Darigan Eyrie: Kass Or Nothing At All - Part Two
It was late, and BirdieBirdie246 had done so many chores
she thought she deserved a medal. Well, of COURSE she deserved a medal, for putting
up with that fool of an owner and the sniveling Pets, but this was different-
she was genuinely exhausted.
So why couldn't she get to sleep? She was nice
and snug in her huge bed; Bolt was snoring gently, comfortingly, next to her-
even though he was meant to be in the Petpet's room- but the Eyrie's eyes refused
to stay shut. Images flashed before them every time they tried to slide shut,
flashes of the Darigan Paintbrush, of the mighty Lord Kass, of Birdie standing
at his side, in his place-
With a grumble she turned over, trying to push
the thoughts from her overactive mind, and a bright green light filled her eyes.
Her broad right wing shot around and shielded her sight, but after a few moments
she looked again.
It was the Fake Kass Charm. It hadn't been this
bright earlier, had it? Birdie wasn't sure; the darkness made everything blurry,
and her mind couldn't concentrate, so she ignored it and, with a sigh, pushed
Bolt off the bed. The Anubis whimpered as he landed, and then watched his owner
swing her legs around and slowly climb out of bed, before slipping the stone
casually over her head, settling it around her neck, and heading towards the
Remembering something, she lifted the whimper-prone
Anubis up and held her paw over the tired Petpet's mouth, making him try to
struggle and get away. The grip wasn't released, though, until they reached
the kitchen; she had enough experience at late-night excursions to know that
this was far enough away from the bedrooms to allow a little noise, as well
as a little light, so she dumped Bolt on the kitchen table and flicked the switch.
As she turned the tap on and reached for a glass, though, she heard a voice.
"The Darigan Paint Brush."
The Eyrie spun around, eyes scanning the entire
room. There was nobody there- even the Anubis had wandered off, probably back
"Beautiful, powerful, everything you love."
Birdie yelled and stumbled back, dropping the
cup. She ignored the noise of shattering glass- she ignored everything, except
the sound of the booming voice.
"You could go see it."
"Who are you?!" the Eyrie whispered, fear consuming
her usually-bold voice.
"You know that, Birdie. Go see it- it'll only
take a few minutes."
"No!" she exclaimed. "It's freezing out, and
I'm tired! I'll see it when I go next time!"
"GO!" The voice boomed through her mind, forcing
her to the floor, desperately clutching at her ears. Finally she nodded, and
the sound faded away.
And so Birdie found herself racing down Market
Street towards Neopia Central, in the middle of the night. As she turned onto
the road where the murky Citadel was situated she almost hit a tall figure,
wearing long, dark robes. She yelled an apology as she sped past, and then frowned.
Robes? She turned back, but the figure was gone.
Pushing the confusion to one side, the Eyrie
continued forwards, arriving within seconds at the small building. The door
was still open, surprisingly, and Birdie entered quickly.
The Lady looked up with a frown.
"You're out late."
"The Brush- I have to see it!" she exclaimed,
not realising how crazy she sounded. The old Zafara shook her head grimly.
"I can't. Sold it, dear, just a few moments ago.
To a Pet in dark robes- perhaps you saw him?"
It felt like the bottom of her stomach had vanished,
so sick did Birdie feel. Like a part of her had been ripped away, leaving a
hollow hole- and she'd been so close, with that figure mere centimetres from
"Do you know where he was going?" The words spilled
out hurriedly, and Birdie didn't know where they came from. The Lady shook her
"No. I'm sorry, dear."
The Eyrie collapsed backwards, hitting the door
and sliding slowly to the ground. Tears were welling up in her eyes. The Lady
waited for a few sobs to tumble out, and then took a step forwards.
"I- I'm sorry," Birdie whispered, her voice trembling.
"I don't know why I'm crying- I just- Kass is my idol." She looked up at the
old Zafara and breathed a shaky sigh. "He was brave, strong, courageous- fighting
to destroy those monsters in Meridell, who had ruined his world- and I just
wanted to be like him. But I'm not." Her head lowered, and the tears tumbled
down her cheeks again, this time in torrents. The Lady shuffled forwards and
patted her lightly on the head.
"Don't worry, dear. It'll be alright."
Three days passed, and Neonick saw hardly anything
of Birdie. The Eyrie would shoot out from her room, grab a snack or something,
and then shoot back inside, which left the human with nobody to talk to. Toggerneo
had demanded a vacation- he claimed having to put up with Birdie was making
him grouchier than a Skeith who's just sat on something sharp- and Pacca was
too young to speak much about anything… and Neonick was feeling lonely. So,
finally, he decided it was time to get involved, and rapped on the door. There
was no response, and he knocked again, louder. Still nothing. Eventually he
slid the door open slowly and peered into the darkness.
Birdie was sat on the bed, staring at a large
book which lay on her pillow. With the light off Neonick couldn't read, but
the Eyrie seemed to have grown accustomed to the murky darkness. The room looked
the same as usual, apart from a bunch of pictures Birdie had clearly drawn of
some Eyrie the human faintly recognised.
