Character/NPC The Courting of Icaca, The Open-Minded Avian

Discussion in 'Screenshots' started by Jonesy, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Jonesy

    Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

    Not long ago, I began going through my teleporter bookmarks for previously-visited locations to convert into colonies. I found an old Hylotl castle on a fairly temperate planet, which I re-populated and partially restored to its former glory (the overgrown vines add character, after all). I found a half-destroyed cabin on a snowy world, which I repaired and built around to make a Glitch hamlet, complete with inn, blacksmith and crops. But I also happened across a small, abandoned cabin on a desert world, with a couple of Avian ruins nearby. It was a very small house; basically a dining room and porch-turned-storage-area. But I expanded it room by room, going as far as hollowing out the roof. In the end, I had a decent home with an entry hall, a dining room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a greenhouse on the ground floor, while the attic held a bedroom and storeroom. The perfect romantic getaway.

    Romance has always been a common suggestion for Starbound, and one that never got added. After all, randomly-generated NPCs (be they villagers, colonists or crew members) have some good quotes and moods, but not a whole lot of uniqueness. However, for some time now, I've noticed that Avian NPC dialogue occasionally verges on the flirtatious(or at least it did in previous versions; looking at the wiki, it's a little more toned down and platonic now). This led to some headcanon about Avians having some sort of infatuation with other species, especially the Grounded. I even did a fanfic based on the idea of the Grounded wanting to 'fly away' with a member of another species. So, with a nice little house awaiting an occupant, I was determined to see if a little imagination and emergence could fill in the gaps of Starbound's lacking romance.

    Since I didn't have enough racial furniture, it took some trial-and-error until I got a female Avian. Icaca was quick to make herself at home, and went all dandere not long after. Grappling with her feelings while hiding in the storeroom is one thing, but needing a cold shower after talking to me really took the cake.

    Avian Romance 1.jpg
    Avian Romance 2.jpg

    As you might have noticed, due to the way the house it set up (with the bedroom technically being a part of the kitchen), Icaca is a chef. I kind of like this, as it not only provides me with merchant services (she sells Ocean Salsa!), but it gives her something to do while I'm away. Especially when there's a greenhouse and teleporter at her disposal, not to mention the suspicious number of Hylotl foodstuffs she has for sale. Still, everyone has things they're passionate about, even if they can get a little too attached.

    Avian Romance 4.jpg

    Avian Romance 6.jpg
    Avian Romance 7.jpg

    Like any tenant, Icaca has offered me a few quests over time. Mostly combat-based ones about killing monsters or hostile characters, as opposed to the stock-expansion ones I've seen from other merchants. Still, I'm happy to do them, if it keeps my love safe.

    Avian Romance 3.jpg
    She appreciates it when I complete them, of course. There's always a reward as well, but I like to think love is its own reward.

    Avian Romance 11.jpg
    So, while Starbound may not have a formal romance system, the right NPC quotes and moods at the right time can make all the difference. I'll stay on the lookout for new moments that arise, but I'm pretty satisfied with what I've seen already. It just goes to show that in a universe as vast and sparsely-inhabited as Starbound's, species is no barrier to love. You just need to be a little open minded.

    Avian Romance 10.jpg

    Update 1: Things got real today.

    First, Icaca said we should meet new people, and gave me a quest to build a house for a new colonist.

    Avian Romance 12.jpg
    Easy enough, I thought. Having some left over materials from an earlier Avian-themed project, I built a small house for a likeminded Avian chef to keep her company.

    Avian Romance 13.jpg

    But later, this happened.

    Avian Romance 14.jpg
    Brutal. She's dating someone else, and only breaks it to me when asking me to save his sorry butt.

    But I'm not the kind of man who'd turn down a job like this over petty emotions. Protectors save people. So I set out and brought this Tlih character back without incident, whereupon he made himself at home, leaving me with my petty reward.

