Tales from Number Five: Under the Highest Sky - Part Four
Now, our story shifts to Queen Fyora. During those times, Queen Fyora was heavily influenced by a group of faeries who called themselves the Council of Faerieland. They assisted the Queen, but over time they began to get more powerful. Around two thousand years ago, they had cast spells on Queen Fyora that impeded her judgment and turned her into little more than a figurehead.
They had convinced her to shut Faerieland to the Neopets, whom they called savages that were not to be allowed within faerie walls. The leader of them was the Dark Faerie Jenuridith, who was incidentally the same faerie who had turned Altair's brother, Alex, to stone.
She saw the wave of Neopets approaching Faerieland. She was not an idiot, she knew that if they wave reached Queen Fyora than she would break free of the enchantments binding her, so she volunteered to see to the Neopets attacking.
Now, she had to think up of a plan. She had ordered that a force field be sorcerously erected around the city by a group of over a hundred faeries, while she went to her aerie in a remote corner of Faerieland. She was planning how to attack the Neopets when four landed near the mouth of her cave.
"I could sense you here," Altair said. Jenuridith recognized him; it was that Lupe from so long ago.
"What does it matter? Get out before I destroy you," she said in a voice as cold, cruel and unforgiving as the wind above Terror Mountain.
Altair knew that this had to be the faerie he had hunted for so long. Before the faerie could speak a single spell, he lunged with a small dagger poisoned with the essence of four-leaf clovers, extremely dangerous to faeries. Jenuridith could probably have protected herself, but in her vanity and pride she had not even considered that the Neopet would attack her.
And so, she had been the first faerie to die in over three thousand years. Altair was unsure if destroying her meant that his brother was free, but he would check on that later on. For now, the four Neopets advanced to the tunnels below the caves, where they found rooms stuffed with gold and silver and other treasures like objects from which Altair could literally see dark magic leaking. The rumors had been true; there were several Neopets who had been kept as servants. Also, those that had been turned into Mortogs by Jenuridith were Neopets now, which strengthened Altair's conviction that his brother had been healed.
He had even found his parents, and after a hug and quick hello, Altair said that he had to lead his forces against the faeries and that he would return. He left before his parents could protest.
Together, the four Neopets removed the barrier protecting Faerie City. The crowds stormed in, looting and burning and attacking. Altair saw that many of the faeries had mountains of gold. A stab of anger rose in him; most of Neopia was disabled by poverty, while the faeries enjoyed mountains of wealth.
They all advanced surely but steadily towards Faerie Castle, which Altair knew would be heavily fortified. The wards and protective measures around the Castle had probably withstood attacks during the ancient times of the Faerie Wars, and so were hard to defeat.
Not that most of the faeries weren't scared out of their wits. They had all gathered in Faerie Castle, fearful of the crowd that desired their destruction right outside their very doors. Queen Fyora decided that she had to do something.
It was a queer day for Queen Fyora. Not only because suddenly an army of Neopets had massed to attack Faerieland out of the blue, but it also felt as if a veil had been lifted from her mind. Unbeknownst to her, this had happened because the faerie that had cast a spell to contain her, Jenuridith, had been vanquished and so her spells had been lifted. Queen Fyora suddenly felt thousands of memories flood her mind in which she had not acted rationally, in which she should have acted differently.
I must end this, she thought. Taking her staff in hand, she walked out of the gates of Faerie Castle in full view of the imprisoned faeries, she knew that she had to lift their morale somehow. She conjured a white flag, and planted it deep in the ground outside the Castle, keeping her staff in her left hand while she did so. The Neopets were silent for once. After a while, a Blue Lupe walked out. Queen Fyora could sense his magic, this was a powerful Neopets. And probably the leader as well.
"Why do you attack us?" she asked the Lupe. The Lupe did not reply with words, instead, he opened his mind to her. Queen Fyora could have shielded against it, but she decided that she would prefer to feel this pet's memories.
She saw the countless horrors the faeries had inflicted on Neopets, not only from his memories, but the memories of all the Neopets in the army standing before her. In return, she showed her memories, that not all faeries are bad, and also that most of the faeries had been unaware of what occurred below on the ground.
"That changes nothing," Altair said. "Whether you knew or not, it does not matter. If you knew and did not act, then you deserve to be punished. If you did not know, then you are clearly a fool who is not capable to rule. We will vanquish the faeries from Neopia forever. You cannot stop us, we know your weaknesses. For too long, the faeries have ruled over Neopians, and now we will stop them once and for all. Let justice be done!" At his last words, there were shouts from all over the army, cries of happiness that the faeries were finally getting what they deserved.
Queen Fyora knew that the situation was desperate. Though the faeries could fight, they would probably lose. Not to mention that they wouldn't be able to fight wholeheartedly, knowing that their opponents were right. She just had to make a treaty, give reparations, or all of the faeries would be killed.
"Surely we can reason and compensate for your expenses in some way," she said, almost pleading. To this, Altair replied with absolutely no mercy in his eyes.
"Reparations? What good are they, when you faeries can attack whenever and wherever you want? Are reparations enough to fix the years of toil and sorrow that your kind have reaped upon us? I think not!" There were more cheers from the crowd. Queen Fyora could almost taste defeat upon her tongue.
Just then, a voice called out, "No!" from the crowd. The crowd parted, to reveal a White Lupe about the same height as Altair. Altair recognized him instantly, it was Alex. He had been freed from that spell. Tears of happiness wet Altair's cheeks as he saw him, and he ran to embrace his brother. The brother returned the hug, but he said softly,
"You must forgive them for this, Altair. It is all that is right." Altair almost felt like denying these words, it would be so easy to continue the attack, to burn Faerieland to the ground. It almost felt right. Then, a part of him, a part beneath the rage and hatred that he had harbored over the years, cried out and refused this notion.
"Yes, you're right," Altair said absentmindedly. He turned to Queen Fyora, and said,
"Fine then. We will forget your atrocities, and instead will make a peace treaty. For all of our damages, I demand a payment of one billion neopoints. Aside from that, you must treat any of us with magical problems or ailments. Also, Faerieland will now be open to all Neopets, and it will be your responsibility to make sure that suitable transport, like carriages are available. Not only that, you must hold a session once a week for any Neopets that have been magically wronged by the Faeries. Do you agree?"
Queen Fyora nodded. It was all much better than the alternative. And so, Altair and his army returned to the ground. The tower was dismantled, and the stone used for other places and fortresses in places like Meridell and Brightvale. The giant petpetpets were released from their bonds and wandered off to the isle where they had come from. They hadn't participated in the fighting, because they only wanted to build, not destroy. It turned out that the Queen could release the wards guarding Faerieland, and pets where free to wander up there.
"And so," Number Five said, "the faeries opened up their doors to Neopets. However, one must wonder even now whether or not all is right. After all, despite all these new changes, dark faeries still make mischief, and there are many problems to be righted. Not to mention that Queen Fyora still clings to the old ways a lot. The faeries do not do much that they could do for Neopia. And so ends the tale." Number Five withdrew into his cell.
Galgarrath shook his head. It was crazy, all crazy; the story. But, as he looked at a photograph of early Faerieland, he noticed that a patch of clouds outside the city was different from the surrounding ones. As if something had pierced through the clouds and the hole had been hastily patched up.