Forgotten Neopians: Discovering Dorak
At first glance one would say it is almost peaceful at Krawk Island. Although some merely claim that it is nothing but a desolate rock, this small land mass situated off the south coast of Mystery Island offers a kind of peace you can’t quite experience elsewhere. Free from bustling tourists, a walk around the island brings only the cawing of gulls, the hypnotising slapping of ocean waves against barnacle covered rock, and the smell of crisp salt laced air to the senses. However, it is what lurks within the quaint white-washed buildings that deter the eager tourist.
Tempting for many, but frightening for more.
It is these inhabitants, the Pirates of Krawk Island that provoke so many questions for the average law abiding Neopian. Masked by the shadows of mystery, little is known about any of Krawk Island’s occupants. There is one however, who’s daring and differences, set him apart from all other residents. The dubloon-loving, boat-rowing young Krawk, Dorak.
Sitting in the musty back room of the small driftwood hut that is Bilge Dice, Grimtooth sits leaning back against a rickety chair. His feet perched upon a table top, he glares through his clicking boots. His eyes flit across the room. It is said that his ability to intimidate is proven again and again, which is all too evident.
“Aye, I am young Dorak’s cousin. Our fathers are brothers, they are.”
Grimtooth, seldom known for speaking to outsiders, agreed to shed some light on his younger cousin Dorak.
“I’ve ‘eard some ‘o the things they say abou’ him, I ‘ave. They don’t do him no justice. That darn Neopedia. I’ve ‘eard ‘o that, I ‘ave. Goin’ on abou’ his days as a youngin, makes him out t’ be a fool. Darn scoundrels!”
The Neopedia article on Dorak tells of his childhood as a somewhat awkward boy, unable to swim, and picked on by friends. Given his first row boat as a gift from his mother and father, Dorak is said to have sat in the sand rowing his boat for three weeks pretending to be a pirate.
“He weren’t pretending. He were aspirin’,” Grimtooth points out. “Just like every lad on this ‘ere island does. They go on sayin’ he was scared o’ water. He weren’t scared o’ no water. He spent those weeks pushin’ his oars through the sand. He was trainin’. I watched him, I did. It’s a lot tougher pushin’ ye’ oars through solid ground than water, I’ll tell ye’ that now!”
Dorak is best known throughout Neopia by his appearance in the beloved game Dubloon Disaster. Depicted as a neopoint hungry Krawk, Dorak is directed by players about the small screen collecting dubloons whilst avoiding homing mines set out by the Black Pawkeet.
“He ain’t no neopoint hungry Krawk!” Grimtooth zealously exclaims. “That darn Neopedia thin’ glazes over that, it does! Dorak does what he does for a reason, and tha’ reason is t’ feed his family! They were starvin’, they was. But at least tha’ game o’ yours makes ‘im out as some kind o’ pirate.”
Krawk Island’s harbour is eerily quiet and still. Nestled next to the small dock attached to Little Nippers a small row boat is moored. Within that small boat resides Dorak.
Much more robust in person, the small boat rocks gently beneath his weight as he scans his surroundings. Arms and shoulders, built with bulky muscle derived from years of rowing, add to a rather intimidating persona. Looking at Dorak, one would never align him to the small Krawk Neopians are aware of.
“Nah. I ain’t scared o’ no water. Me water’s me livin,” Dorak responds rather fondly when asked this question.
“Me Mam and Pap were in a righ’ heat when tha’ Neopedia thin’ came out. Twas embarrassin’ for ‘em, I guess. I never cared, I didn’t. ‘Let ‘em think what they want’ I sez to ‘em. They cared alrigh’. They’ll be real happy bout’ this, though. The truth an’ all.”
Dorak, unlike many of the other Krawk Island residents, never wanted to join one of the pre-existing pirate crews. Instead, he had wanted to start his own.
“Aye, I used t’ wanna ‘av me own band o’ pirates,” Dorak answers thoughtfully. “But afta’ all these years o’ watchin’ the ships come in ‘n out o’ this ‘ere harbour, watchin’ the squabbles tha’ go on between th’ crews, ol’ friends turnin’ on friends, I don’t want no part o’ tha’. It’s easier on me own.”
Dorak turns and looks at the small town behind him, he sighs. Shaking his head he turns back to facing the ocean. Dipping a claw in the dark water, he slowly swirls it around.
