Author Topic: End of the Line Dynasty (4x4)  (Read 67834 times)

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Ruthless (8 November)
« Reply #125 on: November 09, 2013, 01:53:06 PM »
Oh goodness, glad to see you got some vengeance on Ruth there. It is pretty funny that she wished to throw a party. Poor, poor Phil! And Lily, too! Well, I guess this opens up more room for a whole new generation of adorableness.

I loved Lily slapping her.  Of course, I may have helped that along a bit...  Poor Phil, indeed.  Maybe he'll get another chance after the end of the game, if I get that far.

It felt quite odd to have a household of four suddenly.  There had been six to eight Sims in the house ever since day 1.   It went back to eight remarkably quickly, though :).

R.I.P Lily and Phil.  :'(
And good riddance to Ruth!

I started out really liking Ruth but went off her quite quickly.  It does feel good to have kicked her out  :-\.

Offline kaylas

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Ruthless (8 November)
« Reply #126 on: November 09, 2013, 06:17:18 PM »
You're doing a 4x4 dynasty now? Oh Hazelnut, we can always count on you to do them all!  ;)  Best of luck!
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #127 on: November 10, 2013, 05:01:31 AM »
You're doing a 4x4 dynasty now? Oh Hazelnut, we can always count on you to do them all!  ;)  Best of luck!

Well, I had to complete the set, didn't I?  It's not an addiction at all, honest  ;).

And thanks :).



Luke’s Loves

Most people would have laughed at the idea that what Luke really wanted was a serious relationship.  In fact, until recently, he’d probably have joined in.  Ever since high school, he’d known what girls were for.  He liked their company.  He loved snogging.



He grew up and discovered WooHoo.  That was even better fun.  And why would he limit himself to just one partner when there was so much variety available?  The more the merrier.

Then he met Ruth.  She was beautiful and as flirty as he was.  Surely Phil wouldn’t mind sharing?



Phil would.

Still, Ruth didn’t seem to be letting that bother her too much.  They carried on meeting, and flirting, out of Phil’s sight.



Gradually, though, Luke began to feel that Ruth was using him.  He wasn’t quite sure what she was up to but he’d caught a hard look on her face sometimes.  He started spending less time at home, trying to avoid being alone with her.

Arlene made that easier.  They’d first met when she was a teenager and a schoolfriend of Dora’s.



After her graduation they chatted for hours.  She was interested in business and he was now the local division manager.  He was delighted to pass on advice to an interested youngster.  It was entirely incidental that she was pretty and had a crush on him, according to Dora.



As colleagues, they inevitably saw a lot of each other and it was only natural that he’d spend evenings round at her house, ‘discussing the future of the company’.  Then she told him that she was pregnant.  He was delighted, although she seemed less happy and always claimed to be busy when he called.

Then a business contact asked him if he’d be interested on setting up a company together, making video games.  It would mean a temporary drop in income but the family was rich enough for that not to matter.  As CEO, his working life was nothing but meetings.  Getting paid for playing games seemed far more appealing.  He was so involved in his new career that it was a surprise when he bumped into Arlene again and found her holding a toddler: his daughter Meranda.



Not only that, he discovered that she had a twin sister, Tamera.



He was a dad.  Twice over.  He’d fallen in a big way for Dora’s toddler charms but having two little girls of his own was even better.  He’d have loved to have been a hands-on father – after all, he could work from home now – but Arlene started avoiding him again.  Then the text arrived.  The one that said it was all over between them.  Maybe she’d heard about Candy.



He’d met Candy Souza while he was taking photos around town, getting reference shots for the latest game.  He didn’t really need any pictures of people but he asked her to pose anyway.  Then they started talking – and more.  Candy wanted kids and Luke was happy to help out.



Before long, he had another set of twin daughters, Alisha…



…and Marlena.



Then Candy started avoiding him, too.  That was fine.  He’d have liked to have seen more of his kids but, to tell the truth, he was getting more than a little bored of Candy – and of his other girlfriends.  Despite his reputation, sometimes he just wanted to talk and they’d done so little with their lives.  Where could he find a woman who was his equal?  Someone with skills and a career?

Then he came across his parents’ diaries, with their accounts of their early life in Hidden Springs, and he realised that such a woman did exist.  He already had contacts at the science lab and Zoë could help him with the rest.

He paid a visit to the family graveyard.



His next stop was the Centre for Naturally Scientific Studies.



Then he brought her home for Ambrosia…



…and a Young Again potion.



Welcome back, Emmaline!



Of course, just because Luke had found an intellectual woman at last, that didn’t mean their relationship was entirely cerebral…



…and soon Luke was an expectant father again.



Emmaline produced his third set of twin daughters, Tansy and Bryony.



This time he really was going to be involved in his kids’ upbringing, even if Emmaline was reluctant to let him hold the babies.  Maybe it was time for a complete change of lifestyle.  He broke up with his other girlfriends and took one of the genie rings from the chest.



