Diamond Cascade: Magic Mushrooms

Hammer 10: It’s amazing, sometimes, how life turns out. Take the psychotic dwarf, for example. He’s battled his way through the tunnels of the under-dark from the Mountains of Wherever to the Inn of Gnomish Mishaps to deliver his warning (apparently circumnavigating the entire gnomish kingdom in so doing, which, in hindsight, would explain his latterly apparent navigation and map-reading skills). He has followed his priest, joined with a band of strangely random sell-swords and misfits, travelled across the surface that he hates and has still, eventually, delivered his warning to the gnomish people. He has then followed his priest on a mission of almost certain death to deliver a crippling blow to the leadership of his enemies. He has watched his priest fall to goblin swords, and yet he has persevered. He has led a band of utter lunatics, stupid enough to follow him, yet querulous, argumentative and mocking. He has led them through tunnels he knows that are now riven with creatures he calls his mortal enemies (although in the case of this dwarf, ‘mortal enemy’ does sometimes seem to be a broad church that encompasses anything that breathes). He has faced dark dwarves, goblins, orcs, ogres and dark elves and he has spilt their blood upon the blade of his axe.¬† And then, almost within sight of his destiny, close enough to touch it, a bear sits on him.

Is there a lesson to this? Apart from not standing in the way of a bear that’s going toe-to-toe with a mushroom with tentacles? Yes. Life is futile, random and ghastly. Take what you can and get what you can get. Before the bear sits on you.

Bizarre, but the one person who seems to care about this (beyond the horrible realisation that none of the rest of us have the first clue how to get back out of here) is Shifty. Or maybe he was just looting the body in particularly dramatic style.

I hate this place.

NEXT WEEK: TERMINUS EST

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