The world ended, but not in fire.
I'd returned home after slaying the Elder, but when I next logged in to Valheim I wondered for a moment if I had, for some reason, appeared in a different location. This wasn't my house, and come to think of it even for the Meadows biome this was rather too open. Where were the trees, the rocks... the anything?
The world destroyer bug had struck, and left the land stripped down to nothing but base terrain and the sea. I'd heard of this bug, and indeed a few weeks ago it hit the world I've been duoing with a friend. I didn't see that one though, only heard about it afterward, and hadn't realised that it wiped not only everything I had done in the world, but everything in the world. It wasn't until I recognised the inlet where I'd built my dock that I realised I was exactly where I had logged out.
Luckily I had a copy of my world file saved. Unluckily it had been quite a few days since I last saved that copy. I was able to restore the world, but lost - aptly enough - about 24 hours of played time.
Due to the way Valheim stores data - characters exist in their own files, distinct from the worlds - I hadn't lost everything. My inventory was intact - and fuller than it usually is since by chance I hadn't offloaded most of it into storage chests since returning from the fight with the Elder.
This did lead to a peculiar situation. I had sailed up to the sacrificial stones before returning home and so I didn't have the trophy anymore, but I did have the Swamp Key that drops from that boss since I hadn't put it in my treasure chest yet. In theory I could - after rebuilding most of my base - go straight on to the swamp, leaving the Elder unfought in this incarnation of the world.
But where's the fun in that?
I restart games often - I've written about doing so in this game before - so there's something of an irony in this occurring now, at a point where I was finally settled on this world. It's not a disaster though, seeing as this is a known issue, and easy enough to avoid in the future since I'm now backing up the world file much more often.
Besides that, though I've lost 24 hours of played time it won't take me even half of that time to get back to where I was. I still have my bronze gear, which means I won't need to mine nearly as much copper and tin, and I know exactly where to go to get what I do need.
Rebuilding the base took longer than anything else, but at least this time I'm much happier with how the roof turned out.