When Alley and Oba asked if I would like to visit the Rise, I thought it was an outdoor bistro where we could enjoy a bowl of goulash and an ale. I must learn to listen more carefully to these invitations.

The Rise is a diabolical structure loaded with traps, false floors, a deadly maze and creatures that boggle the mind. Who in their right sense would conceive such an edifice? And once constructed, why would they want to dwell within? Tis madness!

But Alley and Oba were lured by treasure and the thrill of danger. I, was simply lured.

As we crept in, there was no end to the horrors. Fire spewing mage and imps were the first of many tests. Then, an unseen series of walls prevented our direct passage and we slinked along, ever mindful of the dangers.

When I didn’t think it could get any more, I was reminded why I shouldn’t ask that question out loud. Out of nowhere loomed a dragon, coiled and ready to strike. Oba and Alley laughed in the face of danger. I ruined yet another pair of leggings.

But into the fray I went, doing my best not to hurt myself or anyone else except the dragon. Oba is a master with lightning and his violent bolts pummeled the creature into submission.

Ever forward, deeper into the catacombs. Soon, we faced a troll that simply refused to submit. Fire, lightning, blades and the crushing power of death magic did little to bring him down. But we fought on. The room filled with heat, noise, ash and the brutal clang of weapons and armor. It was a cacophony of damage. And then, in one final lunge, it was over. A weak spot had been found and exploited.

In the very depths of the hall, we faced a Lich and his minions. He unleashed the hounds of hell upon us! But through quick thinking, the power of steel, the hot breath of fire and crippling majesty of lightning they were subdued. The Lich fell next and we looted the treasures.

I made use of the many repair kits on offer as my armor had developed a few unsightly leaks that needed to be patched. Oba and I desperately tried to remove the throne from the hall, but alas, it was far too securely affixed to the floor. He thought it best to retreat before discovery lead to ruin.

Our extraction was plagued with as many dangers. Skeletons lined the walkways, trouble hid around every turn. Even the very floor was against us. It seemed to vanish right beneath our feet, causing terrible damage and depressing our escape.

I fell behind several times, losing my way and getting lost in the endless corridors. With all the knocks to the head, I found it hard to focus and more than once, Alley had to drag me to safety and away from the fiery blasts.

But finally, through all the twists and turns, we opened the gate and made an escape. I was battered and abused, but still alive. Oba chuckled at this handshake with death. Alley seemed unfazed as well. One day, I wish to have that fortitude and belly dance in the face of danger.

“Come!” declared Oba. “To the Compendium of Pain and Suffering! Then an ale! First, a quick stop to spruce up your leggings!”

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Do I even want to know what that belongs to? Although, Danish might enjoy nibble or two. Mind if I break off a piece and take it home?

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I really, really hope this is working! But oh my goodness, that is starting to smell delicious!

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So, well, that wasn’t so bad. Now, might have to try a bit of that wing.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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