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In the Throes of Adventure | Into Stickweave Forest!
The sun peeked just over the horizon and its dull orange glow illuminated the dirt paths of Stickweave Village. At the end of a particular dirt path off the main road — and lined with small, lightless stone lanterns — stood a lonely wooden shack, held together by vines and force of will. Oggin the Fire Sage, with his flaming ears, ornately designed red and gold cape, and shining ring suspended parallel with his back, yawned as he flipped the Questing Board over and pinned the latest Adventure Briefs to it with tiny stone nails. As the sun drifted higher and higher into the sky, the small shack at the end of the path was crowded with Gooeys eager to nab a quest — it was Questing Day after all! Oggin, for one, hated Questing Day. Every overzealous Gooey with the slightest bit of magical training felt like they could take on the world. His own pupil, Meden, hadn’t even undertaken his first quest until he’d achieved the second tier of Fire magic mastery. His peers in the sagely arts rarely agreed with his harsh stances… Which is how poor Oggin had ended up running the Questing Shack. Bets were made. Pride was lost. As it turned out, some Gooeys really did have what it took to achieve greatness with little-to-no-training. However, the mass of wiggling Gooeys before him certainly seemed ill-prepared at best. For the next hour-and-a-half, Oggin initiated the lottery system that governed Questing Day. Every participant would draw a small colored stone from a veiled jar, and four of each color were available for picking. Each color corresponded to a particular region: pink for Stickweave Forest, blue for Coral Cove, brown for the Tar Pits, red for the Burning Skies, green for the Dreadful Copse, black for the Owlkin Massif. There were other quests available, but only for the strongest Gooeys. Some questing locales were hidden, while others were strange landmarks that required specialized knowledge to navigate. While Oggin explained these things to the eager questers, he noticed Mushroomhead’s student at the back of the group — her pink arms folded, golden ears drooped, and her matching eyes full of disappointment at the stone she’d pulled… Pink. Sage was quite skilled thanks to her master, who had worked with her quite a while to circumvent her magical handicaps. The little Gooey produced far too much aura to control, which led Mushroomhead to devise a devious solution so she could functionally use magic: Sage learned to imbue Glass Pearls from Coral Cove with her aura. Sage’s aura seemed to resonate with the minerals inside the pearls which created spell capsules for her to use in combat as needed — each pearl’s hue determined the elemental magic it would produce upon its use. She was at her best when Basil, her fellow student, was around. However, he opted to pursue the study of their magical land with the Goostorians instead. Together they were able to cast impossibly powerful magic, but now, Sage required a bit more care to ensure she avoided aura explosions. In addition to her capsules, Sage wore a strange contraption that was dug into the goo on her right side. A siphon for her aura, it enabled her to collect the excess her body produced, diffuse the energy, and empty it onto the ground without risk of explosion. And after overcoming all of these hurdles, Sage had pulled a stone for the easiest quest available — gathering fruit in the Stickweave Forest. Oggin brushed his sympathy for her aside, and wrapped up his over-practiced Questing Day speech. “And with that!” He paused dramatically. “Find your Questing Crews and be on your way. For those traveling to the Burning Skies, Dreadful Copse, and the Owlkin Massif, you will be chaperoned by a Sage.” Oggin ended his speech with a heavy sigh. He had yet to chaperone any Gooeys since he was burdened with the shack — while Questing Day was special, older Gooeys often stopped by the shack daily to embark on quests, which left Oggin tied to his duty far more often than he’d like. Looking over the organizing mass of goo, he saw three eccentric Gooeys moving toward Sage. Perhaps he could spare a little time to chaperone a group; the older Gooeys knew the drill by now with questing. He turned back to the shack and spied an Adventure Brief with Amelie’s seal on it — a special assignment set aside for Sages Brandt and Steeple. They were quite proficient practitioners of Water and Light magics, and were seasoned questers. As he grabbed the sealed note, the wind gusted and scattered some papers accompanying it onto the cabin floor. “Master Oggin! I get to be a chaperone today, and you’ll never guess where I’m headed,” Meden, Oggin’s student, shouted over the crowd. Oggin grinned wide, forgetting the papers. He quickly pinned the brief to the board and moved to greet his student. Sage looked up at the three Gooeys that stood before her. Each had an air of unease about them, and it already irritated her. “Listen up you three! This may be the easiest quest out there, but I will not tolerate failure. Got it?” Sage huffed and looked toward the tree line. The Gooey to her left with the pearlescent body covered in heart-shaped markings and a mask with swirling magical runes spoke first. “My, uh, name miss, is, uh, Kiyoshi. I, well, maybe it’s better I show you.” Kiyoshi held out his hand and rubbed his fingers together. After a short moment, sparks erupted into the air. Sage’s eyes widened. She had never seen a Gooey perform lightning magic before! “Oh lightning — ” “No, actually. We’re, uh, not really sure what it is,” Kiyoshi sighed. “I, uh, have found I’m good at getting people to, well, tell me things. Master Brandt thinks it may be a sort of, hm, enchantment magic.” “Well, you’re a bit like me then there, Kiyoshi. Weird magical abilities and all,” Sage’s irritation returned as she cut her sentence short. “You, with the stick thing on your head. Who are you?” A blue Gooey with peach eyes and tree horns carried a small mass of goo on his head, with tiny stones for eyes, twigs for arms, and a tiny fruit peel cape. The absurdity of it all made Sage’s eye twitch. “Bentbranch and Curled Twig at your service miss…” “Sage. Just call me Sage.” “Ah okay, miss Sage!” Sage rolled her eyes, and Bentbranch smiled… oblivious. His blue-tinged tree horns glowed faintly and the air around him shimmered slightly. “Hey… Weren’t you one of Gumbo’s students?” Sage asked as she looked him up and down again. Gumbo may have been exiled with the rest of the Droplet Society, but his genius could not be ignored. Maybe this one would be useful after all? “Always formerly, miss Sage!” Perhaps not. A ghostly looking Gooey with blue eyes and ears drifted forward and reached out his hand to shake Sage’s. She took it and felt the strength behind it — this Gooey had experience. “Casper,” he said. “Sage! This seems to be everyone, yes?” The quartet turned around — almost in unison — to see Oggin towering above them. “I would like to show you something! Please follow me.” Sage and Casper shrugged at each other and the newly formed Questing Crew fell in line behind the Fire Sage. They moved swiftly through the trees of Stickweave Forest, tinged purple and blue with magical light. As they ventured deeper into the forest — and far from the usual fruit harvesting areas — every few meters, there seemed to be large, luminescent crystals protruding from the ground. “Where are we, Master Oggin?” Sage muttered, awe slipping into her voice. “Sage! Good question. Stickweave has many more mysteries to uncover than you young Gooeys are led to believe.” Oggin stopped for a moment, perhaps pondering what to say next. “For example… If you travel eastward from here, you would arrive at the Droplet Society archives — but don’t you dare venture that way!” Oggin directed his words at the oblivious Bentbranch, who with wide eyes, had rushed in the direction Oggin had suggested. The small Gooey stopped short and tumbled over himself a few times; grumbling and muttering as he got up. “Now! I’m going to show you something only the most experienced Questers know about,” Oggin said, his voice dripping with wondrous allure. The group ventured onward for a bit and through a particularly thick patch of trees and undergrowth until they came across a barely perceivable path marked by two glowing lanterns. Luminant flames danced within them, pulsing with a rainbow of saturated colors. “That’s, uh, hm, Fae Fire, uh, Master Oggin!” Kiyoshi broke from the group and pushed up close to the lanterns to study the phenomenon. “Good eye, Kiyoshi! Whenever you are out in the lands, keep your eyes out for Fae Fire. You may stumble across something incredible,” Oggin’s eyes sparkled as he spoke. “Well then! Let’s cross into the Shrine of the Elder Goo.” They pushed through the trees to reveal an august statue that glowed and vibrated with magical power. The young Gooeys had only ever heard stories of the Elder Goo — they had never seen his likeness portrayed before. The icon sparkled with pearlescent stone, the Elder Goo’s grand mask with harsh eyes and a long beak was tilted toward the tree tops. Three of his four arms held out different objects — one full of fruit, another depicting the four elemental magics, and the third gripping a staff. The fourth was extended downward where the Gooeys could reach if they climbed onto the small pedestal in front of the statue. Sage, Kiyoshi, Casper, and Bentbranch couldn’t help but stare for a few minutes before Oggin finally spoke again. “Young Gooeys! Each of you shall place your hand in the hand of the Elder Goo. Doing so will bestow you a blessing,” Oggin was struggling to contain his enthusiasm. “Sage, you first!” Taking a deep breath, she shuffled forward and pulled herself onto the stone slab adjacent to the