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Week 323
You are on Week 324
Week 325

Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...

We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!

Story Three Hundred Twenty Four Ends June 8

"Excuse me?"

The Fountain Faerie looked up to see a weary Nimmo standing before her, draped in a worn, brown, dusty cloak.

"I'm sorry, but all the magic in the water has been used up," she said gently to the Neopet, feeling a bit sorry for him. He had obviously travelled far.

"Oh, I know," the Nimmo replied. "I do not seek the power of the Rainbow Fountain; I merely ask to be allowed some refreshing water, gentle faerie."

The Fountain Faerie glanced curiously at the Nimmo's hooded face, its expression unreadable in the shadows of the cloak. His demeanor was polite enough, she decided.

"You are welcome to take some water, stranger," she said, "but I feel that the Healing Springs could better meet your needs in this case."

The Nimmo smiled. "I am not a demanding Neopet; refreshment is simply all I desire," he said. Shrugging the cloak back a little, he stepped towards the fountain and splashed some water over his hands and face.

"So," the faerie began conversationally, "where does your journey lead you?..."

Author: Writer Faerie
Date: Jun 1st
..."Oh, here and there," said the Nimmo vaguely as he rubbed his hands together. The Fountain Faerie found it odd that he did not remove his hood while washing his face.

"You look like you could use some new travelling clothes," she said casually.

The Nimmo wrung his hands and wiped them on his filthy cloak, smearing them once more with dust. "I don't think so," he said. "You see," he added, glancing at the faerie from inside his hood, "I've had it since I began this journey."

"And what sort of journey is this, again?" questioned the Fountain Faerie, finding herself oddly interested in this rugged, weary Neopet.

The Nimmo sat down at the edge of the fountain, gazing dreamily into its colourful waters. The momentary silence was disturbed only by the bubbling of the pool into which the Nimmo stared intently. "It has been a long journey," he said at last.

The Fountain Faerie was not very pleased with this answer, but before she could come up with another way to wheedle an answer out of the Nimmo, he bent over the fountain and dipped his hands into its waters once more. The Neopet lifted a handful of colourful water from the pool, held it to his lips, and drank deeply. For a moment, the Fountain Faerie was rather bored and was about to decide that this traveller was not worth any more of her time, but suddenly he turned toward her with a smile.

"I'm feeling much better now," he said. "I think that water really did the trick."

"I'm glad to hear it," said the Fountain Faerie, glancing at the water. The magic of the fountain could not be used without her permission, she knew, so what had caused the Nimmo's sudden change? Her curiosity was aroused once more, and the faerie asked, "Are you feeling rejuvenated for your journey?"

"Much," was the only reply that she was to receive, for the Nimmo stood immediately from the water's edge and turned away from her. With the filthy cloak still wrapped tightly around him, the Neopet walked off down the soft cloud and toward the Faerie City.

As she watched him go, the Fountain Faerie frowned in disappointment. The curiosity still lingering in her mind, she turned back to her fountain. The faerie froze as her eyes fell upon the water. All of the swirling colours of the rainbow that had represented the fountain's magic were gone, and the Fountain Faerie could see nothing but water that was crystal clear...

Author: reggieman721
Date: Jun 4th
The Fountain Faerie dipped her hand into the water to make sure she wasn't dreaming. The normally colour-tinted water was as clear as a mountain stream, there was no denying it. She no longer felt the tingle of the rainbow powers when her hand touched the water. It was gone, all gone. Her head swam as she slowly digested this shocking discovery.

I don't understand, she thought. It was fine a second ago. Just before...

The Nimmo! Could it be that he was more than just a weary traveller? Did he possess powers that were strong enough to drain the fountain of its magic? No, that was impossible. Still...

"Sir!" she cried, leaving the fountain. Although she could not fly like the other faeries, she still harnessed enough magic to make herself float a few inches off the ground. She raced down the cloudy streets of the city, searching for the dark-cloaked Nimmo.

She then came across a faerie Kacheek gazing into a shop window. "Excuse me, young Kacheek?"

"Yes, ma'am?" he answered politely.

