After the visit to Inari I made a few adjustments in my dungeon, at the moment either in the area outside or the entryway to the dungeon are the only parts that use natural like textures, so adding the ore will mean I have to add a completely new room, or add it to the first section of the dungeon.
The only floor that the adventurers currently frequent that even has room to add any additional space is the ground floor as well, so in the small square room, just past the entry tunnel I add 2 rooms off either side.
I add an archway similar to the one connecting this room to the tunnel and then fill the entryway with iron ore blocking off the path. I don’t completely block off the path or the adventurers might never notice the change, so I leave it in a way that looks like part of the wall is crumbling exposing the rooms beyond.
The iron ore veins are pretty cheap so for now I decide to coat all four walls in the ore veins several feet thick. The holes in the archways are just large enough for the smaller varieties of kobolds to fit through, so I add a small rift of them in each of the rooms and gives them small pickaxes as weapons.
I can’t say kobolds are known for their smarts so I make some shoddy iron makeshift weapons replacing some of the kobolds weapons on the first floor along with a crude forge, and scattered rock and ore around the ground floor of the dungeon giving the entire floor a sense of disarray.
I hope this state of the ground floor of the dungeon will also start to help with my plan for introducing the demi-human village to my dungeon.
The next day the adventurer’s guild and mage’s guild both are starting to speculate on the changes of the dungeon and over the next few days I slowly start to reduce the number of monsters that spawn from the rifts to continue my plans for introducing the demi-humans to my dungeon.
I even start to leave some of the corpses behind stopping the dungeon from automatically cleaning the rooms out after the adventurers leave. The appearance of the ore is quickly forgotten behind the rumors that something definitely seems wrong in the dungeon.
One morning I receive a message from a dungeon core I know of but haven’t ever actually spoken to.
Bianca: (Archjusticar of the Elders, I was told to inform you when the one Duke Dingleberry wishes to meet with is due to return, and so I have. Pass the message along and be sure to remind him of the compensation in which he promised.)
I am not sure what Dyson wants with Bianca, or how my name falls into this, but I send a message back informing her I will let him know, and then relay the message to Dyson via the communication parchment.
Dyson doesn’t answer me back but I become busy when I am informed of a meeting that is being called with the Mage’s Guild. One more push and then I will introduce some of the demi-humans… The meeting goes about like you would expect they are worried about the dungeons decline.
We manage to convince them that when our group supposedly dealt with the group that they had found the crystal and it was in bad shape before we were able to stop them. We also said they were battling a great deal of the dungeon’s monsters as well, so after they were defeated we had to quickly flee before the monsters attacked us as well.
It means we have to give the Mage’s Guild and the Adventurer’s Guild a bit more information about the dungeon then they currently know, but I didn’t tell them about the three floors past the door locked by the orbs, saying that door lead straight to the crystal.
I also could play off most of the monsters the dungeon has at that point because we said they were already gone when we reached that point. They quickly sent a message via communication parchment to the Adra Mage’s Guild, but they said they haven’t ever heard of a crystal taking damage like that without breaking.
I heard my crystal withstood one of Listel’s [Dark Arcana Blade] attacks but the crystals I have broken seemed to have done so quite easily, so maybe I shouldn’t have said that. I tell them by the point in which a crystal is being damaged the adventurer either leaves a hero or doesn’t leave at all, so maybe it happens more often but there just isn’t anyone left to rely the information, and they seem to accept that.
Nobody knows how to heal a damaged crystal so they decide to just have the Mage’s Guild not enter the dungeon for a few days in hopes that without the loss of more monsters the dungeon will be able to recover.
In truth the opposite would be more effective in having more people in the dungeon to recover lost xp, but with my secondary dungeon covering Tobes it doesn’t affect me in the least, so I agree on their plan. We also put a hold on the adventurers entering the dungeon, and have the soldiers take a post outside the dungeon to make sure nobody interferes with the dungeon.
