Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 104,800,928 Issue: 204 | 18th day of Hiding, Y7
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Brought Together II: Part One

by springsteen0991


In a luxurious room somewhere in Fyora's hidden tower, Strophagus the Royal Quiggle had just finished preparing his perfect lunch. His dining table was set; he had made a bowl of carnupepper soup and put some organic green grapes in a basket with other healthy delicacies. He had opened the curtains of a large window that let the sunlight shine directly onto his plants. One of the most expensive spoons in all of Faerieland was the one placed next to the soup bowl.

     What was the occasion? Oh, nothing. Strophagus simply needed to have the best. He was the Faerie Queen's faithful employee, and often ran errands for her...but this glorious week was to be his vacation. A special friend of his was coming for a visit later that day, a friend he held very dear to his heart.

     He smiled as he sat down in a cushioned chair in front of his lunch. He popped a few grapes into his mouth and chewed on them slowly, savoring their flavor. The Quiggle then finally picked up the spoon, and took one sip of his carnupepper soup. He took another, then another. It had to have been the best lunch he could have ever tasted in his entire life, and if something was to stop him from eating at that time, he was quite sure that his entire afternoon would be ruined.

     "I hope no one attempts to interrupt my lunch at this hour," Strophagus said to himself worriedly.

     Just as he finished saying that, there was a light knock on his door. "Who is it?" he called, trying to conceal his annoyance.

     "Sir Strophagus," a young light faerie began as she stepped into the room. "Smatty has arrived."

     The Quiggle nearly jumped out of his seat. "She's here already? So early? Excellent! Thank you so much for informing me," he said, his irritation completely evaporating. He arose from his chair and left his lunch, which was now something extremely unimportant to him. The faerie nodded to him and he scuttled out the door without another word.

     "Where are you going, Strophagus?" a faerie asked as she watched him sprint down the corridors.

     "Just seeing an old friend!" he called back.

     "Who, Smatty? You've known her for a month, at most," the faerie said with a laugh. But Strophagus knew she didn't understand. Smatty wasn't just any other friend, Smatty was the friend.

     He turned left into a hallway, then right onto a spiral staircase which appeared to be made out of some sort of floating material; Strophagus had never bothered to ask what. He then zoomed down the steps until he had reached the first floor of the hidden tower. A golden door shaped like a keyhole stood before him, and he walked through it without hesitation. To anyone who had happened to be standing around the exit at that time, he had apparently just walked out of thin air. But even though the hidden tower was already invisible, for further stealth it was located in the middle of Faerieland nowhere. So naturally, there was no one to spot a random Royal Quiggle exit an invisible Faerie Queen headquarters.

     "Now, where to?" Strophagus asked himself. To his left - clouds. To his right - a red Kyrii that looked oddly like Smatty...wait! It was Smatty. He could tell by the shaggy long red hair that resided all the way down to her feet, and the carefree expression planted on her face. The Quiggle's eyes opened wide, and he consequently forgot to say anything.

     The Kyrii laughed. "Strophy!"


     Smatty had unpacked all of her things, which had all fit into one small suitcase anyway, as Smatty lived a simple life and didn't really care about her material possessions. Unlike Strophagus, she didn't wear any fancy clothes or use beauty products (well, I don't think Strophagus used those either). The entire way up through the tower, up to Strophagus' room, Smatty had been in awe of the luxury of it all. It was the exact opposite of what she was used to; living in a small cottage full of plants on top of Terror Mountain, which ironically was not the greatest place to grow plants. But Smatty was a talented Kyrii.

     "Are you ready?" Strophagus asked, standing at the door of the room. "We need to get to Queen Fyora's office. She's expecting you, and I imagine she is quite fond of you. Although," he added with a brief chuckle, "she has never actually met you."

     Smatty snapped out of looking around the amazing room, and turned around. "I'm ready," she said excitedly. "This place is just amazing, Strophy. It sure is a lot better than that tent we had to sleep in back in Terror Mountain, huh?"

     "Do not remind me of that tent," Strophagus answered, with yet another one of his brief chuckles. He thought about pretending to be annoyed by Smatty's use of the name 'Strophy' but decided it wasn't worth it.

