Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 28 - The 2-2-2 Adventure Comes to an End

I woke before dawn.  I thought I heard something moving above me in a meadow.  I ventured up and away from the coast and saw two horses!

Two Abandoned Horses.
I stopped in my tracks and scanned the area.  There was the makings of a homestead of sorts, with a flattened area outlined with rotting incomplete fence posts.  The horses were just standing there, one on the square and one off in the grass.  I examined the ground and found there was no settlement or perimeter.  They were on undeeded land.  However, the horses were named, meaning they were the off-spring of player breeding efforts.  One was an adolescent and the other old in age.  This was a tricky find.  I did not want to be guilty of stealing someone's horses - even if they were off deed.  I checked them for branding marks.  Neither one was branded.  I asked in local to see if anyone owned the parent of one of them.  Both Wurmians said no.  I then checked for deeds in the area that might be holding the named parents of one of the horses.  The other horse was bred from wild horses, which I was able to discern from the fact that the parents had no names.  I found none of the parents in local. I returned to the built site and checked the piles of dirt for decay: 60% on most of the piles - days old, I thought.  There was also a large cart nearby and a sign planted.  Both names were different.

Since the build site was flat, square, and only contained fencing (there were no decaying structures, forges, ovens, chests, beds, etc.), I concluded the plot to be from a new player who had started a project and then, for whatever reason, abandoned it.  I had no way to know where the horses belonged or even if they were connected to the build site.  They could have wandered there.  There were many such abandoned spots all around me.  I saw no other deeded spots with fencing down (deeded fences would not decay anyway unless upkeep was below 30 days).  And then I thought about the horses.  Anyone could come by and cut them down to the ground, or take them, or lead them home.  They were unclaimed, unprotected, and unhitched.  They were just there!  Those thoughts brought me to a moral decision to rescue them from an uncertain fate.  My conscience rested in my decision and I decided to immediately lead them back to Refugio.  I led both using two ropes from my inventory.

I made my way back to the port village and was stunned when my attack window opened.  Something was chasing me and I did not know what, but I knew I had to outrun it fast!  Racing towards the dock where I had fished for my food I reached the end and swung around to see that a mountain lion had stopped several tiles before.

A mountain lion led to the slaughter.
My first thought was thankfulness that he stopped chasing me.  My next thought was that this was my chance to get some meat, maybe some parts for a healing cover, or perhaps a pelt.  But just then, I heard a Spirit Templar cry,"I'll take care of Old starving mountain lion!"  No! I thought.  I raced towards the cat.

Uninvited assistance from a Spirit Templar.
The lion had stepped onto the deed and the mayor had set the deed guard to attack all aggressive creatures that ventured onto the deed tiles.  Perhaps that is why the cat stopped, because he sensed the danger.  But I guess he wanted my horses or even me!  I ran up just as the guard was killing the intruder

A slain mountain lion.
 The creature fell on a deed tile, and so I could not take him without stealing him, which I was not about to do!

A right click window showing the steal option.

The Spirit Templar would not have liked that.  In fact, I would have been his next target.  Thankful that I was out of danger, I turned and headed home.  Entering the Tundra, I thought about the great fortunes of my 2-2-2 adventure.  I only needed to find two deer on my way back, and everything would be a complete success.

Following the signs back to Freedom Market
Getting back was made fairly easy due to conveniently placed signs that pointed the way back to Freedom Market.  As I approached the area near the cave exit, I remembered the scorpion.  I hoped that someone had killed it by then.  I soon approached the spot where I had seen him days before.  Slowly I crested the hill.

The hill where I met the scorpion.

As I approached the crest of the hill, I stopped just shy of it to regain my stamina.  I wanted a full stamina bar in which to run away if he was still there.  I then checked to make sure the horses were still behind me, and darted up and over the crest of the hill.  There I stopped.

Fortunately, no scorpion!
Fortunate indeed I was that the scorpion was nowhere to be found.  I made my way down and over to the entrance to the mountain pass.

South entrance to the mountain pass.
Caves are not without dangers.  Bears, cave bugs, and the flaming lava fiends all can spawn in a cave.  Entering the tunnel, I had to make sure that my animals cleared corners with me and also I had to watch for uninvited guests.

The darkness of the deep tunnel.
Caves are creepy places in Wurm.  The noise of wind and falling pebbles is a constant reminder to the dangers within.  Some adventurers have even had tiles collapse in front of them, leaving them helpless to get out should they have entered without a pick-axe.  I did not have one, but I had two exits, one at each end, so I felt safe in that regard.   Eventually, I made it to the exit on the other side of the mountain.  I was close to home!

The north entrance to the mountain pass.
Exiting the pass, I headed towards the Dragon Fang down long, rolling roads.  Sometimes the beauty of Wurm becomes a distraction.  I looked up and noticed a storm cloud was passing by the Dragon Fang.  I knew that meant an inevitable rain shower below.  But I still considered it a beauty to see those dark clouds.

The Dragon Fang about to get wet.
Then, as I cleared the trees and crested a hill, the sun shown brightly against a blue sky.  It was as if the Dragon Fang  was slicing the weather right in two.  The whole scene reminded me of the separate paths of dark and light that each Wurmian chooses when going to the Wild server.

Slicing the weather.
 Soon, I approached a familiar site, the great Freedom Market located at the base of the Dragon Fang mountain.  A huge building project was underway to expand to a third section of merchant stalls.  There were well over a hundred merchants already at the market, all owned by players looking to peddle their wares to interested and needy Wurmians. 

The ever expanding Freedom Market.
 On I went, past the market and through the shanty towns nearby where new players stake their claims to free and plundered lands.  Many of them just put up a house, some fencing, and plant a few crops before leaving the market area for lands beyond.  Eventually though, I made it home and releasing my horses to graze in the grasses around Refugio, my wonderful cave home came into view.

Refugio - the home of Surviverman!

Approaching the entrance I instinctively  checked my crops.  Ouch!  I had been gone too long.  All but one had turned to weeds. The one had turned back to grass.  Oh well, I thought, it was worth it to gain the mushrooms and the horses.

Crops turned to weeds while I was away.

I entered Refugio tired, weary, but thankful.  I had accomplished the biggest two of my three objectives, and I was not ashamed to label my 2-2-2 adventure very successful.  I laid down by the forge and rested from my journey.

Inside Surviverman's cave.

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