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The Fall of Jhudora

by hermione_granger591


'Twas a sunny day in Neopia, after a long week of raining and thundering. The sky was a brilliant blue, with a few stray clouds floating peacefully. The Pteris were singing and the breeze rustled the lush, green leaves of the Money Tree, which was basking in the warmth of the day. Neopets could be seen running 'round the on the marketplace, scurrying to finish chores so they could enjoy the sun before it set behind the horizon.

      On this certain day, an Eyrie was sauntering down the street, followed by a Kougra and a Lupe. They were not anything extraordinary; nay, they looked quite mundane.

      The Eyrie, a small female the color of the sky, looked to be not a child, but not an adult, either. It was safe for a fellow pedestrian to say she was a teenager, one who seemed carefree in the ways of the world.

      The Lupe was also blue, but murkier in his hue. He seemed younger, but as tall and lanky could he be described. His eyes were slightly more energetic, and his mouth was twisted into a proud grin. He looked to be eleven or twelve.

      The Kougra came last, trotting to keep with the others. Her tail twitched every so often to steady her pace. She was red, a deep, vibrant shade. She was too young to be worried about anything; her expression was one of pure joy at her excitement of being outside.

      They looked quite common; however, after this particular day they were anything but ordinary.

      It started with a cart of oranges. The Eyrie, on her way to the food store, looked back to make sure she still had the two small ones.

      "Kylia!" the Kougra cried, jumping onto the Eyrie's back. The Eyrie flinched and stopped.

      "Madlynne! How many times do I have to tell you not to do that?" Kylia scolded.

      "Sorry," Madlynne said, slightly pushing her lips into a pout. The Lupe grinned at the Eyrie.

      "Watch out, Kylia, don't be fooled by her. She's too cute for most." He laughed.

      "Jayden, Madlynne, calm down," Kylia scolded gently. "We're in the marketplace. Try to act normally." Madlynne slid off of Kylia's back and frowned. Kylia turned back and continued walking, stepping into a street.

      "But I only wanted to tell you to look both ways before crossing the street," Madlynne said innocently. Kylia smiled at the purity of the youth, then turned back to continue walking. By then, it was too late. The cart of oranges, being pushed by a Kyrii (who, ironically, did not look either), smacked Kylia in the side and pushed her over. Unfortunately, the cart fell over as well.

      "I am so sorry!" Kylia gasped, rushing to pick up oranges before they became spoiled. With Jayden's help, the street was cleaned in a matter of minutes.

      "Thank ye for your help," the Kyrii murmured, rushing away with the cart. Kylia turned and pulled Madlynne out of the street.

      "I tried to warn you!" Madlynne said in a sing-song voice. Kylia shook her head.

      "Yeah... you did," Kylia admitted with a smile.

      They passed a few stores and continued down the sidewalk. The sun seemed to creep into every corner, filling the alleys with light. One alley, however, seemed dark, even as the sun shone right above it. Jayden laid his eyes upon this alley as they neared it. He felt a sudden chill shoot up his spine like a bolt of lighting.

      "Kylia... " he started to murmur, but he was cut off by a voice. The words it said seemed normal enough, but the voice... the voice was not normal. It was sweet, like a faerie's, but yet it had a tone to it that seemed to shoot out every word like a bullet.

      "Children, I require help. Come to my aid." The voice slithered out of the valley like a snake: deadly, but harmless. Madlynne cocked her head. To her young ears, it sounded sweet and innocent. There was a yearning to it that was abnormal, but she felt the need to go help.

      Kylia began walking into the alley as if in a dream. She didn't know quite why she was going to help this being, but it sounded like it was hurt. The children followed.

      The alley was quiet and dark. Cobwebs lay in every corner, spun artistically by spyders. The darkness seeped into every scattered piece of litter and trash. The trash cans, knocked awry, filled the air with a horrendous odor that made Madlynne sneeze.

      At the edge of the alley lay a puddle. It wasn't quite a puddle, however; it was deeper, and murky to the point that the bottom wasn't to be seen. Inside the puddle lay a water faerie, floating just above the surface. Her golden-spun hair hung limply over her face, which was downcast. Her normally shimmering scales were dull and faded, and her eyes had lost their twinkling laughter.

