Adventure Awaits: Grave Danger Indeed
The Haunted Woods are a place seldom visited by the more easily scared Neopians. Ghosts roam the woods daily, traveling down the roads and not caring who they may scare along the way. It is home to the fearsome Esophagor, the Knowledgeable but fear-inducing Brain Tree, the spooky Castle of Eliv Thade, and many more frightening creatures and structures.
New, more reluctant Neopets may not know of the many treasures of the Haunted Woods. The Esophagor, though it seems scary, won't hurt you. Older Neopians know that by giving it food, you will be rewarded, but there will be no punishment for doing nothing. This is the way it is for everything in the Haunted Woods. Upon entering, Neopians are even greeted with a combination greeting and warning.
"Welcome to the Haunted Woods... Please stay a while. Don't be afraid, you and your Neopets will feel at home here... Just make sure you leave before nightfall... And if you feel up to it, head over to the Deserted Fairground!"
It's true. As long as you stay only during the day, exploration of the Haunted Woods should be at the top of your Neopian To-Do List. In your exploration, do a few quests, visit a few shops, and visit the catacombs below Neovia. Those catacombs, which Neopians simply refer to as "Grave Danger", are home to another must-do adventure. By traveling through the Haunted Woods and past the Gypsy Camp, you'll find yourself in Neovia. There, you'll find a graveyard and, if you're not too scared to travel to the center of that foggy graveyard, you'll find the catacombs.
You'll find Grave Danger.
As I got closer to the site, I saw a Neopet and her Petpet standing outside of the catacombs. I got closer and realized that it wasn't the Neopet who was going inside, but the Petpet. I requested an interview and the little Neopet was happy to oblige.
Me: You look like a young Neopet. How'd you hear about the catacombs.
Akellinna: Well I heard about it from a friend. She said she gets all kinds of prizes from here.
Me: Like what?
Akellinna: Well, she said she sometimes gets food, sometimes toys, sometimes battle items.
Me: Battle items?
Akellinna: Yeah. She doesn't keep them since she doesn't go into battle, but she donates them.
Me: She seems like a great 'pet. I'd love to meet her.
Akellinna: I thought you already met her in a different article.
Me: Oh, the Pirate Xweetok! Yes, we've met. I didn't know she ventured here as well. Tell me, what types of battle items has she found in the past?
Akellinna: She got a Virtupets Energy Sabre once and a Hand Painted Scimitar another time.
I almost didn't have the heart to tell her what was on my mind. She seemed so excited about it. Besides, she's a young 'pet, so she wouldn't know what items are easy to find and which ones are more difficult, which items would do well in battle and which ones wouldn't be as effective.
Me: Well, those aren't exactly hard-to-find items. I've found a few of those at the Money Tree.
Akellinna: Have you found a paint brush?
Me: A paint brush?
Akellinna: Yeah. My friend Chrissy said she once got a Maraquan Pain Brush from here.
Me: Wow! That's amazing!
Akellinna: I know! She gave me this Fire, Fire, Your Pants Are On Fire Paint Brush, but my dream is to find a Maraquan one. I want to be a real Maraquan someday. And maybe I'll even get a Maraquan Petpet Paint Brush so I can take my Petpet with me. But I can't afford to buy either one because I'm still pretty young, but maybe Greeiann will find one here and my dream will come true before I ever imagined..
Me: Your... Gallion? You think he'll find one?
Akellinna: I'll have to hope. It's not like I can go in and look myself.
Me: Why not?
Akellinna: Well, I don't want to get cursed. Neopets can get cursed going down there.
Me: Cursed? But aren't you worried about your Petpet?
Akellinna: Oh, no. Chrissy told me that Neopet curses don't work on Petpets. He'll be fine and he'll bring me back something. If he doesn't bring back a paint brush this time, there's always next time.
The Fire Aisha smiled at me, the smile of a still-innocent Neopet. She says a few more words to her Petepet, then watches as the little Gallion runs inside. I don't know much about Petpets, but it looks like he's more interested in having fun than bringing back any treasures.
Me: So, how long do you think he'll be inside?
Akellinna: Chrissy told me Petpets like to play, so it takes them a while to get anything done when they're alone. She said it always takes a few hours.
Akellinna: Yes, but that's OK. I'll wait here for him and afterwards I'll get him a treat, even if all he brings back is a book I've already read.
I stay with the little Aisha for about an hour before realizing that she was right. This may take a few hours. Akellinna seems happy just to sit and watch the opening to the catacombs and waiting for her Gallion to come back out. I, however, had other things to do.
By the time I left, I'd seen several Neopets bring their Petpets to the catacombs, but Akellinna is the only one sitting outside and waiting for her Petpet. The rest leave once their Petpet trots through the door. I left and returned to the catacombs six hours later, just in time to see the Gallion emerge from the catacombs with a cello. Not quite what Akellinna asked for, but she seemed happy all the same.
The great thing about Grave Danger is that it costs nothing and the Petpets seem to always emerge unscathed. Even better, even if you don't get what you want, you always get something, or so I've been told. This isn't quite an adventure for Neopets, but Petpets need to have fun too, right?