Regarding the Deserted Temple of Geraptiku and a Very Strange, Very Purple Orb
So it happened that one sunny Wednesday afternoon I found myself, quite unhappily, on Mystery Island. Remember, Mystery Island is the subject of absurd books such as Island Cybunny Guide, which, contrary to the title, isn’t actually a guide to Island Cybunnies. No, it’s a guide to the things that Island Cybunnies can do on Mystery Island. Me? I’m a curious Ixi. I enjoy learning things about strange, exotic creatures (and Cybunnies are strange and exotic all by themselves... who needs a paint brush to make them worse?), but boy was I tricked into reading that neatly-bound pile of worthless pages. Mystery Island is also the home of the most worthless junk in all of Neopia: sand. Bottles upon bottles of it, clogging up shops, the Money Tree, the streets.... There isn’t even enough of it to make a proper collection.
The morning itself probably darkened my outlook on the place in general. You see, sometimes the Lab Ray plays tricks just as cruel and unusual as poorly-titled books, and that sunny, sunny Wednesday was no exception. Spotted. Spotted! Of all the colors in the world, spotted. Fyora-cursed mad Scorchio! If he’d handed me a Spotted Paint Brush I would gleefully have bounded off to the Trading Post and sold it. Of course not. If he zapped me into, say, an Island Cybunny, I might have felt better about having taken the time to read Island Cybunny Guide; it would have been useful. Spotted.
The absolute worst part about it? Spending a few thousand neopoints to take a dive in the Rainbow Pool with a different brush was entirely out of the question, because, with my luck, I would just have gotten zapped spotted yet again.
Why did I come to Mystery Island after that instead of burying my head in the cushions of a Nova Sofa and hoping the outlandish yellow fabric would rub some of its happiness off on to me? The Island Training School, of course. I spent four thrilling hours studying defense under the Techo Master and when my course was completed I was of a slightly better mindset. Every so slightly, not by much, don’t be mistaken on that matter, but I’d say a good ten percent of a smile crept across my face. Considering my usual disposition, that’s a lot.
Anyway, I found myself trapped on Mystery Island because my class let out just after the lunch boat and the dinner boat was still a few hours away (as, as you may have surmised, was dinner). I was itching to test out my newly acquired defensive capabilities.
You can’t possibly have forgotten that I’m on Mystery Island. There are a few pockets of crazy natives that want to eat Cybunnies AND Ixi, but apart from them the place is harmless (unless you value your time, in which case it is extremely, extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs). This didn’t help much with my quest to test out what I’d earned for those three Eo Codestones. Yep, three of them. I didn’t mention that before? Whoops.
I headed for Geraptiku, the Lost City...
(Don’t worry. I won’t even think about discussing the so-called Lost City and how it isn’t really lost. There’s not enough space in this entirely blank Yellow Lined Notebook, let alone the Neopian Times, for that.)
...and the Deserted Tomb. Now this is my kind of place. Apart from the Training School, it’s the Island’s only redeeming quality, and my prime amusement for the hours between lunch and dinner.
At least, that’s what I thought.
I navigated the hallways and chambers, dank, etched with hieroglyphics that I stopped to take rubbings of, and full of traps. My new training proved extremely helpful as I dodged flying spears and leapt clean across pit traps. Fire spouted from the sides of at least three of the rooms (I ducked just in time, singing my awful spotted fur) and the “meep meep” and trilling of petpets nearly stripped me of my sanity. Not that I saw any of them. If I had, I’m sure my sanity wouldn’t have been as threatened because I could have head butted them (gently) and stopped the meeping myself.
I do not advocate violence against petpets! The sane, lovable ones at least.
Eventually I got lost. By “got lost” what I really mean is I found more rooms in the Deserted Tomb than I thought the Deserted Tomb had and that many of them were of the unfamiliar sort. My newfound powers were tested even further by traps I hadn’t discovered on previous explorations.
For instance, an image of a giant Moltenore jumped out of one of the corridors, and a Ghost Korbat (a real Ghost Korbat, not just the projected image of one) wailed from behind a mostly-closed door.
Panting and exhausted, I found sanctuary in what I thought was a safe room. The walls proved seamless on inspection and the door closed securely behind me. I leaned against a wall and slid down it, coming to a comfortable sitting position. I forced myself to breath slowly and closed my eyes.
Like this I stayed for a few minutes, until I was startled by a great grating sound. It was the kind of sound that causes the blood of adventurers to run cold, the grinding of giant gears, the mashing of stone against stone, the snap of breaking wood and, generally, of dangerous things that were about to strike.
I leapt up and looked around the room. Somewhat rested, I was prepared for everything but what I saw. One of the walls, the one opposite where I had come to rest, had moved backward a few meters, revealing an alcove. In the alcove stood a plain granite pedestal and on top of the pedestal there lay an orb.
A very strange and very purple orb. Naturally, I went to inspect it.
The orb rolled on the pedestal, just a little, in tight little circles. When I approached I realized that there was a depression on the top that both gave the orb room to roll around and kept it secure. It looked cool to the touch and what seemed to be liquid gurgled just beneath the surface.
Of course I touched it. Who, already so deep in the Deserted Tomb, wouldn’t?
The walls of the tomb dissolved completely and I found myself suspended in a sort of nether. The air around me simmered and turned purple, until I was lost in the sea of the orb. The purple nether solidified slowly, until it held the consistency of cloud, and the color drained out of it as I’m sure the color was draining out of my spotted fur. Eventually, I couldn’t have found a difference between the strange air around me and cloud, and at the moment I noticed this I started to fall.
As I fell, I screamed. Loudly and in quite an undignified manner, unbecoming even of a spotted Ixi such as I then was. Thankfully the landing—though far from the place in the sky that I thought I fell from—was soft. I splashed into a deep lake and swum myself quickly out of it.
Spotted and wet! I shook myself off and stood a moment looking around. Then, the truth of the matter hit me and I was overcome by simultaneous feelings of awe and anger.
Anger because there was no way I was getting home in time for dinner.
Awe because, it seemed, I had found my way to Lutari Island.
The grass and the trees were more vivid than those on Mystery Island, the world splashed with more color and far more livelihood here than there. Half a dozen Lutaris stared at me from around a bonfire nearby, their bodies frozen in absurd poses. I guessed they’d been dancing before I fell into the midst of their celebration.
And, the clouds I had fallen through were gone. Each and every one of them. Pteris sang in the air above the island without fear of getting weighed down by the constant storms, and from where I stood I could see just a hint of the beach. The water, rumored to be so tossed by storms that no boat could near the island, was calm and blissful.
The half dozen Lutaris stared at me in disgust as I guessed what I had done:
Opened up Lutari Island.