The Siege of Faerieland
Raitorn the Yellow Kourgra was a gruff soul. A strong competitor in the battledome, though a little arrogant, he was well-meaning. He just liked to win. He was excellent at winning and was never really taught how to lose.
Time and time again, he would face the fiercest competitors in the domes and each time, he would reign victorious. Quite a following started to develop around his battles and soon he started attracting more attention. Raitorn, never really having friends was astounded at the perks that winning could get him. He enjoyed the attention and the adoring fans. He loved getting nerkmids to try his luck at the local vending machine. He enjoyed the rare delicacies from all the places around Neopia that battling took him.
After the aftermath of his thirtieth victory, a rousing win where Raincorn effortlessly defeated Plumbeard in Pango Palladiem within minutes, he was gathering his items to leave when he caught a shifting shadow out of the corner of his eye.
Quite suddenly, a shadow gelert grabbed his muscular arm, and escorted the confused Kougra into a rocky, uneven path around the side of Techo mountain. Raitorn, not used to being taken unawares in battle or otherwise, started to assume a defensive pose, but the Gelert had disappeared. Ashen, smokey haze started to develop around Raitorn and out of the depths of the mist came a cloaked figure sauntering out with malice.
“You are… you… you are…” Raitorn stuttered, out of his element.
“Obviously. Do you know why I’m here?” the cloaked stranger snapped dripping with vicious charm.
Raitorn gasped, “No… I mean, I’m getting a following with my battles, but I don’t know why a dark faerie would come and watch a pet battle!”
Jhudora mustered a strange looking smile, which didn’t fit her face very well. “You are well known for your fierceness among competitors. As it so happens, I’m in need of such fierceness in my cavalry. I think you are that fierceness I’ve needed.”
Raitorn just leaned against the mountain, a bit surprised at the situation.
“I have a bold and cunning mission in which I need a victorious champion on my side. The winning side. Are you interested?” Jhudora asked deftly.
Raitorn, without any true friends or purpose, longed for a new challenge. Battledome life was great, but such power drew him. The faerie looked at him like a friend, and her words seemed to just make sense to him. After just a moments hesitation, Raincorn said, “Reporting for duty! I’d be honoured to serve such a powerful Faerie.”
Just then, the shadow Gelert seemingly materialized from above and whisked Raitorn off for training and further instructions. Jhudora lingered for a moment with a secret and venomous smile. The ominous violet mist rolled around and enveloped her cloak, and she disappeared.
Many months passed and when Raitorn didn’t show up for his next battles, some of his fans were concerned. With the absence of close friends though, it soon became old news, and the battledome scene soon forgot about the fierce yellow Kougra.
In Faerieland, Queen Fyora was finishing up readying the items for the Hidden Tower sale. The many wondrous magical items hummed and whistled, just waiting for their new affluent owners to buy them. She sang quietly an old song long forgotten by some of Faerieland’s oldest residents as she readied the shining fuchsia tower.
Suddenly, an out of place “CRACK!” filled Faerieland with a sound full of violence. The fair Queen worriedly glanced out the magically glazed tower window. Something very heavy was resting in the middle of a very broken Faerie Fountain! The magical streams were coursing out, colouring the soft, fluffy clouds strange hues and themes. A particularly jumbled cloud had swamp gas elderly boy glasses on one side, with eventide and skunk swirls on the other! She quickly created a magical connection to all the high council Faerie’s minds to parse out what in the Harris was happening.
Naia, not used to the destruction and feeling terror, quickly joined her mind to the faerie council. We’ve been attacked! Please help! I’ve gotten the visiting pets to safety, but there is a dark army advancing quickly!
Aethia, the Battle Faerie, not one to sit around, was just arriving to the scene. She started shouting orders to the disoriented faerie armies about formations and defensive strategies. “Naia, are you injured?” she barked while assessing the situation.
Naia whimpered, “Just a few scrapes and bumps, I’ll be okay after a dip in the springs!”
