Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The First Fifty Days

Day Fifty

I spent my first night on land at my workbench. I made new tools; I unloaded old junk; I devoured several bowls of mushroom stew and crafted several more. Through the night, several spiders watched through the house's windows, but moreorless behaved themselves and made little noise. When I looked up from my workbench, sunlight was creeping around the village.

In return for their hospitality, I left the NPCs my trusty workbench.
Might have left a little too soon.
The villagers were out and about early. Wading through the water, walking through the fields. Yet, they seemed not interested in me in the slightest as I stepped into the water and walked off away from the first civilisation I had seen in my long journey. For all I know, it might be the last time, too.

Goodbye, my friends.
Beyond the water was a treeless plain and, in the distance, what looked like the beginning of a desert beneath the sun.

River slithering off to the south.
Desert ahead.
To the north, the river opened up into what looked like an ocean (though, I seem to have taken no photos of it). I floundered across ad climbed into the desert proper.

Looks like a mountain ahead.
The northern ocean.
The desert ended before it even reached the mountain and gave way for a dense forest.

Through the forest, to the south of the spire.
Nearly fell!
More mountains ahead.
The forest gave way even quicker than the desert and left me at the base of several large mountains.

Looking north.
Up and over.
Looking back west at the woods and the spire.
And the path ahead to the east.
A plain and some lava to the north-east.
 I headed down the eastern side of the mountain and onto the plain. Now, in the past, I would have had no trouble thinking ahead and walking around the northern side of the next mountain. However, as I walked right up to the mountain, it would seem I still had my sealegs about me. I was stumped. I remembered coming across mountains in my path before, to be sure, but I couldn't for the life of me remember how I used to get past them. Back in the day. Back before the ocean. So instead, I ended up routing myself in a cul-de-sac of sheer cliffs and had to work my way up the walls.

Looking east and south as I got myself stuck.
Yep. Good job, me.
 With a shovel and a few replaced dirt cubes, I eventually worked my way out of my predicament and looked across an east-running mountain range and a southern plateau.

From whence I came.
Where I'm going.
Instead of going over the next mountains, I walked around to the south, only to be confronted with an ocean.

Ho hum.
Looking south.
So about getting down...
I jumped before I thought about it. Then, somewhere in mid-air, I wondered: what if they changed the falling-into-water mechanics in a recent update? What if it is too shallow? I had this horrible, time-freezing moment where I wondered if I had just destroyed my journey from a mindless leap from a cliff. Fortunately, I had nothing to fear, and I landed in the water with hardly a scratch.

That was a dumb thing to do.
Going east again.
The shoreline seemed too steep to be worth the climb, and it looked like the ocean wrapped around to the east just ahead anyway. I didn't want to, but it looked like I had little choice but to go back to sea. Still, I was not keen to get back in a boat. I would walk as far as possible before I crafted another wooden prison.

Rounding the bend. Sure enough, the ocean keeps going.
But look! A swamp just ahead!
I decided to do away with a boat and swam across towards the swamp.

Why hello down there.
Sun slowly setting back to the west.
And into the swamp I go.
More mushrooms (though I strangely don't seem very hungry today).
I seemed to be on something of a peninsula, with the swamp continuing on to the north, but the ocean wrapping around the west, south, and east. Fortunately, though, yet more land was visible off to the east. It was getting late, but I decided I had time for one last swim.

Looking east.
Plenty of time.
I made it to the far shore just as the sky began to darken. I climbed the banks and, for what seemed like the first time in an age, pulled out my stone and built a pillar on which to sleep.

Looking back west at the swamp from the next island.
I made a wide platform (3x3 instead of 2x2--I've had some worrying glitches of late where the block I start a session on isn't the block I end the previous session. Don't want any late-night tumbles!) and set up my smelter and workbench. Not that there was much I needed to craft after such a trouble-free day. As the moon rose, I looked back west. I couldn't help but wonder what the villagers were getting up to.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day Forty-Nine


I was so excited to get out of my boat and go to shore. I did not even wait for the zombies to catch fire; the moment it was light enough to see my surroundings, I went ashore.