      "Children... help me..." she rasped. Her usually honey-sweet voice reflected her appearance, for it too had been changed into a weak voice that cracked.

      "Miss! What's wrong?" Madlynne whimpered.

      "Jhudora has hurt me. Her weapon... the bewitched ring... find it... bring it to me... it must be hidden from her." The water faerie rasped more roughly.

      Jayden quavered. "How do we find it?"

      The water faerie limply held out a piece of paper. "Follow the clues. Find it... before she hurts anyone else..." With that, the water faerie seemed to sink into the depths of the puddle.

      "Open the paper!" Jayden whispered to Kylia, who had taken the paper in a trembling hand. She unfolded the paper, which was cracked and torn. On the small paper read a riddle written in an impatient hand.

     Waiting in cold and shivering darkness

     Lies a beast with a terrible roar,

     Follow the steps to the place of pain

     And try to find the secret trap door.

      "Huh. This is too hard for us kids. Should we go to the adults?" Jayden asked, his voice quivering. Madlynne shook her head violently.

      "No! She asked for our help! Besides, no one will believe us."

      Kylia considered. Madlynne was right, the water faerie asked for their help. "Let's try this, okay? If we can't figure it out, we'll go to someone else."

      "Okay," Jayden submitted wearily. Madlynne cheered. They sat down in the alley, trying not to mind the dirt and grime of the alley floor.

      "Let's think about this. '... Cold and shivering darkness...' Let's start there," Kylia decided. She repeated the words to herself.

      "'Cold' probably refers to Terror Mountain," Jayden murmured.

      "That's right! What about 'darkness?'" Madlynne asked.

      "I'm not sure. We could go there and try to figure it out," Jayden said.

      Kylia shook her head. "How can we get there? I mean, I could fly there, but mom and dad would miss us."

      Madlynne began to cry. "I want to go to Terror Mountain and help the pretty faerie!"

      Kylia sighed. "I do, too. But, we don't have a way to get there."

      As if in response, a dirty violet bag shimmered and appeared in front of the children. It fell on the ground and Kylia picked it up. "FAERIE TRAVEL DUST. Instructions: Sprinkle over yourself and speak clearly where you want to travel. Only by use of children eight and over." She read. The bag was torn and dirty, but the magic inside made a violet glow around the bag.

      "Yay!" Madlynne shrieked happily. Kylia had a bad feeling about this, but Jayden grabbed the bag. He sprinkled dust over the three of them.

      "Wait-" Kylia began to protest.

      "Terror Mountain," Jayden said excitedly. A loud wind suddenly whirled around them, whipping in their fur and lifting them off the ground. A sad melody seemed to twirl around with the wind, and they suddenly were dropped into a pile of fresh snow.

      "Wow! That was so cool!" Jayden shouted. He leaped up and surveyed the surroundings. The area was like a barren wasteland; it was flat and covered with a blanket of newly woven snow. A few trees, free of any leaves, stuck out of the snow awkwardly. They looked as though they had been dipped into the snow, for their branches were rough and cold, and covered in snow. Off in the distance was Terror Mountain, looming terribly above them against the horizon.

      "Well... we might as well get going." Kylia lurched to her feet and began trudging through the snow. She carried Madlynne on her back, who was too small to push through the mounds of the snow. Jayden was able to walk on the surface of the snow with his paws, but just barely. They began to walk toward the mountain, shivering in the biting wind that rushed past them. The mountain seemed to stretch farther and farther away as they walked closer. Finally, each of them shivering in the biting wind, they climbed into a cave for warmth. Jayden gasped in surprise.

      They were in the Ice Caves in Terror Mountain. A bubbling geyser had blasted them there. Other Neopets were milling around, going this way and that. The Ice Caves were quite dark, as the only light inside came from the cavern entrances. Kylia gasped.

      "This is it! The first line! 'Waiting in cold and shivering darkness... 'It all fits! Ok, the next part talks about a beast roaring." She mulled the concept over in her mind. Jayden tugged on her feathers.

      "What about the Snowager?" he asked. She nodded.

      "That's right! The Snowager! So... what's the third line?"

      "'Follow the steps to the place of pain, and try to find the secret trap door,'" Madlynne recited. They raced up to the entrance to the Snowager's cave.

