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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 57 > Short Stories > Meepits of Meridell

Meepits of Meridell

by animalia2

There was no denying it- Triton_Neptune was lost, and in the Spooky Forest no less. Darkness was beginning to fall, and Triton began to fear for the worst. Surely, he felt, he could not withstand a night in that most frightening of forests. Yet the forest's edge seemed no nearer than it had ten minutes or even an hour ago.

     It had been a bad idea to make a trip to the Spooky Forest in the first place. Triton had come seeking a good deal on an item in the Spooky Marketplace, and had lost his way on his return trip. Now the prospect of paying an extra fifty Neopoint to purchase that mouth-watering Sticky Stack seemed well worth it to have avoided this mess. The Stack now sat heavily in his queasy stomach as he trodded cautiously along. The Spooky Forest had been no place for a Golden Flotsam such as himself in the first place.

     A rustling in the leaf litter to Triton's left forced his attention to the source. He could just barely make out a small creature walking toward him. It seemed to be nothing more than a petpet, but Triton kept his guard up all the same as the thing approached. An agonising wait followed, as every moment Triton wondered what was to come. Finally, the little waddling thing, a Meepit, arrived in front of Triton. The Meepit squeaked, a squeak which sounded to Triton like "Kreai, Kreai". It turned and dashed off.

     Triton followed the little Meepit and no more than a minute later emerged from the forest, the Meepit not far ahead. The beautiful Neopian sunset greeted Triton, and immediately his fears rushed away. The Meepit doubled back and leaped into Triton's arms, squeaking several times more. Triton smiled. "Why don't you come home with me? I think I'll call you... Kreai."

One Month Later...

     Triton was deeply enthralled in a game of NeoQuest. His character was in the Jungle Ruins' deep dungeons, and had done battle with all kinds of foes. Now his path led him to another non-player character, and he prepared to engage him in battle. The character was Kreai, a great pygmy chieftain. And it was at that moment that Triton looked over to his petpet and realised that they shared a name. Yet more astonishingly, they bore a striking resemblance to each other. So, too, Triton realised as he thought about it, did the other Pygmies which inhabited this Grarrl Peninsula.

     "Cally_Ann," Triton called. Cally Ann was Triton's sister, a Speckled Moehog, and the most well-read of anybody he knew. Cally trotted over promptly.

     "Yes, Triton?" she asked.

     "Do you happen to know whether NeoQuest is... based on fact?"

     "Yes, it's an historical recreation of Neopia a millennium ago. It's accurate as far as I know."

      "Well then," Triton said, "Meepits must be descended from the Pygmies, or at least related somehow. But... the Pygmies didn't live in the Spooky Forest, they were indigenous inhabitants of the Grarrl Peninsula. And the Grarrl Peninsula today must be..." and Triton picked up a globe of Neopia to compare with his NeoQuest map. He lowered his tone to an excited whisper, "Meridell...."

***

As soon as he could, Triton took Kreai and traveled to Meridell in search of the answers to the many questions he now had about Pygmies and Meepits. The moment he arrived, his attention was drawn to the Meridell castle. Could it be, he wondered, a re-established Jungle Ruins? It was closed to the public, so for now, he had no way of knowing. Still, the archaic look to the place instilled hope in Triton that perhaps the answers, and even Pygmies or Meepits, were awaiting him. It seemed that this truly was a land apart from time.

     Triton passed the various games and shops of Meridell and made directly for the forest at the edge of which lay Illusen's Glade. The Pygmies, as Triton recalled, had established their villages in the forests of the Grarrl Peninsula. A forest, then, just might be the place to look.

     Before venturing into the forest, Triton decided to drop in on Illusen, feeling that she might know something about his little mystery. He walked up to the cottage door and gave it a knock. Illusen the Earth Faerie quickly answered the door.

      "Hello. Would you like to do a quest for me?"

      "I'm afraid I don't have time at the moment," Triton said, a bit embarrassed. "But I was wondering if you might be able to answer a question for me."

     "What do you want to know?" asked Illusen.

     "Well, about a thousand years ago there was a whole civilisation of Pygmies in these forests... Pygmies that looked an awful lot like this," said Triton, motioning towards Kreai.

     "Do you know anything about them?"

     "I'm afraid not," Illusen replied. "I don't know much about Meridell history. Somebody in the Castle might know, but I don't think they'd let you in."

     Triton gave a friendly smile, disappointed as he was. "Thanks, anyway," he said.

     Triton resolved to journey into the forest. It was huge and imposing, but wholly more inviting than the Spooky Forest. At least it was probably not haunted. Having no idea how vast the forest was, Triton had decided to pick up some food supplies from Merifoods, and now carried them slung across his back in a cloth bag. He took his first steps into the forest, and Kreai willingly followed. Triton wandered for what seemed like hours, until at one moment Kreai stopped dead in his tracks and sniffed the air. The next moment he was running off faster than Triton had ever seen him move. Triton followed as fast as he could.

     At last, Triton caught up to Kreai, who had stopped at the edge of a clearing in the forest. There, in the middle, stood an ancient, crumbling village, made up of several small, rotting wooden buildings. Triton could not have entered them even had he felt it would be safe. They had clearly been built for something petpet-sized. Meepit-sized, even. Triton was excited and crestfallen at the same time. He'd found a pygmy village, for sure. But he had been hoping to find living pygmies.

     Meanwhile, Kreai had entered one of the diminutive structures, and now emerged with a small book. He handed it to Triton, who excitedly blew the dust off of its cover with a puff of breath. "History of the Pygmies," he said, reading the gilded, embossed lettering of the cover. He opened the book, barely able to contain his excitement. Throughout the book were firsthand accounts of historical events, dating back two millennia. The book was small in size, but very thick. The pages were innumerable, and Triton was only able to stop and read a few entries for the moment. The one that really caught his attention was at the very end. He read it aloud to Kreai.

     "An evil sorcerer has descended upon us, and our attempts to fight him have been unsuccessful. He has cast a spell upon us which has taken away our ability to speak. He is now gathering us up and intends to banish us to a distant land called the Haunted Woods or Spooky Forest. It appears that our great civilisation is about to fall."

     "I suppose that answers my questions," Triton said to Kreai. He saw Kreai, and the other Meepits, in a whole new light now. "And I'll be taking this book back to Neopia Central."

     Triton and Kreai went home and announced their discovery. Copies of the book were printed so that everyone might learn the forgotten history of the Meepits. Triton's only regret was that there were no more of the Pygmies left in Meridell, for he should have liked to observe their ways firsthand.

***

Deep in the Meridell forest, not far from the coast, lay another Pygmy village, one not so disused and dilapidated. A young Pygmy, the son of the chief, walked to the summit of a high hill on the fringe of the settlement, looking out over Meridell. Having no knowledge of the Meepits, he lamented that his hidden village, the one village that had escaped the sorcerer's evil spell those centuries ago, held the last of the Pygmy's kind.

The End

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