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I was born in Rivervale and spent my young years in the Misty Thicket, where every animal knew my name and was friendly to me. My mother always told me: "Animals are Druid's friend" - and I believed it. Little did I know that my mother never ventured outside our town, being content with sewing and occasionally delivering meals to our brave guards.

The illusion of safety has been shattered today, when my guild leader Zkish stopped by Rivervale and invited me for a hunt in the Steamfont Mountains.

The road to the mountains was uneventful. I've enjoyed my new agility given by the Spirit of Wolf spell and couldn't be happier.

Eventually, we arrived. This is when things began getting scary. I found out that there are creatures far more different and hostile, than the ones I was used to in Misty Thicket. There were aggressive mountain brownies - possibly distant relatives to our local town thief, Nillipuss. There were scary clockwork spiders. There were earth elementals, which could float above ground, defying the laws of nature.

None of them were too happy to see us and the fight began. After what seemed like eternity, we've emerged victorious, but wounded and out of magical energy.

Zkish suggested we sit down and hide. So, we did. Our short break was interrupted when I was attacked by a hairy minotaur. That monster had no respect for my hobbit hiding skills - somehow it saw through disguise and punched me in the back, while I wasn't looking.

Moreover, other creatures joined the battle against us and I realized that I am quickly losing strength. Fear overtook me and I ran away, hoping that my Spirit of Wolf quickness will give me enough time to find a way back - or cast a Gate spell to return home. However, in the heat of the battle I didn't notice that my Wolf speed has expired - so I was merely walking, while three monsters were hot on my heels, biting, scratching and mauling me. When I realized that there's no escape, I've turned around to face them. My only chance was to cast a Gate spell between the hits - or at least die like a real Halfling, facing my enemies.

Time and time again, I tried to cast the life-saving Gate spell, but to no avail - the constant onslaught would not allow me to concentrate. My mother's face flashed before my eyes and then everything went dark.

I awoke back in Rivervale - thanks to the power of Bristlebane, who watches over the halflings and teleports their souls back home when their body meets an untimely demise. Unfortunately, none of my hard-earned weapons and armor were with me. I had to return to the dreaded Steamfont Mountains to reclaim my posessions.

At this point Zkish re-appeared. He explained that he has died too. However, it was in his power to wield the Necromancer skill of finding the lost corpses. I was all too grateful for this chance - it was scary to think of wandering blindly around the hostile mountains, while the creatures who killed me could still be roaming nearly.

The story has a happy ending - we've found my corpse and I've reclaimed my stuff. But the youthful innocence is now gone - now I know that places like Steamfont Mountains are out there, just waiting for a chance to unleash destruction on the unwary traveler.

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