Author Topic: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9  (Read 1748 times)

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Offline Abandoned

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Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« on: January 31, 2017, 06:37:06 AM »
Intro

  This is the 9th story in the Smallville Series and tell the tale of the 5th expedition to set off from that town.  It is the 1st of 2 expeditions preparing to leave at roughly the same time to go to the aid of victims of the recent flooding disasters caused by several years of heavy rains.  This smaller group left first to rescue livestock that had been abandoned by survivors of settlements destroyed by floods or mudslides.  The story takes place far to the south of Smallville but not as far south as the birthplace of the Smallville founders or as far southwest as the Mountain Mission of Story #2.

Animal Refuge is Map #983674923   Valley, Small, Mild, disasters Off, Herder start condition

The Herder start condition is one of 21 choices in the Multiple Start Mod by Tikaszar.  It starts with 3 families, a cart with a small amount of resources, and a large amount of livestock, all the same kind. These settlers hope to have every type of livestock including milk cows and hogs.  Had I know beforehand that I could not have both cattle and milk cows, I would not have used milk cows for this map.  Since the start condition does not include seeds (or seedling), these settlers plan to live off the land without planting crops or orchards.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men ...

The only preplanning that went into this story was the start condition and other mods activated:   Forest Deep v3, Forest Outpost, Busy Laborers, Dairy Milk & Creamery v3, Decorative Plants v4, DS Fences & Decorations, DS Roads, DS Storage, Fenceless Pastures, Fly Fishing, Green House, I See Fire, Mini Buildings, More Iron, Stone, Wood, NanashiX Moai, 1:1, Sample White Chickens, Slink's Hogs, Storage Crates, Tent with Fire, Tiny, Tree House v2, Village School, Wild Oats, Wood Butcher, ZCorp Mush Masher.

 So, weary traveler, before I tell you all about this Animal Refuge, let me tell you a little story about mice and men.   It was just before the first snowfall was expected a few years ago.  My husband and I had just finished stacking the last of the firewood.  He went into the storage barn for the canvas tarp to cover the woodpile.  I heard a cascade of strange sounds followed by a few curse words before I was called to come see what my chipmunks had done now.   The tarp contained a stash of acorns, a whole winter's supply, which now lay all over the barn floor, hundreds of acorns.  But my chipmunks didn't do this.  Out from one of the kindling boxes I had neatly stacked came the tiniest mouse I had ever seen.  If a mouse can look bewildered, this one did.  He looked at us, and then at all his acorns, and then back at us.  My husband looked at the acorns, looked at the mouse, looked at me, shook his head, took his tarp and left the barn.  I looked in wonder and amazement at this tiny little creature who managed to collect and stash away all these acorns.  His winter food storage plans certainly went awry.  Yes, weary traveler, I did.  I gathered together all the acorns into a neat pile over by the kindling box where the little guy went to hide. By spring the acorns were gone.

  Before we left Smallville, our best laid plans to go North went awry, in late winter we headed south.

Offline Nilla

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 07:44:56 AM »
Nice to read a new story from you!  :)

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 07:50:35 AM »
Thanks, Ironwoman  :)

Offline brads3

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 09:30:31 AM »
i'm cunfused i need a log,timeline chart,and a map of where every1 is by now.lol
  you always seem to find some different and  older mods.it is interesting to see how some of them look and work. i thought the cows were fixed to get both meat and milk cows. does it depend on mod order or you need another mod also?

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 05:30:53 AM »
@brads3, a timeline might be a little tricky.  I overlap storylines and expeditions so I don't end up waiting for a space travel mod  :D.  Maybe I could somehow post my map, but then where would all these lost weary travelers come from  :)     The dairy cows do give meat as well as milk but not as much as cattle if I'm not mistaken.  Without crops planted I thought I'll need to expand food production with Red's new butcher and old creamery version (to blend in with forest setting) and the old mush masher.  I have no idea what the input will be for that.  The butcher can make bacon and I used the greenhouse mod to make trade good seedlings if I end up needing to trade for food.  We will have to see how it goes.  Hope you enjoy the story.

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 05:41:00 AM »
Chapter 1

  There were 6 of us who moved to Smallville with our parents from the northern highlands.  We attended school together, we did everything together.  We talked of going back to the northern highland together when we grew up.  We talked of going for the Druid festival of Beltane on May 1st when herds are taken up to the high pastures.  Many animals were sacred to our ancestor; they give us milk and meat to nourish us and hides and wool to keep us warm.  When we heard from the boatman that many animals were stranded and starving because of the floods down south, how could we turn our backs and go the other way.  The animals were suffering, Earth Mother did not mean for this to be so.  We had to go help them.

