Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 190,868,778 Issue: 448 | 18th day of Relaxing, Y12
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The Forgotten Fountain Faerie


by blazingcatwings

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A long time ago, there were no Fountain Faerie quests. The Rainbow Fountain was open for any Neopian to use, free of charge. They need only make the trek to Faerieland and request a color from one of the two fountain faeries. This, of course, was an arduous journey to make, and as a result, relatively few neopets made the trip to the Fountain.

      At this time, there were indeed two fountain faeries. They were special water faeries with the power to command the waters of the fountain.

      The two famous faeries were known as Fiona, the original creator of the Fountain itself, and Selena, her daughter. Each day the two water faeries were visited by countless neopets looking for a new paint jobs. The Fountain was the only means of changing a neopet’s color at the time, so you can imagine how crowded the Fountain was each day.

      Once a neopet decided on its color, it would step into the Fountain and speak with one of the faeries, who would then dip her hand in the pool and enchant the water. Simply wallowing in the now magical-pool would change the neopet into that color, much like it works today. The magical water would be absorbed into the pet and the pool would be a blank slate again, at least until the next enchantment.

      The water itself was magical, and only water from the rainbow fountain could be enchanted by Selena or Fiona to change neopet colors.

      As in the modern Fountain, however, there were some colors that Fiona forbade to be used. Though the water had the power the make a pet any color, given the correct magic from one of the faeries, Fiona refused to make any pet robot, ice, royal, usuki, MSP, or sponge. Neopets often questioned her rule. There were many theories. One was that Fiona simple didn’t like seeing the colors, and therefore did her best to keep neopets of these colors to a minimum. A second theory was that King Skarl wouldn’t allow her to make more royal pets, but this didn’t explain why the other colors were forbidden. Another was that she had no real reason behind the rule itself, but that it was there to test the obedience of her daughter...

      Selena was a cheery faerie. She loved to frolic in the rainbow-colored waters of the Fountain. She always overjoyed to help bland, basic neopets become fantastic new colors. She worked her magic perfectly, perhaps even more skillfully than her mother. Fiona delighted in her daughter's talent, but was sometimes concerned with her idealism.

      One day, Selena came to her mother with a question that she had been itching to ask for a long time.

      “Mother, why don’t you let neopets be any color they want? I mean, why can’t they be robot? Or ice? Or royal? Wouldn’t we be doing our duties to Neopia better if we gave them the freedom to choose any color they wanted?”

      Fiona looked down at Selena from her place atop a slippery pedestal. She sighed.

      “I know your intentions are pure, Selena, but I’m afraid those are the rules I have laid down. I have my reasons.”

      She continued, “Robot and ice are cold, heartless colors. I hate to see a neopets walking around clad in such colors. Awful, awful mistakes of that wretched doctor's lab ray. The same goes for malevolent sentient plushie and sponge. Ugghh!” She scowled. “And royalty... well, I’m sure the Kings of Brightvale and Meridell would hate to see the peasants rise up and wear just what they do. They have to earn it. As for usuki...” Fiona shivered. “I have my reasons. I can make a neopet a delicious sweet, or a swashbuckling pirate. A fluttering faerie or a sinister-looking Darigan. Even a mutant. But I won’t allow those colors to be made real here, is that clear?”

      Selena nodded. She still saw no point to this stupid rule, but Fiona was the boss around here. She had no place to object. “Yeah, I guess,” she replied half-heartedly.

      “Good.” Fiona smiled. “Oh, cheer up. I know it seems unfair, but you and I are the only things that bring color into this world. Be proud!” And with that, she leapt from the pedestal and dove into the deep rainbow water.

     ***

     Selena sat atop a cloud and waiting for sunrise. She had spent a long time pondering her mother’s words, trying to find a deeper reason to her color restrictions. But try though she might, she simply could not find it.

      The sun began to etch itself across the horizon, and Selena knew the daily flood of neopets would be arriving at the Fountain to be painted. She sighed. Remembering what her mother had said, she managed to smile, thinking of the good she would do these poor, colorless pets today. But her optimism soon faded once the first customer arrived.

