Crafting

The details of the entire series of unfortunate events are still somewhat hazy. Although I am certain of one thing, mistakes were made. It should also be stated that crafting should be a single task affair. When you mix and match your crafting hobbies, terrible things happen.

Things started off well. I had previously visited the desert of Wyrmsands and harvested many Corpion glands to use as a most diabolical accompaniment to my sword play. Additionally, I had harvested a good crop of wheat to be used in my latest brewing endeavor. Unbeknownst to Alley, I picked a few choice herbs from the greenhouse and may have peeled a pumpkin or two for flavor.

At the Alchemy table, I took great care in the handling of the Corpion extract and distilled my potion into a powerful draft. I was just as careful with the brewing, measuring ingredients twice, using the purest water from the Devotional fountains and regulating the cooking temperature with great care.

I believe the problem came in my choice of containment vessel. Both my Alchemy and Brewing are low budget affairs and storage containers can be scarce. Ale mugs however, are in abundance so I put those into effect. In retrospect, it would have been wise to use some sort of labeling system.

After the Corpion poison was done, I set it aside to cool. The same was done for the ale. Since this is sweltering work, I was parched at the end of my toils and anxious to find a cooling beverage to slake my thirst. Out of habit, my eyes fixed on the first mug I saw and I quaffed it down.

It had a rather appealing tang at first, but after a moment it had a rather voracious bite, I can attest to that. The crafting pavilion began to sway in a rather mocking fashion and I stumbled to more solid ground. Progress was steady until my vision abandoned me. I then had to use my superior sense of touch and smell to navigate my way to safety.

Alas, the path was riddled with hazards. I was cut to shreds on the Kobold Slag Swords that some damnable fool, which I later discovered was me, had placed as decorations. This sent me careening into a rack of Kobold Electric Axes which stunned me to the core and sent me reeling.

The brazier broke my fall and in a fit state of incapacitation, I slumped there waiting for the debilitating and deleterious effects of the poison to wear off.

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My keen sense of smell tells me that something is burning. We should probably do something about that before it turns into a terrible situation.

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Oba and I have recently taken up the mantle of creating a great varietal from the vines we are growing in the Hollow. Oba was able to start planting earlier than myself as I was impeded by poor planning, a lack of space and misplaced Oracle head. However, after careful consideration, taking into account the angle of the sun, hours of daylight, wind velocity, temperature and water availability, I planted my vines on the roof.

I fetched many a pail of water from my well and ascended many stairs to attain my goal, but the beds were laid and seeds nestled in the soil. I now anxiously await my sprouts.

With time to spare, I took it upon myself to assist Oba in extracting the juice from the grape. I felt the traditional method to be best and so with great vigor, leapt on the trellis. I proceeded to work my way up and down the vines, the succulent grapes bursting beneath my feet.

Oba, however, found error in my technique and questioned whether I knew what I was doing. I tried to reassure him, that I was on intimate terms with wine and when it came to purchasing and emptying said bottles, few were as skilled as I.

He countered that we were engaged in the process of filling the bottles, not emptying them. The distinction was lost on me.

"While I admire your zeal," he began, "you have neglected to not only wash your feet before treading on the grapes, you are still wearing your cloth boots!" I looked down to take heed of his words.

"Further, you were just using the outhouse!"

"Come now! I didn’t use my feet while I was in there. What sort of barbarian do you take me for?"

He acquiesced on this point, but continued with, "And you don’t crush the grapes while they’re still on the vine. You have to pick them first! You harvest the ripe ones and leave the others to soak in more sun."

"But this is more efficient!" I declared, quite firm in my convictions. His words had merit, but I fell I was on the more solid course.

Giving in to my logic, Oba asked, "Where is the bucket to catch the juice?"

At this, I looked down from the trellis, the juice of the vine seeping into the soil below.

"Well, you have me there," I replied. "A slight oversight on my part due to my zeal to get started. But fear not! I shall employ the services of the hot tub and we’ll be back in business!"

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We’ve had some form of random encounter, on and off, for well over a year, but by and large they haven’t been of any great interest. However, I find the new Random Encounters are a nice step forward.

