The Underworld

The underworld is not just a dream or myth, it is a real place that lies beneath the feet of those that live in the light of day. The underworld is not simply a series of dungeons and caverns, but a place unto it’s own that follows rules and laws that are different that the world of light. It is a place of Darkness - not just the absence of light, but the absence of morality, sense, and virtue. It is a place of wickedness where creatures guard forgotten tombs and worship living demon gods. It is a place where vast treasures lie scattered and ready for the taking if the looter is willing to pay the price of his soul. Most terrifying of all, however, is that it is a place that wants to be.

Abandoned buildings left unused for too long grow grow weedy, dusty, strange. The angles twist and the geometry buckles under the barometric pressure of anti-life. Among the dust and cobwebs, traps blossom. A brood of goblins rise out of the earth and shake clods of birth matter from their heads. Exotic, threatening beasts settle down and nest; below these lairs, trap doors lead to newly-formed but entirely ancient and archetypal stairs, dank tunnels with torch brackets that never held a torch.

Sewers have to be regularly patrolled, newly-budded secret doors smashed and burned. Behind these doors may be shimmering portal mist, writhing, glistening gristle or simply mundane wall. The door is destroyed, what lays behind sealed away under rocks and incantations.

The Underworld is a place that wants to exist and blooms, grows, and will slowly devour all if left unchecked. However, the presence of a single Daylight Person causes dungeon growth to slow to a crawl if not stop completely. The dungeon is sluggish, confused when humans wander through it and it begins to wake monsters, set traps, and otherwise expel its guts to purge and frighten away the intruder.

Dungeons dream in forgotten places and long to be born. In the liminality of the taking form, the dungeon's dreams and fantasies blow like a hot breath from its hiding place and cause confusion and nightmares. Where abandoned sewer lines and city intermingle, usually in the poorest places, dungeon birth is foretold when the poor suffer from madness & mutation, plot riots and insurrection.

Dungeons also appear in uncivilized minds, in items of power too-long unused. Wizards have dungeon-bent minds, cultists, punk priests, Chaos Catholics all find themselves compelled to live by nascent dungeons, total capitulation to the dungeon and it's reigning deities. Wizards summoning monsters are essentially just wizards peeling back the difference between this place and the cloaca that first ripped open their minds.

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