Curse of Maraqua
Curse of Maraqua was a plot that began on 15 March 2005 and concluded on 10 June. Prizes were released on the 14 June, and for the first time players were able to choose their prizes instead of being awarded one automatically. The plot featured the return of Maraqua, a world that had been missing since 2001, and a battle to protect it from Captain Scarblade's pirate crew who sought to destroy the city for a second time.
Like in the Champions of Meridell and Hannah and the Ice Caves, players were able to choose which side to help in the conflict. They could choose either a warrior or supporter role, which each participated in different ways. Warriors were ranked into three classes depending on how well trained their Neopets were, with players with stronger Neopets having to fight stronger enemies.
Garin and his crew are attacked by the dreaded Captain Scarblade, and would have drowned if not for Isca, a seer from the secret city of New Maraqua. Garin returned to the surface to reunite his crew, but inadvertently alerted Scarblade to the fact that the city he had once destroyed was rebuilt.
Together, Garin's crew and the Maraquan army are able to repel Scarblade's invading army and New Maraqua was saved.
After the old city of Maraqua had been destroyed, King Kelpbeard gathered as many of the survivors as he could, and began building a new city, in secret. Amongst the Maraquans rescued were two sisters, Caylis and Isca. Both came to have prophetic dreams: Isca saw the future in her dreams, but Caylis in her nightmares. Other Maraquans began to blame Caylis for the disasters she foresaw, and King Kelpbeard banished her for the safety of his people. He had learnt the value of Isca's advice, however, whose dreams helped protect the city. King Kelpbeard issued a moratorium on Maraquans visiting the surface dwellers in order to keep their city secret: Isca defied him once, and saw a young Usul, who would come to feature in many of her dreams.
The young Usul's name was Garin, who would grow up to captain the ship The Black Pawkeet. Together with his best friend and first mate Jacques, they began a glamorous life of piracy. One day, they robbed a wedding party, but had ventured into territory claimed by Captain Scarblade, self-styled ruler of the Five Seas of Neopia. His galleon The Revenge attacked and captured The Black Pawkeet, and both Garin and Jacques went overboard.
Isca saw the attack in a dream, and swam to the surface in time to rescue Garin from drowning. She gave him a magical necklace to allow him to breathe under water. As his ship was captured and his crew prisoner, Garin had no where to go: Isca took him inside the hidden city to recover from the fight, explaining how displeased the King would be if he knew she had brought him there. After he had healed, he returned to the surface to find out what had happened to his ship and crew.
In a tavern on Scurvy Island, he discovered Talak, a member of his crew who had been made to walk the plank when he didn't join Scarblade. Learning that his ship had been towed by The Revenge and his crew alive but imprisoned, he resolved to find The Black Pawkeet, rescue his crew, and take them all to the fantastic underwater city he had been shown. He learnt his best friend Jacques, though, had been captured by The Drenched, evil Water Faeries, and did not know how he could possibly save him.
Isca's latest dreams had foretold of both a terrible danger to New Maraqua and of the fate of Jacques, held hostage in the lair of The Drenched. Returning to the surface again, she offered to help Garin rescue Jacques in return for his help averting the danger she had prophesied - a ship that could somehow sail underwater. They were able to rescue Jacques, who used one of The Drenched's potions to breathe under water, and escape thanks to the unintentional aid of the monstrous Chasm Beast.
On returning to Scurvy Island, Garin and Jacques discovered it almost deserted, with almost everyone having been recruited into Captain Scarblade's army: Garin had been overheard when he spoke to Talak by Scarblade's first mate, Benny the Blade. Captain Scarblade gathered an army to destroy the city for a second time. Garin and Jacques were kidnapped to become part of Scarblade's labour force - and unintentionally reunited with The Black Pawkeet's crew. Together, they seized their ship - which Scarblade had been using as an armoury - and set sail for Maraqua. Their ship being faster, they managed to reach it just before The Revenge.
Garin swam down to the city to warn them of the invasion, but King Kelpbeard blamed him and Isca for revealing the secret of the city's existence. He banished Isca like her sister, then rallied the Maraquan army. The Revenge arrived at Maraqua, but before Jacques could engage it, it disappeared under the water: Isca's premonition had become true, an underwater ship.
Although they fought valiantly, the Maraquan army was being pushed back. Garin reunited with his crew, Isca, Caylis, and Isca's pet Goregas outside the city, and attacked Scarblade's pirates from behind, trapping them in a pincer movement. King Kelpbeard took to the field himself, and bested Captain Scarblade one-on-one. The pirate army was beaten, Captain Scarblade and those that could retreat escaped, while others were captured.
King Kelpbeard lifted the exile of Isca and Caylis, and welcomed the crew of The Black Pawkeet to the city. Garin, though, was not ready to give up on his life as a pirate, and he and his crew set sail for new adventures.
As well as being able to chose whether to side with the pirates or Maraqua, users could chose whether to become a warrior, who could fight the enemies that were released in the Battledome and earn points that way, or to become a supporter. Supporters earned points by retrieving requested items, playing Maraquan games, or handing in special war tokens given out by random events.
