Within the marble halls of her NeoHome, Emerald lounged
languidly on her new Kauvara sofa absorbing the heat from a freshly made fire.
With thick snow on the ground and dark clouds on the horizon, it seemed this would
be a good day for staying indoors. She yawned and glanced at the book on her coffee
table. "Illusen's Ixi," it read along with a picture of the Earth Faerie's bright
white smile. Emerald sighed internally and shifted her gaze to the flames. She
was so hypnotized by their dancing that she didn't notice her companion padding
up behind her. He looked past her impish body and into the flames as well.
"Beautiful. Aren't they? How they sway and swirl…"
Emerald started a little then smiled lovingly.
She turned to face him and ruffled the fur between his ears with her long fingers.
"You'd think that I had the hearing of a JubJub,"
she said. Legend smiled wolfishly.
"What were you thinking about?" he asked.
"The… duality." She paused. "You know -- how
it can be beautiful and beneficial, or it can be dreadful and destructive."
"…Like a darkness Faerie," Legend quipped --
expecting a reproachful glance, knowing Emerald respected all faeries. Her mother,
in fact, was one.
But Emerald turned slowly back to the fire,
her eyes intense, and murmured, "Yes… I suppose so."
Legend walked around the table and lay on the
velvety rug by the fireplace. He stretched, and his thick fur ruffled. Its silver
sheen reflected light from the fire onto the walls and high ceiling, making
it appear as though the Lupe himself were a source of light and warmth. The
sight reminded Emerald of the day not long ago that he returned home. When he
had left (adventure seeking, of course), his coat was flame colored; a gift
from a Fire Faerie he had rescued from Balthazar; but that cool, wet autumn
night he returned, his fur was a glorious silver; with the rain running off
of it heedlessly and the dim nightly lights making him seem to almost glow.
Emerald smiled slightly in her reverie, pondering how glad she was that he had
come home and how proud she was of all his courageous deeds. Legend yawned then
furrowed his brow as a thought struck him.
"Emerald… have you noticed a difference in the
moon lately?" Emerald's smile faded slightly.
"The moon…" she whispered mournfully.
"Yes. Doesn't it seem a tad… duller than usual?
Lacking a certain luster I suppose." Legend searched his friend's face for the
secret of her true reflections. He knew he had hit upon something troubling,
but what that was remained an enigma. He glanced down at the Lupe Moon Charm
that hung loosely about his neck and now rested on the floor. The craftsmanship
was wondrous. Gold and silver metals entwined with veins of a white, shimmery
ore all molded into the shape of a crescent moon. In the center, printed in
the Faerie language, the symbol for purity was engraved. He gazed at it longingly.
This charm represented the moon as it should be-- a goddess among the heavens;
not a shadow of its former glory as it had appeared more recently. Legend would
wait no longer while his best friend kept secrets from him. He frowned and sat
up, his charm swinging with his motions and glinting in the ever-dimming firelight.
"Emerald, why has the moon changed? I know that
you know; at least more than I." Emerald raised herself and sat with her arms
about her knees, looking downward at her auburn braids that had slipped forward
and were now tickling her raised feet. She rocked forward and backward a couple
of times before brushing her hair aside and turning to face her Lupe friend.
"There is a story," she began, "about a Faerie
that has lost her wings. She now lacks magic and all there is that makes her
a Faerie I suppose, barring lineage. My mother spoke of her to me not long ago.
Her name is Baelia. She is known in the common tongue as the grey Faerie" Emerald
paused, obviously pained. She sighed and continued.
"Baelia was a legend among the faeries. She
was secretive and quiet, so seldom seen that some thought she did not exist.
Though when approached, she was not at all cold- just… solitary. She went about
her daily duties unfailingly. What those duties were, no one but she and Fyora
can truly tell. It is rumored that she was the Faerie of the night- tirelessly
keeping the moon constant in its cycles, in order to control the seas and the
creatures of dusk; the orb shining ever brighter every eventide due to her magic.