Connected through their minds, the healing springs faerie Marina piped in, I have some bad news…
“FOR THE LOVE OF FYORA WHAT NOW!” Aethia shouted out loud.
I had to abandon the healing springs! A stealthy Kougra visited the springs earlier to be restored, but he and a shadow Gelert pilfered the items and barricaded the springs! I’m not able to enter and had to flee! I’m so sorry!
Very unsettled now, Queen Fyora urgently sent for the Faerie’s to regroup in the castle. Quickly now! So we can make a plan. She cannot win. You know the consequences if she does!
Naia and Marina quickly evacuated the pets from the city and into the castle with care. Knowing the stakes, the Battle Faerie flew into action. Defenses were quickly erected, and armies put to battle. The formidable castle doors finally closed with a resounding THUD and the ominous quiet outside the castle after the chaos made the tension palpable.
Exhaustion in their bones and enemies at the door, the mighty Faeries were making contingency plans in case the evil attack was successful. Fyora quickly escorted Naia and Marina into the Hidden Tower. “I need your help. We cannot let this castle fall. If the castle falls, these items will all be lost to the Dark Faerie herself and she will be unbeatable. This cannot happen.”
Naia uttered, “Anything you need of course, Queen!”
“What can we do for you?!” Marina urged.
Just then, the outside attack commenced. Magical streaks of every colour flew past the window and the clamour escalated, as the battle raged in the clouds of Faerieland. Fyora could hear the mighty and brave commands of Aethia ringing throughout the outer citadel while also quietly keeping track of inner castle activities with her mental connection.
The Faerie Queen stood up straight with dignity and said, “I am going to teach you a long-forgotten, olden spell, but you must not let anyone know of it! The spell will imbue one item with the magic of all other items put together. It is the key to defeating the Dark Faerie if the castle falls. You must dedicate yourselves to this task and do nothing else. The future of Faerieland depends on YOU. I must warn you though. It will take a lot of your energy. You will be tired and it will be hard work. I am sorry to ask this of you, but I am needed elsewhere. Aethia tells me that that situation is grim outside.”
After summoning a hidden book and teaching Naia and Marina the spell, Fyora demonstrated the method of imbuing the items and rested a hand delicately on each of the brave, but shaken faeries. “I know you can do this. Thank you for your service. How ever this turns out, know that you have earned the Queen’s favour,” Fyora pledged.
“We will do our best to deserve this great honour,” Marina said with bright eyes. “Come, Naia, let us do our duty to Faerieland and our Queen.” And with that, the two faeries solemnly got to work with their daunting quest of the Faerie Queen.
Outside the battle raged, and Raitorn was once again the star. He was defeating the faerie enemy left and right. At the end of his training with the shadow Gelert, only known to him by the name “Smoke,” he became one of the most cunning strategists of his time. Smoke called him ruthless and told the yellow Kougra it was time for a new look. One training mission involved stealing a stealthy paint brush of all things! Once Raitorn stole the brush, Smoke quickly painted the yellow Kougra with the stolen paint brush as a symbol of finishing his training. As the Kougra dodged left and leapt right, he revelled in showing off his grace and intensity on the battlefield. He even knocked Aethia, the supposedly great Battle Faerie down once, though she scurried back into the castle.
“That’s right! Run away! You will never beat me! NO ONE can beat me!” Raitorn taunted.
As the day grew on, both sides grew weary and a cease fire was called for the evening to rest for the next day of battle, which would surely be intense.
Raitorn drew back to Jhudora’s tent for a briefing. “I’m very pleased at your progress today. The plan to drive them to the castle was a wild success Raitorn,” Jhudora said smirking.
“I am undefeated as usual, my queen,” Raitorn cackled. “I look forward to winning the castle for you tomorrow, as discussed. All of Faerieland will soon be yours!”
Back at the castle, morale was not good. Injured pets everywhere were promptly being healed with Marina’s reserve potions in the castle and the magic of the faeries, but the exhaustion and astonishment of the sudden coup and battle were starting to wear on the pets of Faerieland. Discouraged and disheartened, many pets looked as if the battle had already been won.
