I’ve Seen Some Azurians, I’ve Learned All About Them, and I’ve Lived to Tell the Tale.
Friends, Writer’s Room Members, Future Azurians,
Due to good behavior (and a promise to send one of the more reasonable Edokan officers a signed copy of Bored and Dangerous), I have been granted the rare opportunity to get online and write this letter — as well as see the outpouring of concern for my well being. It means so much to me to know that there are folks in the metaverse who care for me. I will never have enough words to express my appreciation.
I can’t help but feel naive, thinking back on what I first thought Azurbala would be, based purely on the invitation I received from Lady Vo. I imagined palm-filled villas and peaceful rivers. The Edokan Prison Camps are a grim and brutal place. I think some of the officers truly believe in making Azurbala a better place (and some are just doing their job, which I can appreciate)… but others clearly just like having power. I hope Lady Vo can help me get out of here — but I will have a lot of questions for her when I do leave.
No matter how strict the Edokan guards are, they can’t fully stop prisoner-to-prisoner communications. Through cracks in the walls of my cell, I have spoken to inmates who have been here for years. Some for decades. I have heard of only one documented escape from the Edokan prison camps, despite thousands who have tried. It was a young woman from The Sprawls — she goes by the name of Jet. Inside these walls, she is a legend. I wonder if her name has reached the ears of those on the outside as well…
In my cell, I must resort to simple pleasures to get me through the days. For example, you may have seen in a letter that I made an obstacle course for a fuzzy caterpillar in my cell. I wished the little fellow would go full Azurian Ninja Warrior. Instead he just crawled away. I’m not sure why, but that made me feel even lonelier. These days that’s just about all I feel. Loneliness. I often look at the picture of GoodBoy that I smuggled into my cell. My memories of him are all that bring me joy.
But I digress… You’re not reading this because you want to hear me lament about jail. You’re reading this because you want to know more about Azurbala. You’re here because you have heard, like so many others, that there is beauty and wonder in the Jungle Capitol far across the Metaverse. You too are enthralled by its lore and mystique. You’re just like me.
You’re here because you’re dying to know what the breakdown of the Azurian population looks like. Or as I used to say back at the Valet Stand: you’re here for some alpha, aren’t you?
Well, I’ve got news for you. No matter how bad prison can be, there are still silver linings to be found. Especially for a Valet who’s been trained to observe his surroundings with the keenest eye possible. As I’ve blended in, Azurbala has revealed itself to me.
You know that I was brought to Azurbala by Lady Vo who wants me to pen the legacy of House Calypso. But what I’ve come to realize within the Edokan Prison Camps is this… what is the legacy of one faction without context into the city that it inhabits?
Since I stepped off the boat in Azurbala, I observed what (and who) I’ve seen, taken notes, and compiled information on the Azurian traits unknown to the outside world. Now, I’ve seen even more Azurians since arriving at the prison camps.
I’ve seen Azurians of all sorts of Influence, Expression, and even some exceptionally rare ones. I know you don’t know what any of this means. Neither did I until other prisoners brought me up to speed one day during lunch.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about Azurians that really blew my mind:
They are multispecies. I originally didn’t believe it. How could I? In my travels throughout the metaverse, I had only seen populations made up of a single species. Of course there are Apes and Mutants. I’ve heard of Cats. I’ve heard of Goats. Even Lions. I had not heard of a multispecies universe that still came together to form a cohesive population. How would they do it in Azurbala?
In Azurbala, they call this Influence. I learned that Miros is the God of Biomimicry. When creating Azurians, the jungle was the muse and the Azurian body was the canvas. It is through Miros that the first Azurians became biologically influenced by various animals. Azurian is the race. All Azurians have similar head shape, body shape, and wear the same types of clothes. Where Azurians differ from one another is in their influence.
There are 8 base influences. There are 8 additional influences that are so rare, only 1 of each exists. I personally have not come across one yet, though I’ve heard about them all in the prison camps.
The 8 base influences that occupy Azurbala are:
- Spider Monkey
The way that you tell them apart is by their texture and facial features. Do they have fur? Skin? Scales? Feathers? A beak? A snout? A nose? An influence has similar texturing and features to the animal they were influenced by.
They say that among the 8 “one of one” influences are a Robot and an Alien, as well as other iconic Azurians. But of course I have never come across any of them. For this reason I can’t 100% confirm their existence.
I’ve also learned there is one layer deeper than just Influence that continues to distinguish Azurians from each other. It’s called Expression.
Are you with me so far? Azurian is the underlying species, Influence is one of the eight animals that each Azurian is influenced by.
So what the heck is Expression? That was my first question when some of my fellow prisoners started explaining Azurians to me.
There are six Expressions — some are more rare than others.
In Azurbala, ‘Expression’ is another way to say colorway. It’s the way the Marrow flows through Azurians’ bodies and in turn expresses itself visually. In Azurian DNA, their Expression sits below their Influence. Every expression is compatible with every Influence. Different Expressions result in different color schemes of an Azurian’s Influence (fur/skin/scales/eyes).
The 6 Azurians Expressions are:
- Base: The normal color that was intended for the Influence (IE: an Azurian with Elephant Influence and Base Expression would be the same color you’d expect to see an Elephant)
- Snow: A white/gray coloring
- Shadow: A charcoal/black coloring
- Rust: A rusted iron coloring
- Gold: A shiny gold coloring
- Shadewalker: Glowing Marrow patterns, glowing eyes
I know visuals would be helpful, and I’m trying my best to snap some photos of Azurians. I know you’re thinking “wen”, and the best I can say is, “as soon as I can.”
In the meantime, I’ll give you a few examples of how Influence and Expression work to help explain what all of this means:
- Rust Lizard: The facial features and scaly texturing are that of a Lizard, but the coloring is a rusted iron.
- Snow Bear: The facial features and fur texturing are that of a Bear, but the coloring is a white/gray
- Gold Peacock: The facial features and feather texturing are that of a Peacock, but the coloring is a shiny gold.
- Shadewalker Leopard: The facial features and fur are that of a Leopard, but the eyes and Marrow patternings are glowing.
I know you’ve heard Azurians dress well, but let me tell you it’s true.
In addition to learning all about Azurians’ physical DNA and genetic makeup, I was also able to get a crash course into Azurian fashion from my fellow inmates. I told them that I caught a glimpse of 4 outfits in the Syndicate and asked if there were any more pieces of clothing in Azurbala.
They laughed at me. “More? Than four? There are over 60 more. You’ve barely scratched the surface, and don’t get us started on headwear and accessories.”
They started rattling off names of clothing traits in Azurbala. Pink Puffer Coat, White Tee With Tattoo Sleeves, Basketball Jersey, Track Suit, Letterman Jacket, Turtleneck, and Tie Dye Hoodie. They mentioned the Pink Puffer Coat was even featured in Vogue! There were female traits too. Floral Crop Top, a Black power suit Jacket draped over the shoulders, and a few different feminine earrings. There were so many more. It was all a blur.
They began to go back and forth, bantering over headwear. I swore I heard them list more than 30. Cowboy Hats and Headphones to Trippy Baseball Caps and Beanies. They said there was a Valet hat, but I don’t believe it…
I was begging for more, but then bam an Edokan officer turned the corner. “Back to your cells,” he barked, “No fraternizing in the courtyard!” I was so disappointed. I wanted to learn more about this mysterious civilization.
“What else?” I begged.
They laughed again. “What else? Well tons,” they shouted as we headed back to our cells “There are different accessories that Azurians carry, plus their Backbone, their Bloodsound, their Eyes, and their Mouths… a near infinite set of possible combinations!”
I’ve got to go. More from me soon.