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The Infernal Cohort in Fairyland
The Beginning of the Problem
By Joseph S. Ray
Once upon a time in the fairyland of Charm, a portal opened. Now understand that up to this point Charm was a peaceful little place, but out of the portal into Charm came a fire elemental who called himself the Infernal Cohort. The Infernal Cohort was not a nice person. This was discovered when he began to burn down villages. Naturally, this upset many people.
Of course the Infernal Cohort did not start by burning down villages. First, he had to recruit an army of like minded, evil individuals. It was hard for him to find evil individuals in Charm because it is decidedly lacking in evil individuals. So he went throughout all the lands surrounding Charm and recruited the murderous Ogres, the mischievous Goblins and Gremlins, and the evil Ghouls, Wraiths, and Specters. With his army ready, the Infernal Cohort began to make raids into Charm.
The forces of the Infernal Cohort burned villages down. Of course, that wasn’t all they did. The Ogres were, naturally, killing things left and right. The Goblins and Gremlins were driving people insane by scratching their fingernails on chalkboards. The Specters, Wraiths, and Ghouls were killing people by throwing them into shark infested waters. All in all, the Ogres, the Goblins, the Gremlins, the Specters, the Wraiths, and the Ghouls were having a good old time. The Fairy-folk, on the other hand, were not. You probably would not be having a good old time either if monstrous beings were burning your village down around you.. Also the Fairy-folk had not fought a war, which was what this was beginning to look like, in over three thousand years, which is a long period of time even for a fairy. So they were a bit rusty at dealing with situations like this one.
They finally decided that there was only one logical course of action. So the Wisps, Pixies, Undines, Sprites, Elves, and Gnomes, who compose the Fairy-folk of Charm, summoned what a thousand years later would be called the Great Council. The main thing the Great Council did on the first day was to decide to postpone the Spring Dance due to the recent problems. They then divided into three subcommittees. The first was to write a letter of apology to the neighboring Fauns of Faunwood over the matter of the Spring Dance, the second was to come up with an alternative date for the Spring Dance, and the last was to write a very sternly worded letter to the Infernal Cohort demanding that he cease burning down villages. After finishing this first day’s business, they adjourned for tea and biscuits.
Of all the Fairy-folk, Elves are the best at stern words, so they were naturally put on the third subcommittee. The Elves, however, decided something besides a sternly worded letter was needed. This something was a declaration of war against the Infernal Cohort. It ran like this:
To the most terrible Infernal Cohort,
We have every right and sensible reason by all decent laws to destroy you because of your hideous actions against our people. Therefore without further ado we, the Fairy-folk of Charm, do hereby declare war on you and all who follow you.
Now there was much disagreement over this declaration of war. But after a month of much ado about nothing, the council members finally affixed their signatures to the declaration. Then there was a great forging of weapons all throughout Charm. This was principally done by the Gnomes who are the best at that sort of thing.
After the weapons were forged, the great Army of Charm marched across the Gray Plains, through Gob-hob swamp, through Ogera, and at length came to the ashen plains of the territory captured by the Infernal Cohort, now named the Infernal Region. In the Infernal Region, all the fairy princes donned their glorious armor and raised their bright and grand banners. Then the Fairy-folk, brandishing their swords, spears, and axes, charged towards the battle line of their enemy. It was a magnificent sight to behold as the Fairy-folk rushed across the black plains. It was a heroic and inspiring sight, enough to make one weep. As they collided with the front line of the enemy, it looked as though they might win with one charge. Then the Ogres showed up and beat the Fairy-folk back with their huge spiked maces.
The next day the Fairy-folk charged again. The ogres threw them back again. This continued day after day, but the ever-decreasing ranks of the Fairy-folk continued charging. The Elves were quick to point out that these charges weren’t working, but the Wisps always replied, “If we are going to fight a war, we will do it properly. And since all the histories have wars being won with heroic charges, we will win this one with a heroic charge.”
After the fiftieth repulsion, the famous Elvish Prince Alvar called another meeting of the Great Council. He gave a great and stirring speech, which the Wisps, who are a most talkative folk, often interrupted. In fact I’ve heard that Wisps when alone often talk all at once. Some say that in excess of fifty Wisps sometimes talk all at once. Although most people would consider this rude, Wisps don’t. Therefore, we can hardly blame the Wisps for interrupting Alvar’s speech.
The speech without the interruptions ran like this, “My brethren faeries, we have assembled here in the Infernal Region to carry on a great and noble war with the ignoble and dastardly Infernal Cohort. Unfortunately, we cannot win this war without a new strategy. Once there was a spell used by the Fairy-folk in Charm to control the weather. Since then we have of course stopped using this spell for it is a dangerous thing to control the weather. However, we must now use this spell again.”
“Why do we need to control the weather?” a sprite shouted.
“What is the Infernal Cohort?” Alvar asked.
“He is an elemental,” replied the Elves.
“What type of elemental?” Alvar inquired.
“A fire elemental!” the Gnomes exclaimed. The Elves and Gnomes were the only ones who replied to these questions for many reasons. The Undines were listening quietly as usual. The Wisps were too busy chatting among themselves, and the sprites were now preoccupied by their dancing. The pixies weren’t paying attention, but no one is quite sure why.
“And what is a fire elemental made of?” Alvar shouted at the top of his lungs.
This shout finally attracted the Wisps’ attention. They thought Alvar was displaying a lack of manners, for even among Wisps it is bad manners to shout, so they replied, “Fire, you idiot!”
“And how do you destroy fire?” Alvar shouted.
This shout attracted the sprites away from their dancing, and they shouted, “With water.”
This second shout attracted the pixies into the conversation for they love water quite a bit. For the next half hour, they droned on and on about how pretty water is. Finally Alvar interrupted them and asked, “And what is rain made of?”
The pixies, desiring to show how smart they were, instantly shouted, “Water!”
“And what type of phenomenon is a rainstorm?” Alvar asked.
“Weather!” the Undines shouted. Finally Alvar’s plan dawned on the Fairy-folk, and there was a great buzzing of wings, clapping of hands, and stamping of feet. After this Alvar contacted all the ancient sages of Charm and learned from them the weather spell.
Alvar taught the spell to a select group of Fairy-folk who would later become The Fairy Protectorate of Charm. Since it took three days to cast the spell, the Fairy-folk continued their heroic but futile charges. Finally during the charge on the third day, a gigantic rainstorm formed. A torrential downpour came, and the Infernal Cohort screamed as his fire was put out, permanently.
After this, the victorious Fairy-folk celebrated the Spring Dance with the Fauns of Faunwood.
© 2014 Joseph Ray