Gooner77

The 'Keg' Stand - Forlorn Muskeg on Interloper

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Thanks for the enjoyable and well written story! 

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Keg 2 | Day 39

48min left on the fire, -14C FLT in the mid afternoon, we’ll see what we can do with this new camp. Add a little fuel to the fire and collect most of the loose sticks on the ridge as well as break down a bush. I load up the fire with 4 hours of fuel and take a torch down off the ridge to wolf alley below.

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This place proves once again to be the hottest ticket in town for stick gathering. I collect a couple of litres of water left behind at an old fire by the low blind and then to my stack of sticks that I had dropped on my trip here from Spences when I was overloaded. 21 sticks plus 6L of water.

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Hello wolfy, you almost surprised me hiding behind that tree. It was time to build a fire to warm up anyways so as not to let the torch go.

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Fire start was unsuccessful so I quickly mountain goat back to the shelter and fire and it has well over 2h left on it. I pass time in the shelter to warm up and clear the hypo risk. I drop 10 cat tails in the back pack as well as all my cured guts and hides. 10L of water dropped on the ground and some of my 55 sticks in the plastic container. Another couple stick runs alternating warming up at the shelter and the fire stays above 4 hours with backup sticks on the ground. Fully exhausted now I stoke the fire up to 8 hours and feed and water myself for bed. 10 hours and off we go.

 

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Keg 2 | Day 40

Wake up and the weather is blowing really hard, just over an hour left on the fire.

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I load up the fire with a few sticks and sleep 2 more hours to see if the -45C FLT will pass. I wake up and its calmer, -24C FLT. Not much left for clothing to keep me warm.

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Repair my 91% shelter back to 100% takes 3 sticks. Wind picks up even more into a full blown blizzard. I nurse the fire along although it stays protected from the wind cutting across the entrance to this cave area. With 13 min left on the fire I take the torch and run to the cave hoping it stays lit. I make it there without it going out, and head inside, load up all my cattails there on the floor and search through for coal/sticks. I exit the cave at the creek and take my last torch towards the radio tower. I scare a wolf off a couple of times with lit fires and set up a fire next to the crate there. After 30min I add a coal to warm up then break down the crate. I use the remaining time to get as much warmth as possible and take the last few minutes out of the fire as a torch.

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I drop down off the edge and notice a corpse and backpack that I haven’t looted. Another can opener is sort of redundant at this point in the challenge. Collecting sticks as much as possible below the hill and then up the creek again. Down to my last torch I race through the cave to see if I can make it. With the last couple % I try and start a fire but as I was rushed I used the reclaimed wood which had a worse % chance than if I tried with a stick. I failed.

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My fire starting now consists of just the flare & 2 matches. I warm up in the cave and alternate breaking down branches and bushes outside as the sun comes up on Day 41. I travel to the shelter and at -10C FLT I sleep for 1 hour without fire without getting hypo.

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Edited by Gooner77
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Keg 2 | Day 41

I pass time in the cave to warm-up until the warmer part of the afternoon. I’m checking to see if I can sleep without fire. I am able to grab a couple of hours sleep without fire and still am able to warm-up my temp bar, that is exciting to learn maybe for the next run. I break down a bush, sleep for another hour then break out the flare to guarantee some sleep. Fire started and fueled with 8 hours of sticks I still have 6 coals left for an emergency. Cattails for dinner and I sleep for about 9 hours waking up fully rested. I am able to take 5 or 6 high % torches and collect 10 cat tails from the plastic container here at camp. I need to find a way to collect so more firewood up here, it’s a long way from more than 1 or 2 good stick spots and I am finding it hard to stay afloat.      

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Keg 2 | Day 42

Needing to find a new source of sticks I head out in the early morning hours fully rested in the dark to the far end of the cave at Hat Creek.

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I collect sticks in FLT of -31C all along the face of the hill to the cave North of Poachers Camp. Amazingly with the wind chill taken out it is -24C in the front of the cave and +0C at the back of the cave. Hypo risk of 18% getting here.

