Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 17 - Cat v/s Caveman

I awoke on Day 17 to the sounds of the wind and some birds outside. I had tended to my 2 crop tiles several times and I wanted to tend them again first thing.  Crops in Wurm do not have to be tended.  They will eventually ripen on their own, but that process is faster when tending to them.  Plus, the quality of harvested crops is determined by the player's skill - so that makes tending doubly important.

I exited the cave and stared down to my beautiful crop tiles below the entrance. Just as I glanced down I noticed movement off to the right of the crops which diverted my attention. All of a sudden, out of nowhere came a yellow four-footed beast clawing his way up to me from the grass. I was sure it was that mountain lion I had allowed to live above the cave entrance the day before. He was planning to repay my kindness with his claws and teeth! Quickly stepping to the ledge to keep him below me (which provided me a tactical advantage), I drew my sword and readied my shield. With the cat before me and the entrance to Refugio only 2 tiles behind me, I was resolved and determined to stand my ground. He would not reach the top alive!

Clawing and biting while balancing himself on the steep slope of the raised platform, he fought with an agility and vigor befitting his species. I am ashamed to say he struck me first, clawing me lightly on my right thigh and chest. However, I quickly repaid him with a pierce to his right foreleg. I then aimed to push him with my shield, hoping he would fall down the slope, but he swiftly dodged it. I kicked him in the stomach as I swung my blade to strike his hindleg. I then parried and sliced him in his chest.

I knew I was not in my best form and so I decided to stop and focus, which I did, balancing my feet and soul. Another shield bash sent him sprawling on the ground. Leaping back up he met me again. We exchanged many blows until at last he succombed to his wounds and died. Like a true cavemen, I raised my weapon into the air and bellowed out a mighty roar!

I was wounded with light wounds all over my body, but it appeared I still retained 66 percent of my health. I was happy with the results of the fight.  Not allowing him to rise up to my level on the ground played an important role in the outcome of the battle.  I had not yet created a butchering knife so I decided my carving knife would have to do. But all my effort on the carcass yielded nothing. I buried him right where he laid.

I repaired my sword which took 5 damage from the fight, as well as my shield which took 3. Night was approaching (the days are not as long in Wurm as they are on Earth) and so I put away my sword to light my lantern. I looked at my inventory and it was gone! I ran into Refugio and groped around for a minute to see if I could find it. Lighting the forge for a better view, I checked the large cart, the floor, everywhere. What had happened to my lantern, I thought? I removed 4 different items from the forge and dropped them in front of me to create a pile. I did this in order to make sure the lantern was not under the forge on the floor somewhere. Then, I picked up the pile - but no lantern. My only conclusion was that I had left my lantern lit through the night and it simply decayed on me.  It was frustrating to say the least.

With the forge lit already, I decided to wait for the iron to heat up so I could attempt to make another lantern.  I left the cave once again to tend my crops. It was dark and raining by then, but to my delight, I saw yellow tips on one of the fields. This meant the crop was ready to harvest. I grabbed my rake, tended to both fields, and then chose to harvest the yellow-tipped field. But wait - I could not harvest the crop with the rake. I switched to the sickle but that would not work either! Then I thought, what crop did I plant here? It took me a little bit and then I remembered. I sowed pumpkin in one and oat in the other. I wasn't skilled enough to examine the crop to identify it, but since I could not harvest with the rake, the crop had to have been the oat. All I needed was a scythe, something I had not yet created.

I returned to Refugio with my two smithing assignments.  The lantern was formed on my second attempt and with 16q iron, I was determined to improve it to at least 6 quality. My blacksmithing skill was 5.8. When I had completed the lantern, I removed it from the forge. I kept it in the forge because lanterns had to be improved while they were glowing hot and lanterns, in particular, cool quickly. At once I noticed the higher quality lantern was brighter than my old one. But I still needed to fill it with tar to keep it lit. I retrieved the tar from the bulk bin and filled it. It felt good to reach into the bulk bin to retrieve my supplies rather than having to run around and gather them. I felt like I had a nice little smithing setup with the forge, bulk bin, large anvil, and a small barrel of water all within reach.

I created the scythe blade and attached it to a shaft from the bin. I then placed it in the forge to heat it back to glowing so I could finish it. As I worked on it the thought came to me that I would need the bulk food bin in order to safely store the crops. The bin would be a long task and I did not have time to complete it before going back to bed. What was I to do about the oats, I thought?  If I left them another day, they could possibly turn to weeds and then I would have lost them altogether. I reckoned it was safer to harvest them, knowing they would last for several days in my inventory. I would then plant a different crop, whichever had the most damage in my inventory.  It was then that I began to wish I had leveled more crop tiles.  The seed with the greatest damage in my inventory turned out to be barley, another crop I could use to make dough for bread! That thought excited me. I received 2 oats from the harvest and planted the barley in their place.

By the time I had harvested and replanted, my day was pretty much gone. Returning to Refugio I laid down by the forge, snuffed my lantern (to be sure) and slept. From cat to crops, the day was great overall.  I wondered how long it would take me to complete my quest.  A part of me wondered while another part didn't really care...

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