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Puzzling Piles

by daymarket


Whenever the word ‘petpet’ is mentioned, I’m sure most folks think about ungrateful little balls of fur like the kadoatie. Or the meepit. Or the yooyu. (Although, I have to say yooyus are pretty awesome. Unlike kads or meepits. *shifty eyes*)

However, there is one particular petpet that should be on this list but isn’t, which is rather odd because of the sheer... existence... factor of this petpet. I am talking of no other than the soot petpet, full name Pile of Soot.

The only other petpet that I think can match the wowness of this petpet would be the pet rock, but let’s face it—pet rocks are rocks. Seriously, there’s no way around that—they’re rocks! Piles of Soot, on the other hand, are so obviously much more than just piles of soot because they’ve got EYES. Big, blinky eyes that stare at you mildly and blink every once in a while.

Recently, my Acara, Llinias, acquired one of these amazing little petpets via the petpet lab ray. After a few minutes of befuddled staring and going, “Where did he go?”, we finally located the former ghost Warf in a little pile on the ground, big eyes staring at us as if asking, “What took you so long?” The mad kookith that runs the lab ray was so kind as to give us a little plastic bag to collect our newly acquired Pile of Soot before kicking us out of his laboratory.

The following information below on Piles of Soot is compiled by Llinias, who has spent countless hours studying the Pile of Soot. As the self-proclaimed Soot Master, she kindly allowed me to write this introduction, but insisted on doing all the nitty-gritty stuff herself. *rolls eyes*



Hi, everybody, Llinias here! *waves* Now, before we get started, I just want to say that Piles of Soot (PoS) are unique, wonderful petpets that have their own distinct personalities. Don’t think just because they’ve got no mouth or nose (or arms or legs or much anything else for that matter) that they’re all the same.

With my trusty Chimney (that’s my PoS’s name, in case you didn’t get it) at my side, I set out to discover all I could about these amazing petpets. Below are some of the more frequently asked comments, questions, and general exclamations that pile up around PoSes. No pun intended.

1. How do I get one? Where do they come from?

Before we get into the fun stuff, let’s talk about just WHERE they come from. Now, there’s only one known way to get a PoS, and that’s by the petpet lab ray. And yes, that means that YOU CAN’T BUY THEM IN SHOPS.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that surely adds some more to the wow factor of this petpet, doesn’t it? They don’t exist naturally in Neopia; they mysteriously wink into life by the BZAAAP of the petpet lab ray.

I’ve heard a lot of weird theories like they’re trying to take over Neopia or are the cremated remains of petpets come back to haunt us or something. *shrugs* Chimney gave me something about the electromagnetic rays of the lab ray combined with the humidity of the air twisted the electrons or protons or something of a normal petpet, dissolving them into their original carbon-based molecules in a configuration similar to soot.

Or something like that. Yeah.

2. So…what IS a Pile of Soot?

Two things make up a PoS: soot (obviously), and the Eyes. (More on the eyes later.) The soot seems to be your average, chimney-style soot, although the soot produced by coal matches the shade of your newly-zapped PoS the closest. (After a while, though, as you ‘feed’ your PoS, they start to take on the shade of the color soot that you feed them.)

3. The eyes are so…0_0

The eyes are so spectacular they deserve an entire section all to themselves, really. They are big. Like, really really really big. It turns out that PoSes do most of their communication with their eyes, as in different blinking speeds or the directions of their gazes.

As a rule of thumb, the faster the PoS blinks, the madder they are. And you do not want a PoS mad at you, in the same way that you don’t want a snot or jelly pet mad at you. Soot in your fur is SO uncomfortable. Really.

4. Should I groom them?

If you like, you can run your fingers through the soot, picking out any large bits of trash they might have picked up somehow. Don’t touch the eyes, though—they can be a bit snippy if you poke one of the eyes accidentally.

If you’re lucky, they might start to purr after a while! *awww* Well, okay, strictly speaking, they don’t purr. They don’t have lungs or vocal cords, after all. But they vibrate slightly against your fingers. It’s quite soothing, really.

5. So, um, what do I feed them? Do they eat at all?

While PoSes don’t eat, per se, they tend to lose bits of themselves over time due to wind, bumpy surfaces, or being spilled on the ground without somebody sweeping them back up. So, it’s wise to add to your PoS a tablespoon of freshly-made soot from your chimney every two days.

If you don’t do this, you might find that your PoS gets rather smaller over time, until it gets fed up and invades all your clothes, leaving you scrambling for the washing machine. *winces*

6. Do they walk? I see no feet.

They... slither. Slide. Crawl. Um. Well, there’s no real way to describe how they walk. They kind of... um... well, they get around. Somehow. Although I have to add that they much prefer if you carry them in a plastic bag. *nods*

7. So… what can I do with them?

What do you do with any other petpet? You play with them! They don’t seem to need to breathe, anyway, so you can tie them up in a little baggie and throw them around. (They like that, so don’t worry. Really!) Or, if you lay them on a flat surface, they’ll inch around, leaving small lines of soot behind them as markings. You can play tic-tac-toe with them, or hangman, or any of a dozen silly games. Also, they make for spectacular (if slow) conversation—Chimney can write ten words a minute, using his soot as ink. PoSes are smart—don’t let the docile blinkiness of their eyes fool you.

Seriously, guys—don’t be prejudiced against these luffly PoSes. They’re really fun to play with, really smart, and (after a while) really cute if you look at them long enough.

8. Cute? Jeez, Llinias, they all look EXACTLY THE SAME.

No, they don’t! Maybe to the amateur they do, but as a long-time owner of a PoS, I can instantly identify Chimney out a dozen others. It must be the eyes or something, or the number of eyelashes. See? That’s him right there! *points*

Chimney: … *blinks*

Gooood Chimney. *pat pat* Anyway, if that doesn’t work, a few minutes of conversation with a PoS will sort you out. Like I said, they’re unique—they know who they are, and some witty conversation does wonders for PoS identification.

9. So if I want to raise a PoS, what do I need?

Basic equipment needed: one plastic baggie, four tablespoons of soot to start off with, and a grooming brush. For yourself, not the PoS. As wonderful as these petpets are, they can’t help leaving a thin film of soot behind wherever they go. It’s part of the charm.

Piles of Soot are wonderful, unique petpets that everybody should own (but they can’t, sadly, because of their rather chancy origins—that PPLR can take FOREVER to zap a PoS, don’t ya think?) In any case, you’re a bit more informed on the ins and outs of PoS, so you are now ready to take care of one of these luffly petpets!

~Llinias, Soot Master, and Chimney!

Daymarket's Note: Comments, etc. are much appreciated. ^^

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