I am.... I. Me. The sensation of 'Self.' Where am I?
Nonexistent eyes blinked in surprise. Moments of terror. Panic. Mentally take a deep breath, because I had no body. Was I a ghost? Spirit?. Wait, no that wasn't quite right. that little purple gem. Somehow I knew that was my body. My awareness floated outside of it though. How far could my awareness float?
A skeletal hand moved. fingers flexed, palm held off the ground as the bit of wrist that should have connected to a body stood straight upright. It seemed to pause its wandering when my attention focused on it and turned.
Wait, it can sense me? the hand bobbed, fingers flexing, letting the palm move groundward before pushing back up in an approximation of a nod. OK, you can understand me, but obviously, you don't talk. Friend? Nod.
I was going to ask it something else when a beatle picked up the shard. Unbidden panic shot through my awareness. the hand quickly moved. Fingers flexing like legs might before it propelled itself, 'jumping' after a fashion I suppose, making a fist that crushed the beatle when it landed. Energy, not much just a trickle, was gained. That felt good, but it felt like that energy mostly went to undoing whatever it did to the little gem.
Apparently, I get power by killing things. So noted. Also, I need to hide that thing since it apparently is Very Important. Was that Me?
Hand... thing? Yoo-Hoo. Can you hear me?
The Hand skittered to a stop and canted itself in imitation of a tilted head. No, Thing feels.. Overdone. too impersonal. It bobbed in agreement. What to call you though? Laginn. Oh, don't look at me like that. you're a right hand and if I'm going to survive, you need to live up to being. Well. Handy. No, I don't know how I know that word, or any other words. Wish you could talk. OK. How about you- Uugh. I need more mana to give you an Order. So I'm just gonna leave you to do whatever for now I guess.
As my awareness unfocused, Laginn scampered about... Here. Stone floor. Stone walls. Stone Ceiling. Guess what? More stone! All of it was carved and worked, so I was in a building instead of a hole in the ground. Unless the building was in a hole in the ground. Places for lanterns to hang, but none there. The urns in wall niches and ... are those coffins? Yep. My awareness can go inside them. bones. rotted clothes. Hmm, are any of you missing hands? Nope. Weird. Laginn had to have come from somewhere.
Way to go little guy. You smash those bugs! Wait why are you- Oooh I get spiders? Well. Spider right now. If I'm a crypt then I guess that makes sense. This was all very new, and frustrating. there wasn't a lot of detail. Just some bare ornimentation to keep this from looking like a stone box. the coffins were set a couple feet off the ground with lids large enough to leave a couple inches all around as a rim. For a few minutes I studied the symbols on each. All the same sort of coat of arms, but the lettering? No This looked more like a runic writing system.
My study was interrupted by a notification.
That ... sounds important, but I only have enough mana for one or the other. Where are you coming from anyway? Ooooh, Spawners. Makes sense. the spider spawner looks like a bit of webbing stuck in the corner. The ... Hand? Spawner looked like a pile of bones. That one made less sense to me since they all looked like ribs, shins, and a skull that sat on top of the pile.
Eh. Whatever. Is there any way to get more information before picking? No. Well go with my non-existent Gut then and pray to whatever gods are out there this isn't a one-time thing.
While the metaphore of an RTS was an apt comparison I get the feeling what was going on was far less like playing a game, and that this was jsut how my mind filtered the incoming data. Even so, I had mute the notification, and then all future instances of that notification. If I got notices for every beatle and bug killed I'm going to lose my mind.
Also another skeletal hand, but this one wasn't mine. It didn't outwardly look any different than Laginn, but it scuttled right to the little gem... heart? Core? Core works. It went for my core. Wait Stop that! My spider fired silken line at it, which snapped. Laginn moved to block the intruder. the two danced about, one trying to get past the other.
Alright now that it's not essentially sprinting. Try tying it down now Spiderbro. Yea that's right how're you gonna tapdance outta this one? Especially... since my spider decided to go overkill and cacoon the boney thing. Spiders need to drink their food so is he just doing that to protect me?
Aww. thanks big guy. I poke at the webbing that was the spider-spawner. Alright, Minions cost mana to make, good to know. Still, I have enough for this 'Champion' thing since the other hand gave way more mana than the bugs did. that was the first spider had a very orb weaver appearance, which pleased me. Black Widows were overdone anyway. It was larger than normal spiders, but still had the whole fat body and spindly legs combo going on. Here Spiderbro, have a few more friends. Wait aren't spiders solitary?
