Why a Krawk?
I have always been an ambitious Neopian – always wanted far better things than what could be found in my Newbie pack. I’ve made countless plans for accounts full of painted, rare, beautifully named pets, with equally fascinating personalities – not to mention a full bank account, and at least 175 avatars. It was only recently, though, that I decided I wanted a Krawk. Being the sort of person who likes to procrasti – er, thoroughly investigate all options before making a big purchase, I decided to do some research.
My first stop was the Rainbow Pool, to look at Krawk colors. It was then that it struck me – these Krawks really aren’t such handsome creatures, are they? Serpentine, potbellied, and altogether oddly shaped Neopets that they are, it is strange that they should have such a charming over-all effect. What exactly is it about Krawks that makes the owners of Neopia sigh with longing over them? Why, Zafaras, which aren’t even limited edition, are more appealing! Krawks curve in all the wrong places, have a tousled mane that contrasts awfully with their otherwise scaly bodies, and have fangs that are the same color as their scales. Not pretty, certainly. Perhaps it was the rarity, the price of owning a Krawk that was attractive? – But no, that couldn’t be it; other limited edition pets are not so coveted, and many ugly or outdated pet morphing potions have gone down in price – pride in ownership wasn’t the main attraction here.
And certainly Draiks are much more attractive! They have cute, friendly faces, and wings – and they come in more colors.
As I puzzled over this question, staring reflectively into the Rainbow Pool, I knew that the only way to find a satisfactory answer, and procrasti – I mean, cure myself of this restless itching to know, was to visit the experts.
So I traveled to Krawk Island. No, I won’t tell you about my journey there – I’m sure my account of my awful bouts of seasickness and airsickness by turns would bore you. You wouldn’t want to hear of my adventures on the long, long trip to the island of pirates – how I almost fell overboard, or how I sprained my left hind claw, or how I saved the captain’s petpet from eating itself to death, or how I was so terribly seasick... Wait! – I’ll get back to the point now; you can remain seated.
I arrived at Krawk Island weary and starving. My first stop was, of course, The Golden Dubloon, for a bite to eat, and something to wash it down with. Now, before you question me – I was not so tactless as to confront a Krawk and ask why his species was attractive. No, I was going to make some discreet inquiries of anyone who seemed likely to talk. My first interview was with the proprietor of the place.
“Aye, sir? Ought I can do to ‘elp ye?” He seemed rather taciturn, but being silver-tongued as I am, I thought I could make him talk.
“Ye – aye, there is ought you could do. Sit down, my good fellow, sit down.” He did. “I’ve been wondering: what makes Krawks so popular? What is it about them that attracts potential owners? Why would an owner choose a Krawk instead of a Draik?”
He scratched his muzzle with a ferocious-looking hook. He hemmed and hawed, uncertainly, screwing up his face to think. “Well. Arr. Hmm. Now, I –“
But he was interrupted.
“What makes Krawks so popular, y’ask?” I looked up to see the Krawk who was in charge of the Buried Treasure game. “It’s simple. Swing a little to starboard, mate,” he added, pushing the innkeeper aside. The Lupe stumped off to help a customer.
“Er.” I’m afraid I was not my usual eloquent self at that moment, being a little taken aback at this newcomer’s forward way of entering a conversation.
“Er, nothing – eat up, and listen close.” He leaned forward, his one good eye squinting fiercely. “Krawks is popular because they’s good-looking. But more importantly, Krawks has got a sort of special something no other species has got.” He leaned even further, till his nose almost touched mine. I was crossing my eyes just to see his face.
“D’ye know what that is?”
“I – well, I – “
“It’s not just one thing, you know – it’s all the things together,” he said, a dreamy look in his eye that was almost more frightening than his former ferocious one. He leaned back in his chair, pressing the tips of his claws together meditatively, leaning his elbows on the table. Horrible manners, this fellow had. He continued, “All the things together – aye. Only Krawks’ve got the perfect mix of brains, beauty, and brawn.”
I snorted, and immediately fell out of my chair in fright as he leapt forward at me, cutlass drawn.
“Are ye laughing at the brains, the beauty, or the brawn part o’ what I just said, Missy?” he roared, baring his teeth at me in the most uncouth way.
“None, sir! Just a little borovan gone down the wrong way, I’m sure!” I said, in as calm a voice as I could manage.
