The Abyssal Dungeon

by TheDeepDarkReef

Original HIATUS Adventure Fantasy Anti-Hero Lead Dungeon Female Lead High Fantasy LitRPG Magic Male Lead Multiple Lead Characters Non-Human lead Reader interactive Slice of Life Strong Lead
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore

The world of Vol, a huge, bountiful plane where the only constant is life, in its many, many forms. One such form is a dungeon core, a peculiar little gemstone, and the focus of our attention. Watch as this otherwise unremarkable gem awakens in one of the most resplendant places in Vol, an aptly named Mana Reef, and how it turns its simple hole in the ocean floor into something truly unique, all while the rest of the world is forced to deal with its growth.


This is my first venture into writing for fun, and I'm hoping to keep this running until I run out of juice. With that said, I very much enjoy dungeon core novels, and wanted to do one a bit outside the norm. Hope you enjoy!

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue: Birth ago
Chapter 1: Fumbling ago
Chapter 2: Meeting ago
Chapter 3: Learning ago
Chapter 4: Invasion ago
Chapter 5: The Dive ago
Chapter 6: The Cleanup ago
Chapter 7: Returning Home ago
Chapter 8: The Star of the Show ago
Interlude: To Mourn ago
Chapter 9: Growth ago
Chapter 10: The Little Things ago
Chapter 11: A Polite Visit ago
Rok Chapter: Crocodile Tears ago
Chapter 12: To Recuperate ago
Chapter 13: Montage ago
Chapter 14: Fruit ago
Rok Chapter: Bureaucracy and Memories ago
Chapter 15: A Day in the Life ago
Chapter 16: Open Seas and Frozen Reefs ago
Chapter 17: With a Bang ago
Chapter 18: Musings of an Idle Muse ago
Rok Chapter: The Big Day ago
Chapter 19: Larks and Lures ago
Chapter 20: Many ago
Chapter 21: Changes ago
Rok Chapter: The Teams ago
Chapter 22: Land and Sea ago
Chapter 23: Preparations and Surprises ago
Chapter 24: In Review ago
Rok Chapter: The Discussion ago
Chapter 25: In the Spirit of Change ago
Interlude: Word Spreads ago
Chapter 26: A Wyvern's Curiosity ago
Chapter 27: Tentacles, Tendrils, and Trials ago
Chapter 28: Crystals and Scales ago
Chapter 29: The Serpent's Quest ago
Rok Chapter: Discovery ago
Chapter 30: Partners ago
Chapter 31: The Murky Mustang ago
Chapter 32: Mysteries ago
Chapter 33: Riding ago
Chapter 34: Deeper ago
Chapter 35: Crystallized Consequences. ago
Chapter 36: Irritation and Explosions ago
Rok Chapter: Surprises ago
Chapter 37: The Changes of a Drake ago
Chapter 38: Night-Life ago
Interlude: The Fae of the Surface ago
Interlude: The Fae of the Sea ago
A Change in Schedule ago
Chapter 39: New Life and New Changes ago
Rok Chapter: Live Updates ago
Chapter 40: A Proud Man ago
Chapter 41: Sharks, Floors, and Spawning ago
Chapter 42: A Reptilian Rivalry ago
Chapter 43: A Clash ago
Rok Chapter: Jrake's Day ago
Chapter 44: Crabs and Sails ago
Chapter 45: Minding its Matters ago
Chapter 46: Sela's Misfortune ago
Chapter 47: The Noisy Night ago
Chapter 48: Shells ago
Chapter 49: Hatching ago
Rok Chapter: Questions ago
Chapter 50: Creations ago
Chapter 51: To Pass Time ago
A Map and Some Art ago
Rok Chapter: The Visit ago
Chapter 52: Singing and Searching ago
Chapter 53: Night Learning ago
My Holiday Schedule, Some News, and More! ago
Chapter 54: A Drake's Pain ago
Chapter 55: Bonding ago
Rok Chapter: Questions and Answers ago
Interlude: Payment ago
Rok Chapter: Closing Shop ago
My absence, and my apology ago
Interlude: Introductions and Farewells ago
Chapter 56: The Guilds' Worries ago
Chapter 57: Teamwork ago
Rok Chapter: Growing Pains ago
Chapter 58: Homecoming ago
Rok Chapter: Invitation ago
Chapter 59: Impressions ago
Chapter 60: The Visit Begins ago

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A Dungeon Core which is Actually about the Dungeon

The Abyssal Dungeon is entertaining read, which does several things better than any other dungeon core novel I have read.  First, the author keeps the focus on the dungeon and its evolving creatures, and does not let the chapters about adventurers take away from the fact that this is a novel primarily about a dungeon.  Second, the dungeon is shown as truly alien: it is not a reincarnated human, it has no gender, and it has only the loosest grasp of language and talks as little as possible.  Finally, the author avoids giving his dungeon the immediate ability to transform its creatures however it likes; the dungeon has to let its creatures fight to evolve, and its tentative experiments with deliberate changes are largely unsuccessful, which helps to slow down the pace of the book.

