Monday, March 7, 2011

Part 10: Progress over water is slow.

I spent yet another night mining beneath the hovel while Boxter rested in his roofless room, and yet again had absolutely nothing to show for it in the morning, not even a single chunk of coal.  But with Boxter in a roofless place, and I in a spot that was very much roofed in, I was feeling much more secure than I had in a long time.  Except for the zombies gurgling and snarling on the other side of the wall inches from my face.

Morning came, and I drew my sword and prepared to bust through the door to exit the hovel.  To my surprise, Boxter on his own had broken the Spell of Haystack that I had laid on him the previous night, and had leapt up against the wall, barring my way.
I tried to push past him, but he wasn't budging.  I reached around him and busted a hole in the wall, but still he didn't get out of the way.  I tried shoving him - nothing doing. 

Now had this been Squares, I would have assumed he was now convinced he was playing "I'm a cobblestone block" but since this was Boxter, I suspected that something was up.  I abandoned my attempts to exit that side of the hovel, and instead broke through the wall on the other side and took off running full tilt.

Sure enough:

There had been a creeper lurking right by the hovel, and Boxter had been trying to prevent me from exiting directly into the creeper's path.  From a safe distance I shot the creeper full of arrows, then returned to the hovel to get Boxter.

Next thing to do was to press on northward, and attempt to cross the chain of islands to what was (hopefully) another large continent.  Before long, we came to the divide between us and the first island, and I had an Oregon Trail moment as I stopped to consider how to cross the narrow channel of water.

It wasn't terribly wide, but the dropoff was steep, and I was pretty sure that Boxter couldn't swim with me riding him.  Plus there were sharks in the immediate vicinity.  A boat was out of the question, since Boxter would never fit in one.

Only one thing to do:

Start building.

I dropped Boxter off in the shade of a large tree, and gave him a haystack to chew on while I began to construct a bridge over the water.  I could hear Boxter making his normal horsey noises beneath the tree ("85331, 85333, 85361, 85363,...."), and every once in a while I would turn to reassure myself that no predators were approaching.

There were, however, predators on the other side.  Most curiously, there was a lion spinning in circles under a tree while looking up into the air.

Also: Tree Horse has figured out how to avoid lions!
As I drew closer, I discovered the reason: another lion standing in a pit just in front of him.
The lions appeared to be flummoxed.  They were designed to run toward each other and fight each other; that was easy enough.  But suddenly they found themselves faced with actual topology and had quickly run afoul of the 3rd dimension.  "I've run as close as I can to the other lion, but it's not working anymore!" They seemed to be saying. "What's happening?  I can't get to the other lion! What do I doooooo?"

I knew what to do: I carpet-bombed the area with arrows.  Problem solved.  Coast clear.

Now time to head back and get Boxter and.... oh.

No way I'm falling twice for the "sunrise" trick.  I retrieved Boxter, and we retreated to the hovel for the night.  Our bold new land would have to wait for tomorrow.

Progress over plains on horseback: fast.  Progress over mountains on horseback: ok.  Progress over forest on horseback: sorta.  Progress over water on horseback: might as well jump on a glacier and catch a ride.

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