NO ONE REALLY knew why. It just happened, and no one could explain it. The
whole world of Neopia had gone very strange.
It seemed as if the centre
of balance had been thrown off completely. Everyone in Neopia was turning against
one another. Pets and owners alike started arguments in the street, shops stopped
stocking items, and people were stealing from each other as if it were nothing.
Life was terrible for everyone.
Especially for Chardiye [KAR
dee], a young green Eyrie. He had no owner. His last owner, who had been cruel
and evil, had abandoned him in the street. So, Chardiye lived beneath an empty
old bookshop, where he spent his hours pouring over musty pages, sometimes reading
the stories, sometimes simply looking at the pictures. They helped him keep
his mind off of his terrible life, and the goings on in Neopia these days. He
learned of old and forgotten myths, wishing they were for real. He longed that
some magical being would come and whisk him away to a better place, but knowing
it would never happen. Many of these stories that he read in his lonely hours
began with NeoPets that were in his same situation, alone and forgotten, but
because their hearts were good, the Faerie Queen took them to live in her palace.
Chardiye had read one story
that had been on his mind quite a lot since Neopia had gone bad. It was the
legend of the Amulet of Eternal Spirit. The story said that if the Amulet was
stolen from its sacred shrine, there would be complete chaos in the world. Chardiye
thought about the fictional Amulet more and more as the world around him became
worse and worse.
Another legend the visionary
Eyrie had read was about Alurula, the mysterious being from above the stars.
Chardiye had read that if someone wished hard enough, they would be able to
visit her. He never knew anyone to have met her, though. Alurula supposedly
would answer only one question from her visitor, and once someone had called
on her, they would never be able to return.
Chardiye had an odd mind. To
him, if Alurula was real, she would certainly know where to find the Amulet
of Eternal Spirit. If she wasn't real, then what else could make Neopia go so
terribly astray? She had to be real. She just had to. If she wasn't, then it
would be like Chardiye had lived beneath an abandoned bookshop, trying to stay
alive, just to be destroyed by his own foolish dreams.
Chardiye was out for a walk
by himself on a cool, silent morning. He passed the empty and forgotten Money
Tree, looking almost as sad and neglected as he. He saw several other NeoPets
who had been deserted by their owners, but did not speak to them. He never did.
The green Eyrie trudged outside
of the wasted Neopia Central to the Marketplace. Prices had gone through the
roof as he saw when he glanced at a shop sign. Looking ahead, Chardiye noted
that the windows of the Soup Kitchen had been boarded up, and no comforting
smoke was billowing from the chimney.
Chardiye swallowed hard. He
had never seen his wonderful hometown look so awful. People were beginning to
rise and reopen their shops now. One person cried, "Hey! Get out of the street,
you bag of filth!" A large pile of sludge hit Chardiye in the back of his head,
and he ran as fast as he could out of market, not caring to look back.
When he reached a widespread
field of tall, dewy grass and Neopia Central was out of sight, Chardiye stopped,
panting hard. Abandoning all pretences, the forsaken Eyrie buried his face in
the dirt and cried. Tears flooded around his feet and turned the dirt into mud,
but Chardiye didn't care. He was thinking about his life, how he had been so
happy when his owner had first met him, and how their care for one another had
grown cold over the years. He remembered how everything was changing around
him, and how frightened he had been that his owner would throw him out into
the cold like everyone else. When that day finally had come, it had been as
if Chardiye had died on the spot. It was like a long-dreamed nightmare came
He beat his filthy fist on
the ground. "Why?" he yelled into the still air, "Why? Why me? What have I ever
done?" Chardiye laid his head down on the ground, anguished tears spilling down
Someone was prodding him, trying to wake him.
"Udd, hit 'im with a stick."
"Ouch!" Chardiye yelled aloud
as someone smacked him with a narrow piece of wood.
"Oh, you're alive."
Chardiye opened his eyes to
see three mangy, bedraggled Lupes looking menacingly down at his thin form.
"Thought you might be dead."
"Who are you?"
"This is Udd, and this is Urg,"
said the largest of the three, gesturing to the two on either side of him, "and
"Why were you trying to wake
me?" said Chardiye, who was quite a lot smaller than any of the others.
"Well, it wouldn't really have
made any difference," said the Lupe, a small smile playing at the corners of
his mouth, "because we were going to eat you anyway."
Chardiye didn't really know
what to say. He sat there, dazed for a moment, only dimly aware of the three
Lupes staring hungrily at him. Then, as if a thunderbolt had hit the place where
Chardiye stood, they all pounced.
Chardiye was lost in a whirl
or claws and teeth, but not without harm. His own sharp beak and talon-like
claws were doing their best to keep him from being the brutes' breakfast. One
of the Lupes grabbed his wing and was tearing at it as if he hadn't eaten in
weeks. Chardiye was yelling himself hoarse.
"Help! Help me!" he screamed
through the din, "Somebody! Anybody!" and then, in a mad frenzy, "Alurula!"
Everything went black.
To be continued...