Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 13: Another World

Today was a very different day from any I've had in my new life. Today I woke up in a new land next to a giant pillar of magma. Next to the pillar of magma, was an old friend. A human. A real, living (non-undead), breathing human; a friend from my previous existence, before the islands, before the mines. It was wonderful to catch up with my friend and share knowledge about this wild existence we've been living. He guided me through his world and explained that there were others like us that had made their homes here. He showed me how to fish. He was eager to show me his house and mine, so we began journeying toward his place. There were identical, gigantic magma pillars along the way which my friend had set up as guiding lights. It was a full day's journey to get from our starting area to his fantastic tower. In contrast to the dangerous magma pillars, his home was made almost completely out of water. No monsters could enter because of the strong flow. Rather than climb a ladder, one could just swim to the top. This water tower was truly impressive and must have taken many moons to complete and perfect.

Directly beneath the tower, was my friend's mine. While my mining techniques are more organic and spontaneous, his was completely structured and deliberate. First, there is a water-based elevator that goes from the bottom of the water tower straight down to the bottom of the world; that unbreakable, metallic area I've mentioned in early entries. At consistent intervals along the path to the bottom, the way, there are tall wide tunnels jutting out from the elevator. In essence, there's a level 1 mine, a level 2 mine, and so on. There's something to be said for this method as it dramatically cuts down on surprises and danger.

I, however, embrace a certain amount of danger, so I decided to start branching out from one of his tunnels. At first he was a bit worried that I'd ruin his system, but since I put a door between my mine expansion and his tunnel, he was ok with it.

I like this world better. I like knowing that there are people around. People to appreciate my work, people whose work I can appreciate, and people who can help share the burden of reshaping a world. I started my new home right next to my friend's water tower. We'll see how things develop.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 12: Hell is Here

It started with the nightmares. Doorways made of obsidian. Fire spewing jelly air fish. Mutilated pig men. And an endless span of red rock, lava, and flame. Each night the same damned dreams. Finally I decided to construct the black doorway from my dreams. First I dug a big ditch at the base of the great mountain immediately in front of Einheim. In the middle of the ditch I created the base of the door, then the sides, and, with the help of a few well placed steps, the portal was completed. As I placed that last block, a wavy purple ether formed within the frame. It undulated like a disturbed body of water. Taking a deep breath, I stood in the doorway. And... Everything... went..... dark............................

When I woke up, it was like the nightmare again. Except something was different. I was wearing my iron armor. I had my diamond pick ax in my hand. Then it hit me: this is real. I made it in to Hell. There were shrieking jelly air fish everywhere. One of them quickly noticed me and started spitting flames in my direction. Without a second thought, I burrowed deeply into a nearby hill of red rock and sealed the entrance behind me. Feeling terrified in utter darkness, listening to the endless screaming of the air fish, I lit the few remaining torches in my possession.

After taking a few breaths and regaining my composure I checked the supplies I had on me: some pork chops, a bucket of water, and some obsidian. Then it hit me, "what will happen if I build another portal from within Hell?" So in my little tunnel I built another dark portal and just like last time, the doorway "came to life" when the final block was placed. I jumped into the portal and was once again plunged into blackness.

When I woke up I was at the base of a high cliff, standing on the iced ocean. I have no idea where I am, but it feels like a long way from home.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 11: Mastering Fear

Though the horrors of the deep were still fresh in my mind, I abandoned reason and headed back down to the bottom of the grand staircase beneath Dunkelheim; the location where I found those diamonds. When last I left, there was a terrifying chorus of ghoulish howls. As I approached, the bottom of the stairs, I heard that maddening sound again. As I shoveled through the blockade I had built to keep the fiends away, some iron ore caught my eye. I ran into the room, and just as quickly made a right and ran away from the iron as quickly as I could. I was still just too scared to hang out anywhere near the monsters in the darkness.

Lightening torches as I walked down the dark corridors, I came across a plenitude of coal, red rock, and also happened upon some lava and a stream. There was a dripping, green, exploder sauntering toward me from atop the source of the stream, but I quickly dispatched him with my new bow. Fighting at a distance is decidedly less stressful than close-quarters combat. After diverting the stream into the lava I continued on until I heard it. A sickening, maddening noise, like the groan of an angry god. I left a marking so that I might remember this place, and built a bridge over the stream with all haste. After catching my breath, I went back to the spot where I heard the awful sound... but, there was nothing. No beast, no sound... nothing. So, I decided to head back above ground.

