Avalon and the Emerald Noil Gem: Avalon’s Apprentice - Part One
A little confused? Read Avalon
and the Emerald Noil Gem in Issues 194 to 205. Links are on my spotted Kougra's
The sun rose slowly over the jungles of Mystery Island.
A fine mist lingered along the jungle floor. Birds twittered and sang as the
golden rays of sunlight illuminated the green jungles. Almost everywhere was
silent, but for the bird calls.
Atop a grassy hill in the center of a small
clearing, however, two swords clanged together, shattering the morning's quiet
peace. The sunlight continued to grow, and as the mist cleared, two Kougras
were revealed to be behind the sword fight. Both were standing on their hind
legs, using long gold swords.
The younger Kougra, starry with bright golden
eyes, swung his sword with a sudden burst of force. The bright green, sapphire-chained
Noil Gem hanging around the cat's neck glimmered in the bright light.
The other Kougra, an old one with odd tan fur
and a shiny golden mane, countered the blow with his own sword, pushing the
blade back towards the starry Kougra. "Take that, Avalon!" he said triumphantly,
Avalon narrowed his eyes, concentrating on the
old Kougra's sword. His mouth, however, widened in a proud grin. "No, Quaz-you
take this!" And with a swift twist, a jump, and a swing, Avalon had Quaz
on the ground, sword at his throat.
But rather than slashing the old cat, Avalon
put his sword in its scabbard and extended his paw. A wide grin spread over
his face as he helped his mentor to his feet.
"Beat you again, Quaz," he boasted, stroking
the hilt of his sword.
"Yeah?" the older Kougra growled back. "Took
you the last two years to learn sword fighting properly. Took Ash only a year!"
Avalon's smile faded. "Speaking of which," he
asked, "where is Ash?"
Quaz began inspecting his sword for scratches.
"She said she was going out for a run."
"How long can that take?" Avalon sighed in exasperation.
"You know her better than I do," Quaz pointed
Avalon nodded. Ash, a bold fire Lupe, had been
his friend for almost three years now. He'd met her on his journey to Heartfelt
Cave for the first time, when he'd been appointed the guardian of the immensely
powerful Emerald Noil Gem.
The Emerald Noil Gem was unlike any normal Noil
Gem ever created. The Noil's head was a made of pure emerald, and the chain
looked as though it had forged from sapphires. Avalon had found out three years
ago that he was the next Guardian of the gem. He was only the latest in a long
line of Guardians, all different species and colors of Neopet. The Noil Gem
had been guarded for millions of years, the newest Guardians pre-appointed by
the Guardian Faerie, a million-year-old fire faerie. The Guardians existed to
keep the Gem out of evil hands.
Or during Avalon's guardianship, evil paws. Avalon
had gone face to face with Scarback in his first year as a Guardian, before
most of his official training. Scarback was a menacing, red-eyed, part shadow
part ghost Kougra, who wanted revenge on the world for a mysterious reason Avalon
hadn't found out. He had decided that the only means of achieving his goal would
be to steal the Noil Gem, with the aid of his self-created shadow-ghost Gelert
When Avalon had found out from the Guardian Faerie
that he had been appointed, he'd left for Heartfelt Cave, the Guardian Headquarters.
He'd met Ash during a swamp battle with Scarback's fearsome Gelert troops. Using
a swamp path, the Lupe and Kougra had made it to Heartfelt. They'd met the old
Guardian, Quaz, who'd been guarding the Gem a generation longer than he should
have been. Later that year, the three pets had gone into battle with Scarback.
Thanks to a surge of power provided by the Gem, Avalon had defeated Scarback,
and severely wounded the hybrid's leg. Scarback had retreated, and had not been
seen for the past three years, in which Avalon had completed his Guardian training.
A fire Lupe appeared in the clearing, fur rumpled
and dusty, a splatter of mud almost covering the flames on one leg. She stopped
at the small pond for a drink, and when she looked up, Avalon pulled himself
out of his thoughts to smile. She smiled back, revealing several shiny white
Ash was a stray Lupe, or at least had been. Feed
up with the life of a city stray, Ash had swum to Mystery Island when she was
ten, about eight years ago. She now made permanent residence on the Island,
at Heartfelt Cave with Avalon. Avalon still didn't know much about his best
friend's life before she'd swam off. Even though Ash would never be a Guardian,
she had completed the training along with Avalon.
