2. I was in a very long, low-ceilinged hallway. There was a blade trap just ahead of me and an upper path stretching also to the west. I decided to climb to the upper path.
As I came onto the upper pathway, I checked the floor and found a trap door over the blade trap. I jumped over the trap door and continued to the west.
3. When I came to a ledge, I jumped immediately across the gap, dropping to the floor one landing below. I heard the sound of footsteps coming from somewhere to the east and drew my sword.
A guard appeared above me and jumped. He landed right next to me, with the ledge at his back. I struck even as he dropped, hitting him quickly three times. He fell over the edge. I heard footsteps then from both directions and instinctively turned and backed toward the ledge, even as another guard sailed over my head and a third one ran from the west.
I fought the nearest guard and he dropped after three quick blows. Then I edged closer to my next assailant, making room behind me so I could not be forced over the edge. I defeated him and another of his brethren-at-arms, still moving continually to the west. Then no more guards appeared, and I edged carefully forward.
4. I thought I had seen the last of the guards. but there was another waiting for me and I had to fight him while two more of his friends appeared, each waiting their turn. The guard was tough, and I barely succeeded in defeating him. I was worn down and bleeding from a dozen wounds by the time I had finished him off. The next two guards were not as skilled and I was able to hit them with long lunges that hadn't worked on the other guards.
I ran on to the west, leaping over a gap and triggering a pressure plate. Far to the west I heard a gate opening, and I headed that way.
5. A guard appeared behind me, so I had to choose. I was afraid the gate ahead might close, so I turned to meet him. I forced him backward and finally dispatched him.
4. He fell onto the pressure plate I had previously triggered, and I heard the distant gate opening again.
5. I ran to the west, jumping a small gap at the base of two statues. A floor tile fell behind me, but I didn't take the time to investigate. I found a short ledge at the base of the statues and climbed onto it.
6. To the west I could see a gate, but it lay across a wide gap. I backed up to make room.
5. I started to run...
6. ...and at the last moment I jumped, barely catching the ledge on the opposite side of the chasm. I didn't even want to think how far up I was now.
I pulled myself up and through the gate and headed west.
5. I stood a moment, catching my breath, and heard the distant gate close. I decided to investigate anyway, so I ran forward, toward the base of the two statues, jumping a small gap on the way. As I ran, I heard the sound of footsteps behind me. Another guard. But this guard did me a favor, as it turned out. He triggered the pressure plate behind me, and I heard the gate ahead opening.
I found a short ledge at the base of the statues and climbed onto it, then ran quickly to the west, ready to jump across the gap I saw ahead.
6. At the last moment I leaped into the air, flying across the wide gap. A floor tile came loose as I jumped, and a few moments later I heard it crash to the floor far below. But I had caught onto a ledge below the gate and struggled to pull myself up before the gate closed.
7. I found myself on a narrow parapet. Below was a strangely illuminated temple or cathedral. I didn't have time to investigate it, though, because more guards appeared. They fought with great skill, and all my ability with the sword was tested. I kept lunging and parrying steadily, trying to keep them within sword range. I found that the secret with these bird- headed guards was in the timing. If I could catch them in mid-slash, they were vulnerable. I kept moving in a westerly direction, and after I had slain three of them, there were no more. Whatever it was they were guarding, it seemed to be ahead.
8. I had to fight more guards, and I heard the sound of sandals on stone coming from the east. They were going to surround me! I had already defeated two of the guards ahead of me, but they kept coming. I was pushing them steadily to the west. Now I quickly slew the last of them sheathed my sword, and ran to the west as the new arrivals came at me from the east. There seemed to be no end of the creatures, and I had no desire to remain, fighting until my arm grew too weary to lift my blade.
I don't know how I had the time to see it, but I did notice a great tapestry on the wall that said "He who would steal the flame must die." It meant nothing to me at the time, but I would soon learn what it meant.
9. I ran past another closed doorway, saw no way to open it, and, with the guards still on my heels, I kept running west.
10. I saw a wide gap ahead, and jumped it as quickly as possible. The pursuing guards stopped at the ledge. I was safe - for the moment. I took a deep breath and continued west.
11. I ran through one more long section of the parapet, but was not attacked. I passed by a potion. It seemed unimportant at the moment.
12. An iridescent blue flame flickered in a huge torch. A great statue of an eagle perthed over it. I was fascinated by the flame; so much so that the guard took me by surprise. I was very weak after all my battles, and the guard's blow was sudden. I died. I felt my spirit leave my body, and all was blackness.
In a dream, I imagined my shadow-self emerging and jumping across to the great torch. He touched the blue flame and it infused him. Then he jumped back across and came to me, lying dead on the ground.
Suddenly I was awake. I was alive. Dream or otherwise, I was no longer dead or in great pain. I felt a new vitality flowing within me. Even stranger, the guard, who had just a moment before killed me, now bowed his head to the ground before me. It made no sense to me, but I was pleased with the change in attitude.
I decided to head back toward the exit doors. There was nothing else to do here.
11. I ran back along the parapet toward the gap I had jumped across previously. I was worried that the guards who had been chasing me would be waiting.
10. I needn't I have worried about the guards. As I neared the gap they all bowed, and in their haste to show their obeisance, several of them fell over the edge. Now I felt sorry for them.
I leapt across the gap and continued east.
9. I came to the room where I had seen the lone doorway, and it was open now. Without another thought, I ran up the stairs. Could my life get any stranger? I wondered as I climbed.