Tuku's Hapu

The following story is the result of the Origins League for a Day promotional event. Tuku is a universal magi introduced on a special card sent out with the Book of Ages #4. He is depicted as being accompanied by a tiny monkey-like creature. Tuku’s story, told in the Book of Ages, describes a daring plot to defeat Agram, led by Tuku himself over 1000 years ago. His plan failed and he and his companions were turned to solid stone. Their enchantment was finally broken when Tony Jones defeated Agram, and they found themselves free to return to the world—a millennium later than when they had left it.

Curious fans demanded to know more about Tuku’s "monkey", who is named Hapu. In response, the League for a Day event was set up to determine which region Hapu originated from and the following story is the result: the events occurring very soon after Tuku awakens and returns to the world.

"Just a little while longer, little guy…we’re almost there." Tuku looked down at the furry form curled sleepily around his arm. Hapu’s glowing eyes were very dim, and they gazed up at him woozily, as if drugged or exhausted. His bright reddish-orange fur had dulled and thinned, and some of his seams were beginning to show.

Tuku concentrated on the terrain around him. The northern stretches of the Great Forest of Naroom had changed somewhat since he had last made this trek some 1000 years ago. He scrambled over a veritable wall of tangled Jub-Jub roots and at last saw what he had been looking for. Before him lay a sheer rise of grim gray rock, pierced and worried with aging vines and tangled creepers. Hapu saw it too, and cooed softly, with relief, in Tuku’s arms.

"That’s it, old boy, we’ve finally made it. Now, if I can just find the entrance!"

Tuku carefully explored the base of the rocky wall, poking and prodding the stony surface through the dense growth. Finally, his search was rewarded as his hands went through what appeared to be solid rock. Smiling down at Hapu, he ducked his head and vanished into the wall of stone. Within, a short passage led through cool shadows before opening into a beautiful forest glade surrounded on all sides by the protective stone precipices.

Tuku paused at the edge of the aquamarine pool which filled the center of the glade and breathed in the cool, moisture rich air. Gurgling springs dotted the rock walls on all sides, gushing playfully from great tufts of ferns and cascading in a foamy white froth to splash gently into the pool below. In the center of the pool was a tiny island, and Tuku’s heart leapt with joy as he saw what was growing there.

"It’s still here, Hapu! Look!" Tenderly, Tuku raised his weary companion so that its gaze might fall on the longed-for sight of the animite blossoms. Hapu’s eyes glowed momentarily brighter as Tuku waisted no time in crossing the shallow pool to reach the tiny island and its precious secret—a magical bush that flowered with glowing blue blossoms of the purest animite.

Reaching the shore, Tuku carefully set Hapu on the mossy mounds at the base of the tree and then reached up to pick a blossom. Hapu’s eyes never left the fragile flower as Tuku lowered the prize to his tiny companion’s mouth. Although the fragile blossom was almost as large as Hapu’s fuzzy little head, the curious beast gobbled the entire flower down in a single mouthful. Immediately his eyes began to glow brighter and he stretched out his spindly arms for more. Plucking a second Blossom and feeding it to the hungry Hapu, Tuku found himself warmed greatly by the sight of his companion’s returning strength and let his thoughts wander back to the time of their meeting long ago.

Tuku had been a simple trader, passing through the Great Forest, looking for decent trade goods to carry back to the southern regions. Back then, Vash Naroom had not been the bustling arboreal metropolis it was now. It was just a cozy little tree community led by a wizened old magi named Vashi. Well, old Vashi loved to tell tales—tall ones, short ones, any kind at all—and one of his tales told of an amazing magical garden, left behind by Une, a great leader of the ancients. Une’s Garden was supposedly hidden deep in the north Forest, but no one had ever discovered its exact location. Tuku had been captivated by the story, and so he took on the role of treasure hunter and set off for the mysterious depths of the northern Great Forest.

Many weeks passed with no success, but the journey was pleasant. Tuku found himself coming to love the great stillness and slow pace of forest life. Then one day he was merrily chasing a playful Stagadan and stumbled into this magically hidden clearing quite by accident. The clearing looked much as it did now, with one major difference: a battered old chest had sat under the Animite Blossom tree, in the exact spot where Hapu now sat greedily devouring his fifth flower.

