As the Faire enters its final days, celebrations have reached a feverish pitch. Lindens were jailed—and then bailed, wootberry juice was poured and consumed in quantities three times the daily value recommended by leading Dinkie medics, The Tale of the Three Apples was read aloud in lurid detail, and an epic battle between Chaos and Order erupted in a beam of light. Faire festivities are far from over, however. For one, a certain infamous penguin commits nightly vehicular homicide. It is on one such night that we spy a new—yet oddly familiar—face.
Oh dear. You seem to have caught me with my pants down, so to speak. Wait, they’re not actually down, are they? Good. You can never tell with these side-cut pants—or hakama, whatever they’re called. Sakka Flow told me that ninjas wear them, but I can’t imagine how someone could skulk around in the shadows when they’re one misstep away from mooning the world.
In any case, I’m ashamed you have to see me like this. I’m not ready. Yes, I know it’s one of the last days of the Faire! Please don’t remind me!
I’d planned on arriving on the first day with the complete chronicles of Vedika, Kratz, and Adair in hand, a hero in my own right. On that fateful day nearly a year ago that I found these magic pages washed up on the shores of Midas, I thought I’d have the whole story for sure, but just as quickly as those visions of their journeys blossomed onto the pages, they vanished into thin air with the last breaths of the Mists. It was like waking up from a dream, one of those lucid ones where you’ve figured out the solution to that problem nagging you in real life, only to find the ceiling staring back at you with cold indifference. After that, I visited every library I could find on the Mainland, searching for any information on our three heroes. There was little at first, but as the Mists began to gather again for this year’s Faire, I heard rumors that the Unweaver was absent this year and, instead of sending us Fairelanders out after him, the Bard Queen wanted us to build a garden.
So I thought, “They must’ve done it! Vedika and Kratz must have found Adair and dealt the Unweaver a fatal blow at the Lair of Lantoris!” Or, you know, at least knocked him back so hard that he wouldn’t be able to get up for a while.
I scribbled my notes on these scrolls. Thoughts and memories and theories.
No, you can’t read them!
Er, I mean…please don’t? It’s just nonsense right now. I don’t think I can handle another ounce of humiliation this Faire, let alone tonight.
You see, that’s where my troubles began. That penguin. That flamboyantly dressed penguin.
I’d sneaked into the Jail and Bail of Alia Baroque hoping to ask him where I could find Scheherazade. He’d made the poster for her honorary day. Who better to help me make sense of this mess of story bits than the storyteller with over a thousand tales in her repertoire? But by the time I entered Zodiac, he had vanished, leaving a cigar-smoking, disco-dancing penguin who announced that he was going to drive a bus to the Fairechylde. Everyone who was anyone—Sonya Marmurek, Aisling Sinclair, Haveit Neox, and Sharni Azalee, to name a few—piled onto the Ringmaster. Even the dragon named Vix Zhou tagged along. So I stowed away.
In retrospect, I probably should’ve known I’d be in for a bad time when I realized there weren’t any seatbelts.
At least no one seemed to notice me. I sank into my chair pretty well.
We passed through Queensgarden without too much incident and were about to cross into the Drifts of Anamnesis when the penguin noticed we were several riders short.
After stopping to let the survivors—er, stragglers—dig themselves out of the sand and reboard the bus, we made for Junction. That’s when the wootberries hit the proverbial fan.
The Ringmaster vanished, right from under our feet, and suddenly everyone could see me. The jig was up. (The riverdancing, however, is never up.)
I tried to explain myself and why I hadn’t written anything for the Faire, and I think I managed to sputter out something like “Where’s Alia?” or “Is Scheherazade still at the Faire?” But up with my words came lunch.
We arrived at Junction soon after and spooked some newly-initiated Fairelanders. That’s when I decided to bolt. It didn’t matter that half the riders had also lost their lunch (or their hair, for that matter). It was the fact that my first words at the Faire were literal drivel.
So I ran back to the Drifts of Anamnesis, and now you’ve found me. Are you happy?
Sorry, I didn’t mean to come off as rude. I just feel stuck. It’s like I’m standing at the bottom of the hourglass, watching the sand drain down and slowly bury me. Yes, it’s beautiful, but everything is distorted as if seen through a bottle, and I keep ramming up against glass.
For a sanctuary built on and for hope, the Faire isn’t sending much my way.
Hmm? “Turn around”?
Why, it’s the Queen of Storytelling herself! And the sign says, “Drifts of Anamnesis.” I’ll be a Dinkietaur’s uncle!
Say, why don’t you stay with me a little while longer? For the first time tonight, I’m feeling…hopeful.
The Fairelander wears the following Fantasy Faire exclusives:
- LuluB‘s Soul Eyes (RFL donation item)
- Petrichor‘s Verosh Horns (RFL item) and Ladenyn Scrolls
- Sakka Studio‘s Ninja Suit, Shoes, and Gauntlets
- Soul‘s Jayson Ranitomeya skin (RFL item)
For complete credits, see Nadjanator’s blog.