Shades of Darkness: Shadow is Arising - Part Ten
The Woodland Council
"FASTER!" I screamed as arrows flew past us. We were
very close to Azlan now. Close enough to pick out each individual tree.
Nfc and Dykred were taking down Bladack and Shades
that were getting too close to us.
"That's six now!" yelled Nfc at Dykred as an
arrow flew from his bow. "How many have you got?"
"Five!" yelled Dykred, who was throwing small
handheld grenades at the opposing army.
"NOW'S NOT THE TIME GUYS!" I yelled at them.
We were only a few yards from the stone.
I told the Uni to stop. I grabbed the Zafara
and jumped off the Uni. I tapped three times on the stone with my fist. It slowly
"C'mon guys!" I yelled to my friends who were
trying to fight off the army.
My Uni entered the tunnel first, followed by
me carrying the Zafara. Then came Bananagirl on her Uni followed by Bananababy.
Then came Lupenor and Pudding. Nfc and Dykred brought up the rear with the Uni
in the support.
The passageway was dim, lit by only a few torches.
The walls were made of a tan rock substance and mud. But what really surprised
me was that there were no guards.
"Well...we made it," panted Dykred, out of breath.
"How many did you take down Nfc?"
"Drat! Two more then me!"
"Halt!" yelled a voice from down the passage.
Two orange Zafaras wearing red tunics carrying spears ran up to us. "What are
you doing here?"
"Antelia the Light Faerie sent us," I said. "And
two in our party need medical attention."
The Unis that carried the injured one pushed
to the front of the crowed. I showed them the Zafara, who's face was now even
"That's Perigen!" exclaimed one of the guards,
pointing to the Zafara. "And that's Suncloud, Perigen's Uni! We thought they
were dead, being gone so long without sending a message!"
"Get the medical staff down here!" yelled one
of the guards, and his partner ran up the tunnel.
Several sliver Zafaras wearing white robes came
back down the tunnel with two stretchers. One was unusually low to the ground.
I laid the Zafara on the higher stretcher. Some
of the Zafaras began to move him up the tunnel to where their hospital was,
while the rest of them lifted the Uni onto the lower stretcher. The remaining
silver Zafaras moved the Uni back up the tunnel and out of sight.
"You said Antelia the Faerie sent you?" asked
one of the guards.
"Yes we are expecting you, but however you must
leave your weapons here, until you are proven trustworthy. Though we trust friends
of Antelia, you can never be to sure."
We reluctantly handed over our weapons. The guard
that had our weapons walked up the
passage, the Unis following him. The other beckoned
us to follow.
"Welcome to Azlan, ancestral home of the Zafara,"
said the guard as we reached the end of the tunnel.
We were inside the forest. Only, it wasn't a
forest, more of a village. Some trees were so large that the insides were burned
out. Other trees supported tree houses. Zafara children played in the streets.
"Wow," said Nfc, looking up. The treetops were
so high all you could see was a sky of green.
We followed the guard down the road. Zafaras
were giving us strange looks, but then again, we were an odd party.
The guard led us to a very large tree. Some wooden
steps led up to a large tree house.
"This is one of the guest cabins. There should
be enough room for all of you up there. If you need anything, there's a Neomail
system installed. Just write down what you want and send it to the Azlan Guard
The tree house was nice. There were three rooms,
a boy's bedroom, girl's bedroom, and
the central room, which was like a dinning/living
I awoke the next day and immediately went to
find the hospital. I wanted to make sure that the Zafara and Eyrie were alright.
The Hospital was a building on the ground built
out of wood. Inside was a row of beds. Two nurses ran up and down the row handing
out breakfast. The Zafara and Uni were lying towards the end. Suncloud the Uni
was sitting up and eating, while the Zafara was still out cold.
"Excuse me, could you tell me the condition of
the Zafara on the end there?" I asked one of the Nurses.
"Oh, that's James Perigen, one of the Woodland
Rangers. He's been poisoned, but we've been admitting the antidote every hour,
as his poison is very deadly. He'll live, though it will take a day or two for
him to wake," replied the nurse.
