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Unclassified Land Swap Survival Guide


by pikachu315111

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A strange phenomenon has come over all of Neopia! If you tried visiting one of Neopia’s many Lands you may have already encountered it: A strange portal suddenly takes you to an alternate version of that Land where it has, as best as the experts can explain it, “swapped themes” with another Land! These swaps can be as negligible as Meridell swapping with Brightvale or as extreme as the Lost Desert swapping with Maraqua! If you’re not prepared you may end up a creak without a paddle, a blizzard without a coat, or a magma flow without a... well, you just shouldn’t be near a magma flow, which is the problem! After I and my Neopets experienced many of these Land Swaps, we’ve come up with a list of which Land swaps are “safe” or “dangerous” in the:

     UNCLASSIFIED LAND SWAP SURVIVAL GUIDE

     

     One second you’re enjoying Mystery Island’s sunny breeze,

     The next you’re shivering in a Terror Mountain blizzard freeze!

     So what is a Land Swap? When the Land you’re in or going to gets swapped, the “theme” that Land has is replaced by another Land’s theme. Every Neopian and place within that Land is still there, but the environment has changed and the weather, landmarks, buildings, and other structures may have also been affected.

     SAFE LAND THEMES:

     Safe Land Themes are Lands whose theme doesn’t pose a risk of injury or put a Neopian in a life-threatening situation upon being swapped to. That’s not to say you can’t get hurt or you won’t be confused with the changes done, but in the immediate moment, you should be safe and have time to get your bearings on what ways the Land has changed. There should also be little problem with getting to where you wanted to go, you may just need to figure out where it was placed.

     Land: Altador

     Theme: Walled Districts

     Changes: The kingdom of Altador is a walled city that is split into four districts: The Arena District (best known for the Altador Colosseum where battles and sport competitions take place), The Park District (home to many great gardens with flowers, hedge mazes, fountains, gazebos, and a Neggery), The Money District (containing all the major businesses, including the bank and Altadorian Archives), and The Bazaar District (where you can find all the merchants selling their wares). When a Land swaps to Altador’s theme, the Land’s most important building is moved to the centre and all other buildings and landmarks are split into walled districts; the wall is made in a style that aesthetically matches the Land). Districts are usually free to travel between, but sometimes gates are closed requiring you to take a different route... or shortcut if you know where to look.

     

     Land: Brightvale

     Theme: Orderly Structure

     Changes: The “Kingdom of Knowledge”, Brightvale was built to be methodically organized; the goal to make the daily duties of its citizens be done easier and quicker. There’s a lot of nuisance in Brightvale’s town structure, but you’ll see that first hand when a Land swaps to it. At first, you’ll be lost, however, if you take a second to think where the most logical or convenient place for a building or landmark would be, they’re likely to be there. And with that you can mentally map where every place likely is.

     

     Land: Present Faerieland

     Theme: Forest Ruins

     Changes: It’s been over thirteen years since Faerieland fell, changing from a grand city atop the clouds to a ruin version resting in a forest. Though weakened, the magic of the Land enchanted the forest, morphing it to accommodate the Faerie’s kingdom. When another Land swaps to Present Faerieland’s theme, the buildings and landmarks turn to a more ruined state (still stable and functional, though cracks in the wall and ceiling allow for outside elements to get in unless covered up) and the surrounding environment changes to be more forest-like. Paths and roads vanish or become uneven ground so better watch your step, as if you’re travelling through a forest.

     

     Land: Kiko Lake

     Theme: Lake

     Changes: Just as the Kikos have built a town around (and in) a lake, any Land swapping to Kiko Lake’s theme will have a giant lake appear in the middle of it, buildings and landmarks shifting around to line its shores. You’ll have to figure out where everything has shifted to, but as most buildings will be lining the shore it shouldn’t take long to spot the place you want to go. Getting there is another story, depending on the size of the Land (and you’re luck), travelling across the shore may have you go around a long circle. Though if you’re a fast swimmer, or a ferry has been set up, cutting across the water could be the quicker route.

