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Level 36 : Artisan Botanist
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Thomas woke up.

There was a gentle breeze that smelled faintly of roses, and several large trees provided just enough shade to keep him comfortable. He could have stayed there for hours listening to the trees sway ever so gently in that calm breeze and the distant waves rolling across the shore. Despite all of this, something compelled him to rise.

He took a deep breath. Fresh, cool air surged through his lungs, rejuvenating him. Sighing softly, he took a step forward, heading out of the small copse of trees in which he had awoken. As he travelled passed the boughs that obscured his vision, he saw something beautiful.

A magnificent sea, distant mountains, and endless wonder. This world belonged to him. All of this was his. He could travel anywhere he wanted to, do anything he felt like, and create whatever his heart desired.

He looked forward into the endless horizon and set off. To where, he didn’t know, nor did he care. He was to explore this world. He was to uncover its endless mysteries and create magnificent things. He knew from the moment he woke up that he was destined for great things in this world.

As he began to travel, he made mental notes of various landmarks scattered throughout the landscape. There were an impressive number of cliffs and incredible geological anomalies, the formation of which was likely as interesting a story as the most well-written of novels. It seemed like it wasn’t too hard to navigate this land, given the sheer amount of distinct formations.

He made sure to keep the sea on his left as well, and never strayed too far from the shore, lest the thirst for adventure overtake his reason. This area was beautiful, and, in time, he was certain something could be made of it. The last thing he wanted to do was lose this beautiful place.

Time passed, and, before long, he noticed the sun was about halfway through the sky. Thomas reasoned with himself that it’d be prudent to start preparing some sort of small shelter; somewhere to rest for the night. He looked to his right, and, on top of the cliff, there were a few trees. Beyond those few, it seemed to be sparsely populated and give a great view of the surrounding landscape.

He climbed up the hill with relative ease, as it had rather large, natural footholds to assist in his climbing. After the short trip, he found himself on top of the hill, which revealed to him a beautiful landscape below.

After taking in the sights for a few moments, he began to work. Several trees were scattered about the hilltop. There were some large, exposed branches that seemed usable. Thomas walked towards the nearest, and, mustering all of his strength, attempted to pull the exposed branch off of the tree. After a brief struggle, he heard it begin to crack under the applied weight. It broke off in a fairly clean manner, and he smiled.

With the piece of wood, he began to use it as leverage to down the tree itself, which was an exceedingly difficult task. Thankfully, it had unstable roots, as many were attempting to grow off of the hilltop itself, and, after struggling with it for a long while, he managed to knock the entire thing down. He sighed and almost immediately began working on the very bottom of the trunk, just below the roots. He ripped off the bark and began to carve into it with a small stone, fashioning it into what progressively looked more and more like a table.

After several more minutes of work, he seemed content with his makeshift, but usable table. He took several large branches from the tree, and began carving them into makeshift tools. First, a weapon of some kind. The branch itself was quite thick, and he used that to his advantage, leaving a handguard to help keep it firmly in his hand. It looked rather similar to a sword, but in order to attack most effectively, one would have to thrust as if it were a spear. Slashing as if it were a sword could work as a primitive, blunt-force attack, but the tip of the weapon was certainly sharp enough to be piercing. As for the longevity of such a tool… Well, he wasn’t about to start relying on it anytime soon.

Next he began to make basic tools. These were fairly simple as well; a primitive “hatchet” to cut wood or defend himself, a basic pick which might be able to damage, or at the very least latch itself into stone, and a wooden shovel. Being honest, he didn’t count on any of the tools he had created him lasting him more than a few days, if that.

He looked up to the sky, and noticed quickly that the sun was slowly beginning to set. The night would be here soon. He didn’t see any reason to stop working simply because it was getting dark, and began to cut into the trunk with his makeshift hatchet, slowly but surely chipping away at it in an attempt to form several separate logs.

After several minutes of labor, he noticed… something. Just out of the corner of his eye… It was some sort of figure, moving ever so slowly. He quickly ceased his work and laid down his hatchet, waving at the figure in a welcoming manner. “Hello there!” he said cheerily. “Who are you?”

