A Quest for Faerieland: The Trilogy - Part One
“I want to get rid of him,” Jory’s owner cried in anguish to Dr. Death. She made a repulsed face and pointed at the mutant Skeith standing awkwardly nearby. “This THING is nothing but trouble!”
“Alright, alright,” Dr. Death sighed with boredom. He was all too well used to such behaviors from cruel owners. Handing Jory’s owner a document, he continued, “Sign this, and put down your pet’s name, species, color, so forth and so on. It’s just legal mumbo-jumbo Lawyerbot recently instructed us at the pound to hand out, to help you get your pet back if someone takes them and throws them in the pound without your knowing.”
“I will never want this thing back.” The woman sighed. Jory looked away, trying not to cry as his owner, now his former owner, signed the paper and walked away, not even giving him a wave or even a final glance.
“You are a grotesque one, aren’t you?” Dr. Death stared. When Jory whimpered, he sighed and patted Jory on the head once. “Look, it’s not your fault you're ugly. It’s your owner’s. I wonder why she would turn her pet mutant on purpose, just to throw it away later?”
Jory couldn’t believe how cruel Dr. Death’s words were, but inside he knew he was right. Jory was an ugly monster, and not just because he was mutant. Skeiths were never highly respected or liked, because of so many rumors saying all Skeiths were mean and lazy. And even when painted a color as marvelous as faerie, Skeiths still weren’t all that pretty.
But Jory’s owner hadn’t disowned Jory because he was mutant. In fact, back when she had first given him the Skeith Transmogrification Potion, she had constantly said how happy she was to have a mutant pet. He remembered her taking him out to show her friends, and remembered their daily walks where passerby’s would look at him and say, “His owner must be filthy rich to have afforded that pet!”
The true reason Jory was being thrown into the pound was because of his clumsiness.
Skeiths’ large bodies are often the cause of several accidents, intentional or not. Jory never meant to break anything or hurt anyone, but he had just one too many times.
First it started with the day their neighbor, Ms. Beckley, came over with special skin ointment for Jory. All mutants have terrible, flaky skin that has to be treated daily so that they only look mutant, but don’t feel it. So when Jory opened the door and took the ointment, his giant paws and recently sharpened claws gashed open the bottle, squirting ointment all over poor Ms. Beckley.
The second happening was when Jory had been out walking by himself, not paying attention, only to step on a pea Chia. The Chia was rushed to the hospital and recovered just fine, but its owner sued Jory’s owner for every neopoint they had.
But the worst incident was when Jory’s owner came home with an exquisite fish negg, placing it on the very top of the shelf in the living that held all their other most prized possessions; but nothing nearly as expensive as the fish negg.
“I got this in a random event!!” his owner had told him with excitement. “Tomorrow I’m going to sell it, and we’ll be super filthy stinkin’ rich!!”
That night, Jory hadn’t been able to sleep, he was so excited. Finally, to ease his happiness, he had wandered out into the living room and peered up at the fish negg, as if making sure it was real. Satisfied, he spun around to go back to bed when his tail accidentally swung around and smashed right into the shelf, smashing to bits every single item on it, including the, now worthless, fish negg.
After that day, Jory had overheard his owner calling around to her closest friends, discussing Jory’s horrible luck and even worse clumsiness. Unfortunately, everybody gave her the same advice: “Destroying that negg was inexcusable. Pound him.”
“Stop staring into space and follow me, you overgrown dung.” Dr. Death scowled at Jory. Jory did as he was told, occasionally glancing back at the several different owners who had now lined up at Dr. Death’s desk to also get rid of their pets.
Gesturing into one of the empty cells, Jory hesitantly climbed in and cried softly as Dr. Death slammed the door shut and walked away, leaving him alone in utter darkness.
As Jory wiped away his tears, he could hear the whimpers and cries of other abandoned neopets. Closing his eyes and ears to drown out the noise and darkness, he wondered how long those neopets had been in there, and how long they’d all, including him, continue to stay in there.
As the nights passed, Jory was shocked at how fast the other neopets were leaving the pound with new owners. It seemed like for every three owners who came in to abandon their pet, ten other owners would come in and each adopt one. By the time a week had passed, out of the hundreds of neopets that had originally been in there when he got there, only six of them were left; all the other abandoned neopets having arrived quite recently.
“I wonder why anyone hasn’t adopted you, yet,” one of those original six neopets asked. It had the voice of a female, but it was too dark to see her species. “You're painted, right?”