hand. She reached out, hesitantly at first, but suddenly felt compelled to touch the shining stone hand. As she did, Sage felt something rush into her. The hand closed around hers. She felt as if she was being hoisted into an embrace, the deep and booming voice of the Elder Goo reverberated in her mind — the two of them sailing amongst the stars. May the Fortunes smile upon you, Young One. She blinked, and her senses returned. An illusion. “Master Oggin… what was that?” Sage couldn’t help but feel like she’d seen beyond the fabric of their world. “A memento! Some say the Elder Goo left a bit of his spirit behind before he split into the First Sages.” Sage rubbed her hand, contemplating the thought that the Elder Goo may still exist in the statue before them. After a few moments, Casper climbed up and did the same. They each had a similar but slightly different experience — but after they had all touched the statue, Oggin brought them back out onto the forest path. “You have been blessed! Go reap your rewards.” The Questing Crew grinned at each other and marched forth into Stickweave Forest. That night, they returned with an unprecedented amount of fruit and other rare finds. — Chapter 1.5 — A Glimpse into the Void - “My Princess. Sages Brandt and Steeple — they never rendezvoused with Nenona and Mushroomhead at the base of the Tower of Harpsilis. They believe something has happened to them.” A shrill-voiced messenger Gooey had poked its head through the doorway of Princess Amelie’s study. Amelie sat back in her chair. Her table was covered in notes and maps — everything she poured over belonged to Asheron, the Fae who betrayed his own kind. She was dressed in her evening robes; a dark purple with tinges of gold arcing down the back and into the tails that trailed onto the floor. Her silvery hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and small reading lenses hung from her neck. The news was… unfortunate. Amelie had sent the sages on a scouting mission — Harpsilis was the one place she knew for sure that the Droplet Society would retreat to in the event they were deposed. Brandt and Steeple were known for their skill in subterfuge, and she had left extremely specific directions on how to infiltrate the tower without being found out. What had happened to them? She motioned for the messenger to be on their way, and stood, whirling around to a set of books she had yet to touch. They were organized numerically by volume, however one was missing. Her study was illuminated by moody lamplight that would occasionally highlight the shelves surrounding the room — and the dust that drifted in the air. She thought for a moment, then touched the first volume in the stack. Lamplight was replaced by dim Fae Fire lanterns and a grand chapel at the heart of the Tower of Harpsilis. Columns of Fae Steel rose so high she could hardly see the roof they propped up. The marble floors were dulled since she’d last seen them, but they were otherwise meticulously kept. Except for the two puddles of goo that she spotted just ahead, past the first set of pews. Steeple and Brandt were suspended in the air, staked on vicious black spikes — each shifting with tinges of Void magic. Her dear friends were still recognizable, yet much of their bodies had oozed and drained onto the floor. Horrified, Amelie looked away. Her gaze fell upon the shadows crowding the corners of the rooms; they too were shifting and moving. And that’s when she realized the shadows weren’t shadows at all. There were Fae eyes shining out of Void corrupted bodies. H-h-help us… P-prince-e-ss… She was suddenly expelled from the chapel, where she collapsed onto the dusty floor of her study. Amelie fell unconscious.
The Humaniquarium New Player Guide: How It All Works!
Ever wanted to have your very own on-the-go pocket bonsai garden? Well, you’re in luck — because Humaniquarium can give you that and more! A portmanteau of “human terrarium,” Humaniquarium is a free-to-play indie title developed by Jupiter Lighthouse Games and published by Dogira Studios. It’s designed around the idea of raising procedurally generated bonsai trees and taking care of the little people who live under them. If this is your first time hearing about the game, welcome! We’re so glad you’re here. If you’re from the Dogira Studios community, we’re sure that you’re hungry for some new info before the game goes live. Join us as we dive into the ins-and-outs of Humaniquarium — from its systems, to early game, and what you can expect as you raise your trees. medium.com — Did You Eat the Berries…?. — Your adventure kicks off with a Park Ranger discovering you “conked out” under a tree. From there, you get introduced to the map system that will guide your story progression! Naturally, you’re quickly put to work like you’re one of the park staff (yeesh, someone should probably give the local Parks and Recreation Department a phone call). Players will discover a strange egg, a seed, and a stone. Nothing useful for getting rid of that berry-fueled stupor, but plenty useful for the beginning of Humaniquarium’s gameplay loop. After the seed is planted and the egg is hatched, you’ll be tasked with learning a few different systems: Tree level, Little Person management, Creative Energy, Cash flow, Congrats on leveling up your tree! Hopefully it grows up big and strong. Your tree will progressively level up, which gives you a few different opportunities to pursue — each giving you a short term buff. The choice is up to you! Each level up reward will prompt your procedurally generated bonsais to grow taller and wider. Little Person happiness is linked to the overall health of your tree. Is the tank’s climate good for the tree? Your Little Person (LP) will be quite happy! Are you prompting your tree to drop enough fruit for the LP to collect? Each LP has different needs and wishes for you to fulfill. Completing these tasks will produce Creative Energy. Creative Energy is generated by your LP, crafting, and completing tasks around your tank. As you generate more creative energy, you’ll be able to craft new blueprints and learn how to build new things for your bonsai habitats — some Creative Energy blueprints even act as passive buffs for your trees. Cash is earned through crafting items, completing tasks, and more. The more cash you earn, the more you can spend to get new decorations for your planters and tanks from the in-game shop. Cash is 100% earned through game play… Humaniquarium is free after all! We hope you enjoy creating unique environments for your bonsai trees.Decorate your planters and tanks with items. — Pocket Full of Zen. — This game can be played for quite a while in one sitting, especially at the beginning as you’re discovering new items, systems, and blueprints! However, Humaniquarium is designed to be a daily ritual — something you come back to every morning, afternoon, and evening for a few minutes to check on your trees, plant a few new flowers, and make sure your LP is happy as can be. At the end of the day, it’s designed to be a game that lets you take a break from the stresses of the day! So as you play the game, we recommend taking it at a pace that suits you. We’ve kept the introduction to the game short so that you can get a hang of the basics right away, and discover the rest at YOUR leisure. Take your time… Your pocket bonsai garden will be waiting for you when you return.The fruits of hard work — and this isn’t even the best stuff! — Minigames, Updates, and More!. — The guys over at Jupiter Lighthouse Games, Andy and Dylan, have been hard at work polishing up Humaniquarium and they absolutely want to keep adding on to the game! As we get more feedback from players about what they’re enjoying, we hope to be able to bring new features online, and create new, meaningful systems for you to engage with. While a few of the features shown off back in February 2022 didn’t make it into the final build, there’s PLENTY for players to dig into and enjoy. Perhaps with more time and development they can make their way into the game — or even completely new features. It all comes down to you and the Humaniquarium community!One of three minigames you can play… Discover the rest as you progress. Let us know what you would like to see and what you’re enjoying so Jupiter Lighthouse can continue shaping this incredible little game. Okay so, we’ve talked about the core gameplay loop above, but there’s a ton of little secrets, story beats, and more to discover as you play. Every once in a while, players may encounter minigames that bestow unique bonuses and rewards. Over time, players will also discover exotic new types of trees — each with unique trunks, growth patterns, and colors. Have fun discovering all the amazing trees you can raise and level up!Your sneak peek at each of the SIX tree varieties you can grow. Every player will start with a fruit tree type! — About Release Day…. — For the Play Store… It’s live RIGHT NOW! Click here to get it downloaded. We ARE planning to also have Humaniquarium live on the App Store, however there are a few more hurdles we have to clear for publishing on there. We apologize to any iOS-only users who will have to wait to play — but your time is coming. We hope everyone is as excited about this game as we are! We are thrilled that many of you will be able to get your hands on it. -The Dogira Studios Te
The Fundamentals of Catalysts and Magics | On Earth and Vigor
