The Dangerous Deep
Wandering children all alone
Take heed of the dark unknown
They come at night
To bring a fight
And drag you deep below the stone
Ridiculous, fear-mongering poem as it may be, know that the legend of The Dangerous Deep is true. If the common folk discovered that below their feet is a domain packed with deadly fiends and beasts, there would be mass panic. But you, young adventurer, were made for exploring the terrors below. The Dangerous Deep has been beneath our feet since the time of the Eternals. If all one’s dastardly deeds are committed away from the sky’s view, how could the Eternals see? Fiends always were missing a brain cell or two. This underground network is the fiends strongest foothold in the mortal world. Few people are daring enough to venture below. Fewer still survive to see the sun again.
Entrances and ExitsTraveling through The Dangerous Deep is not for the faint of heart. But for those who want to slip into a region or city undetected, the winding tunnels and complicated caverns is a daunting alternative. Risking certain death to enter a city is only preferable if entering the city would result in guaranteed death. Although many entrances to The Dangerous Deep are well-guarded, many more are created each year. Each entrance is a new way for fiends and beasts to slip Topside. Guarding a known entrance is a tireless, thankless job. Life expectancy is low. Kingdoms’ soldiers who are put on Double D guard duty have often done something to anger their leader. Soliders must always strive to please some higher up . . . the life of stratification is agonizing . . . that’s why applying your skills to the Heroic Adventurer’s life is infinitely greater. You answer to nobody but your league. And your league will take care of you, regardless of rank. Since fiends have a vested interest in keeping new exits a secret, they will often kidnap Folk who are wandering alone, rather than attacking large groups of Folk and risking one or more escaping. Weaker targets are often prime prey for fiends—the stronger fiends usually stay in the Dangerous Deep and command minions to go Topside for prey. Lucky kidnapped Folk are kept as slaves; leaving time for escape or rescue. Others may be used as fodder for dark rituals that require sacrifice. The Deeper below, the greater risk Folk have at never seeing the sun again.
At AHA Academy, a short trip to the Dangerous Deep is part of the final exam before you’re able to graduate. We won’t send you too Deep, of course. We don’t want our students ending up dead! But if you’re too afraid to venture into the dark below, you are simply not prepared for the life of a Heroic Adventurer!