Book Introduction by Skeleton Steve
1 – Beginnings
2 – On the Road
3 – Zombietown
4 – The Spider and the Book
5 – The Knight
6 – Minecraftians
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About the Author – Skeleton Steve
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The Amazing Reader List
The Noob Years
An Unofficial Minecraft Series
Season 1 – Episode 1
“Diary of Skeleton Steve, the Noob Years, s1e1 (Book 1)”
Copyright © 2016, Lightbringer Media LLC, All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This unofficial novel is an original work of fan fiction; it is not an official Minecraft book. It is not endorsed, authorized, sanctioned, approved, licensed, sponsored, or supported by Mojang AB, Microsoft Corp. or any other entity owning or controlling rights to the Minecraft name, trademarks, or copyrights.
Minecraft®/ TM & © 2009-2016 Mojang / Notch / Microsoft
All names, places, characters, and all other aspects of the game mentioned from here on are trademarks or company names mentioned in this book are the property of their respective owners and are only mentioned for identification purposes.
EBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded, or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publisher’s permission.
Published in the United States of America by Lightbringer Media LLC, 2016
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[_ Love MINECRAFT? Over 17,000 words of kid-friendly fun! _]
This high-quality fan fiction fantasy diary book is for kids, teens, and nerdy grown-ups who love to read epic stories about their favorite game!
The very first diary of Skeleton Steve himself!!
Welcome to a new adventure. Follow along the ‘The Noob Years’ of Skeleton Steve, Minecraft writer and adventurer, back when he first started his travels on Diamodia! Fresh out of the “Enderman Ninja” series, Skeleton Steve and Elias the Enderman Ninja are traveling east to explore a distant village on the Enderman’s map. The village’s library is a great place to find an empty journal for Skeleton Steve’s first diary, right??
But when the village turns out to be a zombie village, what manner of trouble will the two adventurers run into? And when a mysterious baby zombie offers to give Skeleton Steve the library’s last empty book in exchange for finding his missing tome about his “Knight’s Code”, will Elias and the memory-challenged skeleton be up to the task?
Thank you to of you who are buying and reading my books and helping me grow as a writer. I put many hours into writing and preparing this for you. I love Minecraft, and writing about it is almost as much fun as playing it. It’s because of you, reader, that I’m able to keep writing these books for you and others to enjoy.
This book is dedicated to you. Enjoy!!
After you read this book, please take a minute to leave a simple review. I really appreciate the feedback from my readers, and love to read your reactions to my stories, good or bad. If you ever want to see your name/handle featured in one of my stories, leave a review and tell me about it in there! And if you ever want to ask me any questions, or tell me your idea for a cool Minecraft story, you can email me at [email protected]
Are you on my Amazing Reader List? Find out at the end of the book!
December the 22nd, 2016
And now for something new! It looks like you guys have been really liking the Creeper King books! Have you been noticing that they’re all collected? Tell me, either in the reviews or by emailing me from my website—what would you guys think about Skeleton Steve Club members getting a Diamodia Companion book, only available to you members?? Something connecting all of the timelines and characters as my books progress? Any interest?
Well, this is a new series that I’ll be working on for a while. After I put out several of these ‘Noob Years’ episodes, I’ll be going back to do more in the Teenage Zombie Villager and Lone Wolf series. Sounds good?
Enjoy the story!
P.S. – Have you joined the Skeleton Steve Club and my Mailing List??
You found one of my diaries!!
This is a tale of … well … me!!. Fresh out of the end of the ‘Enderman Ninja’ series, Elias the Enderman ninja and I went on to many adventures, back when I was just a noob skeleton! You’ll see appearances from Zebulon the Zombie Knight, and others as the episodes go on! You are holding the first collection of my diary entries as a young adventurer on Diamodia!
Be warned—this is an epic book! You’re going to care about these characters. You’ll be scared for them, feel good for them, and feel bad for them! It’s my hope that you’ll be sucked up into the story, and the adventure and danger will be so intense, you’ll forget we started this journey with a video game!
I recommend reading the “Enderman Ninja” series before this, but it’s not completely necessary. It would help you understand the backstory, though…
So with that, dear reader, I present to you the tale of Skeleton Steve, the Noob Years, Season 1, Episode 1…
Where to begin?
Right now I’m sitting on the roof of the watch tower in Zombietown, writing in this nice, new journal!
How did I even learn how to write? How do I understand these words? What unknown memories in my undead brain guide my bony fingers to move the quill and ink over these pages?
My name is Skeleton Steve.
Or, at least, that’s the name they gave me.
I don’t know who I am.
I guess a good place to start with would be back when Elias and I were on the road heading to Zombietown. I didn’t know it was called ‘Zombietown’ back then—we gave this place that name later. We just sort of … started calling it Zombietown. But at the time, it was a Tuesday morning, the square sun was high in the sky, and the forest was bright and beautiful around us.
“So where are we going, again?” I asked.
The tall, black-skinned Enderman walked along beside me, moving in graceful, easy strides. The tails of his blue ninja headband fluttered in the breeze, and the sun glinted on the white symbol over in its center, the symbol of his ninja order.
He looked down at me with an unreadable face. His purple eyes glowed.
“To the east,” Elias said, his voice inside my head, “there’s a village on the map.”
It was still very strange to me—communicating with this Enderman via telepathy—speaking inside our heads. The ninja never made a sound otherwise. Never a word, never a grunt. The only times he spoke to me was with my thoughts, like I was thinking those words myself, in my own voice.
But it wasn’t my voice. It was his.
“Oh,” I responded. “Oh yeah…”
Elias stopped and cocked his head, blocking out the sun for a moment. “Are you okay? How’s your memory?”
“What a funny question,” I replied out loud. The Enderman spoke inside my head, but I’d speak out loud. If anyone else was ever watching our conversations, it would look like Elias was staring at me, and I was talking to myself! “How’s your memory?” I repeated. “If my memory was acting funny, would I have any idea?”
We moved on.
“Valid point, Skeleton Steve,” he said.
I looked down at my skeletal hands as we walked. Flexed my fingers—watched them open and close.
Who am I? I thought. Who was I?
My slender, bony feet crunched through the dirt and grass, and my pack flopped against my hip-bones as I walked. We’d been traveling all morning, following Elias’s direction.
Sometimes, the Enderman ninja would stop, and pull his compass out of thin air (he called it his dimensional pocket), look at the instrument for a moment, glance up at the sun, look up ahead, then, we’d move on…
I realized that this must be very slow for the powerful creature—walking with me like this. I’ve seen him jump around like magic, zipping around using his … teleportation power. Elias could really cover a lot of ground in a hurry like that!
But … he wanted to be with me.
To walk with me.
And I appreciated him for it.
Was Elias my friend? I don’t know—I didn’t even know who I was. Or who I used to be. The Enderman claimed that he wanted me to travel with him. He said he wanted to help me get my memories back.
I guess he was my friend…
“So what’s gonna happen when we find this village?” I asked. “Won’t the villagers freak out and not want anything to do with us?”
“That seems likely,” Elias replied.
“So … what’s the point??”
“One reason to go there is to find you a journal, remember?”
“Well,” I said, “wouldn’t it make more sense to just go back to the village where you’re already a hero, and get one there?”
The Enderman looked at me for a moment. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking or feeling—not like with the Minecraftians. Those creatures were pretty easy to read. Elias’s face however, was just … blank. Black and smooth and blank. With glowing purple eyes that mostly just looked … gentle and uninterested.
What was going on behind those passive purple eyes? An Enderman sigh?
“I have picked up many Ender seeds in the area of the last village already,” Elias responded. “It is good to explore, to cover new ground.”
“Your Seed Stride?” I asked. “That’s why?”
“That is one of many reasons, Skeleton King,” he said. I winced at the name. “There is also a compelling reason to seek out new villages, and new areas—to become more familiar with this map.”
The Skeleton King.
Who was the man—the skeleton—that existed before the Skeleton King??
My memories from being the monster were almost gone now—just hazy shadows in the back of my mind. At times, when I stayed quiet for too long, I started looking through _]this bright, sunlit world, and caught flashes of an army of skeletal archers; brief glimpses of clashing with this Enderman ninja in mortal battle; quick memories of … [_red…
The Enderman put a slender, black hand on my shoulder.
“I apologize, Skeleton Steve,” he said. “I did not mean to use that name...”
Had I stopped?
Did I stop walking and go into some sort of weird flashback again??
We started moving again.
“It’s okay, Elias,” I said. “I’m … sorry too.” I shook my skull. “How far do you think the village is?”
“Well,” the Enderman said, “From the last time I looked at the map, judging by the time of day, and the plains to the south…” He pointed to our right and, through the trees, I could see a bright, open area of green grass peppered with yellow and red flowers. “I surmise that we will be walking for today, and tomorrow, then should reach the unknown village.”
“Not bad,” I said. “You know what?” I looked up at him and smiled.
“No, I do not,” he responded blankly.
I smirked. Elias was a weird guy. He definitely didn’t understand that expression. But, how did I??
At every turn, thinking about the mechanics of this … amnesia … seriously boggled my mind. How did I know some things and not others? How did I know how to speak? Or how to use expressions like, you know what?
“Err … know what? I kind of like this traveling like this,” I said.
“That is good, Skeleton Steve,” Elias responded. “This world of Diamodia is immense. It is good to see much of it—to learn much of this place. I have come to understand, from my Seed Stride and my first mission for my order, that there is much self-improvement and growth to be had in journey and adventure…”
“Journey and adventure, huh?” I asked. “Yeah, I like that.”
“Take this creeper for example,” Elias said, waving a hand off to our left.
I looked, and didn’t see anything. Green. Trees.
And suddenly, a freaking creeper stepped out from the woods! Right next to us! Its skin was green like the leaves, and crackly, with four stubby, green legs, and a frowny face with deep, sad eyes like black holes in a dense bush…
“Whoa!” I exclaimed. “Where’d you come from?”
“Ssss,” the creeper replied. Its voice was dry and scratchy. “I walk through the treesss, ssskeleton!” It approached us and stopped.
“What could you learn from this creature?” Elias went on, in my mind. I had no idea if only I heard his mind voice, or if the creeper was hearing it too. “This creeper may just be another mob, but he has a name, and has been here longer than you have. All of these beings of Diamodia have their own stories—their own lives.”
The creeper stared at us blankly.
“Uh … hi there, creeper!” I said, turning to it. It didn’t respond. “What’s your name?”
“Cho’thosss,” the creeper responded. “Why’sss a ssskeleton want to know?”
“Just curious, I guess,” I said.
Elias stood by like a silent sentinel, watching our interaction.
