The Birth of Herobrine Book Two: A Gameknight999 Adventure: An Unofficial Minecrafter’s Adventure
A journey into Minecraft’s past reunites Gameknight999 with old enemies.
Trapped one hundred years in Minecraft’s past, Gameknight999 struggles to keep his real identity a secret from the villagers of long ago, all while preparing them for battle. Herobrine’s forces are getting closer every day, advancing across the Overworld and leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
Furious at Gameknight’s unexpected meddling, the evil virus takes revenge, creating the terrifying shadow-crafters. He gives these strange NPCs of darkness the power to build super-monsters, servants of Herobrine that are meaner, stronger, and more dangerous than anything Minecraft has ever seen before.
As casualties mount, it’s clear that every last bit of the villager’s strength and bravery will be tested before the dust settles. And on the brink of defeat, old friend will appear with allies of their own, to fight by Gameknight’s side; will it be enough to win? But when it appears things are finally going their way, the User-that-is-not-a-user will come face to face with Herobrine’s most terrible creation, a monster from his nightmares he thought he would never have to face again…
Mark Cheverton is a former high school physics and math teacher, and the father of a Minecraft fanatic. He is the creator of the Gameknight999 series, action-adventure books set in the world of Minecraft conceived as a way to teach children the dangers of online bullying.
Excerpt from Attack of the Shadow-Crafters
Carver led them to the southeast, shifting from walking to running periodically to move as quickly as possible. Rather than heading in a straight path, the NPC took a circuitous path through the empty landscape, curving his way around hills and dunes. This made the trek a little easier and kept them hidden from any unwanted eyes.
An uneasy quiet seemed to wrap itself around the four companions. Perhaps it was caused by the tension generated by Herobrine, or maybe it was the result of Carver’s reluctance to go with them. In either case, the silence was oppressive and they dared not violate the troubled stillness. No one spoke nor did they need to; they were only required to follow their guide and find food when they reached the forest.
Glancing overhead, the User-that-is-not-a-user looked up at the stars sparkling down upon him. It always made him wonder what was out there—other planets, other dimensions? Or were they just decorations pasted on the ceiling of Minecraft to add a bit of mystery? Though he wondered about that, Gameknight999 never had the time to really do any investigating.
Suddenly, some of the stars disappeared. Surveying the sky, he could see groups of clouds moving overhead, blotting out the heavenly canopy. Thicker clouds were visible in the distance, with the solid grayish-white layer approaching from the east. Right now, the half-filled moon was still shining down upon them, but Gameknight could see it would soon succumb to a blanket of clouds and be blocked from view.
The noise seemed magnified by the silence of the desert.
Gameknight looked down and found he’d stepped on one of the small dried bushes that dotted the arid landscape. Pulling his leather boot out of the dry remains, the bush crunched again, adding another disturbance to the quiet surroundings. Standing perfectly still, he listened for any monsters that might have heard the sound. Fortunately, all was silent; no monsters seemed near.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Gameknight continued following the footsteps of the others.
“Maybe you should watch where you are walking,” Fencer suggested with a smile.
“Big help, thanks,” Gameknight replied, rolling his eyes.
They continued their journey, following close behind the stoic Carver. Suddenly, they were thrust into a deepening gloom as clouds drifted across the overhead canopy and blocked out the moon. Gameknight stopped and looked up. The stars and moon were completely covered, leaving a pitch-black sky. Then, it started to rain, giving the four companions a brief respite from the blistering heat of the desert, even though it soaked them to the bone.
“We’re almost there,” Carver said quietly as he wiped moisture from his flat forehead. “From here on, we go south.” He glanced at Gameknight999. “Keep your eyes on the ground so none of you fall to your deaths.”
“Good advice,” Fencer said.
Carver scowled at the sarcastic remark.
“The Great Chasm is right next to us,” Carver continued. “In this darkness you can’t see it, but if you approach slowly, you’ll see the edge and hopefully you won’t fall in.”
Gameknight moved cautiously to the edge and peered down. He could see an orange glow at the bottom as lava spilled across the floor of the steep ravine. The walls of the Chasm were nearly vertical and impossible to scale. He was certain there were monsters down there, but in the gloomy light, it was difficult to see any details.
“Come on,” Carver said. “The bridge is this way.”
They followed Carver as he moved along the edge of the precipice. Their boots shuffled across the sandy ground, creating a raspy sound that filled the uneasy silence. But then he noticed the faintest of sounds trickling out of the Great Chasm. Gameknight could just barely hear the sorrowful moans of zombies deep within the shadowy ravine, and maybe the clattering of skeleton bones as well. The sounds made the tiny hairs on the back of his square neck stand up on end. But as long as the monster sounds were so faint, the User-that-is-not-a-user knew they were far away.
