Kotureo and the Magic Asparagus: a Pirate's Quest
You've probably heard of the world famous Kotureo before.
In case you haven't, however, it's probably best that I give a few details. Kotureo
was a great pirate, who sailed the Mystery Channel (that one that runs between
Mystery Island and Krawk Island) many many years ago. He's most renowned for one
great adventure involving Coconut JubJubs, a band of scurvy Pink Kacheeks, hideously
mutated Turnips, and a really awesome narrator. That's me.
It all began on a perfectly normal, bright and
sunny day on the channel (It was, however, a Monday, that one day where awful
things always seem to happen). Kotureo the Pirate Tonu, a true believer in the
saying "Early to bed, early to rise... " was up and about at the wee hour of
two o' clock PM. He was staying at the Golden Dubloon Inn, and stumbled sleepily
out of his room and into the tavern. It was not as packed as it usually is at
later hours, most of the inhabitants of the island still being in bed. Because
of this, he was able to hear the gruff voice of a Coconut JubJub at the bar.
"Ahoy, matey. I be lookin' fer a Pirate Tonu,
that it was, in a small..." Kotureo, who had slipped to a table to listen in
undetected, growled inaudibly at the word "small," as the JubJub continued,
"but tough ship, what run up a black Jolly Roger with'n a white skull and crossed
celery stalks. She war a-crewed by a rabble o' scurvy Pink Kacheeks, an' she
run up pink sails on 'er one mast."
This description fit Kotureo's pirate ship, the
Pink Pearl, perfectly. Kotureo, perhaps the healthiest eater on Krawk Island,
absolutely loved celery, which was why he had it pictured on his Jolly Roger.
He found it particularly good when smothered with peanut butter and dotted with
raisins, and with an ice cold glass of lemonade on the side. His crew was indeed
formed by scurvy Pink Kacheeks, after the Pearl had accidentally bumped into
the Lab Ray on one of its voyages. The disastrous results were the cause for
the name of the boat, as everyone on board had been turned into a Pink Kacheek
- even Kotureo, but he had managed to purchase a Pirate Tonu Morphing Potion
from a seedy merchant on the docks of Krawk Island. And the Pearl ran up pink
sails because one day, Kotureo had tossed his red shirt in with the white sails
at the laundry.
Presently, Kotureo became absolutely certain
that his ship was the topic of discussion, and listened into the conversation
with great interest.
"Nope. Ne'er seen th' likes o' such in me life,"
said the old Techo who seemed to be firmly affixed to the stool in front of
the bar. Nobody knew the name of this Techo (who saw Kotureo almost every day),
only that what he had just said was all that he ever said, which was the only
reason he was allowed to sit on the barstool.
"Well, iff'n ye be seein' 'im, gimme a holler.
He done stole one mightily important piece o' treasure, see. Do ye know jes'
what that magical asparagus is? What it can do?"
"Nope," came the reply. "Ne'er seen th' likes
o' such in me life."
"It is really a key, magically concealed in
the form of an Asparagus," the JubJub confided, leaning in close and whispering.
Kotureo realized that he had dropped his piratey way of speech, probably by
accident, and that this JubJub was probably not a pirate at all. "It unlocks
the door at the basement of the Mystery Island training school. The one that
leads to the legendary, the dreaded, the Hall of Vegetables. It must
be recovered - at all costs!"
And without waiting for a reply, the JubJub
scanned the room, detecting only a few early risers who sat around minding their
own business, but not a certain well-hidden Tonu, who had ingeniously hidden
himself behind a menu. The Golden Dubloon's doors swung open, slammed closed,
and the JubJub visitor was gone. Kotureo set down his menu, returned the cordial
nod from the Techo at the bar, set his head in his paws, and began to ponder.
He still had the Asparagus. He had looted it
from a merchant ship floating around off the coast of Mystery Island. He was
tempted to eat it immediately, as Asparaguses (Asparagi?) were his second favorite
food, behind celery. But he decided to save it for a special occasion. Upon
hearing "at all costs" he had considered asking for a ransom. A treasure so
desperately sought could fetch enough Neopoints to transform his scurvy Pink
Kacheek crew into their much more fearsome original form, that of scurvy Purple
Lennies. But then he remembered what the JubJub had said the Asparagus unlocked
- the Hall of Vegetables. He knew what he must do. He must seek this Hall of
Vegetables, and claim the Vegetables within for his own.
Now, I know most of you are thinking, "Ewww...
Vegetables!?" and that if you aren't, it's because you're thinking that a narrator
should never, ever, use the word "you." However, you (ha-ha) have to realize
that Kotureo was not quite the kind of pirate that you (haha) would expect.
Vegetables of any kind were his favorite food group. He relished the taste of
Vegetables as much as Florg relished the taste of Kadoaties. In short, he loved
Kotureo stood up and bellowed for his crew.
