White Eyes

Seen and Unforeseen

“Grandfather!” Steve screamed as he saw Horace fall with the collapsing floorboards. His grandfather looked back at him and opened his mouth as if to say something but it was too late. The floorboards gave way and took him down with them. It was a moment that seemed to last several hours as Steve watched, horrified as Horace fell through the floor and into the waiting arms of the flames. With that, it was over; his grandfather had disappeared into the roaring fire. Steve stood near the door, his mouth open in a silent scream, his body frozen in place. His body was telling him to move, run, do something but he wasn’t responding. It was as if time had frozen around Steve, the fire didn’t matter, white eyes didn’t matter, all he wanted to do was save his grandfather.

Steve ignored the heat of the flames and stepped forwards to the edge of the remaining floorboards and looked down. The floors below him were engulfed in flames. Suddenly Steve heard another rumbling and a crash beside him, knocking him back into the door. Charred wood, and ashes rained down on Steve, he could feel the very floorboards under him creak. Even in his state, he could deduce what had happened- a second fireball had hit the building.

Steve gave a yell, yanked the now burning door open and raced down the stairwell. At first he smelled smoke but as he descended down the levels a wall of smoke spiked by red flame blocked his path. Steve looked desperately around him, the fire spreading, the smoke was slowly choking him to death and the walls of the inn were crashing around him. His only options were to stay where he was and burn to death or to take his chances with the fire and hope another fireball didn’t hit the collapsing inn. Steve already knew which choice he was going to take.

With hardly a thought Steve ran down the stairwell, right into the smoke and the rising flames. The smoke consumed him; it blinded, and stifled his senses. He covered his nose with one hand and raced through the gray wall. Flames sprouted from around him like demons hungry for his soul. They licked at his chest, his legs, and his head but Steve ignored them. He ignored the searing pain across his chest and the congestion in his lungs from the smoke; he was determined to get out of the fiery death-trap alive.

Suddenly a hand appeared from the gray and yanked him to the side.

“This way.” a voice growled. Steve yelped but complied as he stumbled through the smoke. He thought he saw the bar as he rushed past, which meant that they were at the first floor and almost out of the building. Steve felt an extra tug on his arm causing him to stumble forwards a few feet. But it was just in time, as the entire roof collapsed on top of where Steve had been standing just seconds before. Sparks rained down on his back causing him to yelp from the thousands of small burns. There was another yank on his arm and he fell flat onto the cool wet grass and lost consciousness.

Steve was standing in a field. His shirt wasn’t stained or burned in any way, and neither were any other parts of his body. He felt fit, and full of energy. It was sunny outside and plants were blooming all around him. He smiled; those plants were ones he had planted just the day beforehand. Nate was right; it really was beautiful handiwork Steve thought, as he gazed upon a row of petunia flowers. Suddenly there was a voice from behind him,

“Steve.” Steve looked behind him to see the pleasant figure of his grandfather walking towards him, dressed entirely in white robes.

“Grandfather? What are you doing out here?” Steve asked. His grandfather smiled and folded his hands together.

“I could ask you the same thing Steven. I came out here to see what you were up to actually. I was watching you from my study; you were staring at the garden for quite some time. Although I must say your work is beautiful I don’t know if it needs quite that much attention.” Steve laughed a little at this,

“What were you up too in your study?” he asked.

“Oh…things you know.” Horace said with a flick of his wrist.

“Oh really?” Steve asked with a small smile.

Horace’s face flushed at this before he gave an indignant huff, “Yes well I suppose there’s no point in keeping secrets since you already know-“

“The map right?”

“Precisely Steven.”

“Why are you dressed like that?” Steve asked, realizing his grandfather’s unusual attire.

Horace smiled again.

“You were always very perceptive Steven. Come, I must have a talk with you, there are many things we must discuss and I must say that my time is running short…” he continued, glancing up at the sky briefly before looking back at Steve.

Steve frowned; his grandfather was acting very oddly. Normally he would have been far grumpier and have told him to stop smelling the roses and to come inside or do something productive.

“What do you mean you don’t have a lot of time grandfather? Are you going somewhere?”

“Oh I suppose you could say that.” Horace replied “Now my dear boy there is much I have to talk to you about. Come.” He said, before turning and walking back towards the house. Clearly, he expected Steve to follow him. Steve jogged up to his grandfather and walked in step beside him.

“What is it grandfather?” he asked. “What’s going on? Why are you wearing those white robes? What do you have to tell me?” Horace chuckled,

“Questions and more questions eh? Yes, well I suppose I ought to answer a few of them as that is what I am here to do anyway.” he paused, and opened the gate and the pair walked through it “Steven I am here to tell you what Nate could not. You see Steven, where we are now is the Aether. Hence these white robes, which I must say are quite comfortable.”

“The Aether?” Steve asked eyes wide “Does that mean we’re dead?”

“Death? That is indeed the question.” Horace said with another chuckle “Neither of us is dead, depending on your definition of course. However, yes I am physically no more. Your case, I believe, is a little different.”

“I-“ Steve opened his mouth, he felt his stomach churning, a thousand different emotions conflicting with each other. “Is this a dream?”

“Is it?” Horace asked “Perhaps life is a dream and this is reality? I must say I wish it was, it is quite a bit nicer here. No Steve, the situation that I told you a moment before is quite real unfortunately. I wish I had more time in the world but perhaps it is better that is not the case.”

“Steve do you remember what happened to you just before you went unconscious?” Horace asked, looking at Steve carefully.

“I-I was pulled…by someone and they got me out right before the building collapsed.”

“Precisely. That leads me to conclude that you are not physically dead. Now, I imagine that you feel saddened over my rather, shall we say untimed demise -”

Steve nodded shakily as tears started streaming down his face.

“Yeah…I-I’m sorry I don’t k-know what’s going on…I couldn’t reach you… I wanted to save everyone b-but it – the fires…” Steve said choking on his tears. Suddenly he felt a tissue pressed into his hands. He looked up to see his grandfather’s kindly face looking at him. “I tried…I-“

“Take it.”

“T-thanks…” Steve said, as he paused to wipe his eyes.

“Easy now boy.” Horace said gruffly, “I wouldn’t have expected you to do anything else.”

“B-but I… I failed!” Steve cried. “Y-y-you’re dead and it’s my fault!”

“No Steven, no one could have saved Nate and I from the flames.”

“I could – if I… if I had b-been faster…”

Horace sighed and gently patted his grandson on the shoulder, “I would expect you to experience grief over my death Steven. Undoubtedly you will continue to experience it, perhaps for the rest of your life. However, reflecting on my death will only cost us time. As trivial as that sounds to you at the moment it is of the utmost importance that as little time be wasted as possible. Do you understand me Steven?”

