Thieves' Dungeon

by NoDragons

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

When a Dungeon Core acquires a taste for beautiful jewels, it sets out to become a criminal kingpin, operating from the sewers beneath the city. Updates daily / 3x on weekends.

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
0.1 Awakened ago
0.2 Serpent's Den ago
0.3 Betrayals ago
0.4 Argent ago
0.5 Gardening ago
0.6 The Night Market ago
0.7 Contract ago
0.8 The Storm ago
0.9 The Adventurers ago
0.10 Blood In The Water ago
0.11 Adamant ago
0.12 Growth ago
0.13 Just Like That ago
0.14 First Contact ago
0.15 Overflow ago
1.1 Plans Within Plans ago
1.2 Legitimate Business ago
1.3 Many Question & Few Answers ago
1.4 Foundations ago
1.5 According to Plan ago
1.6 Red Alchemy ago
1.7 Confrontations ago
1.8 Olin's Masterpiece ago
1.9 Normality ago
1.10 Bells and Lies ago
1.11 Gleam and Greed ago
1.12 A Few Small Stories ago
1.13 A Message ago
1.14 The Everforest ago
1.15 A Challenge ago
1.16 Battle Lines ago
1.17 Diverging Paths ago
1.18 Filthy Rich ago
1.19 Midnight ago
1.20 Underhanded ago
1.21 Moonlight ago
1.22 Incursion ago
1.23 Relative Mercy ago
1.24 Just Desserts ago
1.25 Fortifications ago
1.26 Allegiances ago
1.27 Honor Among Thieves ago
1.28 Delve ago
1.29 Fortune Favors the Bold ago
1.30 Fresh Canvas ago
1.31 Men Plan, Gods Laugh ago
1.32 Into the Fire ago
1.33 Forge ago
1.34 Promises, Promises ago
1.35 Craftsmanship ago
1.36 Plans and Predictions ago
1.37 Pick Your Poison ago
1.38 The Serpentine ago
1.39 The Night of White Fires ago
1.40 The Underqueen ago
1.41 Seven-Fold Tower ago
1.42 Deus Ex Machina ago
1.43 Thirty Days ago
1.44 Pretty Clouds ago
1.45 Ironclad ago
1.46 Freedoms ago
1.47 What the Rats Saw ago
1.48 Familiar Faces ago
1.49 Velum and Salt ago
1.50 The Free Men ago
1.51 Forced March ago
1.52 Control ago
1.53 Aftermath ago
1.54 Ash ago
1.55 Cold Fear ago
1.56 Stories Old & New ago
1.57 Best Served Cold ago
1.58 Easy Prey ago
1.59 Titans ago
1.60 The Parting of Ways ago
2.1 A Rude Awakening ago
2.2 Last Chance ago
2.3 Earth and Sky ago
2.4 Cowardice ago
2.5 Rivalry ago
2.6 Lures and Traps and Shiny Things ago
2.7 Freakshow ago
2.8 Poisoned ago
2.10 Nadir ago
2.11 The Nameless ago
2.12 Excerpts I ago
2.13 Soldier of Fortune ago
2.14 Into Chaos ago
2.15 The Tides ago
2.16 Through Other Eyes ago
2.17 Peace ago
2.18 Lord-Protector ago
2.19 A Fine Mess ago
2.20 Un-Dragon ago
2.21 Wayward Son ago
2.22 Tribute ago
2.23 Destination ago
2.24 New Horizons ago
2.25 The Heroes ago
2.26 Fire-Blossom ago
2.27 First Culling ago
2.28 For Glory ago
2.29 Prey and Predator ago
2.30 Convergence ago
2.31 On Borrowed Time ago
2.32 Into the Night ago
2.33 Mutual Annihilation ago
Epilogue .1 ago

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Is it a rat? Is it a snake? No, it's a dungeon core!

Reviewed at: 0.5 Gardening

Well I can tell from the first chapters (up to 0.5) that this story is a hit! There are a few points in the chapters where I've spotted a few typos, but nobody is immune to those little scourges.