"Are you OK, Birdie?" Neonick asked softly. The
Eyrie looked up, her eyes blurry, and nodded.
"Why've you been staying in here so long?"
"I'm- tired." She shook her head. "Please- I'm
"OK," the human sighed. "I just wanted to say
that there's a treat for you out here, and one for Bolt. It would be nice if
you fed it to him- he sat outside your door, whining, last night." He turned
to the door, and started to walk away, before turning back. "And there's a Neomail
out here for you."
"What?" Birdie wasn't sure she'd heard right.
"I never get Neomail."
"Well, it's addressed to you." He shrugged and
walked out, and after a few moments Birdie followed. Sure enough a small envelope
lay on the kitchen table, underneath a couple of cookies, and she picked it
up and slid the flap open. Inside was a dark piece of parchment, and the even-darker
ink made just five words.
"Brushes come from the Citadel."
She stared at it for a few moments, letting the
words settle in, and then shook her head. This was getting out of hand- why
was she so obsessed with getting that brush? And she'd never be able to convince
Neonick to take them to Meridell- no, the idea was crazy.
But as she leaned over to grab the cookies something
strange happened. The Charm, which had been swinging around her neck slowly,
tapped her chest softly, and thoughts flooded into her mind. She was stepping
forwards, towards the Rainbow Pool, brush in hand- she was emerging, a new Eyrie,
a Darigan Hero. She was standing before the army she now controlled, and they
She was trying not to let a smile of glee spread
across her face, in case that fool of an owner got suspicious, but in the end
couldn't stop herself. She could get so much power, in such an easy way- she
And she also knew that he was going to the Citadel,
that very day.
Hearing soft footsteps behind her, Birdie stuffed
the Neomail into her pocket and spun around. Pacca_Xero was bounding towards
the kitchen, but his cheerful features vanished as soon as he saw the Eyrie
stood before him; the Eyrie who had only shown him contempt. Sure enough, a
paw lashed out at him, but he'd been expecting it and managed to bounce out
"Stupid brat," the Eyrie said with a sneer, turning
her back as Xero scampered towards the Petpet room. The baby Lupe headbutted
the door open and leapt inside, probably to sob at that ugly Gruslen or stare
at the Cobrall with his usual stupidity, Birdie decided.
A few moments later a whimpering Bolt crawled
out, sniffing at the air. Two large paws stamped past him, and he gulped with
fear, until he realised that they were his owner's, at which point he started
to follow. He knew the Eyrie loved him, no matter how she acted.
With a whimper the Anubis continued forwards
into the dark room, and felt paws close around him, lifting him high. It brought
back memories from what seemed like ages ago; of Birdie lifting him up high,
spinning him around like a superhero; of cuddles late at night, as they sat
in the silence of the Pound; of good times.
Those memories vanished as he was stuffed into
the Anubis Bag, wedged between a large book and two Pyramibread loafs. All he
could think about was the discomfort, and the darkness.
It took a good few hours, but finally the cart
came to a stop. Quickly Birdie leapt down from the back, wiping the dust from
her hands, and went around to the side, where two large Unis stood harnessed
"Thanks," she said quickly, before handing over
the large payment of chocolate. She'd found it in Neonick's Safety Deposit Box,
and decided it could come in useful; and sure enough, the Unis seemed to love
it as they trotted away.
The Eyrie finally looked around her, and those
deep eyes widened. The fields seemed to go for miles, and they were so flat,
so low, that all the landmarks could be seen in a few seconds. The huge castle,
a giant marrow, the Turdle arena… but her gaze settled on the horizon.
Darigan's Citadel, floating high above Meridell,
was a vision of ruined beauty. What had been a huge city was now the remains
of a betrayed world- she knew this from reading Life In The Citadel three times.
Of course, someone would restore it to power one day. Perhaps Kass himself would
reappear, and restore the Citadel. Sure, Darigan was up there, promising, but
he'd failed too many promises, from what the emerald Eyrie had read, to be believed.
Birdie shifted the weight of the bag slightly,
to get more comfortable, and set off. She was unaware of a pair of eyes, hidden
amongst the nearby bushes, that followed her every movement; nor was she aware
of the mouth that smirked cruelly, so cruelly…
The bag opened, and Bolt was lifted out. He was
immediately confused. Grass wasn't meant to be this dull colour- it was meant
to be green, and strong, like in the books he has used to read over Birdie's
shoulder in their old home. It smelt funny too, but before he could investigate
further a huge piece of bread landed before him.
"Eat it," Birdie said, not really paying attention.
She was gazing around the huge rock they floated on, with its strangely-shaped
towers and squat buildings. They didn't seem ugly, though; the Eyrie saw them
as the foundations of a vast civilisation, one that had been mercilessly destroyed
by the greed of Meridell, and therefore objects of fascinating beauty.
