Illusen's Glade in the Meridell countryside was quiet. Only
the rustling leaves and soft, wayward breeze added to the music of stillness.
Birds made their nests here, because of the protection that the Earth Faerie,
Lady Illusen, ensured with her magic. The Faerie herself sat in her Tree, throughout
which wound her house, but Illusen often preferred to sit outside on one of the
sturdy boughs. She had her back against the trunk and in her hands was her warm
reddish-chestnut and rich emerald-green hair, which she was playing with idly.
The sound of galloping paws over dried
leaves caught Illusen's attention towards the grassy, leaf-strewn floor surrounding
her house. She looked down and saw two Eyries looking up at her with big, expressive
"Lady Illusen, we need your help!" said
one of the Eyries, his apricot-colored fur glistening in the sunshine.
Illusen jumped down from her perch onto
the ground, gracefully as Faeries are, and landed in a crouch then standing
up straight. She lowered her eyes so her green eyelids showed. In her left hand,
she delicately held her wand, which was a mere twisted branch infused with magic.
"What troubles you, children?" she asked,
her voice low, rich, and gravely.
"There is a group of Peophins and Kois
who are tangled in this horrible net. We couldn't free them because this net
has magic in it. It burns when touched," said the blue Eyrie. "Please come and
help us free them!"
Illusen blinked in surprise. What net
burns when touched? "Where is this net?"
"It's in the waters near Maraqua. The
water is deep, but the net is light so it floats. The sea there is turbulent."
The blue Eyrie, Blueberry, shifted her paws and wings, as if troubled by some
"There is something that you're not telling
me." Illusen's voice was calm and she knelt down so she could look them both
in the eyes.
The gold Eyrie, Blueberry's brother,
Flaxen, answered, "We think the net may be magic."
"But Faerie magic doesn't cause harm
"We think it's bad magic." His eyes darted
back and forth as if a spy could be listening.
"You mean Jhudora?" Flaxen and Blueberry
shivered in response to the Dark Faerie's name. "I will help you, but you also
must help me."
The Eyries nodded vigorously. Illusen
cupped her hand underneath Blueberry's beak. "You must go to the Healing Springs
in Faerieland. There is a Water Faerie there. Her name is Naiya. Tell her that
I have sent you and then you must tell her where the net is and accompany her
to it. Make sure she takes her wand."
Blueberry nodded, understanding. She was
pleased at Illusen sending her to such a benevolent Faerie. "I will go at once,
Lady Illusen." The Eyrie turned and flew off towards Faerieland as fast as she
Illusen turned her cool gaze to the gold
Eyrie before her. "Please lead me to this net. If this is Jhudora's work, it
will not last against my magic." Illusen smiled, knowing the limits of her magic
surpassed that of the Dark Faerie's because it was magic of light, rather than
Illusen flapped her four large green leaf-shaped
wings in order to stretch them. Flaxen unfurled his own feathers and took off,
pawing the air. Together they flew towards the swirling sea near the underwater
city of Maraqua.
Meanwhile, Blueberry had to fly to the
clouds of Faerieland. Outside of Faerie City, lay the Healing Springs. She found
the Water Faerie sitting at the edge of the springs, her light blue scaly mermaid
tail was dipped in the waters, swirling the surface gently. She was talking
to another Water Faerie, the keeper of the Rainbow Fountain. They looked like
twins, both with mermaid tails. The Faeries looked Blueberry in surprise.
"Are you ill, child?" the Water Faerie
"Are you Naiya?" Blueberry replied.
The Water Faerie blinked her large, almond
sky-blue eyes, showing her lids the same color. "Yes, I am Lady Naiya. How do
you know my name?"
"Lady Illusen sent me."
Both Faeries stared at Blueberry. "Illusen
sent you?" Naiya asked. "Are you on a quest?"
"No. There is a group of Peophins and
Kois entangled in a net that burns to the touch. It may be the magic of Jhudora."
The Rainbow Fountain Faerie looked startled
at the sound of the name. Jhudora's magic sometimes plagued Neopians and cleaning
up the mess Jhudora left was always a headache for the other Faeries.
"Illusen wants my help?"
"Yes. She asked for you to bring your
The Faerie nodded. Her sister looked at
Blueberry with eyes that mirrored Illusen's own. "I will go as well. I am Chailyn."
The two Water Faeries slipped their tails out from the water. Chailyn turned
to her sister and spoke with her in a Faerie tongue. Then they both began to
The little blue Eyrie panicked, remembering
that Illusen had asked her to accompany her to the sea. "Lady Naiya! Lady Chailyn!
