Day 5 whilst Tier was doing stuff…
Tier was doing a lot of things in his dungeon, tweaking many of the different parts non-stop. However, we will not be looking at Tier today but the denizens of the dungeons after the expedition was finished and everyone returned home safely…
“what are you doing?” a curious Kaide asked “alchemy” Verk answered nonchalantly as he mixes an assortment of random whatevers in a bronze pot “what’s alchemy?” Kaide asked a follow-up question “it’s a little sumthing oi do in me free time like how Meena and Parl over there trying their hands at cooking” Verk answered as he threw in another handful of blood moss “it’s enjoyable and if Oi ever succeeded than we might have some things to use in the heat of battle” he added
The pot he was stirring starts to shake violently “oh… shi-” he manages before the pot exploded in his face “welp, I guess oi need ta try that one again wouldn’t I” Verk said enthusiastically as he wiped some goop off his face “fifth time taday that me pot exploded, have ta ask Tier fer some more pots and supplies sooner than later” he added after tossing the exploded pot aside ‘well he is determined and brave if nothing else… more determined and brave then me’ Kaide thought as he simply wiped some goop off of head as well.
“right…” Kaide said with doubt in his word “you did this so you can skip out on both physical sparring and engineering training aren’t you?” Kaide asked “what? Nah no nope no nah” Verk stumbled on his words a bit “… okay maybe a tiny bit…” he admitted “*sighhhhhh* whatever, just do what you want to do, I need to check up on Parl, Meena and Taika before I begin sparring with Barmas, Galdra and Hraeta again” Kaide announced as he left Verk to his own devices.
‘now then… that kind of smells good, hopefully it doesn’t turn out like whatever Verk is making’ Kaide thought as he went to check up on Parl and Meena “hey, what are you two doing?” he asked them without much fanfare “what do you think we’re doing?” Meena answered she continues to stir what looks like a soup whilst Parl was busy doing… something “alchemy” Kaide answered honestly “the fucks is alchemy mate?” Parl asked in confusion.
Kaide pointed towards Verk who has blown up his 6th pot of whatever he was doing in record time “that” Kaide answered nonchalantly “whatever that is, that’s not what we’re doing matey” Parl said as he went back to cutting up some meat or something with a knife “it’s called cooking Kaide, it’s what happens when you turn raw food into tastier food… at least that was what I understand from what Aenirus told us” Meena answered honestly not batting an eye as she continues to stir.
“right… so are you two up for some sparring?” Kaide asked them bluntly “sorry mate, you may not have a stomach but everyone else does” Parl responded as he drop some sort of vegetable into the boiling soup or stew or whatever it is they are making “food is life Kaide, to you it might not be much better than eating meat raw but everyone else including the critters and non-sapient folks agree that they prefer the stew we make” Meena answered confirming that it is in fact a stew even if it does look a bit confusing ‘…I mean I also prefer the none raw meat but how am I supposed to convey the message if… I guess I can break façade for some actual food’ Kaide thought.
“fair enough, it is better than eating raw meat” Kaide admitted “it is mate” Parl added “not good enough though, Aenirus may say it is amazing but... I can see it in her eyes that… it was… not the best” Meena also added “it is because you guys hate physical training right?” Kaide asked bluntly “yup” “that’s right mate” were their responses “what about engineering training?” he continued “… worst mistake of my short life mate” Parl answered “never entered… never will from the horrible stuff I heard” Meena said as she still stirs the stew ‘for once I am glad I got mistakenly chosen as leader and not whatever an engineer was’ Kaide thought positively for once.
“best of luck than you two” Kaide waved them goodbye as he left in which they both just waved at him before he left. Kaide visited the mage area where the only four people actually skilled enough in magic to be considered as spellcasters are currently meditating “hi guys” Kaide greeted as he went by “hi Kaide” Taika responded quickly as the other three just nodded before going back to meditating ‘I do wonder sometimes if a leader was supposed to have magic though… if so then I suck at it anyways’ Kaide thought as he met them.
‘they are a weird bunch though, a kobold, a small serpent, a gecko that somehow has level 3 ice affinity and the first floor boss’ Kaide thought as he returned his conversation towards Taika “how’s the magic training going?” Kaide asked her directly “oh, I’m capable of casting 2nd level spells now like this one *Lightning Aspect*” she announced before quickly causing electricity to concentrate on the head of her spear which is also her spell focus.
