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    posted a message on Craftlands: Survivor
    [center]READ THIS FIRST:

    I have over nine thousand views. This is incredible, and I'd like to thank you all.
    In addition, I am being evicted from my house. The circumstances are complicated and often unreasonable, but the gist is that, having not even completed high school, I am being evicted from my own house. Thus, I've got to work to afford rent. There is no way I will be able to afford internet. This story is thus officially ended.
    Many thanks for everything, MineForum.

    Well, now that we've got that out of the way, here's another fanfiction for you all, in the form of an ongoing diary.

    First up, let's lay down some of the guidelines of my world:

    -No respawning. This world is more like Minecraft imposed upon the real world, in medieval times. That also means:
    -No waking up on a beach in an abysmal outfit.
    -No bodies going 'poof' and disappearing when dead.
    -No blocky people. Real world physics apply somewhat. It's not a cubist world.

    The story follows the periodic diary of Hurly Marron, a farmowner by trade and survivalist by nature.

    [center]Each day is a seperate update. We are at: Day Fifteen. [/center]

    [center]Day One: Twenty Seventh of Woodstock, Year 1275[/center]

    I've been running for ages. Running and hiding. And throughout it all, knowing I would not, I could not, win. I have made one too many enemies, ones who are determined never to give up, no matter the cost. I have been pursued from port to port, city to city by skilled assassins, naught of which I have seen aside from shadows and arrows. Even the most remote of hamlets could not shelter me from their wrath. If I stay within civilization, I will die. So I shall flee further. Today, I shall gather what supplies I can, bid my hosts goodbye and leave human contact behind me for god knows how long, venturing out into the wilderness that is the Craftlands.

    The Craftlands are named so because of their abundance of many rare minerals, from iron to diamond. Many miners and tradesmen have ventured out into this vast, unmapped region, only to meet their death at the hands of nature, or, as it is hinted in the tales, some other force, be it spirits or some unworldly creature. Any scouts that manage to return report ruins of old settlements and shelters littering the landscape, but despite this grim warning, the materials they salvage are always enough to spur on another wave of young hopefuls to their doom.

    It is perfect. I shall wait out the assault on my person there, hidden in the untamed wilds, free from prying eyes. I am not cowed by the rumours, for I am an experienced woodsman, and even if I was not, what could be waiting there that would be more deadly than my current assailants?

    I shall set out with an axe, shovel, pickaxe and sword crafted from stone, my worn flint and steel, some rations of bacon and some torches. I aim to find an island or mountain, an easily defensible position, and stay there until I am presumed dead by any who would wish me so.

    Wish me luck, any who read this. And with that luck, may I become more than just another unlucky miner lost to the wilds.

    - Hurly Marron

    [center]Day Two: Twenty Eighth of Woodstock, Year 1275[/center]

    I set off at dawn today, striking out South towards the Frontier. As I approached the boundary, signs nailed to trees and fences warned of the danger ahead. The terrain changed, subtly at first, but rapidly as I progressed, transitioning from flat farm and woodland to hilly countryside, and finally to almost mountainous, rocky highland. The grass and trees took on a slightly unhealthy, olive colour, and the wildlife, before being ever-present and their noise all-pervading, died away, leaving no sound but that of my boots on the grass.

    But, other than the general sense of malaise, nothing obstructed my passing. The ground, though steep at points, was uncluttered, and the foliage was easy to push through in the rare cases it crept onto the path. It was actually a fairly pleasant journey, better than many I have experienced city-side.

    About midday, the signs disappeared, the path wove itself away into the grass, and the crude fences were nowhere to be seen. I had crossed the border, and was now at the mercy of the Craftlands. There was nothing but my wits to defend me from the whims of nature, and quite frankly, that’s the way I liked it. Back where I belonged at last, away from the trappings of other people. I headed over to the nearest tree, unpacked my rations and sat back, comfortable in the breeze and shade.

    I awoke later, finding about two hours or so had passed. The heat, which had been building steadily throughout the day, was starting to ebb. I packed my things together and headed out again, this time in a South-Eastern direction, looking for an ideal spot to spend the night.
    The mountains were too steep and rocky to climb or establish a shelter, though climbing to the top of a tree on a hill gave me view of a body of water on the horizon, and that was to be my eventual goal, since my water was looked to run out in a few days.

    All was well until about seven of the clock, as the sun was almost set. I espied a small overhang jutting from a hill not half a kilometre west, and made a beeline for it through a thick set of trees. As I did so, there was a familiar whistling sound, followed by a dull ‘thock’ to my left. A quick glance confirmed my fears. It was an arrow. My pursuers had found me already. Not surprising, given my boneheaded move of sticking to the path as far as it lasted. I broke into a sprint, hoping to lose them under the cover of trees. Another whistling noise split the air, and I jinked right, behind a tree, narrowly avoiding another arrow. I heard approaching footsteps, oddly light, but I had no time to contemplate. I rushed forward, almost tripping over a mound of dirt. As I ran, the footsteps remained behind me, never slowing. There were no more arrows, but I had but to stop for a second for them to acquire me as a target.

    The overhang loomed ahead, and I increased my speed, yet realizing I had no idea what I was going to do once I reached it. In desperation, I dodged to the side, round yet another tree, and my grasping hands found a loose branch, which I hurled wildly in the direction of my pursuer. I heard it hit something hard, and then…

    Silence. Slowly, ever so slowly, I drew my sword and crept towards where I heard the noise. My brain was screaming “BAD idea, BAD idea!” over and over, but I had to see who, or what, was chasing me.
    A shadowy form lay prone to the side of the path I had cast through the bushes. As I approached, in complete silence, its form became more apparent, and more bizarre. When I reached it, I saw it was nothing more than the skeleton of a long-dead explorer. The branch had hit its skull, cracking the brittle bone. I stiffened. That meant whoever had shot at me was still somewhere nearby, unharmed. I stood and took a step, scanning the trees, conscious of every breath I made, ever rustle of clothing, every noise I made that seemed to boom out like a town-criers horn. Yet I was not attacked.

