Year One, Summer: The Honeycutt Family

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Heavy with child, Anais walked towards the men-at-arms who were guarding her husband. “We have orders,” the Captain of the Guard said to her, with an unsure look in his eye but determination in his voice. Rourke looked at his wife with incredulity. He had no idea on what basis he was being arrested. Anais could not imagine what Rourke could have done to warrant being taken to the tower by the Squire and Steward’s armed men. Although she could tell her husband was innocent, it became clear that there was nothing she could do now but watch them take Rourke away, with his hands bound.

Destiny watched quietly.

After they had taken her father away, Anais instructed Destiny in her duties for the afternoon. There was to be no loafing about, and no worrying. Secretly, though, Anais was asking the Allfather what they had done wrong to be treated so unjustly.

As the sun set, she wondered how her husband was being treated, whether he had any supper, and when she would see him again. She wondered if or when he would see their child, who was coming into the world any day now.

Rourke was being held at the Tower, just miles from the Honeycutt orchard and apiary, and within line of sight of the yard. The Captain, his guard, James, and the Bailiff of the Tower had taken him there in chains and locked him in a cell. The Bailiff told him that he would wait there until his case came before the Squire, if he was lucky enough to be tried.

As the sun set, and the last rosy glow ebbed from the old stone walls, he felt fear.

He spent a sleepless night, not knowing what fate the morning may bring, and not knowing what charges were being levelled against him or to what punishment he may be subject.

The next morning, just after sunrise, Anais came to the Tower to bring food for Rourke, and a gift for the Bailiff, and with the hope that she could learn something of the charges against her husband.

She gave the Bailiff the basket of food, with extra luscious pears as a gift for himself, and pleaded with him to care for her husband and make sure he received food.

She asked him if she could be told why her husband was being imprisoned. The Bailiff, pleased with her gift, told her that Rourke was charged with stealing from the treasury while a shipment was being transported from the Steward’s household to the Crown. Someone had brought witness against him. The witness said Rourke was seen in the woods near the encampment. The next morning, when an inventory was taken, the coins were missing.

As soon as Anais returned home, she and Destiny washed and prepared to go to morning prayer at the Squire’s chapel. She hoped she would still be allowed to pray there, even though her husband had somehow incurred the displeasure of Ayre’s gentry. Lady Elizabeth was just returning from inspecting the Foundling Home and welcomed them in to worship.

Destiny asked her mother, what would happen to her father? Anais, who was not only virtuous but had unshakable faith in the Allfather, told her that she believed the truth would come out. She said they needed to be faithful and pray every morning for Destiny’s father’s safe return and for his name to be cleared.

Mother and daughter returned home to care for the bees and the orchard. Destiny was a proficient gardener, but Anais worried. How would she care for the bees adequately without Rourke’s skill and guidance?

Anais had been apprenticing beekeeping with her husband, but she was not able to do many important maintenance tasks, especially if the hive became infected with parasites. Fortunately, since it was summer, the bees seemed to thrive without outside help.

When Anais’ labor began, she sent Destiny to bring the midwife. Anais was worried that until she could be churched, at the baby’s presentation to the priest, she couldn’t pray properly for Rourke.

Mildred Wise, the midwife, had more down-to-earth concerns, like the strong body odor coming from Destiny. She took a little time to instruct the girl, who evidently didn’t realize yet that she was quickly becoming a young lady. Mildred realized that with Rourke imprisoned, her mother was too busy to have noticed the changes in Destiny. The midwife talked with her about the need to properly bathe frequently, especially during the summer heat.

Anais paced between contractions, and Mildred watched over her. The labor was normal, Anais had a healthy pelvimetry, and everything seemed to be going smoothly.

After an easy labor, Mildred held Ayre’s newest baby in her arms. It was a strong boy, with good color in his face, a forceful cry, and stout little limbs.

Anais insisted on bathing and dressing, and then Mildred handed her baby to her.

“His father said his name will be Charles,” she told Mildred.