From upstairs came the sound of fifteen yawns, fifteen moans, twenty-nine feet
and one peg hitting the ground coming off of fifteen bunks, fifteen doors opening,
and fifteen sleepy "Aye"s.
"Prepare to sail!" barked the Tonu Captain.
The effect was immediate. Fifteen scurvy Pink Kacheeks dashed back to their
rooms. Fifteen duffle bags were opened. Fifteen toothbrushes, forty-five pairs
of clean underwear, ninety clean socks, and many other items of similar nature
were tossed into said bags. Within five minutes, fifteen scurvy Pink Kacheeks
had bolted out the door and made the Pink Pearl ready to sail.
Fifteen scurvy Pink voices chorused, "Where
to, cap'n?" when Kotureo stepped aboard his beloved ship, and he had the answer.
"Chart a course to the Mystery Island Harbour.
From there we make a land expedition - to the Training School!"
Now if you are knowledgeable in Neopian Geography,
you are aware that the Golden Dubloon is on the south end of Krawk Island, and
that the Harbour is on the south end of Mystery Island, so it would be quite
possible to chart a course that followed a direct line between the two points.
However, this was not the way of the Pink Pearl. The vessel, for one thing,
always sailed the Mystery Channel on all its voyages, bar none. For another,
the crew and captain alike were both ever hungry for adventure (as well as celery),
and as such, couldn't tolerate short, direct routes. No, the Pearl would sail
up around the north end of Krawk Island, then down through the Mystery Channel,
then around to the Harbour. The return journey would sail up around the north
end of Mystery Island, back down through the channel, and back to their own
home port near the Golden Dubloon, completing a figure eight. This was one of
their simpler routes; Kotureo had been known to chart courses in the shape of
Queen Fyora to reach the Swashbuckling Academy, but he was somewhat in a hurry
to reach this "Hall of Vegetables" he had heard about, and took no such action
They set out immediately on their quest. Fifteen
minutes after that, they were back in port to stock up on grog. Another fifteen
minutes, and again they were back in port, this time to stock up on food. And
after yet another quarter of an hour, they returned again to port, and this
time fifteen scurvy Pink Kacheeks and one quite healthy Pirate Tonu hopped off
the ship to use the restroom facilities. After all this had been done, they
set out yet again for the Mystery Island Harbour.
Their first stop along the way was the Swashbuckling
Academy, which they reached after two days of uneventful (unless you count the
racket the captain made on the second day as he tried to remove a booger that
was well lodged in his Tonu nose) sailing. Kotureo and five scurvy Pink Kacheeks
disembarked to meet with Cap'n Threelegs, and to restock their supplies of grog,
food, and tissues.
"Well, if it ain't ol' Cap'n Kotureo!" rasped
Threelegs as the six visitors entered his academy. "It's bin a good long time
since ye've a come along 'n visited. Six days, aye?" Kotureo indicated that
it had, indeed, been six days. "Well, it's a right pleasure to be 'avin' ye
again," the Eyrie said, clapping Kotureo on the back. "Where ye be a goin' to
"Mystery Island," replied Kotureo in a friendly
tone. "Our final destination be the ol' Trainin' School by th' volcano. But
don't ye worry!" he added, seeing a half distressed, half angry look spring
upon his friend's face. "It don' be fer learnin'."
"Well, that be mighty fine," said Threelegs,
but with a perplexed look, he added, "Wouldn't it be quicker te jes' sail along
direct?" Kotureo ignored this question, as he did all other questions like it.
"Anyways," went on Threelegs when he saw that his question would not gain an
answer, "I suppose ye'll be goin' by th' ol' Dubloon O Matic on yer way thar?
Mighty fine! Ye mind swappin these here one an' two dubloon coins fer some lighter
cash? All these younger pets, they don' never run out, and these coins jes'
keep a comin'." He indicated a large room with an open door, low-denomination
dubloon coins spilling out. Kotureo indicated he would gladly do so. "Mar'v'lous!"
barked the wizened Eyrie, again clapping Kotureo on the back, and giving the
order for the dubloons to be loaded in the hold of the Pearl.
Back on the Pink Pearl, Kotureo let out a wide
grin. Among pirates, everything is fair game, and the Tonu was the true benefactor
of the proceeds from Cap'n Threelegs' Swashbuckling Academy, for, as Kotureo
was so fond of saying, "The great thing about Threelegs is he ain't got no kind
o' mem'ry - no mem'ry at all!"
