Hissi Isle: Part Two
Part II – Sentrosi
Sentrosi entered the throne room hesitantly. "Kamedyc?" she asked into the cold, seemingly empty, room.
"I'm here," came Kamedyc's reply.
Sentrosi then spotted the blue Hissi sitting in a dark spot beside his throne. Sentrosi moved closer and she could see him turning the amulet over and over in his hand. "Sire, I have good news. Captain Splosive has arrived with a new shipment of supplies."
Kamedyc turned to her with a sigh. "That is indeed good news. I am sorry I cannot be of any help to the Neopians here. Splosive is a true friend to us all."
Sentrosi smiled. "She is that. Also, one of her crew members had a new suggestion for helping us. Apparently there is a Faerie Queen in another land that knows a lot about magical things. Maybe she can help us figure out how to find Ryikea."
Kamedyc seemed to brighten up a little at this thought. "You think she'd know who this sorceress is that kidnapped my sister?"
"I think it's worth finding out," Sentrosi replied.
"I agree," Kamedyc said, trailing off. "Anything to save my sister." Kamedyc seemed to gaze into nowhere for a moment.
Sentrosi cleared her throa. "I think I should accompany Splosive to see this Queen. I think I can best explain our situation."
Kamedyc looked at her, surprised. "You are my best friend here, Sentrosi. I do think you are right, though; you know all the ins and outs of the search for Ryikea. I will sorely miss your friendship while you're gone."
"Hopefully it won't take too long," Sentrosi replied reassuringly. "I am surely not looking forward to sailing through those storms, but Splosive is the best Captain there is."
"Best ship Captain," Kamedyc pointed out. "You're the best Captain here though. Hurry home again and hopefully we can find my sister at long last."
Sentrosi smiled at him once more, then swept out the room, intent on setting out as soon as possible.
An hour later Sentrosi found herself standing beside Splosive as she ordered her crew to set sail once again. Sentrosi was feeling a lot less confident than she had been a short time ago. The ship was starting to move away from the island and into the thick fog. Splosive glanced her way then started laughing, causing Sentrosi to jump. "Ye look like yer skin is about to jump off yer bones," Splosive laughed. "Relax, I'm no guppie. We'll be through it in no time."
Sentrosi smiled a little back at Splosive but she wasn't entirely reassured. The ship rocked slowly and gently, back and forth. The motion did little to put her at ease. The fog began to enshroud the ship; before long she couldn't even see Splosive standing beside her.
"All right crew, ye best get ready. It's about to pull us out!" Splosive called to the crew. Then, to Sentrosi, "Ye'd best find something to hold on to, this is going to get rough for a minute."
Sentrosi shuffled carefully to the side, grabbing a rail when she came to it. Suddenly she realized the fog was lightening up and what was left of it was swirling madly. Before long the fog was gone and Sentrosi gasped as she saw a giant whirlpool.
"Steady, mateys!" Splosive called.
"Steady?" Sentrosi gasped. "We're headed right for it!"
"That be the plan," Splosive replied.
The plan? Splosive must be mad! "No, no," Sentrosi thought to herself. "Splosive has done this before. She knows what she's doing... I hope."
Sentrosi gripped the rail tighter as Splosive started yelling directions to her crew. The ship began to move faster and Sentrosi could feel the whirlpool pulling them. They began to move with the outer waves around the whirlpool and Sentrosi could see inside. The vortex went down, seemingly forever. Suddenly the ship lurched to the right and amazingly they began to move away from the whirlpool. "How did you do that?" Sentrosi asked, shocked.
Splosive grinned at her. "Take a look on the other side of me ship," she replied with a wink.
Sentrosi rushed over to the other side, only to see yet another gigantic whirlpool, even bigger than the first! "Whoa," Sentrosi murmured to herself as Splosive stepped up beside her.
"Pretty simple really," Splosive said, amused. "The smaller one starts to pull us in, then the bigger one pulls us out, just enough to break free of 'em both."
"You do that every time you come here?"
"About that, the whirlpools move and change, so I have to pick where's best to go. Sometimes we be able to slip right between two smaller ones."
"You're braver than me," Sentrosi replied, still amazed.
After moving past the whirlpools the ocean began to settle until the ship was once again rocking gently. Sentrosi nearly fell asleep standing up, so Splosive shooed her off to get some rest. The next few days were relatively uneventful. Sentrosi spent her time talking to the crew and learning all about sailing. She, in turn, told them all about her adventures as Captain of the Guard, though they seemed to pale in comparison. The crew found it all interesting, though, and it helped to pass time.
Finally one day Dare flew down from the crow's nest excitedly. "I can see it!" he said, bouncing lightly on his toes. "We're approaching Faerieland!"
Splosive groaned a little. "All right, thank ye, Dare."
Dare then turned to Sentrosi. "Want to come up and see?"
