I awoke to a brightly lit, but mist covered swamp. My progress from the night before had been slight and I had only succeeded in making it to the rear entrance of the log cabin. However, there was an interesting discovery to be made.

This was a fortune hunting witch and I had stumbled on her treasure chest full of loot. Most likely taken from the ill-fated souls that she had decoratively turned into wind chimes. It was the height of danger and my curiosity was piqued. Clearly her appearance as a frail, doddering old woman speaking in tongues was merely a ruse for her more lucrative, yet nefarious acts. She was indeed a formidable sorceress and I would need to be careful, lest I be turned into a frog or worse.

But my hopes of looting before making a quiet getaway were dashed as the chest required a key. I cursed the distrusting nature of swamp dwelling people and went inside to see if I could perhaps uncover it’s secret hiding place.

The witch was surprised to see me, and launched in her maniacal rhymes to keep me at bay.

I retraced our conversation over the terrible ordeal I suffered the previous night. I could tell her interest was lacking, but my senseless diatribe was merely a calculated maneuver to surveil my surrounds and scan the contents for a key. None presented itself, which meant the treasure was even more grand than I first suspected.

My hope began to fade and my host was losing patience. But then I caught a glint out of the corner of my eye. Something in the blazing fireplace was trying to gain my attention. It appeared to be a key in the scalding confines of the fire. Reaching in, even with my stalwart gauntlet, could be a costly mistake. I had to formulate another plan to subdue the fire without attracting attention.

Since this witch was keenly aware of the destructive power of a bucket of water, I deduced I would need to create a clever distraction, then make my own water to quell the fire.

With patience exhausted, the witch leveled several threats at me, then darted outside to find a switch. The distraction was at hand and I seized the opportunity to douse the flames of the fire. Having my back to the witch in such a vulnerable position was risky, but to my great satisfaction, a key was clearly visible.

A rather ridiculous place to hide a key, but these witches are a treacherous and untrusting lot. But the deed was done and the rather unsavory key was in my pocket. I threw some new logs onto the smoldering embers to conceal my actions.

Just as the witch reentered, stick in hand and ready to make mischief, I darted past her, leapt off the porch, clambered up the embankment and disappeared into the scrub.

From a concealed hiding place, I waited for the scene to settle. Then, under the cover of darkness, I made my way to the waiting treasure chest. The key was a perfect fit and the contents were mine.

My perusal of the ill-gotten gains was interrupted by a terrible snag. The witch had set up a sentry and a chest mimic had latched onto my backside with shocking ferocity.

The Mimic was a fierce adversary, but steel and fire immobilize wood and I kicked the scrap wood remains into the undergrowth.

Returning to my task, I took stock of the fabulous wealth and riches that awaited me. I suffered a hint of regret at taking her meager coins, but it’s part of the adventurers code to take gold from all found treasure chests. Coins left behind become cursed which ruins the economy for all.

As with so many of my recent treasure hunts, the wealth was meager. Yet, there was a handsome discovery, not one in the form of coins. It was the building specifications for creating my own log cabin. I could certainly make use of that, and quickly stashed it away. With the rest of the contents carefully ensconced within my backpack of holding, I crept away quietly. The witch was none the wiser.

The swamp was still a maze, but the fumes were no longer as potent as they had been on my arrival. I scrambled up the hill, around the trees, skirted past the rocks and kept those fuming spores at bay. I was making fine progress until I collided with a pirate ship run aground.

“Well, this most definitely needs further investigation on my part.”


Well, well, well. What have we here? A treasure chest of some kind? As an adventurer, I’m compelled to open it. All I have to do is uncover the secret location of the key’s hiding place.


Who the duece hides a key in a raging fireplace? That’s utterly daft and shows and incredily lack of forethought. What’s wrong with the old standby of sticking it under a rug? Or leaving it on a table in plain sight?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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