Year One, Summer: New to Ayre

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The first new residents to Ayre this summer are its first Merchant family, the Stroganovs. Leonid, an ambitious man of trade, hopes to start a thriving merchant guild in Ayre, and is willing to start from the ground up by developing Ayre’s rudimentary market.

During the summer, with the patronage of the Squire and Lord Stirwuard, he will begin to sell families of Ayre on the idea of selling their goods to him, to trade, rather than maintaining their farmgate businesses. The Squire, who is anxious to develop a thriving market economy, has given the Stroganovs until next Spring to pay rent or taxes, if necessary, in hopes of stimulating Ayre’s growth more quickly.

Leonid is joined by his new wife, Natalia, and her mother, Tatiana, both of whom are anxious for the arrival of children in the family. The family are devout followers of the Allfather.

The Stroganov’s home is right next to Ayre’s new market.

Early in the summer, The Stroganov’s introduce coin purchases into the economy, which up till now has been primarily based on barter between private citizens.

With Ayre’s new growth, the hamlet also attracted a mid-summer faire. The Squire has announced that she will hold a tournament this season, for the men-at-arms to display their skills. A grandstand has been set up for the occasion. In the meantime, residents can enjoy the food and wares, drink, dancing, and singing, as well as street performers, or try out their own skill at log rolling or axe throwing.

The Stirwuards try out log rolling. It feels good to strip to the skivvies and take a plunge in the cold water, with the summer heat bearing down.

On a bright summer morning, Ella Wise makes a friend at the Faire. Ralf Forester cuts loose after a pint of ale, singing of his longing for a wife.

Meanwhile, residents meet and chat. Cadby regals Lady Eithne Stirwuard with his dreams for the future, to marry Marigold and settle down to a peaceful life of basket weaving. Lady Eithne meets Natalia Stroganov, and tells her a little about what its like to live in Ayre.

Rhett and Ella share a few moments of fun flirting, but Rhett doesn’t allow it to go any further, and walks off to find a pint of ale, instead. There he meets and gets to know the new merchant, Leonid Stroganov.

The Stirwuard’s dog, Cinad, is fascinated by the fire dancer.

Brice, who is a tournament champion already, scopes out the jousting lists and the fencing arena.

Lady Eithne enjoys talking with Leonid Stroganov, and wishes he were single, and a proper match. It is no secret that she worries she will not find a husband and will die unwed.

It’s nice to see Mildred enjoying herself a year after her husband’s death in battle.

The Barracks have received an overhaul, with stables being added, and some of the ancient imperial stones that form the keep and the lower level, which had been buried under new rocks, being restored.

Brice is practicing for the tournament. In the war room, Rob, Cadby, Alistair, and Oakes strategize the defense needed in a future attack on Ayre.

James is the Captain’s bodyguard, and is stationed outside his chamber, or near to him. Henri, who is a well-studied noble as well as a war hero, has been appointed Captain of the Guard by the Squire. Brice and he often hold private conversations in his chamber over a game of chess.

The men gather in the dining hall downstairs.

The bath has been restored with wood panelling.

First Level: Stables, dining & scullery, training yard, and bath house.
Second level: sleeping quarters, war room, and Captain’s Chambers.

Ayre also has a foundling home now, and the Stirwuard’s niece, Jada, who entered a monastic life, is it’s caretaker. She begins her oversight of the home for orphans by planting a garden and tending to the rabbits, and then seeks out the place of worship for followers of the Allfather, where she meets Lady Elizabeth, Lady Joslyn, and Leonid Stroganov. They tell her that church is now held at the Squire’s chapel, since the village church is in ruins.

Jada attends chapel at sunset, where she meets Oakes, Rourke Honeycutt, and Natalia Stroganov.

Rourke must have told his wife, Anais, about Jada, because she visits to welcome Jada to Ayre. Although they had never met before, the two hit it off as if they have been best friends forever.

The Stroganov’s were moved in and set up as the owner of the market.
The Stroganov’s update will be last during the summer, since they need to buy goods from the residents throughout the season.

I played the Stirwuard household to test the set up of the Faire. I was holding my breath when Rhett and Ella began flirting at the faire, and so happy to see that Rhett, who already put his family through a lot, walked away from Ella pretty quickly. Since I wasn’t playing their household there wasn’t a lot I could do.

This update also included the set up of Jada Stirwuard as the caretaker of the Foundling Home. Jada was randomly rolled a while back for another purpose. She is a romance sim so I’m not sure how well she suits religious orders or how long this assignment will last, but I wanted a sim that wasn’t an elder to run the orphanage. I think of her backstory including being sent off to the nunnery by her father, perhaps when she had an illegitimate child. Where she goes from here, we will see. The foundling home is not a regular rotation. There aren’t any orphans for now, anyway, except the orphans who live with Zelda and Hilda Berry.

The Barracks were updated, with Henri being set up as the Captain of the Guard. (Basically a change of outfit). He’s the only man-of-arms who is a knowledge sim, so I thought it would work well. I expect/plan for Cadby to marry Marigold soon and take up weaving, and for James and Daralis to marry as well, with James taking up goat-herding. Brice (Fortune) is in the Knighthood career as a Tournament Champion. Rob (Romance) and Oakes (Popularity) will probably be career army men, but Alistair is also a family sim and might eventually leave the barracks.

Next week’s update will introduce the McGobhan’s, Ayre’s new blacksmith. They will be next of the summer updates. Here’s a sneak peek of the randomly rolled family.

Thanks for reading!