“of course it wouldn’t do much in actual melee combat, the bonuses are mostly from intimidation and potential to throw the enemy off when hit but it does help a bit, it’s instantaneous, cost little mana to cast and maintain and I can cast it on multiple people… in theory” Taika explained her spell in great detail “all you need to do is-” “excuse me Taika but please refrain from trying to destroy my mind with knowledge, how are the others doing?” Kaide asked bluntly cutting Taika off ‘because my mind is the only thing keeping this farse of a leader going’ he explained to himself.
“oh, Klaki is… able to cast 1st level spells now though due to her species, her spells are not great or useful yet but we hope that she would get better once she evolves, Kirja is spreading her spells out between her affinities and managed level 2 poison and 2nd level light spells now, Asur is getting good with the 1st level water bullet and is well on their way to get to 2nd level” Taika informed him “I just realized but why are all the mages female? No offense Asur since you have both parts but that still counts” Kaide asked curiously.
“I… honestly have no idea” Taika answered with a shrug “probably dumb luck or something” she added “well, if any of you actually finish early with their training than come to me for some physical training, I would appreciate some more help if possible” Kaide reminded them “sure, she you later Kaide” Taika said as Kaide left “you too” Kaide responded ‘she’s much better than me… I hope that the cre… Tier see the wisdom of switching the roles a bit’ he thought as he made his way down the tunnels.
It is pretty surprising how much space the private rooms have after Tier expanded it from just 1 100ft wide 30ft tall room to that and many more rooms and interconnected tunnels going everywhere. There are even multiple countermeasures and failsafes if anything that isn’t a denizen of the dungeon enter the hidden private tunnels but the main one are those who frequent the tunnels being their defenders.
‘it is lovely today, especially in the rocky room’ Tier commented on mentally as he walked through the large rocky room second to last of the first floor. The defenders of the room were celebrating the evolution of one of their own after countless bouts of sparring between the many Vespers and Cave Serpent which resulted in 2 more flying kanids evolving into Vespers and a lesser cave serpent evolving into an Armored Cave Serpent ‘it is nice that Tier let us evolve to whatever we want on our own though, that little guy got lucky on his or her evolution I guess… he is… very kind and understanding minus the bouts of rage and anger issues’ Kaide thought as he moved on.
“greetings commander” a female kobold greeted him as Kaide made his way to the long lake room where the cliff was “greeting to you too… Johta” Kaide greeted her as well ‘oh thang the cre… stop calling him that he doesn’t like it… god or gods that I remember her name’ Kaide thought before turning towards her “would you or the other guard kobolds or denizens want to do a sparring session?” Kaide invited her “it is tempting though we were placed here to guard this room, what if an invader sneaks through us if we were occupied doing something else?” Johta thought about it for a second.
“I need to confer with the others first” she finally decided after a bit of thinking “I’ll look forward to it if you actually do show up, I understand if you or the others don’t but make sure to come in about 15 minutes if you do decide to agree to it” Kaide said before leaving the way he came from because he forgotten some of the denizens from the other rooms ‘ah… right I forgot about it… Johta is loyal and quite good as well and I think she’ll make a better leader than I would ever be’ Kaide returned to his pessimistic thinking again.
After talking to the many other creatures in the dungeon, most of the ones assigned to a room declined as they feel like they have a sworn duty which they do and/or laziness thought some do come because of boredom or some other reasons which they can since Tier told them they can do whatever they want as long as they don’t go too far though that is debatable on how far one could go.
“Ruma, you want to go for a sparring?” Kaide asked the young Pseudo Wyvern in which Ruma pointed down with the tips of his wing claws showing the surprisingly large form of a sleeping Aenirus that he is currently fiercely protecting “right… Tier did order you to snuggle with her until she wakes” Kaide remembered as the wyvern huffed which signaled to him that he was overstaying his welcome so he left more to let Aenirus sleep than anything else ‘… she is nice, I even feel comfortable around her in contrast to what I feel against the others who invaded the dungeon’ Kaide thought as he left.
‘everyone seems happy with themselves, they are proud of their achievements and simply do what they can or want to do’ Kaide thought as he made his way towards the private room connected to the entrance ‘it’s nice… why can’t I be like that………’ Kaide stopped for a bit and his breathing grew erratic for a bit as he ducked into a side room to prevent anyone for seeing him like what he will show as he curled up a bit from the pent up anxiety and stress.
‘deeps breath Kaide… deep breathes’ he reminded himself as he gets his nervousness finally in check ‘…that was longer than last time… but not long enough… never is it long enough… I should keep moving… keep the façade on at all time… never pull the mask down… don’t disappoint them all’ he reminded himself as he picked himself back up and his expression went back to normal from the panicked one he had and still carries beneath a mask of confidence and certainty.
