Titania: Turnips? Is this a jest?
Tangletwig: No jest, milady. A steal of a trade, worth far more than the rotting cabbage you bid me give them.
Titania: The cabbage was not the point! It was glamoured to appear as a human babe!
Tangletwig: Yes, but, if it please my lady, the glamour wore off before I could bring the babe to your beneficent and forgiving arms.
Titania: Why did you not return to me immediately?
Tangletwig: Beg pardon, my lady, but I was weary and needed rest! Human babies are heavy, what with all that meat on their bones.
Titania: Yet you had no trouble with this sack of turnips.
Tangletwig: To be fair, my lady, they’re rather paltry turnips.
Titania: Enough of your prattle! Tell me why I shouldn’t turn you into worms for your failure.
Tangletwig: Because I have secured not only these turnips, but also the baby you require.
Titania: What? I see no baby? Or do you mean to swaddle yourself in rags and nuzzle at my breast?
Tangletwig: As enchanted as I am at the thought, my lady, I do mean a real, true, addlepated, shit-stained, helpless, worthless human baby, fresh from her mother’s bunghole, promised in blood.
Tangletwig: See, my lady? Upon my thorny inner finger. The blood of the mother who swore.
Titiania: Yes. Pregnant from her first. But unwilling. Yet there is some confused affection from this coupling. Poor girl. Accursed man. Does she understand what a blood vow means? Was it clear to her?
Tangletwig: There…wasn’t time to explain all of the intricacies, my lady. But she knows the baby is yours.
Titania: Very well. I promised Oberon my help, and my help he shall have. When the babe is in my arms.
Tangletwig: But—but the human walls are besieged now! They will not last the many months it takes a human baby to sprout!
Titania: What care I for human walls?
Tangletwig: From the human stronghold, they will overrun the forests.
Titania: And then I will drive them out.
Tangletwig: And what of the other things? The buried things that the goblins may unleash? And what of their masters? Will you drive them out so easily?
Titania: Do not question my power, you glorified faggot!
Tangletwig: My lady! I would never presume too—
Titania: Still, you have made a fair point.
Tangletwig: I have?
Titania: I will help them now, though I will not move directly on the mere promise of a babe, blood-bound as it may be. Here is what you must do.
High upon the mountain called Trataga
Where neither foot of man nor monster trods.
Sits a boulder all bejeweled in crystal.
Known to only faeries and to gods.
In boulder’s cleft, there sits a flower.
Red as blood against eternal snows.
Basking in the crystal focused sunlight.
Roots deep in the rock from whence it grows.
Give our foe that bold, unlikely bloom.
Let him drink its hoarfrost sweetened scent.
And so inflamed his passions will become.
That on untoward objects ’twill be spent.
Tangletwig: Yes, my lady.
Titania: And Tangletwig?
Tangletwig: Yes, my lady?
Titania: Don’t foul this up.