Sunday, September 2, 2012

Adventure 3: A Chaotic Expedition

Episode 1:  Preparations

"All I am saying is I am a little bored, that's all."

Eyesgood chimed in, "Well SM, you can always head down to the mine and pop some more shards.  Or, there's a ton of trees on the south lot that need to be turned into planks.  You know we are going to need lots of them when we start adding another floor onto the workshop.  I can't do everything around here." 

Eyesgood headed back over to the forge and stoked the fire as Theophilus walked into the workshop from the fields.  "What's going on, brothers?  Are you still talking about that addition, Eyesgood?  I know you are excited about..."

"SM is getting anxious for another adventure!"  His voice echoed from the hollow opening of the forge as he grabbed a lump of iron and started shaping it with his hammer.  "Mother sure did name him right.  He has always been the adventurer in the family."

"Hey, I can't help it," I said.  "Besides, after that last mission, I can't imagine either of you ever complaining about me not pulling my own weight.  If I hadn't plucked you guys from Elevation..."

"OK, OK,"  interrupted Theophilus.  "Look guys, we get into this little spat all too often."  Theo motioned with his right hand and I felt  the warmth of nourishment come over me from the Refresh as he continued his sermon.  "We may be triplets, but it's obvious to anyone that we all have our own personalities and goals.  Eyesgood is our blacksmith, carpenter, builder, miner, and otherwise strong-man.  I have chosen the Vynora path and enjoy my farming, animal husbandry, cooking, and spells.  SM, you enjoy taking on nature and going at it alone, surviving by your keen knowledge of the lands of Wurm and exploring to bring back word of new trade opportunities and more.  Let's just appreciate one another and work together for the good of our existence here."

"Yes, exactly!" I said as I picked up an arrow and twirled it around in my fingers.  I started to pace.  "How many times have I wanted to broaden my knowledge of the lands of Wurm only to be distracted by the duties of every day life here at Shadow Hollows?  Now, don't get me wrong, I love our home here on Deliverance.  I don't mind the work and I love being with you guys, my brothers!  But I don't know...  It's been months since I rescued you.  I just have this overwhelming desire to head out and visit some of the other lands of Wurm.  But I have no idea where I should go."

"Well," said Theo as he pressed some olives for the oil barrel Eyesgood had built in a closet near the forge, "there's the other islands:  Exodus, Celebration..."

"Chaos!"  I yelled, flinging the arrow like a throwing knife towards a bulk bin.  Eyesgood turned to glance at the arrow stuck in the bin, then huffed and returned to his work.

"No, seriously guys!  We know almost nothing about that ancient land.  Do you realize the potential of exploring that place?  It's the oldest land in Wurm.  And I hear the inhabitants are not as vicious as they once were."

There was a short pause in the conversation.  Eyesgood tempered the lantern he was making while Theo poured a bucket of olive oil into the barrel as if they half heard me.  Just then, our spirit templar walked in and excused herself as she fetched some oil from the barrel to fill the lamps located off the deed.

As she shut the door, I said, "Well?  What do you guys think of an expedition to Chaos?"

"Believe it or not, I agree," said Eyesgood, as he turned towards me from the forge with a half grin on his face.  "We need to know about those lands and what kind of trade opportunities are available to us."

He paused and looked towards the fires of the forge and recounted, "You know, I traveled there once..."

"You did not!" I said as if he had stolen my glory.  Eyesgood shook his head as he added more iron to the lantern and protested, "I did too."

Theo recounted, "Yes, I remember that.  It was a short trip, a kind of survey, wasn't it Eyes?"

Eyesgood nodded, "Yeah, I didn't spend any amount of time there.  I just wanted to head over and take a peek at the landscape.  It was a profitable trip, actually.  I managed to bring back some good supplies I had found in abandoned villages."

"Sounds amazing!  I can't wait to get started," I said as I slapped my hands together in a cowboyish sort of way.

"Wait a minute, let's get you fitted properly.  Over here, I have some armor, a great set I picked up from..."

I waved my hands in a stop motion to Eyesgood's generosity.  "Wait a second.  Now let's think about this for a moment.  Chaos is a land of warriors.  The natives are supremely gifted in that regard.  If I go over there sporting an 80q, aosp enchanted plate set, I'll just be asking for someone to kill me and steal it off my lifeless corpse."

Eyesgood stopped in his tracks, looked at me and then looked at his armor.  With a quick twirl, he turned and handed it back to Butler, one of the merchants that worked at our workshop.

"Forget that then.   We don't need to lose valuable armor!"

"I agree, Eyes.  I really think I should pack light for the trip.  In fact, I won't carry any armor at all, nor a weapon or shield!"

Theo then protested, "Ok, now, let's not be that ridiculous..."

"I'm serious, Theo.  It makes no sense to take armor and weapons.  I can outrun just about anything on foot except maybe a hell hound and a croc.  Nah, I think I can outrun them too!  My point is, I can't defend against the natives.  I can't even half defend myself against a p..."  

I stopped my sentence abruptly.  "Against what?" said Eyesgood as he stared at me for an answer.  

"Against a predator," I said hoping they did not catch the shift in my sentence.  Eyesgood went back to work at the forge as Theo dumped another bucket of olive oil into the barrel.  I let out an exhale.  I had almost revealed that awful episode on Serenity when I fought that pig.  I could never tell them about that!

