Character Introductions: Kaia
Welcome to Character Introductions! A series where I interview newly introduced characters to the site and hear what they and others have to say about them. It’s been a while since I did one, but it was worth the wait as the new character we’re interviewing today is the star of the returning Faerie Festival: Kaia, the young Faerie from Shenkuu!
Little is known about Kaia, much like with many of the young Faeries. However, Kaia is no ordinary Faerie; instead of originating from Faerieland she’s a native of Shenkuu! However her Faerie heritage was never far from her heart and mind, eventually deciding to attend the Faerieland Academy. But being a foreign Faerie in Faerieland Academy was more difficult than she imagined, many of her fellow students teasing her. But she studied hard and it paid off as she gained the attention of Queen Fyora one day while she was visiting the academy. Fyora gave her a rare book that would teach her things not normally taught, motivating her to become more studious. Kaia now faces her biggest challenge yet: running her own booth at the Faerie Festival, thus introducing herself to the rest of Neopia. With the Faerie Festival going on as I write this, I managed to catch a few minutes with Kaia as she prepared her stall between visitors.
Hel-Hello! I’m flustered... FLATTERED!
I’m flattered to meet you. *Quickly and stiffly bows*
And we’re flattered to meet you too. There’s no need to be nervous, we just want to learn a little bit about you.
“Oh, thank you. *Gives a nervous laugh*. I’m sorry; I haven’t done an interview before. I was never that much of a social butterfly, in Shenkuu I only had one best friend in Reizo. I was hoping to improve my social skills in Faerieland Academy, which I have been, at least now the other students would talk to me, though I still like to work by myself. Not that I don’t want to work with others! I like working in groups! Just that I feel more focused on what I’m doing studying alone. NOT THAT I’M NOT FOCUSED ON WHAT THE GROUP IS WORKING ON!... A-aren’t you supposed to be asking me questions?”
Alright! Settle down. Maybe focusing on questions will help calm your nerves. Let’s start on something easy. What element are you?
“I’m an Earth Faerie, though I can understand the confusion. Out of the basic six elements, Earth Faeries have the most differences between members depending on what land they’re from. Many are more familiar with the Faerieland Earth Faeries who wings resemble leafs, but Earth Faeries from other lands have their wings resemble different plants in addition to other adapted physical differences such as skin and hair color. My wings resemble that of a lotus flower, a native flower of Shenkuu. Jhuidah’s wings resemble a hibiscus flower, a native flower of Mystery Island.”
Very interesting... wait! Jhuidah, as in the Island Faerie? She’s not from Faerieland? How many Faeries aren’t from Faerieland?
Yes, much like how I was born in Shenkuu, Jhuidah was born on Mystery Island. Well, “born” in quotes. Maybe created would be a better word? Manifested? Sorry, probably shouldn’t be talking about that, even though I’m not a Faerieland Faerie all Faeries have shared secrets. *Gives a more playful wink*. Back to your question; there’s not that many of us non-Faerieland Faeries. Faeries originate from Faerieland and for millennia it was believed only true Faeries are from Faerieland so almost all are “born” here. Us non-Faerieland Faeries were considered a bad omen, but that view changed centuries ago when Fyora became Faerie Queen and sought to unite all Faeries. Still, the stigma of being a non-Faerieland Faerie remains. Some make substitute kin with the natives of their land, like Jhuidah, while others preferred to be alone to master their land’s magic, like Nuria of the Lost Desert.”
So Nuria is a non-Faerieland Faerie, too. I’m sorry to hear about the struggles of the non-Faerieland Faeries. Hopefully both Fyora and you can bridge the gap the stigma has dug. Now you said something about “mastering their land’s magic”, what’s that about? Do you have a different kind of magic than Faerieland Faeries?
“Thank you for your kind words and concern, I also hope I can do Queen Fyora proud! As for having a different kind of magic, yes and no? All Faeries have the same magic, Faerie magic to put it simply. It can have different elements, but all share the same source. Likewise, each land has its own magical essence which Faerie magic can tap into, changing it. It’s one reason why for a long time non-Faerieland Faeries weren’t considered true Faeries, Faerieland’s magic is the purest form of Faerie magic. It’s why Faerieland Faeries like Taelia and Illusen were able to alter their appearance when they moved to another land, their pure magic tapped into the land’s magic. I, Jhuidah, Nuria, and other non-Faerieland Faeries cannot change their appearance, our land’s magic is part of us; Shenkuu’s magic is part of me.”
