Champions of Meridell

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Darigan Citadel looms over Meridell.

Champions of Meridell was a plot beginning on 23 July 2002 and concluding on 28 April 2003. It detailed the discoveries of Meridell and Darigan Citadel, and their war over a magical orb.

Like the Tyrannian Invasion and Brucey B and the Lucky Coin plots, user participation was exclusively Battledome orientated. For the first time, players could chose which side of the war to fight for - a mechanic that was repeated for the Hannah and the Ice Caves and Curse of Maraqua plots.

Many of the characters in this returned in the sequel, Battle for Meridell.

Synopsis[edit]

Five years before the story begins, Lisha and her brother Jeran had been playing in the woods when he disappeared. Lisha was unable to find her lost brother until five years later, when she saw him in a painting from hundreds of years ago. She realised that all those years ago Jeran must have found some way to go back in time and to the legendary kingdom of Meridell. Lisha and her friends returned to the woods Jeran had disappeared in and explored the ruins of Meridell castle, when they were transported back in time to when the castle was whole.

There, they discovered Meridell was under attack by terrifying monsters: a long time ago, King Skarl's knights brought back a magical orb that has kept the kingdom prosperous, but in doing so they deprived another kingdom of it. The other kingdom, Darigan Citadel, became twisted with thoughts of revenge and hunted down the stolen orb. Discovering it in Meridell at last, they invaded, overwhelmed the defenders, and recaptured it.

However, the orb did not bring Darigan the prosperity it promised. It corrupted Lord Darigan, who used its power turn himself into a super-being. Realising the danger he posed Neopia, Master Vex and the Yellow Knight worked together to rally the forces of both nations to defeat him.

The Spectre of Lord Darigan finally vanquished, both sides rushed to claim the orb - which promptly broke in two.

Story[edit]

Act One[edit]

Lisha discovers the portrait.

One quiet day in Neopia Central, Lisha was playing a game of NeoQuest with her friends Morris, Kayla, and Count Boris. Some bullies came to ruin their game, but Lisha and her friends fought them off. In some other time or place, a Lupe knight fought a similar battle against strange, twisted monsters.

The following day, Lisha and her friends visited a museum on a school trip. Seeing her interest in history, the museum's curator invited her to see some of the older paintings they didn't have on display. Chief amongst them was a painting of the Lupe knight - "Sir Borodere" - at the moment of his triumph, hundreds of years ago. Lisha was stunned: she recognised the Lupe as her brother, Jeran, who had disappeared during a game of hide and seek five years before, never to be seen again.

Lisha realised that he brother hadn't just disappeared that day, but had somehow found his way to the kingdom of Meridell, thought destroyed centuries ago. Lisha and her friends headed east of Neopia Central to the ruins where she and her brother used to play. While exploring the ruins, there was a bright flash of light, and when they light faded, they found themselves inside a complete castle.

Act Two[edit]

Lisha and her friends were discovered by two Draik guards, who demand to know where they came from. Lisha explained that they had come from the future by some sort of magical portal, but guards remain unconvinced and escort them to the dungeons. On the way, three strange looking Neopets burst in through the window and attacked. Quickly besting the guards, they were only defeated by Lisha and her friends. Thankful for their aid, the guards granted them an audience with King Skarl, hoping he would be able to explain where their assailants had come from.

Lord Darigan orchestrates the invasion from his flying Citadel.

King Skarl was seeking the counsel of Jeran when they arrived and the guards explained their situation. In return for helping them, King Skarl granted Lisha and her friends their freedom - then demanded to know what they were doing in the castle to begin with. Lisha explained again how they had come to be there, and something stirred at the back of Jeran's memory of how he had come to Meridell: "I would not believe their tale either, if there wasn't something strangely familiar with it."

The King explained that long ago, he had sent his knights on a quest to retrieve a magical orb that promised to save his kingdom from famine and disease. Ever since, the orb had kept Meridell prosperous. He reasoned that the monsters they had seen had come to steal this orb from the castle.

Skarl's story wasn't the whole truth, however: the knights hadn't just retrieved the orb, but had taken it from the kingdom of Darigan. The kingdom, made prosperous by the orb, withered when it was stolen, its people became twisted and altered. After many years of searching, Lord Darigan had located the thieves at last. As his floating citadel approached Meridell, it cast a terrible blight across the land. He began the invasion.

Act Three[edit]

Darigan transformed.

After a fierce war, the forces of Meridell were eventually defeated and its castle sacked. Brought to the Citadel, the orb did not restore Lord Darigan's kingdom or his people as he had hoped. Mesmerised by it, Lord Darigan sought to put its power to other purposes instead. He used it to lay waste to Meridell from above - with such great power at his command, he realised he had no need for an army: he could conquer Neopia with the orb.

