Pondathon: New Side Quest Available – Cuddle’s Conundrum!

Pondathon: Readathon side-quest available!

New to the Pondathon’s story?
Read this prologue first
 or read the previous chapter.

The battle for the Pond rages on. But as the fight stretches into day and night, so does the destruction and chaos.

From what Cuddle the Otter can overhear from the cooking fires, the fight has been steady and the Pond friends are slowly getting the upper hand. While Cuddle is relieved that the fight is going well, she cannot help but worry.

Tasked with caring for the forest sprites, feeding them and making sure that they have everything that they need to feel safe and comfortable, Cuddle knows better than anyone the impact the fighting has had on those who had no choice but to escape. Because the forest, the sprites say with their sad bell-like language, is being destroyed. Intent on possessing the Pond’s power, the darkness has consumed and devoured other sites of magic to fuel its relentless assault on the Pond.

Cuddle the otter, stirring a big pot of mushroom soupCuddle contemplates all of this whilst she cooks food for the Pond friends. What do you do, if fighting can bring more suffering? What do you do, in the face of such unforgiving evil that has no care for anything except for more power? But the Pond cannot simply just not fight either – the Pond friends depend on us and there are friends that they have to protect.

Moreover, Cuddle has a big problem – there are more sprites coming into the Pond than she has the hands and ability to cook for everyone without a few growing hungry as they wait. And how can she leave a few forest sprites without food when they are hungry and – more worryingly – scared? Scared of the uncertainty of their futures and what may happen to them? And so she makes her famous mushroom soup and talks to them – so they may feel warm and safe, even just for a little while.

Moreover, Cuddle hasn’t told anyone, but she is scared. Fighting or conflict was never her forte – it terrifies her and paralyses her. So, she focuses on helping and caring and hoping – the simplest kind of heart-magic that leaves less room for fear.

This is what she hopes for when she serves her mushroom soup. Because it’s not just a soup that warms the belly, it’s also a promise – that you will be looked after and that we care and that you are safe.


You are on your way back from an errand, ready to return to the fray, when you see Cuddle wave you over. She’s midway stirring five big pots of the soup that she made for you awhile back when you were feeling down.

Cuddle giving you the thumbs up and holding up a list of things she needs.“I need your help! What would Xiaolong call it? Oh, a quest!” There’s a twinkle in her eye. “It won’t take long – just a very quick errand but it’ll be a big help.”

You ask her what she needs help with. She looks like she trying to multitask many things at once, which she does so with ease. You wonder what she needs help with.

“Great!” she cheers, giving you the thumbs up. She pulls a list from under her pajama hat. “I need several things but you don’t need to do all of them. Even one would make a difference!”

Read the next chapter. →

What is the Pondathon?

You’ve received a quest!

Cuddle needs your help! Cuddle is casting her best heart-magic spells, but we all know that the best heart-magic spells are cast when someone helps you out. Cuddle has given you a list of things that she needs and if you can help out with just one thing, she would be so grateful!

Quest expires on: 3rd February 2020, 9:00PM NZT [?] quest has now ended


  • Recipe for Compassion: A mushroom in a sparkly heart.For every 10 pages that you read, you gain 2 points – and you successfully collect firewood to keep the cooking pots going! [Repeatable]
  • Post (blog post, tweet, or Instagram post; using the #Pondathon hashtag and tagging @artfromafriend [so she can keep track!]) or tweet about your current read for the Pondathon. You gain 5 points – and successfully add love and kindness to Cuddle’s mushroom soup.
  • Bonus: Do something kind for one person who is not yourself AND do something kind for yourself to earn the quest reward item: Recipe for Compassion!

Save or Submit Your Progress!

7 thoughts on “Pondathon: New Side Quest Available – Cuddle’s Conundrum!

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