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Pet Name: Flantama
It's no secret that Shenkuu is one of the most prosper lands in Neopia. Not only they have advanced technologies, from special cures to flying ships, but also an extremely vast and rich culture - that is also a key part to their success. Being the most mystical land of Neopia, Shenkuu is home to many entities, but today we'll be looking into the story of one in particular: Tama.
Back when Shenkuu was first introduced to Neopia by the crew of the Cyodrake's Gaze, it gained a lot of attention considering it's exotic culture. That brought many outsiders into the land, which worried the natives - so far, Shenkuu had been a land untouched by regular neopian values. One pet in particular, Tama the Hissi, didn't think this was a critical situation - instead of seeing the exposure to new cultures as something bad, she was able to understand that it would be the perfect opportunity to share the prosperity of Shenkuu with other lands.
It was brought to the Wise Gnorbu's attention that Tama had an unexpected interest for the foreigners, so he decided it'd be best to put her in charge of explaining their culture - by doing so, she was making sure their lifestyles would be left untouched. It was not long until she was starting to be recognized, especially by the other natives - after all, Tama was the reason Shenkuu was being able to keep their culture. Most of their culture was being shared, and unfortunately that backfired: while it was great that their knowledge was being passed on, the rituals for the Shenkuu's original entities started become less common - most foreigners who visited decided to stay, and while they did respect their culture, they didn't contribute to Shenkuu's beliefs and entities. The rituals became more and more scarce, to a point were the natives couldn't bare.
Shenkuu had a specially strong belief on Jerdana, bringer of the Light - whenever they needed guidance, natives turned to her to get help. Unfortunately, the recent changes had made natives unable to contact her, leading to a period of darkness upon Shenkuu. There was no strenght left. It didn't take long for the outsiders to leave, as Shenkuu was now a dreaded land. All the flora, fauna and culture overall was lost. There was only one thing left: the Lunar Festival.
Every year, Shenkuu would hold the Lunar Festival to thank Jerdana and the other entities for their prosperity - and, even though the natives were powerless, this was something they still had to do. If there was any chance for Shenkuu to rise back to greatness, that would be it.
The preparations took place at the Lunar Temple, with the few pets that still had any strength. They set up the garlands, prepared the cherry blossom flowers and food, gave the finishing touches to the costumes and masks used for the festival, and so it began. This time, though, Tama decided to take part in the organization, as it was partially her fault that outsiders wanted to stay - for this event, she decided to make lanterns - but they were far from ordinary.
After studying a lot about her own culture, Tama decided to incorporate some of the magic of Jerdana's light into the lanterns for the festival, in hopes that it would help to bring prosperity to the land. She proceeded to write questions, wishes and other positive things on pieces of paper, and place one inside each latern - right above the flame. That way, as soon as the the lantern was strong enough, what was written would recieve Jerdana's light and blessing.
When the festival started, Tama released the lanterns, but the results weren't quite what she expected - Jerdana's light was far gone, and the lanterns' flames faded away as they went up. Tama proceeded to fly to reach them, in hopes she'd be able to restore the flames - as she started the ritual for them to ignite with Jerdana's blessing, Tama herself went through changes, now having two pairs of feathery wings and horns in a light yellow color - Jerdana offered her blessing to Tama herself, who was now considered to be the guardian of the lanterns and light of Shenkuu, bringing prosperity to Shenkuu once again.
With that, a new ritual took place on Shenkuu every Lunar Festival - they released the Lanterns for Tama to ignite, bringing knowledge and prosperity for those who sought her help. Tama's place was now in the skies of Shenkuu, as one of the entities.
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