"Anyway, I figure I should just pack light and use the rowboat for the trip."

"Yes, the rowboat.  I agree.  The cog is too valuable to risk being stolen and the sailboat came from chaos way back in the old days when Jen Kellon was still in existence," recounted Theo.

"You guys never told me the sailboat came from Chaos," I rebutted.

Eyesgood spoke up, his head still turned to his work, "It was called wild back then.  Our friend Kole - you remember him - he went over and brought it back just before Independence was discovered.  Now that guy is a brave adventurer!"

I remembered him.  "Yes he is!  I sure miss his visits.  It's been ages since I saw him last.  We need to get in touch with him again."

"He lives on Celebration.  Maybe you should head down that way.  I hear there are buffalo there."

"No, Theo.  My mind is made up.  I want to explore Chaos.  What do you think?  What kind of supplies should I pack?"

I started plundering through the items our two merchants carried.  Eyesgood buffed the lantern he was working on and turned towards me.

"Well, you are going to need a good lantern!"

It still glowed as he held it up and I could clearly see through the soot on his face that he was smiling.

"Thanks, bro!  I shall use it to light my way into the lands of Chaos!"  We all laughed heartily.

Theo then said, "There's no sense in rushing out.  Let's see, what are you going to need on an exploration of Chaos?"

I interrupted him with a confident boast, "I don't need anything.  But if you ask me what I would like to have, I think I would like a good fishing pole.  Since I won't be hunting animals, fish can provide me with all the nourishment I need.  Also, a few veggies from your food bin, Theo, would be very pleasant."

"Yes, I just added some 81q veggies to the food bin in the kitchen.  Let me fetch some for you."

"No wait", I said.  "Let's just think about what I will need and then we can all work to gather everything."  

"You guys gather.  I am going to finish this lantern for you," said Eyes as the steam rose from the bucket he dipped it in.

I sat on one of the bulk bins and pondered what I would need as Theo scratched down a list for me.  

Surviverman's Adventure Kit:

1 willow fishing pole
1 small barrel
1 waterskin
1 butchering knife
1 steel and flint
1 backpack 
1 compass
5kg rags
10kg cotton
30 healing covers
5kg farmers salve
1 hatchet
1 satchel of vegetables containing 75 onions and 25 garlic.
1 frying pan
1 lantern
1 long sword
1 shield

Theo handed me the list even as I was contemplating.  I took the paper and scanned over it.  

"Oh no, I can't take all of this, Theo.  First off, I don't need a waterskin, I can drink from the ocean and lakes.  I don't need a butchering knife, nor do I need a long sword or a shield..."  

Eyesgood reached in to a chest and pulled out an axe.  He grabbed the head end and pointed the handle at me.  "Here.  Take this.  You can use the axe for felling trees, chopping kindling, defending yourself from rats, pigs, and any other easy critters, and you can butcher with it.  It's lighter than the hatchet, but bigger than the small axe.  It's a great alternative."

I nodded in agreement.  "Yes, this will do nicely, brother.  Thanks!"

I continued my critique of Theo's motherly list.  "Now where was I?  Ok, I don't need the waterskin, butchering knife, long sword, shield, hatchet...   Oh, I don't need the small barrel either.  I can do with a bucket though."

Theo and I worked over the list for a while and I settled on this revised "Surviverman" version.

1 willow fishing pole
1 bucket
1 backpack 
1 compass
5kg rags
10kg cotton
30 healing covers
5kg farmers salve
1 axe
1 satchel of vegetables containing 75 onions and 25 garlic.
1 frying pan
1 lantern

Theo huffed and shoved a steel and flint in my hand.  "You need this!" he insisted.  

"No I don't.  I have learned how to make a camp fire from woodscrap and kindling."  

"And how do you suppose that you are going to get woodscrap with no knife?" Theo confidently asked.

I laughed at his lack of knowledge in wilderness survival.  "Why, my wise brother, I can use the axe to chop down two young fruit trees.  Combinding the woodscrap from those will create enough scrap to use with the kindling to make a campfire.  If I fail, the resulting scrap can be reused on more kindling."

"Well," said Theo, "the thing doesn't weigh anything!  Save yourself some trouble and just take it, why don't you!"

"Theo is right, SM.  Besides, you never know if you might need to work an oven or forge.  You will never light them without that steel and flint.  Stop being so Suriverman and just take it.  We care about you, brother.  You may be Surviverman, but you have no idea what you will face in those wild lands."

I looked down at the brand new 50q steel and flint and smiled.  "Ok, I'll take it..."  But i thought to myself, I don't have to use it!

"The hour is late.  Why don't we get some sleep and you can start packing for your trip in the morning, eh?"

"Ok, Eyes," I said as I watched Theo head over to the kitchen.  Eyesgood left as well and headed for the bunk house.  I glanced over at the forge that had just a bed of coals left in it and smiling, I exited the workshop.  Theo met me at the entrance to the bunkhouse and we entered and all jumped in our beds.  I laid there thinking what great brothers I had and what great adventure awaited me in the land of Chaos.  My last thought before drifting to sleep was the curiosity of the effects a sharp axe would have on the smooth back of a pink fat pig.

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