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To craft the Dao of Pow, a dark and light shard is required from a dark and light mummy, which spawns on corrupted and hallowed deserts respectively. Unfortunately it seems that in my world there are only natural hallowed deserts, which means that I've only managed to obtain light shards.

The Terraria Wiki article for mummies indicates that it is relatively easy to create the biome artificially, but lacks any significant details on how to do so. I've experimented myself with small amounts of ebonsand quarantined in forest biomes, but so far no dark mummies have spawned. What is the minimum amount of ebonsand needed for dark mummies to spawn, and how can I do this without corrupting a normal desert?

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There isn't really a biome of that type. Ebonsand as an evil block just contributes to the Corruption "biome".

As far as I know, Dark Mummies spawn on Ebonsand blocks, and that's about it. So while you only technically need a single Ebonsand block, it'll take ages for that specific block to receive a random monster spawn tick, and then actually spawn the Mummy you want instead of something else entirely.

What I did was build a long Ebonsand walkway in the sky, and then I ran back and forth with a Battle Potion active. You can also coat an area with a 1-block layer of the stuff so that every monster spawn has a chance to be a Mummy.

Obviously, don't do this in an area that you're not OK with corrupting the hell out of. Ebonsand can produce Corruptors as well.

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You need to farm some corrupted ebonstone from the underground hard mode corruption biome. I'm pretty sure one brick will do it, though more might speed up the process. Anyway, go place the brick or bricks in the desert. Just make sure they are touching sand. Eventually the corruption will spread into the desert, and you have your corrupted biome.

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As mentioned in the question, I would like to avoid corrupting a normal desert because that will require partioning off the entire desert just to make the farm –  Private Pansy Oct 17 '12 at 16:11
    
@YiJang it isn't possible to create a desert biome AFAIK unless you drain an ocean. If you need a desert for water leaf farming (or something else entirely), I would suggest starting a new world and using that desert to do whatdver you need, and then going ahead and creating a corrupted desert in your hard more world. I always have backup normal-mode worlds available now for this reason. –  peacedog Oct 17 '12 at 16:20
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