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...

Half-way point...

     Due North. An hour's walk heading straight North. We actually passed the site of a previous portal location on the way, and I had begun to wonder if there were any more portals located around here we could find using the Solus stone alone. It'd save a bit of time rather than having to find the locations from a report in the conducting tower. But then again, I suppose it would be a bit aimless wandering around holding a stone, waiting for it to start glowing... There was a tension in the air; we moved in silence as normal, but I got the feeling everyone was a little shaken by the incident with the skeletons. It was totally unexpected, and the fact that I managed to be of any help at all astounded me! My first thoughts were that I was going to freeze up, but I acted swiftly, and together, me and UOPETA took them down! I don't know if there is a specific way to kill them, and I hope I don't have to find out, but it's seems very much a case of: if it's undead, destroy the head! Smashing the skulls to pieces seemed to do the trick anyway, but I was more worried about the person who had been able to animate the dead! It was likely that whatever they did to achieve this, worked on fresh and old corpses... The next worrying question was where were the corpses coming from... We had no proof that HoN Co. was the mastermind behind these aggressive and vile creatures, but they certainly seemed to work to their advantage!

The next secondary portal site we headed to was marked on the map as a sandy bank, quite far inland. I was expecting something similar to the previous one, with tall cliffs, and numerous caves. But when we got there, I was quite surprised. The area in question was actually a gravel bank, set into a flat plane dotted with a few trees. We cautiously emerged to the edge of the shadow from an overhanging tree, and then we stopped. UOPETA motioned for us to stay quiet, and then pointed towards the centre of the gravel bank. There was the secondary portal; partially buried, and inactive, but sticking out of the ground in broad daylight. Then I saw what UOPETA had been pointing to. A HoN Co. guard! They were standing just behind the portal, looking just to the right of our, location. Had he seen us? I hope not... We wouldn't have much chance of destroying the portal if he had!

     UOPETA had a plan to take this guy out, and it wasn't overly fancy or complex. In fact, as plans go, it was incredibly simple. Sneak up behind them and hit them in the neck with a dart. The only problem was the distance between the treeline and the guard. I know UOPETA had pulled off a shot like that before, but if he missed, it made the next shot harder! UOPETA moved around the treeline so he was facing the guard head on. He was still a distance away, but he was confident. Due to the distance, we didn't hear any noises from UOPETA, but the guard turned around at one point to face UOPETA and we thought it was all over! I took out my blowpipe, and readied the dart. The guard approached the side of the portal, and picked something up from the floor. Then he fell... Phew! Whether that was intentional, it didn't matter. It had worked! We joined UOPETA who seemed rather calm considering.

"Missed the first shot. He was a little too far away. Luckily the dart fell short and drew him closer. The second shot caught him in the sweetspot! Come on, let's get this over with."

We headed down to the portal; I immediately began hacking at the portal with the pickaxe, whilst THEROS remained on the lookout, and UOPETA removed the dart from the guard's neck. This was likely to be the first guard to wonder what was going on; he was meant to be guarding the portal, and when he wakes up to find a pile of obsidian dust, not remembering blacking out, he's going to be very confused! THEROS took over for the last half, and I stayed with UOPETA to keep watch. So far, it had all gone more or less to plan. There had been a few unexpected situations such as the Creeper, the skeletons and the guards, but nothing we couldn't deal with. I just hoped I hadn't jinxed it by thinking that... After THEROS destroyed the remaining chunks of obsidian, we packed up and headed immediately off to the next one. This one was another hour or so, and off to the North again. It was close to the boundaries of the map, and we were beginning to wonder if there was need to extend the one we had. We had already eliminated the possibility of destroying any portals outside the map range as it would be hard to document. It would probably mean then that the next stage would be scouting out the next area and allowing THEROS to work his cartography magic!

     The walk was getting quite arduous by now, but on the up side, at least the rain had stopped. We had begun to dry out as well, but the sign of fatigue was beginning to show with everyone, especially UOPETA. He was working very hard to keep us safe and secure, and prevent us from walking into traps. I didn't know if there had been any, but we hadn't fallen into one yet, so that was a good sign. The sun had begun to track across to the other half of the sky, indicating the passing of midday. We were going well; four portals down, and it was just about 1:00 in the afternoon! Unfortunately we still had four to go, and they stretched further and further away from the base and the conducting tower. UOPETA had said he would make a quick decision whether to head straight to the tower or back to base, but I got the impression he would opt for the latter now. We had entered a small sandy area. We weren't near the coast, so maybe this was just a small barren area where little could grow. Infertile soil maybe...As a result, there was a distinct lack of trees, and we could see the portal from quite a distance away!

We were cautious on the approach as we expected to find a guard nearby. But unlike the other exposed one, this was active! We hadn't expected it, in fact I had already unslung my pickaxe. From the distance we were at, we couldn't see any Creepers, guards or skeletons, nor was there an Affinitas cage. The fact that HoN Co. was activating secondary portals and leaving them unsecured made me think back to Amie mentioning the replicating technology. Maybe they had found a way to achieve this without her help! Maybe a single secondary portal meant nothing to them as they could place a thousand more in it's place! I didn't like to think about this, but as we approached, it remained in my mind. THEROS took out the Solus stone and placed it on the obsidian frame. THEROS remained beside the portal whilst I kept lookout with UOPETA.

Where the portal was, we could see quite a distance in all directions, so this was highly unlikely to be set up as a trap... Unless the idea was to allow the sand to collapse into a chamber, along with us! I wish I hadn't thought about that... I had been so confident up until that point, that now I was wondering if it was safe standing on the sand. After the longest minute of my life - I kept waiting for the sand to give way, and to fall forever into a dark pit where I would be left to the fate of a hoard of skeletons and Creepers! - the rift closed, and nothing remained of the portal. THEROS collected the Solus stone and we moved out to the West towards the next one. I was really glad to move away from that sand! I just hoped the next one was in a cave... At least caves can't shift! Can they...?

Syeonyx signing off

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