Disappearance of Krawk Island
The disappearance of Krawk Island occurred on 20 July 2011, following sightings of an enormous tentacled beast around the island on 11 July†. All that was left of the island was a single shanty occupied by Gavril McGill, who tasked the player with finding where his home island has gone.
Beginning around 11 July 2011, users who visited the explore map could see the tentacles of an enormous squid-like monster encircling Krawk Island. While they could still visit the island during this time, by the 20 July all that was left was a single building on a rock a fraction of the size of the full island, and every other Krawk Island activity became inaccessible.
The Solitary Shanty, the one part of the island left, was home to Gavril McGill. He enlisted the help of players in searching for the island, issuing each with a chart of part of the ocean he wanted them to search. They had no luck, however, finding only islets too small to be Krawk Island, until McGill discovered an old book on the Island's history. In it, it described how, tired of raids by the Dread Pirate Sherman, the residents of many small islands towed their archipelago together, anchoring the islets to the sea floor, to form one much larger island that would be harder to attack. Eventually sand hid the connections between islets and Krawk Island's history was forgotten. These were the islets players were finding.
Gavril believed that his islet was the only one left in place for a reason: he intended to rearrange the other islets to make Krawk Island even better, and thought he could make himself governor when the task was done. He promised benefits to those people who would support him, and "magnificent spoils" to those who continued to help the recovery effort.
Once all the islets had been found, he then enlisted players to tow them back to him where they could fit into his "grand design".
As time went on, Gavril began to act more tyrannical, slipping up in front of users and almost referring to the "subjugation" of his "underlings" instead of the recruitment of his friends. He got rid of Smuggler's Cove from his plan so he could set up a cove of his own and profit from smuggling himself, and toyed with the idea of converting his holdings to Neopoints then devaluing dubloons to make himself richer.
He built himself a governor's mansion and trained his own regiment at the Swashbuckling Academy. When all the islets had been retrieved but before Krawk Island opened up to the public again, he posted his cronies around the island to ensure his smooth take over.
The disappearance was noted in the New Features section of the site, and site adverts and a front page banner implored users for help. The player could join steps by visiting McGill's shanty where Krawk Island used to be.
The first task became available on 20 July until 29 July. Gavril McGill enlists the user to help him search for the rest of the island. He provided the player with a chart of part of the ocean, divided into a seven by seven grid. The player then had to search the sectors of their map one at a time. They were allowed to search five sectors per day - if they missed a day, they were allowed to to perform their searches on the remaining days.
Each sector was divided up itself into a seven by seven grid. The player, captaining the ship The Surly Peadacle, and their crew of sailors can then start searching these areas one at a time. Each area may either be empty, have a small item prize, or intersect with an island. Finding an island also rewards the player with an item prize. Islands take up two by two grid spaces.
The player can keep searching a sector until their crew is completely demoralised. They grow more frustrated the more empty areas are searched - after finding five empty areas, they will insist on calling off the hunt in that sector. When this happens, the player is returned to their chart and the area they have searched is checked off.
By the third day of searching, McGill had discovered that small islands were all part of the larger Krawk Island. When this happened, the messages the player received while searching changed, but the format of the puzzle remained the same.
By the 29 July, all the islets had been found. The next challenge was to bring them all together: McGill gave players a new chart of their part of the ocean, marking the location of ten islands‡. Players could retrieve a new islet every day - if they missed a day, they could catch up on it in later days while this step remained open.
In order to successfully retrieve the island, players had to arrange their crew on the ship in order to keep it balanced. This puzzle plays out like a simplified version of sudoku: in the first puzzle, the player is given a four-by-four grid, grouped into four coloured two-by-two squares. The crew consists of four cooks, four cabin boys, four boatswains, and four gunners. One of each will already be placed on the grid and cannot be moved. The remaining crew must be arranged such that no column, row, or two-by-two square contains more than one of each crew type.
Puzzles released on following days varied slightly. The shape of the coloured regions changes each day - for example, on the second day, instead of two-by-two squares, the grid was divided into L-shaped regions of four squares each. The size of the grid and the variety of crew members also increased as time went on. The third day brought a five-by-five grid and an additional type of crewmember - the mate. The fifth day brought a sixth crew member, the quarter master, and a six-by-six grid. The seventh day brought the rigger, the seventh crew member, and a seven-by-seven grid; the eighth day brought the rower and an eight-by-eight grid. The tenth day brought the final crew member, the swabbie, and a nine-by-nine grid.
Players received one of two variations of each day's puzzle.
Once the crew is arranged correctly, the island can be sailed back to McGill, and the player is awarded a Krawk Island related item prize. If it is incorrectly arranged, the crew members that are in the wrong place are highlighted and the player can try again. Puzzles had to be completed in the order they were released.
In addition to the item awards given out during the course of the event, additional prizes were given to players who contributed from the Governor's Mansion when the event was over. This was initially bugged - immediately after its release, the Governor's Mansion showed the introduction to the Anchor Management daily instead. The Neopets Team reported it was fixed by 10:36 PM NST that day.
The prizes varied based on player contribution. Any player who participated at all got the following prizes:
- Krawken Attack avatar;
- Inflatable Krawk Island
- Bug Eye McGee Action Figure
- Caution - Pirates Sign
- Caged Skeleton
In addition, players who completed each new puzzle on the day of its release received:
There was also a Neopoint prize that varied based on participation. For a player who completed each puzzle on the day of its release, it was 15,000 NP, for a player who completed each puzzle but not all on the day of their release, it was 10,000 NP, and for a player who completed some but not all of the puzzles in was 1,000 NP.
Anchor Management daily
- Main article: Anchor Management
Following this plot, users became able to participate once per day in scaring the Krawken away from Krawk Island's anchoring lines to keep the island together. This daily introduced Forgotten Shore map pieces, the only way of accessing the Forgotten Shore daily.
- Several of the captions describing crew morale refer to previous plots, including the Altador Cup and the Cyodrake's Gaze mystery. Others refer to the Golden Dubloon, Food Club, and the free training Neopets receive at the Swashbuckling Academy.
- During this plot, Krawk Island activities and shops became inaccessible - attempting to visit them issued the message,
- Other than a tiny plot of land, Krawk Island has gone missing! It's believed that the island's disappearance has something to do with a huge sea creature. You should probably look into what's going on.
- Unlike in The Faeries' Ruin plot, Krawk Island flash games like Deckball and Dubloon Disaster could still be played.
- A similar story about Krawk Island disappearing off all nautical maps for a day is featured in the Neopedia as The Day Krawk Island Went Away. This article was updated on 7 September 2011 to mention the more recent disappearance.
- The disappearance was mentioned in the Daily Puzzle for 27 July.
- This plot was referenced to explain site maintenance downtime on 3 August - rogue tentacles had gotten into the servers.
- This event is featured in a Neopedia article, Krawken Attack, released on 7 September 2011.
† The map image of Krawk Island being dragged down by tentacles was initially substituted in error with the disappeared image on 14 July before reverting - as acknowledged in Editorial 503.
‡ Some maps had eleven islets marked, and others showed ten but had an eleventh invisible one that could still be retrieved. By the end of the step, however, the most any player may have retrieved was ten.