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Soulfrost part 1

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avatar MCXopjesh
Level 6 : Apprentice Architect
2
Soulfrost




Entry #1:

I've finally decided to chronicle some of my adventures. Hopefully, this will be found and appreciated by my posterity, and not from an adventurer looting it off my corpse. Either way, hello!

I've been to a great many places in my lifetime and accomplished many a feat, from exploring every biome in the world, looting countless temples and mansions, building elaborate structures and technology, and slaying a giant black dragon that was a tyrant of another dimension. Indeed, I've done it all, and as I write this, I now seek a place to finally settle down. I am partial to the mountains, a biome many others find too extreme, but I personally love the seclusion of it. The view that the mountaintops provide is unmatched, to look out and see the sun come up over the land below, it's truly extraordinary.

I have finally found the place I wish to make my home. These mountains surround a small valley and a waterfall courses down into a river flowing through it. I can't wait to scale these mountains and see the sunrise atop those peaks!

I've already built a small cabin, but hopefully, in time I can turn this place into something great, perhaps a kingdom? We'll have to wait and see. But enough of me gushing about this place; Starting tomorrow I will start writing about my many adventures. Consider this the prologue.




Entry #2:

It's day 2 and already I have some changes of plan when it comes to settling down. I looked out over the nearby valley from the top of the mountain this morning; the sunrise was just as beautiful as I imagined it would be. However, more importantly, I spotted something peculiar: far below me, a village unlike any I've ever seen before. The village is nestled in a taiga, but the village, and the area surrounding it, are not covered in snow, but instead are green within a large radius. It is currently the beginning of spring, so snow is still set in the valley below as well as the spruce forests surrounding the area. I also am able to spot one hut outside of the radius which seems to be inhabited.

The village itself has what seems to be a nether portal in the center of it, but the corners seemed to have different blocks that I have not seen before that were dark gray in color. The radius of green seems to center around the portal. If I had to guess, I'd wager the apparent warmth seems to be coming from within the nether.

Now, I've been to the nether before. It's a scorching barren wasteland with hellish creatures lying within. How and why the villagers would want to put a portal like that in their village, I have no clue. For all the warmth it gives, I would imagine the creatures coming through the portal would destroy the place. The zombie pigmen in particular are known to come out in swarms.

Regardless, I will descend the mountain and explore the village starting tomorrow morning, but not before stopping by the hut at the edge of the village. Perhaps this world has more to explore after all. I suppose cataloging my adventures and settling down will just have to wait. Adventure is still out there!





Entry #3

I descended into the village just before sunrise and headed in with light gear. The village was covered in a layer of fog this morning. But even with the fog, as I had previously suspected, it was uncommonly warm within the village itself. Despite the surrounding area being laden with snow, flowers were blooming all around the village, decorating the sides of the roads.

Upon closer inspection, the village looked like it had been cobbled together. Some buildings were made of the native spruce, while others were built from more exotic materials such as acacia or jungle wood. Different styles of buildings were littered all throughout the village.

The villagers were still sleeping when I arrived, and zombies and skeletons still were roaming the streets, soon to be burned by the morning light. Horrible noises came from out of the portal, and rang out through the streets; there was the familiar eerie hum of the portal and the cries of the many ghast within, but there also seemed to be screaming I hadn’t heard before, screams of pain I couldn’t quite identify. Oddly enough, I did not hear any grunting of zombie pigmen, nor did I see any coming through the portal as I supposed they would. The portal itself was of a typical 4x5 block frame; however, upon closer inspection, plated dark-gray blocks filled in the four corners of the portal. I attempted to mine them with an old iron pick I had brought along with me, but to my surprise, the block was about as hard as the obsidian framing the portal. I will have to go back and grab my diamond gear later to attempt to mine it again.

Now extremely curious, I decided to step through the portal, unprepared for what would greet me on the other side.

Stepping through, I felt the familiar heat of the nether rush upon me, though admittedly, slightly cooler than I was accustomed to. But instead of being greeted with a world of endless netherrack, I was instead greeted with a valley of soul sand. Large pillars of a new black block I had not previously seen dotted the landscape. Bones of giant beasts buried within the sands, as well as what seemed to be bones of villagers, greeted me near the portal. Ruins of buildings made out of a mysterious metal I have never seen.

But perhaps most horrifying of all, innumerable ghasts, more than I had ever seen before. Hundreds of them, all within close proximity. As soon as I stepped out the portal, about 10 of them locked their eyes on me and launched their fireballs. Being unprepared, I had no choice but to retreat and head back through the portal.

