Zylphia's Twisted History Experience
Halfway through 2013, the NC Mall's time travelling Lupe, Zylphia, had stumbled upon an old Chronomobile. Curious if it worked, she used it and it did take her back in time... but something was wrong. The time she went back to was different from how we all knew it was! The old Chronomobile took her to an alternate timeline where a different series of events took place and drastically changed history! In one Sloth did take over Neopia, in another Maraqua wasn't destroyed, in yet another King Coltzan III didn't die for his poisoning, and so forth. Using the old Chronomobile, Zylpthia travelled through seven alternate timelines which she documented as "Twisted Histories", basing NC items on the experience.
Why bring this all up now? Well, so many questions had come up from this NC Mall event yet no one had time to ask Zylphia to go in-depth about her experience (mainly because she was somewhere else in time). However, it's been reported that she had just come back from a time travelling adventure and is now taking a small break. I sent her a request for an interview about the Twisted Histories and she had agreed to it! So join me as we find out what exactly happened within the timelines of the Twisted Histories from the one who experienced it first hand, Zylphia:
"I always thought time was like a straight river,
but I was reminded that even rivers can branch off!"
First let me thank you for agreeing to this interview.
"Oh, it's no problem. I know a lot of people have questions about the Twisted Histories since it's a very interesting topic, though sometimes it was quite scary."
With some of the Twisted Histories I can only imagine. To make things easy I'll split our interview into 7 segments, one for each Twisted History. First is "Sloth's Victory", what exactly was it besides the obvious?
"Makes sense. Well, I don't think there's much else to expand on "Sloth's Victory" than the obvious. The first time Sloth tried to take over Neopia he failed thanks to the combine efforts of Neopians who adopted Grundos and the Space Faerie who disabled his mutation ray. The Grundos were freed, Sloth was chased off, and the Virtupets Space Station was converted into a peaceful home.
However, in this alternate timeline, Sloth won. All of Neopia now bowed down to "Prime Lord Sloth". I only saw how this affected the Virtupets Space Station, but I heard how the other worlds were affected. Essentially major cities were covered in domes while Neopia was mined of its resources, leaving anything outside the domes a barren wasteland. Inside the domes the cities had been made to look like the inside of the Virtupets Space Station; any individual culture and identity it had was phased out. In addition entire worlds were missing like Meridell, Brightvale, Darigan Citadel, and Altador since the events that lead to their current existence never happened. As for the Virtupets Space Station, it looked no different than it does now except with statues of Sloth everywhere and video monitors displaying his grinning face telling you the laws of his dystopia 24/7. It was quite chilling, and not just because of the cold steel covering everything."
What about the Neopian citizens? And the Faeries? Did The Resistance even exist?
"The Faeries were no more. I don't know what exactly happened to them, but according to what I heard as soon as Sloth began mining Neopia the Faeries quickly disappeared. I can only imagine as life was drained from the planet so was its magic and the Faeries couldn't exist without it.
Neopian citizens all dressed in futuristic looking space clothes and acted as if they were robots, occasionally programmed to praise Sloth. And if they didn't, there was always a robot or mutant guard around every corner ready to take someone to a re-education center. And they would know if you didn't, every action was monitored. Every corner there was a camera, even in private homes. It goes without saying there was no freedom; everything was done because Sloth willed it.
But there was some hope. You see, when I got there I was captured and my Chronomobile confiscated. I was put in a re-education center for about a day until I was miraculously rescued! It was the Resistance! They still existed, hiding deep within the Virtupets Space Station in places I don't think even Sloth knew about. Commander Valka, Gorix, and Scout were there, but there was no sign of Cylara and no one knew who she was when I asked. However, there were several heroes and other famous Neopians. From the top of my head I recall seeing Hannah, Garin, Jacques, Talek, MAGAX, Ryshu, Sabre-X, Grarrg, Judge Hog, and other Defenders of Neopia. They were all recruited by the Resistance because they refused to be mindless puppets. I guess once a hero always a hero, even in an alternate timeline. They helped me get to where my Chronomobile was being kept and fought off Sloth's forces long enough for me to activate it and go to the next Twisted History. Sloth figured out I was from another timeline and was trying to figure out how my Chronomobile worked so he could take over multiple timelines. It was believed that if the Chronomobile left a timeline it would reset history; otherwise Sloth would have used it right away."
That's an amazing story! So does that mean all these alternate timelines no longer exist?
