Character(s) Re-Introductions: Taelia & Ember
Welcome to Character Re-Introductions, a spinoff series of my Character Introductions series! While in Character Introductions I interview newly introduced characters to the site, in Character Re-Introductions I interview an already established character who had recently came back to everyone’s attention. This time I’m actually interviewing two characters, the two Faerie hosts of Games Master Challenge Y17: Team Fire leader, Ember the Fire Faerie Gormball player, and Team Snow leader, Taelia the Snow Faerie.
Taelia is one of Special Faeries, a Faerie whose magic does not fall under one of the basic 6 elements (Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Light, and Darkness). She is the Snow Faerie, a master of snow and ice magic, and lives in the land where she can make most of her magic, Terror Mountain. However, despite what her element may lead you to believe, she’s doesn’t have a cold attitude. Quite the contrary, though stern, she is kind hearted and cares for those who get lost on Terror Mountain and caught in a blizzard. She runs the Snow Faerie Quests to keep her magic supplies stocked so she can tend to the sick as well as for crafting spells.
Ember is a Fire Faerie but not just any ordinary Fire Faerie; she’s one of the eight (or nine) pro Gormball players. Though ridiculed by her other sisters for participating in a Neopets game instead of usual Faerie hobbies, Ember has proved them wrong having won and placed in the top three of several Annual Gormball Championships and has a loyal following of fans. If gaming was an element she’d be certainly the Gaming Faerie, but as a Fire Faerie she has a burning passion and a fiery attitude that has taken her all the way to the top.
While having different backgrounds both do share some similarities. Taelia too was considered to be an outsider by her fellow sisters for choosing to live on Terror Mountain and practicing an unconventional magic. Both also chose to follow their own paths instead of following in the footsteps of their sisters, as well having proven themselves to not just be another ordinary Faerie. This could be why AAA chose them to be hosts of Year 17’s Games Master Challenge when he chose the theme of Fire VS Snow. Though the Game Masters Challenge had ended a while ago, it was just now I was able to schedule an interview with both of them at the same time. Ember has generously taken some time away from her Gormball training and came to Terror Mountan so I could interview her and Taelia together:
Ember: It was a cinch, I’m practically the gaming Faerie after all.
Taelia: I may not play games often but when I do I keep my cool.
Welcome Taelia and Ember, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to do this interview. This especially goes for you Ember, how are you taking Terror Mountain’s cold weather?
Ember: "Thank you very much and cold weather? I don’t know what you’re talking about." *gives a sly smirk*
Taelia "Don’t be so smug, sister. Who was it that rushed over to my fireplace upon arriving? There’s no shame in admitting to having felt a chill from a Terror Mountain breeze."
Ember: "Alright, I did feel a bit cold, but cold winds are still no match for a Fire Faerie’s flames. I just needed to recharge my magic by absorbing heat from your hearth, that’s all."
And it’s not just cold winds that are no match against your skills. Congratulations to you and Team Fire for winning Year 17’s Games Master Challenge. Of course that is not an insult to you, Taelia; your Team Snow was neck to neck and Team Fire only won by a small margin. And considering you’re not much of a gaming Faerie that’s quite impressive.
Taelia: "Now who says I wasn’t a gaming Faerie, hm? I may not play that many games often but I’m quite skilled at Terror Mountain’s native games and some of those skills are transferable to other games. And with the games selected to reflect ones team I’m not surprised I and my team were able to keep up."
Ember: "And I was kind of worried at several points whether Taelia’s popularity would play a part. While I have dedicated fans and fellow fire fanciers, I know my popularity is a niche compared to Taelia’s. But in the end I guess it was quality that won over quantity."
I’m sensing a bit of a tension between you two, is everything alright?
Ember: "Just some playful jabbing, you don’t need to worry about me and Taelia starting to sling spells at one another; that’s Jhudora’s and Illusen’s thing."
Taelia: "I don’t even want to think how a Games Master Challenge would go with those two as hosts, especially if Jhudora loses. But Ember is right; we’re just teasing one another as sisters do. And with us having opposite magic we do have a bit of a rivalry."
Ember: "Well, a rivalry as far as fire melting snow and ice."
