Jhudora's Cloud, Faerieland
Point of View: Pets
The three pets stared at the swirling mass of... whatever
was in this portal.
"It must be the entrance," guessed Meeki. "I
mean, you don't see any castle gates..."
Serennaa nodded, planned, "I'll jump through
and come back. If I don't come back, look for another entrance," and jumped
through. She disappeared into the portal.
"You know, I always thought this was the whirlpool
where Jhudora threw her minions that didn't obey her," muttered Reexam, at the
worst possible time.
There was a nervous silence.
Then Serennaa popped back through the portal,
as if she jumped through it. She landed neatly on the cloud. Meeki smiled. "I
guess you're wrong, Reexam."
"What?" Serennaa asked.
Reexam shook his head. As he was mostly head,
it was interesting to watch. "Never mind."
Serennaa smiled. "It's the entrance to the castle
all right. And you know, it's kind of smart, how she set this up. I mean, if
the portal's in the floor, won't you fall through the ceiling?"
Yeah... thought Reexam.
Serennaa shook her head. "Nope. Come on!"
She jumped through the portal, and the others
Reexam jumped in, and turned head over heels
-- er, head over feet, as Jubjubs don't really have heels -- and popped out
of the portal. Had he been the size of, say, Meeki or Serennaa, he would have
spun right back out onto the solid cloud by the portal. As it was, he spun right
out... and landed about ten feet away from the portal.
"Wasn't that cool?" Serennaa giggled, completely
unaware that Reexam hadn't landed with them.
"Depends on your definition of cool, I guess...."
Meeki swayed, dizzy, also oblivious to Reexam's situation.
Reexam let out a piteous moan.
Serennaa and Meeki twirled around, gasped, and
"Areyouokayareyouokayareyouokay?" Meeki ranted,
near panic. Serennaa, however, carefully rolled Reexam onto his back.
"Isheokayisheokayisheokayisheokay?" Meeki continued.
"SHUSH!" Serennaa hissed. "That's no good for
him, and besides, you don't want every guard in the castle to hear you!"
"I'm... okay... just a hard landing..." Reexam
whispered. "Got the wind... knocked out of me..."
Serennaa set him on his feet, and smiled when
he didn't tip over.
"Come on, guys."
Emergency Meeting Chamber, Faerie Palace, Faerieland
Point of View: Faeries
Well, it wasn't exactly becoming the Essence of Neopia, but being one of the
few people that could pass through a magical shield and break a powerful curse
was, sirSquire decided, good enough.
"So... because we're the ones who got hit with
the curse, we're the ones who have to break it," said sirSquire.
"So we get to siege Fyora's cloud, force our
way to the potion, and break the curse?" 4_ears4444 grinned.
"Yes, both of you, although I doubt there will
be any need to siege. You see, everyone on Fyora's cloud has gotten hit with
a surge of pure magic. That doesn't work well with anyone - owner, pet, or Faerie.
I should say you'll be rather safe. Don't look so disappointed," Fyora explained.
sirSquire wondered which pet came up with the
Suddenly, the cloud door dissolved again, and
the Fire Faerie guard Queen Fyora had sent for the other Faeries stepped through
and bowed. "In response to the Faerie Queen's request for an emergency meeting,
the Light, Dark, Air, Water, Earth, Fire Uber-Faeries; as well as the Battle,
Soup, Fountain, Library, Negg, Tooth, and Snow Faeries, attend. Jhudora the
Dark Faerie is unavailable as she was hit with a backfiring curse. The Space
Faerie respectfully declines attendance, as she does not think this matter is
of utmost urgency," rattled off the guard, then stepped aside as the faeries
filed in. Neither sirSquire nor any of the pets had seen so many faeries in
one place before. They all gracefully sat at places along the table.
"Gosh," whispered Rigara. The Soup Faerie smiled
Fyora immediately took charge. "I assume you
have all been briefed on the way here?"
The Faeries nodded.
"Comments on the situation?"
"Yes," said the Dark Uber-Faerie. "I recognize
this curse. Maledictio adsuesco iniuria qui amor invicem, the curse used to
hurt those who love each other. Owners don't exist to pets, pets don't exist
"Anyway, the person doing the cursing holds a
crystal to the potion as the curse starts, and a bit of the curse's magic transfers
into the crystal. Then a portion of the portion - er, potion of the portion
- you know what I mean, stop giggling - rises out of the cauldron and forms
a gem, with a single shard missing. That shard hovers around the gem. To break
the curse, the crystal with the magic - the one that the caster holds to the
potion when the curse begins - must touch the potion, which will return the
magic. Then that one shard will fit into its place on the gem. The gem shatters,
the potion loses its magic, and the curse is broken.
