Forum:NetHack story I wrote
Hey all, I'm a pretty big NetHack fan, I've been playing it for years now, still haven't ascended...... Anyway last time I played I decided I would try to write a story based on what was happening in-game at the time. It turned out to be a fun experience for me, and I'm thinking of trying again soon. I didn't get too far, and I suppose that was because I was playing wizard, and I'm not that great with wizard. It just seemed the most fitting for a story to me. Tell me what you think!
NetHack: The Novel
Valkorin's dreams had been troubled lately. Visions of strange monsters, dungeons, and traps had haunted him for two and a half weeks before he consulted his tribes medicine man. As Valkorin stepped through the tent flap, his blue gaze immediately took in the gathered herbs and animal skins of various types, hanging from the roof, as well as the walls. Because of the diffuse illumination, it took a while for him to register the fact that Totenhelm, the medicine man, was not even looking at him. In fact, he had his back turned to Valkorin. From his squatting position next to the fire pit in the center of the tent, Totenhelm was gazing complacently into the flames, not taking any sort of action. This went on for several minutes, Valkorin quite unsure whether Totenhelm was sleeping or not, and reluctant to disturb him, in case he was in deep prayer to their Elfin Gods. Totenelm suddenly started speaking, but Valkorin was not startled. "The gods have a great destiny in mind for you Valkorin." The words somehow sounded right to Valkorin and he nodded, realizing a few seconds later that Totenhelm couldn't even see him. Totenhelm continued. "Our God Anhur has chosen you for a very special task Valkorin. You know of the Amulet of Yendor, don't you?" Totenhelm referred to he most powerful of the Gods' artifacts. It had orginally belonged to Marduk the Creator, first of the Gods. But after the Creation, Moloch the cruel god of the Underworld had stolen it, and returned to his shadowy realm of Gehennom, biding his time until the amulet returned to full power. Moloch successfully fended off the attempts of the other gods to retrieve the amulet, despite quite overwhelming odds. "But what does this have to do with me?" Valkorin questioned. "Five thousand years ago, the gods made a prophecy: On the fourth moon, of the fourth season/the fourth son will correct a treason." Valkorin's thoughts raced. He was the fourth born of his creche, but he had no idea what the rest of that prophecy was about. "It's not referring to me, is it?" Totenhelm's stoney gaze was answer enough. Valkorin made for the tent flap. "It can't! I'm not ready for something like this! All I've come to see you about were my strange dreams!" "That is the sign that you are ready Valkorin." Totenhelm said gently. "Come, start acting like an Elf and come back in. I have much to tell you" Hesitantly, Valkorin took one step back in. Perhaps this really was his destiny. He'd hear the old Elf out and come to his own conclusion. "To tell the truth, the prophecy may not refer to you at all. There are many, even some within our own tribe who meet the vague conditions it outlines. But I have a feeling that you are Anhur's chosen. Those dreams make me certain. "I'm not ready." Valkorin repeated. "You will be. Anhur has determined that you shall become an Evoker, he will lend you his strength." "Magic?" Valkorin was intrigued. Totenhelm nodded slowly. "I can train you. We will begin right now."
