Celebrate an absolutely brilliant community project over the next month! Laura and Mea are the hosts of the Creatures Caves Eggstravaganza. Everyone is welcome to decorate eggs that will become part of a community-made patch plant. Brilliant! Templates have been provided, so that anyone, of any artistic ability, can take part. Bring a bit of creative Easter fun into the world of Creatures! Our community always has a great deal of skill and talent, although I know firsthand how difficult it can be to have something actually added to the game. Laura and Mea have taken away a lot of those hurdles! Special thanks go to them for putting together this great idea, and for working on all the behind-the-scenes coding for the final release. Don't miss out on the Creatures Caves Eggstravaganza!
While we're on the subject of eggstraordinary celebrations, this is the 500th post on Discover Albia! I still remember starting out, and thinking this might be a short term hobby that might interest one or two other people. Now, the fourth anniversary of my first musings is coming up in a couple of months, and I still find new topics I want to write about all the time! Naturally, I'm failing miserably with getting anywhere on the bigger projects. But I want to thank all of the readers who have continued to stop by and suffer with me! The Creatures community used to be one of the best out there. Now, I'm convinced that it is the best. Here's to another 500 posts of love, life, humor, and fun!
Continga managed to travel even further than she ever imagined, and was turning into quite the Albian adventurer! After being reunited with Niltava, she was perplexed to find an unusual package arrive on the lift. One moment she was enraptured with the goldfish, and the next she was staring at a very sleepy Junco! Cotinga was the reason for his foray into fatherhood, and a surge of loving emotion overcome them both. Junco went from a sleeping, single Norn to another father-to-be! I know I often dwell on how well he has done despite his mutations, but Junco deserves a little recognition.
Elsewhere in Creatures 1, another small romance was blooming. Where Junco and Cotinga were a rather loving couple, a more comical relationship was on the horizon near the incubator. Hypocolius got it into his head that Astrapia wanted to add onto her collection of eggs. Their courtship was a routine blur, but Astrapia was not about to let him run off! She knew how important it was for her to eat well during her pregnancy, and gathering food on her own would be tiresome. So, she did what any resourceful Norn would do: She ordered around the nearest Norn and had him drop off supplies! And that, Hypocolious, is called true love.
The proximity of the Grendel and the odd circumstances made her hair stand on end. He was very clearly confused, and would likely come back to his senses in time to make a meal of her. Quick as lightning, she made a mad dash for the boulder. It was immensely heavy, yet gave just enough for her to slip out into the dark forest. The night sounds hit her in a wave of confusion: Crickets chirping, night owls hunting, and other larger predators prowling in the underbrush.
None of it mattered: She ran. Only once did she look back, and there was nothing there but the whispering wind and rattling branches. Her feet were scratched and blistered before long, and every step seemed to wreak havoc. Twice she stumbled, and once a thorn bush tore away at her face. Shortly after, something hit her. Hard.
She awoke to the familiar creaking of the windmill. As her eyes adjusted, she saw Johmas hovering above her in the bright light of midday. She ached, and discovered that her feet were wrapped in bandages.
“Hush,” Johmas soothed her. “We found you in the forest this morning. Veerin told me of your quarrel, but it was foolish of you to go rushing off. You are safe now.”
He brought a cup of tea to her lips, but she pushed it away. “What happened?”
Her grandfather paused for a moment before answering, “Grendels, Ravella. A group of them were in the forest, and they injured you. Some of the hunters heard a commotion, and they managed to fight them off to bring you back here. Best not to dwell on it, though. You need your rest, and your tea.”
She took a sip, letting the warmness heal her parched throat. Was it all just a nightmare, then? Was Hux just part of her strange dream world, never to be seen again? “Grandfather, do you know what ‘Midari’ means?”
“Midari?” he looked out the window for a moment, scratching his chin. “I seem to recall a myth my mother told me many moons ago with a Norn of that name. It was said that our land was once ruled by something else; something foreign. This Norn, named Midari, was the only one of her kind who could summon this strange ruler. The details vary widely, as this is an old myth of our ancestors. Some say there is some truth to it, but I never understood how Norns could be ruled by anything but other Norns. We are intelligent and resourceful, Ravella.”
“But this Midari,” she urged, “Who was she?”
