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Little Lost Dungeon

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Merior, May 23, 2018.

  1. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.1

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    You are going to be the best dungeon ever!

    You're sure of that through and through, with every gram of your crystalline substance and every point of mana you possess. All thirty of them. That has to be a lot, right?

    Sure you might only have existed for a few minutes at most, and you haven't actually gotten even a single room yet, but that doesn't matter. You know that you're a Dungeon Core, you know that the Great Game of the gods means that you're supposed to build a dungeon, and you're certain that you're going to be the very very best.

    There just seems to be once teeny tiny problem.

    You're lost.

    Well, not lost per se. More kind of displaced? Or maybe locationally deprived?

    It's definitely not your fault.

    You are Dungeon Core after all, with instincts and shards of knowledge about the Way Things Work, so you didn't really see the point of the tutorial. It seemed boring, even though being told how to call up blue boxes which told you stuff was neat, so you sort of ditched it.

    In hindsight you aren't completely sure that you were you were supposed to be able to just leave the tutorial like that. It had just explained how to check your own [STATUS] and was going over the (obviously tremendously powerful) traits that a Dungeon Core, such as you, had when you left.

    You had definitely meant to leave. It wasn't that you'd poked at the wrong thing and triggered an aspect of your [Wandering Door] trait to whisk you sans dungeon, not that you'd yet made one, to a 'random location'.

    Really, if the gods didn't want you to wander off then they should have made the tutorial more interesting.

    It had been pretty scary and you weren't even sure you were in the same dimension any more. You mean, a brave and strong Dungeon Core like you wasn't scared of anything… even if it did sort of make you want not to do that again any time soon.

    (Or maybe ever...? There was these weird things there and you're sure at least one tried to sneak a peek up your [Inventory] as you passed above them!)

    As it is though, like any Core which hasn't settled down, you're in an Instance Space which is only tangentially related to a physical location. It is only due to your [Dimensional Affinity] that you have any idea at all of what Instance Space is, but that isn't too important.

    What is important is that it's where the main body of your dungeon is going to sit and that you need to set an entrance for yourself to access an actual world. You're not sure what an entrance actually does, apart from the obvious, but you feel it's a Very Important Thing so you want one for that reason alone.

    A little messing around, and a mere six of your mana, gave you a pleasant surprise though. Not only did a big blue box appear informing you that you had developed a [Least Scrying] skill (Skills were a good thing, right?) but you actually got a sense of several different places where you could put your entrance.

    This was your first big choice in life and a formative one. You knew, just knew, that your choice now would give you great shiny stuff and opportunities to develop in different ways. However you also knew that, unlike most lesser Dungeon Cores, it wasn't necessarily permanent.

    The first option was obviously a special place. There was salt water present along with a whole load of metal. Metal was good, metal was shiny, and it just had to be some sort of abandoned treasury. That meant that you'd have some good bait treasure early on to attract adventurers with rather than trying to work out what was valuable and hope that you worked out how to make more of it.

    The second was a little odd, but might be good. It was some sort of ruin, or a nearly ruined building, and setting your entrance there would tell you a lot about building stuff in general. However, and this confused you, there seemed to be a lot of people passing nearby regularly. You were guessing, but it might be a haunted or cursed ruin in the middle of a town.

    The third location was even more confusing. Lots of people, some violence, and lots and lots of bad emotions such as feeling trapped. Desperate people would make for a great surge of initial delvers, but the presence of lots of books made you cautious. If not for those you'd have thought it a prison.

    Why do decisions have to be so hard!


    Where do you place your entrance? (Pick one)
    [ ] The "Treasury"
    [ ] The "Ruin"
    [ ] The "Prison"
  2. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.2

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    [X] The "Prison"


    Making an entrance was a very important thing.

    You somehow knew that you wouldn't need the help of the blue boxes, nor make use of a skill, to do it. Whenever you thought about the idea though you felt a shiver of anticipation run over your facets. This was going to be your entrance, the place where your personal [Dungeon] first touched the world, and the first thing that delvers would see as they approached you.

    Once you had set the location you would be able to do so much more. Even decorate it to make a better first impression. Although you were torn between wanting to make it be scary and the idea of making it as pretty as could be.

    Just to lull delvers into a false sense of security.


    Taking a metaphorical breath you forced yourself to focus on the task at hand. There were a series of mental contortions that you had to go through, pushing out the sense of ownership (MINE!) at the weak point that you'd chosen. You were pretty sure that most Cores wouldn't be able to feel what was happening, just blindly following their instincts, but you definitely could.

    A narrow needle of your will twisted, following the path of least resistance as you pushed it forward, until it finally lodged where it needed to be. On a whim you trickled a little mana into [Least Scrying] and you felt how the tip of the 'needle' had found its way to a basement door, making the feel of young people nearby somewhat muted by distance but still present.

    With an almighty SHOVE you forced the 'needle' to widen, changing from a hair thin thread linking dimensions to a breach between the world of would-be delvers and your still undefined instance. It didn't want to open, not when there was nothing on the other side except for you, but you strained until something snapped.

    Unfortunately the effort of breaching the Dimensional Wall like this wasn't without a cost. The strain sent a crack propagating across your surface, doing horrible things to your lovely shiny looks.


    If you could have whimpered then you would have. Pain was bad! Why didn't someone tell you that?

    A quick check of your [STATUS] had the blue boxes showing you that you'd lost a little health and gained an [Undungeoned] status effect. That didn't seem like a good thing and you decided to get rid of it as soon as possible. And, maybe, work out how to heal because you had realised that you didn't like even an ignorable amount of hurting.

    Another quick pulse of [Least Scrying], aimed at the area beyond your entrance, revealed a surprising amount of information as trying to use it through a dimensional wall had substantially reduced what it could tell you.

    You were in the basement of a startling large building which was a 'high school' of the subtype known as 'Catholic'. There was some sort of shrine within it, but as there was no [Holy Power] present you could only guess that it hadn't been properly dedicated yet.

    Maybe it was a new addition?

    There were classrooms and book rooms and grass outside and classrooms everywhere but, far more importantly, there were young people in all of them. You lost track of how many people after you realised that there were over three hundred of them.

    That was over ten thirties! That was wonderful!

    So many potential delvers and you were sure that nobody would mind even just a few of them falling on your first floor. Right?

    Resisting the urge to spin, spin, spin! in happiness you forced yourself to focus properly. You were, after all, getting ahead of yourself as you didn't have any sort of first floor yet.

    You could feel how so many options had now opened to you that you had no idea how to pick between them. Most of all you wanted, you needed, to be able to receive delvers. However you were smart enough to realise that it wouldn't be the best idea to just slap down a ten foot by ten foot room then putting in it a chest and a single orc to guard it fr-

    A sudden chill ran through you as you realised something. Carefully you checked your [Inventory] but, nothing had suddenly appeared in it since you last looked. It was utterly empty and you had no patterns at all.

