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Boroni's Challenge: Save the Britannia Royal zoo!

Click here to learn more about Voi Mussi Mussi An excited chatter could be heard if one walked through the town streets of Britain (Europa). Voi Mussi Mussi was not one to mingle with people, thus he was rarely aware (or interested for that matter) of what his fellow tamers were up to. But the words that carried to his ears inspired him to venture closer and tune into what people were saying. "It's true I tell ye! Zookeeper Boroni is calling upon all tamers to help him acquire new animals to fill the cages with. Whats more, the beasties will be named after their masters!". Voi scratched his beard and squinted, sceptical, as always. But before he could question the claim out loud, someone ran forth pointing in the opposite direction and exclaimed: "Tis true! Every word! I just saw it on the bulletin board at the bank!". Everyone, including Voi, gathered around to read the announcement which had been freshly posted:

B O R O N I ' S   A N N O U N C E M E N T

H aving read the message through, Voi's pale cheeks flushed red from excitement, which they rarely did... except for when he tamed dragons. Twas a chance for this egoistical man to go down in history, for his pet to outlive him, and carry his name long after he was gone! Although Voi winced at the thought of having to socialize with humans, this was an event he could not pass up! Twas a typical reaction from Voi, to think of himself instead of the help Boroni might need. Voi had a cold and warm side, and twas mostly the cold that dominated this proud defiant man.

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T H E   B R I T A N N I A   R O Y A L   Z O O   E M P T Y

Voi decided to go and check out the zoo for himself, to see the sorry state it had decayed to since the animals had escaped. And indeed, upon arrival, Voi noticed not a chirp, nor a growl, no squeeks, nor howls. These are sounds Voi felt most at home listening to, thus the silence in the zoo was deafening. Twas then, that the warm side in Voi awoke. Empathy for a fellow animal keeper. "I must help to correct this horrid situation!" Voi whispered under his breath.

B O R O N I   B E C O M E S   I L L

On the day of the event, Voi arrived in good time at the zoo, only to be faced with many confused tamers. Boroni had put up a sign on the zoo gates explaining he was ill and that the event was postponed till the next day. This news did not surprise Voi in the least, for he knew that true animal lovers felt only right amongst their furry friends and prolonged periods spent with humans could easily bring on a ill feeling.

T H E   N E X T   D A Y

Zookeeper Boroni arrived the next day, his steps wavering and looking rather pale. It was evident that he had not recovered fully yet and was valiantly trying his best to live up to his promise despite his sickly state.

After introducing himself and the situation with the zoo, he explained our tasks. Nine teams were needed for the nine cages and all were to go and stand in front of the cage they wanted to tame animals for. Boroni broke open the wooden walls that had been put up to shut the zoo and all tamers poured into the zoo, choosing their cage. Voi chose the arctic cage to the south.

B O R O N I   G I V E S   I N S T R U C T I O N S

T he teams were visited one by one by Boroni, who explained which animals were needed. For the arctic cage, Voi's team was asked to bring polar bears, white wolves, walruses, snow leopards and frost spiders. The taming was meant to be a team effort with everyone working together to tame the animals successfully.

A gentleman in Voi's team decided to take control of the group and ordered people what to go tame and where, which disgruntled Voi slightly. What annoyed him more than that was the fact that he had decided that that the rest of the team was to go to Ice Isle (a safe place) to tame the easy non-aggressive animals while Voi and another chap were ordered to go to Ice Dungeon (extremely dangerous) to tame frost spiders. "People" Voi thought to himself and shook his head frowning. The plan in itself was moderate and it was understood that someone needed to run the show, but Voi did not appreciate the fact that no opinions were asked and that the hardest of the animals (the ones that really would need back up if the tamer was inexperienced) were left to Voi and the other chap and they would need to fend for themselves, while the majority of the group fled to tame the easy stuff.

T A M I N G   A   F R O S T   S P I D E R

Voi was not about to complain though, since he preferred to do things on his own anyhow, and being the masterful tamer that he was, could easily handle Ice Dungeon. Besides, Voi couldn't have hoped for a more suitable beast to tame, for he shared the cold predator instinct with the frost spider.

Voi recalled in at the White Wyrms lair and pacified the beast with his enchanting music while he rode swiftly east down the passage upon his trusty mare Ferocia.

