Skylands Chronicles: Prologue
Before we start, my name is Venima, Venima Skyfang. And I’ll tell you a bit about me, you’ll see me as the girl with honey blonde hair (and I’ll admit, it’s pretty long; that’s why I keep it in a ponytail) and icy blue eyes, I’m not really the prettiest of my sisters even though I was born special (life and undead magic, and an amulet; even though I rarely even use my powers, I can’t sword fight and I’m a bad dancer) And you’ve probably come here for the story, right? If you didn’t there’s always another story out there! But if you did, let me begin…
It was 8 years before the Swap Force Skylanders returned to Skylands…
Alright, how do I begin? I could start anywhere, like when I was born. But what happened before I was eight isn’t important; it was just the normal life of any resident in Skylands. How about I start on what happened twelve years back? That’s a good place to begin, let’s get into the story now…
My story begins in the beautiful city of Windsong; it’s the capital of Windsong islands, known as the home of the humans. And yes, Kaos and his mother were possibly born here. Not sure. But anyways, I’m the daughter of the king and queen, Victor and Verona. I was eight years old at the time, pretty good memories too; I was asleep in my bedroom for a few minutes or so before I felt the suns first rays beating down on me. I looked startled at them, probably because they were all shining directly through the curtains. I pulled the sheets off me to look out the window. I could see for miles. Enchanting green islands covered with colourful flowers were covering the clouds below them; oh, and I could see a huge, blazing sun blaring in the distance.
“Look at that, great timing; for the middle of April anyway… ” I said to myself in an enthusiastic voice. In excitement, I rushed to the wardrobe to get dressed. Then burst open the door and into the hallway. The guards outside flinched in shock and one of them, a tall one with blonde hair like mine, whispered to the one next to him
“There’s something you don’t see every day, what’s got into her?” I stopped halfway down the halls, then shouted
“Sorry, boys, I didn’t mean to frighten you!” And I kept running. I ran until I reached a twin door then bolted through. It was my parents’ room of course. They were asleep. I rushed over and began jumping up and down on the side my father had.
“Wake up, dad! C’mon! You have to!” I yelled at him. He turned and woke up
“Venima, Is that you?” He asked. He opened his eyes more to see me clearer. He then smiled at me.
“I wanna go play out in the meadows!” I told him.
“Ok, we can bring your sister Allison out too.” He said. Shortly, he was dressed, and we woke up my sister Allison and she too got dressed. We rushed out the palace and into the streets. A merchant walked up to my dad, and warned him of someone called ‘Kaos’ mother’.
“She’s on the loose around the meadows; make sure you and your kids don’t get struck by her evil magic. OK?” He said to him before running off. We walked through the city until we reached the meadows ahead. Then he stopped to sit underneath a tree and started reading. Meanwhile, I and Allison were running around the meadows chasing each other. After what seemed hours of playing we sat by the edge of the island and rested. Suddenly, the sky changed to dark and evil looking clouds, a tall woman approached near us. Then walked up to my dad
“See you still have your girls, eh?” She said, “Give me the girl, with the green dress and blonde hair, oh and the magic amulet you gave her; I’ll take good care of her!” I knew who that girl was, me…
Dad didn’t at all accept the offer, instead he shouted at her.
“Nobody, by all means NOBODY, takes my girls. Do you hear?!” There was a small silence then she replied
“Well, if you don’t. You’ll have to take the consequences! My son will be most impressed with her magic!” Father still said no. I tried to charge up my life and undead powers to get rid of her; but then dad ran over to me.
“I really recommend you don’t, sweetie…” He said “I’ll deal with Kaos’ mother myself.”
He ran back to her then pulled out his sword. As he was about to strike, Kaos’ mother raised her hands and struck both me and my dad. I fainted unconscious.
“Venima!” He shouted, rushing towards me. Allison followed after
“Is she dead, daddy?” Allison said. Kaos’ mother made her exit with a cackle, she also said
“Good luck with your curse, your ‘majesty’!” Back at the palace, Verona and Victor (AKA: My parents) were talking
“What do we do? Poor thing, she must have been struck too hard…” Verona said
“We’ll take her to that cheiftess; maybe she’ll know what to do!” Victor demanded. And so they travelled to Woodburrow, they were carrying me in their arms. There I was lying under what looked like a tent with something or someone looking down at me. Her voice was like an old woman’s. I felt her hand touch my forehead
“I’m afraid you and your daughter are both cursed. Since it was your fault, Victor, you can’t break the curse. Your daughter though, can. She must find true love before her 20th birthday. Otherwise, she’ll be in one form for eternity. The only way to protect her is to keep her hand on her amulet at night time. It has special powers, I can tell that. Take care now…” I woke up, I was in bed. The sun was setting at least. But what’s this curse? The person under this curse will become a certain species (depending on the name, such as Wolf Curse or something like that. It’s like a werewolf but without the full moon bit) after the sun sets. The curse can either be permanent or it can be made possible to undo by finding true love before a certain birthday in the future. It’s up to who casts the curse onto the victim of course! That night my mother tucked me in. As I was about to let go of my amulet she said
“Don’t, sweetie, the Cheiftess says you must keep your hand on it tonight…” She gently lifted my hand and put it back on again.
“But why, mother?” I asked, not knowing what on earth was going on. She explained what happened earlier in the day, when Kaos’ mother struck me and my father. I tried not to be scared. My mother then laid her hand on my forehead.
“It’ll be ok, now. I want to tell you something my father told me when I was your age.” She said.
“Tell me please! I really want to know!” I exclaimed, she sat down and let out a small sigh
“Ok then,” she murmured, “if you say so. There is a volcano in Cloudbreak islands known to us as Mt. Cloudbreak that erupts once every 100 years to replenish the magic in Skylands. Humans used to be great explorers, but then one day a group of Skylanders went to the volcano. An evil force summoned a group of Fire Vipers to stop the heroes. Unfortunately, they were blasted apart and sent to another world; they gained a new power to swap powers and then became known as the Swap force Skylanders. The humans were so shocked of the news; they fled back to Windsong Islands, and rarely came out. But sometime soon, the Swap force Skylanders will return! And one day, you could join the ranks of the Skylanders, if you have that heroic potential…” She walked out the room and closed the door. A few minutes after she did, I got up out of bed to look out the window. There were stars covering a navy blue sky, a big, white moon shone with then. And there stood the biggest star I could see. I kneeled down, holding my amulet with my left hand. And murmured to myself about what Verona had said…
8 years later…
It’s surprising enough I haven’t broken my curse yet. Dad had fled from Windsong; I sat on a bench looking out for him coming home. He probably wasn’t coming any time soon. Allison came out and saw me, she sat next to me. Then she put her hand on my shoulder.
“I know you miss him, Venima,” She murmured, “but don’t worry, he’ll be home sooner than you think. I feel it in my bones!” She told be brave and boldly. Allison (Ally for short) is one year older than me; she’s pretty light hearted for a sister. Not like Laura, Annalise and Sylvie, my three much older sisters. Today’s my birthday; they’re holding a royal ball to celebrate it, everybody of the human race will be there. I wandered around the halls of the palace aimlessly later on. My brother, Philip, stopped me in my tracks.
“Venima! What on earth are you doing wandering about? You could hurt yourself, you know!” He shouted. I know that Philip can be overprotective at times.
“Look, Philip. I’m turning 16 today, doesn’t mean you have to be like that…” I pushed him out of the way and kept going.
“Well, don’t come crying to me when you get in trouble!” He yelled. I ignored him. It was a sunny afternoon at the time. My mother came and stopped me.
“We’ve decided the ball is going to take place at sunset, if you’re ok with that, darling?” She said. I hesitated and said
“Oh yes! Of course I am!” I said. Then rushed to my room “I’ll just be getting ready”
In my room I was beginning to get worried. Sunset? What were they thinking? Everyone would find out I was cursed, but I had to deal with it. I pulled myself together and spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready for the ball. Later on, when the ball was just getting started, I went to the staircases that lead down to the ball room. It was completely packed, an orchestra in the background. And the stairs were lined with people playing trumpets on my arrival. A short man was standing at the bottom of the stairs with a scroll.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are here to celebrate the birthday of the youngest, and loveliest, daughter of Queen Verona Skyfang, Princess Venima Skyfang!” He walked away. I walked down the stairs with my left hand on my amulet. Everyone clapped and looked at me. The only one not clapping was man about my age with black hair and wore a white tuxedo; he was holding a rose in his right hand. My mother was standing next to him, when I went to see her. She introduced me to the man.
“Venima, I want you to meet Prince Antonio of Cloudbreak Islands, he came over because he heard all about you and decided that since you’re both royalty you should be together…” She smiled happily. Antonio began to speak; he had the same accent as mine, Spanish.
“So, would you like to dance?” He asked me. He reached his hand out, I gently grabbed it and soon we were having banter on the dance floor.
“I’ve heard many things about you. I hear you like nature, am I correct?” He said while we were swept away on the dance floor. I hesitated and replied “Yes”. He spun me around.
“I’m glad to hear that, I do too. See? We both have something in common!” He replied. His eyes had a devilish look in them. Suddenly, trouble came along. Laura, Annalise and Sylvie walked towards me; I let go of Antonio and went towards them
“What do you want?” I asked. Laura laughed and looked at me.
“Ooooh, Venima got a boyfriend!” She said. The other girls pushed in front.
“Let me have him!” Annalise shouted.
“Oh no no no! He must be mine! Mine, mine, MINE!” Sylvie yelled. I backed away and tried to tell them to go away. They kept teasing me.
“Stop, please! It’s none of your business! No, I said STOP!” By the time I had said ‘STOP!’ I slapped Laura across the face, and then there were green sparkles that turned into small flowery vines. Everyone in the room gasped. Antonio didn’t. Instead, he pulled an evil looking smile. I rushed to the door to grab my hood, and then bolted to the door I turned the door knob, but nobody came to stop me. I put the dark green hood on and ran into the darkness. My hand on my amulet, so I wouldn’t turn into a rattlesnake (remember the curse I talked about earlier?). I knew by that moment I had three goals to complete. The first one, find my father. The second goal, fulfil my destiny of becoming a Skylander. And the third goal, to find true love and break my curse… (And yes, three goals sounds like a lot to get through)
I ran as fast as I could into the mountains, cold and alone. The wind was howling like crazy.