Red tinged fur tickled at Presto’s back as he crossed the plateau overlooking Coral Cove. Coral structures towered, twisted, twirled, and bloomed into his view, lightly pulsing as if alive — and the wind struck him as a bit colder than usual for the season. His neon green ears (which shivered a bit every time the wind gusted) and dark purple body were as mismatched as ever, but his royal red cape lined with rare Granzielle fur gave him a fraction more presence and command than he had been able to procure in the past. Although, nobody was around to confirm his gut on that point. Tucked under his stubby arm was a large roll of woven parchment. Having been profoundly embarrassed by the vagabonds who’d robbed him of his ability to meet Princess Amelie at the royal palace upon her awakening, he had set out to create a manifesto of sorts. His disjointed ideas of Gooey etiquette had been largely ignored — as very few Gooeys had time for Presto and his unpleasant voice — but after Sage Oggin kindly directed him to the currently unattended Droplet Society archives, Presto had learned a number of fascinating things: There was a secret path across the ocean to the landmass beyond their shores — something about magics and rules. Yet, Presto had no time for such things, The Droplet Society had secret chambers inside the Tower of Harpsilis in the Owlkin Massif — he’d tried to tell Mushroomhead, but whenever he approached the old Gooey, Sage and Basil would launch tiny whirlwinds at Presto which would send him sprawling and tumbling back down whatever direction he approached from, A race of rideable, floating beasts — once friendly with Gooeys — lived deep in the Dreadful Copse; unfortunately, Serin the Beast Tamer always seemed to be hard of hearing when Presto was around, Nonetheless, the archives were rich with secret knowledge the rest of Gooeys society would greatly benefit from… Especially the information contained within the scroll Presto carried with him; the items he carried in his serpentskin satchel would also presumably be useful on his treasure hunt. He knew that the Stickweave Gooeys would be resistant to his teachings. The Cultured Goo ideology was still unknown and needed to be perfected. Bringing a new era of culture and civility to his people would, almost certainly, require a new people to educate and integrate them with. During his time in the dank, dusty, and awfully drab archival rooms — and after more than a few Arachnibits had nipped at the goo around his mask — Presto had discovered a false wall. In the small room were the scroll, a serpentskin satchel full of Dragilisk scales threaded with a strangely thin and flexible metal, and a map that lead straight to the spot that rose into view: A long-forgotten cave full of the Lost Ones. They were rarely talked about these days, but when Presto was young the stories told about them indicated they were a group of Gooeys proficient in Earth magics. They had all but disappeared seven decades ago, and with it the knowledge to employ their magical abilities. If he could use these hidden tools to make them not lost, perhaps he would have willing ears for his Manifesto de la Slimé. And so he stood at the foot of the cave, curious to discover everything the Droplet Society hid within it. *** The journey to the heart of the cave proved treacherous. Parts of its many caverns had caved in or flooded over the last few decades, and after slogging through the worst of it — a domed chamber infested with hungry-looking Scatterbats; leathery creatures that used their young as toothy projectiles — he arrived at a smooth wall painted with the image of a Dragilisk. “Oookay. Pretty sure the scales are for this… puzzle?” Presto whispered to himself softly and scratched his left ear in thought. He reached into his satchel and tugged out the cloth bag containing the Dragilisk scales. After closer inspection of the metal connecting them, he discovered a hilt — small enough for a Gooey to comfortably operate — with a small switch on it, dangling off the cluster of strung scales. Clasping the cold hilt in his hands he pressed the switch — a low humming radiated from the handle and in a flash, the strung scales straightened into the form of a blade! The weapon groaned like a Dragilisk, but the noise was far less piercing than he’d been told. Holding up the sword to the wall, the vibration seemed to carry into it; causing the image of the Dragilisk to move. It danced along the wall, jumping and darting as if it were hunting an unseen animal. But then, it stopped; vicious claws forming a circular arc around a particular spot. Presto took a deep breath and plunged the vibrating blade between the claws. It moved through the wall like it were slicing through water — there was little resistance until the tip of the blade seemed to slot into something. He tugged at the blade, but it was stuck tight. Giving the handle a twist to the right, he could hear something locking into place within the wall. Suddenly, the sword hilt was ripped from his grip and swallowed into the wall. A tiny bell chimed, and another section of the wall slid into the floor, revealing a dusty entrance. “I just might have a future in treasure hunting after all,” Presto chirped happily and clapped as he shuffled over to his discovery. Carefully popping his ears and mask around the corner to check for traps, Presto gasped — the room was filled with Gooey statues. The walls were lined with dimly lit lamps, whose flames licked hungrily at the shadows. The dull groan of the Dragilisk blade filled the room, growing louder. Along the ceiling were a series of metallic pipes and at the back of the room, Presto spotted the sword (now in an ornate scabbard) pressed against a lone pipe that split into two lines — ultimately connecting to those running across the ceiling. As the tone deepened and resonated even more, the statues quivered. Their brown and gray bodies flushed with colorful hues as the Lost Ones finally awoke from their slumber. Presto giggled madly as the first few Gooeys shook off the last of their rock forms and began to sing. *** By nightfall, the Lost Ones had formed into small groups — roughly twenty in total, with four or five making up each group — all huddled around fires fueled by coral husks and driftwood from the coast line. When Presto first found them, their songs were joyous, but now they harmonized over a dirge; a tribute to the Fae. Presto sat with the Lost One leader, Hegras, and his tumbled offspring Hegraph and Hegraw. The Foxtail seemed to not fall too far from the bush with these three — each gruff, short-spoken, and cursed with heavy brows and inexpressive eyes; they were Earth magic Gooeys through and through. The trio sat atop three meticulously detailed mounds of earth conjured with their magical powers. In fact Hegras seemed to never stand. His throne appeared to drift wherever he desired, the earth below him shifting and scuttling as if it were a living thing. They simply stared at Presto as he caught them up on the seven decades of history they’d missed while they were dormant. And he wove a few advantageous half-truths into his retelling for good measure. “As you can see Hegras, your old masters, The Droplet Society, are no more. I, however, offer you an olive branch of acceptance. I am the arbiter of a movement called the Cultured Goo,” Presto took a deep breath — he had them transfixed! “The Stickweave Gooeys reject the ways of culture. They’ve committed themselves to mud huts and wooden shacks. They spit on the beautiful architecture you cultivated in your time.” Hegras’ heavy brow furrowed deeper than Presto thought possible. The old Gooey sighed. “No love for architecture. Architecture is culture. It is art,” Hegras barked out. “Elder Hegras. Consider this. Our sleep is long. This Gooey is not necessarily one to trust. He did have the Resounding Key,” Hegraph’s speech was laced with poison as he glared at Presto. “Yes. Yes. This is true Elder. We are no friends to Droplet Society after what they did. Perhaps he is one of them with all his knowledge,” Hegraw’s mouth tugged into a bit of snarl as he regarded Presto. “Master Architects, please listen to what I have to say,” Presto paused for dramatic effect. The three across from him frowned, finding no joy in his theatrics. “I shall speak plainly then… “The logic you display is just that, logical. I respect your intuition, however I can promise you I discovered these Droplet Society secrets solely because the uncultured folk of Stickweave rejected me at every turn. I came to find you, and free you, for I believe in your power to shape history. To bring Gooeys into a new golden age!” At this, the trio perked up. The fire they sat around appeared to be in cahoots with Presto as it crackled and popped along with his impassioned speech. “What you built for the Fae is beyond beautiful. We could have that again. And the fact of the matter is, you need me to help you reintegrate. They may dislike me, but if I bring you to the Stickweave Gooeys, they will have no choice but to accept you, and accept what we bring to them in the form of Cultured Goo,” Presto relented and sat back on his rocky seat, panting. Hegras tapped his chiseled mask, and puffed out his chest after a moment. “Presto. We will call you friend. We will help you achieve your dream. Us Lost Ones are now found. We desire a purpose. Let us build a monument to the Fae, then rebuild Gooey society.” For the first time, Hegras leapt off his throne and stood eye-to-eye with Presto. He reached for Presto’s mask with glowing fingers. After a brief moment of searing pain, Presto felt empowered. “I have chiseled your mask. You are one of us.” Presto felt the corners of his mask, its corners were perfectly squared off. “My builders! Welcome Presto to our ranks,” the old Gooey shouted at the top of his lungs. The dirge being sung for the Fae immediately ceased, and the air filled with up-tempo chanting. “You are blessed with Earth magics. It is no wonder you are misunderstood. We will begin your training in time. Son Presto go and be merry.” Presto fell back onto the brine-tinged grass and smiled at the stars twinkling above him. Perhaps he could change this world for the better, after all.