"Did you see a mysterious Nimmo come by here not too long ago? I think he was a Nimmo, anyway; he was wearing a long, tattered cloak. I believe he came this way."

The Kacheek was silent for a moment, then shook his head. "No, I can't say that I have. You look troubled. Why are you seeking him?"

The Fountain Faerie wasn't sure how to answer this. She couldn't let it be known that the Fountain was completely robbed of magic; it would cause an uproar. Only Queen Fyora should know about that.

"He... he just took something that I need to get back. Please, if you see anyone who matches that description, tell me immediately."

The Kacheek bowed before her courteously. "Of course, my lady."

As soon as the Fountain Faerie left, the Kacheek chuckled darkly. Looking around to make sure he was completely alone, the Neopet slowly transformed back to his tattered Nimmo-self.

The Nimmo stroked the cloak as if he were holding a week-old Doglefox. "I knew you wouldn't let me down, old friend. The water from the Fountain was just the thing we needed. You've helped me drain magic from faeries in the past, but even I felt that the Rainbow Fountain was a bit of a stretch. Still, once again, we make a great team. Now then, to get back what is rightfully ours."

The Nimmo pulled the hood back over his head and slowly worked the magic once again. He glowed brightly as the cloak seeped into his skin, changing his outward appearance completely. When the glow faded, all that was standing there was a simple red Draik. The Draik looked at his reflection in the shop window. Another flawless disguise.

Flapping his new set of wings, he set off for the Hidden Tower...

Author: bitsy_dj
Date: Jun 5th
...The Fountain Faerie continued her search of Faerieland with building anxiety. Where in Neopia could that Nimmo have gone? How had he stolen the Fountain's magic? For what purpose?

Neopets' heads whipped round as she sped down streets, through alleys, past shops. All those she stopped knew nothing of a cloaked Nimmo, and though it seemed impossible, it was like he had melted into thin air...

Suddenly, the faerie heard an odd noise above her. She craned her neck back and squinted into the sun, just making out what looked like a red Draik. Her spirits lifted instantly--he could see everything from up there!--and so she called out to him. "Hello up there! Please! I need your help!"

The Draik did not respond. It was flying oddly and stretching out its hands, as though blind. The faerie shouted for help once more, but before she could know if she had been acknowledged, the Draik vanished.

The Faerie gasped. What had just happened? The Neopet had simply... disappeared. She took a long look at the mysterious spot and realised with a jolt that it was the entrance to the Hidden Tower.

Her hopes were dashed immediately. Another Neopet looking for illustrious items... he wouldn't be out of there for another hour, and no other flying Neopets or faeries were in sight. The Fountain Faerie heaved a deep sigh and turned to float back down the street.

Suddenly, however, a shout echoed overhead. The faerie snapped her head up just in time to see something explode in midair and a dark, writhing figure fall to the ground. Before it made contact, however, it changed--the faerie couldn't tell how--into a faerie Xweetok. It flew frantically overhead, and before anyone, much less the Fountain Faerie, could figure out what was going on, the mysterious Neopet was out of sight.

The faerie stared in shock at the sky. Things exploding near the Hidden Tower and Neopets changing into other Neopets were by no means normal, and she couldn't help but connect these events with the strange affair of her plundered Fountain. Before she could continue these ruminations, however, a purple blast of light issued to her left. It was none other than Queen Fyora, her staff clutched firmly and her face burning with determination.

"Queen Fyora!" gasped the Fountain Faerie. "I saw an explosion, and this figure changed into a Xweetok, and... oh, Fyora, my Fountain's been robbed!"

At this, the monarch gave a start. "Robbed?"

"Robbed of its magic! A Nimmo in a brown cloak drank from it, and..."

Fyora's wings gave an angry flutter. "I knew it." She turned to the other faerie and put a firm hand on her shoulder. "Sister, that Nimmo was far from an innocent traveller. I just found him trying to drain my Tower of its magic, but before I could apprehend him, he escaped--that was the explosion, some strange spell he used."

"Fyora!" gasped the Fountain Faerie. Never had someone so thoroughly eluded Fyora's grasp--it seemed, in fact, an impossibility.

