Norns and Grendels have their own personalities, and no one was more different than Auratum and Jucunda! Even though they seemed like the perfect match early on, nothing could be further from the truth. They were cordial with one another, yet an actual friendship looked like it would never blossom. Perhaps Jucunda was a little hurt that Auratum was so independent and didn’t need someone to watch over her. My eldest Norn just smiled and danced as she celebrated her first hour in Albia! Jucunda sulked.
Poor Pentlandii was still scared from his failed adventure, but I quickly learned how resilient he was. While everyone stayed put around the garden and temple, I noticed that he went missing. A quick search left me surprised: Pentlandii crossed the ocean in the submarine all by himself! Clearly he was determined enough to get himself out there, and one scary moment wasn’t enough to deter him. Apparently that initial laziness was just his way of getting ready to build up his courage! After that solitary journey, Pentlandii wasn’t ready to run back home again. This time, he settled in for a nap just beside the submarine. He was almost hidden from view. Clever, or just plain lucky!
My youngest Norn, Candidum, bowled her way into the group without any hesitation. She was a rather quiet sort, which certainly stood out among the other personalities. Bolanderi took a liking to her right away, but he made a very bad mistake… He showed off that temper of his and slapped poor Candidum. I use the word “poor” here very loosely. Little did I know she was ready to fend for herself! The others had tried to teach Bolanderi a lesson, yet it was Candidum who finally got through to him. She startled him with a couple of slaps, and promptly laid down to put the issue to rest. Maybe this young Norn was what everyone needed to have peace reign over the group again!
I was far from done with the sixth generation! With everyone all settled in for the time being, I bounced over to the incubator to welcome a newly hatched egg. Meet Hansonii, the son of Mayth and Athahain! If it wasn’t already clear, the Forest Norn and Santa Norn appearance genes were very prevalent in the previous generation. Hansonii has his own unique look, though. Even more exciting? Genetic mutations! That’s right: We finally have some genetics to examine in relation to a new Norn. Time to dust off that knowledge and dive deeper into what will make him very different on a genetic level!
Chemical receptors define parameters for a certain chemical. When these parameters are met, an element in the Creature is affected. These genes can increase drives, define life stages, control fertility, and more.
Original: 44 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Drive Levels Pain, chem=Pain, thresh=0, nom=0, gain=255, features=Analogue
Mutation: 44 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Drive Levels Crowdedness, chem=Pain, thresh=0, nom=0, gain=255, features=Analogue
In simple terms, this gene ties in the pain drive with the pain chemical. Remember that drives and chemicals are separate and must be linked up, typically with a chemical receptor like this one. In the standard genome, a Norn’s pain drive will increase in response to the pain chemical. Hansonii is rather unique in two respects. First, the pain chemical will actually increase his crowdedness drive. Pain makes him feel crowded. Second, his body can not properly recognize the pain drive. Stimuli, such as being slapped by the hand, introduce the pain chemical into a Norn’s body. However, this gene typically translates that into the pain drive. Hansonii may have some challenges ahead of him, but as always, my guess is that he’ll lead a happy life! Learning not to do certain things may be a tad more difficult for him, though.
Chemical reactions define rules for individual chemicals and chemical combinations. These genes can also state the rules for how chemicals are used up, and each reaction has a defined half-life to determine how often it occurs.
Original: 61 Emb B MutDupCut 1*Hotness++ => 1*Hotness + 1*Punishment; half-life=8
Mutation: 61 Emb B MutDupCut 1*Hotness++ + 1*NFP => 1*Hotness + 1*Punishment; half-life=8
There are a number of chemical reactions that create punishment when one of the drive increasing chemicals, such as hotness increase (Hotness++), is experienced. Since drives are supposed to remain low, adding this bit of punishment is supposed to encourage a Norn to avoid any behaviors or stimuli that increase a drive. For Hansonii, hotness increase reacts with need for pleasure (NFP). In a nutshell, this means that an increase in hotness actually reduces his need for pleasure while also punishing him. This is a very confusing sort of result, since it technically reinforces something good and bad at the same time. However, I’m not too worried about this! As far as I know, the only major jolt of hotness increase comes from touching the kitchen fire. Stay away from that, Hansonii!
Original: 229 Emb B MutDupCut 2*Antigen3 + 4*Glucose => 1*Antibody3 + 1*Hotness; half-life=80
Mutation: 229 Emb B MutDupCut 8*Antigen3 + 4*Glucose => 1*Antibody3 + 1*Hotness; half-life=80
Just a quick note that this gene does not relate to the above reaction because hotness and hotness increase are separate chemicals. This is one of the pseudo-immune system genes. I say “pseudo” because this is a very unrealistic simulation of an immune system, yet I’ll address that in detail down the road! Different antigens float around Albia and can infect Norns and Grendels. A specific antigen normally binds with glucose to produce a corresponding antibody to fight off the infection, plus a byproduct like hotness. Hansonii may have been unlucky before, but this is actually a very beneficial mutation! Instead of 2 units of antigen 3, 8 units will be used. The result? Antigen 3 will fall at a more dramatic rate and he should be able to fight off this type of infection quicker than everyone else. This can be vital because the glucose needed to fight off an infection can result in a Norn’s long-term energy storage, glycogen, being used up. When a Norn has no glycogen, death occurs. This was originally set to 18 units of antigen 3, but the Genetics Kit corrected this “error” because the highest value allowed in a chemical reaction is 8. Just something to keep in mind for all of you genetic tinkerers!