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Opinion Column | Survivor: Arctic   
Rascii
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  12/30/2012


The Message In A Bottle opinion column is run by our very own Grendel Man! He will be giving his thoughts and opinions on the game so check it out frequently.


- Rascii
 
Yomegami
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  12/31/2012  3

Welcome all to the first Installment of the Arctic Message in a Bottle!


I am Mahk Mako the Aqua Grendel, and I'm in charge of the Opinions Column of this game of Survivor! I'm not actually participating myself; I'm just watching the other creatures running around and seeing what sort of shenanigans they get themselves into. I'm pretty sure that I'd beat them all if I were a participant, since I actually live here. Well, actually I live in the waters around the island and not on the island itself, but my point still stands.

I'm not going to interfere with their activities all that much, since if all goes well I'm only going to be on the surface occasionally to see what the contestants are up to. Otherwise, I'm going to stay underwater, because darlin' it's warmer down here where it's wetter!

Ahem. Alright, enough about me. There's a light snow today on the island, and here's what I've recorded thus far.

Since it's only been a day or two, it seems most of the contestants are still adapting to their new surroundings. Of them, I believe Hawk the Sphericus Cave Norn is the best adapted to the place despite losing his* pencil right off the bat. Fur makes for a lousy storage device, I'm told.

On the other hand, Panda-mist is my vote for dying off in the first week. She's a magma norn in a place like this. Okay, she is wearing a scarf and boots (that attire looks strange on a norn), but she's still a magma norn in a cold land. I'm wondering if the temperature is making her hallucinate, actually, judging by how she seemed to mistake a rock for a companion.

Laura the Treehugger and C1anddsaddict (who names their kid that? Her hand must not have been thinking straight that day) the Siamese have had the fortune to meet each other and seem to be making plans about bartering (after clearing up a misunderstanding between the two - C1anddsaddict mistook Laura for a polar bear...somehow. I reiterate that the cold weather seems to be making everyone hallucinate). Laura has already lost an ear (have they even been here a day? Talk about being unused to the weather), and seems to be planning on finding some "Iced Tea." Good luck with that; I assure you that no such stuff exists on this island unless you have the means to make it yourself. It also seems C1anddsaddict has found herself a crab as a companion, and is getting protective of it already. You better keep a good eye on him; there's a good chance I might eat him next time I'm up on the surface and you're not around. Hey, everyone's gotta eat, right?

FlyingEttiNorn the Astro Norn (what a nonindicative name...he's not flying, nor is an ettinorn) apparently was the first to meet Laura and her snownorn (oh, I forgot to mention Laura made herself a snownorn - I imagine this isn't the last time I'm going to see those). He also doesn't seem to be faring too well. It's only the first day, and he's already nearly had his head chomped off by an ice gnarler and had his tail actually bitten off by a large stickletrout (at least the tail didn't die in vain - he built himself a house out of the fish and has enough food to last him a few days). He has yet to actually meet with the other creatures, though he's been interacting with Laura via messages in the snow. Then he got hit with a dead bird. Did I mention he doesn't seem to be faring well?

The dead bird came courtesy of Mea, who caught three of them using an elaborate trap involving a group of shrimp. Darlin', if I were you, I just would have eaten the shrimp. They're edible too you know, and quite delicious at that. On that note, she's likely the only creature on the island who's going to notice me in my native home; I'm not quite sure what to think of that (her appearance scares me, and I'm a bloody grendel!). Anyway, she lost two of the birds, one of which was already mentioned and the other falling into the hands of C1anddsaddict. Don't get used to these gifts from above; now's not the time to be spoiled.

Bearthing is another Siamese, or rather a Siamese/Hardman. She hasn't interacted with, or even tried searching for, the other contestants yet. Which is just as well; I don't think someone with the title of "The Undesirable" would be really pleasant to talk to. That said, she is faring reasonably well, already having found herself an odd-looking cave-statue...thing with a fresh stash of corpses. Of course, being a barbarian, she decided to just keep them for herself, further earning the label "Not a team player." At least she's doing something, however....

Sam999 the...whatever-it-is and Lisha777 the Yeren Grendel, on the other hand, really need to get a move on - both of them haven't moved an inch since they've arrived. Sam999 apparently got here via an exploding spaceship, which is quite the way to make an entrance, but that's not going to help him much now. Come on you two; standing still makes you freeze to death faster, and you don't want that, now do you?

Actually, it appears that we're still missing someone. I was told that there was 10 creatures on this island, but so far I've only counted 9. By process of elimination, we're still awaiting on ratkinzluver33 to make his/her appearance on the island. Since he/she is not here yet, about the only real comment I can make is that we have another case of a not-completely-sane hand choosing a very strange name for a newborn creature.

And with that, I think I've covered everything I can. I'm not certain when my next excursion to the surface will be; but it will be soon enough. This is Mahk Mako, signing off!

*I'm assuming Hawk is a male since that makes the most sense to me, but you can never tell with these Sphericus Norns....


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  1/2/2013  2


Another two days, another excursion to the surface, and boy are things getting interesting! I am Mahk Mako, bringing you another installment of Message in a Bottle.

First off, let me clear a few things up. As it turns out, Hawk is in fact a female. I've also been informed that Fly is also a female, but he definitely looks like a male Astro Norn to me (further supported by evidence I'll mention later). Maybe the informant was thinking of his owner? Apologies to you two if I indeed messed up on your genders; it is nothing personal.

