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longlonghair
15 March 2011 @ 05:33 pm
Scrawled hastily on a scrap of paper and shoved unceremoniously into the lock box of letters Rapunzel keeps hidden in her apartment in Fabletown:

Dearest Alex,

I've just gotten a call, and I'm to be leaving for my assignment in five minutes. It seems Fabletown is ready to make its move. Pray for us all.

I love you.

Raps
 
 
longlonghair
10 March 2011 @ 08:17 pm
Dear Alex,

King Ambrose of Haven scared the living daylights out of everyone today.

The Empire finally figured out that its regular armies were useless against the magic of Haven. Those subjects that came to the kingdom by way of the Witching Well would simply leave their bodies, and in spirit form torment the attacking host with nightmares pulled from their own heads. No blood even needed to be spilled, except for those who did themselves harm in trying to escape the onslaught of terror; it was incredibly effective.

Today, a huge army made of what appeared to be every last living wooden citizen carved from the Sacred Grove converged on Haven from every corner of the Empire. The usual repelling tactics could not affect the wooden soldiers; they outnumbered Ambrose's army beyond counting. The king could see that if couldn't win with his usual battle plan, so he surrendered to them! They certainly hadn't expected such easy capitulation, and were at something of a loss to know how to proceed. Then, as they were trying to decide what to do with him , he used up the last of the magic in his armor and turned the wooden army
back into trees. All of them took root, right on the spot! If everyone hadn't witnessed it, they would easily think that the new trees had been there for decades!

Ambrose says that the new trees are now the Sacred Grove and that there can be only one at any given time. The other Sacred Grove (the one Geppetto carved all of the wooden people from to begin with) is apparently dead and it's magic gone. THIS sacred grove will be a place for meditation and peace, he says.

Oh, did I mention that HE NEARLY DIED? He collapsed right after the trees took root, and later told everyone that he'd expected to die in the process, because he hadn't had any guiding visions beyond that point in time. Everyone was upset that he would do such a think without even a warning, and of course there's rejoicing that his plan worked and it seems Haven is safe. I'm just glad he's all right.

Now, King Ambrose has invited any and all of the Farm fables that want to leave The Farm and break their compact with Fabletown. If they want to, they can go back to the Homelands and live in Haven instead of being stuck at The Farm. I think I'm a little jealous, though I'd never go, myself.

Aside from the loss of modern conveniences, Fabletown was the place I found the door to Milliways. There is no way I'd leave it behind; leaving would be too much like giving up hope of seeing you again, and that is something I'm not ready to do. Added to that, I can't abandon the others on the eve of a war I'm supposed to help with. It can't be long, now.

Missing you as always,

Rapunzel
 
 
longlonghair
05 March 2011 @ 07:46 pm
Dear Alex,

King Ambrose has defeated
SEVEN of the Empire's armies! Twenty-one hordes in all! More than that, he does it without bloodshed; he simply uses their own fears against them, and they run screaming. He has offered amnesty and sanctuary to any of the Empire's forces that want to defect to Haven, and the kingdom has expanded its borders several times. Who knows what will come next? The Empire must be running out of armies to send.

I think our own battle with the Empire--the battle I'm meant to participate in--will begin soon enough. The empire has been weakened by loss of the armies they've sent against Haven, and from a strategic standpoint, it would be foolish not to take advantage of that. The Powers That Be around here have been having meeting after meeting both here and at the Farm. Stores of weapons and ammunition are being stockpiled in both Fabletown and the Farm and we all take turns with guard duty when we're scheduled for it. I'm not important enough in the scheme of things to warrant anything more than the briefings everyone else gets, so I won't know what my real role will be until the time comes to start sending us out to our assigned posts.

I'm torn, because I do want to see the Homelands again, but not like this. How different will it be, now that it's been under Empire rule for so long? How much will it change during the fight to win it back? How high will the cost really be? Once the war is over and we're free to return, what will we be returning to? Will my kingdom still be there, or in ruin? Will it really be mine again? Do I really want it back and would the the people there welcome be back? I don't know how to be a queen anymore and I never really handled any of the actual running of the kingdom when I did.

Returning to the Homelands was always that dream we clung to to help us get through. I don't think I ever really believed I'd go back, no matter how many toasts I raised my glass to, promising it. What could there possibly really be there for me now but bittersweet memories and a reminder than everything I loved about it is gone forever? When we win back our lands (even entertaining the idea that it won't happen invites failure), will Fabletown still be available to those of us who don't want to go back? Surely I can't be the only one among all of the fables that feels this way.

