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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 5th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 64 > Continuing Series > Oresetes Icetalon: Part Four

Oresetes Icetalon: Part Four

by battlesunn

Image by battlesunn

Oresetes, Celeste, Kenya and the Eyrie messenger flew at a breakneck pace over to the central roost. As soon as they got there, they immediately sensed the fearful atmosphere among the Eyries. As they flew along, looking for a place to land, Oresetes caught snatches of the hushed conversation.

     "Stearoyx has a thousand soldiers with him, he means business this time."

     "It's the final charge, I know it!"

     "I say we fly, far away. Now. They can't get us if we escape."

     "What? Turn tail and fly away like a coward? Not a chance! If I have to die, I'll go down fighting for my fellow Eyrie..."

     Oresetes settled down on a hefty tree limb, sandwiched between Celeste and another green Eyrie, a male. Celeste seemed to know him. As soon as she caught sight of the green Eyrie she grinned from ear to ear and greeted him warmly.

     "Mercury! I haven't seen you for ages! How are you doing?"

     The Eyrie, Mercury, smiled. "I've been exploring the land, hunting and scouting for a possible new colony spot."

     Celeste gasped. "Oh no, you don't mean that we're going to have to move?"

     Mercury sighed. "I'm afraid it looks that way. The Draiks are about to launch their attack on us, they'd outnumber us ten to one."

     Oresetes spoke for the first time. "What do you mean? There are at least two thousand Eyries here!"

     Mercury snorted. "There are only thirty real warriors here. The rest are all either too old or too young to fight. We don't even have a king with us."

     Celeste seemed to notice Oresetes for the first time. "Oh! Mercury, I almost forgot. This is Oresetes, he was born here, but he was abandoned in Neopia as a kit. He was a pet for a while, but he escaped."

     Mercury glanced at Oresetes. "Oh."

     Oresetes frowned. Why did Mercury seem to dislike him so much? In an instant, he understood. Celeste. Mercury obviously liked her. Oresetes' thoughts and Mercury and Celeste's conversation were both abruptly stopped by the foghorn voice of a massive, red Eyrie who stood at the center of the roost. He was a huge Eyrie, the ancient scars of bygone battles tracing over his body. His eyes were cold, hard and uncompassionate. Oresetes instantly knew that he must have been the Eyrie general that Celeste had mentioned earlier. He paced up and down the platform, staring out at each and every Eyrie in the crowd. With a gruff cough he delivered his report.

     "As I'm sure you all know, the Draiks are advancing on our colony, ready to ransack it. They don't want to negotiate, they don't want us. They want out land. There will be no parleying. We have two choices, we either fly, or fight."

     Roars of rage resounded around the area, Eyries were booing and hissing, unsheathing their claws and clacking their beaks. One small blue Eyrie stood up and shouted,

     "I say we fight! I don't want to run, we shouldn't have to!"

     Howls of approval greeted his suggestion. Celeste stood up and said,

     "I agree! I'll fight the Draiks to the death!"

     Suddenly, every Eyrie in the roost was rising and shouting the same thing, that they were ready to fight. The general sniffled and wiped a tear from his eye. His cavernous voice drowned out everyone else's.

     "Very well! We will fight the Draiks, and make them realize that we Eyries don't roll over and play dead!"

     He reared up in the air, flaring his wings to their full extent. "We'll make the late Falstaff Oakwing proud of his subjects!"

     Oresetes' keen ears picked out a sound. It wasn't the sound of roaring Eyries, though. It was the sound of one thousand Draiks, stomping on their way towards the Eyrie's land.

***

Stearoyx stood at the head of his army, claws on hips and eyes wildly roving, he gave them his final speech.

     "Today, we march upon the Eyries. I know the state of my troops. There is mutiny afoot. I know that you care less for me than you do for those pathetic Eyries, so I'll just say this. Don't think of this as you serving under me, think of this as you serving yourself. How much longer could we live in those dank caves? A year, three months, a week? Never. When we take this forest our troubles will be over for good. We can live off the land and drive the Eyries far away. They have no king, or any leader, and they are weak. We are strong! We carry weapons and armor. The Eyries use their talons and beaks. When I raise my claws in the air, you charge!"

***

Oresetes shuddered. What kind of a homecoming was this? He was in a platoon of Eyries, beside Celeste and Mercury. Oresetes vowed to protect Celeste with his life. If she needed it. Come to think of it, she looked more ready and sure of herself than anyone else. But there was one thing. Mercury. Oresetes had vowed never to hate again, at least, not anyone on his side. He wasn't too fond of the Draiks. So, just in case he, or Mercury didn't make it, he wanted to set things straight between them. He sidled up to the green Eyrie and smiled weakly.

     "Hey," he greeted.

     "Hey," Mercury replied.

     "Listen, I think we got off on the wrong paw here. I just want to say that I don't want to be your enemy or anything, and we should save any conflict between us for the Draiks."

     Mercury turned away. "No, you're right. I'm the one who should be sorry. Look, buddy, I'll make it up to you," He turned back to Oresetes and grinned. "I'm pretty useful on the battlefield myself."

     Orestes laughed and scurried back to his position, looking up at the general, his blood red feathers rustling in the breeze.

     "All right troops, this is it, zero hour." He stood a bit taller. "Now, I'm not saying that all of you are going to make it today..."

     A few gulps were audible throughout the crowd. "But I can promise you that, the Draiks are going to remember today forever."

***

A few hundred meters away, hidden behind a clump of trees, Lord Stearoyx raised his claws in the air. The Draiks charged forward. It had begun.