You see- the Space Faerie is much too busy in the far reaches of Neopia to deal
with matters such as this." A wistful expression passed Emerald's eyes. Legend
stood then walked slowly closer and nuzzled his nose against her thigh. He rested
his silvery head in her lap and looked up into her eyes questioningly.
"Tell me about her," he pleaded. The halfling
"It is said that her beauty was breathtaking
-- cloaked in a silver shift with a choker of moonstone and gauntlets of steel.
Her hair shone white, as if spun from rays of moonlight itself and her eyes
were bright sapphire, glinting with intelligence, kindness, and power." Legend
envisioned this Moon Faerie and was immediately awestruck.
The fire, quickly dying, sputtered and sparked
in a final effort to emit light. The flash once again reflected off of Legend's
fur, causing Emerald to frown. She put her arms around his neck all of a sudden
and hugged him tightly. Her eyes began to tear and she snuggled her face in
"I was so worried about you… the day you left
I was confident you would be okay, but the day the moon faded, I feared something
horrible had happened…" She sobbed lightly and Legend put his paw on her back.
"I was afraid something bad had happened too.
That is why I came home. Yet you still will not tell me what DID happen," he
whispered. Emerald sniffled and looked up into his dark eyes.
"Neither will you… your fur -- it has changed,
and I cannot fathom how. The moon has lost its brightness, yet you have gained
it tenfold." Legend looked away almost sheepishly.
"It is a secret. I cannot tell you. I'm sorry."
Emerald looked sullen and, unnatural to her character, she pouted a little.
She leaned back on the sofa and breathed deeply. Staring at the ceiling and
feeling a bit defeated, she continued her story.
"My mother said that she had met Baelia once.
One night, just before she went to sleep, something strange happened. She lay
in the curve of a large leaf, the sky a shimmering blanket of small lights above
her. It almost seemed the moon and stars were brighter than usual. As she was
about to drift into slumber, a glittering of faint light caught her eye. It
was nearby, slowly floating towards a clearing full of fragrant wildflowers.
Curiosity struck my mother, for she had never seen such a pale, glowing figure.
Light faeries seldom wandered into her realm, and they were always much brighter.
She raised herself and followed it." Emerald paused and stretched.
"I'm not boring you am I?" she asked her friend,
for he had been staring into space.
"No… I am only wondering what could have caused
such a glorious Faerie to fall."
"I am getting to that. My mother is lucky enough
to know more than most faeries about Baelia, the grey one." Legend nodded and
turned his attention back to the halfling.
"When my mother reached the field, the glow
had almost disappeared, hidden under the leaves and petals of the flora. She
lowered herself to the ground and walked amongst the stems and thin blades of
grass, ever following the pale light. Soon she had to run to keep up with it,
for it was moving faster than she could walk or even fly around the many obstacles
ahead of her. But all of a sudden, the figure stopped, and my mother slowed,
creeping closer, quietly, unnoticed. When she reached the pale Faerie, she knew
that it was unlike any kind she had seen before. In wonder, my mother whispered,
'She is special… Like Fyora or Taelia…' The shining figure sat down on her knees.
She bent over, digging at the dirt. Finally, she unearthed a shimmering orb.
It was tiny in a Neopets' eyes, a perfect size for a Faerie necklace or charm.
Baelia looked at it lovingly and held it with both hands, clasping them against
her chest. My mother was confused, not only at the sight of this strange Faerie,
but also at what was happening before her. As she walked slowly forward to get
a closer look, she stumbled on a pebble and kicked it forward, all the way to
Baelia's feet. The silver Faerie turned, startled, and whispered, 'Who is there?!'
Mother walked towards her, embarrassed. 'I'm sorry I was spying… I am Solara.
I have never seen a Faerie as beautiful as you, except for our Queen. What is
'Baelia. Faerie of the Silver Shadows,' she
muttered. There then was a chilly silence before Baelia once more held tight
the shimmering orb in her hands. Small rays of light escaped through the cracks
between her fingers. As the silver Faerie looked downward, Mother walked towards
Baelia slowly. She tilted her head slightly and asked with a faint smile, 'Was
that a present?' Baelia was startled at my mother's stealthy advance and took
a step back. 'Yes. The most special of all presents,' she stuttered, with a
slight melancholy tone. Obviously the stone was quite precious to her, and my
mother pressed the issue no farther. She bowed deeply and took a few paces backwards.
