Day 85: Off-course

Day 85:

I’ve gotten a lot of valuable stone out of the hills lately, but since I’ve started drawing a map of where the cave chambers are going, I’ve realized I’m digging in the wrong direction.

Time to turn things around I guess. Can’t get to the mountain by digging north.

A sketch of the artist's paper-making setup. The artist spreads cane pulp in the center of a rectangular stone with a ridge cut into its top, then sets a much larger rectangular stone on top.The liquid gets pressed out of the pulp, runs through the ridges, to a spigot that drains into a bowl that will hopefully crystallize into sugar. When the paper is dry and flat, the author removes the stone and collects the paper to dry further. Labeled "how I make paper".
Oh hey! By the way, making paper seems to be working. Here’s my setup.

Day 84: sigh.

Day 84:

What’s tall, green, skinny, has four tiny feet, and explodes you and your fence while you’re trying to chase off skeletons?

I never should’ve gone outside today. That’s what I get for trying to keep the skeletons out of my cows.

All cows still accounted for. Some duckens missing, but hey, now I have some seed to feed them (since the giraffe corgi blew up some nice wild wheat in the process) so that will be fixed shortly.

Line sketch of a fence, collapsed in the middle, with a cow looking out of it. Below, a human, leaning her head on her right hand and trying to put her left hand on her right knee. But in the image, the legs are so badly drawn they look broken or displaced or something.
Wow. I am lousy at drawing people when there are none to look at but me.

Day 83: kaboom

Day 83:

I’m serious about the duckens down in the tunnels. I know it probably seems like I jump around a lot in these logs, but it’s hard to do one thing day in and day out when you’re in charge of everything. I can’t just grow food – even at the rate the food here grows there isn’t enough to keep me busy every day. Besides, if I did, things like gathering wood to keep the fires burning or making tools wouldn’t happen. And I can’t make tools every day or I wouldn’t have food. And between all those things, I need to dig.

Well, technically I don’t need to dig. I’ve been here almost 3 months now and The Company isn’t back yet — and when they do come back (I refuse to think they won’t), then I’m going to give them such an earful they’ll be paying me not to dig.

But I love to dig. It’s stress-relieving and I’m good at it, and it’s like playing a constant adventure game.

Anyway, I’ve gathered about 50 eggs (I’m pretty sure they’re fertilized because these duckens breed like proverbial bunnies) and I’m gathering more.

Meanwhile, after I gathered all today’s eggs, I went out to the trees to harvest some wood. Halfway up a large dark oak tree I hear a noise below me and — yup — giraffe-corgi explosion. Ever fall down with a tree? I don’t recommend it. I think I dislocated (and then reset) my elbow and HOLY COD does that hurt.

Taking tomorrow off. If all else fails I’ll have eggs for dinner.

A single tan egg. Watercolor, with a bit of shading. The author is getting a little fancier with the art lately.
I can paint an egg one handed. Or cook one.

Day 82: Hot and cold running lava

Day 82:

That big vein I found yesterday? It was the roof of a much bigger cavern… and that cavern had both water flowing through it and active magma seeping through one of the walls.

Actual. Lava.

Clearly I do not have the equipment to deal with that.

It is damned hot down there. No humidity to be found. Stinks to high heaven and I’m lucky the fumes haven’t killed me.

So yeah, when I said the other day I should probably be taking a ducken down with me? Now I’m thinking more like fifty duckens. Enough to immediately tell if I’ve found a bad pocket of air.

Oh, and because I know you were wondering: yes, there are zombies in the coddamned cave full of magma.

A black background with a white lightning-bolt-like slash int he ground. Inside the slash there's a small lava-fall coming out of one wall.
It’s so bright it makes my well-lit cavern pitch black

Day 81: Deeper and deeper

Day 81:

Hot day today so I went back underground, where I’m happy.

Found yet another vein of granite and diorite, this time a bit off the last one. They’re getting deeper, which means the temperature is actually starting to climb a bit. Still damp as anything though.

I’ve thought about starting fires underground to dry things out a bit, but one never knows when one might accidentally set a coal seam on fire, and that’s no good.

I’ve also thought about bringing one of the duckens down here on purpose to act as canaries. Make sure the air’s good. That kind of thing. That might be easier than the fires.

Watercolor of a blue background with a red, orange, and yellow sun superimposed on it, taking up the vast majority of the image. Instead of looking dramatically hot, it looks like a bad target.
This is supposed to be the sun beating down on me.