Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Part 44: More help from Twobit.

My horse Twobit stood squarely before the front windows, a problem since we couldn't escape for the day until I could get past him.

"I'm happy to report that it's a beautiful morning, and the sun is shining all nicely," Twobits told me.  "This is a great house!  Are we going to be adding more of these awesome windows today?"

"No, we're going to walk north as far as we possibly can, and then build another."

"Wow, so we can have two houses!"

"When you put it that way... I have about forty houses by now.  Except each one gets more or less destroyed as I leave each morning."

Twobits gave me a quizzical look, as if not quite sure to make of this revelation.  "You destroy the houses as you leave?"  he said finally.

"Just the entrances, usually.  Watch."

I shouldered past Twobit and busted my way quickly through the windows, running at full speed for the horizon to outdistance anything that might have been hiding just above or to one side.

Good morning, Twobit

There was no danger lurking nearby that morning, so the end result was that I just looked like I'd gone bonkers.

The mountain appears to be sliced by a huge cave that I pointedly avoided exploring.

I returned to the shelter where Twobits was still excitedly bouncing.

"Wow, that's a really fun way to leave every morning!  I love running!  I can help run next time."

Hey, out here! ...did I really leave the ceiling open all night?

I widened the opening, but it was some time before Twobit found his way out of the shelter.

"Ha, that's great," he told me as he finally bounced his way out the door.  "A maze puzzle every morning.  You're really clever."

I decided not to disillusion him.

Yes, very good, Twobit.

We raced at Twobit's top speed (a determined chug) across the northern end of the open plains, and soon fetched up against hilly and tree-filled coastline.


Inland, things were even worse, although Twobit expressed his delight at the interestingness of the scenery.

Wow.  But darnit.

Eventually I decided to stick to the coastline, since I could see areas of sea ice up ahead which would make the going easier.

"Look how fast I'm going now!  Must be all this practice!  I'm a great horse!"

I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was the effect of the slippery ice.

We came across another shark, spawned on the wrong side of the ice (nearby, a more fortunate shark had also appeared underneath the ice).


The shark, out of water and dying, still spotted us and attempted to flop toward us to make a kill.  Twobit was thrilled at the prospect of helping with an exciting battle, but I deemed it best to avoid the whole confrontation.

Never - flop - give up - flop flop

The ice thinned out as we followed the coastline northward, and I turned us again inland.  Things looked bad.

"Wow, look at those big trees!  It's like a real jungle!  Do you think we'll see some jaguars?"

"There aren't even ocelots in this version of Minecraft," I told him.  I decided again to stick to the coastline.

But our way northward along the coast was blocked by a prowling lion.

I'd learned my lesson with the bear - I dismounted, left Twobit in a convenient sheltered alcove, and began firing arrows at the lion.  I was a bit far away, and something's changed about my controls that prevents me from drawing the bow all the way back, aiming, and then releasing.  Instead, I fire off dozens of arrows in rapid succession.  I didn't hit the stupid lion even once.  It wandered nonchalantly as my arrows rained down to either side, not even deigning to notice their impacts.  Finally I gave up and went around by the shoreline, splashing through a short section of water to reach the sea ice.

I am a terrible shot.

Once on the ice I headed away from the increasingly-forested mountainous shoreline, reaching a series of low islands jutting from the ice.

One of them held a flat wall beneath a sheltering overhang.  "Twobit, what if we stop here for the night?"

"Oh, boy!  This place looks great!  I can help build the shelter!"

Complete with deadly diving board

"How about if you go, um, over there, and ask those boars if they've seen any pegasus?"

As Twobit happily trotted off, sliding wildly across the ice, I set to work constructing another shelter, using the formula that by now was becoming tried and true.

As long as he doesn't step through a hole in the ice.  I have no idea how I'd get him back out.

Eventually I finished the cave part of the shelter and looked for Twobit.

"They said they saw a herd of them thundering across the ice just yesterday!  Maybe if we hurry up and run all night, we can catch them!  Wow, a whole herd!"

"Traveling during the night is a very bad idea," I told Twobit.  "I'll explain once we get in the shelter.  The safe, safe shelter."

At least they're boars, not bears.

I rode Twobit over the entrance barrier, and dismounted.  He immediately zoomed to the entrance, where he began bouncing repeatedly.

"Oh, boy, are we going to start putting in windows now?  Hand me the glass - I'll help you!"


"I'll do it this time - step aside."

"But I can help!  I really can!  I need to learn all this stuff if I'm going to be the best horse ever!"

"Maybe next time."  And, with an increasing sense of urgency, "Can you please move?  It's going to get dark soon, and as I was going to tell you earlier, dark is a Very Bad Thing."

Twobit continued to bounce in a spot that completely prevented me from reaching around him to place any blocks to seal the shelter.  I tried to no avail to bodily shove him aside.


Finally, I gave up and leapt onto his back, rode him to the back of the shelter, and then dismounted, racing him to the front of the shelter.

"Wait for me!"

I quickly placed two gravel blocks below myself, just barely getting the second one in place in time to prevent him from walking up the stairs to exit the shelter and inspect it from outside.  His nose appeared over the top of the gravel block.

"Whatcha doing?"

But now I was free to work, taking a deep breath and looking around at the panic-inducing darkness of the night sky, feeling the breeze eerily blowing through nonexistent shelter walls.

He seemed not to mind me standing on his nose.

I managed to secure the shelter, and then started working on enlarging the interior, as I was in desperate need of elbow room.

At least the ceiling appears to be high enough.

"Now what are you up to?  Crafting?  I can help with that!  I can hold the table!"

Also, a ghostly cow goes by in the night.

"Hey, you dropped some cobblestone!  Here you go!  I picked it up for you!"

Gee, thanks, Twobit.

Finally the main room was large enough for me to have some hope of riding Twobit out the door, if necessary.  With some relief, I started mining, hearing Twobit's exclamations in the shelter above me.

When I began to come upstairs in the morning, I found him waiting for me.

"What are you doing?  Is it fun?  I can't see!"

Hello, Twobit.

"Um, Twobit, I can't actually get out of the mine when you're jumping up and down right on the only exit."


I eventually convinced him to step aside, and made it upstairs to watch the sun rising over ice and sand. Somewhere in the distance, a cow seemed to be ice skating.