Birth and Early Life
Guides and Seekers are born via magic, and thus are biologically sexless, although it is common to see some with more distinctively feminine/masculine features. Many Guides and Seekers do identify as certain genders, but it is up to the specific Guide/Seeker to decide.
Guides start their life off in the Grove of Life, after being birthed from the Tree of Life nearby. They are very social, and love to live in groups! Usually, an older Guide will carve out several hollow chambers in one of the trees, and many younger and newborn Guides will flock to the chambers and set up a home there! There are always open and empty chambers, as Guides are adventurous travelers, never settling down in one place for too long.
Seekers are created all along the coast of the River of Life. Upon being born, they will almost immediately go look for a cave nearby and dig a hole in the ground, making it their home. Seekers rarely come out, only to stretch their legs and bask in the sun for a while. A song of a Guide is usually enough to draw a Seeker out of hiding however, as they love music.
Guides and Seekers are able to digest most anything, including human foods. However, those kinds of meals are only found in the City of Lights, and do not really supply them with much nutrients. They do have taste buds though, which is why they enjoy them. Guides and Seekers get most of their nutrients from sunlight, but can supplement that by eating leaves, and yes, chewing on mineral rock. Rock dumplings are a favorite among younger Guides and Seekers. Is it "cannibalism"? Hopefully not. Guides and Seekers can go without food for months, and with enough sunlight, years.
Guides will start leaving the Grove of Life to look for a Seeker companion as young as 7 years old, usually when their natural desire for adventure overtakes their need for security. They usually head towards the Stone Village or the Meeting Grounds, as that is where the largest congregation of un-bonded Seekers tend to be.
The Bonding process between and Guide and a Seeker is very simple. Basically, If a Guide and Seeker decide they wish to travel together for the rest of the foreseeable future, they will form a magical bond! It’s just that simple. There is no special ritual or ceremony necessary, although there certainly CAN be. A bond between a Guide and a Seeker can be romantic, or it can merely be a very strong friendship! There is no defining what a bond should be. However, once bonded, the two will be forever drawn to each other, and will rely on and yearn for each other's company for the rest of their lives.
Although at first glance, it is hard to tell whether a Guide and Seeker are bonded, there are signs if observed closely. Every time a bonded Guide touches their Seeker, for a brief moment, the eyes and fingerpads of said Seeker will sync up with the throat color of the Guide. Similarily, if a Seeker touches their Guide, the throat color of said Guide will sync up with the eye and fingerpad color of the Seeker. This occurrence is brief and looks like a quick ripple of color. Apart from that small visual sign, as long as the two are in physical contact, the Seeker will be able to see the world through the eyes of their Guide. Yes, that means that even with the ability to see, a Seeker will still only be able to see the face of their Guide through reflections.
Although less common, Guides and Seekers are able to bond with multiple Guides/Seekers at one time. However, rather than different bonds, it is more like an extension of one bond. If one of the bonded dies an unnatural death, everyone will mourn, and the process of turning into a Forgotten will begin for all participants of the bond. Bonding simultaneously with multiple Guides/Seekers is generally more dangerous and certainly more unusual, but those who do seem to be perfectly happy with their circumstances.
Exploration, Housing, and the City of Lights
Upon bonding, Guides and Seekers will usually leave the safety of the island center in favor of going north, towards the well-known City of Lights. A few will head west to explore Paradise Oasis, or east for the mysterious Amethyst Isle. Those who particularly love to collect and create creatures might find it tempting to set up a ranch in the open plains, or a conservatory in the Southern Forest.
Regardless, at some point in their lives, Guides and Seekers alike will find themselves in the City of Lights. The city was set up after a few brave Guides and Seekers traveled outside of their island and discovered that there were more realms and species outside of the world they knew. After spending time in these strange lands, they came back and built the city, heavily inspired by what they learned and saw during their time away. The Rocky Port was also established to encourage other Guides and Seekers to travel and learn new things! The city continues to grow and evolve, with new buildings and shops being built and opened. The city contains many things that are not always available to Guides and Seekers living near the Tree of Life, although many do travel back and forth between the two places. These things include food from other realms, entertainment centers, shopping malls, steel buildings, electricity, and many other things found in your typical urban center.
