30 Days before Christmas


tulkawen
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greetings everyone. I'm back with my old Christmas challenge where my survivor plans to leave small gifts for the other survivors along the way.

 

I'm thinking of them sort of like one of those homes with windows and you open a window a day to find a little present waiting.

 

The setting is custom Interloper with the cabin fever turned off.

 

DAY 1 or 30 days before Christmas

 

I appeared a couple of hours before dawn break in the Forelorn Muskeg. The frozen delta of the waterfall was leading me in two directions, one towards the radio tower, followed by the path to the Mystery Lake, and another to the right along the shore towards the Forge.

 

HQkm4NP.png

 

While I was grabbing cattails for food and tinder to contemplate, I heard a bark, which prompted me that looting the tower was not the option. I slid downhill and at the last second turned towards the Mystery Lake recalling that I had no heavy hammer and all I would do in terms of hatchets and arrows was drool.

 

Mr hungry teeth turned out to be a persistent stalker. In the clear light of the full moon he escorted me all the way to the railway tracks and only disappeared when I took shelter inside the red wagon. This is where I hit the jackpot. The lantern, a box of matches, red sexy sweater in great condition and one iron, were waiting to be looted.

 

Since I was already freezing in the pre dawn night, I borrowed one conveniently placed coal to start a batch of water in my tin can. I left one piece of the fir wood on the floor to be picked up should I wish to visit the forge in the future.

 

KlfgNkO.png

 

Nice and cozy by the barrel fire I thought, "what if another soul ventures by?" Unlikely as it seemed, even in this desolation I wandered and hoped for another being out there with the will to live.

 

Christmas was only a month away. Another survivor deserved small gifts. I split in half four pieces of coal and parted with the newly acquired sweater. With only rocks for protection I've decided to leave the red flare nonetheless, along with a tiny stack of 4 matches, a little concerned since the Mystery Lake was hardly generous on those.

 

The fog settled in keeping the worst of the cold away when I grabbed a torch and headed out, wishing for a warm cup of tea, but alas none were found near the wagon and Mr Teeth had kept me from searching for plants. His nearest cousin must have gotten lost in the fog on the way to work since the railway tracks were clear and I've reached the main Mystery Lake cabin without adventures.

 

I've designated this waypoint as the Home Sweet Home to bring the best of loot to and to begin preparing for the worst colds to come. The cabin rewarded me with a magnifying lens, a field dressing book, a sewing kit and a flare. I was disappointed nonetheless because it had no clothes and zero food, not even a pack of green tea. I cleaned up the cabin, locking junk such as newspapers and spray cans in the lower drawer in the kitchen, and ventured out into rapidly falling snow to check out the fishing huts and cabins around the lake.

 

My searched yielded another sewing kit, sardines and a summit soda, painkillers, one bandage and a torn vest.

 

The part of the lake closer to the bear side was patrolled by wolves. Coming out of a fishing hut not far from those wolves, I got greeted by a whiteout. Hoping I don't run into lots of teeth, I chose what I hoped was direction towards the shore and one of the lake cabins.

 

4agGHMr.png

 

Intuition saved my blizarded booty and soon I was tearing up for a single towel in a single non-burned down cabin to patch the falling apart vest. The cabin temperature was firmly holding at zero, not warming me up any, but not sending to hypothermia either. I managed to read four hours of the field dressing book when the blizzard subsided.

 

Peeking out and encountering tacky brownish fog along with snowfall, I judged a short trip safe enough to venture to the three smaller cabins along the shore. As it was sunset and dark, I used the lantern to search the cabins, getting good condition running shoes and Woohoo! my first set of gloves! With water running out, I tucked in a can of sardines and a summit soda before dropping off to sleep, safe and sound in the cabin, hoping the fellow adventurers had the same good fortune to stay alive.

 

  • Upvote 2
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 2

 

I woke up with a rather dry tongue and no water. Out on the lake brim, a lonely wolf was howling. Perhaps, he was missing his usual pack that traversed and owned this ice. Even the bear was not in the house when I occupied a fishing hut nearest to his cave. While the water boiled I searched the hut, finding a piece of metal and some yummy ketchup chips. Adding more firewood to the stove, I thoroughly searched the far side of the lake for cattails since the food I found was meagre.

