The Fyora Day Address
A holiday to celebrate one of Neopia's most beloved royalty, yes, of course, it's Fyora Day. Many tourists travel to Faerieland to catch a glimpse of the popular queen. Some even to hear Queen Fyora deliver an annual address where she speaks about the state of her kingdom.
As a tradition, many of the Faeries abroad return to Faerieland to celebrate with their queen. The only other time of year this happens is during the Faerie Festival. Some of them travel a long while and are often outside the range where they can just teleport themselves to Faerieland
The Faeries were still setting the stage in the afternoon as they prepared for Fyora's address. Most of the celebrations were confined to the Castle Gardens. By now, the gardens were mostly restored with little remnant of the damage done by Xandra.
Traditionally on Fyora Day, the Faeries didn't allow Queen Fyora to do any work on her special day so all the Faerie Queen could do was peek outside her balcony at the stage preparations and shuffle through her speech notecards. Several Faeries were making preparations to ensure that everything looked great for the celebration. Fyora noticed that Casandia was carrying enormous bouquets of flowers.
"You know, you don't have to put so many flowers out, Casandia," she said.
"I like arranging them though. It's fun!" Casandia replied.
Behind all the rows of chairs and standing room stood Kari, the Negg Faerie. She was busy working on an ice sculpture in Queen Fyora's likeness. It intrigued us that the ice sculpture was not melting, despite Faerieland having a warm climate.
"Oh hi! You guys look like you're from the Neopian Times," Kari said.
"Yes. We are actually curious about this ice sculpture here. It's pretty warm outside-"
"I put a charm on this sculpture so it won't melt until Fyora Day is over. The Snow Faerie usually here to help but she's a little busy. She couldn't come today."
"Do you always come here on Fyora Day?"
"Yes, definitely. I like the atmosphere here. It's a celebration after all and I like celebrations."
Kari proceeded to lift a basket full of Faerie Queen Neggs.
"I also have these to give away. No celebration is complete without Neggs."
She returned to her sculpture and began smoothing out what was going to become Fyora's staff.
A sizable crowd began to gather in Fyora's garden. It was mostly Faeries and Faerie pets. Off to the side was the Soup Faerie, who was quite busy setting up trays and platters. Instead of rows of chairs in front of the stage, there were round tables. There would be dinner served right before her address. We flagged down the soup Faerie.
"Hi Miss Soup Faerie!"
"Oh? Please call me Terri."
"What brings you to the Fyora Day celebration?"
"I'm handling the food arrangements. The chefs in the castle are doing the actual cooking but I'm helping set things up."
"What about the Soup Kitchen?"
"I have assistants there. They will remain committed to feeding the less fortunate."
"Do you enjoy doing that?"
"Well, I like making Queen Fyora's day special. She's very kind and deserves much more than food. However, food is my special skill so it's only way I know how to honor her."
Terri returned to her preparations, carefully arranging utensils along a table draped with a pink tablecloth with a pattern of Fyora's wings.
An enormous carriage appeared in the back of the garden. This one was encrusted with gold and silver with large wooden wheels. Along the side, we could see the crest of Altador. Yes, certainly other Neopian Leaders also partake out of respect and appreciation of the Faerie Queen. The door swung open and out stepped King Altador, Psellia, and Siyana. The Faerie Queen teleported from her balcony to go and meet them.
"King Altador! Psellia and Siyana! How are you all doing?" she asked.
"Oh I'm doing fine, your majesty. This is for you," Altador replied, handing Fyora an enormous flower wreath full of pink roses and tulips.
"Why thank you!"
Siyana and Psellia gave Fyora a hug.
"It's nice to see you both," Fyora said.
Several other Neopian leaders arrived later as well. There was King Skarl, King Hagan, King Jazan and, to everyone's surprise, Lord Darigan. Most of them shook hands with the Faerie Queen and gave her a small gift of appreciation. They were seated at a round table to the right of the stage. To the left, there was a Red Pteri and a Tyrannian Aisha along with two humans, presumably they were a family that had close ties with the Faerie Queen.
Terri snapped her fingers and glasses full of Fyora Day Fizz appeared in front of the guests along with plates of sugar cookies. We took our seats at the roundtable reserved for the Neopian Times. It was almost evening and time for dinner and Fyora's address. Many of the Faeries also scurried to their seats.
Meanwhile, the Faerie Queen paced around on the stage, glancing down at her speech notes. Although she's given speeches many times, she seemed a bit more uptight this time. Ever since Xandra put Faerieland on the ground, Queen Fyora always appeared nervous. Perhaps it's because there didn't seem to be much progress on the magic needed to raise Faerieland back into the air. Or maybe the progress in rebuilding parts of Faerieland wasn't quite where the Faeries would like. Despite all these nagging questions, Faerieland remained a stable kingdom.
Terri snapped her fingers again and enormous Faerie Queen Burritos appeared along with large bowls of Caesar Salad. There were also several plates of Fyora Apple slices. As we started on our burritos, Queen Fyora stepped up to the podium. She cleared her throat.
"Fellow Neopians, I appreciate you all coming tonight. Every year, I feel blessed that there are so many of you that travel from faraway lands just to be here. Honestly, I don't think I'm worthy of all this and I always feel a bit guilty that I'm the only Neopian Leader on the calendar."
There was a pause and some laughter.
"Seriously, there ought to be a day for all the Neopian rulers. Wouldn't you all like more holidays anyway?"
Cheers rang through the crowd.
"Anyways, I think I had something important to say but I appear to be missing some notecards."
