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||You are on Week 582
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 Eighty Two Ends Friday, November 16
|The moon shone brightly over the town of Eastglade. It would have been a cool, serene night, but there appeared to be some... mischief at work tonight.
There, a hooded Gelert was creeping in the shadow of an alleyway, careful to avoid detection.
"Ruomir! So nice to see you," whispered a voice behind him.
Clearly, he was doing a poor job. The Gelert sighed and spun around, finding himself before the figure of a pale Darigan Poogle. "What do you want?" he said, grimacing.
The Poogle laughed. "Ruomir, do you not recall? Today is Master's birthday." He drew forth a sword from a sheath hanging from his belt. Its blade had a fine edge, and under the moonlight Ruomir could make out strange runes, of which he had never seen, strewn across it. He suspected they had an ancient, dark origin.
"Where did you get this, Eldwin?" he said.
The Poogle smiled. "It is a gift for Master, although it is but a small token to express my infinite gratitude for his teachings." Eldwin lifted the sword high above his head, marveling at its lustrous sheen. "Remarkable, is it not?" he said.
"It definitely was not forged here," Ruomir said.
"You are correct. It was forged in Tyrannia," Eldwin replied, replacing the sword. "And here, I had thought Tyrannians only made stone weapons, but obviously I was wrong! Her name is Ugga, which means 'Carcass' in Tyrannian. I think," he said with a laugh. "If not, perhaps 'Monoceraptor' or 'Fruitmallow,' although I cannot fathom how a prehistoric Neopian would know anything about tropical fruit."
The Gelert chuckled softly. "I can tell you have not been diligent in your studies, Eldwin." He cleared his throat. "Since it is clear you do not know the meaning of her name, I shall give her a new one, a name perhaps more fitting than the options you have given me. Henceforth, let us call her Lux!"
Eldwin's eyes widened with curiosity. "That is a strange tongue you speak, Ruomir, one which I do not understand. Nevertheless, the name has a pleasant ring to it."
"I am glad you agree," Ruomir said, grinning. His face suddenly grew dark. "Although, it would be a shame to waste something of such striking quality on somebody as lowly as Master, would you not agree? Wouldn't you rather keep such a treasure for yourself?"
The Poogle stepped back. "Lowly? What are you saying, Ruomir?" he cried.
Ruomir released a shrill laugh that echoed through the night. "You know full well what I am saying, Eldwin." His eyes flared a bright red. "Lord Desdrick is a fool!" he screamed, his voice piercing like knives. "Now give me that!"...
Date: Nov 12th
...The Gelert launched toward the blade, but was far too slow for the nimble paws of his counterpart. With a swish, the Poogle returned the sword to its sheath, his grip remaining firmly placed upon its golden handle.
"Ruomir!" Eldwin whispered harshly, his face tense as he spoke. "What demon possesses your mind?"
Ruomir took a step back, his eyes remaining fixed upon the sword. The golden glint of the grip, the fine swordsmanship held within the metal -- he had never seen a sword of such beauty before. With a sigh he turned his head, gazing diligently at the ground below.
"Do not play the fool, Eldwin, it is ill-befitting of you," he said, his paws clenched tightly together as he spoke. "You know too well of our Master's plans to overrun the academy."
Silence filled the air. The Gelert looked up and stared directly into the eyes of his best friend. He could tell that his words had struck the young apprentice as he watched Eldwin's eyes narrow, his mind clearly engrossed.
A cold chill blew down the stone alley, traveling endlessly into the depths of Eastglade. Poor, corrupt, Eastglade.
"The Academy of Alchemy is in need of assistance," the Poogle finally spoke, his teeth clenched tightly together. "Master is simply trying to lend a hand in these troubled times."
"No!" The Gelert couldn't control his rage as he banged his fist against the nearby wall, his voice echoing silently along the granite bricks. "You know full well that Master has no intention other than claiming the magical power held within the academy for his own. Surely you cannot ignore this, Eldwin!"
The Poogle spoke softly. "And you plan to stop him yourself, do you? Going against Master would mean going against Eastglade, Ruomir... you know this."
"Someone needs to stop him," the Gelert declared. He then gazed up at the moon, its gentle twilight shrouded by the clouds. "Master may have founded this town, but his greed is leading it to ruin. Who knows what he'll try to do once he's gotten his hands on the Academy's magic?"
"If you do this, Ruomir, then you are on your own," the Poogle said sternly.
