Lord Faerigan - Fyora's Role in the Meridell Wars: Part Two
Chapter 2 – Lord and Queen
Queen Fyora collapsed into an armchair after a long day full of appointments with many Neopians that had come to seek her help or wisdom.
"Hello, Fyora. Are you alright?" her best friend Celandra asked.
"Oh don’t worry about me. I just need a bit of a breather. Hmm...actually I was wondering if you could remind me when Faerieland would pass over Darigan Citadel next."
"Certainly Fyora, that would be tomorrow actually."
"Tomorrow? Oh, well, please mark some time on my schedule so I can visit with Lord Darigan. Call it a diplomacy meeting."
"Fyora, you are all booked tomorrow."
"I am? Anything I can reschedule?"
"No, not really. You have a council meeting and all these appointments with Neopians."
"Hmm...could you postpone all of my appointments then?"
Celandra rearranged the calendar on the wall. It was also magically connected to a calendars posted in public places around Faerieland so that all residents would know the Faerie Queen’s schedule. Queen Fyora was a firm believer that her kingdom had the right to know what their Queen was doing. It was the opposite of the previous Faerie Queen, who was quite reserved and did not make many public appearances at all.
"Alright, I suppose I should send Lord Darigan a Neomail. I would like to see his kingdom."
"Shall I get your official stationery?" Celandra asked.
"No, there’s no need, I’ll send him a personal one. Why don’t you go and take a break? You’ve been at it all morning."
"Thank you Fyora." Celandra curtsied and turned to leave.
"Oh Celandra...you know I don’t care for those formalities, especially from you."
"I know but it still feels strange to be good friends with royalty."
Fyora shrugged. "Whatever makes you feel comfortable, I guess."
Celandra and Fyora stood still, smiling at each other before Fyora wrapped her arms around her best friend.
"Thanks for all you do."
"It’s always a pleasure, Fyora."
Fyora watched as Celandra left the room. While she isn’t serving the Faerie Queen, Celandra liked to play with all the petpets in Fyora’s enormous garden. Fyora observed Celandra being chased by a Meowclops and was overjoyed. It pleased her greatly to see her friend so happy.
She turned back to her desk and sat down, pulling out a drawer full of writing supplies. Taking her pink fountain pen, she began her Neomail to Lord Darigan.
Dear Lord Darigan,
How are things going with your new kingdom? I sure hope it’s not as much paperwork. Every day it seems like I have more things to fill out and sign.
Anyways, the reason I’m writing is of great importance. I want to formally invite you into diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Faerieland and the Western Skies. I am new to this whole thing but I’ve learned from other rulers that it’s important to have friends when running a kingdom.
Since Faerieland is passing directly over the citadel tomorrow, I wanted to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the details. I also can’t wait to see you again. After all, that last dance was pretty long ago. If it isn’t too much trouble, I would love to see your Kingdom too.
The Faerie Queen tied the small scroll to a courier Weewoo. She fed the Weewoo some bird seed before it took off.---
A young purple Eyrie with gold and black armor unsteadily swung a sword on a makeshift battlefield behind Lord Darigan’s castle. He seemed a bit off balance and when his sword hit the ground, the force knocked him backwards. On the other side of the field was Lord Darigan himself.
"Setarian!" his voice boomed. "I know you can do better than that rubbish you just showed me. Get back up!"
"Yes, sir," the young Eyrie replied.
He got back up once more and steadied his sword again. This time he charged toward Lord Darigan and thrust the sword forward. Lord Darigan held up his shield and easily deflected the attack.
"Remember, element of surprise. That was too obvious."
Lord Darigan and Setarian looked up to see a Faerie Weewoo with a Neomail attached to it.
"Sir, it looks like you have Neomail. From Faerieland? Hahaha...they don’t even have an army there."
"Setarian, let’s not look down on the faeries. They are an ancient civilization that has endured faerie wars and prevailed."
"Um...okay sir. But why would they be writing to you?"
Darigan was reading through Fyora’s Neomail and a smile appeared across his face.
"That’s enough training today, I have an important matter to tend to."
"Oh..." Strong disappointment ran through Setarian’s veins.
"I want you here bright and early in a couple of days though! You need work on your swordplay."
"Yes, my lord."
Lord Darigan flew back into his tower. The main room in his chambers was rather simple with a large white stone desk in the middle. There were two side doors leading out of the center room. One led to Darigan’s bedroom which was rather ordinary with a white and gold canopy bed.
The other room was always kept locked and if one could peek through the cracks, they might notice an eerie glow coming from the room. The door was never opened though.
