I've played Runescape a lot in the past, but never have I come to value a mere steel longsword so much. Usually it's quite easy to skip straight to expensive gear very early on with a standard account, by stacking up on low level resources in high demand, like cowhides or flax, and selling them at the Grand Exchange. But in Ironman mode there's no economy tricks to get you past hard work. You have to be resourceful and make your way through the various tiers of equipment.
I went and created 1,000 bronze arrows using the Fletching, Smithing and Crafting skills. It might sound like a lot, but given that you craft them by sets of 10 it wasn't that much trouble getting the materials. Chopped 100 wood logs to make arrow shafts and a bow, mined copper and tin to create 100 bronze ingots for the arrow heads, killed chicken for 1,000 feathers, collected the flax to make bow strings and then I only had to assemble all that into a bow and arrows.
On my way I did another of the beginner quests, Sheep Shearer, which merely involved shearing sheep for 20 wool and then spinning those into balls of wool.
Doing the Stronghold of Security, a minidungeon designed to teach new players how to protect their accounts, rewarded me 10,000 gold and those new boots I'm wearing. So far I've invested some of that gold into buying an Adamant pickaxe, and I've saved up the rest of it for buying an Adamant sword later on. Given that Adamant gear is much cheaper than Rune gear while having nearly the same stats, it seems like it's the best choice available at the moment.
This mode truly leaves no stone unturned. I had never experienced with these mid tier items before. I decided to do another, more difficult quest today: Knight's Sword, and it led me to look into Blurite gear.
Blurite is this rare metal that can only be found in this icy cave filled with ice warriors and skeletal wyverns. It has an amazing soundtrack and luckily those blurite ores can be safespotted. Little did I know, blurite enchanted bolts have a chance of knocking down the enemy with each attack. This is one of those little details that went right under my nose during my previous playthrough years ago.
This quest came with a really good reward: 12,750 Smithing exp. I'm not doing these quests for rewards, but it does feel good to boost such a tedious skill.
Meanwhile, I'm going to start preparing for Vampire Slayer. I need to increase my combat stats and perhaps make a few potions to make sure I survive that fight. I hope I won't die, as I'd lose my valuable steel sword!