Wish Sticks, Truth or Folklore?
Luck plays a major part on Neopets. From Random Events to games to site activities, you’re bound to come across at least a dozen or so instances where a little bit of luck separates you from getting a cheap food item or a paint brush worth millions of Neopoints! We all strive to find such luck, some even having items they consider their lucky charm. What someone considers a lucky charm differs from individual to individual, but there are some items on the site that are specifically said to be lucky. And that brings us today’s topic, if you’ve looked for such lucky items you may have heard or even had these items: Wish Sticks. More specifically the Cherry Wish Stick and the Oak Wish Stick, Island Merchandise that are said to bring its owner luck. So with two fresh ones straight from the Tiki Tack shop I go around to test:Wish Sticks, Truth or Folklore?
Am I now the most luckiest Neopian in Neopia,
or am I just a few sticks short of a camp fire?
I begin my day by picking my twenty Lottery tickets and buying 1,000 shares of a 15 NP stock at the Stock Market. I’ll check back on those later to see if anything comes from them.
My first test is in Kiko Lake. I went to Kiko Pop, selected "Super Crazy Hard”, and threw my dart which hit a balloon right in the middle... only for it to bounce off and fly out to the lake where it hit a nearby group’s beach ball. Kiko Pop may be a free game but it ended up costing me a thousand NP. Not a great start.
I took a ship to Meridell to see if I had better luck in my favorite land. I sent my Fire Lupe’s Fire Anubis down the Symol Hole... and it never returned. No idea where it went, I asked another Neopian if they can send their Petpets in to look for it but it only came back with was A book entitled The Founder. Crossing out visiting the Turmaculus, I then went to Meridell castle. I just heard of a hilarious joke which I think might get at least a chuckle from Grumpy Old King. But I wasn’t the only one who thought of that, apparently everyone had heard the joke and told it to King Skarl. By the time I told it to him he was sick of it and had his guards throw me out of the castle. Hoping a Faerie would be nicer, I went over to Illusen’s Glade. I just so happened to be on Level 35 and if I complete it I would get a Honey Potion! But Illusen saw I was carrying Wish Sticks and chuckled, joking that with all my luck I wouldn’t have a hard time finding her favorite snack when she was back in Faerieland: Faerie Sparklecake. Guess I’ll get that Honey Potion another time. My last stop in Meridell was Pick Your Own. I looked up what berries you could find in the fields and there was quite a variety of all shapes, sizes, and color. All I ended up picking was dung, barbed wire, wool, a pair of old boots, and a rotten berry. Petpetless, dirty, and back at Level 1 in Illusen’s Glade, I took the road leaving Meridell and leading to Brightvale.
You can’t visit Brightvale without spinning the Wheel of Knowledge! Hoping for a Brightvale Job Coupon, I spun the wheel but it landed on nothing. Well, not nothing exactly. It landed on the spot where you’re given a slip of paper with a piece of wisdom from King Hagan. I was going to toss it away like I usually did when I thought maybe if I repeat what it says in Wise Old King I could at least get a book or handful of NP. I go to Brightvale castle and repeat King Hagan’s own wisdom back to him, but he gets angry with me, calls me a plagiarizer, and threw me out of the castle like his brother. Turns out King Hagan just had to deal with some legal issues of a few actual plagiarizers copying his books and selling them on the second hand market. Worried King Hagan might think I’m one of them, I go further south.
Down south is where Faerieland now rests. It too has a wheel, the Wheel of Excitement, so I give it a spin to see what kind of magic I could win. It lands on the lightning bolt space and at first I’m filled with excitement, until I realized it wasn’t excitement but rather electricity as I was struck by a lightning bolt. I dragged myself over to the Healing Springs hoping for a full heal, but all she gave me was an Icy Snowball which stung my hand with its bitter cold. Luckily Marina sells healing potions so after an Essence of Everlasting Apple I was back up. Nearby was the tree The Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity was hanging from. I gave it a visit but, with how my day was going so far, seeing a sad, blue plushie in need of a good stitching didn’t brighten my day so I left feeling glum. The Faerie Caverns were next and hopefully some spelunking would get me in a better mood. I took a few steps in and I fell into a pool of water. After drying myself off, I quickly went to the last place on my list for Faerieland so I could move on to the next land: Jhudora’s Bluff. By my own luck I was able to get to Level 35 so maybe with some more I could complete it and get a Dark Shroom. I walked into Jhudora’s home... and ran out with dark fireballs being thrown at me. I don’t know how I forgot I had done (and failed) Illusen’s quest. Now pumped with adrenaline I kept on running all the way to the Haunted Woods (where I’d probably end up running some more).
