A chorus of yips and barks erupted from the milling crowd of puppies racing around the backyard, some normal and some decidedly not. Tugaroulu stood among them, using a heavy wooden mallet to drive the post for a sign deep into the soft ground. It took only a few blows to get the job done, though, and she stood back to admire her work, pausing to wipe a hand across her perspiring brow.
Scrawled in bold lettering at the top of the sign were the words: FOR SALE: PUPPIES
Tugaroulu hesitated for a moment, uncertain, before leaning forward to scrawl an additional note in smaller letters next to it, her hand quick and deft: (slightly cursed)
Standing back, Tugaroulu smiled in satisfaction. Hopefully there will be enough responsible people who wouldn't mind caring for such puppies. A high-pitched growling at her feet drew her attention away from her inner thoughts. A tiny puppy, a ball of white fluff, was gnawing enthusiastically on the base of the sign, trying to pull it with all her might.
Giving a sigh of long suffering, Tugaroulu bent down to gently shoo the puppy away before turning to head back into her shack, whistling a faint tune as she walked. A crowd of mismatched puppies followed her, yapping, barking and growling in unison.
Debuting this year at Ebon Gate are, what you may have already guessed, "WerePuppies". These puppies are cursed to change to their true form under the light of a full moon. Tugaroulu will be seeking responsible owners for these puppies in the Backyard of her shop "Snips and Snails". (NOTE: These will likely be distributed through raffle, though an auction may not be out of the question for one of them if there is interest. These are meant to be somewhat rare, so don't expect a huge amount of them to go out this year.)
- They are ambient pets similar to Dhu kittens and DR rats in that they will follow you around from room to room.
- They do have ambient interactions, but this has a hard 'off' switch with the verb SNAP. (The puppy will still follow you, but will not fire off ambient messages until you SNAP again.)
Please be courteous to your fellow adventurers and SNAP to heel your werepuppy in noisy situations.
- They will ambiently interact with: weather/climate, items in the room/on the ground, other players, other puppies, Dhu kittens, DR rats/hedgehogs, fishies (if the person has them worn out in the open), and creatures in general. (It's seriously a lot.)
- These puppies have a belt-worn cage, which is similar to the sack/pouch for most other pets.
- The puppy's cage acts as a summoning item, however, so the puppy can be called back if lost with SHAKE.
NOTE: This makes it so the puppy is immune to janitor sweeps and server crashes, technically, as you can call them back with the cage. Please, please do not lose the cage and still REGISTER both puppy and cage.
- To transfer ownership, the puppy must be in their cage to be handed off. The cage cannot be handed off empty to reduce the likelihood of someone separating puppy from cage.
- They have two 'phases': 'cute' and 'cursed'.
- They will turn to their 'cursed' stage if outside and if there is a full moon (any full moon will work - Liabo, Lornon, Tilaok or Makiri.)
- There are 3 different 'types' of curses and each puppy only has one type they turn into:
- Werewolf/Mutant These puppies become more savage and wolf-like in their cursed form. - Zombie/Undead These puppies are zombie-like/corpse-like in their other form. - Ghost/Spiritual These puppies are ethereal/ghosts in their other form.
- Messaging, both ambient and otherwise, is different between the cute and cursed stage, as well as between different 'curse types'.
- There are items to force a change to cursed or keep them cute, despite conditions, that will be sold in the shop Snips and Snails.
- Powdered moonstone will force them to be cursed, while powdered sunstone will force them to stay cute.
- These effects are temporary and can be prematurely removed with CLEAN.
~Sneak Peek~ (This is obviously not really an exhaustive clip, because I could probably fill the entire forum with messaging examples ... so just a taste! This particular puppy is one that is potentially available to be won this year.)
You reach into the cage and pull out a short-legged sable and white puppy with a stubby tail, cradling her in the crook of your arm.
Barrel-chested and stout, this puppy looks extremely sturdy despite her short legs. Thick and plush, her fur is a rich sable color with a saddle of dark chestnut running across the top of her head and down her back. Splashes of white tip each paw, her muzzle and the very end of her stubby tail.
Ruffling her thick sable and white fur fondly, you settle your puppy at your feet. Wagging her stubby tail furiously, a short-legged sable and white puppy with a stubby tail starts to excitedly snuffle at the ground.
You snap your fingers and wave your hand in a dismissing gesture. With a high-pitched bark of joy, your short-legged puppy bounds away from her place at your side, ready for play.
You sprinkle a copious amount of the luminous powder from your slender vial on a short-legged sable and white puppy with a stubby tail. As the powdered moonstone sinks into the thick sable and white fur of a short-legged sable and white puppy with a stubby tail, she starts to writhe fitfully on the ground. Thick sable and white fur starts to shed in large clumps as the puppy's whines turn into a howl. Floating a few inches off the ground, a wispy spectral puppy surrounded by a flickering silver mist bounds forward with an echoing bark.