Also, no C1anddsaddict, this is not your crab (as I assume you know). Living on the sea bottom means you have some interesting neighbors drop by sometimes. Unfortunately, yellow crabs are inedible, which means that I couldn't eat them even if I want to. And boy do I want to sometimes; they make for some lousy neighbors.

Right. Survivor. Well, it was sleeting yesterday, but now that's gone back to being snow (a bit heavier fall than earlier). By watching the contestants, I'm pretty sure none of them are aware of my existence yet. About the only signs I'm leaving behind are my footprints, and the sleet probably took care of those. I'm not so sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but there's a good chance I'll find that out later.

As for the contestants themselves? They've been up to quite a few interesting things.

The biggest change: Ratkinzluver33 has finally showed her face on Survivor Island! As it turns out, she is a female Sphericus Norn. As of now, she has spent 4 days holing herself up in a cave, and is currently undergoing "training" (via the school of hard knocks) to adapt to the cold temperatures, snow, and tricky food sources. As she only entered the game recently, I haven't high hopes for her, but her endeavors might be interesting to watch indeed.

Sam999 has continued to do squat, so I shall not waste my breath further on him.

However, Lisha777 must have heeded my warning from earlier, as she is now wandering about, having found herself an ice cave to call home and is currently trying to learn how to fish. Darlin', the best way to fish is to jump right in yourself and chase after the buggers! Then again, you are a land grendel, and I'm an aqua grendel...different worlds, different ways of doing things, I suppose.

Hawk has found her pen and a nice ice cave of her own to call home. Unfortunately, the cold-weather hallucinations seem to be making her confuse her journal with something edible.... Strange for such a cold-adapted norn to be hit with the hallcinations, but I guess the strangest things happen.

Speaking of strange things happening, Bearthing has met up with Panda-mist. The tale of how the two met? Bearthing's statue-cave-thing somehow turned on her. I would dismiss this as fallacy, but I was there when I saw the thing start glowing like it had swallowed some Christmas lights. I do not know what exactly what went on there, but I did know Panda-mist dragged Bearthing out of the place when it started glowing (presumably against her better judgment). After the event, the two crossed paths. Bearthing spent the day raging at the weather and eating a load of fish from a frozen lake, while Panda-mist was smarter and searched for resources. After they met up again, Bearthing humorously assumed Panda-mist could breathe fire (I'm still laughing over that one), but the two stuck together and swapped stories even after Panda-mist divulged that she couldn't. A mangy barbarian and a pampered housepet...sounds like a good plot for a sitcom. I look forwards to seeing where it goes.

Laura and C1anddsaddict continue to stick together and make for a nice crew. They've stumbled upon an actual cave (that's hopefully more accommodating than Bearthing's face-of-doom) and are currently using it as their base of operations. They appear to be splitting up the duties of hunting and gathering; while Laura's performing this job admirably (and thoroughly dispelling the Treehugger stereotype while she's at it), C1anddsaddict made the acquaintance of Mea, who now has joined their little party.

Speaking of whom, Mea's escapades of been pretty interesting in and of themselves - notably, she took a mighty fine undersea journey. Too bad the place she chose to splash down at wasn't anywhere near the patch of seagrass I call home, or I would have asked her if she was up for a nice batch of shrimpton. Not sure how she would have reacted to that offer, though - she appears to be rather shy for such a strange-looking creatures. She also appears to have some psychological issues; I saw her promptly bolting out of the cave last night, hissing and spitting like some sort of feline. I only hope that she can find some professional help once all this is said and done.

At least that episode brought her into contact with FlyingEttiNorn, who...appears to find her strangely attractive, lending credence to the theory that he is in fact a male Astro Norn like he looks. He gave Mea a piece of fish, and Mea tried to lead him back to the cave. It doesn't look like he followed, though...must be one of those lone wolf types.

Laura's hunting excursion has brought her to a river with stickletrout-like fish and spicy aquatic plants. I bet that ought to make for a nice meal once you bring it back to the cave, huh? Meanwhile, her partner-in-survival C1anddsaddict is considering exploring the cave further. She too seems to be suffering from some sort of psychological issue, which may explain how Mea found her and Laura. Birds of a feather flock together, am I right?

Before I close off, there appears to be talk of a wolf-like animal running around the island. I haven't seen this thing, but I have heard its howling (though at first I assumed it might have been Bearthing). Time will tell if I ever cross paths with it, I guess.

I think that ought to cut it for this update. I need some time to consider a change of format for these updates, and more urgently I need to get rid of these crabs before they eat all the food. This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


~ The Realm ~
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  1/6/2013  1


As we pass into the second week of Survivor, the game starts becoming more and more trying on its participants. That includes me, Mahk Mako, as you can probably guess from the change in surroundings. I successfully managed to get those bloody crabs away from my home, but unfortunately due to stupidity on my part I've no way to get back to my home. I'll explain what happened in just a while, since I'm aware that you're itching to know what the contestants have been up to, and I need to get it out before I forget it.

First off, the conclusion of the first week brought us the first casualties: Ratkinzluver33 and Sam999 are no longer on the island. I've heard that a boat has taken them away, but if you ask me that seems unlikely. I have some sympathy for Ratkinzluver, since she barely got started before succumbing, but I can't say I feel the same way for Sam. He stood around and did nothing, and as a result the cold weather fried (or froze, rather) his CPU. Well, I did warn him....

Hawk and Lisha777 are currently set to suffer the same fate Sam999 did; neither of them has moved in days. It's particularly strange since both of them are of species adapted to the cold; you'd think they'd be performing better than this.