'I am pleased to have met you Baelia. Whatever secret you are afraid of being
revealed, it is safe with me and these woods that surround you. I now bid you
farewell. May we meet again someday.' Baelia let her hands drop to her sides
as a sign of trust and understanding. She bowed back and held up her empty hand
Mother then went home but could not sleep. She
worried constantly about the stone that Baelia kept hidden there. Days passed-
then months, then years, but mother never forgot. She frequently visited the
spot where they had met, and sometimes kept a silent watch over the wildflower
field. Not long ago, Mother told me that dark faeries had been slinking about
her woods. She was suspicious but could prove no wrongdoing on their part, so
she let them go without argument. Then the moon faded, and soon after, word
among the faeries was that Baelia had been abducted." Emerald paused and rolled
onto her side, her left cheek pressed against a plush blue pillow. Legend's
dark eyes searched her green ones for what she might say next. So many thoughts
were on his mind that he could not focus. He felt a knot of tension in his chest,
causing his breathing to become more rapid. He knew Emerald sensed his anxiety,
he was only hoping she could not figure out why.
"You know what I think? I think it's pretty
obvious those faeries were searching for her stone. It must be incredibly powerful…
I wonder what it does…" Emerald closed her eyes for a moment, daydreaming of
white light and secret powers. Then she looked at Legend. Her eyes were serious
-- dark and brooding. Legend's heart raced.
"What do you think, friend?" she asked him.
The silver Lupe looked away.
"I don't know."
"Surely you have an opinion or a thought. Don't
keep everything secret from me." Her last statement was almost a demand, her
words gruff and hurtful. Legend searched his mind for an escape route.
"So no one really knows how Baelia lost her
magic?" Emerald sighed.
"No. Well… no one but her and her captor I suppose."
Legend stretched and yawned. He glanced out the window, finding it to be devoid
of any light. Night had come since the beginning of Emerald's story. Snow was
falling again and collecting thickly on the windowsill. The Lupe yawned again
"This dreary weather is making me sleepy. Thank
you for the story Emerald. Goodnight." He nuzzled her shoulder and padded down
the hall to his bedroom. Emerald knew something was up but was determined not
to arouse his suspicions any further. If he would not tell her openly, then
it was important and perhaps dangerous. She wondered what connection Legend
could have with any part of her story. Her mind raced as she thought over and
over about what she should do. She finally determined that if something were
going to happen, Legend would have to make a move, so that she could follow
In his bedroom, Legend paced, his glittering
moon charm swaying with each step. He walked to the armoire beside his bed and
stared at it. He closed his eyes as he opened the doors to the top shelf. As
he pulled the doors apart, light spilled from the chest. The brightness nearly
filled the cozy room and Legend was temporarily blinded as he reached in and
grabbed the small, spherical stone, placing it in a fold of velvet fabric and
then into a drawstring pouch, which he slung over one shoulder. His mind was
set on his quest though his heart ached to leave again. His expression grim-
he slid open the window in his room. Snow blew in unhindered and started to
collect at his clawed feet. Legend shivered a bit in the cold breeze and sighed.
"I have to find Baelia. If this is truly hers,
then she must have it back!"
Emerald watched him from outside, behind a withered
heart fruit tree. She felt furious and betrayed. As Legend stepped into the
deep snow outside his window, his laden pouch gently fell from his shoulder.
He immediately pounced on it and looked side to side, suspiciously eying the
shadows around him. As he swung it back into place, Emerald saw a ray of light
escape the small leather bag, and in an instant, she was stricken with the answer
to her many questions as of late. She shook her head in disbelief and stood
completely erect. To herself and the shadows she said, "I will not stop you
on your mission -- but you will not go alone this time."