Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 119,635,638 Issue: 241 | 26th day of Hunting, Y8
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Knights of Altador: the Darkest Faerie's Wrath - Part One


by hob51

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Faerie City

I sat by the Rainbow Pool in Neopia Central, watching the colors shimmer in the water. Four people sat with me at the gnarled roots of the Money Tree. The first one was a spotted Kacheek named Bo. Bo and I have a lot in common, and he is a good friend. He has a sort of mellow personality, and is always pretty quiet. The second was a green Xweetok named Isabel. One second, Isabel and I could be friends, the next, vicious enemies. We're sort of both at the same time. On the other side of me, there was a shadow Grarrl named Jake. He's okay, I guess. He can be rude and arrogant at times, but he listens, and will keep a promise. Lastly, sitting on the edge of the bench was a red Acara named Samantha. Everyone calls her Sam. She's the kind of quiet nerd. She's nice, and will accept friends wherever she can get them.

     We've known each other for a pretty long time. We all go to school together, the one on the edge of Guild Street. We get along great, even though we're all a lot different and are interested in a lot of different stuff. Isabel has other friends, and she usually does a lot of stuff with them. I guess it's a girl thing. I'm fine with that. She doesn't like to hang around us at school. I think it's because she wants to be cool, and we are sort of known as losers at our school. I don't blame her, but I don't particularly care about being cool or popular or anything. As I said, we don't have a lot in common.

     Bo and I are always hanging out. We're almost like twins, because we think pretty much the same way, and are always finishing each other's sentences. Most people would probably think we were twins, if we didn't look like we were born on different sides of Neopia. I probably look like the type that would try to take a bite out of him. I mean, I'm a Lupe, and he's a Kacheek.

     Jake has an odd personality. He can be nice and rude at the same time. He sometimes hangs out with us, but mostly he's on his own. He isn't afraid to do something stupid, and seems to feel no pain whatsoever. Once, in second grade, he did a backwards flip off of the play structure. He landed on his back and bit his lip until it bled. He just laughed, like it was some big joke.

     Sam is sort of boring. I don't know if she has any friends, because I never see her except when she's studying in class. She spends all of her free time reading or sitting by the Money Tree or the Rainbow Pool. She doesn't really talk much, and has a talent for being sort of invisible.

     I am lucky having friends like these. I was born a little bit mutated. I am a red Lupe, and completely normal except for one thing: I stand on two legs, rather than four. My front legs are more like arms. My mother never told me why I was born that way. She was a red Lupe too, but walked on all fours. My father however, was one of the greatest mysteries in my life. I never knew him, and my mother would never tell me about him. She only said that he would have been a good father. She said he died the day before I was born. I wish she would tell me more, but I don't have the heart to push her for more answers, because every time I talk about him, she gets quiet and tearful.

     "Hey, look at this!" Isabel's voice penetrated the barrier of my thoughts. She was kneeling by the Money Tree holding something. She handed it to me. I inspected the slip of paper she had handed me. It took me a moment to realize what it was. It was an advertisement:

     Go to Faerie City and join the fun and excitement!

     "Want to go?" she asked hopefully. Jake peered over my shoulder at the tickets.

     "I don't wanna go to Faerieland, old lady!" he shouted. Isabel glared at him. He called everyone he didn't like, 'old lady'.

     "It could be fun," I said. "We could spin the wheel of excitement, and-"

     "GAMBLING! OH BOY!!" yelled Jake.

      I continued, "-and go into Faerie City and look at the shops… Bo, are you coming?"

     "If you guys are," he said, shrugging. This is where our adventure began.

      * * *

     I stretched out on the boat that was going to Krawk Island. We got on, so that we could get below Faerieland. From there, an air faerie would pick us up and take us to Faerie City. I wasn't sure how an air faerie could bring us all the way up there. I doubt that a faerie could carry the five of us and fly at the same time. The rowboat stopped under an enormous shadow. I looked up. The only thing visible was a huge cloud, but I knew Faerieland lay atop it. A smaller cloud was a little lower than Faerieland, and it seemed to be dropping quickly.

      As it descended, I noticed something moving on it. It came down, and hovered about a foot from the water. Sitting on it was a beautiful air faerie. As she spoke, her voice carried itself on the wind. She spoke softly, but the melodious voice entranced me.

      "Climb on, or we will be late." The five of us climbed into the cloud. Instead of being cold, it was warm, like there was a fire burning underneath it. We sank through the first few inches of the cloud, but it became denser further down, allowing us to sit on top. The air faerie closed her eyes, and slowly flapped her translucent sapphire wings. The cloud lifted, and as we got higher, it became colder and colder. We reached the top, and the cloud connected to the side of the huge base of Faerieland.

     I stepped out into Faerie City. I marveled at the vast towers and turrets rising up from the great castle.

     "Let's get a castle tour!" said Sam.

     "Don't tell me you have to take another floating cloud just to get to the weapon shop!" yelled Jake. I looked. A small building sat atop a cloud above the castle. The faded sign posted next to it said, Faerie Weapon Shop. I smiled.

     "Looks like you won't be browsing any weapon shops this time," I said. "Come on." He followed behind us, with much grumbling and complaining. We decided to get a tour of the castle. As a tour guide Mynci walked by with a small group of people, we joined the group and went to see the castle. We walked through a maze guarding the entrance of the castle.

     The guide told us some about the history of Faerieland. I listened for a while to the tour guide talking about how Queen Fyora turned the Darkest Faerie to stone, and then banished her to the bottom of the ocean near the ruins of Maraqua. He also mentioned the story of the Hidden Tower, and how the maid stumbled onto it, but I didn't listen much.

     I reached into my pocket for the bag of gummy Korbat tails. I took one out of the bag, and bit off the arrowhead tip of it. I watched as the guide navigated us through the maze of clouds. I glanced at Jake, whose head was slumped over his neck, and who looked bored. We reached the door, and entered the castle. I admired the beautiful paintings and statues displayed everywhere. Jake let out a bored sigh. After an hour of walking through the castle, listening to the tour guide drone on, I got pretty bored too.

     I was about to ask Bo, Jake, Sam, and Isabel if they wanted to leave, when I realized that Isabel wasn't with us. I looked around but didn't see her anywhere.

     "Guys," I whispered. "Where's Isabel?" No one knew. We hid behind an enormous white pillar until the tour turned the corner. When we were sure that they were gone, we started back down the decorative hallway. There was a small door that I hadn't noticed before in the hallway. It was an old-looking door that didn't really match the rest of the bright, shiny castle. I passed my hand over the intricate designs engraved in the smooth wood.

     There were vines with beekadoodles perched on the twisting knots. In the center of the door, there was a huge carving of a sun. It had twelve points, each leading to a different symbol. One was a bow and an arrow. Another was a wave, and so on. The door moved a bit. I jumped back. Slowly it creaked open. I was afraid to look inside. Isabel stuck her head out of the room, making me jump.

     "Guys! Look at this!" she hissed. We slipped into the room. I felt solid power emanating from the very room itself. Inside was something that definitely didn't belong in Faerie City. I stared, fixated.

To be continued...

 
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