Welcome to "The Diary of a Miner"; a blog detailing the adventures and mysteries that I, Syeonyx, embark upon in my quest to further my mining and survival skills! It'll be tough, there will be good times and bad times, but I'll always be alive to post my adventures... probably...

Day 58: Riddle me this...?

     Waking up in the early morning, as the sun rises steadily in the East is surprisingly effective at ensuring I wake with a cheery mood! It's the second time I've slept on hard ground in an unfamiliar place, but the sight of the sun rising from the edge of the tent in the morning does wonders for my mood! So much so, I've been thinking about moving things around in my house so my bed faces East! That way, no matter what the world throws at me, I'll still have a cheery mood to start with!

     As with yesterday, I started early, in the hopes I'd find this house belonging to Jonas faster. That hadn't worked yesterday, but I had a feeling about today... My feelings were generally rather accurate as well, but today I felt especially confident. I packed the sleeping bag and tent away, and set off with a chunk of bread as breakfast. Not a big meal, but something to keep the glucose levels high and keep my stomach from rumbling! I took out the map and began to assess the area; I had to do this every time I slept because I'm terrible when in comes to using maps! I had to complete a course in orienteering as a basic part of training when I was employed. I was't particularly good at it, but I was good enough to pass... With the help of the low sun, my compass and a few minutes scratching my head, I found my location on the map, by referring back to the stone beach I found yesterday. Looking back at the map, that left one notable location left to investigate: the strange white patch to the South-East. I had assumed this was snow and ice, but I was curious as to why it was only falling in a single place... I continued heading East, towards the white patch, hoping to finally find something this time! If I didn't I would have to search each part of the land by random chance! That, or constantly roam from North to South, or East to West until I found something!

     The white patch was some distance away, and it gave me time to think; I had enjoyed this little trip away from my area. Despite recent happenings, I had forgotten about the true intent of the journey... Taking the latest note from THEROS from my pocket, I looked back over it. As it had said, I had kept it with me at all time. I read the passage about the stone, and the power it possessed! It had the ability to destroy an unstable portal without using TNT, or generally attacking it. It worked by intercepting, and breaking the sympathetic bond between the portal and the "rift"... THEROS hadn't mentioned how many portals were left in my quadrant, nor why it mattered. Despite this huge chunk of information he had given me, I still felt there was a lot missing... And even though it confused me further, I had a feeling it involved Hon Co.... I put the note away, and looked back at the map; I had begun to look at possible areas of interest, but on a more secondary level! The current locations I had visited: the strange island with the square bay, the pools of water, the high cliff and the stone beach were major points of interest, as was the strange white patch. But I had begun to see where there may be more than expected in areas that seemed normal... As a miner, we were taught to care for the environment as much as possible by changing as little as possible. I seemed to have ignored that completely, but the idea was to reduce the impact to the surroundings. If this Jonas had followed the instructions properly, chances are he wouldn't have set up near any landmark that could easily be ruined... I looked up from the map, and saw a flat plain ahead of me. Knowing I was travelling in the right direction, I put the map and compass away, and continued travelling straight.

     After another hour of walking across a flat field of wild grass and flowers, I noticed the air grow noticeably colder... Taking out the map again, I checked my location I noticed I was very close to the white patch, if a little off course. I had begun to creep slightly South as I had walked, and had to readjust. Within a few minutes of walking in the altered direction, the air had grown cold enough to the point where goosebumps had sprung up on my forearms! Off in the distance, I could see a large white hill... A few minutes more, and I stood before an expanse of white snow and ice! The ground wasn't as flat as expected, but instead was hilly, with small holes and cavern entrances all around! I couldn't see any sign of a house or shelter around, but maybe Jonas had converted a cavern... Although I doubted it greatly! Setting up here would mean a greater usage of resources just to stay alive, and from the looks of it, this location wasn't rich in them! After poking around in a few caves, I didn't notice anything to suggest any habitation had been constructed; there were numerous pockets of exposed iron and vein after vein of coal lying on the surface! If Jonas had set up here, he would've needed that coal! I climbed back to the surface, and began looking at the map; the next location of interest was to the North, but it was quite a way, just on the coastline. It would take about four hours to get there, but now that I had exhausted the primary locations of interest, there wasn't much else I could do... I began to walk North, and within a few minutes, I saw something I didn't expect...

