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The Magician's Escape

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When on the way back from work, I ran into a traffic jam. Typical in these big cities- third time this week. This time, as it was just starting to clear up, all the traffic had to stop because the lead car had a stall-out. Movement ground to a halt, and I nearly hit my head on the steering wheel because of the sudden brake! A pickup truck in front had something fall out of the back, and I, not wanting to ruin my tires by running over it, went to check it out.

The object in question was inside of a burlap sack, tied up quite well. I didn't want to check it out at first—after all, it's not my property—plus, what if traffic picks up again and I get left behind? However, the driver came out of the side, and traffic not changing, he came over to help me put it back. At least, that's what I thought at first.

An older man with graying hair, the driver said to me, "What's in the bag?" I told him it fell out from the back of his truck.

He responded with "Oh, that thing. You can keep it if you want. I'm a guy who deals with old games and that one you're carrying is one of the oldest I've ever found. Called the 'Magician's Escape' or something... I never had anyone to play it with, so I never really did anything with it. You have friends who are interested in games?"

I said I might find two or three people to play with. "Oh, alright then. You can keep it if you feel like it. I was gonna put in storage again. Honestly, I never found out what year the game was made in."

With that he turned back to his truck and got in. Several minutes later, everyone was able to drive around the stalled car. I headed on back to home. When I arrived, I greeted the wife and kids, found out their daily activities, went to bed, the usual. But I was still curious about that game. I don't know anybody who would just give you a game like that. I decided to call up some old college buddies to come play 'Magician's Escape', or whatever it was called.

On Saturday they arrived, wondering about what the new game would be like. Opening the bag, I found the object to be a board game, entitled The Magician's Escape just as the man had said it to be. The box was rather bland, no pictures on it or anything, not even a description of the game. We opened it up and set out the board, reading the instructions inside. Apparently, the main character was a magician who had been stranded somewhere, like in another realm of existence.

In his days on Earth he had been an extraordinarily good escape artist and hunter, and had been interested in the supernatural. The magician, out of curiosity and pride, declared to whatever forces in the universe that he wanted to be placed in a labyrinth and try to escape to show how good he was, the penalty being death or worse. His wish came true and he was taken away to where the game starts. He had to make it back to wherever he came from while avoiding traps and people or creatures out to get him.

The rules specified that three to five people would be good enough to play, so we started it. I had been chosen by the Random Number Gods to be the magician, while the three college guys got to be the monsters that would hunt me down. They varied in depiction—one was a tentacled monstrosity like Shub-Niggurath, another a winged beast (a griffin, I think), and the third one was a dark sphere, like a "shadow creature" or something. Other creatures included a insectoid and a demonic beast. They were interesting to look at, but they must have taken every cliche.

The board had a maze-like shape to it, and each player started on a different floor of the labyrinth, with various colored dots on the ground. The dots, when landed upon, would make the player pick up a card to have different events. There were lines from each "floor" to the other that would connect to begin a chase of the player. Oh, I forgot to tell you—if the player beat the monsters to the exit, the game would continue and they would compete over who would get to the exit. No one wants to be in fourth place, you see.

On my first turn, I went four spaces ahead and picked up an event card. Stuck in goo. Miss 2 turns. Ugh. The three players moved closer, but since they were at far away starting points, I would be OK for now. The winged monster got a die bonus due to his flying ability, and by the second turn was in the lead to catch me. Looking at the card, I saw that it allowed me to escape the second turn by roll of dice. I rolled the dice to see if I would remain stuck or would get out by the third turn. I guess my guy really was an escape artist after all.

After getting out the goo, I rolled a six and landed on a spot with pyramids on it. The card said that I could ride an abandoned train to several spots away. A break from the bad luck. I did so and got away from the guy with the griffin and ever closer to the end of the labyrinth. However, the spot I landed on thrust me into the path of the shadow creature.

After more than a dozen rounds of the roll of the die, I was nearing the end. Now, all three of my college buds were ganging up on me. However, I was able to beat them in the end. With that, we finished the weird but interesting game of The Magician's Escape. We left it on the table and went to go get some snacks. While in the kitchen, I heard some noises from the living room. When I went to check, there was no one there, just a few footprints with some kind of gunk on them. I thought maybe it was just one of the guys, tracking something in.

One of my buds was randomly throwing the dice into the air, not caring where it landed. The last thing I remember before I blacked out was the sight of a horrible tentacled monster outside the house.

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