There are several forms of housing in the City of Lights, the most common being tall apartment buildings, which is a favorite among bonded Guides and Seekers. Another common form of housing are giant domed greenhouses with large trees and stone huts, mimicking the more traditional Guide and Seeker home. Finally, Guides and Seekers with a lot of pets, or even a family with children tend to like living in private domed greenhouses over the smaller confines of an apartment.
The City of Lights houses many tourists, and even a few foreigners who decide to permanently live in the island of Guide and Seek. The Rocky Port is open at all hours of the day, and one can easily travel across the sea.
Clothing and Fashion
Clothing and fashion became a popular thing soon after the establishment of the city. The explorers adopted this concept after meeting some particularly well-dressed species. Guides especially became little fashionistas and love to dress up and express themselves through clothes! Seekers on the other hand, prefer to dress simply, as the carvings on their head and shoulders make it hard to find well-fitting clothes. This doesn’t stop some of them from dressing fancy however! Most of the time, Guides are the ones to come up with clothing ideas, as their heads are full of creative and unique ideas. Seekers, naturally gifted with the ability to craft, will usually be the ones who fabricate their Guides’ vision. A lot of clothes worn by Guides and Seekers are homemade, but it isn’t unusual to see clothing stores all over the city. The majority of Guides and Seekers living in and around the City of Lights are clothed, whereas Guides and Seekers living near the Tree of life are often not.
Amethyst Isle and Synthetic Guides and Seekers
The emergence of Synthetic Guides and Seekers began soon after the first exploration of the Amethyst Isle. This Isle radiates a strange and unexplained magical energy. Many Pebblings (as well as other creatures) that wander onto the isle usually come out looking… different. The magic of the Isle also affects Guides and Seekers, but less so, as a brief stay on the Isle does not affect them. Guides and Seekers who spend a prolonged amount of time on the Isle however, do change in appearance, and these Guides and Seekers became known as “Synthetic”.
Some curious and eccentric Guides and Seekers found a way to harvest the magic on the Isle, which they made into Synthetic potions. These potions are sold in the black market, and are highly valuable.
The Hissing Rift and The Forgotten Isle
There exist two small islands off the coast of the mainland which are generally off limits to your average Guide and Seeker. They are used to scare young ones, and have a negative reputation compared to the general tranquility of the mainland.
The Hissing Rift was rumored to once be a very safe, peaceful place, but a mysterious and evil force split the island in two. While one side was frozen over, the other blazed and simmered with heat. Recently, there have been rumors that several synthetic Guides and Seekers, who have gained immunity to these extreme environments, have made their homes there. The islands are named because if one gets close, a sinister hissing can be heard, most likely from the heat.
The Forgotten Isle is shrouded in mystery. No one has been there and returned to tell of their adventures. It is rumored to be the place where forgotten Guides and Seekers go to die. On a clear day, the isle can be seen, always covered in a thick layer of grey clouds.
A Mysterious Portal
The portal, created by Don Rocko incorporated by unknown means, is a gateway to the Legendary Realm! The power of the portal is temporary, and will only allow a maximum of three days time on any realm at any given time. Currently you must sign up beforehand to reserve a spot to visit to guard against the influx of visitors at one time (this is mainly an issue for legendaries crossing over rather than the other way round.
Injury, Illness, Unnatural death, and the Forgotten
Unfortunately, Guides and Seekers can be injured, or less commonly, sick. Guides can easily get hurt, as they are very fragile. Seekers on the other hand, are very very tough, and can fall off a cliff without getting scratched. However, it is still possible to hurt them if enough force is applied.
Guides and Seekers do not have blood. Guides are powered by a magical aura (which can be seen through the clear skin around their throats). If cut or injured, that is what they will “bleed”. Similarly, Seekers are powered by the magical water inside them and will “bleed” that water if cut. They will die if all their water leaks out. Other than that, both Guides and Seekers are susceptible to most of the same kind of injuries humans and other species get and can use the same methods to heal those injuries.
