The Faerie Thief: Part One
Long ago Faerieland floated majestically above Neopia; a city mounted on clouds, held up by the power of every faerie that resided on the peaceful puff. Within Faerieland stood a large castle that housed the most beautiful and powerful faerie of all time, Queen Fyora. The Faerie Nursery was among one of the Queen's most important tasks. To ensure the safety of the to-be-born faeries, the Queen appointed an assistant, Odette, who kept a mindful watch over the unborn faeries; caring for them with gentle caresses and songs that told tales of Neopia.
In the year thirteen, Xandra the evil witch cursed Faerieland, petrifying all the faeries to stone. As a result of the petrification, Faerieland pummeled to the earth, crashing east of the Haunted Woods in a crater of rock and dirt; the once thriving city a decimated corpse of it's former glory. The thief Ixi Hanso and his beloved Kougra friend Brynn saved Faerieland from total destruction, defeating Xandra and freeing all the faeries from their stony imprisonment.
When the stone melted from Odette's wings she flew straight to the Nursery. Grief and misery choked sparkling tears from her pale face; while a few of the eggs survived, many had not. As Odette ran a soft hand up and down the rows of broken eggs, tears streaming down her face, she noticed one air faerie egg fidgeting in it's blankets; Sybille. Odette flew up to the egg placing a delicate hand upon it. The egg was still warm and at the feel of the faerie's touch, it rocked back and forth in the plush nest. Odette smiled and flew out of the Nursery to tell the Queen.
"Your majesty," the earth faerie rushed into the throne room, bowing gracefully. "Many of the eggs have not survived the catastrophe. But one is still warm and on the verge of birth."
Queen Fyora's natural smile contorted into a frown of concern. "Will she survive long enough to hatch?"
"I do not know, m'lady," Odette replied, bending her head to the floor in shame.
"Then I will bestow upon you the task of hatching this faerie. She will be your little sister and you will need to take particular care that her magic grows and she does not loose her wings. A faerie without wings is grey and depressed, a tragic life for any being on Neopia to endure. Resign from your post in the Faerie Nursery and take up residence in the city." The Queen leaned forward in her throne giving Odette a hard stare. "It is of the upmost importance that this faerie's heart does not turn dark from isolation and loneliness. Do you accept this responsibility?"
"I give you my word, your majesty."
"What kind of Neopet is that?" a yellow Kacheek whispers to her friend.
"I don't know, but it sure is tall," the Kacheek's friend, a small green JubJub replies. Sybille smirks to herself under her cloak, her powerless wings hidden safely underneath the dark green fabric. She walks through the throngs of Neopets shopping in the Neopian Bazaar, a loud murmur of noise swirling around in the air like leaves caught in a tornado of wind, excitement shivering through her chest. Weaving through the shoppers, Sybille makes her way to the Battle Magic shop entrance.
The shop stands firm, a tall stone Uni with a helmet of armor carved into the smooth stone head; large iron doors under the Uni's belly welcoming all brave warriors. She bites her lip. "I can do this." Pushing open the door, a small bronze bell gives the tiniest noise. Ding.
"May I help you miss?" a large yellow Grarrl asks.
"No thank you," Sybille replies. She keeps her hood pulled over her face so the Grarrl cannot see her pale grey eyes. She ponders around the shop for a moment eyeing a few snowballs. Ding.
"May I help you, sir?" the shopkeeper asks a beefy green Scorchio walking through the door.
"Yes, I am looking for archery bows," the Scorchio responds. The shopkeeper leads the Scorchio through the shop and over to a large wooden rack of bows. Every bow imaginable hangs from tiny knobs in the rack; a Bow of Earth hanging in the center, a Bow of Vileness off to the left, a bow with dazzling yellow string labeled 'Tech Bow'. The shopkeeper brings the Scorchio into a backroom, showing the Scorchio other popular weapons and battle garments.
"This is my opportunity," Sybille murmurs to herself shiver of excitement racing to her toes. She places a Cheap Air Faerie Ring on her finger and allows the magic to flow through her fingertips, spinning her wrists gently, creating a small whirlpool of light royal-blue magic in the shop. The soft zephyr blows through the room, gently shutting the door to the backroom. Sybille bounds over to the door, quickly locking the door, smiling devilishly. A loud pounding vibrates on the door.
"Open up the door!" the shopkeeper bellows.
Sybille chortles to herself, strolling over behind the counter and removing from the shelves beneath the register two medium sized bags of Neopoints. "That is too easy," she snickers. "Like taking a bottle from Boochi!" Sybille pauses in her spot a moment. "Alright, taking a bottle from Boochi would be pretty hard. It's the idea behind the phrase that counts." She shrugs her shoulders, gliding along the shelves of weapons, pocketing a few cheap air rings for herself and an Amulet of the Dark Faerie.
"A dark faerie back home would pay a pretty price for one of these." She smiles to herself, slipping the amulet in her sack.
