the artistry and psychology of gaming


5A (Smart Ball)

5A (Smart Ball)

There was once a kingdom ruled by a young brother and sister.  Despite having a rather grandiose castle, the kingdom was fairly modern, with an endearing little town on its outskirts that would make a postcard worthy picture of Main Street U.S.A.  There were a few other towns throughout the land, but most of them were very basic and close to nature.  Everything was in turmoil when I traveled through, so I didn’t get to learn much about the kingdom and its history.  Rumor has it that the rulers’ younger brother had them ousted from the castle with the help of a conniving sorcerer.  Such is the way with monarchy, I suppose.

One place that was devoid of chaos, however, was the sea.  When I landed in its cold waters, I was overcome with a placid feeling that caused my journey to lag a bit.  The briny waters were not very deep and were surprisingly clear and bright.  The weather was a bit hazy; not quite cloudy, but certainly not a sunny day at the beach.  For a long time, I’ve loved cloudy weather, and I suppose that my time in these nearly still waters has attributed to that.  The strange creatures just went about their business as I swam toward the icebergs ahead.

Dropping to the sea floor, I stood upon its green sands in awe.  The seascape was an endless vision of rolling hills as far as the eye could see.  Wavy pink underwater plants grew tall, making a beautiful contrast with the dark green from whence they grew.  Digging deep enough, one could also find fairly sizeable shells, likely previously belonging to a species similar to an ammonite or nautilus.  While the sea was devoid of human life, it was evident that humans had lived here a long time ago.

There were several manmade structures strewn about this area of the sea.  Some were built of green brick, which was likely derived from the sand and processed in some way to make it an acceptable building material.  Many ruined structures had brick walls and pillars made of a substance of indeterminate origin that had a pale grayish-pink color.  While the pillars themselves were well formed, the bricks were of inconsistent size and depth, leading one to wonder what kind of building technology would grant such inconsistencies.  The only other building material to be found was an odd yellow brick, which was used mostly for the outside of the several towers found throughout the area.  The inside of these towers were comprised of the other two aforementioned materials.

The interiors of these structures were very inconsistent with each other.  One contained a large number of small chambers, each connected only by pipe, leading one to believe that it might have been some sort of sea level regulation structure.  The great number of submerged edifices shows that it no longer serves such a function if it once did.  Another has several somewhat mazelike floors completely separated from each other.  One can only access them from the exterior, a strange alternative to stairs.  A lot of these towers are also crowned with a great number of spikes, the function of which, like most of what is found here, remain a mystery.  Further along, there is a large wall of green brick featuring a simple sign depicting a whale.  The meaning of this sign is lost to all but a select few.

Though underwater ruins are no rarity in the experience of an adventurer, there is one thing that has always intrigued me: their current inhabitants.  The creatures of the sea dart effortlessly about them, as if they belong there, in nature.  I’ve often wondered what they think of these abandoned structures, and to a lesser extent, the former societies that used to occupy them.  Of course, there’s always the chance that their level of understanding is below such a capability.  This is yet another example of nature’s ability to adapt in the face of adversity.

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