The Troll Who Would be High King

   Giselle sat before the fire. Her eyes watched the dancing embers, but her smile and words told all that another story was about to unfold.

“Gather around all ye children. I have a tale to tell.

A tale from the Witchwood, the land in which we dwell …

Once upon a time, but not so very long ago, there was a troll whose name was Rumblesfveld. Now Rumblesfveld had many strong opinions and misguided beliefs that he felt that all should share. But many thought his beliefs were dangerous and would not listen, so Rumblesfveld decided that he would make himself High King of the Witchwood. That way as ruler of the land he could decree what was Truth, and what was Lie.

A troll as High King? Oh what a worrisome thought, even more so when the troll desiring it was Rumblesfveld.

Now, Rumblesfveld had two at his side who listened to every word, and shared his every belief. One was a burned out war ogre by the name of General Adranithus, and the other was the wee brownie, S’rella.

General Adranithus was a tired old thing. He did not say much, for we all know that ogres are incapable of intelligent conversation. He would merely follow his trollish leader and utter a few well timed grunts and grumbles when so required. His one and only passion was thinking about what food he would consume during the daylight hours.

Poor S’rella the brownie was a nasty thing, all small and wrinkled and twisted. An outcast she was, made so for deeds most foul. Hers was a cursed name in the court of Giselle, Queen of the Dryads, and her cruelty to the woodland children was a story often told as a warning.

S’Rella was completely mad, so insane that she thought herself a pixie. But a brownie is a brownie and looks nothing like a pixie.

Giselle, the dryad queen, had also placed a spell upon the meddlesome brownie to try to quell her nasty whispers. S’rella was unable to speak more than five words. Those word were the first five words S’rella uttered after the spell was cast, and they were …

“Yes, Sir! … How right you are!”

That is right. That is all she knew how to say. No other intelligent word passed her little brown lips.

So there were three, all twisted and warped in the mind and the heart. They sat and plotted in their dingy, little hovel, which they wished to turn into a castle. They wondered how they could get Rumblesfveld to be made High King, they pondered, they whispered, and they plotted.

“I will go out into the Witchwood and invite others to visit my castle!” dark Rumblesfveld shouted with a sly gleam in his beady eyes. “I will seek out those whom I feel will be suited, and invite them to reside in this frolicsome place of peace and safety!”

And as if to emphasis his words the troll held wide his arms and gestured to the dirty, filth strewn hovel in which they all sat.

“No rainbow children shall reside in this place, no foolish ones with their light-filled faith. No humans or fae who would take my weapons, or beliefs away. No! No! No! To them I will say no!”

Words to which General Adranithus just nodded in reply because he could not for the life of him think of anything witty to say, and to which S’rella replied with her predictable, “Yes Sir … How right you are!”

So the very next morning, a morning too bright in Rumblesfveld’s opinion, he mounted his broken down nag and headed off down the dusty road. He had a fair idea of where to visit.

He would go to the other smaller kingdoms within Mythanos, and tell them of his wonderful domain.

For four days he traveled away from his home on the edge of Deadling Wood. He crossed the smaller sister to the Mystrelle River, the Mystine, and then followed the shoreline of the Lake of Myst.

The first place he came upon was the Dreaming Place, realm of the Pixies. It was a beautiful city, nestled down by the lake. It was a peaceful, magickal place and those who lived there were peaceful, and

“It makes me sad because King Rumblesfveld will never be truly happy.”

Queen Giselle of the dryad hugged her grandchild close, there was nothing she could say in reply. Unfortunately, her grandchild was probably right.

magickal folk.

When he entered the city, the dark, dirty troll asked for directions to the Meeting Hall. He knew that would be where all the important people would gather.

Full of bluster and stomping loudly, he walked in to the Hall. But not a single person welcomed him. In fact they all looked rather annoyed by his interruption. However, Rumblesfveld was full of his own self-importance so he did not see the looks of scorn and distrust on the faces of those who did deign to notice him. Instead he addressed the glowing fae who stood before the gathering. This creature wore the badges of peacekeeper and protector, so this must be one who thought just like him.

“I am King Rumblesfveld!” he bellowed without grace. “I have come to invite you to visit my castle. I see by your badges of office, that you are one who would be comfortable in my righteous world. I stand for peace and safety for the young ones of the land. No child is ever in danger in my realm. It is a place filled with love, laughter, and friendship!”

