A Brief History of Neopia: Part 1
The history of Neopia is a long and twisted tale with deceit, intrigue, victory and defeat at every turning. Given half a chance, entire volumes could be written on the history of the world (and if the contents of the Lost Desert Scroll Repository are anything to go by, there already are some). This, however, is a bare bones walkthrough of the major events that have shaped Neopia into the world we know. For the interests of page length, this article will lead you from the beginning of recorded time to events 3-4 years ago. Come with me now, on a journey through the mists of time... it’s safe to say, they are quite misty.
In the Beginning there was... Sloth?
No, your eyes do not deceive you! The first recorded life form on Neopia was our very own dictator, Dr. Frank Sloth. Some 2000 years ago, Dr. Sloth stumbled upon a very different Neopia to the modern day world. He landed his spaceship on the desolate and lifeless planet, and finding the husk of a world to his liking, he immediately set up a laboratory on the surface. For many years the ‘good’ doctor created mutant abominations and various other horrible experiments, turning Neopia into his own personal zoo. However, that all changed one day when a bright light began to shine all across the planet. In every corner and every land the light shone, and gradually, the world began to change. Where there had been hard rock, grass grew and flowers bloomed. Where the mutants roamed, new creatures appeared. The Neopets, as they became known, had arrived in Neopia. The doctor, so it seemed, had gained some new ‘patients’.
Founding of Empires
The Neopets spread far across the world, in many types and sizes. It is thought that some of the most ancient civilisations may include the primitive people of Tyrannia or the tribesmen of Mystery Island. Exact dates in this period are hard to come by (mostly because Neopians were far too busy building to record things); however, it is known that at some point before 1000 years ago, the Faeries arrived. From their city in the clouds, Fyora the Faerie Queen dispatched Faeries to all of the Neopian lands. For a time, there was peace.
At some point, a vast earthquake hid Tyrannia from the view of Neopia, and slowly the world forgot about the prehistoric civilisation that continued on under the rock. Around that time the ancient city of Geraptiku on Mystery Island was (appropriately for the island) mysteriously deserted, and a giant Moltenore was trapped within the island’s large volcano by a group of the islanders.
1000 years ago, give or take, the great King Altador gathered 11 great figures and founded the city of Altador. For the briefest of times, the city flourished, until the Darkest Faerie, one of the founders, betrayed the city. To stop her evil, Queen Fyora and the remaining Altador guardians used their vast powers to imprison the betrayer in stone. The plan worked, but at a terrible cost; Altador was frozen in time along with her. Fyora cast the Darkest Faerie’s statue to the bottom of the ocean, and the underwater city of Maraqua was founded atop it. Fyora thought she had seen the last of her enemy.
This time also saw changes elsewhere in Neopia. To escape a powerful Moehog from the Lost Desert called the Bringer of Night, the Bori people froze themselves within the ice of Terror Mountain along with the Bringer’s goal, the gemstone called the Heart of the Mountain. Meanwhile, cities such as Qasala and Sakhmet were founded in the desert (with Chen-Ra and King Coltzan I founding the latter in 873 BN). Time passed, as it often does, and lands such as Neopia Central and the Haunted Woods grew. Eventually, lands such as Qasala, Meridell and Brightvale were lost, but we’ll get to them in more detail later.
Having long watched Neopia from both his lab and space station, Dr. Sloth decided it was time to act. He travelled to the moon, Kreludor, and promptly enslaved the race of Grundos living there, creating his own personal army. From his Virtupets Space Station Sloth plotted, as any evil genius would, the downfall of Neopia. The arrival of the Space Faerie and a little help from the Neopian public, however, foiled Sloth’s plans and liberated the Grundos. Defeated, Sloth fled into the shadows, vowing revenge. It would not be long until he got his chance.
A trio of Neopets named Sarkis, Buckley & Ursulla, heard rumours of the then mythological Battledome while on Mystery Island. Legend said that the enigmatic Professor Chesterpot who lived in Maraqua held its secrets. The three friends set out in a boat, but were soon capsized by the sea monster Chiazilla.
Finding themselves on the seabed, the group soon discovered Maraqua, and Chesterpot himself. As they met with the professor and learned the secrets of the Battledome, Dr. Sloth watched in secret. When the opportunity presented itself, he kidnapped the professor to control the Battledome for himself, and unleashed his latest creation on Maraqua, Mechachiazilla. Thanks to a rescue effort by Buckley, Ursulla and Sarkis, Chesterpot was freed from the doctor’s evil clutches, and the Battledome liberated for all Neopia to use. Meanwhile, Mechachiazilla was attacked and destroyed by Chiazilla himself, Maraqua’s sworn protector.
Soon after these events, another earthquake ripped a hole in Terror Mountain’s Ice Caves to Tyrannia, returning it to the view of the world. This roused the Monoceraptor, Tyrannia’s ancient enemy, from its slumber. The Tyrannian battle master Grarrg raised an army, and drove away the threat once more.
Sloth had watched Neopia closely, and with the Battledome out of his control, he knew that to conquer Neopia he would need to get rid of the Faeries. To tackle their magic, he sought power of his own. To this end, Sloth set about a plan to gain a mystical staff of magical power from a tomb in the Lost Desert. However, the key to the tomb was held by the notorious gambler Brucey B. Sloth manipulated the Bruce into entering the Lost Desert, and soon gained the key (Brucey’s lucky coin). With the staff in his hand, Sloth summoned the monstrous Rock Beast and attacked Sakhmet. Yet, despite all the power in the universe, Sloth was defeated by Neopia once again. Deposed, Sloth fled back to space to plot once more from safety.