“Who, me?” Jory called into the darkness.
“Yes, I’m painted mutant. How did you know that?”
“I have a petpet with me,” the girl replied. “A meowclops. It was zapped by the petpet labray that way, but if you took it away from me it would transform back into its original form; a spyder. My owner zapped me with the secret laboratory map every day for a month but I never changed, so finally he got frustrated and sent me to the pound. But he kept my meowclops with me in the hopes of boosting my chances to be adopted. Anyway, to answer your question directly, meowclopses can see through darkness and are psychic, and it told me about you.”
“What species are you?”
“I’m a Wocky. My name is Cellestia.”
“No one will adopt him,” another neopet's voice rang out, “because he’s so clumsy and stupid!”
“That’s not nice!” Cellestia scolded.
“It’s true!” another neopet agreed. “I heard my former owner talking to someone in the lounge out there right before she put me in here. She and the other person were talking about some mutant Skeith in the pound that they both would’ve loved to adopt, but they had heard the rumors of how it got put in the pound in the first place and decided they didn’t want it anymore.”
“It’s hard to be poised and elegant when you're a mutant!” Jory replied sourly.
“Or a Skeith,” another neopet added. Many neopets giggled.
Jory fumed but didn’t say anything more. Once again, not just because of his color, but because of his actual species he was being teased.
Suddenly, a young owner and his two unpainted Gelerts strolled in. The owner had a very immature look to his face; Jory could see it from the light shining through the open door leading out to the lounge. Immediately, all the neopets could see that it was an owner who simply wanted a cool-looking pet, and probably wouldn’t even take care of it. The two Gelerts themselves looked half starved.
“Wow! A mutant Skeith!!” the owner gushed, peering in at Jory excitedly. “What luck! Hey, Doc! I want this one!”
Dr. Death came strolling in, glancing with surprise at the inexperienced owner’s pick. But with an uncaring shrug, Dr. Death opened the cage door for Jory to come out.
Suddenly, Jory was seized with an uncontrollable desire to be free. It was all his former owner’s fault for him being as clumsy as he was. He was too good to be stuck in a smelly, dark pound, and he was definitely way too good a pet for the lousy owner standing above him with a satisfied grin.
Taking the biggest risk he’d ever taken in his life, Jory bolted out the door and past the owner and the doctor, straight for the front door. He heard the surprised gasps and even a few cheers from the still caged neopets behind him, and stopped just for a second when he heard the cheer of a familiar voice.
Jory dashed back down the row of cages, peering inside each one until he found Cellestia’s cage. Before she could question him, he used his gigantic claws to rip off the padlock, reached inside, and pulled her out.
“Get on my back with your meowclops!” Jory instructed. Cellestia nodded and did so. “Hang on!” At full speed, Jory bolted down the aisle. The owner and Dr. Death stood side by side at the end of the hallway in the hopes of catching Jory, but when they realized he was not slowing down, both dove clear out of the way. Cellestia shut her eyes tightly as Jory continued speeding away, through the lounge, out the building’s front door, and way far down the streets, continuing to sprint for what felt like an hour.
Finally, miles from the pound, Jory stopped beneath a tree to let Cellestia and her meowclops off, and rest.
“That was the coolest, most daring escape I’ve ever been in or even seen!!” Cellestia gushed.
Jory panted, falling onto to his side with exhaustion to rest.
“But why did you save me, too?”
Jory gasped for air. Finally, he wheezed out, “Because you were kind to me, even though I’m ugly and clumsy.”
“I don’t think you’re ugly!” Cellestia shook her head. “And if you’re clumsy, you sure didn’t show it while we were escaping.”
“You’re right! I didn’t!” Happily, Jory sat up, only to bang his head on the branch above him and fall back over. “Never mind.”
“Hear ye, hear ye!!” a loud voice called. Looking down the road a ways, the two saw what seemed to be a large faerie calling out to a crowd of Neopians, who had gathered around her excitedly.
Venturing towards her in order to hear her better, Jory and Cellestia stopped and hid behind the corner of a nearby building in case anyone in the crowd knew they had escaped from the pound and would try to put them back.
“Citizens of Neopia, I am in desperate need of the assistance of a team of healthy, strong, and intelligent neopets to carry out a very, very dangerous quest for me!”
Cellestia gasped. “Jory, it’s the rainbow fountain faerie!”
“So?” Jory asked.