The queen nodded. "Sister, I must ask your help. We are dealing with a serious criminal here, one aided by a certain magical item and a wealth of ruthless ambition. We are dealing with none other than..."

Author: fearthejuliet
Date: Jun 5th
"...Darlok the Uncanny."

The Fountain Faerie whispered the name to herself as though repeating it would unravel the cloud of dark mystery that surrounded this character.

"He once lived in Faerieland," continued Fyora. "He was my most brilliant pupil."

The Fountain Faerie let out an involuntary gasp, and quickly tried to behave in a manner more respectable to the Faerie Queen. She did not want, by any means, to be judgmental towards her.

Fyora acknowledged the Fountain Faerie's shock. "Oh, I can quite understand why you would find this so shocking, sister. But Darlok was not always the renegade that he became.

"It was by default that I happened across the young Nimmo. And yes, it would appear that he had the audacity to appear before you in his true form, though well shrouded he was. His parents were extremely poor Neopets, and came to Faerieland with their baby, hoping that the faeries would take pity on them.

"They went to Jhudora, the Dark Faerie, humbling themselves before her, they asked to do a small favour in return for something they might sell in return for a little food. Disgusted as she was by this impoverished family, she saw a chance to seize the upper-hand over her sister, Illusen, and asked that she be brought a Jade Scorchstone.

"A ruthless request this was - no question. But now the family were bound by fearful fealty to the Dark Faerie, lest she do something despicable to their little child. Darlok's father refused Jhudora's unreasonable request, much to the protest of the mother, who was ever in fear for Darlok's life.

"Jhudora snatched the infant Darlok from his father, holding him at ransom, she threatened to make him her slave - unless the Jade Scorchstone be brought to her within the allocated time. And so without another question the two fearful parents hurried off in search of the artifact, all too aware that no merchant would sell one for less than hundreds of thousands.

"As I say, it was completely by default that I found Darlok. Two Nimmos clad in rags were brought before me by the City Guards. I was told they were caught stealing a valuable artifact from a merchant.

"'Do you have anything to say for yourself?' I asked the male.

"'No, your highness.' He was very morose, for stealing was a rare occurrence in Faerieland, and with such artifacts as we have, it is treated very seriously.

"I turned to the female, Darlok's mother. 'And you, miss?'

"She ran forward in a flurry of tears and threw herself at my feet. From all around the palace, guards stepped forward to apprehend her. 'Please, your highness! The Dark Faerie, Jhudora, has my baby! Don't let him come to harm!'

"The couple were then taken away to the cells, as at that moment I was quite uncertain as to what should be done with this strange case. I was intrigued by the mother's rant, however, and immediately went down to Jhudora's cloud to see if a child was indeed held prisoner there as she had said.

"When I arrived, Jhudora was giving her signature 'Evil Eye' to an Ixi who had failed to bring her a keyring within an hour. 'When you are quite finished with your frivolous requests, sister, I have a pressing matter on which I seek your invaluable opinion.'

"I received the usual scowl that all Faeries receive from the Dark Faerie. 'What?' she hissed.

"'You have an infant in your possession, do you not?' I inquired.

"'What's one baby Neopet to you, sister?' she replied facetiously.

"'I have his mother and father apprehended at my palace. Now would you be so kind as to return the child to me? He's of no use to you now.'

"With an exasperated sigh, she handed the crying baby Nimmo over to me. 'Take the little brat.'

"Once I arrived back at the palace, the Elders in the Council chamber were all deep in discussion. Faerieland rarely receives such curious incidents to talk about, so you can understand why such a case was of such interest to them.

"Lhurel, the Faerie Lenny, head of the Council, was first to stand and acknowledge my presence. 'My queen,' she began. 'Though one cannot be blamed for being so merciful towards these two criminals, poor Neopians are not uncommon, and people will wonder why you were so partial to these two. You cannot favour two peasants over millions.'

"It was harsh, but true. 'Then have them released with enough food to see them through the journey to Neopia Central. Perhaps the Money Tree will smile upon them.'

"The Elders all nodded in agreement. It was settled. So that night I went down to the apprehension cells to return the child to his family. The two Nimmos were in the company of some of the guards, ready to leave for the gate.