Another evening fell on Ayre, with Rourke still imprisoned. The midwife stayed, after getting the baby and the new mother to bed, to clean and to prepare food for the morning. She laughed to herself as she cleaned up a puddle , knowing full well that Anais Honeycutt would have a fit if she saw her using the Goddess’ magic in her house. What Anais didn’t know, wouldn’t hurt her, she thought cheerfully.

Oblivious to the spell-casting, Anais was at peace. She had just nursed her son and it seemed all was right with the world. She was confident that the gift of a healthy son was a sign that Rourke would soon be cleared and released.

Early in the morning, she rose, and she and Destiny ate the meal left by the midwife. Winnie the cat was yowling horribly, and Anais and Destiny covered their ears. Perhaps she missed Rourke, too. Then she realized, she would have to get word to the priest to check with Rourke that he claimed the baby as his son. Otherwise, the baby’s presentation at church would be delayed.

Anais did the chores before dawn, and then returned to bed with the baby, for his early morning feeding. She was biding time until her confinement could end and she could return to church for his naming ceremony.

The day of the baby’s presentation at church arrived, and Lady Elizabeth was a witness to Rourke’s testimony that the baby was legitimate and was to be named Charles. Anais was relieved to return to church. She had carefully bathed and dressed Charles in his new little linen gown for the ceremony.

After the ceremony, while others chatted and laughed, Anais prayed for her husband’s release, and for his good name to be restored.

She noticed Destiny chatting with Lady Joslyn, who had tutored her. Destiny was a clever and industrious girl, and Anais wished her daughter could enter a cloistered order, but she knew as their eldest daughter, at their station, and with the need to rebuild the population after war and plague, Destiny would need to be given in marriage instead. Perhaps, if she and Rourke had another daughter, she could serve the church.

Seeing the local ladies’ man talking to Destiny, Anais determined that she would begin inquiring into her betrothal as soon as possible.

That evening, at sunset, Rourke returned home. Anais, who had gone out at sunset daily to look for him, saw him. Uncharacteristically, she ran to him, and threw her arms around him. When he was able to speak, he told her that he was free, and clear. A more reliable witness had said to the Squire that the real thief had white hair, not yellow, and that he had the walk of an older man.

The first thing Rourke did, after going into the house, was to hold up his son. Then, Anais prepared a bath for him, and he washed away the filth, and the shame, of his imprisonment. To be safe, home, and free was more than he could absorb at the moment, and he felt numb.

Before sleeping, which he longed to do, Rourke checked the hives. Anais updated him on what she knew of each one.

Finally, Rourke prepared to sleep.

The next morning, Rourke awoke early to start on his chores. Looking at them in the rosy, early morning light, he marvelled at his beautiful boy and wife. It was a joy to be home again. In a way, it seemed to good to be true.

Destiny and he worked together in the orchard and garden as Anais cared for Charles and worked indoors. Destiny had superseded Rourke’s skill in horticulture, and the plants were all thriving.

That evening when Rourke mentioned Destiny’s skill in gardening, and how beautifully she had maintained everything in his absence, Anais pointed out to him they would soon have to do without her help. It was time to arrange her betrothal.

The next day, after chores, Rourke invited their fellow Yeoman, the blacksmith, and an impartial party, Natalia Stroganov, to the house. The purpose of the visit was to begin to see if the blacksmith would be a suitable match for his eldest daughter. Rourke and Anais knew that station, finances, and public reputation were all suitable and satisfactory. It only remained to be seen if they felt comfortable with Brodie McGobhan in person, in the way he carried himself, and his attainments. They had high hopes for Destiny, but unfortunately, no other choices for her marriage at this time.

As Anais nursed Charles, Rourke sat with the merchant’s wife and the blacksmith. He watched his mannerisms and his language. He felt that he was a decent man, and he thought that McGobhan’s book learning appeared to be similar to Destiny’s. At least his daughter would not feel she was married to a man whose intellect or learning was less than hers.

Destiny was invited to join lunch for a while. She smiled at the blacksmith, but he looked down at his plate. Apparently he was reserved. Rourke wasn’t sure if he was shy, or if there was another reason he didn’t talk with Destiny.