This felt weird. What was the Enderman trying to do? Make me have a conversation with the creeper?
The creeper suddenly looked up at Elias, and watched his face for a while.
“Yesss, Ender,” the creeper said. “There’sss a cassstle to the wessst. What’sss with hisss eyesss? They glow red!” It glanced at me with its sad, deep eyes, then turned back to Elias.
They looked at each other’s faces for a while longer. Elias must have been talking to the creeper with his mind voice, and I wasn’t a part of the conversation…
“Not that I know of,” Cho’thos responded, its voice like leaves and gravel. “I have not gone much farther eassst…”
The Enderman ninja gave the creeper a small nod.
“Good travelsss,” the creeper said to both of us, then walked around us, continuing to the south.
“Uh … nice to[_ meet_] you, Cho’thos!” I said after him. I looked at Elias. “What was that about? Asking him about the village?”
“Yes,” my companion replied. “He’s familiar with this area, and the Minecraftians’ castle, but hasn’t been much further east than we are now.”
“Yeah, I got some of that,” I said, and we walked on for a while.
When the sun went down and the world became dark, Elias insisted that we stop for the night. Neither of us needed to sleep, but the Enderman preferred to stop at night to meditate and recharge his Chi—whatever that was.
We both sat in a small clearing between tall oak trees, and I watched the Enderman as he sat straight, crossed his legs, and put a slender hand on each knee. Appearing very serene, Elias closed his eyes, and stayed like that for the rest of the night. Only the blue tails of his ninja headband moved, drifting up and down in the night breeze.
I sat in the dark, watching and listening to the strange world around me, wondering if those zombies and spiders I heard and saw in the distance ever had a taste for bones…
When the square moon set, and the sun brightened the day again, we continued our journey.
Elias stopped every once and a while to do his weird Enderman stuff.
His Seed Stride.
Sometimes, gliding along like the long and limber creature from another world he was, Elias would stop, close his eyes, then head off of our path a bit, holding his hands out in front of him. With those powerful and lean arms, he’d dig his fingers into the dirt, and pull up a block or two. Occasionally, he’d have to dig and set aside block after block until he found the dirt block he was looking for…
They all looked the same to me.
But Elias sure acted funny about those blocks, treating some of them like they were nothing interesting at all (they weren’t interesting of course—just dirt), and others like they were full of diamonds or something! His eyes would flare, and he’d look over those ‘special’ dirt blocks like they were the coolest things he’d ever seen. And then, he’d slip them away into nothing—into his dimensional pocket.
“What do you see in those?” I asked, eventually.
The Enderman was regarding one of those ‘special’ blocks. He held it up for me to see, treating it with gentle care.
“Behold,” Elias said. “What do you see?”
It was a block of dirt.
“Just looks like dirt,” I said.
“Inside this dirt,” he replied, “is an ‘Ender Seed’—something sacred to my people.”
“Like, some kind of … egg?” I asked.
“Not exactly,” Elias said. “Each of us Ender has an Ender Pearl inside, which is an amplifier for our Chi, and allows us to channel much of our power into the techniques you have seen me use—my ability to warp, my mind voice, and other, more subtle things.”
“And they come from dirt?”
“This world, Diamodia, has three connected planes. Do you know of them?”
“What are planes?”
“The End, which is my home, the Nether, and this world—the Overworld. All are planes, like worlds within a world.”
“What’s that have to do with the dirt??”
“All planes are connected, and are vital to each other. We Ender, who live in The End, rely on the Overworld to produce the Ender Seeds, which grow naturally in the soil of the world. When my people go on our Seed Strides, we collect the seeds to bring back to the dragon’s island, where they will grow into new pearls for Ender younglings.”
“Um … dragon island? Is there a dragon??”
“The Ender Dragon,” Elias replied. “The ancient beast bound to my people’s civilization that grows the pearls.”
“Can I see the dragon?” I asked.
“Perhaps, one day, I will lead you to The End. But, for an Overworld-dweller like yourself, that would be a very involved adventure. You cannot reach The End as easily as I can.”
“Can’t you just teleport us there?”
Elias seemed to smile. “I can return there at will,” he said. “But I cannot take you with me.”
As we walked, I listened to spiders hissing and climbing around in the trees around us. Looking up, I watched their multiple, glowing red eyes regard us from the shadows.
“Um … Elias?” I asked.
“I sense that you are distressed about the mobs around us,” he said in my mind. “You do not need to fear.”
“Do you think I could at least … have a weapon?? A bow or something? I mean—I know the Minecraftians didn’t want me to have one, but they’re long behind us now, you know?”
The memory echoed in my head:
“Do you think I could have a bow?” I asked. “Just in case … uh … I dunno … we run into trouble??”
“No way,” Xenocide99 said.
“Not a chance,” said WolfBroJake. “You might be a wimpy skeleton now, but yesterday you were the Skeleton King!”
My first memories of transforming into a normal skeleton after being … that monster … were kind of hazy, but I could still remember the Minecraftians and Elias standing around me, as I waited in my cage for them to decide on my fate…
I was truly grateful that this Enderman spoke up and didn’t allow the Minecraftians to execute me. They sure had every right to…
“Why do you feel the need to have a weapon?” Elias asked.
“What if those spiders attack?”
Elias shook his head, and looked up into the trees. He stared at the individual arachnids handing out in the upper branches as we walked on. After a while, he looked down at me again, then pointed at one of them. The spider’s glowing red eyes glared down at me.
“That spider’s name is Sidney. He’s up there because he likes to spend the day in the sunshine at the top of the trees. He feels happy and warm.” Elias pointed to another. “That one’s name is Sophia. Sidney’s her best friend, so she hangs out with him a lot, and is hoping they’re going to go explore a certain cave nearby after lunch.”
“Okay … what about that one?” I asked, pointing at a third.
“What about me?!” the spider called down from above with a hissing voice.
“That’s Seth,” Elias said. “He just wanted to see what the other two were doing up there.”
I felt a bit silly.
“Oh, nothing … Seth. Have a nice day!”
“You too, bones!” Seth replied.
“Hey, you guys!” the spider named Sophia cried out in a spidery voice. “Watch out for the Minecraftians! There are a bunch of them living nearby!”
She must have meant the Minecraftians in the castle behind us.
“Thanks!” I said, and we walked on.
“You don’t have much to fear from other mobs here, Skeleton Steve,” Elias said. “Don’t forget—you are one of them, yourself!”
“Still,” I said. “I’d like to have a weapon. If something bad happens, what am I gonna do? You have your awesome ninja skills, but I’m just … I’m just a bunch of bones.”
“Soon,” the Enderman replied. “Be patient, Skeleton Steve. You are still recovering from being … the other. We must make sure that … your state of mind is safe.”
We walked in silence for a while.
“What was I, Elias?” I asked. “What was the Skeleton King? Who am I now? Was I always the Skeleton King before?”
Elias shook his head. “[I do not believe you were always the Skeleton King, Skeleton Steve,” _]he said.[ “From what I could tell, you were … distorted … by a magical artifact—an evil magical item that is no longer on this plane. I feel rather certain that you were something else, or someone else, before the artifact made you into the Skeleton King._]”
“Can you show me?” I asked.
“Show you what?”
“With your mind power. Can you make me see myself, as the Skeleton King, from your own memories, maybe?”
“[That is an odd request, Skeleton Steve,” _]Elias responded. [“Why would you want to remember being the Skeleton King? That’s not who you are now…_]”
“Maybe it’ll help me remember who I was—you know—before!”
“Are you sure?” the Enderman said. “I could send you … images, short memories, I suppose. But will it really help you? It will likely cause you pain.”
“Please,” I said. “I want to see.”
Elias stopped, and we stood in tall grass.
The monster stood in the room directing his skeleton minions as they carried more of the heavy metal blocks over from a corner of the room. In the shadows, spared from the red light, I caught a glint of steel.
Were the blocks made of solid iron?
My eyes darted back to the Skeleton King.
The abomination stood twice as tall as the skeletons around him—taller than me. And he was thick and wide, with heavy ribs and dense limbs. The Skeleton King’s bones were overall more massive than normal skeleton bones, and he had a broad lower jaw that made him appear even more menacing. As I expected, his eyes held the same fierce, red pinpricks of glowing light as the other skeletons. The monster’s shoulders were armored, and he held a huge, black bow in one chunky bone hand.
No … not in his hand. On his hand!
The Skeleton King was armed with a great, black bow that was bolted sideways onto a bracer of some kind that was attached to his right arm.
“Move it!” he yelled, his voice like thunder. “Get those blocks in there!”
The skeletal minions struggled with the heavy blocks to finish their work on the pyramid.
I shook my head.
That was weird. I was suddenly aware of the tall grass around me again. Elias stood before me, regarding me with a passive, smooth face and glowing purple eyes. I looked up at the blue sky above me and felt the sunshine on my face.
“Are you alright?” Elias asked. “Did you see?”
“I…” Pausing, I tried to collect my thoughts. “That was weird. I was suddenly … in a castle? The Minecraftians’ castle??”
“Did that … stir any memories?” Elias asked. “Did the monster feel like you?”
“No, not really. I was just seeing the Skeleton King from your eyes. It didn’t feel like me. Can you do it again, maybe a … stronger memory??”
Elias pressed his hands together. He seemed resistant to the idea, although I couldn’t read his strange, Enderman face for the life of me…
“Very well,” he said, and my mind was swooped away into a … flying kick!
Flying through the air, I visualized my kick hitting the Skeleton King in the center of his chest. Then, just as my foot was about to connect, I was shocked when the Skeleton King’s massive ribcage split apart up the center and opened up like a sideways chest—like a great clam-shell trap—and my body crumpled inside of it!
The ribcage trap slammed shut on me, crushing me inside the abomination’s body.
I cried out, and roared in agony!
The Skeleton King’s chest was large enough that such an attack would have totally swallowed up a Minecraftian. But I, as an Enderman, was too big to be completely enclosed, so I was tangled up in a deathtrap of bones, crushed, stuck…
Then, the ribcage opened up and spat me back out onto the ground.
I landed in the dirt, feeling broken.
Trying to get to my feet, I barely noticed the Skeleton King raise his bow to me again.
I teleported just a few feet away as he fired, the black arrow hitting the ground where I was.
When I appeared, I collapsed onto the ground again.
Clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk. The skeleton army around us beat their bones in a constant rhythm song of hand-to-hand combat…
I was exhausted and broken.
The Skeleton King turned, and raised his bow again.
The black arrow pierced my chest and almost pinned me to the ground! The pain was unbelievable…
“Give me the beacon!” the Skeleton King roared.
I could barely see.
Clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk.
Looking up at him, I tried to get to my feet, then fell again.
