|Sunrise over a Cashel. Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland. Copyright: Me!|
Towing a horse behind your sailboat isn’t easy. It is one of the few creatures in-game that can swim, but while there is no danger to it’s life, the game UI makes it a bit difficult to do so. It takes a lot of embarking, equipping, and clicking to get it right, so every time I stopped to eat, or explore I had to go through a frustrating ritual in addition to worrying about the horse being taken or wandering off. I persevered and asked in local in each area I came into if anyone wanted to buy a horse. No takers.
I real life I was about two weeks into my three week stint away from home at this point. In-game the virtual face of the horse was growing on me and the responsibility I felt for it, compounded by the fact I was missing my real dogs, was growing. I realized two things. I was going to go premium in Wurm, and I was going to have to found a settlement to keep this stupid horse.
I had barely made it to the far southern portion of Crystal Lake and already my journey was coming to an end. When I stumbled upon a new player wandering hungry and lost, I pulled into shore and offered a helping hand (I know, it surprised me too). I gave him some food, a fishing rod, and we chatted a bit about the game and the problem I was having with my horse-in-tow. Like most new players he was lost and looking for someplace he could build his own house. I remembered Moonlight Bay and offered to take him back there with a view to building a pen for my horse and perhaps founding a settlement.
It didn’t take too long to get back- though we did explore along the shore for potential areas to settle- and once we landed we took a good look around. Moonlight Bay was a decayed, abandoned settlement with villages to the east (Port Allure) and North (Crystal Port). The area lacked a mine but the coveted location along a shore and some rather nice views from atop the hill sealed the deal. I constructed a pen and secured my horse.
My sea-faring adventure was over for the time being. I had a horse to take care of and with the decision made to settle I took to it. Once I ‘subbed’, or went premium, and had the silver I went to the closest merchant (a short sail to the east) and bought a settlement deed.
|Let the digging begin!|
In Wurm you have to have an area which is, at a minimum, 11 by 11 tiles. Your default settlement size is 5 by 5 and this provides you with certain protections. Nothing can be taken off your deed without your permission, all locks are controlled by you, and the decay rate is minimal (meaning your stuff won’t disappear including houses, fences, etc.). An additional 5 by 5 area surrounding that is your perimeter in which no one else can build. You don’t get any other bonus' in the perimeter.
When placing your settlement you have to ensure that you don’t infringe on another perimeter (or settlement). The game simply won’t let you. You also have to place at least 2 tiles away from water. My situation was that the current villages’ perimeter meant I had to fill in a great deal of the lake before I was far enough away to place my token. Long story short- there was a lot of digging and transporting of dirt before I could create my very own village: Lios An Oir.
An impressive looking hill was to be my focal point. Lios An Oir means ‘fort of gold’ in Irish and is the name of a street I lived on. I decided to replicate a Cashel, which is basically a circular, walled area with a ditch that provided protection for animals. It was within my perimeter, but off deed, so it would only be for decoration (essentially). I spent my time as most Wurmians do, making a few essential tools, tending crops, and, of course, grooming my horse.
The spoiled ‘fat adolescent horse’ which had changed the course of my game play was indifferent. Fat, and happy, but indifferent. The newbie I had run into got busy making some tools, skilling up, and building his first house. He picked the best spot, I have to say, even further up the hill than my cashel, with a commanding view of the lake. Typical for me, I dabbled with this, made a bit of that, and explored the area. My neighbors turned out to be very nice and I was welcomed to the area with offers of help and gifts of tools (no, actual gifts, not my usual ‘gifts’). The previous owner of Moonlight Bay, by all accounts, had been a bit of an ass, so they were pleased someone new, and nice (yes, nice, believe it or not) had taken over.
The horse has grown from young, to adolescent, to mature and has just had her first foal (courtesy of my neighbor's stud services). I like the fact that the offspring are named automatically and when you ‘examine’ them they display the pedigree and traits (if your skill is high enough). She has just taken ill which actually has me worried during the day (stupid work cutting into my play time).
|View from port as it looks now|
She will recover with regular grooming and feeding which I tend to the second I get home but I’m hoping to slyly get She Who Will Be Named Later interested in the welfare of my burgeoning herd so she might want to log in and groom her for me. Hey, it’s not that much of a leap. She doesn’t play games (sorry, but Tomb Raider once a year doesn’t count) but she is an experience horse person, after all, and frequently groom real horses so why not virtual ones? She’s always wanted a horse, and lo and behold, here it is! Get grooming damn you!
|My first wooden structure at the foot of the cashel|
|The stone structure to the right is my neighbor...my masonry isn't high enough to do that yet. My new stone animal pen (left front) is more like a cashel than the one I built on the hill.|
|A real (buried) Cashel, also called a Ringfort.|
|A Cashel in Co. Galway which I excavated (and featured in the first photo of this post). No, I am not pictured as the photo was taken by me :)|