CONJUROCALYPSE: Part One
There was once a time in Conjure’s history where all magic seemed lost, forever. All the essence of its once happy boards echoed with deafening silence. A silence so maddening, you could hear the heartbeat of the guild slowly withering away to a vast void. Its members with once delighted and bright faces filled the boards with tears of laughter now lay inside the shadows, darkened by the pain of lost magic. The silence, like a blanket over its members, shrouded their pain. No one dared talk about why the magic had gone or where.
Some say the magic withered away slowly, escaping as if it never existed. Others recall that the silence just happened suddenly. The pain, however, is the same no matter how the story is told. The sudden rip of magic from the guild sundered the member’s hearts like a sword through a faerie potion. Some described it as an emptiness in the pit of their stomach that churned like the anger of a thousand Pant Devils. Others, described the pain as a fear of being lost in the night with the only way to run is away from the laughter of a Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushie echoing behind them.
They hungered for their magic back.The constant reminder of where the magic once stood within their hearts twisted them into … something unknown to Neopian history.
Some say they became darker than the Darkest Faerie. Some say, they were more corrupt than Dr. Sloth. Some say they were now the focal point for all that was truly evil and that all creatures of the darkness even avoided Conjure’s home. It was truly what evil was afraid of.
Rumors slipped into tales. Tales slipped into the legends. Only the brave dared to speak about the darkness haunting the halls of Conjure. And now, even the innocence of asking about the once bright home are shut down as quickly as they are brought up. Some fear that speaking their pain will awaken the darkness sleeping inside Conjure. Neopia feared that the slumbering spirits would awaken and crawl out seeking their lost magic; stealing all that is good and pure in the land.
A small Aisha opened her eyes. Her fuzzy mind clears slowly as she tried to look around her once bright room, now dark and dusty. “That is the last time I allow someone to talk me into drinking a Draik Enhancement Brew,” she thought to herself, “Dare or not! My head is pounding!”
She opened her eyes fully and let her eyes adjust to the darkness. Confusion set in. She wondered where she was because this can not be her room in Conjure where she remembered laying her head down last night. “Why is my room so… dark?” She stepped out from her bed and looks at her things now covered in multiple layers of dust. She decided to investigate.
She opened the door to her room and the squeal of the hinges echo loudly down the halls. The sound uneasied the small Aisha. The echo seemed to last forever. She listened until she couldn’t hear it anymore. “Why is it so quiet here? It’s always so loud. The night crew always have a trick up their sleeves.” She tried to speak and ask if anyone was there. She seemed to be unable to. Her throat felt very dry. “I need some borovan. It’s gonna be a long day.”
She stepped out of her room and started down the main hallway. She passed the great portal that lead to all the other rooms of Conjure. “It’s so dark and cold… what is wrong here?“
A scamper, heard behind her, made the Aisha jump and look behind her… to nothingness.
“What was that?” She tried again to call out and once again she was unable to. “Where is everyone? Is this a joke?” Another scamper, this time in front of her and closer. Her heart started racing. She flipped back quickly and this time there was something.
Before her stood a black mass with even darker, soulless eyes staring straight at her. She locked up. She was unable to run, move or cry out. Suddenly the black mass hissed so fierce the small Aisha ran for her life. She ran as fast as her little legs could carry her.
As if the darkness couldn’t get any darker, from the corner of her eyes, she seen more of those black masses crawl from the shadows and reach out to her. She tried to scream, but she just couldn’t. She turned various corners trying to escape the black creatures that tried to grab her. There were too many. She was cornered. A lulling sense of doom shattered what little faith the small Aisha had thinking this was a joke as they closed in on her.
Tears streamed down her face in fear, anger, confusion and hopelessness as the black creatures started to overtake her. Their claws felt like ice against her skin. A small vibration came from her chest. She looked down to a light slowly humming from her Light Faerie Token hanging there. The black creatures hissed and enveloped her, their touch like ice burning her skin. The seriousness of the situation set into her heart as she struggled to break free. She might perish.
The light from her necklace hummed brighter, stronger and more powerful. It shined as bright as the light of a thousand novas. The black creatures cried out in what seemed like pain and released what grip they had on the small Aisha. Without thinking, she jumped up and ran to the Conjure main doors. The light from her necklace shined around her like a shield, protecting her as the black creatures snarled and followed her.
