Willowbruk’s Top Five Treasure-Hunting Destinations
Good morning, everyone, and allow me to introduce myself. My name is Willowbruk, although you may call me Willow, and I'm an explorer and treasure hunter! There's nothing I love better than to feel the hot sand of the Lost Desert beneath my paws, or the cool dirt of Geraptiku, or the springy grasses of Faerieland. See, I bet some of you are thinking, "What possible treasure is there to be found in Faerieland?" And that's what I'm here to show you today. So, without further ado, allow me to present: Willowbruk's Top Five Treasure-Hunting Destinations!
5. Faerie Caverns, Faerieland
Faerieland's fall to Neopia in Year 12 shocked and appalled many of us, but there were some advantages to its new look! Not the least of these is the Faerie Caverns, a set of twisting tunnels said to contain faerie treasure. It's a pretty place, set on a hill beside a waterfall. Even if you aren't a treasure hunter, it's worth having a look at – the scenery surrounding it is purely picturesque! Of course, since you are all treasure hunters, I suppose I should explain how best to go about hunting for treasure.
The popular trend among locals is to seek the blessing of the faeries before entering the caverns by throwing neopoints into the surrounding waters. Gradually, the more people who visited, the more eager they were to impress the faeries, and the larger the sum became. It's now thought that around 400 neopoints is required to enter the caverns. That might seem like a lot, but trust me – if you find the treasure, it's worth it.
The problem with these caverns is that they're treacherous. Sometimes your path will become a dead end, and you'll have to fumble your way out again. Other times you'll trip and stub your toe, or fall into a puddle of icy water, or encounter something slithering in the shadows... Despite their location in fair Faerieland, these caverns certainly aren't for the faint-hearted.
Take heart, though! If you're brave and strong of will, you're certain to succeed, and the rewards are well worth it – huge sums of neopoints in golden chests, or sometimes rarer prizes, as well as eternal glory, of course. But if dank, dark caverns aren't really your thing, why not travel to the Lost Desert for your fair share of sun, sand, and the chance to find treasures beyond your wildest dreams?
4. Coltzan's Shrine, The Lost Desert
Okay, so you don't have to stumble your way through caves or solve intricate puzzles. Some people mightn't consider visiting a shrine to be a form of treasure-hunting, but if there's treasure to be found, you can bet that I'm going to talk about it! The shrine stands at the top of a sand dune, a monolith covered with intricate hieroglyphics. It was built to honour King Coltzan III. Some people say his ghost lingers yet, and will reward those good Neopets who take the time to pay their respects to him...
The problem with Coltzan's Shrine is that there aren't really any fail-safe ways to guarantee that you'll find treasure. Coltzan's ghost is fickle, and there's no telling whether he'll be in a generous mood or not on any given day. Some people think that if you're pure of heart and noble of spirit you're guaranteed to find yourself blessed with some sort of treasure, while others believe it has more to do with the time of day that you visit. While many theories have been put forth on the subject, none are conclusive.
Regardless, I'm sure you're all desperate to know just what kind of treasure Coltzan may or may not deign to bestow upon you. Well, the list is long and grand, you can be sure of that! While some of his blessings can barely be considered 'gifts', such as the large amounts of burnt food I've heard of people receiving, other items like Dubloons and Battledome weapons can also be found in the sand around the shrine if Coltzan's ghost deems you worthy. Sometimes you may even be lucky enough to be blessed yourself – Coltzan may choose to boost your Battledome stats or your intelligence. If you're super lucky, he might even rain neopoints down upon your head! If this happens, you're most likely to come away a few hundred neopoints richer, but there persists a rumour of extremely lucky Neopets being awarded one million...
Even so, I can understand if the Lost Desert isn't really everyone's thing. Fancy a cooler climate? Snowballs and slushies? I thought so. Very well, then – to the Ice Caves!
3. The Snowager, Ice Caves
Now, before we go any further, I must remind you yet again that treasure-hunting is not something to be taken lightly. You've braved the twisting tunnels of the Faerie Caverns. You've risked sunburn and heatstroke to visit Coltzan's Shrine. You might think yourself a veteran; you might think you have nothing to fear, and that nothing Neopia throws at you will keep you from becoming its richest and most famous treasure hunter!