***

It was like nothing Oresetes had ever seen. Hatred was everywhere. This exactly what he was trying to avoid. He saw Draiks and Eyries fall, defeated, to the ground. It gave him a sick feeling in his stomach. Why couldn't the Draiks just leave them alone? He wandered, almost in a daze through the battlefield. A mustard yellow Draik leapt up, brandishing a wickedly sharp spear. Oresetes shrieked in shock and jumped back, and the Draik was belted aside. Mercury reared up and roared, batting the Draik to the ground. The Eyrie was immediately set upon by at least four other Draiks.

     "No!" Oresetes cried, but it was too late. Mercury had fallen. Oresetes approached him, cradling his head in his paws. Suddenly, Oresetes was overcome with an terrible rage. Froth bubbled at his beak, and his eyes hardened. A bone chilling shriek escaped from his beak and he took off into the air, searching for Stearoyx. If Stearoyx was slain then the Draiks would fall, as well. Pumping his wings powerfully, Oresetes soared over the battlefield. A blue Draik rose up in front of him, flapping his wings. Oresetes growled and lunged for the Draik's throat, but he dodged easily. Oresetes didn't have the time for this. He had to find Stearoyx. He flapped his wings as hard as they would go and sped off in search of the hated lord. At last he saw him. With a roar of fury he threw himself down in a dive, hurtling through the air like a blue thunderbolt. Stearoyx looked up, and saw the huge Eyrie plummeting towards him. The last words he ever heard were, "This is for Mercury!"

***

After Stearoyx's death, the Draiks were immediately crushed. The Eyries were merciful, though. And the remaining platoons were spared. Oresetes stared at the Draik soldiers, snarling at them.

     "You tried to take our land, but now you know what the consequences of dealing with the Eyries are. You will be spared, but you have to leave."

     A green Draik cleared his throat and spoke. "But sir, our caves are horrible! We can't live there!"

     Oresetes frowned, racking his brain for a faint memory. "Off into the East, there is a land filled with lush meadows and potential homes. Go there, and live in peace."

     The Draiks nodded, and, one by one, they rose into the air and sped off towards the place that Oresetes had described. Oresetes turned to Celeste, who was crying softly behind him. He nuzzled her softly.

     "I'm upset to. Mercury was a great Eyrie, but he died a heroes death."

     Celeste turned to him, her eyes glistening from her tears. "I... I really liked him a lot."

     Oresetes was stung. "Oh, I understand."

     Oresetes turned from her and took off into the air. He tried to flatten his ears and block out Celeste's call of, "Oresetes! Wait!"

     Oresetes flew far from the roost and towards his mother's nest. He landed near the entrance, and ducked in. He greeted Kenya warmly, sighing heavily. Kenya sensed her son's sadness.

     "Oresetes, what's wrong?"

     He turned to her, tears streaming down his face. "It's Celeste. She loved Mercury, not me..."

     Kenya shook her head sadly. "Oresetes, did you not think that Celeste would be saddened by Mercury's death? It doesn't mean that she doesn't care for you, to."

     Just then, Celeste came fluttering into the nest, her yellow plumage disheveled. She walked up to Oresetes, and nuzzled him warmly.

     "Oresetes, I liked Mercury a lot... But I think I like you, to."

     Oresetes sighed. "Celeste, there's something I didn't tell you..."

     "What?"

     "Mercury died, saving me."

     Celeste opened her beak wide, her eyes beginning to leak tears again. "He did? Then he knew..."

     "Knew what?"

     "All Mercury wanted to do was make me happy, he knew that you would make me happy."

     Oresetes was about to speak when a messenger Eyrie came into the nest again. He nodded at Oresetes.

     "Oresetes Icetalon, the general would like to see you."

     Oresetes shrugged, and flew off with the messenger. He arrived at the central roost quickly, and glided over to the general.

     "You wanted to see me, sir?"

     The general turned. "Ah yes, I wish to speak with you about the war yesterday. You were the one who destroyed Stearoyx, that took quite a bit of courage. And now, Oresetes Icetalon, I wish to give you this."

     The general grabbed a small pendant with his beak. It was tied with a strand of Uni mane and sported a small, gray medallion with a picture of an Eyrie carved in it. The general draped it around Oresetes' neck.

     "In the Eyrie custom, when an old king dies, a new, older one steps up to take his place."

     The general straightened up. "You have displayed courage, kindness, intelligence and determination. And for that, Oresetes Icetalon, you shall be the new Eyrie king."

***

Two years later, King Oresetes Icetalon and his mate Celeste Sharpeye had their first child. A small female, Blue, with a yellow wings. Oresetes nudged the sleeping kit with his beak and proclaimed, "She bears the mark of light upon her wings. She shall be called, Phoenix Sunwing."

     Oresetes Icetalon pumped his massive blue wings and took off into the summer sky.

The End


Author's note: I hope you enjoyed the story, because I certainly enjoyed writing it. For some background information, all the characters in the story are made up, of course, though parts of the story, (the Draik war) were adapted from events in history such as the Masada, in which the Draiks would be the Romans. I got the basic idea for the story at my school's grade eight camp, where a story about a wild Eyrie began to develop in my mind. Still can't get enough of Oresetes? If you want to see some drawings that I did, (or the characters and some scenes from the story) you can go to this petpage.... That's it for now, keep reading The Neopian Times and join The Neopian Times Appreciation Guild if you like to read, draw or write!
Previous Episodes

Oresetes Icetalon: Part One

Oresetes Icetalon: Part Two

Oresetes Icetalon: Part Three

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