Episode 4: Thieves and Raiders
I woke up feeling sore from the never-to-be-mentioned-again pig fight. I slept like a felled tree and longer than I had planned. Sitting up, I was not hungry but decided to start off with some foraging along with whatever work I could give to the guards to obtain meat. My casseroles of 1 or 2 meat with a piece of herb were doing well for me and provided me with around 40-45% nutrition. If I were really concerned about skill grinding I would make meals, always eat them hot, and grind hot food cooking until the meals I made pushed my nutrition level passed 60. But I had no time for the finer things in life. I needed quick nourishment so I could complete the boat and my mission. For all I knew, poor Eyesgood and Theophilus were hiding behind some tree in the soaking rain with no food for days!
I broke from the cave entrance to a partly cloudy day that was about half spent already. I needed to hurry if I was going to get in any boat work before dark. I headed over to the grassy meadow I had foraged several times before and began working the tiles as I had trained myself to do. I then spotted some movement off to the right and knew it to be a greenish lava spider. I thought if I could lead it to the guards, I might get some meat from their labors. I approached it carefully, ready at any moment to change course towards the guards. The moment I saw a leg lift from the grass, I twirled around and took off running. I ran a ways and turned to see my foe keeping pace with me, when suddenly, another one came up the bank beside me! "It was a trap," I thought as I totally forgot about the first spider and ran from the one nearest me.
Sliding down an embankment, I took a few wounds, but it was enough to slow me down at a time when walking slow was not part of the plan. Like a little child running to his mother, I focused on the guards, turned on auto run, switched to local, and bellowed out a girly HELP! The guards turned to see me and my green menace coming towards them and laughed as they drew their swords. As I passed them, one of the guards smacked me on the back side with his sword and said, "Let the men handle this one, sonny." I didn't care a snit about the chide - "have at it," I thought.
As I watched the four guards from the tower parry with their opponent, one of them, the one that had chided me, dropped to his knees and left Wurm. I was so sad that I had been the cause of his passing, but he knew the risks of his position when he volunteered. I comforted myself with that thought. Once the beast lay dead, I honorably buried the old soldier and butchered the spider with my carving knife. Again, only one piece of meat. "That's it", I thought. I decided to make a proper butchering tool by day's end.
I repeated my first trek down the gully with the second spider. This time, only the spider died. I had not gathered many herbs but I had enough for two casseroles and besides, I had lots of herbs in my large chest near the forge. It was time to return, eat, and get back to work.
Upon arriving at the forge, I opened the large chest to remove the herbs I had collected. What's this? Where are my herbs? Did I misplace them? I checked the coffin, then the other chest, then the cart. Then it came to me in a moment... Thieves!!! I hurriedly checked the bulk bin - no mixed grass! Someone had picked though my stuff in the night and took what they wanted. I threw the meat down on the floor and grabbed kindling. It was time to lock up my things! I popped some ore and created several locks for the containers I had in the cave. "Why didn't I do this before," I thought. While I was at it, I also fashioned a butchering knife. As I polished the knife I thought, "I hope mixed grass eats up their gardens and destroy's their crops!" I was so mad that someone dared to disturb my camp. Removing the completed and polished butchering knife from the forge helped me to calm down. Hey, maybe the person was hungry, or distressed, or something other than a thief. At least my cart, anvils, and tools were not stolen! I actually had a lot to be thankful for. Repentant of my own thoughts, I made a few meals and walked back down to the water for work.
As I labored on the boat, various murmurings and warnings were noticed in the kingdom chat window. Raiders were spotted off the coast of the island and were heading for the map spawn village! I raced to the cave to get my map. Where was I in relation to the spawn? How far were they away? Watching closely to every word coming from chat, I went through a mental checklist of what I would do if the raiders entered my local area. First, I would grab everything that I could carry, the most important stuff first, and leave until it was safe to return. Second, I would log in quickly to catch updates and then log back off. That was the plan and so I stood in the cave for what seemed like hours waiting for news of the invader's departure.
They finally did leave after pillaging some poor soul's mine and damaging his deed. They also killed someone, which was broadcast throughout the land undoubtedly to strike fear in the living. When their ship was spotted leaving the harbor, I felt secure enough to return to work, making the stern of the boat and adding more items to it. My skill was increasing but it seemed that my success rate was not. Re-positioning myself at new angles and grabbing another piece to add seemed to help - at least it seemed to me. I worked through the night and finally went to bed beside my locked containers. The only thing I forgot to do was make a long sword. But without armor, what could I hope to defend against? Clutching my butchering knife, I drifted to sleep.