Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Siege

My third Minecraft themed story is based on the zombie siege mechanics that trigger when a player is too close to a village at night. It's intended to be the first in a series of stories following the same story arc and character. I sincerely hope you enjoy and I look forward to getting more of these stories out to you as I'm able.



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It was just supposed to be a trip to the village, like so many before it. A relatively carefree day of trading with the villagers for the goods they were so eager to share, for a small fee of course. Of course I should have known that in this

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strange and rugged land you can never become complacent and expect everything to be just fine. It was the kind of mistake every player makes at some point. The kind of mistake a player doesn't make twice, assuming they live through it that is.

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When I first arrived in this world I assumed I was alone, but after weeks of scouting out my surroundings I found a small village out on the plains not far to the east. Naturally I was excited about this find, especially when I learned that

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these villagers were friendly, unlike so many of the other creatures in this strange place. For the most part I found their demands to be fair. Wheat was plentiful enough, and I was happy to publish my journals for a few extra emeralds here

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and there. What I earned however didn't last long as I found that they had much to offer that I needed. In particular the priest with access to a sizable glowstone supply was a welcome surprise. While I could always get some myself, it's nice to

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be able to grab some now and then without having to dodge fireballs or hang precariously over enormous lakes of lava. I found myself spending more and more time at the village and I think it's fair to say I even regarded many of the villagers

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as friends. Still I had never spent the night in the town. I had my home and it was both secure and familiar making it a perfect retreat to weather the often turbulent evenings outside it's durable stone walls. As you can imagine this constant

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back and forth become rather tiresome and so I decided I'd make my next trip; this trip an over-night venture. I'd leave early from my home riding my fastest horse with a pack mule in tow, spend the whole day trading with the villagers. Rest

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in the village overnight, finalize some trading the next day, and finally head home pack and mule heavy laden with the spoils acquired over the course of the trip. "Who knows," I had said to myself "perhaps I'll even kick back and share a

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meal with the townsfolk before bed. Looking back, I see now that I had become complacent, assuming nothing bad could or would happen... Was I ever wrong. To say the evening hadn't gone quite as I'd imagined would be doing the term

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"understatement" a gross injustice. There was no warm meal and no soft bed this evening. Tonight was a night of cold iron, unsettling moans, and realized fears. Tonight was the first night of the siege, an event I had never heard of, nor

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ever even imagined possible, and one I fervently hoped would end sooner than it looked to. The first sign of trouble was a very loud banging on the door of the building I was spending the evening in, startling me so badly that I literally jump,

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turning a full 180 degrees in mid-air and bringing my sword down hard on the table that had snuck up behind me, only to realize as my panic subsided that the banging was in fact coming from outside the door. "I guess I owe the table an

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apology," I said to no one in particular as I collected myself and moved to the door to assess the real threat. A zombie, very similar to the dozens I'd killed since finding myself in this strange land could be seen standing outside the door,

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occasionally shifting from one side to the other and somehow weakening the integrity of the wooden barrier between myself and him as he did so. I turn back to the villagers in the building with me, a priest and a farmer, to warn them that the

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door is about to break only to have my warnings rendered moot by the loud cracking sound of the door finally losing its battle to the zombie outside. "I'm still standing in front of the door," I think suddenly to myself. I have only moments

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to react. Too late! I feel the zombies hand claw at my back scratching furrows into my iron breastplate until finally it finds the joint where my breastplate and greaves meet and scores a small chunk of my flesh. It takes only seconds for

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this event to register in my mind and for my thoughts to coalesce into a single statement to sum up the emotions and thoughts suddenly coursing through my mind; "it's going to be a long night." Having little choice I spin quickly around as

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I back away from the door avoiding loosing anymore of myself to the zombie ambling in after me. raising my sword I take a swing at the zombie, then another, each blow knocking the foul smelling creature off balance and back toward the door. A

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final swing drops the zombie to the floor as it lets out a cry signaling the end of its existence and alerting other zombies in the area that someone is fighting back. It takes only moments for reinforcements to arrive. All too suddenly a

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knee high zombie jumps through the doorway and latches onto my chest with a speed that you wouldn't expect from a zombie. This poor creature stands at not even half my height and is so obviously one of the lost children from the village that

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I find myself struggling to justify killing the creature. The moral dilemma quickly resolves itself however as this miniature zombie starts gnawing right through the material under the breastplate scoring a few small bites of fresh flesh.