    I saw why, or at least in part, as I turned to head to the overhang. A bow lay on the ground, also fractured by the branch. They were one weapon less…
    A sudden scrape of something on grass behind me jolted my adrenalin back into action. I almost cried out loud! It was the assassin, creeping up behind me, knife in hand! I spun, lashing out with my sword, cutting through… empty air. I flew off balance and landed face first in the dirt. I waited, assuming death would come swiftly, but no. After a while, I stood, gathered my sword and wits to me, and let out a shaky laugh. There was nobody sneaking up, behind me or otherwise. Whoever was after me was gone.

    Once more, I turned to head to shelter, and saw something that almost shocked me to death.
    The skeleton, so unassuming until now, moved.

    With a bestial scream, I leapt forward, hysteria and fright taking over. I struck with my sword again and again and again, decimating the skeleton, hewing limb from limb, shattering every bone in two, and then rending every bit into nothing more than a powder. And when the destruction was complete, I cried. I dragged myself to shelter, sobbing. Once I was there, I collapsed, nerves worn and frayed, body exhausted and bruised. And I knew no more until the next day.

    -Hurly Marron.

    [center]Day Three: Twenty Ninth of Woodstock, Year 1275[/center]

    I awoke, face crusted with sweat, mud and tears. I heaved myself into a sitting position, feeling every bit as drained as I did last night. Whatever happened, I had no explanation for. I had only to survive. Speaking of which, I was terribly hungry.

    I bolstered my resolve with some bacon and debated upon my next action. If I moved during the day, I was easier to find, but if I moved at night, I could easily get lost, and had no idea who, or what, was following me. My imagination was far too fertile at the moment, and though I had by then decided I must have imagined the skeleton moving in my fright and paranoia, I still had no wish to tempt fate.
    I cleared up the remains of my passing and set off South-East again, towards the water. I resolved to stop at midday and rest, and continue from then on.

    Time passed quickly, and the only event of note was the forest giving way to grassland, then savannah, and then desert, which stretched all the way out to the water. It was more than a days walk, and since it was rapidly nearing midday, crossing then would have been suicide. I stopped as I reached the tree line, and dug out a small burrow within which I would sleep.

    I awoke at approximately nine of the clock, having been more tired than I thought. Filling in the hole and starting off across the desert were the only things that happened after. Nothing eventful presented itself. The desert was flat, with a noticeable lack of dunes, and it stretched on a great distance in all directions. There was no way I would be snuck up on.

    My journey continued in such a fashion for a good four hours, allowing me to regain my confidence. The land around me was once again seen as a tranquil, deserted paradise.

    -Hurly Marron

    [center]Day Four: Thirtieth of Woodstock, Year 1275[/center]

    I remained confident that I had lost anyone who was following me, for I had not seen any sign of life for hours. As I reached the waters edge, the sun rose in the distance, peaking over an island in the distance, its rays spreading out, haloing the small chunk of dirt and rock. Sitting with my feet in the water, at peace once more, the island looked like a paradise. All it needed was a bit of flora, and it would be the perfect place to hide away.

    Immediately I set about gathering supplies. I would need saplings and bushes to plant, and seeds for food. Meat might be a problem, but I spotted some fish in the water. I would work out a way to catch them.

    With my axe, I felled a lone, spindly tree, and gathered from it more than enough wood to make a boat to take me over and carry my gear. I harvested some saplings from the leaves, and found some seeds, presumably for a sort of grain, in a patch of sparse grass. I pulled up some bushes and longer grass, roots and all, with the intent of using them to hide any entrances to my house I may have.

    I was then faced with the problem of making the boat. To assist in this endeavour, I split the wood into easily manipulated planks, and constructed a rudimentary crafting table to hold the boat. Before long, I had a watertight boat, sealed together with some cunning lock-joints and a bit of grease and sap. Hopefully it would hold long enough for me to reach the island.

    Thusly prepared, I had a thought. Bending down, I cupped my hands and scooped up some water. If it turned out to be salt water, I would not be able to live on the island without another supply, and my preparations were to go to waste. Luckily, the water was clean and fresh. It was a giant inland lake! Armed with this rather astonishing knowledge, I set the boat into the water, loaded everything in and pushed off. The current took me a way out, but when I was about halfway across, it died out, and I reached for… the… oars….

    I had neglected to make any sort of oar! I was a moron of epic proportions. As I contemplated my next action, my stomach gurgled, and I put the problem aside in favour of eating some bacon.
    As I rooted through my bag, I noticed I still had my shovel with me, and an idea struck. Surely I could use a shovel in much the same way as an oar… it wouldn’t be ideal, but it would be better than paddling with my hands. All of a sudden, I felt like a genius.

    Wiping grease from my mouth, I brought the oar out form the bag and set about making my way to the island. However, while the makeshift oar provided adequate propulsion, it was rather heavier than an oar, and combined with the midday sun, the long time I had been awake and the after-effects of a meal, it made me rather tired. I was loathe to take a nap in the middle of a lake rife with currents, but the area I was in was largely still, and there were no waves.

    I slept for about an hour, though my watch was starting to suffer, and it may have been half an hour or so more. I awoke with my boat bumping gently with the slight waves lapping at the shore of the isle.
    Pleasantly surprised, I climbed out of the boat and surveyed the land. The grass was a lush shade of green, almost artificially pleasant. There were no trees or bushes, just grass and some sand at the shores. The entire island sloped up to a small hill, into the side of which was a small recess, where I planed to place the entrance to my home. After making sure there were no dangerous animals hanging around, (there was nothing, aside from a pig that looked a little special) I went back to the boat for my seeds and supplies, only to find, much to my horror, that it had drifted off into the distance!

    After plunging into the water and rescuing my boat, I used it to drag my supplies up to the recess and set about making a shelter. I worked until dark, hollowing out an area roughly three metres across by the same deep in the side of the hill. I broke my shovel against the rock floor, but otherwise things went smoothly. I planted two of my torches in the walls and placed my crafting table against the wall. I then used it, along with the boat (which was falling apart) to make some doors with the wood I had left.

