Tessalea Bordorian and her friend Treali begin their journey to find new
wings, Grindomara embarks on a journey of her own. A journey, perhaps, equally
as legendary as the journey of her foes. The winds of change are ever shifting,
and power slips as easily from one set of hands to another as water slips through
fingers and into the stream.
Editor's Note: You must read the previous story in order to become more
familiar with the characters.
"My lady?" A small, trembling shadow entered the almost
blanket-like darkness of the throne room. "My lady Grindomara? Your meeting with
your sisters, the one to discuss how to free Kilamara, it's…"
"Curse you, fool!" came a voice, harsh and razor-sharp,
tearing through the darkness like a knife tears through cloth. "I know about
the meeting. You need not remind me of meetings! Wasn't that part of our… agreement?"
"Y-yes my lady!" Terror seized the shadow like
a living thing, in her chest, squeezing the air out of her lungs! "I remember
now, my lady!"
"You'd best remember." Dramatically, Lady Grindomara,
second-born daughter of the Uber Dark Faerie and second cousin to Fyora the
Faerie Queen lit a candle and stood in its flickering half-light. The dancing
flames cast a golden glow over half of her face, fair and pale. Thick ebony
hair cascaded over her shoulders like black waters, framing her oval-shaped
face and accenting almond-shaped lavender eyes and full lavender lips. In fact,
Lady Grindomara might have been quite beautiful if those lips weren't twisted
into a cruel, pitiless smile. The kind of smile that sent shivers down the spines
of all of her minions, including the ones she had complete control over. Because
when Grindomara is happy, that means someone else is about to be very, very
sad. "Perhaps I ought to control your memory from now on?"
The shadow, really a young Dark Faerie apprentice
of Grindomara backed away from her mistress slowly, eyes wide with panic. "Please,
my lady! Have pity!"
"One time too many have you forgotten my laws,
young one." Step-by-step, inch-by-inch she followed the apprentice. The young
girl panicked as she felt her heel touch a cold wall of granite. "No, please
"Yes," Grindomara hissed, raising her long,
thin arms above the apprentice girl and chanting a spell of pure evil, passed
down in her family from generation to generation since darkness first enveloped
Neopia. "Yes! YES!"
Scarlet-colored smoke seemed to rise from the
apprentice girl's body as slowly as mist rises from a lake on a chilly morning.
Grindomara's long, tapered fingers seemed to suck the smoke in greedily. Body
doubled over in anguish, the apprentice dropped to her knees feeling her free
will being pulled away from her like a thin rope is pulled. Desperately, she
held on to it until her knuckles turned white, playing a frantic game of tug-of-war
with the magic of her mistress. But in the end, Grindomara proved too powerful.
The apprentice fell unconscious, and when her eyes opened again, they were as
dark as a black hole in space. Totally and completely starless. Emptiness… no
feeling or will. Not even desire to obey her mistress's wishes, for desire is
a feeling, a blessing. Instead, she was her mistress's puppet. A mindless android,
a dumb machine. Fangs sprouted from her mouth, spitting green acid to douse
flames, burn up water, eat through earth, embitter air and even, Grindomara
bragged, snuff out light.
The apprentice had become one of Sra Inanim.
For a moment, Lady Grindomara admired her handiwork.
It took a surprisingly long time to control this one, but it was worth it. Controlled
minions are so much easier to work with than uncontrolled ones. No annoying
opinions getting in your way, no opposing points of view to deal with. And especially
no forgetfulness. Grindomara couldn't abide forgetfulness.
"We're here, sister!" called the crisp voice
of Pakamara, cackling like fire on saplings. Behind her, a dozen sets footsteps
clattered through the stone hallways.
"Come in," Grindomara said coolly, not even
looking at the entrance to the stone chamber. With a sparkle of magic and a
snap of her fingers, a score of torches came to life, filling the room with
a wavering light.
"Enough showing off," came the bitter, snappy
voice of Jennumara. "If only your attention were as good as your magic. Then
mayhap you might not have lost one of my Sra Dessro last week!"
Grindomara's cool confidence melted under the
blazing gaze of her eldest sister. Voice trembling, she replied, "L-lost a Sra
Dessro? I know not wh-what you mean."
"You know exactly what I mean! Last night, one
of my spies caught the scent of a Dessro on your mountain and wearing your old
tattered rag dress. I believe I recognized that one. Treali, Tree-daughter of
the Everforest Earth Circle?" Dressed in a flowing black gown, eyes rimmed with
makeup like charcoal and a crown of pure silver studded with black opals adorning
her head, she made a fearsome sight. Like some sort of legendary queen, rising
from the pages of a storybook in all her glory and wrath.
