March marked several anniversaries for the staff at OOO. While Ye Fresh Hands passed their 4th year as OM and Thalia saw her 2nd, the Blindingly Shiny New Hands, including myself, celebrated our 1st anniversary. I thought it might be fun to look back at what I was doing this time last year. Turns out most of what I was doing was breaking things!
Ah, February. A month for friends, flirtations, even flings for some. I'll be leading the celebrations on two oceans this year, Cobalt and Sage. You can expect tournaments, trivia, a few friendly rounds of Friend or Foe, haiku and screenshot related games, along with portrait opportunities. Oh yes, there will be prizes! For more information, including times and locations for all oceans, see Valentine's Ship Shindig.
All this frivolity not your style? Feeling forlorn, forgotten or forsaken? If you've ever been alone on a Valentine's day, ever suffered through a blind date as a favor to a friend, ever played the role of "Wing-Man" to a more bold and successful love stalker, I salute you by offering myself as sacrifice. We shy, awkward few should band together and celebrate our refusal to bow-down to the Hallmark sugary sappiness and take to the high seas! Late the evening of Friday the 13th, I'll be hosting several tournaments and competitions, the winners of which will be entered into a drawing for the chance to be my blind date for an evening (well, for an hour, really). This event is open to all 6 English production oceans. To learn more, see Be Galene's Blind Date.
If you've not yet checked it out, several OMs are currently twitterpated with Twitter. You can follow myself at GaleneYPP. For more official tweets, including news on events or issues in game, follow PuzzlePirates.
Peek Behind the Scenes
If you're into pink and roses and hearts, frilly romantic notions and sappy love songs, you'll get a kick out of these images. I'm often asked about my work space. Here she is, fully decked out on all oceans, the Tea Ell Sea. As you can see, she's painted in my colors, with appropriate lighting. She boasts parlor tables of all types, storage for all my magic tools and a sleepover room for pillow fights with my fellow OMs.
In all seriousness, I do get tired of creating my costume and weapons for tournaments when I'd like to switch up the weapons. Having a supply pre-made that I can grab along with a tournament board in the same room, is convenient. Parlor tables located there eliminate the need to risk entering a busy inn (and players assuming I'm thus free to play or chat) to deal with issues at the tables. Ok, so the pillows were just for fun.
Delayed Resolution - Looking for Closure?
In my first blog, I asked you mates to offer up your thoughts on where my blog name, "Tiny Purple Fishes" came from. The phrase comes from the song "Tales of Brave Ulysses", which in my head was being performed by Cream but was indeed written by Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp. Eggs to Lado of Cobalt and Rehab of Malachite for being the first to identify the song, one by performing artist and one by songwriter.
I love the song, the sea and the old stories in mythology. For me, the fish also represent how my brain works at things. I might have several dozen seemingly random and unrelated thoughts, like individual fish swimming along. In my mind, however, they're all part of some related larger school of fish, though this isn't apparent to others until I toss the net out and catch them all in together.
Speaking in Tongues
After asking his name in hundreds of languages and dialects...
Galene says, "Say your name...tok namu...meni pong...I am Galene...You are?"
Zombie mumbles, "GaRrUgHh"
Galene says, "Say your name...lam pori...sta nika...I am Galene...You are?"
Zombie mumbles, "GaRrUgHh"
Galene says, "Say your name...kolim nem...bilong yu...
Zombie mumbles something barely recognizable, translated here, "OhOHh, I Am MaJeLlA. Is A pLeAsUrE tO mEeT u GaLeeeNNe"
Barbarian, barbarinus, barbaria, barbarus and ????????. He says his name is Majella. Now that I've stumbled upon some common linguistic ground (appears to be a dialect closely resembling something from the Awyu-Dumut family, we can get by in Tok Pisin), he's proven both intelligent and articulate! Majella, my poor fool. How unfortunate, and a little ironic, to find him here now. After fleeing his Tribe of Korowai to escape the spread of the "laughing disease" Kuru, he joined up with a crew of Barbarians lead by Vargas the Mad. When Vargas and his men discovered this island, they were transformed into the dreaded Tluca through the evil sorcery practiced by the cannibalistic natives! Literally out of the frying pan, into the fire...
It occurs to me, where there is smoke, there is fire. Where there is fire, there is food. Where there is food...there is Cronus. Thus, I've had Majella stash the as many chests and crates as we could load and bury them, and using the smoky trail above the trees to guide our path, we've set off to discover the source of the drums which make Majella so nervous. He's proving very brave, despite obviously knowing something disturbing which he's repressing, or is perhaps too ashamed to share with me.
