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||You are on Week 211
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Two Hundred and Eleven Ends January 28th
"Rygor, did you see that?" the desert Pteri shouted to the Grarrl on a nearby dune.
"See what, Ramos?" the desert Grarrl asked, calling back to the other guard.
"I thought I saw something move behind that dune over there." Ramos said, pointing north.
"We’d best go investigate, then. Come on!" Rygor said, moving towards the next dune that lay in the direction that the Pteri had indicated. Ramos flew to intercept the Grarrl at the top of the dune, hovering just behind him. "The sun is terribly bright today," Rygor said, shading his eyes with his hand. "The reflection off the sand is blinding me." The Grarrl took a step forward, but immediately recoiled when he felt and heard something crack below his foot. "What is this dark magic?!?" he bellowed, frightened.
The Pteri swooped down and hovered just above the sand to examine what the Grarrl had stepped on. Ramos gasped, then looked further north, stunned. As far as he could see, the sands of the Lost Desert had been turned into glass. "What could have possibly created enough heat to make all this sand melt?" the Pteri said, nearly in a panic.
"Nothing natural, that's for sure," the Grarrl growled. "Hurry, we must get back to Sakhmet and warn Princess Vyssa!"
Ramos nodded eagerly, and the two guards quickly headed towards the palace...
Author: Neopets Staffz0rz|
Date: 21st January
...The trip took longer than expected, since Rygor had to run gingerly on the glass as it cracked beneath his weight.
"What could've done such a thing?" Ramos asked, not directing his question towards anyone in particular. "Or rather, who?"
"Whatever or whoever it is, they have to be stopped," Rygor grumbled, his beady eyes squinting as he stared ahead at the palace, which was slowly growing larger as they approached. Eventually reaching the outer city, the two guards paused and examined the area.
Confused, terrified cries came from every direction -- the Sakhmetians had begun to notice the glass. Some of them were running about while others stood still, afraid to move. The shining ground shattered and caved in even more, due to the general panic.
"We must hurry!" Ramos yelled over the chaos, and the two headed towards the palace. Bursting through the front doors, the Pteri cried, "Princess Vyssa! Princess Vyssa! Something terrible has happened! Come quick!"...
Date: 24th January
…Princess Vyssa looked up with alarm as she swept off her throne. "What is it?" she quickly asked, straightening her royal robes.
"It's the sand!" the Pteri shouted as he landed on Rygor's shoulder. "The sand has turned--"
Princess Vyssa pushed past the guards and thrust open the front doors. She gave a gasp while surveying all the disarray. The Usul placed her foot down gently on the glass, then quickly withdrew it.
Princess Vyssa looked around, her face troubled. "Is t-this," she wavered, "dark magic?"
Ramos glanced over at the troubled princess. "I am not sure, Your Highness, but we must do something about it. The Sakhmetians are in a panic."
"Yes, of course," Vyssa muttered. She raised her voice, proclaiming, "Guards! Calm the citizens down and get them to safety. Maid! Please get us some sandals. Hurry!"
The nervous maid bowed hastily and hurried out of the large room. Moments later, she returned with an armful of sandals. Princess Vyssa hurriedly motioned for Ramos and Rygor to put on a pair. "Hurry, we must visit the shrine of my late father!"
Ramos stopped in his tracks. "Coltzan the third?" he questioned blandly.
"Yes," Vyssa replied. "Are you ready?" The other two nodded quickly, then followed Princess Vyssa out the door and into the hot desert air...
Date: 25th January
...The trek to the shrine was long and arduous; it was made all the more difficult by the glass underfoot, causing the trio to trip often. Secretly, they all wondered what they could possibly do to reverse this awesome power.
Eventually, the apex of the shrine came into view over the sand dunes. "Hurry, we don't have much time," Princess Vyssa cried to the others, who didn't seem quite as adept as she was on the slippery surface of the glass. The sight of the shrine gave the guards some hope, and they redoubled their efforts, reaching Princess Vyssa in a few moments.
"Now what do we do, Your Highness?" Rygor puffed, clearly suffering from the heat and strenuous nature of this venture. Princess Vyssa flashed him a grim smile and pulled a small pendant from her neck. On the end was a small red jewel, its faceted surface glittering in the sun. For a moment, the mayhem that was occurring in Sakhmet City seemed distant, as both Ramos and Rygor lost themselves in the utter perfection of the gem.
