Honestly, I like the aquapedes as hounds. They're fast, aggressive, and should be brutally loyal if they imprint or their behavior is anything other than totally instinctive. If they do grow up horrible, we're still tougher than them.
Let's not put them in the pit, though. We don't want them having a reason to evolve air bladders.
Adopt and raise the aquapedes. Don't stash them in the pit.
Can we evolve a chemical trigger or something to get them to recognize us as friends?
__________________ Freelance writer and editor, at your service.
You can attempt to evolve Pheremones that will connect with the Aquapede, but that falls under the specialization of Pheremone communication, which you don't have access to yet. Yet being the keyword there, though.
The Aquapede nest, vacant from all but three Naargal and a small nest full of barely developed aquapede, serves as a perfect location to establish your new species wide nest after the other was conquered by small pink echinoderms.
You command the others to stay back, and you slowly approach the creatures. They have yet to evolve their protective exoskeleton, and their horns are still flimsy and flexible. They barely take notice of you. You carefully remove one from the nest with your tentacles, and as you do so, it unrolls, soft purple underbelly showing a mouth that's too big for the creature it's attached to. It slowly rolls around in your grasp, until the adolescent aquapede looks at you with a small confused look in it's black eye.
The creatures develop quickly, and soon the Aquapede are out of the nest and exploring the surrounding area, when, suddenly, a small proboscis begins to exude itself from several Aquapede mouths.
They lash onto you and your comrades with a quick movement and you feel small portions of your cytoplasmic fluid entering the creatures. Frightened, you attempt to shake them off you, but soon they detach themselves from you and your comrades, leaving nothing but a slightly drained feeling.
You watch the small adolescent Aquapede quickly develop slightly transparent exoskeletons and horns made of the same material. A second set of much smaller horns grow around their eyes, and they slightly increase in size, only stopping when they're slightly smaller than you. You notice that the small Cilia below their exoskeletons has been joined by several small tentacles.
The Aquapede have joined your cause, melding their DNA with yours, and becoming more adapted to your style of living through mimicry. While nesting in the blood soaked walls of this cavern, you find it easy to tame the Aquapede as allies that can be used to join your pack.
And so this chapter of the Naargal story ends. You reached the top of the food chain and proved your ability to survive in the desert by living underground and taking on a carnivorous appetite to keep yourselves satiated. Your species will evolve beneath the surface of the earth once again, as the creatures above evolve separate of the world below.
You have 5 Health
You have 8 Stomach
You have 10 Endurance
You have 12 DNA
You may also purchase one of the following evolutions for free
Become Vertebrate: 20 DNA (Unlocks the advanced use of your body parts as well as tactics, social relations, etc. Increases Attack, Defense, and Perception by 1.)
Develop Protomind: 15 DNA (Your creature is now slightly intelligent. +2 Tactics +2 Social.
Nervous System: 6 DNA (Allows you to move your body more efficiently. +1 Agility +1 Tactics.)
Improved Nervous System: 5 DNA (Allows full control of your body. +1 Agility +1 Tactics. Requires Nervous System.)
Evolve Bloodstream: 6 DNA (Allows you to use energy more efficiently, thus increasing movement speed and adding +1 Attack, but adding -1 Defense.)
Regardless, after this turning point, your creature will be considered
multicellular. As you are at a turning point, please comment on this list
1: Determine your veiws on the creatures you met up to this point. Describe your general attitude toward them as Aggressive, Passive, Cowardly, or Inquisitive. Name them, if they are yet to be named.
The Aquapede: a long millipede-like creature with a carnivorous appetite and two sets of fangs, one pair on each end. It also sports a 7 segmented exoskeleton and an array of cillia to move itself.
A Creeper: Tall plant-like creatures with root like bodies that sport a wide array of brightly colored fans used to attract creatures to it. They appear to bleed a purple goo, which is edible and tasty.
The Sweepers: Small, primitive decomposers and scavengers that support a segmented exoskeleton, a small toothed mouth, and a long flagellum, which they use to get around. They are quite persistent, and follow any creature they decide is a decent predator so they can consume the leftovers of it's kill.
The Muks: Disgusting creatures who have a light brown outer membrane, but protruding out of it are large misshapen bony plates that work as weak armor. Unfortunately, the plates themselves give them many weak points. They use a set of tusks to dig for roots and use several jets to make quick escapes.
The Grinxs (singular Grix): Fast and agile creatures that lack any sort of swimming mechanism, but instead use a set of four tentacles to throw itself around the upper fans of the Creeper Forest. They sport a toothless mouth, and four green glowing eyes.
The Translucoid: A larger subspecies of Nargaal that lacks coloration in several areas, giving it a translucent membrane, horn, and tusks. They are very territorial, but only attack when their own space or well being is in danger.