 

I gave the wolf a wide berth and headed towards the farthest lake cabin that had a Frozen Angular book on its doorstep. The cabin felt cozy. I listened to the wind rattling the windows. I imagined that someone would come to these parts, perhaps being chased by a wolf or a bear, enter the hut and not only would they find safety but perhaps a replacement for the shoes they wore off travelling. I placed a pair of running shoes onto a trunk and among falling snow continued towards the last unexplored fishing hut. The weather sure is capricious, threatening yet another blizzard. Having crawled towards the hut against the wind I was greatly rewarded. A prybar! I could hug this prize! A pack of green tea sweetened the deal. Yet I was up to my ears in hypothermia, a prompt to be rushing to the nearest cabin to warm up. Two hours of sleep, mmm!

 

After all the wild horse bucks in weather, I was greeted by a lovely evening when I stepped outside and ventured towards a rope climb. I've decided to be thorough since the tools like the heavy hammer and the hacksaw could be hiding in any nook. A fluffy bunny was hopping around. This is the first one I've seen. The first rock missed, the second knocked him out. Excited I've realised that I could save one of the six remaining matches since there was enough sun and no wind to prevent a fire. I boiled more water and cooked the bunny while taking his gut and hide. Although the stamina was low, I've realised I had enough to grab onto the rope for a climb back down. At the bottom there was a tiny red sliver of stamina left as the darkness crept in. The bunny gut certainly would have appealed to all the area wolves. After contemplating whether to push for the main cabin or not, I've chosen the closest cabin with the stamina hitting the void.

 

At the door of the small cabin, I dropped ketchup chips into snow. A nice happy snack for anyone coming. I made peace with cattail diet for the night and flopped into a comfy bunk bed.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 3

The next day started with a fast trip to the home base. A hidden spot along the back path had absolutely nothing, not even a cedar log. The weather looked like it wasn't certain what it is that it wanted, bright yet not overly so, slight wind uncertain whether to get stronger or to die down. Yet it was bright enough to start a fire with a magnifying lens at the back of the home cabin sheltered from the wind. Although the fire failed four times with a book, it got going. I carried the torch inside with the intention to warm up and boil some herbal tea as quickly as possible. I wanted to reach the Lookout.

It was tempting to quickly check the red wagon before heading for the Lookout, but one look at the rail tracks let me know the way was completely blocked by two wolves. Make it three. One dived out from the left and blocked the path where I wanted to go. He has quite the senses since I was rather far from the pack. I figured an attempt at fire might send him running back to unlock the way, but the fire failed and I ended up sprinting back to my cabin where I saw a grazing deer.

The deer was not in the mood to be eaten and made a break for it towards the cabin while the wolf ignored him and continued bee lining for me. It took full circle around the cabin with me chasing the deer and the wolf chasing me until the spiky teeth bugger realised that there is much fatter dinner on the menu. Grumpy that he has thwarted my looting plans and then turned his back on me, I marched up towards the wolf and wacked him with the torch that was still lit from the fire I made indoor to cook the tea.

erY85os.png

With his bum on fire, the wolf fled to complain to his buddies and I started cooking the deer. I only had a few sticks and a cedar wood with no tools to chop anything nearby, while most of the sticks have already been collected. Armed with little, I've managed to get barehanded three 1kg chunks of meat and one gut. Since I made my fire in the open, the weather decided that it needs to get nasty after all. When I finished taking first gut, I found myself in the middle of a raging blizzard.

Taking a big leap of faith that this pack of wolves nearby won't gallop towards me and that I'm actually walking towards the cabin and not away from it, I grabbed all the meat and the gut and headed home.

Limbs still attached I made it back, but my driving gloves that have already been not in the best of shapes dropped to 16% durability. I've taken them off for the night. Hopefully, I will find some leather soon. I don't want to lose my only gloves. An unworthy thought crept into my mind about the running shoes left at the other end of the lake. I could tear them up and save my gloves.

No. I left them for someone else and I will not take back my present. Instead I went outside to share what I have salvaged. I grabbed one cooked chunk of meat to be my dinner and left another piece for another man. The last chunk didn't finish cooking before the wind snuffed out the fire.

I've read the field dressing book for two more hours, then repaired my jeans and underwear, putting my cloth as zero. While there are curtains and blankets in the main cabin, I'm trying to leave the cabin looking homely and not stripped of everything. Because the wind was no longer rattling the windows I peeked outside and made a quick run for some branches. The deer didn't disappear, but it was frozen and I only gathered five sticks thus I could take nothing from it.

