They haunt me some times. Haven’t I’ve been here already? Why do I come back? Reality snaps back. The Gnolls jaws close hard and brutal like the loading mechanism of heavy crossbow. It’s something sudden and almost metallic.

It growls. A massive blade rams my shield. It jumps backward. Powerful neck lower and it tries to bite me again. Rancid breath.

Nightmare. Not a dream. There’s nothing dreamy about a boiling landscape of hot sand and rusty canyons withering in the sun light. Dull metal glimmering as it clings to the rock.

I side step. It’s hard to do it in rolling sand. Behind me the ethereal whisper of magic unleashes force bolts in the direction of a skeleton. The crunching sound of my golem crushing something else. My feet lose grip. My arm goes numb from the thundering hit of the cleaver.

My life pass before me. It’s a burst of what I did. Sweat stinging my eyes. My helmet takes its jaws. Teeth grinding against the dense metal. Horn locked between its teeth. Drooling. It’s growl and breath echoing inside my helmet like a loud ruffle in a small cave.

My shield flies away. Moments from death. It raises it’s weapon to end me. The Ice cold flames of my sword finds the space between the breast plate and shoulder guard. Right there by the arm pit. Bundles of tensing muscles. The stab is merciless and quick. Reality is a fluid motion where all strength drench from the gnoll in a death yelp. I pull the weapon from its gaping frosty wound. It’s blood flows from it like frozen snow. Dark. Rubies. It splinters into death. My weapon block the other gnolls strike. Trying to take advantage of my preoccupation with its tribal member. I drop down. I feel the sand run into my knee guard and boots. I cut across the abdomen. Right between two overlapping bands. But it’s only boiled leather. And the creature dies with a whelp as its inside spills out, dropping past me into the sandy canyon.

Dream – why do I return? I want to find the ring. The ring that holds divine essence that can rejuvenate me. The ring that stores power. It’s here somewhere. They old ones tell me about it. One even held one up for me to see. He’d lost an eye finding it.

Is it worth the loss? Baking under the sun. Skin red from exposure. Leather.

I save my hireling wizard. As he holds the skeleton at bay with his hands. Screaming. I save my dense golem as he clutches a mummy in a tight grip. It doesn’t say thanks as I evaporate the creature with divine magic. It stares at me. Rocks forming a man shaped form. Waiting for me to move on.

Is this the day I find it?


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