“Ah, well then, ye’ll be wanting something a little stronger,” he said, grinning, and beckoning the innkeeper over. I was a bit nervous at the emphasis he put on the word “stronger,” but he only said, “A large Lime Krawkade for my friend here, lad!”
When we had settled again – I further back from the table than before – and he’d resumed his former contemplative pose, he continued his explanation.
“Mm, aye. Krawks’ve got the perfect mix, I say – “ here he opened his eye slightly to make sure I didn’t protest. I kept a straight face. “ – of brains, beauty, and brawn.
“Brains, I say, and you disbelieve me, thinking of Dorak, that numbskull in the rowboat, whose hobby is dodging mines. His intellect was somewhat lacking, aye. But I tell ye, we’re an intelligent species, overall, despite our few stupid ones.
“Beauty – ah, just look at us. So unique, so lovely in every way.” He preened, adjusting his striped shirt and his bandanna, then settled back again. “No other species in Neopia has our perfect combination of fur – “ he gestured to his mane “ – and scales.” He tapped a muscular claw that shone in the firelight of the inn.
“Ah! And don’t let me forget the brawn. Aye, we’re a tough, fierce lot.” This, I didn’t doubt.
“So, any further questions?” he asked, opening his eye and taking a swig of his own Krawkade tankard.
“No, sir – I’ll just be leaving now,” I said, anxious to move on.
“Aye! Y’will be.” He stood and stumped off to another table, where I could hear him inviting some pirates to play Buried Treasure.
I rushed back aboard the nearest ship, forgetting for a moment why I’d been in such a rush to leave the last one, and urged the captain to leave.
Ugh. There certainly was no charm in that Krawk.
And yet, what he’d said made sense. Krawks were unique – from their earless heads to their fat, scaly tails – unlike any other Neopian species.
I was thoughtful as I traveled home, despite my returning seasickness, airsickness, and tendency to misfortune. I won’t tell you about my shipwreck that almost was, or the way this very notebook fell into the water and then almost fell into the fire, or about how I sprained my other hind claw, or how the captain’s petpet got its revenge on me – instead I will move on.
Next I visited the Island Mystic, but his only answer to me was: “You will have bad luck on Terror Mountain.”
There aren’t many Krawks there anyway, so I followed his advice, avoiding Terror Mountain and instead heading for Faerieland. Fyora, I am told, knows the answers to all of Neopia’s questions – and it sounded like a good way to continue procras – I mean to satisfy my curiosity.
I discovered the whereabouts of the Hidden Tower in the usual way: my hired Eyrie crashed into the wall just above the window, dropping me through the opening as he did so. I lay dazed on the floor until I heard an impatient “A-hem!”
“Hmm? Oh! Your Majesty!” I found myself staring up at the Faerie Queen herself.
Scrambling to my feet, I made a few curtseys and bows, not really sure which was most proper.
“Did you come to buy something?” Fyora asked coolly. “You don’t look rich enough to afford my items.”
I opened my mouth indignantly, wanting to protest – but caught myself in time.
“No, Highness, I just came to ask you a question. What makes the Krawk so special and desirable? Why do roleplaying, serious owners especially seem to pursue them more than Draiks?”
She raised a purple eyebrow quizzically. “What makes it so special? I’ve never heard such a question. It is special in a very pet-like way: no more or less special than any other pet, but much less so than a faerie. – Surely you can at least afford this Doll, just as a souvenir?”
“Your Majesty, as you suspected... I couldn’t afford it,” I blurted, shamefaced. “But I would really like to know what makes the Krawk unique.”
She sighed, dropping the doll carelessly to the floor. “I don’t know. It might be the attractive smell of the fungus that they eat when they’re first transformed from petpets. They say the odor lingers long after the transformation. Or it could be their toothy smile. Personally, I’ve never much liked Krawks. I’d have chosen a Draik.”
A Pteri, who had been about to land on the windowsill, squawked in surprise at such a statement from the supposedly unbiased Faerie Queen, and flew away to spread the news.
After this failed attempt to understand the reason for Krawks’ attraction, I finally resigned myself to sitting at home and contemplating the question over a hot cup of Borovan.
And yesterday, as I thought over the many things I knew about Krawks, a thought suddenly occurred to me, and I rushed off to visit Taelia.
When I returned home that night, carrying a few cheap items I’d snatched while at the Trading Post, I wore a satisfied smile.
I’d discovered the reason for the Krawk’s popularity: They, like Draiks, are dragon-like, scaly, and rare – but they cost millions less.