Hj1P8W7.png

I went back inside the dark cabin, my stamina still a quarter. To spend the energy and get more firewood, I busted one upturned chair that did not look pretty on the floor and a crate. Finally tucked out, I had a delicious 800 calories chunk of meat topped with water and a solid night sleep. Whoever is out there, I hope you too went to sleep with a full belly.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 4

This place should be renamed into Pleasant Valley. I woke up to the cabin shaking from a morning blizzard. A couple of hours of reading improved the situation into slanted snow and wind mild enough to start a fire. The deer to my surprise was still there. Although the wind threatened to blow out my idea, I sacrificed another match to start a fire; five matches to go. While the deer was defrosting, I ran around in search of more branches and only got two. That blizzard sure did a weak job of knocking them down overnight. The four pieces of the reclaimed wood weren't enough for all the cooking I had in mind and I wasn't sure at all that the wind won't destroy my fire before the deer defrosts.

TZQcLgM.png

I had used up my piece of coal a while back. The temperatures in the negative twenties were not allowing the heat to win over. My body temperature was dropping. The smoke of the fire slanted and jerked, yet held. Soon I began cooking and harvesting while taking a hit to my health. This enterprise won me a hide, another gut and food. I pulled off the remaining two kg of meat without the fire, dropping health down to half. I simply had no more firewood. Part of the meat remained uncooked, but at least I had it.

Grabbing everything stinky, I sprinted to the cabin and dived inside before that pack of wolves could reclaim their deer and survivor for dessert. I finished reading the field dressing book to warm up. Not that it helped much. Even in the warmest cabin, my clothes give +3C. Together with the deer skinning and the book, my harvesting skill went up to level 2. That's the first skill I've improved on.

I was still not fatigued when it got dark. The cabin had another chair. I was unsure if I want to break it or not, but it was upturned and lay in the way. Two hours of work got me tired and gained more reclaimed wood. I grabbed a couple of cooked pieces of meat and laid more aside into the pile for possible guests. One never knows when they may drop in for dinner. Whoever is out there, perhaps, they too have managed to flip their fortune and turn a threat into a feast. With those thoughts, I dropped off to sleep.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 5

I've remained in one spot far too long. I have to keep moving. Yet, that pile of uncooked meat was begging to not get spoiled. I placed my hand on the door handle, deciding if there is enough sun to use the magnifying lens I would stay, any other weather would prompt me to go.

Door opened. Fog. I can still hear the wolves keeping up their vigilant patrol of the Lookout and change plans. Still dressed in the vest and running shoes, my clothing situation can be fixed at the most hospitable place in the wilds - the Town of Milton.

I need to make a big push today without a bedroll. To save my energy I take the risk to cut across the forest, picking up the branches as march towards the Trappers Cabin.

The wolves must be having a party at the bear's place because I see not a hair of them. Soon, I am digging through the safe at Trappers. A pair of worn work boots and a pair of jeans is a dream come true. These are the best shoes a survivor can find.

Another survivor also deserves something nice. I take off my good 90% jeans and swamp them for the 20% I just found. I place the jeans atop of the workbench, adding a sewing kit to sweeten the gift.

There is a shooting guide on the shelf. I don't use firearms, but someone might, or at worst they can use this as kindling. A good can of peaches and a summit soda were waiting on the shelf. I placed the summit soda beside the jeans as part of the gift package and dropped the peaches outside into snow to preserve them better. Quickly sorting some items inside the storage locker and shoving feathers into the work bench drawer, I decide to top off my stamina before a long rope climb.

The weather remains foggy as I head for the connecting cave where it's moderately dark. Since I never found additional lantern fuel, I stumble half in the dark and most likely missed the goodies on the floor. I emerged on the other end by the waterfall with one piece of coal in the pockets.

The fog intensifies while I travel past the waterfall and along the ledge. When I stand by the rope leading down, I cannot see the bottom nor anything moving on the ground level. I listen intently for any soft footfalls and then begin the climb. There might as well be a wolf waiting with his mouth open at the bottom of the rope. I wouldn't see him until I'm in his mouth.

TivRuC8.png

Not this time. There are two fluffy bunnies hopping around. As tempted as I am to chase them, I first check the cave. Finding no bedroll, I save the energy and vote against being stinky since I cannot see past my nose, but wolves tend to have very good ones.

