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Frostbyte Chapter FiveNight had settled in deep and chill by the time the travelers reached the next village. This was a small, rustic place in a pleasant sense of the word, at least by Haunted Woods standards. Being this close to Brightvale, Sophie did not know it as well as she did other parts of the region. But she was vaguely familiar with the local inn.
At least we can have another comfortable night in a bed, she told her companions. I think I like traveling with a Defenders expense account. Just keep in mind that this is still the Haunted Woods. There might be more of those Dark Riders about.
And I think it best that we leave the name of Greenparrot behind, the purple Aisha added. If any name must be given, I am John Smith.
They approached the inn and were met at the door by a rather stout Moehog with a cheerful face and wearing a barkeeps apron.
Welcome to the Prancing Peophin, he declared. Im the proprietor, Barnum B
Frostbyte Chapter FourI have to admit that the prospect of spending a few days in Fyoras Palace has a certain appeal. If there had only been broadband, satellite TV and really sleek cars, it would have been a slice of heaven.
I found Fyora sitting at a small table in the garden that first morning; she was wearing a fleecy lavender warm-up suit (barefoot as always) and reading a copy of the Times. Jhudessa was wide awake, already fed and otherwise serviced. Now she was seated nearby happily stacking wooden blocks with Piksie and Viksyn while a pair of Fire Faeries in dark glasses stood over them protectively. The little Dark Faerie Lupe looked so small and innocent that it was easy to forget that she was already Level 11.
I seated myself at the small table. Apparently Queen Fyora favored borovan and blueberry muffins for breakfast. So you read the Times first thing every morning?
Of course, Fyora insisted. As the Queen of Faerieland, it is essential that I am made aware of
Frostbyte Chapter ThreeI think were not alone, Jina hissed softly.
A tall mysterious black figure stood backlit in the doorway. Or more accurately, a figure of ordinary height in a ridiculously large hat.
Jhudora crossed her arms. Come on into the light, Sophie. I know its you.
The green Ixi stepped forward into the light of their wands. Hey, I wasnt so sure it was you. Halloween isnt for another two months, Jhudora. And if youre pretending to be the Soup Faerie, you have to do something about those wings.
Im on a mission, the Dark Faerie explained. That gown might be good for dramatic effect while handing out quests, but its not very practical for mucking about in the wild. It looks like youve already had a visit from the creature that were after.
Poor ol Judy, Sophie remarked. She flipped an arcane gesture at the lamps overhead, which instantly filled no more than a quarter of the room wi
Frostbyte Chapter TwoAnother Saturday Morning at the Chez Weewoo, the Guilds own Café and Disco.
Jhudora had called a meeting specifically requesting the Guilds older and more stable members, stable of course being a relative value; there are times when the NTAG reminds me a bit of Arkham Asylum. Everyone was curious about why Queen Fyora was there as well, having arrived alone and sitting at my table along with Ariana, who was holding Jhudessa.
As soon as Nat arrived, Jhudora hurried to intercept her. I have everything ready for you in the changing room just off the dance floor. Hurry back as soon as youve taken your potion and changed your clothes. Probably not in that order, if you know what I mean.
The Dark Faerie had been talking as if they were discussing carefully-prepared plans, although this was clearly news to Nat. She looked too stunned and confused to protest, which may have been part of Jhudoras plan from the first. She disappeared through t
Frostbyte Chapter OneThere are Legends that dwell
In the Hidden Places of Neopia.
Some are of the Light, but Others. . .
Others are of the Darkest Kind.
Lady Jerdana, The Chronicles of Neopia
Jhudora threw the massive wooden table on its side, providing the best shelter to be had in the entire room for her companions. Her Draik henchman Albert scurried from the corner as quickly as he could manage with Jhudessa tucked protectively in his arms, leaping past Jhudora as he ducked behind the table. The Creature dived at him as he passed, relentless in pressing its attack. At least until the Dark Faerie chased it away yet again with another fireball.
Parrot took advantage of the Creatures retreat to press his own attack, diving down from the shadows of the rafters. The Mutant Weewoo was clutching a burning torch in his claws, seemingly a poor weapon in a battle of such powerful magic except that the shadowy being seemed to be an ice elemental of some type and cautious of fire. The lit
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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