"As I handed the child over to his mother, she took her own haggard cloak from off of her shoulders and wrapped it around the baby, then gently placed him back in my arms.

"'Please, you highness,' she pleaded. 'With us he will starve every other day, but with you he has a chance to be someone.'

"I decided that this one request could be carried out and sent the two on their way. Darlok's father wrapped an arm around his teary wife as they made their way out of Faerieland, never to see their child again.

"That's the cloak you see him wearing to this day, sister; the one he holds so dearly that he wears it even now. His mother gave it to him as an infant. He wore it throughout his days in my palace as a pupil of magic. He was among the greatest of Neopets in Faerieland.

"But when he became older, studying more complex subjects, he became something of a philosopher. He began to wonder where he had come from. Most of his fellow students spoke now and then of parents. But all he had ever remembered was the palace. The Elders were his mentors, and I provided for him, though I did not often get a chance to speak with him.

"He managed to trace his lineage though hours of study in the archives of Faerieland and Neopia Central, and eventually discovered, after asking the Brain Tree, the Esophagor, Finneus and many other famous academics, that he was born in a little pauper's village quite near the Neopian Marketplace. But he could not find his parents there either.

"When he returned to Faerieland he asked me everything of how he came to my courts. Though he was incredibly controlled, as always, I could sense that he was wounded and angry. But he was owed the truth, so I explained everything to him.

"'This is gross injustice,' he protested. 'You send away two beggars for fear of an uprising? Are not faeries most concerned, the Faerie Queen above all, with the wellbeing of all Neopets?'

"I tried to reason with him, but he would not have it. 'Injustice shall be mended; that is certain, Fyora.' And he left Faerieland that day, dressed as a beggar, as his parents had left, many, many years ago..."

Author: benjamin97
Date: Jun 6th
...Fyora sighed, a mournful sound, and gave a distant look off into the sky. "Now, it would seem, Darlok has returned with his vengeance deep in his mind."

"But what is he planning?" The Fountain Faerie asked. "However skilled he may be, he can't possibly mean to..."

Fyora nodded, meeting the other faerie's expression of concern with a grim look of her own. "To drain all of the magic from my kingdom? Yes, I'm afraid that seems to be exactly what he plans to do. But what a price he must have paid to achieve such an ability!" She sighed once more, a sigh speaking of regrets and deep sorrow. She had held such high hopes for Darlok... Fyora shook her head. Now was a time for action, not remorse. "Regardless, we must capture him as swiftly as possible. The only question is where he will go next."

"The Healing Springs!" the Fountain Faerie suggested. "Perhaps he was injured when his assault on the tower failed. Or maybe he will head for Jhudora's Cloud, for he surely must despise her as well."

"Now that he has been discovered, it is also possible that he will lay low. He was ever cautious as a young pet..." Fyora was cut-off by the sound of a strange, echoing explosion. "Then again, everyone can change," she amended sharply, and both faeries watched in surprise as sparks and showers of lightning streaked across the sky from a point just outside the city. "Hurry, Sister!" Fyora commanded. "We must meet him before he flees again!"

Then the Queen of the Faeries was off in a purple streak of light, the Fountain Faerie floating towards the action as swiftly as her magic would allow. Pets lined the streets, staring and pointing at the impromptu light display. Driven by her brave heart, it was not long before the Fountain Faerie found herself beyond the city entrance. The source of the disturbance was quickly made apparent.

The Wheel of Excitement, ordinarily a large and bright symbol of the city's belief in good fortune, was exploding. Not a fiery, hot explosion, like a Kreludan Mining Expedition gone awry, but more like a colourful burst of stars and sparks that continually erupted from the spinning wheel.

Faster and faster it spun, pets fleeing in its wake. But the shocks it spewed were not headed their way. Rather, they raced towards a faerie Usul who hovered above the wheel, glowing bright and bold as each spark crashed against him. With every bolt, the wheel seemed to loose some of its magic and colour.

"Halt!" cried the bold voice of Fyora, and in a flash of electric purple the queen appeared. "Your face may have changed, Darlok, but I know you still!"

