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Neopedia : Tawnia the Island Uni

"Good gracious, what on Neopia is she doing?" sniffed a Uni, as she lifted her sunglasses to peer farther down the beach.

"I don't know, but how disgraceful... she's getting mud all over herself!" another Uni said, reclining in the adjacent beach chair.

Tawnia, however, paid the vain Unis no heed. She galloped to and fro along the surf, digging up shells and other curiosities she found. Unlike many other Unis, Tawnia didn't mind the wet sand spattering her legs and fur. She didn't understand why the others were so content to sunbathe, while there were so many interesting things to see and places to explore on Mystery Island!

With a flick of her tail at the obnoxious Unis, Tawnia headed north along the shore. Presently, she came upon something sticking halfway up through the sand. Using her hooves to push the damp sand away from the object, she soon discovered it was a rather odd wooden mask.

"How curious," she murmured to herself while examining it under the bright sunlight. She carefully placed the mask in her bag, which she used to carry the treasures she found, and headed inland towards the Trading Post.

Tawnia set up a booth and displayed her wares for trade. She didn't like having to barter off some of her treasures, but she did have to eat like everyone else. Sitting there, she continued examining the mask until a shadow fell over her.

"My, what an interesting mask you have there, miss," a gruff voice said. Tawnia looked up to see a strangely clad Techo looking down at her. "Might it be for sale?"

The Techo made Tawnia feel a bit uncomfortable, but a customer was a customer... even if they were a bit, well... creepy. She simply nodded in response.

"I can tell you are a hard bargainer," he continued in a raspy tone. "Perhaps this would persuade you to part with it?" Out from his strange attire, the Techo pulled a bag of Neopoints, then laid them on the table in front of Tawnia. "Here are 33,214 Neopoints. Will that be enough?"

Tawnia nodded her head eagerly. With this many Neopoints, she wouldn't have to sell any more of her "treasures" for a solid year!

With the deal now finished, Tawnia gathered up the rest of her belongings and headed back to her home in the jungle.

That night, a terrible hurricane rushed across Mystery Island, toppling palm trees and creating mass destruction and havoc. Tawnia rushed towards her village, hoping that none of her friends had been hurt. However, a sudden thrust of powerful wind pushed her wings open, sending her hurtling into the air.

The wind tossed her about like a leaf, but as it did so, she noticed this was not the average monsoon. The winds seemed to be centering around Techo Mountain! Determined to discover the cause, the brave Uni fought on against the terrible winds for what seemed like hours. Just as she felt that her wings were about to give way, the wind suddenly subsided. She had reached the eye of the hurricane.

Quickly, she flew towards the peak of Techo Mountain. In a cave near the peak, she spotted something suspicious, and flew down to land on the edge. Peering into the darkness, squinting her eyes, Tawnia thought she saw the light of a torch flicker out.

A masked figure lunged out of the darkness towards the Uni, grabbing her neck and beginning to chant in some strange language. Tawnia gasped in horror as she realised it was wearing the same mask that she'd sold to the Techo earlier that day. The Uni reared, and tried to throw the masked figure off, but it was no use. However, she had a plan. Leaping into the air, with the figure still clutching her by the neck, Tawnia headed towards the wall of wind.

"Stop! STOP!" the creature gripping her by the neck yelled, but Tawnia had the terrible feeling that selling her artifact to the shady Techo had been the reason for the violent storm destroying her island... she wasn't about to allow that to continue, even if it cost her everything.

As the two slammed into the wall of wind, she felt the creature ripped away from her, then watched helplessly as they both plummeted towards the ground.

Tawnia was unsure of how much time had passed when she awoke, but she was relieved to find herself clean and lying on a small cot in a hut.

"Well, we're glad to see you awake, Tawnia," a kind voice said. The Uni looked up to see none other than Jhuidah standing over her and the clean cot she was lying in. "That was very brave of you, my dear. I saw, from a distance, what you did. You'll be happy to know that, once that awful Techo was knocked out by the fall, the hurricane had immediately dissipated.

Tawnia smiled, but then her eyes grew sad. "I should have known better than to sell my mask to that strange Techo. The whole island could have been destroyed!"

"But it wasn't," Jhuidah said. "You saved it. You gave everything to correct the mistake that you made, and that is the true mark of bravery. You are a hero, and the entire island is celebrating your defeat of that miscreant."

Tawnia smiled at the faerie. "Thank you."

"No, thank you," Jhuidah said, then added with a wink, "However, the next time you find a strange artifact in the sand, please bring it to me first!"