So yeah. There was this Colosseum just around a corner. Which seemed like an empty, large space filled with sand. Nothing special beyond this. But it smells to the high heavens according to my gaming senses. It smells like a trap.
Because of that instead of drilling a tunnel towards it, I decided to procrastinate. After all, I was already experienced in such a task, my former life clear proof of it. Taking things for granted? Hoping against all odds to keep the status quo? It was my way of life! How many times did I forget about some important tasks in order to focus on some inane, pedantic errand I thought was deserving my attention? Like getting the perfect score on each level in FPS game, or making sure that my guild was getting the best stuff while doing raids through the night in an MMO. One too many - was the answer!
But that wasn’t a reason to change.
It's not like the undead would start digging underground to reach my sweet, sweet core, right?
Continuing this train of thought I asked Drones to move towards the hallway built directly between Food Hall and Ratling Warrens and to start tunneling west. There should be enough space out there for what I was planning to do and my scouts didn’t really find enemies or buried rooms that way.
As Drones toiled under my orders I could focus on more important tasks.
Like making weapons! Or rather living weapons.
Jonathan (Jailer Jonathan was a mouthful, so I’ll decide to call him just that) brought into my dungeon two very important things - firstly this humongous ax of his and secondly a functioning (albeit barely) undead brain.
After thoroughly checking both of these items I decided it was time to create some more minions. Ratlings and Lebirs were not enough in my humble opinion. And my opinion was the only one that mattered down here.
This time I decided to not leave anything to luck. Everything was going to be thoroughly planned. Firstly two large axes, similar to Jonathan’s were summoned - still made from pig iron, but what I can do? Each of them sported two blades, one for each side. From what I remembered in games such weapons were called Double Bladed Battle Axes, but this was such a mouthful too. In the end, an ax was what I would call them. Simple is the best. Next, I gathered two more axes, this time slightly smaller ones and then two even smaller weapons were made. These in order of height were - two meters, one meter eighty centimeters and around fifty centimeters. With the tiniest of them, I also made sure to add few hinges here and there allowing them to bend their… beards? I read somewhere that it was how they were called. Bladed, sharp parts.
All in order to create my newest minion.
Then I forced a metal pole through both axes handles - near the end, far away from blades, which were going to serve as “legs”. Then I added two slightly shorter weapons in the middle, fitting snugly in-between their bigger cousins. Of course, a liberal addition of duct tape was needed, creating spring-like appendages joining axes together. Now my contraption could “walk” lifting the larger blades on the smaller ones, just like a terrifying pendulum. And leaving scar-like patterns on my floor. But nobody was perfect. Between these “legs” I added the smallest blades, with grasper-like parts and, of course, a space needed for a brain. Right now it was only a machine with many slashy additions. I was aiming for a monster though.
With a flash weird, spherical thing appeared in my hands. It had small clockworks ticking away regularly and few blinking lights in addition to half rotten grey mass, lying comfortably in a bowl-like container. The small tentacles around it only twitched when I poked the lazy being.
That was the effect of my continuing experiments, a creation made after few more or less successful tries. Mostly less successful. I called it A Machine. The system had another name prepared.
Bileflesh Brain Contraption
An unholy union of corruption, Anima magic and insane mastery over mechanical sciences. It should not live, it should not move, it should not think. And yet it does.
This being is one of the first dark machines created by the mad intelligence of a dungeon core. By itself, it doesn’t have a lot of strength. However, its unique constitution allows for metal assimilation and control, turning it into the “pilot” of whatever machine or a weapon it's attached to.
Threat level: G-
Hey! That was rude as hell! I’m not mad!
At least I think I’m not?
Nah, who cares. Wasn’t there this show on TV, where they said that normalcy was dictated by the masses? So that means that I’m not insane - just different. Unique.
The last order of business was fitting this little guy in my prepared machine. As soon as I did it the container sported few tentacles which both secured it in the middle of moving axes and somehow melded with iron constituting its new body. Did I mention that these weapons were made entirely from iron? No?
The machine trembled, resizing few parts through duct tape magic and then turned around towards the way out from my core room.
