|Swift eyed the changing air currents in the skies with a determined gaze. Every individual feather on the wings held aloft atop his back seemed to tremble in anticipation.
This time, he was sure, he would make it! Faerieland was just within sight, and he was sure if he beat his wings hard enough, he'd arrive in no time at all!
The Green Eyrie had been climbing to the top of this cliff for so long now, jumping off and trying to fly to the Faerie city, that it seemed like it could only be a matter of time.
What kind of Eyrie couldn't fly, after all? Especially one named Swift? Even now, all around him, he could see various Neopets flying to the city of the clouds, with a stunning ease that made jealousy prickle in his chest.
Soon, he thought, he would be just like them!
Taking a deep breath, Swift slowly backed up the cliff, before quickly taking a few running steps and jumping right off the edge of the cliff.
His wings snapped into position and he started to briefly glide in the air, before he realized something was wrong...
Date: Apr 24th
As a sudden draft of strong wind swept against the Eyrie, he felt his wings immediately lose power. His limbs flailed awkwardly in mid-air as he lost some altitude. Not again! With an exaggerated flap of his wings, Swift recovered momentarily.
As the dynamic air currents continued to change in real time, Swift felt an all-too-familiar panic rise in his chest. He struggled with controlling his response to those minor changes in resistance. It was either too much power, or too little. At least, this time, he was still up in the air. How long had it been -- thirty seconds?
Determined to make it this time, the Eyrie looked ahead at the approaching horizon. Just beyond it was the unmistakable outline of Faerieland. Swift beamed excitedly as he flapped his wings clumsily. He was close -- he could feel it! He had to focus on being optimistic!
"Hey, are you okay?" came a yell from a short distance away. Those words broke the Eyrie's train of thoughts. Mildly confused, Swift turned his head to see who had spoken to him. As he did so, an especially strong gush of wind came towards him. His momentary distraction made him forget to flap his wings in response, and before he knew it, he was sent hurtling towards the ground...
Date: Apr 24th
..."Hey, wake up! Wake up."
Swift heard the urgent voice as if from far away, but it was getting closer. The world was black and he started to become more aware of someone nudging his shoulder. I fell, he remembered. I must have survived, but fell unconscious.
The Eyrie eventually was able to crack his eyes open to see a Gnorbu kneeling next to him. "Oh thank goodness you're awake," she said. "You had quite a fall."
"Where am I?" Swift asked as he sat up and looked around.
"You're in Tempest Village," the Gnorbu replied.
Fitting name, considering it had been strange air currents that knocked Swift out of the air in the first place. He rubbed his head. The air around them was calm, but the entire sky looked gray. "And could you tell me which way Faerieland is? That's where I was headed," he asked.
The Gnorbu shook her head. "You can't leave, none of us can. The winds surrounding the area are too strong. Unless you have some idea of how to make them stop, you're stuck here..."
Date: Apr 25th
Swift sat up and looked around.
All around him, other winged neopets were laying on the ground looking very shaky. "Everyone else must have fell out of the sky too," he thought to himself.
"They did," the Gnorbu replied.
Swift suddenly realized he must have said his thoughts aloud.
The Gnorbu continued speaking. "The winds came out of nowhere, almost like some kind of dark spell."
Just then a Panicked Ixi ran by "This is the work of Jhudora, and she is not done yet, run for your life and take cover."
Before Swift had a chance to say anything the sky opened up and giant chunks of hail started falling.
"Don't let them touch you," someone Screamed in panic. "If they touch you, you will be frozen in place."
Swift quickly stood up and was about to run for cover when he saw a giant piece of hail heading straight for him...
Date: Apr 25th
..."Look out!" Somebody shouted near him. Before he could move, Swift was pushed to the side by a red Techo. They both narrowly missed the hail hitting them and freezing them to the ground.
"Thanks for saving me," Swift said, slowly getting back to his feet.
"No problem," the Techo replied. "We'd better get some shelter quick. I'm heading to the defense shop over there." The two ran into the shop, dodging more pieces of hail on the way.
There were a few other Neopets inside, chattering nervously amongst themselves. The shop owner, standing behind the counter, was pointing out locations on a map.
"So what are we supposed to do? Wait until all this passes?" Swift asked.
"We don't know if it'll pass," a Gelert said to his right. "Jhudora can be merciless. It could go on for hours."
"So how do we stop it?" The Techo asked.
"Someone will have to get to Faerieland and do something," the shop owner offered. "Fyora is on a diplomatic excursion to Kreludor, I don't know if she'll be able to help."
Swift steeled himself. "I want to do it. I want to stop it. I just need some help and maybe some supplies from here."
