New Lusitania: State of the Empire

As I approach the anniversary of the ChickenPieCraft server reset, it is time to take stock of the progress made in building New Lusitania: The Pigman Empire. I’ve spent more time in this world and on this project than I have in any other Minecraft world I’ve played. And it shows, as I’ve been able to create some pretty large builds, some big automation projects, and flesh out a history and mythology for New Lusitania that exceeds anything I’ve done in past worlds. It’s been really fun and rewarding. So, without further ado, let’s start with completed projects.


Founded the Empire

First up, New Lusitania was founded. After about a month of initial work on the server, I took some time to evaluate potential locations for New Lusitania. I had some specific ideas in mind – savanna biome, a couple hundred blocks square, clear boundaries between other landmasses, some nice plateaus, water access – and those were of course modified a bit as I looked at the reality of the landscape.

Iron Farms

One of my first projects, once I chose a location, was getting an iron farm going. Iron farms are vital for any large redstone builds, for setting up beacons, for rail systems, and for some types of decoration, like iron bars. Over time, I built out two more iron farms. Each of these is built as a villager prison, with pigmen gaurds on four towers surrounding the farm. They each also have space underneath for other builds.


On that first iron farm I built, I used the space beneath it to carve out a stone quarry. At this point, I still didn’t have a proper mine built, but needed large amounts of stone for the first big build of New Lusitania. So a stone quarry was a necessity.

Stranglespire Exterior

My largest build up to that point, I based the Pigman Palace on Noodlor’s Stranglespire design. Building the exterior took quite a while. On the interior, I made some changes to how to get around (stairs and ladders), but otherwise haven’t fleshed it out much yet.

Wheat Farm

Under the second iron farm, the pigmen trapped a farmer villager and force him to farm wheat. This wheat farm has a rail system beneath with a hopper minecart to pick up and collect all of the wheat that is dropped.

Nether Hallway

Our nether hallway is a branch off of the main north nether hall that goes from spawn to the edge of the map. This was a fun decoration project that captures the design themes of New Lusitania in a way that makes a long hallway interesting, rather than boring.

History and Mythology

Along the way, I began to flesh out the history and mythology of New Lusitania. This is mostly recorded in a few blog posts here, but I hope to document it in the empire in a library at some point. Also, the history and mythology informs the projects being built in the Pigman empire.

Operating Pigman and Gold Farm

The first big project that is directly tied to New Lusitania’s mythology is the pigman and gold farm. New Lusitania needs a population of pigmen, which means it needs an easy way to spawn pigmen that won’t despawn. To do that, New Lusitania has a pigman farm based on the mythology of creation. This farm spawn pigmen, and those that are considered worthy (i.e. won’t despawn) can be saved for assignment around the empire. Those who aren’t worthy are sacrificed to provide gold for the empire.


The server has a common city east of spawn where all the players can create common builds and contribute to a larger, communal metropolis. At this city, New Lusitania has erected an embassy, with a map of it’s empire, an ambassador, two guards, an administrator, a small library, a balcony for pigmen worship, and rooftop gardens.

Witch Farm

The witch farm was actually built before New Lusitania was founded, and it is the one other contribution I’ve made to the server. Though not optimally efficient, it is a good source of glowstone, redstone, sugar and gunpowder.

Automatic Tree Farm (with containing warehouse)

The pigmen of New Lusitania love to build with acacia wood. Unfortunately, acacia trees are the most annoying trees to harvest. So, because the pigmen are an enterprising and engineering culture, they built an automatic tree farm that can handle acacia trees, as well as the other farmable tree types. This was a huge project that took a long time, with regular breaks to work on other things. It’s wonderful when it’s working, but when something goes wrong, however, it’s a pain to fix it. I broke it while working on this blog post by AFKing at it through a server restart. So it’s currently not operational.


The latest project has been to build a late game mine, with proper collection of mineable materials, a nice design, and beacons to speed things along quickly.

Ongoing Work

Most of this ongoing work is pretty obvious from the discussion above, but it’s worth calling out some specifics.