     

     Land: Krawk Island

     Theme: Port Island

     Changes: Some may be surprised Krawk Island is considered a “safe” land theme, but that’s because they think the Land is going to suddenly be filled with pirates. While some may feel compelled to start acting as a salty sailor when their Land’s theme swaps over, Krawk Island itself is a giant port which extends across an entire island (well, an island that’s made up of smaller islands held together by ropes and anchors which is protected by a sea monster). And, yes that’s important to note, as while on the surface it just looks like the Land was plopped onto an island unchanged, now surrounded by ports, below the water it’s still being held together by ropes and anchors. But, instead of the Krawken, each Land has its own sea monster, some of which are familiar beasts transformed to fill the role! To name some now, for Meridell the Turmaculus is transformed into a whale-like creature and for Terror Mountain the Snowager becomes more eel-like (and before you can think about it, its lair and treasure are transported to an underwater cave). But unless you’re going to take a dive, the Land is still mostly in one piece so go about yer day, ya landlubber!

     

     Land: Meridell

     Theme: Hierarchy Structure

     Changes: In Meridell where something is built depends on its social ranking. In the centre is Meridell Castle, the highest rung of the social ladder. Around Meridell Castle are the noble houses, then the main market, then the civil servant houses, then the merchant stands, and finally the farmlands which are the lowest rung. And mixed throughout, where there’s room, there are landmarks. A Land swapping to Meridell’s theme will see their buildings shift to match this hierarchy structure, though landmarks are likely to have stayed where they are from one another; it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out where everything has been moved to. And if the Land didn’t have farmlands before, they would now, with the crops being the natural plant life that grows in the Land (though food producing plants are prioritized, any plant which produces a harvestable good may be turned into a crop plant).

     

     Land: Neopia Central

     Theme: Market Town

     Changes: Unlike most other Lands, the center of Neopia Central is a massive marketplace. There is no set way a Land’s buildings and landmarks shift when it swaps to Neopia Central’s theme; but while massive, there’s also plenty of space so spotting where everything was placed shouldn’t be too difficult. Just be aware that such wide streets also means foot traffic during peak hours can get dense and even a bit hectic.

     

     Land: Roo Island

     Theme: Theme Park Island

     Changes: Where most kingdoms have their castle at the centre of their Land, Roo Island places it in the back right next to the civilian houses. In fact the castle and houses only take up less than a third of the island. What’s the rest? Attractions! Roo Island is a gamer and competitor paradise, the port to enter Roo Island immediately leads you into the theme park; you have to try and find the path that leads you to the castle and houses (which are lined with smaller attractions along the way). A Land which swaps with Roo Island’s theme should expect any major landmark(s) to be placed up front and centre (oh the Land is transported onto an island; even comes with a free port matching the Land’s aesthetics). As for shops, depending on what it sells, it’s either placed on the port or someplace further inside the “theme park” section (these shops are mostly food shops though some clothing shops also get placed alongside the attractions).

     

     Land: Tyrannia

     Theme: Rainforest & Plateau Valley

     Changes: Despite a Land’s environment transforming into two kinds of extreme climates when it swaps with Tyrannia’s theme, they are generally safe as long as you follow proper safety precautions: don’t go into the denser parts of the rainforest and watch your step in the plateau. There is no set way buildings and landmarks are placed, though each area is wide open so shouldn’t take long to figure things out. Tip: Whether you’re in the jungle or plateau, take a good look around; if you don’t see what you’re looking for that means it’s in the other half of the Land.

     

     Land: Virtupets Space Station

     Theme: Hi-Tech Space Habitat

     Changes: Of all the Safe Lands mentioned so far, Virtupets Space Station probably brings out the biggest change when a Land swaps to its theme: the entire Land is transformed into a space station orbiting Neopia! The shape of the Space Station is either the shape of its most important building (like a castle) or most notable landmark. Buildings and landmarks are placed on fitting Decks and transformed to match them: the Supply Deck is for most shops which are placed into side rooms, the Hanger (Deck) is for travelling-related stores and landmarks which are represented by spaceships, and the Recreation Deck is for entertaining landmarks which are given their own designated space on the floor; Other Decks may also appear if needed such as a Command Deck. Though always looking hi-tech, each Land has its own design style and colour scheme so no two space stations are alike. The space station security system assures everyone is safe & following the rules and there are map terminals to show you where everything is (and can provide activity suggestions).

