While everyone knows that dungeons are supposed to be places of squalor and misery, but that does not mean that you need to tolerate an untidy clutter that might conceal intruders, or, worse, escape routes. When taking over a new fortress one often needs to clean out the encrustation of ages just to determine exactly what one has. We have a few tips to help you cut through the slime with minimum risk and give you a catacomb that sparkles like a jewel — a jewel of horror and despair.
- Clear the decks. It is much more difficult to do a decent job of cleaning an occupied dungeon than one which is in disuse. You may be able to approach things piecemeal by shuffling the residents around to free up one cell at a time, but if you do have a workable alternate plan for these individuals (does one need to spell it out?) you can save a lot of trouble. Take your captive breeding and cloning operations offline for the time being, and have your minions haul heavy but portable objects (such as coffins) off to storage, or, if they can no longer be used or repaired, out to the curb to be taken away.
- Initial survey. There are obvious areas in a chamber of torture that everyone recognizes as needing a good cleaning. Still, it is worth sparing a few moments to take a fresh look at what is there and begin repairs on any structural issues you uncover. Are there large cracks in the walls, partial collapse of the ceilings, or missing bars on the windows and doors? Are there signs of tunneling, infestation by vermin, or magic use? Are there areas prone to flooding or lava encroachment? Attend to these problems before getting started with the cleaning effort.
- Start up top. Most dungeons have low ceilings, making it a fairly easy matter of running a dusting cloth to clear out the accumulation of giant cobwebs and mummified horrors. If the walls and doors are spattered with gore or battle-scarred, use a stiff wire brush to buff any residue from the surface, spackle, prime, and paint. Replace any weakened or broken shackles.
- Focus on the floor. The floor of a dungeon bears the brunt of the activities taking place there. Neutralize any corrosive chemical spills and Stone, tile, sheet metal, and alien ceramic floors need to be shoveled/swept free of debris, vacuumed, and mopped with soapy water. Treat stains with peroxide and rub with an mildly abrasive pad, repeatedly if necessary, or rent in a steam cleaner. If your crypt has a natural dirt floor, rake and level it, filling in any low spots, then compact the soil for security.
- Moving back in. Allow the surfaces to dry before bringing in the furnishings and residents, though a certain acrid scent of bleach is something your intelligence ops might find bracing.
Strokes of genius
- Natural caverns. Sanitizing timeless caverns carved by subterranean streams or by semi-dormant volcanic activity is usually considered a misguided and even unwelcome impingement on the rustic charms, and is also usually doomed to futility. It is usually wisest to work together with the natural processes which created your pits of doom, which in practical terms just translates to getting out of their way now and again.
- Rust. Rust monster
- See what you are doing. Consider bringing in a few portable generators and heavy-duty extension cords to run shop lights to illuminate those areas which never see the sun. It will be that much easier to spot what needs attention, and also comes in handy when you need to power up your abrasive blasters and the like. Once you are done, you can let the space revert to its customary murk and gloom.
- Disinfecting. This is of great importance if your facilities have been subjected to a bioweapons assault. Clean air and ultraviolet light in copious quantities are the first line of defense, backed up with antibacterial/antiviral soap, a solution of bleach and water, and nanotechnological scrubs as needed.
Traps for mere fools
- Disturbing the Nameless Horror.
- Wandering monsters. If you share your facility with actual beasts, you may need to make certain compromises when it comes to tidying up, in the name of harmony with your neighbors. To ensure that the work can go on with a minimum of disturbance, you may either run your cleaning crews in shifts where they can take turns standing security shifts or you might set out captives as bait away from the action.
- Mislaying hostages. If they are well past their redeem-by dates, it does not matter much, but any still of actual value should still be kept from creeping off.
Precious and needful
- Goggles. (which do something)
- Industrial blowers.
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- Image credit prison cell, el morro (iphone wallpaper) by undergroundbastard
- Image credit Bone Chalice and Hanging Skulls by Curious Expeditions
- Image credit CIMG4342 by MuLaN™