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.

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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 a roaring, horrible 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.

Buttercups greeting visitors.

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).

Yep. Cringeworthy Photoshop.

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?

Zan Feng panda momma holds up a stick. Clothes handmade by myself (first ever, and brocade doesn't play nice)Fun photoshopping. Feng at left, Jing at right, and Nara approaching.

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...