A frost spider was not hard to find, but it had several little frosty friends that would make the job tricky. Lucklily Voi was masterful at provoking animals though and tricked the beasts into fighting each other while he lured the spider off to a safer quieter spot for taming. After a couple of tries (and a few frosty bites to Voi's toes) the little eight legged creature was docile as a newborn lamb and munched on it's hand fed steak contendedly.

R E T U R N I N G   T O   T H E   Z O O

Voi created a magical gate and with the slightest movement of his lips, commanded the frost spider to follow. They arrived in front of the Britannia Royal Zoo safely and Voi hurried inside towards the arctic cage. It seemed their team was the first to arrive on the scene, of which the "leader" seemed rather excited and proud.

But alas, being first did not seem to bring any benefits. Soon the others arrived, and the next hour or so was spent working together with Boroni to transfer the animals into their rightful cages. There seemed to be technical difficulties though, for the beasts were in a state of frenzy and not behaving normally...

I S S U E S   W I T H   T H E   A N I M A L S

By the time poor Boroni got everyone gathered to go through the details of the difficulties, the crowd was impatient and restless, while the feverish pale zookeeper was visibly sorry and frustrated that things didn't work out like they were supposed to. But tamers - contrary to popular belief - are about the most empathetic and understanding bunch there is, much due to the patience and understanding they have with their animals. Everyone shouted out comforting and positive things to poor Boroni, who should have been in bed tending to his illness in the first place.

T H E   G A M E S   C O N T I N U E !

It seems that the zookeeper held the same empathy as do other animal lovers, for he felt for the dissappointed crowd and was determined to make up for the troubles somehow. Eventually, after much pondering, Boroni came up with a grand plan!

He had magically spawned dozens of red sheep on an island somewhere and also 2 golden sheep. The idea of the game was that they who returns with the most sheep within exactly 10 minutes would be rewarded handsomely. The golden sheep counted as 4 red ones each.

Boroni stepped up and created a red gate into which all rushed.

T A M I N G   R E D   S H E E P

V oi was one of the first to arrive, but only succeeded in taming two of the peculiar little beasts. The isle turned out to be Buccaneers Den, which has some very tricky terrain unto which the little lamblets caught their hooves and had difficulties following their masters.

1 0   M I N U T E S   A R E   U P

Once Voi arrived back at the zoo, the sight was indeed amazing! Hoardes of little red sheep baa-a-a-a-a-hing away in confusion. Someone had succeeded in finding the golden sheep as well. All gathered out front of the zoo and Boroni began the process of figuring out who had the most so he could declare the winners.

T H E   R E S U L T S !

1 S T   P L A C E :   P E T   D E T E C T I V E

2 N D   P L A C E :   R A V E N

3 R D   P L A C E :   O Z L E

R U N N E R   U P   P R I Z E S

A N D   A B O U T   T H E   R E D   S H E E P ?

At one point, someone shouted out asking if we could keep the red sheep, to which Boroni laughed "Sure!". But little did anyone know, that this small and innocent act of friendliness would cause mass confusion later amongst the gods. Over the next hours, the tamers strutted their woolly little friends all around Britannia to the amazement and wonder of everyone. Twas grand indeed! And how wonderful to keep these placid little creatures to remember this wonderful evening by. But at some point, just as Voi was taking a rest with his herd on the near Britain bank, his beloved red friends dissappeared one by one... *poof!* *poof!* *poof!*

The mortified Voi would later discover that the gods were displeased and confused, and had decided to banish these evil looking creatures forever from the lands and punish those who controlled them. Despite his sorrow from losing his little red sheep, Voi felt thankful that the gods had saved him from punishment.

A N D   A B O U T   T H E   E M P T Y   C A G E S ?

Voi has returned day after day to check the cages of Britannia Royal Zoo, but alas they remain empty. It seems the animals prefer the wilderness after all? Hopefully some day, somehow, zookeeper Boroni will succeed in convincing them to stay in their new homes, where their tamers and the rest of Britannia can come to admire the rich variety in fauna of the lands.

S O M E   T H A N K   Y O U ' S

A huge thanks to Fluffy, who took most of these screenshots and generously allowed me to use them for this story.

Oodles of gratitude and thanks to Boroni (IGM Talos) for arranging such a spectacular quest, which despite it's small problems was definitely one of the funnest and funniest events Europa has seen and one of the highlights of my UO playing years. Europa is lucky to have ya Talos. :-)

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