     

     Those are all the Safe Land Themes; but you’re not here for them, right?

     DANGEROUS LAND THEMES:

     You’re here for these; themes where swapping over to them can pose a great risk to your health and life! You need to be prepared for EACH of these Land themes, because even if you think you can naturally adapt to some of them, you can’t adapt to all of them without proper preparation.

     NOTE: I’m going to list clothing and possible equipment you can use, but there are two other tools I put a lot of focus on: Motes and Faerie magic. First are Motes which are magical items which embody an element or trait, creating or manipulating it; they can be handy in a pinch and easily stored in a belt pouch (and they’re sold in Brightvale’s Motery shop). Second is Faerie magic; before Aethia revamped the Battledome’s Faerie Abilities to what they are now, each Faerie element had its own list of magic spells your Neopet could learn. No longer relevant in the Battledome, those who are magically inclined could still learn these spells; though their uses are niche (but whatever can help you get out of a dangerous situation is still worth a mention).

     Land: Darigan Citadel AND Past Faerieland

     (Shared) Theme: Floating Sky Kingdoms

     DANGERS: Falling off

     Changes: Darigan Citadel’s and Past Faerieland’s theme brings the Land thousands of feet into the sky where a simple misstep can be your last. Swapping to Darigan Citadel’s theme keeps the general placement of the buildings and landmarks, at most moving them closer together. But everything takes on a darker & twisted appearance, and the Land has lifted the ground within its borders so that it rests atop a massive floating rock. Alternatively, the Land can swap to a surprising theme: Past Faerieland! Everything also stays where it generally is, but their colors become bright pastels and some buildings even grow a giant pair of Faerie wings! The Land now rests upon a foundation of solid, but still soft and fluffy, clouds. Ironically, even though Darigan Citadel’s theme looks more dangerous when near Past Faerieland’s edge it can be hard to tell which clouds are solid and which aren’t.

     Preparation: Keep to the paths, don’t venture off onto unmarked land/clouds; prevention is the best preparation. If you must go off the path and aren’t able to fly or have a way to naturally slow your descent, consider preparing an adventuring backpack with a parachute pouch, putting on a pair of wearable wings strong enough to glide, or slipping on boots of flight or anti-gravity. If you don’t want to wear something on your back or feet there are some items which can be used to give temporary flight (Scroll of Flight & Ring of Weightlessness), slow your descent (Tornado Ring, Tornado in a Bottle, & Air Mote), or teleport you (Ring of the Lost & Ree Mote). For those who prefer magic, Air Faerie magic can grant Air Shield, Flight, or Teleport. If the Land has the resources, they may have sky patrols keeping an eye on anyone who gets too close to the edge (groups of Air Faeries have been reported to be flying over to Lands which swap to Past Faerieland’s theme to provide a helping hand, much as they did in the past when Faerieland was in the sky).

     

     Land: The Haunted Woods

     Theme: Cursed Woods

     DANGERS: Monsters, restless spirits & undead, possessed objects (trees & tombstones), and curses.

     Changes: A Land that swaps to the Haunted Woods’ theme has woods of dark, leafless trees appearing all around. The skies also get dark; even during the day the sky is grey and full of clouds, and nighttime falls faster and ends later making it feel it has become a perpetual night. While the buildings and landmarks don’t change their positions or appearance, the shadow that every corner and detail has becomes exaggerated making all things appear more dreary and ominous. There’s a faint wispy fog that crawls along the ground, barely noticeable in the Land, but as you get closer to the surrounding woods it gets thicker. In the woods the level of danger jumps dramatically, even being near the woods isn’t safe. The woods are home to monsters of all shapes and forms, from a slithering shadow to hulking beasts; all ready to swipe with razor-sharp claws. The moans of restless spirits echo through the night; ghosts eager to haunt and undead ready to chase those who dare to still be alive. Inanimate objects may be possessed, notably the trees and headstones, which will try to lunge at you if you get too close to them. Finally, even if you get back from the woods without a scratch, you may be afflicted with a curse you don’t know how you got (aside from wandering into the woods, of course).