Stranglespire Interior

The stranglespire pigman palace is a great anchor for the empire, but it really needs to have a purpose beyond just looking nice on the outside. More work can be done on the outside, but it’s the interior that really needs to be fleshed out. The main throne room needs to be properly luxurious for the pigman emporer. There are two floor below the throne room that should house equally extravagant meeting rooms and treasure troves of the empire. The levels above the throne room also need to have purposes and be decorated accordingly.

Pigman and Gold Farm Design

The pigman and gold farm is functional, but ugly. One plan I have is to make the rail passage that surviving pigmen travel down show the four stages of growth that a worthy pigman can go through (represented by leather, gold, iron, and diamond armors). But there is much more than that which should be done. Outfitting the whole thing in the engineering ethos of the pigmen is important, and providing a proper entrance, storage for collected gold, and connection to an empire wide rail network are all items on the todo list.

Cow Farm

I gathered some cows under my third iron farm, but haven’t yet built my standard cow farm there. It’s definitely something I want to do, as it’s nice to have a ton of leather for books and item frames.

Village Market

I know where I want the village market to be, surrounding my northernmost nether portal and next to the mine entrance, but I’ve played around with a couple different designs and nothing has stuck yet. That’s definitely something I want to flesh out.

Repair Tree Farm

As I mentioned earlier, the tree farm is currently broken. I AFK’d there through a server reset and a bunch of different things broke on it. I thought I had it fixed at one point, but that just led to larger problems. A good filler activity, when I don’t have other work to do, is to go through and repair it. It’s somewhat tedious, but using a schematic to make sure I get it right is helpful.

Future Work

History and Mythology

The initial recordings of New Lusitania’s history and mythology have been written. But there is more in store. Fleshing it out and then tying it to the current design and structure of the empire, it’s architecture, and it’s social classes will be an ongoing project.

Populate the Empire

Only small steps have been taken to populate the empire with pigmen, and the only villagers in place right now are at the iron farms. Long term, though, there will be pigmen and villagers throughout the kingdom: stone quarry, cow farm, mine and entrance, stranglespire, tree farm, gold/pigman farm. Generally, the pigmen will be in overseer roles, while the villagers are slaves used for grunt labor, farming, and trading.

The Palace Boulevard

A first pass has been done on the palace boulevard that leads from the palace district to the central district. But it’s far from a completed project, and will eventually be the start of a full transportation network within the empire.

Nether Hub

The nether hallway to New Lusitania is complete, but it currently leads to a barely functional nether hub. That hub needs to be fully designed and put in place. The design will be similar to the hallway, but will also hark back to the actual layout of the empire itself.


While the natural landscape of the New Lusitania empire is quite nice, there are a few terraforming projects that would really make it pop. Deepening the main lake is the big one. Additionally, cleaning up the naturally spawned village, filling in many of the smaller ponds, and deepening and widening the rivers are all possibilities.

Witch Farm Haunted House

While doing the initial work on the witch farm, I came up with some ideas for a final design. I want the witch farm itself to be fully enclosed within a haunted house. That haunted house will be in permanent darkness because it will be covered by a spooky floating island that will house the AFK location, as well as the collection area for the drops from the farm. It will be a very large project, but one that I believe will be very rewarding.

Taking a Break

I went through the current state of New Lusitania in part because I’m going to take a break. Hopefully not a long one. I still love the vision for New Lusitania, and feel that I’ve made a great start on it. And stuck with that start for a year now. There’s still plenty more I want to do, but I recognize that I need to take a break so that I can come back to it fresh and excited about the challenge. When I do come back, I’ll probably tackle the witch farm project first. It’ll be a nice change of pace, a big project, and really satisfying to complete. It’ll be good after spending some time doing shorter, exploratory play – maybe some UHC, maybe some Iberia, or Biome Bundle, or trying out some other mods. I’ll make sure to share my adventures here.

New Lusitania: A Proper Mine

I like to decorate my mineshafts. I have an album of mineshafts I’ve built in Minecraft in a variety of worlds I’ve played in. Over time, I’ve settled on some common patterns: three wide shaft, stairs down to level 11, a branch on either side every four blocks (so there are three between branches), place a torch every ten blocks within a branch, make a branch 100 blocks long (10 torches) before starting a new one, etc.