The Gelert turned, slowly lifting his hood as he began to walk. In the distance the Academy of Alchemy stood, its chimneys chugging out a myriad of violet fumes. He faced his friend once more.
"Then I walk alone..."
Date: Nov 12th
...The smiting wind numbed Ruomir's face as he strode purposefully toward the Academy of Alchemy. As the Gelert faded into the shadows of the alleyway, his Poogle friend heaved a sigh of resolve and gave chase.
"Ruomir, wait!" Eldwin cried, struggling to keep up. "You're making a very bad decision. I must ask you to reconsider this!"
Ruomir cackled softly beneath his hood and slowed his pace, allowing the young Poogle to walk alongside him.
"I'm saving Eastglade from the acrimony of a power-hungry fool," the Gelert hissed, avoiding the Poogle's gaze. "If you will not accompany me on my mission, then please... do not hinder me. Also--" Out of the corner of his eye, Ruomir could clearly see a shimmer of golden light. "A word of advice, my friend."
Ruomir cast a sideways glance at the Poogle, only to find a pair of searching eyes staring back at him.
"Think carefully about who you would bestow such a... lovely gift upon," the Gelert whispered, his voice dripping with hatred.
"Ruomir, I have considered this," came the Poogle's indignant reply. "Master has been nothing but kind to me. He is more than worthy of this wondrous Tyrannian gem--" Eldwin was cut off by his own shriek as the Gelert wrenched the glimmering blade from its sheath in one swift motion and took off into the darkness...
Date: Nov 13th
...Although Eldwin again chased after the Gelert, Ruomir had picked up speed. The Poogle's cries were lost among the aged cobblestone streets and the light emanating from the street lamps of old Eastglade.
Reassuring himself that the pesky Poogle was lost, Ruomir stopped next to a shed behind an inn to steady his breathing. The hair on Ruomir's neck prickled in remembrance of the grave news he received from an informant earlier that day. How could Lord Desdrick even think of doing such a thing? Before Eldwin appeared, the Gelert had hidden in the alleyway near a tavern where some of Desdrick's higher ups had been enjoying a glass of grog or two, listening to their carrying on and seeing if they had any clue what the devilish "Master" had in store for them -- or the other residents of Eastglade -- the next morning.
"Lux," the luscious Tyrannian blade Eldwin had swung around, was no ordinary blade. Forged from the fang of the infamous and immortal Beast of Tyrannia, this blade was largely responsible for many of the victories in the Tyrannian wars. To think, Eldwin had sought to give this as a gift to their Master, the most charismatic (yet conniving) rogue that Eastglade has ever seen. It would be tainted in his hands.
The Academy of Alchemy was only a few blocks away, and from his position Ruomir could see a lone illuminated tower window.
The window belonged to the private corridors of one Lord Desdrick the Second.
"It is decided," Ruomir growled beneath his breath. "I must sneak into Desdrick's bedchambers tonight and end his malevolent reign once and for all. No one of Eastglade will understand how much pain I have saved them, but it must be done. I will go down in history as a hero..."
Date: Nov 13th
...The journey to the tower was surprisingly uneventful, and although Ruomir took the utmost care to ensure that he was not caught, it seemed as if his efforts were unnecessary. No guards patrolled the corridors, none of the apprentices were working in the Academy of Alchemy, and surprisingly, the rotten wooden door to the tower was unlocked.
The Gelert's grip on Lux tightened as he entered the base of the tower. Ruomir knew he needed to keep his wits about him; Desdrick wouldn't simply leave his tower defenceless. There would perhaps be trap doors, or magical barriers, all designed to stop intruders from interrupting Desdrick's work. His careful steps up the stone stairs were muffled by years of practice sneaking through the shadows unseen and unheard, his breathing soft and shallow.
Weaving his way through the meticulously memorised corridors of the upper tower level, Ruomir soon found himself in front of Desdrick's bedchambers. And yet, nothing had attempted to stop, let alone bother, Ruomir at all.
"There MUST be something waiting for me behind this door..." Ruomir murmured to himself as the locks came loose with only a touch. "It can't be this easy." Wielding the legendary blade in front of him, the Gelert burst into the room, prepared to defend himself from whatever laid inside, and ready to stop Desdrick's nefarious plans... and yet, the room was empty.
"What?" Ruomir gasped, staring around at the bare walls, his gaze moving toward the bed with no occupant, no Desdrick, before moving his eyes toward the only other furniture in the room, Desdrick's table.