What I do find that makes me dance is a 12 pack of matches. Good times are coming my way! Another survivor also deserves hope and presents. I place my previous pack of the five remaining matches into the backpack along with one piece of coal. With two cedar logs in the cave, this would help a lost soul overcome bad weather.

My energy is solid when I reach the long rope climb and I scale it without trouble. The fog has been keeping the worst of the cold away. During the entire climbing trip, hypothermia crept up only when I was picking up branches and harvested bushes by the Office.

Since I didn't want to get too friendly with hypothermia, I went inside where the temperature was +1C. Another summit soda, fashionable this season. Not expecting much I checked four cabinet drawers. The meaning of bare Interloper life dictates, the bigger the closet, the emptier it is.

Not this time. A marvelous, top brand of the production line hat with a red maple leaf was waiting for me in the cabinet. This is my very first hat and such a good one. Another survivor might come this way too and they are going to need something heart warming too. I still had my good pair of running shoes, the ones I began my journey with. They're not the best of shoes, but they served me well. I placed them onto the counter.

The 13% driving gloves and 46% work boots will have to hold on just a little bit longer. I placed summit soda on the doorstep and considered my options.

My stamina was still holding steady. I didn't want to stay in the open Office with a small supply of fuel since the night could turn extremely cold in an eye blink. Yet, approaching one of the most guarded places in the deep fog seemed high risk. High risk it is.

On the way to the gas station I bumped into a blue truck. I'm really starting to like this town. Another prybar for the taking. I might need it right away to hit both the wolves and the backdoor.

8lBGFnG.png

The gas station greeted me with the sunset dusk. I searched as many drawers as possible before continuing in the flickering lantern light. This place is the ketchup chips and beef jerky paradise. Already most pleased with what I found, I check the remaining counter area. The lantern flickers again by the cash counter. When the flame stabilizes, there, on the chair, I see a hacksaw. I can dance! Perhaps someone who comes after can experience the good feeling of a solid find as well.

A tool for a tool. I place completely new prybar onto the chair and a pack of beef jerky onto the counter.

It's too late to read or repair. Still not tired enough, I bust a green crate and head for a bedroll conveniently placed by the burn barrel. Ketchup chips and cattails for supper and sleep. Whoever is out there. I hope your long journey was as rewarding as mine today.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 6 or 25 days before Christmas

Crawling through the snowdrifts on my stomach away from the gas station is one way to begin the morning. The -32C temperature sinks its fangs into me before I clear the fence. The top of the hill house looks clear and I head up there to get a better view of the entire town. (le sad I don't know why the ss I made didn't transfer to my desktop) Checking my inventory, I realise that I've been walking around like a fool and eating low quality food without anti poisoning medicine. I grab mushrooms from the nearby stumps and scout the Farmhouse from an elevated position.

I should take the looting opportunity if the wolves are away. The farm does look clear, but when I cross the river, there are two wolves patrolling. I go back along the river bed to approach the town from the opposite direction, grabbing a few cattails.

The weather is very much windy, but bright. I use the magnifying lens to start a sheltered fire for water and mushroom tea while I loot. As soon as I do, I find a fresh bottle of pills to cure food poisoning. Why is my health hurting so badly? I've been moving from one sheltered place to another although strong wind was doing its best to make me crawl.

The Town of Milton is bountiful. A kind bank robber left me his wonderful ski jacket. I go from place to place leaving small gifts behind, a cup of tea here, a couple of cattails tucked there. I split the bottle of pills and left a couple in car glove compartments. Another vest and two pairs of sport socks on the bed. A can of tomato soup or more summit sodas on the doorsteps and a couple of matches in a red drawer inside a shack since I found another box of matches.

Since I was freezing so much, I've decided to hacksaw a metal shelf in one of the sheds. I picked a large one to avoid wasting the tool and to warm up.

Agggh!!! Sorry health! Sorry! Sorry! Note to self: When you are taking on a 3h job, make sure you had plenty to drink.

 

At sunset, strong wind turns into pre blizzard show. Since I have no lantern fuel to loot homes I decide to quickly check several cars and almost end up in the stomach of the local wildlife. The blizzard hid the footfalls of a wolf hiding right around the corner of a house next to the car. Mid-flight out of the chair, I bolted across the road and rammed into a house pretty sure there was a hole in my pants. Yup, I as good as felt those teeth on my backside.

