- Published on Thursday, 07 June 2007 15:54
There is a dungeon, which is – by all accounts – not part of any reality. Nobody knows who created it, or for what purpose it exists. It has never been part of ‘our’ world, yet it is certainly not in ‘their’ world either. It’s uncertain as to if the dungeon has any link to the four main elemental planes of existence. Maybe it is its own dimension, maybe it is cut away. Certainly, the dungeon is easily malleable – to the point of seemingly wanting to be manipulated. It shifts, and moves. Anyone with even the slightest degree of magic can modify it or build from it.
For whatever reason, a sorceress named Maraki evidently thought it was the perfect place to cast her spell.
Maraki was never a foolish woman, but her insatiable greed for power and influence often overcame her sense of logic and reason. For that reason alone, after years of attempting (and failing) to get her own way, she spent months poring over tomes of ancient texts, having heard a fleeting mention of artefacts that would allow anyone who possessed them unlimited control over the elements. Eventually, she found them – four artefacts, each of immeasurable value.
Travel through the elemental planes had weakened Maraki, but not enough to stop her from achieving her goal. The dungeon seemed a perfect gateway to cast her ritual to gain such power – no strong bridge to one plane, outbalancing a weak bridge to another. And so, declaring herself ruler of the dungeon – nobody was about to question such a fact – ‘Lady’ Maraki assembled her priceless artefacts in a spacious room with untold magick still lurking, and cast the demonic ritual that, in a state of torpor, she had penned herself.
It worked – partially. Lady Maraki felt herself gaining some power, but as she started to control the elements around her, she realised that the ritual was wrong. She had gained more power than ever before, and yet the artefacts were too strong – she could not inherit their power. Gathering them up, Lady Maraki fled the chamber, fearing any potential disruption to either her powers, or her very existence. As she retreated into the lower levels of the dungeon, she felt tremors all around her. The dungeon was shifting itself – its reality was being affected. ‘Her’ dungeon, as she liked to think of it, was unstable.
And that’s where you come in.
You don’t know how it happened, or why. It’s inconceivable to think that anyone will ever be able to logically explain it. But you have appeared, somehow (maybe through necessity rather than aspiration), in the middle of the room in which Lady Maraki cast her doomed ritual. Her scribblings on the wall reveal a little, but not too much…
You are safe in this room – its magic is too strong for any being to do much of consequence. But this is the last safe place you will be in, should you venture out into the dungeon. You could get home by reclaiming one of Lady Maraki’s treasured artefacts; its power could easily stabilise the dungeon – temporarily – enough for you to find a way home.
The dungeon’s shifting, potentially infinite forms make it difficult for an outsider, even a Quester, to comprehend it. Some degree of magical sight will be afforded to you, but it may not be enough…
You will find that the dungeon is expansive, each step more treacherous than the last; it is inhabited, but not all its inhabitants are evil; the artefacts, in case they became too hazardous, were sealed away in the depths of the dungeon, presumably by Maraki herself.
Of course, you don’t have to like it, but what other choice do you have? Your task is to get home. Step out into the dungeon, and face your destiny…