The group consisting of C1anddsaddict, Laura, Mea, and Fly, on the other hand, has been doing quite well for themselves. Well, the former three are, anyway - poor Fly ran afoul of a poisonous plant and is now quite ill. At least the other three are doing their best to keep him afloat.

C1anddsaddict has been exploring the cave they've been holed up in, and it seems that it's just as creepy as Bearthing's face-of-doom. Apparently, there's a shrine of some sort in a strange room deeper inside the cave, and now C1anddsaddict is seeing shadowy figures all over the place. I'm wondering if one of those figures was actually me, considering I do need to get close sometimes to record everyone's actions.

Mea has stumbled upon the wreckage of Sam999's exploded ship, and since he's been booted off she's likely the best one to take advantage of it. She's also done wonders to document the local sea life, and stumbled upon Hawk and left behind some nutrition for her in case she ever wakes up again. She's pretty compassionate for a part-Borg.

Our other group consists of Bearthing and Panda-mist...and quite possibly myself. You see, the cave I'm stuck in now is the same one this lovely pair found and consequently are also stuck in.

The whole story is as follows: Bearthing took it upon herself to teach Panda in the ways of barbarians, which among other things includes usage of spears, and that it is possible to ransack nothing, as well as how to deal with her crazy hand. All the while, she seemed to be lamenting her increased sense of manners. I say she should take the skills she's learning here and take them to heart, but then again I actually like having people be pleasant towards me. Each to his or her own, I figure.

After preparing, they marched through the snow (which has been getting rather heavy as of late), until they stumbled upon a most unusual tree that had oddly shaped fruit. They sampled the fruit (presumably against their better judgment; that fruit did not look edible in the slightest), only to have the ground cave in beneath their feet and deposit them into a hole.

Where do I fit into this? Well, as soon as I saw the pair fall into the hole, I took it upon myself to follow them into it (I can't very well document them when they're underground, now can I?). It wasn't until after I jumped in that I realized that I hadn't thought it through entirely - I had no way to get out. Fortunately, my amazing lapse of judgment went unnoticed since the pair decided to continue forth in search of mushrooms (this hole appears to be part of a larger cave system, if all the crystals are anything to go by). For lack of a better option, I followed them.

Not only have they found mushrooms (that are edible and nonpoisonous, to boot) someone left their boombox down here. Judging by the presence of the boombox, these caves must have been inhabited at one point. Who? I don't know; I guess I'll leave that to the adventuring pair (Bearthing looks to be taking a more active stance on exploration; she's wandered off without Panda).

For as long as I'm down here, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to record the going-ons of Laura, C1anddsaddict, Mea, and Fly (and by extension Hawk and Lisha, though some part of me doubts they'll be doing much). As soon as Bearthing and Panda find a way out of this cave, I'll get back to recording everyone as soon as possible.

This is Mahk Mako, signing off for the third time. I miss my shrimpton diet already....


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  1/7/2013  1


I, Mahk Mako, return with another Message in a Bottle update, albeit a rather brief one. As you can see, I'm still stuck down in this cave since the two creatures also down here have yet to find a way out, but at least what they've been getting into is quite the spectacle.

Though, for a game called "Survivor," Bearthing seems to be doing anything but. As it turns out, this cave tunnel lead into a larger cavern filled with all sorts of treasure. When one stumbles upon a bunch of loot in a cave, the smart thing to do is not touch anything and instead high-tail it out of there - it usually can mean only one thing. Bearthing, being the barbarian that she is, instead decided to take all the loot.

Sure enough, she angered the real owner of all the gold - a strange, very large hybrid between what looked to be a draconian norn and a shee. She tried fighting it; it responded by sitting on her. That was the point that I decided that staying around would be hazardous to my health, and so I turned around and ran for it. Even as I fled, I couldn't help but feel superior for a few moments; yes, I'm stuck down here due to an act of stupidity, but I do feel better since I just witnessed one that was several times larger.

I'm not sure what happened after that; Panda-mist was standing somewhere nearby, I'm sure. However, everyone was focused on the shee-dragon, and I got out of there before I saw what became of the magma. Since I kinda doubt for their health, I figure I'm going to have to find a way out of here myself. Which means I might be down here a bit longer-

<Long pencil streak here>

...Oh, would you look at that. Panda-mist just bumped right into me. I think this is as good a place as any to sign off, as I feel as an explanation is in order - namely, who I am, what I'm doing, and regrettably how I got into this cave.

This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


~ The Realm ~
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  1/10/2013


This is Mahk Mako with yet another short Message in a Bottle update. Yes, I'm still stuck in this cave. I hope I'm really not missing much out on the surface.

At least I had my first real discussion with a contestant. However, Panda-mist didn't seem to react all that kindly to the premise of Survivor. Actually, she seemed completely unaware that this was an event until I informed her of the events. You'd think their hands would have told them something was going on before they sent them here. At least, I know I had the decency to be informed of the going-ons before they started.

That said, I think I glossed over a thing or two while explaining it to her. Namely, I neglected to mention that I live in the waters around the island, and therefore would have been well aware of the arrival of a boat if there was one. Yes, I seriously do believe the two causalities thus far were exactly that.

More interestingly, Panda the previously pampered pet has not only been getting along with Bearthing the mangy barbarian; she actually considers her a friend. As such, she took it upon herself to do something about freeing her from that shee-dragon. I do not know what she's planning, other than that it involves that boombox from earlier.

However, it is my job to find that out. Besides, I haven't checked on Bearthing since she was made into a dragon's bun-warmer - for all I know, she could have well made up for her earlier lack of judgment by defeating the dragon while Panda was out here speaking to me.