Before she could start thinking about the many
crimes King Skarl had committed, though, that had ruined this place, she heard
footsteps behind. Quickly she leapt to her feet and turned around, to see-
A cloaked figure. The same cloaked figure, she
realised with shock, who had bought the Darigan Paint Brush. And sure enough,
the Brush was in his right hand, its small wings twitching and tiny droplets
of paint tumbling to the ground.
The voice was loud, commanding, and the Eyrie
found herself nodding involuntarily. With a nod in return the figure reached
up with his large pale fingers, drew back the hood, and revealed-
The face of a faerie.
"What?" Birdie exclaimed. "I- I-"
"You thought it was Kass, come to make you his
heir," the faerie said in a dull, monotone voice. Her ghostly face was almost
as creepy as her slow, robotic movements, and the Eyrie shivered as she continued.
"You thought so much that was not true, Birdie. For you thought Kass was strong,
"HE WAS!" Birdie yelled, letting all the build
up anger explode outwards fiercely at this jab. "That's why he's my hero- he
fought the cruelty of Meridell, strived to restore his world!"
"And he failed." With a snap of her fingers the
faerie lifted up into the air. A gust of wind pushed her slowly towards the
startled Eyrie. "Kass failed, because he was weak. And you know what, Birdie?"
"You aren't. You have a strong mind- I mean,
you almost resisted the Charm's influence!" She gestured at the stone around
the Eyrie's neck, and as she landed gently on the dead grass it tugged Birdie
towards her. She strained back, fighting the pull, and in the end the chain
broke, sending the Charm hurtling into the faerie's slender hand.
"Give that back!" the Eyrie shouted ferociously.
The faerie shook her head and stuffed it into her pocket.
"You don't need it anymore. It was so we could
keep track of you, but it is no longer necessary." And slowly she stretched
her slender arm out, the Paint Brush straining towards Birdie like a Lupe on
the scent of Chia treats. "Take it. Become the NEW Kass. Take control."
Bolt looked up at the Brush and immediately knew
that something wasn't right. While mostly he saw in shades of grey… this was
pure darkness. It made him shiver.
And then he saw Birdie reaching out for it, and
knew his owner was in danger. As the fear flooded into his mind all his instincts
told him to run for cover, but something else forced him to stay. He couldn't
let anything happen to the Eyrie he loved, whether he was loved back or not.
With one slight whimper he took a couple of steps
back, started to run forwards, and leapt. His mouth fastened on the handle,
wrenching it from the hand of the faerie, and then he started to fall back to
At least, he'd been expecting ground. Instead
he tumbled into empty air, yelping as he hurtled towards what was most likely
Birdie stared, wide-eyed, as her Petpet fell
over the edge with the Paint Brush. Her legs were moving, but she didn't realise
until they propelled her over the edge.
Her wings started to flap, to pull up, but she
stopped them as she saw the two shapes falling below; they were too far apart
to save both now, but she would save one. She had to make a choice. Bolt, her
loyal Petpet, or the Paint Brush that could give such power.
Images flashed in front of her eyes; a quivering
Anubis sat in the dustbin, whimpering until Birdie had hugged him; the Kass
plushie that had inspired her passion for power; Bolt sat on her lap in the
Pound, waiting for someone to adopt them; the days when she pretended to be
the mighty Lord, gliding through the sky, in control of everything-
A final image flashed before her eyes, and her
paws reached out. The choice was made.
"Where were you?" Neonick asked angrily. "I've
been looking all over the place! And that's meant leaving Pacca_Xero on his
own, you KNOW he gets lonely, but I can't leave him with his Gruslen unsupervised-"
"Sorry," was all Birdie could manage to say.
She was physically drained, and emotionally empty. What had she done?
With a sigh the Eyrie dumped her bag onto the
ground and unzipped it quickly. The Petpet leapt out, sniffed at the air, and
then walked slowly towards the Petpet room. Neonick sighed, and pointed to Birdie's
"You have to stay in there until you realise
how much trouble you put us through." And, to his surprise, the Eyrie complied
straight away, taking the Anubis Bag in her paws and walking straight inside.
What he didn't know was that as soon as Birdie
shut the door tears sprang to her eyes. Slowly she tipped the bag upside-down
and watched as the shards of the Darigan Paint Brush fell out, scattered across
the bed. She knew that her choice had been the right one, morally, and that
proved she was good, deep down.
Because one thought wouldn't leave her mind.
"What if the Brush didn't have wings? What if
I hadn't thought it would fly to safety? Would I have saved Bolt then?"
She didn't know. But she DID know that she would
reconstruct the Paint Brush, however long it took… she would prove herself,
take the power that was rightfully hers…
She would be the new Kass, or nothing at all.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Firstly, thanks for reading
my story! We're still having trouble with Birdie, and whatever she does with
all her spare time in that room, but she seems quieter recently. I'm not sure
why. And she keeps buying superglue…
But, more importantly, I'd like to thank Blubblub317.
The opening of part one is in fact an entry into a short story competition he
held, and if it wasn't for the competition I don't think the idea of this character
would have ever happened.
Again, thanks for reading!