Hanso's Faerie Festival Lampoon
It was the opening day of the Faerie Festival, and the atmosphere in Faerieland was jubilant. Most of Neopia's faeries had gathered in a large meadow on the outskirts of Faerieland. The field was grassy with a few trees but mostly wide open. Above the field was a low hanging cloud where some of the air faeries had gathered.
Many food stalls were arranged in a circle, each doling out a hearty helping of Faerie pastries, cakes, and pies. The wonderful aroma of the desserts filled the air; it would most definitely make King Skarl envious. A long picnic table sat in the middle of the circle, where Neopians indulged in a pie-eating contest. The Soup Faerie was busy concocting a new recipe on the spot. She stared intently at her cauldron and slowly added seasoning from a bottle labelled: Secret Ingredient VIII. It was delightful for everyone except the Tooth Faerie. Her stall was conveniently situated between all of the other stalls in order to guarantee that everyone would have to walk past her. She could then intercept them and guilt the passerby into taking a toothpaste tube, a toothbrush, and a roll of floss as a reminder to clean up the sugary mess when they get home.
“After all, those cavities can be painful to fix!” the Tooth Faerie said to each passerby.
Of course, food wasn't the only attraction. The sound of flutes filled the air, and many Neopians gathered to dance to the music. From the waltz to salsa, there were plenty of dances to suit everyone. Whether they danced alone or with a dance partner, all of them seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was a fantastic sight.
However, such a festival did not come without tons of planning. Much of this preparation lasted up until the previous day. Just days before, Queen Fyora was scrambling to find a Master of Ceremonies for the festivals. Most of the faeries she asked dodged the role, making up all sorts of excuses.
“I do not like to speak in front of large crowds,” some said.
Others claimed they were not photogenic and did not want the Neopian Times to get a picture of them on stage. Still, others decided not to attend the festival and would not tell the queen why.
It was two days before the festival, and Queen Fyora became desperate. That was until Brynn and Hanso walked into her room with a small amulet.
“You found another artefact!” she exclaimed.
“Of course, milady. I would not let you down,” Hanso said, winking at the Faerie Queen.
“Here we go again,” Brynn sighed, rolling her eyes.
“Thank you for your services Hanso and Brynn. Hanso, I would like to ask you for a favour.”
“How would you like to be Master of Ceremonies for the Faerie Festival? I am having quite a bit of resistance asking faeries to fulfil the role, and I think you would be excellent for the position. After all, I am sure the faeries would love to hear from their saviour that rescued us from our, ah, sedimentary fate. ”
“I would be honoured, milady,” Hanso said, bowing in front of the queen.
Brynn, however, seemed a bit nervous. Hanso could be a bit snarky at times, especially when he attempted comedy.
Hanso quickly got to writing a script, refusing to let Brynn peek at it.
“Now now, Brynn, what I’m writing is going to be a surprise. I can’t let you see it. Nope nope,” Hanso said, shaking his head and wagging his finger at Brynn.
This made Brynn more apprehensive, and she paid a visit to Fyora.
“Your majesty, are you sure you want Hanso to speak? I am a bit concerned that, well, he might be a liability given his uh, rather odd sense of humour,” Brynn stated.
“I am sure it will be fine. Faeries are known to be snarky themselves, so I do not think anything Hanso will say would be offensive,” Fyora said, reassuring Brynn.
“Well...I still…” Brynn began.
“I appreciate your concern, but I do not think I will be able to find anybody else in such short notice. Hanso will do fine,” Fyora continued.
Brynn heaved a sigh and decided it wasn’t much of a use to continue pressing the issue. Winning an argument with Queen Fyora was a rather daunting undertaking.
Fast forward to the opening day of the festival. The crowd quieted down as Hanso stepped up on the “stage,” a small hill in the middle of the field.
“Well, hello everybody, and welcome to the Faerie Festival!” he announced.
The faeries looked at Hanso and began to whisper amongst themselves.
“He’s the Master of Ceremonies?” hissed some of the faeries.
“The MC of the Faerie Festival isn’t a faerie?” others said.