Through all the faking about the dungeon being injured we are actually doing really well, we still haven’t replaced a lot of the non-rift monsters yet, but with the added xp that we are receiving from Hecate we are in pretty good shape, so the next morning I decide to introduce the demi-humans.
For now I head down to dungeon core training room and start to summon some sentient demi-humans. I summon them in the rift room, clothe them, move them to the larger room, and then repeat the process some 20 times…
By the time I am done I have 20 small gnomes wandering around the room barking, grunting, with minimal amounts actual speech, and when I enter the room they quiet down and look up at me with an awe that is somewhat disturbing…
The last one I summoned was the one I put the most thought into because I wanted him to serve as their leader, and as he only entered the room right before me he didn’t have a chance to see the others yet.
He quickly throws his little hands out and proclaims. “Babga macka Master!”
All the little waist high gnomes cheer and quickly drop to their knees in front of me.
“Hold on here… I summoned you with the intention of making the humans think you worshiped the dungeon, but you don’t actually have to worship me…
Head Gnome: “Imika Master!” –He calls out and all the gnomes quickly bow over and over again while staying on their knees.-
“This was not my intention… Please, I need to treat me like a normal human. I can’t have you acting this way around other humans.”
Head Gnome: “babaga imito Master, babaga macka dungeon?”
I am not sure what he is saying but before they threw themselves to the ground he said that about me, and now he mentioned the dungeon, so maybe he is asking if he should worship the dungeon instead of me?
All the other creatures I have summoned as sentient beings have been able to speak normally, being a dungeon monster they should know any language available, and even with Faron’s death they should still at least know the languages known to me.
I only learned to summon these gnomes because of the ones I summoned after Maeve sent me, but I have never summoned a sentient one. Maybe even though they are sentient they are still not smart enough to have a full grasp of human speech?
“You understand me right?”
Head Gnome: “Da Master!” –He says puffing out his chest, slapping it, and nodding his head.-
“I need you to not worship me like that, do you understand?”
Head Gnome: “babaga imito Master, babaga macka dungeon. –He says pointing to me and shaking his head and then holding his arms wide and then nodding.- “Da?”
“You don’t have to worship the dungeon either, just make the humans think you do. Do you understand?”
Head Gnome: “Imito!” –He says shaking his head.-
I guess I don’t have a choice. It’s either me or the dungeon, so I guess I will just leave it as the dungeon.
“Alright, I guess if that is what you want you can worship the dungeon, but you don’t have to, do you understand?”
Head gnome: “Da!” –he turns facing the other gnomes.- “Babaga imito Master, babaga macka dungeon! Imika dungeon!”
The gnomes throw themselves to the floor again, but instead of in bows it’s more like they are trying to hug the floor, while some even roll around on it… This might be a bit harder than I thought.
“You probably shouldn’t call me master either. Just Two-Twelve is fine.”
Head Gnome: “Master Two-Twelve?” –He says cocking his head to one side.-
“No, just Two-Twelve.”
Head Gnome: “Da Two-Twelve” –He says reaching up patting on my stomach.-
I take a deep breath and then summon some of the livestock, starting out with a few chickens and cows.
Head Gnome: “Grindle bock bock, gringle moo moo!”
The gnomes quickly jump up surrounding the livestock. I am afraid one of the cows might stomp one of the gnomes, but I guess since they are summoned from the dungeon they don’t even flinch. The gnomes quickly start fighting over who can hold the chickens while others wrap themselves around the legs of the cows.
The victors that get ahold of the chickens look as proud as they can be while trying to hold up the chickens that are almost half the size of the gnomes. The ones that lost then turn joining the others wrapping themselves around the legs of the cows.
“You do know what you are supposed to do, don’t you?”
The head gnome looks excited at seeing the chickens and cows, but doesn’t move from his spot near me. “Da! Bock bock ga moo moo humans grindle.”
