Shadow Bag – Chapter 80
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Just to be careful, Doyle creates one of the leather packs in an unconnected room. No reason to try something dangerous around his other things. He debates having a goat wear it while he carves the design into the saddlebag. Doyle in the end decides that how it is held up shouldn’t change anything, so goes with just a protrusion of rock.

With strokes both confident, he already had a design to follow, and cautious, he had no clue how it would go, Doyle carved into the saddlebag. And it fails. The leather was too thin in some places.

Doyle sighs and whips up another bag with thicker walls. This one he manages to carve all the way but still it fails to do anything. Not sure what is wrong Doyle deconstructs the bag layer by layer. Once he gets to the more delicate parts, the problem becomes obvious. While the carved lines are smooth, there are stretches of blackened leather in between some of the closer lines.

‘I bet if I had a higher quality leather this wouldn’t be a problem. My current materials just aren’t able to quite contain what I want them to. I guess I can’t just use the cheapest goat leather on this then. Though that will shoot up the cost that shouldn’t be a problem as long as I don’t make all the saddlebags lootable.’

‘Now what kind of leather do I want to use? Wait, that’s a silly question. I have only one monster who’s natural abilities might help make this work. Though can I even use lesser shadow wolf leather when I can’t even summon one yet?’ Doyle shakes his core to clear his thoughts and decides to just give it a try.

The first attempt to create a scrap of shadow leather fails. The second as well, but Doyle can feel that there should be a way to create it. Though that feeling reminds him to stop being so dense. If his instincts say there is a way to do it, let the instincts just do it.

With that in mind Doyle takes a moment to settle his mind. Then once settled he just activates creation with the desire for some shadow leather. Nothing more, nothing less, just a request. That simple request though is enough to do it. As Doyle follows along he even gets a sense of what is happening.

Instead of trying to make just any leather from a lesser shadow wolf, the skill is creating leather from a young lesser shadow wolf. Doyle can feel that this is just on the edge of what is possible. If he didn’t have the level cap of 5 for his monsters then it wouldn’t have worked. The lesser shadow wolf just doesn’t get any lower in level, even when newly born. But this points out something he had missed with his creation skill.

Of course, the first thing he does with this discovery is try and summon a young stone wolf. This however doesn’t work. While creation will let him create leather as if the monster was lower level. It very much does not let him summon monsters that are not an adult for its species. Or at least that is the feel his skill gives, which confuses him quite a bit. After all, he has myconid sprouts running around the third floor. Sprout doesn’t exactly scream fully grown to him. ‘Hey Ally, why can I create material from younger monsters than I can summon?’

Ally looks up from a screen she was watching. ‘Wanting to dip into the wolves are we?’

Doyle shakes his core despite her not being in the core room. ‘Not particularly. I was just working on some equipment and figured out I could make leather from stuff I can’t summon.’

Ally nods, ‘Fair enough. Anyway, that has to do with how a dungeon core’s creation skill works in respect to monsters. More specifically, the difference between natural monsters and dungeon spawned monsters. We’ve already gone over how the monsters you spawn are like balloons with a thin layer of quintessence covering a blob of world energy. That outer layer is the concept of the monster. The primal idea that makes the monster a stone wolf or a wind wolf. You can pump more world energy into it, raising the monsters level. However if you try to under fill it the outer layer isn’t able to stay together and pops. Under the system it prevents you from creating patterns that wouldn’t work unless you put a lot of effort into bypassing the safety checks. Ergo, no teen stone wolves to mess with people.’

‘Huh’, Doyle rolls to the side, ‘That does make sense. But what about my myconid sprouts? They aren’t exactly adults.’

Ally smiles at the question, ‘I didn’t say that it created adult monsters. Rather, it creates a monster from a concept. You can’t make a younger wolf because that is still just a wolf and is subsumed by the concept of a wolf. There are however creatures that have distinct life stages. Insects are a common one for this. You have the larval stage, which goes through a number of changes to reach the adult stage.’

‘Myconids are similar. Their sprouts are that first stage. In fact, most sprouts never go beyond the stage. What is weird about them is that they never stop growing despite this. That means that a sprout left alone will not only fill the area it lives in with other sprouts and mushrooms. It will also eventually grow to fill the area if it doesn’t change into an adult. One of the common end of the world scenarios for younger worlds actually involves uncontrolled sprout growth. Luckily the system helps with this by making it more likely that the sprouts will grow into adults.’

‘Once there is an adult myconid things come under control. An adult will immediately take command and work towards forcing other sprouts to mature. While not sapient the adult myconid has an innate sense of how to balance their ecosystem. That and the lack of any higher myconids will eventually force that original adult to develop a soul and thus sapience. Of course, the system isn’t going to stop the sprouts if they do get out of hand. In your galaxy alone there are five planet sized sprouts being contained.’

Doyle sits there for a moment before responding. ‘Huh’, he pauses again, ‘Well... Well that’s a thing. Luckily, I won’t have to worry about that in my dungeon.’

