The small shadow ran over the fields, huddled in a cloak.
It seemed to run for ages but finally reached a little back door of the castle.
It pulled out a key and entered. The door shut with a bang behind it. Slowly
the shadow crept up the small staircase. At the end of the staircase there was
just a brick wall with a stone Draik head in the middle of it. The shadowed
hand pushed the head and the wall opened itself. The shadow entered a chamber
decorated entirely in the colours of Meridell. A large fire was burninga nd
cracking in the fire place. A robed figure stood in front of it. Kreneh turned
around. The shadow bowed.
"My lord, I have some information that may be
of interest to you."
"Come in old friend, have a seat!"
As darkness was taking over the blue skies, a blue Lupe carefully walked around
in the corridors. He was examining his strategies back and forth. It was almost
time, today he would do what has been waiting for 18 years. His steps became
hesitating, it was night now, he could no longer wait. He slowly went back to
where his warriors lay and started chanting softly:
"Arise brave warriors for it has come, your
It is now that you must defeat the foe that
is yours and mine
The beast hidden in it's lair
Wishing his life good and fair
Dream and sleep on malicious foe
For we shall defeat you with one blow
Your castle dark yet fair
Shall soon be wrapped in great despair."
As he continued chanting his voice became louder
and the Neopets in the area awoke. They understood the fight was soon to be
and got themselves ready.
"For the great warriors of Tyherdell.
Shall soon destroy the city of Meridell
Ghisen our great king
To life we shall you bring."
He stopped and looked around. All were gazing
at him; he vaguely smiled and drew his sword. He pointed it at the ceiling and
all followed his movement. He did not speak; he made no sound at all. He just
slowly pointed his sword to one of the corridors and disappeared in it, the
Tyherdellains followed. Soon Illyne and Merrhyna were walking on each side of
him. When they reached the open air the small troop stopped. The sky was dark
as the Raven faerie's hair and millions of stars shone. They looked as if they
were put on a large black cloak by tiny faeries. It was as if all took one deep
breath at the same time, for some it was the last one…
They marched on, and against the pale light of
the moon they could see the threatening towers of the dark Meridell Castle.
A few arms and swords were waved and the troop
split up in three large groups and one small one: existing out of three people.
Two of the large groups moved towards the sides of the castle, brandishing their
bows and ladders. The other large group took some distance and set themselves
up in front of the gates. The little fellowship moved to the left side of the
castle. One archer shot an arrow, with a rope tied to it, into the crumbling
castle wall next to a window. The other side of the rope was tied to nearby
tree. Merogan spat in his hands and took hold of the rope, to see if it was
well attached, he tugged on it a few times. He then made a little jump and started
climbing. As he reached the window, the stones started crumbling a little more,
because of the arrow that was shot in it. Merogan waved and now Illyne took
hold of the rope. She was frightened, but she had to go and get her sister.
She summed up al her courage, which wasn't much at the time, and climbed. The
rope started to quiver slowly. But Illyne was so scared that all thought it
was her that was quivering. Merogan grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her up,
setting her down in her old room. She started wandering around in it when Merrhyna
Illyne was startled when she heard a loud ruffling
noise and a suppressed scream. She rushed over to the window and saw Merrhyna
hanging from Merogan's arm. The rope had gone! The warriors on the solid ground
were powerless and watched in anxiety. Illyne reached out and grabbed Merrhyna's
other arm. Alas Illyne was but a light person and she almost fell, if Merogan
wouldn't have caught the back of her dress. He threw her back into the room
and pulled really hard. Merogan fell on the floor with a great thump and Merrhyna
fell onto him. They didn't move…they were not sure of how much noise they had
made, for all they knew they could get discovered.
After what seemed an eternity they got up. Illyne
slowly opened her door and snuck out, disappearing in the shadows. The others
followed. She lead the way to another large wooden door.
"This is my sisters room," she whispered. "She
will be sleeping, let's try not to wake her, she has a very sharp voice." They
entered, as the door creaked a dark shadow covered with sheets moaned. They
froze…the figure seemed to move but quickly grew silent. Illyne walked over
to the right side of the bed and slowly whispered Illiana's name. She then carefully
shook her. Illiana froze in her sleep, opened her eyes and started spreading
her lips apart. Just right in time Merrhyna covered Illiana's mouth with her
paw. But the young red-haired Ixi started shaking and fidgeting as if she were
mad. Merogan clutched her arms behind her back and made a soothing sound.
"Illiana, you must listen to me! I have something
very important to tell you…" Illyne sat down on the bed and started telling
the Tyherdell story, about Merogan and the war. While Illyne was speaking Merrhyna
and Merogan slowly let go of the princess. When Illyne finished, Illiana looked
at the three of them and started laughing.
