Le donjon de Naheulbeuk

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Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk (English: "The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk") is a French fictional adventure in audio episodes. They are freely available on the Internet.

This humorous adventure takes place in a medieval-fantasy world. Stereotypical role-playing game characters, hired by a mysterious wizard, enter the Dungeon of Naheulbeuk in order to retrieve the 12th statuette of Gladeulfeurha which will allow the completion of a mysterious prophecy.

John Lang (alias "Pen of Chaos"), the creator of Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk, distributes the downloadable episodes freely on his website. They are only available in French, however, and there are currently no plans to translate the project. The stories have also been published as comic books (twenty-two volumes so far),[1] in French.

After two first seasons in audio format, the series was continued as a series of books and comic books; the sixth and final book, Chaos sous la montagne ("Chaos Under the Mountain"), was published on November 22, 2014; the comic book series is currently ongoing.

World[edit]

Earth of Fangh[edit]

The Earth of Fangh is the only known part of the world of Naheulbeuk. It contains various landmasses, such as the Schlipak Forest in the middle, high mountains in the north, or the plains known as the Wild Lands of Kwzprt, home of the Barbarians. Geography is pretty chaotical, as many things in Naheulbeuk are. There are two major cities and multiple villages in the Earth of Fangh :

In the middle lies Glargh, the greatest city the world has ever seen. Its inhabitants are known for their hatred of magic and their ability to recover from the various disasters that may happen. The city is ruled by a brotherhood of Brewers-Monks, and was once the country's capital.

South-east is the current capital, Waldorg, the city of magic. It is ruled by a Council of Wizards who spend much of their time in endless meetings and plots to gain more power.

The west of Fangh has many villages such as Valtordu (which may translate intro "Bentvalley") or Mliuej, city of beer, where half of the houses are breweries and the other half are taverns.

Maps[edit]

Map of the Earth of Fangh

Chronology[edit]

  • Animal Era (Ère Animale)(several millions of years)
  • Era of Chaos (Ère du Chaos)(more than 2000 years)
  • Godless Era (Ère sans dieux)(~500 years)
  • First Age (Premier Âge)(~1500 years)
  • Second Age (Deuxième Âge)

Characters[edit]

Heroes[edit]

All the characters are stereotypical depictions of Dungeons & Dragons avatars. In this story, not only are they rather inept and unskilled, they also swear profusely and are unable to cooperate. None of the characters have names, they are only referred to by their professions.

  • the Ranger: a not-so-heroic adventurer who acts as the team leader, despite heavy resistance from the other team members. He tries to keep some cohesion amongst the group, but he finds it difficult, especially with the Elf and the Dwarf constantly nagging each other and the Barbarian always trying to run ahead. He mentions completing a quest entailing that he chase chickens for his grandfather. There is also an inane scene in which villagers mention "a boy who was incredibly skilled at making furniture" and that they "regret that he took it to his head to go adventuring," suggesting that his front of being a skilled ranger hides more humble beginnings.
  • the Dwarf: grumpy and greedy, the dwarf enjoys annoying the other members of the group, especially the Elf. He is also proficient in drinking beer and fighting monsters. He constantly argues with the Elf. The two are always mocking each other, although the dwarf usually instigates the fights. He fights with an axe, and can speak the goblin language (despite his people's declared hatred of goblins).
  • the Elf : an archer, though she is actually more likely to hurt her own allies rather than her enemies. Naive and comically girly, she likes nature, animals and she takes great care of her appearance (actually nearly everything the Dwarf dislikes). She constantly argues with the Dwarf. In addition to her bow, she can see in the dark and has some surgery skills.
  • the Thief (season 1) : a cowardly thief armed with a dagger, though he never uses it as he would rather hide behind his comrades than fight. He can deactivate traps and open doors but there are doubts about his abilities. He is eventually killed by a fire trap he was unable to see.
  • the Ogre : a large glutenous ogre who enjoys music and poetry. Unlike the others, he speaks in his own language. The Enchantress is the only one to understands him, forcing her to act as a translator between him and the rest of the team.
  • the Enchantress : a female wizard who serves as the translator between the Ogre and the rest of the team. A living library, she literally keeps shelves of books with her (that is, in the Ogre's backpack). She reads profusely, sometimes in the most inopportune of moments, such as when under attack. She is widely knowledgeable, but her knowledge is rarely useful. She is incredibly unskilled with magic (for instance, she once detected her own group with a spell to see enemies coming), but slowly starts getting better powers in season 2. In the second season she also meets her cousin, and they recollect their misadventures in magic school, including setting the dorms on fire and summoning a monster in the swimming pool.
  • the Barbarian : a rude, rather stupid barbarian who is only interested in fighting, usually yelling "Baston" ("Battle" in French slang) each time an enemy appears. He also mentions what appears to be his deity, Crom, whenever he is awed. Though quite a good fighter, he usually attacks without thinking ahead, even against more powerful enemies than him. Comically, he seems to have a sixth sense for solving riddles.
  • the Minstrel (seasons 1, 2) : a minstrel met by the group in the Donjon, and taken hostage by the Ogre during a fight. After the Thief's death, he joins the group and stays with them until his death in season 2, killed by a giant Troll he was trying to calm down with his music. He often sings, but his music is appreciated only by the Elf and the Ogre.
  • the Paladin of Dlul, Deity of Sleep and Drowsiness (season 2) : a paladin apprentice who shortly joined the group during season 2, before leaving them to find the Elf queen, who he has fallen in love with. Lazy, he has a lot of powerful magic items, but never uses them. He also says that he prays to Dlul when he sleeps, but the other characters are less than charitable to his religious views, merely believing that he is lazy.