      It was a little male Ixi, green in color. He was alone, without an owner. He stepped down from the cloudy shore and into the pool in front of Selena. Selena smiled and dipped her hand in the glistening water. The water around her hand glowed.

      “Greetings, little Ixi! And what might your name be?”

      “Just call me Will...”

      “Alright, Will,” Selena said comfortingly, sensing that something was troubling the Ixi. “So, what color would you like to be today?” she asked cheerily.

      “Oh, I know it’s not allowed, Selena... but-” The Ixi stopped and darted his head back and forth to see if anyone was listening. “Could... could I be a robot? Please?”

      Selena drew her hand back and gasped. “No, no, I could never-”

      “Puh-leeasseee???” the Ixi whined. “I saw these other neopets returning after a trip to Sloth’s lab. They were so cool! They had wires instead of veins, sheaths of metal instead of skin, oh wow! I want to be like them, but I have no owner to take me to the lab... But you can paint neopets robot, I know you can!”

      The Ixi stared up at Selena with his big brown eyes, pleading with her to grant his wish, however illegal it may be.

      “Oh.... I guess I could...” Selena said hesitantly. She dipped her hand in the water, and the pool began to glow. The water turned grey and he began to shiver. Instantly, the Ixi turned dark green, and metal plates began to etch themselves across his body. Seconds later, a robot Ixi emerged form the pool.

      Selena withdrew her hand immediately and bit her lip. What had she done?!

      The newly-painted Ixi turned to her and stared with blank, pink eyes.

      “You’re welcome?” Selena said.

      “Thank you,” the Ixi replied. But Selena could not sense any emotion behind his words. Perhaps his new color gave that impression. The robot trotted off proudly, flashing his new color. The other neopets in line stared in awe at him. Jaws dropped, and the neopets and their owners chattered away, questioning, or perhaps marveling at this unexpected paint job.

      Unfortunately for Selena, Fiona wasn’t left out of the loop. She swam over to Selena’s pool and yelled, “Selena, what did you do?!”

      Selena cringed and backed away from her furious mother. Fiona dipped her own hand into the pool and cupped her hand. She stared blankly at the water in her palm; a Fountain Faerie could tell...

      She threw down her hand and stared out into the gawking crowd. She wouldn’t even make eye contact with her daughter.

      “Get out,” she said.

      “What?! B-but, Mom! I just-”

      “You just nothing! I gave you one simple rule, and you just couldn’t obey. You have betrayed my trust. Now get out of my sight.”

      “Mom, I, I’m...” Selena began to apologize, but then she began to feel angry. She clenched her fist and began to return her mother’s hostile tone. “No, Mom, I’m not sorry! Your stupid rules are unfair! We have the power to give these people whatever color they want, and you restrict their choices! And for what reason? Your own selfish interests?!”

      “Selfish?! I give color to a world without color! I alone ran this Fountain for years, and I can do it again. I don’t know why I ever trusted another faerie to take part in my duties. I never should have! Get out of my home, get out of my Fountain!”

      Fiona would not hear any more from her disobedient daughter. She turned and dove back into the main fountain. The water drained away from the pool Selena was sitting in, leaving her on a bare cloud, alone.

      Not many people know this, but a water faerie can walk if she wants to. They can change their tail into a pair of legs, and their scales shrink to a simple leotard. A water faerie is almost never seen in this form, as they despise to be anywhere away from water. Selena was forced to change her tail into legs for the first time. She was most likely the first water faerie to do so in generations.

      With a heavy heart, she left the Fountain, but not before leaving a trail of magic behind her.

      Have you even wondered why the Rainbow Pool looks so similar to the Rainbow Fountain? Well, they are connected. This was Selena’s doing, of course...

      After leaving her mother and her home, Selena found life very hard. No faerie would help her. Fiona was a very famous and respected faerie, and no one in Faerieland would listen to her traitorous daughter.

      Even after leaving Faerieland as well, Selena hadn’t given up on her dream of making every color available to neopets. She had been working on an enchantment this entire time, and, finding a suitable place in the middle of Neopia Central, she put her spell into effect.