Taelia: "Ah, but snow and ice melt into water and puts out fire. And while the water remains to be frozen again, the fire is permanently extinguished."
Ember: "Unless the fire fully vaporizes all the water. And as long as there is fuel a fire is never gone; it’s just waiting for another spark."
Sounds like both of you feel strongly about your elements. I guess we can start their with the questions: how did both of you come to choosing your element?
Ember: "Oh don’t play coy, we all know this question is aimed at Taelia. But since you included my anyway I’ll play along and answer first. It’s no secret I find usual Faerie stuff dull. Give out quests, work on spells, master your element; that’s all well and good but where’s the excitement? As you know the ceremony where a Faerie finds her element is a secret to non-Faeries, though what I can say is that it’s just as much of your element finding you as you are to finding it. It didn’t take me long to bind with the power of fire, many of my mentors and sisters even guessed it throughout my academy years. That or becoming a Dark Faerie, but I just want some action and adventure, I’m not malicious. Usually. But enough about me, let’s get to the one you really want to hear about."
Taelia: "I’ll tell you as I tell everyone else, it’s almost entirely a secret. All I will say is that my element was actually more of a gift than something I chose; though if it was a choice I still would have chosen it. While the majority of my sisters would prefer more neutral temperatures of warm or cool, I’ve personally been more drawn to the cold. The sharp sense to the touch, the vigorous chill it sends through your body, not to mention the beauty of freshly fallen snow or a sculpture of ice. Unlike Ember, my mentors and sisters were a bit perplexed with what my basic element would have been, usually a coin flip between Air and Water. However that doesn’t matter, what does is I became the Snow Faerie and here I am."
Both interesting origins filled with mystery and intrigue, well, if you’re not a Faerie at least. So how did you go from getting your element to what you’re doing now? Taelia, how does one become a daily quest Faerie? Ember, how is a Faerie even allowed to play Gormball?
Ember: "What do you mean by ‘allowed’? Has Brian been spreading rumors about me again?! Grr, there’s no level he wouldn’t lower himself to if it means disqualifying a fellow competitor..."
Taelia: "Calm yourself, sister, it was just an innocent question. I’ll answer first to give Ember time to simmer down. Honestly I was always planning on moving to Terror Mountain or somewhere cold before getting my element. This wasn’t a secret and I would often get awkward looks whenever it was brought up. However not soon after becoming the Snow Faerie I packed my belongings and moved to Terror Mountain to master my element in peace. I actually didn’t plan on becoming a quest Faerie, I even said so to the inhabitants when I first arrived. However you make one little request here and there and give out rewards and soon you have a line outside your door. But I’m not bitter or angry; I’m honored so many would want to do quests for me and it does help to keep my shelves stocked. I also quickly found myself helping out those who got lost on the mountain or caught in a blizzard; I’ve become quite apt at healing ills and lifting curses. And that’s where I’m at to this day. Are you feeling calmer now, sister?"
Ember: "Yeah, yeah. Sorry about that; just comments like that burns me up. But to answer your question more thoroughly, I’d thought being a Fire Faerie would be more exciting than other elements. I mean, come on, FIRE! Fierce, uncontrollable, full of energy! Yet I found out not only did Fire Faeries pretty much do what other Faeries did, many also were into fashion. Now I’m quite fashionable myself, but that’s because I make myself look good through my actions. Either way, one day I was floating through Neopia Central thinking where I could find some action when it hit me; literally. Some Neopets were playing Gormball and a miss throw ended with me soaked. But I wasn’t angry, in fact I actually felt invigorated. After they apologized I asked the Neopets if I could join them in a round to their surprise but they agreed. It took me no time at all to be winning most of the games. I felt I found my calling so decided to try out for the Gormball professional circuit. Yes, I was laughed at by my sisters who found out and quickly spread the word and there were plenty of Neopets who felt a Faerie was ‘too powerful’ to be playing, but the Gormball officials showed they had much more sense than my critics and allowed me to play. Nowadays its only Brian and his cronies who say anything about me, but every other Gormball player have accepted me as a worthy and fair challenger. And guess what; despite me being ‘too powerful’ I’ve lost plenty of times. It’s as if my critics have no idea what they were talking about; who would have thought?"