“Such a terrible night tonight…” I murmured. I slipped a few times, but didn’t fall off. I was walking for miles on end thinking that Windsong Islands went on forever. Suddenly, I saw something glowing in the distance; a purple sort of glow. I ran faster until I got to the light, and was shocked at the sight. A greeble with a staff, about to cast a spell onto a sugarbat. I could hardly believe it; I thought Sugarbats only lived in Cloudbreak islands. The greeble looked different than normal, though; it had purple eyes and dark purple skin, and crystals coming out of its body. As he was about to cast, I stopped him in his tracks by charging up my undead powers and trapping him in a cage made of bones.
“I’ll free you later…” I said to the greeble, and walked towards the sugarbat. To my surprise, it flew around me, then said,
“Woah! You saved my life!” I jumped back, not knowing what happened.
“You, can talk?” I said puzzled.
“You can understand me?!” It said back. I realised it was because of my amulet and its powers. I got up and put my hood back on. The sugarbat saw the crown I was wearing.
“You’re a princess? Cool!” It said. “But I’m still not sure how you got out here, or how you can understand me? We’ll sort it out later. And also, my name’s Swift. I came out here because all my brothers and sisters starting turning evil and purple, I flew away and ended up meeting you. So, yeah…” He added.
“Well, my name is Venima, Venima Skyfang!” I said to the sugarbat now recognised as Swift.
“If you want, you could come with me back to Cloudbreak Islands and meet the people there, I’ve met oh so many people of all different species there!” Swift offered me. I nodded and followed him through the mountains. We came across a slope with barely any snow on it and wasn’t very steep. It looked pretty safe to both of us. I started to have a feeling someone was following us. Every time we looked behind nobody was there. I could hear someone giggling very faintly in the mountains. We came to a forest full of small trees of different kinds. Nothing was there. Swift stopped to get some firewood while I waited. When we got a fire going I explained why I came out here.
“You see, I fled from my home city because of my powers, I’m also cursed. It’s why I keep my hand on my amulet all the time. The amulet I’m wearing has powers; I’ve only found out that I can talk to any creature in Skylands…” I finished, sighed then put my hand on my forehead. A bright light surrounded me, my clothes changed. I was wearing black, short pencil skirt, a black, gold rimmed jacket and a grey bandage top underneath. I was now wearing a cavalier’s hat. Swift jumped looked surprised. I still had the amulet. He looked surprised at what happened. I didn’t know either.
“Pretty cool for a girl with powers like that, now, we should get some sleep…” And that was what we did…
I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed; my legs weren’t aching at all. I and Swift continued walking through the woods. We kept walking until we reached the edge of the islands.
“Great, what’s next?” I said. We didn’t notice a small girl standing behind us saying
“I can help ya with that!” We both flinched and fell back. I got up and looked at her.
She was so small; I couldn’t tell what age she was exactly. Her green eyes were large for her face and she seemed to be a small android with four spider-like legs, the girl also had a pair of goggles (or visor) on her forehead of some sort and underneath it was a large tuft of light-ish blonde hair, with a larger ponytail on the back of her head. Her torso seemed so be a light blue colour and looked like armour but the arms were silver.
“I think I killed your pet…” She said.
“He’s not my pet; he’s just a friend…” I said to the girl. Swift got up and looked at the girl.
“I think I know her father, he’s been to where I used to live. I think her dad’s name is…. Umm… Spy Rise…” He whispered in my ear; the girl was giggling now. We got up and stared at her as if we were some sort of couple watching their kid.
“Hey… Are you alright?” The girl said.
“Yeah…” I said “Not much to see here, I think you should go home…”
“My home? Oh it’s in Cloudbreak! Name’s Rise, Rocket Rise, and I’d like to help!” I got up
“Well… Rocket… Do you know how to get off the island?”
“Yeah, there’s a dock over there” She pointed “they’ve been using it a while now…” So we went over and waited, I sat down with my legs dangling. I felt like we were being tricked. It had been a few minutes before we eventually saw an airship coming our way
“Hey! That ship looks familiar! It’s Flynn’s” Swift yelled. He turned out right because when we got on the captain (called Flynn off course) shouted
“Where to kiddo?”
Rocket replied “Cloudbreak, Flynn!”
“Boom! To Cloudbreak then!” Then the ship started moving. I sat down in the middle of the ship and played around with the amulet I was wearing. There was a flash when I ended up turning into a wolf, I played with it again and the next second I was an eagle. Then I crash landed into the floor in lizard form. I was about to play with my amulet again when Rocket said
“Hey! I like you that way! It’s… Cute?”
“Thanks,” I said. The ship stopped on an island
“Here’s the stop, you kids! Go knock yourself out!” We got off and left and stepped onto the island.
“Do you think Flynn dropped us off at the wrong place?” I asked Rocket
“Nope, definitely Cloudbreak islands!” She cheered. We kept walking and walking across the islands, no civilization. It’s surprising that she lives here. But the place was beautiful, waterfalls were hanging from the islands and the flowers were blooming.
“This place is wonderful!” I said, holding her hand tightly. She smiled as we kept walking, and we got to the end of the island. The sun was halfway through the sky.
“I should go find civilisation with your friend here…” Rocket confessed.
“Ok…” I replied “But please be back soon, ok?”
“Sure!” She answered. And wandered away with Swift. I walked off in the opposite direction. This place was new, and unusual. I kept going and jumping from island to island. The day was quite slow as I was exploring. But there weren’t many animals there, and one of the islands was shrouded by grey clouds. It looked like a storm was on the way. So I went onwards but walked quicker. I had a feeling someone was following me.
The sun was setting over the horizon after hours of searching for answers and the stars were coming out. I was dazed and tired. And there was a nearby house, a funny looking one that didn’t even look like the ones back in Windsong. So I lay down under the nearest tree and then looked at the sky. Being out in the open alone was fun, watching all the glowing stars that lit the twilight sky. I fell asleep. But I was so dazed I forgot to do something I was doing every night for the past eight years…
The next morning…
I woke up feeling like I did last night. I was somewhere different this time; In the house, maybe? There were two people at the door and I didn’t notice there was someone that looked a little like me standing right next to me. When I saw him, I screamed. Then fell back on the bed. He was clearly male. And he was wearing different clothes from me.
“Are you… Ok?” He asked. I looked at him
“Me? Oh I’m fine alright. But a few questions though, where am I? Who are those guys?” I pointed to the door. It was open and there were two other guys; one was (possibly) a pirate the other a vampire.
“I am sorry to startle you, ma’am. I, I mean… We, Found you under a tree during the night. A group of greebles tried to attack you while you were asleep. So I picked you up and brought you here? Are you happy? And those two are Wash Buckler and Night Shift” Another one was behind them that looked a little like Rocket, it was possibly her dad. I got out of bed. And tried to walk, realised I had been afflicted by my curse overnight and fell.
“Dude, what’s Rattle Shake even doing? It’s a girl!” Wash shouted.
“Be quiet…” The guy behind them said
“You lot, there’s other girls like us you know. So please be quiet” Said the guy now known as Rattle Shake
“Ok… Nice to meet you all… And I’m Venima…” I said, getting back up on my tail.
“How did you get here?” Night said.
“A blimp, how else?” I hissed. I looked at Shake. He looked at me back, and then I grew dazed again and felt like I was hypnotized by him. Then fell over again.
“She’s not going to make it…” The guy behind them joked. Rocket and swift flew through the window (which was shaped like a hexagon) all of a sudden and landed at the guy behind Wash and Night.
“Daddy?” She glanced up at him
“I forgot to mention, that’s Spy Rise!” Shake said. He had a snake gun in his left hand. Which I had just noticed.
“You’re not going to shoot me, are you?” I said, looking at it
“Umm… No?” He replied. I got up again.
“It was a crazy story. Got on the sugarbat there and… I’m not good with flying things… Sorry…” She said.
“It’s alright…” Spy Rise said to her, cuddling her. Seemed they had a strong relationship as father and daughter
“Well… We should go outside…” Shake confessed. He took me outside and told me to wait at the rock, then disappeared. The place was beautiful, I have to admit. Maybe Cloudbreak was populated after all? I sat and waited for him to come back, he looked somewhat like me. Except his muzzle was shorter than mine, and his scales were darker. He also wore brown instead of black and grey… But it didn’t really bother me much. Suddenly a purple dragon with yellow horns flew down next to me, then a blue dragon with a unicorn horn and feathered wings afterwards.
“Hey, look! We’ve not seen you around here before, are you new?” The blue one said.
“Yes…?” I answered, looking puzzled; the purple dragon looked at me surprised.
“Well, then. I’m Spyro… That there is Whirlwind; you’re probably wondering what’s with Rattle Shake, he’s a bit cocky we both admit that. Well we’ll be off…” Spyro said flying off with Whirlwind. Shake came back and sat down next to me.
“I don’t suppose you know how to bounce, eh?” He asked me.
“Actually I,” I started “Don’t know, but I can do this!” I got up and my left hand started glowing light green I span around but then landed flat on the grass tied in vines.
“Not entirely experienced yet, eh? You’ll learn…” He said.
“I know a few people, same species at the tavern in Ironjaw, amigo. We’ll just pop there tonight.” He added. A tavern? Well, this is getting exciting…
Yep, the tavern was packed. It was somewhere before sunset, and my father was probably there in human form. Nobody was there that looked like him, so I kept looking; still no humans, just Mabus and Dirt Sharks and maybe a few Gillmen. There was another snake behind the counter. She looked almost like me but pale green scales and short black hair. I wandered over to her and asked.
“Umm… Hey, I’m looking for someone called Victor Skyfang. I’m just wondering if you’ve seen him or heard of him… Is he here by any chance?” She glanced at me.