Enemies[edit]

  • Reivax: Zangdar's adviser and favorite minion. He is a coward, stammering while speaking to "the Maaaster". He owns a huge collection of taps, and usually gets whipped by the Dungeon's torturer whenever he tells Zangdar that his plans to stop the adventurers have failed.
  • Tarken: a bandit encountered by the adventurers during season 2. He is quite similar to Robin Hood: he has dozens of companions and "robs the travelers who are careless enough to go through the Shalwood Grove".
  • the Lich: a living dead creature. This creature slays the dwarf when the he gets separated from the group after the raid on the tavern in the dungeon. Attempting to steal away with the cash box from the dungeon shop, the dwarf meets the creature and shortly thereafter, finds himself in Dwarf heaven.
  • Zangdar: he is the master of the titular dungeon. He is allergic to bad music, which helps the adventurers to defeat him at the end of season 1. After his store of statuettes is stolen by the adventurers, he attempts to pursue them, but his incapable subordinates ruin his plans.
  • Gontrand Théogal, level-12 Wizard, Ordonator of Zwimmaf's Beatitude: he is the adventurers' employer. He hired them to bring a statuette to him. He does not show up for the first meeting and instead instructs the adventurers to meet him in another town, leading to the second season.
  • The Leek-people: this strange tribe of vegetable-human hybrids attempts to sacrifice the company. The company is rescued by a level-8 Warrior who demands an exorbitant sum in payment for her services.

Others[edit]

  • Aztoona: She is the cousin of the Enchantress. The adventurers meet her when they are lost in the Schlipak Forest in the second season, and buy the Crown of Pronfyo from her in exchange of some of the weird items given to them by the elf queen
  • Archein Von Drekkenov, aka the Haemophiliac Vampire. He is a nice undead, only feeding on coyote blood. But the adventurers, not knowing his true identity, kill him violently and as cruelly as possible...
  • Garry Topper: a character who is a poorly disguised jab at "Harry Potter" of the selfsame books by J.K. Rowling. This character is an apprentice wizard and runs afoul of the dwarf, who cruelly breaks his wand. Upon being sold a "rune staff of curse" by the Enchantress, Topper accidentally transforms himself into a goat.
  • Gildas: an old hermit the adventurers meet in the second season. He is violently killed by the Barbarian, who thought he was a wizard
  • the lizard man
  • Norelenilia of Nilnerolinor: the queen of the Lunelbar elves the adventurers meet in the Schlipak Forest. She "traps" the characters into having to answer a riddle, which is solved by the Dwarf, but she mistakenly gives credit to the Elf, as "an elf is most likely better at solving riddles". As a reward, she gives a bunch of magical but useless items to the group, along with a beautiful bow which the Elf cannot use because her level is too low, and a purse containing 12 gemstones.
  • Roger
  • Song-fu: an old sage the characters meet on their way. He answers questions the adventurers ask him. Upon hearing about the prophecy the characters have set in motion from the Enchantress, he commits suicide without any explanation.
  • The Golbarg, a demon of the old world, is a huge creature with a red and blue skin, four arms and a sharp tail, according to the Ranger's description. He was trapped in the Deserted Floor thirty years ago, when Zangdar cast a spell which forbids him to use staircases...
  • Greenny Tommy, an orc playing banjo with his music group, in the Tavern of Naheulbeuk.

Plot synopsis[edit]

In the first season, the characters find their way through the dungeon to steal the statuette.(the last of the 12 statuettes of the prophecy).

In the second season, they must cross the dangerous Earth of Fangh to meet with their employer, Gontran Teogal, in an inn of the lost city of Boulgourville.

In the third season, they must steal the statuette again to save the world of the eternal sleep due to the return of the last god of chaos : Dlul the god of sleep and bore who is being summoned by the former employer of the adventurers. (This season, and the next, are not available in details on the site, but two audio episodes sum up the story of the first and second books).

The fourth season begins shortly after the end of the third season, with the adventurers running into the hills to escape from a hill giant. After the death of the Elf, they travel to Waldorg to ask a wizard to resurrect her. Then they are hired by the Council of Waldorg to steal an object in the tower of the Mistress of the Slanoush Cult. But they don't know that they are being used in a vicious plot against the city of Glargh...

The fifth season, the last so far, begins right after the end of the fourth, when the Elf learns that she has been proclaimed queen of her people. The adventurers must then follow her and prevent a war between all races from happening.

Derivative works[edit]

The Naheulband[edit]

Naheulbeuk graphic novel[edit]

Published by Clair-de-Lune editions.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The first is: John «Poc» Lang, Marion Poinsot, Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk - Première saison, partie 1, Clair de Lune, 2005, ISBN 2-913714-67-6