The little critter was definitely looking much better now, decided Tuku. Hapu looked up at his big friend and smiled sheepishly, displaying a mouthful of blunt teeth glowing bright blue from the energy-laden animite blossoms. With a squeal, Hapu leaped to Tuku’s shoulder and danced across his back before deciding to use the top of Tuku’s head as a perch from which to gather some of the larger blossoms from higher on the tree. Tuku grinned in delight—it was good to see his long-time companion returning to his old self after their 1000 year stint as statues in Agram’s dismal domain.

Returning to the rosy mists of memory, Tuku saw himself crossing this mystical pool for the first time, approaching the island and its curious tree. He cautiously laid his hands upon the ornately carved chest sheltered beneath the glowing blossoms. The wood was very old, but it fairly hummed with a strange kind of power. Eagerly, Tuku had pried open the box only to discover nothing more inside than a withered old toy animal of some kind. Disappointed, he pulled the toy from the box and was surprised by its weight. It was scarcely longer than his two hands held side by side, and seemed to be spun from some sort of animal fur. Its face was a tragic parody of a gleeful smile, its once rosy cheeks faded with time and its eyes dull and lifeless.

Tuku began to put the toy back in the box, when he heard a metallic clink from beneath its roughly spun fur covering. Curious, he turned the stuffed animal over and discovered a crude seam running down its back. The tattered threads parted easily beneath his probing fingers and he discovered a strange inner skeleton of metal parts—cogs, gears, springs, levers and other less identifiable parts. Why would a stuffed toy have a mechanical skeleton, he wondered. Hey! Maybe this is one of those clockwork things old Vashi says the Eliwan were always making!

Excited now, thinking perhaps the trip might not have been wasted after all, Tuku began to inspect the toy more closely, looking for some way to wind it up, or turn it on, or whatever. Didn’t Vashi say these things were animated? Yes, I’m sure he did! But try as he might, he was unable to find any way to bring the mechanism to life. Must be broken, he thought sadly. But then, as he held the poor old Eliwan toy in his hands, a single petal fell from one of the glowing flowers on the strange bush. The petal landed right in the toy’s open mouth. To Tuku’s great surprise, the mouth closed softly on the petal, and the toy’s dull eyes began to glow softly as they stared up at the magi.

"Wow!" exclaimed Tuku, watching as the mouth reopened, now empty. "It must be these strange flowers!" He examined the flowers more closely. Plucking the nearest from the tree before him, he discovered it had the feel of delicately carved crystal, nothing at all like a soft organic flower. Tuku’s eyes widened as he realized that the flowers was made of animite. This was ancient magic indeed!

Looking back at the toy’s beckoning mouth, he shrugged and fed the toy the entire flower. Immediately the toy began to move weakly in his hands, and its eyes glowed brighter—now gazing up at him with unmistakable intelligence and affection. Another flower—the fur began to thicken and shine with health. A few flowers later, and Tuku was gazing for the first time upon the fully animated Eliwan relic that was to become his full-time companion and beloved friend.

Since that time, Tuku and Hapu had had many grand adventures together, returning occasionally to the secret solitude of Une’s Garden to restore Hapu’s energy. Tuku had never discovered any other source of energy with which to feed Hapu—and any petals they removed from the Garden soon withered and vanished. Fortunately, the Garden had remained undiscovered by anyone other than Tuku and now it seemed that the rest of the world had long forgotten the legend of Une’s Garden.

Hapu was finally sated, having fully returned to his normal state of barely contained energy. Tuku smiled up at his friend as Hapu danced merrily atop his head. Perhaps Hapu had once belonged to the legendary Une herself? A cherished childhood toy? A memento of a long-forgotten love? Tuku would probably never know, and Hapu couldn’t speak to tell him. All in all, it did not matter much. For now, Hapu belonged to Tuku, and Tuku belonged to Hapu, and it was way past time that they began another grand adventure!

"C’mon, Hapu! Let’s go see what this strange new future world has to offer in the way of danger and excitement!" Hapu chirped happily, snatched a final animite blossom, and clung tightly to Tuku’s shoulders as they made their way back out into the wide wide world of possibilities.

Back to the main story page.

 Magi-Nation and all properties shown on this page is © Interactive Imaginations 2000 - 2010. All Rights Reserved.
All artwork on this site are copyright their respective owners.