A Faerie Tale: War - Part One
The Faeries came to Neopia in turmoil, with the drums of their hearts beating towards war. They were scattered, divided, fractured, and most importantly; angry. Sister fought sister, element fought element, and magic rebounded against magic. No Neopets know why, and no Faeries dare tell of the truth. Where they came from, why they fought, all has been lost to history.
For years, the Faeries waged war upon each other, lighting up the sky with flames of destruction, watched on by the fledgling Neopets.
Then it changed, when she arrived.
She united her people, allowed them to see past the mere differences of elements, allowed them to see how similar they were inside. The drums of war ceased, replaced with strings of harmony. With her crowning, Fyora ushered in a new eternity of peace for the Faeries.
But nothing lasts forever, least of all an eternity.
The war drums beat once more.
Illusen watched as the single crisp leaf fell from the tree. It was autumn, and the hues of red and brown filled her glade. She was an Earth Faerie, so keeping the glade in a constant state of summer green would have been no effort. But Illusen understood nature, perhaps better than anyone. She knew interfering in such basic things as the blooming of trees could send ripples across the entire planet. So she allowed the progress of the seasons to touch her glade. The leaves would fall, the bitter winter wind would whistle through her tree house, and then spring’s bloom would arrive once more.
The leaf touched the glade’s floor lightly, before being swept up in a sudden breeze that sent a shiver down the Earth Faerie’s spine. Or perhaps it wasn’t the breeze that had done it...
“What are you doing here?” she asked calmly, slowly turning around.
There was a Faerie stood in the entrance to Illusen’s private little glade, the curved branches of the forest shrouding her in shadow. Not that she needed to be shrouded. She was dark, covered in the poisonous hues of purple. She smiled an evil grin at Illusen, but didn’t say a word.
“I asked you a question!” Illusen said, raising her voice with force.
The Earth Faerie clenched her fists in anger. She’d left Faerieland to get away from her, from her schemes. Why did she have to torment her, even here?
The Dark Faerie’s grin widened, and there was a glint of fire in her eyes. Illusen couldn’t help but look into them... but what she saw was unbearable.
Visions of fire... of smoke... of war.
The Earth Faerie collapsed to her knees.
“Jhudora!” she gasped. “What are you planning?”
There was no response. The breeze picked up again, and the Dark Faerie faded from view.
Illusen sat alone in her glade in silence, tears running down her cheeks. She understood what had happened; Jhudora hadn’t really been standing before her at all. The forest had shown her a vision, a vision of her old adversary and the plans she was making.
Jhudora is going to start a war, Illusen thought to herself. I have to stop her!
Swallowing back her tears, Illusen got to her feet shakily. She bowed her head towards the forest.
“Thank you,” she whispered. “Thank you for showing me. I’ll do my best to stop her.”
Then she turned, making her way to the small hut in the branches of a nearby tree. She gathered all she would need, a travelling cloak and a wooden walking staff. Then, as quickly as a summer breeze, she was gone. The glade was empty once more, filled only with the sounds of the trees gently rustling and the autumn leaves falling to the floor.
Fyora leant out over the balcony and let the wind blow through her hair. From the height of her personal chambers she could see all of Faerieland, and on a good day a lot of Neopia too.
But it wasn’t a good day. Clouds had surrounded Faerieland, foreboding clouds. Something was amiss in Faerieland, and Fyora couldn’t place just what it was. She frowned to herself. Down below the Faeries were going about their normal business. Nothing seemed wrong, but Fyora couldn’t shake the feeling.
A gentle knock on her door interrupted her train of thought. The voice of Celandra, Fyora’s personal maid, came through the wood.
“My Queen, Captain Smith awaits you in the throne room.”
Fyora sighed. Back to the red tape of rule it was then. She opened the door, revealing the pink Gelert behind it.
“There’s also the matter of Baelia, ma’am,” Celandra continued as the pair walked along the corridors together.
Fyora laughed internally at the Gelert. Celandra was only a maid, but the pair got along so well that she was nothing short of the Queen’s personal assistant.
“When is she due to arrive?” Fyora asked.
“Any time today, ma’am,” Celandra told her.
“I want to see her as soon as possible,” Fyora instructed the maid. “Try to keep any of Jennumara’s old friends out of her way. It’s been so long since Baelia was last here... I don’t want anything to go wrong. She’s been through enough as it is.”
“I’ll see to it presently,” she said, stopping in her tracks.
Fyora hadn’t noticed, lost in her own thoughts, but they had already reached the throne room. The Gelert curtsied and scuttled off down the corridor, while Fyora opened the large purple doors to the throne room.
Captain Smith was waiting inside with what was perhaps Fyora’s least favourite thing in the world.