“But our magical differences go beyond our appearance. Using me as an example, my Earth magic focuses on a different aspect of nature than Faerieland Earth Faerie’s magic. While I can still make plant life grow and move soil and stone, I can more easily manipulate objects made of wood. I call it “wooden puppetry” and it’s what I based my stall game, Wing It, around! Many of the other students considered it a useless trick, but I’m constantly working on making the most of it.”
That’s good to hear. Speaking of all these other famous Faeries, most of them play a pivotal role in the land they live in. Sticking with Earth Faeries, Illusen uses her Earth magic to help the Meridell farmers grow their crops strong and healthy. Have you done anything similar in Shenkuu?
“First I want to say that Illusen is a great Earth Faerie, maybe one of the greatest! I had the honor of meeting her for the first time at this year’s Faerie Festival and she was one of the kindest Faeries I’ve met since I started attending Faerieland Academy. She was even impressed by my wooden puppetry, she didn’t think it was useless, she lightly joked that with enough practice I could probably make trees walk or make an army of wooden puppets! I never thought about that! She also taught me a spell on how to make the bark of trees harder, hard enough to even break a blade of an ax! Queen Fyora is still my role model, though I think I’m going to make Illusen my role model for Earth magic specifically.”
“But now let me answer your question, sorry for the tangent. (I assure her it was alright). I have had the honor of meeting the Emperor of Shenkuu on many occasions. Like Illusen does with the Meridell farmers, I’ve been tasked to do the same for the Shenkuu farmers and bamboo growers. For Illusen not to become exhausted after doing this shows how strong she is and how much more I need to learn and train. I usually need to rest a few days after all the blessing; though I think I did all I could to assure a good harvest. The Emperor always gives my efforts high approval, and in thanks he waives the rent of the house I was given and pays me so I could buy food and other needs. When I went to Faerieland Academy I promised The Emperor that I’ll come back to Shenkuu to bless the crops and bamboo when requested, and he perfectly understood and I’ve had gone back when requested. He still waives the rent and pays me, which I’m thankful of him for doing. *She looks to think about something, but shakes her head and returns making eye contact*. While I like Faerieland very much, I love Shenkuu. It’s my home and I want to do all I can to make it prosper and proud.”
I’m sure it already is. One final question: the book that Fyora gave you, what does it contain? Also do you have any final words for the readers?
“*Gives a sly snicker* Now that’s my little secret between I and Queen Fyora. It’s no secret the book is an ancient spell book, but it contains spells I’ve never heard of. And it’s not because I’m not from Faerieland, Queen Fyora and my professors told me the spells written in the book are not taught in Faerieland Academy. I’ve read the book cover to cover multiple times, but I was told the book itself was magic and held many secrets. Each time I read through it there’s new spells I didn’t see before, like new pages are being added. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m reading through it over and over again or it’s because my magic is growing stronger. Whatever the case, I promised Queen Fyora I would learn everything I could from the book. I will not fail her, even if I have to read the book for thousands of years!”
“If I have anything to say to the readers is not to give up! Even if there are others who tease you or want you to fail, just keep on your own path! Believe in yourself and eventually you’ll get recognized by your role model!... Okay, thinking about it maybe that last part doesn’t apply to everyone. And thinking about it I wouldn’t want to be encouraging people to be doing bad or evil things either. You know what, it’s the spirit of my message that matters; I think everyone get what I’m saying and will interpret the way it best fits them.”