     Preparation: STAY IN THE LAND! Move as FAR away from the woods as you can. Prevention is the best preparation, and that’s the best preparation I can suggest. The woods are steeped in dark and evil magic, no amount of time or resources could ever prepare you if you go in (the woods may even take that as a challenge and give you something you’re not prepared for). All hope isn’t lost if you must, against common sense, enter the woods. First, dress as if you’re going into woodlands (because you are): long-sleeved shirt, sweater jacket (or better yet, leather armour), tough pants (kneepads would also be nice), sturdy boots, and a hat, hood or cloak (something to cover the head). Light, fire, and protection magic (especially if it’s Faerie-related) is your best defence as many beings of the woods are repelled by at least one of those things. Some Motes that can do the job are Day Mote, Electric Mote, and Fire Mote; there are also Ash Mote, Salt Mote and Silver Mote which some monsters have a weakness of FAERIE MAGIC! Light Faerie magic specifically is super effective such as Magic Torch, Flash, and Sun Ray. Surprisingly (or maybe not) Dark Faerie magic is also helpful with spells like Night Vision, Temporal Leak (which slows down time), and Shadow Health (heal by borrowing power from the shadow plane, and you’re very close to the shadow plane in the woods). Speaking of healing, any Faerie magic that heals or puts up a protective force can potentially ward you.

     

     Land: Kreludor

     Theme: Moon (& Moon Base)

     DANGERS: Low gravity, thin breathable air, radioactive material, Kreludan Defender Robots, and monsters (moon rock monsters & Evil Fuzzles)

     Changes: It may not be apparent what theme the Land has swapped to as everyone would either be inside a dome or tunnel, even if they were previously outside. Looking through the semi-transparent panels that make up the domes, most will see a clear night sky, but some will see something startling: Neopia. The Land has swapped to Kreludor, being transported to Neopia’s moon and turned into a moon base! Every building and landmark is now inside a dome made of transparent solar panels and all domes are connected by chute tunnels. The colour, size, and complexity of the moon base will depend on each Land. With space limited many stores and businesses would just be stalls, a few in each dome likely surrounding a central landmark. While it shouldn’t be impossible to exit the moon base to explore the lunar landscape, those not used to Kreludor will find getting around difficult let alone the hazards Kreludor presents.

     Preparation: Just stay inside the moon base; prevention is the best preparation. Unless you have a reason to be outside you’re only putting yourself at unneeded risk. That said, it’s not hard to get outside, but you better be prepared. Once outside you’re away from the artificial gravity so will suddenly feel lighter and a bit floaty. There’s nothing I can suggest to help with the low gravity, you just have to practice moving around in it. Low gravity indicates thin breathable air; the moon base should provide you with a space suit with a helmet and an emergency air supply; DON’T GET OUT OF IT. You may not technically need it, but it was made to help survive in this extraterrestrial environment (and it’s also shielded against radioactive material which you can just stumble upon thanks to the mine digging them up). The only thing the space suit can’t help with is defending yourself against the creatures on Kreludor. Kreludan Defender Robots are very powerful and will guard a mine with all its battery; just don’t get close to them and they should leave you alone. The monsters on Kreludor are a different story as they’re looking to eat; you specifically. Melee weapons are hard to swing in low gravity and magic can act funny due to all the Slothite on Kreludor. Bring a laser blaster, they cause moon rock monsters to revert back to boulders and vaporize Evil Fuzzles. But don’t think just because they’re easy you’re not in much danger; please just leave Kreludor monster cleaning duties to the professionals and stay inside the moon base. If you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of Mira the Space Faerie who is observing the Land swapping situation and protecting those who get swapped into Kreludor or the Virtupets Space Station.

