I was bopping around level three, and just thinking of buzzing upstairs to reset the level, when that “something special” message showed up. Naturally, I changed my plans.

After poking around a short while, I found a hard leather cap. Might be the item, might not. The other artifacts had taken much longer to discover, so I kept going. Then I came across the Giant Louse.

Its hit points are trivial, and so is the damage it does. However, it “breeds explosively”. This is an understatement. A very big understatement.

In no time at all, there were more than I could count. Fortunately, I was in a corridor. Unfortunately, there were plenty in the room behind me, in the room to the north, and the room in front, plus the corridor.

Darry’s situation was critical. There was no way to get past these things, without creating even more. If I managed to get him into a room, he’d be surrounded in no time, and likely nibbled to death. Just goes to show how deadly cheap monsters can be in ZTK.

I had a couple of Word of Recall scrolls, and could use them to get out. A word (heh) about WOR. In the dungeon, it will send you back to town. In town, it returns you to the dungeon level you were on. So you need two scrolls to make the round trip. It doesn’t work right away, either. Several turns have to pass before you’re yanked back to town or dungon.

The advantage of WOR is that the dungeon level is saved when you teleport out, and will be the same when you come back. Provided, that is, you don’t save outside the level in the meantime.

So I could get out, but what about the artifact? There was still plenty of this level to explore. Then I remembered the cap, and used a minor id on it. Ta-da! It was the artifact. Scotty, beam me up!

After a few more turns of bopping the endless critters, the spell kicked in and hauled me out to town. Whew! You better believe I was glad to have those scrolls.

Alas, though, I didn’t have enough money to buy the *Identify* scroll that would give me all the details on the cap. Oh well, no real problem. I’ll just go back in and do some cash cow delving. Warning! Warning! Brain malfunction.

Yep, I did it. I read a WOR in town, and it sent me back in. Right back on level three, with the lice. Good work, Scorp.

However, I did have two more recall scrolls with me. You bet I teleported out of there – after saying a few things to myself, which I leave to your imagination – and went back in to the dungeon on level 1.

I finally got enough cash together and id’d the helmet. The Cap Of Thranduil, and a nifty piece of armor it is. +12 to AC. +2 each to Intelligence and Wisdom. Gives resistance to blindness. Grants telepathy. And the item itself is immune to acid, fire, cold, and electricity.

I’d been wearing the cap before I had the full details, and was wondering how come I could suddenly see monsters that were far away, even past walls. Now I know. I can even scroll the map to see what they are. Is this a great helm or what?

But let this be a lesson to you: never go down below without a backup!