"Now," Princess Vyssa said, oblivious to the guards' fascination, "before my father passed on, there was a great evil that haunted our dreams and plagued our royal house. With concerted effort, my father managed to locate and destroy the source of the curse. Or so we thought."
She took the jewel and placed it into a small, perfectly concealed niche in the side of the shrine that would have been impossible to find had she not known it was there.
At once the ground started to tremble. "What's going on?" Rygor cried. His question went unanswered as the glass in front of the shrine started to crack. The cracks ran here and there in a network of lines until the glass eventually shattered, forcing the guards to throw themselves to a more stable area of the glass.
When they managed to pick themselves up, Princess Vyssa was standing over a pit that had been created.
"Thankfully, my father was not so gullible as to believe that an ageless evil could be so easily eliminated," Princess Vyssa said with a wry smile.
Ramos flew closer and gazed down into the pit. "Wow!" the Pteri cried, amazed at the sight that met his eyes...
Date: 25th January
...It was as if another world had opened up before them. Walled by the splits of the fissure, the bottom of the pit was a desert (and a sanded one, at that).
Ramos was the first to see what it was. "Ingenious!" he cried in amazement. "The entire Lost Desert is reproduced in this pit!"
Nodding, Princess Vyssa gazed down with him. "Indeed. It allowed my father some power over the scope of his land. There has always been a spark of magic in our bloodline," she added. Her mouth twitched, as if she were recalling a pleasant memory unknown to them. Her expression then saddened. "Unfortunately, my own gift for it is weak."
Ramos felt sorry for her. "Was your father disappointed?" he asked.
Vyssa's eyes were distant as she shook her head. "No. It was not always like this, you see. My father had a trusted mage called Reyen. Shortly before my father was poisoned, Reyen foresaw this event and began trying to persuade my father to leave him the kingdom. He thought he deserved it more than I did. When my father refused and ordered him to leave the land for such treason, Reyen cursed me and swore an oath that my land would one day be his. My powers are weak because of the curse, while his only grow stronger..." she said, her voice fading off into silence.
"Is there any way to regain your powers?" Rygor asked. Ramos smiled grimly; his friend was always direct.
Vyssa turned to them, looking serious. "Yes," she said, her voice sounding dry. "There is one way..."
Date: 26th January
"...To regain my powers, you must find Reyen and bring him back here. Once he is in my presence, I can use the pendant to drain my powers back and end the curse. With my powers restored, I can track his ancient evil and destroy it for good. However, if I do not have the protection of this shrine, he would easily be able to defeat me. I am sorry, but I must ask you to bring him to me."
"We will do all we can to help," Rygor said confidently.
Ramos, however, seemed doubtful. "How will we ever bring the mage, let alone find him? You say he is always gaining power. What chance is there that we can overpower him, yet not destroy him?" The Pteri's voice was full of worry.
"I will be able to assist you in finding the mage. My father was always suspicious of him and told me how to track him. Using this mini Lost Desert here--" she pointed at the sculptures "--he is here, on the east side of the city." Out of the pit, she took a few gems that resembled her pendant and embedded them in the guards' shields. "These will protect you against some of his dark magic. I wish you good luck. Our city's fate is in your hands now."
Rygor and Ramos bravely set out to get the mage, knowing that if they failed, the Lost Desert would be lost forever...
Date: 26th January
...After a few minutes of slipping and sliding over the glossy landscape, the guards found themselves back at the city's gates. The sounds of panic had died down, and Sakhmet was eerily quiet. Most of the citizens had come to their senses and were hiding timidly within their houses, occasionally peering out at their shining lawns.
The two Neopets entered the empty city. The wind made an odd, spooky sound as it brushed against the glassy streets. Ramos flew above to save time while Rygor padded on, his sandals making resounding echoes each time his feet hit the glimmering ground.
"Creepy, isn't it?" Ramos asked, but his chirping voice echoed off the glass and sounded out of place in the silence. He closed his beak, as he received no answer from his comrade.
Onward they trekked through the city, with Rygor carefully avoiding patches of cracked and broken glass. At last, they entered the eastern district of the city, and Rygor halted.
"Do you hear that?" he whispered, turning his head in all directions.
Ramos paused and listened. He thought he could hear voices drifting towards them. "Yes, yes!" the Pteri cried, but his friend was already racing onward.
Ramos fluttered after the Grarrl as he ran down the street and turned a corner. The Neopets stopped in their tracks, for they had come to a large plaza. In the middle of the plaza was a small platform, and about fifty or so Sakhmetians were clustered anxiously about it, chattering amongst themselves.