     

     Land: Lutari Island

     Theme: Tropical Island

     DANGERS: Powerful storms (heavy rain, strong winds, thick mist, and thunder & lightning)

     Changes: If it wasn’t for the storms Lutari Island would have been a favourable Safe Land Theme to swap too. Buildings and landmarks don’t change location, the island’s aesthetic of decorating with large palm fronds, colorful feathers, & vibrant paints is visually appealing, and the environment is otherwise safe with no dense tree clusters and calm wildlife. But the storms, even when in the eye of them, make travelling outside too dangerous. If the heavy rain and strong winds don’t slow you down (or blow you back) a thick fog will do its best to get you lost, the last thing you want to be in a storm. While the thunder isn’t dangerous, lightning strikes are, and with them happening almost simultaneously there’s no warning before being potentially zapped. How long storms last and the time between them are sporadic, lasting minutes to hours to even days; so when it’s not storming get what you need done and hunker down when the clouds turn dark.

     Preparation: Don’t go out when it’s storming; prevention is the best preparation. Luckily, if you're outside when the Land swaps to Lutari Island’s theme, you have a few minutes to find shelter as the clouds take some time to gather together, expand, and turn dark. But if you need to travel outside during a storm for whatever reason: keeping dry is key, or at least not getting completely soaked. You should be wearing a strong raincoat/jacket or poncho, water-resistant boots & gloves, goggles, something to cover the rest of your face, and if you need & can water-resistant pants. The temperature is humid so you don’t have to worry about getting cold. Don’t bother with an umbrella; the winds will destroy it; if you get hit by a strong gust get low to the ground until it passes. Know where you’re going, which way it is, and get there as fast as possible. There may be some handy items which can protect from/absorb lightning strikes such as the Lightning Wand or Electrical Motes. Some Faerie Magic that may help are Air Faerie’s Air Shield, Haste (makes you go faster), & Teleport; Dark Faeries Temporal Leak; Earth Faerie’s Tough Skin & Stone Legion (summon a stone golem to hide behind); Light Faerie’s Sun Ray (it’ll temporarily part the clouds and weaken the storm) & Mote Dance (the circling motes will protect you from the lightning); and Water Faerie’s Bubble Shield & Watery Guardian (both will protect you from the rain and wind).

     

     Land: Maraqua

     Theme: Underwater

     DANGERS: deep water (high pressure), strong currents, and dangerous aquatic life

     Changes: Now we start getting to the Land themes which cause the most drastic changes. A Land which swaps to Maraqua’s theme is teleported to the bottom of the ocean; its buildings and landmarks are now made of Maractite, sea shells, & coral (and like Krawk Island, Lands with large creatures will have them become aquatic creatures). Those who can’t breathe underwater have a bubble appear around their head or body (depending on the individual’s need); it’s an enchantment by Water Faeries so everyone in Neopia could visit Maraqua which thankfully has carried over with the swaps. But while within the Land you’re okay, outside you’ll be in deep water which is outside of the Water Faerie’s enchantment. You really need to know how to swim or else be left helpless or an easy target. The higher pressure puts more strain on your body, which can make swimming difficult to say the very least. Hard-to-see strong currents can easily snag you and drag you for meters to kilometres. The aquatic wildlife are specially adapted and keen opportunists; they will not think twice about chasing you for a meal or defend themselves if feel threatened.

     Preparation: Thanks to the Water Faeries’ enchantment the area within the Land’s borders is safe, so don’t leave it; prevention is the best preparation. While you carry your bubble with you if you go into deep waters, if it were to somehow pop it won’t reform until back in the Land. If you want to go deep water exploring but can’t breathe underwater the best thing to have would be scuba gear, but that’s a bit bulky to be carrying around. There are some magical items which could help like an enchanted seaweed necklace or Bubble Mote (water-breathing potions exist but are rare). Water Faerie magic would be very helpful with spells like Bubble Shield and, you guessed it, Water Breathing. If you insist on exploring the deep water then practice swimming; especially learn how to swim fast and make sudden turns. If you get caught in a current swim sideways until you’re out of it; never swim against it. Finally, if you can, stay away from the aquatic wildlife. For ones looking to pick a fight, unless you’re trained in water combat (in which case I suggest weapons like spears and tridents; anything which can cause an electrical spark or freeze can also be handy), escape is your best option. A smoke bomb, bright flash, or similar disorienting tactic is effective underwater. Other helpful Faerie magic here is the Air Faerie’s Spark, Dark Faerie’s Demon Breath (create a fearful stench that keeps others from coming close), and Light Faerie’s Flash and Psychic Blast. Surprisingly Fire Faeries have a few spells that can help like Smokescreen, Fiery Gaze (your eyes glow which can overwhelm weak minds), and Boil (make an area of water so hot it starts boiling).