    Not for traps, not for monsters, not for treasure, and not even for cosmetic decorations!

    Obviously you'd need to sort that out as soon as possible.

    Whimpering to yourself, the pain from the crack along your surface not helping as your dream of immediately making a powerful dungeon fell apart, you tried to think about what to do...


    What will you work on? (Pick three actions.)
    Multiples of the same action are allowed. Rolls will be involved for success.)

    [ ] Absorb ambient [Decoration] so your rooms will fit the building.
    [ ] Absorb the basement room your door obstructs. (Count as two actions.)
    [ ] Conceal your entrance. (Requires success on: Absorb ambient [Decoration].)
    [ ] Eavesdrop on some of the classes. (Counts as three actions because boring...)
    [ ] Eavesdrop on the young people in the building.
    [ ] Examine one of your traits or skills in detail. (Must write-in which.)
    [ ] Figure out active [HEALTH] recovery.
    [ ] Figure out passive [MANA] respiration.
    [ ] Practice one of your traits or skills in detail. (Must write-in which. May cost mana.)
    [ ] Scry for information on the building. (2 Mana)
    [ ] Scry for a [Poor] quality [Monster Pattern]. (2 Mana)
    [ ] Scry for a [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern]. (2 Mana)
  3. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.3

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    [X] Absorb ambient [Decoration] so your rooms will fit the building.
    [X] Conceal your entrance. (Requires success on: Absorb ambient [Decoration].)
    [X] Figure out active [HEALTH] recovery.


    In theory a Dungeon Core such as yourself shouldn't go around casually absorbing things.

    Of course there was stuff which you could absorb, things that delvers had dropped or bits which used to be a delver before running into trouble, but the general rule was that taking stuff which was with someone or which was outside of your dungeon was sort of cheating.

    Nobody had told you this, it hadn't been in even the small section of the tutorial that you'd bothered to read, but you just... knew it. It was the way of the world: birds flew, fish swam, Cores knew how to dungeon properly.

    There were, you had started to realise, a few grey areas were it didn't feel wrong though. You were sure that it was fine to take a few things, a few samples, which wouldn't be missed from around your entrance. Just so that you could make it fit in properly, right?

    With that firmly in mind you had metaphorically stretched out, groping around until your metaphorical hand found what you wanted, then drew it into yourself to be absorbed.

    And it was tasty.

    Thousands of details streamed through your mind as matter was reduced to concepts. You didn't even try to understand all of them, simply letting the complex patterns stream into your [Inventory] while savouring the myriad tastes of things like 'concrete', 'paint', 'wiring', and even 'electric bulbs'.

    Tasty was good!

    Despite your appreciation of the complex tastes you were forced to meddle with the forming pattern of [Decoration] at one point. Those copper strands, and the glass things which provided light, require some sort of power which made them work which wasn't mana. It took several clumsy attempts, and you were thankful that nobody could sense your efforts, but you finally managed to force your mana to mimic the right sort of flow.

    Happy that your genius had overcome this obstacle (and making a note to work out why they weren't just conjuring light with mana) you didn't hesitate before applying the [ Institutional Utility Area ] pattern to your entrance.

    The ill-defined portal between concrete reality and Instance Space which was your entrance drank in the pattern eagerly. Belatedly you realised that prying the pattern away to replace the [Decoration] style with something different was going to cost you mana, but surely that wouldn't be a problem?

    Pushing that thought aside you nudged the [Decoration] as it settled in properly, making sure that it did match the surrounding area rather than being a 'generic door'. A few artistic scuff marks felt like a good thing and, in your opinion at least, made it more distinctive, ominous, and benefiting the greatness of your entrance.

    Woo! Woo! Woo! You were going to be a really scary dungeon!

    Pulling your attention back from the changes you had made you came as close to a heart attack as a Dungeon Core was capable of. Where there'd been dozen, scores, or even hundreds of young people in the building above there was nobody at all any more.

    Pushing your senses upwards through the building you searched frantically for someone, anybody, but to no avail. Nobody was in the building, nobody was on the grounds you could hazilly sense, nobody was there.

    Where had they gone?

    You hadn't meant to scare them away!

    You promised to make your entrance look happier, less frightening, if they'd just come back...

    It took quite a while for you to quell your panic enough to realise that you had a way to get an answer to this vitally important question. Pulsing mana into [ Least Scrying ] the answer that you got back was confusing at first.

    After all how were you meant to know what "Normal school hours are 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday" meant?

    Happily it turned out that, regardless of what it was actually used for, a 'high school' had some educational texts in it and ones which you could understand at that. A lot of peering through them finally found something relevant.

    While it was disheartened to learn that nobody would be around for more than half the day, you guessed that it was a trade-off for the sheer numbers of people who would otherwise be present.

    (You were dubious about those 'school vacation' things. Maybe if you sent out a mob to change the numbers on the calendars then people wouldn't realise and they'd stay?)

    You 'stared' at a clock, wishing the young people would return, but after a while (one hour, seventeen minutes, thirty seven seconds by the clock in the kitchen-like place) you realised that wasn't doing you any good.

    Seeking a distraction from the passing of time you began to cautiously poke the damage you had suffered. The loss of [ HEALTH ] wasn't anywhere near critical yet, but you did notice a few more points had already ticked away. The strain of having an open entrance and no rooms made the crack slowly propagate across your surface.

    You paused for a moment, mourning your (temporarily) ruined flawless looks, then decided to forge onwards in experimenting on how to fix the damage. Carefully you applied soothing strands of mana to the injury, testing which ways seemed to have any noticable results at all, in a case of simple trial and error.

    In the end something clicked, the damage was fractionally lessened, and a blue box popped up explaining the new skill that you had gotten. Happily you glanced at the inf-


    By the time you noticed the young people were finally returning into the building you'd thought up a lot of insults for dumb, stupid, ugly, flobbering, ugly, blue boxes which wanted to take all your precious mana.


    What will you work on? (Pick three.)
    Multiples of same action are allowed. Rolls will be involved for success.)

    [ ] Absorb the basement room your door obstructs. (Count as two actions.) *
    [ ] Eavesdrop on some of the classes. (Counts as three actions because boring...)
    [ ] Eavesdrop on the young people in the building.
    [ ] Examine one of your traits or skills in detail. (Must write-in which.)
    [ ] Figure out passive [MANA] respiration.
    [ ] Lure delvers. (Requires a successful action with a * first.)
    [ ] Make a default generic room. (Efforts this turn combine for a single room.) *
    [ ] Practice one of your traits or skills. (Must write-in which. May cost mana depending on skill.)
    [ ] Scry for information on the building. (2 Mana)
    [ ] Scry for a [Poor] quality [Monster Pattern]. (2 Mana)
    [ ] Scry for a [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern]. (2 Mana)
  4. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.4

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    [X] Absorb the basement room your door obstructs. (Count as two actions.)
    [X] Figure out passive [MANA] respiration.