Steve nodded.

“Good, let’s continue.” Horace said, putting an arm around Steve’s shoulder. “It’s alright boy, it’s alright.”

“I-I’m sorry…I’m s-so sorry…” he choked.

“Crying is the sign of a good heart. It is the very symbol of the emotional outpour for someone you love. Your parents would be proud of you right now Steven. Crying is nothing to be ashamed of. I never got the chance to tell you about your parents. I didn’t want to burden you with information about them since I didn’t wish for you to dwell too much on the past. I was foolish to do this Steve. I was foolish to send you into the woods with danger present. I was a fool, I admit it but past decisions cannot be undone and so here we are.” Horace continued, “Your parents were brave people, fine people. I have told you this many times of course. However I circumstances seemed to have prevented me from telling you the rest of the story…but Notch has kindly given me the chance to inform you of the rest.

“I waited for a long time to tell you the true history of your parents and why they disappeared. I deliberately kept their tragic story from you – as I have already stated I did not wish for you to dwell too much on past events. Nevertheless, recent events such as Nate’s intriguing story about the white light and yours as well brought distant memories back to my mind. You see Steven, that young man that Nate was talking about whose family had lost everything was your father and my son.”

“What?”

“You see Steven, we are a cursed family. Our ancestors have been plagued by White Eyes - as you know him - or Herobrine, which is his true name. You see Steven, what I believe is that we are descendants of an old ruler, perhaps the first of mankind. As I told you in the legend White Eyes, or actually let us refer to him as Herobrine, was created by Baez to plague mankind for eternity. It is possible Steven that we are the original line of man and that is why, for generations, members of our family have mysteriously disappeared as my son did.”

“But why are you telling me this?” he asked. It was just another legend, another old wives story or the like.

“You must understand Steven that I tell you this in order to protect you. Herobrine has not managed to kill you – yet but he will try to and that is why I am warning you.”

“Thanks.” Steve replied “N-nice to know that in a few days or maybe a few hours I’ll be up here with you forever…”

“It is a nice thought isn’t it? Frankly I would have come up here much sooner if it didn’t involve dying…”

“Don’t-please…” he started, feeling another wave of sadness well up in him. His grandfather smiled warmly,

“My dear boy, death is merely a temporary setback. The grief will come, and it will pass. It is how life goes. Surely you did not think I was never going to die Steven?”

“Yeah-b-but not like this…” Steve said in anguish.

“Indeed.” Horace said, “But that brings us to our next topic. When you awaken Steven, and it will be quite soon…” he paused and glanced up at the sky. The sun was dipping lower and the shadows around the forest had increased. “I want you to visit the house and take the map.”

“Why?”

“Well, to tell you the truth Steven that map is ancient. It is a culmination of ages of works by me, and my forefathers. Pick up the map and it will tell you precisely where you are at any given moment. I want you to have the map Steven, so that you never lose your way, especially in the difficult times ahead- oh and yes naturally you inherit everything else of course.”

“I don’t care.” Steve replied.

“Yes well, that is understandable. However there are several more important artifacts that you ought to know about. One of them is an iron sword; my father’s which you will find buried under the living room rug beneath a trap door. I never told you about it as it was a memory of past violence in my family bloodline that I chose to ignore. However, you will undoubtedly need it for the time being.”

“A-a sword? But I don’t know how to use a sword grandfather…”

“You will find there are those who will be all too able to help you Steven. If you give it all you’ve got and never give up then I have every faith that you will not be joining me up here for quite some time.”

“I -”

“Listen to me Steven.” Horace said, talking slightly faster. “You must go to Arathor and follow the instructions I told you before. Look in the library if you want to know why, there is an ancient text there that should explain what I cannot tell you. The world is in danger Steven, as you have most likely deduced. However if the proper measures are taken I believe you can stop it.”

“B-but how?”

“There is no time to explain my dear boy nor do I even have the knowledge to do so.” Horace said sadly. It had gotten a lot darker outside, the shadows from the forest had almost reached the two of them. “All I can tell you is, you must follow every instruction I have told you. Seek help, and never give up. It would make your parents proud to see you now Steven. And in their memory and in mine, I ask you to avenge their losses and mine- if that is how the saying goes.”

“Grandfather,” Steve said “Don’t leave… please…” Horace smiled, and walked up to him as the last rays of the sun slowly disappeared into the skyline.
“Ah well. I am old, not that it was near my time but I have seen life and all the joys and anguish in it. Long ago I made a promise to protect you Steven and this is the fulfillment of that promise. However, my part in this world is now finished I entrust it that promise to you for the sake of all.” He said, folding his hands over Steve’s. “I want you to know Steven, that I’m proud of you.”

With that, his grandfather turned, and slowly walked away into the dark of the forest. Suddenly all the light faded from the forest, and Steve felt himself rise up out of the Aether and into the world once more.

“Steve? Steve!” he heard a concerned voice yell. Steve blinked and slowly opened his eyes to find himself surrounded by people. One man with a thick black beard was staring at him intensely.

“Alright boy?” he asked, holding out a hand. Steve took it and hoisted himself up. His shirt was wet. Apparently, Steve had been lying on the wet grass for some time.

“What’s that you’re holding?” the man asked. Steve looked at his hands; there was a leather object in them, shaped like a sword. It had an ancient gold lion painted on one end. The thing was a scabbard and had once held a sword by the indentations in it. How did it get in his hands? The thought occurred to him. Steve brushed it aside, it was just a scabbard.

“A scabbard.” Steve replied, pushing through the crowd and looking around. It was midmorning; however the sunlight had made the attack from the previous night all too clear. The town had been blasted to bits in most places. Home after home had been burned to ashes. There were several holes in the ground where fireballs had smashed the ground and charred the grass. Steve turned and looked at the crowd of villagers behind him, many of whom were giving him concerned looks. Several of the villagers had been burned; one’s hair was charred in several spots while another was holding up a wool bandage to a bloody head injury. Then Steve looked and saw the inn, or rather what remained of it.

The Inn of the Lonely Dragon had been blasted to bits. The roof had caved in on itself, and blackened debris scattered the surrounding area. Steve stared at the sight for a full minute before he walked towards it. Suddenly a hand clamped on his back.

“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.” A gruff voice said.

“Don’t tell me what to do.” Steve replied, whirling around and punching the man in the face. The man was thrown off his feet and slammed into the ground. Several people cried out.

“Heh. You think you’re the only one who lost everything? Do you?! We all,” he said, gesturing to the other villagers “lost our houses, our livelihoods, and our food!”

