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||You are on Week 567
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 Five Hundred Sixty Seven Ends Friday, August 3
|"'In the graveyard in the Werelupe Woods, there are three crypts: one for Sentries, one for the Exiled, and one for the Fallen. A handful of Neopians have attempted to traverse these crypts in search of untold riches, rare artefacts, and, perhaps, entrance into the Werelupe Burrows. Few have succeeded in actually getting anything of value.
There is, however, a fourth crypt, of which very few Neopians have knowledge, and which even fewer have actually entered.
This crypt was specifically erected to house the deceased members of the wealthy Reynok family. The Reynok family...' blah blah blah... ah yes, here it is. 'The tomb of the late Sir Edmund Reynok holds his most prized possession: the Wandering Eye.'"
Setting down his book, Alcin turned to the Eyrie standing across the room. "What d'ya think, Boris? Sound like an adventure?"
Boris nodded at the Lupe. "Sounds fun, but do you have any idea as to where the crypt is actually located?"
"No, I don't. I think I know where we can find out, though." Alcin walked to an old drawer and took out a pile of dusty maps. "My father's. He once told me about his journeys in the Werelupe Woods. I bet he has something here that can lead us to that crypt." He set the maps down on a table, blowing away the dust.
Boris pulled up a chair by the table and sat down. "Well, then, let's get started."
Date: Jul 30th
...After almost half an hour of scouring the maps fruitlessly, Alcin rested his paw on a certain spot that intrigued him. "What do you think this could be, Boris?" he asked.
The Eyrie leaned in to get a better look at what his friend was seeing. A simple question mark was surrounded by a ring of blank parchment that stood out starkly from its outer border of richly-decorated map. "It looks mysterious... and mysterious is always promising. I vote we check it out."
Alcin nodded, although his brows were furrowed in thought. His father had been the best and bravest adventurer Alcin knew; even if this question mark turned out to be the Reynok crypt, it was still a location that had spooked his father so badly that he could not explore it, much less document it properly. Also, there was no guarantee that this was the Reynok crypt. This innocent little question mark could represent any sort of danger.
"Hey, Alcin... you okay?" Boris asked. "We're doing this, right?"
Alcin steeled his nerves and nodded. Surely his father had felt the same as he did now about the Werelupe Woods in general, and he had managed to explore most all of them. He had even explored and documented the crypts of the Sentries, Exiled, and Fallen. The thought of having an amazing adventure story to pass on one day strengthened Alcin's resolve. "Yeah, let's go."
He and Boris spent a few minutes gathering up the maps, the book on the Reynok crypt, and a few other miscellaneous supplies.
"So, the area surrounding the question mark... what's in it? Are there any landmarks we can search for?" Boris asked as the two left Alcin's Berkshire Glen home.
"Well, obviously it's in the graveyard with the other three, but it looks like it's pretty well separated from them. It's probably just been built in a different area of the graveyard. I mean, it'd be kind of a mess having four large crypts all clustered together."
"That makes sense," Boris agreed amicably.
What didn't make sense was the abnormally large ring of unmarred paper around the question mark. The entire ring was almost four inches in diameter.
The Lupe and Eyrie passed through their small village without incident and stood by the sign cautioning against needless entry into the Werelupe Woods.
"Well, here we go," Alcin said excitedly, feeling the rush of impending adventure coming upon him finally. Into the most dangerous part of the Haunted Woods...
Date: Jul 30th
...he took the first step past the sign with his breath held. Alcin squeezed his eyes tightly shut, and waited for something to happen. Nothing did. He opened his eyes and looked around. He glanced back to where Boris was standing, and grinned.
"This isn't so different from the rest of the Woods!" The thought gave Alcin courage.
"Don't get too excited yet," Boris warned. "We haven't gotten very far."
He unrolled the map from his backpack.
"Landmarks?" Alcin asked.
Boris pointed to a small path ahead and to their right. "That way to the crypts. The question mark is there."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, look. The path crosses this bridge here, and then doubles back around to where the crypts are."
