|PRELUDE | In the beginning...||The old play sessions from 1988 are remembered and thus, begin our adventures...|
|CHAPTER 1 | The Mass Migration||
In which play sessions resume in 2017, beginning with leaving their home behind...
Introducing: Buttercups, Honeys, Knight Underwood, van Dykes, Tuxedos & Redwoods! Further introduces Nara and the Zan pandas of the mountain peaks...
|CHAPTER 2 | The Prophecy Foretold||Two elemental monks, Nara the Water Monk and Kaze the Wind Monk team up and discover a most horrific event has occurred at the Waypoint. Meanwhile, several families are oblivious as they reunite together and continue on in their migration.
Introducing: Kaze, Reynards foxes, Heidi McBurrows, April & Beatrix Underwood, snow leopard Sylvanians
PRELUDE | In the beginning...
The following is, surprisingly, very detailed for what I remember from when I was four in 1988 onwards, playing with my critters. All the memories came rushing back when I picked my old vintage Sylvanian figures up in the attic a month ago or so. So, appropriately enough I've called it "PRELUDE | In the beginning" because it *was* in the beginning. :) I hope you enjoy it.
In the beginning, there was an old abandoned school* in the middle of nowhere. It was the adventuring nomadic family known as the Corntops who- comprised of a loving husband Hector, wife Christabel, their young daughter Kirsty and son Scott- began to explore. Encountering a young bear woman by the name of Rose Timbertop, they soon learned that the area had been called Maple Town, and that a wildfire had ripped through the area, but miraculously the schoolhouse had survived.
Swearing that they would help the distressed bear teacher- so traumatized she could barely ever remember her own name at times- they called out for help by sending letters attached to birds' legs in hopes someone they knew would come find them. And indeed, other Sylvanians came. Mrs. Corntop's childhood friend, Lilly Windward, had just gotten married and arrived in her wedding gown, which she swore she would wear for as long as she could since it was too beautiful. Her newly-wedded husband Hickory seemed like an airhead and hopeless romantic, but it inspired Mr. Corntop to keep love going strong with his own wife, even when times were hard, and the four would work the land around the school while Hickory went to work with the bear teacher to return from long days spent in the nearby woods for lumber. Lilly was at the school and would forage as much as she could to keep them all well-fed. Hector had lost his pants and shirt, and all he wore was his wedding jacket, much to Lilly's embarassment, though she later got used to it and it became an injoke. Hector's only defense was that they'd hared off immediately and hadn't time to properly pack everything they owned, though he didn't mind, since Lilly meant the world to him. The six worked very hard with Rose to repair the school.
Gradually, life returned to the area and more travelers became known. From the woods to the west of the schoolhouse came the Thistlethorn family, nervous about living out in the open since they were grey-furred, and blended in better with their surroundings. However, a trip to the school seemed wiser and safer in numbers- and they chose to live with them. The Corntops, Windwards (who kept striving to bear children of their own) and the Thistlethorns' company helped heal the distressed bear teacher, who was nearly finished with the school's renovation. The Thistlethorns- Chester and Willow, along with their son Lester and daughter Prissy, who between the two of them called themselves "warriors" and often used berry dye to streak their faces to look fiercer- were a more guarded, nervous sort, but the Corntops and Windwards were more than accommodating of them, and they proved to be lovely Sylvanians.
As the letters from the Corntops reached further parts of the Sylvanian landscape, the children learned from Rose Timbertop as much as they could. Though amnesia riddled her mind, she knew that her life was improving and she was at peace being able to help the strangers who had become her new friends. Her troubles began when a young scallywag by the name of Grover Chestnut showed up from the woods in the middle of the night one summer evening. He claimed he was an orphan and needed to survive somehow. Readily enough he was taken in, and was asked to help out with the rabbits in the field; sometimes in the woods with the Hickories, and he was a very quiet individual whom none of them could really read.
During school he proved extremely resilient and willful. Oftentimes he stood in the corner as punishment for bullying, or hung around outside for the day after pranking the other students too many times. When Roger Waters showed up feeling literally out of water from his home far away one afternoon in early autumn, the two took extremely well to one another. However, Roger didn't like that Grover kept getting into trouble with the teacher and eventually kept tattling on him. This earned him the approval and trust of Prissy and Lester Thistlethorns, who even sometimes ran around in their underwear in the middle of the summer despite their parents' chagrin and inducted Roger into their "special warrior society" by dint of "bravery". This tattling also earned the approval of Scott and Kirsty Corntop and the parents so that they could try to correct Grover's behavior. Becoming a literal brown-noser was the brown beaver's way of gaining acceptance into the growing community, although Grover took it personally and claimed it was a betrayal. As such, Grover refused to interact with anyone and began foraging for himself while staying alienated from the others. Meanwhile, everyone fretted for Grover's wellbeing and tried to come up with a plan to help the young raccoon.
