Week Four: Castles in the Ayre

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It’s hard to believe I’ve been working on Ayre for four weeks now.  Last week I went through a period of being truly overwhelmed, and I just kept plodding, but it didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing.   It was the overall look of the neighborhood, the balance between lot view and world view that wasn’t coming together.  I briefly even wondered if I needed to try a different map.

In the middle of all that doubt, I went ahead and built the first peasant hovel, the Foragers’ lot, using this awesome Druid set by Lama at the Medieval Smith, and a lot of Skyrim conversion textures.

Even though I love Sunni’s road and terrain default, I wasn’t happy with having roads in most areas of Ayre, and when I saw a post by Mortia where she mentioned Sunni had an invisible road default, I jumped on it.  By the way, the aesthetic of Mortia’s Dallùbach has become sort of the gold standard in my head right now and I have shamelessly copied and borrowed lots of ideas and inspiration from her.  Ayre will be unique but I have to give credit since I have relied heavily on Mortia’s work to get my bearings for building Ayre.

After adding Sunni’s invisible road default, I added neighborhood deco trees to the road way to make it look like the foragers live back in the woods a bit, beyond the straw fields.

This, and moving the fence line back from the lots around the village, seemed much more like what I was looking for.

Here’s an interior shot of the foragers’ hovel.  This family, the Berry’s, have three elders and five children, as randomly rolled.  So they needed a lot of beds. I’m using Inje’s UseInaccessibleBeds mod with the shelf beds.  I tested with the Stirwuard’s, over in the other save, and they can access all the slots unless a sim goes to sleep in the outer slot first.

Finally happy with the way things were shaping up, I built the woodcutters’ lot the next day, in a similar style, in a little clearing in the forest at the edge of the village’s palisade.  It seems like both the foragers and the woodcutters are sims of the wild, more than villagers, whose homes I plan to build around the town green, in a different style.

The inside of the woodcutters’ hovel has more wood and carpentry than the foragers’, assuming the Forester family has handed down some knowledge of woodwork through the years.  The random roll for this family resulted in a family of six so they have beds tucked everywhere.

And, since the Forester family is headed by an actual married couple (in contrast to almost every other rolled family, which are almost entirely headed by single elders right now) I sprang for a private master bedroom. (Peasants are allowed two rooms and a privy).

Like I said, I moved the town palisade back a little to look better from the lots.  There’s the Forester’s hut peeking through the forest, with the forager’s cottage off the right behind the trees.  Two hovels down, two to go!

The last lot I built this week was Peasant Hovel #3, which is where the Wise family will live.  They grow the village’s hay for animal feed.  I was going to call them the Hayer’s, but the head of the household is the village midwife, or wise woman, a respected person among the followers of the Goddess, so their family name is Wise.  It seems this family would have plentiful access to clean straw for their roof, but also would have a little more by way of barter with other families, since everyone needs hay and the midwife and wise woman’s services.

The large hay field is a hood deco item, but the smaller, green hay fields are Sun & Moon Factory items for growing hay.

The Wise family also has a harvestable herb garden (also by Sun & Moon) with some important plants for midwifery, including penny royal which I plan to use the way Mortia described, in conjunction with the ACR morning after pill.

The Wise home is a little bit more well-appointed than those of the woodsy folk nearby.  The wise woman doesn’t put straw on her floor, because she at least intuitively understands that causes disease, and they have a little more furniture, made for them over the years in trade with the upper classes for services rendered.  Everything looks a little cleaner and cozier inside.  Even though I am certain the braided rug is anachronistic I couldn’t resist, and I imagine this family having the industry and skill to create textiles from materials they receive in barter.  I also imagine them having a little more handiness with dyes made from plants, so they have a little more color in their home.

My plans are to build the Gothard’s house (Peasant #4, the Goat Herders), next, and then start to dabble in Body Shop with making sims before moving on to building the Yeoman and Squire lots.

The main custom content I haven’t found yet that I need is some rustic wooden fencing.  I have castle and medieval jousting type fencing but nothing for the peasants, yet.  Does anyone know where I can find some?

Thanks for reading!

Published by Shannon SimsFan

Author of Simdale Valley Post

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  1. This looks so cool! I was actually about to say that Ayre is shaping up to look like something out of Skyrim and then realised after reading cathytea’s comment that I’d missed you saying you were using some Skyrim textures! They really work well for your purposes, I think.

    I like the idea of explaining ACR’s morning after pill as pennyroyal. That can be toxic, can’t it? Are you going to add in some kind of risk for sims who use it?

    On a visual note, the second last picture is my absolute favourite! Just gorgeous!


    1. I thought Mortia’s idea of using pennyroyal for a form of birth control was a good one, too. Your question about adding risk is a great one and it makes sense to do so because pennyroyal can cause harmful side effects including nausea, vomiting, kidney or liver damage, or even death when taken for two weeks in an alcoholic solution. I think it makes sense to roll for a chance of sickness following taking it as a side effect, thanks for that idea!

      I loved that picture of the Wise home from the grassy field too. So far I can only take build pictures in buy or build since I am using a “build” save and there are no sims in that save, so all the pictures have the grid.


  2. Really lovely pictures – I love the shot with the grass in the foreground in particular. The no roads default appears to be the best choice – everything looks perfect and fitting. The horizons work beautifully with the land too.


    1. Thank you so much, Beth! I like Sunni’s invisible default by far the best of the one’s I tried and the road on other lots don’t show up from lot view, which is nice. I agree, that horizon (green mountains, I think) looks almost perfect 360 degrees. There is a rocky area I’m not nuts about but it is not bad at all. Beth, do you have a neighborhood you are playing?


  3. Ah, it’s all so pretty!!! Skyrim textures are really working it in your hood. I’m loving all the detail, different houses and floors. The fields are so pretty, and I love the lack of roads.


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