Feathers, Fae, and Fanel

NOTE: My ESS SFW gift for Mick Aelle!

You wanted something with a minor character like Varie along with fantastical creatures. I've always been fascinated by Varie and I decided to put a fun spin on this topic. I don't know where the idea came from, exactly, but I do enjoy the concept of Draconians have had an ancient bond with magical creatures in Gaea. A bit of new world building but hopefully not too much exposition but maybe something I can explore further someday. For now, it's a fun little one-shot and it's always a treat to write about Varie.

Hope you like it and Happy New Year!

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"Magic has always existed in Gaea," the queen of the fan told the raven-haired Draconian, "But as of late, it has started to go into hiding."

"Is it our fault?" Varie asked worriedly, "Have our ambitions gone too far?"

"Always so perceptive," the queen said with a smile, "But there is more to it than that. All this is in the hands of fate."

"Can we do anything to stop it?" Varie implored.

"My sweet child," replied the queen, "We are all powerless to challenge the laws of fate."

The girl felt like weeping. She could not imagine a world where the trees did not sing, the rivers did not dance, and the mountains did not whisper their secrets to the wind.

She had grown up playing with the nymphs of the forest and the river, soaring through the air with the fairies, and laughing at the mischievous antics of the goblins. The beast-people had always shown her hospitality and wisdom. And the queen of the fae had taught her the world's wondrous secrets.

Gaea would be but a shadow of herself without all these magnificent beings. But the young Draconian had become the reluctant witness to the decline and departure of those whom she held most dear. She found that the company of her own kind were an incomplete consolation for the loss of such friends. It felt almost selfish to wish to keep them there but she could not help herself. She often felt so alone and they were the only ones who brought her joy.

They retreated into the shadows, chased away by some unseen force, disappearing without any explanation. Every time she went into the woods, Varie saw less and less of them. She grieved deeply but she learned to accept what fate had decreed.

"Our time here is ending," the queen had told her, attempting to soften the blow as best as she could.

"But where will you go?" Varie asked, in tears.

"To the lands beyond, where we are meant to be," the queen explained gently, "But this world will never be empty. Others will come to take our place in it."

"You mean humans," Varie said in dismay, "They could never replace you."

The queen's eyes sparkled and she smiled enigmatically.

"You will not always think this way of them, my dear, trust me," she reassured the distraught maiden, "Fear not, for I have a gift for you before I go. Spread your wings."

The Draconian complied without a word, and the queen laid her hands on the soft, white feathers. The pristine wings began to glow and as Varie bowed her head reverently, she felt suffused with a strange, beautiful, warmth.

"May your wings guide you to your destiny," the queen whispered, "And may they never leave you astray."

Varie was profoundly grateful for this parting gift and cherished the final memory of her guardian and friend. It was only years later, when a young king approached her in the middle of a lake, that she fully understood that magic had never truly left her world.