Year One, Spring: The Honeycutt Family

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Next Honeycutt

Anais Honeycutt harvested berries, while her daughter, Destiny, added fertilizer to the garden plots.  It was the first day of Spring, and Anais was sure that this year was going to be a peaceful one in which their family and village would be able to do their part as a link in the Great Chain, by meeting their tithe and tax, and strengthening their fief.

Anais’s husband, Rourke, had inherited the rights to work this land, with an orchard, and rights to the beekeeping trade, and miraculously, they had come out of the recent battles and plague, property and persons, unscathed.  This was a sign to Anais that good favor shined down on them, as good citizens of the land.

The beehives had all died out, and Rourke had no more queen cells, but the orchard was still bearing apples, pears, and oranges.

Rourke found a wild hive in one of the pear trees and considered the best way to capture the bees for his hives.  He was a bit rusty after the long winter.

Destiny took a break from her gardening chores and ran to catch her cat, Winnie, into a hug.  There weren’t any other children in the village that were of the same class as Destiny, and if it weren’t for Winnie, she’d be lonely.

Anais finished picking berries, and turned her attention to a wild hive in a fallen log that Rourke had left there, to try to encourage bees to make their orchard home.

But Anais did not have the same skills as Rourke and the bees angrily drove her away.

Next, Destiny planted lettuces in her garden.

Her parents had gone inside, and, enjoying the warm sunshine and smell of apple blossom, Destiny didn’t notice.

Later that morning, the Wise family dropped by to visit, and Anais welcomed them in.

Haylan wasn’t sure why his mother required him to visit; he’d rather be running free at home than talking to a girl.

He asked to play tag, but Destiny wasn’t allowed.  She suggested tossing a ball instead.  The Honeycutts followed the Allfather, whereas Haylan’s family followed the freer ways of the Goddess.

Haylan didn’t have a ball handy, but luckily, the children were called in for lunch, and the awkwardness didn’t last.

Destiny’s mother had taught her well, and while Anais entertained the guests, Destiny quietly cleaned up without being asked.

Gertrude, who was a confident young woman, didn’t notice her elders being more reserved than usual, at first.  Then she realized she was being a lot louder than everyone else at the table.

Before everyone had even finished eating, Anais was scrubbing her plate.

And then began to clean the counter as if she had a grudge against it.

That afternoon, after the guests had left, Rourke took Destiny with him to harvest more wild bee hives in the forest.

They finally found a couple hives, just in time to return home before dark.

At home, Anais was still cleaning.  A clean home, free of vermin, was another sign that the family was in good favor, and Anais intended to do everything in her power to keep it that way.

Anais was relieved when bed time came.  She was tired.

Rourke woke very early, knowing he still needed to find a few more wild queens to restock the hives.

It wasn’t long before Anais had joined him, vigorously weeding the lettuces and courgettes.

They stole a few moments for a kiss when they went inside to prepare porridge.

And that morning, while they were working, Rourke found Anais a few times to kiss or flirt.

About mid-morning, Anais pointed out to her husband that wild bees had moved into the old log behind the cellar.

When Rourke deftly collected them, she was so impressed.

With all the immediate chores done, Rourke turned his attention to some repair work he had taken in for the barracks’ men-at-arms.

Anais was in the front of the house, harvesting herbs, when Lady Joslyn dropped by.

She politely greeted her ladyship, with Destiny quietly listening.

Lady Joslyn proposed that she occasionally tutor Destiny.  There were no high-born children in the village, so Destiny, a yeoman’s child, was the closest thing, and Joslyn was concerned about the future of the village.

Destiny gladly went with Lady Joslyn, who seemed kind.

Late into the evening, Anais and Rourke worked.

Rourke carefully inspected each hive, trying to see if the wild queens were thriving there.

The next morning it was hard to rise.

The cobwebs of sleep were thick in Anais’ head.

But she was a woman of habit and discipline, and she rose, put on her kirtle, washed her face and did her hair.  Then she attended to her bedchamber.

Rourke was carefully checking the hives.  Two had parasites, and he needed to check with Anais to see if she had successfully grown lemongrass, thyme, and mint, to try to rid the bees of the moths.

Rourke’s father had taught him all he knew about beekeeping, but doing it himself was still a challenge.

The family took care of all of their needs, and prepared to open shop to sell fruit, herbs, and berries at mid-morning.  When the first customers arrived, Anais and Rourke had mysteriously retired to their room.

