Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day Eight

A new week begins.
Week two. My spirits are lifted somewhat. A whole week survived. Conversely, I have seen so much in such a short space of time, and I still have so much more to so. I am out of my cave and trekking east again as soon as the sky lightens. Not a single creeper or spider is waiting for me. A good start.

Good morning!
 The ocean is creeping in again. I chop down a tree as I go, expecting to need a boat. Instead, I have the rather odd experience of jumping onto the next continent.

One small step.
'Continent' is perhaps an exaggeration. For most of the morning, I walked across a series of forested islands. They were all close enough to swim the distance. As I traveled, more islands were visible to the south. To the north was nothing but ocean.

Looking east.
Looking south-east. More islands.
Eventually, though, the islands trickled to an end and I was greeted with ocean proper. Time for another boat ride. As I sailed, more islands passed to the south. I considered deviating from my course to check them out, but I decided against it.

Southern islands.
What five records would you like to be stranded on this island with?
The ocean was perhaps the widest I had yet encountered. Briefly, I could not see any land at all. But then the cliffs appeared on the horizon. Unassailable without excessive digging, I sailed to the south until I found flatter land to go aground.

This is what Australia looks like from the bottom up.
This is more agreeable. (looking north)

I left my boat and walked the beach to the east. A small inlet blocked my path and I was forced inland slightly. But not before grabbing a picture of this cool little island jutting from the ocean:

You can already see it in the above photo, but my eyes did not fully register the floating tree until I crossed the inlet.

What does it MEAN?
I had seen floating terrain before now (remember that weird canyon back on Day Four?), but never with a tree growing on it. This was something new. Fortunately, though, I had learned my lesson by now and did not make a stupid mistake for the third time.

That would have hurt.
The cavern came out of nowhere. You can't even see any trace of it in the above screenshot! (I know it is certainly between where I stood in the previous screenshot and the tree, though, as I have more screenshots of the tree taken after this screenshot). I'm not certain I would have survived the fall. Then again, I don't think I deserve to survive if I am stupid enough to fall into yet another cavern. I didn't explore this one at all. Instead, I walked beneath the floating tree and climbed up the hill on the opposite side.

I'm not sure if I can stress this point enough: the tree is floating!
Climbing the next hill.
Looking back west for one last gander.
Leaving the tree behind me, I turned back to the east, assuming the hill I had just climbed would roll back down the other side. How wrong was I!

Wait. What? Where did all this come from?
Looking east and down. No path across this way.
I was dumbfounded. Generally, I consider myself fairly decent at orientation. There was no way I had climbed enough for such a drop to make sense. This valley had to be below sea level. The ocean had sunk beyond the southern horizon, though, so there was no way to be sure. Still, the sudden drop really threw me. To the east, there was no direct way across. I had no choice but to descend to the south and head into the valley. Not that I had a problem with this. The first thing I noticed once I got off my mountain was waterfalls. Three, to be precise.

This is looking up into the overhang of the previous photo.

This one is in the archway to the south visible in the earlier photos.

I walked through the arch and checkout out the south. Walking through arches and holes seems to have become a little mini-game I play with myself on this quest. Why not, I guess. There was nothing to the south too exciting. Besides, as always happens when I find such a fascinating area, the sun was beginning to set.

Looking back west. You can see where I first looked down into the valley.

It was time to make camp. Despite the number of overhangs and waterfalls, I had found not a single cavern. North of the archway, on the rear-side of the valley's northern monument (the one on the right-hand side of the above photo), I then found yet another waterfall. As day fled, I decided to quickly check it out.

I do love waterfalls. Just saying.
By the time I reached its base, the stars were already shining. Out of options, I dug a quick hole a mere single cube wide into the cliff face north of the waterfall, placed some torches, and covered the entrance.

Well, I have all night, I decided, so I might as well dig this place out a bit and at least get some crafting done. A mere four cubes deeper, I ran out of dirt.

Oh. Hi there, cavern.
I could hear skeletons, so I blocked the hole back up. Instead, I dug to my right. Sure enough:

Hmmm... This could be a problem.
Again I covered the hole back up, not wanting to be hit by stray arrows. I thought about this for a bit. Pretty much, it seemed I was dangling by a mere cube-width of dirt above a rather large cavern. No matter how many times this happens to me, the seemingly sheer luck of it never ceases to amaze me. Here I am in the smallest little hole, digging out a single square of dirt, and unearthing an entire complex of caverns.

In the end I dig to my left, chipping a stairwell into the stone. Somehow, though, I missed the cavern and sent my stairs too deep... and almost tumbled head-first into an even deeper cavern! This one, though, would have been far more perilous:

OK. Too close.
I could have been dead. I blocked the hole back up, resisting the urge to explore, and chipped away to my right. Sure enough, there was the dark cavern directly beneath my camp. I found no skeletons or zombies, but I did find several large iron deposits and even larger coal deposits. I took the iron but left the coal. I was already carrying more than I needed. Loaded up, I headed back to camp, sealed off the tunnel, and got on the task of smelting and crafting.

I was ready for the next day well before the sun rose. All in all, not a bad start to the week.

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