That.... was Embarassing, capital E. Full Stop. Embarrassing. Couldn't even land a hit on him, and I'm half convinced he knew where my Core was.

Charolette, once she respawned, climbed into my urn and rested against the bit of crystal that I presume was my physical link to this world. It was a fine thing, bigger than before. That was, something I guess. Had that been someone who thought I was aligned with whoever the prior owner was, This Damala, or Dambala, or whatever? Still flip-flopping between if I should have tried dogpiling him or not.

That would have continued uninterrupted, except I heard snapping from Laginn. Right, they can hear me. Wonder if it's affected by where my awareness is and where they are, or if it's like an 'everywhere that is mine' kind of thing.

What he was snapping about was. Well, he was standing at the base of one of the long candle stick things in the central chamber. he then snapped again and pointed. Empty lantern hook? You want light?

Laginn bobbed on his fingertips. Hmm, I had the mana so sure. Let there be Light I guess.

There was the sound of snapping echoing through the rooms I had control of as light sources boomed into being. technically they were all traps. Candles each being 'minor incendiary traps' and the wall lanterns being just 'incendiary traps.' Wait lemme look at that. Considering the dwarf I'd have expected open pan burning oil brazers, but no these were hooded glass windowed lanterns. Well, that sure as heck is going to be anachronistic. Call the SCA I've lost my period accuracy. Oh well.

At least the mana cost is low. the bug income seems to be enough right now to offset it, and I do like the added light.

My attention was focused on creating resources. Small coins and other pocketable knick knacks spawned in what I'm guessing was an offering plate left on one of the benches. Nothing extravagant, but I felt nice. What felt eve nicer was putting a spider under the bench at that spot. Low level, not venomous. Just a quick 'Hey keep on your toes' sort of thing. I even made sure to tell it to occasionally scuttle out of its hiding spot and very visibly go back to its little nest. If anyone gets attacked by this guy it's kind of on them.

Another collection plate. At first, I was going to trap it too, but I had a better idea. Have the spider alternate between plates. Simple. Leaves anyone guessing.

The Pulpit looks barren. Is there anything I can spawn there?


OK, that's inconvenient how do I go about getting a library?


Wow, that's a big chunk of mana. Sure I guess? Hopefully, I can move it later because right now it's getting stuck in the room on the opposite side of the big central room. Lessee. What kinda books can I put here... No. No... No... NO. All of these are general edgy 'raah darkness is amazing eat babies and kick puppies' kinda garbage. Is there anything? 'Book from Another World.' Eh, it's not extolling the wonders of murder or greed. There we go, mystery book on the pulpit. Pity I don't have fingers.

Laginn must have heard my complaint and scuttled up to where the book was and tapped the dark stained leather cover. Beats me, man. Was the option I hated least. Mind opening it for me?

Laginn gave the thumbs up before turning. Wait. Dedication... 'To Ishida, you know why.' Wha...? Did my library spit out a piece of fiction on me? Page turn. 'Let me tell you of my world so you may learn from our mistakes...'

I tried focusing to read more. It felt like a headache forming, starting at the sinuses and expanding out. the kind where you don't see straight. I tried pressing through since, frankly, I don't have a body so this shouldn't be a problem. Why's it getting worse? I don't remember one this bad since- Since-

Thinking hurts and I have no eyelids to close.

Laginn slammed the book shut and covered it with his palm. OK fair, book of headaches not good idea for me to read. OK. that might not be a good idea to leave out. I'm gonna go stare at Charolette or something.

I can feel more triplines alerting me to someone entering and I just can't bring myself to care.

"Huh, was told this place had nothing." Older sounding man. Voice sounded low to the ground. Don't wanna leave my little bubble right now. This urn is nice and comfy. Even though I can feel several of the mushrooms being picked. not yanked. Carefully cut and cleaned. Small gains, but gains all the same. Alright guys, hang back let's see what he does.

And I was rewarded by the old man stopping by one of the stone coffins lining the sides of the central room. His hand pressed against the unadorned stone as he muttered a prayer. It wasn't Latin, or even some kind of fake-Latin. the cadence was wrong, there were clicks and throat noises that seemed to almost form as much meaning as the noises I'd expect from language. Still, no comprehension.

Yet the man smiled when his hand pulled away. "Interesting you have not claimed the dead as your own." He pulled a leather-bound journal book out of his shoulder bag and took notes. "Out of all the successors to Damala... huh." His head shook. Dangit I was hoping for more exposition.