Waiting for the sun.
From whence I came.
Up we go!
Oh man. Oh man.
Goodbye, my trusty boat.
And off we go!
Before me was a steep-yet-climbable hill crowned in conifers (or so the Minecraft Wiki tells me they are). I passed a herd of sheep as I climbed towards the trees.

Looking back north-west as I climb.
And into the trees.
The forest was thick and, as far as i could tell, quite wide. Through the trees directly ahead of me I watched as a pack of wolves took out some sheep. I kept a wary eye on them, but they seemed disinterested in me.

Continuing through the forest.
The forest continued for some time. As I progressed I passed several more packs of wolves darting to and fro. Some came up to me, but none attacked. Still, I kept my sword handy just in case. I didn't want to make the first strike and anger the rest of them, but I didn't want them sneaking up on me, either.

More wolves.
 Coming over a hill, I hit a river slithering off to the north and south.

Looking east across the river.
And winding back up to the north.
As I trekked on past the river, I noticed for the first time how my hunger was dropping. Sitting in my boat for a week, I had not needed food at all. But now, walking constantly, it was dropping fast. I already had a rather plentiful store of mushrooms, but I kept an eye out for more as I would certainly be eating much more stew every night now.

Easy there. Just want the mushroom.
I kept walking and the forest kept going. Occasionally the trees were so dense I had to punch through the trees, but overall it was a fairly relaxed walk. I wasn't complaining. As long as I didn't have to get in another boat the forest could go forever for all I cared that morning.

Eventually, the trees parted and made way for what I first feared was another ocean. As I got closer, though, I noticed the murky water and overgrown weeds of my first swamp.

Swamp ahead.
I could either head off to the south and through the swamp, or fast track across the water to the greener land on the other side. I chose the latter and waded out into the water.

A tree half-in and half-out of the swamp.
Muddy ground where I came ashore.
And some brown mushrooms!
Looking south towards the swamp.
I climbed up a hill away from the water and found myself on a vast, open plateau. Although, another forest of conifers was visible to the north.

Looking east.
Another forest to the north.
And a river slithering back towards the north-west.
I followed the river east, with the forest halting on the northern bank. Then, as I crested a hill, I saw something I have never before seen. Sure, I had never before seen a forest of conifers or a swamp before, either, but this was different. This was so unlike anything I had ever seen before that I actually stopped walking and just... looked.

It was a roof.

Oh. My. God.
I had found a village. Civilization. But more than that, after walking for forty-nine days, I had found people. As I came down the other side of the hill, I could see one in the watchtower, bouncing up and down. Other shapes were moving beyond the windows.

I was ecstatic. I wanted to run forward and embrace my new friends. But were they even friendly? I had no idea. I forced myself to proceed slowly and keep my sword drawn. The person in his watchtower continued to bounce.

As I came by the first door on the right, a person in white opened the door and came out to greet me. Without an invite, I walked right into his house. I was inside a house. How novel!

 Back outside,  I walked down the main (and only street) and checked out the rest of the town. On the left was a smaller house with two more folk in it.

The house on the left.
The main road.
Next, on the right, was the watchtower I had seen from outside town. I climbed a ladder to the roof and met with the bouncing watchman.

Looking off the eastern side of the tower, I saw that beyond the well, the town continued out into a lake.

Looking west.
I went back down and explored this wetter side of town, where the locals seemed quite content to step out of a house and into the water.

I was so thrilled to have found this town. To have found these people. I looked east at the continuing expanse of grass and trees, and I didn't want to move on. I wanted to stay here. With the silent people.

Fortunately, as I had these thoughts, the sky above me grew darker.

I would stay in the village for the night. And, for the first time in forty-nine days, I would be safe in the knowledge that I was safe. I went back to the first house, with the person in white. They seemed to have no qualms with me staying, and I watched the sun set from the safety of their home.

Several times over the past few days I have been tempted to stop this journey in one way or another, but never did I expect this. Never did I expect to find others. Now I have, and now I want to stay here, in the safety of the village, away from the vast and lonely expanses. In the morning, it will be my fiftieth day of walking. A fitting number, if any, to stop walking.

But I only just started walking again. After my week at sea, I was keen not to stop so soon. In the morning I would leave the village behind, I was already sure of this. But oh how my answer might have been different if one more week of walking passed before I stumbled upon this village and its content residents!

I would just have to enjoy it while I can.