Dungeon Guardian



Chapter 1 - Whenever a Dungeon is born, so follows a Guardian


The sound of dripping water was the first thing Liss noticed as she woke. She had been having a weird dream, something about dogs sniffing around her soul in a brightly lit room. Not the weirdest dream she could remember, and the dream was already slipping away from her sluggish attempts to ponder them, fading as all such memories does.

She kept her eyes closed and remained unmoving, just listening to the water dripping and letting her mind drift.
Light rain is always so soothing. I can just stay in bed the whole day listening to this.
A drop of water hit her on the forehead.
It's raining inside? Is the roof leaking?

Liss moved a hand to wipe at her face. A clacking sound and the missing sensation of skin touching skin caused her eyes to snap open. What she saw was four fingers, one thumb, all bones.

Clenching her hand into a fist, she stared as the bones in front of her moved. Her mind still felt slow and full of cotton as the bony hand moved to her will.
Am I still dreaming? There is a distinct lack of skin, muscle and sinew on my hand.
It fascinated her to watch the movement of the individual bones, all moving by themselves.

Her mind started to clear, thoughts becoming more coherent, she raised herself up into a sitting position. Looking around she noted that this was clearly NOT her room. Gone was her desk where she had her computer and books. No more wall to wall carpet which kept her feet warm on cold mornings. The window which had provided a great view of the city with it's skyscrapers was nowhere to be seen. Worst of all, her bed and favourite blanket was gone.

She was sitting on the floor of what looked like a natural cave. However instead of an uneven rocky floor, it was completely flat. It was almost like someone has created a hole inside a mountain, and then put down a concrete floor. While the walls and ceiling were uneven and rocky, with cracks and large rocks which looked like they could fall at any moment, there were no large openings where one could enter or leave the cave.
Another drop of water dropped on her head, and she took a closer look at the ceiling. There were no stalactites, and she couldn't see any obvious flow of water from any cracks. 
How does the water keep hitting me in the head?

A bony hand reaching up to brush off the water brought her attention back to her own body. She gingerly touched her own head, noting the hardness of her skull and the lack of feeling. Moving the hand down to her face, over empty eye sockets, a missing nose, and rows of teeth.
This must be a dream, a nightmare.

Looking down, she knew what she would see. A rib cage containing none of the vital organs it's supposed to protect, followed by a bare pelvis and bony legs. Reaching up she ran her hand down along the rib cage. The clicking sound of bone hitting bone echoed around the cave. She tried to take in a breath, but nothing happened. No rib cage expanding to contain the lungs, no weight of breasts moving on her chest.

Liss started shaking.
I can't breathe. Her teeth clacked as she opened and closed her mouth.
I can't breathe. Hands moved to her throat, finding nothing but bone.
I CAN'T BREATHE! She ripped at her chest, pushing and pulling, trying anything to get some air into non-existent lungs.
Darkness grew at the edges of her vision. She rolled around on the floor, hitting the floor over and over with the skull in her macabre dance of flailing bones.

A drop of water hit her head.

Liss lay completely still, listening to the falling water. After a while another droplet hit her head, but she ignored it. Eyes closed she just lay there, trying not to think, trying not to move, and above all, trying not to breathe. Another droplet, she could feel it hit her head, but there was no sensation of water flowing over skin, not even flowing over bone. There was no sensation at all after the water hit.

A bony hand reached over to where the water had hit her skull, and dabbed at it. Opening her eyes she looked at he her fingers, noting the moisture on the bone slowly gather into a droplet and fall.
So I can feel the water hitting, but not the fact that I have water moving on my face? Watching the water droplet fall into and through here eye socket was disconcerting, and she felt a shiver run through her bones. She raised herself up on her elbows and back into a sitting position and looked around. Her surroundings were still that of the cave.

