Title : Unknown Domain
Author : Angel of Snapdragons
Disclaimer : Dungeon Keeper belong to Bullfrog and not me. No copyright infringement is meant by it's existence. This story is meant for entertainment purposes only. Do not bend or fold. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200$. Do not feed the author. Comments will be appreciated.
- Chapter 1 – Home –
It was suddenly very hard to think.
I looked around, wondering were I was. Red brick wall, stone ceiling, tiled floor. Probably somewhere underground. "My dungeon", my mind answered. It was bizarre : it felt like home, but at the same time felt alien and anormal...
More weird was the creatures running around me. I'd say a maximum of four feet tall, earth brown skin, pointy ears, wandering around seemingly uselessly with a pickaxe and a large bag. Again, my mind split, one side saying "Imp", the other not quite believing it's existence.
What was I doing there ? ...
I searched my mind for an answer, but found none. It was like something in me was missing, replaced by another totally different. Like a puzzle piece that wasn't fitting right. I closed my eyes for an instant, hoping to get a better fix on that feeling of wrong, but was suddenly by an awareness, an extra sense that replaced my eyes when they weren't working.
It was like a map.
A complete map of the surrounding area, that somehow when through the hard stone walls around me, that could identify the different veins of stone around me. I could "sense" those imps moving around me, could even hear the silence in the rocks. It was like I could walk through walls like they were nothing, like I was a ghost.
"You can", the voice in my mind, both alien and natural, answered, and that shocked me out of my reverie.
I opened my eyes in shock and floated to the wall, as if it was the most natural thing to do. Just as I was about to try to stick my hand in the wall, I realised the state I was in.
I was transparent.
I was floating in mid-air, a meter or so above the floor, and had the color and, it seems, consistency, of mist. My clothes also had changed, though for the life of me I could not remember was I was wearing beforehand, and I was dressed in a long black and red cloak that covered most of my body. I was wearing some sort of loose pants under, but I could not identify its material or feel it in any way. It was as if I was naked.
I took a minute to collect myself. I sat there, in midair, for a time, trying to find where I came from, what I was wearing before, and other questions that plagued my mind. It was like looking for a work you've forgotten, like something just out of reach that taunted you incessantly with it's relative closeness. It was infuriating.
"DAMN, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO HERE ?!" I screamed, my situation driving me out of myself. The imps, unafraid, turned towards me attentively.
"Build your dungeon", again the voice answered, and before I could even think of answering "How ?", my mind was attacked by thoughts, plans, spells and other knowledge that seemed to surge from someplace hidden inside me. It wasn't painful, but it did feel disorienting.
I needed to build my dungeon. To dig rooms. Recruit creatures. Fight my rivals. Why, I did not know, but it was like a force dragging me towards a goal. It didn't feel restrictive, but like something I had always wanted and strived for. Once again, a side of me felt like that shouldn't be, but I ignored it. Something was better than nothing, and it felt like the right thing to do.
It hit me suddenly. I could do magic ! Somewhere deep inside, I had always wanted to do so, and could remember not being able to. I just had to try some.
I approached one of the imps, who were still standing around waiting for something, and somehow... entered his body. It was very bizarre for an instant, then it felt like natural. I walked around for a while, marvelling and being able to walk again before coming out and resuming my incorporeal form.
Those imps were tough. They were faster than I remembered being, and strong enough that their pickaxe felt like a feather in their hands. And they were still waiting for an order, I realized in some part of my mind.
Closing my eyes and focusing my sixth sense, I search mentally for my targets. Gold. Portals. I'd need both if I ever wanted to succeed.
A second later, I had found what I was looking for.
It took but a thought and my imps jumped towards the walls, digging and excavating at a speed that would have made humans jealous. The imps rushed around rapidly, happy to be finally working.
I took a look around while they were digging, and found I had been standing on top of what my mind called my dungeon heart. It was like a huge crystal vase, as high as an imp and more than twice as large. It shone regularly and brightly with what should have been the pulse of my heart, though I realized I no longer had one. I knew from somewhere in my mind that it was my lifeline, and that destroying it would kill me, but it felt more like a part of me than anything else.
I finally turned around to see that in record time, the imps had excavated five rooms, tiled the floor, and were making a headway in strengthening the walls. There were piles of raw gold littered all around the floor, as the imps had nowhere to place it, and all the other remaining rocks had disappear to places unknown.
"Well... something needs to be done about that gold." I said to myself, smirking and quite eager to start building.
Four rooms later, I realized a rather inconveniencing flaw about my imps. First, while they were strong, their carrying capacity was rather limited. It was taking a hellish time for them to gather the excavated gold lying on the ground and move it to my treasury, which made funds available for my spellcasting needs.
I floated, for lack of a better term, away from my dungeon heart to help them in their task. I needed that money if I ever wanted to get my last room up. It would be quicker this way.
After grabbing my fifth pile of raw gold (which was surprisingly weightless), it clicked in my mind that, being a ghost, I should not be able to lift objects.
I instinctually did a "step" back in surprise, and dropped the pile I was holding to realise that it was floating in mid-air, just like me.
"Am I the one doing that ?" I wondered aloud, awed. I was pretty sure that I didn't possess that particular ability before... now. I guessed it came with... whatever happened before...
Trying to think about the past was tiring in a strange way so I turned back to my task and gathered the rest of the precious metal up in the air. I found out that I could hold eight object at the same time, but bypassed that limit by putting all the gold in a big mound before moving and dropping it in my treasure room, which magically transformed the ore into coins and treasure and spread it around the room.
That's when I felt it. I had gotten a similar feeling before, when my imps had claimed (which for some reason involved dancing) the portal to the east of my heart. This one was different, yet somehow similar. Even if I had never felt that feeling before, I knew what it meant.
A creature had entered my dungeon through the portal.