The next morning, I woke up and ate a breakfast of rations with everyone. A mostly silent affair, we were all preparing for what the first day would bring us. Once that was taken care of, I headed up to the first floor, keeping to my hidden path and waiting for the first wave of adventurers to enter.
Dungeon protocol activated!
Players will arrive to challenge the dungeon in five minutes. For the next three days, the following applies:
Experience will be deferred until after the dungeon is finished.
While no players are in the dungeon, all regeneration rates are increased by 1000%
There will be a 30 minute gap between dungeon attempts.
Any traps previously placed and triggered can be reset automatically.
Finally! As I sat there impatiently waiting those last five minutes, I filled a little bit of time double checking my equipment. The only really variable part of my gear was the bolts, and I made sure that the only ones in the bag I habitually used were the flesh ravagers. Bored again, I sat down on a stone chair to wait. Soon enough, I got the notification I had been waiting for.
Intruders have entered the dungeon!
Smiling, I opened a small peephole so that I could spy on the group. Seconds later, three elves walked into view. Two were geared out as rogues and there was one healer. An odd grouping, but it could work if the rogues could isolate and bounce an opponent back and forth with critical backstabs.
“Pretty bland so far.”
“We are literally five feet into the dungeon proper Chuck. Give it some time.” The healer spoke.
“Lilak’s right Chuck. Though it wouldn’t have killed them to put some torches out, would it?”
“Contact.” The lead rogue hissed, immediately freezing and staring ahead. Seems the elves had some form of darkvision, or maybe there was just enough light from the entrance to let them use low light vision. Either way, I kept my eyes off of him, just in case he tried to stealth. Sure enough, I heard him whisper, “I’ll go check it out.”
Giving him a few seconds, I turned to look and he was gone. Activating [Mystic vision], I could easily see the mana that cloaked him from sight, and judging by the lack of reaction of his comrades it wouldn’t break stealth. That was something that would be incredibly useful in this dungeon.
“Damn, that’s impressive. IT’S JUST A STATUE!” He called, I assumed slipping back into view. “So, this is what those drakelings look like?” His friends were nonchalantly strolling forward, and I decided to let them go for a bit.
“Damn, look at the size of that crossbow!” The healer mentioned.
“That’ll ruin someone’s day.”
“Alright, everyone got their fill? Dorian, you’ve got the most skill in finding critical points, anything stand out to you?”
“They aren’t really different than most humanoids. Watch the tail, that is probably good for tripping people up. Claws for hand to hand fighting if you disarm ‘em. Hrmmm. Other than that, go with the age old philosophy: If they have a head, they have a weak point. Still haven’t met anything that enjoys getting shot in the face.”
“Alright. Lilak, go ahead and keep our lovely statue here company. I’ll scout the path to the left, Dorian take the right. Meet back and we can both check the center.”
Making a hole in the wall, I couldn’t believe them. I was going to let them get further in before engaging, but having a defenseless healer was just too much. Once I stuck my head into the hallway, I froze. [Mystic vision] showed that one of the assassins was crouched and waiting, so I slowly returned to my hiding spot. I even went around to the other side, so that I was closer to what I was calling stair 3, the ones that would lead into the room with Codo and Podo. Making a listening hole, I continued eavesdropping.
“Well, looks like the first floor is completely empty. Don’t know what’s up with that, but there was something funny.”
“Yeah. They put in a gloryhole sized for a minotaur. Probably about the same height, too.”
“You’re shittin’ me.”
“Go check it out. Straight ahead of where we came in.”
“Holy shit, you weren’t kiddin’!” The rogue who had left shouted a few seconds later. “Lilak, what’d ya give me if I fill the hole?”
“Never gonna happen Chuck!” She yelled. “Besides, from what I heard you couldn’t fill it even if it was a fraction of the size of what Dorian said it was.”
“Hehe, she’s got ya there Chuck.”
“Oh come on, are you afraid of losing a little bet?”
“Fine. If I win, no more innuendos when we are in a dungeon.”
“Aw, come on, that’s too harsh. How about a month of no innuendo?”
“Instead of that, 30 dungeon dives, including raids, with no innuendo.”
“Done! And when I win, you have to do the fan dance to distract a group of goblins, and we get to film it.”
