than a happy ending. He would do everything within his power to prevent his stories from being discovered and him losing even a fraction of his ill gotten rewards.
In truth, the Bard King no doubt hopes to grow so powerful in Mudrana that one day he can steal the song of the Godfrog from the frogs and the children, and then take the story of Mudrana’s tragic demise into his Word Horde where it will be forgotten forever.
We must always be vigilant. Until every last story is removed from his Word Horde the Bard King is the enemy of all creatures who desire a happy ending to their story, or to even be remembered.
*Strifeclaw of Earth laid down tiredly, looking desperately exhausted*
There is hope children…for though the memory has been stolen from the memories of the ever moving air, the flowing waters, and the flickering flames, though all those have forgotten, the Earth is old and the Stones still remember.
Answers will come, when the time is right. I have faith in that. But you must remember and be steadfast. The wielder of the story has the power to tell his own story in its stead and mislead even the pure of heart with their lies.
Now I am sorry, but I am drained. My knowledge from the stones comes at a price and it can exhaust me quickly, especially in this watery realm. Perhaps the stones will show you their own truth some day.
A Story from Mudrana
It was a big frog to be sure …
Well, that was an understatement. It was HUGE! And Fidget was having third and fourth thoughts about her plan.
Still, if she wanted to ride the dragonflies, she had to get to them. And to get to them, well a particular kind of Dinkie bravery was required.
Taking a deep breath; whiskers a-quiver, she put one paw in front of the other and began the climb.
A steady drone of noise from the frogs and the flying things played in her ears … helping to steady her focus on the green slimey moss that was growing on the surface of the godfrog statue.
Wafting up from the purple-centered blooms was a delicate fruity scent, while the yellow-centered blooms on the other side had a kind of mineral quality to their sniff.
She was fortunate in that — because if either one of them had smelled of chocolate or bacon … well! Climbing would have been an impossibility.
So up, and up, and up, and up, and up she went …
And at just that moment, the lands began to quake, the HUGE godfrog began swaying … was it a katastrophy for our brave Dinkie?
Some blame it on a monster they call Lag. Others blame it on something called Knew Servers.
And if you want to hear the rest? My deary … you’ll have to ask her yourself! I suggest you lay down a trail of gummi worms to draw her attention.
The Perils of Youth: a Tale of Mudrana
by Lyr Lobo, aka Cynthia Calongne
Fantasy Faire 2017
“Come back here!” Esme said, her roar sounding fierce.
Mynx knew better than to stop. She knew Esme would follow, but at a snail’s pace. Instead, her gaze drifted to the lilies where the light twinkled, a strange haze that drew her deeper.
She danced across the lilypods, feeling them shift in the water as her feet dashed over them. The leaves swayed, displaying wee frogs that stared as she danced past. They croaked a song unfamiliar to her.
The lilypods rose to form a graceful trail, lining the hill. A distant light flashed above them, beckoning her to draw near. Mesmerized, she took a few steps, only to snap out of her reverie as Esme called to her.
“Do not go up that hill without me. Mynx! I’m warning you. I’m going home if you don’t slow down this instant!”
Unwilling to go alone, Mynx turned to wait for her. Exasperation fueled her next words.
“Getting too fat to catch me, Esme?” she said, glancing back to see if it worked. She knew how to goad her. They were childhood friends, approaching the edge of womanhood, which took a lot longer than they would admit. Feminine and at the brink of their power, the two girls couldn’t be more different.
Mynx was tall, athletic and strong. She looked good, but her tomboy ways kept interested parties at bay. In contrast, Esme was luscious, a ripening peach that turned many a head. It was only her hesitant manner, fed by a lack of confidence that made would be suitors pass her by.
Mynx stamped her foot as she watched Esme tiptoe from one lilypod to the next. Her gait resembled an old woman, cautious as she stepped onto one and tapped the next with her toe, testing to see if it would hold her weight. This was going to take all day!
“Come on, already. They’re safe. I ran over them, fast as I could! You can do it!” Mynx said, growling.
Esme frowned as she inspected the next pod, tapping it with one foot on it before shifting her weight to test it.
“Oh my sweet beehive, at this rate, it will take forever!” said Mynx, growling. “I’m not going to wait much longer.”
As Esme stepped on the next lilypod, a frog jumped, landing next to her. “Ribbit,” said the frog, his eyes bulging. He wore a fancy vest and a top hat, but Mynx saw that his lower half was bare.
Mynx’s eyes narrowed, not due to the roguish frog. She saw her friend fall on her backside, landing hard on the leaf as it rolled beneath her. The side she sat on dipped low into the water. Esme clung to it as her foot kicked against the water.
“Dashed plucky frogs,” Mynx snarled under her breath before hollering, “Come on already. Quit fooling around and get up here!”
It must have worked. Esme prodded the frog with her toe, nudging at his belly, but her foot slipped from its target and landed in his crotch.
“Ribbit!” said the frog, roaring in pain as he retreated to the next pad.
Esme knelt on one knee, preparing to stand. She cried out as she slipped, the water splashed around her, making the leaf slippery. She lost her grip and slid toward the water.
The frog’s tongue whipped out and snapped around her ankle. He yanked her back onto the lilypod as she shrieked and kicked at him.
“Ow!” said the Frog as he tugged with his tongue, dragging Esme flat on her face. Alarmed, Esme cried out as she rolled over and kicked at him.
“Get off of me,” she hollered.
Mynx, fearing for her friend, broke her disguise and snapped open her wings. She flew fast, swooping at the maligned frog, who yanked back his sticky tongue, his eyes bulging out of their sockets. Any other time, she would have enjoyed the sight, but Esme let out another cry.
Her placid friend lost her grip on the slippery lilypod and slipped from into the water.
Mynx flew fast, grabbing her by the ankle as Esme’s head dipped under the water. She strained she flew, her wings beating fast. Her friend was no dainty miss dry, she thought as she struggled to carry her wet friend.
They flew up to the summit of the rise, where Mynx dropped Esme onto the grassy hill.
“Ow!” said Esme, turning to glare at her.
Mynx fluttered to the ground, coiling her wings back into their hiding place. She sat down next to her friend and let her toes wiggle in the soft, strange grass that twitched as she settled onto it. The scene played across her mind, and a laugh escaped her.
Esme friend gaped at her. “How can you laugh?” Esme looked so bedraggled that Mynx let out a roar of laughter. The once beautiful curls were dripping wet, and a wet leaf stuck to Esme’s eyebrow.
“It’s not funny,” said Esme, shaking the wet curls out of her face.
“Oh, but it is. Your frog prince came to your rescue. What did you do? You kicked him. And not in a good way.”
“You sure did. Whatever hope he had for a family is now a thing of the past.” Mynx laughed so hard that tears formed at the corners of her eyes.
They sat back, dazed by the mishap. After a few moments, Esme grinned.
Behind her, Mynx noticed the hapless frog hopping up the path. Her giggles grew as she caught sight of his soggy top hat.
He announced to no one in particular.
“Fine. This is the thanks I get — a swift kick in the unmentionables followed by whiplash of the tongue. Females! You’ll be the death of me,” said the frog, gesturing at them with his cane.
A deep rumble shook the ground beneath them. The hill pitched and rolled as it drew back. Mynx grabbed Esme with her right hand and buried the frog under the crook of her arm, ignoring their protests. She took to the air, her wings straining to elude the new threat.
The ground rolled back as two eyes, one green and one blue, stared at them. The frog in her arms squirmed, his little feet kicking at her arm as he tried to jump.
“I am alive,” said the Frog King, his voice reverberating as he wiggled a sticky tongue at them.