Willow Tree Inn

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!

Side view, so you can see the guard tower back behind the house.

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.

Dark, I know – but I love the castle look combined with a dark and stormy night!

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.

View from the front, standing on the major highway through the area

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.

Working madly to finish the guard tower!

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!

These critters are from only a few hours online – if you look closely, hubby’s running around the corner of the inn to escape another one!

Rebuilding Allure (Part One)

Trying to rebuild has been a very slow process. When I got back to Indy, nothing was left of Allure but the houses (and a few stray fences). I had three houses total – a kitchen in Upper Allure, a workshop in Lower Allure, and our main house, also in Lower Allure. My first thought was to leave them all in place, and just finish them by adding on additional stories or a roof, as needed. Then I realized that at the very least, these houses were going to need new doors added – they were so old that double doors hadn’t even been invented yet, not to mention inner walls!  At that point, I decided that with the amount of work these houses would need, I might as well rebuild them to make them exactly as I’d like them, since I’m on my own in Allure now. I threw out the old plan for Allure, and started working on really making it mine this time around.

Very old image of our last Allure plan before leaving Indy

To give you an idea of how Allure is laid out, I dug up an old file (dated Aug 08, 2011!) that I can’t even open in Wplanner anymore, so I had to use Paint to edit in some details. Upper Allure is outlined in blue in the top right corner – the upper area is about 200 dirt above the lower level. The paths on the top and right edges both lead from the lower to the upper level. At that point in time, I was breeding TONS of aggressive animals, so the entirety of Upper Allure was filled with pens to keep them in. I discovered that feeding them meals seemed to keep them well fed longer than just tossing in meat/veggies, so I’d cook up a couple hundred meals in the Kitchen every day or two to feed them all. This time around, I don’t plan on keeping any aggressive creatures, so I just demolished the kitchen.

Main house, upon my return to Allure

The main house was built before the days of internal walls, so we made it in a sort of “U” shape to simulate different rooms. One wing was our bedroom area, with a bed each for Vin and I, one for our priest, and an extra just in case. The other wing was a secondary kitchen area, where we stored most of our crops and other foodstuffs. The longest wall, at the back of the house, was lined with BSBs so we could store various quality materials. When I got back to Allure, I had to re-deed a slightly smaller area than I’d had before, and my new deed line actually cut off the bedroom wing completely. The house needed a roof and a new front door anyway, so once I realized that part was also off-deed, I just decided to move it back up to Upper Allure and take advantage of the view there instead. This became my first big project upon coming back – designing and building a new house, then moving the contents of 2 FSBs and about 10 BSBs to Upper Allure!

Vin’s old Workshop, pre-rebuilding (and a sneak peek at my new main house in the background!)

Vin always did the blacksmithing work at Allure, and he wanted a building near his mine so he didn’t have to drag the iron across the deed to work. When we first moved into lower Allure, we’d done some digging to try to finish flattening the whole area and realized that Allure has many, many large spikes of rock sticking up underneath it. We mined quite a few down, but by the time we built his workshop we were very tired of digging and surface mining. When we found another rock spike where he wanted his workshop, we decided to just flatraise his workshop up a bit instead. As a result, his 2×3 workshop was built about 100 dirt up from the rest of lower Allure. We moved our deed token at one point to cover our land better, and the token ended up falling right on the slope next to his workshop. We never really liked it there, but also didn’t have much choice about it at the time. When I got back, I decided that I was going to fix that!

New Workshop & path

I flatraised an additional tile next to the original workshop, for a 3×3 raised area instead. The workshop is now only 5 tiles, with a 3×1 pen attached so I have a place to put horses if I’m using them in lower Allure and don’t want to drag them all the way back up top. The token is now in the corner of the pen (you can see it through the fence in the picture here, which also shows the entrance a little better), and there’s a gate next to it that can be locked or unlocked as needed for access. I also dug out and re-did the path leading up to the workshop, as it was a little steep at the bottom because of another rock spike. It’s now a perfect 20 slope all the way up, and finally properly paved!

