Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 4 - The Early Bird Gets the Shovel and the Anvil

I woke up around 2AM on day 4 of my journey. The night was cold and I guess I just could not sleep. Feeling over to my right I immediately found a branch! I decided to go ahead and reach for my knife to see if I could get a shaft for the shovel I needed. I was too groggy to be successful but too excited to go back to sleep. I started poking around in the dark (well, I did have a faint light glowing about me) to see if I could find another. I soon did and my decision to get up and poke around paid off wonderfully! My shovel was to be had on the first attempt of the day!

Having another shovel changed my entire outlook. I was immediately wide awake and my mind raced to review the steps I would need to take to get the most out of my new tools and new opportunities. I had passed peat along the road two days before. I need fuel for a fire so that I could smelt the iron rock to lumps. Off I went to get some.

Perhaps now is a good time to mention that during my 4 days of this journey, I was never lost. I knew where I was and I remembered where critical resources were located. This is an important survival tip. Being alone is one thing, but being alone and lost is another! My decision to remain in places familiar to me kept me safe from unnecessary death, at least for the first few days. Even so, I decided to wield my extra crude knives in my right hand and my left as weapons - just in case.

Before leaving the peat, I stepped over to the water to replenish my jars. Then I made my way back to my day camp, a ledge on the edge of a cliff face in a dense wooded area. I had left my iron rocks and some other items so that I could carry the weight of just 3 peat. Upon returning, I built a campfire and placed 10 iron rocks inside. While they were smelting, I created another bowl with my leftover clay and made a casserole and some stew while I waited.

My goal was to create a small anvil, from which all my other real tools would come. Smelting the 10 iron rocks produced the 2kg of ore I needed to give my mallet some work to do. I was surprised to see a 42% chance of success, but not really surprised when I failed. A ritual began at that moment. It went something like this: Prepare 2 casseroles and fuel the fire with peat. Run to the cliff and collect iron rocks. Return to the campfire, drop in the rocks, and eat the casseroles. Repeat same until I had an anvil. Climbing up always uses more stamina than climbing sideways. Therefore, once I was high enough, rather than climbing higher for more tiles to rummage, I traversed sideways along the cliff and thus was able to collect more iron per trip. Maintaining a horizontal path along the rock face required very little stamina drain.

My second attempt to create the anvil also failed. By then I learned that the campfire was consuming 10 iron rocks and 1 peat per attempt. I only had 1 peat remaining, and so I added the third set of iron rocks, ate my food, and waited. Failure again! The iron scrap produced from my first two attempts were added to the third, removed from the campfire, and then returned when they were not glowing hot. Reheating them again produced more ore but at a much lower quality. At this point, I really did not care about quality. In addition, the scraps of ore retained their original weight and mass, meaning I could use them again to try for the anvil. Ironically (no pun intended), the first scrap-turned-into-ore was a success and I had my anvil!

Between the third attempt and my scrap attempt, I ran to the peat to get more fuel, frantically hoping my fire would not die before I got back. I placed a fresh peat on the fire just in time, and well, you know how my scrap ore attempt went! I was so excited. Climbing again, I obtained some more iron rocks for smelting. But there was still much use for the iron scraps. Again, letting them cool, I returned return them to the flames and use the ore for making tools. I didn't worry about improving the anvil because it would get damaged anyway each time I used it. Besides, I knew it would not get below 1.0 quality, and repairing it was something I knew how to do. The scraps served me well. I made a few small nails and a few large ones. My next chore however, was to make a carving knife. I labored over that campfire all day and into the night. My efforts produced the anvil, four nails, and some good skill in smithing, repairing, and hot food cooking - but no carving knife. When at last the peat was consumed, I decided to call it a day - and what a day it had been! Placing my important items in my inventory, I slept by the fire until morning. Tomorrow would be another day of smithing!

1 comment:

Rhombus said...

Hehe this my third read of this - it should be required reading for all new Wurmians :) and it makes me giggle - its not unlike what I'm going through as a new player tho I aint giving up my starter items for anything !!! Lovely game and v v v addictive