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Basic Trope: A mining operation unleashes Sealed Evil in a Can.

  • Straight: A dwarven mining operation unleashes the Dalor.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: The demon is in a weakened state, and wasn’t buried that deep anyway.
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  • Justified: Mithril was the only thing that could contain the Dalor… and as it’s a valuable metal, the dwarves couldn’t resist digging it up.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • They hear dark whispers underground, and dig up a seemingly evil temple… but it’s long abandoned and ultimately harmless. The dwarves shrug and go about their business.
    • The dwarves dig right up to the Balor… and quit while they’re ahead, leaving the daemon to rot.
  • Double Subverted:
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    • It’s a double bluff: the demons are sealed into the rock AROUND the temple.
    • The Balor breaks free and goes on a rampage anyway… a minor rock wall is not quite enough to stop a daemon lord, after all.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: While legends speak of an ancient burning evil unleashed by the dwarves in their mines, it turns out it’s not an actual demon, but “merely” the destructive force that is magma. Then it turns out the ‘magama’ is animate, but is good-natured… If destructive. It also turns out the dwarves were corrupted into murderous madness by their greed, and they were burnt to a crisp when they refused to repent… but even then, they weren’t acting THAT evil by their own standards.
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  • Averted: No mining unleashes anything evil.
  • Enforced: It's part of an Aesop about greed and ecology.
  • Lampshaded: “There be darker things than ore in these parts, lad…”
  • Invoked:
  • Exploited: The dwarves, overrun by orcs, deliberately dig randomly into the earth, figuring they’ll eventually unleash SOMETHING that will kill everything in the surrounding area.
    • The adventurer's guild send their operatives into mines in order to counteract these evils when they arrive.
  • Defied: “Don’t dig too far into these lands. Might awaken something that should stay asleep.”
  • Discussed:
    • “Many an ancient evil has been unleashed by digging in just the wrong direction. I theorize they call the miners to their own destruction, rather than just waiting for the hapless one who’ll chip them out.
    • “Nothing but rock in these lands, lad. Demons ain't nothing but fairy tales.”
  • Conversed: “You would think the dwarves would invent something that lets them find these places in advance…”
  • Implied: The fortress is empty and scorch-marked, and the last records of the dig-site mentions uncovering a strange blood-soaked ore…
  • Deconstructed: All mining operations worldwide stop, in terror of unleashing ancient evils. The remaining metals in the world become hideously expensive, due to supply running cut.
    • Though occasional monster infestation is a risk, actual mining hazard are way more common, and claims more victims. Most miners are more afraid of a cave-in, rather than awakening ancient evil.
  • Reconstructed It’s not like every mining operation is filled with monsters: it’s accepted as another hazard of mining, along with toxic air and cave-ins. Methods are developed to find such sealed beings, and proper drills are enacted to ensure miners can escape demon attacks… but even then, such methods are not foolproof.
    • Due to both shortage of metals and need for more reliable weapons for slaying monsters, the world decided to break from Medieval Stasis. Metalurgy is improved to make the best of what's deposits left, and early gunpowder weapons are put to use. After few generations, most of the "evil" is either eradicated, or left to dwell in places that were to dangerous anyway.
  • Played For Laughs: It’s a fantasy Godzilla parody, complete with crushed buildings and cries of “Dugzilla!” from Engrish-speaking dwarves.
  • Played For Drama: Boris the dwarf survived digging too deep, and has major Survivor's Guilt from unleashing such monsters due purely to his own greed and stubbornness.

Back to Dug Too Deep. Just don’t go too far…
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