The Trip to Rithwic
I was sitting in Holtburg doing the usual (kill cow, cook steak, send
my vassal Jiggles McMankleman for more wine, eat steak, drink wine, belch,
kill cow...) when someone dropped a small brown bag-like object near me
and ran off. I identify it as a small gromnie hide. SCORE! I quickly limp
over and scoop up the prize, my eyes darting through the crowd for anyone
to oppose me. Sending Jiggles up for wine, I sneak out of town in his
absence. A trip to the Rithwic leather crafter would prove too much for
Reaching the Rithwic portal, I jump through...the uneasy pull portal
travel does to my stomach forcing me to involuntarily release the steak
and wine. I land just outside Rithwic, kneeling when a warm spray hits
my back and neck, the dinner of meat and drink has caught up with me.
Not wanting to take the time to wash the bile from my tattered apparel,
I head directly to the town of Rithwic.
People entering and exiting the local pub nearly distracts my mission
and the bellowing sound of the town cow is making my crusted lips quiver
and palette water, but I shun my primal urges and gimp out to the leather
crafter. Beyond the fork in the road I stop to snuff the life from a lone
rabbit. I then sit down and fish a bottle of Ambrosia Nectar from a deep
hidden pocket inside my coat. The feast of rabbit carcass and nectar is
an early celebration of what is to come.
Just ahead along the road I spot the wooden posts leading up to the house
of the leather crafter. My heart races and I tremble in anticipation as
I venture off the road and up to the isolated cottage. Halfway there,
an unusual and truly foreign sound comes from behind me. I slowly turn
around and see a pale-skinned and balding figure wielding a sharpened
knife. Stories of townsfolk talking of "drudge" come back to
my memory and now I have finally witnessed one. Never have I seen such
a creature or any creature on the path to the leather crafter. I gaze
to the clear sky, shaking my soiled fist, damning Turbine for this patch.
I look up to the cottage, 200 feet seems much farther, then glance back
at the drudge. The foul beast looks ready to attack. After 35 levels in
Holtburg, I thought I would be ready for a situation like this but wasn't.
My life as a vagabond has never led me to any confrontation with the fauna
that populates the wilderness.
The drudge must have seen the uncertainty in my one good eye and charges.
A warm sensation of urine streams down my leg, past my trick knee, and
filling my wool slippers. I turn and run for the cottage, hobbling like
a pregnant woman and screaming like a small child. I feel a scratch across
my back and know my life force is half removed. I reach the door handle
as the drudge claws at me again, yanking the large oaken door open. I
throw myself into the cottage and kick the door closed, the screams of
frustration from the drudge emanating from beyond the sturdy door and
filling my groggy head.
For the first time in my life I have felt a strong sense of excitement.
I tear open my dirty smock, bearing my chest, noticing that even my proliferated
nipple was hard. I stumble to the crafter and hand her the hide of a small
Azure Gromnie. Within mere moments, she hands me back an item that was
the whole reason for this most dangerous trip, pauldrons. I hold the pauldrons
over my head and cackle with delight but this only infuriates the drudge
still pounding on the cottage door.