"Sure!" Sentrosi replied, she'd never seen another land beyond her island before. She followed Dare up to the crow's nest, and scanned the horizon. There, in the distance, was land. It stretched in both directions as far as she could see. "It's so big! Is that all Faerieland?" Sentrosi asked.
Dare giggled. "Not all of it, there's many lands all across Neopia. Faerieland is just a small part of it."
As they drew closer to land Sentrosi could finally see more clearly what area Dare was referring to. "It's so green!" Sentrosi exclaimed loudly.
"And pink!" Splosive called up to them in disgust.
Dare started giggling again. "It actually didn't use to be so green. The Faerieland I lived in was in the clouds, high in the sky."
Sentrosi looked up towards the clouds. "Must have been quite a view from there."
"Yes," Dare nodded, "and quite a fall too."
Sentrosi stared at him curiously. "You said before that it fell, how come?"
"Well," Dare replied looking up at the clouds, "we had an evil sorceress too. She turned all the faeries to stone. Without their magic to keep Faerieland aloft it came crashing down."
"So what happened to you?"
Dare tilted his head a little. "When it was falling I escaped, though not very easily. I had hurt my right wing when it started falling and things started crashing around inside our homes. I got out and jumped. I could use my left wing just enough to slow my fall but I couldn't guide myself towards land. I crashed right into the ocean."
"Sounds scary," Sentrosi murmured.
Dare nodded slowly. "Yeah, it was... but luckily for me I just happened to crash into the water right by The Surzard."
"So that's how you came to be on her ship," Sentrosi mused.
"Yup, and I remember the first thing she said to me after they hauled me out of the water."
"What's that?" Sentrosi inquired.
"There be nothing worse than a wet cat!" Dare mimicked, laughing.
Splosive stopped The Surzard a ways off shore and the following day she sent Dare and Sentrosi to shore with a young spotted Cybunny named Lokim. "Aren't you coming?" Sentrosi asked Splosive as Shadow began lowering the dingy.
"No, ye be better off without me. Pirates aren't usually welcomed, ye and Dare will be less conspicuous this way. Lokim can blend in and get some supplies while ye be seeking council with the Queen." Sentrosi nodded as the boat hit the water, then turned to help row ashore.
They glided to a gentle stop on the white sands of the beach and hauled the boat ashore. Sentrosi looked up, there was a path leading up to Faerieland which sat somewhere above them beyond the trees. Dare came up beside her. "It'll be faster if we fly up," he turned to Lokim, "If you don't mind that is. We've got to get up to the castle as early as we can if we hope to see the queen today."
Lokim, who couldn't fly, gave Dare a nod. "That's all right, I wouldn't mind a quiet stroll up."
Dare grinned and then bounded into the air, Sentrosi rushing to follow. "Wow, you are fast!" Sentrosi exclaimed, panting a little.
Dare laughed. "A long time ago a friend and I used to race around the castle towers. I've had lots of practice!"
Sentrosi smiled and just then they crested the hill and she could see Faerieland before her. The green glade was speckled with pink buildings, fountains and waterfalls. Dare settled into a gentle glide beside her and pointed out the Faerie's castle. It was huge, at least three times the size of the castle back home. The pink, though, was a bit obnoxious and she could see why Splosive didn't care for it. Sentrosi spent the rest of the short flight to the castle admiring all the shops from above. They sold more things than she had ever imagined existed.
After the short flight over the city, Dare and Sentrosi landed lightly in front of the giant doors that led into the castle. After a cursory glance, the guards opened the doors to admit them. As they walked inside Sentrosi was awed at the size of the great hall. She was so busy staring around her she barely noticed as Dare made them an appointment to see the queen. Finally she felt a light shove from Dare. "Hum? What, Dare?"
"We can see the Queen shortly, in the meantime they asked us to wait in the royal gardens."
"Oh," Sentrosi smiled a little sheepishly. "Everything is so different here it seems I can't help myself, I end up staring into space."
Dare laughed a little and led her outside to the gardens.
For the first time Sentrosi really felt the warmth of the day, she sprawled out on a small bench and sighed. "The sun feels so good."
After a few minutes Dare's face hovered above hers. "So how did you get to be Captain of the Guard?" he asked out of the blue.
Sentrosi blinked. "Well, Kamedyc and I knew each other since we were really young. I was a bit older than him, we loved to play sword fight but I always won." Sentrosi laughed, "I guess I made an impression. Besides, we always enjoyed each other's company."
Dare grinned. "Sword fighting! I never did that, mostly just racing with my friends through the clouds."
They both glanced up at the clouds for a few minutes but were interrupted by one of the faerie queen's guards. "The Queen will see you now."
Sentrosi got up and nervously followed Dare into the council room. She was surprised, and a little relieved, to find it empty except for the Queen and a small Usul who seemed to be a secretary. They approached the Queen and bowed. Sentrosi had never seen a faerie before and found it hard to not stare at her as Dare introduced them. "Queen Fyora," Dare began, "my name is Dare and I bring to you a friend, Sentrosi, who seeks your aid."