"I don't know. I discovered later the old Chronomobile was a prototype made by my grandfather. I found a journal of his which said he successfully went back in time so I'm assuming it worked as mine does once, but over the years of inactivity something must have broke or worn down which now allows it to access alternate timelines. I theorize it's sort of acts like a dam in a river, the river representing the flow of time. The Chronomobile acts like a dam that blocks a certain point in time forcing an alternate stream to be created, an alternate timeline. However, once the Chronomobile leaves the timeline unblocks and returns to normal. The alternate stream of history dries up, still existing but dormant."
Triumph of Darigan
Intriguing. Well, let's move onto the next Twisted History, "Triumph of Darigan". I especially remember this one as a question about it was asked in the Neopian Times which resulted in an interesting answer. Might you expand on what occurred in this alternate timeline?
"Champions of Meridell, the first Meridell-Darigan war, resulted in Lord Darigan becoming corrupted by the Golden Orb and both Meridell and the Darigan Citadel needed to form a truce to destroy them.
But in this alternate timeline, for whatever reason, the Golden Orb didn't corrupt Lord Darigan and a new era began for both kingdoms under his rule. The Golden Orb did as Lord Darigan wished, the Darigan's ills were healed and their minds purified of dark thoughts; however, the forms their body have taken was irreversible. Lord Darigan too was healed, and after so he felt guilty towards what he had done to the innocents of Meridell out of blind rage. He concluded that only one person was responsible for both kingdoms' woes, King Skarl. He demanded King Skarl give up his crown and accept banishment, saying if he did then the Darigan Citadel will accept Meridell under its protection. King Skarl originally refused, but once the Golden Orb's effect over Meridell wore off and the Meridellians started getting seriously sick he submitted. Skarl was banished and Lord Darigan now ruled Meridell. Immediately the Golden Orb healed Meridell once more as Lord Darigan went on a goodwill campaign to try to show Meridell he's there to rule them justly. Though there was resistance, eventually Meridell accepted Lord Darigan as their ruler and the two kingdoms started to work together. The Darigan Citadel planted itself on the other end of Meridell's territory to show they were one nation and Lord Darigan assigned one of his generals as the new king of Meridell who you may know: Kass."
Kass became king of Meridell?! What about Jeran, Lisha, and the other Meridell champions? What about Master Vex, General Galgarroth, and other Darigan minions?
"Nothing much changed for the Darigan minions, though they don't like being called that anymore. The only big change was General Kass being promoted to King Kass of Meridell. All the big changes happened with Meridell.
Before he left, Skarl told his knights that their duty is to protect Meridell, no matter who ruled it. Lord Darigan didn't blame the Meridell knights and so allowed them to exist as long as they sworn loyalty to him. Many knights were skeptical, but Jeran remembered Skarl's words so sworn loyalty and once he did the other knights did too. Seeing how all the other knights followed him and being the first to sworn loyalty, Lord Darigan decided to promote Jeran as General-in-chief of the Meridell knights and gave him a General rank within the Darigan forces. With Lisha's intelligence and wisdom she was given a position on Darigan's court to help further Meridell-Darigan relations that she accepted. She also continued to learn magic and became one of the most powerful sorceresses in both kingdoms. Kayla went with Lisha, working alongside Morguss in Darigan Castle's potionary. Finally Morris and Boris remained as Meridell knights under Jeran's command."
Wow, sounds like things turned out better than it did here. The only one who didn't have a happy ending being Skarl.
"Well, I wouldn't say better, just different. Though the two kingdoms do live peacefully with one another, Meridellians are treated like second class citizens by the Darigans. In addition with both rulers being Darigan there's a strong bias of putting Darigan matters over Meridell matters. And though Kass was not driven insane by the Three in this timeline, he's still an egotist and expects Meridellians to bow and praise him. He and Jeran are constantly arguing, so much so that King Kass has chosen his own guards from the Darigan army as he doesn't trust any Meridell knight. He has also increased taxes which many believe he's using to lavish himself while putting none back into the kingdom. It's believed that he would become a complete tyrant if it was not for Lord Darigan; it made me wonder whether it was the Three who drove Lord Kass mad or was he already and they just gave him the power to unleash it?
As for Skarl, he may not be completely gone. Darigan trades are constantly under attack by bandits and rumors say these bandits are being led by Skarl. The bandits have been reported to steal from the Darigan rich and give to the Meridell poor, so it's thought that he's still trying to help Meridell from outside the law. The only time the bandits steal anything from Meridell is when King Kass is involved."
I suppose there's no such thing as the perfect compromise between Meridell and Darigan. Speaking of trying to create a utopian society, that brings us to the next Twisted History: "Floating Faerieland". This one is kind of confusing to me. So Faerieland is still floating, yet Xandra won?
