The Fountain Faerie Quest
Nancy Normal Neopian stared at the random event in front of her, her jaw hanging open.
It was still there.
She pinched herself.
It was still there.
She reached out, as though she could touch it. Her hand passed right through it, but that’s how random events are.
Her active – and only – neopet stood beside her. Rosie77778888 (Rosie), her Xweetok, was new to Neopia and didn’t know what was going on. She didn’t know why it was so important. Nancy got random events all the time, so what was so special about this one?
“What is it, Nancy?” Rosie asked.
No sound came out of Nancy’s mouth. She still stared at the random event.
“Nancy?” Rosie demanded.
Finally, Nancy emitted a high-pitched squeal. “I can’t believe it!” she cried.
“What?” asked Rosie excitedly. “What can’t you believe?”
Her owner hopped up and down. “I got a Fountain Faerie Quest!” she cheered. “I got a Fountain Faerie Quest!”
“Awesome!” Rosie said. Then she paused, and asked, “What is a Fountain Faerie Quest?”
Nancy stopped hopping. “You know those faeries that pop up and ask me for items?” she asked.
Rosie nodded. “Yeah!” she said. “The dark faeries and earth faeries and light faeries...”
Nancy cut her off. “Yes, that’s right. Except there’s one faerie who’s so much rarer than the others. She’s the Fountain Faerie.”
“What does the Fountain Faerie give you?” Rosie asked. “It’s not more Battledome stats, is it? I’m really tired of getting stats.”
“No, no,” Nancy said. “Of course not. The Fountain Faerie’s quest is special. She gives you a reward none of the other faeries can give.”
Rosie was beginning to feel her owner’s excitement. “What is it?”
“The Fountain Faerie will give you access to her Rainbow Fountain! And those who complete her quests can go there and paint one of their pets any color they want!” Nancy was jumping up and down again by the time she finished.
“Wow!” Rosie whispered in awe. “Any color?”
“Well, I heard she can’t give certain colors,” admitted Nancy. “But she can give the really, really rare ones, like pirate and plushie.”
“Or faerie?” Rosie asked, hardly daring to get her hopes up.
“Yep,” Nancy said. “Or faerie.”
“Yes!” Rosie cheered. “Yes, yes, yes, yes!”
“I know!” Nancy said happily. “Everyone on the PC goes nuts for FFQ customs!”
Rosie instantly stopped cheering. “PC? FFQ?”
“Pound Chat,” Nancy said impatiently, “and Fountain Faerie Quest.”
“But what about the Pound Chat?” Rosie asked. She knew her owner spent a lot of time there, applying for all sorts of Draiks and Krawks. Rosie had come to the conclusion that Nancy wanted to feel like she was rich, but since she wasn’t too good at saving, she had to look like she was rich by having expensive pets.
Nancy sighed. Rosie could be so slow sometimes! “Everyone on the Pound Chat loves a Fountain Faerie Quest custom,” she said slowly. “If I put my Fountain Faerie Quest up for trade, I will finally be able to get my dream Draik and/or Krawk!”
“Just ‘or’,” Rosie said. “Not ‘and’.”
“What?” Nancy stopped in her tracks for a moment.
“You can only trade a pet for a pet, not one for two,” Rosie reminded her owner, rolling her eyes. Sometimes Rosie thought she knew the rules of pet trading better than her owner did!
“Oh, whatever,” Nancy said, shrugging. “One or the other, it doesn’t matter.”
In that instant, Rosie put two and two together. “Wait,” she said. “If you use your Fountain Faerie Quest for a custom, that means that you aren’t going to use it on me, doesn’t it?”
“Of course!” Nancy exclaimed, shocked. “Why on earth would you think I’d use it on you?”
“Oh, never mind,” Rosie muttered. I give up, she added silently to herself.
Together Nancy and Rosie walked to the Pound Chat. It was a huge office building, with a messily-written, hand-drawn sign tacked on the front door. “Welcome to the PC,” it read. Nancy pushed open the door and marched up the staircase to the main office.
“I’d like to create a topic,” she declared to the neopet at the desk.
“Fill out the form,” the Eyrie said. He yawned and indicated a stack of papers.
“F... F... Q... U... F... T...” Nancy murmured to herself as she filled out the title. “Seeking... all...”
She quickly filled out the main message and handed it to the Eyrie. He stuffed it into a huge file cabinet, filled with all of the already-created boards. “First floor,” he said with another yawn. “Last door on the right.”
Nancy hurried out of the room. Rosie followed more slowly, calling “Thank you!” over her shoulder as she left. Nancy always forgot to be polite.
When they reached their topic, Nancy pulled out her own shabby sign. “Seeking Draiks or Krawks only! NO UCS!” she had written on it.
“No un-converteds?” Rosie asked, surprised. Un-converted pets were the rarest, even rarer than Draiks and Krawks.
“You can’t pay for an un-converted, silly,” Nancy said. “You just have them. Draiks and Krawks cost millions of neopoints.”
“Of course,” muttered Rosie sarcastically. “I should have thought of that.”
Nancy ignored her pet, because the first “pound chatter” had walked in. “VWN even-statted BD (517 HSD) orange peo?” he asked, using the pound language for ‘Very well-named, Battledome pet with even statistics – the hit points, strength, and defense of which add up to 517 - orange Peophin.’
Nancy rolled her eyes. “Please don’t offer any pets that I can make myself. I’m not interested in BD pets. Good luck trading, though!” she added cheerfully. The trader left without another word.
Rosie sighed. If Nancy kept turning down offers, it was going to be a long afternoon. “Can I go to the Shop Wizard?” she asked her owner. That magical JubJub would be far more interesting than sitting around, watching her owner crush the hopes of so many pound chatters who wanted their dream pet.
