Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!
||You are on Week 594
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 Ninety Four Ends Friday, February 22
|Colton didn't become one of The Neopian Times's top reporters by simply sitting on his laurels, so when the news came by his desk of a strange occurrence going on in Tyrannia, he knew just what to do.
Avoid it like the Scourgies.
You see, his reporter's instinct knew that this was going to be a big story. A huge story. In fact, it wouldn't surprise him if it changed the course of Neopian history... and that was why he was staying away. With all of the hullabaloo going on there, any news or information would have several prying eyes and listening ears. It would be next to impossible to score an exclusive scoop with everyone around.
No, with everyone's eyes and ears turned toward Tyrannia, Colton knew that this was just the right time to examine elsewhere in Neopia for a story. This would be just the right time for something big to go down elsewhere that no one would notice... and that was what brought the Mynci to the Lost Desert.
Amid all of the rush to get to Tyrannia, a much smaller story passed by his desk from the Lost Desert branch of The Neopian Times. A sudden sandstorm had unearthed a long-lost pyramid within the desert. Colton figured that that story, in the long run, would pay off much more than heading to Tyrannia.
I can't wait to see the looks on all of their faces... he thought to himself as his Gnorbu guide led him through the shifting sands as they approached the mysterious pyramid...
Date: Feb 19th
...A gust of wind and sand blew at Colton and the Gnorbu, causing them to grasp their scarves tightly around their faces. When it had passed, the sandstorm revealed the pyramid in the distance.
"It's just over that dune," said the Gnorbu, whose name was Jebsen.
Colton noticed it was much closer -- and smaller -- than he had expected at first glance. Nevertheless, he was even more intrigued. Being a Mynci himself, he knew good things could come in small packages. He quickly jotted down the facts in his green lined notebook.
"It appears to be just over eight feet tall, dull gold colored, impeccably well preserved..." Colton mumbled to himself.
Jebsen brought a canteen of water out of his pack and offered Colton a drink. "Amazing find, eh? You never know with these desert sands. I've seen things appear and disappear, but never something this pretty."
"I have a hunch it's more than just pretty," Colton replied, still scribbling away. He got closer, examining the surface of one of the sides of the pyramid. It was still smooth from being protected under the sand. As Colton ran his hand along it, he thought he felt a slight imperfection. "Give me a bit of that water, Jebsen."
"What is it?" the Gnorbu asked as he handed over the small cup.
Colton dipped the edge of his scarf in the water, and then wiped it across where he had noticed something on the surface of the pyramid. The polished rock gleamed brighter, and he was able to make out something carved in it...
Date: Feb 19th
...He squinted his eyes and read the carved words aloud.
"Hidden beneath sands of deep;
beneath this stone, he doth sleep.
Woe to those who awaken him, for they shall weep."
"Strange poem," Jebsen mused. "What do you think it means?"
"I'm not sure," Colton admitted, "but more than likely it just means that there's treasure hidden inside this pyramid."
"Treasure?" Jebsen asked, frowning slightly. "But what about all that stuff about someone sleeping and him making us cry if we wake him up?"
Colton laughed lightly, his voice drifting on the arid wind. "Ancient civilizations often put up vague warnings where they kept their treasures to keep out anyone who might steal their stuff," he answered. "I'm sure it's nothing. Do you know if there's a way to get inside the pyramid?"
The Gnorbu nodded and pointed around toward the left side. "The entrance was uncovered over there," he said, leading the way for Colton. They struggled through the sand, which clung to their legs like greedy fingers, but Jebsen paused when they reached the other side. "Something's not right here," he mumbled.
"What's not right?" Colton asked, nearly tripping.
"There was an excavation team here earlier," Jebsen answered. "They were clearing out this area. Their tools are still here, but I don't see any sign of them."
Colton glanced at the picks and shovels lying carelessly in the sand and shrugged. "They're probably just taking a break," he said. Despite his brave words, however, he felt the slightest bit of chill creep up his spine despite the heat. All around the desert spread about in an empty, vast wasteland, and he saw no place for the workers to be resting other than inside the pyramid itself.
With false bravado, the reporter grabbed a torch from his backpack and lit it. "It's bound to be dark inside the pyramid," he explained to the surprised Gnorbu, "but I'm prepared. Now, let's go!"
