Norman, the Normaloper

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1 hour ago, Gooner77 said:

Marsh Ridge cave always spawns the deer the second time you enter the cave. Has done this forever. Take it from an experienced Kegstander.  

Well mystery solved, Mr. Moulder :D 

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I'm sorry to inform you that Norman has gone to hibernation, waiting for the bug-winter to end.

After in a parallel, not tracked game I lost three kills in a row (2 deer, 1 wolf) to them sinking through the ground and also took a rough beating from an underground wolf I've decided I don't want to end a story run on the notion that the story ended because the game currently is in a less-than-desireable state. I feel that would be undeserving of so many hours put into writing these.

Doesn't mean Norman's adventures end here. Norman will return when Great Bear has returned to sanity.

Edited by jeffpeng

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On 1/13/2020 at 5:42 PM, jeffpeng said:

I'm sorry to inform you that Norman has gone to hibernation, waiting for the bug-winter to end.

We will wait!

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On 1/14/2020 at 7:42 AM, jeffpeng said:

Norman will return when Great Bear has returned to sanity.

A wise choice. Norman is a good interloping citizen of the Great Bear. He has no use for underground predators.

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Well, this newest hotfix has promised to resolve some of the bugs, maybe we'll see Norman in his natural habitat again!

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Norman 2 / Days 24 and 25 - The Valley of the Damned, Episode II: "Where the winds actually don't take me"

I finish my Rabbit Skin Mitts at first "daylight". Good thing my survivor can see in the utter darkness as long as it's just 6 am. Pleasant Valley celebrates the completion of my first selfmade piece of quality clothing with an honorary sub-blizzard. For Jeremiah's sake! At least this gives me time to recap where I left off before entering hibernation - and sort some of my 55 kilograms I'm certainly not all carrying away from here. After doing some inventory I cannot deny a certain similarity with the local outlet store.

Firesale! We're closing! Everything must go!

While I get ready the blizzard moves on before ever fully materializing. Now it's blue skies and a bit of snow. How does that even work? Better don't ask too many questions or the next thing I know it's raining wolves.

On the way back to Skeeter's I come across a bunch of saplings I must have missed on my relatively blind way up there. Sorry guys, this time you come with me. Upon reaching the Burned Ridge Cave I find some animal parts I left to cure a long time ago, but I also realize I'm in a bit of a predicament. I'm thirsty - which is easily fixed by throwing dead plants into a fire and harnessing the energy to achieve a phase change in abundantly available ice - and I'm getting hungry, which has a simple solution now, but will become a recurring theme unless I start tapping into some new food sources soon.

With the fire still burning at the cave I can't help but chance a short expedition to the Basement at Skeeter's, which involves a bit of literally running circles around the local furball. No underwear again, but I find some food - however most of it spoiled. But at this point I'm keeping even that around. Luckily the wolf never notices me escape, but just as I leave the cave again the overdue blizzard rolls in howling. Freezing, naked (to save my clothes from damage), tired, hungry and riddled with developing frostbite I reach Draft Dodger's.

One of the most beautiful things to see in a blizzard.

I sleep 9 hours, as I actually need them, and wake up to a devastingly dark and snowy night. Thirsty I make a fire outside. Somehow I manage to bring down a rabbit in this darkness, but then winds brush up. My fire holds, for now, guarded by three trees. I venture back out into the dark, and two more rabbits fall to the same stone. Then, finally, the weather clears up a bit. The rabbit's sacrifice offers a reprieve, but not a solution to my developing food crisis. But it's better than nothing and should keep me going for a bit.

The way back is slow and in blistering cold. Luckily I find a few cattails I left behind, which relaxes my calorie constraints. My problem isn't so much that 30 cattails aren't enough. My problem is that on the way back I won't find a lot of new calories as I've taken most that was on my way. I really wish I had brought at least a few of my arrow heads. Not even at the bridge I need to make camp again to warm up, but I make it to the farm in mostly one piece.

I contemplate a long time, until I finally decide to postpone crafting my Deerksin Boots. This little extravaganza would cost me a full day, or, in cattails: about 18. That still would leave me with a few spares - but not enough to get through the inevitable blizzard. I leave what I don't need, including a large amount of saplings that haven't yet cured and some spoiled food a future me might appreciate.