"What are you? Crazy or something? You believe
the first bum that comes in swinging a shiny sword and you're off playing war
against your own father?"
"He is NOT your father!" said Merogan threateningly.
"Maybe not!" she said turning towards him. "But
I AM a princess and you are but a mere peasant, adopted or not, that is what
you are and will be for the rest of your live, that may end very soon! Now leave,
or I'll call the guards."
"But Illiana, we will attack, you will be in
great danger!" said Illyne.
"Yes, I'm really scared of a bunch of untrained
peasants who can barely hold a pitchfork!" She slid of the bed and walked towards
her door, which she opened. "Go! Go now, or I will call the guards!" Merogan
and Merrhyna left the room, Illyne followed reluctantly. They had just reached
Illyne's room when they heard Illiana screaming for help. Merogan and Merrhyna
rushed out into the hallway to see about 10 heavily armed guards standing in
"She betrayed us!" hissed Merrhyna.
"Go back in and tell Illyne to go back down
and give the order they need to get ready for battle," he whispered in her ear
. Merrhyna ran in the room and waved a red handkerchief. The troop underneath
the window started getting ready. Soon ladders were put against the walls and
ropes were shot up. The brave warriors started to invade the castle on many
levels. One got up on the highest tower to signal the others.
Meanwhile Merogan and merrhyna were standing
in the hall, brandishing their swords. One of the guards, a large armoured Eyrie
was smiling malevolently as he came towards them. He suddenly took a swing at
Merrhyna but she jumped out of the way and hit him in the face with her foot.
The blow was so unexpected that the knight fell down instantly. The others were
but infuriated by this act. Merogan and Merrhyna stood shoulder by shoulder,
there swords in front of them. Then the knights and guards attacked. Merogan
tried to fight him off with the skills that Phédry had thought him. Merrhyna
used her dancing skills and lightly escaped most attacks. But nevertheless they
were pushed back in a corner. Merogan saw there was a large, silver candleholder
next to him. He reached out with his foot and kicked it over. The artifact fell
with a great king. The knights of Meridell jumped back. One candle had rolled
towards the wall, and the tapestry that was hanging on it caught fire. Both
sides backed away from the fire as one of the knights yelled out:FIRE with his
mighty voice. The fire quickly spread from tapestry to chair, from chair to
trunk, soon doors were on fire. Merrhyna and Merogan ran towards a staircase
and climbed it. When they reached the top tower they could see a large part
of the Castle was burning. They looked down from the window and saw that an
army of knights and the Warriors of Tyherdell were in a great battle. They saw
Illyne pointing at them and waving they had to come down. The fire was quickly
Merogan leaned out of the window and saw the
ramparts. "We have to get on the ramparts, we can easily get down from there!"
"I have a rope in my quiver!" said Merrhyna.
She took the rope and gave it to Merogan. He attached to a large cram that was
stuck in the wall. He grabbed Merrhyna by the waist, holding the rope with one
hand and ventured down. But the archers of Meridell who were standing on the
lowest rampart and seen them and started firing arrows in their direction. One
arrow cut the rope. Illyne screamed as Merogan and Merrhyna fell clutching on
to each other.
It seemed like an endless dive, but they had
only fallen a few meters. Merogan was tightly holding Merrhyna while his other
arm tried to grab anything to delay their full. Suddenly it did grab something,
a part of the rampart. Below the warriors and knights were still in a fierce
fight, while Illyne shot arrows at the Meridell archers. But Merogan's fingers
started slipping and his grasp let go. They fell on the lower rampart, crushing
most of the archers under them.
"Are-are you all right?" moaned Merogan who
was struggling to get back on his feet. Merrhyna slightly nodded as he pulled
her up. They both waved at Illyne to show her they were all right. "We can't
jump, it's to high and we don't have any rope left. We'll have to get back into
They walked over the ramparts to the right tower,
where there was a door. Merogan slowly opened it and took Merrhyna in the darkness
with him. They could hardly see but found a small spiral staircase. Carefully
they descended it. They just kept on turning and turning. Merrhyna saw that
further there was some source of light, because you could see light reflected
on the wall. Suddenly she saw a large shadow on it that seemed to be swinging
an axe. She yelled at Merogan who got down one instant before the axe swung
over his head. Merrhyna took her bow and shot an arrow in the Eyrie's heart,
he crumbled and fell down the stairs. Merogan at her, stunned. She reached out,
helped him up and led the way. At the bottom of the staircase lay the Eyrie.
