Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Player #2: That which eternal lies Pt 1

From the notes of Dr. Daniel McGoohan, Woot Project Researcher:

I have resolved to keep a diary of my experiences during my investigation of the anomalous region known as "Woot." Happily, the recording equipment provided to me by my superiors at the Woot Project includes a camera! I do fancy myself a bit of a shutterbug, so this should come in handy as I attempt to elucidate the bizarre properties of this strange land.

Here, for instance, is the modest home left for me by my predecessor, the mysterious "frimtanklin". I dare say modest is the right word; this box is barely big enough to stand in, let alone live in! And where will I keep my books?! I shall have to make renovations.

Speaking of books, I was delighted to find these growing in a small lagoon near my home. My superiors were insistent - nothing save this diary/camera device was to be brought into Woot from the outside, not even paper. These reeds seem ideal for crafting paper to take more detailed research notes in. And as a bonus, they taste like candy! What a magical world this is!

Perhaps I was too harsh in judging my predecessor's efforts. The storeroom below his disgusting wooden hovel has been meticulously indexed, and contains many supplies that should make my research flow more smoothly. There are also boxes for things I've never heard of, apparently indigenous to Woot. For instance, what in the blazes is "Redstone"?

With no other choice, and the hour growing late, I quickly cobble together a bed from parts found in the various chests, and unceremoniously shove it into a corner of the storeroom, in between a furnace and a dusty work table. Drifting off to sleep, I comfort myself with thoughts of the various social indignities I intend to inflict on my predecessor if we ever happen to meet.

The next morning, I step outside to better survey the area around my pathetic, pitiful uglyhouse. All looks bright and cheer AAAAAGGGGH WHAT IS THAT

So... Woot's native population is decidedly less... human than I had expected. And they seem to have a distinct sensitivity to sunlight. Good to know. No reason to panic. Monsters exist! I am a sane, sensible individual, and I can deal with this. I am a scientist, unfettered by fear or superstition, by panic or muddy thought. Hm, there doesn't seem to be a "delete" button on this recording equipment. Damn.

One of the monsters appears to have dropped some sort of shiny pearl. It stares at me, like a belligerent, hostile eye. It peers deep into my soul, questing for some inner weakness to exploit. It tears into MY VERY HEART, PURGING MY BEING OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY.

I pick it up. It is slightly sticky. I resolve to shove it into a chest back in the storeroom.

It is clearly of the utmost imperative that I build a home more easily defended than a literal hole in the ground. Feeling real happiness for the first time all morning, I tear down the walls of the Hateshack and expand them greatly. Finally, some room to breathe! Especially since I neglected to build a roof...

Quickly corrected! The skylights have been maximally designed to let in the perfect light for my morning reading/indoor jogging routine. I take a moment to bask in the sunset... before realizing that my "neighbors" will almost certainly be venturing out once the sunlight is completely gone. I... "Scurry" would be a fair but perhaps unkind description... back into my new manor, slam shut the door, and hide beneath my covers.

The next morning, I manage to overcome my fear enough to venture out and watch the monsters burn, this time from a closer perspective. These seem to be human corpses, mindlessly venturing in search of... what? Food? Warmth? They certainly had enough of that now! A few of them got too close, and I batted them away with a sword I had crafted from a bit of leftover iron in the chests.

This fellow I find altogether more worrying. Beyond the generally ghoulish sight of a walking skeleton, he's clutching a bow. And, by all appearances, he (or she, possibly, couldn't get close enough to see the hips) knows how to use it. Managed to shoot a few arrows in my direction before the sun finished it off. I managed to pull a quiver off of the bones, and now I am the one with the arrows! Yes! It might be prudent to construct a bow...

Especially since, all things being considered, I think it is time I ventured into the depths of Woot. A scientist seeking to explore this mysterious land's strange mineral properties could no more ignore its underworld than could a chef seeking to understand the mysteries of the orange (?) resign himself to only exploring the peel. That sentence totally works, I think. Perfectly comprehensible.

Of course, given the monstrous inhabitants of the land's predisposition against light, I can only assume the caves below will be teeming with all manner of prickly beasts. Still, nothing two classes in fencing, a summer of archery camp, and my PRODIGIOUS MIND won't be able to handle!

The shafts dug by my predecessor are remarkably solid and consistent - apparently he conserved most of his energy for mining, leaving only a little to spend on Constructing Terrible, Awful Houses. They run downward until they hit this material. I poked it with my pickaxe, and found it to be most resilient! Also, strange particles move about in the heavy air. Perhaps some great aether rests just on the other side of this layer of immovable Bedrock. Powerful evidence for the famed Hollow Woot Theory!

After a bit of mining, I come across a most magnificent chamber. Natural springs pour from the walls, falling into molten lava, the very lifeblood of the planet! Has universal harmony ever been better expressed by the workings of nature itself? Overcome with emotion, I sit down for a moment to compose a few short verses.

Unfortunately, they are ripped from my hand and consumed by this unseemly fellow. Everyone, I dare say, is a critic these days.

These bluish rocks are fragile to the touch, and quickly crumble into a sort of chalky substance. Useful for dyeing, or playing pool?

For some reason I can't easily express, I blocked one of the water spouts, revealing this purplish-black material beneath. As soon as I revealed it, I felt my ears fill with.... singing. So strange. So beautiful. It passed after a moment. Perhaps some of the mushrooms I have been eating are not as safe as my field guide led me to believe?

Traveling around a corner, I was faced with this sight. More monsters than I had ever seen in one place, and no purifying sunlight to help destroy them. I turned to run, when suddenly the singing began to flow through me again.

The layers of reality tore apart, and for a moment the grim truth of existence burned through into my mind. The burning increased geometrically, and soon I realized it was not only my mind that was burning. In my madness, I had stumbled fully into a pit of lava. THE PAIN.


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