Those are certainly quite the lengthy tales of overcoming and triumphing over adversity. But with length comes time and I believe we’re running out. One last question, how did you end up getting chosen to be the hosts of Year 17’s Games Master Challenge?
Taelia: "Well little fun fact, originally it was called ‘Fire VS Ice’. When AAA decided he wanted his hosts to be Faeries, following the success of having Siyana as a Games Master, he wanted me as the one representing ‘Ice’. However being I’m the Snow Faerie he found it appropriate to change the theme to ‘Fire VS Snow’."
Ember: "While Taelia was an obvious pick, I was told choosing the host for Team Fire was a bit more challenging. There were a few Fire Faeries who were candidates such as Nuria, Fuhnah, and Bree. Actually they originally did pick Bree, figuring she too had game experience and with Key Quest down wasn’t doing much. However Bree turned down the offer so next pick was me and I think you can figure how that went."
Well whether you were first or second pick I say you both were great choices! Do you have anything else to say before ending this interview?
Ember: "Don’t let others tell you what to do or dissuade you from following your ambitions. If it’s something that burns brightly in you than do what you need to do to accomplish it. Work hard, know your profession inside and out, and you’ll be the last one laughing. But at the same time don’t let your ambitions blind you too much; know yourself and what you can do. You never know when your calling will hit you; though hopefully not as literally as it did with me."
Taelia: "Now that’s a hard sentiment to follow up on. I guess I’ll give more practical advice: Don’t play with extreme heat be it fire or cold. Fire is extremely dangerous and you should never touch an open flame or something hot. If you’re going outside please dress accordingly. If it’s cold be sure to wear a warm jacket, pants, gloves, and maybe a scarf and wool cap. If there’s snow outside wear boots to keep your feet dry and warm. Finally don’t play outside for too long and eat a nice warm meal when you come back inside."
With that it was time for Ember to leave so she could catch her ride back to the Virtupets Space Station. In addition some Neopets have already lined up outside to do a quest for Taelia so I quickly packed my things and set on my way. I thanked both of them for their time and cooperation as I set forth to do the second part of this article: getting other’s opinions on the two. With both of them leading different lives there’s not a lot who have an opinion on both, but the first one I talked to did:Aristotle A. Avinroo (Game Master & creator of Games Master Challenge & Daily Dare)
"Yes, only my genius who would think to do this combination. *I point out to him that fire and ice is a popular theme* Yes, fire and ICE is a popular theme, but I changed it to fire and SNOW and that made all the difference; and don’t go telling me ice and snow are the same! But back to my host electing method, I don’t just name anyone a ‘Game Master’ unless they deserve it. I’ve heard Miss Taelia’s snow throwing is both quick and accurate, no doubt from years of playing Snow Wars and Grundo Snow Throw, and Miss Ember’s Gormball career speaks for itself. Yes I did originally plan on picking Bree as the Team Fire host but she wasn’t up to being Game Master material, should have figured with her trying to fix her game. But hey, Year 17’s Games Master Challenge went off without a hitch, I don’t think anyone even noticed me needing to make some last minute adjustments."Thyassa (Gormball player)
"I got nothing to say about Taelia except after doing so many quests for her she at least owes me one ice cream coupon; all I want is one ice cream cone, why does it have to be so difficult to get?! But getting back on track, I have plenty to say about Ember. I’m the senior Gormball pro at the moment and I’ve seen my fair share of high hopefuls, with plenty having failed to pass through the ranks. Ember certainly stood out among them, and not just because she’s a Faerie. From the start she already showed some professional skill; during her preliminary time she would often hold the ball longer than her other competition would. Start-ups often think the less time the Gormball is in their hands the better, but in actuality it’s the opposite: you want to hold the Gormball as long as possible until you think it’s about ready to explode. Now that made many think she was using her Faerie powers to win, I can point you to Brian if you want to hear more of that nonsense, but any Gormball professional worth their salt could tell even from the start she was playing on a professional level. I and the other players, all aside Brian, have respect for her for that and what she had to go through with her sisters an critics; but she still has a long way to go before she reaches my level of skill."Mr. Chipper (Shopkeeper of Happy Valley’s Ice Cream Cart)
