I apologize for the sudden silence in the middle of my posts on Allure’s progress – I got wrapped up in a player-run quest line that started on Pristine, and I’ve been working on a secret project in the desert on Release for the past week!
If you haven’t seen the quest line on the forums yet, it starts here and continues on through several more steps, until the last part that I was just working on – found here. Last Wednesday, those of us who wished to participate were taken to the Northern shore of Release, and given that quest to complete within the next week (ending last night). My entry is here - the Willow Tree Inn is our submission to the competition. If you’re interested in voting, the poll is open until Saturday!
The name of the inn actually was inspired by an inn that Vin had made back on Indy not long after we’d started playing Wurm. It had willow trees to either side of it because I thought they were pretty – so he named it the Willow Tree Inn. The building there has long since decayed, but when I told Vin about my plans to plant willows near my safe house for an oasis-in-the-desert feel, he reminded me of our first inn and we just had to carry on that legacy.
I took way too many screenshots to even sort through yet – I’ve uploaded them all here if you’d like to see the whole process! I love the castle-like appearance of the house, and the guard tower behind it seems to complete it so perfectly. The willow trees work to pull it all together and give it some color to stand out from the desert further. If I could change one thing though, I would have brought more cotton with me. I think a few banners on the castle would have been the perfect finishing touch, and maybe a rug just inside the front door. I tried to travel light though, and all of my materials were gathered in the nearby area. I’m sure that, had I asked, many of the locals who let us join their alliance would have given us cotton, but I really didn’t want to ask too much of them. It was really important to me that this project serves to help the community – I didn’t want to burden them in any way while building it.
On the community aspect – I seriously couldn’t have found a better place to build. The hardest part of this project for me, without a doubt, was sailing away afterwards. From the very beginning, everyone I met on Release was so nice. Lotus, whose post gave me the inspiration to build there, was not only willing to listen to my crazy rambling about building a secret project in the middle of the desert, but also helped to put me in touch with other folks in the local alliance. Zabba was one of the first folks who was willing to listen to my plans, and offered any assistance he could give – including rushing me a few last minute supplies when I realized I was running short. Abrem (and his wife, Alendria) invited me to their deed, which was right down the road from my project, and gave me unlimited access to anything I might need (including their animals to hitch my cart, and their mine to get enough rock shards to build). Earwicker spent hours and hours with us on Wednesday, standing there for hours and attaching pieces to the guardtower – there’s no way we possibly could have finished it on time without his help.
I really can’t express just how awesome that whole alliance is. They were all willing to not only take in two complete strangers and let them build nearby, but also offered any assistance they could provide. On top of that – the awesome comments they all left for why they voted for my entry nearly made me cry! More than anything else, my favorite part of this whole quest series has been getting the opportunity to interact with these amazing people. It was such a bittersweet feeling to sail away afterwards, having made so many great friends and memories. There’s nothing quite like being attacked by so many critters that the whole alliance has to coordinate who has a free templar to run to! If I could find time to play on four servers, I’d have made another character to stay on Release – as it is, I’ve been invited to go back and vacation on several of their deeds, and I’m sure that I’ll be back to visit soon!