    As the sun set, I planted the last of my saplings and bushes, made plans to make a hoe and till some soil for the seeds at some point, and sat at the top of my hill, watching the sunset. All was still well. I had experienced an extraordinary run of good luck, and intended to milk it as much as I could. Tomorrow, to the hunt I would go.

    My peaceful illusions were quickly shattered as I made my way back to the double doors of my house. There was just the faintest of shuffling, so quiet the ear could barely, barely pick it up if it strained in absolute silence… and then a sharp hissing sound.

    -Hurly Marron

    [center]Day Five: First of Slough, Year 1275[/center]

    Pain. Paaaiiin. Oh, and blood too.
    That was the first thing I thought. I was lying on my back, staring up at the ceiling of my shelter. That was odd. I didn’t remember going to sleep. And what was I lying on? I tried to sit up, and regretted it immediately. My ribs threw up a great protest, causing me to black out.

    The second attempt was better. I dragged myself over to a wall and slowly but surely propped myself up, and as soon as I saw what had happened, I wished I’d stayed on the floor. The outside of my house was completely destroyed. Dirt had been flung everywhere and one of my doors had been blown in, which was what I had been lying on. It looked like a cannon had backfired right outside my door.
    Most of the things inside my house were fine, but some serious work was going to have to be done outside, and I was in little condition to do so. While I had very little in the way of serious injury, the multitude of small cuts, bruises and an aching head were… less than ideal. I propped the door back up and decided to take it easy for the rest of the day. Looking back, I wasted little time or effort pondering the cause of the explosion. Perhaps that was for the better, really.

    So much for stealth, eh?

    -Hurly Marron

    [center]Day Six: Second of Slough, Year 1275[/center]

    Waking up was about as much fun as it way the day before. I was sore, bleary and hungry, and on top of that, endlessly paranoid. I was being chased by shadowy assassins, in a region of dead miners and crumbling forts, and on top of that someone had developed a sort of effective, directed explosive, and deployed it in my direction.

    As I mentioned before, much of my injuries were simply small bruises and cuts. They had healed admirably well, so I was able to move around, albeit slowly. First thing, the door had to be fixed, to ensure nothing unwanted got in. Then, the outside of the house had to be looked at. The way it was, someone was going to notice, and it was hardly safe or appealing to the eye to have a giant crater in front of your door.

    The dirt was easily pushed into place, and I smoothed it out. Aside from the lack of grass, when I was done it was hard to tell there had ever been an explosion, even one of dubious origin. I also replanted some of the saplings that had been uprooted.

    While exploring the island further, I noticed several very strange things. One, there were some strange objects littered around, such as arrows, feathers and the occasional bit of string, or silk. There were also an abundance of cows that most certainly were not there the day before, and a very large spider.

    It was not hostile, quite the opposite, but it was incredibly unnerving, having a giant, slightly furry fanged monstrosity strolling around, though there was a corpse of a similar spider nearby, blown open by the explosion, explaining the string.

    It was truly the most strange wildlife I have ever seen. The spider got bored of scrutinizing me through it’s beady, red eyes sometime around ten of the clock, and promptly dived into the water and ate a fish. There it swam around, perfectly content. This reminded me of my own hunger, and since I was all out of bacon now, I decided to try some beef.

    I approached a cow and struck it with my sword, aiming for a death blow, but the cow shrugged the blow off, mooed loudly and walked away. It took several more blows to bring it down, but the end result was nothing more than some tough, bitter and generally unappealing meat that was almost as leathery as its hide. But noticing the durability of the hide, I set about making some leather clothing for myself. After the past weeks events, it was almost certain I would need it.

    This still did not solve the dilemma of food. Exploration, however, yielded two rotund pigs lazing in the water at the foot of a cliff of the nearby mainland. They yielded plenty of bacon.
    Unfortunately, on the way back to my island I spotted a figure on the beach. Fortunately, however, he was facing the other way, and I made haste back home, deciding to keep all future excursions confined to night-time.

    However, the spider proved to be the greatest asset in terms of food gathering. Watching him frolic happily among the fish corpses lent inspiration, and I went swiftly to my workbench, where I bound the string I had together and attached a staff, and a bauble of wood on opposing ends. Fastening a stone hook on the end, it was ready: My fishing line. A potentially unlimited source of food.

    I spent the rest of the day fishing, and received only two fish for my efforts, the spider having disturbed many of the fish. It was a start, however.
    My mind then turned to feasting, but neither bacon nor fish is appealing raw, so I started up a campfire with the flint and some wood, and roasted them, though I made sure to stamp out the fire when I was done, just before the sun started setting. The last thing I needed was smoke or fire giving my location away.

    My wood is almost spent, but I am fed for a good few days. Once the saplings grow, and they will, for they are already showing signs, I will be supplied for a while, providing my antagonists do not notice the irregular felling of the trees.

    To bed, now.

    -Hurly Marron

    Day Seven: The Third of Slough, Year 1275

    I could not sleep past midnight. The noises outside, various snarls, squeals, hisses and moans told of unspeakable horrors roaming the land, and my overactive imagination foretold them battering down my doors and tearing the flesh from my bones. I am starting to think that some of the legends about this land may be true…

    However, this is not a point to dwell on. I distracted myself by expanding the interior of my shelter to four metres wide and continuing to expand further into the hill, with the goal of reaching the other side. I constructed a rudimentary oven from salvaged stone to cook my food. It is slower than a campfire, but gives off less light, and can be used indoors. It did, however, consume the very last of my wood.

    I soon tired of digging, and after that, there was naught left to distract me, and I alternated between peering out of my doors, trying in vain to catch a glimpse of whatever was making such a god-awful racket, and huddling in a corner trying to sleep. It was most uncomfortable, and I realized the need for a proper bed. My back, though hardy, is bruised and will not take much more of this sleeping on dirt.

    Dawn was a sight for sore eyes. It filled me with some semblance of courage, and as the first rays of sun licked the land, I ventured outside to see what beasts awaited. It was not pleasant.
    A shambling, grotesque mockery of a man staggered out from the shadows above my door, moaning and reaching for me. I could honestly not believe my eyes. Here before me was a fable come to life, death reanimated, a living corpse, and there was only one thing I could do.