The Horrorlurk: An enormous armored creature that secretes a sticky weblike substance in several places. It uses a glowing lure to attract small creatures, the either smothers them in webbing or catches them in it's tentacles. It's only weakness is it's soft underbelly.
2: Describe your general attitude towards new creatures in the same manner as those above.
Aquapedes: Aggressive when fully grown, but not dangerous to us at this juncture. By raising the young, we have effectively domesticated/formed a symbiotic relationship with another species. Future goals are to adapt them to useful purposes.
Creeper: Essentially living agriculture for our current purpose, source of food. Treat with caution, but when treated as such, non-threat.
Sweeper: Complete non-threat. If anything, they treat us as a means of survival. Through careful cultivation, may prove useful as scouts, early-warning system of other predators.
Muks: Non-threat. Their digging abilities may be useful for our purposes, especially in nest construction and fortification. Recommend cultivation.
Grinxs: Snack food. Not useful for cultivation.
Translucoid: Territorial with rudimentary pack hierarchy. Potentially dangerous if fought head-on. Treat with caution, but not fear. Later on, may prove useful to integrate into our system. Recommend observation and possible cultivation.
Horrorlurk: Dangerous and aggressive. Has the mindset of an apex predator. Face-to-face engagement not advised. Assault should be carried out by taking advantage of its low mobility and weak underbelly. Treat with caution. Significantly, gives us insight into useful ways to draw in prey (i.e. its whirlpool suction, lure, etc.).
Section Two: General Attitudes
Regard new creatures speculatively. Defend ourselves fiercely and seek new abilities that will allow us to achieve further dominance. Study, adapt, improve. That should be our maxim. We find what works, then improve upon it and use it in innovative new ways.
Section Three Evolution:
I vote we take "Become Vertebrate" for free, then spend 11 DNA on Nervous System and Improved Nervous System. Alternatively, wait until we have 3 more DNA to develop a protomind. I think Vertebrate offers the most options, making it necessary. As for nervous system upgrades, bodily control (as we've seen) is hugely influential on what we can do.
Generations after Generations pass with your species. A sheltered life in the winding nests that was once home to the Aquapede was granted to your kind for many years. Through that time, your creatures continued to develop internally. What was once the inner Naargal cytoplasmic structure has been replaced by a advanced digestive system, a set of nerves connecting to your various body parts, and a thick, but flexible rod down your back. Your very primitive brain has been stressed to itís limits, as it is still underevolved to handle your rapidly developing body. Still, your creatures have grown in intelligence, becoming tightly knit pack creatures with a basic sense of group tactics and even a primitive form of communication.
You have taken to the nest by strengthening the walls with natural slime, now produced by a gland in your throat. You have also added several nesting areas, and have even begun to use a small descendant of the Aquapede as a food source. The creatureís uses otherwise has eluded your species, but sure enough, you have kept the species alive, and fed on their young.
As the generations went on, your species slowly increased in size due to a well developed source of food. After a time, you barely had to leave your nest at all. Besides, who would want to, as far as your species is concerned; the surface is a wasteland of sand and heat, completely incapable of supporting any kind of life.
And so we return to your species, thriving in cramped tunnels and small rooms. Recently, the tunnels have gotten not only more crowded, but the water itself within the tunnel has taken on a cloudy tone as it fills with Naargal waste.
You are a pack leader of a group of four Naargal. You and your pack are feasting on the remains of a small Aquapede, when the roof of the cavern begins to shake. Small bits of sandstone rain down from the ceiling, and all around you Naargal begin to screech in alarm.
Through the high pitched roar of screeching Naargal you unleash a small command to your small pack of Naargal. Soon several Naargal wriggle their way toward you through the crowd, and as the cavern walls shake and crumble, you lead your pack out of the rear area of the nest, and use your jets to speed yourselves through the murky caverns. Soon you find yourselves at the entrance to your cave, and the bright desert light leaks through and illuminates the smog, creating eerie silhouettes around your exoskeletons.
You lead the charge as you squeeze yourself out of the evidently smaller hole, and are suddenly bathed in the bright blue light of the surface. The light penetrates through your translucent purple exoskeleton and you feel your innards beginning to boil under the intense desert heat, but it becomes evident that the heat is greater than it's ever been.
The brown desert has been bleached to a light tan over the generations, and the blue light in the sky has increased in size by a fair amount. The water around is turbulent, and tries to throw you around, but by letting yourself to the ground, you find it fairly easy to stay put. The largest change, however, is the strange shining layer between you and the blue light that rests only a few lengths of your body above you.
