- #1 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Bound Fey
- #2 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Trip to Market
- #3 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Great Palace
- #4 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Lady with White Eyes
- #5 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Wizard’s Familiar
- #6 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Palace Crypt
- #7 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Restrained Demon
- #8 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Chase
- #9 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Vault
- #10 FINALE Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Court Wizard
This week the stream cut-out briefly when my PC randomly shut-down, so #7 comes to you in two parts.
You turn to face the source of the voice, and you are unprepared for what you see. You had heard demons can take many forms, but this one is a quintessential nightmare. Hulking shoulders and seemingly more shadow than flesh. Large curved horns that jut out from the broad head. Long arms with sharp claws.
The demon smiles, flashing teeth tha glow white in spite of the darkness. “I suppose this is about Tyric?” she says. Her voice is light, and uncannily like Tyric’s.
“Yes,” Kae says. You can hear the quaver in his voice. It’s the most scared you’ve ever seen him.
“I’m afraid I can’t help you,” the demon says.
“We just need to know what these bindings say.” You swallow your fear and hold out your arms, where the inscriptions circle your wrists. Kae rubs his wrists, then does the same. “They’re in Imbriol, I think,” you say. Or certainly, that was what Tyric told you, though she had every reason to lie.
Still, the bindings are certainly a script, and not one you know. It is as likely to be Imbriol as anything else, as far as you know.
The demon steps forward, steps light in spite of her enormous size. You tense but hold still, fighting the urge to flee. She runs a claw over the bindings. You expect the claws to break the skin and grit your teeth in preparation, but the touch is feather-light. She stares at the markings.
“Yes… this is Imbriol. It’s old, older than even me. I can’t tell you what it says, though. Old Imbriol was never my strong suit.” She smiles at you.
You glance at Kae. You find it galling to think that you came here for nothing. But the demon already said she didn’t want to help you with Tyric, and something about her smile makes you feel like she’s not telling the truth. However, you don’t feel comfortable calling out a demon with claws as long as your forearm on her lies.
“You’re a demon,” Kae says. His voice barely trembles, but then he has much less to fear from a demon than you, you assume. “Come now. We both know you’re knowledgeable on many ancient things, including Old Imbriol, or why else would Westen have summoned you?”
You look between the two, not sure what’s coming next. The demon cants her head to one side and flexes her claws, though whether idly or out of a desire to attack you, you can’t tell.
“I know what you’re doing,” he says.
The demon looks at him blankly, then cants her head again, this time in a gesture that seems to imply she’s listening. Kae continues, “You’re as bound as we are, aren’t you? I assumed she’d made a deal to set you loose here, but you haven’t lifted a claw against us.” Kae shakes his head. “Useless. I don’t know why I bothered.”
The demon hisses, spittle hitting you in the face.
“Uh … Kae?” you say, panic rising.
You can feel the temperature in the crypt rising, waves of heat rolling off the demon.
“You’re right, of course. It would be foolish to enrage a demon. Unless that demon is utterly cowed and controlled by a mortal mage.” He shakes his head. “Are we finished here?”
The demon draws herself up. The shadows that make up her form flare on the edges with licks of flame. She leans forward and roars, jaw unhinging so wide that she could easily swallow your entire head. You cower away from her, but Kae stands still, arms crossed.
She doesn’t bite, or scratch, or do anything at all to harm you. Panting, she continues to loom over you, hands clenching and unclenching. You press a hand to your chest, trying to manage your panic as you realise: Kae is right. For whatever reason, this demon cannot harm you.
“Let’s go,” Kae says. You take a deep breath, and nod. You move to stand, but suddenly the demon is in your face, hand outstretched to hold you down.
“You want me to help you with the mage, dear?” she asks. You nod cautiously. “I’ll help you with the mage. Then we’re getting rid of this one.”
Kae makes a disgusted sound. “Of course you will. So what do our bindings say?”
You take a half-step back. The demon lowers her arm, allowing you the space.
“I am not permitted to translate,” the demons says, almost petulant. “But there is a way to find out.”
“How?” you ask.
“There’s a book in the Great Library,” she says. “It gives the reader the ability to read any language, for a time. I can tell you what it’s called, and where in the Great Library it is kept. But in return, you must swear that you will break my binding as well.”
You look to Kae, who shrugs.
“If we must,” he says.
“The library,” you say. In spite of your fear, in spite of the rising temperature in the crypt and the horrible, musty smell it’s creating, you feel a twinge of frustration. If Kae hadn’t teleported you to this crypt earlier, your plan had already been to go to the Great Library. Kae, however, looks completely unrepentant. “Where is it, then?” you ask the demon.
“The book is called Babelography, but it is well-hidden and magically guarded. The Librarians have much magic at their disposal. You’ll find it in the Vault at the top of the library tower. How you get access is up to you.” With that, the demon melts back into the shadow, as suddenly as she had first appeared. For a moment, all you can make out is the lingering light of her red eyes, until that too has faded.
“Babelography,” you say. You glance at Kae. “Can you get us to the Great Library?”
Kae nods, waving his hand. You feel a jerk behind your navel, and the room around you vanishes, replaced by towering shelves of books.
You’re in a library. You’re now in the Reserve Section, where books waiting to be restored and researched are kept. You’re alone, and Kae is nowhere to be seen. You begin to call out to him, but catch yourself. The demon warned you that the Librarians are powerful, and it doesn’t sound like they will be keen to part with Babelography. Also, it seems wrong to yell in the library, and invoking even the wrath of an umagical librarian gives you pause.
You look around, trying to get your bearings. You didn’t expect Kae to drop you into the middle of the Great Library alone. The library is full of strange magical lights, and you’re sure that some of them are watching you. You remember the demon’s warning, and decide to keep your hands in plain sight at all time. You don’t want to risk attracting the attention of the Librarians… wherever they might be.
You begin to search. You have no idea which part of the library you are in, and you fear asking a librarian to find out. The books around you are on such a variety of topics that you find it hard to know what section it is. The books have strange names such as “Unwitherable Williams” and “A Treatise on the Influence of Osiris on the Surgical Technique of the Ancients”.