Longest post by far at nearly 3000 words, but still not a boring one (I think so anyway)! And hey, at least it’s not as long as a whole novel..! Just a bit longish, but hey, it’s a whole story. It’s about the recent Update Aquatic, and was originally written for a contest on Planet Minecraft. It talks about how the underwater ruins came to be – as well as a wave! And is divided into 7 neat chapters. Came out pretty good I’d say (Don’t mind me trying to hide my pride, being the author..!), so I thought I’d share it here too.
So enjoy the (pretty long) read! There’s also a quick overview of the story at the end. And by the way, guess which place I came out at in the contest?
I can only guess too..! I’m in the finals, top 25 out of nearly twice as many entries, but the judging “may take several days depending on judge availability”. Read the edits at the end if you really care – but read the story first..! So anyway, without making this post any longer, here is the big story…
The Wave – A Minecrafty story
“And it is with great pride that I, leader of the People, open the dozen-moonly celebrations of the sacred elements. Let the offerings commence!” With this, four members of the youth walked up the ancient stone steps, carrying locked wooden chests. Drums boomed as the key master slowly, deliberately opened the chests one by one. The ceremony has begun.
Darkness was looming over the land, yet the lights were lit brighter than ever in the great Capitol. Everyone was out as the celebrations were starting; it was scarcely an event to be missed. The sun was beginning to set on the distant horizon. It wasn’t long till the streets suddenly emptied – everyone funnelled through to the giant public area that the square has come to be. It was a vast expanse of stone, designed and built by the best masons in all the land. Surrounding it were some of the city’s finest buildings, and itself contained some fine statues.
Out front, centre with the square stood the Palace of the Sun – a mighty structure made of ornately carved sandstone, propped up by unaccountable columns, with terraces and gardens outside, and the royal chambers and prison dungeons inside. It was on one of those terraces that the leader of the People now stood, in preparation for the age-old tradition of honouring the elements that made up the world we ourselves have been honoured with.
Four wooden chests were set down with a thud on the podium, below the terrace. Above, the leader put on the white ceremonial robe and blessed the people from across the land spread out under him. He was an ageing man, full of wisdom and experience. Kind grey eyes accompanied his wrinkled face. People cheered as he descended the steps. The drumming sped up to the point where it seemed it would never stop. And then it did – and all was silent. The leader of the People stepped aside as one by one each chest was opened.
The first carried the Earth; a dirt block said to come from atop the Mountain of Spirits; the second a Fire that has been guarded and kept alight for years with little or no interference. The third carried… nothing really; As Air was everywhere, there to keep us alive now, into the past and the future. The last carried a bucket of Water from the Spirit’s lake, on top of the mountain mentioned before. Those gathered watched in silent awe as the sacred ceremony continued. It was a tradition practised by generations, and the most important one at that. Close by, the drums boomed again; Loud enough to cover the screams coming from deep within the Palace walls.
* * *
A figure entered the cold windowless chamber. He was stocky and dressed fully in black, with a dark mask to accompany his outfit. At his hand was a diamond sword, still dripping with the remains of the King’s blood. Across the room was a single desk, at which sat a man; He in turn was quite small, stone-faced, with eyes as dark as… well, darkness; He looked up upon the other individual’s entrance.
“You have done well Moore. Your sacrifice will be rewarded.” He said with a hint of a smile, eyeing the object in Moore’s other hand.
Moore exhaled and took off his mask to reveal his short, greying hair. He brushed the sweat off his forehead and placed the object on the desk. The man sitting studied him for a moment then turned his full attention to the box set down before him. Good, he thought, taking the object into his palms. Time to set the gears into motion.
On the extensive stone terraces, the ceremony was nearing the end, as the moon neared the highest point on its journey through the starry sky. People were slowly preparing to go, as the final burning proceeded. The drumming had long stopped, and as always, the leader of the People was giving his final speech. Although this year something was different. Halfway through, the King had excused himself into the Palace for ‘an important errand’. One could only guess what could have been more important that the events in the square – the King was not back yet, and his turn to conclude the ceremony was approaching. Even the King himself would dare not to disturb the ancient Gods! The consequences would be disastrous. It was a worrying thought, so a servant was sent into the Palace to make sure all was ok.
