Jareth was the direct product of a wish.
A wish uttered by a human boy who had once been called to save a Child-Like Empress and perhaps even the very fabric of the world that was the vast Underground. Or maybe the land known as Fantasia was merely one of the middle places that existed in the narrow space between the dream world and the real one.
In any case, Jareth's origins could be traced back to the powerful and reclusive sorceress Xayite.
At one time considered to be one of the most villainous women in the underground until her corrupt soul was made whole and purified. Xayite had once been a faceless dancing servant of a soon of Night known best as Darkness
. When Darkness had been driven back into the void, Xayite had been left behind.
She had been a bound servant of Darkness abruptly and cruelly liberated from a master that she both loved and mindlessly served. Xayite had never forgotten the long ago slight that had forever defined and also shattered her identity and, when she was powerful enough, she had sought to wage war against the entire world that she found herself a prisoner of.
Xayite had very nearly succeeded and obliterating everything.
Eventually though, her deeds had been forgiven or forgotten depending on who you asked.
Having no heart of her own because she was a creation of Darkness, the ambiguously worded wish uttered by the human boy who had saved all of the realm of Fantasia and the greater realms beyond it on more than one occasion, had manifested a living child within Xayite's womb.
Jareth's heart beating within her own body had served to fill the deep void within Xayite and had served as a replacement for the heart she did not actually possess.
Upon his birth Jareth inherited much of his mother's unique abilities that was further reinforced by the nature of his origins and by the common tendency of magical disposition that came with being born in the underground itself.
Some said though that despite his magical predisposition and the unique circumstances of his birth, Jareth possessed a human heart and a soul that was bound in two worlds. The world of Faerie and the world of above.
His uniqueness was not without its difficulties.
In some form of thinking Jareth wasn't really a man or a fae. Rather, he was something of a magical embodiment.
As an embodiment Jareth was not afforded many of the same privileges and advantages of most beings that were free. He lacked, for example, the ability to travel beyond the confines of the great magical maze that was the Labyrinth unless he was in the form of the barn owl that many speculated had some deeper significance that no one but Jareth understood. However, like some of the other magical beings Jareth had the advantage of being able to travel between realities and, some said, into the dreams of beings from other places all together.
As a result, he was a man who knew of many things that most common folks of the Underground did not.
Jareth's unique situation had other conditions.
Like his mother, Jareth was a magical servant. While he didn't operate under the same magical obligations as some beings did in order to maintain their magical potency, Jareth could still be magically bound to specific situations and individuals who called upon his unique services and abilities.
Under the constraints of serving another, Jareth could enjoy luxuries he did not regularly possess under his own power. Yet for all the advantages that came with being in service to another being, Jareth was far from free.
If it was not one thing that consumed his time and energy, it was another thing.
At current, the Goblin King was out of house.
Flying no doubt as he always did in the early morning before the sun had yet to fully rise off the horizon line. Jareth often flew and prefer to remain in the form of a barn owl. In its form he could pass between the worlds and leave the Goblin kingdom which was generally surrounded by a vast arid waste land.
Sooner or later no matter how long he flew and what he explored something always interrupted his reverie and forced him to return home.
The present morning was no exception.
No sooner had Jareth just begun to relax and enjoy himself on his flight did the mysterious magical link that connected the Goblin King to the more private area of his domain began to tingle and demand his attention. It was sort of like having an annoying internal buzzer that told Jareth when he was being summoned back to the castle either by the goblins or by someone else. While Jareth could technically ignore the summoning if he wished to in this case, his sense of responsibility wouldn't allow him to ignore the intrusion in general and since his mornings were almost always guaranteed to be interrupted anyway Jareth was inclined to simply cut his flight short and return to the great castle.
It took only moments for the Goblin King to return to the throne room of the castle which was actually a large rectangular reception hall and enthroning area different from the smaller circular observation room he had once used to observe the whereabouts of a mortal girl who had been stupid enough to get caught up in a fairy enchantment.
It wasn't the first time and it wouldn't be the last.
The throne room was mostly empty and minimally decorated. While Jareth kept the castle in good working order he was not the type to drape his surroundings in opulence nor was there any need to clutter the place up with too much furniture since the goblins were notoriously hard on things and it was best to give them little ammo to playfully attack each other with or destroy in the celebration of their goblin revelries.
