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Defending the Castle

by countess_of_ondore


Thor was a guard at Meridell Castle. Of course, no one really took any notice. Not that he took it to heart really. He was just one of the many that was part of the noble brotherhood of Meridellian Knights.

      His first years as a guard at Meridell were often spent eating with the other knights and playing round table poker. As Meridell was at peace, for now, nothing of interest really happened. That was true until a morning that started like no other.

      Thor rose from his bunk with a gaping yawn and stretching his arms high. The red Draik blinked the sleep from his eyes and ran his tongue over his fangs. He regretted having that extra piece of Voidberry pie.

      "Sir Thor! Sir Thor! You have to come see this!"

      Thor blinked again, perplexed. He recognized that voice. That was Squire Williams! Since when did the little scamp get back? Thor looked down at the floor and saw the green Lupe staring up at him brightly.

      "I thought you were patrolling MeriAcres with Eiher," stated the Draik guard.

      Squire Williams shook his shaggy head. "Not anymore sir! There's trouble in the sewers of the castle! Squire Paws went missing last night when he was on clog duty!"

      Thor climbed off of his bunk and reached for his regalia. "Squire Paws is missing? Sure it wasn't just a tentacle that got to him?"

      "No sir. There was a hidden tunnel discovered near the last clog Paws was supposed to clear out. It was dark and eerie, plus Kayla said she sensed evil resonated from the depths of the tunnel. Sir Eiher and I were about to leave for patrol when Guardsman Percival came calling for us. He was in hysterics, saying he heard the cries of Paws from his post in front of the door to the dungeons," explained Williams as Thor got into his gear.

      Thor was finished getting ready and nodded. "Alright," he growled, "Let's go. I'm guessing things have gotten worse since you didn't alert me sooner?"

      Squire Williams lead the way out of the barracks and into the halls of Meridell Castle. He nodded, "Uh-huh. Sir Eiher has already gone down there but he hasn't returned either, nor Sir Grimsby, Sir Glenmar, or Mistress Kayla."

      Sir Thor frowned. "Are you telling me that I was the only knight available to go down there and retrieve them?!"

      Squire Williams stopped at the door to the Guard's room that led to the dungeons. "You were the only one off duty."

      Sir Thor gave Williams a withering look. "Come on then, Squire."

      The Draik entered the guardroom and immediately covered his snout. "Ugh! Did you forget to cover the hatch to the sewer?!"

      "I didn't want to lock the hatch in case the others came back out," Williams replied.

      "Of course..." muttered Thor darkly. He shook his head and soldiered on through the foul smelling guardroom. It made him think of his own Squire days when the dreaded clog duty was assigned to him. To think that there was a secret tunnel within the sewers! After all the years of squires cleaning out the clogs, one would think all the tunnels were discovered! Ah well, this was better than standing bored on the castle wall.

      Williams reached up to one of the torches and pulled it off of its bracket. "It'll be dark down there, Sir!"

      Thor nodded. He proceeded down the steps into the dungeon. Already the chills of the deep earth seeped into his skin. Mold grew on the walls and the gloom of the dungeon seemed to reach for him. Thor paid it no mind since it was focused on the task at hand. What could possibly be down there that would give three knights and a decent sorceress some trouble? Whatever it was would prove to be a worthy foe.

      The Draik's mind was settled. He would fulfill his duty and seek out the missing Neopets to defend the castle. His gaze fell critically on the hatch to the sewer. It was like a mouth, ready to swallow whoever dare enter. Thor swung onto the rungs of the ladder and descended into the foul labyrinth that was the Meridell Castle sewer system.

      Foul water sloshed through his armor when he came to the floor. It was almost like goo as it squished between his toes.

      Disgusting, Thor thought. He stepped further into the rank water and waited for Williams.

      The Squire climbed down and held out the torch to Thor in an attempt to get out of joining the Draik. The Lupe youth was not that lucky. Thor completely ignored his gesture and started off.

      Sir Thor prowled through the fetid waters. His hand rested at his hip, just in case if a tentacle dare reach for him. He caught wind of something dark, something very evil emanating from within the depths of the sewer. The Draik stopped and looked around. He stood with Squire Williams in one of the common square rooms of the sewer where the waters rested and the waste settled on the bottom.

      "Is there something there, Sir?" Williams' voice seemed to shake in Sir Thor's ears.

      Thor curled his lip and looked around and the three gaping tunnels before him. "Grow a spine, Willams. Of course there is something there! What we need to determine is where it is and what happened to the advanced party."

      Sir Thor heard Squire Williams gulp nervously behind him. The Draik proceeded down the tunnel right in front of him. The light of Squire William's torch didn't seem to be able to chase away the darkness. It gathered around the duo, ready to smite the feeble light that the Lupe carried.

      Loud cries sounded eerily from down the tunnel. They did not sound like the cries of neopets though and not the familiar sloshing that the tentacles made. The sounds intensified as the duo walked down the tunnel.

      Sir Thor rounded the corner and stopped in his tracks. He winced slightly when Squire Williams bumped into him. The Draik could not hold back his shock. Before him in a grand antechamber sat a menacing creature with gnarled horns and slobbering jaws. Beady red eyes glowed and reflected the light of the torch. Tender, pink flesh covered slender forelegs and muscular back legs. Skeletal fleshy-pink wings were pulled tightly to the creature's frame.

      "Fyora help us!" gasped Squire Williams.

      "Ach, no Faerie in their right mind would want to come down here! Have at you, foul beast!" roared Sir Thor as he drew his sword.

      The Sewer Beast roared and swung a brown coated forepaw at the water in front of it. The nasty water landed on Sir Thor and made Squire Williams want to vomit.

      The Red Draik charged forward bravely and struck at the beast. "Hyaaaaaah!"

      Blows were exchanged, cries echoed through the sewer tunnels, and other creatures of the sewers fled for cover. Sir Thor did not back down. He was a knight and guard of Meridell. It was his duty to defend the castle from anything that dare mean possible harm. Squire Williams hid behind a pile of rubbish and listened to the battle continue.

      Eventually, Sir Thor stood triumphant. His shoulders were pulled back as he stood tall and proud. He watched the beast crawl back into the shadows from whence it came. Bricks and mortar repaired themselves as the mysterious tunnel closed itself up.

      Thor heard Williams come out from behind the rubbish pile. He looked around. There was the clog that Paws was supposed to clear. However, there didn't seem to be any sign of the missing Squire or the search party. Not until a strange light filled the chamber.

      The Sorceress Kayla manifested herself from the light. Her red coat was covered in slimy filth and her garb was even worse. She shook herself with apparent shock within her eyes. "Squire! Sir knight!"

      Sir Thor and Squire Williams inclined their heads. "Mistress Kayla."

      Not long after Kayla, Sir Eiher and the rest of the party appeared. Even Squire Paws clumsily landed in the filthy waters. All the new arrivals stared at Sir Thor with surprise.

      Sir Eiher, a noble Uni with homely features, spoke. "Sir Thor. Whatever transpired here?"

      Sir Thor sniffed. "I defended the castle from the possible intrusion of a ferocious beast. Besides from that, I found the missing search party and Squire that initially went missing."

      Mistress Kayla smiled. "Well done, Sir Thor! Undoubtedly your deeds prevented a complete catastrophe! Why don't we all get cleaned up and get out of this vile place?"

The End

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