My first neopets story! Sort of a what if story involving the grey faerie and events and items from Meridell, before it became Meridell.

Disclaimer:Everything here belongs to neopets, I have taken some liberties with the past of a area of neopets and some of its characters but that is all. I own nothing. My account name is jessachan if you want to look me up on neopets

The clash off metal rang through the air as the two fighters weapons met sending a shower of sparks through the air.

The shock waves of the impact sent them flying away from each other, twisting and turning in mid-air.

The golden fighter shot forward as soon as she had steadied herself, aiming for the black figure, her sword and shield held ready for this clash.

The black figure stayed still, her crimson tipped wand and blackened shield held ready.

The light faerie hit, her sword a silver flash as she attacked the dark faerie, the dark faerie's wand glowed crimson as a ball of dark energy formed, the light faerie barely dodging in time before returning the energy ball with a gold one of her own.

Both faeries were tired and injured, their breath coming in pants. The light faerie saw an opening in the dark faeries defense.

She struck quickly, her sword gleaming as it struck the dark faeries side.

The dark faerie screamed in anger and pain as she was forced to flee.

"I'll get you yet, Baelia!" The dark faerie exclaimed as she fled.

"Hopefully no anytime soon, Jennumara." Baelia muttered to herself as she slowly descended from the sky.

She landed on a verdant field, her stance weary from the long battle, her golden battle suit torn and blood stained. The battle had carried on for days, each hour it had dragged on she had came closer to falling. Her heart longed for an end to these battles, for peace, for rest; yet she knew she had to carry on, to protect her people, the people of Meragan.

She walked slowly to the tower that sat to the west of the castle of the land, it was where she had lived for many centuries, keeping a watch over the land. When she entered her tower she was met immediately by her second in command, a fire faerie name Maita.

"Lady Baelia! We were growing concerned for your well being, the battle with the dark faerie seemed to go ever on." Maita said, "are you well? Shall I summon a healer?"

"I am well, Maita, I only need rest. How goes the search for the Soulstealer Orb?" Baelia asked.

"It is hard going my lady," Maita admitted, her eyes downcast as she clenched her firsts in frustration,"the Orb does not wish to be found by us, and its ability to hide itself as something good and normal is quite strong. I feel, though, that we are gaining on it."

Baelia smiled, a sad smile that spoke of many years of disappointment, "That is good, the quicker we find it the faster we can send it to Fyora, away from any poor beings who might be entrapped by its seductive dark power."

"We will continue the search my lady, I will leave you to your rest." Maita said, bowing lightly to Baelia before she left the room.

Baelia made her way up the stairs to her chambers, she gazed for a moment at her bed, its soft comforts tempting her to sleep. She wrenched her eyes away and made her way to the bath, she knew she must clean her wounds before she slept, as they would fester if left untended for too long.

Far from the tower, within the castle of Meragan, a secret meeting took place.

"My greatest wish? What could give me that?" Asked the green Gelert, his paw stroking his chin as he gazed at the person in the shadows.

"My dear king, the Orb of Light can grant you the deepest wish of your heart. But it is lost, the faerie Baelia seeks it with your brother, Meridell, they seek its powers for themselves."

"What! My brother seeks such a thing and yet tells me not!?" Darigan, first king of Meragan exclaimed, his eyes flashing with anger,"why that-that power hungry traitor! I shall seek it for myself!"

"Yes, yes my king, you are the only one who deserves its light, your brother and that lying faerie would only hoard its power, they would not use its power for good as you will." The shadow said, its words weaving a web about the king, seducing him."I will give you my aid, so that you will gain its powers instead."

"Yes, I think you, all of Meragan shall thank you."Darigan said absently, his gaze unfocused as he tapped his finger against his chin. "I must take my leave, many things to plan, please excuse me."

Darigan strode out of the shadowy room, the being within the shadows stepped forward, gazing at the rapidly retreating back of the king, the light revealed a dark faerie, her dark blue hair cut even at her chin, her black eyes narrowed in malice as she crossed her black clad arms over her chest. "No, I shall think you, for your aid in messing up Baelia's plans and making my job easier, Mistress will be very pleased." Jennumara cackled to herself.

