Search for the Arch-Illager, Part 1

A Minecraft Dungeons Investigative Report

Not a lot of people know this, but in my spare time I’m quite the stealthy sleuth. I’ve been known to crack a code or two, and have even solved a few major mysteries like ”Why do Jens’s snacks keep disappearing?” and ”Who’s been digging straight down?”. Yes, in both cases I did turn out to be the culprit but I don’t see how that reflects on my deduction skills. But this isn’t a story about me, I would never hijack an article to promote myself. This is a tale about a different culprit, and my quest to uncover the truth about one of the greatest mysteries in the history of Minecraft. 

You might have heard about the Arch-Illager, the nefarious villain of Minecraft Dungeons and mischief-maker extraordinaire? But what do you really know about him besides his love for amazing headwear and supposedly terrorizing a few villages here and there?

When rumors about the Arch-Illager started circling, I was the first (and only) volunteer to find out more about this mysterious power-house. Minecraft.net’s editor Per was surprisingly enthusiastic when he learned that I would have to leave the office for this assignment and even offered to help me pack. Such a helpful soul, our Per.

With a backpack full of rotten flesh and a heart full of dreams, I set off down the hallway to find out everything there is to know about the mysterious Arch-Illager. My first stop was the Dungeons team office, which I have nicknamed ‘The Cave’. However, this is where I encountered my first snag. For some reason, my key card didn’t work. It must have gotten demagnetized, there is no way that someone would have removed my access when I interrupted Mojang's morning meeting to announce my mission. 

Despite knocking on the door for a good 20 minutes and making intense eye contact with the developers, I was unable to get in. No problem, they probably wouldn’t have been much help anyway. It’s not like they work with the game every day. 

I headed back to the lobby and got out my trusty notebook so I could add everything I knew so far. My sources were the announcement trailer and gossip that I overheard while lurking near the Dungeons team at lunch. 

Hmmm. That was a lot of information, but I needed something more tangible. Where did the Arch-Illager come from? What motivated him to take that darn orb? And what salon does he go to, I need to get my brows done! I threw my hands up in despair and let out a very discrete, office-appropriate scream. 

I felt a hand on my shoulder. Archie– could it be you? Did you hear my call? I turned around and discovered that it was Joel, our Office Manager and Arch-Angel. 

”I’ve told you to stop screaming. It scares the developers.” Joel said, as he peered over my shoulder. ”What’s that? Is that… about the Arch-Illager? Oh honey, we didn’t think you were serious!” 

”I’m always serious!” I exclaimed. 

”Well, maybe I can help. Last week, we received a piece of mail that was a bit on the suspicious side.” Joel handed me a dark envelope before walking away, definitely not rolling his beautiful eyes. 

I examined it thoroughly using all five senses before I opened it. I found several newspaper clippings inside, along with a few photographs, and half a sandwich that I ate immediately.

Cheese and crackers, this was a major breakthrough in the case! I carefully inspected the article, making sure not to get any crumbs on it. This Arch-Illager seemed to have made quite the splash in his hometown since this had been front-page news. As I read, I realized that I had more in common with the Arch-Illager than I thought. I, too, am often misunderstood, mainly by other humans, animals, and automatic doors.

As I chewed on the sandwich, which was pretty dry, I tried to put myself in the Arch-Illager’s shoes. How would I feel if an entire village had shunned me, just because I dared to let myself get taken over by a larger-than-life force. One person’s corruption is another’s personal growth, as the old saying goes. 

Judging by the photographs, the Arch-Illager was much better off without those Illagers anyway. Look at the incredible oil paintings hanging in this majestic castle. And the details on the statue? Magnificent. It has always been my dream to commission an enormous marble effigy of myself. *cough cough* I choked on the last bite of the sandwich when I realized that I wasn’t just looking for the Arch-Illager anymore. I was looking for my soulmate. My search was far from over.

Stay tuned for part two as Sofia continues to search for true love the truth. 

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Sofia Dankis
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