Guidebook for Dungeon Exploration - Theory
A book that deals with the definition, origin, and history of dungeons. The introduction claims that this book would be of interest whether you explore dungeons or not. It's part of the 2 book set.
written by Zackeus
There are two types of people in this world: People who risk danger to explore dungeons that contain ancient mysteries and treasures, and those who always stay in their comfort zone, laughing at such an absurd idea.
There's nothing wrong with being against exploring dungeons. However, casting judgement on people who explore dungeons as greedy adventurers interested only in treasure is a problem. As the saying goes, "Don't knock on it unless you've tried it". Those who don't know anything about dungeons shouldn't criticize it. After much thinking, I felt compelled to write down all my experiences from dungeon explorations so that people can get a better understanding of what it's all about.
Exploring dungeons isn't just a meaningless and dangerous activity as young people these days make it out to be. People in different countries have considered dungeon exploration as a method of initiation into adulthood, testing one's physical and mental fortitude.
This book is not only for the brave, but for those who simply want a better understanding of the dungeon. This book was originally intended to be a single book, but due to an overflow of important information that simply could not be ignored, I have divided it into two volumes. This volume deals with the theory of dungeon exploration, and the next one is the actual practicum of dungeon exploration. I suggest you read this volume first for a better understanding of dungeons, and if you decide to take the plunge, then and only then should you read the second volume.
Even if you don't read the second volume, I hope that through this book, many people will change the negative perceptions they had about dungeons.
-Let wisdom guide your life, Zackeus
What is a Dungeon?
What is a dungeon?
Strictly speaking, dungeons and caves are not the same thing.
Even prior to the battle of Mag Tuireadh, humans desperately needed a cure for deadly infectious diseases and protection for the women and elderly from monsters. The general solution to these issues were underground hideouts which were first made by Nemheds. People referred to these hideouts as Rath.
Originally, this word means "a strongly built palace". However, while the Nemheds fought with the Fomors, there were many times when the king needed to retreat to a safe place. Soon, the imagery of Rath changed to an all encompassing fortress, consisting of a a ground level fortress as well as an underground shelter.
The most useful Rath was built as an inverted tower that went underground. The inside of these structures were generally shaped as a maze, with physical and magical devices set up to defend against the Fomors as well as to confuse other intruders. Building these structures were extremely difficult. There are records that people summoned magical creatures to build a number of these in a short period of time during the war against the Fomors.
People began building Raths in caves over pre-existing structures to save time, and this is when the confusion between dungeons and caves came about.
As Raths were continually being built and expanded by magic for years, its size became so enormous that there were reports of people getting lost inside the structures.
As time passed, it came to a point where Raths were no longer considered a convenient form of shelter. To overcome this, people created a Goddess statue that could transport people to a specific area. The statue was made in the image of the goddess who protects warriors, and it was placed all throughout the dungeon in different locations. I will explain more about the goddess statue later, but generally the statue worked in conjunction with the altar to transport people.
There has been a surge of interest in the dungeons as of late, as explorers began discovering monsters in the dungeon that have not been seen since the battle of Mag Tuireadh.
It has been confirmed that some of these monsters were used by Fomors during the war and although they do not attempt to escape the dungeon, they are a threat to anyone who enters the dungeons.
As of now, the magic power that went into creating these dungeons seemed to have caused a side effect. This could very well threaten the safety of the towns near by, which is why many brave men and women have been exploring the dungeons to figure things out.
The side effect of the magic that transformed Raths into dungeons seems to be a widespread issue that is happening all throughout Erinn. Many towns have restricted people from entering dungeons or have re-sealed its entrance. Some towns have begun to dwindle as people began to leave.
However, leaders, scholars, and druids all agree that they must find out how the dungeon was formed and why there are monsters in there.
Structure of a Dungeon
Now let's look at the dungeon's structure and how to enter inside the dungeon.
The first thing you will see when you enter a dungeon is a large room that looks like a lobby. (For that reason, many people refer to this room as the lobby) The first thing that will come into sight is a goddess statue who is holding a sword. Anyone who lives in Erinn knows that this is Morrighan, the goddess of the warriors. She is the head of the three war goddesses, and it is said that she empowers anyone who asks her for protection.