“Don’t tell me about what materials you lost.” Steve spat, feeling his anger rising. The man quieted at this and backed away, rubbing his cheek timidly.

“Steve!” he heard a voice call. But Steve wasn’t listening; he was already walking towards the inn.

Where was his grandfather? He had to be given a proper burial at least. Steve walked around the first floor of the inn, or at least what he thought was the first floor. The floor was scattered with broken chairs, burnt tables and broken drinking glasses from a previous night’s binge. Steve put the scabbard on a nearby windowsill and began his search.

Steve dug around for a few moments, but there was nothing but ashes. He picked up a chair and threw it a few feet where it smashed to bits. Steve yelled and finally let his anger out, throwing more chairs, glasses, plates, wooden planks, anything he could get his hands on.

“Why?!” Steve yelled, “Why did you take him from me? What did he do to you?” he howled before leaning against a nearby wall to catch his breath. Steve turned and punched the wall, breaking the planks easily.

“Why…?” he asked, sliding down onto the floor. He began to cry. The tears came slowly at first but soon ran like a river from both eyes.

His grandfather had been his guardian, his friend, and his mentor for all of the life Steve could remember. Now he had been taken away, by some white eyed fiend that he hadn’t even heard of two days before. Steve laughed a maniacal laugh and doubled over, shrieking with laughter that turned to a howl. He grabbed at his hair, ran his hands over his eyes and kicked anything around him, just for the sake of doing it.

The full impact of his grief hadn’t hit him until after awakening from his visit in the Aether. But Steve now realized it was the last time he would ever see his grandfather. And now, there wasn’t even a body for him to bury, to honor, or to cry over. All he had was ashes. Ashes were all that was left of his grandfather. No, it can’t be Steve thought. There had to be a body, somewhere. The villagers would have at least tried to rescue his grandfather from the flames as they had rescued him.

Steve stood up and resumed his search. It was the feeling that he could find his grandfather that drove him on. He ripped up floorboards, threw more chairs, smashed more walls, but there was nothing there. Steve then looked near the bar, he hadn’t searched there. Steve ran over to it and threw away wine glasses, plates and any other objects that he didn’t recognize. Then Steve saw it, a glint of white among a pile of blackened floorboards, it was his iron pickaxe. Steve reached over, tossed the wood away and pulled the pick out from the rubble. Its handle was slightly charred but otherwise the thing was intact. He brushed off the ashes that coated most of the handle and the head of the pick and examined it for a moment. Steve smiled; the pick had given him the hope he desperately needed. After all, if it was still there after the fire maybe his grandfather’s body was somewhere among the rubble. Steve redoubled his efforts to locate his grandfather’s body but after twenty more minutes of searching nothing was forthcoming.

“Aaaaagh!” Steve yelled, smashing the pick into the floor. He smashed it several more times before panting and leaning on the handle. Was there something he’d missed? Steve cursed, and cursed again. He cursed the pickaxe; he cursed himself, and most of all he cursed not knowing what was going on. Steve felt empty inside, as if there was an enormous hole in his chest. That hole was his past life, which had all been taken away from him in less than a fortnight.

Perhaps there’s no body, Steve thought but he would make an honorary tribute to his grandfather anyway. Then Steve saw what appeared to be a stone tip peeking out from under the rubble. Steve looked a little closer and saw that it was the stone head of his grandfather’s pickaxe. He bent down and grabbed it, although he nearly dropped it after feeling the thing cut into his hand. Steve smiled, what was it that his grandfather had told him just the day before? I hit myself in the foot in my first foray into mining- couldn’t walk for a week. Now, Steve had cut himself on the handle of the pickaxe.

Steve held the thing in the palm of his hand. He could feel the sharper edge of the pick digging into his hand but he didn’t care. Steve watched as the blood slowly ran down the edge of the handle, mixing with the zombie’s and staining it further. Then he realized this was what he needed to make the proper tribute to his grandfather. After all, one of the man’s final acts had been to teach him mining. Steve looked at the crack in the pickaxe. The thing was a testament to endurance. No matter how hard the struggle he would make it through cracked but not broken. Always see your goals through Steven. Always! The words came back to him. His grandfather was right. Steve took a deep breath and slowly reorganized his thoughts. First he would make a tribute to his grandfather, then he would get the map and the sword, and then he would avenge his family, and anyone else who had gotten hurt.

Steve grabbed the scabbard with his free hand and put it in his belt-hole. Then he took the iron pick and headed out of the wreckage towards the town. The crowd had largely dispersed, that was good as Steve didn’t need more misery than he was already dealing with. He glanced around the village; he needed some wood and a shovel.

“Steve! Steve!” a familiar voice called. Steve whirled around, his pick raised. It was Nick, although slightly burned and extremely battered. He was holding his axe. Was he going to attack him? Had the villagers turned on him too? Did they know his family was cursed- and that the destruction was entirely his fault?

“Steve- I…are you-?” Nick asked, eyes widening as he saw the blood streaming from his left hand where the pick had cut it. No, Steve thought. He wasn’t going to give Nick a chance to find out.

“Yes.” Steve replied. It would be over, very quickly and then Steve could get on with making his tribute. Friend or not Nick couldn’t know about it. Steve lashed out with the iron pick at Nick’s head. However instead of feeling it smash into Nick’s skull he felt his attack parried and the pick knocked out of his hands.

“What are you doing?!” Nick yelled. “What’s wrong with you?” Steve ignored him and reached for the fallen pick. He grabbed the handle but couldn’t pick it up, Nick had placed his boot on the side of the pick.

“Move.” Steve growled.

“No.”

“I said- move!” he yelled, throwing the bloody head of his grandfather’s pick at him. Nick dodged it and kept his foot on the handle.

“Are you going to keep trying to kill me or what?” Nick asked.

“I might.”

“Come on Steve, I saw you, I heard you. Everyone knows what happened.”

“Then you know I don’t have time to answer your stupid questions!” Steve screamed.

“I- what? You’re not talking sense mate.” Nick replied, eyes wide.

“Yeah well you wouldn’t understand would you?” Steve yelled. “Because you know what I found out? We’re all dead, you’re dead, and I’m dead. And I’m getting out of here because it’s not going to be me first.”

“Steve -” he said, reaching out a hand. “You should get that hand bandaged up- the cut I mean it looks bad…”

Steve ignored him “I suppose you don’t know about it then…”

“Know what?”