Published by Shannon SimsFan

Author of Simdale Valley Post

Join the Conversation


  1. It’s looking great! I really love your Summer Faire! Was just thinking this morning about how I had failed to set up any of the faire lots for my game and how that was probably something I should do, I think I definitely will now! How do you have them work? Are the seasonal lots accessible year-round or do you just have sims visit during the correct seasons?


    1. Hi Mortia! I was just thinking about how to use the seasonal lots while setting it up. One of my favorite features of sims 3 was being able to make them look different during each season and even in between. I probably spent more time building and testing seasonal lots than anything else I ever did in sims 3! But anyway for this I have a copy of the lot (summer version) in the bin so I will definitely bulldoze it when summer is over and add it back again later. When I get to add the other seasonal lots they’ll probably be set in the same location. Thanks for commenting and I’d love to see what you would do with a fair!


  2. Nice to meet the new family! How are you choosing names for this hood? Just as they come to you or are you looking at different sources or…?

    I didn’t ever think about how much stuff we have in the game that fits into a medieval setting perfectly. I mean, I don’t know if they actually did log rolling back then…but it seems like something they could have set up pretty easily, so it works!

    So how will the foundling house work? Are you going to populate it artificially or just wait until there’s a kid who actually needs it? And if Jada is a Romance sim, I can see some potentially dramatic storylines coming out of her new career! Time will tell!


    1. Hi Carla! So for the names – For the initial inhabitants, I really tried to use names that are easily recognizable that give you a hint of their profession or place in society. But for these last two that I’ve added, the McGobhan’s and the Stroganov’s, it was a little bit different. I have a set of faces from Garden of Shadows you might be familiar with, that has face presets that are supposed to be reminiscent of features of people in different areas of the real world. For the Stroganov’s I used the Slavic looking faces, since no one else in Ayre has that preset, and I wanted to add diversity. Then I looked for names from the world of eastern Europe that might mean shopkeeper or merchant, and found the name Stroganov. For the McGobhan’s, the blacksmith, that is an old Scottish word for blacksmith.

      The foundling house is mainly for sims whose families can’t care for them for whatever reason. The challenge rules only allow most families (merchants excluded, I think) to have three children. Additional lower class children would have to go to the foundling home. I don’t know how much that will happen, but I built it because having the foundling house was prescribed in the rules. There is also the chance that the adults and teens in the house die. That could happen for example with the Berry’s, who are children living with elders, or through sickness or a random occurrence scenario (which I plan to start either this round or next). It’s also possible the adult in the home would go to prison. Although there’s lots of scope for children to become orphans I definitely don’t intend to push any of those things to happen if there’s a way around it. I’d rather err on the side of seeing my sims happy that pushing the realism, but I am trying to stay within a loose framework of following what happens and allowing things to develop. Also, I don’t plan to artificially populate the foundling home but there may be a situation where I would.

      For example, for the McGobhan’s (this Saturday’s post), I randomly rolled that the family would consist of an adult male and a female toddler. It is really difficult for the blacksmith to learn his craft, and take care of his daughter, while mourning the death of her mother. I had sims in the community come in and help him with his daughter, Fiona, so he could manage, instead of having him neglect her to try to get up to speed on his blacksmith skills so he could feed the family and pay rent and taxes.

      Jada is a romance sim so she is not really cut out to be a sister in a religious order of the Allfather, which prohibits relationships outside of marriage, so I am sort of thinking of her as a placeholder for now but it is possible she will do well there. I won’t play the foundling house unless needed so depending on what she gets up to on community lots and who witnesses it, she could run the foundling home for quite a while. I guess my motto is not to go looking for trouble 🙂

      Thanks for commenting, Carla!


  3. This hood has really grown! The faire is amazing, and I’m intrigued by the new family and how you came about their name and features. I’ve never see the face preset download with faces of different regions, I’ve always wanted something of that nature. I would like to see the foundling house utilized, although I suppose that would be sad for the kid/family. I really like the rules that you play with, and how you explain everything out. I can live vicariously through you, and two of my daughters are currently playing Skyrim, and it’s astoundingly pretty!

    Jada might struggle as a romance sim in that position!


  4. Hi Maisie! Here’s the link for the Garden of Shadows All Around the World non-default face templates:

    Skyrim is the only other game that has ever held my interest very long, besides sims. A lot about Ayre is inspired by Skyrim. What kind of character did your daughters pick in Skyrim? I have usually played as a Nord and my daughter loves to playfully criticize me because they are so racist “Skyrim belongs to the Nords,” but I love the natural protection from the cold. Plus, it’s the imperials that are the interlopers, ha! She likes to play as an elf since she uses more magic and my husband likes the Histskin and waterbreathing so he plays as an Argonian. Even though I’ve never enjoyed fighting in other games, in Skyrim I liked wielding a weapon in each hand and never got very good at sneaking or magic. I did use a lot of the alchemy, though. The scenery in Skyrim, and the music, are amazing. I pretty much went everywhere on foot without fast travel just to experience it.

    Thanks for commenting, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying Ayre vicariously. I sometimes miss my Falls Bridge but Ayre is my passion right now and it’s been really gratifying to see it grow.


    1. Thanks for the link to the faces! I’ll definitely add them to my game! My girls play as Khajiit and the other a High Elf I believe. The music is beautiful, we listen to it on spotify frequently. It’s on my list to play, I’m finishing up their other game Fallout 4 right now. Fallout games is my tradition with my son, I just play really slowly, lol.


        1. ah yes, 3 daughters and 1 son. He’s my second born, and he’s definitely not interested in sims. 😉 Skyrim would be the perfect accompaniment to playing a medieval hood for sure.


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