    As it turned out there was a different sort of technique to absorbing a room. Not that you had trouble or anything, it just took a few... several... a couple of attempts until you got it right.

    "The room is behind my entrance." You told yourself silently.

    "My dungeon is behind my entrance." You reminded yourself firmly before moving onto the tricky bit.

    "So the room is in my dungeon!" You declared triumphantly in your thoughts.

    (...you were pretty sure there was a hole in that logic, but as it worked you weren't going to think too hard about the issue. Not until after you'd gotten yourself the room anyway.)

    With that chain of 'logic' firmly in mind you finally managed to wrap the area in question in your influence, letting the non-existence of Instance Space seep into it and slowly dissolve it from manifested reality into mere a pattern and concepts.

    It tasted all tingly and was really, really filling!

    Mana flooded into you as the room's individuality dissolved and you watched gleefully as one of the numbers in you blue status box steadily upwards. The rumbly empty feeling you'd been starting to get as you'd been spending mana went away completely.

    It was definitely yummy, but as the wave of dissolution hit the contents of the room you found yourself struggling. Not that you weren't a clever and skilled Core, but there was a lot of stuff in there and some of it was pretty complex. Hurriedly you tried to stuff as many of the patterns as possible into your [ Inventory ].

    Some got lost though and that definitely wasn't your fault.

    Despite what you had expected motes of mana kept trying to push into your already full tummy [ MANA ] reserves. That hadn't really hurt, not like the crack on your surface, but it definitely wasn't comfortable so you tried something fancy and started pushing it back into the room even as it tried to fade away.

    At first you were just wasting the mana, even if it made it feel better for you, but eventually something clicked. Rather than fading something marvellous began to happen. A progress counter appeared, a thing that you'd never seen before but simply knew what it was, and as the minutes ticked by you could feel that some sort of process was going on.

    The moment that it finished you knew what had happened and you gleefully spun in the air, levitating over concrete on which you lay, because the room had become a [ Room ].

    Your very first [ Room ] even and you'd gotten a point of EXP for it!

    It wasn't just some strange place in a basement any more, but part of your dungeon. You had a [ Basement Storage Room ]. The [ Decoration ] pattern which you'd applied to your entrance had spread here too and, feeling like you might burst with pride (not really!), it looked so cool.

    The room was a large empty space, lit by those cute lightning fuelled 'electric bulb' dangling from above on wires, with a way high ceiling that was all dark and spooky when looked at from below. The floor wasn't boring stone, not like you'd thought that you would have, but more of that 'concrete' stuff from the pattern and the walls weren't almost the same.

    Except they had 'paint' on them! You could put colours there. Maybe even a mural to show delvers about the cool deaths that might await them if they weren't powerful enough to beat enough of your dungeon. Not all of it though because you were going to be a powerful dungeon so even if you could defeat them all, letting all of them die would mean that they couldn't come back again.

    After you'd absorbed the room you'd meant to work on figuring out you could recover [ MANA ] without eating stuff. You were sure there was a trick to it, one that you were certain you'd be embarrassed about missing when you figured it out, but you got a little... distracted.

    But that didn't matter because you had your FIRST! ROOM!

    You did eventually calm down, proving that you were a composed and strong willed Core, and actually too a look at your room. It did occur to you that sitting there, on a bare floor as the only thing in the otherwise empty room, might not be a good idea. With that firmly in mind you forgot completely about getting [ MANA ] back and, instead, spent a little of it.

    Just a few points and you made your room much much much cooler.

    A [ Basement Storage Room ] was big compared to what you felt a 'normal' starting room would be like so you decided to take advantage of that. Pushing mana into your stored patterns until they spat out tangible examples of what they represented you began to place [ Row of Lockers ] and [ Wooden School Desks ] in a particular way.

    (It was weird. You knew you were spending mana, but also you weren't? And your [ MANA ] was still full...)

    You laid out a twisting path with them but added the occasional [ Teacher's Desk ] set on its side to reinforce things, the top of that seeming particularly sturdy, and speckled them with [ School Bookshelves ]. You thought that the gaps between the shelves shouldn't let anyone wriggle through, but would give them glimpses of what they couldn't yet reach.

    You were making a maze! Wasn't that clever of you?

    There was a little twist of placing things which made them harder to move (and less likely to topple over on their own as you obviously didn't find out the hard way) so it took quite a while to get things right. In fact it took long enough that the young people above coming and going at least once while you weren't paying attention to them.

    You had just finished when you felt the mass of them returning, it being "8:30 am" apparently, and you felt briefly tempted to open up your entrance so that the first of them could come your way. However when you were on the verge of doing just that, it occured to you what you hadn't done.

    You didn't have any monsters!

    You didn't have any loot!

    What sort of horrible mean Core would you be if you let delvers into a boring dungeon without any of those?

    You resolved to fix at least one of these problems, to rectilinear the issue, as soon as you possibly could.


    What will you work on? (Pick three.)
    Multiples of same action are allowed. Rolls will be involved for success.)
    At least one of the actions marked with a * must be taken.

    [ ] Do further work on your room.
    [ ] Eavesdrop on some of the classes. (Counts as three actions because boring...)
    [ ] Eavesdrop on the young people in the building.
    [ ] Examine one of your traits or skills in detail. (Must write-in which.)
    [ ] Figure out passive [MANA] respiration.
    [ ] Invent a [Poor] quality [Monster Pattern]. (10 Mana) *
    [ ] Invent a [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern]. (10 Mana) *
    [ ] Lure in the young person who is crying close to your entrance.
    [ ] Make a default generic room. (Efforts this turn combine for a single room.)
    [ ] Practice one of your traits or skills. (Must write-in which. May cost mana.)
    [ ] Scry for information on the building. (2 Mana)
    [ ] Scry for a [Poor] quality [Monster Pattern]. (2 Mana) *
    [ ] Scry for a [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern]. (2 Mana) *
    mwkillkenny84, smeee, EimiA and 45 others like this.
  5. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.5

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    [X] Figure out passive [MANA] respiration.
    [X] Scry for a [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern]. (2 Mana) *
    [X] Lure in the young person who is crying close to your entrance.


    In hindsight you felt that should have expected this.

    You were, after all, situated beneath a place which taught young people. Young people weren't know for being rich, were known for having odd ideas and fads, and definitely wouldn't be the type to carry around interesting bits of treasure that you could scry a pattern from.

    Similarly your dungeon was situated below a place which taught people. Somewhere in your vague knowledge of how the world worked (being a Core let you know such cool stuff without boring learning of things like the tutorial wanted you do to...) you were aware that teaching places put odd amounts of value on stuff that delvers wouldn't normally be interested in.