I assured Kaia that what she meant wouldn’t be lost in translation and, after playing my round of Wing It (I missed, though at least this time I didn’t pin the wings on an actual Fire Faerie and get chased out of the Faerie Festival via fire balls), I went to do part two of this article: gathering other’s opinions on Kaia! With all the Faeries gathered in one place I decided it would be easier to get the opinions from those who aren’t at the Faerie Festival and come back tomorrow for the opinions of the Faeries I want to ask. With my plans set, I set sail to Shenkuu:
Guardian of Shenkuu
(Member of a clan who are sworn to watch and protect Shenkuu, the Emperor, and its citizens)
(Originally I asked to get an opinion from The Emperor, but instead I was given a letter by a Tomamu which read to follow it. It led me down valleys, over hills, and through thickets until I came to a hidden clearing where an Aisha was sitting on a blanket under a blooming cherry blossom tree)
“Welcome, no need to say why you’re here, it’s my duty as a guardian of Shenkuu to know who is trying to see The Emperor. But this is not about his Majesty nor I, this is about Kaia. You were redirected to me as I know more about the young Faerie; it was I who recommended her service when Shenkuu was having crop problems. It was during my early training when our clan learned that a new young Faerie had been spotted in a secluded part of Shenkuu where local Faeries lived. Though she was not like the others, never had we seen a Faerie with wings that resembled a lotus flower. We learned she was “born” in Shenkuu, a rare occurrence. We kept watch of her development and occasionally visited her and her guardians. She’s a sweet girl but also inquisitive, eager to learn though sometimes her shyness gets the better of her. Though she is well taught in Shenkuu customs, she had a strong interest in Faerie things. When she wished to go to Faerieland Academy she went to The Emperor though I too was invited for the discussion. I told The Emperor it was a good idea, her becoming stronger would only help Shenkuu and maybe strengthen relations with Faerieland. I don’t mean to sound cold, Kaia’s happiness was a major factor in this too, but my duty is to Shenkuu’s and The Emperor’s interests ; luckily, things happily coincided. (I tell the Aisha that Kaia never mentioned her). It was initially a secret, but with Kaia now fully accepted in Faerieland Academy there’s no reason it needs to remain a secret. (This must have been what Kaia was thinking about after talking about Shenkuu). We’re happy to hear about her accomplishments and eagerly wait for her full return.”
Balthazar (Faerie hunter)
“A Faerie is a Faerie is a Faerie and so on. I knew about the non-Faerieland Faeries, though I’ve never had to deal with one. But if they’re on the rise I guess I need to come up with new catching strategies. Figures, just when you thought you got those Faeries figured out they come up with a new trick! Pfft. And now they have that Faerie Festival going on. I HOPE SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS TO IT! I don’t know what; Faeries manipulate the elements so it can’t be rained out or set on fire. Was up to me, I’d bash their fancy furniture and decorations! HAHA, would serve them right! But even if it wasn’t taking place in Faerieland there are too many Faeries for my comfort. Where’s Xandra when you need her? Oh, right, Fyora is probably using her as a garden fixture. What a kind of caring soul. Ugh, even saying that sarcastically put a vile taste in my mouth. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, someone recently snuck into my cabin and stole a batch of bottled Faeries. (I inform him about “Free the Faeries”). WHAT?! THOSE LOUSY, THIEVING, PUNY, GOOD FOR NOTHING, UGLY, VAIN... AAARRGH! *Runs away roaring in anger*”
Uber Earth Faerie (Handles the Earth Faerie’s quests)
“As the Uber Earth Faerie I’m not only responsible for keeping track of all the Earth Faerie quests but also assuring the wellbeing and fair treatment of all Earth Faeries. This also includes non-Faerieland Earth Faeries, at least now it does. Though for the first few weeks it was a challenge. All Faeries have particular needs, and for us Earth Faeries one is keeping our wings healthy. Our wings not only resemble plant life, they need to be taken care like they are too. For most Faeries this just means sprinkling it with nutrient rich water. But Kaia wings resemble a lotus flower and it wasn’t responding well to the usual water other Earth Faeries use. I had to get water from Shenkuu and work with a Water Faerie alchemist for several days to get the correct formula that Kaia wings needed. Normally when a Faerie wings aren’t healthy we’re in a bad mood, but for the entire time Kaia remained calm and cheerful, I was quite surprised, especially for a Faerie of her age. I’m looking forward to seeing how her unique brand of Earth Faerie magic will blossom and what ways it’ll add onto the understanding of Earth magic.”