“Emmaline, you know you are very special to me.  I’ve never met another woman like you.



“Would you…”
“Would I what?  Luke, why are you kneeling on the kitchen floor?  I told you I dropped an egg while I was making breakfast.”

This wasn’t quite going the way he’d planned.



“Emmaline Rhoen, please will you accept this ring?”
“Why on earth would I want to do that?  It’s far too shiny.  Probably radioactive or something.  And anyway, I already have a ring.  Look!”



“So you don’t want to marry me?”
“No.



“Oh, don’t look so sad.  We can still have fun together.  I just don’t want to marry you – and I don’t think you really want to marry me either.  Now come on, I can hear crying.  Race you to the nursery.”

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #128 on: November 10, 2013, 05:16:16 AM »
In a Simlish Country Garden

Dora loved her garden.



She started conventionally enough, with fruit, veg and herbs but, as her skills developed, she moved on to more interesting plants.



With Jack to help out (when he hadn’t sneaked off somewhere in search of fish), the garden was soon back in full production.



Whether it was because of Flora’s good advice or sheer luck, Dora finished her opportunities remarkably quickly.



That meant she had more time to spend with Jack…



…and to start learning charisma.  They were at the library together when the sparkles hit.



“OK, I may be middle-aged and having a bad hair day but I’ve still got it.”



Jack agreed.

A few days later, with the end of her tasks in sight, Dora and Jack went on an all-day date, ending at the Hidden Gardens as evening fell.



They stood on the bridge together and watched the sun set over the lake.



It was beautiful.



After the disaster of her parents’ marriage, Dora hadn’t been sure whether she wanted to marry anyone – but she and Jack were different.  They’d been friends since forever and she knew he wasn’t keeping any nasty secrets from her.  Now the moment was right.  She dropped to one knee.



The following day, Dora reached the top of her career and finally completed the Master Farmer challenge.  It was time for the next generation.



Welcome, Michael Gold, the final Hidden Springs heir.




Next chapter



Summary – Generation 3

Heir: Dora
Traits: Loves the Outdoors, Excitable, Eco-Friendly, Vegetarian, Green Thumb
Lifetime wish: Perfect Garden

Unique maxed career: Self-Employed Gardener
Two unique best friends: Donnie Kang & Antwain Rainey Sedrick Souza*
Three unique skill challenges: Master Planter, Botanical Boss, Master Farmer
Four unique opportunities: Ingredients Ripe for the Eating, Uncommonly Good, Peppers on Parade, A Just-in-Time Harvest
Buildings bought this generation: Hidden Springs Coliseum, Rudolph Vanderburg Memorial Hospital
Newly-upgraded properties: Shoreline Cabin (demolished, replaced with a toilet block and another Fountain of Youth for the upgrade and most of the space used for the family graveyard)

*Antwain Rainey was the policeman who broke up Ruth’s party.  Dora met him in town after finishing one of her opportunities.  He was also a keen gardener and they became friends.  The warning that he was about to die popped up at the start of the last day of Dora’s pregnancy, so, instead of spending the day at the spa, she waddled around town in search of a replacement.  She and Sedrick Souza (Candy’s brother) became best friends just a couple of hours before the labour pains started.



Outtakes

Since this is a short chapter, it seemed a good point to post a random assortment of screenshots that didn't fit the story.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Offline butterfly

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: two updates (10 November)
« Reply #129 on: November 10, 2013, 07:55:15 AM »
hahahahah those outtakes are so funny! Welcome gen 4! You are zooming through this so fast, I'm already curious which town will Michael move in.
When you already decided to read this, than keep going and read my dynasty! :)

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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: two updates (10 November)
« Reply #130 on: November 11, 2013, 02:12:48 PM »
hahahahah those outtakes are so funny!

Glad you liked them  ;).

hahahahah those outtakes are so funny! Welcome gen 4! You are zooming through this so fast, I'm already curious which town will Michael move in.

I think I know where they're going next but it's not quite decided yet.  I can tell you that it won't be Sunset Valley, Riverview or Twinbrook, because I wanted to play in less familiar towns.  Michael's only just aged up to young adult in the game, so it won't be happening for a little while.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: two updates (10 November)
« Reply #131 on: November 12, 2013, 12:07:55 PM »

Wow, the last of the first set of four. It seems like you're just whizzing through this! Great out takes, by the way. Totally did not see Emmaline coming back! The 4x4 rules certainly let you do some fun and unexpected things! (Plus it brings more green boos, so yay!)



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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: two updates (10 November)
« Reply #132 on: November 12, 2013, 02:58:49 PM »
You are zooming through this so fast.

Wow, the last of the first set of four. It seems like you're just whizzing through this!

Compared with KRae, I'm really dawdling (but then, aren't we all?)  Also, I think my head's coming undone.  I definitely said something like this yesterday but must somehow have managed to delete it before hitting 'Post'.

Great out takes, by the way. Totally did not see Emmaline coming back! The 4x4 rules certainly let you do some fun and unexpected things! (Plus it brings more green boos, so yay!)