“Nope, never heard of him… Try again tomorrow night, he’ll obviously be there. Oh well, gotta get back to- Hey wait a minute… Shake there told me ‘bout you before you got here, your name’s Jemima, right?” She said. I was extremely disappointed to hear that. First she said that my father wasn’t here, now she’s calling me Jemima. I didn’t want to upset her so I stayed calm.
“Oh, ok then. Mine name isn’t Jemima, it’s VENima…” I answered her.
“Oh, well then, name’s Timber. I have an acquaintance, she rarely comes here though. She’s always in her own little world…” I decided to tell her why I was here
“I’m her ‘cos I ran away from Wind-“ The next moment, one of the dirt sharks burst through the doors.
“Danger ahead, Skylanders! It’s a fire viper by the Serpent’s peak! Someone has to stop him before he destroys the town!” Everyone froze for 30 seconds or so then started panicking. I didn’t do anything but turn to Wash Buckler
“Fire what?” I asked
“Fire Viper, they’re an issue around these parts…” He answered back, jumping onto the table. I thought of the second the Dirt Shark said ‘Skylanders’, I believed that the guys I was with were possibly Skylanders that my mother had told me about a few years ago.
“Alright, guys…” Wash started to say. Everyone kept panicking; then said it again.
“Guys! Stop your blubbering! We’ll stop the viper! Come on! Stop!” Then everyone froze again… He jumped off the table; then turned to me.
“We’ll need some… Extra people…” I didn’t know how to fight back then, but it was a real surprise they wanted me to save the city from a ‘monster’ and the way he said it made me know I’d be the only ‘Extra Person’.
“Me?” I wondered
“Yeah, you’re included,” He confirmed to me, jumping off the table into the middle of the tavern. I didn’t want to come, but I was the new girl, so it was kinda weird and all. There were only a few people in the tavern still panicking, though the noise died down, “there’s an 8 year old in the bunch, and we’ll leave her at the house…”
“Are you sure about that…?” I suggested, really it wasn’t a good idea leaving kids alone (in my opinion anyway, I used to stay around my parents all the time when I was Rocket’s age)
“Don’t worry, dude, uh… I mean dudette, we’ve got her covered!” I turned to everyone around me… And Timber was hiding under the bar.
“Well, I don’t really know about leaving her all alone…” I continued to say. Wash turned to two other guys; one was Night and the other another guy I met in the meantime, Rubble Rouser (I tend to call him Rubble for short)
“Uh… Babysitting? Heh, these guys must be crazy…” Rubble said, nudging Night.
“Nope, it is serious…” Night answered back. I know she wouldn’t be that much of a nuisance, but I hadn’t known much about her, yet…
Well; it wasn’t until a few more minutes until everyone from the SFH (Swap Force House, as they said) was in the tavern.
“It’s ok, guys… Well, I’ve rarely used my powers. It’s only for someone in need or in case of emergency, an-“
“This is an emergency, senorita,” Rattle Shake said, “so it is a good time to use that magic of yours…” I hadn’t a choice but to go with the flow as he was the only one in the group who actually liked me, despite him being cocky. Everyone shifted outside and waited for me; Timber was still hiding under the counter, she slowly got up and turned to me.
“Go on, girl! It’ll be a great experience with all the dilly dallying and the flames and all the drama for you! Eh, don’t worry I’ll be here…” She told me as slithered to the door behind the counter and slamming it shut. I just shrugged and joined everyone outside the tavern.
It took us quite the while to get to Serpent’s Peak. It looked like a cliff of dusty, reddish rock under a sunset.
“So, why are we here again? There’s barely anything…” I said folding my arms at everybody; they turned around and saw that I had a sword in my right hand.
“Venima, eh… Where did you get that?” Wash asked, observing the sword. Then there was a flashback of me finding my way through the woods to everyone else, I tumbled down a hill in front of a sword. So I picked it up and went to find the others and tag along. What I expected was the viper to come out the blue completely and everyone (prepared) would take it on straight away; nope. There was nothing there…
Five minutes later all we saw was a normal snake (not like me or Shake, it was tiny and didn’t have arms) stop in front of us staring like we were up to something. It just seemed pointless standing around in the heat with just a little bit of wind blowing against us. I felt like going back to the house and letting Night Shift and Rubble Rouser take my place (but I barely know how to look after kids) and it seemed like hours since we arrived. So I just said.
“Forget it! I’m going home… “ Then I saw a shadow across the horizon and turned around. Then there was a giant snake which was the same colour as that evilized greeble I saw when I left Windsong islands. It also had crystals on its head and several parts of its body.
“Is that the thing you were talking about?” I said, with the sword I had ready.
“Yes, afraid so…” Shake replied. Well, ok… I guess if we fight this thing and get rid of it things will go back to normal in these parts. So I had my sword ready and charged towards the right side of the cliffs. The Fire Viper started chasing me. And everyone went left.
“Venima! Run!” Shake started shouting.
“How am I meant to run?! I don’t even have legs for that!” I answered. Then I realised I had my amulet, so I put my hand on it and turned into a lizard then made a run for it. The viper started breathing fire and tried burn me and such (I see why they call them fire vipers now…) I kept running around in circles and circles for ages. So I decided I had to do something or I would be stuck doing this for ages; I stopped, then jumped onto the head of the snake.
“Wow, she’s kinda stupid…” Magna (Aka: Magna Charge) said.
“Nope, I’m going after her” Shake added on. Meanwhile I was trying to make my move by hitting the snake on its crystal head with my sword. Then I felt someone tap my shoulder and I turned around, it was Rattle Shake (except he had Blast Zone’s legs for some reason)
“Umm… I don’t think that’s how you fight with a sword around these parts…” He said. I looked up and stopped hitting the crystal.
“Umm… Rattle, Shake?” I answered.
“It’s Rattle Zone for now. Well, if you want to fight with an actual sword you use the edges of it not the faces. Now we’ve got to get you outta here…” I shook my head and followed what Rattle Zone had said about sword fighting with the edges not the faces. It still didn’t work, and the viper tossed me off its head onto the cliffs; I landed on my feet then began swinging my sword around distracting it, it only made it angrier. So it trapped me in a ring of fire. There were so many flames I hadn’t noticed the moon in the sky before the snake picked me up and took me away into the caves below the cliffs (it’s called Skylands for a reason…)
Now let’s get to Night Shift, Rubble Rouser and Rocket back at the house (she was giving them a hard time then) Rubble had been tied in plasma webs while Night was trying to get Rocket off his head while she was giggling constantly (Night Shift was tired, he refused to read her a bedtime story so that was what he deserved; she said) Rocket had pushed Night into the wall, shaking him.
“Tickle her! It’ll make her stop! Or just read her a story, she’ll calm down…” Rubble advised Night, who finally managed to get the tiny 8 year old spy off him, she then disappeared out of sight.
“Great, where’d she go..?” They were stupid enough to not notice she was on the ceiling, and she came down behind Night then blasted him (not literally, she tied him in plasma webs like Rubble) Rocket climbed onto the bookshelf opposite the room and got the largest book (it was yellow) Next she sat on the bed with Night and Rubble at the end tied up while she read it. They had no choice but to watch her read (isn’t reading fun?)
Meanwhile I was stuck in the caverns below the cliffs; it was lit by a few torches so it wasn’t entirely dark. Luckily the fire viper was asleep but it was in front of the opening; and it was lying on top of me (again, not literally; it was the end of my tail he was lying on) so I decided to lie down and wait for Shake (Or Rattle Zone as he liked being called now) to come save me. I barely knew much about Cloudbreak itself, but I knew I couldn’t shape-shift now because it could startle even the largest of creatures. I climbed over the back of the snake and started to talk faintly;
“Hey, you know there’s this place called Windsong. Pretty neat, I came from there and I…” I paused and there was someone at the entrance. He was a pretty huge, blue anthropomorphic blob with a trident and crown; he was standing outside the cave entrance with his tongue sticking out.
“Uh,” I said “Who might you be? Never seen you around…” The blob then snapped out and saw me, I hid under the snake; peeking over the top, it saw me again and pulled out its trident.
“Alright, come out scaly thing!” It said in a booming, deep voice. I slowly came up the over the snake’s back; but I couldn’t get at least halfway over the thing’s back since it was lying on my tail.
“I’m kinda stuck… Could you maybe, help me out of here…?” I asked him. He came nearer and started looking at me with an innocent look.
“Gulper isn’t meant to help strangers…” It said; I guess his name was Gulper. I crouched down and held the end of my tail then started tugging it so I could get it out from underneath; it took about ten minutes, then I was finally free.
“Ok, Gulper; could you help me out of here just once? C’mon, pretend nothing happened and don’t say a word about it to whoever says you can’t help, it’ll be fine!” I pleaded. Gulper finally shrugged and leaned over the snake’s back then picked me up and brought me out the cave; but then there was a tumbling of rocks below; it was a bad idea coming out here. The snake woke up with its yellow eyes blazing and its purple crystals glowing; yet another bad idea. Gulper wrapped his large arms around me and tilted his head onto mine. I told him I’ll deal with it myself, pushing him away gently. But he still wanted to help me; so he picked me up again and threw me up into the air, I managed to get the crystal part of the snake’s head with my sword and sliced several crystals from the head off; it did nothing. Then I used my amulet again to turn into a lizard so I could kick it in the eye (keeping tight hold of the necklace)
“Senorita! Use your powers now!” I knew who it was immediately. I was falling, so I used my life powers to form vines then I ran around the snake tying it up; I jumped off and landed on the cliffs next to Shake (who apparently had Wash Buckler’s legs now) He grabbed me before I could do anything else.
“Wait a sec,” I said, “I still need to add the finishing touch!” Then I charged up my right hand and ran as fast as I could leaping at the edge of the cliff (somersaulting in mid-air) blasting the viper and kicking it in the face at the same time. It managed to survive; but it flew away leaving several trees on fire. Swift had seen the explosion and had flown to me. I let go of my amulet and turned into a snake again as if I never shape-shifted.
“What. Just. Happened?!” Swift asked; jaw-dropped.