      "Follow the steps..." Kylia murmured. She didn't see any stairs or steps. Then she noticed paw prints left lightly in the snow. She ran down the hill to the Ice Crystal Shop.

      "This is a place of pain?" Jayden asked skeptically. Madlynne jumped up and down.

      "Look, it's got weapons inside! See the snowflakes?" she pointed. Kylia nodded excitedly.

      "Now all we need to do is find the secret trap door." Kylia walked inside the shop and began to browse. While looking at the merchandise, her eyes kept straying down to the floor. It had to be around there somewhere. The other children took the cue and began to search the floor. The shopkeeper watched them wearily. Finally the shopkeeper came over to help them.

      "Can I help you?" she asked, eyeing them.

      "Erm... no. That's okay," Kylia stammered. She didn't want to admit what she was looking for. The shopkeeper shrugged and went back to the desk. They searched more and finally gave up. Jayden turned to go and tripped.

      "What are you doing? We're leaving," Kylia told him, frowning. He got up and brushed away a layer of dust off the floor.

      "I found it!" he exclaimed. Madlynne gasped, and together they pulled it open. They jumped down and closed the door. Inside a small room, they found a treasure chest, made of glossy oak and a golden lock. Jayden struggled to open it until it popped open. Inside the chest lay a scroll. Kylia read the scroll aloud.

     Inside the discovered ruins,

     with a palace, red and gold,

     go toward the antiquity and

     do just as you're told.

     Then you'll find a thirst

     and you'll want to quench it, too,

     just be sure to look before;

     someone might be watching you.

      "Okay," Kylia said decisively, "let's start with the first line. It talks about ruins... where do we know there's a ruin?"

      Madlynne's ears perked up a bit. "What about those ruins in the news? The ones with the funny name?"

      "Qasala? Qasala is made of ruins, right? It's really old?" Kylia asked. Jayden nodded.

      "It has a beautiful palace, too, that's really amazing. It's red and gold, and stands high above the other buildings!" Jayden went on to explain. Kylia grinned.

      "Ok, that's the first two lines." She pulled out the magic dust and sprinkled it over them while crying, "Qasala!" The swirling winds began to form around them, ruffling their fur. The wind picked them up, whispering its sad melody, and in the blink of an eye they plopped down in the steaming sandstone streets outside the palace walls. Kylia stood up and shaded her eyes.

      "Okay, the next line is 'go toward the antiquity.' Where's that?" Jayden stood up as well and took a few steps, looking around. Neopets in turbans rushed by, trying to escape the rising heat of noon day.

      "Let's look around." Madlynne suggested, rushing to look in the windows of the nearby stores. They rambled around, wiping away droplets of sweat and grime from the stirring sand. They passed Desert Arms, hardly glancing at it. Only Jayden fought in the Battledome, but even still he was more of a reader.

      Suddenly, as they walked, Jayden pointed toward a large building. "The library! Let's see if they have books I haven't read!" he exclaimed, rushing toward it. Kylia followed, and then stopped short. She peered at the sign.

      "Hey! We found it!" she said excitedly. Jayden cocked his head.

      "Found what?" he asked. She pointed, watching his eyes light up with understanding. Madlynne grinned.

      "Go toward the antiquity... the name of the shop is Words of Antiquity! Okay, we've found this part. What about the next one?"

      Madlynne recited in a singsong voice. "'Then you'll find a thirst and you'll want to quench it, too, just be sure to look before; someone might be watching you.'"

      "I sure am thirsty, so that part of it's true," Jayden murmured, panting slightly. Madlynne nodded, whimpering. Having no more money, they couldn't go back to the food shop.

      The winds suddenly shifted, and Kylia felt a slight mist blowing their way. "Guys... I think I feel water!" she took off running, into the wind. Jayden and Madlynne glanced at each other, shrugged, and began running after her.

      Kylia reached the fountain in the center of the market place and began snatching up water with her beak. The other two lapped it up noisily, each one enjoying the trickling sensation of the cold water sliding down their throat.

      A chill suddenly whipped sharply up Kylia's back. She felt a pair of eyes watching their group, inspecting every move. She whipped around. The eyes disappeared, like a flash. She slowly turned around to drink again. The chill didn't come back, but she felt the urge to go look in the small alley the eyes had appeared in.

