My Journey to Faerieland
It was a typical day at the Neopian Times. I quietly and neatly sorted through some draft documents on his desk before filing them away in a filing cabinet at the Neopian Times headquarters. I was new to the Neopian Times, just barely getting to know all the basics. After all, I was just an intern with very little writing experience. However, that evening, my life would change forever.
“Hello, Geo,” said a voice. I immediately looked up to see the editor, a Pink Shoyru named Darcie.
“Oh, uhh....hi. Was there something I did wrong?” I asked, my voice a bit shaky from my boss suddenly showing up.
“Oh, no, it’s nothing like that. It’s just that we have an opening here and I think you would be a good fit. We need someone to go out to Faerieland and be our eyes and ears.”
“Faerieland? That’s far away, isn’t it?”
“Depends on the time of day actually. Did you know it’s always sunny and daytime there? The giant cloud follows the light. Anyways, I’m off-topic now. What do you think? We’ll get you a place to live and help you get there.”
I placed my paw on my chin and thought for a moment. I hadn’t really been to many places much outside of Neopia Central. Faerieland sounded like a nice place. Perhaps I would take a chance.
“I don’t know much about Faerieland, but I’ve never really been there. I suppose it would be a good opportunity. Sure, why not?”
“Great, we’ll get you out there at the end of this week!”
I held my right paw up to indicate he had one more question. Darcie nodded.
“Any other questions or concerns? It would be best to address them now.”
“Umm, what will I covering in Faerieland though?”
“Well, mostly faerie affairs. You have heard of Queen Fyora, right? And other faeries there have blessed you before, I’m sure.”
“Yeah, I've fetched a few items for faeries here and there.”
“Yes, well, Faerieland is a large place, and we don’t have a full-time reporter there so we would be relying on you to bring us the latest information. The faeries are somewhat of a mystery in Neopia, so we should report on their land in order to help Neopia better understand the faeries.”
“Ah, yeah, I suppose that’s important. After all, the faeries are a part of Neopia. What is my first assignment there?”
Darcie smiled and handed me a slip of paper.
I unfolded it and took a look. “Faerie Castle Press Pass,” it read in pink letters.
“Wait you want me to…”
“Yeah, you’ll interview Queen Fyora. Don’t worry, she’s nice and likely won’t bite.”
I felt nervous about the whole thing, but I really wanted to prove myself. However, I feared making a fool of myself in front of the Faerie Queen. She is one of the most powerful faeries surrounded by other powerful faeries making this quite intimidating. And she was quite a busy queen, and I did not want to waste her time. Perhaps Darcie had some ideas on what to ask her.
“Sure, that sounds good. Do you have a general idea of what you want us to discuss?”
“Well, we don’t know much about her in general so maybe ask about her daily life, her likes/dislikes, the faeries in general, etc. I’m leaning on you to be creative here. But I’m sure you’ll do fine. Anyways, do you have further questions?” Darcie asked. She looked like she was antsy and anxious to leave to be somewhere else.
“Alright, we’ll arrange for someone to take you to Faerieland this week. Good luck!”
Darcie then took off and flew out of a window. I decided to take a few files on Faerieland home from the Neopian Times headquarters so I could understand what to expect. Unfortunately, Darcie was right. Not much about Faerieland existed in the NT archives. Fortunately, the files that did exist were detailed enough.”
I knew that I needed to head back to my small Neohome in Neopia Central and start packing a few things. So, it was imperative that I head home soon. As I left the NT HQ, I noticed there was some commotion outside that was blocking the way home.
“Really? Another traffic jam on the way home?” I muttered to myself. However, it soon became apparent that this was unlike any other traffic jam.
In fact, it was a crowd of younger Neopets and several of them walked away from it carrying books. As I took a closer look, it was actually a travelling library that was distributing books. Eventually, the crowd dwindled as more Neopets claimed books. As I began to walk past the cart full of books, I heard a voice call out to me.
“Hello there, did you get a book?”
I turned to see a Green Lenny. She wore fancy glasses that were in the shape of stars. She had a uniform on that had a Neopian Book Award symbol on it.
“Hmm, no. I thought you were handing them out to kids.”
“Well, actually we have books for everyone. Come on, don’t be shy. How about a faerie book?” the Lenny said.