“Nothing much…” I said, giggling. I wasn’t the best at martial arts or sword fighting; I guess I’ll have to learn. All the others had seen what happened; so they were there as well.
“Venima, that was crazy; what were you thinking?” Wash said. Well, they had been fighting the snake too and putting out the flames while waiting for it to come back out. I looked behind me to see if Gulper was still there; he wasn’t.
“It’s all right, guys… We did it, right?” I murmured under my breath. Rattle Shake, Wash Buckler and Blast Zone looked at each other; I turned away then back again. They were all completely normal now. “Huh? I don’t understand, one second Wash Buckler; you had Shake’s bottom half now you’re normal. And Blast Zone; didn’t you have Wash’s legs?”
“Well…” Wash began to say. “About Ninety-six years ago before you were probably born we went over to Mt. Clou-“
“Wait a minute… You’re, Swap Force Skylanders? My mother told me that story when I was Rocket’s age and I still remember it now…” I interrupted. I could hardly believe it; they were Swap Force and I never knew until now. “Well, I and Shake are going home; are you coming?” He shook his head. When me and Rattle Shake were going through the forest alone; he took me by the hand and stopped. Then he took my other hand and wrapped his tail around mine.
“You were brave, I understand that…” He whispered.
“Umm… Thanks?” I whispered back. He brought me closer; we were about to kiss and then.
“RATTLE SHAKE! WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!” It was… Stink Bomb!
“I can explain…?” He said, and then he turned to me “Sorry, amigo…” He let go and took my hand again, then quickly took me home as if Stink Bomb never saw what just happened. But he followed...
I haven’t talked about Kaos’ Mom yet; haven’t I? Well she was up to no good and had run out of ideas. Kaos, her son, was leaning on a pillar drinking orange juice cartons.
“Then what is Plan ‘B’, mother?” He said, looking at his confused mother as she paced the throne room. The first plan was to go to Windsong Islands herself and make Victor hand me over, it failed and led to my curse of course. But she had other plans.
“Patience, Kaos… Evil plans take time” She answered. “Plan A may have failed; but this will work! I promise you and Glumshanks with all my heart, dearie…” The doors made a banging sound.
“Oh, look! They’re here!”
“Who, mother?” Kaos demanded. Kaos’ Mom told whoever was at the door to come in, the door opened. The girl who walked in was about fourteen years old with silver eyes and pale skin; her hair was also platinum blonde (it was up to about halfway down her neck, and it was spiky) She was wearing a black sleeveless shirt lined with purple with black jeans and purple boots that went up to her knees; she was carrying a guitar that was also purple and black. (Kaos also picked up the fact she had a large purple ribbon at the back of her head and she was wearing a music note broach that looked like a Semiquaver) Then a werewolf with orange-red fur and red eyes peered around the door; he also had black leather pants on with a skull on the belt. And carried what looked like a harp.
“Mother,“ said Kaos, “Why are we leaving your ‘plan’ to a bunch of MUSICIANS?!” The girl’s left hand began glowing; she fired at Kaos’ mouth forming a thin layer of purple crystal it, Kaos stared at the girl in disgust and insult then sat down at the pillar folding his arms.
“That’s why, sweetie…” She said; her voice was high pitched & scratchy. The girl then proceeded up the stairs; with the werewolf tagging along behind.
“Then, who are you and who is this dog?” Kaos’ Mom asked.
“Uh, the gal up there’s Nai, ‘am Wolfgang…” The werewolf said. Kaos’ Mom then offered them a seat, but ‘Nai’ shook her head and rested against the pillar opposite Kaos.
“So, I came right? We both did; eh, I’m sorry Dr. K couldn’t come down ‘n’ all, he’s,” Nai paused, “busy…?” She sat down strumming her guitar.
“My name isn’t exactly ‘Nai’, you know?” She added.
“Then what is your real name, dear?” Kaos’ Mom asked. Nai stood up and stopped playing
“It’s Naivel... Naivel Note!” She announced. Kaos laughed at her name as if it made any sense at all (he managed to break the layer of crystal on his mouth) Wolfgang ran up the stairs and stood next to Naivel. Kaos’ Mom didn’t really seem to care that the girl had fired crystal at her son’s mouth; she seemed more interested in the magic or sorcery behind it, to her it seemed unusual for a girl in Skylands to be able to do that unless she was secretly a witch or sorcerer
“I think your hands and Wolfgang’s music here will come in handy. I’ve heard so many stories about you; and I have heard you two being one of the most notorious duos in Skylands! But hear me; I want you to find a specific person… Venima Skyfang, she has blue eyes blonde hair and she also wears her hair in a ponytail, most of the time anyways…” Kaos’ mom said; then she began talking about how much gold they were going to be paid. Naivel nodded in agreement; and paced down the stairs.
“Don’t worry, darlin’,” She said, “our queen’s gonna be proud for sure!” As she was about to leave, Kaos’ Mom told her to stop.
“Who is this ‘queen’ of yours?” She asked. Naivel froze and turned around a little surprised.
“The Golden Queen, she leads us.” Naivel answered in a faint voice. Kaos’ Mom got up from her throne then began yelling.
“I don’t care about this ‘Golden Queen’ of yours, find Venima, and begin NOW. Look your whole lives if you have to! Or there shall be consequences!” As she finished, Naivel and Wolfgang had walked out the door.
“Eh, hear that, Wolfy! We’re gettin’ paid big time! Big time…” She whispered. The throne room fell into silence…
Meanwhile back at the house…
I woke up hearing someone coming through the door. Startled, I looked out the window, it was midnight; I knew that nobody could be coming in at this time. Everyone was asleep, and they were all Skylanders so it wouldn’t be a problem. So I went back to sleep without a clue who came in. But whatever came in started poking me, getting me to wake up again. As I opened my eyes I realised immediately who it was; Rocket.
“Hey, it’s midnight. Isn’t it time you were in bed?” I said.
“Umm… I had a bad dream…” Rocket murmured. I felt really bad for her, she was only eight years old after all.
“Well, you can come in… Don’t worry, it’s all ok… It’s just a dream after all, what was the dream about?” I answered, picking her up.
“It was this weird… Floating head thingy… That’s all I remember…” She said. I understood her clearly, and lay her down on the pillow next to me, soon after that I was asleep again…
I felt like time went by pretty fast. It was daylight again and Rocket was gone, the sun was shining on me. The window was also open; wait a minute… Rocket was gone, the window open. I started to panic a little, so I put my jacket and hat on and rushed out the door. Spy Rise walked by.
“Uh, hey… I just want to let you know-well-I mean-how should I put this? Ok… Rocket went missing, the window’s open…“ I said. He then interrupted
“It’s fine, it’s a kind of thing she does often, she leaves the house about 4 o’clock…” Well, ok I thought, she was only playing… What could possibly go wrong? Shake then tapped me on my shoulder, I turned around.
“Good morning, Venima… I was wondering if you wanted to come with me somewhere; how about my home town? The folks there are real nice…” He said. I nodded, and then he took my hand into his and led me outside. The sun was rising in the east like any morning you could expect. No clouds this time, just the sky. That’s great for the middle of summer in Skylands (Well, I do know some Geography, not a lot to be honest) Captain Flynn’s boat came along, we got on and we were off on another adventure I guessed. The islands were greener than yesterday with waterfalls running and birds flying everywhere in different coloured flocks. One for red one or a flock for yellow, it almost made a rainbow if you asked me.
I was at the front of the deck looking out to the sky. I was wondering, what was the place we were going to like? I guessed it would be like most islands in Cloudbreak, green, beautiful with some waterfalls running down underneath. We had been travelling by blimp for at least a few miles before we stopped by Shake’s hometown; it was basically a desert-like island. We left to explore the town, I wouldn’t really go into too much detail about the random stuff I found there (and the fact we were really hanging around in fields for a majority of the day) but we did find a bunch of weird yet friendly folks there, and we would just chill out in saloons. But while I was there, someone came out of the blue, someone I remember well…
Alright, it started when we were outside of town overlooking the sunset by a tree (I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I think I’ve mentioned trees a lot throughout the story so far…) I watched as the sky faded into colours of yellow to orange, then it began to get dark. I asked Shake if we could go home. He nodded and held my hand as we went back to the ship. But as we were passing a brick wall we heard snoring. Shake poked his head above the wall.
“Nothing much,” he said, “just some old man. Come to think of it, what’s he doing there anyway? Want to check it out?” I didn’t want to, but I nodded anyway and climbed over the wall to join him.
“Ok, but not too long… It’s late…” I whispered. He shrugged and leapt over the wall into the field with the old man in it; I followed as we hid among the corn and crops, we eventually crowded around him and watched him snore.
“Now what?” I demanded, folding my arms and waiting for a reply. Shake said we would go home. But he accidentally stepped on a piece of corn, then tripped over and landed in a bucket. Then as would have expected, the old guy woke up and started hitting Rattle Shake on the head with a cane.
“YOU DARN KIDS STAY OFF MY PROPERTY!” He had a Southern accent and a voice like any other old person.
“VENIMA! ENGAGE!” Said Shake, trying to get up.
“Fine…” I went over and tried to get the man off him
“Stop,” I said, “he’s harmless, it’s not like he’ll bite or something… He’s an amigo of mine…” There was a shack at the end of the field; a lady was at the door looking at what was going on, she did shout but we couldn’t make out what she was saying well. Likely it was something along the lines of ‘Eddy! What’s the ruckus all ‘bout?!’ The old man turned around and answered.
“Valerie we got some corn thieves!” He then picked us up by the collars of our jackets; I wouldn’t really steal or anything. I tried to explain what was going on and how it was all Shake’s fault. Well; they decided to blame both of us since I was with him, then we were taken to jail and dropped into two chairs.
“I can explain, sir…” Shake muttered under his breath, there was a long lecture about trespassing and what-not from ‘Eddy’ and the sheriff. It all led down to an agreement we would be in jail for a few days or so. So we were picked up again and put into a cell.
“This is your entire fault, you know?” I whispered after a few minutes in the cell.
