Saturday, April 21, 2012

Episode 2: Row Boat in the Works

I sat down to analyze my situation and gather my thoughts.  I needed to make a boat and it was obvious that the smallest and easiest would be more than sufficient.  A row boat can carry three passengers and there were but three of us that needed it.  Making a boat, any boat, is no small task in Wurm.  The row boat needs the following items:

3 keel sections, 2 oars, 1 mooring rope, 50 pegs, 50 tenons, 1 stern (11 hull planks, 20 pegs, and 10 tenon), 50 hull planks, 10 tar, and 4 seats.  Additionally, it would need a lock and a mooring anchor.

Considering the items needed, I knew I needed to work on carpentry, ship building, blacksmithing, woodcutting, and digging.  In addition, I needed to keep myself fed and protected during the process.  The surrounding forest would yield all the wood I would need.  And fortunately, there was a tar pit nearby from which I could acquire tar for the boat and for the lanterns scattered about the dead village.

I reasoned a plan that went something like this.  I would spend an hour foraging for herbs and vegetables.  I would also butcher several bear and spiders that had been slain by the tower guards nearby.  Then, I would light the forge and make casseroles out of the meat and herbs.  Between trips to and from the cave, I would leave another casserole baking while I was out and eat every time I returned.

I did gather for over an hour and acquired many precious veggies and herbs.  I decided to plant several crop fields so they could grow and hopefully be ready for harvest when Theophilus our farmer arrived.  One item in particular was valuable to me - cotton!  I remembered how utterly difficult it had been in my first adventure to obtain it.  In fact, I never did!  But I had one this time and I wanted to plant it, which I did in a safe place.

Gathering meat from the slain around the equally dead village was not too difficult.  As I did not have a butchering knife, I resorted to using my hatchet which worked very well at providing meat and teeth.  The teeth could be combined with certain herbs to create healing covers, which I made and placed in my backpack.

Returning to the cave (what is it with me and caves?); I proceeded to gather a few necessities.  I made a small barrel to tote water from a village fountain to the large barrel beside the forge deep in the cave.  I also deposited much of my items into a bulk bin, coffin, and large chest near the forge.  It was an ideal camp.  I lit the forge, made a casserole, ate it, then made another and left that one in the forge. Taking the small cart with me, I ventured from the cave and the camp towards a row of pines mingled with olive trees.  The olive trees were utterly useless for my task.  I needed the long pines for my row boat.

Dropping the trees both provided me with skill and substance.  In order to create the body of the row boat, I needed to combine two keel sections.  With only 5 shipbuilding skill, 7 woodcutting, and 20 body strength, the odds were stacked against me.  But after many, many attempts at fashioning a keel from felled trees, I eventually created two.  One was unfinished and fit in the small cart.  The other was finished and could be improved more.

I wasn't strong enough to carry the keel and drag the cart - well, I could but it would have taken forever to make it back.  I wanted to work on improving the keels inside the cave where I would be safe.  So, leaving the finished keel on the ground at the edge of the forest, I dragged the cart back to the cave and unloaded it's precious cargo on the cave floor in front of the forge.  I then decided to take the cart back and load up some logs for creating the other wood items I needed for the boat.

Breaking forth from the entrance of the cave, I felt the hot breath of something above me, whose shadow cast a blanket of shade over my head.  In an instant my defenses went up and I knew I was about to be attacked.  It mattered not what was behind me.  I could have died at the hands of an angry deer, I was so weak!  Discretion is definitely the better part of valor! Turning, I wished it had been a deer.  As I turned, I also instinctively released my grip on the cart and faced an ominous slow brown bear!  He was definitely not the village welcoming committee, he was mad that I had invaded his home and was salivating at the thought of dinner - ME!

Backing up and turning, I ran as fast as I could towards the guard tower.  Though he was somewhat slow, his sheer size and red silhouette sent shivers down my spine.  Running backwards towards the guard tower I targeted the beast and yelled help in local chat.  My first yell yielded no response from the guards.  I think it was because I was so scared my shout came out as a whisper.  Swallowing, I bellowed out the second HELP and the guards came running to my rescue as I almost backed into a nasty thorn bush.  They made short order of that distraction and I even jumped in to take a few swings myself.  It was extremely wise to camp so near kingdom guards.  They deserve more respect that they get!  Butchering the carcass with my hatchet, I collected the meat and a tooth and thanked the guards and returned to my work.

I grabbed the cart and made my way back to my deforesting effort, gathering the highest quality logs I could find.  I picked up the finished keel and walked it back to the cave before returning for the cartload of wood. Once I had returned with that, I set about to improve the two keels so that I could combine them and make the row boat shell.  With only a 13 percent change of success, it took me many tries before I finally gazed upon the shell of my objective - an unfinished pinewood rowing boat!

It was dawn when I finally created the unfinished boat.  I knew that I had an important task to accomplish before bedding down.  I needed to get the boat down to the water and attach enough items to it to make it impossible to pick up.  To this end, I added the 4 seats, the last keel section, 13 hull planks, 10 tar, 2 oars, and about 15 tenons.  I figured this would be sufficient to make it too heavy to pick up.

Utterly exhausted, I returned to the cave and laid down beside the warmth of the lit forge.  Soon, I thought, my companions would be rescued!

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