The Hollow Mountain Journals P3

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Day Five/Six: Iron Expeditions

Okay, I didn't get the chance to make an entry last night. By "didn't get a chance," I mean to say that I forgot about it. Sorry. Surviving alone in a harsh, uncharted server does things to your memory.

So on the morning of my fifth day here, I realized that a lot of my gear had been damaged from my disastrous mining trip on the fourth night. One can't simply go out with chipped swords and stripped-down armor, can they? So my first priority has been crafting an anvil. I expected, given an anvil's relatively simple design, for it to take half of the day at most.

... Well.

Thirty-one ingots. Thirty-one goddamn iron ingots. That's how much it eventually took to get the anvil in working condition. And that wasn't even counting all that it took to upgrade my stone tools... and certainly not counting all that I had to gather just to have some bloody stock to use on the anvil. Ridiculous. Do you know how many caverns I had to dive into -- no, how many dark, mob-infested hellholes I had to dive into -- to get that much? I. Lost. Count.

It's okay though. A-okay. Worth every second of blistering agony that I spent digging arrows, spider teeth, and bits of impacted armor out of myself. Because not only do I now have an operating anvil, but I have complete iron gear at peak condition, as well as a good surplus I'm keeping for emergencies.

But that's not really what I'm writing this entry about. Okay, maybe a little. Bragging to myself feels nice. But really, I wanted to relate what I found while out mining -- something very odd.

The first cavern I dug into started at the base of one of the nearby mountains. It followed a semi-linear path with a couple of branching splits that I didn't really bother exploring, because I didn't feel like getting lost and dying horribly. The primary tunnel cut off on a sheer drop into a deep, thin chamber with lava at the bottom. Still traumatized from my near-death experience on the fourth night, I turned back and headed to the surface.

Then I delved into the next cave that fell within my line of sight, which was a good walking distance away. This one was a tad more complicated, but I still didn't experience any memorable troubles other than the usual mob fights. But guess what was waiting for me at the end?

A sheer drop into the same damned chamber.

I laughed it off as a coincidence. Both caverns stretched for a while, so it's possible for them to connect under normal circumstances. Thus, I set off for my third cavern, which was in an entirely different direction and yet a longer distance away from the previous two.

Same. Chamber.

I couldn't believe it at first. That just isn't the kind of thing that happens, right? Surely, a sane person would see this as just a similar recurring design in the environment. That might have been what I'd assume, if it weren't for the fact that I could still see the light from my torches in a passage on the opposite wall.

I delved into two more of the nearby caverns, with similar results.

Something... isn't right about this place, to say the least. I've never heard of multiple caves all connecting to the same insignificant chamber. I tried to descend into it on my fourth visit, but I didn't have enough resources -- or nerve -- to build a bridge down to the bottom. I'll mark it on my map and try to explore it on a later date.

In all of that babble about anvils and caves, I almost forgot about the other improvements I've made over these two days. Firstly and most visibly, I dug out my old dirt floor and installed one of oak planks, which looks amazing and does a lot to keep little insects out. I also mined down and carved out a basement, with more oak flooring and uniform cobblestone walls. In the middle of this underground room, I cordoned off two sections near each other, with a two-block-thick divider between them.

What am I doing with this underground room? I'd tell, but that would spoil the surprise, future readers.

Day Seven: The Chasm

... What I've found today could be one of two things. Possibility A: It's my big ticket to success and the accomplishment of my loftiest goals. Possibility B: It's my grave.

Insert crashing thunder sounds in your head when you read that last bit, would you? Thanks.

The day started like every other, except instead of mining, I got the idea to take out my map and start walking. There's a massive amount of territory that I have yet to cover, and I thought it would be smart to scope out locations for my big plans. Plus, I need diamond. I cannot state that enough. Diamond is critical to my success.

I started walking through a dense jungle near the ruined village. I'd carved through the outer area of the jungle several times, as it's a useful pool for wood and other natural materials, but I'd never trekked far into it. As it turns out, the jungle stretches for miles and contains trees almost as tall as my homemade beacon. If I wasn't already dedicated to the idea that will make me a household name back home, I could easily make myself a nifty tree fort and spend my days among the clouds.

As I kept walking, the air started to get thicker and more humid. I initially assumed this to be the fact that I was moving into a rain forest, but considering what I found, I might have to mark that under yet more strange phenomena. The more I walked, the more difficult it was to breathe, and I had to stop several times to shed my inventory and lie down in the shade. It felt amazing at the time, but I sincerely wish I hadn't. If I'd kept moving, there would still be precious daylight hours left, and I wouldn't be sitting here scribbling by torchlight in a glorified mud pit.