Four years, and hard training had passed. Valkorin had camped in various locales for the last few nights, his only companion was his familiar, a kitten named Tama. His dreams led him farther and farther, until he reached some ruins. By nightfall, he had discovered a set of stairs leading far down, but it was far too late, and he was far too tired to begin his adventure. He made camp at that place, and prepared his belongings: A magical quaterstaff, his magic imbued robe, scrolls of teleportation and light, his spellbooks of force bolt and stone to flesh, a potion of invisbility and speed, some water, a ring of protection, and shock resistance, a wand of polymorph, and a bell. Valkorin fell asleep, his dreams untroubled for the first time since his training. He awoke feeling refreshed, and clambered down the stairs. His hour of destiny had arrived! A damp musty smell reached Valkorin's nostrils, as he entered the dungeon's first room. His beady gaze spied a glittering spellbook lying abandoned on the floor, and he made a beeline for it. New magic interested him greatly. He picked it up, and began studying it, but before he could begin to decipher the runes, he felt a strange sensation around his legs. Valkorin jumped, or rather, tried to when he discovered his legs to be encrusted in lichen. He couldn't move them at all, and sensation in them was fading fast. Desperately, he whacked it with his quaterstaff, and it fell off, recoiling in an animal-like fashion that surprised him. A few more hits, and the lichen collapsed. Valkorin sighed, shaken. The first creature he had enountered, and it had almost taken his life. He would need to be more careful. Valkorin sat down gently, massaging his legs until the feeling in them returned. Tama explored the dungeon meanwhile, taking an evident interest in the new smells. Once he was back to normal, Valkorin resumed studying the spellbook, this time a little more warily. The runes gradually informed him of a spell to detect monsters. Valkorin tested it out, and indeed, his mind registered the presence of Tama a few yards away, hidden by the rocks, and also of a small newt wondering around close by. Valkorin had learned that the corpses of newts could bring about an increased aptitude for magic if consumed, so he eagerly ran over to where he had detected it, pushing a boulder out of the way to get there. He also noticed some stairs leading down. Valkorin spied the newt, and immediately crushed it. Unfortunately, this left it's corpse beyond any sort of use. "Damn. Guess I'll have to kill them a bit more gently..." Valkorin continued looking around the dungeons, hoping to find some things as useful as the spellbook had been. His search proved in vain however, all he found were a fizzy potion he could not identify, and a tripe ration. "That's funny." He told Tama. "How did something like this get here? Is it still safe to eat? I didn't bring anything else with me..." He shrugged and stowed it in his backpack. As he made his way back to the stairs he had seen leading down, Valkorin encountered a strange doglike creature, only it was on it's hind legs. "Kobold." he muttered. He had read all about them. Tama rushed ahead and killed it, protecting Valkorin. "thanks Tama. I owe you one." Valkorin said appreciatively. But Tama wasn't done, she dashed ahead and killed two goblins faster then Valkorin could prepare himself. "You're pretty good at this kitty." Tama purred as Valkorin pet him, then they both went down.
As Valkorin ran down the stairs, the distant chime of a cash register caught his ear. This puzzled him. What was a sound like that doing here? He followed the sound hoping it would lead somewhere useful. Going through a narrow tunnel, a light came into veiw after a few twists and turns. Reaching it, Valkorin spied a man in smart attire and an apron. "A shopkeeper?" He thought, brows furrowing. "Hello Valkorin! Welcome to Wirix's Jewelers!" The shopkeeper called out. Valkorin stopped, his blood running cold. How did this strange shopkeeper in this mad dungeon know his name? He took a cautious step forward. Something was clearly wrong. Not only with this shopkeeper, but with his shop too. Valkorin's ring of protection warned him of two mimics masquerading as rings. Valkorin cautiously stepped across the shop's threshold, only to be hit by a dagger. He whirled to the side, spying another goblin racing toward him. Presumably, Valkorin was not the only one "shopping" here. Valkorin hastily made some hand movements that released a bolt of pure force from his fingertips. It struck the goblin squarely in his chest, instantly killing him. Valkorin whirled to Wirix next. "What was that all about sir?" He asked coldly. Wirix looked at him impassively. "One of my customers. I hope you're not going to kill all of them." Valkorin glanced at the goblins' corpse. "He attacked me first, I didn't even do anything." Wirix shrugged helplessly. "We might have been able to figure out his agenda, but you just went ahead and slaughtered him." Further questioning on matters of how he knew Valkorin's name were fruitless, so he turned his attention to the merchandise. Rings of all sizes and makes looked back at him. But the mimics disturbed him, so he quickly rooted them out, and killed them. Wirix didn't seem to mind. Fighting