Snow on the Brightvale Hills: Part Two
"I can't get over how great you look," the Starry Lupe said
to her little brother. "Fyora's eyes, you're bigger than I am!"
"I can't help that, Gemini, it's the way I am!"
the newly made Shadow Lupe said. "Well... it's the way I am NOW." He smiled
proudly and strutted a bit. Even though he had only been painted as camouflage
for the shadows of the Haunted Woods, he couldn't help feeling a bit proud of
his new look.
"Just don't forget why we're going to the Haunted
Woods... to battle WERELUPES..." Gemini reminded him. "We need to save Falanor,
"Of course I remember," Telperion said. Just
thinking about his older brother's terrible capture made Telperion feel like
a pup again - helpless and alone. "I hope Tabby's okay," he said. "She lost
all three of her pets within a week. I really feel bad for leaving her."
"She'll be okay," Gemini said firmly, though
her face showed her true concern for her beloved owner. "She's stronger than
"When those Werelupes took Falanor, though,
she stayed in bed for days," Telperion said. "What if she does the same now?"
"She won't," Gemini told him. "Now shut it,
or I'll shut it for you. I'm still your big sister, you know."
"You're my OLDER sister," Telperion corrected
her. "I'm bigger than you now." He then yelped as he was swatted on the muzzle
by a surprisingly strong Starry paw. A few seconds later, spots of light swirled
in front of them. "Whoa, Gemini, you must have hit me harder than I thought...
I'm seeing spots!"
Gemini rubbed her eyes and blinked. "I see them
too," she said. The light grew brighter and brighter until the siblings had
to shut their eyes tightly to avoid being blinded. When they opened them again,
they found themselves in Faerieland. Standing before them was a pretty Air Faerie.
She smiled and curtsied to them.
"Welcome to Faerieland," she said. "You have
been called to the castle by Queen Fyora. Please follow me." She turned and
fluttered off, and the two Neopets followed in bewilderment.
They soon arrived at a massive violet castle.
Two Lenny guards, each with beautiful blue and green plumage, bowed and opened
the doors onto a massive hall. Telperion and Gemini followed the Faerie into
the Great Hall, where Fyora waited. "Your Majesty," the Air Faerie said, curtsying
deeply. "I have brought them."
"Thank you, Ametrine," the Queen said in a soft,
sweet voice. "You may go now." The Faerie curtsied again and fluttered out through
a side door and Fyora stood up from her throne. "So," she said. "I have heard
that you are headed to save your brother from the Werelupes."
"Yes, Your Majesty," Gemini said respectfully.
"But if it's not too bold, where did you hear of our quest?"
"Your owner sent a plea to me, begging for me
to return you safely. She seemed rather frantic," the Queen added.
Telperion bowed his head in shame. 'I knew
we shouldn't have gone,' he thought bitterly. 'I knew this would happen.'
Gemini spoke up. "Your Majesty, we love our
brother. Falanor is the oldest and was Tabby's first pet. She loves him so much,
and we know he can't have been... can't have been killed by the Werelupes,"
she finished, her voice breaking slightly.
"How do you know this?" Fyora asked.
"We're his family," Telperion spoke up. "We
Fyora turned her gentle violet eyes to him.
"You just know," she repeated. Others would have sounded mocking, saying those
words then, but the elegant Faerie sounded thoughtful. "Very well. You may continue
on your journey - your 'quest', as you call it." Gemini and Telperion smiled
at each other, but Fyora held up one slender finger. "However," she added, "I
will be aiding you." She clapped her hands twice, and a terrifying-looking Halloween
Uni approached. "This is Requiem," Fyora said, and the Uni bowed. "He'll be
"N-nice to meet you," Telperion stammered. Gemini
just gaped. "If you don't mind my asking, though, Your Majesty, why do we need
this third member of our party to come along with us?"
"I'll answer for myself, Fyora," Requiem said.
"You need me because I fit in with the citizens of the Haunted Woods. You need
me because I am the only one who can make it through the Woods without being
questioned. You need me because I can get you through. Imagine if you didn't
have me. The Swamp Witch asks where you're going and who you're with. If you
say you're heading into the Werelupes' cave, and you're alone, she'll trick
you into staying and becoming one of her experiments. You need me because you
don't know the first thing about the Haunted Woods."
Stunned silence filled the Hall. To Telperion's
ears, it was deafening. At last, Gemini spoke. "Well," she said. "I suppose
it couldn't hurt, could it?"
