Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 26

Proof that Notch Loves Us.

We all know the drill by now.  Here's the spot.  I'm gonna clear it and build something here.  I guess I should say this is behind the inn and the barracks, but not as far as the lumberjack and hunter's tower, and that's the usual, same beginning before a build, same process(moo), same...(moo) same... hey, hey WTF? (moo)

How long has that cow been in this tree??

GET OUT OF THAT TREE!  MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.  Well, just kidding.  Obviously this cow was hiding from all the town wives that like to punch cows to death, so I lead him to the cow promised land in a valley far from the colony and let him live the rest of his natural cow life.

The building I am making is pretty much a squareish rectangle, and so looks kind of boring.  I started with design first before function in this new building.  The windows are nicely spaced, the framing is nicely set up, and the lines are broken by different materials used all around.  You can see the barracks peeking over the top of the frame.  This building is important, we'll keep it well guarded.
In the front I create a pointed arch above the door.  I take cobblestone and start working my way back along the arch to create the roof.  I need this arch in the ceiling because I have plans for a sort of double deck inside of this building.  Design first, but functional also.

And here we have the inside of our brand new BREWERY!!  The life blood of the colony, the heartsource of morale, the warm sun in a blizzard.  Even those stick up the butt puritans that settled somewhere else had vast reserves of brew.  Now we can make our own.

Here's the first part of our tour.  This is our boiler, where we boil the grains in preparation for the next step in the process.  There is a large chimney that collects the smoke from our wood fires.  Like most beer of this old type, it has a slight smokey flavor to it due to the fuel used in this process.  We minimize this with our chimney design.

Here on the second deck, up high, is where the next process occurs.  This is a large tub where we put the boiled wort.  In the back we have a series of doors that opens to the air overlooking a crystal clear spring.  The water for the beer comes from that spring and is kept free of scum and dirt.  The doors and tub create an open air fermenter, like those found in the Senne valley in real world Belgium.  A lambic style.

This is the area below the tub.  If you look, you can see tubes that lead from the tub, and into cauldrons.  These cauldrons are highly polished and disinfected.  There are two spouts for rapid draining.

From the cauldrons, the now fermented beer is emptied into these large oak barrels.  Here the beer ages and ferments further until it creates the kind of beer we're aiming for.  Some is an apple flavored brew, somewhat like a cider mixed with a light ale.  The other is for whatever non-fruited beer we make.  Darked roasted for a Guinness like stout, reddish brown roast for a nice red ale.

The colony brewery.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 25

My new home.

This is the area right next to the dock, but a little more inland and a little bit higher on a hill.  This is where the new Inn will go.  This will give sailors a place to stay if they can afford to stay off ship.  I set the big tree on fire because I hate messing with big trees, they are a hassle.

Like with the Mayor's home, I start with function over form.  I start by making the lobby.  I have an idea of what I want to do with the place, a sort of tower with a lobby attached to it, done in a way I have not attempted before.  I feel like it would make the thing unique and actually fun to build

I make a hallway where everything is going to connect up.  I'm going to start from the bottom up, so I dig downward and start opening up a hole.  I line the hole with cobblestone so that dirt walls do not show.  The roof of this hole will serve as the flooring for the first level of the Inn's residency tower.

Here is the hallway.  As you can see I have 3 levels of habitation, and 3 classes of areas available.  Down below is a room of bunks with one semi-private bunk.  They are cheap, but better than sleeping on a boat.  Above them is a second section with 3 private rooms.  They are small rooms, just enough space to throw your junk on the floor and sleep privately, away from snoring sailors that smell like rum.


The basement area, 3rd Class.  I used the class designation because of its nautical passenger ship connotations.  Each bunk is doubled and has a latter next to it so people can reach the top.  Some people call these "coffin" hotels, because traditionally the bunks were carved out into the wall and you slept in a hole that felt like sleeping in a coffin.  Mine are a higher class than that, allowing you to stretch out and get some better air circulation.
The single Penthouse suite has two rooms to it.  Past the door and up some stairs is the first class seating area with plenty of room and light coming in through the windows.  Around the corner is the bedroom with good views of the balcony garden.

Out on the balcony, the Penthouse has views of the docks and much of the rest of the colony.  On either side of the balcony is a small garden just outside the windows.  Some times of the years there is fruit the blooms that is native to the New World, a nice little treat for any high paying visitors.

Here we see the entirety of the brand new Inn.  Compact is footprint though with plenty of space for travelers.  I like the Penthouse so much that I take a bit of my booty from adventuring and purchase the Penthouse outright, though I do say that I would stay in a Private room if we need to house a captain that could benefit the colony financially.  What? You didn't think I'd just up and make myself Mayor did you?  The Mayor's home is just too much space for me.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 24

Hey, where's Jim?

I am not the only one that has been busy building.  Nothing makes the colony larger like a fast builder, and Jim has been building and building and building.  In the time it takes me to make a single Church, he can have an entire new section of the colony built.  This is what he was doing while I was working on the docks.

