Friday, September 24, 2010

Day Nine

 Wasting time rearranging my inventory, I heard a cow moo. I dug away at the wall, peered outside, and sure enough it was time to move on. I packed up my workbench and furnace, left a pile of coal and stone and dirt in a chest, placed my sign, and set off.

A nice view to wake up to.
Exploring this valley before moving on did not cross my mind until I was well on my way. A pity, as I had precious few hours before the sun set the previous evening. It was a decision (or un-decision) I came to regret as the morning progressed and the terrain grew stubborn in its mundane-ness. There is really nothing worth reporting from the first few hours of the morning. There were hills and forests, but nothing particularly fascinating or new. Still, for the sake of full disclosure, here are a few pics before I get to the exciting adventures of the afternoon:

Leaving the valley behind.
Some trees...
Some more trees...
Some hills...
Some more hills and a camera-shy cow. Hello, cow!
As I said, not the most fascinating morning of the trip. But then I reached the coast, and the day got a bit more interesting. A sand bank connected the continent to a southern land not on my path, but the sandy beach also wrapped around to the east. I worked my way down off the hill and followed the coast.

Looking south.
The ground rose again to my right (the north), with several chasms gouged out along the way.

Looking north. Perhaps the ocean level has sunk?
I was forced back off the beach for a time as the land rose to a high, narrow bridge.

A straightforward path.
Across the far side I descended back to the coast. On my way, I walked by a hole. Absentmindedly, I peered into it. Sand. No big deal. But mingled amongst the sand was another kind of block: cobblestone. As I had only encountered such an occurence only once (if you could even call that an encounter), it took some minutes before I comprehended what this was. A dungeon. A dungeon half exposed to the surface beneath some sand. I could clearly see the treasure chest from where I stood on the grass.

I considered just leaving it. Nothing could possibly be in that chest worth the risk of death. But then I heard the moaning of zombies and had an idea. Pulling my trusty spade from my inventory, I set to exposing the entire dungeon to sunlight. 
I was pretty proud of this idea, if I do say so myself. Any zombies that spawned would instantly catch on fire. While I was considering just how clever I was, I dug out the block I was standing on and fell into the dungeon, right beside a zombie. 

Well that was stupid.
He was on fire, but this did not prevent him from hitting me a bit before he died. I hastily dug a staircase back up the sand, and with a bit more care, continued to expose the dungeon.

The final result.
The chest held nothing worth taking. Though, i did take the pig saddle in the vein hope I would one day be able to use it. The zombies did not continue to spawn, however, and I refused to go back down to break the spawner. As I turned and began to walk away, I almost felt bad. These zombies would be spawning forever, (un)living a brief life of burning agony. But considering the times zombies have nearly ended my adventure, I wasn't going to loose any sleep over it.
Moving on, I soon found myself back on the sand and progressively running out of land.

A sand bridge I actually get to walk across!
Back west, the sun is getting low...
Sure enough, I eventually ran out of ground altogether. The afternoon was getting on by this stage, but it still seemed too early to set up camp. Instead, I set down my workbench and crafted a boat. Surely I would still have enough sunlight left when I landed at the next continent to dig a small cave. I set sail and maneuvered my way around a series of little islands. A larger continent was visible to the south, but nothing was appearing on the easter horizon.

Little islands.
Southern lands.
I pushed on, but no continent appeared. The sun was now perilously low.

Okay. This isn't funny anymore.
At this stage. I should have just pulled up to one of the small islands. But, no, I was convinced the next continent would be just over the horizon. Any minute now...

This... This is not good.
An ocean. A literal ocean. I could not see land in any direction now, and the moon was above the horizon. All those past 'oceans' I had traversed were mere lakes compared to this. Back west, the sun was now submerged beneath the water. I was out of options. I had no choice but to sit back and pass the night in my little boat. Can zombies swim? I have no idea. I refused to sleep a wink. Instead, I spent the entire night looking north, south, east, west, and north again. I would not let any swimming monsters of any kind ambush me. Occasionally I would look back up at the moon as it crawled tortuously across the sky.

The longest night. Ever.
Impatiently, I nudged the boat forward now and then, but did not want to risk running aground in the middle of the night. To the south, I could just make out a bank of sand. Also, movement:

Not sure if you can see the creepers, but there are two of them! :s
At this stage, it is fair to say I was freaking out. Two creepers! Could they see me? Could they swim? Could I swing my sword while in the boat? I've never fought from a boat before; I have no idea! The moon still had some way to go across the sky. I spent the remained of the night with my crosshair centered on the two creepers as they waddled back and forth in the shallows, certain that if I looked away for even a second they would dive into the ocean proper and explode beneath my boat.