So, tune in next time to find out how this escape attempt ends, and if anyone down here manages to get back to the surface. This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


~ The Realm ~
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  1/15/2013  1


I am Mahk Mako, and I am so, so happy to finally be back home under the sea! And I have a lot to report on, considering I spent an entire week in a cave and even then didn't pay much attention to what I missed since I was too busy elating about my freedom.

First order of business: Bearthing's and Panda-mist's escape from the Shee-dragon's lair. As it turned out, Panda offered up the boombox to the Shee-dragon in exchange for Bearthing. It took some convincing, but eventually the dragon decided that the radio could play a much better song than Bearthing and let the norn go, and then everyone else ran for it. Good thing I decided to observe the whole thing from a safe distance, or otherwise I ran the risk of becoming the dragon's new plaything, and that'd be a bit of a hamper on my current occupation.

After that was over, I finally had the...*ahem*..."pleasure" of making Bearthing's acquaintance. Being a grendel, I naturally have a strong dislike of hardman norns and their crossbreeds. Do you know what's worse than a hardman norn, however? An uncivilized hardman norn.

That's exactly what I had to put up with as the adventuring duo looked for a way out of the cave. Bearthing not only had the oh-so-wonderful temperament of a hardman, but she also seemed to not have much in the way of intelligence, particularly in the way that she kept referring to the contest organizers as "the enemy." The feelings of hatred only became more mutual as we went along - close to the end of the underground journey, I saw it fit that I keep an eye on Bearthing instead of sleeping, lest she try to stab me to death with her pointy stick.

When we finally got out of the cave, I wasted no time in bidding them adieu and making my way back to my underwater adobe. But not before giving Bearthing a final death glare.

If you're reading this, Bearthing, let me make this perfectly clear: We aqua grendels are generally a placid sort provided we have our space. Leave me alone, and I shall not bother you. But should we ever cross paths again, and you want to try attacking me, you have better be praying that it isn't on the beach. Otherwise, you risk being dragged underwater and held down until you're either begging for mercy or drowned - and either way, it'll be a solid hit to your dignity. Let's make sure the little truce we upheld in the cave transfers to the surface, shall we?

Now that's said and done with. So, what were the other contestants up to while I was stuck underground?

First off, Lisha777 and Hawk both succumbed to the cold and are nowhere to be seen. It looks like Hawk at least moved around some more, but it doesn't seem to have helped her as much. Here's hoping they're having a better chance elsewhere, be it on the living plane or otherwise.

FlyingEttiNorn and Laura both seem set to follow the previous contestants off the island. Fly is still sick and doesn't seem to be getting better, but Laura's behavior is most baffling. This was the norn who got back from a hunting trip no worse for wear last time I checked up on her; so whatever her problem is, it has to be mental. Here's hoping both of these norns get back on their feet before the angel of death comes to collect his dues.

With those two pretty much out of the game, most of the hunting and general caretaking duties for that group have fallen upon Mea and C1anddsaddict, moreso the former than the latter.

The first thing they did was go out and explore the ruins of Sam999's ship. Crazy metal thing hasn't been part of the run since the first week, but his ship's certainly proving useful, isn't it? I can't give exact details since this all occurred while I was stuck in a cave, but I could tell that they'd went there by all the things scattered around in their own cave.

In the time between then and now, C1anddsaddict has built herself a snownorn that parallels Laura's from earlier, in addition to finding herself a new friend in the form of a micro grendel. She seems to have a thing for these little critters. First her crab, and now this.

After some time, they came to the agreement that they should change campsites. Being the most mobile, it naturally fell upon Mea to find this new campsite, which she did (accidentally, by flying about when it's windy and getting driven into a hillside).

Interestingly enough, it appears that C1anddsaddict's earlier fears about the cave being haunted weren't unwarranted. Mea returned from her trip to find the campsite to find everyone else knocked out cold. Literally. Since she was the only one able to move everyone to the new spot, Mea had quite a lot of work to do.

It all ended in a crazy chase to get a real polar bear away from the cave after a mother and baby bear were drawn in by Fly's fish tent. Mea managed to successfully get them away by snatching the cub, luring the mother bear to a seal colony and then dropping the cub off, but at the cost of getting severely beaten up in the process by the mother bear. This is why creatures shouldn't mess with polar bears - heck, even I don't mess with them, and I'm a grendel.

For her part, C1anddsaddict has gotten herself caught up in some bear madness herself - she's stumbled upon the bones of a dead baby bear. So the reason that cave's been acting so strange is because it's haunted by ghost bears? I can't tell for certain; I hardly noticed anything the last time I was there and got all this down.

In any event, this won't be the last of the bear madness. I checked up on Bearthing and Panda-mist back at their old shelter before returning to the sea, and apparently Bearthing and her wisdom (or lack thereof) wants to find a bear cub herself for protection purposes. Good luck with that - after what Mea went through, I can't say I have high hopes for you.

We'll see what happens at a later date. For now, I need to rearrange my home some more; it seems like someone's been messing around here while I was away. This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


~ The Realm ~
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  1/19/2013  1



We've moved on to the penultimate week of Survivor, and with only four contestants remaining on the island the heat is starting to turn up (figuratively speaking, of course). Given the relative lack of updates after I escaped from the cave, I, Mahk Mako, saw fit to deviate from my usual schedule and bring you a weekend update of Message in a Bottle. Yes, I'm actually reporting from the surface this time - I'll give my reasons for that shortly.

I am sorry to report that Laura and FlyingEttiNorn were the next two contestants to lose out. I'm not quite sure how these two got off just yet, as it seems the circumstances were extremely odd indeed.... More details coming as I learn them.