Thanks :).  I'd always vaguely planned to bring Emmaline back, depending on how the game went.  As it turns out, she and Luke are a good match, although their relationship is stormy, to say the least.  It's mostly Luke's fault: the idiot keeps confessing to cheating, even though he's broken up with everyone else.  Unsurprisingly, Emmaline gets upset about it.  They keep richocheting from maxed-out relationship to 'I hate you' red and back again but are surprisingly devoted despite everything.  Em is 'eternally faithful' now, although I don't think Luke will ever achieve it ;).

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #133 on: November 12, 2013, 03:21:16 PM »
A Wedding, Several Birthdays and a Family Reunion



Neither Dora nor Jack wanted a big wedding.  After all, her parents had had one and look where it got them.  They simply left Michael in the nursery with Emmaline’s twins and headed off to a peaceful spot to exchange vows and rings.



Then it was time for a birthday.





Michael was definitely showing signs of taking after his daddy.  A few hours later, it was Bryony and Tansy’s turn.



*   *   *   *   *

Dora was sadly aware that old age was creeping up on her.  Although she loved all plants, she started to concentrate on the high-value cash crops: money trees and omniplants.



Before long, the garden plot had halved in size.



All too soon, she was overtaken by sparkles again.



How was life flying by so fast?  Her son was still a toddler, yet here she was, an old lady.



Sometimes it all got a bit too much.  A house with three pre-schoolers in it was no place for a peaceful retirement – but at least there was plenty of like-minded company when you wanted to let off steam.



Then the three kids weren’t toddlers any more…





…and Zoë was leaving them.



Hers was the third family death in two days.  Caroline had died a day before her mother, followed a few hours later by Luke’s ex-girlfriend Candy.  Luke worried about how well his daughters were managing on their own.  After all, they were still teenagers.

Once the period of mourning for Zoë was over, Luke, Dora and Jack decided to hold a family reunion.  Everyone was growing older and it was time to renew old bonds.  In fact, it was only when they were compiling the guest list that they realised quite how out of touch they'd been.

Meranda was the first to arrive…



…followed by her twin sister Tamera.



Their mother Arlene also turned up, uninvited but bringing food.  Maybe she wanted to be friends again before it was too late.

Lucy and Martin arrived together.  Everyone was shocked to see how old they looked, although grey hair certainly suited their skin colours.



Then Luke’s second pair of daughters arrived: Marlena...



…and Alisha.



The real surprise guest turned up last of all.  Michael had found the adults planning the party and announced that he wanted to invite his big friend Raphael.  It seemed they’d met on a school trip and had become friends despite an age gap – but the really astonishing thing was Raphael’s surname.

Jack had a little brother.





When the pop-up appeared saying that Mike had met Raphael Nathanial, I assumed that the game was just recycling names.  Then he appeared on the list of potential guests, complete with thumbnail portrait, and I was all excited for a while, thinking that story progression had started working again – until I remembered that Lucy and Elias had ‘tried for baby’ just before she moved out.

Still, it was nice to have it confirmed that the Hidden Springs ghosts really do have blue skin.

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Apparently sending those pink and blue vibes your way is starting to finally pay off!  :P

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #135 on: November 13, 2013, 04:43:42 PM »
Apparently sending those pink and blue vibes your way is starting to finally pay off!  :P

Looks like it :D.



Carving Out A Career

I seem to have forgotten to take any screenshots of the three kids as teenagers.  It was probably the shock of seeing Mike turning into a sort of cross between Shrek and Dumbo.  Seriously, those ears are HUGE.  Given the way male Sims’ noses and ears seem to expand in old age, I hate to think what he’s going to look like as an elder.  As it is, his ears stick out through most hairstyles – and even a crash helmet, which I tried in desperation.
 
They had a fairly short and uneventful teen stage anyway, apart from the day when all three had pathing issues and missed the school bus.  Then, of course, they all had to be separately scolded by adults (and then let off the hook, because I said so) and it was nearly lunchtime before they finally made it into the classroom  ::).



Luke became head of the game studio and immediately organised a convention at the theatre, which was a resounding flop.  He made the best of things and decided he’d really wanted to retire anyway.



With all three teenagers now on an ‘A’, it was time for cakes all round.





Tansy straightened her hair.  It was surprisingly long once the curls were unravelled.  She put it up for everyday and formal wear.  The style was possibly a little too sophisticated for someone just out of school but it suited her face.



Bryony stuck with the rather more youthful style she’d settled on as a teenager.  Tansy could be a frump if she wanted.  She was going to look her age.



And as for Michael… well, he grew into his looks and found that his teenage haircut still (mostly) disguised his ears.  He went for a slightly eccentric style in clothing, with occasional nods to his favourite spice brown.



More importantly, though, he could finally start working on his chosen skill.  His mother had insisted that he should leave it until after his birthday.



The following day was graduation.



