Sunday, September 19, 2010

Days One to Four

And so it begins.
Day One
The sun rises over the ocean. I spend my first morning collecting wood for tools and a simple boat. By midday I am sailing east into the unknown. Later than I would have liked to start, but it feels good to be on my way. Quite some time passes before I see land again.

I leave my boat on the sand and head up the hill into a forest-filled valley. Back towards home, the sun is already low in the sky. I'm frustrated. Nearly a whole day gone and I'm barely a step onto new land. Still, I push on, eager to put as much room between home and me before night falls. At the back of my mind, a nagging voice reminds me that I am yet to find any coal. It is looking like it will be a very dark night. But lo!
Just in the nick of time.
By the time I mine the coal the sky is visibly darker. Just over the next hill, I spy a small cavern and rush to make camp.

Safe. For now.
I turn into my cave and decide I might as well explore for a while before the sun rises and I continue my journey. I won't go too deep, I promise myself, but I need some resources. The cave seems to go down for quite a while. Fortunately, it is not long before I find exactly what I was hoping for.
Still got it.

 I'm tempted to push deeper. It feels wrong to leave the cavern unmapped. What if there is diamond just around the next corner? No. I have to leave it. I turn back towards the entrance, and get the fright of my life.
I guess no one wants to be outside at night.

A pig! He must have followed me in. I wonder what led him to come down here? Moments later, I get my answer.
I scrambled up the stone to take the skeleton archer out, but not before he sinks a few arrows into me. Just one more arrow and he would have killed me.
So this is how the journey has gone so far: half a day wasted chopping wood, a few steps before dark, and practically all my life gone before  the first night is over. This won't do. I sulk back to my cave entrance and reconsider this entire venture. Perhaps the nomad life just isn't for me.

Day Two
When the sun rises, my spirits lift a little.
I have no idea what 'Growl' is...
I spend the morning roasting pork (not my friendly cave pig, mind you), resting, and smelting the iron I found before continuing. I opt for an iron sword. I need to protect myself out here. There will be no quick respawn if I die; the adventure will simply be over. I must prioritise weapons and armour over tools.
Once again it is midday before I set off. The hilly forest continues for sometime, with the occasional scar of dirt or clay and a few deposits of coal.
Mid-afternoon, I notice a small ditch to my right. Unable to resist, I head over. You know, just for a look.
Such a tease.
It would be challenging enough to stay away without the iron blocks taunting me so. I am still rattled from my skeleton encounter the previous night. Yet, I do need more iron. I head into the cavern slowly and carefully dam up the lava. It is still flowing, but at least I can traverse it safely. I chip out the two blocks of iron only to be greeted with rock. Two blocks of iron. I risked lava for two blocks of iron. None too impressed, I turn back towards the entrance, looking for the safest path back across the lava.
I'm not sure if I noticed the mossy cobblestone before the skeleton fired the first arrow.
You can't see it, but the dungeon is just to the right, behind the skeleton.
A dungeon. Another skeleton spawns while I frantically pull my dirt blocks out of my inventory. I build stairs and flee from the cavern as fast as I can. I'm glad they barely hurt me, but I can't help but wonder what treasures I have left behind me.
I continue through the forest for the rest of the afternoon. I am finally making good ground. It feels good. I look around me as I walk. I feel like a tourist, like an adventurer. These lands are not too different from my own, but I can see them, and that is all that matters.
But all days must end. As the sky darkens, I finally leave the woods and come out on a north-facing beach.
Feels good to be out from the trees.
There are no caverns nearby so I dig out some sand from the side of a hill and make my home. Fate, it seems, has finally chosen to like me. Not three blocks in from the surface I stumble across an iron vein.
Not quite a castle, but it will do.

I block off the entrance with dirt, set down my furnace and workbench, and dig down from the iron. I discover another deposit of iron and two more of coal. I consider digging further, but I can hear zombies moaning nearby. Instead, I return to my base and spend the night crafting tools and armour for the days ahead. Two days have passed now. I feel like I am finally getting my feet.

