The Amulet's Curse: Part Four
"Isca was a lot of help, but she was right. We need to remember that this won’t be easy, the answers aren’t going just appear in front of us.” Said Hannah.
They were alone; Hannah, Princess Amira and Reginald were in a room King Kelpbeard had offered to the trio for the night. While they arrived at Maraqua at 11 o’clock in the morning, their conversation with Isca had taken much longer than any of them had realised, and by the time they were ready to leave it was too late. Besides, they didn’t even know where they were going to next.
“Well, we need to really get thinking then, and uncover what blades Isca was talking about. King Kelpbeard has a library full of books but I doubt he has any information on weapons besides his own.” Sighed Princess Amira. “I’ve read nearly all the books in my own library yet I don’t have any idea what she’s talking about.” There was silence.
“Actually, I think I do.” It was Reginald. “I’ve read a lot of books in my time, especially when I drank the elixir that cursed my whole town those many years ago. I was reading up to four books at a time.”
“What do you mean? You’ve read a book about these swords she’s talking about!?” Hannah said excitedly.
“Kind of. You see that’s the problem, I’m unsure if she was referring to them or not. The tale isn’t really even about them. I think Isca may have been talking about the Sword of Flame and the Sword of Ice. Her description fits perfectly, but I’d always assumed afterwards Aethia had solved their riddle.”
“I’m sorry but I have no idea of the tale you speak of.” Princess Amira said; her amber eyes alight with curiosity as she looked at Reginald.
He smiled shyly back at her and started telling the story.
“Before Aethia became Faerieland’s Battle Faerie, there was once another by the name of Valeane. The last anyone had heard of her was when she journeyed to the Haunted Woods in search of the legendary Sword of Flame and Sword of Ice, blades that when used were almost almighty powerful. Unfortunately, no one ever saw her again and she became a myth.
“Years later Aethia found a map leading to the supposed blades and could not resist taking the journey. Upon entering the Haunted Woods however, a Dark Faerie by the name of Fiona had guard dogs hunt her down. All Aethia could do was run until she accidentally found herself in the supposed place of where the Swords were meant to be hidden; a circle of trees all slightly bent toward the centre where the largest tree of all lay. Softly, Aethia put her hands on the large tree and whispered ‘Valeane.’ Instantly the tree roared to life and demanded to know what Aethia wanted. ‘The sword of flame and the sword of ice.’ She replied. “‘Why do you seek?’ asked the large tree, it was then, however that Fiona found Aethia.
“‘Answer correctly or the tree will gobble you up.’ Fiona said, tauntingly.
“‘To teach others to protect themselves.’ Aethia answered the tree at last. The trees mouth opened to reveal two swords. She took them into her hands, one sword burning her hand, the other freezing her fingers, but she did not let go.
“Fiona, knowing the power of the swords soon disappeared saying ‘you may have the swords, but so did another. She could not master their secret and only time will tell if you can...’
“Aethia then looked down at the swords noticing an extremely old faerie script on their blades. A riddle! She thought.
“Aethia then went back to Faerieland to become the Battle Faerie, teaching others to protect themselves.” Finished Reginald.
“I think this is it. It has to be. It fits perfectly.” Said Hannah.
“I think so too, and besides it’s the only lead we’ve got.” Shrugged Princess Amira.
“To Faerieland?” Asked Hannah.
“To Faerieland.” Princess Amira and Reginald said at exactly the same time.---
Their high spirits enabled the entire trio to have a good sleep that night. In the morning they notified King Kelpbeard of their departure, while Isca stood, smiling as they revealed their plans. It was soon after that they swam back to the surface heading by boat again to Faerieland.
“The wind is a little bit stronger today, we need to keep an eye on our direction at all times.” Hannah said to Reginald.
It’s a lot warmer than yesterday too, Reginald thought to himself as he steered the ship. He enjoyed the opportunity to put his knowledge of boats into use. He knew that they only had today and tomorrow until their deadline was up, but he was kind of enjoying himself he had to admit. So Terror Mountain is melting, he pondered as he sailed past an abandoned island. How the Amulet was capable of causing such a catastrophic event he didn’t know; but it had to stop – and quickly. We have two days. Today, we go to Faerieland and obtain the swords. Then, we go to Terror Mountain and destroy the Amulet.
