The Amulet's Curse: Part Two
It had been a long trip to Altador. The pair had walked through the desert surrounding Sakhmet, and through a mountain range on a path few knew about, but finally the great land became visible. King Altador was right. The water levels were rising - and fast. In a couple days, Amira guessed, it would reach the main city. It certainly was an emergency situation.
The city was beautiful; there was no denying that. As they made their way through the bustling streets Reginald couldn’t help but admire it all. After all he’d never been to Altador, or even out of the Haunted Woods. [i]Surprising how quickly things change[/i], he thought as he looked at the giant colosseum. After a short while they approached the Hall of Heroes. Upon entering, Princess Amira and Reginald were guided by a grumpy janitor, who muttered something about having to mop the floors again, through to the council chamber.
Already Altador’s eleven council members sat, with nearly all the representatives from the multiple lands of Neopia. Queen Fyora came from Faerieland, King Kelpbeard for Maraqua, Jhuidah from Mystery Island, Cap’n Threelegs for Krawk Island, King Hagan and King Skarl from Brightvale and Meridell respectively, Kyruggi the Grand Elder from Tyrannia, Kauvara from Neopia Central and the Wise Old Gnorbu from Shenkuu. Heroes Reginald had read about back home in Neovia, but to see them with his own eyes was almost like he was living in a dream.
“I am Princess Amira, representing the Lost Desert.” Amira announced as she entered the room. She gestured to Reginald as they both sat down at a large rectangular table, “and this is Reginald, representing the Haunted Woods in place of the Brain Tree who is currently under a coma-like trance.”
Whispers circled the room. “The Brain Tree in a trance?”
“Not possible, something must be wrong.”
“Quiet, please.” It was King Altador. “What do you mean the Brain Tree is in a trance?”
Princess Amira looked at Reginald as if telling him to speak. He took a breath, ready to start, but before he could speak a word, one last representative walked in.
“I’m sorry I’m late, please forgive me. We’ve been having some troubles of our own on Terror Mountain.” It was Hannah, the adventurer and treasure hunter. [i]Neopia’s greatest Heroes gathered in one place, and I’m with them[/i], Reginald thought. He really did feel like he was dreaming now.
“That’s fine Hannah, please sit down. Apparently my rising water levels aren’t the only thing going wrong in Neopia.” King Altador then turned back to Reginald. “Please, go on.” He said.
Reginald took a deep breath and continued. “While walking home late last night back to my home in Neovia, I passed the Brain Tree. He didn’t seem as fearsome as usual but I continued walking on until he started calling me over to him. He told me I had four days to save Neopia and figure out the answer to the question; when did the Lost Desert finally free themselves from their cruelest ruler. Then he just closed his eyes and wouldn’t say anymore. Nothing would wake him up.”
The representatives were as shocked as Amira had originally been herself. Amira spoke next. “Reginald and I discovered more about the Brain Tree’s confusing question. We believe that when he referred to the Lost Deserts cruelest ruler, he was referring to the legend known as the Shkanum-Da, or Amulet of Thilg. A cursed necklace believed to hold the soul of the Lost Desert’s cruellest Pharaoh. It is believed the Amulet holds an unimaginable amount of evil inside. In the wrong hands, anyone harnessing its power could eventually destroy all of Neopia.”
“Surely this can’t be! We faeries being turned to stone nearly destroyed everyone; we can’t be under such another great threat again.” It was Queen Fyora, clearly not happy by the newest revelation.
“I too have been having troubles in my own kingdom. Usually the waters of Maraqua are quite warm, but lately I’ve noticed, and others have mentioned, how the water seems to be becoming cooler. If the temperature keeps dropping, I’m afraid many fish that make their homes around Maraqua will not be equip to handle it, and Maraquans will eventually run out of food to eat.” King Kelpbeard explained.
“The situation is dire in deed. If something is not done soon the outcome will be most regrettable. Even I cannot produce a potion that will help this.” Muttered Kauvara.
“Hannah, you also said you have been having troubles in Terror Mountain? Maybe all these events could be somehow related. So much terror at once cannot be another coincidence.” It was the Wise Gnorbu who spoke.
“Yes it’s true, we too have been having troubles. Avalanches have been coming a lot more frequently than usual. The ground, usually hard snow is now becoming quite sloshy and soft. For the first time since I can remember, I saw a patch of dirt on the ground.”
There was a small pause in the conversation while everyone thought it over until Jhuidah the Island Faerie quietly spoke.
“I’m not sure how it could be related, but I know for sure Mystery Island has been receiving a lot more rain than usual. We’re supposed to be heading towards our dry season at the moment, but it’s raining like it’s the wet season.”
“Arrr, we too have been receiving a lot of rain on ye ol’ Krawk Isle. Many Pirates have been unable to set sail for fear o’ the weather.” Cap’n Threelegs proclaimed.
“It seems apparent then that something is definitely going wrong in Neopia, but King Altador, what should we do?” asked Amira.
King Altador pondered for a moment. “I believe all these occurrences are somehow related. I would go myself to solve the mystery but I must stay here with my council and protect Altador from the incoming floods. Reginald, it was you who was sent on this quest by the Brain Tree, I think you should be the one to solve it. Princess Amira, since it is the Lost Desert where the amulet originates, I believe you too should go on this quest. I must warn you though, I fear it won’t be easy.”
“Well I’ve had some experiences with amulet’s in my life time, maybe I could be of assistance?” Hannah asked King Altador.
“Yes, you would be quite valuable on this quest too, Hannah. But to finish this I believe you may need some more help.”
“You’re welcome to come to Faerieland if you need any magic potions, items or weapons.” Offered Queen Fyora.
“Thank you for the offer Queen Fyora, while that would be very helpful I think Reginald and I will still need more information on what and how these events are being caused.” Princess Amira said.
King Kelpbeard spoke next. “If you need information, in Maraqua a close friend and ally of mine by the name of Isca may be able to help you. I’m positive she will be able to help you as she has helped me in the past.”
“Thank you King Kelpbeard. I think that would be the best place to start. We have a long journey ahead of us. If I may ask, King Altador, do you have a place where Hannah, Reginald and I may stay for the night?” Princess Amira asked.
“Of course, we have many places you can spend the night. I’m afraid though I won’t be with you as I’ll be busy preparing for the floods.”
“That is no problem, King Altador. Thank you for your hospitality.” said Hannah.
King Altador turned away from Hannah, Princess Amira and Reginald to address the rest of the representatives who were now discussing plans about the threat presented to each other in small groups.
“Thank you for coming to Altador today representatives. Though our greatest fears have become a real threat, I know that you all, like me, now have hope. We shall all prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. Hope - that soon - this will all be over. The four-day deadline the Brain Tree set is not just for these three,” he gestured to Amira, Hannah and Reginald, “but is for us all. Do not underestimate the power of the curse unleashed, but still hope. Prepare your cities, guard your people and most importantly, believe.”---
Reginald, Princess Amira and Hannah sat in a small lounge room in King Altador’s palace. In front of them was a large table with a map of Neopia. They would set off early tomorrow morning for Maraqua where hopefully Isca would grant them more information.
As the first day drew to a close, Reginald lay in bed thinking of all that had happened. It was strange to think this was really happening. [i]I’m on a quest to save Neopia with a Princess and my favourite hero, Hannah[/i], he marvelled. Though he knew the situation was dire, he couldn’t help but feel a little excited as he went to sleep, thinking of the days ahead.
To be continued…