Starry Starry Night
The silence in the cool, dark air was marred only by the
song of the ocean. Gently rising and falling, a melodious tune emanated from the
deep midnight waves. Neopia's moon could be seen overhead, a pearlescent milky
white reflected in the calm sea, framed by the light of a thousand stars twinkling
As the breeze danced across the open sea, a once
streamlined shape emerged from the depths. A circle of ripples skipped lightly
away from the head and shoulders which had surfaced from the sea, and a cloud
drew across the moon. All was dark for a moment, but soon the ocean was once
more bathed in silvery light. A steel-blue Peophin could now be seen, face and
torso just protruding from the waves. Her old, intelligent eyes were focussed
on the moon and her gaze was rapt.
Her name was Iliria.
[100 years previously]
The light of the moon
was obscured for a moment by a cloud, and in that moment, three shadowy forms
emerged from the ocean. Together, they waited, eyes to the sky, seemingly gazing
at the moon. It was not long before they could hear the dull throb of wing-beats,
stealthy though they were. A slight figure appeared in the sky, and accelerated
quickly to land on an outcropping of rock, close to the three figures in the
When they spoke, their tones were hushed and
hurried. The tension in the air was palpable. It was Fyora who spoke first.
"Greetings. I came as quickly as I could, friends."
"You were not followed?" asked one of the figures,
"No, I was not. I made certain. No one saw me
leave," she replied.
"What would you have us do, Lady Fyora?" whispered
Ryelle, a Maraquan Uni and the smallest of the three.
Fyora closed her eyes in thought. The waves shivered.
Iliria remained at the meeting place for a long
time. She was worried. The Faerie Queen was late. Had something happened? She
instinctively clutched the small, shimmering pouch between her fins even more
She sank beneath the waves and rested in the
cool respite of the murky waters, floating gently out of the glare of the moon.
Iliria could not help but remember the events of another time, another age.
These thoughts saddened her visibly, and she again rose to the surface, to wait
for the Queen.
[100 years previously]
"It is difficult to say, friends. One thing is
certain, however. The time is fast approaching when She will be coming for it.
I am confident that good shall triumph, and it will not be long before I am
made Queen. In order for this to come to pass, we must hide the weapon. If She
finds it, we will surely fail."
"We understand, Lady Fyora," murmured the three
"The weapon must be hidden beyond her reach,
beyond her sight. And there it must lie, until the time for the second battle
is nigh. We shall triumph this time my friends, but there will be another. There
will be a time when the Darkest Faerie shall return to these lands once more,
and victory will be uncertain. At that time, we will be forced to use the weapon.
At that time, I will return."
"Where do you propose, my lady?" questioned Tein.
"Far beneath Maraqua, buried deep inside your
watery home. It must be safe, so that if Maraqua should ever fall, the weapon
will not be discovered."
"We understand," said Ryelle quietly. Fyora nodded
"When the time comes, you will know. I will not
send word, but through my magic I will inform you. At that time, you must come
to me here, at the very next full moon. You must bring the weapon, for it shall
"So it shall be," whispered Iliria softly, eyes
sparkling in the starlight.
[present day, somewhere nearby New Maraqua]
I remember the day when I found out where she
had hidden it. As I felt my power returning to me, I knew that my hopes for
success lay upon finding the weapon. The small little pearl that appeared so
innocent was the focus point of all my hopes and dreams. If I could only find
that, I would become the Darkest Faerie once more.
It took me a long time. I disguised myself in
order to be able to go unnoticed and searched through libraries across Neopia.
I was on the verge of despair, when I finally found it. It was the most obvious
place to have looked and the first place that Fyora should have thought to purge
of all mention. But I suppose she did not expect me to be brazen enough to search
through the Faerie Library itself.
I knew where I had to go.
[100 years previously]
Fyora handed Tein a small, shining pouch woven
from the finest and strongest cloth. It was iridescent in the moonlight. With
a brief farewell, the three Protectors slipped away into the waves, swimming
swiftly down, deeper and deeper, until they were far from the sight of others.
They enclosed the small pouch in a tiny cave. They cast the wards of protection,
and sighed with relief. It was safe.
Fyora waited for a few moments to ensure that
the delivery was carried out safely. With a nod of satisfaction, she leapt up
from the rock and flew up into the sky above, focussed on the monumental task
that lay before her.
Whilst Iliria was waiting, she thought fondly
of her old friends. Together, they had been the three Protectors, but now only
she remained. There had been Tein, a Maraquan Eyrie and the oldest of the three.
He was by far the wisest, though. Ryelle had brightened their days whilst guarding
the weapon. She was always smiling- a little, cheerful Maraquan Uni, dwarfed
by the larger forms of Tein and Iliria.
Iliria herself had not been able to understand
quite why she had been selected as a Protector. She was enormously strong and
a fierce warrior, but compared to her two friends that counted for little. Or
at least that was how she had felt at the time. Now Iliria realised that she
had been chosen for her potential for magic and her courage.
At long last, Iliria was woken from her reverie
by stifled wing beats above. Her eyes rested on the slim faerie descending through
the sky, and a smile touched her lips.
As soon as I reached New Maraqua, I knew it was
the wrong place. It was modern, busy, loud, and there were annoying pets everywhere.
With a curse, I left the place. I was furious. It was Old Maraqua where I would
find the pearl, not New Maraqua.
I think in my heart, I knew that I would be too
"Iliria, old friend, are you well?" asked Fyora,
obvious relief at seeing the Peophin in her voice.
"Indeed I am," whispered Iliria. "I have the
stone." Iliria proffered the small bag to the Faerie Queen.
"Thank you... I will never forget this deed,
and I will not let Tein or Ryelle be forgotten either." Fyora spoke with sympathy
in her voice, softly cradling the pouch in her hands.
"I have no fear. We will be remembered."
The majestic queen gazed deeply into Iliria's
midnight eyes, and inclined her head slightly.
"Take care, Iliria."
"And you, Queen Fyora. I have delivered the stone
unto you, for I can protect it no longer. So it was said, and so shall it be.
This battle is just beginning, and for all our sakes, I wish you the best."
"Goodbye, Iliria," whispered Queen Fyora.
The Queen sensed the presence of her foe drawing
near, and gracefully ascended to the sky, taking the stone with her back to
Faerieland. The time for confrontation was near, but not yet. Not quite yet.
Under the dappled light of the full moon, Iliria
slipped beneath the waves silently.
- - -
Had it not been for my foolish error, I would
have reached the pearl before Fyora. As old as she was, the final remaining
Protector would have been no match for me. But as it was, I was forced to wait
nearby and watch as Fyora flew away with my pearl, my weapon. It was mine, not
hers. I am not yet powerful enough, but soon I will be. Soon, I will make Fyora
regret stealing what is rightfully mine. And then, then I will be unstoppable.
I will become the Darkest Faerie once more…