Digging for Dubloons
“It’s pure laziness, I tell you!” exclaimed Kitte, “We aren’t going to hope for
some dumb-luck; nope, not us!” She trudged over a sand dune waving a shovel over
her head. It had been against her shoulder for most of the journey, but Shoyrus
were all about body language. “I mean,” she continued, sweeping up sand with her
tool, “why don’t Neopets dig the dubloons up themselves instead of begging Coltzan’s
crummy old shrine. A waste of time, I say!” Turning around, her eyes fell on a
small Dragoyle hovering after her. “Right, Dantes?”
Dantes the Dragoyle, as he was called, sped up beside her and snorted in agreement,
causing a puff of smoke to escape his dragon-like nostrils. Only the most loyal
of Petpets followed their masters as far as he had: across Neopia’s mainland,
from the pleasant, rolling hills of Meridell to the scorching sands of the Lost
Desert. He should win a metal!
The Shoyru let her shovel rest on her shoulder and sighed. “When this is all
over,” she told her Petpet, “I’m going to buy you a brand new Petpet bed. No
more bean bag with tape over the holes. This new bed I’ll get you will be feathery
soft!” She paused for a moment, before adding, “And then, I’ll stick the rest
of our Neopoints in the bank and watch it grow - ah, hah, hah! Then we’ll be
filthy, filthy rich!” Dantes shook his head; at least her first intention was
Before Kitte could ponder over more Neopoint possibilities (toys, neggs, and
chocolate - just to name a few) she caught sight of their destination, Coltzan’s
Shrine. The shrine was a massive structure, stretching high into the sky and
casting a huge shadow across the hot sand. It was said that Coltzan‘s very ghost
watched over the Lost Desert from there, allowing no evil to enter or prosper
on the land. Dantes was amazed at the sheer size of the shrine, but all that
Kitte could think was “Whoa, all of this for a dead Lupe?”
When they made it to the base of the shrine, Kitte laid out the plans. “All
right,” she explained, “the details of my ingenious scheme are quite simple,
my friend. First, we dig like crazy until we find a dubloon, any kind of dubloon.
Then, uh…well, that’s the only detail. Easy, huh? Now lets get digging!” She
rubbed her hands together with a greedy spark in her eyes, just like she’d seen
in the movies, and picked a spot to start digging.
As soon as he was given the word, Dantes the Dragoyle set to work. He threw
himself to the ground, flailing his tiny arms and legs around like crazy to
dig a hole in the sand. However, he soon began to see that the faster he removed
the sand from one place, the faster the sand filled back up in his hole. It
was a never ending cycle! Becoming discouraged, he whined pitifully and wrung
Kitte saw her Petpet’s misfortune and gave an embarrassed grin. “Whoops, it
seems that I forgot one very important detail… I knew that plan was missing
something!” She reached into a pocket on her backpack and pulled out a Water
Mote. “This is what I forgot!” Using all of her strength, she hurled the mote
at the sand, causing it to explode in a huge watery mass before them. In two
shakes of a Babaa’s tail, the water from the mote had sunk into the sand, making
it wet. Now, with the sand wet, it would be much easier to dig and find dubloons.
“We have to move quickly before the sand dries up!” exclaimed the Shoyru as
she dug her shovel into the sand.
Both of them set to work digging in the dampened space. Dantes was pleased
to find that the sand did not fill up again in his holes this time. After about
fifteen minutes of nonstop digging, Kitte was beginning to worry that the wet
sand would dry in the blaring light of the sun. Just as she was pondering whether
she should check her backpack for another mote, something gold and shiny in
her hole caught her eye. Her heart raced as she reached down and gingerly picked
up the object.
“It’s…” she stuttered, holding up the object, “a 100 dubloon coin! We are rich,
Dantes! Filthy, filthy rich!” Kitte held the dubloon out to her Petpet for him
Dantes, exhausted from digging, slowly pulled himself out of his hole and gazed
up at the coin; he was entranced by its beauty instantly. His eyes widened,
and he dared not blink for fear it might disappear. Not only was it gold, but
it was shiny, too! Dragoyles, as it is often said, have a bizarre attraction
to things that shine and glisten.
Holding out his claws to the coin, the Dragoyle approached his master with
glazed zombie-like eyes. “Gimme, gimme!” he commanded.
Kitte jumped back, both shocked and frightened by the sudden change in her
Petpet. “What is the matter with you?” she shouted, “I might have let you see
it… but I don’t like being bossed around by a pint-size little-”
“-gimme!” interrupted the Dragoyle.
“Argh! Fine,” muttered the Shoyru, “You can hold it for a moment, but I want
it back! What’s gotten into you anyway, pal? Your eyes… they look so dazed.”
Dantes snatched the coin from her grasp and stared at it with a deep, dark
obsession. It was so shiny! Why did his master have to keep it for herself?
She might even sell it! That was outrageous; it was much too shiny to be sold!
“My shiny,” whispered Dantes, hugging the dubloon coin.
Growing annoyed, Kitte held out her hand. “Time’s up; hand it over,” she grunted,
but as she reached over to grab it, Dantes snapped at her. “How dare you!” She
recoiled and stomped her foot. “I order you to return it to me! I knew I should
have listened to the Petpet salesman; he told me that Dragoyles are nothing
Fearing she might attempt to take the coin again, Dantes took to the air and
fluttered to the other side of the Shrine; that, of course, only enraged his
owner more. “That’s it!” shouted the Shoyru; she leapt up and flew after him
at breakneck speed. The chase was on. Both of them zoomed above the sand, cutting
through the air like razor sharp blades. The Dragoyle flapped away as fast as
he could, but he was much smaller than the Shoyru, and therefore much slower.
He was soon out of breath, and decided to rest at the very top of Coltzan’s
Shrine. Kitte followed him there, where the two faced off.
“If you give it back,” reasoned the Shoyru, “I’ll forget any of this happened.
You can still get your new Petpet bed, and we can both happily skip home to
Meridell. No harm done.” When there was no response, she shouted, “Don’t you
want to be rich?”
Dantes curled up into a ball over the coin and shook his head; he refused to
listen to his owner… she wanted to take his shiny coin away from him. “Shiny
is mine!” was his muffled reply.
Kitte lunged at the Petpet and a struggled ensued. The Shoyru was just about
to pin down the Dragoyle and gain the upper hand, but then Dantes snapped. He
thrashed around madly, clutching the shiny gold dubloon coin with one claw and
slashing with the other. Kitte blocked herself and stretched for the coin, but
instead she accidentally knocked it out of her Petpet’s grip. The 100 dubloon
coin fell off the top of Coltzan’s Shrine and plummeted to the sand below.
The two instantly came to their senses when the dubloon was out of sight, and
they made a truce to search for it… together. However, they looked long into
the afternoon and night without finding it or another like it. They were forced
to begin the long, shameful journey back to Meridell empty handed and earn Neopoints
the conventional way like everyone else, something that Kitte had always dreaded.
As the Shoyru and her Petpet left the Lost Desert, they thought they could
make out a fading cackle coming from the Shrine….