Recent discoveries by the Council of Sages has turned the adventuring community on its ear. Once thought of as sinkholes of treasure, monsters, and experience, new light has been shed on the dungeon, and its unique ecosystem.
From the Scrolls of the Sage Shykepsi
‘Dungeons were once thought of as nothing more than places for adventurers to test their skills, slay monsters, and find treasure. We have followed this economic path for many years, and it has only recently come to our attention the basic importance of the dungeon not only to adventurers but to life itself as we know it.
‘Recent archeological digs in conquered and palyed out dungeons reveals a staggering fact. Life did not originate in the oceans, or by the hand of gods as previously argued. instead recent finds indicate that the first lifeforms in truth came up from primordial dungeons, some adapting into primordial fish, animals, primates and the like. Thus when the adventurer returns to the dungeon he is returning home on a subconscious level.’
Having been a long supporter of the Council of Sages, the king has begun a program to locate and map known dungeons, not for the old purpose of looting and adventuring, but for their preservation. Having once been an adventurer himself, the King well remembered delving into those dark places, finding the variety of animal life to be staggering for the locale. He has been fascinated in the origins of the dungeon ecosystems and their native flora and fauna.
From the Dungeon Preservation Act
For too long we have exploited the natural resources of the dungeon. For too long we have let them lay unattended for the less scrupulous to occupy and over exploit themselves. We can no longer expect these dungeons to support our adventuring way of life without a sense of responsibility. The days of mindless hack and slash dungeoneering must come to a close if we are to protect these valuable resources.
To this end, I had announced the Dungeon Preservation act, placing seven known dungeons under the protection of the crown. Entrance to these dungeons will be controlled, while sages will be called in to study the signifigant biodiversity and innate magic of the dungeon enviroment.
Concerning the Origin of Dungeons
Many sources have been attributed to the formation of dungeons. Some are simple, that they are the work of long lost and forgotten kingdoms and peoples, to the more obscure, such as them being the fingerprints of the divinities stuck in stone. The truth is a little more strange. In keeping with the clathrate theory, Dungeons are naturally occuring phenominon. They develop over the course of decades to centuries before conditions reach the point where life reaches a point of expansive biodiversity.
Sages often conflict over dungeons budding off from other unknown ‘supradungeons, dungeons so deep that not even the best explorers can find them. Other sages claim that there is a dungeon realm, an uber-dungeon that underlies all of reality and terrestrial dungeons are places where the prime material plane and this dungeon plane coincide. Of course this is all currently speculation, but the Elven Sage Dershish Vale has commited himself to a 200 year long timed study of dungeon evolution.
Dungeon National Park
The dungeon park is a small locale, situated above and around the entrances to seven known, undepleted dungeons. These have been marked as being popular among adventurers, but havent reached levels of monster and treasure depletion as seen in the Black Evil dungeon which has been depleted of monsters to the point that humans have begun to turn it into a tourist locale. There is even a weaver selling tunics with the logo “I survived the Black Evil Dungeon, and all I got was this tunic” The King doesnt wish to see this sort of capitalistic adventurism taking hold in the still vibrant dungeons.
Access to the dungeon itself is controlled, and adventurers are only allowed a certain amount of time to adventure before being required to return to the surface. Once returned, they are required to pay 1/3rd of their loot to support the park system and dungeon research projects. Traffic arround the dungeon is limited by a 12 mile perimeter that prevents guildsmen from setting up inns, taverns, brothels, item and weapon shops at the mouth of the dungeon, such as has happened at Black Evil dungeon in the west country.
For a modest fee, non-adventurers can take a tour of special branches of the natural dungeons to notice the unique stonework, or observe the native wildlife in its dungeon home. To a story weary surface world, seeing a real life rust monster or a mimic can be exciting.
Bureau of Dungeon Affairs
This body of crown appointed officials has the unenviable task of policing the national park. This has been a rough job considering how well prepared and armed many adventurers are. There is also a sense of outrage that access to a dungeon be controlled or taxed in any way. The Dungeoneers are also responcible for not only protecting the dungeon, but for also keeping some of the dungeon life from wandering out and making a menace of itself in the surrounding country.
Tensions have run high since a large number of orcs and half orcs have been hired by the BDA. This has created controversy that has brought in the advocates for the Kingdom Association for the Advancement of Goblin People who state the appointments are tantamount to putting orcish citizens on an execution line. Pro-Adventurists claim this is an affront to their forbearers who died fighting the orcish hordes back in the Orc Wars, and that only humans, elves, or dwarves be allowed to guard the Dungeons if they are going to policed.
Split Tooth speaks
‘Dez’ dun-juns is impor-ant. doz hoomans no respeck dem. We make chure dey do’
Redgar the Valiant speaks
‘I think it is a good thing that the crown is taking more responcibility for dungeon care. Too many careless adventurers are starting to ruin a good thing for those of us professionals.’
Norbert the Creepy speaks
‘There are certainly more important things that the crown could be spending its time and money on. There is no need to micromanage dungeons, and this borders on necromancr-harassment. What will I do when they decide to make my place a ‘national park?’
Simeon the caretaker speaks
‘Legal or not, there are going to be adventurers who get in. Doesnt matter to me a bit, I still make my silver planting the losers in the ground.’
The Viceroy speaks
‘It is about time that a serious effort be made to properly map out these known dungeons. We cannot afford to be ignorant about what might be in them, and who is bringing them out. A recent study of mine concluded that of the 32 items of evil siezed by the crown last year, over half came from irresponcible adventuring.’