The Pink Pearl sailed on, making an occasional
stop here and there to restock, or occasionally, to take a potty break. The
next thing at all worth telling about occurred as she reached the midpoint of
the North Krawk Island shores. A Meridellian freighter, making its way south
to Krawk Island to perform perfectly legal transactions with the perfectly law-abiding
citizens of said island, came into the sights of the Pearl. Now, the goal of
this voyage was not to plunder, but there was never a true pirate that would
pass up an opportunity to pillage such a wealthy-looking freighter. The Pearl's
Jolly Roger was run up, and her Blue Frost Cannons readied.
The freighter's captain, faced with a choice
between stopping and sailing onward into the broadside of a pirate ship, decided
it was best to stop. Kotureo now had the choice. He could attempt an attack
on the freighter, or fire a warning shot and negotiate payment to avoid a battle.
He did what he always did in said situations, giving his men the order to fire.
They missed, horribly, so he took the "warning shot" course.
"That was a warning shot!" he bellowed towards
the freighter. "Where be yer cap'n? Let im come forth an' speak!"
"I'm here!" came a timid reply, just loud enough
to be heard over the gap between the two ships. "What do you want?"
"Whatever swag ye've got! Turn it on over!"
shouted Kotureo, in the loudest, most fearsome voice he could muster. He lost
"All of it?" was the reply from the freighter,
"Must it be all? I'll offer two bushels of asparagus and three bushels of celery
without a fight."
This most generous offer, not only because he
could not carry on an argument without the ability to talk above a whisper,
was one Kotureo could not refuse. He ordered his scurvy Pink Kacheek first mate
to shout that said offer would be fine, and the vegetables were shipped over.
With another warning shot (this one was intended to be a warning shot, and almost
hit the freighter), the Pearl sailed off, and her captain began to methodically
devour his new barrels of vegetables.
And onward sailed the Pearl, voyaging boldly
along the curve of Krawk Island and into the Mystery Channel. As she entered
the channel, she began to take on other Pirate ships in daring battle, gaining
plenty of plunder from both pirates and merchants alike. A quick stop was made
at the Smuggler's Cove, and Kotureo used some of his recently acquired dubloons
to purchase a few of those peas that they sold. He simply loved their strong
taste, but wasn't all too happy with the price. He also got another cool ducky
for his bathtub.
The Pearl then moved over and sailed along the
Mystery Island Coast. They picked up some tropical fruit at the food shop, and
some new shoes at the Tombola. The Pearl was on her way to the Beach Volleyball
court when they ran into two well armed Mystery Island warships. The Pearl halted,
and turned so that her broadside faced the battleships. It was clear, however,
that in a fight, the Pearl with her Blue Frost Cannons could hardly even slow
down her adversaries.
"Halt!" shouted a voice from one of the battleships.
"Jes' one step ahead o' ye!" yelled Kotureo
in reply, as his ship had stopped well before being hailed. He scanned the ship
that the voice had come from, and saw that the speaker on the mast was the very
Coconut JubJub he had overheard at the inn.
"This is not a time for jokes!" bellowed the
JubJub in reply. "You will hand over the Magic Asparagus - immediately!"
"The whatic whatagus?" Kotureo shouted back,
hoping that he could make it look like he knew of no such thing. A pair of warning
shots from the battleships told him that he had failed in that effort.
Kotureo was never one to give up his quests
lightly, but he was no fool. He knew he could not avoid having to give this
JubJub what he wanted.
"Iff'n I give it to you," he called in a resigned
tone, "will ye be lettin' our ship go free?" There was a pause as the JubJub
considered, or conferred with his comrades, before the answer came.
"That is acceptable."
So, proud Captain Kotureo, with no other choice,
hopped in a dinghy and began to row over towards the lead battleship. He was
allowed on deck, and saw that the whole ship was crewed by Coconut JubJubs.
Kotureo found the one from the inn, and presented him with an asparagus from
his pocket, one that was simply humming with power. He gave a sad nod, then
returned to his rowboat and headed slowly back to his ship, as the two battleships
turned about and headed off towards the horizon.
Back aboard the Pearl, Kotureo couldn't help
grinning as he said, "resume course." The course was resumed, and the Pearl
pulled into port at the Harbor. Kotureo appointed four scurvy Pink Kacheeks
to stay and guard the ship, and with the remaining eleven, went ashore.
After a short hike, the landing party approached
the Training Academy. Kotureo dispatched one of his scurvy Pink Kacheek companions
to create a diversion as the group entered. The scurvy Pink Kacheek snuck in,
and a few minutes later the group was able to slip in as nearly everyone in
the academy ran over to investigate the sudden flooding of the back rooms. The
pirates were aware that they had plenty of time, for it would take a while for
the academy officials to locate the source of the water flow, the back toilet,
and shut it down.
The pirates raced across the entryway, looking
for the stairwell. They didn't find it, and raced across the entryway again.
