After getting ourselves settled, both into a persistent server and into a secure base in the game, we started exploring and upgrading. Skronk worked on our longhouse, upgrading it to keep the weather out, let the smoke out, and keep us from setting ourselves on fire. We started hunting further afield, getting a better feel for our surroundings and the world. We also upgraded our gear, which requires upgrading the workbench.
Soon I was out there in leather pants, tunic, and helm, looking more like a Viking, with my bow and flint arrows hunting the local deer.
The deer are skittish… and loud… and stalking them takes a bit of patience. And the bow itself requires a bit of a knack as well. That deer is close enough that I might hit it, but I probably need to put the target above it for the arrow to hit true.
Of course, not everybody bought into the whole bow and arrow orthodoxy right away.
Things were going pretty well, but we seemed to have hit something of a plateau in gear and crafting. We were still busy learning about things… like how food works, which is more complicated than you might imagine… but eventually we were clearing missing some breakthrough. We could make a hoe, which can raise or level ground, but the pickaxe for digging and mining wasn’t on our list yet. It was time to go look at the wiki.
There we discovered that you don’t get access to that digging tech until you have progressed past a milestone. Specifically, you must defeat the first of the great foes as laid out by Hugin. There is a spot over on the henge for the trophy. It was time to find the mighty stag Eikthyr.
As it so happened, about when I was looking that up, Skonk was out exploring a bit and ran into Eikthyr’s altar. It wasn’t too far from our camp and once somebody finds it everybody can see it on the map.
I went back to the wiki to see what people had said about fighting Eikthyr. The person who wrote that article seemed to think the fight was pretty easy. All you needed was a shield and a flint spear and be able to block when Eikthyr poked at you and you would be set.
That sounded easy enough. I had a shield already and had worked on my block with the local boars. If you aggro them they will circle and charge you repeatedly, so you can build up your block skill. I had not made a flint spear yet… I found the flint axe to be effective enough for all of my needs up to that point… but I had the resources to make one. I put that together at the work bench and, once again, practiced on the local boars to make sure I could use it. Then I went off to inspect the altar.
When I got up there Hugin, the raven of exposition, popped up to tell me about the altar.
I had my spear and shield and knew what the offering was. You need deer trophies to summon Eikthyr. However, I looked in my bag and realized I had put boar trophies in there by mistake. So I went off to hunt some local deer, which had me covered. I placed the offering on the altar and things began to happen.
And then Eikthyr appeared in the clearing and the world went as dark as night.
He was big. Also, you can see a bit of lightning in his antlers. That builds up and he shoots lightning at you as one of his attacks. You can actually block some of the damage with your shield, but it puts out enough hurt that some leaks through.
Missing from the “it’s easy” wiki entry was the whole “you need to fight in the dark where you can’t really see” and “Eikthyr gets help from the local greylings,” both of which might have been useful to know.
I was also not very experienced with the flint spear, so was not used to how it worked. Each weapon or tool has a use bar that, so far as I can tell, represents the effort or stamina needed to use it. With the flint axe I can get in many swings before that bar winds down. With the flint spear you get maybe three good stabs with it, then the bar is empty and you have to wait a bit for another attack. So my usual fighting method, which was to flail wildly with the axe until things were dead, was not applicable. And I had to learn that on the fly in the middle of a boss fight.
This is typical of my rather slapdash efforts, just run on in and figure it out as you go.
I plugged away at him while trying to knock off the greylings that were harrying me from behind, but eventually things were going so badly that I tried to get away… and died.
Being in the after world explains the light sting of death I suppose, but all my gear was up there with my corpse. I ran back to grab it, thinking I had blow the encounter and would have to start again.
But no, as I got close to my corpse the world went dark again and Eikthyr’s health bar appeared. He was still out there. I grabbed my stuff just as he charged at me and fought a slow retreat as I tried to get my armor on while blocking him and getting in the occasional stab.
I died again, and did not make nearly as much progress. I forgot to eat something to boost up my health, so went in there with only my base hit points.
Skronk was around and had been listening to my running commentary and hysterical outbursts on Discord voice. He ran over to cover me as I ran back again to take another shot at Eikthyr.
Of course, in covering me, Skronk became part of the battle and hadn’t done anything to really prepare, so we ended up both dying. But, by that point Eikthyr was down to just a bit of health. No point in stopping now!
We headed back up the hill to where we last left Eikthyr, ran around, grabbed some of our stuff, and finally got in the final blow and brought him down.
You can see… maybe… it is dark… that I only grabbed the spear and shield off of my corpse, the marker for which is still happily glowing there. You can probably see the glowing red eyes of Eikthyr, undimmed in death.
Of course Hugin popped up right away to tell us what to do next.
So it was back down to camp and the stones to hang Eikthyr’s head as the first of the trophies collected to appease Odin. Mounting the trophy enabled us to collect a special ability.
Once you activate the power you have it and can trigger it. It lasts for a short bit and has a coll down for re-use… 20 minutes I think… so you can use it at need.
Eikthyr also dropped several pieces of hardened antler, which is the ingredient needed to make the antler pickaxe, the tool we were looking for. Having created that, Hugin once again appeared to tell me about the next goal.
Now that we had the pick axe we could mine for tin and copper. We just needed to get to the Black Forest. On the plus side, I had actually already discovered the Black Forest. On the downside, setting up camp there seemed like it was going to take some effort.
But for the moment, we had our first trophy hung up.
The Black Forest would be next.