The guardian of children, of light, and of dreams was in truth the queen of the pixies. Her name was Queen Gwynyth and she was a truly gentle and loving soul. She believed in peace, love, tolerance, and acceptance, and whilst she ruled fairly, she also ruled with a stern but loving hand.

Queen Gwynyth did not believe that all humans were bad simply because a small group of them had done ill towards the fae. Nor would she punish the innocent in effort to bring the wrong doers to justice.

Nor did she believe that the rainbow children, born amongst all humans and fae, were evil. She knew that most were gentle caring souls just like she. So she welcomed them with open arms and treated each with the same respect she desired for herself.

Nor did she believe that a soul must believe in the ‘one god’ to be just and true. The gentlest souls were to be found among the light-filled ones who walked upon the path of many gods. Their beliefs were wise and showed they existed on a higher plane of existence than many of the humans and fae who dwelled in this land.

No, Queen Gwynyth was truly wise, and gentle …

And it was this gentleness that led her to accept King Rumblesfveld’s invitation to visit his castle.

“Do not go. This troll’s scent is wrong,” hissed a large iridescent dragon that lay to the right of the queen. “His smell is dark and tainted.”

“Hush,” whispered the queen with a smile. “You are too suspicious, my precious Shr’Iyama. Do not judge him so hastily. I will visit his realm. It is time for trolls to be more readily accepted among us. ‘Tis time for peace to prevail.”

Now to the queen’s left stood the StarWatcher, oracle to the light-filled ones, and another trusted advisor. She too, did not like the looks and words of this Rumblesfveld creature. His words seemed false. “Be cautious, my queen. Shr’Iyama senses truly. This one has much hatred within him.”

Queen Gwynyth turned from left to right and bestowed her dearest friends with a gentle look. “I will go with caution, my dears. I will see for myself if his land is as golden as he claims, and see if he is a good and just king with kindness in his heart. It will show in the manner in which he rules his lands.”

So the queen of the pixies invited the troll king to spend the night in her castle, and together they supped on sugarplums and moonshine juice, and discussed the shared love they had for the younglings of the world.

Early the next morning Queen Gwynyth saw to the saddling of her dragonfly steed, and prepared for the journey to Rumblesfveld’s lands. And because Rumblesfveld had been so trustful, and had entered her kingdom alone, Queen Gwynyth would do the same. They had talked long into the evening, and the troll seemed to be truly compassionate and caring.

The pixie queen felt she could trust Rumblesfveld. She felt at ease with the troll, as they laughed together and chatted over the adventure ahead of them.

And for many hours Queen Gwynyth rode towards the Kingdom of Rumblesfveld with the strange troll still chattering in an easy manner at her side. The troll was obviously proud of his realm, as he did naught but regale her with stories of its bright and kind people.

Yet, when they came to the border of Rumblesfveld’s kingdom Queen Gwynyth found the path blocked by a tangle of warped dead trees and deadly thorn bushes. The tapestry of sharp thorns and twisted bark seemed impenetrable until Rumblesfveld dismounted and strode towards the forbidding wall.

“Grach un Gnaze e Drahr!” King Rumblesfveld muttered a dark guttural command and suddenly a path was revealed where before there had been none.

“Why is there a wall around your kingdom, King Rumblesfveld?” The queen asked with a touch of concern in her voice. “What foulness forces you to hide behind such a dread creation?”

“We must protect ourselves and our children from the undesirables who roam the Witchwoods, dear queen!” The troll said loudly as he remounted his decrepit horse with uncaring roughness.

“We cannot have them coming in and destroying our golden realm within! It is law that all must be approved of and tested before entering this splendid place. Once they are proven to be like us, they are given the secret password to the realm and can come and go freely.”

But the queen caught a glimmer of something dangerous in the eyes of her dark companion. Wary, she kept quiet. It was not her place to question another leader about the laws within his, or her, own land.

So it was in silence Queen Gwyneth rode as they entered the kingdom the troll claimed was his own. But when they arrived the wise queen felt a little less wise, for she knew that she had been tricked.

All around lay rubbish, broken windows, rusted metal, and a stench of something rotting. There was no castle to be seen, just a run down hovel that looked like it would fall in the next strong wind. Nor was there a kingdom, for this was all that the dread wall surrounded. A broken down nag, rubbish and ruin, and a hovel did not a kingdom make.