One of the first landmarks I noticed, and the first sign of things to come, was an oddly-shaped mountain in the distance. I seriously don't know if I can get across in words how bizarre this thing was. At what would be the peak for any other mountain, it continued up on the leftmost half and curved back toward the rightmost side, forming what almost looked like a "C" shape. At the point of this shape, the land widened and tapered off, creating some kind of disc or saucer shape. I'll have to add that to my rapidly expanding list of places to investigate.

But that mountain's not important now. What's important is what I nearly tripped into while my eyes were fixated on it.

I pitched halfway forward when I emerged into a clearing in the brush, and my leg shot out into unexpected nothingness. With my life flashing before my eyes, I barely managed to avoid a disastrous respawn by shoving my arms down behind my back and planting my arse on the edge of the drop-off. I'm starting to realize only now that I probably fractured my tailbone doing that, but I don't think that matters.

Once I'd barely managed to scramble onto solid ground, I fully comprehended what I'd found. It was a chasm of titanic scale, rent through the earth as if by the pick of Notch, and so grand in proportion that the sunlight could barely penetrate its deepest recesses. Waterfalls fed into it at both ends, and dotted along its vast walls were glimmering pockets of iron and emerald.

Notch, I'm getting awfully poetic about a giant hole in the ground. Sorry, future readers. I'm just... very excited about this deve-

Following this, the journal is scorched for several pages. There appears to have been no writing on what paper is visible. From this point until the end of the entry, Gladesmith's handwriting becomes uneven and erratic.

Just. My. Bloody. Luck. I take a quick peek up at the sky in the middle of writing to check if it's morning, and a motherfucking Creeper drops in to say hello. Son of a bitch nearly splintered my armor, and the stinging when I breathe almost certainly means that I've got broken ribs. Worst part was the fuckin' scare, though. Notch. Guess that'll teach me to take the Lord's name in vain, or something. Haven't been to church in a while, so I don't know how that thing works.

Wow, Notch, I'm starting to ramble. Blame a combination of exhaustion, sleep deprivation (I didn't pack a spare bed), and a couple moments of indescribable blood-curdling terror. Sorry.

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I'm shivering with anticipation to explore this chasm. If emeralds -- supposedly some of the rarest goddamn minerals the world over -- are just embedded in the walls for everyone to see, imagine what else there might be down there. Like diamond. Imagine diamond. If you're reading this, then it's already kind of a given that at some point I'm going to find some diamond, so here's hoping that this is the place.

I'll set out first thing tomorrow, right at sunrise. I'll need all of the time I can get if, as I strongly suspect, there's more to this formation than I can see.

Day Eight: Possibility B




I should just get to telling what happened, then. No point in bullshitting. There's not a lot to be said.

Like I said, I delved in right as the sun was rising. With barely a thought, I dove into one of the waterfalls and smoothly slid down to the bottom of the chasm. There was nothing new that I could see on the walls or floor, even when I dug away the surface areas that I could reach to expose any hidden ores. Nothing.

Then I saw the passage in the corner.

It looked like any other cavern entrance, but I felt... drawn to it, you could say. I felt like there was something to be gained by going inside. Damn it, why? Why did I think that? Fuck you, subconscious.

So... I went in. It was just like any other subterranean passage at first, and I thought that I might be wasting my time. I thought that all the way up to the point when I stumbled into another waterfall and drifted into another underground chasm equal in size to the aboveground one, which bore several more potential paths and entrances across an enormous river of lava. If I remember my mindset correctly, that was the moment when I thought that I'd struck gold. That was the moment where the notion of turning around left my mind completely.

Using the bucket I'd so smartly decided to bring with me, I carried some of the water from the falls and poured it over the lava, creating an obsidian bridge. I repeated this process until I was on the other side of the underground trench, and all the while, I still saw not even the vaguest hint of diamond.

I kept moving into another series of tunnels and passages. These were far more typical in appearance, but I noted that they were much more labyrinthine than the average cave. Not only were there forks and splits at nearly every turn, but I caught glimpses through holes in the "ceiling" of yet another floor above, if not several of them.

In fact, the second of these passages that I noticed was too expansive to be properly lit by my torches, but I could tell that it was occupied. This gut feeling was confirmed several seconds later, when a cubical slime creature half as large as my house pounced down from the upper floor and swallowed my entire lower body. In accordance with accepted Minecraftian conduct, I panicked and flailed my sword around, screaming bloody murder, until the thing could no longer split into smaller incarnations and melted into the floor. I hastily moved on not long after.