Alcin looked at the map over his shoulder. "Isn't there a shorter way? Can we just cut through here?" He pointed to a particularly dense stand of trees.
"This is the Werelupe Woods, not Faerieland. We have to be careful. The paths are safer."
"Let's go that way. In and out faster, and besides, what could go wrong?"
"Being in the Werelupe Woods has gone to your head. It's not as safe here as you think!"
"Relax, Boris. My father spent loads of time here. My instinct says to go that way!"
Boris studied the map. It did look possible, and they could follow the main road for about a quarter of the way. Reluctantly, he agreed.
The trees loomed up before them, dark, foreboding, and very different from the Woods as Alcin and Boris knew them firsthand. Boris glanced at Alcin, who simply nodded and room the first step into the shadow of a gnarled, ancient oak. Boris followed.
Somehow, miraculously, they managed to not get turned around in the Woods, and through the trees they could make out the black outline of the first crypt.
"We're almost there!" Alcin exclaimed.
Boris looked at the map. "Uh-oh," he said. "Alcin, we're in the unmapped circle somehow. I don't--"
Before he could finish his sentence, the ground underneath them rumbled, and opened....
Date: Jul 31st
“Ow... What happened?” Dazed, Alcin tried to regain his balance and stand up. The uneven ground underneath him seemed to cave at the pressure of his paws. The cave was pitch black: even his own limbs were hardly distinguishable inside the impenetrable darkness. Fumbling through his scarce supplies, Alcin felt a torch and brought it in front of him. Then, he searched his pockets for some matches, and managed to light the cold torch. The beacon of light renewed his senses and brought life to the situation. But when Alcin illuminated the ground underneath him, he jumped back in shock.
“Ahh! The... These are skulls that we fell on!” Alcin cried out in astonishment. “Boris, I think these skulls cushioned our fall, so we weren’t injured.” Flashing the light above him, Alcin continued with dismay, “I don’t see an exit from where we came.”
But the only reply that Alcin received was silence. His companion was nowhere to be seen. “Boris...?”
Date: Jul 31st
Darkness swallowed up his voice. The Lupe's words echoed and seemed to be thrown back at him. Alcin tried not to focus on the grinning, mindless sets of teeth beneath his paws. "Boris--"
The Eyrie's voice was barely audible above him, but as Alcin turned he could make out the murky shape of his companion's wings. Boris seemed to be clinging to the ceiling, staring at something too high for Alcin himself to see.
"Boris, what is--"
"Sh!" the Eyrie hissed. "Skulls... are not... our biggest concern."
Alcin suddenly felt as though even his own breath was much too loud. He tried to lower his voice to beneath a whisper.
"Then... what is?"...
Date: Aug 1st
...Alcin soon got his answer, as he saw shadows creeping across the walls of the skull-filled area that they were in, illuminated by the light coming from his torch.
The shadows had a vaguely familiar shape to them, looking like Lupes, except much larger. "Werelupes!" Alcin wanted to shout out, except he muffled himself before the words could escape his throat.
Whatever had happened in that unmarked circle must have taken them into the Werelupe Burrows, or at least close to the burrows. He could hear the Werelupes close by, not sure if they knew where he was or if they had heard him.
Alcin quickly extinguished the torch, plunging the area back into darkness, and dug into the skull pile to hide. Hopefully the Werelupes wouldn't notice the sudden lack of light. Now he just needed to be silent and hope that the Werelupes passed by in the darkness without noticing them.
It was a few tense moments in the darkness. Alcin's eyes started to adjust slightly to the the inky darkness, just able to make out the shape of Boris on the ceiling and the vague shapes of the Werelupes coming this way.
Alcin held his breath as he saw the first one pass by, kicking over one of the skulls as he passed as the sound of that echoed throughout the area.
A few more Werelupes passed by without incident, Alcin silently thanking Fyora for this bit of good luck.
After a few more tense moments, the last Werelupe was passing by, and Alcin finally felt it was safe to exhale... but then, all of the luck he thought he had suddenly left him when one of the skulls on the pile fell over, echoing throughout the chamber.