As I passed through the ghoul chamber, I decided to be brave and harvest whatever precious materials I could find. This was by far the most lucrative mining operations I've ever undertaken. At the end of the day, I made out with at least 32 red rocks, 35 chunks of iron ore, well over 64 lumps of coal, 3 buckets, 4 bails of wheat, and a chest. Those last few items might seem out of place. Well, they were. As I explored the cavern, I noticed some carved stone, the kind I use to make my fortresses. The kind that only skilled hands can craft. As soon as I noticed the stones, zombie after zombie poured forth. They seemed to be crowded in this open, carved stone room with a strange inflamed cage in the middle.I killed all the zombies, some hacked to pieces, some pierced with arrows. And then destroyed the flaming cage. I don't know what that was, but I have a feeling that it somehow creates or at least attracts those beasts. Also in the room was a chest filled with the wares I mentioned before, along with a strange item that looks something like a saddle. As if these strange goings on weren't enough, the floor was a strange stone covered in green slime. Having never seen anything like this before, I decided to harvest these odd blocks, 30 in total, and investigate them above ground.

Not wanting to get too greedy and overextend myself after obtaining all these riches, I decided to finally head up to Einheim. As I was exiting the staircase, I decided to seal the lower area with a stone and wooden door. I'm tired of living in fear and anxiety down below. It's time to start mastering my fear, for it is obvious that the most fabulous riches are in the most terrifying locations.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 10: Mastering Fire and Water

After nearly dying to a rogue skeleton at Wasserheim, I decided to secure the place so that it would be baddie proof. After a long series of experiments, I determined that there is no simple way to have automatic double doors; most unfortunate. It looks like one of the doors sends a charge when it closes, which keeps the other door open... weird. Nevertheless, Wasserheim is now equipped with a glass ceiling and automatic doors at every second except the dock.

With my fancy new bucket in tow, I started work on a water slide which will lead from Einheim to Wasserheim. Should be a fun and quick boat ride!

Not sure if I mentioned my new leisure room that I built at the top of the grand staircase in Dunkelheim, but Now that is secured with doors on either side and contains a lovely, over sized painting of Donkey Kong.

Continuing the grand staircase, I heard an entire choir of moaning zombies. Nervously I dug in all directions until a dark hole was formed in the absence of rock. The groaning grew louder. Slowly and fearfully I tip toed forward. In a few moments a zombie popped out of the darkness, but was quickly dispatched. I planted of few torches on the wall when a glitter of pale blue hit my eye. At long last, diamond lay on the floor in front of me. Unsurprisingly, the other zombies in the room depleted almost all my armor and dealt nearly fatal damage. In a moment of decisiveness, I dispatched the last one I could see and began harvest diamond. Knock knock knock, POP! Beneath this cube of ore was another one! And then one more! I was so excited and ran up the staircase as fast as I could, thought Dunkelheim, and then up the long ladder to Einheim. There I crafted the long awaited diamond pick ax. With the left over material, I crafted a diamond shovel as well. I can not understand how fantastically wonderful diamond tools are to work with; quick, durable, and compact! With some curiosity in my heart, I took the long ladder down in to the deep magma chambers and began working on the dark purple blocks, which I believe to be obsidian. Before I left, I grabbed a heaping bucket full of magma. This buckets sure is strong

With relief in my heart, I went about overhauling Einheim. Within the main entrance, there now sits a large picture of a skull and lined it with torches. There is now a much straighter staircase directly ahead of the front door than the crazy, semi natural one that was there prior. The front area feels like a farm now. Every morning, I slaughter cows and chickens that get stuck in the brand new moat and harvest a hefty yield of wheat. Following yesterday's inspiration, I made some flint and steel. For a while I had been getting tired of the permanent shade outside my front door, so I lit the tree on fire. Surprisingly, I felt a pang of regret as it and several of the other surrounding trees went up in flames. For some strange reason, wood burns forever and just floats around. I left the flaming wood there as a beacon for distant spotting and a grim reminder of the woodland paradise I destroyed.

Equipped with my new found fire mastery, I fashioned a stone fireplace in the corner of Einheim's main chamber. It's nice to have a bright light and a crackling fire; the place feels cozier. Not wanting to settle for the mundane, I added a well on either side of the fireplace. One filled with water, the other with magma. Honestly, I feel a little nervous about having such a dangerous force in the heart of my most important supply point. On the other hand, it is comforting to know that I am capable of so masterfully shaping my domain and controlling such terrible power.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 9: Discovering Possibilities

The latest, deepest mine had some crazy magma spots, but after much ado, I finally found what I'd been looking for: diamonds! There were only two; not enough for a pick ax, but I'm almost there!!!! Something puzzling was uncovered as I delved deeper. I found this enormous patch of a greyish, metallic looking blocks. Even with an iron pick ax, these cubes were unbreakable. Determined to go down further, I continued digging in the area. desperately trying to find a hole in the indestructable cluster. "Is this the bottom of the world?", I wondered to myself.

After about 5-10 miuntes of digging, I found a hole. It was a single cube thick and the hole went very deep down. Peering into it, all I could see was blue. I threw all the dirt I had into it and peered down again... Nothing changed. Perhaps this truly is the bottom of the world, a terminal point.

Today was also my first true foray into farming. I've harvested many stalks of wheat and made bread! In Dunkelheim, I built a grand staircase in a new direction and built a safe room with glass walls along the way.

