A Stolen Baby

November 5th 1226

Someone has stolen my baby! Rubea has gone, and there is a log in her crib. Phillipe is still here, so I've told Heodez to watch him, while I go to tell the wizards. They will know how to get my baby back.

A Little Later

I went to see maga Speranda, and her grog Julio had the nerve to block my way! Doesn't he know who I am? I had to shout from the door to get Speranda's attention, but she was willing to help. She had to go to the library to get something, and sent me back to here to pick up some of Rubea's hair and the log that was left in her place. She said that she needs them for the magic that will find her.

Later Still

I took the hair back to maga Speranda, and she cast a spell that she said would find my baby. It didn't, though. Speranda acted as though everything was fine, and this was only to be expected, so I shouted at her and told her that she should work harder to find my baby, and didn't she care that my little girl had been kidnapped.

The she went out to the fields, saying that she had to talk to the field fay. I think they are those little people who were at the Midwinter feast, but I haven't seen them any other time. Speranda started talking to the ground, but that wasn't working so she cast a spell. As she was doing that, Amelle, the girl who looks like a cat, came, and she said that she could talk to the faeries as well. By this time, Speranda was talking to one of the faeries, and I could see it, a little person sitting on her hand, next to her ear. I couldn't hear what it said, but Speranda relayed its words to me. It said that the field faeries hadn't stolen my baby, but that we had to go to see the hunter who lives with a faerie, because he could tell us what to do. We would have to plead for the return of my baby. I am happy to plead, I just want my baby back.

I have come back to the manor to collect the things that Rubea will need when we get her back, so I am writing this while Heodez gathers them for me.

November 7th 1226

I have got my baby back! Rubea is safe and in her crib, and I can see her as I write this. It was difficult to retrieve her, but in the end the faeries were willing to let her go.

We set off two days ago, going to see the hunter Melor. Speranda's grog had been sent to get my husband, because apparently it would be better if both parents pleaded for the baby. Unfortunately, magus Constantine is away from the covenant, so Achilles had to do the job. He did all right in the end.

It didn't take too long to reach the hunter's hut. I immediately begged him to give me back my baby. He said that he hadn't taken her, and that we would have to speak to the old faerie. I asked him to take us there, and after a little pleading he agreed. We set off into the forest, and eventually arrived at a place filled with thorns which caught at my skirts. Speranda cast a spell, and the thorns wrapped themselves more tightly around her so that she couldn't move. I just hitched my skirts up and pushed on through the briars, following Melor.

We arrived at an old willow tree, and Melor said we were there. I couldn't see any old faerie, but I started talking anyway, assuming that it was in the tree. As I spoke, eyes opened in the trunk of the tree and it turned to look at me. It told me to tell it what had happened, and after getting over my shock, I told it the whole story, almost crying as I did. I suppose that the tree is the old faerie. When I had finished my story, the tree shook and rustled, and several owls flew into the clearing to land in its branches. It seemed to talk to them, and then it told me that the owls had seen some goblins carrying a baby off to the woods to the south. Rubea! The tree sent an owl with us to show us the way, and we extricated maga Speranda from the thorns on the way back, since it was possible that she might be useful later.

The owl came to sit on my shoulder, and talked to me as we travelled. It seems that everything talks around Caribet, from shadows to trees, so I suppose that more talking animals aren't really that strange. The owl said that I should be prepared, as there was a long walk ahead of us. I said that I was ready for anything, but some of the others seemed a bit more concerned. When we arrived in Ploeuc, my husband wanted to stop and gather supplies. I told him that I was going to rescue my daughter even if he didn't care, and we pressed on to the south. It was some time before Achilles caught us up. He had brought Sir Guillaume along, and I suppose a hunter might be useful. They were both mounted, and had brought more supplies.

When it got dark, everyone else wanted to stop, but I couldn't stop thinking about my daughter with the horrible faeries, so I wanted to press on. I said that Speranda could make enough light for us to see by, although I wasn't at all sure that she could. Of course, the maga had to prove that she could do everything I said, and the light she created was indeed bright enough for travel. Everyone then had to continue.

