I now had a problem on my metaphorical hands, that the literal hands of my dungeon were scrounging for a fix, even if a temporary one. For the moment I had my core moved to the eastern chapel, most of my spiders moved to that room, and Laginn hanging onto my core. Not ideal, but it seemed the delvers understood.
At least when Keystone caught up to the panicked Rogue talking about how Bonehead had him lifted off the ground in a choke hold til he coughed up a gem he'd found.
"Lad," Keystone laughed as he took the man's report. "You'd found the Dungeon's core. Had you managed to make off with it. Well." His amusement faded, "We've never seen a core leave its dungeon and the dungeon survive. Given the creatures Lonely Hill keeps, that skeleton could have killed you had the dungeon wanted it to." There was a pause as he checked the written report, "So, Dill. I'm going to suggest you stay scarce for a few days. Maybe visit the new dungeon that's opened up. Considering what could have happened, I don't think Lonely Hill will hold a grudge, but some time for it to calm down and relocate the core would be good."
The elfin rogue grunted, rubbing his neck for effect. "So, you don't think it's murderous considering what it did to me?"
Bonehead walked downstairs from the crypt/chapel and paused, seeing the elf before walking up to Keystone. There was a head-tilt as he handed over a scrap of paper.
Keystone looked from the paper, to Bonehead, then back. On seeing Bonehead's slumped posture. "I dunna see any problem wi'it. Other cooperative dungeons have posted quests, but... a quest to another dungeon?"
He stroked his beard before handing the paper to Dill. "Alright you want to make sure you stay on Lonely Hill's good side? Do that. "
Dill looked from paper, to Bonehead, to paper. "You want me to.... kill five slimes from the new dungeon?" His eyes narrowed. "Do it yourself I'm not your step and fetchet."
Bonehead took the paper from Dill's hand, shrugged, and walked off. I wasn't wanting to be vindictive. The man made a mistake. Now, if he starts harassing people? I did a quick survey and realized I could bury him in spiders if I felt like it.
Man. I really needed to work on critter variety.
Attention briefly flicked to one the fungal growths I'd put in the western chapel. Wait.... was, it moving? I watched, fascinated because yep, it was moving. Slowly, but this was interesting. Was this a monster? A resource? It rooted itself to the side of one of the pews, spreading out til it looked almost like an off colored moss, but it couldn't hide from me.
Don't worry little one. You're safe here. So long as you don't play too rough with the guests everything's cool.
Now I really wanted someone to take that quest. I wanted to see if those putties good neighbor had were fungal based or were based off rendered animal fats. They were alchemical creations after all. A quick glance at my new resident showed that it would give a contact debuff to anyone trying to harvest, but what they got were listed high tier reagent components. So, needed to be paired with something that would wait til Delvers got their harvest, and only attack when they were weakened. Seemed a bit underhanded, but part of the peril wasn't just getting the loot, but getting away with the loot.
I could hear Laginn snap his fingers to get my attention. Seemed the Hands had finished making their initial tunnel. Good. If this place was burried in a hill I may as well take advantage of that. For now my core was the size of a bird's egg, but nothing said it wouldn't keep growing, and even if it would take awhile. I wanted a heart chamber that would be large enough for creatures, traps, and a few other niceties if someone found the entry tunnel. Still. The tunnel was complete along with room enough for my core to be put inside.
Once my core was moved, I allowed delivers back into the eastern chapel, though I had barred the adjoining rooms, and just to keep everyone guessing, I barred the west chapel now. Come now little one. I coaxed the little fungoid creature into moving, which went well until it came into my entry chamber. Instead of going into the other chapel it went downstairs, and settled to a stop just at the throat to the arena I'd made for people to fight Bonehead.
...OK that is honestly kind of evil. Then again, a little bit of schmuck bait never hurt anyone, and considering not everyone played nice, it wasn't a bad idea to have visitors learn to not trust every little goodie they saw.
Jen accepted the quest! I managed to pull my awareness there right as her and Bonehead fist-bumped. She wasn't exactly a child, but she was still young. I hoped Good Neighbor would live up to the name I'd taken to calling it.
So my awareness spiraled out then down until I centered myself near to my ally's throne-staff. they were about to get visitors. Delvers come to collect bits from defeated putties.
If you drive Delvers off, you get a lot of mana. If Delvers complete quests in you, they get mana and you get mana. I figure it is better to introduce them to you than for me to just trade directly. That way you get experience, and hopefully they tell their friends you're a nice dungeon. Someone that won't give everything away, because that's boring, but if they lose they just get dumped at the door instead of hurt.
