Aishas of Snow
Despite the snow, Imril could see the lone guard waiting
out a cold watch outside the main doors. Her vision had always been remarkably
perceptive -- indeed, her owner had always said she had pretty eyes… Imril wrenched
her thoughts back to the present, clouded with bitterness. She fitted the blowpipe
to her mouth and blew softly. The single guard stationed at the doors was more
for ceremony than protection. After all, who would attack the Faeries? The guard
went out like a light and landed softly on the snow, snoring gently. Imril chuckled
and rubbed her tan coloured paws together. This should be easy.
Imril beckoned to Torin. Together, the pair
slipped inside the doors, along with a flurry of snowflakes. The splendour of
the crystal hall momentarily robbed them of their breath. Imril scowled.
"They're building a luxurious palace in the
clouds while we rough it on a desolate Neopia, scavenging around for a piece
of filthy bread!"
She sneered. Torin viewed the hall with disgust
"Let's just hurry," he said.
Imril nodded and scanned the hall. Her eyes
came to rest on the magnificent throne at the head of the hall.
"Quickly, behind that! Then we can scout the
place from cover."
The two Aishas softly ran across the hall, crouching
quietly behind the throne. Imril ran a paw over the carvings and admired the
plush purple velvet of the cushion.
She held a paw to the cushion.
"Still warm -- someone was here not long ago."
Torin agreed with Imril and then his roving
eyes caught sight of the door to the antechamber.
"In there?" he asked.
Imril nodded and the two scurried across to
the antechamber and opened the door a crack. Torin slipped inside, closely followed
by Imril. They crept forward, captivated by the objects inside. Torin fingered
the sword with interest, wondering at its sheen, but it was Imril who spotted
"Look!" she breathed. She picked up the crown,
studded with the six gleaming jewels. "Light as a feather, too." The facets
of the jewels glowed with a soft magical light. Imril giggled and placed the
crown on her head at a jaunty angle.
"I'm the Faerie Queen! Build me a palace! Fetch
my jewels!" She waved her paw imperiously. Torin smiled and hugged her tightly.
The two Aishas had been forced to grow up too young and too quickly -- now,
they could reclaim their old life as best as they could.
"We're going to be fine," he said. "I'll take
the sword; you grab the crown.
We'll never have to worry about survival again.
Job done." He scooped up the sword and held Imril's paw daintily.
"After you, Miss Queen."
She swept out of the room giggling and Torin
The hall was dark and dim.
"Imril," Torin hissed. "It's gone dark!"
Imril bit her lip, worried. Had the loss of
the artifacts been discovered already? Then she sighed in relief. "It must be
the snow -- it's falling so thickly that it's blocked out the sun."
The two Aishas edged nervously to the wall.
They were half way along when a burst of purple light illuminated the hall.
The two jumped, turning round in surprise, and the crown slid off Imril's head,
clattering loudly on the floor. A Faerie was seated on the throne, with immense
bearing and presence. They knew it must be Fyora, the Faerie Queen. To the side
of her was a Water Faerie that looked somewhat familiar to the Aishas, seated
at Fyora's elbow. The Aishas tried to run, but they couldn't move a muscle.
Fyora looked stern and a tendril of violet light wrapped around the crown and
brought it back to her. She placed it on her head and spoke.
"Why do you enter a Faerie dwelling, which is
forbidden to you, hurt our kin and steal our items?"
Imril jutted out her chin defiantly.
"We're starving down there. Life is harsh for
us, while Faeries live in splendour."
Torin drew close to her, supporting her words.
Fyora turned to the Water Faerie.
"Taelia, please bring the others." The Water
Faerie nodded and disappeared. It wasn't long before the main doors were flung
open, revealing a Water Faerie pushing a group of harangued Aishas in front
of her. Fyora surveyed them.
"Why do you cause hurt to those who care for
you?" she asked.
Imril spat. "You care not! We starve and times
"The Soup Faerie will feed all those who come
to her," reprimanded Fyora.