“So!? So, any neopet who finishes her quests can be painted any color they desire!”
“Really?!” Jory cried excitedly. Cellestia shushed him and nodded at the still speaking faerie.
“I need a team of five neopets to go on a journey for around the whole world of Neopia, bringing back a specific weapon from each land that I desperately need. You see, Faerieland is under great danger. The Darkest Faerie and Jhudora have teamed together in order to take over Faerieland, and only with the combinations of these weapons I seek can Faerieland be saved!
“These weapons will represent the power of each land, and hopefully bring us the fortune and strength we need to defeat these two terrible faeries! So please, neopets, volunteer to save Faerieland!! The journey will be filled with peril, and some of you may not return. But you will always be in the gratitude of the whole world of Faerieland, as well as all of Neopia!”
Cellestia looked at Jory.
“I have an I.Q. of a hundred and sixty-two. And my meowclops has many special abilities as well. You are very, very strong. I bet the two of us are destined to be on this mission!”
Jory nodded. “I’ll do anything to be painted a different color. Plus, Faerieland needs us!”
Stepping forward, the two approached the faerie courageously.
“We would like to join the team,” Cellestia stated matter-of-factly.
The rainbow fountain faerie leaned down and peered closely at them, studying their advantages and disadvantages, looks, and intelligence.
“Separately, you two are no match for such a mission.”
The two looked down sadly.
“However, as a team, the two of you could go up against the world and win. Welcome to the crew.”
The two cheered, their excitement immediately being torn apart when a familiar voice yelled out, “Hey! They’re supposed to be in the pound!!”
Jory turned to see his former owner marching towards him in repulsed anger. Cellestia ducked behind him as he glared up at the menacing woman with anger. She had just ruined his entire life a second time. First, she ruined his life by sending him to the pound. And now, after being so close to being free and being able to be painted a different color, she had come back to ruin his life once more.
“Your selfishness is uncanny!” his former owner cried. “You think you can bankrupt me, and get away with it?!”
“What is the problem here,” the faerie asked.
“This monstrosity and that plain Wocky behind it are both supposed to be in the pound! I dumped this thing in there the other day, where I saw that Wocky there as well, which is how I know it’s supposed to be in there, too.”
“No neopet is a monstrosity!” the faerie boomed, silencing Jory’s former owner and even the crowd. “Every neopet is beautiful and gifted! The only monstrosity here is you! Fyora, the queen faerie, will certainly hear of your terrible words. As for their ownerless state...” The faerie’s voice softened as she looked down at the two cowering neopets. “I am sending John, one of my dearest Neopian friends, to accompany all the neopets. He will be your temporary owner on this trip. Of course, I’m afraid afterwards, you will have to return to the pound.”
Jory and Cellestia nodded. At least after finishing the quest around the world, they’d be able to be painted. If they succeeded, that was. Who knew what traps the Darkest Faerie and Jhudora, both of whom must know about the quest, had set up? And worse, who knew who the other three neopets on their team would be like. Perhaps they were double agents for Jhudora, or would just simply hate Jory and Cellestia and leave them behind on a distant land. Only time would tell if they would save Faerieland, or fail this life threatening quest and become doomed to the wrath of the two most evil faeries in all of Neopia.
Jory and Cellestia mounted aboard the giant ship that would transport them from land to land on their journey around Neopia. Along with Jory, who was a mutant Skeith, and Cellestia, who was a yellow Wocky with a meowclops petpet, three other neopets were on the ship.
First was Stanly, the Island Chia in charge of cooking and cleaning on the ship. He was also good for going undercover; since he would blend in at Mystery Island, and seem just as a harmless tourist at all the other lands. Stanly had a slight temper, but with good intentions.
Second was a Cloud Eyrie, Jane, who was in charge of aerial scouting and spying. Jane was kind-hearted but firm; always giving very direct signals and reports.
The third was Don, a Darigan Mynci; the strategy-planner of the crew. He was tough and cruel, and Jory couldn’t help but wonder if he was actually a double agent.
Cellestia was appointed the navigator of the crew, and would use several different maps to help guide the ship to each land.
Finally, Jory was the fighter and guard. If any crew member was in danger or if they were attacked, he was to immediately go to the front of the lines.
Once all five neopets were on the ship, their leader, John, approached. Each gazed towards him as he plodded his way over the ship’s deck towards them, a large bag in his strong hands.