"Yes, Xandra won and now rules all of Neopia as "Supreme Ruler", her kingdom being a floating Faerieland. Brynn and Hanso's final gambit failed as Brynn fell to Oblivion and Hanso was overwhelmed by Xandra's spells. Not only did the Faeries remain petrified, but as well as King Altador, King Jazan, the Ogrin Master, and the two Altador Guards. But that was only the immediate result of Xandra winning, it gets much worse.
With both mirrors in her possession, Xandra is the most powerful being in Neopia as she channels all the magic the Faeries once did. Using this power she rose Faerieland back into the sky and made it the fortress which she rules from, leaving all the petrified Faeries behind in the crater. She made the Wraiths into her personal enforcers, making sure no one caused any trouble and if they did the Wraiths would drain them of their energy so they couldn't fight back. But it doesn't stop there, Xandra demands all worlds bow to her demands and any leader who refused were petrified. Among the most well known leaders petrified were King Skarl, Lord Darigan, Jerdana, Torakor, Princess Amira, King Kelpbeard, the Emperor of Shenkuu, and Grarrg among others. She even petrified some heroes that refused to obey her!"
That sounds terrifying! Xandra could give Sloth a run for him money in being a ruthless dictator. Could anyone oppose her?
"Not directly. There were plenty of underground resistance groups who were planning ways to stop Xandra, however being part of such a group is a big risk as being caught meant petrifaction. I myself was almost petrified! Much like with "Sloth's Victory", I got quickly captured and taken to Xandra. I told her I wasn't from this timeline and would like to return to my own, but Xandra had other ideas. She wouldn't have allowed someone to time travel so figured she wasn't in control in our timeline. Xandra threatened to petrify me if I did not help her take over all timelines before throwing me in prison to "consider" her offer. It was then I got rescued by an underground resistance who were planning to attack Xandra soon. I told them that if I can get to my Chronomobile I can leave this timeline and prevent this from happening. They were skeptical at first, but they knew their chances of beating Xandra was slim so agreed to help me get to my Chronomobile. It was a close call, in the final conflict Xandra was petrifying resistance members left and right. I snuck into my Chronomobile and started it up just in time. Xandra heard me do this and had I been a few seconds slow, I would be statue right now as Supreme Ruler Xandra went on a multi-timeline conquest tour."
Maybe you should be more careful who you tell you're a time traveler to, specifically not to evil dictators. Moving on to the next Twisted History, that would be "Unscathed Maraqua". I'm going to assume in this alternate timeline that old Maraqua wasn't destroyed?
"Correct, which also means the Maraqua we know today didn't exist. In our timeline, after King Kelpbeard refused to pay Captain Scarblade protection money, Scarbalde summoned a whirlpool that destroyed old Maraqua. Well, at least that's how the story is now; I have old reports that it was a skeleton Kiko pirate named Captain Dread who was responsible but he vanished as of recent history. But back to the Twisted History, in this alternate timeline the pirates didn't destroy Maraqua but rather took it over. It was a massive invasion which overthrew the Maraquan monarchy and placed Maraqua under pirate rule. As you can imagine, this had a tremendous impact on Maraqua's culture and over the years Maraqua became an underwater version of Krawk Island. A Maraquan pirate is very much a thing there; it's the rule rather than the exception."
Now that's twisted. So obviously this would mean the events of Curse of Maraqua never happened. What happened to King Kelpbeard, Isca, Garin, Captain Scarblade, and other important figures from that plot?
"As I said previously, King Kelpbeard and the entire Maraquan royalty were overthrown though what exactly happened to them is not known. The only information of the pirate invasion was journals from those who fought which are vague at best and often contradictory. Speaking of which, though Captain Scarblade was involved with the invasion he was not in charge of it. All the major pirate captains at the time were involved with the invasion so that Maraqua would be under control by all pirates and not just one, similar to Krawk Island. So my guess is that he's still sailing the high seas ruling over the parts he carved out for himself. There's no mention of Garin, Jacques, and the rest of the Black Pawkeet crew so who knows what happened to them.
But I do know the whereabouts about some important characters. Isca and Caylis are famously known as the "Fate Sisters" and have opened up a famous fortunetelling hut. Isca tells clients visions of the future while Caylis foretells them disasters that are to come. They're quite popular with pirates who use them to find treasure and preparing themselves for hardships. Swordmaster Talek is now Captain Talek and is considered a major pirate captain; it's said that no one can match his swordsmanship, especially with Maractite weaponry. Oh, and the Underwater Chef was still in Maraqua; he's in charge of their version of Kelp which still serves the upper class though they now charge in Dubloons."
