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In which Glynhial, who was last seen threatening two familiar children in Universe, returns as a major character.

Actually, this whole book has a theme of "transitions" in it. The most obvious one is the artwork; Carson now uses watered-down india ink for shading, and to impressive effect. All of a sudden the cartoon has a depth and weight it previously lacked.

Anyway. Later that night.

Baughb, rolling over in the middle of a pleasant dream of the day before, is startled awake when he finds Filis in bed with him. Mortified, she manages to distract/confuse him and make a hasty escape.

No, they did not. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Later that morning, Baughb is woken up by an armoured and armed Filis who's itching to get on with her swordfighting lessons. The ensuing combat results in Filis realising her fondest dream: Baughb, this time, is the one who ends up on the ground.

They kiss and make up and speculate on the future war against the Lake Froth crowd, then go their separate ways; Filis to get changed and Baughb pops over to Airek's to discuss the upcoming fixture.

Airek, however, is more interested in his research on the Faerie Gates , which he is conducting with Baughb as assistant and the Sprite as a conducting medium. (The Sprite certainly seemed to enjoy it.) The result of Airek's work: a device that can effectively control faerie gates.

As well as an amateur scientist, Airek is a librarian. Baughb is stunned to discover just how much literature has been written (and archived) about him. One storybook in particular - one tied shut with string - attracts his attention, which gets him tackled by Airek just too late.

And that is how Baughb finally and unknowingly releases Glynhial from captivity.

Filis, meanwhile, has a problem: none of her clothes seem suitable for the young woman she now sees herself as. What can a girl do? Go consult Frederica, the local seamstress, that's what. Although some of her creations aren't exactly what you'd call everyday-wear.

Then Filis has another problem to deal with, this one being nude, green haired, winged, more than a little mad and bent on revenge.

When Glynhial's bottle broke, her immediate goal was to find Baughb. Unfortunately, this goal was complicated by that fact that seven and a half centuries of imprisonment had left her more than a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Actually, it was more like she'd eaten all the sandwiches, bolted the biscuits, polished off the cakes, downed all the drinks, dry-swallowed the tea straight from the packet, gobbled the barbecue meat raw, consumed the condiments, and by the time of her release was probably eyeing the picnic basket ravenously.

Two small children attracted her attention while playing Baughb the Elf . Unfortunately, neither was Baughb, which also attracted her wrath. Fortunately for Filis, Airek trapped Glynhial in his storybook.

In the two and a half centuries that followed, Glynhial ate the picnic basket.

On her re-release, Glynhial was after only one thing: revenge.

The following three-round bout could be considered inevitable. The first round goes to Filis, who as you may have noticed by now tends to be violent when provoked. A roundhouse punch knocks Glynhial out for a count of ten.

Round two, however, goes to Glynhial. Playing on Filis' fear, Glynhial manages to immobilise then electrocute Filis, until the Sprite gets in the way. His interference gives Filis enough time to remember that while she believes in magic, she has more faith in weaponry... although what whips and maces and similar items are doing in a seamstress' shop is questionable.

Round three definitely goes to Filis with a TKO. The only way to describe the attack mounted is, well, devastating. Filis is in a killing rage - understandable, since Glynhial was, after all, trying to kill her - and actually succeeds.

Look, if you want a blow-by-blow account of this fight, I'd recommend reading the comic proper. Carson himself reckons these strips were some of his best work.

With her last dying breath, Glynhial actually thanks Filis for releasing her from this mortal coil. She should've saved herself the effort. Filis is very upset at being used like that, and takes steps to pull the faerie back from the brink. After all, being responsible for someone's death is a hard burden to bear, even when that someone was an insane faerie who was trying to kill you.

It's also possible that Filis was concerned about how Baughb might react to her killing Glynhial. Mind you, it's hard to tell what goes on in her head...

What goes on in Glynhial's head is remembrance. Remembrance of her first meeting with a green cadet called Baughb. Remembrance of the last hours of freedom, Baughb's attempt to smuggle her out of Glynhial and away from the Empress of Glynhial's clutches.

Remembrance of how the rescue attempt failed.

Remembrance of the bottle shattering. Of flying off in search of Baughb. Of finding only children instead. Of being trapped again, this time in a storybook...

It's not hard to tell what's going on in Frederica's head, however. The trashed state of her shop implies that the next time she and Glynhial meet there'll be fireworks!

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