You attempt to ruffle the misty fur of a wispy spectral puppy surrounded by a flickering silver mist, but your fingers merely slide right through her transparent body. The puppy's ears wave slightly in the air before settling back down.
You make high-pitched kissing noises at a wispy spectral puppy surrounded by a flickering silver mist. Leaping into the air in response, the spectral puppy rushes excitedly toward you, paws trotting several inches above the ground. She tries to jump up on your legs, but just ends up tumbling right through them with her insubstantial form.
You brush off any lingering powdered moonstone from a wispy spectral puppy surrounded by a flickering silver mist. As the moonlight recedes from a wispy spectral puppy surrounded by a flickering silver mist, she starts to writhe fitfully on the ground. Color and solidity start to slowly fade back into a wispy spectral puppy surrounded by a flickering silver mist's misty fur as her eerie echoing howls turn to whines, her ethereal glow fading. Leaping to her feet happily, a short-legged sable and white puppy with a stubby tail shakes herself vigorously, her ears flapping noisily.
You scratch vigorously behind one of a short-legged sable and white puppy with a stubby tail's ears. With a huff of contentment, the short-legged puppy leans into the caress, eyes half-closed with pleasure.
Paws crunching over the snow, a short-legged sable and white puppy with a stubby tail playfully gambols around, snapping at passing snowflakes.
It had taken weeks of work. Weeks of struggle. Weeks of failure and trials. But Tugaroulu finally believed she had something tangible.
Standing in her tiny backyard, she stared upward at the full face of Liabo shining from the velvety backdrop of the midnight sky. The only light was the pale silver from the moon above, as well as a faint iridescent glow coming from a slim vial of powdered sunstone in the Giantwoman's hand.
A creaky noise, more like a wailing moan than anything, drew her attention away from the sky and to the furry figure sitting in the moonlight at her feet. The puppy there was changed, much like the first one, but in a different way. Patches of fur were missing from parts of his body, leaving exposed sections of bone, while decaying strips of flesh hung limply from his skeletal tail. With stiff movements, the puppy shambled forward a few steps, looking hopeful for some attention.
A brief flash of regret crossed Tugaroulu's face at the puppy's plight. It had certainly not been expected for the next puppies to receive her altered concoction to change into something completely different from the first, but accidents in alchemy seem to be magnified. A further cry from the zombie puppy seemed to make her steel herself.
Crouching down, Tugaroulu sprinkled some of the iridescent sunstone powder from her vial over the puppy's head. For a moment the powder seemed to shimmer a golden color at odds with the pale silver of the moonlight, bright and shining against the dullness of the puppy's decaying fur.
For a few heartbeats, nothing happened. Then, with a dry moaning wail, the puppy collapsed to the ground with the sound of cracking joints. Flesh began to knit back together in slow motion as the puppy's living color started to seep back into his fur. A minute later the puppy, hale and hearty, leapt to his feet, barking once with joy. Intact tail wagging in a blur of motion, he trotted in a circle around the Giantwoman with a playful romp in his step.
Laughing, Tugaroulu ruffled the puppy's fur before straightening up. She gazed critically up at the full moon above her and then back down at the romping puppy at her feet, smiling in satisfaction at the vial of iridescent powder in her hand. At least she found a way to counteract the effects of the moon, though she knew it would only be temporary.
Tugaroulu's mind raced with potential solutions as she headed back toward her shack, the restored puppy jauntily bounding at her heels - things she tried, things she hadn't, things that may work and even things that may not work. With this vial securely in her hand, she now could guard against the change, at least. As she opened the door to her shack, she was greeted by a chorus of many different barks that rose to mingle with the yips of the formerly undead puppy following her inside.
Footsteps carefully maneuvering around various puppies, Tugaroulu sank down onto her stool once again, carefully setting the vial of iridescent sunstone powder next to a bottle of luminous moonstone powder already on the work table. She had concocted the other paler powder just yesterday, though found that it hastened the change of the cursed puppies even in broad daylight, as though the imbued moonlight stored within the granules was enough to overcome the power of the sun. With the sunstone powder now in her grasp, as well, she seemed to be able to pull the puppies in either direction of their change. She eyed both containers critically, her mouth drawn into a contemplative frown. So many weeks; she'd found out how to force the change, and how to prevent it ... but not how or why they became cursed in the first place. Nor could she seem to return them to their original uncursed state.
A sudden eruption of yips and barks from the opposite corner pulled Tugaroulu out of her thoughts. Two puppies, one ghostly transparent and the other fluffy white, were attempting to play but without much success. The original puppy that started everything, now transformed into his glowing-eyed muscular form, was ripping apart his bed in the corner. Various other puppies, most all of them normal in appearance, milled around and barked for seemingly no reason in particular.
Tugaroulu pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. She may have gone a bit overboard in the purchase of more puppies to test her theories, but she never could stop herself when she was on the trail of some new discovery.
What in the world was she going to do with all of these puppies now?