At the barn I make quick work of two bunnies that yield a decent 2.4 kilograms of proteins. With the sun burning down on a wind blasted landscape the fire is even free, but its survival is at the whims of the almight weather algorithm. When the winds shift away from the farm towards Cascading Falls I decide to travese the river instead of taking the long route via the radio tower. But the winds just won't give me a break, and on my way to the transition cave a bear blocks my path.

Doesn't particularly agree with me being alive: a bear.

I make camp yet again near the bridge towards the Pensive Pond in a place that I hope will fare better against the wind than I do. While grow increasingly fatigued the sky turns grey and I already fear the worst. I consider staying at the pensive pond, which would be an adventure in itself, but then remember that there's actually another cave near Cascading Falls. When I leave the fire the wind .... finally lets me off the hook enough to keep a torch burning.

Weighing my options and with the bear in hearing range I decide to make a "run" for the transition cave - and succeed. I crawl through the cave but then call it quits at the mouth as I am in no shape making it through Winding River before I punch in some hours of quality sleep. But .... yet again I emerge from the Valley of the Damned battared and beaten - but victorious.

It can only get better from here on out.

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Norman 2 / Days 26 to 28 - The Mist

5 am, end of the cave to winding river. My condition has improved back to "can actually survive a wolf" levels. My food crisis seems to be on hold since I somehow managed to get through the last two days and still ramp up back to 37 cattails, with an iron reserve of 2 cans of beans and tomato soup each. I light up and step out into the unknown yet again. The dawning morning is clear and cold.

Actually not the worst version of Winding River I've seen.

The winds are strong, but not (yet?) strong enough to deprive me of my loved fire. Hugging the walls closer than humanly possible I sprain both my wrists. That's very unfortunate considering I planned for a walk through at the McBunny - or BunnyKing, whatever floats your burger. Not willing to skip on my treat I turn in at the local cave to sleep and warm up.

Two hours later the sun is up, the sky is bright, but the region starts to make proud of its namesake. I get what's ought to be mine, but it costs as -35°C FL even in my advanced clothing strip me of all my warmth in a heartbeat. Just 1.6 kilograms from two rabbits remind me that the days to get by on bunny burgers alone are coming to an end. With the weather being an inhospitable mess there is no reason to not at least get the guts. A bunny hide for practice later the sun is gone, and so is the wind. Time to leave.

Before reaching the pass that leads up to the carcass I hear a wolf bark conspicuously far away, moments later a rabbit sings its last serenade. I should be good despite my gutty odor. Upon reaching the carcass I realize ... I'm not.

Knows his way around really well now: A wolf.

It's a testament to how capable the new pathfinding algorithm is that I get tracked up here. However aiming my flare gun at him my furry friend here reconsiders to mess with me quickly. I look at the carcass I had left in the storm the first time I passed through here - 2 full kilograms of venison. Thank you Jerimiah. The wolf returns again, my flare gun returns as well, and the wolf leaves tail between his legs for the second time, but I question the wisdom of carrying around those guts. However now that I am committed the deer is in for a full disassembly. The dam isn't far.

I get there without further incident. Moreso the carcass at the transformers is also present, and I'm not one to pass up on an opportunity of making some surplus food, even if it's just 600 grams. The hide and guts also join me - and when I'm done it's high time I leave. The winds announce bad weather. After sifting through the remaining part of the dam I reach the crafting bench, the holy temple of everything good that's going to come, and sort through my things. 12 guts plus 4 more curing, 5 rabbit pelts, 6 deer skins plus two more curing, 5 cured birch sapling, and 1 and 1 maple, 8 arrow heads and 30 feathers is indeed an impressive repertoir to build from. Two quality tool boxes stand ready to craft the most deadly weapons Great Bear has ever seen .... on Interloper at least. However with a blizzard outside and no daylight left those plans will have to wait for at least tomorrow.

Getting up at 5 am winds are still - or again? - howling outside. 44 reishis need preperation, so there is ample opportunity to spend time somewhat useful. After much deliberation I decide the most pressing matter for me is to get a bow going. Ohsixhundred sharp I start working on what will become the one bow to shoot them all. Three hours later I take a peek outside to determine how much food I can actually gather from the river. The verdict: enough to get me through the day, but not enough for much more. Unless I kill the moose that is loitering outside. Enticing prospect. Also a good way to throw away your run.

I finish my bow and put in work for 6 arrows, and why I am done it's 8 pm. Visibility outside is terrible, but no winds, and it's warm. Finding the moose in this weather before it finds me would be a hopeless endeavour, but at least I can get a few cattails if I am careful.

