Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 19 - The Tedious Hunt for Cotton

Day 19 of my adventure built upon the previous day's duties.  I tended my crops and realized two tiles were not enough for my needs.  I decided to flatten three more tiles to create a 2x3 farm.  Examining the sides of the tiles allowed me to determine if they were flat or not. Flat tiles grow crops the best.  I then proceeded to forage and botanize.   I also tended my crop tiles and eventually harvested 2 wemp plants.  I picked the seeds, replanted 2 of them, and stored the other two.  Later, I harvested some onion and garlic.  I then planted the other two wemp seeds. I needed lots of wemp to make my first rope.

The best source for nutrition was meals.  I could survive indefinitely on casseroles but something inside longed for hot meals!  I knew I needed meat before I could make them.  There were two ways to obtain meat.  First, I could hunt animals and acquire meat and other items.  Or, I could fish for the meat I needed.  Hunting was dangerous for me, being so unskilled at fighting.  Fishing was not dangerous but I needed cotton to make string for the fishing pole.  When I thought about the fishing line it made me realize I had never once acquired cotton from botanizing.  Cotton was the next big leap for me and I knew it would be tremendous when I finally found some.  I foraged and botanized for hours adding dozens of items to the food and storage bins, but still no cotton.  I decided when I finally found one that I would not dare try to make string with it.  Rather, I would pick the seeds, plant the one, harvest two, then repeat until I had sufficient supplies.  Cotton was worth more to me than gold!

During long hours of botanizing, I decided to head to a new area.  I thought about the area near the clay and how much time I had spent there trying to find branches.  I needed some clay for future projects and I had pretty much cleaned up all the tiles near Refugio.  I decided to travel there to get clay, another small barrel of water, and to botanize along the way and back for the elusive cotton.  The trip was fairly uneventful.  I collected a little bit of clay and many botanized items - but cotton was not one of them.  On the way back I had to employ a trick the old timers had used.  I was loaded down with many items, 5 clay, and a barrel full of water.  When I reached a place where I needed to climb, I performed a climbed - drop - climb routine.  It went like this.  I would climb until my stamina was almost gone.  Then, just before falling I would drop the water barrel.  Sliding down and regaining my stamina, I would climb to the tile above the water barrel, turn around, pick up the water barrel, turn around again and climb some more.  This allowed me to reach the top of a fairly steep terrace WITH the barrel of water.  And so I returned to Refugio but still no cotton.  I was starting to ponder hunting over fishing...  Surely death would be less painful than cotton, I thought!

I left Refugio once again to try and do some hunting.  My chances for finding any animals weak enough for my 4 defensive fighting skill was bleak, but I had to try.  Turning towards a new direction, I traveled down towards a large village.  Beyond the village was a road that ran along the coast.  As I made my way down I scanned the cliffs and trees to see if I could spot anything.  And then I saw it!  Up on a flat ledge of the mountain but within the trees was an aged deer.  And beyond that deer, further up the hill was another one!  I was so excited.  To find one deer was very fortunate - but two was amazing!  Providing I could survive, I had two chances for meat and two chances to obtain other supplies I needed.

I climbed up to the flat terrace where the first deer was standing.  Engaging him, I fought for what seemed like an eternity.  At one point I honestly thought I was not going to survive.  But just at that moment, he started dying and with 30 percent of my health remaining, he fell down dead.  I decided to wait, heal, and rest before attempting to butcher him with my carving knife.  I had still not been able to make a butchering knife - something I had long forgotten.  Butchering him produced a hoof, a single piece of meat, and a 36q hide.  I was excited but by no means satisfied.  I wanted the second deer.

When I had healed sufficiently, I made my way up the hillside to my second target.  It was a difficult climb due to the steep tiles and distance.  I was also carrying most of my tools along with the animal parts from the first deer.  Several attempts to reach what appeared to be a flat ledge failed and I incurred fresh bruises with every fall.  Eventually I succeeded and positioning myself above him, I commenced my attack. He was another aged deer, but I was in climbing mode due to the slope of the tile he was on and my stamina was down to 60 percent.  I knew it was a do-or-die situation.  The fight went well to my favor.  I only lost 30% of my health that time as opposed to 70% from the first fight.  Butchering him produced animal fat (much needed), an eye, a gland, and another piece of meat.  I was pretty happy with the hunt.  I buried my second trophy and made my way back to Refugio.

My first task was to light the forge and cook the butchered meat.  I did not dare fillet it!  If I had, they would not store in the food bin.  But I could cook them, store them away in the food bin, and when I was ready to use them, I could fillet them and cook with the fillets.  Animal parts do not store in the bins so I consulted the wiki and found I could make healing covers with the eye and the gland.  Four attempts produced two healing covers, bringing my total supply to seven.

The day had been long and tedious but by bedtime, I had meat for meals and more medical supplies, along with farm tiles producing things I needed.  Even though I did not find cotton, life was very, very good, and I would not stop looking for it.

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