Suddenly Steve lashed out and gave a hard tug on the pick handle, finally removing it from under Nick’s feet. Nick gave a yell of surprise and tried to pull it back. Steve felt the anger return to him once more. No one was going to stop him from giving his respects to his grandfather, not even his friend. Steve struck Nick, once, twice, and then a third time until he fell to the ground, out cold. He smiled and reached for the head of his grandfather’s pick.

“I have some work to do.” He said. “I’m sorry but I have to leave…”

Steve walked away from Nick’s still form and towards the woods. He was blind to the blood dripping on the ground and on his pant legs. The sooner he got to the house the better, then Steve could begin properly honoring his grandfather. Then he would have to leave, and leave quickly, to Arathor as Horace had told him. He frowned and made a mental note to bring extra supplies for the journey. Perhaps if he left soon enough the rest of the townspeople could rebuild their lives without falling victim to a family curse.

Then Steve’s mind turned to Herobrine. Or white eyes as he had known him for the past two days. Steve cursed him. He tightened his hold on the pick in a fit of self-control. Herobrine, the white eyed creature created thousands of years ago by some twisted god had taken his grandfather from him. Not only that, Herobrine had shattered Steve’s world and now on two occasions, his nerves. He would kill Herobrine at any cost. The thought of this vindication made Steve smile, a sick, cold smile. Maybe after killing Herobrine he could find peace and maybe in a few years he could start a new life all his own.

After several minutes Steve reached the house. It looked similar as it had during his brief time in the Aether except much darker, and somehow colder despite the relative heat of the day. It seemed like part of the house had died with his grandfather. Steve slowly walked past the garden beds and towards the doorstep where he opened the door and walked inside.

At this point Steve’s thoughts turned to Nick. Would his parents be proud of the way he had tried to kill him? Would his grandfather have approved? Maybe they would, Steve thought, after all he was only trying to protect Nick from the future and his own past. He paused for a moment. No of course not, his grandfather would have given him a punishment or worse a lashing for what he had done. Steve cursed again. He cursed the emotions churning through his body and immediately felt the first pangs of regret.

Steve put the pickaxe and the stone head on the floor before he sank against the wall, gripping at his hair. Then the tears came again, even more than before. What was wrong with him? Steve wailed. He had just tried to kill his best friend, and then knocked him senseless. How did he know if Nick’s own family had been incinerated in the attack or not? The questions just made Steve feel even worse. He couldn’t save the world or stop Herobrine if he kept acting like that. Steve would become the monster if he lost control.

“P-p-please…help me…” Steve wept. “HELP ME!”

He looked up at the ceiling, and then back at the floor before he finally lost control and opened the door, running outside. He didn’t care where he went; Steve just wanted to get away from it all, from anyone or anything. About halfway to the gate he stopped and saw the garden, his garden. Steve looked at a bed of beautiful sunflowers and had an idea.

Steve wiped the tears from his eyes and hurried back into the house where he grabbed the remains of his grandfather’s pickaxe and took it over to a water bucket by the house. Steve dunked the pick in the water several times and gradually the blood began to come off, turning the water light red. Steve then took the pick and cut part of his shirt with it, taking care not to cut his skin. Then he wrapped the cloth around his cut hand, stemming the blood loss. He smiled, now he could get to work.

He got up and walked past the house towards the shed. Once there he reached up and took an iron spade that had been placed up against the side of the shed. Steve walked back to the garden bed, the shovel and the broken pickaxe in hand. Quickly, Steve decapitated each sunflower and took the flower heads with him. Steve knelt down near an open patch of dirt and quickly dug it up. Then he gently placed the remainder of his grandfather’s pickaxe in the hole. Once this was done Steve covered the hole up and placed the flowers around the grave. After several minutes he finished and looked at his handiwork. He had arranged the flowers to spell a message:

For Horace. A loving grandfather. A mentor and a father to me.

Steve stared at it for a while. There wasn’t anything he would change about it, the message said it all. He imagined his grandfather, looking down from the Aether at the message.

“F-f-for you grandfather…” Steve murmured, looking up at the clear blue sky. He could almost hear his grandfather complimenting him on his handiwork at that very moment.

Steve looked at his message for several more minutes before he took the spade and walked back to the shed where he quickly stored it. He had paid his tribute and now he had to leave. Steve re-entered the house and recalled his grandfather’s instructions. What was it his grandfather had told him? I want you to have the map Steven, so that you never lose your way, especially in the difficult times ahead… he reiterated his grandfather’s words in his head once more The map…! Steve thought. Quickly, he bounded up the staircase and into his grandfather’s study. The map was still there, although it had been rolled up and tied with a single knot. Perhaps his grandfather had planned to take it somewhere? Steve didn’t spend much time to think about it as he grabbed the map and unfurled it. The map looked much like it had when he had seen it two nights ago in Horace’s study. But then Steve glimpsed two words in the bottom right corner of the map that hadn’t been there the first time he’d seen it.

“Find me.” He said. Suddenly a gold star appeared where their house was with the name “Steven” inscribed on it. He stared at it for a full minute, eyes widening in amazement. Steve took a step back and saw the gold star also move a little bit backwards as well. Steve walked forwards and the same thing happened again. The map was able to track exactly where he was. However, Steve noticed, no one else appeared on the map. Although, it wouldn’t have made a big difference if they did, in a city Steve never would have been able to tell where anyone was on the map. Even so, the map would be perfect for his journey to Arathor, as all the roads were drawn and labeled and he could keep track of where he was at any time. Steve smiled, rolled up his grandfather’s first bequest, and exited the room.

Steve then headed downstairs into the living room. Now, it’s the dead room… Steve thought sadly. Slowly he moved chairs, a small table, and various trinkets out of the way and rolled back the carpet. As his grandfather had told him there was a small trapdoor underneath. Steve grabbed the latch and swung the trapdoor open and descended the short ladder down into the dark basement below. Once he reached the bottom he grabbed a nearby torch off the wall and swiped it across the stone wall causing the torch to flare up immediately.

The room was illuminated instantaneously. Steve glanced around the place. It was a small room, perhaps no larger than four meters wide in all directions. Steve had only been there once before as a child when he had hid from his grandfather after beat up a mean kid from town. At the time the place had been a virtual stone box with few objects adorning it. However, it looked like his grandfather had spent a lot of time spiffing the place up and storing many things in it since then. Chest after chest lined the walls and a red velvet carpet covered the floor. Steve glanced around the room wondering which chest contained his family sword. He gained no clues from looking at the chests, so Steve placed the torch back in its holder and began to rummage through each chest.

