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jaywalker

The Island and it's Inhabitants (spoilers abound)

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jaywalker    12

I came to this island through no mechanism of my own. I do not know what transpired before my arrival, nor do I know the methods by which I was transported. My only clue lies in a man named Maxwell: A man that I haven’t seen since the first moments of my arrival.

The island itself, of which I am including a modest cartographic depiction, is middling in size.

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It would take perhaps a full day of running and a bit more to reach the southern end from the northern. The island’s shape itself is odd seeming to be made of circles placed one adjacent to the next, but that is far from the greatest oddity here. This island is filled with species undocumented elsewhere in the world. Indeed there are few creatures here that I recognize despite extensive travels previous to this one.

I have been marooned here for 40 days and 40 nights, and I believe it is necessary now that I have managed to put together some rough papyrus to document my observations of the local ecology. I will begin with an overview of the local wildlife.

The Pigmen

These creatures are proof that I am not the first man to step foot on these islands, though my predecessors would certainly have impressed Mendel and his pea plants. I call them Pigmen because that is what they are.

They are pigs that walk on two legs, live within primitive huts, and speak a very rudimentary dialect of the Queen’s English. There are several villages dotting the island. I even found one pig living in a hut alone far to the south. In their northernmost encampment there is a great big fat one that I take to be their king.

It is quite apparent that these pigs have been subject to extensive genetic manipulation. I refuse to believe that pigs of this intelligence evolved naturally. Further evidence, though circumstantial, comes from the fact that several of them have referred to me as a “monkey man”. Unless they have a certain Darwinian education this reference makes it quite clear that somewhere in these creatures history they were in contact with evolutionary scientists.

I believe that they were bred to perform hard labor, but that their creators made a few mistakes along the way. The reason for this assumption is that while initially ambivalent to my presence the Pigmen become immediately docile if given any type of meat and will perform basic labors as directed. Which brings me to there more disturbing attributes which make me consider them a failed, if impressive, experiment.

First and foremost their cannibalistic nature is appalling and though they live in a community they have no sense of it. All one must do is feed a few of them a bit of meat and then they are perfectly willing to murder their own brethren at your behest. Not only that, but you can take the meat of their fallen "friends" and feed it to them in return for their loyalty. This is disgusting, and no man would intentionally create such a callously dull creature ere that man was the spawn of the devil himself. The Pigmen’s King will even pay, in gold mind you, for the meat of his own subjects.

Secondly once every cycle of the moon the pigs go mad and transform into violent creatures attacking whatever they see. This severely limits the Pigmen’s usefulness in the realm of manual labor and has been a constant bother during my stay on the island.

The Pigmen are currently my primary source of food on the island, but one must be careful not to eat the werepigs as the meat becomes poisonous.

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This is going to be a continuing series to replace my "Field Notes" series. I like this idea better and I've started to live too long for a daily accounting of my actions. This series will hopefully eventually include all of the wildlife and all of the biomes that I encounter.

Edited by jaywalker

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jaywalker    12

Small Animals

There is a smattering of smaller animals about the island that are of note. Some of them are good sources of sustenance others are best avoided.

Spiders

I call these creatures spiders because they resemble very large tarantulas, despite the fact that these six legged creatures are clearly not arachnids of any sort. These “spiders” live in colonies of various sizes and are quite rare at the northern end of the island, but they are perhaps the most numerous non-insect species on the island as a whole.

Dangerous alone, large groups of spiders are best avoided by anyone who holds value to his own continued existence. As they are nocturnal by nature they make travel in the evening before nightfall a cautionary undertaking at best, and if one camps near a spider’s den then it is recommended that he keep a strong vigil throughout the night.

While the spider’s meat is poisonous, like so many of the more violent creatures on the island, that does not mean that they hold no value to the brave. These spiders spin silk much the same as their arachnid cousins do, and considering the limited resources available on this island spider silk is an excellent netting material.

