- Left my religion and found new religious beliefs.
- I stopped working at the post office.
- Various issues with depression, anxiety, and so on.
- My wife and I opened our marriage. My wife and I each found relationships outside the marriage. Did I mention I am gay (yes, she knew before we got married, and no the arc introduction was mostly already planned)? My wife and I separated after being married for longer than is average. Now in a new relationship.
So yeah, a lot going on.
I have not wanted to say anything since I did not want to bother people, things were unresolved, and I did not want to get people’s hopes up as I was finally having the time to actually go back and edit my story. All chapters have now been edited and also have titles and quotes.
Hey all. Long time no talk.
Between work, writer’s block, and a few more things I have been away from my story much longer than I thought I would.
Obviously that sucks, and I know people are left waiting,
I am going to be going back and rereading my entire story in intimate detail to reacquaint myself with everything and sketch out all the plot elements so I do not accidentally drop a plot thread due to my long absence.
I would greatly appreciate any comments about the story, the plot, missing or confusing elements, as this is one of the times when I will actually be able to take in everything as a whole. That is a luxury I do not have too often, simply because it would bog me down if I was already moving full speed ahead.
Also please tell me what you are excited about, what you want to see. Authors like to be excited about their stories too, haha. And you might trigger an idea that becomes a paragraph or scene.
All of you that are following me and waiting eagerly, thank you for your patience.
I will never abandon this story, even if some diversions occur.
Thank you so much,
“Never forget that the Adar are the largest nation on Grergene. Each settlement is its own city state, but when any one is threatened they act with complete unity. The Adar are not human. They do not quarrel; they do not fight amongst themselves; they do not backstab; you cannot get a better deal by going to a different colony. Offering them status is useless. With the Adar it is best to be forthright, honest, and to never ever break your word. In other words, for political matters, treat the Adar as though they held a knife to your neck and a polite smile on their lips.”
- A Guide to Grergenen Politics
“Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.”
There was a part of Caden that wanted to deny that he was the usurper in this body. When Exsan had possessed no sentience of his own it mattered little, but Exsan was sentient now. So he had made concessions, even as he demanded his own. Continue reading “Saga of the Soul Dungeon – 3.04 – Plato’s and Darwin’s Cave”
Essentially just whining. Let me put that out there. No reason to beat around the bush. Anyway, the last chapter I put up, and which is still locked for most, was reconstructed from a fairly terrible audio to text reconstruction. My work place is loud, as is the work I am doing. The next chapter is an even longer wall of text. So the next section is a massive wall of badly reconstructed text from me dictating a chapter while I was at work. It is going to take a very long time to make it properly understandable. So, hence the griping.
However, I did feel it fair to show what it looks like before I figure out what I really intended. It has already been cleaned up slightly, but I am dreading really diving into it:
it was almost stuff to themselves admit that was essentially what have would let his body it was written exit blocked and he had made concessions to that fact was a sentient zone right place.anything really want to lose what Caden was aware of those incomes didn’t medevac want to lose it was part we was human beings
had he didn’t have them that he would consider himself he’d been was that simple since he had consumer all the knowledge the certain voracious intensity he was always ideal society came from not the world and back even now they did not world acting wasn’t certain aside from when humans were sent cave that he wanted ember shared ideals Mildred’s idea losing them was because was that it was provided at any costs about whether an even under broad boundary outliers life for all the times he called lines narcissistic self-righteous that were based on the very psychology textbook cigarette and is our psychology course more about people signaling their own virtue but about actual virtue those things which were signaled were reflective of the virgin society and for all that it frustrates him at times he was much prefer society where virtue was signaled by people bragging about gains in their own morality in being needy and elected the society in which one signaled their virtue and prowess of war combat outright killing their opponents those were girl virtues that had existed on earth much of the time warlords were not reviewed all his thoughts on earth though really swirling around the things he didn’t want to think he could go home he wasn’t going to moan about it be whiny about it because while there was no point it was keep on keeping on didn’t suspend sisters and brother who’s afraid of the darkness and self had only been trying wrong and he knew that he would have more perspectives world simply dealt up and called her the very patient he was certainly going to try to adjust some of the culture that he was more comfortable I was practically noble human being to been doing that every time Michael usually ended badly elite of the more subtle