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Tale of Xiag The Mage
When the bards tell of daring adventurers, they often speak of mighty warriors using their wits and steel to overcome insurmountable odds to defeat their foes. But sometimes, the most daring feats are ones of escape. For our most Daring Dungeon Story, we present to you the tale of Xiag the Mage, whose trip to a dungeon ended quicker than he had expected.
 I left Britain as the sun was setting over the Serpent Spine Mountains and headed for Destard. I had no choice really, for you see, I once again had spent all my gold pursuing the art of magic. An awful drug that courses through my bones with every cast of the spell, but that is another lament.
Destard was getting to be a second home for me. Hopefully once I'm able I'll learn to mark a rune and make the trip shorter, but for now I must settle for cowering in the hedge maze, hoping the orc patrols don't find me.

I arrived at Destard with my spell book and the few components I gathered along the way. In the shadow of the adventuring village that has sprung up around its black maw I cast the few protective spells I knew to prepare me for its ravages. The thought that I should have armor crossed my mind, but an awful voice in the back of my head reprove me for wanting to rely on the mundane. So with a deep breath I enter.

The light from the cave mouth was enough to see by, but my addiction urged me to cast a light spell. The air was still and the cave was silent. It seemed almost empty. I hoped there weren't too many adventurers inside, I could use all the gold I could find.

And so I headed to the center of "the bowl", as I call it, where a few chests could usually be found there filled to the brim with coin. I pondered once what dragons did with it, but the moment passed as I quipped that with me they usually didn't have to worry about. And then it all went horribly wrong...

With my attention focused on the spoils of my pilfering I didn't notice my new scaled visitor. I always thought I'd put up more of a fight, but quickly my ego was shattered, as well as my body. The first blast of dragon breath was insanely painful. It was almost unfortunate that the chest took the brunt of it, as I would be forced now to live with the pain. Running away the dragon gave chase. I used my last reagents to try and turn myself invisible using a scroll I acquired on a previous jaunt there. But as I expected, the spell was beyond my ability. I had only mastered the fourth circle of spells, and barely at that.

I didn't stop running until I got to the entrance where to my horror, a drake had decided to rest for the moment. I hadn't fully explored the dungeon before and secretly hoped the place had a back door. Deep in my heart I knew better though. Looking at the Dragon who was still chasing me I could swear I saw it smile. Being smarter than to ask it what about, I took off in another direction.

I tripped over some other poor chap's remains in my hurry to escape. With the dragon right behind me I thought I was done for, until I saw the gleam of something clenched in the fist of the corpse. A recall rune!!! I felt wrong as I grabbed his moldy backpack and hoped there were enough reagents in there to make my escape. I also hoped I could remember the spell, this wasn't my specialty by a long shot. I started my chant as the dragon breathed in, ready to unleash one final blast. Suddenly, the world around me changed as the spell took affect.

Admittedly Minoc was a long walk to Britain. But I smiled the whole trip thinking about one very confused dragon.

-Excerpt from the journal of Xiag the Mage

If there is one thing that can be said about dungeons, it's you never know what to expect once you enter the perilous depths. As dungeon month draws to a close, we have one more Dungeon Story coming up. We'll be concluding Dungeon Month with "The First Dungeon Experience".

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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