Alcin froze up, hoping that the last Werelupe wouldn't notice. No such luck. A pair of bright green eyes was suddenly focused on the skull pile that Alcin was hiding in. Had he been seen, or was the Werelupe just examining the skull pile due to the sudden noise?
The howl of the Werelupe pierced through the chamber and the pair of eyes were suddenly approaching Alcin quickly. Before the Lupe could reach, the strong arm of the Werelupe pulled him out of the skull pile by the throat, lifting him off the ground as he struggled and kicked to try and free himself.
"Help! Help!!!" Alcin shouted as two more Werelupe eyes suddenly appeared in he darkness and Alcin was being dragged away. "Help me!"
Alcin's screams got quieter and quieter as he was taken deeper into the burrow. After a moment, once the room had gone quiet, Boris let go of the ceiling and started to follow where Alcin had been taken.
It killed him inside to have to remain silent while Alcin was being dragged away like that, but if they had both been captured, then there wouldn't have been any hope for either of them.
"I'm coming, Alcin!" the Eyrie thought as he raced into the darkness to go after his friend...
Date: Aug 1st
...It didn't occur to him that he didn't know where he was going, not until after a few minutes of running. By then, he was too far from his starting point to turn back, leaving him no choice but to continue on.
The howls and screams had disappeared by now, and in the darkness, Boris had no way of knowing if he was going in the right direction. He flew, as silently as he could, for a few agonizing minutes -- it couldn't have been more than a few minutes, though to him, it seemed like an eternity -- and then stopped. Glancing downward, it appeared as if the sea of skulls had ended; either that, or there was no ground.
He fluttered tentatively downward, finally feeling his feet touch ground. The skulls had, indeed, gone, leaving a cold stone floor.
There was ground and a ceiling. He took a few steps forward and his face slammed into something hard, cold, and somewhat smooth -- a wall. There were walls, too. Alcin had taken the torch, which was a shame -- it would have been so much easier for Boris to find his way with a source of light.
Soon, though, it seemed like he wouldn't need a light, as a loud howl suddenly pierced the silence.
"Alcin," he breathed, racing forward once more. "I'm coming for you, Alcin."
The howl still echoed. Boris half-ran, half-flew in its general direction, crashing into walls here and there, and at last he saw light before him...
Date: Aug 2nd
...Moonlight, cool and crisp, flooded into the chamber from above. It was a hollow of some sort, a natural formation in the depths of the woods, the high walls lined with walkways that spiralled up from Boris all the way to the peak.
Boris threw himself back into the shadows as he noticed that the walkways were far from empty. Werelupes, of all colours and sizes, lined them. Periodically, one would howl toward the moon high in the sky above them, causing some others nearby to join in.
Boris's heart leapt a little -- the Werelupe Burrows. They had found them, somehow. So many had tried, but from the outside they had seemed like a fortress. Had the unmapped area been a secret entrance?
Boris's momentary elation was marred somewhat as his eyes drifted up the impressive structure. The Werelupes were all focused on something high above, hanging from a thick vine from the peak of the burrow structure. Moving slightly in the shadows, Boris was able to make out that it was a cage, made from fallen trees and vines from the forest. Inside, a small Lupe lay quivering... Alcin.
There was a sudden hush among the Werelupes as they shifted their attention toward a platform near Alcin's cage. A new Werelupe had entered, one far bigger than the others, with a crown made of bone atop his head. The King of the Werelupes raised a hand for silence, although his gathered subjects had already given it in anticipation.
Boris then noticed a strange glinting gem hanging around the King's neck. It was a deep orange stone that, as it caught the moonlight, almost seemed to wink at Boris.
The Eyrie gasped, "The Wandering Eye..."
Date: Aug 2nd
...and at the same moment, he remembered what it was that the Wandering Eye was famous for. Ever since Alcin had mentioned it, the name scratched at something in the back of his mind -- some book he had read once upon a time, or a story he had heard.
