850 Years Frozen In Ice
Deep in Terror Mountains there lay hundreds of beasts, some friendly and some foes. It is a place long-forgotten by explorers, and home to potentially undiscovered Neopet and Petpet species. A lot of people, for a long time, thought that all there was to discover has long been known, but the somewhat recent emergence of the Vandagyre and a few other Petpet species has shown that there is a lot of Neopia we have yet to see.
Terror Mountain has a certain scariness to it, it holds in some fearsome secrets and a lot may remain unknown for eternity. Even Dr. Sloth hasn't been able to break through some of the deepest parts. But there was one fabled explorer, a Purple Kougra named Phlonema, who made it her life mission to discover something new...
850 years ago...
"Gather the supplies for me, I'm leaving in the morning."
The young Phlonema was packing a bag and going over her checklist, speaking with an assistant of hers, a Red Meerca. Phlonema had spent her entire youth pouring over books in the library that explained the complete and total history of Neopia, from Sloth's sludge experiment to what lies beyond the Lost Desert. At this early point in Neopian history there was still a lot of conflict and uncertainty, and not much was known about Neopia.
"I have to get up Terror Mountain, I know there is something up there and I need to be the one to discover it."
Phlonema had fantasized about being a world famous explorer who would discover a new species and be able to reveal it to the world. She wanted to find a new city, a whole new society, and she would risk everything in order to do it. She continued packing her bag, checking this off her checklist, and retrieving whatever her Meerca assistant dropped off. Once she was satisfied with her food supply, camping equipment, and all the things needed for navigating the terrible terrain of Terror Mountain, she tucked herself into bed in her igloo at the base of her hike. The next days of her life would be the most exciting.
In the morning, she set off on her hike. She traversed the snow, trying to keep her thoughts warm enough to warm her cold bones. It's a cold she's never experienced before in her life, having grown up on Mystery Island, but she knew this was the environment she had to go to find something no one has seen before. The harsher the environment, the less likely anyone has visited before. She spent long days hiking in the snow, with only the occasionally glimpses of sunshine to warm the fur on her face. At night she would build a camp, often unable to start a fire due to the wet snow making any firewood unusable. After close to a week she wondered if she'd ever feel warm again, but she pressed on.
She went on this adventure alone because she didn't want to drag anyone else into her plans. She didn't want to be responsible if this excursion took a turn for the worst, she knew she couldn't handle the responsibility of a friend being a casualty of the weather. So she would hum songs from her native Mystery Island home in order to pass the time, and talk to herself to stay motivated. And she marched on.
After nearly two weeks, something happened for Phlonema. She heard a scuffling in the distance and knew there was something alive. She hoped it wouldn't be a Snowbeast, as they were extremely dangerous and known to attack lone explorers. Another reason not many, if anyone, had ever ventured this deep into the mountains. She marched forward, toward the sounds, coming up over a hill for a better view. And that is when she saw it...a whole group of large creatures, most likely a Neopet, living in a village. There were huts, small kids playing with a ball, adults moving through the pathways to what looked like a market. These creatures moved on four legs and had a hard shell, long snouts, and pointy ears. They had long, thin tails as well. She moved closer.
"Hello!! I am friendly," she shouted down to this mysterious group of Neopets. Her voice caught a few of their ears and they all looked at her. "I come in peace!!"
At the sound of her voice and the sight of her presence she noticed a couple of these Neopets go right to one of the houses in the village. Within seconds, what appeared to be an elder emerged and came to her.
This elder spoke to Phlonema, but she could not make out a single word he was saying. His words sounded like a foreign language she would never understand. He did, however, keep pointing to himself and his fellow Neopets and saying the word "Bori". She figured this must be what they called themselves, the "Bori" species. She had never heard of this in all her books that she's read, in all the research she's done, and she knew in her heart that this must be a new species!! Some of them seemed to be made of ice, a new colour! She had to return and tell the world.
She thanked the elder, was gracious and accepted food and shelter from the Boris for the night. They were very kind to her but she knew she couldn't stay, she had to get home to spread the word. The next afternoon, she set off on her trail on the way back. It would take her less than two weeks to change the world and she was so excited.
So off she marched. After a few days, a storm kicked up like nothing she had experienced before. The snow fell heavy, she could barely see her path. And that's when it happened...she took a step forward into the heavy snow and plummeted right though. She broke through into a deep puddle that was quickly freezing over, and she become frozen in ice. She never returned to camp, her Meerca assistant never saw her again.
Of course, this story can't end that way silly!
After 850 years of weather shifts, exploration, development of Neopian society, wars passing, and so much strain put on the climate, things started shifting in Terror Mountain. The snow and ice had traveled further up into the peaks, things started to melt and thaw, and one day there was a massive avalanche. And somehow, in all of this, Phlonema's frozen body tumbled down the mountain to warmer weather and the ice around her begin to melt.
"Ugh, my head," Phlonema said, shivering. "What happened?"
A group of Neopets near the Scratchcard Kiosk had gathered around her. Not knowing what had just happened, where she came from, or how long she has been frozen.
"You're in Terror Mountain," one of them said.
"I MADE IT!! I MADE IT BACK," Phlonema exclaimed. "I am Phlonema, a great explorer from Mystery Island!" She began to remember everything about her mission and what she has seen. "I just discovered a new species of Neopet!! Alert the news, alert everyone! They are called 'Bori' and they live high up in the mountains, in the frozen tundra."
The group of Neopets stared blankly at her, not really sure what to make of the situation.
"Uh, we've known about Boris for years," a Grarrl chimed in, pointing back to the town. "There are a few over there. You must've been frozen for a long time."
Phlonema stared blankly at a few Boris walking around Terror Mountain, interacting with other Neopets like they had been around since the dawn of time. She realized she must've been frozen for a while...
"Oh...uh," Phlonema said as she pieced everything together. "Well, that's that I guess. Does anyone have a blanket I could use?"
"Sure," said the Grarrl.
Phlonema followed him to a warm hotel and parked herself in front of the fireplace with a cup of coffee. Her discovery didn't go quite as planned, but she wasn't done yet. After talking to a few Neopians and figuring out exactly how long she'd been gone, she started to consider there may be other explorers frozen in the ice waiting to thaw. And those explorers might know about more undiscovered species...and if she could find those explorers, she could gain some valuable insight. And with that, she started planning her next adventure, to discover frozen Neopet explorers!!