It was too late to read or repair, but I wasn't tired enough. I spent an hour ripping apart the dress shoes found in one of the homes to save my 11% gloves. Hope I don't forget to repair in the morning.

 

To offset the health loss, I do a feast of chips, beef jerky, and drink a summit soda to the health of those survivors who had narrow misses with the rows of teeth. The night blizzard says good night as I tuck into a big comfy bed.
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 7

Last night it was too dark to search the house fully. Early morning, the first drawer I peek into offers the best of the best, a thin wool sweater nearly brand new. I can jump to the ceiling in excitement.

Very happy with such a delicious find, I leave a juicy can of peaches on the doorstep.

Barky? Are you there?

5iPY0C2.png

Nope? Oh good! The crouch and bolt technique works fairly well to prybar car trunks and search homes on this side of the town. Once I reach mid town, there is a bark, but the wolf is too late. I've already searched everything. All he can do is sniff the car I take shelter in and trot back to his patrol path. An early survivor gets their loot. And leaves small things for others, a cooking pot here, some crafted beard there. One of the homes offers another prize. My favourite orange mitts! I feel the town should keep at least one pair of gloves. I take off my recently repaired driving gloves and place them on a table in a different house.

I sneak out of the car and head towards the main prize - The Grey Mother's Mansion. I want to keep moving, thus I contain the search to the first floor; more matches, a baseball cap and food is to be found. Whoever comes would be disappointed to find such a place empty. I leave a can of peaches and a can of dog food in the fridge. Then I quickly shove extra weight into a big closet in the living room and head out. The day is beautiful.

HNF9edS.png

The Church is not left unguarded. I take shelter in another car as a fluffy menace attempts to ambush me. The temperature is above zero so I repair my 17% jeans to better shape. Then realize this was a goof up because the wolf that was in front of the car has disappeared and I couldn't tell which way he went.

Yup! Mr sneaky was clever and placed himself between the car and the Church accelerating towards me as soon as I stepped out of the car. I sprinted around the rock elevation towards the frozen pond where two fluffy bunnies where sniffing grass. Right ahead of me I saw a maple sapling. Hearing a mournful squeak of a fluffster becoming supper, I grab the sapling and sprint around the Church to dive in from the other side before the wolf finishes eating.

The Church has a storm lantern. Whoever comes cold and dark should find the light here. I move the lantern to a better visible location and place five matches along with some sticks into a blue container before continuing my journey.

My destination is a blue trailer not far from the Hushed River Valley. This is the day of excellent finds. A heavy hammer is waiting for me on the shelf. I can dance. Since there is an entrance to the valley nearby, I doubt there is a lot of burnable literature. I drop three books to start fires with onto a shelf and place the white baseball cap onto the crafting table for others. Two matches in a green crate would warm up someone cold and thirsty coming from that area.

The question is should I venture into the Hushed River Valley. I am not armed and I have no bedroll. The bedroll would be the reason why I would venture into that territory, however, I might parish from the fatigue before I find one. Too risky. Then should I sniper some bunnies for dinner and take a nap? After a brief consideration I decide to return to Grey Mother's, taking the back route since the wolf was near the Church. I might as well take advantage of this weather.

Rr0bMnr.png

The trip is success with more cattails grabbed on the way. Yet, my stamina is not failing badly. Since I have the tools and metal, I could go to the Forge. For that I need coal. Once more little push. I climbed the roots towards the Milton overlook and took a small path to a warm cave where I found five peaces of coal. It got dark and the snow began spiralling from the sky. My stamina finally gave out. I dragged my feet back to the Mansion and found the way upstairs where awaited me a well deserved rest. A soda to all other survivors having one day when they find a lot of fine shiny items.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 8

Early morning I search the second floor of the Grey Mother's. Behind a curtain hid cured rabbit pelt, jeans under the bed and another sewing kit. I sorted all my stuff in the living room closet, packing to keep everything under 30kg, not an easy task when you're dragging a heavy hammer and a bunch of metal around. The clanking must be dinner bells all the way to the wolves in the Hushed River Valley.

As fair well, I placed my last piece of leather onto a kitchen table and hid two matches in a drawer for the next survivor to find.

Outside, I bumped into one car I haven't searched. The trunk was empty. My old sewing kit still had some decent life in it and I left it in the trunk to make it more fun for someone else.

