Main building : Outside (the cobble blocks marks planned future extension
As you might have noted, the building is Japanese inspired.
I also wrote a journal while playing. Very unedited, so bear with me. Read at your own risk
The beginning - Mission 0
I start out in a mountainous region, knowing that the closest village is only a few hundred blocks away. I gather the initial lumber and stone to make stone tools. Then, unlike my normal pacific nonviolent vegan nature, I start killing cows for leather and meat. It breaks my heart, but I still do it. I make sure to gather enough coal to last for many torches. The first night I spend killing cows, skeletons, creepers and zombies. I don't make any armor yet, because I want to put some color into it, to properly honor the cows that died for the sake of completing these mercenary missions. I finally have more than enough for a first full set of leather armor, and with the night over I proceed to the village. It is a really beautiful one, built in a hilly pine forest. There I start making doors and putting torches everywhere. The village is extensive, and built on different heights. It has six large houses, eight small cottages and one blacksmith. It also has five farms. This makes things a bit more difficult, it will be a lot of area to patrol. I note that there is a blacksmith as promised and that it holds some iron armor as well as a diamond, neither of which I am knowledgable enough to make use of yet. I grab the bread however, which is very welcome since I do not like to eat the cows meat.
I am glad to see that the village has plenty of farmland. I want to replenish my health on potatoes when I run out of bread. I make sure to place torches around all the plantations to keep the growth up during night time.
The first night in the village arrives. I have lit up the area pretty well, and make a dash for some red flowers in a pine grove. I want to color my armor orange.
No sooner have I come back to see the first zombie. A second one turns out to be a villager, already cursed. Extremely dissapointed by this setback I quickly craft my convict suit. Most of the villagers have smartly gathered together in the same house, including the blacksmith and the librarian. I continue patrolling after quickly sorting and freeing up my inventory with a temporary chest at the smithy when I discover one small house I haven't seen before, with a shepherd trapped inside. As I do a spider attacks. No string dropped.
As dawn comes, I chop some pines. I want to make a hoe to fix some dry patches in the farms.
Stage 1 - The Mighty Warrior Home
The first mission is complete, with one villager, one zombie and one spider as casualties. I now move on to Stage 1, where I need to build a house worthy of this mercenary warrior. I need iron, to make a pair of shears, I definitely don't want to kill the village sheep just to make the required bed and painting.
I head out to the nearby mountain hill to try my luck. The land is rich in coal, but no iron is exposed to the surface. I do not find any real caves either. Reluctant to dig down I spend the day gathering various material for building my first home instead. Granite, andesite, gravel and pine. When I finally go back to the village an idea strikes my mind! The locked-up shepherd! I can trade with him. I sell the wheat and coal I have to get 3 emeralds, enough for a pair of shears. With five blocks of wool from the white village sheep I have enough for both a bed and a painting. But now the second night has come, and I haven't even selected a site for building. I first think about the area behind the blacksmith, but the tactician in my dislikes it vulnerable location beneath the hills. Instead I decide on a nice flat area just after the first house along the road at the northwest side of the village. This place is on highground, with good visibility. No sooner have I decided when two zombies attack. I make swift work of them, chew some carrots and take on t third one approaching on the path uphill past the trapped shepherd. Now that I come to think of it, the separate heights in the village gives a good vantage point to overview the lower part. This shortens the patrol path by half, I might even be able to start laying out the foundations of my house this night! I go an plop down a chest to store the building materials in when a skeleton attacks.
No problem. After the slight disturbance I decide to clear out some trees around the building site, the lumber will be much needed. I also make good use of the shears to get leaves. I will use the for sprucing up the look of my new home.
I choose to build a house in Japanese style, imagining myself as a lordless samurai, a ronin, serving this village.
The house shall have
A reception room, 10 tatami mats in size
A bedroom, 3 tatami mats in size
A storage room, 3-10 tatami mats in size
A kitchen, 6 tatami mats in size
A library, 10 tatami mats in size
A shrine, 3 tatami mats in size
A display/trophy room, 8 tatami mats in size
One tatami mat is equivalent to 2x1 blocks.
I craft a piece of paper from 3 reeds and start drawing a plan with a piece of charcoal.
Since only the reception room, the bedroom and a small storage is necessary to begin with, these will form the front of the house. The other areas can be added as extensions as I progress.
I also want a small garden, mainly for meditative and training purposes. I want the whole area to be surrounded by a good solid wall as well.
I choose to have a second floor, for the bedroom and the library.
For conveniece, the library will be on top of the reception room, and the bedroom on top of the storage room. In this way, the extensions will be simple to add, without having to move the existing rooms.
