Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 2 - Part 2 - Clay at Last!

No! No! No! I shrank in my own misery as I tried in vain to dig into the clay. It was on a slope and my skill at digging was too low to obtain it. Turning in utter frustration and with a fevered sweat forming on my brow, I searched to find some piece of Wurm that was flat - any piece, I didn't care where! I found a fence with one section torn down. Beyond it was a once protected meadow. I surmised that it was an old place, undeeded, and long abandoned. I shoveled a few loads of dirt, transporting them and dumping them onto the clay - yes, on the clay! Doing this at the lowest corner of the clay tile raised the clay a bit on that corner, making the tile more level. Then I had a better idea. My skill in digging was only 1.0 meaning that I could only dig a maximum of 3 slope (3 times my level). I had to find a flat tile, dig a corner, drop the dirt back into the same spot, and dig it again. In this way the tile would remain flat until my skill was good enough to get the clay I needed. I estimated the clay slope to be around 15. That meant my skill in digging had to be at least 5. I set my goal for 6 and shoveled for quite a while, reaching 6 just before dark. Finally, I was able to obtain clay, but now my precious shovel had almost 60 percent damage and it couldn't be repaired. Clearly, I needed to craft some real tools as soon as possible. But for now it was good enough for my needs.

My mind raced with decisions on which task to accomplish next. It was now dark and the frogs were croaking frantically along the shore. I wanted a jar for water and a bowl for cooking, so that became my next goals. Taking some of the clay into my hands, I fashioned 3 jars and 3 bowls.

Remembering those broken shafts, I knew I had wood scrap. I combined them and using my knife, I created a piece of kindling. Rubbing the kindling and the scraps together would allow me to make a campfire using friction. I would not use the flint and steel. But what I would need was a log for fuel. Some trees produce just one log, and the shovel can be used to chop it down. Before I lit the campfire, I need such a log.

Using the shovel, I obtained two pine logs from young pine trees. In practice, one should really not cut down trees that are young. The aged and very old trees yield much more wood. But this is survival and I needed a log, not a whole felled tree that I could not chop up into logs. Ideally, a fruit tree would have also yielded a single log. But there were no fruit trees around me and sometimes in survival, the best practice is not always practical or available. Obtaining the logs put an end to my precious shovel. Every tool takes some damage each time it is used. While normal tools can be repaired and even improved, crude tools and beginner tools cannot. It shattered and I was left without it. But I had wood, 3 clay jars, and 3 clay bowls. Now I needed to make a camp fire and place the clay items inside so they could dry and be usable. While the clay items were baking, I used the knife on one of the logs, producing a spindle and a fish hook. I would need those later. The rest of the logs I surrendered to the flames. Once the bowls and jars were done, I baked three casseroles in the bowls from the various fruits and herbs I found. I ate the casseroles and watched the flames die to ashes. In survival, everything matters. I collected the ashes into a bowl for use later in my journey. Day two was long and hard. My shovel gave me food, fire, and a full belly. And even though I knew I had to go forage for more branches so I could make a shovel again, life was still good! Another day in the land of Wurm.

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