Sunday, March 29, 2015

Meikyuu Kingdom - About the Endless Dungeons

[Translated from the Meikyuu Kingdom GM Book, page 104. Original Japanese text © Bouken]
About the Endless Dungeons

The entire world has been turned into one huge dungeon of despair, the Endless Dungeons. Here we discuss its mysterious nature and denizens.

Origin of the Dungeon

How was the world formed? There are many legends, but perhaps the best known is the legend of the Hazard King recounted below.

・The Legend of the Hazard King

According to legend, the world was once divided into three realms. That is, "Heavens", "Ground", and "Underground". The "Heavens" is the interminable blue space above man's head. The "Underground" consisted of the rock, the sand and the dirt beneath man's feet.*1 Man cannot enter either of these realms. Man was meant only to walk along the "Ground". Man was contented. The "Ground" was vast and boundless and bountiful.

It was flat, extending forever in all directions, and there was more than enough of it for one kingdom. People lived their lives in peace in this ancient kingdom. But then the "Hazard King" ascended the throne. He was a great wizard, his wisdom knew no bounds, but he was also very arrogant person.

The Hazard King thought. My power will be increased if was also ruler of the realms under the ground and above it. He called God*2, and ordered "Let the three realms become one."

Then all the parts of the world were put together in an instant, and the world became one.

The Hazard King was glad at this scheme, but the God of the World who was a Trinity told the King. "The World will not be confined in one body like that of a man, may you be confined as you sought to confine the world," and at once a labyrinth sprung up and swallowed the King. The King used all his magic to try and escape the labyrinth, but it spread wherever he went, and did not let him go. Thus, the labyrinth began to fill the entire world. This was how the Dungeon Hazard began.

A long time has passed and nobody now knows how much. There are those who now laugh at stories that the world was divided, treating them as a mere myth. However, there are also those who say that the King still lives, lost and wandering somewhere in the dungeon. Because the world is still a huge dungeon even now. Noone knows the truth.

Endless Dungeons

Whatever the cause, the world is now broken. We live now in this Endless Dungeon composed of a million passages, a million doors, and a million rooms. All we know is that the Dungeon is endless. Dungeonization has completely transformed the world as told in the Hazard King's legend. The sky, the sea and the earth no longer exist. What we are left with is only this dark, endless dungeon.

The chaos that broke out when the Dungeon began covering the world was unimaginable. The disaster's magnitude could not be pieced from the few records that remain of the time. The survivors of this cataclysm adapted to their new environment. They grew accustomed to living inside a dungeon.

・The Old World and the New World

The residents of the One Million Dungeon have a strong sense of longing for the world they lost. They have many paintings and songs, as well as children's toys and games that depict scenes from the former world before the Hazard King's time. None have even seen the sea and have no idea what they are missing.

The Hazard King's destruction of the world has brought great sadness to the people. It is the tradition in the Old Kingdom to burn an effigy of the Hazard King during the winter solstice festival.

On the other hand, the Hazard King is also praised as the creator of the New World. People see the Land Makers as the Hazard King's descendants, and would gladly contribute to their kingdom's progress. Some people may object, but they are few and any insurrection always fails. Within the populace also, there is the air of high anticipation for the return of a king with powerful magic. Nonetheless, Land Makers listening to idle talk will be weak-willed, hiding behind his people instead of confronting the crisis of the Dungeon Hazard.

・Away from the Edge of the World

The constantly changing dungeon expands outwardly and is always a prison shutting us in. Innumerable attempts to escape out of the dungeon have been made, all ended only in failure. Elevators, horselizards, and level excavator magic have all been unable to find the world's edge. Countless years from the Dungeon Hazard and none have found the edge where the dungeon ends. However, the tradition of challenging the dungeon endures to this day, as can be seen in the Dynamite Empire's dungeon excavations which is that nation's primary purpose.

[SIDEBAR] Birds and Fishes

Since some creatures, like the birds of the Sky Floor and the fishes of the Deep Floor, are usually seen everyday by common folk, they are not necessarily considered from a different realm. Landmakers embarking on an expedition away from their kingdom sometimes use a pack sparrow or carrier pigeon, a chicken or a duck, if they're lucky. Large-sized marine creatures are used as pack beasts too. These species of crab from the Sky or Sea Floors are rarely seen by common folk.

1・・・・・・In variants of this legend, "heavens" is also referred to as the "sky" and the "underground" as the "sea". Monsters from the Heaven Floor definitely have the features of a creature from the "Sky", just as those from the Deep Floor have features of a creature from the "Sea". Because of this, this legend tends to get the support of dungeon biologists.
2・・・・・・There is little description of "God" in the legend, but an ancient document has been found where "God" has been drawn in the form of a trinity: a dragon with three necks, countering the popular assumption that "God" was three dragons. Figurines depicting the God as Chimerae, Manticores and even Minotaurs, with three heads have also been found, but archaeological studies dates them as too recent.

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