Sensing the mood of the pets, Queen Fyora called everyone in for a meagre meal of Bark Tacos and tried to encourage and uplift their spirits to no avail. “Now is a time to join together and defeat the Dark Faerie and her schemes. We must not be downcast, for all hope is not lost! We must join together in these hard times!”
Just then, the doors opening, and who should come rolling in, but the Soup Faerie! With a Wocky and Eyrie helping roll the soup pot in, the Soup Faerie smiled. “You will never guess how we rolled this soup pot past Jhudora’s sleeping armies! But, that’s a tale for another time. You look like you could use some soup! I was working on this brew all day, it has a few very special and particularly exotic ingredients that I think might help you!”
The hall was quiet and a bit surprised at her sudden appearance. The soup bubbling and swirled in her magical pot, and the aroma was almost too much to even dream about.
Waving her wooden spoon magically with a warm smile, she encouraged, “Well come on! I can’t eat all this by myself!”
Up in the tower, Naia and Marina were barely hanging on. Marina yawned, “I’m… not sure… how much mo… much more… I can…”
“Marina!” Naia shouted, as she caught the fainting faerie.
Naia laid her gently on the floor and continued her work, power draining by the minute. Just then, the seal that Fyora placed on the Hidden Tower, started to open, and the Queen’s sweeping violet robes billowed into the magical room. She was carrying something in her hands, but Naia’s eyes were starting to close from exhaustion and she couldn’t make out exactly what it was.
As Naia started to stumble, the Queen gently brought her to the wall and spooned a few drops of the tasty concoction into the Rainbow Fountain Faerie’s pale pink lips.
A few more drops and she started to rouse and feed herself. Fyora went over and revived Marina as well. After a few bowls, the faeries resumed their great task and the room was once again sealed.
The magical brew, made with love by the soup faerie was slowly giving not just energy… it was giving Faerieland hope! The seemingly never-ending bowl of soup seemed to hum with delight and enchant and encourage everyone that partook of it's delightful goodness.
The next day, a day that was previously thought to be devoid of all hope, hummed with the potential of victory within the castle. The castle itself seemed to cry out with expectation as the pets of Faerieland and the mighty Faeries gathered for another fierce day.
But, with the hope of friends and the love of their land, they fought with such intensity, such that has never been seen since. Even the youngest meagerly-trained palace guards were matching spars with Raitorn and his army.
“What is this magic!?” Raitorn gasped exasperatedly after a particular quick exchange of blades with a Split Mynci from the Faerie’s castle.
Slowly but surely, Faerieland’s armies pushed back Jhudora’s troops that day. And the day after that. And the day after that, until one day, Raitorn, in the middle of the field, surrounded by simple Faerieland natives was cornered. In his arrogance, he separated himself from his troops and was all alone. He looked into the eyes of Aethia, who joined her fierce forces after seeing their advances, and realizing defeat, gravely dropped his sword. A seemingly magical silver light from above seemed to shine down each inch of the sword as it fell in slow motion into the welcoming, pure white clouds.
As soon as the dark faerie’s troops saw that their chief officer had surrendered, it didn’t take long for them to retreat.
“I… lost?” Raitorn questioned.
“That you did young Kougra. That you did.” Aethia said triumphantly.
“How did this HAPPEN?!” he roared.
The Faerie Queen floated down to join the unlikely group and knowingly said, “A little soup and a lot of hope.”
Fyora hastened to the Hidden Tower with one last restorative bowl of magical soup. After unsealing the chamber and handing the bowl to Naia and Marina, she said, “Thank you so much brave faeries. We’ve won the battle through hope and friendship. Thank goodness our contingencies were not needed. It is good to know that if it ever comes down to it, we have a plan though. I know I can count on you if we are ever forced into such a position again.”
“Praise be!” exclaimed Naia.
“Now for the rebuilding… again,” laughed Marina.
“Again,” sighed the Queen.