Lots to do in the Haunted Woods, you wouldn’t think such a spooky world would have that many dailies but you’d be wrong. Starting in the main area I did some quests. Knocking out two quests with one, I began a Brain Tree quest which requires doing two Esophagor quests. The first time the Esophagor asked for Spooky Foods which I didn’t want to touch with my bare hands, the second time he asked for Spooky Foods that fought back. Messy and bruised, I had the Brain Tree’s answers and received a handful of NP (that didn’t make up for what I lost buying the Esophagor’s food) and a Bat Pack which somehow started up and flew away. I went over to the Witches Tower to do a quest for Edna next. Fortunately the items she asked for didn’t harm me (though they were on the expensive side), unfortunately the reward she gave me was one of the Spooky Food I had to get for the Esophagor, which attacked me as the previous ones did.
The Deserted Fairgrounds has the bulk of the Haunted Woods dailies. At Test Your Strength I couldn’t get past "Useless”, couldn’t hit a single thing at Coconut Shy or Cork Gun Gallery, the Mootix ball refused to work with me so got nothing from Bagatelle, and scratched either blanks or near wins at the Haunted Fairgrounds Kiosk. I expected the worst from the Wheel of Misfortune but was surprised to see I won something... a Monster Cake which than attacked me.
One final place in the Haunted Woods left: Neovia. In town I tried Apple Bobbing and did get an apple... which then proceeded to attack me. Tired of food trying to eat me, I was getting ready to leave when I got tapped on the shoulder. It was one of the cultists from the catacombs and he had my Fire Lupe’s lost Fire Anubis which was nibbling on his torn up robe! It had somehow found its way from the Symol Hole to the Grave Danger’s catacombs. Glad I now didn’t need to buy a new Fire Anubis, I then blacked out. Somehow my Fire Lupe’s Fire Anubis brought with it a Curse of Narcolepsy causing me to fall asleep. When I woke up I found a note from the cultist saying he took some NP to buy new robes my Fire Lupe’s Fire Anubis chewed up, said Fire Anubis being nowhere in sight.
I finally get out of the woods of the Haunted Woods and into the desert of the Lost Desert. I started in Sakhmet to play Fruit Machine. The first two reels landed on the Puntec Fruit and I got excited at prospects of getting three of them, the highest result you can get! However, as the third reel slows, the third Puntec Fruit passes by and my dreams are dashed by a Bagguss. At least I got a Puntec Fruit. I tried the Desert Kiosk next but not enough time passed between playing the Haunted Fairgrounds Kiosk so I moved on. Next destination was Qasala, but first I stopped by Coltzan’s Shrine to see if the spirit of the former Sakhmet ruler would bless me with a million NP. As I gave my thanks I thought I heard a scream until I realized the high pitched noise was coming from my bag. Turns out the Puntec Fruit I was given was slightly rotten and, after being cooked in the desert heat, explodes covering me in fruit goo and seeds.
I arrive in Qasala and take a deep breath as I go to the Wheel of Extravagance. It costs 100,000 NP to spin and it’s not guaranteed you’ll get what you spent back, but it has a better chance of giving you something really rare. High risk, high reward. I pay the extravagant dressed Tonu and gave the wheel a hard spin. Expecting nothing or a lower amount of NP, my heart skipped a beat when it landed on the Scorchstone symbol, meaning I won an item with a rarity of 100! Just then a cold, sticky orb gets placed in my hand: a Sticky Snowball; an item worth only around 100 NP. The Tonu shrugged as I went to the Qasalan Expellibox to see if maybe I’m luckier with NC than NP. But as I was preparing to shoot the Scarab, it and all its brethren smelled the Puntec Fruit that I was covered in. I really should go back to see if I "won” anything, being I led a whole swarm of Scarab out of Qasala as I ran to the nearest dock.