The last of the smoke spiralled up to the sky. The burnings were over. It won’t be long until the leader ended his speech and was supposed to introduce the King! The governors stood at the rear of the square, talking in hushed, worried voices. The ceremony had been undisturbed for decades – it was a sin to even think of breaking the sacred cycle. The crowd, in turn, was unconcerned – if the King said he’d be back, then so be it. But time was slowly evaporating. Something had to be done! But could they afford to spread the news? Maybe the King will walk proudly out the Palace door just in time, or speak out from the balcony up high, or maybe-
Everyone’s heads turned as the Palace doors creaked open. Could it be the King? The governors watched hopefully, only to see the servant sent to check on the King came running out of the Palace. He was pale, but whether with shock or fear, they couldn’t tell. He nearly tripped over himself as he run down the stairs and whispered something in the leader’s ear. The leader of the People staggered back, surprised. “Is that true?” he said, though loud enough to be audible. Without another word, he followed the servant into the Palace.
* * *
Up high, a lone man was hiking the mountains of the north. He looked down at the vast dark lands beneath him, disturbed by only the lights of the Capitol’s celebrations. Checking his pocket for the keystone, he chuckled to himself. He seemed deep in thought when his foot slipped, and he barely caught himself on the rockface in time. That was close – too close. His health bar was already bad enough from a previous fall… He should have taken more food. He could still remember his master’s words – “Climb up, insert the keystone and don’t get caught. Nothing can stop us now. Don’t let me down, Moore.”
The leader of the People walked up the elaborate corridors, following in the servant’s footsteps. They echoed off the high walls and granite ceiling above. The duo passed rare artworks or locked door until reaching their destination – the very last door. A dead end. It was the place of the King’s chambers. Had the servant dared enter them unsure of the King’s condition or place? It seemed so, as he pushed the door open and let the leader in first. Not knowing what to expect, he entered. He found nothing out of place, or so it seemed. The servant pointed to the open courtyard door, then disappeared to do his errands.
The leader neared the door and stepped out into the cool night air. The sight he was greeted with would be engraved into his memory forever. The King lay slain on the floor, his items still hovering beside him. He was twisted at an ugly angle, and his lifeless eyes were looking up to heaven. As the leader neared, shaken, he got a closer look at the body. It was disturbing, yet not ordinary. The leader saw that one of the King’s arms was obviously made extended, finger pointed. This wasn’t a coincidence. The old man followed the finger to the North. Away, away… in the direction of the Mountain of Spirits. The thought gave him an even more uneasy feeling than he already felt: had the King been placed like this deliberately? Was this a message? What was up the sacred Mountain? Why?
He pushed the thought away. This needed more looking into – and quick. The killer could be caught if they hurried; He must have escaped via the open gate at the back of the courtyard. The time of the murder was unknown, and the ceremonies of today were long – the King excused himself barely halfway through. But it could be done. They needed to send someone to the Mountain.
The leader glanced one last time at the King’s scarred body, then hurried off to the square. The news had to be told. In the hour of need, no secrets were permitted. But as he neared the Palace door, one thought shouted louder than the others. It was nearing midnight, the end of the sacred day, thought the terrified man. No King meant the age-old tradition had to be changed. It was never changed! The Gods would be angry. The people would have to pay.
Everyone gasped as one. The leader of the People had just come running – quite fast for his age – out the Palace doors, with the news of the King’s death. It was as frightening, impossible, astonishing and surprising as you can get, especially at a time like tonight. People broke into a panic. A governor nearly passed out. Others couldn’t believe their ears. Something had to be done for real – and so it was.
Soon everyone was settled down, waiting for the outcome of the organised expedition. A small group of men were sent out to the Mountain of Spirits, led by the leader himself. It seemed like the only solution at that time. And so, the group passed swiftly through the deserted villages and looming forests, as the moon rose slowly towards midnight. They made good progress and soon, having taken a break (and disturbed quite a few sleeping people on their way), they arrived at the foot of the north mountains – a vast expanse of rock rising out of the otherwise flat lands. What was once a shadow on the horizon now spread out before them for miles. It was time to begin the climb. They started up the rockface, unaware of the lone man who was here before them.
* * *
Moore had woken up from a sleep he wasn’t supposed to have. He looked up at the sky and saw the moon hasn’t moved much. Good, he thought, there was still plenty of time. Or so it seemed. He started climbing again, and his right foot slipped again. This time, he would have fallen if his left hadn’t found a slit. He had to be more cautious. He couldn’t afford to fail. The wheels were in motion, and the clock was slowly ticking.