"Go?" Jebsen asked. "You don't mean we should go inside the pyramid, do you?"
"Of course," Colton answered, "After all, that's why we came out here." With a fake smile plastered on his face, he started for the entrance...
Date: Feb 20th
...They did not, however, get far. As they approached the entrance, the air seemed to waver and quiver. It became difficult to walk for a moment and their movements were sluggish, like walking through molasses or cream. It didn't last long, and with a jerk they were spat forward, as if the very air was repelling them.
"What in the world was that?" Colton said, attempting to compose himself. He brushed himself down and tried to put himself in order. As a reporter, he had been witness to many mystical and often inexplicable things. This was no different, right? Of course not, he rationalized.
"I... I'm not sure, but," his companion began. He was looking a mite bit pale in the face, and Colton egged him on with a wave of his paw. "All of the excavating equipment is gone."
In the strangeness of the moment, Colton had completely lost track of his surroundings. With the Gnorbu's comment, however, he was brought to reality and, sure enough, all of the tools that had once been surrounding them had vanished. Not a single trace of them remained, not even an indent in the flowing sand.
"I'm certain there's a completely rational explanation," Colton replied. Though he was attempting to sound calm, his heart was beating heavily in his chest.
"What would that be?" Jebsen asked. He was in obvious distress over this, and his voice was high-pitched and quivering.
“Magic, just faerie magic. It must be some old form, likely that of a fire faerie, or maybe an air." That was the most likely explanation. How many times had something mysterious happened when, in reality, it was just the after effects of a magic spell? In Colton's personal experience, faeries were dangerous business. Of course, there was quite a bit of good to them, too! As the past proved, though, where good went, evil followed.
He moved toward the dark entryway. Lighting a lantern, he held it up to the darkness and squinted, but the sun was far too strong to make out much. He took a step into the shadows and, with that, the sand beneath his paws gave way and he went tumbling down into nothingness...
Date: Feb 20th
...Jebsen hesitated, reluctant to follow the Mynci into the tomb. After all, he had been hired to lead the reporter to the pyramid and no further. Come to think of it, though, he hadn't been paid yet, and if that fool went and got himself injured... or cursed... or mixed up in faerie spells... the Gnorbu sighed and took a step toward the entrance.
"Hello?" he called into the opening. No reply. After the brightness of the desert sun, the darkness was absolute as Jebsen took a hesitant step forward. "Colton? Are you okay?" Still no answer. He edged further in, keeping one hand on the solidity of the wall beside him, straining to make his eyes adjust to the dark.
Suddenly, Jebsen could feel the floor beneath his feet shift and buckle, like a towel on a clothesline, and he flung himself against the carved block wall, desperately trying to find purchase with his fingers. At once his ears were assaulted with a cacophony of clicking and rattling, like the shaking of a thousand maracas, coming closer and closer. The Gnorbu jumped and grappled at the wall as an army, a tidal wave, of small black scarabs erupted through a hole from the depths of the pyramid and escaped into the sun-drenched brightness of the exit. Finding Colton, and his lantern, became more imperative than ever, and Jebsen kept himself pressed against the reassurance of the wall as he tried to quickly sidle his way down toward where the Mynci must be.
Soon Jebsen could see a faint glow ahead and he hurried, carefully, toward it. When he reached the light, he was surprised to see that it was, indeed, Colton's lantern, but it lay on its side with the Mynci nowhere in sight.
Jebsen picked up the lantern and began calling out in a whisper, "Colton? Are you here? Are you okay?"
The light from the lantern criss-crossed the area he was in, evidently a storage chamber of some sort, which held old and dusty furnishings, painted pots, and carved statuettes. The walls were carved with pictographs and painted with faded colours. One very large portrait caught Jebsen's eye and he moved forward to study it more closely. It appeared to be of a Mynci, wise and stern looking, with a scroll and pointed stylus in his hands. Quite involuntarily, Jebsen burst out, "Why, that looks just like Colton!"
He moved even closer, raising the lantern to illuminate the features, and nearly dropped his light source when the silence of the chamber was broken by a low moan. Jebsen spun toward the sound and, with a shaking hand, tried to direct the lantern's light toward its source. There, against the far wall, was the actual flesh and blood Colton, apparently unconscious from his earlier fall.
