The Fall of Faerieland: Part Three
Finna did not know where she was. She shivered; the fur on her paws was still sparse from stomping out Aracione’s fire the day of the crash. The smooth stone floor made her feet cold.
All at once the room was lit by some unseen source. Finna realized she was standing on a floor of rose-colored marble, and white pillars stretched up on either side of her. Tiles were missing from parts of the floor, others were cracked, and the pillars were chipped and looked worn. She was standing in a great hall, or what once was one. Though it was old and had gone through chaos, Finna thought the hall looked beautiful when it was lit with this light that drove away all the nightly shadows.
She turned to see two great doors open up. In came a procession of the most amazing pets Finna had ever seen: elegant dinosaurs, large bugs, petite dragons, brightly-colored birds - creatures of every sort, and all with wonderful fur and scales, and gorgeous wings! Finna would come to know them as pets like Grarrls, Ruki, Draiks and Shoyrus, Lennies, Pteris, and on and on, but at the time, Finna thought that Ogrins were the only type of pet on Neopia.
After the line of Faerie pets, in flew a beautiful, slim creature in a purple dress and tiara. Her hair was lavender as well; everything about her was, from her scepter to her eyes. She flew over the procession of pets and to the large, graceful throne in the far side of the room. After settling in it, she set aside her scepter and some of the pets came to guard it.
“Please,” she said, looking directly at Finna. “Come here.”
Finna looked around to make sure the Faerie wasn’t talking to anyone else, then moved forward. She stood a small distance away from the throne and did not try to look into the creature’s eyes.
“I am Fyora, the Queen of all Faeries,” the Faerie on the throne said.
“A... Faerie?” Finna asked slowly, puzzled. “What is that?”
“Well,” Fyora said, equally as perplexed. “Haven’t you heard of us?”
Finna shook her head.
“We are magical beings,” Fyora explained softly. “We bless pets, and heal them, and help them when they’re in dire need. Lately we were put under a spell that turned us to stone, and...”
“Wait,” Finna interrupted. “What do you mean, ‘us’?”
“There are lots of Faeries,” Fyora smiled. “Everywhere, in places like Meridell and Terror Mountain and the Neopian Marketplace. We’ve been and live everywhere.”
“Meridell? Terror Mountain? The Neopian Marketplace?” Finna was even more confused. “I’ve never heard of any of those!”
Fyora seemed surprised. Before she could say anything else, Finna added, “Hey! Fyora, you said your name was? That’s the...erm, Faerie, that summoned me here!”
“Yes, Finna,” the queen said with a grin. “I called you here because you were wishing to speak to us.”
“How do you know my name?” Finna cried.
“I know all the pets’ names, Finna,” Fyora replied.
“That’s funny...” Finna said slowly. “The only people I wanted to talk to were the ones that lived on the Fallen Kingdom.”
“That’s another name for Faerieland now, I suppose,” Fyora nodded with a gloomy sigh. “We are trying hard to rebuild our kingdom.”
“No...” Finna whispered. “That can’t be.”
“What’s wrong, Finna?” Fyora asked, curious.
“You... You’re the beasts that ruined my home!” Finna cried. “You crushed our fields, our village, our groves, perhaps even a few of our own people! You did this! You are the reason I’ll never look out from Flotsam Fin again, or sleep in the woodlot, or pick berries in the far field! You... you’re monsters!”
Gasps arose from the offended parade of Faerie pets.
“What are you... talking about?” Fyora asked at last. “I thought we’d crashed into a land with no life.”
“You say you Faeries have been everywhere,” Finna continued. “You say you know all! You say you bless pets! If by ‘blessing’ us you destroy our way of life, then I don’t want it!”
“We landed on a village?” Fyora asked unbelievingly. “Your village? What was it called?”
“The Ogrin Village,” Finna replied through gritted teeth. “In Ogrin-Haven. East of the Haunted Woods and south of Brightvale. The best village on the face of Neopia, and now because of you, it’s gone!”
“I’d never heard of it,” Fyora said distantly.