about what he was afraid that because it would be easy to get if the only person he had was right inside wouldn’t look at the same killings per that was it only depend he had long worried would require that seem to he knew enough to know they need there were vacated marmots out the wilderness never saw people for years but there was a reason they were rather than almost every single needed and touch on the human beings at least little there was a reason people were taken prisoner began to empathize with their Review wasn’t just self-defense wasn’t just their mind break in this vein of the torture it was because those were their only points of contact and human mind. Market with plastic about changing away beliefs and ideas in order to survive part of that survival and so needed to get contact get self-affirmation was to become these for so he wasn’t making his great moral stand simply because it was moral but because he didn’t want to lose track of what he believed the parent that his beliefs were done what he could to reinforce that up to and including carving on the wall humans are friends not to remove trying to move the common culture with you that almost done good to take so many brave sort they probably just as old word had a great deal of effort besides just spent maybe this will didn’t need maybe the magic possibly want without needing hundred hundred but he doubted it the close of the persons sewer stained certain refined food and produced in the modern world looking at points and there were no doubt virtues to their it might be tougher red robes was covered in the very basic one at Walmart was also almost certainly very proposed history barely they may not eat and a little bit more and that little bit more echoed to those who dwell in the years enough wasn’t everyone it was signed they were very because pieces didn’t that will love something peaceful but if you try to live there you’ll tend to forget she was keenly aware will rendering industrial or if they were somewhere on the Enlightenment or the world the weapon steel dagger he taken was necessary to get rest could make an what was going over he was fully aware of what he knew and a lot of things he did know how to explain how those things didn’t detail the almost all UI generator worked that Lisa is relatively simple take metal uncoiling turn a magnet inside without an rework they were exceptionally simple concept behind how I was a lot more time to do it right feeling like things being guided by those forces mechanically to the fact that he could ask to create rotating and never ever stop meant that the lodestone the original name for Mac start understanding how that worked patterns create radio more than he could really we didn’t have you visited for later maybe render quickly mostly filaments and gas bulbs light balls were tungsten but aside from a somewhat esoteric knowledge that tungsten was if you go to sleep W on the periodic chart dimension risk look like without like that he was fitly have to experiment with different metals in fear of what the hell were anywhere aside and let him free certain there was a specific gas that was inside of Michael doubted that was inert and I was one the labels which yard he had a perfect man for the Bentley line was through the board immediately because it is the value traps might utterly and well if he was alive he redeployed were things begin to stack something going risetime and rightly manipulate matter probably going these new good progress on more or less in and create a relatively complete table carbon pool hydrogen helium at the top as expected and they will release her lithium was the third one we could not live with the fourth tone was thought that was boron which he remembered it was weird and had weird elemental characteristics as to how many electrons are like that was very different from anything else Nablus and carbon which was fairly certain he could identify just because it was a common link all the living things and it made her right yet matter it I should try to do something similar not a dungeon the burning things but signals in the air were read by other federal itself he could feel that there were primary components patient was nitrogen next election and oxygen should be in there around 150% after that it became a massive mix of thousands of chemicals in the air and why he could re-create any specific pattern re-creating one particular gases over impossibly simply couldn’t get strong clear enough signal was that the entire pattern was simply blurred mass any Tracking As a matter fact one shard constantly devouring the air was actions way that he discovered think it was close to sense of smell is going to get when he done that in the area garden eight actually started to taste all the flavors the plants releasing the air in the blossoms that actually smelled sweet some of those Botero but I was drivel flowers are so was doing that that was something that he’d actually get one entire short doing at all times it would continue to give signal constantly dissolving part of the earth parts of the air for Christ skills as well as short echo feel somewhat when the tension would focus on something of a 10 termer in the web of is our working on. Table 10 of your head isolate things on though you did honestly didn’t remember half of the things on free certain I below Carbine was sold which is while we talked about possibility silk annoyed lifeforms is had similar number of electron connections a good make like carbon say after accident ribbon flooring which was if any element could encompass it by every death that would be flooring