[Insert dungeon name here] is a core that was inspired by the ring he adorned to make his dungeon sssssssssnake themed. So five stars, because snakes are awesome. Though ironically, the nameless dungeon core has named his followers.

And it's weird that the author can convey the personalities of simple creatures like rats and snakes with no dialogue. Impressive, to say the least. I've grown attached to the characters in the short amount of time I've known them, and I'll definitely be favoriting this one.

If you're a fan of in-site references, ingenuity, and originality, then this is the dungeon core novel for you. A good start for anybody who hasn't read a dungeon core novel before, too, since it's explained well enough for both beginners and veterans! It's also very well paced, so you don't find yourself getting bored at all. In fact, it makes me want to write my own novel... I'll be back!

l nimbus

No honor among thieves.

Reviewed at: 2.5 Rivalry

This is going to be a toughie. My review skills might be not inconsiderable, but attempting to explain why people who dislike the genre should give this one a shot is going to be stiff competition. I myself dislike most dungeoncore stories, but even I had to grudginly admit that Thieves' Dungeon is much deeper and thought-out than I had expected. Not only character-wise, but with its world/dungeon building, lore and world.


 A rather large amount of time, love and effort was put into this story, and it's plainly recognizable to those who look. There ARE some thing I will contest, but for the most part, it's excellent. It's also the case of a good story that grows into a great story over time, the writing steadily improving. So, let's get down to the story, and why YOU, even if you dislike core stories, might be compelled to give it a try.



  This one actually plays out differently, with a lot of polish in the writing. Instead of the usual shtick (Stuck in the middle of nowhere, all the time in the world to prepare and yada yada blah) The story starts off strong and stays that way. My interest dipped a tiny bit now and then, but I have to acknowledge that the world building and plot are strong. Unlike many stories, the author doesn't makethe mistake of focusing only on the dungeon, and nothing but the dungeon.  

  Instead, the city above and other locations are often explored as well, each with their own lore and the like. The series of events we follow throigh the story makes sense, with reasons and thought behind them from all sides. Again, the mistake of the dungeon's enemies wallowing in arrogance/stupidity is not made. And that makes this story all the more enjoyable.

  Said events are brought forth at a good pace, and often serve to break up the other aspects of the story. Namely, the pages upon pages of dungeon growth. Entaining growth, yes, but still; page after page.

  There's also the feeling of the core being TOO versatile/strong. It's not blatently as bad as other series, but it's still there. In the entire series, it's faced serious threats exactly twice. Right off the bat and then the Earth Elementals. Anything else has been quickly swept aside. There's just TOO much going for the core. Poison sleep/effects everywhere, insta-kill monsters, etc etc. At this point, I don't believe that anything short of an entire, heavily armed army with perfect blueprints AND enough siege weapons to level Mordor could pose a reasonable threat. Even then, most of them would die horrible deaths, seeing as how they probably spent too much of their budget on high explosives and severly undercut their jewelry needs.



  Good and gooder. I don't spend too much time on style, but the writing is rather good. So much that the chapters by guest authors, while good, don't quite live up, style-wise. It's easy to read and to imagine. This helps when more than a bit of time is spent on describing things and creatures.

  My only complaint is that action scenes are very short and often abrupt, ignoring small actions in favor of overarching happenings. But, this isn't the story I'm writing, so I'll clam up about it.



  Great. Enough said. Moving on.


Characters: a rampant muderhobo. Most of his creations are rampant murderhobos. Alright, hold up a second. Before ya'll start leaving, here me out. See, it all actually makes sense.

  UNLIKE so many other stories where the core is a human/dwarf/braindead idiot who dies and winds up as a core, THEN suddenly decides that everything is walking, smiling, shitting exp points..this story has a point.