Maita's red wings fluttered through the air, scattering clouds as she flew over the deep forests and rushing waters that made up the landscape of Meragan. She was heading for somewhere of great importance, though she only had a small idea of where it might be. Behind her flew a small group of faeries, there elements varied, earth and air and fire faeries flew in formation; each one a highly trained warrior who were experts in their chosen fields of combat.

Maita's eyes widened as she caught sight of what she was seeking, it differed little from the surrounding forest, yet deep inside Maita knew she had finally found it. She dove down, her solders following. Breaking through the tree branches she saw a gold building with ancient symbols carved into it. The symbols a part of a long forgotten language. This building had not been in this area before, it had built itself there recently in response to Maita's presence near it.

She landed and directed her faeries to spread out and surround the temple, with two of her best warriors she approached the temple. In the front of the dome like temple was a cavernous opening, Maita approached it carefully, on guard for attack. As she passed the threshold of the door way she was blinded by a golden light.

A group of knights tramped through the forest, each baring the crest of the king Darigan, leading them was a faerie, her normal black clothes replaced by brown garb, it was a dark faerie, though she appeared to them as a simple earth faerie. They were making their way to the same temple that Maita had arrived at.

Their journey went quickly, it would have normally been a journey of many days, yet they would arrive before nightfall. It was the dark faeries doing, she cared not for the presence of these mortals so she sought a way to quickly remove herself from their presence. Her name was Kilidra, she was a strong sorceress.

'Fools,' she thought spitefully to herself,'unable to see the truth in front of their eyes, as soon as they gain us the Orb she would kill everyone of them!'

Kilidra felt the aura of good faeries ahead, they were getting closer, she felt pleasure at the thought of getting the orb and being able to cast aside these pathetic mortals.

'It is to bad that dark faeries cannot use the orb, otherwise we could have the world as our own at last.' she thought.

Ahead of them stood a line of densely grown bushes, the knights bulked at first, not wanting to scratch up their armor or get thorns in the creases.

"Come gentle knights, it is not far now, not far at all." Kilidra spoke softly to them, her voice beguiling even as her eyes burned with hatred, they did not see this though, they only saw a gentle faerie girl who guided them through the forest.

The knights moved forward, using their swords to hack through the dense growth. At last they broke through and gazed upon the domed temple, a ring armed faeries circled it.

"Look! The temple! And there are the traitors and disguised dark faeries that keep us from our goal." Kilidra said, a snarl of anger on her face.

The knights puffed out their chests and charged into the glade, the faeries were startled by the appearance of armor clad knights, but they stood their ground as the knights attacked.

A Techo servant was walking down the corridors of Meragan when he heard voices, a dark female voice and the second kings voice conversing, quickly she hid behind a pillar before they spied her.

"You will begin the attack? Baelia cannot be allowed to continue her dark plans." The female voice said.

"Yes, I shall, my brother and that traitorous faerie shall not be allowed to destroy all that we have worked so hard for!" The kings said, his voice strident and passionate."I have sent the first force to attack the tower, I will confront my brother of his treason."

"Good, we must move quickly if we want to succeed. They should not be given the chance to flee from justice!"

"Yes, it shall go as planned."

Laughter, dark and mad echoed through the halls as the servant fled.

Baelia woke from her sleep and stretched her sore muscles. The song of birds wafted through her window causing a smile to brighten her face at the glorious melody.

Baelia prepared to spend her day walking among the people of her lands, to visit her children and see where she might give aid to them. As she flew out the window of her tower she spotted a young Techo girl running toward her, Baelia's forehead creased with worry, the girl looked disparate. She landed before the girl who stopped and looked on her with relief.

"What is the matter young Techo? What causes such haste?" Baelia asked, her voice soft with concern.

"My lady faerie! Its awful! King Darigan is planning to attack you and king Meridell!" The Techo exclaimed, anxious to tell her news as quickly as she could before the solders came.

"What!? Tell me everything!" Baelia cried in shock.

So the Techo did, her voice shrill with worry as her words fell over themselves in there haste to leave her mouth. Baelia's face bore many expressions during this tale, surprise, concern, fear and sadness.

Finally when the tale ended she said, "Hurry, tell king Meridell this, then hide yourself quickly!"

The Techo nodded and ran, headed back to that castle as fast as her feet could take her, her tail and skirts whipping about behind her.