Those who joined Maraqua fought the pirates, and vice versa. Each player was placed into either rank one, rank two, or rank three based on how well trained their Neopets were. In each wave, there was an opponent corresponding to each rank for each side, and only these could be fought. All players could fight the boss characters. Opponents could be fought an infinite number of times, but with each win the opponent became progressively stronger.
These challengers were fought in the Water Arena.
|Rank||Maraquan Army||Pirate Crew||Difficulty|
|Wave One 1 point per win|
|1||Maraquan Lancer||Pirate Scout||7|
|2||Maraquan Chef||Pirate Helmswoman||100|
|3||Maraquan Foot Soldier||Petty Crewmate||250|
|Wave Two 4 points per win|
|1||Maraquan Sergeant||Pirate Avenger||15|
|2||Maraquan Blade Specialist||Pirate First Mate||300|
|3||Enraged Maraquan Mob||Pirate Brute||600|
|Wave Three 8 points per win|
|1||Maraquan Charger||Pirate Bomber||37|
|2||Grand Commander||Cannon Master||475|
|3||Maraquan Shieldmaiden||Pirate Champion||1100|
|Wave Four 12 points per win|
|Final Boss 10,000 points|
|N/A||King Kelpbeard||Captain Scarblade||100000|
Prizes were released on June 14, 2005. The total points players collected from defeating opponents in the Battledome were spent in the Curse of Maraqua War Prize Shop, where 6 items were available to be bought, all 6 different depending on who users fought for. A 7th item was available for both sides, the Maraquan Sidebar. Four exclusive Avatars were also released, only one of which could be acquired depending what the user did during the war - whether they were a pirate supporter, a pirate warrior, a Maraquan supporter, or a Maraquan warrior.
Trophies were also awarded to users showing who they fought for, were a Battler or Supporter, how many points they collected and their rank.
|Commoner 1 - 4||Initiate 5 - 9
Soldier 10 - 24
|Defender 25 - 49
Legionnaire 50 - 99
|Preserver 100 - 299
Vigilante 300 - 499
|Myrmidon 500 - 999
Centurion 1000 - 1499
|Strategist 1500 - 2499
Kelpguard 2500 - 3999
|Vindicator 4000 - 4999|
Waverider 5000 - 6499
Commander of the Tides 6500+
|Servitor 1 - 4||Follower 5 - 9||Assistant 10 - 24||Helper 25 - 49
Supplier 50 - 99
|Contributor 100 - 149
Reinforcer 150 - 299
|Ally 300 - 400
Partian 401 - 552
|Disciple 553 - 649|
Advocate 650 - 999
|Landlubber 1 - 4||Bilge Rat 5 - 9
Swabby 10 - 24
|Sailor 25 - 49
Sea Dog 50 - 99
|Cannoneer 100 - 299
Navigator 300 - 499
|Cutthroat 500 - 999
Swashbuckler 1000 - 1499
|Mariner 1500 - 2499
Buccaneer 2500 - 3999
|First Mate 4000 - 4999|
Captain 5000 - 6499
|Urchin 1 - 4||Pickpocket 5 - 9||Thief 10 - 24||Plunderer 25 - 49
Grog Runner 50 - 99
|Taskmaster 100 - 149
Brigand 150 - 299
|Raider 300 - 400
Smuggler 401 - 552
|Pillager 553 - 649|
Quartermaster 650 - 999
Different sets of prizes were available to buy depending on how the player participated:
|Maraquan warrior||Maraquan supporter|
|Pirate warrior||Pirate supporter|
Behind the scenes
This plot followed on from the destruction of Maraqua, but its release was delayed due to scheduling conflicts for four years. In the interim, two of the characters were changed - Captain Dread's role was replaced with Captain Scarblade, and King Koi was replaced by King Kelpbeard.
A teaser that this plot would be revisited was released in the Advent Calendar of 27 December 2004, which showed all the bands of the Concert Hall playing to a version of Do They Know It's Christmas? with the words "Rebuild Maraqua - let them know Neopia loves them!". A Rebuild Maraqua Poster was given out as a prize on the same day.
- The wedding party The Black Pawkeet robs appears to feature Kanrik and Hannah from the Hannah and the Ice Caves plot.
- Punchbag Sid appears in Swordmaster Talek's training grounds.
- This plot was released in conjunction with the Curse of Maraqua expansion to the Neopets TCG.
- Plot Info: Curse of Maraqua, Curse of Maraqua Recruitment Center, Curse of Maraqua War Prize Shop
- Neopets TCG: The Black Pawkeet, Caylis, Chasm Beast, The Drenched, Garins Redemption, Goregas, Isca, Tears of Caylis, Walk the Plank, Captain Scarblade, Garin the Foolish, King Kelpbeard, Old Maraqua, Benny the Blade, Jacques the Swift, Maractite Trident, Swordmaster Talek, Underwater Discovery, Iscas Necklace, Maractite Armour, Maractite Axe, Maractite Shield, Maractite Sword, Something Will Happen
- Complete List of Curse of Maraqua Neopets TCG Expansion Set
- Caption Competition: #571
- Editorial: 174, 179, 186, 190, 237, 262, 264, 276