    It dropped down between me and the open door, forcing me backwards. I turned to run, but silhouette of an even less friendly being loomed in the near distance, so I cast sense to the winds, and fuelled by fear, charged the monstrosity, sword outstretched. I closed my eyes just before impact, so I only heard the following events. A dull thud, followed by a snarl, a snap, and then I opened my eyes and saw, once again, the ground rushing up as I fell through the doorway. I landed on my back, and lashed out with my feet, somehow slamming the door shut.

    The zombie was displeased, not in the least because half of my sword was sticking through it’s chest. I looked down at the ruined hilt in my hand, back up and the zombies rotting face, and fled to the other side of the shelter. And there I stayed, and would have forever, until something bizarre happened.

    It burst into flame. As the sun climbed higher in the sky and the light got brighter, the foul creature began to bubble, writhe and burn. The smell of rotting flesh filled the air as it sank slowly to the ground, screaming and moaning.

    When it was done, I stepped outside, over the pile of ash and (bizarrely) feathers, blinked in disbelief, and threw up. Then I went inside, had a hearty breakfast of fish and bacon, and crafted a hoe, so I could eat something other than dead animals. Throughout the entire process, my mind vigorously denied what had just happened, blanking out the past hour. A sheep wandered in (and I am still at a loss as to how this wildlife ends up on my island, for it most certainly was not there the day before.) and as I batted it away, it’s wool fell off at a particularly vicious strike, and the poor creature wandered away, dumbfounded. But me? I had a bed.

    Venturing outside, hoe in hand, I discovered yet another curiosity, and solved a mystery. A tall green pillar stood at the waters edge on the eastern side of the isle. I thought it was a bush of some kind, but as I approached, it turned, and the look on it’s face was one of utter despair. It stepped towards me, and I stepped towards it.. And then it made the all to familiar hissing sound, and I leapt back as it swelled and exploded.

    Dirt and sand showered everywhere, and water rushed in to fill the gap. I stood up, shocked but unharmed. So THAT was what exploded before. Not a weapon, but a suicidal freak of nature. Hard to see what niche they fitted into, but nonetheless, they existed. Neither did they burn in sunlight, and thus were a constant threat. With my mind somewhat shell-shocked, my body went into autopilot, mechanically filling in the crater, and noting, with almost amused detachment, a sticky, light-blue sand -like substance nearby.

    Given time, I gathered my wits about me and ventured out once more to grow some crops. I planted my seeds, all six of them, and surrounded them with bushes to disguise them. They would grow faster with water and light nearby at all times, but light at night would have given me away, and I had no vessel with which to carry water. The thought of crafting one from wood crossed my mind, briefly, but my capabilities with wood extend only slightly beyond chopping it into planks and sticks.

    The rest if the day passed slowly, with nothing to do but fish and wait for the plants to grow.
    Night was uneventful, for once.

    -Hurly Marron

    [center]Day Eight: Fourth of Slough[/center]

    Expanding my home, I finally broke out to the other side of the hill. Having created a passage through the dirt to hide my door, I found myself lacking any sort of door at all. My trees were not grown, and I was all out of wood. I was going to have to venture off-shore to get it, and I would have to do it at night, since I had seen the shadowy figures patrolling in the distance, and did not want to incur their wrath. It would be a journey to remember.

    I set my sights on a small island to the West. I would go in, chop down the trees and hope nobody noticed. I set off just as the sun dipped below the hills on the mainland, staying underwater for as long as possible. I made it to the isle in three breaths, and quickly set about demolishing the resident tree population. Within ten minutes, the three trees and growth of reed on the shore were hacked down, bundled into my pack and heading back to base.

    My return was uneventful. One of those things that had crept up on me was waiting at the shore, but was slow to notice me, and by the time it did, I was home and safe.
    I built a door, and set about making my home neater, prepped my bed, and now, I sleep.

    For once, a safe, easy day.

    -Hurly Marron

    Day Nine: Fifth of Slough, Year 1275

    It was waiting for me. That creeping monster that had been too slow the night before was at my door. The instant I opened it he sprung from cover and began to swell. Thankfully, as soon as it was shut, he stopped, but he has not gone away. He is still sitting (standing? I can’t tell) at my door, waiting. This is the exact purpose I built the second, back door for, but I still need a way to get rid of it, since outside my back door lies something very noisy, likely a zombie.

    Later on, it got worse.

    Upon attempting to exit my back door, despite the noise, my fears were confirmed. A walking corpse had somehow climbed up from the base of the steep hill, and was making its slow but determined way to my door. I could not get around it, for the narrow passage I had constructed to hide my door from prying eyes was just wide enough for one person, living or dead, or some other combination of the two.

    Assailed on both sides by creatures of myth, I could do nothing but hide in the most remote corner of my home, clutching my sword to my chest, praying to whatever gods held sway over this land that I be allowed to live.

    That did not last for long. My mind was already unhinged, and as it was shaken loose from its last remains of sensibility by the fright of the situation, was overtaken by a morbid curiosity. At the back of my mind, there was a deranged certainty that I was going to make it out alive, and this spurred me on to take a closer look at my assailants. The green, silent creature was the least threatening, (it was so still, it could have been asleep) so I approached it first.

    Eying it from behind the relative safety of my crude door, two things struck me. First was its uncanny resemblance to a large, walking bush. It was crinkly in texture, like dry leaves, and of the exact same colour. It was almost completely composed of a single, tall, square body, with four small, almost podgy legs protruding from the very base, connected by the spindliest of joints. The second was its face.
    The only features on its otherwise flat face were two eyes and a mouth, which was nothing unduly remarkable. What was striking was the feeling of complete hopelessness. Whether this was because of the fact that the eyes and mouth were cavernous, black pits, or the look of sadness etched upon its face, I do not know. I found myself lost in a trance, all feeling slowly being washed away, replaced by a gnawing emptiness, and the thought:
    “A hug…. I need a hug… a hug will make everything better…”

    Suddenly, I came to my senses. I reeled backwards, mind throbbing. What was that? Something was decidedly wrong about that creature. It’s haunting gaze had sucked me in, and if not for the door….
    Backing away, I turned to the back door, meaning to flee, get as far away from that thing as possible, but I must have been entranced by the thing for a while, because the corpse was right at my door, decomposing and trying to bash its way in. It had done more damage to itself than the door at that point, but eventually, it would wear away to bone, and the door would come off second best.