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I set about collecting sticks on the cold morning temps around the cave with alternating warm-ups at the fire. No wolves around which is nice but it gets very foggy as the sun peaks over the horizon. The 10 minutes for a branch takes down about 85% of my temp bar so I leave the bushes for now – I can’t afford much more health loss from cold. By noon the 10 minute branch is taking about 55% of my temp bar so I can almost upgrade to bushes. I collect four cattails that I ran past in the early morning due to cold, I can spend the time now to harvest them. I push out a little farther on my last stick run and cover most of the hill north of the cave. I find 17 sticks in a goldmine of untouched bounty. I now have 91 sticks and a few coal left on me which will cover my sleep and more if I can make it back. My energy levels are below 25%. I travel to Poachers and am already cold when arriving. I make a warming fire and wait to fill my temp bar which drains me down to ~5% energy. More than 2 hours are left on the fire when I am ready to leave, that’s a lot of torches to pull! I pull as many as I can and harvest them directly into sticks before leaving to save weight. Of course as soon as I leave the train car with 7 minutes left on the fire a strong wind comes up and blows my torch out. I rush back to my fire to see if I can rescue the embers, I can see the glow of the fire at the entrance and as I round the corner the flame is snuffed out right before my eyes.

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There are no embers to revive in the fire barrel like there are at a campfire? I learn something new about the TLD all the time. Screw it, wind and all I need to sleep and now that I am completely exhausted, overburdened and low on ideas I turn to my get out of jail free card – STIM TIME!

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Can I make it all the way to Spence’s? I have never really used stims much in any other gameplay so the colours are a new experience for me. I make it all the way to the arch rock before the shed and docks  and I gained the 15%?? Health bonus so that’s good news. A final slow crawl up to the barn and I light a torch and then the forge fire for 10 hours of sleep. I have 16 cattails so 5 are used up for a full 10 hours of healing. Still have lots of water so that’s not a problem. Will see what tomorrow brings.

Edited by Gooner77
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7 hours ago, Gooner77 said:

I can see the glow of the fire at the entrance and as I round the corner the flame is snuffed out right before my eyes.

TLD can be so cruel...

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Keg 2 | Day 43

Up in the morning today 48% health. I scroll through my journal and the last day at 100% health was Day 21. Collecting sticks around the barn as I have been away for a few days. It’s easy going and lots of them have spawned. I take torches from the fire and collect all the way to the broken tower.

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Setup a warming fire and dodge wolfy while collecting sticks for the afternoon. With a torch in hand I scout the cave, 5 coal have fallen from the miracle ceiling, what a nice surprise.

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As night falls and an aurora starts I play cat and mouse with a wolfy to keep him pushed back away from the area I am working. I can hear a wind pick up and I pull 3 torches and sprint back to the barn. I have to keep this fire going for now.

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I make it back to the forge and have 54 sticks on me from the afternoon and evening run. I load up the fire, 52 = 8hours 23min. I still have a stash on the ground and the 5 + 1 coal and there is of course the crate I never needed by the safe (strong will power in rationing), I’ll use you now. I look around and remember the locker, open it up and find another 30 sticks stashed in there, when did I drop these? I don’t recall but I don’t ask many more questions. I ration by eating just 4 cattails tonight, drink and go to sleep for 10 hours.

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Edited by Gooner77
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Keg 2 | Day 44

I wake with 3:32 still on the fire, must have been a cold night. Food supplies looking a little thin down here, 7 cat tails left.

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I pick up all my dropped sticks, 134 left along with 6 reclaimed and 6 coal makes for a good 24 hour backstop of fuel. Health is at 53% today, better than yesterday. A blizzard is starting so I can’t go out and collect right now. I take stock of everything left here, 3 birch barks on the ground – nothing to do with these as this is pre-patch. Break down my lantern for the last 0.33L of lamp oil in it, that will guarantee me one more fire start in a pinch. I wait out the blizzard, it’s over fairly quickly.

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I stoke the fire with about 5 hours of fuel as I plan a run past the bunkhouses for maybe some rabbit or coals from the caves. The place is thick with sticks here as well, it’s nice not putting so much pressure on an area for a few days. I make it to the first cave and another blizzard is on me already. I pass about 4+ hours and the wind finally dies down enough for me to press on, it’s too cold out though and I only find another 2-3 sticks between the 2 caves. Wolfy by the bunkhouses causes me to take a bit of a detour on the way home.