As the creature slowly approached, he slowly realized whatever it was, it wasn’t sapient. It did not seem to respond to his questions. Certainly, yes, a language barrier may exist, but there was simply no response – despite the humanoid figure of the creature, it was as if there was no…

It reached the hilltop, and Thomas was able to see it’s features far more clearly. The moonlight provided just enough light to make out the bare minimum. The first thing he noticed were the eyes. Cold and dead. Any semblance of intellect had long since left them. The flesh… It was rotting. This thing couldn’t possibly be alive. It let out a low, droning moan, as if in pain. In its gaping maw were sharpened shards of glass mixed with fragments of bone. Its arms had… feathers protruding from them. Despite all of this, the creature still had clothing – or at least, the memory of it. Fragments of cloth and leather covered its body, mangled and torn.

The entire thing was an affront to all of his senses. Panic began to overtake him, and he froze. Soon, the beast lunged at him. In an almost graceful display of agility, Thomas managed to dodge it. Then? He ran. He could barely see and yet he ran, twigs snapping violently underfoot as he desperately struggled through the heavily forested hills, forcing himself to ignore anything he thought might have been moving.

In what felt like hours, he reached a dead end. A massive, steep cliff stood in front of him. Behind him, he heard footsteps approaching. This was it. He’d have to make his last stand. It was now or never. He unsheathed the makeshift wooden weapon he had created and slowly turned around, certain he was about to die.

There it was. The monster.


It was a small, pink pig.


Oh.





Thomas giggled as he saw the creature. He had been getting legitimately scared. He couldn’t believe he managed to make it through the first day.

Certainly, it wasn’t a particularly difficult feat, but this was all new to him. This world was vast, unknown, and, well, for a kid his age with as active an imagination as his, the entire thing was, at times, rather scary. He felt tied to his character, in no small part due to his overactive imagination. Everything felt very real to him, despite the game’s ostensibly immersion-breaking, unrealistic characteristics.

To him, it was another world.





Thomas adjusted his position slightly in the uncomfortable cafeteria chair and opened his lunch bag. It contained the usual. A sandwich. Some fruit. Juice. Despite this, he was extremely excited, and it showed obviously through his beaming smile. After a few moments, he noticed his friends through the crowded cafeteria and raised his hand to get their attention.

They pulled up their chairs and set down next to him, most just as excited as he was.

“So then, right, I made a sword! I was trying to go back to the hilltop, but then it started to get dark out… A buncha’ monsters started to spawn all over, and I just ran like crazy!”

“Monsters? What kind of, uhm, monsters do you mean?” asked Alex, a quiet, lithe boy with messy black hair.

“There were some kind of, like, monster people things. They were all green and weird. Then there were some skeletons. The first time I saw them I didn’t even know they were bad, but then they started trying to hurt me.”

“Wait, wait, what game is this again? I wanna ask my mom if she can get it for me. Maybe we can play together.” said another voice, this time coming from a rather tall brunette girl, Lily; one of the smartest children in the class.

“Minecraft. ‘Cause you mine and craft things, Idunno.” He shifted in his chair. “I think building means more than crafting, though. I don’t really spend that much time craftin’.”

“Minebuild’s a bit less catchy, though…” replied Alex, shrugging.

“…I guess so.”





Before long Thomas was growing rather accustomed to The World. Chop down trees for wood. Use it for handles or as a building material. Mine for resources. It was fairly simple, and yet, the process of doing such things was still quite open-ended.

He had, at this point, a decently-sized wooden shelter, held aloft by log supports, a quarry built into a cliff face, its primary purpose to extract large quantities of exposed coal, a small but rapidly expanding mineshaft, and a small wheat farm along few pens for keeping livestock, such as chickens, cows, and pigs. He didn’t like hurting them, so he generally let them be. Strangely enough, when a sentient creature’s biological functions cease entirely, they almost instantly dissipate into a small pile of ash. In most situations, the ash is quickly dispersed by the wind, and even if one manages to contain it, it slowly seems to vanish, the machinations of such a process all but an enigma.

