#9 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Vault

  1. #1 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Bound Fey
  2. #2 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Trip to Market
  3. #3 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Great Palace
  4. #4 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Lady with White Eyes
  5. #5 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Wizard’s Familiar
  6. #6 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Palace Crypt
  7. #7 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Restrained Demon
  8. #8 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Chase
  9. #9 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Vault
  10. #10 FINALE Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Court Wizard

Note: This episode we downgraded back down to Griffin AI from the premium Dragon AI.

On further inspection, you don’t find Babelography among the titles here. More titles include “The Joys of Frying” and “Sinthinia: A Winning Strategy”. You frown. None of these titles seem worthy of being locked up in the secret Vault of the Great Library. And combined with the relatively plain decor of the room and lax security, you’re inclined to think Kae has brought you to the wrong place again.

But Kae was insistent that this is indeed the Vault, and so you try to understand what this signifies. Is there some kind of illusion or deception at play? Perhaps these are the books of dark magic you expected. Perhaps Babelography is here, but in disguise.

You construct a spell to reveal secrets and banish illusions, pulling the threads of magic together in your mind even as you sketch runes in the air. If it works, any illusions on these books will be banished. If it doesn’t, then you will have to convince Kae to teleport you again in the hopes of making it to the correct room this time.

Kae looks on curiously, tapping bare nails against his shoulder as you cast the spell.

As you finish, the room ripples and shifts. The simple wood doors become iron-wrought and carved with runes. The books on the shelves shift from mundane texts to the thick, aged tomes you were expecting. You go back to touching the books, running your fingers along their spines. Many of them are in scripts you cannot read, and some are oddly warm or cold to the touch.

Yes… here it is. Babelography. You slide it gently from the shelf and scan the contents page. Each section pertains to a different language, most you have never heard of.

Then, you see it; Imbriol, the language of demons. You flick forward to the chapter in question. The script it demonstrates there is the mirror of that marking your wrists.

“This is it,” you say. You look up at Kae, still watching you impatiently. “This is the book we need. Please teleport us home to my cottage in the swamp. We’ll need somewhere safe to translate.”

“Oh, very well,” he says. Kae waves an impatient hand and you feel the world shift around you. The vault and its shelves and iron doors blur and are replaced by the mud and trees of your swamp.

You turn; your cottage stands there, cozy and familiar. You hear cawing and within moments your crow familiar, Soot, flaps over to you excitedly, circling your head.

“Horrible creature,” Kae says, eyeing Soot with distaste. Your crow ignores him. “It’s so good to see you,” you say as Soot alights on your arm. You scritch his neck and he leans in, feathers ruffling. “Right,” you say. “Let’s get translating.”

You and Kae enter your cottage, Babelography in hand. You sit and begin poring over the tome, trying to make sense of the writing. Though Kae has offered many criticisms you have carried on regardless, driven by your conviction that this is the answer to all your problems.

You work into the night, your cottage lit by flickering candlelight. You and Kae get through many cups of tea, though Kae often complains of the bitter taste. You aren’t one much for languages but Kae seems to pick it up easily, and between you, you begin to make progress.

“We’re getting there,” you say. “The writing is just very different from my world’s. I think if we take a break now, I can come at it fresh in the morning.” You don’t want to completely admit it, but you are exhausted. After demons and Librarians and waking up cursed, you are more than ready for a night’s sleep. And you don’t think you’re likely to finish translating in the next few hours anyway.

Kae frowns. “You need to sleep?” He sounds disdainful. “We can’t all be fey,” you say. “I’m human. We need rest.” He makes a disgusted sound, but gestures for you to leave. “I’ll continue translating while you rest your feeble body,” he says.

You nod to him, and lay down on your cot. As you lower yourself down, the world spins, and you brace yourself against the wall to keep from falling. You’ve had a long few days. You drift off to sleep, and in your dream you are walking through a dark and scary forest. You don’t know why, but it feels like you are about to be attacked from behind by something. You wake to Soot pinching your ear with his beak.

“Ow!” You lurch upright. In the familiar surroundings of your cottage, it takes you a moment to remember the direness of your situation, or that there is a powerful fey working in the other room.

You go next door to discover Kae in the same position you left him, still poring over Babelography and the notes you’d made. You hear muffled caws from the next room, and Soot hopping about excitedly.

Kae has his back turned to you. “It’s time,” he mutters.

“Time for what?” you ask. “Have you finished translating the curse?”

Kae doesn’t answer. He finishes reading what you’d written, then carefully folds up the page and slips it into his book. Then he rises to his feet, and shuffles to the next room, where he considers Soot as the crow bounces on your bed. He raises a hand and Soot freezes as if time has stopped, but only for him.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing to Soot?” you say, hands clenching at your sides.

“I need a feather,” he says, and yanks one free from Soot’s tail. Soot unfreezes and screeches, looking panicked.

You gather him up in your arms, trying to soothe him, while Kae returns to the main room. “That had better be to break the curse,” you say. You have rarely been tempted by violence, but you dearly wish you could give Kae a solid kick right now.

“It is. Now release Soot,” Kae says.

“No. Not until I know what you’re planning.” Whatever Tyric has done to you, undoing the curse is not worth hurting Soot.

Kae sighs, shaking his head. “Well, if not Soot, then some other bird. Can you get hold of one?”

His words leave you cold. “You were going to hurt him!”

Kae shrugs. “The curse binds us to Tyric and is designed to only be released on our deaths. We might be able to fool it with a sacrifice, and a bird would be the most appropriate. I didn’t realise you were precious about that animal, but no matter. Another will do just as well.”

You swallow, hard. You don’t like the thought of killing a bird simply to release the spell — and Kae doesn’t sound certain that it will work. “What happens if your plan fails?” you ask. “What if it doesn’t work?”

“It will. Now bring me a bird.” You don’t want to, but you don’t see much choice. You leave the cottage, Soot still in your arms, and search the swamp for a suitable bird. It’s hard work, and you’re not finding anything that could be used as an expedient sacrifice.

You know spells that would cage or trap a bird in flight, but you can’t bring yourself to cast them. Yet you continue to search, telling yourself that you’ll find a bird at the end of its life.

As you’re searching, you start hearing laughter. You freeze. Soot takes off from your shoulder, vanishing through the canopy. You turn to see Tyric Westen. Her dress is long and trailing, but seems impervious to the mud and muck of the swamp. Her all-white eyes are fixed on you, as is her cruel grin.

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