The day began with another harvest of wemp. I had accumulated 5kg of wemp in the bulk bin and decided I had enough to attempt the making of a rope. I put creating the rope tool on my list of the day's duties. I never got around to it... Plundering through the large cart I noticed my deer hide was decaying. I decided to sacrifice the lye I had made in hopes of producing leather from the hide. I had a 50% chance but it fell to my favor and I had my very first piece of leather, a 9kg piece of 29 quality! Excitedly I grabbed the needle I had made and glanced over my options. I could start all of the leather armor pieces, a water skin, a backpack, a quiver, and the leather makings of horse gear. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I thought about my armor requirements for the adventure. If I could kill another deer or two, I could make leather armor and meet all the requirements without having to chain smith. I decided that would be my plan. Needle quality affected success rates for crafting leather, so I planned to imp my needle as high as I could.
I placed the leather in the bulk bin to stop decay and lit the forge. I made six casseroles to keep my nutrition up and stop the fasting cycles. I was sure I was thin as a plank with all the fasting I had done. Eating the casseroles brought me to almost 50% nutrition. I checked the crops again and found yellow on crop number three. I was excited because I was sure that tile was cotton! Raking the tile to remove the weeds (I always raked before harvesting because it gave me an extra action to gain more skill) I harvested my very first cotton. The harvest created two cotton so I picked the seeds from one of them and immediately planted it. I would always have at least one cotton and one wemp growing all the time, I thought.
Finally obtaining cotton on day 22 brought the realization that I might be able to make a fishing pole so I could fish for meat. This seemed more important to me than leather armor and so my focus turned to obtaining a wooden spindle to make the string, an iron fishing hook, and a willow shaft. Willow works best for bows and fishing rods. I found a lone willow tree not far from Refugio. Picking a sprout first, I chopped it down and planted the sprout in its place. Conservation is a good thing. Reducing the felled tree to logs, I hauled them back to the storage bin and made a shaft. I stored the willow logs for making my bow later. Popping some fresh ore from the iron tile, I placed them in the lit forge so I could get the maximum quality ore possible for the fishing hook. The quality of the hook would determine my success percentage for making the fishing line. While the ore turned to lumps, I utilized the willow to make my spindle. Once the spindle was made, I used it against the cotton to make a string. The leftover rags made excellent bandages! Several unsuccessful attempts at combining an iron hook with the string reduced my hooks to scrap, but at least my string was undamaged. On the seventh attempt I was able to create the fishing line. Attaching it to my willow shaft produced an unfinished fine fishing rod. I hammered, filed, polished, and carved on it until at last it was ready to use. I think it was my most prized creation to date! I was so anxious to fish with it - and using the iron hook rather than the wooden one produced a fine rod rather than a regular one. Though I wasn't really sure what the difference was, I was happy to have the fine rod. Like a child with a new toy, I set myself to go fishing. My conversion from vegetarian to meat eater was just a few casts away! Well, I did eat that meal on day 13 made from the cat meat I had filleted. But I imagined meals made from the fish I would catch to be as scrumptious as any I had ever tasted. My mouth began to water at the thought of it.
I fueled the forge and left Refugio heading for the coast. Checking the weather, there was a gale coming from the southwest. I hoped it would not affect my fishing! Finding a spot on the coast, I attempted to fish. A message warned me that it would be bad for my karma if I fished there. The message meant I was on someone's land that had restricted fishing by non-villagers. I moved to another spot and set my line into the water. Something soon bit and I pulled in my first fish - a perch! It was a tiny thing, only .05kg. In an instant I turned from Surviverman to caveman, devouring that little fish, scales, fins, and all! Licking my fingers, I checked for anyone in local and slowly returned the line to the water. I'm not sure why I acted that way, but the fish was wonderful and I wanted more. I thought, 22 days - I should have made this fishing pole sooner, but the cotton ordeal prevented it.
As I fished, the sounds of the water, the frogs, and the crickets created a most tranquil experience. There were a few cogs moored near the shore and some sailboats as well, one of them painted blue. A sunken rowboat was in the water near me and another had been locked up in a fenced tile near the water, probably awaiting its new owner. There was still nobody else around, except for a handful of tower guards mingling along the hillside next to their post. The whole scene almost lulled me to sleep. In fact, I did doze off once, but I was awakened by a lamp that lit itself as night fell. The lamp was on a village tile and came on automatically. Tugs on the fishing line returned my attention to the water. I reeled in another fish and lit my lantern. I fished, ate, and fished some more. Some of the fish escaped but I reeled in most of my catch that day. Returning to Refugio, my food bar was at 99 percent and my nutrition was at 33 percent - all from raw fish. How much more would they satisfy me in some bulky meals, I thought.
The fire in the forge had long died when I finally entered Refugio. Placing the fish inside my small barrel, I added some water and stored the barrel inside the large cart. My hope was that the fish would last a few days. Time would tell. Tired, rather smelly, and full of food, I laid down in the dark and just slept. Never had I been more nourished than on that day. Life was really, really, good.