    It was like the books you'd looked at in the 'high school' above. You'd been browsing them occasionally, between doing other things, and there wasn't one tome on proper swordplay and you hadn't seen a single bestiary!

    Glumly you toyed a little more with the pattern of the [ Wallet ] while trying to figure out what the weird green pieces of paper in it were for. Maybe they were some sort of tinder? But then why would someone put so much ink in such similar patterns on it?

    Focusing on the finer details you got even more confused. A chunk of the pattern was caught up in making sure that a little bit of the ink formed a different series of numbers on the paper for each individual piece.

    Why would it need to be so focused on that?

    And why couldn't you have just gotten a pattern for a nice valuable copper coin?

    Experimentally you manifested then removed the pattern in various places around your Furniture Maze, noticing with a metaphorical pout that at least the randomization effect did work properly. The slightly shiny stuff the main wallet was made of, which wasn't proper leather, changed too with no two examples of the [ Wallet ] being exactly the same.

    (You were sure that if you tried long enough then there would be repeats though. There was a limit on the different 'styles' the pattern recognised.)

    Despite your disappointment it was oddly interesting how the [ Wallet ] changed each time. You tried focusing on working out how to draw mana into you, you'd got the feeling that it had something to do with your entrance, but after just a few hours you ended up examining the treasure again.

    It was during this second burst of playtime experimentation that you discovered an amazing thing.

    There were a sub-patterns hidden in it!

    This was, you 'knew', not normal. Not that you minded this discovery though and immediately you worked on extracting these extra patterns just to see how shiny they were.

    One of the patterns was for the green bits of paper, a single [ Dollar Bill ], so you quickly ignored that one. More importantly there was a pattern for an [ Empty Wallet ] made of that same 'not quite leather'. Both of the patterns were [ Feeble ] quality, but you were pleased with the idea of scattering a few examples of the [ Empty Wallet ] in the maze to encourage exploration.

    You guessed that if they got a half dozen or so then they could have a cobbler make them some boots. Wouldn't that be great? Crafting material were, or so said your inherent knowledge, of great interest to delvers.

    That means that they'd want to come to your dungeon. Which was a good thing.

    With that thought in your mind you used a single point of your mana (you were trying to be good and ration the mana out) to manifest an [ Empty Wallet ] just inside your entrance where anyone coming in would see it.

    It was probably a waste, and you hadn't altered your room to actually make it respawn properly, but it'd be a lure. You could imagine it now already.

    Some delver would look inside, see the shiny [ Empty Wallet ], and go "Ah hah! A value crafting material. I am wary of this powerful and beautiful dungeon so I will gather a large group of others to help me explore. Low level of course so that none of them can force them me to give up the value [ Empty Wallet ] beyond their share."

    And then there'd be delvers coming.

    And you'd be getting EXP and remains and patterns.

    And you'd be known as a Valuable Dunegon and it would be great!

    You indulged in a little spin in the air before settling back down then turned your attention towards the world outside your dungeon.

    You were already eagerly anticipating how great that things would be that it came as a shock when you noticed that there was a delver young person RIGHT OUTSIDE. And you didn't have any monsters yet!

    A long and tense minute passed before you realised that the young person wasn't actually trying to enter your dungeon. Because, of course, they were a nice delver and would be waiting until you were ready.


    Except, when you looked at it, you were pretty sure that something wasn't right. Looking at it you noticed that there was some fluid stuff leaking when you were pretty sure that 'leaking fluids' either meant that the delver was about to die or was defouling an area.

    You decided to wait just a little longer and watch what they did.

    ...they didn't sound happy.

    Really unhappy.

    And being curled up on the floor properly wasn't a good sign either.

    Um, um, umm...?

    (You briefly wished that you had done the tutorial. Weird stuff, which wasn't about how to dungeon because you knew how to do that, like this was probably what it covered.)

    You were really lost about what to do and so, after thinking about it for long minutes, finally settled on one of the few things you knew that you could do.

    You sang a [ Dungeon Lure ].

    It was a wordless song which came form the deepest part of you, the part which wanted delvers to come to you. It didn't promise safety, it didn't promise wealth, but it inspired interest and silently told them that there was something of interesting to be seen.

    Pity that it'd wear off as soon as they reached your entrance, or recognised you as a dungeon, but the young person was young. And probably inexperienced. It would likely actually come inside and you'd be able to take a look at it's status to figure out what was wrong.

    (And hopefully how you could fix it...)

    It took a surprisingly long time before the young one uncurled. You kept up the song, mentally urging her to follow the lure, and it sent a spark of joy through you when finally they did. Without letting the song falter you watched with anticipation as they slowly, not recognising the influence but still curious, walked through the door which was your entrance.

    The sudden inability to effect your dungeon was half expected, but still disturbing. It would have been cheating to change things while a delver was doing a dungeon run and technically the young one was your very... first... delver...



    You'd have to do something great for this one!

    They were your VERY FIRST DELVER!

    (There was even a blue box announcing that you'd gotten a single point of EXP for that. Wasn't that cool?)

    Determined to do this properly you pulled up what you could see of their [ STATUS ] and started reading. "Etsuko Abelson" was a really nice sounding name (you hoped you got as nice a name!) and they were a female human! Humans were supposed to be fun things, lots of them around and lots and lots of delvers were humans.

    Obviously Etsuko had to be a good person then.

    The '<CLASSLESS>' entry where her class was struck you as odd, but you couldn't place how. You didn't need a class yourself, you had your race and that was enough, yet something deep inside you was disturbed by the lack.

    She was a little injured and when you looked closely there was a little red mark on the back of her neck hidden under her hair. Odd place for an injury, and very small, but head wounds could be bad?

    If the class had been odd then what she had listed under her mana was just so so wrong. You didn't know numbers well, but you knew enough to say that '<NULL>' wasn't a number. How could she use spells or use special skills if she didn't have a proper number for her mana?!

    You were still dwelling stuck on the mana issue (<Null>? What in the hells...?) as you continued reading and hit the section on the notably status effects that Etsuko was under.

    As Core's went you were a newborn. Inexperienced. Ignorant even. Yet what you saw made you reach for [ Least Scrying ] and smack it against the two named status effects present on Etsuko until the explanations manifested.

    ...you didn't feel so happy any more.


    This being has made a decision which they plan to stick to even as it kills them.

    This being utterly believes that it will inescapably soon die.


    Your very first delver, the cute but crying Etsuko, is not in a good state.
    You need to do something! (Pick up to three.)

    Multiples of some actions are allowed. Rolls will be involved for success.