As the remaining Naargal exit the nest, you can hear their innards slowly boiling under the light, but around you, the massive creature you assumed was nearby is nowhere to be found. Still, the sand is shaking and drumming, and the ground itself appears to be rising and falling at a rapid rate. Before you have a chance to examine the environment in any greater detail, your instincts force you back into the nest, and your body temperature cools significantly in the darkness.
You have 10 Health
You have 7 Stomach
You have 6 Endurance
You have 0 DNA
Edit: Usually it's me that's late. I sure hope that this isn't the end.
The surface turbulence seems to be what's ruining our burrow, but we will die if we attempt to convoy across the surface. The only other option than burrowing I'm seeing is eat all the other Nargaal and aquapedes and flash-mutate into something ideally suited to the situation.
__________________ Freelance writer and editor, at your service.
Go up and see how far the 'shining layer' extends. Then quickly return to the nest and dig out to the side, along with our pack, until we're just beyond it. That 'shining layer' is the creature, and it's clearly intensifying the heat; as such, attacking it from outside is likely going to give us enough time to do some damage before we get to the point where it's boil or retreat.
Also, didn't we run into an Aquapede on the surface our first day? We should try sending some of them up to attack this thing once we're in place, then make the attack while it's (hopefully) distracted.
Plague Rat in the Playground
Originally Posted by Cera
But... I suppose I have nothing to blow up that wouldn't result in our imminent doom, that would be beneficial.
Originally Posted by Moonwolf
Damn you and your comprehensive understanding of synergistic tactics. :|
Originally Posted by The Shroud, Lover's Bones
Evil is as evil does -
There's a black abyss where heaven was.
Burn in hell for your own desires,
Drain your blood to quench the fires.
You squeeze your way through your crowded, polluted cavern to the back and order your small pack to dig further down. They do the same, breaking past the hardened layer of protective slime after a scary time spent with the walls collapsing and shaking. Soon your team is scraping at the walls with their tusks, and you find that you quickly descend further into the planetís crust.
As you descend, the tremors begin to die down, until they are barely noticeable, when you decide to form several larger rooms and hallways. The polluted water of your home still rests in this new nest, but it is slightly more diluted and breathable. When the extended nest is complete, most of the population of the Naargal flood into the area as you coats the walls with drying slime.
The halls are less crowded, and you find it much easier to herd the Aquapede into a new nesting area. The ground still shakes tightly, and the skinny polluted hallways of the levels above create a strange whistling sound as the current flows through them.
Your species is safe from the quakes, but the strange shining layer on the surface still remains. Perhaps itís time to fight back.
In attempt to tactically overcome the large shining layer above your nest which may be causing the turbulence in the water around your nest you gather your small pack of Naargal, and you begin to dig upward. As some of you remove the sandstone from the walls, others solidify the new tunnel behind you, and fairly quickly you manage to dig a thin ventilation tunnel upwards out of your main room.
The travel upwards to the surface takes a long period of time, but by using your air bladders and creating a set of interlocking ledges you form a tunnel that can easily be traversed by a member of your species in itís current state. As you ascend, the turbulence shakes the cavern walls, raining small sandstone particles from the ceiling and walls into your main nesting area. A naargal dispatches to relocate the debris.
A searing ray of light breaks in and down into the ventilation tunnel as you breach the surface. As you do so, a wave of sand violently flows down the area, pushing and shoving, forcing the Naargal with you to descend the ventilation tunnel. You soon find yourself being pushed into the main chamber.
Just as you are about to seal the tunnel, the flow of sand stops except for a small trickle of brown sand caused by the shifting particles on the surface. The sand is quickly placed into a vacant room in your cavern by several tusk-using Naargal, and you and your pack soon climb the ventilation tunnel once again and breach to the surface.
Besides the apparent lack of the Creeper forest that once grew here, the burning starlight, and the lack of signs of life in all directions, the strange shining layer still resides what could be miles above you. Itís patches of light wave in a haphazard area, and those that do not perfectly exact the color of the sky above. You have risen in elevation from your original under-stone entrance, which is clearly visible from your area, and around your hole the sand shapes an upside down cone leading to the hole you came out of.
The strange shining layer above you appears more or less lifeless. It shows no notice to you. And it appears content to sit there with itís many slightly elliptical blinding lights far out of your reach. It stretches for incredible distances from you, to the point that the layer meets with the desert around you on the horizon. It could go on forever.
The burning starlight still sears and boils your inside, and you are forced to retreat back into your nest before any of your pack members die of overheating. And so the apparently blind shining layer still rests above your nest, completely ignorant of your existence, but happy to allow you and the creeper forest to die.
Have an aquapede test the surface, to see if they can survive the temperature, then attempt to tunnel to the roots of any nearby creepers and bring them back to the central chamber if not. Otherwise, send the aquapedes out hunting.
