Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 5 - My Name is Smith

In the morning I awoke to the feeling of cold iron against my skin. Some time during the night my subconscience must have thought it was a good idea to move that anvil from the clutches of my arms to the nap of my neck. I disagreed. Sitting up, I was suddenly reminded that I did a lot of climbing the day before. My back and legs were stiff and I felt like returning to my bed of grass minus one cold anvil. But all of those feelings soon left me as my mind reminded me of the possibilities of greater exploits. And so I rose to greet the day.

My campfire had long died to ashes and so I scooped them up and added them to those I had obtained before. In the night one of the bowls of stew overturned and was wasted, and the other was wholly unpalatable. It tasted funny and so I refused to eat it. Standing on my cliff-side perch, I decided to take inventory of what I had to determine what I needed. Looking over my gear yielded the following: 4.5kg of scrap iron, 12kg of woodscraps, 2 small nails and 2 large ones, a small anvil, 2.5kg of clay, 3 pottery jars of water - 1 empty, 3 pottery bowls containing various herbs, nuts, and other foraged items, a pickaxe head, a shovel, a wooden spindle, 3 crude knives - two in my hands, a mallet head, a fishhook, 3 shovel blades, a mallet, 5 healing covers, and my pristine steel and flint. And oh, I had some rock shards too heavy to carry.

My first chore was to forage and botonize enough food to sustain me for the day as well as to obtain 5 branches. This took several hours to do and when I had obtained the food and branches, I decided it was time to relocate to the peat rather than bring the peat up to where I was. I needed a carving knife, a pickaxe, a hatchet, and any other tools I could make. I needed lots of fuel. And so I made my way over to the peat and created my campfire. With unlimited fuel, I made shafts while my food cooked and my ore heated up. From a shaft I made a few handles for my carving knife attempts. My plan was to remain there until the tasks were done.

The carving knife came on my third attempt and I was so happy to have it! My next goal was a hatchet. My thought was, if I could fashion a hatchet, I would forever be rid of the need for branches. Attempting to create the hatchet head was a grueling exercise in patience. Every time I failed, the 1.5kg scrap had to cool below glowing before I could place it back in the campfire to turn into a lump for another try. I heard that old-timers would always keep a barrel handy inside an unlit forge and would use it to quickly cool scrap metals. Unfortunately, I had neither the barrel nor the forge.

In a moment of cooling boredom, I decided to do some rummaging for more iron and added enough ore to permit 4 tries per session for the hatchet. Day turned into night as I patiently worked the campfire and the iron lumps. Blacksmithing was so painful with .01 quality ore and a 1.0 quality anvil.

During my last set of 4 tries, I finally made the hatchet head. My heart almost stopped. Selecting a whole, fresh shaft, I took the hatchet head and saw a depressing number. I had a 38% chance to make that hatchet. Words cannot describe how I felt as I watched the progress bar inch closer to completion. I held my breath as it went closer, closer, and closer still to 100%. To my utter shock and total amazement - my hatchet appeared! Collapsing in utter exhausion, I embraced my new hatchet and drifted off into a wonderful sleep.

1 comment:

8D said...

Nicely done! I think your doing a great job, there are tidbits of wisdom on how to proceed that would have been nice to know when I started my adventures!