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Hello Fellow Traveler

by trishabeakens


     Located in the sunny land of Altador, stood the ancient archives building. For ages, the now decaying structure had concealed the famous lore of Altador. The lore told the story of how Altador was founded, and about each council member of the city. Without the archives, the city's history would be lost. How Altador came to be could then be rewritten by someone with malicious intentions, such as The Darkest Faerie herself.

      Thankfully, Finneus, a blue elderly Lenny, managed the archives ever since the heroes of Altador created it. The well-respected scholar made sure every sheet of paper and book were kept in order and organized alphabetically. Without the man, no Neopian would be able to read about the city or learn of its lore.

      On this particular warm day, the Lenny politely asked the queen of Altador, Nera, to write down her own history. In all the years of living in the city, the light brown Xweetok never wrote down her own tale. Her husband Altador wrote his, the rest of the council and citizens had as well, but not Nera. She liked to keep her life private and out of the public eye. She didn't think her past was all that important, but Finneus did and wished for it to be recorded. Being the kind hearted queen she was, Nera agreed to his request.

      Currently, she sat at Finneus’s desk, in the archives, writing down her life story on scrolls. First, she wanted to write down how she met her beloved King Altador. Her long tail twitched back and forth in frustration. She thought it would be the easiest to write, but now that she tried writing, it didn't seem so simple.

      Was writing supposed to be this hard?

      Granted, the king and queen did meet over a thousand years ago, so things were a bit fuzzy to her. Alas, Finneus wanted it written down for the archives, so it had to be done. She hoped her retelling of the story would be accurate, if not, Altador himself could go over it and fix any errors. The man knew more about writing and recording history than she did.

      In the beginning of the story, Queen Nera and her people sailed miles across the treacherous sea from their home, Moonstone Island. The Moonstone natives wanted to escape the dark magic from the evil sorcerer, Rasputin, that consumed their home. Nera’s father was the chief of the island, and he made the difficult decision to move the natives elsewhere.

      The small island was located miles away from Altador, near another island now known as Lutari Island. Moonstone had never been discovered by outsiders, so it's not as well-known as its neighbors. It's impossible to journey onto the island, as it is covered in a dark cloud, making it hard to dock on the shore.

      Looking past the horrors the island went through, the tale of how the rulers of Altador came to be together may prove to be a fascinating one.

      It all started over a thousand years ago…

      Nera, young, slightly immature, and full of energy, had just stepped off the large boat that she and her people spent the last several months on. Getting off of it and out of the salty sea felt like a breath of fresh air to her. She adjusted her long ponytail as she glanced around the new land. It seemed like ages since she saw a blade of grass or a speck of dirt.

      The newfoundland’s shore bursted with plants and flowers of every size, shape, and color. Large trees decorated the land, providing plenty of shade for the weary travelers. Waves crashed against the shore and a cool ocean breeze welcomed the islanders. It wasn't as tropical as their last home, but it appeared to be pleasant.

      “It is remarkable here, Nera.” An island Kacheek with shaggy dark hair spoke as he walked up to her side. He had helped navigate the way to the closest land mass by using the stars.

      “I have to agree with you on that, Aaron. But...I am surprised a lively land like this is uninhabited.” Nera felt like it was too good to be true.

      Something had to be wrong with it, but what?

      Right as the Xweetok asked herself the puzzling question, Nera noticed a pretty blue Aisha walking down the hillside. She was approaching them, and on the hill stood a group of Neopets. They were watching the islanders, curious to where they had come from.

      Oh...that's what wrong with it,Nera thought to herself, neopets already live here and most likely, they aren't very friendly.

      “Hello fellow traveler.” the Aisha smiled as she gave a small curtsy. She stood in front of Nera, not appearing to be a threat. Nevertheless, the beautiful Aisha made her nervous.

      “H-hello.” Nera stuttered, trying to give a genuine smile. She wasn't wearing a dress like the Aisha, so a curtsy wouldn't work as well for her. The Xweetok worried she was being rude or that they had intruded onto someone's land.

