Ancient Neopia: Part Eight
The group had walked to the inn of Sunny City and stayed
there for the night. The city was small and most citizens carried strong weapons
"Say, who is this Gali Yoj anyway?" Jarod asked
and Hero answered.
"She is a Lore Keeper." Hero then looked around,
until he spotted a yellow Pteri. "There she is."
The group then followed Hero, as they walked
to Gali Yoj, the lore keeper of these parts. She noticed them and stopped with
what she was doing to talk to the group.
"Hello? Who are you?" Gali Yoj asked.
"We are Hero, Jarod, Galgarroth, Vex and Rioeiro,"
Rioeiro said. "We came here to show this medollian!"
"It's medallion," Vex said and Hero stifled a
Gali Yoj grinned too.
"Why, I'm Gali Yoj. I'm the lore keeper in these
parts; I know more than anyone about the Techo Mountains, the Two Rings, the
Eastern Glade, and Kal Panning... what would you like to know?"
"Well, what can you tell us about the Techo Mountains?"
"Well, you probably already know all about the
Techo Mountains, since you passed through them to get here. They are riddled
with a warren of caves and passages, leading to the Plains of Roo in the north,
the Great Plateau in the east, and of course to our little town here. There
are other things lost in the mountains, as well... ancient ruins. A mountain
fortress. A lake with a mysterious island in the middle, behind a locked door..."
Gali Yoj replied. "Our town is the last stop before Kal Panning and the Two
Rings Palace and the other caves. So, travelers come here before venturing in
"That is something I didn't know…" Jarod said.
"But, what are the ancient ruins?"
"During the time of the Great Empire, a powerful
wizard built a fortress in the Techo Mountains, on a cliff overlooking the sea.
The wizard was involved in research into the nature of magic, and accidentally
summoned five guardian spirits, who destroyed him and took over his fortress.
These elemental guardians each wield one of the Staves of Brilliance, and are
immensely powerful, as they are each a focus for a particular kind of magic.
They would be difficult to defeat for any who dared venture there." Gali Yoj
then walked away, picked up an old map and showed the fortress to the group.
"It is quite hard to get there, though."
Hero looked at the map, until he saw the Two
"What are the Two Rings?" he asked. "I know it
is the palace where Jahbal fled too… but anything else?"
"Ah, yes, the Two Rings." Gali Yoj smiled, though
it might have been a sad smile. ""The Two Rings are a huge mountain range that
extends northeast from the Techo Mountains here. Each of the two 'rings' of
mountains encircles an enormous valley. I've never been there myself, but from
what I know, many dangerous monsters and creatures roam there. Supposedly there's
a cave that leads through the mountains, into the valley, but there is a guardian
who protects it."
"Guardian?" Rioeiro asked, confused. "I thought
there only were a lot of monsters… Is the Guardian really there?"
"Well, I do not know for sure, as I have never
been there…" Gali Yoj said. "I heard them from rumors, rumors spoken by many
people and travelers."
"I think that they mean the other Guardians…
For I know that there is no Guardian after we get out the Techo Mountains,"
Hero said. "Just rumors…" he muttered.
"I see…" Gali Yoj said and she then looked at
Jarod again. "Is there anything else you would like to know?"
Jarod was busy inspecting the map, until he saw
something very interesting.
"Uh, can you tell me about the Eastern Glade?"
Jarod asked, as he pointed at it on the map.
"If you follow the Great Plateau to the southeast,
you will skirt around the Two Rings Mountains, and come to a great coastal forest,
the Eastern Glades. They are inhabited by magical woodland creatures, but they
aren't particularly fond of intruders in their home, so watch your step. The
Glades surround a lake containing the island city of Kal Panning."
"Kal Panning…" Jarod sighed. The last city before
the Two Rings area. Hero had told him about it. About the circle of twelve and
Jahbal. He asked about Kal Panning. It might have some important information…
"Can you tell me about Kal Panning too?" Jarod
sighed and listened to Gali Yoj as she explained it.
"Kal Panning is an ancient, cursed island city.
It was once a grand, prosperous city, but long ago there was a great battle
there, led by the Circle of Twelve after the Great Empire split into two factions.
Kal Panning rebelled against the Circle, who they claimed were becoming too
powerful and greedy to rule the Empire fairly. The Circle massed an army and
attacked Kal Panning, and the battle lasted over a month, with many powerful
wizards on both sides. Eventually, the Circle used the last of their strength
to curse Kal Panning, and the city itself rose up and destroyed the rest of
the inhabitants and defenders. It has been a haunted ruin ever since," Gali
Yoj said. She then sighed. "That is all I know about this area."
