The Origins Of: Balthazar
Now, I know what you're thinking. Oh, yes... right now you're
reading this and saying to yourself 'Ah-HAH! So, that miserable rug-on-legs
has reappeared again, has he? Wants to set the record straight, does he? Hah,
says I, and HAH again!'
But it's true. I, Balthazar Rory Snarlington
Woof, have come out of hiding to reveal the truth once and for all, so that
everyone may at last realise how my name and existence have become so maliciously
'Never judge a book by its cover,' I believe
you Neopians like to say. Well, I ask for no more than ten minutes of your time
to prove to you that you shouldn't judge a Lupe by its harsh, rugged, malevolent-looking
Please, just hear me out and I promise you you'll
see not only the truth in my words, but also how many forces in Neopia have
ganged together to blacken my name.
Will you hear my side of the story...?
It all began years back, when I was still a fairly
young pup of a Lupe, my purple coat less jagged and my eyes not so pinched together
in what may have been easily mistaken for a sinister glare (I'm just short-sighted,
I was an adventurous Lupe, with no real owner
to hold me by a leash or restrict my wandering spirit. I frequently went on
solo rambling trips to the various multitudes of Neopia's natural landmarks.
I claimed the tip of Terror Mountain for Fyora before the rest of the
land had even been discovered. I trekked the sandy dunes of the Lost
Desert to make international relations with their ruler in the Faerie Queen's
name. Everything I did, I did first and on behalf of the Faeries.
Yes, I can hear your giggles and snorts of disbelief,
but it's true! Balthazar the Lupe, scourge of all Faeriefolk, acting as their
friend and ambassador? I won't waste my time arguing the fact, as all will soon
Anyway, since I considered myself a friend and
ally of the Faeries way back then, I felt it my solemn duty to help out any
of the Folk that happened to request my assistance.
Imagine then, my surprise, when I came across
a particularly drab and dishevelled Earth Faerie during one of my many rambles
through the woodlands surrounding Neopia Central.
She looked up at me with her sullen, tear-streaked
face, apparently fearing the worst. "P-p-please don't eat me," she sobbed.
"My Lady, I wouldn't think of harming one as
regal and beautiful as you," I told her soothingly, paw on heart. "Now, please...
tell me what ails you?"
"I've been cast out of my clan," the Earth Faerie
- who later I came to know as Gabriella - whimpered. "I'm alone, homeless...
no tree will grant me accommodation."
I nodding knowingly in sympathy as I knew it
was common knowledge that a Faerie usually took up residence in something their
clan embodied; Earth Faeries tend to live in trees, Air Faeries on clouds, Fire
Faeries in volcanoes, Tooth Faeries in... um, cavities. Yeah.
The Earth Faerie's eyes lit up as a desperate
idea suddenly came to mind. "You seem like a kindly soul," she said. "Will you
take me in?"
"Oh, I don't know if I could, Lady Faerie," I
told her apologetically. "My home is barely large enough to sustain me and my
bottle collection, you see, and I doubt such a place is suitable for a being
as graceful and lovely as yourself."
"Nonsense!" Gabriella laughed daintily, although
the desperation was clearly evident in her shrill voice. "A... a bottle
will be fine! I'm not that big, and it would allow me to practise my magic in
a safely enclosed area!"
"Well, okay then," I sighed reluctantly, secretly
honoured that a being so powerful would accept my squalid living conditions
as her own. "If you're sure..."
"Oh, I am, I am!" the Faerie squeaked excitedly,
clapping her tiny hands together happily. "And, if it wouldn't trouble you too
much, I know many Faeries in a similar predicament..."
And, before I knew it, the 'Balthazar Home for
Faeries' was born. Almost all my bottles were occupied with a homeless Faerie
within a week, and even more of the little lovelies came in by the day, seeking
shelter and sanctuary (although from what I have no idea).
Yes, I know now that this was probably a bad
idea to start off with, but I just couldn't say no to Faeries when I had done
so much for them in the past. And yes, I know my next idea probably sealed
my fate in the eyes of the world, but you have to know the truth.
The truth is, to be precise, it wasn't even my
idea to give away the bottled Faeries.
No, it was Gabriella, who had been with me from
the very start, who made the suggestion. My little hut was getting ever so crowded,
you see, and it cost an awful lot for me to buy more and more bottles, feed
the Faeries and pay the rent (hey, build a hut on a farmer's 'land' and suddenly
you owe him everything. And people called me greedy), but I was too kind-hearted
and caring to give the idea of saying 'No, enough is enough... no more Faeries,
please!' much thought. But good old Gabriella saw the obvious trouble looming
- either that, or I was looking especially gloomy and troubled that day - and
gained my attention by rapping on the side of her glass bottle.
Padding over, I gently lifted up the bottle and
unscrewed the lid. "Yes, ma'am? Are you hungry?" I asked.
"No, but I can see you need help," she replied
cheerily, and I perked up almost straight away at this. Faeries were wise creatures,
and any help she could give me would be valuable indeed. "Let me let you
in on a little secret. Exiled Faeries such as we," she added, sweeping her arms
majestically around the small room, "need only grant one wish to be accepted
back into our clans... but we can't just give out wishes willy-nilly, you see.
No, a Neopet must want our help, must request it unmistakably."
"I wish I had the space and funds to make you
all happy," I announced hastily, but the Earth Faerie simply laughed and shook
her head regretfully.