There are also a few ideas which are either completely or almost unique in the dungeon core genre.  There are several chapters in the dungeon from the perspective of the dungeon's creatures; there are chapters where not only adventurers but also wild animals invade; and

Spoiler: Spoiler

There aren't many flaws to point out.  If you need your stories to have ongoing character development, or a engrossing plot which spans the entire book, you may not like this book.  There are a few grammatical mistakes, including a rare few which leave a sentence completely unreadable, but these are few and far between.  I have pointed out the unique parts of the book, but there are also some of the same repeated tropes common to all dungeon core novels: D(?) to A ranked adventurers, a dungeon with a few major advantages, a dungeon fairy, etc.  Basically, if you are growing tired to the premises of the dungeon core genre, you may or may not like this book.

This has been a hard review for me to write, (because it is much easier for me to point out flaws than to list things an author does right), but at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this is now, bar none, my favourite dungeon core novel, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys LITRPG or dungeon core novels.

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Interesting, creative and well written

As of Chapter 24, I have caught up to the latest chapter and I have to say that this novel has stayed true to my first impression in that it is really good, like, really good for a dungeon novel. I found myself connected to the characters, I found the grammar to be very decent, I found myself on the edge of my seat, I found myself interested in the world. The part I enjoyed the most was progress, as with any other dungeon novel, I loved reading about how the creatures changed, what they thought they could do better and how they went about doing just that, I loved reading about how the creatures socialised, how some competed for dominance over the other, how the creatures trick each other, this novel brought me back to LLS and how the main characters changed (A creature evolution story), and that's a good thing considering it's my favorite novel out of the 400-ish that I have read on various sites, even after a year of having read it.

I really have no problems with the novel as a whole, not even minor issues. I would recommend this novel for anyone looking for an interesting and fairly unique dungeon creation story, especially if you like to read about how creatures evolve from a common fish or eel to something too scary to put into words.

The only problem, which I could see being rectified at some point, is the cover. I am going to be honest, the only reason why I clicked on to this novel was because I had gone through 50 pages of the recently released novel chapters to find a good regularly updating novel, I only clicked on this one because I couldn't find anything else to read, but I am very glad I did. Also, I would recommend you alter the description slightly to make it known that this is a water dungeon, before reading the first chapter I had assumed this novel was about a dungeon in some kind of black void or a black abyss, or space, not the ocean.

In conclusion, a really good novel so far, I hope it stays that way, also this novel has a really good release pace, better than quite a few novels that have shorter chapters than this one.

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Interesting ideas not compelling

review as of ch27

The style is fine.

The story is practically non existent beyond

Dungeon: "I want to grow, turns out it's really easy" Adventurers: "this dungeon is weird and dangerous, better let my gaurd down"

Grammar is pristine.

The story fails to present any characters in a sympathetic or relatable manner. The dungeon and his monsters are inhuman with arbitrary goals due to their total lack of experiences or meaningful struggles. Every adventurer character seems to only be motivated by fear of monsters and/or love of money. There is one character that is an exception to this rule.

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Been a very enjoyable read so far

Very enteraining with an interesting premise. An interesting and intriging take on a dungeon novel. Looking forward to reading more of the future chapters. Keep up the good work.

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Overall it is a great story. The only thing is that it show slight world building, but that it only due to the limited amount of chapters and the main focus being on the dungeon core itself.

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Great story and storytelling

Really really good!! Great grammar and pace of the story, and I love the creatures. Hope the author doesn’t drop the story and I hope to see many more creatures, specifically trench, creatures. 

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As intriguing as the premise is, the first few chapters are so bafflingly short and poorly formatted that my gut reaction is to check back in a few months for revisions and hope for a strong editing if not full rewrite. 

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More thinking/ Dialogue

So I’m on chapter 25 and while everything is good, I feel like there should be more dialogue and Ady should like actually have thoughts instead of objectives

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great idea, loving dungeon-building, bit unfocused

(as of chapter 56)

"The Abyssal Dungeon" tells the story of the dungeon core Aby that is the first ever underwater, more specifically in a mana reef. This special location not only gives Aby unlimited mana but also a unique range of creatures and also makes the whole world turn its sight on it when discovered. We follow the creation of vastly different water-themed floors, the arrival of adventurers that look for this dungeon's invaluable treasures and see Aby's monsters evolve along interesting ways. There are also glimpses of antagonists that want the dungeon for their own evil goals...

Style: The story is told in third-person internal style, usually from the dungeon core's view but there are also chapters and interludes following some of his main monsters, adventurers (often their last moments) and others. A bit too many of them in later chapters though.

Story: Like in many dungeon core stories, we have a core, a sidekick, dungeon monsters, floor building, fighting against trespassers... but the underwater location changes a lot of that in an unusual way. There is a great variety in scenery that we are able to see. In later chapters there is too much focus on the people outside the dungeon for my liking (just a personal preference).

Grammar: A few typos. Sometimes the sentences are a bit long and thus unnecessarily complicated but that gets better.

Characters: Most of the characters can be seen having their own personality, making them likable. A noticeable flaw is that many of the "prey" adventurers don't have any sense of self-preservation, entering deeper into the dungeon even though they are clearly too weak against their opponents, instead of fleeing.

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Well written dungeon story

Very nice so far. Looking forward to the next chapters