Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Minecraft fortress

(click images to embiggen)

Note: This is the second dispatch from my latest Minecraft world. The first is here.

This is a cold land, but rich. My crops grow well, despite the occasional snowstorms. My livestock seem to need little care. So I've had a lot of time on my hands.

Too much time, probably, since I've started an absolutely massive stone fortress. It really is pretty ridiculous, isn't it? I can't even claim that it's for protection, since these walls enclose only a small part of my homestead. With the time I've spent building those vast towers, I could have enclosed the whole place with sturdy walls.

Indeed, I'm still having immense trouble with creepers. The other day, one sneaked inside my stone wall and ran up behind me. Only at the last minute did I hear it hiss, and the explosion tossed me clear across the room. Luckily, I've taken to wearing armor, even inside. But I was badly injured, even so.

And I'm still living in a shack, little more than a lean-to against the south wall, while I spend my time creating this monstrosity! It really is pretty ridiculous, don't you think? I haven't even explored this land, not very far, not further than I can see from the top of one of my towers. I've just been laying stone.

Whenever I run out of stone, I head into the caverns below for more - and for more coal, too, which is the bigger problem by far. I've got lots of trees, so I've used some wood to fire my forges, but that seems wasteful. Yes, trees are a renewable resource, while coal isn't. But I still hate to burn wood.

Besides, I need to explore the caverns, anyway. They are really extensive. Previously, I mentioned that deep crevasse that bisects the upper caverns. But I'm beginning to wonder if it's just one crevasse or two. Or more. I don't know. It gets really confusing, as those caverns twist and turn.

I've gotten to the bottom of at least one crevasse, maybe more. The problem is that I haven't been able to walk along the bottom. It's not just the obstacles, but the darkness that's a problem. I can use torches to light my way, but there are countless dark ledges above me, and those ledges can pretty much rain monsters.

Again, creepers are my biggest problem. I've had creepers drop out of the dark almost right on top of me. And I've been badly injured a few times there, too. Again, my iron armor has saved my life, but I've had far too many close calls. Frequently, I've had to stay holed up in the caverns until I recovered enough to limp on home.

For a long time, skeletons were a problem, too. I couldn't seem to find bowstring material, so an archer on a ledge or across a ravine could shoot at me with impunity. It's not that I like spiders all that much, but their webbing can be very useful. Unfortunately, spiders don't seem to be very common in this cold land.

When I got deep enough, I discovered another danger. There's lava just everywhere. Even without monsters, it would be very, very dangerous to explore the depths of these caverns. But as it is, pretty much anything could knock me off a narrow path into lava, if I'm not careful. And my armor wouldn't help me at all, then.

So I've had to be very, very careful. There are caverns stretching for miles and miles, lava and waterfalls everywhere, and multiple levels, all the way up to the surface. Even without making a misstep into lava, even without the ever-present danger of creepers and other monstrosities, I could get hopelessly lost at even a moment's inattention.

On the bright side, there are many valuable resources down there. I've found lots of coal and iron, some gold and some redstone, and even a couple of diamonds. And I've only just begun to explore the place. But it's sure been rough on my nerves!

So I think I need a break. I recently built a compass, so I should be able to explore this land without getting hopelessly lost. I think I'll take my dog and explore on the surface a bit, maybe even draw a map as I go.

I wonder what lies on the other side of the eastern desert? I wonder how far this pine forest extends to the west? I stopped at the river's edge to my north, but I could certainly craft a boat without too much trouble. And there are mountains to the south. I'll bet I could get a pretty good view from up there.

And yes, I'm sure there will be monsters, but maybe I won't have to worry that my next step will put me neck-deep into lava. And I could always try taming another wolf or two. At the very least, it will be a break, and I think I need a break. I really, really think I need a break.

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