Spending time as a school dropout and refusing to listen to the parents- as well as being too cunning for his own good- proved worrisome for everyone involved. Out of rebellious nature, Grover ran away and back into the woods, intending to be solitary and prove everyone he was a proper adult capable of doing what he wanted. However, instead he met two owls who dropped down from the trees and who simply called themselves the Treefellows. Around this same time, the Corntops and Thistlethorn babies perished in a horrible, mysterious accident and were sadly never found, causing the two families to grieve deeply.
While he intended to tell the owls that he was staying solo, Grover ran into Molly McBurrows, who had been traveling at her own leisurely pace with another raccoon! Shocked at the similarity, Molly encouraged the bitter raccoon to befriend Myrtle, and falling head over heels for Grover, the young, extroverted and mischievous girl took to it well. Grover became friendly with Molly though afraid of returning "home to the home that isn't", and tried to play it off like he had been fine on his own. She saw through the front and pointed out he was still bitter about everything and would have to go back eventually. Grover didn't want to and Molly insisted in her matronly, gentle way that he was afraid of, since Molly was going to become part of the town with Myrtle anyways.
Meanwhile in town later on, the Thistlethorns began recovering. The kids in the "warrior" group tried to help their families more than ever. Despite this, Kirsty had begun swimming more and more, and her fur was beginning to rot out from her efforts. Because of that, she had to stop performing the Barn Dance by herself and became very self-conscious. She often spent more time in the fields with her community to make up for it and wait for her fur to regrow. To keep from thinking about it, she focused extra-hard in her classes, and without Grover around she wasn't bullied. She worried about him a lot though, as did her brother, but the Thistlethorn kids seemed relieved. When asked by the young Corntops and beaver, the Thistlethorn kids didn't want to go looking for him and proved they were stubborn and set on that decision.
Molly McBurrows arrived in town with two raccoons and the two Treefellows owls in mid-autumn! Everyone was abuzz with excitement and curiosity at the humble mole with a strange accent and mannerisms, and she helped repair everyone's used and tattered clothing. The owls were the subject of the most curiosity- the Thistlethorns were afraid they would become a problem but kept such quiet in hushed conversations. They had worked hard and were worried the birds would eat them out of house and home. The Corntops were as unflaggingly optimistic as ever! They readily accepted the lovely birds, who were quick to shed their little colorful vests, and one sustained an eye accident after failing to properly perch on a rake! They easily became well-loved as they would keep active at night while everyone stayed safe asleep in their beds, and would rest during the day.
The matter of Grover was another issue. Upon seeing the raccoon again, he was sullen and as resilient as ever. However, upon seeing Myrtle for the first time, she seemed sweet enough but had to earn the trust of all the villagers- especially because of Grover's previous actions coloring their hesitance towards her. When Mr. Corntop asked her, she explained that being a raccoon she was mischievous by nature, but not at all malicious. (She did in fact once throw a surprise party for herself after inviting everyone.) She became worried about what Grover had actually done and not told her, so she asked Rose Timbertop, and she told her everything.
It turned out that Grover had lied to Myrtle in some ways and been honest in other ways. Upset, she confronted him and it devolved into a fistfight. Both were promptly punished and informed that violence wasn't the way to solve anything. After they were done with their punishments, they were informed they had to shape up and for their own sakes if they were to survive. Molly felt that the others were being harsh, but agreed that sometimes punishment was necessary. Individually, she worked things out with each raccoon. Grover began to learn how to reintegrate with both Molly and Myrtle's help, much to the relief of the others- the mole woman seemed to have quite a knack for handling tough personalities! Gradually Myrtle whittled away at Grover and found out he was just lonely but felt school didn't matter at all- and that no one really understood him. She tried to tell him it was important to be part of the community, but he didn't listen to it much. Wanting to further herself, she worked hard- and if he acted up, she would play pranks on the villagers and frame him. To offset that, she talked a lot with Roger Waters and decided she liked him. The two became good friends and eventually she won the trust of the Thistlethorn and Corntop kids too. But Myrtle was clever and didn't stop there. She'd wanted to be as cunning as the Slydales she'd once heard of and had wanted to meet, but more honest. So she began to share more of her story with Grover.