"You know nothing, o self-righteous queen of the uncharitable!" Darlok spat back, raising his hands as Fyora aimed her staff at him. A streak of light raced towards him, colliding with the hovering pet. A great hiss of pain carried through the air and the Fountain Faerie cringed.

"Now, Sister!" Fyora commanded. "He may have stolen the magic of the Rainbow Fountain, but it is still under your control. You must wrest it from him! Quickly!"

"Right," the Fountain Faerie said, trusting her queen's judgment though this incident was definitely a first for her. She tried - it was an honest effort - but the magic of the fountain was something which flowed, like the water it was embodied in, and not easily grasped. Even by her.

"I can't-"

Even as she spoke, chaos broke free. The last of the wheel's magic spun its way to Darlok. Cackling with madness, the pet broke free of Fyora's grasp. He was changed again - this time into a mad-looking Halloween Nimmo, with a near-insane glint to his eyes.

"Better hurry, your majesty," he cackled in an oddly creaky voice, quite different from the one he had used when the Fountain Faerie first encountered him. Bolts of energy swam around him, like a small electrical storm that had centered itself on his eyes. A great creaking groan like nothing she had ever heard before filled the faerie's ears. She watched, horrified, as the now-sepia-toned wheel broke free of its supports. "Before your precious citizens are crushed."

The Fountain Faerie could only gape as the wheel began to roll free across the clouds and towards the city...

Author: d_bito
Date: Jun 6th
...Fyora turned to stop the Wheel’s roll towards the city when Darlok shot what looked like lightning bolts from his fingertips at her. Since the Faerie Queen was distracted, she caught the full force of the bolt and her spell to stop the Wheel failed. The Nimmo cackled from above as Fyora had to grasp her staff to keep on her feet.

“Aww, you look like you’re hurting, Queeny! Better visit the Healing Springs while it still has its magic!” He sent another bolt in the direction of the Wheel and then disappeared with a crack of thunder.

“Queen Fyora, look!” the Fountain Faerie screamed and pointed at the Wheel that had now tripled its speed towards the city. As it crashed through the cloud gates, they heard the screams of Neopets trying to escape its path.

“Sister, I must go and stop the Wheel, you go ahead of me and warn the Healing Springs Faerie before it’s too late. I’ll be right behind you.”

With that, Fyora flew off without another word towards the city with all speed, not showing that her injury bothered her for a moment.

With a swish of her tail, the Fountain Faerie flew towards Healing Springs with all speed. Injured faerie pets who’d limped there from the city after the crisis were already forming a line there. Some had broken wings or were holding injured limbs and tails gingerly, while others who were worse off were leaning on their friends or Petpets for support. By the time that the Fountain Faerie reached the front of the line, she saw that her sister was frantically casting spells and handing out healing potions to pet after pet.

“Sister, the Springs are in terrible danger!”

The Healing Springs Faerie turned and showed her surprise at this visit. “ I have not seen you away from your Fountain for some time! What is happening in Faerieland? All I can get is partial accounts, but I’ve never seen so many injured from our city.”

“My Fountain has been robbed of its magic and your Springs could suffer the same fate at any moment!”

“Robbed?” The Healing Springs Faerie gasped as she handed another Healing Potion IV to the next person in line. “What does the robber look like?”

The Fountain Faerie was about to say, “A Nimmo,” but then she realized that he could be any pet in the line.

“He’s a master of disguise; you’ll never see him coming. You have to...” she thought for a moment. “You have to close down the Healing Springs.”

“Close the Springs? These pets need me! I’ll be on my guard for your robber, but these springs will never close.”

The Fountain Faerie tried to protest and explain the full weight of the situation and the grudge this Nimmo held against Fyora, but the other Faerie would not budge. Everything was made worse by the fact that more and more pets were filing into the Springs seeking help from its healing waters. As she watched her sister heal pet after pet, the Fountain Faerie couldn’t help but feel tense every time the faerie blessed a pet with the Springs’ magical waters.

“There doesn’t seem to be any sign of your thief,” the Healing Springs Faerie said after some time had passed.