  Unlike all those secret psychopaths who stop pretending that they even know what a moral compass is (nevermind Ethical Relativity, kay?) and suddenly seeing everything as KILLYKILLKILL, contrary to them being around living people all their lives and having ZERO provlem with being the monster, THIS story has a point.

Core and Co never were human/dwarf/braindead idiots (scratch that last one.). Core was, well, a core. It follows it’s programming. And it’s programming is to kill people in a way that benefits it, or to screw them over in deals in a way that benefits it. You may be asking, Izzis a joke?

It isn’t.

And it makes sense. Core was created to be a core. It is a dungeon core. Oh, funny and with flaws, with its own unique humor and depths. Its surprisngly deep at times, and very capable of love towards others, as experienced by how it treats its creations. Not the fake affection most cores show their creations in other stories, rewarding them now and then for being good little exp machines, but actual affection and worry. Its one of the reasons I kept reading on and on.

Not saving one of its monster that was in trouble because: Oh, it would be too troublesome to build another or some such steaming mound of horseshit, but because it actually cares.

Ahem. Got a wee bit ranty there, didn’t I?

Anyway, Core's creations are in themselves well fleshed out, with their own personalities or lack thereof. Even antagonists, side characters and people we see once and never again are wonderfully fleshed out, flawed and likeable/hateable in turn.I feel that far too many dungeon stories make the mistake of creating antagonists who are gibbering twits with all the knowledge, experience and thought processes of a two year old child.

That mistake isn’t made here.


It's good. Really good. Steadily improved with time, and it managed to hook me, an avid disliker of core stories. I suggest you give this one a try.

Like or hate, you have to agree that the author knows what he's doing. Lets keep it that way, eh?


A dungeon story that differs from most, come read!

Reviewed at: 1.41 Seven-Fold Tower

Well, now this is a different and very promising dungeon core story, definitely a fresh breath of air on this site. It is simply better than most, just with how the pacing in this story is handled. Definitely worth a read and one i will enjoy for sure.

By a series of events, involving the city underworld's leader comissioning to create a special ring with a mana source embedded in it, he gets the jeweler killed to keep it a secret, but in turn gets killed himself, and the ring is hid in the sewers, from the sight of everyone, a dungeon core finds itself awaking in the sewers of the city, the fresh dungeon core quickly gathers minions from the existing fauna of the sewers and builds his dungeon, but then finds himself in danger, for his envivornment is not friendly to dungeons, and the city's underworld hasnt completely forgotten that something valueable disappeared months ago in the sewers, and many are interested in claiming that for themselves, faced with such threats, the core has to adapt, or be either enslaved or destroyed.

The MC (who has no name yet) is a sentient dungeon core, who became such by special circumstances surrounding his creation, this leads to a different type of MC, one that is not afraid to do every trick required to survive, to remain as a independent dungeon core making his name in the underworld of the city, he is not afraid at interaction with humans and other races, to the point of having subordinates like a crimical gang, but still is cautious of them, because they can form a threat to himself.

A thing i rather liked is that this story gives basic dungeon monsters like snakes, rats a personality through just their actions and interactions. Its rather novel.

This story does the dungeon trope better than most dungeon stories i have seen so far. Having the MC not being a person reincarnated as a dungeon core helps a lot, since that generally comes with morality baggage. There is also the fact that this story generally skips most of the dungeon building, spending far fewer words to it than usual, it rather goes for the action very fast, with the MC interacting with the outside world, in part this is due to the circumstances around the creation of his core, and the location he is in, so he is basically forced to do so, still quite the fresh breath of air.

The dungeon system is a bit different, with few stats being used, and the 'generic' upgrade system for the dungeon is barely used at all in this story, rather the MC can choose traits when levelling, or could get a randomized one, with no way to predict what it will be. The monster choice is also nice,, with the MC going for something different for his dungeon monsters.

Not much outside of the dungeon has been shown so far, i know thats eventually set to change, especially due how the MC interacts with the world.