They carefully passed without looking. Merrhyna pushed the little door and found
herself in one of the better halls of the castle that hadn't caught fire yet.
The hallway was entirely deserted and looked very peaceful. They both walked
on and halted at every door to see if they could hear voices. As they heard
nothing they just kicked a random door open and found themselves face to face
with Kreneh and the spy.
"So it was YOU!" hissed Merogan at the spy.
"How could you…how could you?"
"It was very easy," answered Brethe. "Your father
was but a fool and so are all the members of The Circle. Now, I believe you
have already met the one and only king. You have lost the war, young ones."
As he finished speaking knights came from behind the curtains and surrounded
the both of them.
"Drop your weapons!" said Kreneh as he came
forward. Merogan and Merrhyna dropped their weapons with great reluctance. "Ah,
is this my brothers' famous sword?" said Kreneh as he picked up Merogan's sword.
He let his black fingers slide over the blade, touching the small carvings.
"You know, Ghisen never told me what was written on it…I don't suppose this
little peasant knows either," he said, pointing the sword at Merogan, who had
never been this angry before. "Pity I have to destroy it, is the last artefact
that was his. Soon, he will be gone forever," mumbled the dark Ixi.
All of a sudden a knight came running in. "My
lord, my lord! The castle is almost entirely caught in flames." Kreneh turned
his back on the prisoners shouted a 'what' and got hit on the back of the head.
Merogan took his sword and ran out quickly, closely followed by Merrhyna. All
had happened so quickly that the knights didn't know what to do. But as they
saw flames in the hall, they ran off leaving Kreneh on the floor. Just the small
Meerca was left in the room but also he decided to take off quickly. He stepped
out in the hall and got lifted by a blue hand and found his little eyes confronted
with the raging face of Merogan. "I am not finished with you!" said Merogan;
he and Merrhyna ran out of the hallway with Brethe clutched under his arm. All
knights and guards had left the castle, surrendering. Merrhyna and Merogan had
no trouble to get out. It was on the green grass of the battlefield that Merogan
saw Illyne in good health. He ran over to her and hugged her, still holding
Brethe. A rope was brought and the small traitor was bound. Merogan heard shouts
of awe and he turned around. The whole Castle was burning with vivid flames,
desperately trying to satiate their never-ending hunger. He went to stand between
Illyne and Merrhyna and put an arm around each one of them. It was the end of
Now the clouds were packing together and even
though it was very hot, it started to rain. Merrhyna took a deep breath and
enjoyed the typical smell of cold rain falling on warm ground. The Circle came
standing in a tight group, congratulating each other. But to cry victory already
was a foolish mistake. Up on the ramparts moved a black figure surrounded by
fire, clutching a bow in his hand. He laughed maniacally and fired an arrow.
The arrow came down, searched and hit his target that as standing in the Circle.
Merrhyna crumbled with a great scream. Merogan
and Illyne bent over her and saw she had been hit in the shoulder. Merogan looked
up at the Castle; his eyes blurry with tears and just saw the dark figure go
up in flames. Merrhyna had trouble breathing but kept smiling.
"Thank you…for this wonderful time Merogan…and
you to Illyne. You are both amazing people, I know you will bring Tyherdell
back…I hope so." She was struggling for her breath. She rolled her eyes, whispered
Merogan and closed them. The rain was getting heavier now, and the assembly
had gone quiet. Knights and Warriors were gathered around, their heads turned
to the ground. Merogan got up and walked away from the Castle. Illyne hesitated
and followed him. A few meters further he stopped; he looked at the forest,
at the valley behind that had once been Tyherdell. Illyne stood next to him.
"You will have to rebuild Tyherdell…" he started.
"You are the rightful queen, now. Gather all the people of Meridell and tell
them to leave these doomed grounds." He said in a bitter voice.
"You are the king, Merogan! You are my brother
and Ghisen's heir…"
"No, I am but a peasant! Kreneh was right."
He looked at his sword, carefully examining it and let go of it; it fell in
the soft grass.
"Being a king, a warrior does not run through
your veins, it lies in there." She pointed at his heart and knelt down to pick
up the sword. "You are King of Tyherdell, of these grounds."
"Maybe some day people will move back here,
these are lovely grounds. But first many years must pure these doomed grounds
where such a foul creature has lived."
"Yes…" She looked at the valley of Tyherdell.
"Something tells me that a long line of Lupes will defend these lands for many
Author's Note: Thank you for following my series to this point, you were
really brave! I welcome Neomails with comments(negative and positive)...It's
always fun to get a little message, because at least you know some people took
the time to read it, whether they liked it or not.
Thank you all
(Thanks to the wonderful editor of the NT for publishing it...)