“No sign of Queen Fyora either,” she replied nervously. This didn’t make sense. To steal the power of the Healing Springs would cripple the city especially with the crisis caused by the out of control Wheel, which would also allow him to sneak in easily through a crowd of Neopets needing help.

“Seems strange, though, who would have a grudge against the Healing Springs,” the Faerie said.

“His grudge isn’t against the Healing Springs, it’s against Fyora.”

“I know, that’s what you said, but if the reason he’s mad is because she wasn’t charitable, why would he target the only completely charitable thing in Faerieland?”

The Fountain Faerie thought for a moment. It was true, all of the sites that Dralok had attacked were places where faeries would bestow gifts on Neopets, but for a price: the Fountain required a quest, the Wheel required Neopoints, and the Hidden Tower... well that required hundreds of thousands of Neopoints.

“He’s not after magic,” the Fountain Faerie said, “he’s out for revenge against what he sees as uncharitable Faeries. Keeping and building their own wealth while holding out on the poor.”

“So where is he now, you think?” her sister asked.

After a moment, a look of cold realization came across the Fountain Faerie’s face. “Oh no, this was all a distraction so he could get to her!” The Fountain Faerie shot up in the air and flew as fast as she could away from the springs.

“Get who?” the Healing Springs Faerie called after her, but she was already too far to be heard.

It wasn’t long before the Fountain Faerie started to find herself surrounded by deep purple clouds in the darkest part of Faerieland. Though, if she weren’t in such a hurry, she might have noticed that it wasn’t quite as dark as it usually was.

“Jhudora!” she called out.

“I’m busy!” a gruff voice replied.

The Fountain Faerie flew in the direction of the voice.

“Someone is coming to steal your Cloud’s magic!” she yelled as the green and purple clad dark faerie came into view.

“Thanks for the newsflash!” she grunted as she threw a ball of green magic across the room.

The Fountain Faerie turned to see what Jhudora was battling, and saw Dralok in the center of Jhudora’s throne room. He seemed to be in the middle of a large purple cyclone, which she realized was drawing the dark magic of the cloud to him. His features had grown twisted and grotesque now, and his eyes were blazing with madness.

“Once I have the power of your Cloud, Jhudora,” he cackled insanely. “I’ll have the power to destroy the Hidden Tower once and for all, and I’ll be avenged!”

Jhudora spoke another spell and threw it at him; all the while the clouds around them were turning from deep purple to lighter and lighter shades of lavender...

Author: clytemnestra2344
Date: Jun 7th
..."That is enough!" Fyora cried, as she appeared on the palest of the clouds in a whirl of brilliant lilac light, each of her words magnified with a blindingly luminous pulsation effusing from her resplendent staff.

"What have you done to my clouds?!" Jhudora exclaimed, staring wide-eyed at the dark-to-pale-purple clouds in complete revulsion.

Fyora ignored her, and turned to Darlok, who was still encircled by a viciously twisting tempest that showed no signs of weakening. Her dark eyebrows dipped down dangerously close to her scintillating eyes, and she raised her staff like a sword to punctuate her severe demand.

"Darlok!" she called, her voice somehow carrying far more powerfully than the Nimmo's roaring, magical winds. "You must give up; your magic is no match for mine. If you continue spreading terror and destruction across Faerieland, I will be bound by my duty to protect the pets of these clouds and force you to relinquish this plan!"

"Oh, will you?" the Nimmo cackled, the insane glint in his eye gleaming even more garishly. "Do you truly believe your magic is any match for mine? Do you really think I would have come to Faerieland unless I was prepared to execute 'my plan' fully and completely?"

"Do you think your powers rival mine?" the Queen countered sharply. "Do you think your powers rival those of Faerieland?"

"I think they do... and I think they will," the Nimmo retorted, and suddenly his cyclone began to rotate even faster, each gale whipping mercilessly away at the pale lavender clouds until Jhudora's cloud seemed to be... fading? The Fountain Faerie's jaw dropped, and Jhudora let out a screech of rage and hurled a sphere of green magic at the accelerating gusts, but it did little if anything to diminish the whirlwind.