My eyes widened a bit in shock. How in Neopia did she know? Perhaps all librarians had secret mind-reading powers. It wasn’t the first time that one seemingly appeared to read my mind. Anyways, I quickly nodded.
“Yes, actually. I’m travelling to Faerieland soon and I would like to know more about faeries. Perhaps I’ll make a few friends there too.”
“Ah, well, sir. You are in luck! I have a few books on Faerieland. Perhaps you’ll want to make some faerie friends soon. Here’s Making Faerie Friends. Oh, and since you’re probably going to encounter the Faerie Queen there sooner or later, as a bonus, I’ll also give you Being Faerie Queen. Here you go!”
The Lenny passed me the two thick tomes she mentioned. It seemed like there was a lot more to learn than I had anticipated about the faeries. After nodding in satisfaction, the Lenny librarian spoke again.
“Well, it is getting late. I’d best be getting back to the main library that I’m from. You have a good night and a wonderful time in Faerieland. The Lenny snapped her fingers and suddenly the cart levitated. She sat on it, and it began floating in the direction she needed to go.
I didn’t have much time to dwell on the strange magical phenomenon going on as I needed to get home and pack my bags. Fortunately, I didn’t have much to pack. It was probably a good idea to include something more formal though. I was going to meet the Faerie Queen after all.
Arriving at my small Neohome in Neopia Central, I went inside and threw some clothing into a suitcase and called it good. I didn’t have much furniture and much of it wasn’t mine anyway since I rented the Neohome. In my spare time, I decided to open the book about the Faerie Queen. I had heard various things about her. Many have said that she was very kind.
“Being Faerie Queen might seem like a nebulous occupation at first. After all, Neopia has only known of one Faerie Queen, Queen Fyora. Many in Neopia come to Faerieland in hopes of catching a glimpse of her…” it began.
However, eventually the tiredness settled in, and my eyelids felt heavy. I closed the book and settled into a deep sleep.
I awoke to the sound of knocking at the door. Still groggy, I went to the door and opened it to find an air faerie standing at it and a fancy looking cart with wings behind her. It was mostly pink with some light blue trim. The wings looked like the faerie’s own wings which were light blue with darker blue edges. There were three passenger seats lined up behind the driver’s seat.
“Cloud Racer taxis, at your service. My name is Alisa. Looks like you’re looking to ride to Faerieland? You also look like you just woke up. Am I too early?” the Air Faerie said.
“No worries, I can wait outside.”
I quickly gathered my things and washed myself up a bit. I then returned to the door.
“Here, let me give you a hand.” Alisa blew gently and suddenly my suitcase levitated itself into the back of the cloud racer.
The magic threw me off a bit as I stared at my floating suitcase.
“Come on, don’t be shy. Have a seat next to me in the Cloud Racer and I’ll take you to Faerieland!”
“Oh sorry, I got distracted.” I rushed over and sat in the passenger seat of the cloud racer.
“Please buckle yourself in like this. Safety first!” She demonstrated by buckling her seatbelt. I followed suit.
“Alright, just sit back while I take off here and we’ll be in Faerieland in no time. Is this your first time going there?”
I was distracted by the controls and dashboard of the cloud racer which had a steering wheel and a bunch of knobs and buttons with faerie wings on them.
“Sir?” Alisa spoke again.
“Uh, yes. Any fun places I should visit?”
Alisa moved a few knobs and buttons and suddenly the cloud racer lifted straight up into the air.
“Well, the Faerie Castle gardens are amazing. Oh, and soak in the healing springs for a bit. Your body will thank you. If you’re lucky, you might meet the Faerie Queen in person!”
“Have you met her?” I peeked down to the ground below as things started to get smaller and further away. It seemed a bit dizzying, so I looked back in front.
“Oh, one time. I was walking in the castle gardens when suddenly, she was just sitting there on a bench. She looked deep in thought, but when she noticed me, she waved at me and smiled. I never talked to her though. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say.”
I grabbed a pen and notepad from my pocket.
“If you don’t mind, I would like to know more about Queen Fyora.”
“Queen Fyora? Oh well, most Faerielanders love her. She’s always been that kind faerie that rules with a gentle hand. Everyone loves her.”
My eyes grew wide with scepticism. Every ruler has flaws. There was no way that everyone liked Fyora.