Illnesses are extremely uncommon among Guides and Seekers, and they are immune to almost all human illnesses. Seekers especially seem to not get sick – ever. Guides on the other hand, sometimes do. The majority of illnesses Guides suffer from are psychological. If a Guide is damaged too much emotionally, it will affect their magic negatively.
Of course, there is the existence of Forgotten Guides and Seekers. One can consider that an illness, the most serious of them all. Although considered incurable, there have been instances of Guides and Seekers in the process of turning into a Forgotten being healed through a strong friendship with a new Guide/Seeker. Cases where a new bond is formed however, do not currently exist.
Old Age and Natural Death
Guides and Seekers live a long life. The average lifespan for each is around 300 years old, although synthetic Guides and Seekers have shorter lifespans, around 150 years. Guides reach their full size (around 2 feet tall) as early as 12 years old, while Seekers never stop growing (up to 12 feet in height).
Unlike a lot of other species, older Guides and Seekers do not regress physically, and keep their strength and energy even up to the day they die. Some Guides and Seekers will display worn wings or skin, and may have greying hair, but not all.
At around a year or two before their death, a Guide and Seeker will hear the “calling” and will be inexplicably drawn back to their birthplace. No matter where they are in the world, they will make their way back home. They will then be enveloped by the branches of the Tree of Life or engulfed in the waves of the River of Life, and their soul and life energy will be used to create new Guides and Seekers. It is a peaceful end, and an exciting beginning for a new Guide or Seeker!
Guides and Seekers are heavily themed after nature, and along with it, the everlasting cycle of life and creation. They love and care for all forms of life, and try to spread the message that everything is interconnected. If you take care of the land, in extension, you are taking care of yourself and everyone around you.
Legend has it that the island was once a large sea serpent, grieving over the death of her stillborn baby. In grief and sorrow, she curled up around the body of her baby and died of a broken heart. The area where her supposed heart is located is the Cursed Lagoon, a swirling mass of forever dark waters.
At the beginning of the island's rise from the ocean, it became home to a few stranded and shipwrecked Guide and Seeker explorers and pirates. Some decided to settle down there, becoming some of the very first inhabitants! Eventually, these explorers and pirates ventured into the center of the island and discovered the Tidetouched tree and in extension Tidetouched Guides and Seekers. Although there was some tension at first, the two groups eventually sorted their differences out and currently live in peace! The Tidetouched offered their new friends some water from their magical lagoon, which can turn a guide/seeker into one of their own. Some guides and seekers happily drank the water, growing scales and fins, whereas others decided to stay on land to build settlements on the beautiful island.
There are two main types of housing on Serpent's Bluff. Domed conservatories and greenhouses are common forms on on-land housing, and the Coast city is affectionately nicknamed the city of glass for their numerous domed community greenhouses. Then there are underwater houses for Tidetouched Guides and Seekers. In the Tidetouched Lagoon, where the largest concentration of them live, most live in hollowed rooms carved from the vast expanse of the Tidetouched tree's roots. Others have ventured farther out, living in underwater glass conservatories connected to the on land ones via multiple underwater tunnel systems.
After several years of building settlements and populating various parts of the island, the residents of Serpent's Bluff have decided to open up the island to mainlanders! They really want to share the lovely paradise their ancestors discovered with as many Guides and Seekers as possible. The only word of warning they give to visitors is to try and avoid the far west of the island, namely the Bluffwoods and Cursed Lagoon. Many have gone there, only to never return...
And so that is the myth of the Windward Islets, home to the Guide and Seek windswept subspecies. Who knows of its accuracy?
The Windward Islets are a group of small islands, the biggest of them being only the size of the Lonely Pebbling, which are located above the Forgotten Isles, suspended in the air by a strong, magical current. A new, smaller current connects the Islets to the Lonely Pebbling, and serves as a path for mainland GnS to visit, and vice versa.