"And," the starry Kougra thought, "finished
two months before I did."
Despite his lack of skill compared to Ash, Avalon
preferred this life of action to his neglected one in Neopia Central. Avalon's
parents had always been too busy for him, more concerned with money than the
welfare and happiness of their only cub. But he'd still felt fear the night
his parents had disappeared without a trace. Shortly after, Scarback himself
had burned down the house. As he was racing for the exit, the Chia police had
delivered news about Avalon's parents. Under the circumstances, Avalon had been
forced to leave the paper they'd left for him to burn in the inferno. Even now,
years later, Avalon regretted that forced decision, wondering if he should have
gone back for the solitary white paper.
"I don't know about you two," Ash said cheerfully,
her tail swishing happily, "but I am STARVING!"
Quaz laughed. "I know I am, Ash. C'mon, Avalon.
You can boast about your victory over breakfast."
The three pets walked casually down the hill
to Heartfelt Cave's entrance. The tunnel that lad to the inside of the Cave
was a long, dark rock tunnel, full of twists and turns that were easy to get
lost in. Actually entering the Cave required getting slurped up through what
felt like mud, but looked like solid ceiling. By now, Avalon was used to creating
light with the Gem, by summoning a will for light, as well as going in and out
of the mud ceiling. It's amazing what you can get used to.
The stone halls echoed with talk and laughter
as Avalon, Ash and Quaz walked toward the large white marble staircase leading
to the mud ceiling. The talking stopped briefly as they passed through. If you
struggled while being sucked up, you'd be kicked out of the tunnels and locked
Avalon looked around happily at the large interior
of the Cave. Both long gray stone walls were packed with at least forty glass
cabinets. Each cabinet was marked with a shiny plaque displaying the species
the weapons, helmets, and armor inside were made for. Past the Lupe, Kougra,
Eyrie, and Buzz cases was a large case marked "Guardians". At the moment, all
that was in the case was Ash's modified Iron Lupe Sword. Her old Iron Lupe Dagger
had been stretched out, so she could fight in long distance battles. Avalon
and Quaz put their special, Guardian Faerie granted swords in the same glass
case. Avalon's sword had once been a Golden Pteri sword. Now the wings on the
hilt had become elegantly curved designs, and a small sapphire star was imbedded
into the hilt, right above where Avalon gripped his sword. Quaz's own Golden
Pteri sword was broader, the wings replaced with copper royal Kougra heads,
and a gold and red tassel hanging from the bottom of the hilt.
They walked through the field, full of real plants,
in the center of the cave. The light coming through the hole in the Cave's ceiling
provided plenty of light for the thriving grass and flowers. Avalon, Ash and
Quaz were heading for the right corner of the Cave, furnished with the three
beds for Quaz, Avalon and Ash, a long oak desk, and a circular table for eating
at. Everyone poured a bowl of Neoflakes and dug in.
Ash was telling Quaz about a strange animal she'd
seen in the jungle, and Quaz was trying to figure out what it was, when Avalon
happened to look past his coconut bowl and at the Noil Gem. He leapt up, spilling
his bowl of Neoflakes. Ash yelped as the milk slithered across the table toward
"Watch out, Avalon!" she growled, leaping to
her paws to get a towel. "Look what you did to-" Ash's mouth dropped open. Quaz's
face showed surprise and concern.
"Hey Quaz," Avalon said in a false casual tone,
"Why on Neopia is the Gem glowing PURPLE? What's that supposed to mean?" Ash
shrugged, and looked at Quaz.
"That's interesting," Quaz muttered, standing
and beginning to pace. "Very interesting…"
"What is?" Avalon asked.
"It's too early… unless…"
"Quaz," Ash growled, "What's interesting?"
"But if he is…"
"WHAT IS IT??" Avalon and Ash demanded in unison.
Quaz looked at Avalon, the same mixture of worry
and shock on his face. "It's very, very rare for this to happen so soon. Usually
the Gem doesn't do this until you're about thirty-five, sometimes forty."
"Okay, Quaz, skip the lecture." Ash's tail swished
impatiently. "What's a purple glow mean?"
Quaz shook his tan head in confusion. "It means
that it's time for Avalon…to find his apprentice."
To be continued...