The door crumpled like paper against the battering ram. The neopian army charged into the castle. Casualties littered the floor as the demons made one final stand.
But it was in vain. One neopian found the king... and destroyed him.
The castle lay in ruins. The great war had destroyed it. A war to end all wars. However... that war was not the end... Neopia was plagued by terrors, from the petty tax beast to the devious Lord Kass.
The king of demons awoke, and his amnesia was washed away as a flood of memories rushed back.
The demon remembered his name: Count von Roo. He remembered the war. He had attempted to destroy neopia for making him an outcast. The war went in favor of the demonic forces, much to the Count's glee.
Yet the Neopian Armies noticed that their adversary struck only by night. They formulated a plan that would defeat the demons.
He remembered the neopian's name: Jastagan. He had broken the wall down, revealing the light. This light destroyed all in the royal chamber. The light bore screech-inducing holes in the demons, then they disintegrated. Thinking he had vanquished the Count, Jastagan brought the war to an end. The demons were no more.
Near dead from the injuries inflicted by the light, he had slept for twenty years. His spirit recovered. Fully healed, Count von Roo devised a plan that could not fail. The demons would be back. With revenge.
Von Roo flew with all speed through the night, the full moon shining down upon the Haunted Woods. Yes, she will help, he thought. His flight ended when he reached Faerieland.
He flew straight to the dark cloud. A faerie sat in a large throne. The faerie was purple, the color of fear. She smiled wickedly when she saw the Count. 'Welcome to my home. Would you mind retrieving an item of immediate importance for me?'
'I came not for your trickery!' von Roo snarled. 'You know why I'm here!'
Jhudora examined her nails with obvious signs of paying no mind to his implied threat. 'Yes... I do. You have come because you have failed. And you need another chance.'
The demon was becoming impatient. 'That's not all I want. I want revenge. It was that single soul who destroyed my army. He needs to die!'
Jhudora looked him in the eye. 'That I cannot do. I may bring your demons back and no more. You must do the rest.'
'I need them resistant to light!' the Count snapped. 'How else can this be possible?'
'I shall see if it can be done. However,' she commanded, 'you need to gather many items for me.'
'What do you need,' he growled.
'I require a spirit bottle to mix the ingredients in. Terror Stone, Tar Slushie, and Deviled Steak. Most importantly of all though, I need the DNA of a demon. Find those and a demonic horde is yours to command once more.'
She turned to look at the Count, but he had gone already. 'He doesn't know what's coming.' She smiled.
Von Roo was at the Spooky Foods. He looked around. It was a small store, which was wise as there are many who rob large stores in the Haunted Woods. It had many foods racked on the counters.
He saw a rather large red Grarrl brandishing a Ylanas Blaster at the Acara at the register.
The Grarrl was angry. 'GIMME THE NEOPOINTS!'
The Acara's tears dripped to the pool on the counter. 'Oh don't hurt me,' she sobbed.
The Grarrl shoved her out of the way and smashed the neopoint register. He scooped them into the sack greedily.
The Count walked past him calmly, oblivious to the chaos. Then the Meepit Patrol got there riding on their Sklydes. They surrounded the Grarrl.
At the sight of the Meepits, the robber fainted in terror. The Meepit Patrol dragged him away.
Count von Roo grabbed a Deviled Steak. He walked past the Acara.
'Um, excuse me, you have to pay for those.'
He turned and gave the Acara a withering glare. She shrunk under his cold gaze and secretly pressed the Meepit Patrol button under the counter.
Approximately twenty Meepits were sitting around in their station, cramming doughnut after doughnut into their mouths. Then an alarm said, 'Robbery at Spooky Foods.'
One meepit yawned. 'Didn't we just stop a robbery there?' He grumbled and added, 'Let's go guys.'
Ten Meepits burst through the doors on their Sklydes. 'Alright, just come quietly.'
The leader of the Meepits rode toward von Roo. 'We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice.'
'Let's do this the hard way,' he sneered as he hurled a neopoint register at the Meepit.
The leader was sent flying off his Sklyde and into a pyramid of cans. The cans fell onto him.
'Who wants the join him?' the Count inquired.