“Give me the beacon or DIE!!” the abomination bellowed.
I heard the voice repeating in my head…
When I came to, Elias was trying to help me stand from the ground. I was sprawled out in the grass, holding my chest. The huge, black arrow that pinned me to the ground was…
There was no black arrow…
That was from a memory that wasn’t mine.
And that’s all it was.
The Skeleton King was a terrible monster, but he wasn’t me at all!
Seeing the abomination wiping the floor with Elias, from the ninja’s point of view, was horrifying, but it didn’t remind me of anything. Seeing that massive, menacing creature was no different than … if he was standing in front of me as … something else…
It was all very confusing, but it didn’t help at all.
“Oh … that’s … oh my—” I stammered as the Enderman helped me to my feet.
“Are you okay, Skeleton Steve?” he asked, his mind voice serious and concerned.
“Elias … I’m … are you?? That was terrible! How did you … I’m so sorry!”
“I am okay now,” Elias replied. “I will always have the scars from my battles with your other form, but the Skeleton King was also a great mentor to me, in its way, and helped me grow as a ninja.”
“I’m sorry, Elias,” I said. “The … weapons … never mind. I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ve got you, after all. Just … whenever you think I’m ready? A bow or something?”
Not much later, just as the sun was setting in the western sky behind us, we saw the distant lights of torches across a darkening plateau.
“Skeleton Steve,” Elias said. “We will rest here, and approach in the morning, after I have recharged my Chi…”
“Okay, Elias,” I said, my thoughts still on the terrible memories from the Enderman’s mind.
So, my memories of being the Skeleton King probably won’t help me. I had to remember who I was before I became the monster! But, since the moment I became a normal skeleton again, I couldn’t remember anything from before!
Who was I before?? Just a random skeleton?
Hopefully starting a journal would help me to remember…
We approached the village in the morning with caution.
After all, the villagers wouldn’t know us from any other random skeletons and Endermen out there. They wouldn’t know that Elias was a hero, an ally to Balder’s village—Balder was the blacksmith who gave the ninja his map. They wouldn’t realize that he was a friend of the Minecraftians—the hero Enderman ninja who saved the village from … well … from me…
Elias figured that we should scout out the village real quiet-like. There was also the possibility that some other Minecraftians lived here, and they probably wouldn’t be friendly.
“I’m not sensing any villager energy,” the Enderman said in my mind. “Nothing Minecraftian, either.”
“So what’s out there? What’s going on?” I asked.
“Let’s find out,” my companion replied.
The closer we came to the village, the stranger it seemed. Even though it [looked _]like a normal village, there was something … _off about it.
There were no crops. The farming fields were empty—rows of bare dirt with troughs full of water in between.
And there were no villagers.
No bustling, energetic, always-moving-around villager creatures. No constant opening and closing of doors.
Instead, the people we saw standing in the streets … were zombies!
“A zombie village?” I asked.
“No living villagers,” Elias replied. “All mobs. All undead.”
I had a much better look when we stepped into the streets. There weren’t many zombies out and about, because most of them were inside the houses. It was broad daylight, after all. Any of the undead that were out in the street were sticking to the shadows, standing under the eaves of the homes, hiding under overhangs from the deadly sunlight that would otherwise set them on fire!
Other than the fact that the farms were dead and there were no villagers running around, this place looked a lot like a normal village!
Except … also … all of the doors were broken down.
There was one place in town where a hole was blown out in the cobblestone street and the walls of the surrounding homes—likely from a past creeper explosion.
But this was a zombie town, alright.
“Zombietown,” I said.
“Let’s find the library,” he said.
As we walked through the streets, I saw green-skinned zombies standing in the open doorways, staying out of the sunlight. Looking through the windows of the houses, I saw more of them inside, like a strange reflection of a normal village.
It truly was a Zombietown. They lived here.
“Hello … uh … skeleton … Ender …” a random zombie said as we passed by. His voice was thick and dull.
Elias stopped, nodding to the creature, so I stopped too.
“Hi there, eh … zombie?” I said. “What’s your name?”
“Zed,” he replied.
“Good to meet ya, Zed. I’m Skeleton Steve, and this is Elias,” I said, pointing to my companion.
“Welcome to the village,” Zed said. “How do you walk around in the sun without burning up?”
How did I? I thought.
My hands went to the metal helmet on my head. I thought I remembered the Minecraftians saying something about that…
“Don’t take that off,” Elias said into my mind suddenly.
I pulled my hands away.
“I don’t know,” I replied to Zed. “Because I’m a skeleton I guess?”
“Can’t be that,” the zombie said. “Skeletons burn up, too.” He blinked.
“What’s the deal, Elias? Now [_I’m _]curious,” I said, looking up to the Enderman.
“It’s your helmet, Skeleton Steve,” Elias said. “The Minecraftians gave you that helmet after the battle so that you could travel with us in the daylight protected from the sun. But don’t ever take it off during the day, or you’ll be set on fire!”
I smirked. “Well, gee, that’s good to know…”
“Who are you talking to?” Zed asked, scratching his face slowly.
Was Elias just talking to me again with his mind voice? He didn’t include the zombie? I must have looked like I was just talking to myself…
“Oh, sorry,” I said, looking back to the zombie. “It’s the helmet. Wearing a helmet protects you from the sun.”
“Really??” Zed asked. “Uh … can I have it?”
“Ha … no … I’m sorry, I need it!” I said, and laughed.
“Oh…” the zombie said, looking down.
“Hey, maybe I can find you one sometime, eh?” I replied. “So, Zed, could you tell us the way to the library?”
“What’s a … library?” His mouth gaped.
“A place with books,” I said. “Lots of books.”
Zed scrunched up his green face, and I could see the wheels turning … slowly … behind those dull, black eyes. He pointed down the street, the same way we were already walking.
“Zebulon’s house,” he said. “It has some books. Turn right at the next street, and you’ll see it. Big house.”
“Thanks,” I said. Elias nodded to the zombie, and we continued down the street.
We walked, turned, walked some more, watching the many zombies of the undead village peer at us from inside their houses. Passing by several more small homes of cobblestone and wood, most with broken doors and many shattered glass windows, we eventually came across a somewhat larger house, with a raised floor, and a sloped roof. The door on this house was bashed open, as well, like the others.
“This looks like the place,” Elias said. “I sense a single zombie inside…”
Taking slow steps up the cobblestone stairs, I headed inside.
“Hello?” I said as I entered. “We come in peace!”
The inside of the building was fairly open, with two plain, wooden tables, benches, and another strange wooden table that looked like a Minecraftian tool—a cube of wood, bedecked with hand tools and drawings. Along the walls were rows and rows of bookshelves … mostly empty. Sitting at one of the tables, with a large, red book in front of him, was a small, green zombie—the size of a child, really—dressed in the normal zombie blues, looking over the cover of the book with glittering black eyes.
The little zombie looked up, startled by my intrusion, and jumped to his feet!
“Back, interloper!” it cried out in a very large, but also tiny, zombie voice. “This is my house! What is the meaning of this??”
I put my bony hands up in front of me. That little zombie was so full of energy and so fast! For a moment, I was afraid that it was going to jump at me and start wailing on me with its tiny fists!
“Whoa! Sorry there, buddy—”
“Buddy?! Who are you calling buddy, bones? You can’t just come waltzing into my house with your … your…” The little zombie looked up behind me.
Elias pushed through the too-short doorway, standing to his full height once he was inside. His head almost touched the ceiling.
“Greetings, zombie,” Elias said into my mind. He must have been talking to the little zombie, too. “You must be Zebulon.”
The small zombie calmed himself down, crossing his arms over his little chest, looking up at the Enderman standing behind me.
“I am, Enderman! Zebulon the zombie! Are you speaking inside my head?”
His little voice projected like the voice of a creature much bigger than he really was.
Elias nodded, then went on. “We have come to this village seeking the library. Is this the only library in town?”
Zebulon looked at both of us, then looked at the empty bookshelves. Only a small handful of books remained, along with many scraps of paper.
“It is, Ender,” the zombie replied. “It was, anyway. Many of the books have been pilfered over time by those dastardly Minecraftians, they have!” His voice was calming down. “I must apologize for my outburst when you came in. My good travelers, it has been a … rough day.”
“It’s alright, Zebulon.” I said. “What’s wrong?”
The little zombie scrutinized me again with bright, glittering black eyes. He was different than the others, for sure. While the other zombies we’ve seen—Zed and the other ‘citizens’ of Zombietown—were slow and sloppy, with dull eyes, dirty, untucked clothes, and gaping mouths, Zebulon was bursting with energy, and seemed really on top of things! His eyes were sharp, his clothes clean and neat, and his movements sure and confident. What an interesting little fellow…
“Good travelers, you two know my name, but I have not had the pleasure of learning yours!”
I stepped further into the room. “Well, Zebulon, my name is Skeleton Steve, and this is Elias.”
“Very good, sirs!” Zebulon replied. “Skeleton Steve and Elias , what can humble Zebulon do for you two this fine day?? Why do you seek this library?”
“We seek a book,” Elias said. “An empty book, so that my friend, Skeleton Steve here, can start a journal.”
“Ahhhh…” Zebulon replied. “A good practice, to be sure! Someone … in one of these books … said that Journal writing is a voyage to the interior!”
“That’s what we’re hoping for!” I said.
“What an odd thing to say, Skeleton Steve!” Zebulon replied. “Why are you seeking voyage to your interior?”
“Well,” I said, “I don’t really know who I am…”
“We’re thinking, good Zebulon,” Elias said, “that if Skeleton Steve starts writing a journal, it may help him remember who he once was. Stir up some memories…”
Zebulon put a hand to his chin and thought for a moment. “Tis a good quest, Skeleton Steve! The only problem is, as you can see, this library is nearly out of books! And the last empty book available…” he pointed to the red leather-bound book on the table, “I need for myself after I lost my own journal earlier today!”
So that was the rough day…
I looked down.
Oh well. There must be another village within a few days walk from here. Once we had a minute to look at the map again, we’d—
“Zebulon,” Elias said suddenly in our heads, “Is that book still empty? Is there any way we could convince you to give it to Skeleton Steve? Finding his memory is not only important to him; it’s important to all of—”
The little zombie interrupted him.
“I’m afraid not, Enderman sir! Believe me—I see many zombies with memory problems, all the time around here! A lot of the undead are always trying to figure out who they used to be—your friend’s not an exception. But now that my journal is gone, I need another so that I can continue my … wait a minute!”
Zebulon stopped and thought. He looked Elias up and down, looked at me, then looked back at the red book…
“What is it?” I asked.
