Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 197,348,726 Issue: 978 | 10th day of Running, Y25
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Faerie Town


by black_skull725

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Faerie Town, Darigan Citadel

     The Fall of Faerieland was a very disruptive time in Faerieland’s history. Xandra’s act displaced many residents living near the area that Faerieland crashed into, as well as the faeries who were used to living in the skies. Even adjusting to having a proper day/night cycle was a struggle for many of them.

     While the faeries thought that perhaps Queen Fyora would look for ways to raise their home into the skies again, she decided that the future of Faerieland would be best on the ground, where they would be more accessible to pets. After all, Xandra was dismayed at the lack of engagement of Faerieland with other parts of Neopia. Keeping Faerieland on the ground was a great way to have neighbors to relate to. Yes, many faeries understood Queen Fyora’s point and most of them agreed with her, realizing that perhaps their period of relative isolation in the skies was likely not a boon for Neopia. However, even among those that concurred, there were still a handful of them that preferred living in the skies, and they began to seek other living arrangements.

     It’s long known that outside of diplomatic relations, Queen Fyora and Lord Darigan had a deep friendship and admiration for each other. It was Queen Fyora that demanded that any peace deal between Darigan and Meridell not formally identify any fault with Lord Darigan’s side, knowing that the true Darigan was for peace. This close friendship led to Darigan openly offering assistance immediately after Faerieland fell.

     Several faeries took Darigan immediately up on his offer and packed all their things. They settled in a barren corner of Darigan Citadel, where the Darigani welcomed them with open arms. However, after a few months of faeries continually migrating, growing pains began to emerge.

     Perhaps one might not think of the darker, drearier place in the sky as suitable for fae-folk to dwell. However, the dark faeries found the place quite charming and peaceful for them to inhabit. Other faeries seemed to find ways to adjust to the new environment by constructing structures with Faerieland’s aesthetic. It was also friendly territory.

     Such migration piqued our curiosity here at the Neopian Times. Thus, we dispatched our Neopian Times Faerieland Correspondent, Geo, to the scene to investigate.

     Our crew arrived at the main port of entry for the Darigan Citadel. It bustled with goods coming in from other realms as the curse forced them to import most food and supplies. A guard directed us to a queue, upon which we showed our credentials and cleared a security check to enter. The amount of scrutiny an outsider receives depends upon the diplomatic relations between Darigan Citadel and the land they hail from, with such stringent measures existing since the war.

     We headed to the corner where the faeries lived and, on the way, found a pink and blue oval sign that read “This way to Faerie Town.” Most of the residents stopped to say hello to us, though a few gave us side eyes with whispers of, “More Faerielanders again? How many more are we going to welcome?”

     We paid them no mind and soon arrived at Faerie Town. Parts of it were noticeably brighter, though other areas blended in with the Citadel, presumably where the dark faeries lived.

     Most buildings sported shades of pink, and Light Faerie-shaped streetlamps illuminated the street corners. The pink cobblestone street was not unlike a thoroughfare in Faerieland, lively and bright against the dark Darigan purple. Pink and light purple foliage lined the main road, alongside several merchants, another feature prevalent in Faerieland. And faerie magic illuminated the air with sparkles, remnants of their spells. Improperly stored faerie foods zipped through the air, chased by hungry Darigan and Faerie Petpets.

     As we stared in wonder at the strange hybrid of cultures, we smelled a delectable scent that brought us to an Air Faerie who ran a food stall selling common faerie foods. She wore a light blue apron with a cloud pattern over a pink dress. She tied her yellow hair in a tight bun and sported a chef’s hat.

     The scents of Faerie Toast and Fruity Faerie Fingers filled the air, tempting our crew until we succumbed. After enjoying a few snacks hot off her cart, we began conversing with her. We found out that she moved to the Citadel immediately after Queen Fyora announced that Faerieland was to remain on the ground.

     “Did you choose to leave because of what she said?” we asked.

