Friday, April 29, 2011

Chapter 41: World's Greatest Uncle

Archer has thrown many parties in life, mostly birthday parties for his children,  but celebrates his own birthdays in private.

Already a grandfather now that Emery and Caitlin have had their first child, Archer now looks more the part.

Since it's a school day, Dylan doesn't get a real birthday party, either. But he does get a cake, for once.

Dylan becomes a teen.

His childhood friend Candace became a teen a few days ago and has been patiently waiting for him to catch up to her.
Talfryn's girlfriend Jessica has come to the little non-party, too, but she's not much in the mood to celebrate. Her elderly mother has just passed away and she had to move in with her older sister Norma and her husband. Jessica has never been close to her sister and the couple resent having to be responsible for her.

Dylan is growing up, but still clings to childhood.

The following Saturday is Talfryn's birthday, which of course is celebrated with a party. The town has come to expect a large party at the Carlton house every Saturday.
Griffin lives across the street and is first to arrive.

Bronwyn and her husband show up next. They are expecting their first child any day now.

It's not a party without cake. Carys' husband Kristian shows up without his wife, saying she'll be along later.

Talfryn becomes a man.

Before anyone can get a slice of cake, Bronwyn goes into labor. Her husband Alvin is woefully unprepared for this.

So Talfryn steps in and drives his sister to the hospital. At that moment, Carys finally shows up.

"Are you sure you want to leave your own party?" Bronwyn asks, "Dad could take me to the hospital..."

"These parties are more about Dad than about us," Talfryn says with a smile, "And I'm hoping to get one of those 'World's Greatest Uncle' mugs."

Talfryn gets his sister to the hospital.

Alvin eventually gets himself together and arrives at the hospital just in time for the birth.

Bronwyn and Alvin have a son, Jeffrey.

"I'm glad you came," Tricia Merrick greets Talfryn outside her house, "He's waiting for you inside."
Talfryn had got a call the night before from Beau Merrick, requesting a visit. Talfryn was a bit hesitant to meet the old vampire, but decided to honor his ancestor's invitation.

"You know who I am?" Beau asks as soon as Talfryn steps into the room.

"Of course, you are my great-great-grandfather," Talfryn answers, "My grandfather wrote your biography."

"Unauthorized biography," Beau scowls, then relents, "But he did it for Briar Rose, I suppose."

"Is there something you wanted from me?" Talfryn asks nervously. He grew up around vampires, his uncle Griffin married one, his cousin Jaimey is one, and the principal of the school he attended as a child and where he's now employed as a teacher is one, but this vampire, the ancestor of them all, makes him uneasy.

"I've lived a long life," Beau answers, "For generations, I've worked in this town's cemetery, tended to the dead. My own death is not long in coming, and I do not wish to be buried with all the others. I would prefer to rest family. With my daughter, and her granddaughter."

Beau has three daughters, one a still living vampire, and two who were cured of vampirism, Yesenia Merrick and Talfryn's great-grandmother Violet. Talfryn assumes the daughter Beau wishes to be buried with is Violet, who lies in the Carlton yard with the rest of the family. Having read his grandfather's biography of the vampire, Talfryn is quite sure that Violet, and her mother Oregon, would want him to refuse the old vampire's request. But his grandmother Briar Rose would have wanted him to accept, and with fond memories of her still fresh in his mind, Talfryn takes Beau's hand and promises to bury him with the family when the time comes.

Carys lives in the house next to Beau and his wife, so Talfryn drops by after he leaves the old vampire, and tells her about his strange request.

"Do vampire ghosts drink blood?" Carys wonders, "Our ghosts used to raid the fridge all the time."

The siblings end their conversation with a game of tag, running around in the street like they did as children.

"I'm too old for this," Carys sighs, out of breath.

"Nonsense," Talfryn answers, "I'm just better at it than you."

That afternoon, Talfryn has a birthday cake for Jessica, since her own family can't be bothered with her. 

He also invites her to move in, and lets her redecorated his room, her room, too, now, in her favorite color. She's had a difficult time since her mother died, and he'd do anything to make her happy.

While redecorating, Jessica found Lyle Carlton's old workbench in storage, along with the schematics for his various widgets and other inventions. Working for his own amusement rather than monetary gain, Lyle had never patented his work or shared the results outside his family. Jessica decides it's time the world was let in on Lyle's genius, and gets the required patents for the inventions, and starts producing them quantity for sale to the public.

Lyle's notes also mentioned the dangers of ass on fire. 

Talfryn comes home from work with a surprise for Jessica. For one, he's been promoted.

More importantly, he's bought her a ring, and asks her to marry him. Jessica is thrilled to accept his proposal.

"My Dad will want a huge wedding party. On Saturday," Talfryn says.