Anais came in after a while, and her first inquiry of the potential suitor was which religion did he follow? She was not happy to learn that the blacksmith was a follower of the Goddess.

She excused herself quickly to put Charles down, and let Rourke know that she was going to evening prayer.

After praying, Anais talked for a while with Lady Joslyn, who reassured her that although the blacksmith was not a deeply religious man, that meant that Destiny could probably help convert him to the Allfather, if she were married to him. Anais wanted her daughter to marry a devout follower of the Allfather, but she understood that Lady Joslyn was looking at the reality of the situation. There just weren’t any other suitors of Destiny’s same station in Ayre.

And so the blacksmith was invited back to the house at the end of the summer. He was greeted at the door by Winnie, the Cat, who used her manners and did not yowl at him.

Rourke, and Charles, greeted him. But before they could sit and chat, the heard an uproar from the kitchen.

Destiny was trying to extinguish a fire. Calmly, she continued to fight the fire, while Anais and Rourke took Charles to safety. The blacksmith was not much help.

The last days of summer were hot, but the yields were excellent. One hailstorm came up, which passed before they had time to fear the loss of the crops and fruit. It looked like they would earn enough by sale of their produce and honey to pay all their obligations, save food and coins for the winter. and even put away more coins to buy more stands in the spring. Rourke was also able to save honeycombs in case the bees starved.

Anais had noticed that since Rourke returned from the Tower, he was a little more distant from her, and from his son that she thought he would be. He never tried to teach Charles to talk, or walk. He would feed him if she asked, or put him to bed, but Anais thought that he had lost a little bit of his joy in the prison cell, and she watched him carefully, wondering if it would return to him.

As for Charles, he was a strong-willed child. He often scrunched his little face in a defiant scowl. But one hot morning, as Anais coaxed him to say “mama,” he finally did. She thought that this child would give her more trouble than Destiny, who, similar to both her parents, had always done as she was told. Charles, as the eldest son, would have the right and responsibility to take on his father’s trade. As she watched him, Anais wondered if Charles would be suited to a farmer’s life, or if he might make something else of himself. Perhaps they would have another boy who might take after them instead, freeing Charles to find his own way in the world.

Gameplay Notes:

For Summer, I rolled for ROS for every household except the Berry’s and the new households (McGobhan and Stroganov). Three of the households, including the Porters, were lucky enough to roll no ROS. For example, the Chevalier’s rolled for a broken limb, but then rolled 6, for no one. So I consider that to be a close call of having a broken limb instead.

The Honeycutt’s Random Occurrence Scenario was that the new baby would die. As I thought about making that ROS happen, I realized I really didn’t have the stomach for making the baby die, and I didn’t want to age the baby up to a teen and do it. I might do it if I roll it again, and a late miscarriage would be the easiest route. This time, instead, I rerolled. The new ROS was that Rourke would be wrongly jailed for 2 days. (It could have been Anais or Rourke, but the roll was even, which I had determined, would be for Rourke.)

After Rourke returned, he was not able to teach Charles any of his toddler skills although he could interact with him. Even though he rejoined the family I think it was a glitch caused by either having the prison token earlier or by not being part of the household when Charles was born.

Concerning Anais’ faith and virtue: Anais is the only virtuous sim in Ayre right now. That means she is more likely to choose the morally correct thing to do in a situation. She also has a lot of devotion to the Allfather, which is a separate dynamic. Ethically, she is authoritarian. So her reaction to Rourke’s wrongful imprisonment was, as she told Destiny, that if they were faithful, justice would prevail. She gained clerical favor by praying “prayers of destiny” each day for Rourke and them being answered (according to the Warwickshire Challenge and Playstyle. She now has 755 in clerical favor points since she also paid all her taxes, tithe, and rent on time. When she chatted with Brodie, who is a follower of the Goddess, she had to go to evening prayer to increase her faith again (using the religion mod). Interacting with someone of another faith causes one’s faith to decline. Brodie was converted to be a follower of the Goddess now, I assume, because of his romantic affair with Hadley Gothard. With Hat’s Religion Mod, there is an interaction in game that allows sims to ask …about religion. Then the sim tells you who they follow and how devoted they are. Sim Data is here.