“Then there’s the matter of the new biscuit tin, ma’am,” the blue Draik said gravely.
Fyora glanced down at the sheet of paper she held in her hand.
“Destroyed by Bane?” she read aloud.
“I’m afraid he’s got terrible butter fingers lately, ma’am,” the Draik answered. “He can’t help but crush it... and if it’s not him, it’s Banks getting uptight about something and incinerating the break room.”
Fyora looked at the Draik sceptically. He was Captain Smith, head of Fyora’s palace guard. Quite how he’d managed to find such a rag-tag bunch of soldiers to serve under him was beyond the Queen. Bane was a giant Faerie Grarrl whose approach to diplomacy involved smashing things on the head until they were cooperative. Whilst it wasn’t an approach Fyora approved of, it certainly did seem to get results. Banks, on the other hand, was a red Scorchio with a nervous temperament and countless allergies, prone to suddenly burning down entire rooms with his fiery breath on bad days. It wasn’t even worth mentioning Sandra, the fire Faerie that thought she was a Faerie Kougra. Smith and his second in command, Lieutenant Jones, were the sanest of the lot. But then, even Captain Smith had his oddities. Like the biscuit tin. He seemed obsessed with the thing. Fyora often wondered if she’d hired a baker, rather than a soldier.
“Captain, I don’t think we need to go through these order forms every single time this happens. It is only a biscuit tin,” she said softly.
The Captain looked offended.
“Perhaps it is to you, ma’am,” he said, aghast. “But it’s an essential part of the break room, and helps forge morale among the troops.”
Fyora sighed. “That’s not what I meant. Just buy the biscuit tin in the future. I don’t need to sign every single time.”
“If your majesty is quite sure,” Smith said, standing to attention.
“I am,” the Queen replied. “Now... what’s next? Ah yes, the updates to your dental plan.”
Smith opened his mouth to speak, but didn’t get the chance. The doors to the throne room burst open, and a cloaked figure entered, running quickly up the pink carpet. The hood of the cloak fell back as she ran, revealing the face of an Earth Faerie, Illusen.
“Illusen?” Fyora asked as she got to her feet. “What ever is the matter?”
“I need to speak with you on a matter of much urgency,” Illusen replied as she reached the Queen. “The Great Vine talks of war.”
“A war?” Fyora pressed. “Where? Meridell again?”
“No,” Illusen said gravely. “Faerieland. I fear I may be too late already.”
The red Kyrii stepped off the gangplank and stretched out her arms, before readjusting the grey woollen hat she was wearing. She took in the city before her, full of splendour. In all her travels, Tavi had never before been to Faerieland. She’d been a mountain climber, long ago before she’d met her new travelling companion. There wasn’t a slope on Terror Mountain that Tavi hadn’t seen. The gentle breeze and fluffy clouds of Faerieland were as far apart from the mountains as possible.
She turned back to the Shenkuu ship that had brought her this far.
“It’s beautiful!” she shouted back up the gangplank.
When no response came, she climbed back up to the ship, and found who she was looking for on the deck.
“Are you coming or what?” she asked the Faerie.
Baelia looked up at her friend through her grey locks of hair. She was sitting in the middle of the deck, shivering slightly.
“I’m scared, Tavi. I haven’t been here since...” the Grey Faerie trailed off.
She didn’t need to finish her sentence. Tavi knew that the last time Baelia had seen her home was when the evil faerie Jennumara had kidnapped her. She’d lost so much that day... her home, her powers... even her wings.
“There’s nothing to be scared of,” Tavi reassured her. “Dark Faeries don’t rule Faerieland anymore. We’re here to see Fyora. She’ll help us find Jennumara... she’ll help us find you a new name and new wings. She’ll make you better.”
Tavi took her friend’s arm, and led her slowly off the ship. The moment the Grey Faerie’s feet touched the cloud, her eyes filled with tears.
“It’s been so long!” she sobbed, collapsing to her knees.
The cloud’s mist swirled around her tattered dress. Tavi was reminded of when they first met, when the Faerie had been sobbing like this in a cage... but those had been tears of despair, these were tears of joy.
Tavi just hoped that the Faerie Queen would be able to help. The two friends had searched everywhere for Jennumara, all the while hoping for some kind of vengeance. They’d found nothing of her, the Faerie seemed to have disappeared off the face of Neopia. Fyora was their last chance. Baelia had been reluctant, feeling that her memories of Faerieland and of what she had lost were too painful, but as the months went by she had given in to Tavi’s suggestion.
Baelia looked up at her friend through the tears that were falling through the mist of the clouds.
“I’m home!” She smiled.
To be continued...