Thankfully scarabs aren’t fond of water so I was able to arrive to Krawk Island by myself. I started with a visit to the Governor’s Mansion to do Anchor Management. I fired a cannon ball to scare the Krawken only for the cannon ball to be thrown back at me! The Krawken learned a new trick, but I was told new cannon balls will be coated in a Krawken repellant that would stop the Krawken from tossing them back. I then did the much safer Buried Treasure and I pulled a blank slip. I wanted to search the Forgotten Shore but I forgot where it was. I actually got lost until I just so happened to stumble upon the Food Club. I was just in time to make ten bets, I carefully made my choices but it was all for naught: several pirates with 13 to 1 odds won and I didn’t bet on any.
One ship ride later I’m on Mystery Island and we all know what that means: Tombola! I put my hand deep in the barrel and pulled up a ticket: Ticket #205! A ticket with all three of the winning numbers, surely this would mean a greater reward than usual, right? Well Tiki Tack Man than gives me an empty bottle, though he quickly corrected me saying it was a Bottle of Invisible Sand. Sometimes I wonder if winning is any better than losing. Feeling hungry, I decided while getting some food I’d also do a Kitchen Quest so I wouldn’t need to make two trips. At the time the Underwater Chef was making a recipe that came from the Esophagor and needed the Spooky Food which attacked me. I declined. After eating, I ventured to the lost city of Geraptiku to explore the Deserted Tomb. I carefully make my way around the traps and got to the treasure room... which had been emptied out. I was thinking at least I didn’t step on a trap, which I of course did mid-thought. While running away from the arrows I thought at least I didn’t have to deal with that giant ghost Hissi. While running away from both arrows and the giant ghost Hissi I tripped on a loose stone. When I woke up I was outside in front of the entrance no worse for wear. I took that as my hint to leave.
Maraqua was a quick trip. I couldn’t get a table at Kelp so I went to the ruins of Old Maraqua to fish at Ye Olde Fishing Vortex. I lost how much time passed and was about to fall asleep when my line tugged. I pulled back and I got a Pant Devil Attractor. Well, I would have, if the Pant Devil didn’t fly by mid-reel and take it, maniacally laughing as it flew away. And since my fishing rod was still attached, it was pulled from my hand and dangled along the Pant Devil’s path. It was also a loan so I had to pay for "losing” it.
I finally leave the island nations and arrive onto the northern continent of Neopia, starting in the jungles of Tyrannia. The Wheel of Mediocrity may not be all that exciting, but I’ve gotten good results from it in the past. I spun the stone wheel and before it stops I hear a roar come from the sky. Not seeing anything, I looked back at the wheel to see it landed on the Pterodactyl space. Suddenly a huge shadow covers the area before something lifts me off the ground! A Pterodactyl had swooped down and picked me up by biting my shirt collar. It then flies toward the plateau, probably to its lair, but on the way there my shirt collar rips and I fall. Thankfully we just so happened to have been over the Giant Omelette which broke my landing. However Sabre-X wasn’t happy to see me, yelling no jumping on Giant the Omelette. I get thrown out without even getting a piece of omelette. But now in the plateau I go to Tyrannia’s second wheel: Wheel of Monotony. I spin the stone wheel and it spins and spins, though I was determined to see it until the end. I then woke up to familiar roar, having fallen asleep from the monotony. The wheel had finally stopped... and landed on the Pterodactyl space. Once again I was lifted into the sky, though this time by it grabbing my shoulders with its talons. We fly into its lair, a cave that’s entrance looks like a toothy maw. Navigating the dark and narrow paths, we arrive to its nest. I knew as soon as it let go I didn’t have a moment to lose, so once my shoulders were freed I began digging through its nest. To my surprise there was a hole at the bottom, and with the angry cries of the Pterodactyl getting louder, I began crawling through the hole.