Below is an excerpt from the Logge of Chatte, translated:
Galene says, "Majella, are you certain you are up to this? I've been grateful for your assistance and your protection, but I will understand if you would prefer to remain here"
Majella mumbles, "I gO wItH u"
Galene says, "I promise I won't hold it against you if you abstain, my friend. I do not wish to place you in danger."
Majella replies, "MaJeLlA hUnGrY nEwAY. Is A pLeAsUrE tO mEeT u GaLeeeNNe. NoT wAnT 2 eEEet u GaLeeeNNe"
I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I've no time to probe further now. We all have our secrets, and I've just spotted a bit of red in the trees up ahead. I am hoping it's a member of my landing party, as it's quite out of place. From what I've seen, the natives seem to prefer a sort of purply-violet, an Indigo color, and I've yet to see anything local in either red or orange. I wonder what the significance of that might be?
Make sure you visit this forum thread to share your illustrations of our journey! Paperwork is not my forte, and I need your help! You know I always reward those who do my homework for me! Illustrations for today provided by Copperkatie and Squatek.
A New Friend
Do not think me foolish, for I had brought the necessary preparations for our mission, but they've all been lost with our vessel. Thus I confess that although most of the morning was spent attempting to explore deeper into the island, I was inevitably forced to retreat to the shores once again, my attire entirely unsuitable for the arduous journey inland.
Lack of provisions had left me ill-prepared for any hazard, in fact, so food was my next objective. I believe my weakened condition was not simply due to protein deprivation but also lingering effects from something in the noxious fumes we sailed through to reach the island, so I dare not return to the sea until I learn how the natives avoid such effects. Perhaps there is something in their diet which gives them a natural immunity? Perhaps I need simply to acclimatize. Until such time as I've determined it safe to venture out again, I'm restricting myself to what I can forage up on land, which at least seems to be abundant in fruit.
While foraging for fruit, I've come across a number of other objects which have given me a great deal of insight into customs and way of life observed here. Perhaps they are not so far from civilization as I've feared. I've come across a rather large number of dolls, so they obviously have strong family units and devotion to their children. Religion also features prominently, I suspect, from the care taken to bury their dead with objects to serve them in the afterlife. Party favors and tokens are signs that they apparently greet death with an air of celebrating the fulfilled life of the deceased, instead of mourning. However, I confess that I'm baffled by the above ground burial practices, without even benefit of a mausoleum or tomb, and with no negative sea level here that would cause a buried body to be prematurely exhumed. Perhaps open-air burial has links to their belief system. Maybe they worship a god of the skies, and are offering their loved ones into their care?
In any case, a very interesting thing occurred while I was examining these artifacts (and placing some in crates to take home for further cultural study). Puzzling over some strange inscriptions in an attempt to determine their origin, I was suddenly set upon by what I can only describe as a zombie! Intent to take my very life or my virtue, I cannot say, but we struggled for quite some time. I have not much physical prowess, but neither will I lay down and submit, I daresay, to such a rogues attempt to ravish me! All the while I attempted to communicate with him, but no language seemed to penetrate the mask of bloodlust.
At some point in our struggles, the oaf knocked me down so hard, my corset became loosened. Worn out and without hope, I prepared to submit to the inevitable. Inexplicably, he stopped and simply stared at my heaving bosom. My mother Doris had given me a necklace for luck before we left on our journey, and it seemed to have captured the monster's attention (at least, I was hoping that's what he was staring at so longingly).
In an attempt to show good will, hoping to prolong the uncertain stalemate, I gave the charm to him. This had a miraculous affect! The zombie appears to have become enthralled by my generosity, and has been my loyal helper ever since.
It's been most convenient having him to lift these heavy crates and boxes after I've filled them with historical and cultural artifacts, and he's even collected enough fruit to end my concerns for food for the time being. Still, he appears visibly agitated each time we hear the drums start up again, and I must take that as sign that they are cause for concern. We're collecting goods as quickly as possible now as the drums are playing more frequently and it feels like something, something rather major, is imminent.
Our sponsors would like us to let you know that there is an ongoing need for illustrations to go with this mission report, so that Headquarters does not yell at our castaways for their lack of diligence in providing visual documentation of their journey. Information on this can be found in this forum thread, and contributions chosen for inclusion will be rewarded most handsomely. Illustrations for today provided by BootlegPatch and volleygirl10.
Where did everybody go?
I can find no sign of my companions after the crash of our vessel yesterday. At this point, I'm more concerned with the loss of basic toiletries, however. I don't know if the inhabitants on the island are at all civilized, but I've not yet managed to locate a privy, which might explain those strange whirlpools.