And again. And again. At last, they found it, and rushed down to the lowest
Kotureo and his companions found themselves
in a dark, damp tunnel, with walls of packed earth that had an occasional root
sticking out here and there. A trickle of water came down from upstairs. At
the very end of the tunnel was a round stone door, with a picture of a turnip
engraved on it. Perhaps, had the tunnel been better lit, or the stone cleaner,
Kotureo would have noticed the chilling, evil grin on the Turnip, but the tunnel
was dim and the stone dirty, and he did not.
The Tonu slowly moved towards the stone. He
whipped the Magic Asparagus out of his pocket. Here he was, he had reached his
goal! Only fifteen yards away! Ten! Five! JubJub! JubJub? Several Coconut JubJubs
had hopped down from the ceiling, and were now blocking his path! At the lead
was the JubJub from the inn, and he was holding an asparagus stalk that was
simply humming with power.
"So... " said the JubJub from the inn, "so...
you give me a fake. How creative."
"Er... heh, whoops, guess I got them mixed up,"
offered Kotureo sheepishly. Down in this dark tunnel, the JubJubs seemed extremely
menacing. The one from the inn accented this effect by giving a dark, barking
laugh, tossing the stalk aside, drawing a Sword of Skardsen, and shouting "Attack!"
to his company. All the other JubJubs drew equally menacing Swords of Skardsen.
"Defend yourselves!" shouted Kotureo, drawing
his Pirate Captains Cutlass. His scurvy Pink Kacheeks drew out a variety of
quite less impressive weapons; one, in fact, sported only a Wet Snowball.
Kotureo fought bravely, but it was clear he
was on the losing side. His opponents were rapidly gaining ground, despite being
forced to stand on one foot and wield their swords with the other, having no
arms. Just as Kotureo was ready to give up, he saw it. His one hope. The asparagus
that the JubJub had tossed aside. It was simply humming with power.
Kotureo made a dive. His paw closed around the
asparagus that was simply humming with power. He turned. He hurled the asparagus
at his attackers. It contained three Super Attack Peas from the Smugglers' Cove
that had been purchased with Cap'n Threelegs' money and hidden inside the asparagus
from the Meridellian freighter to make it hum with power so that it could pass
off as the magical asparagus. These Attack Peas did what they were made for.
There was a collective yelp from the JubJubs, who rushed upstairs, across the
entryway, out of the academy, and off the island, and were never heard from
Kotureo gave a sigh of relief. He looked at
the asparagus that had just saved his life, and the lives of most of his crew,
and his hope of reaching the Hall of Vegetables. Seeing nothing better to do
with it, he ate the asparagus that had just saved his life, and the lives of
most of his crew, and his hope of reaching the Hall of Vegetables. It was simply
humming with power, and his eyes bulged briefly. He then turned towards the
stone, the door to the hall of vegetables.
He held the true magical asparagus (which, needless
to say, was also simply humming with power) towards the stone, which slid away
as he approached. His wildest expectations were met. It was a hall, filled with
vegetables (this, in case you were wondering, is why the Hall of Vegetables
was so named). Then something happened that he had not expected.
The vegetables began to cackle.
Hideously mutated turnips, at the head of other
hideously mutated vegetables, began pouring out. The chief turnip charged up
and faced Kotureo directly in the eye.
"Thank you, mortal," it said, laughing evilly,
"for releasing us from our prison. Now," it added, turning to its followers,
"to destroy Neopia - Forever!"
There was an assortment of vegetablish cheers.
Kotureo and his crewmates once again fought against all odds. The Tonu began
to regret having eaten all of his Super Attack Peas.
Upstairs, in the back bathroom, Ryshu the Nimmo
was glaring at a flooding toilet with his hands on his hips. "Toilet-san!" he
The toilet ignored him.
The Nimmo repeated himself, and was again ignored.
His temper snapped. That had been the fiftieth time. This insubordinate toilet
must be taught respect. Ryshu brought his hand down in a powerful chop on the
toilet's tank. The tank burst in two, and the water became a torrent, rushing
out in gales, flooding over the entire floor of the academy with amazing force.
The trickle of water from upstairs in the tunnel
also became a torrent. The Neopets were able to keep their feet and stand firm
in the rushing waters, but the vegetables were not so fortunate. They were quickly
knocked back by the rushing tide into the Hall of Vegetables. Kotureo, thinking
quickly, rushed up to the entry to the Hall, and raised the Asparagus. The stone
rolled back to shut the Hall once again.
The flood had stopped, as the local water supply
had been completely depleted. Kotureo looked at his crew. They were tired and
wet, and so was he. He had hoped for immense piles of vegetables. He had gotten
none. But, on the other hand, he had had an adventure, and for a pirate, that
is what really counts. Giving the order to return to the ship, he decided that
the end of his quest was a special enough occasion for him to eat the Asparagus
he had been saving for such occasion.
And he did just that.