Neopia, Year 200: The Beginning - Part Three
Chapter Three: Prophecy
Fyora led the siblings and Brianne into another chamber. Unlike the arched, pink one they had just left, this one was smaller, stuffier, and had a fair bit of dust.
“AAA-CHOO!” Brianne sneezed as the dust particles came into contact with her nose. Fyora slowed down to check that she hadn’t set anything on fire, and then continued on.
Not soon after, Fyora stopped at yet another door, this time a faded gold colour with a heavy gold lock adorning it. “It’s been a long time since I opened this door,” the Faerie Queen commented, “so be prepared for a lot of dust. That means you too, Brianne.”
Brianne nodded and quickly took out a handkerchief to blow her nose with. While the Fire Faerie was doing this, Fyora had withdrawn a slender golden key and was turning the key in the lock. With a loud creak the door opened, and Fyora entered the dark room silently. Within minutes, however, she had made a globe of pink light in her palms and tossed it into the air, where it shone light on the entire chamber.
Everyone, excluding Fyora, gaped at the magnificent room revealed by the globe of light. It was a very large room, with all the ceilings and walls a shining gold colour. Tall bookcases with hundreds of scrolls in them dominated the space, with equally impressive gold statues of Faeries matching them in height.
“What is this place?” asked Layla as her wondering eyes gazed upon the entire room.
“The Hall of Legends,” replied Fyora as she walked over to a bookcase. “It’s where every single story ever written down in the history of Neopia is documented. Ever since we Faeries were exiled, however, we haven’t been able to document any new stories, for obvious reasons. There are the occasional tales about the annual Faerie Festivals, but no-one bothers to put them here because they’re always the same.”
The Faerie Queen began to search the bookcase fervently until, many minutes later, she finally found the scroll she was looking for. “This is a story from Year 6 involving the Library Faerie and the Island Mystic,” she announced, then unfurled the scroll and began to read.
“Yesterday I stopped by the Island Mystic’s hut on Mystery Island. He had just finished an account of the recent Volcano Plot on the island involving a particularly volatile Fire Faerie, and I was interested in documenting it for the Hall of Legends. Well, when I entered his hut, he was looking at some cards- I don’t know particularly what for- and then looked up and greeted me.
“Ah, hello, Lexica!” he said. “I’m just doing some work here. What can I help you with?”
I told him I was interested in picking up his Volcano Plot account, which he said I could have. We talked for a little while about the weather and what was really behind the Tiki Tack Man’s mask, then, just when I was about to leave, he went all funny. I asked him what was wrong, and he said:
‘Yellow, brown, blue and child
Shall brave the mighty currents wild
To meet the monarch of the air
And learn of half dozen traitors there.
They shall navigate this globe
With desert flame to guide their way
Until they reach the final node
Where fire shall be light, and truth be told
Something that harks back to days of old
And when the final deed is done
Light will escape back to the sun.’
Recognizing it as a prophecy, I copied it down and left the hut, after which the Mystic returned to normal.
-Lexica the Library Faerie, Y6”
There was a stunned silence, which Fyora broke.
“You see,” the Faerie Queen said, “when I received that prophecy, I didn’t think much of it, largely because it didn’t have a time specified. However, I realize now that this prophecy is my final duty as Faerie Queen.”
“Why’s that?” asked Layla curiously.
Fyora sighed. “You see, young one, each Faerie Queen has at least ten or so prophecies that come true during their reign, each of which they must fulfill. When the final prophecy becomes true- at least, even in part- that signals that the current Queen’s reign is drawing to a close.”
“No!” Brianne’s shocked cry echoed through the chamber. Fyora nodded sadly in response. Kayna, however, was focused more on the prophecy.
“Yellow, brown, blue and child...” the Zafara mused. “That’s us, right?”
Fyora nodded, a smile beginning to form on her face. “Very good! Do you know what the next line refers to?”
The brown Zafara shook her head, at which Fyora smiled. “Well, ‘mighty currents wild’ refers to the winds that blow around Faerieland, which I’m sure you went through to get here.”
“Then ‘monarch of the air’ must be you,” Kayna realized. “But what does ‘half dozen traitors’ mean?”
Fyora looked at the Zafara for a moment, and then replied. “I have one more thing to inform you of. Brianne might know a bit about it, but now’s a better time than any to let all of you know.”
She paused. “However, I’m not really the one to explain all this. Someone else can do it far better than I can.”
The Faerie Queen raised her voice.
Almost immediately following Fyora’s shout, the Library Faerie dashed into the Hall of Legends.
“Thank you for coming so quickly, Lexica,” said Fyora as she glided past the breathless Faerie.
“Your Highness,” gasped Lexica as she slowly and almost painfully curtsied. “What can I do for you today?”
“Have a seat, Lexica,” the Faerie Queen advised as the lavender-garbed Faerie sat down on a step. “Could you recite for us the story of the Valkaeum?”
“The Valkaeum?” asked Lexica curiously. “But, Your Highness, you haven’t requested that story in years!”
“I know,” replied Fyora. “But I’m requesting it now, so if you could...?”
The Library Faerie nodded, pushed up her glasses, and began to speak.
“The Valkaeum were six Faeries that were the darkest, cruelest, most unlike Faeries you could ever come across. They banded together first in the Faerie Academy, I believe, and continued their alliance throughout the years after they graduated. ‘Valkaeum’ means ‘traitors’ in the ancient Faerie tongue, by the way. Each was eventually imprisoned across Neopia.