The kitchen will be to the right of the reception room, and the display room to the left. The storage will be to the front left, and the shrine will be in the corner between the display room and the storage room, with an entrance from the display room. The kitchen will have a separate entrance, and the stairs to the second floor will be on the left of the house to begin with, and later made part of the display room.
I will need to shear a lot of sheep for the carpets which will serve as tatami mats, so I start breeding them.
I then terraform the land to flatten the area further and start marking the corners of the rooms with dirt. Both the inner and outer walls will be one block thick, and I mark these with cobblestones which will provide the support for the house frame. So far, it looks very unimpressive, but I am confident in the plan as the sun sets for the third night to begin.
A creeper and a skeleton provides an opportunity for that precious record setup, but alas, I fail. A few zombies and another creeper bites the dust as the night goes on and I struggle with a lack of lumber.
I battle two zombies and get my first iron ingot from one of them!
Thinking about the walls, I want them to look like paper, since wooden walls will make the build look very monotonous. I can use the bones from the skeleton to make bonemeal and color concrete white! Another option is wool, but I think the smooth look of concrete will look better.
But for concrete I need sand, and that is not a common commodity in these regions. I will have to travel quite far the next day.
I scour the nearby river for some good stacks of sand and clay. I realize terracotta is another option to emulate the white paper walls. I am not sure however if the white will look really white and right. Some glazed terracotta could look nice anyway in for example the shrine or the display room.
I have the luck to come across some naturally growing pumkins too! Now I have really luxurious vegetarian food, I only need some sugar canes. The forest is plenty with generous egg-laying birds.
I start making concrete. Lacking a good water source, I stacking up in the corner of the nearest farms irrigation canal, all the way up until it starts to snow instead of rain. Coloring it white, it looks absolutely smashing with the spruce wood! The terracota is definitely too pink to use as paper. But perhaps it will find some other good use, either in the walls or the garden.
I earn quite a few emeralds trading wheat, carrots and potatoes with the farmer. I even start replanting the less profitable beets with the high-yield potatoes.
I had underestimated the amount of resources it would take to build this house.
Just the first basic parts! Perhaps I am too used to building in creative mode.
After many days and nights of ardous scaffold work, the house is finally in decent shape enough to start moving into!!!!! It looks a bit topheavy, but I think it will balance out once the extensions are in place.
What a joyous moment when I make the first chests for the storage, the bed for the bedroom and the table, chairs and painting for the reception room.
The villagers and I celebrate the completion with a harvest festival followed by a good nights sleep. IRL I get a cup of warm chocolate and burn some incense.
The next day I venture out on a coal hunt. The supplies are completely exhausted.
I scavenge the montainsides for coal, andesite and diorite, the latter I plan to use in the wall around the house compound.
I put up three different combinations of stone for the wall:
all three topped by brick half slabs
After a deep contemplation together with the village experts the decision is to use andesite as a base with polished diorite on top.
Another round of andesite and diorite gathering in the mountains as well as a clay raid is required before the wall surrounds the entire area. I am starting to feel more like a daimyo than a ronin!
Mission 1: The Smithy's Request
With my status and esteem thus raised, the village blacksmith decides to approach me. Apparently my wall has really impressed him. But for me, it is time to facepalm! ANOTHER WALLL!!! NUUUUUUUH!
I decide to make this one out of some cheaper material. How about just letting loose with the shears and make a hedge. The smith looks at me slightly disappointed. I imagine he really wanted an equally splendid stone wall as the one just raised. But he sees the folly in delaying the work just for aestethics. The threat of the mob invasion is imminent. We go to work at building the most thorny hedge the world of 1364287100241175484 has ever seen!
Halfway and out of leaves, I discover that the precious shepherd has somehow perished so I can not shear any longer. Baby villagers are abound and around, but little does it help an ironless mercenary. I finish the rest of the wall using only fenceposts, and take two helicopter photos of the surrounded village using a dirt pillar. This is good enough for the smith, and I can finally equip myself with the armor he has in store for me. Now I am ready to cave for iron and other precious metals. In good fighting spirit, I up the difficulty of the game from Normal to Hard!
Stage 2 : The Blacksmith's Shop and the Watchtower
Tired of chopping wood I decide to start a mineshaft to get stone for the watchtower - I want to build it mostly out of smoothstone. Smelting cobble will give extra precious XP too. Hopefully I will find some caves with iron while digging, the blacksmith needs an anvil, and no less than half a stack of iron will do. I dig a two wide staircase under the village hill. I get a lot of coal, around twenty iron ore, and then... emerald! What a rare sight! This village might be richer than I thought! I head back to smelt the iron and cobble stone. Thunderstorm roars. The villagers really enjoys hanging out in my new home. It turns out that many of them have leaky roofs, and there is no carpenter or mason in town to fix it. Well, that will have to wait. Until then, they are more than welcome to hang out in the reception room. I also build a roofed terrace around the house to make it more Japanese.
