Adventures in Lutari Island
Alyssa the Camouflage Uni stared out the window of the Neohome she lived in with her siblings. She longed to be outside, exploring the jungle like she always loved to do.
That day, her mom was in Altador celebrating her cousins' birthdays, so Alyssa's oldest brother was in charge. The Uni was the youngest of her family, but she was also the sneakiest and most resourceful one.
Grinning, Alyssa silently slid open her window. She dotted down a quick note that read, "Gone adventuring. I'll try to be back for dinner!", and flew out the window.
She closed the window, took a deep breath, and smiled. Alyssa loved nature. And despite the rampant storms all around Lutari Island, where she lived, there was never a gloomy day.
Alyssa figured she'd better head into the jungle soon or else Adam, her oldest brother, would catch her and send her into her room again.
"Where to go today?" Alyssa whispered. She knew the land like the back of her hooves; she even had several hand-made maps of the island.
"Ooh! I know, I'll go to the feather pools," she decided, and started to fly south.
It took quite a while to get there, and Alyssa had to take quite a few stops, but finally she reached one of the most pristine places on the whole island: the feather pools.
Cascading pools adorned with shimmering feathers and rocks, they were an amazing sight and awful fun. Alyssa loved to relax in the pools, but most of the time she tried to climb to the top, without the use of her wings.
It was a steep climb, but fun and energizing. Alyssa reached the top with a sigh, and laid gratefully in a warm pool. She looked out at the amazing view. The feather pools were right near the coast of Lutari Island, which was rocky as usual, but also very colorful and beautiful.
"Oh, hi there, I didn't know anyone else used these pools but me!"
Alyssa spun around to see a pretty Brown Lutari.
"I'm sorry, I was just here for a little adventure... may I ask your name?" Alyssa replied, a little startled.
The Lutari grinned. "I'm named Maddy, thanks for asking! You?"
"Nice to meet you. You said you're out for an adventure?" Maddy asked her.
Alyssa smiled. "Yeah. I love exploring and all that."
"I bet I know a place you've never explored!"
Alyssa laughed softly. "Probably not. I've been just about everywhere here."
Maddy smiled knowingly and pulled out a detailed map of the Island. She gestured to the upper right hand corner of it, where there was a clearly written title: The ancient Lutari Caverns.
"Lutari Caverns? What's that?" asked Alyssa.
Maddy gave her a serious look. "Legends say that when the island was first discovered, a great evil Wraith terrorized it. People say that Brianna the Air Faerie destroyed it, but there are whispers yet that the Wraith hides deep in a cavernous tunnel system hidden from most, and that only the greatest adventurers would succeed in finding and finally destroying it."
"Wow! Do you really think the rumor is true?" Alyssa asked, really more curious than frightened.
Maddy shrugged. "I don't know, of course, but if you'd like to go there and try to find out..." She gave a sheepish smile.
Alyssa was nodding before she had even thought about it. "Of course I wanna do that! But we'd probably need some weapons first."
The Lutari nodded. "I like the way you think. I have some- good ones, I think- back at my place. It's just on the way to the caves."
"Let's go then!"
Maddy climbed on to Alyssa's back, and they started to fly to the caverns. ***
After a few stops, they were finally at Maddy's house, a cosy and sturdy Neohome made from wood from the Island's finest trees.
"I have some weapons in my shed, in case I ever need to go to the Battledome!" the energetic Lutari informed Alyssa, already running towards the backyard.
In the end, Alyssa got a dagger, a shield, and a mysterious potion while Maddy got a short sword, another shield, and a small flare.
"Well, buddy, ready to go try and find a Wraith?" Maddy playfully asked Alyssa, who nodded enthusiastically.
Half an hour later, they had arrived at the entrance to the caverns, which looked very eerie, dark, and hidden. Alyssa shivered even though she wasn't cold.
"I can't believe I've never found this place!" she exclaimed.
Maddy chuckled. "Just as well you haven't," she remarked as they made their way into the caves, "because I hear they're very large and dangerous."
At first the girls couldn't get used to the utter darkness; after they had walked a few feet into the caverns, Alyssa couldn't see her hooves in front of her anymore. But eventually as the tunnels widened and the Uni and Lutari walked side by side, it began to lighten.