IS IT OK IF I TAKE SOMETHING FROM THEM IF THEY LOSE?
Generally yes, but I've been keeping it mostly to common items or things that they have more than one of. You're just starting out so it would be bad if you took their best things and they told everyone to steer clear.
I SEE. WOULD YOU MIND IF I MADE A QUEST OF MY OWN? I WANT TO SEE WHAT I COULD DO WITH HARVESTED SPIDER SILK AND BONE MEAL.
Oooh, good idea! Might also want to make a quest to gather fungus. I've got this new monster that's kind of like this moving patch of fungus. It's parked where Bonehead's arena area is so if they try harvesting before the fight they have to fight with a debuff active.
NEAT! ALSO. THAT THING YOU WANTED IS TAKING TIME. I'M STILL LEARNING, AND THE IMPS AREN'T VERY GOOD BLACKSMITHS YET.
Mentally I smiled. Don't worry about it. This is a long term project I gave so you'd have a reason to start trying to work on improving and learning. I need more loot, and it's easier to make better loot if I'm starting with Something rather than straight from Mana. Once you get to the gear I want I can start cycling my troops out to collect.
IT'S BEEN GOOD WORKING WITH YOU SO FAR. BY THE WAY THERE'S AT LEAST ONE OTHER DUNGEON ON THIS SIDE OF THE FENCE. MY SLIMES HAVE HAD TO CHASE OFF THEIR BEATLES.
Wait Beatles? Seriously? I didn't realize that was an option starting out. Thanks for the tip. The Delver coming is an apprentice to one of my regulars. Be nice, but try making her work for it.
I left that meeting in good spirits. Using the Delvers as intermediaries basically incentivized everyone to get at least a little piece of the action, hopefully would encourage Delvers to explore a bit more, and if Good Neighbor can make its imps crank out socketed gear. Well. that would lead to me having something for not just my bone guard, but for their goblins since soul tears were part of the rewards pool I had access to.
Instead of withdrawing back to my dungeon, my attention was focused on Jen when she entered Good Neighbor. Her movements were slow and deliberate as she looked about in the dim light. Several of the half-walls got turned into full height walls. Good, don't give clear sight lines across the whole room.. She darted from wall to wall, watching patrol pasterns.
There was value in being conservative.There was also value in being decisive. Jen sprinted then. Vaulting over a half wall, and sprinted through the hallway, knife sinking into an imp that had spotted her before she ducked into a side room. She was breathing hard. The central hall was wide enough for two side by side, and there were rooms on either side of the hall. She happened to be in one of those that had full height walls.
At least I thought those were walls until one of them drooped, curling and trying to close around her.
That... was diabolical. Turn the creatures into part of the dungeon. Jen shrieked, slashing at the putty, scrambling to leave that room, only to see a pair of goblins, not the big guy just regular goons, approaching. She was scrambling on all fours when they approached, and to her credit she kicked one hard enough to cause its knee to fold and was on her feet at the same time the other had its short sword drawn.
I looked about. The Wall putty she'd slashed at was mostly dead, but a piece of it hung back. Waiting. How smart were thesethings?
"Sorry bug eye," Jen grabbed the wrist of the goblin's sword hand as her dagger sunk between its ribs. "Nothing personal."A look around after making sure it was dead before she moved on. Jen you're getting greedy. No shame in falling back, calling for backup. Come back in with a proper group.
Instead she picked up the goblin's blade and went back into the room she'd been chased out of, hacking at the putty. Frowning when it fragmented. "Nope! NopenopenopeNOOOPE," Her mini-freakout as she continued slashing at the creature, "monsters should NOT be allowed to do this." The last of the putty's fragments went still as she collected her loot. "Nuugh, why'd I only get one piece from all that?"
The noise brought more imps. "One of you guys wouldn't happen to have a health potion would you?" Jen sounded on the verge of a breakdown as she attacked the nearest imp.
She was on her third imp when a putty wrapped around her ankles, holding her in place. As the imps carried her to the exit one of them grabbed the putty fragment she'd gotten.
NO. THAT IS PART OF THE QUEST SHE TOOK. IT WOULD BE UNFAIR IF IT GOT TAKEN FROM HER.
Consider my non-existent heart warmed. I was going to ask that they not do that and here we are. Way to go my guy. Take the goblin's sword back, or some coin. I love that trick with using the putty as false architecture.
I love that trick with using the putty as false architecture.
Main Story Index
Current Arc Index