“Yes, I know…” I sat on the bench by the window, looking outside and looking at the glistening stars. Then I lay down on the bench, waiting for something to happen; nothing.
There was the same sheriff we saw a few minutes ago outside; it seemed he arrested another guy. He was also thrown into the cell.
So, it was the three of us in jail; I turned away from both Shake and the other snake, then the gem on my necklace began glowing. The one, I hadn’t known about yet, turned around as if it was familiar to him. The blue glow brightened up my face and his. Then I began realising who this guy was.
He looked somewhat like my father; grey hair and green jacket. When we saw each other, I realised about the curse I was under, he was under. He began shaking a bit as if he was shy, then he looked at me.
“V-V-Venima…?” He said, his voice was just like my father’s
“Um, Dad?” I answered.
“What’s going on again?” Rattle asked; he watched as I realised it was my father after all, and we hugged.
“I didn’t expect you to come out here alone…”
“It wasn’t exactly alone, dad.” It took a while to explain the crazy stuff that happened; before he understood. Shake interrupted again and said he wasn’t spending 3 days or so in a stuffy cell while we were all ‘lovey dovey’.
“So, got a plan?” He demanded.
“Yes, I do actually. Ok, step one we’ll need someone with a bit of strength; step two, we’ll need something metal…”
“How’s this?” Shake interrupted getting a bar of metal from the floor.
“Yeah, that’ll do…” I said, taking it from him. I held it by the end and aimed it at the stone wall; under my breath I counted to three and slammed the bar on the wall, I did it again and there was a decent crack in the wall. Every time I did it the crack got bigger until the point the wall broke down. We hurried out into the field and made our way to the docks, trying not to be seen, and then we boarded Flynn’s airship. Flynn was asleep dreaming of enchiladas. Shake told him to wake up right now. He flinched and quickly activated the ship; soon we were off.
“Well; that’s something you don’t see every day…” I brought up while we were on our way home.
“Agreed” Both Shake and Victor said afterwards.
“Next time let’s just stick to trees…” We were finally back in Cloudbreak after all the trouble me and Shake went through. Dad said to Flynn to drop him off in Ironjaw Gulch; when he got off, he waved goodbye to us. I smiled as he left into the city. We set off again a few seconds later so we could go home. I felt tired and exhausted.
And I was suddenly asleep…
It was morning, somewhere in a lair on the other side of Skylands…
“Naivel! Naivel wake up!” It was a voice from outside the door of the hallway. The room itself was a bit dark, but the light was breaking through the trees onto Naivel. She wanted to go back to sleep.
“It’s, like, 7 in the morning…” She told herself quietly. But she got up anyway, put on a purple dressing gown and made her way to the window, nobody seemed to be out there; there was a tree in the way though, and she was just in time to see Nightshade (one of her fellow Doom Raiders) fall out of the tree onto the branch at the same level as her window, Luminous came down after.
“Having another bad hair day again?” Nightshade asked, getting up onto his feet while trying to balance.
“Actually no, I’m not; more like a ‘mad’ hair day!” She joked. Luminous laughed at that point.
“Oh, I get it… Crazy hair, right?” He said afterwards.
“Yeah, I suppose… All these spells, driving me crazy…” Naivel disappeared into the room and switched the light on. Her hair was a lot longer than it was before due to the magic she was testing, so she went over to the mirror; to her surprise her mascara was all smudged. Naivel wasn’t bothered; it was an early summer’s morning after all, she then walked over to the wardrobe and got dressed into a grey-ish black dress lined with flowers and matching purple boots. She already knew who was outside by the voice, but when Nai opened the door she slammed that guy in the face, it was Wolfgang.
“Hey, mate, next time look where ‘ya going, will you?” He said. Naivel helped him up; and they walked downstairs together. They walked through the winding corridors and into the main room of the building. That was where Chef Pepper Jack was waiting; he was holding a piece of paper and looking down at it.
“Heya, Nai my girl! I was wondering if ‘ya could do a few things for ‘ya ol’ buddy?” He handed her the list. Naivel nodded and took it.
“Oh, good, great even! Ok; you gotta get the apples, steal the spices, and go down to the orchard, for more apples!”
“But why do I need lots of apples?”
“Aye, good question; it’s a really big day for me, and you’re my right hand ‘gal for a day! Ain’t it excitin’?
“Well... You are the most renowned chef in all of Skylands; maybe it’s your spicy stuff, it always wins... Ya know?”
“Well, Nai, that’s why ‘am playin’ fair this year; desert’s the theme, spices, apples, pie… Mm, mm, mm… I can picture it…” He made his way towards the door. “An’ keep away from any trouble or y’all are in for it!” He warned Naivel as he made his exit.
She went to the other door, on her right, and got to work straight away. It was a crisp, sunny morning; that was something Luminous would love, in her opinion, anyway. The trees were stationary with only a few branches twitching through the breeze; Naivel hadn’t been to the orchard in a while, and it was actually very far from the Golden Queen’s lair. But Naivel had to go; or Pepper would lose the contest, the words “An’ keep away from any trouble or y’all be in for it!” went through her mind a few times. In her left hand she was carrying a large, empty basket; for the apples and spices, she thought. Naivel’s only memory of being in that orchard was the time she first joined the Doom Raiders. As she was walking Naivel had a million thoughts racing through her head; maybe not a million, which would be a lot. Naivel knew she couldn’t run into any ‘Trap Losers’, she was warned about them; getting in their way meant she’d be gone, for a while. She snapped out and stopped daydreaming after walking into a tree, and noticing how far she was from the Queen’s lair. Then there was a sign in spidery writing and an arrow facing the north. It read ‘IRONJAW GULCH, 2 MILES’.
“Need any help kiddo?” I was hanging upside down from a tree; I knew today was a good day to get some rest, after all the weird stuff happening here. Doom Stone, the islands, everything was upside down.
“Nope,” I said, falling from the tree; he helped me up though. It had been at least four days since I left Windsong Islands. I had gotten used to everyone here, and how different they were from the folks back at home. I hadn’t told anyone where I was from or anything; I preferred to keep it secret for now. I thanked Doom and made my way into the woods and sat alone, watching the sun roll by. There was a lake beside the tree, a large one. I had nothing much to do but watch over the lake. Not knowing what even more ridiculous havoc was going on in Ironjaw.
What was happening? Naivel had set foot into Ironjaw to notice the sun was in the middle of the sky. Come to think of it she had thought about not going to the orchard after all, instead she would be all stealing. And just in time she had noticed a mabu about to leave the shop. Immediately, she stepped in and reached out for a small red apple. But as she touched it, the mabu turned around
“Excuse me, ma’am; are you gonna pay for that?” Naivel realised she hadn’t brought any money. All she replied with was
“Yes.” And bolted away into the main street with the apple in the basket; she seemed to be running all over Ironjaw Gulch. She eventually gave up and ‘surrendered’, many residents crowded around her with their arms folded. The Mabu police force was there. Naivel was cornered; but she had a plan. She jumped onto one of the stands and leapt into the air, waves her hands as purple dust spread. The police turned into sheep.
“Oh, no…” Said a small mabu in the crowd of people, and everyone gasped as she took some spices and apples; she laughed a bit and finally confirmed
“Darling, that’s how I roll!”
Naivel ran away from Ironjaw Gulch and into the woods again. She sat down in the opening of the trees. It was in the afternoon now, and all her dreams were coming back to her without everyone knowing she had been gone ages…
Back at the Golden Queen’s lair, Chef Pepper Jack had complained about Naivel’s disappearance; he asked where she was, and how it had been hours since she left to get what he needed. Dr Krankcase stepped up.
“I and Wolfgang here will find her for you, your highness.” He said. “She doesn’t go far either, and Gulper’s missing too…”
“Yeah,” Wolfgang interrupted, “that’s kinda true…” The Golden Queen and Chef Pepper told Wolfgang and Dr K to go find her and bring her back immediately, they both set off.
Naivel stuck in a dream in the woods. Her dream involved her and Wolfgang, Naivel was dressed in a sparkling white gown that reflected the sun in the vibrant yellow sky. She took a few steps forward while watching every villain and Doom Raider (who were all dressed in white tuxedos or dresses) cheer her on. Even Wolfgang at the front was wearing a tuxedo (he would never wear that anyway). She soon found herself under a gazebo with him.
“Go on, kiss! Kiss the bride!” Everyone cried out. Naivel got a little closer to kiss Wolfgang, but she snapped out of reality. And guess who she was about to kiss? Dr Krankcase! He blushed a bit…
“Cadence, for goodness sakes!” He said angrily. “You’ve been gone three hours, Gulper’s missing!”
“It isn’t my fault, ya know? Sheesh, calm down…” Naivel answered, going back into the woods.
She thought to herself about how Dr K was sort of right, she’d been gone hours. But all she had to do was find a giant blue blob that could be on a rampage or taking over the entire universe! (AN: Even though that’s almost impossible because Gulper is a blob) Naivel refused to believe in those bizarre things because Gulper is a dimwit.
“Says the guy with the weird hat…” Was the thing she wanted to say to him, but it wasn’t long before she ended up encountering a sheep; but she knew that sheep, most of the bad guys did. She knelt down and asked it for directions, it replied with a ‘baaaa’ and pointed its hoof further into the trees.
“The soda falls?” Naivel asked, the sheep unfortunately shook its head.
“Knew it, I just knew he’d go there. Why? Because if he drinks that soda… He’ll get addicted to it, drink more, and grow so large he’ll wipe everything off the face of the earth!” She panicked for a bit, and eventually darted into the woods in search of Gulper.
“Wait there for a sec, I’ll be right back!” Naivel found the forest around her was getting darker every step she took; it wasn’t that long until she noticed the rosy glow from a small clearing. She crept up and looked through the bushes to see Gulper sleeping and a small trog-like creature standing on top of it.
“Naivel, go away…” It said.
“Oh, hi Rage Mage, did Gulper drink the soda yet?” She came from the bushes.
“No, now go away!” The trog whispered in a raspy voice.