But still, she went in to the ‘castle’ to listen further to the words of Rumblesfveld, the troll who would call himself King of this horrid twisted place. Queen Gwynyth was curious to see if the troll would start being honest with her.

“General Adranithus! S’rella! Come forth and meet our guest, Queen Gwynyth of the Pixies,” the troll bellowed as he walked thru the front door. “Come in,” he gestured to the Queen. “Come in and be welcome in my beautiful castle.”

So the pixie stepped out of the daylight and followed Rumblesfveld in through the entrance.

The interior of the hovel was even worse that the outside for on entering the queen found the source of the horrible stench. Rotting food lay all over the place half eaten on dirty plates. The floors were littered with bones and rubbish, which moved as if alive. But it was not. The floor was infested with cockroaches and maggots that dined on the refuse like kings of their own little land.

But that was not the worst of it. The walls were plastered with parchment covered in a large, heavy scrawl. They were magickal glyphs; spells cast by one of great evil. The room was dark, yet not dark enough to hide the powerful hate woven into their content. The pixie almost cowered in fear.

Instead she stood firm, and stared at the troll before her with eyes that still glowed with kindness and with a hand over her mouth to block some of the stench the queen said, “The light-filled ones of my realm would bring much sunshine to your castle!”

At that moment the brownie appeared.

Her eyes were full of dull hate, for although she tried to pretend that she was a pixie when a true pixie was present S’rella could no longer hide in her lies. And having overheard what the queen had said, and a began to titter with shocked, malicious glee.

King Rumblesfveld was not so jovial in his reply. “Light-filled? In my kingdom? Not on your life! They are ignorant demons, Helle spawn, and foul things! I would never defile my beautiful kingdom with their evil words and laughter!”

“Yes Sir! How right you are!” tittered the vapid S’rella.

“Too right!” huffed Adranithus as he walked in and he banged his empty cup on the table. So rude and dull was he that he would not even bid the little queen welcome.

Queen Gwynyth of the pixies was appalled by the hate she heard in Rumblesfvelds’s voice, but another chance she would give him. All people deserved a second chance.

From her place among the filth, with a look akin to hope now showing in her large violet eyes, the queen tried again. “I have one of the rainbow kind among my cortege, he could brighten your walls with his beautiful paintings!”

“A RAINBOW KIND! ABOMINATION!” Rumblesfveld blustered, his voice filled with loathing and hate. “Woman, you are a fool if you think I would let one of those child despoilers into my realm. All of the rainbow kind are abominations, freaks of nature, and child corrupters!”

“Yes Sir! How right you are!” whispered S’rella with hate in her eyes.

“Disgusting!” growled the dull, gray general, Adranithus.

“But the light-filled and the rainbow kind are good and gentle folk. Not a one that I know has ever harmed a child, not a one that I have met be evil or dark in any way! I agree with you not. If you knew those I know, you too would see that they are good folk. Surely we can discuss this?” the queen asked.

“Discuss this? Explain?” Rumblesfveld put his head back and roared with laughter. “This is MY kingdom, foolish woman. In my kingdom there are naught but absolutes. Nothing that I say is to be debated, for it is ALL I say is TRUTH. Madame, I think you should leave. I was mistaken to invite you here.”

And to show his scorn and loathing, he pushed the pixie. Queen Gwynyth landed with a thud in the slimy refuse that covered the floor.

“Remove this evil being from my presence. She is naught but a promoter of all things dark and foul!” Rumblesfveld bellowed. “Get her out of my sight! I will not look upon one who would let the rainbow kind and light-filled despoil our children’s minds!

“You are Helle spawn, corrupt, and a despoiler of the innocent, wicked woman. You and your kind will NEVER be welcome within the beauty of my world!” and with that he spit on the hem of the queen’s dress and turned his back to her.

Suddenly, General Adranithus loomed at the pixie’s side, and grabbed hold of her delicate wings. Queen Gwynyth screamed, but her screams were drowned out by the maniacal laughter of S’rella. The brownie took great delight in the fear of the pixie queen.

Uncaring of whether he hurt the queen, the ogre dragged the terrified pixie from the room, out into the daylight, and back through the twisted wall.