    It’s all very well to sit here, writing about it now, but then, the terror of the situation overwhelmed me once again. Spinning back and forth between the doors, sword clutched in both hands, desperation once again sunk its cold, gnarled hands into my brain, muddling my senses and judgement. I would come to a decision, rush forward, and then abruptly be forced back by some contrived reason from the back of my mind. There was no winning, no way out, and it became a choice between messy death, and the sweet, ever-so-soft touch of insanity.

    Back, forth, back again. Swing the sword, rush the door! No, back, back! You’re going to die, die, DIE! Got to run, got to hide! The walls, claw down the walls! They’re inside already, there is no hope! Take them all, you can do it! They’ll all die! Swing the sword! Take it’s face off! NO! It’ll kill you! Back, away! Too late!

    Amidst the haze, I must have flung myself into action eventually, for, in slow motion, my sword swept up, forward, and plunged through the door, into the ghastly face of the creepy green thing. And I stood there, rooted to the spot as the door gently swung open, and the creeping thing took two steps, looked me dead in the eyes, hissed… and fell flat, crumbling into a pile of grey dust.

    I staggered forward, through the pile, and out into the bright sunlight. Idling on to the waters edge, I faintly registered the sound of a door splintering, and a the shambling of dead feet. Then I was kneeling, washing away the fear-, no, the blind terror, washing it away with the pure lake water. And slowly, it all filtered away, and was replaced with a sort of dull euphoria.

    The walking corpse followed me outside, and was crisped by the sun, not that I noticed at the time. I was too busy lying on the grass, staring up into the sky, delighting in being alive.

    It’s become a pattern, really. Alternating from pure, mind-shattering terror to uninhibited yet blinding bliss, and frankly, it’s going to get me killed. I thought I had steeled my mind against all that this world had to offer me, but the Craftlands are something else altogether. I’m going to have to pull myself together and stay straight, or I’ll slip up and be killed, either by the natives, or by my shadowy pursuers, if they haven’t already succumbed to the horrors.

    But I have killed, now. I am stronger, and I will persevere. Losing is, as always, not an option.

    -Hurly Marron

    Day Ten: Sixth of Slough, Year 1275

    The denizens of this land can do more than try to maim and maul me, as I have discovered today. They can do far worse.

    At least a death by their hands (or limbs… or whatever it is the creeping things have) would be quick, and honourable. But death by starvation, or worse, simple malnutrition, is slow, painful and undignified. While a simple tradesman, I share the warriors affinity for honour, and their appreciation for strategy. The creatures have made a winning move.

    Not that I’m entirely sure if it was intentional. Heck, I don’t even know if these things can think at all. But nonetheless, while battle raged, while I was off gathering trees, they set to work. Trampling forward, they dragged themselves all over my crops, uprooting those few that have managed to escape the clinging roots of the trees, and sought what little light filters through the branches. All their growth for naught, as the beasts trampled them into the dirt.

    That’s my only source of non-animal food gone, and without that, I will soon succumb to the wastes, or as the sea folk call it, scurvy. The gums are first, bleeding, blackening and loosening. Then the sores, weeping puss. The eyes lose their sight, the ears dull, their skin tears. In short, I die, slowly.

    That sounds rather morbid. Indeed, the thought of such a fate was enough to spur me into action earlier, and I devoted almost the entire day to finding some sort of eatable plant life. My luck, however, failed me. I did find a few shrivelled seeds, but that’s all. Not surprising, given that the colder months are here. Slough, named after the residual snow that falls in town, and inevitably ends up mashed, sticky and brown., is just the beginning. Crops will not grow well in such cold weather, so I’m going to have to plant quickly, keep them warm somehow, and scavenge the nearby islands for whatever I can.

    I have an interesting design in mind for an elevated farm that would protect my crops from mobs, but it might be too visible. And there’s that idea I have for a monster-proof lower floor…. Bah. So much to do. I never figured I’d have to deal with otherworldly beings when I headed out here. Still, at least they can’t plot against me.

    Not that I know of…

    As a side note, I collected the dust dropped by the green walking bush. Well, less ‘collected’ and more ‘swept into a corner with my feet’. Still, I might find a use for it.

    -Hurly Marron

    Day Eleven: Seventh of Slough, Year 1275

    There might be hope after all. Though I have planted the seeds I found and placed a torch nearby to ward off cold and dark, they are no longer my only source of non-meat nutrition. As I write this, on another isle about ten minutes swim away, there is a small group of almost-grown wheats and grains high up on a cliff, protected from stray animals due to its isolated height. It will not be long before I can harvest them, and they should be enough to keep me alive, if not completely fed, through the cold months.

    How I found them is a bizarre story, and I am beginning to suspect that this land holds far more secrets than I had ever anticipated. Early in the morning, unable to sleep, due once again to the infernal creatures of the night, I slipped out through my back door. I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to stay put and have a repeat of the last few hellish nights.

    Swimming over to the cliff where I caught the pigs previously, I figured I’d reach a high point, maybe the top of the cliff, and sit there till the sun rose. According to my watch, which I have now determined to be broken, that was only an hour away.

    The face of the cliff was steep, and climbing that jagged, rocky ascent would either have killed me, or taken hours. I took a slight detour, going to the left of the cliffs, heading for what appeared to be a climbable stretch of dirt, and despite it actually turning out to be more dirty rock than dirt, I was able to make it too the top with no complications.

    I sat myself down at the edge, legs dangling over the shimmering waters below. All was quiet, save for the shambling of a faraway monstrosity still trying to batter its way through my front door.
    Before me lay an unrivalled vista, untouched by human hand. The inland lake stretched out to the horizon, speckled with a myriad of tiny islands, each a tiny, perfect gem set into a bed of sapphire.