     

     Land: Moltara

     Theme: Steam-powered Underground City & Magma Caves

     DANGERS: Stale air, intense heat, and magma (& Lava Monsters)

     Changes: With Moltara having two themes, a Land swapping to it will experience some rearranging, but it’s not cut-and-dry what goes where. The exterior of buildings and landmarks which get placed in the underground city gets converted into thick metal walls with pipes sticking out, glowing red windows (the only other light source being the lanterns hanging all about), and vent fans filtering the air and heat; if there’s a central building like a castle it gets industrial machinery attached to it. The buildings that get placed in the magma caves have furnished caves that are directly carved into the walls and landmarks are incorporated with the pools of magma (just be careful of the lava monsters; they mostly stick to dark caves but can materialize anywhere there are molten rock. They usually mind their own business but will attack someone if they get too close with hot obsidian claws or tossing a fireball).

     Preparation: Pick your discomfort: the stuffy city or the blazing hot caves. The challenge with Moltara is that those not used to the underground life (or made of magma) are going to struggle to do any activity as they’ll become short of breath or get overheated. You’d think magical objects and spells of the elements of air and water would be helpful, but down here both those elements quickly fizzle out due to the lack of natural sources of said elements. But there are some options. A Respirator Work Mask or Steam Respiration Mask can help you catch your breath. While there’s no feasible way to keep cool you should keep yourself hydrated even if it’s in the form of food such as gruel. Some helpful Motes: Ash Mote reduces injury from heat, Sun Mote produces light, Frost Mote is one of the few things that can produce cold reliably in Moltara, and Lava Mote can move magma out of your way. Handy Faerie magic would be Dark Faerie’s Night Vision, Earth Faerie’s Tough Skin & food producing spells (Magic Berries, Negg, & Great Feast), and Light Faerie’s Magic Torch & Flash. Speaking of magma, stay away from it; prevention is the best preparation (thought I forgot, didn’t you?). If you run into a Lava Monster, just run as fast as you can in the direct opposite direction; the Lava Monsters always aim where you are so if you keep moving they can’t hit you. Also, the Fire Faerie’s Fiery Gaze works on the Lava Monsters).

     

     Land: Mystery Island

     Theme: Jungle Island

     DANGERS: Overgrowth thicket, poisonous plants & fungi, and dangerous wildlife

     Changes: The last “island” theme, the first thing a Land that swaps to Mystery Island will notice is its buildings and landmarks pushed closer together. This is because, though they’ve been placed on a large island, they only have a third of the island and most of the shoreline. That’s because the rest of the island is covered in a dense jungle with a mountain in the middle. While peaceful where the main settlement is (yes, the mountain is a volcano, but it’s dormant like Mt. Techo), it’s in the jungle where the danger lies. The overgrowth is difficult to travel through due to all the roots, branches, and vines and you’ll likely end up with scratches and bruises. But that’s only the outer layer of the jungle, the more dangerous stuff is hiding deeper in. Many plants and fungi have ways of releasing poisonous substances like sap, pollen, or spores which can cause allergic reactions, rashes & hives, dizziness & confusion, delusions, and sickness. And while there are no island natives to worry about, the wildlife is still around. While there are plenty who don’t want anything to do with you, there are a few who may feel threatened or see you as a meal.

