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entire series! mysterious land of Droon, they know that only . Eric and Sparr carry the secrets and the magic of. Droon. And with magic on the loose, nothing. Secrets of Droon has 36 entries in the series. Secrets of Droon (Series). Book 1 . Tony Abbott Author Tim Jessell Illustrator (). cover image of Journey to. The Secrets Of Droon - [Free] The Secrets Of Droon [PDF] [EPUB] The Secrets of the final book of the series, The Final Quest, was released.
In the year , Queen Zara brings the Medallion with her on her mission to the time-traveling city of Pesh. At the same time in Droon, Emperor Ko leader of the beasts learns of Zara's great wisdom and power. He makes his way up the Dark Stairs from Droon to our world. He kidnaps Zara from her tent outside Pesh, also stealing her infant son, Lord Sparr. Ko attempts to turn the wise queen to his evil will. She tests it by sending the Moon Medallion up into the Upper World for her oldest son, Urik, to find, as he is trapped there, traveling through time. Sensing that the Fifth River is a success, Zara brings Sparr to the fountain to free him.
Hoja riddles strangely, as traveling through time requires him to veil his words, but he is always helpful. Leep - Galen's pilka. It can disappear sometimes, which comes in handy on Eric, Julie, and Neal's first adventure in Droon. Leep is the pilka of choice when it comes to speed. Kem - This two-headed dog beast is the watchdog of the old city of Tarkoom, and personal pet of Lord Sparr. Imagined to be dead, Kem returns after an earthquake reveals his tomb.
Later, he develops into a first-rate creature with many useful qualities, not the least of which is a sharp sense of humor. Reunited with Sparr has a mellowing effect on Kem, though when we first see him, he's pretty nasty. The Lumpies are pillow-shaped people who live in the deserts of Lumpland, south of Jaffa City.
As their king, Khan has a family of two children and a wife, his queen, all of whom love their father and husband unflinchingly. Not is Khan known for the ability to sniff out danger, he is a pudgy little hero, beloved of his people — they would follow him anywhere. He is a key member of the crew in the legendary voyage undertaken by the Jaffa Wind and recounted in Book First reference: Book 2, Journey to the Volcano Palace. Nelag - The unwizard, the backwards and opposite of Galen.
Nelag is a being without real magical power who is constantly saying and doing the "wrong" thing and having it turn out to be, most of the time, exactly right. First seen in Book 14, Voyage of the Jaffa Wind. Ninns - Warriors pressed into service by Lord Sparr.
Ninns are large, pointy-chinned, pointy-eared, red-skinned, and nasty. They are also a bit clumsy and slow at times. There are hundreds of thousands of Ninns, and their sheer number creates a frightening force for evil. But they are not all bad; see the entry for Bludge. Ninns are also related to Orkins in an unusual way, as described in Book 16, The Knights of Silversnow.
Ortha, Queen of the Bangledorn Monkeys - Ortha is noble and powerful and really tall. She lives within the vast empire of trees where no magic is allowed, but also ventures out to help when other parts of Droon are threatened by bad forces. Portentia - Hilarious and rhyming oracle living inside a big rock. Portentia is first found in the depths of the Farne Woods, north of Jaffa City.
She understands the future, but is fated to deliver really inscrutable prophecies that take whole chapters to decipher. A good sport, and very witty, Portentia is like the grandma we all wish we had. First reference: Book 8, The Golden Wasp. First reference: Special Edition 5, Moon Magic. First reference: Special Edition 4, Sorcerer. Prince of Stars - A person who turns out to be one of the most mysterious and important characters in all of Droon.
A man of unknown origin who has lost his memory, the Prince of Stars is bedeviled by dreams and visions of a hidden past, and keeps showing up at the oddest times. Prince Zorfendorf - This prince of the strange castle of Zorfendorf is one of the guises that Sparr uses to trick the kings and queens of Droon in Book 8, The Golden Wasp. It is a dark future, one of whose brightest spots is Keeah herself.
Queen of Shadowthorn - Salamandra's new title, having promoted herself from Princess. First reference to "queen": Book 31, Queen of Shadowthorn. Quill - Magical feather pen who writes the history of Droon as it happens. If Quill writes fast, he can actually overtake events and begin to write the future. Under a unique charm, Quill can speak. Quill also writes the Chronicles of Droon, Galen's long-running history of the world of Droon, Quill is a character in many stories, from as early as Book 4, City in the Clouds, and on until the very end.
Relna or Queen Relna - Keeah's long lost mother, one of the greatest of all Droonian wizards, assumed dead when the Droon story opens.
