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The Dungeon of the Shadow Overlord

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Contest The Dungeon of the Shadow Overlord

Post by Vorik May 23rd 2023, 2:04 am

His body thrummed with renewed energy as he deftly dodged another lunge from the boss. The shadowy mass of too many eyes and limbs lost its footing as Sarah barraged it with a flurry of arrows that sank deep into his black hide. With a quick flourish, he struck out with his longsword and decapitated the beast where it dissolved into motes of dark magic leaving only a bag of coins behind.

“Yeah, that was awesome! Good job guys!” George exclaimed as he pumped a fist in the air.

“Boss was lame. All it did was chase after people who had aggro and could do fuck all against kiting. What kind of boss is easier than the mobs?” Sarah said.

“Oh come on now, it’s not that bad. This whole dungeon has been nothing but ez loot and xp. Besides, I just unlocked Slash II by killing that boss!" Peter boasted.

“That's cool and all but…Don’t you guys think it's weird how easy it’s been? The mobs just attack us a few times before running, the bosses have been a joke, and there hasn’t been a single trap that wasn’t hard to find or even deadly. Isn’t this suppose to be a hard dungeon?” Sarah looked around uneasily at the black brick walls of the dungeon of the Shadow Overlord.

The two other party members looked around as well expecting some sort of surprise twist or anything really to justify just how easy the dungeon had been.

“You know…You’re right Sarah. Whole thing feels off but I’m not going to complain about ez xp. Besides, we’ve yet to fight the final boss. Who knows, maybe the dude is really strong to make up the difference?” George shrugged.

“I guess. Whatever, let’s just loot this place and move on.” Sarah said half-convinced. To her today just didn’t make much sense. Ever since Boston had been suddenly transformed into a fantasy wonderland of dragons, orcs, and magic, she’s been having the most fun of her life. At first, it was scary but when she and her friends found out they could level up and gain superpower skills by going out and killing monsters and raiding dungeons well, it was just like the videogames they used to play competitively except far more exciting. There was even an Adventurer’s Guild that handed out quests! Yeah, there were no working showers or plumbing anymore but who cares when she could shoot an apple out of the sky upside down? This whole experience had been awesome.

Well, it had been awesome and something she’d expect straight out of an MMO like World of Warriors until they started doing this dungeon. People were still figuring things out about Boston or Eugenia as people have come to call it. Why and how does magic work, why did people transform into a different race while others didn’t, and where do all the monsters come from? She wasn’t sure about the first two but she was of the belief that monsters came from dungeons that would randomly pop up from time to time. They would always cause some kind of havoc to a village or something, have bosses and would respawn after a few days in some other place once the final boss was dead. Oh and of course so, so, so much loot.

They’ve done about 7 of these dungeons now and they’ve all been challenging and cliche in some way. A fire dungeon with a lava golem boss, an undead one with a lich, and even a time one that involved a lot of puzzles. All of them have had deadly traps and even deadlier monsters…All except this one.

The Dungeon of the Shadow Overlord was ranked as a Tier-4 rank dungeon based on how much mana it was giving off. With that rank, it should have been rather difficult but still possible with a well-coordinated team. It was only once you get to the Tier-5s and up you had to deal with the more unfair mechanics such as hidden instakill traps and enemies that are immune to some types of attacks. No one was quite sure why dungeons had this self-imposed restriction but many assume it had to do with Eugenia being based more on video game logic than the real world and dungeons had to be an entertaining activity. Getting your lungs flash-frozen by an invisible trap isn’t entertaining after all.

Still, as a Tier-4 this dungeon was acting more like a Tier-1, only harassing their group with pathetic minions and the traps were entirely noticeable and did little more than just annoy them. They were nearing the end and not a single person had even needed to use a potion of healing which is almost unheard of.  It was almost as if the dungeon wanted to be destroyed.

Regardless of how weird this dungeon had been, the loot was still good, and if it wanted to give her group a free win, who was she to complain? Gathering up for the final boss, her group chugged body enhancement potions and refreshed their buff spells.

The final room of any dungeon is the most unique and hardest room normally. While every dungeon had a theme and the various mini-bosses and minions draw from that theme in little tricks the final room exemplifies it utterly. The final room was dark, far darker than any lightless room would be. It was as if the light of their torches were being drawn in, towards the immense and foreboding figure at the other end of the room.

