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Neopedia : Shadow Usul

Once, many years ago, Toby the Gelert was awoken in the middle of the night by a furious coughing spell. While going for a drink of water, Toby caught a brief glimpse of the Shadow Usul, who glared at him menacingly before darting away. Ever since, Toby's been obsessed with learning about this mysterious rogue who lurks among the shadows. Toby's friends, on the other hand, are convinced that the Shadow Usul is nothing more than a myth. However, despite the teasing of his friends, Toby continues to search Neopia, gathering evidence that he hopes, one day, will prove the Shadow Usul's existence.

"So tell me," Toby asked as he reached for his notepad, "what exactly did you see?"

"Well," the old Eyrie began, scratching his head as he remembered, "It was pretty late; way past my normal bedtime. I was in bed, about to drift off to sleep, when I remembered that Momoe, my Fungree, was still out on the porch. 'What if it rains?' I thought to myself, 'I'd better let him in.' So I lit the candle next to my bed, and went to find Momoe."

"As I entered the living room, I heard this strange sound, so by then I was really worried. I hurried to the front door, the one leading out to the porch. And that's when I looked up, to see these almond-shaped, bright yellow eyes, like the flames of a bonfire... I'd never seen anything like it before."

"Interesting," Toby said, nodding as he scribbled away on his notepad. "Please, continue..."

"Well," the Eyrie went on, "it appears to have been startled by the light from my candle, because when I opened the door, it just kind of jumped back, as if I'd surprised it. That's when I got a real good look; I couldn't quite make out the shape, but I'm positive that it had a thick collar of purple hair around its neck, and those eyes that I told you about earlier. The glare was so intense; it was as if it was looking right through me. Well, thank goodness Momoe was okay; he seemed a little scared, but at least he wasn't hurt... you believe me, don't you? I mean, I may be senile and half blind, but I'm not one to go making up stories!"

"Of course I believe you, sir," Toby said, finishing up the last of his scribbling. "Thank you, that will be all." Then, Toby put away his notepad and began preparing to head into the woods at nightfall...

...It was an unseasonably cool evening in the month of Gathering as Toby gulped down the last of his cocoa juppie mocha and went off to look for the Shadow Usul, who could be lurking just about anywhere. Unable to light his way with a torch or candle (which the Shadow Usul would easily be able to see from hundreds of yards away), Toby was forced to stumble around in the dark, hoping to somehow pick up the elusive Usul's trail as she scampered through the forest.

However, what Toby didn't know was that, while he'd been cluelessly wandering about in the woods, the Shadow Usul had been tracking his every move. Annoyed by years of relentless pursuit, the Shadow Usul had decided that it was time to teach young Toby a lesson. Biding her time until the young Gelert was at his most vulnerable, the Shadow Usul waited for Toby to inadvertantly make his way into a soggy marsh.

"This is unbelieveable... I'm freezing, wet, hungry, and tired." Toby moaned, as he sat there, shivering from the cold. "I can't imagine how this could get any worse..." Just then, a low rumbling sound began to build. Branches broke off, then fell to the ground as the tree trunks shook violently. "Don't tell me... NO!" Toby shouted as he turned to look, only to see that the sky was filled with waves of boulders, as big as codestones, coming right at him. "AAARRGH!!!" The poor Gelert bellowed, as his body became swollen and bruised, racked by a pain the likes of which he'd never experienced before.

"Heh, magic pebbles." the Shadow Usul chuckled, while unleashing a mighty torrent on the poor, overmatched Gelert. "But I'm only getting started... just watch!" With that, the dreaded Usul chortled as she squinted really hard (as if to concentrate better), drew back on her hind legs, and let out a ferocious blast of cold air that, upon making its way through the forest, sucked the moisture up from the soggy marsh and into the air, creating a spiralling cyclone of water and wind that was now headed towards the heap of rubble where Toby the Gelert now lay. Still dazed from being pelted by magical pebbles, Toby had hardly looked up by the time the Shadow Usul's homemade hurricane had sucked him into the sky, then tossed him into the dark night air.

The Shadow Usul laughed, and vanished into the night....