In fact, Relna is not dead, and her long journey through different shapes is first glimpsed in Book 2. Relna is one of the most powerful practitioners of good magic in all of Droon. Skorth, Warriors of the - These ancient bad guys are no more than skeletons, but they are skeletons of deadly power.
Lord Sparr conjures them within the walls of Agrah-Voor. He raises them from a long and ancient box of disconnected bones, and they come to life again, reappearing in many Droon adventures, all the way to Gethwing's final battle. They strike fear wherever they clatter.
They also know a thing or two about ships, having had a navy way back when. First reference: Book 7, Into the Land of the Lost. Zabilac - The first genie of dove. Also the name Neal chooses as a genie name, even before he becomes a genie.
In Special Edition 3, Voyagers of the Silver Sand, Neal pretends to be a genie; when he actually does get genie powers, he adopts the name for real. Zabilac is the word Calibaz spelled backward, and Neal is well known for his special connection to Calibaz. Zello is always seen dressed in armor, bearing a Viking-style horned helmet and wielding a pair of monstrous clubs, his weapon of choice. He is constantly attending to duties of state and the safety and welfare of his people, but when he's called to battle the Ninns or Sparr, he is the first to start swinging his twin giant clubs.
Zello stands up to Sparr more than once in the Droon story, but as a regular non-magic human, he is at the sorcerer's mercy.
In Book 4, City in the Clouds, which marks his first appearance, Zello leads a small army to free the Ninn-infested flying city of Ro. He is a huggable bear of a man, shoulders his kingship nobly and with compassion, and he loves his daughter and her friends like crazy. Minor Characters[ edit ] These characters just have a minor or cameo role in the series  Amazing Flemky - Minstrel who is first seen sitting at the top of a very tall, very skinny pole.
Flemky is said to be the world's greatest splangle player. First reference: Book 30, Escape from Jabar-Loo. The knights are not as terrible as they are made out to be; they really just want to rest and enjoy their old age. Anga - The leader of the weasel people in the forests outside Doobesh. A cranky fellow who eventually sees the light.
First seen wearing a long blue coat decorated with gold chains, medals, and buttons. Two feet tall from his furry tail to the tuft on his head, but he has the puffed-up demeanor of a weasel twice his size. First reference: Book 36, Knights of the Ruby Wand. Baggle - Most talkative member of the Snowfolk people. He has a clipped way of speaking, but is a good and helpful soul.
First reference: Book 33, Flight of the Blue Serpent. Bazra - This Queen of Robbers is the ruler of the Island of Mikos and its Treasure Fortress, where she hoards stolen objects of great magical value. Bazra is first seen as short and round, wearing a dazzling pink crown, furry pink robe, and pink shoes.
Later, when she reveals her true self, she's anything but cute. Her cheeks shrivel as if she had sucked in all her breath, her skin turns the color of ash, and her eyes dwindle to shifty black dots in a sea of red. She becomes as gray as a ghost. Beffle, Mr.
Beffo - So called "King of the Island Trolls," though he seems to be the only Island Troll , Beffo has bushy blue whiskers that nearly hide an extremely bulbous nose. He is very old, short, with wrinkles all over his face and hands that are nearly purple with age. He is found by Lord Sparr and Kem after they crash land on a mysterious island. The Knights grow larger, their eyes turn red, and their faces become hard and dark.
Not a bad fellow, once you get to know him. Blugs - Very large, very strange, very shaggy beasts, covered in gray fur from head to foot. Blugs actually have three tiny feet, one of which makes gooey prints on the ground.
The kids turn into Blugs to get into Shadowface's camp as they to try to save young Sparr. First reference: Book 28, In the Shadow of Goll. Bodo - One of the dinosaur-like Guardians of Ro, Bodo is mystical, virtuous, and has an aura of adventurer about him. First reference: Book 4, City in the Clouds, but seen in other crucial adventures, always with a helpful intent.
Boola Duke of Samarindo, - father of the funny sisters Looma and Sarla. Boola is a sad sack when his Dream Crown is stolen from him. But with some help from our heroes, he gets it back. First reference: Book 34, In the City of Dreams. Bumbalo - A striped, growling creature that traditionally frightens Orkins. Ninns are also apparently afraid of the sound of approaching bumbalos, a fact that helps the children stay on Sparr's trail in Book 22, The Isle of Mists.
Djambo - One of the friendliest blue-skinned Orkins. His gentle manners and clever thinking come in handy far more than once. The kids know him from several adventures, particularly The Isle of Mists, but he happily reappears in Book 32, The Treasure of the Orkins. Dog-Eared Thief - Robber who is not given a proper name when spotted by the children in the bottle city of Ut. A wise-guy, reluctantly giving up his treasure to the children when asked. Doofus the Ugly - The surprising name of the servant of Sarla and Looma.