They quickly emerged, and welcomed the customers.

They sold out quickly, closed, and took inventory.

And then reopened after lunch.

Rourke was finally able to harvest the year’s first honeycombs from the hives.

While Anais managed the shop on her own.

Anais looked around for Destiny and did not see her.  Checking her room, she found her asleep in her bed.

After dark, all the goods had been sold, and the family closed the shop.

Destiny played with Bell while the Sister looked on.  It had been a day full of successes for the business and the betterment of each of the family members’ skills.

Early the next morning, Destiny tended to her courgettes.

And found there were some ready for harvest!

Unfortunately, Rourke had found Bell destroying furniture, and gone into a fugue.  He feared that the cat may destroy the whole orchard, and then they would be homeless and without means.

Anais reassured him.  The chores were caught up, and they were doing well.  They were well on track to pay their rents, tithes, and taxes, and even save a little for Destiny’s dowry.

After some attention and affection, Rourke rebounded.  Anais indulged in a bath, planning to open the store and sell some of the Lavender infused honey that Rourke had pressed.

As expected, the gentry were quite enthusiastic about the prospect of lavendar infused honey.

Eithne Stirwuard wanted to know how it was made.

And Lady Rosalind looked like she might buy the last jar.  Their customers were very pleased today, and Anais and Rourke would be able to make a better profit margin, now that the quality of their goods was known.

While Anais closed the business, Rourke went to check on the hive with the parasites.

Then he tucked in Destiny.

The next morning, Anais awoke and made porridge.  Something was different.  She was an orderly person, and that included her moon cycle, which had not started.

When the town crier walked by, she asked her what she knew of confirming pregnancy, barely noticing how out-of-character it was to share such news with a mere acquaintance.

Destiny, having harvested her lettuces, was planting spinach.

As the morning wore on, Anais thought on the fact that her moon cycle had not started, and noticed a heightened sense of smell.

That afternoon, she was sure she was expecting a child, and instead of helping Rourke, she thought a nap would be appropriate.

She wondered, at supper, if Rourke would wonder why she had uncharacteristically napped in the middle of the day.

But he just said something about Destiny having already tended to the courgettes and spinach.

As she picked up his plate, she gave him a knowing look.

He jumped up, and began to talk to her belly.

Summer was imminent, and the bees were well.  They had saved enough to pay all the monies due for Rent, Tithes, Taxes, and fees.

Rourke, always looking to expand their hives, made another trip to the forest after Anais was asleep.

After finding a few wild hives, he noticed the cool, pristine stream beckoning to him in the moonlight.

Feeling happy and free of worry, he wanted to relax, and fish.  He returned home near dawn.

When he returned home, he was able to get a cutting from one of the mature orchard trees, for a new sapling.  He tended to it before retiring.

Gameplay Notes

As Yeoman farmers, the Honeycutt family started the challenge with $100 to their name, house and furnishings to cost $35,000, and $5000 worth of orchard and bee-keeping equipment.  They ended the session with a balance of $2382.00, which was largely to Destiny’s credit; child labor!  Destiny’s garden, along with the fruit, herbs and berries, were their main income this season, since they were only able to sell one batch of honey.

I cheated and gave Rourke 3 mechanical skill points.  I thought that if he inherited an orchard and beekeeping, he should have the minimal points to be able to harvest a wild hive to start his own.  Anais had to start at 0 so she wasn’t able to harvest wild hives.  The wheel that they were skilling at builds mechanical skill, which is needed to maintain hives and to press honey.  I had Destiny focus on gardening badges, although Anais also helped with gardening.

Anais and Rourke have 2 bolts (they are both fortune) and they never tried for baby, but they woohoo’d a lot.  When Rourke went into aspiration failure (from the preponderance of rabbits, which the cat wouldn’t kill, and from the cat destroying furniture), I had them do a date event to bring up their aspiration levels.  I think that’s when Anais conceived, because 24 hours later, her belly popped.

I thought it was hilarious when Anais told the mail person first, that she might have a baby.

And I think that the lot visitors had a tendency to be the more well-off neighbors because of the apartment life feature that rates the value of the lot, because most of their customers were the Stirwuards or  the Chevaliers.  The Wise family were the welcome wagon, which are the most well-off of the peasants.