     Preparation: Stay in the main settlement; prevention is the best preparation. There is nothing in the jungle, at most maybe ruins connected to the Land which have taken the place of Geraptiku; but there’s gotta be easier ways to see them than this. If the jungle is where you must be, be sure to dress accordingly. A long-sleeved shirt, pants that go down to your ankle, a tough pair of boots, a jacket or vest, and a helmet or sturdy hat that you can fasten on your head. Equipment you should have on you is a bladed weapon (for cutting through plants and defending yourself), a torch/lantern/light source, map and compass (and an idea where you’re going), and a medical kit or healing item (ones which include antidotes for poison); you may also want to carry something like a flare or a bow & arrow to signal for help if you need it. There are a few Motes which can help like Dee Mote (temporarily makes you smaller), Wood Mote (can use it to move some of the overgrowth aside), and maybe the Weewoo Mote (lets you communicate with Weewoo, some which live in Mystery Island so there’s a chance they’re here too). Good Faerie magic for travelling are Dark Faerie’s Night Vision, Earth Faerie’s Tough Skin & Twisting Vines, and Light Faerie’s Magic Torch. Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which spells are good for offence, though a notable one is the Fire Faerie’s Song of the Volcano (if you’re in trouble the volcano will “aid” you by causing a loud eruption, rock slides, earthquakes, or launching a molten boulder; could be helpful).

     

     Land: Shenkuu

     Theme: Mountain Valley

     DANGERS: Thick mist, wet bridges, and river rapids

     Changes: Shenkuu may be a surprise to be here, but there’s a missing factor which makes a major difference; however I’m getting ahead of myself. A Land that swaps to Shenkuu has its buildings and landmarks built on tall, thin mountains over a misty valley. The mountains are connected by bridges, which do change to match the Land’s aesthetic. It may take some time to figure out not only where places are (due to the mist obscuring things) but the bridges are a maze of their own. This is where we get to the first dangers as one wrong step can send you hurdling down into the mists (and, if you don’t end up hitting another cliff on your way down, you’ll end up in the river rapids and washed away). The mists do sometimes rise up and cover peaks and bridges meaning you’re crossing blind, and on top of that the mist can make the bridges slippery wet. Now this is something Shenkuu doesn’t have a problem with as the Emperor has an entire maintenance team working all day to fan away mist covering a bridge and sweeping the bridges dry. But the swaps don’t come with this maintenance team so the dangers are now present.

     Preparation: Prevention is the best preparation. There’s nothing you can really do about the mist obscuring your vision, but for the wet bridges, a pair of boots with non-slip soles will do (or you can do what the Shenkuu people do and where lifted sandals). If you don’t mind a little extra work, if you have a broom or mop it would be helpful to you and anyone else if you sweep the dew off the bridges; I wouldn’t recommend using Faerie magic or a Mote as the last thing you want to do is damage the bridge. If you do end up falling, see my suggestions for Darigan Citadel & Past Faerieland. If you end up in the rapids, if you can reach for a piece of equipment something that can freeze the water can give you a platform to hold onto until you wash ashore (or something that can just teleport you or lift you out of the water). Faerie magic has Air Faerie’s Teleport, Dark Faerie’s Temporal Leak, Light Faerie’s Ascension (unlike Air Faerie’s Flight which requires lift, you just levitate out of the water), or Water Faerie’s Bubble Shield or Watery Guardian.

     

     Land: Terror Mountain

     Theme: Arctic Mountain

     DANGERS: Freezing cold, slippery ice, and blustering blizzards

     Changes: I hope you’re not tired of mountains just yet, cause the next Land swap is Terror Mountain’s theme. Though, unlike Shenkuu which are many groups of thin mountains, the buildings and landmarks here are scattered all over a giant, snowy mountain. There are three levels: the valley at the foot of the mountain where the “basic” shops are placed, an icy cavern where many speciality shops and landmarks end up, and finally the mountain’s peak where only the most unique, extreme, or strange features of the Land appear. The valley is happily safe, but as you go up the dangers increase too. No matter where you are you’ll be in a constant battle against the cold as it plunges below freezing. It’s easy to lose your footing in the icy cavern, though even snow can trip you if you’re not watching your step; either way, getting up as soon as possible is vital but may not be easy. And finally, if you find yourself really unlucky, you can get caught in a blizzard and only the Snow Faerie could help you then (and she doesn’t come with the swap).