    [ ] Do nothing. (Exclude all other actions.)
    [ ] Erase a [ ??? ] status effect. (1 EXP. Take up to twice. Opened by Blissful Ignorance.)
    [ ] Give her a class. (2 EXP.)
    [ ] Scry one of her [ ??? ] status effects. (2 Mana. Take up to twice.)
    [ ] Scry what is up with her mana. (2 Mana.)
    [ ] Scry what is the matter with her class. (2 Mana.)
    [ ] Scry what she is thinking about. (2 Mana.)
    [ ] Sort out her mana. (1 EXP. Requires a successful 'Give her a class.')
    [ ] Speak to her. (2 EXP for scene. Opened by Blissful Ignorance.)
  6. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.6

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    [X] Scry what she is thinking about. (2 Mana.)
    [X] Scry what is up with her mana. (2 Mana.)
    [X] Speak to her. (2 EXP for scene. Opened by Blissful Ignorance.)


    You... you were a good Core, you were sure of that.

    You might not have paid as much attention to the blue boxes as you should. And you did skip the tutorial which you probably should have gone through despite how boring it had been. And you hadn't made a proper monster yet for your first delver to fight...

    Anyway, you were sure that you were trying to be a good Core?

    You were definitely one who didn't deserve to have your thoughts hurting.


    Okay, this might have been sort of your fault. [ Least Scrying ] was a skill and tried to do what it you told it to. Which meant that when you sort of asked it the wrong question then the dumb thing just had to go and dump so much weird stuff into your mind in reply.

    The dumb thing should have known that the proper response to "Tell me everything that is going on in Etsuko's head?" wasn't to suddenly bombard you with the current individual status of over a hundred billion neurons!

    (Whatever a neuron was anyway. Probably something stupid.)

    Even for a smart Core like you that had been a painfully large amount of information and it hadn't been packaged up in a convenient [Pattern]. After struggling for a few moments you ended up having to discard the entire mess without having actually examined, let alone understood, it.

    You wanted a refund on those two points of mana!

    Despite the vague throbbing somewhere on your facets you didn't dare leave your First Delver Ever! untended for too long. Taking a lot more care in the 'phrasing' you tossed another question at [ Least Scrying ], this time concerning the weird entry she had for mana, and this time the response made sense?

    Well, a little more sense anyway.

    Weird things which meant that someone's soul, and thus their mana, was isolated from their body might have been something covered in the tutorial but you somehow doubted it.

    The condition didn't seem linked to the still concealed bits of Estusko's status, at least none of them had resolved when you'd found out about it, so you were guessing that it was something to do with the local type of Humans. Racial curses, or traits, didn't show up without a more in depth look (or so your instincts about it being beyond [ Least Scrying ] said).

    Thinking about it really, really, really hard something popped up out of your racial memories as a Core. It might not be a racial thing at all: it might be a [ World Rule ].

    That would be... bad.

    For you and Etsuko and maybe this world at large.

    The idea of delvers tossing around spells, pulling off special moves, and generally using mana inside of your dungeon didn't just seem totally cool but generally as a Good Thing. The idea of there being a [ World Rule ], something about the laws of the reality you'd connected to, which meant that nothing local would have developed the capacity to use mana at all?

    That felt bad and made you feel all growly and empty in your [ Inventory ].

    Trying to cheer up you reminded yourself that at least nothing got in the way of mana. The fact that you could scry without problems, absorb local things, and even just open an entrance showed that.

    In fact, now that you thought about it, it did seem like you could probably fix this. A Core could do an awful lot in their dungeon and it wasn't that Estusko didn't have a soul. It just didn't know how to make with the mana and stuff.

    Maybe if you reached out and found a way that humans used mana you could just... nudge it into her? The idea of teaching her how to use mana like you did, like a Core ,brought to mind a series of images that were really icky.

    You wanted her to be a delver, not a way of colouring the walls. You could make your walls turn red/brown yourself already if you wanted that!

    It occurred to you that poking about in someone's soul without even asking would be sort of rude. Thus, obviously, you just had to let her know first and she'd say yes and then she'd be using mana and it'd be all fine...

    There was just one problem: you sort of couldn't speak.

    Or could you?

    Bracing yourself you mentally pushed at whatever was blocking you from affecting your [ Room ] while Estusko was in it. It resisted, feeling more solid than a steel wall (Oh! Steel walls which slide around would be an even better maze!), and slowly you adjusted what you were thinking while exerting increasing 'pressure'.

    "Of course, I'm just going to.... not change anything."

    Yeah, that was a bit better...

    "I was wasn't going to altert things at all."

    Nope, not cheating at all here.

    Maybe not focusing on changing?

    "I just want to talk taunt with the delver a little.

    To provoke her.


    Whatever force had been blocking you suddenly gave away, some of your precious EXP vanishing to provide the opening, and you suddenly new that you had a voice!

    "Hello there, cute human..." You began then nervously babbled as you realised that wasn't the sort of thing that a powerful dungeon should say. "I mean... Uh, let me try that again."

    Etsuko had looked up when you had started to speak, confusion on her face, but had just stayed where she was sitting hugging her legs to herself. There was traces of liquid at her eyes, more than you were sure a human should have, and some of it was trickling down her face.

    When you didn't immediately say anything more, still thinking about the best approach, she did this weird choking sigh thing (She wasn't going to drown on those liquids, was she?!) and put her head back down on her knees.

    "Great," She murmured softly, "I'm now hearing voices on top of everything el-"

    "GREETINGS, DELVER!" You announced in your deepest boomiest voice, some of the random cosmetic junk in the Furniture Maze stirring due to the sheer volume. "WELCOME TO THE GREAT AND POWERFUL DUNGEON!"

    Etsuko certainly found it goodly scary judging by how she suddenly put her hands over her ears.

    Since you'd made such a good started to decided to go on.

    "I AM A GREAT AND POWERFUL DUNGEON." You repeated, just in case she had forgotten it in the few seconds since you had last spoke.

    It was weird though. Etsuko didn't react as you had thought and just stayed where she was, looking confused. She had stopped crying th-


    Inspiration stuck as to what the problem was. Etsuko was a new delver! She'd probably never been to a dungeon before and if she'd been the sort to be a scholar she'd not know what to do.

    "FEAR ME!" You told her then helpfully tried to prompt the correct response, "GRR?! RARRR!"

    ...at least she wasn't crying again? You weren't sure if a giggle was any better, but you liked the giggle better than the way her face changed colour and went all white.

    "Um, you shouldn't be here." Etsuko said, sounding kind of nervous. Or was that worried? "I'm not sure what trick you're doing with a microphone or something, but you really shouldn't be playing here. Why don't you go find your teacher?"

    Concern. That was the emotion she had. Concern for you.

    You didn't have a teacher, you'd wandered out of the tutorial, and now your first delver was all worried and nice at you even though she thought that she was going to die and…

    "I'm lost!" You admitted, giving up on the scary voice. You were a brave and powerful dungeon Core so there was definitely not a wobble in your voice. "I- I didn't mean to, I just was bored, and wasn't paying attention..."