Flying in swiftly through a high up window the form of the barn owl landed before the high backed throne that was situated on a low dais within the room. Just before the owls claws made contact with the chair the owl's form shifted into the Goblin King practically right in front of the guest whose presence had summoned him.
"Mim! What, may I ask, are you doing here?" Jareth inquired in a annoyed and menacing manner.
The doe eyed curly haired strawberry blond woman who dressed in a almost obscenely low cut cotton candy pink gown jumped back from where she stood after she turned her face idly only to suddenly find an annoyed looking Goblin King grimacing at her from the atop the step of the dais where he no doubt had appeared.
"Oh! Your Majesty, can't a lady make a social call?" Mim instinctively stuck her long thin wand uncharacteristically behind her back as if she was afraid that Jareth might grab it and snap it in two if he got too annoyed with her.
The worry wasn't exactly unfounded since Jareth certainly wouldn't have tolerated Mim or anyone else dangling anything in his face.
"I'm here on formal business anyway. You know, there's rumors that you're becoming quite sedate. I'm here to tell you that the High Council is getting rather concerned over your lack of magical magnanimity. Human's need us after all. They're rather unless creatures on the whole, and besides all of us are expected to pay our dues. Even you." Mim pointed out.
"I am quite aware of my responsibilities. I don't need such a creature as you reminding me of them." Jareth said cuttingly.
"Temper, temper. You shouldn't speak that way to a lady such a myself. I think you've been sitting around in this dump with your little pets moping long enough and so does the High Council. You should be more appreciative of the few friends you have courteous enough to tell you so." Mim muttered feigning indignity.
"First of all, Mim, you and I are my no span of the imagination friends. Secondly, the High Council has no jurisdiction over what I do or do not do with my time. Unlike you and many others like you, I do not merely live to offer wayward advice and assistance to passing human's stupid enough to get themselves into magical and melodramatic situations. My purpose is to govern this kingdom among other things and I take those tasks very seriously." Jareth muttered pointedly at the women whom he did not particularly like.
"Finally, the goblins are not pets. They are powerful magical beings that must be tended to and given structure if they are to be properly contained. You will treat my subjects with respect, Mim, or kindly get out of my domain. And anyway why are YOU playing messenger anyway? Your own track record assisting human's is not exactly pristine. I find it hard to believe someone from the High Council sent you of all people to lecture me." Jareth challenged still standing and staring daggers at her.
"Oh, your majesty. How your words wound me." Mim muttered without sincerity as she swooned slightly and placed the back of her hand against her forehead. "You and I were very good friends once upon a time. Though you like to forget. And though your feels have changed I at least still have some semblance of personal consideration. You are being brought under the eye of Queen Mag, herself. Whatever the supposedly pleasantries involved that detail remains a poorly hidden fact. As for your...Subjects. I meant no offense. Please excuse me."
At this Mim bowed deeply in pardon. Caring little for whether Jareth accepted it or not.
"Anyway, consider yourself warned. I was sent here on official business and I intend to avoid being further inconvenienced. In the mean time I would much appreciate if you'd make yourself somewhat useful and magic me up a seat or pillow or something. I am a guest, after all."
Mim waited for Jareth to oblige her refusing to continue there conversation or leave until he provided her with an appropriate level of hospitality.
Jareth ultimately appeased her using one of his crystals to manifest a flowery pink flowered tuffet with gold cord before he took his own seat upon the throne.
"Thank you. I'm glad to see that wasn't so hard." Mim said before tip toeing around the tuffet and settling upon it. "I've volunteered to extend to you a message from the High Council. It's your turn to host the Council's Centennial Ball. You do have a kingdom after all and in this case you are obligated to accept. Here."
Mim produced a large envelope from her skirts and tossed it in the Goblin King's lap. As she did this she also grabbed part of a gold tassel hanging from the back of the tuffet and ripped it off, palming it in her wand hand as she fluttered her eyes as the Goblin King in a satisfied manner.
"Well," Mim said on an exhale. "I think that about does it for me. I'll be going now, I think. Busy busy. I simply can't wait for you to make good on the Council's demands. You know I never miss a good show."
At that Mim winked at the Goblin King before she stood and swished her wand once in a circle in front of her. Her presence popping in a explosion of pink tinted sugar scented bubbles leaving only her sugar sweet scent in the air and the abused tuffet behind.
Jareth was glad to see the pink monstrosity go.