"Hey, what's going on?" Rygor demanded irritably as he approached an excited yellow Blumaroo.
The Blumaroo turned to them, grinning widely. "Don't be harsh, friends! It's a time of hope!" he cried. "The king's old and trusted mage has finally returned, and he's going to give a speech! If anyone can get us out of this mess, he can!"
"Reyen..." Ramos hissed, but suddenly the crowd became silent. An old Mynci in a flowing red robe stepped onto the raised platform. His face was withered and wrinkled with age, but he needed no cane as he stood confidently. A few whistles and cries rose from the crowd as he took a bow.
"Citizens of the Lost Desert!" the Mynci announced in a clear voice. "My name is Reyen, trusted mage of Coltzan III. As you may know, I left our city to negotiate with a nearby tribe shortly before the king's poisoning, but when I learned of his passing, I was so overcome with grief that I could not return."
Many Neopets nodded solemnly, but Ramos and Rygor shot glances at each other. "Liar," Rygor mumbled under his breath.
"But recently, I foresaw the plight that was about to befall Sakmet!" Reyen cried. "I had hoped to return in time to prevent it, but alas... I was too late." He paused and sighed, looking down with presumed sadness, though the two guards guessed that he was actually trying to hide a smug grin.
Quickly, Reyen's head shot back up, and he peered out at the crowd of listeners. "But Sakhmetians, I warn you," he said, his voice serious. "This glass is not a random work of chance or dark magic!"
Confused murmurs ran through the group of onlookers, but the mage continued on:
"No, friends, this disaster is a manifestation of the curse that runs in the royal blood. The curse that poisoned Coltzan, and the curse that runs in Vyssa's veins to this day…"
Date: 27th January
..."It's NOT a--" Rygor began, almost drawing attention to the duo with his shout. Fortunately, Ramos clamped the Grarrl's mouth shut with his wings.
"I have a better idea," Ramos whispered into Rygor's ear.
The old Mynci continued on with his speech. "Being the loyal advisor that I am, when this curse grew to its full fruition and caused the mayhem you have all seen in the streets of our fair city, I knew I had to act. Take heart, my fellow friends, countrymen, and Sakhmetians! I have found a cure to the ancient curse of the Coltzan line!"
The Sakhmetians around them, not knowing any better, broke into a round of ecstatic applause. Ramos could see that Rygor's rage was just barely restrained, his face scowling with even more anger than before.
"However," the Mynci resumed, "this curse has progressed so far into its later stages that Princess Vyssa will soon succumb to it. Her affliction will turn to insanity. She will accuse me of being an usurper, of trying to steal the throne for myself."
"That's because you ARE!" Rygor said angrily, almost drawing his scimitar to strike down Reyen.
Ramos pushed the scimitar back into its sheath, whispering, "This is our chance! Just follow my lead."
Reyen, hearing the commotion, looked over at the pair with his ancient, beady eyes. "You two look as though you have something to say, guards of the throne. On your honor, I demand you speak your piece!"
On that cue, Ramos stepped forward, bowing gracefully before Reyen. "Honorable Reyen," he began, "our Princess does indeed suffer from the curse of which you speak. She can deny it no longer, and she realizes that you are the only one who can possibly lift it from her. She has summoned you to the shrine of her father in the hope that you'll be able to treat her there, restoring the sanctity of Coltzan's bloodline in the presence of her father."
Reyen was not easily fooled, as he eyed the duo suspiciously. If anyone could see past his lies, it would be two of Princess Vyssa's personal guards.
Rygor, playing along, stood forward to join his companion and raised his shield. "Her Highness Princess Vyssa has embedded these sacred jewels in our shields as proof of her sanity and trust," he said.
Reyen recognized the jewels right away -- they would protect the guards from his dark magic. The guards were out to get him. Just as Reyen reached into his robes for a wand, however, he heard murmurs in the crowd... excited murmurs. From what Reyen could make out, the crowd seemed to believe Ramos and Rygor, and they bristled with hope and excitement upon hearing that the Princess would be happy to see Reyen. The mage thus kept his wand stowed away, knowing that attacking the two guards would give away his lie.
"Fine, then," the Mynci said, his face barely concealing an angry scowl. "Take me to see Her Highness..."
Date: 27th January
...The walk did not take long, for the streets along their way were deserted. Ramos and Rygor strode on either side of Reyen, who trudged hunched down in the middle. He scowled even more as the shrine came into view. Princess Vyssa was still waiting there when they arrived.
