...Was it to torture him? No. To provide him with all the riches he desired? No.
When the Iron Skeith had turned to the side of evil and mischief, he did it out of a thirst for power, a hunger for strength.
Now, however, he was essentially Naia's puppet, herself a puppet of... who knows who. An unknown. An unknown who likely captured all of Neopia's elite evil.
Locked in the airtight cell all day, only some sort of heavy magical influence could have contacted the Iron Skeith and swayed him in this unknown individual's direction.
Also, returning to the original question... how would he endeavor to find out?
Judge Hog pondered these things. As the three entered the Defenders HQ dragging their unconscious friend behind him, the Moehog suddenly had an idea. The one thing left of him they could get information from.
"Scan him," he commanded.
"The scan results indicate he recently consumed a very... strange omelette," Lightning Lenny reported.
"How strange?" Judge Hog inquired as he gazed over toward the Skeith, who was still out cold and hooked up to the laboratory sensors and equipment.
"It radiates 87% magical decay," Torchio informed. "Dark magic."
"That could explain Jhudora," Judge Hog mused. He then scowled. "Magic is beyond us; there's evidently something afoot in Faerieland... and, especially if Jhudora is involved, Faerieland will likely be targeted first in the grand scheme of things. We must contact our resident magician for clues."
After placing the Iron Skeith in his cell once more -- his quest for authority would have to continue another day -- the Defenders walked off toward Kauvara.
"Yes, I can find Naia," the Kau told them. She then closed her eyes and let the magic of Neopia envelop her, sink into her soul, her mind, her being... the Defenders watched in awe.
"This is tough..." Kauvara trailed. Then there was a pause. "Her likeness approaches the Hidden Tower, ready to confront the Faerie Queen herself," Kauvara continued, "but her essence appears to be... nowhere here. Her essence is in the void." She blinked, dazed. "You say this Naia is not the real Naia -- based on my tellings, I believe you."
The Defenders nodded and smiled among themselves. Slowly, they were solving this conundrum.
"However," Kauvara interjected, "I cannot find the 'real' Naia... I cannot find her essence, her spirit. Whoever did this to the Fountain Faerie must have placed her in a realm even my magic cannot search."
"Thanks, Kauvara," Judge Hog said as the three exited.
"Wait, before you go," the Kau hurriedly replied as she ran to her back room and grabbed something before returning, "take this." She put the potion in her hands. "It's a reverse Potion of Concealment, a Potion of Unmasking, if you will. Pour some on this counterfeit Naia and her outer image will be transformed into who her inner essence really is."
Waving a last goodbye, the Defenders left.
Torchio and Judge Hog jumped on Lightning Lenny's back. In nothing short of a flash, the Lenny got the three of them to Faerieland.
Very soon thereafter, they entered the Hidden Tower doors.
The Rainbow Fountain Faerie was there! She was just about to battle the Faerie Queen herself.
Without thinking, Judge Hog threw the potion at Naia. It shattered and, screaming, the faerie began to transform.
Fyora walked over to the three. "You didn't have to do that," she said, a bit upset. "I could have handled the situation perfectly fine."
Torchio didn't want to get into any squabbles or anything. "Look!" he shouted to his companions as the Scorchio pointed to the blinding light emanating from the fallen Fountain Faerie.
The light dissipated, and none other than Jhudora was left behind.
Fyora came up to the faerie and handcuffed her.
"NO!" the dark faerie bawled. "Defeated again!"
"Jhudora?" Judge Hog inquired, shocked. "Then... who was your doppelganger from earlier?"
"Fool!" Jhudora shouted. "That was the real Naia!" She sighed. "It was I who kidnapped all the villains -- I swayed them into my influence by magically sending them omelettes. Then, harnessing their collective power, I managed to swap bodies with the Fountain Faerie."
Torchio frowned. "Why not with Illusen? You two are arch-nemeses, and you could have damaged her reputation pretty heavily."
"If Illusen started 'behaving badly,' then what's the logical inference for it?" the dark faerie asked everyone. She then pointed to herself. "I entered Naia for two reasons: one, you Defenders would never suspect me for the crime, and two, do you SEE how Neopians follow the Fountain Faerie around? I could have gotten anything I wanted from the foolish masses, just for giving them a new paint job. Soon, I'd control Faerieland, and then Neopia!"
Judge Hog smiled. "It was all flawless, until Jhudora -- er, the real Naia -- summoned enough magic to escape from your void of evil power in an attempt to stop you and the Iron Skeith... the only Neopet you knew would be close enough to the Defenders to actually lure us into the Kadoatery in an attempt to vanquish us."
Jhudora frowned and looked sadly toward the ground. "That pretty much sums up my downfall."
"Give us back Naia," Fyora commanded.
The dark faerie sighed. In an instant, a second Jhudora appeared in the room. With a wave of Fyora's wand, that Jhudora was turned back into a water faerie.
Naia smiled. "I'm free! And... normal!" She almost cried, she was so happy. "Thanks so much, everyone! I have to get back to guarding my pool now!" Waving goodbye, she quickly left.
Fyora turned back toward Jhudora. "This is the last time, Jhudora... you've got to be locked up, especially after this." The Queen then commenced to take her away... when Judge Hog suddenly intervened on Jhudora's behalf.
"Wait," he started, "let her go free."
Fyora cocked her head to one side. "Continue?"
"As any hero knows, he or she would not exist without a villain. You need to let Jhudora go free... would your goodness exist without someone's evil -- like Jhudora's -- to compare it to?"
He then turned and faced Jhudora. "Jhudora, this is the same reasoning behind why you must let Neopia's villain elite go free, despite being at a cost to us, the Defenders." The Moehog smiled.
Fyora smiled, too. "Alright Jhudora, you may go free, but first, please release your prisoners."
The dark faerie grinned mischievously. "As you wish..."
In an instant, all the villains trapped in her vortex were unleashed in the tower, causing havoc! Jhudora used the ensuing chaos to escape.
Judge Hog witnessed this, but he didn't mind. He grinned and looked toward Torchio and Lightning Lenny. There was, once again, evil to stop.
They could return to being heroes, return to being Defenders.
"Let's start," Judge Hog concluded.