"Back so soon?" said a deep voice.
"Oh hello Galgarroth. Yes, I have some important diplomatic matters."
"Hmm? Is something wrong?"
"No, no. Queen Fyora from Faerieland wants to pay us a visit."
"Should we be on alert?"
Darigan’s eyes widened with shock. "It’s the Faerie Queen, Galgarroth. I do not think she would be malicious in her intent."
"Hmm...I guess you’re right. She’s not King Skarl."
The two laughed loudly for a few second before Darigan caught his breath.
"Nope not even close Galgarroth."
Lord Darigan sat down at his desk and began to write a response to Queen Fyora’s Neomail.
Greetings Queen Fyora,
Thanks for writing. It has been such a long time since we’ve last corresponded. Yes, certainly I would like to meet with you tomorrow when Faerieland passes over the citadel. You are welcome in my castle and likewise, I look forward to seeing you.
Queen Fyora prepared her cloud racer for a short flight to the citadel. She made sure the magic levels were all proper and that thick cloud mode was turned off. She didn’t want the cloud racer to produce the thick clouds used in competitive cloud racing.
"Be careful Fyora," Celandra said from Fyora’s tower.
Celandra pushed a pink button from the tower and a loud alarm sounded across Faerieland. Celandra watched as all flying cloud racers and creatures landed, clearing the skies for Fyora. She took one more look across the skies before signaling an all clear.
"Thank you Celandra. I’ll see you soon!"
The Faerie Queen took off in her cloud racer and then began a quick descent to the land below.
She took a look at Darigan’s kingdom.
"Wow, look at all those nice rolling hills and fertile lands. And that green and white castle is just beautiful," she said to herself.
She spotted a flat grassy area in front of Darigan’s castle and started to land. However, the guards on the ground were a bit confused.
"What is going on? What is that flying thing?" a Darigan Draik guard said to a Darigan Skeith.
"No idea. Let’s fly up and intercept," said the Skeith.
Fyora saw the two guards fly up.
"Halt! You are entering Darigan airspace! What business do you have today?" asked the Draik before the Skeith bumped him with his tail.
"Aberdogan! Look! It’s her!"
"Wha-? Oh it’s Queen Fyora? Umm...sorry for the trouble. You are free to land on the front lawn."
Fyora smiled. Perhaps the guards were a little overzealous in preventing invasion.
"Thank you both."
The two guards waited until she was out of earshot.
"You made a fool out of me Aberdogan!"
"Me? How was I supposed to know that was the Faerie Queen?"
The Skeith sighed and flew back to his position. The two guards opened the enormous wooden doors to the castle for the Faerie Queen. The bowed down as Queen Fyora proceeded through the entrance.
"Thank you. Might I ask what your name is good sir?" she said to the Skeith.
"Haskol. It is my pleasure."
"And yours?" She turned to the Draik.
The Draik spaced out at the Faerie Queen, drawn in by her beauty before Haskol shouted at him.
"You are keeping the Queen waiting!"
"Oh? Uh...it’s Aberodogan!"
The Queen held out her hand and shook the paws of both guards.
"Your majesty. Would you like me to escort you to Lord Darigan’s chambers?" Haskol asked.
"Yes, that would be fantastic. I presume Lord Darigan’s castle is as confusing as mine."
The Skeith gave Aberdogan a smirk before disappearing off with the Faerie Queen.
Haskol led Fyora through a series of hallways. The walls were lined with many tapestries, most of them depicting past generals in the Darigan Army. Occasionally, there would be a suit of armor fitting a distinct pet.
"Up this way, your majesty," Haskol said as they came to a maze of staircases. If it was Queen Fyora’s own castle, she wouldn’t hesitate to fly up the stairs. However, the thought of accidentally flying into something in Darigan’s castle gave her a bit of angst.
"Would you prefer flying? It’s much quicker that way."
"Oh? You’ll have to lead the way. I don’t want to end up running into some statue of someone famous."
She followed the Skeith closely as he flew up the stairs toward Darigan’s chambers. They came to a large landing at the very top of the long staircase. There was an enormous set of wooden doors that had the Darigan coat of arms plastered on it. The two landed in front of them.
"Here we are, your majesty."
"Thank you very much Haskol." Fyora reached into her pocket and pulled out a 500 Neopoint coin.
"Here’s something for all the trouble."
Haskol smiled at the queen and hastily pocketed the coin.
"Thank you for your generosity."
As he flew down the stairs, he began to gloat to himself. "Oh Aberdogan. I get Neopoints and you don’t. Hahahaha."