As I retreated back through the portal, there was one villager out to greet me. Awestruck, the villager ran back through the village shouting incoherently, or at least that's how it seemed to me at the time. The villager, based on his clothes, seemed to be a nitwit, so I figured the other villagers that were just waking up, or being woken up by him wouldn't pay him much heed; however, I was very wrong in this assumption.

Heading through the village, villagers started to gather around me. They greeted me, seemingly worshipping me as a deity. All but one in the back of the crowd that, based on his manner of dress, seemed to be a librarian.

More and more came, seemingly awestruck at me. Over and over I heard phrases like:


"It's Morthis!"


"Morthis has come!"

"Our hero has finally appeared!"

"Looks like ol' Nick was right, it really is Morthis!"


Now my name is not Morthis, it is Steve, so making sense of what was going on, I finally decided to speak up.



"Everyone be quiet! QUIET!"



After a moment or two, they all quieted down, seemingly eager to hear what I had to say with bated breath.



"Now I'm sorry to disappoint you all, but there has been a major misunderstanding. I am not the man you think I am
. I am not Morthis. I do not know that name, so will someone please tell me who exactly this Morthis is?"


The same nitwit from earlier stepped into the front of the crowd and spoke:



"Surely our savior must be joking, I saw him step out of the portal, who else could he be?



I responded with:


"I'm just a mere traveler. I simply came across this strange village and noticed the portal in the center. I headed through when you all were still asleep, and retreated back out, running from the monsters within. This fellow here saw me and ran back into the village shouting "Morthis""


The nitwit responded:


"A likely story, This is Morthis I know it is!"


Then other villagers began to angrily speak from out of the crowd:



"Looks like ol' Nick Nitwit is crying wolf again."


"Go figure this was a waste of time, I should have paid attention to who was shouting"

"Nick, you need to get your head checked."

"We know the signs that foretell of Morthis's coming, I can't believe we forgot them for this nitwit!"


The crowd began to disperse and head back into the village to attend to their daily tasks, leaving me answerless and Nick the nitwit standing in front of me left absolutely speechless. Without any more words spoken, and embarrassment on his face, Nick turned away from me and left.


The only villager left standing from the crowd was the librarian from the far back. Noticing my gaze on him, the librarian turned and started heading out of the village and into the forest. A bit dazed, confused, and tired, I decided to head back up the mountain. Looking down from the top I noticed the librarian enter the hut at the edge of the village. He seems like the scholarly type. I will have to try and talk to him tomorrow to figure out what's going on.



Entry #4: After tending to some work around the cabin, I headed down into the forest and up to the hut where the librarian lived, though looking into his window, it was clear he was much more than a simple librarian. It was a messy place, books and papers scattered around everywhere with different pieces of scientific equipment taking up most of the tablespace. The only tidy parts of the house were the bookshelves which were jam-packed with every type of book imaginable. I can't help but wonder how many of those books were enchanted.

I gave the door a hard knock and he bade me to come in. He was hunched over an alchemy station with his back turned to me, he announced:




"Feel free to clear off papers from the seat of the couch and put it on the table, I'll be with you in a moment."




I did as he said and sat down when I noticed a peculiar book entitled “The Savior of Souls.” Transfixed on it, I picked it up to begin to read it when the librarian came over to me and remarked:




“Ah, you would be drawn to that book, it's about Morthis, the being the other fools mistook you for. I'm sure yesterday must have been very confusing for you. Honestly, I had hoped you would visit me sooner human, it's been too long since I've last had a visitor like you. Another test subject is always nice to have I suppose. I jest, I jest, not every human is as willing to be a test subject as the last human I knew, he was an odd fellow, that’s for sure. Now tell me, what is your actual name, because "Human" is not going to carry a good conversation."




Chuckling at his sense of humor, I replied:

"I'm Steve. How ‘bout you? you seem much more scholarly than the rest of the villagers, what's your name? What's your story?”




"My story is far too long to tell in any reasonable amount of time. As for my name, you can just call me "Tray." Now, Steve, I'm pretty sure you're not here to ask for a bucket of milk, so I take it you have questions you want to ask me?” he inquired.




"Geez, I have too many, where do I even start?” I remarked. “These last two days have just been overwhelming..."




