Jun 23, 2021 8:51 PM
April in Terraria
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"With every challenge you conquer in this world you will grow more capable. By the time you have conquered the last challenge you will be powerful enough to reshape the landscape at your will, and to defeat opponents akin to the gods of ancient tales. Further you will be blessed with the ability to travel to any realm within our reach of which there are a great many with the option to return one day if you wish."

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"...that admittedly does sound nice."

She sighs.

"Okay, so if I want to take a look around without touching the pillar, I should avoid picking up strange objects, falling from high places... What's the deal with traps, how do I avoid those?"

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"Most traps are triggered by pressure plates like these." The woman pulls a circular disk about 2/3 of a meter in diameter out of thin air and twirls it around. "If you step one one something unpleasant will happen. There are also trapped chests.... probably best not to open any until you can tell the difference or learn to defuse traps. Hmm... what else. Try to avoid the water. Some of it has nasty stuff in it. Lava should also be avoided, you shouldn't really need to worry about that as long as you don't go a few hundred meters underground though. You'll also want to avoid destroying any small beehives you encounter or disturbing the giant rolling cactuses sometimes found in the caves beneath the desert."

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"...that's, uh... that's a lot of things. Dare I ask what the deal is with the beehives and the cactuses?"

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"If you destroy a beehive it makes the bees angry and they'll try to sting you... I'm not sure whether their poison would be enough to kill you but probably safer not to risk it. The cactuses are really hard to stop once they start rolling and when they do stop they explode."

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"...fair enough. Okay, uh..."

What else is important to ask at this juncture?

"...a bunch of people who refused to touch the pillar died, but a bunch didn't. Does that mean they successfully overcame the challenges and whatever without that, or what?"

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"Only three overcame the challenge with the equipment and abilities they brought with them. They all had exceptional magics or technologies at their disposal. The remainder left by their own means before completing the challenge."

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"So I'm not gonna manage it by myself anytime soon," she sighs. "Figures. ...how long does winning usually take, anyway?"

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"The median completion time is two months among those who have completed it which is about two thirds of those who came. The remainder gave up after getting stuck on one challenge or another."

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"Huh," she says, mildly surprised. "A couple months doesn't sound too bad, actually. If I decide to go for it." Flippantly but with a certain ironic sincerity, she adds, "It'll probably take me a month just to work up the courage to touch the damn pillar."

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"Take as long as you need. Actually, here take this magic mirror." The woman produces a small disk shaped mirror a little bigger than a handspan. "If you get into trouble, or get stuck you can stare into the mirror for a few seconds and it'll bring you back here."

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"...huh."

She glances warily at the mirror, hesitates, then takes it and slips it into a pocket.

"Is that standard equipment or what?"

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"You can find them in chests underground or crates you fish up. I usually give people recall potions to start but I don't know if those are safe for people without this world's magic."

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"...sure, okay, makes sense."

She looks around again, sighs, then heaves herself up off the ground, only staggering a little once she makes it to her feet.

"Log cabin time, I guess," she says, and she heads for the nearest tree.

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There are plenty around to choose from. Most of them seem to be pretty bog standard deciduous trees including the closest one.

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A lot of unpleasant and bewildering things have happened today, but do you know what is a very simple and satisfying process? Hitting a tree until it falls down.

She's remarkably strong, stronger than any ordinary human of her apparent physique should be; one good punch is enough to make the wood start to crack.

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94 small copper coins fall from the branches with the first hit. The tree otherwise behaves as one would expect.

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Wait, no, pause, back up, what?!

"Why does the tree give me money when I hit it??"

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"That happens sometimes. All sorts of things end up in tree branches and a good solid whack is enough to dislodge them."

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Okay, nope, we are investigating this mystery before proceeding.

She makes a halfhearted effort to kick the coins into a heap, then punches the tree again to see if a second coin shower ensues.

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Nothing unusual happens.

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"You won't find more stuff in a tree you've already whacked right away, maybe try another tree or try this one again tomorrow."

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"I'm doing science," she explains, if you could call it that, and she strides over to the next-nearest tree and climbs it looking for coins.

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Once she reaches the branches and they start shaking a couple acorns fall to the ground. This is probably less exciting. There are no coins to be found among the branches.

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Okay but do the acorns fall to the ground because there were actually acorns attached to those branches or were the acorns spontaneously generated, that's also a question she now has—

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