Sybille casually leaves the shop, loud bangs on the back room door still reverberating through the shop, and heads towards Neopia Plaza. As Sybille wanders through the plaza, the sun shines hot rays down on her cloak, causing sticky sweat on Sybille's wings. She refuses to take the cloak off though. Her wings were so small, surely the Neopets would laugh at her. Walking up to the Wishing Well, she leans over the cobbled wall, staring down in the crystalline water. She reaches into her pocket pressing a single Neopoint coin in her porcelain hands.
"I wish, more than anything," she begs, "to have full grown wings, and magic as powerful as my sister Odette's." She tosses the coin into the well with a soft plunk. A Weewoo in a nearby tree chirps lightly as if it wished to sooth the poor faerie's anguish.
"Thief! Over there! Stop her!" a yellow Grarrl shouts. Several guards wandering through the plaza turn their heads to Sybille.
"Well, guess the shopkeeper got out of the back room," she grumbles to herself, running north of the Wishing Well into the forest, and out of Neopia Central.
Walking through Faerieland is a pitiful sight as Sybille strolls towards her house in Faerieland City. Broken houses are strewn across the land even though it has been three years since Faerieland fell from the sky. Trees remain mangled from the impact of the city falling on the defenseless flora.
The Faeries bustle about, paying no attention to Sybille, no one greets her nor does one smile in her direction, she is invisible like the breeze that caresses their skin and ruffles their dresses. One Faerie does bump into her, backing away alarmed, then runs her eyes up and down Sybille's body; her pale grey eyes, her faded white hair. The faeries then wrinkle their noses in disgust and fly away as if taunting her with their ability to touch the clouds.
Sybille tightens her fists as the Faerie flies away, her stomach clenching with a furious envy the churns like an untamed fire. She hates them all, every single faerie, regardless of their element. She storms into her house, up a set of winding stairs and into her room.
At the top of the stairs she leans over an oak railing, gazing off the wooden balcony at the sitting room below. Odette had yelled at Sybille numerous times for jumping off the balcony, concern carving unpleasant lines into her beautiful face. Sybille would position her feet on the railing, balancing carefully with her arms out stretched to her sides, then holler, "I fly!" and leap from the railing, beating her wings furiously. The majority of the time, Sybille would crash onto the blue rug, bruises forming on her ghostly skin. Four times, Sybille knew for she had counted, her wings had beaten fast enough to simply fall on the ground instead of the disastrous crash that defined her usual failed attempts.
Sybille draws a lace curtain over the door and empties her stolen goods beneath a broken floorboard; moving a rug over the board so Odette would not notice the pile of treasures beginning to rise out of their hole. The floor is rough on her knees as she pushes off the wood to stand once more. Placing the rug back over the loose floorboard, Sybille wanders over to the open arch-window and gazes down at Faerie City. Two fire Faeries inflict havoc below, tossing fireballs at one another in a friendly spare. An air Faerie shakes her fist at the carefree duo as a fireball singes her curly blonde locks. Sybille sighs, wishing that she could cause mischief, wishing she could conjure up a hurricane wind that would send all three Faeries flying off into an alleyway.
"Sybille!" Odette hollers as the front door shuts with a soft click. "We need to talk."
Sybille looks down at her tattered clothes frantically. She tears off her cloak, stuffing it under her feather pillows. She is about to tear off her muddy dress but it is to late, Odette has entered the room with disappointment then disgust masking her beautiful, earthly radiance, her fist balling the leafy skirt that covers a white dress into a tight ball of fabric.
"You were supposed to be at training today but instead you went out thieving again didn't you!" Odette fumes, pointing a finger at Sybille. "You will never master you magic if you don't try!"
"I don't need training," Sybille mumbles in defense. "I can perform air magic just fine." Discreetly, Sybille turns the Cheap Air Ring on her finger so her sister will not see it.
"Yes, you do, Sybille! You are the only Faerie... the only Air faerie that can not fly in all of Faerieland!"
"Well, maybe I don't want to fly!" she lies. Every night Sybille wished upon the stars for the ability to fly, craving the feel of the air under her wings, the wet kiss of clouds upon her face as she soars through them.
"Oh, stop lying to yourself!" Odette spits. "You have wanted to fly ever since you left the Queen's tower as a newborn. If you keep up this thieving you will never fly."
Red flashes before Sybille's vision. "Well, how else am I suppose to make Neopoints?" she screams at the top of her lungs. "You're right, I am horrible at magic. I cannot just conjure my problems away, Odette. You can cast magic to satisfy your wants and needs. I need to buy them away!"
"If you practiced your magic all your problems would go away. If you dressed like a proper Faerie, others would not bully you. Look at yourself!" Odette gestures up and down Sybille. "You walk barefoot everywhere. The earth faeries do not even walk barefoot! Your shirt always has holes in it. I slave over the dark blue shirts I sew for you. I slave over them so that you feel more like an air faerie, which you asked me to do! If you do not stop this thieving and start acting like a respectable faerie then Faerieland will never accept you!"
Tears well up in Sybille's eyes as she mutters, "Well, maybe I no longer want to be a proper air faerie." Storming out of the house, tears staining her pale cheeks, she leaves Faerieland behind.
To be continued...