They actually like the house so much that they contract me for buildling a blacksmith's workshop in a similar style. They suggest building a watchtower to better survey the surroundings. To build these more resources are required, so once more I head to the mine.
Mining deeper into the earth I find double emerald blocks! I leave these to be mined at a later date. I know there are picks with special properties, which can extract the gems more efficiently. All in all I discover 4 emerald blocks before I head back up with a full inventory of cobblestone, andesite, diorite, granite, coal, redstone, iron, gold and even diamonds.
I smelt cobblestone into smooth stone and decide the place for the watchtower: The northwest corner of the village, connecting with the wall of my house. On the other side of the house will be the blacksmith's shop, which makes sense since it will lie on the path the currently goes from the original blacksmith, past the mine and then ends nowhere but right in the wall.
I build the watchtower around 24 blocks high, it reaches height level 100 and I figure it is impressive enough. The tower is as high, if not higher, as the surrounding mountains.
I start preparing the ground for the blacksmith's shop. I want to make it a one-storey building, also this one in a Japanese style, with one room for metals, one for coal and other fuel, and a covered outdoor working area with the furnace and anvil.
I build without much of a premeditated layout this time, and it turns out quite well! Some mixing of materials to break up the monotony. I even add a bellows.
I am especially pleased with the look of the furnace.
Mission 2: Dungeon Raider
After the blacksmith's workshop is completed, I get approached by a villager. He wants me to retrieve the treasures stolen by some mysterious creature. I have to search the nearby caves to find his dwelling. I am all for it, but before I go, I extend the village farms a bit, and I also build an efficient farm for sugar canes.
I buy an expensive iron sword for the quest, using up almost half my emeralds. I am glad to see that the blacksmith has advanced diamond equipment for sale, but I am not experienced enough to use it, so I don't buy anything else.
As I search the nearby hills, I realize that a roofed forest was just on the other side of the nearest ridge! Now we have access to dark oak to use for the next buildings! What a beautiful discovery!
I finally find some cave systems next to a river in a birch forest, a bit further on from the roofed forest. Could this be where the mysterious thief is hiding?
I meet a mysterious stranger, but he seems friendly. He is tall and dark, speaks a strange croaky language. I am slightly intimidated, and do not look him in the eyes. He does not seem to be someone in need of stealing from a villager, so I leave him be.
I have entered these caves still partly in my old leather armor, so I decide to pause and gear up before proceeding. But while I do so, I run into a mob of zombies! A fierce battle ensues and I reach level 30.
I finally get a whole set of iron armor and proceed to explore the caves. I resist the temptation to mine any resources, the quest has priority. I can always come back later with better mining equipment and a cleaner inventory.
But the caves turn out empty. I return to the village, and have the first sniper duel with a skeleton on the way back. I look instead in the pine forest to the southwest. There I find a hole in the ground revealing a gigantic cave! Could this be it? The entrance is guarded by to spiders and a zombie, and a skeleton patrols down inside the cave. I slightly feel like James Bond having found the villains secret base! One skeleton spots me from below and hits me with an accurate twang! I side step and find the easiest approach down to the large cavern. Ambush! There is three of them! I kill one, and retreat behind a wall to heal up. Then I charge and dispose of them. Bruised, but still alive I make a new stack of torches to properly explore these vast tunnels. It is actually one of the most beautiful cave systems I have seen, and would make an excellent Ethos'-style mancave or any other type of secret underground base.
Out of food and arrows, outnumbered in the largest open descent, I decide to retreat to the village. I leave a trail of torches so I can find my way there again. I leave my old orange leather armor on a memorial armor stand, clear out the cluttery inventory and restock on food. I also decide to buy some arrows from the village fletcher.
Back down in the cave system, it seems almost endlessly large! In the end, I succumb to the temptation to mine, and load my inventory full of diamonds, redstone, iron and gold. After what seems like an eternity of exploring, I stand in front of an abandoned mineshaft! Strings and rail might be requested in the village, so I make sure to note the location to be able to return another day. [950,350]
And then, I found it! The mysteryious creature is hiding in the mineshaft with poisonous spiders! I use my water bucket to clear out the nets, and dispense of the strange device summoning the spiders.