Stranger yet, most species or “types” of sentient beings leave behind small fragments of what they were – a cow may leave behind leather, a chicken, feathers, and the like. The monstrous, feathered… thing he had seen on the first night seems to leave behind feathers, a trait it shares with the common chicken. Because of this, most of the animals he kept did not offer meat regardless – Only cows seemed to leave behind any sort of edible material.

Thomas very quickly became aware of these and the few other laws that governed this world. He made use of it easily; grinding the bones of skeletal beasts in a mortar and pestle to create fertilizer, using the feathers obtained from the Night-Terrors, as he had come to call them, to create arrows with which to destroy the forces that had helped create them, in an interesting twist of fate. Perhaps most useful were the massive spiders that lurked in dark places. They were certainly dangerous as they possessed incredible agility, but the string left behind was a valuable substance indeed. From it he created two very valuable tools: a fishing rod and a bow with which to loose the aforementioned arrows.

Beyond that, he had dug deeper into the earth and had come across several expansive cave systems, from which he had obtained a vast quantity of ore. It took him some time to understand how to smelt the raw, essentially unusable chunks into ingots with which to forge, but in time, through experimentation and work, he managed to make it work. Before long, he had made a protective, yet still somewhat light set of armor that offered relative freedom of movement paired with some laceration insurance. Iron tools soon replaced the improvised weaponry of the past. He was, for all intents and purposes, ready to take on the world.

Despite all of this… He still felt nervous at times. He was overcome with the feeling that there had to be something more. There was something else out there. He didn’t know what – or who – was out there, but he was certain it was something. This world was so expansive; so absolutely and completely massive. It was just as mad to think there wasn’t anything more out there than it was to believe there truly is something out there.





Thomas raised his voice unintentionally, excitement overtaking him. He was once again at a school cafeteria lunch table, though this time it was more crowded. Lily and Alex were both here once again, but they were joined by one more this time – A rather introverted, brunette girl named Elizabeth. They were very fond of somewhat unconventional hobbies, but did not forgo some of the more mundane options – You were just as likely to find her investigating a local myth at an old graveyard as you were to find her in a library, quietly reading (what was, in all likelihood, a ghost story.)

“Right! So, basically, we can play together now that my mom got the server!” He pulled out several small sheets of paper with a strange sequence of numbers and periods as well as a password: hunter2. He distributed them to each person crowded around the table quickly and excitedly.

“Anyway, you put in that stuff on the multiplayer screen to join… We don’t have the server up yet, though, it’ll take a few days… But, uh… We can, you know, plan stuff, like, now!”

Alex nodded eagerly, and, before any break could be had, Thomas began to speak once again.

“So, uhh… I was thinking that, like, maybe we could make a big fortress in these mountains I found. We could, y’know, use it as a base while we explore or whatever.”

Elizabeth spoke up. “Alright! Well, I mean, we’ll all be working together, so, what sort of governing system should we abide by? Of course, our numbers are too few to be divided in an effective manner, and, as such, I presume we’d work off of an anarchic yet co-operative system, however, I am by no means the decision-maker here.”

Everybody stared at her blankly.

“Er… Is there, uhm, anything you guys want to work towards, then?”

Thomas quickly responded. “I, uhh, I don’t know if it’s, like, real, but I saw some creepy videos about this rare ghost sorta thing that stalks you… He’s called Herobrine. I mean, Idunno if he actually exists, but, like, what if we hunted for him? What if we FOUND him?”

The others seemed to agree with that plan and the group eagerly began discussing plans amongst themselves.

“…Right! So, I mean, we could build this huge fortress in the mountains so we can see all around, but also be really secure inside. We could have watchtowers and guard posts and everything. And, like, if he doesn’t come to us, we can set out into the world and try to find him, right?”





More humans had entered the World. This event almost seemed to please the World, and an apparent golden age befell the humans shortly after their arrival. They harvested the resources of the World eagerly, constructing, at first, simple structures of wood, but in time, they graduated to refined stone. In time, they created structures of whatever they preferred, paying more attention to aesthetics than to utility, though such certainly wasn’t ignored.