There sat on a throne of black metal and jagged spikes were the final boss, The Shadow Overlord. Clad in plate mail so non-reflective it was as if he wasn’t truly there and more just mist or smoke in human form.  He rested his helmeted head on a fist as he glared at his would-be slayers. Had there been better lighting, the adventures would have noticed the boss was sweating and slightly trembling.

“Why won't you people just leave me alone?” The Shadow Overlord said in a deep and booming voice.

“I’ve done nothing, nothing against you, and no matter what I do you insane people keep coming here to steal my stuff and kill me, over and over again…”

He pointed a trembling finger at them and clenched his fist in anger.

“Is it not enough that I suffer, to be trapped in this fucking hole in the ground, surrounded by monsters who treat me like some kind of evil guy? What more could I possibly do to make this all stop? I’m trying so hard to not be whatever this fucking place wants me to be but you insane murderhobos just keep twisting the knife.”

He leaned forward as tiredness entered his voice.

“I don’t want to hurt you guys. Please…Just take what you’ve already got and go. I can’t stop myself from defending myself or the treasure room.”

His plea to their humanity fell on deaf ears as the adventurers’ eyes glazed over with greed. He had tried to reason with his tormentors before and every time they reacted the same. Either they were being controlled by the narrative like he was or they truly were psychopaths who only saw people as potential loot.

They came upon him in a flurry of flashing steel and arrows. His body reacted on its own, slowly rising from his throne and conjuring a gigantic mace almost as big as he was.  Their blows bounced harmlessly off his shrouded armor as he fought with himself to not kill these lunatics. His swings were wide and wild but everywhere the mace landed the earth quaked.

“Shit, he’s immune! What's the gimmick, George!?” Peter yelled as he nimbly tumbled away from certain death.

“There!” George exclaimed while pointing at a lone ray of light hitting a mirror. “Must be one of those light puzzles we did before!”

The Shadow Overlord hissed as Pete rotated the ray of light at him, stripping away his shroud of impenetrable darkness. With renewed vigor, the adventurers assaulted him again with powerful skills. He staggered back as wounds opened but his body refused to fall. From his shadow leapt imp-like creatures of darkness with needle teeth and long pointed ears. With gleeful malice, they swarmed the adventurers.

The minions couldn’t possibly hope to kill such powerful enemies and they fell in droves but their numbers were endless.  While the two fighters were at their best in melee and fought back the tide of gnashing teeth, Sarah found herself overwhelmed and pinned under the horde. With lumbering steps, the Shadow Overlord stood before her and raised his mace.

“I’m…Sorry.” He said through strained breath as she looked on in horror as the mace fell upon her like the wrath of an angry god. Peter and George yelled and fought their way to her but it was far too late.

The now enraged men fought with all they had. The last of the minions dispersed into shadowy motes and all that stood before them was the gravely injured dungeon boss.  He fought on but he already knew the outcome. The “heroes” would kill him and end his tyranny. Over what he was a tyrant of? He was not really sure but the narrative demanded it. As the fighters ran him through with their blades he wondered if his sigh was one of disappointment or gratefulness that it was over.  Tendrils of darkness wrapped around him and dragged him into a pool of shadow. He struggled but to no avail, as he melted into nothingness.

The adventurers cheered for their victory and mourned for their loss but their mourning was short-lived as a large golden chest appeared next to the throne.

Days passed until the Shadow Overlord abruptly opened his eyes, disorientated as a craggy voice spoke to him.

"–ack Master! Your cunning and most evil magnificence have fooled their pesky adventurers once again! Your new lair is coming along nicely, yes, yes, very nicely. Your plans to destroy the surface are well underway in spite of this setback.” The aged minion gave a dry cackle as it turned to a horde of minions all bowing down to the reawakened overlord.

“LONG LIVE THE OVERLORD! HIS ETERNAL EVILNESS! THE ENDER OF ALL THINGS GOOD! LONG LIVE THE OVERLORD!” The frenzied minions chanted over and over again. The Shadow Overlord stared dejectedly as the minions cheered.  The only thoughts on his mind were if this madness would ever end.

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