"Miss, um, Miss Faerie?" a quiet voice called. The Soup
Faerie looked around until she felt a tug on her apron. Looking down, she saw
that the voice belonged to a little striped Korbat.
A smile spread across the faerie's face. "Yes?
Looking for some soup?"
"No ma'am, my owner keeps me well fed," she
said shyly. "I was jus' wonderin'… Well, I've heard you're good friends with
the great Fyora, and I'm hopin' you could tell me how to fin' her. I've got
a question for her, see?"
The Soup Faerie suppressed a giggle at the Korbat's
adorable way of talking. "Well, Fyora's a little hard to keep track of. I might
be able to answer your question, though. What's your name, little one?"
"My name's Elinaria, but everyone calls me Ellie
'cause Elinaria's a mouthful."
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Ellie. What's
"Well, the other day, I was just wonderin' where
exactly the Snowager came from," Ellie blurted.
The Soup Faerie let out an involuntary gasp.
"Wager," she breathed.
"You know the Snowager?" Ellie squealed.
"I knew him. I knew him before he was known
"Really?" the Korbat asked, her eyes wide. "What
was he like?"
* * *
"Hi, Wager! I haven't seen you for a few days.
Have your fortunes finally improved?" The Soup Faerie beamed, handing a large
bowl of hot steaming soup to a small blue Hissi.
"I got a new owner again," the Hissi answered
in a depressed voice. "She had too much money to let us eat here, but she always
forgot to feed us… or just didn't want to take the time. Now she's broke."
"Don't worry, Wager, I'm sure your luck will
turn around soon."
"I've heard her talking about putting me up
for adoption," Wager grumbled. "I know I wouldn't keep getting abandoned if
I wasn't so ugly."
"You're not ugly. You're just… unique," the
faerie said, putting a hand on his head.
Wager shrugged it off. "I am ugly. Why else
is there no one else that looks like me? Why am I the only Hissi?"
The Soup Faerie searched her mind frantically
for a good answer. "You… maybe… more are coming. Do you remember where you came
The Hissi shook his head in silence.
She gave him a sad smile and gently lifted his
chin up with her fingers. "Keep your chin up. This can't last forever. Just
don't forget to come and visit me when you're rich and famous."
Wager gave her a shaky smile and handed her
his empty bowl. "Thanks. I won't ever forget you."
* * *
The next day, a little blue Hissi slithered
to the Soup Kitchen as fast as he could, unable to contain his glee. In his
excitement, he almost knocked the Soup Faerie over.
"You were right! My luck's finally changed!
I got a new owner and he's really nice. He bought me a new toy! I've never had
a toy of my very own before! And, and, and he said I'll get to meet my brother
and sister soon! And we have a Neohome! And he showed me this really cool place
called the Money Tree and I got something from there! My owner says I'm really
The faerie laughed. "I'm glad you haven't forgotten
me in all your rich and famousness."
Wager scrunched his nose up. "Well, I'm not
really rich… or famous… But, oh, I've always dreamed of an owner like this!"
"Well, I'm just glad you're happy, little one."
"I will be rich, though. You'll see. My owner
says that since I'm so good at getting things there, we'll be rich in no time,"
Wager said with a determined nod as he scurried off again.
* * *
Once again, about a week later, the Soup Faerie
saw the little Hissi speeding towards her, this time with a bag gripped in his
mouth. As soon as he reached her, he released the bag, spilling its contents
at her feet. She picked up one of the items; it was a Baby Blumaroo Plushie.
"What's all this, Wager?"
"It's my loot." He smiled. "My owner's been
taking me to that tree a lot. He said I could keep some of the stuff that wasn't
worth as much."
Wasn't worth as much? the Soup Faerie
thought. That plushie has to be worth almost 50,000 neopoints!
"Well, are you here for some soup?" the faerie
"Wow, I am pretty hungry. I don't think I've
eaten since last time I was here. My owner has kept me busy. I'd love some."
The faerie quickly spooned some into a bowl,
a worried frown beginning to take shape on her face.
"Oh, wait," Wager said with a grin. "I'm much
too rich to eat here. I'll just go ask my owner for some food."
The Soup Faerie stopped. "Oh… alright… if you're
But Wager had already left.
* * *
It was a few weeks before the Soup Faerie saw
Wager again. Only this time, he wasn't hurrying and it seemed like moving was
a big effort. When he finally got closer, she saw that he was pale and skinny
from lack of food.
"Wager! How long has it been since you've eaten?"
The Hissi replied with a hardly visible shoulder
shrug. The faerie scooped him into her arms and placed him in a large bed inside
the kitchen. She sent for someone to bring him a bowl of soup and set to nursing
him back to health.