below that was chlorine and bromine for new wells because they were reactive to be in camera. Looks a lot after that was not yet could not remember which the first one I was the neon argon is one of the names but more importantly placed it never recovered the actual name they owned he was dealing with what they were essentially highly had an affair back to the rare earth metals and was pretty certain it was calcium at that point and then phosphorus it not necessary about that position annoyed that he wasn’t certain about that led at least was pretty sure he recognized whenever he found it was very somewhat poisonings and if you can correctly the last nonradioactive element. Table there was were I was pretty simple to capture relative rest it was simply the most stable element. Things radioactively paid and it went downward Styron and when things are Fuson stars they went upwards towards iron was eventually the random leftover stuff that had there’s a reason that there is cold things ended in their and and super hot BrightStar which is needed to create all the other elements heavier cast-iron that star at its core would’ve ended iron seat expect to be flung away find one supernova and is basically arty saying of the dagger which was made Swazi of steel reserve the other mashup with the living things break. Isolate but while his abilities back his ability to praise things and let him know the name of all the things that he knew about sweet found ridiculous amounts of various uncapped jams which Molly could be other crystallized records either didn’t seem different crystals in any of the other rockslide around sleep I wonder found on the zone until some random adventurer to come up with a lovely cut for now he could create rare things that impressed the flaws assuming you say the going was shiny purest thing you found your world if it had not magical pattern role: on the. Higher level place protons but he taken the time to start inscribing all walls his memory was perfect otherwise it drawn up the entire table and all the chemical theories remembered yet he did he created models and alive reflect the deeper nature with which was sort level which was an estimated probability back where electrons would be with Pres. bad was drastic overset to about bars installed with moment for all his isolate carbon create pattern because they were in nature and therefore re-create create more interesting things manipulate ability to string buckyballs or anything
else great fun to play with have role eventually get over and I couldn’t brilliancy molecules giant proteins that revealed body for compared to everything body work massive he could sort of bodily seated ourselves that was about it was as far as his agent got out some silver enormous ones rising legacy that Norma’s work is xebec. The tiny compared any complex world this is left him with a more brute force approach to manipulating biology is much faster and listed version of the coaling inbreeding that humanity done for thousands of years produced Dawn’s she’s cattle and everything else have more tools for that one of them was that thing are faster was addressed to Utah it would be in there anyway was addressed for Utah will be in their oh just the slowest of the major creatures produced so far was reproducing once every 12 hours getting a new generation the fastest word Leinbach fast wasn’t that surprising course he needed the smaller creatures to reproduce at a massively accelerated rate in order to feed rapidly growing proclamation predators Caden kept doing everything he could Geiger may not be able to pick us bitter Creighton safe have this I was apparently how workplace not yet maybe get that ability at some point but for now there were things he coding did do every time the species became dominant writer area he created a new area for separated out and have exist there let the area keep continuing to see some new other dumb show up dated up at same I can well admit what again was twice and is Showing up then will eliminate the organism creating entirely from environment either to do something for a different environment or just like on say what happened and then inevitably in these areas where you get done with a member prior isolated off the capable something else would grow arrival or gel defenses against them so they work able to be eaten and that’s everything get put back somewhere else and just kept combining and recombining until there were massive pockets of underwater ponds and forests in their own isolated caves and grasslands and every biome that he could possibly re-create he did constantly sorting organisms out when he got some interesting hate craft the pattern now that he could use the Mosser stamp to sort them out and write notes why he taken out what they were what is appraisal said was interesting about them what level said they proximally were terms of power mostly the level of Paragon were utterly and completely underwhelming but much since he started with well they collected normal-sized mice and rats that was not all that surprising was eventually getting things that qualified as actual monsters and actually immensely in these had a nap going into their own firemen are dungeon and a course hit other tools associated you tell certain organisms not to attack you tell one species that they were not allowed to danger at all L2 species that were Logitech Gerardo he could individually command groups and give them general I instructions as to what they should try to be doing waited this long certain of that instructions you gave and became less instructions and instead part of their