“I’m not sure…”
Something then quickly catches the head gnome’s attention and he runs over slapping the back of the head of a gnome who was licking the chicken it was holding. “Bock bock imito grindle baba, bock bock grindle humans!”
Licking gnome: “Baba imito grindle…?”
Head gnome: “Baba dungeon aka imito grindle. Baba imika babaga dungeon!”
The gnome that licked the chicken looks unsatisfied as it has a frown on its face only saying “Da”. The head gnome makes his way back over to me with the chicken after he takes away from the other gnome. The licking gnome doesn’t look happy about it, but he quickly joins the others with the cows.
Head gnome: “Baba imito grindle bock bock ga moo moo.”
“So you do know that the animals are for the humans to eat?”
Head gnome: “Humans grindle bock bock ga moo moo, baba imito grindle.” –He says nodding his head and repositions the chicken so its feet no longer touch the ground as it holds it.-
“The soldiers are watching the dungeon so nobody tries to sneak in, I was hoping to use that as a way for the humans to know you are here, but I don’t know if as it stands if you can be convincing enough for Doug to let you in the dungeon without it being suspicious to the other soldiers that are not with the dungeon.”
Head Gnome: “Soldier grindle bock bock! –he says then shoves the chicken at me, and after a few seconds of hold the chicken out to me I take it and he nods.- “Da.” –He says and then walks past me.-
“I don’t think you just handing Doug a chicken is going to be convincing enough for the soldiers to let you in the dungeon. The soldiers are going to be on edge as it is because they are not used to demi-humans.”
The head gnome looks shocked taking the chicken back out of my hands. “Imito grindle bock bock, grindle moo moo?” –he says propping the chicken over his shoulder while pointing at one of the cows.-
“I don’t think giving him a cow would help either…”
Head Gnome: “Meh!” –He says collapsing to his butt while stroking the chicken which is now is just as tall as he is.-
“What are we going to do?”
Head Gnome: “Grindle bock bock?” –He says with a smile on his face holding up the chicken.-
I sigh with a smile on my face. “No, no grindle bock bock…”
I spend the next few hours talking with the head gnome, and I start to understand what he is saying, but he won’t have that much time to convince the soldiers to enter the dungeon.
In that time we also name the gnomes, and manage to give them each their own name, even though everyone seemed to be want to be called bock bock or moo moo… The head gnome chose the name Bribri, and it seems to be a recurring pattern because well over ¾ of them have names with a three to four letters each being repeat.
In the end I taught Bribri a few sentences to use to get past the soldiers. It is rather hard to keep it simple enough that Bribri can follow it, and still enough that Doug can let them into the dungeon without suspicion.
That evening after I fill Doug in on the plan we put the plan into effect. From the dungeon core room I transfer the gnomes and livestock outside at the edge of the dungeon area, and have them approach the dungeon from inside the forest.
When they exit the edge of the forest they are down by the lake, so there is quite a bit of distance from them and the soldiers. One of the soldiers sees the group heading up to the dungeon and calls out. “Monsters!”
The soldiers quickly draw their weapons and Doug calls out as well.
Doug: “Wait! How can it be monsters? We have been watching the dungeon entrance this entire time, and the dungeon has never sent out monsters before.”
Soldier: “Is that a cow…?”
Soldier: “What is leading the cows? Are there monsters stealing livestock from town?”
Doug: “I don’t think they are monsters, they look like some kind of demi-human.”
Soldier: “What’s the difference?”
Sigrun slaps the other soldier in the back of the head. “What do you mean what’s the difference? Am I a monster to?”
The soldier rubs his head and says. “But you are a type of beastkin aren’t you? Not some demi-human.”
Sigrun: “What do you think a beastkin is? Just because beastkin are a more common variety that doesn’t mean we aren’t technically demi-humans as well.”
Doug: “Alright, that’s enough, they don’t appear to have any weapons, and they are small, but that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down.”