Rabbits

I believe the rabbits on this island to actually be of the family Leporidae though I am not such an expert as to identify their genus. Regardless they are quite active during the daytime, and seem to breed in small burrows in open areas all about the island, though they are particularly numerous in the south having a population nearing that of even the spiders.

Though fast these creatures are easily trapped and make a fine dinner.

Frogs

Amphibious natives to the treacherous swamp regions of the island, these frogs aren’t precisely dangerous, but it is best not to let your guard down around them. Active during the day, they tend to stick around small ponds where they retreat when evening comes. These frogs are larger than the ones I have seen before and I have never seen a frog actively attack a man before my arrival on this island.

Frog legs are not exactly my idea of a tasty treat, but it is perhaps the easiest meat to gather on the island as long as a wary eye is kept on the swamp itself.

Crows

I despise the blasted crows that follow me about everywhere I go. These horrible flying creatures never give me a moment’s peace. Turn your back for a moment and they’ll eat any food you’ve left lying around as well. I am certain that they are just waiting for me to die. The only fortunate thing about them is that it seems they bring seeds here from the mainland. This gives me some hope that I am within sailing distance of the continent.

It took me longer than I’ll care to admit to devise a method for trapping these pests, but if you take the time then they offer about as much meat as a rabbit. I do find killing crows far more satisfying than killing rabbits though.

Insects

Bees

This island is populated by large numbers of Apis Mellifera a particularly aggressive strain of honey bee, though not particularly hardy during harsh winters or dry summers. They are daytime creatures though I would not recommend attempting to abscond with their carefully manufactured honey in the night. Like bees everywhere they are required for the continuation and spread of plant life, and spend most of their time pollinating flowers and the like.

I have set up a nice little honey farm on the island. Apiculturalism in concept is not that difficult, but I imagine that they use a more docile strain of bees on the mainland. Take all necessary precautionary measures when dealing with bees.

Fireflies

These little critters of the Lampyridae family are quite the boon to have around the island. The nights here are oppressive and the endless darkness is broken by very few things. I do not find anything distinct about the fireflies here that would distinguish them from any fireflies anywhere, except that here I truly am grateful for their presence.

Considering that I have spent much of my stay here in the month of October I did use them to light up a carved out pumpkin or two to give my camp a bit of All Hallows Eve cheer. I’m not a barbarian after all.

Butterflies

I am not overly familiar with the families of butterflies, and honestly cannot tell on fluttery winged thing from another. I believe that they are daylight creatures, and I know that they are probably yet another creature responsible for the survival and proliferation of plant life. That is where my knowledge of butterflies ends.

I have yet to be able to capture a butterfly alive. I will not embarrass myself by explaining how much time I spent attempting to do so.

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I hope to have large animals/other done by the end of tomorrow Then I will start on biomes. If I finish that I'll move on to island techologies for the survivor.

Edited by jaywalker

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jaywalker    12

Large Animals

Beefalo

These bovine creatures move in large herds on the southern parts of the island. Sticking to grasslands the lay observer would probably mistake them for a wholly docile breed of cattle. This is not in fact the case. They are not aggressive creatures, but if threatened one is capable of rousing the entire herd to stampede.

I am no cattle farmer and have not fully explored the uses that such a creature may have as of yet, but the intrepid may find that this breed would work as an excellent beast of burden among other things. Perhaps they could even be utilized in a similar fashion to horses. Of course their meat is excellent, but there is much easier meat to be had, and I am not too proud to say that I have spent multiple days collecting their manure for my own farming efforts.

On that note: I have never witnessed any creature create so much excrement in so little time as these. It is possible that these creatures, like the Pigmen, were genetically manipulated. Except the beefalo as I call them were engineered into . . . crap factories . . . for lack of a more delicate way to put it.

Tall birds

These are very tall, flightless birds. I assume that they are part of the Struthionidae family, but I lack the proper evidence to assert such a claim. In fact some of their behavioral patterns lead me to believe that they are instead distant cousins of the common barnyard chicken.