“That doesn’t mean nobody loved it!” Finna shouted. “That doesn’t mean people didn’t live there! That doesn’t mean people aren’t going to miss it!”
“No!” Finna cried, and ran down the hall towards the grand door.
“My scepter,” Fyora commanded calmly, and a Faerie Zafara rushed her royal scepter over to her.
Fyora took the scepter and waved it in the air. Pointing it at Finna, the scepter released a beam of sky-blue light that shot out at Finna. Instead of hitting her, it turned to a misty blue cloud that enveloped her as she ran down the long hall, getting closer and closer to the door.
“What are you doing?!” Finna screamed, but she kept running.
“Please do stop her,” Fyora said softly to a faerie Techo near her side. The Techo flittered after Finna, but she did not need to stop her. Finna was going out the door when suddenly her feet lifted off the ground and she soared into the corridor! Finna shrieked in shock and horror as she - flew? - around the hall.
“Get me down!” Finna shouted. “Release me!”
“You can do that of your own accord now,” Fyora said with a small smile. The mist had disappeared, and Finna had changed.
“How?!” Finna asked frantically.
“Lean down,” Fyora said simply. “Lean down and relax. Glide, Finna!”
Finna was panicked and did shakily what Fyora had said. She tilted downwards towards the floor and tried without much result to relax her muscles. After some trying, Finna squeeze her eyes shut and went limp. It was a great relief when her burnt paws hit the cold ground.
A pleasant little chorus of airy laughing went up from the crowd of Faerie pets and they soared to catch up with Finna. They landed all about her, and the Faerie Techo which Fyora had sent after the Ogrin stepped up to her. She spread her shining wings wide and Finna gasped at seeing her reflection.
Magenta. Her fur was a rich pinkish hue, soft and lovely. She stroked her paws in shock down her silky mane.
“That’s... me?” she whispered. Then, involuntarily, wings flapped lazily out from her back. Finna nearly fainted from surprise.
“Wings!” she choked. They were orange and yellow, and lined on the inside with a daring purple. “Am I a...?”
“A Faerie!” a few of the pets chimed lightly. “What a gift Queen Fyora has given you!”
Finna pushed through the crowd and looked at the throned Faerie unbelievingly.
“You gave me wings!” she said in a hushed tone. “...thank you. Please forgive me, Queen.”
“No, Finna,” Fyora said sadly. “I am the one who should be asking for your forgiveness. We did not intentionally crush your village, I assure you, but we are sorry just the same. We can make it up to you.”
“You can?” Finna asked, confused. “But the Fallen Kingdom - erm, Faerieland - is stuck in a crater. How could you move it?”
“Alas, we cannot move Faerieland,” Fyora said apologetically. “But it is a changed place. It has fields now, and ponds and streams and groves. Such was the consequence of its crashing - it is no longer light clouds. We can offer you from the Ogrin Village a home here in Faerieland. You may dwell in any place you find suitable; we owe it to you whose home was destroyed. Will you accept on account of your people, Finna?”
Finna took a moment to process the proposal, and said, “This offer is more than we could ever hope for. On account of the Elder, I accept!”
“Good!” Fyora beamed. “May we send you back to inform the others? We can use our magic to teleport you there.”
“No thank you,” Finna said. “I’d like to try out my new wings!”
It was a beautiful dawn. The same two Ogrin lookouts who had greeted Finna when she first came to Stopgap Town were again taking their shift. One yawned at the sight of the sun.
“Don’t you just love the dawn shift?” one asked the other.
“I love my bed still more,” the other said, then smiled. “But yes, seeing the sun rise like it does is an encouraging sight.”
The first Ogrin stretched his long arms and blinked, breathing in the fresh air of Ogrin-Haven. Suddenly he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye. He turned and looked at it. No, it couldn’t be - another Ogrin? In the sky?! The guard blinked again, but when the Ogrin was not gone from the orange sky, he grabbed the arm of the second guard.
“Look, Damon!” he cried. “A flying Ogrin! A flying Ogrin!”