“As an Enderman … you may be able to reach it!” he exclaimed, smiling suddenly. “You can get my old journal!”
“An exchange?” Elias asked.
“Yes, good sirs!! Yes! An exchange!” Zebulon exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear. “I thought it was lost, but it’s not! Not when you can get it!” He settled down, and his face became all business. “If you bring me back my journal, which I lost earlier today, I will give you the last empty book. Do we have a deal??”
Elias and I looked at each other.
“Where is it?” I asked.
“Okay,” Zebulon said, taking a breath. “So last night, I was in my favorite place up the river from town. There’s a waterfall, and a fantastic ravine—a deep cave—it’s a nice place I like to go, to read and write. To think…” He moved back, and pulled himself up to sit on the table as he talked. “I was there, reading my book under a tree, when I was suddenly attacked by a crazy spider! In the fight, the foul beast pushed me to the edge of the ravine, and as I fought for my life, I dropped my precious book over the edge!”
“So your book is at the bottom of a ravine, and you have no way to get to it,” Elias said.
“That’s right!” Zebulon said, “But you, an Enderman! You can just teleport down there, get it, and teleport back up again!”
“That stands to reason,” the Enderman responded. “Tell us more about the book.”
“Well,” Zebulon said, “it’s bound in leather, like that one,” he pointed to the red book behind him, “but it’s just brown. And on the front of it, I painted the words, The Knight’s Code, along with a picture of a sword!”
“Knight’s Code, huh?” I asked. “Sounds distinctive. Of course, it’s probably the only book at the bottom of the ravine…”
Elias turned to me. “Do you want to do this to acquire this empty journal, Skeleton Steve?” he asked, staring at me with his glowing, purple eyes.
“Sure,” I said. “Sounds easy enough…”
“You should go right away!” Zebulon said, “While the day is still new! If the spider is still there, well … spiders tend to be more easy-going during the daytime.”
“How do we find this place?” Elias asked.
“Go to the east side of town. If you look to the south from there, you’ll see a river running past the village through the plains. If you follow the river up toward the mountains for an hour or so, through the forest, you’ll get to a place where the trees open up, and you’ll see a waterfall joining up with it. There’s a big ravine in the trees there, but the opening is kind of skinny and hard to see. Watch your step! If you fall in, it’s a long way down…”
“What about the spider?” I asked.
Elias looked at me. “Don’t worry about the spider,” he said.
“Well, the beast has gone crazy!” Zebulon replied. “I could not reason with it. It refused to speak like a civilized mob! Take care if it’s still there.”
With that, we left the library, headed for the eastern edge of town.
“See?” I said. “Crazy spiders! Now, can I have a bow? A sword? Something?!”
Leaving Zombietown behind us, we were crossing a large, grassy field, making our way to the deep blue river in the distance, which stretched out, weaving and winding its way through the plains. I couldn’t tell which way was ‘upriver’ yet, but it looked like we’d be following the river to the left, since it wound its way in that direction up into rising forested hills. I could even see mountains farther away. To the right, it seemed that the river continued into flat lands as far as I could see.
“I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for this,” Elias said. “Mobs don’t just ‘go crazy’ like Zebulon claimed.”
“Yeah, I guess we’ll see, right? At least I don’t have skin, like zombies, for when the spider tries to bite me…”
“No need to fear, Skeleton Steve,” my companion responded. “If the spider is … aggressive, I’ll take care of it.”
“Hey, man,” I replied, “Don’t confuse ‘fear’ with feeling the need to have something I can defend myself with, okay? I’m not scared. I just want something better than my fists to fight off monsters with!”
Elias stopped and looked at me. His blue ninja headband tails fluttered in the wind.
“It is interesting, my friend, that you refer to other mobs as monsters, or feel the need to protect yourself from them. You are, after all, one of them. You are a mob. You’re undead! Yet, you act like you’re not. Why is that?”
Now that was an interesting thought, and it gave me pause.
It’s true, come to think of it, that I’ve been thinking about this journey from the point of view of an adventurer surrounded by monsters!
But I’m one of the monsters. Aren’t I? These creatures are my allies.
Why don’t I feel that way?
We continued, turning left at the river, and followed it up into the hills. The trees were thick and dark.
And, compared to the time it took to walk from the Minecraftians’ castle to Zombietown, traveling an hour upriver was nothing.
Before long, we found a place where the trees opened up, and I saw a bright and blue waterfall flowing from above a high hill, down to a small pool, which fed a creek that connected to the river. In the middle of the beautiful grass clearing was a single large dark oak tree.
I could imagine Zebulon sitting under that tree, the waterfall splashing softly on his right, reading his book while the warm sunlight bathed the river in front and the grassy field around him…
Well, it was nighttime when he was here. But it sure was pretty in the sun.
Yep. It was definitely a nice reading spot.
“This must be the place,” I said. Elias didn’t respond.
I listened for the hissing sounds of a spider, but heard nothing but the wind and the moving water.
As we approached the large tree, I looked all around for a menacing set of glowing red eyes; searched the shadows of the woods, peered up into the treetops…
“Take care looking for the ravine,” Elias said. “If I slip, I can save myself, but if you slip into the ravine as Zebulon described it…”
“Yeah, yeah,” I said. “I know. I don’t bounce. I’ll check over here…”
Moving around to the back of the huge oak, I made my way to the tree-line, keeping a careful eye out for a crazy, murderous spider. Once I was in the shadow of the forest, I started watching each step to make sure I didn’t wander over an edge, or into a hole, and plummet to my doom, deep in the ravine!
I heard Elias teleporting around.
His way of searching for something was probably much more efficient than mine. I laughed.
“Over here,” Elias said in my mind. But without hearing an actual voice with my ears, I had no idea where he was speaking from…
Looking around, I saw the faint remains of one of his ‘warp paths’, and followed the dim, trickling motes of purple light, drifting down to the forest floor, until I saw my pal. A short distance away from me, I could see his eyes glowing in the shadows of the trees.
“There you are,” I said, and made my way to him, being careful of my steps.
As I approached Elias, I saw the opening in the ground. It was narrow indeed—only a few blocks wide—and the rift stretched along the forest ground … I don’t know how far!
Inside, was darkness…
The Enderman ninja was momentarily preoccupied by a dirt block that must have contained an Ender Seed. Elias held the block lovingly, and closed his eyes, as if he was trying to feel the energy of the seed with one of his palms, gliding over the dirt surface. He slipped the block into his dimensional pocket and turned to me.
“Here it is. Be careful,” he said.
“Do you see anything? See the book?”
I approached the edge, taking two quick looks behind me. I couldn’t avoid imagining the crazy spider sneaking up behind us and trying to push us into the ravine!
Looking down, I saw that the rift extended far into the darkness, and that the very bottom was somewhat lit up by a river of lava, burning bright and orange down below. Around the lava was a long, stone ravine floor with glittering pools of water here and there. The forest floor—where we were standing now—must have been a pretty large overhang, because the ravine was a lot wider under the surface than the rift we were looking through was.
All along the sheer walls of the ravine were various natural ledges and cliffs. An explorer down there could walk along the ledges for a while if they were careful, but would always hit dead ends and have to either cut through the rock to extend the ledge, or climb to somewhere else.
Some ledges were closer than others.
And on one of the ledges, maybe twenty feet below the surface, there was something sitting on the stone floor; some kind of small, dusty, leather…
“The book!!” I exclaimed. “There it is!”
“Well done, Skeleton Steve,” Elias said. “I can see it now, too.”
“How are we going to get to it? Can you teleport over there?”
“I can,” Elias said, “though the shape of the opening here compared to where the cliff is there does make it a little more difficult. It will be harder to warp back out…”
I wasn’t about to try to understand the mechanics and angles of how Endermen teleport.
“So what are we gonna to do?”
“I can warp in, and if I have a hard time warping out, I’ll need to build up a bridge of dirt toward enough of a line of sight to allow me out again. Of course, that would take me some time. Alternatively, we can build a bridge of dirt down to the cliff, from here to begin with, and go down together.”
My imagination suddenly played a scene in my head of Elias stuck down in there, on the cliff with the book, taking the time to build his way back up to here with dirt … while I waited up here all alone, unable to defend myself…
“I prefer the second option.” I said. “Let’s go together.”
“Very well,” Elias said, then began looking around. He immediately pulled up the dirt block at the edge of the ravine, further opening the rift and getting us closer to the ravine’s inner wall. The ninja set the dirt block aside.
I watched for the spider as the Enderman continued digging up dirt blocks, one at a time, making a pile to use for the bridge, working his way through the forest floor to the ravine wall.
“Do you … ah … sense the spider?”
Faced away from me with a dirt block in his hands, Elias stopped for a moment, then resumed his work.
“No,” he said. After a while of moving blocks, Elias spoke up again. “Alright. We’ve got a way in.”
I walked over, past the dirt pile, and looked inside. There was the wall—stone and dirt. From here, the Enderman would be able to make a dirt path down to the ledge holding the book. We’d be in and out of there in no time!
And Elias did exactly that. Once the hole was big enough, he started placing those dirt blocks from the forest floor along the wall in a way that I could get down to the ledge without trouble—building something like a staircase of dirt…
So talented, I thought.
Eventually, we followed those dirt-block stairs down into the ravine, down several steps until we reached the ledge with the book…
And Elias stopped in his tracks.
“There’s…” he said in my mind, the word fading while he focused on something else. “Something … red…”
“Red?” I asked, still on the dirt block behind him. “What are you talking about?”
The Enderman turned, and looked back at me. His purple eyes flared.
“Skeleton Steve, get the book, and stay on your toes. There’s something wrong down here. Something…”
“Wait, uh, what are you gonna do??”
With that, Elias disintegrated into purple motes of light right in front of me, and I saw his warp path bolt toward another ledge across the ravine! He reappeared there, looking around frantically. Purple light-dust flickered and drifted down into the rift.
He teleported again to another ledge farther along.
What’s going on?!
I hustled down the dirt blocks, down to the stone ledge, and made my way carefully to the book. If I was too careless now, I might fall over the edge. I could see it, at the far end of the ledge ahead, brown, covered in dust form the fall, words scrawled on it in black paint. A little black sword on the cover…
“Got it,” I said to myself, closing the distance, and I reached down to grab the book.
The moment I picked it up, I heard a loud hissss…
Clutching the book to my ribcage, I pressed my back to the stone wall as a large spider scrabbled up from the edge right in front of me. Its multiple eyes glared at me, burning red, and its fangs trembled…
“Uh …[_ hi_] there … uh … spider,” I stammered. “Are you … um … the crazy one??”
I tried to step back, but I was already up against the wall. It might be possible to turn back to the dirt stairs and make a run for it, but the spider would surely catch me when I turned away…
“Elias!!” I cried. “It’s here!!”
