Jul 02, 2022 4:53 AM
A retired antihero drops into Minecraft
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The scene stretches on. A few scattered and oddly square trees dot the plains. A few dandelions and poppies add a splash of color to the greens and browns.

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Sprawled on the grass in a rather undignified sleeping pose, a somewhat higher resolution individual.

She stretches, groans, tries rolling over, notices something is very wrong.

Getting swiftly to her feet, she reaches for her staff...

...her staff is not there.

Her room is not there. Her bed is not there. Instead she is stranded in some kind of endless, slightly _off_ wilderness.

"Whoever thinks this is funny," she says in a carrying voice, "they can stop that right now. And come out and talk."

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The grass, weirdly-shaped rabbits, and extremely square trees give no answers.

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Okay. Time to take inventory.

Clothes. At least she sleeps in clothes. Temperature isn't bad. Might get cold at night. Assuming there is a night.

Water is a priority. Everything goes wrong quickly without water. Nothing to actually carry water in, of course, so once she finds it she'll be stuck there a while.

Food. Rabbits are promising. Berries? If she's really lucky water comes with the lazy kind of fish that can just be picked out of the water.

Safety. Nothing looks immediately harmful. But no weapons. Rocks and sticks maybe.

No knife. The last time she was stranded in some stupid wilderness at least she had a knife. She had then always carried a knife for exactly that reason, as much as everyone had expected it was for killing people. Making a good knife is a colossal undertaking. Maybe flint knaps?

If she had been a good Navarri she would have slept wearing her knife. But it's in her bag, and her bag is not here.

Recrimination is stupid. Water first. If not immediately obvious, she aims for better elevation - a spring is less likely to be horribly contaminated than a river anyway, a wider view is definitely better.

If the rabbits seem particularly stupid she might try to grab one, crack its head on a tree or the ground. It's using a weapon if the scenery is your weapon, right? And she shouldn't even care about that any more, anyway.

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There’s a river sort of east-wards.

 

The rabbits run if she gets too close, but she can probably catch one with some effort.

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River! That should mean she stays alive for at least the next couple of days, modulo any other exciting surprises.

She heads towards the river, keeping an eye on the bunnies - if they start to thin out or one seems particularly incautious she'll go for them, but running has never been a major talent and she's trying to conserve energy at least a bit.

Especially as no fruit or berries seem to be available. She continues to look out for any kind of fruit, nut or maybe even mushroom, although it's way harder to successfully edibility test a mushroom. It'd be good to know if they exist, she might try one if she gets especially bored and hungry, generally she's unusually good at throwing up poisons rather than dying of them.

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Unless the flowers turn out to be edible, there don’t appear to be any of the above. There is a forest in the distance, though, if she wants to look there.

The bunnies do thin out near the river, but not to the point where it would be significantly harder to catch one, or just walk back to the former location.

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Okay, water. Does it look clear? Does it smell weird? Does it taste okay when scooped up in hands, for want of anything else? Is there any life in the water - fish, water weed? Birds?

Then bunnies. They are not a complete diet but they will get the timeline up from days to weeks. Raw bunny doesn't sound too appetising and might carry disease, but if it's fresh and she's careful around the intestines it's probably better than starvation.

Without a knife she is definitely not making fire any time soon, and a nice sun magnifying lens would be even better. She vaguely remembers some kind of sequence from nettles to twine to wood pieces to fire but even that kind of depends on really good kindling.

She feels incredibly stupid running after a rabbit, but sternly reminds herself that stupid is better than dead.

Once she's had a drink and killed a proof of concept rabbit, she'll consider forests - that does sound more promising for nuts or fruit, which would really help if they happen to be in season.

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The water is… blue, actually? It’s otherwise extremely clear. It smells perfectly fine, and tastes fine. There are plenty of fish, and some kind of green leafy plant growing at the bottom. No birds can be seen nearby.

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Aha, excellent, fish! Are they suitably easy to scoop fish or not? If they're not very obliging she will not get her clothes too wet but will instead go looking for a long fallen stick or suitable low thin branch somewhere to attempt some very basic spear fishing.

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They’re a bit too deep to scoop comfortably.

How is she planning to find such a stick?

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Normally she would expect there would be some on the ground with trees around - she's willing to risk a forest expedition now there are two potential food sources.

Failing that, enough trees generally means some with smallish breakable lower branches, shoots or saplings?

If someone is inexplicably maintaining this forest and so it doesn't have any conveniently sized branches, she might try to grab a bunny on the way back to the river, and plan to take her clothes off, tie her hair up with some of her underwear, and get in the river to grab a fish without soaking anything she can't dry off easily. It's not like there seems to be anyone around who would mind. 

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There… aren’t any. In the plains, or forest. Shoots, saplings, or smallish breakable branches, that it. The closest thing available is the rare large branch in the taller trees.

The fish are oddly easy to catch, really, the barely try to get away from her. They appear to be salmon and cod. Does she try to kill them, or just throw them to shore?