He entered the room, it was pretty large, a 100ft square room with a 30ft ceiling and a 60ft diameter circle they drew in the center… mostly in the center ‘okay… put your face on Kaide we’re having a sparring session than a training session soon after… don’t fuck it up’ he reminded himself as he walked to the center of the room eyeing everyone in it.
“alright everyone, I want no deaths in this sparring session and different from how the last one ran, we will have only two people fight in the center with the others watching on the sides” Kaide announced as the roughly 20 denizens line up tightly knowing how he is when serious “Johta, glad to see you and your boys come, it’s a shame our magic users haven’t got any time for this session and the others do other activities to avoid this but either way, the session continues and I want 2 volunteers” he asked sternly.
‘shit! Shit! SHIT! Oh SHIT! No one is volunteering… does anyone know… did someone see? Calm down… do not break down in the middle of everyone here Kaide… ok’ Kaide had a mental battle inside him “come on guys we don’t have all day here” he reminded everyone and they started looking at each other ‘…they shouldn’t know which means one thing… they do not want to train… I need to inspire them all somehow… I know!”
“no one? Well then… eeny… meeny… minny… mo your it Hraeta! Get yourself on the center” Kaide randomly picked as Hraeta makes her way to the center of the room where a 40ft wide circle drawn of spare rocks and other materials are laid out “and your opponent is going to be… you know what, I’ll go in first, also you pick the weapon” Kaide announced as the others gave Hraeta a pitying look ‘shit…’ Hrata thought as she thought about the weapon pick “I’ll go with…” ‘come on, what does the commander suck at… he trains with every weapon… fuck…’ “a Dagger” she announced.
‘I see she’s going with the weapon she is most familiar with… I never understood the appeal of dual wielding daggers but that is just my thing I guess… alright, do not screw this up Kaide, focus, no nervousness, remember that you need to impress them all to inspire them’ Kaide thought of as he simply said “sure, we’ll each use one dagger” as he went and toss a bronze dagger which Hraeta caught.
Training with live weapons is very dangerous… unless you can literally come back to life on the whims of a higher being which is basically what Tier is or on a set timer. Both combatants stand ready as Kaide relayed the rules for the bout “alright, rules are simple, stay in the circle and fight ends when one or both combatants surrender or is slain… though I would prefer if you do not kill them… also only the chosen weapon is allowed but everything else is fair game. Barmas, would you mind counting down the timer till 5 please?” Kaide asked nicely.
As the kobold starts the tier, both combatants started focusing hard on each other, Hraeta was focusing especially hard on Kaide’s dagger ‘alright, he’s going to play defensive since I’m undoubtedly the best when it comes to knifes, go aggressive, focus on the enemy’s dagger’ Hraeta planned as she watched the dagger, as the timer reaches 0… Kaide did something strange… just 30ft away from her… he toss his dagger up on the air…
‘the fuck is he doing? We’re 30ft apart, I can easily run up and shank him for than… what the…’ she thought as her expression changed from determined to confusion as the dagger started falling with no movement from Kaide to catch it ‘wait… is he even going to catch it? I don’t se-’ *WHACK* Hraeta’s thoughts were cut short when an elbow hit her in the face sending her out of the ring “and that’s game right there” Kaide announced bluntly as he went to pick up the dagger he dropped ‘…HOLY SHIT that actually worked… I did not… holy… that was just dumb luck…’ he told himself as he went over to Hraeta keeping a straight face on.
“before you ask, you made one crucial mistake in the fight… you overly focused on your opponent’s weapon which means that when they do something utterly baffling with it you will be left in shock for a good second or two which might be enough to end the fight as evidence here” Kaide said calmly to the shock of everyone else “but how di-” “you do know your eyes focus and move when you deeply focus on something especially when it is moving right?” Kaide cut Hraeta off immediately.
“you got tunnel-visioned which in a real fight would get you killed instantly, also I saw that shift in attitude when you requested a dagger as the weapon, you may have better proficiency than I do but do I have to give you the run down on how combat actually works for the third time again?” Kaide asked “don’t answer because I’m going to, stats mean absolutely nothing in an actual combat situation, sure strength is a measure of how strong someone is but stats mean different things for different people, a kobold with 25-strength may beat another kobold with 30-strength in an arm wrestling contest because of that.
At the end of the day, stats are just numbers, abilities and traits provide small situational yet passive bonuses which ends up being way more important than stats will ever be. Just because you have over 200-endurance doesn’t mean you can survive a beheading from a 20 strength executioner more than a 20-endurance commoner. An arrow to an unprotected head will do the same damage whether you have high or low endurance, no one can survive a strike to the heart or getting a 10-ton boulder dropped onto them.