Please don't leave! I'm supposed to accompany you."
The Faeries stopped fading. They stopped
their traveling spell.
"Oh, then come with us." Naiya said,
gesturing for the young Eyrie to it in her lap. Blueberry did as she was told.
Despite the fact that Naiya spent most of her time in water and she had very
smooth light blue scales on her tail, her lap was quite warm and comfortable.
Naiya wrapped her pale arms around Blueberry, making her cascading blonde hair
fall onto Blueberry's back like a blanket. They quickly faded until they vanished
completely in a swirl of periwinkle smoke.
A small boat rented from Mystery Island
was filled with some worried Neopians, a purple Lupe, a red-orange Kougra, and
a green Ixi. Flaxen and Illusen arrived just as the boat did. Flaxen swooped
down into the boat to rest. Illusen, being a Faerie, could hover over the water
and could fly over very long distances without tiring. A violet Flotsam swam
fast near the surface of the water, with Naiya, Chailyn, and Blueberry riding
comfortably on its back. The Flotsam swam next to the boat, letting Blueberry
jump in next to her brother. Naiya and Chailyn slid off the Flotsam's back into
Illusen hovered over the frothing water.
The net was purple with an orange light glaring on it. Glimpses of Peophin flippers
and fins arced above the waves while the cries of frightened Kois lashed out
from under them. The net buzzed and in response, the Kois and Peophins screamed.
Naiya and Chailyn stared at them, tears brimming in their horrified eyes.
"We have to stop them from writhing.
It only tangles them more," Illusen said.
Naiya and Chailyn dove beneath the water.
They spoke in the Water tongue, the sound resembling that of humpback whale
songs. Soon the thrashing stopped and the Peophins raised their heads above
the surface. The Peophin and Koi fins moved slowly only enough to keep them
where they were. Despite that they were no longer thrashing against it, the
net scored deep into their flesh, clouding the water with blood. Illusen tried
levitating the net off of a Peophin nearest her, but it did not budge.
"This is Jhudora's work and one of her
most powerful spells," Illusen said to the general area of her sisters. "The
three of us will have to work together to destroy the net."
Naiya and Chailyn nodded and thrust their
intricately decorated crystalline staffs out of the water. Illusen turned to
the boat full of anxious Neopets.
"Can you fit them in the boat?" she asked.
"We can fit about half. But the Kois,
they can't be out of the water very long. They're fish," Flaxen's voice quivered.
"Then we'll have to use a spell to get
them to the Healing Springs and the Rainbow Fountain. Stand by in case some
need to be transported if the spell doesn't work right."
The Neopets did not have much of a choice.
They watched wide-eyed as the three Faeries moved so they made a triangle around
the net and spread their arms out. They began chanting in a language known only
to Faeries; no Neopet could even attempt to imitate it. The magic wielded between
the sisters turned a vivid blue-green and pulsed like electricity, growing louder
and louder. The orange light of the net dimmed until it finally vanished. The
net itself began to fall apart and disintegrate in the water, like dissolving
sugar in coffee.
The injured Neopets gasped for air, struggling
through the pain to keep moving so they wouldn't sink. The Faeries continued
to chant, but in a softer unified voice, until every last wounded Koi and Peophin
faded out of sight. Right after, the Faeries let out one big sigh, as though
exhausted. Naiya and Chailyn disappeared as well, to their chosen waters, to
oversee the healing of the Neopets.
Illusen, who did not return to her home
like her sisters, stopped hovering and stood up, standing on the surface of
the water as if it was dry earth. Instantly, the waters smoothed so they resembled
a tranquil sheet of glass. Her fair skin had a lavender tint to it from her
exhaustion and her eyes were cloudy. She slowly walked towards the boat, stepped
into it, and collapsed.
"Lady Illusen! Lady Illusen!" cried Flaxen,
Blueberry, and the other Neopets. "Lady Illusen! Are you hurt?"
Illusen opened her eyes, as though they
were fluttering butterfly wings. They were a little less cloudy now. "No, children,
I am not hurt. I am just tired. Please take me to my Glade. I must rest there."
Illusen's eyes closed again and she fell asleep with her chestnut and green
hair tumbling out all around her. Held limply in her hand was her wand, spilling
little green and yellow glitter onto the boat floor.
