Interview with a Faerie's Ruin Survivor
“They say that history is defined by the winners,” the wraith, whom we shall call ‘Mist’ for the purpose of anonymity, said to me as he nursed a cup of borovan. His façade was flickering between deep midnight and a rich purple. “The veterans of the Wraith Conflict know this very well.”
I had to apologize, Wraith Conflict? I asked him.
“Oh right, the Neopian side calls it the Faerie’s Ruin… but on the Aipoen side, it was our last stand against Faerieland’s enslavement of our children.”
For those who remember, near the end of Year 12, Faerieland fell from the sky and began months of battling the ‘new’ phantom creatures swarming into Neopia.
“We’ve been around since the beginning.” Mist said playing with the steam coming off the top of the borovan, “We had witnessed it all: the arrival of Virtupets Station, the Meridell War, the Discovery of Tyrannia, the Ice Caves War… we watched as you brutalized each other, wondering why the Neopians so strongly favored might.”
He shudders in his chair.
“War is a terrible waste. Aipoens, we believe in unity – Oblivion as you saw during the Wraith… I mean Faerie’s Ruin, was the final ditch effort to overthrow the tyrannous, wicked Fyora.”
I could feel my eyes widen as the wraith chuckled in response. I fumbled out the question of how the glorious, nurturing Fyora could possibly be ‘evil’.
Mist leaned in close to my chair. His eyes narrowing, their haunted gaze focused on my face, “Where do you think Fyora gets the power to distribute magic to all the hundreds of faeries in Faerieland?”
My mind scrambled to think of a response, but luckily he continued.
“If you notice her staff, I mean REALLY notice it. Look deeply into the orb at the top. You will see the swirling wraiths trapped there. She stores them and uses them as seeds to create more magical faeries.”
I asked about how this works.
“The youngest wraiths are the strongest, and the older faeries are the strongest. We are the yin to the faerie’s yang. (He sighed) Once Fyora gained the knowledge of how to harness a wraith, to use his shadow to fuel a faerie’s light, the scale tipped and the balance was lost. The details of how this works is unimportant, what matters is knowing that every faerie you’ve encountered has a core fueled by a wraith.”
Can you explain this further? Our readers will truly be skeptical, I explained.
“How many times have you encountered a grey faerie?”
Grey faeries as most Neopians know are faeries which have lost their magic. Recently, they have been granting quest requests along with the well known faeries. This reporter will admit to having received two grey faerie requests during the last Faerie Festival.
He nodded, “Their numbers are growing are they not? These are faeries which we have reclaimed the wraith from within. It took years of being cautious and researching, but finally we are on even ground with Fyora. While she diminishes all thought from the wraith, we leave the faerie free to live, albeit without the magic which makes her a faerie.”
“Back to the subject at hand,” he gazed off into the distance, “We began recruiting covert agents to help keep us safe. We are a solitary people; we had to be sure of trust in the Neopians assisting us.”
He moved his hands and the steam from the borovan took the shape of Balthazar.
“Balthazar was the first recruit the Wraith Council turned. He was fascinated by the faeries but did not trust them. We fostered his development and provided him the method to make impenetrable bottles to house the faeries. But…”
Mist stood and began gliding as one would pace, “… he became obsessed. Before he would bring us the faeries to return the wraiths to their families, but after years of capturing them, he did not want to let them go. He had thousands of faeries and, by extension, wraiths captive in his home. It was too far away for us to storm, so we became dubious of any who might help us for a great many years and secluded ourselves to the best of our abilities.”
The wraith stopped his pacing and smiled, “Then we met Xandra. She was a pupil of Fyora’s, as close as any Neopian had gotten to the faeries – the perfect double agent. She had the tools, the connection, and with the Aipoen backing, the strength to overthrow the faeries.”
Sitting, he took a sip of the borovan, “As I said before, we are a group highly opposed to war. It’s why we froze the faeries, hoping to get by without the fighting. But when we started sending wraiths over to find their children, the Neopians attacked us. Fear begets a nasty cycle, it’s why I agreed to this interview five years later*. I want to clear the air; the Wraith Conflict – sorry Faerie’s Ruin – has only reported the history from the Neopian side of the realm.”
The light left his eyes and his pallor took on a mauve-like tint. “I saw firsthand Fyora’s cruelty. My little sister… she was found playing in the glade by the queen (he spit) the year before. I was frightened then as I saw Fyora strike out a baby, for that was what Aur–(he stopped himself from saying her name)– that’s what my sister was,” his shoulders slumped further, “She had arisen from the mist the previous year in the winter of Year 11. My parents were so happy. A wraith girl is rare and precious and most powerful in our realm. I saw the glint in Fyora’s eye before she swung. I was not ready to be an adult, but seeing my sister taken, thrust me into my maturity.”
I reassured him, he did not have to continue. He hesitated but shook his head, determined.
“I joined the Wraith Council that day; I was there in the plain when we stormed Faerieland. I had trained hard to become a Commander; I wanted to return my sister home to see the bleakness leave my parent’s eyes. But… the massacre began. Droves of Neopians stormed us as we tried to survey which faeries held which wraith child. There were too many, we are a land of one, while Neopia is a land of many. We fought Tyrannians, Pirates, Maraquans, Faeries… too many for our humble numbers. Our soldiers, we all focused on the emergency plan and joined forces. We combined into Oblivion, knowing we could separate and regroup again back in Aipoen. But the forces, they descended upon us, when we were already weakened.”
Mist took a deep breath.
“We did not make it, as history tells. We separated and returned licking our wounds. So we watched, fury building to the portal entrance, Xandra trying to protect us. She was a determined witch I’ll give her that. She fought valiantly, a hero to all wraiths. I know she had seen Fyora remove a wraith more than once, so she fought like a phantom – rage bursting from within her. I heard her tell that the faeries did not always using their powers to help Neopians in need, because in her eyes, although we called ourselves Aipoens, we were the same. We were all part of the same greater world. She hid our soldiers until they made it to the portal. Making it seem like we had been obliterated.”
Tension overtook the wraith and he appeared to grow larger.
“The Aipoen troops, we looked to each other. We could sense that she was weakening. Hanso’s charm, that smug thief, had begun a reversal of the petrifaction of the faeries. We rallied. Returning in our homeland, we healed quickly. But we knew that we had to come back as one. Xandra was an honorary Aipoen, and she needed our protection. So we returned, as did every Neopian on the faerie side. It was a fierce battle. But as strong as we were, we were no match for the sheer number of ‘pets coming at us. The artifact broke… and Oblivion was split and we were thrown back through the portal. We watched as Xandra petrified, and Fyora was freed.”
Tears of milky white flooded his eyes. What happened next, I asked.
“She was all smiles as she freed Hanso, the fiend,” he hissed the name, “Fyora was happy to spout goodness to all the Neopians, as we watched in vain through the portal. I did not rescue my sister that day. I failed my family and my homeland. So we tried to rebuild, we educated others. We even tried to integrate with the Neopians so we could be free to move between the worlds. But memories die slowly. We still do not feel safe with the tyrant queen sitting on the Faerieland throne.”
What made you come here today, I asked. My last question as I knew he did not trust being in our world for much longer.
“For peace. It has been five years; we have comforted ourselves knowing we tried to gain Aipoen’s children back. But this world, this Neopia has to understand that we are in it too. And we deserve to have our voices heard.”
*Editor’s note: The interview was held over the winter, but due to the Faerie Festival, and to protect our source the Times held the article until after the faeries were less dense on the ground.