Adventurer's Diary/Ghost Mine

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Ghost Mine

The Ghost Mine is a dungeon consisting of four fights with enemies that use spirit damage charms.

Great prosperity never lasts long. As all things are balanced around a neutral line in this world, the once famous gold mine is now completely in ruins. Although people know that no resources can be drained forever, they were unable to refrain from emptying an unlocked treasure box. You think about all this as you stand in front of the ghost mine that is so wildly spoken of in the city of Skyrift.

More than just an eerie place, the Ghost Mine emits a stench of death, an aura of vengeance. How many workers died here unburied, how many lost souls are seeking their eternal rest? There is no more gold in this mine, you know this, yet something else dragged you to this dark place, something more precious than gold. Faint purple lights are said to have been seen deep within; as Skyrift is well-known for its huge gem collections, naturally hot-blooded adventurers like you tend to think there are some extremely rare gems left in this ghost mine.

After having defied many dangerous encounters, nothing should stop you now from exploring the entire place. A dim torch in hand, you don't think twice before passing the almost collapsed entrance, leaving behind hesitating young ones.


Entrance

A cold breeze is coming from the inside warning you to be more cautious about the situation. After looking around, you find yourself alone in the dark; it appears that the Ghost Mine is much less traveled than you previously thought. The angular rocks on the walls resemble dying faces, screaming for help in silence. You avoid looking directly at them as they seem to be slowly drawing you in.

While you were prepared to see some dead bodies, all you can find in this place are some broken mining tools and black rocks. Your torch wanes in the darkness and your steps are small but firm. This is not a dungeon with fatal traps, nor a wild forest with deadly beasts, but the emptiness is very disturbing. Your brain feels numb due to the lack of sensory input.

Thankfully, the tunnels in this mine are very well-laid; you haven't lost your sense of direction yet. However, you notice something strange; there are no rats or other light-hating animals here. The absence of even the slightest life form is probably what keeps normal people off at the entrance.

Before you are able to think about your next move, a presence approaches you from behind. To your disappointment, it is not a fellow adventurer.

In fact, it is not anything from the living world.


Excavation Site

Fighting something not from your world required a lot of effort. After hardly surviving the encounter with your opponent, you start to think that you were not prepared. Your physical strength and your knowledge aren't bad, but while fighting the previous creature, your mind suffered to such an extent that you are seeing hallucinations now.

The torch's light is turning green, and the earlier faces on the walls are now laughing at you. Worst of all, you can't remember the tunnel that you used to come in. Your breath is speeding up, and your head is hurting so much that you believe it might explode anytime. You cannot run, since you don't know where to go; you cannot hide since the darkness is already overwhelming you; you cannot cry since nobody is going to hear you.

It is useless to keep your calm, you feel nobody and yet everybody around you. The ghost mine is indeed filled with ghosts; these invisible beings are pressing you, driving you insane. And then, two more entities of death show up. Like the previous ghost, the only thing they are going to hurt is your mind.


Dark Room

Your spirit has fallen into a deep dismay and you lost your torch, your only hope, during the battle. You are shut in the darkest silence, in the widest emptiness. The whole place never seemed so huge until you stretch out your hands and reach nothing. This blindness makes you remember the horrible nightmare you had in your childhood.

But this time, you can't seem to wake up.

All your senses are fading away except touch. You firmly grab your chest; your hands can feel your heart beating. It is the only sound making you think you are still alive.

Then, you are vaguely able to hear the dance of death around you. Something is whirling, laughing, preparing to strike. After surviving so long in this ghostly place, your little remaining senses allow you to distinguish yourself from those of the afterlife. You can count them, one... two... three... no, four! They are not asking for forgiveness, nor for redemption; they are taking you with them, making you one of the dead.

Perhaps it would be easier to let it all go, your mind is crying out for an end to this torture... Yet suddenly, a thrill of passion runs through your body and you realize that it is neither the right place nor the right time to die. Even if you have to lose your life one day, you plan to do it properly, at least more gloriously than this. A cold, abandoned hole just doesn't suit someone with grandiose goals like you. Your willpower is firing up; fighting fallen ghosts back with a burning spirit seems much more appropriate for who you believe you are.


Beyond The Light

Your will to survive overpowered those spirits bound to death, and your effort wasn't wasted. A crack on the wall let in a faint light. The purple color has never seemed this beautiful before, like a warm sun in the ghost mine.

You hurry up and dig through this dim light of hope. Deep inside of you, you really didn't forget about the stories of precious gems.

As the wall crumbles down, you rush toward your long awaited reward. A huge purple crystal is shining in the middle of the room.

You did it! You just cannot stop the warm feeling of overwhelming happiness replacing the cold feeling of death, and begin to laugh madly.

Suddenly, the crystal speaks in the most unexpected way. "Who dares disturb my eternal slumber?"

Astonished, you take a good look again at the surroundings. The crystal is not exactly alone; it is actually part of something... something dark and dead. Maybe due to your rush, you failed to see this huge and distorted body hovering over the crystal. Words of mortals are hardly enough to describe this being; the only feeling that is building up in your mind is suffering. The being is in pain, and yet the watcher feels it in a more cruel way.

Needless to say it is too late to back off; one shall clean up his own mess, and put to rest the ghost he awoke.


Epilogue

The creature uttered a deep cry before returning to its slumber, but this time it will probably never awaken again. Its death did not make the room crumble, but it has shattered your hope. The crystal lost its light with the passing of the creature.

You've got what you deserved; you believed in rumors and the goddess of fortune didn't smile on you. You have no idea how to retrieve the crystal without killing the ghost, but judging from its anger at the moment it awoke; it never would have handed over his treasure peacefully.

You leave with a bitter win and you can't help but think that the crystal is actually what the ghost's existence was bound to. To retrieve the crystal in its perfect state meant taking the ghost along also. You can hardly think that any collector would buy that crystal in such a creepy state, let alone the ghost which had almost taken your life.