The Potion of Insanity
Three faerie siblings, TorrentStorm, Dropesy__Digger, and Fire_gem_2, were out for a walk in Faerieland one day when their lives were going to be changed forever. Fire_gem_2, a beautiful Faerie Tuskaninny, whose hide was stunning shades of orange and yellow, knew from the moment she woke up that something was different. If she’d had any idea the trouble they were going to land in, she would have insisted they stay near their home rather than having a Faerie adventure. However, if she had done that, Neopia would have been destroyed.
“What is it?” Dropesy__Digger, a Faerie Bori, inquired, extending her paw to touch the strange yet beautiful artifact in Gem’s paws. Gem turned it over, trying to figure out that answer all on her own. Never before had they seen such an exotic item. It was a bottle that looked as if it been sculpted from diamonds, glittering in the sun almost blindingly. It was thin and tall, with spirals sculpted into its surface and a delicate stopper with a glass faerie sitting on top of it. Inside, they could just barely make out some sort of mysterious fluid that looked like it might be dark purple or red or maybe even blue. It had fallen out of the sky, right into her paws, as they sat on a cloud and enjoyed the pleasant weather.
“I don’t know,” Gem finally conceded, passing the bottle on to TorrentStorm, a Faerie Zafara.
Torrent was about to open her mouth and say something when a slender Dark Faerie poofed in front of them. Her eyes glittered with malice and power crackled at her fingertips.
“That would be mine,” she hissed and swiped at the precious bottle. Torrent yanked it to her chest, staring wide-eyed at the dark apparition. Before anything further could happen, a more frightening presence arrived. Jhudora suddenly exploded into view, green and purple smoke swirling about her.
“Be gone, Amarisha, you failed,” she snarled and waved her hand angrily at the other Dark Faerie. The first Faerie gave a strangled wail of frustration then vanished from sight. The three siblings were now utterly terrified and even if she had wanted to let go of the bottle, Torrent couldn’t have. She was petrified with fear.
Jhudora’s thunderous gaze turned upon them but when her eyes lit on them, her expression softened. She cooed, “Don’t be afraid. I’m not here to hurt you. I just was trying to catch Amarisha before she did something bad.”
“You mean with that?” Gem gestured to the bottle in Torrent’s stiff paws.
Jhudora nodded her head. “Yes, that is a very, very special formula.” Gem noticed the greed pass across her eyes but it was gone so quickly, she wasn’t sure her siblings had seen it. Jhudora continued, “I’ve been working on a potion for years now, trying to perfect it but I’ve failed every time until yesterday. Amarisha was my Faerie Apprentice, so she knew about my success. If I had known the treachery she was capable of...” Her voice trailed off and some of her previous darkness returned to her face.
“Did she steal this from you?” Torrent finally asked, her frightened form beginning to relax. Jhudora didn’t seem so bad, but they knew better. After all, she wasn’t just a Dark Faerie, she was The Dark Faerie.
“Yes,” she hissed and turned her back on them. “I trusted her. All these years, I’ve trusted her and she did this. She stole the very thing that has been my obsession since the beginning of time.”
Gem ventured to interrupt her. “What is it?”
Jhudora turned back to face them, her eyes glittering with mad lust for her creation. “It is a special formula that makes the drinker invincible to all forms of magic for the rest of their existence. Imagine what one could do with such a potion.” It looked as if she wanted to say more, elaborate on what she would do with such a potion, but somehow, she managed to contain herself. It didn’t matter, though; Gem knew exactly what she would do with such a potion. She would use it to take over Neopia, exactly what she would do if Fyora didn’t stand in her way.
“Can you make more?” Gem wanted to know.
Jhudora’s eyes misted over. “Sadly, no, at least not for a long time to come. Many of its ingredients are extremely rare and are only available at certain times of the year and well... it’s even more rare when they’re available all at once and the ingredients must be fresh. That is the only bottle. MY only bottle. May I have it, please?” She extended a long fingered hand with even longer nails and Gem noticed the way she was almost drooling in anticipation of getting her treasure back. A bad feeling had settled into the pit of her stomach.
However, Torrent, who never liked to be in the center of things and avoided conflict as much as possible, began to extend her paw with the bottle clasped in. Gem could not allow it. Without thinking about the consequences of her actions, she swiped the bottle from her sister and leapt back out of Jhudora’s reach. The Faerie’s face clouded over and she drew herself up to her full height.
“Give it to me,” she demanded all pretense of friendliness gone. Gem knew she was right in her decision, she just knew it even though Torrent was looking at her as if her mind had gone around the bend.
“No,” Gem insisted, clutching the bottle tightly to her chest and glaring defiantly at the Dark Faerie. Purple light began to dance at Jhudora’s fingers and before she could do something bad, Gem cried out, “Fly away.” Her sisters needed no urging and were in the sky right as purple lightning sparked across the cloud where they had been.