Amidst a cackling coming from deep within the dark cyclone, bit by bit, the cloud was wasting away at the hand of the fierce blasts of air. And producing a harsh gasp and another yell of fury from the faerie that lived upon it, Jhudora's Cloud was torn apart and scattered until it was completely gone.

"THAT DOES IT!" Jhudora howled, raising her hand - but she only bellowed another screech of anger when she saw that the fearsome green electricity that crackled from her fingertips was gone. She glanced up, looking prepared to teach the pet a lesson with or without her magic, but the cyclone and the Nimmo had vanished just like her cloud. "Ugh, the nasty little Nimmo's gone! He can't escape me!"

She began to fly off in a random direction, fueled by her fury, but Fyora stopped her.

"Sister, without your magic, it is no use!" Fyora cried, holding her back. "Only by uniting can we make a difference against this great adversity."

"Easy for you to keep your cool," Jhudora grumbled as she seethed. "You still have your magic."

Fyora bit her lip, thinking. "He has now drained your cloud of it's magic...." she said, seeming to be talking to herself more so than the two faeries who lingered beside her. "He said he would have enough to destroy the Hidden Tower with the magic of the cloud to aid him... but he has made one miscalculation."

"What is that?" the Fountain Faerie asked.

"Even with the Rainbow Fountain's magic, the Wheel of Excitement's enchantment and Jhudora's power, he cannot destroy the Hidden Tower, for the base of it is supported by the strongest magic in all of Faerieland."

"And he must know this, for even if he's forgotten, he'll remember now--" the Fountain Faerie realized, her eyes widening as the truth struck her.

"Then he will have gone to the center, the heart, of all Faerieland - the place of his childhood," the Queen said, the faint purple tint in her cheeks draining completely away. "The Council Chamber - the most potent point of all of my power and the Elder's magic, and the very place where we ruled to turn away Darlok's parents, so long ago..."

Author: aurulent_peridots
Date: Jun 7th
...The Fountain Faerie exclaimed, “Sister! The central point of the Council Chamber contains-“

“The Orb of Truth!” the three faeries finished together.

“Of course!” Fyora cried out. “The Orb of Truth is the most important object in all of Faerieland; the powers infused into it by the Seven Sisters control all of Faerieland!”

Jhudora continued, “If that twisted creature gets a hold of it, Darlok could easily destroy the Secret Tower!”

“Worse,” Fyora whispered. “He could wipe Faerieland off of Neopia’s globe, and even history. Faerieland could cease to have ever existed.”

The Fountain Faerie’s skin took and ivory shade as she inquired, “But he can’t get to the orb, can he? Only a monarch or a council member can access its powers, right?”

“Um, hello, he’s a SHAPESHIFTER!” Jhudora sighed exasperatedly.

Fyora slammed her mighty staff down as she cried out, “ENOUGH! Lessened powers or not, we have to stop Darlok from getting that Orb!”

“Then why are we standing around here jabbering? Let’s get that Orb!” With that, Fyora and she sped off to the far-away cloud supporting the Council Chamber, with the Fountain Faerie floating close behind.

As a faint purple mist cleared, the Fountain Faerie could see the huge lilac cloud that bore the immense marble Council Chamber. When the three raced inside, they were greeted by an ominous cackle. There, hovering right next to an enormous white pedestal, was a mutant Draik.

Darlok.

“Hehe, too late! With the Orb in my power, nothing can stop me!”

Fyora slammed her staff down hard, sending out lilac shock waves. The waves hit Darlok with such force that he fell to the ground. Fyora advanced to her fallen adversary, preparing for the blow that would knock him unconscious. “Your reign of chaos and terror has come to an end, Darlok!” she cried. “Prepare to-“ At that instant, a huge ball of dark blue magic from Darlok hit Fyora square-on, flipping her off her feet and sending her sprawling to the floor.

The Fountain Faerie and Jhudora gasped; no one’s power was strong enough to beat Fyora! Slowly, Darlok flapped his flaky wings and regained altitude. Grinning a foul grin, his sickly-looking tail shot out and grabbed the lilac sphere from its perch, holding it within its foul embrace. He leered at them with his sickening teeth, his foul breath pervading the room. “Try and stop me now, you powerless faeries! On my command, this Orb will erase every one of your kind that ever did me wrong from the face of time!”