involved instincts it only been doing this for a short time but he already saw things that were changing aid tried to take it the most all the environments had taking things that belong underwater gradually putting them in shallower general pools and forcing them to adapt to moist but bland environments while you might lose the majority of everything in the process of doing that he did end up with new organisms that survive and always there was the tendency towards aggression he himself had to moderate wanted to start producing things that were more defensive in nature those would be ideal for things like traps where they would see Gatien being human being fell into a pit filled with them well they were going to run into problems are things that were territorial but not aggressive in the normal sense of yesterday territory attack all these type of things what he was going for his early had succeeded everything he wanted but he had gone farther than he thought he would there was substantial advantage to using a systematic form of evolution I really was going on and maybe evolution that was strange and guided towards aggression the plants tried to be dangerous but he could lock things into forms and he did get areas where the plants were stable they weren’t changing they would become predators they were trying to attack anything I widget growing like mad he also tried issue instructions to the plants not to get aggressive but I didn’t Edward Isidore are aligned to tell things not to attack the evolution itself would still try to make them more dangerous it was a did have entire giant areas of greenery that were growing in areas that were essentially safe sounds but it ended mutation didn’t mutate the way everything in the dungeon did constantly strive to change still grew fast nearly as fast as things in the dungeon did holy crap could plants grow those are that took Friday they grew back to full size and maybe relevant larger but he was doing and much slower though still greatly accelerated normal reading program on plants founders there is fully intended once he had some truly large monsters to start bringing in safe sounds and that slaughtering all the ones that are more extremely aggressive and repeating the process until he had read those that were less aggressive defensive nature but it right you should build or create preambles larger powerful size within the dungeon which would hopefully allow him to further introduce much larger predators swarms prayed on that was already growing far beyond what is he keep his attention on now and they were as useful as it dungeon options were strict limits on how much you could just tell things to automatically created interconnected biomes were told top predators not to migrate between them see what happened to the brain and on every experiment he could think of and was certain he was missing thousands of and for all they could split himself into a dozen shards a dozen ought shards in mind good track track of everything he was fighting a losing battle some days are slower than others is ecosystems constantly grow laxity and for variety after two days of experimentation eight-man Michiana one must the next day monsters that were to start it wasn’t certain how long it would take to get to level V or 10 or 20 and he honestly didn’t know the significance either where the humans are entry-level five was not considered a good thing was the ultimate level anyway get to 10 he didn’t know and it might well be very different levels for monsters and few dungeons his own loving it certainly is slow down even as it level is dungeon continuously secure and that’s the commander seem to be able to support or dangerous monsters though his brief. Run into the what a good support even for what he did keep increasing as he went deeper and deeper so stretched further into the earth and is dungeon Canadian band it done a few rough calculations and pretty sure that he was there when into some significant hard limits on the size the dungeon get to because want to start looking at it related to was increasing my soul radius of $100 figures every day which meant 50 days he was going to have increased in radius not diameter landline ultimately to while wider hundred 56 Freddie and Debbie here 14 well it really that is of the year here was blank those years abjection have no idea about longer short but still begin to that rate in a dungeon with a long time for direction of the trip maybe dungeons were more like fire reading wildly great massive amounts Magalie honestly the sheer number of things he didn’t know was what but he made it to 10 years. Might seem but you making being with debate as a relatively short period of overall and he would be hundred 40 miles wide assuming he did keep up his current was was actually my real lesson might deliver more and that would make a difference but the same order of magnitude what did it mean that size me believe hundred years instead expanded to thousand ought miles or a thousand years which case he ought to be 10,000 wide was a certain point which is said that we must be limits to dungeon can be expanding or one single dungeon to encompass the entire black eye was it maybe it got much more manic intensive certain point to expand his maybe it was a hard limit according to levels but something out there stopping dungeons from just continuously expanding at least one of them and covered the entire world no what kind world was all his radius it almost almost finally reached the top of the mountain he was really looking for the real stick is crystal there good look around you could figure