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My entry for the Summer Joust 2022 "12 x 12 Vignette" category! In the coastal waters of northwest Avalonia lie dense forests of giant kelp. Fueled by long daylight hours and cold, nutrient-rich waters cycling in from the north, they provide a bountiful ecosystem supporting all forms of life, from giant stingrays to diminutive hermit crabs. The forests are also home to large populations of merfolk, who harvest the kelp for food, garments, medicine, and much more. Merfolk communities will often have designated “kelp harvesters” (a prestigious position due to its importance), who go through the forests with ivory sickles. Other merfolk forage for clams. One such mermaid is Katalina, who has spotted a large one under a rocky outcrop. Excitedly reaching under, she fails to spot a lobster next to the clam – the crustacean will make sure that she pays for her carelessness! From left to right: Petra A kelp harvester with a love for the dark red algae that grows on the kelp forest's rocky terrain. It can be found in her wardrobe (such as her skirt and cuffs) and even in her hair! Some merfolk chafe at the “monotony” of harvesting kelp all day, but Petra actually enjoys it, as it gives her time to think and “unwind”. Plus, the prestige for holding such a valued position doesn't hurt! Katalina Young and headstrong, Katalina's recklessness has often gotten her into trouble with the village elders. They figured that assigning her to clam harvesting duties would teach her patience and keep her out of trouble – they were wrong! More Images: I finally found the time to post this to Eurobricks! I had a bad case of COVID during the end of the Summer Joust - thankfully, I had already completed the MOC, so I only had to photograph it! I've made a full, so I figured I would belt out a backstory for it! Background This MOC was inspired by the kelp forests that line the west coast of North America - particularly those off the coast of Southern California. I snorkeled amongst these kelp forests while on a school trip to Catalina Island (also the inspiration for the "Katalina" name). Most of the creatures in this MOC are inspired by the local wildlife, such as garibaldi (represented by the orange fish), hermit crabs, the giant pacific octopus, lobsters, various anemones/starfish, and stingrays. Katalina's accident with the lobster was actually inspired by an incident involving one of our snorkeling guides. We were night snorkeling, and our guide (seeing a lobster in a burrow) wanted to dive down, grab it, and bring it up to show it to us. As he was about to reach into the burrow, he noticed (at the last possible second) a scorpion fish next to the lobster! He quickly drew his hand away; had he not noticed it, he would have likely been "stung"! I was inspired to create the "ocean surface" when I saw Grant Davis's "Seaside" at Bricks Cascade 2022! This is the largest MOC I have ever posted online. I've mostly stuck to "figbarfs" in the past, but I'm trying to broaden my horizons. Creating it was a lot of fun, and it has inspired me to add even more to it. I have already created several more merfolk, and want to develop a village scene of some kind! This challenge was incredibly fun, with some great entries from everyone. As we continue into the "judging period", I wish everyone the best of luck! Previous MOCs: Cobold's Crusader's (REVAMP) Citizens of Historica Figbarf CDC2 CMF: socalbricks