"In this case, the gem, which usually is less
than an inch across, probably formed into an orb a few feet across. And instead
of only one shard separating, four separate pieces of magic escaped, and accordingly,
four shards broke off. One of the shards of magic split, landing in sirSquire
and his pet.
"Also, the surge of magic will have either frozen
or knocked out everyone on the cloud. Once the curse is broken, by returning
all shards of magic to the potion, all effects of the curse will be undone."
Fyora nodded. "As the magic has embedded itself
within you," she said, looking at sirSquire and the pets, "you will need to
touch the potion in order to break the curse. sirSquire, you will need to put
in your right forearm in the potion, as that is where the magic resides in you.
Dany, the magic is in your left wingtip. 14265, your tail. 4_ears, the end of
your paw. Rigara, er, you should consider jumping in all the way. The magic
is exactly in the middle of you."
There was a pause.
"Any comments, questions?"
Another pause, and she was about to continue
when Dany asked, "Yes, er, what if we need to talk to sirSquire, or he needs
to tell us something?"
Fyora told sirSquire what Dany had asked. There
was yet another pause.
It was a good question: talking was out of the
question once they left the Faerie escort at the shield, as they had nobody
able to hear all of them, and talk to all of them. Until the curse was broken,
it was impossible to communicate...
"You could write it down," suggested the Library
Jhudora's Castle, Jhudora's Cloud, Faerieland
Point of View: Pets
As it turned out, a herd of Elephantes could have come storming through, and
nobody would come running. This was because anyone who would usually have come
running was, at the moment, in a rather deep sleep.
"Why is everyone sleeping?" Reexam whispered.
Even though it wasn't necessary (they discovered the guards wouldn't wake up
when Serennaa trod on Meeki's tail - the resulting yell was extremely loud),
the castle was just... eerie, and you felt the need to be quiet. It was like
the feeling you would get in a library or a museum.
"Must have been the curse, same sort of thing
that formed the shield outside," whispered Meeki back.
"Still, it makes me nervous, all these guards
around..." Serennaa carefully stepped over a Grarrl that had fallen across a
doorway. "Anyway, we need to find where Jhudora casts her spells."
The others nodded.
They wound their way through the castle, stepping
over guards and wondering how in Neopia Jhudora managed to fit this huge castle
into her cloud.
"The portal must be some sort of link between
worlds," Meeki guessed. "Or maybe it shrinks whoever enters."
Reexam glanced through a doorway that had been
blasted open when the curse hit. He squealed and jumped back.
"Jhudora," he whispered urgently, "and
Serennaa peeked her head around the doorframe.
Off the corridor the pets were in was a shorter hallway, blank stone with torches
in wrought iron holders. After about twenty feet, the hall ended with an iron-bolted
wood stone door. Or at least, it would have been, but the curse had blown the
actual door halfway down the corridor. It had been locked; the bolt had been
broken clean off. On the other side of the doorway was Jhudora herself, pointing
at something they couldn't see, a look of anger on her face. She certainly hadn't
been knocked out. But she wasn't awake, either: she looked as though she had
been frozen in place. Serennaa kept looking; Jhudora kept pointing.
"It's okay," Serennaa said finally, "I think
she's been frozen."
"Are you sure?" asked Meeki, worried.
"Pretty sure... HEY, YOU! JHUDORA!"
Reexam squeaked. Jhudora still didn't move.
"Yep, she's frozen," grinned Serennaa, and entered
the hallway. Reexam and Meeki followed. They stepped over the door, and through
Jhudora was standing next to a cauldron, which
was two-thirds of the way full with some sort of transparent yellowish liquid
with green and black flecks floating in it. The potion looked like it was boiling.
Jhudora's eyes were wide; her mouth was open in mid-shout; her face was frozen
in an expression of fury. It was a bit difficult to see her face, though.
Hovering above the cauldron was a sphere, three
feet across, made of what looked like the yellow potion, frozen. What made it
hard to see through was the fact that there were so many green and black flecks
in it, that they almost blotted out anything behind the sphere. The potion-sphere
was scratched: evenly spaced around its middle were four scratch marks, about
a quarter of an inch deep at the most. Hovering just outside the scratches were
the shards of the potion-sphere that would have filled the scratches. The sphere
and shards were slowly spinning.
Then Reexam saw what Jhudora was screaming at.
At the edge of the wall was a cage, metal bars forming a grid on the top and
bottom, running vertically around the sides. The door was padlocked shut. Huddling
in the cage was a small red Usul. One arm was holding something invisible --
her owner, before she disappeared? -- and the other arm was holding a Rainbow
Sticky Hand that was stretched across the chamber, and into the cauldron.
Serennaa and Meeki looked around and paused.
"Now what?" Serennaa asked.
To be continued...