     Over the edge of a hill, I could see the top of a house! Not made from wood or stone, or some other hastily crafted material. This house was made from actual bricks! The distinctive red-clay bricks were visible from this distance! Where had this person got access to clay from? I shook this from my mind and concentrated on the single important fact: I had found the house that THEROS had mentioned in the note! It was unlikely for it to belong to another miner... THEROS had said that Jonas, the miner who presumably owned this house disappeared, and HoN Co. lost contact with him! Well his house was still there so it wasn't likely to have anything to do with the figure... My mind went back to the book I found which gave the story of the figure, the portals and the disappearance if the miners, often accompanied by their house being destroyed! The one house that hadn't been destroyed had belong to "The Excavator" a.k.a: James Serra. How could HoN Co. simply lose contact with Jonas and James? As my mind erupted into a maelstrom of questions and random connections, my legs - on autopilot - spring into a run, and before I knew it, I was standing outside the house! Around the outside of the house ran a small two metre high wall made from cobblestone. Over the years, cracks had developed, a series of vines and mines had formed over the surface. The entrance was not on the side I had approached from, but instead was facing the North. As I circled the wall, I made note of the state of the walls of the house that I could see; the bricks had begun to crumble, and the roof had a few missing tiles. As I rounded to the North, the entrance opened to an elegant archway which spanned both sides of the wall. A small cobblestone path led from the entrance of the house round the Eastern side of the wall and away, presumably, to the mine that Jonas used. I approached the house, noting the sign at the top of the door. "Jonas McElderry"... I was in the right place...

     The door stood slightly ajar; the wood showing signs of age and weathering. It creaked as I pushed my way inside, to see a modest, open-plan room with a few objects of luxury. The walls were lined with torches, still lit strangely enough, with a few paintings hung around. The walls were bare otherwise, and the grimy windows letting in a small amount of natural a stark contrast to those which were entirely missing! To the right of the door was the sleeping area, with a moth eaten bed with a thick layer of dust. Numerous bookshelves were stacked around the bed, containing any books from different people. A few messy handmade books lay on an empty shelf, presumably crafted and written in by Jonas. To the left and against the far side of the house was the heating and cooking area, with a few furnaces and a chest. Walking over to the chest, I noted the basic nature of the items held within it; wood, mouldy bread, torches, some flint, iron ingots and numerous tools for mining and digging. The cold furnaces contained only coal, both looking like they had not been lit in years! I turned to the bookshelves, and began examining the titles; some I had heard of, some I had read and a few completely random ones as well! I turned and sat on the edge of the dusty bed, taking the note out. Re-reading it, I examined the part about the stone being within Jonas' possession; it made no mention of where it was, or if it was still even here! I removed my bag and began searching.