Neal impersonates him to help his friends get into the palace of Prince Maliban. First reference: Book 13, The Mask of Maliban. Dora - Little woman with a crooked step who pilots a boat across the river in Book 30, Escape from Jabar-Loo. Droomar - Elfin folk whose history dates from the beginnings of old Droon. They are the preservers of the Golden Age of Droon's wisdom, throughout all the dark years after the wrath of Ko and Gethwing spread over the world.
Referenced in many books throughout the series, including Book, 17, Dream Thief. Sporting a keen sense of style, Dumpella has a little crush on Eric which convinces her to help the kids when they run afoul of the obnoxious Duke.
Later, she transfers her crush to Neal, but her first reference i Feodor - A tiny spider troll in the village of Lubalunda.
First reference: Special Edition 6, Crown of Wizards. Duppy, Mr. Faraway - The name of a mysterious person known to Galen, and the subject of a poem: "O, come to me, my Faraway!
First reference: Book 17, Dream Thief. Later, he's okay. Fire Dragons - Nasty creatures that fly around terrorizing the good citizens of Samarindo. Fire Monsters - Stone-skinned creatures, sort of like dragons and cleverly indistinguishable from boulders, that protect Lord Sparr's volcano palace. They skirmish with the Lumpies and lose. Firefrogs - Green froglike creatures, large, with bulging purple eyes and long flickery tongues, who inhabit Firefrog Mountain.
They are friendly and shy; their charge is to guard the mischief-makers that Galen sometimes sentences to the mountaintop. Often, the firefrogs are so nice, they let their prisoners escape. Flink - Friendly sprite-like messenger, often aiding Galen and Keeah. Her voice is said to be like music playing, and her words are delivered in a sing-song manner.
She flies quickly in and out of situations, delivering messages to and from the characters. Fluffems - Enormous beasts, nine feet tall, with woolly pink coats, long furry trunks, and gigantic feet. The fluffems run in flocks and are the friends of genies, particularly of Hoja. Fog Pirates - A species of bear-headed bad guys who sail the seas to the east of the Horns of Ko. They can be invisible on demand turning into fog , but later change their tune and learn to be helpful. First reference: Book 14, Voyage of the Jaffa Wind.
Frando, Mr. First reference: Book 18, Search for the Dragon Ship. Gabitamo - Brother of Batamogi. First reference: Book 31, Queen of Shadowthorn. Gelna - Pink-cloaked wizard described as "Galen as if he were his own sister. Ghost Riders - A strange mass of beings that work for Salamandra, trying to locate the pieces of the Dragon Ship. Glok - A huge monster with lots of legs. Not a friendly creature, Glok fiercely defends the city of Jabar-Loo.
Goblins - There are hundreds of different kinds of goblins, from Salamandra's henchmen in Pesh, to Ko's creepy and evil-doing specialists. Goblins range throughout the history of Droon, and of the Upper World as well. They are sneaky and clever, and they love pies. Gondra - A great, ugly dragon that menaces the Dream City of Samarindo. The letters which form this dragon's name are the same letters which form the word "dragon" itself. Green Meanies - Deep-hooded spies of Prince Maliban, the mysterious being living on the moveable city of Tortu.
Grompus - Giant shaggy-haired worm, thirty feet long from snout to tail. Grompus is the servant of young Sparr, on his mission in ancient Goll. Grunto - Captain of beasts, in charge of the Ninns stationed in the Crimson Desert.
Gryndal - Dragon-like monster and leader of the pig-nosed elves, Gryndal turns out to be quite different from what was expected. Guardians of Ro - Two seven-foot-tall lizards with large heads, Bodo and Vasa. They speak cleverly and a lot, and are the keepers of Droon's long history. They are friends of Quill, the magical pen. First reference: Book 4, City in the Clouds.
Guffle - A huge spidery beast with thick red legs and black fur, which trails white slimy webbing behind it. It is said to be attracted to the sound made by bumbalos. First reference: Book 22, The Isle of Mists. Hagdy - Twin sister of Magdy, though older by a whole minute. Hagdy is a witch and former inventor who lives in the hills above the city of Doobesh.
Haggons - A trio of winged creatures, sisters, whose skin is scaly and lizardlike, but whose heads have wrinkled old faces, with pointed red noses, scraggly beards, long gray hair, and teeth that are chipped and broken.