She reached the main doors and tried with all her might to open them. They wouldn’t budge. “Oh please, let me out! LET ME OUT!” She cried to herself. The black creatures gathered around her, knowing the token’s magic will wear out soon. Panicked, she braced herself against the door. “This is it. I’m done for.”
The token vibrated with desperation and the light shield around the Aisha beamed brighter than ever. This angered the black masses and they lashed out harder, faster. Their snarls almost became unison.
The scared little Aisha accepted her fate. She closed her eyes and finally screamed as the light enveloped her, burning her skin and all that was around her.
From light, there was darkness. The small Aisha gave into the enveloping dark void. Her eyes closed. Nothingness surrounded her mind once again. “Sleep,” she thought, “just sleep.”
The small Aisha opened her eyes. Her skin burned. “Am I a black creature? Am I one of them now?” She stirred and rubble fell off around her. She could see the outside moonlight and stars in the sky. Confused, she stood up and moved outside. “Was I dreaming? Is this another dream?” She looked down to the Light Faerie Token around her neck. The once shiny golden sun that hung around her neck is now burnt and charred. It felt cold to the touch. Broken it fell to the ground. She stepped over it and out into the crisp cool breeze of the night.
The small Aisha saw the moon’s reflection coming from a small lake nearby. Limping, she made her way over to the water, hoping its cool temperature will ease the pain felt in her skin. Upon reaching the shores of the lake, she was startled by what she saw.
She was no longer the beautiful Aisha she once was. Her beautiful tanned skin, once kissed by the mid-day’s sun, was now gone. The jewels that hung from her body had disappeared. She wept upon her reflection, or she tried. Her eyes were now sunken shallow black holes. Her bones and organs could be seen in her reflection. She touched her skin. It was hard as marble and see-through like glass. “I can see through my skin…!? Why!? What happened to me!? What happened to Conjure!? What happened to my guild!? What were those… things!? “
She turned back to the building. The front door was now a gaping void standing amongst the rubble. She watched and waited to see if the black creatures came forth but none showed. Returning to the water, she slowly eased her feet into the cool dark water of the lake. “This feels amazing. I’m so exhausted.” She inched her way into the water, lowering her body into the crisp refreshing coldness. She laid her head down on the ground above the water and stared up at the stars in the sky. “Well, at least you haven’t changed.” She thought disheartenedly. “Why was I asleep so long? What happened while I was asleep? Was I truly asleep? Why wasn’t I too one of those black creatures? Where those my friends? My guild members? WHY WAS I SPARED SUCH A FATE!?”
Angered now, she left the water feeling relieved of the sting that once inhabited her skin. She tapped one hand pretty hard against the other. Her new skin did not break. “Hmmm.” She hit her hand harder this time, but against the ground. She felt nothing. Again, she did not break. “That’s surprising. I can feel temperature, but not pain. Nor do I break like the glass my skin appears to be.” She put her hand over her heart. She could feel a steady humming as if her heart was beating, but her reflection in the calm waters shown no such movement. “Am I alive still? What am I?”
The small Aisha laid there, in the grass, staring at nothing. A million questions filled her mind. Emotions grown askew the more she thought and laid there. The more numb she felt the longer she tried to feel. The more she tried to break newfound glass skin, the more damaged felt. She truly felt broken and alone.
“Why? Why? WHY? WHY WHY WHY WHY?” The small Aisha angrily pound the ground around her. She once again tried to cry, but was unsuccessful. “Great, I can’t break myself but I’m so broken I can’t even cry. What’s next? Do all my insides turn to that black creature stuff? If so, why weren’t they covered in this glass stuff I guess is my skin now?”
As the small Aisha questioned the world she once knew and the small part of this world she does know, time had ticked by. She peered over to the East and saw the colors in the night sky start to change. “Morning. I guess if I’m going to find out what happened, I need to go back in…. There.” The small Aisha turned and looked at the broken front door of her once glorious guild home.
It was still dark out, even as light was starting to fill the sky, but she thought she had seen a small shadow move inside the building.
“Wait. Wait!” The Aisha scrambled to her feet. “How odd, why would someone go inside? Do they know what’s it there? They might be in trouble!” She gathered what courage she had and dashed towards the door. She took one last breath at the edge of the rubble stepping into the darkness she tried to escape from.