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with a sudden cry of pain as the zombie's teeth find soft tissue I bring my sword around catching the thing by surprise, the sheer weight of the blade launching it across the room. It hits a wall and comes right back at me, seemingly

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un-phased. Another well placed swing atop its bulbous skull ends the threat of the baby zombie as three more come ambling through the door, their attention locked on the two terrified villagers huddling in the corner behind me. I raise my sword

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in a defensive stance, the effort of holding aloft the iron blade causing blood to trickle from my wounds. It's only then that I realize that my wounds aren't healing... I am hungry. I had been planning to get a hot meal before grabbing a room

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and getting some sleep, but the sudden zombie attack prevented me from getting that far. I quickly glance into my pack for something, anything to eat... naturally I had only packed enough for the trip here, assuming I could get food in the

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village. "Hopefully that's a mistake I'll live to regret," I think to myself as I mentally prepare myself to take on these three zombies all alone... Suddenly an idea strikes me. "The zombies are so focused on the villagers I could probably

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slip out of the house and away from the village largely unnoticed." I look back at the two cowering villagers hiding behind me in earnest as I contemplate leaving them to their fate. "This isn't my home and I'm not really that close to

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any of them. Why should I risk my life to save those I hardly know... Those who aren't even brave enough to stand and fight in defense of themselves?" The priest suddenly lets out a typical "hmmm," a common enough thing amongst the

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villagers. This time however the sound comes off a bit plaintiff, arguable the closest thing I had ever heard to a villager begging for their life. As the priest looked at me and I back at him it became clear what must be done. I swung around

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quickly, swinging as I did so and managed to catch the first zombie squarely in the chest with my iron blade causing him to stumble back, shifting his focus to me as he did so. Knowing that in order to save the villagers I had to get the

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attention of all three zombies I lunged headlong in-between the second and third zombies slicing wildly through the air with my sword as I did so and managing to score modest blows on each in turn. "Eat that zombie!" I shout as I make a move

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for the door, the two freshly struck zombies following as fervently as a new puppy does its owner. As I back towards the door I'm suddenly given a painful reminder that there's a third zombie in the form of a fresh pair of teeth marks on my

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left arm, one of the few exposed regions on my body. In shock I tear my arm away from the zombie's grasp loosing flesh to the beast's teeth as I do so. I spin around, still slightly off balance and sprint out the door. the zombies quickly

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follow me out, leaving the villagers behind to continue cowering in the building. As I turn to make sure the zombies followed me I hit something hard and solid, stopping me in my tracks and knocking me down. As I stare up waiting for my

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vision to clear a figure, clearly made in the image of a villager comes into focus. Whatever it is stands a full block taller than myself or any of the villagers and is much larger and more intimidating. It glances down then up to the three

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zombies still heading my way. It seems to realize instantly that the zombies are a threat and begins to stride directly toward them. I slowly get to my feet and watch in stunned awe as what I can only describe as some sort of golem threw up

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its long metallic arms with a level of force that instantly cracked bones as it made contact with the walking corpses, the sound making me cringe. The zombies were no match, made to look as little more than ragdolls fighting an iron giant.

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"whatever this thing is," I thought to myself "I'm glad it's on our side." I turned to look at the building I'd been in not moments ago to see the farmer peeking out of the gaping hole left in the shattered door. Looking around I see more

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zombies on the horizon... many more. I quickly jog over to the building. "There are more coming. I'll seal you inside so you'll be safe." I begin to pile stones up in the doorway to create a more solid barrier, but the priest stops me. With a

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looks that at once said "thank you for saving us" and "give me your sword" the villager grabbed my blade and a few emeralds that had fallen from my pack. With a look to the heavens and a quick prayer over the sword the priest returned my

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sword, now glowing slightly and warm to the touch. I took it in my hands; it felt lighter than before. With a look I nodded my thanks to the priest and finished sealing them inside. As I turn to seek out my newly enchanted swords first

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prey I realize that there's little need to seek them out as there's at least a dozen close enough that I can taste their foul breath. I take my first swing with the new blade striking the closest zombie on the left side of its skull, the

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blade burrowing so deeply that the top of the skull flipped open like a soup can lid as the zombie fell to the ground. "Now that's more like it!" I shouted in triumph lunging at the next closest zombie with equally devastating results. As

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The night wore on the golem and I racked up an impressive number of zombie kills. Rotten flesh littered the ground and the aggressive growling of the zombies was at times drowned out by the moans of so many being killed all at once. But

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something was terribly wrong. For every zombie that was killed three more took its place. It was like a never ending stream of them pouring over the hills and blotting out the horizon. As their numbers grew I moved to stay close to the

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golem, protecting it from the rear and allowing it to return the favor, but eventually there were just too many. As I sliced chaotically cleaving through rotten flesh with every wild swing I hazard a glance back at the golem and I watch in

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silent horror as it's finally overwhelmed. Three baby zombies crawl along the shoulders tearing at joints with their tiny claws as an army of zombies press up against the metallic creation knocking it on its back and bringing its function to an

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end. It hits the ground hard, its torso covered with spattered blood from hundreds of zombies. As it does the golems one remaining arm rolls limply to the side revealing a single red flower held loosely in its lifeless metallic fingers. As I

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finally realized what had happened I looked up from the flower to see the rising sun finally cresting, setting the encroaching hoard ablaze. It was finally over and I had survived, but at what cost?