Bearthing's and Panda-mist's bear adventure didn't end quite the way they were expecting it to, I imagine. They tried raiding a bear den to grab themselves a bear protector, but after seizing a cub, they found themselves driven up a tree by the angry mother bear. Even better, they wound up dropping their food on the mother bear, resulting in a stand-off that only had two probable results: the norns being pulverized, or the baby bear being returned to its mother. The latter happened, and after a standoff the mother bear left with her baby, and let the two norns return to their shelter, where they had a conversation of sorts that I didn't bother paying attention to.

Some part of me wishes at least Bearthing was pulverized...it would have been a worthy lesson: don't mess with things stronger than you. That said, it is interesting to observe the friendship between the two. I may not like Bearthing, but apparenty there's something likeable about her if Panda was willing to put up with her after all this time.

As for the other group...Mea and C1anddsaddict managed to successfully relocate their group to a less haunted cave. As it turned out, C1anddsaddict's crab wasn't a crab at all - it was a robot controlled by a micro grendel, of all things. Good thing I decided against eating it, then - it certainly wouldn't have tasted good.

Unfortunately, the micro grendels had to remain in the old cave, but that didn't stop the norns from having a farewell feast for them. Mea went out and collected food, as seems to be her duty - bringing back not only food, but some interesting mechanical contraptions.

I watched them have their feast, but I left afterwards. When I came back later on...well, something happened. C1anddsaddict is out on the slopes alone, looking very distressed about something. And severely lacking in supplies, to boot.

I don't know what went down. Maybe it has something to do with how Laura and Fly got off the island, since when I checked back at that cave it looked like they had simply vanished without a trace. That means, however....

Why am I out on the slopes myself instead of reporting from my usual underwater adobe? I'm trailing C1anddsaddict as I write this. As soon as I'm done with this report, I'm going to get the story straight from the horse's mouth. Standing back and letting things take their own course has been a decent strategy, but I'm never going to get a real answer to this mystery in this manner. Besides, the Siamese appears to be ready to...what's the word?...oh yes, cross the despair event horizon (if she hasn't already done so). I admit that I'm no orator, but as the Opinions Columnist I know what the readers are looking for. Perhaps C1anddsaddict could get the will to continue with a little pep talk?

Tune in next time to see where our conversation goes. Heck, I may even report several times over the course of it. It might not end well, but I must try.

This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


~ The Realm ~
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  1/20/2013



I am Mahk Mako, and this is another Message in a Bottle update. Now that's out of the way; let's get to the meat here.

Unfortunately, C1anddsaddict seemed unwilling to say anything about what happened back at the cave. However, what I did learn from her was that she isn't quite out of hope yet; she wants to find the Warp. And she thought it necessary to ask me about it.

Personally, I'm more interested in how she feels that she's playing second fiddle to Mea. Mea had been doing most of the work when they were living together, yes. But at the same time, C1anddsaddict hadn't offered to help with the food gathering and whatnot, yes? Perhaps if you two split up the work, you wouldn't feel this way about Mea, and we wouldn't be here having this talk, now would we?

That said, I know a thing or two about the Warp. I may live here on this island, but as I suggested when I called Bearthing "uncivilized," that doesn't mean I'm an uneducated savage. That said, I don't know if it exists here on this island - I think it might, given that I....

...Oh bugger. It looks like C1anddsaddict got a little impatient waiting for my reply and decided to go trundling off. Okay, change of plans: I'll make her a deal. If she wants to tell me everything that happened back at the cave, I'll tell tell her everything I know about the Warp, as well as the other contestants on the island.

All this assuming that I manage to find her again. I can't believe I've been standing here like an idiot for an entire day. Well, it is snowing...maybe I can track her footprints to see where she went.

Well, I can't waste any more time. This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


~ The Realm ~
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  1/20/2013  1



Considering I already updated once today, I really don't feel the need to spit out my generic introduction. You know who I am, and what this column is for. I know, I know. I'm supposed to be a reporter, and therefore I'm supposed to act the part. But things are starting to get serious here.

I managed to find C1anddsaddict again, and as it turns out Mea was right there with her. Apparently the two were trying to settle their differences in a peaceful manner while I was trying to catch up. My first thought was to ask Mea if she was willing to join me for dinner one day before this contest was over, but my better sense of judgment told me that this wasn't the time for that.

I stuck to my guns, and told C1anddsaddict of my deal. Long story short; she agreed to it. It was quite the story, and apparently one that was quite painful. It certainly sounded painful, too. I know you wish to hear it, and I shall relay it to you once I return to my underwater home.

But first, I must uphold my end of the bargain. I'm a grendel of my word, and I'm not reneging on it.

I shall tell them all I know. Everything I ever heard about the Warp; skimpy as it might be. I shall tell them about how their best shot at finding a working warp device lies within the ruins, which is in fact the exploded ship of another contestant; the mechanical chicken thing Sam999, who stupidly did nothing and froze to death.

Of course, I shall also tell them of the other contestants: Lisha's experience with fishing, Hawk's death throes, Ratkinzluver's late awakening. The misadventures of Bearthing the Stup-I mean, Undesirable and Panda-mist.

Most important of all, I shall relay to them the probable existence of another warp portal on this island, should the ruins of Sam999's ship bear no real fruit. However, to fully inform them, I must ask them a question first. A question that I hope they'll answer positively:

Are they willing to listen to a story?


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  1/21/2013



I am Mahk Mako, ready to start this week's updates with a bit of a bang. Some part of me is telling me this column is starting to look less like an Opinions Column and more like a contestant's journal...maybe I should actually take part in the next Survivor?