“We will destroy you now, you foul thing!” General Adranithus snarled as he threw the little queen to the road. “Rumblesfveld will go to war with you now, for he is the champion of all that is just and true. He will not let you live in peace no more. You are evil!”

Shaking with tears born from anger, shock, and fear Queen Gwynyth turned and fled back towards her homeland. She was horrified by the whole ordeal and with hurt in her heart she rushed back to the safety of her peaceful realm by the Lake of Myst. But sadly a small thing that was a priceless part of her being was left behind. Hidden under the filth and the mire, was a small wee globe of light. Within it was Queen Gwynyth’s innocence.

When the queen finally arrived at her flower-filled castle Shr’Iyama and StarWatcher could see that she had been cruelly treated. Her pain was obvious, and her pale face showed her sorrow. Both knew that something terrible had transpired whilst the Queen had visited with the troll, King Rumblesfveld.

So they bound their friend up in gentle hugs, and bathed her hurts with gentle words filled with love, and with their arms still wrapped around her, the Queen revealed the details of her time with the troll.

Shr’Iyama the dragon, and StarWatcher the light-filled were furious over the unjust treatment of their lady, and both were aware of what their poor queen had lost. They looked at each other with concern in their eyes and hearts. While her innocence remained trapped within the dark terror of Rumblesfveld’s kingdom, the queen would continue to sorrow and doubt. It had to be restored to her.

So once they had tucked the queen up in the warm security of her flowerbed, the advisors to the queen talked long until they hit upon a plan. They decided that the dragon would disguise herself as a friend to this warped troll Rumblesfveld. She would beg that he let her enter his realm. Once inside she would seek out and find the innocence of her queen and restore it to her. She would not let her friend suffer because of the dark spite of fanatical tyrant.

With the aid of a little glamourie the queen’s draconic advisor transformed from dragon to trollish matron. Thus disguised she made her way to the dark tangled wall and stood where the path disappeared.

“Yoohoo! Yoooooohoooooooo! King Rumblesfveld? King Rumblesfveld? Dost thee be home?” The trollish dragon yelled from where she stood at the end of the road.

“Who is it?” a distrustful voice sounded from behind the wall.

“My name is Dorcha Ravensfveld, and I wish to find sanctuary within the beauty and peace of your kingdom. I have heard others speak of it and decided right then and there that with you is where I should be!”

Rumblesfveld’s immense ego was flattered by the charming words of the middle-aged trollwife. He decided the matron must be harmless and gave her entrance to his beautiful kingdom.

“Come in, dear lady, come in. Be welcome in my castle. You will find that it is a truly beautiful place!”

Shr’Iyama looked around and grimaced. On every wall she saw curses and cruel rituals scrawled in blinding white scrawl. The walls and floors were wallpapered with the thoughts, beliefs, and dark magicks of someone who hated with a rabid intensity. There were also cruel lies, nasty words, and dark whisperings about her queen, written alongside insane mutterings about the evils of the rainbow kind, and fanatical ravings about absolute truths.

King Rumblesfveld was indeed misguided.

So with her own little magic the dragon made copies of the disgusting, evil ravings. Everything her eyes fell upon was magically transported to the pages of her journal back at the castle. It would be kept there for safekeeping, and as evidence. Shr’Iyama would present it to the High Queen, Giselle, of the Dryads, herself if Rumblesfveld tried any mischief.

Shr’Iyama was sickened by what she saw, but she kept her feelings to herself. Until she found the queen’s innocence, she must pander to troll who continued to recite the virtues of his realm.

Listening to Rumblesfveld was almost too much for the dragon to bear, and she had almost decided to flee when she found what she sought. It lay unnoticed behind an empty bookcase at the back of the room. Covered in muck and darkened by sludge, it almost did not shine at all.

Now, all the dragon had to do was get to it.

Shr’Iyama could feel the distrust from the ogre, Adranithus, and the brownie, S’rella. They watched and they waited. She knew they did not really want her here. They could sense that she had a good heart, not a black one like their own. So the dragon continued to feign interest in the ways of Rumblesfveld, although with each new ‘truth’ revealed the light-filled being became more uncomfortable.

Rumblesfveld the troll hated and feared everyone who was not like him. He would not tolerate any other unless their minds and hearts were like his own. His words were the only words that were truth, and dissent in any manner would not be tolerated. No wonder there were only a three pale beings in this place. Others had been here, but all had left when they discovered just how deranged Rumblesfveld was.