“NOOO!” the Fountain Faerie cried out. Squeezing her eyes shut, she concentrated every particle of her body, mind, soul and being into harnessing her magic. With a burst of energy, she regained the wonderful, glorious feeling of her fountain magic. The sensation of torrents of magical torrents of rainbow fountain water felt natural and blissful to the faerie. She felt the water, she connected with the water, she WAS the water. With every bit of her strength, she thrust out her hands, ready to defeat Darlok with a torrent of magical water.

The Fountain Faerie opened her eyes to the sight of Darlok, still hovering in the air, doubled over with laughter. When she looked to Jhudora to see what was so funny, she instead saw her nearly red with rage, fuming like a wet Crokabek. She turned around and saw the butt of the joke: her “torrent of water” was merely a small puff of blue magic, floating in midair. The Fountain Faerie was at a loss for words; she did not know what could have happened!

Suddenly, the little ball started to tremble. Darlok stopped laughing and looked on. Jhudora turned around, an expression of confusion on her face. Without warning, the little ball burst into a blue supernova, huge beams of blue light emanating from it. As soon as it arrived, it vanished, replaced by a large light blue oval. Out of the oval walked two mysterious hooded figures. The oval quickly vanished. The two figures let their hoods fall back, revealing the faces of two old, weathered red Nimmos.

Still holding the Orb in his tail’s grasp, Darlok landed, dumbfounded. He uttered just two words. “Mom; Dad?”...

Author: crazyovaneo
Date: Jun 8th
...Jhudora stared at the Fountain Faerie. "How did you do that?!" she exclaimed.

"I... I'm not even sure myself," said the Fountain Faerie, staring down at her hands. "When I was trying to get my power back from him, something just connected. It was like I could feel what he really wanted in his soul."

"Darlok," whispered one of the Nimmos stepping forward.

"Mom?" was all he could reply back. "How-?"

"I somehow knew that would lead us to you," his mother replied with outstretched arms. "What has happened to you, Darlok? This isn't what we wished for you."

Darlok tried to recover some of his former fury. He pointed furiously to Fyora, who was regally standing up again. "How could you just leave your son? Why would you let this... this tyrant send you away, when she was supposed to be looking out for your well-being? You expected me to stay under her care after knowing what she did to you?"

"Our crime was great," his father spoke up. "She was merciful in not punishing us further, and she gave us a great gift in taking care of you when we could not."

"Darlok," his mother said softly, "it was wrong of us to give you away, we know, but we knew you could do great things if you could only get the chance. We wanted to give you that chance!"

The mutant Draik slowly faded away into a Nimmo, who gently dropped to the ground, still looking confused. The magic crackling around him faded, and the Fountain Faerie could feel her usual power returning to her.

"Come home with us, if you can," his father said, shooting a questioning look at Fyora, who nodded.

"You have learned much under my care -- more than I could've ever expected," the Faerie Queen spoke up. "It is time for you to return home."

"Home," Darlok rolled the word in his mouth tentatively. He looked up at Fyora, guilt and confusion filling his face. "I am... sorry."

"As am I, for my part in it," the Queen said. The three faeries watched as the Nimmo family embraced and walked slowly through the portal again, which closed up and vanished behind them.

Jhudora was the first to speak up. "Well, that was a sappy waste of time," she muttered. "If you need me, I'll be on my cloud, enjoying my faerie powers." With that, she flew away.

Fyora glanced at the Fountain Faerie. "I must thank you for the assistance you gave," she said. "Without your help, we may have never been able to pull Darlok back from the brink of his madness, and I would've hated to fight him."

"It was the least I could do, your Majesty," the Fountain Faerie replied. She gave a mischievous wink as she prepared to go back to her dearly missed Fountain. "Besides, it's nice to get my powers back. I'd like to be the first one aware when any pets change shape again!"

The End

Author: the_indefatigable
Date: Jun 8th



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