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...

Obsidian farming 101

     We remained standing there, in silence for some time. We knew that the operation HoN Co. had been working on was big... But this was huge! Off the scale huge! Before us, was the largest lake of lava I think any of us had ever seen! To the left was a strange, iron construction protruding from the ceiling, with obsidian beneath it. And to the right, was a huge building! On both sides, minecart tracks ran towards the two main points. Now the signs above made sense! One direction had said "UP" whilst the other had said "DOWN". The path we had taken was the UP direction, so the path to the right must be the location of a storage house! It was easily large enough to be one; it was at least two storeys tall, and was constructed of a dense, stone brick material. It had no vents or holes except a few iron gratings that allowed people to look out.

"Which direction should we check out first?"

I suggested right, along with UOPETA, and we cautiously made our way down the stone stairs to the right, to the large building. From our vantage point, we could see an iron door which seemed to work on the same basis as the entrance doors.

     We approached the door, quietly, to ensure we didn't attract any unwanted attention from the people within. We didn't even know if there were any people inside this place, but it'd be strange for there not to be! I activated the pressure pad, and the iron door slid aside noiselessly, allowing UOPETA and THEROS to step inside. I followed them, and we stopped... Looking around the room, we couldn't tell whether this was exactly what we had been expecting, or nothing at all! All around the room, were small piles of obsidian, with chests placed against walls, and a series of snaking minecart tracks leading to three separate areas. Looking around, we actually realised one of the minecart tracks ascended onto a floor above us! I was about to step out from the doorway and explore, when UOPETA dragged me down behind a nearby pile of obsidian blocks.

"Careful! Look..."

UOPETA pointed towards the far end of the room, past the stairs, and I saw a person with a thick, shaggy brown beard emerge from beneath the stairs... Was he a miner? A HoN Co. employee... Or prisoner...

We remained crouched behind the purple rock, observing him; he had a diamond pickaxe in his hand, and he was breaking large quantities of obsidian down, before placing chunks into a minecart. After awhile, he paused beside a stone pillar, and pressed a button, whereupon the obsidian-laden cart shot off from beside him, down the track and past us! We watched it trundle off at a worrying speed, up the track, and out of sight, most likely back the way we had come! The miner however, turned around, and headed back under the stairs. UOPETA took this opportunity and followed up behind him. From behind the obsidian, we watched and waited, until there was a high pitched whistle, and the sound of something heavy falling to the floor. UOPETA emerged from underneath the stairs, holding the diamond pickaxe, and ushered us forward. Whispering now, he told us to search for anything that could help us in dealing with this place. Valves, reports, anything of notable worth that pinpointing now could make out lives easier later on. I had begun to think how we could destroy such a place as this, but it appeared to have occurred to UOPETA and THEROS as well.

"You two search these chests, I'll search the others. Remember; anything that might help us!"

I began to search through the chest beneath the stairs, but only finding minecarts, I moved on. In each subsequent chests I searched, I found nothing but masses of obsidian. After getting to the last chest, and opening the lid to find more of the dense purple stone, I closed it and moved towards UOPETA.

"Nothing? Same. It might be worth checking the upper floor... There is likely to be more of the same up there..."

We crept towards the stairs, UOPETA in lead. Once near the top, UOPETA crouched closer to the ground, and indicated with his finger for us to remain silent. Continuing to climb the stairs, keeping in mind the odd footing because the minecart track, I got as close as the railings, before UOPETA stopped again. There, on the other side, was another HoN Co. worker, putting obsidian into a minecart.

We watched as UOPETA crept up closer past the railings, and readied his blowpipe. A few moments later, and another HoN Co. worker lay unconscious on the floor. It was a good job too; from the looks of the cart, he was getting ready to send it down to the bottom floor, which could quite easily have crushed us if we had waited any longer! Joining UOPETA fully upstairs, we began to search through the room again, from top to bottom. After a few minutes of fruitless searching, all we found different was that there was a huge stockpile of obsidian stacked in the corner!

"This must be a warehouse where the obsidian is stored before being packed away, and sent to the correct destinations... But where do they keep those files? They've got to be around here somewhere..."

"Maybe they're in the exit-side of the building on the surface... Where better than on the way out."

"Good point... For now though, we should explore all we can before heading back up. We need to get as much information as we can!"

We moved back down stairs, and headed towards the door we had come through. Making sure no-one was on the other side, or on their way back down, we set out back up the stairs. However, something had caught my eye on the other side of the lava lake... Peering across to the other side, I could now see that there was water flowing from a small hole beneath the large iron structure! I informed the other two of this:

"That must be how they make the obsidian; gently and carefully introduce water to lava... But what about the gases...?"

I didn't know about gases, but from here, I could see a huge amount of steam pouring up from the lava's surface, floating upward, and condensing on the chamber roof!

     We got to the top of the stairs, and instead of heading all the way back up to the left, we hopped over the low, iron railing, and cautiously made our way down the other set of steps. THEROS took out his blowpipe, but UOPETA stopped him.

"We have nothing against the miners and guards. If we attempt to sedate them at this range, they may injure themselves... Or worse... Fall in the lava... No, we will just have to be silent."

Peering over the railing, I could make out a guard wearing a mask, as he controlled a series of levers which seemed to alter the flow of water from a hidden reservoir... As we drew closer, an almost overwhelming stench of natural gas and sulphur flooded my lungs, and burying my nose and mouth into my chest was the only thing that stopped me from coughing and retching, thus giving our position away! THEROS and UOPETA followed suit, but I could hear the muffled coughs from beneath UOPETA's chest. This was an incredibly dangerous operation! Aside from the standard dangers of utilising lava, there was the added danger of pressurised, super-heated steam, noxious gases and a potentially dangerous amount of water stored away! They were playing with fire, literally! If they weren't careful, they're get burnt! Also literally! As we got closer, we noticed a small staircase to the left with another minecart track running below us. That must be hoe the obsidian is moved to the warehouse... As we crept closer, we hugged the wall, to remain hidden. But it wasn't easy when the lava acted as a huge light source, illuminating everything!

Looking down towards the workers, I could see how the process seemed to work: there was a large tank suspended from the ceiling, which presumably channelled water into a more controllable reservoir. Then, two controls allowed the workers to open a flood gate, letting water pass from the reservoir, onto the surface of the lava, where it almost immediately transmuted into obsidian! Once this had been done, vast quantities of steam and gas were released, which the workers steered clear of until it subsided, and then began to excavate the obsidian. Watching them though, it seemed that the pool of lava continued beneath the layer of obsidian, so presumably they would harvest what they could, before breaking off a small piece, letting it sink and repeating the process. We watched for a few moments longer, before UOPETA indicated for us to go back upstairs. I was glad to get out of there! The fumes had almost become overwhelming!

Syeonyx signing off

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