Mineshaft from my Iberia world

This is all rather straightforward, and I’ll dive into some of these a little deeper in a minute. But first, this post is about a late game mineshaft. My early game mineshaft is all about getting those first diamonds, building up an initial supply of iron, and finding the necessary lapis for enchanting and redstone for automating.

But the late game mine is different.

I’ve been working on New Lusitania, on the ChickenPieCraft server, for almost a year now. I’ve built some big farms, explored the end, fully decked out my tools, weapons, and armor. I really don’t need much. There is a witch farm for redstone needs, I have three iron farms at my base, a tree farm provides all the wood (and therefore charcoal) I could possibly use, trading for lapis is easy, and my pigman farm gives me enough gold for powered rails, which is my main use for it.

Why mine in the late game?

For diamonds. But not for diamond armor, tools, or weapons. For diamond blocks.

Also for stone. Quarries work well too, and I have one, but a good mine gets the stone alongside diamonds.

Finally, to build a world. New Lusitania is a pigman empire. Of course they have a mine. Of course it is efficient. A proper mine is part of any Minecraft empire, so New Lusitania needs one.

Late Game vs Early Game

So, I designed and built a late game mineshaft for New Lusitania. What makes it late game, specifically?

  • Beacons. The branches where mining will take place are covered by beacons with Haste II, so mining is quick and easy.
  • Minecart dropoff locations. The main shafts of the mine have larger rooms with dropoff chests every hundred blocks, so there is no need to go back to the surface while mining.
  • A proper sorting system for all normally mined blocks and items. The dropoff locations route items to the mine entrance, where they are taken by hopper minecart up to the sorting area on the surface. This sorting area has space for all normally mined blocks, and a overflow area for rarer stuff that you might find while mining.
  • Larger rooms and shafts. Each main shaft of the mine is 5 block wide and is supported properly by logs and beams, decorated and nicely lit. Every 100 blocks, there is a larger room, the size of a chunk.
  • Bucketloads of diamonds. The goal here isn’t iron, gold, redstone, or lapis, though I do gather those. It’s diamonds. And it really doesn’t take much to load up on diamonds. I primarily mine the ores with silk touch, and then later go through all the ores with a Fortune 3 pick to get as much as possible.
  • Experience. With two picks (fortune III and silk touch) that both have mending enchantmets, I can continuously mine without stopping to run to an XP farm. Instead, when I need to stop, I start smelting all of the iron and gold, grab all of the silk touched ores and mine them with the fortune pick while holding the silk touch pick in my off hand. Finally, I pick up all the smelted ore. Doing that while not wearing armor makes it possible to get the most XP possible going to the two picks. Generally, proper mining at level 11 nets enough XP to fully mend both picks, as long as they are roughly balanced in their use.

Mining Mechanics

Ok, let’s look at the mechanics of mining:

  • I start a new branch every four blocks, 100 blocks long, place torch every ten blocks. I start each branch with ten torches in my offhand. At the end of each branch, I mine four blocks sideways to where the next branch will end. That provides a nice check when mining the next branch.
  • Use a silk touch pick and a fortune III pick. Balance them. Generally use the fortune pick for mining, but switch to silk touch when extracting any ores.
  • I want to build up to mining out a full square 200×200, then expand each edge by another 100, when needed.
  • I will build up to having multiple entrances, but only one sorting system. May need multiple XP farming areas, once I figure out an easy way to do that.
  • Aesthetics: I stick to the 5×5 grid, make sure the mine has support beams, fill in holes as desired, and I made the minecart system blend in, or be hidden.

Show Me The Mine!

So, what does this late game mine look like, you ask? Here are some pictures:

Future improvements

This is a work in progress. I’m still learning what works well and what doesn’t. I’ve already got ideas for the next time I build a late game mine, and I’m using this pass at it to try to answer some open questions I have. For example, next time, I hope to:

  • Figure out a good ratio of silk touch : fortune mining.
  • Keep raw ores that give XP below ground, use it to mend the picks. Find a good system for doing that.
  • Use beacons in the mining rooms to provide full haste coverage, consider how that changes the mining experience. Or place the beacons in the middle of a 100×100 square to be mined.
  • Adjust sorting system to improve ratios and properly store the most common blocks and items, like stone, cobble, coal, and redstone.
  • Figure out a good ratio of shaft length to branch length to beacon coverage: 23 tile shafts or 28 tile shafts or 18 tile shafts? I’ll spend more time designing my next one, now that I have some patterns I like.