The Faerie Queen stretched out her hand and knocked three times. The door flew open and there stood Lord Darigan in his green, yellow, and white robes. His wings and ears were dark teal. The Korbat was certainly dressed for the occasion.
His mouth hung open as he stood to admire Queen Fyora’s beauty again – her silken lavender dress, her flowing hair, and her light blue tiara.
"My, my. Your majesty, you look as beautiful as ever."
Fyora pretended to scowl. "That’s only because you haven’t seen me in a while. I don’t look any different. But you on the other hand, you’ve grown into quite a handsome Korbat."
"Where are my manners? Come on in and have a seat."
Galgarroth grew wide-eyed when he saw the Faerie Queen in her full glory. However, Darigan quickly nudged him.
"Galgarroth, please get a chair for the Queen. She has traveled here to see us."
Fyora sat down at a small round table in Lord Darigan’s chambers. "It’s good to see you Lord Darigan."
"Galgarroth, please make some tea for us."
"Right away, sir," the Grarrl replied.
Fyora held her hand up. "You needn’t bother. I came to see you, not drink tea. It’s what friends do normally, you know, visit each other."
"First of all though, let’s get the formal stuff out of the way so we can have more time to catch up. I see that my predecessor has neglected to establish any formal diplomatic relations with your kingdom."
Fyora pulled out two small scrolls.
"One copy for each of us. I’ve already signed it. Basically, I want to be allies with you so we will help each other out when our kingdoms face trouble."
"Right. I have an army, and you have all the magic the whole world needs. That’s a fair deal."
"Okay, I didn’t expect you and I to be on the same page so quickly. I guess you’ll just sign here and...oh you just did...you’re awfully quick."
They rolled up the scrolls and Darigan shoved one into his filing cabinet. The two smiled at each other for a moment before Fyora turned her eyes to the doorway that gave off an eerie glow through the cracks.
"Hmm...I sense strong magic here," she thought.
Lord Darigan noticed that the Faerie Queen seemed mesmerized by the door. He felt a bit concerned because he had always wanted to keep the room’s contents secret. The queen seemed very trustworthy though and he did also want to know what type of magic was contained within. He touched Fyora on the shoulder to get her attention.
"Oh? I’m sorry Lord Darigan...it’s just that..."
Fyora didn’t want to get into Lord Darigan’s business so she attempted to dodge his question.
"Oh it’s nothing really."
"Fyora, there is something I’d like to ask you. You know, a quick favor?"
"Certainly, Lord Darigan. Anything."
"You saw how fertile and rich my kingdom was when you flew over it right?"
The Faerie Queen nodded.
"I owe that to some very powerful magic contained in an orb. I created this orb along with other top sorcerers from this kingdom. However, I was not involved in every single detail of this orb so I would like to know what type of magic exists within. You are a renowned sorceress and I believe you could help."
"Lord Darigan, it will be my pleasure."
Darigan went into his room and returned a minute later with a large rusty key. Had it not been for the rust, the key would have been rather ornate. Darigan’s coat of arms was struck on the handle of the key and the shaft seemed to have ancient scripture carved into it. Lord Darigan inserted the key into the locked door and gave it a turn. The lock was rusty as well and this certainly made things more troublesome. Fyora watched for a moment as Darigan struggled and offered her help.
"Let me get that for you, Lord Darigan."
She gave the key a hard turn and the lock clicked. She tried the handle, pulling as hard as she could. There was a deafening screeching noise from the old, dusty hinges of the door.
"My what a beautiful orb you have here!" Fyora exclaimed as she stared in wonder. The orb was sitting on a pedestal about four feet tall. There was a stone stool next to the orb, as if someone had already sat there, trying to perform sorcery analysis on it.
"A pleasant appearance, yes, but the functionality is most important," Darigan commented.
"May I?" The Faerie Queen held out her staff and motioned to Darigan that she wanted to touch the orb with her staff.
"Yes, do all that’s necessary short of destroying it."
Queen Fyora tapped the orb with her staff. The orb glowed brighter, emitting a few bright yellow sparks. The Faerie Queen took a seat on the stone stool and closed her eyes.
A pink Shoyru was happily playing with her friends among enormous stalks of corn. It appeared that she was bouncing a gormball between a blue Wocky, an Electric Hissi, and a Faerie Kacheek.
The ball exploded with goo flying all over the blue Wocky. Everyone laughed heartily, even the Wocky.