Nine Sklydes raced towards him, then veered off and surrounded him. The Count back flipped over them, and landed on his tail outside the circle of Meepits. He grabbed cans from the pyramid he had landed on and flung them at the Meepits. One by one the Meepits fell unconscious from their Sklydes.
Four managed to dodge the first two cans thrown at them. Von Roo hurled his Deviled Steak at one Meepit, covering its eyes and causing the Sklyde to crash into another. The remaining two Meepits became discouraged and fled the scene.
The Count strode out the doors of Spooky Foods.
Altador was peaceful at night. The stars and moon shined down upon Altador, showing its beauty even in darkness.
Von Roo transformed back into his Blumaroo form at the Altadorian Archives. He took out the Sword of the Dead and hacked at the door. When it was battered enough, he kicked it down.
Finneus was writing yesterday's events in his archive. Suddenly he heard a loud knocking sound. He yawned. 'Who could it be at this time of night?' Then as he was walking out of the Archive room, a crunch was heard followed by a bang.
When Finneus found the door it was broken in two, so he looked around outside. Then, turning around he spotted the Count and froze in terror.
Taking advantage of no screaming, von Roo cracked a hefty piece of wood over Finneous's head. The Lenny dropped like a rock.
There was no dust on the row upon row of books and scrolls. Finneus had a passion to keep literature clean. In one room scrolls resided, apparently written long ago. Books were contained in another.
He leafed through the books on the shelves. Finding the G section, he found what he was looking for. Spirits read the title. He found it. The Spirit Bottle. And it was possessed by the Ghost Lupe.
Count von Roo kicked at the glistening sand on the shores of Mystery Island. The waves calmly clashed against the shore, and swiftly withdrew. 'Where are you? Show yourself,' he hissed.
Hearing nothing, the Count continued from the beach into the dark jungles of Mystery Island. A ghost spyder drifted down from the trees on a thin silken string, then quickly retreated as it spotted the intruder.
The darkness had no effect on the Count. He was used to it after the wretched unconscious state of mind he obtained after the battle. But he was thankful for a full recovery.
He then came to a clearing where the moon shone fully onto the blades of grass thick with dew. And then drops of water fell from the sky, lightly at first, then as heavily as a waterfall. Lightning crackled and thunder boomed.
During a lightning flash, the Count spotted the Ghost Lupe. It glowed an eerie color. And then he could see through the pouring rain.
The Ghost Lupe was advancing upon him, and did not look happy to see him. 'You are foolish to trespass upon my domain. You will pay the price.'
Von Roo stared calmly. 'I came for the Spirit Bottle.'
'And you shall never claim it. Prepare to die!' The Ghost Lupe lunged at Count von Roo, but his claws found nothing.
The Count flew above the Ghost Lupe as a bat, and then transformed again. 'Perhaps you misunderstood. I will take your Spirit Bottle. Whether it is by force or negotiation.'
The Ghost Lupe lashed out with his claws. 'You shall have nothing!'
Count von Roo appeared to vanish. 'Is that so?' came a voice behind him. The Ghost Lupe was pushed roughly to the ground. Getting up, he snarled, 'Where are you?'
'Right beside you,' came the wicked reply.
Suddenly the Ghost Lupe was being struck with strong blows from all sides. His red eyes started to close. Vision dimming, his body was swept away in particles which resembled sand. 'I will return...' a voice rasped.
A glowing object lay before the Count. The Spirit Bottle. This was his second ingredient. With three more to go, he would have his army once more. Count von Roo put the Spirit Bottle in his cloak and flew into the night.
The Haunted Woods were never quiet. Batterflies' wings buzzed overhead with great vigor, Meowclops mewed from all around, and moaning sounds just ahead.
Count von Roo prowled through the woods, following the moans. He cleared some debris, and found a hulking pile of green sludge was causing the sound. Its eyes were merely holes, as well as its mouth. The Esphagor lay here.
It spotted the Count and spoke. 'Iiiiii ammmmmmm hunngryyyyy... Bring meeeee foooood aannnd youuuu shallllll havvvve a ggreaat reward...'