“Woah, chill out, I’m just here to get Gulper not a biggie right?” She tip-toed a bit nearer to the giant blue sea slug
“Naivel, don’t you even dare.” It was clear Rage Mage was getting madder every time Naivel took a step towards him; it wasn’t until she tripped on a stick that Rage Mage lost his temper and then Gulper woke up the second the stick snapped, then he grabbed Naivel with his giant blue hands.
“Who are you, little girl? Why wake Gulper?” He demanded.
“Don’t you remember? It’s me, Naivel!” Naivel tried to break free.
“Which ‘Naivel’ is little girl?” He held her tighter, so she couldn’t break free
“Umm, Naivel Note? You know I’m your fellow Doom Raider, and Wolfy’s girlfriend?” That moment, Gulper looked wide eyed at her and hugged her tightly.
“Oh, so it is Naivel!” He laughed.
“Yeah, it’s me alright! Kranky made me get you, so let’s just go home; and forget about the weird stuff we had to go through…” Gulper let her go as they went out into the opening again, the sheep was gone, and Rage Mage had followed them.
“I’ll be back, Naivel,” He muttered, “it’ll be the last time you cross me!” They didn’t care about Rage Mage that much, Naivel stopped in the middle.
“I’m just gonna chill here…” She turned right as Gulper turned left, making her way to the lake. Naivel sat by a tree next to it and got out her guitar; she then began to play a simple rhythm on it…
The notes flew across the surface of the lake over to the opposite end where I was, it was faint but I could still hear it. I hummed along to the tune, I couldn’t really see who was playing it; I didn’t want to sing, I’m not the best singer in Skylands after all. And after a few minutes or so the music stopped.
But the girl (we know her name now) had heard rustling in the trees, and giggling (probably the reason why the music stopped) It left her to rush back into the forest opening. She then saw a branch above her; though she’d turned away, the branch creaked, Naivel was surprised to see a tiny android with spider-like legs sitting on the branch, and it had a large platinum blonde ponytail as well. (You probably guessed who it is)
“O…M…G! You are the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen in my whole, like, entire life!” She exclaimed, jumping up and down in extreme excitement.
“Cute? Hey, lady, I’m not cute, I’m scary! Roar! Fear me!” The kid snapped back pointing her blaster at Naivel’s nose.
“Scary? Why can I be scared of something this adorable?” Naivel picked the girl up. “I don’t think Queenie’s gonna mind having a little kid in the group!” It wasn’t long until Naivel was returning to the Golden Queen’s lair with some random robotic kid…
I was at the lake thinking about what I just heard; I didn’t dare go find out, it would have been a trap or something. Then again, could have been someone practicing; but now I could see ripples in the water. It was nothing, I thought, that was until I tossed a small stone into the water and made my exit; as I was about to leave, a voice boomed.
“It’s rude to throw stones at the animals here, ya know?” I looked around to see another snake; she had light turquoise scales this time and her muzzle was less elongated than everyone else’s, she did have copper brown hair cut to her shoulders and she was also wearing a yellow corset. This snake had dark teal stripes on her arms and tail (as far as I could see)
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t notice you…” I replied without anything good to say…
“You better be!” The girl snapped back in an even more angry tone. “If I could right now I’d strangle you with my own tail… No… My bare hands! Or I would ‘ave bit you, because I’ll tell you now my kind’s got more poison than beauty!” She spoke with a southern accent while raging at me.
“Then why can’t you get out the water and do it now?” I sat down by the shore.
“Because I’m stuck, that’s why! I was patrollin’ and got the end of my own tail stuck! Now I’m ssstuck, can’t even go anywhere beyond this shore!” She swam up to the rocks and lay by them.
“Well, it’s quite odd for a snake to be swimming…”
“I’m a ‘sea snake’ apparently…” It probably explained her teal scales and muzzle
“Then why aren’t you in the sea?”
“Because, Skylands doesn’t even have an ocean, doofus!”
“I understand that, maybe I can help you?” I offered, she looked at me with her green eyes.
“Help me? I don’t need no helpin’, as a matter of fact!” Then she turned her head downwards into the water, “then again, I could do with a bit help; ok, kid, it’s a deal. Can you swim?”
“I suppose I could…”
“Then get down there!” The truth was I couldn’t swim that well, but I slowly climbed into the water and tried to swim down to the surface while the other girl swam down after me. I couldn’t talk underwater, because there isn’t any oxygen; there was a rock on the end of her tail as well
“There,” She faintly said, “that’s where I’m stuck…” I nodded and attempted to lift the rock off her tail with no success; I tried again, and I nearly lifted it, but it fell down again. The girl watched as I was trying and failing too many times, she eventually told me it would take two and grabbed onto the opposite end; then together, we lifted the stone up. Shortly after, I and that girl were both at the surface, and I could barely breathe.
“I never caught your name…” She said as I was getting out the surface.
“Is the correct term Jemima?”
“No, it’s Venima.” I never knew why so many people out there get my name wrong…
“Oh, I get it, my name is Bea.”
“Nice name,” I turned to see the sky getting darker by the minute, “I have to go now…”
“Well, bye, oh and be careful of the um… Doom Raiders…” I didn’t hear what she had said and what the ‘Doom Raiders’ were, but I kept going through the woods and eventually back into the sunlight; Shake wasn’t there, but Rise was…
“What’s wrong?” I asked him, he seemed worried.
“Oh, you’re here at least, Rocket is missing.” Rise answered back
“I thought she didn’t come back till late…”
“Well, about that, if my calculations are correct, she’s been captured!” He panicked a bit.
“I can help if you want!”
“You can? I hope so.”
“Spy, don’t worry you can trust me…”
Soon I was setting off again with a sword equipped (because you never know when you might need one) and Swift followed behind, the forest itself was getting darker by the hour; up ahead there was a yellow glow, it wasn’t the sun, probably something reflecting off the sun like gold or platinum.
“It’s pretty far away,” Swift examined the distance between me and the shiny thing. “How fast can you go?”
“It would be faster if I had legs!” I joked around, using my pendant (again) to switch into lizard form. “Ok, let’s go.” I told him as I ran off into the woods, hopping from island to island, to get there. I’d run across the horizon to see the birds flying past me, those different coloured ones, and I’d see an array of flowers swaying in the breeze. It wasn’t until I ran into the wall of something metallic that I realised I arrived. Swift said it wasn’t just a shiny coin or something like that; it was a whole golden temple with turquoise engravings in the sides, like an Aztec temple.
“This is the place, eh?” Swift said, flying rapidly to find a door so we could get in.
“We don’t need doors.” I informed him “Doors are for those kinds of people without imagination. So I’d think again, my friend, we can break in through over 16 ways.” I jumped onto the wall and climbed slowly to the nearest window, which was small and not very wide, but it was big enough for me.
Taking a peak at what was in store; I saw lakes of liquid gold and bridges, crates of turquoise and riches all around. I couldn’t believe someone could live in a place like this. I could hear voices at the other end of the building; they were talking about something or someone, so I listened to what they were saying.
“Well, I found this cute little… Erm… Robot, isn’t she cute?” The first voice was fairly high pitched and scratchy like a broken record. Another lady spoke, her voice wasn’t scratchy, it was deep like a queen and rich like gold.
“What is that exactly?”
“I don’t know your highness; I guess she’s an android of some sort?” The next voice interrupted, his voice was gruff but high pitched like the first voice.
“It could be an android… Well then, I guess I have to welcome you to the Queen’s lair,” He paused for a split second, “How tough are ya?”
“How tough am I?” I recognised Rocket’s voice. “I have a flamethrower!”
“You do?” ‘The Queen’ asked hesitantly, “are you sure?”
“I think so Queenie…”
“I would rather not be called ‘Queenie’, child, I prefer ‘The Golden Queen’ and I see you are quite small, and shiny…”
Rocket was getting more concerned as she spoke, “is that a problem?” And again, the queen hesitated, “No? Isn’t like I am going to kill you or something like that, no, no...” She whispered something but I didn’t know what. The conversation finished and I leapt from the ledge onto a narrow bridge leading to one platform, in the centre of the platform was a big red button mounted on a block of gold; upon pressing the button, a giant megaphone-speaker-radio thingy emerged from the ceiling, right in front of me.
“Outsider or no outsider, you interrupted my coffee watching so make it quick.” The voice boomed.
“I’m an outsider, is that a problem?” I was concerned slightly.
“What’s your name? Age? Address? Favourite Food?”
“Why would you want to know all those things?” I asked.
“Because – I am a troll.” I began to hear someone shoving the troll away before he could speak again.
“MOVE AWAY! Let me take over from here…” It sounded like The Queen’s voice. “Ok, who are you, speak up, I do not take strangers at this time of night.”
“Well,” I said with a bit of pride, “My name is Venima. I’m around sixteen. I don’t have an address. And I like cream pi-“
“That is enough information. Ignore the troll.” She interrupted me, “why are you here?”
“I’m here because I believe my friend ended up here.”
“He or she did? What would you expect me to do? Bring that individual to you?”
“No, I’d never ask for that…”
“You wouldn’t? Then leave.” The lady interrupted.
“I’m not going until I get what I want!”
“Fine, you may enter.” The megaphone disappeared into a hole in ceiling and I was alone again, so I thought why not? The lady said to come in so I wandered further into the temple till the point I came across another door, a large one with golden engravings. There were voices on the other side, the same ones I heard earlier on; and I waited until the voices died down, and then I knocked. When I knocked everything fell into silence, then the same lady from before started calling.
Without any hesitation, I slowly opened up the doors.
And it was another corridor, the walls were black with golden engravings and at the end there was a bit of light; Swift wasn’t there anymore, he’d flown away. So I was on my own in a nearly dark tunnel, walking up to the light bit at the end.
“Wait a minute…” It was another voice, right behind me, “…you can’t be here, see!”
And someone’s hand grabbed me from behind.
Seemed like minutes before I woke up again on a rug, there was this guy; in fact, a bunch of guys.
“You fainted, my dear… That Scrap Shooter must have grabbed you too hard; meh, we’re pretty… Uh…” The guy in front of me said.