“Yeah, sure, whatever,” Nancy said. She was distracted, because as the first ‘customer’ left, three more had walked in. Rosie slipped out behind the last one.
She walked through Neopia Central, headed for the Marketplace. When she reached the Shop Wizard’s hut, however, the door was blocked by a large sign that said, “No! That’s cheating! You are on Faerie Quest and are not allowed to use the Shop Wizard!” The text was accompanied by a picture of the Fountain Faerie.
Rosie groaned. She should have remembered, from her owner’s many other faerie quests, that when you were on a random event quest, you couldn’t search for the item on the shop wizard. So she would have to look up the item the Fountain Faerie wanted by hand.
But what did the Fountain Faerie want? Rosie knew that the faerie could ask for any item of a certain rarity or higher, but she didn’t know exactly which item Nancy had been asked for. Nancy had closed the random event before Rosie got a chance to look.
Rosie took the link on the sign that said “Faerie Quest” and followed it to the Faerie Quests building in Faerie City. When she got there, her mouth dropped open in shock, and a little amazement as well.
The Fountain Faerie was sitting in a small puddle of water on the floor of the building. As Rosie watched, she tucked a strand of her beautiful blond hair behind her perfectly-shaped ear. “When you bring me my Golden Acara Headpiece, I will make your pets stronger,” she said.
What in Neopia is a Golden Acara Headpiece? Rosie wondered as she exited the building. She hailed a Uni and told him to take her to Mystery Island, specifically the Trading Post.
As soon as the Uni landed, Rosie hopped off and headed for the Trading Post booth. She smiled at the Tiki Man, who seemed to run everything on Mystery Island – including the Trading Post.
“Are you looking for anything in particular?” he asked her.
“Yes, actually,” Rosie replied. “I need a Golden Acara Headpiece for a quest.”
“Must be a very special quest,” the Tiki Man said in awe. “Most faeries don’t ask for an item that expensive.”
“Yes, yes, it’s for the Fountain Faerie,” she explained in a rush. Rosie was more concerned by the price. “How expensive?” she asked nervously.
The Tiki Man looked through a list of costs. “The lowest asking price seems to be five hundred thousand neopoints,” he said at last.
Rosie sucked in a deep breath of air and let it out slowly. Five hundred thousand neopoints? Nancy could hardly save up five thousand at once! And once she reached 5k, she splurged on wearables and other cheap items.
“Would you like to make an offer on one of the lots?” the Tiki Man asked when Rosie didn’t respond right away.
“Er, no thanks,” Rosie responded. “I need to ask my owner first.”
When Rosie returned to the Pound Chat, Nancy’s board was packed! Rosie had to fight her way through a large crowd of Neopians who wanted to offer on the custom, Neopians who wanted beauty contest votes, and luck-wishers. Nancy was in the middle of the crowd, responding to the offers as quickly as she could. Rosie tugged on her owner’s shirt, trying to get her attention. Nancy ignored her, continuing to answer the traders.
“Nancy!” Rosie hissed.
Finally Nancy noticed her pet. She excused herself from the board briefly and turned to Rosie, glaring.
“What?” she demanded. “Rosie, I’m in the middle of trying to trade a custom! It’s not very polite to interrupt me. I was persuading this girl to trade me her Draik – even though she offered a different pet, a lame UC Lupe - and she is so close to giving in! Whatever you need, make it quick.”
“It’s about the quest,” Rosie said quickly. “And the item you need to complete it.”
“Oh, yes, the item,” Nancy said dismissively. “Just take some neopoints out of the bank account and go buy it.”
“But you see, Nancy, we don’t have enough neopoints–” Rosie stopped in the middle of her sentence. Nancy had turned away from her and was talking to the user with the Draik.
Suddenly, Rosie was fuming. Nancy had never liked her Xweetok very much before, but now she was flat-out ignoring her. All Nancy cared about was her custom. What was Rosie, a badly-named basic Xweetok, compared to a custom, or a possible Draik?
And Rosie realized what she needed to do...
* * *
“You WHAT?” Now Nancy was the fuming one.
“I told the Fountain Faerie that you didn’t want to do her quest anymore,” Rosie stated calmly.
“Rosie!” Nancy shrieked. “Why on Neopia would you do such a thing?”
Rosie rolled her eyes. “I told you we didn’t have enough neopoints for the item.”
“We could have saved!” her owner yelled, her cheeks growing red. “And don’t say that I never save but I would for a very special pet!”
“Yeah. Right.” Rosie flicked her tail dismissively. “It’s not right for you to string the PCers along like that, getting their hopes up. Besides, isn’t it kinda mean to try to force someone into trading their Draik to you?”
Nancy looked like she had a lot to say about this, but Rosie plowed on before her owner could interrupt her. “You don’t even care about the pet itself,” she spat. “You just want a status symbol. You want the people on the Pound Chat to stare up at you longingly, like you’re some kind of deity. But you know what?” Rosie drew herself up to her full height, and glared menacingly at Nancy. “I really, really hate Draiks.”
“But we could have traded for a Krawk!” Nancy protested. Rosie stared at her owner in shock.
“You just don’t get it, do you?” she demanded. “Why should you want a Draik when you already have me? You always said that one pet was enough!”
Finally, Nancy had the decency to look guilty. “I guess you are kind of neat...” she said at last. “For a Xweetok, I guess.”
Rosie sighed. Nancy obviously wasn’t the best owner out there, but she’d have to do.
I have absolutely nothing against Draiks, Krawks, unconverted neopets or BD pets. Opinions in this story are imaginary.