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A Moltaran Interview

by kaioti


The mayor of Moltara has taken time out of his busy schedule to answer some of the questions most on the average Neopian mind when it comes to Moltara. Thank you for being here Mayor.

It’s my pleasure, young Neopian!

I suppose the first question is your full name. Somehow it never seems to get mentioned.

Oh! Well, it’s Oliver—Oliver Chromeswell. I must admit, my first dealings with surface Neopians was a bit rushed and somehow it never seems to come up!

Thank you Mayor Chromeswell! How long have you been mayor?

This is my third term. Each term for a mayor lasts about seven years. There’s no limit to the number of terms I can serve, but I’m thinking I might retire after my fourth term.

Very interesting. I’m sure a lot of folks would love to help reelect you if they could, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to get a Moltaran Neohome.

Ah, well, that’s an unfortunate situation. We’ve been pretty overwhelmed with requests for residences, but it’s hard to find good, stable areas in these caves sometimes! There’s no point in inviting people down here only to have their new, beautiful Neohome buried! We’re hoping something can be arranged sooner or later, but for right now I’m afraid everyone is going to have to wait.

I see. Speaking of things folks are waiting on, Vandagyre are the only Neopets that currently cannot be coloured in Magma. Is there a reason for this?

Well, that’s really something you should be asking Igneot—he knows the details a lot better than I do—but from what I understand it has to do with some mystical connection that needs to be established.

Suddenly, a Vandagyre with its feathers on fire starts running by screaming in the distance before being advised to stop, drop, and roll. When it is fully put out, it gets a determined look on its face and marches back to the Moltara Caves it just came from. *Mayor Chromeswell sighs.* Some attempts at establishing it are a bit more successful than others, mind you.

That happens often?

Well, less than it did when they first found out about the Magma Pool. I’m just glad the ventilators are able to clear out the smell of burnt feathers.

Speaking of finding, Moltara was found in a rather interesting way.

*Mayor Chromeswell coughs* That’s one of the more polite ways that’s come up. Here’s what happened: after the Core Stabilizing Unit was created, the mystics warned that the parts would eventually need to be replaced—but not with just any old parts. The parts needed had to be specially attenuated to particular magical energies in different parts of Neopia. To this end the parts were created and put into place, their locations written in riddle lest nefarious Neopians attempt to find them for their own purposes. There were two books created containing knowledge of the locations and signs to look for. One was placed in Shenkuu since the Empress at the time had sent most of the mystics. The other was kept here.

When the break-up occurred the group that moved to the Caves took the book with them, so when we went to the surface we no longer had the directions to find the replacement parts. We could make some of our own but not ones attuned to the magic needed.

So why not stay in contact with the surface and use the book in Shenkuu?

When the Darkest Faerie attacked, it was felt that it would no longer be safe to be in direct contact with the surface. For a long time we hid under the surface and our door was locked from the inside. Eventually we started running out of supplies and needed to risk the surface again. By that time the war had ended, but thing on the surface were still tumultuous, so we decided to keep a low profile. When things finally started improving we began leaving the key out in case those bringing the needed repair parts should come as foretold. By that time, though, we were so used to being stealthy that we simply didn’t see any particular need to contact anyone.

Speaking of faeries, were you affected when the faeries were turned into stone?

Oddly enough, we’ve never seen any faeries here or anywhere we’ve explored, so we didn’t find out about that until after the event happened. There were a few sightings of strange creatures, who matched the descriptions of wraiths on the surface, but we were fortunate and none of them attacked us.

So why build underground to start with? There’s lots of room on the surface.

Once again, that has to do with the Darkest Faerie. Our founders had discovered the caves here were stable and technically livable, but they too would have preferred living on the surface. The vault, in fact, was going to be the centrepiece of the town. Once the war with the Darkest Faerie started, however, no one wanted her or one of her minions to find the Core Stabilizing Unit and possibly cause irreparable harm. By the time the danger passed most of the town had been built and it was felt that creating a huge city on the surface might attract unwanted attention.

What about water?

There are many underground rivers and lake—a surprising number, honestly. A few are close enough to Moltara City to make living here viable and to even grow our own crops. We mostly stick to root vegetables that do well in the dim light and increased heat.

So there are no other underground features?

I wouldn’t say that. We are only about a little more than a mile or two kilometers beneath surface of Neopia, so there are many unexplored places. There have been people who, from time to time, explore some of the furthest tunnels. So far only one ever returned, half mad from her experiences. She told tales of mushroom forests and oceans filled with monsters shortly before she died. Needless to say, no one has been much encouraged to follow.

I see. But what about the drawings of magma creatures all around Neopia?

Well, we didn’t need to dig our way out. We followed tunnels to the surface. Mind you, most of those lead to one of the nearby islands, but we really haven’t been able to explore very far, and there are many creatures here that can live in magma as fish live in water. It’s not impossible that there are shafts leading to many different places all over Neopia. It’s actually been long speculated that there must be some connection to the volcano in Tyrannia, though no one’s yet found it.

Moltara is listed as 7000 feet beneath the surface. And, as you pointed out, that’s only a little over a mile (or two kilometers). That seems awfully close for the core of a planet.

Ha! I love a good scientific question! Simply put, this was the closest to the surface that we know of where the core can easily be accessed. Our ancestors were very lucky to find a tunnel leading down to it. It’s unlikely that it’s a former vent from the volcano at the centre of this island, but it could have been made in any number of other ways. As I mentioned, there are many similar shafts all around this region and the ones we can access all have doors that blend in with the surface.

I think that’s all, Mayor Chromeswell. Thank you again for your time!

My pleasure, young Neopian! If you ever have any further questions, please feel free to stop by again!

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