something down the New World he was on was instead playing something that worked in his old universe they were things earth that were strange and called regaled for example could be unimaginably vast futile one is the ability still expected dungeon so excited to cover what all of it though they might be fighting for territory but Ringwald could easily feed depending on far was from starters was total raise many many many millions billions of miles though honestly if you would expect to see it arching up into the sky so real sure it was upon one of those that brought the question of what limits did any desired self is dungeon was young he knew that and is dungeon had hit quite a few points were hitting surface horizontally in various places which was present most mountains were quite a bit more angular but it worry about and so course is unusual LaserWriter testing turned out that yes just like Azara he could on we portions of his dungeon though and this was interesting he could nonaction on we Borat to the dungeon tunnel that had extended the many miles to reach new entrants and
boy had that done we things as well malady had no I many miles 689 10 somewhere in the range miles of tunnel his entire body was essentially a giant sphere with a standing cylinder cited and while that cylinder was a tiny fraction of it actually creased his earthquake sent massive he could feel the ripples moving through the earth radiating out and hitting part of a person extending outwards and rebel was bruiser make actually orient himself as to where those were coming from it was a particular surprise to him that the majority of the quakes that he was feeling were down toward his words are tendrils were reaching for all the geothermal activity premeditated volcanic activity and vocational produce earthquakes tiny tiny ones all the time as Elizabeth pressured magpie here move their movable stones, Phlox all of these were partners life but now we had humans and give noise company again and as they reach the end was really looking forward St. Mary actions
“There are beings besides man that have minds. And certainly various monsters, even without intellect, have a certain animal cunning. What then makes man enlightened? What raises him above the beasts?
It is his own spark of the divine. He may choose between order and chaos, to seek balance or any extreme. His nature is not fixed, but in fact molds to the demands of his own intent. That which he wills of himself, if he pursues it unrelentingly, will be. Monsters and animals are made. They are fixed. A man makes himself.”
-Hatere, Arch-Priest of the Order of Divine Intent Continue reading “Saga of the Soul Dungeon – 3.03 – The Vitre-uvian Man”
“Every step of life shows much caution is required.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Arriving at the most convenient place to enter the dungeon had taken Zidaun and the others only a few days. He had expected it to take longer, but the dungeon’s resonance was detectable much farther than he expected. Admittedly, riding on the slogi had helped immensely. He would not want to even try making a journey over this much snow without one. After their arrival the slogi had promptly created their own burrow beneath the snow and began the pseudo hibernation that made them such useful transports in freezing weather. They would be ready whenever the team was ready to leave. Continue reading “Saga of the Soul Dungeon – 3.02 – To Those Who Wait”
No doubt a few of you have wondered where I have been.
Simply put, I had a rather massive panic attack about three weeks ago, I am considering writing a blog about that, because I actually recorded what my thoughts were as it was happening. I mean that in the literal sense, I have a recording of me at work trying to deal with… everything. I managed to not break apart while I was at work, but finally collapsed after I got home. The intervening time has been dedicated to trying to get better and back to the point where I actually want to and am able to write.
About a week and a half ago I started getting better, but it has been an off and on process. However, I did manage to make myself write a chapter, because it is important to me on many levels, and I do feel some responsibility to my readers.
Love you all,
“Good help is hard to find”
“The dungeon’s old and doesn’t care,
It drops the spiders in your hair.
But the dungeon’s web is far more great,
You’ll hunt for gold but find your fate.”
Caden wished he could trade Exsan for a dungeon fairy, because his current companion was clearly defective. He even looked into the AP menu to see if some kind of companion was purchasable.
He looked for help menus for information of any kind, but there was nothing. Nothing that is, with the exception of Exsan. And Exsan’s problem was that while he understood what Caden said, he failed to understand the implied information he should be providing. While his language lessons we’re going well, as far as Exsan’s diction, they completely failed to cover his failure to grasp what was desired when he was questioned.
In some ways, Caden felt like he was talking to a computer, it would do exactly what one asked of it, and only that. Caden had never fully realized how imprecise the English language was, until he tried to specify exactly what information he wanted Exsan to provide without him needing to explicitly ask for it every time. It turned out, that precisely defining the concept of relevant information was practically impossible. Caden hoped that Exsan would learn simply from repetition, because Caden had to constantly define what information was needed.
