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The Dreamer


by dark_goddess_rising

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In the very center of Altador there is a building. It is a one of the greatest grandeur and splendor, a lasting tribute to the twelve greatest heroes in Altadorian history: the twelve heroes, the twelve protectors of the city. Statues in their likeness ring a twelve-pointed star, each claiming a point of their own. King Altador himself is at the head of the circle, but there is one hero among the twelve that goes unnoticed. At nine o'clock the statue of a faerie stands rigid, her eyes filled with sleep but unable to close their stone lids. Psellia the Dreamer has a story that needs to be told. I intend on telling it.

     Neopia knows her from the Book of Ages and a constellation fashioned in her honor hangs in our night sky, but there is another story in her past, one that precedes the tale in the Book of Ages, more interesting than her better-known story. Psellia, the fair dreamer, the patron of the sleeping who will rise, did not make Altador her first home. She, like all other faeries, was born among the clouds of that city in the sky. But she didn't reside there long.

     Psellia and her friends, faerie and neopets, were playing tag in the clouds of Faerieland. The air faerie immersed herself so completely in the game that she didn't realize the creature she was about to tackle didn't have wings with which to catch himself. She tackled him playfully, and he fell through the clouds. Even the young air faerie couldn't fly fast enough to save the blue Blumaroo from the turbulent ocean waves.

     **** **** ****

     Psellia was in tears. She could barely see the things she was throwing into her suitcase through the salt water that burned at her delicate face. She didn't notice the earth faerie that stepped into her room.

     "It could be worse, Psellia," Iyana tried to comfort her friend. "The queen is most merciful. She could have taken your name and your wings, and not a single of our sisters would call her too harsh. You still have your magic," Iyana could never know what the air faerie was feeling, but she could imagine the loneliness Psellia was now faced with. As an earth faerie, Iyana was expected to make herself hard to find. Her home was in a tree in the woods of Meridell where no one, faerie or Neopian, ever went.

     "What is magic when I have no home?" the air faerie sobbed. "What is magic when I have no friends? when I have been ripped from the company of my sisters? It is nothing, Iyana. I am no better than a dark faerie." Psellia returned to throwing the last of her possessions into the case the queen had given her. She didn't have much, and that was probably a good thing. If she had anything else, she would have to leave something behind.

     "You are no dark faerie! You are above them by far. You are an air faerie, a mistress of the winds and of the clouds. Dark faeries are hated. No matter where you live, the rest of Neopia knows you are above the dark faeries. The rest of the world knows they can turn to you for help." Iyana would give anything to pacify the queen at that moment, to convince her to let Psellia stay. Queen Fyora was beyond even that. Psellia had to go and that was the end of it.

     "Dark faeries aren't allowed in the city, Iyana. I'm not allowed in the city. What makes me any different from them?" Or, the faerie started thinking, what makes me any different from a grey faerie? Lost and nowhere to go.

     "Your heart." Iyana smiled, remembering all the things Psellia ever did. "You want to do what is right and they just don't care. You want to help people and they want to stir mischief. Go out in the world and do something that cannot go unacknowledged. Maybe that will convince Fyora that you deserve to be here. Maybe then she will let you come home. After all, it was just an accident."

     Iyana was sure that Psellia would never be allowed back within the city walls. In the history of Faerieland no banished faerie ever was. The best Psellia could hope for was one day being allowed to celebrate the Faerie Festival with her sisters every year. Even that would take time. It would be years before the queen relented.

     Psellia didn't know any better then to trust Iyana. She didn't know that a banished faerie never returned to Faerieland. The earth faerie was older and wiser than the air faerie was. Iyana possessed far more experience with the protocols of the faeries. Psellia never saw another faerie banished and couldn't understand exactly what it meant. She put her faith in Iyana's promise and dreamed of one day being welcomed back to the purple city.

     It is for this that Psellia is known as the dreamer: she decides to work for something and she does it, always meeting with some level of success. While she works, she imagines the end result of her endeavor. She exaggerates her reward, but it doesn't bother her. Whatever she accomplishes in the end is enough. Psellia held one dream over all others-the dream of returning home, of going back to Faerieland.

     Every day she woke up thinking of the party Fyora would throw for her when she returned. There would be feasting fit for all the kings and queen of Neopia, past and present. Dancing and laughing would last all night and at sunrise, the beginning of a new day, a new life. She would approach the faerie throne to kneel before the queen. Fyora would welcome her back to the halls of her sisters and invite her to give a speech.

     Psellia could see the day clearly in her mind. Her dreams pushed back the sadness that overwhelmed her. Iyana's words gave her the hope she needed to go on. One day she would return to Faerieland.

     The air faerie explored Neopia, never really settling down to call any place home. She couldn't bear calling any place home, not when she was banned from the one place she wanted to call home. She passed her time giving quests to Neopians and helping those who cried out for help in their dreams. Her name was a ward against nightmares and all other evils that lurked in the sleeping dreamer's mind.

     Before a hundred years passed, pets and humans alike begged Psellia to help them, to protect their dreams and to keep their desires within reach. Her guardianship and the motivation she provided led thousands to achieve their dreams, but she had yet to achieve hers.

     On the hundredth anniversary of her banishment, Psellia decided it was time she did something worth the Faerie Queen's notice. She wracked her brain for something, anything, she could try. She redoubled her efforts to do good in the world. She traveled more and more frequently, never spending more than a year in the same place. Every time a new world was discovered, she was the first faerie on the scene to observe the natives. Her research on diseases led to the discovery of many cures. Still, it wasn't enough. Psellia explored more fervently than ever before, but no solution came to her. She could think of nothing to win back her place of birth. Until, that is, she discovered Altador.

     Psellia didn't discover Altador. Someone else revealed the city's existence to the world years before the air faerie ever set foot there. But, as the only known way into Altador was through a tower at the top of Fyora's palace, Psellia couldn't get into the city.

     It was raining everywhere that fateful day. Psellia lapsed into reminiscing about the day she was banished. She didn't need the rain to make her feel worse. She started flying and refused to stop until she found dry sunlight. Had she been paying attention to the path she took, she would have earned her fame. The place she ended up in was Altador.

     Taking one look at the city, she knew she was home. The columns of the city arched to the heavens and the marble buildings shone with an ethereal light in the midday sun. The citizens of the city walked around, no one afraid to parade their wealth in the form of lavish clothes and expensive jewelry. There was nothing to fear in this shining city. Psellia settled in Altador and was never once troubled by her dark past.

     Years later some unknown force-a gut instinct, no doubt-told Psellia to leave Altador. She went through the portal into Faerieland, forgetting she wasn't allowed there. The portal took her through just in time to see the blue Blumaroo fall through the clouds. It was the day of her banishment all over again. But, this time, she reacted fast enough to save the falling creature.

     She dove after him, catching him just above the turbulent ocean.

     Fyora didn't find out about Psellia breaking her exile until she heard about the Blumaroo's rescue. It was enough. Psellia broke her banishment, at the risk of Fyora's wrath, to save an innocent creature. It was time for the faerie to return to her place in Faerieland. The queen extended an invitation for Psellia to come back home.

     The air faerie declined the offer. Psellia only gave up one dream. She didn't really give it up though. She found her home, it just wasn't the home she started out looking for. Iyana would never know the power a little white lie held for a close friend. And King Altador? He had one more place on his council of twelve filled with a noble spirit.

The End

Psellia is my favorite of the twelve heroes, can you tell? I'd love questions, comments, or criticism on this.

 
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