Well, my friend, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Enter the Snowager. This massive ice worm is renowned for its ferocity, its greed, and its, well, size. It can be found in a cavern deep in the heart of the Ice Caves, on top of an enormous pile of treasure. It's this pile of treasure that has led you here, of course. As well as the spine-chilling tales of Neopets falling victim to the Snowager's vicious ice blasts, the stories of the Snowager's treasure have spread throughout the whole of Neopia. Plushies, weapons, keyrings, scratchcards... everything a treasure-hunting Neopet could ever want can be found here. The question is, though – how do you make it past the Snowager?
The answer: wait until it is sleeping.
Oh, to be sure, it's risky. The Snowager only sleeps for three hours a day, and even then only lightly. The slightest sound could stir it from its sleep, and as soon as it raises its icy head to look you in the eye, you know you're done for. But if you can tiptoe past the beastly behemoth to snatch something from its treasure trove, you'll have a tale to tell for the rest of your life.
Don't fancy the idea of staring death in the face? I don't blame you. I've seen the Snowager angry, and believe me, it's not something I ever want to see again. If you think you've done quite enough treasure-hunting for one day, why don't you give your petpet a turn? Follow me to Meridell and I'll show you just how it can be done...
2. Mysterious Symol Hole, Meridell
My Petpet, Radoznalost, is a Morkou, and he's even more adventurous than I am sometimes. It's no wonder that when I told him about the Symol Hole, he began to chirp eagerly and jump around. So the two of us went to Meridell and stared nervously into the dark depths of the hole. Nobody knows where it came from or when it appeared, but it's assumed that it was dug by a Symol or two, because it's only big enough for a petpet to fit into. You don't just dig holes like that for fun, though, right? Surely the crafty Symol had a reason for carving out such an intriguing tunnel. Surely he was looking for a place to hide some kind of treasure.
Or so we thought, anyway. Radoz was eager enough, so I sent him down to see what he could see. I waited at the edge of the hole with bated breath, listening to the sounds of his scurrying gradually fading as he scrambled deeper and deeper into the hole...
And then suddenly he popped right out again! He was chirping and covered with dirt, but he wasn't holding any kind of treasure. I tried not to let my disappointment show, and reassured him that we'd try again tomorrow. In the meantime, I decided to ask some of the locals if they'd ever found any sort of treasure in the Mysterious Symol Hole. Most of them said that their petpets had never found anything, but I was determined to hear at least one story of success. Eventually, my incessant questioning drudged up a few encouraging answers – a spotted Zafara said her Anubis had found a strange coin; a shadow Eyrie swore his Warf had come out with a stained glass window! Other fabled treasures included statues and toys. Even though Radoz and I are yet to succeed at the Symol Hole, your petpet may well have more luck than us.
But speaking of luck we had, I must address my favourite treasure-hunting destination in all of Neopia. It lies deep in the ruins of Geraptiku – the very place where I met Radoz, in fact. It's spooky. It's shadowy. It's Spydery. It's...
1. Deserted Tomb, The Lost City of Geraptiku
Ah, the Deserted Tomb! The quintessential quest, the archetypal adventure, the treasure hunt of treasure hunts! The Lost City of Geraptiku isn't a place that tourists tend to frequent, but I'm sure you've all heard the tales. Nobody knows why its previous inhabitants fled, although there are all kinds of rumours floating around – giant monsters, vicious wars, an evil wizards' curse. Perhaps the Deserted Tomb itself is haunted in some way. Maybe we'll never know...
By all accounts the tomb has been abandoned for a long, long time. That doesn't mean it isn't dangerous, though. Some say that there are creatures, vicious monsters who prey upon adventurers, inhabiting it now. Others say vengeful spirits are lurking in the darkness, fighting to protect the secrets of the tomb. Regardless of which version of the story you hear, you're sure to be scared stiff – and you haven't even entered the tomb yet.
That said, actually getting inside the tomb is the easy bit. Once you're inside, you might never make it out again. Beware! The tomb is full of traps, every one of which could be the unwary adventurer's downfall. Arrows shooting at you from the walls, vines that will trip you or tie you up, leaf carpets hiding deep holes in the floor. Yep, I know what you're thinking. There must be some serious treasure hidden in this tomb if someone's gone to all this effort to protect it. And believe me, there is.
But don't get distracted now! Watch your every step. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears pricked for any hint of danger. If you're brave, clever and very, very lucky, you might just find your way to the treasure room! Neopoints, talismans, artefacts, gems – the Deserted Tomb has it all... if you're bold enough to explore.
So there you have it. I hope I've managed to inspire you, my fellow treasure-hunting Neopians, to broaden your horizons and explore where you've never explored before! Do let me know how you get on, won't you? That is, if you make it back alive...