Elemental NPCs that reward building/decorating/terraforming
As the caves of Minecraft grow more and more mysterious, it would be fitting to add a new type of NPC to populate them. Unlike Villagers and Piglins, these new elementals (perhaps made of stone and ore) would exist with the sole purpose of preserving and protecting the caves. They will fight any undead mobs (the unnaturalness!) and will only harm the player if the player breaks naturally-spawned blocks around them.
Where Villagers trade with emeralds and Piglins barter with gold, these new NPCs are unconcerned with material possessions - instead, they will offer players rewards in return for beautifying their rocky encampments with the wonders of the Overworld. Things like growing trees/crops underground, fighting off hostile mobs, and hanging up art and bookshelves will gain the trust of these subterranean entities, to the point where they may offer magical services in thanks - things like granting non-dirt blocks the ability to grow plants, transmuting ores into other ores, improving the durability of blocks, maybe even bringing certain inanimate objects to life!
We haven't seen a mob (or NPC) that rewards the player for building and decorating yet, and this would be a refreshing new addition to many survival players. The possibilities are endless with this new mob, and I think they would add a lot of variety and strategy to the ever-improving cave systems.
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