Tray Responded:

"Then why don't I start with the most obvious one you likely have on your mind: who exactly is Morthis? When villagers discovered the portal, that book was discovered along with it. It is said that Morthis will come through the portal, and lead those awaiting outside into eternal salvation. Morthis is supposedly granting this area the warmth it's receiving, hence why it was so easy for the villagers to form a cult around him. It is said that a frosted fog will appear just before Morthis arrives. Considering the morning you arrived was fairly foggy, I suppose I can understand the confusion, but there are other signs as well which don't point to you being him. You can borrow that book and read it for yourself if you want.”




Now intrigued, I asked:

“Wait so villagers discovered the portal, they didn't build it?”




“No they did not, the portal was discovered and the village was built around it. The town cleric was the first to discover the portal and book, and after the discovery, news spread quickly to many parts of the world. Villagers came from all over, bringing their native materials with them to help build a new village. This is why the village looks as hodgepodged as it does. I had heard of the village and decided to come for research purposes, but because I am wary of the warmth surrounding, I built this hut outside of the warmth and main village. I mainly go into the village for trading and research purposes. The cleric was kind enough to give me the book to study. But enough about me, next question.”




“What's up with the portal? There are strange dark gray blocks I haven't seen before on the corners of it, and I couldn't break them with my iron pick.”




“Those blocks are a recent discovery. They are made of a material that has been dubbed "Netherite." Previous explorers have noted that the portal leads to a type of ancient debris directly outside it, that debris can supposedly be crafted with gold to create an ingot, then that ingot can be combined with a piece of diamond equipment in a smithing table, making it stronger and more effective than diamond. As far as we know, the ruins outside of the portal are the only close source of ancient scrap, though evidence suggests that more may be scattered deep in the netherrack towards the bottom of the nether.”




“It's about time that that useless old table gets a use!” I quipped, ”But is this material truly stronger than diamond? I’ve explored for a great many years and I’ve never heard of such a thing.”




“We don’t know 100% for sure, but it would certainly stand to reason for it to be, if it's made how it's described that is. The recipe was given to us in the same book we were told about Morthis in, unfortunately, we lack the diamond tools to mine it.”




“I believe that's where I can come in,” I declared, “I have enchanted diamond tools and armor back at my base on the nearby mountain. I can gear up myself and head into the nether to get the materials. Then I can try and test it for myself!"




“Wonderful! Why don't we discuss a plan and you can prepare for that tomorrow, but first, what other questions do you have steve?”




"Why are you not being constantly invaded by zombie pigmen?"




He remarked:

"You've been through the portal, correct?"




"Yeah, why?"




"And you saw a valley of Soul Sand, correct?"




"Yes"…




“From what information previous explorers have gathered, zombie pigmen, or rather zombie piglin don't spawn in the soul sand valley. Instead, there is an abundance of skeletons and ghasts. Skeletons burn up in the daylight, so while we do have an increase of them at night, we are safe, asleep in our houses. Meanwhile, ghasts simply can't fit through the portal. Also before you ask, Piglin and Zombie Piglin are new types of creatures found within the Nether. With the discovery of this portal, strange new biomes have been found within the Nether world that have not previously been discovered. The biome directly on the other side of our portal is a valley of soul sand and ancient bones, but reports from other explorers have also suggested the existence of forests of fungi in the Nether, teal and crimson. There are still areas we have found that simply sport netherrack and not much else, essentially the Nether as it has always been known. Due to the new discovery of these other areas, the old Nether biome has now been redubbed the "Nether Wastes." Piglins are a tribal race supposedly residing in the crimson forest. Zombie piglin are, for all intents and purposes, this Nether’s version of zombie pigmen, as explorers have not found zombie pigmen within this Nether, neither the crimson forest or nether wastes, only zombie piglin.”




“There were other explorers?”




“You didn't think you were the first to go through that portal, did you? Of course, there were other explorers,” tray retorted. “Several groups of villagers have gone in to explore this mysterious portal, as soon as the Soul Sand Valley was discovered, we’ve had droves of adventurous villagers eager to see what lies within. I myself have gone on several of these expeditions. Although, the last few expeditions we’ve sent haven’t come back… only one fellow managed to barely escape and reported that ghast spawning had significantly increased... He went mad shortly after.”




“I can confirm that. There was a ridiculous amount of ghasts nearby when I briefly went through the portal, about a hundred or so. I feel really bad for the explorers who had to deal with that, I saw some of their remains near the entrance.”




