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...

Live fire testing!

     We ascended the ladder, one at a time, after waiting for the pathway to drain. Since the new activity of the HoN Co. guards, we're all taking extra precautions to mask our presence. After we got to shore, UOPETA flicked the lever buried beneath the sand, and we headed off East! Instead of initially heading West to get to the coast like I had assumed, we started off due East. Looking at the location on the map, it was most logical, but surely the HoN Co. guards would be expecting it. Nevertheless, we continued Eastwards, staying hidden behind any and all cover available. UOPETA lead up front, ensuring we only proceeded when he knew it was safe. THEROS was in the middle, holding the map and, the look on his face, looking for possible locations of interest hidden around the sprawling landscape. I stayed at the back; I was inexperienced and would likely bring undue attention to us if I was leading. Besides, UOPETA was the master of this! If he could stalk me without letting me know, then I trusted him to lead us to a destination safely. We travelled due east for only a few minutes, before altering our course to South East. Looking over THEROS' shoulder while waiting for UOPETA, that put is in pretty much a straight line course to the location... I suppose what are the guards likely to expect more: something we expect them to expect us to do, or something they don't expect at all! My head hurt at how many times that psychology had been reversed!

     As we progressed, I noticed a considerable increase in the size and number of large hills! I wasn't complaining; after all we were using the terrain as cover as much as possible. They only made our job easier! The sun had begun its descent into the Westerly sky, but the sky had not yet begun to get dark. After coming to another hill, UOPETA moved over to a small cliff face to our right. I couldn't figure out why, but after rising over the top, looking down I could see the sandy patch of ground circled on the map before us. Now we had found the location of the area, we would begin the search for the portal.

"Down there! Half buried... There it is!"

Squinting slightly to see past the glare from the sun, I could indeed see the portal; the lower frame was submerged below a metre of so of sand, with only the top left exposed.

"Does that mean... The Solus stone won't work?"

I recalled what I had read about the portals in THEROS' note: they could be activated using thermal energy from fire, or electrostatic discharge, or lightning. This portal was on the surface! That meant it could have been activated using lightning, which would mean the stone wouldn't work. The stone only worked on unstable portals; portals activated using thermal energy. A stable portal was literally indestructible!

"Let's hope it does... Can you see what I can see though...?"

UOPETA pointed down towards the portal, but I couldn't see what he was referring to. Then I realised he wasn't pointing at the portal, but at a small enclosure behind it. A small, rocky chamber had been covered with dirt, and was barely visible from this angle.

"How much do you want to bet a HoN Co. guard is in there...?"

     UOPETA had formulated a plan. It was a good plan, but it also involved a bit of a risk. We had all come to the conclusion that at least one guard was posted in the little rocky chamber set behind the portal. If we blundered in completely oblivious then we would fall straight into a trap!

"Syeonyx. Once we establish that there is a guard or more in there, you move around to the far Eastern side and create some form of noise diversion. Once they turn around, me and THEROS will appear at the little exposed area on this side and use the blow pipes to sedate them. We remove the darts, destroy the portal and head back. We'll give you a hand signal to tell you when to go, and how many guards are there... If you get the chance, take one out if we miss! It's very important you get their attention! Alternatively, if there's no-one there, it could still be a trap. It's buried in sand, so it could be a falling sand trap: we step into the middle and someone drops us into a pit. If there are no guards there, one of us stays behind, just in case. Are we good? Ok, let's go!"

We all moved up, quietly sneaking up to the hole. THEROS and UOPETA remained out of sight near the entrance, and I continued around to the other side. I sat there crouching, waiting for UOPETA. It seemed like an eternity to wait; my heart was in my mouth and beating like a jackhammer! I was sweating profusely and I was worried I would fumble with the blow pipe... I was nervous, but a sense of priority sat there lingering, keeping me calm. After awhile, UOPETA popped up, holding one finger up. Right, there was one guard. That wasn't too bad... Then I stopped... What distraction did I use? A rustling? A fake animal call, or a random cough? In the end, I went with the only thing that would seem confusing to the guard. I hoped it would cause him to move with caution; I jumped up and stamped back down, hard! I sat there crouching, staring at the small window I could see through, expecting to see a guard's face. I readied a dart and put it to my lips. But nothing happened. I waited and waited. But still nothing. UOPETA popped back up from the front entrance giving the all clear sign and I relaxed! That was one of the most chilling moments of my life... It was great!

Putting the dart and blow pipe away, I moved around to join UOPETA and THEROS, who were already near the portal.

"Right, THEROS is going to use the Solus stone to destroy the portal, but he needs your help to dig it out a bit. I'll stay here and keep guard. If you trigger a sand trap, I can help you out."

UOPETA moved to the safe ground, whilst me and THEROS began to dig out the portal. As we scooped sand aside, we noticed something odd... This portal... It seemed larger somehow... As well as the standard frame that they are constructed from, we began excavating strange appendages attached to each side of the frame. What were they? I took a photo for later study, and continued digging. What did they mean? Was that a sign of a portal activated by lightning? I had never seen one before... It was certainly possible... After exposing the majority of it, THEROS took the Solus stone and placed it on the portal. We stepped back, fingers crossed that it would work...

     We waited... For ages we stood there waiting for the Solus stone to drain of colour and begin destroying the portal, but nothing happened! My heart sank... Now what? This was one portal we couldn't destroy and HoN Co. had already active... THEROS bent down to pick up the stone when it began to drain of colour! The bright yellow faded, and melded with the purple rift and the process began! We both stood back, watching in awe, despite seeing it countless times before! I half expected to feel a falling sensation and then find myself in a pit, but I continued standing there, watching the obsidian disappear, chunk by chunk. After a few moments, the portal was entirely gone, and the piled up sand slid back in to fill the space. THEROS retrieved the stone, and we made our way over to UOPETA...

"That seemed too easy... Keep your eyes peeled... Something might happen on the way back!"

We all settled in for another few hours journey back. The sun had almost gone down entirely, and the light of the moon cast an eerie hue across the hills and cliffs ahead. "Keep your eyes peeled..." he says...

     We made it back to the base without so much as a hiccup! We were careful to ensure no-one followed us, and so far we haven't been attacked so it is likely to be fine. We told OROTHO about the success of his darts, but as usual he acted as though it was supposed to work right from the off! We've also informed COLUS about the strange appendages that were attached to the main obsidian frame.

"They could be anything... They can't be an indication of a stable portal, otherwise the Solus stone wouldn't have worked... It could be merely decoration... Or it could mean a stronger link to the master portal network, we don't know... There's very little we can get from an image, merely speculation. And speculation without the facts breeds inaccuracies. We should just treat is as a standard portal. Well, one less now..."

COLUS was right: it was the Creeper incident all over again! Speculating on the unknown was dangerous, and it was best to act accordingly as the situation plays out. A more accurate conclusion can be reached after more facts are gathered. Nevertheless, AMPHIS has added this to a new record, along with the images I took and a general hypothesis from OROTHO. As for me, well I'm off to bed!

Syeonyx signing off

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