About an hour later Steve had gone through most of the chests and found several ancient books, including one on plant life and mysterious fungi. He also discovered a deep blue robe, several old wineglasses and a box of petrified spiders- which he immediately stuffed back into the chest, but no sword. Steve cursed and looked around the room, he had opened all the chests but one, a double chest that lay against the center of one of the walls. It certainly looked large enough to contain a sword. Steve walked over, opened the latch and peered inside.

A plume of dust erupted from the chest causing Steve to cover his eyes and cough loudly. After a moment the dust cleared and he saw the somewhat rusted form of a sword lying inside the chest. Steve reached inside and pulled the sword out by the hilt and examined it. The sword was an iron blade, as his grandfather had told him and was around a full meter long with a short hilt and a ruby engraved into its pommel. Steve gave it a few swings, it was lightweight and easy to handle. For a blade that had not been touched for probably seventy years it was in remarkably good shape, as far as Steve could tell. He glanced around the room briefly before he sheathed his grandfather’s second bequest.

“Thank you grandfather.” Steve said softly. Now he could defend himself adequately. He had to admit, he felt rather noble carrying the sword- like a knight in the stories that his grandfather had told him.

Steve grabbed his map and climbed back up the ladder and back into the living room. Now he had to pack up and get ready to leave. Steve was taking no chances, he had a feeling that Herobrine would be back. It hadn’t occurred to him earlier, but why hadn’t Herobrine killed him already? Perhaps the white eyed fiend thought he had died in the fire at the Lonely Dragon like Nate and his grandfather had? Well, Steve reasoned, he wasn’t about to let himself get killed by staying where he was.

He had the map, and the sword, his grandfather’s two most valuable bequests. All Steve needed now was a good sized pack, better clothes, and some food. Steve hurried through the house into his bedroom where he found an old leather pack his grandfather had given to him. Steve smiled, it was perfect. He stuffed the map into the pack and carried it with him into the kitchen. Steve grabbed almost anything he could find in the kitchen that was fresh, and stuffed it into his pack, taking care not to squash the map. Several minutes later the pack was stuffed with cheeses, apples, a few wrapped up slices of watermelon and several stale loafs of bread.

Steve looped the pack around his back and went to the bathroom and examined his face in the mirror. Steve was surprised by his appearance. He looked like he had been around in the woods for several weeks and then beat up with a shovel. It wasn’t far from the truth. Steve’s hair was charred in several places, a half-healed scar ran down from his cheek to his jawbone and his shirt was in tatters. Steve examined his bandaged hand, which was now soaked red with dried blood. His pants were mercifully mostly intact but they had also been lightly burned by the flames. Even so, they were wet and covered with dirt, while his hair was littered with ashes. Steve’s arms had also sustained multiple bruises and dried tears stuck to his face.

Steve reached up and traced his face with a finger. His eyes were red from his tantrum earlier on. If his grandfather could see him now he would make him some soup and talk to him about what happened. Steve sniffled, he hadn’t just lost his grandfather and mentor but also his counselor.

“What have I done…” Steve murmured looking at his beat up face. “What have I done?!” he yelled, tearing off the bloodied bandage and throwing it into the toilet. Steve cursed loudly as blood spurted from the wound. He held his hand under the sink and eventually washed the blood away and down the drain. But just as soon as he had washed the wound clean more blood bubbled up from it. Steve cursed again and rinsed off the wound a second time.

“I will kill you Herobrine…I swear it…” Steve said, choking back tears. Steve didn’t understand it; all he ever wanted to do was live his life in peace and become a farmer. But then with a single fireball his world had been shattered. Steve looked at his face in the mirror. His expression was twisted in pain, Steve grunted and tried to force a determined look but it just made his troubles worse. He sighed in anguish, put his pack on the floor and gradually worked on putting himself back together.

Abruptly there was a loud knock on the door from the landing below. Steve whirled around, who was there? Was it Herobrine coming around to finish him off? Steve drew his grandfather’s sword and slowly walked down the stairs, he wasn’t taking any chances. He reached the landing and slowly unbolted and opened the door. To his utter bewilderment Nick was standing there on the landing, his ever present axe slung over his back and sporting a black eye from their earlier confrontation.

“What do you want?” Steve growled, holding the sword out in a defensive posture.

“I want to talk.” Nick replied.

“You came to the wrong place.”

“I don’t think I did.” He said. “You almost got incinerated - and for your information I almost did too - your grandfather got killed and then you tried to kill me. You need help, and don’t think about locking me out; I’ll just cut my way in.” Steve stared at him for a time. Part of him told him to kill Nick and just run, but another part of him told him to let him in. Steve’s lip quivered; here was his friend, and trying to help him just a few hours after he had almost killed him.

“I-“ Steve started, “Don’t…I don’t need your help.”

“Yes you do Steve.” Nick said taking a step closer “You can’t just cry in here forever you know. And besides, you look terrible.”

“So do you.” He muttered. Nick smiled weakly,

“Can I come in?”

“Okay…” Steve trailed off, sheathing the sword. His friend’s compassion made him feel even worse.

“I saw the flowers- in the garden you know… It looked really good. I know your grandfather would appreciate it.”

“Don’t- tell me what he’d like! You know nothing about him!” Steve yelled.

“Yeah but it’s a good tribute Steve.” Nick replied.

“I-I buried my grandfather’s pick there…” Steve started. He took a breath and finally gave into his remorse. “I-I’m sorry for trying to kill you earlier…I know you’re only trying to help. It feels horrible, you know? When your parent dies, it’s like part of you is gone with them. I feel empty now, everything I see is gray, there’s no taste, or anything left. I wish I was dead. Then I wouldn’t be doing horrible things when I lose control…” he paused, sitting down and burying his head in his hands. “It’s all happened too fast- and now he’s gone!”

“I don’t understand what’s going on either Steve.” Nick admitted “But you were right earlier- I just didn’t know to believe you or not…”

“You want to know why it all happened?” Steve said in a pained voice “My father was killed by white eyes- or his real name Herobrine, and my father’s father was too. Like I told you earlier, I’m already dead. Maybe I’ll live until I’m sixty but then I’ll die and so will anyone around me.”

“What?”

“Yeah.” he replied “I’m cursed, everyone in my family is. I’m the reason why the village burned down, why Nate got killed and my grandfather died…”

“Come on mate, you didn’t do anything-“

“I was born! I guess that’s reason enough!” Steve said sorrowfully.

“You’re not going to die as long as I have something to say about it.” Nick said gruffly “You’re my best mate and I’m not about to let you die after what just happened to you- and to all of us.”

Steve looked at the floor for a few moments. He was touched by his friend’s compassion. Steve didn’t have any plans on dying soon.

