The Slothless Fields of Meridell
Illusen had watched in horror the seemingly endless
crowds flocking to bring Jhudora everything she needed to take over Neopia.
They were so naive, so gullible. They thought no harm would come of it. Illusen
had never really liked Jhudora anyway. Even as kids, it had been Jhudora that
had always been the one to push the other young Faeries off the swing so she
could get on it. As they got older it only got worse. Jhudora had been a horrible
teenager, and had become a horrible grown-up Faerie. Illusen didn't want to
be around when Jhudora had the power she had always wanted. As an Earth Faerie,
she had never much liked the city anyway, preferring a more natural environment
of trees and grassy slopes. However, she had remained in the city only to keep
Jhudora in check, but as the mindless minions kept coming day and night to bring
the Dark Faerie items for her quest, Illusen knew it was hopeless.
Illusen had heard word of a new land, one that
held everything she craved. It was called Meridell,
and it was a land of medieval times. She was sure Jhudora and her fellow Dark Faeries would never go there. It didn't have the technology that Jhudora needed
to do her evil. As such, it would not be a favoured destination for the infamous
Dr. Sloth, who was more likely to be found at VirtuPets Space Station.
Illusen had packed for Meridell in less than
an hour. She summoned a horse and cart to take her there with her Staff of the
Earth Faerie. Illusen's plan was to create a dome, the Peace Dome. No living
evil would be allowed inside her Peace Dome, and in the basement Illusen could
continue her ever-continuing quest for an evil-free Neopia.
Illusen took a bag of five million Neopoints,
which for a Faerie was small change, and went to the Marketplace. There, she
filled large sacks with all the glass bottles of Dark Faeries she could find.
Then she began buying Dark books, amulets of the Dark Faerie, Jhudora Quest
rewards and anything else Jhudora.
When Illusen got home, she lined up all the
bottled Dark Faeries on her shelves. She didn't want them ever to be released.
Then she gathered together all the books and other flammable items into a pile
on the stone floor. As Illusen stuck a match in the dark, dreary basement, for
a moment her face glowed and one could see the genetic resemblance to Jhudora.
She stood there and for a while the only sound was the carts on the stone paths
outside, and the steady plodding of horse hooves clip-clopping. As the chariots
rode into the distances, the sound faded and then disappeared altogether.
Illusen stood for a moment, savouring it all.
Then she tossed the match onto the books, and the flames rose, snapping and
crackling as they too savoured the moment, licking the books and curling around
the dusty pages. Illusen watched the pile grow smaller and smaller as the fire
did its work, until all that was left was a pile of ash on the stone floor.
Illusen had seen what Jhudora did for power.
She encouraged the Neopians to give her items, with the promise of items and
game scores in return. The Earth Faerie laughed wryly. "Killing two birds with
one stone, aren't you, sis?" she thought. "Getting all the items you want and
flooding Neopia with dark items of your making all at the same time." Well,
she could do the same.
She set to work on Illusen's
Glade, setting quests for items she could use, and filling Neopian pockets
with items they could use to fight Jhudora. She wasn't sure how successful her
venture would be, but she had to try. You couldn't put a price on peace. The
naivety of the Neopians was almost laughable, the way they did Jhudora's bidding
without questioning her motives. Even when there was an uproar about her erasers
(Jhudora had misjudged, and sent one of her biggest weapons out before Neopian
trust in her was high enough) they still were only a little wary. Illusen guessed
they didn't realise Jhudora was responsible for Chia Flour, because she'd wised
up and hadn't named it after herself. Jhudora could be very crafty, Illusen
The Mysterious Ixi
Illusen stood tentatively at the quest stand
in the glade. At first it seemed like no one would come, but then she saw a
young Ixi emerging from Merifoods
eating some bread. Illusen crossed her fingers.
"Come over, come over," she whispered. As if
hearing Illusen's words, the Ixi changed direction and skipped over.
"Will you help me?" Illusen asked the Ixi.
The Ixi swallowed a mouthful. "Depends...."
"On what?" asked Illusen. She wasn't used to
a Neopet that had so little respect for a Faerie.
"On what I have to do." The Ixi ripped off another
piece of the bread he was eating.
"Just get me an item."
"What item, then?"
Illusen consulted her item list. "Bread," she
The Ixi tossed his half eaten bread in front
of her. "There you go, then."
Illusen wasn't sure what to say. The Ixi chose
"So what do I get?"
Illusen recovered herself and handed the Ixi
The Ixi looked at her contemptuously. "And what
am I meant to do with this?"
"It's a battle item. Especially suitable for
fighting Dark Faeries, like Jhudora."
For the first time, the Ixi smiled. "Great! It'll
be good to finally put that mean old hag in her place." Seeing Illusen's surprised
look, he continued. "So you thought no Neopets knew of how evil Jhudora was?
Well let me tell you, I know."
"How?" Illusen stammered.
"It's her fault I'm like this."
"Like what?" Illusen was confused. The Ixi wasn't
"No home, no family, no food except for the bits
of bread that Merifoods and the bakery can spare. I had that, once. But Jhudora
took me from it so she could make me her servant."
"She kidnapped you?" Illusen gasped.
"Right in one, princess," sneered the Ixi.
"B-b-but..." stammered Illusen.
"How?" filled in the Ixi. Illusen silently nodded.
"I was with my sister in the Marketplace. We were arguing. I had bought an apple
pie and I wouldn't share it with her. Oh, if only I could see her now, I'd give
her all the apple pie in the world. Anyway, she ran away. I was on my own, and
Jhudora snatched me. She took me to her castle and bade me work on the construction
of her items."
"How did you get out?" asked Illusen softly.
"I had heard of a place, called Meridell. I heard
Illusen, an Earth Faerie, had there set up her campaign to out Jhudora. I decided
to set out to find Meridell."
"But how did you actually escape?"
"Oh, that. Jhudora didn't realise I could read,
you see, and she didn't lock her library of Dark books. Constructing items is
dull work, and I would often sneak into the library and read these books."
"And you learned enough to get you out," guessed
"Someone ate her brain food today, didn't she?"
said the Ixi.
"In one of the books, I found lists of enchantments.
One of these was to open the magically locked door. But I planned my escape
carefully. It would have been foolish to leave then, for it was almost time
for my crusts of bread for supper, and I would have been missed too soon. Instead,
I gathered together what I thought I would need for my journey. I waited until
night-time to leave. I travelled far until I reached Meridell. I did stop in
Neopia Central first, but to no avail. I can't find my family."
"But now you've found me," said Illusen, as she
gazed into the distance.
"Yes," said the Ixi, and for a few minutes the
two stood in silence, the Ixi thinking of his family, and Illusen thinking of
what Jhudora had done.
To be continued...