I retrieve the lost items from the nearby chest and dig my way up to the surface. What a relief to hear the cluck of chicken after all this time! I am pretty heavily loaded: 16 diamonds, 57 gold ingots, 12 iron blocks and 18 iron ingots, 13 lapis blocks and 32 lapis lazuli, 25 redstone blocks and 11 redstone. Over one stack or railroad, and various other things.
I celebrate 20 diamonds with some bowls of beetroot soup
Then I build the planned library on top of the reception room, and place the brand new enchantment table in there. I do my first enchantments and get a very efficient and durable ((Efficieny IV & Unbreaking III) diamond pickaxe!
I also craft a bow worthy of a true Samurai (Power V)
I started playing your challenge a few months ago. I may still only be on Stage 2 but I love it. While playing, I even created a couple of my own fun little missions. They are as follows:
Side Mission 1: Challenger
While minding your own business, a newcomer from another town questions your strength. He says he has an opponent who can easily defeat you in a fight. You both make a bet on it and accept the challenge. While the challenger goes back and gets his competitor, your job is to create an arena to fight in. (Outside or inside of the town. Your decision there.) It can be any shape as long as the fighting area is at least a 6 x 10 block space. Don't just surround the area in fence tho, be creative. Add a stand so people can watch. Add obstacles if you'd like. When you feel like you've completed your build, the challenger will have returned with his competitor. (Either an Iron Golem or a friend who can join. If it is a friend, you both must have the same armor and weapons so the match is fair.) You both will enter the arena and fight. If you win, the reward listed below is given. If you lose, the villagers of your town will accuse the opponent of cheating and you will still get the reward. Either way, it all turns out in your favor in the end.
Requirements: Must be on Stage 2 of the challenge or higher. Must be able to build an Iron Golem or play with a friend.
Reward: You learn how to create Iron Golems and have an arena for challenging others in.
Side note: After the mission is done, don't forget about the arena entirely, (you will need it for the next side mission) improve upon it, challenge mobs or other golems or even friends sometimes. Give the villagers something to enjoy once in a while.
Side Mission 2: Wither Battle
The villagers love how strong and mighty you have become. Because of this, they'd like to see you battle a real minster, something that will make them say "WOW!" You decide to give them a real show by battling a Wither. Once you've gathered all the materials needed to make a Wither, go to the arena you created during Side Mission 1 (you can improve upon it if you'd like). Build the Wither and battle it. The mission ends when you have defeated the Wither, collected its loot, and fixed whatever damage has been done to the arena and surrounding area.
Requirements: Must be on Stage 4 of the challenge or higher. Must have the materials needed for creating a Wither. Must complete Side Mission 1.
Reward: You learn how to create Withers. (If dropped) You receive a Nether Star.
I hope these side missions make the challenge all that more enjoyable for everyone!
Some more updates to my mercenary journey, started in comment #103
I now start to extend the house with a small kitchen area.
First I place four furnaces and a crafting bench. To get the brewing stand I
need to go to the nether. I gather the necessary 10 obsidian while pondering where to place the
portal... I decide that the area just in front of the mine entrance looks very suitable.
Into the NETHER ablaze! Since I don't spot any fortress immediately I take the chance to gain some levels while gathering precious quartz and other materials to spice up the village life.
I do not find a nether fortress on the first voyage, but at least return with quite some treasure: two and a half stack of magma blocks, one magma cream after a good battle with a jumping creature, one and a half stack of quartz, half a stack of soul sand and another stack of glowstone! These rarities will certainly make fine ornaments to subsequent improvements. I use some of them to build a little house to cover up the nether portal, the villagers seem uneasy about it!
I enchant a pair of diamond boots with Depth Strider. I also finish a part of the wall around the smithy which lacked height.
Having 32 levels I want to do another enchantment. This time I enchant a pair of diamond leggings, but I get only Unbreaking III! Hopefully I can remedy this with a book enchantment later.
I now take a break from the search for the blazes and decorate the village and compound with lamps. I start with a simple design with smooth stone bricks underneath wooden trapdoors on top. I then proceed with another version replacing the stone brick with yellow glazed terracotta.
At first I light them permanently with a lever underneath the bottom block, but then I realize they also look great with a daylight sensor on top!
So I go to the river and mine more sand in order to make more sensors. In total, I place seven of these gorgeous lights around the village
I also enchant a diamond helmet. I have better luck this time and get a solid triple: Fire Protection IV, Unbreaking III and Respiration III.
After a lot more mining in the large cave system I get enough diamonds for a
diamond chestplate, which I enchant with Protection III and Unbreaking III.
I now have a complete diamond suit and I am definitely prepared for a nether
Since I am having trouble finding a nether fortress I might just take on COOL1Nate's side missions!