Ally laughs but doesn’t add anything else, so Doyle goes back to his experiments. Failure after failure piles up, or they would if Doyle wasn’t deconstructing each one to figure out what went wrong. Finally though the last saddlebag had just the barest scorch mark in the most complex section of the design and with that fixed the pattern should work.

For this next test Doyle carves out the leather with twice the caution and half the speed. Slowly the design comes together as he carves out the intricate runic design that covers every depth of the shadow leather. The last line goes down and Doyle sighs. Nothing happened.

Nothing happened at first that is. Moments after his sigh warning bells go off in his head. Off the edge of all three floors the barest amount of space has been removed, just a dusting of atoms off the outer layer of his influence, but each one is felt. Then the saddlebag glows with a light more made of darkness than color as Doyle feels the inside of the bag grow deeper and disconnect from the surrounding area. Yet despite this disconnect, he can still feel a personal connection. With this a blue screen pops up for both Doyle and Ally.

{Prototype storage device created using the dungeon core Doyle’s dimensional fabric

Device classified as an anchored sub-dimension storage space with innate protections against void interference

Method of creation determined to be conceptual reality tinkering

Inner space of device tested as being stable even if source dimension was to fully disconnect or be destroyed

Device found to not allow stacking, any similar device placed with in another will take up space of the outer device as if it was the size of the inner space

Identifying device statistics...

Shadow Leather Saddlebag of Holding

Description: A saddlebag designed for a goat with bronze buckles. It has been created from leather of a juvenile lesser shadow wolf and was enchanted through a mystical process. Space inside of the saddlebag is three times what the outside would indicate and items inside the space will only transmit 1% of their weight to the user. If placed inside another device of holding it will take up space equal to the inside space and not the bag’s outer size. While capable of recovering from minor damage if pierced through or sufficiently damaged, the inner space will collapse and everything inside has a small chance of being lost in another dimension.

Material: Juvenile Lesser Shadow Wolf Leather, bronze (9:1 copper tin ratio)

Craftsmanship: Mid Masterwork

Hidden: Items lost when the bag is destroyed will appear in the dungeon controlled by the Dungeon Core Doyle. If the bag is damaged enough to compromise the inside space, the bag can not be repaired without bringing it to the dungeon of origin as the dungeon’s dimension is used to set up the space.

Cost: 132 temp, 1317 loot, 131,723 real}

Ally whistles, ‘Well now! You’ve made quite the breakthrough with this. If my guess is correct, you rarely see a device like this except among the followers of those gods that have their own heavenly realm. Even though there are many types of storage devices, the common dimension based ones aren’t very popular because they tend to cause problems with things from the void.’

‘Only someone like you who has their own dimension can make the safe variety. Most common types involve shrinking the items which doesn’t really do anything to the weight. The only thing missing here is that it isn’t a temporal storage device. Everyone loves a bag that keeps milk fresh and pre-made meals piping hot. Though that is more of a pie in the sky wish sort of thing. Even dimension based devices don’t easily get that trait. You usually have to find one of the tech versions that digitizes items. Those freeze the item’s time by default, as they just don’t bother to simulate time passing for it.’

Doyle nods, ‘If you say so. I can’t really judge it because popular media for my planet is strife with bags of holding and storage rings. Makes them seem like you would be just tripping over them in the street or some such. I’m more interested in the fact that when the bags get destroyed, I apparently just get some of the items.’

Ally laughs, ‘That is a handy thing. Spread the bags around enough and after enough time you will start to see just a passive income of random items. As for rarity? That’s a bit of a tricky situation. Enchanted items of all stripes last longer than normal items. Partly because to be enchanted the item has to already be of really high quality so would last anyway. However, the major reason is that with the flow of power going through them, their materials are naturally resistant to decay from the passage of time.’

‘The best way to destroy a really powerful piece of gear tends not to be with force but just not letting anyone use it. If the enchantments don’t get used, the power stops flowing till the point that the underlying material can finally start to decay. There are of course ways to store stuff so that doesn’t happen, but who would bother to do that for low tier stuff?’

‘On the other hand, this means that as long as someone is using a magic item, even just occasionally, they tend not to break down. Give your planet a few thousand years to grow and normal people will have storage devices. If only because at some point in the past an ancestor got one and it has been passed down ever since. They never tend to end up being a thing you can just buy, merchants snap them up too quickly for them to ever truly be on the market. But enough people have them that they aren’t rare.’

‘Then again, I guess I should prepare you for what rare actually means in the greater universe. Anything you dungeon can drop as loot? Not rare. What rare really means past a certain point is those things that you can’t buy with money. Rare items can only be bartered for, taken by force, or discovered. The System actually protects new worlds by stopping outside forces from coming in and taking them. Someone that finds such a thing has it bound to them until they find a good use for it. Oh, there are so many powerful factions that whine about that feature.’

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