I sighed but the sound was all but inaudible. Not that anyone other than I was close enough to hear it had it been audible. Even if someone else had been, they would have ignored it. Most pretended that I was invisible. I didn’t know which was worse, those that saw me or those that didn’t.
My name is Baelia.
I am the Grey Faerie.
When Jennumara, the dark faerie, stole my wings, she stole my wings m element and my purpose. If a Neopian lost even one of these, they would have difficulty in recovering. No wonder I became grey. With no friends and no family, I have a lot of time to think. I became grey so long ago that my memories of before I became grey are gone.
I believe it is better this way. This way I am not constantly reminded of all that I lost. Though, I do wonder…
I was lying in a meadow full of wildflowers. The sky was blue with fluffy white clouds scuttling along with a swift breeze, causing shadows to flit across the meadow. My arms were folded behind my head. I had been in the same position for hours. It wasn’t like I had anything better to do.
Which element had I once been?
Air? I did enjoy windy days.
Water? Bubbling brooks were as close as I ever got to laughter.
Fire? I am fascinated by fire.
Dark? I snorted at the ridiculousness of that. No, dark faeries were close. They did not turn on each other.
Earth? Also not likely. Though I enjoyed sunrise and sunset.
I would imagine life as one of the elements. Then, I would fall back into my melancholy. I sat up, my muscles tingling as sensation returned. I made my way back to Faerie City. As I did I saw Maya, a grey Ogrin.
Our eyes met and held for a moment but neither of us stopped. Our energy levels just weren’t up to it. Maya was a poet and an amazing one at that. She told me that being grey inspired her to write. She had a purpose and I was pleased for her.
Seeing Maya reminded me of a faerie Usul that I had met recently named Kaylin. She had been attacked by Jennumara and was rapidly turning grey. Her friends were determined to reverse the process but I highly doubted they had succeeded. That being the case, I knew I had to find her.
Turning grey was not easy. Kaylin’s friends had probably abandoned her. Alone in the world, she would need someone. I headed to Faerie Castle, since I wasn’t sure where to begin my search. I was moving at a slow walk, my fastest speed, when someone bumped into me.
I would have fallen but someone grabbed my arm to steady me.
“I apologize! I really need to pay attention to where I-Oh!”
The Neopian stopped with a startled gasp and released my arm. The faerie Usul stared at me, her blue eyes wide with shock.
“Baelia? What are you doing here?”
A faerie Eyrie stood beside the Usul. She had asked the question. Her name was Zana, Kaylin’s best friend.
“You’re still faerie. So that means you succeeded,” I said, looking at Kaylin.
“Yes, we did,” Zana said firmly.
I was flustered. For a very brief moment, I had felt purpose, again. Now, it had been taken away from me. That made me grimace. Kaylin and Zana were both looking at me.
“Were you worried about me, Baelia?” Kaylin asked.
I pressed my lips together and nodded.
“Thank you for coming to check on me.”
I let Kaylin and Zana walk on. Then, I left. I wandered aimlessly, as I was wont to do. I moved without comprehending my surroundings. As night fell, I found shelter for the night and cried myself to sleep, as per usual.
I woke up to see a wraith Poogle staring malevolently at me. I pressed myself against the wall and whimpered, fear washing over me.
“Baelia? My name is Jean. Queen Fyora would like to meet with you,” the Poogle said.
I was in shock. The Poogle stepped out of the alley. I rose to my feet and followed him. We walked to the Faerie Castle and entered the throne room. The room was full of faeries.
I followed Jean as he cleared a path for us. No faerie wished to get close to a wraith. I was led straight to Queen Fyora. She smiled at me and her warmth washed over me. My lips twitched, trying to respond with my own smile but failed.
Smiling was too much to ask of me. Queen Fyora understood.
“Baelia, I have decided that you will be allowed to give faerie quests to Neopians,” Queen Fyora said.
I listened in awed silence. This was the last thing I ever expected. Then, I realized something.
“Queen Fyora, when a Neopian completes a quest, they receive a blessing from the faerie they help. I have no magic. How could I ask any Neopian to complete a quest for me if they receive nothing in return?” I said, wringing my hands.
The Faerie Queen placed her arm across my shoulders and pulled me close. She looked out amongst her fellow faeries with calm confidence.
“Sisters, is Baelia not one of us? Has she not suffered a fate worse than death? If we cannot return her wings, her magic or her element, is it not the least we can do to help her with her faerie quests?” Queen Fyora said.
The fire faeries and dark faeries were the only ones who had looked at me with boldness. The fire faeries were curious while the dark faeries were contemptuous. They were the ones that protested.
Why should we use up our magic to help her? We need our magic for our own quests!” the fire faeries said.
“Why should we help her? If she wasn’t strong enough to hang onto her own magic, why should she use that of others?” the dark faeries said.
Queen Fyora looked sternly at the two groups of faeries. “Where is your compassion? Our numbers are great! All I ask if for one of us at a time to spare a blessing to help our sister in her need. Quests are also a part of being a faerie. Without Neopians taking time out of their busy schedules, where would we be?”
“As for you, dark faeries, it was one of you that stripped Baelia of her element. You should be the first to help her because of what Jennumara did to her. Do you not remember the Fall? Faerieland has not been on the ground for a decade yet. We would all have been destroyed if Neopians had not come to our aid.”
The faire and dark faeries shifted uncomfortably, unable to meet our monarch’s gaze.
“I will help our sister,” Naia, the Rainbow Fountain Faerie, said first.
“We will help her.”
Group after group of faeries offered their magic to me. Tears streamed unchecked down my face. For the first time that I could remember, they were tears of joy.
“Thank you, all of you. I shall cherish this for the rest of my life. Words fail to express my feelings,” I said with a quavering voice.
It was true. They did not know that they had given me the most precious gift of all: my purpose.