Day 171: Once more into the abyss

Day 171:

That cavern I’ve been working on is finally finished. I made enough glass block to carry light all the way down the fifteen levels that I’ve dug.  So with that finished, I said I was going to start digging up, but now I’m not so sure.

I’m only about one “level” deep from the bedrock, which my digging tools can’t penetrate. If I go down that one last level, then anything I dig from there up will be a baseline for anywhere that I’m going.

It’s also well-known that the most valuable stones and ores tend to be closest to the magma layer, and as I can hear lava bubbling below my feet, well, I have to admit I’m a bit greedy.

And probably stupid. I’ll likely get killed doing this.

Watercolor of a stick figure on one side of a river of lava, and a large rock with multicolored gemstones sticking out on the other side.
It feels like this sometimes.

Day 170: more sand

Day 170:

It’s miserable and rainy but I woke up this morning out of sand for making glass. “Big deal”, you may think, but glass is the best way for me to funnel light into the caverns, and light is the best way to keep monsters away, so I’m a big fan of glass.

Years ago my grandfather took me on a tour of a maritime museum. The ancient sea ships used glass insets called “ship’s prisms” to diffuse the sunlight that was hitting the deck so that it would light larger areas of the decks below. I’ve started making a few for some of the caverns where I can set a prism into the rock surface above me and capture light.

It’s no plasma torch, but it’s better than my usual torches.

The other nice thing about making glass on a cold rainy day is that when you’ve spent the whole day on your knees in a river bed shoveling sand into bags, a roaring hot furnace is kind of a nice thing to have.

Watercolor of a six-sided ship’s prism.
A ship’s prism, upside-down.

Day 169: The base of all things

Day 169:

While digging out one of the biggest caverns I’ve dug out so far, I’ve discovered that a whole nest of different caves come together just outside what I’m building as the bracing walls for this cavern.

I discovered it because zombies have been falling into that area all day.

They make a weird groaning squish sound when they fall off a cliff. And it makes them a bit easier to kill, although I feel a little more guilty slaughtering zombies with broken legs. Not that I think they’d hesitate to kill me if I got within reach. They’ve made it clear they would.

Anyway, it’s interesting not only because I can see vast layers of different kinds of ore and stone and geologic history on these caves, but also because it implies that there’s a way in or out somewhere above. (I mean, unless the zombies are breeding within the caverns, but I’m not sure I want to know what they’re eating if they are.)

And most of them appear to head toward the big mountain.

So when I’m done this massive cavern I’m framing out, I will be digging up for the first time in a while.

Line drawing of one zombie on the floor swinging at something off-screen and another zombie falling from above.
They threaten to kill me even as they fall on each other.

Day 168: Sunless

Day 168:

Sometimes when you get sucked into something, you get sucked in all the way.

I’ve been digging toward the mountain, but I’ve found so much ore lately that I’ve been at the depth of the planet. Below is only bedrock, pretty much useless to try to dig through. Above is a whole lot of nothing, as I’m at the bottom of that long chasm I found ages ago.

So there’s a lot of dark, and cold, and damp.

It’s not so cold that I need to make a jacket, and in fact I’m pretty good at judging when I’m near a pocket of lava just by the change in temperature in the space. (The popping noises don’t hurt either.) I’ll admit I’ve been known to stand in one of the hot spaces longer than is probably healthy just to warm up and dry off occasionally. So far I haven’t succumbed to any poisonous gasses.

The sky is so far away that sometimes I forget what the sun looks like, which is why days like yesterday when I harvested sand instead are so important.

I’m back down in the dark today, missing the sun. Wondering if this ore is so important. Wondering if I shouldn’t just get to that mountain and build myself a nice castle and settle down to ducken farming for the rest of my life.

Watercolor of a chamber with a bedrock floor and grey walls, filled with leather sacks that are tied off at the top.
Lots of bags of rocks down here, and I get to haul them all back up to the surface myself.

Day 167: Sand and explosions.

Day 166:

At least when the giraffe corgi monsters explode behind me while I’m digging up sand, they blow most of the sand onto the beach where it’s easier for me to pick up later.

You know, later, after I’ve regained consciousness.

Been a rough day, is what I’m saying.

Drawing of a simple pocket watch. The face has a moon at the 12 position, a half-risen sun at the 3 position, a full sun at the 6 position, and a half-risen moon at the 9 position. It also only has one hand.