    Time passed, and I was joined by a lone sheep. Having either abandoned or lost its herd, it made its way over to me. Tentatively, it walked up beside me, and together we shared the view, appreciating the solitude and beauty of the moment, or as much as a sheep could, I suppose.

    Then I punched it and took its wool. I was starting to feel the cold, and a mound of irregularly smooth and malleable sheep-hair was just what I needed.
    Offended, it wandered off, presumably in search of sheepy things to do.

    Now, it must be noted that I’m not really one to get all poetic and dewey-eyed about a pretty landscape, but that was a real special something, that morning. But it was ruined by an attack on my person, as all good mornings seem to end nowadays.

    As I sat, contemplating my life so far, there was a slight whiffle, and a second later, a splash. I looked down into the water to see what had caused it, and another whiffle occurred, noticeably closer to my head, also followed by a splash. I spun around and to my feet, only to hear the telltale stretching of bowstring. Uncertain of the direction of my attacker, I threw myself to the ground, and another arrow flew by from somewhere to my left. It missed by an even smaller margin than the arrow before.

    Taking stock, I decided that I’d been shot at more than enough, and sprang to my feet, clutching my impromptu blanket in both hands. Charging forward, I zigzagged towards the source of the arrows and leapt. I collided with something hard an bony, and we both fell down, tumbling over a few metres of dirty rock, which became substantially more rocky than I remembered.
    Recovering quickly, I wrapped the blanket over what I assumed to be my attackers head and tried to throw them off the edge.

    But they were hindered little by their lack of sight, for they managed to throw me off and almost over the cliff edge with surprising strength for someone so bony. The blanket tumbled down into the water below, a grim reminder of the fate that would await me if I was to fail.

    As the figure rose to its feet, I launched myself at them again, smashing aside their bow and wrapping my hands around their neck. They found naught but bone and air, and as the suns first rays sliced through the pre-dawn cloud and struck its face, I knew I was mad. Completely and utterly bonkers. Because what I saw was a grinning, bare skull.

    Stunned, and despite my earlier resolution to stay firm in mental resolve, I staggered back, dumbfounded. My mind flashed back to my first night in the Craftlands, and my flight from a similar shadow….

    Then I was struck, and falling back, the ground failing to catch me. I dropped through the air in slow motion, the mocking grin taunting me all the way down to the bottom.

    My fall was halted swiftly. I missed the rocks below, landing in the water with a pronounced SHPLOOOMPH. I was dragged down, the waters chilly grip snatching at me, at my clothes. I tried, desperately, to swim back up, but my flailing only spun me around more, disorienting and tiring me. Down, down and down I was pulled by an inexorable force, and then, I was sure I would die. Down there, in the darkening water, such a fate was almost inevitable.

    But luck, which had so far favoured me, did not disappoint. Suddenly, I was wrenched to the side, my downwards spiral halted. A thick, slimy tentacle wound its way around my torso, tightening almost painfully, causing me to exhale in shock. Bubbles swirled around my face, speeding away, caught by another current, never to be seen again. My view darkened, my limbs grew heavy, water rushed in to fill the airless void in my chest. Before unconsciousness embraced me, I caught a glimpse, at the end of the tentacle, of something sharp and shiny, and I knew, in that fleeting instant, what had happened, and knew if I was lucky, I would never wake.
    But I did. I was wet, bruised, and sore, but I did. My nose was filled with an aggressively dank smell, undercut by a sharper odour of decay as if from a cellar, left abandoned and littered with corpses for decades. It was pitch black, so I dared not move. I took stock of what I knew: I was lying on a rock, mostly. My legs floated in water, which was still, deathly so. I raised my arm, and met ceiling almost immediately. Light flared out for an instant, causing me to gasp in pain.

    Tenatively, I reached out again, and touched the ceiling with a single finger. Light blossomed out where I touched, blinding me, but I did not move my finger. As my eyes adjusted, the cave around me slowly faded into view. There was little of it above water, only a few rocks, like mine, that protruded from the water. One held what looked to be the bones, and a little flesh, of a pig. Lichen covered that rock, but none of the others. The same growth covered the entire ceiling, and I almost withdrew in disgust. I knew it only ate dead flesh, for I had heard tales of such places.

    Flesh-eating lichen, the remains of an animal almost completely stripped of its flesh. I knew that if I looked closer, I would see beak-like marks covering the bones. A tentacle, strong enough to hold a grown man, a dank underwater cave.

    I was in the lair of a giant squid, waiting for the beast to become hungry one more, and devour me. I had been right, in the water. It would have been better if I had never awoke. I slumped back, hand falling into the water. I lay there, hopeless, tattered, anticipating at any moment the cruel beak of my captor. My hand and feet floated in the water, my breathing steadied, and I froze.

    I shouldn’t be able to breathe. There was no way for air to get down here, and what little breatheability it had would have been taken by the many generations of prey brought down here. Unless there was a way out. Closing my eyes, I pressed my palm flat against the lichen once more, and light flared out again, causing me to wince even behind my clenched lids.

    What followed was a partially-blind, manic search, in icy water and stale air, for any sign of a hole. Anything, from a slight breeze to a spot of crumbled, worn rock. Many a time I found myself treading water, unable to touch the ceiling or any walls, completely blind, imagining myself stuck there forever, stretching out to walls that were forever beyond my grasp.

    And then, I felt a waft of air blow down, and I launched myself at it with a fervour that only imminent death can provide. My hands latched onto a tiny, tiny ledge, lighting up a hole that was hidden by a low fold of rock. I pulled myself into the hole, my every contact with the rock further illuminating the tunnel, which stretched up almost vertically into the rock.

    I gritted my teeth, braced by feet against one side of the rock, my back against the other, my arms at the sides, and began my long, wearying ascent.
    Ordinarily, I would never have made it up that tunnel, but the thought of falling back into that cave, where the tentacled horror MUST have been waiting, beak open, under the hole, was too strong for that. I shuffled up and up, resolutely pressing myself against the rough walls, the lichen which had feasted on the deaths of so many lighting up my path, and saving mine.

