In honor of Moon Island and its new zone, accessible in the next patch, we are offering you a series of background devblogs to gradually lift the curtain on its inhabitants: this weekend, the Legend of the Crocodyls will be unveiled!
A new zone, news dungeons, new quests… the next patch has high level content with many brand new monsters in store for you! The World of Twelve is full of stories and we want to show you the story behind the monsters of WAKFU. Terrifying creatures that are even more vicious than they are here. How did they get there? This background text, written by our lore expert [Ryf] reveals the story of WAKFU’s upcoming family of toothy Crocodyls. Follow with us, the story of Jan Honning Speck, intrepid explorer…
The Nyl Arena, a smuggling ship under the command of Captain Crook, specialized in the transport of "exotic" animals, earning a little extra money by taking on board intrepid explorers or greedy Enutrofs, along with their questionably legal goods. And by "exotic", don't bother thinking about cute and cuddly Salbatrosses, but rather about creatures as rare and dangerous as Mantis Crayshrimp or Gigantic Kralove Larvae. It would even seem that they once caught a Shushu Demon who was on the loose, to take it back to their home port of Brakmar.
In short, the crew members were pros in all that is rare, heavy and deadly.
But that wasn't the only thing that was special about this ship. When a delivery went unpaid for, or the recipient inadvertently "disappeared", the goods became the Captain's property. Its more-than-special nature was put to good use in an underground gambling den located in the hold, from which the vessel also took its strange name.
In an arena where the only way out was through victory or death, the bravest fighters, or the craziest, faced deadly creatures, hoping to grab a portion of the bets placed by the den's clients. But few participants survived, and even fewer emerged unscathed, be it physically or psychologically. The remains of the unlucky ones usually ended up thrown overboard to feed the Snappers.
These death games – against which the authorities of the Four Nations could do nothing, as the gambling den only opened its doors when the ship was anchored far from all territorial waters – were a field day for the Captain and his crew.
When the explorer Jan Honning Speck contacted Captain Crook for an especially "sensitive" shipment, the Captain didn't for a moment suspect that this would mark the final voyage of the Nyl Arena. Jan needed help transporting some ferocious creatures to his living museum, a zoo where he kept the rarest creatures he'd encountered on his travels to the four corners of the world.
And this time, the creatures were no other than Wild Crocodyls.
Episode I – Wild Crocodyls
For a long time, these primitive cousins of the Crocodyls who roamed the streets of our cities at the start of the Dofus Era were for centuries thought to have disappeared, become extinct and lost forever. They were missed by no one, being cannibals and man-eaters, and measuring 2-3 kameters on average, minus the tail. But Speck, then looking for a mysterious Unikron Gobball in a distant land, discovered a swamp where Wild Crocodyls were flourishing.
First and foremost scared, he ran for his life. But this discovery ate away at him, and his madness for collecting living rarities pushed him to go back a few weeks later, accompanied by some trappers and mercenaries. They managed to capture about ten specimens. He thus went back to the mainland to hire the services of a transporter who would be unscrupulous concerning the type of goods that occupied his hold. Captain Crook, with his Nyl Arena, was the right man for the job.
As a good Enutrof and smuggler, Crook negotiated the price with Speck, sometimes pulling at his heartstrings, somethings hinting at threats.
Once the agreement was sealed with a strong handshake, and after payment of half of the transportation costs, the ship set sail for where the specimens would be picked up. The journey was quick and without mishap. Crook looked after his client, but dark intentions were already growing in his mind.
Arriving at the camp, Jan was quite frustrated: several trappers and mercenaries were nowhere to be found, others were in a pitiful state, but most of all, more than half of the Crocodyls had disappeared! One of the survivors told him that the captive creatures had begun to devour each other, and that several men were injured or killed trying to separate them into individual cages.
In a dark mood and deadly silence, the cages were loaded on board the Nyl Arena, much to the amusement of Captain Crook. This incident served only to reinforce and clarify his plan.
Episode II – The Beginning of the End
Crook continued to look after his guest. But he regularly went down into the hold to observe the Crocodyls, whenever Speck wasn't down there. The more he went there, the more he was convinced that his plan was perfect: Speck would fall victim to an "accident" on the journey, and the Crocodyls would be his by right. They would become the highlight of his show in the underground arena.
Claiming there were bad weather omens, he made a detour of several days to give him time to plan the accident. He gathered his officers together, and during a night of devilish discussions, they laid out a strategy to get rid of the explorer without arousing his or his companions' suspicions. They couldn't just kill them all in their sleep – too many people on the mainland knew that Speck was coming back with a shipment – and any suspicious disappearance would give the authorities a reason to bring accusations against Crook, putting the more lucrative business of the gambling den in jeopardy.
It was decided: in one week, the highly scholarly Jan Honning Speck would breathe his last, going down into the hold and being killed by a Crocodyl that had escaped. The creature would be slaughtered, and handed over to the authorities along with Speck's body.
Only three of the crew besides Crook himself would know of the deed. But the long nights of drinking off-shift loosened tongues, and soon enough, almost half of the crew knew about it. One thing led to another, one of Speck's mercenaries got wind of the matter two days before planned, by accident overhearing a discussion between two sailors who were sloshed on over-fermented bamboo milk. Speck was first of all furious at the news, and planned to ask his men to try to take control of the ship. But too many of his companions were already injured, and there were far too many sailors.
Before even talking about it, Speck changed his mind and formulated a new plan, reassuring his men. Everything had to happen very quickly.
Episode III – Eat or Be Eaten
Speck suggested the Captain organize a party. All of the sailors would be invited to it, to celebrate their imminent return to the mainland. He promised to cover all of the costs Crook – a good Enutrof –couldn't refuse such an offer. The ship docked at the nearest port. Speck went with his men to buy the food and drink. Most of the mercenaries stayed at the port, claiming they were tired from the journey. Crook saw a good omen in this for his plan to eliminate Speck. The boat took to the seas again that same evening. The waters were very calm, despite a few dark clouds on the horizon. Speck was personally involved in preparations for the festivities. He made the most of them to slip some sleep-inducing herbs in the barrels of drink. The party was a great success. Shift rotation was accelerated so that everyone could enjoy the free food and drink, because no one could refuse this godsend, breaking the monotony of meals of salted dried Snapper and the chef's gruel. Sloshed and drugged, most of the crew members were dozing off or had completely fallen asleep. The clouds drew closer, looking ever more menacing. Everything was in place. So Speck moved into action.
He went down into the hold, his hands trembling, his determination sorely tested. But the aim was most simple: eat or be eaten. He was holding his knife so tightly that his knuckles whitened.
He approached the cages. There was no turning back – he'd done the hardest part. Now running away wouldn't be enough. He'd rather have done this the next day, before taking the small boat he was planning on escaping in. In the darkness, the Crocodyls started to become agitated. Speck put the ropes in place to open the cages simultaneously. Then he would unlock them and lock himself in one of the empty cages.
He tugged on the rope. The cages opened. The Crocodyls chirped and jumped in surprise, then – at first slowly – started to leave the cages and run around the hold, exploring it. Two specimens were becoming interested in Speck, when a loud thud from the upper deck attracted their attention. And so all of the Crocodyls headed straight for the stairs. It had started – the Nyl Arena's destiny was sealed.
From the murky swamps they rise…
End of Part 1
Uh oh, how will Speck free himself of this situation? And what of those monstrous Crocodyls? Is Nyl’s Arena doomed? You’ll have to check in with us tomorrow for the second part of the legend, and discover what the future has in store for Speck and the crew of Nyl’s Arena.