Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day Eighteen

As I waited for the sun to rise, as I do every night, I decided to do a spot of mining. Usually I don't record much about these quick adventures as there is nothing exciting to say. I spiral down until I hear mobs or find a cavern and then I stop. As I mined on the seventeenth night, though, I made a fairly important discovery: I was camping not on a mountain so much as an overhang.

Oh my.
Hello down there!
So that happened. I was a fair way up. I leaned out and stuck a torch on the wall so I could find the hole in the morning when I looked back up. That said, I had no idea what side of the mountain this actually was I had spiraled down. I headed back to camp and started a second (equally fruitless) tunnel digging down into the center of the mountain. Another quick diversion before we start the day proper, look at this trippy photo of this second tunnel I took while doing some crafting:

It gets weirder the more you look.
And now you have an insight to how I keep myself entertained at night. Moving on, let's start the day:

On we go.
Burning zombies.
Now how to get down...
I ended up having to walk to the northern edge of this O-shaped ditch and walking down into the center of it. It was the only path off the mountain that was walkable. Fortunately, a convenient hole let me go on my way.

Halfway down.
A way out.
I looked back up at the mountain, but could not spot the torch I had placed from my failed tunnel. I have no idea where it actually was.

Looking back.
Oh well. Moving on, it looked like it was time for another boat trip. Fine with me. Beats more mountains.

I swung around the southern side of a cluster of small islands. A river split off to the south between some more mountains, and the land gradually worked around to the east in front of me.

Looking south-east from the boat.
River to the south.
Islands to the north
When land did appear to the east, it looked to be no less mountainous than the past two continents. Oh well, another day of exhausting but exhilarating terrain, then. As I approached the coast, the very first monument did not disappoint.

That is kind of cool. Like an ant-eater.
The alcove was so deep that the sunlight failed to penetrate it. At its heart was a wide waterfall.

A bit too dark..
There we go.
Doubly predictable, I moved through the hole to the south.

Looking south-east. First of several bizarre 'gravel towers' on the grass.
North-east from same position.
And my path east (you can't see the caverns right beneath me).
I climbed the small hill and continued east. To the north, the mountain was like a sheer wall blocking off the north of the world. To the south were hills through which I occasionally spotted a blue ocean. For a while I was balancing on no more than a few cubes width tracing the northern wall, looking down into grassy pits. 

As this morning progressed, I had the sense I was walking over a giant ant hill. For one, the odd gravel towers remind me of termite mounds. For two, both the ground underneath and the wall to the north were pocketed with caverns that looked like they all wormed back into a honeycombing maze. Of course, I can't say for sure if they did indeed do this.

Looking back west.
Strange tower on the horizon.
The norther wall.
Tunnels underfoot.
And tunnels in the wall.
Looking back west across the wall.
What a crazy tower...
Ocean to the south, me straddling around the north.
Looking north-east at what, finally, seems to be the rear corner of the great wall.
Looking back south-west. Look at the crazy tree!
Dear me, that was a lot of pictures without words! The point is, I was following this wall for quite some time. Don't forget that the 'wall' is still the same mountain with the ant-eater snout looming over the coast.

Looking back *west* at the rear of the wall-slash-ant-eater mountain *and* the afternoon sun. That is how long I was walking beside it.
The next mountain to get over.
It looked intimidating, but getting over the next mountain was actually surprisingly easy. I didn't have to remove or place a single cube. Beyond the hill, though, was an even bigger surprise. You see, there is a specific landmark I had hoped to see on this journey, a landmark that I have never spied in any Minecraft map of mine. In fact, the only place I have seen such a landmark is the video on Towards Dawn's About page, and it can probably be blamed at least in part for me thinking this crazy adventure was a good idea in the first place. As I climbed this hill, I had not so much given up on finding this landmark as I had forgotten that it ever hypothetically existed. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the outside lavafall!

Oh. My. God.
Oh, and amazing lands to the north, too, but I'll get to that later. First: lavafall!
Perhaps you have seen one of these in your own lands. I have not. I have created them before, but never have I seen a naturally formed lavafall above ground. In fact, even below ground I have perhaps never seen such a tall, controlled flow of lava. It was utterly beautiful. Perhaps the most staggering single bit of nature I had yet seen in my travels. For full minutes I just stood and watched it. 

I climbed the hill south just to take more pictures.
 Absolutely amazing. It was some time before I could tear myself away from the majesty of it. In hindsight, I wish I had made an early camp for the night so I could get pictures of it at night time. Can you imagine? The entire side of the mountain lit up! Alas, I did not think of it at the time and the east called me forth. Or something. The fact it is making me all faux-poetic should go someway to stress how utterly, utterly brilliant this was.