At any rate, regardless of what becomes of me, I will do everything in my power to help the others get back to their lands and homes and maybe even families left behind. I've been practicing hand-to-hand combat skills and sword fighting most days, along with a large portion of the Fabletown community. You'd be amazed at how fit and muscular I've become; if only I'd had this training when we went to Makita's world so long ago! I might have been able to protect us better. I won't ever be worthless in a situation like that again, and I may very well find myself in one, soon.

Most nights I come home so tired that I end up falling into bed, and don't have time to dwell on how long it's been since I last set foot into Milliways before I'm fast asleep. The dreams are there of course, and sometimes the nightmares.

I'm never too tired to miss you, though. I keep praying that somehow I'll find my way back; I won't give up until I do. I love you as much as ever.

Always,
Rapunzel
 
 
longlonghair
Dear Alex,

As King Ambrose expected, the Empire sent a huge army to confront him and the kingdom of Haven. I'm told that Ambrose let the opposing army put Trusty John to the sword, to prove them that the subjects of the kingdom could not be slain. He restored Trusty John and pointed out that eventually the Empire would be defeated, because Haven's soldiers would just continue to rise and receive new bodies to continue fighting. I haven't been able to get a spot in the business office, so most of this is second hand information. However, so many people are telling the same story, that I think the details are pretty accurate.

I've told you about the kinds of armies the Empire has at its disposal. Goblins, trolls, men and all other manner of beast in armor and trained well. There is no mercy in them, or kindness.

It was agreed that the Empire could choose one of their own to fight in single combat with King Ambrose, who is not able to rise and receive a new body. We were all terrified for him, and I can only imagine how intense it must have been to be there in person! The invading army chose a huge troll to fight Ambrose, but in the long battle, Ambrose was able to best the troll using only the flat of his blade! His armor and sword fulfilled it's promise to protect him from injury or loss as long as his heart remains pure. He tired the beast out, then when the battle was won, refused to kill his opponent! Instead made him a subject of haven so that he would not be killed for failing the Empire.

The leader of the Empire's battalion refused to honor the agreement he'd made with Ambrose, and it looked like they would have to go to war. Then, Ambrose revealed how clever he truly is! He had his subjects leave their bodies and invade the minds of their attackers. They plagued the enemy with all manner of horrible visions and memories that seemed as real to them as if they were truly happening. The onslaught was too much for them, and they surrendered and fled!

Truly amazing things are at hand. We know that this is just the first of many challenges the King will face, but it is a hopeful sign.

Hope is always welcome, isn't it?

As always, my thoughts, prayers and love are with you.

Love,
Rapunzel
 
 
longlonghair
22 February 2011 @ 11:33 am
Dear Alex,

The kingdom of Haven seems to be thriving. I haven't been able to get in to watch through the Magic Mirror in a while, but there is a steady flow of news from other who have. King Ambrose sent Lance to speak with the Adversary and let them know that Haven exists. They tried to kill him, but he is a ghost, and they couldn't touch him. He did manage to goad and anger the Adversary's court, and it seems that Ambrose expects them to send their armies to challenge him, soon. I fear he's right.

Things in Fabletown have been generally quiet. All of the attention seems to be focused on what is happening in Haven, and otherwise life continues the same as it has for decades. Other than my new exercise and training regime, I find myself bored to tears some days, longing for the freedom I enjoyed in Milliways. That time would seem like a dream to me, if it wasn't for the memory of you and the photographs and drawings I keep locked away with the letters I write to you every few days.

I wish that I could speak with someone here about it all, but who could I trust that wouldn't think I was completely mad? Frau Totenkinder might actually know something, but you know how I feel about her, and how valid my fears are about admitting anything to her. Nothing she could give or tell me about Milliways would come without some sort of perverse and unforeseen price that would likely prevent me from ever being able to find my way back to you again one day.

Still--I live in eternal hope that one day I will at least know how you are doing, and that you know that I am not returning to you only because I have no choice in the matter. My love for you has not diminished, and I long for you as much now as when we parted.

Always,
Rapunzel
 
 
 
longlonghair
13 February 2011 @ 09:48 pm
Dear Alex,

They made it! Ambrose...make that KING Ambrose has made it back to his kingdom in the Homelands and has renamed it "Haven". There's not much left of it, after centuries of abandonment, but at least they didn't have to oust any usurpers or fight anyone else over use of the land.