Proficiencies are the same as stats, they are a measure of how generally skilled you are at a certain field, it means nothing when a master swordsman can easily get killed by a novice recruit with a rock because he either gets surprised, attacked when vulnerable or severely underestimated your opponent. Of course, when given similar equipment a person who is passingly familiar with a spear will never beat an expert spear user.
There are 6 main defining things in combat: equipment, matchups, training, strategic edge, willingness to fight and finally fairness… also reliance on shamed upon tactics like hitting another guy in the gonads… which should put you on the wall of shame so we will not talk about that one at all even if it is an effective strategy so only do it if you have no dignity or want to be disliked” This final bit got a good chuckle from everyone which Kaide mentally breathed a sigh of relief and chuckle as well before he continues on with the lecture.
“Firstly is equipment, if you have a full set of armor and weapons against someone who only has a stick than whoever that guy is has either pissed off the wrong person or be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A person with a slingshot will be able to deal with someone with only their fists, someone with a sword has an advantage of reach and lethality over a dagger and so on… if you have better equipment against someone with similar skills than you should handily win that fight.
Next up is matchups, a matchup is how well you will do against someone, of course a master will beat a novice which is a good matchup for the master and a bad one for the novice thought that isn’t what we’re here to talk about. If you have a loaded heavy crossbow whilst your enemy has a light round shield at 40ft distance than it would suck for your enemy because a high-powered crossbow bolt can easily go through a light shield made of wood and you cannot possibly miss at that range with a weapon that is basically just aim and shoot. A sword is good against daggers, spears better than swords, axes good at destroying wooden things, you get the drill find the best scenarios where your equipment will shine or will outperform the opponent’s.
Thirdly, we have training, it is simple facts that someone with more training than another will win in a fight with similar weapons. You would have to train hard for any real edge against your enemy though but even a 1% higher training efficiency will work out in the long run. Strategic edge is how well you mix strategy into combat, like setting up on a hill with a range weapon against a melee fighter or hiding behind a shieldwall with a long spear or pike. It is dependent on how good you are with your mind, your enemy is heavily armored and has a big polearm? Make them chase you through a mud field with your light gambeson whilst peppering them with arrows so they cannot rest and then go in with a dagger to the throat once they are exhausted.
Second to last is willingness to fight, a person unwilling to fight will never win against one willing to fight as one that is willing to fight will actually attack… unless there is a huge difference in skill or it is a terrible matchup. Of course, that can all change when the unwilling become the willing but you can easily judge how willing someone is to a fight but most importantly is that if you manage to get the FIGHT (Fuck! I’ve Gotten Hit Terribly) effect than a person will either go from willing to unwilling or into an adrenaline filled rage depending on how they react to receiving a quite possibly fatal wound.
Finally, is fairness… it can be summed up in one sentence: if you end up in a fair fight than your tactics suck and if you end up in an unfair fight than… my expectations for you were low but holy shit has it hit below even bedrock” he cracked a joke a got a good majority of them to chuckle including himself ‘ok that could’ve been a way better joke’ he told himself and note it down mentally.
“Do whatever you can to give yourself an advantage, ambush your enemies, fight in the darkness when you have darkvision, attack from fortifications, set up on the high ground, taunt on your walls saying their mother was a varmilleon and their father smelt of rotberries, use dragons against a horse, surprise them, hire assassins, fight with a numerical advantage, get friends, poison their meals, etc… do whatever you can to have the advantage… unless it is a shamed tactic like aiming for another guys nuts… I mean, only mammalians have dangly bits but… it is generally frowned upon by even the most disgraceful cheaters so… do it at your own risks like Aenirus have” Kaide finally finished his lecture.
‘… did I did that right? Hopefully I did that right, I’m the commander, can’t get that wrong can-’ even though Kaide has an undisturbed expression his inner nervousness was attacking again though thankfully for him, he managed to suppress his emotions since after Tier named him ‘… calm down and get back to making a good impression on them and don’t disappoint the c… Tier and the others’ he told himself “did anyone have any other questions?” Kaide asked seriously to a chorus of noes and head shakings “good because we’re going to have two others fight each other now,” he announced after a bit.
The next match chosen from Kaide’s whims, Parl and Meena was put up against each other, both were ranged skirmishers familiar with javelins. Since this was a melee sparring, they both agreed to using a simple arming sword alongside a wooden shield which Tier has now provided with, both of them use kite shields.