Jebsen ran over and then reached out a hand to try and rouse the Mynci, but then hesitated as he remembered the warning they had read earlier:
"Hidden beneath sands of deep;
beneath this stone, he doth sleep.
Woe to those who awaken him, for they shall weep.
Surely that ancient warning couldn't be referring to Colton, could it? Jebsen chuckled and shook his head, deciding that he had let his surroundings spook him. Once again he reached out his hand and gave Colton a good shake...
Date: Feb 21st
...The air became thick once again, just as it had when they'd initially approached the pyramid. It seemingly gathered around Jebsen's outstretched hand, pulling him back and away from Colton's shoulder.
"Don't," a voice whispered, tickling his ear.
Jebsen whirled around, the lantern rocking back in forth in his grasp and throwing crazy patterns of light upon the ancient walls. He caught the briefest of glimpses of a piece of white cloth -- either a dress or robe -- disappearing around a distant corner, although he had heard no accompanying footsteps. He quickly glanced at Colton. Although the Mynci was still unconscious, he didn't appear to be otherwise hurt, so it would probably be okay to leave him alone for a short time. Taking in a deep breath to strengthen his nerves, Jebsen quickly ran in the direction of the movement he'd seen and turned the corner.
The lantern in his hand only barely lit the corridor, but it was enough that he was able to see the bit of fabric once again disappearing. A crazy thought suddenly bloomed within his mind -- that he was being toyed with -- but he pushed it aside as he continued to follow through deeper and darker corridors and chambers.
He wasn't sure how long he'd been walking when he heard a clinking noise. "Hello?" he called aloud, his voice echoing in the dusty space.
"Help!" a voice cried out, "Help us, please!"
The Gnorbu took off running toward the voice and found himself in a small room. On the far wall was the missing excavation team, chained and shackled together. The one that had cried out, a blue Shoyru, seemed relieved to see him. "Thank Fyora you're here!" he exclaimed, "Now, please get us out of here."
Jebsen hurried over and examined their chains. "Who did this to you?" he asked.
The Shoyru's eyes became white as his face paled. Shakily, he pointed with one hand to a spot just behind Jebsen. "Him," he whispered.
Whirling about, Jebsen felt more than a little relief when he saw it was only Colton standing there. He chuckled slightly. "Don't worry about him," he explained, "He's just a reporter for The Neopian Times." Just as he was saying this, however, he noticed that Colton had undergone a bit of a change since he had seen him last...
Date: Feb 21st
..."Please, you must understand!" the blue Shoyru cried, his voice lowering to a faint whisper. "H-he is not who he says he is... you must go. Go!" he insisted, shaking violently. "Go before it's too late!" he pleaded.
"That's enough," Colton snapped, pushing the Gnorbu aside. "You have some nerve, old man... disturb my sleep, will you? Then you try to steal from me my treasures, and now, when I properly invite you into my home, you try to run!" He shook with anger.
"Colton, what did you... did you do this, Colton?" Jebsen asked, mortal terror washed over his face.
"Colton, Colton, did you do this? Did you do that?" he said mockingly, a smug look on the Mynci's lips. "Yes, I chained them up, as an offering to my friends." He took a step back and shifted to his left.
A pair of twin Wockies stood hand an hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you all," they said, speaking in unison. "We are so glad you are contributing to our cause..." a grin, crooked as The Darkest Faerie herself, snuck its way upon their faces, their lavender eyes gazing around the room, which was utterly silent.
"They've been so hungry..." one of the Wockies said. "The lot of you should be just the right amount to fill their bellies." A dimmed twinkle in that one's eyes sent chills down Jebsen's spine.
"The Awakened show their gratitude," they declared, then slowly they skipped down the corridor, humming along the way.
Colton, or whatever he now called himself, retreated after them.
Jebsen, thinking that this was his only chance to free the excavation team, sprung to his feet and quickly began working on the chains around their wrist and ankles.
The Gnorbu was too busy to notice the shuffling of feet or low groans that were coming down the passageway. In fact, their arrival didn't register until the blue Shoryu, white as a sheet, pointed to the horde of mutated zombies that was heading their way...
Date: Feb 22nd
..."What is it?" Jebsen asked the pale Shoyru.
The answer came from behind him.