The Wandering Eye, when its power was focused on a living creature, turned that creature into whatever it had focused on last. It had been in the Reynok crypt... or here, in the burrows, in the possession of the King of the Werelupes, for centuries, and that could only mean one thing.
Boris started shaking. He looked frantically around the burrows, but no matter how hard he strained his eyes, he could only find two directions to go -- back, into the maze of caverns that he had just found his way out of, or up, into the burrows, into the dozens... no, hundreds of Werelupes that had gathered to watch the intruder of their realm transformed into one of them.
Back meant leaving Alcin. Back meant getting lost in the bone-strewn corridors, and maybe never finding the way out. Up... he would at least have a chance.
The Eyrie studied the cage. There was no way he could tear through the thick vine bars quickly enough -- he would just have to wait until the king opened the cage.
"This is crazy," Boris muttered as he crouched. A thousand thoughts flew through his head. How am I going to carry Alcin all the way to the top? Can I even fly fast enough to dodge them, to grab him and get away from the king?
Boris looked up into the stream of moonlight. It strengthened him somehow, steeled his resolve. He turned back to where Alcin hung in the forest cage, his gaze intent, focused. The King of the Werelupes reached for the latch on the outside of the door and Boris sprung up, his wings beating hard against the still, silent air of the burrows, and launched himself toward his friend...
Date: Aug 3rd
...Alcin, completely unaware of the plan, was very surprised to see his companion suddenly flying through the air and toward him. No, more than surprised... shocked, really. Stunned.
The Lupe's mind raced, and he only vaguely recalled the Eyrie grabbing him from his prison, stealing the Wandering Eye off the King's neck, and then lifting them both into the air. Into the air, but not to safety.
Boris landed near the cave wall, opposite the crowd of Werelupes, who were now facing them and slowly closing in around the pair. "Alcin," he said.
"Alcin..." floated through Alcin's mind mysteriously, as though the word had not just been uttered in front of the lad. The sound was detached, as though he had read it in a book. "Alcin," it came again, and then the Lupe was suddenly flung back into reality.
"Alcin!" Boris screamed anxiously. "Wake up!"
"I'm awake," he returned, and then a look of determination spread across his face, "and ready to fight these beasts. Where do we start?"
"Thank Fyora you're out of your stupor," Boris said with a sigh. "I have an idea," the Eyrie continued. "Remember the legend, how the Wandering Eye transforms its living victim into what has last grabbed their attention?"
"Of course I do," Alcin responded. "Dad told us those stories."
So that's where he had heard them, Boris thought, and then he realized there wasn't time to think. "Pick up that rock," Boris said as he pointed to a medium-sized boulder about a foot away from his companion, "and throw it over there, in the center of the horde."
"To offer a distraction?" Alcin said, trying to sound as though he knew where Boris was going with this plot.
"Er, kind of," the Eyrie said back. "Just do it!"
Alcin picked up the stone and threw it. For a brief second, the attention of all the Werelupes were focused on the rock.
Boris then put the rest of his plan into action. He threw the Wandering Eye, and the artifact landed less than a foot away from the stone.
The Eye then began to glow bright orange.
"Shield your eyes!" Boris said to his friend, and the two looked away.
The light then dissipated, and when Boris and Alcin turned around the whole crowd of Werelupes -- king and subjects -- had become statues; stone.
"It worked!" Boris exclaimed.
Alcin soon realized his friend's entire plan. "You had to get their attention focused on the rock, and then the eye would turn them into stone... clever," the Lupe remarked.
An awkward silence filled the room. "So," Alcin said, breaking it, "what now?"
"I say we leave the eye and go."
"Yeah. Its powers are obviously too much to handle; it would become one of those things sought after by those who are evil and in constant need of protection by those who are good. Also, this way the legend will die."
"You're right..." Alcin trailed, and then smiled. "Now, which way leads out?"
"Up," Boris responded. "From there, well... that's when the real adventure begins." The Eyrie winked.
Date: Aug 3rd
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