      Jayden appeared to have felt it, too. He turned and gave a questioning look to Kylia. Slowly, they walked toward the alley, peering into the depth of shadows to find the source of the eyes. Madlynne followed, cocking her head at the two of them. They stepped into the alley and saw nothing but cobwebs and a small box. The eyes were gone. Madlynne opened it eagerly, but felt her face fall when it turned out to be a small scroll. Kylia picked it up and unraveled it.

     Your last stretch is coming up soon,

     So pay very close attention,

     Go to a place of healing,

     But why you're there do not mention.

     There, only a few steps away,

     Is a cloud of the darkest of hues,

     Sneak inside, and be careful

     For your appearance there will be news.

      "We're almost done!" Jayden said breathlessly. He considered the riddle and his eyes lit up with knowledge. He pointed at the third sentence.

      "The Healing Springs is a place of healing!" he exclaimed. Kylia perked up.

      "You're right, let's go!" She once more drew out the tattered bag and sprinkled the dust over them. They felt the familiar wind and they were dropped onto a fluffy cloud.

      Madlynne stood up, her eyes wide with excitement. "Look at the pretty faeries!" The city was bustling with movement, faeries flying everywhere and Neopets shopping. They could even see a few Neopets climbing up to the Hidden Tower.

      "Let's go to the Healing Springs!" Madlynne tugged on Kylia's arm like only a small child would. They traveled across the pinkish clouds and the water faerie looked up.

      "Good day, children." Her voice was like a melody. No, it was a melody, for it floated in the air like a song of joy and sorrow at once. She was beautiful, in contrast to the pitiful faerie the children had seen before.

      "Erm, good day," Kylia said with a quick grin.

      "Do you need to be healed?" the faerie said. Her hands glittered with blue magic.

      "No, we're here because-" Jayden was cut off by a sharp prick from Kylia's talons. The words of the poem flew back to his mind.

      "Oh. See, we're just looking around," Kylia stammered. The faerie nodded graciously and turned to help a battered Meerca.

      They traveled to Jhudora's Cloud, the only dark cloud floating nearby. Madlynne stopped suddenly, a quizzical look on her face.

      "What does it mean our appearance will be news? Are we going to be on the news?" she asked, her face innocent and wondering.

      "No. It means that she doesn't expect us there," Jayden explained. They stepped onto the cloud and felt the tension of the place. Madlynne shivered. Jhudora's house, set upon the cloud, loomed hugely.

      Her house was gigantic, and a deep shade of purple. The windows creaked as the shutters, which were rotting, swung back and forth. The house looked ancient, but it seemed stable. The aura around the house sent chills up the children's spines. They took a hesitant step toward the house, wondering how it could look so dark in such a place as Faerieland.

      Jayden pushed open the door and went inside, whispering, "It's vacant! Come inside!"

      "Okay... the water faerie asked for Jhudora's Bewitched Ring. Look around," Kylia ordered and began poking through Jhudora's belongings. Jayden went into the next room and prodded through the contents.

      Madlynne crawled up the stairs and went into a bedroom. Surprisingly, Jhudora's bedroom looked very comfortable. The bed was of the softest feathers, and the window had beautiful purple velvet curtains. On her nightstand was the ring, set inside a case.

      Madlynne lifted off the case, holding her breath. Nothing happened. She grabbed the ring and scrambled back downstairs.

      "I got it! I got it!" she said breathlessly.

      "Great job!" Kylia said with a wide smile. They left the house, each glad as the aura was left behind.

      "Why wasn't the faerie there? That was too easy," Jayden said, glancing back at the house.

      "Who cares? We did it!" Kylia exclaimed happily. She pulled out the bag of dust and exclaimed, "Neopian Marketplace!"

      They were dropped in the same alley they began in. The faerie was waiting there, a weak smile on her fallen face.

      "Good job, children. Give me the ring, let me hide it away." Madlynne rushed forward and dropped the ring into her palm.

      The faerie began to change. The weak face became stronger, and the eyes lost their dull glance. Her face lost all kindness, all gentleness. The limp hair became full, and changed to a shade of purple. Her scaly tail changed into two legs, and she became outfitted in a purple dress.