them, using both weapons and magic, gave him more experience. Looking back at the rings, Valkorin noticed he had no money. No matter, he loaded the moonstone ring he liked onto Tama when Wirix wasn't looking. He walked out, taking the ring back from Tama, Wirix none the wiser. "Thanks for shopping! Come back soon!" Wirix called after him. "Never!" Valkorin shouted over his shoulder as he ran away. That place gave him a bad feeling. Too many unexplained things. He hoped he would figure out what was going on soon. Valkorin stopped running after he passed the third room. Tama had run off somewhere. He felt slightly defenseless without his companion animal. Valkorin encountered a door leading out of the room he stopped to catch his breath in. He tried to open it, but it hardly budged. "Not locked" he muttered. "Seems more like the hinges are old." He examined the door more closely, and sure enough, a closer inspection revealed the edges to be encrusted in lichen. Valkorin banged it with his quaterstaff, and it fell off dead. As he killed it, he felt momentarily awake. "It seems that I've become more experienced." he thought. "My latent Elvish powers are starting to awaken." After giddily killing another newt, Valkorin suddenly stumbled across a strange green beetle. It was quite unlike anything he had ever seen before. It jumped from area to area, seeming to either disappear and reappear instantaneously, or to be very fast. Valkorin didn't hesitate. He timed his strikes, and smashed the bug like he did the ones at home. It let out a strange staccato cry as he crushed it. This call seemed to attract it's fellows, for another one suddenly appeared in front of Valkorin. He crushed it like he had the other one. He turned the corner and spotted a large pile of coins. "Were they guarding it?" he thought as he shoveled them greedily into his purse. "Not much of a guardian. This might be easier then I thought!" Valkorin got back up, tucking his purse away, and spotting a door. He went over to it, only to find it locked. Irritated, he kicked it down with a big crash. Valkorin went through the new passageway, brushing cobwebs aside, through a few twists and turns, to another room. Strangely, this one was brightly lit by torches. Valkorin spotted some growth on the wall, similar to the lichen, but it was bright yellow. He went closer to inspect it. Walking around it it, he thought it looked a lot like mold. In fact, if he tapped it lightly with his quarterstaff, it released a small cloud of dust. Having fun with this new experience, Vakorin hit the mold a little too hard, and was enveloped in a huge cloud of dust, he tried not to breath it in, but it was too late, he had already inhaled some as he had caught his breath in surprise. It was a painful surprise, the dust seemed to shoot up his brain and light it on fire. Valkorin stumbled around, stunned, as the mold vibrated in what could only be agony. When he felt a bit steadier, Valkorin hit the mold again. This time, his aim was true, and the mold collapsed in on itself and died. "This must be a healthy lifestyle." Valkorin thought. "I'm feeling pretty tough." He walked past the wall on his way out, and he spotted an inconsistency in the wall's rocky pattern. Stopping to examine it, he discovered that it was in fact, a door! It was locked, so he waved his arms around and cast a force bolt at it which succeeded in destroying it. A wave a stale air shot out, curdling in Valkorin's nostrils which were feeling rather hypersensitive after his brush with the yellow mold. Coughing a few times, Valkorin cautiously stepped into the secret passage only to find it end rather abruptly. "Nothing?" Valkorin grumbled. "Surely if they took the trouble to make this so secret they should have hidden something here!" As Valkorin left the room, going to the adjacent one, his stomach growled, and he noticed that he was feeling rather hungry. He hadn't eaten since morning, and he had no idea how much time had passed since he had started his travels in this crazy dungeon. Digging through his pack revealed only the tripe that he had found earlier. "Better then nothing." he said to himself, and began feasting on it. "Yak! Dog food!" he exclaimed. But he ate it anyway, too hungry to care, and besides, it's not like he had anything else. He had foolishly forgotten to pack food in along with the rest of his gear. Valkorin moved over to the room he was aiming for, and discovered that it contained more gold and also a smokey potion. Excited by his discovey, he quickly unsealed the potion, sniffed it's contents, and took a swig. "Aaaaggghhh!!!!" screamed Valkorin as a cloud of darkness fell upon him. What would he do now? His heart was beating fast. He was in a very strange and unfamiliar place, and now, when he needed all of his senses most alert, he had lost his most vital one. In desperation, he quaffed the fizzy potion he had found earlier. Perhaps it would reverse his plight. He hurridly gulped it down, and experienced a strong sense of contentment. This tasted just like his favorite drink, slime mold juice. And it seemed to help too, for as he blinked his eyes, he realized he was slowly starting to regain his sight. With a whoop, Valkorin rushed down the stairs to the next dungeon level, faithful Tama trailing behind him.
