“Milo won't take this crown back!” grumbled Felicity to her husband, Siegfried. She glanced up at him standing beside her, and kept glancing up, up, up to the top of the trees, to see his face.
Felicity had bright red hair and sparkling hazel eyes. She was a true fire faerie, with fire sparking from her fingertips and her hair. Her wings looked delicate and lacy, but in truth, they were made of a thick rubbery, fireproof material. Yellow flames danced up and down her lilac-colored dress, which was a shade of purple due to the crown she wore on her head.
She hated wearing the faerie crown. The crown, only worn by the ruler of the group, enabled the ruler to hear her subjects telepathically when necessary. The crown also allowed the ruler to see through enchantments, which was irritating for Felicity as her husband was not a faerie, he was a star. Without her crown, he seemed to be around her size, well, within a few feet of her size. With the crown, she could see he was actually the size of the Galena mountains. Plus, there were several faeries who kept sending her telepathic messages through her crown at the most inopportune times.
“You've been wearing it for over a decade. Why do you think he would take it back now?” Siegfried asked her in an amused tone. His clothing matched his hair, which was an opaque opalescent iridescent purple. He wore his own crown, which tinted his hair and clothing purple. He remembered Milo telling him about tiring of the color purple and he began to understand why.
Milo was Felicity's uncle. He was a storm faerie who had previously been the faerie king. He had retired more than fifteen years ago when he decided he had had enough of being king. He wanted to ride the storms while he still could. He had briefly taken the crown back before transferring it permanently to Felicity.
“Because I find it irritating,” she grumbled.
“So did he, my love. So did he,” her husband said gently as he kissed her.
“I'm also tired of wearing purple!” she added. Purple was the color of royalty. Her clothes were many different colors in her closet, but when she wore the crown, they turned purple as soon as she put them on. Although, she realized she should be grateful, as unicorns and dragons turned a shade of purple since they didn't wear clothing.
The crown selected the next ruler. When Milo had taken off the crown for the last time, the crown itself chose Felicity as the new Faerie Queen. She had never wanted the job, but felt she had to accept the crown as it had selected her. She took it off every now and then to see if she could get it to select another faerie, but it had stayed next to her on the grass, instead of zooming forth to someone else.
Each race had its own crown, and there were many, many races in the realm.
The faeries lived in the east, all the many and varied different species, except for the pixies who lived in the south, because they loved the gardens there. The elves and the fauns lived in the south near the pixies, as all of them liked to be silly. The leprechauns eventually moved down south as well, trying to get away from the dwarves who lived in the west, as the dwarves kept trying to steal the leprechauns' gold.
The wood nymphs lived throughout the forest and the water sprites stayed near the streams and rivers. In the north, near the lovely Galena Mountains, lived the dragons, the lynx, the wolves, the bears, the bugbears, and the centaurs. The centaurs chose the north, as it was as far away from the fauns as possible. Centaurs didn't like fauns, they thought them silly creatures, and the centaurs were too proud to be silly.
The humans lived in the center. Some say that was because the humans thought everything else centered around them; while the more practical point was that was where the castle was. No one was quite sure who built the castle, but everyone knew it wasn't the humans, as the castle had extra features the humans didn't know how to build, even though they had been the primary residents of the castle until a few years ago.
The halflings lived somewhere between the center and the south, as they liked the company of humans and elves, and they never cared for being the center of attention anyway. If you have never met a halfling, well, they are marvelous little beings, about halfway between a human and an elf, only rather stouter.
The unicorns lived in the east as well, but only because the humans and the dwarves kept trying to catch them if they came too close. They also wanted to stay away from the centaurs, for the centaurs were too disdainful of any animal who would allow themselves to be ridden. The unicorns refused to live in the south, as the pixies kept messing up their manes for fun. Plus, the unicorns liked the faeries.
All the crowns of all the races were linked to one crown, worn by one ruler. Most of the races that wanted the leader of the realm crown desired it for their own ends. The humans were the only race that wanted the crown who had honorable intentions. Thus a human ruler had lived in the castle, until King George, the last ruler, died.
The leader of the realm crown surprised many when it selected Siegfried, a star from Orion's belt, to rule in King George's stead. Which was how Siegfried came to live in the castle, and Felicity, the Queen of the Faeries, came to join him when they married.
Felicity slipped the crown off of her head and slid through it, until it settled at her waist as a belt.
“You shouldn't do that, you know,” Siegfried scolded her.
Felicity stared at him grumpily. “Some of the pixies are trying to see how many of them can send me telepathic messages at different times of the day. I burned dinner, again!” She hovered a few inches off the ground, her fingers shooting sparks and catching a little bit of grass on fire. “I wonder how my uncle managed it.”
“How did I manage what, niece?” asked Milo, floating down from a gust of wind.
“Uncle!” shouted Felicity.
“I heard you were looking for me,” Milo said calmly.
“Take this stupid crown back!” she said, slipping it off her waist and pitching it at him.
Milo let it fall to the ground. “Oh, no. I am not touching that thing. It's yours now.”
“The pixies are sending me obnoxious telepathic messages constantly!” she complained.
“Oh, is that the problem? That's easy to fix. Block them,” he said unceremoniously.
Felicity paused and stared at him, her hand on the crown, automatically sliding it back on her head. “How do I do that?”
“You put a mental wall in front of them, although that can get challenging, as sometimes you want to hear from them, and you won't unless you remove the wall. Close your eyes and try it,” he said simply.
She closed her eyes, concentrated, and smiled. “Ah, peace at last! I unblock them by removing the wall? Lovely. Thank you, uncle!”
“You're very welcome,” he began.
Felicity watched her uncle get tackled by four overgrown faeries. “Fornax, Caelum, Tucana, and Sagitta, do be careful! Don't overwhelm Uncle Milo!” she scolded her children.
Sagitta flitted backwards and kissed Uncle Milo on the cheek. Her flaming red hair and wings were golden iridescent. She and Caelum, the younger set of fraternal twins, were both the calmest and most patient of the four children. Sagitta's personality matched her name, she was the arrow, she pointed the way. Caelum was like a chisel; he was determined, consistent, and always finished his tasks. His hair and wings were bronze iridescent.
Fornax and Tucana were the older twins. Tucana had rainbow iridescent hair and wings. Her personality matched her hair, her wings, and her name. She was bright and colorful in everything she did. Fornax was truly a furnace. He burned brighter and rougher than the rest. His hair and wings were black iridescent. His whole being brimmed and sparkled with fire and flame.
The four of them were naturally larger than their mother in size, although not necessarily in personality. Felicity was more than a match for her four children, even Fornax.
“Mommy? What's a necromancer?” Sagitta asked, eyeing something twinkling at the opposite end of the field. Sagitta could feel that thing, whatever it was, sucking up magic, like water through a straw.
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