For future reference: I am not getting in a boat in the afternoon if I can not see my destination.

To be continued...


  1. Great story so far. I'm very much looking forward to reading more of your adventure. This is, after all, what makes Minecraft great: The sense of discovery!

  2. I must say, this business on the ocean is the most interesting part of your journey so far. Looking forward to more.

  3. An interesting approach. You are constantly looping a day1/day2 experience in ever-changing environments. I certainly wouldn't have the nerve for it. My minecraft home is behind thick walls, metal doors, and a lava moat! ;)

  4. I hope you will post the Cartograph map when you finish your journey.

  5. One of the best things about Minecraft is the environment, and your narrative brings it to life well. The narrative is how I settle on a map; if there is something compelling in the first look-around I stay. When the story seems like it should come to an end I generate a new map.

  6. This is an awesome story. Makes me want to do this my self.

  7. RPS sent my eyes hither, and between this, Quinns' Mine the Gap and my brief delvings at the weekend I'm sold. As soon as I get paid (yeah, I know, but a tenner is coffee and cigarettes until payday, and randomly attacking pigs IRL really pisses off the locals) I'm gonna buy this game. In the mean time, keep writing! One of the few criticisms I've seen levelled at MC so far has been the lack of narrative, and I can't help but think that that's completely missing the point of the experience: you make your own narrative, and while it may be *like* that of everyone else, it's never the same.

    My story (and this was within hours of the free weekend starting): I got lost. I know, it's easy to do, but my lair is easily found by daylight from my spawn point - there's a distinctive diagonal soil/rock/soil/rock formation - but at night, with no torches visible from the outside, it's not so obvious. So I pointed myself in what I thought was the right direction and ran. And ran. And thought, "it was never this far, surely?"

    So I stopped. Beach, hills, zombies, creepers. But the sea was on my left, and it was shallow. So I waded out a ways and looked back. They weren't following! I was safe for the night.

    Come sunrise, and still truly lost, I figured I'd follow the coast back - I could see the beach from my spawn point, I reckoned I'd be able to see either my stripy home, or at least some other familiar landmark - so off I walked.

    Many and splendid were the sights I saw that day, but none spoke to me of home. So that night (being new to the game and afeart of delving into the chthonic depths ill-equipped) I dug what I can only describe as a grave into the hillside and drew the earth up over me, that I might pass the night safe from the depredations of the ravening hordes that would surely fall upon me should I find myself under the darkling skies during the hours when all sane folk were safely home...

    On wakin and viewing my surroundings I admitted to myself that I did not know which way to go. Reasoning that I had seen the sun rise over the beach when first I spawned, I chose to walk east. Many days I wandered. Slowly, my desperation overcame my timidity and I found myself venturing ever deeper into the caverns I often stumbled upon. Many times I fell, and despaired at the anguished cries of the poor unfortunates who haunted these lightless places, never to look again upon the rising sun. But always I was fortunate - coal I found, and iron, from which I could make tools to aid me in my travels, and weapons to protect me, and light to guide my footsteps. And then, in the deepest of these labyrinths, when I no longer knew whether it was night or day, nor if I were not also one of those poor benighted souls doomed to tread these nether paths for eternities uncounted, I found something wond'rous: a rock shot through with veins of glowing red! I had heard tell of such things, but had thought them myth, or if true only to be found in the deepest antediluvian depths; and yet here, before me, was my salvation. O sweet life! O bounteous Earth! At last, I would see my home again!

  8. A fine complement to Quinns' Mine the Gap, and an equally fine effort on its own. Looking forward to more! :D (me = also coming off a link from RPS)

  9. Hey everybody!

    Thanks for all the super comments. I'm glad you're all enjoying the adventure. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you keep following as this unfolds. :)

    And yes, I will certainly be planning on putting up the Cartograph map when I am done; though, being on a Mac, that may take some working out.


  10. For Mac Cartographer

    This link -
    From this Forum -

    It works and is simple for the Mac. Saves the maps in your home directory.

    Loving this journal. I did this a while back and found some amazing things like the waterfall into the ocean and the island of cactus.

  11. @John,

    Thanks! I hadn't seen the mac version on the forum when I looked. It is painting my map now. Will upload it later today. :)