I apologize for not writing sooner. You’ll never believe how far we had to walk from Shadow Gulch in order to get to the bottom of the Case of the Haunted Woods’ Eternal Sunshine, or at least that’s what Mipsy and Velm have decided to call it. First, we had to see Count Von Roo and wound up having to deal with Meuka as well, and then the vampire pointed us to the Cave of Dark Things to find the Spider Grundo. Then he shooed us away, which is another way of saying that we left quickly before he decided to keep us around to help clean up the snot.
Needless to say, that wasn’t the last time we saw snot. Some monsters lurking around here are made of them; I swear there were even living pools of pond scum! I couldn’t wait until our next stop so I could have a proper bath and scrub every trace of slime off my sword and armor. I remember this one time when Mipsy decided to try a new spell she learned against the pond scum; we were all covered in the green stuff when she was finished.
That’s the story in a nutshell so far. If I remember anything else, I could tell you in my next letter. Right now, we’ve stopped at Augur Faunt’s place, close to Balthazar’s grove. By the way, he’s a Bruce who sells potions, weapons and armor but has had very tough competition at Shadow Gulch; I have to introduce you two to each other sometime.
You won’t believe what happened – Balthazar has turned into a faerie fanatic. Four of them cast some spell on him and his entire grove, which is now so cheerful that it’s sickening. I’m sure you can guess where we come in – we’ll be fighting the faeries pretty soon. The Brain Tree has even offered to help, making sure we aren’t haunted while we’re resting. Otherwise, we constantly have to be on our guard. Augur’s house is full of ghosts and other weird creatures.
And I thought things here at the Haunted Woods were crazy enough with the sun being up, and we’re the ones who have to find a way to bring it down and make sure the Woods are dark once again.
Maybe when I finally return home, I’m going to retire from adventuring, live a quiet life, and focus on writing my memoirs.
Have you been reading the Neopian Times lately? Even Faerieland’s got problems now, what with the rebellions always making the headlines. Queen Fyora is trying to control them, but it seems that with every uprising they stop, another one starts. It’s enough to almost make me wish that we would be taken to Faerieland next to help, even if it means being away from home even longer.
I know, I know, I sound insane. It must be all the adventuring.
* * *
I started writing this letter somewhere in the wilderness in the hopes that by the time we get to another town, all I have to do is to send it along with another, which should be attached. If it’s gone, you know someone’s been tampering with the mail. But I highly doubt that.
It’s kind of odd; while Mipsy and Velm are whispering incantations under their breath and while Talinia works on her aim, I’m sitting here on an old, mossy log, trying to write to you. I can imagine you saying with that smirk on your face, “My little brother cares so much about me that he even skipped practice just to write!”
I do care, but I don’t skip practice. I wrapped it up before putting pen to paper.
The faeries are gone now, but it was a long battle. Luckily Augur’s potions helped us out – he had all kinds, from slowing to damaging ones, and we bought them all. Yes, we somehow manage to have enough money for these things. But I still wonder what it’s like to have a stable business like yours. You’re probably earning more than I am, what with you whittling bows and forging swords all day long.
Balthazar, after the spell was broken, referred us to Hubrid Nox. I don’t get it; why isn’t anyone telling us anything? Velm tells me they love leading us around like a pack of gullible Puppyblews and I think he has a point.
Jokes aside, we’re trying to put everything together. First, Von Roo blames Balthazar, Hubrid Nox and the Spider Grundo. Then the Spider Grundo claims that he’s been under a spell, and then Balthazar blames Hubrid Nox, whom we have to find.
Talinia – yes, we’re discussing this as I write to you – says that it’s possible that all of them really don’t know much and there’s a higher power at work. Hubrid Nox? That’s what we’re going to find out.
I’m going to be a little off-topic here and say that the situation in Faerieland is getting worse every day. I have other things to deal with here, but I feel so useless, and I want to do something more.
Insane as always,
* * *
Yes, you are currently holding three letters – assuming of course, you got all of them.
We haven’t found any towns yet since Shadow Gulch, and perhaps the mailpets aren’t too fond of the sun – or going through this part of the Haunted Woods.
Since it’s pretty quiet here in this swamp and we’re taking a break, I decided to write again even though I was already carrying two unsent letters. Maybe it’s because I want to record my adventures, but for what I don’t know yet. I could be starting my memoirs right now.
