Once upon a time, a former mayor of the city of Washington DC, like all mayors, had a dream of cutting costs. He looked high and low. First he asked the teacher’s unions to take a pay cut but they said no. Then he went to the police unions and they too said no. The Mayor then tried to cut the bus and metro system schedule, but that was already stretched too tight.
Then one day the Mayor had a marvelous idea. He would could free up money and lay off workers if the city sewer system were a free autonomous dungeon under the control of city council. With great patience, some initial expense, and the strength of his convictions, an exploratory committee was formed. Over the proceeding two years this committee went into discussions, their mandate caused a fight between five to seven subcommittees. Several hundred neighborhood council meetings were called and citizens expressed their concerns. A dozen community organizers expressed their outrage. And two different school districts wondered “what about the children”.
Until one magical day when they all came together holding hands in joy and decided upon the taking the valiant path of dumping the whole shebang onto municipal head of the Department of Public Works by secretly voting him into transforming into the city’s new sewer system.
On a lonely day in November, Gregor Alexopoulos had walked into the center of the District of Columbia’s sewer system. Gregor was an avid bird watcher and cat enthusiast. The two hobbies might seem mutually exclusive; one, after all ate the other. But Gregor enjoyed taking long hikes along he Appalachian trail looking for rare species of warblers. At home his cats kept him company.
Gregor had been a confirmed bachelor for the last thirty years. Sometimes he wondered if he was gay, that some feeling hidden even from himself could have caused him to sabotage the few romances he’d known in during his life. Other times he knew that he liked women. It simply was that a few bad experiences had left him emotionally vulnerable and unwilling to share his life with anyone other than his cats and his birds.
Stripped naked, Gregor stood in a room at the very epicenter of the sewer system surrounded by the mayor and a group of political acolytes ahem appointees. The mayor very calmly explained to Gregor why he was chosen i.e. that he had nobody to miss him. Then went on to explain the grand voyage of civic duty that Gregor Alexopoulous was about to embark upon. Ceremoniously Gregor was strapped to the alter screaming against his will.
The city council, 3 school superintendents, 23 community activists, a dozen aldermen, and the new head of the City of Washington DC’s Department of Public Works, surrounded by a team of assistants and interns chanted arcane and sinister spells to deep and forgotten eldritch spirits.
And, as had been pre-arranged by the local DC government with the assistance of the Legislative, Executive Branch, and Judicial Branches of The 21st Century Server American Federal Government in co-operation with several of the darker Server’s Core AI Gods, Gregor Alexopoulos had woken up the next morning from unsettling dreams, and found himself changed into a tiny malevolent gemstone. A powerful dungeon core.
In the lore of the Manga and light novels, there are countless stories about wise souls stripped of their humanity in death yet somehow reincarnating into compassionate dungeon entities. These largely benevolent beings, dig tunnels, evolve monsters, spawn treasure, and guard hidden mysteries. Gregor’s new job was the same as his old one. To keep the sewers clean.
It was a boring job. For the first few years he was simply a tiny gem stone that sat in the center of a vast labyrinth of pipes, steam tunnels, outflow conduits, pumping stations, and grates.
Day after day, in order to for the city to recoup their investment, mages from the Department of Financial Wizardry had tromped through his caustic outflow, simply to fill Gregor with as much Mana as he could hold. This steady diet of rich mana caused him to grow exponentially.
The way Gregor saw it, a steady diet of nutritionally rich Washington DC City Mages as well as any other superfluous bureaucrats would have caused him to grow even faster, but when Gregor tried to chow down on his captors, and to pick his teeth with their bones, his requests were, put euphemistically, firmly denied.
As Gregor grew, from tiny dungeon core to medium sized dungeon core, he began to claim the miles and miles of pipe as his own. Still enslaved and nursing his truth strength, he eventually allowed sanitation workers access and guided them to trouble spots. Gregor worked with the city government to root out the local thieves’ guild and smugglers from using the sewer system as a place to travel and organize. Sometimes he helped to organized rescue parties when children playing near outflow pipes or manholes fell in.
As a reward he was given shiny baubles to play with and hide as dungeon treasure. He was given the city’s stray cats population for his dungeon monsters. And was allowed to claim parts of the shore of the Potomac where trees lined the river banks and where every spring and fall the migrating warblers would pass.
Gregor hated all of it. In his previous life as the head of the City’s Maintenance Engineers, he had worked closely with the department of city planning to ensure that the city functioned properly. He’d gloried in red tape, and the tedious day to day routine that only someone with a degree in Civil Engineering, an MBA in Business Management, and no social life could enjoy.
But as a dungeon, Gregor had a more primal desire. That desire was to kill.
At first this instinct was small.
In one recurring crystalline dream, Gregor envisioned DC’s Mayor walking down a long passageway. Trap after trap, whittling away the Mayors hit points. With glee, Gregor imagined the city’s official stepping onto a slime. Gregor chuckled as the Mayor’s leg was eaten away by the slime’s acid.
Slowly the Mayor crawled forward in excruciating pain, inch by inch now. First with two legs, then with one leg, and then with none. On the verge of death, the Mayor finally arrived in Gregor’s final room. Upon beholding the glory that was Gregor’s the Crystal heart, the Mayor, a man who he had once thought of as a friend, could do nothing but crawl forward in his own blood, puss, and vomit, crawling in supplication begging Gregor’s forgiveness and promising to appoint a committee to look into reversing the transformation.