Time passed as the group of men made their way up the mountain. They were now higher than anyone else at that moment, or so they thought. And unexplored heights possessed danger. High up they saw the rockface flatten out at one point, creating a ledge – a big one, too. That’s where they’d stop. They were getting tired; a look at their hunger bars confirmed it. They had to take a break and eat. But as they neared the ledge, something moved above them.
They saw a figure clinging to the rockface, slowly going up. He mustn’t have seen them yet, and so they left it this way. They stayed back a bit, then quietly made their way to the ledge. Their break should put some distance between them and the stranger. More questions tugged at the leader of the People – who was the man? Why was he here? And could he be the murderer? Those could – and would – soon be answered.
Soon they set off again, having lost sight of the stranger. But the stranger has not. Little did they know he had seen them; They were the reason he had sped up. The race to the top continued. The winner – and loser – would soon be found.
At last, a hand appeared on the edge of the mountaintop. Then another. And another few. The group of men poured over the edge, panting. They took a side route and quickly worked their way up. They now stood upon holy ground. In front of them was the Spirit’s lake, surrounded by nature’s forest and mankind’s statues in unity. Ancient tribes had worshipped Gods here for centuries. Now the sacred place of worship stood empty. The men felt privileged to be here, but they had a task to do. They scanned the area but found nothing at first glance. They went deeper in, mouthing silent prayers, careful to not disturb the spirit’s that lived here.
CRACK! The noise split the air like a bullet. Someone was amongst the crumbling ruins on the far end. The group
advanced and saw what they feared – the strange man was there. He was dressed in dark, face hidden in shadow, and didn’t seem surprised to see the men in front of him. And whether he was the murderer or not, he was up to no good. He’d snuck up the holy mountain at night, on the day of the sacred ceremonies. An object glistened in the moonlight in his hand. The moon was nearly at midnight now; They had little time. At last, the leader spoke.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?” he said, matter-of-factly. The strange man did not reply. He knew time was running out for him, so he slowly lifted the object in his hand, as to not raise suspicion. The group gasped when they saw it. It was one of the lands most important artefacts. A gemstone with powers unknown to all man, stored deep inside the heart of Capitol. It left no doubt in the leader’s head that the man was the murderer, or at least worked for him. They had to act!
* * *
The men around Moore prepared to charge. They had seen too much, yet what else could he do? He was alone. Here to do his mission. The mission that would change the course of all humankind. He couldn’t fail now. He launched for the rockface behind him. It was engraved with symbols – and sure enough, in the centre was a small opening. He had the key. He took a second to admire his master’s genius, then with nothing to lose, he thrust the keystone into the hole. It was too late for second thoughts; The deed was done. The group of men around him watched in curious terror. But for a few seconds, all was silent as ever.
People screamed as the ground suddenly shook, bringing them down to their knees. The noise was defying. A few people pointed east, where a giant wave was emerging, engulfing the land, leaving behind ruins and small islands of mountaintops. The Gods were angry. The people would pay. The end of days was here – otherwise known as the Update Aquatic.
And that’s all! Pretty cool, huh..? I wrote it in a slight rush, even though there was a month to enter it into the contest… But as they say, it’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts! Feel free to criticize my writing skills in the comments, without being rude of course..! Not much to criticize in my opinion 😉
EDIT: For your information, nearly 3 weeks later the judging is still going on. Must be some great stories (or undecided judges!) in the finals! But yeah, I’ll update the post when the judgings over. Probably in the next few days, as of 18th August. EDIT (within an edit!): Having made it to the finals, which im already pretty happy about, I ended out coming 18th! Not too good, but not too bad. If you care..!
Quick overview of the storyline
This story basically follows the events that led to a giant wave engulfing the land (read chapter 7). The events are: The King is murdered during a sacred age-old ceremony of honouring the elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water. An artefact, a powerful keystone, is stolen. A group of men is sent out to chase the murderer to the top of the Mountain of Spirits.
But at the top, they find the murderer already there. He follows his master’s plan and inserts the keystone into a special opening, triggering the wave. Panic breaks out as the wave sweeps across the land; The people think it’s the Gods that are angry as the King’s death meant the ancient tradition has been altered. Later, when the water levels retreated slightly, the seas and oceans full of ancient ruins as we know them today were left behind.