“Everyone? Are you sure? There must be some that don’t like her, right? There’s no perfect leader.”
Alisa shook her head. “Oh, of course. Jhudora doesn't like her much. I'm not sure why. But most Faerielanders love their queen. She’s always so nice and friendly.”
“Hmm… alright. If you say so. But I do want to talk to her. That’s actually my first assignment.”
“Then you should make an appointment. Queen Fyora is very busy and doesn’t have time to see anybody.”
I grew concerned at this. I needed to see her soon, but who knew if she had the time for me.
“Thanks for letting me know, Alisa.”
For the remainder of the flight, we didn’t talk much. Once we were up in the clouds, I soon saw the faint outline of Faerie City. The Faerie Castle’s enormous towers were hard to miss, and neither were the pink clouds.
“We’re nearly there,” Alisa commented.
“Well, it certainly looks huge,” I replied. I had only seen pictures of Faerieland. As the kingdom slowly faded into view, it became apparent the sheer magnitude of the size of this kingdom.
The cloud racer slowed down as it approached Faerieland. We began to fly straight up to be above Faerieland before we began a gentler descent to what appeared to be a group of rectangular landing pads. One of the pads began to glow pink as well as our cloud racer. Alisa took her hands off the steering mechanism.
“Automatic landing. So, we don’t bump into another racer. It’s pretty neat,” she stated proudly.
The racer gently landed itself on the landing pad.
“I believe your accommodations are just down the street. Would you like me to help you with your things?”
I looked at my suitcase and shook my head.
“I packed lightly so no need. Thank you for the ride.”
“Very well then. Cloud Racer Taxis, at your service. Until next time.”
“Wait, don’t I have to pay-“
“The Neopian Times covered it, don’t worry.” The air faerie stepped back into her cloud racer and waved. She then took off again to pick up her next rider.
I turned to face the bustling street. I looked up at a pink street sign that read “Air Faerie Avenue – West”. I pulled out a slip of paper in my pocket that the Neopian Times gave me. It read “Lodging: 242 Air Faerie Avenue – West, Faerie City, Faerieland, North Pixie District”.
I looked across the street and saw that the number was 200 so I looked down the street in the direction I was meant to go. It was quite busy and there were faeries and faerie pets constantly zooming up and down the street. However, suddenly there was a whistle and the traffic stopped coming. I squinted to see a faerie at the next intersection dressed in an official-looking uniform and cap. She looked to be in charge of directing traffic. She held up a sign that indicated traffic should stop and then waved pedestrians on through, so I followed. Once I was safely across, I made my way towards the Neohome.
It looked very neat from the front, painted a solid light pink with a magenta shingled roof. There were several windows along with skylights on the roof. I took out a key that came with the letter from the NT and opened the door which had a small decorative archway. I walked inside.
“You are early,” said a voice. I jumped back, startled that someone was inside already.
A light faerie emerged from the kitchen area with a duster in her left hand.
“I’m Marianne, I’m your landlady,” she began. “Don’t worry, I’m not here to collect payment. Your employer took care of that. I’m here to make sure everything looks good and doing a bit of cleaning. Perhaps you can have a look around.”
The light faerie returned to the kitchen to finish her job. The house had a small hallway in the entrance which opened up into a neat living space. There was an oval-shaped pink coffee table in the middle and a round rug with Queen Fyora’s wings imprinted on it. There was only a single story with a vaulted ceiling and light streaming in from the skylights. Off to the left from the living area was a door to the bedroom suite and a bathroom. The bed inside was a Fyora Print Bed. The bathroom had a nice, fancy tub to wash all your troubles away in.
“Hey, sir. I’ve finished up now. When you get a chance, I have something for you to sign.”
I rushed back out to the living room and saw the light faerie moving a Queen Fyora Rocking Chair into place. I had no idea where the chair came from because I hadn’t seen it before. She then handed me a piece of paper.
“Sign here and the house is yours.”
I signed the paper at the dotted line, and she tucked it into a briefcase.
“Good day to you then. I’ll let you get settled in. Don’t hesitate to let me know if something isn’t quite right. Oh, and here’s my card with my contact information.”
I took her business card, and she took off. The card was shaped like light faerie wings and had her name and “Light Faerie Leasing” printed on it. I then began unpacking my things. However, my stomach began to rumble.
To be continued…