     Smatty always called Strophagus 'Strophy' instead of the Quiggle's actual name, and she knew it used to annoy him a lot, but she had grown attached to the name and in secret so had Strophagus. He sometimes complained against it, but never seriously. His personality had changed a lot. The day Smatty had first met him, he had hated the name instantly.

     The two of them left the room together, and marched up through the twisted pink and purple corridors of the tower. Strophagus walked up the steps as if he was taking a leisurely stroll through the marketplace, and Smatty acted as if she was in the headquarters of a great Faerie Queen...which she was, so that was natural.

     "I can't wait to meet Queenie," Smatty said as they neared the office at the top of the tower.

     "She can't wait to meet you," Strophagus said, not with a brief chuckle, but a smile instead. "Queen Fyora is still happy about our successful attempt at locating and bringing back the Queen's Clovers. She thinks you're a great person - which you are, of course."

     "Aw, what an inspirational moment."


     Before Smatty knew it, they were standing before a large door of a magnificent purple shade, which didn't surprise the Kyrii at all. "Fyora really likes purple," remarked Smatty.

     Strophagus began to say, "I like it too," but stopped himself quickly, and simply nodded. "Shall we go in?"

     "Yup." Smatty pulled the door's golden handle and opened it up hesitantly. She and Strophagus stepped in and saw Fyora sitting at her purple desk, wearing her purple dress, and everything else in the room was purple. The walls, the cushioned chairs, even the paintings of famous faeries on the wall had a purple theme. At least the borders of the paintings were pink.

     "Welcome to my hidden tower, Smatty!" the Queen said happily. "I see Strophagus picked you up where your escort left you off. That's wonderful news."

     "Hi Fyora, thanks for inviting me!" Smatty replied nervously with a little too much enthusiasm so her comment sounded superficial. Normally she would have called Fyora 'Queenie,' which was the nickname she had given her, but she figured for the first time talking with her, she'd use her real name. "It's a great privilege, and not many pets get this opportunity, and wow...."

     Fyora grinned, happy that for once someone was addressing her as simply 'Fyora,' instead of 'My Fair Queen' or some other title to inflate her ego. "The pleasure is all mine, Smatty. You have no idea how much your Queen's Clovers helped Mystery Island. I hope the seven hundred thousand Neopoints I rewarded you with were enough."

     Strophagus laughed. "She's still barely spent any of it. She used about one hundred thousand to go on a vacation to Krawk Island, and I do believe that is all."

     Fyora raised an eyebrow. "Oh, a vacation? How was it?"

     Smatty shivered. "I don't want to talk about it."

     "That's fine. Anyway, there is a reason I arranged for the two of you to meet me here, besides the fact that I did want to see you in the flesh, Smatty. Strophagus talks about you a lot," she said with a wink. The Quiggle blushed.

     Smatty stared at Strophagus for a moment with a curious look that clearly said, 'What did you say about me?' She then asked Fyora brightly, "So, what is it, Queenie?"

     "Come over here," the Queen beckoned. She led them to a purple curtain at the end of the office. Smatty hadn't seen it earlier, because it was the same color as the walls.

     "Queen Fyora! You're going to show Smatty?" Strophagus asked with surprise.

     Fyora nodded, and returned Strophagus's surprised expression with a smile. "Both of you, come with me down these stairs." The purple curtain flew off the wall by itself, and revealed a gray staircase that contrasted with the bright setting of the office. The Faerie Queen turned around swiftly and started down the steps. Smatty flashed her Royal Quiggle friend a quizzical look, and without a word, they followed her down the dark nondescript staircase.

     "Where are we going, Strophy?" Smatty asked quietly, trying to avoid using her usual, slightly loud voice.

     Before the Quiggle could answer her, the three of them had entered a small dome shaped room at the bottom of the steps. The walls were made of some sort of hard stone; the floor was a depressing dark brown color, and the lighting was simply a small chandelier with three candles in the center of the ceiling. Smatty noted that this setup really didn't fit Fyora's style.

     She looked up and noticed Fyora standing beside a small, transparent box, located on top of a gray steel table. Inside the box was a small bronze, plain looking amulet, but Smatty could tell it was far from plain. A large dark-golden gem was implanted inside of it; a gem that almost glowed, and Smatty found herself staring at it and being drawn toward its presence. A moment later, she shook her head and returned her attention to Strophagus and Fyora.

     "This," the Queen said proudly, "is the Amulet of Ascendence."

To be continued...

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