"Good," Fyora told them. "Now, before you set
off I want you to come with me. I have a few gifts for you." Telperion and Gemini
grinned at each other and followed the Queen and Requiem through a doorway off
to the side. They climbed a tall, winding staircase that seemed to go on forever,
until they came to a nondescript wooden door. Smiling, Fyora turned the old
brass handle and it creaked open.
"Oh my..." Gemini breathed beside Telperion.
"It's the Hidden Tower!" Telperion gasped.
And it was. It was smaller than Telperion had
previously thought. In his mind, the Hidden Tower had been a lavish hall with
all manner of beautiful, shining weapons on red crushed velvet cushions. Instead,
it was a small, modest room made of stone, where each item was in a glass case.
Telperion and Gemini wandered around, gazing at each item in turn. The Bracelet
of Kings, its gold shimmering in the sunlight... the Darigan Paint Brush, glowing
with a sinister purple light... the shining Platinum Doubloon... the dazzling
Faerie Queen Doll, nearly as beautiful as Fyora herself...
"Come here," Fyora called them, and they went
to join her. "I have gifts for each of you," she said, indicating a big black
bag. "For you, Gemini, I have the Fire and Ice Blade." She reached into the
bag and withdrew the sword; it glowed with powerful magic as Gemini took it,
her eyes wide with astonishment. "It will serve you well on your journey. I
also have for you the Everlasting Apple, for I have foreseen that supplies will
be scarce." Gemini took the Apple and bowed low, gratitude rendering her speechless.
Fyora turned to Requiem. "Requiem, I give you
the Sword of Skardsen and the Shield of Pion Troect to aid you in battle," she
told him, handing over the artifacts. Requiem bowed and thanked her, and Fyora
turned to Telperion with a smile. "For you, my young friend, I have something
special." She reached into her black bag again and withdrew a necklace, which
she put over Telperion's head. "This is the Werelupe Claw Necklace," she told
him. "It is blessed by the most powerful Werelupe hunters in all Neopia, and
it will bring you luck on the long ordeal ahead of you. I also have the Faerie
Tabard for you. In the darkest of times, this will bring you hope." She withdrew
the embroidered blue garment and gave it to him, and the Lupe put it on immediately.
The cloth was light and soft, and he was warm to the bones.
"Finally," Fyora said to them all, "I give you
these words: Stay true to each other, and to yourself. In trying times, friends
and family are your dearest treasures." With that, Gemini and Telperion found
themselves surrounded by motes of light again, and they were transported to
the outskirts of Neopia Central. They looked around in confusion.
"That was weird," Gemini commented. "Do we still
have the artifacts?"
They checked, and saw that they had. "Well then,"
Telperion said, "let's get on with it." With that, the trio set off walking
towards the Woods. Conversation was sparse, but there were some words exchanged.
Telperion and Gemini asked Requiem where he came from.
"I was born in the Haunted Woods, as you may
have guessed," the Uni told them. "My mother and father tried very hard to make
me happy, but I just didn't fit in with the rest of the Woods. I didn't want
to frighten people; I wanted to help them. I was afraid of the other children,
and they rejoiced in it. Their jeers and laughter gave me nightmares. So one
day I said goodbye to Mother and Father, and I set off to find my fortune.
"No matter where I went, people were frightened
by my appearance. I couldn't go home, because I was afraid of the people. I
couldn't stay away, because people were afraid of me. So I hid in the shadows
and became a hermit. One day, while wandering over the rocky terrain I lived
on, small motes of light surrounded me. Fyora had summoned me to Faerieland.
I continued hiding for a while when I was there, but I soon found that none
of the Faeries cared about what I looked like. I went to visit Fyora and she
gave me a job as her advisor in the Castle. I took the job, and Her Majesty
and I soon became friends." He smiled as he thought of the beautiful Faerie.
"When she said that you two needed a guide to the Haunted Woods, I was afraid
again. But for her, I would do anything."
Soon the three arrived at the border of the
Haunted Woods. The trees were old and twisted, and the leaves hid the sun from
view. "Do we really have to go in there?" Gemini asked.
"Yes," Telperion said, his voice strong. "We
have to save Falanor." Without further ado, the young Lupe strode into the darkness
of the Woods. His companions followed him, and the three walked on into the
next segment of their adventure.
To be continued...