The Fundamentals of Catalysts and Magics | On Fire and Fortitude
On Wind and Flow | On Water and Meditation Don’t breathe, don’t breathe, don’t breathe, don’t breathe! A small rock-body Gooey squeezed his eyes shut, lightly quivering as a shrill scraping sound filled the air — a heaving, jagged shadow looming over him. Usually teeming with amphibious bims, avian shrieks, and herbivore whines, one of the more unsettling aspects of this swamp was the gas that filtered sunlight into an eerie red, and moonlight into a ghastly, yellow haze. Too, there were a number of bizarre creatures that called The Burning Skies home. Leaf Shakers, Swamp Stalkers, and Dragilisks were only the upper crust of this stinking swamp’s secrets. The Dreadful Copse was far more dangerous to a Gooey such as Meden — but not even the Copse dared to birth such sinister beasts as the blind Beast of Blades… the Dragilisk. And it was this particular beast that hunted Meden. Saliva strung from its enormous teeth, and the monster’s jowls slapped softly as its mane of crimson, cacophonous scales flowed against each other at blistering speed. Its claws dug into the boulder it perched on, causing cracks to snake lazily down toward Meden. A large glob of Dragilisk saliva slopped onto Meden’s rocky head. The ground around him bubbled and blarped as his weight pressed down on the bloated patch of marshy soil and pungent moss. How am I going to get out of this mess? Minutes before that accursed beast turned up, Meden failed to notice that the Burning Skies had fallen silent. A lone Leaf Shaker had dared to shriek one last time; the echo of its call bled and confused into a low, slow, and guttural grind — the beast had embarked on its hunt, and Meden was none the wiser. Like a Basking Toad in a boiling pot — the pitch and speed of the grinding had increased, yet the Gooey was unaware of the danger facing him until it was towering above. Suddenly, his body began to pulsate, and a resonating sound tremored from deep within his belly. The tones emitted from the Dragilisk’s scales were building up within Meden’s body. He ought to run away, but in that moment his body seized and he fell mask first into marsh. Unable to control the impulse to breathe any longer, a distorted grinding sound erupted from his open mouth — right into the thin layer of water covering this patch of swamp. The air whipped into a razorwind, as the patch of marsh several paces from him exploded — utterly eviscerated by the beast’s aggressively dangerous claws and overwhelming strength. The Dragilisk vindictively raised its right paw into the air, and sliced into the pulverized earth once more, as if confirming its prey’s escape. Just then, a Leaf Shaker screeched and in the blink of an eye, the crimson horror launched itself deeper into the swamp. After several crashes and the cascading slams of a falling tree, Meden’s presumed doom abated. With the swamp’s silence returned, Meden squinched away as he regained the ability to move. Sloshing as quickly as he could to the tree line, he recalled the riddle his master had shared with him for this trial: As the hazy hand falls with the Celestial Face, Seek the Jagged North, To behold the Heart Pyre, And face the Beast of Blades. Moving into the dense tree line, Meden knew he’d be safe for the moment. As Dragilisks were blind, dense foliage and trees served as a natural enemy to their hunting ability. “That was lucky…” Meden whispered. Luck was a fickle mistress to enjoy. Digging in his serpentskin satchel, Meden withdrew his journal and returned to decoding the riddle. “The ‘hazy hand’ has got to be nightfall… ‘Celestial Face’ is obviously the moon… But what is the ‘Jagged North’?” The only jagged topography he could recall was the Owlkin Massif — could it even be seen from here? Meden closed his journal, tied his satchel shut, and raced to the opposite side of his wooded alcove. If the Dragilisk proved to be persistent, Meden knew he may need to call off his Trial of Fire. While this was a solo test, he was thankful that the elemental sages were nearby. Mushroomhead, Nenona, and Oggin — the Fire Sage — had made camp at the outskirts of the swamp. In the event he encountered a truly overwhelming force, he could smash the Summoning Coil in his bag and the trio would appear before him. Relief washed over him for a moment. I can do this! Damp from marsh water and particularly potent Dragilisk saliva, Meden marched forward toward the silhouette of the Massif. As he pushed and pulled through patches of mud, vines, and mire, red swirled into yellow and the swamp seemed to exhale as the music of the night swept over him. As the trees and swamp creatures settled in for the flaxen night, orblike shapes twinkled through the haze — stationary, blinking, almost beckoning for Meden to follow. Glancing around, the lone Gooey sucked in a shallow breath, puffed out his cheeks, and pushed on along the twinkling path. Through the mist, he spied the shape of a jagged incline, and a deep darkness below it. Meden squinted through the ocean of yellow haze to ensure he was still facing toward the Massif. “Into the cave we go then…” he muttered to nobody in particular. As he approached the foot of the cave, a gust of hot air seethed toward him. It hadn’t occurred to him that the “Heart Pyre” could have been literal — given that the riddle would have to descend into this cave to claim his fire catalyst. After about ten paces inside, Meden took a tumble down a rather steep slope, launched through the air, crossed over a dimly glowing red chasm, and landed with a thud in a swarm of Brightflies. Before they could disperse, Meden snatched a handful out of the air. Reaching into his satchel with his free hand, he pulled out a mound of translucent goo and shoved the Brightflies into the thick ball. Then, he placed the ball of shining bugs on his head so he could illuminate the cave around him and get his bearings. The dimly lit walls pulsed with an ominous red light, just like the chasm behind him. The red streaks twirled deeper into the cave, as if enticing him to journey deeper. Finally, after a long stretch of silence and the Brightflies had refused to lend their light to Meden any longer, he stumbled into a small cavern with a raging fire in the middle. He couldn’t help but stare, slack-jawed, at the fire as it pulsed with different colors — each shift increasing and decreasing its size. Meden reached into his bag and removed his Rune Circle chalk, and got to work writing runes around the Heart Pyre. After it was surrounded, he created a smaller circle in front of it where he would start the ritual. Then, he took his place and closed his eyes. Discharging his aura into the Heart Pyre, it began to pulse and rapidly shift its coloring. Blue. Green. Red. Yellow. Orange. White. Blue. Green. Yellow. Red. Orange. White. Blue. Black. Meden gasped for air. The black flame surged to the bounds of his rune circle, threatening to engulf the room. It bulged and clawed up invisible walls — the Heart Pyre refused to be tamed! Oggin’s teachings flooded Meden’s mind as he searched for the ability to contain such a wild power. “Meden! Why is fire dangerous?” Oggin’s habit of barking questions out of the blue had once given Meden chronic nerves. However, as the memory of Oggin’s voice broke through the panic, he was thankful for his brash nature. “Fire is fury incarnate, Master Oggin. And fury cannot be tamed by fear, nor strength, nor reciprocal fury,” Meden muttered under his breath as the black flames launched toward him. “Only through fortitude may it be tamed, contained, and controlled!” As the flames engulfed Meden, he accepted the burn. He breathed in the wicked flames and let them fill his body. It ripped at his insides, clawing for some escape. And yet, he held his ground. There was nowhere to flee, so he cleared his mind and marched toward the center of the wild and untamed Heart Pyre. The black flames flickered to white, then blue, white, orange, red, yellow, green, blue, white, orange, yellow, red, green, and finally blue — each shift coming with every step he took. At the center of the brilliant inferno were a pile of disc-like stones etched with runes. Each glowed with a different color, corresponding to the Heart Pyre’s hues. Arriving in front of the black fire’s catalyst, he laid his scorched hands on the stone and chanted. The disc slipped into a whip of black flame that snaked around Meden’s body until it reformed upon his back. As suddenly as the flames had engulfed him, they were extinguished. Meden exhaled and closed his eyes. As a cool breeze washed over him, he was shocked to discover he was no longer in the cavern, but back outside. Just as he was about to poke his head back in the cave to see if there was some sort of trick to what happened, he heard that low, slow, guttural grind pulsing behind him. How? There’s no way it could have… The mane of scales wasn’t the only way the beast could hunt — Meden realized he still reeked of Dragilisk saliva. It appeared marking its prey (intentional or otherwise) was another means of locating food. Meden wheeled around black flames in hand, ready to do battle with the Dragilisk. A hulking mass charged toward him through the yellow haze. Clearing his mind and breathing through the pain of the flame, the small Gooey unleashed a black inferno — which the beast darted around. It launched itself into the air, swinging its hefty tail around to crush Meden. Out of moves, Meden thrust his hand into his satchel and crushed the Summoning Coil. At least the Sages could recover his broken body… Yet, the blow never came. Instead, the beast snarled frantically as the trees seemed to contort and snatch the Dragilisk out of the air — by the same tail meant for Meden. The ground beneath the Gooey quivered as an impossibly tall shape rose up from the swamp layers. An avalanche of slop and peat squarched and skwalked as the earth heaved forth its enormous offspring. An otherworldly beast with ravenous, empty eyes that pierced the fog; a vaguely humanoid form distorted by faintly glowing roots that seemed to grasp at the air around it. As it stood, it unleashed a body-rattling groan. In the gnarled colossus’ fist dangled the Dragilisk, shrieking and yelping helplessly. The giant curled its grip tighter, causing the smaller beast’s scales to shatter and crack like clay pots being smashed. Meden fell back into the sloshing swamp and heaved. Even with his newfound power, he would be devoured as if an insect. “Meden! It’s time to leave,” a firm, familiar voice whispered from Meden’s right — Oggin. Mushroomhead, Oggin, and Nenona looked fearfully at the scene transpiring before them. Silently, the quartet turned their backs on the Dragilisk’s plight as the Swamp Stalker partook in its meal. If this is your first Gooeys lore chapter, be sure to go back and check out Book One: Beyond the Horizon! Onward and Upward | Expansion!| Unraveling | Face the Sun
