5.5 Natural Magic

Enigma was most restless in the evening, and Hunter often found himself taking long walks with her starting at dusk. Now that he was in business for himself, he could set his own schedule as long as the work got done.

Avalon was a beautiful place at night. It seemed to have its own peculiar magic that never came out during the day.

Sometimes Enigma would smell something that would revert her to her wild nature, and in the blink of an eye, she’d disappear after some prey or another. She was always home by morning. Hunter hoped none of the neighbors had any missing pets.

This turned out to be one of those nights. He heard Enigma whuff, and when he turned to look at her, she was already gone. Hunter sighed quietly and started to turn home, but he heard an odd muffled clattering noise and turned toward the ocean instead.

A herd of wild horses had made its way onto the deserted beach behind old Tintagel Fortress. Hunter stepped out of the trees to the edge of the sand and stood watching them silently. They were beautiful.

Then amidst the horses, something glittering caught his eye.

Hunter gasped. Could that possibly be a horse?

It tossed his head as if to laugh at him. No, it couldn’t possibly be anything mortal.

Hunter just stood there, breathless and mesmerized, barely able to think. The creature watched him too, unafraid but keeping its distance.

The wild horses finished frolicking in the sand and moved on to better grazing land. The beach was now empty except for the two of them.

Hunter moved closer. The creature took a couple of hesitant steps in kind. And after a long moment, they were staring eye-to-eye.

It snorted. Hunter could feel its breath on his hand.

Then, without warning, it leaned down to nuzzle his outstretched hand.

Its nose felt like silk crossed with baby chick down crossed with daydreams and rainbows.

“Hello, Your Majesty,” Hunter said, keeping his voice soft and even. “It’s so nice to meet you.” He reached out a trembling hand and buried his fingers in the creature’s mane.

First, it let him stroke its neck. Then, suddenly, it threw its head in the air and let out a whinny like bells ringing.

Then it was gone.

Not like it ran away into the woods. Not like it disappeared in a poof of fairy dust. It was just gone, as if it had never existed. Even the footprints it had left in the sand were gone.

Hunter was left wondering what the heck had just happened.

After he remembered how to walk, he headed home and arrived long after midnight. Enigma was waiting for him with a quizzical look in her honey eyes. Hunter gave her a tired smile. “Sometimes I find something to chase too, you know?” he said. Then they settled down to sleep… or try. Every time Hunter closed his eyes, he saw the supernatural sparkle of that fairy tale beast.

Certainly Avalon had its own kind of magic, but this?

The next morning, he made his way to one of Forest’s old haunts, the Arcane Institute for Lore Preservation. It was a strange and kind of creepy place, but it wasn’t like you could go to the municipal library to check out books on local fantasy sightings.

He sifted through the old tomes, looking for sketches or keywords. And it actually didn’t take time to find it.

Unicorn: Old French, ‘unicorne’. Latin, ‘unicornis’. Literally, one horned: ‘unus’, one, and ‘cornu’, a horn. A fabulous animal resembling a horse with one horn. Visible only to those who search and trust, and generally mistaken for a white mare. Unicorn.

Sightings reported on clear nights on Avalon island, usually by the kind of folks people don’t take seriously.

Could he really have seen a unicorn? Touched a unicorn?

He knew he had to find it again and be sure.

Then he glanced down the page and saw something else.

“Hey,” he mused to himself. “Isn’t that the creepy doll that Forest has been carrying around?”

———-

Hey all. I’m REALLY trying to get back into the rhythm of posting.

You’ll notice that I fixed my exterior shot problem by pulling one of the promo pictures for the lot I’m using off of ModtheSims. That’s the Arcane Institute by Ye Merrye Makers, and it’s a really spiffy supernatural consignment store.

There’s been a lot going on, but there’s always a lot going on it seems. I’ve been playing like crazy, but it’s been hard to pick the story back up even though I have all sorts of things I’m eager to tell.

I’ve played WAY ahead — through the birth of the second member of Generation 6, and I’m going to call a hiatus on the Samples for a while. I’m going to call a week hiatus on simming, I think, then come back with the Wonderlands.

Of course, I also have this NIF challenge that’s poking around in my head, waiting for Island Paradise to be released. I am a sad, sad person.

17 thoughts on “5.5 Natural Magic

  1. Yay, a new chapter! πŸ™‚ Watching Hunter's encounter with the unicorn was somehow really touching, because it meant so much to him. I really like that you give us pieces of the other sim's lives as well, not only focus on Sky. But then again, you have always been doing that before, too πŸ˜‰

    What's a NIF challenge?

  2. Thanks! Seeing your post finally kicked me into writing!

    It seems like if we really saw a unicorn, it would be pretty amazing, so I wanted to keep it that way even though you and I know all about how to see a unicorn in this game πŸ™‚ :).

    I felt pretty sad about Hunter and Forest not being the heirs, since I think all the triplets are pretty awesome. But I think I can keep both of them around to reach their LTWs, so expect to see a lot more of them for a good long while :).

    NIF = Nothing Is Free challenge. You empty out your entire world and annihilate all the residents. You start out with just self-employment skills to make money and have to buy each building and rabbithole. You populate the town by inviting service sims to move in with you and then moving them out to their own houses, but you have to have enough money to build/buy them a house.

    I want to do one on a desert island theme. Because I am crazy.