They work for Lord Sparr, spying as they fly through the air. First reference: Book 16, The Knights of Silversnow. Hakoth-Mal - The ancient Droonian name for the wingwolves. When Droon finally achieves lasting peace, she hopes that her vast population of stricken warriors will rise to walk again. Her crown is peculiar and oddly shaped, as if it were made of thick branches of wood.
Her gnarly wooden cane is what that the Golden Wasp was charmed into. Hoobahs - Froglike creatures residing in Calibaz. Friendly and timid, the hoobah people are oppressed by various forces, including the Ninns, and are known to say "Glemf!
First reference: Book 19, The Coiled Viper. Iceman - A creature of strange origin that confronts the children with silly riddles on their way into the far north of Droon to find the ice monster Krog. Icthos - Broken-winged Hawk Bandit and right-hand man to bandit leader Ving. Ing - Baby brother of the twin baddies Ving and Ming. Ing is also a hawk creature with a snotty attitude, learned from his older siblings.
He wears a diaper that is frequently in need of changing, a fact that helps the children on at least one occasion. Isha - Tender little bird that is, surprisingly, the pet of Lord Sparr. It flies all around Droon, discovering helpful bits of knowledge that it brings to Sparr. Jabbo - Salamandra's royal pie maker, Jabbo is a short, squat dragon with brown spiky skin as rough and dusty as a potato.
He becomes quite a character in the Droon story, even to the last pages. Jotli - One of three crows friendly to the mysterious Prince of Stars; he can change shape. Jyme - Sixth Genie of the Dove who lives in the "far east. Jyme is very old, yet appears from moment to moment as a young woman.
Kindu Tribesmen - Warriors used by Gethwing to achieve his dastardly aims. Known finally as the Hunters, for they were sent to the Upper World to find something. Knights of Silversnow - Great and noble warriors who have slept for centuries, waiting for the hour when Droon needs them most.
The three knights, each seven feet tall, are named Old Rolf, Lunk, and Smee. Kraken - An unfriendly, pike-tailed, knob-headed water beast living in the muddy canals of Pesh.
Krog - A beast that has awoken in the far north of Droon that, according to legend, takes over the body of anyone who defeats it. Krog is a monster with wings, a thick, jagged tail, and a massive body covered with long fur, scales, and knobby skin.
Lena - Pink-tasseled daughter of Khan, king of the Purple Lumpies. Looma - Twin of Sarla, and with her one of the princesses of Samarindo.
Looma is obsessed with Neal's yellow hair and his boyish cuteness. Lunk - A Silversnow Knight with a clever ability to craft things. Lunk is helpful and kind, as well as a menacing fighter when he needs to be. Magdy Old woman, - a witch, first seen dressed in rags near the city of Doobesh. Her skin is the color of pistachio, and her nose is so long it nearly touches the tip of her chin. Often accompanied by a singing harp. Twin sister of Hagdy. Magibota - Brother of Batamogi.
Marmets - Furry little orange creatures who love cheese, the marmets infest Keeah's rooms in the palace of Jaffa City, for reasons that will be made clear only later. Mashta is, of course, the kindly and diminutive monarch who governs the Sand Children as they play in the red desert of Koomba. She is extremely helpful to the children. Mayor Tibble - Civic ruler of Lubalunda, village of the spider trolls.
Meadow Snakes - A variety of common snake in Droon. Evil spells can turn meadow snakes dangerous. Meredith - A girl who attends the same school as Eric, Julie, and Neal, and who lives down the street from them. In Book 24, The Race to Doobesh, we see her spying on the kids — and she appears to know something about Droon. She is a major character in other stories, as well.
Mibotaga - Brother of Batamogi. Michaels, Mrs. Michaels is very kindly and smart, an ideal teacher who knows nothing about Droon. First reference: Book 10, Quest for the Queen. In their youth, Ving would form a group of bandits and prey on land travelers, while Ming would take a crew of pirates and terrorize the open seas.
First reference: Book 29, Pirates of the Purple Dawn. Minky - A baby groggle, and Theesha's pet. In response to the children's kindness, Minky will later be very helpful to them. Moonfox - A talking, growling, snarling, fox-like creature with four sharp ears, bright blue fur, a snubby pink nose, and long teeth.
Julie mistakenly brings it back with her from Droon — the first time someone takes something from Droon into the Upper World. As a result, something from the Upper World goes to Droon to keep the two worlds in balance. That transfer is the springboard for the whole adventure of Book 8, The Golden Wasp. Mooples - Furry, friendly, otter-like creatures who are helpful to the extreme. Mooples live exclusively in the Everywhere Passages.