“No need to say who you are, where am I?”
“You’re in the Golden Queen’s lair, that’s where you are; did I answer your question well?”
I didn’t say anything after that, I nodded instead, and then the weirdo laughed a bit and kept speaking.
“You’re a shy little lizard, aren’t you? Only you would be crazy enough to end up here, and I’d be crazy enough to have five legs. See? Nobody can outrun these!”
“Yeah, interesting…” I faked a smile (to be honest, I wasn’t really interested in the fact he had wooden legs…)
Turns out his name was Dr Krankcase or something along the lines of that, the guys I saw before had left down the other corridor and we followed them down to (what I thought was) the throne room, everyone was there. And all of a sudden this random girl with silver eyes and platinum hair leapt right in front of me.
“Hey there, new girl! My name’s Naivel, Naivel Note! Who’s this, Doc? She looks fancy!”
“I don’t know her name; she just ended up here all of a sudden.”
“Let’s not push the newbie here, Nai.” Then all of a sudden this werewolf guy appeared, and he was carrying Rocket in his arm. “So, what’s your name?”
“My name?” I asked suddenly, “It’s…”
“Go on…” Everyone started to convince me to say my own name.
“Oh come on! How can you not know your own name?”
“I do, it’s Ven… “ I didn’t finish because Naivel interrupted.
“Ok, it’s Ven then; heh, that rhymes!”
“Yeah… It does…”
The next half an hour of my life was boring as heck, it was basically eleven or so people telling me about themselves and convincing me to join their group called the ‘Doom Raiders’. And it seemed to me that ‘Queenie’ had completely forgotten about the fact I came here to get someone who got here and that was it. Apparently if I did join them, all my dreams would come true and I’d top all of Skylands; rubbish, I’d never do anything like that.
“So yeah; we rob banks, we attack villages and every typical thing an evil group would do. So, what do you think?” Naivel kept gibbering on.
“I’d rather not, I’ve got other ambitions.” I answered.
“Being a Skylan-“ Everyone gasped. Bad idea, I thought, should have said potato farmer.
“A Skylander?! Oh, don’t be stupid. And that hat and skirt? So not my style, come on Ven I’ll fix you up…”
“As if!” This random floating head started mocking me.
It took me a while to convince them that I was only here for Rocket, they wouldn’t listen. She seemed fast asleep and not knowing what was going on; and they even asked me who she was and I said she was the girl the werewolf dude had in his arm, they said she was one of them now. I paced steadily around the room waiting for a good idea on how to get her back, I tried bribing them (but I didn’t have much gold on me) and I tried trading with them.
Then after five minutes of thinking I rolled my eyes towards Naivel again.
“Ok, I know what.”
I stepped up, clutching my sword. The torches flickered towards us and made the room smell a bit like smoke. She smiled suspiciously, like something sinister was about to happen
“What is it, then?”
I cleared my throat, tipped my hat and smiled back.
“We’ll make one more deal, take me on and if I win I get the girl, if you win keep the girl.”
“Oooh! A fight?” Krankcase asked.
“Yes, a fight!”
Naivel charged right at me, with her guitar in hand.
“Bring it on, sis!”
I blocked the attack, she swung it again and I dodged. Then it was my turn to swing and she ducked. We kept doing that attack, block, attack, attack, and block routine until she got fed up, then ran towards the nearest wall and to my surprise she began walking up it. I was all like ‘how could she do that?!’. She started shooting crystals from her hands at me while running on the ceiling towards a door, in which I followed her through.
This next room was decked with piles of gold and jewels. Naivel dropped from the ceiling to shoot me with a beam of purple light to leave me fighting back with life magic; luckily I managed to strike her, and then we were back to sword and guitar combat, and back into the other room where she leapt back onto the ceiling.
I used my magic again to climb the walls using a vine; that was when I noticed the moon was up ahead.
“Go knock her out!” It was Rocket, she was awake! I swung across the ceiling to strike Naivel again with undead magic. But then the doors swung open and we saw this lady made and dressed in gold carrying a staff.
“STOP!” She boomed out. Everyone in the room froze, we fell off the ceiling. “What is this? I demand an explanation, now!”
“She started it!” Naivel pointed to me.
“Is this the one who I talked to earlier?”
“What? No!” I shouted back.
“I am talking about the lizard woman who calls herself ‘Venima’ here. I recognise your voice, Venima, do not lie to me. Do you think you could come here just to mess up my property?”
“Wait, her full name is VENIMA?!”
“Sadly it is.” I looked up at the moon. “And I’m sorry, my ‘queen’ but I’ve gotta go!” So I ran off grabbing rocket along the way.
“AFTER THE LIZARD!”
“You heard her, Wolfgang, let’s go!” And then Krankcase, Naivel and that werewolf guy they call Wolfgang tried to get me through the window I got in. But all three went through the window at the same time and got stuck.
“Curse you Ven… whatever your name is!” Was the last thing I heard from Naivel before we broke out of the lair and back into the woods.
I was breathing heavily, and just in time my curse came in. It was late, nearly midnight I suppose. Rocky was right on top of me doing nothing but blinking, after a bit she spoke.
“That was totally wicked!” She hugged me tightly.
“Was it?” I asked.
“Well of course!”
“Ok, I’m exhausted now. Well, we could always go home…”
“Not yet, look!” I turned around to see fireflies passing along, and it turned out I landed by a stream in front of some really tall trees. The fireflies flew into the trees, lighting them up; they seemed to be showing the way out of the forest, since the flies were in different trees spread across the pathway.
“Ok, now can we go home?”
“Yeah, I guess…”
4 years later…
Well, looks like four years passed. Let’s see, 4 plus 8 means 12, so that means it’s been at least twelve years since the story began (not in real life, in story years).
I got along with everyone fine, no kissing or lovey-dovey (yet), had some memories made and felt like I was at home. I didn’t want to go back to Windsong for a long time, but one thing that bugged me was that nobody knew I was cursed (well, except for Rocket and Swift) It was midday and I was alone in the tavern with Timber at the bar polishing glasses, thinking about telling my secret to Shake or someone close to me.
“Hey, Venima, you ok?” Timber saw me and stopped cleaning. That was it, I could tell my secret to Timber, and maybe she’d understand or help… but I couldn’t ask her at that minute, so I let out a little sigh then stood up.
“Are you sure? What’s the matter? Have some problem?”
“Technically yes, I do.”
“Ok, what is it?” She sat down at the table I was at.
“Well…” I began to say.
“Well, I’m… cursed. I’m cursed. It’s all I can say.”
“Cursed?” She asked.
“Well, there’s this person I know, her name’s eh… Myra something-“
A woman walked past the doors and interrupted before Timber could finish. The lady had black overalls, a green tank top with mint/white stripe sleeves and tights with brown boots.
“If you’re talking about Myra Mitz, I’m unavailable. Sorry, have a nice day!” Then she walked off again. I went after her, calling her name over and over again. Until I managed to get her to stop and pay attention since if she could help break the curse I had.
“What is it, dear?”
“I need your help.”
“Well, didn’t you hear me there? I’m unavailable, but I’ll give you a nice coupon if that’s fair with you, and it’s 50% off!”
“I’m sorry, Miss Mitz, but I’m cursed. I really don’t need coupons, unless it’s for pie, then it’s a deal.”
“Cursed, eh? Then meet me in the library…” She vanished around the corner. So I had to meet her in the library. I let about five or ten minutes go by before heading to that place on my own. Myra was already there, reading through spell books. She looked at me and told me to take a seat and grab a book while we were discussing about my issue, for the first couple moments we were just sitting around a table reading through books about these guys called ‘Doom Raiders’ or guides to different types of tea (yes, there are books about tea in Skylands, but nobody in Ironjaw Gulch drinks tea unless they’re really posh or fancy) and after a bit of ready Myra put her book down.
“So,” she said, “what’s your problem exactly?”
I lowered my book, and explained what had happened to me twelve years ago. It started on a sunny April day when I, my sister and my father went playing in the meadows, then Kaos’ Mom appeared and she put a spell on me and dad then my parents took me to Woodburrow and I found out I was cursed; The end. (Ok, you know the story) And the only way to break this curse was to find true love, and the fact I ran away with an eight-year-old robot and a talking bat just so it could happen. After all that was out the way, she put her book on the table.
“I see… there isn’t much I can do to be honest. But I can give you advice!”
I looked up, “You can?”
“Well, yes. First, a few questions, do you know any boys? Or men?”
“I do, about sixteen or so…”
“Then that shoul-“
And I told her I barely knew about most of them, the only two I knew a lot about was Rattle Shake and Spy Rise.
“I see,” she said, “then if you only know those two in a lot of detail, go for the one that’s best for you! Try to get him to know you more, tell your secret to him if he can handle things like that, I’m sure you two get along. Oh! Look that that…” She looked down at a watch, “I have a meeting with the guild of magicians, or in other words; I need to go, have a nice day!” She ran out of the library in a rush. For the rest of the entire day, I didn’t say much and I wasn’t around anyone because I wasn’t ready to tell anyone else.
Later that night, in Windsong Islands. There was a blizzard, a strong blizzard. Those four years that passed brought Verona to the point she had grown weary and tired of waiting, and so she sent out two of her best men to Skylands to find her daughter and bring her home safely; no moon, no stars, no source of light was up on those mountains, just two vague lamps could be seen. The snow flew into the face of the guards, they were looking around for the girl, she hadn’t come; but they had to scale all of Skylands and find her, for their queen. The soldiers came to a stop, hearing footsteps, numerous footsteps. And everything fell silent. But suddenly, a rope of purple light tied around the first guard, a blonde haired one, the next guard attempted to run, but a second lasso got him (poor fellows). They tried to make out who had caught them, and it turned out to be a cloaked figure; two silver eyes poked out from under the hood, along with platinum hair, signifying whoever this person could be was a girl.
“Good evening, gentlemen.” She said, her voice was scratchy yet clear and loud, “what are you doing out in the cold?” The first guard had enough breath in him to speak.