I must confess that after a few more hours I was too tired to go any further, and the others were starting to complain as well. We had to camp for the night, although I hardly slept from worrying about Rubea. In the morning, I wanted ot eat a quick breakfast and then set off again, but the others seemed to want to make a veritable feast of the occasion. No matter how much I encouraged them to keep moving, they would sit around munching on their food in a leisurely fashion, as if nothing at all was wrong.

At last we did set off again, heading south to the Forêt de Perché. The terrain became more hilly, and the owl said that there were goblins somewhere in that area, and we would have to find them to ask them what had happened to Rubea.

Despite her reputation for being able to see invisible things, Amelle was completely unable to find any goblins. Maga Speranda did rather better, finding an area which she said was linked to the fay in some way. When we explored there, we found a goblin, who at first didn't want to talk to us. I begged and pleaded until it gave in and said that the dryads on the hill had my baby. I wanted to set off at once, but Speranda thought we needed a guide, and managed to persuade the goblin to show us the way.

The goblin was very small, and walked very slowly. I tried to pick it up so that we could go faster, and the little monster bit me. I dropped him at once, and let him lead us as he would. He took us to a hill which was crowned with a single circle of trees, one great oak and several birch and beech. At the bottom of the hill Amelle started arguing with the goblin, about a rock of all things. Clearly she is completely unreliable and shouldn't have been brought along in the first place, but at least I could ignore her and climb the hill.

At the top of the hill there was a glade surrounded by the trees, and I started pleading with the trees to return my daughter. This time, they didn't open any eyes, but someone who appeared to be a hunter arrived in the glade and spoke to me. I told him that the faeries took my daughter, and that I was trying to get her back. He asked me why I thought that the faeries had taken my daughter, and Speranda started trying to talk to the trees as well. At that point it all got a bit too much for me, and I started crying in front of everyone. The 'hunter' said that we should eat, but I said I didn't want to eat, I just wanted to find my daughter. Achilles supported me, and the 'hunter' asked who he was. Achilles said that he was my husband. I've just realised that he didn't say he was Rubea's father. Oh dear...

The 'hunter' brought food and water, and asked for the whole story while we ate. It was about noon when I agreed to sit down, and began telling the whole story.

I told how I had found the log in the crib, and gone to fetch Speranda. She tried to do some magic, but it didn't work, so she said we should talk to the field faeries. I agreed, and Speranda came with me to look for my baby. Speranda talked to the field faeries, and they said that we should go to see Melor the hunter. The field faerie came with Speranda and me to look for my baby. Melor told us about the old faerie, and came with the field faerie, Speranda, and me to look for my baby. He led us to the old faerie, where I spoke to the tree and it summoned its owls. It told us that the goblins had taken a baby, and an owl came with Melor, the field faerie, Speranda, and me to look for my baby. It took us a long time to reach the goblins, but we did and the goblins said that they had taken the baby to the dryads. We askeda goblin to show us the way, so the goblin came with the owl, Melor, the field faerie, Speranda, and me to look for my baby.

By the time I finished it was still noon, but the ground had become seats with mossy cushions, and the 'hunter' was larger and much more impressive, wearing a crown of golden oak leaves. Most important, I saw Rubea sitting by a bowl of water, and I ran over to pick her up right away. The king of the dryads said that he was sorry to see the baby go, because they were diminished. I suppose that is a shame, but I am glad I have my baby back. I carried her all the way back to Caribet myself.

I have decided that we should do something for everyone who helped us, and that we should even be nice to the dryads. While they did kidnap Rubea, they also gave her back unharmed, and it is not a good idea to make enemies of the fay when you live in a faerie forest. I have told Achilles that we must invite Melor to dinner at the manor, and supply some beer, bread, and wine for the field faeries. We should also send some beer for the goblins, and put garlands of flowers on the old faerie, and the trees of the dryads. I will also take Rubea to play with the dryads when the weather is fine, but I will not let her out of my sight for a moment.

But for now, everything is fine. I have my baby back!