Vileness spewed from tongue and pen when those dissenters voiced their opinions. The magickal and hate-filled parchments covered in vitriol were used to hold the walls together. His hateful words were the very foundation upon which his kingdom was built. The High Queen would take great interest in reading of his unprovoked attacks on the innocent.

Mad Rumblesfveld obviously knew no sweet truths because his words and his attacks on those who had seen through him were filled with naught but lies. What was it with this man that he had to belittle others to make himself seem more important? Rumblesfveld was no king. He was merely a manipulator of words and a weaver of mistruths who dwelled in a world of hatred and fear.

The dragon shook her head sadly and continued to wait.

Thankfully, it was not much longer before Rumblesfveld’s words dulled and slowed to silence. With a grunt and a nod, he and his dull henchmen left her in peace so that she may better get to know her new home.

As soon as they were gone, Shr’Iyama raced to the cupboard and picked up the glowing sphere, which she put into her pocket.

“What are you doing?” hissed General Adranithus who stood with an ancient sword in his hand.

“What mischief are you up to? Who let you in here foul dragon?” snarled the voice of Rumblesfveld the troll.

Shr’Iyama turned to face them both, and she could tell by the look on their faces that in her excitement she had accidentally let her illusion slip. They all now saw her for what she was – a spy.

“You are light-filled! You are that wretched dragon who is friend to that foul pixie despoiler!” Rumblesfveld hissed with disgust and loathing.

“Yes Sir! How right you are!” twittered the brain dead brownie as she perched upon his shoulder.

“Who me?” Shr’Iyama asked with innocent glee and disappeared before their eyes.

With a flash of light and a dull roll of thunder, the dragon Shr’Iyama appeared back in the safety her lair below Queen Gwynyth’s castle. She could not stop laughing. She was so relieved to be free on the nastiness that was Rumblesfveld’s Kingdom.

Still laughing she picked up her journal and with a look of wicked amusement on her face she hurried to return the Queen’s innocence to her.

The Queen was overjoyed to see that Shr’Iyama had returned safely. Yet there was still a shadow of sorrow in her eyes, and dark smudges of doubt made her smile less bright.

Queen Gwynyth knew where her dragon advisor had gone; StarWatcher had informed her as soon as it was too late for the queen to stop the plan from being put into action.

Shr’Iyama bowed to her friend, and queen, and then held out the treasure, which she had rescued from Rumsfveld. It glowed brightly once more and floated up into the air where it hovered for not quite a heartbeat. It dived towards the queen stopping quickly to place a warm tingling kiss upon her brow before slowly sinking into the mind and soul of its keeper.

At once the sorrow left the queen. The doubts were banished and fled. Queen Gwynyth was truly happy once more.

“Thank you, sweet friend!” the pixie said gently as she came to hug the dragon. “I cannot tell you how much your love and loyalty means to me. Now that I have my innocence back I feel unburdened by doubts and fears. I know I am not as vile as that nasty creature said I was.”

The queen laughed then smiled at her two dearest friends. “There has been a lesson in this, my darlings … I will be more careful next time. Trust must be earned, not given so freely!”

Back in the dilapidated hovel that was his castle ‘King’ Rumblesfveld ranted and raved, and spewed more lies and vitriol about the foolish creatures who had been unsuccessful in their petty attempts to deceive him.

And only his two companions, General Adranithus and the brownie S’rella were there to hear him.

The foolish Troll did not understand that he would never be High King. His kingdom was based upon lies and hate, and the wise and loving folk of the Witchwood would always turn away from the darkness that was within his heart.

Queen Giselle smiled kindly at the children at her feet. “Take heed, little ones. Do not go with a stranger simply because they offer something that is golden and bright. Be wary and only give your trust when those asking for it have proven themselves to be good and true!

“Remember also that if someone wishes to teach you Hate, then their hearts are dark, and their beliefs misguided. Let not your pure hearts be tainted by this horrible demon, let your mind not be touched by darkness.”

“Gam’ma?” squeaked Amarinth, the queen’s youngest and smallest grandchild.

“Yes, little one?”

“Your story makes me sad, Gam’ma.”

“Any why is that?” Giselle asked softly as she scooped the little dryad up and placed her upon her lap.

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