A dungeon heart is a magical artefact, and is the centerpeiece of any dungeon, and is central to the dungeon's management and operation. There are varying forms of it in existence. The non-organic and organic types are somewhat incompatible, if located too close to each other or something.
A user who ownes/owned a dungeon heart is commonly referred to as a keeper. As the Keeper and the dungeon heart has a direct connection to the Dark Realm and are thus influenced by the Dark Gods, both are considered to be Evil with a capital E. Very few others are considered more evil in the Dungeon Keeper universe.
Due to their vital role in the successful running of a dungeon, dungeon hearts can be considered the single most important artifact type in Dungeon Keeper Ami.
Dungeon Heart common principles Edit
All dungeon hearts are powered by a magical connection to the Dark Realm, some types moreso than others. An unclaimed or newly created dungeon heart will not be connected, thus to use a dungeon heart it first needs to be activated. Its activation does not require complex rituals, spells or prerequisites, it only needs:
- A user intending to use its power
- The user's blood on the cover
- Source of magical power from the user
If all requirements are met a magical contract is formed between the user and the heart and the user's soul is ripped painfully from the Keeper's body and transferred to the Dark Realm via the heart. The soul will then become an anchor to power the dungeon heart from the Dark Realm, allowing the user to use the dungeon heart and its abilities.
When the dungeon heart is activated it emits a heartbeat as it channels power, and keeps beating roughly in tune with the owners heartbeat as well as the channeled power.
Through a Dark Realm's influence, Imps can be created. They are used to expand and maintain a dungeon, being able to tunnel, construct, fortify, claim territory, mine for gold and gems, drag prisoner and objects, and other general mischief.
Imps can be created through magic using a dungeon heart's mana, but a minimum of four Imps are always available for a Keeper's use.
Claim Territory Edit
An imp can claim territory for a dungeon heart, as long as it is adjacent to any claimed territory (including the heart itself). This claimed territory allows for the heart's many functions, including Keeper sight, Keeper transport, Keeper teleportation, construction of rooms and meterials.
If the imps are not interrupted they can also claim unclaimed or even enemy rooms.
The dungeon heart bonds magically to any person or creature entering a contract of servitude with a Keeper. The bonds are visible to the Mercury Computer if the visor is active.
Keeper Sight Edit
An active dungeon heart allows the keeper to view all of the claimed dungeon without requiring the keeper to scry. This sight is known to be instinctive; a picture of the area of the keeper's interest appears in his or her thoughts.
Keeper transport Edit
A Keeper may transport anything he owns. "Ownership" includes living things, as long as they are either the keeper's minions or the keeper's captured prisoners. Enemies and freed prisoners are not considered prisoners, and thus cannot be transported in this way.
A Keeper may choose to create a room in a vacant claimed area of their dungeon. The heart will construct the room and its interior regarding the instructions it has been given. Those rooms need to be researched, unless their pattern had been stored in the library already.
Constructing first requires the resources for those rooms, though. These can be either directly the appropriate resources - stone, wood, dye, et cetera - or an appropriate amount of gold to compensate for any lack of resources. When these are provided the resources will be magically transfigured into the appropriate parts of the room.
Using gold as a resource will lead to usually more refined results since the material resources lack in purity in comparison to gold.
Library Knowledge Edit
The heart will provide its Keeper with certain instinctive knowledge regarding constructions of rooms and assorted data, as long as the knowledge in question is available in a dungeon's library. Captured spellbooks or claiming an unclaimed/enemy library can add to this knowledge. This includes a basic translation of magical lore - a Keeper with no prior knowledge in the script required to use the heart will be provided instant recognition of words and signs to concepts equal to the Keeper's knowledge.
A dungeon heart is able to transmute gems and gold into mana and various materials and substances. It can also recycle materials it has created itself - no others - back into gold through an inefficient process that leads to the loss of about half the value.
If the Keeper knows how something works and how to make it work the heart can store this pattern for easy replication in the future. This extends to the knowledge of the minions as well - a warlocks research in room construction of magical artifacts for instance supplies the heart with the appropriate pattern to construct the device without the need for the Keeper to understand the device itself.
A dungeon heart, however, cannot transfigure mana, gold or other resources directly into living beings.
Souls in the Dark Realm Edit
As mentioned earlier, activation of a dungeon heart will cause the Keeper's soul to be transferred to the Dark Realm. These has several effects, which are listed here.
Corruption - The purpose of the soul in the Dark Realm is to provide the dungeon heart with energy, which it then uses for various purposes. However, some of this energy will "leak" out of the dungeon heart, and will begin to warp the surrounding area around it.