So What?

What do you do? Do you mine in the late game for any reason? How would you set up a late game mine?

I hope these ideas are useful. For me, at least, they give me a purpose to keep building towards and provide a fun way to get there. Mining itself can be mind numbing, but making it go quicker, with clear goals and a beautiful end results, really gives me a sense of satisfaction.

New Lusitania: Born of the Fire Within and Born of the Fire Beyond

Brand has the strength to work and farm, the will to fight and conquer, the knowledge to create and build, the wisdom to lead and judge. But he is alone, Aidan having returned to the Fire Within.

He returns to the Door between worlds that Aidan had created. He uses it to bring forth others Born of the Fire Within to the World Beyond. And then they are tested, to see if they will be Born of the Fire Beyond, the fire that brings light to their eyes, knowing to their minds, work to their hands, and wisdom to their tongues.

The test consists of this: He gives them a Gourd, grown from the original vine that grew the Gourd that brought him sight. If those pigs born of the Fire Within are able to pick up the Gourd and place it on their heads, they receive the second sight, and are born again, born of the Fire Beyond.

This Fire lets them see Beyond, beyond the world they know, to a world of possibility. A world with of new creations, a world with new empires. A world where war gives birth to peace, where work gives birth to rest, where poverty gives birth to plenty, where words give birth to nations.

All who are born of the Fire Beyond accept responsibility for their lives. They submit themselves to work, to poverty, to the hardships of the World Beyond. They give their lives to a greater cause, to the cause of all pigmen. They suffer in this world to build a better world. They know they will not achieve it while they live. But they know that it gives them a reason to live.

Not all who who are born of the Fire Beyond follow the same path. Some become farmers and workers. Those with more ambition become warriors. Still others aspire higher, to become builders and engineers. The greatest of those born of the Fire Beyond become leaders of the pigmen, the elite of the nation, and true representatives of Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond.

New Lusitania: The Embassy

The New Lusitania Embassy is the face of New Lusitania to the rest of the world. As such, it is at the capitol city for the ChickenPieCraft server.

While blending into the city well, it also has a distinctly Lusitanian style that alludes to the Palace that the pigmen have built in their home country.

The embassy is staffed by four pigmen: the ambassador, a clerk, and two guards. They are tasked with managing diplomatic relations with the other nations of ChickenPieCraft, processing and protecting pigmen asylum seekers who wish to find safety in New Lusitania, and sharing the best of Lusitanian culture with the wider world.

As with any embassy, the New Lusitania embassy has a protective fence to ensure the safety of the Lusitanian citizens as well as asylum seekers. Behind the fence, but outside the building itself, are decorative sculptures mixing glazed terracotta, stone, iron, and plant life.

Inside the main level of the embassy, visitors can see great art from the Lusitanian empire, as well as a full sized map of the empire on one wall.

On the second floor is the embassy library, the ambassador’s office, and a prayer porch, where Lusitanian worshipers can render their praises to the Fire.

On the top floor are the embassy gardens, a quiet place to enjoy the beauty of nature, and also to enjoy a view of the capitol city.

New Lusitania: Tree Farm

New Lusitania is an industrial empire. As such, there is an entire district devoted to large scale farming, production, and manufacturing. In addition to the iron factories, and the wheat and sugar cane farms, the pigmen of New Lusitania have built an automatic tree farm.

Construction of the farming factory began months ago, following a design created by ilmango. After weeks of work, initial testing on the farm began, but those tests showed that the farm had not been built to specifications. After a few attempts to understand what had gone wrong, work on the farm ceased as other priorities came up.

Once manpower became available, the pigmen returned to work on the farm, this time using a new tool, Schematica, to ensure that the farm matched the blueprints provided.