      Through her travels, Selena had carried a strand of magic from the Rainbow Fountain’s waters with her. She could call on its magical waters so long as the enchantment was in place. But this was tiring to do. Then, she found what would one day become the Rainbow Pool. A little pond in Neopia Central was the perfect place, Selena decided. She set up a rock and mortar wall around the pond. As soon as it was finished being built, she laid down her enchantment upon the water. A rainbow erupted from the pool. It eventually led back to its magic’s source; the Rainbow Fountain. But as it left the pool, it faded, leaving little evidence of its origins, which was good news for Selena. She dubbed her new home, the Rainbow Pool, and it had the same magical, enchantable waters as the Fountain itself.

      Delighted that her spell was a success, Selena set herself upon putting the rest of her plan into action. First, she purchased a bountiful supply of flasks from one of the local markets. Meticulously, she filled and enchanted each flask. She made sure to place each flask in certain places, each with a designated color. One set of flasks was ‘Rainbow’. Another was ‘Pirate’. There was also a set of ‘Royal’, ‘Malevolent Sentient Plushie’, ‘Pirate’, ‘Plushie’, ‘Usuki’, ‘Blueberry’, ‘Robot’, and many, many more flask sets. Granted, it was hard, tedious work, but Selena was set on completing her task.

      Using the water from her Rainbow Pool, Selena was able to make an ample supply of flasks of every single neopet color. By taking flasks and pouring the water on themselves, neopets would become those colors, without ever visiting the Rainbow Pool or the Rainbow Fountain. Selena avoided enchanting the Rainbow Pool itself, like she had done at home, for her mother might pick up on the enchantment since the Rainbow Pool originated in her Fountain. No, Selena was keeping the Pool a secret, or who knows what Fiona might do.

      Once she was done, she was open for business. The walking-water-faerie advertised her flasks everywhere she could. Soon neopets were flocking to the Rainbow Pool to buy magical flasks for themselves or for friends. Selena couldn’t have been more satisfied. Neopets of EVERY color left the Rainbow Pool. There was total freedom, and no silly restrictions.

      Selena’s flasks became ever more popular as time passed. She gave them to many other shopkeepers to sell. Being in limitless supply, the flasks were very cheap, regardless of their amazing abilities. Selena had many friends and shopkeepers gladly donated more flasks to her. She even had a small workforce going, filling flasks with Rainbow Pool water and leaving them there for her to enchant and sort. Soon, the huge crowds that were regular at the Rainbow Fountain began to dwindle, until soon, there were no customers at all.

      Needless to say, Fiona knew something was up. No one was showing up to make use of the Fountain. She could only think of one possible culprit; her daughter. But how could she be stealing her business if she had no access to the Rainbow Fountain? She searched for some clue, but could find none. Selena’s enchantment that tied her Rainbow Pool to the Fountain was so subtle, even Fiona could not detect it.

      Finally, Fiona, eager to find out what was going on, changed her tail into a pair of legs and set off for Neopia. She was appalled to see that, even though her Fountain had no visitors, there were hardly any basic neopets in the whole of Neopia! What was worse was that there were just as many robot, ice, and other ‘restricted’ color neopets as there were normal, everyday colors. Fiona eventually made her way to Neopia Central, and found her answer.

      “Rainbow Fountain flasks for sale! Turn any color you want!” read one poster. Posters, posters, everywhere! Shops were selling them throughout the land. Fiona was outraged. She walked into one shop, wobbling on her unfamiliar legs, and demanded a flask. Recognizing her, the Chia shopkeeper handed her one, his hand quivering.

      Fiona opened the flask and inspected the water inside. She could tell what it was... a Fountain Faerie knew. She practically screamed at the Chia, “Where do you get these?!”

      Unfortunately for Selena, the frightened shopkeeper gave Fiona directions to the Rainbow Pool, thinking more about his own safety than that of Selena’s.

      Fiona, moving quite awkwardly on her newfound legs, soon made her way to the Rainbow Pool, and saw her daughter for the first time in months. She pushed her way through the crowd, who was more than happy to move out of the enraged faerie’s way.

      Selena gasped, and drew back from the Pool. She dropped the flask she was currently enchanting and backed away from her approaching mother. The neopets in the crowd gasped and cried, “No, Fiona, don’t hurt her! She didn’t do anything wrong!”