The new encounters give an opportunity to grab some quick loot and resources. When I see a Bandit or Skeleton skulking in the distance looking bandity or boney, I head straight toward them. This gives me the chance to loot their pockets, harvest wood from multiple trees, collect cotton and grab both gold and copper. And since the scene resets each time, the nodes are replenished. The regular mines have significantly dropped their yields, so I find this is a quick and easy way to make up the difference.

The skeleton scenes also provide a good source of mandrake and nightshade. Look carefully around the ring of stones. The mandrake root can be hard to see, but it’s there in quantity.

Scenes with wolves and stags offer a grand opportunity for the hunt. Again, trees and cotton are readily available, and I take great pleasure in reliving those wolves of their winter coats. Depending on where you go, there might be an opportunity to do some crocodile wrestling. With the new crating recipes, those carcasses are needed for the butchery station.

These are not the highest yield nodes and resources, but since they spawn so quickly, their frequency makes up the difference. They will continue to adapt and change as we move forward, such as sieges and gypsy wagons. But if you are roaming the overworld, I would take advantage of these new scenes, especially since they will most likely be scaled back.

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I found myself in West Ravenswood, on a dark and rather overcast night with pockets of rain. I was trying to convince Veimor, yet again, that it would be to his advantage to return home before his betrothed gave up on his nomadic ways. I even offered to show him the way. It was just down the road. We could go together. I had cleared a path through the wolves, it would be easy going. But he would hear none of it and stood sentry offering his foolish warnings about the ferocity of the wildlife.

I gave up on Veimor and felt my time would be better spent gathering resources for crafting projects I wished to undertake at a later interval. I made the usual rounds, harvesting cotton here and there, clearing away a few available trees and picking up assorted blooms of nightshade. It was going rather well, that is, until I strayed near the Kobold camp.

While minding my own business and harvesting a bit of cotton, one of the clan felt it necessary to throw slurs in my direction, chiding me on my use of the sickle and taunting my form with the axe. I felt these were undeserved, but did my best to ignore them. Yet, the jibes continued as they berated me over a myriad of perceived deficiencies.

They repeatedly referred to me as a no-account, cotton picking human and losing my temper, I thusly retorted they were smelly, tent-dwelling hooligans that couldn’t figure out how to make leggings. Trouble soon broke out between our people. A group of ruffs came running out of their encampment with the intent of doing me savage harm. I set them to rights with judicious use of the Flaming Sword of Smiting and then proceeded to upset their entire camp by knocking over chairs and tables, pulling out the pegs to their tents and kicking dirt on their campfires.

This silenced the entire lot of them and after stealing all their worthless hammers and looting their pockets for the meager gold they carried, I set off to seek retribution against the wolves for not accepting me as their leader.

But then, to my surprise, a visitor mysteriously appeared against the gloom of the night. Amidst my confusion I noticed it was moving with extreme velocity and headed directly toward me. Believing it to be a wolfpack leader come to seek vengeance against me for seeking vengeance against it, I made ready to play dead and hope it didn’t notice me.

To my great relief, it was no creature come out of the darkness to eat my head. Rather, it was Alley Oop. While a social gathering with Alley is always a treat, had I known of her arrival, I would have afforded better accommodations and refreshment. But it did cause me to assess the situation.

I was in a forest, this was true, but unlike most nights, I was not held captive by the icy hand of Death and in need of saving. Too, I had not fallen over the precipice of a lava flow and was in need of rescue and a bucket of cold water. Nor was I lost in a mine shaft and in need of a guide to return me to the surface.

This was, most likely, a pre-emptive visit, with the understanding that since I was in a forest, I would soon be face down in the river with a bear breaking open oysters with the judicious use of my helm, my head still inside.

However, Alley had a completely different intent for her visitation. To that end, she produced a hand-crafted cloak and told me to try it on. To my stunned amazement it was a brilliant yellow cloak to replace the one I lost when the end of the world came around. It’s fate is still unknown.