A note was placed directly on top of the table, with a small stone used as a weight to keep the howling wind coming through window from blowing it away. Ruomir ripped the note from underneath the stone, and his eyes narrowed as he read the words laid in front of him.
My dearest Ruomir,
I expected better from my finest student... my protégé, if you please. Tomorrow my army will rise, and you, my Gelert, will be the one leading it. Involuntarily, of course, but you won't know that; you won't even be able to think anymore.
Please, turn this note over.
Ruomir turned the note over hastily, only glimpsing the words, Behind you... before a large hand gripped over his mouth and another pinned him to the ground...
Date: Nov 14th
...Ruomir thrashed and fought as best he could, but the powerful hands were too strong for him. In his attempts to free himself, he tried his best to swing Lux at whatever figure was holding him down, only for some sort of force to knock the blade out of his grip.
"Like my note said, my protege," Desdrick said, the large Ruki having now pinned the Gelert to the ground, "I really did expect better from you. No matter, though. You'll learn so much more leading my armies. You'll soon be the best, and your name will be more feared than that of Doctor Sloth himself!"
Ruomir fought and struggled to the best of his ability, but with the blade out of his grip, he was helpless against Desdrick. His eyes then shot wide open in horror as the Ruki pulled out a small vial filled with a strange green liquid and popped it open.
"Now, the first thing we need to do is take care of that stubborn will of yours. I don't need a puppet that fights against its master..." the Ruki said as Ruomir helplessly squirmed while the liquid was forced down his mouth and throat...
Eldwin braced himself against a wall, panting and trying to catch his breath. He had lost track of Ruomir and of Lux. Who knew what would happen if he got to their headmaster in such a state?
Master! Eldwin thought. I must warn Desdrick!
Eldwin took a deep breath and rushed as quickly as he could to the Academy of Alchemy. If he was lucky, he might be able to get there before Ruomir did and warn his master of the Gelert's plan.
Eldwin ran faster than he'd ever thought possible, and soon got to the old wooden door that lead to the tower. Right as he was about to open it, the door flung open, nearly hitting him!
"Eep!" Eldwin gasped out, coming to a quick stop in surprise. His surprise soon became relief when he saw that it was his master, Lord Desdrick, behind the door.
"Master Desdrick!" Eldwin said. "I must warn you that..."
"Oh, Eldwin!" the Ruki interrupted. "What a surprise! I was just looking for you..."
Date: Nov 14th
..."Master," Eldwin hurried to say, "Ruomir is--"
A smile slid over Master Desdrick's face, and Eldwin found himself shivering a little for some reason. "What a loyal servant," Master said. "Coming to warn me of your friend's treachery, eh? Not to worry, Eldwin. Ruomir has already been taken care of, but I do need your help."
Taken care of? What did that mean? Master probably just put a sleeping spell on him for the night or something like that, Eldwin thought to himself, though unease bubbled in the back of his mind. Surely he was just being a little paranoid. Good Master Desdrick always knew best! Eldwin smiled up at his kind Master and said, "I'll help you with anything, Master Desdrick."
The Ruki's smile widened. "Excellent. Do come in."
He opened the door wider and Eldwin passed through. Relief rushed through him as he saw Ruomir, sitting on the bed, head bowed. He had been worried for no reason --Ruomir was fine, if looking a little ashamed of himself.
"I see you've found the traitor," Master Desdrick said. His voice was full of regret. "Such a promising student... ah, well. Eldwin, the task I have for you is simple but important. I need you to watch Ruomir for a few hours while I handle some... errands. I'll come for him in the morning. Do you think you can do that?"
"Oh, yes, Master!"
"Good. Don't talk to him, and do not -- under ANY circumstances -- let him out."
"Of course not, Master!"
Master Desdrick smiled. "I knew I could count on you, Eldwin. I'll see you in a few hours."
With that, he exited the room and left Eldwin alone with only Ruomir and a flickering candle...
Date: Nov 15th
...Time lapsed slowly for Eldwin. Navigating to Master's guest quarters, the Poogle read the time. 3:24AM, it read.
After what seemed like five minutes, Eldwin got up and checked the time again. Only a minute had passed. He released a discomfortable sigh and returned to Master's bedroom. The young Poogle slumped down on the bed next to Ruomir.
"Hello, Eldwin," the Gelert suddenly said.
Eldwin started. He had almost expected his classmate to be incapable of speech, at that point. "I'm not to converse with you," the Poogle replied.