I had the strangest feeling, wanting to scream “It liiiiiiiiives!” and such.
Instead, I just used Analyze on my new baby.
Iron “machine” made from uniting Bileflesh Brain Contraption and suitable body. Due to the type of magic used in its creation, it can slowly regenerate any damage and is immune to rusting effects.
This being has an unhealthy obsession with cutting and decapitation, trying, if possible to behead its opponents. Its hulking frame and clever construction allows for great speed on flat terrain but gives little control over tight turns.
Threat level: D-
Again… why the word machine was in quotation marks?! It was made from specially prepared parts put together with love and care, and therefore it qualifies for the title of a machine! Or even The Machine!
Uno is not amused by your snarkiness, System!
It doesn’t matter how much I scream and ask for a reevaluation. This nasty thing makes it clear that gods of this world disapprove of such inventions.
Yet I care not for their approval.
It’s time to mess around with other things - mostly my ability to create plant-like machines.
Machines, not “Machines”, ya damn Scrooge!
In the meantime, my new death machine managed to station itself near the Colosseum tunnel. Somehow I think that creating a network of tunnels out there would be mandatory…
Oh well, I will take care of it when the need arises.
For now, my new room was getting finished.
It was large. In truth the largest. It was even bigger than that trap room I dreaded to uncover.
And I was going to fill it with mechanical life!
The first thing to be done was adding my Electrical Chandeliers onto the ceiling. The source of light was after all a must. And these rooms were going to be both deeper and higher than ordinary ones. Five meters from floor to ceiling in the central point!
After preparing the ground few of the earlier mentioned axes were summoned by me and simply planted - with sharp parts above ground. Green needs to be upwards after all!
With a healthy dose of mana, they grew like real trees. If real trees had small axes falling from metallic branches. And metallic leaves with sharp edges.
I also tried the other way, putting blades in the ground - seeding them this way seemed to work anyway. A tree created from this idea was looking somehow similar to conifer with pendulum axes sprouting from the ground on the unsuspecting foes.
There were also knife-bushes which simply grew some sharp objects, but didn’t really do anything with them and small, acidic flowers which had veeeeery delicate stems breaking under the slightest touch. And when they did the surroundings were sprinkled with green, corrosive fluid.
Somehow while pretty much every single one of my creations had this silvery-brownish color palette the acid flowers were instead yellow. It would be normal if only petals were of this color, but it was the whole plant! I would understand gold, but piss-yellow?
Oh well. Who cares. At least the Anima-forced the creation of this acid-sapped abomination was not without its merits.
Now I had access to acid.
And before I’ll even start with acid traps there is one, very important thing that it was used in.
That is - the batteries!
The room I was putting all these mechanical plants seemed a little bare. All this hardship and no gain? I could be a dick and do just that, but my own creations seemed to thrive on the interaction between dungeon inhabitants.
So why not create a little, tiny-weeny battery and put it in the ground at the end of this place?
What’s the worst that could happen?
Then a sprinkle of mana. And some Anima for good measure - the image was really important before, it should be the same right now!
Then wait a minute.
And what happens?
Greenish machine-plant was created with an idea to preserve energy in mind. In its own, twisted way it fulfills that function. This dark machine initially looks like a small, weak tree with strange cylinders-looking fruits growing on its branches. It can thrive by absorbing ambient mana (both corrupted and pure variants) and can be used to create items that could work in a similar way. The plant itself, however, prefers to attack and digest living beings by using its draining abilities and tentacle roots normally hidden underground.
Threat level: E++
Really, System? This is a machine, according to you?!
Quick info: English is not my first language, so please expect some degree of weird phrasing and grammatical errors. Even Grammarly can only take me so far.
The Forgotten Dungeon story is a bit of a whim on my part. In reality, I'm working on a whole different project, yet fictions like Tree of Aeons, Exterminator Dungeon or Dungeon Robotics kinda tickled my fancy enough to add my take to the genre.
So here I am writing a story about a dungeon while experimenting on the concept as a whole. Let's see where this ride will take us.