We need a small stockpile of food before we can temperature-adapt ourselves to the sun.
__________________ Freelance writer and editor, at your service.
The layers of sand that trickle out of your upper access site have more or less filled your large main cavern. As you are about to tell your small pack to excavate it, your instincts suddenly cause you to settle down on the soft sand and rest. When you wake, you find that while you slept, half of your party has been removing the sand, while the others slept. Now that you awaken, the other half begins to excavate along your side. Soon, as you take shifts, between eating and sleeping and excavating, you clear your main cavern and relocate the sand to the abandoned tunnels of your previous area.
Starving, you descend your caverns to your Aquapede nest and select several small Aquapede out of herd. Your comrades messily devour the corpses of four Aquapede, and you can see the adapted glands in their throat throb and filter the useful nutrients out of the highly poisonous muscle tissue. (Thank Adapt Digestive System). Soon, there is little but a set of three exoskeletons splattered with cytoplasmic fluid.
Your access tunnel still has a small trickle of sand running down it, but a set of working Naargal has taken over the excavation of the sand and seals it within the old nest. The tremors within the rock remain at a steady timer, and the surface remains turbulent. You herd an aquapede to the nesting area and use your prehensile tentacles to pull the surprisingly dense creature to the surface. You gingerly place it in the boiling sunlight, and watch.
The aquapede slides about in the heavy current and appears to have trouble holding on to the slippery sand. Although it appears to be unharmed in the light, it quickly retreats back to you when it can no longer hold on to the sandy surface with the spiraling current. These creatures cannot be used to hunt for food on the surface, but faced with a starving colony feeding off of a rapidly dwindling Aquapede population, you return to the chamber and send orders to your pack.
For a very long period of time you and your pack begin to branch mine for even the scarcest remains of creeper root in the sandstone, but after what seems like an entire day/night cycle, you return to the nest with nothing but sand. Food is scarce, you can walk upon the surface but canít handle the light, and the aquapede can handle the light but not walk on the surface, and food cannot be found underground besides a dwindling Aquapede population. What now?
Eat other Nargaal to gain DNA. Temperature adapt the Nargaal to survive outside the burrow. Pick up the remaining aquapedes and carry them out of the burrow, away from this area, to establish a new base.
__________________ Freelance writer and editor, at your service.
I think we way be able to do it with our current DNA levels though, making the eating other Nargaal unnecessary. We can pick up the "Thicken Membrane" for 2 DNA and the "Grow Mouth" for 2 DNA. The thicker membrane should defend us against the Solaran's heat creation ability (Proposal: name the shining layer the Solaran).
You decide that itís time to move to a new nest. With the constant tremors and turbulent water above and in the middle of a desert without food, you decide itís time to take your pack of Naargal and head out of your cramped, polluted nest deep in the sandstone underlayer of what as once the Creeper forest.
Before your departure, you gather together the Aquapede of the cavern with your tentacles and make a small corral for them. Then you rest, recovering Endurance and Health, and decide to name the long shining layer above you a Solaran, for itís supposed light generating abilities. As your evolutionary chemicals recollect into each other, you use the remaining DNA to develop Heat Resistance, and when you wake you find that your exoskeleton has filled with a black pigment, and absorbs the heat of the sunlight, rather than allowing the light through to boil your insides.
Being the Alpha of your nest, as you and your pack exit the tunnel, you find that many other Naargal, some with the heat resistant evolution, some without, file out of the nest and join you with their packs, forming a massive migration of Naargal to the new nest, to be determined in position by you.
Upwards, you notice the shining layer still reflecting light in individual scale shaped facets on the surface; it is no longer reflecting the light of your home star. Rather, you see the light of a collection of hundreds upon thousands of smaller lights dotting the sky, their patterns showing a beautiful assortment of blues, greens, reds, whites, and yellows beyond the layer above. The current has shifted to the opposite direction, and the tremors appear to have died down in the local area. In short, it is perfect for travel.
You set off into the desert in the first direction instinct tells you, and nearly the entire Naargal colony follows you. You set off deep into the desert, unsure of what you may find beyond these sand dunes.
The first light of the home star begins to show itself on the horizon after a massive migration, and you find yourself in a new section of the desert. While the sand dunes still continue, you find that the Solaran, which apparently has followed you here, is now obscured with a colony of slimy green creatures attached to it. These creatures have long white stalks that appear to dig deep into the sand beneath you, and above, at the level of the layer, is a thin mat of slimy green goo that appears to anchor itself to the stalks. With dawn coming, but safely resistant to the oncoming sunlight, you stand in a loose forest of these creatures, unlike the creepers of home, but sharing a similar family of shape.