Dungeon23 – Week 19

Sometimes it is okay for a room to be empty. I keep having to remind myself of this fact. In any good dungeon crawl, an empty room is highly likely. That empty space might add some flavour to the complex, offer a safe space or contain a hidden treasure… but it really doesn’t need to. In any structure, there’s a room that doesn’t get used that often.

When I first started on the MegaDungeon, I was fully aware that on busy days I could simply write “empty room” and move on. I’ve been finding this hard to do, however. I feel a compulsion to include at least something in every space.

This week’s rooms (and this layer) are significantly less populated than those previously mentioned. There’s still a little something in every space, but in this case the lack of presence here tells a grim story.

Magnus Ultores

When terrorism began to rise in this alien world, all the armies, police and security forces rose to the challenge. However, to defeat an international network of terrorist cells, those forces would need someone to create a counter-network, to organise the necessary justice.

And so the Magnus Ultores was formed.

The facility/dungeon was not the Headquarters of the Magnus Ultores, but one of its principal sites. From here, this new, special force could monitor worldwide communications, deploy at a moments notice, detain and interrogate dozens of criminals and manage public relations. A true hub of military force, brute-force justice and a propaganda machine.

The mandate of the Magnus Ultores was swift, aggressive and unforgiving action. Imagine a slightly more subtle Judge Dredd, but with a more public-friendly face and a more covert, special-forces approach. The licence to dispense judgement was almost unlimited, only the most high-ranking officials across the globe were above their jurisdiction. No warrants required, no explanation needed, to habeas corpus applied, no liberty safe.

The Ultores that live here now are a generation (or two) removed from the crises of terrorist activity and the war the followed (explored in layers 6 & 7). They continued to act as international law enforcers during subsequent decades, their personal brand of violent retribution enforced again and again.

The arrogance of the ‘Justice of the Ultores’ is as intense as ever, but being trapped in this bubble in space has led to lethargy. The halls of the Ultores are strewn with detritus. Fights break out daily; they have set out a room for organised brawls to take place in. The leaders often send of their troops into other layers to ‘pass judgement’ or to attempt to take charge of the facility, most of which has met with impassable resistance.

When the adventurers arrive then, these bored, militant zealots will focus all of their frustrated senses on them. The outsiders will be ordered to lower their weapons, escorted into a chamber crudely re-established as a place of judgement, at which the party will have to work hard to avoid being found guilty for some imagined crime they have somehow committed. The penalty, will be, of course, death.

Engaging with the Ultores is therefore challenging to say the least. They won’t attack on sight unless provoked, but their ‘need for justice’ psyche will kick in as soon as they lock eyes on newcomers. On the flip side, most are lazing about in these halls, and won’t be ready for a surprise assault. Any party that explores the prison cells first will learn that this will probably be the best path to take with these judgemental, militaristic totalitarians.

Week 19- 133 Rooms Complete

Rooms 7-13 of Layer 5 play out like this:

127. Prison Cell Block A
– A Guard Droid patrols this corridor and guards the 6 cells:
5a – an elderly Precog that tried to flee Layer 7 decades early
5b – Room scorched by an electrical fire
5c – empty
5d – A second generation Magnus Ultores, imprisoned for laziness
5e – another MU, imprisoned for hoarding supplies
5f – empty

128. Warden’s Station
– The warden, a military-grade droid, is activated when the guards detect a threat or combat breaks out in the cells.
– The Warden can incarcerate a rebellious inmate in a temporary cell in this station, and can repair and recharge here

129. North Lock Box
– Only 1 set the heavy metal doors will open at a time. Once 1 door locks, neither can be opened again for 1 minute
– The sensors of the autoturret at the S wall are malfunctioning, it targets any movement.

131. Break Room
– Space for guards to eat before going on duty, near to entrances in case of emergency
– Weapon lockers, still quite well stocked
– High chance that 2 Ultores Guards will be resting hear playing dice games

132. Main Entrance
– The tunnel still connects to the surface at the edge of the Atmo-Sphere (shortcut)
– heavy doors block entry, doors in the S section can only be opened from the outside, tampering triggers autoturrets

133. Main Entrance
– The tunnel still connects to the surface at the edge of the Atmo-Sphere (shortcut)
– heavy doors block entry, doors in the S section can only be opened from the outside, tampering triggers autoturrets

In Summary

If it sounds like the Magnus Ultores are an unpleasant sounding group, that’s very much the intention. As mentioned last week, this is the first layer of the dungeon that hints that the people of this world may not have live as freely and fairly as one might hope.

As this layer develops, and we see more of the back rooms – used for ‘spin doctoring’ and ‘interrogations’ of inmates – the adventurers will begin to sense that those in charge of this world were ruling with an iron fist. An iron fist covered in blood.

From this point on, the more the heroes explore, the more they may realised that these peoples probably deserved their apocalypses…

Thank You For Reading

Want to see how my Dungeon23 journey began? Look here!

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Author: Rufus Scott

I am a long term Gamer, a full-time History Teacher and a part-time geek. I enjoy writing about the positive aspects of gaming, especially when it comes to education. My posts are sometimes nostalgic, occasionally irrelevant, largely meant to provoke further discussion. I'll sometimes punctuate these whimsical ramblings with a random comment on gaming and/or teaching.

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