      “Mom! I-I-” Selena stammered, unsure of what to say. Regaining her composure, she stopped and stood up to her mother. “Don’t you see?! This is the way it’s supposed to be! Not every neopet can make the trip, you know! This way, everyone can have a chance, and they can choose to be whatever they want!”

      Fiona was too enraged to listen. She scowled at Selena and raised her hand. She extended her index finger and began her enchantment. Selena’s eyes began to water, and hot, salty tears ran down her cheeks; she knew what was coming.

      Fiona’s finger began to glow, and in a flash, the spell was done. Selena was no longer a water faerie. Her long, blond hair had turned dull and white. Her sparkling, scaly leotard had become a drab, grey dress. Her vivid blue eyes became sulking grey pits, and her now-permanent legs buckled beneath her. She fell to the ground and cried.

      Fiona turned from her grey daughter and whipped her hand across the fading rainbow that led from the Pool. The light faded and the Pool was just a pool again. Using her power over the Rainbow Fountain’s water, she floated all the flasks onto the last remaining ripples of rainbow, where they rested. And with a last, fleeting glance at Selena, the Fountain Faerie stepped onto the fading rainbow with them, and floated away. On her way home, she discarded all of Selena’s precious flasks into the sea.

      Selena was powerless. A drab, grey faerie. She could never go home. She could never paint another neopet. And she could never be a water faerie again. She fled from the pool, despite the neopets’ efforts to help and comfort her. She ran away, and kept running. She was never seen again.

      Fiona sat atop her cloudy shores, gazing into the rainbow-colored waters of her Fountain. The gates were closed, and no neopets were allowed entry. There were no more new paintings, and slowly the population began to lose color. Nothing but simple, basic neopets were born, and there was no hope of being colored, not while the one and only Fountain Faerie sulked.

      Realizing her mistake, Fiona searched Neopia desperately for her daughter. Maybe she could reverse her spell, and make things go back to the way they used to be... But her efforts were fruitless. There were no leads, no one had seen Selena since that fateful day. Fiona despaired, and for the first time, thought deeply about what her daughter had said to her.

      Fiona was still forbidding her restricted colors from being painted at her Fountain, but she decided Selena had been right. Perhaps neopets should not have to make the journey to Faerieland to be painted. The opportunity should be available and accessible to everyone.

      Following her daughters example, Fiona herself created a new item. Using wood and uni-hair, she crafted the first ‘paint-brushes’. With a correct enchantment, a paint brush would do just as Selena’s flasks had done, only Rainbow Water was needed to make them work.

      Once more, Fiona changed her tail into legs and set off for Neopia, but this time, with quite a different motive. Selena’s flasks were long gone from the Pool, but some still floated around in markets. But they were no longer needed. Fiona returned to her daughter's Rainbow Pool, and restored the link to the Fountain. The water was once again blessed with the magic of the Rainbow Fountain, and thanks to Fiona’s paint brushes, she was not needed to enchant it.

      Needless to say, Fiona, being the finicky painter she was, only made paint brushes in a fraction of the colors that were actually available at the Rainbow Fountain. However, for the first time, she made royal and usuki paint brushes. Now any neopet could have those colors! She even gave supplies of three colored paint brushes to Fyora in the Hidden Tower. She spread her paint brushes over the land, and a new era of color filled Neopia.

      Fiona still allowed some to use the Rainbow Fountain, and the full array of colors it once offers. But only to certain neopets, and for a price, of course...

      Selena was never found, but her ideals live on in her mother’s creation of the paint brush. Thanks to her, the high, floating land of Faerieland is not the only place you can paint a pet. So, with a dash of Rainbow Water coupled with a Fountain Faerie's enchantment, you can have a neopet of almost any color. And perhaps one day you’ll be lucky enough to view the full assortment of colors once made possible by Selena and Fiona... for a price, of course. And perhaps one day you can meet the grey faerie that started all this, the legendary Fountain Faerie, Selena. But after hearing all this history, one can’t help but wonder; has Fiona truly redeemed herself?

The End

 
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