He walked along, unhurried. Checking the pulpit. Oh no... Charolette stop him! My eight-legged friend darted at the man. Who seemed confused. "What's this?" he was more surprised than anything. She lept on top of the book and waved her forelimbs as a warning.

"So you want to make sure I am worthy then?" If I had hands that weren't darting all about the dungeon I'd have buried my head in them. Now that I was able to focus my attention on something without feeling like everything was going to break? The only word I could think to describe the man was 'Halfling.' Well, Mr halfling. I am sorry but I don't want you to have that. If it can give someone without a body a migraine is it going to pull a Scanners and make your head explode?

The halfling had a walking stick with symbols carved along its length. Maybe arcane. Maybe just the local script. He jabbed at Charolette. Then frowned at the sudden spray of webbing in his face. He hrmphed, causing the runes on his staff to glow softly. The webbing on his face melted. "Bah, you're a status spreader." When he jabbed at her again Charolette ran up the length of his staff and jumped on the man's face. Biting him before jumping away.

He grunted, rubbing the bite mark, reaching into his bag to pull out a potion. Please take the hint, old man. Please...

Instead, after he downed the red liquid, he again reached for the book. Charlotte hissed, causing several other spiders to join her. Forcing the man's attention to split. Runes on his staff again flaring. Flames burst from the man's body. It wasn't a huge explosive fireball. More like what would happen if someone pumped a lighter into a cupped hand before lighting it. A brief puff of flame, but it was enough to kill the lesser spiders and leave Charolette crumpled on top of the book.

Laginn! I check the spider lairs. Where was Charlotte's timer? Please tell me this isn't 'kill it with a specific element and it's Dead dead.... all the lesser spiders are respawning so why not her?' I spend mana to make a trap. The question is if it'll be complete before he walks away.

Charlotte's leg twitches and she sprays the man's face with silk. Then her respawn timer starts ticking down. Never let it be said you don't go swinging girl. He, again, cleared the status, but the trap finished just in time for him to trigger it by reaching for the book. A stone fell from the ceiling. Causing the halfling to collapse.

Laginn sprinted over. Is he alive? Thumbs up from my right hand. Good. Get the other hands to help you get him to the crypt exit.

I watched them.... somehow carry the halfling to the door, pausing only for Laginn to leap up, palming the slab. Either it responded to touch or that jump had far more push than physically possible. Either way, once the door opened they rolled the stunned Halfling outside before the door could swing closed. I hope the old man doesn't take it personally. At any rate. Laginn. Yea. That Book. stow it somewhere. I don't know how to Unmake things, so just putting it somewhere is going to have to be enough for the minute.

Wow, that was a pretty good chunk of mana. More than enough to go downstairs. Huh. I'm not sure what's going on here. I start with a crypt leading outside. Behind that going down is a side room that leads to a chapel area, the room on the other side and behind it. Then there's this place on the next floor down. How're these guys? These Delvers? How are they getting in since the logical way in is thorugh the way they've been leaving?

This floor is pretty expansive. Mental map is acting squirrely. It's a giant room that is broken up into a lot of smaller rooms at the edges. Like. Office cubicals all flowing out into a central open area, except not, and it's all stone. There's stone and metalwork going on, but No wooden furnishings. no tools. Just the odd narrow rug to show vague directions.

What was this place used for? There's the suggestion it had a function, but I just can't wrap my head around an actual person visiting this place. It's the Diablo problem. Places that have all the items needed to be somewhere, but not actually being anything other than where monsters wait to try eating your face. This bothered me, but for the moment i could do little.

Man this is not pleasant. Other side of the room is another stairway leading up. Watch it lead into another chapel to mirror the one that was part of where my territory started. Stairs heading down, presumeably to another floorplan that makes no sense. If my entryway down here is at the east end of the room the other set of stairs is west, and the stairs going down are north. South... whatever's helping me tell how I'm going to expand says north is an exit Outside. OK that makes sense. If this were a normal place people would come in at the south, then branch off to whatever service is needed, and crypt exits so that outflowing traffic doesn't collide with an inflowing precession.

That saves me from having to change the crypt exit into an entryway. Good.

As soon as Charlotte respawned I had an experiment. there were some support pillars that were part of a decorative feature right at the entryway to this place. Perfect. Now to see if I can- OK that's gonna take a decent chunk of mana if I'm reading this right, but it'll be so worth it. you know what to do girl.

When next Delverse come this way they will see a large spiderweb spanning the width of a decorative feature, the bottom of the web high enough so that all but the highest of delvers can walk beneath.

'Pardon Our Dust'

'Dungeon Under New Management.'

'Feedback Welcome.'


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