Elizabeth found everything very interesting. She, like the others, had grown accustomed to the basic rules of the World, but she above all wanted to try to find something more. This place was so incomprehensibly massive. There was no way there weren’t things out there beyond understanding. There had to be something more.

The potential of such a thing plagued her mind for quite some time, but, ultimately, she stayed with the others, helping them to build a large fortress into the mountains. It was relatively difficult to see from a distance, and, as such, she began work on several large watchtowers on the top of the mountain, both for scouting the surrounding areas more effectively and to help in the matter of finding the way back to the base, which they had taken to calling Sanctuary.

Sanctuary’s design was… interesting. It was nuzzled into a cliff face that was more of a chasm than anything else, with only one side exposed to the rest of the world. Sanctuary didn’t look like much from the outside. One might never even realize it was there if not for the watchtowers that had recently been constructed. A large system of wooden bridges was created along the sides of the chasm. There were quite a few doors leading to Sanctuary proper – A sprawling underground complex accessible almost exclusively through ladders.

While small rooms had been carved into the mountain for basic necessities, it was the massive area below Sanctuary where most work had been dedicated to. The ceiling of the first, highest level was the size of, at the very least, 6 humans. This level was where most of the living quarters were for each individual. Each room was incredibly spacious and allowed to expand as much as the owner desired, so long as they do not interfere with projects others were working on. It was also, without a doubt, the most well-decorated of all the floors, with plants imported from above, soft, wool carpets, and various public amenities such as a large swimming pool, kitchen, and meeting hall.

Located even farther down was a floor almost entirely dedicated to utility – Crafting supplies, tools, and workbenches were scattered throughout the level. It was rather… unkempt in comparison to the living quarters; it was built almost entirely for utility and lacked much of any aesthetic appeal. Occasional spots of dirt and gravel made matters worth. Halfheartedly cobbled-together stones covered various patches in the wall that were destroyed to reclaim the ore held within. Ultimately, it was a rather useful, if unappealing floor.

Taking the ladders down from there would take one to a strip mine around as far into the world as one can reach. What lies beneath such a place is a mystery, though they frequently spread rumors amongst themselves that there was something – or someone – down there. After they became especially common, there was a notable decrease in mining activity down there, with most eliciting to discover and mine from caves instead – whether for more accessible ores or due to a level of unease down there was anyone’s guess.

Though this seems to be the lowest level, there is actually another level just below the crafting area – A room which can only be entered via disguised doorways located in each person’s room. Down there is where they prepared for a great journey – admittedly, there was no tactically advantageous reason for this. Most of them just liked the feeling of a “Secret Base.”

Most recently, they had agreed on preparing for a new task now that Sanctuary was just about complete – They were to hunt down and destroy an ancient evil, once and for all.

That’s how they saw it, at least.





Elizabeth nodded, pointing to a spot on one of the many maps strewn across the table.

“There! That’s where I saw him. I had travelled around that area to gather some wool from the sheep that grazed upon those pastures, and, as I did so, I saw a figure moving around in the fog. At first, I believed it to be one of the creatures of the night – As such, I had unsheathed my sword, prepared for whatever it was that was waiting just beyond the veil. I shouted, and yet, it did not come for me. I charged towards where I last saw it in the fog, and there was nothing. It was then that I heard a strange sound – Like twisted metal screeching against stone. I immediately looked for the source, and all I could see were two legs running away. These were not like the creatures of the night – These looked almost… Human.”

She paused, during which nobody else dared speak.

"Something is out there.”

The rest of them remained fairly quiet, but the look on their faces all seemed to say the same thing: Whatever the hell this thing is, we are going to find it.





ghostlythistle: yeah I think I saw something over by the little lake near the bottom right

ghostlythistle: it might be that herobrine thing you mentioned idkk

ghostlythistle: maybe we should go look sometime

Lilypad: yea agree





Preparations, of course, didn’t take long. Armor and weapons were forged, rations were prepared, and just about anything they could possibly need would be kept on hand by someone. They were prepared for a long, arduous journey. They were ready to take on whatever the World could throw at them.