The Fundamentals of Catalysts and Magics | On Water and Meditation
Read the previous chapter: On Wind and Flow Three small Gooeys sat with their eyes closed, each forming a point in an elongated triangle on the sparkling beach. The sea air smelled of sunshine and brine, while waves lapped at the shore playfully. In the distance, a large Gooey flowed forward — almost serpentine in motion — carrying a hefty, sloshing container on her back. The large Gooey arrived at the side of her pupils (and returned to her usual orblike form) and plopped the oversized stone container into the middle of the triangle. Pink and blue dust from the beach coughed into the air and settled on her students’ heads — who remained perfectly still despite the disturbance. “Alri’ goobies! Let us end meditation for the momen’,” the large Gooey was a deep blue color and covered in swirls. Each of the three pupils opened their eyes and gazed at their quirky master. “Sage Nenona… What… What’s that in the bucket,” asked Serge, a yellow Gooey with a metal mask and fin-like ears. “Fish!” Nenona let the statement hang in the briny air without context for a full minute before continuing. “Righ’, so. You are going to swallow — not eat! — these fish, Serge, Kanda, and Rold.” Silence. Nenona blinked slowly. Serge, Kanda, and Rold all stayed put, fidgeting and looking around, waiting for Nenona’s inevitable explanation. “Well, go ahead!” Nenona chirped at her pupils. Kanda, a purple Gooey with owl-like ears — they matched her body — and golden eyes raised a tiny hand. “But why, Sage Nenona?” Rold, who had an iridescent body and neon green ears, sarcastically sighed and said, “For magic, obviously.” “I obviously know that Rold. But why? Our great Sage of Water here hasn’t exactly done a whole lot of explaining.” Kanda crossed her pudgy arms. Serge interjected sheepishly, “Perhaps she’ll tell us if we just ask? Though, I don’t really want to swallow a fish….” He flushed slightly green at the thought. Nenona breathed in a huge stream of air and rubbed her hands together. All three pupils stopped their bickering as Nenona stretched high into the air, impossibly long for a Gooey. “This! This is the purpos’ of the fish, goobies.” Nenona spun around, away from the trio, and slammed into the sand with all her strength. The beach before her erupted into a thick cloud of multicolored sand clumps and dust. Once it all settled back onto the beach, they saw the crater left by the impact, and without missing a beat, scampered over to the bucket. “I want to do that!” — Kanda “No! I’m the only one who gets to do that!” — Rold “Why can’t I do something not dangerous… for once?” — Serge “Ah! Wait goobies. First, you must understan’ the rules of Water magics,” Nenona shouted from the bottom of the crater. She snaked up and out of it just in time to see Rold dangling a Parrot Eel over his tiny Gooey maw. Lifting her hand, she blasted Rold with a jet of water — just enough to scare him into dropping the poor Parrot Eel back in the container. “Hey! Didn’t you say we just needed to eat them?” Rold shouted and stomped in the sand. Nenona sighed loudly. “Swallow, young Rold. If you do it wrong, both you and the fish will perish.” For the first time, the trio saw their master grow darkly serious. “Water magics are some of the most dangerous to perform. You must learn how to use them before swallowin’ your catalys’.” Rold, Serge, and Kanda shuffled across the sand toward Nenona, faces hung — realizing what was at stake. “Are you ready to listen, goobies?” “Yes, Sage Nenona,” they said in unison. “Goo…” Nenona rolled up a bit straighter than usual and breathed deeply. “…what we’re made of — can be reshaped. At least under the righ’ circumstances.” She continued slower than usual, carefully enunciating every word. “Aura, the magical energy we produce, can be catalyzed and used to create magics. Wind magics are very powerful because users can control the air around them. Water magics are not powerful like this.” “But you blasted me with water from super far!” Rold shrieked, his pride clearly still offended. “Of course! Yet it did not hurt, did it?” “No…” “Water itself is heavy. Grand Water magics have been cast before, when many Water Sages worked together, through rituals. However, this weakness in elemental strength opens up an opportunit’,” Nenona gestured toward the container full of sea creatures. “Usin’ a catalyst helps a Gooey cast spells without rune circles — with weaker effects. But my dear friend Mushroomhead opened m’eyes to the idea of a living catalyst.” Nenona suddenly went quiet and closed her eyes. Her shape expanded and lengthened, but she appeared even more snake-like than before. In her belly, the trio could see a fearsome serpent coiling around itself and exuding magical aura. From several feet into the air: “See this Seascraper? He is my living catalys’. When — argh!” Nenona strained for a moment as she hit her maximum stretchability. “When, using a living catalys’ for our Water magic we can perform powerful physica’ transformations like this!” Nenona snapped back to her usual shape. “There are many different creatures we can integrate with. Howeve’! Some are more difficult than others. And if you swallow one that produces too much aura, you could be consumed by your catalyst,” Nenona looked tiredly at her students. Serge raised his tiny arm. “What happens if we are consumed?” “Some Gooeys melt into a puddle and are washed away by the rain. Others have morphed into strange fish-Gooey monsters. One Gooey tried to turn a carnivorous river fish into a catalys’…” Nenona cut herself off as she saw tears well up in Serge’s eyes. She moved over to the container and set it down in front of her pupils. “Worry not, these sea creatures are what all Water Sages learn to use. You will know when it’s time to set them free and seek a new catalys’… Now, Rold! You pick first.” He stared at Nenona for a moment, then breathed out sharply. He reached his iridescent arm into the pool of teeming water and gripped a thin-feeling animal. Pulling it out of the water, he saw that his catalyst was quite strange: A flat fish with large eyes on its top surface, several fins wriggling back and forth, and a wide tail. Upon turning it over in his hands, he saw it had a hard shell and two small pincers. “Rold, your catalys’ is quite unique! A Flouderclaw. This will make you tough and flexible. Next! Kanda.” Imitating Rold, she reached in. After a few minutes of moments of struggling, she managed to bring out one of the smallest fish she had ever seen. “Great! Now I get to be tiny. Sage Nenona what’s with this?” “That’s a Blowpuff. Don’ startle it.” Finally, Serge inched forward and reached inside. He pulled out a colorful eel creature, with a heavy head and a narrow beak — he had chosen the Parrot Eel Rold nearly ate. “Now young ones. Swallow your fish!” They all (begrudgingly) dropped the fish into their open mouths and squelched them down. All three doubled over in pain, as the sea creatures (violently) realized they had been contained. Rold was the first to change — suddenly pulled flat and thin across the sand, and his mask now facing the sky. Serge spooled out like an eel, just as Kenda inflated to four times the size of Nenona. “Arghhhhh there’s sand in my mouth!” — Rold “H-h-heeeeelp!” — Kanda “Why… why do I always have the dangerous job…?” — Serge Nenona rushed forward to give her pupils instruction. “Breath, goobies. Just breathe…” Nenona mimicked their meditation pose. “Open your aura, loosen your mind.” The trio closed their eyes and each took a deep breath. “Feel your catalys’ aura.” Rold, Kanda, and Serge glowed slightly from their bellies. “Mix it with your own. Swirl it in your belly…” Nenona leaned in close to see (and sense) the rotation of their mixing auras. Their living catalysts had all fallen into a sort of trance, mouths opening and closing as if chanting. “Now exhale. End your meditation.” Rold, Kanda, and Serge’s eyes snapped open as their bodies returned to their proper shape. Nenona grinned at her pupils. “Usually, my students fail to undo their transformations so easily. Such gifted goobies!” She clapped and hopped on the multicolored sand. “Now. Let us train — you’ll be questing soon enough!” If this is your first Gooeys lore chapter, be sure to go back and check out Book One: Beyond the Horizon! Onward and Upward | Expansion!| Unraveling | Face the Sun
The Fundamentals of Catalysts and Magics | On Wind and Flow