“Nonsense, Tyler,” the other scoffed. “It’s merely a Calabat that’s caught your eye.”
“But I’m certain,” protested Tyler. “It’s too big to be a Calabat, and too skinny! Look for yourself - it’s right over there!”
Damon reluctantly followed his friend’s gaze and gasped. He rubbed his eyes.
“We’ve got to inform the Elder,” he muttered. “There’s something in this grass that causes hallucinations.”
“Damon, no!” Tyler said. “It’s there, it’s really there! A flying Ogrin, my friend!”
“Move!” Damon shouted all at once. “It’s landing hard, whatever it is!”
The guards quickly moved out of the way. The strange Ogrin landed, digging her heels into the dirt as if she were unaccustomed to flying. She wiped her paws on the grass to get the dirt off.
“I’m glad Queen Fyora restored the fur on my paws,” she said happily to herself. “That would have hurt if they were still burned. Wait till Aracione and Mum and Father see how I’ve changed in a night!”
“Who goes there?!” Damon shakily demanded. The Ogrin whipped around and saw the frightened guards standing there.
“Oh, I didn’t see you!” she said, and laughed pleasantly. “I’m Finna, that’s who goes there.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Damon said, looking at his list. “We let a Finna the purple Ogrin in a few weeks ago.”
“It’s a very long tale,” Finna replied. “And I’ll tell it to all the village later. For now, I need to see the Elder!”
“No,” Damon said firmly. “We aren’t letting any... erm... monsters, into Stopgap Town!”
Finna was about to protest further when a Melton squealed happily. It was Aracione, flying out to meet her owner. She’d discovered late in the night that Finna was missing.
“Aracione!” Finna cried, and smiled. “I missed you. You won’t believe what happened last night!”
She looked at the guards once more.
“May I go in?” she answered, and Tyler answered for his friend - “Yes.”
“Come on, Finna, let’s go!”
Finna opened her eyes. Her friend Patricia was calling her from somewhere down below. The Ogrin leaned forward on her branch. Patricia stood looking up at her eagerly from the stump.
“I’m coming,” she said, and landed airily by Patricia’s side. “Where are we off to first?”
“The discarded magical blue Grundo plushie of prosperity, of course.” Patricia smiled. “Where else? I don’t want this sandwich to get squished while we run around all day.”
“Do you think he actually eats them?” Finna asked as she and her Faerie Bori friend walked through the grove of green trees.
“Of course,” Patricia said as if it were a silly question. “Faerie Beetroot and Tooth Faerie Mushroom sandwiches are his favorite. Anyway, after we visit him, we should go pick up Elizabeth and head into the city. We should try our minds at the Faerie Crossword today!”
“Agreed.” Finna nodded.
They left Patricia’s sandwich on the plushie’s branch and headed off for Elizabeth’s house. Their friend was an Earth Faerie girl who lived on the outskirts of the city alone with her petpet, like all other young Faeries. Together they ventured into the grand Faerie City, which was being rebuilt since the crash. After winning four hundred Neopoints each at the Faerie Crossword, they ate lunch at Faerie Foods and explored for a while before leaving the city. Finna went back to see her parents in their hut by the small waterfall near the Poogle Races. Finna herself spent a couple nights a week sleeping in the apple tree by the Healing Springs. The flowing of the magical waters lulled her to sleep when she slept there.
Finna and the occupants of the Ogrin Village had moved to Faerieland. They were quite happy there, and the Faeries were quite happy to have their company. All who wanted to accepted Fyora’s offer of giving them wings, and so many of the Ogrins could fly, including the Elder. That said, she didn’t fly very much - it was hard for her old bones - but her fur had been restored from a faded grey to a brilliant sky blue.
“Just like when I was young!” the Elder exclaimed happily.
It was true, Finna did think of the Ogrin Village often. She thought of standing on Flotsam Fin, and sleeping in the old grove. But she didn’t think of them with sorrow or longing now. She was happier in Faerieland than she had ever been in the Ogrin Village or Stopgap Town.
“Sometimes,” Finna thought, “change can be well worth giving up the old things we know.”