I nodded and walked over to Suncloud.
"How're you feeling?" I asked the Uni.
"Fine. Just a little tired. Course, when you're
James Perigen's partner you have to get used to being tired. He's one of the
best Woodland Rangers ever. Because of his position, we get all the important
and difficult missions."
I stayed and talked with Suncloud for a awhile.
After half an hour or so, I decided to go back to the tree house to see if my
friends had gotten out of bed yet.
I arrived back at the tree house to find Antelia
sitting in the center room, along with Hop.
"Where is everybody?" I asked.
"Out exploring this place and trying to find
where they can get breakfast," said Hop. "I was out with them, but then Antelia
showed up, I led her back here."
"So did you find any news of Dark_Intrepid while
you were away?" I asked Antelia.
Antelia lowered her head. "Dark_Intrepid is currently
being possessed by the Shade leader, Torono_Darkshadow. I'm very sorry." Her
tone was distant.
I stood up and went into the girl's room. I sat
down on my bed and cried.
"C'mon guys, the council meeting's in a half
and hour!" yelled Dykred. "Can't you move any faster?"
It had been five days since we arrived in Azlan.
We spent most of the time exploring the giant forest, occasionally buying a
trinket or two. But today was different.
I poked my head out of the girl's room. "You
know I don't want to go to this thing! We're just going to listen to some Zafaras
debate about war with the Shades."
Antelia decided to but into our conversation.
"They're also going to decide whether you are the type of person they want as
"Then I defiantly don't want to come," I mumbled.
A guard came to our tree house about ten minutes
before the meeting was supposed to start. Before we knew it, we were out the
door and walking down the road. The guard led us to the biggest tree house of
them all. He threw open the big oak doors to reveal a room similar to a court.
Inside it was one chair directly across from
us, which was similar to a judges stand in a court, but it bore the insignia
of Azlan, which was a tree with a Zafara standing next to it holding a sword,
point down. Two stands of seats were my left and right. There was a door by
the left stand of seats. We were led over to the right stand of seats and were
told to sit until your name was called to make a statement or the meeting was
More pets entered the Council Room after us.
Fifteen Zafaras wearing sliver robes took the seats on the left side of the
room. On the left and corner of their robes was the insignia of Azlan, which
had a large golden C circled in it.
"They're the Council," said Antelia to us, pointing
to the Zafaras clad in silver.
The green Zafara that we rescued was here, along
with several more nameless Zafaras. Finally, all the seats were filled except
for the one in the back center of the room.
The doors to the Council Room opened again. This
time an Island Zafara wearing gold robes walked into the room, flanked by two
guards. There was the Azlan insignia on the left hand corner of his robes too,
only it was silver.
"That's Raphel. He's the High Zafara of the Council,
and also the Leader of Azlan," whispered Antelia, trying not to be heard by
anyone but us. It was a sign of disrespect to talk when the High Zafara entered
The Zafaras clad in silver rose as we walked
past them, along with the Zafaras in our row. We rose too, figuring that this
was a sign of respect to this Zafara. The Island Zafara sat down in the back
center chair. We sat down, too.
"We are here on the twenty-third day in the month
of Swimming during this emergency Council meeting to discuss the growing threat
of war with the Shades, The Guardian of Neopia act, and the quest for the Lightstone
of the Faeries," said the island Zafara in a serious tone. "First we shall begin
with the opposition of war and the Lightstone."
I wondered what the Lightstone of the Faeries
was. I had the sinking feeling in my stomach that I had something to do with
He paused for a moment. A scribe among the Council
was writing down every thing that he said.
"As we all know, Torono_Darkshadow and the Shades
border us from the west. Forest Rangers have scouted his territory. According
to our reports, he is already taking over. Forest Ranger James Perigen was attacked
this past week, and was shot down with poison arrows."
The green Zafara stood up. Raphel nodded to him.
The green Zafara walked down to thespace between the stands.