“It is unclear, regrettably. The myth is so old that none know which line this Midari belongs to. Besides, the oddest part of the myth is what the ruler actually materialized as,” Johmas chuckled to himself. “Are you ready for a laugh? A hand, Ravella. Most say it had great power, but only this Midari Norn could summon the ruler. The myth is so ancient, though, that none know of the last time this hand was seen. Or, perhaps the myth is symbolic of the power that rests in our hands. I only remember those few details. The rest has been lost to the ages.”
She set aside her cup, the tea still precariously close to spilling over the edges. There was something vaguely familiar about the myth, as if she had heard it long ago. “A hand?” she tested the idea on her tongue as she thought of it.
“A mere myth,” her grandfather smiled, lifting the tea. “Best drink your tea.”
The one sip was enough. “Not today. I feel tired enough to sleep for days.” Before Johmas could answer, she closed her eyes and tried to see nothing but the darkness. It all reminded her of the pressing darkness of the forest, though, and suddenly she was back there. Back with all of the shadows, and with something else. Out of a dark mist, a Grendel’s face materialized in a hideous show of teeth.
She found herself on the floor, woken from the nightmare. The creaking windmill let her know where she was, but it was difficult to place the time. Perhaps just after sunset, or just before the break of dawn. It was of no matter to her: Her heart thumped in her chest to an erratic rhythm that would never drift her off to sleep.
Johmas was nowhere to be seen, although he often tended to the other Norns at all hours of night and day. She breathed heavily, hoping to calm her heart and the tide of fear that came from the dream. Scolding herself for avoiding the tea, she gingerly rose to her feet. They were sore, but her grandfather’s healing ointments made it bearable to put some weight on them.
A gust of wind flapped the curtains of the window overlooking the pastures. She glanced in the direction, and nearly fell backwards. It was as if a ghastly painting were hanging there instead, with the unmistakable face of a Grendel. Staring. Growling.
After an unusually long wait for romance to blossom, I last left my Geats in a state of suspense as they awaited their first egg. The result was an extremely shy female named Tumbaga! She was a lovely color, created by a mixture of deep gray and copper. It almost looked like she had a purple hue, which was quite unexpected. Tumbaga was born right near her mother, yet she ended up bonding with Galfenol. They played hide-and-seek around the plentiful metallic plants, and I had to take some toys away... They grew obsessed! Having another female in the population was a positive outcome: Babbitt and Rhodite were not exactly fending off the males. Babbitt was in a rather strange stupor, possibly confused about the whole egg laying process. And Rhodite... She was complaining as usual and expecting the other Geats to help her out. Not today!
Poor Alnica! He stumbled across the two females, who had reunited for a short spell. It wasn't long before Babbitt disappeared, clearly flustered by Rhodite's insufferable behavior. My gold Gaius looked worn out from answering all of the pleas he heard. It was like Rhodite simply refused to take any action! If Geats had arms, I believe many would have tried to force her to eat. Or perhaps holding her mouth shut for a bit would accomplish more! On a side note, I was very pleased with the way the original Creatures font for C3/DS turned out! It might not have fit in with this technological theme, but the thinner font made me think that these Geats were not always shouting. And if anything could make Rhodite's chatter seem less important, all the better!
By and by, nature decided to take its course with Alnica and Rhodite. Despite her literally standing in the same spot for ages, Alnica was smitten. I could only hope that their offspring didn't inherit his or her mother's penchant for complaints and dependence. The color combinations also seemed endless: I expected something rather yellow, although a light green or even slightly blue color seemed plausible. The answer was just ready to be revealed once Rhodite laid her egg, in that exact same spot. I discovered that removing some of the toys and other distractions brought my Colortrue Gaius back to a more normal level of activity. Perhaps their poor brains just couldn't handle all of the exciting things their world had to offer!
The egg hatched into... A standard silver Gaius? Nisil was a female, which certainly ensured a better chance of keeping the population going. Yet I was baffled. A look at the genetic coloring of her parents showed how this color was plausible, though not particularly common. I admit that I was disappointed, since her parents were the two very unique and colorful Geats I originally hatched. It soon became clear that it didn't matter what Nisil looked like. In fact, she could have looked hideous. Why? Because she was nothing like Rhodite! She preferred to explore, eat anything that looked tasty, and generally be a very pleasant sort of Creature. Just to be on the safe side, I confirmed that her genetics had all of the correct colortrue genes. What do you think of Nisil? Will this generation have more interesting colors, or would Tumbaga be the only colorful second generation Geat? Follow along in future updates!