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Pet Name: Brea_Malum
It's a bitter cold night in the dark forests outside of the Haunted Woods. You're starting to rethink your trip to Faerieland when the snow starts to drift down and settles on your thin jacket. It's never wise to look for shelter in the Haunted Woods, so you press on, determined.
It's been what seems like hours and the cold snow has all but soaked through your too-thin jacket. The snow crunches underfoot and you scowl at the ground, bitterly muttering about the weather and your luck when -CLANG-
A bit too focused on your feet you ran headlong into a rather elegant black iron gate. You peer behind the scrawling bars and see a tall, obsidian stone tower looming past. You wonder how on Neopia you didn't notice such an eyesore before you ran into it! A light flickers in the single window at the top of the spire.
"Hello?" You shout, unwilling to open the gate without invitation.
"Visitors, at this hour?" You can just barely make out a voice from inside the tower. Not a cackling, or croaky voice that you thought you would find in these woods. It sounded warm and kind.
It only takes a moment for the large wooden door of the spire to swing open and a dark figure steps from the threshold.
It's a Darigan Draik! Or, it seems to be. He's tall, lanky even. With the telltale grey hair and purple scales of a darigan draik, but without the large wings you're accustomed to. He lifts a lantern to inspect you. His red eyes focused behind small, rounded spectacles.
"Great Fyora!" He exclaims "What are you doing out here in this weather?" Before you have a chance to answer he swings the gate open and ushers you towards the tower. "Please, please, come in!"
He guides you into a surprisingly cozy foyer and takes your coat, hanging it next to the door. He motions to a wide, spiral staircase nearby. "Please, come up to my study. I have some hot, vanilla borovan and some biscuits. You can join me while we wait for this storm to pass."
You climb the stairs behind him, a large, round room waiting for you at the top. The walls are covered with shelves and more books than you could count in one night. It's warmly lit with a strange round fire pit in the center of the room that emits heat, but no smoke. You assume its some sort of enchantment and sit on one of the soft, velvet chairs that surround the fire.
He turns to his desk for a moment and crosses the room again, sitting in a chair next to yours, passing you a small saucer with a cup full of borovan and some sort of cookies, delicately iced with a red rose pattern.
"I have to admit I wasn't expecting visitors. Normally my enchantments keep my tower hidden from anyone wandering in the woods. Being so close to the Deserted Fairgrounds, you can imagine how hiding my study might be handy." He wrinkles his nose at the mention of the Fairgrounds.
"Enchantment?" You manage between sips of the soothing warm borovan.
"Oh." The draik's cheeks blush for a moment. "Forgive me, My name is Brea Malum. I dabble in magic, somewhat. I, uh, was unfortunate some time ago to have ran afoul of a very powerful creature. And, well, lets just say that I didn't always look this way." He gives you a sad smile and for the first time you notice a small painting on one of the shelves behind him. Two kougras, a red and a blue, smiling happily. He follows your gaze and nods.
"That is a very old picture of my sister and I. She has undergone her own changes, life has that effect. But we don't talk much anymore. It's better that way." His warm voice seems to crack for a moment, he shakes his head and takes a sip from his own cup.
"Ahem, anyway! I found that this spot has many magical anomalies surrounding it! Most likely due to the fall of Faerieland or the very nature of the Haunted Woods. It seemed like the ideal place to set up my study." You nod in understanding, sitting your empty cup on the rim of the fire pit.
A small whoot nuzzles your leg and jumps up into your lap, curling into a ball and cooing softly. "Aristotle!" Brea scolds. You smile at the little bird creature and stroke it's surprisingly soft feathers. It seems to fall asleep instantly under your touch.
"Forgive his terrible manners. He's always under paw, and sleeping on my papers. I don't know why I keep him around for!" His words seem harsh but he is smiling warmly at the little creature.
"You must be tired! I'll let you rest for a bit. I have much work to get back to at the moment anyway. Please, rest easy, and if you need anything at all don't hesitate to ask."
You mean to thank him for his kindness and for the food, but your eyelids suddenly feel heavy and you fall into a deep, comfortable sleep.
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