Week Six: Castles in the Ayre

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Before creating any more sims, I wanted to add some darker skintones.  Thank you, Bethsmail2007, for commenting and giving me the links to these fabulous skins by Mouseyblue and Pooklet.

Mouseyblue’s Dusk Skins

Darker Recolors by Pooklet

I was really excited about building my hedge tavern, and thought about calling it the Tipsy Tadpole, but or the Hungry Hedgehog, but decided on The Hefty Hedgehog.  Those beautiful rafters and chunky posts are part of the Nine Archer Meade Hall set by Lady Lama.

The first visitors were the Sister, Gabe Gothard (elder), and a knight who will live at the Barracks.  I named him (obviously) but I can’t remember what his name is.  I had to create him because Giles Porter, the randomly rolled Yeoman who manages the Hefty Hedgehog for the Squire, wasn’t allowed to move in or own a business on his own without an adult in the family.  Until the barracks is built, he’s boarding with Giles.

And here is Ayre’s first Yeoman, Giles Porter.  His beautiful skin color is one of the darker recolors of Mouseyblue’s skins, by Pooklet.

His home, the Tudor cottage, and the Hefty Hedgehog, are across from the Gothard’s and right next door to each other.

When I was testing the Hefty Hedgehog, Lora Forester came by and was pondering whether she had any coin to part with for a drink or a round of cards. She doesn’t.  There’s Hadley Gothard, waiting to meet Lora, another young woman her age (they are both young teens).

On thing I was wondering, do I need to use the ticket dispenser to make money off the Hefty Hedgehog?  I don’t want it to be a restaurant, so I can’t think of another way to charge using the game’s own mechanics.  Honestly, most of the sims in Ayre won’t have the money to come to the tavern.  But they could barter items when I am playing them as customers, rather than using the ticket machine, and I could use the ticket machine while playing Giles.

Here’s the whole Forester family.  They are woodcutters.  They are also one of only two nuclear families who still remain in a village that has been decimated by war and plague.

Left to right:  Ralf (teen); Gervase (male child); Rhett (he is a possibly noble rogue, but definitely a rogue); toddler Idonae; wife & mother Eva, who has a head for business; and teen daughter without a dowry, Lora.

The Foresters don’t bother to even keep up appearances of following the Allfather; everyone needs their wood products, and they are confident they would be able to disappear into the forest if the crown decides to force more compliance in the area of religion.  The Squire has better things to do than persecute people for lack of zeal, after losing most of the male and adult population of the village.

I plan to keep the teens in their family of origin’s homes for the first round so they can develop relationships and hopefully have more options as they move out on their own or are given in marriage.   A proper dowry for this peasant family’s first daughter, Lora, is $300, and they start the challenge with $5 and no skills or inventory.

Here’s the last peasant family, the Berry’s.  The Berry family forage in the woods.

Back Row, Right to Left:  Hilda (the Healer), Zelda, and Deirdre (three sisters)

Front Row, Right to Left:  Harold, Alfred, Esmerelda, Mari, and Cassie

Zelda is the eldest of three sisters who are herbalists in the woods.  She is the least soft-hearted of her siblings.  Her sisters, Hilda and Deirdre, have taken in several orphans during the war and plague.

Harold is a very outgoing, playful child, but is still in a bit of shock following the death of his family recently.  His family were swineherds in a nearby village and he escaped into the woods when the army started burning the village.

Alfred is a more serious, thoughtful child.  His family were gentry and he was the lone survivor.  He has been with the sisters for the longest of all the children.

Esmerelda is a quiet, shy girl who is very empathetic and naturally drawn to others.  She was separated from a band of gypsies who were trying to avoid being caught up in the fighting near Ayre, and Deirdre found her and brought her home.

Mari was able to pass as a boy for a time and worked in the soldier’s camps as a page.  She is good with a sword and took the armor she wears off a defeated opponent.  She has the patience and discipline to consistently train and practice her swordplay, but no one to teach her now.

Cassie is the baby of the orphans.  She was one of the younger daughters of the keepers of poultry in the village, but the rest of her family died of the plague.  When Hilda, who is the Healer, realized Cassie’s family had fallen ill, she took Cassie to keep her safe.

This week I also built the Almshouse in the center of the village.  It is a church-owned property that exists to serve the indigent.  By the rules of the MCC, anyone can come to the Almhouse if they need to be warmed, fed, rest, or bathe.  It is a residential lot, so if needed, during other families’ rotations, I can switch to playing the Almshouse and summon the sims who need to recuperate.

It looks like a church but it is actually in the style of some manors in the middle ages.  I love the hall.  The ceiling is from the Celtic Hall Build Set at the Medieval Smithy, here.

Here is Millicent Wise, the sister of Mildred and Ella Wise, who is the gardener and caretaker of the Almshouse for the Squire.

She has become a follower of the Allfather, which causes her some friction with her beloved sister, Mildred.

But they made peace with each other and Mildred even gave her a family kiss.

Mildred was puzzled as to why Millicent would abandon the Goddess

And she gets pretty indignant about her sister following the god of the conquerors, sometimes.