This allowed initial testing to pass, and also further construction on the farm’s blast chamber and collection mechanism

Although each of these failed initial testing as well, use of Schematica allowed the team to diagnose and fix the problems.

Although functional, work on the farm is not yet complete. At this point, while it is a great benefit to the empire as it produces wood at astounding rates, it remains and eyesore. Interior and exterior designers will be commissioned to properly house the factory in a way that will allow future factories (cobblestone and others) to use the existing blast chamber and collection area.

New Lusitania: Wheat (and Iron) Farm

The second iron farm that the pigmen of New Lusitania have built follows the same pattern as the first. It is guarded by four pigmen, just as the first is, but instead of having a stone quarry beneath, it houses the wheat farm for New Lustiania.

A single villager has been forced to plant and harvest wheat, while a minecart hopper system beneath collects the wheat for use in breeding villagers and cows.


At this time, the villager occasionally dies to a zombie. Though the wheat farm itself is safe from zombies that come from outside, when they die, they can occasionally spawn a “reinforcement zombie” somewhere nearby. These will sometimes spawn inside the wheat farm and then attack and kill the villager. Someday, a pigman may come along who will solve this problem, but for now, they just don’t care enough about the life of individual villagers…

New Lusitania: Survival Beyond

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of the World beyond and hardened it with Fire. He crafted a stone sword and a leather helmet and gave them to Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to dig the earth, to cut the wood, to build fences and walls and roofs. To corral the animals and care for them. To farm the land and grow the crops.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of Fire and purified it. He crafted a golden sword and helmet and gave them to Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to fight, and to defend himself. To wield a sword and shield, a bow and arrow. To kill the beasts of the caves, of the plains, of the water, of the air.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of Blood and set it ablaze to create iron. He crafted an iron sword and helmet and gave them to Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to mine, to smelt, to work the ore and use the metal to build stronger tools that lasted longer. To plan out large projects, construct large buildings, and organize the world.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of Ice, beautiful and cold. He crafted a diamond sword and helmet and gave them to the Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to lead others, to inspire them. To create an empire. To reach out to other nations in peace and in war. To decide who would live and who would die.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now looked upon Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. He saw that Brand was a good Pig, strong and wise, just and merciful. Aidan saw that His work in the World beyond was complete, and He left Brand to rule over Lusitania.

New Lusitania: Marked by Fire, Touched by Lightning

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond looked upon the World within and saw that He was alone. The pigs beyond had been so changed by the Cold that they were no longer fit companions for the Pig. The pigs within were content, warm, and stupid. And so the Pig Who Returned From Beyond desired that others might see as He could see, know as He could know, and work as He could work.

The Pig brought some pigs from beyond through the Door to the hot World within. But the pigs were accustomed to the cold, to rooting in the Ore. In the world within they burned and perished. Then, the Pig brought some pigs from within to the World beyond. Most showed no new signs of life. They wandered in the cold World beyond until it swallowed them up. But some seemed determined to root, to grow, to grasp, to hold. They saw the pigs beyond and a Fire came into their eyes.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond took the first of these to His home. This Pig Brought From Within saw His books, but could not read them. It saw that the Pig Who Returned From Beyond would speak, but it could not understand Him. It saw Him build a torch and create Fire.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond knew that the Pig Brought From Within would need to have its eyes opened, its mind enlightened, its hands put to work. To do this, the Pig planted a seed from the World beyond. The seed grew until it became a Gourd. The Pig carved holes in the Gourd and placed the Gourd upon the head of the Pig Brought From Within.

The Gourd granted sight to the blind, for the pig looked through the holes and saw the World beyond for the first time. He listened and heard the Pig Who Returned From Beyond speaking, and as he spoke, the pig understood the words. He watched as the Pig crafted a torch, and set it ablaze, then he did the same, crafting a torch and watching it burn.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond looked upon the Pig Brought From Within and loved him. He gave the Pig Brought From Within a name, and the name He gave him was Brand, for Brand had been marked by the Fire, touched by Lightning.