I can hear what lurks in the Mist - but I can't see it.

Then..... everything goes very fast.

I realize too late that the aggro range of the beast is huge, and fail to retreat from the moose before it starts charging. Before I know it I got much more than I bargained for running at me incresingly fast and menacing. The first arrow hits, but shows no effect. Bleak panic rushes to my head and I already see the moose trampling me to oblivion.

I draw, without really aiming, and release as soon as I can.

Now I can see it.

Jeremiah is with me again. Holy Grey Mother!

I plonk down a fire, and quarter this behemoth of 35kg of most delicious meat, fully aware I'm hardly in a position to really cash in on my unexpected fortune - much like winning a cruise for your mother-in-law's birthday you didn't attend for the last 6 years in a row and really, really promised to attend this year. Damn, she's gonna be pissed. I try.

Every 80's horror movie.

First I rescue the hide to the nearby trailer, and hastily leave stuff behind I don't need. Then, while cooking some of the goodness, I carry away the bags of meat, two at a time, and on my sixth and final trip I even get the guts. No wolves so far, and it stays that way. I harvest all bags until noon of the next day, and then put in a few hours of sleep, sipping cold rosehip tea to avoid dehydration.

With some reclaimed wood I left in the dam - which I had originally reserved to build a few traps... but who needs traps now? - I stock up on water and cook a small portion of my delicious yet - admittedly- grim pile of protein candy that will serve me well many days to come.

You need to be a rather disturbed individual to feel joy at the sight of raw meat piled up in the snow.

When leaving for the trailer to catch up on some much needed sleep a wolf, then another slips through the gate. They can do that now? Wow. I drop another fire, and actually try to snipe them with the bow - but fail. Still, they leave. I recover my arrow, close the gate and decide to sleep in the dam tonight. Walking up the steps I see wolves trailing along the fence. They know I've got the good stuff.

Nibbling on some moose in the dark I muse about how in a darker timeline Norman 2 is now lying in bed somewhere, recovering from being run over by a ton of angry meat. Luckily ... I'm not him.


Edited by jeffpeng
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Awesome stuff! I thought for sure you'd be a smear on the ice from that moose.

Can't wait to see what adventures Norman gets up to next, though by now he's pretty much set for the basics of survival. Norman's quest for underwear, perhaps?

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5 hours ago, Jimmy said:

Norman's quest for underwear, perhaps?

That's the big kicker, yes. Plus there are bear clothes, wolf clothes, a second moose hide ... lots and lots of ways to die.

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Norman 2 / Days 29 to 31 - (Isn't it good?) Norwegian Food

What better is there to start a day than loading your belly with obsecene amounts of the protein equivalent to swiss chocolate? My morning excercise consists of violently breaking down a crate and bringing my poor knife back into shape. The last two days have been very hard on it. But then, as much as I would love to indulge myself eating my mystery moose for the next week or so, there are far more pressing matters to attend. There is a gaping hole in my attire that should be filled with underwear.

Yeah, thanks a lot for rubbing it in, Game!

But I think I have another day's time. Or two. My Deerskin Boots are overdue as my combat boots provide ample protection, but the warmth equivalent of a pair of wool socks, so I get to work right away. I am interrupted at 8 pm, and as there is another blizzard outside there isn't much to do but sleep. At 2 am the blizzards subsides and I get outside to get some moose cooking - and Firestarting IV. My firewood reserves are limited - just 6 pieces of reclaimed wood and a few surplus torches - but the blistering cold helps to stretch that considerably. While cooking along past 8 am I hear a wolf howling nearby, multiple times. And no, I'm nowhere near finished cooking when I go inside to continue working. The mountain of meat just won't go away. Around midday my boots are finished. I also get 6 lines and hooks ready, each, just for good measure in case I need them. Then, despite my growing fatigue, it's time to leave.

Outside I pick up my cooked moose, and promply a wolf comes running, sticking its head through the fence. It has no time to regret this descision. 

Clearly didn't imagine this to happen when receiving his new AI: A wolf.

I take the hide and guts, but leave the rest as I have no time to waste on meat I don't really need - and can't eat risk-free yet anyways. But so much is certain: if there's one thing I won't run out of anytime soon ... it's guts. How many people can say that for themselves? I pick up my stuff from the trailer and head out. Destination: Misanthropes. Waypoint: Ravine. Reaching my home base I sort out stuff I want to leave behind, and fix up my bedroll that has been in steady decline throughout my adventures. A few other items get a makeover as well, and then it's time to sleep. No place like home, ey?