We just left Hubrid Nox’s fortress, and he told us to find Edna. And yes, we had to beat that information out of him first. Mipsy nearly went down twice, but Velm never failed to get to her in time. It was a long, hard fight.
I hope Edna’s tower is our last stop. Then I can finally return home – and if I still can’t send these letters, I may as well take them with me on my way back to Meridell and thrust them into your hands.
Looks like it’s time to get moving again. That crazy Chia didn’t even give us a map of this swamp. At least Talinia’s scouting ahead of us; lucky Eyrie, she can fly and doesn’t have to stomp through all this muck.
* * *
I apologize for giving you so much to read and think about – even though you don’t really mind me telling you a lot about our escapades in the Haunted Woods.
We made it at last through the Esophagor’s domain and got out alive; we even had to fight him, and though he couldn’t move much, that wasn’t easy, what with those great rock fists of his. After the battle, we had to stop for a bit and tend to our injuries. Velm worked so hard that he nearly passed out and we had to support him till we got to Edna’s tower.
The witch, apparently, was casting a spell that went wrong. Instead of making sure the Haunted Woods stayed dark, she accidentally... well, “stuck the sun up in the sky” is one way to say it. After we told her everything, from getting rid of Meuka in Count Von Roo’s castle to clashing with the Esophagor, and after she told her side of the story, Edna chased us out, saying that if she took in adventurers for the night, it would ruin her image.
As I write this, not only am I currently hoping for a way to mail all my letters to you at last, but my friends and I are on our way to Faerieland.
The uprisings are now a full-blown war, and yes, I got my wish.
Captain Eirene and Private Cleio, two air faeries of the Queen’s Guard, landed their carriage (Velm said it looked like a great blue squash with wings, and Mipsy agreed with him) not too far from Edna’s tower, saying that Mipsy, Talinia, Velm and I were needed in Faerieland. Someone has unseated and captured Fyora, someone who could be behind the rebellions – oh, you’ve probably heard everything by now. On top of all that, the faeries say that we could be in a prophecy, and I swear that Eirene looked straight at me when she said that.
I’m in a prophecy? Great. Fantastic. There should be a better way to show my sarcasm on paper.
Sarcasm aside, and even though I know there’s still so much ahead of us and we can’t part ways and return to our ordinary lives yet, I’m kind of excited. I’ve never been to Faerieland, and as I’ve said, I got my wish, and now we got the chance to fight in the war and hopefully save Faerieland – and Queen Fyora.
But it looks like I won’t be going home for a while, sadly. I may have finally finished all the letters about our adventures in the Haunted Woods, but our journey is far, far from finished.
“Wow, he’s been writing a lot to Reuben... he’s his brother, right?” asked Private Cleio as she tied her hair back into a tight golden ponytail and named the white Blumaroo who was the supposed recipient of all the letters. “Maybe when we get to Faerieland there’ll be a messenger up for the job.”
“And maybe there won’t,” said her superior officer. “Cleio, I know you’re trying to be optimistic here, but considering the status quo of Faerieland, messengers have other more important jobs...” Captain Eirene glanced over her shoulder at the dozing yellow Blumaroo who sat at the back, whose head slumped against the cushioned wall of the carriage. As he slept, he hung onto sheets of paper all filled with his neat penmanship.
The green Eyrie sitting on Cleio’s other side glanced up from where she was inspecting her bow. “I wish Reuben could read all those letters Rohane wrote. It’s amazing how he still finds time to write to his older brother despite everything we’ve been doing.”
“I couldn’t agree more, Talinia,” said the younger air faerie.
Mipsy joined their conversation after stifling a yawn and smoothing out her robes. “What’s more amazing is that even though we couldn’t find any means to mail those letters back in the Haunted Woods, he still continued writing every chance he got.”
“By the time he returns home, he’ll have enough letters for a book,” Velm quipped with a crooked grin. “Considering Faerieland’s situation, it may not be possible to send anything without interception or lack of messengers.” The red Techo sighed. “I’d hate to break it to Rohane, but...”
The blue Acara shook her head, her lips curling into a small smile. “Knowing him, it won’t affect his fighting spirit anyway. And if it does, we’ll be there to get him back on track.”
Talinia glanced out the window at the rolling white clouds they passed by. “I think he has enough common sense to know that his letters will stay unsent for a while anyway.”
And when she looked over her shoulder at the slumbering warrior, the Eyrie could have sworn she saw Rohane’s fingers twitch over his letters, as if he were writing in his dreams.