 

R2lHSZu.png

Howl, howl, howl. I've been hearing that from the Farm direction every day. Scouting the area revealed three suckers deer licking snow on the other end of the field. I snuck up and sprinted towards the deer. Two got away but one deer has decided to run in the correct direction and soon I heard the wolves talking the bait. Considering wolves were scratching their backs against the shed where I wanted to check for the key, this gave me time to bolt inside and search it. The former farmer in the barn indeed had the key and a prybar. Feeling gutsy I also searched blue truck and shelves at the back of the house while the wolves stuffed their faces. As if they'd have had anything if it weren't for my kind assistance. The way I see it, they should BBQ a chunk and bring it over to the doorstep.

At least the farmers had some food, but not as much as I had hopes for. A pack of salted crackers was waiting on the table. In contrast, the clothing was most generous. Two green windbreakers - one for me and one for my imaginary survivor buddy. I removed my vest and placed it onto a bench, beside a pair of combat boots found hidden in the pantry. A can of peaches I placed onto a fireplace shelf completed the gift.

I didn't have high hopes for a bedroll and alas it wasn't there. Regardless, I've decided to make the push for the Forge. This would include two long rope climbs, crossing the entire ravine and keep on going across half the muskeg with a low probability of finding a bedroll along the way. While the weather was good and not noon yet, I wanted to begin this trip at dawn break.

Two wilderness survival cook books were weighting me down with 1kg. I chucked down a lot of food and water to read one of them in one go. Since there were some calories left, I've read one more chapter of the next cook book. I will not be burning any reading books, thus, I left one wilderness survival on the rocking chair.

Then I started repairing or robbing myself of cloth. Booiii I wish the book I had read was about mending. The hat repair failed five times and socks trice before darkness got me. Since I wasn't tired yet and to replenish my giant cloth losses, I tore up a couple of curtains and another pair of running shoes earlier found in town. My work boots are under half endurance, they too need to be repaired in the nearest future.

Tgd9FpK.png

Today's activities allowed me to recover health above 90% Sometimes it is good to take a break from the intense running and recover. I click another summit soda again a mirror and wink at the reflection of another survivor looking from across the distant spaces. Good night to you.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 9

I don't hear the wind dismantling the farmhouse walls. Could this be the travel day? Seems so.

The wolf must have been stuffing his face with the freeby deer all night long. He began walking away from that deer when I stepped outside in the morning.

s2VjszM.png

Seven cups of coffee clang in the backpack

Seven cups of coffee to climb two long ropes

You drink one down, you turn around

Six cups of coffee to go

Like any morning this one is cold and hypothermia gets me before I even reach the blue truck in the big ravine that leads to the Forlorn Muskeg. Bedroll? Can you be anywhere around here? Passing by a hill with a path leading up, I wander if that's where the bedroll hiding. Although this will cost stamina, I trail upwards. There is a good spot to take shelter from a sudden blizzard that contains food and a shiny prize - my first can opener. I leave a can of peaches in thanks, noting that my health is taking good beating. I roll downhill in a hurry and take shelter in a cave nearby where I start a fire. I boil some water to warm up and cook more coffee since I only had two cooked cups. As soon as I'm warm, I hurry across the lake to a broken down shed that contains a stove. It's already past noon and I'm still in the ravine.

The shed contains more food. I place a couple of matches into storage and drop my red warm shirt. This item had served me well from the beginning. It will serve well someone else. My coffee heat bonus expires and I bonk myself on the head for forgetting to drink another cup before the coffee became cold. A sudden blast of wind extinguishes the torch too. Bummer, it was warm otherwise. Had I these two bonuses, I'd be above zero, while this brings me to -2C. Oh well. See you later ravine.

80MjAE8.png

The Muskeg upper plateau has two caves. I don't have much time to explore the enclosed one, so I grab five pieces of coal closest to the entry. There is a deer that would have been marvellous to skin and eat had there been at least a pile of moss to spend the night on. The skies are still clear when I check a small open cave. More food and another field dressing book. I can read my way through a very long blizzard. Grateful to this generous little cave, I leave one of my prybars for another survivor and push on.

Kh8Eq2n.png

When I scout the lower area from the plateau, the bear is leisurely prowling around like the boss, but he is fairly far from the hunter's blind. Nope, no bedroll there either, but there is an archery book. I leave a cup of birch bark tea and keep pushing onward.