“Here it is,” Carver said as he slowed.
“Where?” Gameknight asked.
Carver looked at the others, then stepped up to the edge of the Chasm and sprinted forward half a dozen blocks.
“Carver, look out!” Weaver exclaimed.
But the big NPC just stood there over the chasm as if he were floating in midair. Reaching into his inventory, he pulled out a torch and held it high over his head. It sputtered and sizzled in the rain but kept burning, casting a flickering circle of light that bathed the area around him in a warm yellow glow. A dark flat sheet of something sat under his feet. Tiny purple specks seemed to be embedded within the blocks that made up the structure, reflecting in the torchlight and giving it an almost magical appearance.
“It’s the bridge!” Weaver exclaimed.
“An obsidian bridge,” Fencer said with amazement.
Gameknight said nothing. He just surveyed the object, noting the design and construction. When Carver put the torch away, Gameknight could still see it, for he knew what to look for now.
It was a classic bridge structure with a long flat pathway that stretched from one side of the chasm to the other. Tall, vertical supports stretched from the floor of the steep ravine all the way up to the bridge, then continued another dozen blocks upward above the path. From the top of those vertical supports, Gameknight could see obsidian blocks positioned such that they formed a wide sweeping arc, like you’d see on a bridge in the physical world. The arcs swooped high overhead, stretching from vertical support to vertical support, giving the impression that they somehow helped to hold up the span of the bridge. Between the vertical supports that plunged down into the chasm, there were crisscrossed structures connecting the pair of columns, likely intended to keep the bridge from swaying in high winds.
Clearly, this had been built by someone that had seen a bridge in the physical world and not by an NPC. It had strong similarities to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
None of the supports were necessary; the builder could have just extended a line of obsidian straight across the gorge. Because the rules of physics were not fully functional in Minecraft, the extra supports were only cosmetic. This is very strange indeed, Gameknight thought.
Stepping cautiously on the bridge, the party followed Carver as he continued to lead the way to their destination. Below, Gameknight could see the orange glow of lava lighting the bottom. From directly in the center, he could see monsters moving about, but there were not as many as he would expect . . . and for some reason, that worried him.
When they reached the opposite end of the Bridge, the desert gave way to a thick birch forest. At the same time, the clouds drifted away from the moon, allowing the silvery light to shine down on the terrain. The white-barked trees seemed to almost glow in the lunar illumination, inviting the four travelers into their leafy embrace.
“OK, let’s look for food,” Gameknight said. “We should be able to find chickens and cows. Any grass you see, dig it up. We can use the seeds to grow some wheat as well.”
The group moved quickly through the forest. Gameknight and Weaver focused on collecting grass seeds and apples while Carver and Fencer collected the beef and chicken. After fifteen minutes of foraging, Gameknight noticed that the sounds of the forest had changed. The soft moans that trickled out of the Great Chasm were suddenly joined by more voices, though these new growls were much louder . . . and much closer.
“Zombies,” Carver said as he drew his iron sword.
Gameknight stopped and glanced around. The dark forest made it difficult to see anything. Reaching into his inventory, he pulled out a torched and placed it on the ground.
“This way,” the User-that-is-not-a-user said. “Everyone stay close together.”
They moved cautiously away from the growling sound. But suddenly, more sad moans came to their ears from behind; there was another group of monsters on the other side.
“They’re trying to surround us!” Fencer said.
He pulled out his bow and fired toward the sound. The arrow whizzed through the air and disappeared into the darkness.
“Wait until you can see what you are shooting at,” Gameknight chided.
Planting another torch on the ground, he led them away from the groaning monsters. Grrrrrr . . . another group filled the night with their angry voices, this one directly before them. Placing another torch into the ground, Gameknight drew his two iron swords. Now the growling came from all sides. His heart pounded in his chest like a mighty tribal drum as his breathing quickened. The sounds of the monsters, mixed with his imagination, made it seem like there were a hundred zombies out there in the shadows.
“What do we do?” Weaver asked nervously.
Gameknight said nothing, for there was nothing he could say that would make the situation better.
I was their leader, and look what I’ve gotten them into, Gameknight thought.
“Here’s what we’ll do,” Gameknight said. “As soon as . . .”
He stopped speaking when the monsters began to materialize, slowly emerging from the darkness. Glistening, razor-sharp claws reflected the flickering light from the torch, making them appear even more terrifying.
“We’re surrounded!” Carver exclaimed.
“Quick, everyone get back to back, facing outward,” Gameknight said.
“What do we do? What do we do?” Weaver said, fear in his voice. “Smithy, what are we gonna do?”
Gameknight didn’t answer. He knew they could do only one thing . . . wait, and then fight.