Unsurprisingly, given their limited school attendance, none of the three was picked as valedictorian.  Mike was voted Most Artistic, Bryony was Most Likely to Have a Big Family and Tansy was Most Likely to Save the World.

As soon as the ceremony was over, the girls, who were both bookworms, headed off to the library to start acquiring an assortment of skills.  Mike went straight back home.  He had a new medium to explore.





Time passed.  Somewhere, crickets probably chirped.  Tumbleweeds may have done something-or-other in Lucky Palms, or maybe Appaloosa Plains.  Hidden Springs carried on much as usual.

Bryony had developed an interest in gardening and, increasingly, Dora left her to it.  She and Jack had more important things to do.



Meanwhile, Mike was developing his sculpting skill (although someone should probably have had a word about PPE).



Worryingly, despite the benefit of his mother’s experience, he was now halfway through young adulthood and hadn’t had a single opportunity.

At long last, his phone rang.  It sounded a bit fishy but at least it was an opportunity.  He rushed out at once – a decision he was soon to regret.  Why couldn’t he have waited for daylight?  This place was scary.



While he was out, something was happening at home.  Jack, as he so often did, had slipped out for some night fishing.  This time, though, it wasn’t only the pond that was waiting.




Next chapter



I wonder how long it would have taken me to notice that Jack was dying if I hadn’t tried to save the game after Mike completed his first opportunity?  There was none of the usual camera panning, just that ‘Do you really want to save when Grim’s appeared?’ pop-up.  I wasn’t the only one to miss it.  Luke and Emmaline both mourned him but Dora, who was playing in the sprinkler nearby, didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary.

Jack made it to 55.  At the time of posting, Luke has just equalled that and Dora is 59 – a whole week into overtime.  It must be her vegetarianism.

So here we are.  For the first time since I started posting, the story has caught up with the game.  Mike and the twins are approaching their adult birthdays.  He's maxed sculpting but is still lacking challenges, opportunities and best friends.  Bryony’s looking after the garden and Tansy’s learning the social networking skill to help Mike out with his friends (and to fulfil her own charisma-related wishes).  Mike could also do with a wife before the move, since wedding presents will be one of the collections for this town.  The twins are obvious candidates, as is Alisha.  Jack, Tansy and Bryony all became friends with her at high school and I think she probably came home with someone every day.

Any votes?

The glitches continue; amusing and quite the opposite.  I’m quite looking forward to the move and (hopefully) having the chance to get rid of them.  All three kids managed to drop their new trait every single time they aged up, which got pretty annoying.  The family have about seven or eight genie lamps, only one of them part-used, but the game seems to have lumped them all together as a single object and the only option available is ‘Summon the genie’.  A more accurate term would be ‘Make the active Sim disappear and then crash the game’.  Reluctantly, I’ve shoved all of the lamps into inventory and written them off.  The replicator also malfunctioned.  To start with, I thought I must have loaded it with food just before a crash, but it became clear that it had, in fact, lost its memory.  Luke had enough spare happiness points to buy a replacement but that one didn’t do any better.  Oh well.  The fridge is full of nice food (probably more than they can eat in the remaining time in Hidden Springs) and, should they need it, Emmaline could learn the Ambrosia recipe.  There are plenty of ingredients stockpiled, after all.

Offline Hallucination

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Carving Out a Career (13 November)
« Reply #136 on: November 13, 2013, 07:20:53 PM »
I vote for Tansy. Bryony is a bit too generic for my taste, and Tansy has that unique eye shape and the thicker lips.
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Offline Trip

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Carving Out a Career (13 November)
« Reply #137 on: November 13, 2013, 07:28:39 PM »
I like Tansy the best because she's the most unique-looking. And big ears or not, Michael is handsome! Good luck with dealing with the rest of the glitches and Mike's requirements.
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Offline Ausette

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Carving Out a Career (13 November)
« Reply #138 on: November 13, 2013, 09:41:55 PM »
Hey, Mike turned out cute :)! I think I'm going to join the chorus for Tansy; her features are lovely and she's on the coveted rainbow slider (I can't tell if Mike is too, but upping the chances of a rainbow heir/pollinator couldn't hurt). Sorry about Jack and the glitches, and good luck with the rest of Hidden Springs.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Carving Out a Career (13 November)
« Reply #139 on: November 14, 2013, 07:05:06 PM »

Me four on the Tansy-shipping. I like her mouth. She's a little serious looking, but cute. Goodness, sorry you're having so much trouble in Hidden Springs! I guess a new town will be a welcome change.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Carving Out a Career (13 November)
« Reply #140 on: November 15, 2013, 12:52:24 PM »
I vote for Tansy. Bryony is a bit too generic for my taste, and Tansy has that unique eye shape and the thicker lips.
I like Tansy the best because she's the most unique-looking.
I think I'm going to join the chorus for Tansy; her features are lovely and she's on the coveted rainbow slider (I can't tell if Mike is too, but upping the chances of a rainbow heir/pollinator couldn't hurt).
Me four on the Tansy-shipping. I like her mouth. She's a little serious looking, but cute.