And Brand, the Pig Brought From Within, looked upon the Pig Who Returned From Beyond and loved Him, for He had given Brand the gift of sight, of knowledge, of work. He gave the Pig Who Returned From Beyond a name, and the name he gave him was Aidan, for Aidan was Fire, father of Brand.

As they named each other, they each took a Gourd and filled it with the torch they had crafted. They placed their lighted Gourds in the borders of Lusitania, to burn bright through all their days in the World beyond.


New Lusitania: The Creation

The pigmen of New Lusitania have passed down the story of the Creation for generations.

In the beginning there was Fire. The Fire was All Things: Good and Bad, Light and Dark, Hot and Cold, Life and Death, Sea and Air and Ore, Pig and Beast. The Fire was Chaos.

At the heart of the Fire, a Pig spawned. The Pig looked upon the Fire and the Light separated from the Darkness, the Heat separated from the Cold, the Sea and the Air and the Ore spread forth and filled the World. Even beyond, the Fire burned, but cooler. And then colder. The Pig spread with the Fire and filled the World.

At the heart of the Fire, a Beast spawned. The Beast looked upon the Fire that had separated and hated it. The Beast loved only the Fire and wanted to become One with the Fire, after all things had become One with the Fire. And so the Beast sought to destroy all that had come from Fire, with Fire. To melt it down, to burn it up. The Beast reached into the depths of the World, and spread to the furthest reaches beyond it. The Beast separated and took on many forms, all of which sought to destroy and consume.

The Pig was in the World, and the Pig knew it not. The Pig was beyond the World, and the Pig knew it not. The Pig looked without understanding, saw without knowing.

And the World changed. The Sea spread out below. The Air filled the space. The Ore bounded the World and separated the Air within from the Air beyond, the Sea within from the Sea beyond. The Sea and Air within were Hot. The Sea and Air beyond were Cold. The Ore within was soft and rich. The Ore beyond was hard and brittle.

The Pig within the World was warm, safe, at peace. The Pig beyond was hungry, naked, and poor. The Pig within basked in the constant glow of Fire. The Pig beyond felt it only distantly, only sometimes. The Pig within ate Gold, the Ore of Fire. The Pig beyond rooted amidst the crumbled, broken Ore for food, but nothing like the Gold within. Over time, the Pig within grew content, lazy, unambitious. The Pig beyond cowered in the Cold, a shadow of the glory within.

The Beast hated the Pig, because the Beast hated all that had spawned from Fire, even itself. The Beast saw that the Pig had separated. The Beast was clever and wanted to consume the Pig within and the Pig beyond. To do so, the Beast used the Fire of Lightning to teleport a Pig within to beyond the world. And to teleport a Pig beyond to within the world.


The Beast was pleased, for the Pig from beyond came within the World, and burned. The Pig from beyond was consumed.

But the Pig from within, who went beyond, was not. The Pig Who Went Beyond knew the warmth of Fire. The Pig Who Went Beyond could not speak with the Pigs beyond, for they had lost their speech. But they huddled close to the Pig Who Went Beyond, keeping the Pig warm through the cold night. The Pig Who Went Beyond had compassion on the other Pigs beyond. He brought Fire to the Pigs beyond.

And he learned from the Pigs beyond. He learned to work. He learned that food could be found amidst the Ore. He crafted tools to break the brittle Ore beyond. He fashioned boats to cross the cold Sea beyond.

The Pig Who Went Beyond longed for the World within. He tried to dig through the Ore to reach the World within. The Pig Who Went Beyond dug deeper into the Ore, traveled further across the Sea, climbed higher into the Air. The Pig Who Went Beyond was no longer the safe, lazy Pig from within, nor the cowering, cold Pig beyond.

The Pig Who Went Beyond fought with the Beast. And the Beast knew him not. The Pig Who Went Beyond crafted weapons and armor from Ore and Fire. He and the Beast fought in the Ore below. They fought in the Sea. They fought in the Air.