What follows is meanderings about dabbling in using Heloise’s Warwickshire playstyle.  See About Ayre for more information.

Anais’ ethical alignment is authoritarian and she is also the first Virtuous sim in the neighborhood (Moral Alignment equal or greater than 6).  She reached that status because they were able to pay their  tithe, which awards her +2 moral alignment, added to her randomly generated starting score of +4.  She also got (+25 Clerical Favor, +25 Royal Favor) for paying her tithe.   For earning her first simoleon, she and Rourke also get +1 moral alignment.

For paying taxes on time, +1 moral alignment, and +25 x Class Station of 3 = +75 Royal Favor and +5 x Class Station of 3 = +15 Clerical Favor.

Anais also got +1 moral alignment for welcoming all walkbys of higher station, +10 Royal Favor, and +15 Clerical Favor.

Clerical Favor Earned +25 +15 +15 = +55.   Anais can now benefit from reputation and aspirational rewards for Clerical Favor as a Virtuous Sim.  Rourke, however, has neutral moral alignment.

Royal Favor Earned +25 +75 +10 = +110  (Evil sims can use royal favor to get away with things; other sims can sometimes use Royal Favor for things like getting into certain schools).

Published by Shannon SimsFan

Author of Simdale Valley Post

Join the Conversation


  1. I had a student named Rourke a few years ago. Your sim and my student are the only times I’ve heard it as a first name!

    Destiny is a hard working little girl! I wonder if she will resent that as she gets older and be led astray…perhaps by Haylan?

    I’m not sure if you’d talked about the ethical alignments before but that’s so interesting. There’s so much to this challenge – it seems so complicated!


  2. Hi Carla! I like that name, Rourke. I am pretty sure I found it on a middle ages names list.

    I didn’t find the Renaissance challenge and playstyle by Heloise, which has the idea of ethical alignments, until a couple of weeks ago! Anais was one of the few sims that I immediately knew her ethical alignment (authoritarian) and with her random roll for moral alignment, plus paying their taxes on time,etc, she moved into the Virtuous category pretty quickly. But I hadn’t said anything about any of this before now.

    It’s complicated but I think it will help curb my desire to mitigate the difficulty, harshness, and injustice of the time a little. I still plan to look for ways to bring comfort, justice, and gentleness into the story, but hopefully in a way that is less arbitrary or fits in the time period.

    Destiny did work hard throughout the round. For this round, she seemed content but that’s an interesting thought, as she gets older, will she continue to enjoy helping so much? Are you shipping her with Haylan already 🙂

    Thanks so much for commenting, Carla, I always look forward to hearing what you think.


  3. Destiny was definitely getting it done. Her kitty Winnie is adorable as is she when she hugs her. I swoon over your outdoor pictures every time, then you move indoors, and I’m gushing all over again. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how pretty it all looks, I’m still smitten with the mountains out my front door every single day.

    The cleric and ethics is a very interesting twist. Religion such are always such touchy subjects that I’ve never brought much into my own game, but I’m really enjoying this aspect in your game and seeing how it will play out with decisions and life choices.


  4. Maisie, I’m that way too — we’ve lived in Florida for 12 years and I still ooh and aah at the beautiful blue sky most days. Having mountains right out your front door would be amazing too. I’ve been thrilled with the sky and horizons for Sims 2 as well as all the other great custom content that makes the game so pretty to look at.

    Destiny’s whole family is industrious (except the cat, ha). Now I’m playing the Foresters and it feels like slogging through sometimes because they are so much less hard-working and their need bars are constantly low. It’s hard to get anything done with them. The Honeycutts are neat and hard-working.

    Religion is such a touchy subject! I hope I don’t regret including it, but maybe if it gets too difficult to manage and keep it fun I’ll fade it out. The main impact religion in Ayre seems to have with Almighty Hat’s religion mod so far, is that conversations are more awkward between people who follow different deities. It is sort of helpful for class distinctions to keep people from being equally friendly with everyone so far. The Warwickshire Renaissance challenge (Heloise) and the Medieval Charter Challenge (Vllygrl) both have good structure for playing a medieval game and the Warwickshire has a lot more detail about the ethics and morals, which is separate from but ties in well with Almighty Hat’s religion mod. I don’t think I’d ever play the Warwickshire as a challenge but as a playstyle and reference, it is really helpful for me.

    Thanks for commenting!


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