12 hours later the morning is harsh and windy. I decide to bring all my three editions of "Stay On Target" as that's the kind of thing I'm really interested in right now. I read an hour to wait for slightly better weather, then go. The Ravine Basin will have to wait. It's not like it's going anywhere. I traverse the Trestle - which gives me the creeps to this day - and eat my bit of moose I packed for the way. It's back to cattails from here on out, I'm afraid.

I turn in at the trailer for an hour of rest - mostly to warm up - and consider my route from here. I decide that trailing down the Creek and collecting up on cattails would be the most prudent thing to do. Maybe even stay for a rabbit or two. I need some target practice after all.

I make it to the Rabbit Grove. My aim is rusty, but two rabbits succumb to three shots in total. I trail down a short bit, and make a fire at the carcass at the picnic spot. I get to harvest all the meat, but while cooking my last piece of venison I can no longer ignore that what undisputedly must be a bear is coming worryingly close. I put in enough sticks into my fire to finish the vension without me, pick up my surplus rabbit meat and bolt. Just in time.

Was mistaken for a Tibetan Mastiff by his former owner: A Bear.

After having had more luck than I deserved with the moose I don't want to tempt fate too soon again. Retreating to the small cabin I sprain my ankle which put a wrench in my book reading plans. But going down the creek again now all I will achieve is to run into the bear once more. Screw it, I say, tape up my ankle, pop some Vicodin in true House fashion and read two hours before it's too dark to.

Of course the weather goes Blizzard while I do. Now maybe you could say lucky I didn't venture out again and got caught up. But you could also say that this effectively ends my day prematurely. I prepare away what tea I can, liberate the cabin of its lacy, gently wafting curtains (bonus points if you get that reference) .... and go to sleep grumpy.

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Norman 2 / Days 32 to 34 - To The Shoreline

I wake up around oh-seven-thirty. The world outside shows me its cold shoulder, but it's promising to become a fine day.

Looks promising.

I beeline down the creek again and pick up my venison I left here yesterday escaping from the bear. Not much further down I spot my bulky adversary again, but this time on a trajectory that should allow me to get past him. I am succesful, but sprain my wrist nudging along the terrain. Not exactly perfect. The trip down the creek turns out to be otherwise uneventful, and after a painfully cold stride through Coastal Highway's morning I reach the Fishing Village seriously popsicle'd.

The cottages don't yield much of interest, except for a granola and some dog food - both at the brink of disintegration, but still edible, so they both go as I put my hands on them - and a tin of sardines at an adventurous 46%. Feeling lucky I gulp them down... and am not punished. Yay. Three hours of sleep later what had started promising has turned into a blizzard. Annoyed I perform all the chore-y things I save for these kinds of moments. I fix what I deem fix-worthy, sharpen my knife and sleep what I can. When the blizzard dies down it's already 6 pm. What a waste.

At least trying to reach Jackrabbit I throw myself into the unhospitable outside. Racing against the winds I jump one, two fishing huts, but there's only so much ground you can make under such conditions. With a wolf blocking my path to the island I reach towards the third hut in a row, all the while the weather not getting any better, and me back to freezing. Reaching the hut the winds subside, but I'm lost in dense fog, so I declare my endeavour a lost cause and fire up. I might as well wait out the fog fishing.

It almost pains me to use my pry bar to break the ice (please don't try that at your local bar!), but I'm certainly not going to dull my dear knife for this. 4 hours later all I have to show for is a measely ranbow trout - but at least the fog has cleared. The house on Jackrabbit doesn't offer me any but the most basic hospitality (30% sardines and a granola). I consider hunting myself a few rabbits, but decide I want to use the beautiful night while it lasts.

Sometimes the best roadtrips are at night.

Reaching Misanthrope's the local wolf greets me, but doesn't get me before dodging into the house. At least the kitches has more to offer this time - dog food, good peaches and a soda. But the underwear .... isn't here. Thoroughly exhausted and annoyed at the same time I book in for 9 hours.

The next day it's already 1 pm, and it's snowy. But the winds are in my favor - at least as long as my destination is the Crumbling Highway. I make it to the Waterfront Cottages, use the opportunity to lens a free fire, and cash in on 1.5kg of venison and even two bunnies I manage to snipe. My first arrow goes - but that's okay. I leave hides and guts as they are something I really don't need more of at the moment. I reach Commuter's Lament at 6 pm.