“We’re finding Venima, Queen’s orders.” The girl laughed.
“We already know where she is…”
“You do?!” The second guard shouted, “where is she?!”
“Calm down, she’s in Cloudbreak Islands, we’ve found her.”
“Let us go and we’ll get her! Your purple voodoo powers can’t stop us!”
The girl didn’t do anything, she stood sternly, smiling and putting more pressure into the ropes.
“I’d keep your mouth shut, if I were you.” A voice came from behind her. Then two figures came from the darkness, both were easily recognizable; Wolfgang and Dr. K.
“You see,” the girl continued, “we’re only here to speak to Verona, no harm or anything. Let us see her.”
“We’re not amused, you won’t get her! YOU CAN’T.”
The girl kept laughing, and the ropes were tighter. She clicked her fingers, summoning two trolls made from pure crystal; she lured the ropes towards her, the lasts words she said before she tossed both guards aside were “Never underestimate the power of magic and crystal...” After that evil little moment, the trio kept going until they reached the gates of Windsong city, the capital of this part of Skylands in all its glory. Verona watched, worried about what she was seeing; she was always like this, whenever a notorious person stepped through those gates, she’d assume it was an attack. Luckily, the queen came prepared.
“Get the guards,” She spoke her commands loud and clear, a general rushed outside to get the guards while she made her way to the girl and those two villains, holding onto her long raven hair and emerald eyes. She stood, in a red and gold dress, a golden crown with green jewels stood on her head. Verona sighed. “Naivel…”
Naivel, as she was now identified as, smirked. “Verona…”
“You should leave, if you have come to attack.” The soldiers behind her had swords and spears ready.
“Woah, put those away; we’re not here for any ‘violence’ or ‘chaos’, we came to meet the So Called Prince of Cloudbreak.” Naivel ran her hair through her wavy long hair, which was voluminous and long; she took a step closer.
“You heard the lady,” one soldier said, “They want to see the prince.” The soldiers lowered their weapons. Verona dipped her head down, as she slowly began to regret her decision…
Something wasn’t right. I was slowly growing an urge to tell Shake my secret, that secret I kept from most people for so long. We had been very slowly drifting away from each other ever since we first met on that morning. It’s about time I did tell him though, I have enough confidence. I’m going to do it, I thought, everything would be alright if I told him. I saw him by the tree.
“I need to tell you something…” I said, sitting by his side. He avoided eye contact with me.
“And that is?”
I said nothing, I was nervous. “I’ve been keeping a secret…”
“Secrets, eh?” He asked.
“Yes. I have a curse.”
“What kind of curse?”
“Every night I turn into… this… and I need to find true love before my 20th birthday or I’ll be stuck like this forever.”
Shake looked at me. “Being a snake isn’t that bad, you know?”
“But I’ll also lose my powers.”
“Venima, you don’t need magic, you’re perfect as you are.”
“Kaos’ Mom needs me,” I said, “She wants this necklace, because it has powers in it. It’s the reason I ran away.”
“Ran away?” Shake was looking at me, “Why didn’t you tell us that you ran away?!”
“I barely knew you! I’m from Windsong Islands, I’m actually a human.”
“I don’t negotiate with humans.”
“I see, but I need help.”
“I’m not kissing you. It’s about time you left, back where you came from. It isn’t safe here; you’ve nearly got yourself killed about two or three times without me knowing!”
“Skylands is a dangerous place for humans, its best you stay where you’re better off.”
“And there’s a prince, his name is Antonio and I most likely have to marry him.”
Shake gasped, he stood up and turned away. I thought I had broken his heart with all this news.
“Go, marry him, it’s best for you my friend.” He murmured.
And with that, he left. He came across all the swappers looking at us. I looked on at the
“What happened?” Wash asked.
“She’s decided that she needs to go…”
“Go?!” Rocket’s little voice was just about heard from the crowd of Skylanders. “She can’t leave!” She looked up at me. “Please don’t leave…”
“I’m so sorry, Rocky,” I said, “it isn’t safe for me, I need to go home. It’s where I’m best off.” For the first time I saw her tearing up. I knelt down beside her and picked a buttercup. “Now do me a favour; be strong, and maybe one day you’ll be like your father. And don’t forget me. Take this.” I handed her the buttercup, waved goodbye to my friends then left them.
I went the other way, thinking that I had lost a good life forever; then I realised I had to do this. So I touched the jewel on my necklace and in a few seconds I was human again, I could still walk OK. But it had been so long. I kept on walking across the landscapes and along the way I came when I met Rattle Shake. I would look up at the blue sky from time to time; waiting to see if a stormy cloud or two was there, but there were none. It was a clear day.
But then as I came to the edge of an island, I saw them. White and chestnut coloured Pegasus’s and some guards in gold and white armour stood resting in the grass across the forest. I touched my forehead with my left hand and I was back in my original dress, pretending that nothing happened. I made a gesture towards them, trying to beckon the guards to come to me. Only one noticed a guard with a chestnut Pegasus.
“I think I’ve found her!” He cried, making a gesture to the other guards.
“Who have you found, Gerald?” The next guard asked the first one?
“Are you sure? She looks an awful lot older…”
“She is indeed; it’s been four years, Bryan.”
I watched as they silently agreed that it was me, so Gerald the Guard (I’m going to call him that from now on, because it’s funny.) Flew over on his Pegasus and bowed before me as he held my hand and lifted me onto his horse.
We flew off into the mountains, followed by the rest of the guards. Going past the clouds would reveal the spiralling buildings all around us; people were walking past, minding their own business. Until we flew on in, there was cheering for some reason – it was likely because they wanted to celebrate the return of a princess that had been missing nearly four years. The Pegasus at the front landed in front of the fountain, the other ones would land behind us in a triangular formation. My mother came to see this; her face was blushing with joy while she rushed onto the scene. She looked slightly older.
“It’s been four years, my dear!” She said, charging at me and hugging me tightly. “I’ve missed you, how did you survive?”
“…Magic…” I replied, I had nothing else to say.
“I understand, magic helps us through a lot of things, I’d never expect someone to survive alone, and you’re brave, because Skylands may be full of horrible things…”
“You’re right, mother,” I murmured, “It was hard…”
“Welcome back – oh! That reminds me, I have some news, come with me, darling…”
I followed her back into the palace, where we walked into a room. Immediately, I was struck by the warmth of the fireplace. The walls were dark red while the carpet was a dark maroon colour with golden engravings, the wood below it was a gorgeous chestnut colour, and above the fireplace was a portrait of our grandfather. Finally, hanging from the ceiling, was a crystal chandelier – Mother always said the founders of the palace loved to eat pies in here.
“Take your shoes off, if you want to, and take a seat here and we’ll discuss the news!” Verona told me, I left my shoes by the door and sat on the armchair opposite. Mother called for a maid to fetch us a cup of tea each.
“I wanted to let you know, Antonio had told me that he wants to marry you… He found you to be a wonderful dancer, a very social person and a beautiful young lady. I think you will like him as well, I hope for the wedding to take place tomorrow night.” She said. I looked at her and said nothing. I can’t do this, I thought, he isn’t my kind, why do I have to do this? I can’t marry someone I don’t like… Eventually, the maid came with our tea.
I spent the rest of the day pacing around the corridors, worrying about the day Antonio would kiss me, and nothing would happen; I knew he truly didn’t love me. He just wanted to marry me. And I didn’t like the groom, he wasn’t the right man. Maybe Shake would find out about this, he would crash this wedding and the life I liked more would be back. But he never knew about Windsong or its people, and most likely never will.
I guessed it had to be done, and maybe it could turn out alright in the end for me…
The next day, about a day before my birthday…
I woke up to blinding light. I was in bed, looking up at the ceiling – the next moment, I was falling out of bed then trying to stand on my feet. I walked on over the balcony to look out the window to see a girl in a bathrobe standing there. She was looking down at her fingernails, which were painted purple; she looked at me in an awkward manner.
“Hey, who the heck are you? You new here?” She asked. I said nothing. “You’re not the talky type, now are you?”
I shook my head.
“Hmm, I see, heard there’s a wedding tonight, gonna be a big one, y’know?”
“It will be,” I murmured, “Everyone is coming…”
“I can’t hear you!”
I walked away from the window and into the bathroom.
“Ok, if you want to play it like that…”
That was Naivel; she walked back into the room to see Wolfgang and Dr Krankcase waiting on the bed.
“You forgot about Venima didn’t you Cadence?” Krank said
“I know her already, I was just pretending that I didn’t recognise her face; and stop calling me by my ‘real’ name.”
“If you say so...”
“There’s a wedding tonight, our mission now is to fetch the girl once everyone is asleep. If we just walk into the wedding uninvited then we’re toast. Wolfgang, you look for her room on the left side of the palace, also you can be the distraction. Krankcase, you can look on the other side. And if y’all mess up, we’ll get fired!”
“Yeah, and we don’t want that now do we?” Said Wolfgang.
I came back out the bathroom and into the sunshine, wearing a minty green dress and a couple roses in my hair. I thought I saw a sugarbat in the flowers – there were a pair of ears sticking out of it. Was that who I thought it was? No, couldn’t be… I turned around. Then rustling and flapping came.
“Well, if it isn’t my good ol’ bud Venny. Long time since I saw you as a human.” It was Swift.
“Swift! I’m so glad to see you – wait a minute, are you meant to be here?” I was excited but worried about seeing him at the same time.
“Well, yeah, us Sugarbats don’t just roam in Cloudbreak, we like to see the outside world, you know?” He said flying onto my arm.
“That’s interesting. I have bad news, however; I have to marry this prince tonight, he’s a snobby guy and I don’t trust him.”
“Just roll with it,” Swift advised me, “he’s probably a nice guy.”
“I guess; I just realised this is a pretty public place and people are looking at us, thinking I’m a weirdo because I’m talking to a sugarbat.” I took Swift into the bedroom and closed the curtains, then sat on the armchair.
“Tell you what, Venima, I’ll watch through the windows tonight to keep an eye out for any evil.”