"Do you not wish to talk of Master's wondrous plans?" the Gelert said, turning and smiling at Eldwin in a strangely pleasing, yet oddly frightening, way.
"Er..." The Poogle was more or less lost as to a proper response. Who knew what kind of odd trick this miscreant of a Gelert was pulling. He then sighed again; what else was there to do? "Sure, why not."
"The Academy of Alchemy will rule Eastglade, as it should."
"Pardon me?" Eldwin inquired hastily. Long ago, Eastglade was under complete totalitarian leadership, but Master had risen to power through the army and vanquished the oppressors, forming the Academy to train the next generation of elite soldiers. "Are you proposing that Master plans to lead us into yet another dictatorship?"
The Gelert continued to smile. "Absolutely," he said, in an odd sort of hazy merriment. "It will be wonderful. As his most advanced student, I will command his armies, I will be more feared than Sloth himself... and I want you, my loyal friend, to be my top lieutenant."
Eldwin practically gagged.
"Among all of Master's students, my dear Eldwin, I've singled you out as his second greatest, a student whose powers are second only to my own. Well, and Master's, of course." His eyes radiated a sense of absolute unease; a sort of terror lay present behind them.
"Where's Lux?" Eldwin asked, hoping to stray from the topic.
"I have given Lux to Master," Ruomir said.
"I wished the weapon, and I bestowed it upon him."
This was absolutely out of character for Ruomir. Earlier, he had sworn to destroy Master with the artifact... it dawned on him, there. Master had obviously brainwashed him in some way. It was true, then... Master could not be trusted. The Poogle's entire world had been flipped upside down, yet somehow come clearer into focus.
"We've got to get out of here," Eldwin suddenly blurted. He pointed to the window. "Everything you said before -- while you were... well, you -- seems true. Come, we must destroy Master."
Silence. "But, I don't want to leave..."
Date: Nov 15th
Eldwin turned back to him. "But, you have to! We can't let Master--"
"Oh, Eldwin, my friend, I thought you wanted Master to rule Eastglade? Wasn't it you who said that he was worthy? Not that it matters what you think; he obviously is." Ruomir lowered his head and stared intently at the Poogle, who was now shaking horribly.
Eldwin then got an idea.
"Ruomir," Eldwin said with a smile, "of course I think Master is worthy, and I would be honored to be your top lieutenant. But, um, what I was saying was we can't let Master... uh, we can't let him... he said that he wanted to get rid of you!" he blurted out.
Ruomir's fogged up eyes widened slightly. "He wouldn't. He said that I shall lead his armies!"
"Yes, Ruomir, but he changed his mind when he heard I was the one who won the sword." Eldwin replied, thinking fast. "He decided I would make a better leader for his armies, but I'm your friend, and I want to make sure that you get the fearsome reputation you desire so much. Therefore, we will go and destroy Master so that you can take his place, and then I will lead your armies, instead of Master's."
The Gelert seemed to think about this. Eldwin imagined his head was filled with overambitious desires, so hopefully the idea of ruling the academy and Eastglade would appeal to him just long enough for the Poogle to--
"H-huh?" Eldwin suddenly realized that Ruomir was standing right in front of him now. "Oh, yes, let's go then..."
Date: Nov 16th
...The two climbed outside through the window and quickly scrambled down the tower's cobblestone exterior, its ridges aiding their descent.
"Where did Desdrick say he was going?" Eldwin inquired, wanting to know where the two should be going before they actually arrived there. Who knew how long Ruomir had been at the villain's home, or what information he may have acquired while staying.
"He said that his legions were heading up near Oakridge, where he, after running his errands, would take me. He would walk to Meridell, single-handedly overthrowing Skarl's army -- his otherwise primary opposition -- before returning to Oakridge. An attack was scheduled on Eastglade tomorrow, through the north."
"If that's his plan," Eldwin said, "then Master must have really gone mad with power." Skarl's army was vast, dangerous, and skilled. Sure, the kingdom had sworn to protect their town after what had happened previously, but--
"He has a potion," Ruomir blurted, interrupting the Poogle's train of thought. "Ingest it, and you're under his control."
Eldwin's eyes grew wide as a vision of Master's great plan flashed before his eyes. He wasn't going to overthrow the army... no, he was planning to overthrow Skarl!