Day Three
After a while, a chip away some dirt to peer outside. Sure enough, the sun is beginning to rise.
Lacking any sort of journal, I decide to begin a system of signs to keep track of the days.
Simple, but effective.
And so begins days three.
I climb up the eastern hills, off the sand. I seem to be on a narrow bridge between two oceans to the north and south. But my concern is to the east. In that direction, I can see more mountains.
If Day Three could be summed up in one word, that word would be coal. Lot's of coal.
Coal Coal Coal
As the foothills turned into mountains, the coal deposits grew more and more numerous. It got to the point where I began passing them up. I have no chests out here. There is no point taking more coal than I can carry. Though, if I had an iron pick, at least I would not waste so much time mining it.
Further on, the ground flattens out. Well, 'flat' is the wrong word. It stopped rising, but it became peppered with craters and ditches.
Tree in a hole!
I was being careful, but clearly not careful enough. I took one step and the world rushed upwards.
I was in here now, so I thought I might as well do a quick recon for resources.
Yet more coal and a bit more iron.
These could be useful...
I could tell that this was 'one of those' cavern networks. The kind that could go on forever. The kind that could house gold or redstone or even diamond if one looked long enough. I tuned a few corners, promising I would put down just one more torch before I turned back. Ten torches later, I became aware of what I was doing. I sighed, turned around, and climbed back to the surface.
What's down there? I'll never know.
Back on the surface, I came across another small cavern beside a beach as the sun began to set.
I wanted to begin the next day early and not miss a moment of sunlight. In the waning light, I gathered some sand and smelted it in my furnace. With a couple of windows, I would know the moment the sun rose.
Safe for another night.
I dug for a small while and unearthed some iron, but I spent most of the night crafting (I used three whole stone picks on coal that day), smelting, and resting. I used all my iron on some armour, a helmet, and a pick. I looked out of my hovel as I worked, gazing at the stars. I wondered how far from home I had come. I wondered how much further I had to go.

Day Four
Time to get going.
 The moment the sky lightened, I dug myself out, and was on my way. I did place a 'Day Four' sign, but my photo seems to have been misplaced. Several arrows were scattered outside, proving I was right to close off my entrance. I headed east, and continued walking.
A small drop gave way into a lake. I decided it was shallow enough to swim and dived in. Seconds later, I heard a second splash followed by a kind of 'ssss'
My iron sword saved my life. Just. I packed away the gunpowder and continued on.
The terrain was definitely changing now. Mountains were steeper and trees were sparser. I climbed yet another hill, and knew I was definitely somewhere new now.
Now that is a mountain.
I decided to go right over the top... after a cursory look underneath. I found a lot of coal (of which I only took a third) and a handful of iron blocks. And then I began to climb.
Looking back west and north.
Whaddup, sky chicken?
As I began descending the other side (far steeper and frightening than the climb up), it became apparent that this insane hill was just the border of a new land. The other side was unlike anything I had ever seen.
This place just isn't right...
...but it sure is pretty.
And then, blocking my eastward path, was this:
A miner's playground. Pity I am no longer a miner.
Though no longer a miner, I could not ignore the beauty of this mountain. Absolutely amazing. I had walked four days to see this. I would have walked four weeks. Finally, I felt like I was getting somewhere, like I understood why I was undertaking this adventure. For moments like this. I stood for full minutes, just looking.
And, timely, the sun began to set. Using the glass left over from the previous night, I snuggled beneath the beautiful mountain and couldn't help but wait for the next day and the new mountains it would bring.
Good night.


  1. That last shot, especially,was beautiful. Moments of discovery like that are really one of the best things the game has to offer.

  2. :O So awesome. Your way of writing is astonishing, I feel like I'm reading a book or something. I'll keep reading, this is better than any book I have read.

  3. I'm just starting Minecraft, and I dont intend to look up any literature for help. I do, however, intend to keep reading this. I'll learn things about the game without anyone holding my hand, and get what looks to be an amazing story in the process.

  4. lovely. you should publish this!

  5. gorgeous pictures and amazing plot! I love the idea of exploring the world as far as you can go!