“What? What in the hell is the fan dance?”
“Seriously? Look, they may be a little old but the Star Trek movies are fantastic! Provided you stick with the odd numbers.” He muttered the last part. “Anyway, you get two giant fans, and I’ll let you keep on a bikini for modesty. Then you start dancing on a ridge overlooking the goblin camp, distracting them. The rest of the guild will clear out the distracted camp.”
“That’s embarrassing! HELL NO!”
“Chicken? Bwak bwak bwak bwak BWAAAAAK!”
“Alright, fine. It’s not like you can fill it with your needle dick. I accept.”
“Heh, get’s ‘em every time. Anyway, when did I say that I was going to use my dick? I said fill the hole.”
“What? That’s bullshit!”
“Come on Chuck.” Dorian interjected. “You know damn well what you were doing.”
“Fine. How about this then, the bet is the same if I can fill the hole with my head.”
“Grrrr, fine. Whatever. But this will be the last time I ever make a bet with you. Slimy weasel.” I had to mentally agree with Lilak. Chuck sounded like a dick, and I would hate to be any female character that played with him.
“What the? How is he greyed out?” Dorian yelled. Heh, idiot actually stuck his head in. Guess that’s one death out of their six taken care of. If I could help it, Chuck would be burning through all their resurrections. While they were busy going through the resurrection process, I silently snuck around to the second hidden tunnel so that I could figure out what set of stairs they were going to go down first. As I traveled, I realized I needed one more hidden tunnel, going from the tunnel the players were currently in to the one leading to stair 3. When I finally managed to make it to my hidden tunnel, I managed to catch the tail end of a rather heated argument.
“AND I DON’T CARE! He knew we had limited resurrections in this dungeon, and he fucking burned one on the FIRST GODDAMN FLOOR! And for what? He wanted to make a fool of me with a bet.”
“I said I was sorry.”
“I don’t care, I’m done with you Chuck. Look, Dorian. I won’t leave the guild over this, y’all are too much fun. But I’m dead serious when I say that I won’t go on any dungeon runs with Chuck.”
“That’s fine Lilak. I’m sorry too, I shoulda stepped in to stop it, and let things get way out of hand. Let’s finish this dungeon, and we won’t have any other mistakes like this. Before you say anything about not getting healing in retribution Chuck, I’ll go ahead and say Lilak is far too professional for that. She won’t let you die in here if she can help it.”
“Alright. So, three sets of stairs, three people. Do we split up? Or what?”
“Absolutely not. I have a feeling that this isn’t the only trap, so we are going to have to stay on our toes. Let’s head to the steps to the left first, then come back if we need to and work clockwise. And no splitting up.”
“Yeah.” Lilak butted in. “I bet this is the guy who wreaked havoc in the Kobold Warrens. He loves traps and attacking from unexpected directions, and his first target is always the healer. So I want one of you next to me at all times, got it?”
“Sure thing.” Chuck said.
“Not you, Chuck. Dorian can stay by me while you set off all the traps.”
“Sorry Lilak, but you know I have the higher perception skill. I gotta be the one to check everything.” I couldn’t hear the rest of the conversation, as I had already started heading towards the stairs they were going to take so that I could get ahead of them. I darted down the stairs, heading to my hidden hallway on level 2. I made a peephole in the wall, and had just enough range to see the group come down. By this point I was running mystic vision constantly, as I didn’t want one of those rogues to slip off unnoticed.
“Alright, remember the plan. Hmmm, looks like three directions again. Clockwise or counterclockwise?”
“Go clockwise. Better to keep the same path so we can retrace it later.”
“Alright, I’m off then. [Detect traps].” The rogue I assumed was Dorian snuck away, and I couldn’t help but wonder how he would enjoy my clicker traps.
“What the? Guys, I need help over here!” A panicked cry came quickly.
“Heard a click like a landmine. Chuck, see if you can disarm it.”
“Uh, sure Dorian. Gimme a second.”
“Dorian, what about your trap detect skill? Shouldn’t it have gone off?”
“Yeah, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t detect a pressure plate. I have no idea what is going on with this.”
“Dorian, we got an issue.”
“What now, Chuck?”
“I don’t see anything to pick. The stone sunk in a fraction, but there is literally nothing I can do. The lip is solid, the plate is flush with the stone. I can possibly get something in there, but it’ll be stuck.”