It seems pretty unanimous, then  :).  I was also leaning quite strongly towards Tansy as the next spouse, largely because she’s not green.  I’m a little disappointed that the twins came out so generic-looking.  I suppose Sophia was pretty much pure clone, so it is in their genes, and the game’s probably trying to save on memory.  Tansy does seem less clone-like than Bryony: as toddlers and children, I thought Bryony was prettier but I prefer Tansy now.  Alisha also has quite distinctive features but I don’t like that lumpy bottom lip.  It looked as though it was just her expression to start with but it’s actually there all the time.  Also, having been born outside the active household, her traits aren’t as good as the twins’.

It’s probably less obvious in the screenshots than in the game but I’m pretty sure that Mike is a rainboo.  His skin tone is a distinctly bluish green, as was Jack’s.  Looking at the Sims and tracing through the family tree, it think it goes like this:

Bright rainbow slider: Sam, Zoë, Lucy, Jack, Michael
Pastel rainbow slider: Sophia, Adam, Martin, Luke, Alisha, Tansy
Green slider: Cassidy, Lily, Philip, Dora, Emmaline, Bryony
Blue slider: Ruth, Elias, Raphael…

…and everyone else has a conventional skin colour.

And big ears or not, Michael is handsome!
Hey, Mike turned out cute :)!

Mike has turned out surprisingly well, although I’ll withhold final judgement until I see him as an elder  ;).  Individual features (notably his brow line – and the ears, of course) are quite extreme but it all seems to have come together in adulthood, with the right hair and eyebrows.

Good luck with dealing with the rest of the glitches and Mike's requirements.
Sorry about Jack and the glitches, and good luck with the rest of Hidden Springs.
Goodness, sorry you're having so much trouble in Hidden Springs! I guess a new town will be a welcome change.

Thanks.  I hesitated about using Hidden Springs as one of the four towns because it’s notoriously laggy, although that hasn’t been a problem at all.  I’m not sure whether the glitches are related to that or are just random because the file’s getting large.  Looking online, other people do seem to have had them at various times, just not all together.

Out of curiosity, I started comparing the sizes of various game folders.  Unsurprisingly, this one is considerably larger than my other long-term game at the moment, the Household Skills project.  That’s also up to the fifth generation but they have moved towns twice and I think both moves were the old saving-to-library kind.  Then I looked at the three previous dynasties.

End of Immortal Dynasty: 81MB
End of DecaDynasty: 370MB
End of Life States Dynasty: 918MB
Latest 4x4 save: 439MB

I’d guess that patches and extra expansions have made most of the difference.  Oddly enough, the loading times for the games don’t seem to be particularly related to the file size.  The current game loads far faster than any of the others and the DecaDynasty is probably the slowest.

Offline Rikki8528

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Carving Out a Career (13 November)
« Reply #141 on: November 15, 2013, 01:13:31 PM »
Bryony is beautiful and will give us another little green child for sure when paired with Michael. She seems like the obvious choice for me.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #142 on: November 17, 2013, 11:48:00 AM »
Bryony is beautiful and will give us another little green child for sure when paired with Michael. She seems like the obvious choice for me.

Sorry, Rikki.  You seem to be in a minority here, although I agree she's very pretty.



Two Departures – And Preparations for Another

Dora was the first heir not to have her life extended at all.  Sophia’s strategy for jumping through Grim’s hoops meant that the nearer you were to a move, the less help you got.  Still, Dora did what she could for herself, with plenty of fresh air, exercise and home-grown food – but no meat.  Her healthy lifestyle paid off in the end and she lived longer than either her father or grandfather had.  But, of course, she couldn’t escape Grim forever.  And anyway, she missed Jack.





“Will you humans get out of my way?  How can I reap this woman’s soul if I can’t even get to her?  I do have standards to maintain, you know.



“Well, if you won’t let me do my job properly, I’ll just have to stand here enjoying the music while she takes herself to her urn.  Terrible breach of protocol.



“And as for you, Emmaline Rhoen, thinking you can get away from me…  I'll show you.  I’ll be back.”



And he was.  Not for Emmaline – her time wasn’t up yet – but for the irresponsible love of her life.



Luke was ready to go.  He’d lived well past his time, loved many women, mastered a variety of skills and made a success of two careers.  (We’ll draw a polite veil over the first one: shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.)



There wasn’t enough space in the bedroom for Grim to do his stuff and Luke had no wish to irritate Death for the second time in twenty-four hours.  He obediently drifted out into the hallway.

But Grim’s work was disrupted anyway.  At that moment, Mike started sparkling.  Grim turned back.  Should he stop work and join in the celebrations, however badly timed they might be? 



No.  He had a job to finish first.





Back in the bedroom, Mike’s birthday was followed by Bryony’s and then Tansy’s.



