urke the porter and current torchbearer to Milgos sat at the dinner table with his family. His wife had made a hearty stew. They were eating well lately thanks to the coin he brought in as a retainer. In between mouthfuls he told his wife about the latest foray. “Normally we don’t go without the half orc but the boss was itching. He kept saying things about his untapped magical reservoir. Mages eh? First we poked around the churches but the reputable ones don’t go in for dungeoneering. The disciples of Set would, but their price was too steep; something about Milgos’ life being forfeit or some such. Can’t trust a Settite anyway, at least that’s what my ma always said. So the boss says ‘Bag it’, then he takes out that odd ring he recently looted of the elf. ‘This,’ he says to me, ‘will make me invisible and I will sneak around the place nicking folks gold. It’ll be easy, trust me’. It weren’t easy and we all very nearly died. Things went wrong from the start.”
Burke looked at his kids and frowned. “You lot better head off to bed. The tale that’s coming isn’t fit for little ears. And don’t worry about your dad, nothings killed me yet.” The kids reluctantly left the room and Burke continued “We made it all the way back to the first level. The statue at the entrance keeps calling the place the Tunnels of Enlandin or something like that. Milgos decides to go kills the spiders in the south so that’s where we head. He’s bought plenty of oil because the solution to most problems is fire. We take a shortcut through some rooms we haven’t explored. Behind the first door we see some tentacled grub monsters slobbering all over a paralysed hobbit. Milgos charges in with his swords. I yelled out ‘Boss, what are you doing! Use your magic!’ But he didn’t listen. Next thing you know he’s paralysed. I ran in and grabbed him and hauled him to safety while Betty and Beatrice drew steel and went and charged in. They didn’t last long and soon I was cowering under a table as far from the monstrosities as possible. I figured we were done for but then Milgos shakes off the paralysis and goes roaring back. He doesn’t leave anyone behind. Well except me. He said to hide till he came back so I stayed under the table with a blanket thrown over my head.”
“After a few minutes Milgos came back and said everything was alright. He’d saved the girls but didn’t save the hobbit that looked half digested by the time I saw him. Milgos reckoned that the carrion grubs were smart, closing doors and setting ambushes, only problem for them was that Milgos is smarter. He blew the creatures apart from range with his wand. He never gets tired of his wand, always blazing away. The creatures had some treasure and so did the hobbit. Turns out the hobbit’s name was Opi, it said so on his coin pouch. I might ask around the taverns to see if he has family, I’m sure they are worried. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but they have a right to know.”
Burke got up and ladled himself some more stew. “In the end we made it to the spider room. Turns out there were no spiders in there but that didn’t stop Milgos and the girls setting the room ablaze. You should have seen the look of disappointment on the bosses face. Still there were some coins lying about in the chamber and Milgos says help your self. You could tell he was spoiling for a fight so he sets us marching north. There we run into an orc ambush but Milgos saved us with a timely sleep spell. The orcs didn’t have any treasure, which really made Milgos mad. He was so mad that he got careless and fell into a pit trap. It was all up to the girls and me. Betty threw down the rope she’s always carrying and they lower me down to look for the boss. The pit was deep and ended in a raging underground river. I was scared then. Milgos was gone and there was nothing we could do. We had to get out of here.
While the ladies were hauling me back up a rat swarm attacked us. I had to join the melee.”
Burkes wife gave him a stern look. “Now you know I said I’d never risk myself but this was different, I had no choice. I clouted several rats with my trusty torch and Beatrice and me saw the vermin off, but not before they had downed Betty. Lucky for us Boss had given us a healing potion to hold onto in case he fell. We used it on Betty and she sprung up as good as new. We raced for the exit and thought at one point we were done for. I saw in the flickering torch light two figures one clanking around the other levelling a bow at us. Turned out they were fellow adventurers, nice sorts really. They escorted us back to the stairs. We met up with Milgos on the journey home; the river had swept him along till he hauled himself up onto a bank. The lucky sod found a quick exit back to the surface so now if we delve we can head straight to the lower levels. Handy.”