“It’s how we live ‘ere, ye know? Every man f’ ‘imself. We’ve gots our families t’ feed. And ye gotta be tough, ye do. Gotta make sure no one’s gonna mess ye ‘round.” Dorak’s expression is hard, serious. “There’s plenty o’ good folk on this ‘ere island, just tryin’ ta do good f’ their families, but there’s plenty o’ bad folk too. Ye just gotta figure out who’s who.”
When asked if he has any trouble, simply sitting in his small boat docked in the harbour, he laughs.
“Nah.” He smiles. “I made me name when tha’ battle between the Black Pawkeet and tha’ no name boat happened.” He pauses and smiles. “Ye know the one. Afta’ all, that’d be why ye’ve come all this way t’ talk t’ me.” He laughs again, a low laugh, rising from deep within his belly.
“Aye, I saw an opportunity an’ I went f’ it.”
As Dorak explains, that day all those years ago was in every aspect perfect.
“Twas a fine day. Water as smooth as glass. A South Easterly breeze, perfect f’ leavin’ th’ harbour in a flash. We’re always on edge on days like those ‘ere. But none never expected tha’ no name ship. Twas moored ‘ere f’ days with no trouble. I should, know, I sat ‘ere an watched it. Back in those days I used t’ sit ‘n wait until they went, then I’d go abou’ huntin’ f’ forgotten dubloons in th’ water.”
Until that day, Dorak would sit and watch as ships came and went. He spent his days silently rowing around the harbour, scavenging what he could. Silverware lost overboard during a grog provoked scuffle, dubloons, gems, and jewellery dropped from a chest as it was carried on board. Dorak would slowly stockpile his treasures before selling them in Smugglers Cove.
“So I was sittin’ in me boat waitin’ f’ someone t’ leave so I could get t’ work, when I hear all this yellin,” Dorak continues. “Cap'n Threelegs, came a runnin afta’ a gang o’ the no name boat’s crew. Turned ou’, they’d been collectin’ bit by bit, th’ treasures of us Krawk Island folk. Then, th’ wind bein’ so fine an’ all, they jump on their ship, an’ off they go!”
Dorak pauses and smiles to himself.
“Then, outta nowhere, th’ Black Pawkeet. Ol' Cap'n Bloodhook, stood bellowin’ orders. Nearly half a Krawk Island was standin’ round the harbour, I reckon. Cannon’s started firin’, musket’s blastin’. Was a sight t’ behold, I tell ye that!”
“I was sittin there in amazement, I was. Dubloons, riches, started t’ pour from th’ holes in the no name ship! With half th’ Island watchin’, they all knew where t’ come once th’ battle finished. I couldn’t ‘av it. I wanted them there riches f’ meself. Twas th’ opportunity of me lifetime!”
Dorak’s boat begins to slap against the almost opaque water as he animatedly re-tells his story.
“I don’t know what happened then. I was sittin’ in me boat, an’ I just grabbed me oars and started rowin’, rowin’ for me life! I was fine a’ first, pickin’ up some amazin’ treasures. Bu’ twas short lived. Ol' Cap'n Bloodhook saw I was gettin’ in on his treasure! Afore I knew it, homin’ mines! Everywhere, they was!”
Dorak smiles as he pauses telling his story. Evidently awestruck by his own bravery, he ploughs on.
“I was rowin’ this way an’ that, pickin’ up what I could. Then I got sneaky, I did. I started trickin’ th’ mines, makin’ ‘em smash together. Explosions everywhere, I tells ya! Homin’ mines blowin’, cannons and muskets between th’ no name ship and th’ mighty Black Pawkeet explodin’. All them on shore started cheerin’. They’d rather a Krawk Islander have that there loot than them darn outsiders.”
Dorak smiles proudly. The battle between the two ships was short lived; the no name ship met its end at the Krawk Island Harbour’s sea floor. The Black Pawkeet, low on ammunition, retreated back into the endless seas from which it emerged.
Dorak, well, his boat, laden heavy with more riches than he could imagine, simply disappeared.
“Well, I ain’t gonna tell ye where I store me treasures, am I?” He laughs. “Aye, let’s just say me family an’ I ate real well tha’ nigh’. Real well.”