Out of our Depth | July Announcement

Posted 4 weeks ago :: Last edited 4 weeks ago by rhiow

The tremors kept coming, even days later. Small but not insignificant, an undercurrent of worry infects Bellacoste.

Naia stands on the Citremery boardwalk, watching the sun’s reflection on a receding sea.

The golden embers flicker, almost looking molten.

[ Recommended Listening. ]

Summer washes over the land, warming even the coldest reaches of Bellacoste. Flowers were blooming all around the scar on the land. Repairing Chrysanthos was well underway. A little levity on the boardwalk and things felt nearly okay, didn’t they?

But things are not okay. The sky remains cloven. The mages in their towers try to stitch the tear back together, but all of their efforts have failed. The earth shakes beneath them. The oceans pull in on themselves. Windows and doors close against the heat as families become insular, afraid.

Perhaps things weren’t getting better. Perhaps they were getting worse.

They could no longer afford to ignore it.

The dramoth flutter around the wayward princess, her eyes focused, flinty. Dust spirals down from their frantic wings as they cluster towards her light, landing all over her body before growing still. 

“I know,” the princess says quietly to her cloak of wings. “It’s time to tell them, isn’t it?”

With one last long look at the embers on the sea, Naia turns from the boardwalk and its treats, its games and its screams of delight. Summer was wonderful, wasn’t it?

She had to make sure they’d have more summers to look forward to.

“I would like to request an audience with the Queen.”

The palace guards share a sidelong look. The one with fresh scars takes the lead with a frown, “Would you? May I inquire as to why? She is very busy with the rebuilding as you might imagine.”

Brusque, dismissive. The princess sighs from her nose. She had anticipated this, but the guarded nature was unfortunate. Chrysanthos had been so recently hurt, the devastation still clear all around her. Its citizens shutter themselves inside and distrust strangers. Had it always been like this, or only since the Wound? Something to ponder another time-- regardless, the roadblock existed and she couldn’t afford to wait out their hurts.

“I’m sure she is,” Naia responds, “Tell her Princess Naia of Aequor is here to speak with her. Please. It’s urgent.”

The guards exchange a look again, longer this time. The quiet one snorts. “Aequor?” then, under their breath, “Capricorns.” The one with fresh scars sucks in a breath through their teeth, giving the quiet one a sharp look.

“We’ve never heard of any Aequor, miss. Now, if you head around the corner, there’s a clerk that will take your request and will contact you when the Queen is free.”

“It really can’t wait,” Naia insists, brow furrowing. “Tell her that I’m here, I’m sure she’ll--”

“Little miss, everyone thinks their problems can’t wait,” interjects the quiet guard. “They can, and they’re gonna have to-- go see the clerk.”

Naia’s words die in her mouth, sharp teeth flashing for a moment before she snaps her jaws shut. The scarred guard looks sidelong at the quiet guard, frowning. Too far? They’d been swarmed with petitioners over the past month, desperate for a second of Queen Nouvel’s time. This was no different. Wasn’t it?

“Sorry,” Naia says quietly, mouth set. “It really can’t wait.”

The scarred guard opens their mouth to protest, but before they can the princess has pushed into them both, eyes shining brightly. Sharp spines jut from her fins, digging into vulnerable places between their armor plates. Before the quiet guard can react, their legs freeze up.

Both guards fall as the princess pushes past them, frozen. She trots a few steps before she looks back at the jumbled mess, sighing. “It’ll wear off in about an hour! Sorry! But it really can’t wait!”

All the guards could do was watch in rictorous horror as the self-proclaimed princess breaches the castle.

“...She took out *how* many guards?”

“At least ten, Ser Perth.”

“...Show her in. With a guard detail.” The Queensguard sighs, muzzle wrinkling. “I know we’re all tired, but this is unacceptable. Call the rest together after mess hall tonight.”

The page balks, taking a step back. Then they nod and hurry out. The riot act that Perth would read would be a sight to behold-- but not one they wanted  to witness.

Moments later, Naia is ushered brusquely in, the captain of her expansive guard detail exchanging a curt nod with Perth before averting his eyes. Magic flickers dimly around the hilt of Perth’s sword as she looks the capricorn over grimly. At length, the knight drawls, “So you’re the one that’s been causing all this trouble?” A pause, “...Why?”

“Listen to me,” the princess cries, the sharp desperation in her voice taking Perth aback, “I have to see the Queen now! Aequor cannot fall! We’ll ALL die!”

The guards shift uneasily, the captain looking at Naia in disapproval before turning his attention to Perth. “I’ve readied a room in the dungeon, ser, if you’ve heard enough..?”

The magic fizzles from around Perth’s sword. Had the lines under her eyes deepened, or was it a trick of the light? Abruptly she turns, heels clicking on the tile. “You’re dismissed. Leave her with me.”