Valkorin stopped in consternation. A floating eyeball seemed to be blocking his path, it's unwavering gaze looking at, and unnerving him. He hastily cast a force bolt on it, and it dropped to the ground. Valkorin saw nothing better to do with the corpse but to eat it, since he was still hungry. As he finished eating the floating eye's corpse, he felt a strange mental acuity. Strange. Before he could go much further, he found a food ration encrusted with lichen. He picked the lichen off, killing it, and he took both the food, and the lichen's remnants. Another floating eye blocked his path now, and he confidantly took it out as he had the previous one. Suddenly, Tama meowed, dropping a topaz ring. "Good kitty!" Valkorin called her, he took the ring, and split a food ration with her. It really hit the spot. Valkorin tried his new rings on, and discovered that the moonstone one seemed to improve his constitution. He could not divine what sort of enchantment the topaz one carried however. Valkorin explored this floor like he had the others. He didn't find much. More gold, and a section of floor that squeaked loudly when he stepped on it. He also found a dark green potion in a small room though. He tested it out. It was smooth, and it slid down his throat like oil, but it had no effect otherwise. He also found an Iguana which he quickly disposed of, and an egg. He put the egg in his pouch to warm up, perhaps it would hatch. Going to the stairs down, a gush of water erupting from the floor hit Valkorin. Fortunately, it did not seem to affect his cloak. Tama also got hit.
Valkorin grabbed the gold as he descended the stairs, and he found himself in a dank stone room. There was a single door leading out, and he tried the door. It's old hinges resisted movement at first, but Valkorin eventually got his way. The door creaked open, and he stepped into the passage. Hearing water falling on coins distracted Valkorin at first, from the slight form staggering toward him. When he put his attention on it, Valkorin thought he saw a gnome. Good. Gnomes were helpful. But something seemed wrong. Movement seemed very labored for it, and as Valkorin rushed forward for possible assitance, he saw what was wrong. The gnome had died long ago, in fact, Valkorin could now see the rusty sword protruding from it's chest that had claimed it's life. Green rotted flesh outlined the gnomes features, and it's tattered almost nonexistant clothing flapped in a phantom breeze. The gnome swiped at Valkorin bruising him with it's sudden force.Valkorin jumped back with a cry, moving his quaterstaff between them. A few hits, and the gnome zombie dropped down, dead once more. He hoped it stayed that way. Breathing fast, Valkorin stepped into the light of the next room finding a fountain and some gold, explaining the source of the sounds he had heard earlier. He scooped the gold up, and knelt gratefully down to the fountain, eager for a drink, thirsty as he was. The tepid water was tasteless, but he drank on until the fountain ran dry. His thirst only patially sated, Valkorin tried the door leading out. An iguana wrapped in a towel blocked his way. Valkorin killed the iguana and picked the towel up. It was quite clean surprisingly enough. He stowed it in his pack after beating a little dust out of it. Another squeaky section of floor heralded his entrance into the next room. A statue of a homunculous stood against the wall to his right, and Valkorin stepped closer to inspect it. As he did, a shimmering cloud enveloped him and he felt like someone was helping him. A little unnerved Valkorin glanced around to ensure that nothing was amiss, then countinued his inspection. The craftsmanship was remarkable. The artist had managed to capture the grim set of a homunculus' jaw perfectly. In fact, if it hadn't been the color of stone, Valkorin would have mistook this statue for a real homunculous. "What was such a work of art doing here?" he wondered. Leaving the room, Valkorin opened a secret door he found. It led into a room with a pony and a gecko. Doubting he could handle a pony, even with magic, he threw the lichen corpse he had saved at it. The pony ate it, and seemed more kindly disposed toward him. It even helped him kill the gecko. A hobbit wandered over to Valkorin next. He made short work of it with Tama's help. As Valkorin backtracked, trying to find the stairs, he passed by a gray ooze on the floor. Probing it with his staff, it bit back at him, slightly wounding him, but not affecting his cloak. Valkorin killed it. Valkorin felt wise. He must have been observant. He also still felt tough. Hungry again, he decided he would eat the egg he had found earlier. "Ugh." It was rotten. Continuing on his way, Valkorin started to feel mildly nauseated and slightly confused. He couldn't seem to think straight, which was very inoppurtune since he spied a hill orc coming toward him. But he trusted Tama to fend it off while he recuperated. Valkorin wasn't disappointed. Tama killed the orc, and suddenly Valkorin vomited, able to move again. Never again would he eat a rotten egg. Valkorin was desperately hungry now. He was fainting. He quickly killed a giant rat he saw and ate it, but it didn't help much. He heard a crunching sound, and a rock mole came through the wall. He killed it too, and ate it, but this didn't help either. But he did take the glod and gems that the rock mole had no doubt picked up as it traveled through the rocks it ate. As he set off in serch of something else he could eat, Valkorin started fainting again. Tama killed another rock mole, but this one didn't leave a salvagable corpse, so