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Once I am past her I sprint the rest of the way to reduce my cold health loss. Forge fire up to 9 hours eats into my locker supply of fuel as today was not ideal stick collecting. I take 2 ruined meat hunks on the ground and cook them over the fire to 50% and save for later before bed to have some protein with my fibre.  107 + 144 calories might just let me live another 2 days worth of food on hand, it’s getting desperate on several fronts now. I add 3 cattails to the plate and get 685 calories for the 10 hour slumber – 675 required so I get maximum healing.

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Keg 2 | Day 45

I wake up with a health bar higher than I have seen in a long time (71%), hiding out during the blizzard prevented lots of health loss yesterday, too bad we wasted/used so much fuel with the 5 hour fire left at the forge for a quick trip, then running a concurrent fire in the cave for around the same 5 hours was not very efficient.  

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Thinking about fire efficiency I am not far off of Fire Starting level 5 so I deduce that maybe a few sticks used now to get to that level might drag this game along some more. I also don’t have the achievement yet, maybe around 800 fires so far so I think why not. It’s warmed up a bit by mid afternoon that I can make trips out for branches. Weather is super foggy though so I don’t feel like going very far away.

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This is my last day of food supply so tomorrow will be a big day, move, hunt or die probably. Evening falls and the fog lifts, it’s not any warmer though, 3 down arrows almost all the time away from a fire now. Not like the early days if interloper, we are into the deep freeze now. It’s another beautiful starry night in TLD. My last 600 calories in the belly and off to sleep.

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Keg 2 | Day 46

Wake up in the late morning to -35C FLT and 2:40 left on the fire. I have no food, I have 1 rosehip tea and my health is at 84%.

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54 stick and 4 coal are my fuel supply. I sleep and pass time for 4 hours as the wind is blowing way too hard to do anything, it’s one of those ones that wants to be a blizzard but isn’t quite there. 31% on my ski jacket and 40% on my boots, most of the crafted clothing is 90+%. The wind dies down, I take torches and bid possibly last goodbyes to my barn home. Drink the tea for warmth bonus while I travel.

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A new route away from Spence’s reveals a days worth of cattails for food and a carcass frozen so solid I can’t take anything from it right now. I break down a bush and come back and put a coal on, just enough to get positive temp. I pass time to get to 49% and check the deer – it has 1.0kg is all. Not the best, probably midrange for the RNG.

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Fog has come in thick after the steaks are cooked, do I want to risk travel in this smelly state? I decide to risk it and head for the snow shelter. I find 2 more cat tails on the ice trek, this totals gives me 3 more solid days of food. I sprain an ankle and heal it with pills on the way up to marsh ridge via mountain goating. In the cave I have my collected birch barks, almost 20 of them, too bad it is pre-patch. I collect them just so I didn’t wander off course when collecting sticks. They would be very useful now with maybe 1000 calories within. There were probably 10 more back at the barn too. I pause to admire the aurora on the way to the shelter, I find it in a bad state, 43% and I don’t have any cloth on me. With a fire going I don’t think I need to fix the shelter, just as long as it doesn’t go to zero.

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I check my camp including the plastic bin, There are 15 cattails inside! I forgot about this treasure trove. I eat a 0.5kg steak and couple tails and go to sleep for 10 hours.

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Keg 2 | Day 47

Wake up mid morning, -29C FLT and shelter at 38%. 19 cat tails in the back pack. Condition has recovered well to 74%. Snow shelter is sacrificed for the 10 sticks and 2 cloth recovered. Almost as soon as I tear it down a huge windstorm comes up, certainly a blizzard is coming soon.

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Seem to be safe waiting it out for a while but an hour later the wind changes direction and my fire drops from 40 min to 9min. I babysit the fire for 20 minutes IRL before the wind finally dies down. Feeding the fire stick by stick is something new to me but without more matches this fire is my lifeline.

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Finally able to walk away from the fire and the cave with a torch and able to transit to Marsh cave with a torch still burning. I pick up all the sticks that have respawned in the cave and then make a mad dash to the edge of the ridge. I get hypo risk by the time I am down the rocks at wolf alley which is thankfully loaded with sticks and lights on wolves today. I take the high route double tree bridge back to Spence’s (the updated map one of the trees has fallen down the ravine so it’s a single bridge now). I even wait for my torches to burn out on the ground for the 1 stick to harvest as I likely won’t be back this way – the end is close I can feel.