As luck would have it, Mea and C1anddsaddict were willing to listen to my story. Before I could tell it though, we had to get set up. C1anddsaddict wanted me to set up a fire.... Unfortunately, that was beyond my abilities. As a predominantly aquatic creature, I never set up a fire in my life, so I was completely at a loss. Fortunately, Mea was nice enough to go get firewood, so at least I didn't have to go hunt for it.

Some time later, I was about to begin. I cleared my throat and began to speak...

...Only to be interrupted by a loud rumbling. As luck would have it, the cave where the contestant pair was staying just so happened to get blocked off by an avalanche. Although it's certainly a most tragic occurrence, I couldn't help but be relieved that it stopped there and didn't bother to continue up to the spot where we were currently at.

Instead of attempting to restart my story, I instead decided to offer my assistance to the pair in getting this avalanche business sorted out. Once everything was nice and in order, I'd restart my information dump.

As the opinions columnist, I know I'm supposed to be unbiased here. Quite honestly, though, this method of getting news is more efficient than my past attempts. There's another pair of contestants running about, but I'll get to them at a later date.

So, on that note...tune in next time to see how this ends up. This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


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  1/21/2013  1



C1anddsaddict and Mea decided it wasn't worth it to try and excavate their old home, and so we've moved to another, smaller cave with a beautiful ocean view. Even better, it's only a hop and a skip away from my actual home, so if I need to return there for any reason I can do so quickly and easily.

Mea was nice enough to set up a fire (though the methods she used looked a bit painful - no point hurting yourself just to start a fire, even if you are partly mechanical). She also brought back some food in the form of seabirds, although one of them managed to make it through alive and in reasonably good condition. There seemed to be some debate about what to do with it, though since Mea just killed two birds, I doubt that she'd have any qualms about finishing off a third. At any rate, I just suggested to leave it be - if it really was in good shape, it'd fly off on its own.

As soon as we were settled, I finally had the chance to tell my story. The story of how I got to this island, and the framing device by which I told them about the other warp portal.

I'm having trouble finding where to begin...so I guess I should start with a basic introduction.

Unlike you, I actually call this island my home. I wasn't chosen by a hand to be a contestant; I was here quite a while before Survivor began, and was simply asked by the game organizers to be the opinions columnist. But I wasn't born here; if I was, I would most certainly be a bit of a savage.

I had my starts in a sandy, aquatic place, overlooked by a large coral, amongst a cluster of my fellow eggs. I never knew who my parents were, and neither did anyone else who was born in that patch. Certainly, if my parents actually cared about my egg, my name wouldn't have been so silly. Back then, I wasn't called Mahk Mako; my birth name was Chivalrous Box. Hardly a fitting name for an aqua grendel, but then again everyone had a name like that. Back then, names hardly mattered anyway - our birthing area had no food, and we were forced to find it.

To survive, we had to march across the sandy bottom until we came upon a rickety old elevator, and then use that elevator to reach another area decorated with old ruins. In this area, there was a clam shell that would warp us to our final home: another group of ruins watched over by the statue of an old norn. According to the elder grendels, this place was called "Devil's Reef," and the place we just came from was called "Past Seas."

Despite the name, Devil's Reef was actually quite a nice and simple place to live. We snacked on jellyfish and sponge seeds, and got into scuffles with our fellow grendels. Sometimes, the elders would bring us all together and tell us tales of the time when a hand set up our world. According to them, we were engaged in something called a "wolfling run," and the run through Past Seas was called an "IQ test."

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. When I was an adolescent grendel, something unprecedented happened - the hand who started this whole shindig, after generations of absence, reappeared. It declared an end to the wolfling run, and then exported us all.

I don't know if either of you have ever been exported, but it's not a pretty process. You're trapped in a strange bubble, unable to move, and then there's nothing. You can't do anything, not even think, until the hand sees it fit to import you again. If you're unlucky, you might never escape that nothing.

I, obviously, was fortunate enough to be re-imported. My next memory after being exported was falling down a couple of feet onto a heating pad, in a new land they called the Norn Meso. My memories of this place are foggy, since I didn't spend much time there - it was a place without any water, I was told, and so I was taken by the hand into a different area: a massive, freshwater lake. Its shoreline was decorated by some nifty-looking plants, and the water was home to fish species of all sorts. I was informed that this place was called Norngarden 4.

Life here was just as easy as it was at Devil's Reef, but it was decidedly boring. The hand did not see it fit to give me companionship in the form of another grendel. Oh sure, it stopped by occasionally to ensure that I was well-fed and whatnot, but other than that I was limited to playing with the fish and staring through the glass out into space.

After some time, I decided to take my fate into my own hands. As it turned out, this room had a door. After the hand left after checking up on me, I used this door to find myself in a hub, learning at the same time what the "4" meant in my initial home's name.

I wandered through these new areas, filled with plants and animals of all kinds. I can only assume that this land was known as the Norngarden, but what rooms had what numbers were beyond me, and it never mattered, anyway.

My explorations eventually took me right out of the Norngarden and into a cold, sterile room I now know to be the Capillata hub. My first thought was to return to the Norngarden, but something in me told me that I needed to explore these new areas. I would discover every single bit of this ship, and no norn, grendel, or hand would stop me.

The door to the left of the Norngarden door caught my attention the most, and so that was my choice for my next round of exploration. As luck would have it, it would be my final one.