“The wind decides which way it chooses to blow. Your power to command it lies in the lull before the gust,” Mushroomhead, a large tree-horned Gooey, slowly drifted around the circular room with moss-covered wooden walls. His pupils, Sage and Basil, sat in the middle of an earthy circle surrounded by runes. Sage, a pink Gooey with yellow eyes and matching ears, looked at her master with sparkling eyes. Basil — violet-bodied with green, fin-like ears — yawned wide, his sleepy gray eyes betraying his lack of attention to Mushroomhead’s lesson. The leaf growing out of his head drooped, and as Mushroomhead made another circle around the room he reached out with a finger. For a moment nothing seemed to happen, but then… Sage noticed a breeze. The wind around Mushroomhead’s finger whirled and twirled, slowly becoming visible as it wrapped around itself. Windchimes hanging from the ceiling tinged and tonged as the air in their hut trembled with power. Mushroomhead, after a few moments, flicked his finger, sending the whirling ball of wind toward his napping pupil. Faster than she could track, the ball erupted into a fountain of focused wind that lifted poor Basil into the air and tossed him out the door. Sage gasped, snapping back to look at her teacher. “Agh! Oof! Eck!” Basil’s protests — as he careened through the air and skipped through the dirt — could be heard for a few moments before things fell silent. The windchimes settled from their song, and before Sage knew it, the old Gooey was leaning against the wall cackling and gasping for air. His giggles stirred up her own, and before long, master and student had all but forgotten the lesson. Wheezing and sputtering, they looked up as the hut’s grassy flaps ruffled aside and Basil stalked back inside — looking a bit worse for wear. “You’re lucky I’m made of goo…” Basil muttered. Mushroomhead crossed his arms, tears drying on his mask. He adjusted himself upright again, once more donning his air of seriousness. “You meant to say, ‘Sorry Master Mushroomhead, it will not happen again!’” Basil was silent for a moment. “Sorry…” he sighed, then took his seat next to Sage once more. She shot him a stern look. “Catalyst,” Mushroomhead pointed at Sage. “…and Caster,” pointing at Basil. “Usually, a Gooey can cast magics in two ways. The first? Wield an elemental catalyst, and cast your spells! The second? Well, what is the second, Basil?” “Ritual Casting?” Still looking grumpy and disheveled, Basil gestured toward the runes encircling them. Ritual casting involved a special form of meditation that harnesses an aspect of each element. For Wind, a caster must achieve a state of flow to properly shape and direct it. Catalyst casting allows casting on the go, but the spells available are much weaker. Ritual Casting allows for more powerful spells — at the risk of interruption. “Correct! See, you are learning. But you two are different, you have a third option. A blending of the two methods.” Sage and Basil both perked up. Mushroomhead’s eyes lifted up with his grin, and he leaned in close — his tall horns knocking against the lower-hanging chimes. “Sage, your ability to create and expel aura is quite high, but you’re unable to direct it. Basil, your aura ability is quite low, but your ability to wield, shape, and direct it is quite high,” Mushroomhead lowered his voice. “I believe you two can work together, to cast more powerful spells.” Mushroom head held out his hands. His left hand was balled into a fist, and with his right he held point a finger. “Sage if you focus on pulsing your aura,” Mushroomhead opened and closed his fist for emphasis, “…and Basil you shape and swirl that aura,” he used his pointer finger to conjure a wisp of wind, “I suspect you could one day exceed my own Wind casting power.” The pair of Gooeys remained silent, staring at each other. Mushroomhead leaned back, and began to circle the room again. “Alone, your abilities produce chaos. But together, you can flow like the great winds that rush through the Owlkin Massif.” Sage was tumbled from two powerful Wind Sages (the title given to masters of magics, and her namesake), and suffered from an oversensitivity to magical auras — resulting in magical explosions when trying to cast spells. Basil had been tumbled from Fire and Water Sages, which resulted in a highly unusual defect: his aura leaked out of him whenever he was awake — making it impossible to build up aura for casting. Mushroomhead gestured to his students and left the hut. Outside, in the early morning light, he drew a rune circle in the dirt. “Sage, I want you to focus on the wind. Feel it drag across your back, and focus on expanding your aura.” She took up her position. “Basil, I want you to reach out with your senses and feel Sage’s aura. Can you do that?” Basil nodded. Mushroomhead dipped his head to them and made for the shade of a large Oak tree behind them. “You two work it out. I’m going to take a nap.” Dust kicked up around Sage as her aura blended with the light breeze gusting through the forest. She held her breath, excitement welling in her belly. Basil held out his hands, willing the wind to come to him… At dusk, Mushroomhead awoke — drifting at the tree tops, adrift on solidified wind. Sage’s yellow years vibrated as she generated a storm of wind around her. Basil’s arms danced madly, his eyes occluded — drunk on the elixir that was casting powerful wind magics. Mushroomhead shouted at his pupils, more than a little overwhelmed by what they had wrought with their abilities: A magic cyclone reaching high into the sky and threating to sweep through the forest below. Mushroomhead swore off napping that day. If this is your first Gooeys lore chapter, be sure to go back and check out Book One: Beyond the Horizon! Onward and Upward | Expansion!| Unraveling | Face the Sun
Beyond the Horizon | Face the Sun
Previous chapters in this book: Onward and Upward | Expansion!| Unraveling What had it been? Nearly seven decades. Seven decades had passed since she’d felt the sun on her face. Seven decades since she’d spoken a word. Seven decades since she’d run her fingers through her long, violet hair. And it had been seven days since she’d banished Gumbo and those who refused to renounce the Droplet Society. A choice she had yet to regret. She felt the breeze on her face as she sat atop her favorite vista overlooking Stickweave Forest. She rested her palm on the ornate wooden box resting on the grass beside her. Being in the presence of her friends and subjects again had brought a wave of relief from the endless, crushing darkness she’d endured. However, she could feel the cold fingers of dread dragging up her back and clutching her shoulders. She never expected to be free… and she certainly wasn’t ready for what was to come. Perhaps staying sealed would have been better in the end. Accepting her failure was far easier than embracing a fresh start, in a world without the Fae. Every waking moment she experienced in her darkness felt like a deranged echo, flowing and folding in on itself. Sage Gumbo’s nigh-endless raving and delusions robbed her of a final, miserable rest. No, Asheron entrusted her imprisonment to Gumbo as an insufferable punishment. Gumbo’s words would slip and shift into her magical prison, vowels becoming consonants, syllables twisting into slur. But over time she finally understood his mutterings: She must never awake, never arise, and never stand to face the sun. Lord Asheron’s future lies beyond this land, a place she must never reach. His voice would grate and cut at her mind. Asheron had promised the foolish creature the world. An ending befitting an honored servant. Yet, Gumbo had no inkling that he had been betrayed long ago, destined to fail. Doomed to exile. During Gumbo’s incoherent ravings, she learned of the role Asheron had thrust upon her — what she would have to do to bring an end to the nihilistic tapestry he had wrought. Amelie’s breath quickened like a stone skipping across the water; then it hung, only to sink into murky depths. She clutched the grass on either side of her legs. Cold sweat rolled down her exposed back. Seven decades had passed, and still Asheron managed to make a fool of her. He had stripped her of her kingdom, contorted the will of her trusted council, and banished her to an infinite darkness. Amelie yelled, ripped at the grass, and fell back — tears leaking down her face from behind her healing mask. He had been her friend! She couldn’t forsake the kinship she felt for the monster who craved the perfect end to everything she and her people had built. They were kindred souls; forged in fire, tempered in ice, and fractured by imperfections. Her chest rose and fell rapidly. The Fae were dead. She and that kindred beast were all that were left of them. Her mind flashed with the scenes of the burning cities, piles of broken bodies, and the ragged voices of her people. Be strong, Amelie. Flailing, screaming. “Save Us, Princess!” Don’t falter, Amelie. Sobbing, breaking. “Save Us, Princess!” Stand tall, Amelie. Gasping, crumbling. “Save Us, Princess!” From deep within, Amelie let loose a primal shriek meant only for the ghosts that haunted her. Awaken. “Avenge Us, Amelie!” Arise. “Avenge Us, Amelie!” Face the sun. “Avenge Us, Amelie!” Laying on her back, she slowly reached for her face. Breathing shallowly and with trembling fingers, she removed the mask. The reddened light of the late evening sun washed over her eyes. She winced in pain as her pupils experienced the sun’s light for the first time in ages. But after a few moments, she sat up and exhaled. After seventy years she was away, the forest had barely changed. And aside from her hair and moth-worn clothing, she supposed not much had changed about her either. She still had her duty as the leader of her people. Turning toward the solitary willow tree that shared the vista with her, she clutched the mementos of the Fae she’d brought with her. It was time to let the past fade. Later, Mushroomhead crested over the hill onto the vista with the willow tree. His gaze fell upon a small mound at the foot of the tree’s gnarled, glowing roots. Engraved on a flat stone behind the mound read the words: In remembrance of the Fae. In celebration of those we meet on our new path. Mushroomhead sat next to the tiny monument to lost friends and gazed at the stars, wondering what they may find beyond the horizon.