      "FOOLS!" she boomed. The sky became dark and the wind whipped around them. The same aura from Jhudora's house spread from her hand, which was glowing with a purple wave. The Neopets in the marketplace began to run fearfully as the faerie rose into the sky.

      "Did you not get it?! Did you not see that everything there to help you was from me?!" Jhudora laughed gleefully. Kylia gasped in realization. The purple bag! The words, written in a purple ink!

      "Now that I have my bewitched ring back, I can take over Neopia!"

      "Wait. Why couldn't you just go into your house and get it?" Jayden asked with his eyebrow cocked.

      "That cursed Faerie Queen put a spell on me so that I could not enter my own home! I was forced to leave all my magical items in there, and roam the land with nothing!" she shouted into the sky. The clouds forming in the sky were a dark shade of violet, swirling around a center just above the dark faerie.

      "Hold it, Jhudora!" another voice boomed. The children turned around to see the Faerie Queen, surrounded by the Fire Faerie, the Earth Faerie, the Water Faerie, and the Light Faerie.

      "You can't manipulate children into helping you. Now, it's time for us to lock you away for good!" The Faerie Queen stretched forth her hand, and the others followed suit. A ray of light purple shot from the Faerie Queen's palm, followed by a red beam, a green beam, a blue beam, and a yellow beam. They struck Jhudora, and she laughed.

      "You think that with my ring, you can stop me with just a beam of light?!" Jhudora sent a bolt of purple lightning at each of them. They fell to the ground.

      "We need to help!" Madlynne said, pulling her lip into a pout.

      "What can we do?" Jayden asked skeptically. Kylia thought and remembered Jayden's words a while back.

      "She's too cute for most." The words came echoing back into Kylia's mind. Kylia gasped and grabbed Madlynne's arm.

      "Kylia, what are you doing? Madlynne can't stop her!" Jayden cried out.

      "Madlynne, pout. Look cute!" Kylia said, pulling her towards Jhudora. Madlynne understood and pulled her face into a pout, making her eyes huge and watery.

      Jayden turned to Kylia angrily. "That's not going to help!" Kylia shook her head and pointed at Madlynne, who was crawling up to Jhudora.

      "Miss Dark Faerie?" Madlynne squeaked. Jhudora looked down, and floated back down to the ground.

      "Do not interrupt me, pathetic child!" Jhudora said, raising her hand. Her hand sparked with dark magic and she glared at Madlynne.

      "I only wanted your autograph," Madlynne said, tears falling out of her eyes. Jhudora looked surprised, and Madlynne whimpered.

      "Oh. Well, I mean, I suppose, but make it quick," Jhudora said, obviously flustered. Madlynne handed her a paper and she quickly wrote "Jhudora the Dark Faerie" in a purple scrawl with a pen from her pocket. Then she rose back up in the air.

      "Now! It's time for me to gain control of everything!" Jhudora cried. She stopped, and looked at her palm. Then she looked at her other palm. Her eyes grew wide with anger.

      "CHILD! What have you done!" Jhudora screamed. Madlynne gripped the ring and handed it to the fallen Faerie Queen.

      "Time's up, Jhudora. You're finished," the Faerie Queen said, and a cage surrounded in a light purple glow appeared around Jhudora.

      "You have not seen the last of me!" Jhudora screamed. Then she quieted, looking at the Faerie Queen.

      "Just don't tell anyone I lost because of a child," Jhudora growled, then the cage, along with Jhudora, vanished.

      "Good job, children. I will reward you." The Faerie Queen gave them each a rainbow medallion, bearing the words "Savior of Neopia."

      The faeries floated back into the sky, and the brilliant blue of the morning came back into the sky. The sun seemed brighter, and the Money Tree stretched its limbs while its leaves shook off the dew.

      The three Neopets went trotting home. Their owner opened the door with a grimace.

      "Just where have you been?!" she exclaimed. Kylia and Jayden exchanged glances.

      "You might want to sit down," Kylia said, steering her owner toward a chair. "This could take a while." Her owner collapsed onto the chair and gave a sigh.

      "What is it this time? Oh wait, don't tell me. You... saved the world!" she said sarcastically. Jayden grinned. This was going to be a fun story to tell.

The End

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