The Neopets promptly delivered the exhausted
Earth Faerie to the shore of Meridell, moving from the boat to litter buoyed
by strong yellow Gelerts and big-pawed Lupes when they reached land. The troupe
of loyal Neopets bypassed curious onlookers, who were stunned at seeing Illusen
sleeping like that, in such beautiful disarray. The Neopets left when they reached
her Glade, except for Flaxen and Blueberry, who personally carried their Lady
into her huge, unlocked house and laid her on her autumn leaf-colored bed and
waited for her to wake up.
Illusen's house was a beautiful tree,
where everything looked as if it was grown rather than built, into spirals and
twists and knots. Green was Illusen's color, so various shades filled the room,
offset by breaks of violet and that of autumn leaves or sunset. On a shelf near
a window was a first edition of Illusen's Novel, one of her combs, and a vessel
of her magic Potion. Her cabinets were stocked with her famous cream cookies
and lots of healthy food. The walls throughout the house were covered with hundreds
of plants, vines, and flowers, where they continued to grow outside, crawling
down the tree trunk like blossoming hands.
When Illusen finally stirred, the two
Eyries woke up from their sunlit doze and scurried to her bedside. When Illusen
opened her cleared eyes, Blueberry was sitting next to her on her bed with a
glass of iced spring water with thin slices of orange floating in it and a crystalline
plate heaped with organic red and green grapes, apple slices, and chunks of
Vegan cheese. Flaxen helped Illusen sit up while Blueberry handed her the glass.
"Why are you still here, children? Your
friends have gone off long ago to play," Illusen said, her voice soft and unhurried,
though a bit surprised.
"We wanted to make sure you were all
right, my Lady," Blueberry said.
"Yes. You helped us when we asked. Now
it is our turn to help you," Flaxen said.
Illusen took a sip of the water and smiled
when the swirl of orange tickled her tongue. "Where is my wand?"
"It's here on the table," Flaxen said.
He gestured towards the bedside nightstand painted with leaves and Illusen's
wavy green symbol. Her wand had stopped spilling glitter everywhere finally,
so it looked again like a simple tree branch with a leaf still on it.
"Thank you very much for staying with
me. You have no idea how lonely I can get way out here in Meridell." Illusen's
calm voice was edged with a very old sort of sadness.
"You are lonely, Lady Illusen?" asked
Blueberry. "Then why don't you live in Faerieland with your sisters?"
"Jhudora lives in Faerieland too. She
and the Dark Faeries and I do not get along since I have always foiled their
magic for hundreds of years. Jhudora was probably testing me with that net,
to see the extent of my powers."
"You could live with the Faeries on other
lands," Flaxen offered.
"I could. Mystery Island is green and
Jhuidah is very crafty with her cauldron, but it is too humid and noisy there.
Taelia and Terran, the Negg Faerie, live in a world that is just too cold for
me. The others… I love them all, but I require quiet, peace, grassy fields,
the chance to make things grow, and the wide open sky. The Soup Kitchen Faerie,
Hermione, and the Space Faerie, Kailani, sometimes visit me when they have time
spared from their duties. It's been years since I've seen the Faerie Queen,
Fyora, but I've become used to being alone. Why else would I stay in Meridell?"
A smile tugged at Illusen's bright green mouth.
Flaxen and Blueberry grinned too. Meridell
was certainly a place to find some peace and quiet, even though that peace and
quiet often strayed into boredom. Illusen ate the food that Blueberry had whipped
up for her, grateful for the Eyries' company. When she finished, she stood up
slowly to stretch and carried the plate into the kitchen, down a set of spiraling
stairs. Blueberry jumped off of Illusen's bed and followed her brother downstairs.
They found Illusen untangling her sleep-tousled hair with her mint ice cream-colored
comb. She looked at them with smiling eyes and pointed to a plate full of a
variety of cookies and two tall glasses of fresh Kau milk laid out on her kitchen
"Help yourselves, children," she said.
"They're freshly made." Flaxen and Blueberry were yet again floored by the wonders
of Faerie magic.
Later that day, after Flaxen and Blueberry
walked out of the leaf-shaped door, they looked around for any sight of Illusen
in the house. They backed up to see the house in full and saw her sitting up
in one of her favorite perches: a hollow bough that shot up out of the top leaves
of the tree like a chimney, a great scouting place. Illusen had changed her
clothes into a fresh short green dress that looked elegantly tattered, her fingerless
gloves, her sturdy earth-colored boots, and had braided a lock of her chestnut
hair. She looked out towards them with a glowing light in her eyes, a smile
of an Earth Faerie Lady who found some loyal friends that proved she has passed
Jhudora's test and had made her light-filled magic shine bright.