     “While I understood her reasoning for her decision, I felt it was too drastic for me. I don’t disagree that we could have better relations with other pets, but something about her statement felt a bit exclusive of us. So, I decided to move here.” She spoke passionately but hesitated to give us her name.

     “How welcoming have the Darigani been?”

     The air faerie’s smile faded as she stared at the ground. She quietly flipped the toast she was making before coming back to us.

     “Well, it was good at the start, but I’m beginning to think they might not want us here. There have been whispers that we are changing too many things too quickly. I suppose change is hard, but I hope they can adapt and allow us to stay.”

     “Sure, but isn’t it fair to say that Queen Fyora was making changes quickly too? What if you tried to adapt to those changes instead?”

     We seemed to have struck a nerve as the air faerie narrowed her eyes.

     “I don’t particularly care for this line of questioning. Now, if you’ll, excuse me, I have customers to serve.” Her hand shook from her anger.

     Understanding that we had overstayed our welcome, we quickly moved on from the conversation.

     A Dark Faerie nearby seemed to laugh at our predicament, but she beckoned us over. She wore a black sweatshirt and a pair of dark purple jeans, with several lavender bracelets on her right arm and hair tied in a ponytail.

     “Hello. You’ll have to be less direct with the air faeries here, they are particularly sensitive about the situation. But oh, where are my manners? The name is Sharla. I used to be Lyra’s roommate. She told me you’d be here.”

     We asked her how long she had been in Darigan Citadel.

     “Well, I moved here before Faerieland fell. I wanted to see the world outside of Faerieland, and I guess I desired a place where the predominant assumption wasn’t that all dark faeries were evil.”

     “But didn’t Queen Fyora say not all Dark Faeries are evil?” we asked.

     “Look, I love Queen Fyora. I think she’s a great leader. But on this issue, it just seems that she says that, and nobody listens anyway. She doesn’t appear to do much otherwise to help our cause besides speaking about it and appointing a few of us to work for her.”

     “How has it been different here?”

     “I’m grateful for Lord Darigan’s hospitality. Everyone has been welcoming, and I’ve made a few friends. I’ve been able to help others with my magic a few times. But it is easier to assimilate as a dark faerie since we’re used to the darkness here. ”

     “So, what do you do here on a typical day?”

     “I work in metalsmithing to make Darigan weaponry reinforced against magic attacks. It’s a good job; I enjoy it well enough.”

     Sharla then had to leave as she needed to pick up food for her pet Drackonack.

     We turned around to see a Darigan Eyrie seemingly unhappy about something the faeries did as he was pointing and shouting at a Light Faerie. The commotion appeared to center around the faeries repainting one of the houses bright pink without seeking permission.

     “How dare you paint my house pink! That is against Darigani building codes--and more importantly--my property! The Housing Commission will be hearing about this!”

     He then turned to us.

     “What are you all staring at?!”

     “We’re with the Neopian Times.”

     “Oh, you are, are you? Well, I have something to say to the world then!”

     He then launched into a long rant about how the faeries are ruining the Darigan Citadel, covering everything from how they don’t follow the building codes to not even eating the same food or serving the same Lord. And then he suddenly went quiet and began staring off into the distance. We turned to notice two members of the Darigan Guard walking over, a Draik and a Kougra. The Eyrie flew away as they approached us.

     “Terribly sorry about him. He’s been angry about the faeries moving in for a while now, and everyone’s fed up with his rants,” the Draik said.

     “Do you know why he’s so angry?”

     “He’s been through a lot during the wars, so any change is jarring to him. But it’s no excuse to take it out on the faeries. Anyways, we’ve got to get back to it. He didn’t do anything else right?” she asked.

     “No, ma’am.”

     “Very well, use caution out here. I would say the mood is a little heated lately.”

     The rumours of tensions between faeries and Darigani appeared to be true. Much of the tension stemmed from the faeries not fully complying with Darigani zoning guidelines. The Darigani also expected the faeries to blend into their culture and ways. While the Dark Faeries did that well, other faeries seemed to continue to follow all Faerieland culture norms which sometimes conflicted with Darigani norms. For example, the faeries often sang in the morning to usher in the new day. However, such behavior was frowned upon in Darigan Citadel, where waking up was a much quieter ritual. There have been attempts at outreach between the two communities with some, albeit limited success so far.

