"YOU MEAN YOU'VE never been to Coltzan's Shrine? You must be kidding!"
Ben was astounded. All the pets had been to Coltzan's Shrine. Most went everyday.
Tya had been in Neopia longer than him and she had never even heard of it. "Well
we must fix that."
Ben lead the way
across the burning desert sands and past the merchants tents, while the little
white Kougra reluctantly followed. They soon came up to a very strange looking
piece of rock. It had carvings in it and was very tall. At least three times
as tall as Tya. She looked up in amazement. She wondered, briefly, how a slab
of stone could help her, but she quickly found out. As she walked up to the
strange shrine she got a tingly feeling in her spine and the spirit of Coltzan
appeared above her.
"Thank you for
coming, young Neopet," it said. Tya began to feel her muscles tensing and she
became very rigid. Then, she got a feeling of great relaxation and she tried
to figure out what had just happened. She looked at her human friend and then
down at her paws. "I really think I'm stronger," Tya exclaimed in amazement.
Tya went away quite
pleased with herself. Just before they got on the boat to go back to Mystery
Island. Tya shot off like a rocket in the direction of the shrine. She walked
right up to it and stood against it, waiting for something to happen. When nothing
changed Tya became very dejected and plodded miserably back to where Ben was
"You can only
visit the shrine once a day," Ben explained.
This didn't make
Tya feel any better. All that day she sat at the window of her little hut watching
the sun go down, wishing it would go faster so that tomorrow would come sooner.
The next day Tya
woke bright and early so she could head off for the Lost Desert. Ben wanted
to eat breakfast first but Tya suggested they stop at the food tent in the desert.
While Ben was getting food Tya trotted over to the shrine and as she stepped
up to it she felt a cool breeze rustle her fur. She didn't feel any different
and she certainly didn't look it. Tya tried again, this time walking slowly
and with determination. Still nothing happened.
When she told Ben
of her predicament he explained that sometimes nothing happened. Tya pouted
and mumbled something about not putting things up if they can't be used.
For the next few
weeks Tya visited the shrine almost every day. For a while it was wonderful
to feel the surging through her body, as she got stronger or faster. Sometimes
she was granted a food item or, if she was lucky, a shiny dubloon. Other times
all she felt was a cool breeze or a chill down her spine. After a month or so,
the visits lost their novelty and Ben would often have to remind Tya that they
hadn't been to the shrine that day.
One day, quite
late into the afternoon Tya and Ben headed off to the desert. The trip was uneventful,
as usual, but Tya felt that something was different. As she approached the shrine
she was happy to feel the ridges in her muscles that meant she was stronger.
As she walked away she felt a cool breeze and a chill down her spine, then she
looked over and Ben's hands were blue and she again got the feeling that she
was stronger. And indeed she was. Coltzan had apparently felt she needed more
strength, and granted her just that. Again Tya tried to walk away, but Coltzan
was apparently not finished. Tya was granted a cheops plant, and she found a
shiny dubloon in the sand. She was shocked to feel that she was getting faster
by not one, but two points. By this time Tya was quite scared and ran back to
where Ben was sitting.
"That was the
strangest thing I've ever seen," he announced. "Maybe we should get back home.
Tya and Ben had a very long discussion about what had just happened. "Maybe
it was some kind of weird joke." Ben suggested.
"But can a ghost
have a sense of humour?" Tya wondered.
They pondered long
into the night and both fell asleep at the table. Their dreams were filled with
shrines and ancient spirits.
Tya awoke with
a start. A fair bit of the day had gone by and someone had carried her to her
room. She went, rubbing her eyes, down to the kitchen where Ben was just clearing
up after lunch, "So you're finally awake. I thought maybe you'd sleep forever.
You'll have to excuse all the dirty dishes. The sink is broken and I haven't
had the time to fix it yet."
"That's it!" Tya
exclaimed. "I bet the shrine is broken. I wonder if what happened to us, happened
to anyone else?"
They asked around
and sure enough many other pets had the same experience. Tya and Ben decided
As the pair approached
the shrine Tya could feel that something was not right. She walked round to
the back and sure enough there was a piece of the shrine completely missing!
It was as if someone had chopped off a piece as if the shrine was a tree and
they were cutting off a branch. This was all just too weird for words so Ben
and Tya reported it to the Neopian police.
When the police
came down they set up ropes and held Tya and Ben for questioning. They told
their entire story and a detective who, spookily knew much more than he should
have, deduced that the shrine was indeed broken. The shrine was acting strangely
because a piece was missing and it must be found. Tya and Ben sighed. This could
take a while.
After days of investigation
and searching they found the culprit. He was a poor Lenny trying to improve
business to his little known tent in a far corner of the desert. He had chopped
off hunks of the shrine and sold them at high prices telling people they had
the same properties and the shrine itself and would save trips to the desert
everyday. This was of course not true. The pieces were glued back in place,
and although the shrine didn't look quite the same it worked almost better than