  An expedition was being equipped to head south to set up a refugee camp for survivors.  We easily convinced the town elders that it would be advantageous to all to rescue the animals.  The refugees would need food and clothing and the camp would eventually need livestock.  An animal refuge could also supply future settlements and expeditions with starting herds.  Since domestic animals had less chance of surviving on their own in wild than humans, our one supply cart was loaded first.  There were only 6 of us plus a younger sibling and we wanted to travel light, 20 tools, 20 coats, 1200 potatoes, and 100 pieces of firewood were all we needed.  Felecta, Smallville's wise elder and botanist, tucked in a small bundle of tree seedlings from her greenhouse, gave us some last minute advice, and reminded us to remember the old ways.  Amid a flurry of hugs and kisses and tears we set off.

  We traveled farther than we had planned.  There was always one more animal in need of assistance that we saw in the distance.  Several cows and pigs were gone before we could reach them, but we managed to save 16 sheep, less animals than we had hoped.  We had to travel quite a bit further inland, herding the sheep, before we found dry ground suitable for grazing and settling.  We weren't quite sure exactly where we were but this valley would be our new home.

   It was midsummer before we had collected wild foods and enough building supplies to built our 3 new homes.  We certainly needed more laborers but regretted that Glyndall became a working adult before we could build a school for her education.  She would learn from experience and we would teacher her the old ways.  We built treehouses like my elven ancestors did in their Nature Preserves.  We would trust the trees to protect us should rising flood waters threaten us and we would trust them to shade us in summer and keep us warm in winter, and cook the foods that Mother Earth provides for us.  We would use our resources wisely and reverently.  We would collect the stone and iron she placed on the earth for us without destroying the hills and mountains like my dwarven ancestors were known to do. I probably wouldn't be here today if the Elves and Dwarves hadn't allied to fight the Chaotic Orcs in the old days of Might and Magic.  My husband and I probably wouldn't be together if his Chaotic ancestors hadn't allied with the Elves and Dwarves to fight the Undead horde.  But that's ancient history, weary traveler.

   Did I tell you my name is Yvonnie and my husband is Normanni?  We built our tree house and gathering hut for wild oats by the large loch.  It had a peaceful almost sacred stillness about it that I was drawn to. Normanni was drawn to it to do some fishing from the point.  The fishing line barely hit the water before he caught the first of many lake trout.  It seemed to me the tree there on the shore appeared as suddenly as all the trout. The autumn leaves fell before I got a good look at it but I thought it was different somehow from all the other trees growing here.  We would have to wait until spring to see.

Offline brads3

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2017, 07:49:07 AM »
dwarves,elfs,orc,zombies??? what planet is this???? did you find a stargate and step thru it?? we definetly aint in kansas any more toto.

Offline kid1293

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 09:13:03 AM »
@brads3 - remember where Dorothy ended up?
No definitely not in Kansas. But why judge a game by it's limits?
You can have fun and meet with elves anywhere. :)

Offline brads3

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 12:11:14 PM »
is that a hint that you are sending me to the witch???kidd i'll bite my tongue or she'll have you making flying monkeys next.lol

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 12:57:10 PM »
LOL you two.  @brads3 if you recall you are on Santa's naughty list already.  The zombies are part of the Undead Horde that will arise from @RedKetchup 's spooky or fenceless cemeteries when he gets them finished.  @kid1293, no flying monkey request but witch's house or spooky trees or ghosted ghost scarecrow or ...

So, wouldn't @tanypredator new water lilies gone nicely on the loch behind the tree house and fit in with the peaceful stillness?

Offline kid1293

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 01:45:51 PM »
@brads3 !  Don't bite your tongue!
I can see that this road leads to another Tolkien experience.
But it was fun for a while. I have always liked the forest.
It's the same with mountains. Some people just love them
and everything made of rock. Some have a longing for deserts.

And yes, the water lilies are definitely mood enhancers.

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 03:20:30 AM »
Chapter 2

  That 1st winter was a mild one with little snow.  That meant there was a good chance of survival for any human victims or animals still out there.  We had not even seen any deer but we built a hunter hideout.  We had need of meat and hides for coats.  We began construction of a town hall high in the tallest tree along the river shore in the hopes human survivors would see it from a distance.  It was suggested that we light some bonfires on the hilltops but we were often short of wood and we had no spare worker to tend such bonfires.  We would soon need someone to make iron tools and hide coats. From the spiral staircase of the tree hall we could see several large herds of deer in the distance coming this way.  We stood and watched in amazement as a small herd with fawns in tow stopped and grazed right in front of us and the hunter's hideout.  It was as if they knew they and their babies would be safe from us.