Afraid to look over her shoulder and see Jhudora hot on their tails, Gem flapped her wings as fast as she could, headed straight for the Faerie City. She knew that she had to get to Fyora, let her know what her evil sister was up to and hopefully she would know what to do with the potion. Great flashes of purple lightning flashed in the air around them, leaving scorched spots on the surrounded clouds and making the air crackle with electricity. Torrent was bawling like a baby and Esy shrieked every time a flash made her fur stand on end.
Then Jhudora realized how close they were to the city and how much attention she was going to draw to herself. With a threatened curse, she was gone. It took a few moments of desperate flight for Gem to realize that they were no longer being pursued.
She called out to her sisters, “It’s okay, she’s gone.”
Torrent spun on her with a fearful expression on her face. “Okay? Okay? No, it’s not okay. You’ve stolen a potion from Neopia’s most infamous evil Faerie. We’re dead Neopians flying. It’s not okay.” Esy put a delicate blue paw comfortingly on her shoulder.
“Don’t be mad at her, Torrent; she was doing what’s right. Jhudora cannot have that potion back,” she explained in a soft voice.
“Why not?” she demanded, still staring furiously at the Tuskaninny.
Gem took a deep breath. “Think about it, Torrent. If she had a potion that made her immune to all magic, what would happen?” She waited a few seconds for it to sink in, then continued, “She would take over all of Neopia and nobody could stop her. No one. You think having her after us now is bad? Just wait until Neopia is destroyed.” Torrent’s face fell as the knowledge did sink in.
“Oh sweet TNT, we can’t let her have that potion.” She stared at the bottle in Gem’s hand as if it were filled with toxic poison.
“I know, which is why I think we should go see Queen Fyora. Hopefully she’ll know what to do or at the very least, will be able to protect us from her sister,” she explained and they all nodded their heads in agreement.
“Well then, I guess it’s off to see the Queen.” Esy smiled and still recovering from their harrowing flight, they continued onward.
When they reached the palace gates, the Faerie guards stared at them menacingly.
Gem swallowed nervously. Jhudora hadn’t frightened her nearly as much as standing face to face with the queen did.
Summoning courage from some hidden source, she cleared her throat. “We’ve come to speak with Queen Fyora. Her sister, Jhudora, is plotting to overthrow her and take over all of Neopia. We have proof.” She held up the bottle. While she might be exaggerating the news they bore, she was confident that the guards would not be able to turn them away after hearing those words fall from her mouth.
The two guards looked at each other, then the tall Faerie Grarrl announced, “Follow me.” The sisters looked at each other excitedly; they were going to see the Queen. The hallways of the palace were beautiful and ornate, each one decorated in pastel violets and pinks with hints of blue and green. Gem would have loved to go slowly through, examining the priceless treasures, but they had a task at hand. Plus, the Grarrl didn’t give them a chance to admire anything.
Too soon they arrived at a set of grand doors that towered high over their heads, almost seeming to disappear into the cloudlike roof. The Grarrl held up one of his clawed paws then slipped through the doors. The siblings stood there nervously, awaiting their audience with the ruler of Faerieland. Gem had never felt so nervous in her life. She’d never been before royalty and she wondered if her clothes were acceptable or if she would accidently offend the queen with a slip of her manners. What if her sisters did? What if Queen Fyora laughed in their faces and sent them on their way? By the time the Grarrl came back , her stomach was a knot of fear and she felt as if she were going to throw up at any moment.
“The Queen will see you,” he announced gruffly then held one of the doors open so they could file through. The courtroom was even more lovely than the hallways and Gem found herself completely distracted by the display. But nothing could prepare her for the beauty of the queen.
Queen Fyora sat upon a throne that seemed as if it were sculpted from the most pure white cloud that had ever existed. Her long silky purple hair seemed to cascade about her like a waterfall and her face was so warm and kind that Gem forgot any fear she had felt.
“I hear you have news of my sister.” Her voice was as compassionate as her face, relaxing the three sisters instantly.
“Yes, she’s trying to take over Neopia,” Gem blurted.
“Is she now?” The Queen smiled and Gem had the horrible sinking feeling that she thought it was a joke.
Quickly she held up the bottle. “She made this. It’s a potion that grants the drinker invincibility to all forms of magic for as long as they exist. She planned on drinking it.”
A look all too familiar to Gem passed over Fyora’s face as she absently stroked her chin. “Really? Imagine what I could do with my sister with invincibility to her magic or...” Her voice trailed off and her expression was one belonging to someone many worlds off. Chills descended down Gem’s back. Not Queen Fyora too!
Esy sensed the same thing and suddenly spoke up. “It could also be an elaborate trap. Surely Jhudora knew you’d be the first person we brought it too and she may want you to drink it. It could be something that drains you of all your powers or turns you to stone or something else equally as bad.”
Her words yanked the queen back and she smiled greedily. “Be that as it may, that potion should be in the hands of the proper authorities, which would be myself. Please, hand it over.” She extended a hand and the scene felt all too much like the one with Jhudora. Gem knew better. While Neopia ruled by Queen Fyora would be a better place than the world ruled by Jhudora, it would be still unbalance their home and she wasn’t about to be the one to hand Fyora her greatest weapon.