Flawless grammar overall, maybe noticed only one typo in this story, the author really thoroughly checks the story to make sure almost nothing slips by. And even if one does, those generally do not bother reading at all.

The writing style here works very well for the story, overall its easy to read, with barely any parts where the reader is left confused as to what is happening in the story. The pace is rather fast for a dungeon story, leaving much of the usual dungeon stuff out of the story, thus in my opinion, improving the overall quality of the story by a huge margin. Making it overall one of the best written dungeon stories on this site.

A additional thing is that currently the pace of releases is very fast, 3 a day, which i consider a big bonus, and a handy treat for people who want to read more chapters. However it remains to be seen if the author can keep writing this story.

Certainly a story i can recommend to many readers, this is simply perfect for those who want a different kind of dungeon story, veterans of the genre, who have read many dungeon stories, with that often leading to disappointment as the story bogs itself down, will really like this. Also recommended for readers who want to try their first dungeon story, this is simply easy to read and doenst have much of the complicated mechanics other dungeon stories have.



Like an adventurer is attracted by glittering gemstones, i am attracted by good stories. Thieves' Dungeon seems to have the potential to be one. 

This opinion isn't based on its plot, characters or themes (we are only on the 3rd chapter so we don't have a good feel for those yet), but on how it manages to avoid many of the problems dungeon stories have.

The beginning of dungeon stories are always hard to get trough. This is mostly because they all begin in roughly the same way only really deviating when other characters are brought into the mix. 

Thieves' Dungeon cuts out much of the usual fluff in the beginning (waking up, learning about itself and its powers etc etc) and progresses the story at a fast pace giving us the stuff we actually do care about (cool powers/setting, interactions with other characters etc etc) in a way that makes sense, managing to catch my attention right from the start. 

I also have to give a nod at the authors good writing, managing to make the internal mologuing of the dungeon entertaining to read. 

I don't know how good this story will turn out to be, it still has many hurdles to climb, especially since it is writing in a hard genre. I will say however that it has begun very strongly and is heading towards a good direction. 

Long story short; i will be following this story and i think you should too. 



Every once in awhile I find stories on Royalroad that are head and shoulders above the rest for one reason or another. This is one of them. It has tons of personality and imagination, something vital for any story but dungeon stories in particular. I was drawn in almost immediately and am looking forward to more.


Initial review (as of 1.9)

Reviewed at: 1.9 Normality

My first critic was after 3 chapters. Now, as from chapter 1.9, I must admit that the development of the story has surpassed my first impressions. I read these last years many tales of dungeons, this one is apart and above others: the first originality is the emplacement of the dungeon, in the sewers of a big city, the Unnamed has thence many interesting possibilities of interacting with persons others that adventurers and has also access at all the ressources from a city.

The second has I said in my initial review is it’s search of the beauty ( and accessorily jewels.

The third is his choice of close supporters : serpent, rat and golem and their evolution.


I read the first three chpters just after publication. I will wait to make an advanced review until a dozen of chapters are available

First impressions : A dungeon interested by beauty residing in the sewers of a town is a new variation in the dungeon stories. Spelling or syntar errors aren't apparent

A little critic on the story : the core benefits of many blessings at first, don't overpower him.

Initial conclusion, I woill follow and favorite the story after reading hree chapters.





More Than A Story, A True Dungeon!

Reviewed at: 1.34 Promises, Promises

If a famous author saw this story there won't be enough words to express what this feast is. Although not the best thing to represent it, I will add a little poem to summarize what it's all about. 

A rat, a golem and a snake beside,
A greedy gem awaits inside, 
Enter, stranger, but take heed,
The only thief surviving here is greed. 

Pay it dearly or with life, 
It doesn't matter, you'll not survive, 
Search for treasures, search for strife, 
But only appreciate the way you live. 

Welcome thieves,
Welcome rats, 
Take your knives, 
A gem awaits under your hats. 




I don't need to say anything in this part. The author is almost perfect in this. Even the commas are placed in the right place and I can't find errors above a few typos that are either on purpose or don't really matter to the level of the story. 