  3. The unicorns really are something special. And, considering how hard it is to actually adopt one, I'm guessing that Hunter will be around for quite a while … which is great for me as I LOVE him. As you well know πŸ™‚ It seems as though wherever Hunter is, he's attracted to the preternatural and I can suddenly see exactly why he and Arya are perfect for one another. I think I'm going to have to send them out on a unicorn hunting date!

  4. Awww, I love Hunter! It was so lovely watching him meet the unicorn. I really could feel his awe and wonder and slight confusion when it was all over. Well done!

    Also, new theme! It gave me pause after Charles' theme being here so long, but the music is perfect for Sky!

    Are you really going to start a third challenge??? I know it's hard to resist, I keep thinking about my EPIC. I'm having trouble keeping up with the two I'm doing right now so there's no way I could start it. But it won't leave me alone, either. I think that an NIF will be really interesting to read about, though.

    When does Island Paradise come out? I'm kind of interested in baby dragons, myself.

  5. I got Hunter working on his BFFs as a teen, and he has two. He's been on the hunt (as it were) for another stray to adopt for several sim-days, but they seem to all be in hiding. And also the unicorn has only popped up this once that I could detect. So it may be a long road with Hunter, especially since I keep getting distracted with various plot bits for him.

    Not that I'm really complaining :).

  6. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    I'm glad everyone likes the new theme! The old one was so tailored to Charles that it seemed like Sky ought to have something that suited her better. I'm thinking I really ought to redo the theme for each generation now that I've figured out how to really customize it :).

    I'm not sure how much time can give to a NIF. I have a nice storyline in my head for it, but it's the foundation for a plotty challenge, and those take forever to blog. I've been telling myself sternly that I can't start another plotty sim blog until I finish the Samples. And I admit that although I keep slowly making progress, it's hard to believe the Samples will ever actually be done. Still, I really like this idea and will have to try out playing at it. Somehow I can't face doing a challenge if I DON'T blog it, and plotty challenges ought to have plotty blogs. I've reserved a Blogspot blog for it at least.

    THe dragons are in Dragon Valley. Island Paradise is the expansion that's coming out in June focused on tropical islands and resort management. It apparently comes with a multi-island tropical world that seems like it would be very good for my challenge.

  7. Yeah, the Dragon Valley segue from Island Paradise was a lot clearer in my head! I know they're different worlds!

    I love the idea of you using the tropical world for your NIF. (I like the idea of a houseboat, too! You should take Jo's advice!)

    Also, I am completely against the idea of you doing that challenge and not blogging it. I want to see it! So I'm willing to wait. I can see why the you feel that the Samples will never be done, I'm feeling that with the Hodgins a little. It's been going on so long and I'm only halfway done! But I'd miss them if they weren't there! But I have other things that I want to do! Those little pixels are weirdly important to me.

  8. I hadn't thought much about houseboats. The NIF is going to be a shipwrecked on a desert island sort of theme, so at first it's going to be camping out on the beach. But when it gets rolling, a houseboat would make a lot of sense. I'll have to see what the mechanics are like when I get the expansion. I have a little bit planned out about how I want the story of this challenge to fall out, but as usual it's just a couple of ideas that won't gel until I start playing.

    I know JUST what you mean about these important pixels, DragonWife! I'm really attached to the Samples, and I just couldn't imagine NOT finishing this legacy, but it takes so much effort that it's holding up other stuff I want to try. I will certainly never commit to a 10-generation legacy again, but now that I have, I just can't manage to short-change the Samples by ending it early. I'm quite far into Sky's generation in gameplay now, and I have some hope that once I get away from World Adventures, the generations will go faster :).

  9. The theme has changed. Hunter is interesting and he get to pet a unicorn. Plus so quoting from The Last Unicorn with the unicorn's description is great (I loved that movie as a child).

  10. Whee, I got busy doing stuff and now I have all kinds of yummy sim stories to catch up on! This one is short and sweet, I like it. The outdoor shots with no lighting can be a pain, but having the glowing unicorn made them work really well.

    Liking the new theme, and this was a perfect suspenseful end: "Hey," he mused to himself. "Isn't that the creepy doll that Forest has been carrying around?" Hmm, creepy doll indeed-y!

    I know it'll be a bit more work, but I am really looking forward to your new challenge. I love the apocalypse/end of the world/marooned on a desert island stuff so much! If you need someone to bounce any ideas off of I'd be glad to help. πŸ˜€

  11. Squee! I"m so glad you're back!

    You're the only one who noticed that Hunter found some interesting stuff at the supernatural shop :).

    I'm kind of chomping at the bit to try the new challenge. I'm gaining a new appreciation for the Apocalypse Challenge. I mean, sure, it has rules that will fill up a room, but underneath it, they're pretty logical, and it's a cool style of play. Sort of like a board game. Most of the ones you really want to play again and again have rules that make your eyes cross the first time you read them.

    Since Nothing Is Free and Apocalypse are so similar, I think I'm going to move the Apocalypse stuff I read to the blogroll over there.

    Now Island Paradise actually has to come out!!

  12. Well, that's a squee moment! The building blocks of my childhood were Star Wars and The Last Unicorn. I can probably quote the whole whole thing and sing all the songs. And it's SUCH a quotable movie. It just gets richer when you watch it as an adult and can track all the themes and messages about life.

    There are no happy endings because nothing ENDS.

    • Hunter would have made a great heir too. I loved all of this generation.

      Avalon is a gorgeous world. It was created by Bakafox. I keep meaning to track her down and send her a link to one of my playtest posts so she could see her world in use.

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