- When a dungeon heart is destroyed, the keeper it is "attached" to is banished. The rift where the heart used to be pulls at the Keeper's body into the Dark Realm, the body becomes incorporal as it is drawn. Eventually the Keeper will end up inside the dark realm, where he or she will be powerless and be directly at the whims of the Dark Gods.
-- Ami speculates that banishment is the effect of a keeper's body being pulled towards the soul.
- If the Keeper has multiple hearts he may be able to return if his Gods allow him to, but if the last heart is destroyed the Keeper will die and his soul will be left to the Dark Gods.
- If a Keeper is killed through damage to his or her body the same thing will happen to the soul, but the dungeon heart will remain undestroyed. It will become inactive and be freed for a new bond.
Influence of the Dark Realm
- If the keeper chooses a Dark God to worship the respective Dark God has a claim on the soul and may send gifts, knowledge or punishments as it deems appropriate. This will influence the corruption and workings of the dungeon heart to match that of the keeper's god, such as the decoration on fortified walls and temples.
- Alternately, a dark god can "camp out" on the other side of the dungeon heart connection to the dark realm. The mechanics of doing so are unknown, but it has the effect of allowing the dark god to influence the power drawn by the dungeon heart. Corruption in the form of miasma, plagues or decay may occur due to this.
Dungeon Heart differences Edit
Being a keeper has tremendous health benefits, such as quasi-immortality, as well as other advantages, making this profession highly attractive. Due to the generally selfish nature of Keepers the required knowledge to create dungeon hearts is a closely guarded secret, that a dedicated person may be barely able to dissect in a human lifetime, effectively reinventing them, with the help of an interested Dark God.
This leads to certain differences between dungeon hearts of different keepers (think of needing to reinvent the combustion engine again and again; there are bound to be differences), but there are two main lines of dungeon hearts: Organic and Crystal/Nonorganic.
|Organic / New||Crystal / Old|
|Imbued with Spark of Life, hence requiring influence of Dark Gods||Can shut out influence of Dark Gods to a greater degree.|
|Lesser control over corruption||Superior control over corruption effects|
|Uses and stores mana for spells (one of which can then be used to create gold)||Total inability to work with mana, Uses gold/gems exclusively to power spells|
|User-friendlier due to the Spark of Life||Requires detailed instructions and guidance to do anything|
|Magically cheaper (due to mana pool)||Magically more powerful|
|Can be deactivated (allowing it to be destroyed without banishing the keeper)||Cannot be deactivated|
Organic Dungeon HeartEditAn organic dungeon heart is powered not only by a magical connection to the Dark Realm, but also by direct infuence of a Dark God and can be considered to be "alive". This variant of a Dungeon Heart is consided the newer of the dungeon heart types, but is lacking in some areas compared to a Crystal Dungeon Heart.
An inactive organic heart is covered by a sturdy stone cover.An activated heart is located at the bottom of a circular pit, with the red, fleshy heart membrane beating. Above the heart float green motes of light. Around the pit are three vaulting arches in a triangular pattern. The arches are based on a staired dais rising above ground level. Around the pit is a low stone railing. The heart beats in synchrony with its keepers heart. Its ability to replenish magic increases with the amount of area claimed, though the heart is limited in the absolute amount of magic it can store at any given time.
Known Users (past and present)Edit
Crystal Dungeon HeartEditCrystal Dungeon Hearts are an old design, not requiring a Spark of Life and therefore able to block the influence of Dark Gods with the subsequent downside of no more imp creation if the Dark Gods are blocked. They do not have a mana pool and only consume gold, offer better control over corruption and are generally more powerful for spellcasting than their organic equivalents.
They're only found on the Avatar Isles.
Known Users (past and present)Edit
Senshi-merged Dungeon HeartEdit
When Sailor Mercury became a Keeper parts of her senshi magic merged with the dungeon heart. This produces a few quirks.
- The heart's mana pool is filled by two sources:
- The light mana flow based on her senshi magic. The senshi magic influx fills the mana pool rapidly, faster in comparison to regular dungeon hearts.
- The regular dark mana flow based on the amount of claimed land. This corrupted mana flow is used to produce Sailor Mercury's darker version of her senshi spells.
- The heart reacts to senshi transformation spells in a unique way: the spell affects Ami herself, but the heart is also considered "herself". Thus the transformation bleeds into all of Ami's minions. Ami has to use wards (and design said wards into her future hearts) to prevent this.