Chapter Twelve: Dungeon Starter Pack
Brandr stared at the last window with some trepidation and no small amount of excitement. This world continued to astound him with how it monitored and responded to his every action. By all means, he should be looking over his shoulder right now but he knew it would be a waste of time. Nothing he’d done thus far could detect even the faintest trace of scrying, spiritual sense or any of the ways he knew to monitor someone remotely.
Ignoring that, the message this time was very timely. He’d seen one like it before, only that one had asked if he was ready to start building his dungeon. Unfortunately, he did not know what he did now at the time and had dismissed it without a second thought Now…
Thinking back to how Thorn interacted with the panels in his memories, Brandr flexed his will, replying with a simple yes.
Greater World Link established!
Welcome Dungeon: Brandr Goldfire to Tignar!
A ton of information rushed into Brandr’s mind. Most of it was stuff he had learnt already. It explained what he was, his parameters, his purpose, his skills, things that made him wonder why he’d wasted his time with Thorn. The information he was receiving was akin to a starter guide or a beginner’s pamphlet. It was free, short, simple to understand and had all the basic information.
You are a dungeon. A creature that syphons ether from the void and converts it to mana for its use. You possess absolute power over your body and all in it. You can create anything you desire provided you know its working or have previously devoured a sample of it. Your core is the vessel of your soul and the seat of your consciousness, protect it at all costs. Your body refines the ether and excretes the mana whilst your core stores it, all the information you hold and the imprints of the things you absorb. Understand that you need both mana and lifeforce to grow. However, will not come naturally to you, hence, measures must be taken to obtain it. You may…
This is your personal screen. Your primary screen displays your parameters which… The second lists out your skills and their effects. You can use a skill by intonation or simple will should you be skilled or practised enough. Your third screen is a record of all your feats their corresponding rewards. Feats are… As a dungeon, you have access to two additional screens. The fourth allows you to call up information about the state of your body, its tiers, the creatures and items it contains… you can also manipulate these from this screen. The final screen has everything you have access to by virtue of your [Greater World Link]. Here you can obtain additional knowledge, creatures, items, and supplements from Tignar itself in exchange for some of your mana.
And so it continued, forcing information into his mind.
For a brief moment after it was over, Brandr felt as disoriented as Thorn had at the end of his soul search. What he had just experienced was akin to having someone toss a heavy tome at your head only for the words in it to become inscribed on your brain after the book struck your skull. The analogy worked because the transfer had not been delicate at all. Then again, Brandr realised. “It wasn’t designed for your average creature. If there was one thing he wanted to know after this, it was…
‘Why’ he asked the blue panels. ‘Why give me all this information.’ it didn’t make any sense.
To his surprise, it answered.
The world of Tignar had a delicate mana balance. This mana was the very essence of the world itself and everything was dependent on it. All the creatures that lived on it lived were dependent on this mana and part of this cycle. They took it in when they breathed in and expelled it when they breathed out. Every form of excretion released some mana back into the environment the same way every kind of ingestion took it in. The more powerful a creature was, the more mana it required to sustain itself and its activities.
However, this wasn’t so great for the world itself. Just like a plot of farmland would grow barren after being cultivated too many times so too did the world and its essence. Unlike a plot of land, however, the world could not be left fallow to recover. Something needed to be done. This was where dungeons came in. Dungeons were an innovation of world itself. They were the only creatures that produced their own mana instead of taking from the world itself. Additionally, they created a surplus which they expelled into their surroundings thereby improving the world’s own. The greater the dungeon, the more it did so. However, dungeons needed help growing and developing.
They were born of the world itself and thus had no parents in the usual sense. Dungeons did not reproduce, they did not live in groups and they did not purposefully seek each other out. This meant they had no one to guide, protect and fend for them like most newborn creatures did. They also had no one to teach them anything. Thus, the world gave them strong instincts and this very information packet to set them on their way. To add to this, they had a greater link to the world, a sort of hardline that allowed them to ask for help or resources so long as they were willing to give up some of their dearly stored mana.
The more Brandr learned, the more he understood. The essence cycle had been an issue in his old world too, only they had it much better. Whereas the creatures of this world syphoned off its energy, cultivators from his contributed to theirs. It was like building a fire. The creatures of this world needed to constantly feed their flames. They did so by collecting materials from their surroundings and though the heat they produced helped the world produce more they did little to contribute to it since they were taking nearly just as much if not more. Cultivators were he was from, on the other hand, only needed embers to start their own fires. Once they did the fires would go on regardless nourishing them and their surroundings with the heat.
A major reason why higher realms usually had ambient essence of a better grade than lower ones was because of all the higher tiered cultivators that lived there. In fact, higher tiered cultivators were responsible for a great deal of the extraordinary events back home just by virtue of existing, be it in life or death. Find a dragon corpse and you’d likely find mystic herbs that had grown by being fed its blood and qi. Bury a fire attributed core and see how it affected the soil around it. Places where high tiered cultivators lived, fought or died always ended up as holy grounds simply because of the effects they had had on them.
Now, he could see just how beneficial that was. In his old world, any cultivator whose path of cultivator required the decimation of the world and its essence would be labelled demonic, hunted down and killed. However, something told him that wasn’t an option here. In fact, from what he sensed, the world will somewhat approved of this. It had developed a whole new race just to continue to facilitate this, hadn’t it?
The whole thing was curious, very curious.
Somehow, despite the odds and the near constant adapter fails, I managed to put out four chapters this week, six if you count the patreon specials, eight if you add in the advance releases.
YAY ME! Wait a minute… you guys are turning me into a draft horse!