Resurgence: The Wand on the Left
A pseudo-sequel to Prelude to the Resurgence
Aid came to Faerieland from all corners of Neopia in her time of need, and often in curious forms. Queen Fyora and General Aethia had been quite clear in their warning: that there shouldn't be a single soul in Neopia that isn't preparing for war. All sorts of groups had pledged fealty to the Faerie cause, from the Defenders to the Order to the Seekers. And thanks to his connection to the Seekers, a Christmas Kacheek named Jacob was among those aiding the war effort.
Professor Lambert, the head of the Seekers, addressed his organization's volunteers, having received instructions from Aethia herself.
"Ladies and gentlemen, our time is once again at hand," he said, raising his pointer finger skyward for emphasis. "A loss for Faerieland is a loss for all of Neopia, so we must fight back the Wraith menace. We must have answers! However, the answers we seek can only be obtained in one way."
Professor Lambert twirled his parasol before taking a fencing stance with it, lunging forward before regaining his previous posture.
"One on one armed combat." After a tangible silence from the crowd, the Gnorbu cleared his throat and adjusted his spectacles. "Now then, General Aethia has given us access to the armory, and has been generous enough to offer each of our troops a Corrosive Spear Wand. This weapon should provide just enough power to take down the Snapjaw Wraith that have been plaguing the area as of late."
Professor Lambert motioned toward the armory.
"Now, if everyone could form an orderly queue at the entrance, that would be ideal."
Jacob was among the many now waiting in line. Eventually, of course, he arrived inside the armory when an alarm went off.
"Battle stations, everyone!" shouted Aethia. "Another wave is approaching! Leave no Wraith standing!"
In a panic, Jacob grabbed a spear wand from the armory and made for his post. Magic pulsated within it, a dark aura circling its toxic tip. Being a mechanics expert from Moltara, Jacob didn't have much experience with magic, but he found its sense of power almost intoxicating.
A Snapjaw Wraith was approaching. Its shambling gait and grotesque appearance could unnerve even the most stalwart of Neopians. Eventually its cold eyes locked onto Jacob and the beast began to slash wildly at him. Jacob was hesitant when it came to using a weapon on it, as all signs pointed to these Wraith possessing Neopians in order to gain access to Neopia. At the same time, however, Jacob knew that defeating the Wraith in combat would help ensure the possessed Neopian would be cured at some point. With that, he took a defensive stance and raised the Spear Wand toward the oncoming Wraith, shutting his eyes tightly as to not see the impact.
A sonorous splat.
Jacob opened his eyes, only to realize it did nothing to help visibility. A vile purple goo was splattered all over his brass gear goggles. Wraith Ectoplasm, without a doubt. After cleaning his goggles, Jacob saw the defeated Wraith on the ground in front of him.
"I...I don't understand," said Jacob. "A single hit was all it took? And with zero application of force?" Confused beyond belief, he scooped the ectoplasm into a vial to deliver to Taelia. Another Wraith appeared off in the distance.
"That one needs to go, as well," he said to himself. "Maybe now I'll find out."
Determined to uncover the mystery of this magical spear wand, Jacob charged headlong into the Wraith, a far cry from his usually clinical precision strikes. Eyes fully open this time, Jacob noted the blast of poisonous magical energy that exploded from the spear's point upon impact with the Wraith. The blowback knocked the creature out instantaneously.
"I...I still don't understand. The Corrosive Spear Wand is supposed to deal moderate damage, not level an army of Wraith in one fell swing! Unless..."
Jacob noted the spear wand pulsating as he gripped it.
"What if it's reacting to me?" Throughout his whole life, Jacob dealt with the mechanical. The ethereal and the magical were realms unknown to him, barring introductory courses at Brightvale University all those years ago. He'd never realized he might have a natural affinity for it, however. Perhaps he was simply amplifying the weapon's power without ever realizing it. Perhaps he could bring this war even closer to its end!
Jacob struck down several more Wraith with ease on his way back to the headquarters of the resistance. His satchel was filled with vials of ectoplasm, all ready to be handed over to Taelia in order to create her magical potions.
"Hello Taelia," Jacob said as he placed the satchel on the Snow Faerie's crafting table. "I've gathered these from the Wraith. I hope this all can be of use in-" Jacob's voice began to trail off. His legs wobbled ceaselessly, not unlike the jelly the Wraith had infected. In his last moment of consciousness he backed away from the table to avoid ruining the concoctions when he fell over.
Eventually, those blurs had features. Tangible shapes. Then they had faces, and the background came into view.
Jacob was in the infirmary, and ice magic was swirling around his head. Beside him was Taelia, as well as Aethia.
"Oh, thank goodness. He's conscious," said Aethia.
"You had quite the spill there, I'm afraid," Taelia said.
Jacob sat up on the small medical bed, finally regaining strength in his limbs.
"What...happened, exactly?" Jacob asked.
"Extreme exhaustion," said Taelia. "In particular, an overwhelming magical overdose. Magic can be dangerous in high doses if the wielder isn't trained to use it."
Magical overdose. Jacob's theory of secretly being magically inclined could be safely thrown out now.
"The Corrosive Spear Wand? But it's an entry level magical weapon. I'd thought my constitution would be enough to withstand it."
This time, it was Aethia who spoke. "It more than likely is. The issue is that wasn't the weapon you were using. That was a Poisonous Spear Wand, a much more potent variant. One that requires years of rigorous training to properly use."
"Oh...oh my," Jacob said, shrinking back into the bed. "How foolish of me. I...I meant you no trouble, General Aethia. I'm sorry to have taken so much of your valuable time, as well."
"Think nothing of it. It was my mistake. This resurgence has had me more scatterbrained than I'd care to admit, so I likely mixed it in with the stock without realizing it. A careless error. Still, I'm glad to see no serious harm was done."
Jacob smiled. "Yes, in my last moments of sight, I moved myself from the crafting table to not ruin the potions with my fall."
Aethia gave a hearty laugh. "Oh, not that. I'm saying I'm glad your body didn't instantly vaporize upon using it, since you're not used to magic."
Taelia shot Aethia a quick look. "But truly, thank you for gathering those materials regardless. Once you're feeling better, you may go back to your station. You aren't showing any signs of long term harm."
Taelia and Aethia then left the infirmary, leaving Jacob to rest just a little while longer.
"Really, Aethia, instant vaporization? Do you wish to scare off what volunteers we still have?" Taelia scoffed.
"Just a bit of teasing, Tae. It builds character." She chuckled. "But hopefully something like that wouldn't be enough to scare them off. I have a feeling it will pale in comparison to what fearsome beasts we'll face soon enough."