Valkorin in desperation, prayed to Anhur. As he began praying, a shimmering light surrounded him. Finishing the prayer, Valkorin could tell that Anhur was pleased, and lo and behold, his stomach was no longer empty. It was full and content. Valkorin breathed a sigh of relief. Killing a goblin standing in his way and taking it's tripe ration from it's cold dead hands, Valkorin suddenly encountered a sink. "Here? In the middle of this stupid dungeon? What next?" Valkorin wondered when he would cease to be creeped out by this dungeon. He was a little curious if it still worked so he turned it on and took a drink from it to quench his thirst. The water was scalding! Valkorin sputtered and coughed, his tongue in agony. Mad, he kicked the sink. This turned out to be a grave error though. Or was it? The dish washer had returned, and she wasn't looking particularly angry. In fact, he was very attracted to her. The succubus, for that is indeed what she was, stepped closer and began to help Valkorin undress. "Shall I remove your cloak lover?" She murmured into his ear. Valkorin nodded. Time seemed to stand still as the two lay in each others arms. It was very enjoyable for him, and he'll always remember her. The succubus demanded payment, but Valkorin refused. She disappered, saying "you'll regret this Valkorin!" Valkorin snorted. Unlikely. He hastily donned his cloak on again as he turned to face a new threat. A mountain nymph was rapidly approaching, a lustful and mischievious smile draped on her attractive features. Valkorin weaved an incantation and released another force bolt at her. He was worried, because he had heard tales of nymphs, they would seduce you, and when you were most vulnerable, they would steal your most valuable possession and teleport away. When the force bolt did little damage, Valkorin decided the best course of action would be to run and let Tama deal with it. Unlike him, Tama was immune to the nymphs' powers of seduction. But it wasn't that easy. Suspecting his imminent flight, the nymph sped up, until she was right on Valkorin's heels. Valkorin ran as fast as he could, but he couldn't shake her. Tama followed as well, biting the nymph until she bled to death. Valkorin paused to catch his breath after his mild exertion, then he searched the nymph's body. He had read that there were two things a nymph always carried with herself; a mirror and more usefully, a potion of object detection. He found it after a few seconds search. Hoisting the dark potion triumphantly, he labled it, and stowed it in his pack with his other belongings. But the battle wasn't over yet! Just as he turned the corner back to the sink, the succubus returned. She immediately started clawing Valkorin, who managed to dodge a few, but got heavily injured by the ones that got through nonetheless. "I'd like you to meet my friend Valkorin." The succubus said, dodging a force bolt and flashing him a wicked grin. A strange being hove into view. It was roughly humanoid in shape, but it's movements seemed mechanical and false. It was covered entirely in scraps of paper. Without a sound, it lunged toward Valkorin. Outnumbered, and considerably injured, Valkorin fled, but not before casting a last desperate force bolt at the succubus. The energy surrounded her, and it started to shimmer for a few seconds before completely dissipating. With a small grimace of annoyance, he turned the corner. This would prove a little harder then he had expected. Looks like he would have to rely more on his combat skills, something he was not too good at. At least he had Tama to help. Between the two of them, they made short work of both enemies. Searching among the wreckage of paper from the fallen golem, Valkorin found a blank piece of paper which looked salvageable enough to write a scroll on, should the need ever arise. He pocketed it, and after resting for a while to regain his strength, returned to the sink. On the way there, he encountered a hostile giant bat, a dog, another floating eye, and a hobbit. The hobbit seemed to be carrying Sting, a minor artifact. Valkorin was proud of this find. Returning to the sink, a centipede and a coyote were guarding it, so Valkorin killed them both, and ate the coyote's corpse which tasted terrible. Finished, he turned his attention back to the sink. Something had definitely happened when he had kicked it the fisrt time, so he tried again. Nothing happed at first, but suddenly-Flupp! Muddy waste popped up from the drain, and shimmering amidst it was an emerald ring. Valkorin pocketed it and continued kicking the sink. As the pipes vibrated noisily, a black ooze gushed up from the drain! A black pudding! Valkorin quickly put all his effort into killing it. This didn't prove too difficult with magic, combined with the fact that the pudding was rather slow in movement. Inspecting it's corpse, Valkorin determined it safe to eat, so he did. The meal did not prove toxic, but it did give him a bad case of stomach acid. Just as he finished eating it, a blinding flash of yellow light caught Valkorin unaware, and this proved too much for his retinas to handle, he was blinded, his shielding hand too late to reduce the effect. The blindness didn't last too long fortunately, and while it was in effect, Valkorin noticed something strange: He could sense the precise locations of monsters in his close vicinity, even though he was blind! He took two gnomes out in this way. With vision restored, Valkorin took some stairs leading down. *note to self: Make the gnomes mention the luckstone in their gnomish mines, and Valkorin thinks it will help him, so he goes down there.
