Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 194,151,536 Issue: 742 | 29th day of Swimming, Y18
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Origins of the Hidden Tower's Antiquities


by rebourne_

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Concealed behind a veil of powerful Faerie magic lies one of Neopia's tallest towers, completely invisible to the naked eye. The Hidden Tower is home to an impressive collection of rare and extravagant artifacts, ranging from devastating battledome weapons to luxurious hand-made dolls. Owned by the one and only Queen Fyora, this soaring vault of treasures is her most guarded secret, which is why this elusive tower is only accessible to the elite and most-well established set of Neopians.

When you gaze upon the vast array of antiquities, do you ever wonder how the Queen of Faerieland came to possess such rarities? I certainly felt the begging curiosity of how each item came to be. A few days ago I had the golden opportunity to sit down with Queen Fyora over burritos and tea to ask her about the story behind her artifacts. The Queen was gracious enough to invite me inside her sanctum to give me a personal tour of the Hidden Tower. We stepped through the portal which brought the Queen and I in front of a magnificent wooden door. With a dramatic flourish, she opened the door, revealing an opulent stone room lined with shelf upon shelf of every Neopian's desires. Moving on to the first shelf, Queen Fyora placed a gentle hand on a gleaming object, humming with power and ancient magic. "This here is one of my most prized possessions," the elegant Queen beamed. And so begins the history of each unique item in the Hidden Tower. Although I wish I could retell them all to you, Queen Fyora has asked me to omit the darker and more macabre stories (understandably so). Without further ado, I bring to you the origins of the Hidden Tower's antiquities!

Hubrids Puzzle Box

    Few possess the finesse and intellectual prowess to unlock the secrets hidden inside the enigmatic Battledome weapon that is Hubrids Puzzle Box. At first a seemingly small and innocuous toy, the Puzzle Box gradually unfolds into a statue of the malevolent Hubrid Nox himself, dealing monstrous amounts of damage especially to high hit-point behemoths in the battledome. The secret behind this enormous reserve of power? "The essence of Hubrid Nox himself." Queen Fyora told me with an apathetic look, as if the notion of such a horrid thing did not faze her one bit.

Many years ago Hubrid Nox was captured and imprisoned within the cold stone walls of Faerieland prison for breaking international laws on summoning the undead. The evil Chia had many close attempts to escape his prison cell, conjuring undead minions and ghosts to scare away prison guards. In order to ensure maximum security and containment of the cunning warlock, Queen Fyora cast a spell on Hubrid Nox to sap him of his magical energy. She soon realized that the immense power sourced from Nox's energy could be harnessed in a weapon to defeat the forces of evil. To the humble Queen, it was simply a revelation of "fighting fire with fire". The ingenious thing about this weapon, however, is its deceptively curious and harmless appearance. Opponents may initially laugh at the tiny little toy-looking apparatus... but who will have the last laugh after a few twists and turns of Hubrid's Puzzle Box?

Baby Paint Brush

As one of the most purchased items in the Hidden Tower, the Baby Paint Brush requires patience and mastery of magic to produce. Before the Baby Paint Brush was invented, a wealthy Neopian once approached Queen Fyora and asked if she could make his pet young again. Fyora had never been asked of such a task before, but was enticed by the large sum of Neopoints the Neopian offered her. She needed a new spell to perform such a feat, but no matter how hard she tried, she could not reduce the aging of her experimental subjects (those poor Faellies)! A brilliant idea came to her one morning when she passed by the Fountain Faerie at the Rainbow Pool.

"I thought, 'if you cannot make a pet young again, why not make the pet look young again?'" Queen Fyora said matter-of-factly. "And the Fountain Faerie was the perfect faerie to help me achieve this." So together the two faeries toiled over various spells and recipes to produce the first Baby Paint Brush - a magical marvel that wonderously alters your Neopets appearance to that of a cute little baby!

    Mask of Coltzan

    On her bold expedition to the Lost Desert, Queen Fyora and her fellow adventurers stumbled upon a mystical shrine standing tall in the middle of the Sakhmetian desert. "I sensed a great aura of power," Queen Fyora recounted. "And that power belonged to a benevolent spirit." One of the native guides warned Queen Fyora that it was the shrine of the venerated King Coltzan III. The guide trembled as he spoke, seemingly afraid of approaching the shrine. "I am unworthy... I have done bad things... I am unworthy!"

The Faerie Queen laid down her staff and requested her fellow Faeries and guides to stay behind. She approached the humming shrine slowly, feeling the sand's heat penetrating through the soles of her shoes. Suddenly, a ghostly form materialized in front of her. The Queen knew immediately that it was the spirit of King Coltzan, and she bowed her head in respect. "You have done great things for many Neopians..." A deep, ethereal voice boomed. Queen Fyora looked around, noticing that the other travellers did not seem to hear the voice. "May the Sun guide you to your reward..." The voice continued. As quick as it had appeared, the vision of King Coltzan's ghost vanished. The Faerie Queen did not know if she had just experienced a mirage - a hallucination from the punishing arid air of the desert. But she knew she had to follow the Sun.