Moving on. I circled back around to the northern side of the lavafall's mountain, where the hill seemed more climbable. In the shade of a great overhang was another gravel tower.

What ARE you?
As mentioned earlier, the northern lands were quite breathtaking, also, even if they didn't have lavafalls.

Looking north-west. Luckiest sheep ever, to live in such a valley.
Halfway there...
Looking back west. Amazing.
I sense that I am quite high up...
The mountain flattened out above just above the clouds. The view was excellent, but getting down looked like it might be a challenge. Perhaps I should have gone around the southern side of the lavafall afterall.

South from the mountaintop.
North over a valley.
East. This doesn't look promising...
To the north, the mountain horseshoed around and looked like its decent may be slightly less sheer. Also...

I walked back around to the northern prong and jumped carefully down from cube to cube.

Unfortunately, this part of the story is quite sad. I considered omitting it (along with the above screenshot)  and pretending it never happened. Truly, I would like to wish it didn't happen. What happened is, I wanted to get beside the pig to get a photo (and to ask it of the ways of life, of course). Sadly, in doing so, I accidentally hit it with my spade and it fell. Fell and died. Died because of me. I killed the Mountain Pig. Mountain Guru Pig? I'll never know because my foolishness killed it.

I truly felt quite horrible about this. If I had not undertaken my adventure those eighteen mornings ago, this pig would still be alive on its mountain. I guess it is impossible to not affect the lands you exist in. After I regathered my senses, I jumped the last few steps to the ground and unintentionally picked up too lots of pork. Truly, I am a horrible person.

Looking back up at the mountain. Sans pig :(.
Moving on, I approached another ocean as the moon began to rise.

Mushrooms! I did not see those before looking at this picture. I must harvest them in the morning!
It was time to make camp. I would have liked to put as much distance as possible between me and the site of my crime, but instead I would have to sleep directly beneath it. That is as good a punishment as any. I started to dig out a hovel, then noticed yet another awesome view to the north. I dashed off to take a quick picture.

Looking north-west.
As the stars came out I finally sealed myself in.

I set up my workbench and my furnace and looked through my inventory: had a collected anything today in need of smelting?

No iron. Just two bits of pork from a pig I murdered.

I considered putting them in a chest and burying them in the ground. I considered leaving them in my inventory for the rest of my trip as a constant reminded of what my carelessness had wrought. If I had spotted those mushrooms outside then perhaps I would have acted differently. But in the end, I just did what was most practical.

You did not die in vein, Mountain Pig.
I ate one roasted piece to regain the health still smarting from the previous morning's creeper. And kept the other for later. Though, perhaps in the morning I will bury it. Maybe even place a memorial over the top. Yes. I think that is what i will do. 


  1. Poor mountain pig; he climbed where no other (non-guru) pig dared to climb and paid the price.

    Also not to ruin the mystery or anything, but the gravel towers occur when gravel spawns unsupported on the bottom of an overhang/cliff, then physics makes them drop to the ground in a tower. They always weird me out a bit too.

  2. That didn't ruin the mystery at all! That is actually quite fascinating! How did you figure that out?

  3. I think tomorrow's sign will need a special note

  4. Son-of-Mountain-Guru-Pig was probably sick and in pain, sitting in agony on the side of that cliff, wanting to jump but just too frightened.

    You set it free. It is in a place where pain doesn't matter: your belly.

  5. By day,a student. By night, he journeys... TOWARDS DAWN!

  6. Love the blog, keep going!

    I recently created a new world. And can see a lava fall from the spawn point. It is, however, no where near as spectacular as the one that you found.

  7. P.S. Have you ever considered an entirely above ground existence? Instead of digging each night, make ladders and find a tree. Climb into the tree and create a little platform. It makes finding a place to stay in gently rolling hills during the last few minutes of the day a little easier.

    This method requires a bit more wood... But most of the time that is not a problem.

  8. I actually discovered the gravel tower thing by walking into a new area I'd never been in before and seeing the gravel spawn and drop off in the distance. I had been trying to figure it out, so it was a real satisfying "AH HA!" moment.

  9. I must say that this blog is a highlight every day. I have yet to encounter a natural above ground lavafall too. That one looks fascinating. And with every valley you leave behind I think to myself "man, that would have been a great spot for a village!"

    Great blog!

    Keep 'em coming!

  10. I actually live on a mountain island which has a lavafall running down the inside. The pic astounded me, because your mountain/lavafall looks exactly like mine except twice the size :)

    It'a true, lavafalls at night look amazing. I really wish you'd taken a picture of that one.