The members of this group are as follows: Scylla, a Water Faerie who was imprisoned inside a wave near Mystery Island by the Uber-Water Faerie. Scylla, nicknamed ‘the Vengeance’, believed that she was the most powerful of all Water Faeries and challenged the Uber-Water Faerie to a display of power, with the Island Mystic as a judge. She lost, and immediately began insulting the Mystic’s judgment. Well, her competition became so fed up with Scylla’s hurtful words that she imprisoned her.
Then there was Rheani, a Fire Faerie nicknamed ‘the Fury’ for her ability to quickly anger. She was imprisoned inside a crystal in the Ice Caves on Terror Mountain for her participation in a plan to erupt the Mystery Island Volcano, which wasn’t exactly original considering that another Fire Faerie did the exact same thing many years before.
Next there was Persepa the Earth Faerie, whose mind-control talents earned her the nickname ‘the Hypnotist’. Persepa was sealed within an unmarked cave in the Haunted Woods- unmarked meaning it can’t appear on any map- for manipulating the rulers of Meridell, Brightvale, Maraqua and the Lost Desert to wage war on each other. Luckily, Fyora calmed them all down before things really got out of hand.
The fourth known member was Empesta the Air Faerie, who enjoyed messing with the weather and had the nickname ‘the Tempest’. After causing the massive weather patterns that were blamed on all the Faeries, she was imprisoned within the Catacombs in Neopia Central.
The next two members are the most well-known. Laylith, a Light Faerie who can disguise herself as any Faerie and earned the nickname of ‘the Illusionist’ because of this, evaded capture for quite some time by disguising herself. She was finally imprisoned on Kreludor after many years.
And the last,” Lexica lowered her voice, “is so terrible that merely her nickname brings terror to the hearts of Faeries. Her name was Jennumara, and she was called ‘the Darkest Faerie’. Fyora herself imprisoned her and sent her down into the ruins of Old Maraqua. She escaped after a while, though, but with the help of a Lupe named Tormund and an Acara named Roberta, she was recaptured and frozen in stone on the fountain in the Faerie Castle courtyard.”
Once Lexica had finished, Fyora turned to look at the assembled group. “That’s not the end of the story, Lexica,” she said quietly.
“No?” Lexica looked puzzled. “It isn’t?”
“No,” Fyora reaffirmed. “We- or I, anyway- have sufficient evidence to believe that all but one of the Valkaeum has escaped.”
Both Lexica and Brianne gasped. “What?”
The Faerie Queen grimly nodded. “It seems unlikely, doesn’t it? Well, when each member of the Valkaeum was imprisoned, a tracking spell was also used that would activate if any of them escaped. All of them probably sensed the spell and quickly countered it, but I managed to sense that one of them was in Faerieland. I guess it was the Darkest Faerie, as this was about when she escaped in Year 8.”
The other two Faeries bit their lips, as this was incredibly worrisome to them. Fyora continued talking, this time to the siblings.
“And that is what you four must do. Travel through Neopia. Find and recapture the Valkaeum; otherwise, all hope may be lost to restore Neopia back to its former glory.”
“Excuse me, Your Highness,” said Kayna quickly, “but how exactly are we supposed to capture these Valkaeum? Aren’t they ridiculously powerful Faeries?”
“I see your point,” agreed Fyora, “but capturing them is actually rather easy. Each one was sealed in a specific fashion that only I am privy to, though I did share it with the Uber-Faeries once. Don’t worry; all inhabitants of that room were my most trusted staff. Each Faerie was sealed in a location that would be heavily disadvantageous to them if they ever escaped; for example, Rheani was sealed in the Ice Caves so that her powers wouldn’t get a boost from the environment. The same goes for Empesta and Laylith. Scylla and Persepa were imprisoned by Mystery Island and in the Haunted Woods respectively in the hopes that the natural fire of the island’s volcano and the powerful darkness of the woods would counteract their powers.”
“That’s very interesting,” said Cillo impatiently, “but how do we capture them?”
“Each of the Valkaeum must be sealed in a way that contradicts each of their natures. I can’t tell you more simply because I don’t know more, so you four are on your own. With Brianne, of course,” she added.
The Fire Faerie’s face lit up. “Really? Oh, thank you, Your Highness!” she exclaimed, obviously ecstatic.
Fyora smiled. “Well, the prophecy does call for a ‘desert flame’, doesn’t it? You’re related to Nuria, so you seemed like a natural choice.”
Brianne grinned, and then remembered what they were going to be doing.
“Your Highness,” asked Brianne as the glow of excitement began to leave her face, “where should we start?”
Fyora considered this for a moment. “Well, I’ve noticed that there’s been talk of a powerful Water Faerie relic being hidden just off the east coast of Mystery Island. Judging by how powerful it seems to be, I think Scylla would be easily attracted to it.”
“Sounds great!” chimed in Layla. “But what are we going to do about those?” The baby Aisha gestured with her head to Brianne’s wings, which were still flaming magnificently.
Fyora bit her lip. “Well, er... I’ll have the Healing Springs Faerie mix up a potion that’ll reduce the fire a bit, but other than that, you’ll just have to be very careful, Brianne. Keep out of sight and try and keep them hidden- if you have any fire-resistant clothes, now would be the time to put them on.”
Brianne nodded at this as the Faerie Queen smiled at everyone. “Well, what are you waiting for? Get going! Oh, and Lexica, could you find Janadoa for me? I think I need more tea.”
Lexica smiled. “Yes, Your Highness. I’m sure she’s close by.” As the Library Faerie departed, the four siblings and Brianne headed off to get ready. It would be a long ride to Mystery Island, after all.
Far away, on Mystery Island, the Island Mystic was looking at cards in his hut. No matter how many he turned over, all of them showed the same thing: a dense grey cloud, moving in.
“That’s odd,” muttered the Kyrii as he looked out his hut window. “A storm’s approaching...”
To be continued...