You start as a maggot, a very young earthworm. You are tiny. Really tiny. When you move, it is at your maximum speed of 9 centimeters of mud earth per day. All the days are the same, one after another. Sometimes you nearly swim in wet mud, other times it is painfully dry. You digest and filter the ground for minerals and organic matter, encountering other larvae, vegetable roots, dead leaves, rotten fruit, etc. You avoid going too close to the surface because of the dreaded hens and the terrible robins. Lead, gas, Mercury, Uranium, Arsenic, make your life miserable, but sometimes you find truffle and other delicacies. One day, as you wander near a bigger-than-usual root, suddenly a lightning bolt from the surface goes through the tree down the ground and energizes you! Shocked, traumatized, this is a life-changing experience. Genetic mutations change you. After a few weeks, you grow so much, you become another being, a new species. An Imp. As big as a badger, with 2 arms and 2 legs, a real head with eyes, ears, nose and even teeth. You are now so smart. You feel the need for a better, safer and cleaner way to dig. So you manufacture a pickaxe, made of a recently buried branch and an iron ore circle nugget that you chewed to shape appropriately. Life is doing so well. There is no limit. Cubic meters after cubic meters you dig and dig again. Even big old worms, rodents, snakes, weasels request an audience with you because your wisdom is widely acknowledged. You are the king, know-it-all, master of the earth. As your ego grows disproportionately, this new power corrupts you. You become the terror of the underground in the region. Soon, one day, after abusing of your powers and committing evil deeds, you feel a strange presence spying on you. A powerful being of the Underworld is observing you! An evil force from the depths, long buried in the unfathomable bottom of the Earth crust, sealed by holy forces of the distant past. This mysterious ghost lord, attracted by your own wrong doing, completely takes over your existence. Overwhelmed by its mastery of the underground matter, you quickly become a slave, ready to die for this Dark Lord. He, or she (since it has no discernible body of flesh), IS the mud, the earth itself. It is everywhere, permeating the Underworld in every molecule of matter. It lives its strange existence in a Throne Room, a huge empty cavern, a square of 6x6 spaces. It appears as a shimmering shadow of a dark throne, blinking randomly among the 36 spaces. This is where you appear, in a corner, summoned magically. You want to keep your ears, not chopped off, your eyes, not to become blind, and do not want to be teleported to the lava lake. Your new master is all powerful and he has an agenda, a master plan. Feeling a mix of awe, admiration, fear, submission and devotion, you understand this is now your home. You are expected to have only one goal in life: to satisfy your Dark Lord’s every desire.
Starting set: Throne Room, 1 Island Water Tile, 1 “straight” and 1 “corner” Tunnel tiles, 1 Wood Bridge, 1 Imp.
Goal: First to place and travel through all Tiles then reach the safe island within 4 turns.
Learning how your new body can perform is the first step. The Imp is Level 1, runs very fast (9 squares, or sub-tiles), and has 1 Talent Point (bottom right corner). It can swim in Water at speed 1 but melts while in lava. Imps are good at digging Tunnels.
The Throne Room top right corner is your home. The surrounding is a subterranean zone made of a mix of water, lava, bedrock, and regular beloved earth (Softrock). At First, around the Throne Room is the unknown. You do what you do best, burrowing horizontally, digging tunnels through the earth. Place the Imp digger on the edge of the Throne Room. The best way to dig is to make tunnels. Turn #1: place a tunnel Tile #C, properly rotated in a manner that positions the digger adjacent4 to a tunnel sub-tile of the tile #C. See the above picture. Then, next turn #2, move to the middle and end your turn digging a single Tunnel sub-tile, South.
Notice that placing a Tile #C digs 3 Tunnel sub-tiles in one turn but digging a single Tunnel sub-tile South, exactly wherever you want takes one turn. Digging through the placing of Tunnel tiles is thus thrice faster than digging 1 sub-tile at a time. But you need to hold at hand the Tunnel tile. You can always end your turn digging manually 1 sub-tile. Digging South is adjacent orthogonally (that is “adjacent4”, meaning no diagonal) to a target space (sub-tile) of earth (Softrock). All creatures can freely move in tunnels. All Creatures can move in diagonal. Turn #3: The Imp can move by 5 sub-tiles and ends its movement by digging another Tunnel Tile, on the East side.
Or you can choose another Turn #3: move by 1 sub-tile South and place the second Tunnel tile at hand:
Then Turn #4: the Imp moves by 3, stays there to install a Wood Bridge on the neutral new Island tile East. Then, next turn #5, 1 movement point to enter the Island tile, on the bridge. 5 turns to reach the island. Mission failed.
Learning to know your strength is the next step. You are going to meet another Imp, who obeys a dissident master. It is a nasty grumpy fellow, who wants to beat you up.
Starting set: Throne Room, 1 Tunnel tile, your Imp, another player’s Imp.
Goal: First to eliminate another Imp.
You feel like a great warrior now but the Dark Lord tells you that you are not made to fight but to gather resources for him/her to help him/her create his own kingdom. You are going to mine a vein of gold and place the harvested “G” in the Throne Room or else you will get eaten.
Starting set: Throne Room, 1 Tunnel tile with a vein of gold, your Imp.
Goal: First to reach 5 G in Throne Room.
The Dark Lord has now realized that you are capable of giving him what he wants. It has decided to give you a bigger task. It wants something big and living. It wants his first warrior-servant. It wants his first goblin. You are going to get 1G, 1F, 1 Goblin bed and 1 Goblin.
Starting set: The food pile, the gold pile, the tile pile and the nugget pile.
Goal: Recruit a goblin for the Dark Lord.
Learning to know your strength facing real creatures is the next step. You are going to meet a Goblin, with another flag, it is serving another master.
Starting set: Throne Room, 1 Tunnel tile, your Imp, another player’s Goblin.
Goal: First to send a Goblin to the enemy’s Throne Room or to kill an enemy’s Goblin.
Gathering 10 Food for the Dark Lord needs. The mission consists in searching through buried corpses for food. Unfortunately, usually only 1 F, sometimes 2 F or even more rare 3 F chunks fall in your pouch.
Starting set: 1 Throne room, 1 Lardery, 1 Imp, 3 Land Tiles with 1 Catacomb vein sub-tile.
Goal: First to gather 10 F.
Kill a Troll with 5 Goblins.
Get the 4 Imps simultaneously Mining G or F.
Build a Dungeon Portal with 1 exit.
Build a Workshop with 1 exit.
Recruit 20 Goblins.
Build a Lardery and a Smokery each with 1 exit.
Build a Trap and a Guard Room.
Build a Magic Circle with 1 exit.
Build a Casino with 4 exits.
Build a Lair.
Build a Conversion Chamber.
Build an Arena.
Build a Graveyard.
Build a Temple.
Destroy a Room from another Dark Lord.