“My grandfather- I saw him after I got out of the burning inn. I was in the Aether Nick. It was sunny and everything. It was such a beautiful place…” he paused “My grandfather – he made a promise to protect me after Herobrine killed my father. He made me promise to protect everyone from Herobrine. The sword- it’s my father’s. I swore I’d use it to protect the world.”

“That’s noble.” Nick replied.

“Yeah but what good would I be? An emotional wreck that can’t control himself?”

“What do you think I’m here for? Steve, I heard you in the Inn back in town. It was the most horrible sound I’d ever heard. Do you really think I’m going to leave you by yourself and let you suffer like that?”

“I don’t need your pity!” Steve snapped.

“Alright.” Nick said, putting his hands up. “But I’m not leaving you. I don’t care how angry you get or how many times you try to kill me I’m not leaving.”

“What about your family?” he asked, looking at his feet.

“They’ll be alright. Elain – the mayor’s daughter’s brought them to live with her in the mayor’s house. Funnily enough, his house was the only one that wasn’t burned or blown to bits.” Nick explained. “So how are you going to protect the world?”

“I don’t know!” Steve snapped. “I- I don’t know…”

“Steve -” Nick started. But Steve wasn’t listening. In a flash he was out of his chair and running upstairs. He had to have some time to himself, time to think about what was going on and to control himself. I’m sorry Nick, Steve thought but I can’t do it right now…I - I don’t want to lose control again! He slammed his bedroom door and threw off the scabbard and his shirt and put his face in his hands as the tears came again.

“Steve!”

“G-gods why… WHY?!” he howled as he rocked back and forth against the bedframe, “I-I’m sorry grandfather… I swear- by Notch I swear it I will kill…I will kill you Herobrine…I promise it.”

Darkness gently settled over the large house like a blanket onto a child before a long night’s sleep. The house had a cold aura about it, as if it had been deprived of all life, cheer, or happiness that it once held. The garden beds surrounding it had also seemed to have lost some of their robust color. To the occupant inside the place it was like the world had turned grayer and more depressing than before. Steve was currently sitting bare-chested on his bedside staring at the wall across from him. His trademark teal blue shirt lay in tatters on the floor.

Steve was a wreck, his clothes were ruined and dried tears coated most of his face. He would have wiped them away but they came back in force every time he did. Across his body he bore multiple partially healed scars and lacerations from the blast that had taken his grandfather and almost killed him. On one hand he a partially healed wound inflicted by his grandfather’s pickaxe. The wound had left a long angry red slash on his hand; blood had crusted around his fingertips where he had scratched at it. Steve traced his fingers along it and surveyed the wound as one would look at a very interesting curio. The wound had stopped bleeding a while ago but it never stopped hurting. Regardless, if Steve touched the wound or not he could always feel a steady, dull pain pounding in his hand. The throbbing pain was remarkably similar to that in his heart. Steve had not known until after the attack how much he loved his grandfather; after all it wasn’t something he had given much thought about.

He sighed and looked away from his scarred hand. Now more than ever he wished he hadn’t known his grandfather so well, or lived with him for so long. Steve had never felt the pain of losing his parents because they had disappeared when he was little and couldn’t remember anything. But with his grandfather, that was a different story entirely. He remembered his brief time in the Aether with Horace, it wasn’t even twelve hours ago but it felt like an eternity. As far as he knew it was the last time Steve would ever spend with the man. It was strange; in the Aether his grandfather had seemed so calm, so happy, and even proud of him. And there Steve was hours later, whimpering like a five year old girl and wallowing in self-pity. But he couldn’t help it. Every time Steve tried to fight back the emotional tide it always overcame him, like it had earlier that day during both encounters with Nick. He hiccupped and looked back at his injured hand. The scar had become a symbol for him. A symbol of his life, torn apart yet somehow not destroyed. Somehow, his wound gave him the will to go on.

Steve walked across the room and picked up the sword by the hilt and gently removed the sheath from it. It was so simple now, with a single thrust he could be with his grandfather again. Then the curse would be over right? Herobrine wouldn’t hurt anyone anymore because the family line would end here, with Steve. He had been reading some old texts of his grandfather’s in the library. It was all there, the long miserable line of killings, one after the other. Anyone associated with Steve’s family had been killed too. He didn’t even have to look at a book to figure out he was the last sane member of his family alive. Nick had told him hours before that everyone except Steve had died in the inferno of the Lonely Dragon Inn. Steve tallied them off on his fingers, Horace, and now Enoch dead, and two more for his parents. Four. Actually, he wasn’t the only one left if he counted Aunt Sheila. But she was crazy and locked away somewhere, so she might as well be dead too. Steve tallied another finger. Five.

He examined the battered iron blade- his fathers and grandfather’s sword. It was the sword that had perpetrated years of violence as his grandfather had told him. The chance was tempting. In a flash his earthy torment would be over and he would be up in the Aether with his grandfather and his parents. Steve held the sword out, the sharp end pointed at his chest. Steve looked outside for a moment, at the fields of the farm and at the dying sun. The soft voice of his grandfather came back to him; I would expect you to experience grief over my death Steven. Undoubtedly you will continue to experience it, perhaps for the rest of your life. For the rest of your life... He looked at the sword pointed at his chest; would he be doing anyone any good living in sorrow for the next five, ten, fifteen or twenty years? Steve closed his eyes, what about Nick? No, his friend would be saddened for a while but he had family to go to, and to take care of. Steve had no one, not anymore.

“What am I doing?” he asked, staring at the sword. He would only dishonor his grandfather by killing himself. After all, he was supposed to go to Arathor he had to pull himself together! Steve slowly held up the sword and looked at it again. There were several small markings on the hilt. Steve hadn’t seen those before. He peered at them for a moment and read the inscription:

May this sword give courage to the one who wields it and aid in destroying the cursed darkness forevermore.

Steve gripped the hilt tightly and then sheathed the sword. He sighed, got up, and paced around the room. Steve took several deep breaths to calm himself. Focus! He thought. For starters Steve needed to find Nick, since his friend probably hadn’t waited around the house for him to come out of his emotional coma for several hours. Nick was probably somewhere in Darton helping out the refugees and villagers and anyone else in need of aid.

“For Notches sake…” Steve sighed and grabbed the sheathed sword. He looked at the sheath for a moment, there was a crest engraved on it in the shape of a golden eagle. What does that mean? Steve traced it with his finger, and where had he gotten it? Steve hadn’t thought much about it before. All he remembered was waking up from the Aether holding the sheath in his hand. Maybe he had grabbed it for some reason while trying to escape the fire.

