Alright this weird thing keeps happening I'm gonna need to keep a notepad or something. Who am I? Sep-Serry, Jerry? Michel? No...Set? Shet? Tess? No...Seth? Yeah sounds right enough. Now why? Hopeless people, need dower, new power, new god, kind god, disruption from existing power struggle...why? Angel of time space could self destruct if consumed by the mortals. Or some other cataclysm. Maybe this was the beta system where all the archangels all had their balance ideas tested and system incentives played out. They might wanna keep that front line going, what about a uh-
Oh I see it, planet yes, big. Um, details?
Nope just falling, falling to where that looks like wasteland. Oh well.
The gods that remained, all three of them were a little confused by the single, normal looking soul drifting down threw their three way argument, disrupting their ever shifting forms for a few moments. They watched with some incredulity and turned back to each other, suddenly seeing little reason for talk. Watching with breath held, sermons paused, prophesies obliged, for excruciating minutes angels approached and paused, letting it drift down to another power.
A power people saw it in their thoughts, like a window overlaying their sight to display text and symbols. Angels saw it as singing strings flush with energy they knew and craved but could not touch for it would burn at them. The Gods saw it as a poison blanket that ate them readily, stopping their hand mortal affairs and burning cold.
The system they all called it, the soul was slowly parting the net and drifting down threw, letting only a single string catch it at any moment. The gods were shocked, so shocked they didn't realize for a few more moments that fortune tellers had free reign to interrogate them. Priests blinked in unison, seeing a star descend as they saw threw their god's eyes with their mortal senses.
Something at the core of the planet reached up, not so much a thread as a cable, and as It touched the soul the whole of the net shivered. Tendrils of fire with snake maws at the lead, sniffing and thinking, then things changed and old shapes discarded. Everyone felt the net quaking for a few moments as threads wound themselves into new shapes. The system changed, Batemoth had been touched like Yanimn before him, bathed in thinking fire that interrogated ever fiber and rebuild. His mind no longer overlapping cogs in impossible space, he had a complex shape of more directions than three filled with rare filaments that carried his thoughts now. His tools no longer bent and scored from strain, remade of laminates impossible to anyone who thought too hard on what it would take to make them.
His first thought appeared in everyone's vision as a notification window.
-A new god has arrived, system has updated, re-balances inbound. Please welcome The Clockwork God-
Fortune tellers stopped, they'd heard gods and foreign angels curse that name. Priests told the gods, waiting for the relay of their attitude. Angels scattered, running any direction that got them away. And the gods all focused on one, lone, mortal, soul, being lowered into a dungeon core.
Their intent gleamed in their fractaline teeth as their shapes twisted in sinister rage.
For all his gratitude Batemoth couldn't shelter his old master as he wanted, his master said to put him in the most creation engine thing he had. Not one to disobey a dead god was prepared for reincarnation as a dungeon core, his soul laid in a geode where it filled one crystal, one of thousands, and the whole rock rose threw mantle to the crust till it was meeting with the tunnels of ancient ruins. Or really just post occupation, a temple built into a mountain as a bulwark against some force of nature that swept over the lands some centuries ago, abandoned ever since.
It may have been favorable but without the support of a god in this realm one needed some favors to survive as a dungeon. He'd watched the gods import the broken mess from one realm into this one and he'd nearly let the whole system shake apart before sighing and hammering everything in place for a few years while the gods experimented.
The first dungeons were little more than pits for mortals to get munched and spawn points for new exciting monsters. There were close to ten gods then and two quit when they saw people killing monsters, stripping them for parts to then make into weapons and armor to kill more monsters. It was a good laugh but he had to nerf mana manipulation to not allow one to lift anything with mana in it. People would have never left it alone.
Generation two was made more deliberately to not allow anything out of the dungeon, no one went to those except to kill waves of creatures to power level. At least one god started a war over that, might've quit afterward too. Eventually I made it so the dungeon couldn't reabsorb everything from their monsters and needed to have things to make the monsters from. Part of the mana levitation fix was in that change and this tied in well enough.
People were mad so generation 3 was less a pit of wrath and more a sad lil quarry were mortals drove monsters to slavery by killing repeatedly or by having the monsters work to mine and farm for them. Solution to that was to lessen fear responses in monsters block spawns on invaded floors. Mortals then just killed off the monsters and did the work themselves. The stress of the expanding volume tended to overload the core, leading to dungeon collapse and death so that'd have to be fixed.
