Y12 in Review
As a new year dawns over Neopia and all its denizens, we have to look in wonder as to what the year will bring. With Year 12 nothing short than a gleam in the lid of memories, we look back at the year that was with all its wonder and glory. What can be said of the events of Year 12? Some say it was one of the most exciting years ever. Others would say it was "just another year with no big deal". Either way, it's hard to deny that there have been some events that, for better or for worse, had incredible impact and the year has plenty of high and low points to keep everyone on their toes, hooves and beyond.
The year began with the 2nd Annual Neopies ceremony. Among the most memorable awards, Royal Boy Kacheeks came out with the award for Best New Pet, Spinacles won Best New Game, Ms. Clara Chatham received Best New Character, and the monumental 10th Anniversary won two awards both for Best Site Event and Best News Day.
Soon, the Festival of Neggs came during the month of Running and Kari tested eager Neopians with various quests and riddles who received her blessings for those who succeeded in her trials. The local rumor mill mentions that the young faerie who substituted Kari in the Neggery is working hard to be the full-time replacement when Kari retires.
During the month of Eating, we were treated to one of the most unusual, taxing but nonetheless intriguing events of the year: Tarla's Tour of Mystery. When this mystic Ixi decided to take a break from her shop up in Terror Mountain to go on a globetrotting trip, Neopians went along for the ride. With speed rivaling the Defenders' Lightning Lenny, Tarla was most difficult to find at her various destinations only to move on and those who did manage to find her were rewarded quite well for their efforts.
In the end several questions were made. Why did Tarla go on this tour? What purpose did it complete? And how was she able to move so fast from one point to another? Only Tarla knows for sure and she's never telling...
Summertime in Neopia was soon around the bend and every hardened sports fan knew what that meant: The 5th Altador Cup was full in swing. That year's tournament was one that broke all expectations when the AC Committee changed the format to accommodate newcomer Moltara to the ranks, bringing the total number of teams to an even 18. Even then, the matches were long and arduous with each team not letting up for an instant. Their fans were there by the sidelines cheering them on and pulling double duty in slushie slinging and penalty kick shootouts.
After a grueling month and half of matches, the finals were between the seasoned Lost Desert team and the up-and-coming Shenkuu squad who surprised everyone during the second year of play by reaching 3rd place. In the end, Coltzan was most definitely watching and giving his blessings towards his homeland's team and gave the region its first Cup victory. This win was not only for Sakhmet and Qasala, but for the entire Lost Desert which played as hot and intense as the sun over its boundaries.
Even win the end of the Cup, summertime didn't finish as quickly (or cheaply) as predicted when the Save the Wheels petition was brought forth during the Month of Swimming. When the Neopian Conservation Society and its founder (and lone member) Moss Tullerby made the call to save and repair the iconic Wheels throughout Neopia, everyone paid attention and contributed to the drive made to save the cherished (and despised to some) Neopian landmarks. No donation was too little or too much in repairing the wheels and giving them a more visually appealing appearance.
One must wonder how deep the pockets of some Neopians were in helping restore the Wheels but also if all the neopoints spent were necessary. By the time the final Wheel, Monotony, was unveiled in its newly repaired form, it was met with little or even barely existent fanfare. In the end, the drive was successful and the Wheels were saved for future generations to use. At least, until the Neopian Conservation Society finds another landmark that needs saving...
However, it was during the month of Gathering that the event that had an impact (both literally and figuratively) on the planet came to pass: The Faeries' Ruin.
What began as an idyllic Faerie Festival during this month became an event of cataclysmic proportions when a visionary yet unhinged Xweetok sorceress thought faeries didn't help Neopets out enough and felt they were entitled to much more. Using her wiles and the unintentional help of a thief named Hanso, she set about a chain of events that turned the faeries to stone, vaporized Hubrid Nox and eventually brought Faerieland crashing down in a memorable image forever ingrained in the minds of Neopians for ages to come.
What made this event so unique in contrast to past wars and disasters was that Neopets could not find any assistance whatsoever from the most-known faeries like Taelia, Illusen, Jhuidah and even Queen Fyora as they were all petrified. Hence, when the Shadow Wraith armies began to attack, Neopians had to depend on each other for their battling needs. Cap'n Threelegs's Swashbuckling Academy and the Mystery Island Training School received a flurry of eager trainees willing to help put a stop to the invading hordes. Those faeries that were lucky (or unlucky) enough to have been caught by Balthazar before Xandra's initial strike were able to be spared the stone fate of their less fortunate friends and were eager to bless those who freed them with abilities to help combat the Wraiths.
In the end, it was the wily-witted (and sharp-tongued) Hanso who managed to turn the tables on Xandra after feigning alliance and later overpowering the artifact that caused the chaos to turn both her and him to stone, putting an end to her (short-lived) dystopia. With the faeries free from the curse, Queen Fyora was able to de-petrify Hanso and the chaos finally ended. Still, the effects of the event are evident with Faerieland now situated in a crater near the Haunted Woods.
While the faeries eventually managed to rebuild it to a more livable environment, many in the Haunted Woods nearby are not happy with their "new neighbors". Rumors speculate that Balthazar is already ordering a record amount of bottles as a "housewarming" gift. All in all, it was an event to remember for years to come for all those involved.
And so, we now begin to close the book on Year 12 and we all ponder what new events will take place in the following year. The book of Year 13 is just starting but it will be filled with plenty of events and stories for future Neopian generations to come. What will be written however will depend on what we all make of it.
However, it would be wise to keep ink thinner around in case a typo is made. Just some friendly advice.