“Ser?” the captain bleats. The princess kicks a leg out, shooing the cloud of guards away like one would deter gnats. “You heard her,” Naia threatens. “Get away from me.”

The guards do as they’re bid, confused and rumbling their discontent. The door shuts behind them, pitching the room into uncomfortable silence. Perth is the first to break it, casting a harrowed glance over her shoulder at the cause of all this… ruckus. Trouble brought in by the tide, wasn’t it? As if Chrysanthos had not suffered enough… “...Naia, is it? Forgive us. Aequor has not approached the throne for a long, long time.”

“Princess,” the capricorn corrects, breathing a sigh of relief. “You know. You believe me.” The knight nods, turning and gesturing with a wing.

“Princess. Of course. Follow me. We’ll talk while we walk.” Perth doesn’t wait, sweeping them through a small side corridor. Her metallic leg clicks in step. “Is... King Ericius still well?” the knight asks, molars grinding as they traverse the castle’s halls.

“He will be better soon. Please, listen to me-- Aequor is in trouble and we need--”

“Save it. I’m taking you to see the Queen.”

The landwalkers so loved interrupting! Naia’s brows furrow but she carries on with determination, following Perth through the twists and turns of Chyrstanthos’ veins, spiraling up and upwards until they exit, at last, into a lush field of verdant green. It spirals, too, away and away and away, blanketed with bright, vibrant flowers. Light motes filter through the glass, blinding the princess for just a moment as Perth ushers her into the Dawn Garden.

An attendant startles, hurrying over to hushedly admonish, “Ser Perth! You aren’t supposed to be here, what--”

“I wouldn’t have come if it weren’t urgent,” Perth says quietly, weary weighing on her shoulders. “Please fetch the Queen for me.”

“Oh… oh. Yes, ser.”

The attendant flees, nearly tripping over their own hooves in their rush. Perth shuts her eyes and lowers her head as Naia looks on in awe. Here lay the heart of life itself, the ever expanding core of society… above water, anyway. Oh, wait until they heard about this back home…

“Perth?” asks a soft, gentle voice, and both Naia and the knight look up at the queen. Nouvel frowns, grass trimmings trapped in her fur. “What’s so urgent that you’ve come here? And who’s…”

“Princess Naia of Aequor,” Naia has learned, leaping into the conversation midstep. “Please, Queen Nouvel, I need your help.”

“Aequor?” Nouvel’s ears flick back. “You’re Ericius’ daughter? Oh dear. Come, we’ll sit, you must be tired having come all this way.”

The three sit in the shade and the princess tells them of the trail of stardust that stains the sky. How the devastation flies far, goes deep. The ruin runs west, past the border, further still. Oh, she apologizes for coming under pretense. She only wanted to see if the land could be trusted, to see if they were kind and just. There was no more time to test the waters, no. Not with the earthquakes, not with the tremors.

“It’s pierced the sea,” she tells her rapt audience. “The scar. It came for us, a spear into Aequor’s heart. Please-- these earthquakes mean we’re losing. There’s a… tear. It’s making the city unstable. These… monsters have besieged us, and we can’t fight both fronts. King Ericius sent me to fetch help. We need it now.”

The Queen and her knight confer, the setting sun dancing splintering colors across the garden. The night runs indigo as a tremor rattles the glass. They plan by candle light, the princess looking west. 

“We’ll send what we can in the morning,” the Queen promises. “No more than you can handle. If you can send more guides, there will be more in a week.”

The princess breathes a sigh of relief, “Thank you.”

Aequor wept. If it bled, the world would die. Naia had to hope, hope for them all, that they would be in time.

Good evening everylon! Are you surviving the heat? I hope so! Let’s dive into July’s update together, shall we? This year will be our first ever MERSUMMER, a July event that promises a lot of fintastic things!

So, let’s get the big news out of the way first-- yes, you read correctly: Aequor! What’s Aequor? Aequor is an all new Capital city out in the Obsidian Sea-- an ancient bastion of capricorns! A sovereign nation, Aequor has long been regarded as a myth by your everyday Bellacostian. Aequor has been added to our overworld map and has two distinct locations that you can read about now on our [ Weebly ].

Aequor, normally a prosperous and relatively peaceful city, is under siege by strange creatures unlike anything anylon has ever seen before! At Princess Naia’s request, Bellacostians are rallying behind the capricorn princess to help her save her home! For the duration of Mersummer, your characters may enter Aequor using a temporary capricorn form OR other method of water breathing (ie: a powerful spell). Whether you accept the temporary enchantment from the princess or explore the city under your own power is up to you!

Traverse Aequor in whatever form you choose and help save it in this month’s three event quests. It seems the crack in the sky doesn’t end at the horizon but instead lances deep into the ocean-- and it’s causing all sorts of problems for our capricorn friends. Without our help, it seems Aequor may erupt-- and that spells trouble for all of us.