Before long, they had set off on the long journey into the Unknown.





“Hey, Lilypad. Do you have some wood on you? I need to get some more torches prepared. “ asked Alex.

“Maybe I would if you didn’t call me that.”

He moved aside some vines gently as he crept under the boughs of a tall, lone tree in the midst of the foggy marsh.

“Hey, come on. You know it’s endearing. Either way, I genuinely do need that wood, so, uh…”

“Fine.”

She passed him a few sturdy branches that were protruding from her backpack and continued walking through the marsh with the others. It was a rather beautiful place in its own right. Willows and vine-covered trees of all sorts dotted the small pieces of lands located throughout the area. The air was ever-so-slightly chilly, but not quite enough to make one too uncomfortable. The fog enveloped much, drastically reducing their range of vision, however, which made the process of navigating it rather difficult. Unfortunately, it required quite a bit of trudging through the mucky waters beneath.


For all the preparations they made, a change of shoes and socks were never planned on. Damn.






It had been several days since they left the comfort of Sanctuary behind to search for the strange being of legend – The Man with the White Eyes. None of them knew how, exactly, they could track him down, but they had decided on a few simple guidelines – Head for the wilderness. When you’re in the wilds, anything unnatural, anything… Wrong is a very clear sign of him. Amidst the meagre civilization they had wrought, virtually any structure could have been created to achieve a spur of the moment goal that had long since faded from any of their memories.

Morale, despite the unfortunate conditions of the swamp, was still high. As they travelled, some began to realize that the World seemed to be changing – ever so slowly, certainly, but change it did. The marsh they were travelling in right now was completely foreign to them – Such a place had never been seen before, even after extensive travel through the North-Lands and the East. Further cementing the idea things were changing were some slight changes in what various sentient beings left behind upon their destruction – All livestock beyond sheep now seemed to leave behind meat, similar to pigs. Beyond that, it seemed far lighter – One could carry far more of it with them than before. One of the most… unfortunate changes in this vein was that of the Nightwalkers. While once they left behind some of the feathers that sprouted from their rotting hides, now, well, they left behind small, rotting pieces of flesh. It was entirely useless to any sane human – No matter how hungry one was, eating that disgusting mess was almost certainly not a prudent decision in the slightest.





alexandertheprettyok: these new updates are pretty neat

alexandertheprettyok: im really liking the new sprinting stuff. makes it easier to travel without minecarts

ghostlythistle: yeah, i like the new fighting. its sorta weird not being able to shoot arrows as fast but its also a little easier to aim now

While it might have deterred others, the thick fog that enveloped nearly the entirety of the swamp only seemed to encourage the ragtag group. It was said that the Man with the White Eyes would often appear in such thick fog.

Here and there, they had close calls – A strange formation they were certain had to be the work of The Man with White Eyes. A cave that was just a little bit too thin. Remnants of the night-creatures out in the middle of nowhere in particular – But it was not to be. Not yet, at the very least. Eventually, they had made it out of the swamp and reached a large forest just along the banks of a lake.





“Yeah, uh, my mom says we’re gonna be moving soon. I think we could still keep in contact though. I dunno. She says we need to because of, like, money problems. I don’t think we have enough to keep the server going.” Said Thomas in a solemn manner.

Alex replied fairly quickly. “I have an allowance. I could take care of it. You said it was just, like, 10 dollars a month, yea?”

Thomas nodded.

“Done. I’ll get that all sorted out.”

Thomas paused and began talking again.

“T-thank you. Very much. Also, uhh… I haven’t been feeling well. Mom says one of the reasons we’re moving is because I need to go to a better doctor. And we, like, need the money too. The old house sold already so we kinda gotta do it soon. I’ll make sure to keep talking to you all, though.”

“Well, get better soon!” said Lily with just a slight degree of enthusiasm.

“Thanks.”