"I am James Perigen of the Woodland Rangers,"
said Perigen, "I also have proof that the Shades now have allies. I was captured
briefly by a Tyrannain Techo by the name of Yoco Tanzin and Celestra the Dark
Faerie. They now have a base bordering us from the east. Yoco has the Darkstone
of the Faeries. I was sent to find and take it from him. I tried to take it
from him before I knew its full power. Its magic prevented me from taking it,
as only the bearer of the Lightstone of the Faeries can bear to touch it besides
its master. The Darkstone controls the Bladack, who are demon-like creatures.
Yoco is in complete control of them. The Lightstone, however, does not control
anything, but was made to destroy the Darkstone and the Bladack for good."
Some of the council member gave looks of horror
"We need to find the Lightstone if we even want
to stand a chance against him. You could destroy every Bladack in existence,
but as long as Yoco has the Stone, he could create more of them."
A Council member stood up and bowed his head
for a moment. "Pardon my interruption, but isn't the stone lost in the caves
of Terror Mountain?"
"Yes," replied Perigen. "It was lost over a thousand
years ago. But I have a pretty good idea where it is. We need to send out a
small party consisting of fighters and trackers, along with myself, and we could
win ourselves a powerful weapon."
Raphel nodded to the Council. All the silver
robed Zafaras left the room through the side door.
"They've gone to debate Perigen's idea," whispered
We sat in silence until the Council members came
back into the room and filed into their seats. One however, remained standing.
"We of the Council of Azlan," began the Zafara,
"approve of the search of the Lightstone suggested by James Perigen of the Woodland
"I Raphel, Leader of Azlan, agree with the Council,"
spoke the Island Zafara.
Perigen nodded his head in thanks. "Now to the
war. We are situated with Torono to the west and Yoco to the east. We stand
between them. We will be attacked sooner or later. The Bladack army is estimated
at least ten thousand, and the Shades even more. We do not stand a chance against
them with just a handful of Zafara warriors and Forest Rangers. We need to send
messengers to King Skarl and Hagan. Their armies would increase our chances
of destroying the enemy."
Raphel nodded to the Council who once again exited
the room through the side door. I groaned softly. This was going to take forever.
The Council came back quicker then last time,
but it still seamed like they were gone forever. They repeated the entering
"We of the Council of Azlan reject James Perigen's
idea of asking help of King Skarl and Hagen and their armies for an attack on
the Shades. We do, however, approve of James Perigen's plan if we are attacked
"I Raphel, Leader of Azlan, agree with the Council,"
James bowed. He walked back over and sat down
in his seat.
"Now we are to discuss the Guardian of Neopia
act," spoke Raphel.
Antelia rose from her seat and began to walk
down to where Perigen had spoken. She beckoned for me to follow her.
I followed Antelia down to the spot where James
Perigen had stood only
minutes before. I looked up at Raphel. His stare
was piercing, like he could see through you.
"You are Antelia of the Light Faeries and Mackenzie
of Mystery Island?"
"Yes," Antelia and I said together.
"Mackenzie has been brought here today," began
Raphel, "To be tried by the Council for the position of Guardian of Neopia.
She has been selected by Antelia of the Light Faeries to fulfill the position.
Mackenzie has accepted to come here to be tried, but why do you Mackenzie, want
to be the Guardian?"
"I do not wish to be the Guardian of Neopia,"
I said. "I am only doing this because the planet of Neopia needs me."
Raphel nodded and a small smile broke across
"I see," he said. "You are aware of the responsibility
and the danger you face?"
"Yes I am."
"You will have to study magic and combat for
the toughest situations."
"I will train as hard as I can."
Raphel nodded to the Council who once again left
through the side door. They were gone for a very long time this time. I just
stood their patiently, but inside I was yearning for their return and decision.
The Council marched back in to the room single
file once again.
"We of the Council of Azlan agree in choosing
Mackenzie as the Guardian of Neopia," spoke a Council member.
"I Raphel of Azlan agree with the Council," said
Raphel. "That concludes our meeting. Council dismissed."
To be continued...