Caden’s exasperation with Exsan was nothing new, but this particular episode was more exasperating than usual. Exsan had finally completed connecting his aura and almost the tunnel to the outside. Upon doing this, a prompt had immediately appeared.
Outside connection is about to complete, would you like to make this a dungeon entrance? Available dungeon entrances 2/2.
Caden had, of course, immediately replied yes, only to see this:
Dungeon does not meet requirements. Dungeon core must be accessible to entrants.
Of course, it had not defined what accessible meant. And Exsan had been no help, nor had he bothered to warn Caden that this would happen. He knew that he should have expected something like this. After all, how could a dungeon ever be in danger and be destroyed if no one could access the core.
Caden had ultimately decided to treat the requirement literally. It would be accessible, but only in the strictest definition of the word. He had also decided that there were going to be decoys, lots and lots of them. He did, after all, have a title that would make finding him exceptionally difficult. Even the decoy cores would be practically impossible to get to.
In the end he created twenty different decoys, each of which was obsidian black, like the original dungeon core. He could not say for certain whether or not this was what dungeon cores actually looked like, but he figured it was a decent guess. To his surprise each began to float in the air as soon as they were made. Apparently, either his title accounted for this or decoys were a common thing dungeons could make. Only one of these cores could actually be seen. It was behind a twenty foot thick wall of ultra dense, but perfectly clear, crystal after the boss room.
The route needed to get to it was not hidden. It was in fact, patently obvious, and also a complete and utter death trap. The route through was filled with spinning blades of razor sharp reinforced obsidian, all of which were spinning at different rates. Theoretically, all of the blades would allow a person to get through when they were all in perfect alignment. Given the number of blades, Caden was fairly certain that this would not happen even a single time during a year.
All the other routes were much better hidden and even more deadly. They involved boiling water, pools of sulfuric acid, any and all of the various traps he had to come up with, and pleasant trips through monster infested areas that were under no restrictions, and also these areas had no loot whatsoever.
Getting to the real core involved diving through a half mile deep underwater cave system. The underwater area constantly branched and was filled with underwater monsters. After that was a climb of about a mile back up a perfectly smooth tunnel loaded with more deadly traps. The air in the shaft fluctuated wildly between stillness and violently blowing downwards. Each time the air stilled, what was blowing in the tunnel air changed.
This varied from aerosolized acid, to powdered crystal, and other nasty substances. The temperature also varied between boiling and freezing. Should anyone manage that, there was further nastiness. Also, the protections of sacrifice would not work there either.
Caden did not want to kill anyone, but he was not an idiot. Anyone going past the boss room and trying to access the core could not possibly mean him well, and he was going to assume they were trying to kill him. If they died, he considered it a clear case of self-defense. To Caden’s amusement, when he tried connecting the entrance again it worked. Honestly, he thought he was going to have to tone it down a bit.
As he accepted, a thrum of power vibrated down the strings of his aura and down the long miles of tunnel connecting to the entrance. The surge of energy unfurled into his aura and, a few moments later, the entire length of the tunnel became part of the dungeon to a diameter of fifty feet.
Exsan was the worse dungeon companion ever. He stopped for a moment as a thought struck him. Technically, he was the dungeon companion… nope, he wasn’t going there.
Regardless, he now needed to customize the entire tunnel, so that it would match the intricacies of the dungeon’s decorations. His dungeon protection options did not work in his basic aura, so he had left the tunnel blank so he did not need to worry about theft.
For now, he built a blank stone cover over the entrance. After that he divided up the tunnel into hundreds of individual safe zones. That way, he could make changes to any unoccupied section automatically from a blueprint if he so desired. He whipped up a quick infinity knot pattern for the walls with a few dozen colors of stone winding over and under each other. They were designed so that each section would match up to each other, so the pattern would continue the entire tunnel. That way he only needed to design a knot for the beginning and mirror it for the other end. He used thirty feet of the available fifty foot width, and made the floor out of basic roughened stone for grip, since the entire path was a slight incline. He also provided lights for the entire tunnel, wincing at the cost in his available mana density. He would obviously need to replace them with self-sustaining lights as he got the mana.