    I pulled myself out of that hole in the ground, emerging into a well-lit cave. I stumbled along towards the exit, and emerged, blinking, into the light, standing on a small ledge leading to a larger, higher-up ledge. It was midday, and the sun, high up in the sky, was a welcome sight. I made my wearied way up to the larger ledge, which jutted out over the waters, and peered out into the distance, hoping to find a landmark by which could locate myself.

    To my surprise and pleasure, I saw the pig-cliff, and my home, out in the distance. It was a long, long way away, far too far for me to swim, but that did not dishearten me. I figured that there would be some way through the caves below to at least get closer to home, and I was proved right in the end.

    But something far more important caught my eye as I turned back. Grains. A straggly group of wheats grew near the edge of the ledge, Almost completely ripe, with barely a hint of green. A grin spread across my face, and I knew I was safe. They would be ripe soon.

    Given that this island I was on now was fairly distinguishable, being a tall pillar topped with grass, I was sure I would be able to find a way back by boat. My problem then, was getting home through the cave. Taking a last look around, I headed back inside, and made my way down and along.
    The cave itself was fairly linear, though steep, and I found it surprisingly hard going now that the adrenaline had worn off. My chest ached, both from the skeletons blow and the embrace of the squid. My back, feet and arms were rubbed raw, and my leather clothes I had made were in tatters. But I made my way along the cave, which headed roughly in the direction of my home. I ignored the smaller offshoots that came at irregular intervals, and followed the main path, wondering what could have caused such a straight tunnel.

    Knowing these lands, probably some long-forgotten beast, many eons ago, that was eventually destroyed by an even fouler denizen. It’s not place for the soft and sensitive, certainly. Anything less than a ton of sharp teeth and reflexes faster than an arrow is practically a death sentence.

    Nevertheless, despite my lack of either, I manage to make it back home. The tunnel, quite conveniently, brought me to the surface about five minutes walk from the pig-cliff, and from there it was a short swim back to base. I did pause at the top, looking down, remembering how the day started. There was a small pile of ash and bones nearby, presumably the end of my skeletal opponent. I am no longer much surprised by the creatures I meet, and a walking skeleton is far more palatable than a rotting corpse.

    Now, as I mentioned, I have a way to get back to the crop-island, and have planted some of my gathered seeds. I’ve protected them, not by a raised platform, but by an underground one, somewhat. It’s a pit, not incredibly deep, and I’ve covered it with a criss-crossing of sticks. Making them was the last of my axe, however, which is now cracked and blunted.

    The pit’s got a torch at the bottom, to ward off the cold and keep it light, which should help them grow. I don’t think that anyone chasing me is going to see it, given that they’re probably dead by now. Much of what I have now is worn down or broken in some way. Tomorrow, I will take inventory.
    Things are coming together, and its looking like I might survive after all.

    -Hurly Marron

    Day Twelve: Eighth of Slough, Year 1275

    My supplies are running down, but will hold for the foreseeable future. All that is left of my original equipment is my worn, trusty flint and steel. My tools are broken, and I should craft some more. I intend to expand my house, creating a basement below in which to store my supplies. It will take a large amount of work, and the stone I carry out will have to be stored somewhere. I planned out my approach today. Being unable to chop down any trees, I have an alternate solution. I shall take some of the powder from the leafy monster I killed, and use it, with a fuse of wool, to blow up both some rock and a tree. I shall proceed from there by splitting the wood with chunks of stone, and go from there. The specifics are hazy, but I’ll figure it out as I go.

    I also need to make a base for my bed. I’ve got a nice woolly blanket and mattress, but no base. The dirty stone floor pokes through in inconvenient points, making sleep, at times, uncomfortably surprising.

    I’ve spent most of today simply tidying up, catching fish and cooking it with fallen branches and leaves. I honestly think that my pursuers are dead, not that it in any way guarantees my safety, but I can take more risks. Sometime in the future, more of them will find me, but that is a long time off. For now, I have only the land and its spawn to contest with.

    How do they keep getting onto my island? I swear, it’s inexplicable. A pig, which looks just as special as the same one I saw my first day on the island was happily shitting on my crops through the stick lattice earlier today. Not that I’m complaining, of course, but…. Bah.

    -Hurly Marron

    Day Thirteen, Ninth of Slough, Year 1275
    I have captured a sheep.

    This morning, I awoke to find a whole flock of sheep on my island. There were seven-odd sheep, in varying shades of grey, trampling all over. My crops are still safe, as none of them were heavy enough to break the stick lattice.

    I cannot say it was a heroic battle, or even any sort of struggle. These animals seem never to have seen a human before, and are completely unafraid of my presence. Neither are they very bright, for all it took was a handful of grass to lure it inside my home, where I then shut it in. It seems more than happy, even now, to simply wander back and forth, chewing on the grass I’ve piled in a corner. Even the rest of the flock seem completely disinterested. In fact, so much so that I’m wondering if all the animals around here are… special.

    But more exciting things than herding sheep happened today. Explosions, for one.
    I carried out my plan, setting down some small measure of powder, (a good way from my house, on the mainland) laying out a fuse of wool, lighting the end, and running. I dived behind a small mound, clamped my hands over my ears, and waited. Nothing. I stood up, cautiously sneaking a glance at the powder. The flame had reached it, and was burning the last of the wool, but it was not igniting. Perhaps it was not flammable, but chemical in nature?

    Hurrying back, I bent down to look at the powder, laid out in the roots of a tree. It was sitting there, clumped together, slightly sticky… and I realized, to my horror, that it had been wetted from my swim over. As I watched, and yet another sheep sniffed around nearby, the ebbing flame flickered at its edge, and a small, small section of the clump seemed to be unclamping itself, powdering out.

    What came next can only really be described as a sort of ’foomph’ sound. From behind the low rise of grass (to which I had moved with surprising speed) , I saw chunks of dirt, rocks, sapling, and an unfortunate sheep, all fly past at an alarming speed. This continued for around ten seconds, bits of earth still plodding to the ground. That in itself was amazing enough, but when I saw the crater it had left, I could hardly believe what I saw.