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Acquire one salmon, bring to river bank, remove salmon head from body (or at least from functionality) with aid of... Guess the river bank will have to do, as distinct rocks also probably not a thing? Not as neat as she'd like, but salmon are big, most of the flesh should be fine.

She really misses her staff. This would be incredibly much easier with her staff.

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The salmon, as soon as it’s dead, turns into a dead perfectly whole salmon.

 

Distinct rocks are actually a thing, but only in very specific places.

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Allegra stares at the salmon.

Okay then. This is a... bad dream. A particularly weird and detailed bad dream. But that was definitely dream logic right there.

Not that dreaming necessarily made it better. The Dreamlands were a problem for a reason. But - probably less need to panic. Mostly likely at some point she'd wake up. And it's not like she could reliably affect reality until then, anyway.

Meanwhile; she's gone to all this trouble for a fish. Dry off on the grass a bit, clothes back on. Is the salmon at least edible? Can she tear off the skin and get to the meat that's good raw if it's fresh? Taking small pieces and carefully looking out for signs of parasites, obviously.

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The salmon looks to be a perfectly normal salmon! No visible parasites, and it tastes perfectly fine.

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Oh good. Starving to death in her bad dream would be embarrassing.

It's a bit anticlimactic really; clearly she needs a few new goals. Shelter and weaponry are probably next. Weaponry sounds easier - there were at least a couple of distinct rocks on her wanders, maybe she can collect a small pile of rocks. If she's really lucky one of them will be flint, and if she isn't then at least she can amuse herself by throwing them at rabbits. A stick would be even better, but she really doesn't have the tools for a large tree yet.

Hunting for nice throwing rocks commences.

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There are piles of rocks near the riverbank, and a good number of them do look to be flint.

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Okay. Flint and other rocks! Clearly she should... use the other rocks to split the flint into pieces.

If she wasn't now reasonably convinced this was a dream, she would worry a bit about the relative risks of cutting herself and getting an infection and dying in a really stupid and pointless way, but nothing about this scenario made it look promising that anyone was coming to rescue her, and if she couldn't even manufacture a sharp edge she was going to get very, very bored.

So. Vague memory of splitting flint being how you make primitive knives, optimistic application of rocks to other rocks.

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The rocks… do not break. They don’t hurt her, but they don’t break. She can probably find a reasonably pointy piece of flint naturally, though.

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Hmm. Well, at least her little adventure didn't injure here, and this piece of flint here might do the job.

What she _really_ wants is a stick to lash it to, but that seems to be a scarce resource, probably because she's missing her stick too much. Stupid Night magic. Stupid Dreamscape.

Time to try out her next two ideas; opportunistic stone-throwing at rabbits on the way to the nearest tree, and stripping some bark off a tree with the knife and constructing a pile of kindling. Not that she has any idea how to get a spark yet, what with the distinct lack of pieces of wood, but she might be able to... make bark twine? Or are there any nice long, stringy looking plants, like nettles?

...no, first is 'how to carry more than two rocks'. She tries scooping some up in the hem of her robe, it's not the most dignified thing that has ever happened but it's the closest thing to a bag. Why doesn't she have her bag. In her dreams she normally has it, that's how much she always carries it around...

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If she focuses on wanting to store something while holding it, she’ll probably realize she’s been granted a pocket dimension for storage!

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...right, yes, of course, this is some kind of stupid Night Realm dream, of course she has a magic pocket.

There is some merit in that daft Highborn proverb about gift horses, though, so she practices stashing and unstashing her rock supply for a bit before heading out on her Acquire Kindling, Twine and Maybe Incidentally Kill Some Bunnies With Thrown Rocks plan.

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She will absolutely be able to scrape some bark of a tree! If she does so, the bark will disappear off a decently large section of the entire tree.

Throwing rocks at rabbits works fine, although they disappear as soon as they die and leave behind meat and a pelt.

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This is an _unusually neat and fastidious_ dream which is not at all what she was expecting from the Dreamscape, but then again it's Night, that means 'things that happen specifically to subvert her expectations' are entirely in character.

She collects some rabbit meat and pelts anyway, might as well now she has magic pockets. 

Now she really needs fire. Unfortunately all the Making Fire In The Wilderness methods she knows start with 'use the firelighting steel you definitely didn't leave in another plane of existence' or 'use the magnifying lens you just happened to have', or at least 'take your thin sturdy branch and your largish piece of fallen wood and ideally some twine'.

Oh well. Raw bunny doesn't sound so appetising yet but raw salmon wasn't too bad. Hopefully whoever is blatantly toying with her gets bored before she gets fed up with fish.

So. Next up is shelter. That also generally starts with saplings, which are a bit thin on the ground.

Maybe a bit more exploration will find a cave or something else useful.

Making sure to not lose track of the river, she expands her search radius. Looking for anything that might turn into twine - anything a bit longer and sturdier than grass, any fruit or similar (although her standards are rather higher now she has a secure food source), any sign of smaller bendier bits of wood, and natural overhangs or caves. 

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