It had been quite a few months since Alex had taken over as the Caretaker of the World. Everyone still treated Thomas as the leader of the group, but it was Alex that made sure everyone was able to stay together.

The World continued to change, perhaps not entirely in the best of ways. As more and more was added, they found it infringed upon their own stories more and more. Regardless, they made do with it, and pressed onwards in their unending quest to find HIM – The Man with the White Eyes.

Elizabeth continued excavating once more after taking a short break to talk with the others. They had found… something. Something obviously human. It looked like some kind of ruins, though they were located far beneath the surface of the earth. It was in a cave system that they were first found by Thomas, though the group had decided they should resupply up top and prepare to enter the ruins from there. As such, she was digging down towards them, making them massively more accessible.

Soon enough, she hit stone. Not the stone that lies beneath the grass and dirt of the world, mind you – Refined, obviously sapient-made stone.

“Hey, everyone! I hit the ruins!”

This was it. They might have found a clue towards locating him. Perhaps, she thought, they had found the Man with the White Eyes. Perhaps this was where they lived.

The cracks and moss covering many of the bricks seemed to indicate the place had been long abandoned, but a being such as him might not need a livable abode, right? Perhaps this place was the key to learning the truth. All four of them stood next to Elizabeth as she slowly chipped away at the brick leading into the place, and, steeling themselves for whatever might lay ahead, they stepped into the ruins.

Quickly, several torches were lit and placed around the perimeter, allowing them to see what was around them more clearly. Yes. Lots and lots of stone brick. Much of it was heavily deteriorated. Lily shuddered to think what sort of creatures might inhabit a place like this.

In front of them, there seemed to be a room with a central, dried-up fountain. To the left, some wrought-iron bars seemed to form a simple, once-elegant gate, and to the right, there was a staircase leading deeper down. They could see what looked like prison cells down there, if only vaguely due to the sheer lack of light.

Whatever this place was, it couldn’t possibly have been made by one person. That didn’t mean the Man with the White Eyes didn’t inhabit it. Could he have… Could he have destroyed whoever had created this? It seemed as if all the possibilities were chilling.

They continued on, opting to go for the left. The room there was lit fairly well, strangely – two torches were still lit inside of the room. This was somewhat nerve-racking. How did they manage to stay lit for such a period of time? Was somebody else truly here? Elizabeth took a closer look at one. She realized that the top of the cloth bearing the flame was covered in a small, blood-red dust. Ah. That made sense. They were kept alight indefinitely by using the incredible thermal properties of netherrack – Its dust, like the substance itself, could stay lit for a seemingly indefinite period of time. While she had been examining the torch, the others had been looking down a staircase connected to the room. It was extremely dark. One could barely see the stairs themselves, but at the bottom, there was a faint light.

All of the group looked at each other and silently agreed to investigate whatever was down there. Alex lit one of his torches and proceeded. The stairs themselves, thankfully, were rather uninteresting. Nothing incredible exciting happened on the descent – at least, nothing beyond their realms of imagination, wherein strange creatures seemed to be lurking just beyond the light, though the torch continually disproved such ideas as they descended farther.

At the bottom of the staircase, they reached the room – and discovered the source of the light. Pools of lava held within several basins located around a strange device, the origin of which unknown. It was made of materials like they had never seen before – A sickly, yellow stone of some kind, which, strangely enough, seemed incredibly familiar, yet distant to all of them. Some sort of green metal – or perhaps a refined sort of gemstone – seemed to cover the tops of it. There were small holes in each of them. Several seemed to be damaged to the slightest degree, as if someone had tried to rip out whatever was in it and eventually succeeded. Beneath this device was another, larger basin filled with lava. In several of the small depositories, there were… Eyes. They had seen these eyes before.

Thomas slowly unlatched his backpack and took several of the eyes he had stored out.

“…Should we?”

The others were slow to respond, but eventually each of them nodded.

Thomas filled the remaining depositories with the eyes. The device screeched – an unearthly, ear-piercing shriek like none they had ever heard before. A bright light consumed the room, temporarily blinding all of them, and when they opened their eyes once more, the device had changed.