Steve looked towards the desk and fetched his clock. He glanced at it for a moment, the sun on the dial had mostly disappeared and replaced by a shining white moon. By his reckoning it was about nine at night. Right, he thought he walked over to the door, yanked it open and started downstairs to fetch his pack and to go find Nick. However no sooner had Steve reached the landing before there was a loud knock on the door. Steve froze, looked towards the door and slowly drew his sword. Several more knocks followed, even louder than before.

“W-who is it?” he asked.

“Steve are you in there?” he heard someone ask.

“It’s me.” He replied. The voice sounded familiar, that at least was a good sign.

“Thank Notch.” The voice replied “Open the door then, everyone’s waiting outside.”

“Nick?” Steve asked, lowering the sword. What did he mean everyone’s waiting outside?

“Yeah. You feeling alright? Or do you mind letting us in?”

“I-yeah I’m okay.” Steve replied, walking over and unlocking the door. No wonder the voice was familiar; it was his friend Nick. He stepped back as the door opened and several people barged inside.

“What the?!” Steve exclaimed, jumping back and sheathing his sword. “Nick, what’s going on?” he asked looking at the half dozen people currently gathered by the door.

“They’re refugees from the town. They don’t have a place to sleep tonight so I told them about your house and they wanted to come with me.” He explained. One of the refugees, a little girl with a charred, dirty face looked up at Steve hopefully.

“And you thought I’d just let them in did you?” Steve growled. The last thing he needed was to get a couple refugees killed as well when Herobrine came for him.

“You have a big house Steve. I just thought there might be room inside that’s all…”

“I don’t- everyone thinks that...” Steve started before he looked down at the little girl. Like Steve, she was battered and bruised there was a partially healed cut along her arm. She was looking straight at him. Steve stared into her eyes; they reflected a mixture of fear and hopefulness at the same time. Those bright blue eyes… they were like his own. How could he refuse them help when he so desperately needed it himself? He looked back at Nate,

“Do they need food?”

“They need as much as you can give them. The rest of the villagers barely have enough for themselves considering how much of it got burned…”

Steve pointed behind him and gestured leftwards “The kitchen’s that way. Take as much as you like.”

“Thank you.” One of the refugees, an old woman said gratefully. Steve nodded and stepped aside as they hurried off towards the kitchen.

“You’re a mess.” Nick remarked once they were alone.

“You don’t look so good yourself.” Steve grumbled, sheathing his father’s sword.

“Yeah…I know.” Nick replied “We’re all kinda messy I guess.” Steve gave a hollow laugh at this. “How have you been holding up? You were crying…”

“I know I was crying!” he snapped. “I don’t need you to tell me that! For Notches sake Nick…look at my face. I can’t pull myself together…”

“I know.” Nick said.

“No you don’t!”

“Alright, I don’t. But I can’t help you if you’re going to attack me half the time can I?” Nick said “Being by yourself isn’t going to do you any good. And besides, look around you. How do you know other people didn’t lose their families?”

“I don’t-“

“Because they did Steve, people burned to death in their houses and everything-“

“Stop it!” Steve yelled. “Don’t you realize I have enough to deal with?” Nick fell silent at this. “It- I need time to figure out what’s going on… that’s all.”

“I understand.” Nick said softly “I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright.”

“Here I’d better check on the refugees…make sure they’re not eating all your food.”

“I’d be surprised if they could.” He muttered as Nick brushed past him and into the kitchen. He sighed and looked at the fireplace on the opposite wall and tried not to think about his grandfather. Steve took a deep breath and listened to the sounds of Nick and the townspeople move around the kitchen. His gaze shifted to a mirror mounted on the mantelpiece. A pair of reddish eyes looked back at him. Steve flinched and put a hand up to his face. Nick was right, he looked terrible. He looked no different than the refugees from the village.

“Gods…” Steve murmured. However his thoughts were interrupted by a small voice from behind him. He whipped out his sword and turned to face his visitor. It was the blue-eyed little girl again.

“Thank you for the food.” She said meekly, eyes widening at the sword. She was clutching a half-eaten loaf of bread in her tiny hands. Steve stared at her for a full minute before he could muster a response.

“I – sorry…” he muttered, sheathing the sword.

“My momma wants to know if you’re okay. She said you look sad, but I think you’re just lonely.”

“W-what’s your name?” Steve asked.

“Mina.”

“Steve-?” Nick interjected. Mina turned to him and pointed at Steve.

“Mr. Nick… he looks sad. Why is he sad?”

“Well Mina, he’ll be okay. He just needs some time alright?” Nick said offering a smile “He’s just going through some problems that’s all.”

“Okay!” she said.

“Steve, can she use your to use the bathroom?”

“What? The- the bathroom? Oh yeah sure…” Steve mumbled.

“See? Now you can get nice and clean.”

“Thank you but I think Steve should use it first!” Mina replied.

“You’re right.” He admitted, “But that’s okay. I can wait.”

“Thanks Steve.” Nick said gratefully “There you go Mina, he’s letting you go first. Anyway when you should get cleaned up and you’ll be nice and beautiful, like the queen of Asnor.”

“Okay!”

“Go on then.” Nick said with a gentle nudge. Mina smiled and ran off to the kitchen.

“You should really get cleaned up Steve.”

“Yeah…” he murmured, “Look at you…telling me I’m a mess…heh. I guess we’re all a mess right now aren’t we?”

Nick sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “It’ll take a while before things get back to normal.”

Steve turned and looked at his friend. Nick was as battered and bruised as he was. He felt his eyes well up with tears and in an instant they were coursing down his face. Nick’s brow furrowed in concern,

“Steve-?”
“I-I’m okay.” Steve choked as he tried to hold back the tears “I’m fine, don’t worry about me.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m fine!” Steve growled “I don’t need you trying to be my nursemaid!”

“I was just trying to help mate…” Nick pleaded.

“Trying to help?” Steve yelped “You brought six refugees in here and you call that helping?”

“I- I thought it was the right thing to do.” Nick said. Steve put his hands to his face. He could feel the stream of tears mixing with the dirt and blood in his palms.

“I don’t …I don’t need more problems than I’ve already got!” Steve yelled “Can’t you understand that?”

“Steve…mate-I didn’t mean to…”

“J-Just leave me… ALONE!”

“I’m sorry- I didn’t…”

Steve ignored him and quickly strode off to the staircase. He could faintly hear Nick’s footsteps away from him and back into the kitchen. That was good; HE needed to figure out what he was going to do anyway. Steve paced around for several minutes, thinking. It was a mess; everything had been screwed up since he saw those white eyes back in Nate’s cart.

