Monday, June 20, 2011

Part 17: Again with the ceilings!

Safe back in the cave with Boxter, I then turned to the task of surviving the night without doing anything deadly stupid.  I decided not to touch Boxter, for fear the haystack spell would be broken and he would begin wandering the room again, potentially knocking his head against the ceiling.  I decided not to mine, for fear that I would encounter a scary cave with monsters.  Instead, after some thought, I decided to enlarge the passageway to the cave entrance, so I could ride Boxter out without danger of bonking my head.

By the time morning came, I had made the passageway into a broad avenue.  I reopened the entrance to the cave, checked for danger (all clear), and then turned to survey my handiwork.

This was perhaps not well planned out.
Not bad.  There would be plenty of room to ride Boxter in here.  I was about to go climb on Boxter's back when I noticed a problem.  See it?  Although the area in front of Boxter was tall and wide enough, he was actually standing in a tiny tunnel with no room to climb on his back.

I considered my options.  If I tried to break the stone out from under him, I'd likely start hurting him.  Ditto for trying to break the ceiling above his head.

I walked around behind him and tried to shove him off the ledge.  "Rrrrgh - mmmf - move it, you big pile of pixels - rrrrrgh!" No luck.  Boxter was rooted to the floor.  I took a running start and crashed into him.  It was as if I had collided with a stone wall.  "You gave me a haystack, did you not?"  He seemed to be asking.  "Haystack means I stand here - right here - until you ride me again.   You have not ridden me again, have you?  Then here I shall stand."

After more fruitless pushing and shoving, I realized that the only way I was going to get him off of that ledge was to ride him off.  And take damage from bonking my head on the ceiling.

I climbed on.  I took damage from bonking my head on the ceiling, and quickly hopped off.  Boxter, with the haystack spell finally broken, walked away from the ledge edge.  In the wrong direction.

Boxter!  With some difficulty I managed to squeeze past him and face him in the passageway.

"Hi," he seemed to be saying.  "Didn't you leave me here in this dark cave all day yesterday?  You must want me to stay in this cave.  Who am I to argue?  I'll just go to the darkest corner of the cave and turn into the mystical Cave Horse of the North, doomed to never see daylight again."

I argued with him, but he seemed not to hear.  I tried shoving him again, but even with the haystack spell broken, he was about as immovable as obsidian.  This was going nowhere.

Gritting my teeth, I climbed back on.  Ouchouchouchouch.  I jumped back off.  This time, either tired of this game or having decided that I'd suffered enough, Boxter walked in the other direction.  He walked off the ledge finally, and I leapt back on his back.
Upon trying to exit the cave, I discovered that I'd made the entrance too low after all.  More head-bonking damage.  I dismounted and enlarged the stupid cave entrance.  I climbed back on and - finally - we left the cave.

A sheep greeted us.  "Hello!  Where have you been all morning?"

"Shut up, sheep."

We set forth on our way.

And almost immediately fell down a hole.

This is the hole.
Fortunately, we didn't fall too far down, and were able to scramble out.

We continued over some refreshingly treeless (but bear-infested) countryside.
Before long, due to the morning's time-wasting shenanigans, it was time to stop for the night.  We wandered around in a state of increasing panic trying to find a suitable cave.  Eventually I found a place that was merely a small depression in the side of a hill - good enough!

Boxter seemed to approve of the choice; rather than wandering off in disdain, he stayed and kept watch as I cleared out a proper cave.
I got him inside the cave without too much difficulty (for once), and sealed up the cave.  In a flourish of extravagance, and to make up for the windowless cave of the previous two nights, I added six panels of glass.  Boxter and I watched the sunset together.