Purple Mountain Norns and a Study in Fertility

Ingelill was scarcely an adult for a minute before she became pregnant! I was almost positive that the father was Arik, since he was relatively nearby in the garden. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Truett, who was already past the temple, was the proud father-to-be! A quick peek at the genome revealed virtually nothing in terms of mutations. The special Purple Mountain Norn genes had not been passed along, though. Ingelill leisurely made her way back towards the incubator, and laid a beautiful egg in no time! This was a very businesslike pregnancy, and then she was back to her usual ways.

At the same time, I had also hatched one of the final first generation Norns. Pictured here is Kari, pronounced [KAH-ree], whose Norse name means gust of wind or curly haired. She certainly looked like she would enjoy curling her hair if she had any comprehension of what a curling iron was! I fed Kari a carrot before setting her in front of the learning computer. She seemed quite happy, and it might be a technique I continue to use in the future. She enjoyed letting me push the buttons, yet she was very focused on learning the vocabulary. A full stomach was just the ticket to keep her fully focused on education!

I decided to run a quick fertility check on all of the adult Norns through the breeders kit. This is a great way to quickly check up on everyone around the world, since fertility issues can signal a serious problem. Even some illnesses can stress a Norn out to the point that his or her fertility suffers. Nothing too surprising popped up until I reached Truett: He was producing virtually no testosterone, which is a vital chemical related to reproduction. Arik was older than him, yet his testosterone level was still near the maximum level. I was glad that Kari was in Albia to continue the Purple Mountain Norn line, yet I was thoroughly perplexed about the sudden infertility of a healthy adult. Normally they can take care of themselves and remain relatively fertile right up until death. Truett had no genetic mutations, since his genome was copied directly from the standard Purple Mountain Norn genome. I was utterly and completely stumped.

It dawned on me that Truett was one of the worst eaters: He often had a sad look on his face, and he had a very hard time focusing on anything when other Norns were around. So I brought him one carrot, then another, and another… He readily chomped on them all and looked around for more! All in all, Truett stuffed himself with about ten carrots in the span of a couple of minutes. He even flashed me a signature smile that he had been hiding for some time! We spent some nice quiet time together, where he was also able to steal a few winks of sleep. All looked like it was in order at last!

Although I had not expected the carrot feast to do much for Truett except fill his tummy, I was surprised to notice that his testosterone production had significantly increased. I never thought to study the availability of food as it relates to Norn fertility. However, a little digging through the Creatures 1 Genetics Kit yielded the answer. All Norns experience decreased fertility when they are stressed out. Both males and females are affected equally. This explains the slight decline in his testosterone production pictured here: Truett had entered the main group again, and it was clear that it was stressing him out. I originally thought that this gene was only present in the newer Norn types, but it exists in them all. I never took much notice of it, since pregnancies seemed to be occurring at a fairly steady rate. Creatures always has something new to teach! Any way to decrease stress in Creatures 1 can do wonders for the population, and make for happier Norns!

I was excited when I discovered that Bera had become pregnant again! Truett was not the father, but I was thrilled when I found out that little Folkvar had grown up and successfully kiss popped. There were a plethora of mutations created by the union: The attention lobe will take one of its inputs from the decision lobe instead of the noun lobe, the concept lobe is positioned differently with extra neurons, there is a duplicate gene for limping when glycogen is low, and coughing will create coldness rather than tiredness. And that’s the short version! Seemed like a good topic for a future discussion.

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