It was magnificent and lit up the night like a fire-breathing dragon fly. I paraded and danced with exuberance and thanked Alley for her most generous gift, but alas, she was already gone. Perhaps my victorious celebration went on for too lengthy a duration. No matter, I was in possession of a wondrous new cloak and I was going to flaunt it.

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Oh my goodness, it’s stunning! Look at how it catches the light!

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The flow of this cape is hypnotic. And when I got lost in the forest, it will be so easy for Alley to retrieve me!

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If you would have accepted me as your leader, it never would have come to this

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The initial groundbreaking of my stronghold to assuage the damage done to me by Alchemister materialized with resounding success, however, after lackadaisical progress due to the crew I hired and their need for breaks, cold ale, mutton sandwiches with pickled onion and insistence on appropriate safety measure, I had no choice but to remove them from the task and engage the services of a corps that could complete the task according to my guidelines and specifications and without this needless concern for safety and staying out of harms way. As such, I went to the docks in search of a crew who could handle the scope of my massive erection.

I was able to secure a troupe of workers recently departing a vessel in Kingsport. I believe they were just the type of builders I needed as they had a more cavalier attitude toward safety as noted by the drawing of a skeletal head upon their caps. Further, Anton recommended them highly, but gave fair warning that all valuables, especially gold trinkets should be locked away until the work was completed. Sound advice indeed.

And so they assured me the work could be completed with ease and in a fraction of the time the previous layabouts had suggested. All they required were a few bottles of rum and this job would be sorted in no time.

I took my leave and gave them free reign to work as they saw fit without my interference. I see now that it would have been to my advantage to investigate their headway on a more regular basis.

I admit, the fortress is indeed up, but there are a couple of minor details that prevent it from being the perfect embattlement that I envisioned. Perhaps the biggest point of contention is that it does not contain the rotunda styled turret towers in the corners that I requested, so it does instill the appropriate fear and respect that should be ascertained whence gazing upon it. Another, equally distressing issue is the lack of spikes along the parapets so as to thus repel invaders should they be foolhardy enough to make a stand against me. The third is a minor sticking point and borders on splitting hairs, but I feel it bears calling out. The stone walls were indeed in the wrong place.

I believe I was quite specific and direct in where I wished the fortress to be constructed. And I was duly assured by the steward I assumed to be the man in charge that he understood my request considering I put and X on the ground and wrote the words, "Build fortress here" using cheese blocks.

I’m not sure where we had our breakdown in communication, but the fortress now encompasses a stray domicile within the walls of the city. While it does look reasonably spectacular, it’s doesn’t quite live up to expectations.

I will also point out, that though it appears very clear on my design parchment, the final product omits the proper gating that allows one entry to the interior of the structure. As such, there is no ingress to the aforementioned shanty.

Unto itself, that is merely a trifle. We can negotiate such things and rectify as needed. However, it was revealed that a vendor, who had been napping after finding a renegade rum bottle that my workers had neglected, was now contained with the walls.

This too is a mere hiccup, as he is quite comfortable with the food stuffs we have been launching over the walls on a semi-regular basis, although the diet has been somewhat restrictive as we now realize that bowls of mutton simply don’t hold together under the strain of the return trip to the other side. However, bananas, tomatoes, carrots and the pumpkin are more than built for the task. This also negates the need for flammable materials to cook said food stuffs as we encountered some miscalculations with the launching of fire over the wall.

Additionally, the crew who erected the walls, have been recalled back to Kingsport and have summarily put to sea. A notice has been dispatched for another crew to facilitate relocating the fortress to the proper location, but as yet, the call has been unheeded.

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Yes, I see that the walls are indeed aligned and do in fact come together at the appropriate place, but there was supposed to be a spectacular tower in each corner. I see you have the makings of something quite grand here, but it obviously lacks the proper follow through.

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I clearly wrote, “gate” on the parchement. It was there the whole time. Four sets of walls with no gate is a ludicrous endeavor. Whoever felt this was proper needs to rethink their decision making paradigm. And perhaps put down the bottle of rum from time to time.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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