Friday, September 16, 2011

Chapter 9: Trapping a Fox

Zhenzhen and Li Feng plot against Amelia.

Amelia has school in an hour, she doesn't have time for this nonsense.

After taking an extra shower to wash the dye from her hair, Amelia tries to get breakfast started, but has to put it aside to repair the sink Zhenzhen broke. Every time she touches something, it breaks. Amelia swears the little brat does it on purpose.

Hawke drops by Rio's place, only to run into him in the lobby, on his way to take his youngest, Julian, to the park.

"I wanted to talk to you about 'elfin magic'," Hawke says, feeling awkward. He had been sure Rio was pulling his leg when he blamed elfin magic for his hair color, but Hawke has become desperate enough in his quest to understand how Zhenzhen ended up in household that he's ready to try anything.

"Right. Elfin magic," Rio laughs, "It's what makes my cookies so special."

Hawke laughs back at him, "I knew you were putting something in those cookies. But seriously, I need to know whatever you know about elves, or spirits, or whatever."

"Seriously? I don't know much. One of my ancestors was an elf. Or that's what they say; some of them have had pointy ears, and unusual hair colors. And we've been known to be a bit eccentric. But beyond that, we aren't fonts of arcane knowledge or anything."

While Hawke is at work, Zhenzhen devises a plan to prank his bathroom.

Li Feng booby traps his shower. Zhenzhen was going to do the same for the toilet, but ends up just breaking it. She has better luck trapping the sink.

As a pop icon, Hawke works late hours, and drops into bed as soon as he gets home. He sleeps fitfully, dreaming of Sun. The nightmare is a little different every time, Sun is always in some terrible danger, Hawke fight desperately to save her, only to lose her in the end. Just like his real life.

This morning he's faced first with a clogged toilet, then his shower turns his hair yellow. Elfin magic? He thinks not.

His day doesn't get any better when he tries to brush his teeth.

He hasn't seen her ghost since he tried letting her go. But just because he hasn't seen her doesn't mean she's not still haunting him.

"I wish you were here, Sun," he says to her grave, "I wish I knew where Zhenzhen came from. Did you really send her to protect Li Feng?" The grave remains silent, as graves always do.

In the evening, Hawke reprimands Li Feng for the pranks. He asks about Zhenzhen's involvement, but Li Feng insists it was all her own doing. Zhenzhen told her that Hawke would send her away if he knew she was the instigator, so Li Feng takes all the responsibility on herself to protect her.

"I think it's time I met Amelia," Jennail announces. Thierry had been dreading this moment. "You will bring her here to meet me."

"Not yet," Thierry protests, "I don't want to frighten her away."

"Nonsense," Jennail laughs, "If she's the one for you, she won't be frightened."

Thierry asked Amelia to meet him by the standing stones near the old lighthouse, so they could watch the sun set together.

"This is a strange place for a date," Amelia observes when she arrives.

"It's an old place," Thierry says, "It's special...magical."

"Like you," Amelia says, smiling.

"You think I'm magical?" Thierry asks, surprised.

"You are to me," she answers.

"This place, this is where I want to be married," he whispers to her, "I know, I've known for a long time, that you are the one. But do you know it?"

"You think I'm still carrying a torch for Byron Goth," Amelia says, stroking his cheek. For some time, she'd thought of Byron every day, burned with a desire to kiss him. But that had faded, and now she thinks only of Thierry. "I don't care for him at all any more, I don't even understand what I saw in him. And I'm sorry my little crush is still standing between us."

"Nothing stands between us, beloved," Thierry says, pulling her close, "I'm happy you are as sure of this as I am." They kiss, and stand silent in each other's arms. "My mother wants to meet you," he whispers hesitantly. It has to be done, sooner or later. "Can you come to the house tomorrow evening?"

"For dinner?"

"No, after that. You don't want to eat there."

"That bad?" Amelia laughs, a bit uncomfortably, as Thierry seems so deadly serious.

"Don't eat anything she offers you," he warns. "Though I don't think it will come to that. Just, come in the evening. And, wear a dress. She's....old will be a formal occasion."

Amelia has played at his house as a child, and has met his father, who seemed like a really laid back hippie sort of guy. So now she's really curious to meet this mother who insists on formal wear, and whose food is not to be eaten. "I'll be there," Amelia promises, "I look forward to it."

"She's the one, Mother," Thierry says nervously as thy await Amelia's arrival, "Don't weird her out."

Jennail laughs, "Don't be so nervous, child. True love conquers all."

When Amelia is introduced to Jennail Tricou, it's immediately apparent that she's the family's center, its head. She answers the matriarch's questions about her ancestry as best as she can, though she knows little enough about it. Eleanor is not one to talk about her past, and Hawke's stories are likely to be embroidered with details he makes up on the spur of the moment.

Sitting down to chat with Kvornan is much easier, as he doesn't ask personal questions.

