This is a continuation of The Journey to Ravenstone [Part 1]. Please read it first if you already haven’t.
Ravenswood: what could have been but wasn’t
Ravenswood was a really pretty spot, there’s no doubt about that. Over the next couple of months, I built a small farm, some pens to hold a number of horses and cattle that I ended up collecting, a long and narrow wooden workshop building, and my biggest project: a 2×6 stone house.
During this time though, my brain would sort of stall when it came to planning out the deed as a whole. I could look at it from every angle and I just couldn’t decide how to make it come together. I even mapped it out using the WPlanner mapping tool and tried to plan something that way. But it just wouldn’t work the way I wanted. It was around October when I realized that I would probably be better off moving somewhere else.
This was not a decision that I took lightly though. I didn’t just pack up my boat and sail off, hoping that I’d find something better. I wanted to keep as much of the stuff I had gathered as I possibly could, and to try and keep my animals if possible. Animals are not able to cross server borders and I had grown quite attached to the horses and cattle that I had collected. So what I decided to do was to keep my main Faeldray at Ravenswood to take care of everything, while taking my alt Thorun in a rowboat and go exploring. Before Thorun headed out, I made a list of things my ideal deed would have:
- Near open water
- Wooded or room to plant (preferably cedars and fruit trees nearby)
- Open mine or place to open a mine (with iron)
- Mine with other veins
- Nice view
- Relatively flat
- Guard tower
- Clay nearby
- Tar nearby
- Set in a little cove
- Room to expand if wanted
The ones in italics were things that would be nice but I could live without them. The others I decided were absolutes. If a potential location didn’t have one of those, I would keep on looking. I packed Thorun’s boat with food and the tools he would need to survive if he was gone for a couple weeks. Then I set out on him.
The route I planned took me down Indy’s west coast (which I had never sailed along before), along any promising coastlines on the Deliverance and Exodus servers, and then all the way back up along the east coast of Indy. The PvE servers in the Freedom Isles cluster are all connected from north to south, with Indy being the northern most and Celebration being the southern most. I avoided going to Celebration because at the time, it was the newest server. This meant it had a larger population on a smaller map and I had heard that there was quite a bit of land drama going on.
The actual trip was surprisingly uneventful and took only a couple days. I was used to sailing on Indy, where getting from one end of the server to another could take up to 3 hours. I forgot that the other PvE servers were a quarter of the size of Indy. There were a couple things that I realized over this trip. One was that none of the new servers had mountains anywhere near as tall as some of the ones on Indy. Less mountains means more land suitable for settling…but it also felt less wild because of it. Another was that while Thorun was away on this trip, I happened to walk through the abandoned lot of a neighbor who had left for another server, a place that had previously been called Maplewood Cove. It was located literally within shouting distance of Ravenswood so I went through it all the time. But this time I realized…it fit my criteria exactly, including the optional ones. I began to scrutinize the area carefully and as I did, the more it seemed like it would be perfect for me. So I decided this: if no one came and took the spot before Thorun returned, and I couldn’t find anything better, then I would grab it up for my very own.
I did manage to located one spot on Exodus that was a strong contender. It too met all the requirements on the list. However, it did have its downsides. Besides the fact that I would lose my animals moving there, Exodus is known for a higher aggressive mob spawn rate than the other servers. There was a guard tower right on the spot…but there were a dozen spiders and hell hounds just hanging around, not to mention several scorpions caught in the mine nearby.
I hummed and hawed between both places for a while. I must have walked from Ravenswood to Maplewood Cove a dozen times to survey the land from every angle. When I began visualizing what could go where, my excitement grew. This was what I had been lacking with Ravenswood: a clear vision of what this place could be. In the end, that was really the deciding factor. This was a place where I could build and feel satisfied with the outcome. It was a place that I felt I could really call home. I bought a settlement form before Thorun was even back on Indy.
Deciding on a name took some more time of course. I really do not like making rash decisions if I don’t have to. My goal was to make a small medieval-like village, so it needed a suitably medieval name. Town names ending in -stone struck me as having that sort of effect. So it was in the spirit of Ravenswood that my new deed Ravenstone was founded on October 28, 2012.
The beginnings of a village
My other alt Nysandra held the deed for Ravenswood while I prepared to move everything over to Ravenstone. I built a smithy, a workshop, and an inn as quickly as I could. Which wasn’t particularly fast because I decided that the smithy and the inn had to be built out of stone, while the workshop was quickly built out of wood. But I wanted to take the time to do things right, rather than build something that would only be torn down later.
Moving all my stuff was…fun to say in the least. It took several trips over a couple days because it turns out I am a packrat. I’ll store every wood scrap I can and I wasn’t going to leave any of it behind. My poor horses certainly got a workout pulling the cart back and forth.
The inn was the last building to be finished and had an important item within it: a bed. A bed needs to be within a building with all the outer walls completed, the inn having 24 outer walls requiring 480 bricks and 480 mortar total. I didn’t want to lose out on any sleep bonus so every time I logged off, I would run back to Ravenswood and hop into the bed there.
On November 11, the Twin Feather Inn was complete. I built a bed and after a quick check around Ravenswood to make sure I hadn’t left anything behind, I knew it was time to move on from an old deed for the second time. Ravenswood was disbanded that day.
There is a happy ending for it though. I kept the buildings I had made on the land and posted in the Wurm forums that I would hand over the writs to anyone willing to make the trek up there for free. I had been chatting back and forth with a few interested parties when I saw someone hanging around in the area. After striking up a conversation, it turned out that this player had owned the land Ravenswood had stood on long ago. They had been checking on the houses to see if they were decaying at all, hanging onto the slim hope that they could reclaim their land. After I heard that, I handed over the writs without another thought. I just couldn’t deny giving them their old home back.
So they happily went on to deed the area, and I went back to Ravenstone feeling better now that I had made someone’s day and left them with a beautiful home. And so ends the story of how I came to be the mayor of Ravenstone.
Now that I’ve covered all of that, I can move onto all the juicy parts… what exactly I’ve been up to at my new deed. Let’s just say that even my neighbors can’t believe what I’ve been able to accomplish since I started at the end of October. It’s amazing what a little inspiration can do.
Below are the last screenshots I took of Ravenswood before handing it over to its current owner. I hope you enjoy them.