Emmaline disapproved of all this levity so soon after Luke’s death.  As for Grim, there wasn’t much point in trying to maintain proper Reaperly dignity in the middle of madness.  Might as well just point and laugh at the hairstyles – although he did wish someone would make him a nice cup of tea.



*   *   *   *   *

Long ago, Mike’s mother had passed the Memory Box on to him but somehow he’d always been too busy to look through it.  There was always something new to sculpt; family history could wait.  Now, with his parents and Uncle Luke gone, maybe he’d better make time.  Inside there was an envelope, addressed To Generation 4.  Underneath, in his mother’s writing, it said, Michael, this is for you.  Good luck!

Intrigued, he opened the letter.

Our dear great-great-grandchild,

By the time you are here to read this, we will be long gone, but, Grim willing, we will always be watching over you.  You will have a harder task than any of our previous heirs and, first of all, you have a decision to make.  We hope that Sam’s book will help you to choose well…


He had to move?  To leave Hidden Springs?  Even though he spent most of his time indoors at the sculpting station, he loved this place: the crisp mountain air, the waterfalls, the sunsets, the… well, everything.  But now it seemed he had to leave and start a new life in a new town, almost from nothing.  How would he cope?  And where would he go?

He took Sam’s Guide to Simlish Towns from the box and started to read.



Some places were easy to eliminate.  He had no wish to live in a city, so Bridgeport was ruled right out.  Twinbrook sounded horrible – far too polluted and marshy.  Barnacle Bay seemed like fun: a town founded by pirates?  But it was also flat.  He wanted mountains, or hills at the very least.

He read on.



Still undecided, he went back to his sculpting.  He had to finish his opportunities and reach the top of his career before he could go anywhere.

Then he remembered that the letter had said he needn’t go alone.  He’d always known he’d have to marry and continue the line but he hadn’t given it much thought.  He had friends who were girls – well, women really – but no girlfriends.  Maybe he should consider his options.  He'd liked Alisha at school but hadn't seen much of her recently.  And there were two friends who might become more right here in the house.  Bryony was fun and he could talk to her about anything.



Tansy was usually more serious…



…although she did have moments of pure childish silliness – usually when she noticed him becoming withdrawn and thoughtful.  Like now.



They were both helping him with the rest of his lfe while he concentrated on his art.  Bryony had learned gardening and cooking from their mothers and pretty much ran the house now that Emmaline was growing older and odder.  Tansy was using her skills to make friends for him, although even she seemed astonished by the power of modern technology.







Should he choose one of them or simply wait to find a wife in his new home, wherever it was?



Dora lived to 62 and Luke to 59.  Given that he’d had Ambrosia and makeovers, that probably makes Luke the longest-lived member of the family so far.

Michael is named after the spare from generation 2 of my long-lost legacy family.  Come to think of it, he looked a lot like Luke, although maybe that’s just the hairstyle.  His sister Jessica was a lot older and so was always likely to be heir, particularly after she met, and fell for, Jamie Jolina’s handsome son (fathered by a new townie who must have moved in very early in the game).  Because this was the first time I’d played with random traits, I thought Mike’s slob trait, picked up as a child, would be far harder to live with than it actually was and I originally planned to kick him out as soon as he was old enough.  Chris had had a change of lifetime wish to Five-Star Chef, which left Perfect Aquarium free for someone else.  Mike loved the outdoors, so I started him on fishing as a child and he rolled the wish almost immediately.  I wondered whether he’d be able to achieve it with fish caught by Chris and found that he could – and did.  Everything was set for an early kick-out.

Then the unexpected happened.  I got attached to Mike – far more than to Jessica, who was already producing the next generation.  His traits were an interesting mix – he was a friendly loner – and he was one of those Sims who are really easy to look after.  He ended up spending his whole life in the legacy house, forming a strong bond with the generation 3 spouse (of whom more later) and having two or three kids outside the active household with Sylvia Bunch, Lisa and VJ’s daughter.  He supermaxed both fishing and gardening fairly early on and then took up athletics and collecting late in life.  He finished the marathon runner challenge by chasing around town after collectables and completed all of the collecting challenges.  When he died, aged 118, I was genuinely upset – the first time a Sim’s death really affected me.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Departures (17 November)
« Reply #143 on: November 17, 2013, 04:54:31 PM »

Hum, with those little hearts going off, it looks like she's helping Mike find something more than just friendship! Go Tansy! (I hope it's you!) Was that, two deaths and three birthdays in one night? What is with you and these crazy fits of action!

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #144 on: November 19, 2013, 04:02:12 PM »
Hum, with those little hearts going off, it looks like she's helping Mike find something more than just friendship! Go Tansy! (I hope it's you!) Was that, two deaths and three birthdays in one night? What is with you and these crazy fits of action!

That's actually the 'best friend' setting, despite the hearts.