“I don’t think so, your majesty,” Gem cried out and the three turned their backs upon the queen. They flew back through the door, startling the Faerie Grarrl who had been leaning against the wall, dozing off.
“Sorry and thank you,” Torrent called over her shoulder at his bewildered expression. They flew through the gorgeous halls, not slowing down to examine anything or look over their shoulders. They could hear the palace beginning to stir and they were confident it was in the search for them. Just as they flew through the entrance and past the other Grarrl guard, an alarm, loud solid bell ring, echoed across Faerieland.
“Uh oh,” Torrent whispered in fear. “That’s for us.” Gem nodded. Fyora wanted the potion bad. They could hear the sounds of pursuit but all the neopoints in their world were not enough to make Gem want to look back. She didn’t want to see how many Faerie guards were hunting them down or see Fyora’s pretty face twisted into a look of hungry greed again.
They soon found themselves on a cloud clearing and with a thunderous flash of green and purple smoke, Jhudora appeared again before them. Her expression was one of murderous rage and three siblings drew up short with cries of distress.
Jhudora’s eyes looked past them at their hunters and then back to them. “See what trouble taking my potion has caused you? Just hand it over, let it all be done.” There was a certain logic to her sense, but Gem knew what would happen if she did so. Stubbornly she shook her head “no”. Jhudora sighed and crossed her arms over her chest, a thoughtful look casting its shadow over her features. Before she could offer another reason for them to hand back over the bottle, Faerie guards surrounded them with drawn weapons. Torrent began to bawl again.
Fyora appeared next to her sister and the two gave each other evil glares before she turned her gaze back to the three. Her voice was smooth as honey, sweet and warm, but her eyes glittered with madness. “I will not use that potion for evil, like dear Jhudora would. I will put it away to gather dust, I promise.” Gem noted that the hand not reaching for the potion was tucked safely behind her back where presumably, she was crossing her fingers.
“No, I don’t trust you right now, your majesty,” she threw out and Fyora looked as if they had slapped her.
“Don’t trust me,” she sputtered indignantly and looked away. When she looked back, a dark thundercloud had twisted her pretty face. “I am your queen and you will do as I command. Give me the potion or so help me, I will take it by force.” There was an iron in her voice that let the siblings know that they would be severely hurt in the process.
Gem, feeling desperate and trapped, suddenly uncorked the bottle. There was a soft hiss and the smell of something both putrid and sweet hit the air.
“You can’t drink it,” Torrent cried out in shock and Esy shook her head in agreement. Gem gave them a look, as if she were that stupid.
Jhudora cried out, her eyes going wide with panic, “What are you doing? Please put the stopper back in and hand it over.”
Gem shook her head. “No, back off or else I will be forced to do something terrible.” Jhudora raised her hands in a helpless gesture of submission and took three small steps backwards. Gem turned her gaze upon the queen and shook the bottle warningly. Queen Fyora also took three steps backwards, her eyes frozen upon the bottle.
It was difficult not to smile triumphantly, but she still didn’t know how they were going to escape. Even if they somehow managed to fly away from here, neither Fyora or Jhudora or anyone else who found out the power of the potion would rest until they hunted them down. Feeling another stroke of genius, she suddenly turned the bottle upside down, dumping the contents onto the cloud. The rich purple liquid hit the soft surface and bubbled there with a certain glittering beauty.
Jhudora wailed in frustration and with a look of pure hate, disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Fyora gave a short cry of “no” and fell to her knees, her eyes plastered to where the cloud was already beginning to move over the potion stain, hiding it from everyone’s view. The guards all stood around uncertainly, not even really sure why they had been called out in the first place.
“Your majesty?” one asked and she became aware of everyone again, her violet eyes full of tears. She waved her hand, dismissing them, then turned her eyes back to where the potion was now fully out of sight.
Gem slowly flew over, afraid that the queen might feel vindictive and do something bad to her but feeling like she had to speak to her nonetheless. In a quavering voice, she whispered, “I’m sorry, your majesty, but madness descended upon you over this potion.” Fyora’s teary expression turned to her and she nodded slowly. There was understanding and kindness in her face again, as well as a terrible weariness and disappointment.
“I know, the thoughts of what such a potion could do possessed me,” she whimpered, very unqueenlike, “and even as I was chasing you three down, I knew it, but it was such a terrible temptation. I’m so sorry.” Forgetting for a moment that she was royalty, Gem threw her arms around the queen, squeezing her in a forgiving embrace. The queen returned the hug then pulled away, rising slowly to her feet.
“Be warned, my sister is not forgiving and will be plotting something against you. May she fail.” The queen smiled softly and then poofed away in a cloud of sparkles and pink mist.
“I like her smoke better,” Torrent spoke up absent-mindedly. Gem gave her another look; her only explanation was that her sister was crazy.
“Well, I guess we should head home and let Silent know that we need to be looking over our shoulders for a long time to come,” she sighed. A very, very long time to come. If Jhudora could make a potion that turned the drinker invincible to magic, one only knew what she could come up with in revenge.