"You've chosen well," Jennail says quietly to her son, "Not like Fricorith," she adds with a sigh, "Did you sense it in her, as I do?"

"That's not why I love her," Thierry insists, "I'm not involving her in...this."

"You don't know yourself as well as you think," Jennail says, "You can't run from what you are."

Jennail and Kvornan leave the young couple alone while they go upstairs to tend to their toddler daughter, Laramie.

"That wasn't so bad," Amelia says. "Your mother is...nice."

Thierry laughs, "She isn't nice, and she wouldn't want anyone to say that about her. But she likes you." Thierry isn't sure that's necessarily a good thing, as it ensures his mother's continued involvement in his life. He envies his brother Fricorith, who dared their mother's displeasure, married a girl she didn't approve of and cut himself off from the family. He's free of it, Thierry thinks, wishing he could free himself as well. But he can't help that the girl he fell in love with is one his mother approves of, and if the price for being with Amelia is having his mother always at his back, it's a price he's willing to pay.

William Cyr, Emilio's son with his wife Meadow, comes home with Li Feng after school.

Li Feng has made any other friends besides Zhenzhen, and William is the first to visit her at her home.

Zhenzhen is not particularly pleased by the intrusion.

She immediately interrupts the pillow fighting so she can pry William away from Li Feng, and monopolize the conversation.

Li Feng wakes early the next morning, and watches Zhenzhen sleep. Zhenzhen has been her friend for as long as she can remember. She's her best friend, and her only friend. Li Feng has always been grateful for that, but lately she's been wanting to have other friends, and she's starting to sense that Zhenzhen wants her all to herself.

Li Feng goes outside to her mother's grave. She has no memories of Sun, all she has is what Zhenzhen told her, that Sun sent her to watch over her.

Thierry has glimpsed Zhenzhen at school, but this is the first time he's ben to the house since her arrival, the first time he's stood close enough to her to sense what she is.

As soon as he can, he finds a way to get the child alone, out of anyone's hearing, "I know what you are," he warns her, "Don't think I'll let you hurt this family."

"And what do you think you can do against me, halfling?" Zhenzhen brushes off his warning.

"If you know what I am, you must know my family," Thierry says.

"Yes, your whole tribe of halflings. You are near powerless. I'm not afraid of you."

She's right, and Thierry knows it. Neither he, nor his mother, have the power to engage this child. But he's not without connections, and he'll do anything to keep Amelia's family out of harms way.

On his way home, Thierry stops to talk to a friend. "Moth, I need you to deliver a message to Summerdream. Tell her I need help trapping a fox."

Challenge Notes:
For the most part I try to keep the story of my legacy strictly about things that actually happen to my Sims in the course of playing. Sometime I stage situations for a preconceived plot idea, but I don't use poses or otherwise 'fake' events for the stories. This story arc is going to be something of an exception. There are times when I'm using an alternate save to play from Thierry's family, as there are things he will be doing away from Amelia's family that I need to control him for. Just for this chapter, I had to play his family for two days straight. There will be more of that in the next few chapters as I work through this story, which will tie generation one into gen. 2.

About the Tricous: In Sims 2, there are many unanswered questions and unsolved mysteries surrounding the Tricou family, who are all shipped already deceased in the NL ep. The matriarch of the family, Jennicor Tricou, has pointed ears. This isn't immediately obvious, as her default hair covers them, but if you resurrect her and change her hair to one that exposes her ears, you'll see them. None of her descendants have pointed ears, just her.
I didn't intend when I included them in my Brooklyn Heights population to have them be anything more than just a little eccentric. But now that I've got a fox spirit in my family, I've opened the door to all kinds shady characters from other realms, and the Tricous are a natural fit for that, given their own unexplained origins in Sims 2. I'm really into folklore and 'mythology', but I rarely bring that interest into my Sims, which I usually play straight. So this should be an interesting and fun new angle for me.


  1. I won't lie. I squeeled a bit when I realized you were going more lore-y tgen you usually do. The Tricou's are fascinating so far and I'm excited to see where you go with this.

  2. Cool! =)

    I toyed with the idea of making Randy Archer's species more important, but ultimately decided to downplay it because the world of sims is quite limited, compared to the RPG world original Randy was from.

    And oh man, I love Thierry's outfit.

  3. Awesome, I can't wait for more! :D

  4. Can't wait to find out what's going on, both with Zhenzhen and Thierry's family

  5. Thanks guys!
    The limited world of Sims is exactly why I don't go in for more fantastical/supernatural themes. I really hate having to fake things for the story, so I usually try to keep it about things Sims can actually do.
    But I'm making an exception for this story arc.

  6. Ooh, I love it!!! I'm a big fantasy geek, too, and love this kind of stuff! Can't wait to see how it plays out!!

  7. I'm also a huge supernatural fan so I'm intrigued with this plot line.

    D'aawwww at Amelia and Thierry!