Although he didn't consider Mim to be a threat or anything other than an annoyance, Jareth didn't trust her unexpected appearance and was wary of why the woman was bothering to grace his door. Jareth plucked the envelop Mim had thrown at him out of his lap and frowned at it. There could be no mistaking its origins or authenticity and the implications along with Mim's sincere warning unnerved him.
Mim was correct about one thing.
If the High Council of the Goodneighbor's were commanding that Jareth host the Centennial Ball then he could not refuse them. Part of his custodianship of the Labyrinth and the Goblin Kingdom dictated that he offer up his holdings for their use. The problem was that Jareth didn't like the idea of anyone having such unregulated access to his domain. There were powerful secrets hidden within the Goblin Kingdom that would prove difficult to protect if he had to contend with alot of high minded magical folks of various abilities and influences tromping about the castle, the goblin city, and perhaps the Labyrinth itself.
Jareth had never enjoyed political intrigue and balls always seemed to bring out trouble. Besides the various Good and undoubtedly Bad Neighbor's that would be in attendance, invitations would also be extended to the far off surrounding kingdoms who were more likely to secretly squabble over power and influence. Apart of Jareth did not savor the possibility of the Goblin Kingdom being included in the folds of anyone else's plans.
The Goblin kingdom was a neutral sovereignty for a reason and Jareth intended to keep it that way. Not bothering to open the formal notice Jareth signed heavily and pinched the bridge of his nose with his free hand hoping in vein that he could wish this part of his responsibilities away.
As for Mim, being what essentially amounted by human standards to be a Fairy Go(o)d Mother; Mim was gifted with certain advantages other magical folk were not. Namely Mim had the ability to transport at will between the magical world of the Underground and the Above world of humanity. To be sure she took full advantage of this ability.
Mim greatly enjoyed humans. She found many of their vices to be appealing to her and since she had no concern for money or status she could more or less selfishly use her presence in the human world to entertain herself. Among other things, Mim enjoyed a good party and she liked vain vices of beauty and glamour. But being what she was not all fun and games.
Technically, Mim was a Go(o)d Mother and there was an expectation that she occasionally us her powers and abilities to guide certain human's down a better path if she possibly could.
It was basically the whole Cinderella story.
Every century or so Mim was supposed to answer the call of some unfortunate sap and liberate them from their earthly woes.
While the mechanics were a little vague, if Mim didn't do it then she ran the risk of having her powers dwindle and her magical influence taken away from her. A fate Mim had no intention of ever submitting to. It was bad enough that she could only stay in the human realm for a limited time every day if she didn't want to get temporarily trapped and reduced to the abilities of a mortal for an entire lifetime.
Mim had been there and done that and it generally was not an experience that she was eager to duplicate. Even if she had eventually coped and even enjoyed the experience after a while.
The Cafe she ran in Boston had originally been a genuine source of income and shelter when Mim had accidentally lingered too long and gotten stuck for the duration of a natural human lifetime in the Above Ground. Now it served more as a nostalgic reminder of her time in Boston as well as a kind of trap for unsuspecting humans Mim had a mind to "help".
And sometimes, just sometimes, Mim liked to cause a little trouble of her own just to spice things up. The rules of her kind did not stipulate that she couldn't cause as much trouble as she cured. And sometimes causing a problem was much more amusing than being the solution.
Mim smiled to herself as she popped into existence in the back room of her cafe shop. Instead of the cotton candy pink gown she'd worn while visiting the Goblin Kingdom, Mim was now dressed in jeans and a peach colored bodice over a transparent cream colored undershirt that was gathered at the shoulders. The tight jeans and low cut bodice was bordering on inappropriate for the workplace but since Mim was the boss she dressed as she liked.
"Come on, you stupid thing." Mim muttered as she held up the golden cord shed stolen from the tuffet she'd been sitting on to the light and shook it once and then twice in her hand.
After about half a minute the cord suddenly transformed back into a round clear crystal. Innocent looking and flawless.
"Bingo." Mim whispered in satisfaction. "You should fetch a pretty penny to the discerning eye of some unsuspecting schmuck. And with any luck Im bound to have a little fun."
Mim pulled a handkerchief from between her breasts and briefly polished the crystal before she hovered to the front display window and set the crystal on a small silk cushion with a small sign in front of it reading "BEST OFFER". Mim then moved over to the shops door and turned the hanging sign over to OPEN.
Now the only thing left to do was to wait.