A Demand for Darigan
Most of the time, when a customer enters the Golden Dubloon, they are politely seated and served. Others usually don't notice. But every once in a while - a certain kind of pirate draws unwanted attention, usually resulting in fights. Sometimes it's over treasure and maps to said treasure. Occasionally, it's for the avatar.
Darton wandered into the Golden Dubloon one dark and stormy night. It was packed with pirates wanting to stay out of the weather, or using the weather as an excuse to spend the evening drinking Grog with their crewmates. Instantly, the room became quiet and tense.
Darton could hear hushed whispers as he walked by. "A Darigan Tonu? There aren't any in these parts, right?" "Do you think he's tough? Some of them are skilled fighters!" "I think I could take him, many don't train at all and are easier to beat than they look!"
Darton chose one of the few empty seats at the bar, he was way too big to fit, but the pirates to his left and right suddenly found somewhere else to be, making it much more comfortable to sit there. He tossed a medium sized bag of dubloons on the bar and made his order: a Tropical Breeze, Loretta Fontaines Perfect Pizza, some Forbidden Plunder, and a Land Lubber to start out with. It came to a total of eleven dubloons. Darton paid with a shiny new Twenty Dubloon Coin, and he quickly pocketed the change.
Slowly, one of the pirates in the back got up from his chair - making a large scraping noise as the wood slid upon the stone. All eyes were on him except for the Darigan Tonu, who was facing the opposite direction. He walked up behind him and began asking his question just as Captain Hackett served the Tropical Breeze to the Tonu. "Matey, I challenge you, for the avatarrr."
The Tonu turned around to see his challenger, a Pirate Meerca wearing a patched-up jacket and worn-out black hat. Darton searched in his opponents eyes, for the warrior's heart. He could tell that his opponent had an inner strength that was stronger than he looked - and he looked tough.
"And?" Darton asked, waiting to hear the rest of it.
"In an hour, on Mystery Island. I'd be happy to provide you and any spectator's transportation," the Pirate Meerca stated. He added, "For a modest fee, of course."
"That sounds reasonable. Does anybody else want to challenge me while I'm here?" Darton asked.
His reply was a chorus of "Ayes!" coming from all over the room.
"I accept your terms. Looks like I'm taking this meal to go," Darton stated. It wasn't long before a quarter of the customers of the Golden Dubloon had cleared out to go see the match or participate in the next one. It took a small armada of ships to transport everyone to Mystery Island. Darton kept himself occupied on the journey by challenging some of his fellow passengers to a rousing game of Kiko Match 2. Admittedly, it would be been easier to play had it been less dark and stormy, but when traveling by boat you're often at the sea's mercy, or lack thereof.
Fortunately, the weather on Mystery Island was much more agreeable. After convincing the harbor master that Krawk Island was in fact, not invading - everybody set out to the Pango Palladium. Some arrived too early, some just on time - and quite a few were late. Some pirates customarily made a few small side bets as to the outcome, but by the numbers - the match would be fairly even. The victor would likely be the one with the strongest and best weapons. Pirates were well renowned for their ability to recognize treasure and acquire the necessary weapons to protect it - in this regard, Darton's opponent did not fail. He was using Dr. Sloths Personal Bath Buddy and a Shield of the North Wind - quite an unexpected combination! But the first stroke was from Darton, whose Lens Flare left his opponent an easy target for his two Stone Muffins.
And so it was for most of the evening - opponent after opponent going up against the Darigan Tonu, some were victorious, some valiantly tied, and others were soundly defeated. One by one, the Darigan Tonu used up his stash of Dewberry Revivers and he kept on fighting hour after hour.
"Thank ye matey!" Captain Hackett, the last challenger stated. "Your next meal at the Golden Dubloon be on me!" (All sorts of Neopians like avatars, too - you should see Queen Fyora's personal collection - it's most impressive!)
"You don't have to do that but next time I'm in town, I might need your help to come up with a disguise of some sort so I can have a peaceful day. Anyway, I think I'll stay here tonight, so tell the crews goodbye for me," Darton told him. From a safe distance, he watched the pirates return to the harbor, showing off their brand new avatar to each other as if it were a great treasure.
"Excuse me," a voice stated from behind Darton. "Are you accepting challengers? I don't have the avatar."
"Does anybody else want to challenge me while I'm here?" Darton asked, hoping for silence. He was disappointed to her that he at least another half-dozen challengers wanting to battle. He wondered how quickly he could order another stash of Dewberry Revivers, just in case.
Fortunately, many of Mystery Island's mysterious fruits are quite nutritious and refreshing, after each battle, he was able to recover enough strength to keep on fighting. Once it was all over with, Darton carefully snuck out of there and was able to devise the look of a Shadow Tonu by using berries to dye his main blue-ish and ash from a fire to make him look about the right shade of black. He used a Fire Tonu Horn Decoration to cover his horn – and he hoped that nobody would really look closely at him.
The next day Darton spent happily blissful knowing that nobody would want to fight with a Shadow Tonu. He went to the fresh fruit markets, spent time with other Neopians playing Mystery Island games, and watching bowling contests - it was great! When he went to lunch, he could hear the rumors – somewhere a Darigan Tonu was on the island that would fight everybody who challenges him. People were talking amongst themselves, where could he be? Would he be kind enough to fight them?
Darton looked around. He then realized an awful truth – it wasn't an accident that he was a Darigan Tonu, it was on purpose – to be helpful. He imagined what Neopia would be like without that avatar – he realized that it would be sad and empty. There would be no thrill of victory, nor congratulating a victorious opponent, no matching avatar (Not every pet has one, after all!) nor skilled friends who all enjoy a good battle for the fun of it.
"Hey! I'm a Darigan Tonu! I'll accept your challenges!" Darton yelled to the crowd.
They laughed. Somebody stated: "You? A Shadow Tonu? It' must be a dream of yours. Save up one day and you will be a Darigan Tonu."
Just then, Mystery Island's daily rainstorm started a gully-washer of a downpour, Darton was not only thoroughly soaked, but his costume was washed away.
"Oh hey! He is a Darigan Tonu after all! Get him!" The crowd happily screamed as they chased after him toward the Pango Palladium.
For once, Darton didn't mind in the least.