Huh seems this lot, if not chummy, at least aren't trying to murder eachother. Better hold off on hitting that button til I get more space.
Alright. Laginn. Spiderbro? I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't know what a Champion is or if I'm going to get to make more. However, I have an idea. It takes mana for me to order you lot about. I'm hoping if I make a scion either the scion can relay orders at a discount, or just make things a bit more efficient.
Both creatures bobbed on their appendages to show they understod me.
Good. laginn, you'll have to wait. Sorry buddy but I do have something I want you to do that's kind of important. Spiderbro. Wait no. lemme look at you. Wish I knew what spiders were. Are you a girl? The spider bobbed on its legs, doing a pushup. Is... that a yes? Another pushup.
Charolette? It's a female name so... Oh you like it? Well Charolette, you're my, hopefully first, Champion. I know spiders aren't social by nature, but you're all apparently my underlings so I'm hoping this works. Maybe see if you can get the others to set a few trip lines?
No I don't think they'd stop anything larger than bugs. but maybe if you guys feel threads being pulled you can swarm and wrap anything bigger? OK cool, I'll leave you to figure that out.
Laginn. I can feel stairs going down. You're faster than Charolette so I want you to have a look around. I think I'm getting bigger, or at least the bubble that feels like 'me' is, and I want to know more about what I'm expanding into.
Augh. I need to secure that shard... Gem thinggie. Charolette. Laginn. Ideas? Huh. I don't think Laginn can open any of the coffins up. Maybe stick it in an urn for right now? That sounds promising. Charolette picked the chip up. And I stopped holding my non-existant breath when I didn't feel like I was being manhandled. OK, that only happens if Other critters pick it up. Good to know.
I had Charolette rest on the back of Laginn as he hopped up onto one of the urn alcoves. drop the shard in, which admittedly was a little worrying, but it was maybe a couple of centimeters at worst not like, a dead fall from a building. I don't like that the top's open Charlotte, can you web that up?
Ew no now it stands out. After detection wires are strung I'm going to have to ask Charlotte to get the spider brigade to start webbing all of the containers. Except for that one over there. If anything's going to search it may as well look somewhere obvious.
SPAWN RESOURCE NODE?
...I have no idea what that is, but it'll complete the little bit of misdirection. Sure I guess. A few coins suddenly appeared inside the un-cobwebbed urn. I guess that'd be handy if someone somehow managed to find their way in here. Better they grab some coins than to grab me and take me to a pawn shop or something.
I've got a handful of spiders patrolling my little crypt. Laginn has gone downstairs right to the edge of my awareness. Huh. Bigger room. Much of the same though. Alcoves for urns, hangers for lanterns. A lot of cobwebs and dust, but no new spiders. Where'd that hand come from? I can feel Laginn smash another bug.
This is weird. All of it. I can't perceive anything really past the next set of steps or much past part of a hallway going deeper. If I'm a crypt why am I not all of it? Do I have neighbors? Hands don't just up and walk about without magic. So I obviously have neighbors of some sort.
Worries for later. For now. my spiders are weaving silkin line. Laginn is patrolling about. I even spawned a few more resources and.... wait I can spawn a chest? Yea stick you right There. Right smack dab in the middle of the room. Big Notice Me chest Ignore everything else.
No Charolette I don't want you to make nests around it. Have a couple of spiders patrol it. Have a few lines stretched across it to-
NEW TRAP CONSTRUCTED
Wait that's interesting. if I'm reading, not the right metaphor but go with it, this right I just made a conditional. Whoever opens this chest suddenly has a guaranteed chance of an encounter. Hope I have time to tidy up before that sees any use. For that matter why would anyone come here? This is a place of the dead, not an amusement park you send the kiddies.
CLAIM CORPSES Y/N?
No! I don't want dominion over the bodies here. I just don't want people messing with them! Dead is dead and it's called 'laying someone to rest' for a reason. Nobody is touching the people here.
I have no idea where i am, what I am, or what i'm doing. If this is some Isekai nonsense, the least the ycould have done was let me keep my memories, and give me the owner's manual for whatever Here is.
if this isn't? Beats me. That'd make thinking a whole new activity and my thoughts feel too organized for all this to be 'New' new.
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