Topic: The Oath [Vegetarian/Pacifist challenge]  (Read 9231 times)


Shadowdweller

« on: August 25, 2021, 10:50:28 AM »
The youth gazed in mute disbelief at the charred and mutilated bodies, laid out as if in rest by the blackened ruin.  Six of them.  Even the youngest sister, three years old.  Serene and unwounded but dead nonetheless.  Bad air?  How could this happen?  The youth stared at his wounds, his bloodstained clothes...his hands, his bloodstained hands, and tried to remember.  Dreams.  Nightmares.  A drunken father, a battered mother.  Terrible words.  An argument - demands to leave the cabin, to seek fortune elsewhere.  Away from everything and everyone they knew?  Defiance.  A son's fists raised in defense.  Knives drawn, then worse.  Brother fighting against father.  Sister against brother.  Then blood. So much blood.  And flame.

Six bundles of sticks gathered and laid out like beds.  The smoke stinging his eyes brought relief; for at last he could cry.  Let their spirits join the air, the forest, the waters.

Crying still, he tried to wash away the bloodstains from his hands, his clothing; but to no avail.  "I did this," he thought.  He would have thrown away or burned his tattered clothing, but some semblance of survival instinct stayed his hands.  Around the ruined homestead, the snows of winter still gripped the land; though the buds of new leaves had started to grow.  He would not survive, naked and foodless in the snow.  "No more.  No more blood.  No more hands raised in violence, save perhaps in the direst need of self-defense or defense of my animals.  No more will I draw blood nor eat the flesh of human nor beast nor fowl nor fish.  And if I starve, let it be the spirits' judgment upon me."

And he wondered when at last he left, "Could the sweat of my brow ever wash away the blood?"
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 11:05:29 AM by Shadowdweller »

Shadowdweller

« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2021, 10:59:11 AM »
Thought I'd try out a vegetarian / pacifist character.  The ground rules I set for myself:
First character stats accepted no matter what they are - custom build.  Hurt, Helpless, and Alone scenario; starting in spring to give the character time for the planting of crops.  No game courses.

No eating meat of any kind.  No hunting, no fishing, no trapping - thus no furs or skinning.  No violence of any kind unless an animal or foe is trying to kill me.  Or kill my animals.  Even then - only enough to drive it off.  I kinda reserve the right to trade for furs so I don't freeze to death in the winter  :-[
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 11:02:21 AM by Shadowdweller »

Plotinus

« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2021, 04:46:22 PM »
Good luck!

Shadowdweller

« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2021, 08:46:53 AM »
https://imgur.com/a/YXGjPno

Weary and in pain, the Kinslayer abandoned the pyres of his family.  He would not touch the bloody implements that had killed is family.  In his pockets, nothing save a stone knife he had knapped out of idle boredom on a snow-choked eve.  It had not touched blood.  It was still winter, nothing edible yet grew.  And the family stores of food, or at least that which his oath would permit, had burned with the cabin.  Knowing that without food and shelter he would not survive long, the Kinslayer quickly traversed the short mile to the nearest village.    Perhaps his visage had changed with his spirit, but the townsfolk paid him little head, offering neither recognition nor censure.  "Perhaps they are too busy averting their eyes from the blood," he thought.  He spoke to some, they seemed friendly enough; though distant.  "Do they know?  Can they tell?" he mused.  First he sought at the town sage.  The Kinslayer's need was writ upon his skin, they exchanged few words.  "I should no doubt was my wounds more thoroughly when I have a chance."  But he shivered at the thought of freezing water on his skin, already cold and pale from his trek through the snow.  He warmed himself a moment at a hearth, then proceeded to check the storehouses to see what might be gained here from trade.  It was clear the townsfolk were preparing for the spring.  Boxes of seed, grain, beans were ready for planting.  The smell of ember-roasted turnips made him feel the empty void in the pit of his stomach.  He noticed spools of nettle and linen thread.  And a well-made broad knife sitting unclaimed.  He wondered if the villagers would mind him borrowing it, as long as it remained unclaimed, if he did not remove it from the storehouse.  In the end, he could not withstand the villagers' cold gazes for long.