The journey was long and incredibly hard for all of them, especially Ambrose. There is no food or drinkable water in the dead lands of the Witching Well, and everyone was worried that he might expire before reaching his destination. If was difficult to watch him suffer, and heartbreaking to see his companions so distressed and helpless over the seemingly inevitable. The first signs of life seemed like a genuine miracle, and after a period of recuperation to regather his strength, Ambrose led them to exactly where he promised them.

All of those who stayed faithful and followed him from the dead lands beneath the Witching Well are now beginning to rebuild the castle and plant crops and dig out the remnants of the the orchards that were there before! It will be a hard labor, but one of love. Ambrose has only look thoughtful about something, and his new subjects scramble to please him; he is fair and loving and anyone can see he has their genuine best interest at heart. He is exactly what a good king should be.

To no one's surprise, Bluebeard and Shere Khan took the first opportunity they found once they reached the Homelands (and true work was expected) to betray the others. They tried to attack Ambrose and take over, and lost their corporeal bodies for their trouble. Serves them right, but I fear we haven't heard the last of them. Ambrose banished them from Haven, but I don't believe they were forced back to the lands of the Witching Well, either.

I can't believe they're actually back in the homelands, Alex! They're building and planting and planning to stay there! All of us here in Fabletown have been going out into the Mundy world, shopping for supplies for everyone there. Boy Blue has been filling the Witching Cloak (no relation to the Witching Well, as far as I know) with various items from books to food to tools to clothes! I don't know how it holds them all, but Blue apparently says he'll be able to transport it all to Haven and retrieve it once he gets there. It's exciting Alex! I think it's the first thing I've been truly excited about since I left Milliways.

I've gotten in to watch the mirror a couple of times, though it's usually so crowded, it's not easy to see. The Business Office is almost always so packed with Fables wanting a glimpse of that's going on, that little else gets done unless they kick everyone out. It doesn't take long before we all start trying to sneak back in, or make up ridiculous excuses to speak with the mayor or Beauty. You would think they'd just move the Magic Mirror to a larger place, where we all wouldn't be in the way.

I wish I could share all of this with you in person. I wish it every day. I miss you so.

Love always,

Rapunzel
 
 
longlonghair
04 February 2011 @ 11:09 am
Dear Alex,

I won't go into detail, but let's just say I will not be buying another pair of shoes from The Glass Slipper. When I said I wanted custom running shoes, I didn't mean ones that actually RAN BY THEMSELVES and reused to come off!

I'll stick to shopping in the Mundy or through the computer from now on. I'm going to bed and sleeping for at least two days.

Love always,

Rapunzel (the tired)
 
 
longlonghair
02 February 2011 @ 09:03 pm
Dear Alex,

Life here has been anything but stagnant, lately. The magic mirror (think of the one from the story of Snow White) has been showing amazing and unbelievable things. Ambrose is now Sir Ambrose and he intends to establish a new kingdom in the Homelands! The Forsworn Knight's ghost (Sir Lancelot of the Lake) was somehow released from his armor, and he knighted Ambrose and swore to serve and advise him! Now AMBROSE wears the armor that once protected Lancelot, and carries Excalibur--yes, THAT Excalibur. Ambrose went and jumped down the Witching Well (I'm sure I told you about this device, where the corpses of our dead have been sent, more often than not).

We always thought the Witching Well was kind of like a magical garbage disposal for the bodies of our dead, and that is sort of true. What we didn't know was that while the bodies were devoured by magic, the souls of all of those put in the well were trapped in a desolate void in there. I can't imagine being stuck in there for centuries with little change and no hope for release. Certainly there are those who may deserve eternal punishment for their deed in life, but we never dreamed that putting them in the well was consigning them to that fate.

I managed to sneak in for a peak for a few minutes, unnoticed to see what the mirror was showing, but was chased out by Beauty before too long. I suppose she has a point about not letting everyone in to gawk--everyone wants to see what's happening and are wild for news. I think eventually, they will have to devise a way to either broadcast the mirror's happenings or else draw lots for times when people can go and watch for a while. At any rate, news comes out daily on what's happening in there.

Some strong magic is at work here. When Ambrose reached the bottom of the well (if that's even the correct term), those around him regained flesh and blood bodies! He didn't resurrect them exactly--they're still dead. It's hard to describe, but he's the only truly living person there. He's recruited all of those who are willing to be his army, and he says he intends to lead them through the dead lands beneath the well to the lands of the living. I'm told that if they agree to follow and serve him, they will remain spirits made flesh, and will get a chance to be freed for their spirits to move on to whatever comes next for them, later.

