The Curse of Maraqua: On Land - Part One
This is the sequel to The Curse of Maraqua.
Theresa (Resa is her nickname) slumped down in her chair
in the café. It was watertight inside, but that really didn't matter, since
it had tile flooring, which you could slide around on easily.
Sipping a cup of hot Vanilla Borovan, she idly
chomped down on the straw, as what most people do when they are very bored.
That was exactly the reason. She was just extremely
bored, with nothing to do. Her fame and fortune had withered away in her mind,
although they were still there. Theresa wanted fun, danger, anything! It just
wasn't her to just sit around all day and do nothing.
Land was what she wanted to sea. Sandy beaches,
yes, she had seen them, but not any actual "landlubbers" as the pirates called
people who were afraid of the sea and lived on land.
Theresa sipped a little more of her Vanilla Borovan,
and then left, tossing the fee on the cashier's countertop. She slid out of
the café without water gushing in through a water-portal that was like an invisible
wall. It was a door, but it sealed out the water.
She once again saw the familiar sights of Maraqua.
Caylis was no longer there. She had been banished, long ago, for her horrifying
nightmares that created things that nearly re-destroyed Maraqua.
Theresa breathed in the sweet scent coming from
Maraqua's potion-making place. Sisillia, a Maraquan Techo, owned the shop. In
it were many potions, from freezing to morphing potions.
The Maraquan Uni always went there to look at
the potions and bask in the enlightening feel about being amongst magic.
This time, a green potion caught her eye. It
was in a clear-colored bottle, and contained a sparkling green liquid. Ceramic
Uni wings were glued to the sides, and they were green too. A cork was the cap.
"What is this?" asked Theresa, pointing at the
bottled green liquid.
"That's a Green Uni Morphing Potion. If you drink
it, you'll turn into a green Uni. The only thing is you won't be Maraquan anymore,"
answered the shopkeeper, a trim Maraquan Kyrii.
Thoughts flashed around in Theresa's head. But
there was one consequence to becoming a land-person. She could never come back
to Maraqua again unless she was painted Maraquan. But she probably couldn't
ever come back if King Kelpbeard knew where she went. She was going to have
to get Isca's help if she ever wanted to come back.
"How much does it cost?" she asked.
"Not a lot. Only 100 scales," answered the shopkeeper.
In Neopia, not many people know this, but there
are many different money types. In Meridell, there are crowns. In Tyrannia and
the Lost Desert there are things called Sand Coins. And so, in Maraqua, there
are scales. Scales are coins, and not real scales. They are hard and metallic,
silvery-colored and rainbow-colored. Silver-colored ones are worth one scale.
Rainbow ones are worth 5. A silver scale converted to Neopoints is about 100.
For a Green Uni Morphing Potion, it seemed pretty
cheap for Theresa, so she paid with a check (yes, there are checks in Maraqua)
and went over to Isca's house.
She let me in, and we sat down on the couch.
"Can we go somewhere private?" she asked. Isca
nodded and led her to her bedroom. There, Theresa began to talk freely.
"I think…I'm going to go on land…" she said hastily.
"You are-that means…" Isca stammered.
"Yes, I know. I mayn't come back soon enough
for you but-I'll come back one day, I promise." Theresa assured her.
"Do you want me to tell King Kelpbeard that you
went questing?" asked Isca.
"Yes," Theresa answered. She looked down and
made sure her Green Uni Morphing Potion was still there, and swam away from
Theresa, before she was going to change, got
a waterproof bag and filled it with all of her scales, food, a blanket, and
her special necklace. There was no going back now. It was time.
Theresa surfaced above the water, her head bobbing
up and down along the waves. She swam towards a sandy beach, Mystery Island
was what she thought it was, and she through herself up onto land.
Fully on land, she snapped the cork off of her
potion and drank down the contents. The potion tasted good, a mix of an orange
and strawberry taste was what it tasted like.
Theresa felt herself turning into a bright green
Uni. Her curved horn turned straight, and her wings got bigger. Everything but
her eyes turned green. She grew a mane and tail of hair that was long and sweeping.
Last of all, her back fins lengthened out and turned into two legs with hooves.
Theresa took the bag, slung it over her back,
and took off into the air.
She landed in the bustling city of Neopia Central.
Yes, it was odd that she had flown that far, but Unis are known for their extremely
fast flying abilities.
She walked around a little feeling the exhilarating
feeling of happiness as she gazed at the huge buildings and colorful shops with
The Food Shop was especially neat. It was shaped
like a large burger, and it looked real. Theresa stood there, gazing at it in
awe, until a Chia officer tapped her on the shoulder.
"Miss, I think you should stop standing there
like that. You're holding up people shopping," he whispered. Theresa shook herself
awake and trotted off towards another building, presumably the hospital.
On the way, she heard someone sniffling loudly.