“Now now, I know what you are all thinking. Try as I might, I am not a faerie. I am not even a faerie pet. However, I am your MC, so you’re all going to have to put up with me regardless. Anyways, oh look, what do we have here?” Hanso reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded up piece of paper.
“Ah yes. As you all know, I have been living amongst you faerie folk for several years now. The experience has been mostly great. However, I would like to share some pet peev--I mean observations of mine because, well, because I can. Now, I know Queen Fyora takes things very seriously, so Fyora...if you’re listening, any comment I make about you is going to be a joke. For the rest of you, I’m dead serious. Just, uh, think of them as critiques.”
This seemed to attract the attention of the faeries; they were silent, and most of them leaned in to listen.
“Alright, my first victim, who will that be...hmm...aha! Illusen! I will start with a personal anecdote. One day, I decided to do one of her quests, because why not? Who wouldn’t do Illusen’s quests besides Jhudora? Anyways, Illusen asked me for a rare item, don’t ask me what it was; my memory isn’t that great. After searching the Trading Post for nearly ten minutes, I was able to find the item at a fair price. Of course, it was just my luck that a large flock of Weewoos decided to cross the road on the way to her Glade. I still had some minutes to spare, and I rushed to her Glade, only to be told that I was one second too late. Now really Illusen, one second was all you needed to hand me my prize, but instead, you decided I was too late. Well, unfortunately for you Illusen, I have observed your tardiness at Fyora’s council meetings. So there, you aren’t punctual either!”
Brynn gasped. What on Neopia is Hanso doing?
However, the faeries didn’t seem to mind. Illusen started to laugh. There he goes again, bending the truth.
“With all due respect Hanso, you were a bit more than a second late! Rest assured that I will try to be more punctual to Fyora’s meetings, though since it seems so important to you,” she said with a smirk.
Most of the other faeries smiled too. Some of them giggled.
“Jhudora, you aren’t much better! Your bluff is slimy and stinky. Oh, and on another note, when I last visited her bluff, I could not believe my eyes; she was actually playing with baby toys she collected! Rest assured, though, Jhudora still has plans to take over Neopia, with the help of her enchanted baby toys.
Illusen looked at Jhudora and snickered. Jhudora briefly wore a scowl on her face but gradually softened her glance and began to laugh, although it seemed a bit forced. Some of the other faeries dropped their food on the ground while laughing.
“Hmm...Where’s Psellia? Is she up in the clouds again? You know, sometimes I forget she exists in Neopia. The last I heard of her was when she saved Jeran. Even when you want to speak to her, you have to go through her Harris. I mean, you all would think I was crazy if I just started talking to a random Harris.”
Queen Fyora pointed up to a cloud behind her. On it was Psellia, once again daydreaming.
“Thank you, milady! Psellia! Hello! Wake up!!!” shouted Hanso.
“Huh? Oh. Hello there,” she said.
“You sure live up to your reputation as the Dreamer. Do you ever stay awake for more than an hour? No wonder you force your Harris to do all the talking. I’m telling the Petpet Protection League!”
Psellia smiled. “That’s cute,” she said and fell back asleep.
“That was not cute! That was me being a concerned citizen!” Hanso shouted, but the air faerie was already fast asleep. “Speaking of sleeping. I could have sworn that there was a day that I got out of bed before Siyana, the First to Rise.”
“Perhaps, I overslept. However, Hanso, I did notice you went back to bed after complaining it was too early to be awake,” Siyana said with a wink.
"It's okay Siyana, the sun came up just fine without your help." Audible gasps filled the air, but Siyana appeared to take the joke in stride and cracked a smile.
Most of the faeries loosened up, and there was a fair amount of giggling as Hanso pointed out Neopia’s infamous faeries' faults.
“Naia, have we met before? I'm Hanso; pleased to meet you. I’ve always dreamed of becoming a Pirate Ixi. *puppyblew eyes*."
The Fountain Faerie smiled. "I would ask you for your help, but you are constantly helping her majesty. I don't want to make her jealous."
"I would like to personally thank the Healing Springs faerie for the snowball she gave me when I had the Sneezles."