He has chosen Trusty John as his squire and Weyland Smith to take the lead in building the new kingdom, when they reach it. There are villains aplenty there as well, and I fear that Ambrose may not be making the wisest decisions, but by all accounts he seems confident and determined.

I don't know how he's going to do it, Alex. Ambrose has a kind heart and a gentle spirit, and he has an admittedly long journey ahead of him. He has no food or drink with him...how long can he last? Everyone is in a constant state of excited tension, waiting for more news out of the business office.

As always, I miss you and think of you every day.

All of my love,

Rapunzel
 
 
longlonghair
31 January 2011 @ 07:03 pm
Dear Alex,


Another Christmas has come and gone, and by now, I've been back home for longer than I was bound in Milliways. I wonder how you're faring there, and how you celebrated, and who you celebrated with. I hope you're surround by friends and loved ones and still writing your wonderful articles and making Gotham a better place to live.

Strange and exciting things have been happening here in Fabletown. My time in Tennessee was difficult, but interesting. Beast apparently used some dummy corporation and bought the training camp, and the magic users on the thirteenth floor wove some spells that let those of us that don't exactly pass as normal train without the trainers noticing. If it comes to me actually needing to fight in a battle, my chances of surviving are a hell of a lot better now than they were before. They don't have anything near as sophisticated as the weaponry of the modern world in the Homelands. Basically, they'll be bringing swords to a gun fight.

I learned a few things about myself there. I learned that I detest sleeping in a tent. I hate cold showers and creamed chipped beef. Oh my God--you have no idea how awful that concoction is. I also found out that I have a pretty good eye for marksmanship, though I'm not exactly strong enough to hold my own a fist fight. I AM stronger than I was, and I did learn some useful tricks and moves that involve using momentum against my opponents and finding his or her weaknesses. Bigby and Beast say that I will need to keep working on a lot of these skills once I get home; weight training, martial arts classes with other Fables, and things like that.

Don't worry, it won't be likely be on any front lines. I hope.

In another strange turn of events, Ambrose is no longer a frog! In fact, he's somehow regained his memory. He knows now that his wife and daughter are dead; had been killed by the Adversary's forces centuries ago. It's heartbreaking. He'd been blocking it out for so long, and everyone had been keeping the truth from him, so that he wouldn't go back looking for vengeance and getting himself killed. Now, he's moping around, and not even Red Riding Hood have snap him out of his sullen state. I saw him this morning, getting into the truck that takes supplies to the Farm. Maybe Boy Blue, who is Ambrose's best friend, will be able to help him.

Needless to say, I miss you every day and lament that I can't actually tell you these things myself.

Stay safe and know that you're in my heart.

Always,
Rapunzel
 
 
longlonghair
27 January 2011 @ 05:05 pm
Dear Alex,

It seems impossible that so much time has passed since I last stepped foot in Milliways or felt your arms around me. The dozens of letters I've written you these past couple of years stay folded neatly in their lock box under my bed, and I am worried that you may never get a chance to read them. Will I ever see you again? Are you still missing me or wondering what became of me? What I wouldn't give to be able to send even a single message to you!

Things here have been tense and strange. Beast came to see me the other day, and told me that I was going to be taking a trip to Tennessee. Can you imagine it? Centuries of never going anywhere beyond where a fifteen minute cab ride could take me, and suddenly they are sending me more than eight hundred miles away. What's even more amazing is that I'm being sent to learn combat skills! Fabletown is officially at war with the Adversary, though no fighting has begun yet. It's believed that the Adversary is planning and preparing to invade the Mundy and it's up to us to stop them! I'll be leaving within a week's time for commando camp, and don't know if I will be able to write to you while I am away. Not that you would know the difference, since none of the letters I've written have a chance of finding you until I find a doorway back. If I find a doorway back.

Imagine me, learning to use guns and explosives and hand to hand fighting! I thought I was through with that sort of thing after our time in that snowy nightmare with Makita. I'm trying hard to be brave, but knowing that every able-bodied person in Fabletown, and many at the farm are being intensively trained for war is frightening.

I don't know if and when the battle will come, but it is my duty as a citizen of Fabletown and a former queen of a Homeland realm to do what I can to stop the tyranny of the Adversary. I don't expect to ever see my former home again, but if I can do anything to help other see theirs, I have to do what I can.

As always, I think of you every day. I pray you're safe and healthy.

Love always,

Rapunzel