So the Kinslayer ventured into the woods to find his own shelter where he might make items for trade.  He settled a scant distance from town, along the shores of a large lake.  At first he tried removing alder bark, to weave into ropes.  But this proved taxing.  He tried making staves, perhaps to construct javelins - but the blade of his stone knife was uneven and resulted in splintery specimens that were uncomfortable even to hold.  He lacked even a crude stone axe, with which to chop fallen trees into blocks for conveniences like wooden bowls.  So in the end, he spent several uncomfortable, hungry nights as he slowly wove a couple of birch-bark ropes.  Though his wounds had slowly started to heal, his body was starting to become weak from hunger.  The Kinslayer returned to town the next morning, hoping to trade.  Offering all he had made, he bartered for a skein of linen thread and a number of roasted turnips.  The turnips were gone within two meals, leaving him no stronger than before.  Turnips would not sustain him.  "I will need grain, then.  I could make waybread from flour; and I will need to plant soon if I am ever to carve out enough farmland to keep myself from starving during the winter."  The rope, though crudely made, was still valued by the villagers.  Once having at last built a stone axe, the Kinslayer would quickly learn that his feeble attempts at making wooden bowls or javelins were valued little.  He calculated that to pay for even a sack of grain, he would need at least seven or eight birch-bark ropes.  But he could see little other hope if he were to keep his oath.  So for the next week, the Kinslayer set about peeling birch-bark, then returning to town to borrow that knife for rope-making.  And at last he could trade for food...for at least a short time.  Slowly and surely after much baking, his strength started to return.

On one fateful bartering trip, the Kinslayer learned that a wounded hunter had taken refuge in village, having been mauled by a bear.  The man asked the Kinslayer to retrieve his handaxe, a treasure gift from the man's now deceased father.  Sheepishly, without meeting the man's eyes, the Kinslayer agreed.  It was not recollection that disturbed the Kinslayer; not fear nor painful memory of his own violent, recalcitrant father.  It was not the pain of his wounds, nor the guilt for his part in the deaths of his family.  It was shame.  For upon hearing the tale, the Kinslayer knew he would not be returning the handaxe.  He would be taking it for himself, fearing for his survival without.  For days he searched, at last finding the wounded hunter's campsite just as the snows started to melt.  "With this," he thought, "I can clear land for farming at my camp."  But as he slowly cleared and burned, preparing a small plot for farming he thought about just how large of a farm he would need to survive the winter.  And his lifeline, his grain bag, was running empty.

Note: Sooooo, I guess being a pacifist doesn't actually make for a very exciting story.  Or perhaps I just don't know how to dramatize high-stress trading  :-\  I've never actually played a vegetarian character before.  Hunting and trapping are amongst my favorite things about unreal world.  And I was initially worried that the character would end up being bogged down into endless crafting sessions of low-value bartering items or endless berry gathering.  It still may end up being that way, but the initial game was actually surprisingly fun to play.  Because, vegetarianism makes starvation a constant problem in the early game; and requires constant work to fill one's stomach at least with waybread.  I was at 30% starvation by the time I was able to afford grain.  I think the food thing is going to be a struggle for the whole game.  Anyway, building my farm in a woodland as the pictures should show - which is probably an incredibly stupid thing to do.  I think I'm going to need an enormous farm if I'm going to feed myself in winter.

Plotinus

« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2021, 09:36:52 AM »
How big is that lake? These days, I tend to plant my seeds along the border of a lake/river because it's less work to clear the area, but I only plant in every other row because I want there to be some spaces for bear pipes to grow.

Another thing I like to do if I'm making a big farm and want to plant a whole tile, I pick a tile that is already mostly open (like a lichenous pine forest). You can only plant about a third of it before you hit the tile item limit so I make crop circles or rather big triangular designs. But it's not stupid to start in a woodland like you did, you'll have plenty of logs for a big cabin when you're done.

Plotinus

« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2021, 09:39:05 AM »
The item limit is around 1600 squares planted (or squares that have stuff you dropped on it), so it takes a lot of work to hit it, but if you plant a 40x40 square then you will get lots of messages about having too many items on this tile and needing to spread your stuff out. In the old days, you'ed just start losing items, but now the warnings happen way before the item loss starts so it's safe.

Night

« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2021, 10:39:20 AM »
The item limit is around 1600 squares planted (or squares that have stuff you dropped on it), so it takes a lot of work to hit it, but if you plant a 40x40 square then you will get lots of messages about having too many items on this tile and needing to spread your stuff out. In the old days, you'ed just start losing items, but now the warnings happen way before the item loss starts so it's safe.


Not related to OP but, was wondering about the limit, thanks for the info.
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Shadowdweller

« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2021, 10:52:23 AM »
How big is that lake? These days, I tend to plant my seeds along the border of a lake/river because it's less work to clear the area, but I only plant in every other row because I want there to be some spaces for bear pipes to grow.

Another thing I like to do if I'm making a big farm and want to plant a whole tile, I pick a tile that is already mostly open (like a lichenous pine forest). You can only plant about a third of it before you hit the tile item limit so I make crop circles or rather big triangular designs. But it's not stupid to start in a woodland like you did, you'll have plenty of logs for a big cabin when you're done.
Lake is maybe about 30 tiles.  Having an easy cabin is nice and all, but I'm worried about getting as much farmland planted as possible atm.  As well as having time to make trade goods for necessities.  Thinking maybe I should have gone for a hill or maybe grove instead.  Usually easy enough to plant near a bordering forest so you have plenty of lumber; not to mention that there's often enough trees around anyway.

Plotinus

« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2021, 01:53:24 PM »
yeah, that makes sense