Baelia's face became stern, her eyes narrowed. This was the work of Jennumara, she new this. She called a young faerie to her and told her to gather the others within the tower and go quickly to Queen Fyora, to tell her that the dark faerie Jennumara, favored servant of Jhudora's had turned king Darigan of Meragan to his side.

Once the faerie had left Baelia rushed to prepare herself, but before she could do more than grab her sword she saw the flying form of Maita, her flight unstable. Baelia's eyes widened, her second was alone and clutching her arms close to her chest as blood dripped from her to stain the ground.

Quickly Baelia took flight, meeting Maita in the air she locked an arm about her waist to keep her steady.

"Maita! What happened? Why are you alone?" Baelia asked, her voice thick with worry.

"My lady we were attacked!"

~Earlier~

Once the glare faded from Maita's eyes she looked about her, she was in a labyrinth, each wall adorned with the old symbols. There were three pathways open before her, narrowing her eyes she directed her companions down the side paths as she made her way through the middle.

She walked for what seemed like an eternity, often coming upon many dead ends and seemingly hopeless riddles and puzzles. At long last she made it to a large golden door, engraved on it was a circle divided in half, one side smooth the other bearing many sharp spikes.

Maita pushed the heavy door open, having to use all her weight to move it. Beyond the door a gold light shone, a pedestal stood in the center, slightly above turned the orb.

Maita gasped, 'This is the Soulstealer Orb! The orb that will give you your greatest wish at the cost of your soul!'

Maita strode forward, her steps determined even as her heart filled with fear.

She picked it up slowly, the light from the orb burning her paws. All about her the walls and ceiling started to quake once the orb was removed, pieces of the ceiling begun to fall. Maita raced to the exit, the orb clutched to her chest. She ran through the corridors of the labyrinth, barely noticing as she ran on top of walls that were once dead ends.

At the door way out she met up with her two companions, each baring injuries from the trek and the debris.

They rushed outside to be met by a troubling sight, in front of them laid bodies, faerie bodies and fallen knights, it was the scene of a disastrous battle. A little beyond the bodies stood a dark faerie, her left paw held in front of her body, a mist of dark energy still curling about her hand from when she fired on the knights and faeries battling.

Kilidra smirked at the three faeries,"I thank you for finding my stone, I shall be taking it back now."

Maita snarled, "Never!"

Her two companions charged the dark faerie, their swords swinging through the air, their swords which bounced off the dark faeries barrier.

"You can't beat me like that, foolish ones." Kilidra said, a dark laugh lacing her voice.

She blasted at the two faeries with her dark spells, defeating them quickly. Maita placed a hand in front of her and returned the dark faeries spells with balls of fire even as she winced from the pain the orb was causing her.

Their spells bounced off each others shields as they exchanged fire, very few getting through. The dark faeries face bore a expression of dark glee and malice as one of her spells got through, throwing Maita against the ground with a cry of pain.

"Did the little fire faerie fall down?" Kilidra asked, tsking to herself, her tone a parody of concern,"poor dear, I hope you didn't hurt yourself to much."

Maita's eyes flashed with the flames of rage as she gathered all her energy into her hand. She let loose a large fire ball that hit Kilidra head on, Kilidra's face was shocked as the fire went right through her shields, burning her up before she could even cry out.

Maita slumped to the ground, her face pained, she was had many injuries. Slowly she rose and took to the air to go to her lady.

~Now~

Baelia gazed on her dearest friend with concern and sadness, the injuries were deep. She knew she would be unable to heal them yet she still tried with what little she knew of healing spells.

"My lady, take the orb, go to the queen, I know I shall not survive, but I was always happy to serve you." Maita gasped, her voice laced with pain, though her eyes were calm. She had accepted her fate.

"No! You must not die! You are my friend, I need you!" Baelia cried, her eyes misting with tears.

"It is alright, you must go." Maita said, as she took her last breath and closed her eyes for the final time.

"No! Maita!" Baelia cried, sobbing as she felt her friend leave her.

Meridell sat alone on his throne, weary from the news he had received. His brother had turned against him and the light faerie that had long protected their lands. He mourned that his brother could betray him so. Betray his people so.

Darigan threw open the doors to the throne room and marched in. he smirked at the sight of his brother looking so defeated.'The traitor know he is caught, knows he has lost.' were the thoughts running through his head.