Then inspiration hit. I realized that redstone was conductive and doors could be opened with switches. After discovering, I of course promptly automated the doors in Einheim and Wasserheim. I created signs from sticks and wood and adorned this fortresses with names for the pigs and cows to see and remember for all time. A compass could be fashioned from red stone and some iron. It believe it points to the point that I wake at when after each time I expire. By combining some sand and zombie powder I created TNT! I've yet to use this, as explosives make me quite nervous. Perhaps it will work on the world-bottom blocks. I also made a snow brick and then a clay brick from balls of clay I found on an island off the coast of Wasserheim.

These discoveries will help greatly streamline my experience and work flow on this mad island. Now all I need is a plethora of iron so that I can create some mine cart tracks...

Day 8: Straight Down to Hell

Once again, I got the urge to go journey deep within the earth. I haven't seen any diamond since that one unfortunate day and thought that perhaps they are more plentiful the deeper one goes. For convenience, I decided to extend the ladder in the underground fortress, which I'll call Dunkelheim. I have explored much deeper than Dunkelheim, but didn't want to go traveling through the labyrinthine chambers every time I wanted to plumb the depths.

As before, I dug a 2 wide hole into the ground, placing ladders and harvesting coal along the way. Down and down I went. Probably about 20 cubes deep at the very least from when I started. Finally, I broke a rock and struck lava. Now, I don't know how exactly, but at this moment, I burst into flames. At this point in my life, I'd never been on fire before. Little did I know it at the time, but this certainly would not be the last. I flew up the ladder as fast as I could, hoping that the flames would naturally dissipate. This was not the case. I ate 2 pieces of cooks ham along the way to keep myself alive. Thank the gods that I decided to build Dunkelheim around an underground lake. Never have I felt so relieved as when I darted into the water and the burning was quenched. "Holy shit, that was fucking close," I panted aloud. I got some more food from Dunkelheim and decided to head back to the deep hole. Into the hole I threw several cubes of dirt. This seemed to plug up the lava, so I headed back down.

Once at the bottom, I carefully expanded horizontally and explored. I found a few patches of gold and thought, "Ha! I knew there would be rare minerals down here." Knock, knock, knock went the pick ax until some ore popped out of the destroyed block. I quickly jumped down to pick it up and just as quickly burst into flames. I have no idea how this happened, but regardless, I scurried up the ladder and died half way. This was especially terrible because I was wearing my full set of steel armor at the time. That's about 24 bars of steel. Bad times.

This bursting into flames stuff happened another handful of times before I realized, "hey, why don't I just direct the underground lake water into this chamber so that I don't have to fly a mile up every time I catch on fire." With a little effort I was able to pull it off. Because of some strange law of physics, the water could not flow onto the squares adjacent to the ladder, so I had to expand the hole. The one unfortunate part of this process was that I all 15 or so torches got extinguished as the water poured downward. Tis a small price to pay for safety!

And safe it now was! I expanded the chamber and directed the water flow at any magma discovered along the way. It went wonderfully. This was the smartest I had ever used water before. I continued to expand and create bridges over the water and after a short while I broke into a huge magma chamber and a few branching paths. My hard work paid off as I harvested several chunks of silver ore and plenty of coal. This deep, deep area will be the launching point for my next excursion. I am determined to find more diamond.

Day 7: Wasserheim

Today I created another base, this one is right next to that beach entrance I had recently dug. Since I had been thinking about boats recently, I wondered, "if I get this water soread throught the corridors will I be able to quickly travel them by watercraft?" So I dug and dug, and placed sand and learned about the physics of water. I only nearly drowned about 5 times. Around my work area I used stone to create a castle like structure on the ice. I noticed that when I placed torches near the ice, the ice melted and wouldn't return. This is how a got the water to start flowing the way I wanted. I channeled the ocean into a 3 cube thick streak and slowly worked it downward until it hit the corridor Unfortunately, water doesn't go very far in a straight line, but I felt accomplished regardless.

I dubbed this beach front fortification "Wassterheim", my home on the water (literally). I started to built two bridges from Wasserheim, one straight into the ocean, to the east, and the other to the south, until I ran out of stone. During the construction of Wasserheim I noticed an incredibly important concept: the sun always rises in the east. This is hugely important data. Now, whenever I lose my bearings, I can just looks to the sky and know which way north is. I am no longer blind when far from home.

With all the extra sand I created an enormous amount of glass. Einheim, which is contnually being fortified and expanded, was retrofitted with this new material. By using glass instead of stone I can:
1. have full visibility of my surroundings
2. see the sunrise from the safety of my fortress

After a stroke of genius, I discovered how to make a full set of armor: boots, leggings, chest plate, and helmet. Before, all I knew how to make was a helmet and that provided minimal protection. I feel like a warrior now, fully armored in steel and master of the mountains, waters, and depths.