New and Familiar Friends and Antigens

With a very happy group of Norns and Grendels, the time was right to hatch a new Norn to introduce to everyone. Meet Gurgi! I convinced myself that he was a slightly paler shade than the typical Forest Norn, although he didn’t have a mutation. It appeared that he had inherited some lighter pigment values, and had these applied to his Forest Norn sprites. Or maybe I was just seeing things! Gurgi is the son of Ure and Stokka. His birth was a bit too much for him, and he decided that sitting down for a minute or two was the best way to get ready to explore Albia. The learning computer held his interest for a moderate period of time, although this whole language thing seemed a bit boring for Gurgi! He had a few interesting mutations: My favorite kind!

Emitters

Chemical emitters define specific conditions within a Creature in order to affect chemicals. Some examples include experiencing stress from excessive drives, becoming cold due to environmental conditions, and more.

152 Ado F MutDupCut Creature, Reproductive, I am fertile, chem=Oestrogen, thresh=0, samp=16, gain=7, features=Inverted Digital

This emitter controls a female Norn’s fertile cycle via a reduction in estrogen. Although this will not affect Gurgi since he is a male Norn, it is worth a brief discussion. When estrogen levels are falling, a female is fertile and able to become pregnant. In the standard Norn genome, the gain value is set at 6: Its slight increase means that a female with this gene will have a shorter window of fertility. In essence, her estrogen will decrease at a quicker pace. This is a minor difference and should not be problematic for any of Gurgi’s daughters, but reducing the fertility time certainly will make breeding a little more challenging!

Reactions

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.

57 Emb MutDupCut 1*016 => 1*Pain + 1*Punishment; half-life = 8

Any idea what should be in place of the bold chemical? Pain increase, of course! This reaction helps with the learning process: When a Norn experiences a pain increase, he or she receives pain and punishment. This makes sense, for a Norn who constantly walks into a wall will feel pain and a fair bit of punishment, thereby teaching him or her not to engage in that behavior. For Gurgi, a pain increase will not produce this learning reaction. Chemical 016 corresponds with an unallocated drive chemical that never comes into play. Gurgi will still be capable of feeling pain, although he might be a bit more to wall bonking than other Norns!

142 Emb B MutDup 1*Starch + 1*NONE => 2*Glucose + 3*Hunger-; half-life = 64

In the standard Norn genome, this gene states that one unit of starch produces two glucose and one hunger decrease. Gurgi receives triple the amount of hunger decrease from a single unit of starch. This will translate into a faster reduction in hunger and, possibly, fewer necessary meals. I could have labeled this as a bad mutation, since it could mean that Gurgi’s hunger would be satisfied before he received the proper nutrition. However, I take a very hands on approach in my Norn’s lives, so eating is a necessity when I’m around!

Apparently the antigens of Albia had missed being in action, too, for one nasty one crept into Fflewddur’s system before I had a chance to teach Gurgi everything I wanted to. Aside from the chemicals shown in the graph, this illness also carried some wonderful sleep toxin. What a wonderful way for Fflewddur to celebrate his recent foray into adulthood! He was isolated for a time, but quickly found himself among a group of Norns and a Grendel. I panicked, fearing the worst. Any trace of histamine A or B can create a contagious infection, and this was just about the spot where I had a terrible experience with a highly contagious and fatal infection. Although it was difficult to do, I did manage to keep Fflewddur somewhat isolated. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to beat an illness.

The sleep toxin was actually a hindrance, since Fflewddur seemed uninterested in eating. His life force plummeted to around 40% in no time, and I feared the worst. It took a lot of coaxing, but several carrots soon found their way into his stomach. Antibody 1 did its work as quickly as it could, and Fflewddur was well again! Better yet, no one else had caught the infection, despite the presence of histamine A. Perhaps Fflewddur believed that the island was to blame, for he hopped on the first ride out of there! I’m sure he attempted to leave behind any trace of that nasty sickness.

Little Gurgi grew bored of being alone, and soon met up with Angharad. She was thrilled to meet this newest Norn! She was, after all, the eldest Norn and seemed to have strong maternal instincts. Gurgi enjoyed the attention, and I was relieved to see that Angharad had taught him a few more words while I was off tending to the latest disaster. After working heavily on body data and sprites, I continue to notice little issues here and there. Not to get too off-topic, but once the C1 Grendels have been completed, expect to see some updates and fixes for the Creatures 1 Norns! Angharad’s head looks a little too far off in space…

Would a reunion between Achren and Ellidyr be anything other than sweet? These two Grendels were ecstatic to see one another: I was surprised that running wasn’t involved! Their reunion was adorable. Neither wanted to walk away, and suddenly, I realized that Achren was pregnant. I supposed that was one way to celebrate! Fflewddur came along to witness the happy Grendels, but he moved on quickly to the garden. It wasn’t long before he and Angharad were expecting another little one.

Achren and Ellidyr really didn’t move from that one spot. Their egg was laid as a sort of landmark, and both Grendels stood guard over it and one another. Ellidyr seemed eager to expand the family, although Achren looked to me for a little help! Silly Doli decided that this was a perfect time to strike up a pose and get some attention. Oh, Doli!

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