Hello and welcome to this week's edition of The Neopian News Brief, your all-in-one summary of everything that's been going on in Neopia during the previous week, from the scorched sierras of the Tyrannian Plateau to the eerie entrance of the Deserted Fairground. We've got plenty of exciting topics to cover, so let's not delay!
Our lead story this week is an amazing discovery, located far within the ruins of Maraqua. On Tuesday an extremely deep pit was found, situated directly beneath where the underground city once stood. Filled with a stunning array of coloured bubbles, the pit has begun fueling all sorts of rumours and speculation--numerous tales of long lost worlds and foreboding sea beasts currently abound. However, the most widely circulated story has been that the pit is somehow related to the recent sightings of Maraquan Neopets that have begun to pop up. As we go to press, this story is still developing, but we'll be sure to keep an eye out for the latest details as they happen...
There's also been quite a bit of news this week surrounding Petpets. First up is the debut of Petpet Protection League, an enigmatic organisation that seeks to reward loyal Petpet owners who dutifully care for their darling Doglefoxes and cuddly Candychans.
Each week a species of Petpet is selected, and the PPL doles out prizes and trophies to the owners whose pets have Petpets of that particular kind (for the first week, the species selected was the Ghostkerchief). If an owner has more than one of a particular species, then they'll be able to rack up bonus rewards for each additional Petpet. Excellent!
However, it looks as though not everybody can successfully protect their Petpet. On Thursday, there were a number of reports beginning to surface, which claimed that the precious Petpets of countless Neopians had suddenly come up missing (including my own pet's beloved Meep-it, Faust IV... we miss you Faustie; if you see this, please come home! *sniff*).
In other Petpet news, it was disclosed Wednesday that a few Petpets had been spotted playing with a peculiar variety of miniscule creatures. Many now speculate that these tiny critters could be flea-infested (and quite unsanitary), so if your Petpet is among the lucky ones that haven't turned up missing, it might be wise to keep them from associating with such dodgy vermin.
Throughout the past week, there's been a huge assortment of Buddy Icons added to the site, which should give you plenty of choices for decorating your Instant Messenger. It all began on Tuesday, when six Lost Desert-themed icons were released (featuring King Coltzan, the Fruit Machine, Peopatra, Sakhmet Solitaire, Scarab 21 and Tug-O-War).
That was followed by two sets of four that were unveiled on Thursday. The first quartet had depictions of the Ghost Lupe, Kasuki Lu, the Chia Clown, and Number Six, while the second showcased Lord Darigan, the Battle Faerie, the wand of the Dark Faerie, and a Water Faerie. Have a look for yourself and pick one out today!
On the merchandising front, the big news this week was the announcement that spotted Kau plushies would be arriving at Limited Too on Saturday, the 14th of June. There's sure to be plenty of demand for these, so if you plan on getting one, it'd be wise to stampede on over to your local LTD2 bright and early and snatch one up. If that's not enough spotted Kau action for you, word has it that spotted Kau shirts should be coming to the 99Dogs online store fairly soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for those as well.
In other merchandise news, a second set of Pocket Neopet toys have hit the shelves. The new worlds and their respective pets are as follows: Tyrannia (Tonu), the Space Station (Grundo), and Krawk Island (Krawk). Yay!
As this week drew to a close, all of Neopia gathered for the commemoration of Quiggle Day, that special time each year when we take a moment to recognise Quinton the Quiggle and his adorable amphibian brethren. After kicking off the festivities with a healthy supply of books and Battledome goodies (weapons, moves, and free training), Quiggles also received two new paint brush styles (pink and plush), a half-dozen Fun Images, some Quiggle themed NeoGreetings, seven Buddy Icons, and a trio of *ahem* irresistable Quiguki dolls. Quiggles were also featured in this week's Caption and Poetry contests, along with Friday's Pet Spotlight, too. Way to go, Quiggles!
Now it's time to take a closer look at today's financial headlines. As the Neodaq continues to slump, falling forty-five points and dropping below the 700 mark for the first time since last November, many analysts have gotten tired of saying, "Well, at least it won't get any worse." After all, many of them were saying that after the Big Board dropped below 900 a month ago--it not only could, but did get worse. Leading the way among the losers was Skeith Bodyguards, who tumbled an incredible fifty-three NPs to finish the week at twenty-five NPs a share. It was a stunning turn of events for SKBD, who was Neopia's most valuable company just two weeks ago.
The number two company hardly fared much better, as Hubert's Hot Dogs staggered to a thirty-one point decline, ending up at thirty-one NPs a share. On the other hand, the Big Board was rocked by the miraculous climb of Fish Pops, which posted the week's biggest gain, at forty-two points. However, it wasn't enough to land them the coveted position at the top of the heap. That honour would go to the ever-resilient Peophin Water Parks, whose thirty-one-point jump allowed them to close the week at seventy-five NPs a share. After those two, however, it's an awfully steep decline, as the third most valuable company on the board, The Auction Genie, is only worth forty-three NPs. TAG, incidentally, gained sixteen points themselves this week.
So then, with only three companies over forty NPs a share, and nearly two-thirds of Neopia's companies under fifteen NPs, can investors finally dare to assume that the economy has reached rock bottom? We'll just have to wait and see....