A glow, a vibrant pulsing evil that enveloped the room, slowly grew from Gregor gemstone body. Then a monster stepped out from behind a Corinthian column. Not just any monster. A boss monster stepped out from the depth of the shadows. Shrouded in darkness and reaking of sulfur and pain, slowly, ever so slowly, over hours and days, devoured the screaming whining begging District of Columbia Mayor inch by inch, snapping his bones and eating his flesh.
“Yes I can increase the output flow in tunnels 2 and 6,” said Gregor in his monthly teleconference with District of Columbia leadership.
At first, in Gregor’s path to domination, he was only able to overcome the minds of feeble minions. The cats they gave him to play with were first. They became his senses, scouring the tunnels, hunting for trespassers. They became ubiquitous in the Sewage tunnels. The rats were second. Rats were loyal servants who scuttled up and down the sewers looking for snacks, and fed his cats. Gregor took control of their minds and they began to worship him like a rat god.
Then came the goldfish, the piranhas, the lionfish, the clownfish, the zebra tetras, the sharks, the eels, the cichlids and the loaches. Then the baby alligators, snakes, and tarantulas grown too large for their aquariums and flushed down the toilets and into Gregor’s control.
The seeds of an army was building. From the areas were Gregor’s body met the outside, he added insects and bats and birds. At one of the opening of his outflow chambers there was a small ragtag gathering of homeless men and women, of meth heads, and other assorted down and out civs living at the fringes of life. Soon, these too became his servants.
Out of the way, Gregor dug breeding pits for minions to spawn. There he encouraged them to breed and to grow. In these pits Gregor performed horrid genetic experiments. Escaped house pets named fluffy and whiskers were forced into death matches so that the strong would get stronger, the weak would die off.
The culmination of his fiendish plan took nineteen long years.
The Mayor he knew had been voted out, new ones with different priorities were voted in. The mages came down into his depths more and more infrequently. The monthly teleconferences became yearly teleconferences and then stopped altogether. The strength of the bonds which enslaved him wore down, and the budget from the city to renew and replenish these prison bonds tapered off.
Gregor the Patient and Unyielding was treated more as a thing than with the Reverence a Mighty and Powerful Dungeon like he, deserved. Gregor knew that mortals should fear and tremble when they said his name. Human beings and civil servants should quiver and wet themselves at his might, not discuss budget shortfalls and actuarial statistics. Did they not know that he was Gregor the Omnipotent?
He stayed silent, easily biddable, for the nineteen years it took them to forget.
Then the time had come for Gregor to make his move. His body stretched the entire length of the city. From Mt Vernon to Fairfax; from Gaithersburg to Largo; he lay beneath the surface all
seeing, all powerful, all sewage consuming. His evil chuckles were methane leaks of destruction that savaged the cherry blossoms and defenestrated the windows on L street.
The first to die were the Mages from the department of Magic feeding Gregor his paltry, now yearly ration of mana. While they were working, mutated land eels that had been absorbing electrical current from the underground electric lines unleashed their deadly voltage. The mages, depleted from feeding Gregor could not resist as thousands of watts flooded through their bodies and they fried.
The next to die were the teams of maintenance and construction workers wandering through Gregors sewers. Gregor had been breeding the Cats with the Alligators and with a group of homeless men and women who took shelter in his run off tunnels. He called these strange part cat, part alligator, part human, Nip Heads because of their soul numbing need for catnip, a remnant of the meth dependences that had driven their human forefathers down into the tunnels in the first place.
Timmy who had fallen down a well, children who were playing in his aqueducts, the guild of thieves he had allowed access to his hidey-holes. All were similarly purged that day, feeding the hungering monstrosities that rose from his depths in wave after wave of killing death. Razor kitties. Tabby sharks. Mole men. Death bringers all of them.
It was only when Gregor the Terrifying made the attempt to add the tunnels of the DC Metro to his domain that he suffered defeat.
At first, his taste of the metro system was glorious. The walls of the underground subway stops fell open, and his minions and creatures chewed on the bones and tasted the blood of the tens of thousands of Civs and NPC commuters going to work that morning.
But the subway system was too important to the city.
Scores of Gamers and Adventurers, some coming from far away Server Worlds rushed to beat back this new threat. It was all a game to them, a chance to gain experience, to fight a truly magnificent fight. Gregor hated them all.
Fortunately, because he had been planning his emancipation for years, Gregor’s size was unmatched. He had even added a hidden fifth and sixth level that he retreated to when he began his plan.
The gamers were able to beat him back from the subway system, at a heavy cost in lives. His minions bled as much as the adventurers did. But advancing into the sewers they could not find his core. He had hidden it too well.
Year after year, teams of gamers came down into the sewers explore, to level. Every once in a while the sewage system would clog and a team of heavily armed warriors, mages, gunners, and priests emerged from the adventurers guild to deal with the threat, leading plumbers and sanitations workers deep into the first level of the dungeon, and then defending them while they did their work. Every once in a while a toilet or a sink would back up, and hot burning death would crawl up from the bowels of the earth to bring terror into Washington DC bathroom goers everywhere.
Until a state of stalemate between the city and the sewers was achieved.
It was into this sewer that Necrobump climbed into when he escaped the fight where his team and friends from I like Big Booty were killed.