No matter how much Anais may dislike the fact that Brodie is not a follower of the Allfather, he is the only person Destiny can marry that is at her station right now. I don’t think she would wait for Giles and Gertrude to have a son to marry her off!

Charles’ health score at birth was Superior (81, he rolled 76 + 5 for midwife attended). His health declined a little at transition to toddlerhood but it is still good. (This is another Warwickshire system). I forgot I was going to roll for Anais’ pelvimetry and labor.

I created a price list and invoice sheets for the Stroganov’s market. The Honeycutts sold $7155 in goods to the merchant! They are going to keep most of Ayre in food through the winter, I think! I realize a lot of people mod the prices of food to make it less profitable. But I am using the default prices because they worked all through the growing season to grow these crops, and I want this neighborhood to grow. Plus, the cost of living is high. I would rather have a chance of families saving for their household to move up than make a pittance, which would be more realistic.

They were able to pay $4230 to the Steward, which puts our Treasury Balance over $30,000!

That means, according to the MCC rules, we get to add the following right away:

A new Gentry Family: They will be of equivalent rank and station to the Squire and will be over the area of the Vale, which is the sub-hood where the King’s Forest and the Glen are. Many of the newly formed households or new peasants and serfs will spread out to that area, for example, when Marigold marries Cadby they will live in the Vale.

A new Merchant Family: I think they will run a toy shop.

A Tavern (restaurant): This will probably be located in the Vale since the Hefty Hedgehog is in Ayre, but since Ayre is growing more quickly it might be located in Ayre.

A Park – not sure what I want for this yet.

These are the last two families we add until $60,000 treasury balance is reached. At that time, we get to add 2 Noble families. Then, only the monarch and their family remain to be added. There are, however, a lot of new builds between $40,000 and $100,000 when we finish the MCC. I am particularly excited about the Cloister, because gentry and noble daughters can go there for their education and other sims can join the convent. This would be especially nice for knowledge sims like Destiny. It would also be helpful for some ROS’s.

Published by Shannon SimsFan

Author of Simdale Valley Post

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    1. Hi Cathytea, yes, as much as I am enjoying the challenge and engrossed in it, I sometimes wonder if I can bear to play through some of the random occurrences, or play anything like the level of chauvinism or misogyny that would have existed. I think of Ayre as an alternative reality in a medieval time period, where some things are not quite how they were and in playing and writing I try to find opportunities to have the characters make choices or create a community where things are not as unjust as they may have been in the real medieval periods of our world. But at the same time, I try to ground Ayre at least somewhat in medieval values and perspective.

      I am reading Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir ( and it was describing how royal or noble girls of twelve were sent to their betrothed household for marriage. That is so young. The average age, it said for royal girls to marry, was 14. The average age overall was 18, for marriage.

      Destiny might not end up marrying Brodie. With the treasury at $30,000, I get to add a new merchant family and I rolled for that new household to have 7 members, 6 of whom are male, and 4 of whom are adults or teens. So according to the MCC rules, I can send the extra males out to head their own households at an equal station. Rourke and Anais, fortune sims, would definitely prefer to marry their daughter upwardly to merchant if they can manage it. So if they have to begin negotiations again, it may be an extra season before she would marry, and she might age to adult or be close to aging to adult, by then. I was prepared for her to marry Brodie if necessary but I don’t think it is the best match they could get, and I see her thriving much more as the wife of a merchant than the wife of a blacksmith, since she loves to learn and merchants have access to books.

      Thanks for commenting!


  1. I have to say, I’m glad you didn’t have the baby die! Charles is just adorable.

    Happy to hear it was all a misunderstanding that Rourke was arrested. That’s really interesting the glitch you had with his skills though – I’m certain I’ve had visitors (made selectable, of course) teach my toddlers their skills but I’ll have to check that again when I next play a toddler.

