Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 109,523,333 Issue: 207 | 9th day of Gathering, Y7
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Ancient Neopia: Part Eight

by articuno_neo


The group had walked to the inn of Sunny City and stayed there for the night. The city was small and most citizens carried strong weapons and armor.

     "Say, who is this Gali Yoj anyway?" Jarod asked and Hero answered.

     "She is a Lore Keeper." Hero then looked around, until he spotted a yellow Pteri. "There she is."

     The group then followed Hero, as they walked to Gali Yoj, the lore keeper of these parts. She noticed them and stopped with what she was doing to talk to the group.

     "Hello? Who are you?" Gali Yoj asked.

     "We are Hero, Jarod, Galgarroth, Vex and Rioeiro," Rioeiro said. "We came here to show this medollian!"

     "It's medallion," Vex said and Hero stifled a laugh.

     Gali Yoj grinned too.

     "Why, I'm Gali Yoj. I'm the lore keeper in these parts; I know more than anyone about the Techo Mountains, the Two Rings, the Eastern Glade, and Kal Panning... what would you like to know?"

     "Well, what can you tell us about the Techo Mountains?" Jarod asked.

     "Well, you probably already know all about the Techo Mountains, since you passed through them to get here. They are riddled with a warren of caves and passages, leading to the Plains of Roo in the north, the Great Plateau in the east, and of course to our little town here. There are other things lost in the mountains, as well... ancient ruins. A mountain fortress. A lake with a mysterious island in the middle, behind a locked door..." Gali Yoj replied. "Our town is the last stop before Kal Panning and the Two Rings Palace and the other caves. So, travelers come here before venturing in the caves."

     "That is something I didn't know…" Jarod said. "But, what are the ancient ruins?"

     "During the time of the Great Empire, a powerful wizard built a fortress in the Techo Mountains, on a cliff overlooking the sea. The wizard was involved in research into the nature of magic, and accidentally summoned five guardian spirits, who destroyed him and took over his fortress. These elemental guardians each wield one of the Staves of Brilliance, and are immensely powerful, as they are each a focus for a particular kind of magic. They would be difficult to defeat for any who dared venture there." Gali Yoj then walked away, picked up an old map and showed the fortress to the group. "It is quite hard to get there, though."

     Hero looked at the map, until he saw the Two Rings area.

     "What are the Two Rings?" he asked. "I know it is the palace where Jahbal fled too… but anything else?"

     "Ah, yes, the Two Rings." Gali Yoj smiled, though it might have been a sad smile. ""The Two Rings are a huge mountain range that extends northeast from the Techo Mountains here. Each of the two 'rings' of mountains encircles an enormous valley. I've never been there myself, but from what I know, many dangerous monsters and creatures roam there. Supposedly there's a cave that leads through the mountains, into the valley, but there is a guardian who protects it."

     "Guardian?" Rioeiro asked, confused. "I thought there only were a lot of monsters… Is the Guardian really there?"

     "Well, I do not know for sure, as I have never been there…" Gali Yoj said. "I heard them from rumors, rumors spoken by many people and travelers."

     "I think that they mean the other Guardians… For I know that there is no Guardian after we get out the Techo Mountains," Hero said. "Just rumors…" he muttered.

     "I see…" Gali Yoj said and she then looked at Jarod again. "Is there anything else you would like to know?"

     Jarod was busy inspecting the map, until he saw something very interesting.

     "Uh, can you tell me about the Eastern Glade?" Jarod asked, as he pointed at it on the map.

     "If you follow the Great Plateau to the southeast, you will skirt around the Two Rings Mountains, and come to a great coastal forest, the Eastern Glades. They are inhabited by magical woodland creatures, but they aren't particularly fond of intruders in their home, so watch your step. The Glades surround a lake containing the island city of Kal Panning."

     "Kal Panning…" Jarod sighed. The last city before the Two Rings area. Hero had told him about it. About the circle of twelve and Jahbal. He asked about Kal Panning. It might have some important information…

     "Can you tell me about Kal Panning too?" Jarod sighed and listened to Gali Yoj as she explained it.

     "Kal Panning is an ancient, cursed island city. It was once a grand, prosperous city, but long ago there was a great battle there, led by the Circle of Twelve after the Great Empire split into two factions. Kal Panning rebelled against the Circle, who they claimed were becoming too powerful and greedy to rule the Empire fairly. The Circle massed an army and attacked Kal Panning, and the battle lasted over a month, with many powerful wizards on both sides. Eventually, the Circle used the last of their strength to curse Kal Panning, and the city itself rose up and destroyed the rest of the inhabitants and defenders. It has been a haunted ruin ever since," Gali Yoj said. She then sighed. "That is all I know about this area."