'No,' he replied. 'I came to take a tar slushie from you. Surely you possess one.'
The Esphagor appeared to laugh. 'Fool, you understand not my ways. No one does, but for the brain tree. Food is instantaneously dissolved as it enters my body. Therefore, what you seek lies not here, but elsewhere. And now I'm afraid you know too much. Such knowledge is not meant for mortals.'
'What...?' the Count started, but the sentence was never finished. The Esphagor moved as fast as lightning, swallowing him whole in the gaping jaws.
Count von Roo was horrified. Sludge was everywhere, alive, and it was attempting to cover him. If he was covered, somehow he knew it was the end. It began assaulting his legs, and then moved up to envelop his waist. The Count ripped at it, but the mire was solidifying.
As the sludge began to cover his head, something happened. Suddenly the sludge was shaking violently and once more becoming ooze-like. It withdrew from him, allowing the Count to stand.
Then the sludge was showing no mercy, and hurled itself at him. But it shrieked and fell to the ground singed whenever it touched him. The sludge finally stopped the attack and melded with the Esphagor.
Count von Roo then felt a power growing, and then faintly recalled demonic powers he possessed. He started to radiate with black energy, and when it became strong enough, burst in an explosion of demonic force.
The Esphagor was blown to pieces from the inside. His body littered the ground, but quickly rebuilt to the original out of the tiny pieces of slime. Then he realized that this Blumaroo was no mortal, but in fact a legendary demon. The Esphagor slithered away.
Terror Mountain loomed before Count von Roo as he sped through with all speed, and the sun was now shining on the horizon in a great circle of orange fire. But it was nevertheless snowing lightly.
The Slushie Shop was a large igloo. The Count walked in slowly, and the shopkeeper dropped the slushie he was making for the customer and backed against the wall in terror. The customer wilted before von Roo and dived behind the counter.
'Give me a tar slushie,' demanded the Count.
'W-w-we d-d-don't h-have any,' stuttered the Eyrie.
'And where may I ask are they?'
'Once every year the Snowager ravages Terror Mountain to add to his great hoard.'
The Count's eyes glowed red. The shopkeeper, mesmerized, stared into them, and then collapsed, unconscious.
The Ice Caves were warmer than the outside of the mountain. Passing the shops, Count von Roo approached a cave with large icicles hanging like fangs from the entrance.
He quickly metamorphosed into a bat and flew into the cave. A great serpent of ice loomed before him, coiled around a throne of hoarded treasure. It raised its head and emitted an icy blast at the Count. It then roared and fired blast after blast in its frozen rage.
The demon flew around the cave, swerving many a time to avoid the blasts. His black wings soundlessly beat the air. The rays of the sun poured into the cavern and caused the Snowager to glisten like a diamond.
Finally the Snowager ceased fire. He stared the Count in the eye. His intimidating look told the Count this was one adversary who was too enormous for him to defeat through brute force.
The Snowager's tail cracked against the Count in the blink of an eye while he was formulating a plan. He flew into the wall, and the ice inhabiting it shattered. The demon crumpled to the floor.
But the icy serpent possessed no intention of stopping there. Its tail once again slammed into the Count, and twice more. He lay there in a crater from the impact of an enormous tail, with the earth cracked around it. The Snowager then opened its mouth and let loose a blast. Von Roo was enveloped in ice.
NO! I WONT LET HIM BEAT ME LIKE THIS! the Count's thoughts screamed.
His eyes began to glow a black color. Soon his body was emitting dark energy in the form of fire. It hungrily grew while battling against the ice. Soon, the ice burst in large chunks that splintered against the walls and ceiling.
The Snowager hesitated in astonishment. How could one survive that? It sent a beam of icy energy at his opponent.
The Count retaliated with his own dark energy blast. The two beams collided and created a great combustion. As the smoke cleared, he flew toward the pile of treasure.
The Snowager tried in vain to strike the Count with his tail, but a tar slushie was in his opponent's paws. Furious, the serpent let out a great roar and stole after the Count as he was flying towards the exit.
The demon turned around in flight and blasted the roof of the cave entrance. The explosion caused boulders to rain down and cover the entrance just before the Snowager reached it.