He then paused to dodge the snowball that Marina playfully tossed at him. The snowball continued with a trajectory that sent it toward Taelia, the Snow Faerie. Taelia waved her arms, and the snowball vanished instantly.
“Taelia, I enjoy blizzards so much. Perhaps you should give me another quest. They are my pride and joy.”
Brynn started to loosen up, though, relaxing a bit more. She glanced at the Faerie Queen, who was laughing heartily and did not seem to mind that Hanso was poking fun at her sisters.
"Oh, and is it true that all you do is throw snowballs in the Battledome?"
"Why don't you join me there after this?" Taelia offered.
Hanso shook his head. "I don't hit faeries. Anyways, oh hello, Soup Faerie…”
Brynn’s ears perked up. Surely, he was not about to lampoon the most generous faerie in Neopia. He wouldn’t…
“It looks like you have a clean record. Still, I would recommend more salt next time. Next...oh yes, Ember.”
“Yes?” Ember said, smiling.
“What are you smiling at? Will you finally play a game of Gormball where the ball didn’t explode in your face? Gormball, puhleeze. Everyone knows Zurroball is where it’s at.”
Ember made her usual pouty face, not unlike the one she made when she lost the Gormball Championships.
"Really, why does a fire faerie play with a ball filled with water?"
Ember shot several embers at Hanso but missed.
“Moving on…oh yes...the grand finale...milady, are you ready for this?”
The queen nodded and smiled. The other faeries gasped. Was he really going to poke fun at their queen? Did he know that she could easily turn him into a Mortog? The faeries became quiet, awaiting Hanso’s next move.
“I’ll take silence as a yes. One has to wonder how the most powerful faerie in Neopia doesn't have the slightest sense of fashion. Perhaps someone should buy her a new dress. Oh, and her perfume is almost as overwhelming as Eau de Skunk. I’m surprised nobody is unconscious by now.”
The faeries giggled a bit but seemed uneasy about Hanso poking fun at their ruler. Although she appeared to be slowly inching toward Hanso by taking small steps toward him, the queen did not seem fazed. Brynn had her face buried in her hands, hoping that Hanso wouldn’t go any further.
"I think she needs to go to the wand shop again to get her staff redesigned. They were off by a tad bit on the dimensions. It looks like she is carrying a giant lollipop."
All of the faeries joined in laughter this time. After all, none of their staves were as superfluous. Most of them had relaxed now and were thoroughly enjoying Hanso’s lampoon of their leader.
“The last time I visited her hidden tower, she told me I could never afford any items.”
Hanso held up a copy of Grimoire of the First Order and stuck his tongue out at Fyora. Fyora continued to inch closer to Hanso. Brynn was flailing her arms to try to get Hanso to stop. The rest of the faeries smiled and laughed. Hanso waited until things quieted down a bit.
“With all due respect milady, do your own shopping. While you are at it, you should pick up a few Faerie Cakes for me.”
The queen was right behind Hanso and poked him gently on the shoulder. The faeries fell completely silent and hovered with anticipation. Brynn stepped closer to Hanso and seemed a bit apprehensive that the queen had approached Hanso.
“I...huh? Oh, hello, milady. I didn’t notice you there.”
“Really? I thought you learned to be observant when you snuck past Brynn all those times. Anyways, do you mind?” Fyora asked, pointing at a spot on the stage.
“Oh, uh...okay...I wasn’t finished, but if you want the stage back…”
“You can stay here. I just wanted to say that after watching Hanso work for me the past couple of years, I have some observations as well.”
Hanso stared at the Queen as Hanso’s victims snorted with laughter. She was attempting to beat him at his own game. Moments later, Fyora had her arm around Hanso’s shoulder.
“Oh, and speaking of fashion, I would like to point out that the jacket looks very familiar. By the way, what is with this whole ‘milady’ business? What happened to the good old days when I was referred to as “your majesty?”
The faeries were on their feet now. "Ooooooo...Hanso is in trouble," some of them said in a singsong voice while others continued to giggle at Hanso.
"I will also point out that Hanso thought my magic was purple. He will be painted pink when he sleeps tonight."