     We continued walking along the street until we reached a fountain with a bronze statue of Queen Fyora and Lord Darigan next to each other in the center. There was a small plaque near the fountain with an inscription that read: “The Friendship Fountain.”

     Near the fountain stood a Darigan Poogle with a Fire Faerie who we discovered lived under the same roof as friends. The faerie wore a flame-patterned dress and had streaks of yellow in her wavy red hair. The Poogle wore a pair of dark purple glasses and a necklace with a miniature faerie figurine. Post Faerieland’s fall, many faeries became open to living with pets, under encouragement from the Faerie Queen. It appeared that trend continued here.

     “How did you two come to be friends?”

     The Fire Faerie turned to the Poogle. “I moved here after Faerieland fell. Riki was looking for a roommate and I figured why not?”

     “I’ve never really interacted with faeries much in the past. When I heard they started moving in, I was intrigued. Tessa and I met, and we decided to go and live in that Neohome over there. Tessa’s been telling me about the Poogle races, and I’d like to visit Faerieland one day.”

     “What made you move from Faerieland, Tessa?”

     Tessa’s ears then drooped as her face turned into a sad frown. She paused to collect herself.

     “Sorry, if we touched a sensitive topic for you. Perhaps we’ll just move on?”

     She shook her head and recomposed herself after Riki patted her on the back.

     “No, no, it’s just that I lost my Neohome and all my belongings, so I needed a place to start fresh, build a new life. I’m happy that Queen Fyora has done an amazing job at rebuilding Faerieland, but as for me, a new beginning is best for me.”

     “We’re sorry to hear.”

     “Not a problem. Things are going well now.” Tessa reached for her pocket, pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed her eyes a bit. Riki jumped and gave Tessa a hug. We thanked them for their time.

     Tessa’s story was quite common among the faeries after Faerieland fell. Although Queen Fyora rebuilt Faerieland very quickly, many of the faeries lost everything and thus looked for a fresh start elsewhere. The same held true for some of the Faerie Pets that lived in Faerieland.

     We decided to find another Darigani to speak to about Faerie Town. Unfortunately, we quickly found that it was a touchy subject for many. Besides Riki and the Eyrie who had lots of complaints, we had trouble getting anyone to speak on the record, even when offering anonymity. After several failed attempts, we decided that perhaps we’d speak to Lord Darigan.

     The castle was a stone’s throw from Faerie Town. It was designed so that Lord Darigan could keep a careful eye on it in case trouble arose.

     Galgarroth just happened to be outside, in front of the castle, carrying a bag of weapon parts, at least that’s what we assumed the random hunks of metal were for.

     “Hello Sir!”

     Galgarroth turned and looked at us. “Hello, it looks like you’re with the Neopian Times. I presume you wish to see our Lord.”

     “You read our minds.”

     Galgarotth laughed heartily. “Nah, just call it intuition. Fortunately, My Lord is available for you to see right now.”

     We followed him into the castle. Unlike the Faerie Castle, Darigan’s was easy to navigate and Lord Darigan’s chambers was a simple ride up a floating platform to his door.

     “Dari! We have guests!” Galgarroth exclaimed.

     The door opened and Lord Darigan beckoned us in as he sat on his throne. Galgarroth followed close behind.

     “You are all from Faerieland, correct?” he inquired, after staring at us for a minute.

     “Yes, uh, My Lord.”

     “How’s Queen Fyora doing?”

     “She’s doing quite well.”

     “Good. Give her my best regards, and please let her know that I apologize for not responding to her latest letter. Things are very busy these days.”

     “Sure, My Lord.”

     “What can I do for you?”

     “We had a few questions about Faerie Town.”

     Lord Darigan’s facial expression changed upon mention of this. He seemed a bit uncomfortable.