It was only (only!) one death and three birthdays at the same time.  Dora died just before midnight, although it was morning before Grim gave up trying to wave his scythe around and she just drifted into her urn.  I've only seen that once before, with Ana.  Luke died that evening, just before ageing-up time.  I have a vague impression that more Sims die then than at any other time of day.  Mike started having his birthday before Luke had shaken Grim's hand and then the other two birthdays also overlapped.  Chaos.  Particularly since most of the action happened in a smallish bedroom  ::).



For Richer, For Poorer

Mike took the plunge and asked Tansy out.  It wasn’t a date, he told himself.  He just wanted to revisit some of his favourite places and say goodbye – but it would be too depressing on his own.  He needed a friend.  Bryony would have been too bouncy; Tansy’s seriousness and calm were what he wanted right now.

From time to time they stopped to talk but mostly they just strolled in silence.  After a while, he realised he was almost enjoying himself.  Tansy’s company was soothing and she cared deeply about other people.  She knew how hard he was finding this.  He stopped and looked at her.  He’d never noticed before how pretty she was.



“Tansy, thank you.  For being here.  For being you.  It really means a lot.”



There were some flowers growing nearby.  He picked some, wrapped up the stems in his spare hankie and gave them to her.  It wasn’t much of a bouquet but then, it wasn’t as though they were on a date or anything.



(A passing wild horse disagreed.  He knew budding romance when he saw it.)

Mike realised he’d never visited the Nectary, so they drove over and looked around.  Naturally, they couldn’t leave without tasting a nectar or three – and obviously they had to sit at a table and chat.  You couldn’t rush nectar.



Tansy suggested that it might be a good idea to eat something and she was probably right.  All that nectar needed some food to soak it up and, after all, they did own the bistro.

And then, after a memorable dinner, he just had to kiss her goodnight.



“Oh, sorry.  I just wanted to…”
“Kiss me?”



“Well, yes.  It seemed right.  I’m sorry.  I probably shouldn’t have…”
“Mike, it’s OK.”

And she kissed him back.



Then, just as things were starting to get interesting, his phone rang.



“Oh no!  I’m sorry, Tansy.  I think I’d better get that.”
“Stop apologising and just answer it.  It might be an opportunity.  You only need one more, don’t you?”
“Well, yes, but…  Hello?  Yes, it is… Yes, I do take commissions…  Yes…  How much?!  Um, yes…  I’ll get back to you.  Thanks.”
“Well?”
“That was someone wanting a sculpture.  An expensive one.  A minimum value of 3500 Simoleons, she said.”
“That’s a lot of money.”
“You’re telling me.  Nothing I’ve made so far’s been worth that much, although I suppose if I kept on with the stone sculptures…”
“Come on, we’d better go back home and get some sleep.  Then you can get back to work in the morning.”

Maybe it was the day off.  Maybe he found new inspiration from something – or someone.  Or maybe he just got lucky.  Whatever the reason, his next sculpture was a masterpiece and more than valuable enough for his picky customer.  Now he just had to reach the top of his career.

*   *   *   *   *



“I love this view.  I think this is what I’ll miss most of all.”



“I’ll miss you.  Are you allowed to stay in touch after the move?”
“I don’t know… but…  Tansy…  I don’t have to go alone.  I’m allowed to take a girlfriend…



“Or…”



“Yes?”



“Tansy, will you marry me?  Will you give up everything – this place, our home, money… everything?  And start again somewhere else, with me?  No, sorry, of course you won’t.  The whole idea’s ridiculous.  Look, can you just forget I said anything…”
“Mike, stop apologising all the time!  I don’t want to forget.  I’ll miss Hidden Springs, too, but I’d much rather give up all those other things and be with you.  Mike, yes.  Yes please.  I do want to marry you.”

*   *   *   *   *

Under other circumstances, they would both have preferred a private wedding.  As it was, they welcomed the chance to say a proper goodbye to everyone.  Bryony, who always threw herself headlong into everything, was overcome by the romance of it all and stayed up all night arranging flowers.
 


And so Mike and Tansy stood in front of their family and friends and exchanged their vows.  For richer, for poorer…



They sealed their promises with genie rings.  Those at least could go with them to their new home.





As petals drifted down from Bryony’s wedding arch, they gazed into each other’s eyes.



“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Mike, I’m sure.”



Emmaline, who was losing her grasp on some things (like conventional mother-of-the-bride clothing) still remembered what came next.  She was the first out of her seat with a handful of confetti.



And she hadn’t lost her touch with food.  The cake was wonderful.



The guests all pitched in and the chairs were soon rearranged for the reception.



Then, as dusk fell, the newlyweds led off the dancing.


Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: For Richer, For Poorer (19 November)
« Reply #145 on: November 19, 2013, 07:23:44 PM »

Yay! Such a sweet wedding. I love how bashful and apologetic Mike is. You just want to give him a hug and tell him to hush! Tansy's hair color is really pretty, by the way, with those greyish highlights.