A strange, flowing substance filled in the middle. It looked like the great void in the sky.

It didn’t take long for them to enter. Couldn’t waste a chance like this.





They awoke in a strange world. Immediately, everything about it seemed Wrong. The sky was a mishmash of colors they had never before seen, sickly shades of what they had once known, as if some kind of foul parody of what they had always known. The land itself seemed to be composed of the same material that the device was – That sickly, yellow stone, with a vague, sinister air of familiarity.

As they came to their senses, once more, they realized something.

This island was alive.

It was crawling with THEM. The ones that had been Watching for so long.

They did not attempt to attack. They were just… there. And everywhere.

An ear piercing roar consumed their senses shortly thereafter. A massive beast appeared just beyond the horizon of the largest island. A strange beam of light connected to it shortly thereafter, it’s origin apparently from some sort of cry-

thomas98: sorry, i have to go. mom wants me.

thomas98 has left the game.

He didn’t get back on later. They killed the dragon, but without him… It was empty. It felt like a game again. The magic seemed to fade.

Eventually, they got an update.





Thomas Henderson: hey guys im really sorry but mom says i need to go to the hospital again this weekend


Thomas Henderson: i should be back in a week or two, dont worry! :)

Away







Alex waited the longest for him.










In due time, they had all come to a realization about what were after from the very start, however.

He didn’t exist.

It was that simple.

All they did together was for nothing.

The being they hunted was never real.



And yet, it was all still worth it.



Waiting










The world had gone quiet. A sickly silence seemed to hang over the land. The creatures of the night hardly emerged from their domain, and when they did, they did not show any signs of hostility. They watched from the distance, still and vacant. It was as if the world itself mourned.

The Humans hardly ever visited anymore, and when they did, their trips were brief and uneventful. Sanctuary had grown cold.










Alex made his way up the path, his torch the only source of warmth in the freezing pseudo-tundra. The frigid air didn’t faze him. He had long since grown used to it.

Soon enough, he had arrived. He didn’t have to do it. He could just… leave it. Let The World go. It doesn’t affect anyone or anything else anymore. Everybody else is gone. Left for other things. Most of them have probably forgotten everything at this point. Maybe it just hurt them too much to think about.

These people, this world… The game. They changed him. He had no idea where he’d be without them. For them, it might not matter as much. They had other friends. They had family actually who seemed to care about them. He never really had that. This game was one of the first times he was able to feel at home; he felt as if people actually cared.

Sanctuary was covered in snow frequently after The World had been updated. Thanks to a new game update adding countless new, but ultimately indistinguishable and uninteresting biomes that also heavily damaged existing worlds, Sanctuary was now a horrible mishmash of biomes which frequently found itself covered in snow.

All of these new updates slowly killed the imagination that was once there. It was once an empty canvas, open to all interpretations. As these updates continued, more and more of the painting was created for the player, and before long, one could only attempt – sometimes in vain – to edit the experience created for them, rather than create their own path.

The spark that fueled the world had gone out. It was little more than an empty husk now.

Perhaps nostalgia played a role. Back when they hunted a being that never existed relentlessly. When they still had a poor grasp on this world. Maybe. Maybe. But things were so… saturated now. It felt impossible to make your own story without being forced into incorporating all of these new additions.

Alex didn’t care for snow covering Sanctuary. It felt… wrong. He easily could have just let the whole thing go, but in certain ways, he liked coming back. He didn’t want to forget.

The work didn’t take too long. He had done it before, and he would do it many times again. He sighed wistfully. Nobody ever came here anymore. It was the same thing, over and over again, every single week, and yet he still held onto the tiniest spark of hope that one day, someone would come back. Why he did, he knew not. It was always going to be the same thing.






Except maybe not. This time, things were different.












Lilypad has joined the game.

Lilypad: It’s been a while.



The End










Thank you for reading. Many hours of work were put into this and the fact that you took time out of your day to read this genuinely means a lot to me.