The rising sun in the sky shone softly inside the guild home casting weak shadows against the walls and the main hall way. The small Aisha stepped slowly inside letting her eyes adjust as she crept. The smell inside is different than she remembered. She never noticed it when she woke up. She also noticed the void of sound inside the hall. “This sure is different than what I remember. Are all the black creatures gone?” She pondered on whether she’d be attacked the further she went.
The small Aisha felt more cold as she walked deeper into the main hallway. She felt as if the lack of sun against her glass skin made her colder. She rounded the corner and followed the path towards the the great portal and stared inside. The great portal was always a loud place, filled with many Neopets. She remembered the many games and parties held here. She missed her guild mates.
A noise was heard towards her room.
The small Aisha ran towards the noise, hoping it was the small shadow she seen earlier and not a black creature. The closer she got, the more soft noises she heard that was indeed coming from her room. She thought she heard someone talking, but it wasn’t coming from her ears. It felt like it was inside her head, like her thoughts.
“Looks like it’s already been picked over. Of course. First time in hissstory this place breaks open and I can’t find a decent trinket of value to hock for Neopoints. What’s a Kadoatie to do for a decent meal, huh? “ A kad spoke.
“A kad? “ The small Aisha thought. “What’s a kad doing in here?”
“Hisss. Who is there? Who dare follow the great Mutini in such a perilous place?” The kad’s hiss echoed inside the small Aisha’s head for what seemed like forever.
“Perilous? My home? Maybe because of the black creatures… but it’s not supposed to be like this! Wait, what are you doing in MY room?” The small Aisha stepped into her room and stared at the kadoatie standing hunched over on her desk. What little fur this mangy kad had was standing up and it’s sharp pointy teeth was in plain view. She noticed there was no light inside her room, yet she could see perfect as if there were a bright nova in the center of her room, lighting it up.
“Your room? I came inssside first after the blassst released all those creatures.” The kad seemed not afraid of her. It’s fur stood down as it plopped it’s hind end on her desk. It’s tail wrapped around it’s body.
“Wait, you can hear me? You understand me? What do you mean all the creatures were released? They are outside now?!” The small Aisha stepped closer to the kadoatie, in shock it could hear her.
“Calm down Aishy, I can hear you. You’re a Transparent. You speak telepathically. You hear the same. You should know thisss.” Mutini laughed or so the small Aisha thought.
“I don’t know. This just happened to me. I have no idea what I am. But what did you mean all the creatures were released? Is the outside in danger?” The small Aisha wondered.
“I would think so. Those black creatures looked like seriousss business. I’ve never been in here before, it’s always been locked up since the Conjurocalypse.” Mutini looked around the room.
“The Conjurocal-what?” The small Aisha was puzzled.
“The Conjurocalypse. Duh. The great undoing of magic inside Conjure? Hello? Where have you been?” Mutini laughed.
“I’m not sure. I just woke up a little bit ago, over there and was attacked by those black creatures when I left my room. “The small Aisha pointed to her bed.
“So, you had an upfront seat to all the action huh? I bet watching everyone waste away once the magic went missing was a great show. I’d paid Neopoints to see that freak show happen instead of hearing it in passing bys.” Mutini’s eyes lit up.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, but if I understand you, those black creatures were once my friends and guild mates. I need to help them. I would appreciate if you didn’t speak of them as if they were mere campfire stories to scare baby Neopians! And what do you mean by great undoing of magic? What happened here?” The small Aisha’s patience was running thin.
“So many questions Aishy. So little time. A hungry kadoatie’s time is worth Neopoints. If you have none, I am of no ussse to you.” Mutini hissed.
Angered by the lack of Mutini’s help, the small Aisha opened up her desk drawer to show a small faded and very badly dusty blue pouch. She opened the drawstring and poured out the Neopoints on the table. She gave the mangy kad a nasty look of impatience. The kadoatie’s eyes lit up upon seeing the fallen Neopoints around it.
“You sure you want to hear the this story? You might not like what I tell you.” The kad smiled.
“Start talking you mangy Kadoatie, because you’re not the only hungry Neopian in this room.” The small Aisha flashed a soundless snarl toward Mutini. She knew her sharp teeth could be seen through her skin. Her stomach grumbled softly. “And I don’t think I eat gourmet food anymore.”
To be continued…