     I began to search the chest more thoroughly; taking each item out as I began to feel around the bottom of it. There was nothing in the chest that either wasn't an unusual stone, or something I used on a daily basis! I put everything back, and turned my attention to the bookshelves. Maybe he had hidden it behind a few books! If Jonas knew the figure was after this stone, he would have hidden it to keep it safe. If it was as rare as THEROS said it was, the figure couldn't risk leaving it. I carefully removed each book from the shelf, but still managed to kick up a large amount of dust, and setting off my hayfever allergy! After removing the last book, I moved onto the shelf with the handmade books, but nothing; there was no trace of the stone being there at all! I began leafing through the books as I put them back onto the shelves, looking for any sign of the stone... After all the books were replaced, I went over to the furnaces, checking them more thoroughly, but still I found nothing. I stopped searching, and stood still, trying to think of anywhere he may have hidden it. I looked under the bed but nothing, then thinking it was a stupidly obvious place to leave it! Then the thought entered my mind the maybe the figure had already found it! I sat on the edge of the bed, trying to think of what to do. THEROS had never said how much time had passed since Jonas had disappeared, but judging by the state of disrepair the house was in, I guessed quite a while! The figure probably possessed the stone by now, meaning the active portals couldn't be destroyed! I sat there staring at a picture on the far wall. It was a picture of an angel holding a small harp in one hand, and pointing down with the other. It had a smile on its face and was winking. It was set against a very Greek-style temple in the background... As I looked at it, I noticed something; between the arches of the white temple in the background, was a small spot of brilliant yellow! Like a light! Taking the note out again, I read the part that mentioned the detecting property of the stone; it glowed brighter yellow the closer it was to a portal! I stood up and approached the picture, noticing now that the angel was not only holding a harp, but was pointing with her index finger at the bright yellow light. Looking at the stretched finger, then to the angels face and then to the pointed down finger, something clicked in my mind; this was a clue! It was subtle, but it was enough. I looked down at the ground to where the angels finger was pointing, but I could see nothing of notable worth, Bending down, I brushed away some of the dust, but I could still see nothing... Then, as I went to stand up again, a glint of light splintered from an invisible surface hidden against the wall. Bending down again, I felt around where the glint had originated, and found a small ridge! It was styled in such a way it was literally invisible against the stone of the wall! Pushing it slightly, I noticed it withdrew into the wall, and I heard a horrid grating noise...

     Behind me, a small portion of the floor disappeared beneath a step that stood below the picture! The picture HAD been a clue; the angel was pointing to a secret passage which Jonas had constructed to hide the stone! After the small slab stopped moving, I peered down into the hole, noting the long drop... Down inside was a large amount of light, a slight hissing noise! Was there a Creeper down there? I decided to brave it anyway, and luckily there was a wooden ladder still visible. Hunching up, I began to descend the ladder, getting to the bottom, my hand went straight to the hilt of my sword, still on my belt, but what I was was worse than a Creeper!

     Before was a pit of lava! The passageway was thin and made of cobblestone! Along the edges of the pit were wooden slats which seemed to be fixed into position! Bending down, I carefully tried to move one of the slats, but it didn't move. As I stood up, I noticed small lengths of redstone wire leading along the length of the pit, just out of reach. Unlike the lava pit back in the temple, this one didn't have a ledge to get to the other side! To get across, I would need to move the slats, but they wouldn't budge! Following the trail of redstone wire, I noticed it stopped rather abruptly against the wall! Assuming that a similar mechanism may have been set up as the sliding slabs above, I felt around for another button, but could find nothing. Going back to inspect the wire, I could see it was connected to each slat as small sections went beneath the level of stone. Going back to the wall it ended against, the only thing I could see were two torches and stone. I began pressing against the wall, testing to see if there was a concealed button instead, but still nothing. Then, I had an idea; maybe it was in plain sight! Cautiously, I tried to push against the wooden hilt of the torch; it shifted slightly. Pushing harder, the torch bent where it was attached to the wall, until it was fully parallel with the surface of the wall! Then, a series of thunks reverberated around the passage, as each slat slammed into place! Placing a foot cautiously on top of one of the slats, I tested it to see if it could hold my weight. There was a chance that they were weakened by their age, and the added stress of being suspended above lava! The slat didn't break or snap, it didn't even creak! I proceeded cautiously to the other side. As I stepped off the final slat, I turned around, barely able to grasp what I had just done. I had survived a crossing over lava, for the second time!

