Forgotten Neopians: The Island Mystic
Mystery Island, the tropical paradise all Neopians long to visit. Stretch upon stretch of white sandy beaches, crystalline waters, endless exotic fruit trees, all framed by clear blue skies. With endless activities to enjoy, boundless sights to behold, and friendly locals abound, it is no surprise the Island is so highly regarded. Although, seemingly blinded by the kaleidoscope of colourful fruits and extravagances, the budding tourist often forgets that Mystery Island is indeed home to many fellow Neopians, not to mention their stories.
Hidden within their small straw huts, the true inhabitants of Mystery Island uphold the name their beloved Island suggests. Guarded deep within themselves Mystery Island's occupants take care of the Island's truly mysterious secrets. As time moves on, stories from the Year 5 Mystery Island 'Plot', or as the locals call it 'That Scary Time Nobody Wants to Remember', have become scarce, just a mere whisper amongst the Mystery Island Market Place. For the remainder of Neopia, perhaps it is time take a moment to recall upon the era in which, Mystery Island, perhaps even all of Neopia, may very well have been no more.
Ten years ago the scheming of an evil Shaman threatened the lives of many. He had one goal in mind; to raise a fire-breathing Moltenore of breathtakingly gigantic proportions from the depths of Mystery Island's volcano. To this day the Shaman's true motives behind this resurrection remain unclear.
That is, unless our very own Island Mystic, who all those years ago foresaw the unfolding events, knows more than what he chose to share...
The Island Mystic's lone hut on the small north westerly island off Mystery Island's coast has been there as long as anyone remembers. Accessible only by small boat, rays of sunshine beat down upon one's back as the tiny boat is rocked gently by the ocean waves as they slap against the hull.
As the boat gently bumps into the tiny island's shore, all is remarkably quiet, still. Set back from the mainland one can no longer hear the calls from bellowing market stall holders, or the scampering of beach volleyball players. No clatter of tourist's cameras, no laughter, just peace.
The Island Mystic's hut is but a small walk up a wooden pathway. The weathered boards creak with every step. Ahead the hut sits alone, masked from sunlight, dappled by the overhanging palms. Dried coconut husks litter the ground, and tiny crabs scuttle into hiding. The hut's door is open, in the archway strings of shells and wooden beads hang as a deterrent to pesky bugs, they make a pleasant tinkling sound when pushed aside.
A cool breeze whips through a window facing the open sea beyond this little island, the breeze whirls ghost-like around the one roomed hut. Stray strands of debris from the straw and leaf strewn walls shudder, and whisper. A lone table and two chairs constructed from bamboo sit in the middle of the room. Shelves laden with items unlike anything one finds in Neopia Central line the walls.
But, where is the Mystic?
The hut is empty.
A flurry of fur whooshes past, accompanied by the scuffle of beads and grass clothing, a sweet citrusy smell wafts through the air.
"Ha ha ha! I scared yeh, eh?"
Standing with his paws placed upon his straw panted hips is the Island Mystic. He smiles, one long pointed tooth resting on his lower lip. Intricate tattoos wind their way around his face, stretching down his arms, and tapering into pointed claws on his fingers. Flecks of gold and coloured gemstone litter his body; they glint in the sunlight filtering through an open window. A bone, yellowing with age, protrudes through the centre of the old Kyrii's nose.
He pulls a chair from the table in the centre of the room and sits, gesturing to the other seat.
"Yeh thought I'd forgotten our meeting, eh?" he says, still smiling, creases forming in the corner of his eyes.
Although the Island Mystic lives secluded and alone, many Neopians visit him each day to have their fortune told. Despite his ruffled and eccentric exterior, he is warm, and welcoming. It is easy to see why those at a loss with where to go find comfort in his presence.
"There is very little I forget. There is also little I don't know about those that I meet. I can guess yeh questions."
He taps the bone in the centre of his nose. "This was my father's. And yes, I mean his personally." He pauses. "Don't yeh look at me all bewildered like. It isn't as creepy as it sounds. He died; I kept one of his bones, just like he had of his father before him... It's a family thing, eh?"
He shrugs, his smile falling from his face, but remaining in his eyes. "I know why yeh here, though. Ten years it's been. Ten years forgotten. A long time for regular folk, eh?"
The Island Mystic, alongside the Tiki Tack Man, the Techo Master, Jhuidah, and the Tiki Tour Guide are entrusted as the keepers of Mystery Island. It is them, the five, who hold the secret to keeping the mystical Moltenore of the island volcano locked within. Ten years ago, each of them, protectors of the island, were one by one plucked from their homes, the locals and their families left behind in state of panic and despair.
"That night, when I was taken. I knew why. The moment I saw his face, I knew."
Following his capture all those years ago, the Island Mystic insisted that he knew little of whom was attempting to unlock the volcano, as well as why.
"I know what yeh thinking. Back then, I denied it. Denied it all. I said I didn't know anything... But what I was trying to hide is much different to what yeh think. It's not all magic and mumbo jumbo all the time around here. We have normal problems too yeh know, eh?"
He slowly rises out of his seat, the bamboo scraping on the rattan flooring as he does so. The Mystic walks towards one of his shelves. Among its possessions appear to be many jars filled with coloured concoctions, shells and oddly shaped stones, and trinkets moulded into both beautiful and grotesque figures. Reaching behind the clutter he pulls out what seems to be an ordinary framed photograph.
He places it on the bamboo table and sits down once again.
"Do yeh recognise that face, eh?"
The photograph is old, grey, and slightly wrinkled. In it are two young Kyrii. They stand smiling, arms over each other's shoulders, the dense Mystery Island jungle behind them. Both Kyrii are covered in their swirling tattoos, one, the Island Mystic himself, the other, Tura-Kepek.
Tura-Kepek, the evil Shaman.
Tura-Kepek was the mastermind behind the evil plot ten years ago. His true motives behind his plans disappeared with his body following defeat.
In a puff of purple smoke.
The Mystic's stare can bore into the soul. His thumb caresses the photograph. Looking down, the smile no longer even reaching his eyes, he gently explains, "He was my brother."
An unnerving silence fills the small hut. The Island Mystic sighs. "It began with Mumbo Pango. It began when I became a Guardian... When I became one of the five."
Mumbo Pango is the overwhelming power of Mystery Island, an ancient god, harnessing the power of lightening, and the ability to summon a plume of toxic fumes. He both frightens and protects the inhabitant of Mystery Island, and it is he who bestowed upon the five their duties.
"My family have always been Mystics. Our line was chosen by Mumbo Pango to be what we are, and it was Mumbo Pango who chose for me to be what I am." The Island Mystic's eyes, a piercing gold, cast down to the photograph. "Tura-Kepek never understood. He never wanted to. My brother just wanted power, and to him, what Mumbo Pango gave me was just that."
The Mystic pauses, turning, his gaze falls outside one of the hut windows. Beyond the bamboo frame, the mainland, the looming volcano in its centre.
"It ain't all fun and games being a Guardian. I mean, I enjoy playing the odd game of beach volleyball - our team is the Fab Five - but don't we all eh? But, my brother only had eyes for the power. His stint at releasing that Moltenore was his last grab at it, and in doing so he wanted me gone, humiliated..."
The Mystic smiles as he looks down at the photograph once again. "He wouldn't have been a good Guardian anyway. Terrible at volleyball. Wouldn't have added anything to the team, eh?"
The Mystic laughs as he places the picture frame back on its shelf.
"Now, how about that fortune, eh?"