Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 24 - Bread and Battle

Waking up on day 24 of my adventure in the lands of Wurm, I dedicated myself to completing more of my quest assignments.  For one, I decided I would attempt to make some bread!  I had a food bin and therefore I could make the bread and then store it in the bin until I completed the quest.  I only had to make a single loaf and I had several rye to use for practice.  Removing the grindstone made on day 8 from my large cart, I ground one of the grains of rye to make rye flour.  Adding water to this would make dough which could be baked in the forge to make bread.  With only a 25% chance to make the dough I was positive it would fail.  To my shock I was successful on the first attempt.  As with most skills, the first time you do something, the skill shows up in your skill list.  I had been watching my skills all the while on this journey to see if/when my affinity would show up.  Every Wurmian has an affinity, a skill for which he/she is particularly good at.  I had not yet discovered mine.  A quick glance revealed baking and milling skills - but no affinity (designated with an * next to the skill).  Oh well, I thought, perhaps it will be something more useful.

I baked the dough in the forge and produced a single loaf of rye bread on that day.  I removed the loaf from the forge and let it cool.  Then, I placed it in the food bin for safe keeping.  Bread is an excellent filler for meals.  The rye loaf could add 1.3kg of food bulk to a meal, which is quite significant.  But this loaf would be reserved for my victory march back to my sponsors.

Tending my crops provided two more cotton.  As always, I picked the seeds from one to plant and stored the other in the bulk bin.  While outside, I decided to venture around to see if maybe I could obtain some deer hide.  In truth, I think was just anxious to try out my new long sword.  Meandering down a cobblestone path I spotted a body lying next to an oak tree.  It was a tower guard!  Someone must have murdered him, I thought!  His lifeless body was carefully placed.  Only later did I learn that he had died of old age.  I buried his body and gave my condolences to the other guards keeping vigil nearby.  They said nothing, as if in silent mourning.  Moving along, I found an open mine entrance.  Inside I found nothing but a large room and an old forge.  I left the mine and headed down a long path that descended to a village below.  The road was a mixture of 90 degree turns and long stretches of cobblestone.  Turning to face the last stretch of the road, I was stopped in my tracks by an ominous but familiar site.  Down at the bottom of the road was a black wolf.  Immediately I thought about Nemesis and how I was not given a chance to fight him to the death.  I decided I would have that opportunity right then and there.  I knew I had a better weapon and was more skilled with it than with the weapon I used on Nemesis, but with him I had a gate to hide and heal behind.  Thinking about it made me come to a determined decision.  As I descended to stand before this new foe, I made up my mind I would not run, nor call for help from the guards up the path, nor would I heal myself.  No matter what, one of us would die!  It had to be!

As if Nemesis had been his brother, the black wolf ran into my clean new sword with all the rage of his fellow.  I stood my ground as we exchanged deadly blows.  We fought so long and hard that my eyes began to see red.  I was dying!  As I was dying he began dying as well.  Which would fall first, I pondered?  He clawed as I swung the heavy sword.  With red waves closing around my eyes, he dropped to the ground and death.  I quickly butchered his body and obtained a little fat and a paw - a fitting memento!  However, I was totally numb.  Quickly I scanned my body to find cuts, bites, and a single medium wound.  I knew my other wounds would heal with time, but the medium was a serious matter.  I needed a healing cover and with only 12% health, I staggered back up the hill towards Refugio.  It was the longest walk of my life.

Upon my return I attempted to make several healing covers from the fresh supplies I had obtained from recent foraging and botanizing sessions.  A sage/sassafras healing cover sufficiently treated the wound, and utilizing my fresh new medical item (cotton), I bandaged myself.  I then sat to soak in what had happened.  I had fought a wolf with the long sword.  It was a close fight, but he was dead and I didn't have to retreat to heal.  I felt as though I was ready for anything even though my body told me otherwise.

Standing to my feet I decided I would work on more of my objectives.  Since I felt I had enough wemp to make a rope, I left Refugio to get fresh logs for the shaft and plank I would need to make a rope tool.  As the gate swung open, I noticed it was very dark and fog had settled into the valley.  It was so thick I could only see a few tiles in front of me.  I dared not venture out too far, so I chopped the nearest pine I could find.  As I selected my hatchet, I remembered my long sword and my shield.  I needed to mend them!  Once that was done, I reduced the felled tree to logs and returned to the safety and light of my cave and forge.

Working with planks, shafts, and large nails, I constructed my rope tool and removed 7 wemp from the bulk storage bin, leaving 6 of them inside.  I combined the wemp into a single wemp item and crushed it down to fibers.  I then created two ropes with not much effort (but no rope making affinity).  The ropes would allow me to lead animals back to Refugio.  Since I had the cave and it was secured against theft, I could leave animals inside - only I would need to make sure they were well fed as they would not have grass to graze on.

I placed the new rope tool in my large cart and noticed it needed repairing badly!  I had not been keeping an eye on my items and so I went about the cave repairing everything that needed it.  Also, my lamp was taking quite a bit of damage just existing in my inventory.  It must have been the fact that I had returned to just keeping it lit all the time.  I decided to improve my lamp since the forge was hot.  I also checked on my fish.  The pike were heavily damaged from decay but the catfish was completely fresh.  I made another meal with the pike and left the cat for later.  Also, since I had lead next to me and needed another ore as part of my checklist, I popped some lead, smelted it, and stored the lump.  I did not plan to make a boat so the lead only really served to meet my adventure objective.

With my lamp improved, I called it a day.  I really wanted to scout for some deer, cows, bulls, and horses to bring home with me but I knew they were quite rare in my area.  I figured I might well have to travel a good distance to find them, so I left that for another day.  Resting by the forge and finishing off the pike and onion meal, I fell asleep - another long day on Wurm.

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