"Oh…" Jarod said. "But thank you for your time."
"Wait," Hero interrupted him. "Eleus Batrin sent
me. He said you might know something about this medallion." And he revealed
the medallion he had gotten at the Jungle Ruins.
"Well, let's take a look at it, then..." Gali
leaned closer to Hero to look at the rusty medallion. After a moment, she chuckled.
"It's no wonder Eleus sent you to me. He was
never very good at reading Kayannin script. He neglected it in his studies,
thought it wasn't important. That's what these characters are, you see. And
if I am not mistaken, then this item is... the Keladrian Medallion."
"The Keladrian Medallion?" Jarod sighed again.
"Why do you have to use such weird names…"
"Well, I wouldn't call the most powerful artifact
in the world Jack, now would I?" Rioeiro teased him and then asked about the
"The Keladrian Medallion was an artifact of great
power, created thousands of years ago by the Kayannin, an ancient civilization
of powerful wizards. They vanished without a trace over two thousand years before
the Great Empire was even founded, but many of their artifacts, which are nearly
indestructible, remain to this day. It is fortunate that you were able to find
this one." Gali smiled and gestured to the medallion. "Give me the medallion,
and I will restore it to its normal radiance and power."
Hero stared at the medallion and hesitated.
"I won't turn evil, rest assured," Gali said
and finally Hero handed her the medallion.
She then held it gently in her hand and started
whispering words while her other hand was circling around the medallion. Then
beams of light come out of her hand and they hit the medallion, scraping off
the rust and the grime that was on it. The metal underneath it now had a brilliant
Gali then turned to the group. "This medallion
carries a great responsibility with it. Use it wisely." And she handed back
the Keladrian Medallion.
"But… what should we do with it?" Galgarroth
"Trapped in the haunted ruin of Kal Panning are
the undead remains of that city's leader, a great and powerful sorceress named
Faelinn. She was known as a kind and generous leader when she was alive, but
after the city fell, she was killed and rose again as a horrible creature of
darkness. However I believe that she was instrumental in sealing the passage
into the Two Rings. If you show her the Keladrian Medallion, she might be able
to tell you something about how to get into the Two Rings... if she doesn't
kill you first."
"Why would she kill us?" Jarod asked. "I mean,
even though she is evil now… but maybe she isn't the monster that you describe.
We are just there to help her!"
"They do not know, they just see you as enemies
on their territory," Gali said.
"Oh…" Jarod sighed. Everything here reminded
him of his home, mainly because it was nothing like his home. Here they would
attack everyone on their territory; back home they would greet each other and
drink a cup of tea. Jarod always compared them.
"We need to go to the Two Rings palace…" Rioeiro
said. "Only to beat Jahbal, right?"
"Yes, you are right, young one." Gali replied.
"The world has long been infested with monsters, giants, undead... all sorts
of horrible creatures that plague the countryside and make traveling unsafe.
I have a reason to believe that the source of these problems can be found in
the Two Rings. There is said to be an ancient dungeon in the northern ring that
contains a source of great evil, which is why the Two Rings were sealed in the
first place." She paused and showed the mountains of the Two Rings on the map,
"The mountains themselves are utterly impassable;
nothing could make the journey, let alone survive it. At least, nothing was
SUPPOSED to be able to make the journey. The fact that the world is covered
with dangerous creatures gives the lie to that claim. Something is escaping
from the Two Rings that must be destroyed... and you are probably the only one
who can do that. I am too old and weak to travel, and many others are too weak
or frightened to attempt what must be done. But you have demonstrated amazing
courage and spirit in helping unravel many mysteries, and you are probably our
"Probably…" Hero muttered. "Jahbal is behind
this, but something else too."
"I think I know who it is," Jarod said. "I think
it is Masila and whoever is with her."
"Ah, right…" Hero then said. "Even more problems
to think of."
"Well…" Jarod turned to Gali. "Thank you for
your help. It is really appreciated… because… we needed to have an idea of what
was waiting for us at the Two Rings area."
"Thank you for your time," Hero said and he then
ran towards the shop to buy the needed supplies. Rioeiro used his giant hammer
to fix the weapons and then they were on their way. Then they would journey
to the last part of this story.
To be continued...