Challenge Notes:
Generation 10! It feels great to be near the end.
Archer achieved all his goals (well, still waiting for Dylan to grow up to YA) and now that Talfryn has taken over, he is no longer required to throw a weekly party. But we'll have the wedding party, anyway.
Archer achieved his LTW to be a Super Spy. Meghan's original LTW was something career related, so I used her happiness points to buy her the Surrounded by Family LTW, which was fulfilled when Dylan became a teen.
Talfryn is employed in the Education career, and Jessica has taken on inventing. Her original LTW was to be an astronaut, so as soon as she got the 10k points I changed that to Tinkerer (max handiness and logic). Because this generations goals if Fulfilled, I wasn't happy until I got her a LTW she could actually do.
I might change her traits up a little, too, when she gets the points. She doesn't have any really bad traits. She's Good, Handy, Heavy Sleeper, Ambitious and Vegetarian. I'm worried about Ambitious because she doesn't have a regular career and the skill careers get harder to advance in in the higher levels. Also, not keen on Vegetarian. I am a vegetarian myself, so, nothing against vegetarianism, but my problem is not knowing what foods cooked by non-vegetarian Sims are going to be 'meaty'.  I mean, obviously, cheesesteak, but I get tripped up by things like spaghetti. Even when I was a meat eater, my spaghetti normally wasn't in meat sauce, so I've frequently had my vegetarian Sims get sick on stealth meat spaghetti. It doesn't help that the game assumes meat in recipes that don't require meat (like spaghetti, which only require tomato).  The fridge is still full of foods prepared by Violet, and Archer has also done his share of cooking. I could have Jessica prepare her own vegetarian meals, but I'm concentrating on her LTW skills and her career, so she's been eating leftover salad and grilled cheese. Happily, there are no stealth bacon bits in the salad, lol.
Talfryn's LTW is Renaissance Sim, to max three skills. His job requires Logic and Charisma, and he has the Artistic trait, so he'll be going for Logic, Charisma and Painting for his LTW.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chapter 40: Eight Minus Four

Ewan worries about Drew, who still faints every time he sees him.

Death comes for Briar Rose right after she finishes chatting with her vampire grandfather, Beau.

Grim is apparently insane, having a tendency to choke himself. 

Brair Rose and Drew are laid to rest together. His grave is decorated with his Hugo award, and hers with a meteorite, commemorating the story that launched her journalistic career, about the meteor that fell on Twinbrook.

Like her great-grandfather Lyle, Carys likes to play with fire.

Yes, it does burn, but that doesn't stop her from sticking her hand in the fireplace.

Dylan becomes a toddler, with Drew's hair and eye color.

Friday night is triple date night at the Red Rendezvous, Emery and Caitlin, Bronwyn and Alvin and Carys and Kristian. Though she's been going steady with Emery for quite some time now, Caitlin still has problems with her former fling Alvin's relationship with Bronwyn.

That problem persists through the Saturday birthday party for Talfryn.

Only one cake for this birthday party.

Talfryn becomes a teen.

Kristian and Carys gossip about Caitlin's overreaction to Bronwyn and Alvin. Even though she's right there.

Caitlin obviously has issues. Kristian is so glad he never dated her.

After the party is over, the four Carlton teens hang out in the hot tub together.

Talfryn starts dating his childhood friend Jessica Smith-Jones.

Dylan's birthday again goes uncelebrated.

Emery has a birthday, too, becoming a young adult. He gets a job in the medical career, buys a house and marries Caitlin.

Dylan's first best friend is Jaimey Merrick, Griffin and Sommer's daughter. She also inherited Drew's hair.

Emery never got his own birthday parties, but he still has to come to his younger siblings' Saturday birthday party.

Bronwyn's boyfriend Alvin already had his birthday and is a young adult. He's started a career in politics, but is also very devoted to his sculpting hobby. So devoted that he never puts down his chisel.

Bronwyn is first to the cake.

Bronwyn becomes a young adult. Her goal is to be an Illustrious Author. Right after the party, she moves in with Alvin, and they marry a few days later.

Carys gets her cake next.

Carys' dream is to be a Creature-Robot Cross Breeder. Like her sister, she moves in with her boyfriend Kristian after the party, and then marries him a few days later. 

The Carlton house, once full to capacity, is now down to just Archer and Meghan and their two youngest children.

Challenge Notes:
Micromanaging eight Sims in the house is hard work! I know some people use mods to have more than eight, but bleh, I don't like having more than five if I can avoid it. So it's great to have the household down to a more manageable size.  But I miss Bronwyn and Carys. Especially Carys. If were choosing my heirs, she'd be the one I chose.

Talfryn's girlfriend Jessica is actually related to the family. She's Lyle's brother Willard's granddaughter. She's also a descendant of Chad Kindle, like Meghan. But I've gone past the point of caring about inbreeding in this legacy. She's the only female teen in a decent age range for Talfryn, and they are distant enough relations for the game to allow romance.
As the heir, Talfryn has taken over the master suite recently occupied by Briar and DRew. His favorite color is Sea Foam, so it's all been repainted.

Archer will be an elder in a couple of days. Meghan is about six days younger than he is. The last party he will have to throw will be Talfryn's birthday. Then, when Talfryn's generation takes over, the partier goal and generation will be officialy finished. (Except for the raising 5 kids, which will officially end when Dylan becomes a YA. But it's not like I have to do anything else for generation 9)