The soldiers quit the chatter and take positions. Bribri waddles up to the soldiers holding one of the chickens in his arms.
Bribri: “We enter babaga dungeon?”
Watching through the screen I can’t help but sigh. I told him to only use human words…
Doug: “You can talk? But the answer is no, the dungeon is closed by orders from the Adventurer’s Guild, Mage’s Guild, and the Gowen royal family.”
Bribri: “But babaga dungeon is *cough cough* Bribri bring babaga dungeon bock bock.”
“Chicken! Not bock bock chicken!” –I yell at the screen in front of me while face palming.-
Doug: “What do you know about what is going on in the dungeon?”
Bribri: “Babaga dungeon was bad hurt, needs Bribri help.”
Doug: “I am guessing you are Bribri? What is it you can do to help the dungeon with a chicken?”
Bribri: “I also brings other babas and moo moos.”
“I give up… Did he even listen to me?” –I say to myself as the bunnies look at me with suspicion from over their shoulders.-
Doug: “That’s not what I mean, how are you supposed to help the dungeon?”
Bribri: “Babas purpose to help *cough cough* babaga dungeon. Babas make babaga dungeon no *cough cough*.”
Doug: “I mean how do you plan to fix the dungeon?”
Bribri: “Bribri not knowing yet. Babaga dungeon be mad, Babaga dungeon be sad, or babaga dungeon be hurt. Bribri give soldier bock bock and soldier let babas in babaga dungeon?”
I told him that wouldn’t work. I hope he doesn’t confuse Doug.
Doug: “You want to give me the chicken so you can enter the dungeon?”
Bribri: “Bribri give soldier bock bock, make soldier no grindle. Babas then make babaga dungeon no *cough cough*”
Doug: “I told you the dungeon was closed.”
Bribri: “Bribri knows. Many soldiers, soldiers not need bock bock, soldiers need moo moo.”
Doug: “No, I don’t need a cow either.” -he says starting to look confused.-
I don’t even know if he can read, but I send a message to Bribri telling him to get back on track.
Bribri struggles with the chicken in his arms as he fights to open his message. I know what he is doing but without being able to see it looks rather strange, so I would imagine it looks even more so to the soldiers. He then tilts his head and shifts his weight getting a better grip on the chicken.
Bribri: “Da! Babas help babaga dungeon no be *cough cough* by using babas magic!”
Doug seems to let out a sigh of a relief as Bribri returns to what he was supposed to say, and then Doug says. “You have magic to fix the dungeon?”
Bribri: “That babas purpose make dungeon no *cough cough*.”
Doug: “I don’t know… You don’t even look like you can defend yourselves in the dungeon.”
Bribri: “Babas no need defends, Babaga dungeon let babas help babaga dungeon or stay *cough cough* Babaga dungeon let babas help babaga dungeon.”
Doug: “Wait you can talk to the dungeon?”
Bribri: “No, babas no talk babaga dungeon, bagaga dungeon just knows.”
Doug: “I don’t know… We should talk to my sister and the Adventurer’s Guild first.”
Bribri: “Da, soldiers talk to my sister and babas help babaga dungeon!” –He says trying to walk past the soldiers but Doug stops him.-
Doug: “Hold on little guy… Alright, I will make a deal with you. You show me how you fix the dungeon and we will consider letting you in the dungeon.”
Bribri: “Babas no make babaga dungeon no *cough cough* out here, babas must be in babaga dungeon.”
Doug: “Alright, but only a little bit inside, we have orders not to hurt any of the monsters till the problem with the dungeon is worked out.”
The soldiers and the gnomes then enter the dungeon with the gnomes still dragging the livestock along with them. Once the reach the end of the tunnel Doug comes to a halt.
Doug: “Alright, this is as far as we go, through there is where the monsters are supposed to start.”
Bribri steps through the archway and before Doug can stop him he trips the tripwire for the trap. Doug quickly calls out grabbing for the gnome, but nothing happens. I disabled the trap, but didn’t tell Doug that so to make his reaction a bit more believable. I will have to apologize to him later.