June Dogira Team Update
Lions, Tigers, and Bears… Here We Go Again!. — While the rest of the world is busy (erroneously) celebrating and crying, “BTC IS FINALLY DEAD!” we’ve got our heads down. Eoghan, our Lead Developer, has always made it clear that Bear or Bull, we’re focused on building — so that’s what we are doing. We’ve got our first Gooeys expansion on the horizon — we’re actively planning out the features that will come after as well — and Humaniquarium is nearing completion. Despite everything we’re up to, we did want to take a few moments to chat about the state of the crypto asset class. For many, this is their first exposure to a Bear Market.Don’t stare at the red candles too long… Watching so much liquidity leave the broader crypto ecosystem is already unnerving, but the catastrophic failures of Terra Luna and Harmony’s $100 million Horizon Bridge exploit — or really any of the extremely high-profile hacks/exploits/rugs from this year — simply exacerbate the feeling that things are not going as planned. However, it’s important to recognize that even if the “timing is bad” for the market to crash… The market needs to cool off and correct. Which means it’s time for us to really put our best foot forward. Many of the projects that surged in the last bull run were companies that were building during the last crypto winter. So that’s what we’re prepared to do: Build so the next Bull can’t overlook us, our community, or our products. Now, we understand that people will do what they need to to make ends meet, especially when it comes to impending recession and worsening economic conditions as inflation skyrockets around the world. Trade responsibly and remember that staring at red charts all day is probably not the best way to spend your time. Focus on your work, family, and friends; touch some grass, play some games, and enjoy the sunshine. We’ll be here building for when the Bull is back on. It may take some time for the market to rebound, but when it does — we hope you’ll join us for the ride. — And The Wall Went Tumbling Down. — Tumbling is now LIVE in Gooeys! As our version of a traditional “breeding” system from creature collector games, this feature allows players to mint NEW Gooeys with a chance for improved stats and the opportunity to tackle more difficult quests. With more than 200 new Gooeys Tumbled, we hope you have been enjoying the uptick in Fruit yields. This most recent update contained more than just the Tumbling feature, though. Players were treated to:An overall faster experience with backend and UI optimizationsIncreased Fruit reward chances for Common and Uncommon questsA week’s worth of Food Store for Generation 0 Gooeys10% faster quest times to compensate for Polygon block times shiftingAn in-game Halvening Countdown TimerAnd a few other minor improvements In case you haven’t jumped into Gooeys since Tumbling went live, we recommend checking OpenSea to unhide your Gooeys. Additionally, if you had any Gooeys listed for sale before the update, you may need to relist them. As for future updates? We’re currently heads down working on Discovery, the first Gooeys expansion. We’ll share more about the features coming with it as we get closer to launch. With Tumbling live and greater Fruit rewards available, now is the perfect time for new players to jump in and join the Gooeys adventure. — A Game of Jars and Bonsais. — Now that we’re all caught up on development talk, we thought it was time for a genuinely exciting announcement… Humaniquarium will be launching on Mobile by end of Quarter 3! Andy and Dylan will be spending the next few weeks polishing the title ahead of its launch. Now, about that bonsai in the room: Why are we launching the title on Mobile first? Given the current market conditions we thought it wisest to enable the title to thrive in the ecosystem it was originally being built for, before we launch with a blockchain version. That said, we have designed the game to also work on-chain when the time is right to bring it to Polygon. We are very keen to launch this on-chain version of the game when the market stabilizes. Ultimately, we imagine Humaniquarium as a title that exists in two ecosystems, with the intention of providing a high-quality piece of entertainment to two different audiences — while encouraging crossover exposure from the Mobile side to the blockchain side. Thankfully with this release of the game being a strictly Mobile app, we have access to many more marketing options that would normally be closed off to blockchain games. Of course, the big question is “How does a Mobile release help Dogira, if it’s not going to be a blockchain release (yet)?”Recurring income: releasing this title on Mobile first allows us to earn a steady income as people play the game — keeping our coffers filled, and opening opportunities for us to expand Dogira Studios.Publisher notoriety: a successful launch on Mobile means that people will be seeing Dogira Studios whenever they boot up the game, and helps cement us as a publisher who backs solid games. We’ll be showing off a lot more about Humaniquarium over the next few weeks, such as screenshots, gameplay, and more! Until then, we hope you enjoy the weekly Lore content and daily Gooeys cadence. — Gooeys Lore Preview. — Cover for Book 1, Chapter 4 The lore for our game is steadily expanding in some fascinating ways! During the first book, we’ve met a brand new cast of characters including Presto, Sage Gumbo, Princess Amelie, and the Vagrant Gooeys. But the world of Gooeys has MUCH MORE in store for you! Chapter 4 of the first book arrives next week, and it’ll introduce the start of Amelie’s arc as a character. As she grapples with the fate of her people (the Fae), she has to confront her fears of the monster who destroyed everything she held dear: Asheron. The Gooeys Lore is designed to introduce many different plot threads for its expansive cast of characters, and as time goes on you will be able to experience those stories build to their epic conclusions. Will Mushroomhead clash with the excommunicated Droplet Society? Will Presto be able to usher in a new Gooeys social class? Will Amelie eventually have her final showdown with Asheron? Only time will tell.Cover for Book 2, Chapter 1 Book One is written to set up some of the overarching story threads we’ll explore in later books. However, Book 2: The Fundamentals of Catalysts and Magics, explores the magical side of Gooeys — specifically how they wield their magical auras through the use of catalysts and ritual casting of elemental magics. Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth are the core magics Gooeys can learn. Yet, like with all magical abilities there is much to learn by mixing elements (something we see with Sage Gumbo combining Earth and Fire fundamentals to create Sealing & Barrier magics). Each chapter in this book focuses on the basic processes of the elemental magics, as young Gooeys learn to overcome their weaknesses to wield amazing power! Chapter One looks in on Mushroomhead as he trains Sage and Basil, two Gooeys suffering from magical handicaps. Perhaps together their abilities could unlock greater power?Cover for Book 3, Chapter 1 Book Three feature some of the Gooeys submitted by our lore winners — following them as they quest and explore the world! Each chapter corresponds to the questing difficulty system. Chapter One is a “Common” questing area, with low stakes and easily surmountable danger. Later in the book, as the Questing Gooeys encounter “Rare” and “Epic” questing areas, they will have to put their lives on the line to emerge victorious. They will have to engage in combat with menacing creatures like the Owlkin, Dragilisks, Swamp Stalkers, and more! This book will feature a faster, more action-packed pace than the other books, so please look forward to exploring the world with our band of brave (and silly) Questing Gooeys. — What You May Have Missed…. — June 13th AMA - Did you miss the community hangout with Skyler and Elijah? Well, you’re in luck because the recording is now live on YouTube. Give it a listen if you’re curious about Gooeys, Humaniquarium, and the Community Questions segment.The Bottom ft. Boneheads - Elijah recently sat down with the founder of Boneheads, Davey Oberlin to chat about building an NFT brand, making music with Korn, and his creative process. Check it out!DCentral Austin - Early in June, Elijah journeyed down to Austin, Texas to ensure Dogira had a presence at DCentral Austin! He met tons of incredible Blockchain companies including DeFi Kingdoms, Momo Board, CertiK, Splinterlands, Republic, and a few others. If you’d like to know more about the convention feel free to ask in our Telegram channel.Lore Contest - Be sure to congratulate the Lore Contest Winners: Firesighed, Jaykappa, Peepo, and Thomas! Additionally, we chose a few runner ups to earn a $GOO prize: D.Evicus, L7, jacobvandy, and tsenguunee. Head over to our Discord to read all the submissions!New Gooeys Art - As always, Mary has been diving deep into the world of Gooeys and creating new art! We’ve been discussing different locations for the Gooeys to travel to, and we thought you may want a peek at The Dreadful Copse — a strange forest inhabited by ghastly spirits, scary monsters, and mysterious creatures.Welcome to the Dreadful Copse, watch out for creepy crawlies. Until next time, -The Dogira Te
Beyond the Horizon | Unraveling