After Desdrick's amazing victory over Eastglade's former authority, Skarl became so impressed with the young liberator that the king had promised him a spot on his army's committee. He declined, instead choosing to form the school -- it was then that the agreement was made between Skarl's and Master's armies, that Meridell would protect the town. It was also through this doctrine that Desdrick would gain permanent VIP access to the castle, where he could meet directly with Skarl to address issues or discuss plans.
It would also be here that Desdrick would force Skarl to drink this potion of his, whereupon he would command the king not to release his legions despite whatever turmoil rocked the town of Eastglade.
Something still didn't make sense, though.
"Why was he going to take you along with him to Oakridge if he didn't need you?" Eldwin asked.
"I was needed; I was to lead the attack on Eastglade."
At first, Eldwin was shocked. He then smiled, however, knowing exactly what his next move would be. "So, if we climb back into the tower, we should be able to catch Desdrick when he returns later this morning, correct?"
"That sounds correct -- he was to return around morning."
"Yes. Well, then that's where we'll meet him, but first, we'll need supplies."
The two ventured down toward a building just east of the academy, which housed Master's most illustrious and powerful weaponry. Although magically locked, Desdrick had granted Ruomir a temporary easement while he served in his army.
The Gelert waved his arms around the door and it opened.
A quick perusal revealed nothing to be as powerful as Lux, but perhaps a combination of the articles contained here could provide something close.
Taking a good assortment, they returned back to Master's bedroom and waited for his return.
A knocking was heard at the door. It opened, and revealed the shady, menacing figure of Master. "Hello, Eldwin," he greeted.
"It's nice to see you followed orders." Desdrick had an odd sort of smirk on his face, as though, somehow, he knew of their departure from the room.
The Poogle cast the thought away, however. "Yes."
Master then turned and faced Ruomir. "Are you ready, my protégé?"
Meanwhile, Eldwin sneaked to the other side of the room and gently closed the door, sealing Master in.
"Yes," Ruomir replied.
"Ready to destroy you," Eldwin yelled as Master spun around.
"What?!?" Desdrick asked the Poogle as Eldwin drew his sword. He then smiled. "Oh, poor Eldwin," he said, feigning remorse. "You were so promising, a student almost as grand as Ruomir." His demeanor then changed to a violent one. "But do you honestly think you can defeat me with that puny thing?" He revealed Lux, its darkness catching the early morning rays in a most appealing manner.
"You're outnumbered two against one," Ruomir announced.
"Yeah!" Eldwin said, beaming... but then the Gelert walked over toward Master.
"You're going to die, Eldwin, for lying to me about Master's wishes," Ruomir said ominously.
Desrick cackled. "Yes, Eldwin. The potion I used on him is strong, and Ruomir is weak. His body has no immunity to it." He then uncorked a bottle. "Neither will yours..."
The Poogle's eyes filled with horror, and shutting them, he cringed against the wall...
But then there was a slashing sound, and something fell to the floor.
Eldwin opened his eyes, revealing a fallen Master. "What?"
"Hello, chum," Ruomir said, his previous demeanor having somehow returned. "Don't speak -- I'm sure you have many questions."
"Listen... I was never under Master's control at all. I told you, Lord Desdrick is a fool. Long have I known of his development of the potion. When he released his first prototype, I managed to get my hands on it and have been drinking tiny amounts every day, prompting my body to build a natural immunity to it."
Eldwin just glared back.
"In short, I faked the whole thing -- allowing me to slay him, right here, right now. He may have had Lux, but he also had pride." Ruomir smiled. "A real warrior would have trusted no one, or told anyone his great plans, especially an individual smarter or more powerful than he."
"So... we're free of his potential tyranny?" Eldwin asked.
The Gelert knelt down beside the fallen noble and retrieved Lux. "Mostly."
"His armies still exist. They'll still be waiting. Without Desdrick's command, however, they'll remain lost and forever waiting."
"So go, walk as a free Neopet. I, however, am going to escape. Whoever Desdrick's successor is, it will most likely be someone who thinks like him, someone who also wants complete control of Eastglade... and I'm not going to let that happen. I'm going to form my own school to oppose this one's corruption, somewhere far off, and I want you to be my right hand man."
"I wasn't under the potion's spell when I said those words before, neither was I lying." He smiled.
Eldwin was torn, for he knew something Ruomir did not... he had been appointed Desdrick's successor, for his supreme loyalty to Master.
However, that was the former him.
Slowly, a smile came to the Poogle's young face. "Alright, Ruomir, you win... I'll go with you."
Ruomir smiled back.
The two jumped down from the window and escaped into the night...
Date: Nov 16th
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