The Beginning of the Snowager
The Snowager. The creature has been guarding its pile of treasure for as long as anyone can remember. Even the oldest neopets cannot recall it being any other way. There have been tales of victory, of prized treasures being snatched from right under its slumbering nose. But there have also been tales of defeat, stories that are told by careful owners to ensure that their pets are never overcome by greed of the monster’s items. The origin of the Snowager has been lost in the flurries of the mountain, only to exist in one pet’s memories...
The crunch of snow sounded with each step Willy took. He could feel the soft blanket of snowflakes compressing under his wide feet, and the uncomfortable trickle of melted snow as it oozed through his feathers. In his flipper, the Bruce held a small bag, containing two items that the Snow Faerie requested of him. He narrowed his blue eyes against the wind, waddling into the large igloo where Taelia took residence. She met him in the narrow hall, her pale eyes looking down at him with mingled pride and appreciation.
“Thank you, Willy. You’re prompt as always,” she said warmly, taking the package in her pale hands. She smiled down at him, and Willy grinned back, self-consciously straightening his tousled blue bow.
“Sure, no problem,” he said nonchalantly. The marketing trips for the Snow Faerie were always fairly easy, even with the limited time he was given to collect the required items and come back. And the prizes were very rewarding. He was often given neopoints for his constant efforts. Taelia smiled and flitted farther back into the igloo, and Willy followed quietly. A large room opened up in front of him with an icicle chandelier dangling elegantly from the ceiling. She had her back to him, appearing to be sorting out items for a spell.
“I have another quest for you, if you have the time. I hope you do, it’s very important.” She spun around to face him, her expression suddenly imploring. She saw his bewildered expression and her face softened into a smile. “Please? I’m sure it won’t take very long.”
Willy nodded eagerly, and waited for her to explain. If the Snow Faerie desired him to do this quest so much, then the award would be wonderful.
“I do not believe it will take you very long because you can find this item right in the Ice Caves. I need you to find me an Ultimate Icy Negg. Find it quickly, and your rewards will be great.”
Willy nodded and padded out of the den, his eyebrows furrowed in determination. He raised his flipper to shield his eyes as he stepped out into the cold, the snow falling so thickly that he could not distinguish the individual flakes. It fell in a solid sheet of white. He stumbled forward blindly, his eyes brimming with frustration. How could he find the Negg in these conditions? The Bruce moved forward, relying on what he had seen of the mountain from his frequent trips for quests as his guide.
I think the Ice Caves are in this direction... he thought to himself, his pale blue flippers stretched out in front of him. The last thing he wanted was to knock into something.
Suddenly, he felt a strange abyss under his feet, and his head spun as he scrambled to hold onto something. He caught the jagged edge of the mountain, and his heart beat increased in panic. Willy struggled, trying to heave himself back to safety. He thought of calling out for help, but the regular Neopet visitors had all gone home to stay indoors during the dangerous blizzard. The only sounds around him were the swirling wind currents and his own uneven breathing.
His feet scrabbled at the cliff face and he found a small ledge to push up from. He gathered every ounce of his remaining strength and pushed. To his relief, he felt firm ground beneath his feet once more. The snow had cleared slightly, enough for him to get a sense of his position, and he pressed on.
He entered the Ice Caves, relieved that the cold blizzard was behind him, even if for just a few moments. He shook himself, a small swirl of clinging snowflakes falling to the ground. He stared above him at the rows and rows of icicles on the top of the caves. He tried to see an end to them, but they stretched beyond his vision, further into the cave to be engulfed by shadows. Light bounced off of the shining ice caverns, and small sparkles shimmered throughout the cave. The pleasant atmosphere almost made it worth stumbling through the blizzard. He recalled that he was pressed for time and padded quickly up to a green Bori who was about to go into the Ice Arena.
“Excuse me, but do you know where I can find an Ultimate Icy Negg?” he asked, tapping the neopet on the shoulder with his flipper.
The Bori turned cheerfully towards him, gesturing to small caves that lined the wall. “I bet you could find one for free in those! I picked up a neat Blue Negg in that cave once.” He lifted his nose to the largest cave, icicles hanging from the top like teeth from a gaping mouth.
Willy nodded confidently, thanking the helpful Bori before setting off towards the largest cave. As he reached the entrance, his confidence faltered. What was in here? But it appeared to be empty, except for a shadowed pile of items and a rhythmic drip of water from somewhere in its depths. He stepped in, the cold ice floor of the large cave pricking at his feet as if he were stepping on something sharp.
The cave was silent. Willy waddled towards the pile of items, and he stared up at it in wonder. It consisted mostly of plushies, neggs, toys, and clothes, but who knew what else was nestled in its center. They were the castaways of other pets. Pushing his astonishment aside and resisting the urge to grab as much as he could carry and leave, he focused once more on his task.
Near the bottom was a shiny, ice cold oval that could only be the Ultimate Icy Negg. Willy reached forward and pulled it out from the pile, bringing it into his arms and padding quickly out of the cave. He was beaming with pride of finding the negg, and his mind started to wander as he thought of what Taelia might give him for this demanding expedition.
It was then when he heard a sharp, ominous crack. He looked down to see that the negg was cracking! He fumbled with it in his flippers, overwhelmed by alarm. A sharp blue nose poked out from the negg, nostrils flaring and small, sharp teeth snapping at the air. Willy dropped the negg in surprise, watching as it landed safely in a snow bank at his feet.
He was frozen on the spot as he watched a creature hatch from the negg. No, he realized. It was an egg. The creature slithered out, its blue striped body and sharp eyes flickering to him. It hissed menacingly and padded towards him on unsteady legs, but its small, pointed teeth still posed a threat. Willy finally found control of himself and ran, across the snow covered mountain and back towards his neohome, forgetting completely about his quest.
Back at the Ice Caves, the creature slithered back to the pile of items, climbing it steadily and nestling onto the top of the pile to sleep. It curled its tail around a ragged Ixi plushie and began its slumber.
Willy arrived soon at his neohome, panting and wild eyed. His owner, Marie, came to the door, her eyes narrowed in mingled relief and exasperation. “Willy! Where have you been? You should have been done with your Snow Faerie quest a long time ago. You can go back tomorrow.”
“I-I don’t want to go back. I’m done with quests,” he said firmly, shouldering his way into the safety of his home. He flopped onto the couch, and Marie walked over to sit beside him.
“Alright, if you’re sure,” she said with a shrug. She turned to him curiously. “What did you find today, anyway?”
Willy shook his head. “Honestly, I have no idea.”