What in Notches name was he supposed to do? Steve wiped away some of the tears from his cheeks and stared up at the ceiling. His grandfather had told him he was supposed to save the world and go to Arathor to that strip mine. He remembered Nate talking about an ancient text that contained everything about Herobrine. But Horace had mentioned another one that explained… what was it again? What Nate could not? That made sense at least since everyone in the Lonely Dragon except him had died in the fire after all. But where was this text? Steve sniffed and wiped his nose.

“Come on…get it together…” he growled. His grandfather had left him the map, the sword, and the book. Steve comprised the mental list in his head. He had the sword but the map…he had left it in his bag! Steve cursed and raced down the staircase and into the living room. He looked around wildly before finally locating his tattered brown bag near one of the chairs. Steve grabbed it and rushed back upstairs and into his grandfather’s study. He threw the map down on the table and quickly found the rumpled old map, squashed under a few stale bread slices. Gently, as to avoid creating any rips in the map he brushed off the crumbs and put it down on the table. Then Steve turned his attentions to the enormous bookshelf that lined one wall of his grandfather’s study. He almost smiled just at the memory of his grandfather telling him that he only kept the thing around to impress his visitors. Thankfully the bookshelf held only a handful of books but was mostly filled by curiosities including a few silver ingots and several lapis lazuli.

Steve gave the shelf a once over and started taking the books off the shelf and putting them on the table. By the time the shelf had been relieved of its books he had a stack of nearly sixty-one volumes amassed on the desk and on the floor. Steve cursed. Why couldn’t his grandfather have at least told him what book he was supposed to be looking for? Steve rubbed his temples and surveyed the books for a moment. Well… on the plus side most of the books appeared to be pretty thin so at least it wouldn’t take too long clear through them.

One by one, the minutes passed by. There was no sound save for the occasional tick of the clock or someone cleaning themselves up in one of the bathrooms. After what he estimated to have been about an hour Steve had gone through roughly half the books and found nothing relevant. Although he did find a journal of his grandfather’s which he had previously spent far too much time reading. He put the thing in his pack along with a book about edible herbs and fungi that had been composed by his grandfather’s grandfather. Steve had a feeling a book about edible plants in the surrounding area would come in handy if he ran out of food during the journey.

At short length Steve reached the bottom of the book pile. Steve grabbed the final book and gingerly placed it in his lap, wincing as the binding grated against his wounded hand. He looked down at the book but there was no title. Steve frowned and looked at the binding but there wasn’t a title there either. So you’re the mystery book… he thought. The lack of a title gave him some confidence; perhaps this was the book that would shed some light on the mystery of Herobrine.

Steve opened the book and began to read. It quickly became obvious that the book was a family history. The table of contents consisted of the names of hundreds of family members dating back several centuries – the list was so long that Steve didn’t even recognize many of the names. Apparently the list had been organized according to date of birth as no alphabetical order was evident and his grandfather, aunt, and himself were all listed at the bottom of the table. Steve paused, he was surprised his grandfather had never shown him the book before – after all it was about his ancestry. But then again, hadn’t Horace told him that the family past had been unpleasant? I never told you about it as it was a memory of past violence in my family bloodline that I chose to ignore. Although Horace had said that in regards to his father’s sword but in a way it made sense that he would want to forego the family history book as well. Steve figured that the book must have been a reminder of the violent family past just like the sword had been.

Steve sighed and flipped through the rest of the pages. He had reached his page at the back of the book and still hadn’t found any mention of Herobrine or white eyes – let alone a picture. He couldn’t find anything his grandfather had told him about. There wasn’t any secret or anything as far as he could tell.

“Why does everything have to be a riddle?!” Steve yelled, throwing the book against stack causing them to fall into a messy heap. He shook his head and picked up the book and started looking through it a second time. Maybe he had missed something in it.

Steve rifled through the pages but there was nothing except for one sad biography after another of family members meeting untimely deaths or disappearing into thin air. Come on… where are you? he thought in frustration. Steve looked through the pages for a while longer before he was convinced that Herobrine or White Eyes was not mentioned anywhere in the book. In his rage he banged the book on the table, threw it on the floor, he even tried talking to it or yelling at it – but nothing worked.

“Damn it… why?” Steve cried throwing the book with the rest of the pile. “What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? Tell me! Tell me grandfather!” he wailed before sinking into the pile of books, tears streaming from his face.

Steve choked as he attempted to wipe the tears away, “Is that it? A-am I about to die-?”

At these words there was a loud bang throwing him against the desk. Steve cried out and slowly picked himself off the floor. He wiped away the tears and stared at the book pile, the family history book had blown apart around the spine. Without warning a chorus of voices exploded around his ears and the book simmered in a bright gold light. Steve tried to move but he was frozen in place by some invisible force. Squinting against the light he raised his hands up to his eyes as the voices began to chant.

Many centuries ago,

Before time and reason existed,

There existed three brothers of divinity,

Notch, Jeb, and Baez,

They created many things,

The earth, the sky, and the sun,

The birds, the sheep, and wildlife,

Yes these were their creations,

Notch then created a caretaker for all these wonders,

Man was his creation,

The embodiment of Notch,

Given a steady hand by him and intelligence by Jeb,

But they were not entirely satisfied,

Baez never had his say,

A quarrel soon ensured and Baez withdrew,

He created his own personal realm,

Into the hellish world of the Nether with all its creations,

Demons of fire and wraiths of the dead,

In his personal hell,

He created the counter to man,

One into which he poured his hatred,

His jealousy,

His wrath,

The one known as white eyes,

He unleashed his terrible creation upon mankind,

It was greater than all else he had created,

Killing without mercy and instilling fear into the hearts of all,

We were commissioned to do Notch’s bidding,

And to protect the lands from further harm,

Baez and his foul creations were locked,

Deep in the nether for eternity,

But the white-eyed man escaped,

He lives on the souls of others,

Through a terrible white orb,

He stole the bodies of every one,

Of our ancestors,

In an act of revenge that is never forgotten,

Every eighteen years one is killed,

Some have tried to stop,

What has taken place,

But there is no way but one,

However difficult it can be done,

With a blade of true diamond,

Dug from the mines of stone with a pick of iron,

Into the domain of the fiend you,

Son of the line must go,

And a portal into hell,

To avenge the deaths of so many,

Destroy the evil underlying the world,

Once and for all,

Your task is clear,

The destruction can end,

If your heart is true,

The reign of evil will fall,

Now go! And Notch be with you.

With that there was a loud bang and the light slowly faded and the book fluttered to the ground. Suddenly there was an explosion of light and a blast of wind punched him in the chest Steve stumbled and fell against something hard. There was a sharp pain in the back of his head and he saw no more.

To be continued…


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