However, despite their similar equipment in and outside of a controlled environment, it was quite clear who was the better close-quarter combatant since Meena as shown here and before is the best defensive shield fighter of all of the kobolds whilst Parl was just… average in melee. What follows was a pretty one-sided fight that got worse when Meena managed to pry Parl’s shield away… he gave up soon after.
“okay, Meena did a good job, it was nice to see you press your advantage, your defensive style shows great promise though you still need to get over your leniency towards offense, I saw some opportunities that you did not press though that sometimes happens in the heat of battle” Kaide observed on Meena’s performance.
“Parl on the other hand… you need to get your head out of cooking and more into improving your close-quarter capabilities, sure it doesn’t matter when you are probably the best when it comes to ranged weaponry but you never know” Kaide went to observe Parls’ performance in which he only nodded “also you two need to reduce your time in the kitchen and start training harder” he quickly added.
Next fight, one of the modified monitors from the expedition went against another one from the lake/cliff room, the first one from the expedition over relies upon tail attacks even though it got the win whilst the other one was way too passive in the fight not even managing to get an attack in.
Watching Batra trounce a giant Varmilleon was… not fun as a flying creature that had about 7 months of experience over all others against a 2-month old inexperienced fur ball… not a fair fight though Kaide did have the chance to lecture everyone on how to fight against flying opponents when you don’t have a ranged weapon.
For the next fight… a newly evolved armored cave serpent named because its scales give it more protection than a standard cave serpent fought in a very close battle against the sole greater cave serpent of the dungeon, it was very close especially when venom is ineffective thanks to Kaide and his training methods, the greater one won due to size and the fact that the armored one wasn’t used to its body yet.
Galdra and Barmas went up next against each other, both two-handed spears users with Barmas being more defensive in contrary to Galdra being more offensive. They kind of contradict one another with Galdra being boisterous, loud and obnoxiously rude to others whilst Barmas… rarely ever talks at all… everyone thought she was mute until she spoke up once.
Either way, the fight dragged on a lot with Galdra covered in wounds barely winning the fight by pushing a very annoyed and uninjured Barmas out of the ring from a bum rush. Of course, Kaide had to lecture both of them with Barmas not seeing the obvious trap that Galdra laid and Galdra for being way too cocky after winning in which Kaide had to explain that he only won due to pure dumb luck and it will not work again especially against the more observant Barmas.
Verk was still brewing some potions… *boom* there’s one exploding just now, Taika was still meditating with the other spellcasters to recover their internal mana more quickly so those two couldn’t come. Johta and her boys managed to came though after a voting session in which the sole uninterested kobold got to sit back and guard the room alongside the uninterested monitor in the room.
Johta went up against the other modified monitor from the expedition team with her wielding a bronze buckler and handaxe against an opponent… where her choice of weaponry isn’t very… good against. It did result in her squeezing a victory though she kind of accidentally killed the monitor in the fight… good thing all of them can respawn or that would cause problems.
“well then, Johta, you did good with what you have though you really should’ve picked a better weapon, pick good matchups” Kaide gave out advice “monitor that just respawned… what were you thinking? You pinned her down and should’ve won but you got overconfident and that lets her get out of your hold in which that move didn’t work again and… you know how it happen, also both of you lost control and went for the kill, this isn’t a fight to the death, I would’ve much prefer if either of you bow out of the fight and know your limits in a friendly sparring match!” he lectured to which both just nodded and apologized.
A few more fights happen, the other 2 kobolds from the cliff/lake room fought, a couple of more fights between some of the other inhabitants… they even saw a fight between two critters… it was well… surprisingly exciting to see two insects face off against each other. Overall, this was just one of the many sparring sessions that took place three times each day, it wasn’t the best yet it was certainly not the worst but it was the first time Kaide thought about dueling and such.
After that, Kaide went to the others to teach them how to train, how to get by some of their weaknesses and much more ‘hey… I think I actually gotten some respect from all that… though some are definitely not happy with some stuff but hey… I think I am not such a bad choice after all… because there were people like Galdra whom are even worse than me and that’s saying something’ Kaide thought before wrapping up the session an hour later.
Everyone went back to their respective roles, some train, some guard, others sleep but they all know their duties when it comes to protecting the dungeon… their home, creator, father, overlord, king, chief or simply just Tier… they all do their best to protect him… and Aenirus… nobody will harm or disturb even a hair of her body or get near Tier’s core room at all if they have something to say about it unless Tier deems it against the dungeon’s interests as the day passes on…