The mooples — and the Passages — reappear in later Droon adventures, even to the very last pages of the saga. Motli - First appearing to the children as a mysterious young girl, holding a candle and walking along a deserted road, Motli is someone else entirely and returns in future adventures.
Mudji - Great uncle of the Orkin Djambo. Mudji is the elder Orkin celebrated as the one who caught the single blue snowflake actually the scale of a blue serpent during the storm of a hundred years past. First reference: Book 32, The Treasure of the Orkins. Nesh Warriors - Creepy fighters in the far north of Droon, they look like skeletons with broad shoulders that are hung with icicles. They are all bones and joints, with heads no wider than their limbs.
The Nesh Warriors are also called Yugs. Nightfox - Beautiful little creature that haunts the deserts of Droon. Num - A giant creature on his own island, who tries to prevent the children from completing their voyage aboard Keeah's ship, the Jaffa Wind. Old Rolf - Essentially the leader of the three Silversnow Knights, he is seven feet tall and four feet wide at the shoulders.
Supremely courteous to Keeah and her friends, Rolf was in the ranks of Galen's army long ago in the Wizard Wars.
Om - The spirit living inside the Red Eye of Dawn. Om speaks silently to Eric, alarming him. First reference: Book 12, Under the Serpent Sea. Otli - One of three crows friendly to the mysterious Prince of Stars, Otli can change shape.
Pasha - Mysterious rug maker whose products fly, though he is not magically empowered in any way. Pasha is not seen until much later in the series, though his name and his rugs appear many times before then. He is a thin man with a very long nose, a thick black mustache, a single eyebrow, and a tall floppy hat tipped with dozens of tiny bells.
He also wears a pair of green spectacles with lenses shaped like half-moons. Pikoo - The friendly hoobah who Eric meets in Calibaz. Pikoo helps the children battle the Ninns and Sparr. Pinch - Leader of the guards in the empire of Tree Weasels. Pinch is second in command to Duke Anga, and a very thoughtful sort of animal. Pinky - Julie's pet cat, who begins to bark after Eric works some unofficial magic.
Only reference: Book 16, The Knights of Silversnow. Plundit - Captain of the Rat-faced Snitchers of Zoop. Plundit is a comical fellow, but he thinks he's pretty fierce. This is great, Eric said, peeking over Julies shoulder. We can put some of the junk in here. Julie stepped into the room and reached for the ball.
Its an awesome secret hideout. Let me see! He jumped over to Eric, accidentally pushing him into the door. It slammed shut. A muffled scream came from inside the room. Im falling! Julie was standing in the middle of the tiny room. She was staring at the floor beneath her feet. The ball was nowhere in sight. Are you okay? Eric asked. Julie pushed her way quickly out of the room. The ball went down there! Eric and Neal looked at the gray cement floor.
Then they looked back at Julie. There were steps, Julie said. And I almost fell all the way down! Where the floor is? Julie nodded. And the soccer ball went bouncing down them. Then you opened the door, and the steps sort ofdisappeared. Eric and Neal entered the little room under the stairs. Then Julie stepped back in. They stood close together.
Maybe the ball whacked you in the head, Julie, Neal said with a laugh. You just thought there were stairs. Eric looked down at the floor. There werent any steps anywhere. Julie, I dont think Im not making this up, she said.
The door was closed. And it was dark at first. Maybe then Its pretty dark already, Neal said. Dont close the door on us Slam! Julie did close the door on them. Neal grumbled. Now its very dark. Then, suddenly, it wasnt. The floor began to shimmer beneath them, and a bright light glowed under their feet.
Then whoosh! A set of steps, leading down. Leading away from the basement. Away from the house. Eric said. It looks like outside down there! Is this what you saw? Told you. The steps glowed a rainbow of colors. Julie peered over Erics shoulder. Lets go find the ball. Neal reached for the door. I dont think so.
Come on, said Eric. He wasnt sure why, but he felt as if they had to go. He stepped down to the next step. Then to the next, and the next. Already the air was brighter where he was. It was pink. And cool and fresh. This is incredible, Eric said. We have to go down. I dont think this is such a good idea, Neal said. Julie laughed. She ran to catch up with Eric.
The air smells so sweet! Hurry up, Neal. Were already ten steps ahead of you. Just below them was a forest of tall trees. The stairs led all the way down to the treetops. Eric whispered. Do you think this is some kind of magic? Theres no such thing as magic, Julie said, biting her lip.
