Screpp woke early, before sunrise in fact, to start packing
for the day's job. He didn't know quite how long it would take, but experience
had taught him to always be prepared. Of course, that experience came from years
of being a thief in the streets of Sakhmet.
A thief he was, and a good one at that. The red Gelert could
have practically anything he wanted, from the glittering gold vases of the Sakhmetian
rich to the clothes off of their very backs. There was only one thing that he
had not yet obtained the courage to steal: the Circlet of Glory.
This Circlet was one of the legendary artifacts of the Lost
Desert, and it was made even more so because it had been forged eons ago, even
before Dr. Sloth arrived on Neopia. Legend said that the being which had forged
it was stronger than even the Faerie Queen, and that the power of the Circlet
was immense. In fact, legend said that the Circlet could be used to grant the
bearer everything he desired.
That was just what Screpp wanted: a way to get fame, fortune,
friends--and to lose the need to ever steal again.
After spending months researching it, he had come to the conclusion
that not only was the being which had created the Circlet gone, but that the
Circlet was hidden right under the noses of the citizens--somewhere around or
inside King Coltzan's Shrine.
So that was where he was heading now.
After a three-hour trek through the desert, Screpp was ready
to give himself up for lost. Fatigue, though it had been kept at bay for a while,
had finally crept up on him. As he collapsed in the sand, he saw some kind of
movement in the distance. It was a mirage--it had to be! But no… the thing behind
the movement was not a sand dune… it was the Shrine of King Coltzan! He had
Screpp hauled himself up tiredly and set off towards the Shrine.
As he got closer, he realised that although the movement beside the great pillar
was only that of heat waves, the Shrine itself was real. And beside it ran a
small stream that wound around the Shrine and disappeared into the desert.
Thanking the Faerie Queen for this fortune, he took a long
drink from the stream. Then he faced the Shrine. What do I do now? He wondered.
He reached up and touched a rune engraved into the glossy surface…
…and fell through a huge void. He landed on some hard stone,
he couldn't see a thing, and he felt extremely tired. He just wanted to go to
Suddenly there was light. Screpp opened his eyes and saw that
he was in a long, shadowed passageway. And there, before him, stood the Faerie
Queen! In her hand she held a circle of light. Screpp gasped; few ever seen
the Faerie Queen in person.
She spoke. "Screpp. I know what it is you seek, and I know
where it is, for I am its guardian. But there is one thing that you must do
to achieve your goal. You must past the Test of Truth, which determines whether
you are worthy of taking the Circlet of Glory."
At this Screpp jumped. He had forgotten all about the Circlet.
Now it was time to see if he was actually worthy of taking this incredible object
He stood up shakily and looked squarely at the Faerie Queen.
"I'm ready for any test you give me."
"Very well then," said the Faerie Queen. She raised her hands,
and Screpp felt himself being pulled forward…
…He landed on a small and sunny hill. As he looked around,
he noticed two roads right beside him, leading in opposite directions. If he
squinted just enough, he could see that one road led to a small village, while
the other--he saw a flash of gold--and then the Gelert realised that the other
road led to a huge mound of gold. Instantly he started off towards that pile,
but then he realised that someone in the village below him was crying. He wasn't
sure what to do--should he head down the path that led to perhaps everlasting
riches, or should he go to the village and see if he could help the person in
Another wail shook the air, and Screpp's mind was made up.
He headed away from the mountain of gold, towards the small hamlet, determined
to help the person in distress.
As he neared the first houses, he could make out a figure sitting
in the village square. He hurried towards the figure and then saw that it was
in fact a dirty yellow Chomby.
"What's wrong?" he asked. The Chomby continued to wail. "Really,
what's happened? Why are you crying?"
"I-I-ohh, it was awful!" the Chomby cried, distraught.
"What was?" Screpp asked.
"The G-g-grundos," hiccuped the Chomby. "They came, and everyone…"
He trailed off. "This used to be a wonderfully rich and great city, with all
the buildings made of gold. We were all wealthy and had no needs. We took all
of our riches for granted… Then the Grundos came. They attacked us, took all
our wealth, our homes, our lives. They left us with nothing, made us flee into
the forest--and all this because we were too wealthy and too proud..." The Chomby
trailed off and started walking towards a nearby forest.
Screpp followed the Chomby into the woods. With every step
he took it felt as though there was an invisible barrier holding him back. Walking
became harder and harder. Screpp was aware that he could still turn back, back
to the mound of gold, but he was determined to help out the suffering Chomby…
he couldn't see anymore, the pressure was so great… he was in the void…
He was in the tunnel again, and the Faerie Queen was floating
before him. She was smiling, but Screpp felt very confused. "What's going on?"
The Faerie Queen's smile grew. "You have passed the Test of
Truth. By deciding to help the Chomby, you have proved that you are unselfish
and deserve the Circlet of Glory."
Screpp had felt dazed throughout most of this, but when she
said that he could take the Circlet for himself… all that glory, all of those
riches… all his…
He shook his head. "No. I cannot take the Circlet. After what
I saw back there in the village--everything destroyed just because its people
were too wealthy and too proud--well, it made me think that wealth and fame
isn't everything. Some have it, and that makes life easier, but that's not what
you should be proud of having. What's important is that you feel proud of yourself,
even if you aren't wealthy and grand. That's true pride."
Suddenly he felt himself rising into the air, and then he was
floating next to the Faerie Queen. Her smile had become so bright that he was
almost bedazzled by it. "Then you have earned something that is far more important
than the Circlet of Glory," she said. "You have learned to respect everyone
no matter how wealthy or important or beautiful or strong they are. There is
no gift that I could give you which could equal that." With those words, she
disappeared, and Screpp found himself standing once more next to King Coltzan's
Shrine. He stood there for a moment, then set off towards Sakhmet City, and
These days he still continues to live in the streets of Sakhmet
as a thief. But he looks at people differently, thanks to the lesson taught
to him by the Faerie Queen.