This universe has a civilization of humans! And some other things. It's not crowded in the way Edda is but it's not just the one planet either. The humans might be easiest to start with. They're on that planet over there, it's not Earth but it has very Earthlike conditions and bronze-age humans living in cities and villages dotted across two large continents. Depending on how thoroughly any prospective visitors look they might find other things before visiting.
The area the dragon is assaulting is an underground tunnel rather than the exposed surface one.
It eventually gets through and into the warren of 'inner' tunnels that aren't quite in the underground city proper yet.
There are sporadic explosions and gunshots for several hours.
Then there's a very big explosion that rather wrecks all the tunnels. The kind of explosion that makes one wonder if it was nuclear. The delvers seem to have been bracing and evacuating specifically for this.
The dragon is dead, after that. So are some delvers.
"What a regrettable series of events" is the overall attitude among the delvers.
The Security Chief says that they only had the one antimatter bomb. It was by his order specifically that it was used, after the dragon killed three security personnel and shrugged off everything they did to it. It was technically starship fuel.
He'll swear off having any responsibility or authority in a hypothetical delver member state, for having ordered its use, if that is necessary.
They could use some healing. And after the cleanup there are more meetings to be had to handle the details of joining, which proceed much more soberly and with much less dithering, now. The three delver communities are collectively writing this place off. They want a mountain or two somewhere not in this world and enough immortalities to cover everyone and will save up for resurrections beyond the initial set themselves.
They're pretty set on it but could settle for space on a planet where no dragons are allowed, ever. On the whole planet.
22,500 plus however many resurrections they get, for a healthy ready reserve going forward. You keep reserves of important things, they're treating that as obvious and unquestioned.
They'd like their mausoleums recreated first before they actually make the move, if they're not going to just move the whole complex. The Delvers who aren't coming back yet (and boy are there arguments over that, what order and how much of a priority it is) still need proper respect.
That works, thank you.
In three places, thousands of Delvers line up in disciplined rows with a large backpack each and a few small shipping crates off to the side. They've already worked with the envoys to integrate their electronics into the internet.
Are there any neighbors in the arcology?
Either way they settle in and start looking for jobs. Lots of machinery operator type skills to go around, some surveying and geology knowledge, some electrician and tradesman type skills, they're good at following technical instructions carefully to specification, is there any use for that?
Their doctors would like to work with someone to see if the Delver senesence-reducing drugs (that they know how to use, but don't understand the mechanism of, like too much of their other equipment) are any good for other people.
The arcology is all theirs!
Their machinery isn't going to be intercompatible with anything else but they can get hired on as consultants for figuring out what if any insights can be extracted from their engineering tradition. There are a handful of surveying and geology jobs open, mostly for checking out planets that already exist and are slated for terraforming, like this one. There's medical research to be had and they can contribute their knowledge and drugs to it.
They plan on mostly keeping to themselves but wouldn't turn away visitors. They keep a surprisingly strong level of central organization, though a few Delvers (including the ones who - ostensibly - started the whole mess by stealing from a now-dead dragon) emigrate and visit Cube to get new bodies and vanish into the multiverse.
They consult on engineering (they have some nice tricks with vibration for tunneling and material-separation, two notoriously difficult engineering tasks) and apply to geology jobs. They don't revolutionize medical research overnight or anything. They have everyone take wizardry aptitude tests and score below average as a population, and a few enterprising businessfolk set up Etsy-style arts and crafts stores with cunning little electronic and mechanical toys and sculptures, and they collectively elect a few hundred people to go study/apply for summoning licenses/teleportation/envoy and integration jobs, with the goal being to get enough money to resurrect a lot of Spirit-native people quickly once that becomes available.
It sounded like there's one person attempting to learn to do that? What's the timeline on success or failure? Can they subsidize more somehow?
Lacar Helm, 87, apprenticed as a technician but the work didn't call for her. She switched to stonemasonry and then spent most of her adult life as part of the semi-religious order that cares for the dead and maintains the mausoleums; The very least they could do for everyone. Her husband died in the dragon attack.
She feels pretty strongly about bringing him, and then everyone ever, back.
Oh, definitely. They hold a lightning election and then present a hundred people in a ranked queue about it.
She manages eighty-two including herself, and the wish specified going down the list in order. She had a really strong read too.
All eighty-two resurrection capable Delvers are very eager to integrate with the resurrection apparatus and negotiate their pay! As a bloc. They're eager to get to work about it but one just Doesn't work for free.
The existing resurrection apparatus involves a demon conjuring the desired bodies and they need to be paid too. Otherwise they can price at whatever the market will bear, keeping in mind that other people who aren't colluding with them will have this ability in like two weeks and the other Delvers are the ones who want Delvers, specifically, returned to life so that's "inside money" (a term of art that has escaped its original context).