Additionally, related to the later struggles of the characters in the story, I would also like to ask you to please consider finding words other than “cancer” to describe something you dislike. Cancer is an extremely serious issue that kills innumerable amounts of HUMAN BEINGS every day, resulting in many real stories that end up like this one. I’m not here to tell you what you are and are not allowed to say, but it is a growing trend that bothers me. Just try to think about what you’re saying before you say it, yeah?



Credithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5vubGQFCA0
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Comments : 28

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1 - 28 of 28

this is incredible, i need more people to read off of so i can be inspired to write better in language arts, i have a B- right now and this is inspiring me very much :D
  • Wyvern
  • Level 32
  • Artisan Dragon
  • August 21, 2016, 3:21 pm
wow, this was so long I had to favorite it and complete it later, lot's of effort put in, nice work ^^
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • August 21, 2016, 3:55 pm
thanks aaaaa

I appreciate it ;;
  • Olly
  • Chat Moderator
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Botanist
  • July 26, 2016, 12:55 pm
i only just got around to reading this whole thing and honestly i loved it so much
like something about your writing is oddly comforting? even though what the story is about and such
aaa idk
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • July 26, 2016, 3:09 pm
thank you; i really appreciate that
  • -Baron
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Guard
  • July 1, 2016, 12:35 pm
Amazing.
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • July 1, 2016, 12:42 pm
thank you ;v;
  • Thezi
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 49
  • Master Nerd
  • June 30, 2016, 10:30 am
as expected, congrats on the win uwu
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • June 30, 2016, 10:41 am
thanks ;v;
  • Zatharel
  • Level 44
  • Master Sweetheart
  • June 28, 2016, 9:34 pm
Congratulations on a well deserved win c:
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • June 28, 2016, 10:19 pm
Thank you~
  • -___-
  • Level 1
  • New Crafter
  • June 21, 2016, 4:04 am
This... This is beautiful. Hats off to you, candlevera.
This story was amazing, I hope you win if I don't!!!! This musta taken ALOT of work gg
  • Crybabies
  • Level 1
  • New Toast
  • May 30, 2016, 10:37 am
This was amazing, and really well written, thank you for posting I genuinely enjoyed reading this, also the added in visuals were an awesome touch!
  • ObsidianOwen
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Skinner
  • May 28, 2016, 4:08 pm
i'm assuming it's good but.






it's too long.
  • Narotiza
  • Level 20
  • Expert Artist
  • May 28, 2016, 8:24 pm
Read iiit
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • May 28, 2016, 6:57 pm
aight?
  • InkSpot
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • May 28, 2016, 10:56 am
Wow this is fantastic. The ending is so bitter sweet though
  • Narotiza
  • Level 20
  • Expert Artist
  • May 28, 2016, 8:25 am
Amazing!
  • Mercer
  • Level 32
  • Artisan Button Pusher
  • May 27, 2016, 2:29 am
whoah
  • Faz_
  • Level 54
  • Grandmaster Meme
  • May 26, 2016, 4:12 pm
It's this talent and effort that made me subscribe.
your add 'noodles' made me crave noodles be ashamed I'm fat off noodles because of you
  • witchu
  • Level 40
  • Master Musician
  • May 26, 2016, 4:02 pm
no
  • K_iGunner
  • Level 29
  • Expert Musician
  • May 26, 2016, 11:49 am
You write nicely but






no
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • May 26, 2016, 11:50 am
LONGER

LONGER UNTIL THE TIME IT TAKES TO READ THE TEXT TRANSCENDS THE LIFESPANS OF MY ENEMIES
  • Art Dei Tech
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • May 26, 2016, 10:41 pm
please, don't make it longer than graham's number, I'm too young to comprehend all of it
  • devilkid99
  • Level 30
  • Artisan Architect
  • May 26, 2016, 11:46 am
This is possibly the longest body of text in the world
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • May 26, 2016, 3:41 pm
  • Agent003
  • Level 16
  • Journeyman Ranger
  • May 26, 2016, 11:42 am
first diamond

1 - 28 of 28

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