    Your voice had gotten quieter and quiet as you'd continued until it was really tiny as you finished,"...and then I got really lost and can't get back."

    Etsuko took a deep breath then stood up. There was something different about her now than before, a certain gleam in her eyes and strength to her posture which she had lacked before.

    "Where are you?" She asked, her voice calm and gentle yet strong. "I'll get you safe before I have t-to do a few things. Just tell me where you are?"

    Despite the slight stutter over her words at one point (in her status [ Moribund ] still stood out, telling you what she really meant) Etsuko sounded confident. Determined. You'd say like a Hero, but she was being nice to you rather than nasty as one of them would be.

    It suddenly clicked as to what she sounded like.

    Not a hero at all. She was being strong despite her level and she obviously wanted you to be safe so there was only one thing that she could be talking like:

    Etsuko was talking like she was a [ Boss ].

    You'd never seen anything like it in all your life and It was so so cool!

    "I'm in the maze." You told her, saying that much going against every instinct you had.

    "What ma-" Etsuko broke off as she seemed to actually notice the room around her for the first time. "This shouldn't be this big?!"

    You hoped that the look on her face was awe. You really liked the idea of Etsuko being awed by your awesome first room (you hadn't even needed a full floor to get that sort of reaction!). As first delvers went you were sure no Core ever had one as cool and great as Etsuko and she didn't deserve to die from whatever it was she was so sure of.

    It wasn't you, you had worked out that much, and so whatever it was wouldn't get to get your Etsuko.

    So there whatever had gotten your Etsuko like this.



    "I'm in the middle of the maze and can't get out." You told her, fighting against how weird it felt just to tell her that much. "Come and find me!"

    "What do you mean?" She called, looking around in confusion, but you had started to turn your attention elsewhere.

    Fiddling with her [ Status ], and those nasty question mark things, felt like something which would be really hard and stretch you in a weird way. That was probably because she wasn't part of your dungeon or domain. Poking about in the back of your mind, and checking a few blue boxes which popped up, had shown you that there was another easier option.

    A delver was supposed to get a reward, an empowerment or something, for beating a dungeon if they didn't do anything to the Core. And Etsuko was so cool and nice that you were sure she'd leave you alone so then you'd get to do something which would help her.

    Or, and you suddenly felt a spike a glee even as you watched her start to make her way through the narrow passages of your maze, there was something else you could do.

    After all you'd already noticed how Etsuko had sounded like a [ Boss ]...


    Etsuko is being a good delver and trying to solve your maze!
    Do you want to keep talking to her as you do?

    [ ] Yes. (Roll to obtain small social bonuses toward Etsuko.)
    [ ] No. (Grants Etsuko a bonus to solving the maze in time.)

    When Etsuko reaches the center you can try to do something "nice" for her!
    (Pick as many as you wish and can afford. Rolls will be involved for success.)

    [ ] Erase all negative status effects. (0 Mana. Hard. Bonus to roll paired with "Full heal" only.)
    [ ] Full heal. (5 Mana.)
    [ ] Give her a class. (5 Mana.)
    [ ] Offer her a contract as a [ Boss ]. (Free as no current bosses. Bonus if "Yes" was picked. Bosses respawn.)
    [ ] Open the Door. (20 Mana. 1 EXP. Empower her with something useful from another dimension.)
    [ ] Sort out her mana. (5 Mana. Incompatible with "Open the Door". Requires Upgrade her class.)
    [ ] Spawn a piece of Boss loot. (20 Mana. Penalty due to limited loot [Patterns]. May grant pattern.)
    Hazardine, smeee, EimiA and 53 others like this.
  7. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.E - BFFL!

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Best Friends For Life!

    Etsuko looked at the phrase written on her wrist in already fading glitter pen, at the hearts flanking the words, then pushed back her sleeve back down again. Marie had written it during lunch the day before using all the colours she had in her bag.

    But that seemed so long ago, so far back, and her stomach twisted as she remembered giggling and how her biggest worry had been it smearing on her blouse before it dried.

    Taking a deep breath Etsuko started forward again, her nice shoes making little noise even on the concrete floor of the 'storeroom'. An array of empty shelves, locked cupboards, dented lockers, and more formed the 'passage' that she picked her away along. Bare bulbs dangled down from a ceiling far over head, the harsh light showing the way forward and back, and the air was uncomfortably cool.

    A small corner of Etsuko's mind pointed out that if she wanted to then she could have been somewhere more comfortable. She could have been in class. Passing notes to Marie or maybe sneaking looks at Darren...

    Yet being in class with Marie, Darren, or even Mrs Hutchkin was the last place she wanted to be now.

    She'd wanted to run, she'd wanted to beg for it to stop, but after that innocuous little pop her body wouldn't move. They'd dragged her in from the street, scraping her knee bloody, and now there was someone doing something and there was a weird high pitched whine.

    Then something was cutting her..

    They were cutting her head!

    It hurt so much and she wanted to beg mommy, to beg anyone, just to make it stop.

    But she still couldn't move...!

    Etsuko pushed down the memory before the tears could well up in her eyes and took a deep breath. Class wasn't the last place, she corrected herself, but it was one she needed to avoid now. After all Mom, Marie, Darren, and everyone else couldn't help her.

    But, even if her head still hurt so much it was hard to think, she knew that she could help them if she just stayed far enough away...

    "You can do it! It's not too far now!"

    The sourceless voice sounded cheerful, far too upbeat, but Etsuko could catch a hint of worry in it as it tried to encourage her.

    "I think you said that a few minutes ago." She tiredly pointed out then bit back a curse as she reached a dead end and was forced to retrace her steps to the last junction.

    "...I did?" The voice asked, sounded so confused and guilty than Etsuko almost giggled.

    "You did." She confirmed, pausing to remember which turnings she'd already taken. The ache at the back of her head was a distraction so, in the end, she just picked at random. "So, are you going to tell me what is really going on?"

    "You're in a maze, trying to get to the center, so I can give you the [Prizes]." The voice stated, seemingly happy to be back on ground which was familiar to it.

    The mention of [Prizes] was not familiar to Etsuko though. The way the word seemed to resonate in her thoughts was also... odd.

    "I get a pri- I mean [Prizes]?" She asked, a little surprised when she managed to somewhat mimic the strange undertones of the word. She'd never been good at languages.

    In the back of her mind the teen marked this up as more evidence for 'weird Leet thing' rather than 'really weird dying hallucination'. After a moment she also marked it as evidence against this being 'weird cape thing' because, really, she wasn't a believer in any sort of parahuman being nice any more.

    Not with that bitch (she flinched, but none of the teachers could hear if she said it in her head) Bakuda as an counter example...