John, an actual Neopian rather than a neopet, had dressed in pirate garb. Apparently, he’d even grown dreadlocks ahead of time to complete the look. Even his eyes were menacing and piercing as they stared at each neopet.
Finally, he threw the bag onto the ground in front of them and gestured to it. “Put on those clothes.”
The five opened the bag to find similar pirate outfits inside. John grinned as they quickly pulled them on.
“We’re on a ship, so we’re pirates! Ahahahahaha!” He laughed heartily, grabbing the ship’s wheel. “Jory, pull the anchor! Don, hoist the sails! Cellestia, tell me where I’m going! Stanly, cook us a hardy lunch! Jane, how’s the weather? Hurry, everyone! We haven’t much time to save Faerieland!”
“This guy is a little strange,” Cellestia commented to Jory, taking out her map. Raising her voice so John could hear her, she said, “Our first stop is Terror Mountain! Approximately twenty-two miles from here. Northeast.”
“Aye!” John turned the wheel to the right, immediately the ship leaving the safety of the harbor as they started their desperate journey to save Faerieland.
“The weather is sunny and beautiful!” Jane called, having flown high above to double check.
“Tonight I shall be sleeping in the captain’s quarters. The rest of ye shall sleep in the hold!”
“What?!” Don yelled.
“I be kiddin’ ya’. The rest of ye be sleepin’ in the crew cabin I had built in for ye.”
With amazing speed, the ship, which the faeries had blessed with agility, heaved on towards Terror Mountain. Within minutes, the crew could see the tip of the mountain just beyond the horizon. And in less than thirty minutes from leaving the dock, they arrived.
“We must journey by foot into the ice caves,” John explained. “Luckily, there be a trail for us to follow!”
Pretty much accustomed to John’s pirate-talk, the five crew members trailed behind him up the mountain slope, past Happy Valley, and up into the very depths of the piercingly chilly Ice Caves.
The six walked quickly into the Ice Crystal Shop, the store that sold several different Terror Mountain-based weaponry, only to find the store deserted of any items whatsoever.
“Jhudora came by yesterday,” the salesman, a yellow Shoyru, wept. “She took every one of my weapons and tossed them into the Snowager’s lair! I’ll go bankrupt!!”
“The Snowager?!” John cried. “This be terrible! Very few make it out of that lair alive!”
“What’s a Snowager?” Jory asked. Whatever it was, it didn’t sound all that scary.
“The Snowager is a terrible ice beast that lives within a cave not too far from here. He guards an amazing treasure, now including all the weapons from here. He is ill-tempered, and blasts intruders with icicles!” Jane explained.
“My owner went in there once,” Stanly told them. “The beast was asleep, and so she snuck inside to try and grab the treasure. He woke up and stared straight at her, then went back to sleep. She was so frightened that she ran away, and never once has even thought about going back. Who knows what’d he do the next time he saw her?”
“But we must go in there!” John commanded. “We need the Pink Faerie Snowball the faeries require! Come on, we have to take the risk.” On accident, John had forgotten to feign a pirate voice. The situation was too serious for him to remember. “Let’s go!”
“Oh, please be careful!” the weaponry shop owner called after them.
Afraid for their lives, the five neopets still marched behind their leader diligently right up to the front of the Snowager’s lair. Gulping, they slowly entered the lair and tip-toed their way to the Snowager himself, who, to their delight, was fast asleep.
“Ye must be super quiet,” John told them in barely a whisper. “Now, each of ye very carefully scope around the Snowager and look for the Pink Faerie Snowball specifically, but all the wintry weaponry you can find, as well. It must be returned to the shop lest Terror Mountain become vulnerable to war.”
Silently the six scattered around the Snowager, Cellestia being the one to wind up right beside his head. As they all picked up different weapons, she spotted the Pink Faerie Snowball lying just on top of the Snowager’s head. Jane had wings and could probably fly up to get it, but Cellestia certainly couldn’t call out to her for free of waking the Snowager. Cringing with fear, she slowly inched her way up to the snowball, just barely being able to snatch it before slipping on his icy nose and tumbling back down.
Having landed in soft snow, Cellestia sighed with relief to have been unharmed. However, her relief instantly vanished as she peered up to see the Snowager’s eyes wide open, and glaring down at her with fiery anger.
“He’s awake!” Cellestia called, no longer needing to be quiet as the Snowager raised up above her. Before anyone could really react, he sent out a deadly icy blast around the entire cave.
To be continued...