The more Reginald thought about it, the less he wanted to. He had no idea what to expect in Terror Mountain. Will we just search to find the amulet lying in the snow? Will there be something guarding it? He had no idea. Then, there was the problem of the swords themselves, how are we ever going to solve their riddle? Aethia has been trying for years…
“Reginald, can you come help me with this sail?” asked Hannah. “I’m having some troubles. Stubborn thing.” She tried pulling one of the ropes.
“Coming.” Replied Reginald, glad for the interruption and excuse to not dwell on his hopeless thoughts.---
The trip to from Maraqua to Faerieland wasn’t nearly as long as the trip from Altador, so the trio arrived at a much earlier time. Judging from the sun’s position it was around 8 o’clock in the morning Amira guessed.
As she stepped out of the boat however, she froze in shock. She hadn’t been to Faerieland since it had fallen, and the transformation was enormous. Everything was still there, and in just about the same place too, but the pink fluffy clouds were all gone. It was a lot greener, full of life. Still, Amira wasn’t sure if the renovation was a good thing. She used to visit Faerieland as a little girl and roll around in the clouds, and now it was completely different. Things change, she remembered as they continued on into Faerie City.
Even though Faerieland was completely different, the layout was generally the same enabling Amira to lead them through the streets of the City. Eventually, they made their way up to the Faerie Castle where Amira lead them through many twists, turns and secret paths into the famed hidden tower.
As they entered, a surprised, but happy, Queen Fyora greeted them. “Welcome, welcome! Please have a seat.” She said as she gestured to a small grouping of chairs and a table.
It was larger than Reginald had anticipated. How a tower of this size remained always hidden, he would never fathom. Powerful magic, he surmised.
They all sat down together while a petite light faerie poured them tea. Reginald gazed around the room. The shelves were stacked with rare faerie artefacts. Powerful weapons mainly, but a few plushies were present among them all. While Reginald couldn’t see the prices of the items from where he sat, he knew well enough that he wasn’t close to affording any of them.
“So what brings you to Faerieland my dear friends? I haven’t received word on how your quest has been going. Has the curse been lifted?” Enquired the Faerie Queen.
“Unfortunately not.” Replied Princess Amira. “It is to Faerieland we come in hope for some help, actually.”
Queen Fyora’s smile disappeared. “It is sad to hear that it is not over. Please, if anything at all is needed from the Faeries, I personally would be glad to help.”
“A very gracious offer, thank you Fyora, but it’s actually certain weapon we are in search of.” Said Princess Amira.
“Please, tell me young travellers which weapons you need, anything that is mine is yours.” It was then Princess Amira gestured to Reginald to explain.
“The weapons we need, are the legendary Sword of Flame and Sword of Ice Aethia retrieved years ago from the Haunted Woods. According to Isca, the Prophet we met in Maraqua, these swords are the only way to destroy the Amulet of Thilg and finish the curse.”
Queen Fyora pondered that for a moment. “The Swords do not belong to me, though Aethia offered them to me years ago. Because of this I cannot offer the swords myself, but I can call upon Aethia so you may ask her yourself to borrow them.”
“That would be very much appreciated Queen Fyora, thank you.” Smiled Hannah.
Queen Fyora stood, “I’ll be just a moment to obtain Aethia, please make yourselves at home.” She smiled and walked out of the tower.
A short while later, Queen Fyroa returned, a short, purple and green clothed faerie right behind her.
Queen Fyora gestured to the trio, “Aethia, this is Reginald, Hannah and Princess Amira. These are the visitors that wished to meet you.”
Aethia nodded curtly. “Is that all? I’d like to get back to my battle practice now.”
“Ahh… actually we have something we need to ask.” Princess Amira said nervously.
“Well will one of you ask then?” Aeitha crossed her arms as she spoke.
Hannah, the only one of the trio unfazed by Aethia’s tame hostility, spoke next. “We wanted to borrow your swords of flame and ice.”
Aethia’s eyes widened. “Oh no. No. Do you know what I went through to have those swords? Of course you don’t – anyone who knew would never be so bold and ask! You lot are never going to even see them!” Aeitha was furious, ready to storm out of the tower.
“Aeitha.” It was Queen Fyora who spoke. “I would really appreciate if you could cooperate with our visitors. I would consider it a personal favour to me.”
Aeitha sighed. “Of course Fyora, if it would please you, I will do it.” She turned to the quiet trio, “Come with me.”
To be continued…