As promised, I jumped right into Creatures 1 and hatched a brand new Norn! The sixth generation still has couple of Norns and Grendels to go, so we’re still not done meeting these happy little faces. This is Souliei, the daughter of Preetar and Pfeffablel. Often we hear the expression “bouncing baby” and this was exactly what she was! I barely managed to capture this baby picture while she was twisting, turning, and hopping up and down to see everything about her new world. I was pretty excited to meet her, too! She came complete with a few interesting genetic mutations, which I couldn’t wait to examine. And here I thought it was the cuteness factor that made baby Norns so appealing… Ha ha!
Stimuli genes define the chemicals that a Creature expects to receive in response to an action. These actions can range from interactions with the hand to involuntary actions like coughing or sneezing.
Original: Emb B Mut ‘I’ve Activated1’ causes => 3*Tiredness+ + 16*Boredom-
Mutation: Emb B Mut ‘I’ve Activated1’ causes => 3*Tiredness+ + 17*Boredom-
This gene corresponds with the action “I’ve Activated1” which is also known as the “push” action. A Norn gets a little tired and less bored when pushing something, such as a toy. I normally leave out extremely minor mutations, but this one means that Souliei has a slightly larger drop in boredom when she pushes something. It won’t be noticeable, yet this is something that has the potential to grow: If this gene keeps changing each generation, the decrease in boredom might eventually become noticeable… In many, many generations. Ha!
Original: Emb B Mut ‘Invol 2=’sneeze” causes => 32*Pain + 8*Tiredness + 8*Fear + 16*Hexokinase
Mutation: Emb B Mut ‘Invol 2=’sneeze” causes => 32*Pain + 8*Tiredness + 8*Fear + 18*Hexokinase
Somehow I thought this mutation showed up in a previous generation, but I may have left it out since it has a small impact. When Souliei sneezes, she will use up a little more hexokinase than a standard Norn. Remember that this is a chemical associated with muscle use and energy, so more of it requires more glucose. Hopefully Souliei won’t suffer from any bad colds in her lifetime! Otherwise she’ll need some extra rest to recover.
Original: Emb B Mut ‘Invol 4=’shiver” causes => 16*Hotness+ + 32*Coldness- + 16*Tiredness + 16*Fear
Mutation: Emb B Mut ‘Invol 4=’shiver” causes => 16*Hotness+ + 32*Coldness- + 16*Coldness + 16*Fear
This gene was directly inherited from Pfeffablel, and it changes the dynamics of shivering. Normally a cold or sick Norn will shiver to warm up, indicated by the drop in coldness. Souliei will have a slightly more difficult time since shivering produces coldness decrease… And actual coldness. The good news is that this won’t cause her to get tired, although it’s certainly a counterproductive mutation. Still, not as bad as it could be.
Instincts define the expectations for certain behaviors. These genes do not state exactly what happens when the parameters are met, but rather provide the basis for Norns to base their decisions on.
Original: Chi B MutDupCut Verb ‘Stop’ and I Stop => 255*Reward
Mutation: Chi B MutDupCut Verb ‘Stop’ + Drive Pain and I Stop => 255*Reward
This is an interesting turn of events, which actually popped up in the genes of Mayth, who was the half-brother of Preetar. This might have been inherited and I simply ignored it most of the time. It does something a little odd, but keep in mind that instincts are oddballs in themselves: They “teach” a Norn what to expect, and they are processed when dreaming. For a standard Norn, hearing the word “stop” and following directions should be rewarding. For Souliei, she will only expect to be rewarded if she hears “stop” and is in pain, then actually stops. Not exactly useful, but also keep in mind that instincts are not the exclusive source of expectations. The bulk of learning takes place through the experiences a Norn goes through, and what happens over the course of his or her life.
On the subject of experiences, Souliei was just finishing up her basic vocabulary lessons when she pressed the button for the lift… Suddenly she had a small group paying her all the attention. Pentlandii, my Grendel, was a little confused since this world was already overrun with Norns. Still, he was very polite to her. Hansonii was the last Norn I expected to see hanging out with a baby, but perhaps all of those eggs of his made him feel rather paternal! Or it might have been because he was happy to see another Forest Norn face. I only hoped the two boys would continue to be nice to little Souliei and teach her about Albia.
Remember how Martagon and Candidum were nesting in the kitchen area? Imagine my shock when I found where Candidum laid her egg… And Martagon was still with her! Talk about a devoted partner. They traveled quite a distance to find the perfect place to lay their egg, although it was rather a tossup whether the edge of a cold, dark dock just above a deep ocean was the prime spot. They both sat down for a rest and looked like they were attempting to pose for a family photo with their egg. Luckily, the world was in a slight lull and I had no other pregnancies to track. I do this carefully for the simple fact that these eggs are always picked up and paused: I keep each generation completely separate. Makes life easier!
I got back to the garden just in time to witness the cutest friendship forming. Hansonii walked off at his usual adult speed, while Souliei followed along as quickly as she could. He got away from her, yet he turned back so he wasn’t too far. Then they posed like this. Is there anything more adorable? Baby Norns often grow up on the outskirts of a group, or right in the middle of that group where they’re trampled and given a poor impression of social life. Hansonii was proving himself as a capable nanny, and I mean that in the best way! There are no parents to raise baby Norns, and the adults are usually too busy to pay any attention to them. Souliei was in good hands!