Author-made tables and notifications. The pace, the style, and the musical flow of the tunes assembled in such a great story are a composition rivaling a Shakespearian Sonnet or a Rhythmical invocation to open the great door to the wonders acclaimed inside a thieves' dungeon: A gem core and its jewel-like characters that are engraved with the perfect trimming of gold. A treasure trove. 


Doesn't it ring a bell that a dungeon finds its pleasure by collecting gems? What if those gems are fleshed out characters that interact in an incredible way? Well, fear not since that's the case. This Dungeon will relieve your heart, but also snap it with a maze. Believe me friend, as all I say, is that Dungeon'll not behave the normal way. Find its place above the top, these characters are more than precious gold. 



Already described above. Seriously there is even a moonlight rat. Almost a shadow raccoon. 



Not enough stars to rate this. This is above most stories I have read. It just needs to never falter and it will leave a place that I'll never forget. Please, author, write it well. I can't live without a taste of this GEM.  

Thanks Again for an SSS story!


This is a interesting book. It is very different from most Dungeon Core books. There are two common faults that this book doesn’t have: The dungeon doesn’t just hunker down and roll with punches (I feel like a lot of dungeon book authors tend to make their MC unwilling/unable to send minions outside, which throws away the opportunity for interesting side POVs and worldbuilding), and our dungeon core doesn’t act like a adventurer casino, with the dungeon actually trying to kill the people that enter him. In addition to that there is solid grammar and an interesting style.


Grimdark dungeon core story losing focus

Reviewed at: 2.30 Convergence

This review is based on the story as of Chapter 2.30.

Thieves' Dungeon burst onto the scene with a regular, generous release schedule, excellent technical proficiency in writing, and took its own take on the dungeon core genre with a Core who shows no hesitation at killing those who enter its domain, unlike most of the "nice guy" which began as humans and still have some sense of human morality.

The setting is grim, and power rules in all things and all ways. This is reflected by the main characters, both within the Dungeon and without, all of whom are significantly flawed.

Unfortunately, as the story has gone on, the author has either lost sight of the story's description ("When a Dungeon Core acquires a taste for beautiful jewels, it sets out to become a criminal kingpin, operating from the sewers beneath the city.") or has grown distracted by all of the meandering plot threads and side characters introduced with their own points-of-view.

The Dungeon can barely bear interacting with any characters which it did not create, including those which it suborned through magical contracts in its favor. At this point, it shows every sign of being the sort of Dungeon which needs to be destroyed completely. This Dungeon is spiteful, and for all of its purported love of beauty, it clearly doesn't want anyone to be able to experience that beauty. It sees each entry as an intrusion, each explorer as an affront.

This extends beyond the Dungeon itself, however. I don't think I want to see any of the main characters (and most of the secondary characters) succeed at their goals since they are so unsympathetic. There are probably over 50 human or mostly human characters in the story at this point, and I can only think of two (very minor) characters who might be motivated anything other than power and wealth.

The author has promised to address some concerns about the story going through regular cycles of the Core failing to plan adequately, suffering a setback as a result, growing very angry and murderous, and then a return to status quo, optionally with some small amount of growth.

I wish the author the best, but I'll be bowing out here.


Written as of 1.58 "Easy Prey"

I appreciate what the author is doing I just don't think it's for me. 
If it's going to be a "Thieves Dungeon" i.e. a dungeon where thieves are born/thrive, and I do believe that's what the author is going for by making incredible stealth and dexterity necessary, either the dungeon or the "thieves" need to be likable or interesting.

Otherwise you've just got people murdering each other in increasingly complex ways in an ever deeper hole in the ground. I don't care much about that and so far I don't care much about the cast we've got. There are ways to incorporate poverty, greed, and a callous disregard for life in to a story but as it stands it feels like those things exist here just to set up more murder.

Overall it's very well written but not my cup of tea.