As I looked into the crazy spider’s eyes, I saw something deeper inside there. Strange, fiercely burning points of red light blazed inside the spider’s normal red eyes. Something was … different. Something … red…
I’d have to run.
As soon as I bent my knees to try and take off from where I was standing, the spider flexed its own eight, furry black legs, and I watched its fangs open as it leapt toward me…
In a sudden flurry of motion, all I could see the next moment was black and purple. Little purple motes of light exploded all around me, and Elias was suddenly standing right next to me, in a low, martial arts pose, and with lightning speed, he launched a powerful kick at the spider as it attacked, connecting with the middle of its body with a surprising squish!
The mob screeched in pain, stopped in its midair leap, and flew away from us, launched by Elias’s kick, out into the open space of the deep ravine.
Then, something weird happened that neither of us expected…
The wounded spider, in mid-flight, seemed to … shake and … glitch!
Suddenly, there were two spiders, but in the same position of pain, legs pulled in, both falling in the same way … down … down …
“What?!” I cried. “What the—what just happened??”
“Are you okay?” Elias asked, his mind voice perfectly calm.
I felt the book, still held tight against my chest. Looking back to the dirt stairs, I glanced over the cliff’s edge at the dead spiders again, then up to my friend’s glowing, purple eyes.
“Yeah, I’m … it didn’t get me. What was that?! It turned into two spiders??”
“Yes, strange,” Elias replied. “There’s a very bad energy in this place. I will have to study the area. Oddly enough, I feel that the energy here is related to the energy of the Skeleton King and the artifact. This is bad news for Diamodia. I will have to consult my master back on The End for his advice on how to proceed.”
“What would the … um … Skeleton King energy be doing way over here?”
“I don’t know, Skeleton Steve. But we’ve got to find out. And in the meantime, we’ve got to make sure that no mobs venture into this ravine.”
“And that none get out, right?”
“Correct,” the Enderman said. “Whatever is happening here, we wouldn’t want it to spread anymore…”
After climbing back out of the ravine (and destroying the dirt steps), I watched helplessly as the Enderman ninja spent the better part of the afternoon moving dirt blocks around to completely seal the rift. Every once and a while, he found a dirt block containing an Ender Seed, and stashed it away in his ‘dimensional pocket’, then went on.
By the time evening was near, the work was done, and Elias had crafted a small landmark from dirt to remind us of where to dig down and access the ledge again in the future.
With the book in my pack, we head back to Zombietown…
I looked at the cover of Zebulon’s book while we walked.
Zombietown was just off in the distance as we hiked away from the river, across the huge, grassy plain, and as the sun went down, I could see, even from here, that the town was really coming alive!
The undead come out at night.
Zebulon’s “The Knight’s Code” was a thick book, and I was very curious about all of the information and musings within. The little black words and cartoony sword beckoned to me…
“Open the book,” I heard in my mind. “Open the book.”
Eh, I thought, and returned the tome to my pack. As much as I wanted to read Zebulon’s book, it was also a journal, at least in part—a personal diary. And I just didn’t feel right about looking at someone’s diary without their permission.
But that did give me some ideas.
I thought about Elias’s diary. And that beautiful, empty red book back at Zebulon’s place, which I’d start filling up myself. I thought about Sidney the Spider who likes to be warm in the sun at the top of the trees during the day. And Cho’thos the creeper, who’s very sneaky! And even Zed the Zombie, who really wants a helmet so he can prowl around in the sunlight.
Maybe it’d be fun to … I dunno … make friends and document their own stories? To start amassing journals from mobs[_ all over_] Diamodia?
Perhaps Zebulon would let me read his diary one day…
As we approached the village, I was surprised at how many zombies there were! It looked like there were way more than I saw in the shadows and inside the houses during the day. Where’d they all come from??
The undead mobs all roamed about, chatting with each other, talking about various mundane things that happened through the day. I heard more than a few of them mention a mysterious Enderman and a skeleton with red, glowing eyes…
We stepped into the library.
“Zebulon?” I said, moving through the doorway. “We’re coming in! Don’t be mad!”
I saw the little zombie sitting at the table with a different book. Looking up at the shelves, I saw the bold, red journal, what was to become my new diary, sitting all alone among scraps of paper. Zebulon looked up at us and smiled.
“Ah haaa!” he exclaimed. “You’re back! Hello, Skeleton Steve! Hello, Elias! Did you find my book?”
I pulled the tome from my pack as Elias squeezed through the doorway behind me.
“Greetings, Zebulon,” the Enderman said into our heads. “We have the book, and also came across the ‘crazy’ spider.”
“You do!” he exclaimed, smiling. “You did??” His smile turned to a frown. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, we’re fine,” I said, approaching the small zombie. I put his book on the table in front of him, and he snatched it up with a grin, pulling it to his chest.
“Thank you both!” he said, standing, and moving quickly over to the red book on the shelf. “Fine job!”
“Zebulon,” Elias said. “You say that the spider attacked you on the surface? Where did this happen?”
The little zombie pulled the red book from the shelf and approached us. “Well,” he said, “I was sitting under my tree, and it attacked me while I was reading.”
“Did it bite you?” the Enderman asked.
Zebulon shook his head, then, handed the red book to me. “No,” he said. “I wrestled it back a few times, and we circled each other while I tried to talk to it. I had to dodge out of the way of its jump attacks a couple of times—that’s how we ended up so close to the ravine’s edge, and I dropped the book!”
The red book in my bony hands just … felt right. I loved it. As far as I knew, I’d never owned a book before. And now this was mine—this book I’m writing in at this very moment, these words you’re reading right now. I was so proud…
“How did you get away?” Elias asked.
“After I dropped the book, I ran into the trees and lost it there,” Zebulon said. “I may not look like it, but I’m very fast, you know!”
“Have you seen any more of these spiders, or other crazy, unresponsive … aggressive mobs?”
“Thanks for the book,” I said.
Zebulon smiled at me, then turned back to Elias with a serious face. “Good Ender, why all the questions??”
Elias folded his hands together. “There was something wrong with the spider—something dangerous to us all. I intend to investigate this disturbance and help if I can, but know that I have sealed the ravine. You, and the other zombies here, should stay away from that area for now.”
Zebulon sighed, then replied with his big voice. “I was afraid you were going to say that! Very well. I suppose I’ll just have to find another reading area.”
“Zebulon,” I said, looking at his book on the table, “what’s this Knight’s Code of yours?”
He looked back to his brown book and smiled.
“Ah, Skeleton Steve, that is a question that will indeed lead you onto a noble path!”
Walking over to the table, Zebulon closed the book he was reading before we returned, and stretched to put it back on the shelf. I didn’t catch a good glimpse of its cover, but I was able to make out the words:
King Arthur and his…
“What’s this noble path of yours?”
Elias watched silently.
“Ah, my friends, fellow warriors. I live in this world of books and knowledge.” Zebulon gestured to the shelves, then frowned. “Well, at least what’s here. I am always looking for more! And these books have shown me distant lands, and other ways of life. Glimpses into worlds very different than our own!”
“Where do these books come from?” Elias asked.
Zebulon paused. “I honestly do not know, Elias!” He smiled. “But they were here when I found this village, and they have changed my life! For, you see, we are more than just mere zombies. More than a skeleton and an Enderman. We can be anything we want to be!”
I laughed. “What do you mean? A zombie can’t be a … an Enderman, for example…”
“No, of course not, Skeleton Steve!” he replied. “We are what we are in our bodies, and what those bodies can do, after all. But our minds, and who we are … only you can tell yourself who you are. You, Skeleton Steve, can be a skeleton archer, wandering around in the dark looking for Minecraftians to shoot at—”
“If I had a bow…”
“Yes, if you had a bow—what?! You can be a typical skeleton and do what everyone expects you to do, or, you can go your own way, and choose your own course! You have chosen to travel! You have chosen to perform an act of bravery in order to earn that book! What else will you choose? Will you, in time, become a hero? Will you do good deeds for your fellow mobs?”
“What have you chosen, zombie?” I asked.
“I think of myself, good Skeleton Steve, as a knight in training.”
“What is a knight?” Elias asked.
“A champion of good!” Zebulon exclaimed. “A warrior of the light, and defender of mobkind. A follower of the Knight’s Code!”
“So what’s the Knight’s Code?” I asked.
Zebulon puffed out his little chest, then thought for a moment, as if trying to assemble something he memorized…
“On my honor,” he began, “I dedicate my heart to valor. I will fight injustice and avenge the wronged. I will have courage in sword and deed. I dedicate my blade to the innocent. I will be strong … and defend … the weak. I will … undo … the wicked … and…” The little zombie scrunched up his green face in concentration. “Undo the wicked and … have faith in goodness!! And I … and…”
Elias and I exchanged glances.
Zebulon gave up, and laughed, a long hearty laugh.
“Ah well, good sirs,” he exclaimed, chuckling. “I am a knight in training after all. Still working on it!”
“That’s really cool,” I said. “I guess the world can really use more good like that, right?”
“It is, indeed, a good collection of ideals,” Elias said.
Zebulon beamed. “Thank you, Skeleton Steve and Elias. And thanks again for returning my book! Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to my studies. Feel free to visit me any time!”
As I sat on the roof of the Zombietown watch tower, the square moon slowly passing by overhead, I began to write these words. My skeletal fingers were clumsy at first with the quill and ink, but eventually I got the hang of it.
Elias sat next to me, his blue headband silvery in the cool moonlight. My Enderman friend sat lightly with his legs crossed, and his hands on his knees, calm and serene. Soon, he would start meditating, I supposed. His eyes were almost closed.
“That was some interesting stuff Zebulon said.”
The ninja opened his eyes, their purple glow bright in the dark night.
“Indeed,” Elias said. “It is interesting how he has evolved into that mentality on his own, using books.”
“And he’s just a good person, really.”
“Most mobs are.”
“I have been noticing that,” I replied, “except for that crazy spider!”
We were silent for a moment. I wrote some more words on the page.
“The spider is … disturbing,” Elias said. “There’s something dark and dangerous going on here on Diamodia. And I fear we’re all threatened by it. You, me, your world and mine. Even the Nether.”
“What did you sense in the ravine that made you go teleporting off like that?”
“The red,” Elias replied. He stared up at the moon.
“The artifact?” I asked.
“Maybe,” the Enderman said. “Or maybe the artifact was just a piece of something bigger. Maybe there’s a portal to that … other universe … down there somewhere.”
I didn’t quite know where I was going with that. My thoughts were going crazy with images of the Skeleton King, and wondering about where I came from. Who am I? Who was I before??