She always did that when she didnt understand why things were happening. But this place is beautiful. Strange, too. Its sort of like a theme park. Eric stopped. What he saw coming out of the pink mist was not from any theme park hed ever been to. Uh-oh, he gasped. What do you see?
Eric was frozen on the step, pointing into the mist. Lizards, I think. In the trees? Julie asked. Thats normal. No, Eric said. Flying lizards. Big ones. With weird-looking red guys riding them Thats not so normal, Neal said. A long, flaming arrow whistled past Erics ear. Not so friendly, either!
Theyre attacking us!
Three Thwang! Another arrow flew at them. Suddenly, flying lizards were everywhere. The riders on their backs were getting their bows ready for another shot. Run back up to my house! Eric shouted. We cant! Julie said. The steps are disappearing. She pointed. The stairs were fading into the mist.
Vanishing into the pink sky. Oh, man! Neal cried. I knew this would happen! A third flaming arrow shot by. Follow me to the bottom, Eric yelled. We can hide in the trees! He rushed down, jumping two steps with every jump. But the steps were disappearing under him. He tumbled into the air. Julie screamed. Neal shouted, Grab onto the Eric didnt hear the rest. He fell like a rock through the trees. Branches snapped and cracked around him.
Eric moaned when he finally hit the ground. He lay there, facing the sky. For a second he couldnt remember where he was. Then he saw the giant lizards circling lower. They dived toward him. Holy cow! Eric tried to crawl under a bush.
My ankle! He must have hurt it in the fall. He could hardly move. The lizards swept even closer to the treetops. When they swooped, Eric saw the riders clearly. Their skin was as bright and shiny as red crayons! Oh, man, I must be dreaming! A really bad dream, too. Its bad, said a voice. But its no dream. Eric turned his head. Who said that? Suddenly the bushes before him began to move, and someone leaped out at him.
It was a girl! She was dressed in a blue tunic. A thick brown belt was wound around her waist. The lizards swooped again. The girl picked up a pebble. She threw it hard.
It hit a distant tree with a loud smack. Over there! The lizards flew away. Whoa, cool move! Eric looked into the girls green eyes. Her skin was as pale as a cloud. Butwho are you? Keeah, she said. You must be from the Upper World. How did you get here? Eric blinked when he thought of how to tell her. Iuhsort offell. You picked the worst place in all of Droon.
Lord Sparr is very close. His red Ninns are everywhere, hunting for me on their flying groggles. Lord Sparr? Eric repeated. Did you hurt yourself? The girl pressed her finger on Erics ankle. Eric grunted. Its probably sprained.
Then the girl opened a small leather pouch on her wrist. She sprinkled some sparkly dust on Erics ankle. His leg began to tingle. He moved his foot. The pains gone. How did you do that? Never mind, the girl said. She began to scribble on a piece of paper. You have to help me. Find Galen and tell him to send this message to my father, King Zello.
Youre a princess? There they are! Get them! The lizards dived suddenly toward Keeah and Eric. They flapped to the ground and their red riders leaped off. The Ninns have spotted us! Keeah cried. She pushed the wrinkled scrap of paper into Erics hand. Lord Sparr is a wizard. Hes pure evil. He will stop at nothing to conquer Droon. Now, hurry. Youll find Galen in his tower. I cant find any tower. Ive got to find my friends and get home! The girl looked into his eyes.
If youre from the Upper World, youll need help getting home. If you do this for me, I promise to help you. Now, Ill distract them while you go. Without another word, Keeah leaped away swiftly, like a cat.
The leaves fluttered above her, and Eric looked up. A strange white bird was gliding over the trees. The bird seemed to be following her. The princess! The red creatures broke branches and tore at leaves to get to Keeah.
But she only ran faster. I dont believe any of this! He scrambled up from the ground and dashed down a narrow path after the princess. A stone bridge lay ahead of him.
Maybe if he got there before the Ninns he could somehow help Keeah escape. He had to try. Eric raced toward the bridge. Get him! A hand came from nowhere. It grabbed Eric. It pulled him to the ground! Four Umph! Eric rolled over and over until he stopped under the bridge. He looked up.
He couldnt believe his eyes. I thought Id lost you mmmf! Neal put his hand over Erics mouth. Julie pointed to the top of the bridge. Those ugly red guys are up there. Eric nodded. Neal pulled his hand away. Eric started speaking as quickly and as softly as he could.
He told Neal and Julie what had happened to him. Were in someplace called Droon, he whispered. I met a princess named Keeah. She gave me a message for her father, King Zello.
Neal glanced at the paper in Erics hand, then gave him a strange look. The red guys are called Ninns, Eric continued. We have to see what theyre up to. Give me a boost!