Inside the new Workshop

The rest of Lower Allure is still in progress; it’s currently mostly full of overgrown oak and fruit trees. My plan for Lower Allure currently involves adding some breeding pens for horses, and building a guest house in the corner that used to be our cattle pen. Upper Allure is mostly finished at this point, but I decided to wait to post the “big reveal” for that area until I finish up the last of the inner walls and can post screenshots of the inside too. Sorry everyone, you’ll have to wait for the next post! 😉

The History of Allure

Apparently my definition of “soon” needs some work – it’s been two months since I promised more details on both deeds. Where does the time go?!

I got caught up on the Epic servers for a bit, so rebuilding Allure has gone much slower than I originally anticipated. I converted to a Vynora priestess on Epic, and then hit 50 Faith and could finally cast useful enchants for my village-mates… so I was distracted over there for a bit, and only popped over to Independence to keep up with my animals and such. But I’ve still been making some progress on Indy – if very slowly!

I wanted to give a bit of background on Allure itself and how we first ended up there, but what started out as a short snippet of history evolved into an entire post of its own. So rather than cram both then and now into one post, I’ll talk more about rebuilding Allure later, and leave you with this bit of history for today:

Vin had been looking for a game to play in between our other MMOs, just something to waste a bit of time in. He stumbled across Wurm and decided to give it a shot, creating a character on Independence and wandering until he found a spot to try to make his own. He didn’t think I’d have any interest in Wurm, so he never really drew my attention to it – but after watching him play for a bit I had to try it. Somehow he managed to direct me to where he’d ended up (we had no idea there was a map back then!), and we started trying to dig out a little spot on a hillside. We made friends with some locals (who have ended up being great friends that we’ve kept in touch with for years now!), and continued working to carve out a spot on the hill.

We did a bit of exploring in the general area we’d been trying to settle down in, and found a nice flat spot nearby; it had to have been a settlement at one point, but there was nothing left by the time we got there. Frustrated with trying to dig out a patch of hillside, we thought about moving in on this nice flat area but ultimately decided that it was too far from the water (hubby wanted immediate water access to be able to work on shipbuilding). We eventually started working on a relatively flat spot right on the water just a bit down the coast while living out of our Noob Shack on the hillside, and ended up directing someone else who was looking for a place to settle to the flat area we’d found – he named his new deed “Allure”.

Fast forward to maybe a week later, we logged in one morning to find that the nice flat spot we’d been working on, and that we thought we had secured, had been mostly deeded over. We’d built fences and a gatehouse to enter the area, but we didn’t know that to prevent someone from deeding it, we should have built houses on each side of our area. The person who deeded over it wouldn’t work with us at all (or even talk to us), and with much irritation we ended up moving back to our initial spot on the hillside. After telling our friends in the area what had happened, the person who founded Allure told us that the area he’d deeded actually had flat land on two different levels, and he wasn’t using the smaller upper area at all. To prevent us from going through any further loses, he invited us to move onto his deed with him and offered us the entire upper area to ourselves. We talked it over and ended up accepting his gracious offer – and thus our tie to Allure began.

Upper Allure, shortly after we moved in.

We moved into Upper Allure and started making it our home, eventually making our first real house on the corner overlooking lower Allure. A few weeks later, our friend told us that he’d founded another deed, Port Allure, just a bit further down the coast and right on the water. He wanted to move there to work on building boats, and wanted us to have Allure. We had no idea what we would do with an entire deed to ourselves, but how could we possibly say no to such a generous offer?! It took very little thought before we accepted – and thus Allure became our home.

The main house we eventually built in lower Allure – Home!

It’s had many complete makeovers through the years, but somehow this little patch of land worked its way into my heart and has become my home in Wurm. It doesn’t matter where else I might end up in game, or on which character – I always end up bringing Mayrin back to Allure eventually.