Just past the docks, up the new staircase I made, Jim got started on making a market.  The market is on this side so that new people do not have to walk through our entire colony to get to the goods and trades we have for sale.  Also... and I thought this was genius... the smell of the fresh baking bread nearby would make visitors hungry and buy food while shopping.

As you can see, he was building a fountain.  I like fountains and thought this would fit in nicely right here, give visitors a source of fresh water, and give a cooling effect on a bustling marketplace.  There's another reason I wanted a fountain here, and old Jim did not know my plans...

The Jim Robinson Plaza was dedicated and opened with Colonist-only celebrations in honor of the town's most popular citizen.  When things are broken, Jim's there.  When someone needs a chicken or dog coop, Jim's there.  Everyone in town is living in a home built by Jim.  It seems only fitting he should be immortalized, and every new visitor should know that the colony is here because of Jim.  

This is the area just beyond the church.  After I had made the area, landscaped and built the church, it was Jim's turn.  The colony has several new colonists that are currently living in the town hall or with other colonists as guests.

In practically no time, Jim made a new neighborhood, doubling the colony's capacity for permanent residents.  I did help with the decoration and the roads while Jim built the homes.

This new neighborhood changed the colony and gave us a problem.  The outer boundaries of our colony were no longer far away.  So I had Jim build Christopher a lumberjack cabin further into the forest, and behind it he built a hunter's watch tower.  From the top of the tower you can still see the colony, so it allows the hunter to keep an eye pretty much everywhere colonists would go.

Jim has one last big project this week.  The colonists are getting ready to invite tourists and sailors traveling from the Old World.  The hunter does his job when it comes to natural threats, and I do some work on the big threats away from the Colony, but the day to day workings of the colony needs a closer eye.  So before we officially start sending out word, the Colonists demanded Jim build a barracks and that we hire some guards to police the streets.

A view from above the barracks, you can see what the main part of the colony looks like today.  On the right is the Mayor's Mansion(still not elected yet), Craft Row below it, and the Church just behind that.  A bit further down and you see the new neighborhood.  Above the barracks you see Old Town, the original home area of the original 4 colonists, and you can see the town hall poking up right in the middle.  The bakery, farms, Docks, and a mysterious building are on the left.  What's that building?  Next time.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 23

Salty Dogs

The Colony is expanding.  We have more citizens and more structures, and a surplus of goods.  We have had several visitors by boat and even a repeat ship that was here a few months back.  The colonists think we need to welcome guests and traders in a more official capacity.

We have two shorelines for the Colony.  This side is the side near the windmill.  The other shoreline is sort of the Colonist's recreational beach, and so I do not want to mess that side up.  What we need is a dock, and I think this area is perfect.  Coming from the sea, it is a easier to access area, it is in a nice harbor configuration so that the water will be tame even when the ocean is choppy.  I do already have a stone wall lining it, as this was where I was once going to have animal farms, but that just did not work well with our colonists.

Docks need... well they need docks.  I take 8 large tree trunks and I sink them into place.  This is going to be Dock #1 and will be the largest of the two planned docks.  I clear out the sand near it and install some stone connectors to the shore.  Next I start sculpting the area near the dock, holding back some sand with stone walls and adding some wooden walkways.

This is the 2nd dock and it is kind of hiding the larger dock from sight at this angle.  Here you can see how I am making a boardwalk around the shore area of the dock.  The stone will protect the wood from water surges, and the wood is treated so that it does not swell from all the humidity.  This smaller dock is for smaller boats.  The shore is much more shallow this close to the colony, so only shallow draft vessels can fit here anyway.

On the reverse view, we see that I have finally made a walkway up to the colony from this beach.  The little pool there on the left is where I always docked my little canoe in all my travels around the surrounding land.  I just hopped up some rough rocks back up to the colony.  Now I actually have steps.  Yay for progress.

Here we see the land behind the large dock.  It has a boardwalk area that leads to an elevated walkway.  I was not sure what I would be up here, but necessity of dock operations means that I need a cargo area.  I added the fences there just to break up the texture a bit.  So much stone just starts to blend together.

I chose an open air hold instead of a large warehouse.  If a ship needs long term, more secure storage, well we have payment options.  Otherwise they can load and unload things from this area.  Lastly, no dock is complete without a place for sailors to wet their whistle.  Its best to keep these things in one easily managed(and policed) area.

I make an entrance from the boardwalk, easily accessible from either of the docks.  The area is not the largest, so I create an "L" shape so that the building and push farther back.  Inside I line the floors with some stone brick.  Chairs, tables, booths, lots of places for sailors to gather and socialize.  I create a long bar that stretches to either side of the "L".    There we put a few kegs with spouts and pour levers.

And so we have our completed docks.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 22

Holy of Holies

This is the space on the other side of Craft Street.  I do like the little hill and a couple of trees here, but the colony has needs.  I set about and for a few days I start collecting and preparing materials.  For what I am next building, I was asked to use only the best.  I start cooking stone so that I can make stone bricks.  I search out and cut down birch, specifically for the lighter wood.  I go out and collect flowers for dye.