Neal grumbled but put out his hands so Eric could hoist himself up. A moment later, Julie was next to Eric. Together they peeked over the top of the bridge. Uh-oh, Julie whispered. On the bridge were at least a dozen Ninns. Up close, their red faces were puffy and fat. Their slitty eyes were set close together. Their chins were pointed. So were their ears.
On each hand were six clawed fingers. Lord Sparr was angry! The girls too quick! And my groggles too slow. He nodded at his lizard.
A sound like a horn blasted through the forest. Then the ground rumbled. Is that a car? Neal whispered from below. Uhsort of, Julie answered.
But it wasnt like any car they had ever seen. It was long and yellow and had a bubble on top. It bounced down the road on eight fat tires. When it screeched to a stop in front of the Ninns, a tall man stepped out. He was different from the others, Eric thought. He wasnt a Ninn. His skin wasnt red, or pale like Keeahs. He was humanpretty much.
Well, except for two purple fins sticking up behind his ears. Where is the girl? His long black coat dragged heavily across the ground. The Ninns trembled. One looked up. The others helped her escape, Lord Sparr, he said.
Lord Sparrs eyes flashed in anger. And the fins behind his ears suddenly grew darker. Did you see that? Julie whispered. Hes some kind of wizard, Eric whispered back. Princess Keeah said he was pure evil. How many others? Sparr demanded. Another Ninn held up his claw. He lowered three of his six fingers. Three, my lord. Scour the forest! Burn it down if you must, but find the girl! Find her friends, too! Lord Sparr turned and stormed back to his yellow car.
The engine roared. The car tore away loudly down the road, leaving a cloud of thick blue smoke behind it. The sound of flapping groggle wings filled the forest. A moment later, Eric and his friends were alone at the bridge. Lord Sparr is definitely bad news, Julie said. And those ear fins are very weird. This whole place is weird, if you ask me, Neal said. How do we get out of here? Eric frowned. Keeah said to find somebody named Galen who lives in a tower.
If we do, she promised to help us get home. And Galen is also supposed to send this message to her father. Eric unfolded the wrinkled paper Keeah had given him. In thin blue ink, it read, Eric scratched his head. Well, this doesnt make any sense. No kidding! I mean, flying lizards, bubble cars, a guy with finds on his head? And all under your stairs, Neal added.
Eric didnt answer. He looked into the forest where he had last seen Keeah. He hoped she was safe. But something told him she wasnt. I think shes in danger, he said quietly. So are we, Julie added. Lets find this Galen guy, Neal said. The sooner we do, the sooner we get home. Theres a path this way. Neal started running along the path. He rushed into a clearing. And he bumped his nose on something that wasnt there.
Five The Vanishing Tower Oww! Neal whined, cupping his hands over his face. Then he stared at the empty space in front of him. I bumped intonothing? Eric stood next to Neal and put his hands out. No, theres something here. Something hard. Tell me about it. Its over here, too, Julie said as she walked to the other side of the clearing. Eric went around the other way. Its round. It must be some kind of whoa! As the three of them stood there, a giant tower shimmered into view.
A wooden tower. In fact, it was a tree. But when they touched it, the bark was as hard as stone. Hmm, Julie said, biting her lip. This tree has petrified. It turned to stone because its so old.
We learned about petrified trees at camp. I dont remember that, said Neal. You were too busy eating snacks, Julie said. All that hiking made me hungry, Neal said. Eric interrupted. Can you please Who dares approach the tower of Galen Longbeard! They all looked up and gasped. Crawling slowly down the side of the tower was a large spider with eight long arms and legs. Only it wasnt an ordinary spider.
It had a big, round face with large eyes and a pug nose. And bright orange hair. Neal nudged Julie. I sure dont remember anything like him at camp, he whispered. You arent Ninns! Uh, thats true, Julie said. Very true. In fact, the Ninns are after us, Eric said. And we have a message from Princess Keeah. From the princess? Then come inside quickly!
A door-sized section of the stony bark swung open. Im Max, a spider troll, he said, jumping into the tree ahead of them. We must go to the top! The three friends piled into the tree. Together, they crawled up a winding passage and into a large, round room. The room was cluttered beyond belief. Looks like your basement, Eric, Neal said.
Old leather books were stacked up everywhere. Hundreds of tiny colored bottles were collecting dust on deep wooden shelves. A big, ancient mirror leaned against one wall. And in the center of everything stood a man. He was tall and thin and very old. He wore a long blue robe and a high cone-shaped hat. His white beard hung down to his belt. Galen Longbeard, first wizard of Droon! Hes more than five hundred years old.
