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At the End of the Rainbow


by queen_starshine

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Ah, the Rainbow Pool! For any Neopet, it's a synonym to "awesome" and "I've got a million Neopoints, what am I gonna do with it now?". But the Rainbow Pool is more than just any Neopets' dream. Its rainbow is also a geographical phenomenon. Or so I thought when I first heard of it.

      It all started when I happened to be visiting Krawk Island. It had started raining, so I took refuge in the hotel I was staying at, and it wasn't long before the rain turned to a drizzle, and the sun came out of the clouds. Naturally, I (and others) went outside to look for rainbows, and lo and behold, there one shown in the sky, dancing colors so bright and wondrous that it took my breath away.

      When the rainbow didn't disappear, or even glimmer the least bit, I overheard a few pirates in the hotel saying (quite loudly) that they were going after it, to the end of the rainbow. I thought it was just a few scallywags that didn't know what they were talking about, but when others joined in asking if they could come along, as if it were an expected occurrence whenever a rainbow appeared, I became steadily more interested.

      So I started asking around. Eventually, I found my answer from an old, retired sailor that watched the many ships from his small cottage by the beach, away from the Mynci Beach Volleyball arena, and the hubbub of the tourists. He explained that the rainbow always led to the Rainbow Pool in Neopia Central, but the younger pirates that hadn't been away from Krawk and Mystery Island didn't really know that, so they followed it in hopes of finding some great treasure.

      I was more intrigued by the fact that the Rainbow Pool rainbow could stretch this far, still this bright, than the fact that silly immature pirates followed it in hopes of an abounding treasure. I never was a treasure-seeker, myself.

      Then I was on a mission that I could not stop.

      I did a little more traveling. There aren't many Neopian scientists, but there are a few. Most of them you really wouldn't expect to be scientists, either, as they like to keep it hush-hush. I was first led to the Haiku Kougra of Mystery Island. He said that he didn't know much of the Rainbow Pool rainbow, since his science was more of tropical weather ("Rainbow pool? Don't know. I really haven't been there. Tropical weather."), but he referred me to Valrigard of the Meridell Castle.

      Apparently, when Valrigard is not being featured in his game (Escape from Meridell Castle), he is doing research. When I first met him, I thought he would be like a science professor, but he was really a keeper of legends and myths and stories. I found him in the Meridell Courtyard, and we had a nice, long chat over tea and crackers. But what he told me was more of a story then a scientific lecture, much to my surprise.

     ~*~

      Long, long ago, Neopia used to be much different then it is now. It was much smaller, and everyone was the same shades of grey and black and white. Not grey like now, a sad paint brush grey, but just grey in color. The only Neopian beings that weren't black and white were the faeries. Now these faeries lived in Faerieland as they do now, but they didn't interact with the humans and pets, quite unlike now. They wanted nothing to do with us. There was gossip, of course, of odd immortal beings that flew up above, but they were rumors, nothing more.

      The faeries did not care for the creatures beneath their clouds, all except for one. It was a Rainbow Faerie, the only of its kind. She was a normal faerie, really. She had the wings, the color, the clothes, the immortality, all the personalities of the faeries.

     But she had an odd fondness of the Neopets that lived on the land below, which set her apart. Often, she had dreams of the creatures below, but the creatures would be in color. Bright colors, and sometimes odd designs. Like a desert once, or that of clouds, maybe even camouflage. She never told about this to the other faeries, for they disapproved of such affectionate displays to the mortals.

     Her name was Tira, but it is unknown to the Neopets and humans and creatures of today, except for Valrigard and me now. And this Tira simply could not get the thought out of her mind of the creatures below her having color like she and the other faeries had. It became a thorn in her side and nearly drove her mad.

     So one night, while the world slept, Tira crept out of Faerieland and down below to Neopia. She went to the very center, the very heart of Neopia Central, which was a dirt path then, and began to weave her magic. She put a spell on the fountain that stood there, so that a rainbow of colors shot out of it like a bullet, encasing the whole world, giving it color.

     When the Neopians awoke next morning, they found quite a sight. No more were there dull greys and whites and blacks, but now a rush of these bright… bright… things! They were flabbergasted and confused, so they went to the elder of Neopia who said that the 'things' were called colors, and he told them each and every one. This elder had always been called eccentric and a bit out of his mind by the villagers of Neopia, but in fact he knew a great deal. This delighted the Neopians, but they were puzzled by the odd fountain in the center of square. What had once been clear grey water was now a swirl of all these new colors. Even the elder was confused.

     Meanwhile, the faeries that were watching from above were infuriated. These mortal creatures had no right to share the wealth of the colors! It was what made faeries special. Now they were all just a blur of colors. They knew that this offense could have only been done by one faerie - Tira. So they went searching for her. Finding her house empty of the Rainbow Faerie, it soon became a crazed mob.

     Tira had been expecting this. Behind the tower of the elder faerie, she carefully took a small pewter music box from her sack and opened it. In this box she put her dreams of the different colors and designs that she had seen the Neopets beneath as in her dreams. This she then put into her sack and dropped to Neopia below, as the mob found her.

     The faeries, in their madness, did not see what they were doing, but as they finally receded from Tira, the damage had been said and done. What they saw before them was a wingless creature, now looking like a human. Her clothes, once flowing and beautiful, were all but rags. Mournful, drooping eyes stared up at them before the odd grey faerie disappeared like a whiff of smoke: The first grey faerie of Neopia.

     ~*~

     As Valrigard finished, he leaned back in his chair and took out a pipe, contentedly blowing smoke rings into the night air, a small smile on his lips. I frowned and watched him. "Well?" I finally blurted out, standing up.

     The Draik looked at me. "Well what?"

     "You didn't really answer my question," I answered with a pout, folding my arms. When Valrigard didn't reply and only gave me a confused look, I exclaimed in an exasperated voice, "The rainbow! The rainbow of the Rainbow Pool! Why does it become longer after a rainstorm?"

     "Aah." Valrigard stood up from his chair and paced a bit around the courtyard, looking at the sliver of a moon that shone little light on us. As I tapped my foot impatiently, he finally continued, "Well, you know how Tira had been expecting the faeries to harm her for her actions?"

     "Yes."

     "Well, see, she put a spell on the fountain so that whenever it rained, the rainbow would stretch across Neopia so that all the Neopians would remember her. She wanted that because rain makes the world grey, but rainbows light up the greyness. Make sense so far?"

     I nodded politely.

     "And remember that box that she put her dreams into? See, she gave that to the elder Neopian of that age, to open every once in awhile, just often enough, and slip out a dream into the Rainbow Pool, which is where all the different colors Neopets can be painted comes from."

     I stopped, absorbing this information slowly. "Ooh - that's cool!" I whispered in awe at length, eyes widening with understanding. Valrigard nodded and took another whiff of his pipe, sending a smoke ring in my direction and smiling. Still, though, I had a few more questions. "But we don't remember Tira whenever we see a rainbow… why did we forget her? Where is she? And… who was the elder? He must still be alive, because we get new colors all the time…"

     Valrigard seemed to be expecting questions. He only gave me a small smile, turned, and left the courtyard without another word.

     I went looking for an answer. I think I found more questions.

The End

 
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