Bribri: “No worries, babaga dungeon no hurt babas. Hold bock bock.” –He says then shoves the chicken at Doug.- “No grindle bock bock. Now babas help babaga dungeon.”
The gnomes look disappointed as they start to turn the livestock over to the soldiers but one gnome won’t let go of the rope it was leading the cow with along with several of the other gnomes.
Bribri: “Koko gives soldier moo moo, and help babas!”
I notice it’s the same gnome that was licking the chicken earlier… He then stubbornly refuses to let go of the rope. “Imito baba moo moo, soldier imito grindle.”
Bribri: “Soldier Imito grindle moo moo, babaga dungeon grindle baba imito macka.”
I think Bribri just told the other gnome that I was going to eat him… It seemed to work because the gnome gets nervous and reluctantly let’s go of the cow and joins the others.
Bribri: “Soldiers no move babas make babaga dungeon no *cough cough*.”
The gnomes then start moving around the room touching the ground and walls all while speaking in whatever language it is they use is called. With the soldiers in the hallway they are in a different room, and all the gnomes are dungeon monsters so I slowly reactivate the rift causing the kobolds to begin appearing in the room.
Bribri: “Soldiers no move!” –He quickly calls out.-
Doug holds back the soldier that was about to step into the room and another kobold appears in the room. The gnomes are all around, but the kobolds are completely ignoring them, and the soldiers. After the entire set of kobolds have appeared from the rift Bribri approaches Doug and holds out his stubby little arms. “Give bock bock!”
Doug hands Bribri the chicken again and then the other gnomes then quickly begin to fight again who gets what animal.
Doug: “That really was something… Does that mean the dungeon is back to normal now?”
Bribri: “No, babas has gots to make all babaga dungeon no *cough cough*.”
The soldiers are unsure how to react with the kobolds standing only a few feet away and still not making any attempts to attack them.
Soldier: “Prince Doug, maybe we should return to the garrison and tell them about these demi-humans.”
Doug: “Maybe you are right, but what about them?”
Bribri: “No worries, babas stays and make babaga dungeon no *cough cough*.” –He says as the gnomes have all returned into the room with the kobolds without the soldiers noticing.-
Doug: “We can’t just leave you in here.” –He says trying to take a step forward, but the spike trap activates blocking the path between the soldiers and the gnomes.-
Bribri then calls out from the other side of the spikes. “Soldiers nos worry babas will make babaga dungeon no more *cough cough.*!”
The soldiers then quickly try to reset the spike trap but by the time they do the gnomes are gone and the kobolds snarl and attack. The soldiers quickly retreat from the dungeon and leaving a few soldiers to guard the entrance the rest follow Doug down the mountain back towards town.
My favored element may be fire, but that doesn’t mean I am incapable of summoning wind creatures. I can’t summon anything as specialized like and elf, but monsters at the level Maeve needed to pay back Two-Twelve is no problem, and in exchange for my pick out of the swan beastkin females she gets from Two-Twelve I gave the other monsters to her.
Now I just have to wait a few weeks to give her credibility that she us summoning them herself, and then I can acquire one of those angelic beastkin women. Ironic that I claimed finding a beastkin woman acceptable enough for my entourage would be quite hard, and yet a beastkin woman will become one of my new entourage’s first members that I am greatly looking forward to exploring in great detail.
But just after 2 days I decide I don’t want to wait any longer to fill the remaining spots of my entourage with some human women. Finding fresh woman is quite difficult unless I summon them myself, but I want to avoid having woman that look like Sofia in my entourage from now on.
Summoning a few just as placeholders should be easy enough, and afterwards they can then join Byson or become one of my soldiers, but before I get the chance to summon them I receive word via one of Byson’s women that Two-Twelve had left me a message on the communication parchment.