But Millicent explained, she wants to help others, especially this winter, when it gets cold, and famine is always near.  Plus, isn’t the hot bath fun??

While the sisters enjoy the hot water in the bath house, here’s a tour of the rest of the Almshouse grounds.

There is a garden and orchard,

Here’s the kitchen, which is on the road side of the big hall, on the bottom floor

Just above the warm kitchen, is the guest quarters

In a room separated from the main building, is the dormitory for the sisters.  One of the Squire’s family who has taken holy orders is going to be the Abbess of the Almshouse.  Millicent takes her conversion to the faith of the Allfather, and her role as gardener, seriously.

She believes that by lending her help, and her family’s knowledge of sustaining life, more of her family’s people can live.  She is tired of seeing people suffer, die, and fight.

And she is willing to follow the conqueror’s way, if it might stop the suffering.

Published by Shannon SimsFan

Author of Simdale Valley Post

Join the Conversation


  1. Oh, that first picture is so pretty! ❤

    Giles is a very handsome yeoman! The new skintones are working out well for you. 🙂

    You should be able to make money from the Hefty Hedgehog if you add a bar? Not sure if there’s an era-friendly one around but I would assume so. I don’t know that you’d make as much as you would with a ticket machine though. :\ But that may or may not be a concern for you.

    The last family reminds me of the little group of orphans looked after by “Gran” in The Witcher 3! I can imagine this lot getting into a bit of mischief together. It’ll be fun to see what they get up to.


    1. Hi Carla! I have never seen the Witcher! I probably would like it. Mari is copied right from
      George Martin’s character, Arya from Game of Thrones. I think the Berry family with all the kids will be really interesting. There are so many elders, the future of Ayre is going to be shaped a lot by the orphans.

      I have a bar, that came with the mead hall set, in the Hefty Hedgehog, so I should trade it out for a standard one and see if he makes any money. I think the poker table attracts them too much. No one got ale or came up to the bar. All they wanted to do was to play poker.


  2. This is gorgeous! I’m completely unfamiliar with the medieval style except to admire what others create but it looks both difficult and beautiful. That almshouse is incredible. You’ll have to update on how it plays. The characters are great, love the detail bios, and Millicent and her amazing straw hat…well what can I say. I bet she’s a town highlight!

    Your shots are lovely. The lighting is so pretty. The shot at the beginning with the ‘enchanted’ light and the town in the rain are both wonderful.

    I’m glad the darker skins work for you. They’re somewhere in between Maxis Match and realistic and the color is really nice. They don’t come with a lot of makeup either which is a mercy and looks good in your world.

    I’ve never had a lot of luck with bars. When customers come in they don’t don’t sit down or buy anything, they just sort of mill around. I understand it works better if you jigger the needs so there’s some motivation to actually purchase drink or food. I’d guess you’d have to put something on the lot that attracts customers in order to get them to use that ticket machine wouldn’t you? I don’t play like that and my limited experience hasn’t been very successful.

    It’s looking wonderful!


    1. Thanks so much, Beth! Millicent’s straw hat is by Almighty Hat and it is amazing! Here’s the link in case anyone needs it:

      I enjoyed building the Almshouse so much. It really helps make it easier that I spent a lot of time downloading sets for everything before I started to build. The walls are Katvip’s Memory Farm, which I’ve used so much in Ayre because they look realistic but not to the point that I have spend a lot of time placing each panel; they do well just being painted on.

      Glad you enjoyed the character bios. For the orphans, I felt like, if I don’t spend some time developing a back story, I won’t enjoy playing their lot as much. And then, when I play tested the Almshouse, I fell in love with Millicent. With the visitors not being playable, it played very well. Sims came in and visited with Millicent or took care of their needs, which is what needs to happen there.

      I really appreciate your links to the skins and I think the fact that they are between Maxis match and realistic, and have minimal make-up, are two of the things I love about them. The lips have a pretty color and sheen and they are not too shiny or too dull. They really are beautiful. The darkest ones are nice too but it seems so hard to see the sims’ features I haven’t used the darkest ones on a playable sim. There’s something different about the very dark skins from real life – people I know with deep, deep pigmented skin you can still see their features, unlike the sims. Part of it is that the lighting is so low inside in a medieval game.

      So the sims did use the ticket machine in testing and Giles raked in the cash with the poker table. What disappointed me is that sims weren’t interested in the bar, food, or drink (the party barrel). But I think when I take a playable sim there, they will be, not to mention that since they will be playable I can have them do something besides play poker, ha.

      Thanks for taking the time to read & comment, Beth!


      1. It’s a pleasure watching and reading what you create! Oh by the way, since the Witcher was mentioned, this is one of the Witcher 3 playthroughs that I like the most. Christopher Odd doesn’t play like a demented high school kid, no shrieking and cursing, and he’s extremely good and entertaining. I think you’d enjoy checking it out.


  3. I thought Mari sounded like Arya! Loving all the families and descriptions. Everyone has such a rich history and we haven’t even started yet!

    The great hall is stunning! All the landscaping too.

    The poker is a huge draw in the game. You could see if someone has lowered its appeal or see how to do it. I’ve seen a few things on tumblr lately with lowering appeal.


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