Deep in the Ore, after many battles, the Pig Who Went Beyond found the hot Sea. Using a bucket, he mixed the hot Sea with the cold Sea. The Sea became hard, harder than any Ore. The Pig Who Went Beyond could look into the Hard Sea and feel the Fire, a purple Fire, a new Fire. With a stone and some iron, the Pig called forth the Fire and crafted from it a Door from the World beyond to the World within.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond found that he was no longer like the Pigs within. He was not content in the safe, warm world. But he was not safe in the cold beyond the World. And He could travel between the two using the Door.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond took others beyond, but only some were like the Pig, touched by the Fire of Lightning. Those joined with the Pig and built in the new World, the World Beyond. And they named their land Lusitania.

New Lusitania: The Pigman Empire

New Lusitania is something I’ve been trying to build since first setting up a family server for me and my sons to play Minecraft. But the seeds go back to my first ever Minecraft world. I spawned on an island with no food. Not understanding boats, I dug down till I found an abandoned mineshaft (lucky!), got some string, and started fishing. Once I felt I had enough food, I set forth in a boat, went straight north and ran into a savanna. So my first real base was in a savanna biome.

Anyway, months later, I set up the family server. I helped my boys get a spawn city going, and then we each ventured forth to create our own bases. After a bit of exploration I settled on a savanna island northeast of spawn.

The island was initially populated by a whole herd of pigs. My daughter loves pigs and so I decided to make the island a haven for pigs. Of course, in Minecraft that means it should also be a haven for zombie pigmen. So I began to build my base, thinking it would eventually become an island with a proper palace for the pigmen to live in, and pigs themselves would be protected pets, possibly worshiped by the inhabitants.

I even named a few pigmen that spawned from my nether portal and set them aside to populate the island as I built things up. Unfortunately, my kids lost interest in the family server before I got very far, and I burned out on Minecraft for a couple months.

When I came back, it was to play hardcore solo games.

After a couple failed attempts at hardcore, I tried one with large biomes. I slowly built up a small home in the large savanna biome where I spawned. It ultimately became the first hardcore world in which I beat the Ender Dragon, and later defeated a Wither as well. Before eventually losing interest in hardcore I had built myself a gold farm in the overworld, and once again had zombie pigmen spawning in my savanna build.

Later, while playing with Iberia, I respawned once in a savanna with a village next to the ocean. Over time, I started building it into a beautiful little town, by limiting myself and slowly fleshing out all of the buildings a proper town would need. Though I didn’t think to resurrect my idea of a pigman village at the time, I once again found I enjoyed building in the open landscape a savanna provides. Eventually I died, and in Iberia that means losing my build until I could stock back up and do some serious exploring. So a third attempt at savanna building was abandoned.

Full Album

But by this time, the idea of a Pigman Empire sprawling across a large savanna biome had captured my fancy. It lets me tell a story about why villagers are trapped and kept as bait for iron golems that are instantly killed. You see, the zombie pigman empire is a martial one, built on the oppression of villagers, who are kept as slaves. Some are forced to trade, others are used in iron farms, still others are forced to breed more villagers.

I wanted to do it right, and I wanted to share it with others who could appreciate it properly (sorry, kids). So when an SMP server I had played on a while back decided to reset (Hi ChickenPieCraft friends!), I knew that it was time for the Pigman Empire to be born. I also knew it needed a name, so I adopted the name “Lusitania” from Speaker for the Dead (a book about an alien race of pig-like creatures who live in a world that is essentially a large savanna).

I didn’t want the idea to fizzle out, or for me to get burned out, so I knew I needed to approach it differently. Documenting the progress in the blog is part of that. Playing on an SMP server is part of that, both so that I have a small audience, and also so that I can take advantage of the farms that others build to not have to grind as much. Fleshing out a bunch of different ideas up front was part of that. But also taking breaks as needed. Breaks like building the witch farm. There will be others as I go, which is another benefit of playing multiplayer.

New Lusitania is still a small empire. It has a protected iron farm, a stone quarry, a sugar cane farm, a nether hallway branch, an almost complete automatic tree farm, a wheat farm, and the outer structure of a palace. There is still a ton to build: the main village, two+ more iron farms, a port on the south side of the island, barracks, fleshing out the palace inside and out, gardens, a dense savanna forest, a proper mine, a cow farm, and much more. It will also have an embassy building at the server city.

Stay tuned and I’ll work to give more regular updates on the progress.