    "Yes." The voice agreed eagerly, seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. "I'm supposed to give some sort of [Prize] when someone wins an' you're nice an' my first delvers so I should be really nice to you."

    It startled Etsuko that, in the middle of her despair and grim determination, there was still a vague spark of curiosity to be found. "What sorts of things would a [Prize] be?"

    "Um, good ones?" The voice offered hesitantly

    Another dead end and Etsuko turned back again. A part of her was tempted to simply sit down, to rest her back against the cold metal of a locker, and just wait until... it happened.

    But walking through the maze, listening to the voice which might have just been in her imagination, at least gave her something to focus on.

    "Imgonnatrytomakeyoubetter." The voice suddenly added, seemingly disconcerted by Etsuko's silence.

    The hurried words took a moment for the girl to parse and she wrinkled her nose (Marie was always saying not to do that…), "'Better'?"

    "You're sad and… and [Moribund]." The voice offered, the last word ringing oddly but one which Etsuko recognised.

    'Moribund'. It was German, she remember it from somewhere, and meant 'death bound'.

    A soft giggle escaped her lips, "I'm going to be so pissed if this is some sort of E88 initiation thing."

    A soft beep sounded, making her skull ache, and Etsuko's giggle cut off suddenly. She knew she wasn't thinking properly, she knew she'd been thinking even less clearly when she'd been told about what was in her head, but she remembered what she'd been told about that sound.

    "So, can you give me some help with the maze?" She asked of the voice, "Or, if not, maybe you can tell me about yourself?"

    "Oh." The voice sounded startled. "I could do that? I mean, I can do that!"

    Etsuko didn't bother hiding her smile and simply listened as the voice began giving directions, along with comments about the 'really neat maze!'. She was going to play along because, if nothing else, it was an amusing hallucination to have before she died.

    Even as she started to walk she checked her wrist again, reminding herself of why she had come so far out of the way rather than do what she was told to do. What could have kept her alive.

    Best Friends For Life!

    "I can't get away, Marie," Etsuko thought, wishing her words towards her friend. "But they're not going to make me drag you or Mom or even Daphne and her Empire bullshit into this…"

    "I'll die first."
  8. Threadmarks: Newborn 1.7

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    When Etsuko started through the maze you had tried to be say encouraging things

    Your delver hadn't been really enthusiastic about all the turnings (maybe she would have liked it better if there had been some traps?) but between her determination and what you said she kept on going.

    It was an inspiration to watch her go at it. You were sure that even if you'd filled the maze with monsters and traps (and now you were getting ideas…) she'd not have faltered for a moment. Your Etsuko was really neat about stuff like that.

    Eventually though your delver did ask for a little help and, wise and great Core that you were, you deigned to give her a few hints.

    Well, more than a few but you didn't tell her everything?

    Um, you only told her the way to the middle even though that meant she missed entire sections that you'd spent hours getting right.

    Anyway while you don't feel bad about it, it did occur to you that telling Etsuko how to get through your maze might be… it's sort of… Well, cheating?

    She got to the middle in the end though and that was what had to count.

    When Etsuko reached the middle she was confused, but that was okay. She probably hadn't paid attention in her tutorial (hers was probably as boring as yours had been before you left) so you could see how she didn't know what to do. She did ask where you were though and, since she had technically beaten your dungeon, you decided to show her properly.

    Pushing your mana into your facets you rose up into the air, shining like a beacon in the darkness, and sparkling like the sparkliest thing ever. Etsuko had a really funny expression on her face as she saw you, but she looked surprised too.

    (Surprise was close to awe, right? That meant you really were awesome!)

    "Do you want to claim your [Prizes] now?" You asked eagerly, "I mean, you could say no, but then I can't do the awesome stuff for you. And the best [Prize] is that you get to be my [Boss]!"

    Etsuko didn't say anything, just standing there. Maybe you'd said something wrong so you tried again.

    "If you want to anyway." You said, a little less certain about things than you'd been a moment before. "Um, please say yes. Please?

    Letting some mana out in a way you'd never done before, you 'passed' the offer to her. While you couldn't see it yourself, you were paying real close attention and could tell when she saw a box showing the offer.

    (The way she gave a yelp and took a step back was sort of a hint…)

    It was only because you'd were directing your full attention at Etsuko that you heard it. Not her response, 'cause she seemed to be at a loss for words at your mega-great offer, but a weird sound. You'd never really heard it, but it was a bit like the noise that one of the 'computers' in the school made at times.

    Your wracked your memory for a moment then found the right word for it.

    "Did your head just beep?" You asked Etsuko in confusion and she, or at least the skin of her face, turned this really funny colour. Lighter than she'd been before, more like a piece of paper.

    While you knew that you were amazing and awesome, but you still don't know what about that question made Etsuko jab her hand at the air and accept the offer of becoming a [Boss] in your dungeon.

    What you did know is that she had accepted, that there were blue boxes telling you stuff and giving errors and options, but more importantly you suddenly knew that your brand new [Boss] was terrified and determined.

    "...i don't want to die..." Etsuko said really quietly then you felt a spike of outrage at the idea of someone, of anyone, hurting her.

    Connected as you were to [Etsuko, Dungeon Boss], through both the [Prize] she was owed and her new status as part of your dungeon, you could do that. It was something you could do and then she'd not be scared. Then you could show her all your neat stuff and she'd be happy.

    As your [Boss] (Yours! Squee!) there wasn't anything stopping you checking Etsuko's status and the nasty blanks had vanished. You really wanted to get rid of [Moribund], and [Corona Pollentia] sounded weird, but there was something more important to get rid of.

    You didn't know everything, but you knew enough that [Implanted Bomb] wasn't something that you wanted to have in her [Status].

    It was nasty!

    There were no delvers in your dungeon, no foreign souls now that Etsuko was yours, so you could change stuff. You didn't really stop to think much once you saw the status effect and just reached out and pulled on it, tearing at the horrible thing.

    You were gonna fix her everything!


    Um, maybe that… That was sort of a mistake.

    From the outside it was happening really really really fast, but that didn't matter. With your two fold connection to Etsuko, as your intended [Boss] monster and in the middle of receiving her [Prize] for completing your dungeon, you could see it as it happened and your perceptions sped up to follow what was going on.

    In her [Status] the [Implanted Bomb] flipped in your metaphorical grip and sudden it was [Transdimensional Splintering] instead. All the fleshy bits which made up Etsuko, the floor and even the air around here were trying to leave to, were trying to escape the Instance Space of your dungeon in all different directions.

    You realised, to your horror, that wasn't good for her. She was scared and in pain and if things finished then she'd be in all different dimensions even while still connected and… and... and she'd die!

    But she didn't want to die.

    You didn't want her to die!


