Sunday, December 9, 2012

Part 40: Not out of the woods yet.

This morning I didn't see the creeper until I had almost crashed into it - the creeper looked dismayed as I came dashing toward it, as if upset that I appeared to be pursuing it instead of the more usual other way around.  It showed its displeasure by hissing, getting ready to explode, and I raced on past, not even slowing down.  I never even heard the explosion, but it was a long time before I finally came to a halt and turned round to look for the creeper.

There was no sign of it, not even a crater.  Was it hiding?  I edged forward, sword at the ready.

The creeper had originally been hiding by that tree.

A quick motion startled me, but it was only a bunny rabbit.  It gave me a look as I stood there with a sword and a crazed expression on my face.  And it seemed to shake its head as it hopped off.

The bunny is not impressed.

 Right.  I released Boxter from the shelter - he always seems happy to bounce right out - and climbed onto his back.  Almost immediately we encountered a discouragingly thick forest.  I turned our path aside to see if we could find a way around it.


 The answer was, eventually, no.  There was possibly a path at the far eastern edge of the landform, but the isthmus was guarded by two lions and a late-lingering creeper.

I pulled up on the reins to ponder the strategy.  I could perhaps rush and hope to get by one of these dangers, but the chances of dodging all three were low.  It would be particularly bad if I ricocheted off of one of the lions and straight back into the creeper.

The other lion's just on the other side of the isthmus hill.

I dismounted and filled the creeper full of arrows (sending quite a few into the dirt).  We rode a little closer.

This is about as close as I'm willing to get to a creeper while fighting it.

 No, that isthmus was awfully narrow.  I'd be nuts to try to rush the lions.

Plus, I wanted to get my arrows, which were still stuck in the ground.

I dismounted again, and picked off one of the lions.  The other one, apparently unconcerned at the demise of his companion, went for a swim.

You'd think that, since they're so much more dangerous, killing a lion would give you more loot than killing a cow.  You'd be wrong.

 Well, one lion in the water maybe we could dodge.  I revved up Boxter and we bolted past the lion, not looking back to see if we were followed.

Run, run, run

Almost immediately we hit a forbidding cliff, and were forced upwards into the mountainous forest.

So much for the coastal route.

And so we spent the day struggling through the trees.

I decided to stop for the night at this rock, though I hesitated at first, on account of the lion currently having a Lion King moment on it.  But then the spell was broken as the lion fell off the ledge and wandered off.

Cue "Circle of life" music

 I started digging a shelter as Boxter did his best to unnerve me by wandering almost out of eyesight.

Why does he stop?

 Finally, my cave dug and the entrance barrier hastily constructed, I went to get Boxter.  I rode him back to the cave, and up and over the barrier.  I dismounted again, once more experiencing the strange phenomenon where I seemed to just sink through the horse.  Maybe I've always dismounted like this, but have till now been too panicked to notice.

Yiiiii closeup

The familiar feeling of panic returned almost immediately, however, when Boxter turned round and walked straight out of the cave.  Evidently in my earlier haste I'd left a cobblestone step too close to the barrier.

Darn it, Boxter.

Now working in near-darkness, I managed to climb up the barrier and remove the step (in that order - which is a great mental accomplishment when I'm in this sort of panicked condition), and track Boxter down.  I'd earlier had the presence of mind to place a torch inside my shelter, so at least I could find it again in the dark.

 This time when we entered the cave, Boxter started bouncing continually, while I was still on his back.  Here's a screenshot from when we were bouncing; apparently I was being flung into the air.  I'm glad I make my ceilings very high now, or this would have hurt a lot.

A bit vertigo-inducing

 I had no time for this.  It was now definitely quite dark outside, and the barrier to the cave was still only two blocks high.  That was only safe against zombies and ground-level skeletons, leaving us open to attack from spiders, ninja creepers, skeletons on spiders, tree-level skeletons, and Spooky Cow.  In a word: unsafe.

I blocked up the hole with cobblestone, then finally installed picture windows.

Hurry hurry hurry

I spent the night first enlarging the now-safe cave so that I could move without horse breath down the back of my shirt, and then mining a bit.  Still no iron to be found.  My long-desired metal shirt would have to wait.

In the morning I came upstairs to check out the window, to see what had been out there all night.  Once again, the wraithlike form of Spooky Cow was outlined against the sky, away near the horizon.

I'm so glad I've never had to actually fight one of those things.

 I waited for morning...

Yesssss!  Strangely satisfying.

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