Further back in the field, an Ogrin farmer was negotiating something with a JubJub who was looking to buy corn to resell in the Marketplace. At first, their demeanor was cordial and they were nodding to each other. However, gradually, a smile on the JubJub’s face started to fade. Perhaps the Ogrin was charging outrageous prices or refused to haggle. Whatever it was, it was certain that the negotiation was no longer peaceful. The two were raising their voices with each other. Suddenly, the JubJub appeared to be walking away and uttered something terrible to the Ogrin.
"Cursed are your lands because of the outrageous price you are charging for your harvest. Nobody will pay that and eventually, your crop will be left to wither into dust."
A dark cloud began to form almost immediately and thunder resonated throughout the area. Torrential rains began to pour on the field. It was enough to wash the fertile topsoil away. The winds raged in fury, further damaging the Ogrin’s corn. Then the hailstones dealt more, crushing blows to the Ogrin’s once bountiful harvest. The Ogrin could only stare in disbelief as the JubJub tortured him with his cackling laughter.
"We need to get inside!" shouted the pink Shoyru as they covered their heads to avoid being pelted by hailstones. The rains got heavier but fortunately, the Shoyru and her friends hid in a small shed that stored farming equipment.
"What is going on out there? I saw an angry JubJub walking away. Do you really think he has the power to curse?" asked the faerie Kacheek.
"Legend has it that there is a family of JubJub merchants that possess magical abilities. I presume curses are part of their abilities," said the pink Shoyru.
The group remained silent afterwards, staring out the door. They could only watch as the flooding rains swept the Ogrin’s harvest away.
Fyora awoke to Lord Darigan standing over her, looking worried.
"Oh, you’re awake. Thank goodness. I thought you might have been adversely affected by the orb’s magic," he said.
Fyora smiled. "Awwe, that’s sweet of you to be concerned. No, the orb didn’t affect me. When I am analyzing magic of a particular object, I fall asleep and dream. In my dream, I see a physical manifestation of the type of magic contained within."
"Well that’s interesting. So, what did you find?"
Fyora’s smile vanished.
"I’m afraid that there is strong dark magic in this orb. It may produce fertile lands but it also has a terrible curse that can just as easily bring about severe destruction. As the Faerie Queen, I would strongly advise you to dispose of the orb responsibly. However, as a friend, I understand that your kingdom needs the orb right now. I cannot bear to see any kingdom in Neopia suffer. I will caution you, though. Do not let this orb fall into the wrong hands."
"Fyora...I...I don’t know what to think. What would you do?"
"I would seek alternatives to the orb. However, such a task would certainly be daunting. It would certainly require a certain level of magical prowess. Depending on where you can find the answer, it could also be dangerous. Since I’ve dealt with this type of magic before, I will see what I can find in the Faerieland library."
Lord Darigan sat in silence for a while before Queen Fyora gave him a pat on the back.
"Lord Darigan, I will certainly come to your aid should you need it. I’ll give you my word."
The Korbat still seemed unsure as he nodded hesitantly.
"You’re still unsure. I understand. I know trust is more difficult for you, especially with Meridell constantly pushing their boundaries. That’s okay, I’ll still be your friend."
"Thank you, Fyora. It means a lot to me."
"Well it was wonderful to see you, but I must return to my kingdom. Keep the orb safe. May we meet again."
During the time period shortly after Queen Fyora’s meeting with Lord Darigan, the situation in Meridell became dire with famine becoming widespread from the blight of a plague. In desperation, King Skarl sent his knights out to find a solution to the terrible predicament they wallowed in. Whether it was to satisfy his own hunger or his subjects’ was for the rest of the kingdom to judge, but it was clear, something had to be done.
The Knights themselves were not sure how to remedy the situation so they tapped the knowledge of a seer for a supernatural solution. This seer, a Kyrii of advanced age, directed them to Darigan’s orb. They headed off to the citadel to investigate. Lord Darigan saw them and welcomed them with a feast, for they were foreigners from a faraway land. During this feast, Lord Darigan proudly showed them the orb that made all of his prosperity possible. He took notice at the severity of the knights’ hunger and sent them back to their land with extra food.
As they briefed King Skarl, he grew extremely angry at them for not seizing the orb. Despite some opposition to potentially starting a war between the two kingdoms, King Skarl forced them to return to the citadel to retrieve the orb. After a surprise attack, they got a hold of the orb. Unfortunately for Lord Darigan, the orb had a mind of its own and switched allegiance to King Skarl. At the orb’s urging, King Skarl laid a curse upon the land of Darigan Citadel. What was once a fertile land became utterly barren as the curse brutally swept across the land.
To be continued…