    Avian Romance 15.jpg

    Now, biologically speaking, interbreeding between an Apex and Avian should be impossible short of genetic engineering. So, perhaps it's possible that this is the start of a polyandric relationship with Tlih being Icaca's breeding partner, and me being being an emotionally-supportive boy toy. Tlih himself has been very polite to me since saving him, so perhaps this isn't the end of my relationship with Icaca. It's possible that it's just taken a different form, thanks to our inability to reproduce. And if Avians are indeed comfortable having an interspecies romance on top of a traditional one with their own kind, perhaps that's an indication of some level of polyamory within their society.

    That, or I've been friendzoned. Again.

    Whatever the case, I'll provide updates as the situation develops.

    Update 2: Things have taken another interesting turn.

    It quickly became clear that my suspicions were correct; Icaca still loves me.

    Avian Romance 16.jpg
    She also loves Tlih.

    Avian Romance 17.jpg
    But that's not to say Tlih and I don't get along. He approached me with a request to rescue his friend.

    Avian Romance 18.jpg

    Which, sadly, I failed to do. She couldn't keep up, yet decided she wouldn't teleport to me like most other escorted NPCs. I don't know if she fell too far behind and the quest failed as a result, or if she was attacked by a mob and had to flee (the quest failure notification mentions that she had to teleport elsewhere).

    But there were quickly bigger things on my mind, as Icaca drops this bombshell.

    Avian Romance 19.jpg

    I actually had to look up what "playing the field" means, which is apparently when someone dates a number of other people, without the intention of a serious relationship.

    Well... that would explain why she'd be dating Tlih. And it does confirm my suspicions about being little more than a boy toy to her.

    But I suppose I can't blame her. Evidently, she's got her own issues to sort out at the moment.

    Avian Romance 20.jpg

    This experiment gets more bizarrely dramatic by the day.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  2. Witch Cat

    Witch Cat Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Aww, what an adorable love story!
    butt 4 real doe how was that birb puss puss???
  3. Jonesy

    Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

    We encourage people to keep things PG-13 on the forums, so I don't know if it's a good idea to discuss Avian reproductive biology.
    Sylxeria and The Squid like this.
  4. BlueShard

    BlueShard Giant Laser Beams

    The fluency with which you deflected admirable skill.

    There are a lot of things in Starbound that just...add a little more to the play.
    Sylxeria and Jonesy like this.
  5. Witch Cat

    Witch Cat Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    You misunderstand me, I simply wanted to know how the Avian treats her cats!
  6. Jonesy

    Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

    Updated with a dramatic turn of events.
    The Squid likes this.
  7. Witch Cat

    Witch Cat Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Is Jonsey's idea of his perfect relationship with Icaca nothing but a dream? Will this new man steal his precious from him? Is this a love triangle, or a love battle? Will the love last, and will Jonesy seek revenge if it fails? Find out next time on...

    Sylxeria, The Squid and Jonesy like this.
  8. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    Well, considering they have so many statues of Grounded species in their tombs, it isn't too far-fetched to say that Avians look like they oftentimes get attached to such people.

    In fact, IIRC, some bit of lore somewhere openly states that some Avians believe that burying dead Grounded in tombs might give them some sort of access to an afterlife. I think you need to BE an Avian and scan some of the objects (esp the other races' masks/statues/etc) to find this out.
  9. The Squid

    The Squid Oxygen Tank

    Damn... Good luck man. That's pretty rough.

    ^might be relevant
    Jonesy likes this.
  10. Jonesy

    Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

    Yet another update, with a revelation confirming my thoughts.
    The Squid likes this.
  11. Witch Cat

    Witch Cat Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I'm sitting here with a bucket of Drama Popcorn™ watching this unfold as I wonder why this isn't a fully fledged TV show already.
  12. Mariel141

    Mariel141 Subatomic Cosmonaut

    *steals some drama popcorn* What new twists shall arise?
    Jonesy likes this.
  13. Jonesy

    Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

    I stopped taking screenshots after a while, but I'll try and scrape together one last update at some point.
    The Squid likes this.

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