It wasn’t long before Gwydion laid down for another nap, yet the vigilant look in Orddu’s eyes showed that there was more to the story. Indeed, all my hoping paid off in the form of an egg! This was the first for the adorable Orddu, and only the third from her companion. As she hid behind him for a moment, I could almost imagine what a child from them would look like. It was a pleasant spot to get ready to lay an egg: No other Norns or Grendels had spent more than a few minutes in the region. Orddu and Gwydion settled right in and decided to make this their own little home!
Gurgi was still up to his usual tricks of disappearing and reappearing all over the place. I could have sworn I had last spotted him near the still, yet I stumbled across him hanging out in the garden. Amazingly, he was actually alone. It was for the best: His crazy fertility meant that one chance meeting would lead to a population explosion! Gurgi apparently thought that he could share his troubles with the ball, courtesy of a carrot as a makeshift microphone. It was another senior Norn moment to have a little chuckle over. Or a lot of chuckles over…
The stunted egg was still the main focus of Llyan, although I convinced her to try out the cable car. It was either that or another round of bee stings… She chose wisely! I actually believed that she would make it to the other side, but she suddenly changed her mind and turned the bright red car around with a jolt. At least she got a taste of adventure! Even though Llyan was rather lonely, it was touching to watch her spend her time with her tiny egg. The one glitch it apparently caused was to keep the cable car from traveling back and forth on its own. I figured I would intervene at some point to bring some companions to Llyan… Eggs just didn’t quite cut it on the friendship level!
I was hard pressed not to hatch an egg the second I started up Creatures 1! With all of the new eggs taken care of and all of my Norns and Grendels in excellent health, I found a quick moment to use the incubator. Meet Rhun, the son of Inndyr and Hopen! He was an adorable mix between the Forest and Purple Mountain Norns. One important mutation he possessed was the lack of the angry walk receptor gene. Rhun had a few other unique qualities, though, and a ton of cuteness!
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.
138 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Air is this cold, chem=Coldness, thresh=0, samp=24, gain=48, features=Analogue
The gene defines how much coldness chemical is injected into a Norn when he or she encounters cold air. Normally, the gain value is set at 50. Rhun’s mutation means that he will react slightly more slowly to cold air than a typical Norn: The change is fairly minor, yet he should not become as cold as quickly. With winter just around the corner, perhaps this will come in handy! In Albian practicality, it should play a very small role.
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.
72 Ado B MutDupCut 1*NFP- + 1*NFP => 1*Reward; half-life=8
In the standard Norn genome, this gene shows how a Norn is rewarded when Need For Pleasure (NFP) is decreased. This happens by combining a decrease in NFP with the actual NFP chemical in the system. In terms of learning, this is an important concept, as it rewards a Norn for reducing a primary need. The problem with Rhun is that this gene does not switch on until adolescence, whereas it is typically on at the moment of birth. He may have issues with reducing his NFP, although this should not cause him any serious harm.
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.
244 Emb B Mut ‘Invol 3=’cough” causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0 => 32*Pain + 8*Sleepiness + 8*Fear + 16*Hexokinase
This gene controls the chemicals that are injected when a Norn coughs. In the standard Norn genome, pain, tiredness, fear, and hexokinase are experienced. For Rhun, this tiredness is replaced with sleepiness. There are both pros and cons to this mutation: Sleepy Norns are often more inclined to rest than merely tired Norns, yet a coughing Norn could die if he or she fell asleep. Coughing is often a byproduct of an antigen illness, which can quickly lead to a steep decline in glycogen. I doubt that this will have any serious repercussions for Rhun: Hopefully he can live a cough-free life!
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.
292 Chi B MutDupCut Verb i/ps Stop + Drive i/ps Pain and I Stop => 255*Reward
Instincts can be some of the more confusing genes, simply due to the way in which they are described. This gene simply says that when a Norn hears the word “stop” and he or she follows the command, a huge amount of reward will be in store! In most Norns, the above described scenario is exactly how it actually plays out. Rhun’s mutation ties his pain drive to this instinct, though. From my understanding, he should only be rewarded if he hears the word stop, is in some degree of pain, and actually stops. I have had very little success with actually getting Norns to obey the stop command, though, so I have a feeling that this will play little to no role in Rhun’s life. Still, it could end up being an important mutation: Always good to document these genes!