The two discovered they were siblings whose mother and father had left them behind. They didn't know why but resolved to find out! Upon telling the others, the Windwards, the bear teacher, the Corntops and Thistlethorns decided to throw the young raccoons, beaver, owls and mole a grand party! The entire schoolhouse was decorated and the newly-finished desks moved aside to provide for a place to enjoy themselves. It made every villager feel wonderful and a part of the community. It overwhelmed Grover, but he resolved he'd try to do better and not cause hard feelings again. Because he was self-conscious, he lingered by the food and drinks, often keeping his mouth full and mumbling in order to avoid feeling awkward about the past. He shared this with Molly and Myrtle, and apologized to the other kids who accepted. His attendance in school became better, though he was secretly still annoyed that Roger still did better as top of his class and sought to find some way to make himself stand above the rest and gain even more respect from everyone. Myrtle felt torn because she had really liked the idea of falling in love with another raccoon but had to cope with accepting Grover as her brother rather than a potential boyfriend, and grew somewhat distant and disheartened. However, she hid it as best she could and deflected any inquisitive questions her way when asked by conveniently remembering work to be done that she 'had to help out with'. Gradually, everyone felt better and life was back to normal at the schoolhouse and the temporary homes the families had constructed around it. They were able to make a living together!
CHAPTER 1 | The Mass Migration
The following contains resumed play sessions. These are very unlike the previous sessions as a kid, since brains do advance and grow, and while no verbal dialogue was spoken out loud whilst revisiting the Sylvanian figures (and I received a few families more for my birthday, found a lot on Craigslist and collected some on eBay and off of a yard-sale phone app), I really got the Sylvanian Friends/Calico Critters bug again! It was wonderful coming up with these short stories and inspirations. One such inspiration is a constructed diorama/setup I created myself as an art-supply destash/miniature-world challenge, which is something I've never done before but truly enjoyed. This is now known as the Mosswood Fells Waypoint. Constructions I make are under the "Notable Places" page when completed and in-progress shots, etc, can be found in the "DIY" page.
The Sylvanian community- Rose Timbertop, the Corntops and Thistlethorns, Molly McBurrows, the Treefellows owls, and the two young Chestnut raccoons- had survived for quite some time through thick and thin, but the land was no longer supportive despite their cooperative efforts. Since the land had been burned by the fire and restored to working order, they had managed to survive but the ground was growing more and more infertile, the weather more severe, and it seemed more and more mishaps were in store for them. Clearly, they needed to move if their growing population was to survive.
In their struggles for carrying on and preparations, Chester and Willow Thistlethorn disappeared, and the only joy the community had was that a broad badger had shown up by the name of Knight Underwood. Shortly thereafter, Lilly Windward announced she was going to have a little one any time soon, at long last! Encouraged by the good news, everyone carried onward, and began to close down the schoolhouse after packing their belongings.
In the meantime...
The first villagers the Sylvanians encountered were encountered were the Buttercups. They were a family of white-furred creatures of the plains, who spent their days plucking grass, enjoying life and raising their children with the husband's father. They warmly greeted the Sylvanians, who had traveled down the hillsides and were relying on one another. To cheer up their mood, the Buttercups greeted them and showed them their temporary floral-patterned green canvas tent, helping them find relief under the bright sun when they needed it- the late autumn was nonetheless very warm. They were more than happy to offer their space on reed mats for the time to the new families, as they were used to the warm weather.
The following night, everyone began their mass migration in earnest, traveling down hillsides and relying on one another. The mass migration had begun and they meandered westward. Just down the hill they met a family of foxes- the Honey family. The adventurous foxes had a little one and two children to care for, but they encountered on the plains most wonderful and strange creatures.Though initially wary of the foxes, they offered to share their knowledge. They had the foxes forage for foliage with which to make a temporary shelter; they taught them how to create mats out of the rushes of a nearby stream. The Buttercups lived underneath a floral-patterned, green canvas tent and helped the Honeys weave rushes. Ever crafty, the children made the fabric brightly colored with flower and berry dyes which soaked into the fibers, making vivid vermillions, beautiful blues and brightest golds. The Buttercups were impressed and intruiged by this lovely new family and the two became friends. It was then that they learned how to leave behind the tedium of scraping out a den underground in favor of living under sticks and fabric made from rushes and plants. The two families formed a hesitant acquaintanceship, and overall the foxes seemed to be a very kind family despite their cunning.
