Saturday, November 3, 2012

Part 21: Nearly to the North Pole!

Morning came, and I made my customary mad dash from shelter, waving my mighty pixellated sword, careening off a duck and a bluebird.  When I finally slowed to a stop and turned around, I discovered that there had been no danger - this time - and that I'd apparently inadvertently built a hobbit home during my panicked shelter construction last night.
Not nearly as comfortable as the hobbit houses in the movies, though.
I like this version of shelter construction, though... it's built for easy exit - just break the glass and leap on the horse, bolting easily through the door with a heigh-ho, Boxter.

Soon we were standing before the coastline that we'd encountered late yesterday, it quickly became apparent that due north was not on the agenda for today.  We skirted the sandy shore, relatively easy going, and had a moment of excitement when we spotted a horse.  It was alone, though, and was the only horse we would encounter that day.

Horse.  A single lone horse.  And I will have to find a hundred of these to have an even chance of finding a pegasus.

We made decent progress during the morning, though not in a straight line, due to the convoluted nature of the coastline.  Danger still lurked as well, causing us to make the occasional panicked detour, taking falling damage.

If you look closely, you will see danger lurking.

We entered a pretty cool-looking landscape, with strangely scalloped mountains, and gravel that crunched interestingly underhoof.  The landscape was, however, lion-infested, so we left its wonders unexplored.

Land of Lions and Gravel

We chose the fox-infested valley instead, and passed through a blur of nice open desert country.  No horses, but also no trees.

At the edge of the desert, we came once more to the land's end.  The shark-infested land's end.  Time to turn away from north once more.

Passing back into (unfortunately) forested country, we came across two lions fighting over a female lion.  I wondered whether male dominance fights were coded somehow into lion behavioral nuances, or  whether it was in fact no more subtle than the simple command KILL, in which case the female lion would be battling the victor.  Boxter firmly vetoed any in-depth study on the behavior patterns of lions, so we didn't stay to see the outcome of the fight.
Rawr!  Lions fight by flashing red and bouncing off one another.

This part was scary - a narrow channel of water.  After mincing about on the shore looking about six times for sharks, we bravely splashed across.  There were no fatalities.

Ford the river, caulk the wagons and float, or look for a bridge?

And today we hit a milestone in our northward journey - snow, for the first time.  Boxter had never seen snow before, and we slid and swerved madly about in the forest - of course, that's what he does even on dry ground.

Even the trees were different, distinctly coniferous, and somewhat easier to dodge between.

Now, there's no actual increase in the frequency of snow as you go northward in the Minecraft world - yet it still felt like we were nearly at the edge of the world.

Below, a vast snowy landscape.  The dot near the horizon on the upper left is an unfortunate shark that popped into existence above the ice rather than in it.  It slowly rotated in confusion, flashing red, evidently wondering what exactly was going wrong here, and why water was not nearly as fun as other sharks had made it out to be.

Boxter is very hard to maneuver on ice too.  Just so you know.

As nighttime approached, I tried to employ the shelter-finding technique of finding a hole in a hillside and building a door on it.  It was getting late, and the hole I found was more vertical than horizontal - perhaps not the best of ideas.  Boxter expressed his opinion of my site by taking off in the opposite direction.

This was ill-advised.

I had no time for this - I gave him another of my precious haystacks, which froze him contentedly in place while I frantically tried to build walls and a roof around us.  Such was the level of my anxiety that it was quite some time before it occurred to me that I had the power to make it less dark in the immediate area, and that this might actually be rather a good idea.  I placed a torch, and got the walls in place before anything too scary came for us.  The hole in the hillside really didn't do much for us, only serving to increase my anxiety due to its deepness and scariness.  Fortunately, Boxter was too big to fall down it.


I got the ceiling on, all except for one block which was directly above Boxter's head.  I knew from experience that if I tried to plug that hole, I would likely end up on Boxter's back, with my head in rock, or else protruding out of the hole as an easy target.  But I could see stars through that hole, and had quick visions of zombies, skeletons, and creepers raining down through that hole.  They probably wouldn't find it.  It would be safer to leave it be.  But I am not a rational person.  I right-clicked with my stone, to plug the hole.  I ended up on Boxter's back.  I took damage from the ceiling.  I jumped off Boxter's back.  I fell down the deep hole that had been right beside Boxter this entire time.

If I can juuuuust reach that last ceiling block....

Here's a picture I took at the bottom of the hole, as I marveled at my stupidity.  I could hear spiders.


Quickly and not-at-all-calmly, I began peppering the area with torches, trying to reveal all the scariness before Things came out of the dark to get me.  Far above me, I heard Boxter making his normal horse sounds, which meant that at least he was all right for now, and probably laughing at me.

It was Very Scary in the cave - it had been ages since I'd ventured into an actual cave - and somewhere in all the mess I saw the beady red eyes of a spider.


I bricked up that cave.  I bricked it up good.

No longer scary.

And proceeded to brick up all the other scary side branches.


No longer scary.

That done, I paused to look back up through the hole I'd fallen down.  I could still see that darn square of sky that I'd failed to patch earlier.  Great.  If something did end up falling through that hole, it'd continue on down until it landed on my head.

Truly, my incompetence at Minecraft knows no bounds.

But at least with the side tunnels blocked, I began to feel secure enough, even with the maddening sound of the spider I'd bricked up, to mine for the wonderful bits of iron that I saw lying around, and even to smelt the iron into a shiny new pair of metal pants.

Toward dawn I climbed my way back to the surface, where I found another spider waiting on the roof, as usual.

Hello, spider.

Boxter and I watched the moon set through the windows.  I'm definitely adding windows to all my shelters from now on.  Or at least I will until I run out of glass tomorrow.


  1. Yay! More pegasus hunting! I was missing your posts so much! I was beginning to think you had abandoned us. What have you been doing all this time?
    Thanks ~Stormwolf~

  2. I've been working on a different writing project - not a blog, though, so you'll only see it when/if I finish it someday.

  3. Okay. Wow! 2 posts in one day if I'm not mistaken! Thanks for replying so quickly. I haven't been able to download the map or any mods yet, so that mission is still pending. I'm going to try with a half empty hard-drive.
    P.S. I can't wait for your next post
    P.P.S. Or your new project

  4. Aw man, they just released a new version of Mo'Creatures for Minecraft 1.4.2! It's already outdated (Minecraft just released 1.4.4 yesterday), but I just so happen to have a copy of Minecraft 1.4.2 archived. Sadly, I'm still not sure how to convert my map to the new format so Minecraft can even open it. If you ever manage to open that map in a newer Minecraft version than Beta, or especially to get it opened in a version with Mo'Creatures, let me know. It'd be awesome to switch to the new Mo'Creatures, which has many, many more animals.