"Oh, hello," she exclaimed, looking slightly flustered. "I see you have brought Reyen here. I didn't think you'd be back so soon."
Ramos stepped up to the princess. "The mage would like to talk to you, Your Highness," he said, trying to sound sophisticated, while Rygor gripped a frowning Reyen by the arm. In a lower voice, the Pteri added, "And you'd better be careful."
Princess Vyssa nodded, then beckoned Reyen to her. Rygor reluctantly released the mage and immediately placed a hand at his sword. Reyen rubbed his arm and went up to the princess.
"Well, well," he drawled casually, "if it isn't the lovely Princess Vyssa. My, I haven't seen you in a long time." Rygor and Ramos looked at each other, wondering what this strange mage was up to. Princess Vyssa showed only signs of distrust in her eyes.
"Reyen," she said importantly, "I know that you have laid a curse on me. By the order of the royal family of the Lost Desert, in the name of my father, remove it now or face the court."
Reyen glared at her straight in the eye. There was a long silence as neither uttered a word.
Suddenly, Reyen flicked a paw to his robes and whisked out his wand, holding it at the princess' throat. She started to back up.
Rygor pulled out his sword, about to charge the Mynci, when he suddenly called, "Stop." Rygor halted in mid-attack, sword raised in a shaking hand. The princess was backed up against the shrine now, unable to retreat further. "One more move," the mage continued with a wide, mocking grin spreading over his face, "and the princess is no more."
Ramos' eyes were wide with fear. He was about to say something when Princess Vyssa's paws glowed blue for a moment, and for the second time that day, the ground began to shake...
Date: 28th January
...The glass of the desert beneath Reyen's feet began to tremble violently, and the mage's eyes widened with a surge of fear.
Princess Vyssa's arms were raised as she concentrated. "I may be weak," she whispered, "but I have strength enough to crack a fissure beneath your feet unless you remove this curse now. No more games. I want it gone."
Despite her sudden threat, Vyssa was paling with the effort of the spell. Fear turned to glimmering triumph in Reyen's eyes as he saw what the exertion cost her. "If you get rid of me, you will have no one to withdraw the curse," he hissed. "I alone can do it."
Princess Vyssa ignored him and raised her arms even higher, so they reached above her head, slanting toward the sharp rays of the sun. "By the power of the kings before me..." she began.
"Or maybe I should just get rid of you before you can finish the spell!" Reyen cried, realizing that she was about to sacrifice her only hope of being cured. Lifting his wand, he took a step toward the princess.
"No!" Ramos and Rygor cried in unison. The Grarrl threw himself at the mage, bowling him over just as a wicked purple light shot from his wand. Snatching his shield, the Pteri soared into the path of the light, blocking it. The talisman on the shield caught the light, flickered, and poured it out in a stream of gold. It hit the princess directly.
Everything seemed to happen at once. The princess brought her arms sharply down as the force of the light knocked her back. The glass beneath the tumbling mage and Grarrl shattered with the sudden ending of the spell, and Ramos scarcely had time to fly over to Rygor, knocking him clear, before the glass crumbled completely, dropping Reyen down, down, down into the darkness.
The three Sakhmetians sat stunned for a moment, realizing what they had done. Rygor, the first one to regain his feet, rushed over to the motionless princess.
"Are you okay?" he asked anxiously.
When Vyssa looked up at him, Rygor took a step back. Her eyes glowed with a strange light that he had never seen before. "What happened?" he asked in surprise.
Smiling, she answered, "My power has returned. Your amulet not only reflected the power, but changed it into light magic. His curse is broken."
The three crossed the glass desert back to the city, where a crowd of Sakhmetians chattered with suspicion when they saw their princess approach. Had Reyen freed her from the curse? Or was the lady before them insane?
Princess Vyssa did not let their fear and doubt trouble her. With calm confidence she strode to the front of them and called out, "My people, I come to you renewed. The curse is no more. Reyen is gone, for he was a traitor, but I shall rule you with hope of peace in the future." Smiling, she lifted her arms again, and her paws glowed as she summoned forth her power. "But first, we need to undo Reyen's harm upon this land!"
The air erupted with the tinkling sound of miles of breaking glass, and the entire desert sparkled gold for a moment before flashing with blinding light. When the flash ended, the desert was sand again.
Vyssa's people cheered, and Ramos and Rygor knew that their princess' hope of peace might be very possible indeed.
Date: 28th January
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