Queen Fyora turned to a table where Hanso was sitting.
"Yes, your majesty."
"Those notecards look awfully suspicious."
The crowd laughed as Brynn elbowed Hanso and told him off for stealing Fyora's cards.
"Thanks Hanso! I assure you these cards aren't dangerous artifacts. Anyways, I did want to get to some Faerieland business. Last year, we progressed well in restoration efforts, especially in the Dark and Earth Faerie territories which were decimated by Xandra's deed. They are almost 70 percent restored. However, we certainly have more work to do."
Fyora paused for applause.
"There is one important thing I would like to address. Years ago, I spoke about how we would be working hard to find a way to raise our kingdom back into the sky."
Fyora paused to collect herself.
"A-after careful consideration and consultation with both Faeries and pets in the Faerie Council. We have come to an agreement that we no longer wish to pursue that as a goal."
There was an audible gasp from a group of air Faeries that sat together. Psellia turned around and gave a stern look at her air Faerie sisters.
Meanwhile, the Earth Faeries cheered a bit, earning a soft glare from Fyora.
"This may not be pleasing to all, but after some deliberations, we came to an agreement that no further Faerieland resources should be spent on this. Instead, we ought to use our resources to fix issues. The cost of living in Faerieland has gone up since there are still buildings in need of repair or replacement. We need to press on in fixing those."
The audience nodded in agreement.
"Our new neighbors probably want their lands restored too. The borders of Faerieland need quite a bit of attention. We haven't done a very good job at tending to them."
King Hagan nodded as did King Jazan, both hailing from kingdoms now neighboring Faerieland.
"That's not to discount all of our accomplishments this year. Certainly, many have found employment at our Employment Agency. We are now at an unprecedented three and a half percent unemployment rate."
"Our Faerie Quest event was a great success and allowed us to rebuild many of our roads that were in disrepair."
"Now I would like to point out that our Yooyuball team was so close to the podium last year. Thus, I would like to give a shout out to our team."
Fyora gestured to a table occupied by Team Faerieland. Loud cheers erupted from the audience.
Go! Fight! Win! Faerieland!
"Well, I am sure you are all anxious to finish your dinner so I won't keep you all too much longer. I thank you all for coming and I hope to see you all at the Faerie Festival!"
After a final round of applause, the Faerie Queen disappeared in a cloud of pink smoke. Although the night of food and drink continued, the Faerie Queen retreated back into her chambers to avoid large crowds trying to get her to sign autographs and take photos.
Instead of going to find her, we decided to get some of the initial reaction to her speech.
We caught up to Psellia who was still trying to calm some of her air Faerie sisters around.
"What did you think about Fyora's address?" we asked.
"Well, my air Faerie sisters are not too happy with her plan to stop pursuing Faerieland in the sky. I'm not surprised though. Fyora was pulling her hair out trying to figure out new magic to do that and I really didn't like to see her that stressed. I told her to stop because there will always be clouds for us air Faeries."
"So, it was your idea?"
She dropped her voice to a whisper. "Yes, and my sisters aren't too happy with me. I don't really want to talk much about it."
"Faerieland is great the way it is!" Illusen exclaimed, as the air Faeries glared at her.
Kari swooped in and dropped a few Faerie Queen Neggs in an effort to lighten the mood.
Siyana arrived to let Psellia know that King Altador was thinking about departing to Altador.
"Siyana! What did you think about Fyora's speech?"
"Well it was full of optimism as usual. I'm glad we are getting the dark Faerie neighborhood fixed up," she said.
"Well, I really think they are misunderstood so they are often ignored. That often leads to some of their more desperate behavior. I'm a light Faerie and I don't dislike the dark Faeries at all, even knowing the Darkest Faerie. Anyways, King Altador looks like he has an early meeting tomorrow morning. We should go, Psellia."
As the crowd began to thin out, we saw Terri cleaning up alongside Celandra.
"Celandra, did you enjoy the evening?"
"I guess. Honestly, I get bored of these things. The Faerie Festival is much more fun. You know, there's more gossip at that event. Here, it's just Fyora talking. I love her but sometimes her speeches are dry."
"Do you want to be my speechwriter?" said a familiar voice.
We turned around to see Queen Fyora, who was now helping with the clean up effort.
"Nah, I would recommend Hanso," Celandra replied.
"Yeah, he does have a way with words."
"Oh hello, you probably have a question for me. I can take a couple I guess." Fyora replied.
"How difficult was it to make the decision to stop pursuing raising Faerieland up into the sky?"
"Well, it was difficult at first but consulting with my council made me feel better about it. Our kingdom has other things to address and honestly, I think we've come too far to change things up. We are used to being on land now, even though some won't readily admit that."
"Why do you think some won't admit that?"
"Well, maybe it's nostalgia. Or perhaps they were too hopeful. I feel bad for the air Faeries but I think they understand that we tried hard. It just didn't work out."
"Can you tell us why it was so difficult?"
"There's little recorded history of how or when our kingdom ended up in the sky. However, old artifacts do give us a clue that the Faeries did start out on the ground. Unfortunately, that's all the clues we have."
"Last question, what do you hope to accomplish this year?"
"I would like to work on making housing better here. Seems like it's getting too pricey to live here. My council has some ideas so I'll look to them."
"Thanks for your time Fyora!"
Fyora Day, perhaps the queen's speech was a little dry. But it was still full of optimism. The Faeries have come a long way since the Xandra incident and they will surely be busy continuing to rebuild their kingdom.