By Bob Schwabach

First published in the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday “Today” magazine, July 26, 1981

They ran blindly, the corridor behind them stretching  into darkness, their torches throwing flickering shadows against the dank walls. At last the sounds of pursuit faded in the distance, and they stopped to catch their breaths, hoping that the torchlight could not be seen by enemies.

They were hopelessly lost now; there had been too many twists and turns in their wild dash for safety. It was a miracle they had managed to stay together: Cugel the Clever, Thed the Cleric and Baldar the Baleful. Behind them, they knew, a band of troglodytes –large lizard men with crocodile jaws and a yen to kill anything that resembled a human — would be sniffing out their trail. And no matter how faint that trail might become, eventually the troglodytes would find and follow it. With no food and only one day’s supply of water, things looked grim. In desperation, the fugitives turned to the dungeon master for help. Continue reading