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I find a bunch more sticks by the broken tower and I’m just about jumped by a wolf but quickly scare her away with a fire. The wolf locks in on me again, is it because I am overburdened? Seems like it was far enough away and going parallel to me in the opposite direction back towards the fire that it should not have tracked me. At least I am passed it already and should be able to lead it all the way to the barn without another fire stop.

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I have just enough time to transfer to a new torch and grab a few hurried sticks more on the way back. There is a deer down by the barn, what a stroke of luck. I’m no expert at bringing wolves to deer for the kill, I prefer the driving deer to wolf method but I’ve got to have a go as I’m hungry and out of options. To my surprise it works flawlessly, the deer was turned away from the wolf direction and didn’t even have a chance to run away. The wolf took it down without even a chase. I set up a safety fire and decide to just try the torch toss rather than a second fire. The wolf runs for the hills and I’ve scored some food for tonight.

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I take 0.5kg before starting the forge fire. I have 88 sticks and 2 coal so a fire by the deer is probably not possible as the weather means I would have to invest 25-30 sticks to harvest all of it and I need to warm up now from the 76% hypo risk.  After warming up I rush back out to the carcass, it is at 45% frozen. I take 1.5kg in 34 minutes taking health hit near the end of the harvesting. I can’t afford to lose any more health than that so I think that was the max I was willing to do.

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Lots of ruined torches to harvest while my steak dinner is cooking. After that it’s off to bed, strangely even with 60 sticks the FLT on top of the bed is -6C and I would freeze overnight, I add one coal to the furnace and suddenly on the bed it is +40C, is it a glitch or just a quality of the furnace transferring heat up into the loft area. I’m not sure if I have run a fire there without a coal before or maybe it has never been this cold before.  

Edited by Gooner77

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Keg 2 | Day 48

Very cold night means 3hr 52min left on the fire this morning after a full 10 hours sleep. Condition is just over 50% and I have good water and a little more food.

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0.5kg x 2 and 1.0kg of deer meat cooked and ready to go. I only have one piece of clothing not made from animals so I use my 2 cloth from the shelter and do a repair of my ski jacket. It’s up to 59% after a successful stitch or two. Head out with torches past the bunkhouses. Warmup fire at the first cave and then when passing close to the second cave a wolf tracks me and I retreat to the south cave to start a fire and scare it off. In a rush I start the fire with an 8% torch, if it fails it could be my last fire as some fires take 10% from the torch before starting. I would usually swap to another torch first but the wolf was too close behind. Fire Starting Level 4 come through for me and it is successful. No coal in any of these caves though, that would have been nice. The wind is up outside so I am locked down in this cave as a torch would blow out easily. I test the wind and the torch stays lit, where do I go to find more fuel? A wolf is blocking my direct route up to the Overlook.

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Seems like the wind is right on the cusp of blowing out my torch but what else can I do but push on and find more sticks, if I don’t I will die right now. A couple of bushes by my fire spot should help to warmup and add to my fuel supply.

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I stoke it up to 3 hours to warm up but it still might not be enough. I break down a bush then add my 1 coal and break down the second. I pass time to rid myself of the hypo risk then make runs in every direction to find any sticks up here before I head back to sleep. The aurora passes so the wolves should be a little bit better than if I was heading home earlier. I pull torches from the last 2 hours on the fire and break them down into sticks, saving just the best few to carry back home with my solitary flame. I’m freezing and tired by the time I reach south cave but Keg 1 taught me to stop and warm up so a small fire here, strange it is a carbon copy of that run, this time it will be different. Full temp meter and I’m good to travel again. Cold again by the bunkhouse cave so another warmup stop is in order. Same as before, I pass time to max out my meter. As I pass time I hear and see the fire running down so I hit escape and catch the fire as embers, whew that was too close.

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I add a stick quickly and light another torch. The sun is almost rising now on Day 49, this trip is taking a long time.  As I start the fire I drop below 10% health in the red zone and I start to hear my heartbeat just a little more distinctly as my vision starts to blur. I stumble now as I climb the planks to bed.

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