"We seek brains," moaned a disfigured creature.
Jebsen spun around to face the horde. "Yes, well, we seek knowledge!" the Gnorbu proclaimed. "I am the leader of the Seekers, and I'm here to discover the true origins of this pyramid and why it was mysteriously unearthed at the same time as the powerful obelisk. Perhaps it contains some sort of power to aid in our faction's attempt at ruling the strange tower."
Some color had returned to the Shoyru. "I thought you were here with Colton?"
The Gnorbu smiled admirably. "I led him here -- after all, he was on a pursuit of knowledge!" he said, proudly raising his fist into the air. "I know how to deal with zombies. They are a Seeker's natural enemy: our enormous brains provide a delicious meal for the undead savages; also, they have fun wrong." Jebsen pouted.
He then pulled out a giant, steam-powered mechanical weapon from his knapsack.
"Not so fast!" came another voice as a Lenny stood at the opposite end of the passageway. She gradually approached.
"This pyramid was once an old Sway headquarters -- the ruby at the entrance to this pyramid, identical to the one on my necklace, should have given it away. If not... well, I assume you passed our old artifact room?" She raised an eyebrow.
Kanrik suddenly appeared behind her. "The Thieves Guild has long since known of the powerful Sway relics stored in the pyramid -- we just had to find it. Good job of hiding it," the Gelert commended with false praise.
"Oh, do be quiet," she hissed at him.
Jebsen hesitated and frowned. "What's going on?"
"If you use that weapon," the Lenny started, "you'll not only destroy the zombies, but also the pyramid's foundations. It will crumble with us -- and the Sway's precious items -- still inside."
The zombies moved closer...
Suddenly, however, the undead stopped and faced the other direction as they witnessed their doom... members of the Brute Squad came rushing in, overthrowing the zombies blocking the corridor.
Their leader stepped forward. "We accidentally unearthed this pyramid during one of our fight routines," he bellowed. "When the dust settled, the top of the giant figure was visible. Before we knew it, the excavation teams -- previously working on the obelisk and now out of a job -- flocked down here."
Jebsen frowned. "So, that was the cause for the pyramid's sudden and peculiar re-appearance?" His voice had a solemn tone; he genuinely hoped it would be more of a puzzle as to further the Seekers' general information base.
The Skeith nodded.
The two little Wockies returned and observed the many fallen zombies. "Why did you send home our party guests?"
After some arguing, the five factions present eventually made an agreement not to touch the contents of the pyramid, or even return to it, until the obelisk confrontation had ceased. The Order would be contacted as well.
The prisoners were released, and everyone went home to plan.
Later that evening, a Bori with a pointy hat approached the now seemingly-deserted pyramid.
The old leader had inscribed upon the Sway's jewel a message, warning future individuals not to go near the pyramid. His magic had gone awry -- partly the reason for the election that welcomed her into office -- and allowed the spirit of a beast to roam Neopia.
Her swift actions involved trapping it in the pyramid and covering the entire thing with another layer of sand only penetrable by brute physical strength -- the primary reason the pointy hats elected her.
Alas, something had gone wrong, and the beast had entered an innocent Mynci.
She had to free him and restore order to the pyramid. Then, she had to get back to the Order. For one, she was supposedly not supposed to be there -- some treaty by the other factions, or something -- and for two, something big was about to happen.
Colton stared groggily at his desk. Where had he been yesterday? He remembered exploring the pyramid with Jebsen... though really nothing else.
The Mynci sighed and decided to abandon his story on the pyramid. There must not have been anything there, anyway -- apparently, even the excavators had ceased their operations.
Shrugging, the Mynci smiled. Taking out his pen, he grabbed a fresh piece of paper -- ah, the possibilities! -- and decided he was going to write a short story.
After some thinking, he scribbled down the title.
"The Confrontation of the Six Factions at a Pyramid..."
Date: Feb 22nd
IMPORTANT - SUBMISSION POLICY! By
uploading or otherwise submitting any materials to Neopets, you (and your parents) are
automatically granting us permission to use those materials for free in any manner we can think
of forever throughout the universe. These materials must be created ONLY by the person
submitting them - you cannot submit someone else's work. Also, if you're under age 18, ALWAYS
check with your parents before you submit anything to us!