Meanwhile, down in the dungeons, the Yellow Knight was making a daring escape. Venturing up into the Citadel, he overheard Lord Darigan raving about destroying Meridell and the Citadel alike. Pulled into a hiding place at the last minute by Master Vex, who had heard his charge escape and followed him, they witnessed Lord Darigan unlock the power of the orb and transform into gigantic, fiery monster.

Realising the danger the Spectre of Lord Darigan posed to all of them, Master Vex and the Yellow Knight split up to rally the others: Master Vex held a meeting in the Citadel, and the Yellow Knight dove off the side and landed in Meridell, seeking out Galgarroth in Meridell Castle. They explained to their audiences that they had witnessed Lord Darigan go insane - that he had unlocked the power of the orb and was a threat to them all.

Together, the forces of the Citadel and of Meridell battled the Spectre. Finally, they were able to defeat him, and Lord Darigan disappeared in a flash of light from the orb. As Skarl and Vex rushed to claim the orb, it cracked, and split in two.

Participation[edit]

Participation in this plot was Battledome orientated. When the war began, users could chose to fight for Meridell or Darigan, and could not change their minds once they had chosen. Each side had their own set of challengers - the Meridell challenges could only be fought by players supporting Darigan, and the Darigan challengers could only be fought by players supporting Meridell. Defeating a challenger earned the player's side points, with the outcome of the war being determined by which side had earned the most points.

Challengers were released sequentially in waves, with older waves remaining available to fight as later waves were released. There was no limit to how many times each challenger could be fought - there wasn't a certain number of individual enemies per wave.

Wave Meridell Difficulty Darigan Difficulty Points Per Win
1 Morris Morris 25 Drackonack Drackonack 20 1
2 Peasant Militia Mob Peasant Militia Mob 40 Draconian Moehog Draconian Moehog 60 2
3 Green Knight Green Knight 56 Draconian Skeith Draconian Skeith 50 3
4 Skeith Defender Skeith Defender 75 The Horde The Horde 120 5
5 Lisha Lisha 95 Zombified Heroes Zombified Heroes 120 10
6 Jeran Jeran 150 Draconian Grarrl Draconian Grarrl 150 25/20
7 King Skarl King Skarl 200 Darigan Elemental Darigan Elemental 200 50
8 Castle Defender Castle Defender 850 Lord Darigan Lord Darigan 800 100

Boss[edit]

The final opponent of the war could be fought by both sides. Once he was defeated (by Majal_Kita) he became unavailable for anyone to fight any more.

Boss Difficulty
Spectre of Lord Darigan Spectre of Lord Darigan 5000

Prizes[edit]

As the players scored points by defeating opponents, their user lookups were updated with trophies that kept track of their points. There was a different set of trophies for each side, and which trophy and title the user received depended on how many points they had earned.

Meridell
goodshield1.gif goodshield2.gif goodshield3.gif goodshield4.gif goodshield5.gif goodshield6.gif

Peasant
1 - 4 - ?
Surf
? - 9
Squire
10 - ?
Herald
? - 20 - 33 - ?

Man-at-Arms
? - 51 - 73 - ?
Apprentice
? - 102 - 150 - ?
Journeyman
? - 238 - 434 - ?
Defender
? - 500 - ?

Defender
? - 601 - ?
Knight
? - 3005 - 4000 -?

Champion
? - 6523 - 7500 - ?

Hero
? - 25000 - ?

Lord
? - 68500 - 121400

Darigan
evilshield1.gif evilshield2.gif evilshield3.gif evilshield4.gif evilshield5.gif evilshield6.gif

Apprentice
1 - ?
Acolyte
? - 12 - ?
Follower
? - 38 - 43 - ?

Faithful
? - 60 - ?
Retriever
? - 102 - 178 - ?
Darigan Defender
? - 300 - 367 - ?
Defender
? - 500 - ?

Battlemaster
? - 500 - 614 - ?

Dark Knight
? - 6738 - ?

Dark Hero
? - 22105 - ?

Dark Lord
? - 207373

Additionally, participants were awarded one of the following prizes based on how many points they had earned. Most of the prizes were equipment from the enemies in the plot. These were released on 20 January 2003, following the war but before Act 3 of the plot began.

  • Green Knight Sword
  • Green Knight Shield
  • Darigan Skeith Tongue
  • Darigan Skeith Tail Guard
  • Skeith Defender Chest Plate
  • Skeith Defenders Gauntlet
  • Winged Horde Dagger
  • Winged Horde Helm
  • Undead Blade
  • Zombie Hatchet
  • Lishas Homemade Armour
  • Lishas Wand
  • Skarls Amulet
  • Skarls Sceptre
  • Elemental Hammer
  • Elemental Rock
  • Darigan Generals Sword
  • Draconian Generals Tail Armour
  • Jerans Sword
  • Jerans Shield
  • Castle Defenders Shield
  • Castle Defenders Sword
  • Lord Darigans Jewel
  • Lord Darigans Blade
  • Darigan Rules T-Shirt
  • Meridell War T-Shirt

An avatar for each side was later awarded to players.

External links[edit]