There was no sensation of hot or cold, not even from the water. Either there was no wind flowing through the cave, or her body could not feel air moving over her bones, same as with water. She could feel the rocky ground beneath her, but it was not uncomfortable. She tried poking herself with a finger, and felt a slight pressure or icing sensation if she pushed hard enough. It felt almost like a toothache when she really tried to poke a finger into her bones. The sensation reminded her of dentists and another shiver went through her bones.

While poking and prodding herself, she noticed something strange... stranger than her body having turned into a skeleton. On one of her arm bones, a piece of paper had been tied with a string. The paper was yellow and cracked at the edges, and the string ran completely around one of her arm bones before being tied with a nice bow.

Picking up one edge of the string and dragging it, the bow was undone and the paper fell away. She caught the paper with her other hand, and freed the rest of the string from her bone and the paper. Unrolling the paper she looked at it, pieces at the edge of the paper crumbling off as she handled it. The paper was covered with glowing red symbols, which seemed to change shape as she was looking at them. They flowed into different shapes, combining and then later separating, creating a mesmerizing kaleidoscope. 

The symbols flashed a bright blue, and Liss heard a voice in her head.

"First, we would like to apologize. You have probably just woken up in a strange place, with a new and scary body. We don't know where you will end up, or even what shape you will take. You will probably hate us for what we have done, and in some ways you are right to do so." The voice sounded like a male and female speaking at the same time, giving Liss a slight headache as she continued to listen.

"We..." The voice hesitated before continuing, "Made a mistake." Shame, anger, and fear. The emotions flowed into Liss through whatever link the voice used.

"We thought we could protect her, give her a choice..." The voice trailed off. Then the voice changed, this time only the male voice spoke.

"Whenever a Dungeon is born, so follows a Guardian!" He sounded tired, as if the words weighed on him greatly.

Liss waited. The paper still glowed blue, and she still felt like there was a connection to her mind. She tried to speak back, but only succeeded in clacking her teeth. After a while, the voice spoke again, this time both the male and female.

"She is young, newly born, she should not suffer for our mistake. Please don't take out your anger on her, we are the ones responsible for you being brought here." The voice was hurried now, and Liss could feel the link weakening. The edges of the paper was blackening, flaking off pieces.

"Please protect her, guide her. Please be there for her, be the Guardian of our Daughter." The last was spoken only by the female voice.

The paper in her hand caught fire, and Liss let go of it with a clack of teeth. The link was instantly broken as her bony hand left the paper. On the ground the blue shapes flared once to red, and then went out as the paper crumbled into ash.


What is a Dungeon? Was Liss' first thought once she got over the shock.
Isn't that where they used to keep prisoners in castles and places like that? Shaking her head, she looked around.
And where is this daughter they were speaking of? They made it sound like we would appear at the same place She looked around, but other than a few small rock laying around, there was no one else. A drop of water hit Liss in the head. Annoyed, she looked up at the ceiling, rubbing a hand over her skull.
Where does that water keep hitting me from?

She stood up. Then promptly fell back onto her bony butt. Losing a significant amount of weight apparently also changes your sense of balance. Especially the loss of her breasts, not that they had been THAT large, was affecting her balance. She spent some more time learning all over again to stay up on her feet, trying to balance on her feet consisting only of bones was another challenge. It didn't take too long, but she still had to keep it in mind when walking around. The perfectly flat ground also helped, she imagined a real uneven cave floor would have made things more challenging.

Walking slowly around the cave, she looked at the walls and ceiling, trying to figure out if there was more to this cave, or a way out of it. She was also trying to find the source of those annoying water droplets which somehow kept hitting her on the head. Thinking about the water droplets she again notices the sound of water falling and hitting something. Since she is not currently feeling water hitting her head, there must be water here somewhere else in here.

Even without ears, she still seems to have the ability to hear sound. She does however find that she has problems pinpointing the direction and distance to sound, it's almost like those fleshy bits on our head actually serves a purpose for that. With a lot of turning her head back and forth, probably looking like an idiot, she moves towards where she thinks the sound of water is coming from.