[ Event Quests ]  |  [ Monthly Quests ]

With the arrival of Aequor, I’m happy to announce Royal Capricorns of the Pennon of Marée. We’ve already met Princess Naia, of course, but have you spotted her father, King Ericius? Both NPCs now have entries on our [ Weebly ].

Royal Capricorns come with a new set of traits that you can apply to your character (of ANY species) using the brand new Royal Capricorn potion available in the July shop! Have an idea later in the year and missed out on the potion? No worries-- you can also get Royal Capricorn traits by layering Royal and Capricorn potions.

Learn more about the new Royal Capricorn traits on the [ Legendary Traits ] page-- they’re under regular Capricorns!

Our event shop is now live with some returning favorites as well as the trait contest winners! Don’t see something you expected to see in the shop? Don’t worry-- you may want to keep your eye on our Legend shop opening this month!

You may spy a couple of new things-- the Royal Capricorn Potion, of course, but did you spot the Lotta? The Lotta is an all new aquatic pippet who fits in perfectly amongst the sea life in Aequor! 

The Deep Sea Potion has returned this year, now in the summer instead of the fall-- and it’s gone through some exciting changes, much like the potions from June!

The Deepsea Potion still has the Angler Lure and Tentacles (which can be applied anywhere on the body, the world is your, ahem, oyster). We’ve replaced “Alien Eyes” with “Eyes of the Deep”. Eyes of the Deep must be dark in color with a small runic pupil. You may have two or four Eyes of the Deep! The pupils and Angler Lure glow in the dark.

We’ve added Tentacle Tail to the potion-- this and the tentacles on the body can be any style (octopus, jellyfish, squid, etc) but there must be only one tail unless you layer it with the Double Tail (two tentacle tails) or Kitsune trait (which will allow up to 9 tentacle tails!).

In the shop as well this year are our three Trait Contest winners! It’s actually more than three: we combined some of the traits together! 

First up is the PICNIC BASKET, a trait combination suggested by goatr, remmy and danielle-chan!

The Picnic Basket applies as many of the following traits as you’d like to your character:

  • Ribbons in the mane and tail
  • "Snack" shedding (cookies, pretzels, popcorn, etc)
  • Flower shaped pupils
  • Ice cream cone horns (note: for a unicorn horn, you will need to layer a unicorn potion/amulet)

Next up is the FIREWORKS POTION, a trait combination suggested by onioned and gyr!

The Fireworks Potion can apply one or both of the following ot your character:

  • Sparkler Horns
  • Sparkler Tail

Finally, we have the Palm Tree Spell, a trait combination suggested by lurkwoods!

The Palm Tree Spell applies palm frond-like traits to your character:

  • Palm Tree Ears
  • Palm Tree Tail

Both the ears and tail can optionally have "holes" in them, like a monstera plant!

All of these traits and more are available for the month of July in our [ Summer Shop ]! Don't have the coins? Don't worry, they're in our [ Cash Shop ] as well!

The trait contest wasn’t the only one pending results, was it? The Pippet Contest has also been decided! I’m happy to announce our first place winner now:

The Paponi by hev!

Our second place was the Flootsnute by woodes!

Finally, in third place was the Jellycat by goatr!

That’s not all! We will also be deciding on a moderator pick to feature alongside the Paponi, so don’t shelve those concepts just yet! Both pippets should be released by the end of July or early August in the pippet shop once assets are done. Congratulations to all the winners!

Whew, there’s a lot of announcements, huh? No worries, we’re almost done. Just a couple more things to go over. First of all, I would like to personally thank all of you for your participation and the love you shared in June. The Baby Boon recruitment was a massive success, boosting our member numbers by a significant amount! Did you manage to get a Sugar Dramoth? If not, never fear-- the moth variant will return later this year.

More importantly though, I wanted to thank each and every one of you that donated to Pippets for Pride from the bottom of my heart. We raised a massive amount of money in June for The Trevor Project, and while I’m still finalizing the numbers and shuffling the paperwork, I can tell you that the amount is over $900!

Sometime early in July I will make an announcement again about the donation process. For transparency, I will include as much information as I can. Our charity drive will return again next year if you missed it this year. Thank you once again for everything! It means so much to me and the entire team that you reached out and made a difference this year. My heart is sincerely warm and full-- thank you.

Just a couple more things-- the [ June Raffle ] will end in a week on July 7th, be sure to get your raffle entries in!

[ The Wanderer Summer DTA ] will end on July 15th-- do you want to take this unusual pouflon home? Be sure to enter before it closes!

Finally, are you participating in Art Fight this year? If you’ve uploaded a pouflon, vespire or ursuki be sure to tag them so people looking for raffle victims can find you! Then you can reap the benefits of Art Fight points AND raffle tickets! Nothing wrong with a little double dip, eh?

That’s all for now! Thanks for going through this massive announcement with me!

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