By the fourth generation the gods had figured they were never gonna stop the mortals so they might as well use the dungeons to subjugate them, seeing as paladins and priests had to put in so much work to have the barest sense of what the gods were thinking. The remaining gods, by then 7, had decided to give out treasures with their blessing and influence but to those who displeased them they could order crushed. So when delvers found treasure they thanked deities, who then started micromanaging everything.
Three deities were left out by this and eventually they left, leaving one who just watched, until she got eaten and revived. That was an eventful year.
Generation five came out with the purpose of providing needed materials, renewable and ready for working. Monster testing and preparation was a big part of the combat as the gods waged wars of territory outside the dungeons and did so with monsters developed within. Mortals began to catch on and offer up invading monsters to the local dungeons so they could get weaker variants to train on. Gods would even help train mortals with various traps in kingdoms they planed to conquer.
That was some centuries ago and now the continent most mortals lived on had about 5 nations, 4 if you only counted the ones in regular contact with each other. They had long since learned their pantheon picked favorites, three of them were the favorites, one just had a lot of the first generation dungeons on their lands due to location and prior wealth. The obscure one was obsessive about controlling the dungeons, seeing the gods as adversarial.
In the northern mountains there was now a dungeon core who held a force of creation in hiding, and the gods were raving to carve it from the earth. Fortune tellers were reaching with their threads as far sa they could, they wanted to talk with the new god, they wanted to know what he was. Priests were recovering from being turned inside out and made into shifting beasts for a few moments by the gods.
Back to present, Batemoth cast the threads to the sky, the fortune tellers would meet Seth when he reached out, and the gods would not touch those threads no matter how raving mad they were, fortunes tellers were like birds following thieves. Thief throws crumbs to distract the birds but oh hey, birds talk, now there's no fortune teller worth their salt who isn't talking to the others about how the gods see and know everything and ignore it. Like having charts to sail with but still hugging the coast because the effort. It made him chuckle, they wouldn't be so hurt by the system if they didn't despise it so much, but they despise it because it hurts and limits them, well they think it limits them. Idiots.
So what kind of dungeon will I be?
Easy, I'll be one of those unfathomable ones.
No straight path, no expectations, just crazy ass shit around every bend now how to...hey. Rat's nibbling me.
Fuck you rat!
As my vision comes in I can see the room I'm in, wide circular, flat, I'm just one crystal of hundreds here, and a fucking rat chewed on me specifically. Well I burned that fker to atoms and all his friends came into the room. Hundreds of rats flooding in onto me before I can even dig. Fuck you too mob of fucking rats.
I don't think I can keep solar flaring them forever, so time to make a thing. Uhhh...ouch you stoppit, CAT I SUMMON THEE
The single house cat plops down, landing on its feet in the middle of a scourge of rats that are bigger than it. I quickly make It out of the same crystals I'm made of but it can't do anything against giant rats so I wind a quick mechanism and lay it around the cat's pelt. Before her skin is pierced she had the Juggernaut enchantment: for damage taken, gain additional size and health. Giant cat, with spiky fur, in a spiky room, oh yea. And it works, before I know it Panther is ten times her original size before she's impervious, and none of them are nibbling me as long as she's around so that's grade A marks from me.
Relaxing a bit and resting back in my ethereal throne I see various meters and maps crowd into awareness. I'm being invaded, I've unlocked rats, I have no elemental preference, no traits set, there's an evolution chart for available progression paths for the rat things. Weirdos, some have decided to try and ally to me, costs mana but no cap on allied creatures and my mana is rapidly increasing. I've unlocked higher quality materials by absorbing massive amounts of lower quality materials, more improvements available with dedicated research facilities. The hell that work? They taste awful, I'm eating them by simple absorption, and that's how the materials, evolution trees, skill trees, available affinities, xp increases, room research...flora? What is this fine print. May propagate and expand beyond the dungeon's reach. Time to make some fking plants, wait-
HOW MANY RATS?
It's been ten fking minutes, I've drank a small lake of bone, flesh and hide, they're still pouring in, the excess mana is filling me like gas bloating my gut. Ugh...
-Contract created: subordinate rats to serve as scouts and utility support for greater dungeon creatures and mechanisms, in exchange the rats so accepting will be provided access to dungeon mana networks and creature accommodations. Contract creatures are considered flora for the purposes of leaving the dungeon and retaining enhancements. Contracted creatures will provide mapping data and assistance in exchange for reliable respawn points.-
There, do all you tiny lil things agree? Yes?
Not even down to half my base mana pool. Panther still killing things by the ton, I have unlocked a lot of options, I'll start construction, that costs mana.
The fuck is the confetti about?