The skies were clear less than an hour ago. When I reach the train tracks it gets darker and puffy snowflakes begin falling from the sky. A little worried, I keep trying to cut across to the other side of the train but the spaces between the wagons are too narrow. By the time I squeeze through one of the gaps and locate the path up to the tree bridge, the wind develops into pre blizzard and the snow begins falling aggressively, slanting leftward.

j77jj66.png

I curse when the branches of the tree bridge prevent me from climbing on and crossing a couple of times. On the other side, I hit sprint. The five cups of coffee have preserved half of my stamina and now is a good moment to panic and use it. I race to the fallen radio tower cave that's as bare as the bones left next to bear caves. I leave a cup of reishi tea on the floor and keep my butt moving, soon force slowing myself to a crawl. I don't want to wait out the incoming blizzard in a cave without a bedroll. This would kill stamina. Approaching the Spencer's Farm fully fatigued or in zero visibility due to the blizzard, while trying to make it past the wolf patrol that's always there, is always precarious.

I crouch and swallow the incoming snow seeing a wolf ahead who decides this is his Gandalf role playing day. Right on the path that leads down to the farm, he first sits on his butt and howls then makes a motion to walk towards the mountain. I crouch crawl in the opposite direction when he changes his mind and begins walking left and towards me. Fleas eat your hide! The blizzard is about to get serious. I pop a red flare and charge at him, at the last second making a right hook towards the mountain and then circle around him to roll down the path. Lucky me, he has no friends waiting below, but he is more than enough to clean my bones.

RGCpRC0.png

Nearly avoiding a charge, I circle around the Forge and bolt inside where I use the flare to start a fire and climb the boards upstairs, just in case.

The wolf didn't circle around with me. Extremely miffed that I got away, he kept pawing the shed wall on the other side of the forge and snarling furiously, while I set the water to boil and searched the upper level. I tossed the red flare into the wall twice that at long last scared him off.

Although it gave me the last minute scare, the weather has been benevolent to my long road. I enjoyed a feast of canned food before taking my well deserved rest. Whoever is out there, I hope the forces of nature are as good to you as they were to me today on my far journey.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 10

The day begins with the forging of a brand new hatchet. Then a quick search and busting of a couple of green crates. Since I have enough metal for my needs, I decide to leave the metal shelf untouched.

 

Two cans of dog food and two accelerants are split in half between myself and another adventurer who shall come to these parts. I leave four matches in the workbench drawer and place a worn vest atop of the red chest. At last! A much anticipated find - a bottle of lantern fuel. There is little bit left once I refuel my lantern. I leave it on the workbench for another adventurer.

Once a warm evening rolls in, I venture outside to loot the docks. The deer graze peacefully all around like they've never heard of a word wolf.

zSP6PAW.png

I take time to gather some fuel and look around Spencer's before venturing out along the docks. I can hear the cawing of the crows and wander whether they're circling above a fallen adventurer or a more menacing cause.

 

By the shed I nearly die of fright mistaking a barrel for a bear.

KMWudIl.png

 

There is a deer on top of the hill with 0.6kg meat. As much as I'd love a meal and some guts, the forge doesn't allow curing. Carrying the guts to the nearest curable place is an invitation to be eaten. As it's +2C, I spend slightly over an hour taking the meat and the deer hide, gaining a pinch of hypothermia since the evening grows colder quickly. I sprint to the forge to drop off the meat and warm up, daring to step outside to chop one cedar log. I'm staying the night and I'm going to need it.

 

The night is shining when I finish forging my knife and then roast a delicious chunk of deer on the fire. There's nothing like a fine meal under the gorgeous aurora.

 

aYK4FDF.png

 

Cheers to the forges and to survivors who risk life and limb to reach them.


 
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 11 or 20 days before Christmas

 

I'm going to need a lot more firewood if I am to continue forging the arrowheads. It's -15C outside. I bite the bullet and chop one cedar limb at the cost of health. All of that wood goes into the forge before much anticipated task - cracking open the safe.

 

What? Twenty miserly bucks? I shove them back into the safe with a growl and take it out on hammering iron. The morning warmed up even more to -7C. I venture out to chop another limb this time completing the task before the body temperature drops.

 

Two more hours of arrowheads and the warmth rises above zero. Whoo! Seems like I'll be staying another night. I take the opportunity to chop all the cedar around. Running out of limbs, I venture up the wolf guard path. I spot him far away as he patrols the radio tower.