What was my relation to all of this??
“Don’t worry about it,” Elias said. “I’m going to take another look down there tomorrow, and go back to The End to consult with my master. We’ll find out more soon. In the meantime, we’ve got to figure out how to help you recover your memories!”
I sighed, and looked back down at the journal.
“Well,” I said, “hopefully this will help.”
“I suspect that if you continue documenting your days and your thoughts,” Elias said, “it may help your mind become more organized, and you may start to remember more about who you were before you were corrupted by the artifact.”
“Then I will. I’ll keep writing. Let’s hope this works.”
“It’s a good idea,” the Enderman said, closing his eyes again.
“Elias?” I asked.
His eyes popped open.
“Yes, Skeleton Steve?”
“What about you and me? What’s the plan next? How long will you be with me?”
“I was intending to stay with you, to help you with your memories, for the duration of my Seed Stride,” he replied. “After that, I must return home to go through my promotion trials, and I will be sent on missions for my order from then on…”
“How long is your Seed Stride?”
“Until I feel it is complete.”
“And what about you going back to tell your master about the ravine? Will that change things?”
“Perhaps,” he said. “There’s no way to know about that tonight. You should get back to writing…”
“Alright,” I said.
Looking down, I penned more words in my journal under the light of the moon.
Until I heard the rustle of leaves near the tree-line down below.
I heard the constant moaning and footsteps of the many zombies down in the streets, their dull voices chatting with each other in the darkness of Zombietown at night, but this was something different.
Scanning the forest ahead of me down below, I looked for the source of the noise.
… And saw a pair of Minecraftians running around in the dark.
None of the zombies down below seemed to notice them, at least not yet.
The creatures ran around in a random pattern just inside the trees, as if they were torn between running toward the town, and just intently investigating every tree, every bush. They were strange—not like the three Minecraftians I had met before; not like Elias’s friends.
One Minecraftian was dressed in leather armor, and carried a wooden sword. His face was plain and featureless, his eyes without emotion. The other was dressed in orange and blue rags, with wild black hair that seemed to grow in all directions, and bare, muscular arms. At the moment, the orange guy wasn’t holding a weapon. One of them threw something at the other, who picked it up.
Chomp chomp chomp chomp chomp….
The Minecraftian in leather ate something, then burped loudly.
Then, I heard them speak. While I was able to understand the other Minecraftians, Elias’s friends, before, I could not comprehend any of these guys’ words!
Elias opened his eyes, and looked down at them.
“What are they saying?” I whispered.
“It doesn’t make much sense,” Elias responded. “One of them said something like, ‘you need hearing aids’, and the other said ‘thank you, dumb guy, thank you’—babble, mostly.”
“I wonder what they want…”
The Minecraftians didn’t seem all that interested in coming into Zombietown—not right now anyway, but they hovered around the tree-line for a few more seconds.
Then they looked up at me.
And I looked back down at them.
And they fled into the darkness…
Wanna know what happens next??
CLICK HERE to continue to the next book in the series!
[_ Love MINECRAFT? Over 15,000 words of kid-friendly fun! _]
This high-quality fan fiction fantasy diary book is for kids, teens, and nerdy grown-ups who love to read epic stories about their favorite game!
Trying to remember … and Skeleton Steve gets a bow!
After discovering a dangerous disturbance in the energy of the world, Elias must return to his master in The End to report the situation. But first, Skeleton Steve and the Enderman explore Zombietown to see what his amnesiac mind remembers about Minecraft life!
Before leaving the Overworld, Elias finally gives Skeleton Steve a bow, and it’s a good thing—those strange Minecraftians outside town look like they’re going to assault the village! Will Skeleton Steve and Zebulon the little zombie knight be able to defend Zombietown without the help of the powerful Enderman ninja?
CLICK HERE to find Season[+ 1, Episode 2 NOW!+].
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I am Skeleton Steve. I’ve been all over the Minecraft world of Diamodia (and others). As an adventurer and a writer at heart, I always chronicle my journeys, and I ask all of the friends I meet along the way to do the same.
Make sure to keep up with my books whenever I publish something new! If you want to know when new books come out, sign up for my mailing list and the Skeleton Steve Club.[* It’s free!*]
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I love bringing my Minecraft stories to readers like you, and I hope to one day put out over 100 stories! If you have a cool idea for a Minecraft story, please send me an email at [email protected], and I might make your idea into a real book. I promise I’ll write back. :)
Books about individual mobs and their adventures becoming heroes of Diamodia
Diary of a Creeper King – Book 1
Diary of a Creeper King – Book 2
Diary of a Creeper King – Book 3
Diary of a Creeper King – Book 4
Diary of Skeleton Steve – The Noob Years – Season 1, Episode 1
Diary of Skeleton Steve – The Noob Years – Season 1, Episode 2
Diary of Skeleton Steve – The Noob Years – Season 1, Episode 3
Diary of Skeleton Steve – The Noob Years – Season 1, Episode 4
Diary of a Teenage Zombie Villager – Book 1
Diary of a Chicken Battle Steed – Book 1
Diary of a Lone Wolf – Book 1
Diary of an Enderman Ninja – Book 1
Diary of an[* Enderman Ninja*] – Book 2
Diary of an[* Enderman Ninja*] – Book 3
Diary of a[* Separated Slime*] – Book 1
Diary of an Iron Golem Guardian – Book 1
A Continuing Diary about the Skull Kids, a group of world-hopping players
Diary of a Zombie Hunter Player Team – The Skull Kids – Book 1
Diary of a Zombie Hunter Player Team – The Skull Kids – Book 2
Diary of a Zombie Hunter Player Team – The Skull Kids – Book 3
Continuing Diary Series written by Skeleton Steve and his fans! Which one is your favorite?
Diary of [*Steve and the Wimpy Creeper *]– Book
Diary of [*Steve and the Wimpy Creeper *]– Book
Diary of Steve and the Wimpy Creeper – Book 3
Diary of Zombie Steve and Wimpy the Wolf – Book 1 COMING SOON
Handbooks for Serious Minecraft Players, revealing Secrets and Advice
Skeleton Steve’s Secret Tricks and Tips – Book 1
Skeleton Steve’s Top 10 List of Rare Tips – Book 1
Skeleton Steve’s Guide to the First 12 Things I Do in a New Game – Book 1
Get these books as a FREE GIFT!
Bundles of Skeleton Steve books from the Minecraft Universe
Great Values! Usually 3-4 Books for almost the price of one!
Skeleton Steve and the Noob Mobs – Book 1 Collection
Steve and the Wimpy Creeper – Box Set 1
Diary of an Enderman NINJA – Box Set 1
Diary of the Skull Kids – Box Set 1
Diary of a Creeper King – Box Set 1
MORE COMING SOON!
Check out the website SkeletonSteve.com for more!
“Diary of a Creeper King” Book 1
Ever heard of the Creeper King, mighty Cth’ka?
Read the adventure diary of a young creeper who was looking for a way to protect himself without blowing up!
When Cth’ka the Creeper and Skeleton Steve leave the forest to ask the local witch for help, they are soon on a long and dangerous journey to find a secret artifact that will allow Cth’ka the power to move blocks with his mind! But will the difficulty of traveling across the Minecraft world, a village under attack, hiding from a fully-armored killer hero, and finding the way to a hidden stronghold be too much for a creeper and his skeleton companion to handle?
Love Minecraft adventure??
Read on for an Excerpt for the book!
Let’s see … is this ‘Night 1’ or ‘Day 1’? I figure I’ll write these entries in terms of days, since I never sleep. I will try to ignore the fact that, since I don’t have hands that I can write with, I’m sitting under a tree right now dictating, saying my story out loud, to my good friend, Skeleton Steve.
He says that I should just tell the story like I’m writing it. I’ll give this a try.
My name is Cth’ka. I’m a creeper. I don’t know if that’s the [_real _]name of my race, but that’s what everyone calls us, so it works.
Other creepers would probably say that I’m a weird guy. An oddball.
But other creepers don’t say much.
That’s what’s different about me. I don’t know very much about where we came from. Heck, I don’t even remember much about a year or so ago.
How did I get here? As far as I know, I’ve always lived in this forest. Skeleton Steve calls it “Darkwood Forest”. He says that there are hundreds—thousands of other forests, so he likes to give names to places.
I do love this place.
The hills rise and fall, and the trees are thick, tall, and dark. Dark oak, Steve says. It’s a very large forest too. I’ve never felt much of an urge to leave.
On one side of the forest, where the hills slope down, there’s a thick jungle where the trees are different. On another side, the hills rise higher and higher until the trees stop, and snowy peaks reach into the sky.
I never go there, to the cold mountains. Hardly ever, really. I prefer to be in warmer places.
The jungle is nice and warm, but it’s also full of water and rivers, and I don’t care for water—not at all.
On the other sides of Darkwood forest, the hills continue for quite a ways with tall, dark oak trees, until they wind down into some grassy plains full of flowers and horses.
I love this forest, but I’m getting side-tracked.
Creepers are very solitary. I’ve seen many creatures in this world, living in and passing through my forest. Some creatures have moms and dads. Most of them are babies and then grow up. The zombies and skeletons don’t. I don’t know where they come from. Where Skeleton Steve came from. I think he was something else before he became who he is today.
I don’t know much about my past. Or where my race came from.
I don’t remember having a mom or dad. And I don’t remember being smaller, or growing up in any way. I hope to find out about these things in time.
Creepers don’t exactly have a library of their race’s past. There’s nothing to study. Nothing we can learn from our elders. I can’t even tell the difference between a young creeper and an old creeper! I assume that I’m young, but maybe we just don’t have very good memories. Who knows?
And the creepers I see while I walk around my forest don’t have much to say either.
Earlier today, I was in my favorite part of Darkwood. My clearing. Near the very middle of this forest is a large clearing, a place where the trees break, and a wide valley of grass stretches out a long way. Red and yellow flowers pepper the open expanse. I love to go there during the day and watch the flowers sway in the breeze, feel the sun on my skin, and watch the clouds roll by.
At the time, Skeleton Steve was back in the forest. He doesn’t sleep either, but he can’t explore with me during the day. If Skeleton Steve steps into the sunlight … foom! He’d catch on fire. I’ve only seen it happen once before—he’s pretty careful. But I guess that’s just part of being undead.
So Skeleton Steve was back in the thickest part of the forest, waiting out the day in the shadow of a large dark oak tree, and I was watching another creeper walk across the clearing.
Whenever I see another creeper, I always try to make conversation, to learn about them. It’s always my hope to learn more about my people, and to make friends who are like me.
“Hi there,” I said.
The other creeper noticed me, said nothing, then turned to continue moving away. I followed.