"Meridell! You no longer deserve to sit in that throne! Step down and face me!" Darigan shouted.

Meridell looked upon his brother sadly, mournful that their rule would come to this end.

"My brother, why? Why do this to us?" Meridell asked, his ears pulled back and down.

"Why? Because you are a traitor! That is why!" Darigan snarled.

"The only traitor here is you!" Meridell exclaimed.

Darigan launched himself at his brother with his paws in fists, they started to exchange fisticuffs.

"Well, well, well. What have we here, a weakling little light faerie, sobbing her little eyes out." A dark voice drawled from behind Baelia.

Baelia lowered her hands from her face and turned around, there stood Jennumara, her arms crossed, on her face was a smirk of triumph as she looked at Baelia kneeling before the grave she had buried Maita in. The orb lay on her lap.

Baelia placed the orb in the pocket of her blue dress and stood to face Jennumara. She drew her sword and stood on guard for the attack she knew was coming.

"Hmmm, now is the perfect time for your defeat! You have no more subjects, your most powerful servant is dead. All you have is an orb you cannot use." Jennumara said, laughing at Baelia.

Baelia said nothing. Her face calm, her eyes resolved. She knew that this battle would most likely be her last, but she would fight until the end.

Jennumara pulled out her wand and shot a ball of dark energy at Baelia, who flung herself in the air in response.

Jennumara followed her, casting dark energy balls at her opponent.

Baelia charged forward, thrusting her sword at Jennumara's stomach.

Jennumara deflected the sword with her wand and countered with a thrust of her own.

Baelia rained slashes on Jennumara, only a few hitting her.

Jennumara kicked out and swung her wand at Baelia.

They continued to exchange blows, hits glancing off weapons, sometimes making contact with flesh and bone.

Jennumara leveled a energy ball at Baelia's wings, hitting and riping one off.

The shock and pain caused Baelia to black out for a moment, without her wing she begun to fall.

Jennumara followed Baelia's descent and caught the other wing, riping it to pieces with her claws as she smirked.

Two dark faeries caught Baelia before she fell, lifting her defeated form high into the air. Jennumara flew up to the despondent Baelia and removed the orb from her pocket. Red blood dripped from her wounds, especially her wings. Her skin and hair and the broken remnants of her wings were slowly turning grey as her powers drained away.

"Lets see what damage this little trinket can do to your lovely lands. Though they are not yours any more, are they?" Jennumara laughed as she tossed the orb down below.

Baelia's eyes went wide, "No!" she cried, struggling to get free, forgetting that she was without wings.

"Come, lets put you somewhere where no one will ever find you, little grey faerie."

With that, Jennumara lead the faeries to a far off mountain, where she caged Baelia up with a lock named after Baelia, a name she could no longer say because it was gone like her powers.

In Meragan, a young squire picked up the orb where it had landed in front of him, he saw it as a gift to his king, who he quickly rushed it to. The throne room he entered was in ruins. The two kings were engaged in fisticuffs.

"Your Highness'! I bring you a gift from above!" The squire exclaimed, his eyes wide with shock at the sight of the throne room and his bruised kings.

The kings gazed at the orb, each feeling deep lust for it.

"It is mine!" They exclaimed, each grabbing for it.

The kings declared war on each other, dividing Meragan into two as they sought possession of the magic orb. Many centuries passed, the two kingdoms, once Meragan, now Meridell and Darigan kingdoms, waged many wars with each other. The orb passing to each king, sucking the energy from him until he faded away passing the orb to his heir. The orb took its toll on the kingdoms too. Whenever it was in the hands of one king, their land would be prosperous and bountiful, but the others would be dead and diseased; for that is what the orb did, sucked the life from everything, causing wars.

Eventually the orb was hidden in Darigan, by Lord Darigan the second, descendant of the first, in a great vault, forgotten for centuries. It did not like this so it sent a call, to the new heir of Darigan, Darigan the third, great-great grandson of the second one. He was a young Korbat who, upon finding the Orb, thought that its beauty would bring happiness to his people so he set it in the courtyard, where it could call upon the lust and greed of King Skarl, the new king of Meridell, who wanted his land to be as prosperous' as it once was.

And the rest is history...

End