 

vRS7ovS.png

 

There are no limbs to be found and the wolf turns in my direction, so, I head back to a shack nearby and break down some loose planks hoping that wolf did not continue down the path to check the farm. It gets so foggy that I can't see the forge from my spot and find it by going in the general direction.

 

The sun is completely down and I'm nearly fully fatigued when I finish forging all of the arrowheads. It's another beautiful Muskeg night. My breath comes out like fire, coloured by the bleaks from the forge.

 

IDZiABU.png

 

I plan to leave the Muskeg tomorrow wandering where I could potentially find a bedroll. The Broken Railroad is nearby, a very dangerous trip without weapons. Or I could push towards the Mystery Lake and Coastal.

 

I chomp at the forge dog food and drink a cup of herbal tea for the night as I'd like to recover more health. The forge fire is hot and the stars shine bright through the cracks of the rooftop. Perhaps, another survivor is looking at the same stars and wandering whether they aren't alone.
  • Upvote 2
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys, I am tulkawen.

Unfortunately my hard drive went to meet the long dark. I haven't been able to recover my password for this forum or for the email attached to it. Had to make a new account. I will continue the Christmas story. I'm not too sure I'll be able to finish it before the update, however, my survivor has gotten out of trickier spots before.

Day 12

I wake up very late in the morning and discover that the forge fire went out right before I dragged my butt out of bed. It's -7C and foggy as condensed milk. Good enough to walk right into the teeth of the Gandalf wolf since I am more inclined to head for the Broken Railroad. 

It sure would have been nice to repair some clothing until the fog lifts, boil two cups of hot tea and grab a torch before going, but I merely sort through the locker to balance my inventory. The heavy hammer shall stay at the Forge. This is my unchanging rule of keeping it there.

The fog begins to dissipate as soon as I begin my journey. This allows me to spot Gandalf from afar. Sometimes I think he trolls knowing that I'm there because he keeps patrolling whichever side I turn to.

RL7k4vJ.png

He howls mournfully when I manage to get past. There is another wolf circling fairly close to the railway tracks at the entry to the Broken Railroad. I goat downhill to sneak past him too.

This sneaking technique works fairly well when I get to the waterfall and crouch past another wolf. Scouting ahead and ducking is a good way to get by with one flare in the pocket. The situation at the Broken Railroad can get hairy in the blink of an eye.

tt8K7BB.png

There is a lost campfire by the train tracks where I find a can of dog food. As a dog, I would have been most pleased with the recent abundance of this canned food, as a survivor I'm barking crazy pleased with it. I drop several sticks by the campfire and quickly keep moving. The weather takes a steep turn and begins developing into an instant blizzard that rolls within one hour.

The crouch technique doesn't work to sneak up on the Maintenance Yard. There is a wolf by the blue truck atop of the hill that lunges towards me. Prompted by the slashing snow and teeth at my back I roll downhill, ignoring all sprain possibilities or wolves below, top sprint.

U9eeybY.png

The wolf snarls and breaks pursuit when I dive into the office area. I only have a few minutes to find a pack of matches and a bright pink jacket before full blizzard hits. The office temperature drops to -8C. There is also a baseball cap on the shelf. Since I still have one hat, I put it on and enter the inner area where it's +3C.

The light might be withering, but it remains bright enough to search most of the building. I find a jerry can, matches, a piece of leather, food and excellent 90% work gloves. This must also be a prybar heaven. There are two brand new ones.

I already have very nice mittens. I feel sympathy for a survivor who might venture in trying to save their freezing fingers with their breath. I leave the work gloves by one of the doors and place one of the newly found prybars on the workbench. Five gift matches go into one of the red storage chests before it gets too dark to search.

I climb one of the boards to an elevated platform and bust a green crate by hand. There is a sewing kit and a whetstone hidden underneath. Encouraged by the find, I climb down and break another green crate, but when I turn on the lantern to check, there is nothing.

I leave a big heap of the reclaimed wood by the burn barrel and head to sleep. Some old but tasty pork beans make a good supper. There is something soothing in the barn shaking and creaking to the blizzard beyond. I believe I had a lucky break today that no wolves were guarding the main building. Whoever is out there, I hope the luck also turned your way and didn't whisk away the promise of safety.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share