After three grueling days in the desert, Fyora and her pack reached a towering pyramid, flanked by two huge statues of Anubis guards. To their amazement, the interior of the pyramid laid untouched, overflowing with ancient Sakhmetian treasures. In the deepest layer of the pyramid, Fyora found what appeared to be King Coltzan's tomb. On the surface of his sarcophagus was a gleaming golden mask of Coltzan's face. Although the adventurers wanted to bring the mask back with them, Queen Fyora would not allow it. She respected the ancient King and was already more than satisfied with her loot. Upon returning to her home in Faerieland, the Queen was greeted with a familiar gold mask resting on her bed.

He wanted me to have it. There is no debate about that." Fyora confidently added.

Squeezy Tombola Guy Toy

Unlike the other items in the tower, which are powerful, beautiful or imbued with memories, this toy serves only one purpose: to prove that Queen Fyora herself has a sense of humor. What is a leader without the ability to laugh after all? Of course, why she chose the Tombola Guy to be her squeezy toy is a bit of a mystery. When I asked, her pink lips pursed. "Let's just say I have been underwhelmed by the prizes distributed in Tombola." Sensing a storm brewing, I quickly tried to diffuse the tension. "Well, my Queen, not everyone can gather a collection as unique and powerful as you have here." My words instantly mollified her, to my great relief. I didn't want to her to accidentally unleash some Glittery Faerie Dust on me! And now, thanks to Queen Fyora, we can smother the Tombola Guy's lookalike! The Queen challenges all Neopians to squeeze the obnoxiously bright toy. She guarantees his squeaks will bring a smile to your face!

Jhudora's Crystal Ball

According to the elegant Faerie Queen, she has no worries about me writing this as she is absolutely sure that Jhudora does not read the Neopian Times. Let's hope that the Dark Faerie does not decide to pick up this issue, because the story of how her crystal ball ended up in Fyora's collection is sure to cause a bit of a Faerie flurry!

Every year thousands of complaints from concerned Neopians are sent to the Faerie headquarters. Out of these, about ninety percent are to do with Jhudora. From having an innocent petpet turned into a Slorg, to Meepits raining down on an unsuspecting Neopian's garden, Queen Fyora has heard it all. But being the cautious and perceptive Dark Faerie that she is, there has never been enough proof to implicate Jhudora of these heinous acts. Until one day, Fyora received word that Jhudora was collecting suspicious material from naive Neopians. Residents living near her decaying castle reported that thundering bangs and louder-than-usual cackling had been emanating from there. Concerned that the Dark Faerie may be plotting a nefarious event, she ordered an official search of Jhudora's castle. To Jhudora's dismay, the Queen and her guards upturned every nook and cranny of the purple castle, eager to find something that could finally pin the Dark Faerie to an evil crime. Jhudora hovered anxiously, screaming at the careless guards rummaging through her potions and elixirs. "Be careful of the potion containers! They're made of- " CRASH! glass..."

In the end, Fyora and her crew could not find anything incriminating and had no choice but to end the search, leaving a very flustered Jhudora, who zapped the hair off one of the guards. Although there was no evidence of evil plotting, Queen Fyora had found an ominous-looking crystal ball sitting in Jhudora's room that she decided to quietly slip into her pocket unbeknownst to the Dark Faerie.

You cannot leave Jhudora's lair without bringing back a souvenir." The Faerie Queen admitted with a sly wink.

Slorg Flakes

Speaking of Jhudora and her evil concoctions, this jar of gooey green mixture was given to the Faerie Queen as a sort of 'peace offering' (if that word even exists in Jhudora's lexicon). Many years after the aforementioned search warrant incident, tensions between Illusen and Jhudora began spiralling out of control. It started with Illusen throwing accusations at Jhudora, loudly announcing that she witnessed the Dark Faerie practicing forbidden magic and conspiring to overthrow the Faerieland government. Although there was no solid evidence to back Illusen's claims, Jhudora suffered an even more tainted reputation afterwards. The Dark Faerie had noticed that less Neopians were visiting her cloud to do her bidding, which meant less procurements and ingredients for her spells. In a vengeful fit, Jhudora vandalized every portrait of Illusen that had ever been made and spread rumours that the Earth Faerie ate petpets. However, the catalyst that escalated their animosity to its peak was when Jhudora challenged Illusen to a race in their cloud-karts and laid a curse on Illusen's kart so that it would turn into a pile of Slorgs. Suddenly, the racing track became a danger zone as the two Faeries angrily swung their wands and cast terrible spells on each other. The situation became too dangerous for spectating Neopians that Queen Fyora had to intervene. After spending a night in Faerieland's holding cells, Jhudora and Illusen both agreed to settle their dispute with Fyora as the mediator. "I told them that the gift of giving is harmony between the giver and the receiver." The Faerie Queen explained to me. And so Jhudora handed over a jar each of viscous bubbling liquid to Illusen and Fyora. "Has anyone ever gotten on your nerves so much that you wanted to turn something of theirs into a Slorg?" The Dark Faerie had asked with a wicked cackle. Whether or not she gave that to Illusen as a mocking slap-in-the-face for turning her kart into a pile of Slorgs, I'll never know. But I am certainly sure that I do not want to be anywhere near this hideous potion lest my Candychan turn into a slimy Slorg!