"I have a lot to thank Ms. Taelia for. With so many Lutari around now it’s easy to forget I was one of the first Lutari to have appeared to the Neopian public. Many were confused how I not only suddenly appeared but already had set up a small ice cream cart business. While I like to keep to myself, I can tell you that it’s mainly thanks to Ms. Taelia how I ended up in Terror Mountain. I was a bit of an explorer before my ice cream selling days and I got myself caught in a Terror Mountain blizzard and blacked out. Next thing I knew I was in Ms. Taelia’s hut being treated for a severe cold I developed. She was curious about me, not having seen a Lutari before, and I told her about myself. While taking care of me she gave me ice cream and it reminded me of a similar treat we made back on Lutari Island. I come from a family of food merchants and I was searching for a new kind of food I could call my own, and I decided ice cream was it! Of course I was worried at first about setting up shop, but after telling this to Ms. Taelia she agreed to help me by giving out coupons to my ice cream cart to those she felt she could trust. I’m honored I can call Ms. Taelia a friend and I trust her judgment of customers. I don’t really have much to say about Ms. Ember though, do Fire Faeries even like ice cream?"Bree (Host of Key Quest)
"What can I say about my sisters that other’s haven’t already? Well, I could tell you about that one time, or maybe that other time, and there was that infamous moment... oh, sorry, just thinking out loud. I could tell you some little secrets about them, but I don’t think they’d appreciate that so my lips are sealed. *winks* Why not we focus on the recent event they participated in; as one Fire Faerie to another I’m proud Ember was able to lead her team to victory. I knew the odds were against her, Taelia is much better known, but her fiery and passion must have pulled her through. Not sure if I could have done that, I was first approached to be the host of Team Fire but I’m too preoccupied with getting Key Quest fixed to worry about even more games. Don’t know if Ember was their next choice, but I did suggest to them that she might be up to it and has more knowledge of games then I do at the moment. But that’s about to change, though I don’t exactly know when, I’m proud to announce that Key Quest will be back... *suddenly a loud crash of metal is heard from behind a door* ... after all the proper repairs have been made. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go... fix... something. *she floats off towards the door* Can someone get Delina for me?"Illusion (Host of the 50 Level Earth Faerie Quests)
"Well I can certainly say both have more game playing skills than I do. Don’t be expecting to see an Illusen Vs Judora Games Master Challenge anytime soon; I fear what it would result in as Jhudora isn’t a graceful winner or loser. Ember has more game experience so I’m not too surprised she won, though Taelia has a mean snowball throwing arm. Speaking of whom, some folks make the assumption that I have a rivalry with Taelia as I do with Jhudora *laughs a bit*. Sorry about that, it’s just seems so silly to me. Why would I have a rivalry with Taelia; because she also gives out quests? Not only do we not have the same kind of quests, that’s also not why I have a rivalry with Jhudora. I can list all the differences between them but I’ll put it simply: Taelia saves those from blizzards and heals them back to health, same time also providing quests to keep her supplies stocked and rewarding those who do so every time. Jhudora would give out a quest that would probably send someone into a blizzard for her own amusement, and if they somehow came back in time she may not even reward them before chasing them out. I just don’t know how anyone could support Jhudora, though I can see how there’s an entire land that supports Taelia. I’ll end things by saying if Taelia does ever decide to change her quests to a 50 Level Snow Faerie Quests, though I can see Jhudora throwing a fit, I would gladly welcome the competition... though I would argue that my prizes will probably still be more versatile."
And I think that’ll be enough for this Character(s) Re-Introductions! Taelia and Ember are two Faeries who rose from hardships to both becoming very well known and famous Faeries. We’ve heard how Taelia went from being someone who just wanted to study snow and ice magic to a beloved savior and quest giver of Terror Mountain. Meanwhile we’ve heard how Ember went from a bored thrill seeker to a professional Gormball player who garners respect from her peers and fans. Both have proven themselves time and again and no doubt will keep doing so in the future. And I hope to see you again for the next future Character Introductions!