"Life is not what it was before, perhaps, but
it is possible to survive. It must be hard to lose your owner…"
"I care not for owners!" Imril screamed. She
tried to regain control but Torin spoke for her.
"For others, it is perhaps possible to survive.
But I had a luxurious life, because of our owners. All of us had owners. And
we lost them because of you!" Torin spoke with anger. Years of bitterness and
resent welled up inside the group of Aishas. The sorrow of their owners' departure
spiked their anger further.
Fyora drew herself up. "We all did wrong and
I am sorry for your loss. I cannot repay to you what you are owed, and neither
can you by stealing my items and lying to yourselves. Money will not pay to
mend broken hearts. But owners will come again to Neopia and the Faeries will
arise. Not all that is lost is forever gone. I promise."
Imril's eyes blazed. "We led a life of luxury
once and now we must drink soup with the rabble! Why should we not take what
should be ours to repay what is owed? Your talk about hearts and healing and
love -- who cares? We want riches, for ourselves. We don't need owners."
Fyora looked grave. "You are greedy and that
is your folly. I understand your hate, your anger, your desires. I will teach
you a lesson -- not for punishment for your actions, but for your own sake.
For you consider yourselves above others and you have broken our rules. We placed
a harsh law upon ourselves -- to forsake the planet we so love to let it heal.
We did not abandon you through hate, but through love. Yet, you have spurned
out sacrifice. I should punish you for this. But punishment is perhaps the wrong
Fyora looked grave. The Aishas drew back a step.
Then she smiled slightly. "I have the answer to both of my problems." She beckoned
"There is the Negg Faerie, the Space Faerie,
the Soup Faerie, the Library Faerie, the Island Faerie…This day, I decree that
there shall be a Snow Faerie. That will be you, Taelia. I entrust to you the
area of 'Terror' Mountain -- its mountain range, the caves of ice within it
and the valley next to it. I also charge you with the care of these Aishas.
They did wrong in harming you; you can help them atone."
Imril stood forward, shaking slightly.
"We will freeze! We cannot withstand cold! I
refuse to accept this!"
Fyora looked at the young Aisha. "You have done
what you've done -- now accept your fate. I would not, of course, have let you
freeze. From this day forward, you will be special and unique, as you have always
desired. You will be set apart from other pets -- and this is also your punishment.
You will not be able to meet other pets normally or live as they will. When
humans return, then still you shall remain in your elite pack, without owners."
Fyora raised her hands.
"Here is your just reward!"
A glowing light engulfed the Aishas. Their fur
grew thicker and longer and the colour leached out of it until it was pure white.
On Imril and Torin, feathery wings began to sprout.
"See here your new lives. For you are Snow Aishas
and your leaders, Faerie Snow Aishas. You will walk through blizzards unharmed,
you will live on snowy slopes, you will prosper and grow. But few will know.
For you will blend away in the snow and have no contact with others except for
yourselves. You have got what you sought."
Fyora turned to Taelia.
"Go, Snow Faerie. Do what you will and be happy.
Your friend will find her true path, too."
"Thank you, Fyora. I pray you will watch over
Jhudora for me."
Fyora nodded and touched her fingertips to Taelia's.
Purple and blue light began to pulse together and Taelia glowed.
Taelia transformed. Her scaled tail split into
legs, her black hair grew shorter and sparkled with blue flame, her eyes shone
bright sapphire, her skin grew snow white and she was dressed in a warm furry
coat. Her wings sported blue and white feathers and she summoned a glimmer of
icy blue magic between her fingers. The Snow Faerie walked over to the Snow
Aishas, who were still looking shocked.
"Come," she said.
And they faded out of the crystalline palace
and out of Neopian memories, into the snow…
Still the Snow Aishas roam, as a myth, a legend, a rumour -- nothing more.
But they are real and they bear their gift and their curse still. As far as
Neopians know, they are but an Aisha Legend.