Dungeon Codex

Wooden Vessels - What Lies in Wait

What Lies in Wait
What Lies in Wait
1. Beholding the Forbidden Mountains
2. Into the Thicket
3. A Surprising Discovery
4. What Lies in Wait
5. The Golem
6. In a Prehistoric Time
Total Time
May 31, 2024
Additional Details
Three explorers banded together to travel far off the established path. Their primary goal was to see if there was any credence to the legends. As an added bonus they could also map the land. After spending the night at The Dancing Frog they set out south toward the mountains with the intent to follow them east into the thicket. From there they planned on braving the thicket to see if they could find any trace of the fabled Castle of Leaves.

About half a day's journey later they arrived at the base of the mountains. The explorers regarded the mountains with awe. Ever since an Emperor from centuries past decreed these mountains off-limits no one had dared venture this close to them. They had been erased from the historical record, surviving only in oral tradition as the 'Forbidden Mountains.' Boldly, the group made sketches and penned notes about the area before heading east.

It was not long before they reached the thicket. The explorers were taken aback by the amount of streams appearing to flow into it. Everything else in the realm of Dausedmera is so barren and dry. Dozens of small rivers seemed to appear out of nowhere, emerging from an unknown water source. They speculated that the source must have been underground, but if that were the case how would the water be flowing UPWARD from beneath them?

The group entered the thicket. The vegetation was so dense that they wondered how anything could survive here. Barely any sunlight filtered down from the low canopy. The trek through was a slog of hacking and slashing, and they were covered in little cuts from the bramble. The explorers were thankful they hadn't encountered any dangerous creatures yet.

Suddenly they emerged into a clearing that contained some ancient stone ruins. It looked as though this area was once inhabited. But how could that be when there was no record of civilization in this area? The explorers all agreed that there was an unsettling feeling about this place. Almost as if whoever lived there vanished all at once....possibly thousands of years ago.

One of the explorers motioned to the others to be quiet. She had heard the subtle sound of twigs cracking. The sound grew louder. Closer. The tension was palpable as the explorers readied themselves to either fight or run to safety. The sound grew louder still, now accompanied by loud thuds that vibrated the ground around them. Tension had been wholly replaced by fear.

A massive being made of rock and dirt emerged from the brush. It approached the explorers. They wanted to scream. They wanted to run. Instead they were paralyzed by terror. One of them stammered "it's...it's not real." The golem drew ever closer. Then it spoke. It asked them why they came to this place. When it received no response, it assured the explorers that it meant no harm. It knew that the explorers presented no threat to it so it saw no reason to destroy them.

Slowly, one of the explorers managed to string together some words. She told it that they were looking for the Castle of Leaves. It said there was no use of trying to find this Castle. It is a place that can only be found if it wants to be found. As the explorers calmed down, they began asking the golem all sorts of questions. What it is. How it came to be. Why it's here. What its purpose is.

The golem recounted stories of the past. Eons before humans ever existed. It knew not where it came from or how it was created. Just that it had always been here. It spoke of giant beasts that once ruled the land. Then of an ancient group to the southeast. Then it spoke of how humans rose to power through war and manipulation.

It made itself clear that humans are unworthy of this land. However, it felt that it wasn't meant to interfere with the natural order of things. Lastly it spoke of a great castle to the south, and warned that it WOULD take action to prevent the explorers from getting any closer to it. The castle was free from human corruption and was intended to remain as such. The group wrote all of these stories down and contemplated their next move - to sneak to the castle? or to heed the golem's warnings and return home?

This album was created as part of the May Dungeon Shamble with the following criteria:

Time: May 1st - May 31st
Number of songs: 4-6
Album length: 17-26 minutes
Number of instruments/patches: 6 (drums count as 1, not several)
Style (choose one): dino/primitive synth OR forest/nature synth
Theme (choose one): an ancient golem that has been living in isolation for centuries OR exploring an abandoned village
Special: create a musical ‘theme’ or ‘motif’ that is used in at least half the songs (ex: a short melody or series of notes)

Logo by blackupheaval

Cover by Wijnand Nuijen 'Rivierlandschap Met Ruïne', 1835

All music by Aveline Baudelaire

Aveline's Dungeon Synth Primer: awrennuit.com#/dungeon-synth
Aveline's Album Idea Generator: awrennuit.com#/album-idea-generator
Aveline's Dungeon Synth Project Name Generator: awrennuit.com#/project-name-generator
Aveline's favorite Dungeon Synth: awrennuit.com#/dungeon-vault

Genre: Dungeon Synth, Forest Synth
Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/3ObnC13y1022cqVNQewfcJ
May 31, 2024
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Added By: Aveline
June 5, 2024
Edited By: Opsiuscato
June 7, 2024
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