|Time to move on.|
The last hours before dawn, I could here zombies and skeletons outside. I wasn't sure if they were downhill on the grass or directly above me in the tunnel. Last thing I wanted was to knock out the wall and have a zombie land on me. I stood back as far as I could as I opened my cave up to the morning.
|No zombies yet...|
I walked out of the cave backwards, sword in hand. The tunnel was empty. I crept to the ledge and looked down. Sure enough, a zombie and a skeleton were both trying to jump up at me. But both were on fire and dead moments later.
|Burning zombie arm.|
|So on we go.|
I worked my way down to the beach and pulled out my workbench to make a boat.
|Wait. I'm missing something...|
...and then I realised I had no wood. Whoops. The closest trees were back up the hill, so instead I decided to follow the beach north. I looked back at the baffling mountain one last time.
|Goodbye, crazy mountain I once thought of as friendly.|
Moving on, the ground was relatively flat for a time. The ocean followed me to my right, and several mounds rose to my left like giant termite mounds. Ahead east, what looked like a tall tower appeared on the horizon.
|Mounds to the north.|
As I neared it. though, it became apparent that the vertical shaft was floating free of the mountain behind it.
|The dirt bridge to the right of the mountain is cool, too.|
I was temped to head north and get atop the mountain just to walk across the dirt bridge, but getting to it could take some time. Instead, I turned to the south where it looked like I may be able to walk around the mountain.
|More sheer walls. Looks like a Mario level. South, though, was a way around.|
Beyond the mountain was smoother ground with rolling hills and the occasional mountain to the north.
|An easy stroll.|
|A deep valley to the north.|
|Some more cliffs, but not blocking my direct path.|
|And yet more easy going.|
The day went on like this for some time, and I made good ground. Then I came across a small cavern beneath an overhang and, for the third time since leaving home, spotted the telltale mossy cobblestone.
|The cavern is beyond the small pyramid-hill, center-left.|
|Just a quick look...|
|Two chest and a spawner. But no mobs?|
I drew my sword but did not move any closer. There were no mobs at present, but they could spawn any moment I made a deal with myself: if they were zombies, I would take them out and attempt to get to the loot; if they were skeletons, I would flee. I simply cannot take on a single skeleton without losing a lot of health. I held my sword and waited.
...and waited. Nothing spawned for quite some time. Perhaps the spawner was broken? I took one hesitant step forward. I heard the bow 'twang' before I even saw the skeleton. That was all I needed. I bailed.
I ran quite far, looking over my shoulder constantly for an army of skeletons that I was certain would be following me. It would not be an exaggeration to say my heart was pounding. Skeletons are serious business when you can't afford to die. I moved on.
The ground continued to be flat and green and hilly. It was quite nice, but doesn't make good adventure juice. After a while, though, i spotted this mountain to the north, pocketed with little caves.
But I didn't explore it. I kept on walking.
|Looking east, down a hill.|
|Back west up the same hill. Sun is getting low.|
In the distance I could see a lake on the horizon. But closer, and far more exciting, was a whole gang of chickens! Or ducks. People seem to disagree on this.
|Hey guys! There were more behind the tree, too.|
|Approaching the lake.|
Before the lake, I found a shaft sticking into the ground. Fortunately, I didn't fall in. But I did get close enough to have a look:
|I see iron...|
It had been some time since I found iron. I was not running out (I still had at least 50 ingots in my inventory), but I would like to replace my armour and tools soon enough. I looked back west at the sun.
|Plenty of time... right?|
I decided I would be fine. I jumped down into the shaft. I walked along for a while and placed some torches, mostly to ensure no zombies ambushed me again, but also to check for more potential iron veins. Alas, I found none. I did, however, find a crevasse leading down to a deeper cave. I decided to leave that alone.
|Deeper down is not my way.|
|Just get the ore and get out of here, Brendan.|
The sky was darkening as I climbed. Surely I had enough time to find a camp site...
|...Okay. Perhaps not.|
I was growing anxious. It was getting darker by the second now. I rushed down towards the lake, looking for some cover.
|Ah-huh! A small cavern! (looking back south and west)|
I rushed for the small alcove, desperate to get underground. I almost dived in without looking, but luckily had the foresight to place a torch first.
The 'alcove' was a deep shaft going straight down. This would not do. I needed somewhere small, secure, safe. I turned back to the lake.
|This is NOT good.|
I was beginning to panic. The moon was up proper now, and I was still wandering around the grass like a stupid cow. I was considering just digging straight down into the ground when I heard the sound I had been most dreading: a twang.
|Skeleton in the water!|
It was too late. The mobs had found me. I started to flee back north around the lake. I could hardly see. I got stuck on a ledge I could not jump up, and a creeper exploded right behind me, denting my armour and taking me down to three and a half hearts. I got myself unstuck with the help of a torch and rushed on. I could hear skeletons, zombies, and spiders behind me. Another creeper was bobbing up and down in the middle of the lake. An arrow flew past me.
I was screwed. Completely screwed. Even if I found a cavern now, I could not seal it up before the mobs overtook me. Could I just keep running all night? Doubtful. Before long a skeleton or creeper would surely ambush me from the front. And in the dark I would probably trip and get myself cornered in a ditch. I really had no options.
There was one other option, though. Once I was certain I had put some distance between me and the skeletons, I quickly opened my inventory. At first I couldn't see them and thought I had left them at my last campsite but sure enough, there they were: 25 cobblestone blocks. I quickly set them to my hotkeys and ran on.
A bit later I stopped, looked down, and started building. I raised myself on a tower 15 blocks high, jutting out in the middle of the forest. And there I sat for an entire night as the moon passed slowly overhead and the mobs congregated around me. They knew I was here, I didn't doubt it for a second. At any given time I could see a dozen zombies and skeletons, and half a dozen creepers.
|It's dark, but you can see them if you look closely.|
At least when I spent the night in the boat I was able to keep moving forward slowly. Here, I could not move at all. I stood perfectly still on my single cube, watching the moon and watching the mobs. It was going to be one of those nights...
|Go away! Go away!|
|At last! But what to do about all the creepers...|