     "Oh…" Jarod said. "But thank you for your time."

     "Wait," Hero interrupted him. "Eleus Batrin sent me. He said you might know something about this medallion." And he revealed the medallion he had gotten at the Jungle Ruins.

     "Well, let's take a look at it, then..." Gali leaned closer to Hero to look at the rusty medallion. After a moment, she chuckled.

     "It's no wonder Eleus sent you to me. He was never very good at reading Kayannin script. He neglected it in his studies, thought it wasn't important. That's what these characters are, you see. And if I am not mistaken, then this item is... the Keladrian Medallion."

     "The Keladrian Medallion?" Jarod sighed again. "Why do you have to use such weird names…"

     "Well, I wouldn't call the most powerful artifact in the world Jack, now would I?" Rioeiro teased him and then asked about the Keladrian Medallion.

     "The Keladrian Medallion was an artifact of great power, created thousands of years ago by the Kayannin, an ancient civilization of powerful wizards. They vanished without a trace over two thousand years before the Great Empire was even founded, but many of their artifacts, which are nearly indestructible, remain to this day. It is fortunate that you were able to find this one." Gali smiled and gestured to the medallion. "Give me the medallion, and I will restore it to its normal radiance and power."

     Hero stared at the medallion and hesitated.

     "I won't turn evil, rest assured," Gali said and finally Hero handed her the medallion.

     She then held it gently in her hand and started whispering words while her other hand was circling around the medallion. Then beams of light come out of her hand and they hit the medallion, scraping off the rust and the grime that was on it. The metal underneath it now had a brilliant glow.

     Gali then turned to the group. "This medallion carries a great responsibility with it. Use it wisely." And she handed back the Keladrian Medallion.

     "But… what should we do with it?" Galgarroth asked.

     "Trapped in the haunted ruin of Kal Panning are the undead remains of that city's leader, a great and powerful sorceress named Faelinn. She was known as a kind and generous leader when she was alive, but after the city fell, she was killed and rose again as a horrible creature of darkness. However I believe that she was instrumental in sealing the passage into the Two Rings. If you show her the Keladrian Medallion, she might be able to tell you something about how to get into the Two Rings... if she doesn't kill you first."

     "Why would she kill us?" Jarod asked. "I mean, even though she is evil now… but maybe she isn't the monster that you describe. We are just there to help her!"

     "They do not know, they just see you as enemies on their territory," Gali said.

     "Oh…" Jarod sighed. Everything here reminded him of his home, mainly because it was nothing like his home. Here they would attack everyone on their territory; back home they would greet each other and drink a cup of tea. Jarod always compared them.

     "We need to go to the Two Rings palace…" Rioeiro said. "Only to beat Jahbal, right?"

     "Yes, you are right, young one." Gali replied. "The world has long been infested with monsters, giants, undead... all sorts of horrible creatures that plague the countryside and make traveling unsafe. I have a reason to believe that the source of these problems can be found in the Two Rings. There is said to be an ancient dungeon in the northern ring that contains a source of great evil, which is why the Two Rings were sealed in the first place." She paused and showed the mountains of the Two Rings on the map, then continued.

     "The mountains themselves are utterly impassable; nothing could make the journey, let alone survive it. At least, nothing was SUPPOSED to be able to make the journey. The fact that the world is covered with dangerous creatures gives the lie to that claim. Something is escaping from the Two Rings that must be destroyed... and you are probably the only one who can do that. I am too old and weak to travel, and many others are too weak or frightened to attempt what must be done. But you have demonstrated amazing courage and spirit in helping unravel many mysteries, and you are probably our only hope."

     "Probably…" Hero muttered. "Jahbal is behind this, but something else too."

     "I think I know who it is," Jarod said. "I think it is Masila and whoever is with her."

     "Ah, right…" Hero then said. "Even more problems to think of."

     "Well…" Jarod turned to Gali. "Thank you for your help. It is really appreciated… because… we needed to have an idea of what was waiting for us at the Two Rings area."

     "Thank you for your time," Hero said and he then ran towards the shop to buy the needed supplies. Rioeiro used his giant hammer to fix the weapons and then they were on their way. Then they would journey to the last part of this story.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Ancient Neopia: Part One
» Ancient Neopia: Part Two
» Ancient Neopia: Part Three
» Ancient Neopia: Part Four
» Ancient Neopia: Part Five
» Ancient Neopia: Part Six
» Ancient Neopia: Part Seven
» Ancient Neopia: Part Nine
» Ancient Neopia: Part Ten
» Ancient Neopia: Part Eleven
» Ancient Neopia: Part Twelve

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