"Treali… well it was the funniest thing. See,
there was this Poogle…"
"SILENCE!" Jennumara roared, making the very
walls of the cavern shake and the flames of the torches flicker. Pulling a saber
from her opal-studded belt (which was purely for decoration. After all, what
use does a Faerie have for metal weapons?) She held it threateningly up to Grindomara's
throat. "I want that Dessro back and I want her back by sunset on the fifth
eve from tonight. Do I make myself clear?"
Feeling the rough, jagged edge of the blade
against her skin, Grindomara gulped and nodded. "Yes sister. Per-perfectly clear."
"Good." Jennumara sheathed the blade and turned
to the other dark faeries in the chamber. "Forget not that we are the Thirteen
Sisters of Starless Peak! And forget not that there is a fourteenth sister who
should be among us tonight! Kilamara, the youngest of the Fourteen Sisters and
the cruelest, the slyest and by far the most wicked of all beings." Her eyes
gleamed in admiration. "She is known to most as… The Darkest Faerie."
Solemn nods and glances were exchanged as each
sister remembered Kilamara. The sister who stood out above all of the rest.
An atrocious little beast, casting curses and hexes even at a young age. Later,
she grew to cast the darkest spells and conjure the darkest beings. In fact,
she was the only Faerie besides Grindomara who could sap the free will out of
faeries and Neopets. Ages ago, she drew up a plan to sap the free will out of
Fyora and conquer Faerieland. No one knew why. Some said that Grindomara, feeling
jealous of her sister's powers, pressured her into doing it knowing that she'd
be caught. Grindomara denies doing such a thing, but does so with a mischievous
gleam in her eye. In any case, an anonymous Faerie tipped Fyora off and Fyora
raided Kilamara's headquarters in Maraqua. The Faerie Queen used an amulet created
by the sorceress Jerdana. Created with magic of pure fire and light that would
ensure the Faerie remained stone for all eternity.
"The only way to end our sister's curse," Jennumara
reminded the crowd, "Is to burn the wings of a thousand faeries and force the
Dessro to kneel before the statue in humble obedience. Only then will the youngest
and greatest of Fourteen Sisters of Starless Peak rise again in all of her former
Whirling around, Jennumara faced her sister
again. "And in order to lift the curse we must have every Faerie whom the wings
Feeling a little more courageous, Grindomara
looked her sister in the eye, fists clenched and teeth gritted in frustration.
"Don't act like you've never let a Dessro get away, sister! What about… what
was her name? Baelia the Water Nymph of the Rose Coral Clan?"
Spitting and hissing in rage, Jennumara's eyes
flashed dangerously. Her hand drew dangerously close to the saber again. "Never.
Mention. That. Name. In. Front. Of. Me. Understand?"
Feeling bolder already, Grindomara seized her
elder sister's hand before it could touch the sword hilt. "I don't know, sister.
I think you could do with a bit of humbling."
A jolt of lightning sent Grindomara crashing
to the floor, a sickening cracking sound coming from her left elbow. Her hair
and skirts askew, eyes wide with terror, she looked up into Jennumara's eyes.
Jennumara looked down at her disgustedly, as if she were peering down at a pile
of dung rather than a powerful Faerie of darkness. "It's you who could do with
humbling, sister. Am I not Lady Jennumara, Heir to the Throne of the Uber Dark
Faerie and Leader of the Fourteen Sisters of Starless Peak? I did not obtain
those titles through luck alone, sister. I deceived and swindled my way to the
top. Am I not the slyest of the sly?"
Sly as a snake. Grindomara thought to herself.
But as weak as a Miamouse. My power far outreaches hers. After all, can she
subdue minds to her will? I think not. Besides, she acts as though she is the
greatest of the sisters when indeed the greatest is Kilamara! The little hypocrite
is becoming too big for her britches.
Wincing from the pain in her elbow, she rose.
A glowing violet magic surrounded her arm, mending the bone. When she was done
healing herself, Grindomara looked her sister in the eye. For a brief moment,
Jennumara's knees went weak. Was there… fire in her sister's eyes? Violet flames,
leaping and dancing and burning away her self-control. Hissing ashen snakes
rising from the ashes, spitting poison and contempt. "Fine, sister. I shall
retrieve the Dessro. And while I'm at it, I shall retrieve your Dessro as well.
I shall not need your assistance."
She left as fleetly as a shadow, slamming the
door behind her.