The Road that Lead to Maraqua's Tragedy
MARAQUA - This is keng200 reporting from mystery island shortly after a trip to
the Maraquan ruins. After months of snorkeling training I have finally been able
to visit the ruins to do research on it’s destruction, and also to mourn for the
thousands of Koi who lost their homes on the 18th day of the Month of Hiding.
I had to sneak past the giant slug to get to the bubbling pit. I was hoping
to find clues there. Peering down into the strange glowing trench I hadn’t seen
anything. Something made a noise behind me. When I turned around to inspect,
nobody was there. I squinted back down the trench and spotted a book on a ledge
which had not been there before. I looked around for an owner. Not even a playful
Tanizard was to be seen. So I picked it up and placed it into my pack then swam
back to the surface of the water. I then climbed into the boat where my faithful
(if you call pushing me back into the water 300 times faithful) pets awaited
my return. We then set off to Mystery Island, the nearest land for miles around.
I am now peeling open the pages. Surprisingly they are undamaged and perfectly
dry. The following is written in the book.
It is the 18th day of the Month of Hiding. Exactly four years have passed since
my beloved home was disintegrated by the whirl pool. After much reflection and
mourning, I finally find myself able to put down in words the events that lead
up to that terrible day.
I suppose it all started late in the Month of Relaxing. We were getting ready
to plant the next crop of kelp. My father sent me to fetch the seeds from the
storage shed. That soon revealed the first sign of the coming misfortunes. The
misfortunes that lead to the tragedy.
I opened up the storage shed and was shocked to find that over half the seeds
had rotted. We had always been careful to prevent this and there had never been
a single rotten seed in our shed before. But never the less I filled up some
buckets with the remaining seeds that had not rotted away, then obediently delivered
them to my father.
I immediately told him of the rotten seeds. A look of concern appeared on his
face. He had just been talking to our neighbor and the same thing had happened
to them. But not even this strange coincidence could delay our work. We had
to plant the seeds today, no excuses. So we set to work on spreading our remaining
seeds across our field. The amount of field we covered was half of what we usually
did for the summer crops.
Later that day it soon became apparent that it was not only the family of our
neighbors’ and my own that had been hit with rot, but all of Maraqua.
“Do not panic. This is one of those things that happen and cannot be prevented,
we WILL get through this, I promise you. We’ve been down and out before, our
ancestors have faced much worse than this and pulled through, and so shall we!”
Those were the words of our king. And we believed him, after all, he had never
let us down before. So we went back to our regular lives, reassured that he
would find a solution.
The situation worsened though. Tourists, who had once crowded Maraqua, had
now all but disappeared. Very few still visited our beautiful aquatic city that
summer. Our income was poor and our crops were failing and so was our stock
market. The weather had been unforgiving. It gave us exactly the opposite of
what we needed when we needed it most.
Once again we began to worry, and once again our king addressed us. He stood
tall and confident, but there was uncertainty in his voice as he spoke. “We
are facing many misfortunes, trials on the strength of our spirits. Trials we
shall overcome together. We are searching for a solution as I speak.”
It was reassuring to know a solution was being searched for, even if the king
did sound concerned. So we went back to our struggles with a small boost of
hope in our hearts. A boost of hope that was soon swept away on the currents.
What little income we did scrape together and put forward to help solve the
problem, never seemed to be used to help our situation. In fact, it seemed to
simply disappear entirely. Like sugar stirred into water. Not a single Neopoint
appeared to exist in our world.
On top of all that, mysterious sightings had been reported of a large, brown,
underwater ship with bones painted onto its side. It was always described as
heading towards, or away from the king’s palace. I myself witnessed this on
one occasion. It had been a cold Saturday night. The next day, another sighting
had been reported of the strange ship. This was the first time it had been sighted
two days in a row.
In the meantime the currents continued to change only ever for the worst. Fewer
and fewer tourists came. Chiazilla, our city’s great protector, was apparently
on vacation as he was nowhere to be found.
On the 17th day of the Month of Hunting we received the final visit from the
strange underwater ship. Shortly after it’s departure our King called a meeting.
He swam above us, shaking with fear and fury. We all looked up to him expectantly.
He cleared his throat and swallowed.
“I have hidden the truth from each and every one of you. I have hidden a truth
which I should not of. For the past year I have been receiving visits from the
most lowly, foul, and disgraceful lot of pirates these salty waters have ever
seen. They have been bullying us out of our money and resources. This is a bully
which I will no longer be pushed around by. Maraqua is a proud city, a strong
city, and we will not stand for this bullying any longer. We will stand up for
ourselves. When they come to collect their ill gotten taxes tomorrow, we will
be ready. We will fight them. We will beat them so hard that they will never
dare return to our city again!”
We cheered. But there was not much time for conversation. We all swam home,
determined that we would defeat the menace. We would wake up in the morning,
and prepare ourselves for battle. But we never had a chance when we woke up
in the morning. It was a total catastrophe. The currents were stronger then
any of us had ever known before. Soon a whirlpool was tossing us around like
a kelp salad.
Most of us survived and are now in hiding. I will not say where in case this
falls into the wrong flippers. But there were many who we never saw again. We
live in peace and quiet and live happy lives now. But we dare not reveal ourselves,
for fear that our new home will meet the same fate as our last.
Our king was right about one thing. We did pull through the trials together.
There you have it. This could just be a book planted in my path as a joke,
or it could be proof that the Koi Warrior, the Flotsam Chef, and Chiazilla are
not the only survivors of the disaster. If this book is fake or not, we may
never know. I am now off to ponder on this discovery. So farewell and I hope
to see you again.