“So it's more than a rumor… it wasn’t always like that you know, before there were only about double the ghasts you would find in the Nether wastes, which while it was still quite a few, it was manageable. The world within the portal seems to be becoming more chaotic as time moves on… Steve, I’d like to inform you of a hypothesis I have had for a while when it comes to this new Nether.”




“Go ahead.” I insisted.




“You may or may not have noticed, but the netherite blocks aren't only on this side of the portal, they are on the other side as well. Portals don’t just appear, they have to be created. Whatever created that portal had to have access to the netherite blocks powering it. Therefore, The portal must have been created from within the Nether, and it appeared in our world. I theorize that if you were to create a normal portal, it would lead into the old Nether. I want you to test this for me whenever you can. Also, as I said before, pigmen have not been found in this new Nether, even in the nether wastes. Instead, zombie piglin are found in their place. Because of this, the portal appearing from nowhere with blocks never seen before, and several other factors that I cannot divulge at this time, I hypothesize that this portal leads to an alternate Nether than the one that is connected to our world. Whoever or whatever created it somehow knew of this world and found a way to gain access to it. Whether they are friend or foe remains to be seen, but considering the inside of the Nether seems to be getting more and more chaotic, I would be very worried about who or what created it.”




“I wonder if Morthis has anything to do with this?” I replied.




“I’ve wondered as much myself, which is why I am extremely wary of the portal and the warmth it gives off. I think that if Morthis is real, he is far from benevolent. Do you have any more questions?”




“No, you’ve answered pretty much everything I had on my mind”




“Then we have matters to discuss. Considering you have the gear to properly explore the Nether, I want you to do just that, explore the Nether. Find new things, solve old mysteries, and gather more information about this mysterious New Nether. Now, here's what we're going to do."




For the rest of the day, we discussed many different things we wished to accomplish, from gathering ancient debris, to crafting netherite, to setting up another portal to bringing back samples of new blocks and other items. But most importantly, he asked me to explore and gather information and let him know of any new findings. Hopefully, we will be able to find out more about what's going on and uncover more mysteries.

After dark, Tray bade me farewell and I headed back up the mountain. A lot is on my mind, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm nervous, but I won't miss this opportunity. It's a new land to explore and a new material to make stronger gear, something I thought could never happen. Starting tomorrow, I will head into the New Nether, tomorrow the real adventure begins




End of part 1




Teaser for part 2

All throughout last night, I heard ghostly screaming, to the point I got very little sleep. The wind seemed to swirl all around my cabin and howled all through the night. Everything around me was frigid. I woke up early, not by choice, but by necessity and quickly bundled myself in warmer clothes. By the time I headed outside the cabin, I felt a light yet freezing breeze blow against me, causing me to shiver. The sun was out, low on the horizon. I walked over to the mountaintop to check on the village, where I witnessed a horrible sight: the village was covered in a large bubble of thick fog swirling around the village. I could almost swear I saw faces within it, faces that seemed to be in agony.

Where the portal once brought warmth to the village, it now seemed to bring cold. I could barely make out the glow of the portal, instead of glowing it's usual purple, the portal glowed a teal color, similar to the fire within the Soul Sand Valley. As I soon found out, the villagers inside the fog had been driven insane. They spoke in a language I did not immediately recognize, but as weird as it sounds, I could see the words they were saying, floating out of their mouth. I recognized the alphabet as that of the enchanted language. Quickly, I pulled out a note and jotted down what they were saying, things like:

!¡∷ᔑ╎ᓭᒷ ℸ ̣ 𝙹 ᒲ𝙹∷ℸ ̣ ⍑╎ᓭ

𝙹⚍∷ ᓭᔑ⍊╎𝙹∷ ⍑ᔑᓭ ℸ ̣ ∷⚍ꖎ|| ᓵ𝙹ᒲᒷ

∴ᒷ リ𝙹∴ ⊣ᔑ╎リ ℸ ̣ ⍑ᒷ ℸ ̣ ∷⚍ᒷ ᓭ╎⊣⍑ℸ ̣

𝙹⚍∷ ⎓ᒷꖎꖎ𝙹∴ ʖ∷𝙹ℸ ̣ ⍑ᒷ∷ᓭ ╎リ ℸ ̣ ⍑ᒷ ᔑ╎∷ ∴ᒷꖎᓵ𝙹ᒲᒷ ⚍ᓭ ⍑𝙹ᒲᒷ.
CreditSpecial thanks to my mom and my cousin who helped me proofread.
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