The next morning, the Sylvanians awoke to two tipis- that of the hard-working, swift foxes and the one which housed them, while the Buttercups slept in a heap outside in the flowers. The Honeys had worked all through the night on their own tipi and were sleeping in. The other Sylvanians didn't know what to make of the foxes, but the Honeys insisted they knew how to get to the woods and through them safely. The elderly Angus was distrustful of the foxes and refused to leave the tent, insisting everyone could stay where they were despite the answer being obvious that the Sylvanians couldn't survive off of grasses alone! After everyone convinced him he had to move, the ornery old bull agreed. To cheer up their mood, everyone began to travel.
A few days later, they had made significant progress along the rolling hills, making a meandering path northwest towards the woods, then southeast to use the pathways the Honeys were familiar with. Molly McBurrows recognized some of the trails and agreed that the foxes were accurate. Someone stomped on Mrs. Honey's tail, and since Angus was immediately behind her, she whirled around. A gasp went up as the two engaged in a screaming match at each other, and it culminated with the fox slapping the old bull in the face! The relationship between the Buttercups and Honeys was damaged, but Mr. Honey managed to save it, along with the Corntops' intervention. Bitter, the cows only later realized that it was a giggling baby Cheddar who had done so, and it was met with Mrs. Honey hmmphing and refusing to say anything further on the matter.
A great oddity met them- that of a trio of brightly-colored Sylvanians who bore unusual faces but were super-adorable and friendly! Mrs. Redwood greeted them and offered to share her baskets of berries from the woods the next morning. Rufina led the Sylvanian travelers to her home in the woods, where she admitted that her humble gargantuan-gourd (a huge gourd, she explained, which had hollowed out in age) abode was too small for herself, her husband and their growing daughter Rowena. They in fact were planning on finding someplace else in the woods to move to, but upon her husband coming home from his foraging with Rowena, the trio decided spontaneously to sell their woodland home to a fellow who happened to need it. Though the forest was idyllic, the Sylvanians felt that it would be wiser to keep moving. The Redwoods agreed that they could always find their way back to the woods if they decided later on, though their hearts were made up.
Days and weeks passed in the forest as they traveled throughout it, gradually cutting a westerly path then slightly northeast route, where Molly knew there would be water. By that evening's sunset, they decided to cheer up everyone's mood and paused alongside a lake. They encountered the Van Dyke family of otters shortly thereafter. Excited by these Sylvanians, the otters decided to "go with the Flow" - their mother's decision!- and Momma Flow decided the best thing to do would be to help the other Sylvanians, and more importantly, adventure! Roger Waters was saddened that he didn't see anyone who happened to resemble his kind, but Myrtle and the other kids cheered him up- and with how fun the otters were, he couldn't help but be merry again!
A mountain range was visible off in the northwest distance. The weather grew stormy and rainier as they approached. Everyone's moods soured- except the Windwards saved the day! Under a tent they asked Mr. Van Dyke to officiate some blessings for a renewal of their wedding vows. In the hustle and bustle everyone had forgotten it happened to be their anniversary! Everyone gathered and cheered for the lovely couple. Amidst the cheering of their friends, everyone missed Lilly giggling that her hubby still hadn't found his pants. Hickory rolled his eyes and kissed her the rest of the way back to the tipi everyone had set up. "Someday," he promised, "I'll find the pants, never you worry." Mr. Van Dyke laughed the rest of the night. Seeing the lovebirds renew their vows on their anniversary made the Sylvanians really enjoy their journey. Later on this place came to be known as the Mosswood Fells Waypoint, as it was on their way (straightforward enough).
~~~Meanwhile, atop the mountains to the north....~~~
The Mass Migration was beginning to wear everyone down in the late summer. Far to the north, atop the great mountain range sat a family of pandas- the Zan family. The mother, Feng, had received a mysterious scroll and had finished custom-tailoring clothing for her family as a kind of daily meditation from the repetitive stitching. While her husband Zheng taught their firstborn son Qiang the ways of martial arts to help him build up strength like a good young panda should have, her daughter Jing learned philosophy from a wonderfully excitable dog monk, Nara, who honored the element of water to the west of the mountains at the shore. Nara was not yet able to build a temple, as Jing told her mother one day over sewing, but hoped to soon. Feng was excited to hear of the dog monk, and hoped for the dalmatian to visit her and her family some day atop the peaks which they protected. One day, Jing piqued her mother's curiosity about Nara, and invited her over! Jing returned in a day's time after climbing the mountainside with the tireless dog. The scroll Zan Feng had been reading had foretold a prophecy of visitors to come. Could Nara be the one the scroll had predicted?