  Our 1st 3 babies were born that 2nd year in our Animal Refuge, one to each family, 2 boys and 1 girl; Glorian, Helmar, and our own Conardo.  Not only were we amazed at these tiny little lives we had created but at the array of flowering plants and shrubs that kept appearing out of nowhere.  It was as if Earth Mother was pleased with us and our care of the earth and animals.

  Despite our lack of workers, our building projects continued, a small workshop and large storage vault were completed by our only builder.  The rest of us stopped work regularly to gather building materials and wild foods.  I saw there was a great deal of wild oats growing south of town and requested a second gathering hut be built there.  That project was put on hold when several trees suddenly appeared nearby, trees just like the one by Normanni's fishing spot.  We discovered a huge circle of these trees and in the very center grew a majestic tree.  This must be the Mother Tree I remember my elven grandparents speaking of, those trees bordering the circle were sacred trees.  The foundation of my new gatherer's hut lay within the protected circle.  If we continued building it would we offend Earth Mother?  We asked to be given a sign.  Glyndall would tend the sacred forest and Mother Tree reverently while we waited.

 The other 2 building projects were completed however, a tiny trading post and a bridge.  We had no spare worker for the trading post but from the tree hall we could see a long way up the river if a boatman was coming.  We could also see steep hills to the west.  If livestock or nomads appeared how would we reach them?  We remembered back in Smallville a boatman brought word that the 4th expedition were lucky to have made it alive across a partially frozen river.  Later we got word they established the settlement of Monkstown.  We built a bridge and hoped if there were any survivors still out there they would now be able to get to us alive.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 04:14:33 AM by Abandoned »

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 04:10:20 AM »
Chapter 3

  In spring of year 4, we received the sign we asked for.  Glyndall tended the sacred forest with great care, harvesting trees when needed and placing the woodchips around Mother Tree.  We had been using woodchips to pave our roads so as not to disturb Earth Mother any more than we had too.  Our efforts were rewarded when, in spring, flowing plants and shrubs sprang up around Mother Tree.  When more appeared and began blooming around the gatherer's mushroom hut we build east of the sacred forest, we took this as the sign of approval we asked for regarding the oat gatherer's hut  within the sacred circle.  But we didn't know what to make of the huge tree stump that suddenly appeared the following year.

  In early spring of year 5 the first riverboat merchant arrived at our trading post.  We had no trader working yet to bring our trade goods to our port.   We had extra iron tools to trade, and since our new tailor shop was producing wool coats, we planned to trade the hide coats.   The boatman had nothing we needed but he did give us plenty of information.  Many of the main rivers changed course due to the recent floods and mudslides.  This river ran nowhere near Smallville, which was quite a ways northeast, but it did join up with a branch of that river down near the Mountain Mission.  There were no settlements remaining near here upriver but he did see a number of unattended livestock.  He would spread the word among the boatmen to capture the animals if possible and bring them here.  We told him to add that we would pay a fair trade value or more for their help rescuing the animals.

  It was only a week or so later that the 1st survivors arrived in town.  They had seen the boatman and tried to flag him down but he didn't see them.  They had also seen livestock and there were other survivors still out there.  Their town had been swept away.  Calvis and Henriet were happy to have a place to call home and were thrilled with the treehouse we built for them.

  Our wood supply was a constant struggle.  We worried about how many trees we could cut before we angered Earth Mother.  We now had 2 foresters tending the sacred forest but still we were short of logs.  It was late autumn when the huge tree stump appeared.  Almerson was up early to tend the sheep and there it was.  We thought perhaps it was a gift from Earth Mother to help with our wood supply but when Domona, the woodcutter, struck it with her axe she discovered it to be hallow and a door magically appeared.  There was some powerful magic at work here.

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2017, 12:19:10 PM »
Chapter 4

  In spring of year 6, 2 more survivors arrived, Elissac and Pamalia.  They said the huge tree stump reminded them of an old herbalist hut from their childhood.  With a little help from our builder it became just that and by late spring several flowering shrubs in full bloom sprang up around it.  Elissac said he was skilled in herbalism and healing so, when we needed herbs gathered, he was our man.