These birds spend most of their time ranging the area around their nests. If they feel that their young are being threatened they will sit on their eggs to keep away any possible poachers. They are very protective of their eggs, as one might understand, and if one it taken from the nest these birds can become very aggressive indeed. Despite their incredibly long legs these birds have a relatively short stride, and are not very fast runners..

While I have not killed any tallbirds to assess the quality and quantity of their edible meat, I can attest that having a good source of fresh eggs on the island has been a sanity saving boon. It is a simple grab it and run job, and one need not be too sneaky about it. The birds will forget all about you by the time it lays another egg for your breakfast.

Other

In this category I have placed things that I could not otherwise qualify. To classify them in the kingdom Animalia seems premature without proper study that I am incapable of given present circumstances.

Treeguard

Almost certainly another product of genetic engineering, though what genius pulled this rather successful experiment off I do not know. The treeguards are, I believe, photosynthetic though they seem to be able to store and utilize Adenosine Triphosphate in a manner consistent with animal behavior. How they do this should be the subject of much study when I return to the mainland.

These beasts spend the grand majority of their time camouflaged as an ordinary pine tree, but when threatened they will respond with violence immediately. In fact I have seen them respond to threats to nearby plant life as well, and I believe that whoever engineered them did so in attempt to create a sort of forest guardian.

This plan didn’t work out to well as my initial encounters with the tree guardians involved me setting them on fire, and them subsequently burning down the entirety of the local fauna. I have recently learned that the beasts can be placated by planting the local species of very rapidly growing pine. If enough are planted the treeguard typically will return to a camouflaged state.

Mandrake

This was perhaps an early attempt to create the treeguards. Mandrakes are much smaller creatures with roots that are highly photosensitive. In fact exposing the root structure to direct sunlight causes an unsettling wail to issue forth from the creature, followed by death.

When plucked from the ground in the evening however this proves to be a rather lively plant. It jumps up and down and dances around and will follow whoever pulled it from the ground throughout the night making all kinds of racket. Come morning the creature will replant itself and become far less of a nuisance.

Unfortunately all known species on the island are currently extinct. It is regrettable, but they were delicious.

Tentacles / The Swamp itself?

I am not sure what to make of this creature. I am not sure if it is a single creature that lives beneath the swamp, or several smaller creatures that live underground in the swamps that gather food by shooting squid-like tentacles into the air when approached. It could well be the entire swamp is a single living organism with the capability to ward off interlopers. Or maybe it is the island itself trying to kill me. I just do not know.

Regardless these things should be considered extremely dangerous, and they are the principle reason that the swamps should be avoided by anyone that puts value on their own lives. Even in death their meat is poison, though if chopped off the tentacle is a fair weapon of a size that can be wielded like a club with spikes in it. Something I have found increasingly useful during my stay.

The Night

I don’t know what is out there. I know it watches me. I can hear it laughing. It seeks me in the dark places and can only be warded off by the light. You might think these are just the ravings of a man who has been alone on an island for far too long. You might think that . . . but don’t go venturing into the dark places. Not without a light. This island isn’t safe. Not at the best of times. Don’t go wandering into the dark or you are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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I think that's it for the animals, if I have left anything out let me know and if I have encountered it and just forgot to mention I will add it. I will probably continue this series with the biomes at some point in the near to distant future.

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jaywalker    12

Thanks, ironically this is how I avoid studying microbiology and considering that this semester is in the final stretch I'll probably be doing a lot of these :p

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Xacktastic    12
Thanks, ironically this is how I avoid studying microbiology and considering that this semester is in the final stretch I'll probably be doing a lot of these :p

Eck, micro is tough!

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Xaphedo    33

Once I was deep into the reading, I honestly started thinking at this lines as they had been written down by Wilson's hand.

I would love to see this manuscript be continued as they game gets updated!

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jaywalker    12

Thanks for the positive responses guys, unfortunately I've been more busy with schoolwork than I would like so it is taking a bit of time to finish this. I still plan on writing up the biomes before the next update though :)

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