Things continued like normal for almost an hour of walking. I could hardly believe how deep the passages went -- adding up the depths of both the aboveground and abyssal chasms, plus all of the elapsed distance I'd covered, I was sure that I would hit bedrock at any minute. You should be able to guess by now that I never did, because why would I be writing so forlornly if not for some horrible incident taking place.

It started when I buried my pick into a random block in a dead end passageway, and found that it came up covered in golden dust. With that discovery on hand, it took me less than a minute of frantic digging to uncover and harvest an expansive vein of gold ore. That was the fuel to my dimming fire, I tell you. I kept on going however possible, hoping that this seeming haven for rare minerals would see fit to harbor some diamond, no matter how small in amount. If I obtained just a single block of diamond ore, then this trip would be the most productive yet.

Eventually, I found more gold opposite the entrance to a vast, shadowy chamber. I planted some torches by the entrance, hoping to ward off any assailants, and turned to dig through yet more gold.

Then I felt an arrow pierce a chink in my armor and embed itself three inches deep in my abdomen. How do I remember that it was three inches exactly? Because respawns, contrary to popular belief, don't always clear up the pain of the injuries sustained before death.

I whipped around to face my attacker, and found myself staring into the dusty eye sockets of a bow-wielding skeleton. Obvious, I thought. I'd dealt with innumerable skeletons by then, and this one shouldn't have been any different. I had full iron armor and an iron sword in good condition, and with these I charged the undead archer.

And I died. It... killed me.

Looking back, it must have been the Creeper explosion from last night. It damaged my armor, but I didn't care. I was too blinded, too hungry at the thought of diamond to notice. At least, I think that's what it must have been. I can't exactly examine my equipment, which currently rests in that skeleton's lair at the bottom of the chasm.

When I died, I respawned for the first genuine time in my life. It felt like hurtling through a colossal plate glass tank filled with unbearably lukewarm water, then giving myself a concussion on the way out. I refuse to speak more about the various sensations it could be compared to, but it's unfathomable to me that some people do this routinely. I eventually spawned back in the house, laying on my cozy bed as if nothing had happened. The only indication I had was that my stomach was empty, my clothes were ragged, and all of my gathered materials barring what little I'd moved to the chests were gone.

This journal and pen are all that I have left. I'm starting almost completely fresh again.

... No, I can't. I can't do that. Blake Gladesmith is not a man who'll just shrug and say "what the fuck ever, I'll get something new." First thing tomorrow morning, I'm hauling ass back to that chasm and reclaiming what's mine, and then I'm pounding that skeleton's skull into powder.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: Yet again, regrettably, everything. The fact-fudging in relation to my actual playthrough hasn't quite started yet. This is my Minecraft skill level in full.
© 2015 - 2021 KleinerKiller
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Novum-Semita's avatar
Another brilliant chapter!! I especially love your descriptions of the world around you. I can imagine quite vividly what this cavern looks like and the way you describe it also lets the readers' imaginations run wild. Also, nice use of the Notch based oaths. It's a proper immersive Minecraftian tale of epic proportions. And this, my friend, is why you inspire me to right now, seriously, I want to start writing now :D
KleinerKiller's avatar
Expect my descriptions to get even weirder and more vivid, because the bizarre shit's about to hit the fan and get REALLY memorable. We're hitting the point in my adventures, and this story by extension, where the routine gets thrown out the window and the twists start coming up.

And, well, that's awesome! Because your writing's awesome, and I've been missing the awesomeness! Awesome!
Novum-Semita's avatar
Awesome :D I'll look forward to it then. And I take it this skeleton is the one you mentioned.

W00t!! I'm actually writing it now :D Hey, you wouldn't happen to have any good villain music on hand, would you?
KleinerKiller's avatar
This is indeed the one I've mentioned previously. I have dubbed him "The White Death", and he's involved in some very interesting events that I couldn't have planned out any better than what happened in gameplay.

You know what? Here's my music playlist as it stands:… Plenty of music there that could be used for villains. Feel free to browse at your heart's content. :D And if linking that playlist also gives you unintentional access to the inner workings of my YouTube account, please notify me posthaste.
Novum-Semita's avatar
Sounds like a great name for him. And I look forward to seeing more of him even if Blake doesn't XD

Perfect!! And don't worry, all I see is the playlist. :)
KleinerKiller's avatar
More is to come... more is to come... *creepy piano*

Awesomeness! Just don't click on any of the Kill la Kill AMVs, because they contain MASSIVE GAME-CHANGING SPOILERS that will be much more appreciated after you've finished the series. Also, I'm not sure if the song at the very bottom will be helpful at all, but it's my favorite song of all time ever of all time of all realities of all universes of all time. In case you were wondering.
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