Sustenance will also become an issue. At least I managed to find something during my swim to shore, and Calamari has always been a favorite of mine. However much I wish it, I can not confine myself to the sea and still manage to explore these strange new surroundings or attempt to locate my companions.
Tomorrow I'll strike forth inland as my presence would surely be noticed if I attempt to circumnavigate the island and leave myself exposed on the open shore. The key here is to attempt to observe the natives, without being myself discovered. Hopefully I can avoid detection until our party can regroup.
Initially the strange fog had me suspecting some level of industrialization here, but that seems far from the case. The only tools I've located are handmade and crude. They are not Pre-oceanic, however. Although limited and primitive, they have achieved seafaring exploration capability, with crude rafts harbored in the shallow coastal inlets. So though I must remain mindful of the First Imperative prohibitions, we're not held to them as tightly as we might have been. If we can establish a hidden observation outpost and disguise ourselves as part of the native group, we can learn a great deal more by those interactions than mere observations.
I also note our vessel was not the first to find itself grounded here, from the wreckage strewn onshore. The natives don't appear to recognize the value of precious metals or stones, if the loot I started collecting off the beaches is any indication. I've managed to make a small stockpile which I've buried for the time being, and noted it's location. I hope to be able to dig it up again and retrieve it before we leave the island. I wish I could have put aside a bit more, but I confess to not feeling quite myself since we first caught sight of the island. I'm sure it's nothing, and I'll feel much better once I locate a source of fresh water...
Our sponsors would like us to let you know that there is an ongoing need for illustrations to go with this mission report, so that Headquarters does not yell at our castaways for their lack of diligence in providing visual documentation of their journey. Information on this can be found in this forum thread, and contributions chosen for inclusion will be rewarded most handsomely. Illustrations for today provided by Dexla and Xeitgeist.
PirateX tells you, "Galene, when you gonna put up a blog? All the other new OMs have one :("
You told PirateX, "I've never done a blog before. I'll see what I'd have to do to get that set up, mate!"
PirateX tells you, "Galene, when you gonna put up a blog? You said you'd set it up :("
You told PirateX, "Oh right! I'd completely forgotten with all these Halloween Events! I'll see what I can do after Halloween!"
PirateX tells you, "Galene, when you gonna put up a blog? It's after Halloween :("
You told PirateX, "I'm sorry mate, I still have not had time. Been rather busy lately with passing out charts and testing Cursed Isles on Ice. I'll try to get it up after Cursed Isles is released to production oceans."
PirateX tells you, "Galene, when you gonna put up a blog? CI has been released :("
OK OK OK! I can't take any more frowns! Doesn't look like I'm going to ever allow myself a chance to catch my breath, so it's time to just dive in and do it. Nao u smilz 4 me, kk?
What the heck does "Tiny Purple Fishes" mean, anyway?
That's for me to know, and you to start guessing! The only hint I'll give you is that there is more than one correct answer. Use the comments for this blog to submit your guesses (be sure to include your pirate name and preferred ocean), and you just might win a Galene egg if you're close! Keep it clean, one guess per pirate, deadline November 30th, 2008 at 11:59 PM server time.
What can we expect to see in Galene's blog?
Who knows! Spontaneous casual contests like the one above, funny anecdotes from both in game and IRL (or things I think are funny, anyway), discussion on being an OM and what it's like to have a sup3r s3krit identity or anything else that tickles my fancy might find it's way in here. I'll definitely be sharing some of my hopes and thoughts on the Puzzle Pirates game experience. What you won't see is any debates on policy or in depth discussion on game mechanics not already released to the public. Don't even ask :P
Galene was a Nereid, Daughter to Nereus and Doris. If you're searching for her online, you might also find her listed as Galateia (various spellings). Galene represents calm seas, and I do fancy myself as bit of a problem solver and peacemaker in my life outside of Puzzle Pirates, two traits I hope will serve me well here. As you might have guessed, I also am extremely fond of the sea and all it's inhabitants. I'll be pushing hard for a YPP cruise, even if it's just aboard my little Tea Ell Sea.
With that, I'd like to start off by sharing a bit of artwork. You've no doubt already figured out that my header contains a delicious bit of art given to me by the talented Tilinka. I'm especially delighted by any artwork which seems to show an understanding of who my character is, which she's illustrated brilliantly here. She wasn't the first artist to offer such rendering, however! Less than 24 hours after the pirate "Galene" was created and out visiting with the players, I received a PM on the forums from Lulguy. I'm in awe of it's beautiful simplicity! I thank you both for your time and your warm welcoming of me to the Puzzle Pirates Family.