The shop owner perked up. "What do you need? You can have anything you like for free if you can stop this."
"I think I'll need..."
Date: Apr 25th
"…a lot of luck," someone nearby muttered, but Swift ignored them. He flapped his wings and grimaced, the soreness in his back momentarily overshadowing his mission.
The shopkeeper looked at him expectantly. "You think you'll need…?" she prompted, hey eyes kind.
"A healing potion to start with – I think I hurt my back when I fell." Swift grimaced again.
The shopkeeper nodded and rummaged around. "What else?" she asked, all business now.
"Uh, let's see – a backpack, to hold supplies. Some food and water. A map. And probably most importantly – a shield," he said, thinking of those nasty chunks of hail.
The shopkeeper did some more rummaging, quickly putting together a neat little pile.
"Oh, and one more thing," the Eyrie said, "I'll need-"
"Me!" a voice interjected. Swift froze. He knew that voice. Turning around, he saw…
Date: Apr 26th
...the Techo who had helped him up earlier. She walked forward and smiled. "I know I can't fly myself, but I know the lay of the land, and I think I could be a big help."
"Who are you anyway?" Swift asked, arching an eyebrow up in suspicion.
"My name is Angelica. I'm from Faerieland. I moved here a year or so ago so I know what's between here and there like the back of my hand," she answered. "I want to help too."
"Okay," Swift replied reluctantly. He wanted to do this on his own, but he had to admit that he might need a little help.
Someone had been looking out the window and called to everyone else in the shop. "Hey, the hail is letting up!"
"We'd better get out while we have the chance," Angelica suggested as the shopkeeper was handing Swift his things. "I have something at my house that might help you out."
"What is it?" Swift asked.
"You'll see, come on!" Angelica tugged on the backpack that was now on his back and the two dashed out of the shop with everyone wishing them good luck as they left.
Angelica's house was a small cottage not too far away. It was warm and cozy on the inside, compared to the storm that was still raging outside. Angelica opened up a chest and began to dig through it. "Alright, I know this potion is somewhere..."
"What potion?" Swift asked, trying to see over her shoulder.
"Aha!" Angelica held up a vial of blue, bubbling liquid. "This is a very special potion. What it does is..."
Date: Apr 27th
"It briefly changes the appearance of the one who drinks it," explained Angelica. "Jhudora is so powerful we're going to need magic that's equally as powerful to defeat her. I was thinking that as we can't go to Fyora for her help we could... maybe... impersonate her instead."
Swift eyed the potion dubiously. "You really think that'll work?"
"Definitely" said Angelica with a nod. "Fyora's got such a great presence you won't even need to say much to Jhudora. Just order her to stop and she will."
Despite himself, Swift felt himself becoming convinced. Then he fully processed what Angelica had said. "I won't need to say much?" He squawked. "Why can't you take the potion and talk to Jhudora?"
"Like I said, I can't fly," Angelica shrugged. "There's no way for me to get to Faerieland, although I'd love to help. I'm afraid it's all up to you now, Swift..."
Date: Apr 27th
"Okay," said Swift taking the potion.
"Good luck," Angelica replied.
Swift exited Angelica's cottage and began climbing to the top of the cliff.
"Should I have told them that I have never successfully flown to Faerieland before?" Swift thought as he was climbing up the steep cliff. "No, I do not want to make anyone nervous. I can do this, I HAVE to do this."
Swift successfully made it to the top of the cliff. He took the potion and drank it. His entire body felt tingly, and he was glowing.
As quickly as the sensation had began, it was over. Swift held his arms out and noticed that he now had human-like hands.
"It worked," he thought to himself. "I look just like Fyora."
With a newfound confidence, Swift backed up and began running quickly towards the edge of the cliff. He leaped off the cliff, flapped his wings and...
Date: Apr 27th
Took off like he was a rocket to Virtupets!
The feeling was exhilarating, as the wind was billowing and blowing all around him, giving him lift and flow. The drafts of the air around him were carrying him higher and higher.
Swift couldn't help it, he let out a grand laugh as he circled in the air, feeling all the control in the world with these new wings of his. Flying using the wings of a faerie was almost like a second nature to him.
"This is incredible!" He said. "I'm doing it!"
But, his joyous moment was quickly replaced by a newfound determination to get to Faerieland. He steadied himself, and took off towards the fallen city.
However, he had just started, when he saw something he did not want to see. It was Jhudora! And she was heading right for him!
"There you are, Fyora!" He could hear her shout, "I've been looking everywhere for you! I know what you must be thinking, but it's not! Someone stole into my bluff and activated a dark magic spell on Tempest Village!"
How will the story end...
Date: Apr 28th