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The First King of Geraptiku


by star_crystal

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Nothing remains now of the ancient city on Mystery Island except a pile of rubble. Those who are brave enough to venture near the ruined city claim that the wind sweeping through the ghost town carries voices speaking of the splendors that once existed in a time long forgotten. Although feared now, the ruined city of Geraptiku was once a prosperous town. If the voices heard hold any truth to them, the city may well be the greatest kingdom ever on Mystery Island, the current places paling in comparison.

     So what is known about the ruined city of Geraptiku? Historians believe that a king ruled with an advisor and council of twelve. But what was the king like? How was he chosen? There are many questions yet to be answered but so far none have been brave enough to venture deep into the heart of Geraptiku.

     Perhaps it was by chance or maybe the spirits that watch over the ruined city chose him, but at any rate the small Ruki was hardly expecting a small Golden Froozle statue to fall from a nearby tree onto his head. Being fairly new to Neopia, SirLancelo decided that he should get to know his way in the world. After hearing locals on Mystery Island warning against going near the lost city, he decided that was the first place he would head. He rubbed his head and stared curiously down at the Golden Froozle that lay at his feet. Glancing around his current whereabouts, he called out asking if any one was there. After getting no response, he decided there was no harm in taking something that fell on him and bent down, picking up the Golden Froozle. It flared to life briefly in his hands in a fiery pale orange and then was calm. It wasn't very big, fitting easily in his palm, but SirLancelo had the feeling it wasn't your ordinary item.

     As he travelled closer to Geraptiku, the wind began to pick up. The young Ruki shoved aside the thought that he heard voices, telling himself the locals had gotten the best of him, yet as the cries grew stronger he decided something was definitely amiss. Suddenly an Acara and Moehog broke from the bush ahead. Fear was written all over their faces and they fled past the Ruki in a frenzied run. SirLancelo slowed his pace and pushed aside the bush very cautiously. What he saw before him still haunts his dreams to this day. He found out later that the guardian's name was Potcatkerchi. All he knew then was that there was a giant ferocious looking mask that was definitely alive. Flames came out of each side of the mask on torches and a fire burned inside the mouth. Even though nothing had been alive in these parts for many, many years, the place was far from abandoned. It was clear that the menacing mask was to ward off unwanted visitors, the keep Geraptiku's past a mystery. Like those before him, SirLancelo turned to flee but he stopped when he noticed the Golden Froozle in his hand was once again glowing. It flickered with the fire inside the mouth of the guardian.

     Without thinking, the young Ruki walked up to guardian and gently tossed the Golden Froozle inside of the mouth and took a step back. Around him the wind began to pick up even more until it was deafening and it swirled in a wide circle. Then the wind moved to swirl in front of him slowly beginning to take form. SirLancelo could hardly believe his eyes as the wind materialized into the shape of a Silver Kougra. But this was no ordinary Kougra. Even in his mist form, SirLancelo knew this Kougra held power. He was dressed in elegant clothing that displayed his high rank and he held himself with the attitude of one that expected to be obeyed. Yet at the same time, he had a kind look to him. A king standing in all his glory that cared deeply for the well being of his people. SirLancelo could sense the pride radiating off the king before him, and he know knew that the city of Geraptiku must have been even more prosperous than the legends told. The ghost of the king stood erect on two legs, his arms crossed before him. His eyes gleamed down at the Ruki and SirLancelo found himself kneeling before the king, knowing this was a being that deserved nothing but respect, even if he was dead.

     "I come at the summon of he who holds the sacred Golden Froozle."

     The kings voiced boomed through the Ruki's head. It was a deep voice, yet at the same time sounded like wind rustling through leaves. SirLancelo glanced up at the king, not knowing what to say. He had hardly meant to summon to spirit. It was by mere accident that the Golden Froozle fell on his head, or so he thought.

     "What does thy wish of me?"

     The voice once again seared through his mind. Not once had SirLancelo seen the spirits mouth move. Deciding it was better to say something than to remain silent, the Ruki swallowed back his fear and spoke the first question that came to his mind.

     "Who are you?"

     With the expression that came over the king's face, SirLancelo was afraid he had asked the wrong thing. The spirit of the king looked mighty offended that the Ruki before him did not who he was. But his face lightened with the realization that it had been many years since the destruction of his city.

     "I am Lord Vicgretor, first ruler of Geraptiku."

     SirLancelo for the first time noticed the crown set upon the spirits head. It was a sight of beauty in its own. It was made of white gold, which as far as SirLancelo knew no longer existed on Neopia. Set in the crown were a variety of green gems but in the very middle was carved the very Golden Froozle the Ruki had tossed into the mouth of the guardian. SirLancelo stared in awe at the legend that was standing before him. His curiosity rose and soon questions were spilling out of his mouth about what the city was like, how did it become prosperous, how did it fall. The spirit let out a chuckle at the eagerness of the youth and behind him an image of the city appeared as it had been in all its glory.