"In all seriousness, we do owe a great debt to both Hanso and Brynn for their service to the Kingdom of Faerieland. They have helped us keep the shadows in Neopia at bay and allowed us faeries to continue having this festival. Anyways, enough standing around. Let the festivities begin!”
The audience cheered, and the festival kicked off.
Brynn came close to Hanso and playfully shoved him. “You little jerk! I almost thought Fyora was going to have me arrest you! You better apologize for stressing me out!” she shouted.
“Come on Brynn, lighten up, can’t a guy have a little fun?”
Brynn burst into giggles and gave Hanso a hug. “The look on your face was classic. You looked like a confused Kadoatie. Your speech was quite funny, though. I will admit that. You sure told the faeries.”
Fyora snuck up behind Hanso, quickly grabbed him, and flew up into the air. She then dangled Hanso upside down.
“Did you think you would get off so easily?” Fyora said in a teasing voice.
“Perhaps, I went too far. I apologize! Just put me down!” Hanso said frantically. He quickly corrected himself.”I mean, set me on the ground.”
“Darn, I was going to drop you, but I guess I will spare you.” Fyora flipped Hanso right side up and lowered him to the ground gently.
“Whew! Land at last,” Hanso said with relief.
“Remind me not to pick you next year to be MC,” she joked. “You did a great job, though. I really appreciate it, Hanso. Now go enjoy some desserts.”
Hanso promptly headed for the pie-eating contest, leaving Brynn behind. Brynn sighed. He’s always leaving me behind.
“He’s always on the move.
I guess I better go join him,” she said.
“I guess I can watch,” Fyora replied, following Brynn over to the center table.
“Milady-I mean Your Majesty, would you like to join?” Hanso asked.
“And what if I get pie-filling all over my dress?”
“You have another one that looks exactly the same?”
“Challenge accepted then!”
Brynn face-palmed and sighed again. “Are you being serious, Your Majesty?”
“Certainly, Brynn. When am I not serious?”
A Red Scorchio stepped up to the end of the table and informed everyone about the rules.
“You will each have 15 minutes to stuff yourselves with as many pies as possible. If you find yourself sick, please refrain from continuing. On your mark, get set, begin!” he stated.
Brynn couldn’t help but laugh as she watched Hanso and the Faerie Queen competing against each other. They look so silly. I’m glad to see them having fun, though.
When the contest had ended, Queen Fyora ended up beating Hanso by a whole pie. Hanso kept on whining, alleging that the queen used her magic to make one of her pies disappear. However, the Red Scorchio ruled in the queen’s favour.
“Okay, I understand you have to rule in favour of her because she is the Queen,” Hanso said jokingly.
Tired and bloated from all the pie eating, Queen Fyora and Hanso found a large tree stump perfect for sitting and relaxing. Brynn joined them on the stump. It was a rare opportunity for all three of them. Ridding Neopia of dangerous artefacts was an exhausting task, and of course, the queen always had a full schedule. The festival was memorable for all of them. For Brynn and Hanso, it was a reminder of their friendship that came about when they worked to rescue the faeries. For Fyora, it was a family reunion where she could spend time with all of her sisters for a short but wonderful moment. For them, the festival meant much more than just a fun little bash.
Moments later, there was a thunderous boom followed by equally comparable applause. The fire faeries began their Faerie Festival Fireworks Frenzy with a Hanso-shaped firework.
“Oh well, isn’t that a handsome looking Blue Ixi?” Hanso commented.
Brynn whistled, and Fyora began to giggle quietly. Parts of the firework then faded to a forest green colour.
“Hey! They had no business stealing my handsome likeness!” Hanso shouted.
“What? You are mad about someone stealing?” Brynn joked.
“This is different. This is-” Hanso began before another crashing explosion.
Each firework came and went, all of them representing anything faerie, from actual faeries to little Faellies. A dazzling display winded down an hour later, with the last firework dedicated to Her Majesty. It was past midnight, and most festivalgoers began to retire to their Neohomes and the Neolodge. Hanso, Brynn, and Fyora headed back toward the Faerie Castle, ready to rest but eager for the excitement awaiting them the next day.