Discovery of Wobbleshire
Maraquan pirates. If we weren't talking about alternate timelines I wouldn't have believed it. Speaking of which, the next Twisted History got you in a bit a trouble with your credibility, didn't it? What's the "Discovery of Wobbleshire"?
"*sigh* You probably heard rumors about a world made entirely of jelly, right? Obviously this Jelly World doesn't exist, probably, I don't really know anymore. But that doesn't matter! It may not exist here, but in this alternate timeline it does! Given the much more believable name Wobbleshire, it's as the rumors say, it's a city made of jelly! And not just the city but the Neopians too; even their clothes were made of jelly! The only things not made of jelly were visitors from other worlds, the mountains that were on the very edge of Wobbleshire's borders, and the Pterodactyls."
Wait, Pterodactyls? Like the ones from Tyrannia? Why would they be in Jelly Worl-I mean, Wobbleshire?
"Because where Wobbleshire's jelly mountains end the Tyrannian rocky mountains begin. Wobbleshire is right next to Tyrannia and apparently after the Tyrannians fought off the Pterodactyls during the Monoceraptor's invasion they made their nests on the mountains bordering the two worlds. Chased off by the Tyrannians, the Pterodactyls discovered Wobbleshire and found it much easier to attack being it was made of jelly. There are routine Pterodactyl attacks and though Wobbleshire has gotten good at fending them off they still cause plenty of damage. The damages to buildings are easy enough to fix, though anyone taken by the Pterodactyls is considered lost. However, I later discovered that wasn't the case."
What do you mean? The citizens of Wobbleshire taken by the Pterodactyls weren't eaten? How do you know this?
"During my time in Wobbleshire a troop of Pterodactyls attacked and one took my Chronomobile! So I ventured out to where the Pterodactyls nested and discovered an entire camp of Wobbleshire citizens working on molding giant globs of jelly. As it turns out, the Pterodactyls don't like eating jelly but they still need to eat so instead they use jelly to attract Petpets to prey upon. However, the Petpets are very specific on what jelly they like to eat so the Pterodactyls needed those who knew about jelly to set up the traps to capture the Petpets. Anyone who tried to escape always got re-caught, getting lost in the mountains before the next Pterodactly raid which is when they got spotted and taken back. In exchange for telling them the path I took to get there they lead me to my Chronomobile which was being used as an actual nest. Thankfully there were no eggs in it, but I did have to carefully sneak past nests that did have eggs and the Pterodactyls sitting on them. Of course I attracted all their attention when I turned on the Chronomobile, but thankfully the captured Wobbleshire citizens distracted them by throwing jelly blobs in their face long enough for the Chronomobile to take me to the next Twisted History."
Lost Isle Tour
You really have bad luck with your Chronomobile getting captured, don't you? And if the previous Twisted History didn't help with your credibility, this next one probably didn't help things either: "Lost Isle Tour". So in this alternate timeline the Lost Isle supposedly found by Professor Hugo Fairweather can be visited... and turned into an amusement park?
"Well, if it means anything, the previous Twisted History was the last time I lost the Chronomobile. But now we're onto this Twisted History and you're correct. As many know, Professor Hugo Fairweather journeyed to the Lost Isle along with his daughter Lilian, his assistant Werther, and the additional crew of Roxton A. Colchester III, Captain Jethro Rourke, and Scrap. Supposedly the Lost Isle is an island which freely floats throughout Neopia's oceans and is inhabited by gigantic Petpetpets. In addition to having five witnesses they also brought back a flower that is nothing like anyone had seen before as proof. Still, many doubt Professor Fairweather's claim.
However, in this alternate timeline the Lost Isle was not only rediscovered but also stopped moving; anchoring where it had stopped. With the Lost Isle now in one place there's no doubt to its existence as anyone can visit it, and of course that means someone would try to market it and you won't believe who: Professor Milton Clodbottle. Yes, instead of creating the Habitarium, Professor Clodbottle opened up a theme park and zoo on the Lost Isle in this alternate timeline. Using his Petpetpet expertise he captured the giant Petpetpets and placed them in enclosures for everyone to safely observe them."
That sounds like quite the tale and feat. How did Professor Clodbottle of that timeline keep the giant Petpetpets under control? From Professor Fairweather's description it sounded like they were unstoppable.