    nbsp;After the lava pit, the passage went on, into the dark. The only torches were right at the end, but what I saw made me sick to my stomach! As I approached, my initial thoughts were confirmed; there, against the cobble wall was a skeleton! It wasn't in a cage or on fire, it was simply a pile of bones, in a rough human shape! Around the cobblestone were puncture marks, and scrapes. Initially thinking they were tool markings, I examined them closer and found them to belong to a different object altogether. They were bullet holes! Someone had been shot and left to die in this passageway! Was it Jonas? If it wasn't, who was it? And who had shot them? I couldn't tell from the skeleton whether it was a man or a woman; I was never that brilliant with anatomy. Stepping to the side of the skeleton, I continued along the passage to the end, where it ended abruptly as a bookshelf! This was incredibly unusual, but after what I had seen today, I was willing to accept anything! The bookshelf was nothing fancy; a wooden construct holding about 20 books a piece! Was this is? This long passageway for a bookshelf? I began to look at the titles of the books, hoping they would help but nothing sprang out. I thought then that maybe it was a hidden passage or room behind it. It wouldn't make sense to have a random bookshelf at the end of a passage! Either that, or one of the books was hollow and contained the stone! I began pulling books from the shelves, opening each individually, only to find it was a real book! I got down to the the last shelf, feeling all the hope drain from me... The last book... Nothing... An empty shelf lay before me, with a scattered pile of books behind me. Maybe like before the mechanism was trapped within the wood; I began pushing at sections of the shelf but nothing. I tried pushing the torches against the wall, but only managed to extinguish one of them by knocking it off! I then began to feel under the shelves; maybe a hidden switch, but nothing... I rapped at the back of the shelf, to be met with a hollow sound. There was something behind the wall, but how would I get to it? Against my better judgement, I took my sword in hand and held it ready to lunge! It was only wood. No competition for an iron sword! I stood forward, sword ready, and the bookshelf slid away! Stepping back in shock, the bookshelf slid back into place... Confused, I raised my sword again, thinking that maybe it was a sensor that had detected the metal, or a reflection or something linked with the sword, but the bookshelf stayed still. I lowered the sword and stepped forward again... This time the bookshelf slid back into the wall as it had last time! I stood still, but bent down, feeling the ground. Again! On the floor was an incredibly small pressure plate, barely even there! Just like there had been back in the chamber with the trap, this one opened the bookshelf instead. Taking my foot up and then putting it down again a few times, I noted the approximate size of the plate. Then, readying myself, I opened the bookshelf and leapt through, just before it closed again! What lay before me now was something more like what I was expecting!

     Shelf after shelf of books lined the entire room! The room was brightly lit with still burning torches, and three chests lay up against the three other sides of the room. Steeping further into the room, I stared in awe at the huge number of books that lay on the shelves! Each shelf was full; some of them were published books, others were handmade, possibly by Jonas himself! Eventually, after getting it all into my head, I turned my attention to the three chests. I went over to the first one and peered inside: nothing! Odd. Moving to the one opposite the hidden bookshelf, I opened it, but again there was nothing. I went over to the third and final chest, hoping to find something in there. Opening the lid, I peered inside, but was again met with the blank sides of the chests... Whatever was in this room had gone! Someone - or something - had taken the stone! The figure had got to it before me. I kneeled down next to the open chest, and rested my head against the edge. I couldn't do any more... THEROS had needed my help to destroy the portals, but how could I destroy one when it was active...? There was no way to destroy one like that! I stood up, putting my sword back into the notch in my belt. This journey had been pointless... All I had achieved was wasting time! I was about to turn to leave when I noticed something; on the underside of the lid, on the latch-side was a small piece of paper, sticking out. Bending down, I removed it to see two words printed across it: "Sam Latens"... What was this? A rising tide of hope grew inside me, and I went to check the other chests. They too had small pieces of paper stuck to the underside of the lid, on the latch-side! The two remaining pieces of paper had numbers on them: "117" and "4L"... What did this mean? "Sam Latens", "117" and "4L"? They didn't make sense? What did they mean?

Syeonyx signing off

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