"That's not how it works, I'm afraid... no, let
me finish. You see, a Neopet must want our assistance but - and here's
where it doesn't work for you - they must not return the deed. A Faerie's magic
blessing is most powerful when it's selfless. So, you see," she added with a
playful sigh. "I can't grant your wish because you've already done something
for me - for all of us!"
"Oh... then what am I to do?"
"Easy... that I can help you with! You sell us!"
The suggestion shocked me to the core, I'm telling
you. Me, a lowly Neopet, attempt to barter off the wonderful Faeriefolk? It
just wasn't heard of! "I-I-I couldn't do that!" I stuttered, shaking my head
hurriedly. "It wouldn't be right!"
"No, but don't you see?" Gabriella asked with
a bright grin. "That's the beauty of it! We can't repay your endless kindness
with a wish for money, but by selling us for a moderate price, you'd
not only be getting those much needed funds, but you'd be setting us free and
helping us return to our people! For, and let's face it, a Neopian will buy
a bottled Faerie with nothing more than the hopes of a blessing upon its pet.
Will it even consider returning our generosity? No! A selfless act, that's
what it would be!"
I placed the bottle back down upon the shelf
and sat on the rug, contemplating this for some time. If what Gabriella said
was true, then I could continue to fund my Home for Faeries, but also aid them
in their quests to redeem themselves and return to their clans! It really was
an amazing idea, surely one I would never have considered had I not received
the wise counsel of the Faeries themselves.
"Alright, I'll do it!" I agreed minutes later,
and a collective cheer went up amongst the bottles.
That night, the trips began as I made sure all
the bottled Faeries made it safely to my shop in Neopia Central. It had remained
empty for years, as I really had no idea what to stock in it with the little
money I had. But now, as the new morning broke upon the great city, it was full
to bursting with bottled Faeries of all kinds.
None of them minded being given away for varying
sums of Neopoints, and with hours the shop was a booming success. People far
and wide came to purchase my bottled Faeries, and the air was alive with the
hum and joyous laughter of freed Faeries and blessed pets.
Then she came.
The one person I truly thought would be the most
grateful for my great deeds.
Now, picture the scene; my shop had been open
for no longer than two days when who should step through the door but the Queen
of the Faeries herself, Fyora! Upon seeing her regal form hovering across the
counter I almost bowed out of sight, but instead I simply lowered my head in
"Your Majesty," I murmured respectfully.
"Balthazar," she hissed. Yes, you heard me right,
hissed. "What right have you to imprison my subjects and sell them off
for you own personal gain?"
At this question a few nearby shoppers stopped
what they were doing and nodded, muttering in agreement as if a veil had been
lifted from their eyes and they were seeing my deeds as something far more sinister.
"What? I-I-it's nothing like that, Your Highness
"Silence! These Faeries were banished from their
clans for good reasons, and I see no reason why you should profit from
our ways. If a Faerie should want to seek redemption and acceptance back into
her clan, then she shall do so in the usual ways - not from the inside
of a glass jar!"
"I will have silence! Balthazar Rory Snarlington
Woof, I order you to free all of my subjects immediately!"
Reluctantly, and oddly ashamed, I slunk around
my shop, loosening the lids of all the jars I passed, Faeries offering me words
of kindness as I did so.
"Sorry, Balthazar... we had no idea it would
end this way."
"You tried your best, Balthy!" (that's what they
called me; 'Balthy.' Oh, how I miss it!)
"Sorry I got you in so much trouble," Gabriella
told me sincerely as I opened her bottle last of all. All I could do was nod
"Now," Fyora went on, and I tensed, the worst
of my punishment yet to come. "For this crime against the Faeriefolk, I hereby
banish you to the woods from whence you came! You are to never live or
trade here in Neopia Central ever again! And if I ever so much as hear
of you bottling-up my subjects and selling them, I will punish you worse than
this! You don't want to be a Donksaur now, do you?"
"Then be gone!"
And gone I was... went... whatever. Suffice to
say I left that shop and that city with my tail well and truly between my legs.
Where had it all gone wrong? I thought miserably as I slunk back home
to my horrid little hut. I just tried to help the Faeries lead happier and
healthier lives, and this is what I get!
I was all set to become an enemy of the Faeries
there and then when who should I find waiting on my shelf but fair Gabriella.
"Cheer up!" she smiled, flitting over to me.
"I've had an idea!"
To be fair, Gabriella's second idea was much
better than her first. Well, I say that now... but that's just because I haven't
gotten in trouble for it yet.
You see, Fyora had said I wasn't to bottle-up
Faeries and sell them any more. But, as Gabriella pointed out, that left
a nice little loophole with which I could continue helping the Faeriefolk. I
still bottled them up if they asked for my help and shelter, but I no longer
No, now I simply sneak over to the Money Tree
early in the mornings to deliver a whole load of Faeries looking for acceptance
back into their clans. So Neopians still help them when they open them, and
if they decide to sell them on instead, it's their tail that risks Fyora's
wrath, not mine!
So, there you have it, fair reader! The truth
behind the monster, as many of you think of me. I'm just another caring, loving
Lupe eager to help out those in need.
Did you buy all that?
Aw, well it was worth a shot! Now, if you'll
excuse me, I've got to go and have a great laugh at the Faeries' expense and
then go on the hunt! See you around... although you better hope that I don't!
Author's Note: I've always wanted to do another Origins story, and I've
also wanted to tell Balthazar's side of things (does it matter if they were
all lies?)... so I thought why not combine the two? And here's the result! Hope
you all enjoyed it! Until next time!