“Alright, everyone back. Looks like we are gonna lose another res.”
“Damnit. Hope it doesn’t hurt.” After a few seconds, I saw the other two return to my field of view. “Let us get around the corner here, we don’t know how powerful the explosion will be.” Chuck called over his shoulder. They were passing my spot without a care, and my eyes widened as I realized Chuck didn’t cast his detect tap skill! Widening my view, I watched with satisfaction as both players were impaled with spears from the ceiling. Not wanting to ruin my spot, I walked out and remade the wall behind me. Crouching down, I aimed my arbalest down the hallway where Dorian would walk out.
“Chuck! Lilak! Hold on, I’m coming!” He cried, panicked. As he came storming past the stairs, I fired a shot straight into his gut. “Oof!” The impact doubled him over, and he fell to his knees.
“[Stone grasp].” I said, using my manipulation to have two stone hands reach up from the ground and grab at his arms, though I only managed to grab one of them. Walking up to him, I circled around the side of his captured arm, and he couldn’t do anything but frantically try and keep me in view. “Congratulations. Your death will be the first I dedicate to Thanatos in this evolution. [Reaper’s Edge].” Grabbing his hair and pulling his head back, I decapitated him with one blow.
All invaders have been killed.
There will be a half hour rest period for the dungeon to reset.
When in dungeons playing as a monster, sacrificing players to the Gods is not allowed (except as part of a quest line). Your sacrifice to Thanatos cannot be completed.
Damn, there goes my plan to farm players for favor in the church. Of course, that probably would have been something I would need to email the devs as a loophole. Speaking of loopholes, I pulled up my email and started writing.
First batch of players through the tier two dungeon went fairly well. I like that when they get a total party wipe they lose the chance to resurrect. Does that come with a lockout timer on retrying a player dungeon? That also brings me to my second question. What happens if someone tries to take on the dungeon solo? There will be people who try it, will they get a title or something similar? If they die, do they get a chance to respawn at the beginning?
Just some things that have been going through my head for the last bit. Oh, and please thank whoever made the dungeon traps self-resetting, it will save a lot of time and effort.
Well, time to head up to the first level and cut out my third hidden pathway. Whatever dev came up with the stone manipulation and decided to give it to the drakeling race deserves a plate of cookies, it is just far too helpful. Carving out a curved hallway would have taken the better part of the day with mana excavation, and here I did it in less than ten minutes. I spent the last portion of the time I had sitting in the hallway waiting on the next group, practicing my juggling. The next group to attempt a run hit at exactly the half hour mark.
Invaders have entered the dungeon!
As I watched, a large group of people entered the dungeon. The human in the lead turned around and started counting, before speaking.
“Ok, looks like ten is the max for player dungeons. I want us divided up into three groups, make sure each one has a healer. Doug, can you hit everyone with as many buffs as possible? Specifically look into dark resist. Cathy, how long does your weapon buff last?”
“It’s up to thirty minutes.”
“Perfect. If your weapon doesn’t do elemental damage already, see Cathy. She’ll give you an ice boost.”
“Why ice?” Someone called out.
“These things look reptilian. Hopefully they are weak to cold, even if they aren’t they will get slowed a little from a solid hit. Never underestimate the power of slowing a creature.”
“Hey Corey, I can buff three people max with light damage, think that’ll be worth it? They are shadow drakelings.” The speaker trailed off as he asked the last bit, obviously uncomfortable with the attention of the entire group.
“Jim? Thank you for speaking up. That’s something we will have to check later, I want to see what cold does to them first. Nothing against you, just that Cathy has the stronger buff.”
I had heard enough, these guys were well organized but planning to just rush the dungeon. I ran down the hallway, heading down to the second floor. I took the nearest set of stairs, but made my way back to where I had finished off the previous set of adventurers. I would take out whatever group headed down that way first, then make my way back to take out the group at the other dead end. Codo and Podo would have to hold off whatever group found them by themselves.
Bio: I'm a chemist that gave writing a try, and loved the results. Everything is mostly for fun right now, though I might try and get some things published eventually. Certain traits of my daughter have made it into bits of my stories, and she sometimes keeps me company when we both have trouble sleeping.