Tucking the scroll quickly away, Jing introduced Nara to her mother. The young dog woman was so naturally cheerful it was contagious; the Zan pandas quickly introduced the whole family to Nara. However, the dalmatian was worried about her friend, Molly McBurrows, and hadn't heard from her in many years. Given to wandering, Nara set off in search of her and sent word to the wind monk, Cromwell Kaze- a young rabbit of boundless energy like herself, and one with promise and humility.
Strange, wondered Zan Feng- if the dog monk was not the Sylvanian spoken of in the mysterious scroll, who else was to arrive? Feng's husband pondered much the same while he taught his son proper movement and form in martial arts stances...
CHAPTER 2 | The Prophecy Foretold
On her way through Sylvania, Nara re-met up with her friend Kaze. Together the two struck out across the land. Nara encountered Heidi McBurrows in the woods, poring over her plans to expand the waterways underground so that a local family could better cultivate their garden and have fresher water rather than as they'd been doing. They had traveled so far for it every morning and had to divvy it out among their plants and for their own use that Heidi had happened to be around to help. Nara was amazed at the familial resemblance- how many other black moles were there in the land?- and Heidi acknowledged that her mother was indeed the dog's friend! Such a small world, they remarked. Heidi needed some extra help but agreed to help Nara find Molly, since visiting her mother would be good for her after many years on her own. They finished helping the rabbit family and continued onwards, encountering a rather distraught pair of owls- Artemis and Hermes, their names were, and they called themselves the Treefellow owls. They were looking for some of their young hatchlings who had gotten lost in Sylvania some years ago and still hadn't found them. Heidi and Nara caught wind that "a young grey and white rabbit in the woods wearing a pale habit had found plenty of other Sylvanians on a journey"- that was their queue. They headed out with the owls and their remaining hatchlings as their winged guides to make their way back to Kaze.
April and Beatrix Underwood happened to be along their path home. The badger-cub was endearing to Heidi, who knew how much her mother loved children. She herself did not, but Nara convinced her to accept the badger mother searching for her lost husband, Knight. The more, the merrier, after all- and Nara nor Heidi were great at cooking. April, however, loved to. Their nights were filled with enjoyment of steaming recipes hand-foraged along their journey back north and fish caught fresh by a mighty swipe of April's hefty paw.
When they arrived at Mosswood Fells' waypoint, they chanced upon something most peculiar- four wee fox cubs playing by themselves, giggling and laughing in the dirt! More importantly, Kaze noticed, there were no paw tracks anywhere in the area! Nara was baffled but let her nose do the searching; the dog's excellent sense of smell directed her to the round, worn black table under the moss-covered tent. Someone had left the children unattended! Immediately, Heidi and the owls sprung into action, whisking them away on their own. The Underwoods went with them for protection. A most joyous family reunion occurred as Mrs. Underwood met up with her beloved husband again! He was kid-sitting while the rest of the Sylvanians migrating went about their day foraging further ahead. Hermes and Artemis found their missing hatchlings too!
Kaze and Nara hid and watched the waypoint. A beautiful young vixen with a glossy-furred golden tail clad in a black fancy dress with pink ribbons daintily seemed to step out of nowhere onto the platform, and began to address the other foxes who were beginning to arrive.
Many foxes showed up, and none who Nara and Kaze knew of. An otter family showed up behind them; they swiftly gestured "shhh". Wisely, the rabbit and dalmatian did so. "Attention all foxkind!" announced the strange gold-tailed vixen from the platform. Immediately all noses turned towards her. "I have arrived, and I bring a sight most unusual to you. They are felines from a foreign place which promises wealth!" As she gestured, two young kittens stepped carefully next to some trees.
Gasps of admiration rose up from the foxes; the same came from Nara, Kaze, and the otters as well. Never before had anyone seen such creatures, let alone their strange clothing. "This is but one example of such power I hold- for once, these were but young bear cubs lost in the woods, and now they are loyal to me!" Cackling, the fox vixen disappeared. Immediately, Kaze and Nara fled, the otters tailing the two. Spooked, Nara asked the otters and Kaze if they would keep it a secret. Everyone agreed until they could get further information. They rejoined Heidi and the other Sylvanians, and migrated with them further north.
Nara and Kaze both spent some time among the Sylvanians, trying to get to know the newcomers better and shake off the bad feelings they'd had about the gathering of foxes and the golden-tailed fox's words for the meantime. After spending some time on the way back to the top of the mountains, they encountered a rather strange Sylvanian standing vigil by a stream- a meerkat by the name of Mrs. Spotter!
"Have you seen any foxes this way?" asked Kaze, eager as ever to solve the mystery he'd witnessed. Nara sniffed the air, trying to see if anyone else was around.