"Strange," whispered Maddy.
"Why?" Alyssa asked her friend.
"Doesn't it seem like it would be lighter earlier on in the tunnels?"
Alyssa nodded, thinking about it. "Oh, yeah." she said, when she realized Maddy hadn't seen her nod.
The Uni suddenly walked into a puddle.
"Ahh!" she yelled, jumping back.
"What happened?" asked a concerned Maddy.
"Nothing, just a puddle." Alyssa made her way around it and Maddy laughed.***
"I think we're almost there," exclaimed Maddy, excited.
"I hope so; we've been in here for what seems like an hour."
The friends were suddenly blinded by a spectacular light. They immediately turned away and tried to get used to it.
"Whoa," said Alyssa.
Now the light was bearable and the Camouflage Uni turned to look at what caused it. An amazing room made entirely of purple crystal, aligned with furniture made of the same stuff. Alyssa gasped.
"Either the rumors were true, or a random Neopet is living down here in a room made of crystal," she announced, voice slightly shaking.
Maddy turned to her. "Are you sure you wanna do this?"
Again, the adventurer in herself nodded before she got the chance to think.
"I have one last question, though. What does this potion do?"
Maddy laughed. "You'll have to figure that one out for yourself, sorry. Now, lets go battle a Wraith!"
Despite their brave talk, the girls entered the room very nervously, because in all reality, they had no clue how any of this was going to turn out. They could get injured, or worse... but Alyssa tried not to think of that, because she was not a worrier at heart.
As they walked deeper into the cave room, Alyssa thought she heard laughing. "An evil laughing," she thought.
When they made a turn, both girls saw the cause of that laughing. It was a simple Royalboy Lutari, sitting on a throne made of crystal.
Maddy and Alyssa exchanged confused looks. Was there really no Wraith here? Had they come all this way for nothing? Alyssa heard the dark laughter again, and thought, maybe they had come here to face another evil.
"Um, who are you, sir?" asked Maddy awkwardly.
The Lutari cast her a simmering glare and stood from his throne.
"I am the Once Beloved King of Lutari Island." he said, with a voice that made Alyssa dislike him even more.
"What do you mean, 'Once Beloved'?" Maddy inquired, curiously.
The King smiled, but it was a slightly creepy smile. The Lutari seemed almost unreal, as if he had come from a distant world and hadn't had contact with others in a long time.
"Let me tell you a... story, of sorts. Sit down, and put those weapons you're carrying over here. They must be oh so heavy."
Alyssa and Maddy sat down, but clung to the weapons, because they still didn't trust this guy.
"Very well, very well." the King said, sounding mockingly disappointed. Alyssa wondered why he had ever been beloved, because he sounded rude and obnoxious to her.
"Here is my story. Before the days of outside Neopians destroying our land," he cast a glare at Alyssa, "I was the king of Lutari Island. I was a wonderful king, all the Lutaris of the land adored me." The King took a wistful pause here, as if remembering those times.
"But then the Neopets came; so many of them, I had to do something about it! Brianna was already our caretaker, but I was king of the land. I didn't need her permission."
"What did you do?" asked Alyssa, already knowing the answer.
"I summoned a monster. A Wraith, if you will. I came to these very caves and just made it appear. Then I told it to stop all outside Neopets from destroying our wonderful island. But, um... I don't know why, but the Wraith started to terrorize all of us." said the King, sounding crestfallen.
"So then Brianna destroyed it?" finished Maddy.
"Yes. And the Islanders banished me to this cave, forever." the King sadly confirmed.
Alyssa wasn't sure what to say. The King seemed awfully depressed, as if the memories he had just shared made him more natural, less creepy.
"Um, well, did you learn your lesson?" she blurted out.
The King stared at her. "What lesson?"
"That you should accept change, I guess. Maybe you would've been a great king to those Neopets, too. At least you wouldn't be stuck in here."
The Lutari laughed. "You have a point. I guess that was stupid of me. But, I must ask, what are you two girls doing here?"
Alyssa cleared her throat awkwardly, while Maddy smiled sheepishly.
"I guess we learned a lesson too. Not to go looking for danger!" Alyssa said.
Maddy and the King laughed.