By this point, I had become powerful enough that there was no need to fear him. I kick open a door and search the room. Empty, save for a few diggles and a table. A door across the room swings freely on its hinges – I ready my axe before throwing it open, but to no purpose. The chamber is small and contains only a few pieces of gold and an obvious pressure plate. I’ve scoured the very bottom of the dungeon left and right and nine other floors just like it, without finding any sign of him. There is but one chamber left unchecked, beyond a locked door I passed quite some time ago. He must be hiding there. The path back to the door was clear of foes. I pick the lock and look inside and see the swish of a cape in the darkest shadow of the corner of the room. I immediately raise my arm and throw a bolt of lighting at it. The flash momentarily blinds me. When my vision returns, I can see clearly the charred corpse of my target – a now-singed black curtain. This room was as innocent of his foul presence as any of the others. We knew it, we all did. He had descended into the caves below, into the very heart of diggle society. Into the Realm of the Diggle Gods. Unfortunately, I had seen nothing of a way down. No stairs, no holes, not even a rough tunnel. I searched the dungeon again, with magically-enhanced sight this time, and at last found a wall piled high with rubble. He must have sealed the way behind him. My path was clear; but I could not hope to clear it by hand. I warped to a dimension far removed from this one in both space and time – a space of my own creation, forged by arts I had learned from ancient tomes of magic. It turns out they’re good for more than just hitting people with. Over the course of my quest, I had turned it into a workshop of sorts, lined with books, filled with carefully organized potions and reagents and tools and arms and armor. A portal to dimensions yet further removed than mine lorded over the place. A table in the middle supported dozens of hand-crafted explosives, of which I picked out the most potent before returning to reality. I retreated to a safe distance before firing the bombs at the rubble with a weapon built in that same dimension. A few explosions revealed a smooth, tubular, downward-sloping passage, of the sort a diggle would dig. I slid down into the depths. Below, the passages were narrower, the architecture more natural. Heading ever deeper, I passed diggles of all shapes and sizes; some fell to my axe, some to my magic, still others to my explosives. Had my armor not been so well-crafted, so heavily-encrusted, I expect their snouts would have rent through my flesh as if it were paper. Even as well-prepared as I was, I advanced with the greatest difficulty. I checked every nook and cranny and cleared every enemy, as I had on the levels above. Deeper down, I came across great shrines to the Diggle Gods themselves. Though they should have smote me for wantonly cutting down their congregation, they knew that my quest was pure and they smiled on me when I prayed to them. I suspected that I was the first hero to ever set foot down here, for there was no loot to be picked up, and there were no skeletons to remind me of my own mortality. I knew that I was getting close when I found the captive virgins he’d taken, in the first diggle-free room I came to. They were locked in a steel cage and being fed the ill-prepared meat of amateur butchery: the only two signs of human interference I had seen beyond the tenth level. I set them free and summoned a wyrmling to escort them back to the surface. Sensing an evil presence beyond, and knowing its source, I steeled my nerves and girded my loins before proceeding through the ornate door. Sure enough, there he was, standing in the center of the room, staring straight at me. The scourge of my people. Vlad Diggula.