Dungeons are a big part of Dungeons & Dragons adventures and many other similar roleplaying games. A few years ago Geek Native put together a list of 22 reasons why your fantasy RPG has so many dungeons, but sometimes true stories are stranger than fiction.
What if people in your fantasy world just had a firm conviction that tunnelling under their homes was a good idea? Sure, this could be driven by a need to survive monsters and curses that didn’t go below the ground but what if people just felt the compulsion to dig?
Levon’s Divine Underground
Levon’s Divine Underground is a real thing and a tourist attraction in the Armenian town of Arinj. It was made, by hand, by Levon Arakelyan and he didn’t use any modern tools at all.
The underground temple began construction back in 1985 when Levon was 44. His wife asked him to tunnel a potato storage pit under their house, and so he dug a large hole.
But Levon couldn’t stop digging. He worked 18 hours a day, for 23 years, before dying of a heart attack. The builder used a chisel and metal buckets to excavate the rubble. In fact, he excavated so much soil and rocks that he gave 450 truckloads to a local construction company.
The result is a 7 room underground dungeon, or temple, that reaches up to 20 metres down and has a floor area of about 280 square metres.
His wife, Tosya Garibyan, now runs the temple as a tourist attraction.