    You didn't know what to do, but that didn't matter. You'd make it work. You had to make it work

    Uncaring about the cost (oh, all that precious mana...) you reached for a solution. You didn't have a [Pattern] for one, but that didn't matter. Somewhere out there was a way for Etsuko to live and you just had to find it.

    With your perceptions supercharged by the mana infusions and your rage you extended them far, far beyond the 'high school' above your entrance. Your viewpoint splintered again and again, your facets starting to ache as you overloaded yourself to get find the way before the effect could finish its dreadful work.

    Not there.

    Not here either.

    And… there it was! Right there! That one would make her better!

    It was a weird thing, a connection of sorts, but one you could use. It was like that link between a god and a [Cleric], but without the divine on one side and connected to squishy grey stuff instead of the soul...

    (You tried not to notice, despite the speed of your racing thoughts, how Etsuko's legs and ribs were starting to give way as her bones weren't in them anymore. No! Give those back. Your Etsuko needed those! AND SHE NEEDED HER PRETTY EYES TOO!)

    ...but since it wasn't connected to the soul or [Status] of whoever had it and that meant that you were free to purloin it.

    So you did.

    With frantic haste you shoved mana 'up' the connection until something in reset then you jammed the end that you'd 'grabbed' into Etsuko's [Status]. You justified it to yourself that it was to make her better, something that you could do to as part of a [Prize], and you were ever so grateful that it worked.

    Except that it didn't work!

    Metaphorically gasping for breath after the heroic expenditure of mana, you could only watched your perceptions stepped back up to a normal rate and Etsuko was still screaming and screaming.

    You wanted to block it out, but you couldn't. You didn't have eyes to cover or ears to plug. You were a Core and this was happening in your Dungeon and… Then everything was okay?

    Etsuko whimpered, curled up on the floor but whole. She looked a little pale, all the pretty colours of her hair and uniform having somehow washed out, but otherwise okay.

    But she was okay.

    You checked and her bones were back, her skin was there rather than being ripped apart, and the grey stuff in her head was staying right there where it should be.

    She was okay, you were sure... but she was still crying?

    You really didn't know what to do so, for want of anything better, you tried to murmur soft soothing things to your [Boss] and hoped that she'd feel better.


    Finally [Etsuko, Dungeon Boss] had stopped crying.

    It took perhaps an hour, maybe more, but Etsuko had fallen asleep curled up on the floor. She looked so cute that you didn't want to wake her, so you couldn't talk to her just yet. But at least that gave you a bit of time to do a few things.

    (And you really really wanted to find who had put that nasty evil ugly status effect on your cute little Boss monster.)

    While you personally liked the concrete, it having a cool firm feel beneath you when you settled yourself on to it, you were vaguely aware that it probably wasn't as suitable for someone who wasn't a Core. You didn't have many [Patterns] to work you with so you had to… improvise a little.

    You briefly thought about spawning enough of the [ Dollar Bill ] loot, in crumpled up form, to provide soft bedding for Etsuko but that seemed like a lot of work. Instead, while going over the contents of your Inventory, you noticed that the [ Teacher's Desk ] included a sort of seat with some padding.


    It took a sort of weird twist to do it, but you soon worked out how to have just the soft bit of the seat manifest. Ever so carefully you formed it underneath Etsuko, a half dozen of the 'seats' managing to be enough to make sure she wasn't on bare Dungeon floor anymore.

    With your Boss settled down (part of you thought she deserved a Lair, but that was the same part which thought that she should have a bull head so you put it aside for later) you decided to start sorting through all the notifications that had popped up while you were... fixing things.

    Really, the blue boxes were cluttering up everything and just getting in the way.

    One set of notifications you were happy to see. One started by saying that Etsuko had accepted your offer and become a [ Boss ]. The next said that, because you didn't have one, your [ Boss ] had been promoted to [ Floor Boss ]. And then next next one said that your [ Floor Boss ] had been promoted to [ Dungeon Boss ]!

    Taking a peek at Etsuko's status you were happy to see that you really had fixed her everything. The nasty blanks, and the weird null stuff on her mana, were fixed but she'd gotten a couple of weird things instead. You were pretty sure that [ Undying Will ] was what used to be her [ Dying Will ], but you had no idea where the other two came from.

    Before you could poke at that though, you noticed some other blue boxes which totally didn't make you forget about checking more about Etsuko. You just, um, 'temporarily misplaced the thought' about that as you looked at the evidence of your greatness.

    Getting a [Monster] looked to be the last thing which had been missing. You had a proper Dungeon now and the blue box told you that the nasty [ Undungeoned ] thing had been removed from your own Status. Not only that but you'd actually leveled up!

    You were now LVL 2!

    That was better than one and so shiny that you were tempted to wake Etsuko to tell her and cheer. But she looked so cute asleep that you couldn't bring yourself to do that quite yet.

    (You'd just have to do it after she woke up. You knew she'd be as happy as you were about it.)

    You were the bestest of Cores, kind and considerate to your [ Monsters ], so you left your pretty boss to her rest while you did some other quiet things.


    What will you work on? (Pick two.)
    Multiples of same action are allowed. Rolls will be involved for success.
    You will already be talking to Etsuko.

    [ ] Do further work on your room. (May yield a bonus Pattern.)
    [ ] Eavesdrop on the young people in the building.
    [ ] Examine in detail… (Pick one option below per action used.)
    --[ ] <Write-in one of Etsuko's traits.>
    --[ ] <Write-in one of your traits.>
    --[ ] <Write-in one of your skills.>
    [ ] Figure out passive [MANA] respiration. (Bonus if [MANA] is examined.)
    [ ] Heal yourself (10 mana.)
    [ ] Invent… (Pick one option below per action used.)
    --[ ] ...a [Poor] quality [Monster Pattern]. (10 Mana)
    --[ ] ...a [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern]. (10 Mana)
    [ ] Make… (Pick one option below per action used.)
    --[ ] …a [ Core Chamber ].
    --[ ] ...a default generic room.
    --[ ] …a room for a [ Boss ]
    [ ] Practice… (Pick one option below per action used. May cost mana.)
    --[ ] <Write-in one of your skills.>
    [ ] Scry for… (Pick one option below per action used.)
    --[ ] ...a [Poor] quality [Monster Pattern]. (2 Mana)
    --[ ] …a [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern]. (2 Mana)
    --[ ] ...information on the building. (2 Mana)
    --[ ] ...more people with [Implanted Bomb]. (10 Mana)


    By leveling up you gained a free gift! (Pick one.)
    You have gained other benefits from levelling as listed on your character sheet.

    [ ] A [Poor] quality [Monster Pattern] suiting your needs.
    [ ] A [Poor] quality [Treasure Pattern] suiting your needs.
    [ ] A [Poor] quality [Trap Pattern] suiting your needs.
    [ ] Three [Feeble] quality [Patterns] of random type(s).
    [ ] One [Typical] quality [Pattern] of a random type.