It's one thing to hold your breath and try to break into an underwater cavern that you are pretty sure exists down there to bring back a few shards of prismarine. It's another to make an assault on an underwater temple. Sure these weapons made with the prismarine shards work well under water. Yes this armor loves the water and makes me faster. It's not enough to breath though.
For that I've set in place a network of totems. Base, then squid, and then enderman on top. I can use the loss of night vision as a hint to get back in range, fast, or else drown. Turns every attack down here into a hit and run ballet. I wait for an opening, peaking around a doorway or a wall, when spikes retracts I dash in, strike a blow as I pass and then return. Sometimes I build totems on two sides of a guardian so I can dash back and forth.
Eventually I solve the maze. I find the guardians. I slay them, and the protections on the temple breaks. Out comes the hammer. Down go more totems. The treasure is mine. Gold. Great greedy blocks of the stuff. The first I have owned. Rare, but I need little of it, yet.
The temple itself is a greater treasure. Many, many blocks of prismarine, shards from the lanterns still a glow with light here in the water, and a most curious treasure, multiple rooms of sponges. I don't have to take the entire temple with me in a single visit, I can return latter to pillage these remains, but I could have broken the entire thing down, had I chosen. I'd brought the right table to repair my tools, and with them made with prismarine the temple itself gives me the materials to repair them.
A silk touch gem is out of my reach, and even if I could craft one I've not yet made a sufficiently advanced tool forge to infuse it into one of my tools. That though is not an absolute block. Nither is an inability to enchant my tools. No, a head made of sponge is the key. While harmless as a weapon, it's very useful in a tool, as well as in my armor. As a pick it'll let me draw forth things from the earth without breaking them. Something I've been desiring for a while, even if I am far more likely to use this as a shovel for such things as grass blocks.
Hammer. Pick. Haste totems. Nearly unlimited resources to repair them. Time. Everything I need to get down to some serious work.
If only life was that simple though. I am completely out of andesite that I'm using to make the walls. Course while I was in the darkness, seeking deposits of this useful stone, I found something else. Quite a bit of lapis to take home with me. Perhaps I will find uses for it as well.
Maybe I should have marked the first of these blocks I placed. Some buildings have a proper keystone. With how often these walls are being built and rebuilt to get everything just right though I'm not sure I could even find where I started. This though is the start of the next section of the fortress. I didn't start here, even though there was a water block to work with, just like the other part, there was a cave I wasn't entirely sure about down there. That will make this a bit more complex.
I did a bit more work and then went down into the caves under the base. I'd spotted samples as I'd worked, some unidentified, but I knew if I poked around in the caves a bit I'd find something useful eventually. Nice to find a large amount of iron under the base, easily brought back out to the surface.
A chest, lava, and time. With those all the iron I found will become blocks, easily stored and used latter. My time divides between working on the walls, clearing spaces, pouring blocks and getting more andasite from the lands of darkness.
This establishes the separation from the front of the fortification from the rest of the castle. Or at least I think it will. There was an intrusion near the surface of the mountain that had overgrown with dirt, a grassy swath that ran down from the top of the peaks down to the other side. I've preserved some of it while keeping the idea of my base here.
That storage wall isn't a wall anymore, almost more space behind it instead of infront of it now, going to have to move it the next time these walls stop moving. One hammer stroke at a time I make more and more space. Someday there will be floors, sometime there might be towers and turrets and guards. For now there is only myself and this work.
Further into the new section, leaving stairs behind as I carve away the stone. Faster to dig down, once you know what's below you. Cut across, cut down, clear away the earth.
With patience any structure can be built. With time anything can come down. I've used both and turned a mountain into a fortification. A base to live within, build within, and work on my projects.
I've been using some of the gold that I looted from the temple to make a few casts but mostly I've been using clay. This is perhaps the most important of the casts and maybe the one I should have made first. So many clay buckets I won't have to make anymore to move lava with just one bucket of iron. Such an improvement, but I was caught up in my building and didn't notice.
Likewise I should have noticed that I could do better with the faucet. I've had glass, and I've had iron for a while. Why not just make one of these instead? As long as I've got the right number in the chest I'll get nice even blocks as a result. Sand into glass by the stack without having to be there. Yes. Please.
With gold less rare, I could make more casts, more parts and worry less about having to melt the clay for one time projects. So I went out with the glass melting down to where I had samples that I'd not been able to identify before, and found that one of them was gold. It was quite a bit of work to locate the vein, but once I did, it was an embarrassment of riches.
It's not even. It's not neat. I'm still proud of my work. It fits in with the beautiful world around it and is a part of it, growing from it. I'm proud of it, and it is mine.