Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day Fifty-Six

I caught the faintest glimpse of the sun cresting the horizon before a sudden downpour hid it from view. I would not see it for the rest of the day.

Worse still, the many zombies and skeletons wandering around beneath my pillar refused to catch alight. There was nothing for it but to lower myself down and pick them off with my bow.

Once on the ground two more zombies came out from beneath a tree, and I cleaved them with my sword. Looking around, there was no sign of Dusk. She hadn't caught up to me during the night. Now she was probably out there, in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a thunderstorm. I briefly considered camping out for a day and waiting for her, but ultimately I decided I had to continue on. She would catch up to me if she caught up to me. Besides, there was more ocean ahead anyway.

I got in a boat I had crafted overnight and set sail. Ahead of me, the ocean continued to the east, but a desert followed along just to the north. A skeleton was bobbing along in the water, too. I exchanged arrows with him, and ended up crashing into a lillypad.

I swam ashore, drenching wet, and pulled myself up into the desert. Of course, it wasn't raining in the desert itself, and the downpour bizarrely stopped just over the water. But the sky was still overcast and would not show me the sun. Still, I was fairly certain I still knew which way was east as I continued on. It wasn't long before I spied the now-familiar shape of wooden roofs in the distance.

I entered the village through two fields of crops. I was getting a bit sick of eating mushroom stew and decided the locals wouldn't mind if I took some wheat to make some bread. I harvested that wheat that had fully grown and, of course, replanted the seeds in their place. No one seemed to mind. In fact, the village was awfully quiet. One lone village left his house and stood by the eastern path out of town as I walked through, but otherwise the village may have been deserted.

The lone villager.
Standing by to see me off.
Looking back west over the village.
I walked on into the desert. It looked like it might go on for some time. At one point, I looked down and found myself atop a somewhat precarious sand-bridge.

Glad that isn't lava beneath me.
Some extra-high bamboo.
The desert ended with a thick forest, where the rain still came down heavy.

The hissing of raindrops turning to steam alerted me of this lava long before I saw it.
I continued through the woods, occasionally punching out undergrowth to get through. After a while, I spied what seemed to be a small opening into a cave. I was wrong about the 'small' bit.

While I was looking down, a spider sneaked up behind me. Fortunately I heard it before it pounced, potentially saving myself from a perilous drop.

The chasm from another angle.
 A little way down into the hole, another path went back up to the east to come out beneath a massive tree. I walked down and through it. Partially to get some coal; partially just because it was a really cool path.

Just beyond the tree the forest ended with a large, shallow lake and, beyond that, another desert.

Looking south. Snow-capped trees on the horizon.
East into the desert.
Somehow found myself on a rise looking over steep sand dunes.
I worked my way across the dunes towards the forest. A small cave offered up some coal. As I mined it, the timeless, overcast sky started to darken outside.

Forest ahead (and small cave to the right)
Cave goes nowhere.
Just take the coal and leave.
And worked up the sand into the forest, where the rain still pelted down. The sky was darkening, but I decided I had a bit more time to make some progress. I moved on into trees, and it wasn't long before the heavy raindrops became  soft snowfall.

Through the forest.
Rain becomes snow.
'Soft' might not be accurate. I found myself in one of the thickest blizzards of my adventure.

Looking east across a valley.
Sun setting to the west.
The snowfall was beautiful. As the sun set, I built my tower, baked some bread with my borrowed wheat, and watched the blizzard over the treetops.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day Fifty-Five

After a break for Christmas, New Years, and an interstate move, I returned to my nomad atop his pillar between a desert and a forest. Dusk, my trusty canine companion I had only the briefest meetings with before climbing my tower, sat obediently below me, seemingly unfazed by the zombies and creepers lurking around.

Looking east through the forest ahead.

And back west across the desert.
 Off in the desert, not long after taking this picture, an enderman walked out from behind a cactus. Without thinking, I looked at him. It was a dumb thing to do, an uncaring thing. We held eye contact and he started trembling uncontrollably. I pulled out my sword and stepped back, expecting him to appear on my platform. But, no. Fortunately, he appeared at the base.

And then I did something unforgivably stupid; I looked at him again.

Damn it.
And so we spent the rest of the night like this. I thought if I held his gaze until sunrise, he would ignite and be gone. The night dragged on and on, and several times I nearly forgot myself and wanted to turn to check the moon's position. But I didn't and, eventually, the world brightened around the enderman and the nearby zombies were engulfed in flames.

Why you no burn, enderman?
But he didn't burn. There was nothing for it. I would just have to go down there. And then, as though I'd taken on a challenge to continuously outdo my own stupidity, I pressed 'Q' instead of 'W' and threw my sword at the ground.

There was nothing else for it. I pulled back on the bow string and let fly with an arrow. With a strange 'pop!' the enderman disappeared. I braced, waiting for him to appear right beside me... but he didn't. He didn't appear anywhere. He just... popped. I dismantled my tower and slowly went down towards the ground, but the enderman seemed to have gone for good.

Well, there was nothing else for it. I picked up my sword, placed my sign, and tried to put the whole stupid event behind me.

I set off across the mountain with Dusk at my heels. First challenge was to get off this mountain. Every side was almost sheer, but the north-eastern corner at least partially softened my fall.

Lava lake and frozen lake amongst the woods to the north as I climb off the mountain.
I managed to get down without injury, but heard a loud yelp behind me. Dusk wasn't quite so lucky. But she (I decided Dusk is a girl, btw) seemed alright and we continued on. To the east the forest climbed steadily upwards and, in the distance, snow peppered the top of the trees.

Caves wormed off to the north, beneath a rise in the land.
That... is a rather large tree.
I think Dusk likes the snow.
The snow and the woods ended together with a large plateau sweeping off north, south, and east. A large flock of sheep strolled across it.

Out of the woods.
I came over a rise and into a swamp beyond a small lagoon.

The swamp was a mere slither of land before an ocean stretched off to the horizon.

It was here, on the edge of the ocean, that I realised there was one crucial factor I hadn't thought about when I fed Dusk that bone: wolves can't ride boats.

I built my own boat and pushed off. Looking behind me, Dusk was following, but she was a lot slower than my own boat. It didn't take long for her to drag behind.

I couldn't wait for her. I'd wasted too much time that morning with the enderman, and the sun was already dipping past its crest. If I went on without her, she could catch up over night while I camped. I hope.

Goodbye for now, Dusk.
Unfortunately, the ocean turned out to be quite a large one. Dusk would be swimming for a while.

Land eventually appeared on the horizon, but it crawled off to the north. To the east, the ocean continued alongside a beach. I considered stopping and waiting for Dusk to catch up, but for all I knew she had returned to her home and given up. I sailed on.

Land to the north and east.
Following the beach east.
The island stopped but the ocean continued. I sailed on.

No sign of Dusk, but dusk is getting close.
After sailing for a while longer, another swamp appeared on the horizon. But much closer was a new hazard: lillypads.

There's like green little mines.
If I hit one too hard, my boat would be destroyed and I'd be forced to swim to shore. I weaved in and out around them and got pretty close to land before hitting the very last lillypad.

Nearly there.
I waded ashore as the sky yellowed behind me. Still no sign of Dusk, though. She had a long swim ahead of her.

I could hear zombies moaning and skeletons clanking before the moon begun to rise. There must have been a cave not deep below the surface. I built my pillar and, looking down, the island was already infested with mobs. I wondered if I would ever see Dusk again.