      “My name is Jerdana.”

      “It's a pleasure, I'm Nera.”

      “So, what brings you to this land?” Jerdana smiled once more. She seemed well put together and intelligent, so maybe she'd understand their struggles. If they had intruded, Jerdana would have went and told her immediately. So, that thought eased Nera’s troubled mind.

      The Xweetok went ahead and told a short summary of her people’s story and how they overthrew the mutant Ixi, Rasputin. His dark magic and shadow creatures still plagued Moonstone, leaving it completely uninhabitable. So, the islanders had to evacuate their home, leaving them on a journey to find a new one. They had become refugees, wanting a new life for their families.

      Jerdana rested a hand on her own chest, looking shocked. “Oh my! That is so unfortunate, my sincerest apologies...”

      Nera quickly reassured the now worried Neopet. “It's alright, we're just happy to be together and well.”

      “A positive outlook on even the darkest of situations is always the best to do.” Jerdana dropped her hand to her side. “You and your people are welcome to stay here.”

      Nera blinked, not expecting the Aisha to want her to stay. “Wait,really?

      Jerdana nodded, and motioned for the Xweetok to walk up the hill with her.

      Nera hesitated, but decided to follow the strange Aisha anyway. The two Neopians climbed up the hill, being careful to not trip. Once they reached the top, Nera saw something she couldn't believe.

      Dozens of Neopets were already living there. They were building homes, structures, and in the middle was a fairly large building. It looked important, but Nera didn't want to be nosy and ask what it was.

      “Like you, we came from corrupted tyrants and unhappy homes. We wanted to create our own kingdom, so we joined together to build one.” Jerdana held her hand out, pointing to where construction of the city had been going on.

      “Jerdana this...this is actually very impressive.” Nera turned to the Aisha.

      “So, will you stay?”

      Nera opened her mouth to say she didn't want to intrude on them, but she came so far. She couldn't make her people sail out once more. Sailing for months again would exhaust the travelers even more.

      “We'd love to stay.”

      Jerdana’s face immediately lit up with joy. “That's wonderful! Altador and the others will be joyed to have more Neopians in our small community!”

      “Altador?...” Nera asked, tilting her head slightly.

      “Oh don't worry he's a fantastic guy, you'll love him. He's actually the one who's behind all this.”

      “Oh...well okay. I'll go back down and help my people carry their belongings off the boat.”

      Jerdana nodded and watched her new friend head back towards the large wooden ship. She then picked up the end of her dress, and rushed to the building site nearby. Her heart pounded in excitement. She couldn't wait to tell the others.

          Making her way past other Neopians and piles of stone, Jerdana finally reached to where a tall white Lupe was working. His long hair was tied back in a ponytail. The man looked young, a bit older than Nera. His face was bare, except for a bit of stubble where he was trying to grow out a beard

      “Altador!’ Jerdana reached his side, slightly out of breath.

      Altador turned to her and set down a large piece of wood. “Is something wrong, Jerdana?”

      “No, no!” She shook her head and grabbed his arm. “There's islanders that have just landed at the shore!”

      The Lupe raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

      The blue Aisha nodded, not forgetting to tell her friend about the islander’s story. After she repeated what Nera had said, Altador’s expression changed to one of surprise, to one of sadness.

      “That's tragic that those innocent lives had to endure something so revolting.” Altador sighed but forced a smile. “I'm glad they chose to come here. I do hope they plan on staying.”

      “I do too.” Jerdana said, as she looked back behind her where a few of the islanders were walking up the hill.

      Their faces had exhaustion written all over them. But...they also saw a spark of hope in their eyes, like maybe this would be their final home. That maybe...just maybe, things would be better for them.

      Jerdana, now known as The Protector, had no idea that by inviting Nera to stay, she changed the course of Altadorian history.

     To be continued…

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