Valkorin was confronted by a hostile gnome, immediately upon descending the stairs to the Gnomish Mines. Killing it yeilded the apple the Gnome had been munching on prior to seeing you. What was it with these gnomes? Valkorin thought worridly. The ones he had known above ground were so friendly and helpful, why were these ones so different? He resolved to get the bottom of this matter. Valkorin saw a gnome lord to his left, this one hostile as well. Gnome Lords were like gnomes, except they were like nobles in the human world. As Valkorin stepped forward, the Gnome Lord grinned. Valkorin wondered why, but abruptly discovered the reason when a nozzle in the floor beneath his feet shot up some green sleeping gas. Being an elf, Valkorin was immune to this sort of trap. Valkorin grinned back at the now, shocked gnome lord, and killed him with a quick force bolt. Valkorin resumed his exploration of the brightly lit gnomish mines. Passing through a corridor, he marveled at the architecture of the place. Roughly hewn walls blended with the ceiling, and the torchlight scattered around ensured that not a single corner remained dark. Suddenly, a blinding light engulfed Valkorin, and he felt a wrenching sensation in the pit of his stomach. Some sort of teleportation trap he guessed. Thankfully, his magic robe seemed to protect him from it. The trap seemed to be guarding a box, as well as the rest of the mines. Valkorin quickly jimmied the the lock open, while crashing rock resounded around him. Busy gnomes. Can't leave well enough alone... The contents of the box turned out to be an egg and a ragged spellbook. Remembering his ordeal with the rotten egg, Valkorin resolved not to eat it. Instead, he turned his attention to the spellbook, eager to learn new magic. Memorizing the runes, brought Valkorin knowledge of the 'haste self' spell. It would be useful against faster enemies. Turning a corner, Valkorin let out a whoop of joy. There, lined neatly in front of him, were two tunneling dwarves, a gnome overseeing them, and a hobbit. Valkorin cast force bolt and the invisble ray of energy plowed past them all, leaving no survivors. The loot turned out to be some weapons, armor, gold, and a pickaxe. Valkorin took the pickaxe and used it to make a passage for Tama to pass the teleport trap. He also tried feeding the egg to Tama, thinking she might be hungry, but he missed and it hit the wall instead. Splat! What a mess... Valkorin killed another gnome lord and a wolf next, then ate the wolf's corpse to sustain himself. It tasted terrible. This distraction was what led the Valkorin's demise. A gnome, a gnome lord and a dwarf cornered him, and attacked, all three at once. Valkorin desperately tried to fend them off, sustaining several heavy blows that seeped his precious lifeblood. The blood loss was beginning to take it's toll, Valkorin's vision was narrowing and darkening, and his movements were slowing down. Tasting blood in his mouth, Valkorin made a last desperate lunge at the gnome. It fell short and he collapsed to the ground, fading. "Damn you....Damn you all" Valkorin gasped with his last shuddering breath. It looked like he wasn't the chosen one after all.--Preceding unsigned comment added by Ra Ma (talk • contribs) 14:35, 18 March 2013
- (Please remember to sign your edits to talk/forum pages in the future.)
- This is nice! It might use some actual headings and paragraph breaks, though; MediaWiki requires a blank line to separate paragraphs. You could also copy it into your user namespace, for example as User:Ra Ma/NetHack: The Novel (change actual page title if you want); that might be a better place for such a story than being buried in a forum post. You could then link that from your user page, too (and from fan labor). —bcode talk | mail 23:48, 18 March 2013 (UTC)