“My name is Cth’ka. What’s yoursss?”
The other creeper stopped, and turned to face me. “What you wantsss?”
“I don’t sssee othersss like me very often. Where did you come from? Where are you going?”
“What doesss it matter to you?” he said in a gravelly voice. He turned, and continued walking through the valley.
“I jussst want to be friendsss,” I said to his back. “Pleassse tell me about yourssself!”
The other creeper kept moving, without speaking again, and I stood in the sun and watched until he disappeared into the shadows of the dark oak trees.
Later that day, when the sun went down, I walked back to where I knew Skeleton Steve was waiting for me. In the shadows of the darkening forest, I could see the glowing red dots of his eyes, hovering in the middle of his empty black eye sockets, watching me approach.
“Why do you always try to talk to the other creepers?” Skeleton Steve asked after I told him about my day. “They always act the same way.”
We were walking along a ridge, watching the moon rise into the sky. Skeleton Steve’s face was silver in the fading light. I could see in the darkness just fine, but when the light faded away, the colors of the world disappeared too. I did love the daylight, when everything was bold and colorful. It was too bad that Skeleton Steve always had to hide in the dark.
“I’ve got to try,” I said. “There have to be more creepersss out there like me. I want to know more about why we’re here. How we creepersss get here.”
“So many creepers are just … grumpy, it seems,” Skeleton Steve said.
We walked in silence for a while.
“I wonder if we’re ssstuck like thisss, or if there will ever be sssomeone to bring usss together. If there are other creepersss, sssmart like me, I’m sure we can do great thingsss.”
“Why are you so interested in other creepers?” Skeleton Steve said.
“I think … it would be a good thing for usss to come together,” I said. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting at, but I knew that I wanted creepers, as a people, to find strength together somehow. To have a real race, a real history. Something unique that we could pass down to whatever it meant to be the next generation. I didn’t even know if creepers had children, or how more creepers came to be. “We could maybe be—I don’t know—a real race. Develop ourssselvesss instead of jussst being like animalsss wandering around all alone.”
“You mean like creeper cities? A creeper nation?” Skeleton Steve said, smirking.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I jussst feel like, we could be … more.”
I stayed with Skeleton Steve in the dark during the day. We were close to the jungle, and I thought it might be fun to walk along the border when the sun went down. We might even see some areas of the jungle that were dry enough to let us walk down into it for a while without having to cross any water.
It would be nice to feel the warmth of the tropical forest. I hadn’t visited the jungle in a long time.
Another creeper passed by, and I was at least able to get his name. Car’nuk. But we didn’t talk about much else. I tried to find out how old Car’nuk was, and where he lived, but, like all of the others, he scowled at me, and went on his way.
It was a little sad, how difficult it was to communicate with my people. It’s like we creepers were designed to never have anything to do with each other. And that was a pity. Creepers are natural-born explorers. We walk, all day and all night, and I’m sure there would be plenty to talk about if the others like me weren’t so grumpy about having conversations.
When the sun went down, Skeleton Steve and I walked to the next ridge over, where we could look down into the jungle. Even in the fading light, I was surprised at how green the area was.
Some of the trees were squat and so thick that it made it hard to see the ground beneath them, and they were covered with vines that descended like green, ropy sheets from the treetops. Other trees were massive and tall, popping out of the canopy with large clumps of leaves extending in multiple directions.
I bet it rained a lot here.
It was hard to see through the trees, but I could see water here and there, down below. There must be rivers and pools all over.
I could never live in the jungle. I don’t like the water. Never have. I’ve always had a hard time with the idea of floating in the water, even though I’ve seen other creepers swim before—I don’t know how to ssswim, and didn’t know if I’d ever be able to figure it out.
With my little legs, the idea of not being able to keep my head out of water, the idea of sssplashing and ssstruggling to get back to sssolid ground …. my lungsss filling up with water …. Ssssssssss … sssssssssplashing, ssssssstruggling …
No thanksss. Just the thought of being stuck in water gets me all … excited. I’ve always thought it would be better to avoid water altogether.
As Skeleton Steve and I walked along the ridge, we looked out over the expanse of trees into the dense jungle below. The ridge descended gently into an area of jungle that wasn’t as thick.
“It’s okay,” Skeleton Steve said. “I don’t see anything bad in there. It’s just part jungle. Do you want to see what it looks like inside?”
I walked with him down into the tree-line. Darkwood Forest was behind us now, just on the other side of the ridge. There were no rivers or pools in the immediate area. No water.
We stood, peering into the depths of the jungle, and I was thinking about heading back to the forest when I saw movement! Green.
I saw the distinct shape, its head turn, a face like mine looking back at us from the darkness for just a moment before it turned again.
“Hey!” I shouted. “Hello there!”
The creeper stood still, then turned to look at us again.
“Let’sss go in!” I said.
Skeleton Steve shrugged, and followed me deeper into the jungle.
We approached the creeper, and I called out to him again from a distance. “Hi there, fellow creeper! I’m Cth’ka! Do you live here in the jungle?”
As we continued making our way to my new friend through the heavy underbrush, I saw the creeper suddenly snap his attention to one side, then stagger back a few steps. I could hear him hiss, unsure at first, then again—intensely! The creeper fell back again, and I saw something on its chest—a blur of a creature, dim without color, but … spots?
The creeper was under attack?!
I was suddenly afraid, and faintly heard Skeleton Steve, at my side, pull out his bow and nock an arrow. The creeper hissed again, a continual, rising, sputtering sound! It was definitely an animal of some kind, a spotted creature, small, clawing and biting at my intended friend.
“Ocelot!” Skeleton Steve said.
Expanding and shaking, hissing even louder, the creeper suddenly exploded with a thunderous boom!
How did that …?
Shocked, I stood, staring at the spot where the creeper and the ocelot were fighting, now a crater of raw dirt and shredded plants, and I felt fear wash over me again when I saw two white and yellow forms darting through the bushes … straight at me.
Two more ocelots! Little greens eyes, focused on me.
“Run!” Skeleton Steve yelled, and I stumbled backwards as an arrow suddenly struck one of the cats. It turned and sprinted off to Steve.
As I focused on the ocelot about to attack me, trying to force my body turn and run away back up the hill, my hearing seemed to tighten around my heartbeat, my vision darkened around the edges, and Skeleton Steve’s shouted warnings suddenly seemed very far away…
The ocelot leapt through the air at me, and I felt its claws and teeth sink into my body. I tried to turn and run, but it was hanging onto me. My hearing, now weird and hollow like I was in a deep cave, was focusing more and more on a … hissing sound … I ssscrambled, tried to essscape, tried to call for Ssskeleton Sssteve … Ssssssssss …
“Sssteve! Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssave me!”
An arrow appeared out of nowhere sssticking out of the ocelot’sss ssside, and the cat fell. I turned and sssaw Ssskeleton Sssteve nocking another arrow, aiming past me.
I ran up the hill. Turned. Sssaw Ssskeleton Sssteve kill the ocelot. He ran to catch up to me, his bonesss rattling.
We ran back up the hill out of the jungle together, back up to the ridge.
“Are you okay?” Skeleton Steve said.
I could suddenly hear again, see again, like normal!
“Yesss,” I said. “What … ssssssssss …. What happened?”
Skeleton Steve sat on the ridge, looking out over the jungle, his bow still in his hand.
“Those were ocelots,” he said. “Mostly harmless animals. Strange that they attacked. Usually they mind their own business. I know they don’t like creepers, but I’ve never seen them attack one before.”
“What happened to the creeper?” I asked. “It blew up!”
Skeleton Steve looked at me. “You don’t know?” he asked.
I shook my head.
Skeleton Steve’s glowing red dots of eyes looked me over. “That—blowing up—that’s what creepers do. They explode. In self-defense, and also when they’re attacking a Steve.”
“When they’re attacking you?”
“No,” Skeleton Steve said. “A Steve.” He looked off at the moon. “My name is Steve, yes, but there is another creature on this world named ‘Steve’ as well. He’s different than us.”
“But why explode?” I said.
“That’s all that the creeper could do,” Skeleton Steve said. “When the ocelot attacked him, he exploded in self-defense, and killed it.”
I was so confused. Why would he defend himself … by killing himself?
“It doesn’t make sssenssse,” I said.
Skeleton Steve looked at me. “No one knows why creepers explode, Cth’ka. There’s no other way for them to defend themselves, really. And I’ve never seen a creeper really care. I’ve seen creepers launch themselves at Steve and happily blow up in his face!” He regarded me for a moment. “You were about to explode too, you know. When that ocelot attacked you? I’m surprised you didn’t, actually.”
I looked down at my body, at the wounds where the cat had ripped at me.
So that’s what that was—when I was losing concentration, when my vision and my hearing changed. Was I preparing to blow myself up?
“Why didn’t I explode?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Skeleton Steve said. “Maybe you’re a little different? Maybe with how smart you are, compared to other creepers I’ve seen, you’re able to control yourself better? We’ll have to look into that some more—so you can survive longer. I’d hate to lose you as my friend, if you ever get attacked again and blow up, or if we run into the Steve.”
What a twist to my pleasant little life, roaming around in my forest! I had never seen a creeper explode before. I didn’t even know it was possible. And now, there was a way that, if I was freaked out enough, I could lose control of my mind and blow myself up, too?
No way! That’s crazy. I had a life to live. I wanted to bring ‘creeperkind’ together and learn more about our race. To learn more about our past and our culture … if there was one. Surely there was more to the creeper race than random solitary creatures that avoid having friends and then eventually blow themselves up?
What could I do?
I was defenseless. If Skeleton Steve wasn’t with me, I would have been helpless, and killed by those ocelots. Or turned myself into a living bomb and ended up dead just the same.
“How can I defend myssself?” I muttered.
We sat quietly for a few moments. The tall grass swayed in the night breeze.
“I have an idea,” Skeleton Steve said. He was watching me as I sat, thinking. “You are special, Cth’ka. I’d like to see you learn to control your ‘defense mechanism’ and be able to defend yourself properly, but you can’t use weapons like me, and you can’t run very fast. We should go and talk to the witch! Maybe she’ll have an idea.”
“Witch?” I asked.
“Yes,” Steve said. “There’s a witch not too far from here, named Worla. I’ve dealt with her in the past, and she’s very clever. She might be able to figure out why you’re different. Maybe she’ll have an idea about how to make it easier for you to survive without blowing yourself up one day.”
For the rest of the night, Skeleton Steve and I traveled to the edge of the forest that was closest to the swamp. Before the sun came up, we found a small cave, and decided to wait out the day in there.
When the sun went down, and undead could walk around outside safely again, we departed for the witch.