Trouble in the Desert
Fresh from reintroduction to Neopia, King Coltzan III hosted a dinner party for the influential of the Lost Desert. This turned out to be a rather foolish idea, as he was promptly poisoned during the dinner by Princess Sankara from the neighbouring city of Khamtef. Her exact motives were never made clear, but it is thought she sought revenge against King Coltzan for denying her city military aid in its hour of need.
No sooner had King Coltzan III been laid to rest, and his famous shrine erected in his honour, than the King’s crown was stolen from right under Princess Vyssa’s (Coltzan’s daughter) nose. A world wide hunt began to track down the thief, Malkus Vile, and his henchmen Meerouladen and Heermedjet. The crown was eventually located on Mystery Island, though Malkus Vile escaped into the criminal underground. With peace restored to the desert, Princess Vyssa assumed the throne of Sakhmet until her elder sister Princess Amira returned from travelling.
Fish & Computers
The underwater city of Maraqua flourished under the leadership of King Kelpbeard, through dark times descended upon the fabled land. The notorious pirate Captain Dread visited the city, and demanded protection money from the noble King. Kelpbeard refused, and as revenge Captain Dread placed a curse upon the city. As if by magic, a great whirlpool swallowed the city, and scattered its people. In the ruins, the statue of the Darkest Faerie came to the surface.
Meanwhile, in Sloth’s extended hiatus from Neopia, the Virtupets Space Station had become a tourist attraction. As a prize for winning the Better Than You competition, a young Neopet was given a tour of the station. This was interrupted by the revival of a Sloth-made computer program named Neopets Version 2. In an effort to make friends, it trapped the young Usul and her friends in a lift. With a finite air supply, a mad race to locate the station’s engineers began, taking adventures all over Neopia. Thankfully, the computer system was overridden in time, and the young Neopets were freed.
Adventures through Time & Neopia
Though Meridell had been lost for many years, destroyed in an unknown war, a group of four school friends still had a fascination with it. One in particular, an Aisha named Lisha, made an important discovery in the museum; a painting of her brother Jeran who had disappeared. Even more surprisingly, the painting had been made in Meridell. Lisha and her friends set off to the ruins of Meridell, and sure enough stumbled through a time portal that whisked them away to ancient Neopia.
Unfortunately for the adventuring friends, they arrived in Meridell Castle just as it was attacked by a group of mutated creatures. Lisha and her friends helped fend off the creatures, and were rewarded with an audience with King Skarl. There, Lisha met her long lost brother Jeran, serving as a knight, and Skarl explained to them all that the creatures were after a magical orb that gave prosperity to Meridell. On the outskirts of Meridell, the floating Darigan Citadel arrived, searching for the orb that had been stolen from it. A terrible war began between King Skarl and Lord Darigan, and though Meridell fought valiantly, Darigan gained the orb. Maddened by the power contained within the artefact, Lord Darigan turned on his own people, and began to lay waste to both lands. By working together, the super-powered Lord Darigan was defeated, and disappeared in a flash of light. The orb left behind in his wake shattered in two, ending the conflict – or so it was thought.
The tropical paradise of Mystery Island faced problems soon after, in the form of an evil Shaman, bent on awakening the sleeping Moltenore within the island’s volcano. He set about capturing the five island guardians, but quick thinking by the island residents freed them from the spell and foiled the Shaman’s plans. The Moltenore returned to its slumber, but the volcano has remained different to this day.
In the confusion created by the apparent death of Lord Darigan, General Kass seized control over the citadel. It wasn’t long before he began to twist the minds of his citizens once more to war with Meridell. To ensure his victory, Lord Kass sent a dancer to King Skarl, whose magical powers hypnotised him into submission. With the Darigan forces on the brink of invasion, Jeran was left to retreat with his knights, and when farm girl Sally was attacked by soldiers, her pet Mr. Scary came to the rescue. The fearful pet was none other than Lord Darigan, back from the grave.
In Meridell’s hour of need, it was Lisha that came to the rescue. Scouring the castle library, she found and cast a powerful spell that un-worked the court dancer’s magic. A restored Skarl ordered a counterattack from the ground while Jeran and his knights attacked from the air with the help of Psellia the Air Faerie. As the battle raged, Kass cast down Jeran and proclaimed victory. As if on cue, Lord Darigan returned, and the two lords duelled. Lord Darigan gained the upper hand, and Kass fled to the citadel bowels.
Whilst the surviving Meridell and Darigan forces worked together to keep the citadel in the air, Darigan pursued his usurper. He caught up with Kass just in time for the true puppet masters to show their faces. The Three, a trio of manipulating spirits, had shaped the destinies of both Kass and Darigan. Though Darigan resisted them, Kass could not. For his failure the Three showed Kass their true might, and vaporised him on the spot.
“What happened next?” you ask? Ah, well that’s a tale for another time. Rest assured, there’ll be much adventuring, battling and sleuthing afoot.
(Note: I deliberately excluded certain plots from this round-up. The Ski-Lodge and Sacrificers both broke the fourth wall, naughty TNT, so I excluded them. The Gadgadsbogen feast mystery didn’t actually have anything major occur in it, and seeing as Gadgadsbogen is a yearly event in which the same thing happens, I didn’t include it.)
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"You claim they kidnapped a Spardel and a Gruslen, are holding them against their will, and creating a plan to rob Neopia blind? Why didn't the Gruslen just eat them?"