I start building by placing large boughs of lumber vertically into the ground.  Using them as the base, I start laying stone brick in a general outline.  I want tall walls, and plenty of windows to let light throughout the building.

After making the basic stone structure, I then create a roof.  I was thinking stone at first, but realized I would need columns or something inside to support the weight, and we wanted it to be a very open chamber on the inside.  I spend a day getting the planks in place and making a ceiling.  I make a fully covered stone chamber on the back so that there can be a little room back there.

The whole town gets into helping out.  We get large panes of glass created and set into place, making the largest windows in the whole colony.  The wives get together and create the most wonderful of red carpets.  Jim creates a highly lacquered birch wood flooring.  I create strong benches that may not be as intricate as Jim's work, but are sturdy enough to last lifetimes.  We all work to get the inside furnished.  In the rear room, we collect all the holy texts that the colony has brought from the old world and we create library of sorts behind the pulpit.


 Now the outside needs work as well.  

The land around it is a bit rough and not at all worthy of such a structure.  Out front I add some bushes, but I have to make sure they can not be destroyed by wandering vagrants.  We also need a sign, because everything needs a sign, right?  Anyone?  My mom?  My dad?  Ok.  The back is kind bare, so I plant a lot of evergreen trees.  Evergreens are significant because they do not wither in the winter months, just as the faith does not falter.  The pond near the back is not deep enough, it is one block too low.  So I raise the water level to something more sightly.

Earlier I said the colonists needed this Church, but I did not say why.  It is now that I must announce sad news for the Colony.  

Robert Smith, the son of John Smith, our farmer, passed away from injuries in duty to the colony.  He is the first to be buried at our new home.  Time will take more, but we hope it will be the last as a result from danger.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 21

The wealth of this undersea place is not just in its nature and its temples.  The walls of the canyons seem untouched and full of valuable minerals.  There are places where the foliage is so thick, that I can not see, so I must look for coal.  Just a few blocks in, and I find this huge formation of diamond.  I have been here for over a week now, and this is essentially diary entry #3 here.  I'm in an under water wonderland, a tropical valley lost to time, with only water above my head.

This is a rare sight.  I travel up the valley wall and past a few blocks.  I find this opening where a tree has grown for ages.  While there is much foliage and grass all within the valley, there are very few trees, and this is by far the largest.  The water here is fresh water, and I actually take the time to use a few of my logs to repair the broken bits of tree so that it will last another couple of hundred years.  Behind me I hear a familiar sound.

I turn around to find one of the giant spiders looking at me face to face.  It seems as large as the other spider I found in the temple, about twice the size of a normal giant spider.  This one though... is not spitting webs at me.  It is not advancing to me at all.  It must live here near the tree as a protector and saw me helping repair the tree!  Being very anti-spider killing in real life, I put away my sword, drop some cow meat at its feet, and leave his valley behind(the reality is it was probably day time, and I think these super spiders also follow the rules of not attacking during the day).

Soon after leaving the spider, I sort of stumbled into another temple.  Seriously, I fell through a hole that was hidden by some vines, took a lot of damage and landed on some brick.  Downstairs from that first room, I come to a room through a one way door.  The door is old and I could easily break it down, but it is obvious that originally this was supposed to be a trap.  Anyway, toward the back I find a spawner and a chest.  Nothing special in the chest.

I actually miss this stairway for a bit.  I know, obvious in hindsight, but I look up and down the previous room before coming back down and looking again.  The last time I went down a set of stairs like this, a giant spider attacked me, so I cautiously walk down and realize the room is small.  I stop and listen and I don't hear anything bad, so I run around the room putting up torches.

This room has 2 leavers and a red stone torch on the wall.  Further down the hall is a door that leads to nowhere.  So, I am betting this is some sort of puzzle.  I drop a leaver, and sure enough I hear some mechanical things moving and then nothing.  I drop the next leaver, and again, stuff moving, and then nothing. We are one step better than I was expecting, because nothing has blown up.  I go to the door and... nothing.  Still a door to nowhere.  I come back and do combinations of leaver up and leaver down.  Nothing.  Then I spot my folly.  There's a button next to the torch that I placed.  A few combinations and a click of the button and now the door to nowhere becomes a stairway down!

In my excitement I almost forget my previous lessons.  There is a spider down here, and this one DOES want to eat me.  I also spy a large chest on the other side.  I ready my weapons and I fight the spider.  Using what I knew from the last spider, this one does not last long, and even when it starts gaining back life, I do not let up and attack unrelenting.  I slay the spider and look in the chest.

What a prize!  A magical set of chainmail armor!

My time here is done.  I have been here for a long while and gotten many wondrous treasures, but I am missing the sky, and the wind, and my cozy cabin bed.  I gather all the things I am taking with me, and I make my journey to the top of the valley.  I jump up into the water, and I swim for the surface.  Near by is the island with my boat, and I take it home.  It is night time when I come upon my cabin, but it is a welcome sight still.