Eventually she reaches a part of the wall with a crack going down it towards the floor. The crack splits in two halfway down, and then meets again towards the bottom, leaving a piece of the wall disconnected from the rest. She hears the continue water dripping sound from somewhere behind this piece of the wall.

As she prods the rock, trying to see if there is a way to loosen it, a water droplet the size of a nail slowly floats out from the crack in the wall. It slowly hovers up into the air above Liss, and then drops, straight onto her head. She rubs her head while thinking about what she saw.

Floating water? Maybe there is some gravity fluctuations? Maybe it's not water, but a gas which looks like water? Or, maybe I'm just crazy... seeing as I'm a moving skeleton... Another water droplet floats out while Liss is lost in her thoughts, and again water hits her head.

Or, maybe I should just go all the way, and start believing in magic? She brushes her hand over her skull where the water hit, and looks at the now wet bones of her fingers. She does not feel anything from her fingers, no water, no air, no tingling of pumping blood. Her hand starts shaking, and she feels herself trying to take another breath... and failing. 

Before she can lose herself in another attempt at breathing without lungs, the rock in the wall topples out towards her, and falls onto her feet. She looks down at her leg bones sticking out from under the tire-sized rock.
Well... that looks painful... There should be pain, she is pretty sure her feet are crushed into dust under that rock, but she feels nothing more than ice cold on her feet.

Cold? Ah, so cold means damaged then I assume. Do I have nerves inside the bones? She tries to lift one of her feet, and the noise of cracking bones sends a shiver up her spine, worse than when someone draws their nails down a blackboard. With a final snap her leg is freed, and she is left with the stump of a bone just above her ankle. With only one of her legs keeping her upright, it too snapped as she falls backwards and onto the stone floor, now with only pointy bones for feet.

As she stares at her now useless feet, and wondering why she's so calm about it all, a green crystal the size of her head floats from the hole in the wall, and hovers in front of her. She stares at it for a while, her jaw hanging open, before clacking her teeth together and reaching for the crystal.

The crystal glows slight from the inside, making Liss wonder if the crystal itself is green, or it's just a green glow. It's a hexagon cylinder with two pointy ends, a perfect shape without any faults, nicks or misshaping. As her finger touches the crystal, she suddenly feels warmth enter through her hand. The warmth spreads through her body, her bones, and down into her feet. There the warmth turns into a tingle as the warmth clashes with the icy feeling of damaged bone, and the bone starts to grow.

Within what seems like only a few seconds, both her feet are back to the full bone glory, and she looks back to the crystal. Dew gathers on the crystal surface and collects into a large droplet of water. The water droplet slowly lifts off from the crystal and hovers in the air, floating over to Liss.

Liss watched the droplet, captivated. Slowly, ever so slowly, it moved above her head. The silence of the cave was broken by the sound of a single water droplet falling onto the bone of a skeleton skull. As more warmth flowed from the crystal and into Liss, she felt a link much like the one from the paper earlier. In her mind she heard a soft giggle, as if from a young child who had just seen something very funny.

A note from InkyDragon

Thank you for taking the time to read this :)

I have been lurking here and reading for quite a while, so I wanted to try writing down one of the stories floating aroun in my head. I'm open to any constructive criticism, as I'll probably make a lot of mistakes or even bad decisions in the beginning.

About the author



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Atheos ago

Found a typo: Se tried to speak back, but only succeeded in clacking her teeth.


These are just my opinions, other readers may have may view things differently.

I don't like the use of ------------------------------------------------------------, furthermore, I prefer if you use only italics for thinking(instead of 'I like milkshakes' aka remove single quotations). That being said, the first time you have an internal dialogue it's useful to let the reader know that italics refers to thinking.

I like the writing style, premise and so I look forward to reading more.


    InkyDragon ago

    Thank you for the feedback :)

    I often find that only italics tends to disappear in the text, but that just means I need to make sure to not put it inside walls of text I guess :P

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