Offline butterfly

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: For Richer, For Poorer (19 November)
« Reply #146 on: November 20, 2013, 11:43:55 AM »
Such an adorable wedding, it's set up very nice. I'm so curious to see the new town, I just can't wait!
When you already decided to read this, than keep going and read my dynasty! :)

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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: For Richer, For Poorer (19 November)
« Reply #147 on: November 20, 2013, 04:34:36 PM »
Yay! Such a sweet wedding. I love how bashful and apologetic Mike is. You just want to give him a hug and tell him to hush! Tansy's hair color is really pretty, by the way, with those greyish highlights.

Mike's voice just came naturally from the screenshots.  I'm sure he's somehow managed to pick up a hidden 'shy' trait, even though I don't have Late Night :).  He's always ducking his head and looking apologetic.  He's also the first heir not to have learned charisma; Tansy's done all of his friend-making with her phone apps.

Luke was born with greying hair, a result of his parents having him late in lfe.  (Well, it works out that way if you're a Sim, anyway.)  A long time later, he had a midlife crisis wish to change his hair or have a complete makeover (I've forgotten which) and I modified it to that redder colour, which Tansy duly inherited.  I was surprised at how well it suits those loosely plaited styles.  I still don't know where Bryony's hair came from.  It looks like Demario's hair but they're only related by marriage.

Such an adorable wedding, it's set up very nice. I'm so curious to see the new town, I just can't wait!

Thank you :).  The game is currently a couple of days into the new town (surprisingly disorientating) and I'm planning to update the story as far as the move in the next day or two, real life permitting.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #148 on: November 21, 2013, 03:51:08 PM »
Making the First Move

Mike and Tansy suddenly noticed that they were alone.  Almost alone.  When had that happened?



Time for fun, then.  Tansy was ticklish – a discovery that Mike didn’t take advantage of – much.  Then they decided they’d be more comfortable upstairs.







Outside, Judson Tubbs carried on throwing rice, as he’d been doing since before the cake was cut.





Well, they’d known Judson was odd for a long time: ever since he’d come home with them after their first day at school and had thought Mike was being rude for introducing himself and suggesting a game of tag.  Eventually, as dawn was breaking, he gave up on his solitary celebration and went home.

Then it was M Day.  Bryony harvested the money plants for one last time and moved out.  Emmaline had been disappointed that her old home was occupied by someone else but they’d bought the Handcrafted Masterpiece, just around the corner.



Emmaline was supposed to have been moving out with her elder (by a few minutes) daughter but kept finding excuses to stay.  Were all of the heirs’ letters and books loaded onto that secure website?  Had they packed everything they could sneak past Grim’s rules?  (Not much at all.)  Were they really, really sure about where they wanted to go next?  Had they got their tickets?

The three of them watched their last sunset from the balcony…



…and then Emmaline started to sparkle.



She was happy to go with Grim.  You’d almost think she’d been planning it.



Then, while Grim tried to work out what the computer was for, Tansy and Mike used Emmaline’s last gift.  Tansy insisted on going first.  After all, there might be a few bugs that hadn’t been worked out yet.  She was dispensable; Mike wasn’t.







And then, as night fell over the mountain, they drove away from the only home either of them had ever known.



Mike was (as so often) worried.  Had he made the right choice?  Would the travel arrangements work out OK?  And, above all, why had Tansy chosen to travel in her formal dress?  She’d freeze!



As if she wanted to make a point about how much they were giving up, the taxi driver took the long route down the mountain and then drove through the middle of the sleeping town…



…before turning off for the station.



Hidden Springs museum
Next chapter (interlude) - main story continues halfway through.



Summary – Generation 4

Heir: Michael
Traits: Heavy Sleeper*, Artistic, Perfectionist, Avant Garde, Savvy Sculptor
Lifetime wish: Swimming in Cash

Unique maxed career: Self-Employed Sculptor
Two unique best friends: Alisha & Marlena Souza
Three unique skill challenges: Chiselmeister, Prolific Sculptor, Master Sculptor
Four unique opportunities: An Old Ruse, Sculpt a Suspect, The Banquet Centrepiece, A Valuable Sculpture
Buildings bought this generation: Honourable Citizens’ Trading Post, Silver Zephyr Health Spa, Fountain Corporation
Newly-upgraded properties: Silver Zephyr Poolside Retreat, Han’s Tavern and Café, Lars’ Disco-Tech, Subalpine Square**, Paul A. Wilkes Natural Museum, Beryl Lane Picnic Spot, Port-a-Party Mini-Warehouse, Phoenix Martial Arts Academy, Keith’s Komics

*All three kids were born heavy sleepers, just to reduce the mayhem from all being in the same room.
**Although the screenshots didn’t make it into the story, Dora got her wish.  The square eventually had a lot more plants, as well as the other improvements.

The town ended up with five Fountains of Youth.  It may be an extravagant upgrade but it’s an excellent way of getting a lot of value into a small space :).

Offline JudesSims

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: For Richer, For Poorer (19 November)
« Reply #149 on: November 21, 2013, 03:55:41 PM »
That was a lovely wedding! That silly guy throwing rice. I had someone throwing all day until I reset her.