Soon the dungeon was almost ready to be opened, though Caden was dithering about what design to use on the main entrance. He was tired, and even before the latest delay, he had not had a good few days.
-A few days prior-
Caden was an idiot. It was undeniable.
He had been messing with the runic arrays ever since he gained the alphabet without much success. Actually, that was understating the issue; every emblem he tried to make exploded in a twisted mess of metal and stone when he tried to activate it. Based on how violent some of damage to the surroundings was, he realized just how close to death he had come when he messed with the emblems Tam had made.
This, however, was not the only reason that he felt like an idiot. That was due to him forgetting he had placed the enchanted gate from the sewers in his storage and then promptly forgot about it. Admittedly he had been in the heat of the moment, but even so.
He had been looking at the work of Tam, and trying to figure out how to create emblems from that. That was like trying to figure out how to carve stone from looking at Michelangelo’s David. That was a great end point, sure, but when you are just starting to work a chisel you need something a little simpler. Or, as he had realized by looking at the gate, something more complex but much rougher.
Apparently emblems usually had safeguards to prevent the messy business of them exploding. Tam’s creations were too simple. There were no safeguards, no extra tolerances, because Tam was obviously an absolute master of the craft and didn’t need them. His work fit together so perfectly that adding anything would detract from their function.
The gate on the other hand was messy. It had all the background that was needed when one could not create something flawlessly. It had overt runes for handling mana storage, tolerances to damage and wear, as well as some very basic runes to take mana from the area to power the emblem. It also had a single main function, which was to be incredibly strong. Exactly whom they had been wanting to keep in or out Caden couldn’t say, though he hoped it didn’t cause any issues.
If this had been all, Caden would have felt a bit dim, but would not have thought very much else about it.
No, Caden had started wondering what else he had left in his storage that he had forgotten about. That answer turned out to be much more complicated than he thought.
The first thing he found was simple. It was the dagger that had been embedded into the shoulder of the man he saved. He digested it and was pretty sure that between the metal and the handle he had patterns for iron, steel, and some kind of leather. Not to mention he had a pattern for a throwing dagger.
After that it turned out he had stone. Masses and masses and mountains of stone. All that stone he had been dissolving with his manipulate earth ability had not in fact been dissolving. It had all gone into his storage. The shear amount of material was mind boggling. Of course, he had cleared out giant spaces for the dungeon and all that material was now in his storage. And if there was some way to organize the storage better, it had yet to show up.
Between the spaces he had cleared and the tunnels Exsan had been constantly working on, Caden was guessing he had somewhere between a half-mile to a mile of cubic stone, dirt, and sand. Honestly, he was impressed with the sheer scope of his storage. However, he had no idea when it would fill up. So he had started an enormous and boring project. He took areas of stone that did not have any water filtering through them and compressed them as heavily as he could. Then he would put stone from his storage into place and compress that, repeating until he had filled the space opened up. Sure he could split his mind into multiple perspectives and get it done faster, but that just meant he experienced the same boring task multiple ways all at once.
Just as he was finishing that, he and Exsan finally hit level six. The extra 990 AP, and their mana regen rising to 132 per day were great. What made Caden want to hit a wall was the new ability. Appraise II. It gave details about a creature’s approximate strength, names of various items, and most importantly the value of materials appraised. It would have been wonderful if he could have had that to appraise everything he had been removing from his storage over the last few days. Now he was going to need to appraise all the types of stone and materials everywhere in the dungeon. He would also need to make sure the first dungeon level was at the appropriate minimal strength… again.
Caden was now tired. Without actually being capable of being tired. Maybe he should look into his soul about that. Well, that would all come later. For now, it was time to open up the dungeon. He looked closely at the enormous blank slab that was waiting to become a door. Should he just repeat the phoenix theme? Surely he could come up with something new? These doors would hopefully be open most of the time…
Finally, he decided on something different. The exterior of the doors would usually be hidden against the mountainside, so why have doors at all? He created a model using inspiration from Earth, specifically the Greeks. Yes, a touch here, a touch there, and it was ready. It was time to begin.