Casandia (Fyora’s assistant)
(While I wasn’t initially going to quote Fyora’s assistant, as I was looking for Fyora I ran into Casandia and asked if she knew where Fyora was so I could ask her about Kaia. At the mention of Kaia’s name Casandia made a nervous face and, curious, I asked for her opinions)
“About Kaia? What about her? She’s okay, I guess. I don’t have anything against her. Why would I? Queen Fyora likes her, so as Queen Fyora’s personal assistant I do too. What else more do I have to say? (On a hunch, I asked Casandia if she knew anything about the book that Fyora gave to Kaia). It’s just some old magic book, nothing special. Queen Fyora has plenty of them in her private library. I’ve seen them. Since I’m her personal assistant. (After a few moments of silence, I asked if Casandia was jealous of Kaia. Her face flushed bright red and made a surprised face). WHAT!? NO! Why would I be jealous?! Kaia is just like any other student in the Faerieland Academy. So what if Queen Fyora gave her a magic book, it’s not like that makes Kaia her new assistant or something. I remember when Queen Fyora picked me to be her personal assistant. I was clumsy, didn’t have that many friends, and wasn’t doing well in my classes. Then one day Queen Fyora visited the school, saw me alone, I told her my problems, and right there she made me her personal assistant. (I point out that sort of sounds like what she did with Kaia). BUT QUEEN FYORA SPECIFICALLY SAID I WAS HER ASSISTANT! And it’s not like she’s looking for another assistant. I’ve much improved since becoming her assistant, there’s nothing more Kaia can do! (I suggest maybe Fyora makes Faeries having troubles her assistant. Things become silent for a few more seconds). I’M NOT BEING REPLACED! I DON’T WANT TO BE REPLACED! *Casandia flies away in a panic in tears*.”
Fyora (Faerie Queen)
“Kaia is an exemplary Faerie, I’ve never seen any student of Faerieland Academy having worked as hard as she did. Though that said I do think she needs to take a break from the books, and hopefully now she can as I heard she’s making friends in the academy. One of my many duties as Faerie Queen is to serve as superintendent for the Faerieland Academy, though I take a slightly different approach in dealing with the students than the professors and administrators do. Even though I am queen I am still one being, so I let the staffers handle the majority of the students while I keep an eye out for any student having difficulty. No, I do more than just look for a Faerie sitting alone; I work with the staffers who hand me reports of students they believe are having problems. Thankfully, most can be resolved without my direct intervention; but then there are a few rare cases where I sense something about the Faerie. This was the case with Kaia. I have many magical books in my possession, ancient books with long forgotten but powerful spells. When I was informed about Kaia it just felt like one of the books belonged to her. You can call it fate or destiny; I just knew that Kaia and that book were meant to be together. With Kaia’s high intellect and determination, I have little doubt that in time she’ll discover the books secrets; whatever they may be and what she does with it is her own choosing.”
(I ask her if she plans on making Kaia her assistant) “Kaia’s destiny is in her own hands, I just gave her the means to do so. If you could see her academy records, you’d know she’s a perfectly independent Faerie, having maturity beyond many other young Faeries and even among older ones. (I tell Fyora about my conversation with Casandia). Oh dear. I better go talk with her. I suspected something was bothering her but when I asked she hastily said she was fine and get back to her work. Poor dear was always a tad bit eccentric; whether it was something that interested her, doing a task, or being paranoid. There’s no need to worry about her or her having any animosity towards Kaia.”
And that'll end this edition of Character Introductions! Sounds like Kaia has an interesting future set ahead for her, but she’s not alone (though already seems to have some competition) and has the knowledge and determination to help her through it. But who knows what that magic book contains and what it means for Kaia, Faerieland, and maybe even the rest of Neopia. The Faerie Festival is coming to a close (and with no Faerie petrifaction! Looks like it’s going to be a successful year, sorry Balthazar...) though hopefully Wing It! can become a permanent feature somewhere so everyone can try it (or at least make a return in future Faerie Festivals). And I will see you next Character Introduction, hopefully the wait won’t be that long!
NEWS FLASH! Looks like I spoke too soon about a successful Faerie Festival! During the night a vandal has snuck in and smashed the furniture and decorations. Queen Fyora has cancelled the remainder of the Faerie Festival and investigations are underway. Suspiciously sounding like what Balthazar suggested, I tracked him down to ask him questions. Between fits of joyous laughter, Balthazar said he didn’t do it (though would like to shake the hands of the one who did). Keep your eyes on the Faerie Festival and New Features to keep up-to-date!