     Preparation: It would be easy to say just stay in the valley, but for some that isn’t an option. Though each building should gain a fireplace to keep it warm, so just staying inside could be our “prevention is the best preparation”. That and don’t get in a blizzard; I’m not kidding, there’s no clothing, item, or common Faerie magic that can help you if you get caught in one and you can’t find shelter. But if you’re looking to go outside when it’s clear or light snow, winter clothes are a must: heavy hooded jacket, face covering (scarf, wool cap, ski mask, etc.), warm pants, tight-fitting boots, and gloves; insulated if you can spare the cost for the extra comfort. For those in the icy caverns, a staff or walking stick would give you a third leg to prevent slipping. An item that gives off warmth and can melt snow & ice is beneficial, though any item with an open flame has a risk of going out from the wind or it getting too cold. Of course, there are the Motes, as mentioned a Fire Mote can but used as a personal heater. Ice Mote and Snow Mote also have their uses to manipulate their elements if the situation calls for it. Light and Fire Faerie magic are your friend here: Light has Magic Torch and Sun Ray for a little heat, but if you need a lot more heat than Fire has Fireball, Lava Spit, and Boil (because Fire Faerie’s don’t do things half-measured).

     

     Land: The Lost Desert

     Theme: Desert

     DANGERS: Baking heat, blinding light, shifting sands (& sandstorms), and hidden wildlife

     Changes: From freezing cold to scorching heat, there’s no break from extreme temperatures when the Land swaps to Lost Desert’s theme. Much like Sakhmet and Qasala, most of a Land’s buildings will be inside walled cities which keep the outside sand and wildlife out (still have to deal with the heat, but that’s desert life). Buildings, from shops to castles, take on the aesthetic of Sakhmet and Qasala styles; though in turn the walls surrounding the city match the aesthetic of the Land. The desert is a world of its own, where there is no protection from the sun’s fury and the sand underneath your feet morphs as you walk on it. Overheating and dehydration come fast, as do hallucinations which are further spurred on by mirages. Even if you overcome those you need to watch your step or you’ll end up sliding down a dune with sand piling on top of you. That’s not the only danger of the sand, there is wildlife in the desert and it has learned to deal with the heat by hiding in the sand, waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey (and yes, some are poisonous). And if that wasn’t enough, there are the sandstorms that’ll hinder your vision and buffet anything on you that’s exposed.

     Preparation: Stay in the city; prevention is the best preparation. Not only is the city safe from sandstorms and wildlife, but has shade and ways to hydrate oneself. The desert is not a beach, so dress up: comfortable shirts and pants that are a bit baggy keep you covered and cool, same idea with sandals over normal shoes or boots, and a hat or hood to keep your head shaded. But that’s just for city clothes, if you’re going out in the desert, you’ll want tighter clothes to keep the sand out. A full-body robe or cloak is also heavily suggested for protection and keeping cool; it may also be your only way to survive a sandstorm. Ice items don’t do well in the desert, but water items are fine as long as you keep them out of direct sunlight. Desert wildlife are hardy creatures, but fire and heat are effective against them and they’re easily distracted by water. For Motes, there’s the Frost Mote, Moon Mote (can decrease light intensity), and Water Mote (can help find what little water exists out in the desert). Almost all Faerie magic has at least one helpful spell. For sandstorm protection, there’s Air Shield (Air), Temporal Leak (Dark), and Tough Skin (Earth). To lessen the sun’s heat there’s Nighttime (Dark) and Steam Shield (Water). To keep hydrated use the Earth Faerie’s food-making spells or Water Faerie’s water-making spells. You can travel faster by flying above the sand with Flight (Air) or Ascension (Light). Finally, vision-impairing spells such as Invisibility (Air) and Smokescreen can make it harder for wildlife to ambush you. And if you need to fight there’s Fireball, Lava Spit (Fire), Water Jet, and Quench (Water) to give you the edge.

     

     Being this is meant to be a guide you flip through to know what to expect from a Land swap you’re in, if you’ve read this part then you must be bored. Just kidding, but this does bring us to the end of this guide. Now you know what to prepare for when a Land swaps to a theme you aren’t sure how to handle. And once you have control of your situation, you can take advantage of the unique experiences the Land swaps provide; every combination is unique and emphasizes what makes each Land special. Just be prepared, you don’t want to come out looking like an APRIL FOOLS!

     

     

 
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