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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 13th day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 68 > Articles > Meridell or Darigan?

Meridell or Darigan?

by thegreatlupelover

MERIDELL - The news just came out--the war between Meridell and the evil invaders has just begun. But wait - are the invaders actually evil? I'm here to investigate both sides of the story.

Meridell seems to be the obvious choice. Come on - it's the pretty medieval land with all the valiant knights and loyal serfs. It's so peaceful and prosperous. Of course it should be the side you're on. Right? And why not side with Darigan? Well, they just look so evil! They're obviously the bad guys!

To further my investigation, I took two of my faithful Lupes to Meridell to interview King Skarl. We were brought to the throne room slightly roughly by suspicious-looking Draiks. Hey, you can't blame them for being suspicious, they are at war.

Me: Ecooz- *I remove the obstruction of a Draik's hand from my mouth* Excuse me, oh great king. I am a reporter for The Neopian Times, and I wish to interview you.

Skarl: *considers* I guess so.

Me: All right then! First, could you summarise the story?

Skarl: *irritably* Haven't I already done that enough? Go read the story! *Makes as if to hurl a goblet of wine at me, but decides against it.*

Me: All right, point taken. So.... on to the next question. Where exactly did the orb come from?

Skarl: I don't know where it was made! But I can tell you where my knights found it. It was at the peak of a mountain, all cold and snowy. Very unlike Meridell. My knights struggled valiantly through the snow--one of them met his death in a crevasse--but they finally retrieved the orb. It was NOT stolen, like that other measly reporter said! *Eyes me suspiciously.* Say, how do I know that you're not a helper for that reporter? Huh? Maybe it's a conspiracy! GUARDS!

I was glad of practice with the track team as my Lupes and I raced from the throne room, hearing the clatter of the guards in their full armour behind us. To cut a long story short (about a long interview cut short), we escaped.

So according to King Skarl, the orb was not stolen at all - it was retrieved from a mountain top by Skarl's knights. What does Darigan think of this story, though?

Darigan seems to be the underdog in the war. Far more people are choosing Meridell for their side. Also, I don't think Darigan is necessarily evil. Perhaps not the kindest of characters, but he testifies that he only wants back what is rightfully his.

After my narrow escape from Meridell Castle, I led my Lupes toward the Darigan Citadel. I walked around scratching my head for a few minutes, trying to figure out how to get up to the citadel, when my Lupes and I were suddenly buoyed up in a rush of air and set down at the citadel's entrance. Apprehensively, I opened the door and stepped inside.

It was dark, with just enough light to see. The light didn't come from any visible source, it was just there.

Two parts of the walls of the narrow corridor disconnected. I jumped, and realised that they were creatures wearing black cloaks that blended in with the walls.

"Come with us," came the sleek, sinuous voice of the creatures. It seemed to be the voice of one, but came from both of them.

I gulped and obeyed. They glided silently over the stone floor, and my footsteps seemed as loud as thunder. Finally, we entered a larger, although no more brightly lit, room. In the middle stood a throne of night-black, intricately carved hardwood. It was decorated sparingly with black opals, which seemed to have lost their shine. On the throne sat a shadowy body, with two glowing, red eyes that seemed to have no pupil. I stepped forward, trembling.

Darigan: You may have your interview.

Me: But... but... how?

Darigan: Do not meddle in affairs you do not understand, human. We have ways of knowing more than you would ever believe.

Me: Y-yes, sir. Um...

Darigan: You want my side of the story. Very well. You may have it.

Many years ago, my land was a beautiful, prosperous place. My people were gay and happy, without a care in the world. All this was because I, their ruler, am a sorcerer, and I had great power for the good of my land. We needed it so much because our home was near a great source of evil, which would have taken over our land if it could.

I knew that I could not let this evil overcome my land, but my magic would not be there to protect them forever. I knew I would die one day, and what would become of my country? I decided to embody all the magic that I used to keep them safe and happy in an orb, a simple thing that could be kept throughout the ages. And so I made the orb. Perhaps it was foolish of me, but that has passed now.

At first, the orb worked perfectly fine. But then, Skarl's knights came and stole it through treachery and took it back to him. This was the worst tragedy imaginable. For I had made the orb too powerful. I had put into it all of my people's power to fight the evil. Without it, we were helpless. The evil possessed us. We did not always look like this - this is because of the evil. Our land became blackened and wasted. Our lives became a living death, slaves to the evil power.

We were not, however, completely beaten. Every one of us had a shred of good left in us that I had managed to retrieve from the orb as the thieves fled. Our minds still know good, but the evil is steadily devouring it. That is why we are here. We want ourselves back. We want to live without the incessant pain of the evil within us. We want our orb.

Me: Wow... that's a story and a half. I wonder... I wonder if there could be a compromise.

Darigan: For once I cannot fathom your mind, human. What is your idea?

Me: Well, it seems that you need the orb a lot more than Skarl does. But he probably does need it a little, too.

Darigan: I regretfully see your point.

Me: So, maybe you could have your orb back, but give Skarl a little bit of your magic to help keep his country from the famine and hard times it had before they got the orb.

Darigan: I must reconsider my opinion of you, human. Apparently, you have more depth than I thought. I will consider your idea. That is, if Skarl will.

Me: um... sir...

Darigan: Ah, I see. You do not want to set foot again in Skarl's castle, I understand. All right. I will find a way to contact him. Fare you well.

Me: Farewell.

With that, the two shadowed figures led me outside. I was lost in thought. It certainly seemed that Darigan had every right.

Does it seem that way to you?

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