     “What about Faerie Town? What are your thoughts on it?”

     Lord Darigan took a long pause. He rose from his throne and paced around the room.

     “This has been a complex situation for us. Normally, I would not be so open about this, but Galgarroth and I believe letting the world know about this might sway my council’s opinions, lest they lose an election. Generally, the public has been receptive of the faeries, despite some not being happy about the changes they bring. But let us begin. The faeries have done a great service for us after the wars, helping rebuild with supplies. Should we not reciprocate if they wish to live here?” he began.

     “Um, Dari, those were your prepared remarks from this morning to the council,” Galgarroth commented.

     Lord Darigan flailed his arms in frustration.

     “Oh uh, I suppose they are… look, I’ve had problems with my council with regards to Faerie Town. Some don’t want them here at all. Some want to limit the amount of Faerielanders coming in. And a few others support our faerie friends wholeheartedly.”

     An exasperated Lord Darigan then took a seat back on his throne. He sighed deeply and stared off into space. Galgarroth went over to him and whispered something into his ear. He nodded.

     “Again, it’s not the best to go on the record like this, but I frankly do not see any other way. We have some that just want the most skilled faeries in magic. Some are openly hostile towards anything new and different. Perhaps the best way is to get Queen Fyora to come for a state visit and talk to them. Look, the faeries have had it rough lately and if they feel comfortable here, I do not see why they cannot stay,” Darigan said.

     This was also in line with all the rumours. It appeared that the council in Darigan was divided about faeries and faerie pets migrating to Darigan Citadel. Many of them wanted some sort of restrictions on them moving into Faerie Town. Some feared openly that they would turn the Citadel into Faerieland. There were only one or two members that supported the fae wholeheartedly and reportedly they did so because faeries directly rescued their families during Kass’s reign. That said, the council needed unanimous approval to remove the existing faeries from Faerie Town. Restrictions on new faeries moving in needed a simple majority, but a supermajority of three quarters of the council if they wanted to override Lord Darigan’s sure veto of such restrictions. Still, Lord Darigan was trying his best to avoid a crisis and looked for ways to handle this without a nasty political battle.

     “If you need Fyora to come, we can let her know, My Lord,” we suggested.

     Darigan and Galgarroth both shook their heads and Darigan held up his wrinkled hand. “I cannot just involve you all. I cannot imagine the council will be too thrilled if they find out that more Faerielanders are in our government’s business. No, I shall use the official diplomatic channels for this.”

     “But sir, how will you convince the council to be on board with the faeries moving in?”

     Darigan sat there for a while and thought deeply. Galgarroth decided to make his advice know though.

     “When Queen Fyora comes to visit, let her speak to our people. For some reason, when she speaks, everyone listens and tends to calm down,” Galgarroth said.

     As usual, Galgarroth demonstrated his political savvy when he spoke. He was, after all, Lord Darigan’s top adviser for good reason. Soft-spoken and a Pet of few words, his words carried a lot of weight with everyone, especially with Lord Darigan. For as long as anyone can remember, he always stood by Lord Darigan’s side, not just as an adviser but a close partner.

     “That is a true assessment yes. Queen Fyora has that near perfect ability to lower the temperature in the room,” Lord Darigan said.

     We all nodded in agreement. Of course, Fyora’s been known to be the voice of reason during heated debates.

     “But sir, what happens if they don’t listen to Fyora?”

     “Well, then we would have tried our best and we will have to listen to the will of the council,” Darigan stated plainly. “But first they must agree on what their will is. There are no guarantees there.”

     The council thus far at this time of writing has not produced any other ideas on how to handle the faerie situation. It remains in a deadlock and Lord Darigan has ordered the council to move onto other pressing issues. Begrudgingly, the council has obliged. For now, despite some growing pains, the general sentiment toward the faeries remains positive with occasional disputes between the Darigani and the Fae. We hope for a peaceful resolution that works for everyone and hope to bring an update when that happens.

 
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