The Queen smiled and nodded to Dare. "Yes Dare, I remember you. It's good to see you are well." Then she turned to Sentrosi, "I have never met you before but welcome, what is it I can do for you, Sentrosi?"
Sentrosi swallowed a little nervousness down and then began, "You haven't met me because I come from a tiny island in the Neopian ocean." She then recounted the same story she had told to Dare.
Queen Fyora seemed to listen very carefully and when Sentrosi stopped she asked, "What more can you tell me about this sorceress?"
Sentrosi thought back. "Well, we had seen her around before, though nobody really knows where she came from. She just appeared one day on the island, as an ice Krawk it was pretty obvious she was new there. She seemed nice enough at first, really interested in books. Spent a lot of time in the castle library reading but mostly keeping to herself. On King Kamedyc's coronation night she appeared suddenly, from thin air! She tackled the King and they fought briefly. I was rushing over to get to them when she turned suddenly, grabbing Ryikea and vanished again. I sent my guard out to find them but none could and... one of my guard also disappeared that night after I sent him out with the others."
The Queen seemed to consider this for a few moments. "I believe this sorceress wasn't after Ryikea." Sentrosi froze in place wondering what that could mean, the Queen then continued, "I think she was going to steal that amulet, then realizing she couldn't she kidnapped his sister. You haven't heard from that sorceress since?" Sentrosi shook her head slowly, amazed at how perceptive the Faerie Queen was. "Then we need to know more about this amulet. I expect the sorceress wanted it for her own."
Sentrosi jumped in, "No, the amulet doesn't work that way. She can't have used it even if she got it from the king."
Queen Fyora nodded. "I have a feeling the sorceress did not know that. Perhaps she intends to use Ryikea to get the king to do her bidding."
Sentrosi's heart dropped at this thought. She didn't know if it was possible but it seems the sorceress was already controlling the island to a point by making King Kamedyc so sad. If it hadn't been for Captain Splosive's kindness the people of the island would have starved long ago. Moreover she had left Kamedyc alone, what if the sorceress threatened him with harming Ryikea while she was gone?
The Queen spoke again, rousing Sentrosi from her thoughts. "Let's call in my expert on magical artifacts and see if he knows anything more. Bonbon please go retrieve Mr. Artus." The secretary hopped up and shuffled out of the room quickly. A few moments later a rather large Faerie Elephante came into the room. "Ah Mr. Artus, we need your assistance." Sentrosi then explained all she knew about the King's Amulet to the Elephante. He paid rapt attention and just as she was finishing he perked up and rushed out of the room. Sentrosi stared after him blankly. In a few moments he came running back inside carrying a large purple tome. He plopped it on the desk, sending dust flecks flying into the air. Sentrosi thought she saw the Queen roll her eyes a little.
"Here we go, here we go..." the faerie Elephante announced in a voice that seemed all too gruff for a faerie. "Yes, no name was ever given but a magical artifact was once described that sounds very much like your amulet. It was created by a faerie of old but very little is known of that faerie. It was thought to be a lost artifact though it sounds so very like yours that it must be the same. I expect that faerie created the mists and whirlpools around the island to keep the Amulet safe and isolated. It was considered dangerous for one to have so much control over their environment." He abruptly slammed the tome shut, causing even more dust to fly and Dare sneezed in response.
Sentrosi stared at the Elephante wide-eyed. "So you don't know anything more about it?"
"You know more than I do, I'm afraid but I do have one thought for you. Based on my experience with similar artifacts your King should be able to use the Amulet to find his sister."
Sentrosi blinked at him. "But if he has been desiring to find his sister, shouldn't that have worked already if the amulet can find her?"
The Elephante sighed. "Perhaps, but perhaps not. He's likely been confused, lost and even a little scared for his sister. Such strong feelings can overwhelm your heart and fear can have an unintended effect. He may be too scared to find his sister, afraid of what may have happened. The amulet can sense that and thus it won't help him find her. If he were to push aside his fear and focus only on finding her, I think it will help. Probably the faerie isolated the amulet to your island so it couldn't control more of Neopia. Sometimes it is hard to control one's feelings and that can be disastrous as you well know by now."
Mr. Artus then shuffled out of the room quietly carrying his tome. The silence in the room seemed almost overwhelming as Sentrosi considered the possibility that he was right. Even when they were young Sentrosi often had to be brave for Kamedyc. Now she knew she had to help him be brave for himself and his sister. With a renewed sense of hope Sentrosi turned, "Queen Fyora, I must go back and help Kamedyc."
"Yes, I know." The Queen smiled at her. "You are brave and I hope you can help your king. Hurry home and don't hesitate to come back to Faerieland if ever you need help again." Sentrosi smiled broadly and bowed quickly. She rushed out of the room barely hearing Dare thanking the Queen for her help.
To be continued...