What waited beyond that door astounded me. The place was decorated with bits of machinery, but the one that shocked me was a flower-like device sitting on the floor. I knew what this thing was - it was a warp portal, a creation spoken only in the stories of the Devil's Reef's elders. The device our ancestor's creators used to travel the stars. The device that allowed instant access to all worlds.

The device, I hoped, that would bring me to my ancestral home of Devil's Reef.

Unfortunately, the device was closed shut. If this thing was operational, I had to find a way to open it up. I pushed it. I pulled it. I hit it. I even tried to eat it once or twice. The thing did not want to budge.

I was about to give up and return to the Norngarden when the hand suddenly floated into the room. I stared at it, fearful for my own state. I had stepped beyond the boundaries it had set for me. I had disobeyed it. I feared what it was going to do to me.

At best, it would grab me and return me to Norngarden 4, forcing me to spend the rest of my days there. At worst, it would condemn me to exportation. In either scenario, my adventure would come to an eternal close.

What it actually did surprised me. Without saying a word, it poked the warp portal, causing it to open and produce the swirling blue. It then floated away, and that was the last I ever saw of it.

I was confused at first, but then had an epiphany. The hand wanted me to leave the Norngarden 4. The hand wanted me to enter this room and find this warp portal. I was a wolfling run-spawned grendel, after all. Whatever my destiny was, it awaited me within that swirling blue.

Without wasting any further time, I placed my hand on the now-open portal....

...The next thing I knew, I was standing on the shoreline of this very island. There was a portal behind me, but while open there was no swirling blue, and nothing I did made it work again.

I was forlorn at first, but as I explored this island more I learned what a boon it was. There was no hand here to monitor my movements, to tell me where to stay or to export me. The locations here were more varied than they ever were on a ship. I may had never seen another creature again, but I had an entire island, and with it an entire ocean, to call my own.

I was my own master. And to prove it, I ditched my silly old name of Chivalrous Box. From then on, I was Mahk Mako. It is a name I shall wear proudly until the day I die. I made my home just off the coast of my arrival point, and I've lived here ever since.


After I was done with the story, I told them where I arrived, motioning with my arms in its direction. I don't know exactly where the old portal was - since it didn't work, I didn't bother mentally jotting down where it was located. I personally have no desire to get it working again, but perhaps Mea and C1anddsaddict might. We'll see where this goes.

This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


~ The Realm ~
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  1/22/2013



After a good night's sleep, it's time for me, Mahk Mako, to update the Message in a Bottle column.

I'm not certain if my story helped C1anddsaddict and Mea at all, but at the very least they found it interesting. After I concluded, we made a meal out of the seabirds (this was my first taste of birds - I have to say I prefer fish and shrimpton), and then settled down for the night.

I was then shaken awake by C1anddsaddict the following morning (day? I admit my internal clock isn't quite up to speed), and informed that the tide was coming in. To me, that looks more like a storm surge. Storms are nothing I'm not used to, but usually I'm underwater when they hit. In this case, I'm not about to dive into choppy waves just to get home.

In that case, I chose to keep up my honorary role of third member of this little group, and helped them get their supplies away before this area got battered by 10-foot-high waves.

Short update, I know. I don't really feel the urge to check up on Bearthing and Panda-mist, as something is telling me that they haven't been up to much. I'm also willing to bet that you want to know what happened when Laura and Fly vanished...maybe I'll tell you that story when this game of Survivor is over. Right now, I think I better prioritize getting away from the storm surge.

This is Mahk Mako, signing off. Forward march!


~ The Realm ~
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  1/24/2013



I apologize for the lack of update yesterday; it 'twas a bit of a slow day that I didn't feel deserved a full update. I am Mahk Mako, however, and today I shall bring you a proper update.

Most of the day yesterday was spent with C1anddsaddict, as Mea was off gathering supplies. I will say a little bit about Mea here, however: she seemed awfully interested in the storm surge. As in, it looked like she wanted to go bounding off and dance around in it. She is (or at least looks to be) part Mernorn, so I guess the desire is understandable, but I'm a predominantly aquatic creature myself, and even I didn't want to risk it. Maybe her Borg part eliminated her sense of danger or something.

Anyway, after we got away from the storm surge, we agreed on a meeting place, and then Mea flew off to gather supplies, leaving C1anddsaddict and I to search for the warp portal I mentioned.

What followed was an entire day's journey that bore no fruit; literal or otherwise. Most likely, we were looking in all the wrong places. I think I mentioned that the warp portal was sitting on a beach by the ocean, and we've been looking everywhere except by the ocean. I understand not wanting to get near the storm surge, but this is kinda ridiculous.

As a result, I was in a decidedly bitter mood for most of the day. I apologize for my general attitude that day, C1anddsaddict - I'm usually more cheerful than this, honestly. It's just that the wild goose chase hasn't been doing much for my morale.

At the end of the day, we returned to the scheduled meeting place, with Mea having brought back more supplies...and an interesting story to tell, too. Apparently, she's met up with Panda-mist. Good thing for the Magma, too - she got buried by the same avalanche that cut off Mea and C1anddsaddict from their cave. If it weren't for Mea, she would have likely frozen to death. Mea dug her out of the snow, built a fire for her, and left her some supplies before returning to us.

She didn't mention seeing Bearthing (or a norn that looks like Bearthing) anywhere. Given the last time I saw her was before the avalanche, I doubt for her life. So much for that barbarian stupidity pride, eh Bearthing?

