Naturally, in addition to the new-style, emotionally scaring ghost encounters, the dungeon below Ad’nananapart would also feature plenty of the more traditional hordes of shambling undead. Or wait, shuffling undead…just saw that that was the sound effect I chose.
On zombies, the skills and item that K’ip acquired in preparation for his second descent into the dungeon work a lot better. Scrapbooking seemed like an obvious choice for a skill that could be used to good effect against them – first you scrap them, then you book them. The key difference to the usual idea of scrapbooking is that you don’t actually keep the books, but leave them behind – that’s important to keep in mind. If you fill up your limited inventory with reams of books containing nothing but partly decomposed body parts, you’re doing it wrong*.
Obviously, K’ip would have had countless more encounters on his way down to the center of the dungeon, but let’s skip over them – they’d be fundamentally similar to the one shown. And Si’ri’s memory probably has some limitations, anyway. Fairies have tiny heads, so memory space would obviously be an issue for them. Remembering only one encounter, and the fact that a three-digit number of similar ones followed, would be an effective way to compress your memories to save space.
What waits for them at the centre of the dungeon is another genre staple – a skeleton on a throne. The contrast between the ideas of power and rulership expressed by the throne, and the inevitability of individual death expressed by the remains has always made that one a favorite, all the way back to the genre’s beginnings in the 19th century.
I chose the obvious occupant for the throne – Suzie Wong, the mysterious crone who first introduced the Annoying Haseyo amulet, all the way back in chapter 2. Or, at least, some alternate-reality clone of her, or copy created by time-travel, or evil twin sister, or convergent evolution, or however else you want to explain the same character appearing in two otherwise unconnected realities. There are options, I just didn’t feel it necessary to elaborate at this point.
In any case, the presence of the skeleton is a strong hint that K’ip and Si’ri have really reached their destination, and that it’s not only another trap or distraction. The climax of their quest lies at hand!
More on Mon…uh, Thursday.
*Unless your character is a necromancer, perhaps. In that case, the important thing to keep in mind is that you come up with an effective filing system for your scrapbooks, so you don’t have to thumb through all of them in order to find some specific body part you’re looking for.