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A Crown of Broken Runes (ACOBR)

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Grian had a devious plan. He grabbed a single lantern, despite it being midday, and took off, the rockets leaving a cloudy-white trail across the light blue sky.

He dove straight down towards his friend’s base, pulling up just in time, and landing right behind Mumbo. The mustached man did not turn, busy with the task he was doing. Grian quickly hid, wiggling behind a mound of dirt.

He watched his redstone-ridden buddy eagerly. “Oh my—” he held his breath as Mumbo flew straight past his little dirt lump. “How has he not seen me?” Grian whispered in awe. Mumbo continued to do... whatever he was doing. For a few minutes, he simply hopped up and down, flying this way and that. His footsteps tapped on the stony floor, and the sunlight danced playfully around the building, lighting up the mossy stone.

Grian began to quietly narrate him, whispering with glee. “And here we see the Mumbo Jumbo in his natural habitat...” He struggled to hold back a laugh. “Seemingly thinking, as he bounces up and down with the use of his wings.”

As he narrated, Mumbo continued to dart about with his elytra. The silvery material would billow out, and then deflate sadly as the Redstoner immediately sunk back to earth. Grian waited it out, and narrated some more. “This behaviour has baffled scientists and hermits alike for many generations.” At this last remark, Grian cracked himself up, feebly attempting to keep his laughter quiet.

After a moment, Mumbo hopped a bit farther away, his back turned. Grian saw the opportunity and took it. He decided it was safe to try to sneak in. “We’re going for it!” he whispered to himself. “We’re going in!” With that, he slipped into the hole at the center of the base, gracefully gliding down upon his very own elytra to make not a single sound.

Revelling in silence at his amazing entry, he began to tiptoe about the base. Tall rows of chests lined the walls, towering high above. He made his way down a hallway, water flowing in graceful streams past wooden framing. He came to an intersection, and turned left, looking ahead at the glowing enchanting table and library surrounding it. An extremely old-looking book lay upon the table in the center of the room, and it seemed to be pulling strange symbols and letters from the surrounding pages. The bookshelves were packed with colourful tomes, and as he approached, the book on the ornate table opened for him.

Grian ignored it. That wasn't why he was here.

He inspected the smooth stone above him, and sneakily hung up the lantern. “If I know Mumbo at all,” he mumbled to himself, “He’ll just accept that this is there.” He snickered.

I’ll just keep adding things and see how long it takes him to notice.

He made his way back to the entrance, but he saw Mumbo approaching, and hurriedly hid behind one of the decorative tree trunks. A few tense minutes passed, with Mumbo hopping around right above him.

What do I do now?

At that very moment, the mustached man himself flew down and landed right in front of him. Grian panicked. With an incoherent yell of surprise, he sprinted past the astonished Redstoner to the water elevator. But it was the wrong one. He got out, and skidded into the adjacent bubble stream. After only a short ride upwards, he frantically popped out of the top, taking off into the skies immediately.

As he made his way back home, he sighed. “All of that, just to be rumbled instantly...”

~ ⬩ ᔑℸ ̣ ⬩ ~

Grian went for a fly. He dipped about the jungle, and did a loop-dee-doo, taking a breath of fresh air. He loved the feeling of the wind whooshing past his face.

He had been working on his base for the last few hours, and it looked... better. His hands did become sore from placing concrete, however, and his jumper had been sweaty, even a bit ripped in places. He had changed into some fresh clothing, and decided he might as well go for a fly around the server.

Grian flitted around to the back of his base, still a blank wall, and tossed some stones at it, which landed upon the ground in a sad little pile.

There ya go, some details. He thought to himself, and flew off, abandoning the work as usual.

He dusted off some of the concrete powder still clinging to his hands, and took off once again.

He soared over the jungle, staring in awe at Ren’s huge handmade biome, and at Stress’s mushroomy base. Then, he decided to go in a direction he did not often go. Grian flew over in the direction of Keralis's city.

Upon arriving, he couldn't help but stare in awe at the magnificent bird’s-eye view of the sprawling metropolis, but after a few moments, he moved on to Etho’s spread-out jungle base. He turned back about two thirds of the way, however, realising that he was almost out of rockets. He continued to fly but... something was wrong. He was falling... falling... he quickly checked his elytra, and gasped in horror as he realised it was broken. The torn textile tatters did nothing to slow his fall when he tried to spread them out. He panicked, flailing around, before giving up. There was nothing for it.

His vision went black just before he hit the ground.

~ ⬩ ∴𝙹∷ꖎ↸’ᓭ ̣ ⬩ ~

Mumbo was still hopping about his base, and shaking his head as he wondered what in the world Grian had been doing. On a random impulse, Mumbo looked up. He couldn't tell you why he did, he just... did. Something felt wrong.

And then the world snapped.

With a sound like thunder, the world flickered into something else. Tall black towers rose out of the ground where the forests used to be. The air filled with foggy purple mist. The sky went dark, and an odd symbol glowed in the heavens for just a moment. The ground became a pale yellowish hue. All over the server, hermits looked outside, shocked by their flickering reality, flipping back and forth between the familiar and the unknown.

Then, as suddenly as it had begun, it stopped, and the world was right again. However, a thought now lingered on every hermit’s mind.

What just happened?