  The tree stump herbalist hut somehow reminded me of the witch's huts back home in the highlands.  There was one hut, with a small fenced in garden, that specialized in each of the 5 types of magic.  Yes, weary traveler, I know,  there are as many people who don't believe in magic as there are who don't believe in Santa.  Santa?  Santa Claus, um .. oh  ... never mind.  Anyways, I requested such a hut be built and it was completed in no time at all, complete with a little white picket fence.  The builder called it a magical garden.  Before we knew it little flowering shrubs popped up along the pathway.  I was thrilled to have such a wonderful magic hut, I couldn't wait to try out my magician skills.  I knew a little about Nature magic meditation and basic summoning but I didn't think we needed any sprites or leprechauns.  My dwarven ancestors had a basic nobility skill that could produce wood, maybe if I combined that with a little Chaos magic conjuration ...who knows?

  I was amazed at the wonderful things I was able to summon in the magical garden hut but I had little time to use my newfound magical skill; I became one of the first victims of the outbreak of typhus.  A tent hospital was promptly set up near the garden so I got immediate medical attention from Elissac, our new physician.  A cemetery was being constructed by the hillside sheep pasture but was not needed thanks to Elissac's magical healing powers.  Normanni was greatly relieved that I recovered.  He had taken over my job as magician plus taking care of our 3 young children.  His 1st magical feat was to keep the flickering torches in front of the storage vault lit with a basic Chaos magic fire aura spell, impressive.

  As relieved as we all were that we lost no one to typhus, we were dismayed to discover we lost 5 of the 6 sheep from the hillside pasture.  We don't know what happened to them.  When we arrived only 10 sheep could graze in the area we set aside for them, the remaining 6 we put to pasture on the nearby hillside.  We only had one herdsman, Almerson.  Without continuous care the six sheep provided wool but did not multiply.  Did we leave them unattended too long?  Did they roam off?  Did Earth Mother take them as sacrifice on Midsummers Day?  Was she displeased with how we were managing the herd?  Who knows?

  In spring of year 7,  2 more survivors found us.  We didn't need another herdsman now;  Almerson moved the main herd to the hillside pasture which was big enough for all 11 sheep.  Future pastures we planned to start building would be fenced, but we were short on wood again because we had just finished building a fishing pier in the middle of the loch.  A house for the new arrivals was next on the to do list. 

  In early spring the first 2 students began their education, the 3rd, Helmar, followed shortly after.  I was their teacher.  My son Conardo said he wanted to learn Chaos and Order magic to become a wizard and Glorian said she just wanted to specialize in Nature magic to be a Druid.  I said they would get a proper education first and then we would see.  Normanni and I did pretty well with our magic, the magical garden certainly was turning out to be a major contributor to the survival of our town. 

  A family of 3 arrived in spring of year 8 making the population of our Animal Refuge 29, 16 adults, 3 students, and 10 young children.

Offline Abandoned

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Re: Abandoned - Animal Refuge - Story 9
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2017, 10:19:55 AM »
Chapter 5

   In late winter of year 8 a greenhouse was built for the Smallville seedlings I had been nurturing all these years.  Calvis, one of the first survivors to arrive in town, became the botanist and his wife, Henriet, took over oat gathering nearby and close to their tree house.  The boatman said there was a need for seedlings since so many trees had been uprooted by floods and destroyed by windstorms.  In late spring we were given a sign from Earth Mother that she was pleased with our contribution to reforestation; flowering shrubs sprang up around the greenhouse.

  In Spring of year 9 a family of 4 arrived.  When a house was built for them, it was my son, Conardo, still a student, who moved into it with one of their daughters, Loreena.  Another house was built and a hostel was begun across the river from the tree hall.  It was finished in time to welcome Rockett and his wife, Glind, to town the following spring.  Rockett was of Dwarven descent and knew a lot about rocks and what kind might be found in nearby hills.  At the town tree hall meeting, he spoke about mining coal to burn instead of firewood for heat.  As he spoke the sky got darker and darker and thunder rumbled and the earth shook.  When the storm subsided we emerged from the tree hall and saw an ominous sight;  amid piles of rock and iron was a tall pillar of stone.  We thought it might be a sacred Druid standing stone even though it lay outside the circle of sacred trees.  It must have been this that caused the earth to tremor, perhaps a warning from Earth Mother.

  When the boatman arrived in early autumn, he brought 5 scrawny white chickens he rescued and word that there was a new settlement upriver, a refugee camp.  He also heard that way over in the east a railroad train full of coal was shaken right off its wooden tracks.  It was far from any settlement so no one was hurt.  Yes, weary traveler, very strange indeed.

  Winter came early that year with several heavy frosts in early autumn.  Our log supply was again low but we had plenty of firewood to see us through till spring.