The following is the third chapter of our first Gooeys lore book, Beyond the Horizon. Lore chapters will arrive once a week for three weeks each month, with the last week dedicated to our Team Medium updates. Be sure to check in often so you don’t miss out on the Gooeys world! Sage Gumbo wished with his entire being that he could blast daggers into Mushroomhead’s back from across the room. The scene was as amusingly unfortunate as its concept indicated: a meeting of prissy Sages — in an abandoned, but in surprisingly good condition palace — to debrief on the magics used to free their time-lost princess from her overlong, stoic slumber. Like many of the old Gooeys in the chamber, Sage Gumbo was rather bulbous. He in particular had a dark blue body with fish-like markings. Perhaps his size had been caused by a lifetime of guzzling rare fruits, but it was far more likely that Gumbo failed to walk anywhere — he was one to lean on the magics as much as possible to ease the quality of his life. Unlike the other Gooeys in the room, he never had much affinity for the elements. However, by distilling the core fundamentals of both fire and earth magics, Sage Gumbo cultivated the skills that brought the old codgers together for the first time in five decades — and also allowed him to create magical objects that did his bidding. “Sealing Magic. The singular magic each of you failed to understand,” Sage Gumbo’s large body rotated around the room, in his levitating palanquin — powered by petrified Owlkin Eggs. “If only you had bothered to read any of the magical tomes from the Droplet Society libraries…!” Mushroomhead cleared his throat to speak. Sage Gumbo glared at his rival from the safety of his pretentious contraption. “Sage Gumbo, your genius with applied magics knows few bounds. Surely, without you, our dear Princess Amelie would be lost!” Mushroomhead lowered his voice to an unpleasant growl. “However, I heard a curious rumor that another Gooey may be responsible for this nigh-impossible feat.” Sage Gumbo furiously drew his palanquin’s curtain with a sharp shwick! The other old Gooeys began to mutter to each other, growing tired of this age-old feud between the original founders of the Droplet Society. From inside his shuttered palanquin Sage Gumbo shouted: “A misunderstanding! It was ME! I freed Amelie! I — ” Sage Gumbo was cut short by the chamber’s doors being flung open with a weighty thud. He only needed to take the credit for this; he could not have that incompetent pile of goo, Presto, ruining his plan. Peeking through his curtain, his breath caught and he sputtered uncontrollably. Purposefully placed footsteps clicked down the stone steps leading into the chamber. Long, draped cloth slowly swooped and scritched across the floor with a distinct staccato. Princess Amelie drifted to the head of the table, her chin held high and her overgrown, violet hair obscuring her face. Runes glowed where her eyes ought to be. Every Gooey rolled themselves up a little straighter in her presence. Sage Gumbo quietly drew open his curtain and lowered the height of his palanquin to match where the other Gooeys sat. “Please… Continue your quarrel with Mushroomhead, Gumbo.” Amelie’s words crossed the air, electric and decisive. “Or have you forgotten the original intentions of the Droplet Society?” “No my princess,” Sage Gumbo eked out. He spied something of a slight smirk form on Mushroomhead’s face — and Sage Gumbo’s pride burst forth like a dragon pouncing on its prey. “Might I say that you show me some respect! These fools sought to do nothing about your situation,” Sage Gumbo stumbled out of his palanquin and rolled assertively across the table. “Myself and The Droplet Society remained loyal to you day over day! These old Stagwarts are nothing but traitors…” His voice had grown shrill, and the finger he pointed at Amelie trembled. “Speak not of traitors to me!” Amelie’s voice both boomed and pierced all in the same breath — her magical aura swirled and snaked around the room. “Was it not your people who conferred with Asheron?” Amelie’s heels clicked like daggers on the floor as she suddenly stood, her pink dragonfly wings flared out. Sage Gumbo backpedaled and cowered as her aura threatened to strike in his direction. Why was Amelie even here? She was supposed to be on bed rest! “I heard your mutterings and confessions while you toiled away maintaining his seals, you foolish, absurd creature. You and your Droplet Society ilk are no longer welcome here. Goodbye!” Amelie’s words dripped with rage as her aura finally cracked toward him like a whip. Sage Gumbo quickly retreated to his palanquin. He gazed upon the Princess as he drew his curtain. Her eyes may have been covered over with a healing mask, but he could feel the wrath in them growing with every moment. Amelie was a Fae scarred by great tragedy, and wholly unwilling to let it go unpunished. Yet realizing that fact, Sage Gumbo could see she was showing him all the kindness she could muster — given what he had done to her. Perhaps he had done a bad thing after all. In case you missed them… Read Chapter One: Onward and Upward Read Chapter Two: Expansion!
Beyond the Horizon | Expansion!
The following is the second chapter of our first Gooeys lore book, Beyond the Horizon. Lore chapters will arrive once a week for three weeks each month, with the last week dedicated to our Team Medium updates. Be sure to check in often so you don’t miss out on the Gooeys world! Presto was an unimpressive Gooey in every sense of the word. His features were hopelessly mismatched, with vibrant green ears, a deep purple body, and smiling (though notably uncommanding) gray eyes. Yet, ambitious wouldn’t soon begin to describe the plans and machinations that sprung forth in his mind. Representatives of every Gooey faction would be gathered here today, something their domain had not seen in quite some time. Not only was Princess Amelie roaming about the last remaining chambers of the Palace Ruins, both the Vagrant Goo factions were present and shockingly polite. Presto supposed they had just as much to gain from this meeting as everyone else: A chance to curry favor with the Princess. But for Presto, his objective was loftier than when the Primal Goo stood tall… expansion was the true reason for this meeting — and the Gooeys’ dear princess was the bait. Now, it would be prudent for Presto to represent his intentions thoughtfully and persuasively. “Perhaps I shall draft a manifesto,” he trilled under his breath. Of course, the odds were against Presto’s hopes and desires; the poor Gooey was not just mismatched, his voice was a special sort of irritating. Too high to be remotely assertive, and too off-key to begin presenting as eloquent — given his long-winded nature. And yet, he’d found himself in a unique position. As fate would have it, he happened to be standing next to the Gooey who’d removed the magical seal on Princess Amelie’s magic prison. But when that magic was completed, the old Gooey had toppled over with exhaustion, leaving Presto to take credit for releasing the princess. Pacing back and forth as he gloated to himself, it occurred to him that for a festival grounds, these ruins seemed neither festive nor palace-y. With this area’s dusty winds and pulverized buildings, Presto realized 3 things in this order: 1. When he had seen Amelie yesterday, she had seemed rather bashful, gruff, and secretive 2. His “royal escort” seemed rather… inconsistent with the Droplet Society guards and messengers 3. He may, in fact, be quite stupid As the late morning sun began to bring the purple Gooey great discomfort, he clumsily rushed to the royal changing room and swung the doors wide. Inside the drab stone room stood the silhouette of Amelie. “Oh my oh my, Presto dear! P-please I require privacy,” she squeaked. “Hahah nice ‘un. Now let me try,” a gruff voice whispered harshly. “Mu’ Dares’ Prasto! Fetch mu’ some watta!” Darting forward — humiliation contorting his smiling eyes into something quite foul — and shrieking as only he could, Presto grabbed at the silhouette’s hair, unveiling two Vagrant Gooeys stacked tall and holding a long stick (where the “hair” was haphazardly attached with Sticky Moss). Supremely bothered that their game had been spoiled, they hopped in stacked tandem and leaned forward. Eyes narrowed and with their skull-shaped facemasks nearly touching Presto’s, the gruff-voiced Gooey with red eyes, gray body, and matching long ears barked: “Whatcha gon’ do about it, Presto?” His mask was chipped, appearing charred at the edges. His heavy breath reeked of old bananas. The other of the tricksy duo had a translucent body and dark blue eyes. Her ears were flattened under the weight of her companion. The pair cackled in an awful cacophony as Presto realized his fate. Why must this world only favor the garish and brash, Presto sulked to himself. Glowering and groaning, Presto pushed through the old doors. Just as the scorching sunlight illuminated Presto’s forehead, the squeaky Gooey called after him. “Sage Gumbo sends his politest regards!” Presto heard the gruff one mutter, “But wasn’ the ol’ man supe’ mad?” “Yeah, yeah but that’s what makes the whole… Ah, forget it.” After moving North for a few hours, Presto discovered he was a full day’s trip away from the Palace Ruins and was likely to miss everything. So he found a suitable tree to perch under and began writing his Manifesto de la Slimé — something that could teach even those vagrants to be more civilized.