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Michael Curtis
Writer, reader, historian, part-time madman
Writer, reader, historian, part-time madman


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I had a great Loper run come to an end on Day 14 last night. I had cured skins and guts, mag lens, sleeping bag, 18 arrow heads, improv knife, maple and birch saplings, and a ton of cattails. I just needed a few days to make some deerskin pants and a bow and arrows and I’d have a solid base to build on.

Coming back from the dam trailers, I skirted the lake along the hillside and, since it was a sunny day, I decided to harvest the deer up by the lake overlook cave. Halfway through the harvesting, the screen jumps to WOLF FIGHT!!! and I try to fend off the beast with my hammer. I was at 50% condition and it wasn’t enough. Damned wolf got me.

From now on, no harvesting without a fire going if it’s even the slightest bit possible a wolf might wander into range.

That death was a hard one and it may be some time before I fire up another run.

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4DON 2018 is finished and I got my badge. Overall, I think I preferred last year's unstructured event better than this year "Each day is something new." Having both time and opportunity to prepare on Day One without worrying about wolves and bears, I could have easily just AFKed my way through the rest of the event sitting in the Camp Office.

I spent Day 2 alternating between the Camp Office and the cave on the ridge above it, hoping to counteract any cabin fever. As it turned out, cabin fever was never an issue despite some cryptic warnings by Hinterland (they implied you wouldn't be able to just hole up for the entire event). I had one wolf encounter coming off the ridge with fresh guts I harvested from the carcass up there, but fended off the beast with my torch. After that, I stopped carrying guts for bait and never ran into another wolf for the rest of the event. My trips outside for wood and moving stuff between the office and the cave never crossed paths with demon wolves or aurora wolves. I didn't go out looking for trouble despite having the rifle and a sizable amount of ammo.

Day Three was all about collecting firewood and stocking up the cave. I knew the blizzard was coming on Day Four and was determined not tor freeze to death. As it turned out, this was over-preparing.

Day Four saw a temperature drop of -20 degrees Celsius inside all the buildings. My cave got down to -25 even at the back. But my clothes had a plus 24 degree bonus so I could have easily hung out inside the camp office without a fire.

After I did my 2 hours drinking coffee and boiling water, I received my badge and then decided that I had to find a pumpkin pie to properly end the event. Check the camp office and nothing there. Headed out to the fishing huts in the blizzard and missed them going across the lake, but found the cabins on the far side. No pies there. Found one of the huts on the way back and warmed up inside. Made it back to the camp office and warmed up again.

I was planning on checking the watch tower, but got turned around in the snow and ended up down in the valley with the ruined building and stove. Briefly was able to warm up before the wind shifted, then made my way over the hill, past the bear cave, and around to Trapper's. I found candy in the bowl I missed the first time, then went inside to see a pumpkin pie warming on the stove!

Slept, warmed up, enjoyed some pie, and then decided to celebrate by firing flares off into the storm from atop the lookout tower. Got turned about a bit until I found the Unnamed Pond, but there was a jack-o-lantern there. I warmed up, then made it to the lookout tower, shot off a few flares, and called 4DON 2018 a success.

I hope the mix things up for next year. I think even if there was a Voyageur level of wolves out on Day 1 it would have been a little better. Cabin fever would have added something too for some, but since I spent most of the game in my cave, it wouldn't have affected me. At least I'm a little less antsy about doing stuff outside at night and I can sort of make my way around ML even at night in a blizzard.
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Tomorrow, we'll see how I fare against the aurora wolves...

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Anyone else doing 4DON? There's about 12 hours left on Day 1.
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Due to circumstances beyond my control, I must regretfully cancel my appearance at Gamehole 2018. I won't be making the trip to Madison in two weeks and I apologize to anyone looking forward to seeing me or playing in my scheduled events.

I hate breaking a promise of any type and missing a con is never an easy choice, but in this case it was the only possible option. All is well with me physically, though, and I look forward to getting back on the convention circuit in 2019. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Made one more Interloper attempt today and this one finally took. It's now Day 14 and I'm at the Fishing Camp in Coastal Highway. I have an improvised knife, axe, heavy hammer, hacksaw, two prybars, 20 arrowheads, two maple saplings, 4 birch saplings, a firestriker, and 100 matches. Clothes are still substandard but once I get my bow and arrows done, I can start to attend to that.

I probably just jinxed myself. Food is a little scarcer than I'd like, so I need to make it through the next week while my hunting stuff cures before I can start stockpiling food and put a little distance between myself and starvation.

+Jeff Sparks' trials and tribulations on Interloper encouraged me to start another run for laughs. And boy was I not disappointed.

Spawned in Hushed Valley (or so I thought) and I figured I was done for. I don't know that map well-enough yet to have any hope of getting out or locating where I might find some bare essentials. It was only after flailing about randomly that I came across the Three-Way Cave and realized I was on Timberwolf Mountain.

Once I had oriented myself, I felt more confident. Found some food and several cedar and pine boards, skirted a wolf, snuck past a bear, and made it to the Mountaineer's Hut with hypothermia and a permanent frostbite hit. But, I found two boxes of matches, some clothes, and the heavy hammer. Warmed up, boiled water, and got rid of hypothermia.

The next morning I harvested cattails, found a hat and more wood in the fishing hut, and managed to get my condition back up. After a quick nap, I figured I'd try to get off the mountain and make it to the abandoned prepper's hatch before sundown, then leap frog my way from places with beds through PV until I found more clothes and a bedroll.

The weather was poor but I liked my odds of making it to the hatch without taking another frostbite or hypothermia hit. As I passed through the bowl behind the hut, I had a brief concern about the moose, but "He almost never spawns--especially on Day Two!"

Halfway across the bowl, I heard some curious bellowing, followed by the pitter-patter of moose hooves heading my way.

I never even looked back, just ran and tried to find a rocky outcrop to climb. I got dead-ended against a rock I couldn't climb and the moose attack screen flared to life. Came out of it with broken ribs.

Broken ribs, no bandages, no pain-killers, and no way to climb until they healed. I saw the writing on the wall.

I got up, heavy hammer in hand, and saw the moose still nearby. I raised my hammer, charged the moose, and off to Valhalla I went!

A shame, but carelessness kills in TLD. I could have waited one more day for the weather to clear or been more cautious about the moose bowl. Better luck next time.

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I ruined a good batch of fish and bear meat today cooking on an outdoor fire ring. I thought I'd warn you folks so as to avoid my fate. Don't drag cooked food off the campfire stones directly onto the ground or it goes instantly to "ruined" and inedible.

I sent a Facebook message to Hinterland this morning asking if there would be a return of "Four Days of Night" for 2018. They replied "Stay tuned," so I'm going to take that as a "yes" and an announcement about the dates is forthcoming.
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