After crawling around in the dark for who knows how long, I finally reached a dead end. Except the rocks were loose and I could feel a cold breeze slipping through them. I gave the rocks a hard push and came out on a pile of treasure! Rare items of all kind laid about, all the misery from before must have been a test by the Wish Sticks to prove I was worthy of this treasure trove! That thought was short lived when I heard a growl behind me and I realized where I was. I was in Terror Mountain, specifically the Ice Caves, even more specifically the Snowager’s Lair. Running out of the icy wyrm’s den with an icy blast behind me, once safe I got back on track. First was the Ice Caves Kiosk, got nothing like the others. I then took the path leading up to the top of the mountain. I did a (bit expensive) Snow Faerie Quest and was rewarded yet another Icy Snowball and an Ice Shard, as if the Snowager’s icy blast didn’t supply me with enough already. I did one quick stop into Tarla’s Shop of Mystery, buying the first bag I saw. Inside was a Pile of Dung.
The next three lands went by quickly. I took a shuttle to Kreludor to visit the Meteor Crash Site, getting my hand covered in Unstable Slime and yelled at by an angry Grundo scientist. Took a shuttle to Shenkuu and solved the puzzle of the Mysterious Negg Cave, getting Angry Emoticon Hearts and a face full of mystical smoke. Then I took a ship to Roo Island where I waited till night to play Count Von Roo in Deadly Dice. Or rather, my Fire Lupe did for you need to have levels to play. He and Count Von Roo rolled their dice and tied. Rolled again and tied again. And this kept going, each time levels being doubled. Finally on the sixth roll, with 16 levels at stake, the results were different... and my Fire Lupe won! Walking away feeling triumphed, my Fire Lupe "helpfully” pointed out a problem with gaining so many levels: we’d now need to pay an extra Red Codestone to train at the Secret Ninja Training School, so I’ll probably end up spending more NP in the long run.
I finally get back to Neopia Central where I check the Lottery and Stock Market. Lottery had plenty of winners today, but none of my tickets won. And all of the stocks in my portfolio had fallen by 5 to 10 points, putting half of them in the red. In my anger with how bad today went I threw the Wish Sticks as far as I could... only for my Fire Lupe’s Fire Anubis to come running up to us with them in its mouth. I told my Fire Lupe, confused why his Petpet was wandering around outside by itself, what happened with the Symol Hole and Grave Danger. Not pleased to hear I used his Petpet without his permission, my Fire Lupe kicked me in the knees and then took his Fire Anubis home. On my way home I came across two kids, giving each one a Wish Stick just to get them off my hands.
Wish Sticks, Truth or Folklore? To say folklore would to say they didn’t work. But they gave me luck, bad luck! This was one of the worst days I ever had; I’m led to believe the Wish Sticks actually bring bad luck rather than good (making me feel kind of guilty that I gave those two kids the Wish Sticks)! My final verdict: don’t bother, nay, actively avoid getting a Wish Stick! Save yourself the NP and pain I went through.
P.S.: Upon doing more research, I believe I may have made a major mistake. There is a legend connected to the Wish Sticks where two rival wizards once used them to duel each other. This laid a curse upon the Wish Sticks where if you have both the Cherry Wish Stick and Oak Wish Stick you’ll get bad luck instead of good luck! Skeptical at first, I read the "Happy Thoughts” section of this morning’s Neopian Times which reports the good fortunes some Neopians had have. Two stories involved one kid winning a Lost Desert Paint Brush from the Fruit Machine and another having a kid get a Maraquan Paint Brush from Anchor Management. The two kids looked like the kids I gave the Wish Sticks too! Looking closely, I could see what looks to be a tip of a Wish Stick poking out of backpacks the kids were wearing. I’m still not sure if its truth or folklore, but what I can say is if what I experience is any indication: only get one. At the very least you’ll save yourself some NP by not buying both.