"Well, apparently giant steel gates can stop the unstoppable. I don't know any of the behind the scenes details; I just took the tour and read up whatever I could in the visitor's center. On the tours you sit in customized mine carts as you're taken around to the island's various zones. Also only the most fierce of the giant Petpetpets like the Moach is behind a steel gate, many of the peaceful ones are allowed to wander freely except in areas sectioned off for visitors which has concession stands and rides. The tour only really talked about the Petpetpets though they did mention the steel gates can release pheromones that calm or repel the Petpetpet behind it if need be. The visitor's center was a bit more helpful, like explaining the island is actually the remains of what's believed to be a giant yet-to-be-identified Petpet. That's why the "island" was able move around until recently when the Petpet passed away. Of course that's in that timeline; if the Lost Isle does exist in our timeline it could be possible that it too is just a giant Petpet and it's still alive and moving around."
Reign of Coltzan
That's kind of terrifying to think about. How about we move onto the last Twisted History that actually made major changes to history. In the "Reign of Coltzan" the events and plots in the Lost Desert went completely different, didn't they?
"Very much so. In our timeline, King Coltzan III was tragically taken from his daughters and people when Princess Sankara poisoned him hoping the next ruler would be easier to convince to take back her kingdom. Years later we then had the Lost Desert Plot when the then Prince Jazan requested to marry Princess Amira only to be turned down and in his anger unleashed the wrath of the Qasalan curse on the kingdom of Sakhmet. It ended when Nabile was discovered to be a lost heir of the royal family and married Prince Jazan after hearing about his and his people's suffering and sympathized. It wasn't until King Jazan defeated his evil father, Emperor Razul, was the Qasalan curse lifted and the city of Qasala returned to Neopia.
In this alternate timeline, King Coltzan was still poisoned, but not enough to immediately kill him. He was able to fully recover when Princess Sankara was caught and she revealed the poison she used and an antidote was made. Princess Sankara was imprisoned for her treachery and King Coltzan rewarded the other guests for helping reveal the truth, one being a shrine to his daughter Princess Vyssa which just so happens to be where Coltzan's Shrine is located in our timeline. Years later Prince Jazan came to Sakhmet like he did in our timeline and asked King Coltzan for Princess Amira's hand in marriage. Coltzan somehow knew about the marriage arrangement and agreed to it, though Princess Amira initially refused. Angry at his daughter's selfishness, King Coltzan requested Prince Jazan to take them to Qasala to show Princess Amira why the marriage is important. Prince Jazan agreed and showed them Qasala and the alternate dimension they lived in. Princess Amira, moved by the suffering of the Qasalan people and Prince Jazan's selflessness, agreed to the marriage. They were married and the curse was broken with the city of Qasala returning to Neopia."
That's quite different from what happened! But what about Razul? Did he return like he did in our timeline? Also what happened to Nabile and the other Desert Scarabs?
"Oddly no, Emperor Razul did not return. Prince Jazan and Princess Amira married and the curse was lifted as soon as they did. As for Nabile and the other Desert Scarabs, I asked around the Sakhmet marketplace and indeed the Desert Scarabs were still running around with a Pink Ixi being one of them. They're all still street urchins, stealing to live and Nabile not knowing about her royal heritage, if in this timeline she still is."
Wow, to think one little change would cause a whole series of changes, but I suppose that's the lesson of all these Twisted Histories. I'm assuming you still have the old Chronomobile which took you to these alternate timelines. Any plans on using it again?
"Not in the immediate future, no; but the future is not set in stone as these Twisted Histories have shown us. There are certainly other events in history that I myself am curious to see how they differ from our own timeline. The return of The Darkest Faerie, Altador recovering its history, Atlas of the Ancients, the Cyodrake Gaze's journey, Hannah and the Ice Caves, the founding of Petpet Park, Tale of Woe, Krawk Island's Disappearance, Spooky Food Eating Contest, War of the Obelisk, and Desert Diplomacy. So many possibilities, but ironically so little time."
Well, I think that's the end of this interview, is there anything else you'd like to say?
"Anything else I'd like to say? Hmm, well nothing that would apply to anyone who isn't a time traveler. Oh, I know. Be sure to read up on your history, for those who don't are doomed to repeat it. There, a classic warning that still rings true."
With my curiosity answered and some final words of wisdom, I leave Zylphia to her time off from time travelling. Two times had Zylphia shared her time travelling adventures with Neopia through NC Mall events, the second time showing us alternate timelines of how events we all knew could have happened. Who knows when or if Zylphia will decide to share with us a third adventure and what twists to history it'll bring, only time will tell.