Rainbow Swirly Thing

It's a little known fact that Queen Fyora's favorite vacation spot isn't the Faerie Fountain. When the Queen needs a little sojourn away from her royal duties, she escapes the cloudy boundaries of Faerieland entirely and visits… Krawk Island! Where better to put on some anonymous cool shades and get a tan? On one such vacation, right before the unveiling of her Hidden Tower, Fyora found herself alone on the beach. Her Candy Floss Smoothie turned her tongue hot pink while she paged through Advanced Poetry. As the sunset shaded the beach oranges and pinks, something glinted in the sand near her feet. She left her beach read on her Seashell Print Beach Towel. From the soft grains of sand she plucked a heavy golden necklace. A rainbow swirled at its center. The Faerie Queen thought, "wow, what pretty colors… I wonder what it does? No matter. This is perfect for my tower!"

Glittery Faerie Dust

     Queen Fyora knew she wanted to offer her customers only the best items in all of Neopia. As she scoured the world from the top of Terror Mountain to the pits of Sakhmet, she was rather impressed by the items she collected. But none of them quite screamed 'Queen Fyora' to her. There was only solution: create an item ��" a weapon ��" in her honor. She returned to Faerieland. For a full week at sunrise and sunset she collected the glittering dust that shimmered in the soft light. On the seventh night, she had enough Faerie dust to fill a bag. She wasn't sure exactly what it would do, but that's part of what made it powerful. As she set the Glittery Faerie Dust bag in her tower, the evening gave way to night, and the last color the dust reflected was the deep lavender of Fyora's own gown.

Werelupe Claw Necklace

It was the night before the unveiling of her Hidden Tower. "This is it!" Fyora thought to herself. "All my most prized possessions, all organized and displayed and ready to be purchased. Hmm, perhaps I should have made a museum instead. Everything is so lovely." She stood at the window of her tower, wondering if she could somehow bottle the moon's light, when she heard a rustling in the bushes below. She had lined the tower with torny Blackberry Bushes and poisonous White Holly Bushes, lest anyone get any ideas. She watched as a shadow crept along the tower until it reached one of the barred windows. But the thief was clever: he'd brought along a hook and string. As Fyora watched, the thief threw the hook into her Tower, snagged something that clanked, and dragged it into the moonlight. She saw only the werelupe's paw reach for the Sword of Skarsden he'd hooked.

"That's quite enough!" She declared with a thunderous clap. A twist of her wrist and she was on the ground, having floated down on the clouds themselves. The werelupe tried to grab the Sword to defend himself, but Fyora was quicker. She grabbed his wrist and twisted, eliciting a yelp. "No one steals from me. And just so you remember the next time you think about absconding with something that isn't yours, I'm keeping two of your claws as penance." The werelupe's howl filled the full moon night as Fyora threaded the claws on to a necklace. She hung it in her Tower and forgot all about the angry werelupe who was missing two claws.

Smelly Cheese Bomb

    After the incident with the Werelupe, Queen Fyora realized she needed a little protection of her own! She couldn't watch the Tower all day every day. Already the beach on Krawk Island was calling to her… Instead of hiring a bodyguard, she thought the best way to deter other thieves would be to build a trap inside the Tower itself. She laid out bags of dung but the Earth Faerie whispered to her that some Neopians actually collected dung. It was good for gardening. Undeterred, Fyora paid a visit to an old friend. The Techo who managed cheeseroller offered up his stinkiest cheese. Together they crafted this pungent bomb and laid it in the middle of her Tower. Rumoured to destroy an individual's sense of smell forever, thieves would have to think twice before trespassing.

    So you may wonder, how in the world does Queen Fyora manage to keep these unique artifacts constantly in stock? Shouldn't there only be one Hubrids Puzzle Box? I presented this question to the royal Faerie and was met with a sly grin - one that indicated mystical knowledge and powerful secrets behind its lips, "And that is not for you to know."

 
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