When I enter the Crumbling Highway harsh winds turn into my face immediately. My plan is to visit the basement, but I start to reconsider if that is a wise course of action. I usually skip it, but with two more chances at some underwear I sorta need to go there. I bite my lip and make a run for the Abondoned Harris Home. Somehow I keep my torch alive. But no underwear again. My chances are running low.

Clinging to the mountainside I advance. Nothing at the cave. I hear a wolf howling much too close for comfort - bu there's no turning back now. Back to the wall I make it to below the mine entrance, and with a bit of goat magic make it inside the mine without ever seeing a wolf. The mine holds nothing particularly interesting - more quality tools and another pry bar. I leave what I don't need at the exit and leave.

Desolation point greets me with a particularly mild night. I take directly to the Stone Church as I find reaching the Lighthouse from there to be much less dangerous. Also I hope to score a rabbit or two there. Halfway there I stumple upon a deer carcass. Since I need to get new torches anyways I make camp. 1.8kg kilograms of free proteins I can't say no to, even though it doesn't fit all in my belly. Also Carcass Harvesting IV will come in handy.

I pack my venison, pull my torches and off I go to church. Midnight is approaching fast. When I reach the Stone Church I keep hearing paws around me. Probably rabbits, but the nearby waterfall makes it hard to safely distinguish. I make camp inside, with a real campfire, just to be on the safe side.


How to properly attend mass.

After an hour of rest winds stir up and I get comfortable with the idea of spending more time here than I wanted. The Church truly isn't the best place to stay the night, but it's better than to run into a wolf halfway exhausted. After a few hours of sleep visibitlity is acceptable despite it being around 4 am. I snipe a rabbit outside, which solves the mystery of the paws I've been hearing. Then, 6 am .... a blizzard hits. When it decides to move on at 12 pm I am fully rested and even put in two hours of research about how to stick it to a wolf from a distance. I move on.

I reach the Lighthouse without running into the wolf. Which is a big plus. The location itself however underwhelms with not a whole lot except the guaranteed stim. Matt lends me yet another pry bar, and I find my fourth issue of Stay On Target at the Riken - but all of this is not what I came here for. Approaching Hibernia I witness a wolf conspicuously fleeing from nothing near the road. If the bear is there I cannot see it. Believing to be safe I approach the trailer and promptly get barked at by another wolf. They normally don't roam the yard. Something must have stirred up this one as well. Unflinching I enter the trailer complex.

I find the whetstone, but nothing else. Leaving the trailer I feel unease, but the wolf is gone. The most interesting loot at Hibernia is the Hacksaw, a can of gunpowder and a book about how to extend my reign of terror to the marine life on great bear. The second, smaller trailer is a bust as well. All in all Desolation Point has been a Disapointment Point so far. Should I pay *uffy a visit? Lot's of risk for probably not a lot of payoff. I keep playing the idea in my head back and forth for a few minutes, and finally decide "screw it, why not" in true survivors fashion. Outside the fog has become so thick I can cut it. I stumble along, hardly knowing where I am going. Almost ready to admit I have lost my bearings I spot the Broken Bridge in the mist.

Saviour from the mist.

Clenching my toes I enter the cave. *uffy doesn't take long to find me. I drop a fire, and a game of cat and mouse ensues. Throwing torches I illuminate the big cavern, and after missing two shots I finally get them.

Got a taste of home invasion: *uffy.

Hitting home grants me Archery II. Sadly I don't find anything of particular interest. I get to work cutting up *uffy and the two deer carcasses. Brave as I am I gulp down two kilograms of *uffy meat. 4% risk? Pshaw! says the Yankee in me. (Again bonus points for getting that reference.) 96% chance!  *uffy's hide also comes with me, but I leave the rest. I carry my stuff to the mouth of the cave, make camp again, boil a bit of water and get to sleep.

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Yikes, no luck on your knickers!

Looks like it's either Thomson's Crossing, Quonset, or the Hunting Lodge out at Broken Railroad.

Good luck Norman. Hope that wolf meat doesn't come back to bite you later!

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Do the woolen underpants spawn on Interloper?

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On 2/4/2020 at 10:53 AM, Hotzn said:

Do the woolen underpants spawn on Interloper?

They don't.

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