Standing at the edge of the forest, I could feel Darkwood behind me like a warm, safe hug, and the plains stretching out ahead of us, the empty rolling hills in the distance were … unknown.
We struck out, down from the shadows of the dark oak trees, into green and yellow fields. A group of horses of different colors stood quietly in the grass far off to the left, staying still in the night. A couple of zombies roamed aimlessly in the valley nearby.
“So, over those hills ahead,” Skeleton Steve said, “is a swamp where Worla lives.”
“A ssswamp?” I said. “Like, full of … water?”
Skeleton Steve laughed.
“Yes,” he said. “Swamps are full of water. But that’s where witches live.”
“Can’t we just have her come to usss?”
Skeleton Steve looked back at me while we walked. “Cth’ka, sometimes, to get good things, you have to take risks.”
We walked across the great, open valley, then up into some sparse hills, as the wind whistled across the plain and the moon slowly moved across the sky. The hills were mostly devoid of trees at first, then started sprouting white trees here and there. Skeleton Steve called them ‘Birch’ trees. The hills rolled on, with more and more trees, until we seemed to be heading downhill all the time, and the trees turned darker.
Eventually, vines started growing from the trees, then further on, thick sheets of vines cascaded down their sides, a lot like the trees we saw in the jungle. The ground flattened out, and we were suddenly standing at the edge of a huge swamp, with random dirt and mud and water alternating as far as I could see, full of weeping trees. The air was hot and wet, and large lily pads spotted the surface of the water.
“That’sss a lot of water,” I said.
“It’s okay,” Skeleton Steve said. “We’ll stay on land where we can, and you can use the lily pads when you need to.”
Lily pads? A sssaucer of plant stuff being the only thing keeping me from drowning in the murky water of this dreadful place?
“Where’sss the witch?” I said.
“Worla’s hut is a little ways past that outcropping of rock over there,” Skeleton Steve said, pointing to a spire of rock sticking out of a small hill, deep in the swamp.
Over the next few hours, we traveled across the bog. There was a lot of water, but Skeleton Steve was right! He was careful in planning where to walk, and planning ahead, and we stayed on dry ground most of the time. There were a few places where I had to cross water, but we were able to avoid swimming by finding areas where the land was close together, and joined with lily pads.
Once we reached the spire landmark, Skeleton Steve pointed deeper into the swamp, and I saw, in the fog, a small, dark dwelling standing on wooden stilts. The light of a fire inside made the hut stand out in the darkness.
“I’ve never ssseen a witch before,” I said.
“Just be respectful, and certainly stay calm!” Skeleton Steve said with a smile.
When we approached the little building, I was relieved to see that it was mostly on land. I was afraid that I would have to cross more lily pads or even try to cross open water to get there. A rickety wooden ladder was lashed to one of the stilts, and it led to the deck on the front of the little house, and standing on the deck…
“Who goes there?” a woman’s twisted and sharp-edged voice rang out in the quiet, dark night.
I saw a strange creature standing on the deck, just outside the doorway, her body wrapped in a dark purple robe, her hands hidden inside, and a black cowl hid most of her face. Her features were angry, and a hook-like nose curled down in front of a scowling mouth.
“Reveal your intentions,” she said, “or I’ll set you on fire!”
“Worla!” my bony friend said, “It is I, Skeleton Steve, and my companion, Cth’ka, come to consult your wisdom!”
She seemed to think for a moment.
“Skeleton Steve,” she said, her voice suddenly much more friendly. “You are welcome, but I cannot risk your creeper companion destroying my home! I’ll be down directly. Have a seat.” She disappeared back into her doorway.
Skeleton Steve smirked at me. He looked around the clearing where we stood, and walked over to a circle of fallen logs. He sat on a log.
A few minutes later, the witch descended her ladder with ease, and approached us. She sat on a log opposite Skeleton Steve so that we could all speak. A torch stuck out of the ground in the middle of our circle, which I didn’t notice before, and it flared to life, casting fiery reflections and dancing shadows all around us.
“I am Worla,” she said to me, “the witch of Lurkmire Swamp.”
“I am Cth’ka,” I said, “creeper … of Darkwood Foressst?”
Skeleton Steve laughed. Worla laughed. I relaxed.
“What can my wisdom do for you tonight, Skeleton Steve?” she said.
“We’ve come because of my creeper friend here, Cth’ka,” he said. “He is on a quest to learn more about his race, and to bring his people together, but is in need of a way to defend himself without blowing himself up.”
Worla cackled. “A creeper trying to [_avoid _]blowing himself up?”
“Why isss that ssso funny?” I asked, my tone a little harsher than I intended. Skeleton Steve flinched a little.
“Because,” the witch said, “creepers are quite happy to blow themselves up. It’s their destiny. It’s how they make more creepers.”
“Ssssss … More creepersss?” I said. That was absurd!
“Look into my eyes, young creeper. Let me look into your destiny.” She leaned forward toward me.
I looked at Skeleton Steve. He shrugged. Looking back at Worla the witch, I took a deep breath, steadied my fear, and held still, looking right into her beady, black eyes. In the flickering flames of the torchlight, I saw my frowning, green face reflected back at me in her eyes. Worla’s face was still and passive, then it transformed in surprise!
“Oh my,” she said, her black eyes unmoving but her face animating around them. “My, my. What an [_interesting _]path you have, mighty Cth’ka…”
She continued. “I can see what lies ahead for you, most interesting creeper. Interesting, indeed!”
“What isss?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Skeleton Steve said. “What’s so interesting?”
Worla laughed, breaking her eyes out of the dark and stony stare that held my own eyes in a tight grip. My attention to the swamp around me suddenly snapped back into focus.
“Cth’ka the creeper,” she said. “I will help you, yes. I will tell you the location of an … artifact of sorts, something that will allow you the ability to act with hands unseen, strong hands that will let you smash your enemies and defend yourself without using your … last resort. Is this idea to your liking?”
I had no idea what she meant by all of that. Hands unseen? Some kind of weird magic?
“What do you mean?” I said. “Handsss unssseen?”
“Yes,” she replied. “A magical item that will let you manipulate the world around you with your mind. The only possible defense for someone of your kind, assuming you don’t want to destroy yourself.”
She waved her hand, and the torch snuffed out like magic. A snap of her long, spindly fingers, and it flared to life again.
“I will give you items to assist in your journey as well. I only ask a small price in return…”
“What price?” I said.
“I am … building my interest here in Lurkmire still, and will require your assistance in the future. I ask for three favors upon your return with the artifact, and in exchange, I will give you the knowledge and ability to attain the power to fulfill your destiny and lead your people.”
Everything I wanted.
But at what price?
What could the witch possible ask of me that I wouldn’t be able to give her, especially once I had the power to manipulate the world with my mind and bring my people together in a nation of creeperkind?
I looked to Skeleton Steve. He returned my gaze without emotion.
He wasn’t going to help me with this decision.
Wasn’t this kind of idea what we traveled here for in the first place? Could I trust Worla the witch? If I asked Steve for his opinion, I would basically be asking him whether or not he thought I could trust the witch. I might offend her, and she might change her mind about the whole thing!
“Okay, I’ll do it!” I said. “I’ll get the artifact, then help you with your three favors.”
She instantly pulled her hands out of her robe, her fingers like white spider legs in the darkness, tipped with thin claws. “Say it again,” she commanded. “Repeat—I, Cth’ka the creeper, in exchange for assistance in finding the Crown of Ender, will perform three favors for Worla the Witch when she requires in the future.”
I repeated her words, and she traced patterns in the darkness with her fingertips as I did. When I completed the sentence, she lashed out with her index finger, and touched my forehead. I flinched in surprise, caught control of my hissssssss, and felt a warm sensation bloom between my eyes then disappear.
Some sort of magic?
“You are unique, creeper,” she said. “You will learn to control your last resort with your willpower. I can sense that already you can calm yourself back down. In time, you will be able to fight your enemies while keeping your mind calm, and not have to worry about exploding at all!”
Her hands disappeared back into her robes, then she produced three greenish-blue and yellow spheres. When she held out her palm to show us, the three spheres floated above her hand, throwing off purple motes of light. In the center of each sphere was a black slit of a pupil. They were eyes. Weird, magical eyeballs.
“These are eyes of Ender.” She looked to Skeleton Steve. “Use them wisely. They will show you the way to the underground stronghold where you will find the Crown of Ender. Use one at a time, and only when you need to find the way. They will burn out in time. Follow the eyes to the location of the stronghold.”
“Thank you,” he said. Skeleton Steve took the eyes and put them into his pack.
“Remember,” she said. “Only use them when you need to. Don’t squander them!” She stood, pulling her robes about her. “And take care crossing the desert, my skeleton friend!” Worla laughed, and pulled the black cowl over her face again. The torch went out. “Good luck, mighty Cth’ka. Return to me once you have obtained the crown.” She looked at the sky. “The night will soon be over…”
With that, Worla turned, and moved back to her hut with a speed and dangerous grace that I wouldn’t have imagined.
I looked at Skeleton Steve. “I guesss we’re ssstaying out of Darkwood Foressst for a while?”
He nodded, and we traveled back the way we came, stopping to spend the day under a large tree at the edge of the swamp.
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“Minecraft Diary of a Creeper King”
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Love MINECRAFT? **Over 17,000 words of kid-friendly fun!** This high-quality fan fiction fantasy diary book is for kids, teens, and nerdy grown-ups who love to read epic stories about their favorite game! The very first diary of Skeleton Steve himself!! Welcome to a new adventure. Follow along the 'The Noob Years' of Skeleton Steve, Minecraft writer and adventurer, back when he first started his travels on Diamodia! Fresh out of the "Enderman Ninja" series, Skeleton Steve and Elias the Enderman Ninja are traveling east to explore a distant village on the Enderman's map. The village's library is a great place to find an empty journal for Skeleton Steve's first diary, right?? But when the village turns out to be a zombie village, what manner of trouble will the two adventurers run into? And when a mysterious baby zombie offers to give Skeleton Steve the library's last empty book in exchange for finding his missing tome about his "Knight's Code", will Elias and the memory-challenged skeleton be up to the task? Love Minecraft adventure?? Read Season 1, Episode 1 of Skeleton Steve, The Noob Years ... now! Join the Skeleton Steve Club! Check out my main website for details--it's in the book. (Get free Minecraft goodies, tips, books, maps, skins, seeds, and more!) Author's Note: This is an unofficial Minecraft book. Minecraft is a registered trademark of, and owned by, Mojang AB, and its respective owners, which do not approve, endorse, sponsor, or authorize this book. MinecraftÂ®/TM & Â© 2009-2016 Mojang AB/Notch