The old man coughed. Yes, well, welcome to my tower, he said. Then he stroked his beard. By the way, did anyone see Leep on the way up? Leep is my pilka. Uh, whats a pilka, sir?
Galen cleared his throat. Well, its ait has ait goes like He waved his arms about, trying to describe the lost thing. Oh, never mind. Leep will turn up somewhere. Now, what brings three Upper Worlders to my tower?
Eric told Galen what had happened in the forest. Here is Keeahs message. Eric handed the paper to Galen. It doesnt make sense to us. The wizard frowned. Nor to me. Hmm I was thinking, Julie said, looking at the message again. Maybe its code. So if the Ninns captured us, they wouldnt understand it.
Galen laughed. Princess Keeah knows that the Ninns are quite simple. Brains like walnuts. You might even say they are backward. Thats it! I bet Keeahs message is written backward. My sister tries that all the time. But she cant trick me! Neal scribbled out the message again, reversing the order of the letters from front to back. So he said. Does that make sense? Galens eyes flashed suddenly. Zorfendorf Castle! Lord Sparr plans to attack it tonight. I must warn King Zello immediately!
Before another word was spoken, a blue mist rose around the wizard. Sparks of light streaked through it. Then he mumbled strange sounds. An instant later zamm! He wasnt there! Eric gasped. Where did he But zamm! Galen was already back. Ive just been to Jaffa City, he said. King Zello is sending his army to defend Zorfendorf Castle. Mission accomplished!
Max chirped. Sparr is stopped for the moment. Galen turned to the children. He looked grim. You have entered a troubled world, my young friends. Tell me, how did you come to be here? Julie told him how she found the steps in the little room in Erics basement. Galen sighed deeply. Ah, the enchanted staircase.
I wondered when it would appear again. Eric blinked. So you know about the stairs? The wizard walked slowly to a glove of Droon standing against the wall. Half of the globe was dark, half light. He stared at it for a long time. Objects of unimaginable might. Fearing he would use them to take over your world, I sealed the stairs that once joined our two realms.
I didnt know we lived in a realm! Indeed you do, Galen said. But now I am old. My ancient spells grow weak. That is why the stairs are visible once again. They faded after we came down, Julie said. Max chittered excitedly. Keeah can help you find them. She has powers! Eric remembered how the princess cured his sprained ankle. Is Keeah a wizard, too? Before Galen could answer, a buzzing sound came from across the room.
Everyone turned to the old mirror. The rippled surface was flickering with a strange glow. A big-screen TV! Neal joked. How many channels do you get on this thing? I use it to keep watch over Droon, Galen said. He waved his hand, and a scene moved hazily across the surface of the glass. Like me, this mirror is old. But with it I can see most of what happens. The wizards eyes widened suddenly in fear.
Oh, dear! Whats the matter? Galen pointed at the scene coming onto the mirror. It showed a vast black castle. Lord Sparrs evil fortress! Max chittered. The mirror zoomed in on the fortress. In the courtyard were two red Ninns. Between them was a girl, struggling to get free. Its Keeah! Eric cried. The Ninns must have captured her in the woods. And now she was a prisoner of Lord Sparr! Six The forbidden city of Plud, Max said.
The Ninns have taken Princess Keeah to Plud! Eric stared at the mirror. She seems really afraid. What are we going to do? We must go to her! Galen said, pulling a large sword down from the wall. Plud is an evil place. It is where Keeahs mother, Queen Relna, fought her last battle against Sparr. Neal shivered. You mean, shes dead? She was never seen again, Galen said as he slid the sword into his belt.
But that is not the worst of it. Sparr now seeks from Keeah the Red Eye of Dawn. It is one of the Three Powers I told you about. It is a jewel that commands the forces of nature. Does Keeah have it? Galen grabbed a helmet from a shelf. I do not know. Even Keeah doesnt know. To stop Sparr from using the Powers for evil, I cast them to the winds and charmed them to change their shapes.
No one knows what they have become. But Sparr will stop at nothing to have them again! Max chittered, scurrying toward the passage to the ground. I fear for Keeah. Wait, Julie said, turning back. The mirror. The hazy glass showed a city of bright towers as light and sunny as Plud was dark.
In the distance, a black cloud of groggles was descending. Sparr has tricked us! Galen boomed. His Ninns are attacking Jaffa City! Oh, I hope the princess can defend herself against Sparr until I return.
I must go to Jaffa this instant. Wait, said Eric, turning to his friends. Keeah helped me in the forest. And she was going to get us home. Now shes in trouble.