She presents it to me looking rather ashamed, and I am finding it difficult to maintain the mindset that I made the right decision in turning my entourage over to Byson. I take the communication parchment from her and then wave her off.
Well it doesn’t matter I will summon a few placeholders after I find out what it was Two-Twelve wanted, or so I thought. After reading the message about Bianca I decide it is time to get back to work. Placing the ring of the fat bastard back on my finger I inform Byson of my departure and teleport back to Bianca’s dungeon.
I find Bianca talking to a man and they seem to be trading merchandise. When I approach Bianca waves off one of the beastkin woman that were going to stop me and she says.
Bianca: “Duke, I see you arrived in a timely fashion. Edward, this is the man I was telling you about, and Duke I will give you a chance to speak but then I expect what it is you promised me.”
Edward seems rather nervous when he turns around, but seems to have a bit of relief wash over him after he sees my appearance. He then puts on his best businessman smile and greets me. “I am Edward, I hear you had some questions for me?”
“Indeed, I have been tracking the origins of a slave that you departed with in Southern Merretta.”
Edward: “I had assumed as much, but I can’t tell you any more than all the rest that have asked me. I won her contract in a fair game of cards at the capital of Korta.”
“And the person you won her from?”
Edward: “It has been years… All I know is he seemed like someone of importance, he had a group of adventurers that acted more as his private guards then they did normal adventurers. If I had to guess he was some sort of noble’s son.”
Edward then gives me all the information he has including the man’s description and the adventurers that were with him, but says that’s all he has.
“Well if he is a noble then someone should know him by his description. That is something I guess, if you can think of anything else Bianca knows how to reach me.”
Edward then looks relived as he thanks Bianca and takes his wagon and leaves. Bianca then approaches with a smirk on her face.
Bianca: “Well I did as you asked, so I believe you owe me.”
I take a small bead out of my pocket and toss it to her.
Bianca: “What the hell is this?”
“Just what it looks like.”
Bianca: “Wait this is an xp bead… How did you get your hands on one of these?!”
“You already know I know Two-Twelve, so is an xp bead that far of a stretch.”
Bianca: “But only the Elders can make xp beads!”
“I have my ways, but if you don’t want it.”
Bianca: “I’ll take it!”
“Good, now I believe that makes us even, but if you find out any more information you know how to reach me.” –I say then teleport to Korta without another word.-
Korta is one of the smallest human kingdoms, and it seems half the population are nobles of some kind, but with the description of the noble and the ones with him maybe that will be enough to find out just who he is.
He said it has been years, but maybe the noble still frequents the same tavern so I head there first and ask around for more information. No one seems to know who it is I am looking for but when I state that the information is several years old I finally get some information.
Tavern goer: “You said years…? Doesn’t that sound a bit like Prince Korvasta?”
“Prince Korvasta? If he is the prince I guess I will find him at the castle?”
Tavern goer: “No… Prince Korvasta died years ago in a dungeon.”
“A dungeon you say? Where!?”
Tavern goer: “That dungeon in Gowen, before all the fancy mage regents were coming from it, Prince Korvasta was supposed to claim its crystal as per an agreement with the Gowen Kingdom, but I say the Gowen’s knew the dungeon was more then they let on and sent him there intentionally to kill him.”
“You are speaking of the Elemental Stronghold?”
Tavern Goer: “It was just the Kobold Stronghold then…”
Two-Twelve…? How does the path lead back to him? I guess the reason for that cat beastkin of Laura’s to enter his dungeon that first time was to investigate him concerning the cuff? If that is the case I need to speak to Two-Twelve, but first I make sure the information isn’t here somewhere. Before contacting Two-Twelve I decide to try to gather more information about Korvasta first.
I don’t learn much about the late prince, except he seemed to be married into the Gowen family. I then decide I have no other choice but to find out why all paths seem to lead back to Two-Twelve. With one more teleport I arrive in Two-Twelve’s town of Tobes.