She cocked her right ear, and the sound was coming from behind a tree. She galloped
over, and saw a small baby Kougra crouching behind the tree. It whimpered a
little at her when she picked her up, but it stayed silent on her back.
A yellow Gelert and a yellow Lupe ran up to Theresa.
"There you are, Minnie!" exclaimed the Gelert
"Thank you for finding Minnie for us," said the
Lupe. Theresa dipped her head.
"You're very welcome," she said solemnly.
"If you want to, you can come home with us for
lunch. It's not very far, and it's payback for finding Minnie," said the Gelert.
Theresa nodded, and followed them back to their house.
It was a cozy home, although a bit crowded inside,
everyone welcomed her heartily, even Minnie! Theresa met Ciarra the Kacheek,
Mirovin the Eyrie, Sadie the Gelert, Tamison the Zafara, and Seffine the Lupe.
Ciarra went to fetch the paper cups and pitcher
for the Neocola. They were also having cake, in honor of Tamison's birthday.
Everyone was singing in a rather off-pitch voice, and even Minnie joined in.
When the day was done, Theresa thanked them kindly.
"Where do you live?" inquired Seffine politely.
"I don't really know. I just came from land,"
answered Theresa, shrugging.
"You mean-you came from Maraqua?" said Seffine.
"Then you can stay with us! We always like new
company!" suggested Ciarra. Theresa was delighted at this proposal. She nodded
"But first I'd like to take a walk at the seaside,"
said Theresa, putting her bag down (The house was only on the edge of Neopia
Central, by the seaside.), and sitting on the couch.
The walk by the seaside was put off until the
next day. Theresa galloped along the shoreline, feeling the sand in her hooves
and the sea's salty smell up her nose.
Seffine observed her acts with some interest,
and proceeded to look at the tide along the seashore. There, her eyes detected
a bottle with a message written in it floating towards them.
"Hey! Look! Mirovin, can you fly over and take
the bottle out of the water for me?" Seffine asked. Mirovin stretched his claws
out and dutifully took off into the air. He pulled the bottle out with ease.
Sadie stretched her paw out and stuck it into
the bottle. It proved too difficult to push in any further, so she hastily drew
"How are we going to get the message out!?!"
Theresa smiled and held one hoof up. She slammed
it down on the bottle. Shards of glass flew everywhere, but no one was hurt.
The message was written in waterproof ink, and
had a distinct Maraquan style. Theresa read it out loud.
Yet another horrendous thing has clashed
into Maraqua! It looks like there are assassins around, but don't worry about
that. It's the Mask you should worry about. He is bent on taking Neopia for
"Who's the Mask?" asked Seffine curiously. Theresa
scratched her head. She had very faint memories, of someone with a dark blue
cloak and eyes as red as blood. His face was concealed by a mask. She remembered
him taking her brother, and killing her parents. She had hidden in a cupboard,
hiding away from the thing that had invaded her home.
Seffine shook her. Theresa snapped out of her
memories, and looked at her curiously.
"Who's the Mask?" she asked again.
"I-I don't really know," stammered Theresa.
"I know where we can find out about him, though,"
said Ciarra. She dashed off towards the central part of Neopia Central.
They came to an old, molding building with cobwebs
hanging from the windows and peeling paint on the walls.
Ciarra knocked on the door. An old, weathered
Nimmo opened the door. His wrinkled face smiled genuinely.
Inside there were scrolls preserved in wax, and
books, and everything.
"We are looking for information on the Mask,"
The Nimmo looked at them thoughtfully. He walked
over a few shelves, and pulled out a dusty purple book. It was covered in exotic
symbols, but for some reason Theresa understood them perfectly. Then she realized
it was an ancient Maraquan-scripted book.
"You may read it now," the Nimmo said, pointing
to a page that showed the Mask.
Theresa began to read.
"The Mask was once ridiculed as only an old tale,
until he appeared once in Faerieland. The faeries barely managed to fight him
off, and he disappeared from Neopia. Some say he's gone far away, others say
he's still here…of course we may never know."
Seffine looked rather scared at having the Mask
in Neopia, though she knew he wasn't there yet. He hadn't struck yet either…but
who knew where'd he be?
Theresa shut the book. She had known enough.
She was bent on saving Maraqua, her home.
"We're going to save Maraqua…" she whispered.
She repeated it again, this time, louder. It didn't seem true…but she had to.
The Mask, who was actually a large Darigan Krawk,
had hired an assassin. The Mask had a huge ball that showed him anything he
wanted to see. It was powered by Nereid's magic stone. He saw Theresa, and switched
back to Maraqua and saw Isca, and then switched back.
His assassin was a Draik, his color blue. The
Draik's name was Sephardo. He was the best in the land, as the Mask thought.
All he had to do was nick someone with his poison-tipped dagger and it would
be all over. The Mask pointed to Theresa, and turned towards Sephardo. "Kill
her," he sneered.
To be continued...