This goddess statue is placed throughout the dungeon. It seems that these statues were made for those who were retreating here during the Mag Tuireadh war to ask the goddess for help.
If you offer an item on the altar in front of the statue as a sacrifice, you will be transported to another statue inside the dungeon. No one has yet to figure out how this works. Even Wizards who have traveled through the dungeons only suggest that is must be an unknown advanced magic spell, but no one has been able to explain it.
Anyway, those who wish to enter the dungeon will be transported by the mysterious power of the goddess statue to another place. They say the location and the size of the dungeon is determined by the type of item you place on the altar.
This is just the beginning of your adventure. Once you are transported, you can explore other rooms within the dungeon. If for any reason you wish to exit the dungeon, you can return to the goddess statue and be transported back to the lobby.
Traps Inside the Dungeon
The inside of the dungeon consists of numerous stone rooms and corridors that connect the rooms. In each stone room, there is usually a treasure chest or an ancient artifact. However, if you touch these without caution, you can find yourself in deep trouble. These objects are actually traps formed through magic.
Which begs the question, why are there traps inside a place that was supposedly to be a shelter?
Some scholars say that these traps were purposely made to fend off monsters. But, accordingly to some of the dungeon explorers, they say that theory doesn't make sense since monsters are summoned from these traps.
A more convincing theory is that the excessive use of magic that went in to create these dungeons caused a side effect. This makes sense considering that these dungeons were created during the war of Mag Tuireadh. In other words, dungeons were created as an underground fortress to be shielded away from the monsters; however, after the war, these fortresses were left vacant while the power of magic that were left in the premise did not dissolve away. After a number of years, the magic inside the dungeon began to evolve and started showing side effects such as the emergence of monsters and traps.
Now then, let's talk about the traps you need to watch out for inside a dungeon, at least the ones that we know of.
Trap 1 : Four Wall Posts
As you explore the dungeon, you will notice that the rooms will be locked most of the time. These doors are extremely heavy and impossible for anyone to lift up; however, there is a switch that opens the door on one of the four corners of the wall.
It may look like regular wall posts from the outside, but they are actually switches. But you must be careful because only one of the posts will open the door while the other three will summon monsters.
I'm sure the ancient people had a special code to figure these out, but it is impossible for first time traveler to figure it out. When you come across these four posts, observe each one for any clues. But if there aren't any, take your best shot...but be prepared to encounter monsters.
Trap 2 : Mimics and Treasure Chests
Another thing you will see often in dungeons are treasure chests. However, don't be fooled and open it without caution, or you'll be attacked my Mimics.
Mimics are creatures that live inside treasure chests. If you try to open the chest it will begin attacking you.
People get blinded by their greed and end up getting attacked by these Mimics, but since you know now, be careful. Treasure chests aren't usually found all in the same room, and even if they were, be prepared for combat.
Trap 3 : Treasure Chest's Magic Trap
What about when there is only one treasure chest? Most likely, this is not a Mimic. However, don't let your guard down. These could be there to trap travelers as well.
What I am about to explain is the most common trap you'll see, but there is no actual way to distinguish it by appearance.
This is a treasure chest trap. When you open it, the surrounding doors will all come down and monsters will appear. Until you or your party defeat all the monsters, the doors will remain shut and you will be trapped forever.
However, there's no reason to worry too much. Once you defeat all the monsters, you will obtain a key that will open the door. This key will open the matching colored seal.
If you come across a door that is sealed and you can't open, you'll need to first find the treasure chest trap in order to obtain the key.
Dungeon Boss Room
Once you pass the trap mentioned above, you will arrive at the boss room. But be carful. For study purposes, I have labeled it as such, but in reality, the boss room doesn't have a special label. However, when you arrive at the last room, you will notice that it will be sealed by thick chains and a lock. This is the boss room. To enter this room, you will need to break the seal. Once you do so, you will encounter monsters that are much stronger than the previous ones. Although it will be difficult, once you defeat the boss, there will be a sweet reward awaiting you.
If you're a true adventurer, it should be well worth the challenge.
However, don't forget. Before you challenge yourself to the dungeon, you must prepare yourself thoroughly.
What kind of preparations do you need? I will explain this in the next volume, which is a Practical Guide to the dungeon.