     "The ruined city is guarded for a reason: to keep the past in the past. I will tell you what I can but there are things that are best forgotten in order to prevent the same mistake from happening twice. Geraptiku was a very successful city, but its success came with a hefty price. It started off as any normal village, small and quiet, going about its daily business without a care for anything in the outer world. That was until one day when a stranger came into our village from another. While he caused no harm personally, he sparked the interest of the outside world with his tales and soon the younger adults cared more for exploring what was around. One youngster came home with that Golden Froozle you had. With it in our ranks, our crops seemed to flourish, our material strengthened and many other benefits occurred. Soon our products were wanted across all of Mystery Island as it was said they were blessed and brought good luck to those who owned them. Our village grew and soon became the city known only in legends today. Up until this point, Geraptiku had no ruler. But with the growing population it was decided that someone needed to be in charge. The person was me, for it was I who found the Golden Froozle hidden out in the wilderness."

     The king paused and his gaze glanced off into a distance, as if he was staring at something in another time and place. SirLancelo waited patiently, not wanting to rush the king and miss out on some detail.

     "The next few years were glorious. An advisor was chosen, as well as a council and together we guided Geraptiku to riches and wealth beyond anyone's dreams. While people today believe popularity and wealth is everything, they will soon learn that it is the least wanted thing. It wasn't just eager consumers that were attracted to our items. Those that wish to take the Golden Froozle for themselves in order to gain their own power started showing up on our doorstep. While we did everything in our power to hold back these vile creatures, we failed. In the end the Golden Froozle was stolen from us. Of course we immediately set out to regain it, fearing what would come of Mystery Island if the Golden Froozle was in the wrong hands. You see Loremasters had learned that the reason the Golden Froozle did good for our village was because we were kind hearted people. They believe that those with tainted hearts would cause the opposite effect to happen…and it did. While we recovered the Golden Froozle, we were too late and the result was catastrophic. We found the thieves but they were not the same as the ones that had stolen the Golden Froozle. They had aged greatly and could barely stand on their own. We brought the Golden Froozle back to Geraptiku but already we could see the effect had spread. Everything was rotten and falling apart across Mystery Island. We tried to undo what had been done and although were successful in restoring most of Mystery Island, there was still much that was lost to extinction. It was decided that in order to prevent this from happening again, the Golden Froozle must be destroyed. It was that fateful night that Geraptiku was never heard from again. All that remains are ruins and our treasure."

     By this time the young Ruki's eyes were wide in amazement. All of this was overwhelming and SirLancelo was having a hard time allowing it all to sink in. The image of the city swirled and then vanished, leaving the Ruki and king to stand alone before the great guardian.

     "What happened? Why did the city disappear when you tried to destroy the Golden Froozle?"

     "I cannot speak of that night, nor the events that took place without fear of calling up something that has long remained dormant. The Golden Froozle deals with power beyond both you and me. Power best forgotten. I will tell you this though. It was taken before the spirits had a chance to safely secure it. Its second disappearance was the cause for Potcatkerchi, the guardian set here to make sure what is in Geraptiku stays in Geraptiku, to be created. I was bonded to the Golden Froozle, to protect it until it was returned to the guardian and to make sure its power was not put to use. You are not the first to have come across the Golden Froozle, but you are the first to be brave enough to toss it to Potcatkerchi and for this we thank you."

     "But what was the Golden Froozle just doing floating around the woods?"

     "As I said…I make sure nothing happens to the Golden Froozle and it has the habit to be…quickly forgotten in flight."

     SirLancelo swallowed in fear, wondering what kind of power the spirit had exactly. He was glad he knew nothing of the Golden Froozle then and had not tried to take it in any direction but this one. Though another question was nagging at him.

     "Why was I allowed to carry it this far?"

     "The spirits could sense the good in you and knew you did not mean to use the Golden Froozle for yourself. You were chosen worthy of knowing our past when you willingly gave the Golden Froozle away. The Golden Froozle will no longer fall into any hands. Potcatkerchi will see to that."

     Off in the distance, SirLancelo could see the sun beginning to rise and the image of the king was fading. He knew that his time with the ancient spirit was at an end. Slowly he bowed once again and the king nodded in response.

     "Goodbye my young friend. The spirits believe no harm will come from telling you this story. I trust you will not let them down and will help keep Geraptiku from being invaded by the wrong hands."

     A gleam came to SirLancelo's eyes. He was more than happy to be part of something huge. With a grin on his face he saluted the dissipating spirit.

     "You can count on me Lord Vicgretor"

     The king once again let out a hearty laugh and then disappeared into the fading night.

     ***

     SirLancelo woke up with a start in his bed. He glanced around his room as if it were the first time he was seeing it. Upon spotting his favourite silver Kougra plushie, Vicgretor, he let out a sigh. It had just been a dream again. He began to wonder why he kept having this recurring dream. He grabbed his plushie and hugged him close. Turning towards his window, he looked outside his house on Mystery Island, off into the surrounding forest. His grip on the plushie tightened when he thought he saw torches burning off in the distance.

The End

 
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