    The powder, evidently much more destructive outside of the strange animal it had come from, had blown a hole in the ground at least a metre deep, and several wide. The Tree that once stood firm was not so much uprooted as obliterated, the bottom half spread over several metres, and the top smashed and splintered, but relatively intact, not far away. A closer look revealed small hunks of rock driven deep into the wood, splitting it.

    There didn’t seem to be anything left of the sheep.

    From that, I gleamed enough wood and stone to craft a shovel, axe and a sort of pick-hammer. They’re sitting by my door now, roughly carved, but suitable. Tomorrow, (as I do continue saying) I shall make good use of them.

    I’ve let the sheep go, as I’ve taken its wool, and I doubt I will have trouble locating another.

    Note to self: I’ve really, really got to make a base for my bed, this floor is more than uncomfortable.

    Hurly Marron

    [center]Day Fifteen, Eleventh of Slough, year 1275[/center]

    The last few days have not particularly been of note. Certainly, they've been full of toil, but nothing worthy of detailing. Most of my time has been spent excavating the dirt and stone under my floor in an attempt to create some sort of stronghold against any invaders. I've made headway, but am not really sure what to do with all of the rock I've hauled up. There's a good few cubed metres of rock so far, and a lot more to go, and piling it up anywhere nearby is going to draw note. I've settled for sinking the stones in the lake, but I'm going to want to save at least some of it.

    I've also attempted to make some sort of base for my bed from the remains of the exploded tree, but exchanging pointy rocks for splinters isn't my idea of a good trade, so that idea is gone unless I have the time to log a new tree, and that's not happening any time soon.

    My nights have been quiet, and my days long and plain. The weather's growing colder, and my fledgling crops are showing the worse for wear. So, in an effort to stockpile something to eat for the next few months, the last few hours of today was spent on a trip through the undertunnel discovered earlier, back towards the growth of grains.
    This was where I ran into some trouble. Sure, the trip was fine, though that tunnel continues to creep me out more than a little. The grains were perfectly ripe, and as of now are sitting in a makeshift leather bag, waiting to be bread-ed.

    When I returned home, however, things appear to have taken a turn for the worst. My crops are still intact, and growing as well as they can, my tools are untouched, my meagre meat reserves fresh, and my bed unspoiled.

    There is a small wooden sign leaning up against my tools. It is a very simple and crude sign, the message on it just as plain. It reads, "Found you."

    -Hurly Marron
    [center]--++We're rockin' on as planned. Soon, another day. CLIFFHANGER LOL ++--[/center]
    Posted in: Fan Art
  • 1

    posted a message on Hearding
    Did I? What IS the point, then?
    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Hearding
    Such a function would be highly unweildy.
    Many similar suggestions, such as shepards staves (that cause no damage to animals and/or make them move away from you) and holding/dropping wheat, where the animals move towards said wheat. Some of these have been implemented in mods, and they're pretty much all more intuitive than this.
    Search bar is your best buddy, for future reference.
    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 3

    posted a message on Realistic Obsidion
    Quote from cheddercheese99

    Obsidion should be like glassy. It is still opaque, but it can be broken easily with any pickaxe, HOWEVER only a diamond pick can EXTRACT the ore (get it as a pickup) also, Obsidion should be an alternative to flint for arrows, because evidence shows ancient people (especially in Pompeii) made arrowheads out of obsidion shards.

    I'm going to stop you right there.
    Realism for the sake of realism has never been, and will never be, a part of what CraftMine is.
    Changing a core feature (the difficulty of obtaining or moving said obsidian) just because in
    real life, it's that way, is absurd.

    It should not be "like glassy", either. Changing obsidian to look in any way proper while transparent would be time consuming and inane, especially since I'm decently sure real obsidian (if we're going by realism here) is not actually transparent.

    It most certainly should also not be related to arrows in any way. It's not fragile in CraftMine, thus splitting it into shards makes no sense. Besides, it's hugely blast-resistant, rare and makes portals. Why would you add another use to it, one that's already filled by flint, an abundant and cheap resource?

    There's everything wrong with the myriad of suggestions about obsidian, and there area a LOT of them. In future, the search bar should be your best friend. This is not an original, or worthwhile, idea.
    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Far Lands save file
    What is it with people and saying that? All you really need to do is take a look in the .zip or .rar file before you open it. Besides, when was the last time someone bothered spreading a virus through a download on this site, let alone a user with more than 800 posts?
    Posted in: Maps
  • 5

    posted a message on Bedrock is not Indestructable
    Terrible. First off, you wouldn't have to turn the damage off, because you only loose durability when you finish mining a block, not while mining. Second, how would one even 'crunch the numbers'? How would you then work out how long other tools would take to mine it?

    If bedrock really wasn't indestructable, then people would have looked at the code and figured it out.
    So, no. This isn't even slightly legit, or funny.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on How old are Minecraft players?
    16. There are a LOT of tweens and teens around, but not many under 13, thankfully.
    Posted in: Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Munkkeli's signatures
    I saw the Survivor, and that's pretty awesome. I also saw that you cubed them, and it looks better than rounded edges, you're right.
    Pretty cool stuff.
    Posted in: Art Shops
  • 3

    posted a message on Munkkeli's signatures
    Cute... however, may I suggest making a transparent background so you don't get that ugly white corner?
    Other than that, well done indeed. I'd use one, but my signature is full up.

    If I may, I'd like to suggest another: I'm the Survivor.

    If you're not familiar with the survivor gameplay, it's pretty much a nomadic lifestyle, moving from place to place.

    OFC, you could call it the Nomad or w/e, but I call it he 'survivor'.
    Posted in: Art Shops
  • 1

    posted a message on In-game Voice Over
    I... I think you need to get your english down first. It took me a little while to get to what you were saying. I think (if I got it right) you want an inbuilt voice recorder in the game so people can make LP's. You'd also need a video record function as well, to go with it. Seems needlesly complex, given that:

    Microsoft has INBUILT recording stuff, and there's loads of free software for this exact purpouse, and nobody but the people who make LP's would use this.
    Posted in: Suggestions
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