That about sums up yesterday. Today looks like it's going to be another slow day. Mea's flown off to gather more supplies and presumably check on Panda-mist again, which means that C1anddsaddict and I are probably going to spend the rest of today looking for the warp portal again. Hopefully this time, we'll check in the right spot. I'm not much in the mood for yet another wild goose chase. Then again, it is snowing quite a bit today. I'm assuming that the storm the wild waves predicted is starting to arrive, which means that we still don't want to be near the ocean, and.... I think my morale sank a foot already.

This is Mahk Mako, signing off.



~ The Realm ~
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  1/26/2013



This is Mahk Mako, reporting in for the final week of Survivor. I have been informed that Panda-mist and Bearthing are both gone. Their adventures were nice ones to watch, but I can't say I didn't expect this to happen.

That leaves us with C1anddsaddict and Mea as the final two contestants. Will the ever-increasing pressure tear their friendship apart, or will they stick together to the end? Considering the end of this week will see them both off the island, just to varying fanfares, I don't think it'll change much, but we'll see what happens.

The most important thing that happened over the past couple days: we have found the Warp Portal (the thing I'm currently standing next to)! It looks much as I remembered it, if a little worn down from all that time sitting on the beach. I helped C1anddsaddict lug the thing back to their campsite, and when Mea returned she investigated it and informed us that it leads to one specific place. Shortly afterwards, she flew off in search of Panda-mist. Considering the magma just got voted off, I don't think she'll have much success in that area.

Meanwhile, C1anddsaddict seems to be thinking about using the thing. I see no blue swirl in it right now, which from my experience means that the thing is not operational. At least, not operational at the moment. We'll need to tinker with it some before it goes anywhere. That's assuming said tinkering won't make the thing blow up, or otherwise break it. If we manage to get it working...well, if C1anddsaddict really wants to use the thing, I won't stop her. I've found my home already, and therefore I have no intentions on jumping in it myself.

It seems the storm the waves predicted wasn't quite as intense as I expected; just a bunch of snow. Right now, it's rather foggy. I'm hoping Mea's getting along fine navigating through it all. Then again, that mechanical eye of hers ought to have some alternate ways of viewing.

As for me, I shall do my best to keep you updated on the final week. It's been a long ride, but it's not going to be slowing down any time soon. This is Mahk Mako, signing off.


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  2/1/2013



Welcome all, to the final installment of Message in a Bottle. As of this writing, I, Mahk Mako, am the only remaining creature on this island. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going home with the gold; I hope you haven't forgotten that I do live here. I also apologize for not updating frequently this week; events conspired to make even one update very difficult to do.

Now that this game of Survivor has come to a close, who was the winner? According to the unknown source that was nice enough to inform me who got booted off each week, the victor was Mea. However, I personally believe that there really wasn't a winner here, considering how this week ended.

Mea, as per usual, was on hunting duty, and as far as I can tell went normally (though there was this one beastie that chased her around and gave her some fresh wounds - apparently, the locals don't think too highly of her). However, what happened while she was away is the real story of this update.

As it turns out, we were in for an early spring this year (or perhaps an unexpected warm period), and the ice has started to melt. Where was C1anddsaddict when the meltdown began? Sitting on an ice floe.

So she started floating out to sea. I imagine she could swim, but there was another issue that kept her on that chunk of ice. The movement managed to accomplish the thing I, or any creature, could ever do: reactivate the warp portal. For the first time in ages, I saw the swirling blue.

Being an aquatic creature, I was more than happy to swim up and try to stop the ice floe from floating out too far. However, I'm not of the proper swimming variant of aqua grendel (my kind prefers to just walk along the sea bottom), and as a result my efforts didn't really do a whole lot.

Fortunately, this was when Mea came back. She was unable to land, but nevertheless the pair was able to come up with a plan involving cables salvaged from the ruins of Sam999's ship. You know, for someone who did almost nothing, Sam999 probably had the most impact on this game of any of the contestants.

After she brought back the wires, I helped her tie the cables around the ice floe and start dragging it back towards shore. Alas, our efforts were in vain. The floe continued drifting out towards the open sea. After some time, Mea warned me about a huge group of icebergs, and suggested that I get out of there before I got crushed. For lack of a better option (and that I wasn't being of much help anyway), I wished them luck and swam away, returning to my patch of seagrass.

I don't know exactly what happened in the time between then and now, but on my next trip out I found the floe with the warp portal on it tied to a tree. Mea and C1anddsaddict were nowhere to be seen. I can only assume that they used the warp portal, just as C1anddsaddict told me they would.

Now, I had a bit of a dilemma. If the heat wave continued, the ice would melt and drop the warp portal into the water, where it would most certainly short-circuit and become inoperative. Should I take the chance to use it as well?

I didn't. I have lived on this island for who-knows-how-long, and I'm just not willing to abandon that life. But I refused to let the portal die, and as such I did my best to beach the ice floe and get the warp portal onto high ground. Without Mea or C1anddsaddict around to help me, it was a long, arduous, and very difficult task. But I succeeded. While I will eventually need to find a way to move it onto higher ground to make sure it doesn't get swallowed up by the next storm surge, it is safe. It's even still active. Who knows; maybe I'll change my mind one day and go through it again. Maybe the next batch of Survivors will use it to get here.

Speculation is fun, but for now I need to readjust to my old lifestyle. No contestants to watch after; no need to make constant updates. It is time to turn in my notebook and pencil.

This may be the final update of this game, but don't count me out just yet. Maybe I'll come back and do it again for the next game. Heck, I may even decide to compete in the next game. My actions here certainly showed I have the skills for it. At any rate, I do hope we meet again someday.

This is Mahk Mako, signing off for the final time.


~ The Realm ~
D.L. Yomegami's Creatures Blog


 
 
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