My friends and I are still continuing our odyssey in Viking survival game Valheim. Despite still-minimal progress towards an advancement of civilisation, namely into the Carrot Age, we march on. We are hardy folk, and we must persevere, even when we cannot fathom how to grow just one (1) of our five (5) a day.
We had booked in an appointment with a mysterious baddie who lives across the sea, but one of our clan, Dunder Mifflin, was absent for this planned trip (tattoo removal, an unfortunate double-booking). To prep for our kinsman's return, we attempted a little practice sail instead. A pleasant skim across the ocean, which left us naked... and afraid.
In Valheim you are tasked by an uppity raven with killing several horrible monsters. Sigmund, the resourceful one, found a rock which said that our next fight would take place across the sea. As a clan, I think we've finally mastered the art of traversing land. In particular, we're very good at running away from trolls, hairy-backed beasts that exist entirely to mince us. Collectively, our jumping level has also rocketed, so slather us in a marinade, roll us in breading mixture, and dip us in oil, because I'm telling you, the thighs on us. Dense, mate.
"So in the end, it would be the three of us, the gentle lap of the ocean, and our nips whistling in the breeze."
But our legs wobbled at the thought of sailing across the blue expanse to meet our mystery opponent. The problem being, our legs had suddenly become irrelevant. We needed to rely on our wits (as a resource, there is not much of this), the water, and the wind direction.
Most importantly, it was key we had a raft. Once again, it was Sigmund The Resourceful One who crafted what would become our legs-of-the-sea. And with Dunder Mifflin busy at Ymir's Tattoo Parlour, we thought it best to attempt a practice sail before he rejoined us at a later date to cross the seas for real.
So Sigmund, Ragnar the Red and I huddled together on a frosty morning, and, while the bees were still asleep, and with our beards touching, we came to a decision: we would strip down to our pants. We didn't know what dangers might lurk in the ocean, so we were terrified of losing all our equipment in a calamitous capsizing. Naked sailing seemed to be the most obvious option. So in the end, it would be the three of us, the gentle lap of the ocean, and our nips whistling in the breeze.
Having run down to our raft like giggly kids in a Haven advert, we set sail! For the first time! And it was agony! Turns out the act of sailing in Valheim doesn't involve holding the W key, but requires thought and co-ordination. I am not sure why I keep being suprised that Valheim asks actual input of me, but I am. I took control of the rudder for a bit, and I can safely say not one brain cell engaged. In fact, I think my brain started malfunctioning. It seemed so complex, the smattering of icons that twisted and turned as if in the sea breeze. Too much for me. So I handed the controls back to Sigmund and Ragnar, while we inched forwards.
I'm talking molluscular (a term I have just coined) levels of speed. We could not, for the life of us, figure out how to make the raft go. The ocean behind us was our shiny snail residue, as we shuffled towards a small isle we'd picked out at random. At times we came to a grinding halt and just bobbed for a while, in which case we'd take turns pushing the boat forwards with our skulls. One of us would jump off the end of our raft and breastroke into the back of it, in the hopes that maybe we could act like pale, fleshy engines. So our legs did actually come in handy in the end.
Day turned to night, and before long we were caught in a storm. Although by the time rain lashed our exposed bods, we had arrived at Destination Fucko. The shadowy mass we'd travelled to, which we had imagined to be an island paradise, revealed itself to be no more than a large rock pocked with Abyssal Barnacles. I'm sure marine biologists will strongly disagree with me here, but barnacles? What do they do actually contribute to sea-society eh? Probably just sit there all day, doing nothing. Grow up.
I mean, I punched one a lot, as is our way in Valheim, but said Abyssal Barnacle didn't even flinch. With a title like that I'd expect at least some black magic, some dreadful retaliation that flings me into the shadow realm. More like, A-ssal Barnacle, haha. What, not funny? That was gold, mate. I had a bad day at sea, so you want to back off a bit? You wanna go, let's go, I'LL FU-
And that was it. We spent all of one minute on the island before we retired back to our raft, knuckles bruised and hands empty. Ragnar took the reins this time, while Sigmund and I sat and accepted the long night that awaited us. When we arrived back home, our teeth were chattering and our nips were numb - numb to it all.
When Dunder Mifflin gets back, we'll inform him of our practice excursion, and I know he will laugh in our faces, and we will snap back at him with childish retorts. If we all finally sail over to this mystery baddie and it ends up being a massive barnacle, I am going to scream.