Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Short Note on Infinite Dungeons

To a surface dweller, the natural laws of an infinite dungeon would appear all but identical to that of the surface, and thus it is not an uncommon belief that infinite dungeons are merely extremely deep underground structures not unlike mines or tunnels. A more learned study would reveal such opinions to be strictly incorrect. For example, when one ventures deep into a natural mine shaft, the ambient temperature rises, and the airflow quickly becomes stagnant. These conditions do not occur even in the deepest floors of infinite dungeons; the temperature and airflow are consistent on all floors of an infinite dungeon.

Of course, I omit some of the most obvious observations that argue for the magical nature of an infinite dungeon. The first is the endless nature of the dungeon itself; each infinite dungeon discovered thus far has had no limit its number of floors. Each day, lower and lower floors are still being discovered and cleared, though progress slows the deeper one goes; supplies are the main issue there.

The next observation is simple to make; one has no problem seeing in infinite dungeons. To be more exact, the underground ceilings of floors in infinite dungeons emit light no less bright than that the surface, though no much heat seems to be given off. The process is not yet understood as anything other than magic, though that magic seems more a property of the dungeon rather than that of the ceiling material; a block chipped off from the ceiling walls fails to emit light when removed from the dungeon.

Now, having explained some of the properties of infinite dungeon, it is possible to conceive how infinite dungeons can support life. In effect, most of the parameters required to sustain life are present in infinite dungeons, as conditions are almost identical to that of the surface. The main constraint would be the lack of a full water cycle in the infinite dungeon; there is no rain. This is not to suggest that there is no water, however; some floors do possess a supply of water, and larger floors may even have ponds or lakes. The main problem is the scarcity of liquid water; as there is insufficient space within even the largest floors for rain clouds to form, the constantly lit environment causes most liquid water to eventually evaporate. This explains the high humidity present inside infinite dungeons. Instead of rain, water is mainly recycled in the form of dew that condenses on shadowed crevices and chambers, and by dungeon creatures that have special adaptations to harvest the water content of present in the air. For humans permanently settled in infinite dungeons, water is extracted using a series of large black sheets. The outermost sheet serves to block off the ceiling light, allowing the lower sheets to cool off in the shadow. Dew then collects on the cooler lower sheets. Conveniently, the shadows cast by the black sheets creates an artificial darkness which is otherwise absent in the dungeon; most dungeon settlers rest during this man-made "night", and wake to collect their condensed water.