Soon, Wager was able to sit up and explain what
"After I saw you, I went back home for some
food. My owner said I could have some if I got more things from the Money Tree.
I did, but I never got any food, and he stopped letting me keep anything. Then,
when I got to weak to get anything from the Tree, my family started talking
about abandoning me. I couldn't stand being abandoned again. I could end up
with an even worse owner. So I ran away. I took as much stuff as I could carry
and came here."
"Oh, Wager, I'm so sorry-" the Soup Faerie said
He stopped her. "Don't be. My owner taught me
something important: don't trust anyone. Depend only on yourself. I don't need
him, I don't need anyone. Well, I still need you, you have to feed me. I have
the Money Tree for anything else I want."
Had it been anyone but Wager, the Soup Faerie
would have been livid at the thought of being used like that, but, she felt
so sorry for the unlucky little pet that she ignored it. She had no idea how
much she would regret it later.
"Don't worry, Wager. I'll take care of you,"
she said as he closed his eyes to sleep.
* * *
As soon as he was well enough to leave, Wager
headed back out to the Money Tree. The Soup Faerie saw him every day, when he
came for a bowl of soup. Right before her eyes, she saw her favorite little
Hissi transform into a greedy monster.
And every day, she put on a fake smile and handed
him another bowl of soup.
Finally, on the day she tried to see what he
was collecting from the Tree, she saw what a beast he had become. She knew she
should have done something, but by then, it was too late.
"What's in your bag, Wager?"
"Oh, just today's loot. I keep all the rest
hidden in Terror Mountain," he replied with a smirk.
"Well then, what's today's loot look like?"
she asked, opening the bulging bag. Inside, she saw piles of codestones, bottled
faeries, neggs, and various other items worth even more. Her eyes widened as
she reached in to pull out one of the faeries. Suddenly, Wager's tail came crashing
onto her hand. She pulled away in shock.
"What was that for?"
"No one's allowed to touch my stash," he replied
with a glare.
A tear formed in her eye, not from the pain,
but for what he had done. "Well, I think you have plenty of money to buy food
with. You won't need soup here any more."
Wager fumed. "Fine." He finally spat. "I might
be back to visit. If I have any time."
After he left, the Soup Faerie looked at the
hand that he hit. It still held the bottled light faerie. She pulled out the
stopper and released her, watching her fly to freedom.
He never came back.
* * *
"Fyora! What are you doing here?" the Soup Faerie
asked in surprise. The Faerie Queen rarely came to the soup kitchen.
"It has to do with a certain light faerie. She
claims you released her. And she carried news of a pet taking everything the
Money Tree gets. She says you might know something about him."
The Soup Faerie looked at the ground, unable
to meet Fyora's eyes.
The Queen sighed. "I thought so… Do you want
to tell me anything about him before I… deal with him?"
The Soup Faerie looked up, a mournful look on
her face. "Please. It's not his fault. Don't-"
"I have to do something. I'm sorry. The Money
Tree has tried to talk to him twice. He won't stop."
"I'll do what I can, but I can't promise much,"
the Queen apologized, turning and flying away.
Unknown to her, the Soup Faerie followed silently
They flew into the Terror Mountain Ice Caves
and found Wager hauling another load of items to his hoard. The Faerie Queen
flew down in front of him while the Soup Faerie hid behind a nearby boulder.
Wager's eyes filled with anger at Fyora's descent.
"What are you doing here? Come to steal my loot, I'll guess."
The Queen met his glare. "No, I have not. You've
just showed me what I came to see. You're completely heartless, obsessed with
money and items. Become what you really are: a cold, heartless monster. From
now on, you will be known as Snowager."
The Soup Faerie watched in horror as her friend
was surrounded in a purple glow. He grew and his blue skin turned to ice. "NO!"
she screamed, stepping out from hiding.
Snowager and Fyora both stared at her in shock.
The Queen finally spoke. "It's too late. He's forever cursed to sleep three
times each day, unable to protect his treasure, and watch it get taken, little
by little. There's nothing you can do."
The Soup Faerie burst into tears. "I'm sorry,
Wager, I'm sorry."
The Snowager gave the Soup Faerie a look full
of uncertainty, almost regret.
"But," she addressed Snowager. "Because of your
friend, you don't have to stay like this forever. If you ever truly change,
if you start caring for others, you'll become Wager again."
As Fyora flew off, the Soup Faerie walked up
to Wager and placed a hand on his cold side. "I know someday you'll be my little
* * *
"I don't understan'. How d'you know he won't
always be the Snowager?" Ellie asked.
The Soup Faerie gave her a small smile. "Because