    I love your explanations of your story choices and how they fit in with the challenge and the rules of the society you’ve created. It did strike me that Anais seemed more devout than any of the other sims we’ve seen so far. Makes sense that she would be wary of Brodie…but if he’s not so religious, it may well be the case that he would be happy to convert.

    $7100 is so much, especially so early on in a hood! That’s about how much Rob and Patience make per working day but they are both very high up in their already high paying careers. 🙂


    1. The Honeycutts have the bees, which are the most active and healthy in summer, and a lot of garden plots, berries, herbs, and orchard trees. Their house was cheaper than allowed but their starting farm goods were a little more than allowed for a Yeoman farmer. It is a lot of money, but probably by far their most profitable season and they may not make any money in the winter at all. So if you average that across five days of summer and winter, it is only $3550 per season or $7100 for 10 days of play. Plus they have steep taxes and rent to pay in addition to their Maxis bills which they still have to pay. So I’m content with them being able to rake in the coins for their hard work 🙂

      Me too, I was so happy with my decision to reroll that ROS for the baby to die.

      I’ll be really curious if you find out anything about visitors teaching toddler skills. It could be a conflict of the prisoner token with another mod i already have. I don’t think I have any slower skilling or todddler mods though – when I shortened the age spans I took out the slower skilling and aspiration gains mods.

      Thanks for reading & commenting!


    2. Oh yes- I was also going to say in regards to Anais, that I’m glad it makes sense to you, how her her character, the story, and the Warwickshire rules work together. It is different playing her because I have to watch out for her to lose religious fervor (through the religion mod) by interacting with others who aren’t followers of the same god. So that’s why she goes to church so often – going to the community church lot for the Allfather boosts religious fervor or dedication. When she was interacting with Brodie, I was concerned about that. With a lot of characters, I just let their religious fervor wane or grow depending on their relationships, but with her it is a purposeful effort to keep it at high levels.


  2. Is Rourke friends with Charles? That could be part of the issue. I can have visitors teach my toddlers, but I’m pretty sure they need to be friends. I’m not positive, as it has been sometime since I’ve played out this situation. Otherwise the prison token makes sense too. Nearly all of my infants are born on a separate hospital lot with their Mom but not their father residing at the hospital, and this isn’t something I’ve come across exactly. As I said just visitors (that don’t live on the lot).

    However for some odd glitches, I use InSim to make my sim a teen, then I have them actually grow up to an adult (not just selecting it). I’ve had to do this after moving sims in and out of lots, which is why I mention it.

    All that aside, this was such a great update! I was concerned for Rourke, I really didn’t have the hope that Anais had. I’m glad it worked out in the end, and that baby Charles was healthy. I wouldn’t find joy in fulfilling that ROS, so I can see why you would reroll. He’s a cute toddler, and Destiny is very pretty as well. It’s unfortunate that her beau isn’t of the same faith. I wondered if Destiny would want to join the women at church instead of marry as her Mother wished for her. That seems like such a huge decision, very personal. Does the rest of Anais’ family have much care for the Allfather?

    All of the religions and mods you have are amazing!


  3. Hi Maisie! That might be it – that Rourke isn’t friends with Charles!! I didn’t even think of that but he’s probably the first baby I’ve had that one of the parents was not friends with long before they became a toddler! Thank you for pointing out that possibility.

    Are you saying I could make Rourke a teen and then back to adult to fix a possible glitch from the prison token?

    Destiny is a knowledge sim so the monastic career is one of the top careers she would roll for, and in a convent she could do a lot more reading and other research-y oriented activities, so I think she would like it a lot. Anais (in my head canon) would want Destiny to go into the church because of her own virtue, but Destiny would actually be more interested in the path of learning that the church offers. In this medieval world the church is the main preserver and generator of knowledge. Destiny has spent most of her (infrequent) free time reading. I can’t remember if Yeoman are technically supposed to have books but the family does have one book. I know that peasants aren’t allowed books in their homes in the Medieval Charter Challenge but in the Warwickshire they are.

    Glad you enjoyed the update, and I appreciate hearing your comments!


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